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New Gaming System, this week, $1500 AR

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Last response: in Systems
March 8, 2010 3:12:52 PM

BUDGET RANGE: $1500 After Rebates
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, Hard Drive, DVD Rom, Keyboard, Mouse, OS.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, but all others are welcome also.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Do not include 2x Videocards in the $1500 budget, buying a single card for now, and adding an additional one at a later date when games require a bit more power.

After about 10 hours of researching my projected layout of parts would be along the lines of

I do not require: Monitor, Hard Drive, DVD Rom, Keyboard, Mouse.


: EVGA 121-BL-E756-TR LGA 1366 Intel X58 Micro ATX SLI Micro Intel Motherboard - Retail

Video: Radeon 5850

CPU*: Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail

RAM: A-DATA Plus Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model AX3U1600PB2G8-3P - Retail

PS: not sure what exactly i require, id assume a 700-800w, not sure what the +12V Rails mean.

HS/Fan: have not found a nice one for OCing a i7-920

Case: have yet to decide, looking at Antec P180 Mini, or a simple Antec 300.

*Note: I have access to a Microcenter for my processor. May chose to go with an i7 930
i7 920 $199.99
i7 930 $229.99

What would you guys do for a $1500 System?

More about : gaming system week 1500

March 8, 2010 4:57:47 PM

The voltage on that A-Data set of RAM is a bit iffy. There is a 1.65V upper limit on most modern Intel systems. For the same price I would get this: CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600CMX6GX3M3A1600C9 (9-9-9-24) 1.65V $169
If the Asus card comes back into stock then get that, otherwise this one is a bit cheaper, with free shipping. XFX HD-585A-ZNDC Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) XXX Edition 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 $325 It also comes in combos with a few RAM sets, you can have a look to see if getting any of those would be better value than buying them separately.
A good heatsink is CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Plus, don't let the low price fool you, in many comparisons it will be very competitive. Another one that I quite like is the Scythe Mugen 2, altho it's availability is limited.
I would probably go for the Antec 300, unless you have room in the budget to get something like the Coolermaster HAF 922, CM 690 II Advanced, Lancool PC-K62, Antec 902.
To crossfire two 5850s you only really need a 650W PSU, however few 650W PSUs have enough PCI-E power connectors for more than one 5850, and plenty of good quality 750W PSUs are cheaper than such 650W PSUs. You shouldn't need to spend more than $130 on a good 750W PSU.

March 8, 2010 5:14:15 PM

I'm going to come along and suggest these sticks: G.Skill Pi Series 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 for $180. They'll be faster than those Corsairs.

I'm not a fan of the "XXX" versions of XFX cards. You're paying extra for them to do something that will take you literally 3 mouse clicks to do yourself.

Second the HSF suggestions.

Other cases to consider are the Antec 300 and 300 Illusion. These are smaller, but comfortably fit the 5850. They also come in good combos with Antec Earthwatts PSUs.

Here are some good PSUs:
Corsair 750W 80+ $110
Earthwatts 750W (combo with Antec 300 Illusion for $130)
Silverstone 750W 80+ Bronze $110 after rebate
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March 8, 2010 5:42:25 PM

When I checked the XXX edition was actually cheaper than the other XFX card that was in stock, it was also the second least expensive available card.
After doing a very quick and rough tally, it looks like those components come to around $1300. I would either get a nice new, fast harddrive if you don't want to go all the way up to $1500. Or you could bump the card up to a 5870. No change of PSU required.
You could also look at getting a mobo with SATA 6Gbps/USB 3.
March 8, 2010 6:10:25 PM

Thank you for the excellent and insightful responses.

Looking at the Case/PS Combo's, The power supply good?

Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

PS: Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V version 2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply - Retail


Looks like i will switch to the following ram, although as most of the user reviews suggest i may have problems with the extra tall heat spreaders on them, may have to go with the suggested crucials?

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


Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

Although switching mobo, i assume i would need different ram?
"Memory Standard DDR3 2200/1333/1066/800"
March 8, 2010 6:32:15 PM

Yea that is a good PSU.
You would only have problems with the G.Skill RAM if you wanted to put in a massive heatsink. Potentially you could have a go at removing the heatsink on the set closest to the CPU. I think MadAd was objecting to the CAS 9 on the Corsair set I suggested, you could easily have a go and likely be very successful at setting them at lower latency.
This is also a good compromise: Kingston HyperX 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600 KHX1600C8D3K3/6GX (8-8-8-24) 1.65V $175 You could probably get these down to 7-7-7-24 easily as well.
Aslong as your RAM speed is rated below the highest number stated on the mobo support list then it's fine. Otherwise you'd just be paying for RAM speed you aren't using. The RAM will probably default to 1333mhz, and you can easily rectify that by telling it to run at the correct speed in the bios.
March 9, 2010 12:29:28 AM

I have also noticed that the Asus 5850 Card that is out of stock on Newegg is PCI-E 2.1 and the XFX Version is 2.0.. what is the difference? Wondering if i should just grab the XFX instead of waiting for the Asus.