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$1100 Budget Final Build

Last response: in Systems
August 12, 2009 10:24:05 PM

Hey guys, I'm psyched to get my new system. I really need it! However I am having the patience to share the build with you guys to make sure everything is stable and alright. I'm sticking to Intel as well. I'll be reusing my monitor, keyboard, and mouse too. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated for my parts below!

Case: Antec 900

----CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad

---MoBo: GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45

HDD: WD Caviar Black 640GB

GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Edition


RAM: G.SKILL 4GB DDR2 1066 (2 x 2GB)

OS: Vista 64-Bit

DVD/CD-ROM: LG Black 22X

CPU Aftermarket Cooler: Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm
August 12, 2009 10:48:44 PM

The build looks pretty good for a dead end LGA 775 build. The GA-EP45-UD3P + Nvidia GPU is a strange combination, though. That motherboard supports crossfire, but not SLI. You could either swap out the GPU for a 4870 1GB (my recommendation) or get the GA-EP45-UD3R instead since the second PCI-E slot doesn't really do you any good with an Nvidia GPU.

That RAM needs very high voltage to get its rated speed and timings. This kit offers the same speed and timings at a lower voltage. It costs $1 more, but has free shipping that will more than make up the difference.

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail $59.99
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August 13, 2009 3:09:06 AM

OCZ memory usually works fine at 1.8 V at rated or better timings. They recommend you use the lowest voltage setting that's stable.
August 13, 2009 3:10:40 AM

As stated above, s775 is kind of a dead end. You could try an i7 build. It would probably fit in the budget if you excluded vista. Or you could go AM3 which is definitely within the budget.
August 13, 2009 6:21:33 AM

Yeah.. I realize L775 is a dead end. I wanted to squeeze in an i7 but it ran me a little high. Would it be worth it in the long run to spend another hundred'ish and step up to an i7 build? Or should I just switch to an AMD? I've never really been a fan of AMD, hence the Intel favoring..

This is primarily for gaming, next to everything else that I'd do on it. Monitor resolution, I'm not sure since I'm going to be upgrading my monitor asap.

Switched Cooler and RAM, thanks for suggestions!
August 13, 2009 2:49:11 PM

I don't have a preference one way or the other between Intel and AMD, but AMD currently offers very good price/performance in the mid-range segment. They also have a much better upgrade path at the moment. If you're open for an AMD build, here's what I'd build with your budget:

Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM (Includes free Windows 7 updrade coupon) $224.94 (Case + OS combo)

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor - Retail $199.99

GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $124.99

Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model PVS34G1333LLK - Retail $78.99

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM $74.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail $119.99 - $20.00 MIR

SAPPHIRE Vapor-X Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail $149.99

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

Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2 - Retail $35.49 - $15.00 MIR

Total - $1,038.36 - $35.00 MIR's

This build will offer basically identical performance as the one above, but is also ready for another 4870 in crossfire if needed later. It also uses DDR3 RAM which will be much cheaper to upgrade in the future as DDR2 is phased out. I would give some serious thought to AMD. Don't let a personal bias keep you from getting a very nice computer.
August 13, 2009 4:08:25 PM

hunter315 said:
What are you going to be using the build for? And what resolution is the monitor you are using?

I suggest the core contact freezer, it is one of the top rated coolers.

It's funny you would recommend that considering the user review on the product page specifically state it is not compatible with his motherboard.
August 13, 2009 4:13:58 PM

Damn that massive gigabyte heatsink. That is the boards fault not the cooler, and it is one of the best coolers out there, if only gigabyte didnt have giant chipset heatsinks that got in the way.
August 13, 2009 4:19:58 PM

I usually recommend the Xigmatek coolers over the Sunbeam one. The Xigmatek offers very similar performance and is compatible with more motherboards. I think I'll have to go back to recommending the Xigmatek's. The Sunbeam coolers are also a little harder to mount.

XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail $36.60