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I7 920 build - lowest price with OC potential

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January 27, 2010 9:55:29 PM

Hey guys, I'm looking to put together an i7 920 build to upgrade my 4 year old computer. I'm trying to stay under $1000 budget. The lower the better. I just don't want to sacrifice quality when it can be avoided.

Approximate Purchase Date: Well if anyone has any speculations about r price drops of the i7's in the next month or two (which I doubt), I may hold off. Otherwise I would like to purchase in the next 2 weeks.

System Usage: Gaming in mind but nothing crazy - I play World of Warcraft and will probably play Starcraft 2 when it comes out. General use. I do alot of multitasking such as music, surfing, working in excel/word files, and a game running.

Preferred website for parts: I've heard good stuff about newegg.com, but my preferred is the cheapest price with good company reputation.

Parts not required: Speakers, keyboard, mouse. I need a monitor but I'll leave that search for a bargain for another day.

Overclocking: I plan to overclock the system about a few weeks after I put this together - 3.8 GHz would be the absolute MAX.

I plan to travel to my local Micro Center for the processor - $200.

Here's the rest, please give me any suggestions, feedback, better deals =)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Should I go for the 1600 or could I save some money and still get a good overclock with 1333?

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

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

If anyone notices any compatability issues please let me know. This will be the first time I attempt to build a system on my own.

All comments are appreciated!

Thanks.
January 27, 2010 9:59:30 PM

I'd stick with 1600 if you want to get to 3.8 easily. Sub in a spinpoint F3 for your HDD and a cooler master hyper 212 for your cooler.
Related resources
January 27, 2010 10:12:02 PM

Thanks, zach538467 for the HDD pointer - $15 saved. Do you think the 32mb cache makes much of a difference over the 16?

I'll do a little research on the cooler, but looks good - $5 saved.
January 27, 2010 10:51:01 PM

calio said:
Thanks, zach538467 for the HDD pointer - $15 saved. Do you think the 32mb cache makes much of a difference over the 16?


The cache size makes much less difference than the disk platter size.

That WD drive has 2x 250 GB platters, while the Spinpoint has 1x 500 GB platter. What that means is that the data on the Samsung drive is packed more closely together, meaning that it can be read faster. There are some drive comparison charts that you could research here on Tom's, and for most purposes, the Samsung Spinpoint F3s lead the pack.

As a note, the WD Caviar Black 2 TB drive uses 500 GB platters, and it also rates very highly, but apparently Western Digital hasn't started using that size in their smaller drives yet, while Samsung and Seagate have.
January 28, 2010 12:45:52 AM

I have the OCZ gold which I believe are a step down from that, and I've never had any problems...
January 28, 2010 2:09:49 AM

george2005 said:
Ha! I bought the same CPU from microcenter yesterday.
I plan to buy this borad for the future proof:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s



i saw from your post that you bought your i7 920 from microcenter. what stepping did you get? is it d0? are all their i7 920 stocks are d0 stepping? thanks...
January 28, 2010 1:49:08 PM

2055716,8,557089 said:
I may use this RAM guys: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I heard some good and bad things. Anyone here have any opinions? I would save another $15 =)[/q

Anymore opinions on this build guys? I really need some guidance on a budget build here...yet one that will perform well.

How about this RAM that I mentioned. Does Anyone know much about its quality? Or its usefullness for overclocking
January 28, 2010 1:56:06 PM

If you're mainly using this rig for gaming on a budget, why are you getting an expensive CPU that's no better in gaming than a $140 Phenom II x4?

In addition why are you getting an old GPU that won't utilize even half the capabilities of the chip?

For $1000 go for an AMD based build or i5/i3 and get a 5850.

CPU's are NOT the bottleneck. Even a 5970 won't stress out a stock speed i7.
January 28, 2010 2:00:05 PM

Here's a full breakdown I wrote up earlier.

Don' t know why ppl have such a hardon over the i7-920. For gaming it's an overpriced piece of junk. A Phenom II x4 is better than it.

It is worse at gaming than an i5. Worse at everything vs an i7-860. The tom's article is equalized to 2.8 ghz and speed step is not a factor.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/quad-core-cpu,2499-...
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=363...

It's 4% FPS increase w/ xfire due to dual x16in gaming is negated the 860's better performance, or completely negated by using a 5970.
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=364...

i7-920 only ties a Phenom II x4, half it's price, even with a 5970.
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=869&p=23

i7-920 has horrible minimum frame rates. Worse than even Core 2 Duo and Quads in some games. P55 CPU's and AMD Phenom II's don't.

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=363...

Triple Channel offers no difference at worse, a only discernible in benchmarks difference at best.

P55 chips use less power and run cooler than x58.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-core-i5,2410-...

The only advantage of the i7-920 is that you can upgrade to an i9 later this year. The questions is, after buying a i7-920 for nearly $300, do you really want to upgrade to a estimated $600 chip within the year?

If not, both x58 and P55 will be outdated in a year when 22nm sockets come out.

I have an i7-920 system and an i5-750 system. The i7 was great when I built it a year ago. Currently, I see absolutely no reason to go with x58.
January 28, 2010 2:36:23 PM

Here's an i5 System I put together yesterday


Case
Antec 300 $59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD
Spinpoint F3 $54.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM
Rip Jaw DDR3 1600 7-8-7-24 $114.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

can also get the Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 7-8-7-20 for $109.99
It's cheaper, but brand new and no good reviews out yet.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO
Asus P7P55D-E Pro USB 3.0/SATA 6.0 2 x PCIE x8 $189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU/Optical
OCZ 700W and Lite ON $96.98 w/ $25 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

GPU
HisTech 5850 $269.99 includes $20 instant savings from promo code VGA161302
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CPU i5-750 $180 from microcenter

HSF CM Hyper 212 Plus $29.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total $991.92 before $25 MIR and shipping which should cancel out.
January 28, 2010 7:21:02 PM

Thanks, banthracis. I see your point, and I think I have to agree with you here. Could you help me out on a few things I'm still wondering? First, why did you choose the $190 motherboard? Is there anything comparable for under $150?

Secondly, won't my 650 watt power supply be enough for the i5 build you created? I've read through your post and the links, and I must agree for my needs the i7 920 is a waste....thats good so I need to bring the price down even more now that you've enlightened me about the i5.

Third, (and yes I've read the reviews and benchmarks), but I'm strictly asking your opinion....for my games of choice (mostly mmo, never FPS) do I really need that $270 video card? I was thinking http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Finally, just looking for the communities opinion here based on my specifications of why I'm building...would you recommmend the i5 750 build or a Phenom II x4 965 BE build?
January 28, 2010 7:36:22 PM

The 700w OCZ is cheaper than the Corsair you linked =P I'm trying to save you money. Plus, it combo's for a $10 Optical drive.

The mobo has USB 3.0/SATA 6.0 which is a new industry standard. No point getting older boards since they're already outdated. That board also has dual PCIE x8 slots in case you ever want to xfire.

If you never plan on xfire then This $159.99 version of it is fine.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for the GPU, WOW gets GPU intensive if you turn on all the eye candy. I get taken down to 40 FPS in Dal and 25 man's with an i5 and 1 5850. Had to do that for a long time because ATI sucks with their eyefinity + xfire support.

Remember, gaming is GPU bound. You'll get better results by spending an extra $100 on a GPU rather than CPU. The rest of the stuff, web browsing, etc can be run by any CPU, hell even an Atom does that stuff fine.

i5 vs Phenom II x4, depends on how much you wanna spend. I made that i5 build for you for under $1k. You can knock off maybe $100 going with the Phenom build. Up to you if you want to.
January 28, 2010 9:26:24 PM

Banthracis, your bursting my bubble now! Only 40 fps in those areas? Maybe I need to rethink my budget (I'm just being cheap, I have the money), or maybe I should rethink my priorities. I currently get around 20-25 fps in those areas with high settings on my old AMD 3200+ processor with the PNY 9400 GT graphics card.

I don't know if $900 is worth that upgrade. I originally thought I had to go with the i7 920 because I saw some kids saying they were getting like over 100 fps in wintergrasp battles with their decked out i7 920 builds. Some of these kids could be lieing, but two guildies claimed the same thing to me...not sure why they would lie.

Sigh, maybe I'll just stick it out another year with this old computer.
January 28, 2010 10:26:04 PM

mikedp5 said:
i saw from your post that you bought your i7 920 from microcenter. what stepping did you get? is it d0? are all their i7 920 stocks are d0 stepping? thanks...


Ha, I placed the order online and did not pick it up yet. I will let you know once I get it:) 
January 28, 2010 10:42:27 PM

calio said:
Banthracis, your bursting my bubble now! Only 40 fps in those areas? Maybe I need to rethink my budget (I'm just being cheap, I have the money), or maybe I should rethink my priorities. I currently get around 20-25 fps in those areas with high settings on my old AMD 3200+ processor with the PNY 9400 GT graphics card.

I don't know if $900 is worth that upgrade. I originally thought I had to go with the i7 920 because I saw some kids saying they were getting like over 100 fps in wintergrasp battles with their decked out i7 920 builds. Some of these kids could be lieing, but two guildies claimed the same thing to me...not sure why they would lie.

Sigh, maybe I'll just stick it out another year with this old computer.



Depends on their settings and resolution.

I game at 1920x1080 with every setting at max. If I knocked down some settings and enable the second 5850, I'm sure I could go well over 100FPS.

I was more trying to give you an idea of the kinda performance to expect in the places that matter one would need to upgrade in the first place for.

Make no mistake, I'm at like 80-90 FPS with those settings and 1 5850 everywhere else.
January 30, 2010 1:57:02 AM

Ok, so here is another question for the community. Your input is greatly appreciated everyone...

Additional information:

I will not be using crossfire cards.

I will be overclocking this sytem.

I probably will not make any major upgrades with this system besides possibly buying additional RAM or upgrading the GPU somewhere down the line if it becomes necessary.

I would really like to take my FPS in games like World of Warcraft above 85 fps (55+ in intense places like raids and cities would be wonderful).

So my question is what do you all recommend here:
i7 920, i5 750, i7 860 or Phenom II x4 965 BE?
January 30, 2010 8:22:30 PM

george2005 said:
Ha, I placed the order online and did not pick it up yet. I will let you know once I get it:) 


have you picked up your i7 920 from microcenter?
January 31, 2010 12:20:39 AM

Yes, I got it, but where can I find this information?
On the box, it says

Ver # E63261-004
Pack Date: 11/20/09
Made in Costa Rica

Best solution

January 31, 2010 4:30:38 PM
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calio said:
Ok, so here is another question for the community. Your input is greatly appreciated everyone...

Additional information:

I will not be using crossfire cards.

I will be overclocking this sytem.

I probably will not make any major upgrades with this system besides possibly buying additional RAM or upgrading the GPU somewhere down the line if it becomes necessary.

I would really like to take my FPS in games like World of Warcraft above 85 fps (55+ in intense places like raids and cities would be wonderful).

So my question is what do you all recommend here:
i7 920, i5 750, i7 860 or Phenom II x4 965 BE?


As I've already said, NONE of those will be the bottlneck.
Hell even if you use a 5970 a Phenom II X4 will perform identical to a i7-920.

The GPU is the bottleneck, any current CPU will run things fine.
February 9, 2010 11:36:27 PM

Best answer selected by calio.
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