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New i7 or i5 build for around $1000

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September 15, 2010 1:43:00 AM

I am working on two different ideas for new computer builds. I am trying to keep the system to around $1000 or less. The two configurations I have are for an i7 - 930 or a i5 - 760. The main differences between the two builds is the motherboards and the GPUs.

I plan to use the machine for everyday use which includes gaming, graphics editing, video editing, and so general office tasks. I want to play games like Starcraft II, Civilization 5 but I also enjoy the occasional FPS like TF2 or Borderlands as well as some in the future. I will be using a 1920-1080 monitor and I am hoping to keep the resolution there for gaming.

---i5 - Build---

$303.99 Intel Core i5-760 Lynnfield 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80605I5760 and
GIGABYTE GA-P55-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

$269.99 XFX HD-585X-ZAFC Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity




---i7 - Build---

$454.98 ASUS Sabertooth X58 ATX Intel Motherboard and Intel Core i7-930 2.8GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor

$139.99 ASUS GeForce GTS 450 (Fermi) ENGTS450 DirectCU TOP/DI/1GD5 Video Card




---Both builds will be using the following components.---


$23.99 ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

$27.00 ASUS PCE-N13 PCI Express Wireless Adapter

$269.99 XFX HD-585X-ZAFC Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity

$99.99 Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

$89.98 Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive and Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ,comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm ...

$186.98 CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply and G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM

$303.99 Intel Core i5-760 Lynnfield 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80605I5760 and
GIGABYTE GA-P55-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard


The i5 build comes to $1,008 and the i7 build is $1,022.91 on Newegg. What would you suggest or do you have any modifications that could improve the builds?

More about : build 1000

September 15, 2010 2:10:29 AM

The build overall looks good, though if you're using i5 try to use i5-750, or get a i7-930 with 5850, that would give you a way better performance.

so if you get this combo you can get the i5 750 instead for even cheaper after rebates

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September 15, 2010 6:31:46 AM

This would be my setup...
i5 760 + ASUS -E Pro
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CASE + HDD - Same

RAM - Mushkin Silverline
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GTX 460 1GB + OCZ Fatality 750W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

DVD, Wireless, OS - Same

Total - ~$975

The GTX 460 1GB performs similar to the HD 5850 in most of the cases and when in SLI, offers performance similar to the HD 5970...
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September 15, 2010 6:59:59 AM

Given the same vid card, the cheaper system is the better gamer, which is why Gkay advises the i5 at this budget level. So you can spend less money on cpu and put more money into the gpu.

You might also take a look at this 1TB that reviews say is faster:

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB $75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185
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September 15, 2010 9:51:53 AM

Samsung F3 to replace that Caviar, XFX black edition 750 to replace that CorsairTX.

If you're willing to overclock an AMDx6 build would make a lot of sense as well given the low-end nature of the games you have listed, but high-end nature of your productivity. You would have to overclock the NB in order to get comparable gaming with the i7.
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September 15, 2010 1:00:20 PM

seeing as he seems to have video and graphics editing, i would say i7 with a decent after-market cooler he can easily get it to 4.0 and i will say from experience, at 4.0 and a higher qpi/uncore, the system flies, not to mention he would put the cores to good use. AMD's 6 core is a nice chip but for around the same price the hyper-threaded cpu beats it in most disciplines.

I do agree with going for the samsung F3 1TB and watch out for F4's coming out.. the 2TB version has already been released. ( 667GB per platter vs 500GB)
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September 15, 2010 1:14:17 PM

I am not a big fan of AMD processors so I will probably stay with Intel. I found a Core i7 - 930 at Microcenter for $200 so that will cut down the cost and I should be able to put the savings into a better videocard.
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September 15, 2010 1:15:14 PM

I will look more into the Samsung F3 but I can't find any solid combo deals with it.
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September 15, 2010 2:49:55 PM

I am working on an i7 system with the $200 i7-930 from Microcenter. I need to decide on a motherboard. Originally I was considering the ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

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

I don't want to spend a lot more than that but should I consider something else? Maybe something with a good combo deal with memory or GPU or something.
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September 15, 2010 2:56:15 PM

I have and use gigabyte X58A-UD3R and it got me to 4.3ghz so far with more headroom available I can't say enough about it. it has sata 6gbps and usb3 and it is cheaper than the sabertooth. my specs are in my sig
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September 15, 2010 5:54:57 PM

SK138 said:
I will look more into the Samsung F3 but I can't find any solid combo deals with it.
The F3 offers twice the storage and faster speeds for $15 less than the WD. Do you really need a $10-saving combo deal to go that route?
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September 15, 2010 7:44:01 PM

OK, I ordered the processor and harddrive from microcenter for about $278. It is the i7-930 and the Samsung F3 1TB spinpoint mentioned earlier.

I am debating on the rest of the components. I leaning toward one of these mobos probably with GTX 460 combos.

GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Any ideas for case, memory, and power supply. I am leaning toward this case with Windows combo.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Like I said earlier, I want to try and stay around the $900-$1100 price and $51 of that is going toward a DVD Burner and Wireless Network adapter.
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September 15, 2010 9:57:10 PM

They are both good boards. The Gigabyte seems to have more visible features, but those may not be of any more interest than quad-sli support lol. As it happens, Tom's did a review comparing them:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/x58-usb-3.0-sata-6-gbps,2614-15.html

A quick read would help you choose. Keep in mind the prices may have differed back then, favoring GB by $10 now.

Personally I have been better served over the last 4 years by Gigabyte's website and support, though Asus' web site has improved over the last year or so. So for that and $10, plus familiarity with Gigabyte "stuff", I'd choose the Gigabyte. Either will be fine.
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September 15, 2010 10:06:16 PM

The Rosewill Challenger did OK in the sub-$50 gaming case review here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nzxt-gamma-rosewill-challenger-silverstone-precision,2723-16.html

For a little bit more, that review mentions the Antec 300 as a viable competitor. So you should look at that.

Not much use in suggesting a cheaper case with those well reviewed, so here's one more to show one that comes from a good family, the Cooler Master HAF line:

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

One review - you can google others:

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/35985-cooler-master-haf-912-mid-tower-case-review.html

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September 15, 2010 10:07:45 PM

I, too am partial to gigabyte it got recommended buy, so i picked one up and could not be happier with my decision. like boxer said, both are good boards, but I prefer gigabyte I never got over the bad batches of asus boards years back
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September 15, 2010 10:28:54 PM

As for psu, gkay gave you a combo above, which is a very good pairing:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.506120&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=3463938&SID=447coudh6k

Its a good psu for what APPEARS to be less than one purchased outside a combo, since Newegg only includes the $20 MIR with the combo this week lol.

To "protect" for 2x460 SLI, you'd want 650W or more. To support one 460, you a 550W is more than fine. If you need to purchase the psu separately, here's a recommendation for each based on today's Newegg prices:

$100 - 750W Antec Earthwatts http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371026

$80 - 650W Seasonic http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151091For $10 less, the 620W Seasonic would need a couple of adapter cables, eating into your $10 savings, but has the power needed.

$60 - 520W Seasonic http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151094 or

$70 ($50 after MIR, + free shipping) 600W OCZ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341039

that got a good review:

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/OCZ-StealthXStream-2-600-W-Power-Supply-Review/1058/10
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September 15, 2010 10:41:21 PM

For memory, assuming stock speed or nothing more than a mild overclock, you need only spend for 3x2GB DDR3 1333 CL9 memory from a good manufacturer. Today at Newegg that means:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226063

Improving latency costs more:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226102

Higher speeds, potentially useful in OCing, cost yet more:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226118

You wouldn't notice the difference between these kits while gaming.
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September 15, 2010 10:58:24 PM

Including the processor and harddrive that I mention earlier I think I am going with the Gigabyte Mobo with an Antec 300 case since it has better sound isolation and there is a good combo with the Antec 750 watt power supply which was also recommended.

I still haven't completely decided on the memory or the videocard. I was originally just looking for 4 GB but some of those Mushkin recommendations seem decent quality and price for 6 GB. I have also been looking into the GTX 460 cards or the ATI HD 5830. I think the GTX 460s are better but I have found some decent HD 5830s for cheaper and I think the performance is fairly comparable. It would also be cheaper to use crossfire down the road too.
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September 15, 2010 11:12:51 PM

These boards use triple channel, so you need to install 3 sticks in those boards. So 3GB or 6GB or 12GB lol.
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September 15, 2010 11:17:40 PM

Oh, I did not know that, thats definitely good to know.

This is my first time building a computer and I have been using laptops for the last 5 years or so without upgrading them. Last time I bought memory for a computer was 5-10 years ago and I remember that two sticks were needed, I just figured that went away.
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September 15, 2010 11:22:55 PM

NP. Feel free to list your final choices if you want us to do a final check before you buy.
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September 16, 2010 12:21:17 AM

OK, here is what I have for the final build:

$278
i7-930 + Samsung F3 1TB HDD (Microcenter, already purchased)

$345.98 + $30 MIR
GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

$189.99 + $30
MIR MSI R5830 Twin Frozr II Radeon HD 5830 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ ...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$129.94
Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V version 2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC ...
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

$51 Wireless Adapter and DVD Burner (nothing special about these)

$85-$100 Windows 7 Home 64 Bit (Still looking at where to get this, I might be able to get it cheaper being a student but I am still including it in the budget just in case.

It comes to around $1100 before the $60 MIR.

How much of a difference is there between the HD 5830 and the 5770. If its worth it, I can save about $30 with that and with the games I play, I think a 5770 could be alright for awhile and when I need something more powerful, it will be cheap to use Crossfire.

Also, I wanted to get the DDR3 1600 RAM, will I notice a difference with the DDR3 1333 RAM? This could also save about another $30.
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September 16, 2010 1:54:35 AM

what are you doing for a monitor?
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September 16, 2010 1:56:11 AM

I already have a 1400x900 monitor and a 1920x1080 monitor, both support dvi and the HD one has HDMI.
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September 16, 2010 2:02:49 AM

gotcha. your build looks great to me. this isn't coming from a pro but from someone who has been in the same boat as you with a nearly identical build in place. i'm still stuck on my video card, however!
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September 16, 2010 2:11:10 AM

and ram. the ocz kinda got me worried after seeing over 20% of buyer reviews giving the ram 1 and 2 stars.
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September 16, 2010 2:15:35 AM

I am a little worried about the RAM too but it was cheap and had a $30 rebate plus a lifetime warranty. Also, in the negative reviews, OCZ responds to a lot of the posts which always comforts me a bit.
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Best solution

September 16, 2010 3:34:37 AM

I think you've done very well - the odds are good the memory will work for you, and the net price is only $8 more than the other alternative, which runs one step slower. I'd repeat though - unless that memory allows you to OC where the Mushkin wouldn't go, it's an unnecessary $8.

Given the sensitivity of your budget, I would agree - step down to the 5770. It will be fine. Worst case, there MAY be a game or two where you will lower some settings, or the resolution. If that occurs and turns out to be acceptable - and it probably will - you're fine. If not, crossfire a second 5770.

Again, you've done well - enjoy the build, and the gaming!
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October 7, 2010 11:41:29 PM

Best answer selected by SK138.
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