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New i5 gaming build - Budget $1800

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January 14, 2010 9:48:51 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Will probably order Monday.

BUDGET RANGE: At most $1800 - But really i don't have a budget, but I also just bought a desk/chair and need a printer and router. (Moving into a new house at the end of Jan.) So it adds up quick.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming mostly, web surfing, dvd ripping, other general use stuff, sometimes streaming video/music to the 360/ps3.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Everything is needed.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg is usually the best, but whichever is cheapest.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US

PARTS PREFERENCES: Going with Intel.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes - Probably to 3.6-4.0

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes - as soon as the card gets cheaper.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Thoughts/suggestions on this build? Some parts I am set on(monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, Proc), some stuff is interchangable. Was trying to wait until fermi, but my impatience is getting the best of me :p  since I have been researching this build for about 5 months whereas almost all the parts have been changed several times and over again.

First time building a PC on my own, usually have my uncle help me (put together several pc's over the past 10 years). Should be fun! ;)  Done so much reading it isn't even funny, hehe.

Already ordered the Monitor yesterday 24" 1920x1080.

Dell S2409W Full HD Monitor - $180
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?s...


On to the parts!

Case - COOLER MASTER CM690 II Advanced Black Steel body / Plastic + Mesh bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU - Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - $199.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo - ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - $189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC - $114.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO - $116.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - $54.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical - LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 24X DVD-R SATA Black 24X DVD Writer LightScribe Support - $31.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card/OS Combo - http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Win7 home OEM and Sapphire 5850.

CPU Cooler - Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler - $85.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Keyboard - Aurora Premium ENERMAX KB007U-B Black 104 Normal Keys USB Standard Keyboard - $67.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mouse - RAZER ABYSSUS Black 3 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical 3500 dpi High Precision Gaming Mouse - $44.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Speakers - Logitech S-220 17 Watts 2.1 Multimedia Speaker System - $23.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total comes out around - $1596.87 before shipping, and mail in rebates.

That juse about does it I think... And while I am at it, any suggestions on a good all in one photo printer?

Thanks for the read/help! :) 
January 14, 2010 11:07:20 PM

Here's a better build and explanations.

Case/PSU - As ares mentioned
HAF 922 and OCZ stealthxstream 700w $149.97 $40 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

HAF is a better case than the CM, especially if you wanna OC a lot.


CPU/HSF i5-750 and CM Hyper 212 Plus $221.98
i5 benchmarks the same as the i7-920 in gaming, uses less power, is cooler and is $80 cheaper, with equivalent MOBO's ~$100 cheaper. So def a good choice. There's a small ~4% loss in FPS when gaming with Xfire, but the biggest difference is at 2560x1600, which you aren't gaming at. Overall, I think that's totally worth the ~$230 savings over a x58 system.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-lynnfield,2...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/p55-pci-express-sca...

CM Hyper 212 Plus is cheap, and one of the best HSF's out there.
http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm

Mobo - ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - $189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Good choice. The Gigabyte one is $5 cheaper, but does not have true USB 3.0/SATA 6. It can only run USB/SATA and 1 x8 slot, or 2 x8 slots and no USB 3/SATA 6.

RAM - G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO - $116.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also great choice. The ripjaws are a few bucks cheaper, but honestly not worth debating about. Both will work fine. $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


HDD - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - $54.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel 40gb SSD $129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Both Tom's and Anandtech heavily advocate getting an SSD, especially with what you're spending. Read these articles for more details.
http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3631&p=...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/windows-ssd-perform...

Optical Drive
Cheaper Drive works fine Samsung $21.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU/OS combo 5850 and win 7 $384.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Keyboard Saitek $39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Your choice is fine, but the Saitek is better regarded and cheaper.

Mouse MX518 $42.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Your mouse choice is fine, but may wanna consider this tried and true mouse.

Speakers $23.99
Your choice is fine.

Choice will work, but for you might wanna spend a little more and get this VERY good system at a killed price.


monitor $180
already bought so can't change =P

Total $1548.85 Before MIR $40 and shipping.


Now if you want you can either get a second 5850 $299.99 or get an 80 GB Intel X25-M G2.

X25-M $269.99
http://www.mwave.com/mwave/skusearch_v3.asp?scriteria=B...

I've gotten 2 of these from this place so far and they've been great.

w/ better SSD total is $1688.85 before MIR and shipping
w/ 2nd 5850 $1848.84
Related resources
January 14, 2010 11:17:02 PM

basically what i recommended, but lol ok :D  and the reason i said i7 is because, it has a definite upgrade path, it is better, but :lol:  in other posts ive said the exact same thing, that the i5=i7 in most games, but i7 is undoubtably unquestionably better, and you get the awesome number of 6 gigs of ram, 4 is a bit too little, 8 is a bit too much, but 6 is just right. just a thought though, ssd sounds good, like this:

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

and i think you all forgot an internet adapter :D 
January 14, 2010 11:20:45 PM

The sad part is that I did an almost identical build w/ the 80gb Intel in October for $1550 after MIR.
January 14, 2010 11:24:06 PM

yea, your right, my 955, 4890, 8 gigs...cost me 1400$ in about july (lol 1 week after the 955 came out) now it costs more? even ram is going up, the eco memory was just 99.99, now its 114.99...o well :pfff: 
January 14, 2010 11:36:25 PM

Lol yea. The biggest changes were 5850, $259.99 each when I got 2 at launch. The X25-M was only $249 shipped free and Win 7 was only $30 through student discount. Same RAM was $15 cheaper.

I managed to fit an Element G and 750TX into the $1550 build too >.<
I actually like my Element G more than my HAF 922, but the deal w/ the PSU is too good to pass up atm.
January 15, 2010 12:00:51 AM

Well it'll put him $53 over the i5 build (if he gets the 80 GB intel SSD). So he gains ~3% FPS in gaming in xfire at 1920x1080, 2GB RAM and hyperthreading. But he loses USB 3.0/SATA 6.0, spends $50 more and has a 20GB smaller and slightly inferior SSD.

It's not actually a bad tradeoff.

On the other hand he could just knock the build up to $1868 and get a 5970 with an i5 and this MOBO
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

With the 5970 he'll be able to play any game in the foreseeable future at max settings at 1920x1080, so no need to xfire for the life of the system and no need to worry about P55 vs x58 xfire scaling issues since it's running on a x16 slot.

Let us know what you're thinking Cades and we can modify the build a bit.

Edit: I'm actually wondering if anything better than a 5970 is even worth it anymore. Major gaming companies refuse to go PC exclusive and are programming at the xbox 360/PS3 level, 3 generations behind. Heck, Crysis 2, will run on the PS3 and 360...

Those that do make PC only, like Blizzard, has games that run on 6 yr old hardware. Worst part is that this won't change until 2014 at the earliest when next gen consoles comes out. This makes me wonder if anything above the 5970 (which is the first to finally max out Crysis with smooth framerates) will be worth buying the next few years. If not, then wtf is gonna happen to the GPU industry? The only need for a better GPU is with something like eye infinity to massive resolutions or 3d gaming...
January 15, 2010 12:12:00 AM

yea, we need feedback from cades, but dont you think a 5970 with a i5 is a bit overkill...a 5870 would go nicely though, and sata 6 and usb 3 arent even really out yet, let alone useful yet, but i could tweek that to be a asus sata 6 usb mobo (asdx65 somethingor another :lol:  ) oo, and 64 gigs is plenty...and i might be mistaken, but i think the vertex is better or equal in speed, so thats not that bad. and gaming, yes not to big of gains, but still, clear upgrade path (1156 doesnt look like it will be supporting 6 cores for AWHILE) but 1366 is going to from the begininng. also, for his needs, i dont think he needs more than a 5870. although i liked those 3 combos, i thought it was a good trade off.
January 15, 2010 12:18:06 AM

Lots of replies to look over, will look at more tomorrow.

I am pretty set on getting the keyboard/mouse. I have been using a laptop for the last 7 years. So I love the laptop style keys on the keyboard and got better reviews then others like it. Mouse I am set on too, I can't stand more then 3 buttons on a mouse and that was the highest dpi wired mouse I saw with 3 buttons.

I have looked at getting an SSD, but will probably wait till the price comes down more per gig. HAF 922 was one of my case choices, but I prefer the CM 690 II, I will be adding fans too it as well, so any cooling shouldn't be a problem, especially with the Noctua cpu cooler being the best out there.
January 15, 2010 12:20:54 AM

Actually surprising enough, an i5 won't bottleneck a 5970.

In fact, a Phenom II x4 BE ties in performance with an i7-920 using a 5970 because even with a 5970, games are still GPU bottlenecked.

Hell, OCing those CPU's from stock to 4ghz nets almost zero FPS gain (crysis had 0 fps gain in fact).

http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=869&p=1

Now, I'm just curious if 2 5970's are enough to shift the bottleneck from CPU to GPU. My guess is that at 4ghz, still no.
January 15, 2010 12:28:20 AM

Was definitely thinking of the 5870, but I will just save the extra $100 now and add a 5850 when they come down in price later on. 5970 is way more then I wanna spend on the vid card right now, hehe.

Budget is up to $1800, but trying to keep is reasonable, although there is a few places I can save on some things, it is pretty much where I want it at $1600ish. Mainly because I have to buy so much other stuff for the house, just spent 300 on desk/chair and will be another 200 on router/printer.

I could save some on the CPU cooler, but since I am going for a fairly high OC I wanted to get the best one out there even though it has a high price tag. Probably the thing I am least set on, although I prefer the nickel plated design by far.

Want to stick with the Corsair PSU, have seen them recommended over and over again along with Antec.

Thanks for the replies, definitely keeping me thinking! :D 
January 15, 2010 12:33:27 AM

Cades said:
Lots of replies to look over, will look at more tomorrow.

I am pretty set on getting the keyboard/mouse. I have been using a laptop for the last 7 years. So I love the laptop style keys on the keyboard and got better reviews then others like it. Mouse I am set on too, I can't stand more then 3 buttons on a mouse and that was the highest dpi wired mouse I saw with 3 buttons.

I have looked at getting an SSD, but will probably wait till the price comes down more per gig. HAF 922 was one of my case choices, but I prefer the CM 690 II, I will be adding fans too it as well, so any cooling shouldn't be a problem, especially with the Noctua cpu cooler being the best out there.



Noctua actually isn't the best out there. Frostytech hasn't reviewed it yet, but according to
http://www.rwlabs.com/article.php?cat=&id=223&pagenumbe...

the Noctua NH-D14 is 1.1 C lower at idle and 5.3C cooler at load compared to the NH-U12P

According to frostytech, the CM Hyper 212 is 2.5c lower at idle and 4.4 C cooler at load than the NH-U12p.

So you're looking at equivalent performance for 2.5x the price.

http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=241...

Absolute best is $22 cheaper Tuniq Tower 120 extreme
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=248...
January 15, 2010 12:45:57 AM

Well the first site showed it being the best cooler on 1366.

Frostytech still doesn't have any testing on 1156 or 1366 platforms, although it has said they are working on it for the past 5 months, lol.

Hard to judge between 2 different sites, they may use different components, paste, etc..

I thought of the 212, I just prefer the nickel plating coolers, had the megahelms in my cart for awhile as well, but with 2 fans, would come out to more or the same.

Noctua is definitely a very high price, but comes with 2 great fans and paste. Still considering other cheaper options though. That rwlabs website looks great, hadn't seen that one before, thanks for the link! Gotta check the rest of the results over.
January 15, 2010 12:55:35 AM

Another case I am still looking at is the Antec 902
January 16, 2010 1:13:38 PM

Any other thoughts? :) 
January 16, 2010 4:18:23 PM

Just use my i5 build w/ w/e case you want and a 750tx then.

I run a 3.6ghz OC on my i5 w/ the CM Hyper 212. Runs at 28C(40.60w) idle and 46C at load (170 W) with everything on low. Ambient is 18c.

Either way for gaming it doesn't matter as gaming is GPU limited, not CPU. On an i5 a stock to 3.8 ghz OC nets basically zero FPS increase.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5770,2446...

In fact, even with a 5970 a Phenom II x4 will tie an i7-920 in FPS because of GPU limits.
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=869&p=19
January 17, 2010 11:23:47 PM

Thinking of going with the HAF 922 now, how many extra fans can fit in it?
January 18, 2010 12:24:13 AM

a comp doesn't need a ton of fans. You're better off with using the standard HAF 922's fans and adding a 230mm fan on the side. You can just grab the 932's side fan off newegg. The 932 and 922 actually have the same size fans even though specs for 932 say 230mm and 922 say 200mm.

You preferably want just a few large fans rather than lots of small fans. Large fans provide same amount of airflow at a lower RPM and therefor make less noise.
January 18, 2010 12:27:22 AM

Yeah thats what I meant, what can be added, but I found it on the Cooler master site after i posted, hehe thanks! :) 
January 19, 2010 12:22:07 AM

Boo, looks like I am gonna have to push back this project another couple weeks :(  Other house expenses are cutting into the PC budget for the time being...

Made a couple more changes as well, lol...And going with the HAF 922 with the side fan added.

Changed the RAM to Corsair as I have used them in several other builds and never encountered any problems with them, the Eco Series keeps driving up in price to the same as these, and I prefer Corsair.

CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M2A1600C7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also changing the CPU cooler to the TRUE Spirit with Tuniq TX-3.

Tuniq TX-3 Extreme Performance and Exceptional Reliability Thermal Compound
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thermalright CoGage True Spirit 4-Heatpipe Core
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/9403/cpu-tri-62/Therm...
January 31, 2010 7:25:04 PM

Going to order tomorrow (would be today but they are out of 750 tx :( ..) Made a couple more changes! lol

New Mobo - Went with this over the 3.0 usb, sata 6 board, reviews swayed my decision, I don't wanna deal with any annoying noises..not to mention I don't have a need for either at this time anyways.

Read nothing but good things about this board.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS SABERTOOTH 55i LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

Another new case!

LIAN LI Lancool PC-K62 Black 0.8 mm SECC, Plastic + Mesh ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And changed keyboard

Logitech 920-000914 Black 106 Normal Keys Wired Ultra-thin Illuminated Keyboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
February 17, 2010 12:30:38 AM

Finally got the parts today, no thanks to UPS. Had to drive on 2 seperate occasions to pick up my packages, since they could not find the address.

Anyways, went together pretty smoothly, got everything installed ok, ran Prime95 for over 2 hours with no failures at stock settings. Max temp was 45 C under load, max temp in idle was around 22 C.

Heading out of town for work for 3 weeks on Friday so I won't mess around with overclocking till I get back.

Mouse and Keyboard are great!

Now to load up some games and start playin :D 
!