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First time builder looking for advice on ~$1200 intel rig

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September 13, 2009 12:44:57 AM

Hi everyone, I'm finally going to build a new rig after using the same computer for like 6 years. I have built a computer before, but I've fallen behind on the hardware news so lately I've been spending literally entire nights reading up on hardware. There's just so much to know about processors, gpus, ram, mobos, etc, even what heatsink paste to use :ouch: 

Since I will be keeping my old pc for office use, I will need a new monitor as well.

My ~$1200 Gaming Rig

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: After the release of ATI 58XX series (around Sept 25, hopefully)

BUDGET RANGE: US $1200 +/- $100

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Frames Per Second

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: OS (will use Windows 7 RC for now until shutdown)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: All newegg unless someone suggests a better site.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel Lynnfield, GPU a tossup

OVERCLOCKING: Yes, but need a 1156 compatible heatsink, and I am having trouble finding reviews.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe. A single MSI 4890 OC is looking good at $199, and I was also thinking of crossfiring 4870s, for just a little more money. Not sure how these cards compare to nvidia's. Also, worried about the single x8 PCIe lane with 2 cards. In any case, I will wait until the release of ATI 58XX next gens before deciding.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920 x 1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This is just an early build, which still needs lots of adjusting. Furthermore, since I don't know much, I am not even sure if it's all compatible, like if the RAM works with the system, or if the case will hold the motherboard, or if the PSU is the right type, etc. I initially wanted to build this rig right away, then I heard the Lynnfields would come out, and now there's news of next gen 58XX ATis. It never ends does it? Here goes.


Intel Core i7 860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I7860 - Retail $299.99
MSI P55-CD53 LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $119.99 - $20 for Combo
Thoughts: I wanted to save a bit with the i5, but really I would be using this system for many years, so the hyperthreading could come in handy. As for the motherboard, I believe most of the current selections all use solid capacitors, so should be almost equally stable. I was actually thinking of getting the lowest ASUS P7P55 because it appears to use the best quality parts, but then again I am saving some cash with this board.

COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 700 RS-700-AMBA-D3 700W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active ... - Retail $109.99
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $69.99 - $25.00 for Combo
Thoughts: One of the better combos I could find, with adequate power in case I decide to crossfire. There's cheaper PSU like Rosewill, but I read some reviews and they said the power fluctuates more, and the power cables are not modularized.

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBHK - Retail $79.99
Thoughts: This one had me confused. I see two kinds of G.SKILL: this one, and the ripsaw one, for almost the same price. But this one had lower timings, I suppose which is the most important? There are higher PC1600 for sale, etc RAM, but the timings get higher, and I can just overclock this RAM myself, no?

MSI R4890 Cyclone OC Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail $199.99
Thoughts: I think this is the best 4890 right now, but still, for about $70 more I could have dual 4870s. Will have to wait and see the price and performance on the 5850s and make a decision.

ASUS VH226H Black 21.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail $169.99
Thoughts: This is a good price for a 21.5" LCD, no? On top of that, it's got 2ms response time. The others in this price range all have 5ms. Although this one is explicitly labeled GTG, I hope it's not some sort of advertising gimmick, where in reality it's still 5ms. Comes with speakers, a plus when I am not using headphones.


Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM $64.99

Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM $32.99


Subtotal: $1,102.91
Shipping: $38.98
Bing cashback for newegg 3%, $20 rebate from LCD.
Total: $1088.80

Not Included:
Heatsink, keyboard and mouse.

Heatsink: There's a real lack of reviews right now for socket 1156 heatsinks. Newegg has a CoolerMaster for $29.99, but I'm not sure how much better it is than the stock fan. I wonder how much is the Thermalright MUX 120 that these hardware websites keep using on their test setups?

So there's my build. Please feel free to comment critique. Thanks :kaola: 
September 13, 2009 1:03:12 AM

I'd go with the XFX 4890 over MSI, mine OC'd easily to 925 MHz with the fan barely audible, and you get the XFX warranty too (and a bit cheaper).
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September 13, 2009 2:14:53 AM

The board you have chosen only supports one vid card, so if it's Crossfire your looking to run later on that board will not work.
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September 13, 2009 2:46:03 AM

Ok how about this build. That mobo you chose looks like a nice one...got some good reviews, and I'm a believer of a one good card set up rather than think about two later. Your h/s is included in this build, and it comes with thermal paste. The psu is modular and the red LED on it matches the case...which btw is a great one. This case has gotten rave reviews. That memory is clocked higher than the ram you chose so should help with your o/c. The HD in this build is faster than that WD 500 you chose. I think this build will do ya just fine. :) 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$10.00 Combo Price: $109.98
COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
COOLER MASTER Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-GP 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU - Retail

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product... $71.99 ($46.99 after MIR) Free Shipping
OCZ OCZ550FTY 550W Active Power Supply Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$15.00 Combo Price: $314.98 Free Shipping*
MSI P55-CD53 LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Intel Core i5 750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750 - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$20.00 Combo Price: $254.98 Free Shipping*
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL - Retail
SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100269VXLE Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $49.99 Free Shipping*
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 29.99 Free Shipping*
Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD/CD Rewritable Drive - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $169.99 ($149.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate Card)
ASUS VH226H Black 21.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen 16:9 Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 12000 : 1) Built in Speakers - Retail
Full HD 1080P resolution

Total: $1,001.90 | $956.90 w/mail in rebates

http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/product.php?product_id=... <--- Cooler Master Storm Scout

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--- More pics, specs, and customer reviews of that OCZ psu
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September 13, 2009 3:16:18 AM

I usually like Why_me's builds, and this one overall is no exception - but I can't find an significant 3rd party review of that OCZ Fatal1ty psu.

OCZ stuff is all over the lot, and I'd rather see you go with one of the standard brands (Antec (Earth or True), Corsair, PCP&C, Seasonic) - or a model that has a specific review available - than this OCZ.
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September 13, 2009 3:18:54 AM

Twoboxer said:
I usually like Why_me's builds, and this one overall is no exception - but I can't find an significant 3rd party review of that OCZ Fatal1ty psu.

OCZ stuff is all over the lot, and I'd rather see you go with one of the standard brands (Antec (Earth or True), Corsair, PCP&C, Seasonic) - or a model that has a specific review available - than this OCZ.


That particular psu is designed by PC Power & Cooling. It was on some German site/review.

http://www.google.com/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&q=ocz... <---it's on page one of this search.
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September 13, 2009 3:32:19 AM

Sorry about that - I guess I misspelled fatality lol on my google search.

That OCZ psu is fine.
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September 13, 2009 5:49:24 AM

Thank you Why_Me, and everyone for their input. I noticed you included the i5-750 in your build... was there a specific reason why? I kind of wanted the 860 because I'd be stuck with this computer for many years, and hyperthreading could be useful in the future.

Also, thanks for the other suggestions. I was already leaning toward a single GPU build. If the 5850 is indeed $299 I may pick that up. A 550W PS would be able to support a single GPU, but not a Xfire setup right?

Also, the RAM is PC16000 with 9-9-9-24 timing, so it's faster than a PC1333 with 8-8-8-21? Yeah I was totally confused about that. Thanks =)
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September 13, 2009 9:41:52 AM

Godzealot said:
Thank you Why_Me, and everyone for their input. I noticed you included the i5-750 in your build... was there a specific reason why? I kind of wanted the 860 because I'd be stuck with this computer for many years, and hyperthreading could be useful in the future.

Also, thanks for the other suggestions. I was already leaning toward a single GPU build. If the 5850 is indeed $299 I may pick that up. A 550W PS would be able to support a single GPU, but not a Xfire setup right?

Also, the RAM is PC16000 with 9-9-9-24 timing, so it's faster than a PC1333 with 8-8-8-21? Yeah I was totally confused about that. Thanks =)


http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... <---sry...I spaced on that cpu. Here it is with that MSI board you chose.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... <--- this board runs SLI / Crossfire....something to look into if your into that.
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September 13, 2009 5:24:43 PM

Quote:

Also, thanks for the other suggestions. I was already leaning toward a single GPU build. If the 5850 is indeed $299 I may pick that up. A 550W PS would be able to support a single GPU, but not a Xfire setup right?

Yes, a single QUALITY PSU such as the 550VX would be able to run a single 58xx card.

Quote:

Also, the RAM is PC16000 with 9-9-9-24 timing, so it's faster than a PC1333 with 8-8-8-21? Yeah I was totally confused about that. Thanks =)

RAM Speed/Timing dosen't make much of a difference in real life performance. Unless OCing heavily go DDR3 1333.
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September 16, 2009 10:41:36 AM

Okay thanks... can you tell me which ram is better if I plan to push the i5-750 to 3.5 - 3.8 ghz like most people seem to be able to do?
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September 20, 2009 12:12:50 PM

Managed to snag a 23" Acer for the same price (they had a deal that day), and bought the PSU from zipzoomfly. With Bing cashback and the PSU rebate I'm getting $32 back =)

Just 2 more days until the 5850's (hopefully) come out! Anxious to see the reviews. I hope it performs on par with a crossfire setup.
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