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$1300-$1400 I7 Build

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Last response: in Systems
December 9, 2009 9:11:30 AM

Hello there!

Long time Tom's Hardware reader, first time forum user.

So I am looking to build a $1300-$1400 I7 gaming PC. I plan on overclocking the hardware and using the PC for multi-media use, gaming, video encoding, and school work. I would like to stay with x58 platform given it has 2 x16 lanes, triple channel memory and a more clear cut upgrade path with I9 being on the 1366 platform. I plan on using crossfire or sli in the future and I game at 1680x1050 res. I have two Samsung 22in monitors http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is what I have so far at $1403 after mail in rebates and before tax. If you could suggest any better parts or deals from any retailers that are U.S. based that would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Writer - Bulk - LightScribe Support - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100282SR Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ... - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX6GX3M3A1600C9 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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...

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER Intel Core i7 compatible V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total $1403 before tax and after MIRs

More about : 1300 1400 build

December 9, 2009 10:59:21 AM

Overall you have a nice build going. I would suggest you change is the RAM, HDD, and HSF.

Corsair is expensive and you are pretty much are paying for the name and not the performance. Mushkin make excellent RAM which will out perform Corsair while being at or lower price. OCZ and G.Skill also have that same advantage.

The V8 is an OK cooler but its a known fact there are better ones out there for the same price. The Xigmatek Dark Knight is about the same price and cools a bit better. Zalman also make great coolers.

The HDD is a bit slow when there are better options out there. Samsung's F3's are top notch and Seagate's 7200.12 are also faster than what you have currently.

Other than that, great build! [:bohleyk:1]
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December 9, 2009 2:17:30 PM

Overall your build with the suggestions from Bohleyk is great, however, I would like to suggest actually going for an i5 system + SSD. I have recently built an i5 + SSD system for ~$1500 and I've since given my older ~$1800 i7 w/o SSD system to my sister.

I use my system for the same things you do, minus the school work. If you're concerned about the limited x16 lanes, get a mobo with 2 x8 lanes and performance drop is unnoticeable.
http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3649&p=7

Likewise, the performance difference btwn triple channel and dual channel memory is negligible. As is the difference btwn DDR3 1066 and DDR3 1600.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/memory-scaling-i7,2...

Now with all that said, while the two systems may similar performance, using the money saved to buy a SSD boot drive makes a world of difference. I've gone to the point on my i5 system where I have firefox, photoshop, word and adobe writer all running on startup and I still have a boot time of ~50 secs. This is the time btwn when i press the power button and I'm typing or browsing. All this on top of normal background stuff (CCC, Threatfire, Symantec, Everest, Riva tuner, Speedfan etc.).

On my i7 system the boots time is ~ 3 min to do all this stuff. Gaming wise Dragon Age Origins (which has horrendous load times) I get <5 sec load time with it on a SSD, while ~15 sec load times on the Spinpoint F3 on the i7 system. I could keep going, but I think you get the point ^^

That said here's a lis tof changes and their prices

CPU- i5 $149.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Mobo-Gigabyte P55 UD4 $149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram- G SKill Ripjaw 7-7-7-21 $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total $399.97 Free Shipping/ Pickup the CPU at a Micro Center

Your Build
Ram - $154.99
Mobo - $219.99
CPU- $288.99

total savings $264

Intel X-25m G2 80gb $249.99
http://www.mwave.com/mwave/skusearch_v3.asp?scriteria=B...

There ya go, a revised build with an SSD that's $14 less.

Also you can save some more by getting a better HSF. http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm

Cooler Master Hyper 212 plus- $29.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$44.99 for the V8 you linked.

Casewise for $10 more consider the Thermaltake Element G $99.99
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

I use a 922 for my i7 and a element g for my i5 build, and I actually like the element G more. Mostly cuz i don't need to duct tape my SSD in (its got mounting space for 2 SSD's) =D Buncha other minor things I like more as well. The extra side fan (huge diff in temps), more filters, fan controller that also lets you turn off the lights, etc.


Edit: If you don't have a microcenter near you, just shell out $21 more total to get one from newegg. (you save $29 with the HSF and other changes I mentioned)
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December 9, 2009 3:30:39 PM

The i7 looks good. As BohleyK said there are a few parts you can change to get a better price/performance ratio.

https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...
$1,365.88
- $20 MIR Mobo
- $20 MIR PSU
- $30 MIR RAM
$1295.88


I like the i5 build, well, everyone likes SSDs but the case is ugly. :D 
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December 9, 2009 3:49:27 PM

Haha true, aesthetics are really hard to please everyone with. I just really hated how my beautiful HAF 922 with super clean cabling... had a duct taped SSD at the bottom, lol.
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December 9, 2009 7:49:09 PM

Sorry for the bump, but I'm basing my new rig on this one. Big thanks to the OP and everyone who replied.

I don't know as much about RAM timings as I should, so I'm asking for help. I have the OP's original Corsair recommendation, but can someone please post outperforming Mushkin or OCZ recommendations that are either at or below the Corsair RAM's price?

It seems like the equivalent OCZ offering (OCZ3B1600LV6GK) is more expensive.

Thanks!
Pete
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December 9, 2009 7:59:00 PM

Okay I made the changes BohleyK suggested and my build has come out $10 cheaper staying with the x58 platform. What do you guys think of doing this? I could change to the P55 platform, since the crossfire difference is negligible vs the x58.

Mobo-Gigabyte P55 UD4
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram- G SKill Ripjaw 7-7-7-21
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I7 860
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This would bring me down to $1250. Would this be superior to my previous I7 build? Especially given the price difference between x58 and p55, I could actually afford to get a 5870 @_@ and stay within my $1400 budget
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December 10, 2009 5:51:34 AM

Hmm since u stated only using the rig for multi-media use, gaming, video encoding, and school work the i7 would give u an edge in encoding but that also depends i.e if u encode once in a blue moon for example :p  If you are open to non Intel solutions though here is a suggested config for $777 AR
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December 10, 2009 12:14:02 PM

cpufan said:
Sorry for the bump, but I'm basing my new rig on this one. Big thanks to the OP and everyone who replied.

I don't know as much about RAM timings as I should, so I'm asking for help. I have the OP's original Corsair recommendation, but can someone please post outperforming Mushkin or OCZ recommendations that are either at or below the Corsair RAM's price?

It seems like the equivalent OCZ offering (OCZ3B1600LV6GK) is more expensive.

Thanks!
Pete


go with the gskill ripjaws linked with 7-7-7-21 timings. There's also an eco ripjaw series just released that's a little cheaper and uses less power. ATM Ripjaws are considered the best price/performance RAM, especially because of their enormous OC potential.

Timings wise generally a tighter timing makes a greater diff than a higher speed. However, for purpose of ease of OC, DDR 1333 is the native bus speed currently, so it plays nicer. This is especially true for AMD systems where tighter timings make a much larger difference than speed.

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