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My first time building a rig (i7 $1300) Needs Advice

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August 4, 2009 6:55:23 PM

Hey guys, I have been checking this part of the forum a lot lately, and now its my turn to get a build started. I need every bit of help that I can get.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within this month. BUDGET RANGE: $1300 usd

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:gaming and movies

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com / Microcenter. Im wondering does microcenter have whatever newegg has? I plan to go to microcenter to buy my parts.

PARTS PREFERENCES: I would like to have 22-25 inch monitor that is good for gaming and is fully hd with HDMI. Intel and nvidia

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes in the future and waiting for dx11 so what should I do? go for something cheap now and wait it out and get 2 totally new cards?

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 arnd lowe

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I don't really need to make a combo list but that helps I guess. I Just want to have a future comp, and I wanted to make sure that I am able maybe have a mobo that is able to upgrade to the next cpu that might come out?

Parts that I know I want.


CPU: i7 920 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115202- It has to be D0 stepping but How do I know? I am getting my parts at microcenter.

Mobo: im unsure on this. Sli or Cf capabilty with a sound card built in it

PSU : if i plan to overclock and get strong gpus what watt should I get? I just dont want to buy a 4850 then suddenly i plan to get two gtx 295 then I have to buy another PSU

Graphics: Gtx 275 or 4890 xfx models

Monitor - Still need help with picking a gaming monitor

Case- Antec 902 -http://microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0305999

Heatsink - CCF - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835207004

and bracket -http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835207005

Ram- OCZ platinum http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227381

Hard Drive- two 640 gb caviar black.

Am I missing anything? Help is greatly appreciated, Thanks!
August 4, 2009 6:59:55 PM

Get 6 GB of the OCZ platinum, get a 4890 it will run 1920x1080 quite well. Get a corsair 750TX PSU, it is strong enough for 2 GTX275's, if you ever have to move up to 2 GTX295's you are doing something horribly wrong.

Consider an ASUS P6T, it supports SLI and crossfire. Ask for a D0 stepping when you go to microcenter, you can also check the sSpec number to tell what stepping it is. Get the core contact freezer and mounting bracket, it performs better than the xigmatech.
August 4, 2009 7:00:47 PM

elo820 said:
Hey guys, I have been checking this part of the forum a lot lately, and now its my turn to get a build started. I need every bit of help that I can get.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within this month. BUDGET RANGE: $1300 usd

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:gaming and movies

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com / Microcenter. Im wondering does microcenter have whatever newegg has? I plan to go to microcenter to buy my parts.

PARTS PREFERENCES: I would like to have 22-24 inch monitor that is good for gaming and is fully hd with HDMI. Intel and split between ati/nvidia

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes in the future and waiting for dx11 so what should I do? go for something cheap now and wait it out and get 2 totally new cards?

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I don't really need to make a combo list but that helps I guess. I Just want to have a future comp, and I wanted to make sure that I am able maybe have a mobo that is able to upgrade to the next cpu that might come out?

Parts that I know I want.


CPU: i7 920 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115202- It has to be D0 stepping but How do I know? I am getting my parts at microcenter.

Mobo: im unsure on this

PSU : if i plan to overclock and get strong gpus what watt should I get? I just dont want to buy a 4850 then suddenly i plan to get two gtx 295 then I have to buy another PSU

Graphics: I'm Really confused about this.. Should i get something that is cheap now and wait for Dx11?

Monitor - Asus?

Case- Antec 902 -http://microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0305999

Heatsink - Darknight - http://microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0307055

Ram- I dont know what to get, but I see a lot of people getting ocz platinum or gold. Which?

Am I missing anything? Help is greatly appreciated, Thanks!


Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R
Video Card - NVIDIA GTX 275 (SLI if possible; 2x275 > 1x295)

Exactly right. Get OCZ Platinum and a Corsair 750TX PSU

And DO NOT get an ATI 4890.



Pretend that ATI is the bug and NVIDIA is the foot.
Related resources
August 4, 2009 7:10:22 PM

hmm. for graphics card.. What i meant to say like in the future when dx 11 cards come out. I just want to future proof if say i get gtx 3xx sli. So you think 750 watt is good enough for future proofing?


I dont know which company graphics card i should go with? And for the d0 stepping. "you can also check the sSpec number to tell what stepping it is" what does that mean?

Is that heatsink easy to install? "Get the core contact freezer and mounting bracket, it performs better than the xigmatech."

Any monitor ideas?

Any particular thing Do I need to look for in a Mobo?
August 4, 2009 7:12:59 PM

Here is a monitor on sale
http://www.compusa.com/applications/searchtools/item-De...
With your budget you should consider the budget x58 MBs
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cheap-x58-motherboa...
if you are 100% sure you are going to upgrade to dx11 graphics you should not buy anything higher than a 4850 ($100) for now...but that is up to you and only you know if its worth it to wait on a true 19x12 card. Another thing to consider is there will likely be a real price drop in the current generation of cards when the new ones come out, so if the performance doesn't seem worth it for the new cards you can do some bargain shopping for 4890s at that time....
August 4, 2009 7:13:11 PM

elo820 said:
hmm. for graphics card.. What i meant to say like in the future when dx 11 cards come out. I just want to future proof if say i get gtx 3xx sli. So you think 750 watt is good enough for future proofing?


I dont know which company graphics card i should go with? And for the d0 stepping. "you can also check the sSpec number to tell what stepping it is" what does that mean?

Is that heatsink easy to install? "Get the core contact freezer and mounting bracket, it performs better than the xigmatech."

Any monitor ideas?

Any particular thing Do I need to look for in a Mobo?


For the graphics card get EVGA. The heatsink is not hard to install, just remember to remove the plastic wrap. :)  Get OCZ Freeze along with the Dark Knight cooler.

Get this monitor.
August 4, 2009 7:16:50 PM

What is OCZ freeze? Does that work with any heatsink?

Does anyone know If Microcenter online site is limited in things that have in store? Like does instore have more options for parts? I guess imma redo my first post
August 4, 2009 7:20:09 PM

raybob95 said:
For the graphics card get EVGA. The heatsink is not hard to install, just remember to remove the plastic wrap. :)  Get OCZ Freeze along with the Dark Knight cooler.

Get this monitor.


Why 23"? Just curious haha. Do you know for example if I plug my computer to it does it use the hdmi part? Or is that for a console? And how does sound work do i go from console --> hdmi--> monitor--> speakers? how?
August 4, 2009 7:23:33 PM

You would connect it to your computer via DVI port, if you want to hook your console up to it you would use the DVI cable.

Why do you suggest so heavily against the 4890 in favor of the GTX275? They are about equal performance wise.

I suggest getting the CCF instead, frosty tech has it ranked higher and it comes with grease preapplied
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm
August 4, 2009 7:28:35 PM

Get 2 4850 in Crossfire... stronger and cheaper than a GTX275. You got the motherboard able to do it, so why wasting money if you plan to get new graphic cards in 2 months DX11 compatible?
August 4, 2009 7:30:33 PM

hunter315 said:
You would connect it to your computer via DVI port, if you want to hook your console up to it you would use the DVI cable.

Why do you suggest so heavily against the 4890 in favor of the GTX275? They are about equal performance wise.

I suggest getting the CCF instead, frosty tech has it ranked higher and it comes with grease preapplied
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm



Thanks for that monitor help!

I guess I should go with the CCF. Those 2 newegg links.. those are both needed right to fit in my comp?
August 4, 2009 7:32:34 PM

yeah, the LGA 775 mounting bracket wont work with an LGA 1366 socket, that mounting bracket does.
August 4, 2009 7:33:30 PM

redgarl said:
Get 2 4850 in Crossfire... stronger and cheaper than a GTX275. You got the motherboard able to do it, so why wasting money if you plan to get new graphic cards in 2 months DX11 compatible?


I don't plan to upgrade in 2 months at all. I just wanted to know how I should probably spend my money.
August 4, 2009 7:34:45 PM

Quote:
Pretend that ATI is the bug and NVIDIA is the foot.


two 4850 OC in crossfire (160$) == GTX285 (275$ minimum)

NVidia beating ATI.... phhh... keep dreaming, ATI is proposing alternative at almost half the cost of NVidia.

AMD is really having a big momentum I didn't see in years. Stop acting like a fanboy.
August 4, 2009 7:34:55 PM

hunter315 said:
yeah, the LGA 775 mounting bracket wont work with an LGA 1366 socket, that mounting bracket does.


I tried reading the frostytech link, but Can you summarize why it is good compared to other heatsinks? I dont get like what it is trying to say. =/ ugh
August 4, 2009 7:41:14 PM

elo820 said:
I don't plan to upgrade in 2 months at all. I just wanted to know how I should probably spend my money.


DX11 is coming in october-november... around 2 months.

If you don't crossfire or SLI with your i7, you are wasting money. You will get the same performance with a Phenom II X4 955 except if you buy a 4870X2 or a GTX295... meaning 400$ minimum of graphic cards.

Here a good example of what happening with a mainstream card (GTX260) in single card configuration in Far Cry 2.



The rest of the benches... show... about the same result...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-x4-955,2278-9.html
August 4, 2009 7:45:08 PM

redgarl said:
DX11 is coming in october-november... around 2 months.

If you don't crossfire or SLI with your i7, you are wasting money. You will get the same performance with a Phenom II X4 955 except if you buy a 4870X2 or a GTX295... meaning 400$ minimum of graphic cards.

Here a good example of what happening with a mainstream card (GTX260) in single card configuration in Far Cry 2.

http://media.bestofmicro.com/8/S/206380/original/image032.png

The rest of the benches... show... about the same result...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-x4-955,2278-9.html


So you are saying.. inorder to get the right performance.. I should get 2 cards?
August 4, 2009 7:45:29 PM

Today reality is that 2 small cards are better than a big one.

Also, cpus are now strong enough to support 2 graphic cards... but the big question is how much performance can my cheap cpu achieve.
August 4, 2009 7:48:48 PM

I forgot to include that I needed hard drives haha. Which one to get?
August 4, 2009 7:50:01 PM

elo820 said:
So you are saying.. inorder to get the right performance.. I should get 2 cards?


Absolutely, at least two GTX260 or two 4870... if you can't afford it, go with AMD. Tomshardware made a review trying to figure out if the same money could achieve you better performance on core i7 and Phenom II. The result is surprising, the performance is about the same even with high end cards.

It's all depend if the game is cpu bottleneck or gpu bottleneck...
August 4, 2009 7:51:40 PM

elo820 said:
I forgot to include that I needed hard drives haha. Which one to get?


Western Digital seems to be the most reliable brand right now. Seagate got problems, so forget them.
August 4, 2009 7:58:47 PM

redgarl said:
Absolutely, at least two GTX260 or two 4870... if you can't afford it, go with AMD. Tomshardware made a review trying to figure out if the same money could achieve you better performance on core i7 and Phenom II. The result is surprising, the performance is about the same even with high end cards.

It's all depend if the game is cpu bottleneck or gpu bottleneck...


So why does everyone recommend a 275 or 4890?
August 4, 2009 8:00:50 PM

redgarl said:
Western Digital seems to be the most reliable brand right now. Seagate got problems, so forget them.


Ok so I noticed that people are getting two 640 Western Digital Caviar hds. Why? Can you explain?
August 4, 2009 8:04:39 PM

I forgot to include that the mobo has to have sound card built in it since I dont plan to get a sound card. Which mobo has that?
August 4, 2009 8:13:45 PM

elo820 said:
I forgot to include that the mobo has to have sound card built in it since I dont plan to get a sound card. Which mobo has that?

I can't think of a current motherboard that doesn't have integrated sound. That's been the norm for quite some time. :) 
August 4, 2009 8:16:24 PM

redgarl said:
Today reality is that 2 small cards are better than a big one.

Also, cpus are now strong enough to support 2 graphic cards... but the big question is how much performance can my cheap cpu achieve.

I don't agree that 2 small cards are better than a big one. Some games aren't optimized for multiple cards, so you get the same performance as one card. You never get 100% scaling with SLI/crossfire either. The idea of completely eliminating the GPU upgrade possibilities right off the bat is silly to me. I would suggest getting the best single card you can right now. That way you'll have good performance now with the ability to add another card later if needed.
August 4, 2009 8:18:14 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
I don't agree that 2 small cards are better than a big one. Some games aren't optimized for multiple cards, so you get the same performance as one card. You never get 100% scaling with SLI/crossfire either. The idea of completely eliminating the GPU upgrade possibilities right off the bat is silly to me. I would suggest getting the best single card you can right now. That way you'll have good performance now with the ability to add another card later if needed.


I can see where you are going with that. Umm what mobo would you rec? Whats the difference betwen a p6t and p6t deluxe?
August 4, 2009 8:30:41 PM

The main difference between the cards is that the Deluxe has 16-phase power for the CPU, which should give better voltage stability on high overclocks. The spacing of the PCI-E slots is also different. I think either board would work fine for your use.

Gigabyte also makes very nice motherboards like the GA-EX58-UD4P.
August 4, 2009 8:59:24 PM

The frosty tech top 10 ranks the heatsinks on how close they are able to keep a load to ambient temperature. The core contact freezer is the second best i7 compatible cooler and third best AMD compatible cooler. Basically it will keep your CPU cooler than the darkknight will and it is relatively cheap.
August 4, 2009 10:21:40 PM

Ok thanks for the update on that cpu cooler part. I will go with CCF for sure. leaning towards p6t. 2 640gb wd black caviars? what is this raid thing people talk about? is 750 watt psu future proof? thanks for the replies so far!!
August 4, 2009 10:29:20 PM

Yeah a 750 watt PSU is future proof

There are two common varieties of RAID, RAID 1 and RAID 0. Raid 1 mirrors the two drives so you have 2 identical copies providing data security. Raid 0 'stripes', basically breaking it into blocks and putting the odd numbered ones on the first drive and the even numbered ones on the second, the data between two hard drives and acts like a single drive that is the twice the size, it gives you a performance boost for some tasks.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID
Decent article about raid.
August 4, 2009 10:46:06 PM

redgarl said:
DX11 is coming in october-november... around 2 months.

If you don't crossfire or SLI with your i7, you are wasting money. You will get the same performance with a Phenom II X4 955 except if you buy a 4870X2 or a GTX295... meaning 400$ minimum of graphic cards.

Here a good example of what happening with a mainstream card (GTX260) in single card configuration in Far Cry 2.

http://media.bestofmicro.com/8/S/206380/original/image032.png

The rest of the benches... show... about the same result...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-x4-955,2278-9.html


This is all true, but somewhat misleading. The i7 920 can overclock higher in general than the pII 955, and when operating at the same clock speed you will get noticeably higher performance from the i7 920 if the graphics do not bottleneck you.
There are a handful of exceptions, but almost every game that CAN benefit from crossfire and sli supports it. That is why in general you can get more bang for your buck by crossfiring 2 lower end cards than buying a single high end card. For example you can get two 4850s for $200 that will outperform the current fastest single card, the gtx285, which cost about $275.
August 5, 2009 12:37:15 AM

shortstuff_mt said:
I don't agree that 2 small cards are better than a big one. Some games aren't optimized for multiple cards, so you get the same performance as one card. You never get 100% scaling with SLI/crossfire either. The idea of completely eliminating the GPU upgrade possibilities right off the bat is silly to me. I would suggest getting the best single card you can right now. That way you'll have good performance now with the ability to add another card later if needed.


I totally disagree with your argument and I think it's a global misunderstood. It's true that some games aren't using the technology, but it's now a mainstream alternative and easily more than 95% of the new games are SLI and Crossfire capable.

Also, the benches are telling everything. Two 4850 are stronger than a 4890. The only negative point is that it consumes a little more power and dissipates more heat, but saving near 150$ over equivalent graphic cards easily compensate this little downside.

Also, what I learned in computers and technology is that you are purchasing what you need right now. Tomorrow another alternative will make more sense. DX11 is at the door so purchasing a second 4890 card will maybe not be a good idea. We don't know about this, but we know that two small cards are achieving better results in basically all today games.

Also, trying to bring older games in the picture is a little futile since a single 4850 can easily render them in 1920X1200. I don't think anyone can argue that a 4850 can render Counter-Strike source quite easily.

I am sorry, but at 160$ for two 4850, you can't find a stronger alternative for this price. Now almost all the motherboards on the market are Crossfire or SLI compatible for barely 30$ more.

What I find funny is that you are bringing multi gpu solution as a bad idea... what are you thinking about GTX295, 2X4850 and 2X4870? They are already multi gpu solution on the same PCB. This is not a fad, it's really here to stay.
August 5, 2009 12:47:55 AM

belial2k said:
This is all true, but somewhat misleading. The i7 920 can overclock higher in general than the pII 955, and when operating at the same clock speed you will get noticeably higher performance from the i7 920 if the graphics do not bottleneck you.
There are a handful of exceptions, but almost every game that CAN benefit from crossfire and sli supports it. That is why in general you can get more bang for your buck by crossfiring 2 lower end cards than buying a single high end card. For example you can get two 4850s for $200 that will outperform the current fastest single card, the gtx285, which cost about $275.


For the same money put on the table, going AMD or Core i7 is barely noticeable unless you plan to crossfire or SLI more than 400$ of graphic cards. You need to take into perspective that investing in a core i7 also imply a more important investment on the memory and on the motherboard. This cost could easily be invested to the graphic cards if you were going with AMD.

Even there we are saying the same thing. Also, 2 4850 can be purchased at 160$.

Toms made an article about this, sure the core i7 is stronger, but it only really show in game with cpu bottleneck. So my point stay, if you aren't buying enough gpu power, you could achieve the same result for way less with AMD, but most peoples here don't analyze the chart to find these things. For me it's jumping to my face. Single card configuration should not be wasted on prenium cpu since there is absolutely no gain at all. 5 fps is not something relevant to me since it's not noticeable in gameplay.



August 5, 2009 1:06:04 AM

So what everyone is trying to say is that Instead of going for a 4890 or 275 i should get a sli or cf setup?
August 5, 2009 1:55:32 AM

yes, that is what almost all of us agree on. Although, I still think with many x58 boards now well below $200 and 6gb of low latency 1600mhz memory available for $80, and i7s available for $200 at microcenter and $220 on ebay...that AMD systems have lost the advantage in the $900 - $1000 build. The basic platform for a crossfire/sli AMD system now cost about the same as an x58/i7 based system. What was true a few months ago is no longer true. And for the same price I'm getting a stronger cpu with the i7.
August 5, 2009 2:01:14 AM

belial2k said:
yes, that is what almost all of us agree on. Although, I still think with many x58 boards now well below $200 and 6gb of low latency 1600mhz memory available for $80, and i7s available for $200 at microcenter and $220 on ebay...that AMD systems have lost the advantage in the $900 - $1000 build. The basic platform for a crossfire/sli AMD system now cost about the same as an x58/i7 based system. What was true a few months ago is no longer true. And for the same price I'm getting a stronger cpu with the i7.


What is your setup if I mind asking.. Anyone have more monitor recommendations? What do I look for in a monitor to use for consoles and for computer gaming? thanks for the responses so far everyone! VERY insightful!!
August 5, 2009 2:20:24 AM

I'm a system builder, so I always have systems laying around from unused parts that I use for testing, but here are my two main systems

System 1 (living room)
i7 920 @ 4.0
Asus P6t Deluxe V2
2x 4850 HIS Ice Q OC edition
2x WD 1 tb caviar black
12gb 1600mhz ocz DDR3 @ 6-6-6
Pioneer Blu Ray 8x supermulti drive
LG dvd supermultidrive
Corsair 750TX
42 inch 1080p HDtv @ 19x12 for computer display
secondary display is 24inch Acer monitor (so tv can be doing one thing and desktop another)
Audio is output to a $10,000 sunfire HT setup

bedroom system is
pentium D @ 3.0 per core
generic intel MB
9500gt 1gb
some antique 160gb HDD
some generic dvd multidrive
3gb of DDR2 value ram @ 800mhz
some POS generic PSU
32 inch 720p HDtv w computer display @ 1366x768
audio is output to a logitech 5500 5.1 surround system

LOL...you'll never guess which one I do more gaming on.
August 5, 2009 2:37:44 AM

which acer monitor is that? do you recommend? Why is your ram 6-6-6 and mine would be 7-7-7?
August 5, 2009 3:35:07 AM

lots of patience and tweaking to get the Ram at 6-6-6, and lucky. Probably won't happen 50% of the time, and it probably doesn't make a huge difference. I just like to experiment when I can as it can help me with my builds.
I got it as an open box deal from newegg. It was only $140. But when it came it looked like new and all the packaging looked like new, so I think I just got lucky on that one. I've also been burned on open box deals before. Its always worth checking the refurb and open box section for monitors and HDtvs, though. You can save a lot that way....to be honest I don't spend that much time on it. In fact I spend the most time on that weak bedroom system. LOL...and THAT is where I do most of my gaming. Of course, most of the games I play on that system are pre2000 strategy games and madden 2007 in coaching mode.
August 5, 2009 9:31:49 PM

Anyone have more monitor recommendations? Im curious, how is the electric bill with this sort of computer?
August 5, 2009 10:28:56 PM

Not too bad, when its not under load its about like a light bulb...when under heavy load more like 4 light bulbs. (75 - 100w bulbs)
August 6, 2009 4:04:58 AM

oh ok wow I thought it would suck more power. Weird. haha ty
!