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$1,000 to spend on a new rig


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#1 JAGX02

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Posted 26 December 2009 - 08:10 PM

Hello, I知 a college student and I知 looking to build my own PC for the first time, and I知 trying to get the most bang for my buck. I値l be using this PC for everything, from word processing to gaming. I致e got ~$1000 to spend, so I知 thinking the best option would be to go to an online site like Newegg and buy all the parts and then either assemble it myself (I致e had limited experience replacing HDDs, RAM, and gfx cards) or having a local place like Best Buy do it for me. I致e not had any experience with over clocking, but I would like to look into it, although I知 nervous about frying my hardware or wearing it out prematurely. I知 sure this will affect which hardware I should use depending on whether or not I want to OC it.

There are a whole lot of options out there, but roughly speaking, I had something like this in mind:

[$280]Processor-Intel Core i7 920 (I知 assuming this is better than the 860, even though it is similarly priced?)
I read that the 920 is good because it takes advantage of triple-channel architecture and will be upgradeable later on if I want to upgrade my processor in a few years. It also said something about automatic OC 禅urbo boost or something, which might make over clocking easier for a newb like me?

[$250-300]RAM-6 GB of either OCZ or Corsair DDR3 triple channel RAM. I知 not sure which brand is better or what would be a good option (DOMINATOR GT vs OCZ BLADE series vs regular DOMINATOR, and what about low voltage versions of the same memory)? All I do know is that top-of-the-line memory is too much money, so I壇 want to scale down to bring me back within my budget.

[$350]Video Card-Admittedly, I致e fallen behind the times in SLI and Crossfire in terms of benefits. I知 not a graphics junkie, but I壇 want my rig to look nice and perform well. That being said, I知 not sure which card would be best on my somewhat limited budget, or if I should invest in multiple cards? Or would it be better to invest in one expensive card?

[$100-150]Case-A full tower cooling-type case seems to be what I would need. I壇 like expandability and I also know that if I do OC (or even if I don稚), that temperature is a major factor in the performance and lifespan of any PC. With this is mind, I just looked into these ones for functionality and price reference:

-AZZA Solano 1000 Full-Tower Advance Cooling Case w/ Dual 230mm Fan + Extra 3 Fans
-In-Win Maelstrom Full Tower Gaming Case w/ Sound Absorbing Foam
-Cooler Master HAF 932 High Air Flow ATX Full Tower Case Black

[$150-300]Motherboard-As far as these go, I have no idea what I would need for this type of rig, in terms of ports, compatibility, or anything else. I know it痴 perhaps the most important component, so I壇 need a more tech-oriented user to comment.

[$100]HDD-I don稚 really care what size or make, just so long as it痴 quick enough. I have already own two twin internal WDs that I知 using externally via esata, for moving around and backing up data among several computers.
[$80?]Power Supply-I don稚 know, but I saw that a similar PC at Dell used a 750k unit, so I値l use that as a reference

[$?]Extra Fans-How many, if any? I know most power supplies havetheir own, and the case will feature some, and perhaps the memory/gpu will have some fans/sinks? I知 also weary of liquid cooling in terms of installation/maintenance and price.

[$150-250]Monitor-I know a bit about displays, it痴 just a matter of finding a good-valued one. Anything over 22 inches with a good refresh rate and reliable brand will do. Obviously a display with high resolution is a must with the graphics card I値l be using.

[?]Operating System-I actually have a Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit upgrade disk, but I need another OS to upgrade from. I知 thinking of maybe buying some Widows XP whatever online and then just upgrading?

So clearly, I知 way over budget and I知 not too experienced or eager to do any extreme OC type stuff, nor am I sure about multiple graphics cards. I need to trim down the costs, I was thinking primarily about maybe scaling down the RAM in terms of performance or maybe brand? And perhaps trying to get a cheaper mobo or display? But given my preferences about OC and graphics cards, would it be a good idea to invest in all of this top-tier stuff or is that really only for those who want to OC everything and run Crisis on High? I壇 also be looking for some good warranty coverage since I知 buying all of these parts online and I may have to go with lesser brands.
Any input would be appreciated!

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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 11:02 PM

Welcome to the forums. I'll put a suggested build down below and answer some of your questions with them.

Case: Sunbeam Transformer IC-TR-US-BA-WOPSU Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - An excellent case with upgrade possibilities. You need a full ATX case to handle the huge graphics cards. This is a very flashy case that isn't my style, but it does meet your budgetary requirements. Note that cases with windows or side vents will have more noise. $74 (Before $25 mail-in rebate)

Motherboard: MSI 790FX-GD70 AM3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard - I do not suggest, at the $1,000 level, an i7 system. The processors and motherboards can be very expensive, so you would have to cut back in other components to stay within you budget. This is an AMD motherboard, it takes AM3 CPU's, DDR3 RAM, and allows for Crossfire. Note the 790FX in the product, this makes it a high-end motherboard. This chipset, the 790FX, allows for full Crossfire speed with two graphics cards. Usually, on other chipsets, the speed is lower. $163

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz - This is one of the best CPU's AMD has. It is a quad core and since it is Black Edition, the multiplier is unlocked allowing for very easy overclocking. This CPU is very similar to the i7 920 in terms of performance but at a lower cost. It uses dual channel memory, but that isn't much of an issue since, for now, the performance between dual and triple channel is small since there is plenty of memory bandwidth available. The AM3 platform, which this uses, will be around for a while now. $185

Memory: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 - The motherboard can handle many different speeds of RAM. This is a 4GB kit, which is plenty for most users. If you want more, buy another kit. There are several good RAM manufacturers, like Kingston, A.Data, OCZ, Corsair, Crucial, and Patriot. $94

PSU: OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W - You need something to power all this. 700W is more than enough for this PC in even a Crossfire configuration, but it does allow for upgradability. Other good manufacturers include Corsair, Silverstone, Seasonic, and PC Power. $79 (Before $25 mail-in rebate)

GPU: SAPPHIRE 100282SR Radeon HD 5850 1GB - This is one of the best single GPU cards on the market, only outclassed by the Radeon 5870. As such, it is expensive but well worth the price. I suggest a single very powerful card over a Crossfire system, for now. Unless you have another $300 to spend, that is. You have a limited budget, so if you cannot afford this card, the SAPPHIRE 100283-2L Radeon HD 5770 1GB can be had for half the price. It's performance equals that of a Radeon HD 4870. $299

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Green WD5000AADS 500GB 32MB Cache - Plenty of space. $54

Optical Drive: LITE-ON 24x DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model DH-24AAS - You can reuse an old one if you wish, or get this. $29

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit - Don't bother with XP, it's a dinosaur and will probably cost more to get than this. Remember, with 4GB of memory, you need a 64-bit OS to use it all. $104

Monitor: ASUS MS227N Glossy Piano-Black / White 22" 2ms - A great monitor from a reputable company. $179

Grand Total: $1,268 (Before rebates and with a Radeon HD 5850)

To get closer to your budget, you may want to consider going to a Radeon 5770 as I suggested in the GPU section. You can also go for an ASRock M3A785GXH/128M AM3 AMD 785G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard. It works well, but will not offer the same performance in a Crossfire setup as a 790FX chipset would. If you don't plan on using Crossfire, you can also scale back your PSU to a Antec BP550 Plus 550W. However, if you do get a second graphics card, most manufacturers suggest using a 600W PSU in a Crossfire configuration with a Radeon 58xx series card.

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#3 Wildabeast

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 06:53 AM

I recently built a new computer, HERE is a link to what I bought. Not counting the windows 7, for about $762. That gives you room for an OS and monitor.
The case has 3 fans, and I don't know much about MSI boards but I've heard good and bad about them. Asus is a good brand and so far no trouble except for going out to the Asus site and updateing the LAN driver.
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#4 DJBPace07

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 05:41 PM

I cannot see the PC you built as you haven't made the wishlist public. Most people have good luck with the Asus boards, but they are more expensive. That MSI board comes highly rated.

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#5 1sys

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 08:18 PM

jagx02,
real quick suggestion would be go the AMD route, since you want the most for your money.
Unless you are going to do some high end video editing I strongly recomend AMD.

#6 Wildabeast

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 04:28 AM

Hmm. Sorry bout that, the list is public, still has the check mark next to it. Don't know what the problem is..

Mother Board

Case

Power Supply

CPU

RAM

Card Reader

DVD Burner

The video card is no longer available.

Edited by Wildabeast, 29 December 2009 - 04:37 AM.

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#7 DJBPace07

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 02:36 PM

Lets take a look at what Wildabeast has.

The motherboard is good and from an excellent company. However, it uses the 785G chipset which makes Crossfire a bit slow. It also comes with an on-board graphics card so you don't have to purchase a GPU right away if all you're going to do is basic web surfing. I am curious as to which graphics card was used. Regardless, it probably wasn't as good as a Radeon 5850. The case is cool, but expensive. Power supply is okay, but if you're willing to spend that kind of money on a PSU, better to go with a Corsair, Silverstone, or PC Power PSU. Excellent choice on the CPU. The Phenom II 955 is identical to the 965 with the exception of the price and speed. The RAM is nice, Kingston makes some good memory though there are less expensive alternatives. Not everyone needs a card reader, but for some it is badly needed. I also had a Lite-on DVD burner, it worked perfectly. Keep in mind that Wildabeast's build did not include an expensive graphics card, monitor, or operating system.

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