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Need advice for a $1500 gaming build

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January 27, 2010 5:44:04 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Feb 1st

BUDGET RANGE: Preferably around $1500, no more than $1600

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, movies, surfing, work/school, music

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: Full tower case, core i7 CPU

OVERCLOCKING: Probably

CROSSFIRE: Not right now, although support for it in the future would be nice

MONITOR RESOLUTION:
1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Basically I have a crap computer, and want a good upgrade that will last a while. No fancy cooling or anything just yet though.


Motherboard - ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX
$394.98 in combo with RAM

RAM - OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

CPU - Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz
$658.98 in combo with GPU

GPU - ASUS Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5

Case - Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower
$239.30 in combo with PSU

PSU - Antec CP-850 850W Power Supply

CPU Cooler - ZALMAN CNPS9900ALED
$69.99

Hard Drive - Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM
$99.99

Optical Drive - Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive
$27.99
---
$1,491.23 ($1,525.14 shipped)


A few questions after that wall of text.

1. I've generally went Sapphire when buying ATI graphics cards. Is there any real difference with ASUS?

2. Is 850W enough for the PSU?

3. I'm really leaning towards the i7 920, because I've used one before. However, from what some people have said it seems like the i7 860 rivals it. Is there any real difference, or is one of them better for overclocking/future-proofing?

Thanks a ton for any help.
January 27, 2010 12:24:39 PM

None of your usage screams i7 920. I'd do it different. Like so:

i5 750
CORSAIR Cooling Hydro Series CWCH50-1 (most def. not need it for now)
ASUS P7P55D-E Pro
HD 5870
650W
F3 1TB
30/60GB SSD VERTEX
Same everything else

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

Quote:

500 Watt or greater power supply with two 75W 6-pin PCI Express® power connectors recommended (600 Watt and four 6-pin connectors for ATI CrossFireX™ technology in dual mode)


http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/ati-rad...

This build still beats out yours cuz a fastest cpu means nothing if it's not fully utilized. Apps will load up in seconds.
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January 27, 2010 9:36:29 PM

Well this is partly a computer for my dad (who plays a lot of games lately), and for me when I'm at home from college. He always insists on having the best stuff possible.

So the i7 920 would be overkill for this then?

Best solution

January 27, 2010 10:04:24 PM
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I like the build:

Case / PSU combo simply can't be beat

MoBo - I'd step up to ASUS P6X58D

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

RAM - OK if not going to OC (tho it is CAS 8) and the 920 just begs to be OC'd. For OC'ing you'll want DDR1600
CAS 7 for $179 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HS - For that money, I'd choose the Prolimatech Megahalems

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8807/cpu-pro-01/Proli...
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/7038/thr-41/Innovatio...
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/10026/fan-639/Scythe_...
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8418/cab-150/FrozenCP...

If that's a budget breaker, look at the Xigmnatec S1283 or one of the others here:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/Recommended_Heatsinks
http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm#INTELHEATSI...
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

HD - The WD Black 2 TB model is a 500 GB per platter drive, but unless things have changed, the 1 TB is the older 330 Gb per platter model. Check out the performance charts and pick whatever 500 GB per platter drive performs best under your usage patterns. At smaller capacities, you are limited to the Seagate 7200.12 or the Spinpoint F3 for 500 GB per platter drives. The 7200.12 excels in gaming, multimedia and pictures whereas the F3 wins at music and movie maker. See the comparisons here (copy past link in manually, link won't work in forum):

(http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-3.5-desktop-har...[2371]=on&prod[2770]=on)
January 28, 2010 12:41:15 PM

I don't think you or the average buyer gets it. i7 920 is the best cpu, yes, no contest, but you HAVE a budget constraint. If it's spare no expense, yep, 920 it is. Most games still don't make use of quads. i5 750 is still overkill for most games, but it's changing a bit in the dev. scene. Right now a handful of games make full use of quads. The rest will run on one or two cores at the same time.

I don't blindly recommend parts. I always get to know the usage & budget and recommend parts accordingly so that the buyer gets the most out of their investment RIGHT AWAY. Not "I'll throw in another HD 5770 for CF lol" later. The reason is I'm not the average buyer. I upgrade every 6-12 months. So part selection won't matter as much to me as the average user who won't upgrade until end of life of the pc or a few years later.

And the time I recommend i7 920 is a) spare no expense and b) budget allows & usage (video encoding) requires it.
February 4, 2010 5:27:15 AM

Best answer selected by wanderer.
February 5, 2010 2:49:45 PM

Depending on how you value your time, what you have to do at upgrade time and what you ahve to spend should be considered. While I agree that most people perform few upgrades to their PC's over its lifeime, the audience here at THG certainly fits into another category. I try and time my builds such that 2 years down the road, I can do a CPU and GFX upgrade to squeeze some extra life outta them. I would venture to say that most here do upgrades during their PC's lifetime.

Things I consider right now are:

a) Future CPU upgrades likely (hexacore in your future) ?
b) Will you benefit from triple channel memory (not likely w/o a above)
c) Support for hi end RAID controllers and PCI-E based SSD's important ?
d) Are you using a hi bandwidth vid card solution and will you add a 2nd ?

If you have to toss out your MoBo, deal w/ possible memory issues, choosing an upgradable solution is worth considering up front. This is akin to spending the premium between a 650 watt and 850 watt PSU if you are considering adding a 2nd GFX card later on.

However, with regard to the last item, the release of MoBos like the ASUS P7P55 WS SuperComputer with the NF200's ability for 4 x16 PCI-E lanes certainly make p55ibexpeak's argument stronger.....there's a price premium for it but it's still cheaper than most hi end X58 boards.
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