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Gaming / Multi use build $2.3K budget

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July 16, 2010 6:41:24 PM

First, thanks to randomizer, jbakerlent, tecmo34, Proximon for the excellent guides they have created, they have helped a lot!

Backround - Lightning struck my house, blowing 2 large holes through the roof and nuked a bunch of electronics including my compter. I built the computer years ago - the specs were: P4 2.8 single core, asus P4P800 MB, 4 gigs of DDR2, gigabyte X800 XT PE (256). Insurance has provided me with a $2400 allowance to replace it.

I am providing the specs so that you can judge what I had vs. what I will be going to and get your thoughts on which road I should take.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Ordering parts tonight

BUDGET RANGE: $2400 Before Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Blu-ray authoring, movies, surfing, picture / video editing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com - I am ordering everything from there reguardless of price.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US

PARTS PREFERENCES: No real parts preference - I have had good experience with Asus, ATI

OVERCLOCKING: Yes / Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes / Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: (1920x1080)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

Main Concern:
Compatibility and reliability - I have read a lot about blu ray issues with W7, Sapphire 5770 driver issues... my first 2 builds I did I never had a single issue - want to keep it that way.

I am posting 2 builds: A 1156 socket and a 1366 socket. I am trying to figure out if I should move to the 1366 for upgradability later or deck out a 1156. Please comment on which socket I should go with and make suggestions if needed.


Socket 1156

Intel Core i7-875K Lynnfield 2.93GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Unlocked $329.99
(I am not opposed to going with the i5 750 and using the savings somewhere else)

ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler $59.99

ASUS P7P55 WS SuperComputer with NF200 LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard $199.99

Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2MH080G2R5 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $219.99

2 X Western Digital Caviar Black WD7501AALS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive $119.98 (total)

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) $98.99

2 X SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP CrossFireX $339.98 (total)

CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply $129.99

Pioneer Black Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD Writer SATA BDR-205BKS - OEM $199.99

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM $23.99

ASUS VW246H Glossy Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor $219.99

Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case $169.99

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM $139.99

TOTAL PRICE = $2254




Socket 1366

Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80601930 $289.99

ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler $59.99

ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $309.99

Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2MH080G2R5 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $219.99

2 X Western Digital Caviar Black WD7501AALS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive $119.98 (total)

CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit $229.99

2 X SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP CrossFireX $339.98 (total)

CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply $129.99

Pioneer Black Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD Writer SATA BDR-205BKS - OEM $199.99

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM $23.99

ASUS VW246H Glossy Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor $219.99

Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case $169.99

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM $139.99


TOTAL PRICE = $2454




Thanks in advance for any and all replies.

Best solution

July 16, 2010 6:50:27 PM

I'm going to say no to both builds. They're both really weak for the budget. Check out this build. It'll blow both out of the water:

CPU/PSU: i7-930 and Corsair 950W $385 after rebate. The PSU is overkill, but it's a good combo.
Mobo/OS: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R and Windows 7 $290. This Gigabyte is just as good as the Asus, but cheaper. Also, you're likely not going to need Win 7 Professional.
RAM: Corsair XMS3 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $155 after rebate. These sticks are faster and a lot cheaper than the Dominators.
GPU: HD 5970 $700. Massively better than dual 5770s.
SSD: Intel X25-M 80 GB $215
HDD: 2x Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $150. Faster, bigger and cheaper than the WD. In other words, just plain better.
Case: HAF 922 $90. This is possibly the best case on the market right now. It's also pretty cheap.
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $20
HSF: Sychte SCMG-2100 $35. A much better cooler for a lot less.
Monitor: Asus 23.6" 1080p $180 after rebate. I've heard this is actually the same size as their 24" model, but I can't confirm that.

Total: $2,220. Add in the BR burner, and the total is $2,420, though I'm still looking for deals. I'd look for a cheaper BR burner though. $200 is obscene.

EDIT: Here's one: Lite-On 12x BR burner $140. That'd bring the total price down to $2,360.
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July 19, 2010 12:34:59 AM

Thanks for the suggestions prox and Mad - I have not ordered parts yet but plan to today after follow up responses.

Here is my revised parts list based off your suggestions and some more research.

CPU/GPU combo: Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz -- SAPPHIRE 100281-3SR Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB $655
(Reason - in the combo you suggested the 950W power supply but the reviews were not as good as the 850W below. The GPU choice is based off a review that the 5970 is over kill unless gaming at higher res then 1080 and the stock cooler is super loud, also later on I can buy a second on for crossfire when the price drops $100 on them essentially spending the same in the long run w/ similar performance.)

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V $120 after rebate

MB/OP combo: GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 -- Windows 7 64bit $300

RAM: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) $200 after rebate
(Reason - I chose these based off reviews - they are a 10x customer choice winner, I'm okay with the $45 dollars extra unless there is a technical reason why I should consider something else)

SSD: Intel X25-M Mainstream 80gig $220

HDD: 2x Western Digital Caviar Black 750GB 2x Nippon SATA I/II cables $144 after rebate
(Reason - priced the spinpoint and blacks and they are the same cost per gig - I do not feel the performance increase is great enough to pull me away from WD

Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 922 and HDMI cable $107

Opticals: LITE-ON Black 12X BD-R 2X $140
ASUS DVD Burner $24

HSF: Prolimatech Megahalems $62
(Reason - I have read a bunch of good reviews, newegg, forums ect... willing to pay a bit more it)

Monitor: ViewSonic X Series VX2739WM 27" 1ms HDMI Full HD 1080p $350
(Reason - 27" - taking some savings from the video card and applying it here.)

TOTAL PRICE - $2322

Other notes:
Started reviewing other vid cards (both Nvidia and ATI) I want a good reliable vid card - If you have other suggestions please list.

Thanks again for any input
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July 19, 2010 3:45:22 AM

I wouldn't be using customer reviews as a reason to buy a product. Newegg reviewers shouldn't be trusted with tech more advanced than a sharp stick.

The PSU switch is fine. Both are excellent units.

I wouldn't buy the Corsair sticks. They're WAY too expensive when you can get faster sticks at $45 cheaper. You're not losing any quality since they're both from Corsair.

The speed benefit from the Samsung F3 is massive. It's night and day really. Also, the WD is more expensive per GB. The WD you listed are 10.42 GB/$, while the F3 is 13.33 GB/$. That and the speed boost should be enough to switch.

The Megahalems, while a great HSF, is still pretty expensive. You'll need to buy a couple of 120 mm fans for it (another $20-25) and a Y splitter ($10, I think). That brings the HSF up to around $100. The Noctua DH-14 is just as good or better for less. The SMG-2100 is also extremely good for it's price.

The rest is fine. There isn't a different option as far as the GPU goes.
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July 19, 2010 7:31:10 AM

The GTX 260 is fairly strong for the price, but the thing that puts it in the lead in your case is Blu-ray playback and 2D work such as picture editing. I think NVidia is better at these things than ATI, although ATI has made good strides in recent months.

For a single GPU solution however, obviously 5870 is overall stronger in gaming.

Have a look at this recent Palit GTX 260 review. It's an overclocked version of course.
http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/3396/palit_geforce_gtx...

And let's remember CUDA
http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/3396/palit_geforce_gtx...
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July 19, 2010 9:52:54 PM

Quote:
The WD you listed are 10.42 GB/$, while the F3 is 13.33 GB/$. That and the speed boost should be enough to switch.

@ Mad - technical they were the same price when you figure in the $20 rebate on each WD - but I got the message as you will see below.

@Prox - your post caused me another 4 hours of reading tech reviews and the architecture behind Fermi... which in turned caused 4 more hours of deliberation... if I am not happy with my choice it is not for a lack of trying to understand all the tech...


So it's ordered and here it is. Please comment (good or bad)

CPU / MB Combo: i7930 + Gigabyte X58A-UDR3 = $474
PSU / GPU Combo: EVGA GTX470 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 + Corsair TX Series 950TX + Free Just Cause 2 = $420
Case / OS Combo: Coolermaster HAF 922 + MSW 7 Home Premium = $180
SSD: Intel X25-M Mainstream 80gig = $220
Opticals: LITE-ON Black 12X BD Burner w/ 15 BD-R's = $157 ASUS DVD Burner = $24
Monitor: ViewSonic X Series VX2739WM 27" 1ms HDMI Full HD 1080p = $350
HDD: 2x Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB w/ 2 cables = $154
HSF: Sychte SCMG-2100 w/ thermal paste = $35
RAM: Corsair XMS3 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 = $175
Modem: LINKSYS Cable Modem CM100 = $55
Audio: Logitech Z-2300 200 watts RMS 2.1 = $140
Software: Cyber Link Power DVD 10 = $95
Misc. Parts: y cables, fans, 3.5" to 2.5"converter = $51

Total = $2590 Shipped
I have $70 in rebates so $2520...


My plan is to add another 470 in the next 3 months or if I am not satisfied move back to ATI - I started with Nvid way back in the day then switched, time to give them a try again.

I think you'll see I took advice from both and tried to merge them together.



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July 19, 2010 10:00:33 PM

Just a quick note, if you get a retail DVD drive or Blu-ray drive, it should come with a copy of Power DVD or similar. Might save you the cost of buying the software separately.

See this Plextor drive for an example.
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July 19, 2010 10:55:36 PM

Cold - I took that into consideration, it's not a huge price differnce between the lite on and software vs. Retail an the headaches that I have read about with the software that comes with them. Just biting the bullet on that choice.
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July 20, 2010 12:06:36 AM

Fair enough. Just wanted to make sure you were aware of the option.
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July 20, 2010 1:27:17 AM

Yep! Appreciate the heads up, in a world (pc world) of almost endless options every bit of advice helps
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July 20, 2010 6:20:11 AM

That seems like a pretty solid build now that will do everything you want.

I couldn't place that CPU cooler for a bit, but now I remember it, it's the old "Mugen," a fairly good performer for the price.
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July 20, 2010 8:20:29 PM

(scratching my heat..hope i did not messed up your components setup) I would recommend you not to buy the gtx470 because it is loud and heats up. -i have seen this all over the place, many forums. But as game power it is great.

If you want to buy corsair power supplies then buy the HX series because those are high quality: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... -this should suffice your dual video card setup up to 2x gtx470.

And i would suggest you buy this cpu cooler: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... works better with removing heat and keeping you CPU temps low.

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July 20, 2010 8:25:47 PM

I don't really like the 470 either, but with the fact that's it's a multi-purpose build, nVidia's cards would be at least tolerable.

As for the Corsair H50, it's really not thought of that well. Cheap water cooling isn't a great idea, as it can cause problems. Unless you're willing to spend $500 on water cooling, you should stick to air.
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July 20, 2010 8:46:59 PM

Well lots have used it and is is maintenance free and cools a little better then air..but that's the buyers choice.

I just did a wattage check to see how much power would a system like his require and i have come to the conclusion that with a 4GHz CPU + 2 video cards witch he might overclock, i did the test with stock and 100%TDP CPU and system and 25%aging on the power supply he would need the 1000w HX power supply from corsair to cope with the stress.

He might want to overclock if not now, in time..he he..

Here is the link http://www.thermaltake.outervision.com/Power i added 5 fans, 2 hdd's, 2 gtx470, 4000ghz cpu with 1.4v, high end motherboard..etc. 989W requirement over time with 25% capacitor aging.

This is the PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... please ignore the PSU i posted above.

Also on this site: http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine it give me 971 so a 1kw power supply should suffice.
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July 20, 2010 9:03:06 PM

It doesn't cool better than air. It cools the same as air for twice the price. If you bought the best air coolers, which would cost about the same, you'd be better off.

To start on the problems with the wattage calculation...

First, 25% aging is crazy high. You should expect that at the end of the life of the NEXT build that uses this PSU. Second, you don't need 5 fans. The HAF will only actually use four at most. Third, 100% TDP is very high. All of that inflatest the power usage.

Using realistic settings (I even inflated the CPU voltage to 1.5v), the wattage is only 750W. A 950W is more than enough.
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July 20, 2010 9:14:59 PM

Ad 10% per year..i red about it somewhere.
Fans consume just a few W, that isn't a big problem. I put the fans because i made a big margin just in case he wants to use more.

It depends how much he wants to use this PC. I know i would keep it for at list 3 years.

Anyway i still recommend the HX series from corsair because they are the higher quality ones.
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July 20, 2010 9:25:06 PM

There's a lot of opinion that goes into saying how much power is enough. It's been a source of (usually cordial) debate for many years now.

It's pretty safe to say that you can take the actual wattage needed and double it. Also pretty simple. Or you can say that under high load you want your computer to use between 40 to 60% of the rated max capacity of the PSU.

As long as the PSU is efficient at lower demands, there's nothing wrong with having way more power than you need, of course.

Two overclocked 470s can pull up to 428W by themselves:
http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/index.php?showtopic=264

After adding in the rest it seems, to me, that the 950TX is about right. Obviously it's not going to be as efficient as some pricier options.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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July 24, 2010 4:26:23 PM

ionut19 said:
(scratching my heat..hope i did not messed up your components setup) I would recommend you not to buy the gtx470 because it is loud and heats up. -i have seen this all over the place, many forums. But as game power it is great.

If you want to buy corsair power supplies then buy the HX series because those are high quality: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... -this should suffice your dual video card setup up to 2x gtx470.



No you didnt mess up my components, I have read about how they are loud and get fairly hot. Once all the parts come in I will build it and see how it runs. If the video card is not up to par or is too loud I will not hesitate at modding the cooler or just replacing it.

As far as power goes, I will replace the power supply when I buy a second card. You may ask yourself "why the heck didnt you just get the 1250w?", there is a method to my madness - when I replace it the (950w) power supply it will move to my other computer and I will begin replacing the old parts in it.


For some reason UPS decided at noon on Friday they would reschedule my delivery to Monday... I have every thing here excpet the internals of the computer.... TORTURE!!!!
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August 3, 2010 4:58:05 PM

Best answer selected by trenity1.
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