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$1200-1400 Gaming i7 920 build

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This month preferably

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, surfing, video editing, developing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: monitor for now(dell 1905fp), willing to wait for good deals (Black friday?) on a bigger monitor, keyboard, mouse, and sound

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: microcenter, frys, newegg.. and any other sites that have freeship or no tax to CA

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel, Asus?

OVERCLOCKING: Yes! SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe in the future

MONITOR RESOLUTION: my Dell 1905FP has a max res of 1280x1024 ..

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm a penny pincher(thanks to my wife) and this budget is pretty firm, but I'd be willing to spend more if the price/performance ratio is warranted.

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Things I've already bought:

Intel Core i7 920 Boxed - D0 Stepping
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0302727
$199.99 = $217.83 total after tax

COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119160
$99.99 = $108.74 total after tax (bought at Fry's on 10/11)

CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8D - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145224
$139.99 = $152.24 total after tax (bought at Fry's on 10/12) :)

(I had to jump on this, I was looking to get the
CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145236
but I saw the what the Dominators were going for on newegg and thought the price diff was worth it.)

XFX Radeon HD 5850 HD585AZNFC for $264.99 shipped.
http://www.circuitcity.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5252732&CatId=3669

PSU
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply


Spent so far: $863.79 (not including MIR or bing cash back)


Still need the following:

Motherboard
ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157163
$169.99
($159.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate)
I've read a lot of threads/reviews saying this board is good bang for your buck. I'm leaning towards this mostly for the price point compared to other boards that are 200+

PSU
is 750W enough? I plan to get a 5850 and possibly xfire it in the future, so I'd want to future proof this and it should be a good PSU because from what I've read, a bad PSU can ruin my whole build.


Graphics
HD 5850 seems like the best performance/pricing. Unless you can convince me otherwise, the 5870 seems like too much money for the performance increase it will give me compared to the 5850.
Differences between the different brands? How can you tell which one is best?


Monitor
I do plan on getting a 22-24" monitor later on.. but if you can squeeze it into the budget that would be awesome.

Storage
Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH080G1 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD) - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167005
Original Price: $289.00
You Save: $50.00
$239.00
Free Shipping*

or should I go

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136319
$74.99
Free Shipping*

I'd probably add some 1tb drives for storage later.

HSF
Is the stock fan enough?

Optical
I'm thinking of just a DVD burner for now, maybe upgrade to a blu-ray burner later.


Whew, so that's all I've got for now. Any help would be appreciated. Keep in mind that I'd like to future proof this build for at least 4 years, with easily accesible upgrades (like adding more storage, etc)

If I'm missing anything else please let me know.

A few questions, will a nonmodular PSU really affect the airflow in the case? The case itself is huge so I wouldnt think it would be too big of a problem.
Is thermal paste really necessary?
Do i need to get better fans than the ones that came stock with the case?
Like I mentioned above, is the stock heat sink that came with the i7 920 enough?

This is my first build, so if I'm going on the wrong track, feel free to slap me straight.

THANKS in advance!
28 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about 1200 1400 gaming build
  1. Best answer
    That's a good start...

    As for the suggestions for rest of the components,
    PSU -
    Corsair 650TX. You wont need 750W PSU to run 2x HD 5850...Here at TOMs, there was a review of a Cyberpower rig, that had an overclocked X4 955 to 3.6GHz, and 2x HD 4890 in crossfire, all powered by this Corsair 650TX...So this can easily run your setup...And currently for that price, it is a solid deal.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005

    If you are planning for overclock, it is necessary that you use an aftermarket CPU cooler...the stock will just hold back...
    XIGMATEK Intel Core i7 compatible Dark Knight
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233029

    As for the graphic card brands, get XFX...they have better warranty...except that the quality would be similar...

    And as for the HDD/ SSD, first off decide that the performance improvement using a SSD warrants its price premium...If it is then get that...
    If you are going with SSD, get this one instead...its Gen2.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/648465-REG/Intel_SSDSA2MH080G2C1_80GB_X25_M_Mainstream_SATA.html
  2. Thanks for the input gkay09!

    Is the Dark Knight a good HSF? The first couple reviews are showing 1 egg.

    I probably will overclock to 3.6Ghz so I think I will need a good HSF.

    So the Corsair650TX is enough for a 2x HD 5850.. but will it be enough if i added more hard drives? I plan to add at least one 1tb drive for storage (if i go the ssd route).

    That SSD looks good, and I do think its performance improvement warrants the price premium.
    Why is there such a big price difference from the b&h site and newegg? And how do you know its a gen2?
  3. Look at www.frostytech.com for heatsink information. The Dark Knight is a top notch cooler. Newegg reviews are often from people blaming the product for self inflicted problems or flat-out fanboi lies. The Xigmatek S1283 is a Dark Knight without the black nickel coating that is also a very good cooler and cheaper if you need.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233003

    The Coir 650TX will NOT handle two 5850 graphics cards, it only has two PCIE power cables. The modular 650HX has the necessary 4 power cables. The 5850 is fairly power efficient GPU but if you are worried then move up to the 750TX or HX.
  4. Wow that is a sick deal on that i7, wish I lived anywhere near a microcenter.
  5. Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM
    Item #: N82E16827118030
    Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
    Protect Your Investment (expand for options)

    $31.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118030



    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Item #: N82E16822152181
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    Protect Your Investment (expand for options)

    $54.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152181



    Antec TruePower New TP-750 Blue 750W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE ... - Retail
    Item #: N82E16817371022
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    Protect Your Investment (expand for options)

    -$65.00 Instant $169.99
    $104.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371022



    Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound - Retail
    Item #: N82E16835154003
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    -$2.00 Instant $6.99
    $4.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835154003



    XIGMATEK Intel Core i7 compatible Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail
    Item #: N82E16835233029
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    Protect Your Investment (expand for options)

    $44.98 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233029




    ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    Item #: N82E16813131365
    Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
    Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM
    Item #: N82E16832116677
    Return Policy: Software Return Policy
    -$20.00 Combo $399.98
    $379.98 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.261652
    Subtotal: $621.92

    HD5850 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002Q4U5EY

    621.92 + 259.99 = 881.92


    Pick up a 2nd HD 5850 latter for xfire and a 24" monitor

    Monitor http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236049
  6. I won't be needing the Windows Vista OS.
    I'm getting Win7 from a dev conference on the 26th.

    Is the Asus P6T Deluxe V2 worth the price point over the ASRock x58 Extreme?
  7. That i7 920 price is awesome. I'm building a very very similiar system also and had to jump on that right away :)
  8. ASUS http://www.guru3d.com/article/asus-p6t-deluxe-review-x58-motherboard/1

    ASROCK http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3593

    The ASROCK is a good bang for the buck board. It runs a little hotter then the ASUS, If your not try to OC past 3.6 gigs it should work well for you
  9. @DNDHATCHER, that Corsair 650TX has enough power to run HD 5850 crossfire and even more...

    @jebiya That ASRock board like niklas said is good bang for the buck board.
    And Yes it does run hotter than other boards...but what you pay for is what you get...
  10. As for the SSD, you can know whether it is Gen 1 or Gen 2 from the model number...
    SSDSA2MH080G2C1 - Notice the G2 ?

    And as for the price difference, newegg has an automated pricing system, which increases the price when demand is high and supply is low.
  11. I wish I checked microcenter before buying my i7 920 with do from newegg! Great find. I have a Dark Knight installed on asus p6t deluxe and I am very happy with it.

    I have not overclocked, but at stock idle temps I am at 30-32C and full loads on prime 95 it does not go past 60C (used real temp 3.0). Not sure what others get with this cooler, but I think those temps are pretty decent based on what I have read . Should give you plenty of room to overclock if you are going that route.
  12. I probably would not OC past 3.6Ghz. Would the stock case fans on the CM HAF 932 be enough to help with the airflow or would I need to replace them with 3rd party fans? And if I did go with the ASRock (with its increased heat output) do the case fans help cool off the mobo at all?

    @niklas_13 are we talking a significant difference in heat output? like 5 degree C?

    @dt21 :) yeah the pricing at microcenter is slick compared to other retailers. its the main reason I went the LGA1366 route instead of the LGA1156.

    @gkay09 thanks for that link to the SSD gen2. I read somewhere that gen2 are silver and gen1 are black. I'm hoping that bh just has the wrong picture on their site. I'm going to buy it tonight with 2-3.5% bing cashback and no tax! (CA tax is a pain). I hope its 3.5! Also, I'll need a mount for this won't I?

    I'm also gonna buy the XFX 5850 from CircuitCity.com (5% bing cash back and free shipping) for $264.99
  13. Bought the XFX Radeon HD 5850 HD585AZNFC for $264.99 shipped.
    Bing cash back comes out to $13.25 so total would be $251.74.
  14. jebiya said:
    I probably would not OC past 3.6Ghz. Would the stock case fans on the CM HAF 932 be enough to help with the airflow or would I need to replace them with 3rd party fans? And if I did go with the ASRock (with its increased heat output) do the case fans help cool off the mobo at all?

    @niklas_13 are we talking a significant difference in heat output? like 5 degree C?

    @dt21 :) yeah the pricing at microcenter is slick compared to other retailers. its the main reason I went the LGA1366 route instead of the LGA1156.

    @gkay09 thanks for that link to the SSD gen2. I read somewhere that gen2 are silver and gen1 are black. I'm hoping that bh just has the wrong picture on their site. I'm going to buy it tonight with 2-3.5% bing cashback and no tax! (CA tax is a pain). I hope its 3.5! Also, I'll need a mount for this won't I?

    I'm also gonna buy the XFX 5850 from CircuitCity.com (5% bing cash back and free shipping) for $264.99



    @niklas_13 are we talking a significant difference in heat output? like 5 degree C?

    I think i read 3-4 C

    The board tends to have higher Vdroop (.04~.05V)
  15. gkay09 said:
    @DNDHATCHER, that Corsair 650TX has enough power to run HD 5850 crossfire and even more...
    .
    It has enough power but not enough cables. Do you really want to recommend using sata/molex power adapter cables in anew system on those nice graphics cards?
  16. dndhatcher said:
    It has enough power but not enough cables. Do you really want to recommend using sata/molex power adapter cables in anew system on those nice graphics cards?

    I'm with you, DNDHATCHER. I sure wouldn't use a lame adapter in one of my systems. If you want to run multiple cards, get a PSU that has enough power connectors for both cards.
  17. Prices are fluctuating on the Corsair CMPSU-750TX. On the CircuitCity.com last night, they were 149.99 with a $20 MIR. Now they're 119.99 with a $10 MIR.

    Patience rewarded once again! lol...
  18. @DNDHATCHER I am not pushing him to take that Corsair 650TX... The reason that I had suggested that PSU is that currently he is going with just 1 card and not 2. So it is not sure that even he would add one more later and maybe just upgrade to a more powerful card...So for either of those choices, he still would have enough power for both and was about $70 after Mail-In-Rebates...

    And anyways the price has jumped back to $100 so it is of no use suggesting the 650TX over the 750TX right now as the Corsair is back to $110...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006

    So I would take back my suggestion and suggest the 750TX :)

    Or how about this Corsair 650HX for $111 after Mail-In-Rebates ?
    http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=10011013&prodlist=froogle
  19. gkay09 said:
    @DNDHATCHER I am not pushing him to take that Corsair 650TX... The reason that I had suggested that PSU is that currently he is going with just 1 card and not 2. So it is not sure that even he would add one more later and maybe just upgrade to a more powerful card...So for either of those choices, he still would have enough power for both and was about $70 after Mail-In-Rebates...

    And anyways the price has jumped back to $100 so it is of no use suggesting the 650TX over the 750TX right now as the Corsair is back to $110...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006

    So I would take back my suggestion and suggest the 750TX :)

    Or how about this Corsair 650HX for $111 after Mail-In-Rebates ?
    http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=10011013&prodlist=froogle



    I ended up ordering the 750TX from circuitcity.com
    $119.99 - (6.5% bing cashback = $7.80 :D ) - $10MIR (no tax, free shipping) = $102.19

    I didnt order from newegg because at $109.99 - 2% bing CB + 9.25% tax (CA) -$10 MIR = $107.96

    newegg's tax in california is their biggest deal killer for me.

    but thanks @gkay09 for looking for the best pricing option :)
  20. ^ Thats a good deal on that Corsair...
    And do post you final setup here along with the total cost so that it would help others to get better deals...
  21. I saw the same deal that you did at frys.com for the corsair dominator ram. My concern for it was that it is a cas 8 RAM as opposed to a cas 7 ram which you could get for the same price or cheaper. What made you go with the corsair?

    Also, I am building a similarly budget conscious gaming pc and I am concerned about the asrock x58 extreme in terms of reliability and I am wondering if you are still planning on going with the Asrock x58 extreme over another $200+ board.

    Btw thanks for the heads up on some of those deals. I am definitely going to look into the bing cashback options and the price on the 5850 on circuit city. For some reason all the websites are raising the prices on the 5850. I guess that's just supply and demand for you.

    Also, I just saw the western digital HD you were checking out is at $73.99 at zipzoomfly.com with a combo deal and they have a $15 MIR offer going on right now. Plus I think they do bing cashback.

    http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=10010082&prodlist=celebros
  22. the corsair dominator retails for 219.99 on newegg. I know its a bad reason to buy it because of the $80 price difference, but it did also get great reviews so I couldnt pass it up. Which cas7 ram are you referring to that is the same price?

    I thought I was set on the ASRock but now I'm not too sure. I even started looking for Asus P6T Deluxe v2 deals and I think the best I could come up with was $294.49 shipped from circuitcity.com after 5% bing cash back. $289.84 if your lucky enough to get 6.5% bing cash back.

    newegg pricing came out to $312.46 after tax and bcb
    zipzoomfly pricing came out to $294.24

    what other boards were you looking at in the $200+ range?

    Also, I'm holding off on buying the hard drive because i'm hoping to find a good deal on SSD. I can only hope... my budget is growing and growing by the day
  23. Maybe I suck at building computers for cheap, but I tried to make a mockup of an i7 build and it came out to about $1700-1800. I had the CPU, hard drive, case, $350 GPU, $300 monitor, RAM, motherboard, $100 sound card, PSU, $20 keyboard, $20 mouse factored into it maybe a few other things).

    The last PC I built had an asus p5b deluxe wifi-ap and the onboard sound and I didn't get along. The other day I just tested it out in Arkham Asylum and the in-game dialogue volume level was so low I couldn't hear anything. It worked fine without any fiddling on my audigy 4. Don't want to hijack the thread but does anyone have an idea why that would be?

    Anyway, if the onboard audio works well then that should be fine. I have heard that having a dedicated sound card can take some stress of the CPU but I don't know if it does enough to warrant a $100 sound card. Would he be better off just using onboard audio?
  24. I had considered the Gigabyte budget board because of its proposed reliability and performance, but I was concerned about he memory slots and its potential for future expansion.

    GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=x58&x=0&y=0

    I was also interested in the ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard, but like you I am unable to find it for a decent price for the retail version. I have considered purchasing an open box unit, but with that you really don't know what you are getting.

    My thought was if I am going to spend that much more for a mobo, I might as well upgrade from the 5850 to the 5870 for my gpu.
  25. Looks like Intel is coming out with a more value priced SSD by the end of the year... I can't wait that long, but good to know there'll be something more affordable in the ssd category soon.

    I think I'm going to go with the 640GB Caviar Black, I have a day to decide to pull the trigger at newegg before the 10% off Harddrives coupon EMCHDD10C ends.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136319
    $69.99 + 9.25% tax - 10% coupon code - 2% bing cash back = $68.07 shipped.
    I hate you CA tax.
    If I get it shipped to my cousin's house in NV, will I avoid the tax? or does it go by billing address? Just curious.

    I was gonna purchase the asRock x58 extreme today too, but it looks like they took off the $10 instant discount at NewEgg. I guess I'll wait for that deal or something better to come anyway since my video card is Backordered. :|


    -----------------
    Pulled the trigger.
    1 x ($69.99) HD 640G|WD WD6401AALS % - OEM
    $69.99

    1 x ($11.99) FLASH 4G|KST FCR-MRB+SDC4/4GB R - Retail
    $11.99

    1 x ($-11.99) DISCOUNT FOR COMBO #263279
    $-11.99

    1 x ($-7.00) DISCOUNT FOR PROMOTION CODE
    $-7.00


    Subtotal: $62.99
    Tax: $6.14
    Shipping and Handling: $0.00
    Total Amount: $69.13

    Bing Cash Back: You earned $1.64 from your Newegg.com purchase on 10/16/2009.

    So that makes it $67.49 shipped.
  26. Well a little update,
    my XFX 5850 came in on the 10th (almost 2 months after i purchased!!) and got my build up and running that night.
    4 days later, my ASRock x58 Extreme motherboard just died. C'est la vie.

    I'll be RMA'ing it back to newegg and getting a refund.

    So sad right now :( Probably gonna go with the ASUS p6t deluxe v2 instead.
  27. ^ So bad to have a dead component on a new PC...
    If you wont be adding any other add-in cards(I mean wont be using the PCI slots i.e., after populating the 2 PCIe 16 slots, then you can check out this mATX mobo -
    ASUS Rampage II Gene
    http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=10010369&prodlist=froogle
    http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-RAM2-GE&src=FR&pid=0e4bcb545607fa7f49b5f93eb7124f22498f185ab7a4d84bd4cea9c9a16c86f7
    It overclocks better than the P6T and I dont think you would have any quality issues with that mobo...
  28. I already bought the p6t deluxe v2. I have not yet overclocked it, but thanks for the recommendation on the Rampage II Gene.
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