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Build that will last 4-5 yrs

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June 25, 2010 11:50:05 AM

So will this do?

CPU Intel i7-930 2.80GHz
Mobo Foxconn FlamingBlade GTI LGA1366
RAM Super Talent DDR3-1600 6GB CL8
GPU Sapphire Radeon HD5850 1GB DDR5
HDD Western Digital Caviar Green 1.5TB
PSU Cooler Master 600W

Specific questions:
1. Would the i7-960 3.2Ghz really be worth the extra $200?

2. PhenomII X6 (3.2 GHz) vs. i7-930 (2.8Ghz)?

3. Is the graphics card overkill for a max resolution of 1280x1024?

4. Will SATA3 & USB3.0 be worth the $65 mobo upgrade?




APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within 3 months
BUDGET RANGE: $1,100

SYSTEM USAGE: gaming, MSoffice

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, case

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: ewiz.com

OVERCLOCKING: No
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: no more than 1280x1024 (plan on keeping my 17")

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm no enthusiast. Overclocking/SLI/CF=utter waste of money. I assembled my current PC back in 2005 and it's served me very well over the years. I just want to assemble a similar system that can last for the next half decade.

Specs of current system:
AMD Athlon 64 2.4Ghz
1.5 GB DDR RAM
GeForce 7800GT
360 HDD
Biostar Tforce4 Ultra mobo
(nothing overclocked)

More about : build yrs

June 25, 2010 12:15:12 PM

I personally don't think the i7 960 is worth the essentially 400 Mhz overclock. I'd get the i7 930 over the Phenom II X6, because I really don't think in a few years we'll have six core threaded games, although if you are multitasking or using programs which benefit with extra cores, the Phenom II X6 would be a better choice. The HD 5850 is somewhat overkill for 1280 x 1024, an HD 5770 would be enough although with an HD 5850 it future-proofs you monitor wise and can essentially max all games at that resolution. I would pay $65 for SATA III & USB 3.0, considering you want this build to last. If you're not going to overclock, then the i7 960 might be worth it... depends whether the i7 930 would be enough in 2015, which is debatable.
June 25, 2010 12:29:47 PM

Answer to questions:
1) No, in fact if this machine is mainly for gaming I would go with the i5 750 instead of an i7 build as an i7 offers no real gaming benefit and costs more. The only real benefit of an i7 system is the motherboards do full XFire and SLI support...given that you have no intention to do this it makes it redundant.

2) Intel over AMD if you have the budget. Still i5 750 over the Phenom x6 too.

3) Yes, but one day you may decide to get a better monitor, especially as prices are very reasonable. A 24 inch can cost $220, who knows how cheap they may be in a couple years. At least with a good card you can upgrade monitor without fearing you need to spend more money in the future on a new card.

4) USB 3.0, SATA 6gb/s is a good question, for me personally, no it wasn't something I considered worthwhile. My HDD is Sata 3gb/s and the reality is I am not going to bother replacing it with a 6gb/s in the future, I only replace the HDD if it breaks or I get a new PC. I also have no intention of getting a Solid State Drive, so it was of no importance to me.
As for USB 3.0 - how regularly do you use your USB port? Is it just to occasionally transfer some photos or documents? If so, I really would not concern myself with it.
You have stated you are no enthusiast, so I don't think the extra performance from such things will make a difference to you.

I would suggest changing the Western Digital to a Samsung Spinpoint F3 HDD because they really are great.

Other than that, I would suggest going with an MSI motherboard for the OC Genie. You say you do not want to OC and that is understandable, it is a lot of fiddling around in Bios and trial and error to find a stable setting - for some it is too much to bother about. That is where MSI's OC Genie comes in, at the single press of the button it will OC for you, immediately boosting CPU performance at a stable setting.

Asus and Gigabyte are popular boards because enthusiasts have lots of settings to play with in order to push their CPU to the limit, but all that is pointless if you are not into OCing, yet at the same time, not OCing is wasting a lot of your CPU potential. Which is why MSI have the OC Genie - it won't OC as much as an enthusiast can do on another board, but for someone who does not tinker with the Bios it unlocks a lot of the CPU's potential for you. If you are not willing to OC yourself I can think of little reason not to go with MSI
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June 25, 2010 2:03:14 PM

4 to 5 years is a good time span for useful life of an up-to-date new build.

Whatever system is built right now will be technologically obsolete within 12 months from now. Pretty much like new cars; maybe 2 to 3 years for new cars.

Like you did previously, just go ahead and build your system, enjoy it for 4 to 5 years, and do the same again.
June 25, 2010 2:43:45 PM

you should dget an ssd :) 
they are amzing!
i ordered a transend 32gb pata 2.5" off newegg, and its amazingly fast, (also silent and doesnt vibrate)!!!
and it boots up faster than my core2duo rig (see sig line), but its only has specs as follows: ibm r50, pentium m 1.4, 768mb ram, ssd, win7 ultimate, so obviously ssds make a huge difference! :) 
June 25, 2010 2:52:33 PM

Agree with shovenose - SSDs are great, but still kinda pricey!
June 25, 2010 3:18:19 PM

yeah it kinda strained my budget but now i am being bottlenecked by cpu and ram, before (with xp), it was my 4200rpm 20gb hard drive thrashing around and being slow :) 
June 25, 2010 3:30:54 PM

When selecting a HDD, pick one that you will not need to load over 75% (leave 25% spare room). This will help optimize HDD life and speeds.
June 25, 2010 3:48:59 PM

@Lmeow: I'm also going for the 5850 in case I ever bother getting a new monitor

@asteldian: thanks a tonne mate. I've done some more research & you're so right about the i7 being overkill. But I still won't OC due to the strain it puts on the parts and resultant stability issues.

@Ubrales&shovenose: SSDs are definitely the way of the future but I'll wait till the prices come down...I could afford one but I'm just miserly that way :]

Thanks all.
June 25, 2010 7:37:47 PM

Miserly? Count me in! LOL
June 26, 2010 12:51:20 AM

L0tus said:
@Lmeow: I'm also going for the 5850 in case I ever bother getting a new monitor

@asteldian: thanks a tonne mate. I've done some more research & you're so right about the i7 being overkill. But I still won't OC due to the strain it puts on the parts and resultant stability issues.

@Ubrales&shovenose: SSDs are definitely the way of the future but I'll wait till the prices come down...I could afford one but I'm just miserly that way :]

Thanks all.


CPUs are designed with OCing in mind, you only really risk damage with extreme overclocking. That is why I suggested an MSI motherboard - the mobo knows the components better than you or I do, so when it Overclocks it does it safely and at a stable level straight away (so no crashing, no extreme OC which risks significant damage). It's the perfect way to get extra juice from your CPU without frustrations or complicated fiddling or risk of having your CPU burn out in a few years. CPUs like the i5 750 overclock like a dream and it is a shame not to make any use of it. I am like you, I don't really OC which is why I went with MSI. Remember also, you don't have to press the OC Genie button if you don't want to - I don't have mine on as currently I don't need it, but in the future, using it may extend the use of my PC, which if you want to have it last 5 years it could well make the difference, or if you play a CPU intensive game (such as MMOs). It may also be especially helpful for you at the resolution you play as it tends to be more CPU dependant the lower the res.

MSI gives you the option for a boost, you don't need to use it, but why not have it in case you need it in future - it costs nothing extra (the MSI P55 CD53 board for i5 750 is one of the cheapest boards) I consider it more useful having it than another board which I would have to OC manually if ever I wanted to.

SSDs are a nice extra, but are very expensive and for me are certainly on the low priority list - they help with loading times but in terms of actual game performance they are lowest on the list of things I worry about
June 26, 2010 11:05:09 AM

Quote:
CPUs are designed with OCing in mind, you only really risk damage with extreme overclocking. That is why I suggested an MSI motherboard - the mobo knows the components better than you or I do, so when it Overclocks it does it safely and at a stable level straight away (so no crashing, no extreme OC which risks significant damage). It's the perfect way to get extra juice from your CPU without frustrations or complicated fiddling or risk of having your CPU burn out in a few years. CPUs like the i5 750 overclock like a dream and it is a shame not to make any use of it. I am like you, I don't really OC which is why I went with MSI.


You make a very compelling argument. And I've looked at the MSI mobo...looks really great. Just one more question though:

I have a budget enough for an i5 660. Is it faster and more OC-able than the 750? And can I safely OC the i5 such that it can take a DDR3 1600Mhz memory?
June 26, 2010 12:37:05 PM

L0tus said:
So will this do?

CPU Intel i7-930 2.80GHz
Mobo Foxconn FlamingBlade GTI LGA1366
RAM Super Talent DDR3-1600 6GB CL8
GPU Sapphire Radeon HD5850 1GB DDR5
HDD Western Digital Caviar Green 1.5TB
PSU Cooler Master 600W

Specific questions:
1. Would the i7-960 3.2Ghz really be worth the extra $200?

2. PhenomII X6 (3.2 GHz) vs. i7-930 (2.8Ghz)?

3. Is the graphics card overkill for a max resolution of 1280x1024?

4. Will SATA3 & USB3.0 be worth the $65 mobo upgrade?



Looks like a good system to me, the i7 930 is a good choice, plenty of power and if you had to later you could easily overclock it to increase the viability of the system. Paying an extra $200.00 for the 960 is not worth it in my opinion. I'd give the edge to Intel over AMD right now, although the x6 AMD chips are an excellent CPU they still have a difficult time competing with the i7's clock for clock. I'd also suggest you hold the HD5850, yes it may be a little overkill for that res however as the goal is a 4-5 Year Build you want a little more power going in, the HD5850 seems to fit the bill just fine. With regard to Sata3 and USB3.0 it's a tough call now but looking 4-5 years down the road is likely a good choice and worth the $65. Throw 64Bit Windows 7 on that Build and have fun.
June 27, 2010 12:15:29 PM

L0tus said:
Quote:
CPUs are designed with OCing in mind, you only really risk damage with extreme overclocking. That is why I suggested an MSI motherboard - the mobo knows the components better than you or I do, so when it Overclocks it does it safely and at a stable level straight away (so no crashing, no extreme OC which risks significant damage). It's the perfect way to get extra juice from your CPU without frustrations or complicated fiddling or risk of having your CPU burn out in a few years. CPUs like the i5 750 overclock like a dream and it is a shame not to make any use of it. I am like you, I don't really OC which is why I went with MSI.


You make a very compelling argument. And I've looked at the MSI mobo...looks really great. Just one more question though:

I have a budget enough for an i5 660. Is it faster and more OC-able than the 750? And can I safely OC the i5 such that it can take a DDR3 1600Mhz memory?


The i5 660 is inferior to the i5 750. The i5 750 is the best i5 - it is quad core, the the 660 is only dual core.
DDR3 1600mhz RAM should be no issue - I use the i5 750, G Skill 1600mhz RAM and the MSI P55 CD53 board
June 27, 2010 1:05:48 PM

The Core i5 660 is faster for single or dual threaded applications at stock, but once you overclock, the i5 750 and i5 660 would be on par in single and threaded applications, while the i5 750 would be faster for anything using three cores or more (even at stock speed). It's a bit more overclockable, the i5 660, but not really worth it.
!