Over the summer, I hope to build my first gaming pc. The most I will spend is 1500 US dollars and saving any money on certain components would be great. My main uses for this computer will be gaming and school work. I already have a monitor with a resolution of 1920 x 1200, speakers, keyboard, mouse, and the Corsair Obsidian 800D Case. For this computer I want to have a socket 1366 i7 processor, preferably the i7 930. I want 6gb of 1600mhz ram and a Corsair modular power supply. I plan to use the fan that comes with the cpu and then in the future upgrade to the Corsair H50 or something similar. Also, I would like to have a ATI graphics card with DX11, because I've heard that the new Nvidia DX11 cards produce a lot of heat. Right now I am not interested in having dual graphics cards, although I may add a second in the future. I won't do any overclocking at first, but I may oc my cpu once I get a better cpu cooler.
Please post your ideas and changes to what I was thinking about so I can begin to make my purchases for this computer.
I'm going to present two options. They're close in price and are both under budget by quite a bit. The first one will be a lot better for gaming, as gaming performance has very little to do with the CPU and everything to do with the GPU.
Thanks, I might consider moving down to the i5 system. Do you think 850w of power would be overkill? Also would two 5850's be better than the 5970? How do you think the i7-860 is compared to the i5-750?
I'll start with the easy one. The i7-860 is crap. It's not significantly better than the i5. In gaming, the i5 is actually better. There is very little reason to even consider teh i7-860 right now. It's too close in price to the i7-930, and too close in performance to the i5.
The 850W is probably overkill for the 5870 even Crossfired. I should point out that if you ever feel the need to Crossfire the 5970 (you won't ever NEED to), you should probably step up to the 850W version. You could easily put the Corsair 750W in the second build and be just fine.
Finally, at stock, two 5850s would be about equal to a 5970. That is very deceiving. First, though it costs about $70-100 less, you lose the upgrade path. You'd be getting a less future proof build. This is the reason I NEVER recommend Crossfire at the start of a build. Second, the 5970 is technically two 5870s on one card. The cores have been downclocked slightly. Once you undo that, the 5970 will beat 2x 5850s. So, IMO, dual 5850s are not better than the 5970.
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) means that it comes with nothing but the component. No cables, no instructions, no software. It's not really an issue, as the board will come with a few SATA cables to hook it up and all installation takes is plugging in the obvious connections. You can find plenty of free burning/ripping software online, so the software isn't a loss either.
I took the i5 pc that you suggested with some changes of my own and calculated the price including the operating system and it was around 1,550. Is there any way to drop the price below 1500 without getting rid of the 5970?
Here is your i5 pc with my changes.
CPU: i5-750 $199.99
MOBO: Asus P7P55D-E Pro $189.99
RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) $119.99
GPU: HD 5970 $699.99
HDD: WD 750gb Black $79.99
PSU: Corsair TX850W $129.99
Optical: ASUS CD/DVD Burner Black E-IDE/PATA Model DRW-22B2S/BLK/B/AS (Bulk) - OEM $24.99
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM $99.99
Drop the WD HDD to a Seagate 7200.12 500 GB or Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB. They're faster, quieter and cooler running.
I'm personally not a fan of modular PSUs. The benefit of removing the cables is gone once you have a bottom mounted PSU. I'd save the money and get a regular Corsair.
Something to point out is that you've got an IDE burner, not a SATA one. It'll work fine, but the SATA models are better because the cable doesn't restrict airflow.
Also, the Corsair RAM is CAS Latency 9. The G.Skills for the same price are CAS Latency 7, meaning they'll be faster and better for overclocking.
If you don't want to get a non-modular PSU, I've got it down to $1,510. Check for more combos, and if you can't find any and absolutely must get it under $1,500, there will need to be a few drastic cuts.
First, drop the board to the Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3. You'll lose Crossfire, but with the 5970, you won't need it anyway. Then you can drop the PSU to a 750W unit.