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I7 Gaming Build vs Q9550 - Which is better?

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March 22, 2009 3:15:25 AM

I can't seem to decide, some people say i shouldn't go with i7 and wait till that technology improves a little. Some say i should invest now..... I don't have that big of knowledge of Computers to make a solid choices....so i ask you guys which is better?

Background:

I currently own a Dell XPS 400, it was purchased about 3 years ago, and was intended for Homework and searching the Internet. Couple months after getting the computer, my brother bought Battlefield 1942, and we both started playing non-stop. As time went on we got more and more into gaming and even played competitively a little bit. However as new games came out, or cheap computer just couldn't keep up. I can barely run Battlefield 2 / 2142 and get really slow load times. So i decided it was time to build by own computer, to my specific needs.

The following build will be used for intense gaming, i plan to buy most of the new titles such as Crysis, F.E.A.R 2, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X, Empire: Total War, etc...basically all the new FPS/Racing/Other games. So i want to be able to have a fast computer, that can run all the new games for at least a year on Highest possible settings.... I have made up two possible build list, but I'm not sure which one will be better/more benifical, what do you guys think?


i7 Gaming Build vs Q9550 Gaming Build


Option 1:

(Already posted: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/262980-31-gaming-comp...)

DVD Drive: LG Black 22X

Case: Cooler Master RC-690

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200 RPM

Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling 750W

Memory: Corsair Dominator 4GB

Mother Board: Gigabyte 775 Intel P45 ATX

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz

CPU Cooler: XIGMATEK Dark Knight 120mm

Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 X2

Monitor: 22" LG L227WT (Already own)

OS: Windows Vista 64 bit





Option 2:


DVD Drive: LG Black 22X

Case: Cooler Master RC-690

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200 RPM

Power Supply:PC Power & Cooling 750W

Memory: G.SKILL 6GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R-SLI LGA 1366 Intel X58

CPU: Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz

CPU Cooler: XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm

Video Card: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 4870 1GB (Future Crossfire)

Monitor: 22" LG L227WT (Already own)


OS: Windows Vista 64 bit




So those are the two options......

- On option 2, I'm not so sure about the motherboard and the CPU Cooler. Good? Bad?
- Which would be better to suit my purposes? (Stated above)



Sorry to make you read so much! Any feed back would be great! :wahoo: 

More about : gaming build q9550

March 22, 2009 4:08:55 AM

go with the core i7 and change the gpu to the hd4850x2.
a b 4 Gaming
March 22, 2009 5:09:04 AM

Well if you are purely looking for a Gaming build, then +1 for the Q9550...

But for better upgrade options in the future , certainly I would stick to the core i7...
Also for the 22" monitor, the 4870 1GB is sufficient for high resolutions except in certain games like the Crysis...but overall +1 for the i7

As for the mobo, spend extra cash and get this...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And forget that RAM and get this...
U cant beat this

CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
$89.00
($69.00 after $20.00 Mail-In
Rebate)
Free Shipping*
Compatible w/ Intel Core i7 series CPU for X58 motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
March 22, 2009 7:28:56 AM

The board you have in your i7 build is meant for SLI (Nvidea) but you have a ATI vid card picked out. If you want to stick with a Crossfire set up for that build you want this board down below.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $209.99 ($194.99 after $15.00 Mail-In Rebate)
GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

But I would do this for that SLI board you have up there.

1) Save $30 on that same CM 690 case.

http://cmstore.coolermaster-usa.com/product_info.php?pr... $45.99
CM 690 Black SECC/ATX Mid Tower, W/O window, W/O PSU - Refurbished

2) Save $5 and get a mail in rebate for another $25 on this Corsair 750w psu.

http://www.buy.com/prod/corsair-750w-tx-series-80-plus-... $104.99 Price After Rebate: $79.99 Shipping: FREE
Corsair TX CMPSU-750TX ATX12V & EPS12V Power Supply

2) Save yourself $14 and get your cpu here.

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=I7-9208 $265.99 Free Ground Shipping
Intel Core i7 Processor i7-920 2.66GHz 8MB LGA1366 CPU, OEM

3) Lop off another $40 and get his HD. If you really need that much room, you can always pick up an external HD later on for on the cheap to load up your music, movies...whatever.

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

3) If you want to save another $10 and still not slow down your over clock, then check out this RAM down here.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 Free Shipping*
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

Now for the vid card. It beats out the 4870 also, so that's a plus.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $189.99 ($169.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
EVGA 896-P3-1260-AR GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - 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... $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... $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

Total: $1,068.90 (not including shipping and O/S) $1,023.90 w/mail in rebates.

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

Now if you had the extra money, I would seriously consider this card down below. It consumes less power than the 280 and the 4870, and it doesn't produce as much heat as either of those cards not to mention it blows both of them out of the water. With two of these cards in SLI later on it would be a beast set up.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $339.99 ($309.99 after $30.00 Mail-In Rebate)
GIGABYTE GV-N285-1GH-B GeForce GTX 285 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
March 22, 2009 3:10:49 PM

why me I agree with much of what you said but a couple of things to keep in mind.
1) the x58 board he has picked out can support sli and crossfire. Not every choice made should be for immediate use. his best option is to get a good sli/crossfire board with 6x240pin RAM, 3 pcie slot and a 4850x2 (same performance as a gtx285) or a 4870 1gb. They are still the best gpu's for the money. That may change in 6-12 months and he would still have the option to upgrade or upgrade to sli with the board he selected.
2) DDR3 1333 will not slow down an OC of anything under 4ghz.
3) the recommended gpu you picked out is an excellent choice but it is still overkill for a 1680x1050 monitor.

phoenix, why_me made an excellent point above; newegg is probably the best place to get your parts but it is definately worth the time and effort to make the list and then do searches tfor he case, psu etc. many times the manufacturers will have "b stores" aka scratch and dent.

phoenix, if you want faster load times for internet based games the part that will make the most difference is the HDD. any newer generation 7200rpm HDD will load into BF2/2142 before the countdown timer is finished.
March 22, 2009 4:18:25 PM

Ok, sweet thanks for the advice guys, i guys ill go with the i7 build, except change the motherboard......

Also for the GTX 285, what kinda of Power Supply would i need to ruin 2 of them in SLI? Plus still take care of everything else, would the one i have picked still work?
a b 4 Gaming
March 22, 2009 4:26:41 PM

Phoenixx45 said:
Ok, sweet thanks for the advice guys, i guys ill go with the i7 build, except change the motherboard......

Also for the GTX 285, what kinda of Power Supply would i need to ruin 2 of them in SLI? Plus still take care of everything else, would the one i have picked still work?


A decent 750w psu like a Corsair or PC Power & Cooling for example will run them in SLI.
March 22, 2009 4:33:52 PM
March 22, 2009 8:52:59 PM

nvidia recommends at least 1kw for dual gtx 285's as does corsair and pc & power cooling. everything on or in your comp will rely on your psu so do not skimp. it is one part that you can use and re-use in the future.

fyi, 1kw is probably overkill but it is better to have too much psu capacity then too little.
March 22, 2009 9:05:01 PM

Man your going to have so much fun compared to your xps400. :)  Looks good from here, make sure you download the Crysis demo (if your not going to buy the game) so you can see your computer's potential, its pretty amazing what PCs today can do compared to 5 years ago. (wish i could afford i7/gtx285 =P)

Btw, beware! It's hard to go back to BF2 after playing through the Crysis campaign (at least it was for me, and I did the BF2 thing for years), due to the graphic difference. :)  Actually... now that I think about it... I kind of miss BF2. Maybe I'll play it today lol...
March 22, 2009 10:08:08 PM

mexpedip - I've thought about the whole power supply thing, and I'm not sure if i can really afford the 1000 Watt PSU. Right now.

"As for the mobo, spend extra cash and get this...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813188046" - gkay09

gkay09 - Umm, that motherboard looks good, but would i really need if i don't plan on overclocking? I know nothing about OCing, so i don't really plan to...

"As for the mobo, spend extra cash and get this...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813188046"

Which means, I'm pushing my budget a little but can probably pass. But also, in the future if i do want to do 2x GTX 285's, then i could always upgrade the Power Supply right?

Also i think i found a better Video card, a little bit more expensive but looks to be better, plus its Nvidia so i won't have to worry about the crappy drive issues...

EVGA GeForce GTX 285 SSC Edition

Plus it comes with CoD5: World at War which i was going to buy anyway, so that saves me $40....


Raidur - Yes i do plan on buying Crysis, haha i actually made up a list of all the games that I've missed out on, and that I've wanted to get, it would cost me like $600 on games alone! :o 
But yes i do plan on buying the Crysis: Maximum Edition (Crysis + Warhead), along with Far Cry 2, and others...

Yea, I've thought about retiring from Battlefield 2, but i found a pretty good clan that I've been with for about a year, and am still determined to get to at least a 1 Star....(1st LT right now)

Anyway thanks for the help guys, ill post a final build list when i get the chance.
a b 4 Gaming
March 22, 2009 10:15:32 PM

Phoenixx45 said:
mexpedip - I've thought about the whole power supply thing, and I'm not sure if i can really afford the 1000 Watt PSU. Right now, i may go with the better motherboard mention by gkay09 :

As for the mobo, spend extra cash and get this...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813188046

Which means, I'm pushing my budget a little but can probably pass. But also, in the future if i do want to do 2x GTX 285's, then i could always upgrade the Power Supply right?

Also i think i found a better Video card, a little bit more expensive but looks to be better, plus its Nvidia so i won't have to worry about the crappy drive issues...

EVGA GeForce GTX 285 SSC Edition

Plus it comes with CoD5: World at War which i was going to buy anyway, so that saves me $40....


Raidur - Yes i do plan on buying Crysis, haha i actually made up a list of all the games that I've missed out on, and that I've wanted to get, it would cost me like $600 on games alone! :o 
But yes i do plan on buying the Crysis: Maximum Edition (Crysis + Warhead), along with Far Cry 2, and others...

Yea, I've thought about retiring from Battlefield 2, but i found a pretty good clan that I've been with for about a year, and am still determined to get to at least a 1 Star....(1st LT right now)

Anyway thanks for the help guys, ill post a final build list when i get the chance.


1000w for that card in SLI is over kill if anything. 850w at the most. Corsair has them right now for on the cheap at newegg.

http://techreport.com/articles.x/16229/13 <===Power consumption for gtx 285
March 22, 2009 10:29:24 PM

Ok so lemme go look for a good 850watt, need to compare prices to...

I'm not totally sure about getting a second GTX 285...

I know i plan to spend a good amount of money after i get the PC on recently released games [Have to save up more money again :( ] So by the time i have another $200 to spend on the second card, it could be possible there are better single cards that i could upgrade, that would be better than 2 GTX 285's, but either way, i guess if i can it wouldn't hurt to get a high Watt PSU just in case...
March 23, 2009 1:26:17 AM

gkay09 said:
Well if you are purely looking for a Gaming build, then +1 for the Q9550...


How. Theyre both quad core, and isnt the i7 the fastest quad core around. Correct me if im wrong.
March 23, 2009 1:46:43 AM

Off topic, but I disagree with Raidur on a few points (but I commend him on his taste in games!).

I play Crisis for an obligatory couple of minutes every time I upgrade a new component. But other than that, I really haven't played it in over a year. Awesome graphics do not overcome non-compelling gameplay.

However, to this day, I regularly play BF2 and/or 2142 every night. Getting a new computer will breath new life into those games for you. I made a big upgrade from an aging computer about a year ago. In terms of personal performance, I went from middle of the pack to top of the pack overnight. I was playing with constant lag, and never knew any better. When playing single player, it is an annoyance, but playing multiplayer it makes all the difference. You will find that playing "handicapped" with a crappy computer that long has made you that much better of a player. You will be amazed at how much better your aim is and how much faster your reflexes are when unencumbered by lag.

You will see what I mean, and you will be happier than you expected, regardless of which config you choose. Good luck!
March 23, 2009 2:38:39 AM

Yea Husky, i can't wait to get the new computer, and i totally agree with you about the non-compelling game play. Most likely ill play through Crysis, once to say I've beaten and to test the video card, but not much after. The games i really look foward to playing are like CoD4 - 5 and FPS games like that.

Also question:

1. ) Should i mount the Motherboard and THEN install the CPU + RAM + GPU?

Or should i like install the CPU and RAM, then mount the motherboard and install the GPU......

2.) So basically something like this:

Install Power Supply

Install RAM

Install CPU

Mount motherboard

Install CPU Cooler

Install Graphics Card

Install Hard Drive

Install DVD Drive


3.) Then after the computer is built, i turn on the computer, and put in the Vista CD, then reboot, and put in the Drives...etc... Correct?
March 23, 2009 12:38:18 PM

install psu
install HDD, dvd, card reader etc
install cpu
thermal compound
heatsink
mount mobo
ram
gpu
audio (if necessary)
plug in power, all drives etc (don't forget the 4 or 8 pin power connector to the mobo)

basically, install seperate items in the case before mounting the mobo. they will very rarely interfere with each other but it still makes it easier. make sure you use an anti-static wrist band.

turn on power and go to bios.
install OS cd/dvd
follow instructions, vista will find and install most drivers on their own but I do recommend installing the gpu drivers with the install cd. It is faster that way. Be prepared to reboot often for the first 1-2 hours.

In regards to overclocking, it is easy. The mobo manufacturers usually (I have never worked with x58) have presets that make it a one click setting. ie: in my Asus Rampage Formula I can select QX9770 and it will make the necessary changes to make my Q9550 and power so the cpu works at the same speed as a QX9770.

If you are re-installing bf2 suite make sure you get the directions. it is not as straight forward as you would guess. ie: install vanilla bf2, armored fury, patch 1.41, reboot and then install special forces and then re-install patch 1.41. That is not exact but close. EA has the exact directions on their web page.
!