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Budget i5 build (CAD) - Critique!

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June 1, 2010 6:48:55 PM

I've spent a lot of time researching, tweaking and putting this thing together and I'd like to get some more opinions.

My initial budget was for <$750 (CAD) but I am able to stretch it a little; I'm not buying this thing now but within a few months--hopefully prices will drop a bit by then so I can be closer to my aforementioned budget. I also had originally chosen an AMD CPU (Phenom II X4 945) which allowed me to fit in my budget but I opted out for the core i5 because it's just plain better.
I'm buying everything from bestdirect.ca which gives me free shipping for orders over $500. I could always go with newegg.ca but bestdirect has better prices for the most part.

Case: Coolermaster Elite RC-330 ATX - $36.30
CPU: Intel Core i5 750 - $207.79
Mobo: Gigabyte P55A-UD3 ATX LGA1156 P55 - $134.79
GPU: XFX Radeon HD 5750 700MHZ 1GB 4.6GHZ GDDR5 - $147.67
RAM: A-DATA Gaming Series AX3U1600GB2G9-2G 4GB 2X2GB DDR3-1600 - $107.11
PSU: Silverstone Strider Essential ST50F-ES 500W Power Supply ATX 24PIN 120MM Fan 34A 80+ Black - $50.74
HDD: Seagate 500GB Barracuda - $39.79
Total + tax (free S&H): $818.33

+Aftermarket Heatsink: Coolermaster RR-910-HTX3-GP - $16.50
+Thermal Paste: Arctic Silver 5 - $4.11

Total + tax (free S&H): $841.62

I don't plan on overclocking and I don't do intense gaming anymore, the last game I bought was HL2 which would run fine on this build. I'm hoping prices for the processor and mobo drop down in a few months when I actually plan on buying it so that I can get closer to my budget. I decided for a USB3.0 mobo for futureproofing, I don't want to have to invest more money on it for a few years.
June 1, 2010 6:55:52 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: End of summer

BUDGET RANGE: <$850 CAD

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Movies, rare gaming, occasional video editing, ArcGIS

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: bestdirect.ca then newegg.ca

PARTS PREFERENCES: none really

OVERCLOCKING: No
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440x900 (maximum on my screen)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would like a very quiet PC with relatively little or no lights
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June 1, 2010 11:39:47 PM

1. You DO NOT need a 5750 if you are not gaming. A cheap 4650/4670 will do. For CAD type work, imo, stick with an nVidia card as they seem to have better drivers for this kind of work. And yes, HL2 will run perfectly fine on a 4650. Hell I can run HL2 at 1400 at high detail on a 8500GT at school PC.

2. You do not need USB3 yet. By the time USB3 becomes mainstream you probably will need an upgrade (I assume you will upgrade in 2 - 3 years).

3. How well does your software (ArcGIS, esp the 2010 verient if you plan to use it) scale with more cores?

4. Do realize, upgrade path for P55 is pretty much dead by next year due to Intel switching platforms.

5. +1 for the Antec banthracis linked to HOWEVER I wouldn't get anything below 500Ws now unless for a HTPC/NAS type build esp. if you plan to upgrade.

6. You don't really need a new heatsink ot TIM unless OCing.
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June 2, 2010 12:42:47 AM

To Shadow 70379:

1. I went with the 5750 by XFX for the lifetime warranty and also because it supports DX11. I could probably drop down to a 4670 but like I said, I'm trying to futureproof it so that's why I went with a DX11 card.

2. I don't want to upgrade for a while so that's why I went with USB3. My current computer is still kicking after 5 years albeit after a few replacements (most under warranty).

3. I don't have an answer for this

4. Do you have any recommendations then? What should I wait for instead?

5. Got any recommendations for cheaper 80+ certified PSUs? What's wrong with the Silverstone?

6. The only reason I had included the HSF was to keep noise levels down in case of gaming or HD videos although I doubt modern PCs have this issue anymore.


To banthracis:

1. I went with the 5750 because it was cheaper and because XFX has lifetime warranties

2. It is the 7200.12 one

3.I'm not entirely fussed by RAM. I was originally going with G.Skill with the same CAS 9 timing but then prices changed. I doubt I will notice the difference between CAS7 and CAS9 with my level of CPU knowledge and usage.
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June 2, 2010 1:08:01 AM

budgetbuilder65 said:
To Shadow 70379:

1. I went with the 5750 by XFX for the lifetime warranty and also because it supports DX11. I could probably drop down to a 4670 but like I said, I'm trying to futureproof it so that's why I went with a DX11 card.

2. I don't want to upgrade for a while so that's why I went with USB3. My current computer is still kicking after 5 years albeit after a few replacements (most under warranty).

3. I don't have an answer for this

4. Do you have any recommendations then? What should I wait for instead?

5. Got any recommendations for cheaper 80+ certified PSUs? What's wrong with the Silverstone?

6. The only reason I had included the HSF was to keep noise levels down in case of gaming or HD videos although I doubt modern PCs have this issue anymore.


To banthracis:

1. I went with the 5750 because it was cheaper and because XFX has lifetime warranties

2. It is the 7200.12 one

3.I'm not entirely fussed by RAM. I was originally going with G.Skill with the same CAS 9 timing but then prices changed. I doubt I will notice the difference between CAS7 and CAS9 with my level of CPU knowledge and usage.


1. There is no point in trying to do so. The same/similar card will be ~$100-120 by end of the year.

2. Again, why not upgrade again in a year or two? Btw, I'm not talking about major upgrade here. I'm talking about just putting in a USB3 PCIe card.

3. I highly recommend you find an answer for this, as that could save you a bunch of money.

4. Right now, you don't have the budget for the LGA1366 (and this platform too is a bit dicey; depends on if manufactures will provide BIOS updates for Xeons to be used if the i7 LGA1366 gets killed). If you want future proofing, AM3 looks pretty good for a while.

5. Nothing wrong with the Silverstone, it's just that Antec is better known and has the reputation as a good PSU manufacture.

6. That depends on your tolerance level for noise. Also, do beware that some HSFs are significantly louder than the stock HSF. Start here: http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm also check out silentpcreview ( http://www.silentpcreview.com/ ) for reviews,etc.
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June 2, 2010 2:09:30 PM

Can you expound on point #1?

Do you have any recommendations for another motherboard then?
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June 2, 2010 5:16:46 PM

^ Well, the point is, you are only playing HL2 which means you don't need a card greater than a $50-60 ATI 4670. Spending a $140-150 on a GPU now for that game is pointless to be honest. HOWEVER, if you plan to play modern games, ie Bad Company 2, Crysis 2,etc then by all means get the 5750. The fact is, until you start playing newer games, you won't need a better GPU. Also, realize that by not using the card to it's full potential you are basally wasting money right now considering that the prices for the card will decrease to ~$100 or so my next year.
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