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$1000-1500 i7 gaming desktop

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May 12, 2009 11:37:18 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next few days if possible.
BUDGET RANGE: US$1000-1500

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, web surfing, movie watching/music

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Have mouse, keyboard, and speakers.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, but open to others if they're reliable.

PARTS PREFERENCES: I have no parts preference, other than that the manufacturers are reputable and have good QA programs. I hear many people giving anecdotal opinions either way regards NVIDIA vs. RADEON, but am unclear as to the reasons people might prefer one over the other. I’m pretty much decided on the i7 920, though. Seems like a great processer at a really good price, and future friendly to boot.

OVERCLOCKING: Certainly, but probably not right out of the box. I have no experience, and am willing to learn.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe, if it’s the best option.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: I’d prefer at least 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I’m inexperienced at this, built a couple computers several (almost 10) years ago, but had knowledgeable friends completely walking me through the process, so I have an idea of what goes on, and am looking forward to really doing it myself. I’m probably not going to get a blue ray drive yet, but want to get one down the road, so want an appropriate monitor. I’d like to try the Windows 7 RC if possible, but not sure how to get it on a fresh system with no prior OS.
A friend suggested the following parts:

EVGA 896-P3-1260-TR GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...
Price: $179.99

Acer X213Hbid 21.5" 5ms HDMI Widescreen Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...
Price $169.99

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3750330AS 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive – OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...
Price: $79.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-620HX 620W ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...
Price: $148.99, $118.99 after rebat

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...
Price: $99.99

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...
Price: $59.99

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=N82E168...
Price $279.99

BIOSTAR TPOWER X58A LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...
Price $239.99

I have some questions, though, and alternate items I found
As for the graphics card, I noticed that the one he linked me had the older chipset, and found

EVGA 896-P3-1255-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 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...
Price: $194.99

SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card – Retail
Price: $189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Looks like a great, comparable Radeon, and is one I’m considering. And another friend even suggested that it’d be worth it to splurge on the 280.

Found this:

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive – OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $69.99
Which has a little less storage space, but more consistently good reviews. Would this be a better choice than the Seagate?

I'm unsure of the motherboard he picked. I have always heard good things about ASUS, and found a few well reviewed boards in the price range he picked out for me,

ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $249.99

ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $279.99

ASUS P6T Deluxe LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $289.99

These seem to be versions of the same board, but in increasing levels of quality. I am, however, completely at a loss as to what the actual difference is between them, other than some support 24 gb of memory when I’ll never even come close to 12. Why would I purchase one of the Deluxe boards over the regular p6t? And would these be better purchases than the biostar?

Regards the memory, the friend hooked me up with 4 gb dual channel, saying that 6 gb was overkill, that I’d never come close to using it and it’d be very difficult to use even 4 gbs. However, since the X58 boards are triple channel, do I need to get 6 gbs anyway?
If 6gb is preferable, I’ve seen builds using

OCZ Platinum 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...
Price: $94.99

and

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...
Price: $89.99
Any suggestions here?


Thanks to the guides here, saw

Antec Signature SG650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $169.99

While the power supply the friend recommended looks really good, this one had an incredible review, and seems to be more efficient; at least, it has a higher 80 + certification, and energy efficiency is important to me.

I have two finishing questions. First, is it worth it to get an extra hard drive and a RAID setup? And what cpu heat sinks do you recommend? The friend in question left that off of his list, but I’ve seen people speak highly of
XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $39.99


Thank you for any help, and sorry about the wall of text.

<edited to improve formatting and add prices>
May 13, 2009 12:14:10 AM

The Deluxe has a number of additional ports, if you didn't notice you probably don't need them, as well as capability for SAS. It also has better integrated sound. The Deluxe V2 doesn't have SAS support, but has additional capaciters.
Related resources
May 13, 2009 2:25:40 AM

I would consider this. How does it compare with the WD I linked?
May 13, 2009 2:25:59 AM

Just get the 640 WD Caviar Black HDD. It's a tried and true hard drive with 2 platters operating with 32 MB of cache... not much more you can ask for from a 7200 rpm HDD.

The Dark Knight *is* a reliable heatsink. While I'd love to recommend the gargantuan Mugen 2 with an extra heatpipe and greater surface area exposure at a similar price point, that's just splitting hairs, right? =D. Plus there's always the danger that it just might not fit...

If it absolutely has to come to a showdown between those two power supplies, go with the Antec one. It has higher amperages on the 12v rails; in terms of quality, corsair and antec are both reliable. If modular (being able to choose what cables you need) isn't that big of a deal for you, might I suggest the corsair 750tx which is currently cheaper...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


GTX 280? Why? Get a GTX 275 if you're going to approach that price range, or a 4890 if you're looking at that price point. You could even get two 4770s for ~$220, which would match the performance of the similarly priced 4890 and the more expensive 275 in most cases.

The motherboard? Yeah, go with one of those you listed. Someone else will be more appropriately experienced to tell you exactly why, but buying a motherboard from a no-name company with not enough reviews scares me too.
May 13, 2009 3:43:05 AM

This build includes a modular psu with more than enough juice to push this rig (red LED w/this psu matches the case). The case is new to the market and so far it has gotten great reviews. Ewiz...the retailer I chose for the mobo has been around for years, is very dependable and has a good reputation for customer service. You want to make sure you flash to the latest bios with that board, and then afterwards download the latest drivers for it.

http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/product.php?category_id... <--- More pics and specs of the case used in this build.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <---More pics, specs, and customer reviews of the mobo used in this build.

http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm <---Xigmetek HS used in this build...rated one of the top HS by "Frostytech".

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-275,226... <---gtx 275 benchmarks and review

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/gigabyte-nvidia-sli-mo... <---Gigabyte: Enable SLI On X58 Boards

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $109.99
COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $6.99
APEVIA CF12SL-URED 120mm Red LED Case Fan - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $74.99 ($49.99 after $25.00 Mail-In Rebate)
OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-EX58U3R $179.99 | $164.99 after rebate
GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R Core i7/ Intel X58/ DDR3/ CrossFireX/ A&GbE/ ATX Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$7.00 Combo Price: $367.98 $20.00 Mail-In Rebate
Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail

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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $4.99
Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $249.99 Free Shipping*
EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - 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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$20.00 Combo Price: $149.98
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $179.99 ($159.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
ASUS VH226H Black 21.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen 16:9 Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 12000 : 1) Built in Speakers - Retail
Full HD 1080P resolution

Total: $1,388.89 | $1,308.89 w/mail in rebates

*Same build as above but with a factory over clocked gtx 260 video card.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $174.99 ($154.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
MSI N260GTX-T2D896-OCv4 GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
$10 off with promo code VGA26XV4, ends 5/14

Total: $1,313.89 | $1,213.89 w/mail in rebates

*Same build as above but with a gtx 285 video card.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $329.99 ($299.99 after $30.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
EVGA 01G-P3-1180-AR GeForce GTX 285 1GB 512-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

Total: $1,468.89 | $1,358.89 w/mail in rebates
May 14, 2009 1:26:49 AM

Almost final build:

*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/Prod [...] 6819115202
Price $279.99

*EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814130475
$249.99 Free Shipping*

*Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive – OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136319
Price: $69.99


*ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813131365
Price: $279.99
*Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit for System Builders
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Price: $179.99, combos with the motherboard for a 70.00 discount. Makes it ten bucks more than the home premium. However, this is largely a placeholder, as I want to get the Windows 7 RC.
*OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820227381
Price: $94.99

*Antec Signature SG650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817371017
Price: $169.99

*XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835233029
Price: $39.99

*COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811119196
Price: $109.99
*APEVIA CF12SL-URED 120mm Red LED Case Fan - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811998123
Price: $6.99
*Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835154003
Price: $4.99

*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/Prod [...] 6827136152
Price: $24.99


*ASUS VH226H Black 21.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen 16:9 Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 12000 : 1) Built in Speakers - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6824236051
Price: $179.99 ($159.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate)


Is my power supply sufficient? I want to overclock at some point, and adding a second 275 down the road looks like a great idea. Will it still be adequate to power my system at this point? If not, should I upgrade to the Corsair 750 or the Antec Sig 850? I prefer the antecs, but the Corsair is still a really good PSU and I'd rather not pay for the 850 as I'm already over budget. Also, as mentioned above, I want to use the Windows 7 RC. Can I do this without actually purchasing an operating system or copy of windows? If not, I’d actually prefer to get the cheapest workable OS I can upgrade to Win7 from to the copy of Windows Vista I linked above, although that’s a nice combo deal for something many people would want to get anyway.
Oh, and thanks for the suggestions, everyone. Why_Me, I really like the case and video card you linked, but the card combos with the processor for 13 bucks more than the memory combo you linked, so that's actually an even better value.
May 14, 2009 1:55:17 AM

I just noticed that the DVD burner Why_Me suggested combos with an Antec 902 for 20 dollars, almost the price of the burner itself. Assuming that that allows me to remove the Apevia fan, which was 6.99 +10 dollars shipping, almost the entire price difference between the Scout and the 902 disappears, so this becomes a tempting option. What do you think?
May 14, 2009 2:55:14 AM

Go for it. It's gonna be a sick build.
!