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~Solid i5 build vs. i7~

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January 12, 2010 6:30:12 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Sometime in the next couple of weeks unless theres some sort of new tech release about to happen that will drop the price of everything, then I suppose I could wait a month or so?

BUDGET RANGE: Up to $1k for the desktop, but would prefer to spend less!

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: surfing the internet, maybe watching movies, gaming but I don't need to be a milisecond faster than the next guy, and I'm learning programming (I start class tonight)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com or another reputable site, I live in the US.

PARTS PREFERENCES: i5, Phenom II X4 955 or i860. p55 - Asus or Gigabyte, USB 3.0?

OVERCLOCKING: No clue, what is this and how would it benefit me?

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080, 1920x1200 - I'm in the market for a nice monitor = 23 or 24 inch, would consider a PVA or IPS if its priced right, otherwise a really high end TN.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: See below


p55ibexpeak and others, can you explain why the i5 p55 build is being reccomended over say an i7 860?

I'm trying to build a solid machine and toying with all sorts of different configurations.... at the end of the day and after reading post after post I'm lost. Its like shopping for a car, only asking advice from enthusiasts, collectors, college budget kids, and race car drivers... At first I was reccomended the AM3 X4 955 build with decent parts for about $600, then someone suggested a server component build that is essentially an i7 (Xeon), and now I'm getting reccomendation for the i5 and or the i7 860.

I really need lots of chimer-iners to help me narrow the field.

Requirements:

I want to run dual 23 or 24 inch monitors for spreadsheets, general use, and light gaming. Someone suggested the recertified HP's that are PVA built.

I don't game much on my pc but would like the option too if I wanted. I'll probably run the starcraft II game on the pc when it gets released.

I'm going to be using this as my home PC for everyday use, spreadsheets for work, and I start my first C++ and Java programming courses tonight. (I'm returning to college for a year and a half to get a second BS degree in programming)

I want a solid machine that can handle the above for the next 2-3 years. I'm sure by the time I'm done with the programming degree I'll be ready to build the super computer, but for now, those are my needs.

Please inform me of what I should narrow down on, why, whats excess and not needed, and keep budget in mind. I don't have a problem building an 1156 i7 machine, but if i won't notice a difference for what I use it for with a $600 AM3 955 build, I'm cool with that too.

Thanks for the advice in advance!

More about : solid build

January 12, 2010 7:10:41 PM

For gaming performance, the i5 750 is as fast as the more expensive i7 processors, that is why it is recommended in most gaming builds. Since you are not gaming, thats not really relevant to your situation.

If you are just doing general use and light gaming then a good dual core (Phenom II x2 550) or triple core (Athlon II x3/Phenom II x3 720) will give you the same performance as a more expensive CPU.

If you have a specific application that makes use of lots of cores then the i7 860 or i7 920 would be the CPUs of choice. It all depends on your specific usage and budget. If you are getting lots of different recommendations then maybe its because your needs and budget are not clearly stated?

Did you follow the "how to ask for build advice" sticky at the top of the forum? If you re-post in that format then you will likely get more consistent advice.
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January 12, 2010 7:56:25 PM

dndhatcher said:
For gaming performance, the i5 750 is as fast as the more expensive i7 processors, that is why it is recommended in most gaming builds. Since you are not gaming, thats not really relevant to your situation.

If you are just doing general use and light gaming then a good dual core (Phenom II x2 550) or triple core (Athlon II x3/Phenom II x3 720) will give you the same performance as a more expensive CPU.

If you have a specific application that makes use of lots of cores then the i7 860 or i7 920 would be the CPUs of choice. It all depends on your specific usage and budget. If you are getting lots of different recommendations then maybe its because your needs and budget are not clearly stated?

Did you follow the "how to ask for build advice" sticky at the top of the forum? If you re-post in that format then you will likely get more consistent advice.

Thanks, updated it with suggestion. What application would make use of more cores? I've read that most app's only use up to the 4 cores, but the new chips i7's will eventually be fully utilized?
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January 12, 2010 8:06:41 PM

Typically video, audio, photo editing software are the big multi-core applications. CAD as well, though that's probably brought up less frequently.

If you expect to build a new computer in 2-3 years, you can probably skip USB 3 and SATA 3 support on the motherboard. If you find something you like that includes it, by all means go for it, but it certainly won't be necessary.

Did you look at the Recommended Builds by Usage thread? There are 2 $800 "budget" (read: general purpose) build in there that looks like it would fit your needs well. Start from there and see what you like or dislike. I'd go for the AMD build, though there's really not a lot of difference between the two.
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January 14, 2010 12:46:47 PM

No, I don't recommend Intel if your budget is under $1000. In your case, it is cuz you want a LCD or 2.

You don't have a choice in terms of the type of LCDs to buy. IPS is about $500 each. 2 = $1000. Your best choice is a 22"+ 1080 HDMI monitor for about $200.

AM3 PhII X4
790X MOBO
DDR3 2X2GB
F3 500GB or 1TB
HD 5770 (for Starcraft 2) or the newest HD 4670 if you don't mind low image quality
500W PSU
ATX CASE
2 x 20"+ TN LCDs

If you like this specs, let me know so I'll post the newegg build list. My guestimate is it'll be a bit over budget after tax & shipping.
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January 14, 2010 1:57:12 PM

p55ibexpeak said:
No, I don't recommend Intel if your budget is under $1000. In your case, it is cuz you want a LCD or 2.

You don't have a choice in terms of the type of LCDs to buy. IPS is about $500 each. 2 = $1000. Your best choice is a 22"+ 1080 HDMI monitor for about $200.

AM3 PhII X4
790X MOBO
DDR3 2X2GB
F3 500GB or 1TB
HD 5770 (for Starcraft 2) or the newest HD 4670 if you don't mind low image quality
500W PSU
ATX CASE
2 x 20"+ TN LCDs

If you like this specs, let me know so I'll post the newegg build list. My guestimate is it'll be a bit over budget after tax & shipping.


Up to $1k for the computer, sorry I didn't clarify that. Monitors are on a different budget, a christmas money budget lol...

I need a quality reccomendation for a monitor, I stare at a screen doing spreadsheets and writing code 12 hours a day. I need something that is going to hopefully prolong the life of my eyes. Will paying the extra cash for an IPS or PVA pannel aid in this arena?
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January 14, 2010 2:52:13 PM

That's a good generic build, but I'll fill in the details.

CPU: Phenom II X4 955 $256 after rebate (in a Newegg combo with mobo)

Mobo: Asus M4A79XTD EVO

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $110 (only $5 more than the 1333 mhz)

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $90

Case/PSU: Newegg combo: HAF 922 and OCZ StealthXStream 700W $110 after rebate

GPU: HD 5850 $300. Completely overkill, but will all but make sure you'll be able to play Starcraft 2.

Total: $866.
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January 15, 2010 11:00:12 AM

^ Go with that build. The GPU is overkill, but you can throw anything at it and it won't sweat. SC2 at maxed out image quality. My bad on the HD 4670. It should be HD 5670. A good new DX11 budget card. ATI is covering all bases.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

IPS is not exactly for programming, but for desktop publishing, image manipulation, video editing, etc. But you asked for it:

22". $269.00 after $100 saving. Zero-dead pixel warranty. Free shipping.

http://accessories.dell.com/sna/products/Displays/produ...

HP LP2475w Black / Silver 24" 6 ms (GTG); 12ms HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail $549.99

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

HP LP2275w Black 22" 6ms(GTG) Widescreen LCD Monitor with DisplayPort input - Retail $349.99

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

You could go with 2 Samsung 24" 1080, calibrate 'em and take frequent breaks.
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January 15, 2010 11:16:18 AM

I wouldn't get the 5670. The review of it here on TH wasn't good. It doesn't compete with other cards in it's price range, and DX 11 isn't a necessity yet.

Here's the review.
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