Cheap expandable i7 build for less than $900


May 11, 2009
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Asap. My old laptop's graphics card blew up, along with the mobo, so I need a new one lol.

BUDGET RANGE: 500- 900. I'm aiming for the cheapest solution, although it may be temporary.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, programming, movies, surfing internet, photoshop and other editing, etc.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Only part is basically my mouse lol. I do need a new 17" lcd monitor (not mentioned in my list) , which I'm all ears for.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I suppose newegg, although I will buy from just about anywhere.

PARTS PREFERENCES: No brand preferences, except maybe just Intel CPU's.

OVERCLOCKING: For now no, not until I buy HSF/coolers, which for now I am avoiding purely for the sake of lowering costs.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No, probably not.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024, 1440x900, 1600x1200, 1680x1050, somewhere in that range? probably 1440x900.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I basically want a computer with great expandable possibilities. That said, I want to make my build as cheap as possible, within effective limits. I want room for future upgrades, which is why I wanted an i7, so hopefully when better software utilizing it comes out, i'll be fine.

I suppose RAM and the graphics card can be replaced later, so I'm focusing on lowering those costs. Also I'm sticking with the PSU supplied by the case, since I won't be doing any OC for now. When I decide to, I will look into replacing the PSU with something more stable, but if you think I might need something more stable anyway, please voice your opinion. Also I'm not sure how big an impact the standard cooling would make overall, but if you see any temperature issues, please let me know if I should find a better case, or get a third party HSF.

Thanks in advance everyone!

This is my build from what I put together from Newegg.

Rosewill TU-155 II 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply - Retail
$94.99 -$20.00 Instant
Final: $74.99

MSI X58 Pro LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
$199.99 -$20.00 Mail-in Rebate
Final: $179.99

SAPPHIRE 100265HDMI Radeon HD 4830 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
$99.99 -$10.00 Instant -$10.00 Mail-in Rebate
Final: $79.99

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
$288.99 -$9.00 Instant
Final: $279.99

OCZ 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3X1333LV6GK - Retail
$90.99 -$7.00 Instant -$15.00 Mail-in Rebate
Final: $78.99

Western Digital Caviar SE WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM
Final: $49.99

Logitech Deluxe 250 Black USB Standard Keyboard - OEM
Final: $8.99

LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS30 - OEM
Final: $24.99

Cost w/o rebates: $812.92
Total Cost with tax and shipping: $891.62
Total Cost after rebates: $846.62
You're spending $280+$180+$79 for CPU/MB/RAM and only $80 for a video card. You did say GAMING as most important, not least important, right?
You're better off with something like E8400+GA-EP45-UD3R+HD4890+DDR2-800

GA-EP45-UD3R $105

E8400 $168

RAM G.SKill PI Black DDR2-800 2x2GB $60

HD 4890 $240

If I added them right, this saves you $46, which you can use to upgrade to a decent PSU that doesn't blow up, like the Corsair 650TX.

The i7 doesn't make sense in this price range. You have to make to many sacrifices on other components IMO. I'm with aevm. It doesn't make any sense to go with the i7 and a 4830 for a "gaming" computer. You could do a lot better for $900. You might need to lose your Intel bias to get the maximum bang for buck in your price range, though. The Phenom II 720 is hard to beat for a budget gaming machine.


Jan 7, 2009
Theres no questioning a core i7 with a new lcd monitor for $900, will not happen.

you will need $1200+ for that to even think about being a descent build.

Even a good am3 or am2+ build would reach $1000, you could pull off a x3 720 build or a lga build at the most.
I agree, Why have a $99 video card and go for an i7? Unless he is intending to upgrade soon. I'd go for the beefy video over the CPU any day. Right now I would go for an AM3 mobo and a Phenom II. At least this way he has a future upgrade path and it still runs VERY well.
Here's an example of an AMD machine that would game considerably better, and is ready to drop another GPU into if needed:

AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Retail

GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $218.99 (CPU & motherboard combo)

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail $58.99

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM $69.99

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $54.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail $119.99 - $20.00 MIR

SAPPHIRE Vapor-X Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail $199.99 - $20.00 MIR

LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS30 - OEM $24.99

Total - $747.93 - $40.00 MIR's

You can get either a discount on Vista or a free SATA cable with your HD also: (HD & 64-bit Vista combo) (HD & free SATA cable)


Jan 7, 2009
This is for $800 with a monitor needed to be added in, so right off the bat, take off $150-$200.

Then do the builds. Doesnt come out to be so pretty as they are making it seem.

i'd say 4770 cf rig on the 720be possibly.

The OP said his price range was $500 - $900. My build comes to $750 - $40 MIR's. That leaves $150 for the monitor. How do you figure that crossfire 4770's are cheaper than the 4870 1GB card listed for $199 - $20 MIR? I'm going to assume you meant to post your reply in a different thread because it doesn't make any sense here.


Jan 7, 2009
And that your correct, i was clicking a $800 rig build thread and now i see it's the one where someone was trying to build an i7 rig for $900. How'd you know>?

I'd get as many combo deals as you can to lower your prices so you can get a good quality Monitor to fit in.

The hdd + OS
CPU + Motherboard, mabye find a case and gpu...