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~1000$ Gaming Build

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May 21, 2010 3:35:34 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This upcoming Monday
BUDGET RANGE: ~1000$, I do not take rebates into account as they take months to come in, and are generally quite small.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Gimp, Videos, Web Surfing, CAD.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Hard Drive, Optical Drive, Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.ca, Tigerdirect.ca (I want to only order from one website for simplicity, unless I can get massive savings)

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada

PARTS PREFERENCES: Definitely want an Intel Core i5 or i7.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes, in the future.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050, and will be getting a second and possibly a third in the future.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I really just want a good gaming pc that will last me a few years. I plan on getting a second video card in the future, as well as multiple monitors.
I've spent the last couple of days searching around for parts and reviews. This is what I've come up with.
I realize that the motherboard is not ideal for crossfire, as you only get the full x16 when you have one card, and you get x8 for each card when you use two. I had read somewhere that this only results in a 5-10% drop in speed when using two cards, so I'm not too worried, or is this not the case?
I'm not sure about the power supply, I really only chose it because it has long cables.
I was having trouble deciding between the Gigabyte GA-p55a-ud4p and the ASUS P7P55D-E Pro, which do you think is better?

So, what do you all think of this configuration? Any critiques?

COOLER MASTER HAF 932, Full Tower Computer Case
GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD4P OR ASUS P7P55D-E Pro
SAPPHIRE 100297L Radeon HD 5830 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V
Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600)

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May 21, 2010 3:58:08 PM
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You're wasing a lot of money.

The 932 isn't needed. The 922 is better and cheaper, but even that's not necessary. Look at the Antec 300 Illusion or Coolermaster 690 to save money.

The UD4P is not a great choice. You should spend the little extra on the Asus because the Gigabyte board disables USB 3/SATA III speeds if you Crossfire. Why pay for both features buy only get one?

The 5830 is a horrible choice. It won't do anything for you at your resolution that the 5770 won't. Either step down to the 5770 or step up to the 5850. Judging by your desire to expand the number of monitors, you should be getting the 5850.

A 750W PSU is overkill. 650W is enough for dual 5770s, 5830s and 5850s. Save some money here as well.

I should also point out that the LGA1156/LGA1366 sockects are dead ends. Intel is moving on in a year to the LGA1155 and 1365 sockets. At the moment, AMD is more future proof and only slightly less powerful. Heck, in your case with multiple uses, I'd suggest taking a look at the X6 1055T...
May 21, 2010 4:57:14 PM

Wow, Thanks for all the info.

I had gone with the 932 because I would prefer a lot of extra space, I don't mind paying a bit extra for the room.

I was under the impression that the asus board disabled usb 3/sata III the same way as the gigabyte borad, thanks for clearing that up. I'll definitely go for the asus.

Thanks for the heads up on the gpu, I'll probably drop down to the 5770, and just get a second one sooner. I just noticed that the 5770 does not have eyefinity (unless I go to the $200 one). Is eyefinity worth the extra 40$? Is it required for running a game on multiple screens?

I looked at a ton of gaming benchmarks for processors, and at every single one, the core i5 blew even the x6 1055t out of the water, consistently doing 10-20% better in terms of frame rate. I generally go for very long periods of time between upgrading, and will probably need a new motherboard/processor next time I upgrade anyways, so I think I'll stick with the Core i5. I used to love amd chips, all of my previous builds have been amd, but they are lagging behind right now in performance.

I had gone for the more powerful psu because I was concerned about future usage and didn't want to upgrade it later. As far as power requirements go, I would at most be using: two 5770 gpus, 4 sticks of ram, sound card, 3 internal hard drives, 1 external hard drive, blueray drive, and maybe 1 or 2 random usb powered devices. You think 650W will be enough?
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May 21, 2010 5:48:21 PM

1) space:
the haf 932's dimensions are (w/h/d): 9.6/22.5 front, 21.5 back/22.7 = 4757.92 cubic inches of space (front is only approx 1/3 deep)
the haf 922's dimensions are (w/h/d): 10/19.7 front, 19.7 back/22.2 = 4373.40 cubic inches of space

imo the 932's > 400 cubic inches of extra space aren't really worth it (from the paying a bit extra for room mind frame)

2) u3s6 support: i dont know enough about, but id tend to trust MA

3) GPU: if u plan on going with 3 monitors in the future i would suggest going with the 5850 or better
starting off with crossfire/sli on a new build is generally inadvisable unless there r clear cut reasons to do so
this way u wont have to worry about eyefinity stuff not being there and u can run ur games at higher settings

4) CPU: if ur focus is on gaming go with i5 750 for intel or P2X4 955 BE for AMD
as MA said it sounds like u might have other uses that can benefit from more cores; if that is the case go with the 1055t
if ur ~$1000 budget cant go over much and u focus on gaming i would say "stick with AMD for the processor"
otw the i5 750 + p7p55d-e pro is a great cpu + mobo set (its what i use ;)  )

5) PSU: if u search google for "antec watt calculator" or something like that, there is a very useful webpage by antec that tells
u the approximate amount of continuous wattage u need for the system. 650W (as long as its from a good supplier) should
be enough for sure. good supplier means corsair, antec, etc. i personally like to have overkill on my PSU, but its an easy place
to cut down on cost without really losing anything other than heavy upgrade paths.
May 21, 2010 5:50:02 PM

I agree with everything Mad said, Except:

The X4 955 is a better idea that the 1055T.

It's 50$ less, and faster at games at the same time.
May 21, 2010 5:58:22 PM

5770s do have Eyefinity for up to three monitors.

Games aren't CPU dependent. The X6 would beat the i5 in the productivity and have no difference in game. You'd get better overall performance out of the X6.

Yes. The GPUs are extremely efficient right now.
May 21, 2010 6:04:55 PM

It doesn't "fail". It just doesn't beat the X4 955. It will still performs extremely well.

Again, the benefit won't be in the games, it would be in the other tasks listed (Gimp, CAD, etc.).
May 21, 2010 6:33:08 PM

The 1090T loses to the i7-930 by like 25% at 1680x1050 with a GTX 480.

Thats a fail.

Even bigger fail when you consider that games are mostly GPU bound, how the hell is it even possible to fails o hard?

AMD found an answer.
May 21, 2010 6:38:45 PM

It's still not a fail because gaming benchmarks artificially create the CPU benchmarks. The X6 wasn't intended to be a gaming CPU. It's meant to be a number crunching CPU. It handles games just fine, and has the added benefit of being better outside of gaming.
May 21, 2010 6:49:47 PM

You guys are really helping me a lot, I'm incredibly grateful.

I'm not working with big models in cad (just making small stuff for my 3d printer), so I don't really need to worry too much about performance for that yet. Gimp is running fine on my current system, it just sometimes takes a little while to start up, so I'm not too concerned about that either.

I've been looking around newegg for a decent Radeon 5770. I can only find one on the site that claims to support eyefinity: HIS IceQ 5 H577QT1GD Radeon HD 5770 But this one is about $200. Isn't that kinda expensive for a 5770?

Do just some of the 5770s have eyefinity? Or do you think its just not listed for some of the cards? Any specific makes that you might suggest?
May 21, 2010 7:01:13 PM

They might not list it in the title, but they do in the specs. Look at this one.

All 5xxx cards have support for Eyefinity.
May 21, 2010 7:56:43 PM

2118558,10,511676 said:
It's still not a fail because gaming benchmarks artificially create the CPU benchmarks. quotemsg]

Not on that article.

Nope.

It most certaintly is not handleing gaming "just fine"
May 21, 2010 8:01:40 PM

Wow, just did the tally for all the changes and so far, after following everyone's advice, I've saved about $150, and don't really see any drop in performance :D  The original configuration was going to cost about 1019$, Now the total is at about 875$ I could probably drop it to about $850 if I went for a cheaper case or power supply, but I don't wanna get lower quality stuff. I've saved enough here to get a second GPU, but I think I'm gonna wait until the system is built and tested before I order another 5770. Thanks all!

Here's the updated build:


Updated Parts:
XFX HD-577X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770
COOLER MASTER HAF 922
SILVERSTONE OP650 650W ATX
ASUS P7P55D-E Pro


No change:
Intel Core i5-750
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM
May 21, 2010 8:09:27 PM

That's a great build, but if you can, take that savings and get a 5850. It will greatly improve your gaming experience. Add a Hyper 212+ HSF from Microcenter.com ($20) so you can OC that i5-750.
May 21, 2010 8:17:39 PM

builderbobftw said:
It most certaintly is not handleing gaming "just fine"


In most of the charts you posted, the 1090T X6 is only 3-5 fps behind the i7-930. In the chart with the biggest disparity, it's still over 50 fps, which is playable by almost any measure. I'm not sure how 50 fps is failing.

No, it's not holding up to the i7 in that chart, but so what? MadAdmiral's point is that the 1090T does well at highly-multithreaded apps and performs adequately in games. Depending on the workload and how much gaming the OP wants to do, it might be a good choice. The i7 might be a good choice as well, if the OP mostly games but a couple times a week uses some big crunchy app for a few hours straight.

(Of course, if it's 90% gaming with a little bit of everything else, either a Phenom II X4 or an i5-750 would be a much better choice.)
May 21, 2010 8:30:43 PM

goatsword said:
That's a great build, but if you can, take that savings and get a 5850. It will greatly improve your gaming experience. Add a Hyper 212+ HSF from Microcenter.com ($20) so you can OC that i5-750.



Is the 5850 actually better than two 5770s? And Yeah, I was actually planning on getting that very heatsink, but was going to wait a bit before I started trying to overclock anything.
May 21, 2010 8:41:12 PM

I think I just found the answer to my question, from what I've read, two 5770s will perform marginally better than a 5850, but if I wanted to upgrade later, I would have to replace both 5770s. If I got a 5850 now, I could always just add another one later.
May 21, 2010 8:41:26 PM

^ 2 5770s equals a 5870.

So no.

And Cold, When you lose by that much at gaming, and only beat the i7s by a few %s at other things, its a fail.

It has no place in a gaming build.

None.
May 21, 2010 8:42:17 PM

SuavePotato said:
Is the 5850 actually better than two 5770s? And Yeah, I was actually planning on getting that very heatsink, but was going to wait a bit before I started trying to overclock anything.


2x 5770 is probably somewhat (but not insanely) better than 1x 5850. For games that work with CrossFire (though there are becoming fewer and fewer that don't). However, it does leave you without an upgrade path if you find that it's lacking in a year or two. If you buy a 5850 now, and the graphics are sub-par in a year or so, you could add another 5850 at that point, rather than having to throw both of the 5770s out and get something completely new.

My preference is to go with 1 bigger graphics card at the start of a build, and then only CrossFire/SLI later if it becomes necessary.

The above sentiments are also mirrored in Tom's Hardware Best Graphics Cards for the Money, May 2010.
May 21, 2010 8:46:32 PM

^ You could always just sell the 5770s and buy whats the new rage.
May 21, 2010 8:49:36 PM

builderbobftw said:
And Cold, When you lose by that much at gaming, and only beat the i7s by a few %s at other things, its a fail.

It has no place in a gaming build.

None.


I realize that you have some sort of artificial definition of "gaming = Crysis and nothing else", but I'm going to attempt to continue this conversation for the benefit of the OP.

I find it interesting that on the successive pages of the article you linked, the X6 is not all that far behind in terms of raw fps. It even wins at CoD:MW2. It may be at/near the bottom of most of the charts, but if you actually read the numbers on them, it's rarely a big difference.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-phenom-ii-x6-10...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-phenom-ii-x6-10...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-phenom-ii-x6-10...

And in case you didn't actually read my last message (I know, I know, reading is hard...it strains the head meats):

It depends on the workload.

For a pure gaming rig, you'll note that I said "a Phenom II X4 or an i5-750 would be a much better choice."

For a mixed-workload rig, it might be an appropriate choice.

EDIT: I probably should have name-checked MadAdmiral in this post as well as the earlier one. :) 
May 21, 2010 8:56:51 PM

^Which is what I've been saying this entire time.

Also, the secondary market for parts can be fickle. Who knows what kind of money you could get for the 5770 in a couple of years? You could get 1/2 of what you paid for them, which would fund a slight graphics upgrade but utimately be a bad use of money, or you could get practically nothing for them, making them a massive waste. I would never recommend Crossfire to start a build, as you waste the upgrade path and have larger expenses at the start of the build.
May 21, 2010 9:02:23 PM

I actually expect the 5770 to not have a high resale value. As far as I can tell, the cards with a high resale value are the ones that had a limited production run, like the 4890, where someone bought one and now realize that they either need another one or have to make a big jump to a new line.

The 5770 appears to be the opposite of that, high volume production and everyone is getting one or two. I expect the secondary market for it to be weak, because there are so many (relatively speaking) in production. It's a mainstream card, which means mainstream availability.
May 21, 2010 9:13:22 PM

I'm convinced, I'm gonna pick up a 5850 instead of the two 5770s. I'll probably get this one: HIS H585FN1GD Radeon HD 5850

I haven't heard the best things about HIS in regards to customer service, but I do not like how flimsy the xfx one looks that is at the same price point.
May 21, 2010 9:14:59 PM

Check the combos for the HD 5850. Brand doesn't really matter at this point, so just get whatever one saves you the most with another part you're getting.
May 21, 2010 9:23:43 PM

coldsleep said:
I realize that you have some sort of artificial definition of "gaming = Crysis and nothing else", but I'm going to attempt to continue this conversation for the benefit of the OP.

I find it interesting that on the successive pages of the article you linked, the X6 is not all that far behind in terms of raw fps. It even wins at CoD:MW2. It may be at/near the bottom of most of the charts, but if you actually read the numbers on them, it's rarely a big difference.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-phenom-ii-x6-10...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-phenom-ii-x6-10...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-phenom-ii-x6-10...

And in case you didn't actually read my last message (I know, I know, reading is hard...it strains the head meats):

It depends on the workload.

For a pure gaming rig, you'll note that I said "a Phenom II X4 or an i5-750 would be a much better choice."

For a mixed-workload rig, it might be an appropriate choice.

EDIT: I probably should have name-checked MadAdmiral in this post as well as the earlier one. :) 


MW2 Isn't a game. Metro 2033 is a game. Crysis is a game. MW2 is poorly coded, CPU dependant, console ported crap.

And even if you are gaming 10% of the time, i7-930 is STILL a better idea. Those 10% of the time will make up for the few % points faster the X6 is in a handfull of applications.

And you could sell 2 5770s in 2 years for just as much as a 5850. About 50-100$.
May 21, 2010 9:37:00 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Check the combos for the HD 5850. Brand doesn't really matter at this point, so just get whatever one saves you the most with another part you're getting.



I almost completely forgot about checking the combo deals! Thanks for reminding me. There wasn't any useful combo deals for the 5850, but i was able to save an additional $15 with a Core i5-750/ASUS P7P55D-E Pro combo deal.

May 21, 2010 10:31:23 PM

Best answer selected by SuavePotato.
May 21, 2010 10:32:07 PM

Well thank you everyone!!! I don't think i have any other questions or concerns. I cant tell you how much I appreciate the help!
May 22, 2010 1:59:37 AM

Pretty ridiculous how you turned a thread of someone asking for help in a build into a fanboy flame rage builderbob.
May 22, 2010 11:36:46 AM

What kind of Fnaboy am I this time?

Intell?
Amd?
Ati?
Nvidia?

I've been called them all by various other fanboys before >.<
May 22, 2010 3:40:05 PM

Uh, no offense to any of you, but this is a thread asking for help. Now that the person has already got the rig done, and selected the best answer, especially, it is useless to continue arguing...If you must, please do it in PMs.
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