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$1000-1200 Two Gaming Builds - PII 955 BE and i7 920

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May 28, 2009 2:19:07 PM

I've decided to take the leap into building my first computer. I'll be purchasing parts from newegg, zipzoomfly or any other reputable online retailer. My price range is up to $1200, but spending less money is always a good thing (I'm unfortunately not made of it).

The primary use of this computer will be gaming, web-surfing and some light video encoding (just iPhone videos mainly).

Also, please let me know if there are any 'hidden costs' or pieces I'm missing from the builds. I'm looking for advice of which build in general (I'm still split [60/40 in favor of Phenom] between the Phenom and i7) - and if there are any better parts in the general price range that would improve my system.

Thanks!

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP
BUDGET RANGE: up to $1200

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, surfing, light encoding

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: monitor, keyboard, mouse, OS (using Windows 7 RC1)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Anything reputable with good prices

PARTS PREFERENCES: See builds below

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: In the future

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1650x1080 - possibly upgrading in the future

Phenom II 955 BE Build:

Case: Not selected (suggestions - I'd like to put some lights and stuff in it eventually) - can be a MAXIMUM of 21" tall, budgeted up to $100 for the case

CPU: AMD Phenom II 955 BE - $245 from the egg

Memory: OCZ Special Ops Urban Elite 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (getting 2 of these for 8gb total - is that overkill?) - $137.98

GPU: SAPPHIRE 100269SR Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $209.99

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives - OEM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $94.99

MoBo: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $109.99

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $99.99
Will this support crossfire of two 4890's in the future?

Drives: 2 LG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache IDE 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $47.98

CPU cooling: Dark Knight - XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail - $41.99

Total System Cost: $1087.91


i7 920 Build:

Case: Not selected (suggestions - I'd like to put some lights and stuff in it eventually) - can be a MAXIMUM of 21" tall, budgeted up to $100 for the case

CPU: i7 920 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $279.99

Memory: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 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... - $166

GPU: SAPPHIRE 100269SR Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $209.99

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives - OEM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $94.99

MoBo: GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $184.99

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $99.99
Will this support crossfire of two 4890's in the future?

Drives: 2 LG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache IDE 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $47.98

CPU cooling: Dark Knight - XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail - $41.99

Total System Cost: $1221.92 - Just over my price range, but I can spend the extra $20.
May 28, 2009 2:54:20 PM

First thing to note is the Memory and MOBO are incomptable for the first build. DDR3 ram can not be used in a DDR2 board.
OCZ 4gb - a good replacement

For the second build i'd reconsider your ram choice there as well. Unless you plan on overclocking past 4ghz, you won't really utlize what the dominators were built for.
Same preformance but cheaper:
OCZ gold 3x2gb
or even better:
OCZ Platuim 3x2gb


Solid gamer's case with some lighting:
Antec 900 - Very good cooling preformance for air cooled rigs
May 28, 2009 3:20:22 PM

Thanks, kubes - any comments on the rest of the build - and which one you would choose?

Also, should I get a different board to take advantage of DDR3?

I'm leaning towards this ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I also don't want to mess around with having to flash the BIOS to get it to recognize the 955 (I'd have to get a compatible chip to boot the machine to flash anyways, right?). So my board must recognize the 955 out of the box since I don't have any spare CPUs lying around.

I'm guessing both builds would excel for my intended use, it's just been so long since I purchased a new rig (I'm running a Pentium 4 system and my Radeon 9800 broke and I figured it was time to join the 21st century).

I've read that the i7 is good for multimedia editing etc. and almost even with the Phenom in gaming (at least it comes down to the GPU as both are more than enough). So I'm hoping the system lasts 3-4 years or so, and maybe I'll toss in another 4890 in the future if I need to.
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May 28, 2009 4:26:52 PM

Overall the i7 is a better processor in my opipion. The 955 is targeted more for a gamers build, but i would not say it surpasses the i7. It'd be more on pair with it.

I would Not recommended going with ddr3 unless its an i7 build. Its a very small preformance increase compaired to the increase in price. I'd say go with the ddr2 ram. Its cheaper and ussualy safer since the voltages are ussualy lower.

When it comes to flashing bios's its much much safer to do so now a days. Some boards come with two bios's so if you mess one up you can revert it back to a working state. Still, none the less, this is something that isn't 100% safe. There is a slight change of failure which could result in badness. I also seen if anyone was having problems with needing to do a bios flash before installing the 955 and was unable to find any for the gigabyte board. I'm fairly confident it should work out of the box.

Other than that and the comments i made above about parts to get (case memory ect...), you seem to have a good psu, and hard drive. So look to be all set to me.
May 28, 2009 7:47:37 PM

kubes said:
Overall the i7 is a better processor in my opipion. The 955 is targeted more for a gamers build, but i would not say it surpasses the i7. It'd be more on pair with it.

I would Not recommended going with ddr3 unless its an i7 build. Its a very small preformance increase compaired to the increase in price. I'd say go with the ddr2 ram. Its cheaper and ussualy safer since the voltages are ussualy lower.

When it comes to flashing bios's its much much safer to do so now a days. Some boards come with two bios's so if you mess one up you can revert it back to a working state. Still, none the less, this is something that isn't 100% safe. There is a slight change of failure which could result in badness. I also seen if anyone was having problems with needing to do a bios flash before installing the 955 and was unable to find any for the gigabyte board. I'm fairly confident it should work out of the box.

Other than that and the comments i made above about parts to get (case memory ect...), you seem to have a good psu, and hard drive. So look to be all set to me.



He would be spending at most fifty more dollars for the small increase in performance and potentially have more upgrades in the future. Just get a good am3 790GX motherboard, like this http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

More expensive at newegg http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I cannot say this enough to people, always check http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Home.jsp and http://www.ewiz.com/ when buying from newegg, who can a lot of times be more expensive or not provide free shipping for the same products.

May 29, 2009 2:18:34 AM

:bounce: 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $129.99
COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
New Arrival

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $109.99 ($99.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-EX58U3R Combo Price: $423.99 | w/coupon code: $418.99 Free Shipping
GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R Core i7/ Intel X58/ DDR3/ CrossFireX/ A&GbE/ ATX Motherboard
Intel Core i7 Processor i7-920 2.66GHz 8MB LGA1366 CPU, Retail
Use coupon code: MEMORIAL5 for additonal $5 off.

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... $229.99 ($209.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
SAPPHIRE 100269SR Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire 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... $94.99 Free Shipping*
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives - 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

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: $1,173.90 | $1,143.90 w/mail in rebates

* Or you can go this route and add another later on for SLI....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $234.99 Free Shipping*
XFX GX275XADQC GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 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.tomshardware.com/news/gigabyte-nvidia-sli-mo... <--- <--- Gigabyte: Enable SLI On X58 Boards

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.coolermaster-usa.com/product.php?category_id... <--- more pics, specs, and reviews of the case used in this build

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--- more pics, specs, and customer reviews of that Gigabyte UD4P mobo used in this build
!