The newest and one of the best performing PC gaming platforms for the holiday season is the new Intel Core i7 CPU with an Intel X58 chipset mainboard. If you are looking to build yourself or a loved one a new gaming machine based on the Core i7 X58 parts, you have some choices this holiday season. We are going to run down some prices on the hardware you need for your own Core i7 rig.
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Over at Newegg.com the cheapest option for a Core i7 CPU is the quad-core Core i7 920 running at 2.66GHz and selling for $294.99 with free shipping. If your budget is a bit larger the middle of the road Core i7 part is the Core i7 940 and Newegg has it for $569.99 with free shipping. Gamers wanting the best can get their hands on the Core i7 Extreme Edition 956 at Newegg for $1029.99.
TigerDirect is also offering Core i7 CPUs with the 920 selling for $309.99, the 940 at $609.99, and the 965 Extreme Edition for $1079.99. TigerDirect is more expensive than Newegg right now, especially on the EE 965 which is $50 more, while its 950 is $40 more and the 930 is $15 more. TigerDirect also adds shipping charges to the processors making Newegg a better deal all around.
Gamers have lots of motherboard brands to choose from when it comes to the X58 platform. For most computer builders, the motherboard isn’t a place to scrimp and a known brand with a reputation for quality is wanted, like Asus. Asus offers several X58 mainboards, and the most appealing to most gamers will be the Asus Rampage II Extreme X58 motherboard.
Newegg offers the board for $398.99, though unlike the CPUs, shipping isn’t free. If your budget doesn’t support the best, Asus offers the P6T Deluxe X58 mainboard for $299.99. TigerDirect also carries the Asus P6T X58 motherboard, but asks $309.99 for it, about $10 more than Newegg. Tiger also has the Rampage II Extreme for $419.99, a premium of about $20 over Newegg.
The last of the major components needed for a Core i7 X58 chipset computer build is the triple channel RAM. Don’t be tempted to run your old RAM in a Core i7 X58 machine. The new platform can’t tolerate the high voltages needed by most performance RAM. Patriot is a popular brand of memory and offers a triple-channel kit for the platform consisting of three 2GB modules for a total of 6GB of RAM. The RAM is DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) speed and can be bought at Newegg for $249.99 for the kit with free shipping. TigerDirect has the same memory kit for $234.99, $10 cheaper than Newegg. However, the price difference gets closer because Tiger isn’t offering free shipping.
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Obviously, there are many other components that go into a computer build; the ones listed here are merely the core components that are needed to support the Core i7. If you are building your own machine, you will also need a chassis, power supply, video card or cards, thermal compound, and perhaps cooling for the CPU.