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New system based on 5850/5870 ($1000ish)

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October 2, 2009 5:29:20 PM

I currently have a Mac Pro with a 3870 and an x1900 (something like that). It has the Samsung 305T and 2 dell 20" screens hooked to it. I'm looking to build a Windows box to complement my gaming urges...

Purchase date would be anytime between now and Windows 7 release.
Budget range would be around $1,000 (flexible but no need to get into $2k systems) - after rebate is fine
System usage will primarily be playing online games (FPS/MMO).
Parts not required would be - Mouse/Keyboard/monitor/extreme storage/super optical drive
Pref site: newegg, US
Parts pref - I'd like to use a single 5850/5870 but otherwise I'm pretty flexible.
Overclocking - probably not, SLI/Crossfire - maybe up to 2 cards eventually.
Monitor resolution - I'll probably hook it up to my 30" so it'll be 2560x1600

Additional comments:

As noted above, I have a Mac Pro with sufficient storage for music/movies/etc. So this computer will have the OS and games installed. 100-200GB will probably be more than sufficient. I don't feel the need for SSD at the moment but could be persuaded. I currently have XP 32/64 and will be getting some version of Windows 7 most likely. I will probably also get a KVM. Don't worry about putting the OS and the KVM as part of the price although if you have suggestions on which version of Windows 7 or a KVM to get that'd be fine. I don't need a flashy case as I'll rarely look at it. Also for optical drives I really only need a DVD reader and that's to install the software. I'll also most likely get some good headphones for gaming though so don't worry about speakers.

I built my own systems up until about 2001. Being out of the loop for so long I'm mildly intimidated with all the options and figure you guys would know better than I at this point. However putting it together isn't an issue. Mostly I don't want to bottleneck my graphics card by the CPU and/or RAM. I don't have any brand loyalty to Intel/AMD/ATI/Nvidia/etc. For the most part, I'll only be running the game although system try things like AVG and Steam will be there.

I also do not have any plans to use Eyefinity at the moment. While it looks neat the bezels on my current monitor wouldn't be that helpful and I don't have plans at the moment to reinvest in monitors.

I would like a quiet machine if possible.

Thanks for any advice you can provide!
October 2, 2009 5:48:57 PM

Sounds like the rebuild I did for my desktop yesterday, I have very similar requirements. The best processor choice for intel would be an i5 750 or an i7 860 (what I went with). The 860 has a better clock and hyperthreading, but unless you do some graphics creation/editing or video encoding, the 860 isn't going to game much better than the 750. The 750 is maybe 2-5 fps slower in most games compared to the 860.

Motherboard choice will have the greatest impact on your cost. Current range is about $100 for bare bones up to $250 or so for ridiculous amount of features. The main things you have to decide are if you want CF/SLI in the future, if no you can save about $40 right there on the board cost. I stuck in the $150 range. For RAM, 4 GB of low latency, low voltage RAM. the P55 systems really should be run with 1.65v DDR3 RAM. Storage: even if you need 100-200GB only, you really should just get at minimum a 500GB. The best performing hard drives are 500GB and above, buying an older, lower capacity drive will only save you a couple bucks, and perform horribly. Take a look at the Samsung F3 500 GB, it's been priced at $50 lately. SSDs are obviously a nice feature to have, but cost prohibitive. I'd say figure out the rest of the system, then decide if you want an SSD. For Win 7 version, sounds like you're best suited to Professional. You'll get the added benefit of Remote Desktop and XP Mode if you happen to need it. For PSU, 650TX from Corsair if you don't dual card, a 750TX if you do.
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Best solution

October 2, 2009 5:54:10 PM

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($69.99)

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($99.99 w/ $20 MIR + Free Shipping)

GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD4P LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($169.99 + Free Shipping)

Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($199.99 + Free Shipping)

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRH - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($94.99 + 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... ($49.99 + Free Shipping)

SAPPHIRE 100281SR Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($379.99)

Total: $1,064.93
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October 2, 2009 5:58:06 PM

Transmaniacon's build is pretty much exactly what I described, I prefer to discuss the parts and let others like Transmaniacon actually come up with lists :) 
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October 2, 2009 6:51:52 PM

Transmaniacon said:
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($69.99)

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($99.99 w/ $20 MIR + Free Shipping)

GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD4P LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($169.99 + Free Shipping)

Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($199.99 + Free Shipping)

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRH - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($94.99 + 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... ($49.99 + Free Shipping)

SAPPHIRE 100281SR Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($379.99)

Total: $1,064.93


+1... wouldn't change a thing.
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October 2, 2009 8:10:56 PM

I would. Get the XFX 5870 for the better warranty (if its available when you order). ;) 
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October 2, 2009 8:13:06 PM

^ Definitely, it was sold out at the time of posting though =/
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October 2, 2009 8:45:47 PM

Transmaniacon said:
^ Definitely, it was sold out at the time of posting though =/


Is the CM 690 big enough to CF radeon 5850 ...... how about 5870?
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October 2, 2009 9:10:10 PM

Yea thats why I went with that case, its big enough for any card out there, and crossfire too
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October 2, 2009 9:13:40 PM

Transmaniacon said:
Yea thats why I went with that case, its big enough for any card out there, and crossfire too


I am definitely going with the cm 690 case then, which cooler should I get since I am plannin to eventually CF the 5850....I know the Scythe MUGEN-2 SCMG-2000 is a good cooler but I am sure there are cheaper coolers that are just as good considering itll be a CF of the 5850 not 5870
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October 4, 2009 5:32:31 PM

Thanks for all the help! The card you originally linked is out of stock at the moment too. Since the consensus seemed to be the XFX I'll wait for that to come back (supposed to be tomorrow). I'm not in a hurry anyway (except the mental hurry of I want it NOW! :)  ) They motherboard/RAM you linked is offered in a combo right now with $20 off so that brought it down a tiny bit more. I think all I have to add is the DVD drive and a wireless adapter to the mix and I should be all set!

Do I need any thermal paste? Also should I'm assuming Windows 7 Pro 64 bit would be the one I'd want to install once it's out correct?

Thanks again for all your help. Made this much easier on me... and harder on my wallet... :p 

Edit: I finally got all the pieces and parts (I got the XFX) and just wanted to say the system runs GREAT. I am running Aion with all settings maxxed on my 30" monitor and getting 80-120 FPS. In the main cities it can drop to 40-60 but during normal play it's very very high. I've been playing TF2, HL2, L4D with maximum settings with no issues (didn't check FPS but there is no lag). Very good system for my money. It's also a decently quiet system. Not silent but so long as the DVD drive isn't spinning it's no louder than my Mac Pro is. Thanks everybody, especially Transmaniacon!
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