APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 1-2 weeks BUDGET RANGE: $1200-$1350 Before Rebates Including Shipping SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Internet, Gaming, Movies PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Need Everything PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: AZ, USA PARTS PREFERENCES: See comments below on each item but particular reference to the PSU OVERCLOCKING: Some, but very basic. SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080
Sorry, this will be very long. For those that read the whole thing, I thank you very much.
I know pretty much what I'm aiming for, but I would like some help getting it cheaper through the use of combo discounts on Newegg and items with free shipping. Some of the parts I'm set on. Others I don't really have any preference. The main goal therefore is getting it cheap as possible while maintaining part quality. I would also appreciate anyone pointing out incompatibilities or anything else that seems helpful. Below is the build I am thinking of currently but I found one outstanding problem.
MoBo: $179.99 ASUS P7P55D EVO LGA 1156
Not really attached to this board but it had decent phase, 12+2, and PCIe switching to 8x/8x(requirement) when two cards are present. I'm not using crossfire right now, but I plan to have the computer for a long time so when it starts being slow I can throw in another card to make it last a little longer. USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s would be nice but its not really important to me. I don't want a board that routes it through the PCIe lanes because using crossfire makes it useless.
Case: COMBO #1 = $129.98 COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
This is a combo with PSU. Together they total $129.98. I don't really care much about the case. In general I don't like LED's or see through side panels but if it is a big enough difference in price I'll put up with them. My only real concerns are enough fans and fitting the GPU's in.
PSU: COMBO #1 = $129.98 OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP 700W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V
This is a combo with the Case. I hear mixed things about OCZ. Some say its crap, others swear by it. I'm not sure if 700W is enough. Keep in mind that eventually it will power 2 GPU's, 4 sticks of RAM, more fans, possibly a wireless card. This piece also has the only major flaw I've found(so far). The way I'm currently building my PC, I will eventually have 2 Radeon HD 5830's(though this isn't certain) which would require 4x6-pin connectors. This one only has 2 so when I go to add another GPU, I would have to replace the power supply as well. If possible, I would like to avoid this and fix the problem right now. I've been told about molex to 6-pin adapters. The power is split between 2x12v rails. I don't know if using the adapter would overload one of the rails. To be honest I'm not sure how this part really works. The best idea would be to just get a PSU with 4x6-pin but that breaks up my combo deals, and I've tried to rearrange them but the price goes up dramatically.
GPU: COMBO #2 = $419.98 XFX HD-583X-ZNFV Radeon HD 5830 1GB 256-bit
This is a combo with the CPU. Together they total 419.98. I'm not tied to XFX but I'm certain about wanting a Radeon. Realistically, I would settle for a Radeon HD 5770. After all 2x 5770 in crossfire can handle anything thrown at it. (At least for now.) I bumped it up from a 5770 to a 5830 because I knocked the CPU down a step and the combos came out so it fit nicely price wise. Keep in mind that if I did go with the 5770 (which I'm perfectly willing to do) I would no longer need 4x6-pin connectors as one 5700 only requires 1x6-pin whereas the 5830 needs 2x6-pin.
CPU: COMBO #2 = $419.98 Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156
This is a combo with the GPU. This is the minimum I am willing to go on a processor. If the combos work out for a nice price, I wouldn't mind an i7-860. I hear the only difference between the two is hyperthreading. It would be nice but I don't use many applications where 8 virtual cores are any better than 4 cores. In general I would like to keep it at an i5-750 and use the extra money on the GPU but again not rock solid on this point.
Memory: $110.99 Crucial Ballistix 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
I would prefer Crucial, not a requirement. I have a few questions about RAM and timings. I understand it is possible to overclock them to 7-7-7-20. Does this require much expertise or other equipment? Would it be much easier to just go with DDR3 1333 at those timings. Keep in mind that an i5-750 has to be overclocked to work with DDR3 1600. It normally maxes out at DDR3 1333. There were a lot of combo possibilities with memory but most of them were DDR16000 at 9-9-9-24. How much of a difference would this make.
HDD: $99.99 Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
Could go with a smaller drive to fit a combo deal, but 500GB is probably the smallest. I read that 1TB drives can be faster than smaller drives because of data density. That would be nice but not very important. I doubt my HDD would end up being the bottleneck.
Monitor: $169.99 Hanns·G HH-231HPB Black 23" 5ms HDMI Widescreen
This happens to be on sale at the moment for the same price as the 22inch LCD I was looking at before. I haven't heard of Hanns·G, but the new egg reviews looked decent enough. If there is a big enough price difference between a 22inch and a 21.5inch or 20inch. I could settle but I would really like the 22inch.
DVD/CD: $24.99 Sony Optiarc DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model
LightScribe is a requirement. I burn lots of disks and hate the way marker looks on them. I used to print labels but it was such a hassle and I'm tired of buying there stupid paper. Other than LightScribe, I chose this because it looked decent quality and was cheap.
Speakers: $27.99 Logitech LS21 7 Watts RMS (FTC) 2.1 Stereo Speaker System
Not at all an audiophile. I got the one with the subwoofer because the speakers I have now(are breaking) has one. I don't know if I could tell the difference between one that does and one that doesn't though. It didn't seem to cost much more with it so I threw it in.
Subtotal $1,295.87 Shipping $ 17.72
_________________ Total $1313.59
For those of you still with me, thank you very much. I hope the read wasn't to horrible. Again I appreciate any comments on part choices but mainly I'm concerned with optimizing the price through combo deals and free shipping without losing quality. My main problem right now is the PSU incompatibility. If someone puts a lot of effort into this, and saves me a decent amount of money, I'm certainly willing to make a small donation($5-$15) through paypal. I not promising anything. I'm not paying anyone to work for me. I do however appreciate hard work and believe it should be rewarded. Once more, thanks for reading this monstrosity. I was hoping to cover all the bases and clearly get my point across. I'm so glad there are great people here who are willing to lend a helping hand.
There are some folks who can be a lot more diligent than I regarding hunts for combos and good deals. My comments address some of your choices.
I think the HD5830 is a bad choice. Performance is too close to the HD5770 to justify a price so close to the HD5850. Check some benchmarks for the games you want to play to decide which way to go, but unless you're determined to play with every possible setting maxed, I suspect the HD5770 would be sufficient.
This would free up money for a better PSU. While I don't have evidence to call them crap (and some models review quite well), I've read too many things in various places about OCZ cutting corners on component quality. For a rig you mean to last for years, start with a known solid PSU like Antec, Corsair, or Seasonic. In your place, I think I'd take a long hard look at the 80+ gold certified Seasonic "X" series.
Cases are a matter of personal preference. For my part, I like the soft blue glow that comes from my CM RC-690 that tells me it's on, ready to do what I tell it. Fixing the untapped screw holes in the mobo tray wasn't a big deal; all CM cases seem to have this problem though. With a couple of slow fans (side and top) added, it has great airflow without being loud, but it is definitely not a silent case. I'm considering replacing it, probably with an Antec Sonata or P182, but haven't decided yet. That's one place to look for a combo; Antec cases + PSUs often have nice discounts. An 80+ bronze Truepower New would do you well also.
Your total comes to $1,233.99 w/ shipping. And $1,198.99 after MIR.
You can throw your speaker set in there, too if you wanted. Your monitor has built-in speakers though. Instead you can even change the XFX 5850 to an XFX 5870. It'd add $100 more to your total, but you'd still be within budget.