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Clueless as to what's decent these days, $900 i7

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March 5, 2010 9:13:38 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP (March 5th or 6th) BUDGET RANGE: 900~1000

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming - Bad Company 2, Dawn of War 2, Source And Unreal 3 engine games; Word Processing (college); watching HULU; LAN file transfers

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Mouse, Keyboard, Speakers, Monitor, Harddrive. I picked up a Cooler Master HAF 922, room shouldn't be an issue.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: America (Alaska)

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel for the CPU, either a EVGA/XFX card, or the equivalent for ATI series. I'm leaning towards ATI's GPUs for this build as the case has red lights and the benchmarks looked better.

OVERCLOCKING: Very Minor if I can squeeze juice out of the GPU, OCing seems too complicated :(  SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe in the future

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm looking to play the games above at max resolution at steady FPS + great graphics. I usually don't play with AA/AF, and I don't care about what I get in Crysis. If I have to tone down the resolution, so be it. I've been playing on a Quad-core system with a GT 220, runs the games above at low/medium settings. Bad Company 2 still lags graphically, so that's the main thing I want to run on high.

My last build was a Duo Core + 9800gt back in early 2008, so I don't know what's better than that these days. I stopped by my local PC store and they wanted to sell me a custom build (i7, 4gigs DDR3, P55 board?, GTS 250, 600w PSU, and case) for 1,489 bucks. Instead, I went to Newegg and checked some benchmark sites and got the following build (with the help of my online friend).

As I don't know anything about the i7 or AMD's answer to it, nor anything about the current 200 series cards from Nvidia, I chose the following based on benchmarks and Newegg reviews. I'm looking for a compatible and non-bottlenecking build, something I can upgrade here and there in the future that can also run current (2009 and 2010) games at non-crazy resolutions, and is superior to my old 9800/220 GPU. Thanks in advance. :wahoo: 

Current Build:

Case:COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail (Can't swap this out)
CPU:Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
MOBO:ASUS P6T SE LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
PSU:OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP 700W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC ... - Retail
RAM:CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M2A1600C9 - Retail
GPU:SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
HDD: 500gb WD SATA - left overs
Case Fans: 1 120mm, 1 200mm, both red
Extra: G5 Mouse, G11 Keyboard, 2.1 Speakers, 21' HP LCD - left overs from old PC

Total: 892.93 (with $20 GPU warranty)
Total w/ Alaskan shipping: 985.40


Thoughts on what I could change/improve, or is this fine?
March 5, 2010 9:21:56 PM

For 900 bucks you will be better off going AMD. Wish I had time to post a build but have to take off and take family to dinner. I am sure someone will post one for you.

First question will be do you plan on Upgrading yourmonitor to a 19XX+ resolution. That will determine what Graphics card is suggested for you.

GL and I am sure that someone will have something for you shortly.
March 5, 2010 9:27:03 PM

While I do have another 23' LCD screen I use for my PS3, I don't plan on using it for the PC.
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March 5, 2010 9:41:01 PM

Updated version of 6T
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'd get a Corsair TX650 or Antec EA-650 over the OCZ .... If you are set on OCZ, look for the Z series.

TX650 $79 after $10 MIR http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
EA-650 $75 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - You'll want 3 x 2GB on the memory in a triple channel 1366 board. Sticking w/ the DDR3-1600 category you listed....

CAS 7 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

CAS 8 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

CAS 9 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
March 5, 2010 10:13:57 PM

The CAS #'s make a huge difference? I'm not big on setting the timers and all that from the BIOS. Am I required to get 6 gb, or will the 4gb I have on the list under perform?

Switched out the for the PSU for the Corsair. I did have the Deluxe Mobo in the cart, but the price was just a tad too high. I can deal with it though.
March 5, 2010 11:39:27 PM

Got some OCZ CAS 8 sticks, added the Deluxe and the Corsair PSU. Graphics wise, will the 4770 do what I'm looking for?
March 6, 2010 12:00:12 AM

Keerosene said:
The CAS #'s make a huge difference? I'm not big on setting the timers and all that from the BIOS. Am I required to get 6 gb, or will the 4gb I have on the list under perform?

Switched out the for the PSU for the Corsair. I did have the Deluxe Mobo in the cart, but the price was just a tad too high. I can deal with it though.



Triple channel, you'll need three sticks...
March 6, 2010 12:20:10 AM

Gotcha. Used to just throwing some sticks in there and calling it a day. xD
March 6, 2010 12:23:40 AM

Keerosene said:
Gotcha. Used to just throwing some sticks in there and calling it a day. xD



Lol. I don't really know what triple channel means, but I do know that you'll need three memory sticks (3X1 , 3X2, 6X1 etc...) for it to work. Just like AMD is double channel (2x2, 4x1 ....).

Quick question, why don't you go with AMD? I know that you can buy the i7-920 for 200 bucks but that doesn't change the fact that everything else is more expensive: MB, triple channel memory (whereas 2 are sufficient with amd)? just a thought.
March 6, 2010 12:27:14 AM

you don;t have to have that number, but the ram operates more efficently in tri-channel mode. so using two sticks will lose some performance.

on that buidget, id say go AMD. you can save some money to put toward the GPU and have a much better system overall.
March 6, 2010 12:29:50 AM

Okay then, what kind of mother board and CPU should I be looking for if I went AMD? Only AMD I used was a Sempron. :/  And if I upped the GPU some, what would be a better choice?
March 6, 2010 12:30:00 AM

welshmousepk said:
you don;t have to have that number, but the ram operates more efficently in tri-channel mode. so using two sticks will lose some performance.

on that buidget, id say go AMD. you can save some money to put toward the GPU and have a much better system overall.


Thanks for clarifying the tri-channel thingy for him.

+1 for AMD
March 6, 2010 12:44:43 AM

Keerosene said:
Okay then, what kind of mother board and CPU should I be looking for if I went AMD? Only AMD I used was a Sempron. :/  And if I upped the GPU some, what would be a better choice?



Here goes:

Gigabyte 790FXTA-UD5 (over the top but definitely a nice MB) 184.99USD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE 160.99USD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G-skill ripjaws 1600 2X2GB 104.99USD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Sapphire HD5770 174.99USD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Corsair 650W 89.99USD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

715.95USD for a power house :)  I would go for the HD5850 instead of the 5770 though, if your budget allows it. As for the MB, I went for Gigabyte because that's what I have and I am really happy with it. I read great thing about ASUS too, especially the crosshair III.
March 6, 2010 12:50:30 AM
March 6, 2010 1:05:33 AM

Well the 955 is the 965, just the 965 comes slightly OC'ed. Both will perform equally and for the extra price it isnt really worth it to get the 965. Especially considering you can go into bios and up the multiplier by 1 and get the same clock. Also the 5850 will give you a fair amount more performance then the 5770. GPU for gaming is the most important thing.
March 6, 2010 1:06:56 AM

Keerosene said:
@yannickhk Wow, even better. Was thinking of going this route: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.345260

Any reason on not getting the 965 for 40 bucks more? Or should I stay with the 955 and get the 5850?

MUCH cheaper, happy about that part for sure. :) 

@truhls

Thanks also.


Well the 955 is basically the same chip as the 965. You'll just need to overclock slightly (it is very easy, I was a complete n00b and managed to do it ...). You pay 40 bucks for a factory overclock for the 965. Personally I would go for the 955 and the HD5850. You'll still be in budget.

The MB that truhls suggested is good also. The main difference is that the PCI lines are not both 16x (16x and 8x). So if you don't plan to upgrade to crossfire down the line, it would be enough. That's for you to decide. But frankly, I would spend the extra 50USD on the MB and get the highest end possible.

I'm glad you like it. It is basically the same build as mine. You can check it out here

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/279805-31-build-pictu...

Wow, I just checked the combo out. Only 20 bucks more, I'd say go for it. Besides, COD-MW2 is really a very nice game. And you'll get a free DIRT2 coupon with the sapphire HD5850 ... nice
March 6, 2010 1:09:13 AM

I eould also suggest spending the extra to get yannicks board. Just leaves you with more options down the road. But i really recommend my ram, 7 CAS compared to 9.
March 6, 2010 1:12:20 AM

Truhls said:
I eould also suggest spending the extra to get yannicks board. Just leaves you with more options down the road. But i really recommend my ram, 7 CAS compared to 9.


+1. I missed that part.

So you end up with this:

CPU + MB combo http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.345260 394.98USD
RAM G-Skill ripjaws http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product 114USD
Corsair 650W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817139005 89.99USD
Sapphire HD5850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 379.99USD
Corsair 650W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817139005 89.99USD

Total of 1068.95USD. It is a bit over budget but it would really be a great rig. You can always change the HD5850 and stay with the HD5770 and crossfire two of the latter down the line, and forget the combo and go with the 955 to save a few bucks.
March 6, 2010 1:33:22 AM

So looking at the Gigabyte 790FX, Phenom 2 955, XFX 5850, Corsair 650w, truhls' G.Skill 4 gig DDR3, and some case fans / static wrist strap for a total of 892.42, with shipping comes out to be $975.62.

I can skip the combo, I beat MW2 on the PS3 and like you guys said, I can just OC the 955 later. I'll look into Crossfire in the near future, especially with all the mobo's PCI-E slots.

Sounds like a much much much better deal. Reviews for the CPU/GPU/MOBO on Youtube is pretty great too. :D 

I never had a real ATI/AMD system, but I'll give it my best shot. Thanks guys. ^___^)_b
March 6, 2010 2:08:11 AM

I would uggest getting a regular 5850 and not the tx=oxic edition. it is a huge price premium for not much gain. Especially considering at the 400 dollar range you can get the 5870.

NVM looks like you did that already ;) 
March 6, 2010 2:08:56 AM

yannickhk said:
Here goes:

Gigabyte 790FXTA-UD5 (over the top but definitely a nice MB) 184.99USD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE 160.99USD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G-skill ripjaws 1600 2X2GB 104.99USD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Sapphire HD5770 174.99USD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Corsair 650W 89.99USD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

715.95USD for a power house :)  I would go for the HD5850 instead of the 5770 though, if your budget allows it. As for the MB, I went for Gigabyte because that's what I have and I am really happy with it. I read great thing about ASUS too, especially the crosshair III.


this build is absolutely spot on. +1 for that.
March 6, 2010 3:12:40 AM

Truhls said:
I would uggest getting a regular 5850 and not the tx=oxic edition. it is a huge price premium for not much gain. Especially considering at the 400 dollar range you can get the 5870.

NVM looks like you did that already ;) 


+1

I chose too fast again lol
March 6, 2010 3:27:11 AM

Should arrive Tuesday, I'll update if I have any problems.
March 6, 2010 3:47:23 AM

Keerosene said:
Should arrive Tuesday, I'll update if I have any problems.



Also, you might to consider upgrading your HDD. THe samsung spinpoint F3 is the best available right now at a very decent price.

Good luck with your build, let us know how it works out.
!