Little help with my new $2000 build, please

Hey guys (and girls?),

I've been working with my hands since I was very young, and I've decided to make my own computer. Make a new nightstand? Let's go to Home Depot. Change your oil? Gotcha. Mittens for your nephew? You called the right girl. This, on the other hand, is turning out to be harder than I expected.


BUDGET RANGE: Around 2 grand(ish).

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming for me, photoshop stuff for work.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, speakers.



PARTS PREFERENCES: I've only had Intel CPUs, and I'd rather stick with them because they haven't let me down yet. My last three cars have been Toyotas, and I feel the same way about them.


SLI OR CROSSFIRE: I'd like to keep that an option in the future if the 5870 isn't doing it anymore.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Here's the thing about that - I'm buying a little 1920x1280 right now, but I'll be getting a big honking monster of a monitor next year.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'll get to that after I show you what I have so far.

Where we are now:

CPU: Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80601930 Again, I like Intel. I know the 930 isn't necessary for games, but because I use my compy for image manipulation for work, I think it might be the way to go.

Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD9 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 XL ATX Intel Motherboard I've read Intel is going to quit with the 1366s soon. I know, I still want to start here, and I'm picking this one because it has a -$200 combo deal with the CPU on Newegg.

Ram: I need your help here. I see a lot of people going with the G.Skills. And I think I need 6, but I'm not sure. It'll help with image manipulation and rendering for work, right?

HSF: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler I know nothing else except all the cool kids are doing it. No pun intended.

HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive Great reviews.

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply I don't know that I need more than 750, but if I ever decide to go dual GPUs? And with the overclocking and such, it just seemed safe. I tried an online power calculator for this, but if there's anything that I learned from, it's that you can't trust anything that anyone tells you on the internet. Which is why I'm asking you here. On the internet. Maybe I didn't think this out very well.

GPU: XFX HD-587X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5870 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card I want a 5870, but I'm not completely sold on this particular one. It seems to have good reviews, but would I be better off going with another manufacturer?

DVD: LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Writer LightScribe Support People love this thing, and I hope I will too.

Case: I'm having a really hard time with this one, and here's where I really need some help. I want something that's got good cooling and plenty of room for that giant video card. Everyone likes the HAF 932, but I'm a girl, and I don't want something that looks like Darth Vader's dehumidifier in my bedroom. I don't mind paying extra for something pretty, but it can't be too crazy. If you can find me something simple and nice to look at that would be great. I don't mind spending up to $200 for it. I'm looking for something with Ikea sensibilities here, but just plain is okay too. Any suggestions?

Wireless Adapter: Not a clue here. Should I just get whatever is ranked best on Newegg?

Monitor: ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 20000:1) Built in Speakers I know that this isn't the best choice for my work, but I'm being given a new one in January that will be much bigger and better.

Anyway, thanks for your help. Please let me know if I've any of these parts don't work together, and I'd love to hear your advice on the RAM. And please, please, please for the love whatever, help me find a nice case.
3 answers Last reply
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  1. Mobo is superoverkill.

    PSU looks lame compared to an XFX black edition 850 for 105$

    Look at some of the 470 vs. 5870 benches, you may be surprised at how much the performance delta has closed. 470 can often be found at 260$.
  2. sp12 said:
    Mobo is superoverkill.

    PSU looks lame compared to an XFX black edition 850 for 105$

    Look at some of the 470 vs. 5870 benches, you may be surprised at how much the performance delta has closed. 470 can often be found at 260$.

    Thanks. The Mobo is because there is a -$200 combo on newegg for the mobo and cpu combo, which is nothing to scoff at. I'll have a look at that PSU you mentioned.
  3. hi! Welcome aboard!

    Yeah, intel will be dumping out everything, they never support a chipset more than 2 years. I'm a bit of an AMD fanboy, so I'll just mention that the X6 1090T is really nice with Photoshop C5.

    With the i7 you'll want triple-channel ram, meaning 3 (3x1GB) , 6 (3x2GB or 6x1GB), or 12 (3x4gb, 6x2gb) Gigs of RAM. G.Skill is probly the least expensive, reliable brand of RAM right now. 6 GB in a 3x2GB is probably all you need for heavy manipulation. 4 is all most games use.

    The online Power calculator is actually pretty good. If you're worried, set the TDP and Peak loads to 100%, add 20-30% capacitor aging, and a couple USB devices, and run with the wattage that suggests, rounded up to the nearest 100.

    A 750 should be more than plenty with the single 5870. if you need to crossfire it, an 850 won't be enough, you'll want a 1000.

    For the case, Look here. This guy selected 114 cases from Under $50 to over $200, any of them will make great game cases, though for some you might have to buy extra fans. Pick the one you like, it'll link to that case on Newegg.

    If its not girly enough, any case can be stripped down to bare metal and spray painted pink with rainbow stickers! :D

    as for wireless. Wireless N is fast, but for gaming, I generally still prefer an old fashioned ethernet cable. Still faster and much less threat of interference. If you want it, I recommend one of the 3 main wireless brands: Netgear, D-Link, and Linksys

    Your existing monitor is probably fine, and its actually a nice one. still the really big displays are always nice.
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