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I7 Gaming Rig 1400 or less

Last response: in Systems
August 20, 2010 12:51:59 PM

Hey Guys and Gals..

I'm going to build a I7 gaming rig..mainly for CPU intensive games. I plan to buy within a few days.

I7 930 + OCZ 6GB + EVGA GTX 470 (Fermi) CPU / RAM / GPU Newegg Combo for $744.97

CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-750HX 750W + GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R PSU / Mobo $329.98

CORSAIR Cooling H50 $79.99

The Harddrive, OS, and optical should run around $200 ish.

$9.99 for the Artic Thermal paste

And the Case Thermaltake V9$89.99 I chose this case because I can pick it up locally without paying the extra $100 s/h from newegg or tigerdirect. (tigerdirect has free ground, but I don't want to wait weeks I'm from Hawaii :\ )

So right now I'm around $1450.

Here's my questions.

1. GTX 470 or 460? The 460 is around 240ish? and runs a lot cooler than the 470 (i think) Or what about 460's SLI in the future vs a 470?

2. Motherboard? Should I buy the PSU seperate and get an ASUS board? (I plan to overclock the I7 to 3.6 / 3.8)

3. I chose the case because it has a fan on the side for better cooling or so I think. Will it even help, because I'm getting the H50 Corsair. And Bestbuy's selection is limited.

4. And last, what parts can I switch to get the cost down? I was initially going for a 1200 rig (not including the case) Or did I do a good job with my selection of parts and it'll pay off with 200+ FPS all day long.

Thanks again :hello: 

More about : gaming rig 1400

a b 4 Gaming
August 20, 2010 4:00:19 PM

Not a great idea. First, the i7 doesn't do anything for you in game. You'd do better to spend less on the i5 or even an AMD build. Considering that the current Intel sockets are going to be replaced by the end of the year, I'd lean towards AMD.

Second, nVidia's cards are pretty terrible right now. The 470/480 are completely worthless and the 460 is in an odd price/performance position. It's too weak to game at higher resolutions (like 1080p), yet cheaper GPUs (HD 5770) perform as well at lower resolutions. It does perform very well in SLI, but then you'd lose an upgrade path just to have a good system.

Third, OCZ RAM is often unreliable, especially with Intel builds. I recommend avoiding them whenever possible.

Fourth, a 750W PSU isn't enough to handle a high end gaming build, especially with nVidia cards. A 470 needs a good 850W unit to allow SLI.

Fifth, the Corsair H50 is a waste of money. There are better air coolers that offer better cooling for much less.

Sixth, there are better, cheaper ones available online, and shipping often isn't that much. I'd highly recommend looking around for some deals. Or pick up an Amazon membership (I think it's called pemier, but I'm not positive). It's free if you're a student (Google it for details).

Seventh, you're not going to be getting 200+ FPS, and even if you did, you'd have no idea it was happening. Modern monitors are 60 Hz models (i.e. 60 FPS). Anything above that is a waste of money because you can't see it. Besides, to be playable with smooth visuals, you only need to get a minimum of 30 FPS at any time or an average of 40 FPS.

Here's what I'd recommend for $1,400:

CPU: X4 955 $155
Mobo: Ggiabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H $140
RAM/PSU: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 and Corsair 850W $183 after rebate
GPU: HD 5970 $650
HDD: Samung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $75
Case: HAF 922 $90
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $18

Total: $1,311
August 23, 2010 1:52:21 PM

MadAdmiral's pretty right with his recommendations, although I disagree about the GTX 460. 2 of those are almost as good as a 5970 in most situations and there's not much of an upgrade path with a 5970 anywho.

Still, the build he's listed is good and is certainly going to game well should you use it :) 
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a b 4 Gaming
August 23, 2010 2:09:53 PM

There's a great upgrade path for the 5970. It's called two of them. Unlike nVidia's cards, ATI's cards scale well past dual cards. If you're only talking about having two cards, nVidia is definitely better with a 75% scaling versus a 60-65% scaling. However, nVidia's scaling drops off after the second card drastically, while ATI's scaling stays roughly the same.
August 23, 2010 3:52:59 PM

Really? I thought that pretty much nothing scaled very well after 2 cards in most games.

My goal was to try and satisfy his want for reduced cost while still maintaining good performance (don't we all want that lol) You sort of (ok, you do) lose the cards after you upgrade after you SLI (since 460s can only do 2-way SLI) but I think on the whole it'd be better her. But whatever floats your boat Admiral :) 
a b 4 Gaming
August 23, 2010 4:03:17 PM

That's what I thought too until someone posted a review from some place in Iceland (maybe) that compared multi-GPU solutions. I believe they used the GTX 470 and 480 in SLI, Three-way and Four-way and compared it to the 5970 with a single 5870 in Trifire and a second 5970 in Quadfire. The 470/480 scaled extremely well at first, but dropped drastically afterwards while the 5970/5870 stayed the same.

Since the writting was in a different language, I couldn't read what it was saying, but if I had to guess as to why it's that way, I'd have to say the dual GPU cards don't have the same restrictions. While dual 5970s is technically Quadfire, since there's only two PCIe slots and one CF bridge involved, it might not be hurt by the same scaling. Of course, to confirm that, someone would have to put at least two 5970s together with either a third 5970 or a 5870, which is just not practical.
August 23, 2010 8:35:05 PM

I think Macadmiral's suggestions are overall good, but the 470 is an excellent price/performance part right now, It was on sale all weekend for 260, had a deal on Friday for 230$, and has a few at 270$ right now.

It's known that sli is the better dual-GPU solution, and CFX the better 3/4+, but neither offer very decent bang/buck past 2 GPUs.

Additionally, in your budget I think a P55 i5-760 build would be worth it. IMO it's silly to get a value gaming CPU but then a dual-GPU enthusiast GPU.
a b 4 Gaming
August 23, 2010 8:40:39 PM

^The 470 is back to around $300. Considering a 5850 can be had for $255 (not counting a good $20 combo discount) and the 5870 can be had for $370 (not counting a $40 combo discount), it's horribly placed for price to performance. Also, it doesn't hold a candle to the 5970.

I'd say the bang for the buck is excellent for the 5970 CF. Just not right now. Once a few years go by and the 5970 is down around $200, it's an amazing deal.

As for the i5, still not a great idea. Intel's current sockets are being replaced by the end of the year. That means the i3/i5/i7 are all going to be obsolete in four months. I try as hard as possible to avoid Intel right now. Also, the added $100 cost of the i5 and a P55 board would mean the 5970 is no longer in budget. Given that games rely heavily on the GPU and not so much on the CPU, it'd be a bad decision to replace a great AMD CPU with an upgrade path and a massive GPU for a similar CPU with no upgrade path and a lesser GPU.
August 23, 2010 9:01:22 PM

I just linked to a random 270$. I did mention it was at 230 on Friday. IMO the 5870 is horribly priced in terms of performance. The 470 often beats it ( Note that those benches were done with 470 launch drivers and whatever the 5870 had when the 470 launched. 470 is VERY competitive if you don't spend 350$ on it.

Say you got a 3870 X2 2 generations ago. That's a little worse than a 4870 in most applications. Now say you got a second one now that it's around 120$ (lowest price on Ebay). You have worse performance than a 5850, but spread across quadfire, which means you're probably looking at 5830-esque performance.

Obsolete is the wrong term. Is the Q6600 obsolete because it's on 775? No. In fact there's still no good price/performance upgrade from it. The i5 is not similiar in games at all ( It regularly offers performance past it's price.

IMO it's contradictory of you to recommend an AM3 for longevity but then a 5970 when the 6xxxx series is set for November.