Help a Game Designer build a powerful rig $1100-1300

Greetings everyone, first time poster here but I have been lurking for a while. I am stuck in a bit of a dilemma about my first homebuild. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks a lot. I am selling my macbook pro to a friend because macs are not the best for game design, even with bootcamp.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP (next week)

BUDGET RANGE: $1300 or less

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Game Design (CryEngine, Unreal, Source, maya, Unity), gaming, photo editing, everyday usage

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Speakers (hooking up to my home theater), Monitor ( I am using my Pioneer 5020 as a monitor)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg but I am open to other recommendations

PARTS PREFERENCES: I would love to get into an i7 if necessary, and I only have experience with ATI so no pref.

OVERCLOCKING: eventually

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: if needed

MONITOR RESOLUTION:1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: No flashy case with lights and all that jazz. I am going to have about $900 as a starting point from my laptop sale and everything else after that I will be covering. I am basically wondering:

Do I need an i7 for my usage?
Do I need to SLI or Crossfire?
Overclocking, will I need it at the resolution I will be using?

Right now I am assembled two computers that I have been looking at, let me know what you think and any suggestions you may have.

i7 Build:$1268

SAMSUNG DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223L LightScribe Support - OEM $31.99
select item 2 quantity of item 2

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UB Black /Blue Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $44.98

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

HIS H487FM1GH Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card $152.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ... - Retail $109.99

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM $6.99

Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound - Retail $4.99

CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C9 - Retail $134.99

ASUS P6TD Deluxe LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard $194.99

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?sku=A2488904&cs=04&c=us&l=en&dgc=BF&cid=7421&lid=197378&acd=10549103-552179-1035430-2-0-ARTICLE-0

OR

ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - 169.99

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail $279.99

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM $109.99

Scythe MUGEN-2 SCMG-2000 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler - Retail $36.99


Quad-Core Build: ~$1000

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $119

EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card $239

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ... $109

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80569Q9550 $219

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK $59.99

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive $75

SAMSUNG DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223L LightScribe Support - $32

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - $109

Every price is from newegg.com except the Asus mobo

I have a friend who is may be able to get me a deal on an i7 compatible mobo and a free copy (legal) of windows 7 so that may be able to get scratched. What do you guys think?
24 answers Last reply
More about help game designer build powerful 1100 1300
  1. Do you live by a frys or micro center ?
  2. There is a micro center about an hour away from me, why do you ask?
  3. ^Because Microcenter has the i7 920 for just $200. :D
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0302727

    It's worth the 30 minute drive.

    My recommendations:

    P6T Deluxe/WS (SE if you don't plan SLI and only plan to do CrossFire).
    i7 920
    3*2GB DDR3 1333/1600
    Core Contact Freezer + bracket
    ****Wait for ATI 5xxx cards and i5 release (possible price drops for i7/48xx/GT2xx)****
    Corsair 750TX for SLI/CrossFire else Corsair 650TX.
    CoolerMaster HAF 932/HAF 922 or Antec 900 or Antec 300
    2x WD 640GBs in RAID
    Vista x64 with free upgrade to Win 7 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116677

    Total: ~$1100-1200 or less.

    Yes, i7 would benefit with MAYA renderings quite a lot. Just curious, why the link to Dell?
  4. Shadow703793 said:
    ^Because Microcenter has the i7 920 for just $200. :D
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0302727

    It's worth the 30 minute drive.

    My recommendations:

    P6T Deluxe/WS (SE if you don't plan SLI and only plan to do CrossFire).
    i7 920
    3*2GB DDR3 1333/1600
    Core Contact Freezer + bracket
    ****Wait for ATI 5xxx cards and i5 release (possible price drops for i7/48xxx/GT2xx)****
    Corsair 750TX for SLI/CrossFire else Corsair 650TX.
    CoolerMaster HAF 932/HAF 922 or Antec 900 or Antec 300
    2x WD 640GBs in RAID


    Yes, i7 would benefit with MAYA renderings quite a lot. Just curious, why the link to Dell?



    + 1
    I seen the P55 mobos and i5 @ frys today but the guy said he cant sell them to Intel gives the word

    The i5 i seen was a 2.66 with 8 MB for 205
  5. Shadow703793 said:
    ^Because Microcenter has the i7 920 for just $200. :D
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0302727

    It's worth the 30 minute drive.

    My recommendations:

    P6T Deluxe/WS (SE if you don't plan SLI and only plan to do CrossFire).
    i7 920
    3*2GB DDR3 1333/1600
    Core Contact Freezer + bracket
    ****Wait for ATI 5xxx cards and i5 release (possible price drops for i7/48xx/GT2xx)****
    Corsair 750TX for SLI/CrossFire else Corsair 650TX.
    CoolerMaster HAF 932/HAF 922 or Antec 900 or Antec 300
    2x WD 640GBs in RAID
    Vista x64 with free upgrade to Win 7 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116677

    Total: ~$1100-1200 or less.

    Yes, i7 would benefit with MAYA renderings quite a lot. Just curious, why the link to Dell?



    Thanks a lot for the recommendation for microcenter, I will make sure to do that. Do you have any idea when the new cards and processors are going to drop? I am in a bit of a squeeze for time since my brother needs my laptop for school. If it is in the next 2 weeks I could probably wait. Do you think the i7 920 would drop below $199?

    Why do you recommend RAID? I don't think I will ever need that much HD space, 640gb is more than enough, especially with my 750gb external. The reason I provided the link was because that price was $70 below the price on newegg.

    If I cannot wait for the new cards to come out, are the choices on mine solid?
  6. Having 2 HDD in raid 0 will give you faster read / wright speeds.

    On the first first build you have a ATI 4870 for 1920x1080 i would go with a 4890

    On the 2nd build you have a GTX 275 that will be good for 1920x1080
  7. The press conferences about the graphics cards are on Sept 10th. No idea exactly how soon after that prices will drop. Could be immediate, could be as long as Nov after the new cards ship.
  8. Niklas_13 said:
    Having 2 HDD in raid 0 will give you faster read / wright speeds.

    On the first first build you have a ATI 4870 for 1920x1080 i would go with a 4890

    On the 2nd build you have a GTX 275 that will be good for 1920x1080



    So for my usage should I go with the Q9550 build or the i7 in your opinion? I am just trying to figure out if I need to spend the extra money or now.
  9. dndhatcher said:
    The press conferences about the graphics cards are on Sept 10th. No idea exactly how soon after that prices will drop. Could be immediate, could be as long as Nov after the new cards ship.



    I will at least wait until the press conference to make my decision then, that shouldn't be a problem.

    Does anyone think that the 920 will drop significantly below $200 when the i5 comes out? I have also read that have dual cards with and i7 is far more benefitial than a single in comparison to the old processors. If it wont be dropping too much in price in speculation, I will go pick it up this weekend.
  10. Hell yeah, Im going straight to micro center this weekend. Thats a must buy. i7 for 200 bucks!

    sorry for the thread jack

    but whats with i5, is it worth waiting for??
  11. It is the newest memeber of the intel family I believe. They are ~2.6ghz, very OC'able and less than $200 from speculation
  12. this is pretty close to that i am about to buy it from cyber power pc online . if u remove a couple features and go with a cheaper x58 mobo should be bout right but i am looking for a monitor still 2ms response time Price: $1,517.00

    ______________________________________________________________________

    CAS:AZZA Solano 1000 Full-Tower Advance Cooling Case w/ Dual 230mm Fan + Extra 3 Fans [+44]

    CASUPGRADE:NONE

    CS_FAN:Maximum 120MM Case Cooling Fans for your selected case [+9]

    POWERSUPPLY:800 Watts Power Supplies [+69] (CyberPowerPC XF800S Performance ATX 2.0 Power - Quad SLI Ready)

    CPU:Intel® CoreT i7-920 2.66 GHz 8M L3 Cache LGA1366

    OVERCLOCK:No Overclocking

    FAN:Asetek Liquid CPU Cooling System (Extreme Cooling Performance + Extreme Silent at 20dBA)(Venom Boost Extreme OC Certified) [+54]

    MOTHERBOARD:Asus P6T Deluxe V2 Intel X58 Chipset SLI/CrossFireX Mainboard SAS Triple-Channel DDR3/1600 SATA w/ eSATA,Dual GbLAN,USB2.0,IEEE1394a,&7.1Audio (Venom Boost Extreme OC Certified) [+123]

    MEMORY:6GB (2GBx3) PC1333 DDR3 PC3 10666 Triple Channel Memory [+50] (Corsair Dominator (All Venom OC Levels Certified) [+70])

    FREEBIE_RM:None

    VIDEO:NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 1GB 16X PCI Express [+65] (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA)

    VIDEO2:None

    VIDEO3:None

    VC_GAMES:FREE GAME - Battle Stations ** Pacific **

    MULTIVIEW:Non-SLI/Non-CrossFireX Mode Supports Multiple Monitors

    MONITOR:NONE

    MONITOR2:NONE

    HDD:Single Hard Drive (500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD)

    HDD2:NONE

    USBHD:NONE

    CD:LG 22X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Dual Layer Drive (BLACK COLOR)

    CD2:NONE

    SOUND:HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO

    SPEAKERS:None

    NETWORK:Onboard Gigabit LAN Network

    MODEM:NONE

    BUNDLE:None

    KEYBOARD:Warrior Gaming Keyboard Designed for Complete Control in One Hand [+24]

    MOUSE:XtremeGear Optical USB 3 Buttons Gaming Mouse

    TEMP:NONE

    WNC:NONE

    BLUETOOTH:None

    FLASHMEDIA:None

    VIDEOCAMERA:NONE

    PRINTER:None

    PRINTER_CABLE:None

    IEEE_CARD:NONE

    USB:Add External USB 2.0 Hub (4x USB 2.0 Ports) [+19] (BLACK Color IR-4100-BK)

    FLOPPY:NONE

    OS:Microsoft® Windows VistaT Home Premium w/ Service Pack 1 [+104] (64-bit Edition)

    OS_UPGRADE:(Free Upgrade coupon with purchasing of Vista Home Premium) Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium (64-bit Edition)

    FREEBIE_OS:FREE! (Halo 2) Game

    TVRC:None
  13. lesleyri said:
    So for my usage should I go with the Q9550 build or the i7 in your opinion? I am just trying to figure out if I need to spend the extra money or now.


    lesleyri said:
    I will at least wait until the press conference to make my decision then, that shouldn't be a problem.

    Does anyone think that the 920 will drop significantly below $200 when the i5 comes out? I have also read that have dual cards with and i7 is far more benefitial than a single in comparison to the old processors. If it wont be dropping too much in price in speculation, I will go pick it up this weekend.


    Well the C2D and C2Q are EOL and are going to be replaced by the new i5 that are in stores now waiting for the word from intell words

    1 I would wate a week to see if the i5 are released http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2009/8/12/frye28099s-begins-to-stock-and-sell-intel-core-i5-750e28099s.aspx http://www.guru3d.com/news/frys-sells-core-i5-750/

    2 and seeing that the i5 with the same clock speed of the i7 920 is 205 i would buy a i7 @ micro center for 199

    3 will have to see what the mobos cost tho

    4 and the i5 and i7 are differnt sockets and the i5 use less power

    5 why would Intel make a CPU that would out do one they have out atm and then sell it for less

    6 with the P55 mobos i think you only get dual channal memroy vs triple on a X58 mobo
  14. lesleyri said:
    So for my usage should I go with the Q9550 build or the i7 in your opinion? I am just trying to figure out if I need to spend the extra money or now.


    lesleyri said:
    I will at least wait until the press conference to make my decision then, that shouldn't be a problem.

    Does anyone think that the 920 will drop significantly below $200 when the i5 comes out? I have also read that have dual cards with and i7 is far more benefitial than a single in comparison to the old processors. If it wont be dropping too much in price in speculation, I will go pick it up this weekend.


    Well the C2D and C2Q are EOL and are going to be replaced by the new i5 that are in stores now waiting for the word from intell words

    1 I would wate a week to see if the i5 are released http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2009/8/12/frye28099s-begins-to-stock-and-sell-intel-core-i5-750e28099s.aspx http://www.guru3d.com/news/frys-sells-core-i5-750/

    2 and seeing that the i5 with the same clock speed of the i7 920 is 205 i would buy a i7 @ micro center for 199

    3 will have to see what the mobos cost tho

    4 and the i5 and i7 are differnt sockets and the i5 use less power

    5 why would Intel make a CPU that would out do one they have out atm and then sell it for less

    6 with the P55 mobos i think you only get dual channal memroy vs triple on a X58 mobo


    I would go with this

    Mobo http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-EX58U4P&src=Deal
    CPU http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0302727
    Ram http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=10009623&prodlist=froogle
    PSU http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=10007112
    HDD http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=10010082

    If @ a store see if they do price matching
  15. Quote:
    :Asetek Liquid CPU Cooling System

    LOL! That thing is a joke. It's pretty cr@ppy. It'll do OK for i7 at stock, but forget any OCing.

    1. Release of i5 should drop the price of the i7 920 a bit. Major price reduction will be in the GPU arena.

    2. i7 and i5 uses 2 different sockets. i5 will max out at Quad + HT and i7 (X58) will get hexacore.

    And i5 uses Dual Channel.
  16. Wait another 2 weeks or so you will save a lot of money. i5 coming out, directx11 cards soon you probably cant wait that long.

    also i agree with shadow's suggestions
  17. If you can get the i7 @ $200US and not the common $279US price, it probably wont go below that. Instead the i5 will be the new $200 processor.
  18. I am going to pick up the 920 from microcenter today I think. As far as graphics cards, what do you guys recommend between the 4890 and the nvidia 275. I have also thought about getting 2 4870s and running them.
  19. A 4890 and a GTX 275 are going to be on par with each other, one or the other is going to out do the other depending on the game you play. both will be grate cards

    alot will say to go with the fastest single card you can aford and latter down the road if you think you need another then do SLI or Xfire.

    there are also some cards out that are single slot cards that are Xfire they have a 4850X2 and a 4870X2

    Read a few reviews and then pick one you feel will best fit your needs http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,2387.html
  20. 4890 or 275 are both good cards. Not everything uses SLI/xfire so I prefer the best single GPU over a sli/xfire setup when possible. Buy a good brand like XFX (with double lifetime warranty and good support) or EVGA.
  21. I am looking at the 4890 but most of them are DVI only. I would prefer to use HDMI since I am hooking up to my Denon AVR. Will I need to run two hdmi cable from my computer or can I output audio from the same cable in the graphics card? What are everyone's recommendation from sound cards?

    I am also trying to decide what mobo to get between the deluxe and the SE. The GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P is also looking pretty enticing to be honest. I wont need the extra ram slots and saving $150 on this whole project would be great. Does anyone have anything good or bad to say about these boards? The general responses I have read have been primarily positive.
  22. That Motherboard got good reviews on anantech, but it doesnt have the right socket for an i7. Its for older core 2 and pentiums.
  23. dndhatcher said:
    That Motherboard got good reviews on anantech, but it doesnt have the right socket for an i7. Its for older core 2 and pentiums.


    +1

    You need a X58 mobo for i7 try this one http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-EX58U4P&src=Deal

    This 4890 has HDMI http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102848

    As for sound the onboard sound should be all you need, If you have a very sensitive ear maybe this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829271002
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