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First Time Build $2000 Advice

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December 27, 2009 6:33:57 PM
December 27, 2009 7:30:15 PM

The WD Caviar doesn't use 500GB platters, which makes it rather slow. The Samsung Spinpoint F3 and the Seagate 7200.12 use the big platters and are a lot faster because of it.

There is no benefit at all to a 940. A 920 offers roughly identical performance, a lower price and excellent overclocking potential.

Dominator RAM is a waste of money. It's not better in any respect than OCZ's, Kingston's, Mushkin's or G.Skill's higher end sets, yet costs a lot more.

There are better CPU coolers out there that don't break the bank too much. The Scythe Mugen 2 and the somewhat cheaper Cooler Master 212 are better and don't cost a fortune either.

Do you need a full tower case? These parts should fit rather easily in a mid tower one too. Take a look at the HAF 932 too if you must have a full tower, as it's a match for the 1200 in all areas. I don't say it's better, but it's worth giving a look at least.


Rest looks good.
December 27, 2009 7:39:15 PM

Thanks for the reply and the information. This should help me choose my final build.


Thanks again
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December 27, 2009 7:49:19 PM

Case - Great Choice...HAF 932 is an alternate to be considered.

Processor - you'll get a lot of "not worth it" comments because you can OC a 920 higher than the 940's stock speed....but the fact remains, all things being equal, you can overclock a 940 higher than a 920, so if the price difference is worth it to you, by all means grab it.

HS - Prolimatech Megahalems
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MoBo - Great choice

Memory - way overpriced, cooler likely will hit HS. Grab these instead ... faster and cheaper
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - Not putting a CP-850 in that case oughta be against the law....superior electrically to the Corsair TX series, quieter and packs 100 watts more power. The TX is great buy with current price reductions, but the CP series is as good or better (certainly quieter) than Corsair's premium line HX series....CP-850 is $118 at mwave....outta stock at newegg

Video card - Consider twin 5770's / GTX 260s for $100 less ... or twin 4890's
December 27, 2009 7:52:54 PM
December 27, 2009 8:03:52 PM

The above is great.

Personally I'd take the V8, but unless you're into extreme overclocking, the AC will do as well.

As said above, you can overclock the 940 higher than the 920. But you're never ever gonna get the most out of a 920 with air cooling, especially if it's intended for everyday usage. Why spend more for extra power you can't put to use?
I certainly wouldn't pay $200 for a CPU that only shows an advantage if your job happens to be a CPU reviewer or overclocking champion. Save the dollars and buy something else with it, or put it aside and use it to get a second 5870 when it becomes too weak in a few years time. Much better way of spending the money.

An 850W PSU is not needed unless you're going to use it to power the rest of your house as well. I won't stop you, it's not a huge price premium and it might be handy with crossfire in mind. But I strongly feel even with crossfire the PSU you selected is enough.

Twin 260 or 4890 is stupid. They don't support DirectX11, resulting in a shorter lifespan and lower image quality in new games. And I wouldn't want to keep 2 4890's cool, these buggers reach 90°C easily. Dual 5770's is an option, but enormously reduces upgrade paths. With a 5870, you can just pop in a second anytime you want to. With two 5770's, you'd need to use CrossfireX or replace both cards. The first will be a very minor performance boost, the second a very costly operation.
December 27, 2009 8:05:51 PM

Ok, ill just keep the same card. Thanks for the advice.
December 27, 2009 8:13:06 PM

It will do, but read my above remarks. Also it might be handy to know that most older games, and many of today's as well, can't take advantage of crossfire properly. Even in fully optimised games, the second GPU will never provide more than 70% of its potential due to crossfire's limitations. Whenever possible, it's preferable to go with a single GPU rather than two weaker ones.

In your last post, you showed a build that cannot be improved upon (unless you have money growing on your backyard tree). Any change would be a step back in price/performance and very often in raw performance as well.
December 27, 2009 8:22:18 PM

Silmarunya said:
It will do, but read my above remarks. Also it might be handy to know that most older games, and many of today's as well, can't take advantage of crossfire properly. Even in fully optimised games, the second GPU will never provide more than 70% of its potential due to crossfire's limitations. Whenever possible, it's preferable to go with a single GPU rather than two weaker ones.

In your last post, you showed a build that cannot be improved upon (unless you have money growing on your backyard tree). Any change would be a step back in price/performance and very often in raw performance as well.


Ok, I think I get what your saying. But do you think you could take what we've talked about and tell me the best build that would be good for the best gaming performance and everyday use. I don't think I will need to be overclocking my cpu unless it's worth it.
December 27, 2009 8:40:04 PM

If you do not intend to overclock and don't plan on crossfire right away, it might be best to go back to the drawing board altogether.

Currently, the newer i7-860 and the corresponding 1156 socket perform better at stock speed, use a cheaper motherboard and uses less power.

If you intend to stick to a single 5870 for now, the last reason to use the 1366 socket is gone. Crossfire is about 5% more effective on the 1366, in other words a tiny difference.

In your situation, I'd recommend this:

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

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

RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (just an example, pick any 4GB set you like. Can later be upgraded to 8, but that's not needed for now)

Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (again, you can get a cheaper or more expensive model, or get a comparable Asus board if you prefer)

Keep the case, PSU and HDD.

Add a CPU cooler of choice. The Coolermaster 212, Scythe Mugen 2, the Arctic cooling you linked, just get whatever suits your need. If you're not overclocking, even a decent lower end one like the 212 will cool the CPU enough to let its turbo mode take full effect.

This build is a lot cheaper and offers identical performance. The build you showed above is equal, but more expensive.
December 27, 2009 8:54:10 PM

Thanks alot! I was able to get a good build with extra accessories(DVD drive, moniter, etc.) for about $1600. Around $500 less than my original build! Thanks again.
December 27, 2009 8:59:21 PM

I agree with most of what's been said above with the exception of a couple of things. The i7 940 uses an older stepping that actually does not overclock very well. The current batch of 920s will give you a much higher overclock potential chip for chip.
I also think the 5870 is way overpriced right now...and I'm not sure exactly what the poster was trying to say about crossfire scaling. While it is true you rarely get 100% increase in crossfire, that does not mean it does not provide better value than a single card. Right now two 4890s in crossfire will blow away the performance of a 5870 by almost 50% on average...in fact they closer in performance to the 5970 than the 5870. Considering this performance can be had for about $360, it makes it pretty hard to justify the purchase price of a 5870. The only real advantage the 5870 has is Dx11 and eyefinity...but unless you think you'll use eyefinity or will buy enough Dx11 games to make it worthwhile, it is still a rather dubious choice. Even if you do by Dx11 games, there is a good chance there will be little visual difference when you take into account the graphics power you are losing with the 5870.
December 28, 2009 12:28:24 PM

natman777 said:
Thanks alot! I was able to get a good build with extra accessories(DVD drive, moniter, etc.) for about $1600. Around $500 less than my original build! Thanks again.


You're welcome! Good luck with your new build.
December 28, 2009 12:32:02 PM

belial2k said:
I also think the 5870 is way overpriced right now...and I'm not sure exactly what the poster was trying to say about crossfire scaling. While it is true you rarely get 100% increase in crossfire, that does not mean it does not provide better value than a single card. Right now two 4890s in crossfire will blow away the performance of a 5870 by almost 50% on average...in fact they closer in performance to the 5970 than the 5870. Considering this performance can be had for about $360, it makes it pretty hard to justify the purchase price of a 5870. The only real advantage the 5870 has is Dx11 and eyefinity...but unless you think you'll use eyefinity or will buy enough Dx11 games to make it worthwhile, it is still a rather dubious choice. Even if you do by Dx11 games, there is a good chance there will be little visual difference when you take into account the graphics power you are losing with the 5870.


2 4890's might blow away a 5870, but they do not support DirectX11, consume an enormous amount of power, are a pain to cool, they limit the upgrade path (adding a second card is easier than replacing two cards),...

DirectX11 surely will improve image quality enormously. A 5770 often displays a better image in a game like Dirt 2 than a 4890, so don't even think about what a 5870 will do.

A 5870 is not overpriced. It's just the price premium attached to a new and better technology. Besides, he can afford to spend a little more money. His budget was massive to start with, and with my suggestions he saved a lot of $$$.
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