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$1200 gaming/multi-purpose PC

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Anonymous
July 23, 2009 5:12:31 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: By the end of next week (i.e. by July 31st)

BUDGET RANGE: US$1000-1200

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Interwebs, gaming, movies, schoolwork (reading papers, scientific data analysis)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: OS (installing WinXPPro and have pre-ordered Win7 Home Premium), one HD (I have a WD1001FALS already but want another one)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg and Amazon are nice but I am open to suggestions.

PARTS PREFERENCES: See parts list below, but in general I am a fan of Corsair PSUs, Antec cases and XFX graphics cards.

OVERCLOCKING: No

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050, 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Quiet, quiet, quiet! Super important. I hate noisy computers.



Parts list

From Amazon:

CORSAIR 620w HX Series Modular Cable Design 80 Plus Certified Power Supply - $139.99 ($20 MIR)

Antec LifeStyle Solo ATX Quiet ATX Mini-Tower Case (Piano Black) - $92.49

Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB Bulk/OEM Hard Drive 3.5 Inch, 32 MB Cache, 7200 RPM SATA II WD1001FALS - $95.99

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0 GHz 6M L2 Cache 1333MHz FSB LGA775 Dual-Core Processor - $167.99

Logitech Z-4 2.1 Speaker System with Subwoofer (Black) - $57.56


From Newegg:

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - $134.99 ($20 MIR)

Kingston HyperX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 Desktop Memory Model KHX8500D2K2/4G - $49.99

XFX HD-485X-YDFC Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - $109.99

SAMSUNG DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223L LightScribe Support - OEM - $28.99

ViewSonic VX2233wm Black 21.5" 5ms Widescreen 16:9 LCD Monitor - $169.99

Logitech Wave Pro Desktop Black USB 2.4 GHz Wireless Keyboard & Mouse Combo - $79.99

ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - $31.98

Noctua NF-B9-1600 92mm Case Fan - $19.99


Subtotal: $1,179.93
Shipping: $40.99 (both stores)
Total: $1,220.92

Total (after rebates): $1,180.92


The reason I am splitting the order is that Amazon is offering free shipping on some of the heaviest components like the case and PSU, and is cheaper than Newegg on others like the speakers and the HDD.

The reason I am posting is for people to have a quick look and tell me if there is anything wrong with this setup and if they have any recommendations that would improve it performance-wise, and especially in terms of building a quiet PC, while remaining within budget. The parts I am most unsure about are:
Monitor
Memory
Case fan (has to be 92mm)
CPU fan (have used the F7P before but was not really 100% happy)

Parts I am definitely sold on:
Case
PSU
Graphics
HDD
Desktop
Speakers
July 23, 2009 7:42:39 PM

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard
You only need one PCI-Express slot since you don't plan to run more than one graphics card.

OCZ SLI-Ready Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit
Since you don't plan to overclock, DDR2 1066 is unnecessary.

CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W
I know you said you were sold on it, but...the 620W PSU is probably more than you need. This Corsair has free shipping from NewEgg.

The stock Intel CPU cooler is sufficient if you don't plan to overclock, and is reasonably quiet (usually quieter than most aftermarket coolers).

With those changes, you could put the cost difference towards an ATI Radeon 4870.

Normally, with a $1200 budget I'd be thinking of a Core i7 build. But you have nearly $300 of that locked up in the monitor, keyboard/mouse combo, and speakers. An AMD build might also be a better alternative at this time, but someone else will have to provide recommendations for that.
Anonymous
July 23, 2009 11:06:27 PM

Hi hecto, those are some really good recommendations in fact. I'll take them all on board except for the CPU cooler, I've found that the Intel stock fan tends to make some strange noises at specific speeds, but that might have been the specific one I had last. Perhaps I won't get a different cooler from the beginning and will see if it eventually annoys me.

The PSU you suggested isn't modular but I can manage with that, the reason I picked the 620HX is because reviews said it was the quietest Corsair and I am very concerned about that. I'll look around for reviews of the 550VX to see how the noise compairs to the 620HX but I will probably go with it so that I can get the 4870.

Unfortunately, as you said, $300 is locked up for peripherals as I am moving to a new place and cannot take anything with me, so I will have to live without an i7 build for now. Thanks again!
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Anonymous
July 23, 2009 11:39:55 PM

Not sure which Radeon 4870 to go with, any recommendations? Once again I am interested in the quietest one with the best cooling.
!