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Intel Gaming Desktop

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March 14, 2009 3:32:18 AM

Hello everyone,

I've heard some great things about tomshardware.com and awesome feedback you guys give on building custom PCs.

The last time I built a PC was back in 2006 so I need some help getting caught up to speed on what how much bang I can get out of my buck.

Traditionally, I've always used AMD processors and felt some were slightly better than Intel back in 04'; however, I have came to the realization that unfortunately AMD is slowly falling by the wayside, according to statistics and forums I've read so far. So, this prompted me to decide to go with Intel i7 Processor.

Okay,
I've picked a couple of parts out to build my PC and I want your input, experience, and ideas of more thrifty ways to have the high performance without spending top dollar on computer parts.

Here is my list:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor ($288.99 on Newegg.com)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

  • Motherboard: MSI X58 Platinum SLI LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail ($229.99 on Newegg.com)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

  • Computer Case: COOLER MASTER NV 690 NV-690C-KWN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail ($109.99 - Newegg.com)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

  • HDD: Seagate Barracuda ES.2 ST3750330NS 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM ($129.99)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

  • Video Card: EVGA 01G-P3-N870-AR GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail ($154.99)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

  • RAM: Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory + 2GB Xporter Razzo USB w/Futuremark 3DMark Vantage Bundle Model PVS34G1333LLKB - Retail (I probably need some help if it not compatible, let me know. Also, let me know if Patriot is a P.O.S Manufacturer)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

  • Power Supply: Antec TP-750 Blue 750W Continuous power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail (let me know if there is a better deal or if I really need a 750W, also don't know the manufacturer's rep. too)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

  • CPU Fan: Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 120mm SSO CPU Cooler - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

  • OS: Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Okay, crunching the numbers I get $1,465.87 (double check, not sure)

    Now I don't need peripherals like:

  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Monitor ( I have an Dell 1907 FP)
  • Speakers


    Let me know if you see anything I need to fix, anything I can save on or swap out because of a bad manufacturer's rep.

    Your suggestions are greatly valued! Let me know what I can do to save some cash.
    I mainly want to use this computer for a lot of games like RTS, FPS, and MMORPGs as well.

    Thanks!
  • More about : intel gaming desktop

    March 14, 2009 4:13:56 AM

    A big no on the Video Card. I would spend a little more there and go with this Radeon 4870

    SAPPHIRE 100259L Radeon HD 4870 512MB $179.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    or if you really want a card with 1GB of RAM then go with this Sapphire Radeon 4850

    SAPPHIRE 100258-1GL Radeon HD 4850 1GB $154.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


    That 9600GT is very underpowered for the rig you are building. AMD isn't too bad and represents a good value with their Phenom II, but if you can afford to go with an i7 and overclock it then go for it.
    March 14, 2009 4:15:11 AM

    Your build needs some changes...and obvious ones at that. Do not use 2x2 sticks or RAM for an i7 build...(3x2) gigs is standard. For a PSU you can do better...same with that vid card, mobo and heatskink. You are choosing to use Nvidea cards, so go with the new Gigabyte SLI board that just came out a few days ago.. it's cheaper seeing how it's a new item. Also Seagate is having some serious issues with their firmware...you want to go with WD right now...black edition..it's fast. Vista Ultimate is a waste of money (Vista 64 Home Premium ftw). That vid card down below is cheaper and faster ( you can always switch it out for the 1 gig version if you like...it's also new on the market. It's comparable to a 9800GTX+. BTW nice choice on that case...love the CM690 :)  Ok, here's the list for parts to change....

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $109.99 ($99.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
    PC Power & Cooling S75CF 750W EPS12V SLI NVIDIA SLI Certified (Dual 8800 GTX and below) CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $209.99
    GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R-SLI LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $109.99 ($89.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
    OCZ Gold 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=N82E168... $39.99
    XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $6.99
    ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $129.99
    EVGA 512-P3-1150-TR GeForce GTS 250 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $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=N82E168... $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=N82E168... $99.99 Free Shipping*
    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Galaxy/GeForce_GTS_2... <---GTS 250 test results.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E... <--- GTS 250's on newegg.
    Related resources
    March 14, 2009 4:59:54 AM

    Assuming you have the same monitor listed here

    http://reviews.cnet.com/lcd-monitors/dell-ultrasharp-19...;rnav

    You may want to invest in something that can play higher resolutions since your monitor is taped out at 1280 x 1024 which this system will barely be breaking a sweat at.

    Both the gtx 250 or ati 4850 are nice cards, just make sure which ever brand you go with has support for a dual card option on your motherboard (sli or crossfie) as you may want to add a second card down the line
    March 14, 2009 8:09:42 AM

    When are you planning on buying? Because the P2 960 is coming out soon and it'll probably cost about $300 but you'll get I7 940 performance and save $100 on the mobo.

    Or you could get the 925 which will have I7 920 performance for probably around $220 which would be a total $165 saving.
    March 14, 2009 10:47:05 AM

    Helloworld_98 said:
    When are you planning on buying? Because the P2 960 is coming out soon and it'll probably cost about $300 but you'll get I7 940 performance and save $100 on the mobo.

    Or you could get the 925 which will have I7 920 performance for probably around $220 which would be a total $165 saving.

    I seriously doubt it.
    March 14, 2009 12:27:43 PM

    The MSI x58 platinum motherboard is ok, I have one, it works perfectly, if it did not I would have bought another one. From what I have read tho, you have to use good ram and sata hdd, I know the sata hdd seem like a no brainer but someone used a IDE drive to boot with and it took forever to post and boot with IDE HDD as boot drive. Mine post and then boots in about 20 to 30 seconds I guess. i have a slower sata drive. Also this board overclocks well. + I got it open box for $150 US I took a chance I was one that did not want to fork up the 300+ if I did not have to. I used the extra 150 to buy the kid a phenom II 940. crazy but true.
    March 14, 2009 2:44:55 PM


    Thanks for the Information, A lot of the stuff I didn't really know since its been a while building my last rig.
    March 14, 2009 3:02:36 PM

    Why_Me, thanks for the detailed info and thanks to everyone for all the help! I never had much experience with the Intel i7 so kudos for schooling me on what I needed to do.... at least I had the case right :) 

    ALSO, price is knocked down too, the wife would be really happy now that I can give her a lower quote on how much I need to spend.

    Another quick question,

    The mobo Why_Me suggested, does it support a dual video card option? I see both slots for PCI Express 2.0 but does that mean its for SLI or Crossfire? I want that kind of option to upgrade later on.

    Last time I remember duel video cards was the Voodoo cards...
    March 14, 2009 3:06:45 PM

    That particular board in my build supports SLI (dual NVIDEA cards). There's X58 board that support only Crossfire (dual ATI cards), and there is boards that support both SLI and Crossfire...they are a bit more expensive though.
    March 14, 2009 3:12:50 PM

    BlackFlag1 said:
    Why_Me, thanks for the detailed info and thanks to everyone for all the help! I never had much experience with the Intel i7 so kudos for schooling me on what I needed to do.... at least I had the case right :) 

    ALSO, price is knocked down too, the wife would be really happy now that I can give her a lower quote on how much I need to spend.

    Another quick question,

    The mobo Why_Me suggested, does it support a dual video card option? I see both slots for PCI Express 2.0 but does that mean its for SLI or Crossfire? I want that kind of option to upgrade later on.

    Last time I remember duel video cards was the Voodoo cards...


    One other thing...after looking at those test results...I was bored just now so I clicked that link I posted on the gts 250 benchmarks....I would seriously get the 1 gig version and not the 512mb I posted. The 1 gig eats it up, and its only a few dollars more $10 more after rebate). Infact this MSI card has great cooling, and it's on the cheap right now.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $149.99 ($134.99 after $15.00 Mail-In Rebate)
    MSI N250GTS-2D1G-OC GeForce GTS 250 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail
    March 14, 2009 4:14:04 PM

    Wow, what i like about that gtx 250 is it only needs 1 6pin power connector and its cheap.

    You've got a really nice build ahead of you. If the money is to hard on you, The PII is always another option but, it seems like you can deal with the i7.

    People will always come in here and say well, theres this and this and this also for alot cheaper!

    Yes, the Phenom II has made its ground but, i7 will still take over for the most part.

    The Phenom II is basiscally an alternative option if the budget overflows. If you have the money, get the i7. I really like the build that why_me put together, would battle him on the ram but, he would probably win. :) 
    March 14, 2009 6:31:47 PM

    Good suggestion, I'll make sure to get that video card instead.

    I did see the price difference between the AMD Phenom II start to grow recently. Phenom II is priced at newegg.com for $200 and the Intel i7 920 is $288. I felt that the Intel was a better buy if I I could put forth an extra $80+ to the rig.

    Thanks again and I'll let everyone know how it pans out.
    !