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Advice from guru builders!

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November 19, 2009 10:12:40 AM

hello desktop building pros,

i've been doing a bit of research for a PC i am looking to build within the next 1 to 2 months. i'm looking to get a top-of-the-line processor at the time, likely an AMD x4 965 or a i7-920. the rig will be used for watching movies, FPS gaming, and other run of the mill tasks (nothing media related). i had a few questions regarding future-proofing and pricing.

1) with the release of the i9 hexacore processor in Q1 of 2010, is there likely to be a huge drop in prices of the i7-920? in other words, should I wait till the release of the i9? also... will the 1366 socket be able to support future hexacore processors?

2) Do you think ATI's recent release of the 5970 will result in decreased prices of the 5770, 5850/70 and other 5000 series cards in about 1-2 months? (If i see a good deal, should I snag it now or wait until another 2 months for a better deal?)

3) I'm working off an ASUS Eee PC 1000HE right now, and am thinking about purchasing a large monitor/HDTV for it until I get my desktop rig built. But, for the time being, it will be just for my Eee PC. I'm looking to buy the biggest screen on 1920x1200/1080 res (or higher) that I can get for around $200 or under... Should I go with a TV or a monitor (note: the eventual desktop rig will be largely for gaming and watching videos off Hulu, etc.)?? What size should I go for?

4) What do you think about the Saitek PZ30AU as my gaming keyboard? Anyone who's owned it have any advice? I'm trying to keep it under $35


thanks in advance for all your help! :hello: 

More about : advice guru builders

a b B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2009 10:27:50 AM

Top of the line tech as u call it is also sometimes called the bleeding edge of technology. History has shown that "going for the best" isn't the smartest option as the way tech moves, those "best" hardware will be deemed obsolete sooner or later. Depreciation is another nemesis! My take is : just slightly over design your DIY rig for the tasks you do *now* and dun over analyse stuff cos that could mean the difference between a sensible rig and a white elephant IMO Your needs don't require a quad core let alone those chips u mentioned really....
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2009 12:21:31 PM

I agree. The only reason to want the top of the line stuff is to be able to brag about it for a couple of months. If you are really worried about future proofing, you shouldn't be looking at Intel. They released the i5 to compete with cheaper AMD CPUs, but put it on its own socket to make it impossible to upgrade from an older system or to upgrade to an i7 in the future.

The X4 965 is a good choice, but I would save a few bucks and get the 955. Out of the box, the 965 is faster, but both have the same overclocking potential. The extra money you're paying for the 965 is to have AMD overclock it slightly for you.

As far as the video cards go, I highly doubt they will fall in price anytime soon. After all, they just got released as well..
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November 19, 2009 12:32:06 PM

MadAdmiral said:
I agree. The only reason to want the top of the line stuff is to be able to brag about it for a couple of months. If you are really worried about future proofing, you shouldn't be looking at Intel. They released the i5 to compete with cheaper AMD CPUs, but put it on its own socket to make it impossible to upgrade from an older system or to upgrade to an i7 in the future.

The X4 965 is a good choice, but I would save a few bucks and get the 955. Out of the box, the 965 is faster, but both have the same overclocking potential. The extra money you're paying for the 965 is to have AMD overclock it slightly for you.

As far as the video cards go, I highly doubt they will fall in price anytime soon. After all, they just got released as well..

and to sum it up, the 965 is a overclocked 955=> wast of money, get a 955 and oc it abit.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2009 5:23:43 PM

1> i7 920 prices wont drop unless AMD releases a competing CPU. Maybe the new AM3 6 core will have some impact, but thats not really likely IMO.

2> 5800 prices wont drop below their initial 5870 $380, 5850 $260 until Nvidia releases their GT300 series. Its not clear if the GT300s will be price competitive enough to cause a price drop below that. Given the poor yields on the manufacturing, it will be quite some time (possibly never) before supply becomes great enough to cause a price drop.

3> 23 inch 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 monitor is a good combo of resolution and monitor size for both clarity and screen real estate.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2009 5:56:05 PM

There's always a chance the i7 will come down one the next-level chip comes out. More so than the video cards, anyway. I agree wit the others that the new-new technology always carries such a price premium that it's rarely worth it ... but you can often get what's just a half-step behind the cutting edge for a huge price discount.

For example, when I was building my last machine, the newest processor on the market was the Q9650, and it was going for over $500. I got a Q9550 for $300 and have been perfectly happy with it. The minute the I series chips came out, the Q9650 dropped to around $300 itself. So I definitely see a chance of the i7 coming down.

I would definitely get the i7 over the AMD chip. That's not an incremental difference there; it's a generational difference, and you'd be wise to at least be in the current one.

As far as graphics cards go, those look like they'll stay pricey for the foreseeable future. You can always get a 5770 for half the price ... and if that turns out not to be good enough for your liking, you can crossfire it and that setup will outperform a 5850 anyway.
November 19, 2009 6:09:25 PM

kfan35 said:
hello desktop building pros,

i've been doing a bit of research for a PC i am looking to build within the next 1 to 2 months. i'm looking to get a top-of-the-line processor at the time, likely an AMD x4 965 or a i7-920. the rig will be used for watching movies, FPS gaming, and other run of the mill tasks (nothing media related). i had a few questions regarding future-proofing and pricing.

1) with the release of the i9 hexacore processor in Q1 of 2010, is there likely to be a huge drop in prices of the i7-920? in other words, should I wait till the release of the i9? also... will the 1366 socket be able to support future hexacore processors?

2) Do you think ATI's recent release of the 5970 will result in decreased prices of the 5770, 5850/70 and other 5000 series cards in about 1-2 months? (If i see a good deal, should I snag it now or wait until another 2 months for a better deal?)

3) I'm working off an ASUS Eee PC 1000HE right now, and am thinking about purchasing a large monitor/HDTV for it until I get my desktop rig built. But, for the time being, it will be just for my Eee PC. I'm looking to buy the biggest screen on 1920x1200/1080 res (or higher) that I can get for around $200 or under... Should I go with a TV or a monitor (note: the eventual desktop rig will be largely for gaming and watching videos off Hulu, etc.)?? What size should I go for?

4) What do you think about the Saitek PZ30AU as my gaming keyboard? Anyone who's owned it have any advice? I'm trying to keep it under $35


thanks in advance for all your help! :hello: 


Microcenter has i7 920s for $199.
1) No, there is always something new coming out..waiting is a neverending game. The 1366 socket should support upcoming processors, but more than likely new motherboards will have new features such as 6gb/ps sata and usb 3.0.

2) Sadly retailers are continually raising the prices of the 5800 series because they are selling out within minutes of coming back into stock. I don't see the prices dropping until the new year. (5850s are going for $300-325 now)

3) 1920x1080 is the sweet spot imo in resolution right now, black friday sales have these monitors going for $140.
November 19, 2009 6:40:48 PM

Quote:
2> 5800 prices wont drop below their initial 5870 $380, 5850 $260 until Nvidia releases their GT300 series. Its not clear if the GT300s will be price competitive enough to cause a price drop below that. Given the poor yields on the manufacturing, it will be quite some time (possibly never) before supply becomes great enough to cause a price drop.


thanks for all the advice! it seems as if the general consensus is that the prices for graphics cards wont' be dropping any time soon.

regarding processors, I suppose I'll wait until after the new year to see if there are any prices changes in the intel chips, and if not, I should go with the i7 then?

cory1234 - thanks for the heads up, i did see the microcenter prices for the i5 and i7 (at $150 and $200 respectively), and i haven't a clue why they're so cheap...
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2009 6:50:25 PM

I've heard they're so cheap because the company is based almost next door to Intel, but that may just be a rumor.

I'd keep an eye out on what happens with the Black Friday. There might be good deals through combos or straight up discounts, but it can't be guaranteed.

If I were doing an Intel build, I would go with i7, if the budget allows for a L1366 socket build...
a b B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2009 7:03:45 PM

I'd be watching more on cyber monday than black friday.
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2009 7:31:50 PM

Except this year, Black Friday's gone cyber. I'd start watching Newegg's forums now. They're posting deals that are running next Monday-Wednesday, Wednesday-Sunday, and Monday-Tuesday soon. Or so they'd like us to believe.

EDIT: corrected sale days
a b B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2009 7:50:51 PM

That's the same shpeel that walmart/target/meijer...etc, all those retail brick and mortar stores say. They are going to roll out their black friday deals 2 or 3 days early. They lie. The real deals that people are looking for are still a 1 day sale. They just have additional sales in the days leading up to black friday/cyber monday to bring in traffic. The idea is to sell those items at the 'sale' price, before they really go on sale.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2009 7:53:30 PM

I think Walmart is actually doing it different this year. They dont want any more employees dying in customer stampedes like last year.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2009 7:59:07 PM

Yep, I saw their plans. Pretty smart too. Too many crazies out there.

They are going to stay open 24/7 through the holiday, instead of closing. That way they don't have a mob outside the doors when they open. But they are handing out numbered tickets for the real sale items.

But they are also having some sales starting this weekend.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2009 8:23:46 PM

Yup, keep your eyes peeled starting immediately. I got an Xbox 360 for $199 that came with a $100 Wal Mart gift card a couple weeks ago. I had to stand in line for about 1 1/2 hours, but it worked out great. They came and gave us a numbered ticket so nobody would stand in line and have them run out before they got to them. They even bought doughnuts for the people standing in line!
November 20, 2009 6:32:15 AM

interesting. i'll definitely see what i can do.
i'm actually not in a place where I can get consistent internet, but I'll try to monitor newegg and other sites like dealnews and slickdeals.

i7 sounds like the way to go then. i mean, at $200 at microcenter.... it doesn't present as big of a price jump anymore, so i think i'd be willing to go for it.

oh yeah... geez, i remember that walmart catastrophe, that was pretty barbaric. i can't believe someone actually got trampled to death...
November 20, 2009 7:30:22 AM

For a gaming/movie watching rig? No need to spend more than a Phenom II x3 720 BE overclocked with stock - yes, stock - cooling and Arctic Silver 5 to 3.4 GHz. That plus an Asrock or Gigabyte motherboard will cost you around $200. An i7 920 alone at Microcenter is $200, and that's overkill for what you need.

Save your money and invest in a good gaming monitor ($300 - $350) on a 28" Hanns-G or Hanspree monitor, or $200 on a 22" - 24".

Video card, $170 will get you far. Movie experience, $40 is good enough. Gaming experience, $100 is good enough. More than $240 is just too much. Depends on what games you play, what monitor you use, and what you want your experience to be.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 20, 2009 9:06:48 AM

Speaking of sinking huge amounts of $$ for "top end hardware" in its time we have in the past (short history of hardware hehe) :

1.Remember when people thought HT on P4s were godly

2. The obscene amount the 8800 Ultra costed and how fast it was dinosaur?
November 21, 2009 8:08:24 PM

El_Capitan said:

Save your money and invest in a good gaming monitor ($300 - $350) on a 28" Hanns-G or Hanspree monitor, or $200 on a 22" - 24".

Video card, $170 will get you far. Movie experience, $40 is good enough. Gaming experience, $100 is good enough. More than $240 is just too much. Depends on what games you play, what monitor you use, and what you want your experience to be.


thanks for the advice !


regarding the upcoming black friday sales, if i'm buying a display for movie watching and gaming, will it be cheaper to purchase a LCD HDTV or monitor? (looking for screens around 24-28")
November 21, 2009 9:04:32 PM

kfan35 said:
thanks for the advice !


regarding the upcoming black friday sales, if i'm buying a display for movie watching and gaming, will it be cheaper to purchase a LCD HDTV or monitor? (looking for screens around 24-28")

Usually monitors are cheaper, but you never know with Black Friday deals. LCD HDTV's will usually have better built-in audio and more inputs, but are usually more expensive and draw a lot more power. You can't go wrong with either.
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