Intel i7 920 system for under $1000i

I'm looking for some feedback on a configuration I'm going to build. My old system, god bless it, is a P4 2.0 Ghz Dell from 2002. It has served me well, will be put out to pasture to replace my old man's Packard Bell Windows 95.

Anyway - My main priority is cheap upgradability, and an easy build process for a semi-newb like myself. By that I mean I'm looking for an i7 system, with a solid motherboard chipset, for under $1,000. I will be buying this ASAP, maybe today, probably this week.

I will be doing geospatial analysis (ESRI ArcInfo), various media stuff (web design, misc. audio/video) and some gaming. Mostly Empire:Total War, Battlefield 2, and Civ, at least for now.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: 22" monitor, mouse, keyboard, speakers, 500GB external HDD

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Don't care. Plan to use newegg.



So here's what I've put together so far:

CPU: Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920

Mobo: ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

PSU+Case: Antec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply

Video Card: SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

Memory: CORSAIR XMS3 3GB (3 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X3G1333C9 - Retail

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

DVD: LG 22X DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model GH22LS50 LightScribe Support - OEM

Subtotal: $994.92

I'm wondering if anyone sees any conflicts, sees any problematic brand names or parts, knows any better configurations, or can think of an intelligent way to knock some $$ off the price without sacrificing too much. I really, really want an 80GB Intel X25 SSD, but I am going to wait until the prices fall a little bit more. I've been debating the issue all day, but they bump this up to about ~$1200.

thank you in advance - Matt
16 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. no thoughts, huh?

    I think I'm going to go ahead and get the parts, i'll let y'all know how it goes.
  2. Patience,
    I looked it through and If you went with the i7 860 and the 1156 socket you will get very similar performance and a lot cheaper. And it will be under 1000 also...wayy under.

    And if you add two dollars to your HDD you can get a 500GB spinpoint which is also considerably faster.
  3. Thanks for the reply, blackhawk. Fortunately my purchase didn't get processed correctly, so I have the opportunity to make some changes.

    I believe I will change the HDD to your recommendation. I didn't want to spend much on a HDD, since I currently only take up maybe 350gb at the moment, most on a 500gb western digital external.

    The 1366 socket is fairly important to me. My thinking is that the 1366 / i7 920 setup will be more upgradable than the 1156. My PC purchases typically run in at least 6-year or 7-year cycles, with incremental upgrades along the way.

    In this case the idea is to have an extra video card slot for Crossfire, plenty of room to expand RAM, and a mobo that will handle a bigger CPU down the road.
  4. Best answer
    wait dont buy... lol. a few things to point out first...

    Toms did a review of the 5770 and showed that it performs equivalent or worse than the 4770 at $115. I would suggest getting a 4780 if you are going to spend $160 on a card, or a 4890 if you can spend $15 more

    and one other thing is that it might be better to get the professional version of win7, but that is just personal preference I suppose. Look at the differences between each version to be sure.
  5. OK -

    so regarding the HDD, I'm looking at SSD's again. The spinpoint is definitely a better deal than the 320GB western digital - so now it is between a spinpoint and an SSD. I'm looking for something that is at least 70gb, and doesnt have the crap jmicron controller.

    regarding the GPU, I agree with snurp, the 5770 is starting to look like a dud. However I don't want the 4xxx series - if I remember correctly they run hot, and require too much power. I may upgrade to the 5850 or even 5870, I don't know. More research is needed. I'm tempted to just say "screw it" and go with nvidia.

    I don't see the cost/benefit of Windows pro or ultimate - although I do like the linux emulator, I guess that's only on ultimate.
  6. The 5770 is far from a "dud". It performs a bit weaker than a 4870 and GTX 260 (but that is alot better than a 4770). Its even outperforms a GTS 250, 9800 GTX, 4850 which I can personally vouch for as I replaced a 9800 GTX with a 5770. Its not the most value obvious choice at its performance level as you are paying a bit extra for the longevity of having a DX11 compatible card.

    On the other hand, if you can afford the 5850 it is an obvious value choice at its performance level.

    Nvidia doesnt even have a DX11 card out yet, and may not until next spring. The 260 is a short term price/performance option but the 250 and below are outperformed by the 5770 and the 275 and above are stomped by the 5850.
  7. save up ,grab a 5850 ,call it a day
  8. Well I understand and now completley agree with your reasons for the 1366 so 1366 it is.
    -SSD's over 70GB will be 200+ (The Intel SSD 80GB is 299.99 as of now, you can get the OEM for 289.99 but without cables and important parts).
    -If I were you, I would scratch the SSD because the SSD will not affect your performance of your applications but rather make them open a couple seconds faster. I would spend money on more RAM, get 6GB<Its going to be much more useful then an SSD.
    Also this motherboard (Click Here
    will save you some money and will do the same thing the one you mentioned does :)
  9. thank you for all the help -

    here is what I ordered:

    Case: Enermax full tower, $90

    PSU: corsair 750 watt, $110

    Motherboard: Gigabyte ud3r, $189

    CPU: Intel i7-920, $289

    GPU: Radeon 4890, $210

    RAM: 6gb corsair 1600 triple channel, $150

    HDD: 750gb spinpoint

    Windows 7 Home $99, Samsung DVD burner $31, free wireless adapter for a notebook I don't have, it came out to a total of $1,240
  10. i coulda saved u some money on the ram :/
  11. darksupreme said:
    i coulda saved u some money on the ram :/

    He got a $20 MIR and free shipping.
  12. The more I compared components, the more I decided that having reputable brands was a high priority.

    My biggest concern at this point is that I will not be able to fit two 4980's in this motherboard, if I decide I want to in the future.
  13. More than likely you will want to replace it with a single stronger DX11 card anyway.
  14. Yeah that crossed my mind. There's a good chance I would've gone with the 5850, had it been for sale. Same goes with the 80GB Intel SSD.

    Truth be told, I don't even own a game that can take advantage of the system I build. I just want to see what Battlefield 2 looks like with this bad boy.

    Is it true that DX11 games will not work with a DX10 card like the 4890? I saw someone claim this somewhere on the forums, but it sounds dubious to me. If that's the case, I don't see how it works in the game developer's best interests to develop a DX11 game.
  15. My expectation is that most games will have DX10 and DX11 (or DX9 and DX11) implementations. You will be able to play them well, but not with all the eye-candy they are capable of. If a game is only DX11 (which would be suicide for the next couple years) then yes a DX10 card would not be able to play it, just like old DX8 cards cant play todays DX9 games.
  16. yeah, but going by the trend during the shift from Dx 9 to 10, every game that came out in Dx 10, had a Dx 9 option. As dndhatcher said, it would be suicidal to have only a Dx 11 implementation for the next couple of years.
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