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Please Review First Budget Gaming Build (i7)

Last response: in Systems
July 26, 2010 1:36:33 AM


I'm building an i7 based computer, really only for running FSX. Could you guys look over the parts and make sure they're all compatible?

COOLER MASTER Elite 310 RC-310-RWN1-GP Black / Red SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD2500AAJS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

EVGA 768-P3-1360-TR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 768MB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card


Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified ...

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBRM

EVGA P55V 120-LF-E651-TR LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Intel Core i7 860 Processor Boxed
(in-store only, so you might have to select a location to see it)

I'm using the stock i7 heatsink/fan.

I don't need to buy a monitor, mouse, keyboard, or OS. Is there anything else I'm forgetting?

The CPU, GPU and MOBO are pretty much set in stone for me, the only thing I'm worried about is if the case is good enough for the i7(I'm not OCing), if the PSU is good enough, and if the memory is good enough.

The total comes out to under $850, which is perfect for me. If something other than the GPU, CPU, or MOBO is incompatible or isn't of good enough quality, I could probably spend up to $925.

Thanks in advance,

More about : review budget gaming build

July 26, 2010 1:47:42 AM

If you are set in stone then i guess there is nothing to say. Everything I see is compatible. But I highly recommend the x4 955 and maybe an ATI 5850 and an AM3 socket motherboard. But if you are not willing to go the ATI and AMD build, then I guess it looks good. But honestly for budget gaming an i7 is pretty much overkill. You could definantly get by with an i5 750 or even an OC i3.
July 26, 2010 2:10:02 AM

Thanks for the quick response. I considered an i5, but since FSX is pretty CPU dependent I'd rather get the i7, it's only $60 more.

Just one more question - the PCI lanes on the P55 V motherboard are 8x. Could this bottleneck performance? Other P55s are 16x. (I know it says 16x on newegg, but i think that's an error it says 8x on the evga site)

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July 26, 2010 4:51:21 AM

16x mode only offers a 4% performance increase over 8x mode so it won't bottleneck performance.

And I would strongly consider getting the 1 Gig GTX 460 it's only 20-30 dollars more but the extra memory helps with framerates.

Here's a benchmark of the different 460's.
July 26, 2010 6:19:56 AM

You will see little to no difference comparing an i5-750 to an i7-860. In fact considering the 860 is still on the 1156 platform, I'd wager the i5-750 will out perform it.

For your budget, you have to understand that choosing an i7 build is actually hurting the overall power of the system.

An AMD build would allow you to have a significantly better Gfx card, increasing the lifespan of the build.
July 26, 2010 6:22:02 AM

The motherboard is goign to run 1 GPU at 16x. If you add a second video card, they share the same bandwidth (so essentially they share 16x... which means each functions at 8x)

If you are looking to buy two video cards, upgrad the motherboard. If you are only buying this single GPU, you ARE FINE!

I semi-agree with fezmire. The only two video cards i'd suggest are the EVGA superclock on newegg for 209.99 (for $10 more its factory ovverclocked 15-20%) - or the Palit Sonic Platinum 1gb (249.99 but its the single best gtx460 out there)
July 26, 2010 12:03:35 PM

If I were you, this is what I would be looking at...

Processor and Motherboard:

GPU and PSU:

RAM and Case:

Hard Drive:

dvd drive:

That adds up to about $960 before rebates and $900 after. I would insist you would actually use the Phenom x4 955 since it would drop the price by quite a bit and not the performance. If you wanted to use the Phenom:
it would save a good $70. But you would need to adjust the timings on the RAM a bit. But that really shouldnt be an issue. Hope this helps.
July 26, 2010 8:41:25 PM

Thanks for the feedback. I looked at the Phenom X4 955, but FSX can take advantage of the 4 cores on the i7/i5. And ATI cards are horrible for FSX, however better they are in other games. Thanks for the recommendation for the i5 750, it looks like I'll probably switch to the i5. After looking at some benchmarks, the i5 isn't all that much worse. Thanks again.
July 27, 2010 12:38:39 AM

So true. If you are very sure of the GTX, I would definantly go for the GTX 460. It has the best bang for its buck in that price range. I would also recommend going for one strong card rather than two relatively less strong cards. It just seems more reliable :)  Enjoy the build! By the way, here is a good combo with the i5 and the 460:
I seemed to have spoken too soon :/  How does this look to you as a final build?

PSU and dvd drive:

Processor and motherboard: [...] mbo.434532

Hard Drive: [...] 6822148395

RAM and Case: [...] mbo.432134