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Skyrim Ultra High PC 900$/intel i5

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November 14, 2011 3:15:15 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: This Week
Budget Range: 900$
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Music

Parts Not Required:: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country: US

Parts Preferences: intel i5

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Not really, maybe later on.

Monitor Resolution: 1600-900

Additional Comments: Quiet system with good enough cooling. I am a graphics and audiophile.
November 14, 2011 3:24:39 AM

$1000 build on my sig. Includes OS.
November 14, 2011 3:44:49 AM

COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKA3-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case w/ Cooler Master RS700-PCAAE3-US 700W Power Supply
$119.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I52400
$189.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER Hyper N 520 RR-920-N520-GP 92mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Intel Core i7 compatible $34.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B $42.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $124.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $159.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $269.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Creative SB X-Fi Xtreme Audio 70SB104000000 7.1 Channels PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card
$51.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This one comes in at $994.92.
Related resources
November 14, 2011 4:04:56 AM

I should have noted that my hard cap is 900 as I am really low on budget and 900 is the max that I can put in to this build.
I am planning to upgrade it when I get a game that I like that I can't run on high settings.
November 14, 2011 6:42:14 AM

Case - Thermaltake MSI Commander (60$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - Antec green 650watt (70$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo - Asrock e3 gen3 (125$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU - i5 2500k (215$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - XFX 6950 1gb (240$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram - Patriot 1600 2x4gb (45$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler - Crosair A70 (39$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Grand Total: 794$ (without rebates, without shipping, WITHOUT HDD AND DVD)

Find a random dvd-r for 15$ or so
For the hdd don't get from newegg, try to find what leftovers the local stores got. Aim for Caviar Black/Samsung spinpoint F3/Seagate Barracuda 7200.12
November 14, 2011 6:51:03 AM

If you're not gonna be overclocking and don't want to change your monitor to a larger Full HD one, you should significantly lower your budget.

i5-2400/Phenom 9xx + 70 dollar mobo + GTX 570 should more than do the job.

You wont need to spend money on an unlocked CPU, aftermarket cooler or an expensive case.

If you want, I can post a full build, but at closer to the 800 price point.
November 14, 2011 11:36:01 PM

calguyhunk said:
If you're not gonna be overclocking and don't want to change your monitor to a larger Full HD one, you should significantly lower your budget.

i5-2400/Phenom 9xx + 70 dollar mobo + GTX 570 should more than do the job.

You wont need to spend money on an unlocked CPU, aftermarket cooler or an expensive case.

If you want, I can post a full build, but at closer to the 800 price point.

My monitor's hp2011x led monitor. It has dvi vga and hdmi plug for it.
but the build that you said i5, 70 dollar mobo and gtx 570 sounds good. It's just that this is my first time building a computer and I am not quite sure of my abilities to find all the right parts that fit together. Even though I know about the motherboard, memory, cpu and stuffs....
I would like a good enough case with one or two fans around the 50$ price point. I am willing to pay a bit extra for that.

I am planning on upgrading a year or two later. Maybe I'll crossfire then... Do you have to put the same video card together to crossfire?

Btw I am planning to get a samsung 32 inch led hdtv like a month or two after the computer to use for my computer and my ps3.... but I don't really care about big resolutions. This system needs just enough to last me about a year or two and then make it possible for me to upgrade.
November 15, 2011 12:42:36 AM

Btw will I be able to take parts from my hp pavillion p7 1054 computer like the hdd? It's a 6 gigabyte memory so I am not sure if it's 3/3 or 2/2/2;; To get better parts?
November 15, 2011 1:36:40 AM

thefreed said:
I am planning on upgrading a year or two later. Maybe I'll crossfire then... Do you have to put the same video card together to crossfire?
You need the same GPU for SLI/Crossfire. Not necessarily the same card. A HD 6950 will go with any 6950. Any make, model or shader. You just can't get a 6970 to go with it.
thefreed said:
Btw will I be able to take parts from my hp pavillion p7 1054 computer like the hdd? It's a 6 gigabyte memory so I am not sure if it's 3/3 or 2/2/2;; To get better parts?
Yes, you can keep the SATA HDD/ODD and you can even keep the case in all probability especially if it is a standard ATX case.

As for the RAM, in all probability, it's 2+4. If it's unbuffered DDR3, you'll get to keep it too.

Is this HP Pavilion p7-1054 your PC?

If so, it looks very decent to me for now. Looks like you've an Athlon IIX4 processor with 6GB RAM, I don't see any reason to upgrade that set-up for now. Save the money and upgrade to Ivy Bridge next year maybe. Just get a new gfx card and a PSU and you look good to go.

If you think your PC has slowed down and that's why you're willing to spend money, PC speed can be improved in a variety of ways and there's absolutely nothing a re-install wouldn't fix. The thing is, for now you REALLY don't need an upgrade.

If you're happy with that, I will come to recommendations in a later post.

If however your PC config is different, then please link me to it so that I can see what upgrades you really need to be able to play the latest games on decent settings.
November 15, 2011 4:52:00 AM

calguyhunk said:
You need the same GPU for SLI/Crossfire. Not necessarily the same card. A HD 6950 will go with any 6950. Any make, model or shader. You just can't get a 6970 to go with it.Yes, you can keep the SATA HDD/ODD and you can even keep the case in all probability especially if it is a standard ATX case.

As for the RAM, in all probability, it's 2+4. If it's unbuffered DDR3, you'll get to keep it too.

Is this HP Pavilion p7-1054 your PC?

If so, it looks very decent to me for now. Looks like you've an Athlon IIX4 processor with 6GB RAM, I don't see any reason to upgrade that set-up for now. Save the money and upgrade to Ivy Bridge next year maybe. Just get a new gfx card and a PSU and you look good to go.

If you think your PC has slowed down and that's why you're willing to spend money, PC speed can be improved in a variety of ways and there's absolutely nothing a re-install wouldn't fix. The thing is, for now you REALLY don't need an upgrade.

If you're happy with that, I will come to recommendations in a later post.

If however your PC config is different, then please link me to it so that I can see what upgrades you really need to be able to play the latest games on decent settings.

I didn't know if you could mod an hp computer. I had a dell computer before and it couldn't.

I feel the need to upgrade cause I can't play skyrim on even the medium settings unless I want huge amounts of lag, and the loading times are painfully slow.

I think that's what my set up is though. Can you help me get the best value for upgrading my pc?

Hmmm when Ivy bridge comes out, I'll prolly get an i7 since ivy bridge would be too expensive >_>.
November 15, 2011 5:16:13 AM

thefreed said:
I didn't know if you could mod an hp computer. I had a dell computer before and it couldn't.
If the PC in my link is indeed your PC, you can definitely upgrade it. There are links on the product page itself that tells and shows you how to do it.

How to upgrade the HP Pavilion p7-1054

Worst case scenario, you'll need a new case and mobo to go with your gfx card and PSU. That's just an extra 150 odd bucks. Looking at the details of that PC, I'm almost certain that it is indeed upgradeable. All it needs is a gfx card and a new compatible PSU. It already has a PCIeX16 slot for gfx card and in all probability, you'll get to keep the case too.

If you think that your PC has slowed down through usage, back up your media files and documents and re-install Windows. If your PC hasn't come with a full disk but only a recovery disk, you can still do it though you need to search for that on the net because tom's won't allow me to post that on this forum here.

You'll also need to bypass certain security measures to re-install paid-for programs like MS-Office and stuff.

It'll save you so much money, that it ain't even funny.
November 15, 2011 7:47:32 AM

calguyhunk said:
If the PC in my link is indeed your PC, you can definitely upgrade it. There are links on the product page itself that tells and shows you how to do it.

How to upgrade the HP Pavilion p7-1054

Worst case scenario, you'll need a new case and mobo to go with your gfx card and PSU. That's just an extra 150 odd bucks. Looking at the details of that PC, I'm almost certain that it is indeed upgradeable. All it needs is a gfx card and a new compatible PSU. It already has a PCIeX16 slot for gfx card and in all probability, you'll get to keep the case too.

If you think that your PC has slowed down through usage, back up your media files and documents and re-install Windows. If your PC hasn't come with a full disk but only a recovery disk, you can still do it though you need to search for that on the net because tom's won't allow me to post that on this forum here.

You'll also need to bypass certain security measures to re-install paid-for programs like MS-Office and stuff.

It'll save you so much money, that it ain't even funny.

No I don't think it has something to do with usage. I just got this couple months ago and it's pretty fast. I could play nba 2k12 just fine but this game gives me a lot of lag if I am not playing on oblivion graphics.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I am thinking about these two but I am not sure which mobo and psu to buy to fit with that. I am going to connect with video card's hdmi out.

How long do you think athlon 2 has anyway? Do you think I should upgrade when Ivy bridge comes out? will I be able to just buy a new mobo and cpu and be set?
November 15, 2011 7:53:18 AM

Your gfx is lagging because of lack of a dedicated gfx card. By slow down I mean the PC in general - searches, opening of applications, start-up, shut down etc. Obviously, a 2 month old PC doesn't need any software changes apart from the usual de-crapifying ;) 

So getting a GTX 570 ($350) with a 550 Watt PSU ($70) seems to be your answer. For literally half your budget, you'll have a very good gaming rig that'll play much tougher (on hardware) games like Crysis, Metro 2033 on very decent settings not to mention comparatively less demanding ones like Skyrim or NBA.
November 15, 2011 8:31:51 AM

calguyhunk said:
Your gfx is lagging because of lack of a dedicated gfx card. By slow down I mean the PC in general - searches, opening of applications, start-up, shut down etc. Obviously, a 2 month old PC doesn't need any software changes apart from the usual de-crapifying ;) 

So getting a GTX 570 ($350) with a 550 Watt PSU ($70) seems to be your answer. For literally half your budget, you'll have a very good gaming rig that'll play much tougher (on hardware) games like Crysis, Metro 2033 on very decent settings not to mention comparatively less demanding ones like Skyrim or NBA.

I need a new mobo though... can you tell me which ones to buy on new egg? Because this is pcie x16 not 2.0... Does it still let you put in 2.0 gfx cards?
November 15, 2011 11:12:35 AM

^ Yes, PCIe 2.0/2.1 is backwards compatible with PCIe 1.0/1.1- meaning you can put in a PCIe 2.0/2.1 gfx card in a PCIe 1.0/1.1 slot.

The real world performance hit will be nil because PCIe 1.0/1.1 X16 slots have about the same bandwidth as PCIe 2.0 X8 slots which is more than enough.

EDIT: You don't need a new board. But if you insist that you do, you can get this one - ASRock 870 Extreme3 R2.0 AM3+. You can get something much cheaper if you want to shift to Intel's Ivy in a year or two. If you want to stay with AMD, I'll ask you to get this more expensive board, that will give you more CPU options to put in.

EDIT 2: This one for an Intel switch in the next 18-24 months - GIGABYTE GA-M68MT-S2 AM3+.

^ Used that one in my cousin's build this Jan with the Propus 640. It was the Rev 1.3 AM3 version of it. This one is the Rev 3.1 AM3+ version.

P.S: But really, you do not need a new board. Save the money :) 
November 15, 2011 6:48:15 PM

calguyhunk said:
^ Yes, PCIe 2.0/2.1 is backwards compatible with PCIe 1.0/1.1- meaning you can put in a PCIe 2.0/2.1 gfx card in a PCIe 1.0/1.1 slot.

The real world performance hit will be nil because PCIe 1.0/1.1 X16 slots have about the same bandwidth as PCIe 2.0 X8 slots which is more than enough.

EDIT: You don't need a new board. But if you insist that you do, you can get this one - ASRock 870 Extreme3 R2.0 AM3+. You can get something much cheaper if you want to shift to Intel's Ivy in a year or two. If you want to stay with AMD, I'll ask you to get this more expensive board, that will give you more CPU options to put in.

EDIT 2: This one for an Intel switch in the next 18-24 months - GIGABYTE GA-M68MT-S2 AM3+.

^ Used that one in my cousin's build this Jan with the Propus 640. It was the Rev 1.3 AM3 version of it. This one is the Rev 3.1 AM3+ version.

P.S: But really, you do not need a new board. Save the money :) 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I am thinking about these two. Is it compatible with my system?

And if I don't change the motherboard then I don't have to buy windows 7 right? I'll just get it later when I upgrade.

Best solution

November 15, 2011 11:14:59 PM
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thefreed said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I am thinking about these two. Is it compatible with my system?
Lifetime Warranty - same price - EVGA SuperClocked GeForce GTX 570

The Earthwatts PSU doesn't come with all the requisite cables/connectors. Better option - $75 CORSAIR TX650 V2

Though for a 570, you only need a ~550 watt PSU max. Cheaper option - $60 SILVERSTONE Strider Essential 600W

If you want to upgrade your rig and SLI at a later date, get a 750 Watt unit - $90 CORSAIR TX750 V2
thefreed said:
And if I don't change the motherboard then I don't have to buy windows 7 right? I'll just get it later when I upgrade.
Yeah, you don't need to re-buy Windows. Your HP OEM copy will do just fine to the best of my understanding.
November 16, 2011 2:39:15 AM

Best answer selected by thefreed.
November 16, 2011 4:38:44 AM

Cheers mate :) 
November 16, 2011 4:40:00 AM

Thx man. I am gonna have to ask for help again after I install due to all the drivers and stuffs :p .
November 16, 2011 4:48:24 AM

calguyhunk said:
Cheers mate :) 

Btw I am still scared that the psu might not fit in my hp case... I read through the reviews and it said it's not modular... which I think I need for it.

Do you think the psu will fit in? THX MAN FOR ALL THE HELP :D .

Btw I think I am going to crossfire later on when I get a new motherboard, cpu, and some memory. That'll be sweet.
November 16, 2011 6:00:47 AM

Mod and non-mod has nothing to do with the PSU fitting in your case. Non mods have a few more cables jutting out of it, but really doesn't make any real difference whatsoever as long as the PSU is build to EPS specifications. Mods just make the inside look a little better. That's 'bout it.

Your case is a standard ATX mid tower (going by the measurements) and it will support almost any EPS PSU's.

That's why all the PSU's I linked you to complies to that spec :) 

In any case, get a new case if you want to. That plasticky HP thingy is an eyesore anyways :p 
November 16, 2011 7:24:19 AM

calguyhunk said:
Mod and non-mod has nothing to do with the PSU fitting in your case. Non mods have a few more cables jutting out of it, but really doesn't make any real difference whatsoever as long as the PSU is build to EPS specifications. Mods just make the inside look a little better. That's 'bout it.

Your case is a standard ATX mid tower (going by the measurements) and it will support almost any EPS PSU's.

That's why all the PSU's I linked you to complies to that spec :) 

In any case, get a new case if you want to. That plasticky HP thingy is an eyesore anyways :p 

Man but I am worrying that the other parts of the pc wouldn't fit the Rosewill challenger atx midtower case. lol if it's midtower atx it'll prolly fit right?

Also this pc has a multimedia card reader. Would I be able to fit it? I don't really use it but hey, it's sweet to have extra things on your pc.
November 16, 2011 8:49:12 AM

thefreed said:
Man but I am worrying that the other parts of the pc wouldn't fit the Rosewill challenger atx midtower case. lol if it's midtower atx it'll prolly fit right?

Also this pc has a multimedia card reader. Would I be able to fit it? I don't really use it but hey, it's sweet to have extra things on your pc.
If it's a standard 3.5" SATA device, it will install on the external 3.5" bay of a standard case, yes.
November 18, 2011 1:49:37 PM

I decided to get a evga gtx 570 classified when it's available in newegg.

The fan on the evga hd 570's aren't good and it's only like a 30$ difference.

And this graphics card is too big for my hp pc. So I am just gonna get another case and move all the stuffs there.

I hope everything goes well...
Btw can anyone tell me what to do after I install it?
Do I need to turn off my integrated graphics or what?

Currently buying.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
November 18, 2011 2:14:20 PM

Btw do you guys think my current sound card is good? ALC888S-VD
If I get a new sound card how much boost do you think that'll give me for the buck.
November 18, 2011 7:37:36 PM

Sound Card: Normally, unless you're a total audiophile, you won't be needing a sound card. So you need not worry 'bout that.

Graphics Card: After putting your gfx card in it's slot (PCIe X16), you'll connect it to your monitor via the HDMI/DVI/D-SUB(VGA) port (Depends on what your monitor supports). You might have to buy an adapter in case your monitor does not support HDMI and your GPU doesn't have a VGA output or something.

Do not re-connect with the port on the motherboard gfx output that you had been connected to all along but to the port on the gfx card.

Now boot up, install the drivers and re-start. You should download the latest drivers from the Nvidia/EVGA website. (Provided that's the card you get).
!