Greatest Gaming Rig Part One - We Had a Dream

We're building the ultimate in over-the-top computing power, and we're giving you the chance to win it.

Like many gamers, we’ve often fantasized about owning a superpowerful gaming rig, so we wondered: If money were no object, what would be the most powerful PC we could build? Our criteria was simple; it had to contain the fastest parts we could lay our hands on, bear no consideration at all for power consumption, and be so ridiculously over the top that only a privileged few would ever get the chance to own one.

After much pondering and a heap of research, we chose a range of top-of-the-line components, which we believed to be the very best of the best. And we didn’t stop at the internals. We took our plan even further, listing what our dream peripherals would be, making sure they were also suitably over the top. What we ended up with was a list that would surely make gamers drool with excitement and credit cards shake with fear. Ladies and gentleman, let me welcome you to GameSpot UK’s Greatest Gaming Rig.

Over the next six weeks, we’ll be building the dream rig, which you can read all about here on the Hardware Blog and on GameSpot UK’s video show Start/Select. We’ll be covering each of our components in detail in future editions of this feature, but for now, let's take a look at what we chose when planning the rig. We started with the basics: motherboard, processor, and RAM. The first of those was an easy choice. There is only one motherboard out there that is so hardcore it can take two Intel Xeon processors, up to 48GB of RAM, and run four Nvidia graphics cards in four-way SLI. And there's only one so massive that it only fits in a handful of specially designed cases. We are of course referring to EVGA’s top-of-the-line Classified SR-2. It’s a board that is so beautifully constructed and incredibly massive that it’s awe inspiring just to look at it. To sit on the board, we chose a pair of Intel’s six-core x5680 Xeon processors, running at a speedy 3.33GHz. With their hyperthreading support, they’ll give the rig 24 cores of processing power, which is more than enough to crunch through the toughest of first-person shooters. To cap it all off, we chose 24GB of Crucial’s DDR3 Ballistix Tracer RAM. As much as we’d love to fill the full 48GB, 24GB is probably excessive enough. Plus, it wouldn’t be a gaming rig without a whole heap of lighting, and the Ballistix Tracers are equipped with a number of LEDs, which light up when the RAM is accessed.

Next up were the graphics cards. It was a tough call between ATI and Nvidia, but in the end, we settled on three of Zotac’s GTX 480s and a single GTX 460, which will be used exclusively for Physx processing. Not only are the GTX 480s the fastest single GPU cards out there, but they also offer 3D support with 3D Vision, which is exclusively supported by Nvidia. For storage, we chose Corsair’s 128GB Force solid state drive for booting the system and Western Digital’s Cavair Black SATA III 1TB hard drive for media storage. Both drives are immensely fast and make use of the new SATA III standard, which allows for transfer speeds of up to 6Gbit a second. To keep our CPUs cool, we chose Corsair’s H70 all-in-one water cooling kits, as well as Quiet PC UK’s Ninja Scythe III air coolers, which we’ll be pitting against each other in a temperature test.

With two CPUs, four graphics cards, 24GB of RAM, and tons of storage and cooling, we needed a power supply that had a multitude of connectors on board and could keep up with our demanding components. We chose Corsair’s AX1200, a 1200 watt PSU that peaks at 1500 watts, making it one of the most powerful out there. And with its modular connections, we should be able to keep the case clean and free from cable clutter. Housing this monstrosity of a computer presented us with a major challenge. Currently, there are only a handful of cases that actually fit the SR-2 board without any significant modification, with half of them not even in full production yet! We’re still scouring the interwebs for the ideal case, but rest assured, this rig will be fully housed when it’s complete.

So many RAMS.

Finally, we looked at our dream peripherals. We wanted the hardest wearing equipment available, preferably stuff that had been road tested by pro gamers. We chose Steel Series’ Xai laser mouse, 7G keyboard, and 9HD mouse mat, all of which have been used by a number of pro gaming teams. The keyboard in particular was a natural choice for us; it’s built to last with gold-plated connectors and mechanical switches. And, it isn’t as LED infused as many gaming keyboards out there, which can be distracting when playing. To cap it all off, we chose Astro Gaming’s A40 headset and Mix Amp for sound duties. Not only does the headset look extremely cool, but we’re going one step further by getting them customized with the GameSpot UK logo; it’s just how we roll.

GameSpot UK Custom Astros.

Now, we know what you’re thinking: It’s all well and good that we’ve got this kit to play with, but what are the chances of owning it yourself? Well, you’re in luck! As much as we’d love to hang onto this machine ourselves, we’re giving you the chance to win it!* Just head over to http://tinyurl.com/gsukpccomp to find out more.

Check back here next week, which is when we’ll be starting to put the gaming behemoth together. We'll kick it off with an in-depth look at the processors, CPUs, and RAM. In the meantime, check out this week’s Start/Select for the first video feature and keep an eye on facebook.com/gamespotuk for a behind-the-scenes look at the build.

* To enter you have to be over 13 and a UK resident, and the competition is subject to our normal terms and conditions.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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markypants

Mark Walton

Mark is a senior staff writer based out of the UK, the home of heavy metal and superior chocolate.
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66 comments
dawil123
dawil123

STOP MAKING ME FEEL POOR GS

thekey
thekey

Those are server processors. LOL!!! This is an over the top Gaming rig my rig can run any game out there right now. (including battlefield 3)

ruarz
ruarz

Where is a list of the parts included in the price we need to work out? Also are you rounding up the 99p of the RRP of some components, for example if a component was £99.99 RRP would it be rounded up to £100?

CWalker00
CWalker00

This rig is hilariously ove rthe top. I wants it. I wants it nooooowww.

tcon12
tcon12

@TheClown24 What If you want to watch a blu-ray film or even just a DVD? Maybe not even that, what if you allready have games on a disk and don't download games from steam or anything? I would say an optical drive is an essential for computers...

TheClown24
TheClown24

@tcon12 Well blu-ray drives can't actually play games so...how does that have anything to do with gaming?

tcon12
tcon12

No optical drives?? No blu-ray? surely that's an essential of the "greatest gaming rig".. If there are, why no mention of them..

JohnF111
JohnF111

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

DABhand
DABhand

Sneaky gamespot changing the case at the end of my calculations! But I should be about right for both wholesale and retail prices :P EDIT: I will give a hint to people, the 3 monitors will all have to be 120hz capable for the Nvision Glasses :)

yobro03
yobro03

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

k4killer
k4killer

@SDSkarface So, if they waited for the 6800s, then in 2 months nvidia is gonna top that, so it will still be obsolete.

Rovelius
Rovelius

Razer > Steelseries. Just a fact :P

SDSkarface
SDSkarface

ATI 6800 series should be announced any day now.. the GPU's in this PC are already obsolete.

syler4815162342
syler4815162342

Wow That's crazy indeed! this monstrosity PC is good for making animations and game designing, not just for playing video games like Crysis, who will spent $10,000 for a gaming PC, Damn if i had this PC i could make animations better than Blizzard animations! that's nice of game spot to give us a chance to have this PC :)

janrabbit
janrabbit

I really enjoyed this video, i think gamespot should do a gadget show style feature and show us the latest hardware in action every week, dooooo iiiittt ;) P.s - Jane Douglas is fitt :)

Avenger1324
Avenger1324

WOW - I'm sure most people that have built their own PC have at some stage gone clicking on the most expensive parts on their site of choice, just to see how much it all comes to - but you guys have just gone and bought the lot AND want to give it all away :o I am definitely going to be following this :D

UchihaItachi88
UchihaItachi88

@markypants Can i participate for the wining this rig if i have friends to recieve it in Uk?

UchihaItachi88
UchihaItachi88

@DarxPhil Maybe that is the greatest gaming Rig for Gamespot. They actualy not saying Greatest Gaming rig EVer in The World. And still i think this gaming rig will about 2-4 years to play all next games On Max. Maybe its not Ultimate Gaming. But still its great Gaming Rig. And with 2010 and coming 2011 Technologies you can't build Ultimate Gaming Rig for the next 2-3 months. Becouse you will give money today for the latest Best Hardware Parts and tommorow they will be already old. And i was saying ''if you don't like this build make your own'' becouse peoples was posting s*it like this "set 48gb ram" or "there is better SSD". There always will be something better and faster. Today you builded Ultimate Gaming Rig for 15 k $, tommorow for same money there will be a better Ultimate Gaming Rig. So actualy nobody can build a better and faster from what Corporation giving us. Im just waiting what will be the next Step in Hardware Components.

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

if only I have this rig.. I'll show this crazy mtfkr system to my friends... add with 52 inch plasma :shock: then... they'll drop their jaws :shock: after hearing HD-audio, they'll drool & lick & suck :cry: all over sexy chassis, they'll go blind 8) after watching upscaled graphic settings in Ultra-HD.... they suddenly going insane :x :x & hit their head with their consoles... yes.... it can happen :lol: lol and.... yes.. it's exaggerated... :lol: :lol: rofl

DarxPhil
DarxPhil

@UchihaItachi88 It's not a matter of ''if you don't like this build make your own'', most people don't have that kind of money to spare, but, if you're going to call something the ''greatest gaming rig'' like gamespot did here, you better be goin' all out.. This rig is still a beast and complete overkill for an average user or gamer, but it can still be improved in a lot of areas.

ibeatu85x
ibeatu85x

@NColdhardt theres a problem with your theory, if i stacked 4 5 year old video cards it would kick the GTX480s ASS, but four 480s, that should last a good ten years. and thats just video cards, get a good processer and motherboard and your all set for 10-15 years, or until it dies.

mouthforbathory
mouthforbathory

@Markypants Thanks for the reply. It's been painful for us PC gamers see our platform of choice misconstrued over things console gamers really don't understand in the first place. My gaming PC equation is such: PC you need in the first place + amount of money needed to take said basic PC into the realm of gaming goodness (which is as low as $100 now) = Gaming PC that beats the living crap out of any console.

UchihaItachi88
UchihaItachi88

Omg Peoples. If you don't like this gaming rig go build with your money 1. They are making one to give it away (anyway who another site will give you a PC for 7k Pounds) ??? That Right NOBODY! If you want build by your self go to IbuyPower.com you will see how much cost 1 better Gaming rig. About 14000-15000$$$$. For peoples with money maybe this is not much. But for normal peoples who used to buy cheap (Yea Like My self). This PC is awesome. But even if one poor guy win this mashine, how much time he will play with it ? Its 1.2 kw per hour ? Half day 14-15 kw ? 30 days 450 kw omg thats a lot. I will go for 350-400 watts. Cheaper and not too much money spended on energy. Maybe someday when i find Oil Leak :D i will buy that kind PC. But for peoples who have no problems with money. They will not even participate in this whole thing.

NColdhardt
NColdhardt

"... be so ridiculously over the top that only a privileged few would ever get the chance to own one." That made me lol. Keep us updated and share photos! :) The only problem with technology nowadays is, by the time your gaming rig will be done, a new and better part will be out. And as soon as you get your hands on it, dismantle it, install it and reupholster your computer, ANOTHER better part would come out by the time it takes you to install your first (or first thirty) game (which, judging by the looks of things, is pretty damn fast).

Rickiej
Rickiej

@Tekcor Indeed, if money was no obstacle, they should include 2 SSD's one which hosts the OS and the other for the installed games. And then you could add a huge SATA3 HDD for storage. As for the mouse and keyboard, they should leave this to the winner.... because I would like to have a LED infused keyboard, and the best mouse ever created(imo) is the Logitech MX518.

Tekcor
Tekcor

@markypants I know the SSD is faster, but why limit the storage drive? You'll put the OS on the SSD so it boots fast, but the games will be stored on the hard drive. So why not use a Raptor to reduce load times? If cost is no option, you definitely should go with a Raptor. 128GB is not enough to actually store more than a few games, and even then it would be suicide as SSDs are a consumable resource. Anyway, I use a Caviar Black myself. While it is a great drive, using it does not match with the "cost is not a factor" philosophy of this contest. Heck, if cost were truly not a factor, a 15,000 RPM SAS drive would be the choice. But I think even that is too expensive.

SuperYeti22
SuperYeti22

They FINALLY found Chuck Norris' gaming rig...

thenarzod
thenarzod

The equation on the board stands for impendance and for capacity. Better writing something about boolean algebra...Also, I play and work with a 3 years old PC paid 999 Euro and it's getting slow only now...Think about it...

UchihaItachi88
UchihaItachi88

£1,265.55 x 2 Processors ( £2531.1) £489.00 Motherboard (£489) £363.64 x 3 Video Cards(£1090.92) Zotac 480 + 1 x £181.49 Zotac GTX 460 (£181.49) £163.00 x 4 DDR (£652) £243.62 (old price 258.04) SSD Drive (£250) £67.67 1tb HDD WesternDigital (scan.co.uk) or £69.98{amazon.co.uk} (£70) £43.99 x 2 (Heatsinks) Ninja Scythe 3 preis bei ebay.co.uk (£88) £79.99 x 2 Corsair H70 Liquid (£160) £229.13 CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX1200 Power supply accessories (£232.61 by scan.co.uk) (£230) £124.53 Nvidia 3d vision Glass (£124.53) £25.26 Steel Series 9HD Gaming Surface £56.02 Steel Series Xai Black Laser Pro £107.64 SteelSeries 7G Keyboard £149.95 Astro Gaming A40 Headset + Mixamp £109.9 £167.99 Windows 7 Ultimate £6483,9 With Windows 7 Ultimate £6315.9 W/o Windows 7 Ultimate + about £150-200 for Case becouse Motherboard is big. So actualy the price is set £6500 (with case) a lot for 1 Gaming PC. This is all w/o Monitors. Prices compared from amazon.co.uk and scan.co.uk + google.co.uk. Everything is in GBP. Im From Germany. Hope you win this one guys. The pound sterling (symbol: £; ISO code: GBP), commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom. LONG LIVE THE GOOGLE.com!!!! Long live the THE BRITAIN. Hope you will not hate me much

UchihaItachi88
UchihaItachi88

Long live the THE BRITAIN. Hope you will not hate me much :D

Cillerboy
Cillerboy

this is one of the very few times i wish ireland never gained her independence... :P

paoloissic
paoloissic

no no no...let me correct my previous post...Jane Douglas is very cute...

soolkiki
soolkiki

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why can't it be in the US?!?!?!?! *sobs*

markypants
markypants moderator

@mouthforbathory That's definitely something we're considering for the future, and you can certainly build a brilliant gaming PC on a budget. This is feature all about the epicness if you had an endless pile of money, and hey, you guys could win it!

mouthforbathory
mouthforbathory

That rig sure will be badass, but eclipsed in two to three years. Besides, this will only continue to be uninformative to those who may be interesting in building computers but lack the knowledge. They'll continue to think (like all the other idiots out there) that a good computer for gaming will always cost extraneous amounts of money, which it really doesn't. Gamespot needs to do a "cheap gaming PC" article or an article that sets specific price points, and looks for the best values out there. Also an article on pre-built computers being turned into decent gaming machines would be cool too, as it could be a cheap route for those who lack computer building know-how.

Nobana
Nobana

Why can't gamespot US be doing this :( Id get a relative in the UK to enter for me if it weren't for the fact it would be an impossible task to ship overseas.

diabloNL11
diabloNL11

NOOOO!!! Why can't we win it:( well, hope there will be ever a contest like this in the Netherlands...

DarxPhil
DarxPhil

It's still lacking in some areas from being ''The best gaming rig'' If they really wanted to go all out i would of went with 4X GTX 480's in 4-Way SLI instead of that 460 for Physx as most games aren't utilizing that technology much anyways. Another thing is, please tell me those SSD's are being thrown into some RAID-0 action, cause if not, i would consider it. Also, overclock please!!!, it's not extreme if everything is sitting at barebone stock, and as for cooling, lets take it up a notch and go with some custom watercooling, lets get all those cards and CPU's under water and a sick triple rad setup going. But really, thats just me nitpicking. lol

OverlordEX
OverlordEX

Gamespot US needs to do one of these...

RogRodge
RogRodge

What an absolutely fantastic competition idea! After making us all feel jealous about your super amazing rig, it turns out we can actually WIN the bugger! I'll be having some of that. Hope the contest isn't too hard to enter because I would love a shot at this.

RoninToshiroX
RoninToshiroX

eerm only 1TB of Storage space??.....Damn that is little. sorry but for a PC of 15.000 pound I want to have atleast so much of storage I wont run out of it till the end of times... We already have games which are 10GB+ so in a few years that number wil only grow. I am seriously going to see if I can get one of my friends in the UK to enter for me :O

markypants
markypants moderator

@Tekcor Indeed the Raptor is fast, but the SSD we've chosen is faster. The Caviar is more for pure storage than raw speed.

comb5
comb5

Do you instantly enter the matrix when you turn it on? lol

shafe-man
shafe-man

@JurgenR Not only can it run Crysis on high, it can probably play MW2 on high, GTA IV on high, and Internet Explorer with 20 tabs loading at once at the SAME TIME! Dude, programming companies probably don't have this epic a system! Makes me wish I lived in the UK.... although then I wouldn't get games as early as I want them cause Japan 'n US get 'em first. :D

AlphaCommando
AlphaCommando

Does the desktop come up the instant you press the power button?

Tekcor
Tekcor

WD Caviar Black? Although that is a very nice drive, why not a Raptor? The Raptors will outperform the Blacks every time.