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Suggestions for a $800-$900 tower

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May 8, 2011 9:35:11 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-2 months from now, unless large price drops are expected in the fall (does anyone know if this is the case?).
Budget Range: $800-$900
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Photo/Video Editing, CAD, gaming, movies, internet. I also like to leave many intensive apps open at once.
Parts Not Required: Everything outside of tower. I have monitors, keyboard, mouse, etc.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg or Amazon. Amazon if it is the same price.
Country of Origin: USA
Parts Preferences: None really, as long as it works great :) . I've only been looking at AMD, but that is for budget reasons.
Overclocking: Probably. I have not done it before, but would like to experiment. Most likely would not be pushing it to the edge.
SLI or Crossfire: Highly doubtful, unless I can get more power at same price of 1 higher end card.
Monitor Resolution: (2x) 1920x1080 Viewsonic VA2431wm
Additional Comments: I will almost definitely be getting an SSD later this year. Right now they are too expensive for me. Not sure if this makes a difference for the setup.

EDIT: Updated list with the suggested Intel setup posted below.

Case:Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
$100. Best case I have found for this price. Not interested in a full tower.

PSU:CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-650HX 650W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
$105 (w/rebate). Not sure if this is enough power? I really like modular PSUs, but if I can get a considerably nicer non-modular one for same/less money I will consider it.

MB:ASRock 880G PRO3 AM3 AMD 880G HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
$100. This is (as far as I can tell) the same as newegg's highest rated AMD board with SATA 6Gb/s and USB 3, except for the integrated graphics. I imagine the UEFI would also be nice to have.

CPU:AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz 6 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor HDT90ZFBGRBOX
$190. I know most apps will not run on six cores, but I am hoping CAD/Video/Photo programs will? Will there be more adoption of the additional cores in the future? This is one component I am not completely sold on, I am not sure it is worth $40-$50 over the quad core Phenom, especially if I was going to overclock. I will probably get this Zalman fan if I overclock.

GPU:MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
$230 (w/rebate). This seems a little overkill for my purposes, but it seems the price/performance ratio is very hard to beat. Definitely willing to downgrade this if there is not a huge drop in performance.

RAM:G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
$95. Is 1600 worth the extra $10 over 1333? I really have no idea here.

HDD:Western Digital Caviar Black WD5002AALX 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
$60. Plenty big enough for my primary drive, and SATA 6Gb/s. I don't think this can be beat. As mentioned, I am planning on upgrading to an SSD at some point.

Total: $880.

Thanks for looking at this!

Best solution

May 8, 2011 9:47:01 PM

Looks good, But I would switch to the i5-2500k. It beats the 1090t, even in programs that utilize 6 cores: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/288?vs=146 (pay attention to the higher is better/lower is better)
With that in mind, I suggest switching to the ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67
and the Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz

Also, the Samsung Desktop Class Spinpoint F3 1 TB is a better deal at $60 and double capacity. Everything else looks good!

EDIT: noticed I am over budget, the Antec 300 Illusion might help lessen the sting.
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May 8, 2011 10:07:59 PM

Yeah I noticed the budget too :) 

The Intel is certainly a better chip, but I don't know if it is almost $100 better? (given the motherboard cost as well)

According to the 1090T reviews, many people have gotten 3.9 to 4 GHz on air cooling.

How would a 1090T at 3.8GHz compare to a stock 2500K?

I know it is silly to compare a overclocked processor to a stock one, but $100 is a lot out of a $850 budget... and I really like the case I selected :D 
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May 8, 2011 10:40:18 PM

Well, the 2500k gets to 4.0GHz on STOCK cooling, and around 5GHz on aftermarket air cooler. I would say that yes, it's worth the extra money.
Also, I would switch to this ram, save some money as it's $70 after coupon: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, that PSU is a bit pricey, but you like modular. Might I recommend this one? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Very, cheap, and OCZ is a pretty good brand. It's also semi modular!
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May 8, 2011 11:11:28 PM

I take it since the ram you selected is 1333 that the speed (vs 1600) doesn't make a huge difference? I don't really know anything about ram speeds. It certainly is a lot cheaper than what I had. EDIT: actually, I just found a combo deal with the 1600/i5 on Newegg for the same price. Unless there is actually a reason NOT to get the 1600?

That PSU definitely looks better for the price. There really is no reason it has to be "completely" modular, I just don't want tons of wires hanging around. And I am happy with my current OCZ. Is 600W enough? I don't know why, it just seems like I needed more, but I didn't really have a reason I guess...
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May 8, 2011 11:21:55 PM

Get the combo if it's a good deal. 1600 gives a very small boost to performance.
And 600w will be plenty. You could probably even crossfire/sli with 600w.

Happy to help!
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May 9, 2011 1:23:18 AM
Anonymous
May 9, 2011 2:04:45 AM

you should stick with corsair. don't recommend ocz.
you should also stick with the samsung.
for mobo i recommend this...
P67X-UD3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Do you have microcenter around you? If you do you can get i5-2500k + that mobo for around $300. @newegg its over $370 plus shipping. Its a sweet deal.
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May 9, 2011 2:27:19 AM

I personally think OCZ PSU's are fine. Have you ever experienced an issue? Do you know someone who has? it has plenty good reviews. Corsair is admittedly better, but OCZ makes good power supplies. I agree with bear on the mobo, but I personally prefer ASRock. (no reason to, just preference)
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Anonymous
May 9, 2011 2:39:03 AM

Its just that I find that more people find less problems with corsair and xfx. Also they're both made by seasonic. :p 
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May 9, 2011 4:48:19 AM

I have an OCZ now and have had no problems. I can certainly understand that Corsair might be better, but the whole issue with building computers is price/performance.

If there is a comparably priced similar Corsair one, I will consider it. If its really "that much" better, I would consider losing the modular.

I have to disagree with the Samsung recommendation. I have never had any problems with WD, and the reviews on the Samsung are less than stellar. (especially compared to the WD) I do not need the extra space, so that is not a selling point for me.

The Gigabyte board was another I was looking at, so that is good to have it confirmed as well.

THANK YOU for the microcenter recommendation! They have the 2500K at $180 and the GA-P67X-UD3-B3 at $140 after rebate. That drops the system down to $860.

EDIT: I did want to ask though; what is the return policy at microcenter? Are they reasonable?
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Anonymous
May 9, 2011 12:33:25 PM

You can get the cpu+mbd even lower actually. It's not on their website but if you pick up a magazine you can see the combos they offer. You can still get them for $20 cheaper. ;) 

Hmm... here. This is the online catalog actually. Look at the top right hand corner
http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/4f23896d#/4f23896d/...

You can get i52500k+p67x for $300(after $15 rebate... still a better deal)! :D 
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May 9, 2011 12:44:15 PM

To be honest i like the original 1090T build for CAD/Editing but obviously the i5-2500k is an awesome chip for gaming. Also i have the Antec Nine Hundred Two and youre right to like it, it's awesome :) 
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May 9, 2011 2:45:38 PM

The 2500k will perform better than the 1090t in rendering/editing. It's all about the architecture man. Damn, AMD needs to come up with something! It pains me to recommend Intel all the time =p
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May 9, 2011 5:33:09 PM

Thanks again bear! You have saved me a lot of money!

And sadly I am forced to admit the 2500k is better than the 1090t. I have always used and recommended AMD, but all of the testing shows that the 2500 is better in pretty much every way and has lower power consumption, all for the same price. To top it off it seems like I will easily be able to overclock it to 4.2-4.4 with little worries.
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May 9, 2011 6:28:45 PM

striker410 said:
The 2500k will perform better than the 1090t in rendering/editing. It's all about the architecture man. Damn, AMD needs to come up with something! It pains me to recommend Intel all the time =p


Oh wow. My bad.
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May 9, 2011 10:59:39 PM
May 9, 2011 11:11:26 PM

I know I suggested it once, but I recommend the Samsung Spinpoint f3. Fast drive, more storage.
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May 9, 2011 11:25:48 PM

Ok, it is actually the exact same price now so I guess I will try it. I just know I like WD so it is hard to switch :) 

And do you think that EVGA is a better brand? I haven't had an MSI before, so I don't know how they compare.
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May 9, 2011 11:44:17 PM

wd and samsung make great products go with the better buy. also go with msi especially since it has the aftermarket cooler you can push it up to around 1ghz and that gets you up to gtx 570 preformance
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May 9, 2011 11:52:16 PM

Ah, didn't even think about that. Thanks.
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May 10, 2011 12:20:27 AM

your build looks a lot better than the amd system you started with
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May 17, 2011 2:53:31 AM

Best answer selected by triindiglo.
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