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Solid, lasting build for <$1000

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May 25, 2009 2:04:33 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: June-July 2009

BUDGET RANGE: $1000 USD

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Media, internet browsing, gameing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: All Peripherals, CD/DVD drive.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I've used newegg, but open to any site you've had good experiences with

PARTS PREFERENCES: Open

OVERCLOCKING: Eventually
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe eventually

MONITOR RESOLUTION: currently running 2 21' 1440x900, but hoping to purchase a new monitor this winter- maybe 1600X1200.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
I'm looking for a solid box that I can keep using for the next 3-4 years with minimal upgrades. I consider myself more of a casual gamer- I'm not too fussy about graphics, as long as they run.
I'd like the best performance I can squeeze in, and room for expansion as my budget allows. I just don't plan on being able to afford spending anywhere near this much on computer equipment anytime soon. I do intend to eventually overclock for that extra bit of performance out, but am not expecting to do so right away.

I've built 1 box before, call it three years ago and that was a fairly mixed result. Add to that I've dropped out of tech developments, I can't begin to work out NVIDIA vs ATI, Phenom vs Core i7. Other than get a headache, all my googling around has decided is that the q9550 doesn't make as much sense as I thought at first.

Any advice?
May 25, 2009 6:07:14 AM

$1000 doesnt buy you a ci7

So build based on either a phenom 720 be + am3 mb + ddr3 ram
or 945 be + am3 mb + ddr3 ram

If the mb has a 790 series chipset + 750 sb it will have 2 pci-e x16 slots with enough bandwidth for a pair of 4770's so future upgrades are possible , BUT at your resolution a single card will be plenty for now .

Download the RC of windows7 from microsoft now while its available and use that till march next year or till windows 7 is for sale .
May 25, 2009 7:01:40 AM

This build includes a factory over clocked gtx 260 and is set up to add another later on for SLI if you so choose. It also has a decent after market h/s just in case you decide to over clock.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $74.99
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product... $99.99 | $69.99 after MIR Free Shipping
PC Power and Cooling S75QB Silencer 750W Quad Power Supply (Black) 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.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=I7-920 $264.99 Free Ground Shipping
Intel Core i7 Processor i7-920 2.66GHz 8MB LGA1366 CPU, OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $41.99 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... $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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$5.00 Combo Price: $164.98 $20.00 Mail-In Rebate
OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $23.99 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: $1,030.90 | $945.90 w/mail in rebates

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dd353205.... <---Save yourself some money on an o/s and dl the 64 bit version of Windows 7

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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $149.99 Free Shipping*
Acer X223Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 2500:1 - Retail
Related resources
May 25, 2009 7:33:41 AM

Corei7 920 + ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 COMBO $279.99+$279.99 Combo Discount: -$25.00 Combo Price: $534.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black Mid Tower Computer Case $84.99 -$10.00 $74.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate ST3640323AS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM $64.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100258-1GHDMI Radeon HD 4850 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 $134.99 -$25.00 Instant $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XION PowerReal XON-800P14N 800W ATX12V 2.2/ EPS12V 2.91 SLI CrossFire $95.99 -$10.00 Instant $85.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Model TR3X6G1600C8 G - $114.00 -$10.00 Instant $104.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Subtotal: $974.94
May 25, 2009 9:51:59 AM

^ that would be a good build except it includes a rubbish PSU and Why_me's build absolutely stomps it for $60 more/ $30 less after rebate.
May 25, 2009 4:55:22 PM

Missing an HDD? Personally, Either Western Digital or Seagate work for me. Depending on how long you want it to last, 3-4 years. Core i7 is the best way to go here. If you plan to be using 1900x1200 or whatever you can get on a 24" LCD these days. An HD 4850 1GB would be quite good. Oh, be sure you get an 80+ SLI\Crossfire 36amp on the 12v rails 600watt Power Supply. Corsair 750VX is quite good. Hope that helps.
May 25, 2009 5:01:21 PM

ideally he should budget for $800 so he has $200 spare that he can invest in something and get something back out of by 2H 2010 when amd's 12 core line comes out for desktops.
May 25, 2009 10:47:48 PM

sahil said:
sorry to hijack your topic but what is the difference between the UD4P and the UD3R

UD4P:
http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-EX58U4P
UD3R:
http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-EX58U3R

I'm stuck in the same $1000 budget boat so was wondering is the UD4P worth the extra $$$?


Ya it is if you plan on using two vid cards in the future. I has more room in between the PCI-E slots, it has more over clocking utilities, it runs SLI and Crossfire out of the box unlike the UD3P which needs a bios flash to do this, it lets you add more RAM in the future, onboard speaker, etc...Also the UD4P is a bigger board which offers more space between the RAM and the cpu allowing you to use RAM with a high heatsink when using a large cpu heatsink.

Use this code: MEMORIAL20 on the ewiz site when purchasing that board for an instant additional $20 off the UD4P. That brings that board to $199 then throw in the $15 mail in rebate and total cost is $184.99 + Free Shipping. You can't beat that.
May 26, 2009 12:25:49 AM

I've decided core i7 seems the way to go. while the phenom is cheaper, the 920 seems to have a lead in every benchmark comparison I see. AMD's next generation chips may be better (or the i5, which i know nothing about), but I have the need now, and the money next month.

Why_me: I've seen you reply to almost every help-me thread on this board, with great part suggestions relevant to the needs stated. I may need to name my firstborn after you.

I'm not 100 percent sure on that case though- I'm mainly worried about the combination of the power supply on the bottom, and the huge (but sweet) graphics card you posted.

Also, you seem great at finding rebates/sales- alas, I won't recieve the last portion of my funds until the first week of june, after most of them expire. (and I figure it'd be best to buy the parts all at the same time, less time to worry about RMA windows if anything is shipped dead.)

I'm considering forking over the extra 20 and buying the retail 920 from newegg. Warranties are nice when money is tight, and stock heatsink- sucky, but it'd work. Than if I ran a year without any problems- or just had the cash to upgrade the cooling and felt confidant, I'd overclock for a bit more.

I already have a dvd drive- not as nice, but it'd work. My guesstimated cost: $981. Is this a really bad idea? I've got no experience dealing with proc warranties, not sure how shabby stock heatsink is. Could use the savings to upgrade to the UD4P
May 26, 2009 12:32:17 AM

faustianoverdrive said:
I've decided core i7 seems the way to go. while the phenom is cheaper, the 920 seems to have a lead in every benchmark comparison I see. AMD's next generation chips may be better (or the i5, which i know nothing about), but I have the need now, and the money next month.

Why_me: I've seen you reply to almost every help-me thread on this board, with great part suggestions relevant to the needs stated. I may need to name my firstborn after you.

I'm not 100 percent sure on that case though- I'm mainly worried about the combination of the power supply on the bottom, and the huge (but sweet) graphics card you posted.

Also, you seem great at finding rebates/sales- alas, I won't recieve the last portion of my funds until the first week of june, after most of them expire. (and I figure it'd be best to buy the parts all at the same time, less time to worry about RMA windows if anything is shipped dead.)

I'm considering forking over the extra 20 and buying the retail 920 from newegg. Warranties are nice when money is tight, and stock heatsink- sucky, but it'd work. Than if I ran a year without any problems- or just had the cash to upgrade the cooling and felt confidant, I'd overclock for a bit more.

I already have a dvd drive- not as nice, but it'd work. My guesstimated cost: $981. Is this a really bad idea? I've got no experience dealing with proc warranties, not sure how shabby stock heatsink is.


Your spot on about ordering it all at the same time in case anything has to be RMA'd. Those sales will still be there. ewiz runs them every other week or so.

Also get this cpu down below NOW! It's the new D0 stepping i7. It runs much cooler than the C0 stepping which means for better temps and much easier over clocking. Everyone and their brother is trying to get their hands on this D0 stepping i7, and I found you one. :)  They won't last long...maybe until tomorrow I'm guessing so get it now.

https://www.antaresdigital.com/customer/product.php?pro..." $ 278.00
Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz LGA 1366 Socket 8MB Cache CPUD0 Stepping
May 26, 2009 12:37:55 AM

AAAAGH. I don't do well under pressure. Any experience with Antares Digital? never heard of them or saw anyone else link to them? Looking for their RMA window (isn't neweggs proc return policy only like 7 days? I will not have a system to test this thing in that soon)
May 26, 2009 12:40:25 AM

faustianoverdrive said:
AAAAGH. I don't do well under pressure. Any experience with Antares Digital? never heard of them or saw anyone else link to them? Looking for their RMA window (isn't neweggs proc return policy only like 7 days? I will not have a system to test this thing in that soon)


http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Antares_Digital_An...

May 26, 2009 12:55:23 AM

Nice find ! I added that link to my favorites. :)  Flashing bios these day's is a piece of cake. No more floppy disk involved...you can easily to it with a USB memory stick.

http://www.gigabyte.us/Support/Motherboard/BIOS_Model.a... <--- All you do is flash to the latest bios on that link. :) 
May 26, 2009 12:58:21 AM

So does that mean that the d0 may not be worth the extra 8 dollars? I see a lot of hype, a couple example OC's (and i'm not very oc savvy, but lots of people saying some of the temps were ridiculously low, almost unbelievable)

Yes, stupid question, but i have my credit card out and all. You have a persuasive sales technique, sir. (or madam, shouldn't assume)
May 26, 2009 1:02:06 AM

faustianoverdrive said:
So does that mean that the d0 may not be worth the extra 8 dollars? I see a lot of hype, a couple example OC's (and i'm not very oc savvy, but lots of people saying some of the temps were ridiculously low, almost unbelievable)

Yes, stupid question, but i have my credit card out and all. You have a persuasive sales technique, sir. (or madam, shouldn't assume)


Yes D0 stepping is worth it. Low temps = heaven....especially if you plan on using a stock h/s and/or over clocking. D0 > C0
May 26, 2009 1:04:33 AM

oookay. I may be lost. you said great link, but said link stated D0 was merely cosmetic changes.
May 26, 2009 1:16:55 AM

faustianoverdrive said:
oookay. I may be lost. you said great link, but said link stated D0 was merely cosmetic changes.


That article in the link was explaining what changes to look for cosmetic wise.

http://www.anandtech.com/weblog/showpost.aspx?i=584 <-- There's the results of the D0 stepping i7 in action. :) 
May 26, 2009 1:34:12 AM

Helloworld_98 said:
^ that would be a good build except it includes a rubbish PSU and Why_me's build absolutely stomps it for $60 more/ $30 less after rebate.


actually, it is only $30 more before rebates because he includes a cd/dvd drive which is not required.
!