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$1750 Gaming PC

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December 19, 2009 12:01:58 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Between 12/21/2009 - 12/28/2009 BUDGET RANGE: MAX $1750 Before Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, amateur video editing, file storage

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: monitor and OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: intel cpu, radon HD 5XX0 series gpu

OVERCLOCKING: Yes SLI OR CROSSFIRE: NO - but will more than likely adding another card in next year

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This is a long term build. I want to be able to upgrade cpu and graphics card in the future while keeping same mobo/case/psu. Need to have a minimum 1.5tb storage drive and will be adding the 3 hard drives I already have to this build (2x 750gb and 1x 1.5tb). Also the mobo will need to support 8+ sata or will need a good sata expansion card so I can add hard drives later. Keyboard/mouse and speakers don't need to be anything special as they will be going with my current comp to my wife who just uses internet and word.

Here is what I have currently come up with after hours of research. Let me know what you would suggest adding or replacing. I'm currently leaning towards an x58 set up mainly for future proofing and for a future xfire set up.

NZXT TEMPEST EVO Crafted Series TEVO-001BK Black Steel / Plastic

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

Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz

Noctua NH-U12P SE2

SUPER TALENT Chrome Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000)

XFX HD-587A-ZNF9 Radeon HD 5870

Antec TruePower Quattro TPQ-1000 1000W

Kingston SSDNow V-Series SNV125-S2BD/64GB 2.5

ICY DOCK MB882SP-1S-2B

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB 7200 RPM

MASSCOOL PCI Card, 1 external SATA + 2 internal SATA

Also, was wondering if anybody would know if there would be any advantage to waiting until after Christmas to buy. Will prices go down at all?

More about : 1750 gaming

December 19, 2009 12:12:28 AM

If you really want to future proof your build, you should get the ASUS P6X58D Premium motherboard. This is the only current ASUS X58 motherboard that is compatible with the new Gulftown six-core processors that Intel will be introducing next year.

The Seagate 7200.11 were not very reliable. Get a 7200.12, WD Caviar Black, or Samsung F3 drive instead.

The rest of your build looks fine.
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December 19, 2009 12:25:53 AM

Thanks for the suggestions. For some reason I assumed that any x58 motherboard would work with the Gulftown processors. I will definitely add that motherboard to my build. It pushes me over my budget a little though, will have to see what i can cut to make that work
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December 19, 2009 12:55:49 AM

The NZXT was chosen mainly for cooling/price + need a case to fit the HD 5870 and the large cpu cooler. From the looks of it that case will fit both. Thanks for the help with that. Looks like it only comes with one fan so I would probably want to add at least 2 more 120's for cooling. Which would bring the price up to ~ $85 for case + fans. What do you guys think about dropping the SSD drive or going from the 5870 to the 5850?
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December 19, 2009 1:06:15 AM

What games do you play
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December 19, 2009 1:23:07 AM

I think it's best you drop the SSD drive + dock, all it will do is help you boot up 5-10 seconds faster since the HDDs recommended will be fast enough. That alone saves you $200. You should also consider getting a lower wattage PSU, since you wouldn't need 1000W unless you ran two 5970s crossfired with 8+ hard drives. I would keep the 5870, since the 5850's increased in price, unless the 5850s come down to $259 again, I wouldn't look into them right now.
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December 19, 2009 1:26:01 AM

@ Aloid -- Thanks for suggesting that cooler. Does look better but ups the price =(. so far 2 suggestions that up the price and only one to lower it. My wife is going to hate you guys lmao.

@ tserich --Mainly I play MOBA's, RPG's, then MMO's. In that order. Here are some examples: HoN (Heroes of Newerth currently only in beta. Let me know if you want a key), Dragon Age, Warhammer online.
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December 19, 2009 2:19:09 AM

the cm690 comes with two fans (one blue LED intake in the front, and one standard black exhaust in the back).

I tend to agree with dropping the SSD. You will obviously see faster boot times (probably by only 10-15 seconds) and probably load games a little bit quicker, but to be honest today's standard moving HDDs are lightning quick. I own a caviar black 640gb which is a generation behind these new f3 drives and it loads dragon age and Aion in a matter of seconds (literally). The time you save is probably not worth it at SSDs current price point.

I would just go with a standard drive for now, and grab an SSD later down the road as they continue to drop in price rapidly.

I assume you chose the 1000w to leave the door open for crossfire down the road. It's a good plan. If you don't want to get another card for crossfire in the future, however, you could certainly lower the wattage.

Good build overall, have fun!
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December 19, 2009 2:25:35 AM

@ kokin & Foolycooly -- Thanks for the advice guys will drop the ssd drive to free up some room in the budget. As far as a psu goes I want one that will be powerful enough to run 6 7200 rpm hard drives and in the future will have 2 5870's. How much lower on the wattage do you think I can go?
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December 19, 2009 3:20:48 AM

if you want to run all that, I would definitely stick with the 1000w
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December 19, 2009 3:42:22 AM

@ Foolycooly -- Awesome was thinking the same thing but hoping I might be able to shave some money off of the final price by going to a lower wattage psu.

K so im now im leaning towards this as a build:

NZXT TEMPEST EVO Crafted Series TEVO-001BK Black Steel / Plastic

ASUS P6X58D Premium

Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz

Noctua NH-D14

SUPER TALENT Chrome Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000)

XFX HD-587A-ZNF9 Radeon HD 5870

Antec TruePower Quattro TPQ-1000 1000W

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB 7200 RPM
(I can't find any other 7200 rpm 1.5TB hard drives on newegg. Let me know of some suggestions if you have any)

MASSCOOL PCI Card, 1 external SATA + 2 internal SATA
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December 19, 2009 4:16:28 AM

Oh whoops were trying to lower the price my bad. One suggestion would be to drop the DDR3 2000 in favor of some low latency 1600... unless you are running applications that cause huge bottlenecks on memory like CS4 and Auto Cad you wont need such high bandwidth memory for gaming 1600 does a great job.
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December 19, 2009 7:50:30 AM

Yep, I agree with Aloid on the RAM. You don't need anything faster than 1600, since the higher clocks tend to have equally higher latencies, negating any advantage over the lower clocked RAM. Try to find DDR3 1600 with latencies of 6 or 7. Timings like 6-6-6-18 or 7-7-7-20. I would look into G-Skill or Mushkin, as they tend to have lower prices for higher performance and are known best for their customer service. If you really want to save more money, I would look into DDR3 1333 RAM, as those are the real bang for your buck RAM.

G.Skill DDR3 1333 7-7-7-18 This matches your mobo. :) 
Mushkin DDR3 1333 7-7-7-20

I recommend these because they have low-profile heatspreaders so you won't run into problems with your HSF if you put your RAM near the CPU/HSF.

The Samsung F3 1TB only costs $85, so you can probably buy one and buy another down the line. Only problem is it's out of stock til Jan. 4, so you'll have to wait a week. Be wary, since 7200.11 Seagates have a bad reputation of shipping DOA or dying within the first 6 months to a year.

Samsung F3 1TB Faster than my Western Digital Black Caviar 1TB, cheaper too.

Edit: I've put all your specs under a PSU calculator and you'll only need a 750W PSU to handle 2 5870s Crossfired with everything in stock settings + 6 Hard drives + 6 USB devices + PCI sata device + all the fans of your case.

If you OC your GPUs and also your i7 920 to 4GHz (with 1.5V), you'll need to up it up to 900-950W.

A 1000W PSU is a bit overkill, but it leaves breathing room for any other future upgrades.
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December 19, 2009 5:05:03 PM

slc_custom said:
The NZXT was chosen mainly for cooling/price + need a case to fit the HD 5870 and the large cpu cooler. From the looks of it that case will fit both. Thanks for the help with that. Looks like it only comes with one fan so I would probably want to add at least 2 more 120's for cooling. Which would bring the price up to ~ $85 for case + fans. What do you guys think about dropping the SSD drive or going from the 5870 to the 5850?


Case / PSU - The Antec 1200 / CP-850 combo brings you a huge step up in quality at the same price.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article971-page7.html

The Antec CP-850 is a superlative power supply by almost any standard. Its electrical performance is up at the level of its more expensive brethren, the Signature 650 and 850, and Seasonic's flagship, the M12D-850: Voltage regulation is extremely tight for all the lines at all loads, and the ripple noise is amazingly low.....For the quiet-seeking computer gaming enthusiast, the CP-850 (along with any of the three compatible cases) is something of a godsend. Fantastically stable power, super low noise at any power load, long expected reliability due to excellent cooling, modular cabling, and all at a price that's no higher than many high end 6~700W models

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

It is completely unmatched by any ATX unit on the market I can think of. You'd have to spend twice as much as this thing costs to find the next best thing, performance wise. I'd like to see some better capacitors in there, but you just can't fault the CP-850's performance here....I don't know how Antec managed something this awesome for such a low price, but they must really want the CPX form factor taking off if this is the performance we're getting.

MoB - This brings you bit of future proofing w/ SATA 6 GB/s and USB 3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory- DDR2000 at 9 CAS ? Haven't seen much reason to go beyond DDR1600. Mushkin CAS 6 is BACK !!!! These things vanished off the planet 4 weeks ago and just resurfaced.....Grab em while you can...

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

HS - Given that it comes with 3 pin fans and can't use PWM fan control, I'd steer to a buy fans separately option. 1st Newegg review says:

"4.0ghz using vcore = 1.25v. Max cpu core temps = 80*C." Using the Megahalems, we're at 71C at higher voltage (1.3) and 4.3 GHz.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8807/cpu-pro-01/Proli...
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/7038/thr-41/Innovatio...
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/10026/fan-639/Scythe_...

If I was to do D, it would be the Intel G2 series

HD - any 500 GB per platter drive, Spinpoint F3, Seagate 7200.12 or WD Black (but in 2 TB size only for WD)
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December 19, 2009 9:13:48 PM

Thanks for all the good info guys!

@ kokin -- Thanks for the advice I will definitely switch out the ram I selected for a lower latency model.

@ JackNaylorPE -- I may go for the case you suggested but I'm thinking an 850W psu won't be enough for a future 5870 crossfire. I would love to buy the ram you suggested, but it is a bit out of my price range, I'll try to move some things around and make it work. What are your thoughts on the Megahalems cooler you suggested vs the Noctua NH-D14 ?
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December 19, 2009 9:50:03 PM

I was a bit tempted to recommend those 6 CAS latency 1600mhz models, but they only perform slightly better than the ones I recommended, so the $70 difference wasn't justified. You can probably OC the RAM I recommended down to 6, I know I can reduce the timings for my 7-7-7-20 1600mhz RAM, but I see no difference, so I keep it on rated settings.

As for the Antec 1200, it's a very good case, although you'll need to spend a little more to get cable extensions for your PSU to your mobo/components, as that is a problem many Antec 1200 users complain about. I was going to recommend the Antec 900 or 902, as those are within budget, but they are a few inches smaller than your NZXT case, and you need that space for your GPUs and HDDs.

I would keep the Noctua NH-D14, with the Megahalems, you'll need to purchase a fan, making it cost about the same as a Noctua.
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December 19, 2009 11:31:24 PM

Thanks koken. With that in mind about the case I'll probably stick with the NZXT. And do the Noctua cooler. But what about waiting til after Xmas? Any benefits to that? I hope you all say no because I'm itching to buy this now lol
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December 19, 2009 11:47:14 PM

The Cp-850 is an incredible Psu and 850 watts is more than enough for 5870xfire for 5870xfire 750 is even enough.
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December 20, 2009 12:24:08 AM

Although 850w psu would be enough for 2x 5870's and current set up would it be ok for current set up + 7 hard drives?keep in mind I'll be overclocking the cpu and video cards. all the psu calculators I have found say I need a minimum of 1000 watts
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December 20, 2009 1:48:22 AM

How high are you going with your overclock?
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December 20, 2009 2:20:01 AM

A single 5870 at absolute max load would consume about 200watts so 2x200= 400watts
A highly overclocked i7 920 is gonna push around 330 watts depending on how high you go with your voltages
A samsung spinpoint f3 will draw 7 watts max so 49watts for 7 of them
So right now you power consumption lies around 780watts for your main components but remeber I was being generous in my numbers, all those parts do consume slightly less power than what I listed but I rounded up for safety's sake.

In the end it's all up to you on what you choose 850watt or 1000watt it just depends on how much you want to spend and how much power you think you'll need.
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December 20, 2009 2:57:36 AM

Currently I have 2 1.5 tb seagate 7200.11 drives and 2 750 gb seagate 7200.11 drives that will be going into this build. Not sure if they use more power than the F3's do or not. The new HDD I'll add will probably be a 2 tb WD along with a 250 gb WD just for the OS and installed programs. Within the next year I will probably add at least 2 more 2 tb HDD's and another 5870. I would love to get by with an 850 watt psu I just don't want to be short changing myself. Currently I've used the Newegg power supply calculater: http://educations.newegg.com/tool/psucalc/index.html and this one: http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp . both say I need about 1000 watts. Let me know if you disagree with these and why.
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December 20, 2009 3:17:55 AM

I would personally go with the 1000watt just to be safe...alot of people recomend not going within 5-10% of you psu's maximum draw so a 1000watt would be a good choice.
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December 20, 2009 3:44:03 AM

Deals come and go, if you a see a good sale on a certain component, then buy it now, but otherwise, you won't see a big difference in price any time soon. It's hard to guess when a deal will come up for certain parts, so if you're itching to buy it now, I say go for it and be happy with building. Saving a few bucks can't balance out that anxiety of wanting to buy it now. :]
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December 22, 2009 5:05:35 AM

Alright the order has gone in. Thanks go out to all of you for the good advice. After everything is here I'll post how the build/OC'ing goes. Here is the final parts list:

Case:
Antec Nine Hundred Two

PSU:
CORSAIR TX Series 950W

Motherboard:
ASUS P6X58D Premium

CPU:
Intel Core i7-920

CPU Cooler:
Noctua NH-D14

Memory:
G.SKILL (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 7-7-718

Video Card:
XFX Radeon HD 5870

Hard Drives:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB (For OS only)
Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB (For storage only)

DVD Drive:
LG Black 22X DVD+R
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December 22, 2009 7:09:28 AM

Ah, you decided to go with a 902. You'll really enjoy the performance it gives, even with all the fans on low(quiet), its only a 2-3°C difference from fans on high (very loud). Good luck and I hope all the parts are working right off the bat.
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December 22, 2009 4:15:18 PM

Good choices and that corsair psu is rock solid. Hope you enjoy.
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December 22, 2009 4:23:01 PM

post pictures of your build!
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December 23, 2009 4:34:03 AM

Will do. The cooler should be here tomorrow and everything except for maybe the case will be here on the 24th.
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December 23, 2009 11:21:33 PM

slc_custom said:
Will do. The cooler should be here tomorrow and everything except for maybe the case will be here on the 24th.

Don't hesitate to build without the case. It allows you to find any faulty parts and makes the process easier once you have your case delivered.
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December 23, 2009 11:24:05 PM

The HSF came today! The rest is on schedule to be here tomorrow. Here's some pics:




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December 23, 2009 11:28:33 PM

@ kokin -- Looks like everything including the case should be here tomorrow. Just in time for plenty of tuning of Christmas break. I will take your advice and do the initial build outside of the case just to make sure everything is working before I go through all the hassle of installing it in the case. I switched up last minute and bought the NZXT Tempest EVO, did the 1000W antec, and 1.5tb 7200.11 (the ones I have now have been fine on the latest firmware). I'm starting to regret the case though as I found out is MUCH louder then the Antec 902. Seems I always find out these things too late lol.
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December 24, 2009 9:54:44 AM

Ah, well that's where the learning process comes in. :) 

I would have stayed with the Corsair simply because it has a huge single 12V rail, although Antec is a keeper as well. Too bad on the 902, it can literally be silent with all fans on low and you'll only see a 2-3°C difference, which isn't big for such a huge reduction in noise.
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December 27, 2009 4:16:38 AM

Sorry for kinda reviveing a dead thread but I have noticed that my higher overclocks are alot more stable when hyper threading is disabled.
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December 27, 2009 11:25:17 AM

Just curious, but why does your GPU's RAM clock seem so low?
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December 28, 2009 4:28:16 AM

Hmmmm. I have no idea. I didn't even notice that before. It seems to play all the games I've tried on it fine. I'll look at the bios settings and see if I can figure it out
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December 30, 2009 4:22:12 AM

Oh, nice. My 4890 only idles the core clock, and it keeps the memory clock at whatever setting I put it as. I like the lower idle clocks on the 5000series as well.
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January 10, 2010 2:45:26 PM

slc_custom said:
Thanks for all the good info guys!

@ kokin -- Thanks for the advice I will definitely switch out the ram I selected for a lower latency model.

@ JackNaylorPE -- I may go for the case you suggested but I'm thinking an 850W psu won't be enough for a future 5870 crossfire. I would love to buy the ram you suggested, but it is a bit out of my price range, I'll try to move some things around and make it work. What are your thoughts on the Megahalems cooler you suggested vs the Noctua NH-D14 ?


850 easily handles twin GPU's run the PSU calculator over at Antec site to confirm.

D14's weight scares me
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January 10, 2010 6:34:24 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
850 easily handles twin GPU's run the PSU calculator over at Antec site to confirm.

D14's weight scares me

It will handle them no problem, but say future GPUs/other components require more power, then that 850W PSU might be close to it's limit or even overloaded. Better to use a PSU for what it's worth, than buy another down the line.
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!