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Old February 5, 2010, 07:01 PM
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Default Gaming Build Seeking Criticism / Advice

1. What YOUR PC will be used for. That means what types of tasks you'll be performing.

The main purpose is gaming. As of now, the titles I mainly play are Aion and Bad Company 2. Sadly the other high end games don't really catch my attention. Depending on how Crysis 2 turns out (if it is even released this year), that may also be on my list but it's more of a benchmarking game for me to flex my own e-peen lol. Other than that it's your standard user's typical stuff like watching HD videos, surfing the web, and school related stuff.

2. What YOUR budget is. A price range is acceptable as long as it's not more than a 20% spread

$2000 is the max I'm shooting for. If it weren't for my desire for the new Windows 7 and a change of chassis, I'm sure I could have saved a lot.

3. What country YOU will be buying YOUR parts from.

Canada. Specifically I'm going to be purchasing from NCIX and price matching where available.

4. IF YOU have a brand preference. That means, are you an Intel-Fanboy, AMD-Fanboy, ATI-Fanboy, nVidia-Fanboy, Seagate-Fanboy, WD-Fanboy, etc, etc, etc, you get the picture.
Preferences are Intel for processors and the Western Digital Black series for Hard drives. Other than that, I'm pretty open

5. If YOU intend on using any of YOUR current parts, and if so, what those parts are.
The only parts I will be reusing are my 2x 640 WD Black hard drives.

6. IF YOU have searched and/or read similar threads.
Yep, but most of them are not quite what I'm looking for since they're a bit lower budget.

7. IF YOU plan on overclocking or run the system at default speeds.
I will be running at DEFAULT speeds.

8. WHEN do you plan to build it?
Around March, when the new i7 930 is released

9. What resolution do you use?
1900x1200 on a Samsung T240 24'' monitor (main)
1280x1024 on a 17'' Secondary monitor
I will be replacing this 17'' with either another 24'' or larger (the ASUS VW266H possibly or something from Samsung / LG that is 24''+ depending on prices) I may or may not upgrade that 17'' monitor depending on what I can get my hands on or if I can wait till the next upcoming X-Mas / Boxing Day sales lol.

Right now, my parts list is as follows:

Silverstone Strider PLUS Modular 850w 149.59
Gigabyte X58A UD5 LGA1366 Mobo 329.99
Core i7 930 (Using the 920 price as a placeholder) 329.99
G.SKILL F3-16000CL9T-6GBRH Ripjaws CL9-9-9-240P 219.99
XFX 5850 344.99
Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme 1366RT Rev C. 64.99
Coolermaster ATSC 840 Black Chassis 215.22
Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB internal 99.99
Windows 7 Ultimate Retail 334.99

So far that total comes to 2089.74. As of now, I can save about $100 with some price matching from newegg.ca. Also, weekly special prices are for the most part omitted so I'm hoping I get lucky there when the time comes. But now now the debate for me is whether to go for the Gigabyte UD5 or the EVGA X58 SLI. Both have had awesome reviews, so would it be best to just go with whichever I can find cheaper?

Also, are the G.Skill Tridents with paying the extra ~$10? I know this may sound pretty difficult for impossible, but basically I'm trying to build a high end yet cheap PC. Well maybe not cheap, but more like trying to find the best price on well recognized products that have generally been reviewed as having bang for the buck in terms of high end components.

Having to buy the retail OS just so it's not locked to a mobo and I can reuse it as well as just the fact that I'm sort of bored by my old Thermaltake V8003BWS are probably my biggest money dumps so I'm just trying to redeem myself by price matching with the lowest available prices. Again, I'd just like to reiterate that I'll be getting the core i7 930 when it becomes available so for now I'm just using the 920 as a placeholder.

Any criticism and advice is welcome, and of course if you are able to help in my price match war to come in about the next month. Thanks!
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Old February 5, 2010, 09:00 PM
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Well, it's generally a good build. However, there are some recommendations I'd make:
Don't get the Ripjaws. I often recommend them for 4GB sets, but the 6GB sets are very overpriced. Basically just get some cheap 1600MHz with relatively tight timings and you'll be good. No need to spend over 200 dollars.
Unless you need the multi-language support, don't get the Ultimate Windows 7. If you need the XP mode, get Pro, and if you don't get HP. No need to sink an extra $100 or so into the OS. Also, if you have an extra Windows XP or Vista, just install that and get the upgrade version. It's not tied to the mobo, and it's about $100 cheaper.
I hope you're planning on upgrading your GPU to dual- or tri-GPU configurations in the future, since your CPU will end up SEVERELY GPU limited if you don't.
Also, don't hold your breath on the 930. I don't think it's coming out for 6 months or so.
Lastly, I don't recommend an XFX 5850, there's some reports of poor quality and limited OCing. I'd go for an MSI (preferably the equivalent of the 5770 HAWK, since the quality is incredible, it OCs like crazy, and the custom sink keeps it nice and cool.
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Then he used his prize money to buy two of every whore on Earth. Then he herded them all onto a boat, then they all beat the crap out of every single one of him.
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Old February 5, 2010, 09:09 PM
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If you absolutely want to get G.Skill these are good too and less expensive:

G.Skill - G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)... - F312800CL9T6GBNQ - Powered by PriceCanada.com
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Old February 5, 2010, 09:36 PM
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With the Windows 7 UPGRADE version, do I have to have my XP key ready each time I need to reformat? (I'm not to sure how the upgrade works) Or is it a 1 time activation kind of thing that converts your XP key into a Windows 7 key (as in your XP key becomes your Win7 Key, or you have a new key all together after the upgrade for Win 7) and then you basically have a full version key and can reformat just from the Windows 7 disc as needed in the future? I only decided to go with ultimate since it was about a 10 - $20 difference when I was looking at the retail versions and the ultimate had the benefit of being installed on multiple PCs.

What are your thoughts on the G.Skill Tridents? Looks like I can get them for around 200 or go with the G.SKill F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ 3x2GB for about 25 less. Either that or Corsair XMS3, both of which are 9-9-9-24 >_>.

As for the i7 930, it seems legitimate enough looking around here and some of the other PC news sites with Intel's release charts that it's scheduled for released on Feb. 28th. But like you said, there isn't an actual guarantee, just the fact that it's "scheduled", so I guess we'll find out at the end of the month XD.

Video card wise, I was looking to go crossfire a few months later on, but not right at my immediate purchase for this new pc. I was debating between the XFX 5850 regular or the Black edition, but coulnd;t decide if the additional $30 difference (if I'm lucky) was worth it. Preferably I'd like to stick with a 5850 of some sort, and decided on XFX with their reputation and warranty.
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Old February 5, 2010, 09:40 PM
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I think the Tridents are a tad higher so they could give you clearance problems with your cooler.

Oh and save $35 and get the Hyper 212 +. Great cooler and way less heavy too.
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Old February 5, 2010, 10:03 PM
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Gah, the dreaded clearance problem . Hopefully it's not, but you read my mind since those other G.Skills you listed were my next option. Cooler wise, it's a tough choice, since I had the Thermalright Extreme before ( the first one for LGA 775) and it was amazing. I'll have to see if I can find some comparisons against the 212+ .
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Old February 6, 2010, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by higuma View Post
With the Windows 7 UPGRADE version, do I have to have my XP key ready each time I need to reformat? (I'm not to sure how the upgrade works) Or is it a 1 time activation kind of thing that converts your XP key into a Windows 7 key (as in your XP key becomes your Win7 Key, or you have a new key all together after the upgrade for Win 7) and then you basically have a full version key and can reformat just from the Windows 7 disc as needed in the future? I only decided to go with ultimate since it was about a 10 - $20 difference when I was looking at the retail versions and the ultimate had the benefit of being installed on multiple PCs.
With an upgrade version, you'll have to install XP and then the 7 upgrade. Also after a reformat.
You will always have two different keys, 1 for the XP install and one for the Win7 upgrade.
Why not simply make a partition image, as soon as you have installed and updated the OS and most used programs, with a program like Acronis TrueImage or Paragon?
Future installs/restoring the image will only take 10-15 minutes.
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Old February 6, 2010, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 15Down View Post
With an upgrade version, you'll have to install XP and then the 7 upgrade. Also after a reformat.
You will always have two different keys, 1 for the XP install and one for the Win7 upgrade.
Why not simply make a partition image, as soon as you have installed and updated the OS and most used programs, with a program like Acronis TrueImage or Paragon?
Future installs/restoring the image will only take 10-15 minutes.
Ahhh, I see. Well typically, I don't reformat on a frequent basis, it was more of a curiosity thing, should the need arise. As such, I don't mind the long process of starting anew too much. Thanks for the suggestion on the partition image! I'll definitely consider making one just for those moments if I'm short for time.
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Old February 6, 2010, 01:10 PM
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My System Specs

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If i can help here ! I would suggest you change the following ..... Your operating system is costing you double, for what? Buy home premium for 130 ! Next why buy the I7 930 ? this is gonna cost you how much? Buy the 920 and overclock it to a 950 spec.. now your 5850 is a dumb purchase you can buy the 5870 for the same price if not 20 dollars more ! Dont buy the 5850 go 5870, or better yet the money that you have saved on your processor and your op system can be put into the 5970! bam ... and the Ram.... I personaly would suggest the corsair dominators .. the money you are looking at spending can be reallocated in a better fashion to provide you with a much more powerfull finished build! I suggest looking at several versions of this build until you find the one that suits your tastes the best! Dont get me wrong i am all about putting the money up for the better hardware but you cant go half way high end you gotta go smart high end! Your motherboard i own it and love it also the TRUE only gets good reviews but you might wanna try the corsair H50 i think they call it a closed loop cpu water cooler! no experience needed.
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Old February 6, 2010, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MILITANT View Post
If i can help here ! I would suggest you change the following ..... Your operating system is costing you double, for what? Buy home premium for 130 ! Next why buy the I7 930 ? this is gonna cost you how much? Buy the 920 and overclock it to a 950 spec.. now your 5850 is a dumb purchase you can buy the 5870 for the same price if not 20 dollars more ! Dont buy the 5850 go 5870, or better yet the money that you have saved on your processor and your op system can be put into the 5970! bam ... and the Ram.... I personaly would suggest the corsair dominators .. the money you are looking at spending can be reallocated in a better fashion to provide you with a much more powerfull finished build! I suggest looking at several versions of this build until you find the one that suits your tastes the best! Dont get me wrong i am all about putting the money up for the better hardware but you cant go half way high end you gotta go smart high end! Your motherboard i own it and love it also the TRUE only gets good reviews but you might wanna try the corsair H50 i think they call it a closed loop cpu water cooler! no experience needed.
Few things:
The 930 will be the replacement to the 920. It'll have a slightly higher multiplier and more-or-less the same price.
Where are you buying your 5870s? Because every one I've seen has been $400 or so. Still, there are probably cheaper 5850s out there (and not XFX ones, which I don't recommend)
Third, Corsair Dominators are great DIMMs of RAM...but they're effing expensive and RAM makes little real-world performance differences. The only reason to get Dominators is if you're OCing for a contest. Otherwise the performance difference doesn't nearly justify the price premium. Not to mention the clearance issues the heatsinks cause.
Fourth, the 5970's not an excellent buy price / performance, not to mention it barely fits in any cases.
Fifth, The Corsair H50 is a disgrace to WCing. It's no better than a high-end CPU cooler, and those don't require you to screw up the airflow in your case. Granted the TRUE is a great cooler, but there are better options price / performance. For instance, I believe the Zalman Flex performs about the same for $20 less.
__________________
"If dancing is sure to result in failure then you must dance anyway."
Lo Mein said that, and I think he knows a little more about dancing than I do pal, because he invented it! Then he perfected it so that no man could best him in the club of honor.
Then he used his prize money to buy two of every whore on Earth. Then he herded them all onto a boat, then they all beat the crap out of every single one of him.
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