Building First Gaming Rig(i7) $1,200

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: (Probably within a month or two unless you feel I should wait for something)

BUDGET RANGE: No more than $1,200, but the less is better.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: (high end games, video editing)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: (keyboard, mouse, OS(already have Windows XP Professional)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: (newegg.com)

PARTS PREFERENCES: i7 920

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes

MONITOR RESOLUTION: (1920 x 1080)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: (Relatively quiet PC, easy to overclock, stable)

Hello. I posted something similar earlier with a Q9550 setup, but I think I'll go with an i7 setup since the premium doesn't seem to be that much higher. This will be my first time building a good gaming rig and I would like your expert opinions on this. My goal is to have a fast computer that is primarily for games and I may dabble in video editing on the side. I prefer to be able to install a second card in the future for a Crossfire/SLI setup when my gaming demands increases. I've never overclocked but I look forward to doing that without it being too difficult to do and I prefer for the system to be relatively quiet. It doesn't have to be super quiet or anything. Just something that doesn't remind me of a running engine that is a few feet away from me.

I've been playing around with Newegg's wish list and took the suggestions from a few posters and this is what I've come up with so far.

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz
$288.99

EVGA 132-BL-E758-TR LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
$254.99

SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
$189.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX
$119.99

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB
$109.99

OR

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB
$74.99

CORSAIR XMS3 3GB (3 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory
$57.99

Sony Optiarc DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA
$23.99

COOLER MASTER Centurion 534 RC-534-KKN2-GP
$49.99

XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler
$39.99

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
$8.99

Subtotal: $1,144.9-$1,114.9

I like the cooler master case since it has good reviews and it's pretty cheap, but I'm open to different cases if it's better(please state how if you recommend a different case). For the graphics card, I want to get the 4870 1gb or the GTX 260 Core 216 equiv(any recommendations on that?). I chose the 3GB RAM because I will be using XP until Windows 7 comes out. Do you think I need the thermal compound? Thank you for your time.
14 answers Last reply
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  1. Hey, I am a really new builder but also doing a similar build to you. I would recommend that you check out the Asus P6T Deluxe V2 or if you want to go with Evga look at the A1 X58 boards. Also got great reviews. Thats really all I have to offer from my peebrain.
  2. a1 and evga board you picked are the same board, difference is in lifetime warranty on a1 vs a few years on the cheaper one.
  3. Couple things to tell you.

    Your going to want the full benefit of the ram, 3x2gbs OCZ Platinums at DDR3 1600 or the OCZ 1333
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227375

    the WD Black 640gb is fine


    Here's a Good setup :

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136319
    WD Black 640gb

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136152
    LG dvd

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233029
    dark knight heatsink

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

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227381
    ocz ddr3 1600

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102801
    sapphire 4870 1gb

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137
    rc - 690

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006
    750tx

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100007
    arctic 5

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813188046
    evga board x58.


    4870 1gb will over power the gtx 260 in most resolutions, they basically are the same card, not much difference at all.

    this will be $1177 without the rebates and shipping so, should be right at the $1200.00


    Also, you wont get much better performance from windows xp dx vs windows vista dx.10
  4. Great straight forward post :D

    Although I would recommend getting a 4870x2, this should be fine, as you can CF the card later. At that resolution, and with that great processor, the single 4870 would really be a bottleneck. If you're wanting high performance at that resolution, you'll probably want to get another. However, 95% of the games out there you'll be able to max with 4xAA anyway :P

    I'm glad you didn't waste $$$$$$ on a pretty case. Sure, the Antec 900 has a bit better cooling then the cheaper cases, but a few $5 fans can usually fix that, and even then, there's not much of a difference.

    I personally would have bought the AMD P2 940 BE and a much cheaper 790GX/FX board, but that's just my taste, and I'm poor :P. There's no denying that the i7's are awesome!

    As for that hard drive, I would think 640GB would be plenty. Although it depends on just how much video editing you do. I have Windows 7, Windows XP, Ubuntu Studio 8.10, and tons of games and software on my computer... and still have around 200GB remaining. I also have a few hundred hours of SD DVD's re-encoded (2Mbps Xvid and 320Kbps actually looks great. I can't tell the difference between that and 8Mbps VOB at 720x480), too. Remember that you can always buy a new hard drive if you need to I have the 500GB Caviar Black, it's a very good drive. Runs very cool and very fast. Too bad the drive isn't actually black, not that it makes a difference. The 1TB drive you have there is slightly cheaper per GB then the 640GB.
  5. It's a little over budget at $1230, but it comes with $50 in rebates. Don't forget to make use of combos!

    Case:COOLER MASTER HAF 932
    CPU+GPU: Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz & EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216
    Mobo+RAM: EVGA 132-BL-E758-A1 LGA 1366 & G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
    PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W
    HDD:Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM
    DVD: LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner
    CPU Cooler: XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V

    The HAF is has great cooling + its a full tower, to bring the price under budget go with the COOLER MASTER RC-690 ( ~$1150 with 690)
  6. Beat ya to it there mailliw :).
  7. fullmetall said:
    Couple things to tell you.

    Your going to want the full benefit of the ram, 3x2gbs OCZ Platinums at DDR3 1600 or the OCZ 1333
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227375

    the WD Black 640gb is fine


    Here's a Good setup :

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136319
    WD Black 640gb

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136152
    LG dvd

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233029
    dark knight heatsink

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

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227381
    ocz ddr3 1600

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102801
    sapphire 4870 1gb

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137
    rc - 690

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006
    750tx

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100007
    arctic 5

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813188046
    evga board x58.


    4870 1gb will over power the gtx 260 in most resolutions, they basically are the same card, not much difference at all.

    this will be $1177 without the rebates and shipping so, should be right at the $1200.00


    Also, you wont get much better performance from windows xp dx vs windows vista dx.10



    I think I read somewhere that said that Windows XP can't handle more than 3 GB of memory which was why I choose just 3 GB vs. 6 GB. Is that still the case? So are you saying that Windows XP with 3 GB of Ram with the older DX is still faster(even marginally) than Windows Vista with 6 GB of RAM and DX.10? If that's the case, then why should I spend money to buy Vista and spend more on RAM? I'm still learning and thanks for your input.
  8. No, i said windows xp will not show the performance rate at its best against the dx 10 vista.

    you could get the OS for $100.00
  9. :bounce: .

    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/gigabyte-nvidia-sli-motherboard,7463.html <=== Gigabyte: Enable SLI On X58 Boards

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137 $74.99
    COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

    http://www.buy.com/prod/corsair-750w-tx-series-80-plus-certified-power-supply-corsair-tx-cmpsu/q/loc/101/206178325.html $109.99 Price After Rebate(s): $99.99 Shipping: FREE
    Corsair TX CMPSU-750TX ATX12V & EPS12V Power Supply

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128375 $199.99 ($184.99 after $15.00 Mail-In Rebate)
    GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R 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=N82E16835185093 $31.99
    Scythe MUGEN-2 SCMG-2000 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835154003 $4.99
    Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150361 $169.99 Free Shipping*
    XFX GX260XADJF GeForce GTX 260 Core Edition Core 216 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
    Free Call of Duty: World at War w/ purchase, limited offer

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231247 $89.99 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 $74.99 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

    Total: $1,052.90 | $1,027.90 w/rebates *not including shipping

    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
  10. Scythe MUGEN-2 SCMG-2000 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler , might have a problem with that ram heat spreader. Get OCZ gold or platinum instead.
  11. sassan said:
    Scythe MUGEN-2 SCMG-2000 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler , might have a problem with that ram heat spreader. Get OCZ gold or platinum instead.


    My neighbor did almost the exact build I just posted other than he went with another vid card set up, and the ram, mobo, and hs worked just fine.
  12. Why_Me how's the the temps on the mugen 2? and is it extremely noisy as the reviews say? Also was it easy to install?
  13. sassan said:
    Why_Me how's the the temps on the mugen 2? and is it extremely noisy as the reviews say? Also was it easy to install?


    Noise ? LOL No idea seeing how he runs those like 5 x 120mm case fans all on high...no reason to do this but he does. I can find out though what his temps are...I do know he did a mild o/c with it last time I was over there ...I'm guessing he had it somewhere around 3.0 - 3.2. He's scared. :lol:
  14. im still leaning towards the build i put together there after looking at all the other posts.
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