Balanced/Gaming Build - $1100

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: July/2010
BUDGET RANGE: $1100
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Surfing the internet, Watching movies, listening to music, downloading, programming
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Any
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Brazil
PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel CPU | Asus Motherboard | Corsair PSU | G.Skill/Corsair Memory | ATI Graphic Card
OVERCLOCKING: Yes, nothing "extreme".
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes, in near future.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1024x768 / 1280x1024 / 1280×720 (Really don't know yet. Don't care much about high resolutions, just perfomance. :kaola: )
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I pretend to keep the computer most of the time ON (24/7).


CPU: Intel i5 750
CPU Fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212+
Thermal Compound: Artic Cooling MX-2
Motherboard: Asus P7P55D PRO
Case: CM690 II Advanced
Graphic Card: ATI Radeon HD 5770 Vapor-X
Hard-Disks (Raid0 setup): 2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB
Power Supplier: Corsair 650HX
Surge Suppressor: APC P6B
DVD Burner:Samsung SH-S223
Memory (DDR3):G.Skill ECO 1600Mhz/CL7/1.35

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I did the PSU calculation here: http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp
Here the results:

I've already put the other Graphic Card, some extras USB/PCI from future joytick/other possible stuffs and the 3rd HDD that I pretend to use for backup/storage.
Capacitor Aging 20% because I pretend to keep the computer ON most of the time (24/7) like I said.


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OS suggestion:
I've already own Windows XP Pro SP3 32bits. It's worth to buy Windows 7? Why and which version? (Home Premium/Professional/Ultimate and 32bits/64bits).

Thermal Compound question:
It's worth to buy/use these 'thermal compounds' like MX-2 or Artic Silver 5? Will make significant difference?

3rd HDD suggestion:
Like I said, I pretend to buy a 3rd HDD just for backup/storage important files. Which one is a good choice? Those 'green' ones?
And should I do Raid with it too? (For example, Raid 0+1...)

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Overall, this is a good build? :D
Any comments/suggestions regarding any part, please feel free to share it! :sarcastic: (Specially those that I didn't decided yet)
9 answers Last reply
More about balanced gaming build 1100
  1. Do you have a Microcenter near you? If so, consider an i7-930 - $199.

    I just went through a full build very similar to yours but focused on video editing ($69 GT 9800 video card) but also included Windows 7 professional and a solid state boot drive for $174. Given that you don't have an SSD drive, and have 2 1TB drives, you will gain $100 there that you can translate into your $170 video card. My build finished out @ $1211 with bundles and acquiring through Newegg & Microcenter.

    Do you have enough content to fill up those drives?
    Look at the features between Windows Professional & Home - if you don't need them don't pay for it.

    CASE: Antec Three Hundred
    CASE FAN: Coolermaster Long Life Silent
    POWER SUPPLY: Corsair 650
    PROCESSOR: i7-930
    CPU COOLER: Scythe Mugen 2
    MEMORY: G.Skill 6GB DDR3 1600
    MOTHERBOARD: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R
    HARD DRIVE: Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ
    SSD DRIVE: OCZ Vertex 2 50 GB
    GRAPHICS CARD: EVGA 512-P3-987-TR GeForce 9800 GT
    DVD/BR DRIVE: Lite-On 24X DVD Writer SATA Model iHAS424-98
    OS: Windows 7 Professional
    Thermal Compound: Artic Silver
  2. Good looking build.
    Choose one of the CAS7 RAM options. Both are good.
    I think its safe to go with the thermal compound that comes with the Hyper 212+. For a heavy or extreme overclock it would make sense to use a premium thermal compound.

    I'm a big fan of Windows 7 but I still keep multi-boot options that include WinXP and Vista that I use from time to time - mostly for troubleshooting, etc. I'd vote for 7 Home Premium.

    For a 'just for backup' HDD I like one of the USB external drives like Seagate FreeAgentGo. Store someplace safe between backups.
  3. g0wave said:
    Do you have a Microcenter near you? If so, consider an i7-930 - $199.

    I just went through a full build very similar to yours but focused on video editing ($69 GT 9800 video card) but also included Windows 7 professional and a solid state boot drive for $174. Given that you don't have an SSD drive, and have 2 1TB drives, you will gain $100 there that you can translate into your $170 video card. My build finished out @ $1211 with bundles and acquiring through Newegg & Microcenter.

    Do you have enough content to fill up those drives?
    Look at the features between Windows Professional & Home - if you don't need them don't pay for it.

    CASE: Antec Three Hundred
    CASE FAN: Coolermaster Long Life Silent
    POWER SUPPLY: Corsair 650
    PROCESSOR: i7-930
    CPU COOLER: Scythe Mugen 2
    MEMORY: G.Skill 6GB DDR3 1600
    MOTHERBOARD: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R
    HARD DRIVE: Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ
    SSD DRIVE: OCZ Vertex 2 50 GB
    GRAPHICS CARD: EVGA 512-P3-987-TR GeForce 9800 GT
    DVD/BR DRIVE: Lite-On 24X DVD Writer SATA Model iHAS424-98
    OS: Windows 7 Professional
    Thermal Compound: Artic Silver


    No, there is no Microcenter here. I'm from Brazil. :)

    SSD would be the best choice, because I don't care much about storage size just perfomance. But, SSD is still too expensive. :/
    Also, a small Velociraptor don't worth the price too.

    Yes, I think that 1TB (two 500GB) will be too much for a Raid0 setup. haha
    But, what other choices I have spending similar amounts? (And, I will get two 500GB and not 1TB)

    There are any perfomance difference between the Windows 7 version?

    -------------

    WR2 said:
    Good looking build.
    Choose one of the CAS7 RAM options. Both are good.
    I think its safe to go with the thermal compound that comes with the Hyper 212+. For a heavy or extreme overclock it would make sense to use a premium thermal compound.

    I'm a big fan of Windows 7 but I still keep multi-boot options that include WinXP and Vista that I use from time to time - mostly for troubleshooting, etc. I'd vote for 7 Home Premium.

    For a 'just for backup' HDD I like one of the USB external drives like Seagate FreeAgentGo. Store someplace safe between backups.


    Ok, I removed the CAS9 option from the first post ;)

    I think that I will stick with the MX-2, it's only $10 bucks. :D I guess that will contribute a little bit to the lifetime of my CPU.

    I've read that Windows 7 is quite slower than Windows XP, like 5-10%.
    What would be the main advantages of using Windows 7?
  4. WR2 said:


    Thanks! Good article with nice benchmarks.

    Windows 7 It is! :D

    Just not sure regarding 32bit or 64bit... :sweat:
    I think I'm gonna try 64bit. I guess that probably one or two softwares/games that I won't be able to run...
  5. You can get Win 7 Upgrade package that has both 32bit and 64bit for only $10 more than the OEM 64bit only.
    You'd have the option to use 32bit if you find 64bit won't let you run your favorite ancient games.
  6. WR2 said:
    You can get Win 7 Upgrade package that has both 32bit and 64bit for only $10 more than the OEM 64bit only.
    You'd have the option to use 32bit if you find 64bit won't let you run your favorite ancient games.


    Perfect! :D
    Thanks for the tip!

    ---

    And I've decided to stick with Corsair 650TX and Seagate 7200.12 for the Raid0 setup.

    Now, it's just missing:

    Burner
    Samsung vs Lite-On. Which brand has more quality? (Don't care about super fast burning speeds, just quality).

    RAM
    Ripjaws vs ECO. Which has more stability?
  7. There should be no stability differences between any of the RAM sets.
    DVD burner - either one would be a good choice. Lite-On probably has more experience with optical drives than Samsung - but that isnt the same things as 'quality'. You should worry more about specific item quality vs 'brand quality'. You can try to discern any differences in quality from the NewEgg customer comments, I'm not sure there is any better way.
  8. WR2 said:
    There should be no stability differences between any of the RAM sets.
    DVD burner - either one would be a good choice. Lite-On probably has more experience with optical drives than Samsung - but that isnt the same things as 'quality'. You should worry more about specific item quality vs 'brand quality'. You can try to discern any differences in quality from the NewEgg customer comments, I'm not sure there is any better way.


    Thanks again! :D
    Samsung then. =)
    And ECO series of G.Skill.

    Also, I changed my choice of PSU. 650HX instead of 650TX, seems to be higher quality. :sarcastic:

    Thanks all for the answers!
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