BestConfigs - High-End Intel Gaming PC


Overlord Emeritus
We're updating the Tom's Hardware BestConfigs and are opening the field to user recommendations! Post the best configuration you can put together for the following build category and our editorial team will pick 5 recommendations in each category to put to a public vote. The top-ranking build will go on to become one of Tom's Hardware's BestConfigs, and you'll get the credit for having put together a brilliant build with special notice in the feature article.

Post your entries to this thread for the category of High-End Intel Gaming PC, stay within $2000 and be sure to list the following components-

Graphics Card:
Hard Drive:
Power Supply:
DVD Burner:

Good luck, and may the best builds win!

Mr Pizza

Jun 12, 2010
Processor: i7 930
Motherboard: Rampage III Extreme
RAM: 6GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1600mhz C7
Graphics Card: GTX 480
Hard Drive: Spinpoint F3
Case: Haf X
Power Supply: AX1200
DVD Burner: Cheap Sata


Feb 28, 2010
CPU: i7 950

Mobo: ga-x58a-ud3r

RAM: G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI rated for 1.5v

GPU: Palit NE5TX470F10DA GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card . Then two of these for sli. 470 sli will perform on par with or above the far more expensive 5870 CF so it really is amazing bang for buck.

Storage solution: OCZ vertex 2 60gb + samsung spinpoint f3 1tb + silverstone HDD boost. Let me briefly clarify: Vertex 2 is extremely fast and more than 60gb is insanely expensive. Spinpoints f3s are quiet, cool and reasonable fast. And HDD boost to merge speed and size into without expinsive adaptech raid controllers and other similarly products.

Case: fractal define r3 because it looks much much better IMO than the price range competition, it's very quiet with the dampening pads and performs better than the competition cases if the pads are replaced with fans.

Power supply: xfx 850w/750w for overclockers/non-overclockers. Good price, modular and very good performance. It also leaves room for upgrades.

DVD burner: ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner

CPU cooler: scythe mugen 2

Sound-card: auzentech X-raider(depending on your audio system of course but for this kind of build HD595 headphones or similar quality audio systems are reasonable and for that this card is great)

with newegg pricing ATM that comes to around 1900 without combos and discounts. That's for an allrounder very responsive(SSD) system with no space restrictions on the storage drives(HDD BOOST). It'll handles any games very well and and will probably do so for years to come(470 sli). It performs well in proffesional apps like photoshop(CUDA + i7 930). It looks great while still not drawing to much attention and taking to much space (define R3). It will render and compress very well(i7 930). For the enthousiasts who want to take their system the extra mile it has quite some overclocking potential(i7 930 + 470s). And for the hardcore gamers it will support 3d surround/3d vision/ 2d surround/ physX. The sound card also provides optimal sound for games, movies and music(auzentech x-raider). Also the sound card takes a load of the 930 making it a more effective CPU in games and other apps where sound is playing I presume.

Not sure if combos count, but at this budget, it doesn't really matter:

CPU: i7-930 $290
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R $210
RAM: Corsair XMS3 3x2 GB 2000 mhz CAS Latency 9 $175
GPU: HD 5970 $650
SSD: OCZ Agility 2 120 GB $280 after rebate
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $75
Case: HAF 922 $90
PSU: Corsair 850W Modular $150 after rebate
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $19

Total: $1,929

I opted for the 5970 because of the ease of dropping a second one in later one and getting even better performance. I also included some super fast RAM that will overclock extremely well. I also included a large and very fast SSD. I didn't include a HSF because it wasn't required. If I need to throw one in, I like the Sycthe Mugen 2 Rev. B at $40 and the Noctua NH-D14 at $90, though that one goes a touch over budget.

Hard Line

Apr 15, 2008
I would go with what I have in my sig....

Processor: i7 930
Motherboard: Gigabyte X58A-UD3R
RAM: Mushkin Redline Enhanced DDR 3 1600 6-8-6-24
Graphics Card: XFX 5870
Hard Drive: 2x Samsung 500GB F3's Raid 0 ( or vertex 2 + 1TB samsung F3 )
Case: HAF 922
Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W
DVD Burner: Asus DRW-22B2S/BLK


Aug 27, 2009
This is a gaming rig, so looks are just as important function, and everything here is not only a top quality component, but they look great as well.

Processor: Intel Core i7-930 - $289.99
Motherboard: ASUS Rampage III Extreme - $379.99
RAM: Crucial Ballistix Tracer 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600MHz - $191.99
Graphics Card: ASUS ROG MATRIX 5870 Platinum 2GB - $519.99
Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB - $74.99
Case: Antec Nine Hundred Two - $119.95
Power Supply: Antec TPQ-850 - $149.99
DVD Burner: LG Black DVD Burner - $17.99
SSD: Kingston SSDNow V+ Series 64GB - $176.00
CPU Heatsink: Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme Universal CPU Cooler - $62.99

Total: $1,983.87

Could be cheaper with combo deals.


Aug 4, 2010
My Recommendations:
CPU: Intel i7-930
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R
RAM: G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
GPU: Galaxy 70XKH3HS8GUX GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) Sli
SSD: Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH080G2R5 80GB
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB
Case: HAF 932
DVD Burner: Asus DRW-22B2S

Savings: Approx $150
Total Around $1,950



Jun 29, 2010
Processor: i7950 $299.99
Motherboard: ASUS P6X58D Premium $294.99
RAM: 6GB Kingston HyperX (3 x 2 1600 CAS7) $166.99
Graphics Card: EVGA GTX 460 1GB Superclocked SLI $249.99 x 2 ($499.98)
Hard Drive: WD VelociRaptor 600GB 10000 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s $279.99
Case: CoolerMaster HAF X $199.99
Power Supply: Corsair HX750 $149.99
DVD Burner: Lite-On $25.99


I haven't included any extra cooling, as the guideline did not ask for any, but have left spare in the budget to accommodate this.


Mar 16, 2009
Processor: i7 930 $289.99

Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Intel Motherboard $199.99

RAM: CORSAIR Dominator 6GB (3 x 2GB) $194.99 (I just have a thing for Corsair RAM...There's lots of RAM that would work)

Graphics: XFX Radeon HD 5870 $389.99 x 2 ($779.98)

Hard Drive: Crucial RealSSD 64GB SATA III MLC $146.00 Pretty slow write speeds for an SSD, but read speeds are insane due to SATA III. 355MB/sec (SATA 6Gb/s)

Storage HD: WD Black Caviar 1TB SATA III $89.99 Only like $3 more than SATA II equivalent, and I know it adds nothing to speed, but why not?

Case: Coolar Master HAF 932 $129.98

Power Supply: Enermax Infiniti 720W $149.99 I have used this PSU for a couple years almost and love it. Cool Guard FTW heh (I shut my PC down and let it go to sleep at least daily)

DVD Burner: ASUS DVD Burner $22.99 I would probably buy a blu ray burner as a second drive eventually as well... but not really necessary for a gaming rig.

Total: $2,003.90

not including the $16 it would cost to ship it all to me. You could switch the RAM to something cheaper and maybe even a little faster like the Kingston HyperX 6GB (3 x 2GB) mentioned above. Great find by the way, rikishi19.

This also does not include any extra cooling which I don't think is necessary. I don't think Overclocking any of this rig is necessary either but you can do a little with stock components pretty easily if you want to.

Here is a screenshot of it all:


May 26, 2008
CPU: I7 950 299.99$

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R 209.99$

RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 6GB DDR3 1600MHz CL7 149.99$

GPU: 2x Asus GTX 470 in SLi + 2x FREE Mafia 2 589.98$ 40$ MIR

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1Tb 74.99$

SSD: Mushkin Enhanced Callisto Deluxe 120Gb Sandforce based. 259.99$

Case: CM HAF 932 129.98$

PSU: Corsair HX850 169.99$ 20$ MIR

DVD Burner: Lite-On 24x Black SATA 17.99$

Total: 1902.89$ (60$ MIR not included)

EDIT: Changed i7 930 to i7 950 because the 950 is only 10$ more expensive


Aug 30, 2010
Processor: Core i7 950 - With the new price cuts, $300 at Best Buy.
Motherboard: Gigabyte Ga-X58a-ud3r - $210 on Newegg
RAM:12gb (3x4gb) G.skills Ripjaws - $260
Graphics Card: Radeon HD 5970 - $650 (Sapphire, from newegg
Storage: OCZ Vertex 2 60gb - $155 ($135 after rebate)
Case: Lian-Li Lancool K-62 - $100 on Newegg (Special - $140 normally)
Power Supply: Corsair 850HX - $170
DVD Burner: LG Black Blu-ray disc combo (also burns dvds :p) $90

Total: $1935

Personally, I would hold off on buying *any* graphics card atm as Southern Islands is coming, but for *this moment* if I had 2k to spend, this is what I would buy.


Feb 17, 2010
Processor: i7 930 $289.99
Motherboard: EVGA 141-BL-E575-TR SLI LE, X58, ATX $189.99
RAM: 3 x 2GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 $144.99
Graphics Card: 2 x HD 5870 XFX HD-587X-ZNFC $779.98
Hard Drive 1: 80GB Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2MH080G2R5 2.5" SATA II MLC $199.99
Hard Drive 2: 1 TB Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS $87.99
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 Mid-Tower ATX $89.99
Power Supply: Antec 1000W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular $179.99
DVD Burner: LITE-ON 24X DVD Burner $25.99

Total: $1988.90 All prices listed on

This system will have all the punch where it's needed most; in the graphics department. The solid cpu/mobo combo allows for over-clocking potential as well as SLI capabilities up to 2x and 3x, running 8x PCI lanes (which shouldn't be a problem as shown in a recent Tom's article on PCI bandwidth.) The SSD should be sufficient for a boot drive and for quite a handful of games as well, and the second drive should allow for plenty of storage.



Mar 1, 2009
Processor: i7 980x
Motherboard: EVGA Classified SR-2, $599.99
RAM: G.SKILL PIS Series 4GB DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200) x6, $1349.94
Graphics Card: SAPPHIRE 100280-4GBB Radeon HD 5970 4GB x3, $3,029.97
Hard Drive: OCZ Vertex 2 Pro OCZSSD2 x7, $7,553.00
Case: LIAN LI PC-B71, $299.99
Power Supply: Antec TPQ-1200 1200W Continuous Power, $499.98
DVD Burner: LG Black 10X Blu-ray Burner, $109.99
CPU Cooler: Asetek Vapochill Lightspeed, $820
Total:$15,059.68, S&H=$66.82, I don't know about the shipping for the Cpu Cooler

Not my build, just a dream build =D


Jun 29, 2010
^^Why you guys spamming this thread? Anyone can build these in a 'dream' world. Put that isn't the point in this thread.

Stick to the guidelines.
Intel build -

CPU - i7 930
Mobo -
ASUS Ramapage III Formula - Should be a better balance in price/ performance compared to the Extreme...
ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Intel Motherboard
MSI Big Bang-XPower LGA 1366
Gigbayte X58A-UD5
If overclocking freak, then the Rampage III Extreme

RAM - Mushkin Enhanced Redline 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model 998805


PSU - Silverstone OP1000W

Graphics card - 2x GIGABYTE Super Overclock Series GV-N470SO-13I GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
- IMO Gigabyte has put in the right ingredients to make the GTX 470 a better choice

SSD - OCZ Agility 2 60GB

HDD - Hitachi 2TB

BD Combo - Samsung BD Combo


Jun 30, 2010
CPU: i7-875K (OC for sure)
Motherboard: Asus Maximus III Formula
Had to do the combo to come in under 2000$, hope this isn't cheating

Ram: Corsair Dominator 8 Gb (4x2Gb) DDR3 2200

GPU: 2x ASUS Nvidia GTX 460 1Gb

SSD: OCZ Vertex 2 60 GB

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F4 2 TB

PSU: Corsair 950 W PSU

Case: Antec DF-85

DVD: LG OEM Dvd burner

Total on = 1982.91$


Aug 31, 2010
Here's the rig I'm about to build.

Processor: Intel - Core i7 930 (ARCTIC COOLING Freezer Xtreme Rev.2)

Motherboard: ASUS - P6T SE

RAM: Corsair 6x2GB DDR3 DDR1600, CAS 9-9-9-24

Graphics Card: ASUS - Nvidia GeForce GTX460 1GB x 2 SLI

Hard Drive: Western Digital Velociraptor 450GB 10K 3.5" & Western Digital 2.0TB 7200RPM Caviar Black

Case: Antec - Ninehundred Two

Power Supply: Corsair CMPSU-750HXEU

DVD Burner: LG BH10LS30 Super Multi Blue

Extra gear:
Creative - X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Cham, PCI-E
Samsung 22" 2233RZ 3D
NVIDIA GeForce 3D Vision - Wireless 3D Glasses


Dec 13, 2009
Intel™ Core™ i7 920 2.66 ghz 8mb 4.8 GTs
Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R
8Gb DDR3 2000/PC3 16000 G.Skill Trident Dual Channel
Graphics Card:
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 470
SSD: Crucial RealSSD C300
HDD: WDC Caviar Green 2tb/64mb (WD20EARS)
Cooler Master HAF 922 Gamer's Case Mesh Side
Power Supply:
Corsair (HX850) 850watts HX series
DVD Burner:
Generic SATA DVD Burner


May 12, 2009
Processor: Intel Core i7 875k
Motherboard: ASUS SABERTOOTH 55i
Graphics card(s): 2x GIGABYTE GV-N470UD-13I GeForce GTX 470
Hard Drive(s): 2x Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2MH080G2R5 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC SSD
Case: COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Advanced Black Steel
Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W
DVD Burner: Samung 2MB Cache SATA 24x DVD Burner

All parts from Newegg.
Total: 1990$


Jul 9, 2010
Processor: Intel i7-930 $289
Motherboard: ASUS Rampage iii formula $299
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 6GB 1600 MHz $139
Graphics Card: EVGA GTX 480 SuperClocked 1536MB SLI $979
Hard Drive: Samsung f3 500GB $54
Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 932 $139
Power Supply: CORSAIR TX Series 950W $139
DVD Burner: LG 22X DVD burner $17

total= $2055 prices from newegg slightly over but not by much.


Jul 24, 2008
this is my build

Processor: Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80601930

Motherboard:ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - 200

RAM: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8D - 195

Graphics Card: 2 x MSI N460GTX Cyclone 768D5/OC GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 768MB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card - 200
2x 200-400
Hard Drive:
os/programs - OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE90G 2.5" 90GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - (w rebate 200)

storage - Western Digital Caviar Black WD2001FASS 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - -180

Case:NZXT Phantom PHAN-001BK Black Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case -140

or COOLER MASTER ATCS 840 RC-840-KKN1-GP Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case -170

Power Supply:CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply -130

DVD Burner:
blu-ray - LG Black 10X Blu-ray Burner - Bulk SATA WH10LS30 LightScribe Support - OEM -110
DVD - ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM - 23

audio card - creative PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion Series Sound Card -150

Total price with atcs 840 - $1958
total price with nzxt phantom - $1928

cooler has not been mentioned any way i will add it
cooler - CoolIT SYSTEMS ECO-R120 Advanced Liquid Cooling (ALC) -70

all together $2000