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I7 Build with $1200 (Help?)

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  • Intel i7
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April 26, 2010 3:09:38 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: (e.g.: this week (the closer the better)) BUDGET RANGE: (e.g.: 600-800) Before / After Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies, MS Office

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: mouse, speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Zipzoomfly.com, Newegg is good too, but living in TN I am charged tax from Newegg.

PARTS PREFERENCES: i7, 21+ inch monitor, gaming worthy graphic card, 2 1TB+ harddrives

OVERCLOCKING: No

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: tight $1200 budget

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So, here's the pinch. I have a pretty firm $1200 budget and I'd really like to build a gaming box for a friend. Here's the kicker... he's got NOTHING. No monitor, no case, no harddrives, no DVD drive.... nothing.

Here's some of the parts I was thinking, and it gets me close but not within my budget so I still need some help. Here's the build I'm looking at so far:

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Monitor - $130 - Asus 20in

Graphics Card - $210 - Nvidia GTX 260

Motherboard - $170 - EVGA X58

Ram - $170 - G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB)

Processor - $280 - i7 920

Hard Drives - $140 - 2 x 1.5TB Seagates - It's important that he have two because he needs redundancy for sensitive data.

Power Supply - $90 - CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX

Case - $75 - No specific case here, but I'm sure I can get one for this price with a little hunting.

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This totals about $1420 after tax and shipping.

The computer will not be overclocked and will not need aftermarket cooling.
If I can find places to shave off money I'd like to give him a bigger monitor (a 24inch is only $170).

Bottom line, I need to build a full system with a fixed budget of $1200. I would really like it to be i7 and it WILL be used for gaming, so I'd like a nice graphics card (note the GTX 260).

If it can't be done within this price then please give me suggestions as to how to give him an awesome system within this budget.

Thanks!

More about : build 1200

April 26, 2010 3:18:42 AM

DVDR SONY SATA $22
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April 26, 2010 3:24:33 AM


The computer will not be overclocked and will not need aftermarket cooling.[/quotemsg]


?! :o  !?


. . .

[:jaydeejohn:3] [:jaydeejohn:3] [:jaydeejohn:3]
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April 26, 2010 3:36:45 AM

First off get atleast a 23" or bigger monitor. It's not a requirement but it almost is....
Spend $15 more and get a 930 instead of a 920.
Try to get a cas7 set instead, might cost more but worth it.
Get yourself a pair of samsung spinpoint F3s or 7200.12 Seagates. Otherwise tell your friend to stay in bed.
PSU is fine.
For $75 you can get yourself a Cooler Master Haf922 case ($80 after rebates).
Spend atleast $35 and get a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus HSF.

$10 usb keyboard
$20 usb mouse
$2 cat5e cable

So as stated there's no way you're getting an i7 build with a good video card and a decent monitor (AND keyboard + mouse) for $1200 flat.

Realistically he would need more like $1500 to accomplish what he wants. And also consider a 5870 or such instead of the Nvidias.

Also why a $200 evga board with 4 pci-e and he obviously won't use more then 1 or two. You can easily get away with a $100-120 gigabyte or asus board and be just as happy.
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April 26, 2010 4:05:42 AM

what type of games are you interested in?
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April 26, 2010 4:05:43 AM

you don't need an i7 for those purposes at all. You could easily shave $400 off this build by going with AMD 440 and OC, which would be fine for your purposes. The i7 is for enthusiasts doing insane multitasking or video rendering
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April 26, 2010 4:51:38 AM

As far as the "no overclocking" thing, I personally overclock, but he is not tech savy in that sense. He knows software, but almost nothing of hardware/BIOS/overclocking. That being said, he can't overclock it, and I am not going to spend days trying to get the perfect overclock.

If I need to do minor overclocking for something simple (like if my ram is 1600 any my MB is natively 1333) I will overclock the board. I am not going to spend hours though trying to squeeze 2% more performance out of this system.

fastx21:
I would love to give him a bigger monitor, faster ram, and all that, but the fact remains that I have a fixed $1200 budget.

vigorvermin:
would bumping down to an i5 be a good choice? I'm not against AMD, I'm just not very familiar with them. Maybe you could list some specific examples, or point me to a few websites?
Moving down to an i5 makes the proc about $100 cheaper, the motherboard about $50 cheaper and I can get 4GB of ram instead of 6 because it's dual channel instead of trichannel. Is this what you would do or do you still suggest AMD?
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April 26, 2010 4:52:25 AM

Oh, and as far as the games he likes, he like games like COD and Assasin's Creed.
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April 26, 2010 5:48:04 AM

Im going to have to agree with everyone else here. Cost wise, it would be cheaper to build and more efficient to build a AMD phenom and stay within your budget. Only way you are going to be able to do this is you do what I am doing and watch out for the slick deals that are out there.

For example, If you or him are a student and have a student email you can get Win 7 professional 64bit for $69 http://www.win741.com/

Power supply: I know Staples has the Antec Earthwatt 500w on clearance for $35 (though they are priced differently but ring up as $35 at register) and there are $20 off 50 coupons all over the internet for staples.

If you live near a Fryes they have AMAZING deals all the time on everything. You just have to keep an eye open as almost all there deals are in store only. Also Microcenter has the i7-930 instore only for $200.

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April 26, 2010 6:49:14 AM

It really depends on whether saving money is more important than extra performance. If he/you want performance that might not be used today, but 3 years down the road he decides to want to do something performance intensive, it would be a good idea to go with the i5 750. If not, the Athlon II X3 440 or the i3 intel processor are both sufficient for your needs. Neither gaming, office, surfing the internet, or watching movies are processor intensive. These tasks are accomplished on an intel atom used in netbooks, save the gaming.

The reason I point you at the X3 is that it has a very good chance of unlocking the 4th core and it can overclock very easily. Don't worry about the perfect clock. Either way however, the i7 is overkill, and increases costs drastically as you saw. Hope this helps.
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April 26, 2010 8:32:28 AM

And my point, in my first post with the dancing elephants is that the 920 is MADE to be OVERCLOCKED by EVERYONE.

What is the stock clock? 2.66GHz? ... If you read the 920 reviews, EVERYONE is doing 4GHz on air !

So, ... Point being that going from 2.66GHz to 4.xGHz is HUGE, in terms of performance gain AND *IF* just about anybody and everybody (mostly first-timers) are doing 4GHz, on air .... Then your timid freind SHOULD be able to B L I N D L Y set up a moderate OC of something like 3.6GHz ... STILL a HUGE increase.

Finally ... there is just NO POINT to getting a 920 (or 930) without SOME sort of significant overclock ... INTEL built this for you to do ... They just don't want the hassle of testing and sorting all those mainstream bin candidates. They prolly bought stock in a few cooler companies too ... whaddaya bet?

= Al =
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April 26, 2010 8:42:54 AM

AND all that I just said lends credence to what "The OTHER Half" of the folks on this thread are saying ...

... IF you are going to pay THAT much, for a core i7, then OC is the ONLY way to get anywhere NEAR your money's worth ...

... T H E R E F O R E ... *IF* you are *NOT* going to OC the 920/930 (significantly), ... THEN ... The ONLY FINANCIALLY SANE ALTERNATIVE IS ... A M D.

... But if you DO go AMD ... We are ALL still gonna be advising to some level of OC ... Cause ... That has just become part of the current, mainstream economics of "PC Cost Analysis" a.k.a. "The Value Build".

No point in throwing good money down the drain. Like buying a Mustang with all the factory race options and NEVER taking it over 30mph ... just crazy! ... Like those pink elephants ... er ... uh ... what pink elephants?


= Al =
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April 26, 2010 10:10:02 PM

I don't think you'll see a benefit of overclocking an i7 anyway. For the purposes he listed the best option is a cheap processor that will do all that stuff instantly anyway.
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April 26, 2010 11:40:28 PM

vigorvermin said:
I don't think you'll see a benefit of overclocking an i7 anyway. For the purposes he listed the best option is a cheap processor that will do all that stuff instantly anyway.


There it is, in a nutshell, ...

Could not have said it any better !
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April 27, 2010 4:59:58 AM

yup, and then take some of the extra money and upgrade the GPU if you want it to really be a killer gaming machine
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April 27, 2010 6:36:13 AM

Tah-dahhhh !

965BE at stock clock with stock cooler (no OC) ... jammin' !

The idea being that, you ditch the aftermarket cooler and save $35 ... and ... use THAT money to purchase a faster standard clock-rate ... This, IF you don't want to OC ... ALL YOU NEED FOR 30++FPS Hi-Rez ! The GPU is most important ... just get 5850 or above (Just ONE).

= Al =
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April 27, 2010 6:44:29 AM

Plus ... you can get 1333c8 memory and save another $20 ... Plus ... You'll only need to buy 4GB RAM and not 6GB, as you would with the 3ch ram, saving another ~$40-$50. (Stuff you won't even "feel".)

= Al =
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!