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Advice on $1200 Build (with monitor)

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August 2, 2009 2:21:56 AM

Hello, I'm new to Tom's Hardware but have noticed that despite the way that homebuilt standards climb at breakneck speeds, the users here seem to be true experts. So I was wondering if any of you would like to look over a configuration I've been looking at.

First, what my needs are as far as computing: I'm moving away to college this fall, and I've waited the maximum possible time before buying (knowing the nature of this market). I own a web design firm and hope continue receiving contracts during school. I will be using CPU intensive Adobe CS4 suite programs and some gaming. So I need the maximum CPU and RAM power. I need this rig to be expandable, so I think an x58 board with an i7 proc will be best. Also, I'd really like a quiet computer, but I'd rather have a power-monster if the budget cannot permit both desires. I have $1500 to work with, but $377 is already allocated to a netbook I need for toting around campus and note-taking, etc.

Here is my plan:

Netbook: ASUS EeePC 1005HA-PU1X-BK (with 2gig RAM upgrade)= $377 -Link

Then a combination of a TigerDirect order and a Newegg order (in order to maintain free shipping):

TigerDirect Order

Combo (CPU, Mobo, RAM): Intel DX58SO Motherboard & Intel Core i7 920 Processor BX80601920 & Corsair XMS3 Tri Channel 6GB PC10666 DDR3 Memory Bundle = $600 (with rebate)
Link

Hard Drive: Hitachi 7K1000.B Hard Drive - 1TB, 7200RPM, 16MB, SATA-300, OEM = $80
Link

PSU: Ultra LSP750 750-Watt Power Supply - ATX, SATA-Ready, SLI-Ready, 135mm Fan = $80
Link

GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Video Card - 896MB GDDR3 = $160 (with rebate)
Link

Optical: Samsung SH-S223F = $30
Link

Cooling Stuff: CPU Fan: Masscool 8W503F1M4 CPU Fan + OCZ OCZTFRZTC Freeze Thermal = $36
Link (CPU Fan) and Link (Thermal Compound)

+ some keyboard I found, my current one blows, though my mouse and speakers are still usable. = $15

NewEgg Order

Case: HEC 6C28BB8S Black Steel ATX Mid = $37
Link

Monitor: ASUS VW224U Black 22" 2ms(GTG) = $150 (with rebate)
Link

Grand Total
: $1567

I'm worried about the crappiness of the case, as it has only one fan. Any other advice?
August 2, 2009 2:30:35 AM

I would go for an Antec 300, it's well built, and if you only put a few quiet fans in it won't be too loud. Also, go for a PSU from Antec, Corsair, PC P&C, Seasonic, or OCZ. Finally, you are aware of just how slow that netbook will be?
August 2, 2009 2:47:45 AM

Thanks for replying so quickly,

First off, You're dealing with a guy that's been using the same crappy pc for the last 4.5 years (Sempron, 512mb, 80gig HD, lower-mainstream (in like 2007) video card). So that netbook is already light years better than I'm used to. Secondly, on the netbook, I will be doing some internet browsing and MS Word/Powerpoint using and that's all.

I think I will take your advice on the Antec, though it's $23 added to the bottom line. Will this be enough to cool that massive CPU and GPU? (and still be quiet?) And why change PSUs? Is the current one noisy? Overpriced?

I am very close to my total so if I get, I have to give too. Any suggestions on where a downgrade won't affect anything?

And lastly, I forgot to address another worry. Is that monitor horrible? Especially for the graphics work I do? I only got it because it had free shipping and was 22"
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August 2, 2009 3:08:50 AM

You guys really know what you're doing.

Ok, I have made the changes you suggested because I agree completely. However, with shipping, I'm at about $1600.

I need to shave this down a bit (unless you think any downgrade would be detrimental)

Also, any comment on the quality of the monitor? Will the GPU be able to play Assasin's Creed 2, for example?
August 2, 2009 3:28:22 AM

It should be able to run it well, if you are not partial to nvidia you can change to a 4870 and save a bit(~10) while maintaining the same performance. But i7 builds are hard to get much below 1000, and since you need a monitor too its a bit tougher.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
August 2, 2009 3:32:10 AM

You could go for the PSU in my sig... it works great and is plenty of power for your system. Also you could go for this GPU (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...) and possibly a 640GB WD HDD. Finally, you could drop the CPU fan and thermal paste if your not overclocking.

Edit: hunter beat me to the GPU :) 
August 2, 2009 3:39:18 AM

Yeah, grab an antec 300. It's a nice case. I've got a core i7 920 with a noctua nh-u12p cooler and a gtx 275 and it all fits nicely. I also highly recommend a corsair power supply, I've got one and it rocks.
August 2, 2009 3:49:57 AM

I will go with the OCZ ModXStream Pro as it is $65 on TigerDirect (free shipping) and saves me a lot for performance loss I'm sure not to notice.

I've heard upgrading to a gtx 275 is worth it. But as long as this rig will play AC2 and this fall's upcoming releases I don't care.

Also, could someone spare a comment on the monitor. It's very cheap (at least in my eyes), will this affect anything? The work I do require colors to be shown in true fidelity. I once did work on an overly bright Dell Xps laptop. Everything came out darker on every other pc.
August 2, 2009 2:18:41 PM

A bump, and then I won't bother anymore - you've been so helpful already.
August 2, 2009 3:51:31 PM

I understand your concern about the color fidelity of that monitor, i do web design work as well and there is a difference between my laptop screen and my desktop monitor. It has the same brightness level as most monitor and supports 24 bit color so you shouldnt get the issues you have had with your dell monitor, the Asus screen is quite good. Its better than the ones i have to work on in the office.

If you have any questions during or after your build be sure to come back.
August 2, 2009 4:34:49 PM

That bar with the fans is in a crappy place, get the antec or consider the antec 300 illusions as it comes with the two standard fans and two blue LED fans in the front, it should give you plenty of airflow.
August 2, 2009 5:13:42 PM

I may just spend the extra ten dollars for Illusion, although, there are only a few reviews and a report of loudness. I trust in Antec's superiority, however.

At this point, I'm sure about almost everything. I did notice that TigerDirect has that heatsink overpriced. But, it looks like heatsink for i7's socket are rare. Newegg has some available but reports of high temperatures with overclocking are rampant. So, my question is, do I need an expensive heatsink to overclock this proc?
August 2, 2009 5:42:49 PM

Im sure if you crank all 4 fans up to high it will be loud, but then again i dont think the average person needs more than 100CFM flowing through their case, the noise they report is likely coming from the hurricane inside the case rather than the fans themselves
August 3, 2009 2:57:59 PM

Thanks, I have placed my order. Hopefully, Newegg is fast delivering to Wisconsin.
August 3, 2009 4:09:08 PM

i can tell u now newegg has some of the fastest shipping ever. i have placed 10 orders in the last month and i live in syracuse ny and all my orders are here the very next day by 5. newegg is also awesome when it comes to RMA's and returns
!