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~2000$ Media/Gaming PC

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March 26, 2010 10:20:38 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: the closer the better
BUDGET RANGE: ~2000$. Will go up to 2500$ if necessary.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Playing media, Gaming, Everything else.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Everything outside the Case

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Any. (I browsed Newegg extensively though)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada

PARTS PREFERENCES: Built around an Intel i7-930. No real brand preference.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes (Limited knowledge about it right now though)
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Currently 1264x1080, might buy new, bigger monitor at a later date.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Ideally quiet PC, can tolerate a certain level of sound(My current PC is relatively noisy). I'm building this PC as a graduation gift to myself so I want it to perform as much as possible within the remainder of my student loan. I also don't expect it to be future-proof, I don't intend on upgrading, I just want it to be able to play any games I buy within the next 3-4 years. I'll build a new one when I'll have had a steady income for a while and this PC would start to be on the weak side of computer specs. I just want it to last at least until then.


This is my first attempt at building myself a computer. I've looked around for parts a lot and read up on hardware a bit. I'm looking for confirmation that I didn't make a glaring mistake in the parts combination(I don't think I did but never hurts to ask) and also cooling recommendations. I find the stuff on Newegg Canada to be somewhat lacking for i7 CPUs, but maybe the reviews are just exaggerating. This is what I have right now:

MOBO:
ASRock X58 Deluxe LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

CPU:
Intel Core i7-930 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 Quad-Core Desktop Processor - Retail

RAM:
CORSAIR XMS3 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model HX3X12G1600C9 G - Retail

GPUs:
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 - Retail
(2 of these for CrossFire setup)

System HDs:
Crucial CT64M225 2.5" 64GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - Retail
(2 of those, might cut one if the price goes too high but rather have 2)

HD:
Western Digital Caviar Green WD15EARS 1.5TB 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

PSU:
CORSAIR CMPSU-750HX 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

Case:
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

Optical:
SAMSUNG 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 4X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24x DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
(I opted out of Blu-Ray for now because I see no real need, and if i see a need later I can always get one later)

This is what I'm most uncertain on:

Cooling:
Thermaltake CLP0533 70mm 1 Ball Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail
(Apparently loud, but saw no better option on Newegg.ca)
+
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
(High praises everywhere for that thing)

I'm also very unsure about how much that setup would allow for OCing. I want to at least be able to use all of my 12 Gigs of RAM.

Thanks in advance for your time!

More about : 2000 media gaming

March 26, 2010 10:57:16 PM

First impression ... twice the system you need for stated purposes, including healthy proc overhead.

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March 26, 2010 10:59:28 PM

And ... Just one 5870 ... for now.

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March 26, 2010 11:03:43 PM

Switching to an i5 750, P55 motherboard and a single 5870 GPU would give you a strong gaming system for less.


That is a cheapy 92mm CPU cooler try for a better quality 120mm one that will also look good through the display door of your antec 900:
Xigmatek Balder (also available in black and called Dark Knight)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...
Coolermaster Hyper 212
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...


Green hard drives are low performance, low power storage drives.

Get a Samsung F3 1TB, Seagate 7200.12 1TB or WD black 1TB FAEX (not the FALS model). They are dual 500GB platter drives that will be much faster than the old 6x250GB platter green drive you linked.


None of your usages listed indicate you will use more than 6GB RAM. If you dont need more then having it just wastes power and generates heat.

Make sure your SSD choice supports TRIM. Just get one large one (an 80G or 120G would be nice), two small ones will not give you a noticeable performance increase.
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Best solution

March 26, 2010 11:08:32 PM

MoBo - Not an ASrock fan.....my choice would be Asus P6X58D

RAM - Would move up to CAS 7

GPU - At 1280 x 1024, spending anymore than $80 is a waste:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,...

If you are going 1920 x 1200, I'd get a ATI 58xx series or check out the new fermi cards when they hit the shelves in next 2 weeks.

SSD's - Consider single larger one....SD's in RAID negate TRIM support.

HD - Any reason for Green ? 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 were limited to the Seagate 7200.12 or the Spinpoint F3....(a new WD 500 GB platter drive is out I hear but haven't seen reviews yet). 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-har...[2371]=on&prod[2770]=on)

Case / PSU - Would advise against mid tower case if, as you list OC and twin GPU's is in your future. Suggest you go with full tower:

Antec 1200 w/ CP-850 - Top notch case and an incredible PSU. The HX from Corsair is a match electrically but the CP is quieter.....and at $244 for the combo deal, it's tough for anyone to compete on price performance basis in US anyway. Bah....just noticed you up north....no combo deals on newegg canada ....oh well...

PSU = $140 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Case = $180 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

HAF 932 w/ Corsair HX750 - Drops 100 watts but the $330 for both makes it competitive cost wise with the above...

PSU = $160 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Case = $170 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

HSF - Doing moderate of serious OC'ing ? For moderate I'd go with a Xigmatek S1283 with one fan .... for serious I'd do Prolimatech Megahalems.

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

As for TIM, from newegg anyway, OCZ Freeze
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Skip the AS5

Here is the Arctic Silver 5 recommended cure time instruction from the manufacturers web site:

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

Due to the unique shape and sizes of the particles in Arctic Silver 5's conductive matrix, it will take a up to 200 hours and several thermal cycles to achieve maximum particle to particle thermal conduction and for the heatsink to CPU interface to reach maximum conductivity. (This period will be longer in a system without a fan on the heatsink or with a low speed fan on the heatsink.) On systems measuring actual internal core temperatures via the CPU's internal diode, the measured temperature will often drop 2C to 5C over this "break-in" period. This break-in will occur during the normal use of the computer as long as the computer is turned off from time to time and the interface is allowed to cool to room temperature. Once the break-in is complete, the computer can be left on if desired.

So by my estimation of this statement it would take almost a year of normal use to properly cure the AC5 compound, or almost nine days of continuous power cycles to meet their recommendation.


If ya no likie those coolers / TIM....pick from the top 3 or 4 from these links:

Pick a Heat Sink from the top few here:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/Recommended_Heatsinks
http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm#INTELHEATSI...
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

pick a TIM from the top few here:
http://www.hwreviewlabs.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/coolers/display/therma...
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
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March 26, 2010 11:44:49 PM

MX-2 Paste ...

Jack B workin' hard 4u

= Al =
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March 27, 2010 1:44:36 AM

Best answer selected by Khundes.
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March 27, 2010 2:12:47 AM

Thanks for the replies everyone.

I think I'll go with the Xigmatek S1283 with OCZ Freeze for cooling solution. It looks like what I need. I intend to do some moderate overclocking, but as I'm new to both PC building and OCing, I don't want to make an OC build and risk breaking some of those parts because of an oversight.

Short comment on GPUs: Truth is I'm running a 6 years old piece of junk at home on a flat 18" Acer monitor bought a little over a year ago(dunno the actual type/specs, not at home right now to check) and I don't know what kind of resolution it can actually support. I'm also considering getting a new monitor over the summer, so the resolution I mentioned is not what I actually want, it's what I'm currently running.

For the RAM, I'm going with 12 gigs more as a "because I can" and a "in case a game needs it in a few years".

For the HDs, Guess I'll drop one of the SSDs if TRIM is an issue on a RAID 1 setup, but a quick google search revealed this: http://guru3d.com/news/intel-brings-trim-to-ssds-in-rai...
Thoughts?

Why Green for the data HD? I just saw 1.5 TB at a good price and the reviews are good. Figured it was a good buy. I'm not picky about my Data HD as long as it can store tons of data.

Case / PSU: Interesting combo. I didn't look at full cases because everything seemed to fit in that neat mid tower, I'm guessing the added space is to help keep the case cool? And the second case you listed has been deactivated on newegg.ca :p 

Thanks again, those suggestions were very helpful.
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March 27, 2010 2:51:20 AM

Thanks for the bible reference Alvin, I'm keeping it bookmarked for when I start putting it all together.

I will read it religiously! :p 
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March 27, 2010 3:00:02 AM



Don't do it for *me*, Man !!

I've lost track and I will use it on my next.

= Al =
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