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Cost efficient Core i7 build

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September 17, 2009 4:55:08 AM

Approximate purchase date: Within a month

Budget range: $700

Primary purpose: Multitasking, Photoshop, Internet browsing, Games

Parts not required: Processor (have Core i7 940), Monitor, Keyboard + mouse

Preferred websites for parts: Newegg.com

Parts preferred: Since I have the processor already, I need to look for compatible options. Mobo and tower need support upgrade (if any!) in future

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor resolution: Already have a Asus 1920x1200 monitor

Additional comments: Keen on cost, reliability and performance. Planning on Windows 7 + Linux

Parts:

Processor: Already have Core i7 940

Mobo:
EVGA 141-BL-E757-TR LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX X58 SLI LE Intel Motherboard - Retail

or

ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

RAM:
OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail

PSU:

CORSAIR CMPSU-750HX 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail. Considering 750W just in case I am planning to add more to the system in future - but can come down to 650W?

Cooling unit:
Need help on selecting one... How about:
Scythe MUGEN-2 SCMG-2000 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler - Retail

Hard disk:
Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

Case:
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail - Hopefully this has less noise and beter cooling!

Monitor: Asus HDMI monitor (Have already)

Video Card: Undecided: not looking for frequent gaming, but definitely HDMI output for movies, image editing etc.

The total, excluding the video card, comes to $732. I am planning to pickup a good DVD drive and speakers, which may add another $100.

I am wondering if I can cut back a little on the above config to save a few more dollars, but unsure if I will lose on performance and expandability...

Please provide your suggestions/comments on this build. Thanks a ton!
September 17, 2009 6:12:56 AM

Another highly rated CPU cooler, which is slightly more expensive is:
XIGMATEK Intel Core i7 compatible Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail - $44.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, have you considered this AsRock motherboard? It had very nice reviews on this site and is also significantly less expensive the the ones you selected:
ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - $169.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Based upon your comments, I think you can definately save on the Mobo --- nothing you listed requires a $330 mobo


-b
September 17, 2009 7:27:15 AM

^+1
But as for the CPU cooler, even the Scythe mugen 2 would be a very good choice...

And why is the listed components mixed up - Some from newegg.com and some from newegg.ca ?

And that ASRock mobo has all praises in all of the reviews for such a feature rich board for such low price...

PSU - You can drop to 650W...I dont think you will need 750W at all...A Corsair 650W PSU can handle dual card upto 2x HD 4870/ GTX 260 without any issues...
And as the case doesnt have a side window, you can get the non-modular version of the PSU and save some money...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
But if you want Modular, then here it is...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - I doubt there would be any real world performance difference between a DDR3 1333MHz and 1600MHz RAM...
mushkin 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics card - If you want to play the current and future games at very high resolutions, then go for any of these - GTX 275/ HD 4890
But if gaming is not a priority, then even an HD 4850 would do...But make sure you get the 1GB version as it would help for your monitor resolution...
Related resources
September 18, 2009 12:58:22 AM

bashful98033 said:
Another highly rated CPU cooler, which is slightly more expensive is:
XIGMATEK Intel Core i7 compatible Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail - $44.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, have you considered this AsRock motherboard? It had very nice reviews on this site and is also significantly less expensive the the ones you selected:
ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - $169.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Based upon your comments, I think you can definately save on the Mobo --- nothing you listed requires a $330 mobo


-b


XIGMATEK definitely seems to be the better choice. On the mobo, though you were right that ASRock seems to be a good bet on the price, I feel reluctant to sway away from ASUS or EVGA - more so because they are trusted brands and hopefully more reliable; but thats my personal thought. I'd do some work to see if I want to switch to ASRock..
September 18, 2009 1:15:04 AM

gkay09 said:
^+1
But as for the CPU cooler, even the Scythe mugen 2 would be a very good choice...

And why is the listed components mixed up - Some from newegg.com and some from newegg.ca ?

RAM - I doubt there would be any real world performance difference between a DDR3 1333MHz and 1600MHz RAM...
mushkin 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But if gaming is not a priority, then even an HD 4850 would do...But make sure you get the 1GB version as it would help for your monitor resolution...


Sorry about the mix with the links, did not realize that!

Corsair 650W non-modular certainly suits my need, and I don't think I have any significant convenience with the modular PSU when I am choosing an ATX mid tower. Managing the cables and air circulation would be the only concerns between the two choices I presume!

Found CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1333C9 - Retail ; Seems cheaper than Mushkin!

I was surprised to find the mobos do not come with onboard video chipset, and still wondering why!?? Not even just a VGA output? Anyways, I will settle down for a lower config (cost!) video card for now!

September 18, 2009 1:18:50 AM

bashful98033 said:
Have you looked at: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cheap-x58-motherboa... ? That mobo gets the recommended award out of the bunch.

As an FYI, AsRock is actually a subbrand of ASUS. I don't remember where I read that originally, but I did check it on wikepedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asrock


-b



ASRock - Not bad at all! Thanks for the links! I checked the specs too and was almost the same as that of ASUS. So my concern about the choice of mobo affecting future upgrades does not seems to be issue anymore!
September 18, 2009 1:30:11 AM

Navalin said:
Sorry about the mix with the links, did not realize that!

Corsair 650W non-modular certainly suits my need, and I don't think I have any significant convenience with the modular PSU when I am choosing an ATX mid tower. Managing the cables and air circulation would be the only concerns between the two choices I presume!

Found CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1333C9 - Retail ; Seems cheaper than Mushkin!

I was surprised to find the mobos do not come with onboard video chipset, and still wondering why!?? Not even just a VGA output? Anyways, I will settle down for a lower config (cost!) video card for now!


Note that the Mushkin and Corsair memory aren't rated at the same timing perfs - the mushkin is 7-7-7-20 and the corsair is 9-9-9-24. This is a case where the lower number is better --- more details can be found by reading http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDR3_SDRAM

Given that you are putting an 940 into this box, you'd probably be better off using the Mushkin.


-b
September 18, 2009 4:44:04 AM

@Navalin like bashful98033 said, that Mushkin I had listed have tighter timings than that Corsair...
And always RAM with tighter timings are better than raw speed(MHz)...

And for the concerns about the cabling, the CM 690 has good cable management so you wouldn't have any issues with it...And it has go very good airflow...

But if you are willing to spend more for a quieter case, then I would suggest you take a look at this case designed with sound dampening materials...Has very good airflow with 1 230MM fan, 1 140MM fan and 1 120MM fan...And would cost you just $10 than that CM after including rebates...
Thermaltake ElementS VK60001N2Z Black
$109.99
($79.99 after $30.00 Mail-In Rebate Card )
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
!