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FIRST BUILD - i5 gaming/HTPC

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July 16, 2010 8:50:12 AM

Whats up ppl,
Lookin to build my first comp from scratch. Have been reading all the Tom's guides and reviews I could find and have finally settled on a setup that I can be happy with for a while.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next week-two weeks

BUDGET RANGE: ~$1000 after rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Surfing internet, torrenting/watching movies, gaming, music

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Bought the corsair 850 tx power supply when it was on sale at newegg... got a mouse and can prolly find a keyboard... oh and got a coolermaster cm690 case a while back...thats where it will all be going

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, tigerdirect.com, etc.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: california

PARTS PREFERENCES: intel ftw. i've always been nvidia but i think i'm going ati with this build

OVERCLOCKING: absolutely

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: later on

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920 x 1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: so this is my parts list.. i guess i'm just looking for some opinions on the setup and maybe some ways to improve it/get more value out of my money

xfx 5770 video card... will crossfire later on when budget allows/games require
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

intel boxd p55 motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

intel core i5....duh
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4gb of gskill ram
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

iffy on this one... intel 40gb ssd for booting windows 7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

spinpoint f3 for data... will probably add another and go raid 1 later on
http://www.newegg.com/Product/NewProduct.aspx?Item=N82E...

this is my first desktop and i'm hoping to leave it running 24/7....i'm also considering throwing in a tv tuner to turn it into a dvr

anyone have any thoughts?

-albert

More about : build gaming htpc

July 16, 2010 10:14:18 AM

value ssd for boot/apps?

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July 16, 2010 3:32:48 PM

Very workable as it is, here are a few added thoughts.

For the gaming part, particularly at 1920 x 1080, the graphics card is much more important than the cpu.

I would look at the $210 GTX460 as a good card at that resolution. Recent reviews show it to be a very good value. Read some. Also, it seems that the GTX4xx cards get very good scaling when sli is used. Better than ati crossfire. That said, my upgrade plan would be to sell the GTX460 and replace it with a stronger single gpu card .

Are your apps and games multi core enabled, for three or more cores? Very few games and applications are. To get the extra cores, compared to a duo, you will give up clock speed for the first two cores. If you will overclock modestly, look into the i5-530. Read this article on the suitability of the 530 for gaming:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i3-gaming,2588... You might want to reduce your cost of the cpu in favor of a stronger graphics card.

I do not know how well the Intel motherboard can overclock. You might want to look at EVGA/ASUS/Gigabyte instead.

I really like a SSD for the OS. Everything feels much snappier. 40gb might be a bit small, the Windows-7 and microsoft security essentials took about 13gb on mine. Also,
third generation cards using smaller nand chips are coming by year end. The cost for capacity will be coming down significantly. Be prepared for buyer's remorse.

You talk about possibly using raid-1.
The value of raid-1 and it's variants like raid-5 for protecting data is that you can recover from a hard drive failure quickly.
It is for servers that can't afford any down time.
Recovery from a hard drive failure is just moments.
Fortunately hard drives do not fail often.
Mean time to failure is claimed to be on the order of 1,000,000 hours.(100 years)
Raid-1 does not protect you from other types of losses such as viruses,
software errors,raid controller failure, operator error, or fire...etc.
For that, you need EXTERNAL backup.
If you have external backup, and can afford some recovery time, then you don't need raid-1.
July 16, 2010 6:48:15 PM

+1 on the 460 ... it is said to be almost silent.
July 19, 2010 9:43:08 PM

whats up guys, i looked at the 460 and it looks like a great card but my gaming priorities aren't as drastic and i like ati's eyefinity on the 5770

i'm buying parts right now but i'm second guessing the intel boxdp55kg motherboard

does anyone know of any review besides the one done here on tom's? i like the digital voltage regulator, the 7.1 channel audio, and the uefi factor, but i'm concerned about the construction, the lack of a secondary LAN port, and the ease of overclocking the i5.

does anyone have any opinions?
July 20, 2010 12:38:34 AM

I would prescribe an 890FX and a 955(OC), for cost and balance.

This would also give you all that "other stuff" that you mentionned, as well as leaving your CrossFire options wide open, with a chipset by the folks who invented xFire and EyeFinity.

You will also be set to move to 6 cores (thuban) or 8 cores (dozer), once prices drop.

= Al =

July 21, 2010 1:24:47 PM

+ to Alvin there! hey man! wats news with the dancing elephant :D ?

@ albee - the 5770 is actually an awesome card for use in gaming as well as a HTPC card. since they run silent and are in the $150-$180 range for a standard or vapor-x respectively

if you need another lan port get another card to add on to the mobo or you'd just need to look into an x58 board..but that'll kill your budget. Get the 890FX series and crossfire later in the future.

I dunno abt the i5 as a HTPC cpu, its kinda overkill doncha think? :p  but for gaming its swell...my pals are all happy customers!
July 21, 2010 1:27:37 PM


Well ... You should drop "Somebody007" a PM asking about the locked voltages, on the VX.

I no longer recommend "The Vapors".

= Al = [:jaydeejohn:3]
July 21, 2010 1:36:47 PM

Alvin Smith said:
Well ... You should drop "Somebody007" a PM asking about the locked voltages, on the VX.

I no longer recommend "The Vapors".

= Al = [:jaydeejohn:3]



Hmmm, it slipped my mind - the 5870's vapor x we're a nuisance to game on! so were the later revised vapors...

Dunno about somebody007, i think he's caught up in some secret BOND mission :p  [:jaydeejohn:3]
!