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I7 rig with $1500 budget: Buying Today!

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November 29, 2009 3:44:52 PM

Update 1: Swapped mobo and cooler fan + bracket. Fixed typo on power supply price and rebate.
Update 2: Fixed typo with final price. Found $20 combo deal for two parts I was getting (bringing me under $1500, yay!)

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Sunday 11/29/2009

BUDGET RANGE: ~$1500

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Game programming, gaming, web browsing, photoshop, video rendering.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Case (below), hard drive (below), Bluray drive (below), speakers, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States

PARTS PREFERENCES: 24"+ monitor 1920x1200 resolution, quad-core w/ hyperthreading, no brand preference, modular power supply.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

Monitor: This was the hardest part to decide on. I was originally looking into the Dell PVA/IPS 24” monitors, but they are just way too pricey, and I’m not picky enough to notice. I also would prefer the 1200 vertical lines over 1080 lines since it gives 120 more pixels of space to type code. Dead/stuck pixels drive me crazy, but I don’t think there is a good way to avoid them other than luck or paying a premium.

Video card: Since I’m doing some hobby game programming, it’s fun for me to try out new technologies that would normally be gimmicky or far in the future. Compute shaders are introduced in DX11 and is basically the DirectX alternative to Cuda (used for Physx). So basically getting a DX11 card is worth it despite not getting the best price per pound performance. I really wish I would have grabbed a 5850 when they were in the $260 range. Now that they are $300-310, I refuse to pay the $40-50 extra for their scarcity. So I’m basically stuck with the 5770, with the consideration of upgrading to Crossfire later.

Processor: I chose the i7 because compiling scales very well with each core. Also it gives me a lot of room to experiment with multithreaded programming. So I’m paying a bit extra to get the 8 logical cores (rather than going with a cheaper i5 or AMD build). I considered the i7 860, but decided to stick with the i7 920 for the 1366 socket’s future… Though it’s highly unlikely that I will upgrade my CPU before getting a new computer, so if you can make a good argument for the i7 860 + mobo, I would consider the switch.

Components:

Motherboard: $204.99 (+$20 MIR)
ASUS P6T SE LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Processor: $278.99
Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler: $39.99 (+$25 MIR)
Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler bracket: $9.99 (+$5 MIR)
Sunbeam CR-LGA1366 LGA 1366 Core I7 Socket Retention Bracket Set - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: $149.99 (+$20 MIR & 10% off)
OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video card: $179.99
SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power: $89.99 (+$20 MIR)
CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor: $278.99 (+$30 MIR)
ASUS VW266H 25.5-Inch Widescreen LCD Monitor - Black
http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-VW266H-25-5-Inch-Widescreen-...

Mouse: $39.99
Logitech MX518 8 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical 1800 dpi Gaming Mouse – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Keyboard: $43.99
Logitech G11 Gaming Keyboard – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Already purchased:

Hard drive: $214.99
SSD 80G|INTEL SSDSA2M080G2XXX OEM – OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(I am using my old computer + gigabit connection as network storage. I will upgrade to a larger hard drive if necessary)

Bluray drive: $49.99
BLU-RAY DRIVE LITE-ON| IHOS104-08 R – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: $99.99 (+$40 MIR)
CASE ANTEC|NINE HUNDRED BK RT - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Newegg subtotal: $1,013.36
Already purchase subtotal: $364.97
Amazon subtotal: $278.99
Subtotal: $1657.32

Mail in Rebates: -$160

Grand total: $1497.32

Best solution

November 29, 2009 3:56:26 PM
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November 29, 2009 4:44:37 PM



Thanks for the reply!

The cooler you listed seems solid, but some of the newegg reviews talk about not getting rebates back. I'll consider switching, but I'm a bit biased toward the Zalman because it has so many good reviews.

That Gigabyte mobo seems like a good alternative... But I like how the ASRock has 6 DIMM slots, so that I can upgrade later if necessary, so I'm going to stick with that for now.

That is a great deal on a hard drive. I paid that much for a 250GB HD 2 years ago... Anyways, my plan is to upgrade my old machine later into a RAID5 array for my network storage. For now, I have about 300GB to use on my old machine for my pictures, videos, documents, music, etc. Once I get some more money I'll likely buy 3-4 1TB drives for RAID5 on my old system.
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November 29, 2009 5:38:06 PM

Good review, I'll switch to the Core-Contact Freezer.

Also, that Asus board would be in my price range after switching to the Core-Contact Freezer. Would you recommend switching? I have had a few Asus boards in the past and have been very happy with their quality and overclocking features.
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November 29, 2009 5:46:48 PM

Yes, do not buy that ASRock.
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November 29, 2009 6:25:08 PM

+1 to what Sonic Boom has said so far. Go with the P6T SE.

@OP: If you live near a Microcenter, you can grab the i7 920 for $200.
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

As for case, consider the HAF 922: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I use the HAF 932, 922 and the Antec 900 and I'd take the HAF 922 over the Antec 900.

The 922 is a little bigger and so it wont be cramped if putting a big card (and won't cut in to the HDD area) or a big heatsink in there.


Also, if budget and desk space allows, you may want to consider 2x 22" LCDs in a Dual Display set up. For vid/photo editing, coding,etc I find this very helpful.
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November 29, 2009 6:35:28 PM

I would drop the ASUS for MSI or Gigabyte brands. ASUS doesnt make quality mobos in my experience.

OCZ, I am hesitant of. There cheap and dont OC well.

Im using this heatsink with a Sycthe fan
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/7542/cpu-tri-54/Therm...
Its on my i7 860 atm and did a dramatic temp drop. I am getting temps under 30* at idle.

My Dell 2208 WFP cant reach a 1200 resolution but its great as a 1050 res display.
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November 29, 2009 6:43:13 PM

^^....... really??


Yeah MSI boards are great, I just love how unstable they are.
Yeah, Go with the $100 more Dominators
Spend $50 more when not extreme overclocking?
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November 29, 2009 8:24:13 PM

@Shadow703793:

Thanks for the tip on the i7. Unfortunately I live in Washington, far from any Microcenter stores =(. That's a really good deal though.

Also, I already bought the Antec 900. I was in a toss up between the HAF922 and the Antec 900... I went with Antec because I've had good luck with them in the past. Both the cases seemed great, so hopefully I'll be okay. Also the 5770 is a bit smaller than the 5800's, so hopefully I won't be too cramped (though if I upgrade that could be an issue).

And I agree dual monitors is awesome for those tasks (I have a similar setup to yours at work). I have an old 19" monitor I might hook up while I'm not using my other computer. Buying another monitor would probably be outside my budget, but I may get one down the road.



@Techn9ne1730:
I've had decent luck with ASUS in the past and that board supports everything I need. Also, the Gigabyte board in my price range doesn't have 6 ram slots and I would like the option of upgrading to 12GB later.

The heatsink you linked looks great, but a bit out of my price range. I'm also not doing any huge overclocks, as Sonic-Boom noted.
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November 29, 2009 11:01:48 PM

I'm going to go over the parts one more time and make sure I'm not making any huge mistakes.

If you guys see anything, let me know soon. Otherwise, thank you for the help, and I'll let you know how this thing runs once I get it =).
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November 29, 2009 11:22:14 PM

@Techn9ne1730: MSI??? Really? I'v had 3 or 4 of their boards an one of their GPUs die on me. Never had an ASUS or Gigabyte board die on me or one of my customers. Now let's see....that's ~100-110 boards since 2006.
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November 30, 2009 1:35:52 AM

torsoboy said:

@Techn9ne1730:
I've had decent luck with ASUS in the past and that board supports everything I need. Also, the Gigabyte board in my price range doesn't have 6 ram slots and I would like the option of upgrading to 12GB later.

The heatsink you linked looks great, but a bit out of my price range. I'm also not doing any huge overclocks, as Sonic-Boom noted.

Well I dont OC either but cooler temps are always a good thing. The MSI mobo I have, the P55-GD65, has the Foxcon socket on them so I figured better safe then sorry, OC or not.

Shadow703793 said:
@Techn9ne1730: MSI??? Really? I'v had 3 or 4 of their boards an one of their GPUs die on me. Never had an ASUS or Gigabyte board die on me or one of my customers. Now let's see....that's ~100-110 boards since 2006.

Well Im not sure of there GPU quality but I havent heard any one else complain about the mobos.

I never said anything bad about Gigabyte. I believe there rock solid. ASUS on the other hand, I have heard numerous complaints else where.
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