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Building an i5/i7 system on the cheap

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April 6, 2010 7:11:00 PM

I realize there have been a few threads on this, but unfortunately the deals quickly dry up, and I am off hunting again. It is a shame I don't live anywhere near MicroCenter, or this would be a bit easier with their processor deals going on right now. :( 

I was going to use either an i5 750 or i7 920. I was going to try to go with something along the lines of a gtx 260 or equivalent. This build will replace a 5 year old computer (I know it is pretty gross to see them get that old). I am setting it up for my parents and am hoping it will last them another 5 years so even though they don't really need a gaming/performance setup, I would like to set them up with something that will feel fast for a while.

I don't have to build this thing right away, so I am fine with waiting for deals to pop up and ordering from a few different places, but if I can build it now I will.

I will be reusing some components. They have a very good case, good LCD screen, and won't need to buy a new optical drive/keyboard/mouse either.

I read the review on the MSI P55 GD65 board and it seemed like a pretty good value.

I would really appreciate if you could point me in the right direction :)  . I am hoping to get CPU/mobo/ram/gpu/power supply all for around $600.

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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
April 6, 2010 7:20:52 PM

$600 for all that? You're not getting an i5 or an i7 with that. Figure $150 for a good CURRENT GPU, $100ish for a high quality PSU, and at least $100 for 4 GB of RAM. That means you need a CPU and board for $250. Not happening on the Intel side. The i5-750 alone will cost you $200.

Here's the best you can get, and I skimped a tad on the PSU quality:

CPU: X4 955 $160
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $125 after rebate
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $120
GPU: HD 5770 $150
PSU: OCZ StealthXStream 700W $60 after rebate

Total: $615
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April 6, 2010 8:16:42 PM

MadAdmiral said:
$600 for all that? You're not getting an i5 or an i7 with that. Figure $150 for a good CURRENT GPU, $100ish for a high quality PSU, and at least $100 for 4 GB of RAM. That means you need a CPU and board for $250. Not happening on the Intel side. The i5-750 alone will cost you $200.

Here's the best you can get, and I skimped a tad on the PSU quality:

CPU: X4 955 $160
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $125 after rebate
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $120
GPU: HD 5770 $150
PSU: OCZ StealthXStream 700W $60 after rebate

Total: $615



I have read some complaints about a lot of defective hd 5000 series boards. Are these complaint out of proportion?

Also, how much power do I need to run that setup? Is 700 more than I need? Would 500 power this setup? Just don't really have a gauge these days of what power things need.

Thanks for the reply, I am strongly considering this build.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
April 6, 2010 8:22:15 PM

I have yet to hear of a real complaint about the 5xxx series being defective. There were a couple of driver issues, but those are common in new products, and have been fixed. If you're referring to Newegg or other user reviews, they're most certainly out of proportion. Considering that someone is much more likely to report a problem than report getting a good card, already there are going to be a lot of negative reviews. After that, the cards are pretty new, and all new tech has some issues. I wouldn't have a second thought about the 5xxx cards.

700W is overkill for a single 5770. Two can run on 650W with plenty of headroom. The difference is that there aren't any units that are as good as the OCZ for less. Not saying that there aren't any that are better, they're just not cheaper.
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April 13, 2010 12:22:44 AM

so for that amount what would you still need? OS? Case? what else
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April 13, 2010 2:46:25 AM

I already have OS, case, optical drive and hdd. All I would need is mobo/ram/cpu/power supply.
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April 17, 2010 4:19:53 AM

Thanks again for the replies above. I ended up going with the suggestions above and getting an AMD 955. I picked up a good deal on a mobo + CPU combo here

I picked up a deal on the same PS, but a recertified. From OCZ, their recerts still carry the same warranty as their new stuff. This seems like a pretty good deal to me. It came with a DVD burner since their old stuff is all IDE, not SATA. This will update their current optical drive setup a bit. Link here.

I will get my RAM and Video card from Newegg from the links you provided.

The total should be:
AMD Phenomâ„¢ II 955 & MSI 890GXM-G65 Motherboard $169.99 in-store pickup
OCZ stealth xtreme 600W(recertified) with Asus SATA 24X DVDR-W $77.99 free ship
($10.00 Mail-in Rebate From 4/12/2010 to 4/30/2010) -$10
HIS H577FM1GD Radeon HD 5770 1GB w/free 6ft hdmi $149.99
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 2 x 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 1600 $109.99

Total: $497.96 :) 
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April 27, 2010 1:24:30 AM

Best answer selected by seylerc.
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April 27, 2010 5:28:16 AM

not to open this back up or anything, but I think you can do a lot better for $600

$83 4GB of redline Mushkin performance RAM:

http://www.amazon.com/Mushkin-Enhanced-Redline-Frostbyt...

$40 Corsair PSU

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?nm_mc=AFC-Sl...

$150 Mobo - Go with a motherboard that has a nice integrated GPU if your parents don't game, they won't need a GPU

$300ish for your i7 or split and go $200 i5 750 with a $100ish 5770 GPU

total: $573
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April 27, 2010 5:31:05 AM

there's a -10% code on that PSU as well: PSUSAVE10
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