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Home/Gaming System re-try ($900-$1k)

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April 23, 2011 4:20:17 PM

Hey everyone,

I was on here about 6 mo ago looking to build a general use/gaming rig for ~$1k or less (http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/295775-31-general-gam...). Thanks to a lot of great help I ended up with some hardware that looked like a winner. Unfortunately, life got in the way (kids, new job, etc) before I could buy & build parts for that rig. Luckily things are looking better so I'm back to try again.

In looking over my old build, some parts aren't available anymore and the prices have changed on everything else. I'm hoping to get a few people to look at what I was going to build and what I think the best, latest version of that stuff is so I can get buying and building. I've heard that some of my hardware now looks pretty dated so as long as there is newer stuff out there that will keep me to about the same cost I'm happy to change out.

i.e. changing from a i7-870 to a i5 2500k

I need to make sure this rig will last for some years (maybe having to swap out RAM or a video card as it ages.

Thanks everyone!


(Everything on here is from NewEgg, though I'll try any component)

Original Rig:
Spoiler

Motherboard:
1x ASUS P7P55D-E
LGA 1156 P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
$139.99
CPU:
1x Intel N82E16819116368
i7-875K Lynnfield 2.93GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Unlocked Desktop Processor BX80605I7875K
$329.99
Memory:
1x Patriot N82E16820220436
Patriot G Series ‘Sector 5’ Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model PGV34G1600ELK
$92.99
Video Card:
1x Sapphire N82E16814102873
Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
$139.99
SSD: (primary/boot drive)
1x OCZ Agility OCZSSD2-1AGT60G
60GB SATA II MLC
$109.99
DVD:
2x ASUS N82E16827135204
$18.99
Case:
1x Rosewill N82E16811147153
CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ,comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm Fan, 1x Rear 120mm Fan, option Fans-2x Side 120mm Fan
$44.99
Supply:
1x Corsair N82E16817139005
Enthusiast Series CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V
$89.99
HHD:
1x Samsung N82E16822152185
Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
$74.99

Total (ignoring rebates): $1060.90


New Rig:
Spoiler

Motherboard:
1x ASUS P7P55D-E LGA 1156 P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
N82E16813131634
$129.99
CPU 1:
1x Intel BX80605I7870
Intel Core i7-870 Lynnfield 2.93GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor
N82E16819115213
$289.99

OR:
Motherboard:
1x ASUS Sabertooth X58
LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
N82E16813131665
$194.99
CPU 2:
1x Intel Core i7-960 Bloomfield 3.2GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
N82E16819115224
$289.99


Memory:
1x Patriot G Series ‘Sector 5’ Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model PGV34G1600ELK
N82E16820220436
$49.99
Video Card:
1x Sapphire Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
N82E16814102873
$114.99
SSD: (primary/boot drive)
1x OCZ Agility OCZSSD2-1AGT60G
60GB SATA II MLC
N82E16820227461
$119.99
DVD:
2x LITE-ON
N82E16827106289
$19.99
Case:
1x Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ,comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm Fan, 1x Rear 120mm Fan, option Fans-2x Side 120mm Fan
N82E16811147153
$54.99
Supply:
1x Corsair Enthusiast Series CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V
N82E16817139005
$89.99
HHD:
1x Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
N82E16822152185
$54.99

Option 1 $944.90
Option 2 $1,009.90

More about : home gaming system 900

April 23, 2011 5:12:00 PM

For Gaming I would go with this cpu mobo combo:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
i5-2500k with MSI mobo
$330

It will probably give you more bang for your buck and maybe even straight up out-perform the i7 for gaming, especially if you overclock it. It would also free up more than $100, so you could upgrade your 5770 to a 6870 or 6950.

The rest of your build looks pretty good to me though :sol: 
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April 23, 2011 5:18:50 PM

yes, your gaming build should be based off of an i5-2500k, perhaps an i5-2400 if you have no intention of overclocking. Do you plan to overclock? Would you like the option of adding a 2nd graphics card at a later date?

Also, i would read the details of tomshardware's "recommendation" of the rosewill challenger:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nzxt-gamma-rosewill...

hint: performance/price values change with the price.
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Related resources
April 23, 2011 7:06:13 PM

Genghiskron -

In the past I've always been leery of overclocking but since so many chips are designed to allow it I think I will give it a try this time around though I will probably build the unit first, check temps and then overclock if everything looks good (unless it ends up being a simple bios switch).

I've never had a need for a second graphics card so if my mobo turns out to be capable great but I figure it's not worth making it a requirement of the system if it adds much to the price.

That's an interesting comparison article. Based on the current prices I'm seeing on NewEgg it looks like the Rosewill is still the best value option though, admittedly, not by much, particularly with the built in fans.

Ayydre -

So far I'm up to 4 people recommending the i5-2500k cpu so I guess I'll jump on board that train. :-)

-----
Video cards:

Original plan video card:
1x Sapphire Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
N82E16814102873
$114.99

New Options:
1x MSI R6950-2PM2D2GD5 Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5
N82E16814127555
$274.99

1x ASUS EAH6870 DC/2DI2S/1GD5 Radeon HD 6870 1GB
N82E16814121418
$204.99

So I suppose the question is.... is the 6950 worth the extra $70? Based on the specs, it looks like I'm better off with the 6870 and upgrading the video card in a few years if I need to.

Thanks again.

Newest build: $739.93 (without video card)
Spoiler

Motherboard + CPU Combo:
1x Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz
N82E16819115072
+
1x MSI P67A-G43 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel
N82E16813130583
Combo Price: $330

Memory:
1x Patriot G Series ‘Sector 5’ Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model PGV34G1600ELK
N82E16820220436
$49.99

SSD: (primary/boot drive)
1x OCZ Agility OCZSSD2-1AGT60G60GB SATA II MLC
N82E16820227461
$119.99

DVD:
2x LITE-ON
N82E16827106289
$19.99

Case:
1x Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ,comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm Fan, 1x Rear 120mm Fan, option Fans-2x Side 120mm Fan
N82E16811147153
$54.99

Supply:
1x Corsair Enthusiast Series CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V
N82E16817139005
$89.99

HHD:
1x Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
N82E16822152185
$54.99
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April 23, 2011 7:30:05 PM

A 60gb ssd is going to be ate up pretty quickly with an OS and just a few programs and game. I'd suggest getting at least a 120gb boot drive to allow for future expansion. My 150gb raptor is over half full already with just the programs and games I've added in the month since I built it! You can always skip the ssd if price is a factor. A good hdd is really all anybody needs....
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April 23, 2011 7:37:34 PM

majin ssj eric said:
A 60gb ssd is going to be ate up pretty quickly with an OS and just a few programs and game. I'd suggest getting at least a 120gb boot drive to allow for future expansion. My 150gb raptor is over half full already with just the programs and games I've added in the month since I built it! You can always skip the ssd if price is a factor. A good hdd is really all anybody needs....



You nailed my goal for the drive. All I want it for is to support the OS, a couple of games and, maybe, Office-type programs (like OpenOffice). Basically, the only stuff I plan to put on it is the stuff I want to see fast access to and leave everything else to the HDD. I figure that if it ends up being particularly useful that I can always add a second but I'd be looking at doubling the price to double the size so for now I will stick to this one (until prices drop of course). I spent a while debating if I wanted to use a SSD at all but I've heard too many people talk about how much of an improvement they've seen in Windows 7 and some high processing programs that it seemed worth the money to give it a shot.
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April 23, 2011 10:14:38 PM
April 24, 2011 12:08:06 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... THis psu is a must. $59 for a top quality 650W PSU. XFX is a great psu brand, its products are made by seasonic, the best psu maker in the world (makes corsair/antec / xfx / seasonic psus). The BP550 is good, but its several years old, and more expensive, and 100 less watts. The XFX 650 is a modern PSU, and the cheapest quality 650W PSU you'll find.

Next, theres a 25% off promo code for ripjaws X SERIES 2x4GB RAM.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$75 for 8GB of X SERIES 1600MHZ G.SKILL ram. The above build by k1114 is good, but for just $25 more you get double the ram, and the less sticks you have the faster it is - If you want 8Gb in the future, you'll have to get 2 more 2GB sticks, giving 4 sticks of 2gb ram which put more pressure on your memory controller. Other than the psu / ram, id go with k1114's build.
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April 24, 2011 12:43:26 AM

vibhas said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... THis psu is a must. $59 for a top quality 650W PSU. XFX is a great psu brand, its products are made by seasonic, the best psu maker in the world (makes corsair/antec / xfx / seasonic psus). The BP550 is good, but its several years old, and more expensive, and 100 less watts. The XFX 650 is a modern PSU, and the cheapest quality 650W PSU you'll find.

Next, theres a 25% off promo code for ripjaws X SERIES 2x4GB RAM.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$75 for 8GB of X SERIES 1600MHZ G.SKILL ram. The above build by k1114 is good, but for just $25 more you get double the ram, and the less sticks you have the faster it is - If you want 8Gb in the future, you'll have to get 2 more 2GB sticks, giving 4 sticks of 2gb ram which put more pressure on your memory controller. Other than the psu / ram, id go with k1114's build.


Appreciate the help but it looks like k1114's build ends up at almost exactly the specs I had for about the same price unless I'm missing something. The only thing that looks much better is the video card or am I missing something here? It looks like he's traded off of the power supply for video card. I liked your suggestion of the XFX P1-650X-CAH9 650W PSU for $58.99 after rebate. It looks like a better match to my ATI system.

k1114 - I appreciate the build suggestion but can I get some information on why you picked that over the one I had? Just seeing the build isn't all that useful.
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April 24, 2011 1:48:59 AM

I usually do have comments but it was just an exact build I had just pasted before reading this, which would explain some other differences. Anyways...

For a single 6950, 550w is fine and why pay more for more power you don't need. It's hard to find the best deal when prices fluctuate all the time and different MIR which is why multiple people helping here is a good thing. The one vibhas is a great deal for the reasons he stated and I will also add that it is 80+ bronze where the antec is only 80+, small fact, I know. Which one you choose is up to you.

Mobo is changed to c43 not g43, you probably didn't even notice, only a $5 difference(mines less). Ram is same price so doesn't matter. The haf 912 is $5 less AR, but when I pick case, part of the reason is looks, so it's your choice. The his 6950 is cheaper than the msi because of shipping, I didn't actually see that now but I chose it earlier and was in my cart. It can be unlocked to a 6970 and has a dual bios switch. And I don't see a reason to not get more performance if it's in your budget.

I try to get the lowest price WITH good quality. Did I miss anything?
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April 24, 2011 2:43:45 AM

k1114 said:
I usually do have comments but it was just an exact build I had just pasted before reading this, which would explain some other differences. Anyways...

For a single 6950, 550w is fine and why pay more for more power you don't need. It's hard to find the best deal when prices fluctuate all the time and different MIR which is why multiple people helping here is a good thing. The one vibhas is a great deal for the reasons he stated and I will also add that it is 80+ bronze where the antec is only 80+, small fact, I know. Which one you choose is up to you.

Mobo is changed to c43 not g43, you probably didn't even notice, only a $5 difference(mines less). Ram is same price so doesn't matter. The haf 912 is $5 less AR, but when I pick case, part of the reason is looks, so it's your choice. The his 6950 is cheaper than the msi because of shipping, I didn't actually see that now but I chose it earlier and was in my cart. It can be unlocked to a 6970 and has a dual bios switch. And I don't see a reason to not get more performance if it's in your budget.

I try to get the lowest price WITH good quality. Did I miss anything?



Thanks for the added detail. It looks like your build and mine ended up basically on the same page then. Because of my current budget it sounds like I will end up best served with the larger PSU but lower video card option to allow for more options if/when I need to tweak my hardware in the future. I've never been very comfortable unlocking graphics cards (if it was actually capable over the save lifespan, their testing would have told them that and they would make more money selling at the higher price), so that's not a big win for me. My last system is ~10 yrs old (with graphics card and RAM updates) so I hope I can get similar life out of this one.

Thanks for all the help.

---------------------
I'll be buying the components on my build tomorrow night unless there are any more ideas out there. To help the budget it looks like I will need to stick with the Seasonic PSU XFX P1-650X-CAH9 650W PSU for $58.99 and ATI Radeon HD 6870 1GB for $204.99.
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April 24, 2011 2:59:12 AM

http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcar... Here's an article on how to unlock the 6950, maybe you wanted to read it.

At $140 this 5850 performs near a 6870 at $205. I see only a 2-4fps drop but a savings of $65. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

~20fps to the "6970" at $254 AR so I can understand if you go lower. But then I wouldn't get an ssd right now at your budget for gaming or office stuff. That is unless your using some other program you didn't mention.
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April 25, 2011 2:23:56 AM

k1114 said:
http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcar... Here's an article on how to unlock the 6950, maybe you wanted to read it.

At $140 this 5850 performs near a 6870 at $205. I see only a 2-4fps drop but a savings of $65. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

~20fps to the "6970" at $254 AR so I can understand if you go lower. But then I wouldn't get an ssd right now at your budget for gaming or office stuff. That is unless your using some other program you didn't mention.



Thanks for the forward. I think I will go for the 6950 since its only a $40 hit over my original plan for a pretty big improvement in performance, particularly with the overclocking. Unfortunately, for now that means I need to give up on the SSD drive just for cost reasons but I can always add it back in the system sometime later.

Let you all know how the build goes. :-)
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