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Building first system ever using i7 920. Need Help

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December 10, 2008 5:47:49 AM

I'm building my first gaming PC. In fact first PC ever. I don't know very much about desktops since I've been out of the loop for quite a few years using just a laptop for everyday stuff so this should be a challenge.

Here's what I'm looking at putting together:

- Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- ASUS P6T Deluxe LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- 1 X (maybe 2) EVGA 896-P3-1267-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Edition 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- Thermaltake W0116RU 750W Complies with ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V version SLI Ready CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit English 1pk DSP OEI DVD for System Builders - OEM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- 2 X Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- 1 X SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- Acer X223Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 2500:1 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- Logitech G11 Silver & Black 104 Normal Keys 29 Function Keys USB Standard Gaming Keyboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- Logitech MX518 2-Tone 8 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB + PS/2 Wired Optical 1800 dpi Gaming-Grade Mouse
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- Oh yea and... Rosewill RTK-045 45 Piece Premium Computer Tool Kit to put it all together http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This being my first ever build I have a few questions

1. Does all this look like it will work good together
2. I plan on getting another GPU at some point. Should I do that now or later?
3. I know nothing about overclocking but if it's not hard I might try it.. should I stick with stock CPU fan (with or without artic silver?) or get - Thermaltake CL-P0508 110mm CPU Cooler http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
4. Is memory good? How important is 1333 vs 1600?
5. Does anyone have any advice for newbie builders / place to get step by step instructions?
6. Is there anything else I would need to build? like zip ties or anything I might not be thinking of?

Any advice is much appreciated.

Thanks

More about : building system 920

December 10, 2008 6:14:25 AM

1. Yes
2. For your screen size, probably just the 1 gfx card and then upgrade later
3. OC/Turbo Mode will be limited by current/power sensing/heat on the i7, so cool Cool COOL away! Grab some AS, why not...
4. Mem is fine, 1600 wil give better OC headroom
5. Right here! Although not sure if i7 install is covered, but it's much of a muchness.
6. Zip ties are $2 for hundreds in various colours, always a good deal. I have velcro cable wraps for easy adjustment when required. Double check you have all connectors and power cables as well, like DVI/VGA's if you don't have the right connections/cable, SATA and network cable

Maybe some aviation snips to cut out any pesky fan grilles at the back of the case (although you might not want to hack into a fancy '1200' case!). They are great for adding turbulent noise. As you can guess, my case is not safe around small animals and toddlers.

BTW what is your rough total (+ or - rebate) for this rig?
December 10, 2008 6:48:12 AM

Thanks for info. It's looking like it's gonna be right around $2000 plus or minus $150-200. I'm gonna take your advice and get 1600 on ram. That'll add a little. Do you think power supply has enough juice if I throw in another gpu later?
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December 10, 2008 10:00:48 AM

Nice choices.

I would suggest looking at a different PSU - PC Power and Cooling, Corsair, Antec. You should be able to find the PC Power and Cooling 750w under $100 if you look around (more like $80) and it's a better PSU.
December 10, 2008 10:17:21 AM

Gotta agree with huron, PC and Power Cooing for the PSU if you want quality, clean steady power, and won't cost you and arm and a leg.
The rest of the build looks pretty darn good, go for faster memory if you are planning on overclocking.
Good luck and have fun!
December 10, 2008 12:58:08 PM

For a monitor might want to consider:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It is a few dollars more but it gives you native 1080p and more importantly 1900x1200 support. This will utilze your gtx 260 more effectively.

Got to agree with above posters that you want to probally stick with PCP&C, Corsair, or Antec. I would suggest around a 750w PSU from these venders. I know that currently at newegg there is a combo deal for the antec 1200 and some of their signature power supplies might be interrested in.


Something to counter the extra few dollars I suggest in spending would be to go with Vista home preium 64 bit, instead of the ulimate. This is a user preffence though. (if u stick with the ulimate most of the products at newegg have some sort of combo deal with it. So make sure to get the combo deal if you stick with ulimate).
December 10, 2008 1:11:38 PM

Boy, are you brave. I read one post at another forum about the horrors of multiple bios flashes to fix various problems on a gigabyte x58 board. I've been building systems for 15 years, and wouldn't touch an x58 setup until the bugs are worked out, especially for what it costs. I hope you will at least download the motherboard manual and read through it before you even order. Check the manufacturer's website and read some directions for flashing the bios, if it should be necessary. Anandtech did an x58 review and had to do some flashing to get stability with some boards.
December 10, 2008 1:21:36 PM

I don't think flashing is nearly as dangerous as it was back in the day. I know a lot of boards have a fail safe by having a secondary bios that if you flash the first one it has a back up stored that it can pull back from. Yes bios flashes are still not the easiest thing in the world (and dangerous) to do but they have made it much much easier to do so with ulities and software.
December 10, 2008 1:28:47 PM

Most boards need flashing when received and if you've been building systems for 15 years you would know this. There is no way they could possibly get these things updated before we get them in our hands. When I got my 650 a couple years ago I had to update the bios as soon as I got it and the same thing can be said about any board between then and now. Yes bugs are evident in any new technology, but it's a price we pay for bleeding edge.
December 10, 2008 1:29:05 PM

It's not the bios flashing that's dangerous, but figuring out which flash program has the fewest problems. Fixing one problem may cause another one; be sure to back up the original bios first if you have several flash programs to choose from. And don't be afraid to email tech support and report issues with the manufacturer. That's the only way some problems are fixed in future bios programs.
December 10, 2008 5:18:03 PM

I really appreciate all the advice. This is good stuff. I already bought the PSU a couple weeks ago because it was on sale for $139. Is it any good? Should I still use it or get rid of it and get one like
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ?
Also I'm for sure gonna do the 1600 Ram. It's between these two. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E... any thoughts?

The talk about the bios flashing scares me a little because I have no idea what that is. All I know about bios is that is what first comes up when you power your board on. (I think) When I put this together and power it on for the first time I will have no idea what to do or what flashing is. Any advice?
December 10, 2008 8:18:15 PM

I just looked up bios flashing and think I got it down. (basically upgrading bios to most current edition). I'll be sure and read instructions as I'm installing to make sure I dont screw the whole thing up.

Two more simple questions:

1. Do I need a sound card? the asus p6t MOBO looks like it comes with 7.1 sound capability. Any need to add a sound card with that already there? If so any ideas on a good one.

2. Can I just plug an ethernet cable into this puppy and be up and running on the internet once it's built or will I need some sort of network card? If so any ideas on a good one?
December 11, 2008 5:15:42 AM

1. Probably not. Onboard sound is fairly decent these days.
2. Yes, onboard ethernet will do just fine.
December 11, 2008 5:45:53 AM

sigh. I've said it (more than) once and i'll say it again: if you are a gamer, and you want the best gaming performance for your $, ONLY get the i7 if you have an extreme graphics setup that will be bottlenecked by the current C2D's and C2Q's. otherwise, save a few hundred bucks from i7, X58 and DDR3 and spend it on a better graphics configuration. will give you a lot more FPS than core 2 to i7 with the same (or less) graphics
!