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New i7 Gaming PC Budget $1500

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July 20, 2009 9:45:14 PM

I'm a first time builder so any help would be greatly appreciated. Uses: Gaming, Movies, Engineering Software, and Photoshop.

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next week.
Budget Range: 1000-1500 USD
Parts Not Required: Mouse, Monitor, Keyboard, and Speakers
Preferred Website: I'm most familiar with newegg, but any will do
Preferred Parts: None
Overclocking: A little but nothing too demanding SLI/Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 1680 x1050 and above
Additional Comments: I might need to move the computer around quite a bit since I'm currently living at college for half the year and home for the other half, so I'm trying to balance weight, cooling, and strength when looking at cases. Additionally I'm going for a lower key case something not too flashy but is as light and strong as possible.

Current Build:

CPU:
Intel Core i7 l7-920 Quad Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Windows Vista 64-bit

Motherboard:
ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

PSU:
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12v/EPS12V SLI Ready Crossfire Ready 80 Plus Certified ACtive PFC Compatible with Core i7 power supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card:
eVGA GeForce GTX 275 Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory:
CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3x2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drives:
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640 GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SAta 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Western Digital Caviar SE WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Burner and BluRay Player:
Sony Optiarc Black
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
LG BLack Blu-Ray Reader
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

More about : gaming budget 1500

July 21, 2009 12:15:25 PM

Memory: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The 9-9-9-24 timing of the CORSAIR sucks.

http://www.evga.com/products/moreInfo.asp?pn=121-BL-E75...
Better mobo at a better price with better customer support. BTW, order directly from EVGA's website.

You picked the same optical devices as I did.

Bump that PSU to 850W.

Make sure that you get the upgrade to Win7 option on Vista.

I have one SSD and one HDD but your call. The OCZ Vertex Turbo 30GB runs cool.

I am looking at this post on a Viewsonic 24" HD/DVI Display that I picked up at Costco for $210.

EDIT: I didn't see a CPU cooler. The stock cooler is OK but .... Finally, a PS3 makes an excellent Blu-ray drive.
July 21, 2009 12:55:36 PM

I would suggest this hard drive:
-> This is a high preformance drive and will suit your needs much better than the two you have listed.

I deffiantly don't think you need to bump your PSU up, but if anything you could bump it down. the crosair 750 is overkill already for your rig.
Crosair 650w
I as well to change your ram kit to the one noted above, or this one possibly: Its a bit slower than the OCZ platnium but also a bit cheaper:
OCZ Gold 1600
I would recommend trying to stick with ram that is at least 1600mhz since the i7 is much more memory speed influenced that c2d's and c2q's
" target="_blank"> Heck you could get away with a good 500w supply if u wanted


I'd also add that i think your MB is a good choice. The one MikeJRamsey has linked is a micro one which would be "lighter" but I ussualy would advise people that are building gaming rigs to get a fullsize board.

I as well to change your ram kit to the one noted above, or this one possibly: Its a bit slower than the OCZ platnium but also a bit cheaper: OCZ Gold 1600
I would recommend trying to stick with ram that is at least 1600mhz since the i7 is much more memory speed influenced that c2d's and c2q's
Related resources
July 21, 2009 2:17:35 PM

kubes said:
I would suggest this hard drive:
-> This is a high preformance drive and will suit your needs much better than the two you have listed.

I deffiantly don't think you need to bump your PSU up, but if anything you could bump it down. the crosair 750 is overkill already for your rig.
Crosair 650w
I as well to change your ram kit to the one noted above, or this one possibly: Its a bit slower than the OCZ platnium but also a bit cheaper:
OCZ Gold 1600
I would recommend trying to stick with ram that is at least 1600mhz since the i7 is much more memory speed influenced that c2d's and c2q's" target="_blank"> Heck you could get away with a good 500w supply if u wanted


I'd also add that i think your MB is a good choice. The one MikeJRamsey has linked is a micro one which would be "lighter" but I ussualy would advise people that are building gaming rigs to get a fullsize board.

I as well to change your ram kit to the one noted above, or this one possibly: Its a bit slower than the OCZ platnium but also a bit cheaper: OCZ Gold 1600
I would recommend trying to stick with ram that is at least 1600mhz since the i7 is much more memory speed influenced that c2d's and c2q's


Au contraire.

When I plugged in i7, two GTX 275 cards, two disk drives and mild over clocking, the Corasir power calculator suggested 1000W. That card is a power hog. If anything, I understated the power requirements.

I have to disagree with your characterization of the Micro as well. But each person is welcome to their opinion.

Regarding memory, lower timing is much more important than higher cycle rate. I'll stick by my memory recommendation. In fact, I'll stick by my previous post.
July 21, 2009 3:49:01 PM

ARol3oticF00T said:
Motherboard:
ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like the only difference between the P6T and the P6T SE is the SE's inability to SLI. So if you don't plan on doing that, then the SE would suffice and save you a few bucks.
July 21, 2009 7:11:27 PM

Do you really need a BR player?
July 21, 2009 7:41:10 PM

@drokkon, I think the vanilla version has a few chipset changes and back-of-mobo changes aswell.
July 21, 2009 7:46:55 PM

Thanks for all the help guys!

Ok the Build Take Two:

CPU:
Intel Core i7 l7-920 Quad Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819115202

OS: Windows Vista 64-bit with windows 7 upgrade :) 

Motherboard:
ASUS P6T SE LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Case:
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] r%20rc-690

PSU:
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12v/EPS12V SLI Ready Crossfire Ready 80 Plus Certified ACtive PFC Compatible with Core i7 power supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] MPSU-750TX

Graphics Card:
eVGA GeForce GTX 275 Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814130475

Memory:
OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drives:
OCZ OCZSSD2-1VTX30G 30GB SATA 2 Vertex Series Solid State Drive (Black)
http://www.amazon.com/OCZ-OCZSSD2-1VTX30G-Vertex-Solid-...
Western Digital Caviar SE WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] wd3200AAJS

DVD Burner and BluRay Player:
Sony Optiarc Black
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827118032
LG BLack Blu-Ray Reader
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] x%20bd-rom

Got the cheaper motherboard, then decided to replace the 640GB WD HDD with a 30GB SSD. If I need a lot of memory for any of my projects I'll just buy an external TB or something. I could probably get away with less power, but I might use it in future builds so I'll leave that as it is. I will use the BR player as one of my roomates has a small collection of them I plan on watching. As for the cpu cooler any suggestions?
July 21, 2009 7:50:40 PM

Helloworld_98 said:
@drokkon, I think the vanilla version has a few chipset changes and back-of-mobo changes aswell.


Thanks! It's been a while since I've been in the build world, so I'll need to be kept in check. Since I'm about to buy an SE (and since this guy seems to have modified his build based on my inaccurate recommendation), can you outline the differences between the standard P6T and the SE? Thanks!
July 22, 2009 5:55:59 PM

@MikeJRamsey


MikeJRamsey said:
Au contraire.

When I plugged in i7, two GTX 275 cards, two disk drives and mild over clocking, the Corasir power calculator suggested 1000W. That card is a power hog. If anything, I understated the power requirements. .


This isn't what his rig is. First he reported no on sli/cf....so that's a big wattage hitter gone. I recommended only one hard drive solution so that's a second hard drive to go bye bye. And its a well known fact that the recommendation for these caculators way over estimate what is actually required to power the rig.

MikeJRamsey said:

I have to disagree with your characterization of the Micro as well. But each person is welcome to their opinion.

Since this is a gaming rig, going with a micro board you'll be losing most likely pci slots extra ect... and copper needed to help with cooling (NB, SB, and Mosfits). Ussualy when dealing with gaming rigs they produce a lot more heat.

MikeJRamsey said:

Regarding memory, lower timing is much more important than higher cycle rate. I'll stick by my memory recommendation. In fact, I'll stick by my previous post.

I agree with this. I was never refuting the choice of ram you picked but offering a simlar kit but a bit cheaper. The reason why i recommended 1600mhz is he does plan on overclocking and this will help him get to 4ghz. It'll make it so he doesn't have to overclock his ram. Ontop of this with the i7 memory controler built in on the chip it does slightly increase the preformance over 1333mhz ram in general anyways.

Just my view on your recommendations and to justify the ones I did make.
July 23, 2009 1:15:09 AM

kubes said:
@MikeJRamsey




This isn't what his rig is. First he reported no on sli/cf....so that's a big wattage hitter gone. I recommended only one hard drive solution so that's a second hard drive to go bye bye. And its a well known fact that the recommendation for these caculators way over estimate what is actually required to power the rig.


Since this is a gaming rig, going with a micro board you'll be losing most likely pci slots extra ect... and copper needed to help with cooling (NB, SB, and Mosfits). Ussualy when dealing with gaming rigs they produce a lot more heat.


I agree with this. I was never refuting the choice of ram you picked but offering a simlar kit but a bit cheaper. The reason why i recommended 1600mhz is he does plan on overclocking and this will help him get to 4ghz. It'll make it so he doesn't have to overclock his ram. Ontop of this with the i7 memory controler built in on the chip it does slightly increase the preformance over 1333mhz ram in general anyways.

Just my view on your recommendations and to justify the ones I did make.


OK. I can see your point of view. Let me explain mine.

1. A case should last through three builds. PSU's carry 7+ year warranties. Therefore, my thought is to configure your PSU for the future.

2. He may not want to SLI today, but why shut the door?

3. About the micro, the only thing that you sacrifice is a 3rd PCIe 2.0 slot. The rest is similar to the high end EVGA Classified mobo. The micro comes with 100% solid state capacitors; this board is designed to last. Cooling options are the same as the high end Classified board. I bought mosfet coolers for mine to stick on the hot spots not covered by the NB and CPU coolers. These are the same hotspots as the high end classified board. The Micro supports 2X SLI (remember that future we talked about?).
Also consider that you don't want to drive a PSU at its rated power for two reasons. First, it gets hot! Second, about 20% gets lost as heat.

Bottom line, with the Micro you are getting the classified board minus a PCIe 2.0 slot.

A 750W PSU will limit you to two GTX 250 cards. If you ever want to go SLI with a more powerful card you will need at least a 850w PSU. I am thinking three years down the line on this one. Other folks are free to take a different view. Just explaining my recommendation. :) 

EDIT: One more thing. A second HHD gives you a backup (not RAID) option. This protects you from a single point of failure on the primary drive. It doesn't help you if your house burns down. For that you need off-site storage, either an online service or burn to say, double or quad layer blu-ray that you then store the discs at work, parents, girl friend, safety deposit box, ... you get the idea.
July 23, 2009 11:45:29 AM

Agree with MikeJRamsey. why shut the door? .... When I moved to uni leaving my desktop behind and bought my first laptop i never even intended to GAME - cant believe that.... Anyway, I hear the P6T SE can be cross-flashed with P6T BIOS to get SLI support. Asus saves on the licensing fees of the board by not having SLI on it 'officially', but cross flashing should give it to you cos its virtually the same board as the P6T.

Why not give the X58M a look see? I've seen benchmarks of it pwning much more expensive boards like the Asus Rampage II Gene: http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3568&p=6

it's also a bit cheaper than the P6T SE even and comes with SLI with a simple BIOS update (no crossflashing required.)

have fun kids, ciao
!