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$1700 (or so) small-form-factor gaming PC: First build

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Yes, but will it play Crysis?

Total: 3 votes (1 blank vote)

  • Enthusiast settings, 2x AA, 1650x1080, 30 FPS? Sure.
  • 100 %
  • Enthusiast settings, 2x AA, 1650x1080, 30 FPS? Not likely.
  • 0 %
July 22, 2009 3:36:56 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Aug 09 - Oct 09
BUDGET RANGE: $1700 (or so)
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Adobe Creative Suite, Crysis, Blu-ray, minimal MIDI recording, web surfing, school work

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Speakers, subwoofer
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, ncix.com, amazon.com

PARTS PREFERENCES:
LIAN LI V350B MicroATX Case Here
Intel Core i7 920 Processor Here
EVGA Intel X58 MicroATX SLI Motherboard Here
6GB OCZ DDR 1600mhz RAM Here
Sapphire Radeon HD4890 Vapor-X 1GB Here
Silverstone ST70F 700W Modular PSU Here
Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB 7200 RPM Drive Here
Case Fans?
LG Black 8X BD-ROM Internal Drive Here
CPU Heatsink?
Samsung 2333SW 23" Widescreen LCD Monitor Here
Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders (OEM) Here

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, but probably not.
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe, but probably not yet.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: (1) I would prefer a quieter PC, but I am not overly concerned about it. (2) It will need to fit in a 14" x 14" cubby, open in the front and back. (3) Aesthetics are a concern. (4) My main gaming objective is Crysis; 1650x1080; Enthusiast; 30 FPS.

Any suggestions or concerns? Please grace me with your infinite wisdom.
July 22, 2009 3:55:56 PM

My only complaint would be that the MSI X58M would be a better mobo for a lot cheaper.

otherwise no complaints although the case probably isn't the best.
July 22, 2009 4:12:55 PM

Good build for Aug 09... bad build for Oct 09 with the DX11 cards coming out and Core i5's (out or close to coming out... I haven't found a confirmed date for their release).
Related resources
July 22, 2009 4:15:19 PM

^ DX11 cards come out late September and the first consumer LGA1156 cpu's come out on September 6th.
July 22, 2009 4:21:44 PM

Helloworld_98 said:
My only complaint would be that the MSI X58M would be a better mobo for a lot cheaper.

otherwise no complaints although the case probably isn't the best.


Thanks, helloworld. It never ceases to amaze me that knowledgeable people are so willing to offer their time to forums like this. Much appreciated!

To your point re: MSI X58M, I do see that it's cheaper, but why do you say it's a better motherboard? I went with the EVGA for its CF and SLI capability, along with obvious size and performance (i7) compatibility with an SFF case. Reviews were quite glowing, whereas heat issues seem to be a concern with the MSI board. If the MSI is a better choice, I would certainly make the switch. Just wondering.

Also, do you have concerns about this Silverstone case in particular, or do you have a distaste for small-form-factor in general? I understand many gamers tend to dislike small cases, but I feel it's best for my situation. If you know of a better case, please do let me know!

Thanks again for your input.
July 22, 2009 4:28:22 PM

tecmo34 said:
Good build for Aug 09... bad build for Oct 09 with the DX11 cards coming out and Core i5's (out or close to coming out... I haven't found a confirmed date for their release).


Thanks tecmo! Hehe, I see I've got a very small window.

I appreciate your feedback on the build. I have read a little bit about the upcoming DX11 and Core i5's. I don't have a complete understanding at all, but as I read it, DX11 will be slightly "guinea-pig-ish" for a while, as game developers catch up to the technology. I tend not to be on the bleeding edge of technology, anyway, but does this have ramifications for the price point on the i7 or HD4890?

I might be misunderstanding your point, so I do apologize. But maybe I should just hurry and build it, and then everyone wins! ;) 
July 22, 2009 4:33:49 PM

TheQuestian said:
Thanks tecmo! Hehe, I see I've got a very small window.

I appreciate your feedback on the build. I have read a little bit about the upcoming DX11 and Core i5's. I don't have a complete understanding at all, but as I read it, DX11 will be slightly "guinea-pig-ish" for a while, as game developers catch up to the technology. I tend not to be on the bleeding edge of technology, anyway, but does this have ramifications for the price point on the i7 or HD4890?

I might be misunderstanding your point, so I do apologize. But maybe I should just hurry and build it, and then everyone wins! ;) 

When the DX11 cards come out, the HD4890 will start dropping in price. If you are on the bleeding edge of technology... then you are good to go!
July 22, 2009 4:37:09 PM

well the X58M is just a cheaper R2G or the board you listed, and don't forget the EVGA board was only just released whereas the X58M has been out for a few months now so there is more time for bad batches and problems to come out.

I prefer the SFF, TBH I would love a mini-ITX gaming PC ( and you can get them, they just cost a tad too much for my liking).

My problem with that case is that the PSU is seated right above the CPU, giving little space for the cooler.
July 22, 2009 4:38:13 PM

tecmo34 said:
When the DX11 cards come out, the HD4890 will start dropping in price. If you are on the bleeding edge of technology... then you are good to go!


Ah, I see what you're saying. Does this mean I have to be patient!? :D 

So, if it should come to an October build, what do you recommend? Should I build a different system, or just not build in October?

*Scrambles to find some way to build before October*
July 22, 2009 4:42:49 PM

TheQuestian said:
Ah, I see what you're saying. Does this mean I have to be patient!? :D 

So, if it should come to an October build, what do you recommend? Should I build a different system, or just not build in October?

*Scrambles to find some way to build before October*

By all means... I support you building before October!! I always say build now... I'm not one for waiting!! :D 

At the same time, waiting till October at this point might give you more options for better pricing (cheaper) and at the same time increasing your performance. I think you will be happy either way you go with your build!!
July 22, 2009 4:48:58 PM

Helloworld_98 said:
well the X58M is just a cheaper R2G or the board you listed, and don't forget the EVGA board was only just released whereas the X58M has been out for a few months now so there is more time for bad batches and problems to come out.

I prefer the SFF, TBH I would love a mini-ITX gaming PC ( and you can get them, they just cost a tad too much for my liking).

My problem with that case is that the PSU is seated right above the CPU, giving little space for the cooler.


Really good points. It is true that the EVGA just came out, and there has been less time for feedback. But that also makes me think that they may have spent a little extra time avoiding the missteps made by MSI. No way to tell, yet, of course. Definitely something to think about, tho.

Re: cooling, the case is somewhat restrictive with its heatsink height requirement, but the Low-7000 seems to be just the ticket. I will admit, though, that aesthetics played a role in the case selection, which is not always a good thing!
July 22, 2009 5:13:44 PM

tecmo34 said:
By all means... I support you building before October!! I always say build now... I'm not one for waiting!! :D 

At the same time, waiting till October at this point might give you more options for better pricing (cheaper) and at the same time increasing your performance. I think you will be happy either way you go with your build!!


Thanks! So do you think I can achieve my Crysis goal, then?

1650x1080
Enthusiast
30FPS

?
July 22, 2009 5:26:07 PM

depends how much AA you drop on, if you want 4x AA or more then get an Nvidia GTX 275 instead.
July 22, 2009 5:44:39 PM

Ah, I see. Yeah, I've heard that NVIDIA tends to agree with Crysis a little better than ATI. I considered it, but the GTX275 is too long to run SLI in my case (it will only fit in the first PCI-e slot). The 4890 will fit CF, which is an easy upgrade path. And being that I've never played it, I have no idea how much difference AA makes. But I would imagine that Enthusiast settings with 2x AA would be quite sufficiently gorgeous. Also, it seems like no other game would really demand CF 4890's at 1650x1080 right now.

What do you think?
July 22, 2009 10:16:02 PM

Second opinion?
July 22, 2009 10:45:33 PM

I would have to agree with you for the most part. There are other games pretty demanding as well, then you have those that are real CPU driven (GTA for example)
July 23, 2009 12:53:10 AM

tecmo34 said:
I would have to agree with you for the most part. There are other games pretty demanding as well, then you have those that are real CPU driven (GTA for example)


Thanks, that is what I needed to know. :) 
July 23, 2009 8:23:28 PM

So I am getting a little bit concerned about that CPU cooler. The i7 seems to be a real hot tamale. Does anyone know of any high performing low-profile (< 82mm) CPU coolers?
July 23, 2009 8:34:15 PM

how about a Shuriken from scythe, maybe a BIG shuriken (bit shorter but has a bigger fan) if you're willing to wait.
July 23, 2009 8:43:42 PM

Helloworld_98 said:
how about a Shuriken from scythe, maybe a BIG shuriken (bit shorter but has a bigger fan) if you're willing to wait.


You know, I remember reading about that! Performance seemed to be well above par for HTPC. Have you had personal experience? Do you think it would manage an i7? Also, I know this sounds ridiculous, but do you see any possibility for installing a Corsair H50?

Also, when is the expected release for the BIG?
!