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Need Advice - 2000$ish PC

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March 15, 2010 8:54:11 PM

It's that time of the decade again, where I splash the cash and try to "buy a PC that'll last me 3 years from now on" (I know, I know). I'm a hardware enthusiast, but it would be blasphemous to call myself an expert, so I'd like to ask all you knowledgeable folk on TH if I'm doing the right thing with my money. Here's the system I want to buy - the purpose will be high-end gaming, running lots of resource-munching apps at a time (Flash + Illustrator + Photoshop + Dreamweaver + a couple of browsers and perhaps even some pr0n running in the back):

Processor: I7-920, 2660 MHZ ($390)
Motherboard: Gigabyte X58A-UD3R ($256)
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200 RPM ($120)
RAM: Corsair 12GB (6 x 2GB), DDR3, 1600MHz ($620)
Video: Gigabyte nVidia GeForce GTX285, 1GB GDDR3 512bit ($460)
DVDRW: LG 52x ($25)
Case: Antec Tower Three Hundred ($80)
PSU: Antec EarthWatts 750W ($160)

Total: 2111$

I already have a 27" LG TV/Monitor I'm going to use with this system, as well as a wireless KB/mouse kit and another 500GB external HDD.

Here are my questions, if you could kindly help me out:

1. I noticed this question gets asked a lot, but is 12GB still an overkill? From what I understand Windows 7 64bit uses as much RAM as it can find to cache up applications and restore them faster. Will the 12gb keep me warm in the next 2-3 years or so, or is it pointless to splash another 300$ on the extra 6GB?

2. Can the Antec EW 750W handle this system, given the addition of the monitor, USB HDD and peripherals? I used some PSU calculator I found on the Internet with a similar system and it recommended I get a 650W PSU, but I'd like a second opinion.

3. Are any of the components a really bad buy at this point in time? New generation of procs/GFX cards around the corner that will heavily reduce the pricing on these in the next 2 months or so?

4. Does the Antec Tower Three Hundred case offer enough ventilation (without extra coolers) to keep this system going smoothly and not overheating like a Mass Effect sniper rifle with High Explosive Rounds?

Thanks in advance for your help and sorry if I was a bit long.

P.S. I should also note I'm not looking to overclock anything (yet) nor will I be looking for better prices on the same components. Also, I'm based in Romania and would prefer to buy from a local shop so newegg prices don't really help.

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March 16, 2010 5:35:21 AM

Here is what i came up with for you considering the motherboard u listed doesnt support ram @1600 i would consider haf922 case if you are going to overclock or even haf932, for future bigger is better, also if its a gaming PC you might want to pick up a card with dx11 instead of dx10 u can get 5000 series for same price with better performance.

Processor: I7-920, 2660 MHZ ($390)------------I7-920, 2660 MHZ
Motherboard: Gigabyte X58A-UD3R ($256)---------ASUS P6X58 (309)
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200 RPM ($120)----Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB Sata3 6gb/s (120)
RAM: Corsair 12GB (6 x 2GB), DDR3, 1600MHz ($620)---------Whichever 1600Mhz fits 8Gbs is most i would go with more then that seems like an overkill
Video: Gigabyte nVidia GeForce GTX285, 1GB GDDR3 512bit ($460)------------Radeon 5870 1GB GDDR5 or wait around 2 weaks for gtx to come out to check how they sell their gpus if competitive and cheaper then wait another month until they have enough in stock
DVDRW: LG 52x ($25)--------------------------Same
Case: Antec Tower Three Hundred ($80) ---------------Haf922
PSU: Antec EarthWatts 750W ($160)------------------CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W or Antec TPQ-850 850W or CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W if you dont plan to Crossfire-Sli

March 16, 2010 7:23:44 AM

Hmm, thanks a bunch for pointing out about the motherboard, I hadn't noticed it goes from 1333 MHZ to 2200. Would it be a huge setback to drop to 1333 MHZ RAMs instead of the 1600 ones I picked?
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March 16, 2010 8:07:17 PM

well if you to answer that question you should really read through this whole article or at least skim through the bench results and see for yourself and educate yourself about this topic in same time, i cant say i know alot about memory but all i know is that 1600 with correct timing is more then advised when OCing with i7-920 for higher memory Bandwidth and no bottlenecks.

here is the link

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/memory-scaling-i7,2...
March 16, 2010 8:16:14 PM

Some things you should look at:

CPU: i7-930 is out. It's generally really close in price to the 920.

HDD: Save some cash and get either the Seagate 7200.12 1 TB or Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB. They're just as fast, but slightly cheaper.

RAM: You need either 6 GB or 12 GB, as the X58 uses triple channel memory (sets of three). 12 GB is overkill unless this is a rendering/encoding build. Make sure the sticks you have are CAS Latency 7 (timings 7-7-7-x). Speed isn't as important, but typically 1600 mhz CL 7 sticks are about the same price as 1333 mhz CL 7.

GPU: Agree with newbpwng. Either grab an HD 5870 or wait for the new nVidia cards to come out in a week.

Case: Agree. The 5870 will fit in the Antec 300, but it will be a tight fit.

PSU: You don't need 850W to CF or SLI. 850W would be needed for two 5970s, but 750W will do fine for two 5870s. Stick to the major brands (Corsair, Antec, PC Power & Cooling, Silverstone and SeaSonic). Choose whichever is cheapest over there.
March 16, 2010 9:11:40 PM

Ok guys, based on your generous help as well as some extra research on my part here on Tom's I came up with a modified setup:

Processor: I7-930, 2800 MHZ ($390)
Motherboard: Gigabyte X58A-UD3R ($256)
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB ($101)
RAM: Corsair XMS3 6GB CL7 1333 Mhz Triple-Channel ($273)
Video: Gigabyte ATI Radeon HD5870 1GB ($480)
DVDRW: LG 52x ($25)
Case: CM HAF 922 ($165)
PSU: Antec EarthWatts 750W ($160)

I'll be adding extra RAM and another 5870 if needed in the future. The system ends up at $1850 (so not much of a price difference from the original except for the cut down of the extra 6GB of RAM). Unfortunately, I've looked up the same components on newegg.com and they ended up some 250$ cheaper but since I cannot order internationally I'll consider this the local retailer's bonus for smuggling the components in the country in his underpants. And at least I'll have someone to yell to/stab if any of them are problematic.

Oh well, sleepy time. *goes off to dream about his future rig*
March 17, 2010 12:20:56 AM

hehehehe good smuggler but ya good luck with that build, im building something similar in about a month and a half.
!