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New Guy Needs Advice - New Build $1450 Gaming

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December 30, 2009 4:21:23 PM

Hello all. New member here. I wanted to post to introduce myself. I have been reading all the posts for some time get info.

I have decided to build my own computer.

This will be my first build. I have been reading and reading and am up for the challenge . . . I think. But I have some questions and really need some advice. Everyone I know says Tom’s is the best place, so I hope you will help me.

I was going to buy from IBUYPOWER at Costco, but I think I can build a better system for just a bit more money and maybe enjoy the build.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within 2 weeks
BUDGET RANGE: $1400-$1500 USD

SYSTEM USAGE: 90% gaming, and 10% HD image and video editing/copying. I want to game at 1900 resolution with no slow down or problems in games like Call of Duty.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers - I can buy these on my own.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S): NewEgg - U.S.


OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, I will OC if necessary, but if the games run good as is, I won’t OC.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes as part of future upgrade path in year or so as needed.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200


Important Features: I want it to be Quiet and reliable in the build and operation. I don’t care how it looks.

Upgrade Plan: Go Crossfire when needed (year or so) so I need a Case and PSU that can handle crossfire/SLI with big cards.


Here is what I have spec’ed out so far based on my research, but I am open to improvements, or changes that will save money without much loss in performance.


CPU - 288$
Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Motherboard - 289$
ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Xtreme Phase w/ SLI and CrossfireX, TurboV
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory – 150$I don’t know what is best, might not matter.
OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK - Retail
Intel X58 chipset core i7 6GB kit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Video Card - 314$ - price keeps going up.
Radeon 5850 (one card to start with, but I am still deciding on this, could go less expensive)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Hard Drive - 90$
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


2 DVD Drives – 30$ each, 60$ total
Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD/CD Rewritable Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Operating System - 105$
Windows 7, 64 bit

Monitor (not part of the budget)
I am still researching the monitor but am leaning toward a 24 to 28 inch monitor in 1920 x1200 and am open to suggestions.

Price so far: $1300


HELP
That seems to be the easy part. Here are the parts where I am having trouble and am confused about compatibility.

Power supply I know want a certified, 80%, Crossfire/SLI support with at least 4 video card power connectors, that fits the case and that is Quiet, but I don’t know which one. What do you recommend?
What about this one?, . . . which is kind of expensive.
SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OR

CORSAIR CMPSU-650HX 650W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(combo deal with DVD drive).

Case
Here is where I am really, really lost. I want one that is Quiet and that fits the power supply and the large video cards in Crossfire/SLI, but I don’t know which one. I don’t need or want lights or crazy paint/plastic parts. I prefer solid, but not overly heavy. What do you recommend? I am a bit overwhelmed by the case selections. I looked at Frys and some of the big name cases looked like junk. I will not be moving this computer.

What to you think of:

LIAN LI PC-7F Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, the Silverstone KL03 seems nice, but with mixed reviews. I am lost regarding the case.


I also have the following general questions.

1. What controls the fan speed? I want the fans to be quite and it would be great to have the fan speed depend on the temperature. Do MoBos control this or is it better through user controlled switches or panels?

2. When I build, will I have to change the bios settings, or right after the build can I just install the OS?

3. I would be interested in ‘thingsI can do or buy’ to make it quieter.

4. I was looking at the performance charts for video cards and it looks like the ATI Radeon HD 4870 (Left For Dead - 1920x1200, 8AA, 16AF, Very High Quality) http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-card...

will run at about 70 frames per second, and costs only $180. Why should I buy the ATI 5850 card for 130$ more? I understand about directX11 and lower power, but does it look any better today or run any faster today? The noise level is similar and I could upgrade in a year when the 5850 is probably only $150

Sorry for such a long post. Thanks everyone for your help.


December 30, 2009 5:38:34 PM

Instead of the 4870, look at the 5770. About the same price/performance and DX11. It really depends on your game, the 4870/5770 will only run crysis at med at 1920x1200, the 5850 should run it at high. The 5850 will not drop below its initial release price of $260 for 3-5 years unless Nvidia does something very unlikely and dumps the 300 series on the market at value prices.

I have an Antec 900 and a 300. Both cases have so many fans that I just leave them on low and dont find the noise or heat to be an issue. My HDD is louder than my case fans on low. Unfortunately "quiet" is pretty subjective so you may not agree with me. Take a look at Antec's P183 and P193 cases. They are Antec's high quality noise dampening cases.

Most motherboards only have a couple of case fan plugs so you can only control a couple fans via software. If you specifically buy a quiet case you may not need fan controls, but a fan controller is an add-on you can get to manage the speed of fans not plugged into the motherboard later if you want.

If you are careful plugging everything in and a bit lucky you may be able to boo and install the OS without going into BIOS. I always turn off the bios power management stuff and make sure my power switch is set to shutdown instead of sleep mode, but you dont have to.
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December 31, 2009 12:23:37 PM

Thank you very much for the helpful input.

I have been reasearching some more and have changed / updated the build a bit. I will post again later today with the changes.

Thanks again.
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December 31, 2009 7:09:50 PM

Ok, here is the updated build.

CPU - 288$
Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Motherboard - 299$
ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory – 120 after rebate$
I don’t know what is best, might not matter.
OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK - Retail
Intel X58 chipset core i7 6GB kit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Video Card - 314$ - price keeps going up.
Radeon 5850 (one card to start with, but I am still deciding on this, could go less expensive)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ... - Retail $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817139006


Hard Drive - 54$
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $54.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822152181


2 DVD Drives – 30$ each, 60$ total
Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD/CD Rewritable Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Operating System - 105$
Windows 7, 64 bit

Still need Case though.

Does the new MOBO seem ok? Can't decide between it and a low cost option.



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December 31, 2009 7:12:56 PM

The motherboard has USB3, which may become useful. Its so new its hard to know if its worth it or not. Either way will still be a good system, its more of an optimal bang/buck question.

The list of Cases I would suggest you check out is the Antec 300, 900, 902 and 1200 and the Coolermaster Storm Scout, HAF 922, HAF 932, CM 690. Then for specifically quiet cases with extra insulation and such the Antec P183 and P193. Pick on looks, budget and how much you value quiet.
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