Building PC

phar

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Jan 29, 2009
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A friend of mine wants me to build him a pretty decent PC in the coming month and ive come up with the following. The problem is that it turns out to be a bit pricy, but I dont know what to cut.

Core i7 860 or whatever will be the best value at time of purchase (Maybe i5)
Decent P55 Mobo LGA1156
Geforce 380 or Radeon 5800(this will be the part waiting for, im also assuming they will launch at the same prices that their predecessors did)
64 GB SSD and a 1TB 7200 HDD
6 gig DDR3
Win7 pro or ultimate OEM (will have to decide when a final price comes out)
Cheapish case and 800W PSU should suffice

Its very vague at the moment since it will be atleast a month before purchase but need to give him an idea so he can put some money aside for it. I dont know what to cut to get the cost down. I dont think the SSD is necessary, but I would like to try one :p

Please dont bother replying if your going to say how good consoles are and how expensive PCs are.
 

thiosk

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Sep 18, 2008
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Its great to try an SSD when you aren't the one paying for it.

Its rather silly to buy cutting edge video cards-- the performance to price ratio is too low.

If you are buying 1500+ computer, you have to think a lot about a case. You need good airflow. It needs plenty of room for the enormous video cards.

Any old PSU is also silly. Do not buy shit PSUs, they will burn out and take components with them. Thermaltake or my favorite, Corsair, are the way to go.

Finally, the escapist is not really a computing website: sign up at Overclock.net and look at the intel build logs.

Note: i built a core i7 rig in feb. and my build log will be posted somewhere on that website.
 

Robert0288

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Jun 10, 2008
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what you want to do is get a solid core of parts, like CPU, Power supply, and motherboard, and the rest you can update when you have the cash or when you want to.

if you don't need 6 gigs of ram, you can do with 2 which will run almost everything
if you don't need a 1TB HD, get a 250 or 500, much cheaper.
the SDD, is completly bonus. I don't even know what the price for one is atm.
 

Cxizent

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Jan 14, 2009
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Consoles are so good! PC's are expensive though. Don't skimp out on the PSU.
 

thiosk

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Robert0288 said:
if you don't need 6 gigs of ram, you can do with 2 which will run almost everything
DDR3 is triple channel memory so you can't do with two, period. 3 gigs minimum.

win7 is 64 bit so 6 gigs on an i7 build is standard and par for the course. Do not be silly, however, and buy 12. NOTHING addresses 12 gigs unless you are doing something redonkulas like 3d cad rendering or some weird engineering crap
 

phar

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Jan 29, 2009
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1TB HDD and 4-6GB of ram are pretty much best bang for buck.

Yes the high end i7s are pricy low mid range are decent and similar spec i7 and i5 are nearly the same price.

Well those high rated PSU are all decent ones anyway so its hard to skimp out on it when you have to power a card like that.
 

Horticulture

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Feb 27, 2009
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Sounds good overall. I don't disagree that a quality PSU is essential, but 800 watts is overkill for a single-GPU P55 system. Unless you plan to add a second card for SLI/CrossFire, go with 550-650 and put the savings in a well-ventilated case. If multi-GPU might be in the cards, X58 is a better call than P55, since it supports more PCI-e lanes (2 cards at x16/x16 vs x8/x8 on P55). It doesn't matter much for current cards, but the HD5000/GT300 cards might need the extra bandwidth. Assuming you stick with P55, remember that it's only dual-channel, so get 2 2-gig sticks and 2 1-gig to make up your 6 (or drop down to 4).
 

thehoff

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Aug 3, 2008
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Go for a 4800 series graphics card, cut down on the hard drive a bit and either get a few less sticks of ram or convert to ddr2 instead. Even with all of these cuts it will still be a decent gaming rig and should save quite a bit.
 

Diablini

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Maybe cut some of the procesor quality. My computer is perfect, but the procersors are outdated and it still runs very good.
 

phar

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The 300 and 5000 series are the DX11 cards coming with windows 7.

Yeah I always over compensate with the PSU, always have plans of going SLI but have never actually done it in any PC ive done. I suppose I should cut back on it.
 

Horticulture

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Mazty said:
...DX11 is for Windows 7 and will be used well, unlike most modern games which had to be coded for DX9.0c thanks to Vista sucking, though, there is no chance that the Nvidia 300 range of DX11 cards will be released for October, and even with tech demos of the ATI range, with no release date, just over a month away seems a highly unrealistic expectation.
Unless you want the possibility of waiting possibly 6+ more months, stick with the current range available.
The new Radeons are supposed to be out next week, with nVidia following up sometime in October.
 

tooktook

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Feb 13, 2008
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Here's a nice site that lets you build a pc with everything you want.
http://www.evetech.co.za/
In rand prices but you can always convert.
 

drakenabarion

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Sep 11, 2009
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I built my PC and it can play pretty much anything released at the moment with max settings.

I invested in a pretty good air cooling system so I am able to overclock. If you are willing to learn how and are willing to become 100% competent, then getting a cheaper processor and overclocking can save you some money. Then it comes down to which processor has the most future proof coding standards, and which run cooler.

***Warning*** don't do this if you don't have a good cooling system and are unwilling to learn about the exact specifications of your motherboards, ram and processor. Overclocking takes research!

Also Shop around for the components. Both in store and online. Online can be better, but you can be surprised with sales in-store. (My case is nice and big with plenty of airflow and lots of fans. It was on sale for between 30 and 40 euro).


Specs:
My PSU is 700W. I paid 100 euro. I could have gotten one for 40 euro. Don't go for a very cheap one.

My motherboards is from Gigabyte (GA-EP45C-DS3R). I maybe spent a little more for this than I could of, but I wanted the option of getting DDR3 ram later. There are not so many boards that support DDR2 and DDR3.

I have a Q9300 overclocked from 2.5Ghz to 3.5Ghz. I cannot remember the price, but this was the most expensive individual component. It was over 200 euro at Xmas (I got some components then).

2 ATI Sapphire 4870 2GB cards in crossfire (And slightly OC'd) (because I could get them cheap ^^ Don't go for insanely expensive cards when you can get high performance from a cheaper card). I paid 150 euro each. I had budgeted more for the graphics card that I needed anyway.

1Tb HD. Honestly HDs have gotten much cheaper over the years. I paid 100 euro. 1TB should be fine for anyone.

I have 4Gb DDR2 Ram @ 800Mhz. This wasn't expensive either. total of 60 euro back at Xmas.

Also I paid 30 euro for the DVD-RW drive.
 

Horticulture

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Mazty said:
EDIT: Looking round, the ATI cards are out soon-ish, but still no word on the Nvidia series other than Q4 09. Apparently though the Nvidia series should well out perform the ATI series.
I hope they're close in performance so we have another price war. I wouldn't mind picking up a 5890 for $150 a year from now :D
 

Anton P. Nym

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Sep 18, 2007
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I'm not familiar with the i7 860... my brand-new system is based around an i7 920, and I can vouch for its performance. I used an MSI X58 board as I wanted the 6 DIMM slots; Gigabyte's entry-level X58 board was tempting but it only had room for 3 DDR3 sticks and I want this thing to be reasonably future-proof.

I'd recommend getting the 6GB of DDR3 RAM; it makes a big difference, and the cost savings in going down to 4GB DDR2 aren't that big. Keep in mind that motherboards right now don't support RAM faster than 1333MHz without serious overclocking... it might be worthwhile to stick with the "slower" RAM and shave a few bucks off that way than going with the top. (I'm running 6GB of DDR3 1333MHz Corsair RAM, FYI, and have no complaints.)

I ended up with an 850W PSU but that's due to weirdness and not a real need; I'd planned on getting a 700W (300W for the CPU/mobo, 150W each for two HD4850 GPUs in CrossfireX, 100W "just in case" power) but the model I wanted was back-ordered for at least a month so the store bumped me up a rung and ate half the price difference. Oddly enough, I think it makes a difference for cooling as it's always operating well within its "80%" efficiency rating.

You can save a ton of money by cutting the SSD for now and adding it later; my experience with the 1TB 7200 HDD makes me think the SSD won't really show much performance benefit right now. You might also consider stepping down to Win7 Home Premium unless you really, really need disc encryption and network security and the WinXP back-compat mode.

You might also save some money by looking a rung down on ATI and nVidia's ladder and using Crossfire/SLI; two moderate-performance cards in synch can outperform a high-performance card right now for the same total price. Then again, if you're determined to get DX11 support that might not work for you.

A cheap case is a good idea, but make certain it has ample cooling and ventillation; if you're overclocking at all you run the risk of heat problems, especially with 800W or so of available power.

-- Steve