~$1000 i7 build

Quote:
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Around mid-August
BUDGET RANGE:~USD1000 give or take ~150
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
3DS Max workstation with a healthy side of gaming
PARTS NOT REQUIRED:
hard drive, optical drives (reusing from current build)
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:
Newegg
PARTS PREFERENCES:
Don't mind paying for reliability
OVERCLOCKING:
Planning on a pretty modest OC - probably as far as the stock HSF will take me
SLI OR CROSSFIRE:
Maybe - see below
MONITOR RESOLUTION:
19" 1280x1024 and a 32" 720p HDTV I run games on


Hi. It's been 4 years since my last build, and I want to upgrade. I'll be reusing my current optical drives and hard drives (2 of each), so I just need the guts. Here's what I have picked out so far:
Core i7 920
Asus P6T mobo
BFG GTX 275
BFG MX 680 psu
GSKILL 6gb ddr3 1600
NZXT full tower case

Assuming everything above is good to go, I'm torn on a couple things. First, I don't know whether to try and support SLI with my psu. I run games on a pretty low resolution (32" 720p hdtv) so I think I can get by with a 550w and save like $40 if I don't, and to really support SLI I should probably get like what, 750w? To further complicate things, I was planning on trying to use my leftover 8800gt as a physx card cause it's free... until you factor in power usage. If I want to futureproof enough for 2 gtx275s and an 8800gt , what kind of power reqs am I looking at? I couldn't really find a straight answer anywhere I looked. I'm aware that two GTX275s is overkill for current gen games at 1360x768, so all of this is with futureproofing in mind. Recommendations on whether a physx card is worth it are also welcome.

Regarding the card itself, I was told a GTX260 was all I needed for 720p, so I took that to mean a 275 would provide ample futureproofing. Y/N?

Last, a friend recommended I wait for i5 instead of jumping on i7. Apparently socket 1366 is going to be discontinued as far as normal consumer use is concerned and intel is planning on releasing super expensive workstation chips for it? I guess my question is - will the i5 line have an equivalent to the i7 920 at a lower price? I'm not really worried about buying into a dead socket cause I don't think I'll want to upgrade soon enough to it to matter.

The only parts I'm more or less set on are the i7, mobo, and graphics card. Everything else is still in play as far as I'm concerned. I only spent like 5 mins looking for a case, so I might change that up before I order.

Thanks for any help.
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  1. For that budget, an i7 build will be useless and you will see no real benefit.

    Single video card configuration, go with AMD.

    Crossfire configuration, go with AMD.

    SLI configuration, go with Intel.

    It's been shown that with anything else than, at least, 2 GTX 260 or 2 GTX 275, and i7 platform show no real benefit.

    Look at Hard OCP and tomshardware article on that matter. 5 more fps, in my opinion, doesn't worth the minimal 300$ extra.

    Get better overall hardwares with the same money.

    Check both result... if you don't put more than 400$ on video cards, AMD is clearly the better choice especially on a budget.

    With a 260GTX

    http:http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-x4-955,2278.html

    With a Radeon 2X4870

    http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTY0NCwsLGhlbnRodXNpYXN0
  2. If you don't plan on using SLI, or heavy overclocking, you can save roughly $50 by getting the ASUS P6T SE. It's the same board minus the SLI support... just a thought.

    The GTX 275 is fairly future-proof relatively speaking.

    As far as the i7 vs i5 thing is concerned... I haven't heard any news like that, and unless your friend can cite some reputable sources, I wouldn't believe it... Last I heard, Intel announced 3 different lines of chips... i7 for high-end computing, i5 for general computing, and i3 for low-end computing. Whether this confirms or contradicts your friend is anyone's guess.

    If you don't care if your PSU is modular, save some money, and grab a super-reliable Corsair 650TX.

    The case looks pretty sweet in the pics, but I have a feeling it will be mostly cheap plastic. I'd check out some reviews, or if you can, inspect one in person before buying one.
  3. redgarl said:
    It's been shown that with anything else than, at least, 2 GTX 260 or 2 GTX 275, and i7 platform show no real benefit.

    Thanks for the reply and advice, but keep in mind that a) The primary reason I'm upgrading is for better performance rendering scenes in 3ds max and b) 2 gtx2xx cards in sli is overkill by all accounts for gaming in 1366x768. Let me know if you disagree.

    All of the benchmarks I've seen put the i7 920 far and away above AMD's best offerings for applications that scale in a linear manner ala 3ds max. If you have some evidence to the contrary I'd gladly take a look at it.

    @kufan: Thanks for the thoughts - I thought about the SE, but I'd like the option of SLI farther down the line I think.
  4. veyron said:
    Thanks for the reply and advice, but keep in mind that a) The primary reason I'm upgrading is for better performance rendering scenes in 3ds max and b) 2 gtx2xx cards in sli is overkill by all accounts for gaming in 1366x768. Let me know if you disagree.

    All of the benchmarks I've seen put the i7 920 far and away above AMD's best offerings for applications that scale in a linear manner ala 3ds max. If you have some evidence to the contrary I'd gladly take a look at it.

    @kufan: Thanks for the thoughts - I thought about the SE, but I'd like the option of SLI farther down the line I think.


    So you got an HDTV 720p... in that case, get a cheap Core 2 Quad. Anyway you can't get more than 60 Hz refreshing due to your TV limits and anything can be maxed out at that resolution with a single 9800 GTX+.

    Core i7 chips are made for 1080p or 1920X1200 resolution and higher. If you don't plan to play at these resolutions you are throwing your money out of the window.

    Check on Kijiji, you could find an interesting deal for a cheap price that could fulfill your need for now until you are ready to make the big move.

    As for AMD performance, what I check as a tech is the price performance ratio... right now when considering cpu, memory and motherboard, AMD offer the best deal for budget below 1500$.
  5. redgarl said:
    So you got an HDTV 720p... in that case, get a cheap Core 2 Quad. Anyway you can't get more than 60 Hz refreshing due to your TV limits and anything can be maxed out at that resolution with a single 9800 GTX+.

    Core i7 chips are made for 1080p or 1920X1200 resolution and higher. If you don't plan to play at these resolutions you are throwing your money out of the window.

    I'm really struggling as to how to put this more clearly than I already have. I chose i7 because of its performance in productivity applications. I don't know, maybe you think 3ds max is a game or something? (It's a 3D content creation and rendering package if you honestly didn't know.) There's a huge difference in application performance between the Core 2 Quads and the i7, which is why I'm spending money on the i7.

    Just for emphasis, this was in the top part of my first post:
    Quote:
    SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: 3DS Max workstation with a healthy side of gaming


    I understand that current gen games would be easily maxed out on a lesser card at 720p, but I'm shelling out for the 275 because I'm a fan of eye candy and I like keeping up with the latest graphics tech in games... including those that'll be coming out in the next year or 2.

    I appreciate the replies and advice, but I'd welcome a little reading comprehension.
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