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McBrain
BRB Face Melting

join:2010-05-06
Kalimdor
kudos:2

Gaming build for a buddy

Yesterday I had a friend come to my office and ask me for a Scroll of Resurrection so he can get back into World of Warcraft. He's got a ~$4,000 custom built Sager gaming laptop with an i7 processor, 700GB SSD, 16GB RAM, and 2xRadeon 6990s that he plays on currently. It's an absolute beast, but it sounds like he wants to have a capable gaming desktop to go along with it. He asked me if I would give him a hand putting his new rig together for him, and I was more than happy to agree to. He gave me a budget of roughly $800, he doesn't need any peripherals, just the tower and its contents.

Here's a basic description of what I think would suit his needs:

*Intel processor:
-i5-3570k preferred
-Sandy Bridge equivalent is acceptable if a great deal is found

*Air cooled

*Z77 motherboard
-2 PCIE slots
-USB 3.0
-4 memory slots

*Boot/data drive
-~128GB SSD
-just enough for OS and WoW basically

*PSU
-500w minimum
-80 plus preferred but not mandatory

*GPU
-SLI/CrossfireX ready
-something either factory OC'ed or easily OC'ed by the user

*Memory
-8GB (2x4GB)
-DDR3 1600

*Case
-nothing fancy
-full ATX is preferred, but not mandatory as long as there's room for expansion

*DVD-RW

*OS
-Win 7 OEM

~$800 budget...

I plan on suggesting an upgrade somewhere in the neighborhood of $500-$600 when he's got the cash or whatever (probably in tax season). It'll include another GPU for SLI/CrossfireX, larger PSU, 8GB more RAM, and he mentioned wanting water cooling. So I plan on putting together a list of additions/upgrades for him to have handy when he decides he's ready to take that step.

The upside to this is that he's going to be in VA Beach at the first of the year when he plans on putting the rig together. He'll be about 200 miles from the Fairfax Microcenter and would make the drive to pick up parts for Microcenter's in-store pickup prices.

I told him that putting something together that won't be like driving the Mirth Mobile compared to the Bentley that his laptop is for 800 dollars would be challenging, but it could be done. I also know that an overclocked 3570k, SLI or CrossFireX, and 16GB RAM is definitely overkill for WoW, but come on...the dude's a single 23 year old E-5 in the Navy that drives an Infinity G35 and has a $4,000 laptop, I don't think excess is something that matters to him very much.
--
McBrain#1430

Name's Ash...Housewares.

demir
Premium
join:2010-07-15
usa

1 edit
Let me get this straight --- he's got a laptop worth over $4000 --- but only wants to spend $800 on a desktop?

I could easily spend $1400 on a desktop --- which I would be extremely happy with, that still wouldn't touch the capabilities of that laptop. The laptop has over $2000 worth just in the video cards --- you won't even come close with $800


McBrain
BRB Face Melting

join:2010-05-06
Kalimdor
kudos:2
said by demir:

Let me get this straight --- he's got a laptop worth over $4000 --- but only wants to spend $800 on a desktop?

Yes.

I don't try to make sense of the logic, either. Just told the guy I'd give him a hand.
--
McBrain#1430

Name's Ash...Housewares.

demir
Premium
join:2010-07-15
usa
let me see what I can do on newegg.

demir
Premium
join:2010-07-15
usa

1 edit
reply to McBrain
1 Sony Optiarc High Speed SATA DVD RW Burner Drive Black $34.99
1 DIYPC Adventurer-9601R Black Steel ATX Full Tower $89.99
1 CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 $59.99
1 G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3- $49.99
1 Intel Core i5-3570 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo $214.99
1 Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
$99.99
1 Corsair Neutron Series GTX CSSD-N120GBGTX-BK 2.5" 120GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
$139.99
1 ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Subtotal: $829.92

I haven't even put a graphics card in it yet and there's no hard disk other than the SSD.

I did opt for what I consider to be a premium SSD and motherboard though. 128 GB SSD's can be had for $80, but they are crap.

Ahh crap, that's a micro ATX motherboard, let me find a regular size one.

demir
Premium
join:2010-07-15
usa
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···13157293

There's the regular size, which is sold out (great board IMO)
about the same price.


McBrain
BRB Face Melting

join:2010-05-06
Kalimdor
kudos:2
Thanks man. I'm going to take this list over to Microcenter, since he said he would be more than happy to drive to Fairfax to pick the stuff up.


MaxPowers

join:2010-07-30
Roy, UT
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to McBrain
He missed out on some good deals so prices will be little higher.

CPU
Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor $181.54 Microcenter
NOTE: In-store pickup only

Motherboard
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard $119.98 Outlet PC

Memory
G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory $29.99 Newegg

Storage
Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk $109.99 -$20.00+$7.47 = $97.46 Microcenter
$20.00 mail-in rebate

Video Card
Gigabyte Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card
$189.99
NCIX US

Case
Rosewill REDBONE U3 ATX Mid Tower Case
$44.99
Newegg

Power Supply
Rosewill Hive 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
$89.99
Amazon

Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit)
$91.99

Base Total: $846.91
Mail-in Rebates: -$20.00
Tax: $19.02
Total: $845.93

Total will be a little higher/lower depending on Microcenter trip

Thoughts:
- Do you really need full atx? Even if you eventually SLI/CF most mid atx have plenty room.
- If you're sure he's going to SLI/CF buy a better psu up front, why buy 2 power supplies?
- Not sure if driving 400 miles round trip is worth the cost saving from Microcenter. What if you get back and something is DOA?
- You can save $30ish if you use the stock heatsink, and wait for watercooling to overclock.


MaxPowers

join:2010-07-30
Roy, UT
kudos:1
reply to McBrain
Upgrade for later

Corsair H100 92.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
$94.99
Newegg

Memory
G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory
$29.99
Newegg

Storage
Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
$84.04
NCIX US

Video Card
Gigabyte Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card
$189.99

Total: $399.00

EDIT: Forgot watercooler

demir
Premium
join:2010-07-15
usa
reply to McBrain
The power supply depends on which card the OP will end up going SLI with . ..

If you're going to go SLI with 7850's, you only need a 550 watt.

With a single 7850, 400 watts is enough.


I AM
Premium
join:2010-04-11
Ephrata, PA
kudos:4
reply to McBrain
$4000 dollar laptop...Really? Don't know if I'm jelly or just dumbfounded. If you build it they will buy it I guess.


Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12
reply to McBrain
Everyone else has pretty much recommended what I would, so I won't add more of the same.

The only thing he should pick up from Microcenter is the CPU, and possibly a mobo if they have a good CPU/mobo combo going on.

Almost anything else will be more money than it would at Amazon/Newegg.

One suggestion--if you are suggesting a buy now/buy later scheme, don't make him re-buy the PSU--that's money wasted. If he is going to go Crossfire on 7850s or 7870s, just buy a good 550w PSU now and be done with it.
--
If we lose this freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment, those who had the most to lose, did the least to prevent its happening.


McBrain
BRB Face Melting

join:2010-05-06
Kalimdor
kudos:2
Touché about the PSU.

Is 550 enough for 2x 7870s? I would have guessed 750 at least and 800 comfortably. CrossfireX only draws power from 1 card at idle but both at full load, right?

And I have no idea why the guy has such a ridiculous laptop, but he says that sumbitch gets so hot when he's gaming it's obscene.
--
McBrain#1430

Name's Ash...Housewares.


Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12
The TDP is 190W, but you probably won't ever use more than 100w while gaming. A good PSU can run what it's rated at for 100% of the time, and handle spikes above it. So yeah, 550w is more than enough.

»www.tomshardware.com/reviews/rad···-19.html
--
If we lose this freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment, those who had the most to lose, did the least to prevent its happening.


McBrain
BRB Face Melting

join:2010-05-06
Kalimdor
kudos:2
That's awesome to know. One less thing I'll have to buy if I upgrade to twin GPUs.

me1212

join:2008-11-20
Pleasant Hill, MO
reply to Krisnatharok
said by Krisnatharok:

The only thing he should pick up from Microcenter is the CPU, and possibly a mobo if they have a good CPU/mobo combo going on.

Almost anything else will be more money than it would at Amazon/Newegg.

Microcenter matches prices. Thats how I got my 7950 for $280.


Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12
You still pay tax, however.

me1212

join:2008-11-20
Pleasant Hill, MO
Lot of people in my state are pushing hard for internet sale tax, pretty soon I don't expect the fact that I have to pay taxes at microcenter to matter any more. Plus I got it then and there, didn't have to wait for shipping.


eve
Premium
join:2003-01-02
Alexandria, VA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to McBrain
Yep. I got my i5 and MoBo from MicroCenter. i5 for $169 ($209-$219 on Amazon/NewEgg) and $99.99 for the MoBo ($104.99 on sale / regular $134.99).

Even if the prices were equal, I would've picked up most of the items there but they were more expensive then NE/Amazon for most of my components or just didn't have the items, period.

I didn't know they pricematched though. That's good to know.