New i7 build. Need some advice please

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: End of March - Beginning of April

BUDGET RANGE: $1500 - $2000 (not a hard cap)








ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I haven't built a system since around 2005 so I am not fully up on the current hardware. I have no experience overclocking which is why I prefer not to with this build. At the moment I am not going to do crossfire but I may in the future. I'm primarily building this so I can play Bad Company 2 with most everything maxed...but I would like to be able to play future high quality games for a few years without having to upgrade.

Here is my tentative parts list after doing some research...

CPU: Intel Core i7-930 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 $294.99
Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5 LGA 1366 Intel X58 $268.99
Memory: CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM 1600 (PC3 12800) TR3X6G1600C9 $189.99
Video Card: SAPPHIRE Vapor-X Radeon HD 5870 1GB 256-bit $479.99
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s $99.99
PSU: Antec 850W Continuous Power 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC $109.31
Case: Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower $159.99
CD/DVD: Sony Optiarc Black 2MB Cache SATA DVD/CD Burner $24.99
OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Total: ~$1628.24

My main concerns/questions:
- I spent forever trying to decide on the motherboard and after reading reviews and looking at specifications I think I'm going to go with the GA-EX58-UD5. Any advice or suggestions with this choice and how it relates to my CPU and Memory choices would be appreciated.

- I was considering going with 12GB of RAM (2 kits of 6GB) but I've read that there can be issues with getting it to work and detect all sticks properly. Is it even worth it or should 6GB be sufficient? I've never messed with RAM timings or anything like that so I'd rather avoid having to do that.

- Originally planning on one 5870 but I know that the new Nvidia 400 series are coming out March 26th and if this drives ATI to lower their prices or increase the availability of the 5970 I was thinking of going with two 5870s, or preferably one 5970. Any suggestions?

- Any recommendations for quality gaming monitors LCD 22" to 24" widescreen.

Any feedback is appreciated!
8 answers Last reply
More about build advice please
  1. I would go with this ram, lower CL

    Some monitors

    HDD Faster and cheaper

    MOBO with USB 3.0

    The 5970 is like two HD 5870 in 1 GPU it would be better IMO to go with a single faster GPU then two in xfire ( because not all games scale the same in xfire and you wont get 100% more performance with 2
  2. The build looks solid.. 3DS Max being the least concern makes 6GB ram better to go with WIN 7 64 bit compared to 12GB.. Its just a few days more before we see the fermi cards available which in most probability will cause a reduction in the current ATI cards pricing.. But in case you've shortage of patience, the buid you've set up looks good..
  3. Probably going to go with that ASUS VW246H Glossy Black 24" monitor, looks great.

    I had been thinking about that ASUS P6X58D mobo for awhile but wasn't sure if I needed all its features...but then again I don't need 8 USB 2.0 ports that the Gigabyte board offered, and I guess having some 3.0 ports would be good future-proofing. So I may go with the asus board now.

    The ram you suggested looks good, gunna go with that probably as well. The only thing I'm waiting on is the possible price drop and availability of the 5970...or may just go with the 5870.

    I saw your answer to altamimi93's question and that system is essentially the same as this one with your mobo and ram suggestions lol.

    Thanks for the advice.
  4. CPU: Solid Choice

    Mobo: ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0

    Memory: $189 is a lot for CAS 9 ....should be able to get CAS 7 for that price

    HDD: Check out the performance charts and pick whatever 500 GB per platter drive performs best under your usage patterns. The 2 TB WD Black and XT from Seagate are good choice but at smaller capacities, you are limited to the Seagate 7200.12 or the Spinpoint F3. The 7200.12 excels in gaming, multimedia and pictures whereas the F3 wins at music and movie maker. See the comparisons here (copy past link in manually, link won't work in forum):


    PSU / Case : Cheaper in the Combo $244
  5. Jack - Shortstuff posted a link the other day indicating that WD does finally have a 500 GB platter performance drive out. The Caviar Black WD1002FAEX. Of course, it's about $20-30 more than the Samsung and Seagate drives, so it's probably only for WD loyalists, but it's an option.
  6. So after going over the recommendations and doin little more research I think I'm gunna go with this:

    CPU: Intel Core i7-930 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 $294.99
    Mobo: ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 $309.99 Recommended by niklas_13 and others
    Memory: G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) $179.99 Recommended by niklas_13
    Video Card: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5970 (Hemlock) $699.99 Hopefully price goes down by end of month and is actually more widely available.
    HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache $89.99 May be slightly slower than the Seagate Barracuda 7200.12, but vastly better reviews on newegg...
    PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W 80 Plus $128.99
    Case: COOLER MASTER Storm Sniper $129.99 Cheaper and a mid tower, fits 5970 better than Antec 1200..
    CD/DVD: Sony Optiarc Black 2MB Cache SATA DVD/CD Burner $24.99
    OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit $0 Probably get this for free from work..

    Monitor: ASUS VW246H Glossy Black 24" 2ms HDMI Widescreen LCD $229.99 Recommended by niklas_13 and others.
    Keyboard: Saitek Eclipse Blue Backlit $49.99 Got an older one, its decent.
    Mouse: RAZER ABYSSUS Black $44.99 Got a Razor Diamondback already...should be as good.

    Total before shipping as of now is $2183.89 ..should be a decent rig. Hopefully 5970 goes down at the end of the month.

    Thanks for the advice.
  7. ^ TOO PRICEY! For the Monitor I'd go with a 32" Westinghouse LCD TV. Its great! I paid $279 on Black Friday and now its like $349.99. Instead of the 5970 wait a while and get a GTX 470.
  8. A 32" wouldn't fit my setup, and is probably bigger than I'd want anyway. I'm hesitant to get a card as soon as it comes out, would rather wait until the kinks are all worked out. And the release of the fermi cards may drive the price down a little on the 5970.
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