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Thoughts On This i7 Build

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September 21, 2010 11:56:26 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next 1-2 weeks.

Budget Range: $1000-1400, not including combo deals / rebates. I'd be willing to go over a bit if the part is really that necessary - any and all comments/suggestions/critiques welcomed, please.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, TF2, Starcraft II, Brink), web browsing, media (music and movies).

Parts Not Required: Monitor, keyboard, mouse.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country of Origin: United States

Parts Preferences: Intel, other than that, no preference.

Overclocking: No (none at all, ever).

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in the future.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Here's what my cart at Newegg looks like as of this morning:

Processor: i7-950
Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth
RAM: Corsair XMS3 6GB (3x2)
Graphics Card: GIGABYTE Super Overclock Series GeForce GTX 470
Hard Drive: OCZ Vertex 2 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Case: Antec P183
Power Supply: Corsair 650TX-650W
CPU Fans & Heatsink: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus

Curious about the thoughts on the GPU choice - too much money, are the better, just as good, alternatives out there?

I'm also wondering if the heatsink is even needed for a build like this? It's only $40, however, and I've heard nothing but good things about the improvements it makes on systems - would there be any noticeable difference in a build like this?

More about : thoughts build

September 22, 2010 12:26:56 AM

Pretty good. I was gonna suggest that you get a i5-750 / 760, but they are basically the same price as the i7-950. My reasons were lower power consumption and the fact that what you do does not take advantage of hyperthreading. All three CPUs are basically overkill for your needs, but it's not my PC.

Regarding the video card, I recommend the HD 5970 since in most game benchmarks it is gives you better performance, in some cases the increase is significant. The only benchmark I see where the HD 5970 is moderately slower than the GTX 480 is Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. (79 FPS vs. 102 FPS * 1920 x 1080). See following review:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/geforce-...


The HD 5970 also consumes about 21w less power than the GTX 480. Not much of a difference when both cards consume power in the mid 200's watt range.


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September 22, 2010 4:33:27 AM

Thanks for the reply man.

I saw the combo for the CPU/Case/Mobo which is why I decided to go with an i7 build, something I originally intended on doing until fooling around with an i5 setup. Right now, I'm sitting at over $1500, which is a bit out of my budget. I suppose I'm going to wait around for the new SSDs to drop and hopefully the prices will even out a bit. Other than that, what else should I be looking at in order to cut costs?
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Related resources
September 22, 2010 5:11:57 AM

CPU - The i5 760 is a very good choice for a gaming PC. It also saves good money.

CASE - The Antec P183 is a good case, but not a good choice for that GPU. The GTX 480 even though is currently the most powerful single chip card, but it also stands top on heat output and power consumption and IMO the performance doesn't warrant the heat it gives out and power that it consumes...

Graphic card - I wouldnt suggest the GTX 480.
If you want to stick wiht Nvidia, then GTX 470 would be my choice, especially the new Gigabyte Super Overclock GTX 470 - It is factory overclock but still uses less power than a stock GTX 470, is cooler and noise levels are far lower...

SSD - I would suggest a 60/ 64GB SSD as boot and a large HDD for data...

Here is a setup with the above changes,...
i5 760 + Gigabyte GTX 470
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

ASUS P7P55D-E Pro + DVD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CASE -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|11-119-197^11-119-197-TS,11-112-239^11-112-239-TS,11-119-216^11-119-216-TS,11-146-062^11-146-062-TS,11-119-215^11-119-215-TS

PSU + HDD
Corsair 750TX + WD Black 1.5TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

SSD -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|20-227-542^20-227-542-TS,20-148-357^20-148-357-02%23

RAM -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|20-231-303^20-231-303-TS,20-231-277^20-231-277-TS,20-231-276^20-231-276-TS,20-231-321^20-231-321-TS
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September 27, 2010 4:04:22 AM

gkay09 said:
CPU - The i5 760 is a very good choice for a gaming PC. It also saves good money.

CASE - The Antec P183 is a good case, but not a good choice for that GPU. The GTX 480 even though is currently the most powerful single chip card, but it also stands top on heat output and power consumption and IMO the performance doesn't warrant the heat it gives out and power that it consumes...

Graphic card - I wouldnt suggest the GTX 480.
If you want to stick wiht Nvidia, then GTX 470 would be my choice, especially the new Gigabyte Super Overclock GTX 470 - It is factory overclock but still uses less power than a stock GTX 470, is cooler and noise levels are far lower...

SSD - I would suggest a 60/ 64GB SSD as boot and a large HDD for data...

Here is a setup with the above changes,...
i5 760 + Gigabyte GTX 470
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

ASUS P7P55D-E Pro + DVD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CASE -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|11-119-197^11-119-197-TS,11-112-239^11-112-239-TS,11-119-216^11-119-216-TS,11-146-062^11-146-062-TS,11-119-215^11-119-215-TS

PSU + HDD
Corsair 750TX + WD Black 1.5TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

SSD -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|20-227-542^20-227-542-TS,20-148-357^20-148-357-02%23

RAM -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|20-231-303^20-231-303-TS,20-231-277^20-231-277-TS,20-231-276^20-231-276-TS,20-231-321^20-231-321-TS


Thanks for the reply man, especially with the new links with included combos. That GTX470 looks great, definitely worth considering, especially with the money I'll be saving. The reviews are limited (only 11), but everyone says it's cool and quiet, which is a huge factor for me.

Looking forward to some more thoughts and comments. Thanks in advance.
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September 27, 2010 3:36:02 PM

Oh, didn't even read the Tom's review prior, looks great though, definitely a solid choice.

Processor: i7-950
Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth
RAM: Corsair XMS3 6GB (3x2)
Graphics Card: GIGABYTE Super Overclock Series GeForce GTX 470
Hard Drive: OCZ Vertex 2 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Case: Antec P183
Power Supply: Corsair 650TX-650W

So that's where I'm at right now, sitting at $1307, not too bad - only problem is that's not including the Vertex 2 SSD. I'm torn; I was planning on placing an order as soon as possible, but I've heard a lot of talk about the price of SSD's going down a pretty decent amount come this holiday season (November - December). Worth waiting?

Looking for some more feedback and such in regards to the build. Thanks in advance.
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September 29, 2010 8:35:17 AM

^ Well during Nov-Dec, you will have more options even for the graphics card...
But if you are planning for buying the SSD alone duing that time, then its fine, but just make sure you the C: drive is not very big as you would have trouble cloning that onto the SSD, else you would have to do a fresh install...
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September 29, 2010 8:20:29 PM

I know there's talk of new GPU's, but I thought those were dropping during Q1 of 2011? I could be mistaken, any other information you could provide would be helpful. Thanks again.
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September 30, 2010 5:28:10 PM

Thanks for the link. I suppose I will wait for the first week or two into November and see if the Nvidia cards drop in price again at all.

Thoughts on this SSD:

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

I was told to consider it due to my motherboard supporting it. Worth it? It's $20+ more expensive, wouldn't the Vertex 2 work just fine?

Also, I was told to look into a bigger PSU? I originally had a 850W selected, but was told that was way, way too much. NOTE: I am not overclocking anything at all, which is why I figured the 650 would be substantial. Thoughts?
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October 3, 2010 4:01:53 PM

I don't plan on SLI-ing or going CrossFire anytime in the future, nor do I plan on overclocking anything really.

Other than that, what's the general consensus on SSDs used for gaming? Is it more logical to just grab a 60GB SSD for Windows and maybe 1-2 games (since 60GB goes quickly) + a 1TB Spinpoint F3 for all other games/programs/etc OR should I just splurge for a 120GB SSD for Windows + games and such?
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October 4, 2010 4:16:52 AM

^ PSU - Stick with the Corsair 650TX

SSD - The SSDs help only in reducing the boot times, level load and the app load times and have no effect on in-game performance...
As for the size, it depends on your usage IMO, so you would know how much space you need on the C: drive(SSD)...
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October 8, 2010 2:35:40 AM

I'm wondering if it's possible to save some money here, what should I be looking to cut? The max I'm looking to spend is $1300ish, including combo deals and rebates and such. Currently, I'm sitting at $200+ too much, that money is going towards a new monitor. Where should I start?
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October 8, 2010 2:46:45 AM

Step one would be to drop the SSD for a conventional hard drive. You really shouldn't be using a SSD as your primary drive anyways; too many read/writes degrade them over time. Currently they're best for use as a boot drive for your OS and the programs that you run most frequently. If you're still over budget, go with a 5850 or GTX 460 instead of the GTX 470. Between the two downgrades, you can easily shave off $200.
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October 8, 2010 3:12:12 AM

Would it be reasonable to use a 60GB SSD for my boot drive, programs, and 1 game? Rather, how much room does Windows 7 take up? I've seen people with replies that range from 15-40GB, there has be an in between correct answer? I'd probably toss something like World of Warcraft on there as well, with the new expansion, that'll probably take us 20GB+ of space, would I still have room to make it worthwhile?

I'd couple the 60GB SSD with a Spinpoint F3, of course.
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October 8, 2010 4:02:02 AM

^ Why not just get an i5 760 and a smaller SSD? It would certainly reduce the cost, also not planning for SLI ??
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October 8, 2010 4:16:34 AM

Originally, I planned on going to a Mircocenter that was close to my place, pick up the i7-950 which is only $30ish more dollars than the i5-760 on Newegg, figured it'd be worth it.

As for SLI, no, I think I'm going to stick with the single card approach. I've never SLI'd before and I haven't heard any arguments saying it was the absolute best when it comes to performance increase and such. And I think that factory overclocked 470 from Gigabyte for $300ish is a pretty good deal. It'll perform just as well as a 480 for $200 less.
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October 8, 2010 4:37:10 AM

^ The main advantage of the i7 9xx for a gaming PC is that they are able to keep up with multiple card config...But for a single card setup, IMO they are not worth it...
Also @Microcenter, the i5 cost less -
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Gigabyte P55A-UD3 + Gigabyte GTX 470
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

RAM -
$10 off w/ promo code EMCZYYV65, ends 10/13
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CM 690 Advanced + CM Silent PRO 600W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

The above setup would still offer similar gaming performance as that i7 setup...
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Anonymous
October 8, 2010 4:53:37 AM

prolific said:
I'm wondering if it's possible to save some money here, what should I be looking to cut? The max I'm looking to spend is $1300ish, including combo deals and rebates and such. Currently, I'm sitting at $200+ too much, that money is going towards a new monitor. Where should I start?



im thinking and im just a newB, maybe you should reconsider your graphic card. since you aren't planning on overclocking it, then go with a decent (mid) graphic. right now you got the top of the line 470 card. maybe a 460 will cutt the price a bit and still get good performance... just my thought

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October 18, 2010 2:56:05 AM

Instead of making a new thread, I'll just update this one. Thanks to everyone who has replies thus far, your comments are much appreciated.

This is what I have in mind most recently. The big change is going from a i7-950 build to a i7-860 build; I'll be saving money on the CPU, RAM and Mobo. Here is what my cart at Newegg looks like at the moment:

Processor: i7-860
Motherboard: ASUS P7P55D (+ Windows 7 combo)
RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
Graphics Card: GIGABYTE Super Overclock Series GeForce GTX 470
Hard Drive: OCZ Vertex 2 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Case: Antec P183
Power Supply: Corsair 650TX-650W

Looking for any sort of advice or general suggestions regarding my selections above. To me, everything looks fairly on-point, but then again, that's why I'm asking everyone here at Tom's. Thanks in advance.

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October 18, 2010 3:46:15 AM

If you want to leave the option for SLI open, I think you should get at least a 750 watt power supply. Two gtx 470s might be a bit of a strain on a 650 Watt power supply.

This one is modular and of good quality:

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

It's more expensive than the 650 you have listed, but it'll get the job done.

As far as the case is concerned; why the p183? It seems more geared towards style and noise suppression at the expense of airflow. Wouldn't something like a HAF 922 be more appropriate for this build? I'm thinking about the future when you have two gtx 470 cards in your case.

Why not this one:

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

You'll save $60 too.

And with that, why not get RAM that's a bit faster and less than $10 more expensive than your current set:

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

Runs at the same frequency, but on lower voltage, with lower timings.

EDIT: Oh. Your new setup does not support SLI or Crossfire. Is this still important to you?
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October 18, 2010 3:53:21 AM

CPU: i7 950 ($300)
RAM: G.Skill PI 6 GB ($155)
GPU: GTX 470 ($270)
MOBO: Asus Sabertooth ($190)
PSU: Corsair 750 TX ($100)
Case: HAF 922 ($90)
OS: Windows 7 ($100)
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB ($55)
DVD Drive: Wtvr ($20)

TOTAL $1280

Why not go with that? The $270 GTX 470 is made by GIGABYTE. You can get their superclocked version for $30 more. Or you could stick with the one you have which is $350 and be a bit over budget. A stock 470 is plenty fast, though. And it shouldn't be too difficult to get those supposedly $50 speed boosts out of your card. The benefits of this build are: case with better airflow, more pcie lanes for any future graphics upgrades, moar RAMz, SLI option.

I think if you can pull a 950 build off for $1300 and have excellent graphics performance, there's no reason you shouldn't. This does sacrifice the SSD, but beyond boot times and program launches, it's not going to benefit you /that/ much. I guess it just depends on how much value you place on that. And also, the prices of those still have a long way to fall. Does dealing with a 1 minute boot time until SSDs are more affordable reeeeeeeally sound that bad?
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October 18, 2010 5:03:40 PM

mortonww said:
If you want to leave the option for SLI open, I think you should get at least a 750 watt power supply. Two gtx 470s might be a bit of a strain on a 650 Watt power supply.

This one is modular and of good quality:

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

It's more expensive than the 650 you have listed, but it'll get the job done.


I don't plan on SLI-ing at all, which is why I chose the 860 and went with a setup that didn't support it.

I've never SLI'd and haven't really heard any arguments that sway my opinion one way or the other so I'm just going to stick with a solid, single card setup.

As far as the case is concerned; why the p183? It seems more geared towards style and noise suppression at the expense of airflow. Wouldn't something like a HAF 922 be more appropriate for this build? I'm thinking about the future when you have two gtx 470 cards in your case.

Why not this one:

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

You'll save $60 too. said:
As far as the case is concerned; why the p183? It seems more geared towards style and noise suppression at the expense of airflow. Wouldn't something like a HAF 922 be more appropriate for this build? I'm thinking about the future when you have two gtx 470 cards in your case.

Why not this one:

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

You'll save $60 too.


I've heard nothing but good things about the P183 in regards to cooling and noise damping - two areas of concern. This case cools very nicely and keeps things relatively quiet so I went with it, even if it is going to cost me some extra cash.

So, with that being said, how does my build look knowing that 1) I don't plan on going with an SLI and/or Crossfire setup and 2) I don't plan on overclocking anything, at all, ever (unless it comes factory overclocked like the GPU).
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October 18, 2010 5:54:07 PM

Ummmm, I think you could do better with your budget. For gaming purposes.
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October 18, 2010 6:10:47 PM

I just feel like if you're going to fill the budget with an i7 860 on an 1156 socket, you might as well get the i7 that has the extra PCIe bandwidth. Otherwise, why not just get an i5? You're adding the 8 threads solely, and not adding the 8 threads + pci bandwidth. One of those options will benefit you in gaming (at least in the future if you change your mind about sli or gpus get inordinately faster before you upgrade your platform), one will not.

SSD is not that big of a deal. I think at this budget, you are OK to not bother with it. It's not going to help you run games faster. It will launch programs faster and boot faster. But again, at $1300, would you rather have a super strong platform to expand with....or a couple seconds saved on boot time?

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October 19, 2010 4:18:11 AM

dvd/cd
HAF 922
spinpoint f3 1tb
HD 5870 <--its only $300, pretty sweet deal imo
Corsair 650w
1600mhz 4gb g.skill ram @ 7-8-7-24
p7p55d-e lx <- same as one suggested above but with 1 pcie x16 slot because you said you dont want to crossfire in future
i5-950
windows 7
Cpu cooler so you can overclock to 3+ghz
23'' full hd monitor

That puts you at $1248 after shipping and mirs.

Leaves you with $252 for an ssd:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Want i7 on 1156 socket? Go to micro center for a $229 i7-870
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October 19, 2010 3:13:51 PM

Don't think a CPU cooler is going to be necessary, as I don't plan on overclocking anything as I'm not very savvy when it comes to that sort of thing, to be honest - which is why my whole idea was to get together a system that is going to be pretty nice in of [factory] itself.

I have a monitor already, no need to spend extra cash towards that.

Cutting those two costs alone is why I figured I can go with an i7 build of the jump. Also, I think I'll go with a Spinpoint F3 and maybe a 60GB SSD boot drive if anything.
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October 19, 2010 3:27:31 PM

Well if you drop the monitor and cooler that leaves you with a build of $952, plus $130ish for a 60gb ssd boot drive.
That'll put you at $1082, you have more than enough room to upgrade to an i7-870 and to drop the 5870 and get a hd 5970.
If you do that, id put you around $1470. But its whatever you want..what do you think?
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October 21, 2010 11:10:12 PM

The less I can spend, the better. My budget is somewhere around $1300, I'd like to stay under that as possible.

The only piece I'm not really willing to budge on is the case, I think the P183 is definitely worth the cash. I don't plan on overclocking anything ever - looking for parts that are going to perform very well out of the [stock] gate.
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November 14, 2010 4:07:02 AM

Quick update and question. It looks as though I'm going to be waiting through the Black Friday sales, hopefully I'll be able to grab a piece or two cheaper.

Processor: i7-860
Motherboard: ASUS P7P55D (+ Windows 7 combo)
RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
Graphics Card: GIGABYTE Super Overclock Series GeForce GTX 470
Hard Drive: OCZ Vertex 2 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Case: Antec P183
Power Supply: Corsair 650TX-650W

The i7-860 has been discontinued on Newegg. Unless anyone knows of another site that offers this CPU at the same or cheaper price, I'll be looking for alternatives. Any ideas of where to start? I'd like to keep everything the same but obviously depending on if I go 1156 or not, parts will need to change. Let me know. Once again, my budget is $1000-1200ish, including rebates/combos. I plan on doing some light-ish gaming, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm mainly but having the comfort to play whatever game is pretty necessary.
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November 14, 2010 4:25:08 AM

The i7-870 replaced the 860 and its the same price. $280

I'd drop the 470 and get a 6870 instead because its cheaper ($270) and more powerful. You can also wait for the 69xx series to come out later in december if you want, but its higher end cards, and since you said you'd mostly be doing light gaming the 6870 should be good and plenty for you.

Also if its not too much money, spending an extra $10 will get you same ram speed but with tighter timing. Check out the mushkin 4gb 1600 cl7 ram on newegg.
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November 14, 2010 4:33:09 AM

CPU+MOBO: ASUS P7P55D-E PRO + Core i5 750 ($365)

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

RAM: G.SKILL ECO 4 GB ($90)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: 2 x ASUS GTX 470 ($240 AR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB ($55)

CASE: HAF 922 ($90)

PSU: XFX 850 W ($130 AR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium ($100)

TOTAL: $1310

Twice as fast in games. Consider it.

If not, you can replace the gtx 470s with gtx 460's like these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

which would save you $120, but still be faster than a single 470. The new total would be $1190. I'd throw in a Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme cpu cooler and overclock that i5 a bit. Those run $63.

I just think that this budget can be used to get more performance for games. The SSD is nice to have, but $1200 isn't a gaming+SSD budget, imo. The case should be good for a quiet pc, but a high airflow case is more appropriate for a fast gaming pc. The P183 only has two 120 mm fans.

summary: save on hard drive, save (slightly) on case, save on cpu, get massive gpu upgrade.
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November 14, 2010 6:03:18 AM

bavman said:
The i7-870 replaced the 860 and its the same price. $280


All the reviews for the 870 say how awful the stock heatsink is, and therefore, how hot the CPU gets.

If anything, I was looking at the i7-950, cutting out the SSD for the time being (unless there are some ridiculously good deals in the coming weeks).

A couple of other notes:
1.) I don't plan on overclocking any thing at all, ever. Looking to pick up and build a really nice, out of the box(es) system.
2.) I'd prefer not to SLI/Crossfire my GPU's - which is why I went for the single card setup, the single card being an already factory overlocked piece, seemed right for the price, correct me if I'm wrong.
3.) The case is something that I've had my eye on for a while; I know a few friends personally that have it and have had nothing but good things to say, coupled with the Newegg reviews, and the fact that I really like the overall design and concepts behind it.

As always, still open for suggestions and a way around this whole thing. Thanks in advance.
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November 14, 2010 8:41:59 AM

prolific said:
All the reviews for the 870 say how awful the stock heatsink is, and therefore, how hot the CPU gets.

If anything, I was looking at the i7-950, cutting out the SSD for the time being (unless there are some ridiculously good deals in the coming weeks).


The 750,760,860,870 and 950 all use the same stock heat sink, so if you go with any of them id recommend an after market heat sink even though you wont be overclocking as it will help to prolong the life of the cpu by keeping it much cooler than the stock one.

2) Id really really stay away from factory overclocked gpu's. The amount of overclocking they do on it is close to nothing and you could easily overclock it by yourself to more than what they do in literally minutes, and they charge you way too much. I know you said you dont want to overclock anything, but with ati cards all you do is go into the control center-> ati overdrive -> slide core speed and memory speed all the way to their limits -> hit accept. That usually puts you more than any factory overclock and its still stable, and will literally take you less than a minute to do. And honestly theres just a little difference between stock and slightly overclocked. Its not until you do some heavier oc'ing that you'll start to get a nice change.

Heres a nice build without the ssd:

Spinpoint f3 500gb +20 for the 1tb model
Radeon 5970 If you think this will be an overkill for your gaming then grab a 6870 instead.
Corsair 650w
g.skill 4gb ram
p7p55d-e lx + i5-760
p183 case + win7
Hyper 212+ Even though you dont plan on ocing its better to have an after market cooler as the stock ones suck, but its optional.

That comes to $1303 shipped. You also get $90 in mir's so that'll drop you down to $1213. Also if you dont need the 5970 and want to settle for the 6870, which will still be more than enough for the games you have listed, you'll knock the price down to under $1000.

For games, movies, and day to day activities you wont see any difference between the i5 and i7 series. The only difference between the i5 and i7-8xx series is the hyper threading which again you wont notice unless your running heavy multithread programs. Again the i7-9xx series is the same as the 8xx series but utilizes triple channel memory which you wont really benefit much from unless your running heavy cpu programs. The reason a lot of gamers buy the 9xx is to benefit from the x16/x16 pcie slots, but since you wont be doing crossfire/sli, it would be a waste of money for you.
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November 14, 2010 5:20:19 PM

Thanks for the detailed reply, bavman.

I'm curious, what kind of difference will I notice in the i5-760 vs the i7-860 or 950 that I originally had in mind? Other than World of Warcraft and some Steams games (TF2 and the like), I won't be doing anything too crazy besides the traditional Internet and media usage (music, videos, some movies possibly). Will the i5-760 get the job done and then some? Also, should be I looking to go with a 6GB (or more) RAM setup or is 4GB plenty?

In regards to my GPU choice - the Gigabyte GTX 470 - not only is it factory overclocked (good or bad, whatever it may be, I agree with your statements when it comes to overclocking yourself being fairly simple and straightforward), I picked this card due to it being very well cooled and fairly quiet: two big selling points for me in this build I'm putting together.

Thanks again for all the replies.
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November 14, 2010 5:42:43 PM

There have been numerous benchmarks done on this site that show that in games the i5 perform exactly like the i7 series. The reason for this is that the majority games right now wont utilize more than 2 threads/cores, and some will use 3, but theres not really any game that will stress a quad core out. As long as you have a good gpu you'll be good.

And for internet, movies, videos, etc (every day things), a quad core is really an overkill so the i5 will be plenty. 4gb of ram right now is really all you need. You'll be able to run any game and any program you want to. I have 4gb of ram in my computer and Ive never had a problem with too little ram. Ram usage usually wont be more than 50-60% when running games.

If your not gonna be overclocking, temps/fan noises arent a big deal at all. I'm not sure with the nvidia cards, but on my 5850 when its on 100% load the fan still is around 20-30% (doesnt go much higher unless you manually set it) and it keeps the gpu pretty cool (70*C). I'm pretty sure the majority of the noise that comes from my computer is the case fans/heat sink. But you should get someone to verify that for the nvidia 470/480 cards as i dont have too much experience with them.
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November 15, 2010 2:15:06 AM

Once again, I appreciate the reply man. This is what I'm looking at right now:

(note: I stuck with the GTX 470 because not only is it of good quality, but the price tag is a lot less than the 5970 or the like)

Processor: i5-760
Motherboard: ASUS P7P55D-E LX LGA 1156
RAM: G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
Graphics Card: GIGABYTE Super Overclock Series GeForce GTX 470
Hard Drive: Spinpoint F3
Case: Antec P183
Power Supply: Corsair 650TX-650W
--------
$1018.93

Thoughts?
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November 15, 2010 2:44:49 AM

If your gonna be in the $300 range for gpu check out this 5870:

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

Its $320 after mir's and has free shipping so it'll end up being just $12 more expensive than the 470. Its slightly more powerful and comes factory oc'd with a very nice aftermarket cooler that'll keep it under 60*C under load according to all the reviews which is about 20*C or more cooler than the 470. Just a thought though. Every thing else looks good.

If you want better timing ram (7-8-7-24 compared to the 9-9-9-24 ones you chose) + $20:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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November 15, 2010 3:05:17 PM

Thanks again for the reply man.

Can you explain the RAM choice - or rather, the potential upgrade thought. What's timing all about, and the 7-8-7-24, etc. Thanks again.

Any other thoughts?
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November 15, 2010 3:34:46 PM

Heres a small article that helps explain it fairly well:

http://www.techpowerup.com/printarticle.php?id=131

It basically comes to tighter timings (smaller numbers) increase performance. When you have shorter timings, your cpu/ram can communicate faster.
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