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How does this build look? Anyway to make it cheaper?

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April 28, 2010 7:45:16 PM



This is the first computer I will be building ever. I will probably not be overclocking because I do not want to void the warranty or cut the life of the processor short. I want to be able to play games like Crysis and other graphic heavy games at pretty high settings. This thing seems absurdly expensive yet none of the specs seem to blow me away completely so any help would be very appreciated!

More about : build make cheaper

a b B Homebuilt system
April 28, 2010 7:53:46 PM

You can get very high quality cases for much less. Hava look at the HAF 922.

The 11th generation of Seagate drives have been known to have issues, so it might be a good idea to get the 1TB drive of the 7200.12 version.

If you are not concerned about having the ability to upgrade to a hex core processor, then you could get an i5-750, Asus P7P55D-E Pro and a good set of 4GB (2x2GB) of RAM, which will easily save $80, if not more, that should free up enough room to get a 5870. You might need an 850W PSU for three 5850s, but not for two 5870s, so change that to a good 750W PSU.
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April 28, 2010 7:59:09 PM

Silvune said:
You can get very high quality cases for much less. Hava look at the HAF 922.

The 11th generation of Seagate drives have been known to have issues, so it might be a good idea to get the 1TB drive of the 7200.12 version.

If you are not concerned about having the ability to upgrade to a hex core processor, then you could get an i5-750, Asus P7P55D-E Pro and a good set of 4GB (2x2GB) of RAM, which will easily save $80, if not more, that should free up enough room to get a 5870. You might need an 850W PSU for three 5850s, but not for two 5870s, so change that to a good 750W PSU.


Thanks. I was confused about whether to get a mid/full tower, and then whether to get an aluminum one. Would all these newish hardware components fit inside a mid tower including the graphics card though? I was unsure of that so I figured I'd err on the side of too much space and get a full tower, unless it is absolutely useless for what my use will be. I also heard somewhere that aluminum is the material to get for a case, so I was only looking at aluminum cases which were a lot more $$$ than the rest.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 28, 2010 8:02:58 PM

Well tha HAF 922 shouldn't be called a mid tower as it is very large and has plenty of space to fit the longest graphics card around (5970). I think aluminium is a good material for making the case light and sturdy. For cooling I don't think it has any major impact, and the HAFs are very good at cooling.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 28, 2010 10:43:20 PM

There are tons of ways to make this cheaper:

1. You can easily save $100 on the case. Beside what's already been recommended, the Antec 300 is a pretty good one that's easy to work with and often under $50.

2. Do you need a 1.5TB drive? Probably not. You can get a 1TB or a 500GB for much less.

3. Are you planning on crossfiring two video cards? If not, you don't need a $200 X58 motherboard. You can probably pick up a compatible board with a single slot for under $100.

3a. Are you planning on crossfiring two video cards? If not, you don't need an 850W power supply that costs $170. For that build with a single card, you'll probably be fine with 550W-600W for about $100 less and have room to spare.

So depending on your future goals, you can probably save up to $350 without any reduced performance at all.

Another way to build it cheaper would be to use an AMD quad-core setup, which would probably save you another $100-$150, but WOULD be a little weaker than the i7. The new AMD six-core CPUs are supposedly as good or better than the i7 920-930, but then again, they're right there in the same price range too.
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April 29, 2010 12:05:44 AM

capt_taco said:
There are tons of ways to make this cheaper:

1. You can easily save $100 on the case. Beside what's already been recommended, the Antec 300 is a pretty good one that's easy to work with and often under $50.

2. Do you need a 1.5TB drive? Probably not. You can get a 1TB or a 500GB for much less.

3. Are you planning on crossfiring two video cards? If not, you don't need a $200 X58 motherboard. You can probably pick up a compatible board with a single slot for under $100.

3a. Are you planning on crossfiring two video cards? If not, you don't need an 850W power supply that costs $170. For that build with a single card, you'll probably be fine with 550W-600W for about $100 less and have room to spare.

So depending on your future goals, you can probably save up to $350 without any reduced performance at all.

Another way to build it cheaper would be to use an AMD quad-core setup, which would probably save you another $100-$150, but WOULD be a little weaker than the i7. The new AMD six-core CPUs are supposedly as good or better than the i7 920-930, but then again, they're right there in the same price range too.


Thanks a lot for the tips! As a newb in both hardware components AND computer building, I am not sure what I want exactly. My intention was to build a quality gaming rig that would handle Crysis w/ ease, and all other games. I wasn't sure if having two lesser cards crossfired vs. 1 better card would have been worth it so I figured the 5850 would be better. I just want a really solid gaming rig that will be future proof and be ready in case I ever decide to get a very graphic intensive game
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 29, 2010 4:10:29 AM

You're definitely right that the 5850 is better (and cheaper) than the crossfire equivalent, which is two 5770s. That's almost always the case when you're faced with a two-cards-or-one issue on a new build. The single card is generally the better option, and also doesn't have the headaches of crossfiring, or heat issues and massive power consumption, or the occasional issues with games that don't like dual GPUs. (edit: Yes, I know, two 5770s technically edge out a single 5850 on pure performance, but it's the other issues that make the single card a better option IMO)

Basically, the i7 is the best out there, but any of AMD's socket AM3 quad-cores or six-cores are also plenty for any game that's out there now. Both the socket AM3 and LGA1366 boards are supposed to support the next generation of CPUs (note -- LGA1156 will not). And the 5850 is probably the best value for the money right now among high-performance cards, period.

Personally, if it was my machine, I'd go with the AMD six-core over the i7 simply because a) over the past few years, AMD has been a lot better about ongoing support for upgrades, while Intel has shafted people a couple of times, and b) While AMD doesn't match Intel at the super-high end, they tend to give a lot more performance when measured dollar-for-dollar.

Basically, unless you want a super-cutting-edge machine like an i7 950, you'll usually find the performance you want for less money with AMD. I've become very partial to them after seeing how high the prices of the latest Intel CPUs have come out (and stayed).
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 29, 2010 4:39:48 AM

Actually I saw an article saying that next year all current intel sockets will be outed for another 2 new sockets. AMD's AM3 socket should last much longer, esp if you get a 890FX chipset.

Other than that though, there is absolutely no such thing as future proof.

As far as hard drives go, I'd suggest either of the samsung spinpoint F3's. The one you picked is the model with the super-famous firmware bricking feature. (sarcasm about it being a feature)
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April 29, 2010 5:17:23 AM

On another note, how come there are virtually no screens bigger than 24 inches with 1920 x 1200 resolution unless you want to pay 900+ dollars for a 26 inch IPS screen? I wish all the 27 inch Samsungs weren't 1920 x 1080.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 29, 2010 6:55:45 AM

Basically, because 1080p means 1080 pixels of vertical resolution ... and at the typical screen size of 16:9, that means 1920 pixels horizontally. Since that's pretty much the standard that most manufacturers are gunning for to mass-market, that's mostly what you're going to find at mass-market prices. Anything above that is going to be considered "novelty tech" and sold at luxury prices.

Probably the highest-resolution single monitor you'll find commonly for sale is 2560x1600, which would be the equivalent of 1600p. At this point, we're talking twice as many pixels as a 1080p screen and four times as many as your typical 1024x768 monitor. So that's pushing the limits of what you could do in any practical situation (i.e. unless this was your full-time hobby).
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 29, 2010 7:08:22 AM

False_Dmitry_II said:
Actually I saw an article saying that next year all current intel sockets will be outed for another 2 new sockets. AMD's AM3 socket should last much longer, esp if you get a 890FX chipset.

Other than that though, there is absolutely no such thing as future proof.

As far as hard drives go, I'd suggest either of the samsung spinpoint F3's. The one you picked is the model with the super-famous firmware bricking feature. (sarcasm about it being a feature)


Oh, boy -- can you point me to that article? It doesn't really surprise me, but I'm probably going to rebuild my "second" computer toward the end of this summer (at which point it will become my "main" computer) and am leaning heavily toward an AM3 setup because I was afraid of this.

I mean, it makes sense for Intel. Keep changing the socket every two years, and you'll sell more CPUs and motherboards because people have to replace both -- and on top of that, you're constantly keeping people at today's mid-to-high i7 prices because it's "The Newest Tech."

Screw that. If this is really going to happen, it's the last straw for me, and I'm going exclusively to AMD for any machines I build for myself or other people unless they specifically want an i7. Keeping backwards compatibility for several years might not be an immediate revenue-generator, but it certainly is a good way to build a reputation for user-friendliness among the people who know better. At some point, Intel is going to wear out its welcome because of its smug market dominance, and AMD will have its chance to catch up as a result. Mark it down.

(edit: nevermind. found the article. that's shitty.)
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April 29, 2010 7:18:19 AM

capt_taco said:
Basically, because 1080p means 1080 pixels of vertical resolution ... and at the typical screen size of 16:9, that means 1920 pixels horizontally. Since that's pretty much the standard that most manufacturers are gunning for to mass-market, that's mostly what you're going to find at mass-market prices. Anything above that is going to be considered "novelty tech" and sold at luxury prices.

Probably the highest-resolution single monitor you'll find commonly for sale is 2560x1600, which would be the equivalent of 1600p. At this point, we're talking twice as many pixels as a 1080p screen and four times as many as your typical 1024x768 monitor. So that's pushing the limits of what you could do in any practical situation (i.e. unless this was your full-time hobby).


Having a hard time decide between a 24 inch 1920 x 1200 or 27 inch 1920 x 1080. Which would be better for games?
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 29, 2010 7:28:46 AM

For gaming, definitely the 1920x1080. It's bigger and probably the same price or cheaper.

For gaming on the 1920x1200 monitor, the extra 120 vertical pixels are probably going to be eaten up by the smaller screen size and you won't even notice them. The extra pixels (which translate to a 16:10 screen size) are mostly useful because if you're using things like MS Office or IE, they have started adding so many toolbars and crap at the top that it becomes a pain on a 16:9 widescreen.
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April 29, 2010 8:02:11 AM

Is the Hanns·G HH-281HPB any good or is it junky? That's the only 27 inch 1920 x1200 I can find. This computer will be used also for web browsing and MS Word
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 29, 2010 3:49:23 PM

Great advice from capt_taco throughout this thread.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 29, 2010 6:15:08 PM

I dunno I'm pretty partial to 16:10 myself. But I'm just using a 20 inch HP at 1680x1050 that I got from woot for $100.


Just compare the specs of that monitor to the others. Same or better refresh rate and contrast ratio are probably the main things to look at. It'll probably do the trick.
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April 30, 2010 2:48:08 AM

capt_taco said:
(edit: nevermind. found the article. that's shitty.)

Well now I'm curious. Post a link?
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