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$800 i5 Gaming Rig

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November 14, 2009 3:55:21 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: November 27th (approx.) BUDGET RANGE: $700+- After Rebates


SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming


PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Already have Win7 64 Enterprise and just bought a Antec 300 Illusion as well as CM Hyper 212 Plus. Will be reusing my 4850 for now to keep costs down. Have monitor, cables, speakers, and a mouse.


PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg (or TigerDirect) USA


PARTS PREFERENCES: looking at Intel i5. I know AMD parts could do well for gaming too, but I've done so many AMD builds recently and am bored with that design, and never did a i7/i5/Core 2 build, and want to try one.


OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, but not at first. I got the Hyper so I can down the road if I decide to


SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Doubtful, but since P55 can so SLI or Crossfire, I want the option to down the road (so I want a board with 8x/8x switching).


MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050 or less, for now.


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: A short novel below:


Ok, so I'm new to Intel builds, so I've had fun researching for the past few weeks, but I still had a few questions I wanted feedback on. I'll just list the part(s) I'm considering for each category and my reasoning for choosing (or my confusion).


CPU: Intel Core i5-750 2.66GHz 8MB L3 LGA 1156 95W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

No surprise here, as it is the only i5. The 1156 i7's are a bit pricey, and I don't need Hyperthreading for games, so the only benefit is a better turbo, which isn't worth the extra cost imo (easpecially if I OC'ed)


MB: GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD4P LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Recently I've used a lot of Gigabytes, and they have all been great (and I'm a bit addicted to Ultra Durable boards now). This one seemed like a good balance of needed features (8x/8x, etc.), price, and not too many gimmicks.


RAM: Bit of indecision here:

OCZ Obsidian 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Practically free after MIR and combo, but poor timings. Still, free...

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB DDR3 1600: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Excellent Timings, speed, and ok price after combo. Not free, but what I would prefer. I don't know, if anyone has reviews showing me how much CL9 vs CL7 hurts (or doesn't) that would be much appreciated.


GPU: Reusing my 4850 with Aftermarket cooler until the need for DX11 arrives and the price decreases: Asus ATI 4850 625MHz 512MB GDDR3 w/AM Cooler


PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 80 PLUS Certified
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I've got the 750TX listed for now because it is an awesome price. I'll get some Corsair 650W+ PSU, but as the prices are likely to change, I'll reevaluate last minute.


Case: just bought Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX the other day. Looks very nice.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


DVD: Sony Optiarc Black 2MB Cache SATA DVD/CD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Nothing exciting here, seems well reviewed, and I like NEC (in the partnership with Sony) so I'll give it a try. Usually get Samsungs, but Newegg doesn't seem to have many.


HD: Here's another bit of indecision. I can't afford SSD's, but I like to get a faster drive. So I'm thinking about RAID 0, and these Samsung drives look nice:

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 500GB 7200RPM 16MB SATA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

So, I know those Samsungs are recommended. I guess I am more wondering, for those who use (or have used) RAID 0, does it seem fairly reliable. I've heard all about pretty much no recovery if it goes bad, but as this is just a gaming system, it won't kill me to reformat. Still, I don't want to have to do it every 6 months. I guess I'd just like to hear a little real world experience with a setup like this.

KB: Microsoft Black USB Comfort Curve Keyboard 2000
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cheap and Wired, so good enough for me I hope.


CPU Fan: Just bought: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seems well recommended, so should be plenty for my no or medium OC.


A little more Explanation: I'm still at college now (will be home to do the build in early/mid December) so I don't want to buy any parts until the end of November. As that also coincided with Black Friday, I'll aim for that date. Other that simple things like cases/fans, I don't want to make purchases until the end of November so rebates/Newegg return doesn't expire.

Thanks for reading all that, and any feedback/experience/opinions on any of the parts (even the ones I appear set on) is greatly appreciated. Can't wait to get home and start building this beast :bounce: 

More about : 800 gaming rig

November 14, 2009 4:16:29 AM

notice that the i5 boards are limited in the sli/cf department
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November 14, 2009 12:51:03 PM

Yes, I know, but 8x PCI-E 2.0 is decent (at least for now) and in all likelihood I will not SLI/Crossfire. I mainly meant I want one that can go from 16x/4x to 8x/8x, which some of the lower ones cannot.
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November 21, 2009 12:36:53 AM

Well, as usual I go changing all my choices again. I'll be buying in a little less than one week, but any feedback is welcome as usual.

CPU
Intel Core i5-750 2.66GHz 8MB L3 LGA 1156 95W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MB
GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD4P LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB DDR3 1333 C7 1.5V
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU
CORSAIR CMPSU-650HX 80 PLUS BRONZE Modular
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case
Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD
SAMSUNG SH-S223B 22X SATA DVD Burner Black
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

2 x HDD
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 500GB 7200RPM 16MB SATA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

KB
Logitech 967740-0403 Black 104 USB Standard 350
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Fan
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TIM
Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b 4 Gaming
November 21, 2009 12:59:01 AM

^ The build looks good!!!
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November 21, 2009 1:01:58 AM

Thanks, its from reading this forum for weeks. I guess my only minor question was what experiences have people had with RAID 0 (as I have never RAIDed before). I plan to try with 2 Samsung 500GB drives (if I can ever find them in stock again).
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November 21, 2009 1:36:48 AM

One other concern, again regarding my RAID 0. The Spinpoint F3's are selling out all over the place and are being deactivated on some sites. They are still my preference (and I'll buy two if they are in stock when I buy) but would something like this Seagate be ok? I know they had some firmware problems in the past, but are they over that now?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thanks again.
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a b 4 Gaming
November 21, 2009 1:40:27 AM

To my understanding it hade alot of problems with the .11

I have a old .10 that has hade no problems its a 320 gig i use for a external backup drive
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November 21, 2009 1:46:10 AM

Yeah, I am pretty sure I have had at least two of the .10, and they are still going strong. That's why I was surprised when I heard such bad stuff about the .11. I haven't heard much about the .12 though, which I guess is a good thing. I also heard problems with Non-RAID WD drives in RAID, though I am not sure if that was user error, bad drives, or what.
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November 21, 2009 1:52:18 AM

I just bought the 1.5T Seagate and it has been fantastic. When I bout it I had read that the firmware issues had been fully resolved and I think is is among the top performing HDD's.
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November 21, 2009 1:55:34 AM

Well, that's good to hear. Thanks for the info. The price on that drive is really nice too, so unless Samsung gets their act back together, that may be the way I go.
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November 21, 2009 2:10:52 AM

Yeah, that one is out of stock too :cry:  I was planning to buy from there for that and several of my other components. Hopefully it will come back in stock soon.
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Best solution

November 21, 2009 7:13:40 AM

Last month I built an i5/UD4P system that is almost identical to what you are considering, and I am very pleased with the performance. No problems whatsoever with getting it put together and up and running. Rock solid and fast.

I also considered RAID drives, but after researching the issue decided that there was not a significant enough increase in performance or functionality for me to justify the hassle if problems develop down the road.

Good luck -- you will enjoy this setup!
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November 21, 2009 7:23:28 AM

If you live near a microcenter, you can pick up an i5-750 processor for $160. Recently, they have been running sales and have dropped the price $10. I got mine for $150, but I do not know if this sale is still going on.
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November 21, 2009 11:42:18 AM

Thanks for that heads up. There is not one near me right now, but I am heading to a place that has one, and the 750 is still listed at $149.99! I'll definitely try to swing buy and pick one up, as $50 is a huge savings. Or maybe I'll get the 860 instead, only $229!
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December 1, 2009 1:34:53 AM

Thanks for everyone's help (including those not in this thread as well). I'll start another thread with reviews/etc. (hopefully not problems) once I get the chance to build this in a few weeks.
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