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$3500 Budget

Post Date: 2010-05-22

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JJJJ_Shabadoo View Drop Down
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  Quote JJJJ_Shabadoo Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: $3500 Budget
    Posted: 22 May 2010 at 2:30pm
Hi all,
I'm looking to build a new system and have a strict $3500 (shipped) budget.

I'll be using the system mostly for gaming (including FPS's, RPG's, MMO's) and occasionally for video/photo editing.

I currently run at 1680x1050 but will likely be upgrading to 1920 x 1080 and possibly adding a second monitor.

I will probably be frequently taking the system to LAN parties, so it would be nice to have a relatively light, easily transportable case.

I definitely want the following:
SSD main drive (at least 128 GB)
Mirrored (RAID 1) data drives (at least 1 TB)
Creative Labs X-Fi  Fatality Champion (I need the optical out)
Blu-ray player/DVD writer (I don't need Blu-ray writing)

Any thoughts on how to maximize the rest of my budget would be greatly appreciated!


Edited by JJJJ_Shabadoo - 22 May 2010 at 3:10pm
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  Quote DST4ME Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 22 May 2010 at 9:58pm
Well we need to clear some things up, do you want this system to be able to go dual sli/cf in teh future? if so then you need a bigger psu and want a bigger case, which then goes against the mobility, so which direction do you want to go?
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  Quote JJJJ_Shabadoo Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 22 May 2010 at 11:42pm
I'm thinking I'll stick with a single card.
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  Quote DST4ME Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 23 May 2010 at 1:02am
Nvidia system:

Here you go Ticket# 408762 --- Price: $2956 (To see this build click here) Price after current promotion $2956

Copy of Specifications:
Chassis Model: Special Deal Hot Seller - HAF 922
Exterior Finish: - Not Available
Trim Accents: - Not Available
Processor: Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz (Quad Core)
Motherboard: EVGA X58 Micro Edition SLI (Intel X58 Chipset) (Supports SLI or CrossFire)
System Memory: 6GB DDR3 1600MHz Digital Storm Certified Performance Series (Highly Recommended) (Hand Tested)
Power Supply: 750W Corsair TX (Dual SLI Compatible)
Expansion Bay: - Not Available
Hard Drive Set 1: Operating System: 1x (160GB Solid State (By: Intel) (Extreme Performance) (Model: SSDSA2MH160G2R5)
Set 1 Raid Options: - Not Available
Hard Drive Set 2: Multimedia\Data: 2x (1.5TB Seagate Barracuda (7200 RPM) (32MB Cache) (SATA) (Extreme Speed)
Hard Drive Set 3: Backup\Misc.: - No Thanks
Optical Drive 1: Blu-Ray Player/DVD Writer (Play Blu-Ray and Burn DVDs)
Optical Drive 2: - No Thanks
Internet Access: High Speed Network Port (Supports High-Speed Cable / DSL / Network Connections)
Video Card: 1x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 1.5GB (Includes PhysX Technology)
Add-on Card: - No Thanks
Sound Card: Creative Labs X-Fi Fatality Champion (Includes Front I/O) (PCI-Express Slot Based)
Extreme Cooling: AIR: Stage 1: Noctua Dual 120mm Fans High Performance Cooler (Compatible With ONLY i7 Processors)
H20 Tube Color:- Not Available
Chassis Airflow: Standard Factory Chassis Fans
Internal Lighting: Internal Chassis Lighting System (Blue)
Enhancements: - Not Available
Chassis Mods: - Not Available
Noise Reduction: - Not Available
Boost Processor: FREE: Stage 1: Overclock the processor between 3.3GHz to 3.9GHz (Cooling Upgrade Recommended)
Boost Video Card: - Not Available
Boost Memory: - Not Available
Boost OS: - Not Available
Windows OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (64-Bit Edition)
Restore Kit: Digital Storm Specialized Recovery System (DVD Image Based)
Virus Protection: - Not Available
Office: - Not Available
Benchmarking: - Not Available
Install/Test Game: - Not Available
Display: - No Thanks
Surge Shield: - No Thanks
Speakers: - No Thanks
Keyboard: - No Thanks
Mouse: - No Thanks
External Storage: - No Thanks
Exclusive T-Shirt: - No Thanks
Priority Build: - No Thanks, Ship Within 5-15 Business Days After Order Is Successfully Processed
Warranty: 3 Year Platinum Care Extended Parts & Labor Warranty

---------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------------

Ati system:

Here you go Ticket# 408763 --- Price: $2886 (To see this build click here) Price after current promotion $2886

Copy of Specifications:
Chassis Model: Special Deal Hot Seller - HAF 922
Exterior Finish: - Not Available
Trim Accents: - Not Available
Processor: Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz (Quad Core)
Motherboard: EVGA X58 Micro Edition SLI (Intel X58 Chipset) (Supports SLI or CrossFire)
System Memory: 6GB DDR3 1600MHz Digital Storm Certified Performance Series (Highly Recommended) (Hand Tested)
Power Supply: 750W Corsair TX (Dual SLI Compatible)
Expansion Bay: - Not Available
Hard Drive Set 1: Operating System: 1x (160GB Solid State (By: Intel) (Extreme Performance) (Model: SSDSA2MH160G2R5)
Set 1 Raid Options: - Not Available
Hard Drive Set 2: Multimedia\Data: 2x (1.5TB Seagate Barracuda (7200 RPM) (32MB Cache) (SATA) (Extreme Speed)
Hard Drive Set 3: Backup\Misc.: - No Thanks
Optical Drive 1: Blu-Ray Player/DVD Writer (Play Blu-Ray and Burn DVDs)
Optical Drive 2: - No Thanks
Internet Access: High Speed Network Port (Supports High-Speed Cable / DSL / Network Connections)
Video Card: 1x ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB
Add-on Card: - No Thanks
Sound Card: Creative Labs X-Fi Fatality Champion (Includes Front I/O) (PCI-Express Slot Based)
Extreme Cooling: AIR: Stage 1: Noctua Dual 120mm Fans High Performance Cooler (Compatible With ONLY i7 Processors)
H20 Tube Color:- Not Available
Chassis Airflow: Standard Factory Chassis Fans
Internal Lighting: Internal Chassis Lighting System (Blue)
Enhancements: - Not Available
Chassis Mods: - Not Available
Noise Reduction: - Not Available
Boost Processor: FREE: Stage 1: Overclock the processor between 3.3GHz to 3.9GHz (Cooling Upgrade Recommended)
Boost Video Card: - Not Available
Boost Memory: - Not Available
Boost OS: - Not Available
Windows OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (64-Bit Edition)
Restore Kit: Digital Storm Specialized Recovery System (DVD Image Based)
Virus Protection: - Not Available
Office: - Not Available
Benchmarking: - Not Available
Install/Test Game: - Not Available
Display: - No Thanks
Surge Shield: - No Thanks
Speakers: - No Thanks
Keyboard: - No Thanks
Mouse: - No Thanks
External Storage: - No Thanks
Exclusive T-Shirt: - No Thanks
Priority Build: - No Thanks, Ship Within 5-15 Business Days After Order Is Successfully Processed
Warranty: 3 Year Platinum Care Extended Parts & Labor Warranty
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Raif View Drop Down
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  Quote Raif Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 23 May 2010 at 2:51am
there is a slight problem with raid... if the raid card itself goes bad then you will lose everything  on the hdds in raid regardless of the mirror. so it is up to you if you really need it.

also if your transporting the rig a lot make sure everything is properly seated, things may move a little during transport. ds has a video showing you how to re-seat everything

have you thought of a laptop? ds has some desktop replacement laptops but they don't have the disk space you need... a simple external hdd would fix that. it would make it very easy to transport and you don't have to lug around more hardware then you need at the lan party.
2.5 Ghz Core duo
Nvidia 9500 gt
3 gb 1033 Mhz ram

if we can't answer a question shoot a e-mail here.

[email protected]
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  Quote roadkingbill Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 23 May 2010 at 3:29pm
My system ran around 3,600 and it rocks. Stage 6 LQ, one GTX 480. But it is so heavy ! 50+ pounds. B
 
But it is a smoken game machine Heart
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  Quote JJJJ_Shabadoo Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 23 May 2010 at 4:56pm
Thanks for the input!

I have a couple of questions about the above configurations.

1)  Any reason for the 5870 instead of a 5970.  It seems like my budget could handle the increase (and even an increase in the power supply if needed to power it).

2) Similarly, is there an advantage to going w/ a 480 or a 5870

3) Is there an advantage to going w/ the Noctua air cooler vs one of the self-contained liquid coolers like the Asetek 120mm?  I've always air-cooled and don't know much about the liquid coolers (and have no interest in any that aren't self-contained).

4) I was looking at the CM Scout as a possible good choice for LAN parties (built in carrying handle).  How does the case stack up against the HAF 922?


Also, is there anywhere on DS's site that details the technical specs of the various components?


@Raif - My understanding of a RAID 1 (mirrored) array is that if the RAID controller goes bad you don't lose any data.  You may not be able to rebuild the array but you can still pop the drive in a different system and pull all your data off of it.
There was a similar question answered in this month's CPU magazine (June vol 10 iss 06 pg 49).

I've considered a laptop but since 95% of my computing is done at my desk at home and I want the most power I can get for my $$, I don't think that a laptop is the best route for me.  I don't mind lugging a system around once a month, I'd just like it to be as portable as possible without sacrificing too much in the way of power.


Thanks again guys!
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  Quote DST4ME Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 23 May 2010 at 5:56pm
1. 2 reasons.

a. you won't see the difference at your res

b. you want to stay away from sli/cf when possible, cause they have buggs.

2. 480 has more ram then 5970/5870 so in games like gta4 it does much better.

3. self contained LC systems like asetek are not real LC systems, as in they don't offer the same temps a real LC system would, for this reason, they do the same as good air coolers, Noctua D14 will beat asetek, so in short go with Noctua 12 or 14, its a great cooler, and has much better quality and reliability then asetek.

4. scout is ok, have not had one so I can't tell you about it being mobile.

in raid 1, if the raid controller fails and you have os on it, you can't boot from it again, loosing your os, and having to fresh install, if you clone then you get a duplicate that is a separate entity.
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  Quote JJJJ_Shabadoo Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 23 May 2010 at 6:38pm
So then does the 5970 run in crossfire even though it is a single card (with two GPU's)?


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  Quote Raif Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 23 May 2010 at 8:54pm
its actually 2 single cards stuck together in internal cf which is fake crossfire. also they are down clocked a little. your better off getting 2x 5870 then 1 5970
2.5 Ghz Core duo
Nvidia 9500 gt
3 gb 1033 Mhz ram

if we can't answer a question shoot a e-mail here.

[email protected]
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  Quote JJJJ_Shabadoo Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 23 May 2010 at 9:57pm
Huh. 

I did a bit more research and am thinking the 480 may be the way to go.
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  Quote Raif Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 23 May 2010 at 10:13pm
it is the smarter way to go. it is better in 3d rendering, tessellation and it has phsyx which is a very important feature imo.

if i remember correctly  you are going only single card so your psu is more then adequate
2.5 Ghz Core duo
Nvidia 9500 gt
3 gb 1033 Mhz ram

if we can't answer a question shoot a e-mail here.

[email protected]
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  Quote DST4ME Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 May 2010 at 1:13am
Ya go back to my last build and just change the gpu to a 480.

as mentioned the 5970 is in internal cf, meaning you are exposed to cf buggs and still stuck with 1GB ram.

Edited by DST4ME - 26 May 2010 at 1:57am
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  Quote JJJJ_Shabadoo Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 May 2010 at 12:31pm
What did you mean by change the psu to a 480? I'm assuming you meant gpu but didn't your first build have a 480 already?

And thanks again for the advice, I really appreciate it!
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  Quote Raif Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 May 2010 at 1:46pm
it was a typo on his part... he means gpu
2.5 Ghz Core duo
Nvidia 9500 gt
3 gb 1033 Mhz ram

if we can't answer a question shoot a e-mail here.

[email protected]
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  Quote JJJJ_Shabadoo Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 02 Jun 2010 at 7:32pm
So I placed the order last night!  I decided to go with a 480 GTX in the HAF 922.

Thanks all for your advice.  Now just a matter of time...Ouch
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  Quote DST4ME Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 04 Jun 2010 at 12:51am
Congrats Let the torture begin
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  Quote JJJJ_Shabadoo Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Jun 2010 at 6:06pm
Yeah, even more torturous is the fact that I'm not having them ship it until the 17th as I can't guarantee I'll be available to accept delivery until then.  Painful!!  Geek
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  Quote SemperFuzz Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Jun 2010 at 11:48pm
I can be at your house to accept it Muhahah Muahahha
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  Quote DST4ME Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Jun 2010 at 4:53pm
lol Ya then either ship it to me for testing while you wait or let me go pick it up



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  Quote JJJJ_Shabadoo Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Jun 2010 at 5:44pm
That's one of the things I like about this community, everyone is so generous!   Unhappy Thumbs%20Down
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  Quote DST4ME Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Jun 2010 at 5:45pm
what can we say, we just want to help


















ourselves
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