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Core i7 Build (roughly $2000)

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  • Intel i7
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Last response: in Systems
December 26, 2009 8:41:29 PM

Hey Tom’s Hardware! My first post here and I am in need of help with a new build. I am going for a core i7 build, my very fist PC build to be exact. I was wondering if the community here would be so kind and help me by going over my current plan and perhaps suggesting any better options. Thank you very much for you time.

Date: Before the New Year. Maybe a week after. (basically within a few weeks)
Budget Range: Roughly $2000 (if performance demands it, can go over!)
System Usage: Gaming, internet, movies, Photoshop…and so on (should be able to handle newest games and capable of using demanding)
Parts not required: Mouse (bought the G500 already), video card (bought XFX 5850), case: bought HAF 932, and speakers (reusing), OS (windows 7 already purchased with the student discount :] )
Preffered Websites: along with any other trustworthy website (zipzomfly, amazon, tigerdirect….and so on)
Country of Origin: NY, USA
Parts Preference: whatever brand is good (I want a quality build with parts that hopefully wont die out on me anytime soon)
Overclocking: Yes
Sli/Crossfire: possibly in the near future, but not right away.
Monitor: Widescreen preferred (1920x1080). Note: Must have VESA mounts since I plan on using a desk arm mount (Ergotron)
Additional Comments: I am going for quality parts and if possible more on the quiet side. I am looking forward to having my computer to be able to survive around 5 years (like my last one – still kicking to be exact).

Current Parts:

CPU: Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz
(I do feel like it might be kind of slower than I expected, so I will either have to overclock or go with a better processor. The next best option would be the 960, however I can’t find it released/sold in official package, plus it’s quite a toll on your wallet. Might upgrade in few years to the newer Gulftown if the price is justified by performance)

Motherboard: ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
(I am not too sure which motherboard is right for me - this one, rampage II, or the deluxe – but this seems like a new release that will satisfy my needs. I am not necessarily settled on ASUS, might go with others as per suggestion)

GPU: XFX Radeon 5850 (already purchased so no changing my mind about this one :p )

RAM: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8D
(This seems like the best ram for the bucks so I thought of going with it. If there are any better ones please suggest)

PSU: Corsair 850HX
(Gotta love the 7 year warranty. Plus judging by all the reviews I’ve seen this seems like a winner)

Cooler: Prolimatech Megahalems Rev.B CPU Cooler
(Currently unavailable at newegg, so I might have to wait or order elsewhere. also, whats up with the black one i seen elsewhere. is it worth the extra money?)
+additional fans: 2 XIGMATEK XLF-F1253 120mm 4 white LED LED Case Fan
(I like the orange color!)

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
currently not in stock. will either wait a little, get from somewhere else (possibly a store near me) or just get another drive that will perform as well!

Case: CoolerMaster HAF 932 (already purchased)

Monitor: Asus VW246 24in
(I was also considering this Viewsonic: The reason for ordering from amazon is because they have a 30 day product return policy, so if i get a dead pixel i can always exchange!

CD/DVD Reader/Writer: no idea yet!

Wireless LAN card: need one, but not sure which one.

Mouse: Logitech G500 (already bought)

Keyboard: NO IDEAD! (I would prefer something that has illuminated keys – most gaming keyboards. However, I need something that doesn’t have ghosting issues and isn’t too loud. I was leaning towards the Sidewinder X6 (I like its laptop-like keys), however I still have my doubts.

If I happened to have forgot something please mention it. Once again thanks in advance for all the help! Feel free to post any suggestions, even if they are purely opinionated, no matter how insignificant they seem. All help wanted and appreciated!

More about : core build roughly 2000

December 26, 2009 9:13:23 PM

Hello exclusive,

Just wanted to comment on your build as it is very similar to the one I am looking to put together! From the feedback I have received the 920 is the way to go for price vs perfomance, and its flexibility for over clocking. I will however defer to the more informed masses who may be able to elaborate a bit further.

December 26, 2009 9:54:20 PM

If you're not going to get the 1TB Caviar Black get the 640GB one over the 750 as it is better in performance terms. There's nothing wrong with OEM drives unless you can't download drivers for it or don't have enough SATA connectors to connect it to the motherboard, which should come with 2 SATA cables.
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December 27, 2009 12:06:11 AM

Your build is similar to what I want to build, I am just waiting for the right parts to get as well.... Just got the 5850 a few days ago and it will be sweet in crossfire! I would just change your monitor and get a Samsung with an HDMI... T220HD might be good. I havent checked out your cooler but there are many good coolers out there.

You might also want to look at Gigabytes motherboards as they too will come out with usb3.0 yellow connectors and sata3.

Good to hear ppl are skipping the P55 all together! You can eventually upgrade this board in a few years, including using 6core cpu's.
December 27, 2009 3:44:15 AM

thank you all for the replies
docdangerouss, thanks for the support. good luck with your build as well.

a few questions:
silvune, which hard drive would overall provide the best efficiency (any brand and any capacity). its just that i have seen tons of people using/recommending samsung spinpoint in their builds. also, i am not to sure but i may have seen charts depicting the performance of WD 2TB being perhaps better than that of other drives. personally i only need a function drive and not storage, so low capacity is fine with me!
About the OEM, since they are bare drives in bubble wrap, they usually move around the box when they ship, unlike the factory box where its stationary inside two plastic holders! this is usually the case for possible damages (if any).

liquidsnake, i have read reviews about the TouchofColor and it seems that the only function that makes this monitor worth obtaining is the TV. i currently have an old tv/lcd monitor from dell and i can safely say that despite this i will not be using my new display as a tv, so no point in getting T22HD for me. thnx for the recommendation tho. About the Gigabytes motherboards, what makes them better than ASUS or other makes? i honestly dont know much about Mobos and it seems difficult to pick the right one. perhaps any specific ones i should consider? p.s: i originally had my heart set on p55 i7 860. XD, but had to back out cause it seems illogical to get a socket that is doomed from the start.
December 27, 2009 8:21:03 PM


ok update, how is this as a possible alternative to my current RAM:
Mushkin Enhanced Redline 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model 998691

updated hard drive with this one

something has crossed my mind. what would be a better choice for a cooler:
-prolimatech megahalems w/ 2 Xigmatek fans (or nay other fans that is better quality)
-Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler

i know that the noctua is more recent and reputable for its quality in minimal noise levels (plus comes with fans), however the megahalems had a lasting reputation for pretty much being the best cooler for a while! any thoughts as too which one might be better?
December 27, 2009 9:54:56 PM

Feedback on some of my posts seem to general point to the Mushkin RAM as a better alternative to the Corsair due to the timing and price difference.

I am still conflicted on my CPU cooler but heatsinkfactory looks like it may have some good options.
December 27, 2009 9:58:08 PM

The best hard drives to get (doesn't really matter which one as they are all amongst the best, the only noticeable differences would be in the price) are: Samsung Spinpoint F3 (any version), Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 (pretty much any 7200.12), WD Caviar Black 2TB, 1TB and 640GB.