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I have no willpower: here's my i7 build.

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November 25, 2008 5:23:54 AM

Gimme your feedback, especially on a cooling solution. I don't know what's out there on the 1366.

cpu: Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

mb: ASUS P6T Deluxe
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ram: G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1333
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

gpu: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 4870 X2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

hdd: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

case: COOLER MASTER Centurion 590
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

psu: CORSAIR 750TX 750W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This comes out to $1654. I'd love to get this down to around $1400 (I know I know, the 4870 X2).

More about : willpower build

November 25, 2008 5:42:19 AM

Solid build, but I would recommend the Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB over that Spinpoint.

As far as cooling, the lga1366 parts are coming, shouldn't be more than a week or so if I had to guess. Just use the stock cooling until a better option is available for purchase.

EDIT: frozencpu has the 1366 category populated, but the only ones in stock are crap. and look carefully, the TRUEs they list in stock in the 1366 category require the 1366 bolt through kit, which is not in stock.
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November 25, 2008 5:52:21 AM

....will the 4870X2 physicallly fit in the 590...
November 25, 2008 6:13:21 AM

dirtmountain: yeah, 4 gigs, might be a good idea.

mtyermom: could you direct me to a comparison of the two hard drives? I like WD, but i've also heard good things about the samsung drive.

V3NOM: good question. if worst comes to worse though, I do have a cut off wheel. Can somebody give me input on this? I'd rather spend 50 more bucks on a case than mangle some 5.25 bays with a circular saw.

Also, I'm probably going to buy this in january, so if anyone knows of any amazing hardware price drops, please share.
November 25, 2008 6:23:26 AM

samsung is a great drive, if the wd beats it, it would be noticable only in benchmarks.
November 25, 2008 7:30:43 AM

CM 690 should fit it :D 

(im an epic fanboy for that case)
November 25, 2008 9:31:05 AM

V3NOM said:
....will the 4870X2 physicallly fit in the 590...


Probably, but what kind of cooling does that case have? The Antec Nine Hundred is practically an open testbed as far as cooling goes (but, LOL, I have weaker components in mine).

What resolution are you gaming at? That's one thing that most people don't put in their new system specs. The 4870x2 is practically overpowering even high end Core 2 quad CPU's at most resolutions. You might want to look for reviews of the 4870x2 alongside i7 and see what resolution works best (probably a 30" LCD).
November 25, 2008 11:32:33 AM

since you are not doing sli what about the msi x58 platinum, about 80 bucks cheaper than the asus board and with the combo deal with the i7 920 you save 30 bucks instead of the 20 bucks with the other boards. i am in your same shoes, i am thinking about getting the same build as you. however i may get a different power supply and different case. i was looking at nzxt tempest and the antec quattro 1000w. however, this is about 100 more total than your current case and psu. i am concerned about heat issues with the 4870x2 though.

as another note there has been talk of a new release of srunken die video cards, (gtx 270 and 290). dont know exactly when they will be released but it may put some competition back into the market with a lowered 4870x2 price.
November 25, 2008 11:47:59 AM

I've recommended the Corsair 750TX before. It's a nice PSU, but the PC Power & Cooling 750W PSU is on sale right now for less.

PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI NVIDIA SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $114.99 -$35.00 MIR
November 25, 2008 12:20:04 PM

^+1 for PP&C. Corsair and PP&C are top quality, but the PP&C's cheaper :D 
November 25, 2008 12:54:40 PM

The case sucks. I have one. The plastic that holds the drives in is cheap and doesn't do a good job. You still have to use screws. The front mesh is made of thin metal and if you look at it it bends. Easy to push in and/or dent with your fingers if not careful. What holds them in is a joke. The fans are not very quiet. Buy an Antek 900 and get it over with.
November 25, 2008 3:59:53 PM

Ok, screw it, I'm going to downgrade to the 4870 1GB since i'm only running at 1920x1200 (not crysis). that and swapping in the antec 900 and PP&C psu puts me down at $1440 (keep in mind this is without any combo deals which i'm guessin will knock off an additional $100)

As Im getting the single core gpu, i'm going to stick with the XF mobo.

btw, is it easy to disable the stupid led's on the antec case? this thing is going to be in my bedroom and I'm going to have to run it overnight occasionally . . . I don't want it giving me nightmares.
November 25, 2008 4:11:40 PM

i have never heard of disabling the led lights, but i mean you can always just cover them over with like paper or something. you could also look at the 4850x2 which is a little under 400 bucks on newegg with rebate. depending on what games you want to play and stuff. i dont know 1900x1200 is a pretty big resolution. but i am sure a single 4870 can run any game at 1900x1200, without AA or AF. even if you did end up playing crysis you could lower the settings from max. as of now, two 4870 1 gb run more expensive than a single 4870x2.
November 25, 2008 4:31:08 PM

I'd personally get the Coolermaster 690 over the Antec 900; basically the same case but for less $. Though I've only seen the 900 at a friends place, but have built many systems with the 690 (always recommend it).

If you aren't buying until January, keep your eyes open for Antec Quattro PSU sales as they happen every month or two and the price drops are significant. Especially for the 850W and 1000W units, I got the 850W one this fall for $110 CDN for example and plan to add a second 4870 to my system during a boxing week sale.

I haven't read much on the X58 boards but IMO I'd just go with the cheaper option between MSI and Gigabyte; They're all basically performance boards so you aren't going to notice hardly any differences, unless maybe you're into extreme overclocking or want to do some crazy RAID setups down the road. All will Crossfire 4xxx cards just fine.

Good luck!
November 25, 2008 4:32:06 PM

im not so sure about the 4850 x2. It seems kind of silly to have 4 dvi ports but no external ventilation on a card that runs so hot. I think I'll be fine with a single 4870, it wont have all the bells and whistles, but hell, it's a definite step up from my 8400 GS.

knotknut, you sound like you're getting paid by coolermaster :)  It might fit everything, but swifty brings up a good point, I've heard a lot of horror stories about the 'tool free' installation. If I wanted to swap out my crap that often, i'd just get a rack.
November 25, 2008 4:52:55 PM

I dunno, i kinda wanted to stay away from MSI, i've had bad experiences with their hardware in the past (taiwanese capacitors, ewwwww). The entry level GB and asus boards are the same price, so I think I'll just stick with the asus
November 25, 2008 5:53:13 PM

sorry for the 4850x2 post. its a dumb idea actually. and i agree, 4 dvi ports but no vent, all the hot air will just pool inside the case. yeah dude, did you see my thread about the 4870x2 for like 470 after MIR? yeah dude yeah, its going to crush.

my opinion on the case is stupid because i think looks have a small part in the purchase. if you want an aesthetically pleasing case you typically spend about 50 more bucks than you need to. i have only heard good things about the cool master case because its a solid buy. however, you wont hear anything bad about a case thats 50 bucks more and has better airflow. in my opinion you might want to look at a case with better airflow if you will have the 4870 or 4870x2. i mean both with crush, but the x2 will crush harder.
November 25, 2008 6:12:56 PM

well, I'm actually thinking that the antec 900 is going to be a better deal. You'd have to put an extra $20 worth of fans in the CM to get the same airflow, plus I saw somewhere on this forum that newegg was dropping the antec to around $70.

But oddly enough, I like the looks of the CM more, its nice and simple.

. . . tough choices

Do you have any info on the diamond card? I'm sure it's probably not a lot different in performance than the other manufacturer's cards. But something tells me its almost $100 less for a reason.
November 25, 2008 6:31:46 PM

ok here is my deal with the 4870x2 cards. for about an entire 2 months i have tried to convince myself that i dont need the 4870x2 card. and really, i dont need it, i just want it. but every time i convince myself to get a dif. card, i always end up going back to the 4870x2. i have read a ton about the card. actually this site did a good review (very long) about 4 of the 4870x2 cards.

here is what i have gathered from researching the card. all 4870x2 cards are the same spec wise. any differences that you see on newegg are like the companies listing the core clocks for like a single core, versus double or them like quadrupling the clock speed due to the way the card is. an exception is if the card is factory overclocked (i only think diamond offers an overclocked card outta the box). anyways, that being said, all the cards are the same. and i truly believe that the diamond is going to be just as good as all the other cards.

now what is different is company support and what comes in the box. i read that sapphire offers the best packaged deal because you get the most software and cables and stuff. however, i mean assuming diamond isn't shady with the rebate, i think this card will perform just as good as the sapphire.

now i guess it would be good to look at the article yourself, however diamond is not one of the cards compared too. dont get me wrong though, there are differences in performance by all the cards. but it seems like the variability is relatively small, and very hard to reproduce consistent benches with the different cards.

i dunno, anyone else have an opinion? i think the 4870x2 diamond is a good deal.
November 25, 2008 6:45:06 PM

eh dude i dunno, i have been reading up on the heat issues. there are definitely heat issues with the cards. and it seems different cards have different issues with the fan profiles. sapphire got a good rating for having cooler temps. this might be something we look into before choosing a company. ill try to research more about diamond. however, there is always the option of using rivatunner to manually adjust fan speeds.
November 25, 2008 6:47:55 PM

yeah, I saw that article. when they were all oc'ed equivalently, the performance differences were pretty much undetectable.

They did however mention that the software and peripheral stuff was pretty awful on some of the cards. But if you look at the reviews on the diamond card on new egg, this doesn't seem to be a big problem. Mostly people just complain about the catalyst driver (which is a problem across the board) and about how they have a psu with the wrong connectors . . . whatever. For the majority of people, they just plot it in and get going.

I'm going to go with you that the Diamonds probably fine. But for something that's $500 out of pocket, you gotta be a little skeptical :) 
November 25, 2008 6:55:03 PM

thats a good point, but imo, manually adjusting the fan is a small price to pay for a $90 price difference. And from what I can tell, with the exception of the oc'ed models these are all pretty much the exact same card with a different sticker slapped on the side. So there'll at least be a large knowledge base on how to get this things to work.
November 25, 2008 7:40:05 PM

i agree with you, the price of 520 for the sapphire card (which fluctuates between like 510 and 550) is significantly higher than the 470 diamond card. and that being said the only problem really is heat which can be remedied with the manual fan adjustment. i have to believe someone will release a program that is compatible with all 4870x2's that will adjust fan profile speed automatically. if i were to buy today, i would probably go with diamond. i plan to build in 2 weeks, and i think price will be the ultimate factor in which card to buy. ultimately, software, cable extenders, converters, whatever, can all be bought or downloaded as needed, regardless of who manufactured the card.
November 25, 2008 7:43:16 PM

i gotta ask though. have you thought about the 9800gx2? or even a single gtx280. both much cheaper than the 4870x2. i mean, the 9800gx2 is going for like 285 bucks. and it pulls its weight at 1900x1200 resolution.

i am a little biased because with the i7 rig i want to build too, why not spend like an extra 100 or so bucks to get the latest and the greatest card. (which i understand is not the best way to think about it).
November 25, 2008 8:14:03 PM

i dunno, the 9800gx2 seemed to be a little inconsistent. I think it's really just the high end of the 1680x1050 cards. Once you get beyond that, you should be looking at a gtx 280, but for only $50 more (at least since we found that diamond), you can get the 4870 X2. And then once you start looking at how a single 4870 X2 beats up 280 sli a lot of the time, the radeon seems like its actually a pretty good deal. That is unless you plan on playing a lot of crysis.
November 25, 2008 8:14:10 PM

inre: to the 4870 and heat. The last driver let's you manipulate the fan control. Set it between 37 and 40 percent and it works fine without annoying you. The 4870...if you wnat one.... buy the 1gig card. I own the 512 card and it's not the cats meow.
November 25, 2008 8:19:09 PM

yeah totally. i just watched the review on tigerdirect about the 4870x2. just disregard what i said about the 9800gx2. its crap. i mean, its not a huge price difference really. and its crap. 4870x2 all the way. and another about crysis, i do plan to play a lot of crysis. and i think this card can take it at 1900x1200 resolution. depending on if you turn on AA or AF but like without any of those turned on, it does really well.

yeah 4870x2 all the way. i am going to get it in two weeks, no regrets. and for sub 500 bucks i think its a steal.

hey swifty, does the new driver update apply to the 4870x2 as well? and i assume this is an ati driver update (catalyst) right?
November 25, 2008 8:27:24 PM

well, looking at it again, I think I might have been a little harsh with the 9800gx2
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-4870-x2,2...
with the exception of its crysis fail (which i'm inclined to not even pay attention to) it stays above a playable 30 fps in 1920 4xAA, take off the AA and the 4870 x2 gets its but kicked . . . so I'm starting to think about it
November 25, 2008 8:36:53 PM

yeah, I think a good way to look at the 9800gx2 is that its the bare minimum to play next-gen games (excluding crysis) in 1900x1200. So its not sexy, but imo its the most practical thing to put in this rig. But who said I ever wanted this to be practical.
November 25, 2008 8:43:08 PM

right i agree, like you look at the bench mark and the 9800x2 does great for this generation of games. but the question really is do you want to spend 300 bucks for something that has no future or 500 bucks for a card that will last. on top of that, if you go with the 4870x2 you could think about msi x58 platinum. that is 80 bucks cheaper than the asus board. but that aside, i think the next line of games is where the card is really going to shine.

in my case, all i got right now is a laptop so im starting from scratch. and i dont feel like investing in a card that wont last me. so since im building from scratch i mine as well maybe pay a little extra and to get running. i can only imagine what the future will hold for 4870x2 quadfire when games start to utilize its hidden power.
November 25, 2008 8:55:05 PM

yeah, i'm in the same boat. I can barely watch youtube without my video card bugging out. I'd probably be stoked with a geforce 8600, but might as well make this rig future resistant. I'm just not looking forward to the power bill.
November 25, 2008 9:42:46 PM

I dunno, just heard some bad stuff about the 9800 x2, but I dunno :( 
November 25, 2008 10:05:13 PM

yeah, i have heard there were mega heat issues with the 9800x2 not to mention noise. i mean we have those problems with all the power house video cards but the difference is the 9800x2 updates will become far and few while the 4870x2 is just getting started.

say estebantrueba, what kind of monitor will you be using. i am going to purchase one with my build. i was thinking about the Acer P243WAid Black-Silver 24" 2ms(GTG)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

November 26, 2008 12:05:00 AM

I actually have that exact monitor. I've had it since september and I really like it, great price for a 24". Don't be confused by the 2ms GTG thing though. 2ms GTG ~= 10ms BTB (the standard response time rating). So its actually a bit more sluggish than the de facto 5ms lcd monitor. I've never noticed any artifacts of this though.

If I were you I'd save $30 and be on the safe side with the refresh time by getting this guy:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Its essentially the same monitor but with a faster refresh and no HDMI (i had to get the hdmi one because i was using this with my ps3, shoulda just used the extra 30 bucks on an adapter though)
November 26, 2008 12:23:18 AM

yeah, I'm pretty sure the diamond 4870 x2 comes with an adapter. Just know that there's not really a good reason for this monitor to have hdmi, it doesn't have speakers nor does it have any sort of audio out port so you can split the signal. Having an hdmi port was more just a matter of convenience for me since the ps3 could output audio through rca.

I have a friend that bought a similarly priced dell monitor and I think that the acer was a far better purchase. First of all, for the same price, he only got a 1680 x 1050 monitor, plus it had a lot of glare problems. He also could never get a sharp picture on it in conjunction with his gtx 260. It had that look that monitors get when its running at the wrong resolution, kinda blurry and dull, but after sitting down and trying to fix it for hours we decided that it was just a fact of life. Oddly enough it didn't have that problem when we hooked an xbox 360 up to it, so maybe it was just his graphics card. The only cool thing I can say about it was that I had just about every type of video connectivity, and it did double duty as a 4 port usb hub (yeah yeah, whatever)
November 26, 2008 6:02:22 AM

estebantrueba said:


btw, is it easy to disable the stupid led's on the antec case? this thing is going to be in my bedroom and I'm going to have to run it overnight occasionally . . . I don't want it giving me nightmares.


I get your point. I don't have my Antec Nine Hundred in the bedroom, so the lights aren't that bad. I even have an eclipse keyboard with blue lights!

You could give the Antec Three Hundred a try. Here's Xbit Lab's review of six Antec cases (the Nine Hundred is the highest rated, but the Three Hundred isn't far behind):

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/other/display/antec-ca...

You'd have to add front fans, but I don't think it has the LED's.

As for the GPU, though I prefer ATI, and have an "old" 3870x2, the new GTX260 beats the 4870 1 gig in many games. It all depends on what you play.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-h...

You may want to go cheap as possible in January and wait for the next cards due out in June 2009. My experience was that the $450 card I bought in February 2008 was matched by a sub $200 card (the 4850) five months later.

It will be interesting to see if next summer's refresh radically changes things once again.
November 26, 2008 7:59:11 AM

omg get a room jkool and estebantrueba...
!