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[Need Advice] Is This A Good/Practical Gaming Build???

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January 11, 2010 11:34:52 AM

Hello All! I started out wanting to create an i7 920 gaming build. After further research on this site I have settled on an i5 750 build that is probably more practical for my needs. Please take a look and tell me what you all think. I am still looking to improve my build. Here ya go...


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Soon...In the next few days

BUDGET RANGE: 1300-1500

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (online gaming like Lord of the Rings Online, Dragon Age, Crysis, etc.), MS Office, internet, movies, basic pc stuff

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel cpu, Windows 7 64bit, ATI gpu

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe in future

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe in future

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: chassis needs a window to show off hardware. I do not need a top of the line gaming system but I do need this to last!

=================================================================


CPU / MOBO COMBO:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

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

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

PSU:
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...

SSD (FOR OS AND A COUPLE OF MY MAIN GAMES):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD (STORAGE AND OTHER GAMES):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

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


***TOTAL COST*** = $1,450


Now I know there is still room for improvement. This is where you all come in. Please give me some more options. What am I missing? Is my mobo ok, could I do better/cheaper wthout losing too much quality? I do not know much about RAM. Are my timings ok? Can I use cheaper RAM without noticing performance difference? Is my cpu cooler sufficient for some overclocking? Does the SSD make sense for OS and main games? Are there better cases out there to show off the guts of the computer and still looks nice? I'd also still like to add some accessories like a cathode light, led fans, an NZXT Sentry 2 fan controller, an led ram cooler if possible. Please let me know what you think.

Thanks for your time!

- manooly
a b 4 Gaming
January 11, 2010 11:50:21 AM

Couple of changes:

Mobo: ASUS P7P55D-E Pro. It's a little cheaper, and it has USB 3/SATA III support.

PSU/Case: Probably want to get a higher quality one. Right now, there's a combo with possibly the best case and a good PSU: HAF 922 and OCZ StealthXStream 700W for $100 (after rebates). That will significantly lower the price.

RAM: You're overpaying for those sticks, even after the rebate. For $5 more, you can get some G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 ($125) that will be better performers.

Optical: You can save a lot on shipping. Just find the cheapest unit (including shipping). I think the best one is going to be this Samsung.

Everything else looks good. With my changes, you might be able to squeeze in an HD 5870 for an extra $100.
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January 11, 2010 1:15:57 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Couple of changes:

Mobo: ASUS P7P55D-E Pro. It's a little cheaper, and it has USB 3/SATA III support.

PSU/Case: Probably want to get a higher quality one. Right now, there's a combo with possibly the best case and a good PSU: HAF 922 and OCZ StealthXStream 700W for $100 (after rebates). That will significantly lower the price.

RAM: You're overpaying for those sticks, even after the rebate. For $5 more, you can get some G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 ($125) that will be better performers.

Optical: You can save a lot on shipping. Just find the cheapest unit (including shipping). I think the best one is going to be this Samsung.

Everything else looks good. With my changes, you might be able to squeeze in an HD 5870 for an extra $100.


Is this the RAM you were refering too...

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


Again, I do not know much about RAM. I will put these into my build.

Thanks!
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a b 4 Gaming
January 11, 2010 1:19:43 PM

Those are the sticks.

The most important spec on RAM is the CAS Latency. The lower, the better. It's also called the timings. Generally, faster speeds of RAM have worse CL, so generally, one speed down and one CL lower performs as well at a lower price.
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January 11, 2010 1:38:31 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Those are the sticks.

The most important spec on RAM is the CAS Latency. The lower, the better. It's also called the timings. Generally, faster speeds of RAM have worse CL, so generally, one speed down and one CL lower performs as well at a lower price.


Thanks for the info.

Quick question. If I order this psu...

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

... with the nice led lighting, will the psu fan have to be installed facing down? This would cover up the led lighting. Can you install it with the fan facing up? If not, I see no reason ordering that led fan then.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 11, 2010 1:42:11 PM

The fan will also be installed facing into the case. So if the case has a top PSU mount, the fan is facing down into the case from above. If it's a bottom mounted case (which is better for cable management IMO), the fan faces upwards.

That said, I don't think that PSU is that high quality. I would definitely go with the combo I mentioned, as it's easily the best case/PSU deal available. You get the best case with a great PSU for the price of a great PSU.
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January 11, 2010 2:05:02 PM

Thanks for the info!

Would a 5870 be overkill for me with my rez at 1680x1050? I originally was going to purchase an hd4890 then got talked into a 5850. Now I'm considering a 5870....yikes!!!

Is 4GB of that RAM good enough for solid gaming system? Where do you see my bottlekneck on this system (if there is one)?
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a b 4 Gaming
January 11, 2010 2:12:29 PM

Both will be overkill for that resolution. If you were to upgrade your monitor later, the 5870 will still play every game made at the highest detail with no problems. The 5850 may experience a little slow down in games like Crysis on the highest detail.

4 GB is enough for gaming. More than enough actually.

At your resolution, there is no bottleneck. If you were going to push it to the limit, it would be the GPU, regardless of which one you got. CPUs are almost never the bottleneck, and any benchmark showing the difference is achieved through artificially handicapping the system for comparisions.
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January 11, 2010 2:21:36 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Both will be overkill for that resolution. If you were to upgrade your monitor later, the 5870 will still play every game made at the highest detail with no problems. The 5850 may experience a little slow down in games like Crysis on the highest detail.

4 GB is enough for gaming. More than enough actually.

At your resolution, there is no bottleneck. If you were going to push it to the limit, it would be the GPU, regardless of which one you got. CPUs are almost never the bottleneck, and any benchmark showing the difference is achieved through artificially handicapping the system for comparisions.


Very nice! Thanks again folr the info.

What do you think about the SSD drive? Does it make sense for what I want to use it for? Is it a decent one? Is it a waste of $$$? Just curious.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 11, 2010 2:31:19 PM

I'm not a fan of SSDs right now. I don't know about the different types, but I've heard you want to try to get an Intel one.

Personally, I would wait for the prices to come down quite a bit. It's not like you have to have it when you first build the computer. You can always install Windows on a different drive later...
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January 11, 2010 2:36:30 PM

MadAdmiral said:
I'm not a fan of SSDs right now. I don't know about the different types, but I've heard you want to try to get an Intel one.

Personally, I would wait for the prices to come down quite a bit. It's not like you have to have it when you first build the computer. You can always install Windows on a different drive later...


Very good point on the SSD!

What would you recommend for a HDD setup? A 1TB 7200rpm drive or 2 500GB 7200rpm drives? Just curious if you have any opinion on this? Maybe a possible RAID 0 setup for the 2 500GB's? Not that I've ever done that, but I have read about it.
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January 11, 2010 2:43:34 PM

manooly said:
Very good point on the SSD!

What would you recommend for a HDD setup? A 1TB 7200rpm drive or 2 500GB 7200rpm drives? Just curious if you have any opinion on this? Maybe a possible RAID 0 setup for the 2 500GB's? Not that I've ever done that, but I have read about it.


If I may add, I have two SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ in raid 0 for gaming and they perform very well! I would recommend them to anyone and everyone any day..

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b 4 Gaming
January 11, 2010 2:44:10 PM

I prefer to just use a large drive, as it's usually cheaper. I don't like the idea of RAID being non-transferrable, and if one HDD goes down, you lose everything. I don't really think there's a whole lot of difference between the setups, unless you're copying a lot of data all the time.

Right now, I've got 2 1 TB set up as different drives. 1 only has the OS and programs, at least until the other one is full.
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January 11, 2010 2:52:15 PM

MadAdmiral said:
The fan will also be installed facing into the case. So if the case has a top PSU mount, the fan is facing down into the case from above. If it's a bottom mounted case (which is better for cable management IMO), the fan faces upwards.

Cases with bottom mounted PSUs often have an air intake grill underneath the PSU, so depending on where your case will be sitting it can be mounted either way.

Quote:
That said, I don't think that PSU is that high quality. I would definitely go with the combo I mentioned, as it's easily the best case/PSU deal available. You get the best case with a great PSU for the price of a great PSU.

Thermaltake is generally slightly better than OCZ for PSU quality, and both are mostly mediocre. I would personally recommend Corsair or most Antec.
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January 11, 2010 2:54:26 PM

^^ I agree 100% w/ you MadAdmiral, great advice as well!

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a b 4 Gaming
January 11, 2010 2:56:41 PM

I disagree with Thermaltake's quality. Some units made by Thermaltake are alright, others are horrible, which makes it hard for me to recommend them. All OCZs are the same quality, and are just as good as Corsair or Antec, especially if you're trying to lower your costs.

I'm not saying Corsair isn't good. They're great, and I would never recommend going away from them, unless you can get a much better computer by going with another company.
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January 11, 2010 3:05:30 PM

MadAdmiral said:
I disagree with Thermaltake's quality. Some units made by Thermaltake are alright, others are horrible, which makes it hard for me to recommend them. All OCZs are the same quality, and are just as good as Corsair or Antec, especially if you're trying to lower your costs.

I'm not saying Corsair isn't good. They're great, and I would never recommend going away from them, unless you can get a much better computer by going with another company.

Based on reviews by reputable sites, new Thermaltake PSUs are decent but not great. The quality of OCZ PSUs varies from poor to good. Corsair is definitely better quality than either one, so that would make it difficult to get a better computer with a lower quality PSU.
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January 11, 2010 3:05:38 PM

Thanks for all of the adive. I really like that HAF 922 case and OCZ 700w psu deal. Both for about $100 after rebates! You can't beat that.

What about a decent/cheaper blu-ray player for the pc? I don't need to burn or copy blu-rays I just want to play them. It will probably be a 2nd optical drive right? One for DVD/CD playback and burning and another blu-ray playing. I'm just considering it.

Thanks!
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January 11, 2010 4:01:53 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
I would stay far away from that Thermaltake PSU. It's not even 80+ certified. If you like pretty red lights then I guess you could go with something like this:

OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ700FTY 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail $94.99 - $25 MIR

There's even a combo deal with a nice Lian Li case that has a side window.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


WoW! I really like that Lian Li case. You may have changed my mind!
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January 11, 2010 5:30:00 PM

Ok...I am going to order my i5 gaming rig in a couple of hours. Based on your great feedback I have made some changes to my overall build. Here is what I'm down to...

CPU - i5 750
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

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

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

PSU:
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...

HDD (2 of these):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

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

ACCESSORIES:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(2 of these) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

***TOTAL COST*** = $1,370


Please post your final thoughts and suggestions. You all have been a great help and I'd still be willing to make changes before ordering. Fire away!!!

Am I missing any possible combo deals?

BTW: If I ordered the Lian Li chassis and the OCZ 700w combo deal I would save about $70. This would then maybe persuade my to upgrade to the 5870 gpu. I'm just not sure if I really need the 5870 though. When I started this, I was not even considering it. Also, I put in the 750w Corsair psu. I just feel better knowing my entire system is being powered by a quality psu. Let me know if you think going with the 700w OCZ psu and then upgrading to the 5870 is a good idea. I'm kind of up in the air on that one.


Thanks!!!

- manooly
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