*To find out how much I spent click each of the pictures below and add it all up. Just do not tell me!*
There is simply not that many reasons to build a desktop anymore. Just not many at all.
For most of you out there buying a new computer my advice is just go down to Best Buy or your local Apple dealer and find the Mac Laptop of your dreams and buy it. Viola! Presto! Insta-new computer. No mess, no fuss, no extra bits and pieces to worry about, no Microsoft Windows and it’s various nasty trojans and viruses attacking you constantly and VERY IMPORTANT DO IT NOW security updates constantly waiting to be downloaded now now now. Microsoft Windows is a very demanding attention whore.
BUT!!! What if you want to game on your computer? Well, there is the catch see.
You have to go Windows and Steam which has changed the face of PC gaming as we know it and you have to pretty much build your own beast to get the best of what you want at the best price which is just what I did here.
First! Teddypig rule of thumb… When building your own windows gaming system. NO OVER CLOCKING!
Depending on being able to over clock something is for really nerdy thrill seekers, script kiddies, and children too young to buy their own electronics so they have to use mom and dad’s old throw away computers. Those machines cost them nothing so they treat them like dirt.
You my friend are an adult who makes a regular paycheck. Buy a reasonably solid piece of machinery built for the purpose you want to use it for as I will show you…
Why the Gigabyte Assassin 2 Motherboard? Some day I might want to Hackintosh this sucker that is the only reason. Plus, this is Gigabyte’s gaming motherboard all geared for gaming gurus and the fatally nerdy. You can tell by all the plastic gun motifs slapped onto it and the fact it comes with more stickers than an STP additives salesman.
Why the Plextor Blu-Ray/DVD? Because EAC and Nero like Plextor devices by default and on something this cranking I want Blu-Ray movies so taking in to account the software I run… A pretty decently reviewed Plextor Blu-Ray (This model only by the way.) is still a good idea. Just install the Plextor drivers and throw all the free junk software they give you in the garbage. I swear by Nero Platinum. It’s expensive, but it works out of the box no surprises.
Why that particular power supply? Goes with the case… same maker. Easy to slide in, wire in, and go.
Why 2 Samsung 830 SSD drives? One for the OS and one for the apps ALWAYS! This is a serious sysadmin server trick. Never run your OS installation on the same disk with your apps and you will remain happy. Combine them on the same disk and be ready to pay a price.
Why 2 Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7970 video cards running in Crossfire? Because with only one 7970 card… yes, you can run MOST games at their highest setting. With very few slow downs occurring. With two of these cards in Crossfire there is never an exception to that rule. There is never any slow downs or any question your machine can run it and I know I am good to go for any game soon to come out for at least the next 9 or so months.
Oh, and be sure if you buy this setup to order two ATI “LONG” CROSSFIRE BRIDGE CABLES! I provided the link. Because it took me a week and a half to translate, track down, and order them for my Super Mega Best Computer. The normal cable sold or provided in the box usually is way too short for this mother board setup.
Why DriverAgent? It’s like a virus scanner for your drivers. It takes a picture of your system and then goes and finds if any drivers got updated and on a cutting edge Windows machine like this we are talking hundreds of drivers being updated constantly. Just be careful here installing random drivers or wrong model drivers can mess you up so always double check on the actual makers website the driver being flagged to make sure the reported driver needs updating and how to install that driver properly. I use DriverAgent as a monitor and one stop information gatherer not as a definitive diagnostic.
Remember when buying bleeding edge crap like this. There is always going to be something with better specs coming out, or soon to come out, or may already be out but Amazon does not have it, etc etc etc. A minor spec increase does not matter in the real world. Like one reviewer pointed out. At this level of machine it is not about finding a game will NOT run. It’s about HOW HIGH the settings are when the game is running. That is not a “drop dead” issue requiring endless tinkering.
Be practical where you need to and buy what you can afford just keep it as rock solid name brand swappable as possible and with some research make sure it will play the games you currently “want to play” and I swear you will have no buyer’s remorse. You can always upgrade later. Remember, you are building a computer not buying off the shelf.
What I have created here is better than any XBOX 360 or Playstation 3 available. I wired this Super Mega Best Computer into my Panasonic ~ TC-P65S1 big screen plasma TV and my Onkyo ~ HT-S9400THX. Playing Skyrim is like a whole new game. Playing Nude Male Skyrim is beyond decadent. Playing Fallout 3 or Witcher 2 or Portal 2 or Borderlands at the highest available settings is OMG amazing. It is frightening how much better this Super Mega Best Computer really is next to any lowly console game system available. I have no long load screens or super glitchy game stopping problems to worry about. Everything is so easy and pretty.
Yes, it is expensive to even think about doing this but with the amount of time Jason and I spend playing video games I refuse to ever go back now.
Gigabyte: Assassin 2
Phanteks: PH-TC14PE CPU Cooler
Intel Core Extreme Edition i7-3960x 3.3ghz LGA2011
G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 32GB (4 x 8GB)
Thermaltake Level 10 GT Snow Edition
Thermaltake Toughpower XT Platinum 1275w
Samsung 830 Series 256GB SSD
Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7970
ATI Long Crossfire Bridge Cable
I almost forgot the last important piece to out XBOX an XBOX 360…
Microsoft Xbox 360 Wireless Controller For Windows
UPDATE!… If you have a Gigabyte motherboard using Creative drivers and a Gigabyte video card using ATI drivers keep getting your drivers from the Gigabyte website only! Creative’s flaky software from their website can not even see the Creative chips Gigabyte used on their board and ATI seems to not check their latest Radeon 7970 driver stability against such obscure games as Skyrim.
Second point… Creative Sound Drivers are some of the flakiest drivers on your computer if you plan to use Catalyst Drivers with HDMI support for sound why bother allowing the Creative Drivers to be a potential source of conflict and from my experience they will fuck it up. I got so annoyed I went into the Windows Control Panel “uninstall area” and every thing owned by Creative got ripped out. The S/PDIF or fiber optic plug still works and all but you just do not have any Creative crap in the way.
I also found out Gigabyte has two separate Radeon 7970 HD cards listed always remember the drivers you want to download and install are for the card with three fans called GV-R797OC-3GD not the other single fan version of the drivers. Those drivers suck ass.
Tags: Video Games