I5 build for gaming and longevity

Posted about this before but now I actually have some parts and almost practically ready to buy the rest. Mostly looking for either a) anyplace I can save money or b) anyplace I can increase performance without spending more, plus c) anything I forgot that really I should think about getting ;)

Approximate Purchase Date: anytime from the next couple days up to two weeks or so. Hopefully sooner rather than later. (Sooner if newegg will extend me credit..later if I have to wait for the IRS)

Budget Range: As cheap as possible without sacrificing performance or anything, but if necessary I can spend up to about $600. (my current parts list puts me at $575 before shipping)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, watching movies/tv (eventually plan to install a bluray drive), internet, some photoshop

Parts Not Required: have keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc. Planning to start with linux but if I need a windows OS to do what I want to do I will deal with that separately. (Haven't really tried linux before - always been on shared computers anyway - but boy am I tired of microsoft)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Tigerdirect; will consider any site that will ship to me for a good total price if it has good reviews

Country of Origin: USA (WA state)

Overclocking: Maybe eventually

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe eventually

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 but want to hook up to a TV eventually too. Don't have the TV yet, planning minimum of 720p but we'll see when I get there

Additional Comments: quiet would be nice, but most of all I want something that is made of quality parts which a) the part itself will be likely to have a 5 year + lifespan and b) the technology will last me to my satisfaction for 5+ too. I'm not a bleeding edge gamer and the newest game I bought (last fall) is from 2008... so it doesn't need to be super, but good enough to be decent for a while, and not just ok for right now.

I have already:
SeaSonic X650 Gold 650W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
(got it for only $96, sweet deal)

NZXT Phantom PHAN-001WT White Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case

Intel Core i5-760 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80605I5760

I am currently planning to get:

ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Problem with that is it's out of stock on newegg at the moment. Tigerdirect had it last time I checked for a similar price. Newegg's ETA is tomorrow on it though......so hopefully it will not be a problem. I would consider any card with similar features at a lower price, namely that has potential to run two PCI-E GPU's at 8x each (I understand this socket won't do 16x each) and preferably has a decent handling of usb3/sata3, even though I would be a little surprised to use it really :) But I'm not going to buy from some shady weird brand like Biostar or anything like that.

XFX HD-685X-ZNFC Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
Was looking at the ZNDC (also XFX) for a little bit more (slightly overclocked) but it doesn't seem worth $12 more to me. Have heard excellent things in general about XFX customer service. Was mildly considering nVidia geforce 460's also (1gb) but haven't seen any evidence that they are better unless I prefer nVidia, which I don't. If anyone has a compelling argument I'm listening

G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

SAMSUNG DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223L LightScribe Support - OEM

XIGMATEK Cooling System Crystal Series CLF-F1455 140mm Purple LED Case Fan PSU Molex Adapter/extender included

Unless the blue LED version will increase my performance more ;) (Everyone knows more LEDs = better performance, right??) This is for the front of the case and as far as I can tell won't have any problems hooking into the NZXT's included fan controller.

XIGMATEK Gaia SD1283 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler bracket included I7 i5 775 1155 AMD and dual fan push pull compatible

Frostytech doesn't have figures for that exact one, but it seems generally very similar to a couple other models with, well, the same model number ( 1283 ) and slightly different letters next to it. Plus it ranked well here on Tom's hardware, better than the widely recommended coolermaster 212 hyper. The only other thing I would consider would be a cooler with similar noise/cooling properties that would actually fit in the Phantom case WITH the side 200mm fan, for $45 or under. Apparently nothing 150mm or taller will fit, but I don't think I really need the side fan anyway.

Anyway thanks in advance for your time, tried not to write too much of a book this time, let me know what ya'll think.
5 answers Last reply
More about build gaming longevity
  1. No, I am not returning my processor and I don't want to pay more for a sandy bridge chip.
    (got that 760 for $180)
  2. You have "longevity" in the title but the MoBo, CPU, GFC card have all reached "end of life"....at least retail life. good way to get bargains but expect at least 18 months less life than the Sandy Bridge stuff.

    The 1156 MoBs are likely giving way in production facilities to the 1155 MoBos. Prices have dropped sharply and even the "Supercomputer" MoBo is only $160 ...GRAB IT ... it's a significant step up I'd say from the one you wanted.


    At under $200, it's hard to ignore these 460's ...factory OC'd to 20% over referenced speeds

    These will save ya few $ at same CAS and speed

    The 1283 is a very respectable cooler.....but the 800 pound gorilla in the room is the Scythe Mugen 2
  3. Not seeing where the Supercomputer board is $160, shows as $189 here (unless there is a promo code that newegg was sending out that I missed) Also it doesn't seem to have any support for USB3 or SATA 3, not that that would make or break the deal. The PCI support seems a little better but I'm not really seeing anything else that would be an advantage over the P7P55D-E Pro. Am I missing something?

    By longevity I am not talking about being able to upgrade to a new chip, etc. I fully expect if I am replacing to upgrade that I will replace board and chip both. Given how often new sockets seem to come out these days, I would expect that with any socket I commit to right now. I'm just talking about a piece of hardware that will last, and keep working, and keep doing what I need it to do for a while, even as what I need it to do will probably increase. (this system is total overkill for my current needs)

    Funny that EVGA is either the same card, or one very close to one a friend of mine just got for himself. It's undoubtedly a nice card, but for one, I heard that overclocked cards (including ones overclocked by the manufacturer) are likely to have a lower lifespan - which the 3 year instead of lifetime warranty would seem to support - plus I kind of like the full-size HDMI output on the ATI cards I was looking at. Not really sure I see anything worth spending another $15 on unless you have a particular reference.

    RE memory, don't know anything about Mushkin, is it a good brand? (especially - is their support good if anything does happen to go wrong?) One of the things I really liked about GSkill's ECO was the 1.35V. If not for that my second choice would probably be to spend a little bit more and get this,

    CL9 instead of CL7 but twice as much RAM for only $30 more. might be worth it. haven't decided yet. Plus thats only 1.5V too.

    That Mugen is pretty tempting. Not pretty (but then again I can't say the Xigmatek is either), but looks like it cools better and maybe a bit quieter too. Having a hard time finding a benchmark comparison including both of them but I'm definitely looking into it.
  4. Can anyone give me any insight on this board?

    I'm wondering if having the 2nd PCI 2.0 slot at 4x will allow crossfire/sli or not. Obviously it wouldn't be 8x/8x but would it be worth doing or not any better than 1 card with a configuration like that?
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