$2250 build guidance?

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within the next two weeks.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Programming/Gaming, Homework, Graphics, Internet

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers, Hard Drives, case (re-using old Antec tower case circa 2002)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg, tigerdirect, amazon


Intel i7, would like at least 12GB memory, would like USB 3.0 support, ATI for graphics




Quiet would be nice, but cool is more important. Please do not suggest the i7-920. I DO NOT want to overclock. Want the computer to be a good machine for at least the next few years.

This is what I'm looking at right now:

Motherboard: Asus P6X58D $309.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131614

CPU: Intel Core i7-960 $587.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115224

CPU cooler: ZEROtherm CORE92 $31.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835887023

Memory: 2x Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 6GB (12GB total) $439.98 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226030

Graphics Card: SAPPHIRE Vapor-x Radeon 5870 $479.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102872

DVD Burner: LITE-ON Black DVD/CD Burner $31.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106335

Card Reader: ???? (have both size bays for this, want internal) $25?

Operating System: Windows 7 Pro OEM $139.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116758&cm_re=windows_7-_-32-116-758-_-Product

Power Supply: Antec TPQ-850 $179.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371009&Tpk=Antec%20TPQ-850

Case Fans: 3x MASSCOOL 80mm $13.47 (old ones aren't good enough) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835150037

Thermal Grease: Tuniq TX-3 $10.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835154007

Total: $2251.37

If changes are suggested, please explain why to help educate me. Last time I built a computer was in 2002, I'm fairly well caught up, but may still be missing some things.

Thanks for the help!
12 answers Last reply
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  1. Since you are not overclocking, I would go with this combo with the i7 960 & Gigabyte MOBO... http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.353188

    How about an i7 930 instead?? Okay I couldn't resist since it isn't the i7 920 :)

    Have you looked at the G.SKILL PI Series DDR3 1600 Cas7 RAM? They have very similar timings as your RAM at a lower cost?

    What hard drives will you be using? If you are wanting to last a few years, I wold recommend a SSD be in the mix or at least one or two of the newer 500GB single platter hard drives (WD 2TB Black, Seagate 7200.12 or Samsung Spinpoint F3). These will have the speeds to keep the system current for a few years.
  2. i would suggest a new case 2002 is kind of old. i would suggest antec 1200 or haf 932
  3. If you're not overclocking then you're much better off going with an i7-860 over the much more expensive 960. They both hit 3.46 at stock speeds using turbo boost.

    If you just want to throw money away however you're more than welcome to donate to my 5x1 portrait Eyefinity fund.
  4. Thank you all for you answers. I think I will switch to that Motherboard. I would definitely like to switch to the RAM, but I didn't see it on Gigabytes web page as being listed under the compatibility memory chart. They had another G.Skill there, but it was dual channel which didn't make much sense to me as the motherboard is supposed to be tri-channel, unless I'm really missing something. Or completely miss-understanding what an x-channel memory module means, which is very possible.

    As for the case, I found a link to what I have, http://www.modthebox.com/singed.shtml Yes, it's an old case, but it's nice and big. I am considering modding it for an extra fan or two and putting in some sound deadening stuff too. Any reason I should move on other than it's old?

    The only thing I don't like about the i7-860 is that it's on the 1156 chipset which would limit me to 16GB of RAM rather than 24GB should I decide to upgrade down the road and the 1366 chipset will also let me put in a hexa-core a couple years down the road that should be too expensive by then.
  5. Fair enough.

    As far as the case is concerned, no great reason, just a lot of little reasons. New cases support wire management, bottom mounted psus, dust filters, improved airflow. Since you're not overclocking none of this is a huge deal.

    You can save yourself 80 dollars or so by going with a regular 5870. The aftermarket cooling ins't needed at all as these cards don't run hot. Even under full load at 3150x1680 resolutions my 5870 never cracks 50c.

    CM 212 Hyper is a better HSF for about the same price, no overclocking means that you can get away with stock HSF however.

    PSU: Corsair 750tx is more than enough for what you're doing. It's a great psu.

    Just some thoughts however. Build what makes you happy and enjoy your rig. Best of luck with it.
  6. I have that old case too....and that being said, I'd upgrade...unless you changed them, the USB ports are USB 1

    This combo gets you a new case and a better PSU for only $50 more (no new case fans needed). Keep the old machine as a file server or backup location.


    Given that the Mushkin and GSkill are both $179....I'd stick with the Mushkin. despite the Combo.

    I think the Asus is the better board....i'd stick w/ the p6X58D and look at some of these combos.



    If you're not going to OC, aftermarket cooler / TIM not necessary.

    Card Reader http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820176016
  7. The i7 960 is just a factory overclocked i7 930...Why so anti overclocking? Reaching the 960 speeds would only consist of going into the bios and upping the BLK speed and nothing else..

    If your not overclocking why speed $310 on a motherboard? A $200 one should be fine. I would definitely recommend a SSD for a 2k+ build.

    I would stick with 6gb and get a decent sized SSD.
  8. Some of those combos go me re-looking at my part selections. Might be able to find some better deals.

    I didn't see the Mushkin ram that was as cheap as the G.Skill, do you have a link for that?

    As for why I'm anti-overclock, well, my wife likes to keep the house really warm (80*F/27*C sometimes hotter) and I'm afraid that might not do well with overclocking the computer. On top of that my study doesn't have very good air flow and gets really warm when the computer is on in there. I'm worried I'd have a very unstable computer. As for the RAM, I'm sticking with 12GB because I tend to do a LOT of multitasking with memory intensive applications and I hate it when my computer gets bogged down.

    That case is tempting... I do plan on building a cheap file server sometime this year too. I have another smaller case that I was planning on using for that though.

    Okay.... as far as having a ridiculously hot house, would that really make a i7-930 viable with overclocking? If so, I may just go that route, which means I'm clueless on the heat sink/fan (newegg isn't the easiest place to search for those for 1366 chipset). I'll post a revised build shortly. Thanks for all the help so far.
  9. A good cheap heatsink is the Cooler Master Hyper 212+ for $30 at amazon.
    Top of the line air cooling would be the Thermalright Venomous X $60+$15 for fan.

    A very conservative overclock of 3.2 could probably be achieved on the stock cooling even in a "hot" house.

    If you multitask a lot have you considered a SSD? It will help a lot more than 12gb imo.

  10. I've thought about an SSD, but I don't like the price/GB right now. I know there's a lot to be gained, but I think if I wait another year, I should be able to get a 60GB under $100 give or take.
  11. Alright, here's Big Change #1 that I'm now looking at. After some consideration I've decided to both go to the i7-930 and overclock and hope it holds up in home that doubles as a sauna, and also to get a new case. The old one didn't have any front USB ports, and while that's workable, it isn't exactly great. I've also decided to get a new HDD, even though my old ones aren't bad, might as well get a cheap terabyte. Not wanting to go SSD until they get cheaper though. So without further ado, here's my build at this time:

    CPU: i7-930
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R

    Heat sink/fan: Hyper 212+

    PSU: Antec CP-850
    Case: Antec Twelve Hundred

    HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB

    Memory: G.SKILL PI 12GB F3-12800CL7T2

    DVD Burner: LITE-ON DVD Burner

    Video Card (XFX is out of stock): Sapphire Vapor-X 5870

    Thermal Paste: Tuniq TX-3

    O/S: Windows Pro 7 OEM

    TOTAL: $1832.21

    Any new feed back? My tax return should be here any day! All the guidance so far is really appreciated!
  12. Very Solid Build... :)

    I see no major issues with you list.
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