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Core i7 920 gaming build, $1600 max

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December 13, 2009 10:19:18 AM

So I'm planning to buy a Core i7 920 gaming build this month. Thanks in advance for spending the time to help me.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Christmas, Boxing Week


BUDGET RANGE: $1600 after all taxes and shipping fees to "V5P 1T3". After rebates.


SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Occasional video editing, photoshop.


PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Speakers and OS.


PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.ca, tigerdirect.ca, NCIX or wherever's cheaper that ships to Canada


COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada


PARTS PREFERENCES: No AMD for sure. Core i7 920. Hard drive at LEAST 500GB. 1TB is preferred but anything over 500GB is fine. Trying to get 6GB of ram rather than 3. It's fine if i don't have enough money.


OVERCLOCKING: Yes, but doesn't really matter.


SLI OR CROSSFIRE: In the future, so it would be good to have the capability on my motherboard.


MONITOR RESOLUTION: Planning to buy an around 22" monitor, so I guess that's 1680x1050?


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I really want to re-use my Zalman CNPS9700. It's new. I know it won't fit, but I've seen brackets for this heatsink.

I don't really care much about the case. Right now i have the Antec Three Hundred in mind. Don't forget about a keyboard and mouse. Anything that's pretty cool and doesn't look like it came from a pre-built is fine.

Here's what I have right now. I really just threw in random stuff in there, so I need everyone's help. Mostly on the motherboard and RAM though.

Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail

EVGA 141-BL-E757-TR LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX X58 SLI LE Intel Motherboard - Retail

CORSAIR XMS3 3GB (3 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X3G1333C9 - Retail

(6GB of Ram is preferred, but it's fine if I don't have enough $)

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

Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC ... - Retail

Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM

ASUS VH226H Black 21.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail

Saitek PK02 2-Tone USB Standard Eclipse II Keyboard - Retail


Subtotal: $1,380.40

Shipping: $58.14
Handling: $0.00
GST/HST: $71.93
PST: $100.70
Grand Total: $1,611.17CAD

Rebates: -$65.00
December 13, 2009 11:00:48 AM

WD Caviar Greens idle at 5400RPM, making them unbearably slow. Get a Caviar black, or even better, a Samsung Spinpoint F3, which is today's best regular HDD.

This build is HORRIBLY unbalanced for gaming. A GPU is always more important for gaming than a CPU, yet you choose for a monstrous CPU and a weak GPU. Get a 5850 and cut back on other parts if you want to stay within budget.

Fortunately for you, intel offers the 1156 socket, offering better gaming performance and a lower cost. A P55 socket and an i5 CPU (or i7-860 if you absolutely need hyperthreading, which I strongly doubt) will save you a lot of money and you won't have to give in a grain of performance. As it's a dual channel memory socket, you'll have to cut back to 4GB of memory or go with 8GB. However, for gaming and light video editing, even 4GB is far more than you'll ever need.

In short:
-Samsung F3
-Intel i5
-P55 motherboard
-4GB of RAM
-An ATI 5850 (trust me, you'll love me for following this advice).

PS: did you take a look at the antec 300 illusion? 2 extra fans and blue leds for a mere $10.
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December 13, 2009 7:19:52 PM

Thank you for replying. I'm a guy that always likes to have the best stuff, even if I don't really need it when it comes to computers. That's why I wanted the i7 920 but I guess I should break this habit. I have a 4870 right now, and it's meeting all my needs, and I know that the 5770 and 4870 are equal performance wise. I was thinking of upgrading my video card later. I'm giving my current computer to my brother, so I can't re-use my 4870. I will probably listen to your advice though, since I'm sure you know more than me.

On Newegg.ca, the Samsung F3's are "no longer available" and I know these are popular drives, so they're probably sold out as always. I will be getting a Caviar Black. I could not find the antec 300 illusion; it's probably on the US site. I will try making a new build following your advice now.

I am still open for help with core i7 920, OR 860 builds. Thanks
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December 14, 2009 12:00:50 PM

I can perfectly understand you want the best, but with your budget you can't have the best in one department without sacrificing elsewhere.

4870's are equal to 5770's, but don't support directx11 and lack the little niceties. Better still would be a 5850 if you can wait that long. Downgrading to the 1156 (well, it's more like upgrading in a gaming build :p ) should roughly pay back the difference.

A caviar black is only marginally slower, so indeed it's better to go for it.

On a side note, do you want an 860? An i5 is equal in almost all respects, except it lacks the hyperthreading. However, the things you're using the computer for will see little to no benefit from it. If you must have an i7, go for the 860. It's a CPU that's gonna bring you joy for years to come. More powerful, aggresive turbo mode, low power consumption, cheaper motherboard,...

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December 21, 2009 1:14:29 AM

Thanks for the great advice! I will go with the 5850 i7 860 build. Any idea on which brand to get? Right now, there is HIS, Diamond, XFX XXX edition, XFX black edition, and powercolor available. I was thinking about an XFX, but I wanted the normal edition to save money. I am terrible at picking motherboards and ram, so if you or anyone could form a build for me, that would be great. Unfortunately, I am bringing the budget down to 1500.
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