Looking at 1200$~ gaming desktop for tomorrow

jbrannan

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Hi, I'm looking at getting this system put together on some advice I was given:

CPU: Intel Core i7 920, 2.66ghz, 8mb cache
Mobo: MB-Gigabyte EX58-UD4P, 1600mhz, DualDDR3- 1066
HD: Maxtor serial ATAII 1TB, 7200rpm, 32mb cache
Case: Thermaltake Soprano RS101 (400 watt 2fan 2USB)
Gfx Card: BFG 9800 GTX+ OC, 512mb, PCIEx16
Ram: 3*1gb DDR3 1333MHzm PC3 10600 CL9 Kingston
PSU: Silverstone ATX 600 watt (Strider SST-ST60F)

(I already have DVD drive)

How does it look? I can't really afford to spend much more, though could go a little less if it's not really going to affect performance much ;)

Any advice would be much appreciated.
Thanks,
James


 

tsd16

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Take a look at my build (still awaiting delivery). I decided to go with a full tower case this time around, as my 9800GTX+ barely and I mean barely fit in my current mid tower case wasn't looking good for fitting in a future upgrade I imagine the GTX260/280/290 and HD48XX series is larger.

Thermaltake Spedo 129.99 (after 30.00 rebate) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133073

Intel Core i7 920 288.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115202

CoolerMaster V8 69.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103055&Tpk=CoolerMaster%20V8

2x Western Digital Caviar 500 gb 129.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136073

Asus P6T Intel X58 $249.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131359

MSI 9800 GTX
+ OC, 512mb, PCIEx16 (already had it in other pc so $0) Don't know what your current price out is for your 9800GTX, but the evga superclocked 9800GTX + is 159.99 at new egg http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130420 (129.99 after rebate)

CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 $143 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145220

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W 119.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006&Tpk=750w%20corsair

$1131.94
(1261.93) with video card.

Also got a new monitor to replace my 5 year old flatscreen

LG W2052TQ Black 20" 2ms Widescreen LCD Monitor http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824005119

Great deal at 149.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824005119 (60 dollars off instant and a 50 dollar off promo code listed on the page) I also had to spend an extra 9.99 on a dvi cable as it only comes with vga, still a fantastic deal. My current monitor is an LG and its been great, no dead pixels or anything after 5 years. Mainly wanted a widescreen.
 

jbrannan

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Thanks for your reply.

After looking through it and other similar posts, I have a few question marks about my gear I was hoping someone may be able to assist with.



CPU seems popular so guess it's a decent choice.
Mobo looks like it's one of the two that are around so again, kinda popular.
HD, guess not so much difference between em?
Case, no idea really.
Gfx card, really not sure. I've seen some people like the 9800GTX+, is there much difference between the brands? Is BFG okay?
Ram, is 3gb enough? I see lot's of people have 6gb.
PSU, again, looks as if it may be under powered? Haven't OCed before but I read i7 is very good at it so maybe I should be, would a better PSU be needed for this?

Thanks again :)
James

 

tsd16

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PSU I believe will be fine (someone correct me if im wrong) I just went with the 750w for a little future proofing.

HDD, I just got two seperate drives, one to stick data on one for windows and software. You can always just partition the the single drive too, and have 2 virtual drives (in case you ever have to reformat, you can have all your music files data on the data partition, so you dont lose it, or have to copy all your files to an external drive/flash drives or disks. Just makes reformatting alot easier, which i probably do about every 6 months. Also, if you have 2 drives and one of them starts tanking (usually you have some time before it goes kaput) You can move your data to the good drive, before it dies perminently.

I really can't tell you on the ram, this will be my first time using vista, from what I hear it likes as much memory as it can get, hear 4gb was a minimum in a DDR2 system to have vista and get good gaming performance. If you are using xp, your fine, it wont recognize more than 3gb of memory anyway.

As far as GFX card theres nothing wrong with BFG, they just tend to be a little bit on the more expensive side. Ive usually used EVGA prior to my current MSI (was a great deal, had it for about 4 months now, no issues) Maybe if some ATI guys jump on and take a look may reccomend ATI card that might get you a little more bang for the buck, the HD4850 is cheaper and I believe equivilent and a little better in some cases than the 9800gtx. I had one bad experience when trying out an ATI card, I am sure its not representative of the entire line of products(wierd graphical issues 2 rma's, a reformat of the HDD, and trying every driver in existence, i exchanged it and decided to stick with what I know.)
 

techwizard08

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The soprano, while a case I built my comp in high school in, is not the biggest case.

G-byte makes a good board. If you ever plan on going SLI/X-fire, the P6t dlx v2 is spaced better.

The 9800 isn't the best value. Wait a few days for the 4870 512 mb to drop in price, and pick it up.

Pick up 3x 2gig on the ram. THat way you won't have to toss out your original sets when you look to upgrade. Though 6 should last most users quite a while.

Go for a WD caviar black. 640 if you can't afford the 1tb version. THe platter density makes it a faster, more reliable choice.

Last I remember the soprano was 89$. Microcenter has the HAF for 129. Make the jump, it'll serve that new system well.
 

jbrannan

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@Jim
Mainly for gaming, also usual stuff like work, internet etc.
@tech
Is the smaller case size just a problem for building it? If so, the shop is going to put it together for me, or will it effect heating etc compared to the HAF?
Is the 4870 superior to the 9800GTX+ then? Will they both fit nicely with the build?
Ram, yeah, I guess you are right, just need to stretch the budget if I can...
I'll also take your advice on the HD, I guess I don't need so much storage right now, speed/ reliability should be more of a priority.

Note though, I don't live in the States so unsure of how prices may differ, as well as availability...

Thanks for your help :)



 
The height of a case has very little to do with fitting a long graphics card. It's the length (depth) and layout that makes the biggest difference.
Your full tower is only 21.1" deep compared to mid towers CM RC-690 20.7" and CM Centurion 590 20.1" and both of those are known to easily fit a 9800GTX+ (through NewEgg customer remarks).

@ tsd16
The recommended PSU for a 9800GTX+ system is 450W with 24amps +12v available. That Silverstone SST-ST60F has 48amps of +12v. It's plenty of power for one 9800GTX+ but might be a bit light on power for a 2nd in an OC'd system. For about the same price there is the Corsair 650TX with 52amps of +12v power.


 
It's always a good idea to mention that up front, plus give us what other options you have available to you.

The 9800GTX+ slots right in between the 4870 and 4850 both performance and price wise.
 

jbrannan

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I not much of a techy, but hopefully anything around now on high, I'm hoping not to have to upgrade for at least a year- 18 months (though I guess I will slowly have to turn newer games off high)
 
That X58 motherboard has 6 DDR3 RAM slots so he wouldn't be forced to "toss" the first 3GB if he were to upgrade later to 6GB (+3*1GB) or 9GB (+3*2GB)
 

jbrannan

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Yeah, I'm living in Turkey at the moment, prices seem a bit higher here but I'm not sure about availability.
 

jbrannan

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Ah cool, that will save a bit of cash for now at least :)
 

jbrannan

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Sorry, one more thing, but it seems kinda major. I was just looking at this thread:

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/page-259859_13_0.html
Core i7 920 build for $1250

Towards the end, people seem to think that the i7 isn't really needed for gaming? Is it a good choice? I don't mind paying a bit more if it will future-proof my system a bit more, or would investing in a better gfx card (I don't know, I heard the GTX295 is great?) be wiser? How about the difference between the ddr2 and ddr3 ram speeds?

It's kind of a lot of money to spend, so I want to make sure it's right as I can't afford to do this very often :)

Again, thanks for all your time and help.

 

NuclearShadow

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At this time the Core I7's aren't a must for gaming. Most games don't take advantage of all the cores the CPU has to offer. They really don't giving any amazing results when it comes to games http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/Intel-Core-i7-Nehalem,2057-25.html of course if you plan on overclocking then you see quite a difference.

This really isn't the CPU's fault though. But that this time If you simply want to game and aren't going to use many programs that take advantage of every core then I say go with a dual core like the E8400. If you really think about it by the time all the games adopt the method of using every core the new hardware out by then will be similar priced to what your willing to spend now and better performing.

I say give the extra $ to a better videocard.
 

jbrannan

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Okay, so stolen from the thread above and various other places, I'm now thinking along the lines of:

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819115036

GIGABYTE GA-EP43-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813128347

CoolerMaster HAF932 case


Corsair TX750W PSU


CORSAIR XMS2 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820145176

EVGA GTX 295.

Western Digital Caviar 500 gb http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136073

Looking good?

And thanks so much again, I know it's now a whole new system :sarcastic:
 

tapher

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The advice of ditching the i7 processor platform in favor of the Dual Core w/overclocking is sound from everything that I've been reading. As I read this thread, I was going to respond in the same way as folks suggesting going Dual Core. Multi-cores above 2 just aren't utilized in gaming, and if you read the interview with the maker of the "Killer" networking card, you'll discover that online games never will utilize more than one core!

A MAJOR consideration that you need to make is what monitor do you have, or will you have, and what resolution is it capable of?

The GTX 295 is the flagship, top of the line graphics processor right now, and to really utilize it, you need a monitor capable of displaying quite high resolutions. I'm sure you've already examined the articles about which graphics boards are best at which price range; the article from February is still accurate now. Pay attention to those graphs and the resolution settings being referred to at a given moment.

I'll just share some general graphics card truths that I've seemed to notice repeated here and elsewhere; chime in folks if I'm off.

1). If you have $300 to spend, one $300 card will outperform two $150 cards in crossfire or SLI.

2). The best "bang for your buck" is going to be found below the top-tier offerings.

3). Graphics card brand choice (NVIDIA vs. ATI) at a given price point can be very greatly influenced by the particular game or games you wish to play. If the game utilizes DirectX 10, for example, ATI supports that. If it involves CUDA or Physyx (I may be misspelling that), NVIDIA is the way to go.

4). The suggestion made at the end of recent "best graphics card at each price point" articles that doesn't recommend upgrading your card unless you can afford to go at least 3 tiers up at a time on the graph; this is a good suggestion!

When you order, don't forget to get a cooling apparatus that you've read folks have had good success with when overclocking a 775 form chip. Lapping the processor, and using a highly recommended paste seems key!

Have you read today's article about the new gtx 250 cards?
 

tsd16

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hmm good to know.

Made the assumption the full tower was essentially bigger in all area. Still more leeway than my current core 2's case. (actually has alot to do with where the hdd's sit in my current case). I like the way the spedo handles the hdd's.
 

theAnimal

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There are already a few games that can use more than 2 cores, and I'm sure that online games can use more than 1 core.

1). If you have $300 to spend, one $300 card will outperform two $150 cards in crossfire or SLI.
If the game properly supports SLI/Crossfire, the two cards will definitely come out on top.

3). Graphics card brand choice (NVIDIA vs. ATI) at a given price point can be very greatly influenced by the particular game or games you wish to play. If the game utilizes DirectX 10, for example, ATI supports that. If it involves CUDA or Physyx (I may be misspelling that), NVIDIA is the way to go.
Both ATI and Nvidia support DX10. ATI also supports the very little used DX10.1, while Nvidia supports the very little used PhysX.

When you order, don't forget to get a cooling apparatus that you've read folks have had good success with when overclocking a 775 form chip. Lapping the processor, and using a highly recommended paste seems key!
Lapping is not necessary. Coolers come with paste which should perform well enough.

Have you read today's article about the new gtx 250 cards?
Those are GTS250 cards, and they're not really new. They are rebadged 9800GTX+.
 

halcyon

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Case? Antec 300?

Nice, roomy, economical.

The i7 920 might seem like overkill now but its a sweet processor that can run just about anything well. Unless you're only going to be into gaming and browsing the web in a year it wouldn't be a bad investment.

The extreme clocked duals may be good for strictly gaming but if you want an all-around winner I'd look at a quad.

I know you gamers will disagree, just my opinion, and I'm not a gamer.
 

fatcat

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If you can afford it, I strongly suggest getting the HAF 932 case. It's a cavernous case that can accommodate the most robust of configuration. Air flow is very good and cable management is a charm really. The only problem with this case is that it's quite huge and you need space available to use that real estate.
 

tapher

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theAnimal,

According to the interview with the very knowledgeable fellow who runs the company that designed the Killer Networking card, online games cannot use more than one core. He should know as he designed some of the circuitry for Intel.

Every video card review article that addresses SLI/Crossfire bang for the buck plainly shows that two cards are not better than one, dollar for dollar. In fact, in some instances, they are actually worse, even when price isn't an issue. If you can find one example of even a single game test where two cards test better than one card AND cost the same or cheaper, then I'd love to see it!

Of course lapping isn't necessary, but neither is overclocking. Lapping is a free and easy and safe thing to do, and lapped processors run cooler, and thus can be overclocked higher. Why not do it?

The new article about the 250 Nvidia series is relevant to read as it provides insight into upcoming and perhaps ongoing pricing adjustments. The fact that the technology isn't new is irrelevant.

Your clarifications about the support for Directx 10, 10.1, and psysx are helpful for me; thanks! But the idea still that one can benefit from looking at the specific performance of specific games on specific cards stands, yes?
 

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