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[Solved] New $1500 rig for gaming, first timer

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January 1, 2010 6:26:05 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Jan 2010

Budget: Up to $1500

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming and std internet browsing.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, win7, and 2nd HDD

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Amazon (egg charges me tax here in Cali) and other non-CA based companies

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel for CPU and ATI for GPU, otherwise I'm open

OVERCLOCKING: Yes, just basic

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes, in the future

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Looking for a light overclock today since I'm usually playing RoM (Runes of Magic) and L4D2, but maybe something more substantial in the future. I imagine I'll get a new HSF when I want to do a serious overclock, but today I'll take a ~3.2-3.5 Ghz OC with turbo on as a potential cheap upgrade.

I'll get a second 5850 once price go below $200 a 12-18 months from now.

All products listed below come with free shipping and no tax for me. As for recommendations, I'm looking for any lower total costs (e.g. product + tax + shipping) for equivalent performance. If total cost is cheaper, I don't mind pay the tax and shipping as appropriate.

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Here's what I got so far the parts I'm unsure about are RAM and which basic DVD burner I would get with the system, so any recommendations would be of most help there.

CPU: Intel i5-750 from Microcenter ($150 +tax, est $165)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Mobo: Asus P7P55D-E Pro [USB 3.0 and Sata 6 future-proofing] ($194)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B002ZV6YM...

GPU: Visiontek Radeon 5850 ($287.61)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002QEBGGA/ref=oss_T15...

Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 (145.52)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B001EPUQA...

HSF: Cooler Master RR-B10-212P-G1 Hyper 212 Plus ($28.83)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B002G1YPH...

PS: Corsair CMPSU-850HX ($178.43)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0029F21L...

Primary HDD: Intel X25M 80GB SSDSA2MH080G2R5 ($264.98)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002IJA1EG/ref=oss_T15...

Monitor: ASUS VH236H 23" 2ms GTG monitor ($199.10)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B002453K5...

RAM: G.Skills DDR3 Dual-Channel ECO 4GB ($122)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD-Burner: Samsung SH-S223L SATA ($31)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B002HFWBI...

Total Cost: $1616.47

Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

-Splints

1/2/09 edit: changed mobo and estimated RAM for future selection. Now I'm wondering where's the best place to knock off $100 to get this baby back down to $1500 or close to it.

1/4/09 edit: picked g.skills ram and samsung burner. I'm about $116 over budget, but it doesn't seem like it's worth it to cut corners at this price. I'll just spread out the costs over 2 months and hold off a month on the monitor. Thanks for all the recommendations!
January 1, 2010 7:19:37 PM

All looks good, but go for some G.Skill or OCZ DDR3 RAM instead.

Also consider this monitor. I've got the 21.5" version of that monitor and it's flawless.

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January 1, 2010 7:28:22 PM
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That build looks really good. Just a couple of suggestions you might want to consider.

If you plan to crossfire in the future, you should upgrade your motherboard to either a Gigabyte P55A-UD4P or a ASUS P7P55D PRO. These motherboards have two X8 PCIe slots for crossfire. The Gigabyte board also has USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0 capability, as does the ASUS P7P55D-E PRO, if your interested.

The Patriot RAM you chose runs at 1.7 V, which is higher than the 1.65 V recommenced for P55 motherboards. This RAM will work fine for AMD builds, and may be OK for your build, but I would look for RAM that runs at less than 1.65 Volts.
Any RAM running at 1333 or 1600 MHz with timings of CAS 7 or 8 would be great. CAS 9 is OK, but not as good.

Any namebrand DVD burner is fine. Just go with whichever one has the best deal. It should be less than $40, so don't worry about it.
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January 2, 2010 12:13:52 AM

@raybob:

Thanks for the suggestions, what do you recommend for model types between the two RAM types?

As for the monitor, why the LG over the Asus model? Looks like they would be comparable at the same prices.

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@dpaul:

Hmm, didn't realize the UD3 didn't have x8 PCIe slots, I'm thinking the asus Pro might be a better choice then. Any thoughts on future HSF issues with either of these motherboards? I heard there were some mounting issues with RAM/CPU HSF/Mobo's with heights and all.

As for the CAS timing, that helps, any difference between 7 and 8 worth noting or just go for the cheaper and lower voltage of the two?

Thx guys!

-Splints
January 2, 2010 12:33:52 AM

if you're going to crossfire 5850's you might want to go the 1366 route for the 16x/16x crossfire. IMO it would be better to get an i7 with your budget, and buy an SSD later, as prices drop. just a suggestion.
January 2, 2010 11:48:18 AM

Splinters -- Your HAF 932 case is one of the roomiest cases available, and wil handle the Hyper 212. Depending on the motherboard, the heat sink fan (HSF) sometimes will hang over the first RAM slot, which means you have to install the RAM before you install the fan on the heat sink. This can be a PITA, but is not a big deal because it only has to be done when you are setting up the computer for the first time. However, make sure you mount the HSF bracket on the motherboard before you put it in the case.

The ASUS PRO is a fine motherboard and it has two X8 PCIe slots, which will have plenty of bandwidth to handle two 5850 graphics card. Unless you plan to crossfire two 5970 graphics cards ($1200), the two X8 slots will not limit your performance.

Tom's Hardware has a good article about choosing RAM for P55 motherboards that explains the performance differences between different combinations of clock speed and timings:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i7-870-1156,24...
January 2, 2010 6:16:38 PM

dpaul8 said:
Splinters -- Your HAF 932 case is one of the roomiest cases available, and wil handle the Hyper 212. Depending on the motherboard, the heat sink fan (HSF) sometimes will hang over the first RAM slot, which means you have to install the RAM before you install the fan on the heat sink. This can be a PITA, but is not a big deal because it only has to be done when you are setting up the computer for the first time. However, make sure you mount the HSF bracket on the motherboard before you put it in the case.

The ASUS PRO is a fine motherboard and it has two X8 PCIe slots, which will have plenty of bandwidth to handle two 5850 graphics card. Unless you plan to crossfire two 5970 graphics cards ($1200), the two X8 slots will not limit your performance.

Tom's Hardware has a good article about choosing RAM for P55 motherboards that explains the performance differences between different combinations of clock speed and timings:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i7-870-1156,24...


Yeah I wanted to make sure clearance wasn't an issue. especially with all the RAM that I see with heat spreaders that seem to take a lot more space than before. I'm a little hesitant about which RAM to choose even after the Tom's article, but I'll dig a bit further to see what works. I figure if I'm spending the cash on the SSD, my RAM better be able to keep up too. :) 

Thx for your help, getting closer to finalizing this build!

-Splints
!