Need guidance for my build

Hello everyone!

I'm just seeking some advice on a PC build that I was thinking about doing in the near future.

Currently, I'm running a C2D 2.2 gHz chip, nVidia 9800 GTX+, and ~3 GB of DDR2 ram.

Those are the basics. This was my last build, and I've casually been replacing parts as they've died so the PC is actually more modern than it was when I started.

I would like to do a complete overhaul while maintaining as many parts as I can for re-use (mostly none that would affect performance).

If someone could provide a build (with newegg links or vendor of choice) that meets these requirements with a ~$700-800 budget.

Processor - i7 ~2.8 gHz.
Motherboard - 2x PCI-E 16x slots, DDR3 1333, USB 3.0 is a plug but not necessary, and 6gb SATA.

Video card - This I'm not sure what to do with. I already have a 9800 GTX+, which is not exactly brand new, but it's not a bad card either. Should I mimic this with my 2nd card for SLI, or get a *somewhat* new card with better specs and tough it out until I can SLI it? Thoughts appreciated.

Memory - 8 gb of the pin type listed above.

PSU: I have a 550w, but I have a feeling that it won't suffice if I plan to SLI. Thoughts/recommendations welcome.

Case: I can usually pick this out myself based on specific needs/experiences in the past, but any input is always welcome.

I don't need an HDD right now as I have a decently large SATA already. Are they making HDDs with 6gb/s now? If so, might want to consider adding that.

In conclusion, this might not be possible with my budget, but any help or input would be appreciated!

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  1. you probably won't manage a system in $700 with an i7. you just won't.

    cpu + mobo + 6GB memory will be $500 alone. ($200 CPU, $150 MObo, $150 RAM)

    the 9800 GTX+ is not worth doing an SLI with, you want a new video card, which is another $150-200, but AMD will release new cards in 2 weeks, which might lower other prices.

    depending on it's age, the 550W PSU is probably sufficient.

    Case: you don't need to go fancy, something between $40 and $80 would suffice.

    you'll probably want to add additional case fans as well.
    SATA 6 GB/sec exists, but nothing saturates SATA 3 GB/s right now.
  2. Thanks for the reply!

    Keep in mind that I'm not someone that insists on staying on the cutting edge at any point in time. I'm looking to build a system that will last me 3-4 years without falling behind TOO much.

    Would an i5 (which is cheaper) be an option as well? I've been out of the loop for quite some time. I've been checking out prices, and it *appeared* that 7-800 could be achievable, but I'm not sure.
  3. Upon further inspection, some of the newer/medium-to-high-end cards inflate the price quite a bit. Even so, would a newer card on its own be worthwhile until I can SLI it?
  4. Best answer
    Assuming the build is for gaming or lesser things, I would go down to an i5 760 and an Asus P7P55D E Pro motheroard
    i5 760 - $209

    Asus P7P55D E Pro - $180

    G Skill CL7 1600mhz RAM and Corsair 850W PSU - $175

    Total: $564

    The i5 760 is fast, great at OCing and all the power you need for gaming. The motherboard is USB/SATA III and SLI able. You only need 4gb RAM and the G Skill is great quality.
    The PSU is excessively powerful even for SLI, but it will be able to cope with any upgrades you make in years to come - and thanks to the combo with the RAM it is cheaper than buying a weaker PSU.

    They do make 6gb/s HDDs, but they are not worth the money - the Samsung Spinpoint F3 3gb/s is still the most recommended HDD for its performance and price.

    The above build leaves you money to buy a new GPU, either a GTX 460 1gb with the intent of SLIing in future, or a GTX 470 are the two I would recommend
    MSI GTX 460 Cyclone - $225

    Gigabyte GTX 470 - $295

    Obviously there are different brands with the price varying.

    The GTX 460 is great for resolutions below 1920 x 1080, and at HD resolution it is a very capable card. 2 of them working together is fantastic. The more expensive GTX470 is more powerful and better and handle most things at HD resolution, though it is an inferior design (more heat and power used) but also a good option. Even though I have always been a supporter of the single powerful card build, this is the first time where I like 2 x GTX 460 over the more powerful cards.

    If you decided you really want to go with the i7, the build uses triple channel which means you want to use multiples of 3 and not 2. So, 8gb is not recommended, and 6gb or 12gb is a better option. Given that games need no more than 4gb, I would go with just 6gb if with an i7 build
  5. Best answer selected by ElNiNoSt0rM.
  6. Thanks so much for the replies. That was exactly what I was looking for!

    I'll compile this together, figure out a rough budget, and go from there. Thanks for the links as well!

    i5 seems like the logical choice for me right now.

    A friend told me that RAM should be double of however many cores the processor is. I take it that this is not true?
  7. 2 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (single at x16 or dual at x8 / x8 mode)

    ^Does that mean that 2 16x cards will only run at x8 a piece if I SLI? Is that bad?
  8. It does, but the effect is minimal - on the most powerful cards it is a performance decrease of about 4%, on a GTX460 it will be even less - I would estimate 1 -2% at most, and given the power of two cards together it is insignificant
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