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$800-900 Gaming Build Help

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September 7, 2009 2:33:48 AM

Hi,

I want to get a list of parts for my first desktop build. I believe everything should be compatible in each build, but please point out faults or give suggestions on how I can make these potential builds better. Hope you guys and girls can help me!

Purpose: I am trying to put together a desktop for gaming/multitask/design/rendering/programming/web development, etc. I want a powerful and QUIET PC that fulfills the above purposes while keeping upgradeability.

Conditions: I already have a 24" monitor (1920x1200) and peripherals, so I just need the system itself. I only need 1 HDD for now, less than 1 TB is fine. I am willing to choose a different cheaper case if it offers similar sound dampening as the Antec P183 (I was actually considering the Thermaltake Tsunami or a Lian-Li case).

Budget: $800-900. If the build goes over budget, I would hope for a significant performance increase to justify it. Would an i7 build or AMD Phenom II build be better for these purposes?

I am deciding between an i7 920 build or an AMD Phenom II x4 955 build. Their links will be posted below.

I have found some items that are cheaper elsewhere and I will post their prices here so my subtotal is more appropriate.

i7 build:

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

I need help deciding which motherboard to use among the 2 in my list, and which graphics card: GTX 275 for $150 or ATI 4890 for $200. I can get the i7 processor for $200. There are 2 motherboards in the list because I am not sure which one is "better" or has better quality, suggestions would be appreciated. I know the i7 build currently is more expensive than my AMD list, but if anyone can make suggestions to bring the price down or give good reasons why I should go with a more expensive i7 build, I will seriously consider it.

AMD Phenom II build:

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

For the AMD build, I can get the processor for $175, motherboard for $145, and an optical drive for $28. Thus, the total for my AMD build should be around $871, last time I checked (please correct me if I'm wrong).

For both builds, I was planning on using the PC Power & Cooling PSU Silencer 750W, I found it for $50. I would like to try overclocking both processors, no matter which I use. I would like to use SLI/Crossfire in the future.

If anyone needs extra info from me, please ask and I will try to respond ASAP. Thanks!

More about : 800 900 gaming build

September 7, 2009 3:01:32 AM

Well, I hope i can help you but some of the items you specified are wrong for example your i7 Rig has TWO Mobos., Recheck your lists and update.

Regards.
September 7, 2009 3:04:45 AM

Thanks for pointing that out. I forgot to say the two motherboards are there because I couldn't decide which one was better or higher quality between the two since the price difference is minimal. Suggestions would be great!
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September 7, 2009 3:31:17 AM

Actually, since you have an EVGA GPU, why not an EVGA Motherboard?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This motherboard has good reviews and EVGA has good support.

For overclocking the CPU, a CPU cooler like this core contact freezer is a good idea.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DDR3 1333 is all you really need for memory speed. Above that doesn't give much return on investment.

Here is an alternate motherboard for your AMD build. That 790FX seems to be considered overpriced.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As far as choosing between i7 and AMD - rendering I think is the only strong reason to go with the i7 CPU.
Also the i5 is shipping in the next couple weeks (already on sale in australia), but the i5 starts at the $200 price point and the i7 is likely to stay above $250 in the forseeable future.
September 7, 2009 6:48:57 AM

dndhatcher said:
Actually, since you have an EVGA GPU, why not an EVGA Motherboard?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This motherboard has good reviews and EVGA has good support.

For overclocking the CPU, a CPU cooler like this core contact freezer is a good idea.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DDR3 1333 is all you really need for memory speed. Above that doesn't give much return on investment.

Here is an alternate motherboard for your AMD build. That 790FX seems to be considered overpriced.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As far as choosing between i7 and AMD - rendering I think is the only strong reason to go with the i7 CPU.
Also the i5 is shipping in the next couple weeks (already on sale in australia), but the i5 starts at the $200 price point and the i7 is likely to stay above $250 in the forseeable future.


Thanks for the input dndhatcher.

Since I would NOT choose an EVGA GTX 275 if the price went up above $150, I would not like to base my motherboard choice only on the BRAND of the GPU.

I like the CPU cooler suggestion, but does it run quietly as well? Ideally, I want a computer quiet enough that you almost cannot hear anything if you are 1 foot away from it (my friend has a computer that does this with a P182 case, GTX 295, i7 920, Scythe Flex-S fans, PC Power & Cooling PSU)

I was considering a lower memory speed too, but I read you need at least DDR3 1600 for overclocking or your CPU speeds will be affected by the limited memory bandwidth. Any thoughts on this?

That motherboard is one that I haven't researched myself. My first thoughts are, how is the price so much cheaper than the 790FX-GD70 and what are the differences between the two? How is the cooling compared to the MSI board? Before I settled on the 790FX-GD70, I was wavering on the GIGABYTE GA-MA790FXT-UD5P -- how does the motherboard you suggested compare to the UD5P on speed, overclocking ease, features, etc? It includes onboard graphics that I won't need. Also, the lack of Newegg reviewers somewhat worries me. Since you say the MSI 790FX-GD70 seems overpriced, what would be considered a good price for it?

Thanks for letting me know of the i5. If I found an i7 for $200, would it still be worth it to consider an i5?
September 7, 2009 7:57:53 AM

From reading the reviews on both, I would choose that EVGA motherboard over the others, especially with EVGAs reputation for good service. That EVGA motherboard comes in 4 models, the top one is one of the top overclocking motherboards.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The cheapest good i7 motherboard is this asrock (good review here at toms). It says it will be back in stock on 9/11. If it really comes in in 9/11 will sell back out by 9/13 so jump on it fast.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If I was buying a new system soon and the i7 was in my price range I would grab that $200 i7 before the deal disappears. The problem is the RMA date starts ticking away as soon as you buy it so you need everything else quickly after to test it.

As far as the CPU cooler try the Scythe mugen 2, it at least has a good reputation. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OR look at the reviews on frostytech.com, there are other scythe models (half of the top 10 quietest) I would go for before an untested model.

If you want it that quiet you will probably need to replace the case fans with scythe fans and get a quiet power supply also. Its going to cost more. If you are buying alot of fans anyway, why not get the cheap and effective Core Contact Freezer I linked above and put a quiet scythe 120mm fan on it? With the $15 MIR making the CCF only $25 you can afford $10 for a replacement fan and still be cheaper than almost anything else.

As far as memory speed goes, all I can say is the reviews show PC1600 did not provide any significant improvement over PC1333, at least in gaming (which is all I look at ;)  )
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/memory-scaling-i7,2...
September 7, 2009 5:35:47 PM

Your Intel build has 2 MBs and no case, I normally lean towards Asus. You could shave some extra money off the AMD build with a cheaper case, the current case has no side or front vents, and with how hot the i7 can run, you want something that can help to cool your system down...

For a LOT of circulation, although, no idea how loud it is yet... That fan is a monster... (79.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811196029

or something with a little more detail... (69.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811156090

or look at some of the offerings by Aerocool, Coolermax or Thermaltake (or many others).

With the i7, you will definately want to upgrade the stock heatsink/fan. From what I've seen, look into liquid cooling.

Not sure on the Gskil modules, but the 7-7-7-20 timings for DDR3 aren't that much of an extra cost. I'd look at the OCZ or Mushkins though...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=1052315794&Description=7-7-7-20%20DDR3%201333&name=4GB%20%282%20x%202GB%29

PSU efficiency may also be something else to look at. Coolermaster has a 129.99 80 Plus Silver Certified 700W PSU that may be worth looking into.
a b 4 Gaming
September 8, 2009 11:41:51 AM

Try the new i5. :) 

http://www.guru3d.com/article/core-i5-750-core-i7-860-8...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $89.99 Free Shipping*
COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product... $104.99 Free Shipping
PC Power and Cooling SILENCER 750W QUAD S75CF Power Supply Retail

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=I5-750BOX Combo Price: $314.99 $15 off with P55 combo purchase w/code OMGi5COMBO $299.99 Free Shipping
Part#:MB-P55M-D2 | GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2 Socket 1156/ Intel P55/ DDR3/ CrossFireX/ A&GbE/ MATX Motherboard
Part#:I5-750BOX | Intel Core i5 Processor i5-750 2.66GHz 8MB LGA1156 CPU, Retail

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... $19.99
Cooler Master RR-910-HTX3-GP Hyper TX3 CPU Cooler - 92mm, LGA 1156, 775, AMD 754, 939, 940, AM2, AM3

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=FAN-MX2 $4.49
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $89.99 Free Shipping*
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-4GBRM - Retail
Dual Channel Intel Core i5 & Core i7 CPU for P55 motherboard

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=GA-GTX275C $214.99 Free Ground Shipping
GIGABYTE nVidia GeForce GTX275 OC 896MB DDR3 DVI/HDMI PCI-Express Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $74.99 Free Shipping*
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $33.99
Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner with LightScribe LightScribe Support - OEM

Total: $937.90 before shipping, taxes, and mail in rebates

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $109.99 Free Shipping*
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM | Includes free Windows 7 upgrade coupon
September 9, 2009 1:57:50 AM

Thanks for everyone's advice. After doings lots more research, i've decided to go with an i7 920 build. I'll make a new thread with my updated list and questions, thanks again!

EDIT: The link to my newly started thread is here.
!