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Viable alternative to building my own, $1150 as spec'd?

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October 6, 2009 6:07:19 AM

i7 920 OC'd to 3.5GHz with Katana cooler
6GB of 1600MHz DDR3 (3x2GB, OCZ platinum IIRC)
Lite-On Blu-Ray drive
Foxconn Flamingblade X58 motherboard
ATI Diamond HD4870 512mb (was CrossFire with same now single, I will likely buy another to CF)
500GB HD
Antec P182 0.8mm steel case with extra 120mm fan in front bay
Raidmax Aurora 2 700W PSU non-modular (will be replaced when second video card is added)
19" Dell widescreen LCD
Windows 7 Ultimate RC with key and restore DVD

he may throw in a keyboard and mouse...

My build from the other thread is about $200 more, it is an 860 with ASUS MB, 8GB dual channel, a HD4890 1GB card, cheaper case, 22" display, running Vista Premium 64 with a 7 coupon, and includes other goodies like keyboard, mouse, headset, card reader, etc.

This guy claims it runs smooth, quiet, cool, and stable, and he's selling it to buy a gaming laptop or possibly an X58 Shuttle. My wife and I are meeting him tomorrow morning about 2 hours away to test it out and see if she likes it.

Pros so far:

previously built, run, tested, and stable
no pile of parts all over kitchen table
all receipts included
already running 7
triple channel memory
better case
no waiting for it to ship from the Egg

Cons so far:

that PSU has to go if I want to add a second HD4870!
will NewEgg even honor returns/RMAs for a secondary user?
it doesn't have all the little things like KB/mouse/SD reader, but I can add them (reducing the price advantage of course)
will the RC client expire and I have to go buy a copy of 7 or will the key validate it?

School me. I know some of the bits (PSU specifically) are less than ideal but I can swap them out over the next month or three. Anything keeping this from being every bit as useful as the other build? I may buy it for $1050 without the monitor since $100 for a 19" Dell is kinda pricey.
October 6, 2009 1:14:09 PM

Well, we're leaving the house now to check it out. If this guy has his receipts and built it stable like he claims, we're buying it for $1050 and I found a new in box 24" LCD monitor for $170 to pick up on the way back. If it's not stable, I'm moving my NewEgg wish list to the cart, finding the best combo discounts, applying a promo code or twenty, and dropping the hammer on the 860-based system in my other thread.
October 8, 2009 3:31:45 AM

Works perfect! Got the box for $1050 and the 24" monitor for $150. My wife is uber-pleased. She can open and have loaded and ready to view, 50 tabs in under a minute. I borrowed a copy of GTA IV to see how it does, and 1920x1200 with no AA turned on is smooth as glass. I'm happy.

I don't think we'll be needing that second video card after all! But I would like to pop a SSD in here and see if I can even notice a speed difference!
October 8, 2009 3:44:15 AM

Looks like you're happy with your new box. Congratulations, it's passed the first test, the wife approves :) 
November 17, 2010 7:00:03 PM

occupant said:
i7 920 OC'd to 3.5GHz with Katana cooler
6GB of 1600MHz DDR3 (3x2GB, OCZ platinum IIRC)
Lite-On Blu-Ray drive
Foxconn Flamingblade X58 motherboard
ATI Diamond HD4870 512mb (was CrossFire with same now single, I will likely buy another to CF)
500GB HD
Antec P182 0.8mm steel case with extra 120mm fan in front bay
Raidmax Aurora 2 700W PSU non-modular (will be replaced when second video card is added)
19" Dell widescreen LCD
Windows 7 Ultimate RC with key and restore DVD


Just wanted to update on this little box after a year's use.

The processor runs well at 3.6GHz and the cooler is actually a Katana3.
The memory is only 2x2GB OCZ platinum and the other stick is a G.Skill. So not running triple channel. OC'd to 1746MHz though!
The Lite-On Blue-Ray drive was useless and has been replaced by a Sony Optiarc DVD burner.
The Foxconn board is the Flamingblade, but the less-feature-rich GTI model.
The HD4870 was pulled because 512MB wasn't enough video memory for my wife's tastes, so a XFX HD4890 1GB has replaced it.
This XFX HD4890 has been overclocked by 75MHz on the core clock (to 925MHz) and 75MHz on the memory clock (to 1050MHz) and it runs quiet and cool (for a 4890).
500GB HD still runs in it and has been supplemented by a WD Caviar Green 1.5TB unit.
Antec P182 case is a brilliant design and I like the windtunnel effect the extra fans give with the upper hard drive cage removed.
The Raidmax PSU was removed when the HD4890 went in. The box now has a proper Corsair TX850W and it's quiet as butter.
The $150 24" monitor turned out to be a $400 NEC Multisync unit and is just now showing signs of age, it's a little dimmer at startup but is fully bright in about 2 minutes.
Windows 7 Ultimate RC expired and was replaced with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.

I wasn't aware there were filters on the front mounted fans of this P182 case. I was cleaning the top and rear fans and the internal fans every month and it kept running hotter and hotter. Then I pulled the fan filters and cleaned them out. Removed a kitten-sized pile of dust and nicotene and all sorts of mess. Reduced HD temps by 20C, CPU temp by 12C, and GPU temp by 22C. Unbelievable that the PO never cleaned it up and also that I didn't bother to look. I now wipe them off every month when I clean the case out. Maybe I should build an enclosure for the case to keep the garbage out. I have an old filing cabinet I could use...

This computer is about to undergo another upgrade if we can afford it. I can get the i7-950 for $229 at Micro Center. I can get 12GB of matched triple-channel 1600MHz memory for around $200. I can pick up a 64GB SSD for about $110, and snag another copy of Windows for $99. This should provide a serious speed boost.

This will also mean I have a 700-watt POS PSU, an HD4870, an i7-920 CPU, and 6GB of mismatched memory left over. If I pick up another (ASUS or GB) motherboard to go with the new Windows activation, along with another $30 cooler (Arctic Freezer Pro Rev 2), I'll be up to about $820. Then I can drop another $80 for an Antec 300 and another optical drive, and I'll have enough bits left over to basically BUILD another complete i7-920 box. I can leave the Katana3 cooler, 6GB of memory, and the i7-920 on the Foxconn board, and simply pull it, drop it in the 300, build it up, and go. With her old hard drive running the same instance of Windows. Nothing will change except the DVD drive and video card as far as Microsoft needs to be concerned. Shouldn't cause a problem. And I'll have the equivalent to the $1050 computer we bought in the first place while she enjoys all sorts of memory, processor, SSD, and Windows freshness.

I'm married. This is how I HAVE to think. Why do you think I let her spend $1050 on it in the first place? Because I know my wife. I knew in a year she'd be wanting some kind of speed boost. And if I played my cards right, I could give her that boost for $600-$800, and use the leftovers to build a whole another box, LOL!!!

It's either that or pick up an off-lease Dell Inspiron 570 from CedarPC for $235, bump up the memory, drop in this power supply and video card I have, and leave hers alone. But the way I have it above, we spend $800+ on HER computer, and $80 or so to use the leftovers to build me something, just with the garbage and scrap, right? And it'll kill, too. w00t!
November 18, 2010 9:57:47 AM

This was a good read. :p 
November 18, 2010 10:35:12 AM

This is a joke right
November 18, 2010 11:10:15 AM

Reaper2794, have you never built a computer with leftovers from upgrading something else?
!