First Build: 1500 - 2000 Gaming Rig

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Before Christmas BUDGET RANGE: 1500 - 2000 before shipping/taxes

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Primarily gaming, though it will also be used for web surfing and word processing


PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I have used tigerdirect in the past but i have no preference

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel CPU and an ATI video card currently however these are not set in stone


MONITOR RESOLUTION: Depends on which monitor i end up buying


Intel Desktop Board DP55WB Motherboard
Intel Core i7 860 Processor
Crucial Dual Channel 4096MB PC8500 DDR3 1066MHz Memory (2 x 2048MB)
Ultra LSP750 750-Watt Power Supply - ATX, SATA-Ready, SLI-Ready, 135mm Fan, Lifetime Warranty
Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS Hard Drive - 1TB, 32MB, SATA-300, OEM
Cooler Master HAF 932 Full Tower Black Case
LG GH22NS50 DVD Writer - DVD+R 22x, DVD+RW 8X, DVD-RW 6x, DVD-RAM 12x, SATA (OEM)
Creative Labs 70SB104000000 Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio PCIe - OEM
Logitech - Classic Keyboard 200 USB
iHome IH-M125LO FastTrack Laser Mouse - 1600 DPI Resolution, USB, Ergonomic, Orange
LG W2242TQ-BF 22" Widescreen LCD Monitor - 2ms, 8000:1 (DFC), 1680x1050 (WSXGA+), F-Engine, VGA, DVI

Total (no video card or OS): $1376.78

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I live in Toronto so prices are in Canadian dollars (currently 95 US cents).

For the video card I would prefer an ATI 5850, but those are scarce at the moment. If you have any suggestions on where to find one please let me know.
I have been looking for an alternative (i.e. a 5770 now and another one later if required).

Assuming I get a 5850, is the CPU/GPU/RAM setup balanced? for example should I get 6 gigs of RAM instead of 4?

Also what is the quality difference between the onboard sound and a cheap card? Is it worth the 50 bucks when using budget speakers or headsets?

If I wanted to overclock this system how much could i do with the stock coolers and is buying additional cooling worth it? Note I have never OCed before.

Finally what version of Windows 7 should I get? Right now i think Home Premium is best for me but i havent looked too much into it.

Thanks for your help!
9 answers Last reply
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  1. I think you should get different RAM and a different hard drive.
    Both those components are slow. Get some ram that are at least 1600Mhz and a hard drive like the WD Caviar Blacks or Samsungs F1 or F3.

    The 5850 is an awesome card, you can't go wrong there. That's a dual channel motherboard, so you don't want 6 gigs. You'll want the same ram in each slot, so you'll want 2 gigs or 4 gigs or 8 gigs.

    Why do you want that motherboard? It will not do CrossfireX because it only has 1 PCI-E slot. Intel makes crappy motherboards. I would go with an ASUS or Gigabyte motherboard.

    That sound card should be about the same as the onboard sound. There probably won't be that much of a difference.

    Have you tried looking on they probably got better deals there. TigerDirect doesn't have good deals.
  2. I would NEVER overclock with stock coolers. The stock Intel Core i7 coolers idle temperature is usually at 50-60 Celsius and are at 75-80 while under load. With an aftermarket fan the temperature idling drops to 30-40 Celsius and never above 60 under load.

    Same for GPU aftermarket coolers. There are vidoes on Youtube that show how to install them. Make sure to buy thermal paste also, the stock thermal paste does not do well.

    As far as sound goes, do not get a sound card. If you have an ultra nice Bose sound system then I would maybe consider getting a sound card. It is well known that the motherboard HD audio quality is superb nowadays. It won't hurt anything to get your system set up and test the sound out. If you don't like the quality, get a sound card. With cheap speakers, you won't notice much difference. If you do though, then dang, the motherboard audio support is horrible, but this is rare.
  3. No point going i7 if you are only going to get one 5850. The i5 will have similar performance. Even if you have two in crossfire, I think you'll be fine. If you really want to go i7, buy a 1366 motherboard and get an i7 920. This way you'll have a better upgrade path. Intel will release their higher end CPUs for socket 1366.
    I agree with newfireorange on the soundcard. That motherboard supports 7.1.
    May I also recommend
    I've found the prices are typically cheaper than tigerdirect.

    For the RAM, use 4GB. 8GB is overkill and can sometimes degrade your performance. Also the benefits of faster ram is limited. Pay attention to timings not just the MHz of the ram. I've found Mushkin ram typically has good timings. The hard drive speed will only really affect game load times as far as I know. So if you need the space more than the speed... then again I don't know why you would go with a slower green drive if you have this kind of budget.

    As for finding a 5850, I really don't know. Canada Computers is out of stock but says they will ship as soon as they get some but when that will be is anyone's guess.
  4. Hey guys thanks for the advice

    I looked at both newegg and canadacomputers and i think i will stick with the latter for now

    I will look into better RAM and HD along with a motherboard and post a new list later today.

    Also thanks enzo for suggesting the i5 lineup... I never really considered that but it looks like a good deal as the performance only really suffers as you add more video cards.

    I will drop the sound card - it looks like a waste of money.

    EDIT: I found out that I get Windows 7 for free through my university - all i have to do is download it. So i can knock that of the list
  5. If availability of the 5850 is a problem, look at
    They have a few lying around
  6. Ok I have switched out some components:

    I have replaced the Intel i7 860 with the i5 750.
    Instead of that Intel mobo i have the Asus P7P55D DELUXE.
    Also I dropped the Crucial RAM in favour of the Mushkin HP3-10666 DDR3-1333MHz 4GB.
    I also got rid of the sound card and the mouse.

    As for the hard drive i am torn between more capacity and more speed... I'll think about my storage needs and make a choice later

    Finally I think I will pick up a CPU cooler. Any suggestions?

    Thanks for your feedback!
  7. Coolermaster V8,
    or Corsair H50 (liquid cooling without an hassles)
  8. The V8 would match that HAF 932 nicely. It's a biatch to install though. I had it, but switched it out for Prolimatech Megahalem
  9. I'll 2nd the Megahalems .... installation is "piece of pie ... easy as cake " and cooling is top notch. Install with fans blowing to rear of case and fans up to 1200 rpm unless you live near the airport :)
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