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I5 gaming system advice needed

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February 18, 2010 8:39:26 AM

Hello. Looking for some advice on the below please.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next couple of months. If nothing worth waiting for then asap.
BUDGET RANGE: Variable, targetting around £1500 all incl, prefer less, could go higher
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, programming, movies
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: no periphrals except monitor required
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Any good UK supplier, sourcing at overclockers at the moment
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: UK
PARTS PREFERENCES: No pref
OVERCLOCKING: Yes
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe
MONITOR RESOLUTION: Max I can get with 24+" (e.g.: 1920x1200)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I also require a monitor recommendation. I have checked out the anandtech list but it seems out of date. I'm looking for a 24" (I think), and am quite particular about my screen. Would like something that is clear, good for gaming and also that could be used for watching movies on from bed (stand at the end of the bed).

The main purpose of this system will be gaming. Mostly WoW which is not a demanding game, but I will be multi-boxing WoW, so potentially running 5 instances, which can demand a fair amount of memory. So I question the 4GB choice, might be better to go for 8GB. I know WoW isn't a demanding game, but I want a build which will last me at least 2-3 years in terms of games to come should I get hooked on something that comes out in the future.

I've considered SSD, but the price to benefit at the moment puts me off, and I can always add one in 6 months if prices come down.

Below is what I've come up with. I've put questions below each item where appropriate. Thanks in advance for any advice.


Gigabyte ATI Radeon HD 5870 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card £349.99
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

- There are cheaper cards, but have heard good things about gigabyte. Is there really any difference between this and the cheaper ones?

Corsair Dominator GT 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C7 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit (CMG4GX3M2A1600C7) £161.99
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY...

- Should I get 8GB? Is there cheaper RAM which is just as good?

Intel Core i5 750 2.66Ghz (Lynnfield) (Socket LGA1156) - OEM £149.99
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CP...

- Am very tempted to go i7 920 and change the motherboard and RAM. The price difference in the UK is hardly anything when doing this, but I keep seeing people saying it's not worth it. Don't know why.

Asus P7P55D-E Intel P55 (Socket 1156) DDR3 Motherboard £129.99
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB...

- I am tempted by the gigabyte boards with USB3.0 and SATA3, but think I've read that they don't do it as well as gigabyte?

Corsair TX 750W ATX SLI Compliant Power Supply (CMPSU-750TXUK) £92.99
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA...

- Is this enough should I choose to upgrade to a 5970 in the future?

Coolermaster HAF 922 Case - Black £88.88
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA...

Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM (HD502HJ) £39.99 x 2 = £79.98
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD...

- 2 drives for potential dual booting. Could have got a single 1TB instead, but 2 gives me a bit more options.

Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus (Socket AM2/AM2+/AM3/775/1156/1366) £19.99
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HS...

Samsung SH-S223C/BEBE 22x DVD±RW SATA ReWriter (Black) - OEM £14.99
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CD...

- Don't know anything about these periphrals. Will this do the job?

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound (3.5g) £6.99
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=AC...

Akasa SATA-2 45cm Silver Data Cable £4.08 x 2 = £9.16
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CB...

Shipping cost assumes delivery to UK Mainland with:
DPD Next Day Parcel
(This can be changed during checkout) Shipping : £12.50
VAT is being charged at 17.50% VAT : £166.60
Total : £1,118.60

a b 4 Gaming
February 18, 2010 10:26:14 AM

It all looks good.

As for the RAM, Corsair is usually overpriced, especially the Dominator line. Some other well known RAM brands are Mushkin, G.Skill, Kingston and OCZ. In the US, G.Skill typically makes the cheapest sets, but it can be harder to find other places. As for 8 GB, it's not really necessary unless you do a lot of encoding or other memory intensive activities.

The i7 isn't worth it because the i5 is just as good in gaming. Over here in the US, it's a price increase of over $250 for the CPU, mobo and RAM, all of which doesn't really get you anything.

The Gigabyte USB 3/SATA III boards (with 2 PCIe slots) aren't as good as the Asus ones because when you Crossfire, you lose the USB 3/SATA III speeds.

As for monitors, I'm not the best at picking them out. However, Asus and Hanns G are well thought of and generally pretty fairly priced.
February 18, 2010 11:52:03 AM

Quote:
It all looks good.

As for the RAM, Corsair is usually overpriced, especially the Dominator line. Some other well known RAM brands are Mushkin, G.Skill, Kingston and OCZ. In the US, G.Skill typically makes the cheapest sets, but it can be harder to find other places. As for 8 GB, it's not really necessary unless you do a lot of encoding or other memory intensive activities.


I would like cheaper RAM, unfortunately overclockers don't seem to have any other 1600C7 RAM available. Wish we had a "newegg" style supplier in the UK.

Regarding the amount of RAM, did you remember that I said I plan on multi-boxing and from what I hear it can take upwards of 1GB memory per WoW instance?

Quote:
The i7 isn't worth it because the i5 is just as good in gaming. Over here in the US, it's a price increase of over $250 for the CPU, mobo and RAM, all of which doesn't really get you anything.


Yup, but strangely, in the UK, there really isn't much difference in cost once CPU, mobo and RAM are counted for. Check it out on the site I linked.

Quote:
The Gigabyte USB 3/SATA III boards (with 2 PCIe slots) aren't as good as the Asus ones because when you Crossfire, you lose the USB 3/SATA III speeds.


Thanks for confirming. However, I have a concern about the board I've selected. It doesn't say "Pro" and almost every thread I've researched here seems to have people recommending the Asus P7P55D-E Pro. Could you tell me the difference please?

Quote:
As for monitors, I'm not the best at picking them out. However, Asus and Hanns G are well thought of and generally pretty fairly priced.


Hopefully I'll get some suggestions from others then, thanks for the reply.
Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
February 18, 2010 12:07:58 PM

You don't really need to get 1600 mhz CL 7 sticks. These are just better for overclocking. The sweet spot for RAM right now is actually 1333 mhz CL 7, but over here, these are the same price as the faster sticks.

I would start with 4 GB of RAM. RAM is fairly cheap, and very easy to add. If 4 GB isn't getting the job done, stick some more in.

Looking at the i7-920 stuff on overclockers, I've got the price of the equivalent CPU / board / RAM at 221 / 250 / 140 for a total of 611 pounds. How is that about the same as 462 pounds (added 20 pounds for the Pro version)?

The difference between the "-E" and "-E Pro" is the speed of the second PCIe 2.0 slot. The "-E" only has it operating at 4x, the Pro has it at 8x. This means that Crossfire on the "-E" is basically useless.
February 18, 2010 2:31:22 PM

MadAdmiral said:
You don't really need to get 1600 mhz CL 7 sticks. These are just better for overclocking. The sweet spot for RAM right now is actually 1333 mhz CL 7, but over here, these are the same price as the faster sticks.


Thanks, unfortunately there just isn't any other CL 7 RAM available on overclockers.

Quote:
I would start with 4 GB of RAM. RAM is fairly cheap, and very easy to add. If 4 GB isn't getting the job done, stick some more in.


Good point, will do.

Quote:
Looking at the i7-920 stuff on overclockers, I've got the price of the equivalent CPU / board / RAM at 221 / 250 / 140 for a total of 611 pounds. How is that about the same as 462 pounds (added 20 pounds for the Pro version)?


Ah, sorry, I priced a cheaper mobo, and had included an extra 4GB RAM in the i5 build to "match" the 6GB in the i7, hence the price was about the same.

Quote:
The difference between the "-E" and "-E Pro" is the speed of the second PCIe 2.0 slot. The "-E" only has it operating at 4x, the Pro has it at 8x. This means that Crossfire on the "-E" is basically useless.


Thanks, so guess I'll have to make the call if I plan to ever crossfire.

Any opinion on the various brands of graphics card? Should I go for a particular name, and possible Asus (to match mobo), or just get the cheapest?
a b 4 Gaming
February 18, 2010 2:56:25 PM

I don't think there's much performance difference. A lot of people like XFX for the double lifetime warranty (the warranty goes with the card if you sell it). Other than minor differences, there isn't much to distinguish them.
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