[SOLVED] I5 Build Recommendations


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the week and a half.

BUDGET RANGE: $1000 including shipping (ZIP: 96825 if you want to double check shipping)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, music and movie playback, word-processing and internet. Being able to multi-task would be nice – frequently I find myself playing movies in the background while I write and find resources on the internet.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: currently, though I’m open to hearing about places with better shipping to HI

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA, but paying for shipping costs to HI

PARTS PREFERENCES: Reliability + Customer Service > Price


SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe (two x 5770s)


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Looking for quiet PC since I usually leave it running at night, as well as dark. Also, smaller cases work better for space saving in apartment.

Proposed setup so far:

CPU i5 760 1156
MB EVGA P55 SLI (Combo)

RAM Corsair XMS 2x2gb 1333

GPU Sapphire Vapor-x 5770

That gives me a total of $660 total including shipping, but I’m torn on what to do about small case options that are both quiet and cool. I was pondering going for an open case, like the Antec Skeleton with stock CPU cooler, but shipping for cases is super expensive. I’d like to hear options for cheaper RAM, but I’m more reluctant to mb and cpu changes.

So, I still need to figure out what to do about a case, a PSU, an HD, and an OS (Win 7 Pro).

Thanks for any input!
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  1. Best answer
    Antec Skeleton is not a small case. If has a big footprint. A vertical case is going to take up the least room, regardless of the volume, because you have more vertical space to use up.

    Rosewill Challenger and Caviar Black

    750TX with faster RAM for less

    Switch the GPU to GTX 460, as it's stronger and uses the same or less power and dominates in SLI.
  2. Concur with Proximon on using DDR3-1600 (My own prefence is Ripjaws DDR3-1600, Cl 7-7-7 @ 1.60 Volts)

    On PSU, the Corsair 650TX is on sale at newegg for $89 - a $20 MIA.

    Your Power requirement with 2 x 5770's will be under 450 Watts.

    As to video: a pair of 460's about $400 -> $450 vs Approx $300 -> $350 for pair 5770.
    I'm not a gamer so you should compare the performanc diff and decied if the extra $100 is worth it.

    Don't forget, get a 3rd party HSF, stock intel (MY view point) stink.
  3. It's true you can get by with less power. Just depends on how much headroom you want for potential upgrades.

    Even better

    Grrr it was 60 bucks last night and I didn't pick it up then like I was going to.
  4. Oh... and the 650TX is no longer a Seasonic built unit. They have switched to a cheaper CWT platform. See the label, it's now a 650TX-C
  5. Thanks for the prompt replies.

    Regarding RAM, what Ripjaw would be best for my board? I know I'm looking for low latency and that, as a rule, lower voltage should mean cooler running.

    Is this what I should be aiming for?

    Also, the combo with RAM and PSU is sort of nice and comes with rebates, so might go with that... still playing around with numbers.

    I think final budget will dictate getting one GPU no matter what and upgrading to another in the future. I hadn't really considered getting a 460 GTX because it was more expensive. Any recommendation on brand for that? I was looking at EVGAs, but it seems that most of them are sold out at the moment.

    Thanks again.
  6. Latency makes a small difference, but I wouldn't spend too much on it. I think there is some Mushkin with the same specs for less...
  7. I think the Gigabyte might end up running quieter than the Zotac. Looks like my final setup will be this:

    CPU i5 760 1156
    MB EVGA P55 SLI (Combo) [...] mbo.459207

    Rosewill and Caviar Black combo [...] mbo.458444

    Mushkin RAM [...] 6820226103

    Seasonic 620W PSU [...] 12II%20620

    Gigabyte 460 GTX + SCII combo

    That puts me at $1000.20

    I still need a DVD burner, OS, and HSF

    I should be able to pick up a copy of Win7 pro fro $30.00, though so that should be easy.

    Any suggestions on whether or not I'll need to worry about PSU if I ever go SLI? Also, what about the GPUs covering up one of the heatsinks on the MB? Will that be any sort of issue, or am I just mis-perceiving the layout of the card?

    Thanks for all the advice so far!

  8. Good system.

    On PSU - Yes the sesonic 620 will easily handle your needs (2 x 460's)
    Your Idle power should be under 250 Watts with a max power of approx 460 Watts. Ref Guru3D and

    Just a side comment, you are aware that your cards will be running at 8x not 16x
    p55 chipset supports 1 16x and generally 1 8x slots and with 2 video cards they will run 8x and 8x. From what I understand this is not a big performance hit - just keep it in mind when looking at bench marks for xfire and SLI, check the setup and you will find they normally use the X58 MBs for their tests which supports dual 16X slots.

    On HSFs check the newegg reviews as they will normally identify a problem with mounting on MB(s).

    Pay attention to cooling as a pair of 460 may dump a lot of heat into case, even the ones which expell heat out of the back. Not all the heat gets expelled and two cards effect the airflow inside the case. True not just for 460, but also 5xxx cards (at max, A pair of 460 use about 80 W more than 5770's, alot of this is in heat)

    Definatly 460 vs 5770 but, Might also look at getting just one 5850 or 70 and latted on getting a 2nd 5850 or 70 (when your ready for the 2nd one, hopefully the prices will have dropped.
  9. Yeah, I know about the performance hit on 1156 motherboards because of the lack of dual x16 support, but it seems like one 460 should get me by for at least a few months without any hassle and will keep me in my budget. My rig that just died and I'm replacing was 6 year old shuttle box, so I'm graduating up from an AGP card to modern technology!

    I'm not looking for a complete future proof design as much as the ability to upgrade at least once a little bit down the road, possibly 6 months to a year, by getting more RAM, another GPU, and a cheaper SSD or something. If that move includes adding another fan to the case, I'm okay with that as future spending.

    I'm peeking at cooler reviews now, though I think I'll be ordering relatively soon.
  10. An SSD, When you can afford one and hopefully the price will dro, would be a great upgrade. The HDD is the single biggest bottleneck for most systems.

  11. Having a hard time figuring out which CPU cooler to use, especially with that case. I don't think it will hold a 120mm cooler, so looking for something low profile, quiet, and easy to install. Oh, right, and to be cheap, that way I can have it all at once.
  12. I'm torn as to whether or not to get the corsair h50. Also, I was thinking something like the tuniq tower 120 extreme, but I'm not sure if it would fit in the case.
  13. The Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme is actually shorter than many other large HSFs. Do you have a measure of the internal dimensions of the case?
  14. Unfortunatley not, just the measurements given on newegg regarding the case specs. I placed an order and figure I'll just get a cooler in a separate order once I have the case in hand to ensure I get something that fits.
  15. That's a reasonable plan.

    If you can't find specs on coolers elsewhere, Frostytech has detailed specs on every cooler they review. For example, they list the Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme as 152mm high.
  16. Just a note on the PSU and SLI. The GTX 460s each require 2 6-pin cables, so when you SLI you will need to get some adapters.
  17. Thanks for the info, I'll keep that in mind when I look at getting a second card.

    I'm thinking I'll go with a Tuniq tower 120 extreme, but sort of concerned about the weight's impact on the mb. Maybe the customer review I read on newegg was just due to installation error.
  18. abctao said:
    I'm thinking I'll go with a Tuniq tower 120 extreme, but sort of concerned about the weight's impact on the mb. Maybe the customer review I read on newegg was just due to installation error.

    The HSF comes with a backplate that supports it. I'd guess installation error.
  19. Found another thread where someone measured to see if a Tuniq tower would fit in a challenger case, so went ahead and ordered it.

    I wonder if I should post pictures of the whole process of putting this together, or just finished product pictures. I've read so many reviews lately, I feel like I should be writing something like one!

    Thanks again for all the help finding deals and with advice!

  20. Here's the final results:

    Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme does fit the Rosewill CHALLENGER case, by the way, but just barely.

    Thanks again for all the help! Now I have to just find some time to tweak everything. I'm off to look for GPU, CPU, and memory tweaking guides!

  21. How did you like the case? Any hassles in the build or things you wished you had?

    Is it all fairly quiet with the cover on?

    And how are your CPU and GPU temps?

    Real Temp

  22. The case is nice, other than the opening behind the CPU is just a hair too small to install the backplate for the Tuniq Tower. Also, I got shortchanged and only got 9 instead of a full 11 standoffs for the motherboard, but 9 was more than enough. Just felt like the manual lied to me. Also, the HDD light from the case to the board isn't working, but I'm not too worried about it.

    With the cover on it is super quiet. The only fan that I even hear is the one in back of the tower, so I just use that as a gauge for how high to turn my HSF. My high CPU temp at stock settings right now is 63c and idle temp is 31c. I'd rather avoid more noise when I tune the settings later, but it looks like I have a little room to work with still. Ambient temperature here is usually 25c to 30c.

    At no load, GPU temp is 35c. I've yet to run a benchmark on it, but it plays everything on my crappy 19" monitor quite well. I'll update this when I have a chance to run Heaven later today.

    Love the EVGA P55 sli board, though. Only good things to say about it so far, especially since I'm coming from a board where I didn't even have audible post codes.
  23. Thanks :)
  24. abctao said:

    ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    CPU i5 760 1156

    Might I make a suggestion?
    More Ports! USB 3.0 and 6Gbs might not be that much of a difference right now though?
    Same price offers the boost technology that the Intel i5 could use?
    Has SLI or Crossfire compatibility
    Unless you are stuck on that one?
  25. I'm so stuck on my current board that's it's already purchased and in my tower. :)

    I've already purchased everything and built the system, was just doing follow up on how it's running now.

    I did a GPU test earlier and my

    My results from the Unigine Heaven benchmark follows:
    Heaven Benchmark v2.1

    Min FPS:
    Max FPS:

    Windows 32bit Visual C++ 1500 Release May 21 2010
    Operating system:
    Windows 7 (build 7600) 64bit
    CPU model:
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU 760 @ 2.80GHz
    CPU flags:
    GPU model:
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 1024Mb

    1280x1024 fullscreen
    Replication: disabled

    During that time, my GPU got up to 55c max. Any suggestions for a CPU/GPU/RAM OC guide that isn't just steps but also includes a little bit of meat, too?
  26. Best answer selected by abctao.
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