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new i7 build - 3k budget - talk me down please!

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December 18, 2008 2:30:42 AM

My last build was the day the core2's came out with an x6800 build that has since received a 8800gtx vid card and has served me very well. My wife's computer is getting slow, so I am giving her that and building a new i7 game machine.

Here is what I am thinking:

Dell 2408WFP Monitor at 1920 x 1200 $516.75

Core i7 - 940 2.93ghz 609.99 w Intel stock cooler

Asus P6T Motherboard $299.99

Antec1200 black - 159.99

MSI R4870-x2-t2d2g-oc Vid card $568.99

PC Power and Cooling Silencer 750 119.99

Soundcard??? Do I need one? Have Creative 5.1 speakers now.

Seagate 7200.11 1TB HD $109.99

Corsair XMS3 DDR3 Tri Channel 6GB 1600mhz 239.99

2 x Samsung sh-s220 CD/DVD burners $24.99 ea (no need for blue ray in this build at this time)

Vista Home premiun 64 bit $189.00

This totals $2885.66 - add tax and shipping and I hit around $3k.

I play games on my PC mostly: BF2142. DDO. Crysis. Civ4.

My questions and maybe I am hoping you will talk me down on some of this:

1. Is that the best 24" gaming monitor?
2. Does the $300 to move from the i7 2.66 to the i7 2.93 make sense?
3. Do you need the 4870x2 to push a 24" monitor or will a 4780 or gtx280 do the trick? I have never been a fan of ATI and my last ATI card, a 1950xtx (for another $500 3 years ago when I first built the x6800 system) gave me fits in several games I play.
4. Is there a good post somewhere that shows you how to dual boot winxp and vista home premium? I have several licenses for both and the computer I give my wife will need both (xp to play some older kids games that the kids just love)

I appreciate the advise this community gives, so please help me here. I don't want to overspend if I don't have to but I want to be able to rock the 24" monitor with everything maxed.

More about : build budget talk

December 18, 2008 2:42:34 AM

Core i7 - 920 is easily worth the $300. A light overclock to the 920 will give you 965 performance without breaking any CPU sweat.
I'd go with the 4870 1GB and give that a shot with the 1920x1200 res. You can always sneak a 2nd 4870 into the picture a bit later. The GTX 260 Core 216 is also an option - they're both neck and neck in performance.
You really only need 1 DVD burner. Think of your HDD as a Super Fast 2nd DVD drive, it can be used that way.
Onboard sound is really all you need. It's very good and will meet all the most serious audiophile's expectations.
Swap out the Antec 1200 with the Antec 900, NZXT Tempest or Coolermaster RC-690.

Keep the Dell 2408WFP!

December 18, 2008 2:55:14 AM

Drop the 940 for a 920, drop home premium for basic. Could also drop the 4870x2 for a single card solution that would probably fit your needs for 1920x1200(Gtx260 216/4870 1gig) Good thing about x58 boards is you can pick either ATI or nvidia and do sli/xfire later.
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December 18, 2008 3:29:41 AM

If you still want a Dell monitor you could go with the one listed below and save $136.

The Dell SP2309W 2ms 2048 x 1152 for only $379 from Dell
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Displays/pr...

Also Samsung has same size and resolution also. Samsung 2343BWX 23" Wide DVI 5ms 1000:1 300 cd/m² 2048x1152 VESA 100mm 3-Year Warranty $259.99 (5% more for non members)
Shipping & Handling: $14.99 *
http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=113193...|84|1680&N=4001499%204294967156&Mo=3&No=2&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&lang=en-US&Sp=C&topnav=

Would suggest you get Aftermarket HSF Cooler, this is one of the top for the 1366 socket. The Thermalright Ultra120 eXtreme-1366 RT Premium Heatpipe Cooler for Intel LGA1366 for $74.95
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...

Plus would go with the Core i7 920 cpu that would save you about $265.

Now on Dual OS Boot. I used to do it, but I used 2 separate HDD's and place each OS on one of them. You have to install the older OS followed by the newer OS. What you could do is get 2 of Black I-Star T-7 Series 5.25in Mobile Racks for $28 for single or $55 for a pair.
http://www.directron.com/t7sata.html

Get 2 HDD's in either 500gb or 640gb and put XP Pro on one and Vista Prem. 64 bit on the other and do basically a Hot Swap of drives. The I-Star T-7 will work with most sata II deives and they have a power on/off switch (key) that lets you decide which one you wish to boot too if you want to go this route.
December 18, 2008 3:50:22 AM

You could save $136, but honestly, I don't think that it's worth sacrificing the quality. Despite the slightly lower res, the 2408WFP will absolutely run circles around the SP2309 in image quality, due to it being an S-PVA panel, rather than the cheaper TN. Both the Dell and Samsung 23" panels are TN, and as a result, will simply not look as good as the Dell Ultrasharp. Besides, the Ultrasharp has more inputs and a better stand, as well as a handy card reader on the side. It's also on a pretty hefty sale at just over $500 - I'd pick it up in a hurry, as it normally goes for $670 or so (actually, that's exactly what I did - I own a 2408WFP, and it is the nicest looking monitor I have ever owned, and I got it on a similar sale for about $490). The i7 920 is definitely the way to go though - the 940 isn't worth the price difference over the 920, whether or not you overclock.
December 18, 2008 5:20:02 PM

I went to order the Monitor today and founf that Dell sales are thurs-wed and the 170 off was over last night. The monitor is now 680+.

Have to rethink that part now.

Maybe I will just keep using my 20" Sony Trinitron CRT.
December 18, 2008 6:20:46 PM

I was going to suggest the new LG24'' but it seems they're back to TN panels for some reason. I bought my lg246 from them last year and it's a PMVA and it's awesome. I wish I could find another to have two of them but it seems they stopped making them.
December 18, 2008 8:39:19 PM

redraider_gamer said:
I went to order the Monitor today and founf that Dell sales are thurs-wed and the 170 off was over last night. The monitor is now 680+.

Have to rethink that part now.

Maybe I will just keep using my 20" Sony Trinitron CRT.


If you don't need a monitor right now, just wait. Dell has sales fairly often, so if you are patient, and check often, you should be able to pick up the Dell for no more than $550 or so. That's how I got mine.
December 18, 2008 10:16:34 PM

If you want to consider an alternative model of S-PVA panel, try the Samsung 245T. Might be able to find a good price on it during the upcoming holiday sales.

However, for gaming, you could do without S-PVA. E.g. look at Samsung T240, which is quite a bit cheaper and plenty fast at 5 ms. I'm also partial to that nice red plastic finish on the bezel. :sol: 

Best thing to do for monitors is to go look at the screen quality in a real store and see if you like it. In my view, esthetics matter a lot for monitors--you're staring at it much more than the case and if you're picky, it would be nice if it fit into your room decor too.

As for GPU, GTX 260 Core 216 is pretty good value right now if you don't want to go with ATI, and it will be perfectly sufficient to rock your 24" at 1920 x 1200, and then some.

On the CPU, I'm with everyone else here and would go with the 920 OC'd rather than the 940.
December 19, 2008 6:36:50 AM

Even for gaming, I find S-PVA panels to be far superior in appearance to a standard TN. Maybe I'm just picky, but I would recommend an S-PVA over a TN to almost anyone.
December 19, 2008 10:38:13 AM

+1 920, the value isnt there for the 940...even if you do have 3 grand to blow :D 
I have heard good things about the 2408WFP, seems to have the reputation to back the price tag up.
December 19, 2008 11:29:37 AM

+1 for the 920 i7 (940 is a waste of $)
Wait till next month for your GPU. Nvidia will be selling the 295 GTX. This will be the only way to quad sli a 200 series GPU.
+1 for multiple Hard Drives (most of the new motherboards have a raid controller on the southbridge chipset)
24" monitor? Meh go all out and get 50" HDTV there's nothing like gaming on a big screen. :o 
December 19, 2008 11:39:14 AM

ya you might want to consider waiting till january when nividia release the new 295 gtx. Due to tom's review the other day, it looked like it had some pretty impressive benchmark scores. And they say there going to be selling at $499 upon release. I'm pretty excited for it.

+1 for 920.
+1 for getting a heat sink.

I can also agree with elvis that playing on a big screen is deffinatly unique. Probally would make your wife jealous though. I can just see the fight starting, he's playing on his big....
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