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Plz analyze My thoroughly researched $1000 Intel build.

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September 13, 2010 3:02:55 AM

Ok so it's been about 7 years since my last desktop and I've finally found the desire and money to get a new one. I know I can get ultimate bang for buck in finding the best valued components for a custom build... so I've done a TON of research on the matter... this site has been great in particular.

I've gone through several revisions.
I'll lay out the build and a few of my ideas behind it.. please comment on the build and/or specific components. the more input on this the better.

i5 760 - doesn't require much explantion. solid proc for a decent price. overclocks pretty well from what i read.

combos with the asus P7P55D-E pro. - professional reviews speak highly of this board. good features and will allow sli/xfire which i'll eventually do. * if anyone has this proc/mobo combination I'd love to discuss overclocking!

both are in combo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Antec 300 Illusion case. functional. good vent. doesn't look like #$&%
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI Cyclone 1gb gtx 460. After much consideration I settled on this card. Excellent value solo and even greater value in SLI.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

XFX Black edition 750 PSU. This PSU got a bangin score on jonnyguru and is solid... It's prob overkill on 2 gtx 460s but I want it to last me a long time, maybe even w/ other setups down the road. I'm wondering if I should go up to 850 actually
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4Gb G.Skill eco ram. doesn't require much explanation I dont think. good specs and highly rated.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler Master hyper 212
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

spinpoint f3 1tb HD.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS dvd burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

All of the above comes out to right at $1000 before like $40 in rebates.

I think it's pretty good... any suggestions/critique or whatever would be greatly apprectiated. THX!
September 13, 2010 3:25:22 AM

The only comments I'd make are:

Your vid card choice will exhaust hot air into the case. While that wouldn't be my personal choice, it is unlikely to cause much trouble.

The Sony Optiarc is a dollar or two cheaper than the Asus, and is a good unit.

Your PSU is quality, and more than enough power. However, a 650W Seasonic will easily power 2x460 and save around $50.

Your case choice is also sound - have you seen this CoolerMaster, just released?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119233&Tpk=haf%20912

Very nice parts list - good luck with the build.
September 13, 2010 3:37:38 AM

I'm in a similar budget range ($1000-$1400), your build looks pretty solid from top to bottom.

My build is around the i5-760 as well, so, great choice there.

As for the RAM, looks good, I plan on going with this set from G.SKILL, only $10 cheaper so not a huge difference:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Related resources
September 13, 2010 4:26:21 AM

Twoboxer said:
Your vid card choice will exhaust hot air into the case. While that wouldn't be my personal choice, it is unlikely to cause much trouble.


I was hoping with the reputedly good ventilation of the Illusion and the Hyper 212 I'd be ok in the heat dept. I plan on doing a little OC to push the proc and gpu beyond factory but nothing hardcore.

mosox said:
LE maybe get some standard voltage RAM as prolific suggested.


Yeah yall both suggested against the Eco... I was under the impression lower voltage was better w/ everything else equal? I was looking at these blue ripjaws: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The specs are identical to the eco's except in voltage in which ripjaw 1.65v and eco 1.35v

It's like a dollar difference... maybe someone can explain the voltage value.
September 13, 2010 4:34:17 AM

I am considering a nearly identical build.

The only thing I would add is that the Antec 900 and that PSU are on combo for $10 more than your current setup. Maybe that is something you may want to consider?
September 13, 2010 4:37:34 AM

Standard voltage is better.
September 13, 2010 4:47:43 AM

aphelion8105 said:
I am considering a nearly identical build.

The only thing I would add is that the Antec 900 and that PSU are on combo for $10 more than your current setup. Maybe that is something you may want to consider?


I did consider that case... but if I recall correctly the 900 doesn't have easily removable dust filters.

mosox said:
Standard voltage is better.


Whhhhy? :na: 

September 13, 2010 4:54:31 AM

At the same stock speeds/timings, there's no difference in performance (Duh!) The lower voltage memory in theory would run cooler, and save a nickel or two in electricity.

Few here would want to screw with them because the savings/beneifts are minimal to non-existent, and the sticks may prevent matching overclocking requirements, or just comfortable settings for a particular mobo.

IOW, no benefit, why bother.

September 13, 2010 5:48:53 AM

That's a good choice, but if money is any issue stick with the 1333 memory. The conclusion of reviewers here is unless you're overclocking, you won't see any noticable benefit from faster memory, unless you benchmark.

You didn't comment on the HAF 912 case I suggested earlier. It has dust filters too :) 
September 13, 2010 6:22:17 AM

Twoboxer said:
That's a good choice, but if money is any issue stick with the 1333 memory. The conclusion of reviewers here is unless you're overclocking, you won't see any noticable benefit from faster memory, unless you benchmark.

You didn't comment on the HAF 912 case I suggested earlier. It has dust filters too :) 



Money is no issue when it's a matter of like 10 bucks either way on RAM.

As far as the case goes I am trying to get best value for dollar, but i'm willing to spend what it takes. I don't see that the HAF 912 is necessarily better than the Illusion I was originally looking at. The case is turning out to be one of the hardest decisions, ugh.

Any additional suggestions would be cool.
September 13, 2010 6:54:56 AM

Bah! The case choice should be FUN!!

I agree, the HAF isn't necessarily better - but you might have liked the look or the build ease better.

Either of your cases choices would be fine.

I agree with you on the $10, but my point was it doesn't buy you anything useful.
September 13, 2010 7:28:41 AM

Quite honestly the case choice is totally personal as long as it has good airflow. I personally like cm cases just because I have had good experiences with them, but that doesn't mean that antec doesn't make good cases.
September 13, 2010 7:33:21 AM

First time my friend! I guess I'm a little obsessive on selecting the right components. :pt1cable: 

Anyway I'm leaning toward that Illusion - I'd love any hands on accounts. I was wondering if I might have any issues with the heatsink space.
September 13, 2010 7:39:38 AM

There shouldn't be any problems and it's a nice case for the money.
September 13, 2010 9:49:08 AM

You don't buy low voltage ram for the energy savings (though over the lifetime of a build I would expect it to save at least a dollar or two), you buy it because it helps when overclocking your i5/i7 in that the IMC doesn't have to work as hard. All things equal, yes it is better to get lower-voltage ram.

1600 ram is typically a bit better than 1333 because it's the most flexible in terms of divisors at most FSB speeds, which means it's easier to OC your processor without overclocking your ram.
September 13, 2010 5:23:22 PM

Twoboxer said:
At the same stock speeds/timings, there's no difference in performance (Duh!) The lower voltage memory in theory would run cooler, and save a nickel or two in electricity.

Few here would want to screw with them because the savings/beneifts are minimal to non-existent, and the sticks may prevent matching overclocking requirements, or just comfortable settings for a particular mobo.

IOW, no benefit, why bother.


sp12 said:
You don't buy low voltage ram for the energy savings (though over the lifetime of a build I would expect it to save at least a dollar or two), you buy it because it helps when overclocking your i5/i7 in that the IMC doesn't have to work as hard. All things equal, yes it is better to get lower-voltage ram.

1600 ram is typically a bit better than 1333 because it's the most flexible in terms of divisors at most FSB speeds, which means it's easier to OC your processor without overclocking your ram.


I can't seem to get a clear answer on this issue. The difference between these two - see comparison:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|20-231-303^20-231-303-TS,20-231-321^20-231-321-TS

is ONLY the voltage everything else is the same. I do plan on doing a little overclocking. The price diff between the two is negligable. Maybe someone can throw in their two cents as well
September 13, 2010 5:49:23 PM

I like the selections, you do not have to change a thing.

Re: ram voltage. All of the ram will be able to run at the nehalem standard 1.5v. That is what the bios expects. When you see 1.65 volts, that is standard ram that can be overclocked a bit to get higher speeds. 1.65v is the maximum without causing permanent cpu damage. The truth is, that the speed of the ram or the timings do not make any difference in real(vs synthetic benchmark) performance. The reason is that the nehalem memory controller is very good at keepint the cpu fed with ram data. The limits of any rational overclock will not be limited by the ram.
Fancy ram cooling is not necessary, and mostly a marketing gimmick, do not pay extra.

My suggestion is to look at the support forum for any ram you are considering, and make your ram decision based in the one you feel most comfortable with.
Personally, I am comfortable with Corsair and Patriot, both US based companies.

Corsair DDR3 1600:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Patriot:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I like the Antec 300 illusion case. I have had good experiences with Antec. They will support their customers. As long as you have two 120mm fans for intake or output, your case cooling will be adequate, even on low speed quiet settings.

As to the GTX460, I agree with getting an external double slot cooler model. Other coolers may do a good job of getting heat off of the gpu die, but they just dump the heat back into the case. That just heats up the air that both the cpu and the gpu need for cooling. I won't buy a high end graphics card that does not have a direct exhaust.

I would suggest that when you install W7, you do so in a partition of perhaps 160gb. That will allow you to clone the os to a SSD which I think will become much more attractive by the end of the year. At initial OS installation time, set the sata mode to AHCI(not IDE) in the bios. That is necessary for implementing the trim command. It is difficult to change later without reinstalling the OS, and trim is very helpful in maintaining SSD performance.

Also, download and read, cover to cover, the Motherboard and case manuals. They will answer many issues.

---good luck---
September 13, 2010 7:28:29 PM

Re: low-voltage memory:

Here's one reviewer attempting to measure power savings and overclockability:

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1283/5/

The sticks OC ability may or may not be related to their operating voltage. One does not guarantee the other.
!