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Really need help building rig at $1000

Last response: in Systems
July 1, 2010 2:09:15 PM


SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Most: Photoshop, gaming, video playing (movies, divs, blu ray, etc)) & editing, , MS Office stuff, surfing the web (these are all about the same actually).

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Speakers, O/S, Monitor.


PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel or AMD, Nvidia or ATI, Western Digital, Crucial (or if you know a better name for RAM)


SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe (never tried it, but I heard it's awesome)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Quiet PC if possible, fast as heck, if possible ;-) Also, is Windows 7 worth it or is XP still the real deal? Easy to upgrade later on (won't be stuck with limited upgrades).

Hi everyone!

I am trying to build a rig this week that I both play games with (very smoothly & fast) while being able to handle my work.

I was going to go with an i7-920 processor (or faster) since I heard that it’s good for both gaming and doing other work programs. The AMD looks so great, but I wasn’t sure if it was able to really handle all the other working programs just as fast (graphics, video, etc.). Opinions?

I don’t need a monitor or an O/S (got that already).

It’s been a long time since I built a PC, but I don’t want to buy a Dell (ugh!).

Any good suggestions? I really wanted to build an awesome system this time around, something that will last a while that I can upgrade.
I was going to try to stay under $1000, but I can spend a bit more if I can finance (doh!).

Thanks so much everyone!


More about : building rig 1000

July 1, 2010 2:40:46 PM

Well there's not very many good combo's on newegg right now, so it's gonna be hard to build a nice photoshop and gaming rig. Can't get a 930 in, so it'll have to be AMD hexacore and 5870

OPtical $20

Spinpoint F3 500gb $55

Antec 300 and earthwatts 650 $120

5870 $390

G skill 1600 Cas 7 $105

Phenom II X6 1055t and GA 790 ud4 $320


Total: $998.50 before shipping and $15 MIR

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July 1, 2010 2:42:44 PM

^COOL!! i didnt knew it could squezze in a 5870. nice build
July 1, 2010 2:56:28 PM

I managed a 930 + 5870 for $1k after rebates once.

That was with micro center 930 though >.<
July 1, 2010 3:06:46 PM

wow. i7 930 at micro is at $200? thats a heck of a deal!
July 1, 2010 3:10:19 PM

Yea, too bad prices on everything else in their stores is too high.
July 1, 2010 3:21:38 PM

How much more would I have to spend for an i7-930?
July 1, 2010 3:28:47 PM

$80 more on CPU
$64 more on RAM
$90 more on Mobo
July 1, 2010 4:08:18 PM

I hate to ask, but what if I were to squeeze another $300 or $400?
Thanks so much for taking the time to help me with this.

I sincerely appreciate it.

July 1, 2010 4:41:56 PM

You do know the i7 won't actually benefit you that much. It's the same in gaming and photoshop doesn't actually utilize all 8 threads.

Everything else you do is not even threaded to begin with.

Actually, to be honest, if you're doing heavy photoshop work involving 3d, you'd be better off getting a gtx 470 and using open gl.
July 1, 2010 5:15:07 PM

Well, I won't be doing 3d, but mostly website design, photos, etc. with some very light video & audio stuff on the side.

I really wanted a rig that could handle gaming very sweetly as well. Right now I am having blue screens and am tired of them.
Something that can handle Far Cry 2, Crysis, etc. without a hitch.

I trust what you are saying and I seriously considering your previous arrangement now.

BUT, what if I can get a i7-930 for $199? Should I get it or go after the AMD instead?
If so, which Mobo & ram should I get?

Thanks again so much!
July 1, 2010 5:40:20 PM

On newegg i7-930 are $290 so if you find one fro $200 your doing very well.
July 1, 2010 6:31:44 PM

Even if you get a $200 930, for gaming the system price premium isn't worth it. The extra money spent on RAM and mobo doesn't make a difference.

RAM does benefit photoshop, but not for the light use you're using it for.
July 1, 2010 6:57:38 PM

Banthracis, you are right! I'm going to stick to the AMD instead of the Intel.

Correct me if I am wrong Bathracis, but isn't it worth it to spend more money on the video card instead? I just read that AMD is sticking with their AM3 sockets while Intel is already moving out of their current sockets, which means you'll need to update your Mobo in the near future as well. Correct?

Also, aren't more games designed around two cores instead of 4 or 6 cores? But I've also read that more games coming out are designed around the 6 cores in the AMD. Is that true?

Lastly, can the AMD 6 core processor you recommended handle Photoshop, big sized pictures, video, etc. well?

Thanks again!
July 1, 2010 7:19:27 PM


1. Um you're spending nearly 40% of your budget on that GPU, lol how much more do you want to spend? Anymore and you're out of budget.

2. Yes, socket AM3 will be around for a while. 1156 is being replaced end of this year. 1366 mid next year.

3. Games are very poorly threaded. The part of gaming that is well threaded, the graphics portions, is handled by the GPU. CPU, is used for primarily AI. AI, by definition is not a parallel process. It is extremely difficult to thread AI. Most games that are "multi threaded" actually keep AI on 1 thread and throw the rest (minor far less intensive stuff) on the other.

Can you design a game to utilize 4 or more cores? Sure, you can throw all the CPU non intensive calculations onto their own threads, but until someone figures out a good way to thread nonparallel computations, the performance increase will be minimal (this incidentally has been stumping programmers for decades. There are ways to do this in specific situations, but no general solution yet).

Basically think of it this way. On a math exam you have a 3 part question in which the answer to part each part depends on previous answers. IE

A. Add up 3 and 5.
B. Use the answer from part A and divide by 2
C. Use the answer from part B and triple it.

what is the final answer?

This is the type of thinking AI requires. Threading this is the equivalent of calculating the answer to A, B and C simultaneously. It's not impossible like the mathematical equivalent is, but it's not easy.

4. Yes AMD hexacores are great for workstation uses.
July 2, 2010 11:26:47 AM

how bout a i5 750+5870 rig? it's more affordable and GOOD ( gaming rig)
July 2, 2010 1:08:31 PM

Well the i5-750 build is better at gaming than the hexacore build, but it'll be worse at photoshop.

Since his primary use is photoshop I figure x6 is the better path. Also, saves a few bucks ^^.
July 2, 2010 1:25:41 PM

the thuban BE? or the thuban with the 2.8ghz? he does need just a 870 board right?
July 2, 2010 2:35:16 PM

The one i linked, the 1055t^^

Ok, here's the issue, i forgot not everyone has spare parts lying around.

Any 790xt mobo will work for the x6, but you need to flash the bios to a newer revision. This is an issue as you can't flash bios w/o a CPU. So...either borrow another cpu to do a flash, or just get a 8xx chipset mobo.

No combo discount or rebate, so even though mobo are same price, final cost goes up $30.