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Core i7 build Looking for improvements/suggestions

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November 18, 2008 12:24:53 AM

I configured a core-i7 gaming pc on cyberpower. I would appreciate any suggestions or advice on my Build.

I have already purchased an Acer P243W 24inch monitor so i will be gaming at 1900x200. I Also have Logitech z-5500 5.1 speakers

My current build is as follows:

* CASE: CoolerMaster ATC™S 840 Black Pearl Full Tower Case (Black Color)
* CPU: Intel® Core™2 i7-940 2.93 GHz 8M L3 Cache
* MOTHERBOARD: Asus P6T Deluxe Intel X58 Chipset SLI/CrossFireX Mainboard SAS Triple-Channel DDR3/1600 SATA RAID w/ eSATA, Dual GbLAN, USB2.0, IEEE1394a, & 7.1Audio
* MEMORY: (Req.DDR3 MainBoard) 3GB (1GBx3) DDR3/1800MHz Memory Module OCZ-Platinum
* VIDEO CARD: ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB DDR5 PCI-Express Dual DVI-I & TVO (Major Brand Powered by ATI)
* VIDEO CARD 2: NONE
* VIDEO CARD 3: NONE
* LCD Monitor: NONE
* HARD DRIVE: Single Hard Drive (150GB Gaming Western Digital Raptor 10, 000RPM SATA150 16MB Cache WD1500ADFD)
* Data Hard Drive: 1TB (1TBx1) SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 32MB Cache 7200RPM Hard Drive
* Optical Drive: Sony Optiarc BR-5100S 2X Blu-Ray Player (Black Color)
* Optical Drive 2: (Special Price) LG 20X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER (BLACK COLOR)
* SOUND: Creative Labs X-Fi 24-BIT PCI Sound Card

* PSU: 1000 Watts thermaltake tough power


I have the choice of the Asus P6T or eVGA x58. I am having trouble telling the pro's and cons of each board. I would like having the option of going Nvidi or ATI in the future but it looks like they both have dual licenses. Which would be a better choice for this build?

I'm also unsure which Ram would best complement this build. Should i go for 1333 corsair or 1600,1800 OCZ?

Is this the best choice of soundcard? I dont want to pay extra for a fatality endorsed card however i want to use my logitech speakers to their fullest potential.

I opted for liquid cooling so should i also purchase extra case fans?

Any tips on adjusting the build or incompatible parts would be greatly appreciated.
November 18, 2008 1:29:16 AM

You could save a lot of money just by buying all the parts separately and putting them together yourself, it would be cheaper that way, but it doesn't seem like you are going that way anyways.

You would probably save about 800 or so is my guess just by looking at your parts
November 18, 2008 1:42:18 AM

I am actually trying to decide if i want to go prebuilt or purchase the parts from newegg. I configured on cyberpower because as far as i can tell that case isnt available on newegg yet and i dont have any experience with liquid cooling. Im worried that with i7 my machine will get too hot for just air cooling. Also when i add comparable parts to my cart in newegg the price difference seems to be only a couple hundred dollars.

I am unhappy with the memory choices on the prebuilt system. Everything i have read says i7 likes low latency moderate speed and low voltage. Cyberpower only offers a single choice of 1333 triple channel. Ill check again and see if i can build the system for a comparable price.

Thank you for the advice i would love to put it together myself. Is liquid cooling with a kit a big obstacle for a novice builder?
November 18, 2008 2:35:07 AM

I am in the process of doing the same thing. Here are some of my thoughts:

1) Which cpu? I think the 940 is neither fish nor fowl. It is only marginally faster than the 920, and might have a more overclockable chip. The premium for a small bump is hefty. But the 965 is faster and better but a much greater price. I decided on the 920. Only a mild overclock gets it into the 3.0+ range where it can drive a GTX280 or 4870X2 at 1920x1600. I do not see this needing more than a good air cooler and a decent ventilating case.
2) Which mobo? Deciding now, I picked the P6T based on a number of glowing reviews including the ease of overclocking. I did not pick the auxiliary pod version. I like EVGA for the support, but as a newer entry, it does not yet have much of a track record. In time, I think it might become a superior product. I like Gigabyte which was a bit pricier. The MSI board at $220 might be good. In the end, I went with the best and safest board with the most track record.
3) I went with 6gb of patriot 1600ram. It was actually used in an anandtech build and performed well. Corsair was also an option, but The patriot was available first. Slower ram would probably work well, but If I am going to overclock a bit, I did not want the ram to be an issue. I definitely would go with 6gb vs 3gb. Here's why:
http://www.corsairmemory.com/_appnotes/AN811_Gaming_Per...

4) I plan on a GTX280 or the 55nm version. It is fast enough for me, and I am just more comfortable with Nvidia. 4870X2 should be equally good for you.

5) I plan on reusing a PC P&C silencer610. It should be plenty for any single vga card.
I think the 1000 watt toughpower is overkill for you.

6) I plan on reusing a thermalright ultra 120 extreme cooler. I ordered the 1336 back plate mount. I think I will try my hand at lapping it to improve the flatness for the i7.
It seems that the cooler was used in many reviews, and the 920 got to 4.0 with it. These were on an open bench, so a good cooling case will be needed to get that high. I don't plan on anything like that. For me. 3.0 is enough and anything more that is gravy. I am planning on reusing an Antec Solo case, which has decent ventilation. I am hoping that I do not have to run the fans above LOW. I think liquid cooling is not necessary unless you are looking at maximum overclocks. It's expensive too.

7) I plan on reusing a 300gb velociraptor for the OS and active games. I would really like
the Intel 80gb SSD, but at $600+, the price has to come down some before I can justify it.
In the interim, the velociraptor is about as good as it gets, I highly recommend it.

8) I would defer the sound card and see how the onboard sound does. Any cpu savings with a sound card are negligible these days. Some sound cards seem to have driver issues. Remember, you can always add one later.

9) I will be using Vista home premium-64 which has performed well for me.
---good luck ---
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