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First new system build in 14 years... Brain clot forming...

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April 17, 2008 5:32:03 AM

Well, this all started from a thread I posted here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/page-250237_31_40.htm...

For some reason, after I spent quite a bit of time responding to litlrabi's post, not only is my response gone but it show blackwater11 is the last poster and I don't see his post. So I abandoned that thread as this is probably more appropriate place.

So Ive decided to finally do it. Sadly, the more I read, the more I get confused, especially with all the issues on the 780i evga boards.

That said, please help me with his build. Is there anything I am not considering or something that simply wont work?

BUILD

Case
Silverstone TJ09-B Black Aluminum
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
~$279.00
Note: I love well built cases and this seems fine but I heard that with the PSU on the bottom, you need a really long motherboard connector sometimes to reach the mobo. I am considering the ST1000-NV (see below) and since it is made by the same company, I assume it will reach. But assumptions in this industry mean kaka. I don't think there are any heat issues to worry about with a bottom-psu case since the fan can blow out the bottom.

Fans
Scyth S-Flex SFF21E
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
~$14.99 each
Note: What fans are good for controlling their speed in case I don't estimate the speed needed, etc. properly. I'm told Scyth are very high quality and quiet, but is using an Antec TriCool 120 (DBB?) fan better or what other options are there? Also, since the NVidia mobo has ESA, is there anything I need for the fans so that the software can detect and possibly control them?

Power Supply
Silverstone ST1000-NV
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
~$259.00
Note: They don't have the ST1000-NV one which works with the newer G92 cards. Is there a better 1000 watt modular PSU from Corsair or PC Power and Cooling? I mostly went with this because they are not bad and should fit without issues in the Silverstone case. Also saw Falcon NW uses them so can't be that bad...can they? Also, anyone have the tier thread for PSU's?

Motherboard
EVGA 780i motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Note: I'm reading far too much about the dreaded 'FF' problem and many of the posts are from this month and last month so this isn't an old problem. I have no spare parts at home so my concern is that I can't afford to be guessing at what the problem is because I don't have extras to swap around all the time just to say 'yep, another bad board' - but what else can I do but buy it from Fry's, etc. if they have one so I can easily return it. Worse part is some people start out fine and then 2 weeks into get all kinds of problems. Also, there are TONS of posts about the boards suffering from video playback and complete BSOD and lockup issues with it.

Since I don't think I need to SLI as right now I'm at 1680x1050, is it better to go the safe route with X38 and:
ASUS P5E LGA 775
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Is there a better X38 board? I heard bad things about ASUS' service and support :o  Their website alone made my manpiece curl up into a small ball :/ 

I might just try to find a local Fry's that has the 780i in stock since I can also get the processor (QX9650) there for $999. I'll need to order the memory but that is ok. At least if there is an issue I can return locally but the Fry's by my house only had two EVGA 780i boxes and both were previous returns :o 

Thoughts?

Memory
EVGA memory compatibility: http://www.evga.com/support/mbmem/
ASUS memory compatability: (gave up trying to find it)

Corsair Dominator 2GB DDR2 1066 TWIN2X2048-8500C5D (EVGA 780i compatable)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Note: Is it worth getting 1066 DDR2? I seem to read its only detected as 800 until you go through some finicky BIOS settings?
-or-
??? = basically looking for the best performance and most stable DDR2 memory for use with 780i EVGA board that is on their compatability list. *sigh* :) 

CPU Air-cooled Heat Sink
Zalman A9500 -or- Zalman CNPS 7000B -or- ???

Note: I assume Arctic Sliver 5 thermal paste is the best or...anything better?

DVD Drive(s) - Not worried as this is easy stuff, same with HD
lite-on 20x dvd +- rw w/lightscribe
plextor dvd +-rw PX-760a / 800a DVD r/w dual layer

THANKS!
April 17, 2008 5:42:02 AM

BTW, as a quick update, not until I posted this message did I suddenly see replies to my original thread. Not sure how/why this happened as I've tried from 3 machines.

Reading responses and will incorporate feedback into my initial plans here.
April 17, 2008 5:42:08 AM

On the memory front, it is my understanding that unless you are looking to squeek every little bit out of your build by OC'ing then you wont see a difference with the ddr2 1066 ram. I do believe that the EVGA 780i mobo is native 1333/1066?
Related resources
April 17, 2008 6:43:46 AM

Hmmm good point.

Well, thing is, I am reallllllllllllllllllly starting to feel I'm going to skip the 780i evga board now.

Basically, Im going to upgrade again in a year and a half or so once Intel has released their new architecture in the end of the year and things mature/settle down over the 6 months after that and companies have all their options and kinks worked out.

Since I wont go SLI most likely, then I might as well avoid the 780i mobo headaches (seems those who get it work out of the box are happy, others are miserable).

The only reason I was spending no time researching the X38 was that ASUS seems best at making those versions but people keep saying ASUS has the worst customer service of any major mobo manufacturer.

But I guess Intel chipset + Intel processor should give me some stability minus the nvidia evga graphics card.

The only reason I might still go with the evga 780i board is that Frys seems to carry it, sort of. If i can find a previously unreturned one, i might try it since I can always bring it back.

Otherwise, I need to find the best X38 maker (ASUS?) and the best ddr2 to go with it and be done :p 
May 3, 2008 7:15:12 AM

drunkgamer said:
Hmmm good point.

The only reason I might still go with the evga 780i board is that Frys seems to carry it, sort of. If i can find a previously unreturned one, i might try it since I can always bring it back.

Otherwise, I need to find the best X38 maker (ASUS?) and the best ddr2 to go with it and be done :p 


i was just at fry's. i'd buy all the parts there and you'll rock.

corsair 620watt power supply; good selection of cases imho; etc..


May 16, 2008 5:34:24 AM

If you go with the 780i, then I would recommend you base your power supply on the possibility of going SLI. If you go 1 card then you can get away with a 500 watt or so psu, 2 cards EVGA recommends you go 750 watts and if you go 3 cards they recommend you get a 1000 watt psu.

That is the recommendations that was told directly to me by customer service, in which I was talking to someone in less than 2 minutes. They have awesome response time on their calls and seem pretty knowledgable.

I have the 780i motherboard and have had 0 issues. I am running 2 8800GTX ANS3 video cards and gaming is awesome!!
May 16, 2008 2:22:17 PM

I had hoped you would have had more success by now, but let's look.

I agree, skip the 780i. ASUS support may not be the best (but remember you only hear the bad stories), but their product is very solid and you'll most likely not need support.

Like I've said before, go with the 1066 RAM. You get more stability guarantees from it, and fewer headaches. If at first it doesn't detect as 1066, don't worry. You are planning on overclocking, and you can play with the settings then. Basic RAM settings are easy to work with, so don't worry about that.

For your PSU, see if you can find a technical document. PC P&C makes some technical drawings available, and they include the cord lengths. See if you can find something similar for Silverstone.

For your RAM, get 4gig. Even if you don't use a 64bit OS, you're getting more and it's cheap now (not that you're worried about budget).

May 16, 2008 3:42:13 PM

Unless you are planning on running a 24"+ LCD you wont need SLI or Xfire. At that point look at getting an Intel X38 based mobo from Gigabyte or Asus as you suggested. They are cheaper and will OC with anything Nvidia has put out. You may not even need an X38 unless you definitely need the ability to run 2 video cards.

1 kilowatt powersupply is overkill unless your running tri SLI a bunch of drives and OCing. A 600-700 powesupply is plenty. If you want to be future proof, buy the 750 PC Power and Cooling PSU.

One of the most important rules in PC building is K.I.S.S! Dont over think everything (ask questions, make educated decisions), buy stuff you actually will use (avoid hype), and buy quality hardware(avoid no name companies). Example: Companies rely on stupid people to buy the $400 mobo because its shiny, even though they will only use 1/3 of the boards potential.


!