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$1200 Gaming PC

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December 18, 2010 3:47:00 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Next week


Budget Range: $1000-$1300


System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, graphics editing, watching HD videos


Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, tigerdirect.com
Country of Origin: Canada


Parts Preferences: Intel CPU.


Overclocking: Maybe


SLI or Crossfire: Maybe (if money permits)


Monitor Resolution: Mostly 1680x1050. Might be higher in future.


Additional Comments: Budget is important. Something that's "futureproofed". I don't want to do any upgrades at least for another 3 years. A well-rounded system - not only for gaming. Not a big fan of ATI after a bad past experience. I've put together a "sample" build. Please give me your suggestions. This is the first PC I'm building. Are the parts overpriced? My biggest confusion is if I should go with i7-950 or i5-750. Somehow I'm very tempted to go with the i7 for its newer and probably more futureproof chipset. But if I go with i5 I can save some money on CPU and mobo that could be invested in the GPU. I want to spend money on necessities not any fancy stuff. Thanks.

Build:
CPU Intel Core i7 950 Processor BX80601950 $299.97
Mobo EVGA 141-BL-E757-TR EVGA X58 $209.99
GPU EVGA 01G-P3-1366-TR GeForce GTX 460 SE Video Card - 1GB GDDR5 $149.97
Memory CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) $149.99
HDD Western Digital WD15EARS Caviar Green Hard Drive - 1.5TB $59.97
Case COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP $79.99
PSU Ultra LSP750 750-Watt Power Supply - ATX, SATA-Ready, SLI-Ready, 135mm Fan, Lifetime $59.99
Sub-Total $1,009.87
Tax $151.48
Total $1,161.35

More about : 1200 gaming

December 18, 2010 7:49:32 AM

Id go with the i5 because you'll easily save $150+ on cpu/mobo/memory which you can pour into another 460 gtx. Its still a powerful quad core that will perform the same in games as the i7. Heres a sample build.

2x gtx 460 1gb
corsair 650tx
Haf 922 case
4gb g.skill ram
i5-760 / p7p55d-e pro mobo

spinpoint f3 1tb $70 (sold out on newegg right now, try amazon or tigerdirect)
if you wanna overclock your cpu i suggest hyper 212+ for cpu cooler
dont forget your os too, if you need it $100 for win7

Total: $977 - $80 mail in rebates = $897 without hdd


You could also wait for next month for sandy bridge cpu's to come out. You might want a newer cpu or wait till they drive the prices of the old cpu's down.
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December 18, 2010 9:02:19 AM

Nuh uh, no point getting an i7 950 with just a GTX 460...
Major bottleneck. I5 750/760 with 2x GTX 460's will give you around 180% of the performance compared to i7 950 and a single 460.( The 2nd 460 scales at 90%, and the i7 950 may give you extra few % performance... )...



The HDD is just terrible if ur going for performance try the F3 / F4 spinpoints at a similiar price.

Then get 4GB of ram since u can only go dual channel - dont go for dominator just go for the cheapest g.skill/mushkin/corsair ram 2x2 GB RAM @ 1333MHZ if ur not OCing or 1600MHZ if u are.
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Best solution

December 18, 2010 1:09:37 PM

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
- LITE-ON DVD burner (free-shipping): $21

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
- Antec 300 (free-shipping): $70

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
- Corsair 650TX (free-shipping): $100 ($80 after mir)

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
- Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200: $75

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
- Intel Core i7-950 (free-shipping): $310

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
- ASUS Sabertooth X58 SATA3/USB3 (free-shipping): $210

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
- A-DATA Gaming Series 6GB (3x2) DDR3 1600 (free-shipping): $89

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...
- Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus CPU cooler: $30

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
- HIS Radeon HD 6580 1GB: $182

sub-total: $1,087
tax: $144
shipping: $20 (only :) )
TOTAL: $1,251


i made some changes to your original configuration - to save on shipping costs and to get better quality parts where needed (like don't cheap out on the power supply and hard drive like others have mentioned above)

if your budget was ~$800... then a core i5-750/760 would be ideal... but since it's ~$1,200.. you should most definitely go with the core i7 build... much more future proof at this time than the 1156 platform...

so with the changes above... you've got better over-all parts... and now room left for a better video card than the GTX 460 SE -> like the R6850... or the GTX 460 1GB (non-SE) - if you prefer nVidia...

and with that 3rd party CPU cooler... you can easily overclock that CPU too...

good luck..!
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December 18, 2010 1:14:19 PM

bavman said:
Id go with the i5 because you'll easily save $150+ on cpu/mobo/memory which you can pour into another 460 gtx. .


bingo!

The video card(s) are fully 90% of the gaming frames/sec equation at hi-res, assuming you have enough processor....

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December 18, 2010 1:15:24 PM

oh yeah.. not to mention that with that motherboard + power supply... you can add another R6850 in crossfire (or 460 1GB in SLI) down the road at any time for an amazing upgrade option... and with the i7-950... you won't be bottle-necked (especially if you even just mildly overclock it)
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December 18, 2010 1:23:59 PM

Regarding SSD craze...

Yes they are faster, yes they shave 10% off assorted application load times....; but, if one must wait 45 seconds for a game level to load, is shaving it to only 40 seconds really worth the extra $250?

IMO....no. Put the money into an SLI/Crossfire rig with an extra video card...
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December 18, 2010 11:32:13 PM

Thanks a lot everybody's suggestions. So, I'll definitely change the the hdd and psu. Probably the samsung f3 and corsair 650tx. I was trying to save some money, but know I know that its a bad idea. I really don't care for SSD's as of know. :non:  I think I am going to ditch the dominator series for some better priced memory. I've never heard of A-DATA are they good? Should I go with a similarly priced ASUS board since EVGA is kind of a new brand?

So back to the main question: Different posters have either suggested the i7-950 or i5-760. I'm still kind of attracted to the i7. :love:  And now the soon to be released Sandy Bridge is confusing me even more. Is it only replacing the 1156 chipset or the 1366 too? And since I'm already on a tight budget, won't the sandy bridge CPU be very expensive right after release, including their respective motherboards? I'll also be using a lot of Adobe CS5 products. I am no pro but still more of a video editing enthusiast, so please base your suggestions on that too.

I understand that a single 460 might be a bottleneck but this is just for now. I've convinced myself to pick up a better pair of GPU's and SLI them, maybe in another 1 and a half years. I am no graphics freak/ hardcore gamer. I believe I'd be satisfied with it for now, atleast that's what I keep telling myself.

How about choosing a OC'ed 460 instead: EVGA 01G-P3-1373-TR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) Superclocked EE 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130567) for a few more dollars. Or how about SLI'ing two OC'ed 450's for now?

Sorry for so many questions. I am very new to this and want to make it the best possible cpu within my budget. I really want my rig up and running up by Christmas. This my Christmas gift to myself. :D  I appreciate it guys.
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December 19, 2010 2:04:21 AM

a-data isnt a good brand. Get something like g.skill, mushkin, corsair. I wouldnt bother with a factory oc'd card either. Its very easy to do it youself. Just find a card with a nice cooler with voltage control and you can get a nice oc by yourself. Id stay away from the 450 because theyre not really meant for gaming and dont do very good at all. It would be a waste of money, you could do better for what theyre worth.
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December 19, 2010 2:19:54 AM

thanks bavman. So a-data and 450 is no no right now. :p  any other suggestions guys? how about on the mobo or any nice looking cheap cases?
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December 19, 2010 5:36:53 AM

Any suggestion for the motherboard plz? ASUS Sabertooth X58 or GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R?
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December 19, 2010 6:14:59 AM

Jey, high end cards were benchmarked with an i5 750 @ stock 2.66GHZ and OC'd to 4.0GHZ (Much better than i7 950 at that overclock) and the fps rose from 36 to 37..

Now, if you want to chuck $150 out the window extra for the i7 950 / expensive 1366 mobo compared to i5 760/750 + 1156 mobo well be my guest but that's not the reason you came to the forum.

Most of us who have looked long & hard at these cards would say that you ought to get GTX 460 768mb SLI'd. The 768mb vs 1gig has around a 3% performance difference, most of the difference is at 2560x1600 resolution too so that doesn't warrant the 20-40% extra cost.

Sandy Bridge will lower the price of CPU's and yes, the mobos for the 1155 (SB) socket wil lbe expesnive, but the processors shouldnt be overly so and will throw your i7 outta the water for less.

Either wait for SB and choose an i5 from there or get an i5 now and 2x GTX 460, 768MB, or the 1 gig if they are within $10 of the price (each). MAKE SURE YOU GET THE RIGHT POWER SUPPLY! It must have at least 4 x 6 pins for the GRAPHICS CARD.

I know for sure that the TX 650W doesn't have enough pins for SLI 460's, nor do most other 650W PSU's.

The GTX 460 768MB is currently a STEAL at $120 after MIR, get two of em for just $240 instead of chucking $120 extra at just a processor that yields maybe 5% more FPS, compared to a card that'll yield 90% extra FPS, not to mention a more expensive mobo with it.

You'll need an x8/x8 mobo preferably, 16x/16x is too expensive, 4x/4x is okay but ... for under $150 you can get a x8/x8 1156 good mobo.

Okay, here goes:

Antec True power (TP) 750W ; 85 after MIR
2 x GTX 460 DIRECTCU 768mb: $240 for 2.
both at Newegg,
f3 HDD (I think $75 from prev. post)
ASUS Maximus III Formula LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard for $155 after MIR
any good 1600MHZ RAM
i5 760 $205 (Worth the extra $5 over the i5 750)
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December 19, 2010 12:12:52 PM

While the 650tx has only 2 cables for video cards, you can still install 2 cards by using a 6pin to 4pin power cable. Not sure if they come with a 460 but it came with my 5850, but theyre cheap anyways
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December 19, 2010 12:38:21 PM

'vibhas' -> that's a bit of wrong information - the Corsair 650TX WILL take 2 x R6850 CF / 2 x GTX460 SLI no problem

again, everybody mostly has good points here... bottom line -> go by your BUDGET.. and how much you're actually willing to spend at the end:

- ~$800 -> go AMD... and get good bang for your buck

- ~$800 - ~$1000 -> WAIT... don't get anything yet... wait for Sandy Bridge in just a couple of weeks... NO POINT in getting 1156 at this point in time

- ~$1200 and over -> go for the X58 platform i mentioned above... no matter what anyone says... out of your current options... and if you're willing to spend ~1200... then that is the highest performing configuration at this time for you... good luck..!

and to answer your question: the GA-X58A-UD3R vs ASUS Sabertooth X58 -> both great boards from quality companies at the same price.... pick your poison..!
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December 19, 2010 10:36:32 PM

I appreciate everybody's replies. Vibhas, by now I'm pretty adamant about getting a i7-950. :p  So I've done a revised build. I think this is it. I took vibhas' suggestion of two 460 gtx 768 even though I'm slightly off budget now. But that's okay. But you've really confused me with the PSU. I have no clue what you guys mean about pins. Do I have to buy some extra cables or fans?

CPU Intel Core i7 950 Processor BX80601950 $299.97
Mobo Asus MB SABERTOOTH X58 $199.99
GPU EVGA 768-P3-1360-TR GeForce GTX 460 Video Card - 768MB GDDR5 Fermi * 2 $289.94
Memory G.SKILL NQ Series DDR3 1600MHz (PC3-12800) 6GB (3x2GB) Triple Channel Kit (F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ) $84.99
HDD Western Digital Caviar Black (WD1002FAEX) 1000GB (1TB) SATA3 7200RPM 64MB Cache (OEM) $79.99
Case COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP $79.99
PSU Corsair TX650W 650-Watt Power Supply - ATX, 120mm Fan, SLI-Ready, SATA-Ready, 80Plus $79.97
Optical Drive LG GH22NS50B DVD Writer and 25 Pack DVD+R Media Bundle $20.97
Sub-Total $1,135.81
Tax $170.37
Total $1,306.18


It is pretty good, no? Thanks. If everything's good, I'm going to buy them tomorrow.

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December 20, 2010 12:31:44 AM

you're good... and that PSU is fine for 2 x GTX 468 768mb SLI... no need for additional cables... have fun..!
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December 20, 2010 1:04:25 AM

thanks wasupmike.
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December 24, 2010 11:11:23 PM

Best answer selected by jey1234.
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December 24, 2010 11:15:55 PM

I've just put together everything. It went through POST successfully on the first try. I made two slight changes in my final build: Opted for the 750 corsair psu, and bought the cooler master haf 922 case (very good air flow). Its running very fast except for the very loud sound coming from the gpus' fans. Don't know if that's normal, especially when it's idle. Anyways, thanks to everybody. I love the build. And I chose wasupmike for the best answer since he replied often and answered most of my questions. But I really appreciate everyone's help. Merry Christmas! :D 
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