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~$1000 i5 build - questions on GPU, motherboard, et al.

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May 28, 2010 9:45:02 PM

I'm building a gaming/programming desktop for my 13 year old brother that can "last" for a while (like 4 years). I'm definitely looking at a i5-750 system, and want to have a motherboard with dual 8x/8x PCI-x16 channels as I may buy an identical video card for a Crossfire/SLI in a few years. I'm also looking for moderate overclocking capabilities, but nothing extreme. Trying to get the best deals (with rebates/combos) is a big priority too :)  An evaluation of the build and any suggestions would really help, especially on component brands to go for or avoid!

GOALS: Be able to play on max/near max settings , at 1920x1080 resolution, games like Empire: Total War, Crysis, COD Modern Warfare 2, Fallout 3, etc; and to run video/3D editing programs like Blender smoothly.

BUDGET RANGE: $1000 (not including monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS)

PARTS PREFERENCES (prices after S+H/rebate) :
Already purchased:
I5-750: $189
OCZ Slipstream 700W PSU: $50
Hitachi 1TB hard drive: $75

P55 Motherboards (I'd like to get dual PCI-E x8/x8 capability like I said, and will not be overclocking to a high extent. Suggestions for other models are welcome!)

1) EVGA P55 SLI 132-LF-E655-KR LGA1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard: $130 [after $40 rebate?]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2) MSI P55-GD65 LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard: $140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3) ASRock P55 Deluxe LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s ATX Intel Motherboard: $155
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4) GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD4P LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard: $177
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: Debating between ATI Radeon 5850 and NVidia FX 470, and also brand names. I want to buy another one of the same card in ~2 years, so I'm a bit afraid of the FX 470 as it seems to need much more cooling capacity.

Also two questions: 1) Does factory overclock actually do anything that I wouldn't be able to do with GPU tuning software?
2) What is the difference between cards marked as "PCI-E 2.0 x16 " and "PCI-E 2.1 x16 "?

5850's:
1) GIGABYTE GV-R585OC-1GD Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 w/ ATI Eyefinity: $310
[Overclocked to 765 mhz]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2) HIS H585FN1GD Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 w/ Eyefinity: $290
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

FX470's [All on sale for $330]:
1) ZOTAC ZT-40201-10P GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2) PNY XLR8 VCGGTX470XPB GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3) MSI N470GTX-M2D12-B GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: (Looking for DDR3 1600 speed - plan on doing small overclocks. I don't know much about latency timings (8 v 9?) and voltage, so help would be good!)

1) OCZ Special Ops Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3SOE1600LV4GK ($110):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2) CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M2A1600C9: $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3) G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM: $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4) G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO: $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD-ROM/burner - Will just pick one of the ~$30 models that have OK ratings.

Cases: I'm trying to stay under $60 if possible. Looking for nothing fancy/good looking; just good enough to keep the system cool. Would something like this be good enough:

Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ,comes with Three Fans: $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU cooler:
serious question - should I get one or is the i5's stock one good enough?

ESTIMATED TOTAL COSTS:
i5 processor: $189
700w PSU: $50
1TB HD: $75
P55 motherboard: ~$150
ATI 5850 (if chosen over FX470): ~$310
RAM: ~$110
DVD-ROM: ~$30
Case: ~$60
Other peripherals: ~$70
= $1,044
May 29, 2010 7:38:42 PM

1 bump, some advice about which mobo to go for and which GPU (5850 v FX470), and whether I should get a CPU cooler, would be great!
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May 29, 2010 8:00:13 PM

Curious as well. This is pretty much the same build I would like to do.
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May 30, 2010 5:35:47 PM

Anyone? Just the choice of P55 motherboard, and brands of ATI 5850 /NVidia FX 470 cards to try to get to avoid, would be really helpful. My initial post was probably too long, but I wanted to be as detailed as possible as per the instructions.

Thanks!
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May 30, 2010 8:24:51 PM

Thanks - not looking for USB 3, though, so I'm hoping to go a bit cheaper.

Can anyone tell me if there's anything wrong with this deal - a P55, dual PCI-E x8/x8 motherboard for $130 after rebate?

EVGA P55 SLI 132-LF-E655-KR LGA1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard: $170 - $40 rebate?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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May 30, 2010 9:19:52 PM

/\ Nothing assuming you actually get the rebate.
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!