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I5 Moderate Gaming Build

Hey everyone, this is a first-time build for me.

Uses: Moderate gaming, general web surfing, etc. , nothing crazy, no crunching.

Budget $800~$900, and will probably get everything from newegg (In the U.S.)

Don't Need: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, OS.

Overclocking: Yes, eventually.

SLI/Crossfire: Yes, I'd like the option to in the future, but do not intend to right off the bat.


I haven't decided on much so I'm gonna need a lot of input! I've read a lot of reviews, and have been back and forth especially for the MOBO.


Processor: i5-750

Mobo: I know ASUS is good, but their P55 lineup (minus the Maximus) seems very similar, so not sure which one is the best value. I've also heard good things about Gigabyte and EVGA. What do you guys think of the EVGA P55 SLI? Although this is my first build I am hoping to learn a lot in this process and in the future, so I would like to try some overclocking eventually for the experience.

GPU: From what I've read, it seems ATI is currently better than nVidia? I picked the ASUS CuCore 5770.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121363

Case: I really like the design and look of the Lancool K62, I know its not as popular as the Antecs but if there aren't any major flaws or disadvantages you guys can point out, I'd stick with the Lancool.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112239

PSU: Corsair seems to be reliable, and I think 650W should be more than enough for my build:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005

RAM: I'd like 4gb (2x2gb), not sure which one.

HDD: Also not sure, something 500gb, perhaps a Spinpoint?

Also, suggestions for a decent CPU cooler that's hopefully not ridiculously huge?

That's all I can think of now. So my biggest question is probably the MOBO. Thanks in advance for the advice!
12 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about moderate gaming build
  1. If you'd consider going AMD, you could build a better performing gaming rig with a 5830 or 5850.
    If not, here are some LGA 1156 boards to look at.
    The 4- and 5-egg mobos are all great options. When choosing a board, consider the number of PCIe 2.0 slots (and the bandwidth per), the warranty, and the specific features it boasts. The list I linked are all mobos that support USB 3.0 and SATA III, because these will become mainstream in the near future and the cost isn't noticeably different.
    In terms of overall performance and value, I would rank mobo manufacturers as: ASUS > Gigabyte > EVGA = MSI = ASRock > others > Intel.
    If you can wait about a month, GPU prices should shift a bit (favorably) following the release of Nvidia's new Fermi cards. I don't think the new cards will change the fact that ATI offers more for less atm. That ASUS 5770 is a nice card btw. ;)
    The K62 is a near-perfect case. The cons are few and minor (unless you're water-cooling): you can't fit a radiator inside it without some modding, it lacks an eSata port, the mobo tray is not removable, and it lacks an external 3.5" bay (for card readers and such). And IMO, the front bezel is a bit bland. But I'm really nit-picking.
    Corsair is arguably the best PSU manufacturer, and 650W is good for any single card setup.
    4GB RAM is standard these days, unless you have an LGA 1366 build. This is a great set of RAM with fast timings and a decent price.
    Get a Spinpoint F3 500GB if they're in stock. If not, a Seagate 7200.12 500GB will perform similarly.
    The CM Hyper 212+ is a great cooler, $30 w/ free shipping from Amazon. Not too large, but it'll allow for some decent OC'ing. I don't know why you're concerned with size though; the K62 will fit pretty much any HSF.
  2. Best answer
    MoBo - The 1156 boards from Asus retain their USb 2 and SATA III speeds after a 2nd GFX card is installed....With Gigabyte, speeds are cut in half.

    GFX - This article compared several series 5000 cards from ATI

    http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews.php?reviewid=937

    Make your pick after reading the article.

    Case / PSU - The Corsair TX is a good PSU but the ANtec EA-650 is its equivalent and is $10 cheaper even w/o the Corsair's MIR.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371015

    Might find some of these combos attractive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductCombos.aspx?Item=N82E16817371015&SubCategory=58&SortField=0&PageSize=10&page=1

    HD - 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 choices 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):

    (http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-3.5-desktop-hard-drive-charts/compare,1006.html?prod[2371]=on&prod[2770]=on)

    RAM - DDR3-1600

    Heat Sink - I use these: /Prolimatech_Megahalems_Rev_B_Intel_CPU_Heatsink_LGA_775_1156_1366_AM2_AM2_AM3_Hot_Item.html
    http://www.frozencpu.com/products/7038/thr-41/Innovation_Cooling_Diamond_7_Carat_Thermal_Compound_-_15_Grams.html?id=BZWnrfIC
    http://www.frozencpu.com/products/10026/fan-639/Scythe_Slip_Stream_120mm_x_25mm_PWM_Fan_-_SY1225SL12LM-P.html?tl=g36c365s936
    http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8418/cab-150/FrozenCPU_PMW_Y_Splitter_Cable.html

    If that's a budget breaker, look at the Xigmnatec S1283 or one of the others here:
    http://www.silentpcreview.com/Recommended_Heatsinks
    http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm#INTELHEATSINK
    http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=371&Itemid=62&limit=1&limitstart=15

    pick a TIM from the top few here:
    http://www.hwreviewlabs.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=64%3Amega-44-thermal-paste-round-up&catid=32%3Around-ups&Itemid=47&limitstart=3
    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/coolers/display/thermal-interface-roundup_10.html#sect1
    http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=138&Itemid=1&limit=1&limitstart=3
  3. Awesome, thanks for both really helpful replies. I had narrowed down to ASUS P7P55D-E Pro and GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD4P and picked the gigabyte...right before I read this reply. So I guess I'll go with the ASUS :D . I'll post my final configuration soon for some last minute advice before I buy. Thanks!
  4. Best answer selected by bahrieinn.
  5. So here's my build thus far:

    Core i5-750 + ASUS P7P55D PRO COMBO
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.350115

    Lancool K62 + OCZ StealthXStream 700W COMBO
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.348050

    Asus CuCore HD5770
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121363

    WD Black 1TB (I think I'm most comfortable with WD products)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136284

    G Skill Ripjaws (2x2gb DDR3)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231303

    Lite-ON DVD Burner
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106335

    Hyper 212+ CPU Cooler
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065

    Total + Shipping came out to $981.56, which is slightly over my intended budget but I guess not that bad; I tried my best to look at all the combo options for each of the components I wanted, and this was the best I could do. But suggestions on where I could slim down the total would be appreciated too, or if you guys think this is OK price for the build.

    I hope to buy in the next 2 weeks, and before I do so, I might try to play around with a similar AMD build to see how much I can reduce costs going AMD route.

    Thanks again!
  6. bahrieinn said:
    So here's my build thus far:

    Core i5-750 + ASUS P7P55D PRO COMBO
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.350115

    Lancool K62 + OCZ StealthXStream 700W COMBO
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.348050

    Asus CuCore HD5770
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121363

    WD Black 1TB (I think I'm most comfortable with WD products)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136284

    G Skill Ripjaws (2x2gb DDR3)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231303

    Lite-ON DVD Burner
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106335

    Hyper 212+ CPU Cooler
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065

    Total + Shipping came out to $981.56, which is slightly over my intended budget but I guess not that bad; I tried my best to look at all the combo options for each of the components I wanted, and this was the best I could do. But suggestions on where I could slim down the total would be appreciated too, or if you guys think this is OK price for the build.

    I hope to buy in the next 2 weeks, and before I do so, I might try to play around with a similar AMD build to see how much I can reduce costs going AMD route.

    Thanks again!

    Not much to shave off, really. I would get the 212+ from Amazon; they have it for $30 with free shipping (and no tax where I am :D).
    Buying WD now is like buying Nvidia now. They're falling behind, in both value and performance.
    A comparable AMD build (this is as evenly matched as you'll find) will save you ~$100. Not bad, especially considering that AM3 is expected to be around much longer than LGA 1156. You'll be able to upgrade to a hexa-core AM3 CPU in the future.
  7. blackjellognomes said:
    Not much to shave off, really. I would get the 212+ from Amazon; they have it for $30 with free shipping (and no tax where I am :D).
    Buying WD now is like buying Nvidia now. They're falling behind, in both value and performance.
    A comparable AMD build (this is as evenly matched as you'll find) will save you ~$100. Not bad, especially considering that AM3 is expected to be around much longer than LGA 1156. You'll be able to upgrade to a hexa-core AM3 CPU in the future.


    You're right, I think I actually am going to switch to AMD build.

    I'm keeping everything the same (Case, GPU, PSU, RAM) except:

    Switching out WD as you said (interesting to know that they're falling behind) and replacing with the Seagate 7200.12
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148433

    AMD Phenom II X4 955 + ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 COMBO
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.345253

    and also buying the CPU cooler from amazon as suggested :)

    These changes really bring my cost down! Went from $980 to about $860 for probably similar performance. This seems to be just the right build for me. Thanks again for the help, really appreciate it.
  8. If you really feel the need to stick with WD, you could get this Caviar Black 1 TB drive that uses the same 500 GB platter tech that the Seagate drive does. However, the WD drive is about $30 more, and this model (WD1002FAEX) is the only WD drive at 1 TB that uses the 500 GB platters
  9. Good read - Compares i3-530, i5-750, and Amd X4-965 Black at both stock and OCed. I3 build about the same as Amd x4 - 955, for performance the extra money may be worth it for -5-750
    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2010/03/03/overclocking-intel-core-i3-530/1

    Note - this articale was writen for the I3-530 and uses a board that does not support SLI/Xfire. I think for SLI/Xfire you would need to switch to a "P55" vs the "H55/57".

    A 2nd eval
    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3724&p=2

    If AMD is your final choice - you will probably be equally satisfied - Just presenting this for your enjoyment.

    Added - On HDDs. I would still opt for the WD. While the segate may be slightly faster (I dought you would see the difference), the WD's still enjoy a lead over Segate (use to be my favored choice) in tems of quality. Unless there is a big diff in preformance, I always go for the quality. When buying from Newegg; the biggy is in shipping, and Newegg is still doing a poor job on packaging HDDs - affect all brands equally.
  10. Ok, so my friend just told me about a deal micro center was having for the i7-920 @$199, which I was about to be willing to pay for the i5-750, so needless to say sounded like an amazing deal to me. But it seems I'd have to shell out a little more for the 1366 socket motherboard in addition. Do you guys think I should take advantage of this deal, and is the performance increase worth it? If this is recommended then, any MOBO suggestions? The ASRock got the Tom's Hardware Recommended buy haha, and doesn't feel like it will break the bank as much as the most of the other 1336's. What would you guys do??
  11. This will perform overall better then anything suggested so far.

    You won't see any performance in games with a I-5 over a 955. And the new 890GX motherboards will support the new hexacores so your more future proof.

    AMD at under $1k is the way to go.

  12. No, for your intended usage, I would save the 30 bucks on the proc and stay with the I5-750 - or even go with the i3-530 for $105.

    Primary difference
    I7-920 4 cores / 8 threads, Uses memory in tri-channel
    I5-750 4 Cores / 4 threads Uses DDR3 in dual channel mode
    I3-530 2Cores / 4 Threads Uses DDR3 in dual channel mode
    Of course difference in stock CPU speed.
    (1) Gaming is more dependent on GPU choice. (AMD vs Intel is not an issue)
    (2) although AMD is cheaper, the Intel is generally a better choice of CPU intensive programs.

    (3) Who cares about Hex cores (maybe in 5 years inwhich case you will need a new computer anyways). Only a few people really benifit from a quad core now, and for the next few years. Software weenies write for the masses, or for a target group.

    (4) Whitefang, Changing the proc/motherboard to a I5-750/P55-UD4P would only add about $30 (a 3% diff) and is better in the non-gaming department. Even better the I3 combo would shave off about 50 -> 60 bucks and gaming would be about the same although the AMD would be faster in the non-gaming arena
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