I7 920 Gamin' Build - Approx. $1000 - 1st Time Builder

EABlair03

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http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=9979651

Hey everyone. First post, first build.

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BUDGET RANGE: $800-$1000

SYSTEM USAGE: Gamin', possible amateur video work

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers. Possibly disc drive (see additional details).

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe
CROSSFIRE: Eventually

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I've been browsing Newegg for the last two weeks, just checking out components and Googlin' around to find out which specs are important. However, this is my first time building, and I'm afraid I'm not terribly knowledgeable about computers (although more so than the average person).

When I first decided to get a new system, I thought I would spend no more than six or eight hundred dollars. But I've become overly-ambitious!

Anyway, I have a few lingering questions that I'd like to ask; not only to get answers, but also for the knowledge that even though I'm inexperienced, I can ask good questions.

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1. I'm not going to start getting into overclocking or anything too intense for a while. Do I need to replace the CPU's stock cooler until then?

2. I was planning on re-usin' an old DVD/CD-R drive or using an external DVD-R that I already have, so I just have a cheapy on the wishlist. Will I need an internal drive to install the OS?

3. [strike]On the wishlist, I have 2x2GB worth of DDR3 RAM. Can I get by with just one stick of 2GB, 1GB, or even no RAM at all [/strike](For the moment, I'm just planning on playing titles like Left 4 Dead and Bioshock that barely work on my current system)? [strike]I also read somewhere that x58 mothers needin' RAM in groups of three, but that doesn't sound right [/strike][EDIT: I Googled it; yay me. I'll probably go with a 3x1GB kit].

4. When looking for the motherboard, I basically chose the cheapest one that people didn't bad mouth. As such, I feel a bit insecure about my choice, although the reviews I've seen are pretty positive.

5. I've chosen a 512MB Radeon 4850. Should I spring for the 1GB, or does it not make much of a difference? If I stick with the 512MB, can I Crossfire it with a 1GB later on?

6. As far as the OS goes, should I get Vista 32- or 64-bit? Maybe stick with XP? If I plan on upgrading to Windows 7, will there be anything I should watch out for? Should I even bothering upgrading to Windows 7?

And for a really quick, general question, where can I find some good resources for a first time builder? I only have a sort of makeshift knowledge gained from Wikipedia and the (somewhat dated) guide here at Tom's.

Thanks for your time; I appreciate it! I would ask my friends, but the few that I trust don't know much about hardware.


UPDATE 9/2011

I just remembered this thread that I created years ago. In the off-chance that any participant reads this, I'd like to thank them for giving me advice and for helping me learn a bit more about computer hardware. I eventually went with a build very similar to one listed here (although I won't say which as I think you should all get warm, fuzzy feelings for your suggestions), and I am still amazed at how well it's held up.
Thank you.
 

fullmetall

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How about a monitor.

Well first off, your not going to benefit much getting a i7 core computer with low end things like the 4850..

the case you chose is pretty small, not sure if that cooler will fit.

If your going to game mostly, get a mid-range AMD x3 720BE cpu rig.


+ x58 motherboards are triple channel memory kit.
 

EABlair03

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Wow. Wall of text.

tl;dr I just want something with potential that can play pre-2009 games right off the bat. I don't want to purchase something I won't have need of until I get a bit more gutsy.
 

fullmetall

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I know the i7 seems like a nice thing to get these days but, if your going to want a i7 right, you might as well put $1300+ down for a descent setup. If not,

AMD x3 720BE is the triple core cpu that could compare to a dualcore E8500.

AMD x4 940BE is the quad core that is more "futureproof and can be used as a gaming device aswell/multitasking usage.

You can get either of these AM3 cpu's and be able to use AM2+ motherboards, tightened timed ddr2 800mhz ram thats cheap, such as the recommended g.skills PI Black.


Doing this will be able to benefit your gaming needs then, once you want to upgrade to a full potential am3 rig, you already have the cpu, all you need is the am3 motherboard and ddr3 memory. Then once you find a new cpu, you have the motherboard+ddr3 memory, you get the new cpu. It's just an on going process and AMD has made it to where you can use new products with older components so it's easier on the buyer.

Intel made a fully different socket so you need to upgrade everything. Now i am not putting the i7 down, i would love to have the i7. It's just if your a budget builder, make it worth the build.
 

EABlair03

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Hello FullMetall, and thanks for your posts. You bring up some interesting points. I do realize that my desire for an i7 is probably a bit misguided, but for some reason, I just sort of set my mind on it. I previously made two builds, one i7 and one an Intel Core 2 Quad, but I just wasn't satisfied with my "cheaper" build (it was only cheaper by $200, but this is probably because I was just getting started and wasn't looking hard enough for appropriate parts).

So in regards to your suggestion of an AMD processor (particularly the Phenom 940), I must admit that I haven't looked into the idea as much as I should have. An AMD build will most likely be my project for tonight. However, I would probably rather invest more money now in an AM3 motherboard than have to completely replace an AM2 later on down the line.

Also, going back to the i7 build (I am still holding on to my fever dream), if a 4850 doesn't cut the mustard, would the Radeon HD 4870 be a good GPU in its stead? To my embarrassment, I've actually found a nice 4870 for cheap ($5 cheaper than the GPU I chose if its mail-in rebate goes through).

Again, thanks for the advice! And again, I apologize for the amounts of text!
 
But trying to go for an i7 and skimping on the other parts is not gud...
Better off building a P II 940 with some of the best parts is a better option...
If u r ok with it, then we will be able to post a gud config with the P II...
 
But if you are willing to spend $1100, then here is a reworked i7 config...

CPU + MOBO
Combo Discount: -$15.00
Combo Price: $464.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.156589

RAM $89.00
($69.00 after $20.00 Mail-In
Rebate )
Free Shipping*
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145220

HDD - Same $119.99
Free Shipping*
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136284

Thermal compound $8.99
Free Shipping*
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100007

CPU Cooler - Same
$49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103057

One of the best combo - CM 690 + Corsair 850 (Yes 850 is an overkill but u get it for the same price of the 750 in this combo)
1. Corsair Memory, Inc. CMPSU-850TX: $129.99

2. Cooler Master RC-690-KKN1-GP: $79.99

Combo Discount: -$30.00
Combo Price: $179.98
$20.00 Mail-In Rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.176939

GFX Card - No Skimping here - 4870 1GB...$189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102801

No CD Drive included(Will actually add $20 more to budget)...

Total - $1104 before rebates...So after rebates, will come near $1k...
 

EABlair03

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To jjbtexas:

So what GPUs would be acceptable for an i7? Would an HD 4850x2 work? When you say "bottleneck," you basically mean that the power on an i7 would be wasted on a lower-tier card, right? What if I bought a 4870 now and Crossfired it with another in the future, or would that be impractical? I'm not really interested in having a monster system right now- right now I just want to play TF2 and Left 4 Dead- but I want room for improvement. Maybe I'm just trying way too hard to future proof.

And thanks for the link, gkay09.
 

EABlair03

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Yeah, I'm not too rigid with the price range. I set the $800 limit a while ago, but I can always borrow a few hundred and also piddle away my tax returns. WE ARE IN A RECESSION; I MUST DO MY PART TO STIMULATE THE ECONOMY.

And big thanks for the i7 rebuild, gkay!
 
Well the 4870 is no way a bottleneck for the i7...Get the 4870 1GB now and later add another in crossfire...
The 4870 1GB can handle upto 1920X1200 resolutions easy...beyond that you would need another in crossfire to get gud FPS...
 

fullmetall

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AM2+ boards are just as good or, can get better than the am3 builds made now.

Reason why i said this is, you got 1k. You build a nice am2+/am3 cpu/ddr2 rig.

Later on down the road, motherprices drop, better adjusted/stability am3 boards come out and ddr3 stability is better and prices drop, then you get that. You dont have to upgrade everything, just those 2 components.

Ill build a x4 and a x3 amd system up here in a bit.
 

fullmetall

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x3 720 + UD4H gigabyte Combo $240.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.165024

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231209
G.skills PI Black

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371021
Antec 650w.

Reason behind picking this is the number of amps on each rail and Antec as always been sufficient. Now, you could pickup a 750tx or a 4 rail/6 rail 850w instead and another 4870 and xfire.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102801
Sapphire 1gb.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136319
wd hdd black 640gb

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137
rc-690

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233029
darkknight s1283v

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186020
arctic cooling mx-2

that comes out to only $880.

I would change the x3 to an x4 and the sapphire 1gb 4870 to a 1gb 4870"toxic"

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.165047
x4 940 + UD4H Gigabyte Combo.

This comes out to $880 with the x3 720.
This comes out to $955 with the x4 940.

 
http://cmstore.coolermaster-usa.com/product_info.php?products_id=109 $45.99
CM 690 Black SECC/ATX Mid Tower, W/O window, W/O PSU - Refurbished

http://www.buy.com/prod/corsair-750w-tx-series-80-plus-certified-power-supply-corsair-tx-cmpsu/q/loc/101/206178325.html $100.24 Price After Rebate(s): $80.24 Shipping: FREE
Corsair TX CMPSU-750TX ATX12V & EPS12V Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130221 $189.99 ($169.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate)
MSI X58 Pro LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=I7-920 $265.99 Free Ground Shipping
Intel Core i7 Processor i7-920 2.66GHz 8MB LGA1366 CPU, OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233029 $39.99
XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186020 $6.99
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231247 $99.99 Free Shipping*
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136319 $79.99 Free Shipping*
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136152 $24.99 Free Shipping*
LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102801 $189.99
SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail / Heatpipes Cooling Design

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116488 $99.99 Free Shipping*
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM

Total: $1,144.14 *(not including shipping and rebates)
 

Cheese-kun

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Eventhough you guys mention bottleneck, he can simply fix that with Crossfire down the road. Maybe during Christmas or something. And if you are really worried about cash, go with the stock cooler until you save up enough for a decent cooler, although i highly recommend the Xigmatek Dark Knight ^ +1.
 

fullmetall

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Shipping on that i7 build will include another $40-$45. So your looking at $1200 for that build and under 1k for the x4 940 build. You know, I always forget about that little thing that sits in the front of the case, the optical drive :).

Theres a nice $22 LG out there some where, customers award winnder. Still put you under 1K.
 

EABlair03

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Thanks for the input everyone! I think I'm close to making up my mind. I hope that someday I'll be knowledgeable enough to help someone else out in a similar fashion!
 

jjbtexas

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thats exactly what i said he could do, its a great idea though especially with the way prices have been dropping.


i simply meant your going to get just as good gaming performance out of a 4870 with a i7 as you will with a PII 940. all in all i would definitely go Saphire 1 gb now and xfire later

also as a crazy mix you could do a 4870 now and a 4870x2 (when prices drop) in tri-xfire but you would definitely need a good psu for that