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Need suggestions on lowering cost of new build

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Now - this week

BUDGET RANGE: not important

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, home office, VPC

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitors, web cam, headset

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: www.tigerdirect.ca

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel CPU, Thermaltake Level 10 case

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: SLI Yes

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Looking for the best possible performance for anything I might want to do, prices are in Canadian dollars.

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CPU:
Intel BX80613i7980X Core i7 980X Extreme Edition Processor - Retail CPU w/ Fan, FREE DIRT 2 Game Coupon = $1,079.97
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6634216&sku=B69-4464

Q: How much slower will a lesser priced i7 really be? The difference between 6.4GT/s and 4.8GT/s seems unsurmountable but I don't really know how much impact it has on real computing power.

CPU Fan:
Thermaltake CLP0564 Frio Dual 120mm Universal CPU Cooler = $74.99
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6046364&sku=T925-3046

Note:I use one of these on a i7 930 now and am very pleased with it.


Noctua NH-D14 LGA775/1156/1366/AM3 I7/I5/PHENOM Heatpipe Cooler W/ NF-P14 140MM & NF-P12 120MM Fan = $89.99
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=47090

Note:After reading up on the Noctua fan design, I really thought this would provide more airflow over the CPU. Coupled with the replacement case fans. Increase of $15.00

Mobo:
EVGA X58 FTW3 - Intel X58 3-way SLI LGA1366 MB = $349.99
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6337561&sku=E145-2081

Note:I considered the Gigabyte 890FXA-UD7 but it lacks RAID.

RAM:
32 x Corsair CMX8GX3M2A1333C9 XMS 8GB DDR3 RAM - PC10666, 1333MHz, 2x 4GB = $713.97 ($237.99 each) - $20.00 Mail-in Rebate
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6611013&sku=C13-6165


2 x G.SKILL F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL Ripjaws 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1333 CL9-9-9-24 240PIN DIMM Memory = $353.88 ($176.94 each, price-matched with DirectCanada's price)
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=44264

Note:24GB total. Based on feedback, reduced this to 16GB. Went with G.Skill over Corsair both for cheaper price, and availability. Savings of $360.09

Video:
2 x EVGA 015-P3-1482-AR GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) SuperClocked Video Card = $1,039.94 ($519.97 each) - $20.00 Mail-in Rebate
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6075295&sku=E145-0482


2 x MSI N470GTX Twin Frozr II GeForce GTX 470 Fermi 607MHZ 1280MB 3348MHZ GDDR5 PCI-E 2XDVI Video Card = $779.98 ($389.99)
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=54634

Note:I have had nVidia for a long time now and like it. I've currently got a pair of GTX 295's, I hope the GTX 480's will be significantly faster. Do you think they will? Feedback says I probably won't notice the difference between the 480 and 470, especially after overclocking. Savings of $259.96

Boot Drive:
Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC256MAG-1G1 - 256GB, 2.5", SATA 6Gb/s = $579.97
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5975116&sku=C19-8022


2 x Patriot PS-100 Solid State Drive - 64GB = $389.98 ($194.99 each)
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5572011&CatId=5300


Corsair CSSD-F120GB2-BRKT F120 Force Series Solid State Drive - 120GB = $259.97
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6361339&csid=ITD&body=MAIN#detailspecs

Note:Configured as RAID 0. Based on feedback from Timop I managed to figure out how to reduce my boot drive requirements down to <128GB with room to spare. See below. Savings of $320.00

Existing Data Drives:
WD VelociRaptor 300GB Hard Drive WD3000HLFS - 10K RPM, 16MB Cache, SATA 300MB/s = $249.99
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4177125&CatId=2458

Note:I have a second one if you think I should RAID all data drives, but if not I was going to put non-crucial/temporary data on this drive and use the 2nd one in another machine.

2 x Seagate ST32000542AS Barracuda LP Hard Drive - 2TB, 5900 RPM, 32MB, SATA-3G = $229.94 ($114.97 each)
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4545311&CatId=4357

Note:Configured as RAID 1.

Gaming NIC:
EVGA 128-P2-KN03-TR Killer Xeno Pro Network Card = $99.99 - $10.00 Mail-in Rebate
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6052355&sku=E145-3012

Q: Do these really work? I have a T1 to the net.


Note: Based on feedback, removed this completely. Savings of $99.99.

Accessory/Bling:
NZXT Sentry II SEN2-001 5.25" Touch Screen Fan Controller = $43.99
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6044658&sku=A406-1134

PSU:Corsair CMPSU-1200AX 1200-Watt Power Supply - ATX, 140mm Fan, SLI Ready, CrossFireX = $374.99 - 10.00 Mail-in Rebate
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6391024&sku=C13-2594

Case:Thermaltake VL30001N1Z Level 10 Super-Gaming Modular Full Tower Case = $874.99
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5550536&sku=T925-3022

Note:I know this is a lot of money for no real functionality but I love this case and am going to have it.

Replacement Case Fans:
GPU/Mobo Compartment Intake:
Noctua NF-P14FLX 140MM Ultra Quiet Cooling Fan 10.1-19.6DBA = $21.99
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=45800

GPU/Mobo Compartment Output:
Noctua NF-P12-1300 120MM Ultra Quiet Cooling Fan 12.6-19.8DBA = $19.99
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=27129

HDD Fans:
4 x Logisys Twin Fan HD Cooling Pad (HC102) = US$19.98 (US$9.99 each)
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/6409/hdc-55/Logisys_Twin_Fan_HD_Cooling_Pad_HC102.html

Note:My plan is to extract each of the 2 60mm fans from this gear and mount each in a different drive bay. It is hard to find 60mm x 15mm fans, and of course Thermaltake have no stock on the one they built the case with.

HDD Fan Power Consolidation Board:
Bitspower X-STATION POWER-EXTENSION I - Male Version 4PIN Molex to Power Distribution Board = $20.38
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=30588

Note:These weren't part of my original config, but the replacements came about from recommendations. I forgot to add the HDD fans. Increase of $84.07.

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So, are there any components here that you think are top of the line for no good reason? e.g. can I get equal performance from another CPU, GPU, RAM??

Anything you'd add?

Total savings since posting...$940.97

Order is being placed as we speak. I really want to thank the few people who participated in this thread as saving me $940.97 is GREAT, and totally unexpected. More importantly, the conversation made me think of a few things I had not considered so I feel more confident that the build will go great. Thanks!

FWIW, the total cost of this build was CAD$5,328.44, which includes HST, overnight air shipping, and added insurance.
19 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about need suggestions lowering cost build
  1. Best answer
    First of all, get a nice big monitor, a single GTX480 will max out 1080P and beyond that is plain OVERKILLL.

    You really dont need a 980, the quads would be great. The QPI link is only important when you have a dual socket and up solution, for single CPUs, the difference is like 1%. But if you want a six core go nuts.

    Also, any reason to buy 24GB DDR3 1333?

    Finally, skip the NIC, lowers latency by a couple of ms, not worth the $100..
  2. THIS IS SUCH A WASTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XD XD XD XD XD XD XD XD WASTE! WASTE! WASTE!!!!!!!!!!!

    Get a cheaper case! That case sucks! get a smaller SSD like 60gigs! get 6gb ram! get 1 gtx 480! get an i7 970! Q: Do these really work? I have a T1 to the net. no they don't work!
  3. Timop:
    I have a Samsung 46" 3D LED TV (1920x1080/1080p) and 2 x HP 23" LCD monitors (1980x1080/1080p), so I need the 2 cards to be able to get to all 3 monitors. Thanks for the tip on the processor.

    I have 8GB of RAM now and regularly see hard faults getting into double digits, especially when I have Virtual PC running my office system and I'm doing some debugging in Visual Studio on the host system. I have been thinking about moving my VS2010 to another box entirely, but I haven't paid that much attention to precisely what is causing the hard faults so I can't say that's going to resolve the need for >8GB of RAM. Do I need 24GB, probably not, but I didn't want to get anything other than 4GB DIMMs to future proof them.

    Mr Pizza:
    My current W7 Ultimate installation occupies 230GB of my C:. Granted, 55GB of that is in documents, pictures, and music (which could be on another drive), but that only lowers my requirements to 180GB'ish. That doesn't really get me into a 60GB range, or even a cheaper SSD range. How do you get away with a 60GB boot partition for W7?

    As for the case, as I said, I like it...its going to be a piece of art in my home office so 'nuff said...

    Thanks to both of you on the NIC, wasn't sure if it was worth a try or not.

    As far as the i7 970 goes:
    Intel BX80613I7970 Core i7 970 Processor 3.20GHz - Retail w/ Fan = $1,124.99
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6524805&CatId=4072

    So, as you can see, not really an option. I guess they're getting a volume deal on the 980's. I could go with:

    Intel BX80601960 Core i7 960 Processor 3.20GHz - with Fan = $712.99
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5765907&CatId=4072

    or

    Intel Core i7 940 Processor BX80601940 - 2.93GHz - Retail, Fan = $699.99
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4240164&CatId=4072

    or

    Intel Core i7 930 Processor BX80601930 - 2.80GHz - Retail, Fan = $299.97
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5719283&CatId=4074

    I've just upgraded my Server 2008 R2 box (AD/DC/Exchange 2010/SQL) with an i7 930 and its performing very well, but not as ridiculously faster than the former E4600 I had hoped it would be.
  4. If you run hardcore VMs, you could go for the 980, at that point 12 threads do help. Just figured since listed it last you'd pass by just fine with a 950/950 saving $700.

    On your Win7 partition, 60GB? My Win7 Ultimate takes up barely 15GB, and I get away just fine with a 35GB partition...
  5. Am I safe in assuming you don't have applications installed on your boot drive? My C:\Windows directory alone is 25GB and my user profile (in the C:\Users directory) is another 75GB. I'd really rather not get into telling windows to put "standard" directories onto a drive other than the system drive. Programs add another ~30GB. So that either puts me right at the 128GB mark, or pretty darn close to it (assuming no pagefile.sys, for example).

    I could get:
    2 x Patriot PS-100 Solid State Drive - 64GB = $389.98 ($194.99 each)
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5572011&CatId=5300

    and put them in RAID 0 to get 128GB, but then I'd only be saving $270 and would have no room for SP1 when its released (since its going to end up backing up crap into the system directory) for example. But I appreciate your thinking I shouldn't need such a large boot drive when your's is obviously using way less space than mine.
  6. Timop:

    I really want to thank you for calling out your ~50GB Windows 7 boot drive. I was flabbergasted by how little you had on your boot drive compared to my 230GB. That got me to thinking. I moved some stuff that definitely didn't need to be there (and wouldn't have benefited from an SSD anyway) and brought the 230GB down to ~180GB. But as I mentioned in my last message, I didn't want to muck about with the "standard" directories that are normally under the C:\User directory. So I did some checking.

    You can make that directory anywhere you want on a fresh install...but that's too late in my case. Then I found this thread:

    Move the Users Directory in Windows 7

    I followed the instructions...waited quite a while for it to complete, and bingo, my boot drive now contains ~85GB...that's 145GB less!!

    So now I can totally see going with the 2 x 64GB drives I mentioned above and putting them in RAID 0 to make my boot drive. That knocks $270 off my total price...excellent! The C:\Users directory will end up on my velociraptor and still be reasonably quick.

    So thanks again. I never would have thought of it had you not mentioned it.
  7. NTBugtraq said:
    Timop:

    I really want to thank you for calling out your ~50GB Windows 7 boot drive. I was flabbergasted by how little you had on your boot drive compared to my 230GB. That got me to thinking. I moved some stuff that definitely didn't need to be there (and wouldn't have benefited from an SSD anyway) and brought the 230GB down to ~180GB. But as I mentioned in my last message, I didn't want to muck about with the "standard" directories that are normally under the C:\User directory. So I did some checking.

    You can make that directory anywhere you want on a fresh install...but that's too late in my case. Then I found this thread:

    Move the Users Directory in Windows 7

    I followed the instructions...waited quite a while for it to complete, and bingo, my boot drive now contains ~85GB...that's 145GB less!!

    So now I can totally see going with the 2 x 64GB drives I mentioned above and putting them in RAID 0 to make my boot drive. That knocks $270 off my total price...excellent! The C:\Users directory will end up on my velociraptor and still be reasonably quick.

    So thanks again. I never would have thought of it had you not mentioned it.

    Yeah, I have my Users on my D drive. :lol:

    One thing is, RAIDing SSDs requires a wipe every couple of months as TRIM is not supported AFAIK. If you want to avoid the hassle, Id suggest you just get a 120GB Sandforce like this: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6361339&csid=ITD&body=MAIN#detailspecs
  8. Geez, you can't trust their categories-based navigation. It does not appear under their 2GB - 180GB capacity section...never would have seen it...and its cheaper than the 2 Patriots...lol. So that's another $130.01 saved.
  9. Oh by the way,just looking at prices, Id also suggest 2 GTX470s (http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814162049&cm_re=GTX_470-_-14-162-049-_-Product) instead, at $580, it offers 80% performance of dual 480s for almost half the price, you can always add a third one and OC also.
  10. Get a cheaper case. The level 10 is a horrible case.
  11. Should I bother paying an extra $40 per card to get the EVGA "Super-clocked" version versus the "normal" one?
  12. Mr Pizza:
    Ok, that's the second time you've said that, and neither time have you given any reason other than its expensive. Could you possibly be specific? I did reply to you saying I liked it and was paying for what I consider to be a piece of art. But if there truly is a problem with its functionality, state it.

    FWIW, I've read every review I could find on it and nobody has said anything negative beyond the price and the fact it keeps CPU's a little hotter than other cases. To counter the heat problem I've opted for a FRIO which could add significantly to the airflow of the CPU/Graphics chamber.
  13. NTBugtraq said:
    Mr Pizza:
    Ok, that's the second time you've said that, and neither time have you given any reason other than its expensive. Could you possibly be specific? I did reply to you saying I liked it and was paying for what I consider to be a piece of art. But if there truly is a problem with its functionality, state it.

    FWIW, I've read every review I could find on it and nobody has said anything negative beyond the price and the fact it keeps CPU's a little hotter than other cases. To counter the heat problem I've opted for a FRIO which could add significantly to the airflow of the CPU/Graphics chamber.

    Personally (like a lot of people here) I think its a waste as I think there are cheaper cases that both work and look better; its not the best case cooling wise, and can be easily bested by $80 cases. But its just a case of form over function, as decoration and a "sculpture" its worth it as long as you really like it and can afford it.

    (BTW, What do you mean that the frio ""add significantly to the airflow of the CPU/Graphics chamber."?)
  14. The FRIO has 2 fans which would increase the draw pressure inside that chamber. If necessary, I either bump up the revs on the discharge fan or get a faster RPM discharge fan (or swap it with one of the FRIO fans.) No?
  15. NTBugtraq said:
    The FRIO has 2 fans which would increase the draw pressure inside that chamber. If necessary, I either bump up the revs on the discharge fan or get a faster RPM discharge fan (or swap it with one of the FRIO fans.) No?

    The Frio just cools the CPU, the GPU heat will still be there.

    I wold suggest replacing the 140mm fan where it draws air for the GPUs with a higher CFM one and use a high-flow bracket. Especially with 480s.

    To answering your previous question, no need for superclocked versions as you can always OC yourself, but Id just get the Galaxy.
  16. Well, I've made a bunch of changes. Noctua NF-14FLX for the intake, NF-P12-1300 for the output. NH-D14 as the CPU cooler. Also changed the EVGA's GTX 470's for the MSI N470GTX Twin Frozr II since nobody has stock on the EVGA 470 with the high-flow plate and backplate.

    I also used Shopbot.ca and managed to get NCIX to save me $300 over Tigerdirect.ca's prices. I'll update the profile above accordingly.
  17. Check newegg too, NCIX will match even their deals if you givem a email.
  18. Best answer selected by NTBugtraq.
  19. FWIW, NCIX sucks as a supplier. They back ordered my Level 10 case and offered no explanation despite the fact their online stock check said they had stock. I bought their VIP program, extra insurance, and expidited shipment and they said "you have unrealistic expectations".

    I've cancelled the order.
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