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I call upon ye computer building masters [Budget i7/Phenii $1500]

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March 27, 2009 2:19:28 PM

Alright guys (I say guys because there isn't one girl who would be within miles of these forums... if you are a girl, I applogise and please send me a pm so I can take you out on a date) I have used your unsurpased knowlege before and I'm excited about my new i7 build!

I will have $1500 at the end of the week dedicated to building a new rig. I have tried to pick out my parts on new egg before but I always run into the same problem. I don't know which parts I could skimp out on the best and which parts need to be top of the line.

here are my ideas:
The price needs to include a monitor that supports 1900x1200 reslution. My only requirment is that it is 22inch+
I don't care about SLI/Crossfire, the way I see it I could spend that extra $350 on a new card a couple years from now.
I am very interested in Overclocking and all that jazz, but would not currently want to buy water cooling.
I am loving everything about an i7 proc and a 6gig ram kit, but if someone could talk me into a phen 2 black blahblah I would concider it.
I would use a 64bit os and switch to win7 when it comes out
I love playing games so if there is one part I would not want to skimp out on it would be a graphics card
Uhh 6gigs of ram min
and A sick Heatsink for my cpu to support Overclocking

Alright how does that sound?
March 27, 2009 2:30:37 PM

So, let's see:

$260 monitor
Acer P243WAid Black-Silver 24" 2ms
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009125

$100 Vista 64-bit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116488

$40 cooler Xigmatek Dark Knight (works with both i7 and Phenom)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233029

$130 hard drive WD1001FALS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136284

$25 burner SH-S223Q
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151173

$150 CoolerMaster Haf 932
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119160

$90 750TX - good enough for any single card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006

So far it's about $800. You're left with $700 for CPU/MB/RAM/GPU.


March 27, 2009 2:36:59 PM

GA-EX58-UD3R $185
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128375

i7 920 $280
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115202

OCZ DDR3-1600 6GB $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227365

This leaves you about $160 for the gaming card, which is stupid IMO. There's little point in an expensive build that will be bottlenecked by the video card. You could get a cheaper case (RC-690, $80) and a smaller HDD (WD6401AALS, $80) and save $120. Then you have $280 for the video card, which buys you a factory-overclocked HD 4850 X2.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102809
Related resources
March 27, 2009 2:43:02 PM

Now let me try the Phenom version.

$560 combo Phenom II 940 + HD 4870 X2
http://secure.newegg.com/Shopping/AddToCart.aspx?Submit=ADD&ItemList=Combo.164886

$28 DDR2-1066 4GB - buy two sets if you want, but one set is enough IMO
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220314

$110 GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128387

With this version you have a better video card (HD 4870 X2 instead of HD 4850 X2) and a better case (Haf 932 vs RC-690) and a bigger HDD (1TB vs 640GB).
March 27, 2009 3:34:07 PM

Aevm thanks alot for the help, I have a couple updates.

I love the Antec900 case and for $100 it seems perfect for my system. (I can buy this from my local comp store)
I already have a copy of VistaUlt (btw would the cd come with the 64 and 32 bit os?) So that saves me 100 going towards my GPU!

The big question I have is choosing between the Phenom II or a 920. I'll admit i'm an intel fanboy, but I would give up my i7 if the Phenom performance was on par. What about air cooled overclocking? Does one processor surpass the other in term sof speed? I guess it all comes down to this - Which system will be faster for the money I spend on it
March 27, 2009 3:47:15 PM

If you want to stick with the i7 CPU, this is what I'd get:

Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $279.99

GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD4P LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $259.99 - $20.00 MIR

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=N82E168... $94.99

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=N82E168... $354.99 - $30.00 MIR

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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=N82E168...

Case & PSU combo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $179.98 - $20.00 MIR

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... $79.99

Acer P243WAid Black-Silver 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor with HDCP Support 400 cd/m2 3000:1 ACM - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $259.99

XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $39.99

Total - $1,549.91 - $70.00 MIR's

It's a little over budget, but that happens. :) 

If your Vista is a Retail version, it should come with both 32-bit and 64-bit. If it's an OEM version it will just include one or the other. A 64-bit OS is required on this build or you'll only be able to use about half of the RAM.

The i7 build is pushing the budget a little close. I think you'd be very happy with the Phenom II build and a better GPU for gaming. You'll also have a few extra dollars in your pocket which will make anyone happy. :) 
March 27, 2009 4:10:20 PM

That's a good build.

How about this:
- take out the CPU/MB/RAM/GPU from shortstuff's list. They cost $940
- add a GTX 295 for $590
- get this combo for $304 (Phenom II 940 + GA-MA790GP-UD4H)
http://secure.newegg.com/Shopping/AddToCart.aspx?Submit=ADD&ItemList=Combo.165047
- add that DDR2-1066 from my previous post for $28

Compared to shortstuff's list, it will cost $18 less, it will have a better video card (heck, the GTX 295 is the best card out there), but it will have a somewhat slower CPU and less RAM.

I think the RAM thing is OK, since there's no big difference in gaming between 4GB and 6 GB (or even between 4 and 8)
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2008/07/08/is-more-memory-better/5

The problem here is whether you want your CPU/GPU balance favoring the CPU (i7/GTX 285) or the GPU (Phenom/GTX 295). CPU-bound games like FSX or things like video encoding would work better on the i7. However, most games would work better at 1920x1200 with the GTX 295 than the GTX 285, regardless of the CPU.
Either way, your machine will be VERY impressive so don't worry too much about this decision.
March 27, 2009 4:13:30 PM

The video card is going to make my decision on which cpu to run with.

How does a 4870x2 compare against a gtx285?
March 27, 2009 4:32:45 PM

rohani said:
The video card is going to make my decision on which cpu to run with.

How does a 4870x2 compare against a gtx285?



It's better.

HD 4870 X2 123 fps, GTX 285 83 fps in Call of Duty at 1920x1200. The GTX 295 gets 126 fps.
http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=16843&page=6
(LOL, I'm feeling guilty now about suggesting the GTX 295. For this game the HD 4870 X2 is just as good and $200 less.)

In Far Cry 2 at 1920x1600 it's like 83, 75, 68 (for GTX 295, HD 4870 X2, GTX 285 respectively).
http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=16843&page=9

At current prices the HD 4870 X2 is better value than the GTX 285. But, with the GTX 285 you can add more power i.e. a second and even a third card) and get decent scaling. (Assuming an i7/x58 build and a big PSU, of course.)
With the HD 4870 X2 you can't add a third card at all, and a second card would not scale very well (except in CoD) because most games are not well optimized for 4 GPUs.



March 27, 2009 4:34:34 PM

aevm said:
That's a good build.

How about this:
- take out the CPU/MB/RAM/GPU from shortstuff's list. They cost $940
- add a GTX 295 for $590
- get this combo for $304 (Phenom II 940 + GA-MA790GP-UD4H)
http://secure.newegg.com/Shopping/AddToCart.aspx?Submit=ADD&ItemList=Combo.165047
- add that DDR2-1066 from my previous post for $28

Compared to shortstuff's list, it will cost $18 less, it will have a better video card (heck, the GTX 295 is the best card out there), but it will have a somewhat slower CPU and less RAM.

I think the RAM thing is OK, since there's no big difference in gaming between 4GB and 6 GB (or even between 4 and 8)
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2008/07/08/is-more-memory-better/5

The problem here is whether you want your CPU/GPU balance favoring the CPU (i7/GTX 285) or the GPU (Phenom/GTX 295). CPU-bound games like FSX or things like video encoding would work better on the i7. However, most games would work better at 1920x1200 with the GTX 295 than the GTX 285, regardless of the CPU.
Either way, your machine will be VERY impressive so don't worry too much about this decision.


I'm liking the Phenom II 940 build with a gtx 285 (or even the cheaper 4870x2), and that way i'll save some money on a card. Either way im really excited about this build :) 

Would you concider putting any sort of waranties on parts? Lets say my gpu frys 1 year from now, am I screwed if I don't have an expensive waranty?
March 27, 2009 4:50:31 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$30.00 Combo Price: $179.98 $20.00 Mail-In Rebate
1. CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
2. COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - 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.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=I7-920 $265.99 Free Ground Shipping
Intel Core i7 Processor i7-920 2.66GHz 8MB LGA1366 CPU, OEM

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... $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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $94.99 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=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... $259.99
Acer P243WAid Black-Silver 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor with HDCP Support 400 cd/m2 3000:1 ACM - Retail

Total: $1,501.89 *(not including shipping and rebates)

Same build but with this vid card.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $189.99 ($159.99 after $30.00 Mail-In Rebate)
MSI N260GTX-T2D896-OCv2 GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

Total: $1,351.89 *(not including shipping and rebates)
March 27, 2009 4:56:12 PM

If you get the Phenom II then I'd get the combo for CPU+HD 4870 X2. It's $50 off and you get a game too.

If your card fries a year from now, you'll get to RMA it to Newegg and they'll send you a new one or (if they can't find one) something more recent of similar power or even a little better. Warranties typically range from 2 years to "lifetime", but "lifetime" is defined as 2 years or 3 years or whatever the manufacturer wants so it's tricky to estimate. I'm talking about the default warranties here, the ones you get without paying anything extra for extended warranty.

Keep in mind that extended warranties are the highest margin product an electronics seller can sell. That is, they charge a lot more than the extended warranty is worth. With a quality setup (and I especially mean the Corsair PSU here), you should expect things to work fine for years and then the extended warranty has a very small chance to be used. I wouldn't bother.
March 28, 2009 2:36:33 PM



$1356.91 + $13.87 ship, MIR not included yet :p 
March 28, 2009 8:35:40 PM

The build above has some basic mistakes. First off, ditch the IDE DVD burner and pick up a SATA model. There is no reason to put an IDE drive in a new build. I wish they'd just stop selling them. Second, I've had pretty bad luck with Hitachi drives. You can't go wrong with a 640GB Western Digital drive.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

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... $79.99
!