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New Build #3 <$700

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February 28, 2010 9:35:14 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week?

BUDGET RANGE: (e.g.: 600-800) $700 After rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Moderate Gaming/Working

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Speakers, Mouse, Keyboard, OS, Applications

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg I am a US resident

PARTS PREFERENCES: by brand or type: Intel i5 750; Nvidia Gpu

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe if I feel like I can without killing the product
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Probably not

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Depends on the monitor I'm buying

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

Gaming
-----------
I am looking towards an Intel i5 750 build. I do plan on playing games but only moderately.
Games like Modern Warfare 2, Battlefield Bad Company 2, and Team Fortress 2. As you can tell these games do not require that much power from the GPU to be played smoothly. So a very high end video card is not needed.

Working
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Usual Microsoft Office, Photoshop, mild video editing, web browsing, lots of programming

My Budget is ≤ $700 after rebates.

Here's what I have compiled so far:

CPU: Intel i5 750
MOBO: ASUS P7P55D PRO Motherboard

--Combo: $345

RAM: OCZ Gold 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 - $99 > -$10 rebate > $89
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB Bare Drive - $54.99

PSU:o CZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC
DVD:LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM

--Combo: $76.98 > -$25 rebate > $52

GPU: EVGA 9800GT alright?
CASE: Don't know, the cheap ones have like $20 or some crazy number shipping fee
Monitor: Not sure, I've lived off a 15" CRT and a 15.4" LCD for almost 3-4 years so 19" should suffice.

More about : build 700

Best solution

March 1, 2010 12:45:44 AM

GPU is not alright. Anything from ATI's 5xxx series will be more power efficient and have the option to run 3 monitors if you choose to. And by power efficient, I mean, really, much of the time you spend on the computer is probably *not* gaming (I'm assuming), and that means idle power is more important to the average user than load power, and the 5xxx series from ATI have extremely low idle usage. (I believe the HD4890 from ATI had something like 90w idle, and that was pretty competitive with Nvidia's products, while the 5890, the behemoth king of graphic cards, only uses 27w idle). Please don't inadvertently spend more money by buying an out-dated, power inefficient card (paying utility is painful). If you STILL insist on Nvidia... well, I don't know what to tell you.

Second, I'll tell you this now. Investing in a good hard drive will save you lots of headaches later... hard drives tend to form the biggest bottleneck in most systems... ever noticed how your CPU usage is floating at ~4%, you're not even using half your RAM, and yet your "My computer" and "explorer.exe" are dead frozen? Hey! It's probably the hard drive. Yeah, honestly, it makes no sense to pair a good CPU with a shoddy hard drive.

Third, the power supply is good, but if you can find a cheap 80 PLUS Silver certified, they'll usually pay the difference in cost of the course of a warranty period of 3-5 years.

I believe OCZ still has the highest failure rate of all RAM manufacturers. Your choice, you can always RMA it...

Cases... I don't want to spend too much text telling you the beauty and charm of cases, but I would hate to purchase a case with grotesque insides, low cooling capabilities, little to no cable management options, insecure hard drive/PCI-e holders, less than ~4 hard drive bays, no dust filters, no removal backplate for easy CPU heatsink installation/removal, etc etc...

Now let's see how we can work this within a $700 budget...

Note: WOW. All the Samsung f3 series are sold out =.=. Keep your eyes open for their 500gb (HD502HJ) ~$55 or their 1TB model (HD103SJ) ~$90 These are 500gb platter models, the more space you can fit on a single platter, the better, for the read/write head has to travel a smaller distance in order to access a point on the hard drive, and generally having a single platter provide the same amount of space means a cheaper, cooler, and faster hard drive.

XFX HD-575X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
$139.99

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


Ah, I'm already seeing a budget limitation here. Looks like you'll have to go with something like this instead:

GIGABYTE GV-R485ZL-512H Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
$99.99 + Free Shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Samsung HD502HJ 500GB SATA2 7200rpm 16MB Hard Drive
$58.99
http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=HD-HD502HJ&title=Sa...

ASUS VW193TR Black 19" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 50000 :1 (ASCR) Built-in Speakers - Retail
$119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Argh, I'm still over-budget. Someone else will have to take over from here, I've said what I've come to say...
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March 1, 2010 12:58:36 AM

I hoped that the money saved from buying a high end video card could go towards an i5 build.
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March 1, 2010 8:28:45 PM

Well, I'll pose this question to you: what do you seek to gain from having an i5-750? Like I said, the responsiveness of a system will more likely be the responsibility of your storage subsystem: Quad cores really only come in handy once you start encoding, playing high-end video games, Fold@Home, or other CPU-intensive tasks generally unrelated to the average home user.

Of course, that's just from my experience with a q9550 and a 640gb Caviar Black.

Could I know what you've been using so far as a computer, as well, and what differences you're expecting with this new build and your old computer? If you haven't used a modern sub-$100 chip before, you might not understand exactly what kind of firepower you're dealing with when you make the jump from an old Pent 4 2.4ghz to an i5.
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March 1, 2010 9:15:12 PM

if your goal is to play games like bad company 2, which hasn't even been released yet, a years-old 9800gt will not be sufficient, although on a 19" monitor you will have relatively low res so with reduced details games will run ok. but what about a year from now? if you want to be able to play the newest games then with decent frames and details, you'll need to bump that up.

if you're absolutely married to the i5, then with your budget the 9800 and its ilk are what you'll probably have to settle for, although there are build-wizards on TH forums that may be able to give you some better options...

another possibility is going for an amd build and getting either a directx 11-capable 5770 or a brute-force 4870. for gaming purposes, this will be much more effective than an i5 build with a far inferior video card. the fact is, most games rely much more heavily on gpu power, and for these games your i5 isn't really going to help you much if your gpu is outdated.
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March 1, 2010 10:52:39 PM

  1. mcloud
  2.  
  3. Well, I'll pose this question to you: what do you seek to gain from having an i5-750? Like I said, the responsiveness of a system will more likely be the responsibility of your storage subsystem: Quad cores really only come in handy once you start encoding, playing high-end video games, Fold@Home, or other CPU-intensive tasks generally unrelated to the average home user.
  4.  
  5. Of course, that's just from my experience with a q9550 and a 640gb Caviar Black.
  6.  
  7. Could I know what you've been using so far as a computer, as well, and what differences you're expecting with this new build and your old computer? If you haven't used a modern sub-$100 chip before, you might not understand exactly what kind of firepower you're dealing with when you make the jump from an old Pent 4 2.4ghz to an i5.

I've been using an Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8Ghz processor (Mobile) and an Intel GMA X3100 onboard card. I'm not sure if your definition of responsiveness is the same as mine. What I expect from an i5 is the ability to handle multitasking, 3d rendering, mild gaming. I have not used a sub $100 chip, I would love to as long as it provides the same performance. I have previously thought about settling on the AMD Phenom II X3 720 but since the release of the i3s, I have heard they are better but then I get mixed reviews like if I'm not going to use the built-in gpu on the i3, it is not worth getting.

I do game, but I don't expect like 100 frames on max. I've played Call of Duty 4/MW2 on 20-30 fps on lowest so I can handle getting 40-50fps.



  1. whatelsematters
  2.  
  3. if your goal is to play games like bad company 2, which hasn't even been released yet, a years-old 9800gt will not be sufficient, although on a 19" monitor you will have relatively low res so with reduced details games will run ok. but what about a year from now? if you want to be able to play the newest games then with decent frames and details, you'll need to bump that up.
  4.  
  5. if you're absolutely married to the i5, then with your budget the 9800 and its ilk are what you'll probably have to settle for, although there are build-wizards on TH forums that may be able to give you some better options...
  6.  
  7. another possibility is going for an amd build and getting either a directx 11-capable 5770 or a brute-force 4870. for gaming purposes, this will be much more effective than an i5 build with a far inferior video card. the fact is, most games rely much more heavily on gpu power, and for these games your i5 isn't really going to help you much if your gpu is outdated.

Bad company 2 is out (I'll give you a hint, stores actually have to prepare to sell a game beforehand). I have looked at an AM3 based system but I'm not sure if their future processors will use that socket. I would love a 5XXXs series video card, mainly because it saves power when running idle which would save a lot on an electric bill.

So here are my second ideas.

i3 + 9800GT
AMD X3 720 + 5750

Do not recommend me an Athlon X4.
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March 11, 2010 11:37:08 PM

Best answer selected by tpho2500.
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