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I7 build for ~$2,500

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December 2, 2009 10:08:17 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This month

BUDGET RANGE: $2,500 +/-

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming (primarily Aion), movies/surfing, 3 years or so proof

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: only need pc and monitor, want to upgrade from 22" 1680x1050 to 1 or 2 24" 1920x1200 or 1920x1080

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg

PARTS PREFERENCES: See initial thoughts below

OVERCLOCKING: Doubtful, though I had good experiences with P5B deluxe paired with E6600 (most recent build)

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes, either now or later

MONITOR RESOLUTION: See "Parts not Required"

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I prefer the case to be large enough to allow good cable management and not be cramped, and as quiet as possible

Here are my initial picks:

Case: Antec 1200 or HAF 932
MOBO: ??
CPU: i7 920
RAM: ??
SSD: 60GB to run OS and Aion (OCZ Vertex?)
HDD: Spinpoint F3 "or" no SSD and Spin F3x2 in raid 0
GPU: 5870x2 or 5970?
PS: Corsair 850HW?
Monitor: ??
Optical/Blu-Ray: Will decide on my own at time of build

More about : build 500

December 2, 2009 10:52:37 PM

Your on about the same page as me as I'm in the process of picking my new system. Here are my initial picks:

Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811129043

ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813131359

DIAMOND 5970PE52G Radeon HD 5970 (Hemlock) 2GB 512 (256 x 2)-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support (whenever one becomes available)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814103088

CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817139009

Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819115202

CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8 G - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820145236

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive Model #:HD103SJ
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822152185

ASUS VW246H Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6824236049

Sony Optiarc DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model AD-7241S-0B LightScribe Support - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827118032

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

that runs me just around $2,000 after rebates. Hoping the 5970 drops in January if the new Nvidia cards come out.
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December 2, 2009 11:25:22 PM

Have you guys considered a i5-750 / P55 build or i7-860 / P55 build? You could save a few hundred dollars, and not sacrifice anything with regards to performance. Take a look at these two reputable studies that compare the performance of these different processors:
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=364...
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=364...

The X58 platform is over one year old, and is due to be replaced. The new i9 processors and motherboards are due out early in 2010. In the meantime, the new P55 platform and processors have a new architecture that makes them faster than the X58 platform as evidenced by the above links.

The conventional wisdom is that the i920 system is the fastest mainstream computer available. This was true three months ago, before the P55 platform hit the streets, but it is not true today. The i860 system performs considerably better than the i920 system for nearly all applications, and that includes all games.

Just something to think about if the performance / cost ratio is important.

Good luck with your builds!
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Related resources
December 2, 2009 11:44:15 PM

stay i7 920 in the future youll wanna upgrade to i9 ( not doable on the i5 )
and for ram go ocz platinum cheaper and better . other than that csc' build is +1
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December 3, 2009 12:30:23 AM

dpaul8 said:
Have you guys considered a i5-750 / P55 build or i7-860 / P55 build? You could save a few hundred dollars, and not sacrifice anything with regards to performance. Take a look at these two reputable studies that compare the performance of these different processors:
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=364...
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=364...

The X58 platform is almost two years old, and is due to be replaced. The new i9 processors and motherboards are due out early in 2010. In the meantime, the new P55 platform and processors have a new architecture that makes them faster than the X58 platform as evidenced by the above links.

The conventional wisdom is that the i920 system is the fastest mainstream computer available. This was true three months ago, before the P55 platform hit the streets, but it is not true today. The i860 system performs considerably better than the i920 system for nearly all applications, and that includes all games.

Just something to think about if the performance / cost ratio is important.

Good luck with your builds!


Lol you arent really informed much are you? The X58 platform has been out for about 1 year only. There is no i9 coming out for the 1156 socket so your statement is kinda contradictory because you give no example of anything new coming out for the 1156 socket, yet you give an example of a new X58 cpu coming out. Third, the 1156 socket (P55) is just a tweaked version of the 1136 socket i.e. The i5 750 IS an i7 920 but no hyperthreading and the i7 860 is just a slightly overclocked i7 920. They all overclock to the same point of around 4ghz and they would all perform about the same for games.

The 1136 socket would actully be better because it has triple channel ram and it can run crossfire and sli at the full x16 x16 bandwith compared to the 1156 x8 x8.

Basically what I'm saying is that the X58 vs p55 the x58 IS better, but the extra 200 you may pay for the stuff may not be worth it, but with a $2500 budget he should get the the i7 920 because it works for his budget and is better.
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December 3, 2009 6:47:09 AM

The i5-750 and i7-860 are radically different designs than the i7-920 processor. Intel has integrated the functions of the Northbridge chip, including PCIe support directly into the i750 and i860 processors. This allows these processors to perform better than the i920 by eliminating bandwidth bottlenecks within the system. Just take a look at how clean (No Northbridge) the P55 motherboards look compared to the X58 motherboards. Intel has hit a home run with the i750 / i860 architecture.
The i920 is old technology. It doesn't matter if the i920 system has X16 X16 bandwidth or uses triple channel memory, the P55 platform (i750 and i860) has better performance in nearly all applications as shown in the following articles:
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=364...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-gaming,2403...

The i750 and i860 CPU architecture is the future of computing. Eliminating the Northbridge and incorporating it into the CPU was genius because it decreased the bottlenecks in the system and decreased the cost compared to the old i920 / X58 system.

I expect the new i9 processors from Intel to incorporate many of these same radical design improvements, and when these systems hit the streets in a few months, the performance gains will be substantial. The new i9 processors and new i9 motherboards will be the king of the hill. However, just because the i9 processors use the 1366 socket, I would not assume that you can use them with the old X58 motherboards.

If you can wait a few months for the i9 processors to come out, and you have a fat wallet, these systems will be amazing. However, these systems were designed for commercial users, not home users, and will be expensive. In the meantime, rejoice in knowing that technology advances continue to lead to better performance at a reduced cost. This is good for the consumer.

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December 3, 2009 1:33:50 PM

Jesus... I think dpaul8 must have worked on the P55 chipset at Intel because he sure is pimping for it like there's no tomorrow. I have a socket 1156 system... and I like it... but jeez... had money not been an issue I'd have gone with the i7-920 without hesitation.
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December 6, 2009 12:28:17 AM

lol hes an intel spy trying to hustle his product .. watever wait the 930 will replace the 920 . but it really is sad though you have all the great evidence ( i applaud you on that ) but the 920 will still be recommended by almost every user of this website and major websites in general
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December 6, 2009 2:39:57 AM

1) 5970 without i7 is retarded. You will have a bottle neck.

2) Buy three 28" monitors and go for Eyefinity. They are about $300 each. Drop the SSD if you have it, it will be worth it.
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December 6, 2009 7:15:04 AM

I would rather spend the 900 on the monitors for one 30"
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December 6, 2009 10:07:14 AM

I just put together a ~$2500 i7 build myself. Here's what I picked out. All of the parts are a result of quite a bit of fine tuning, but if you see anything you don't like or doesn't seem practical, please point it out.

CPU: Intel Core i7 920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz (URL)
Mobo: eVGA E758-A1 3-Way SLI (x16/x16/x8) LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX (URL)
RAM: Corsair Dominator 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600 (URL)
HDD: OCZ Vertex Series 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC SSD (URL)
Video: Diamond Radeon HD 5970 (Hemlock) 2GB (URL)
PSU: Corsair CMPSU-850HX 850W (URL)
Optical 1: LG Blu-ray Burner Model BH08LS20 (URL)
Optical 2: Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable (URL)
Case: Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower (URL)
Display: Samsung XL2370 23" LED 1080p (URL)

I would've equally considered an Intel G2 SSD, but their being in high demand has pushed the price too far out of my reach. On the flip side however, OCZ is on the ball with releasing firmware updates.

Mobo was chosen because of the two X16 PCI-E slots in the probable future scenario where I add a second HD 5970. Also, it's native support for DDR3-1600, and hell it's eVGA.

Display will be used for HDTV viewing, and it seems the industry is moving towards 16:9 anyway, so why not hop on the bandwagon now? Also, it's LED backlit panel provides pretty awesome colors considering its a freakin TN. Tons of other (better) options though if you have the money and aren't solely a gamer.

I think the rest pretty much speaks for itself. The RAM gives me more room to OC. The case is just bleh. I could care less, I just wanted a full tower (12" long 5970) and Antec is a solid brand. PSU is kind of the minimum for CF'd 5970s. Obviously have no need for a 2nd card in the near future though. And yeah, any questions please ask. I'm happy with what I ordered.

Total cost ~$2850 before shipping & tax.
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December 6, 2009 5:46:16 PM

your wasting money on the dominators the OCZ platinum is just as powerful and is cheaper
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December 6, 2009 6:16:21 PM

darksupreme said:
your wasting money on the dominators the OCZ platinum is just as powerful and is cheaper


QFT, dominators are overpriced and are only needed if you want to overclock. You can get better OCZ ram for cheaper.
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Anonymous
December 19, 2009 5:49:40 PM

dpaul8 said:
Have you guys considered a i5-750 / P55 build or i7-860 / P55 build? You could save a few hundred dollars, and not sacrifice anything with regards to performance. Take a look at these two reputable studies that compare the performance of these different processors:
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=364...
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=364...

The X58 platform is over one year old, and is due to be replaced. The new i9 processors and motherboards are due out early in 2010. In the meantime, the new P55 platform and processors have a new architecture that makes them faster than the X58 platform as evidenced by the above links.

The conventional wisdom is that the i920 system is the fastest mainstream computer available. This was true three months ago, before the P55 platform hit the streets, but it is not true today. The i860 system performs considerably better than the i920 system for nearly all applications, and that includes all games.

Just something to think about if the performance / cost ratio is important.

Good luck with your builds!




After checking Your references in the links, its appears You are correct. i5 750 is an excellent cpu that performs almost as good as the i7 920. However, the only thing that deters me from going with an i5 is the fact that the p55 motherboards only support dual channel. Also, the price difference between the i5 750 and the i7 920 is only $100. Considering, I'm stuck on getting the Level 10 case ( love at first sight?), $100 more isn't a big deal.
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December 19, 2009 5:52:50 PM

Quote:
After checking Your references in the links, its appears You are correct. i5 750 is an excellent cpu that performs almost as good as the i7 920. However, the only thing that deters me from going with an i5 is the fact that the p55 motherboards only support dual channel. Also, the price difference between the i5 750 and the i7 920 is only $100. Considering, I'm stuck on getting the Level 10 case ( love at first sight?), $100 more isn't a big deal.


The i5 is a great option if you dont have that extra $100 spend or you want to invest in a better graphic card, but honestly the i5 750 IS the midrange-mainstream gaming cpu, if you have the money to spend their's no point getting it.
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December 19, 2009 6:12:23 PM

The X58 system is excellent. If you go this route, you should consider getting the ASUS P6X58D Premium motherboard because it is the only ASUS motherboard that is compatible with the new Gulftown six-core processor that Intel will be coming out with in 2010. It also has USB 3.0 ports and SATA 6GB/s capabilities. This will help to future proof your build for a little bit longer.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The cheap ASRock X58 Extreme motherboard has some reliability issues, and I would not recommend it.
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December 19, 2009 6:54:56 PM

yes that new mobo will last you a couple of extra years over these mobos. Problem is that usb 3.0 wont be in use for another solid year
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December 19, 2009 9:21:34 PM

USB 3.0 is available now. LaCie just introduced a 4TB external hard drive that uses USB 3.0 as the connection. There will be many more manufacturers introducing USB 3.0 devices at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on January 7-10, 2010.
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December 19, 2009 10:08:23 PM

introduced? does that mean released, if so linky please. Microsoft specifically said they WILL NOT support drivers till 2011.
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December 19, 2009 10:36:26 PM

Sure, here are some USB 3.0 product releases:
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10405058-1.html
http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/185053/la...

According to CNET, the Buffalo USB 3.0 External Hard Drives (1, 1.5, and 2TB) are supposed to be available for purchase from Microcenter starting Dec. 7, 2009. If you live near a Microcenter store, you should be able to purchase one now.

You can find many more USB 3.0 devices that are available now or about to be released, just Goggle it.
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December 19, 2009 10:56:14 PM

Does microsoft even support usb 3.0 I read they wont for a while. And how much does it cost for pcie usb 3.0 card?
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December 19, 2009 11:04:56 PM

You don't need a PCIe USB 3.0 card with the ASUS P6X58D Premium motherboard. It already has two USB 3.0 rear ports.

There are many other motherboards by Gigabyte that already have USB 3.0 ports, such as the P55A-UD3, -UD3P, -UD4P, and -UD6.
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December 19, 2009 11:34:25 PM

ya but not every1 have those mobos :p  I know I dont and I doubt you do.
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Anonymous
December 20, 2009 5:43:43 AM

i just built a system a month ago actually... and i'm playing aion on it. runs usually 200+ fps, graphics maxed to the tits, and hardware accelerated. it has dropped down to 60 in heavy population area's... but you don't need more than 24 fps to play properly. your eye won't pick anymore than that up.

inte i7 build 860 @ 2.8 ghz
4 gb of 1600 mhz ddr3 ram PDP
Nvidia GeForce 275GTX
ASUSp7p55d pro motherboard
2x WD 1 TB 7200 rpm harddrives
700w p/s (can't remember which :s, i don't have the actual bill with me)

Quote was a little over 2g's.... although i only paid 1700. gotta love student discounts.

That was including Windows 7 64 bit. the system was built for rendering in maya, and switching between alot of heavy use apps (Flash, photoshop etc). runs great. can run Flash, maya, photosop, and still have some ram left over to watch a movie or play some music, surf the web and sit on msn. doesn't even stumble.


forgot about the thermaltec case. blu-ray and secondary dvd-rw. it's seriously a beast.
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December 20, 2009 5:06:42 PM

hmm yes aion is a good game to stress test your system especially when they come out with that new patch witch boosts up all there graphics ( even though there already the best and look amazing lol )
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Anonymous
December 20, 2009 5:14:36 PM

graphics are ok. nothin special. play some lfd2 if you wanna see some nice gfx.... THAT game is beautiful. Aion's not too hard on the system eiter... i'm usually running around 25% of my proc potential. it's a a little ram heavy.... but thats ok. if your building a comp with vista or 7, anything lass than 3 gb is just a waste of a computer system. ram is cheap, so you shouldn't be.
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December 22, 2009 6:05:11 AM

lfd2 is also just okay compared to other games out there lol and im talking about an mmo making really good looking graphics that can utilize most systems is alot tougher than just making a snazzy looking fps
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Anonymous
December 22, 2009 6:35:50 AM

meh. this is about a decent build for a comp. not a competition between which games are harder to produce. that being said, just cause the mmo is harder to make, doesn't mean it's gonna look better, or work the all parts of the computer more.

all in all decent system, i would reccomend it. besides games, using maya and switching between flash and photoshop is a dream. and it will keep up for a few years aleast.
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December 22, 2009 12:22:47 PM

dpaul8 said:
The i5-750 and i7-860 are radically different designs than the i7-920 processor. Intel has integrated the functions of the Northbridge chip, including PCIe support directly into the i750 and i860 processors. This allows these processors to perform better than the i920 by eliminating bandwidth bottlenecks within the system. Just take a look at how clean (No Northbridge) the P55 motherboards look compared to the X58 motherboards. Intel has hit a home run with the i750 / i860 architecture.
The i920 is old technology. It doesn't matter if the i920 system has X16 X16 bandwidth or uses triple channel memory, the P55 platform (i750 and i860) has better performance in nearly all applications as shown in the following articles:
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=364...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-gaming,2403...

The i750 and i860 CPU architecture is the future of computing. Eliminating the Northbridge and incorporating it into the CPU was genius because it decreased the bottlenecks in the system and decreased the cost compared to the old i920 / X58 system.

I expect the new i9 processors from Intel to incorporate many of these same radical design improvements, and when these systems hit the streets in a few months, the performance gains will be substantial. The new i9 processors and new i9 motherboards will be the king of the hill. However, just because the i9 processors use the 1366 socket, I would not assume that you can use them with the old X58 motherboards.

If you can wait a few months for the i9 processors to come out, and you have a fat wallet, these systems will be amazing. However, these systems were designed for commercial users, not home users, and will be expensive. In the meantime, rejoice in knowing that technology advances continue to lead to better performance at a reduced cost. This is good for the consumer.


How about we compare apples to apples.

p55 vs x58 using current gen GPU's

It's quite simple, if you're going with a multi-gpu solution (and don't feel like getting strapped to a nf200.. sli only), or you plan to upgrade to Gulftown the X58 is the ONLY choice. Asus has already released their compatibility list, so your argument there is moot.

There is no question as to which socket out performs which. The only question is if the extra money spent on an x58 is worth the performance you gain. If you run a single gpu, don't overclock, and will buy another mobo when the gulftown hits the streets then by all means buy the p55.
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Anonymous
December 22, 2009 7:27:18 PM

when it come to gaming you won't see much of an improvment.... even a quad core is over kill, as most games don't run on more than one or two threads. the multi-threade gaming revolution hasn't hit and might take a while with budget gamers spawning up everywhere, drooling over the xbox. so forcasting you want a 6 core 12 threaded processor is gonna be a waste for a few more years anyways. when it comes to the socket 1366 and 1156 (might ave ot hem wron, but you know what i mean) the 1156 really isn't tht much of a step down. the i7's that fit that socket are actually more overclockable, and the intel Turbo-boost is actually better on the smaller builds like the 860 i7.

only real difference you would see with 6 cores, even 4 cores with a gaming machine would be when your running multiple heavy weight apps, or using programs that do run on more than 2 or so threads. just because the processor is uber doesn't mean your system is gonna be fast. if anything the processor should almost be one of the last things your should be picky about.
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