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$2500 performance build (gaming and work)

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February 24, 2010 4:30:51 AM

Hey guys first time poster/first time builder. I've been surfing forums and reading reviews for some time now and I've really been needing a pc upgrade for a while, so i hope the wonderful tomshardware community can help make my first build experience a pleasurable one :)  .

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: to purchase this week.

BUDGET RANGE: $2,400 cad ($2,300 US).

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: movies, gaming, work.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: mouse and keyboard, and I already have windows 7 ultimate.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.ca

PARTS PREFERENCES: core i7 920 build, 24" lcd, mid tower.

OVERCLOCKING: No (not for now)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920/1200

Please find below what I've selected so far:

ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
$320.00


Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920
$299.99


Thanks for the help and advance.
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" $56.99

SAPPHIRE 100281SR Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video ... - Retail
$429.99


CORSAIR CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
$199.99


G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI
$188.99


COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
$109.99


COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm
$29.99


ASUS VW246H Glossy Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor
$239.99


Logitech Z-2300 200 watts RMS 2.1 Speaker System
$221.99


TOTAL = $2,300 cad ($2,200 us)

Thanks in advance for all the replies.
February 24, 2010 7:33:16 AM

^ You have come up with a very good build IMO...
The only thing that I feel missing in such a high budget build is a SSD...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Some places to save money -
PSU -
You hae very good alternatives for about $40 less...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Apart from that you have come up with a very good build...
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February 24, 2010 2:13:18 PM

I'm curious why you are going with a non-stock heatsink since you're not overclocking. The quality of fans that come with CPU's has dramatically increased over the last decade.

I think you could shave a few dollars off not worrying about it.

If you think there is a high likeliness of you overclocking in the future, however, then I recommened against overclocking on the HSF that comes with it.

Equally important, make sure you read up on how to properly apply thermal paste. I've seen people go overboard with the stuff and if you use too much, it can actually act a heat insulator.
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February 24, 2010 2:30:58 PM

Yeah and if dust or finger oil get in the junction or the paste, well ... not good.

= Al =
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February 24, 2010 2:35:35 PM

That's a very nice build. You've done a great job coming up with quality components for your first build.

You won't need extra thermal paste. Both the stock HSF and the Cooler Master HSF come with thermal paste.
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February 24, 2010 2:41:23 PM

What kind of work do you do? I'm asking because the i7-920 might not be needed if it's not really CPU intensive.

Prices and links are now in CAN.

CPU: i7-920 $300
Mobo: Asus P6X58D Premium $320
RAM: G.Skill Pi Series 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $189
GPU: HD 5970 $700 (guessing, it was unavailable)
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB $57
SSD: 128 GB $389
Case: HAF 922 $110 before 20 USD rebate (calling it $90 in total)
PSU: Silverston 850W 80+ Silver $160
Monitor: Asus 21.5" 1080p $180 before 20 USD rebate ($160 in total)


Total: $2,365. The HD 5970 is probably not actually $700, so this is likely under budget.

EDIT: Forgot the darn speakers... If you REALLY need them right away, I'd drop out the SSD to fit them in. You can always add that later when the prices drop...
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February 24, 2010 2:53:45 PM

Saved this thread to my build file ...

... Admiral, Sir, I don't know how I missed ever seeing that video card before. Goodbye 5870 !

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February 24, 2010 3:07:28 PM

OMG! Someone just bought out all the 5970s at newegg !
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February 24, 2010 3:39:28 PM

Alvin Smith said:
OMG! Someone just bought out all the 5970s at newegg !


Just my little way of teaching Canada a lesson.
You've had it too good for too long. :p 
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February 24, 2010 5:22:09 PM

Thanks for all the responses, very helpful so far.

My work wouldn't involve anything too demanding, basically emails, eclipse, microsoft office applications.

Gkay and Alvin,
SSD is a nice idea and I'm considering it.
Thanks for saving me $50 on the psu.

MadAdmiral,
I would definitely go for the 5970 if it's available, I might wait till end of next week if it's really worth it.
How come you recommended the 21.5" ASUS vs the 24" in my selections or the 24" scepter that was recommeded by Alvin Smith?

Cscott_it thanks for potentially saving me $30 but if i were to go for the 5970 or consider overclocking at some point should do you think it would be worth getting the fan to prevent a headache in the future?

As for speaker i just picked up some altec lansing 2.1 vs4212, i'm going to test them out today to see how i like them and return them tomorrow if i don't. Anyone have any experience with these?

I appreciate the thermal paste links, I will definitely make sure to properly apply the thermal paste properly!
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February 24, 2010 5:28:57 PM

The 21.5" fit the budget better. The Spectre is $300 on Newegg.ca. Alvin linked to Newegg.com...

The 5970 is the greatest card out right now. There is nothing that is faster. It's also so powerful that I doubt it will need to be upgraded before you start a new build.
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February 24, 2010 9:15:01 PM

This is what editiors and audio engineers use . . .

http://www.zzounds.com/item--KRKRP5G2

http://www.zzounds.com/item--MDOBX5ADX

http://www.zzounds.com/item--SNYMDR7506

Not to diminish your joy with PC speakers but they are notorious for being very unfaithful to the program material. If you want to be happy with your computer speakers, do not listen to these studio reference monitors ! (just in case you are an audiophile)

Pc speakers are known for being way "boomy" BUT, as PC speakers go, I like these and, you can afford to pass them along to a family member ... My teenager loves them

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

Also loved these but they are a little heavy on the bass . . .

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

=
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February 24, 2010 11:20:16 PM

Well, considering that's $25 more, the case is smaller (yes really) and the PSU isn't as efficient, I've got to say stick with the HAF 922 and Silverstone 850W.
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February 25, 2010 2:37:28 AM

@Builderbobftw that is a very good combo...but it is only available at newegg.com and not at newegg.ca...
@MadAdmiral which case and PSU are you talking about ?

And +1 to the Lian-Li Dragon Lord but the price of the HAF 922 after rebates is better...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

@Cralph67 stick with the CM hyper 212+...
IMO with an aftermarket CPU cooler, the stock temps also reduce to a great extent...And also like you said you might overclock so you wont have the hassle to remove the stock fan and add the cooler later on...
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February 25, 2010 10:26:38 AM

I've got the HAF 922 and Silverstone 850W 80+ Silver in my build.

That Lian Li doesn't have any rebates...
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February 25, 2010 6:35:48 PM

I was just rechecking your requirements ... Y'know what?

Based on your requirements, even with a boot SSD, I would have a hard time exceeding $1,200 for a "well loaded" system unit (with throughput overhead of 20+%)

... Save your money until your requirements change.

A socket 1156 with an i5-750, 4GB Dual CH, a 5750, a Corsair P128 + Spinpoint 1TB ... maybe a 32" 1080P HDTV ... You are set for 3 years (easily).

~$1300?~









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February 25, 2010 7:01:22 PM

That wouldn't touch the system above. It would be good for movies, but absolutely suck for games.
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February 25, 2010 8:58:46 PM

Well, Sir,
With all due respect, maybe you are just talking about the GPU cause we both know the 750 4GB is a "standard base" for some "very" serious gamers (if not "extreme").

Other than the 5750, I don't see any problems .. But who wouldn't opt for the 920, if they want to extend the platform out to the 5th year (rather than 3).

Hey, I defer, but I've looked at several dozen game builds (at least) just this last week and that is what the majority of (non AMD) gamers are going with.

Yeah, I'm getting a 920, too. I can't help but think of i5/1156 as an i7-920 that has been "cut off at the knees" (reduced pin count) and "lobotomized" (reduced on-die and firmware features). Those extra pins must come in handy for moving large blocks of graphics data around town.

Is he the kind of guy who plays at 1080P with all the whistles ?

I mean, since 90% of our experience is visual, wouldn't putting some dough into a 32" or 48" Progressive (2ms) LCD HDTV be in order? Maybe two ??

= Just musing out loud =


= Al =
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February 26, 2010 1:42:54 AM

^ You can play at 1080p with nearly high settings with that i5 750 but replacing the graphics with say a HD 5850 or above...
But the only reason that I wouldnt suggest that setup is that if the OP is planning to add 1 more graphics card later on(Say he goes with a HD 5870/ HD 5850), then the i7 with a X58 would more suit as the board offers better bandwidth and the CPU will keep up better with the power of those 2 graphics card...

One of the options to reduce the i7 920 build cost -
Mobo
GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
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February 26, 2010 2:40:13 AM

MadAdmiral said:
That wouldn't touch the system above. It would be good for movies, but absolutely suck for games.



I disagree and that statement is extreme. Why spend the dough on a 5970 when you can get a 5870 for far less and upgrade to crossfire if the graphic requirements need it and you would best the 5970?

"Thanks for all the responses, very helpful so far.

My work wouldn't involve anything too demanding, basically emails, eclipse, microsoft office applications."

For those applications you could settle for a $750-1000 system easily enough. Check out this link, it may make it easier and save you money.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/269162-31-recommended...

If you want a high performing system, for duration of use, you can still get that and spend much less.
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February 26, 2010 4:33:13 AM

Guess I was referring to this 2nd lvl game build . . .

Gamer: $1,136.89


CPU: Intel Core i5 750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750 - Retail
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD4 LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
RAM: G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO - Retail
HSF: COOLER MASTER Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-GP 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU ... - Retail
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ... - Retail
GPU: XFX HD-585A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity - Retail
DVD: LITE-ON Black 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support - Retail
Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
This build will allow you to play games at mid. to max. settings at a monitor resolution of 1900x1200
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February 26, 2010 11:17:23 AM

The thing is that the build is for gaming too. Yes, you could be a very cheap workstation build, but it wouldn't be very good for gaming.

As for Alvin's build above, it's decent. I would switch the board for an Asus P7P55D-E Pro and the RAM for the Ripjaws with the same specs.

Considering that the budget is quite large, I don't see that going with anything less than the HD 5970 (which you will won't need to upgrade until you build again) would not be that great. Yes, the 5870 would be excellent for 1900x, while the 5850 is a little underpowered, but the budget is HUGE. If the OP has the money for a top-of-the-line system, why settle for a lesser system?
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February 26, 2010 2:34:04 PM

Agreed ... I wouldn't have the lesser system either. 920 is entry level !.

= Al =
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February 26, 2010 4:58:46 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Well, considering that's $25 more, the case is smaller (yes really) and the PSU isn't as efficient, I've got to say stick with the HAF 922 and Silverstone 850W.


Yes, but the Antec 1200 is a realy high quality nice case. Also, the PSU is Antec, and 1000watts.
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February 26, 2010 5:26:58 PM

The PSU may be 1000W, but it locks you into using one of three cases for it's useful life. Also, 1000W is overkill. You would never need that much power, and any claim that it's useful because of future demands is eliminated by the first point. The combo also isn't available to Canadians, so it doesn't matter.
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February 26, 2010 6:20:04 PM

MadAdmiral said:
The PSU may be 1000W, but it locks you into using one of three cases for it's useful life. Also, 1000W is overkill. You would never need that much power, and any claim that it's useful because of future demands is eliminated by the first point. The combo also isn't available to Canadians, so it doesn't matter.


Listen mad, I may just be some forum troll, but the future is all about having a kajigawatt PSU.
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February 26, 2010 6:26:22 PM

Not really. New tech is getting more energy efficient, so it's actually trending towards never needing that much power. The new 5xxx series of cards run so much more efficiently than the older 4xxx series cards that you can run at least 3 full cards off 1 kW. In fact, 1 kW can power THREE of the biggest card out there (HD 5970). That's a total of SIX GPUs. That's completely unnecessary unless you're building a box that allows six people to game using the same machine.
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February 26, 2010 6:40:10 PM

What if you wanted to quadfire 4870s or 4890s? Then you need a 100KW PSU.
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February 26, 2010 6:43:05 PM

Why would you want to? Instead of buying 4 of either, buy 1 5970 and have better performance.

Crossfiring more than one card does almost nothing for performance. The increases are so small it's not worth the extra moeny spent on additional cards. That's also not considering that many games don't take well to Crossfired cards, so you'd be stuck playing many games as if you only had one of the them.
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February 26, 2010 7:29:28 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Why would you want to? Instead of buying 4 of either, buy 1 5970 and have better performance.

Crossfiring more than one card does almost nothing for performance. The increases are so small it's not worth the extra moeny spent on additional cards. That's also not considering that many games don't take well to Crossfired cards, so you'd be stuck playing many games as if you only had one of the them.



I couldn't agree more. This may change if Northern Islands has sideport (or the evolution thereof) and/or Fermi implements new SLI technology. Still, unless you are gaming at 1920x1200 or more, the benefit from having 2 top end cards in crossfire is excessive (E.G. having a 5970 OR having 2x 5870).

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February 26, 2010 10:25:57 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Why would you want to? Instead of buying 4 of either, buy 1 5970 and have better performance.

Crossfiring more than one card does almost nothing for performance. The increases are so small it's not worth the extra moeny spent on additional cards. That's also not considering that many games don't take well to Crossfired cards, so you'd be stuck playing many games as if you only had one of the them.


Doesn't a 4 way xfire beat a 5970? At least in synthetics or games that utilize all the cards? I mean, 2 4870s beats a 5870, so i would think 4 4890s would beat a 5970.
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February 26, 2010 10:45:51 PM

Like MadAdmiral said, the scaling when using more than two cards sucks. A quadfire setup hardly ever makes sense since you can get better performance with two high-end cards.
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February 26, 2010 11:28:10 PM

Dude, taht card is crap. Preforms like a Radeon 4870/4890, at only 80$/40$ more!
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February 26, 2010 11:32:53 PM

Oh ! Finally, someone who has benchmarked one !

Just kidding ... I am REALLY hoping there is a better 3x1080p120 editing solution !

= lemme know =
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February 26, 2010 11:34:13 PM



Even at 60Hz refresh, that is.

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February 26, 2010 11:38:23 PM

Dude, the 5830 is crap.you're better of with a 4890 for 40$ less, or a 5850 for 60$ more. Either option is faster.
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February 26, 2010 11:44:27 PM

Who said anything about the 5830 in this thread? Are you off your medications again Builderbobftw?
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February 26, 2010 11:46:56 PM

You must have misread some posts ... NO-BODY on this thread has said one good word about the 5830 ... NO-BODY. This is just ATi trying to get some money out of their trash dumpster.

Who wants a chip that was too flakey (in uncertain ways) to qualify for the two slots above it.

Dude! They aren't crap ... they are GARBAGE! (quite literally). If you gave me one, I wouldn't put it in my box ... I wouldn't even try to sell it to some poor fool on eBay ... I DO have a conscience, ya know.

= $0,000.02 USD =

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February 26, 2010 11:49:34 PM

Meh, if they were realsed for 150$, I would buy one. 240$ is 50$ more than anyone should pay for it. You posted a link of the 5830 and said "Thank you Santa" , so Shortstuff can try reading before he flaps his jaws.
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February 26, 2010 11:58:09 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
Yup, I can see how you got 5830 out of 5870E6.


It's a linmk to a 5830 rewiew. So read before you talk, again.
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February 26, 2010 11:59:29 PM

I'm well aware of what review he linked to. He was "thanking Santa" for the 5870E6 mentioned in the article, though.
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