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Need FeedBack On A Gaming Build < $1,000

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June 22, 2009 5:33:52 PM

Alright, So I have a beasltly core-I7 desktop @ home thats more like a server.. but anyways, I work at a community college, have a co-worker looking for a new computer, I find cyberpowerpc to be the cheapest around w/ the most customization possibilities.

Please review my build, tell me where my bottle necks are, is there anything you see that you would think is worth just getting that little upgrade?

This is a family mans computer, his kids play games, he watches video's a lot, so it needs to be reliable and perform well.

I first built this using their core 7 config, and it came out to like 1300, so after customizing every model they have, i found one I can get identical to what I want for $965, $1,020 w/ shipping

I spoke to him about over clocking briefly, He prolly will have me overclock it for him to 4.0 ghz, which should be no prob, my mid tower w/ 12gb ram and 2 9800 gtx+ 1gb is clocked @ 4 ghz w/ asetek liquid.

Case - AZZA Solano 1000 Full-Tower Advance Cooling Case w/ Dual 230mm Fan + Extra 3 Fans 420 Watts
CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-920 2.66 GHz 8M L3 Cache LGA1366
CD: Sony 20X Double Layer Dual Format DVD+-R/+-RW + CD-R/RW Drive
CARE: Professional Wiring for All WIRING Inside The System Chasis with High Perormance Thermal ...........Compound
FAN: Asetek Liquid CPU Cooling System
HDD: Single Hard Drive (500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD)
MOTHERBOARD: Asus P6T SE Intel X58 Chipset CrossFireX Mainboard Triple-Channel DDR3/1600
MEMORY: 3GB (1GBx3) DDR3/1800MHz Triple Channel Memory Module
NETWORK: Onboard Gigabit LAN Network
POWERSUPPLY: 680 Watts Power Supplies
VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 512MB 16X PCI Express
WNC: PCI Wireless 802.11g 54Mbps Network Interface Card

Here's a few questions / components I've been debating on. First are formost, I reccomended a full tower, I used a mid tower and It just doesn't offer the cooling I'd like, But seeing as this only has 1 vid card, and 3gb of ram, possible 6, It may pass okay on a mid tower, which would save me prolly $100 or so

For ram, whats better in your opinion, 6gb of 1600 mhz, or 3gb of 1800 mhz, for a tower, do you think I can get by w/ a cheaper mid-tower, or should i stick w/ this full tower.

think that one video card will suffice to play most games on decent graphics with out much problems?
Does the asus p6t match up w/ the other components

Does power supply? even if I overclock to 4.0 ghz?
Enough cooling? even if i OC to 4.0 ghz?

any input, greatly appreciated. I'm not at all computer illiterate, I just am intelligent, and know there's many more people smarter than I am who I could greatly benefit from absorbing their input.


Thanks!
June 22, 2009 5:42:39 PM

I'd go with the 6 gigs, though it's likely he won't ever use it all. Even gaming doesn't usually burn through more than 4.

You should change the HDD to a 640 or 1tb to take advantage of the improved platter density (if WD) or if it's one of the new seagates, it's fine. (Not sure if it tells you on there)

That's a lot of computer with a pretty weak graphics card. You may be better off moving some money around and beefing up the GPU if gaming is the main goal.

What monitor/res does he use/play at?

OC-ing to 4.0ghz will cause that box to turn into a mighty fine space heater. Watch yourself ;) 

Also, a well ventilated mid-tower can run that system. Antec 900 or CM 690 are good choices as well.
June 22, 2009 5:58:23 PM

Yes, I'm speaking w/ their online support. He's convinced me to pay $34 to upgrade from 3gb 1800 to 6gb 1600.

As for the card, I'm not sure how into gaming he is. But lets use World of Warcraft as a reference - Will he be able to run it on medium graphics and not have it be super choppy, or take forever to load orgrimmar?

It's a multi-purpose PC I believe for his family. His main thing he talked to me bout was how well will it show you tube videos? I have two nvidea 9800 gtx + 1gb cards, and I can run any games I play @ high resolution n maxed graphics w/ no problems. Its a space heater w/ two 1tb sata's, 12gb pc1333, but it rocks. It's on an apevia mid tower
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June 22, 2009 6:01:26 PM

First of all, I highly recommend you build the computer yourself, or he build it as you will save money, learn a lot about your PC, and have a wider variety of parts to chose from. All the components you are buying come with warranties.

You don't need a Full tower, there are plenty mid tower cases with excellent cooling and plenty of space, such as the CM-690 or Storm Scout. They could handle 2 GPU's fine.

3gb vs 6gb will produce the same amount of heat, it just depends on how many modules you have in the case. Get 6gb, 3 dimms of DDR3-1600mhz ram.

The P6T SE is a Crossfire only motherboard, so you should go with an ATI GPU to allow for the upgrade to a second GPU later. If you want Nvidia, then go for a P6T Vanilla or if you can't afford that then the Gigabyte UD3R or UD4P if you can find a good deal.

Don't just get a no name PSU. Wattage isn't really that important when considering a PSU. The Amperage available on the 12v rail and the build quality is much more important. Get a Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, Seasonic, Enermax, Antec, or OCZ power supply, as they tend to be the best build quality. If you just go cheap on a PSU, you are risking the entire PC when it fails. Overclocking puts a lot of stress on the PSU and you want a Good PSU that has some decent Voltage regulation on it so you don't end up frying your components. www.jonnyguru.com is a good place to look for PSU reviews. If you would crossfire or SLI later with a 4850 or GTS 250, then look at a ~600w PSU from those manufacturers.

The Astek LCS isn't that great, a decent air cooler like the Xigmatek S1283V DK or Scythe Mugen 2 are going to be better and cheaper. You need to spend about $150+ on a LCS for it to be substantially better than air cooling.

4ghz is a high OC, and not guaranteed, especially if you get a C0 stepping chip. On a D0 stepping, you can probably count on it. However the amount of voltage and heat produced at those levels is very high for a minimal performance gain. 3.6-3.8ghz is the sweet spot for the i7 for the best performance/watt, depending on what chip you get. THG has an article on this.
June 22, 2009 6:03:55 PM

The WoW game will not even effect a 9600gt with choppy-ness.

Only thing you'll get the lag from is from connection of other people around you and how many people are in 1 area.

June 22, 2009 6:05:09 PM

ascendancy1 said:
Yes, I'm speaking w/ their online support. He's convinced me to pay $34 to upgrade from 3gb 1800 to 6gb 1600.

As for the card, I'm not sure how into gaming he is. But lets use World of Warcraft as a reference - Will he be able to run it on medium graphics and not have it be super choppy, or take forever to load orgrimmar?

It's a multi-purpose PC I believe for his family. His main thing he talked to me bout was how well will it show you tube videos? I have two nvidea 9800 gtx + 1gb cards, and I can run any games I play @ high resolution n maxed graphics w/ no problems. Its a space heater w/ two 1tb sata's, 12gb pc1333, but it rocks. It's on an apevia mid tower

You won't see any difference in performance with the 1800mhz ram.

WoW is one of the least graphically intensive games out there, a GTS 250 would play it fine. Youtube videos don't require a discrete GPU, onboard graphics would be enough to run youtube flawlessly.
June 22, 2009 6:10:23 PM

On a totally side note, Kid, I saw someone on facebook with your avatar. Wasn't you though...

Do you think he could go with a Core 2 Duo/quad, save some money, and still be just as satisfied?
June 22, 2009 6:16:44 PM

techwizard08 said:
On a totally side note, Kid, I saw someone on facebook with your avatar. Wasn't you though...

Do you think he could go with a Core 2 Duo/quad, save some money, and still be just as satisfied?

I was actually thinking that PII X3 720 would be a better match for this person. In gaming, it will perform just fine, 60% of the people who play WoW have 3 year old PC's that would be blown away by an X3 system. He doesn't do any of the things that the i7 excels a like video editing or media file conversion or anything of that nature, so I see no reason for the i7 system other than bragging rights. The i7 overclocked doesn't perform much better than a Core 2 or Phenom II system that has been overclocked.

I think the i7 is a waste of money here.
June 22, 2009 6:16:48 PM

i7 is a big deal for a computer, powerful in all places when used correctly.

The i7 isnt needed in this but, if you want the beast, it's your money but, an E8500 can oc to 4.0ghz with a little bit of a nudge. Sure the upgrade wont be avaliable in that area but, it will last you quite a while.
June 22, 2009 6:18:50 PM

xthekidx said:
I was actually thinking that PII X3 720 would be a better match for this person. In gaming, it will perform just fine, 60% of the people who play WoW have 3 year old PC's that would be blown away by an X3 system. He doesn't do any of the things that the i7 excels a like video editing or media file conversion or anything of that nature, so I see no reason for the i7 system other than bragging rights. The i7 overclocked doesn't perform much better than a Core 2 or Phenom II system that has been overclocked.

I think the i7 is a waste of money here.


I agree with you as far as the money being underutilized. As far as the phenom, I'll be the first to admit I haven't touched one in years, but I know the X3's are popular for mid-budget gaming.
June 22, 2009 10:55:20 PM

the entire build w/ shipping is like $950

I can't really argue with that. It's not even a gaming computer per say, my co-worker just wants a multi-purpose good solid machine for his family. he watches you tube, kids play games, burns cd's etc.

i told him a core 7 is a machine that can run anti virus, auto updates, a game, e-mail, and multi-task it to hell with everything running smoothly, which is how my core 7 runs.

so he's happy to have a core 7 w/ 6gb of 1600 mhz, and a decent card for under a g.

is this card better than a 9800 gtx+ 1gb?
June 23, 2009 1:10:11 AM

First off you have no mention of an OS. Vista 64-bit or what?

Secondly for liquid cooling the Antec 1200 is anice case and designed around liquid cooling. That liquid cooler is no good and an air cooler is better and cheaper. The Xigmatech or sunbeam core contact cooler are better and only $30.

With air cooling you can get away with a cheaper case like the Antec 900.

Get yourself a good Power Supply. An Antec, Corsair, PC Power and Cooling, Silverstone, etc...

Definitely 6GB.

Go to toms hardware and read up on the best video cards for the money. Choose using that as a guide.

Consider an AMD Phenom II X4? It's cheaper and just as good for a family multi purpose computer. Faster for games. I7 is more expensive and reserved for people like us who tinker, build our own systems, and know what we're buying.

Get a 1000GB hard drive. It's almost the same price as a 500GB.
June 23, 2009 5:53:28 AM

I think Phenom II X3 720 or X4 940 are better options for this build. The i7 is going to be wasted on this person's needs. Save the $200 extra for a nice big monitor or something, or better GPU for gaming.
June 23, 2009 5:58:50 PM

May i ask. why does this person fill the need to OC to 4.0ghz? For the things you point out him doing, he should only need about a 3.5 and you can easily put that on air so you wont need to run water cooling. Water can be a pain having to watch for leaks and such.

If going for i7, get a nice cheap gigabyte ud3r x58 board or the asus p6t combo with i7 920, since you mentioned games like WoW, the 4770 will be fine or a 4850.

fast timed CL ram such as the platinums OCZ 3x2gb will be good for you.

a nice 640gb wd black hdd, cooling wise, the s1283v or the scythe mugen 2.

just some simple things, im sure it will be around 1000k but not way over.
!