First Desktop and First Build (i5 Build, Need Help) $1400

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Less than two weeks BUDGET RANGE: $1400 After Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Running Engineering Simulations (CFD, etc.) and Gaming (Team Fortress 2, rFactor, etc).

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, OS (Windows 7), DVD Burner, etc.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:,, I really don’t care


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I’m really new to everything here so that’s why there are so many gaps in my parts list. I know how everything goes together and won’t have any problems bui
lding it, but I need lots of help trying to figure out what are the best parts. I’m really going to use this computer for Engineering Simulations so I wanted an i7 processor since it’s pretty much the new standard. I’m also still up in the air monitor wise since this is going to be my first desktop ever so I don’t know what is a reasonable size. Also, I’m going to be doing some gaming (TF2, rFactor) and would like these games to run at full settings but to be honest I’m not going to be pushing the limits graphically.


ASUS VW246H Glossy Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 ASCR 20000:1 (1000:1) Built in Speakers - Retail
I’d appreciate some input on this monitor. It got pretty decent reviews and 24” seems like a reasonable size. I don’t want to go much bigger.

Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Pretty nice looking case. Not too obnoxious in my opinion.

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2-1VTX30GXXX 2.5" 30GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD) - Retail


ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail

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

Antec TruePower New TP-750 Blue 750W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply - Retail

OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1333LV4GK - Retail
19 answers Last reply
More about first desktop build build help 1400
  1. If you link us to the Engineering Simulations system requirements, it'll help us determine whether i7 is worth it. Also, how much of everything is being used? If say, 75% sim & 25% gaming, then yes, i7 will probably be worth it. Don't forget there's i7 860 for socket 1156 which is used mainly by i5.

    What etc. parts are you reusing beside the listed ones? Harddisks? Or what exact parts the budget is for?

    TF2 sys. req.


    Recommended: Pentium 4 processor (3.0GHz, or better), 1GB RAM, DirectX® 9 level Graphics Card, Windows® Vista/XP/2000, Mouse, Keyboard, Internet Connection

    rFactor sys. req.


    # Runs Best With Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 processor
    # Windows XP
    # 2048 MB RAM
    # Geforce 7900 GT or Radeon X1900 GT
    # 256 MB video RAM
    # DirectX 9.0c
    # 2.0 GB of hard drive space for installation
    # Internet connection required for one-time activation

    The games' system requirements are rather low. Unless I know what other games you play, HD 5750 or 5770 will more than suffice even with maxed out image quality. Obviously, the faster the gpu the better. However, the ultimate deciding factors are the games/applications & the target resolution + IQ. Do you plan to play any upcoming FPS? Which ones?

    After you pick out a gpu, we can talk about psu.

    Mobo would best have SATA 6Gb/s & USB 3.0. Like this:

    ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
  2. I'd say it'll be a 50-50 split between gaming and simulations.

    I'm probably going to use programs like Fluent and ANSYS which really don't have system requirements per se. The more the better in terms of processing power. I'm also going to do some C++ simulations, a lot of which is just running through loops and iterating the solution. Essentially Fluent and ANSYS both boil down to iterations also but they're a little more optimized than my crappy C++ code.

    I'm really not sure what games I'll be playing in the future. I'm not one to spend $50-60 on a new game once it comes out and to be honest I don't play for hours and hours since grad school consumes most of my time.

    As for the parts I'm going to be reusing, well, I have an extra $100 set aside for a DVD Burner/CD player, OS, and Keyboard which is NOT factored into the $1400 I'm looking to spend (I have a mouse and speakers I can use).

    I pretty much need everything other than that (hard drive, power supply, case, monitor, etc).
  3. So I if I go with that monitor above and the MB you recommended, that puts me at $719 for monitor, case, processor, and MB with $681 left for GFX card, HD, PS, and RAM. So with 1920x1080 resolution, what do you think for a GFX card? I'd prefer to not skimp now even if it is overkill for the time being since I may end up needing it in the future if something interesting comes out.
  4. The HD 5850/70 are def. the top of the line, but they are overkill for the 2 games. It's like buying a Ferrari to drive to the grocer that's just 5 mins from home. It's up to you. Personally, I'd spend more money on the cpu/mobo/ram combo in your situation. i.e.

    i7 920
    ASUS P6T
    3X2GB tri DDR3 = 6 gigs
    HD 5770


    i7 860
    2X2GB x 2 = 8 gigs
    HD 5770

    & Windows 7 64bit.

    Like you said, the faster the better. I agree. Work is boring. Nobody likes to sit around all day. So you could spend more on cpu/mobo/ram & less on gpu, then you'd be working as fast as the pc and playing the 2 games at maxed out resolutions & image qualities. Like I said, the 2 games have VERY VERY low sys. req.

    Also, the majority of pc buyers totally overlook the harddisk bottleneck. You might want a 30GB SSD for OS & sims programs & a large 500-1TB HDD for storage.

    What I'm doing here is to help people get the most out of the new builds right away.

    You don't need the Antec 850W. You need to decide on a gpu then a psu. HD 5770 is fine with 500W. If that's the gpu you want, the Antec Sonata III 500 Black Computer Case with 500W Power Supply will do very nicely and quietly. Also, all you need to clean this case is the slide the front bottom filter and either wash it under water or blow it with an air duster. Antec makes quality cases & psus.
  5. I updated my original post with what I'm tentatively looking at. Another one of my friends said that a 5770 would be more than fine for what I'm planning on doing so which one do you think:
  6. Your link doesn't work. For ATI GPUs, XFX takes the cake. Lifetime warranty.

    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

    * Your Price:$179.99

    For OS, see what features you need:
  7. so that leaves me RAM. I was thinking 6gb should be more than enough. what's your feeling?
  8. Remember that with the socket 1156 you're working with dual channel ram, so it would probably be best to stick to 4GB (2x2GB) or if you needed more you could stretch it to 8GB (4x2GB).
  9. 6 is plenty, most people don't bother with more than 4, but you might as well take advantage of the i7's triple channel capabilities!
  10. "The Integrated Memory Controller optimizes data bandwidth with up to three channels. " That's taken right from the Newegg Overview. Just sloppy wording to take advantage of those who don't do their research?
  11. Something you should note Sir Duke, this is the i7 860, which is dual channel to the best of my knowledge.
  12. Hmmm, I didn't catch that. I would have gotten 3 x 2gb and felt real dumb.
  13. For some reason I can't edit my previous message. Anyways, I want a modular PS so on second thought I think I'm going to go with this:

    Antec TruePower New TP-750 Blue 750W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply - Retail
  14. That Antec 750 you have listed looks pretty good and at a great price. It will also be good for XFire if you do that in the future.
  15. What he said.

    I specifically listed 2 different combos for you to choose from. Here you go again:

    i7 920
    ASUS P6T (X58)
    3X2GB tri DDR3 = 6 gigs
    HD 5770


    i7 860
    2X2GB x 2 = 8 gigs
    HD 5770
  16. Yeah I saw them but I'm also new to everything and was wondering why I couldn't go with 6gb using the second combo you posted. I had someone explain it to me and now that I understand what's going on I'm going with 4gb of RAM right now and then maybe another 4 in the near future.

    How do you select decent RAM? What parameters should I look at?

  17. You could use 6 gigs of 3 x 2 gb on P55, but you're not running 'em on dual channel. At best, I think the first 2 sticks would be in dual and the last one in single. Also, the whole point of i7 is 8 threads and tri channel. If you run 2 x 2GB on X58, you're not taking advantage of tri channel. That's a waste of money if you ask me. We're picking out parts tailored to your needs. There's no need to mix up the combos we posted.

    The only exception to the rule is i7 860 which is for socket 1156. It's a big brother of i5 750. Both run dual channel memory. Blame Intel for the whole confusing mess of i3, i5, i7 and soon i9 (Golftown - those who can afford this must be playing golf.)

    # of Memory Channels 2

    I don't know what your current build list is. I'm assuming it's in your original post. That's P55. That'd be 2 x 2GB or 4 x 2GB. Both combos will run at dual channel.

    OCZ Gold Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G10664GK - Retail

    * Timing: 7-7-7-16
    * Voltage: 1.5V – 1.6V
    * Your Price:$74.99

    This is the best bang budget ram. The low 7 timing is important for overclocking. You can pick up 2 kits for a total of 8 gigs if you wish. Or you can pick out a 2 x 2GB DDR3 ram from:
Ask a new question

Read More

New Build Systems Product