Hello all, first time posting. I have been researching new gaming rigs and been to most of the custom online shops (digitalstorm and such.) I am looking to buy or make a rig with lots of growth potential, such as adding another vidcard and the like. Preferably I would like to have an i7 processor, and a Radeon 5850 or higher with min 4GB RAM and Win7.
Now, I have never built a computer before, but if it saves me >$200 then its an easy decision at that point. While compaing parts on TigerDirect I found this rig and found its price/features to be more than reasonable. However, I have been told by some friends that the wizards here at Tom's can work some miraculous money saving magic.
So my question to you all is this: Can you build this machine equivalent better, faster, cheaper? I have no case, OS, or anything at all for that matter, haha. Thanks heaps in advance!
Operating System Licenses Included: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
Orientations Allowed: Vertical
Form Factor: Microtower
Bays: 2 - 5.25" Drive Bays
Internal Bays: 4 - 3.5" Drive Bays
Available 3.5" Drive Bays: 3
Available 5.25" Drive Bays: 1
PCI Express X1 Slots (Total): 2
PCI Express X1 Slots (Available): 2
PCI Express X4 Slots (Total): 1
PCI Express X4 Slots (Available): 1
PCI Express X16 Slots (Total): 1
PCI Express X16 Slots (Available): 0
PS/2 Keyboard Connectors: 1
PS/2 Mouse Connectors: 1
USB Ports: 10
FireWire Ports: 1
eSATA Ports: 2
LAN Ports: 1
Audio Out Jacks: 5
Line In Jacks: 0
Microphone Jacks: 1
DVI Video: 2
HDMI Ports: 1
S/PDIF Connectors: 1 - Optical
Processor Brand: Intel
Processor Class: Core i7
Processor Number: 860
Processor Speed: 2.8GHz
Processors Supported: 1
Processors Onboard: 1
Memory Type: Dual Channel
Total Memory: 8.0GB
Memory Speed: DDR3 1333 (PC-10600)
Memory Slots (Total): 4
Hard Drives Included: 1
Hard Drive Types: Hard Disk Drive
Optical Drives Included: 1
Optical Drive Type: 16X DVD+/-RW SuperMulti
Optical Drive Class: DVD SuperMulti
Supplemental Media Type: Media Reader
Media Types: Secure Digital
Memory Stick Duo
Memory Stick PRO Duo
Memory Stick PRO
Memory Stick Micro
Compact Flash Il
Compact Flash I
I've been looking at the i5 750 CPU so that's good to see, but I was leaning on the ASUS P7H57D-V EVO motherboard. Not quite as much bling as the P55 chipset but it's rated pretty well and plenty of OC options, although I think it's a bit more expensive (then again, I'm looking at CDN prices).
Also for PSU, I don't know how much you really need but I was going with an OCZ 500W from newegg.ca which will cost only $63 because of an instant $40 rebate plus a $25 mail in rebate (limited time offer).
I like the 5850 GPU, from all the stuff I've read lately it appears to be the best for being only a little over $300.
The problem with the H57 board is that it's intended for i3 CPUs, not the i5-750. I'd definitely stick to the P7P55D-E Pro. It's a really future proof board with USB 3/SATA III.
If you want to add a second GPU down the line, you will need at least 750W for the 5870 and 650W for the 5850 (though more would be better). The problem with OCZ units is that they're a lower quality unit that often doesn't produce enough power. I treat them as if they were a size category lower (i.e. the 500W OCZ is really a 450W unit).
Finally, the 5850 is nice, but the 5870 is better. The difference is that the 5850 is already struggling with a few games at max details at 1900x resolutions while the 5870 doesn't. That means the 5870 is going to be great longer.
Interesting, good to know about the motherboard. I'll have to look into that more before purchasing. The PSU I get what you're saying but I think for me the OCZ is going to be just right for me, I know down the line I might want to crossfire but I can get a better PSU then. Plus this one is cheap right now! Same with the vid card really, luckily I'm not the most demanding person in the world for graphics I just want good framerates and I use a little lower resolutions anyway so the 5850 will be good, plus it's $150 less than 5870.
Back to motherboards, is there a specific P55 chipset mobo with good OC tuning abilities? I've never done it before but I would like to do a little tuning on both the GPU and CPU.
The problem is that it's CHEAP. That means low quality. I wouldn't want to try running the 5850 on the 500W OCZ. The other problem is that as PSUs age, they wear out. So it's likely that in a few years, you'll have to replace the OCZ even if you didn't change anything. I highly recommend spending the few extra bucks for either the 700W OCZ or a 650W/750W Antec, Corsair, SeaSonic or Silverstone.
The 5850 is only $100 less than the 5870. At least in the US and Canada.
The board I listed above is easily the best LGA1156 board out there. It does overclocking, Crossfire, USB 3/SATA III and is high quality.
Wow thanks for all the great responses so far everyone!
My question to you Mad, is there a reason that you have switched out the CPU and Mobo when upgrading from the 5850 to the 5970? I can definitely see your reasoning to spend a little extra now to extend the lifetime of the rig.