Which build to pick? ~$1200

Hey guys,
I need help choosing between two builds. The major difference between the two is the chip socket: 1156 vs 1336 and I anticipate being able to save $100 ~$200 on the i7 870 build.

1156 build:
Intel i7 870
ASUS p7p55d-e pro
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB)
* ATI hd 5870 (to be crossfired in the future)
* Corsair HX 750w
* WD caviar black 1tb
* antech 902 case

1336 build:
Intel i7 930
ASUS p6x58d-e
Corsair XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB)
* ATI hd 5870 (to be crossfired in the future)
* Corsair HX 750w
* WD caviar black 1tb
* antech 902 case

*elements marked with an asterisk are common in both builds.

So, which system will perform better?
I plan on running games (like ffxiv), using engineering programs such as solidworks/ cad/ proengineer, watching movies, and other general activies.
Which system would you pick overall and why?
Hopefully I can get this settled, so I can start buying pieces :)
Thanks,
xiang
42 answers Last reply
More about which build pick 1200
  1. gordon_81 said:


    Is there a specific reason? The prices are reletively the same, but caviar black has sats 6gbps, can be comboed, and has larger cache.
  2. The Samsung is just as fast, but cheaper. And I didn't see any combos for the WD.

    I'd go with the i7-930. It's going to be a touch faster with overclocking and have a single upgrade. The 8xx won't have any upgrades available.

    I'd probably switch the board to a Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R. It's a touch cheaper, and better. The Gigabyte beat out the Asus in Tom's last review of LGA 1366 motherboards.

    I'd also step up the RAM a bit. These Corsair XMS3 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 sticks are a bit faster and only $20 more.

    There are also some better combos out there for the various parts or with equivalent parts. For example:

    Case/PSU: Lian Li PC-K62 and XFX 750W $190
    GPU/CPU: i7-930 and HD 5870 $625. There's also one with the i7-860.

    Those two combos alone will save at least $100. I believe with all my changes above (including the F3), you'll save about $130.
  3. MadAdmiral said:
    The Samsung is just as fast, but cheaper. And I didn't see any combos for the WD.

    I'd go with the i7-930. It's going to be a touch faster with overclocking and have a single upgrade. The 8xx won't have any upgrades available.

    I'd probably switch the board to a Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R. It's a touch cheaper, and better. The Gigabyte beat out the Asus in Tom's last review of LGA 1366 motherboards.

    I'd also step up the RAM a bit. These Corsair XMS3 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 sticks are a bit faster and only $20 more.

    There are also some better combos out there for the various parts or with equivalent parts. For example:

    Case/PSU: Lian Li PC-K62 and XFX 750W $190
    GPU/CPU: i7-930 and HD 5870 $625. There's also one with the i7-860.

    Those two combos alone will save at least $100. I believe with all my changes above (including the F3), you'll save about $130.


    The WD combos with corsair hx 750w PSU. Both for $209 if I remember properly.
    Also, I'm getting i7 930 for $199 at microcenter and 870 $229, but that's beyond the point. :P The reason why I only gave reletive prices is because I expect to be saving $100-$200 after all combos ect are done.

    As for the gigabyte, I would prefer to get the Asus for their "real" usb 3.0 and sata 3. Pretty much, I'm set on these builds with change made only if absolutely necessary.

    I do have to question though, you said the 930 gets better performane than the 870? I heard otherwise elsewhere. Or did you mean only after overclock? If that is the case, then I don't think its necessary because all aplications I will be using won't require an overclock.
  4. lga 1366 is better to go for as you will have a better upgrade path as you could upgrade to a hexacore cpu in the future when the i7 980x goes down in price also x58 mobos have 2 x16 slots so you would get better performance if you get 2 gpus and put them in crossfire in the future, but the 2 x16 slots will only marginally be better than the lga 1156 2 slots, but anyway i heard that the i7 930 is better than the 870 at playing games at high resolution like 1920x1200, but im not sure how true that is
  5. I beleive the 930 is a touch faster, and I know it's better once overclocked. Also, nothing "requires" overclocking, but it's a cheap and easy (ish) way to get more performance out of your parts. I'd recommend trying it at least.

    As for the WD having combos, if it does, it's not listed uner the HDD's page. Are you sure that's not the other version of the Caviar Black (the slower one).

    As for Gigabyte's USB 3/SATA III problems, that's restricted to the P55. With their P55 boards, you get either Crossfire/SLI or USB 3/SATA III speeds, but not both. The other chipsets don't have that problem.
  6. the gigabyte x58a ud3r is a nice lga 1366 mobo
  7. The 870 is quite a bit faster than the 930 actually. And the P55 mobo only cuts as many lanes as needed, so it's a non issue. Hardocp just did a test with x4 lanes and it did not change a game experience with dual 480s in x4 lanes.

    IMO the hexacore upgrade for 1366 makes no sense when Anandtech just leaked numbers showing sandy bridge smashing the 980x in single-threaded apps. The EE processors remain stupidly expensive long after the platform expires.
  8. We're not talking about dropping the 980 in for the next few years. By the time you'd need a CPU upgrade, the 980 would be cheap. If you got the 8xx, there would be absolutely nothing to upgrade to.

    I like the 930 for the (small) upgrade path and the extra RAM capacity. The speed of the PCIe lanes isn't significant right now, but it might be later. I don't really consider that as a reason to go with the LGA 1366 though. I will say my preference is mostly based on the upgrade potential. Both builds are very similar right now, but the advantages of the LGA 1366 comes out over the years. You never know how much RAM you'll need in the future, so having the extra capacity is nice. Same for the CPU.

    Is it worth the additional $40 (cost differences in the CPUs, boards and RAM)? In my opinion, yes.
  9. MadAdmiral said:
    As for Gigabyte's USB 3/SATA III problems, that's restricted to the P55. With their P55 boards, you get either Crossfire/SLI or USB 3/SATA III speeds, but not both. The other chipsets don't have that problem.


    Are you positive on this? Reading this made me go back and look around the web. Apparently there is some confusion on this. If you could provide a definite proof of gigabyte's usb 3.0 ability then I would be very grateful.
    On the contrary, here is a link to someone saying that it does NOT support usb 3.0 in xfire. http://www.downloadatoz.com/driver/articles/how-does-asus-x58-motherboard-p6x58d-e-compare-to-gigabyte-ga-x58a-ud3r.html
    "Several reasons why people choose ASUS P6X58D-E:
    Support RAID in SATA II and SATA III
    Support 2000MHz with OC, but this is just a wasted of money since many of the 2000MHz RAM is CL9 that is the same that have 1600 CL7.
    Crossfire x16 in dual mode or x16/x8/x8 in 3 way.
    Support SATA III and USB 3.0 EVEN in Crossfire and this is the problem of the UD3R that don't support USB 3.0 when u use Crossfire."
    I'm not sure how legitimate this guy is, but he did use "u" instead of "you" :kaola: Either way I am having doubts in my mind :(.

    Also, here is the link to the PSU/HDD combo I was talking about. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.466051
    Thanks for the help thus far... I'm starting to lean back towards the i7 930 again.
  10. Don't forget the 1366 platform uses ~60 watts more energy at load (40 from CPUs, 10 from the 3rd ram stick/X58 chipset).

    Going by your earlier calculations it'll end up costing you ~60$ more over 3 years at least.

    By the time you can find an EE for cheap there will be options 2-3x as fast.
  11. Also, as for the ram, I don't think that this upgrade is that valuable. 4gb is fine for now, and 8gb would more more than enough for later. I don't anticipate ever getting to 16gb or 24gbs~

    Also, as for the hex core cpu upgrade... I have to say that I'm not THAT interested. It's nice to have, but would be a few years down the line (hopefully).
    What I am more interested in is which is the better system NOW and which one I will reap more close term benefits from (let's say close is 1 yearish).

    sorry double post. site wont let me edit my posts anymore? anyone else having this problem btw?
  12. It's highly unlikely that the Gigabyte doesn't have true USB 3/SATA III support. Tom's review would've mentioned it.
  13. MadAdmiral said:

    I'd also step up the RAM a bit. These Corsair XMS3 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 sticks are a bit faster and only $20 more.

    How is this ram:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231230
    or this one:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145222 ?

    I don't know much about ram... so many choices; so little discernible difference. The two listed above combo nicely and seem to have better specs than the 1.5v.
    Also, what should I be looking for when I am looking for good ram?
  14. well actually right now it would be better for you to go for an amd build as it will have a much better upgrade path with am3, as am3 will support the new bulldozer cpus that are coming out, so in the future you could just chuck a new cpu in the rig, also the money saved on going amd you can try spend upgrading you gpu or so on
  15. IMO 1366 is a socket to avoid right now, I agree with Gordon either get an AM3, or possibly a P55 i5-760 build.

    The 760 is ~3% faster than the 930 in games, 80$ cheaper, uses 40 less watts (saves 60$+ over the lifetime of your chip!!!), allows you to step down to 4 GB of ram/P55 mobos (~70-100$ saved).
  16. @xiangjiao: The G.Skills are better if you don't plan on overclocking. If you do, you'll want 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7.

    The first thing you're looking for in good RAM is the CAS Latency. CL 7 is pretty much the standard right now, but you can go up to CL 9 if you don't want to overclock (or the speed is really high).

    The second thing to look at is the speed. 1333 mhz is the default now days, but 1600 mhz is often the same price. 1600 mhz sticks will run with tighter (i.e. smaller) timings (CL) at lower speeds, so that makes them faster. If you're going to overclock the CPU, you'll want to increase the speed. Higher mhz sticks will be able to be pushed higher, so they offer an overclocking advantage.

    The last technical thing to look at is the voltage. Lower is better, and you don't want to get anything that needs over 1.65V, especially on an Intel board. This basically eliminates all OCZ DDR3 sticks.

    After the technical details, it's mostly the brand. Most brands are similar, with the major exception of OCZ. They're having a lot of compatibility issues now days, so they should be avoided. The top brands would be G.Skill, Corsair and Mushkin. I typically recommend the sticks that are the cheapest with the same technical specs for these brands.

    @gordon/sp: I agree that Intel's not the best choice right now, especially the LGA 1366. However, given the OP's CAD and Solidworks uses, they'd benefit greatly from hyperthreading and what the i7-930 offers. AMD's X6s are definitely not going to perform as well and the i5 is going to be even worse. While the LGA 1366's upgrade path leaves a lot to desire, it does have the super powerful 980X in the line. That'll make a nice upgrade a few years down the line when it's cheap.
  17. If he wants hyperthreading the i7-870 outperforms the 930 for the same price.

    And just generally on RAM, 1600 speed is the best choice for overclocking in terms of dividors (at many FSB speeds, there are dividers to run your ram at close to 1600), 1.65 voltage or less (less is better), and CAS above 9 are small performance jumps, but if it's less than 3$ a step then it's probably worth it.
  18. Will there be a significant difference between the 1333 and 1600 mhz ram?
  19. You mean with everything else held constant? There's a little difference, but not much.

    I should point out that if you have 1600 mhz RAM, the point is that everything else isn't the same. The CPU's speed would be higher, which would have a significant performance impact.
  20. There's the raw clockspeed difference, as well as half gigaherz higher turbo.

    Not to mention it's 60 watts less at load.

    1600 ram is a bit faster, and generally the best choice for overclocking. There's not a whole lot of real-world impact. The CPU speed is unrelated to RAM speed.
  21. sp12 its stupid to go for the i7 8xx series as then he will have no upgrade path on lga 1156
  22. And will he have one for 1366? Let's see.

    Last-gen's extreme edition processor, the QX9770, retails for 1500 some dollars after 2 years.

    It currently gets smashed by a modern i5-750 for 200$. Look back 4 years at the Athlon-FX extreme processors -- they still retail for ~300$ and offer worse performance than a 40$ Athlon ii X2

    Let's look at Anandtech's leaked Sandybridge benchmarks. The mainstream i5 2400 (~200$ release price) matches/beats the current 1366 hexacores.

    It's just not really an upgrade path when your CPU will be hundreds while offering worse performance than a modern mainstream solution. IMO you're going to get a lot more longevity with the money saved on a P55 platform than you will with an X58 one.
  23. I just built a similar build for a similar price point. The case / PSU is a $169 Combo. Also has a $dollar mail in rebate (If I ever fill it out). This is what I settled on $1350:

    Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    $109.99

    ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    $229.99

    XFX HD-587X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5870 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
    $389.99


    Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V version 2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC ...
    $99.99

    Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80601930
    $289.99

    Crucial Ballistix 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model BL3KIT25664BN1608 - OEM
    $150.99

    Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    $79.99

    LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM
    Item #: N82E16827106289
    $17.99
  24. It looks like the 1336 is ahead for now :) I think this thread is making some progress.. I wish more people would vote though..

    Another change: I wanted to get the antec 300 instead of the 900. does anyone see a problem with this?
  25. The 300 is a touch small. The 5870 will fit in it, but it'll be cramped.
  26. MadAdmiral said:
    The 300 is a touch small. The 5870 will fit in it, but it'll be cramped.


    I prefer it to be smaller; reminds me of the good ol' dell days :P. My brother has an evo tempest and that thing is a giant..
    I like the 300 because it is smaller, cheaper, and still has a good amount of fans.
  27. When I say small, I mean it's a little small for what you're planning on putting in it. Obviously, you don't want something massive if you don't need the extra room, but getting something too small is going to make building and maintenance harder. You won't have much room to manipulate parts inside the case.

    If you're just looking for something cheaper, the Coolermaster 690 would be large enough and it's cheaper than the Antec 900.
  28. MadAdmiral said:
    When I say small, I mean it's a little small for what you're planning on putting in it. Obviously, you don't want something massive if you don't need the extra room, but getting something too small is going to make building and maintenance harder. You won't have much room to manipulate parts inside the case.

    If you're just looking for something cheaper, the Coolermaster 690 would be large enough and it's cheaper than the Antec 900.


    I don't know.. I like the design of the antech 900 and 300. The large fan on the top is appealing to me for some reason. Overall they both have really nice designs; the cooler master not so much.
    Unless things absolutely are not going to fit, I will probably go with the 300 or 900.
    Thanks for the suggestions though.
    Btw, is a hx 750w enough for dual 5870 + i930 + cpu overclock?
  29. I'm saying the 300 isn't large enough. The 900 is just fine.

    A quality 750W PSU is enough for dual 5870s and overclocking. The 750HX is a very high quality unit.
  30. I have a 5870 in a 300, but mine is reference -- it was a tight fit. If you have a long custom card I don't think you could get it in.

    If you want the nice top fan, but in a larger case the Haf 922 comes to mind.

    A 750 would be sufficient for up to dual 470s actually, especially one of that quality. Admittedly, you could spend 5$ more for an 850 watt XFX black edition unit and get better efficiencies.

    I've still yet to see a coherant argument for X58.
  31. MadAdmiral said:
    I'm saying the 300 isn't large enough. The 900 is just fine.

    A quality 750W PSU is enough for dual 5870s and overclocking. The 750HX is a very high quality unit.


    :-x I went to microcenter this morning and bought an antec 300 and i7 930~
    If needed I will mod my case.

    :D! On a happier note, I guess this means that I have chosen which build to go with. Now, I will just be looking for sales + updates on the 1336 build.
    Thanks for help guys, hope you will continue to provide support until all pieces are assembled.
  32. sp12 said:
    I have a 5870 in a 300, but mine is reference -- it was a tight fit. If you have a long custom card I don't think you could get it in.

    If you want the nice top fan, but in a larger case the Haf 922 comes to mind.

    A 750 would be sufficient for up to dual 470s actually, especially one of that quality. Admittedly, you could spend 5$ more for an 850 watt XFX black edition unit and get better efficiencies.

    I've still yet to see a coherant argument for X58.


    this is why i went with the x58:
    - cheaper by $30 for chip alone
    - performance about same
    - over clocks better
    - can use x16 x16 pci (may be important in the future. this was prob the selling point for me; although the difference not significant, i kinda feel OCD about it.. it would bug me knowing I had x8x8)
    - bragging rights? (lol)
    - hex core upgrade in future (doubt i will need it)
    - 12 vs 2 vote
  33. I'll agree with the 30$ cheaper, similar performance, X16 slots, and those are all good reasons for X58.

    However, P55 would be cheaper in terms of ram/mobo (assuming you get a 6GB kit for X58), but also a better overclocker. The P55 processors are all 95 watts, while the X58 are 130. Ergo, the X58 outputs 50% more heat/draws 50% more power.

    For those reasons I think it's a toss-up in your situation.
  34. Mr Pizza said:


    are you shure..? same rpm but wd has sata 6gbps + 64mb cache
    also, the wd is comboed... someone already suggested this hd. with combo wd is cheaper
  35. It's not faster, it's basically the same speed. If the WD is cheaper, that's the better choice. If it's not, the F3 is better.
  36. sp12 said:
    I'll agree with the 30$ cheaper, similar performance, X16 slots, and those are all good reasons for X58.

    However, P55 would be cheaper in terms of ram/mobo (assuming you get a 6GB kit for X58), but also a better overclocker. The P55 processors are all 95 watts, while the X58 are 130. Ergo, the X58 outputs 50% more heat/draws 50% more power.

    For those reasons I think it's a toss-up in your situation.


    It is not that the ram for the 1156 is cheaper, but rather that you need to buy less of it. I don't see buying an extra 2gb of ram as a loss of money. And for the motherboard, the savings come from at a price of features.. so really, these systems are pretty close. I just feel that it that a little extra money warrants what I get with the 1336 board.
  37. The extra RAM doesn't really help performance. That's why it's considered an extra cost.
  38. Hey guys,
    Update: I just bought my graphics card off new egg.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127509&cm_re=msi_5870-_-14-127-509-_-Product
    It was really cheap for some reason so I jumped on it. The lowest I've seen this card for is $470.. Today it is $399 - $30 rebate!
    Anyone see a problem here? I'm kind of nervous that it is so cheap..

    *edit it is the msi lightning 5870
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