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Building a Intel Core i7 X58 $1200 PC

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March 16, 2010 6:05:36 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: I'm looking to buy my PC by sometime between now and the next week.

BUDGET RANGE: ~$1000-$1300

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, heavy software, regular stuff, etc.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Don't need a keyboard, mouse, monitor, speaker system, dvd drive, and OS.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1600x1200, down the road I'll get a monitor that supports 1920x1200, but not now...

FUTURE PURCHASES: I might consider a cooling system, fan controller, another 5850, and a bigger monitor (currently have a 20 in).

PARTS UNDER CONSIDERATION:

Case: LanCool DragonLord PC-K62 $109.99
Looking for great airflow, dust filters, and a black interior.

Processor: Intel Core i7 930 $294.99

Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 5850 $299.99

RAM: Corsair XMS3 6Gb DDR3 1600 PC3 12800 $174.99

Motherboard: ASRock X58 Extreme $159.99

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750HX 750W $149.99
Modular, 650W-750W, and 80 Plus Silver.

Total is about $1190. Havent thought about hard drives yet. Don't know whether to get a regular hard drive, a high RPM HD, or an SSD. I would like some pointers here too. I'm also wondering whether to het a 5850 or a 5870 (Is $100 more worth it?). So, what do you think? Good system or not?

Edit: Fixed!
a b C Monitor
March 16, 2010 6:09:24 PM

Hmm what is wrong with your links? Oh I see.

It's /url not url/.

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a b C Monitor
March 16, 2010 6:12:11 PM

Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion and Earthwatts 650W $125. You don't need such a large/expensive case. You also don't need a huge amount of power for the 5850.
CPU: i7-930 $295. It's worth the extra few bucks for a newer CPU.
Mobo: Asus P6X58D Premium $310. ASRock isn't exactly a quality brand. In addtion, this board has better/more features.
RAM: Corsair XMS3 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $175. Much faster sticks. OCZ also has some compatibility problems because they require a lot of volts to run.

HDD: High RPM drives are worthless. They're three times more expensive than the newer 500 GB platter drives and are slower, louder and run hotter. I recommend either the Seagate 7200.12 1 TB or Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB. These also come in 500 GB versions.

Keep in mind that if you go the SSD route, you need a standard drive for data. You'd also need to get a big enough one for just your OS and apps, with a 20% cushion. With your budget, I would avoid SSDs for now.
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March 16, 2010 6:21:33 PM

Admiral, your CPU, RAM, and HDD suggestions are good and I think ill take them into account, didnt even know the i7 930 had been released. However, the Asus mobo is pretty expensive. Not to mentioned that I've read a lot of good reviews for the ASRock X58 Extreme.

As for the case, I never mentioned it but I'm looking for a good case with good airflow and features so that I can use for a long time. The high watts for the power box is becasue I'm considering crossfire, as I mentioned earlier. Ive read that the XFX 750W Black Edition Modular PSU is very good with great efficency rates and whatnot.

Proximon, Ill take a look at your suggestion in a bit. Looks good but I already see that its 80 Plus Bronze as opposed to the XFX 80 Plus Silver...

Thanks for the quick replies people, Ima update my first post to reflect the new stuff in a bit.
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a b C Monitor
March 16, 2010 6:29:38 PM

The Asus is expensive, but it's a board that will last. If you're referring to user reviews, I don't trust them at all. Most user reviews are done by people who shouldn't touch technology. If they're more professional, the main problem I have with ASRock is that their boards aren't built to last as long as the high quality ones. That's not something you can test for in a review.

The 300 Illusion is an excellent case. It's also larger than it looks. It can fit GPUs up to 11 inches in length (HD 5870 still fits). It also has a large amount of airflow.

On the PSU, I know that's why you 750W. You don't need 750W for CF 5850s. 650W would be fine. I'm not a fan of XFX PSUs yet, as the company is brand new to making PSUs. I would stick to the more trusted brands. Here's a couple of other very good units that are cheaper: OCZ Z Series 650W 80+ Silver $80 after rebate and Silverstone 750W 80+ Silver $130[/url]. I'd personally go with the OCZ one...
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March 16, 2010 8:16:25 PM

Ok, for the PSU, I was looking for an 80 Plus (Silver) Modular PSU. Didn't mention that either... The Silverstone is good (jonnyguru, score: 9.0). , however, I've read that the XFX is better (jonnyguru, score: 9.6). It also only $10 more. The Antec TP-750 and the OCZ Z Series aren't modular... I also considered the Corsair HX750W but I found it to be more expensive. If you guys know of a modular, 80 Plus Silver PSU 650-750W thats cheaper than mine, please do tell. Thanks for the help so far people!

Will 650W also be enough for say...... a 5970? Just wondering...

I'll think about the mobo. By the way, I was considering professional reviews, such as Toms Hardware. Do you have any other, cheaper suggestions?

Another thing I forgot to mention about cases, must have a black interior and dust filters. I read about one called the NZXT Lexa S at $70 but I found the airflow insufficient. I actually created a topic looking for a good case in the case section of this forum and came to the conclusion that the Lancool was the best one becasue of its great featrues, black interior, dust filters, and great airflow, as well as its potential for longetivity.

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a b C Monitor
March 16, 2010 8:59:44 PM

I don't like JonnyGuru reviews. If you notice, the Silverstone received a very low score for value. Well, at the time of the review, it was $200. Now it's almost half that price. In addition to the "value" criteria, there's an "aesthetics" score as well, which is completely pointless. Finally, pretty much every unit they review get a 9.0+. Where's the difference?

650W would be enough for a 5970. However, the Lian Li won't fit a 5970.

As for needed a modular unit, its completely unnecessary now days. The better cases have bottom mounted PSUs. That means that all the excess cables are at the bottom of the PC, already out of the way. So, you're paying extra for a bottom mounted case (quality mostly) AND extra for a modular unit.

A better case is the HAF 922. It's easily the best case on the market. It's a mid tower, but bigger than most full towers. It has dust filters. The name itself means High Air Flow. It doesn't have a black interior, but there isn't a window, so you can't see it.
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March 16, 2010 9:24:09 PM

Trust me, I've considered several of the best cases out there today. Including the HAF 922. I ended up settling with the Lancool. As for the power box, you've got a point there, so I I'll take what you've said into account and think about it.
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a b C Monitor
March 16, 2010 9:38:59 PM

Tempest EVO would be right in there too... flip a coin.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As to the PSU, this is my personal reference guide:
I take the expected peak GPU load from here:
http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/index.php?showtopic=264
That is the GPU(s) only.
Then I add about 200W for everything else.
Then I take that figure and break it down to 12V amps.. 500/12 = ~42 in your case.
From there, I figure how many 12V amps I would need so that 42A would fall somewhere around 65%.... say 60-70%. This allows for maximum efficiency usually, minimum strain on the PSU, and so minimal fan noise.

So I eyeball that and come up with around 60-65 12V amps, as a good target area. This is the amperage range of the better 750W PSUs.

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March 16, 2010 10:13:54 PM

Actually, the last cases I was considering before I chose the Lancool was the NZXT Tempest EVO, the Lancool K62, and the CM 690 II Advanced. Before that, I had also considered the HAF922, the CM Storm Sniper Black, the Thermaltake Element G, etc. You can find it somewhere in the PSU section of these forums. It was called "Best Midtower PC Case?" and its solved.

By the way, thats a pretty slick method of determining what PSU you need.

Edit: By the way, jonnyguru gives the Silverstone Strider Plus 750W, or the SILVERSTONE ST75F-P 750W, a 10 in value so I think you read that wrong, Admiral.
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a b C Monitor
March 16, 2010 11:20:42 PM

Maybe I'm thinking of the 850W version. I know one of them got dinged on value, then had a massive price cut. Either way, JonnyGuru has some flaws in their criteria.
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March 16, 2010 11:25:33 PM

I ended up going with the CORSAIR CMPSU-750HX 750W. Its still expensive at $150, but a mail in rebate puts it at the same price as the one I was currently considering. Ive read a lot that the two are almost completely equal and bad ass in performance, with the Corsair having a better warranty, more PCI-e 6-2 pins, thinner cables, and (imo) better looks.
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a b C Monitor
March 16, 2010 11:52:27 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Maybe I'm thinking of the 850W version. I know one of them got dinged on value, then had a massive price cut. Either way, JonnyGuru has some flaws in their criteria.


You are right that the way OW scores is based in part on his opinions. He does sometimes adjust scores on price changes I think. Also, you need to be aware that those scores are individually weighted... he does not simply add them to arrive at the final score.

Still the performance score is fine and what I usually base recommendations on. There are only 3 main players in the PSU review game:

jonnyguru (relatively moderate compared to the others)
hardware secrets (very liberal standards)
hardocp (very demanding standards)

No other full-time reviewers have hotbox + load tester + oscilloscope.

@madscientist2: That should be a nice choice. You really can't go wrong with any Corsair PSU they have sold to date.
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March 17, 2010 4:31:17 AM

Best answer selected by madscientist24.
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