New system build, cutting price

I've been out of the computer business for quite a while now and while I find that my stress levels have become much better, I find my knowledge of what I want for my own system has diminished quite considerably since I don't have the day to day experience of working with a wide variety of parts.

Basically I'm looking to build a full new core i7 system ground up and the price for the system is coming up far to high imo. I'm looking at about a 3 year year life span on this system, around the halfway point I'll likely boost the processor up to the top the board will handle and add a second video card and maybe a third.

$300 EVGA 132-BL-E758-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard

This is the recommendation I've gotten from several people is there a similar board with a better price range that doesn't lack in quality? I typically like asus but they're a bit more pricey yet.

$290 Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920

The lowest end of the processors since I'm going with a core i7 build and lga 1366, this part isn't to flexible... but it beats the price tag on the upgrades from this chip.

$290 CORSAIR XMS3 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory

Ram fetish. Ignore me ;).

$410 EVGA 01G-P3-1287-AR GeForce GTX 285 SSC Edition 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

ATI is not an option, I figure start with one of the 285 and when I perform the processor upgrade down the road pickup a second card for SLI at some point... or a third. I'd really like to have a 295 but the price for this build is already a bit to high and i'm looking to take it down not up... so... 285 it is.

$200 2xSeagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000333AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

Total of 2tb for $200. Not much to be said here.

$300 LIAN LI ARMORSUIT PC-P60 Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

I've had my current lian-li case for ~6 computers, but I'm willing to go to a lower case here as long as it's a good case with good ventilation, that's really the only complaint I have about my current case.

$250 Antec Signature SG850 850W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Generally I like antec although I've heard there are some other good steady power supplies on the market these days I really don't have enough personal experience to make a good judgment.

$85 Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 120mm SSO CPU Cooler

This barely fits in the lian li above and if you have a side panel fan it probably won't fit.

$180 Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit for System Builders

Hey it'll be the first copy of vista i've ever owned. yay me (been a while since I built a computer heh)

$360 Hanns·G HG-281DPB Black 28" 3ms Widescreen LCD HDMI Monitor 500 cd/m2 800:1 Built in Speakers

I really love this monitor, and for the size it can't be beat. I've actually been buying them as replacement/upgrades for family members, have about 5 of them floating around and for the price they're beyond belief.

I've got a das keyboard, headset, and mouse I enjoy, so I don't need those items. I also don't need a cd/dvd drive because I still have a few excess of those sitting around that are more than adequate.

I would love to hit the $1,500 mark with price, but I think that's completely unfeasible... getting down closer to $2,000 would be a good though.

Anyone have suggestions on alternate components?
13 answers Last reply
More about system build cutting price
  1. Change the Mobo to Asus P6T non-deluxe to save $50

    Seagate Barracuda's are a no-no. They are cheap, but for a reason, their firmaware is aweful and causes constant failures. Go for the WD Caviar Black 1tb drives

    You can cut back a lot on that case. Look at the CM 690 for good airflow and plenty of room for all your components. Save $220 there.

    The Antec Signature is a great PSU, but $250 is too much for it. Look at the Corsair 850tx, its a great PSU and $100 less.

    Do you really need vista Ultimate? Go to Microsoft's website and compare the versions. Ultimate has backup features and remote access and faxing, but thats really it. Home Premium is much better value. I wouldn't recommend Ultimate unless you run your own home business.

    You don't need a CPU cooler unless you are overclocking, otherwise the stock heatsink is fine. You can get teh Xigmatek S1283v Dark knight for $40 and it is a great heatsink.

    I would get a 4870x2 for the price you are paying for that GTX 285.
  2. This ones almost too easy. ;)

    1) If you plan on running dual vids later on, get a full tower and not a mid tower. This case down below has it all. Room, airflow, etc....

    2) PSU.... Corsair ftw. You want to run 3 cards later on...then it's 1000w - 1200w. dual vids is plenty though. Not only is the Corsair cheaper than the Antec, but it's has the Antec beat all the way around...again read the reviews.

    3) mobo...it's the same as you chose, just differen't product numbers. Look at the specs, and read the reviews.

    4) same cpu.....

    5) Great heatsink, comes with the LGA1366 mounting bracket for the X58 boards. And it's at a good price right now.

    6) Vid card...it's a no brainer. Save some money and overclock it yourself. Google "Riva Tuner" .

    7) Memory...lose your fetish for now. This memory is cheap, stable, and it will overclock some. Speaking of which, if you want that rig for another 3 years, no need to clock it to the moon. Push that cpu up to 3.2Ghz (24x133) and you have a good O/C going and your not going to have to worry about the life span of that cpu. 2.66ghz - 3.2ghz is a nice step up and it's safe.

    8) HD...there's a reason those Seagates are running so cheap these days....they are having some major issues. If you have the extra cash, get two of those Western digitals and run them at Raid 0.

    9) DVD writer....it's a good price, it's SATA and not that prehistoric EIDE and it's cheap right now.

    10) Vista Ultimate ???? Windows 7 is right around the corner....

    11) Thermal grease. That cpu comes with some, but go with what works. This MX-2 is non conductive, so no need to worry about frying your motherboard if you have an accident, there's no set up time, and it works great for helping to bring down your temps.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119160 $169.99
    COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139009 $149.99 ($129.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
    CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813188046 $269.99 ($249.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate)
    EVGA 132-BL-E758-TR LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retai

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115202 $289.99 Free Shipping*
    Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103055 $69.99
    COOLER MASTER V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130442 $339.99 ($319.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
    EVGA 01G-P3-1281-AR GeForce GTX 285 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231225 $119.99 Free Shipping*
    G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136319 $79.99 Free Shipping*
    Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136152 $24.99 Free Shipping*
    LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116488 $99.99 Free Shipping*
    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186020 $6.99
    ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail

    Total: $1621.89 (not including shipping and mail in rebates)
  3. xthekidx said:
    Change the Mobo to Asus P6T non-deluxe to save $50

    Seagate Barracuda's are a no-no. They are cheap, but for a reason, their firmaware is aweful and causes constant failures. Go for the WD Caviar Black 1tb drives


    Wow, that sucks. I've not built a computer in a while but last I had seagates they performed admirably for ~3-5 years. Makes me sad, back to western digital I guess.


    xthekidx said:
    You can cut back a lot on that case. Look at the CM 690 for good airflow and plenty of room for all your components. Save $220 there.

    The Antec Signature is a great PSU, but $250 is too much for it. Look at the Corsair 850tx, its a great PSU and $100 less.


    The case especially is an area where I'm not to sure what is good and what isn't anymore, I like aluminum cases and I like them built sturdy enough to last several computers.

    Is the life cycle on the Corsair as good as the Antec? If I over pay massively on one component I'd rather it be on the power supply, in my experience about half of the problems I've ever seen originated from either an overdrawn cheap power supply or a faulty power supply. I've never bought a corsair power supply but I'm a big fan of their ram.

    xthekidx said:
    Do you really need vista Ultimate? Go to Microsoft's website and compare the versions. Ultimate has backup features and remote access and faxing, but thats really it. Home Premium is much better value. I wouldn't recommend Ultimate unless you run your own home business.

    You don't need a CPU cooler unless you are overclocking, otherwise the stock heatsink is fine. You can get teh Xigmatek S1283v Dark knight for $40 and it is a great heatsink.

    I would get a 4870x2 for the price you are paying for that GTX 285.


    As far as ultimate goes, I was purchasing it to play with bitlocker more than anything, but in reality that's a toy and I'd probably be served as well by home premium.

    I'll take a look at the xigmatek, I probably will over clock if not right off the bat then somewhere down the road.

    I dislike ATI in the extreme. I have never had a good experience with any ATI card I've ever purchased for personal use, although a few of my customers who insisted on them seemed to like them well enough.
  4. Why_Me said:

    2) PSU.... Corsair ftw. Not only is the Corsair cheaper than the Antec, but it's has the Antec beat all the way around...again read the reviews.


    Have you read the reviews? The Signature is probably the best PSU you can buy right now, certainly better than the Corsair (which is also good).
  5. Why_Me said:
    This ones almost too easy. ;)

    1) If you plan on running dual vids later on, get a full tower and not a mid tower. This case down below has it all. Room, airflow, etc....



    Strictly a matter of fitting on my desk comfortably, a full tower won't.

    Why_Me said:

    2) PSU.... Corsair ftw. You want to run 3 cards later on...then it's 1000w - 1200w. dual vids is plenty though. Not only is the Corsair cheaper than the Antec, but it's has the Antec beat all the way around...again read the reviews.


    Seems to be the popular consensous, I'll give it a run although I think i'll probably look at going up to the 1000+ range just to be on the safe side.

    Why_Me said:
    6) Vid card...it's a no brainer. Save some money and overclock it yourself. Google "Riva Tuner" .


    Fair enough, I've had trouble overclocking video cards in the past (graphics artifacts/memory issues) if the price is negligible I'm inclined to get one that the mfg says "hey this works overclocked this far".

    Why_Me said:
    7) Memory...lose your fetish for now. This memory is cheap, stable, and it will overclock some. Speaking of which, if you want that rig for another 3 years, no need to clock it to the moon. Push that cpu up to 3.2Ghz (24x133) and you have a good O/C going and your not going to have to worry about the life span of that cpu. 2.66ghz - 3.2ghz is a nice step up and it's safe.


    Typically I let it run default clock for ~6mo then boost it up a bit and about a year later pick up a new faster cpu.


    Why_Me said:
    8) HD...there's a reason those Seagates are running so cheap these days....they are having some major issues. If you have the extra cash, get two of those Western digitals and run them at Raid 0.


    Fair enough, thanks for the warning!

    Why_Me said:
    9) DVD writer....it's a good price, it's SATA and not that prehistoric EIDE and it's cheap right now.


    You have no idea how many prehistoric ide writers I have laying around :P

    Why_Me said:

    10) Vista Ultimate ???? Windows 7 is right around the corner....


    Yah... with even more drm than vista. sigh. I've avoided upgrading this long, but I suppose I'm going to have to upgrade to something eventually for gaming purposes, unfortunately, I don't think I can push off an upgrade long enough to get a windows 7 release (late 2009/early 2010).

    Why_Me said:
    11) Thermal grease. That cpu comes with some, but go with what works. This MX-2 is non conductive, so no need to worry about frying your motherboard if you have an accident, there's no set up time, and it works great for helping to bring down your temps.


    My system building skills are rusty they're not *that* rusty :P

    Why_Me said:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119160 $169.99
    COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139009 $149.99 ($129.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
    CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813188046 $269.99 ($249.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate)
    EVGA 132-BL-E758-TR LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retai

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115202 $289.99 Free Shipping*
    Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103055 $69.99
    COOLER MASTER V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130442 $339.99 ($319.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
    EVGA 01G-P3-1281-AR GeForce GTX 285 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231225 $119.99 Free Shipping*
    G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136319 $79.99 Free Shipping*
    Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136152 $24.99 Free Shipping*
    LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116488 $99.99 Free Shipping*
    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186020 $6.99
    ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail

    Total: $1621.89 (not including shipping and mail in rebates)


    Thanks for the prices and links!
  6. Take a look at these two aluminum cases down below. They are full tower cases with great airflow at a decent price.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119187 $239.99
    COOLER MASTER ATCS 840 RC-840-KKN1-GP Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119122 $219.00
    COOLER MASTER Stacker 830 Evolution RC-830-KKN3-GP Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
  7. The CM 690 is nice and sturdy, I have it and I have no complaints. If you want something a bit better, take a look at the Coolermaster Cosmos S or Cosmos 1000, both are great cases with great airflow, quiet, and will last you a very long time, but they are $100 more than the 690.

    The Corsair PSU will be very close in quality to the Antec PSU and will last you a very long time. If you want to spend $250 on a PSU, then go to the Corsair 1000hx, which is better than the antec. But corsair is a very respected brand as far as PSU's go, right up there with Antec, seasonic, PC P&C.

    I have never had experience with them, but have not heard anything bad about the 4800 series cards, (and I would have if there was a real problem, I'm on here all the time lol). But if you really don't want to go with ATI, then go with the GTX 285, but just the stock version, you are paying like $50 for them to bump up the clock a few mhz which you could easily do yourself, see what why_me said.
  8. A review of the Corsair 1000HX on xbitlabs found it unable to provide 1000W cleanly. It is definitely NOT better than the Antec.
    In any review I've read where the Antec Signature is compared to ANY other top quality PSU (Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, etc...), the Antec comes out on top. I'm not sure even the 850 will be enough for 3 high-end GPUs, but you can bet it is good for over 850W.
    I also like my CM 690. It could easily cool two high-end GPUs.
  9. That Xbitlabs review has to be a flop. What I mean is that they must of had a bad unit. Look at Jonny Gurus site for accurate power supply reviews. Having said that Jonny Guru considers the antec 850w signature to be the best PSU out there with the corsair 1000w not far off that.
  10. The P6T non-Deluxe is not a true tri-SLI board (x16/x16/x4), so better to stick with the eVGA mobo if you want that feature.

    Here's a compromise PSU for tri-SLI: Silverstone ZM 1200M. Cheaper than the PCP&C 1200 watter. And remember that you need 6 PCIe connectors. It's nice to see a pro that appreciates the importance of the PSU. :D
  11. I have seen the Corsair 1000hx rated much higher than that xbitlabs review too, so I'm inclined to believe they got a bad unit too. Maybe I was ambitious to put the corsair above the Antec, but it is an awesome PSU and should be able to handle a more powerful system than the Antec would; I'd be less comfortable running 2 GTX 295's on it than the corsair.
  12. Usually jonnyguru, hardocp, and hardwaresecrets are the sites I visit. I only recently found the reviews on xbitlabs, but their methodology appears similar. I can readily accept that "stuff happens," including a bad unit, although in the jonnyguru review, Oklahoma Wolf couldn't load the +12 rails up to their capacity because of a limit on his tester. It still looks very good, and is certainly more powerful. Who knows, maybe Antec will release a 1KW Signature (a 500W one would be nice too).
  13. Thanks for all the input, I'm looking at starting to pick up parts this week and probably will probably be building by months end. I'll come back and let ya know how it goes :)

    There are definetly a couple suggestions I'm going to take and a few I think i'll ignore even though it'll end up costing a bit more (antec power supply, 285 etc).

    I greatly appreciate all the input!
Ask a new question

Read More

New Build Systems Product