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1st time desktop builder - 1300$ i7 gaming

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August 24, 2009 4:00:09 AM

Im a hard-core gaming, and love stunning gaming graphic with the highest resolution. But due to my father's business, we always have to move to other place after some months, so all i had before was laptops. But now i have my own place, separated from the family, im ready for a strong enough Desktop system. Have never do anything like assembling PC components before, but im a fast-learner, and im looking forward to steping into the PC modding world. Help from everyone are well-appreciated.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP -

BUDGET RANGE: ~1300$, can be a little more if it's worth the $

SYSTEM USAGE: Gaming, graphic designing and college studying

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: None - i dont have anything

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: tigerdirect.com and other U.S seller, but can be anything - i want best bang for the bucks

PARTS PREFERENCES: I7

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe (after i learn how to do it from here LOL)

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440x900 or better

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: for using with Window Vista and Window 7

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I have a little research on some of the websites, and found out tigerdirect may have some good barebones for building a new system.

MSI X58 Platinum SLI Barebone Kit - MSI X58 Platinum SLI LGA 1366 Motherboard, Intel Core i7 920, 12GB DDR3, 1TB HDD, 9800GTX, Case & PSU

But as i said, im just a newbie in the Desktop Building world, i really want to have the best System worths every of my bucks.
August 24, 2009 3:19:25 PM

You've come to the right place. Steal Borrow a build from another thread or compile your own using some of the links below:

Best Graphics Cards For The Money: August '09
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,...

PC Perspective Hardware Leaderboard
http://www.pcper.com/hwlb.php?#guide1

Newegg Customer Choice Awards
http://www.newegg.com/Product/CustVoteProductWinner.asp...

Tom's Hardware Build Your Own: Articles & Reviews
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/How-To,4/Build-Your...

TR's April 2009 system guide
http://techreport.com/articles.x/16721/1

The LCD Thread
http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid=31&t...

Ars Technica System Guide: April 2009 Edition
http://arstechnica.com/hardware/guides/2009/04/ars-tech...

PS - You've got duplicate threads. This happened to me as well when it appeared the 1st attempt to post failed but actually didn't (actually I had quadruplicate threads).
August 24, 2009 4:01:18 PM

$1300 should get you a nice start at a powerful system. Since you have to buy everything down to the OS, monitor, keyboard, mouse, that will really cut into your budget. The peripherals can make or break your gaming experience, so don't go too cheap on those. If you have any usable mice or keyboards around, you could consider using those until you can upgrade them to better ones.

Newegg is probably the best place to order parts from. They have by far the best selection and service. My second choice would be zipzoomfly, though parts availability and selection aren't so great at times. I'd go with tigerdirect as a 3rd option.

Hardware deals change on a daily basis, so until you have some specific selections in mind, I won't make any specific recommendations:

For a good gaming mouse and keyboard, I'd try to budget about $100 total.

For a case, you can go as cheap or as expensive as you want here, but the best deals in terms of quality and value start around $60. On average, I usually spend $100 on a good case.

Power Supply: It's very tempting to go cheap here, but don't do it. Stick to good brands, and depending on your decision to go with dual graphics and overclocking, I'd recommend looking at PSUs rated at 750 watts. Corsair is an excellent option for a 750 watt PSU, Newegg has them for $99 after rebate right now.

CPU: core i7 920. Get the best price you can find, newegg has them for $280 now. If you have a microcenter in your area, you can pick an i7 up for $200.

Motherboard: There isn't a whole lot of selection for the x58 boards. The cheapest like ones from MSI or ASRock start around $170, I'd advise to look in the $200-$250 range. ASUS, EVGA, and Gigabyte would be good brands to start looking.

RAM: DDR3 1600 Mhz 6 GB kits (2GB X 3). OCZ, Corsair, G.Skill would probably be my top 3 choices. Make sure you look at the timings to see which have the lowest latencies. Look to spend between $110-$150.

GFX cards: certainly you'll get better performance with SLI / crossfire, but with your budget, you're either going to be able to afford 2 older, less powerful cards, or 1 high-end mainstream card, and then buy a matching one later on as an upgrade. ATI and NVIDIA have multiple choices, and prices are constantly changing, so check the first link angrydot suggested for the latest info. Tom's does a similar article just about every month.

Hard drive: Right now, best bets are Caviar Black (640 GB or 1TB), or Seagate 7200.12 (1 TB). Samsung has some pretty good offerings, but the WD and Seagate drives get better performance. Expect to pay up to $100 for a good performance drive at 1 TB, $70 or so for the smaller capacities.

Optical drive: Get whatever is cheapest, just make sure it has a SATA interface to save yourself some time and trouble. $25 should get you what you need.

OS: hopefully you have a copy of windows 7 Release Candidate ready to go, it's no longer downloadable. Your other options are to buy Vista Home Premium and get an upgrade coupon to Windows 7 when it's out.

Monitor: There's plenty of options out there, just see how much you can budget in. If you're looking at 23" range, expect to pay about $175-$200, depending on brand and deals.

Once you get some ideas together, post them so your build can be further tailored.
Related resources
August 24, 2009 4:40:28 PM


* 231065Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
* 231065SAPPHIRE VAPOR-X 100269VXL Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail



* Original Price: $499.98
* Discount: -$20.00
* Combo Price: $479.98



* 235419OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK - Retail
* 235419GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail



* Original Price: $314.98
* Discount: -$15.00
* Combo Price: $299.98



* 235895Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM
* 235895Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - Retail



* Original Price: $184.98
* Discount: -$15.00
* Combo Price: $169.98


Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$60


PC Power & Cooling Silencer PPCS750QBL 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$120 (The Corsair 750w is the same price currently, also a great deal)


If you want to OC in the future grab one of these:
Cogage True Spirit CPU Cooler by Thermalright 1366 Cooler
http://www.amazon.com/Cogage-True-Spirit-Cooler-Thermal...

$40


This Monitor isn't the best, but hey I'm trying here to get close to budget:

Acer X233Hbd Black 23" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 40000:1 (ACM) - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$170

That comes to $1340, but as you can see there is no mouse/keyboard. Personally I don't need a fancy mouse/keyboard to game, but some do. If you are like me you can grab a cheapo mouse/keyboard from newegg, heck you can probably gank a pair off a friend.



These prices are just a quick once over of newegg. I'm sure other folks with more 1337 newegg skills can find better combos.
August 24, 2009 5:12:52 PM

astrodude's suggestions are right on. I don't think my newegg-fu could produce better results. These purchase prices don't reflect available rebates though, so take that into consideration as well (if you are ok with the idea of rebates).

Also, you'll want speakers of some sort, or you'll be using headphones you may already have for a while. Another option for a monitor that will kind of kill 2 birds with one stone is this Asus 23"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Speakers aren't great as built-ins, but for basic sound needs they work.
August 24, 2009 9:38:57 PM

thank you guys all for the suggestion. Im looking up all those stuff astrodudepsu have listed up there. And also, im taking some ideas and advices from other topic too. Soon enough this evening, i'll make a specific choice for all those stuff, and then post it up again for more help from u guys.
!