New Gaming and data processing computer - Approx $1200

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: next two weeks BUDGET RANGE: $1200, including shipping/rebates/taxes
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, data modeling/programming (SPSS, R, and such)
PARTS NOT REQUIRED:  keyboard, mouse, Windows 7, graphics card (hurray for MSDNA).  I havey a supremely cheap graphic card (think $20) for the time being as it has been 8 years since I have played any computer games (like the Geneforge and Avernum series, not exactly super demanding) and thus hope to catch up to those games before I need to invest in a serious graphics card.  Plus it seems to me the 5850 are bound to get cheaper when NVidia release their version of DX11 cards and hope to buy a decent graphics card then.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: (in CA, so I pay tax, use zip 90042), (unless someone can tell me that this is a bad idea), MicroCenter in Orange County
PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD vs. Intel, otherwise will defer to y'all
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes, as upgrade path.  Eventually for goal of two 5850s. 
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 (1080p).  Eventually would like to add a second monitor.
1.Is Amazon an acceptable way to purchase a computer like this? I've always liked Newegg but they are literally $200-300 more expensive (tax and shipping, I have prime with Amazon) for the exact same computers as listed below with the exception that the ram is Gskill and the Corsair HX750w seems to have the same code except on Newegg it is silver rated and only 80 certified on Amazon (not sure if that's because amazon is not listing the item correctly, or if the items are actually different). If either of those make a difference, I could easily buy most of the computer on amazon an the ram and power supply from Newegg. I am completely open to any Newegg build if amazon is actually awful and I am simply not aware of that fact.

2. Would the difference in between 80+ and Silver be so significant that I should pay $10-20 more to get it from Newegg? Also, is 750W enough for either of the builds below + 2 5850s in the future? =maybe and SSD a few years down the road?

3. Which build below would you recommend (AMD versus Intel)? I know Intel is only marginally better for games, but not sure if the AMD or Intel would be significantly better for data crunching?

4. Please look at my AMD and Intel motherboard and see if you could recommend something better in the approximate price range. I am pretty sure the gigabyte is good for the intel build as it was recommended a few months back on Tom's Hardware. I am not sure about the AMD, especially since I've seen people mostly recommending the EVO and was wondering why that one over the one I have currently selected.

5. Cases: I am concerned about 2 things: card clearance (2 5850s at some point) and quietness. A friend of mine as the Antec Sonata and I really like how quiet it is. So I was wondering if anyone could make a recommendation on Sonata versus 902 versus Storm Scout in terms of noise and card clearance. I have no real preference and have the 902 currently selected in my builds just because it is the most expensive of the 3. In all things equal, I think I might actually lean toward the scout because of the handle.

6. Ram. Is the ram that I have selected for either build good? I am especially concerned about Patriot ram because I have never really heard anything about it (it has been 8 years since I have even looked at computer hardware). Would you guys recommend something specific on Newegg (there's some nice gskill 1333 or 1600, CL7, available for cheaper than either ram sticks I have under Amazon).

Thank you everyone so much as I now this is quite the note to slog through. I really appreciate your time and consideration. My best wishes.

Intel Build
1. Intel Core i5 Processor 2.66 GHz 8 MB LGA1156 CPU I5-750BOX - Intel
2. Gigabyte GA-P55 - UD4P Intel Core 1394 ATX Motherboard - Gigabyte
3. Corsair CMX4GX3M2A1600C9 XMS3 4 GB PC3-12800 Core i5 Memory Kit - Corsair

AMD Build
1. Patriot PVS34G1333LLK Extreme Performance Viper Series PC3-10666 DDR3 1333MHz 4GB CAS 7-7-7-20 Low Latency Dual Channel Kit (Silver) - Patriot Memory (Direct)
2. Asus M4A78T-E Socket AM3/ AMD 790GX/ Hybrid CrossFireX/ HDMI/ A&V&GbE/ ATX Motherboard - Asus
3. AMD Phenom II X4 955 HDZ955FBGIBOX 3.2 GHz/6 MB L3/125W Processor - AMD

The Standard
1. Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive IHAS124-04 BLACK/BULK (Black) - Lite On
2. ASUS VK246H 24-Inch Widescreen LCD Monitor - Black with Webcam - Asus
3. Western Digital 640 GB Caviar Black SATA 7200 RPM 32 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive WD6401AALS $75.99
4. Corsair CMPSU-750HX 750-Watt HX Professional Series 80 Plus Certified Power Supply
5. Antec Nine Hundred Two Ultimate Gaming Case - Antec

Intel Build $1117.45 total
AMD Build $1032.45 total
4 answers Last reply
More about gaming data processing computer approx 1200
  1. 1. Why not Amazon? I've ordered from 'em before and shipping was either very cheap or free.

    2. Could you post the links to both psus?

    3. I think i5 750 vs PhII 965 would be a fairer comparison. At stock, i5 has a slight edge in that its Turbo mode will overclock the cpu auto to up to 3.2Ghz. It has been mentioned in some reviews. None of AMD's cpus have auto overclocking. Also, i5 has efficiency use of power. Refer to this:

    4. Why did you pick out that GB mobo for i5? I recommend ASUS instead cuz it has everything from USB3, SATA6, CF & SLI to last a few years.

    ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

    6. Patriot among some other lesser heard brands is one of the best for overclocking. That may be why not many know about 'em. i5 750 doesn't need 1600mhz ram. The fastest would be 1333mhz with Turbo mode on.

    Memory Types DDR3-1066/1333

    Cas latency is useless to non-overclockers. Save the money and get the cheapest.

    7. You might wanna replace the HDD with Samsung F3 500GB or 1TB. It's faster than Black.
  2. Thanks for your reply!

    The link to both PSUs.

    The reason for that Asus board is that I kept reading on newegg that people are having an issue with it making crackling/whining noise which on the face of it might not be that big of a deal except that it might also be pointing to some general flaw in the board that later blows up in your face. What's your suggestion?

  3. I would get the non-modular version (CMPSU-750TX) to save some cash. The case is bottom mounted, so the cables aren't a factor.

    I also recommend that Asus board, and have been getting the question about the sound a lot. My answer is that I still recommend the board. It sounds like it's a bad batch, and that is no reason to avoid a great board. It could happen to any manufacturer. I wouldn't pay more for a board with the same features or settle for a lesser one to avoid the possibility that it might need to be returned.

    For the most part, I'm with p55ibexpeak. However, I differ on the RAM. Right now, these 1600 mhz Corsair sticks are $5 less for the better specs.
  4. If the ram is $5 more, then go for it.

    As for mobo, I am using the P7P55D w/o crackling/whining noises. I suspect a bios update will fix the issue on the new mobo. If not, you can always pick up a cheap 7.1 sound card. Onboard audio is never high quality anyway.

    Ok I looked at the psu specs. Both are the same thing. Amazon worded it different than newegg. The keyword is the part/model #. Grab whichever is cheaper before rebate which may not work.
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