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$900 core i5 build

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December 22, 2009 2:18:16 PM

I haven't built a system in five years and am coming from an Athlon 64 socket 754 with AGP build so this will be a significant step up. Just looking for comments on the hardware that I have chosen since I have not done a build in a long time. I would like this to last a long time like my last system, which still runs great, but can no longer play the latest games, I would like to get at least two to three years of gaming out of this with only a graphics card upgrade in the interim. The one part I am not sure about is the power supply, but I would prefer a modular one if possible. Also if anyone knows of reputable places to get these or similar recommended parts for cheaper I am all for it.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week, most likely will start getting some parts today
BUDGET RANGE: I would like to stay under $900 after rebates
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming (starcraft 2 and first person shooters), watching movies, video editing, photoshop
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, amazon.com, zipzoomfly.com, local Microcenter
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA southeastern Michigan so no Frys for me.
PARTS PREFERENCES: would like a core i5 build
OVERCLOCKING: Maybe
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Not right now but maybe in the future as a possible upgrade
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would like a quietish PC

Case: $79.99 NZXT LEXA S LEXS - 001BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Power Supply: $74.99-$25 MIR OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W
Processor: $149.99 Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156
Motherboard: $159.99-$15 MIR MSI P55-GD65 LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Heatsink: $28.83 Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
Graphics Card: $174.99 XFX HD-577A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770
RAM: $104.99 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM - Retail
Hard Drive: $84.99 Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
Optical Drive: $31.99 LITE-ON Black 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS-324-98 - Retail
Thermal Compound: $8.99 Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM


Total: $899.74-$35 MIR = $864.74

More about : 900 core build

December 22, 2009 2:35:26 PM

Case: Ditch the NZXT. They make very pretty cases, but they're mostly junk. All the cool and attractive features are poorly thought out and/or not functioning correctly. A much better one is the Antec 300 Illusion for $54.99.

Mobo: Rebate's gone now. Take the money I save you with the Antec and get a Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD4P for $184.99. It has USB 3.0 and SATA 6.0 GB/s ports, so it's much more future proof.

Rest looks good. No change in the price, other than the missing $15 rebate...

EDIT: Added links.
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December 22, 2009 2:54:12 PM

On the RAM, I really don't know. In the 1333 mhz sets, I tend to recommend the Eco series because there's a price difference, albeit only a $2 one. You would save a little bit on power with the Eco sticks, but I'm not sure on how well they overclock (if you're going that route).

The UD4P is definitely more future proof with the USB 3.0 and SATA III ports. Other than that, they're basically the same. I personally don't think the newer ports will be all that useful for another 2-4 years, and since you seem to tend to hold on to your computers for a while, it might be worth it to be more future proof. I generally just put it out there so that people know there's that option, especially since it's not a huge price difference.
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December 22, 2009 3:04:12 PM

Ok I will likely go with that but one thing is the issue with the Foxconn socket on this board, has this been addressed?
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December 22, 2009 3:19:43 PM

It has in the P55A. That's what the A designates. Also, it was only an issue for a small number of massively overclocked CPUs. So if you're not planning on trying to break a record or changing the CPU voltage, it won't affect you.
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December 23, 2009 2:57:30 PM

OK so I have been looking at the motherboard issue again and am still undecided. With the Gigabyte P55A UD4P if there are two video cards installed, which I was considering at a later point in time, the USB 3.0 and SATA III drop down to normal speeds.

On the MSI it is $40 cheaper after rebate and I can get a PCIe x4 add on card for that board with USB 3.0 and SATA III when I actually have some hardware that can use it and I can still use the video slot at 16x or 8x/8x in CF. Or am I looking at that the wrong way?

The gigabyte board only has PCIe X1 slots. I know that if I use a PCIex4 card on the MSI board all of the PCIex1 slots will be disabled. Anyone else care to weigh in with an opinion between these two boards or recommend a completely different P55 board?

Another option is the Asus P7P55D-E Pro for $190 which includes SATA III and USB 3.0 and allows the board to have two video cards at 8x/8x with the USB 3.0 still working, it is a better solution that the gigabyte but there are so few reviews out for it since it is new and I don't know if they are using the lotes or foxconn sockets. Any ideas?

Edit for clarity and added Asus board.
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December 26, 2009 10:54:55 AM

Read somewhere that the new Asus board still uses the same Foxconn socket but on the other side also read that the Gigabyte model didn't replace the whole Foxconn socket, only a part of it.
I have the same dillema as you do concerning the motherboard and am inclined to go with the Asus despite Foxconn socket since I don't plan to overclock that much...
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December 26, 2009 12:21:42 PM

Gigabyte has the ultra-durable motherboards with added copper and has Smart6 (overclocking, recovery and such for dummies/impatient people). I prefer Gigabyte any day, but of course I'd be an idiot to say Asus is bad. It's just my preference speaking here.
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January 15, 2010 6:33:38 PM

I'm building a system in the next couple weeks and I can't decide on a board.

The P55A-UD4 looks solid according to everything I've read but it's almost $200 (cdn). For that price I can almost buy an x58 board. Especially considering Gigabyte is now releasing the x58a's.

GA-X58A-UD3R - $219.99(cdn)

I've pretty much narrowed it down to the following:

1. P55A-UD4
2. P7P55D-E pro
3. Go with a lower end x58 board and add a USB3/SATA3 expansion card when i require it.

The third option seems logical because of the extra pci bandwidth on x58 boards.

I don't intend to crossfire/sli right away, but I want the option of doing it down the road if i upgrade.


Any input?
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