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$1,700-1,900 NEW i7 future proof desktop, help me pros

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December 7, 2009 6:57:17 PM

PURCHASE DATE: towards the end of December
BUDGET RANGE: $1,700-$1,900 before Rebates
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: 1. Internet 2. Photo editing (large files from an SLR – I’m not a Pro) 3. Games 4. Strong computer with minimal upgrades for the next 3-4years
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS
PREFERRED WEBSITE FOR PARTS: newegg.com i'm open for any other suggestions
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: NYC, USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel i7-920 with an Asus MOBO, WD/Seagate HD, Fast 3x2GB DDR3 (maybe 2000mhz, only if it’s easy to OC it/max stock speed). Good ATI graphic card with an option for a future crossfire with a Samsung display 20-24”, modular PSU with 80 and above, not sure what should be the power.
OVERCLOCKING: probably the DDR3 to 2000 MHz (is it worth it?), OC rest of the components may/may not be in a year or so
CROSSFIRE: Probably a future upgrade
MONITOR RESOLUTION: Probably will buy the Samsung xl2370 which is 1920x1080
OS: Windows 7, 64bit
MY BUILDING SKILLS: minimal, last time I built a dekstop, it was a 486 about 10 years ago :)  this will be a cool project for me :) 
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: In general, I’m not a big gamer, I want a new desktop, with the newest tech (i7) and would prefer to spend an extra $200-300 for better parts. I’m trying to be as much future proof as possible, and probably will add more ram and another ATI card in the future.

After weeks of research here are my initial picks, I also indicated the % of how confident I am with this particular item.Here is my initial list of items, feel free to reccomend and add things I've might have missed:

CPU: $289 100% Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz
I'm 100% about this item

MOBO:$310 80% ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0
I want only an ASUS mobo, previously I thought about the "P6TD Delux" but then this one came out, hopefully will be also upgradeable for an i9.

Graphics Card:$180 60% XFX HD-577A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5
I think this will be the best bang for my buck, will probably add another one when I'll need it (1yr+)

HD:$110 80% Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
Will this be my biggest bottleneck? I think I will start with this one for another year or so/until I will notice. eventually I'll formant it and use it a storage HD and buy an SSD/6gb/s SATA

PSU:$200 80% SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD
I read excellent reviews about it, I think it's a little to expensive but hopefully it will last for years, could be also for the next ( in 3/4yr) upgrade

CASE:$175 80% Antec P193 Gunmetal Gray Aluminum / Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
I love this case, but i'm open for a different case. I'm looking for a relative quiet and cool(temp.) case, that will be able to re-use, definitely not a full tower, too big.

RAM:$260 50% G.SKILL Perfect Storm 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000)
This is my biggest unknown! How important is the Asus QVL? should I purchase a 2000mhz or the fastest 1333mhz stock out there?

DVD/RW:$32 50% SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 22X DVD-R 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner LightScribe Support - OEM
Not sure which one to choose, if you can recommend on the best one, another $20 or so won't scare me.

MONITOR:$300 90% Samsung SyncMaster XL2370 CNET's Review
I can only find it at BB for some reason! it seems to be the best LCD under $300 fro performance and looks.


Will I need a special screwdriver toolkit?

I want to connect the dekstop to my Yamaha RX-V2700 with the optical audio on board (it includes DTS) will that be good enough quality or I must purchase a sound card?

Any extra cables or fans I should know about?
Right now i'm totaling about $1900
I hope I didn't miss anything :) 

Thank you so much
:hello: 
















December 7, 2009 7:47:34 PM

Looks like you have done your research and chose good parts all around.

I prefer the Samsung Spinpoint F3 for HDD at the moment. Larger platters than WD so will be slightly faster. Also cheaper once it is back in stock.

Decent choice on video card, although at that budget it is possible to fit in 5850 or even 5870 with reasonable savings elsewhere.

The PSU you chose is one of the best on the market right now. It is expensive and an area where you can cut costs to upgrade to a SSD or improve your graphics. Also, look into the Antec CP-850. Proprietary design for select antec cases (P193 included) that has improved airflow. It does however limit use in future builds to Antec cases that it fits in. I am not sure if there is a lower wattage model not listed on newegg, don't have time to look into it at the moment.

As for the monitor, this is an area where I am extremely picky. I find 1900x1200 to be preferable to 1900x1080 and always try to recommend a non TN panel monitor. At the same price or lower you could get a Dell 2209WA which is an E-IPS panel instead of TN and still has excellent response time and input lag with the only downside being 1680x1050 resolution. You will however get much superior viewing angles and color accuracy, and even better in game performance by playing at a lower resolution.

I highly recommend looking for an aftermarket cooler even if you are not OCing right away. I like the Cooler Master Hyper 212+ as it is cheap and performs very well, and the only one i have used recently so it is hard for me to recommend any others for socket 1366.

Just my quick two cents. I'm sure there are other things to be said. But it looks like you have a good build going.
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December 7, 2009 10:01:18 PM

The seasonic 80plus gold PSU is a luxury item. A Corsair 750TX is almost half that and still a great PSU that will last for years.

The 5770 is a strong graphics card at 1680x1050 resolution. Since gaming isnt your major focus you will probably be fine with it even at 1920x1080.

Antec also makes the P183, which is a smaller quiet case. The P193 is almost full tower sized. At the high end of cases, mid and full tower is pretty hazy of a designation with only and inch or so difference between the larger mids and the full towers.

Normal screwdrivers should be enough. Onboard sound is probably good enough. Try it and see, you can always drop an expensive sound card in later.
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