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Guts of a mid-range gaming system: not solved: RAM Help

Last response: in Systems
January 6, 2010 7:00:55 PM

EDIT: Help me with my RAM, please! See post below.

Here's the build I've decided on:

HAF 922 with a Corsair 750W PSU

Coolermaster Hyper 212+ HSF

Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W ($288.99)

ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard ($299.99)

Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200RPM

Cheap DVD burner

Windows 7 Home Premium 64

Throwaway Radeon HD 4670 until I snag my 5870 down the road.

ASUS 24" 1920x1080 LCD

Best solution

January 6, 2010 7:11:02 PM

PSU: Corsair 750TX 750W $110 after rebates. This will be big enough to handle whatever you throw at it.

HSF: Coolermaster Hyper 212 $30. Great HSF for very little. One of the best.

Case: HAF 922 $80 after rebate. One of the best cases available, and at a dirt cheap price (for it anyway...). It's a mid tower, but only slightly smaller than a full.

RAM: G.Skill PI Series 6 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $165. Faster and cheaper than the Corsairs.

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $85. Cheaper, and it's the fastest drive available. It's out of stock right now, so either wait for it, or get a Seagate 7200.12 1 TB for the same price. It's the next best thing. WD is a long ways back.

Optical: There's a Samsung 22x SATA DVD Burner for $27 w/ free shipping on Newegg. Not a big difference, but why spend more on something that doesn't really mater?

GPU: HD 5770 $145 after rebate. I'd really like to put a 5850 in the build, but that's a $300 card, and it's already over budget. A 5870 would be $400.

Rest is good.

Total: $1,336.
January 6, 2010 7:41:46 PM

MadAdmiral said:

Excellent, thanks! I'm still digging a bit to see where I can find the best deals - probably some combination of newegg (no tax) and amazon (free shipping), but your suggestions definitely helped cut the price down in a few areas.

Regarding the GPU, I'm still a bit undecided on where to go with that. The main issue is that I eventually plan to drop in high-end cards, but I'm not certain that I want to make that investment knowing that nVidia is likely to make announcements in the next couple of months about Fermi and any other cards coming with it - even if I don't end up going that route, the availability of new nvidia technology that will compete with ATI's 5970 will almost certainly impact the available market in some way.

Since I don't immediately need to be doing a lot of gaming, part of me is inclined to just drop in a throwaway, like an HD 4670, until Fermi comes out and I decide whether to invest in the 5970 or a couple of 5870s.

Choices, choices.
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January 6, 2010 11:11:05 PM

That's probably a good idea. Don't forget the possibility that the Fermis suck, and does absolutely nothing to the prices.

Another option is to start with the 5770, and stick in another one later. They're extremely good in Crossfire.

If you don't need it right away, I'd stick in a cheap card or one you've got laying around and hold off to see what's coming.
January 8, 2010 4:01:16 PM

Sweet, started to order parts! Case, CPU, Mobo, and PSU incoming! Ordering the rest once the HDD is back in stock! :bounce: 

Thanks for your advice, MadAdmiral.
January 16, 2010 5:55:09 PM

OK, need some follow-up advice RE: RAM. I've got some deciding to do.

I was originally going to go with the G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800), 7-8-7-24-2N timings, 1.5V, when they were on sale for $165. Missed out on that, now they're $189.99.

I just noticed this kit: ORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800). 7-8-7-20 timings, 1.65V, $179.99.

Then, there's Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800). 7-9-7-24 timings, 1.65V, $189.99.

None of these kits has many reviews, which doesn't really bother me. Issue is timings vs. voltage, and the likelihood that I would have to overclock to reach the rated timings - if I'm going to have to OC, it seems like it would make more sense to go with the G.Skills anyway, given the 1.5V rating. However, I don't know a lot about RAM voltage and overclocking.

January 16, 2010 8:49:40 PM

You might consider these too: (more expensive, but a lot of favorable reviews)

I'm doing a very similar build to yours. Having trouble deciding on the memory as well, so I'm anxiously waiting to hear some responses to this! :) 
January 16, 2010 9:02:27 PM

t0dd said:
You might consider these too: (more expensive, but a lot of favorable reviews)

I'm doing a very similar build to yours. Having trouble deciding on the memory as well, so I'm anxiously waiting to hear some responses to this! :) 

Yeah, I've been thinking about upping my price range for RAM, just for the peace of mind associated with getting a kit that's backed by some reviews.

I've been looking at this set for a few minutes: CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600. Great reviews, great timings, and they seem to be reachable at stock, and in some cases, at lower voltage than stated. I believe this is the same kit: Corsair 6GB DDR3 1600MHz Desktop Memory. $61 cheaper at Fry's. Same timings, frequency, speed, and they look the same (but I can't tell for sure from the small picture). Thinking I might go ahead and up my budget $20 or so and pick up the set from Fry's.

Additional input is definitely still welcome!