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First Build! $500-700 performance/upgrading

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September 11, 2009 10:23:20 PM

BUDGET: approx. $500-700

EXPERIENCE WITH BUILDING A PC: Not too much, previously installed a gfx card, memory and hard drive and that's it.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP, want to put it together on my break about a week and a half from now

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming (with movies, surfing internet, and word processing distant 2nd)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor- 22 inch viewsonic, PC Power and Cooling 470 watt power supply- salvageable since good brand?,seagate 320gig hard drive

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: any site, i do like newegg but best deal- as long as reliable and returnable if any dead parts

PARTS PREFERENCES: None whatsoever, looking for pure performance, HOWEVER, I will be graduating dental school and upgrading my pc in 2.5 yrs so upgradeability also......antec 1200? or too expensive?

OVERCLOCKING: Yes- totally willing to try

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: sure, whatever is most powerful- higher performance single card or two cards at lower individual performance/price

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: It's a pet peeve when my graphics card overheats and dies so hopefully a case with excellent cooling abilities, i don't care about noise so much


Also, Thank-you in advance for any suggestions and sorry I don't have any real parts preferences, I have researched quite a bit, but the forum debates are overwhelming !!!! lol

GAMES I PLAY OR WOULD LIKE TO PLAY: Empires: Total War, Crysis Warhead, Supreme Commander, Far Cry II, Flight SimulatorX, Rise of Flight, Storm of war: battle of britain, COD4
September 11, 2009 11:12:37 PM

Hey guys, sorry I'm new....did i say anything wrong or leave out anything? People are avoiding my post like they avoid a dentist. Oh btw, I live an hour from a microcenter with I7 920's in stock for $199. Is that the best deal for processors?
September 12, 2009 5:45:40 AM

amalgum said:
Hey guys, sorry I'm new....did i say anything wrong or leave out anything? People are avoiding my post like they avoid a dentist. Oh btw, I live an hour from a microcenter with I7 920's in stock for $199. Is that the best deal for processors?

yes....
get that and a antec 900? its only 100 on new egg
pick out a mobo ~ no crossfiring so get one for 110
i ono about the power supply so be safe and get a 4870 GPU~ 156
4 gb ram ddr3 is like 80-90s
o and like a cheap dvd burner 30 bucks tax is gonna be like 30-50

be around 700.....still i dont know about the PSU i hear min 500 watts nowadays
Related resources
September 12, 2009 6:10:24 AM

you'll need around 650W-700W minimum if you're going for crossfire/sli.

Also, look for the 80+ certificate, it'll be more efficient and save you a bit on the electric bill.
September 12, 2009 6:19:44 AM

quotemsg=1987729,3,466734]yes....
get that and a antec 900? its only 100 on new egg
pick out a mobo ~ no crossfiring so get one for 110
i ono about the power supply so be safe and get a 4870 GPU~ 156
4 gb ram ddr3 is like 80-90s
o and like a cheap dvd burner 30 bucks tax is gonna be like 30-50

be around 700.....still i dont know about the PSU i hear min 500 watts nowadays[/quotemsg]



Thank-you for your input Silvergo and dragoon! Ya I have been considering the antec 900 also...I might just choose to go a tad overbudget and get the 1200 though for future upgrades. Ya if anyone knows for sure on the power supply then it would be very helpful, b/c otherwise i need add a ps to the list. I probably will go with a single graphic card right now unless it is better to run 2 4850's in crossfire over one 4870 or 90. Hey Silvergo, what would you suggest for a mobo, b/c all i see are the i7's paired with the x58's and wondering if there is anything else, b/c that mobo is like $200 minimum i think.
September 12, 2009 6:26:33 AM

i7 920s must be paired with x58 motherboards. The cheapest decent x58 motherboard is $190, THe 6GB Ram would be $130 and the CPU $200 or $290.

I think thats outside your budget.

Ill post again in a few minutes with some parts. Just to be sure, you need Case, motherboard, CPU, RAM and GPU around $600?
September 12, 2009 6:32:08 AM

2 4850 crossfired would beat both the 4870 and the 4890. At least for FPS, that is. Here's the chart on Tom's.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-card...

But if you just get one 4870/90 right now, that'd open the possibility of future GPU upgrade by simply buying another card and crossfire them.
September 12, 2009 6:34:30 AM

Antec 300 illusion - mid tower version of the 1200 ($70)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
xfx 4870 ($150)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
*Case and GPU Total ($220)

I would not go below a 4870. The 4850 costs almost as much ($135) for less performance.

This is as what an I5 would cost:
i5 CPU ($210)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS P7P55D LE Motherboard ($135)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Gskill Cas7 DDR3 1600 RAM 2x2GB ($95)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
*CPU/Mobo/Ram Total ($430)*

The next option is a 3 core PhenomIIx3 720:
PhenomIIx3 720 CPU ($120)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H ($115)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GSKill Cas8 DDR3 1333 RAM 2x2GB ($80) <CAS7 ram is $5 more, CAS9 is $5 less>
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
*CPU/Mobo/RAM Total ($315)*

You can get combo deals to save money, these are the prices buying everything single. Other retailers may have things cheaper. I think the same place that had the $200 i7 720s has the i5s at $180.


You really want a CPU cooler before you overclock, but that could wait for later.
hyper 212 CPU cooler ($30)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If your PSU has 2 6pin PCIE power adapters or at least one PCIE and one free 4pin power cable (adapter http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) you can probably use if you dont overclocking too much (no big voltage increases). If it doesnt have any pcie power cables, its probably safer to get a new 500W one like this OCZ for around $60.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


You should be able to squeeze an i5 in at the top end of your budget. If that feels like to much, the Phenom will give almost the same gaming performance for a few years.

Best solution

September 12, 2009 7:24:27 AM
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http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$10.00 Combo Price: $169.94
Antec Three Hundred Illusion 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 upgrade coupon

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$15.00 Combo Price: $209.98 Free Shipping*
SAPPHIRE 100279-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL - Retail
Dual Channel Intel Core i5 & Core i7 CPU for P55 motherboard

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-P55M-D2 Combo Price: $299.98 | $284.98 - $15 off with P55 combo purchase w/ code OMGi5COMBO Free Shipping
GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2 Socket 1156/ Intel P55/ DDR3/ CrossFireX/ A&GbE/ MATX Motherboard
Intel Core i5 Processor i5-750 2.66GHz 8MB LGA1156 CPU, Retail

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... $14.99
Cooler Master RR-910-HTX3-GP Hyper TX3 CPU Cooler - 92mm, LGA 1156, 775, AMD 754, 939, 940, AM2, AM3

Total: $679.89

*or swap out this combo with the one up above.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$10.00 Combo Price: $154.94 Free Shipping*
Antec Three Hundred 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 upgrade coupon

Total: $664.89
September 12, 2009 7:59:56 AM

Thanks Why_Me. I hoped you would dig up the good combo deals.


The hyper TX3 looks like the 90mm version of the Hyper 212. Unfortunately its not in stock at newegg.

You even included the OS. I figured if he was re-using his hard drive he would use the old OS until he could afford a new HDD and win7.
September 12, 2009 8:06:26 AM

dndhatcher said:
Thanks Why_Me. I hoped you would dig up the good combo deals.


The hyper TX3 looks like the 90mm version of the Hyper 212. Unfortunately its not in stock at newegg.

You even included the OS. I figured if he was re-using his hard drive he would use the old OS until he could afford a new HDD and win7.


I found it in stock @ tiger direct, and for $5 dollar cheaper than newegg. :) 

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... $14.99
Cooler Master RR-910-HTX3-GP Hyper TX3 CPU Cooler - 92mm, LGA 1156, 775, AMD 754, 939, 940, AM2, AM3
September 12, 2009 9:42:17 AM

dndhatcher said:
Thanks Why_Me. I hoped you would dig up the good combo deals.


The hyper TX3 looks like the 90mm version of the Hyper 212. Unfortunately its not in stock at newegg.

You even included the OS. I figured if he was re-using his hard drive he would use the old OS until he could afford a new HDD and win7.


he could also try to find the download file to the window 7 Rc i tihnk it last til late next year? til it expire.

the mobo, youll probably be safer by going with gigabyte, asus,evga, (msi?). dont know im going gigabyte. but i still wouldnt go for the i7 since the mobo is expensive. the i7 860 has better and cheaper mobo, but if you still insists that I7 is your cpu then be prepared to pay alot more. but the i5 is a really good cpu and its cheap. be around 285-350 with combo deals compared to like 400-550 with i7's. save a couple hundred bucks for your future upgrades. get around 500-600 to be on the safe side, dunno if your psu is old. should give some info and a more exp person can leave some input. but yea check out why me post. (besides his ugly case suggestion =p)
before you buy check back and post what your gonna get.
September 12, 2009 10:05:18 AM

silvergo said:
he could also try to find the download file to the window 7 Rc i tihnk it last til late next year? til it expire.


http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/get/download...

"Sorry, the Windows 7 RC is no longer available for download. If you’ve got the download and need a product key, they’ll be available until October 21, 2009.
September 12, 2009 10:14:04 AM

silvergo said:
(besides his ugly case suggestion =p)
That was MY ugly case suggestion. I guess clean and classy isnt your style. :kaola: 
Also the OP did mention the 1200, and the 300 illusion is a smaller version of it.
September 12, 2009 8:59:32 PM

Wow, I am extremely impressed that a bunch of friendly strangers would put this much work into helping some schmuck they don't know upgrade his pc. I truly appreciate it guys, and I will post again once i digest all the new info. Ya the pricing 500-700 isn't set in stone and i guess i could go closer to 800. Also, I'm still worried about whether or not i should purchase a new psu. And one more thought, should I wait and get one of the new radeon 5750's coming out in a couple weeks? i think pricing will be comparable to the 4870's with better performance and directx 11. Btw whyme i do like the combo deal with the operating system. I have windows xp but would like to experience directx 10 or 11. And just to get this straight- we are talking about $100-200 more to go with I7 920 over the I5 even with the $199 deal at microcenter for the I7? And that is again attributed to the more exp x58 mobo? Thanks again for the continuing input!
September 12, 2009 9:36:47 PM

i7 mobo's cost more on average... same with the six gig kits of triple channel RAM they require. i7 is geared more for the peson doing a lot of video editing, opening large files, running dual vid cards at high resolution, etc... it's the top of the line so to speak. But the i5 isn't far behind, and in fact beats the i7 in some games. The i5 is a great way to go imo. Here's some benchmarks for you to have a look at in regards to the i5.


http://www.techspot.com/review/193-intel-core-i5-750/

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

http://www.xsreviews.co.uk/reviews/cpus/intel-core-i5-7...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-lynnfield,2...

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2009/09/08/intel-...

http://hothardware.com/Articles/Intel-Core-i5-and-i7-Pr...
September 12, 2009 11:33:18 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Foxconn FlamingBlade GTI LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Original Price: $179.99
You Save: $10.00
$169.99



http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
Core i7 920 Processor Boxed
Original Price: $349.99

Our Price: $199.99
You Save: $150.00


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9T-6GBNQ - Retail

$119.99

Total Cost cpu/motherboard/ram: $489.97


*CPU/Mobo/Ram Total ($430)* - I5 processor combo by dndhatcher


So there would be about a $60 difference (without combo) in price....would this still be too expensive for 2gigs more Ram and faster processor? Sorry i'm not trying push issue of I7 if I5 is just as good for my needs, but I wanted to make sure. Also with the I7 combo i would probably have to think about a new psu to run all that hardware. What do you think?








September 12, 2009 11:47:12 PM

Well i did newegg's psu calculator and it is recommending 533w if i go i5 pc and 578w if i go i7. Crap, i was hoping i wouldn't have to upgrade that, it's only a year and a half old.
September 13, 2009 2:41:26 AM

Normally I wouldnt touch foxconn, but this board got a decent review at toms.
The big problem is it only has 3 memory slots.

ASRock’s X58 Extreme is the same price, got a good review and has 6 memory slots.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Like Why_Me pointed out, Im not spending the extra on an i7 because my computer is just for gaming.

If you have a microcenter nearby they have the i7 920 at $200 and the i5 at $180. They are starting to sell ou so better decide soon. You can go online and do an "instore pickup" to see if yours still has them in stock.
September 13, 2009 2:57:16 AM

He can go for the i7 build since i7 920 is only 200 bucks right now if they still in stock, but then he'll have to get a cheap mobo (AsRock which sucks) and 6GB of RAM.

I suggest going with the i5 750 build instead, the performance gap is not that much also i5 750 overclocks better with turbo, even in manual it overclocks better. 4ghz+ easily.

Buy a new PSU with 80 plus certified, because you wouldn't want your computer to die because of a crappy PSU.

dndhatcher's i5 750 build is pretty good, i just skimmed through it. theres no point on a AMD build because i5 750 owns everything AMD has
September 13, 2009 3:45:53 AM

Why_Me said:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/get/download...

"Sorry, the Windows 7 RC is no longer available for download. If you’ve got the download and need a product key, they’ll be available until October 21, 2009.

you dont have to download the file straight from microsoft, theres alot of other places where youll still be able to download it.=p i just downloaded one, 64 bit, a week ago.
September 13, 2009 3:53:06 AM

overshocks said:
He can go for the i7 build since i7 920 is only 200 bucks right now if they still in stock, but then he'll have to get a cheap mobo (AsRock which sucks) and 6GB of RAM.

I suggest going with the i5 750 build instead, the performance gap is not that much also i5 750 overclocks better with turbo, even in manual it overclocks better. 4ghz+ easily.

Buy a new PSU with 80 plus certified, because you wouldn't want your computer to die because of a crappy PSU.

dndhatcher's i5 750 build is pretty good, i just skimmed through it. theres no point on a AMD build because i5 750 owns everything AMD has


I'm no fan of Asrock ...well until they came out with that board. That AsRock mobo has gotten great reviews...one of them done here at Toms.
September 13, 2009 4:17:40 AM

Why_Me said:
I'm no fan of Asrock ...well until they came out with that board. That AsRock mobo has gotten great reviews...one of them done here at Toms.


One of the reviews on Toms for the Asrock mobo died during overclocking which is pretty sad. There are neg/pos sayings about this board, no point in gettin the cheapest board when going with i7 anyways, thats just a waste.
September 13, 2009 4:26:38 AM

overshocks said:
One of the reviews on Toms for the Asrock mobo died during overclocking which is pretty sad. There are neg/pos sayings about this board, no point in gettin the cheapest board when going with i7 anyways, thats just a waste.

You need to read better overshock. It was the supercomputer model, not the extreme. ASRock explained to them it was a voltage regulation feature on the 1.03 revision causing the problem. It needed some bios tweaks to get around even in the 1.03 model and was not an issue with the 1.04 and 1.05 models.
September 13, 2009 4:34:47 AM

The 1 year warranty with the asrock is the main thing holding me back from getting it, along with the fact that one review i saw detailing power response showed +50 watts against a comparable x58 board when overclocked to 3.8ghz due to the vdroop setting which was required in order to maintain stability. It did appear to be 5% faster than average for the clock for non-gaming situations though. This may have been cleared up with bios updates since though. ASrock is ASUS affiliated though and the mainstream option if I recall correctly.

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP 700W $69.99 after MIR
or CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W $99.99 after MIR are the PSUs im considering
and my leading choice so far for motherboard is a uATX ASUS Rampage II GENE LGA 1366 Intel X58 Micro ATX $209.99 (you will have to do some hunting to find it less than $250)
It has more overclocking options (including some options that look too easy to use and therefore possibly dangerous) than I can shake a stick at and good stability with low voltage settings as well. All this is a result of handmedowns from its much more expensive big brother.


Just to be the devil's advocate and to throw something out there that I'm going to build for my dad. The sempron AM3 sargas chips are actually disabled or defective that have about a 75% chance of unlocking to Athlon II X2 overclockable @ 3.7! You can always grab a much faster AM3 in 2 or 3 years if this processor will cut it for you... You can nab the motherboard and processor for less than $100.
September 13, 2009 6:46:45 AM

Ok since the overwhelming opinion is to go for an I5, i'm starting to see the light, I'm probably going to match up almost exactly with whyme's suggestions, but may also have to get a psu. Thank-you to everyone for their contribution.
Thinking about getting OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP 700W $69.99 after MIR suggested by aaXenoStrange. And one more time, Anyone have opinions on getting a HD 4870 or waiting a couple weeks and getting the new Radeon HD 5770?
September 13, 2009 7:36:52 AM

the new vid cards are gonna be pretty expensive, i heard its even better than the single 295 but thats just speculation and if it is its gonna be 300+ for a 5870/90, the 5770 i still dont know but if your in no rush you should wait. this is what i believe sone one please post something and prove me wrong as i am also about build my system within the next 5-10 days. o yea it "might" even push down the prices of the 4980. and again no one really knows the prices of the 5xxx cards.
September 13, 2009 7:46:49 AM

silvergo said:
the new vid cards are gonna be pretty expensive, i heard its even better than the single 295 but thats just speculation and if it is its gonna be 300+ for a 5870/90, the 5770 i still dont know but if your in no rush you should wait. this is what i believe sone one please post something and prove me wrong as i am also about build my system within the next 5-10 days. o yea it "might" even push down the prices of the 4980. and again no one really knows the prices of the 5xxx cards.


This 550w down below will easily push a 4890 with plenty of juice to spare, not to mention it's a bloody steal at this price with the combo.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$20.00 Combo Price: $124.90 Free Shipping*
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Antec TruePower New TP-550 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE - Retail
September 13, 2009 7:53:27 AM

yea thats what i thought to, the new egg calculator probably estimates it a lil higher, forgot that one site that gives you more options to calculate,
But should we all wait for the new 5XXX cards! that is the question....eh well im not gonna wait though 3 weeks blah i already waited for the i5 so i be happy with anything
September 13, 2009 4:11:40 PM

dndhatcher said:
You need to read better overshock. It was the supercomputer model, not the extreme. ASRock explained to them it was a voltage regulation feature on the 1.03 revision causing the problem. It needed some bios tweaks to get around even in the 1.03 model and was not an issue with the 1.04 and 1.05 models.


LOL, you need to read better and I'm not "overshock" don't try to insult me you're not even at my level yet. Why_me didn't specific if it was extreme or supercomputer..thus why you come to the conclusion and try to insult me by "need to read better". Even if it is the extreme version, it still sucks compared to other mobos. No need to get the cheapest mobo when you going for i7 anyways, just a waste. OP's budget can't get a decent i7 build, so don't even bother, so that's why he's going for a decent i5 750 build.

To original poster, good choice you're going for i5 now, also if you wait till 5xxx series come out (october) prices will drop for the older cards, just get a 4870 1 GB and it will max out your 1680 x 1050 resolution or a 4890 depending how your budget goes. Also get a new PSU as mentioned before.
September 18, 2009 11:46:11 PM

y did you bump this?
!