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Build or Wait ($1000 to $1500)

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January 7, 2011 9:12:37 PM

Hello tomshardware,

I have been lurking in these forums for a while now reading and plotting my next build.
I am a "Gamer" by the definitions in the sticky above. My budget is roughly $1000 but I don't mind pushing the budget up to $1500 for "futureproof" build.

I am currently running a Core 2 duo E6750(non OC), 8800GTS.
The uses for the system is primarily gaming: WOW, the occasional FPS, RTSs.

The current system runs "OK" meaning its not dying but its definitely showing its age even in WOW, I've had to dial down the quality and resolution. My upgrade cycle is typically 4 to 5 years(barring catastrophic failure) and I typically do total rebuilds to refresh my system.

Question: Should I upgrade now?
This has been asked a number of times, I know. Specifically should I buy into the currently retiring i5/i7 and invest in a mature platform since it has all the same peripherals that the incoming p67 boards will have(new sata and USB etc) or get this new incoming p67/SB components? I see some discussion talking about SB2011 or something.. I'm not sure what that even is. (Is there supposed to be another platform coming out again in 2011? ) I've been burned by building into "new" technology before(way back in the AMD-KIII days) and it was a nightmare.

Thank you in advance, if there are any details, questions that I'm missing please ask and I'll do my best to answer.

More about : build wait 1000 1500

January 7, 2011 9:17:46 PM

Coincidentally, there is someone posting about the same price range for a new build where the advice was to wait for SB.
I don't mind the wait, but it still doesn't fully answer my question in my mind. How risky is buying into SB? Should I wait a few months to see if it turns out to be problematic?

Thank you.
January 7, 2011 9:26:05 PM

Yes definitely wait for Sandy Bridge but I would wait ideally a month for all bugs to be reported BIOS to mature reviews to be created. Sandy Bridge is going to be Intel's mainstream chipset for about 2 years.
January 8, 2011 1:14:23 AM

What about just upgrading the video card (and if necessary, the PSU) now? It would likely give you the boost you need to run your current games at max settings. You could then wait and see if you need a new platform and give SB time to mature.

Otherwise, it is very dependent on the specific games you want to play now and the resolutions you want to play them at. If you were to say that you want to play Metro 2033 or Space Craft II at 1920 x 1200, then a new system is a must with high end components. You can make WoW work better with a new GPU.
January 8, 2011 2:50:54 AM

That's a decent suggestion OP what's your budget?
January 8, 2011 5:46:20 AM

Hello joelmartinez and DXRick,

Thanks for the responses. I think I will end up waiting on SB for now. I do like the changes they made and the performance/value they are offering. AMD's bulldozer should be out by then too so it would be nice to at least have a comparison/competition for my dollars.

For upgrading the video card, that's interesting.. I think it would end up sorta being a half-system now, half system when I find a CPU/MB I like. I'll have to ponder it and look at my options.
My monitor is a 21" dell ultrasharp widescreen, I'm going to be upgrading to either the samsung or HP 24" LCD monitors.

my total build budget, I would like to keep it to 1500 or under(lower is always better but I'm not afraid to throw money at something I want/like)

I think then for a current update I would need:

win7(I'm still running xp on my desktop)
good PSU, I think tomshardware likes the seasonic(like this one:) 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a PSU is something that I'm not willing to compromise on for quality... I've had one burn out and fry everything that was attached to it(it wasn't pretty) once so I've since spent a little extra on good, solid units, and a little extra wattage isn't bad.

Videocards:
Here's been my internal debate:
go blow major bucks one a single 580, or get a 570 vs 6970. I'm not particularly a "fanboy" of nVIDIA but I've owned one of their cards since the TNT(I guess my upgrade cycles have happened to coincide with when they are top dog) I've come to like and trust eVGA as a maker.
I've heard that radeon driver support can be iffy(though this could just be an urban legend). Either of these look darn good, and would allow me to SLI/Xfire if I decided to in the next year.

Thanks for your consideration.
a b Ý World of Warcraft
January 8, 2011 3:56:07 PM

This will keep ya smokin for several years .... adding a 2nd GFX card and fan come XMas will extend its life nicely.

Item Price Component

Case - $90 - Coolermaster HAF-922 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case Fans - Later - CM Red 200 mm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $110 - XFX Black Edition 850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo - $170 - Asus Sabertooth P67
CPU - $210 - Intel Core i5-2500K
Cooler - $40 - Scythe SCMG 2100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TIM - $5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - $70 - 2 x 2GB Mushkin CAS 7 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - $350 - GTX 570 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - Later - Same
HD - $70 - Samsung F3 1TB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD - $199 - OCZ Vertex 2 2.5" 120GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Writer - $19 - ASUS 24X DVD Writer http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OS - $100 - Win 7-64 Home OEM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cost $1,433 w/o any combo discounts
January 8, 2011 4:19:22 PM

I just built a new i7 950 system (bought parts 5 weeks ago, procrastinated building it for 3 weeks because I was still involved in an old game, and finally put it together 2 weeks ago). And I got an HD 6870, mere weeks before the 6950 and 6970 came out. So, I think I qualify for the closest to the pin award. :p 

I read through the GPU tests on many sites, and my choice became between one 6870 or SLI two GTX 460s. I got the former but still got a 850W PSU just in case I want to add another later for Xfire. I decided that it was plenty of GPU power to play any current game at (at least) 1680 x 1050. Since there's no way to know if a future game will require more power or a future version of DirectX, I will wait and see what happens later. It's impossible to predict the future, but I don't want to spend a lot more than necessary trying to plan for it.

So, I would recommend that you get the best you think you need now.
January 9, 2011 12:54:40 AM

Jack's build is solid couple things I would change though
1.HAF 922 from amazon it has free shipping (also Jack it bugs me that you don't put this at the correct price 100 dollars)
2. RAM get this g skill instead it will be compatible with SB (g skill made it for that reason) has tighter timings and I don't really like mushkin http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... out of stock right now but it will come in stock soon just get auto-notify enabled
a b Ý World of Warcraft
January 9, 2011 1:10:25 AM

*You can O/C with this rig and save some money to upgrade to the Intel rig instead of going with an inferior AMD build.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sandy-bridge-core-i... <---- Intel Sandy Bridge 2500K (unlocked) - due for release on 1/9/11

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev... <--- Another great review on this cpu

Sandy Bridge 2500k (unlocked) retail (est. price: $216)
http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/cpu/intel/sandybrid...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $59.99 FREE SHIPPING
COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $69.99 $3.99 Shipping
Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $184.99 (Before $10.00 Mail-In Rebate ) FREE SHIPPING
MSI N460GTX -M2D1GD5/OC GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $49.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $89.99 FREE SHIPPING
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $19.99 FREE SHIPPING
Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA CD/DVD Burner LightScribe Support - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $6.99 FREE SHIPPING
Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound


Total: $697.93 *not including shipping, rebates, O/S and motherboard


http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten... <--- H/S

Mobo reviews down below

http://tbreak.com/tech/2011/01/intel-sandy-bridge-mothe...

http://techreport.com/articles.x/20190/13
January 9, 2011 1:32:17 AM

^Jack's build is much better

1. He uses a better case
2. His PSU is futureproof
3. He uses a much better graphics card
4. He uses RAM adequate for overclocking
5. He uses better TIM and actually has an aftermarket heatsink
6. He uses a better hard drive
7. He includes everything
8. He includes an SSD
9. He doesn't hate on AMD
10. I'm really sorry if this comes off as mean all of this is ment as constructive criticism and I hope you take it that way Why-me
a b Ý World of Warcraft
January 9, 2011 1:46:47 AM

joelmartinez said:
^Jack's build is much better

1. He uses a better case
2. His PSU is futureproof
3. He uses a much better graphics card
4. He uses RAM adequate for overclocking
5. He uses better TIM and actually has an aftermarket heatsink
6. He uses a better hard drive
7. He includes everything
8. He includes an SSD
9. He doesn't hate on AMD
10. I'm really sorry if this comes off as mean all of this is ment as constructive criticism and I hope you take it that way Why-me


That case I put in my build has ample cooling and space. I was going for performance and price...as well as showing the OP a base to start from. I could have thrown in a SSD, a gtx 470 but then I would have upped my PSU to a 750 and still have been well under the OP's $1,500 dollar range. And if I'm not mistaken, I posted a link towards the bottom of my post in regards to a sub $30 H/S that was used in testing O/C this cpu to 4.6GHz and it worked more than fine.

As far as "hating on AMD"...lol...only someone without a clue would think of going with an AMD build atm with the OP's price range of $1,000 - $1,500. It has nothing to do with "hating on AMD", and all to do with performance. If the O/P had a budget of $700 or less and needed an O/S, than sure an AMD build would be fine. But thank you for your critique :) 

January 9, 2011 2:26:44 AM

Yes your case was decent but not great the HAF 922 will last longer due to its better cooling and enough space for tri-fire trisli as well as beginning water-cooling and massive air-cooling (I'm looking at you NH-D14)

I understand your angle but I'm just saying its wrong, as far as PSU the 750w size is non-ideal due to the low-pricing on the 850w xfx. Heatsink, you included no heatsink in the cost of the build also the heatsink chosen by Jack is a great performer although I like to use the hyper 212+ because of its cheap price, 2nd fan, and free shipping (if purchased from amazon)

I was not suggesting an AMD build that would be retarded at this price range I was saying that calling AMD inferior is not kind nor true AMD is a fine choice for budgets 900 and below
a b Ý World of Warcraft
January 9, 2011 2:40:35 AM

joelmartinez said:
Yes your case was decent but not great the HAF 922 will last longer due to its better cooling and enough space for tri-fire trisli as well as beginning water-cooling and massive air-cooling (I'm looking at you NH-D14)

I understand your angle but I'm just saying its wrong, as far as PSU the 750w size is non-ideal due to the low-pricing on the 850w xfx. Heatsink, you included no heatsink in the cost of the build also the heatsink chosen by Jack is a great performer although I like to use the hyper 212+ because of its cheap price, 2nd fan, and free shipping (if purchased from amazon)

I was not suggesting an AMD build that would be retarded at this price range I was saying that calling AMD inferior is not kind nor true AMD is a fine choice for budgets 900 and below


Joel let's get real OK :)  Who the h*ll uses water cooling these days ? And "tri - SLI"... lol ?

btw Joel, that case I posted has outlets for water cooling...not that anyone in their right mind would actually consider water cooling these days unless they wanted to go for a record O/C. And Joel, before posting, read the links in regards to O/C the sandy bridge. It runs cool Joel, sans the reason people won't need a $50+ H/S to get clocks of 4.6GHz and still run cool. It's called "new technology" Joel :)  Sans the reason I posted a link to the sub $30 H/S..the same one that was used in testing the sandy bridge ...like in the link....

I can't say a whole lot about the XFX psu's seeing how I haven't heard much about them. I'm a Corsair, Antec, Silverstone, Seasonic, PC & P kind of guy. But if these XFX psu's prove to be good...then I'm all for them.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--- Here's the link to the case I posted...read the specs please.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <---- Need more cooling for that case ? Throw these in it.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/inferior <---And yes, atm AMD's are inferior cpu's compared to Intel.

January 9, 2011 2:59:32 AM

It is not ridiculous to use water-cooling or tri-SLI there are people besides pro overclockers who use that stuff, pro overclockers use liquid oxygen or nitrogen, not water silly

Yes it does have outlets for watercooling can it fit as much in the case as the 922 no does it cool as well as the 922 no read this link http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/cooler_master_h... last page
Quote:
Cons:
Only includes two fans
Poor cooling with packaged fan configuration


As for a 50 dollar plus heatsink the one recommended was a 40 buck one if you're talking about the NH-D14 yes it would probably not be the ideal choice for him right now but what if he discovers he's really into overclocking and wants to try it no reason to close doors unless the doors are substantially more expensive with equal features which is not true because the 922 is larger and has much better cooling (200mm fans which are quieter than those 120mm fans you posted a link to)

read this johnnyguru review: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Yes the 912 would be the cheaper route in the short run but in the long run the 922 would be better, more expandability and more cooling expandability in particular

I read your links and would definitely not recommend a 50+ heatsink actually as I stated previously my favorite is sub 30 dollars

Wow that was a long tirade summary: 922 over 912 due to expandability I like hyper 212+ for cooling
January 9, 2011 3:06:33 AM

As for your smartass dictionary reference I believed that you ment definition number 3 sorry if i thought ill
a b Ý World of Warcraft
January 9, 2011 3:50:33 AM

joelmartinez said:
As for your smartass dictionary reference I believed that you ment definition number 3 sorry if i thought ill

Hold on now Joel... I call a TRUCE :) 

After reading that review of the XFX 850 you posted, it's a heck of a deal for that price he posted (newegg). As far as the "Hyper 212" goes... Iv'e used it before and it's always been a good one.

That case I posted is set up for 2 x 200mm fans btw.


Not to change the subject, but check out the two links below. :) 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $152.99
ASRock P67 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $224.99 FREE SHIPPING
Intel i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 Quad-Core Processor
January 9, 2011 3:55:32 AM

sorry I got carried away :bounce: 

Yes the xfx 850w is an amazing deal.

2 x 200mm fans? why did you post the link to those other 120mm

Cool links

TRUCE ACCEPTED flaming initiation aborted
January 18, 2011 8:48:32 PM

Hi Guys, Thanks for all that great info! Its kept me really busy looking up parts and reviews and giving me ideas.

I decided to pull the trigger on a new build(ordered this morning)

Here's the final build, thank you Joelmartinez and Why_Me

Case: I went with the Corsair 600T: I picked this up local at Frys

CPU: i7-2600K

CPU cooler: Scythe Mugen2B
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thermal Compound: G751 Shin etsu
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU:eVGA GTX 570 SSC(also at frys, saved on shipping)
(here's the newegg part in case someone finds it useful)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram: Gskill 8GB dual channel kit. I realize its a little excessive, but it will save me hassle later when I want to upgrade to 8G
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: OCZ Vertex 2 120G
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: MSI P67A-GD65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I chose this based on a couple reviews I read that said at stock(no oc) this board is one of the fastest(faster than the ASUS -PRO for a little cheaper)I want to be "set up" to do some OC.. but its not something I aim to do. I also read some newegg reviews on it(early reviews, I know) that reported some issues that I didn't want to deal with. Maybe bad boards, maybe real, I also went with MSI because I've had good luck with them in the past.

PSU: Corsair modular 850w HX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I finally settled that modular was worth the little bit extra to me over the non modular.

To come: I need a copy of win7 Home Premium, trying to decide between OEM and upgrade. I have XP, but OEM is a little cheaper... or do I just bite the bullet and get the full version... decisions... decisions.
January 19, 2011 3:36:04 PM

That's a nice build! I got the OEM version of Win 7 64-bit (have XP on old machine). It installed easily. The only difference between OEM and UPG/Full is the license, not the software itself. If that matters to you, you can check it out.
!