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$1600 gaming computer

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August 25, 2010 11:02:11 PM

Greetings all. I previously posted a $2000 gaming build for a critique, and I have since changed a number of the components and wanted to get your opinions.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next two to four weeks, EDIT unless my Blazer's engine overheating today stops the build altogether. >.<

BUDGET RANGE: Up to $1700; less is better.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, web, photo editing

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

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com, tigerdirect.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: U.S.

PARTS PREFERENCES: No brand preferences; just want a solid build.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe, but not likely.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Unsure; the monitor has been sitting unused for more than a year. I'd like 1600x1200, 1920x1080, or 1920x1200.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm dead-set on a SSD boot drive with SATA III, and I definitely want an 80-PLUS Gold certified PSU.

Case (already bought this): Cooler Master HAF X
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: Gigabyte P55A-UD3 $140 (combo with RAM, -$35)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Is it worth it to go with the Gigabyte P55A-UD4P ($185)?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Processor: i5-750 $195
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Another option I'm considering is an i3-540 ($125). For a primary gaming rig, is it worthwhile, or should I stick with the i5-750?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heatsink: Prolimatech Megahalems $62
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heatsink Fans: 2x Noctua NF-P12-1300 120mm $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: 8GB g.skill Ripjaws $175 (combo with mobo, -$35)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'd be happy with 6GB, but I'm pretty sure they don't make 3GB sticks.

GPU: XFX Radeon 5870 (or 5970, if I feel like blowing a bunch more money) $390
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: SeaSonic x750 Gold $180
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Boot Drive: Crucial RealSSD 128gb SATA III $275
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM 1TB $75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive: Asus 24X DVD burner $23
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM. $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $1,630 plus shipping, minus a $10 rebate in there somewhere.

More about : 1600 gaming computer

a b 4 Gaming
August 25, 2010 11:30:50 PM

-You can't really crossfire on a P55 board when you are using SATA 6GB/S... or you can, but bandwidth suffers. It's a good price on the SSD though, so I understand. LGA 1366 is better at this because it supplies more PCI-E lanes and they aren't all so vital. AMD does not suffer from the issue at all.

Do you need the extra memory for photo editing? Because games won't use it.

Buy two GTX 460 1GB. They cost less and perform just as well as two 5870s. Proof?
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/08/09/geforce_gtx_4...
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August 26, 2010 2:06:15 PM

Yeah, I had read previously that SATA III doesn't play well with CF/SLI on 1156 architecture. Unfortunately, 1366 architecture is more expensive. I don't really need hyperthreading, and I'm unlikely to run dual video cards. Maybe for my next build in a couple years, or if my fianceé decides she wants her own gaming desktop, I'll give her this build and go with my own dual-GPU PC.
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August 26, 2010 4:36:30 PM

Ah Ah Ah. Actually the ASUS p7p55d-e series can fully utilize sata 3 and usb 3.0 while in crossfire :) 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Make sure you go with the PRO one, as it has better PCI splitting for crossfire.

Also, I would reccomend the Sapphire vaporx rev 2 above the xfx. The xfx was 369 just yesterday /w free shipping. Now its more expencive /w no shipping. On the other hand the vaporx just dropped in price and offers better cooling :) !
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b 4 Gaming
August 26, 2010 8:12:19 PM

Randall Jhen said:
Yeah, I had read previously that SATA III doesn't play well with CF/SLI on 1156 architecture. Unfortunately, 1366 architecture is more expensive. I don't really need hyperthreading, and I'm unlikely to run dual video cards. Maybe for my next build in a couple years, or if my fianceé decides she wants her own gaming desktop, I'll give her this build and go with my own dual-GPU PC.


I would say then that the PSU is overkill. X650 maybe? Still too much but you want the best.



xiangjiao said:
Ah Ah Ah. Actually the ASUS p7p55d-e series can fully utilize sata 3 and usb 3.0 while in crossfire :) 


The bandwidth limitations are hardwired into the LGA1156 architecture. I'm sure all those boards are great, but SATA 3 and USB 3 will cut into the bandwidth used by cf/SLI... no longer an issue here though.


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August 27, 2010 1:34:34 AM

Okay! Made a few changes (marked with *). Almost identical cost for less RAM but a better mobo/vapor-x gpu.

Case (already bought this): Cooler Master HAF X
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

*Motherboard: Gigabyte P55A-UD4P $360 (combo with processor, saves $20)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

I figure this mobo gives me the option to go dual-GPU even if it drops my hard drives to SATA II. An SSD is still going to be blazingly fast at that speed, so I think having the option is worthwhile.

Processor: i5-750
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Heatsink: Prolimatech Megahalems $62
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heatsink Fans: 2x Noctua NF-P12-1300 120mm $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

*RAM: 4GB Mushkin Enhanced Ridgeback $135
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

*GPU: Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon 5870 $415
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Looked up some reviews on this. Nothing but raves for the cooling, so I figure it's worth the extra cost. I could get an HIS 5870 for $65 cheaper, though.

*PSU: SeaSonic x650 Gold $200 (combo with WD Caviar Black 1TB 64MB cache)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

*Hard Drive: WD Caviar Black 1TB 64MB cache (combo with PSU)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Boot Drive: Crucial RealSSD 128gb SATA III $275
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive: Asus 24X DVD burner $23
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM. $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $1,639.66, which includes shipping, minus a $15 rebate in there somewhere.
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August 27, 2010 1:54:21 AM

IMO the 470 for 250$ (several on slickdeals) offers much more compelling price/performance than the 5870.
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August 27, 2010 2:35:27 AM

sp12 said:
IMO the 470 for 250$ (several on slickdeals) offers much more compelling price/performance than the 5870.


If you only look at fps sure it looks like great bang for buck. But, there is also stability; temperature, power consumption, noise to consider. I guess there are the fans of nvid, but I prefer ATI
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August 27, 2010 2:41:35 AM

sp12 said:
IMO the 470 for 250$ (several on slickdeals) offers much more compelling price/performance than the 5870.

The 470/480 cards suck up a lot more energy and output a lot more heat than the 5870/5970, from what I understand.

Edit: Ninja'd.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 27, 2010 4:37:27 AM

I think it's something that can be argued endlessly given current prices and performance. As far as I can see everything from the 5770 and up is exactly worth what you pay. (Except the GTX 465)

Now, for someone water cooling anyway the 470 and 480 are pretty good deals right now... I'm thinking about one. But for everyone else it's all good and you can't go wrong with any of them.

If there are good 470s at $250, that's pretty good though.
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August 27, 2010 9:55:44 AM

In a worse case scenario the 470 only uses 25 watts more than a 4870, and only runs about 7 degrees hotter. Not a huge difference. Noise at both idle and load is within 2 decibels too. (anandtech bench)
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