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$1500 - $2000 i7 Performance build... suggestions?

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March 9, 2010 1:38:16 PM

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Just want to make sure I'm doing this right, I haven't built a computer since early 2000s.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: this week
BUDGET RANGE: $1500 - $2000, the lower the better
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: firefox, streaming video, torrents, itunes, MATLAB, minimal video encoding, minimal gaming (starcraft
2, diablo 3, gamecube emulation), SolidWorks and other CAD programs
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com
PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel i7
OVERCLOCKING: Absolutely
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Absolutely not
MONITOR RESOLUTION: As large as possible
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would REALLY like to lower the price of my MOBO but still retain the USB 3.0 ability.


PARTS:

HDD: OCZ Vertex Turbo OCZSSD2-1VTXT120G 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227470
$390

CPU: Intel Core i7-930 2.8GHz LGA 1366 Quad-Core Desktop Processor Model BX80601930
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115225
* I plan on overclocking this
$310

CPU COOLING: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065
$35

MEMORY: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8D
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145224
$230

MOBO: ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131614
$310

VIDEO: ASUS EAH5670/DI/1GD5 Radeon HD 5670 (Redwood) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121362
$110

MONITOR: ASUS VE246H Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236082
$230

CASE: COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119068
$50

POWER: Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.2 Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371016
$65

DVD DRIVE: LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106335
$32

MEM CARD READER: SUPER TALENT INTAIN1MCR All-in-one
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820609298
$10

WIFI: ASUS PCE-N13 PCI Express Wireless Adapter - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833320048
$40

TOTAL: ~$1790

More about : 1500 2000 performance build suggestions

March 9, 2010 1:51:06 PM

Here are a couple of options to bring the price down a little and maybe make the mobo more affordable.

Corsair Nova 128 GB SSD - $320 w/ free shipping. Approximately the same read/write speeds, though the OCZ warranty is better

Corsair memory tends to be overpriced (and yes, I know I just recommended a Corsair SSD), especially the Dominator series. This G.Skill 6 GB CAS 7 1600 MHz 6 GB kit has lower CAS latency and is only $186. Alternatively, you could spend a little more and get this Mushkin Redline 1600 MHz CAS 6 6 GB kit for $230 after MIR. Both of these kits have faster timings and should perform better than the Dominators.

An 80+ certified power supply is generally recommended as well. This OCZ ModXStream 500 W 80+ Active PFC PSU is $65 - $25 MIR = $40 + $6 shipping.

In general though, the build looks pretty good.
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March 9, 2010 1:52:25 PM

Well looking at your uses, If this computer is going to torrents, streaming video and other activities like that a 120GB solid state will not hold you over.

You are better off going with a smaller SSD drive around 64gb just for OS and programs

Crucial CT64M225 2.5" 64GB SATA II

Then use a HDD for you data storage, because the activities you are talking about will eat up a lot of hard drive space so a 2tb is should do you good.

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3EG HD203WI 2TB 5400 RPM 32MB Cache

Other thought upgrade to a ATI HD 5770.
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March 9, 2010 1:58:50 PM

You're not really getting a whole lot for that. Here is what I would build:

CPU: i7-930 $295
Mobo: Asus P6X58D Premium $310
RAM: G.Skill Pi Series 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $180
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $90
SSD: Corsair Reactor 128 GB $300
Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion and Earthwatts 650W $130
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $25
HSF: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $35
GPU: HD 5770 $160 after rebate

Total: $1,525. Leaving room for the monitor and extras.

The 5670 will not be gaming. Period. It's a card meant to provide multiple screens that don't require a lot of graphics power. You need at least the 5770 (preferably the 5850+) for gaming. You may also want to look into nVidia if you do a lot of CAD.
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March 9, 2010 2:06:07 PM

hopkiller said:
Well looking at your uses, If this computer is going to torrents, streaming video and other activities like that a 120GB solid state will not hold you over.

You are better off going with a smaller SSD drive around 64gb just for OS and programs

Crucial CT64M225 2.5" 64GB SATA II

Then use a HDD for you data storage, because the activities you are talking about will eat up a lot of hard drive space so a 2tb is should do you good.

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3EG HD203WI 2TB 5400 RPM 32MB Cache

Other thought upgrade to a ATI HD 5770.


Agreed with the thoughts on the harddrive. You should have a boot drive that is at least 60-64 gigs (keep in mind 20% of the SSD should be left empty for performance reasons so factor that in, too) and keep your movies, music, etc. on a different drive.

Also, please for the love of all that is holy- DO NOT buy anything less than the 5850 for this build. You are severely bottlenecking your system by having such a powerful processor, SSD, fast RAM and then a lower-end mainstream graphics card. If you plan on playing any game that is in production (you mentioned SC2), or plan on getting into more powerful games like GTA IV or Crysis/Crysis 2 (when it comes out), get AT LEAST the 5850. You will get buyer's remorse very quickly if you spend so much money on a machine only to purchase the 5670 only to find out it performs like a 4730 or so.
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March 9, 2010 2:10:50 PM

coldsleep said:
Here are a couple of options to bring the price down a little and maybe make the mobo more affordable.

Corsair Nova 128 GB SSD - $320 w/ free shipping. Approximately the same read/write speeds, though the OCZ warranty is better

Corsair memory tends to be overpriced (and yes, I know I just recommended a Corsair SSD), especially the Dominator series. This G.Skill 6 GB CAS 7 1600 MHz 6 GB kit has lower CAS latency and is only $186. Alternatively, you could spend a little more and get this Mushkin Redline 1600 MHz CAS 6 6 GB kit for $230 after MIR. Both of these kits have faster timings and should perform better than the Dominators.

An 80+ certified power supply is generally recommended as well. This OCZ ModXStream 500 W 80+ Active PFC PSU is $65 - $25 MIR = $40 + $6 shipping.

In general though, the build looks pretty good.



Thanks, I'll definitely go with some different memory and that PSU looks much better than what I have.

As for the hard drive, I forgot to mention that I have a 1.5TB external which I will use for music/video/whatever. I plan on using hte SSD purely for installations and Win7.
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March 9, 2010 2:12:47 PM

hopkiller said:
Well looking at your uses, If this computer is going to torrents, streaming video and other activities like that a 120GB solid state will not hold you over.

You are better off going with a smaller SSD drive around 64gb just for OS and programs

Crucial CT64M225 2.5" 64GB SATA II

Then use a HDD for you data storage, because the activities you are talking about will eat up a lot of hard drive space so a 2tb is should do you good.

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3EG HD203WI 2TB 5400 RPM 32MB Cache

Other thought upgrade to a ATI HD 5770.


I have an external 1.5TB for all my good stuff, forgot to mention that. I really do not see the need for the card. I do not game and when I do I usually find 30 fps to be good (yes i know this sounds like blasphemy ;)  )!
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March 9, 2010 2:13:34 PM

BTW this PSU is a Steal right now.


Antec TP 750 $69 bucks after MIR and promo

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March 9, 2010 2:18:09 PM

MadAdmiral said:
You're not really getting a whole lot for that. Here is what I would build:

CPU: i7-930 $295
Mobo: Asus P6X58D Premium $310
RAM: G.Skill Pi Series 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $180
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $90
SSD: Corsair Reactor 128 GB $300
Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion and Earthwatts 650W $130
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $25
HSF: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $35
GPU: HD 5770 $160 after rebate

Total: $1,525. Leaving room for the monitor and extras.

The 5670 will not be gaming. Period. It's a card meant to provide multiple screens that don't require a lot of graphics power. You need at least the 5770 (preferably the 5850+) for gaming. You may also want to look into nVidia if you do a lot of CAD.



I do like that SSD, case and PSU better than what I have listed. Thanks! I see no need for the 5770 though. I really do not care about high performance gaming. I have an xbox for that. If i can run SC2 at 30fps ill be happy =)
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March 9, 2010 2:19:44 PM

Rehnquist- said:
Agreed with the thoughts on the harddrive. You should have a boot drive that is at least 60-64 gigs (keep in mind 20% of the SSD should be left empty for performance reasons so factor that in, too) and keep your movies, music, etc. on a different drive.

Also, please for the love of all that is holy- DO NOT buy anything less than the 5850 for this build. You are severely bottlenecking your system by having such a powerful processor, SSD, fast RAM and then a lower-end mainstream graphics card. If you plan on playing any game that is in production (you mentioned SC2), or plan on getting into more powerful games like GTA IV or Crysis/Crysis 2 (when it comes out), get AT LEAST the 5850. You will get buyer's remorse very quickly if you spend so much money on a machine only to purchase the 5670 only to find out it performs like a 4730 or so.


Forgot to mention that I have an external I can use for media.

I take it youre a big gamer?? I'm not. :D 
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March 9, 2010 2:21:20 PM

Just my opinion but if you have the little bit of extra money that the 5770 costs it is the wisest choice. Well, I say that compared to the 5670.

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March 9, 2010 2:23:43 PM

The 5670 will likely not be enough to power SC2 at 30 FPS on a 1900x monitor. I can't say for sure, since the specs for the game haven't been announced.

It took a lot for me even to find somewhere else to spend the money. For a $1,500 build, I'm usually close to fitting an i7-920 and an HD 5970 in the build...
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March 9, 2010 2:26:39 PM

Still curious as to why you even want to spend that much.

You could have gotten buy with an AMD build. and just upgraded to the Hex core when it came out.
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March 9, 2010 2:37:09 PM

MadAdmiral said:
The 5670 will likely not be enough to power SC2 at 30 FPS on a 1900x monitor. I can't say for sure, since the specs for the game haven't been announced.

It took a lot for me even to find somewhere else to spend the money. For a $1,500 build, I'm usually close to fitting an i7-920 and an HD 5970 in the build...


What do you think about this card?

ASUS CuCore Series EAH5770 CuCore/2DI/1GD5 Radeon HD 5770 1GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, A 512MB 5770 would outperform a 1GB 5670 in basically any situation, right?
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March 9, 2010 2:39:12 PM

osu43130 said:
Still curious as to why you even want to spend that much.

You could have gotten buy with an AMD build. and just upgraded to the Hex core when it came out.


I was originally going for the phenom ii x4 but after looking at the CPU charts I just couldnt turn down intel. the i7's were almost always performing higher. I am spending this much money because my father married somebody rich and they are buying this for me as a present for grad. school. :D 
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March 9, 2010 2:48:08 PM

That's a good 5770. I don't buy their 18% claim though...
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!