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$1200ish gaming build, advice?

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December 11, 2009 3:58:37 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: the sooner the better BUDGET RANGE: (1200ish, not a huge deal if I go over a bit) after Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: (mostly gaming, but also basic everyday use, music, movies, ms word and pp ect.)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: (OS, monitor, mouse, keyboard, speakers)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: (preferably newegg, but don't really care that much though)

PARTS PREFERENCES: by brand or type: don't care

OVERCLOCKING: probably

Ok i'm a newbie doing my first build. I'm primarily going to be using it for gaming like call of duty mw, mass effect, maybe some oldies like age of empires III or something, but also some school work type stuff.

I've come up with a basic list of stuff, i'm not set on any of it, and advice on any of it is appreciated.

Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad
ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
2 x Radeon HD 5770 in CrossFire maybe? or hd 5850 instead, any other suggestions?
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKB 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 3.5"
Have no idea about the case, power supplies or coolers yet.

Thx
December 11, 2009 4:15:34 AM

First things first. Get the i7 920 if you want to use that motherboard, the i7-860 is socket 1156 and is not supported on your socket 1366 mobo.

5770 crossfire is a great setup choice. If you can get a 5850/5870 for a decent price it is a good choice too since you can upgrade later without having to toss any components (crossfire). Although I feel those (58x0) are a little overpriced how they stand now.

I would recommend also a black edition western digital hard drive (640GB is the fastest of the line-up due to it being the smallest size with 2 platters), they give much better performance numbers unless you were looking for energy efficent one like the HD you picked.

A couple good cases to get you started are the Antec 900 and the Coolmaster HAF 922.

For the heastsink, Zalman is a great brand for those.

For powersupply go with a good brand such as; Corsair, Antec, PC Power@Cooling. I would recommend the Corsair 750w if you plan on doing a crossfire setup now or in the future.
December 11, 2009 5:53:38 AM

As raidur pointed out, i7 860 is part of the p55 platform. Since you're mostly gaming, I would recommend going with an i5.

5770 crossfire has excellent scalability, is energy efficient, and has newer technology. But if most of what you really do is just gaming, then IMO, splurge for a 5870. I wouldn't think this would hurt your budget too much if you end up going with my i5/p55 recommendation. The cpu is obviously cheaper and you can find a solid p55 board for cheaper as well.

Definitely check out Samsung's spinpoint f3 for your hd choice.

Also, CM's hyper 212+ has a really good in terms of price to performance.
Related resources
December 11, 2009 9:22:40 AM

With mostly gaming in mind you should save some money and go with an i5. You won't notice the benefits of an i7 with what you intend to use your PC for. You can use that saved money towards a 5800 series card and have some serious eye candy for gaming.

Gigabyte and MSI make some great 1156 boards that you will want to take a look at. ASrock also has decent ones for 1156 but they have had problems with OCing CPUs when first released. Better off paying a bit more for Gigabyte, Asus, MSI motherboards just to be safe.
December 11, 2009 3:19:15 PM

vznoobie12 said:
As raidur pointed out, i7 860 is part of the p55 platform. Since you're mostly gaming, I would recommend going with an i5.

5770 crossfire has excellent scalability, is energy efficient, and has newer technology. But if most of what you really do is just gaming, then IMO, splurge for a 5870. I wouldn't think this would hurt your budget too much if you end up going with my i5/p55 recommendation. The cpu is obviously cheaper and you can find a solid p55 board for cheaper as well.

Definitely check out Samsung's spinpoint f3 for your hd choice.

Also, CM's hyper 212+ has a really good in terms of price to performance.

Good advice, but the 1366 socket(x58 Mobo's) has pci-e lanes to support dual x16 pci-e cards, whereas the 1156(P55 Mobo's) can only handle x8/x8 configuration when running SLI or Crossfire.

With the deals going on now you can get either the P55 (1156 chipset) Mainstream or the X58 HighEnd (1366 chipest) for about $40 to $80 more then the P55.
a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2009 3:30:45 PM

I just pulled together a build on another thread for sub $1200 gamign build

Ok so here's a complete build for ya


CPU and MOBO- Combo for P55 UD4P w/ USB 3.0 SATA 6 bg/s and i5 $364.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.309193


HSF- CM Hyper 212 Plus $29.98. Should be back in stock anytime.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835103065


HD-Samsung Spinpoint F3 $54.99 Watch this. I swear it goes in an out of stock at least 2x a day.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822152181


PSU- Corsair 650TX $99, $79 after MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817139005


Optical Drive- Sony SATA $26.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827118030


Case- Cm HAF 922 $99 w/ free shipping. (Case is the most expensive item to ship)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product


GPU- HD 5850 $309.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product


Thermal COmpounds- AS5 $6.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835100007

RAM G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...




total $1101.91 before MIR $1081.91 after


add another I guess $30 for shipping so total of ~$1130


If you want you can get the i7-860 for $78 more with this combo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

for total of $1208. Not a big stretch, but honestly, even with the 5850, you're not gonna be CPU limited in gaming.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5770,2446...

it uses the 5770 for that particular benchmark, but the idea is the same. You'll notice in CPU benchmarking, they rarely use AA, and never have settings at MAX. This artificially forces a CPU bottleneck, but in real life you're not gonna be gaming as less than full settings w/o AA just to max your CPU.

a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2009 3:35:10 PM

There isn't a noticeable difference between 16x/16x and 8x/8x. The i5 is also much better for gaming. The i7 is better for other tasks, but the benchmarks all show that the i5 is the best CPU for gaming available.
a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2009 3:58:03 PM

To expand on Mad's post,

i5 and i7 have very close average FPS, but min FPS is much higher for an i5, and slowdowns really hurt the gaming experience.

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=363...


Also Tom's posted a nice article a few months ago addressing the whole issues. They noted that while there was a difference, in P55 vs X58, it wasn't anything noticeable.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-lynnfield,2...


Quote:
Are eight lanes per card enough? Almost certainly, yes


Quote:
With two cards installed, Core i5 simply didn’t gain as much performance as Core i7 at high resolutions. It wasn’t, however, noticeably handicapped


high resolution in this case being 30" 2560x 1600" which I doubt the OP is gaming at.
December 11, 2009 5:25:05 PM

Core i7 X58 Mobo Build Under $1200

Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W - Retail $288.99 Free Shipping*
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock X58 Extreme $169.99 Free Shipping*
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) OCZ3G1600LV6GK - Retail $149.99
($119.99 after $30.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail $129.99
($109.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(my choice if you are plannig to Crossfire graphic cards)

Combo Deal
1.Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - Free Shipping*

2.XFX HD-577A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail - Free Shipping* (Free Stormrise game w/ purchase, while supplies last)

1. Microsoft GFC-00599: $104.99

2. XFX HD-577A-ZNFC: $179.99

Combo Discount: -$15.00
Combo Price: $269.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD7501AALS 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache $79.99 Free Shipping*
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP $99.98 Free Shipping*
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Check out this DVD Burner.
Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM $26.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Get one of these CPU HSF Coolers'.
Scythe MUGEN-2 $34.99 ETA:12/15/2009
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CoGage True Spirit Heatpipe CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Silent Fan for Intel LGA1366 $37.95
(It is similar to the ThermalRight and cools within 1 or 2 degrees' of it.)
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...

Thermal Compound.
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail $7.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Subtotal using CoGage True Spirit CPU Cooler.
$1143.89 before shipping costs and MIR's.

MIR's total = $50.00
Total minus MIR's = $1093.89

So new Total will be after MIR and before shipping Costs = $1093.89

Hope this helps you out some..
a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2009 5:43:32 PM

That's a great build Yoosty but I really don't like pairing an i7 with a 5770 for gaming. You're gonna hit GPU bottlenecks before you use half the capacity of the i7.

In fact Tom's found that using a 5770 and i5 at 2.66 vs 3.8ghz resulted in zero FPS gain due to GPU bottleneck.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5770,2446...

For that reason I'd suggest for gaming to go with i5 and a better GPU like the 5850. Also, like the p55 UD4P because it's future proof with USB 3.0 and sata 6gb/s support.

If you wanna go with Yoosty build though, I'd suggest ditching the 850tx as that's overkill, and grabbing the 750tx is you wanna xfire in the future, and 550TX is you don't.

(I'd recommend the 650tx for xfire as it can run 2 5870's, but it doesn't have enough 6 pin cables >.<)
December 11, 2009 6:13:36 PM

Ok sweet, funny timing on my post, two other people with similar questions posted right after i did. I think my build will end up similar to yoosty's. Thanks for the responses.
December 11, 2009 6:43:38 PM



LITE-ON DVD Writer - Bulk - Black SATA Model iHAS224-06 LightScribe Support - OEM
Item #: N82E16827106333
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$3.00 Instant
$31.99
$28.99


Rosewill R5604-TBK 0.8mm Japanese Cold Rolled Steel Screw-less Dual 120mm Fans ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811147033
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$30.00 Instant
$74.99
$44.99


Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822136320
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$69.99


SAPPHIRE 100282SR Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity - Retail
Item #: N82E16814102857
Return Policy: VGA Replacement Only Return Policy
$309.99


G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM - Retail
Item #: N82E16820231303
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
$209.98
($104.99 each)


Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819115215
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
$199.99


Cooler Master Intel Core i5 compatible Hyper TX3 Socket 775/1156/AMD 130W 92mm "heatpipe direct contact" CPU Cooler RR-910-HTX3-GP - Retail
Item #: N82E16835103064
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
$19.99


CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ... - Retail
Item #: N82E16817139006
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
ASUS P7P55D LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813131404
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
-$70.00 Instant
-$10.00 Combo
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$329.98
$249.98
Subtotal: $1,133.90

The case may seem cheap, but it is a nice case. I have this case for my home computer as well as my work computer. Fans keep things cool and are super quiet. The rubber on the drive mounts help keep thing real quiet as well. I have this motherboard paired up with a i7 860, so from my experience seems really good. Be careful with what others are saying about the Gigabyte boards and future proofing with SATA and USB 3. According to Gigabytes website when the other PCIxpress X16 slot is used, it disables SATA and USB 3. I personally chose the 860 for video editing and other multi threaded apps, everyone else is correct that from a gaming perspective and general usage the 750 is the better buy. I also use this heatsink on my 860 and keeps it at 5F (24c) above room temp at idle and the highest I have seen when checking is (36c). The RAM again I use and has a low latency CAS 7 and 1600mhz speed. My set up uses an Enermax 400 watt very stable, so this 750 should be more than enough. Now according to this website in their review of the ATI 5750/5770 cards, the benchmarks say 2 5770s swap blows with a single 5850. I would choose that to give you room to crossfire in the future. It usually stands that one card is better than 2, but 2 cards can perform at levels cheaper. Lite-On drives have never failed me, so I am comfortable recomending them. Price is in budget with room to spare for shipping and another game or two. Maybe even upgrade your drive to a larger size. Also make sure you stick with SATA drives and set them up in AHCI mode before installing OS. I only mention since your original post has an IDE drive listed. Good luck and have fun!
a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2009 7:15:59 PM

People need to stop recommending the WD 500GB drives when the Spinpoint F3 are cheaper and have better performance.
December 11, 2009 7:36:16 PM

banthracis said:
People need to stop recommending the WD 500GB drives when the Spinpoint F3 are cheaper and have better performance.

Very true, but good luck getting one with everything else you buy. You have to put it on auto notify and buy with in 15 minutes or less if you actually expect to get one. I personally went with a 120GB SSD OCZ Vertex, but that is not in his budget.
a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2009 7:44:45 PM

True, the F3 goes in and out of stock twice at day or something =P


If he really wants a SSD kingston is releasing a 40gb one for $84.99 after MIR. It runs off the Intel X25-M controller (best one atm) so it's actually pretty decent.

http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3667&p=...
December 11, 2009 7:56:26 PM

banthracis said:
True, the F3 goes in and out of stock twice at day or something =P


If he really wants a SSD kingston is releasing a 40gb one for $84.99 after MIR. It runs off the Intel X25-M controller (best one atm) so it's actually pretty decent.

http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3667&p=...


Once everything is loaded, yes. Working with large files and encoding, no. I would rather sacrifice random write and read for faster sequential write. I think Indilinx is the best all around controller. It is better than a mechanical hard drive at everything, but intel is slower at large writes. When installing an OS, a game or writing a large file you wonder why you spent all that money.
a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2009 8:07:25 PM

jjchmiel78 said:
Once everything is loaded, yes. Working with large files and encoding, no. I would rather sacrifice random write and read for faster sequential write. I think Indilinx is the best all around controller. It is better than a mechanical hard drive at everything, but intel is slower at large writes. When installing an OS, a game or writing a large file you wonder why you spent all that money.


Well the thing is, you're not not gonna use a SSD for media storage or moving large files on in often. On the other hand, you'll be making thousands of random reads/writes every second your system is on, and Intel performance in that area is far ahead of everyone else.


In the words of Anand Lai Shimpi, probably the most respected and well known hardware reviewer, re: X25-M vs Vertex

Quote:
Is Intel still my overall recommendation? Of course. The random write performance is simply too good to give up and it's only in very specific cases that the 80MB/s sequential write speed hurts you. Is Indilinx a close runner up? Absolutely. It's truly a lower cost alternative.



http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3631&p=...
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