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~$1600 Computer Build...need opinions/advice

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November 9, 2010 2:56:28 PM

I wrote a bit ago about needing a new computer for both photoshop duties and computer gaming and my needs have since changed and I will only be using this computer for gaming when built. My preference is to keep the build under $1600 Dollars and the only things that I will be brining over from my previous computer is a mouse and speakers/headphones as everything else is grossly outdated at this point (a new computer is long overdue).

Below I have a few ideas from reading other ideas of builds and doing a bit of research online and wondered if I could get some feedback on if I am missing anything. I have never built a computer of my own, but I thought now is as good as any time to learn.



Approximate Purchase Date: Next few weeks, from what I have read it may be worth it to wait for the 96XX cards to come out as prices on other items may frop

Budget Range: 1,400-1,600 (could go more if really worth it, but would prefer to keep price down where possible without taking a performance loss)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, surfing web

Parts Not Required: mouse, speakers, headphones

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel & Radeon; Lian-li case (open to suggestions on specific model)

Overclocking: NO

SLI or Crossfire: in future, maybe

Monitor Resolution: looking to get a ~24" (also open for suggestions on this)

Additional Comments: I dont want a rocket ship sounding PC, but doesn't have to be pindrop quiet either.

______________________________________

Here is what I am currently looking at:

Windows 7: $140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Case: $170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

MOBO:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...
or
?????

Video Card: Gigabyte 6870 - $245
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Processor - I7-950 (since I wont be OC, do I need a cooling fan?) - $295
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Memory: G skill 6GB - $150 (not sure about latency)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

PSU: XFX 750W - $130
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

SSD 60GB: OCZ - $145
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

HHD 1TB: Seagate Barracude - $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Drive: (its bluray and may not need that, but will need some sort of drive) - $80


Monitor: Samsung - $270 (thoughts?)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

__________________________________________

Im open to suggestions of any kind and as much advice as possible. I have never done this before so am quite worried, but hope that I can get the kinks out and build a computer.
November 9, 2010 5:46:03 PM

Hi,

The first motherboard you linked will not work with the processor you chose. The second one will and ive heard good things about it. If you did want to use the first mobo, you would have to get an lga1156 socket processor such as the i5-760 or the i7-860. If you are only planning on playing games I read that the i5-760 is on par for gaming performance. However the i7-950 is the superior processor by far for most other applications, video rendering, photo editing, computations. The ram you chose for the i7 has very good timings and lower latency. The power supply you chose is a good one, but if you plan in crossfiring down the road I would consider an 850W 80 plus certified model from seasonic, corsair, antec or xfx. For the hard drive I have read great things about the samsung spinpoint f3 1TB. Its one of the best 1TB HDD out right now. Good choice in the SSD, the OCZ vertex 2 is a great performer, however SSD are still extremely expensive and with windows 7 professional installation taking up ~15-20GB of your SSD, doesn't leave much space for installing many games and such. Personally I would just have the samsung 1TB HDD and save the money for a higher end video card such as the upcoming hd 6970 or another 6870 for xfire. If all you need is a dvd burner, they are extremely cheap at ~$20, check out the samsung sh-223l. For the monitor, it would be fine for just gaming, but since it is a TN panel monitor it doesn't have as good viewing angles as VA or IPS panels and the colours arent as rich and vibrant. You can get some good Dell IPS panels for a reasonable price. If you have the space consider dual monitoring the Dell U2211H or the Dell U2311H, in canada those retail for 199 and 239 respectively on sale. Also theres the Dell 2209WA which retains the 16:10 aspect ratio, however is at a lower resolution at 1680x1050. All these monitors have slower response times than the one you listed however have better image quality by far.

Also, lian li cases are extremely high quality. But coolermaster cases are also highly regarded as fairly priced cases with excellent air flow and cable management. I would consider the coolermaster haf 922 for approximately $100 cheaper.

good luck choosing your parts, lemme know if you have any more questions
November 9, 2010 6:26:26 PM

You don't need a 850W psu ^. AMD recommends at minimum 600 Watts for Crossfire 6870's. Don't waste the money on 850.
Related resources
November 10, 2010 1:28:30 PM

Im a bit shocked that I dont have glaring holes in my build. Does anyone else have any suggestions? Places that could be cut? Not Necessary things? Here is my build as is now. Would I be better off Raid 0 with 2 of the barracudas or is the SSD really a winner for an extra 70 bucks? My thought is to run system on the SSD and run any other programs off the HHD; if I go that route and eventually buy a larger SSD in the next couple of years as the price on them comes down. I have pretty much blown my budget at a current 1800 before taxes or shipping. If you see any fat, please help me trim

Windows 7 - $140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

MOBO - $200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Case: Lian-Li PC-60FNWX - $170 - I realize I could get a lesser priced on this, but I like the build quality of lian-li
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Video Card: Gigabyte 6870 - $245
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Processor - I7-950 - since not overclocking, will I need a fan? Is it good to have one anyway?- $295
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Memory: G skill 6GB - $150
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

PSU: XFX 750W - $130
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

SSD 60GB: OCZ - $140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

HHD 1TB: Seagate Barracuda - $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Drive: Samsung DVD Burner - $17
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor: I had been looking at the Dell monitors, but they seem to have 8ms with any of their U models which are the higher quality ones. I play a bit of FPS games and am afraid that may hamper strongly on that. The rest of my gaming shouldnt have an issue with 8ms as I play MMORPGs and other games that death isnt mss away. I am strongly open to suggestions about monitors though, what do other run currently? Current selection is $270
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Anonymous
November 10, 2010 1:43:16 PM

CPu:Intel Core i5-760 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80605I5760
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
i7 is overkill for gaming
i5 is the best choice in this segment.i strongly recommend the i5 since the hyperthreading present in i7 is only used for multitasking and i5's are also good overclocker

Motherboard:MSI P55-GD65 USB3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory:G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card:EVGA SuperClocked 015-P3-1582-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD:Corsair Nova Series CSSD-V128GB2-BRKT 2.5" 128GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Disk:Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS 2TB 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply:COOLER MASTER Silent Pro Gold Series RS800-80GAD3-US 800W ATX 12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.92 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total:1670$

For OC Buy this aftermarket cooler :COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Anonymous
November 10, 2010 1:43:49 PM

Invest More on Gpu rather than CPU
November 10, 2010 2:34:59 PM

Quote:
CPu:Intel Core i5-760 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80605I5760
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
i7 is overkill for gaming
i5 is the best choice in this segment.i strongly recommend the i5 since the hyperthreading present in i7 is only used for multitasking and i5's are also good overclocker

Motherboard:MSI P55-GD65 USB3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory:G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card:EVGA SuperClocked 015-P3-1582-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD:Corsair Nova Series CSSD-V128GB2-BRKT 2.5" 128GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Disk:Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS 2TB 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply:COOLER MASTER Silent Pro Gold Series RS800-80GAD3-US 800W ATX 12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.92 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total:1670$

For OC Buy this aftermarket cooler :COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


With the inclusion of a monitor, this build is actually more expensive than my current Build. I had chosen to go with the I7 because this computer may also occasionally see photoshop use and illustrator use and I heard it was a good multitasker. Is the I7 slower than an I5 in gaming usage?

Is 4GB enough memory, it seems that many companies are pushing 6-8GB in computer. Its possible this is just marketing, but is there an advantage to having an extra 2-4GB?

I had read that the newer Nvidea cards run really loud and hot, is this also the case of the 580GTX? Is the current bottleneck in computers the videocard?

I typically only have a couple of games on a computer at a given time along (max) with Windows being installed as well. I wonder if I could just get away with 1SSD and nothing else. I dont store videos or music on my computer, so it wouldnt be full of those. Would this be doable (or advisable?)

I do not plan to OC, so would a fan even be needed or do you just leave the CPU with nothing on it (naked) if not overclocking?
November 10, 2010 2:45:01 PM

krodista said:
Im a bit shocked that I dont have glaring holes in my build. Does anyone else have any suggestions? Places that could be cut? Not Necessary things? Here is my build as is now. Would I be better off Raid 0 with 2 of the barracudas or is the SSD really a winner for an extra 70 bucks? My thought is to run system on the SSD and run any other programs off the HHD; if I go that route and eventually buy a larger SSD in the next couple of years as the price on them comes down. I have pretty much blown my budget at a current 1800 before taxes or shipping. If you see any fat, please help me trim


The SSD isn't necessary, but it is much faster than a RAID 0 traditional hard drive setup.

Do you really need Win 7 Pro? You could save $40 by going with Home Premium.

6 GB memory is recommended for X58 setups, as they can use triple-channel memory. If you go with 4 GB, it's not a big deal, maybe a 1-2% performance loss. 4 GB is recommended for all other builds, and is the max currently needed for gaming builds. Double the memory (to 12 or 8 GB respectively) if you make heavy use of photoshop or audio/video editing tools.

As people are pointing out, you could save some money by going with a 1156 setup, either i5 or i7-860 (if you really want hyperthreading for photoshop), probably about $100-200.

The stock i7-950 will come with a fan, you don't need a new one unless you find the stock fan too loud.

At most resolutions, the GPU is the bottleneck, not the CPU. The i5-760 typically produces just about the same fps as an i7-950. Here's a couple of links from a 5870 crossfire article:
http://www.legionhardware.com/articles_pages/radeon_hd_...
http://www.legionhardware.com/articles_pages/radeon_hd_...
Note that at the lower resolution, there's a little bit of difference between the i5 and the i7, but the fps is already so high that you wouldn't be able to detect the difference. In the second link at 2560x1600, there's virtually no difference between the CPUs.

Previews of the 580 indicate that it's not as loud & hot as the 480, but still louder & hotter than AMD cards. Then again, it's all relative. The heat shouldn't be an issue in any well-ventilated case. The noise might be, but maybe you're used to a lot of noise or you wear headphones. It is a $500 card, are you really considering it?

Monitor: I had been looking at the Dell monitors, but they seem to have 8ms with any of their U models which are the higher quality ones. I play a bit of FPS games and am afraid that may hamper strongly on that. said:
Monitor: I had been looking at the Dell monitors, but they seem to have 8ms with any of their U models which are the higher quality ones. I play a bit of FPS games and am afraid that may hamper strongly on that.


The U models are IPS monitors, which is why they're more expensive. IPS isn't necessary for a gaming machine, however, unless you plan on viewing the monitor from odd angles a lot or tilting it to portrait orientation. It's more useful for photoshop, as the colors will be more accurate. There isn't really that much difference between standard TFT monitors, as it's a mature technology. Just get the cheapest one from a brand you trust (consider Acer, Hanns-G, LG, Samsung if you don't have a brand preference).
November 10, 2010 2:58:01 PM

with an i7-950 and a 6870, your GPU will be a substantial bottleneck when gaming. i'd aim to build a more balanced system by scaling back the CPU to an i5 and picking up a more powerful GPU (ATI 5870, GTX 480, or 2x GTX 460 are all within your budget at $1400). a GTX 580 is overkill at your price point, and i imagine it runs extremely hot and loud as you said.

as for monitors, i bought this bad boy and have been incredibly happy with it: ASUS VH236H

4GB of memory is plenty for gaming; more than that is a waste. if you're worried about it, most motherboards have 4 DIMM slots anyway (i.e. you can expand to 8GB easily if you decide it's not enough).

SSDs are still a waste of money in my opinion. the only real use i see for one is if you want to cut load times off of booting your machine. regular drives are plenty fast and there aren't many games where you'd notice disk load times anyway.

your CPU will come with a stock fan that you mount on it. if you're not overclocking, there's no need to buy an aftermarket heatsink.

lastly, i'd recommend getting the HAF 922 -- it's an awesome case and about 80 bucks cheaper than the LIAN LI one you have selected.

if you choose to keep the case you want, here's a build for $1315AR:



or use THIS SWEET COMBO to save $120 on your case/HD.


(message edited for better mobo/os combo)
November 10, 2010 4:38:57 PM

ultimabeam said:
a GTX 580 is overkill at your price point, and i imagine it runs extremely hot and loud as you said.


The gtx 580 performs better then the gtx 480. While using less power, and producing less heat, and is quieter. I still don't recommend it for $550 but its the best of the best.



"The GTX 580 is damn near silent in terms of discreet graphics cards. Yes, you can hear them, but even my GTX 580 SLI setup under full load is only 52db at 2.5 feet away. My external hard drive enclosure is actually louder than my video cards."

"In all honesty, I have not been able to see more than a couple of percent at best difference when playing games between the GTX 580 SLI and the GTX 480 SLI. The 480 SLI system would pull about 715 watts at the wall under load, and the 580 SLI system would pull about 700 watts under the same condition."
November 10, 2010 5:29:42 PM

ultimabeam said:
with an i7-950 and a 6870, your GPU will be a substantial bottleneck when gaming. i'd aim to build a more balanced system by scaling back the CPU to an i5 and picking up a more powerful GPU (ATI 5870, GTX 480, or 2x GTX 460 are all within your budget at $1400). a GTX 580 is overkill at your price point, and i imagine it runs extremely hot and loud as you said.


I have to disagree with your use of the term "substantial bottleneck".

So far, benchmarks have been indicating that the 6870 falls in between a 5850 and 5870 in performance on most games, and is right near a 470. If you list a 5870 as appropriate, how is a card that costs ~$100 (there is 1 5870 at $300, everything else is $330+ while 6870s start at $240 & 4 of 7 in-stock are less than $250) less but provides 90-95% of the performance a bad choice?
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3987/amds-radeon-6870-685...
http://www.techspot.com/review/325-amd-radeon-6870/page...

Unless there's some sort of pre-existing condition (you already have an older-gen graphics card to CF with, for example), the 6850, 6870, 460, and 470 are all good value choices right now as single cards or in SLI/CF. There's really no reason to buy a 5870 for a new build with the 69xx series right around the corner...and the 480 and 580 are cost-prohibitive for most builds (and the 480 is no longer worth it now that the 580 is out).
!