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Looking for advice on a build, $1200-$1300

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June 19, 2009 3:29:41 PM

Hey Everybody,

One of my good friends is wanting a new computer for about $1200-$1300, and he's asked me to do the work for him. This definitely isn't my first build, but it will be my first Core i7 build. While that doesn't concern me, the proper GPU selection does. He uses a pretty large Hanns G LCD, either a 26 inch or 28 inch. Currently, he is using a very outdated 7900GTX, so pretty much anything will be a good upgrade from that (and the Athlon X2 4600 its coupled with). I just don't know how much memory his video card is going to need. I'm leaning toward a 4850 X2, but I'm not sure if he should get the 1GB model or the 2GB model.

Here's what I'm planning on putting into the build.

CPU: Core i7 920
Motherboard: Gigabyte EX58-UD4P (odds are very, very slim of using something else; I'm a fan of Gigabyte boards, they've never given me any problems)
RAM: OCZ Platinum DDR3-1600 6GB Kit
Case: NZXT Tempest or Antec 900, depending on price at the time
PSU: PC Power & Cooling 750W or Corsair 750TX, depending on price
Hard Disk: Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB
Heatsink: Xigmatek S1283v Dark Knight
Optical Drive: whatever's running about $25 at the time and in stock; not going for blu-ray yet.
GPU: Sapphire 4850 X2 1GB or 2GB
Total price: Roughly $1260 (after combo deals are thrown in)

He already has everything else, including Windows. He's been using XP, but he's planning on upgrading to Windows 7 shortly after it's released, and he's not comfortable installing RAM (or anything else) in his tower. That's why we're going with 6GB now instead of 3GB. And I probably will be overclocking a bit, which is why I added the Xigmatek cooler (that, and I've heard the stock Intel fan is terrible).

So...do you guys think 1GB or 2GB on a 4850 X2 for a 28" monitor? Or should I look at something completely different? I'm trying to avoid Nvidia right now; AMD just seems like the better price/performance choice. And please ignore rebates; the deal we have worked out is that I build the computer for him, and keep the rebates as part of the payment. Therefore, they do not play a factor in the price. I appreciate the help. And as for a timeframe, this computer will be built sometime within the next month or so. I'm only home from college until mid-August, so anything that might be coming out after July plays no factor in this.

More about : advice build 1200 1300

June 19, 2009 3:43:42 PM

Alot can change in 4 weeks, I would ask for advice closer to its purchase date. I personally would go with a strong single gpu now (4890) then he can crossfire later, but this may change in 4 weeks depending on prices.

Also with falling prices, crossfire 4870 1gb, is coming close to the cost of a 4850 x2 2gb.
June 19, 2009 4:26:00 PM

I thought about going the 4890 route, but neither of us know anyone else around this area we'd actually trust with our computers. And as I mentioned, he's not comfortable installing anything in his computer himself. So for the most part, whatever we do initially will probably be how the computer stays for a few years.

And I've definitely been watching 4870 prices, I'm hoping they'll keep falling. The main reason I posted this now is that we could be ordering parts as soon as next week.
Related resources
June 19, 2009 5:54:40 PM

i7 w/dual gtx 275's in SLI.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product... $109.99 ($79.99 after MIR) Free Shipping
PC Power and Cooling SILENCER 750W QUAD S75CF Power Supply Retail

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-EX58U4P Combo Price: $492.99 Free Shipping
GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD4P Core i7/ Intel X58/ DDR3/ CorssFireX & 3-Way SLI/ A&GbE/ ATX Motherboard
Intel Core i7 Processor i7-920 2.66GHz 8MB LGA1366 CPU, Retail

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... $4.99
Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $199.99 Free Shipping*
PNY VCGGTX275XPB 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... $199.99 Free Shipping*
PNY VCGGTX275XPB GeForce GTX 275 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: -$7.00 Combo Price: $162.98 $20.00 Mail-In Rebate
OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK - Retail
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $24.99
SAMSUNG 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 SATA 22X DVD Burner - OEM

Total: $1,315.90 | $1,265.91 w/mail in rebates

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dd353205.... <--- Save yourself some money on an o/s until March 2010 and dl the 64 bit version of Windows RC 7

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-sli,229... <--- gtx 275's in SLI > gtx 295
June 19, 2009 6:22:33 PM

I'd stick with the 4850X2 2GB, myself.
June 19, 2009 6:38:15 PM

I should have added this in the first place, but I didn't think about it. He's placing the order on Newegg, and doesn't want to use any other sources. I know that it may not be the best method and prices might be cheaper at other sites, but that's just a specification that has to be dealt with. Also, the closer to $1200 we can keep this, the better.

@Why_Me: I'm planning on avoiding Nvidia GPUs this time around, as I stated above. Also, the OCZ Platinum set I picked has tighter timings, which is why I picked it.
June 19, 2009 6:43:47 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... <--- that's the OCZ platinum and HD combo

Too bad your friend is limiting all his shopping to newegg when he's on a budget like he has. Sometimes those budgets can make or break a good build in regards to shopping around and saving money for adding better components.
June 19, 2009 7:20:07 PM

Why_Me said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... <--- that's the OCZ platinum and HD combo

Too bad your friend is limiting all his shopping to newegg when he's on a budget like he has. Sometimes those budgets can make or break a good build in regards to shopping around and saving money for adding better components.

I agree with you wholeheartedly on that. Thanks for the combo link, I appreciate it. I'm hoping I'll be able to convince him to order at least a few things this weekend, especially with Newegg having their 10% off hard drives thing going on until Monday.
June 19, 2009 7:23:00 PM

smithereen said:
I'd stick with the 4850X2 2GB, myself.

I'm thinking that's the most likely option right now. Also, I happened to notice your sig. At least you got your 5000+ over 3GHz. My 1st revision M2N-SLI Deluxe won't let me go over 2.7 w/o a BSOD every couple hours.
June 20, 2009 1:06:54 AM

Dude, that must suck. I'd really like to know how fast mine really can go, though.
June 20, 2009 2:42:44 AM

Well, I think I might be switching out the 4850 X2 to a pair of 4870 1GB cards. After I found a pair of XFX 4870s for $150 each, it's hard to pass that up. I'm going to try and find some way to work them in hopefully.
June 20, 2009 9:09:32 AM

Your initial choices are great. But I would 100% grab two 4870's instead of the 4850x2. I'm just not comfortable running a card that only one company makes, it begs too many questions.
June 20, 2009 7:58:32 PM

antec 900 is a great case and i have a similar system with a antec 900, i7 920, xigmatek dark knight, and a evga 58x board.

the one problem i faced, is that you can't but a dark knight cooler in horizontally into the antec 900 case the cooler is to big. you have to install it vertically so the CPU fan blows out the top. but be sure the dark knight will fit in the motherboard when it's mounted vertically. in my evga board it was an extremely tight fit. my dark knight fins are actually touching the vreg heatsink fins. but if it can fit i would totally recommend the dark knight in the antec 900 i have no regrets about mine

with the i7 920 i got mine to 4.6ghz with turbo, 4.4ghz stable and my core temps never passed 74c.
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