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Christmas bargain genie - New build

...it's the season to be jolly. LaLaLaLaaa La La La Laaa :p

Merry Christmas


So I have been very happy with our latest Codisha Server upgrade. It is now running on an Intel I7 970 paired with a ASUS P6X58D-Premium and boosted by some Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600.

To be honest, it might just be a bit overkill but I wanted to ensure headroom and i did. However, the extra headroom also puts a dent in the electricity bill. So I have been doing some window shopping to see what is out there that could give me similar performance and maybe save a small penny here and there.

With the current system I also planned to play around with VM and RDP a lot more which ultimately introduced me to RemoteFX and VDI. I could not test it with the current system as Microsoft Windows SBS Server 2011 does not support RemoteFX.

I quickly turned out, although IVB and SB-E are around the corner, that the 1155 platform would be the most likely option for me. I would also retain IVB compatibility if I go with a proper Z68 chipset board which would also bring UEFI BIOS and Virtu.

I have been particular interested in the Intel i5 2500T. This processor features all of the goodies of a 2500 or 2500K but with a TDP of 45w. This could mean significant power savings. I start digging around the web to find some good real-world numbers for the i5 2500T but they are not easy to come by, in fact there are hardly any. Granted the processor is rather rare and I only found it at Provantage. I did find a good review and comparison at Hexus. The review here at Hexus is actually for the entire line up of i5 2500 CPU's.

It turns out that the power savings of a i5 2500T compared to a 2500K are not as significant as the performance handicap. The 2500T is still a good performer but is very limited when it comes to heavy server workload and heavy multitasking. Choosing the 2500K over the 2500T would only bring a 5w difference at idle.

Prelude recap:

What I want/need: Intel i5 2500K/2600K/2700K, Z68 motherboard with 3 PCI-e slots (1x Areca Raid, 1x Intel Dual LAN card, 1x 1x GPU), RAM 2000 MHz+ ... just to sum it up, is what I am looking for.

The Bargain Genie: 1

After weeks of looking around online for motherboards that meet the qualifications and requirements it boiled down to the MSI Z68A-GD80. The board seems to be a perfect fit and the price is somewhat affordable. Surprisingly I found very few Z68 motherboards with Dual LAN. Some of the mid-range ASUS boards have dual LAN but most have 2 different LAN controllers on the same board, which kind of defeats the purpose as I am planning to use the 2nd LAM port for teaming. The next boards that would meet the needs are $350.- - $450.- and up. Nowhere near the $239.- Retail price for the MSI.

Newegg had this board as an open box item so the deal was sweetened and sealed with a $70.- dollar discount for a total of $169.-

The Bargain Genie 2

While I was trolling around the XS forums I stumbled upon this thread. This looks to be a awesome RAM kit. Checking on Newegg revealed that the SAMSUNG 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Model MV-3V4G3D/US is/was only $52.99 dollars. But I had to move quick. I was not the only one seeing this thread and looking at the activity and knowing this forum, this RAM deal would go quick. I acted and got the kit, possibly the last because the kit was sold out a mere 1 hour later =|

Not only is this RAM kit performing very well but it is also cheap and power saving. Can it get any better?

The Bargain Genie: 3

Now all I needed was to find a decent i5 2500K deal. Shouldn't be so hard right? After all the 2nd Gen i5/i7 will soon be replaced by the 3rd Gen i5/i7. Wrong. Almost everywhere I looked the prices are next to retail. The best deal at Micro Center was $179.-. Awesome but too far. The next MC is about 50 miles away :\ So I calmed the forums again. On the prowl, on the hunt. I extended my search to include the 2600K and even the 2700K.

What did I find? Nothing that caught my eye on the forums I frequent most, XS and TPU. I had to go expand again and finally, at ATOT. I found it. A i7 2700 for $280.- dollars. Not exactly what I had planned to spend but this was also not the processor I expected to get. I pushed the deal another $10.- dollars and free shipping for an unopened CPU. That's $100.- off retail including shipping and no tax. Woot

Merry Christmas!

I will be busy the last few days of this year. :)

created by
Edward 'BoT' Reese