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Novice Needs a System Check

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Last response: in Systems
January 6, 2011 6:16:21 PM


I'm pretty much a novice at understanding computer hardware, but I'm attempting my first build to replace a seven year old Sony Vaio. I have a couple of questions. My goal is to have a decent gaming machine that can also crunch numbers (e.g. massive MS Excel workbooks). Thanks in advance to those who respond.

Question 1: Is the list of components I have below reasonable? Are there any obvious problems or incompatibilities?

Question 2: At this time, would it make any sense to wait a while and build a system with the new Intel offerings instead?

My selections:

Item Company Model Qty Capacity
Case Thermaltake Armor A90 Gaming Mid-Tower 1
CPU Intel I7-875K Unlocked 1
Power Supply Corsair CMPSU-850TX 1 850W
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R 1
Memory OCZ Gold OCZ3G2000LV6GK 1 3x2GB
Hard Drive Western Dig Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 2 1 TB
Video Card Gigabyte GV-R587UD-1GD 5870 1 1 GB GDDR5
Monitor Asus VE247H 2 23.8 Inches
OS Microsoft Windows 7 64 Bit Premium 1
CPU Cooler Zalman CNPS10X Performa 1

More about : novice system check

January 7, 2011 7:14:17 AM

You can get the new Core i7 2600K I think it's slightly cheaper. Look at the MS Excel Monte Carlo bench. There's no 875k in the but I picked the slightly faster i-7 880 and the new CPU is better

Don't buy OCZ RAM. You can get a HD 6870 if it's cheaper. Even for crossfire a 750W PSU should be fine (XFX 750, Corsair, Seasonic, Antec).
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January 7, 2011 5:12:35 PM

Massive Excell work significantly favors an 1366 based system whereas, all things otherwise being equal, only a slight advantage provided by 1366. However 1155 is about to arrive and that is "expected' to shake things up a bit. As was said before, the MoBo is 1366 and CPU is 1156. Your RAM selection is for 1366.


$1600 1366 Based System

Case - $90 - Coolermaster HAF-922
Case Fans - Later - CM Red 200 mm
PSU - $110 - XFX Black Edition 850
MoBo - $200 - Asus Sabertooth
CPU - $295 - Intel i7-950
Cooler - $40 - Scythe SCMG 2100
TIM - $5 - Shin Etsu
RAM - $100 - 3 x 2GB OCZ CAS 7
GFX - $220 - Asus GTX 470 SC
GFX - Later - Same
HD - $70 - Samsung F3 1TB
SSD - Later - OCZ Vertex 2 3.5" 120GB
DVD Writer - $19 - ASUS 24X DVD Writer
OS - $140 - Win 7-64 Pro
Monitor - $180 - ASUS VH242H1920x1080
Keyboard - $67 - Logitech G110
Mouse - $45 - Logitech MX-518

Cost $1,590 w/o any combo discounts

For an 1155 based system, if ya can wait a bit, swap out the MoBo / CPU / RAM for the following:

MoBo - $170 ? - Asus Sabertooth P67
CPU - $210 ? - Intel Core i5-2500k
RAM - $70 - 2 x 2GB Mushkin CAS 7

This would save about $185 but we don't know the 1155 prices yet.

If ya can't wait for 1155 , then gran the 1156 Sabertooth (good luck finding one ....were $140 three weeks ago, now when i can find them they are sometimes $250)

Possible upgrades.....

A 570 would add about $130
A 6970 would add about $150

Which one's the better choice ? I'd take the 570 but your choice will depend on resolution (6970 improves position at 2560 x 1600 for example) and which games you play but read this and other reviews before deciding:

Why the Sabertooth ? Mil spec components, 5 year warranty, 5 GHz OC's anticipated on 2500.....

RAM - Recommendations will change daily as prices change daily. Lower CAS timings will be a significant benefit on the spreadsheets but only 2-3% in gaming. However price differences between 7 and 9 are often only few $. Brand names I first look for are the low profile modules from Mushkin and Corsair, followed by Crucial and OCZ .... ones I try and avoid besides the no name brands are GSkill and Geil mostly because of the high heat sinks (which often interfere with cpu coolers) and return rates I have experienced on past builds.
January 7, 2011 5:13:47 PM

gkay09 already pointed-out the socket incompatibility. If you go with an LGA1156, also switch to a dual-channel memory kit. I would also switch the cooler to something cheaper like CM Hyper 212.

I would definitely wait for Sandy bridge (2 days away); if you absolutely need hyperthreading, 2600K, if not, save yourself 100$ and get a 2500K. Won't change anything for gaming and probably not that much for Excel (even if it's multi-threaded since Office 2007).

Put everything you can save toward a 60GB+ SSD, if you cannot buy one now, put it in a jar for future purchase :D .
January 8, 2011 1:11:14 AM

gkay09 said:
1. Yes there is,... the i7 875 is a LGA 1156 socket CPU, whereas the X58A mobo is a LGA 1366 mobo, so you would either have to change the mobo or the CPU...

2. Yes,...

Thanks for your inputs, especially on #2!
January 8, 2011 1:15:29 AM

JackNaylorPE said:

If ya can't wait for 1155 , then gran the 1156 Sabertooth (good luck finding one ....were $140 three weeks ago, now when i can find them they are sometimes $250)

Thanks for all the great info. I definitely have the time to wait, so the new 1155 setup will probably end up as my choice. Hopefully I can stick to my budget, but if not, I'm pretty sure I'll be very happy with what I get.
January 8, 2011 1:16:08 AM

Best answer selected by homegun.
January 8, 2011 6:11:44 AM

This topic has been closed by Maziar