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I have a system built but have to reduce the price some.

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March 9, 2010 2:39:21 PM

After lots of looking and help from people on these boards I have the PC I want to build. The original plan was to just buy double of everything so I could build a PC for my dad also. After telling him the price he was a bit hesitant and would like to see if I can reduce the price anywhere.

So the following is what I am buying and I am hoping for some help in getting the price down to the $700-800 range for the parts. We already have i5 750 chips which are not part of the 700-800 that is being spend. He has monitor, keyboard, mouse, and hard drive. He really just needs the guts in the tower itself.

My first thought was cutting out Windows 7 but he is interested in that so this is becoming a pain in the ass.

Finally I know you can't give exact numbers but could you also just give me your opinion and guesstimate on what the performance difference would be between what I was going to get him and a new suggestion.

Thanks.

ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GV-R585D5-1GD-B Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Writer LightScribe Support
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



March 9, 2010 2:46:15 PM

By my estimation, that's about $950 in parts. You're not cutting $150 off it without some major changes.

About the only thing I can recommend without drastic changes is to switch the RAM to G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 and the optical to Cheap SATA DVD burner. That will only save $16 though.

The case/PSU could be switch to this: Antec 300 Illusion and Earthwatts 650W. That'd save $60. You'd still be at $875ish though.

After that, you'd start getting major performance/future proofing problems. If you cut the board, you'd lose either Crossfire or USB 3/SATA III support. If you cut the GPU, you'd lose a lot of gaming performance. Those are literally the only things you could do if he's stuck on Win 7...
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March 9, 2010 2:47:50 PM

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

Antec TruePower New TP-550 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7" Power Supply -

GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2 Socket 1156/ Intel P55/ DDR3/ CrossFireX/ A&GbE/ MATX Motherboard

Intel Core i5 Processor i5-750 2.66GHz 8MB LGA1156 CPU, Retail

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBRL - Retail

MSI N250GTS-2D512-OCv2 GeForce GTS 250 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

Samsung SH-S223B/BEBE 22X SATA DVD+/-RW Internal Drive (Black), Bulk w/o Software
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March 9, 2010 2:51:45 PM

Some quick notes about those changes.

With that board, you would lose both USB 3/SATA III and Crossfire potential.

The RAM linked would only cut the price by $10 over the other Ripjaws, and you would lose some performance and a LOT of overclocking potential.

The 250 cannot be recommended. It's $150, and gets destroyed by the 5770.
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March 9, 2010 2:52:17 PM

What will your dad's computer be used for? Are you trying to leave the option of Crossfire open? If not, you could go with a considerably cheaper motherboard and PSU.

You could also save some cash by going with a cheaper case. When you take shipping into account, you could save $30 by going with the Antec 300 Illusion or $40 by going with the regular Antec 300.

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

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
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March 9, 2010 2:58:54 PM

A better one:

SAMSUNG 24x DVD Burner - Bulk SATA Model SH-S243N/ BEBE - OEM
Item #: N82E16827151193
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)

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



COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811119137
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822152181
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



SAPPHIRE 100283-2L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
Item #: N82E16814102864
Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)

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

CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ... - Retail
Item #: N82E16817139004
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH - Retail
Item #: N82E16820231276
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



ASRock P55M Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813157170
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)

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



Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819115215
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 9, 2010 3:04:49 PM

It is going to be for gaming. Sorry I didn't mention that but the crossfire can go, I don't see him ever doing it. Right now we are both gaming on PC that have AMD 3500 2.1 Ghz, 1GB or RAM, 80GB hard drives, and geforce 6 series 245MB cards.

How much of a loss would crossfire be? He has never overclocked or had a enthusiast type system before.
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March 9, 2010 3:07:59 PM

It's a big hit to the potential for upgrading. Put it this way, if you were to buy the 5770 now, you could stick one in later and the graphics power would only be bested by the 5970 (or two 5850s in CF, as they're the same at stock).

Here's the board I would recommend if you ditch Crossfire: Gigabtye GA-P55A-UD3 for $135.
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March 9, 2010 3:37:39 PM

I agree with that motherboard suggestion. That's an excellent board with a lot of options for a very good price.
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March 9, 2010 3:57:47 PM

How much would crossfiring extend the life of the PC? In 4 years can he buy the same card and get another couple of years out of it or even if he is crossfiring is he still going to have to upgrade after 4 years if he wants to have a PC that runs games with the best looking graphics?
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March 9, 2010 4:31:35 PM

If he's a high demand gamer, it would likely extend the build's life by a year to two years, depending on how fast games advance.
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March 9, 2010 4:42:35 PM

How many watts should the power supply be if you are going to crossfire at some point? Does the one I have in my first post that is 750w overkill or close to the minimum?
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March 9, 2010 4:48:46 PM

650W for either the 5770 or 5850. The 5850 typically requires some adapters, so most people just get a 750W to avoid that. The newer cards are very efficient...

750W would be overkill for one card. You could easily drop that to a 550W and be fine.
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March 9, 2010 5:31:44 PM

It isn't a giant amount of savings but this was the case I was planning on getting

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

and then this one was also suggested.

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

From what I can tell the fans are the difference is that a big deal or is there something else I might be overlooking?

Also another question about crossfiring. I am under the assumption that you need to same card to crossfire. How alike do the cards have to be? As long as they are both Radeon 5850s can one be from gigabyte and the other from evga? Do they upgrade the cards over time so there might be a 5850 ver 1 and 5850 ver 1.2 that might cause a conflict? How hard will it be 4 years down the road if my dad wants to crossfire to find a 5850 card that will be compatible?

Thanks to everyone so far for their input too.
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March 9, 2010 5:37:27 PM

Either of those are good. Don't forget what I suggested (Antec 300 Illusion and Earthwatts 650W), as that's one of the best combos on Newegg.

The difference in the HAF and 690 aren't just the fans. The HAF is a great deal larger. It's bigger than many full-tower cases out there. It's fans are also bigger, meaning it keeps everything cool with less noise. In addition, it has some nice features such as dust filters and a mesh bezel, which help keep everything cooler and cleaner. That said, both are great cases.

They do not have to be from the same brand. Technically, they don't even have to be the same model, but you would lose the extra performance of the bigger one. It shouldn't be too hard to find a card later. After all, you see plenty of 4 year old tech out there (DDR2, LGA775, AM2+, etc.).
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March 9, 2010 5:38:26 PM

Still trying to talk him out of Windows 7 is there any reason we should get it to replace XP? I was going to get the 64 bit version because we only have 32 bit XP right now but not sure what kind of difference it would make.

Hell I would still use 3.1 if my games would work with it!
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March 9, 2010 5:40:06 PM

Would the Antec 300 Illusion and Earthwatts 650W that you suggested allow for crossfire or is that a suggestion if we cut out crossfire?
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March 9, 2010 5:46:48 PM

64-bit lets you use more than 3.75 GB of RAM. Windows 7 is nice, and it certainly would be a good time to upgrade.

The 650W would be enough for Crossfire, though you might need a power adapter when you add the second if you go with the 5850.
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March 9, 2010 9:30:28 PM

Where can I look to find out if I need the power adapter. What are you looking at that is telling you what power supplies will work or not. I would like to know for future reference and just so I have a better idea of what is going on.

Thanks.
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March 9, 2010 9:50:19 PM

I shouldn't say you might. You will need one. The PSU only has 2 PCIe connectors (6 pin), and you need 4 for Crossfire. You can buy a molex to 6 pin adaptor and won't have any trouble.

There's a PSU wattage calculator in the "Guide to Choosing Parts" sticky. That's generally what I use for the size needed. After that, you make sure the units have Active PFC, and at least 80 Plus certification. Once you've checked all that, it's typically recommended that you stay with the major brands (Antec, Corsair, SeaSonic, Silverstone, PC Power & Cooling). A good resource for general reviews is JonnyGuru, but be careful about their scores, as they include a lot of subjective criteria and criteria that can change.
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March 9, 2010 9:51:18 PM

The 5850 requires two 6-pin PCI-E power connectors, so you will need four 6-pin PCI-E power connectors for Crossfire 5850 cards. You just look at the number of 6 or 8-pin PCI-E power connectors that the PSU has. For example, the EA650 has 1 x 6-Pin and 1 x 6+2-Pin power connector. You would have to use power adapters to power a second 5850 if using that PSU. On the other hand, the TP-650 PSU has 2 x 6-Pin and 2 x 6+2-Pin connectors so it could power two 5850's without adapters.
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March 9, 2010 11:58:21 PM

Here are a few ideas:
1) Try to keep a strong graphics card in the budget. It is the key element in a gaming system. I like the 5850 if you are gaming at 1920 resolution.
If you use a smaller monitor, you could go with a lesser card. Do not be seduced by the crossfire talk. If you should ever want to get a stronger graphics system in the future, just sell the old card and replace it with the next best thing.

2) A 500w psu with two 6 pin pci-e power connectors is what the AMD specs say you need for that card. And, they tend to be conservative.
http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/ati-rad...
The corsair 550VX at $69 after rebate should be sufficient even for a 5870:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3) Once you make a decision to forgo dual cards, you can look at a cheaper motherboard. Unless you need the extra slots, a micro-ATX motherboard will do. Perhaps this H55 from EVGA at $69 after rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The H55 chipset includes support for the onboard graphics if the 32nm clarkdale cpu's, which, of course is useless to you. The i7-750 will still work.

4) Do not pay extra for DDR3-1600 ram. 4gb of 1333 will do nicely, and there is minimal difference in FPS, perhaps 1%

5) If you are a student, look for an academic license for Windows-7. It will cost you much less.

6) I am a fan of Antec cases. Shop for free shipping, cases are heavy and can cost $20 to ship. I like the 300 illusion model. It includes some fans which would otherwise be optional.

7) You will need a hard drive. Get a 1tb drive if you can. The performance with the OS loaded to the fastest(outer) part is about as good as it gets.

I see this system as being good for 4-5 years with perhaps a graphics card upgrade part way through.

---good luck---
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March 10, 2010 12:35:24 AM

1.) I agree, except about the Crossfire. Crossfire typically only costs about $20 more for the board, and maybe $20 for a bigger PSU. It creates a great upgrade option that will be very cheap in the future.

2.) Agree, but considering 650W is enough for Crossfire, and the Antec Earthwatts 650W is in very good combos (making it cheaper than many 550W models), I can't recommend not having the expansion option.

3.) Completely disagree. The H55 chipset is bad for gaming. It's meant to be a very cheap integrated graphics solution when paired with the i3. None of that is very good for gaming.

4.) If you're overclocking, 1600 mhz sticks are almost required. Also, the 1600 sticks I pointed to (G.Skill Ripjaws) are only a couple bucks more expensive (if that).

5.) Agree. I believe the website is Win741.com.
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March 10, 2010 1:56:02 AM

@Mad Admiral:

1) To prepare for dual cards, you need to spend more up front for a motherboard and psu. You may also have to get a better cooling case since two graphics cards will generate lots more heat.
Dual cards do not give you twice the FPS; Depending on the game, you might do very well, or, not at all. To my mind, a single gpu is always better as long as it can do the job. Today, only at 2560 x 1600 do I see the value of a configuration better than the 5970.

When it comes time to upgrade, perhaps two years hence, there will be better and cheaper cards available. If you upgrade by adding a second card, you will have to buy an older technology. It might make sense if you are prepared to buy the upgrade in the used market.

2) 650W is a good size, but most will come with two 6/8 pin pci-e connectors when upgrading to dual cards will require 4. Usually a 750W psu will give you the requisite 4 connectors. Antec is a good psu, along with Seasonic, PC P&C, and Corsair to name my top 4. A graphics card will often come with adapters, but I think that is an accomodation for a older psu with NO 6 pin connectors. If the psu was capable of driving 4 connectors it would already have them.

3) The H55 is meant to support integrated graphics. But it will run a non clarkdale cpu just as well as a P55 at stock speeds. True, the motherboards will probably not have all the overclocking capabilities. If overclocking is a big issue here, one should also budget for a good oem cpu cooler and faster ram. It will not be necessary, though for good gaming with a i5-750. By the time you upgrade the ram, the mobo, and the cooler, you are well on the way to paying for a faster cpu in the first place. Of course, that is a moot point here, since the OP already has the cpu chips. A H55 motherboard is perhaps $20 cheaper than a micro-atx P55. Not a big deal, but a possible place for savings.
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March 10, 2010 2:44:02 AM

1.) Yes, but it's not much, and most of the high quality boards are Crossfire boards. You don't really have to get a special case, as most quality cases are going to be fine for Crossfire.

The way I see the obsolescence argument against Crossfire is that the only thing that would really cause GPUs to be obsolete at this point is a new DirectX version. After all, all current cards support multiple monitors, bitstreaming, and other features.

So what's left is to guess when DX 12 will come out. DX 11 is brand new right now. It will take a good year to two years to come into the mainstream. It will likely stay mainstream for at least a year after that. So in three to four years, DX 12 will be announced. It will take another year or two for that to become mainstream, leading to a total of four to five years for the life of the new DX 11 cards. At that point, it will be time for an entirely new build.

The only card I can truly say wouldn't need the upgrade potential from Crossfire is the 5970, but that's essentially already Crossfired. Every other card will likely last at most three or four years. To get that last year or two bridging the gap to the new build, there needs to be an option that doesn't include dropping a good $300+ on a decent GPU.

2.) Most quality 650W will be able to power dual 5850s. In fact, the requirement from ATI says 600W, so a 650W will definitely be enough. Just having the connectors (or not) is no indication of the actual ability to power the cards.
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March 10, 2010 3:37:57 AM

I expect that in a few years, graphics chips will transition from 40nm to 32nm, and possibly 22nm. If so, you can expect their manufacturing cost to drop
and performance increase to the point where it may not be economical to get anything else. Who knows?

I guess I am not too worried about DX11 or DX.. Game developers want their games to run on lesser hardware so they can sell more copies.

I think the OP is good to go for a while.

If someone introduces a 5120 x 3200 60" monitor, all bets are off.


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March 10, 2010 4:05:00 AM

have you thought about buying a OEM license of windows 7?
I would at least go premium or up and definitly go 64bit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I personally would actually recommend getting the professional
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

One main reason to upgrade to windows 7 is that microsoft is trying to phase out support for XP. Plus its actually a nicer OS in many ways. Oh and for gods sake don't go VISTA. :) 
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March 10, 2010 5:03:47 PM

Another way to save some money is if you have an older computer with some decent components strip it from them and use it in the new build like DVD drives and such or maybe a hard drive. This could save you some money. Also if not going to go for multiple Graphics card you might want to go with http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
power supply. 550Watts should still be adequate for your needs.
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March 18, 2010 6:40:10 PM

Back from work. I appreciate the other info that has been provided. I think I only have one more question and that is power supplies and cases.

I believe it was MamAdmiral who suggested this combo

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

In the thread about recommended builds it is suggested you get

COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Earlier in the thread it was said that the latter two parts have mesh bezel and run quieter. There is $55 difference between the the two options and was going to get the combo deal to lower cost but is the mesh bezel and other improvments worth the $55?

I mean the people making these suggestions on builds aren't morons so am I overlooking something of better quality for the $55, why wouldn't the just say get the combo to begin with? If the worst thing I have to do is buy an adapter if I ever want to crossfire with the combo that doesn't seem like a bad trade off.

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March 18, 2010 8:21:09 PM

Those features alone aren't worth the $55. The $55 additional cost IS worth the bigger case and larger PSU. However, if you're getting a 5850, you don't need such a large case or PSU.

That said, if you have an extra $55 laying around, and want something that's going to be a lot better for expansion, go ahead and get the HAF and 750W PSU.
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March 18, 2010 8:45:37 PM

What about if I/we crossfire at some point will it be important to get the bigger case?
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March 18, 2010 10:45:45 PM

Not really. As long as the card fits length wise, you should be fine for Crossfiring. The 300 Illusion has plenty of fans to keep everything cool.
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