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Advice for $2250-2500 i-7 v.s. AMD Build

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February 1, 2010 12:19:13 AM

I'm building my first pc build soon I really need some advice on how to get the most for my money.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:In 2-3 weeks...Using Tax money and won't have it back from Turbo til 8-14 days from now and then take three to 4 days to buy.

BUDGET RANGE:$2250-2500 U.S. Dollars

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:Heavy Game use, Movie watching, internet use, and other multimedia use. Also some lite video encoding, etc.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: OS...Need everything else. Starting almost from scratch.

PREFERRED WEBSITE FOR PARTS: Newegg.com...If you can find it cheaper in another U.S. Based site I will explore other options.

PARTS PREFERENCES: I'm not sure...Wanting to get the most for my money.

OVERCLOCKING: Most likely but not all the time SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Would like to be able to but not required.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Would prefer 1920x1200 but might go with a 1920x1080. I would also like as big of monitor as possible with quality a must. I also really like the Samsung brand monitors but will explore other options.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: As I have placed above this Build will be used mostly for gaming use. I wld like a machine that will last a while and be a good gaming machine for years to come. I won't ask for perfection but I want a beast. Also, I would like to have DX11 capability but it isn't a must if a Nvidia setup wld be better.
February 1, 2010 12:57:02 AM
February 1, 2010 1:03:58 AM

I would but I would like to have the best possible build for that amount...in other words I want to spend every last drop and get the most I can. I would also like to have a 5870 or the like. I want a lot of graphic power. I would even hold on a ltl for the New FERMI cards if they wld release the street date on them soon. I like the quality of nviidia but I'm getting impatient on waiting for FERMI.
Related resources
February 1, 2010 1:16:35 AM

I actully made this build for myself and plan on getting it in around 2-3 weeks but it fits your description soo here yah go.
Gaming Computer
February 1, 2010 1:47:24 AM

I've added a cooler but I may be adding more within the week. Again I want to max my budget out and get the best. I really don't want the 5970. Too expensive and wld rather just spend a ltl more and get 2 5870s. Plus I keep hearing about heating problems and stability probs with alot of the 5970s and the availability for them is nxt to none. They go out as fast as they come in.
February 1, 2010 2:37:47 AM

You could get 2 HDD's and do RAID 0 for better preformance.
I would recommend the Logitech G15 or G19
1000W Power Supply is kind of overkill unless you are doing Crossfire.
February 1, 2010 11:53:13 PM

I will be going crossfire soon after I buy
February 2, 2010 1:03:17 AM

Even for crossfiring two HD 5870's, a 1000W power supply is overkill, but is nice to have for a future build. The specs say 500 Watt or greater power supply with 2x 75W 6-pin PCI Express power connector recommended (600 Watt and four 6-pin connectors for ATI CrossFireX Technology in dual mode). I wouldn't go as low as 600, but 850 would be more than enough since the HD 5000 series aren't as power hungry as in the past.

I do like the build tho. It has a lot of things I would choose or very close to it.
I would probably add:
I would leave the power supply since your under budget
Get a 30-60 gb SSD hard drive for booting up the OS and whatever else you may put onto it. (Adapter may be needed as well)
Get some speakers or a nice gaming headset since your starting from scratch
Change the ram from a CS 9 to a CS 7
HDMI cable for the monitor

These are just simply extra things if your wanting to spend the full amount of $2500. I'm sure if you looked closer, you could find some combo deals for some of your order to cut the cost down a little bit. While there is a slight difference, for gaming an I5 750 performs very similar to an I7 920, but the 920 has the LGA 1366 port and the x58 chipset instead of the P55 chipset. I'm sure others can give you more information on that, but for the cost of this system, I would definitely go with the I7.
February 2, 2010 4:26:34 PM

Thanks for the advice...I have been looking at some of the 40gb ssds from intel...they seem to have really good reviews and no glitches or DORs and they aren't that much. I cld possibly get 2 of them but don't know what I wld do with that as of yet. I really want the 1000 psu cause I wld like a powerful psu that I cld add anything I want to it without having to check power usage and such things. But if a 850 will hold me over for a while then I might just go that route. Save me some money. I know I would like to get 2 HDDs of some kind cause I keep hearing so much about RAID 0. What kind of RAID formation could I do with 2 SSDs and 2 1Tb Samsung Spinpoint F3s? Maybe RAID 1 the 2Tbs and then RAID 0 the SSDs? Can that be done?
February 2, 2010 4:33:34 PM

I will def go with the I-7. The board I want is also ready for the six core processors from intel. The word on the street is that they may be out during the summer or at least by the end. Plus the I-7's speed is remarkable. I watched how my stepfathers machine handled while running a I-7 and I'm impressed. This was not just a gaming machine either.
February 2, 2010 4:51:24 PM

I ran 2 5970's and an OC i7-920 on a 750 TX fine 2 weeks ago. You don't need a huge PSU. 850W is the most you'll need even if you plan on heavy OC of the 5970's.

Don't Raid 0 a system drive ever. Much more trouble than it's worth. Especially since SSD's have such excellent performance already.

Is there a reason you want to raid? Or just for the hell of it? If you don't have a specific need, there is no real reason to bother.

i9 price estimates range anywhere from $600 to $1000 for the cheapest.
February 2, 2010 4:56:27 PM

I don't know about the RAID yet I just heard it was a good thing to do for gaming machines and it increased speed by alot. I will take your advice on not RAIDIng the SSDs. I also heard that the Sic cores are debuting with an Extreme addition first and thats why the opening price is so high. May hust be speculation as always though.
February 2, 2010 5:08:40 PM

Here's a better system for >$2200 after shipping.

https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...

Includes 80gb X25-M which is much faster than the 40gb ones.

P55 instead of x58, but w/ a 5970, no performance loss, in fact, the 860 is a better CPU than the 920, bench's ~4% faster.

AS MTX thermal compound instead of AS 5. It's non conductive, cools as well and no very short burnin time.

Monitor, PSU, and keyboard swapped for cheaper, but equivalent/better parts.

Added a mouse.

Don't actually need xfire mobo with a 5970, but you can grab this mobo for $229.99 if for some crazy reason you want xfire 5970's. There's no benchmarks testing it yet, but you would probably be better of with x58 with 2 5970's.

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


note. You will NOT need to xfire 5970's until the next gen consoles come out, 2014 at the earliest. Anything announced or existing game will NOT max out a 5970 at 1920 x 1080. The exception is if you wanna eyefinity a buncha monitors together.
February 2, 2010 6:19:17 PM

Ok so Newegg refuses to amke that list public even after repeated attemppts so heres the list

PSU
850TX $139.99 w/ $20 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU
5970 $649.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case
Haf 922 $109.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD
Spinpoint F3 1 tb $84.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD
Intel X25-M 80 gb $289.95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical
LG $24.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

CPU
i7-860 $279.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo
Asus P7P55D-E LGA $159.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM
G skill Ripjaw 7-8-7-24 DDR3 $114.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor
Hanns G 23.6" 1920x1080 $189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thermal Compound
AS MTX $6.49
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mouse
MX 518 $42.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

OS
Win 7 $99 w/ $10 MIR
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

Total: $2263.36 before $30 MIR and shipping

Edit Added mouse and keyboard and OS link
February 2, 2010 7:00:58 PM

Getting back to RAID for a minute, putting 2 traditional drives in RAID 0 will see a performance increase (over a single traditional drive), but that's only if you don't mind reloading your OS and everything on it if one of the disks fails. Or if Win 7 detects a write error and retries and doesn't like the answer it gets back.

If you go with an SSD, that will be significantly faster than you could achieve with RAID 0, so if it's in your budget and you're considering it, that's the way to go for fast system response. Note that neither RAID 0 nor an SSD will help much once you're in-game, they'll mostly just help when reading/writing files.
February 2, 2010 7:05:25 PM

I see what you mean Cold...I am probably going to get one traditional drive and the 2 ssds...
February 2, 2010 7:06:16 PM

Put OS on one SSD and use the other for gaming and whatever else
February 2, 2010 7:17:00 PM

Where are the benchmarks that say that the 920 was 4% less better then the 860?...I want to see them to help me decide and if there is only that dif then I'm going to go with the 920. I like the idea of having the bandwidth of the trip channel and the Asus Premium is set up for the new six cores when they come out. Plus the PCI-e bandwidth cap is lower on the the 860 then the 920.
February 2, 2010 7:25:59 PM

Thousand pardons on the ssds...I read up on the read speeds and your right on that part. I should go with the 80gb ssd
February 2, 2010 7:27:18 PM

see what you mean on the ssd RAID. I will prob go with the one 80gb ssd and the one 1tb reg drive
February 2, 2010 7:30:46 PM

Comparison I've been posting.

Don' t know why ppl have such a hardon over the i7-920. It is worse at gaming than an i5. Worse at everything vs an i7-860.
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-$1000 chip within the year?

If not, both x58 and P55 will be outdated in a year when 22nm sockets come out. Intel WILL make Sandy Bridge CPU's for 1156. They won't necessarily be hexacore, but they'll be there. No way intel would pass on that money making opportunity.

Gaming wise, anything more than 3 threads offer no improvement. So having a 12 thread CPU is kinda silly for gaming.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/multi-core-cpu,2280...

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.
February 2, 2010 7:46:33 PM

How does the I-7 perform against the 860 when the setting are maxed out on games such as Crysis?(Eg: 1920x1200 res and AA and AF up high along with other programs running while your playing?) My stepfather showed me his 920 running on a 1920x1200 monitor with AA and AF at relatively high and in game settings high and he was running three other things besides the game and the game never slipped below 50 FPS. He was running 2 4870s in xfire and I know that had alot to do with it but the fact that he had all this PC hogging stuff running as well just blew me away. If you can tell me the 860 can do similiar or faster I am sold but if can't handle the same the 920 can while pushing them both to the extreme then IDK.
February 2, 2010 7:52:41 PM

You are right on the fact the 860 has a great price over the 920. Why do pc builders use the 1366 chips instead of the 1156 when building high end machines if the 1156s run faster? I mean these are gaming builds that are meant to run the best and they use the 1366 and not the 1156...Y?
February 2, 2010 8:09:02 PM

People like the i7-920 because it WAS the best overall CPU for a long time. Hard to change people mindsets once they get somethign stuck into their head. (Intel advertising to sell the more expensive 1366 platform doesn't help either).

P55 has only been around a few months.

In gaming, the i5-750 is all you need. Actually, even a Phenom II X4 will max out games fine.

Gaming is GPU limited, NOT CPU. Not even a 5970 can break that barrier.
Read the legion hardware article above for evidence at max settings with top of the line components.

Read this Tom's article showing the same issue exists at lower settings/resolutions and mainstream hardware.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5770,2446...


Reason people get an i5-750 over Phenom II is that it's a relatively small price jump up, but you get much better performance outside gaming. It also runs cooler and uses less power (though the power savings is like $8 a year assuming 8 hrs of use a day).
February 2, 2010 8:10:21 PM

The only reason for 8 threaded CPU's is if you NEED them for multithreaded applications. This means rendering, encoding, etc. More threads doesn't help gaming, because, as I already mentioned, it's GPU limited (most games are poorly threaded anyway).
February 2, 2010 8:24:54 PM

darkside_gamer7 said:
How does the I-7 perform against the 860 when the setting are maxed out on games such as Crysis?(Eg: 1920x1200 res and AA and AF up high along with other programs running while your playing?)


I can take a $1000 i7-975 and pair it with a 9600gt and get 8 FPS in Crysis.

I can take a $100 core 2 duo E6400 and pair it with a 5850 and get 28 FPS.

I can take a $290 i7-920 and pair it with a 5970 and get 43 FPS at 2560 x 1600.

I can take a $140 Phenom II x4 and pair it with a 5970 and get 43 FPS at 2560 x 1600


Hopefully the point is getting made =D

Unless you're encoding, rendering or compressing at the same time as you're gaming, any modern CPU will work fine.

Edit: Other common CPU hog would be anti virus scans. Having photoshop, 20 firefox windows, torrent program, itunes, IM, Office, etc open while gaming does not impact performance in modern CPU's.
February 2, 2010 10:22:05 PM

I see your pt banthracis...I will take all of what you said into deep consideration...I will probably ultimately go with a 860. I really appreciate the help. You have given me alot of new insight on all of this. I will probably be wanting more then 4gigs of ram though so I may get a 8gig kit. Thank you everybody so far. More opinions won't hurt though since I won't be buying til at least the 12th of this month. If anybody is reading this and has more or any improvements to add I will gladly take into consideration. 1st hand exp is always the best but any opinions will be taken into account. Plz help. I don't want my first build to be an epic FAILURE.
!