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Sub 1500 Gaming/Student build.

Last response: in Systems
January 18, 2010 6:09:02 PM

Well, it's been a little over 4 years since I did my last system build, and something is making me think I am forgetting something for this new build so I'm posting to verify / get critiqued. I thank Tecmo34, Proximon, and JBakerLent for thier stickied post for getting me on my way.

Purchase Date: Already purchased as of 01/18/10
Budget Used: $1,500 USD before / After rebates
System Usage: Gaming, Programming, All around entertainment.
Website used: since it's the one I know the best.
Overclocking: Yes.
Crossfire: Not currently but in the future maybe.
Monitor Resolution: 1900x1200 native on current monitor

Parts Purchased:

CPU: Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail

Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD5 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

Memory: G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI - Retail

GPU: SAPPHIRE 100282SR Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity - Retail

Case: COOLER MASTER CM690 II Advanced Black Steel body / Plastic + Mesh bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

PSU: OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Optical: Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM

CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long ... - Retail

Thermal Paste: Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM

Misc: Arctic Silver ACN-60ML (2-PC-SET) Thermal material Remover & Surface Purifier - OEM

Toolkit: Rosewill RTK-015 15 Piece Standard Computer Tool Kit - Retail

The parts I ordered are pretty standard with what most people who order parts are.. I just don't know if I forgot something important, something is kicking me saying that I am.. I'll appreciate any comments given on this subject. Thank you!
January 18, 2010 6:31:57 PM

It'd really help to make the links clickable. Put something between the ][ or drop the url parts entirely.

You didn't forget anything, but you did make some minor mistakes. Here's what I would have changed:

Case: You're putting a lot of really expensive parts in a really cheap case. I would have spent the extra bit to get an HAF 922 for $100.

PSU: Newegg has the OCZ StealthXStream 700W for $55. It's good quality, and powerful enough for your needs. In addition, it was in a combo with the HAF last week for a total of $110.

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB for $90. It's the best HDD out there right now.

CPU cooler: Coolermaster Hyper 212. One of the best, and fairly cheap at $30.

Overall, it's a good build, but some slight changes could have made it better. Might have gotten better gaming out of an i5/5870 build, but that might have hurt the programming...
January 18, 2010 6:47:36 PM

Well, since the parts are already on the way... what's done is done. Like MadAdmiral... I would have gone with a different case. The HAF 922 he mentioned is very nice and the new CM 690 II is a very impressive case that is also suitable (in terms of cost / usage) for a build like yours...

Overall, it's still a very nice build and one that you should be happy with. Next time ask for advice before ordering and see if the community can help you save some $$$ or get some more muscle under the hood.

Related resources
January 18, 2010 7:35:02 PM

I still have time to cancel the order, it's still in processing, so if there's major flaws I'll back out of the order.
January 18, 2010 7:43:09 PM

They aren't really major, but you would save a little cash and get a little bit more performance with those changes. It's still basically a good build.
January 18, 2010 10:21:32 PM

I read up on the cases and the HDD's and looked at the prices and swapped out what was suggested. The tool kit and the other misc was on the bill before I just didn't add them to my list, but It's up there to show what else was added to the bill. Does this look a little better than before? the price point remains the same @ 1432.28 with shipping. Any other modifications to the order before I checkout?
January 18, 2010 11:10:20 PM

I7 is not needed, I'd go for a C2Q or a cheaper I5 and at least a 5870. GPU is far more important than having the lastest hyped CPU of the month.
January 19, 2010 12:15:40 AM

That is true if it was only for gaming. I wouldn't change the entire build right now. The i7 is a great CPU in it's own right, and will be more future proof than the i5. It's also not the latest hyped CPU. That'd be the upcoming i7-930 and the i3s.
January 25, 2010 1:59:27 PM

Well, I got the parts and put it together a couple night ago (been spending time at the hospital with my dad so it took a bit to finally post and give kudos to those whom helped me make my decisions.) It's running relatively smoothly, with the 920 running at a nice 30-32 per core idle and maybe 54-58 when loaded. So I'm good there (good call on the cpu cooler, though I had a hard time getting the thermal compound in the grooves.) Only issue I am having at this time is my video card. It rattles after extended use. I probably need to rma it.