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First System Build: Care to see if everything is in good order?

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December 14, 2008 6:57:28 PM

Hello members of the forum. I've been given a budget of about $3K (it can probably be negotiated up a bit though) and I've gotten together my list of components. I believe everything I need for a functioning computer is present, but I feel it necessary to get second opinions since it's my first build (though I'm no stranger to computers). Suggestions about items like heatsinks or fans or cables would be great. Really I'm open to any opinions since this is a learning experience for me.

What I intend to use the computer for:
1. Photo editing and storage (but on a major scale; I love photography and I'm not some guy who just does family photos with a point and shoot [not that there's anything wrong with that])
2. Music (storage, minor editing, and listening)
3. Gaming (to a degree, mostly fps and Valve might pump out next)
4. I might try and make this into a mini-media center (but for occasional use) since I plan on using the blu-ray drive to its potential
5. Experimentation (I'm curious about hardware, overclocking, and basically how things work)
6. The ususal suspects (browsing, papers, etc)

I've attempted to future proof the system as best I can and if you don't fully understand why I chose some components, I'll try to elaborate on my thought-process in picking them (I'm a bit of an power-fiend since I currently have an 8-year old Dell that has never been upgraded and still has 512mb of DDR RAM)

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

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

SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS Xonar DX 7.1
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LIAN LI PC-V1000Z
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
LIAN LI PC-P80 (though not a fan of lighting in a case)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar GP WD10000LSRTL 1TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and
Western Digital Caviar GP WD5000CSRTL 500GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LG GGW-H20L
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 860 ESA
http://www.pcpower.com/products/description/Turbo_Cool_...

SAMSUNG T220 Rose-Black
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
SAMSUNG ToC T220HD Rose Black
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Logitech Z-5500
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You'll notice the lack of keyboards and mice but I'll have those for another day. I want to see if everything I've presented so far will work (hopefully it will so I won't have to redo my research and planning again :)  ). If anything, I believe cables and fans are going to be my biggest issue.

I appreciate those of you that take the time to read through this and help me with my first build. This is a project I've wanted to do for a while but never had the funds to do so,so I want everything to go as smoothly as possible.

More about : system build care good order

December 15, 2008 10:32:46 PM

oh. does anyone have any tool recommendations (or warnings) for the actual build?
December 15, 2008 11:01:42 PM

Everything listed is Fast and Power Hungry except for the relatively Slow and Efficient Caviar GP drives. Why not use the Black 1TB and 640GB versions?

Switch to a PC P&Cooling 750 power supply.

I also highly recommend a Craftsman #1 x 6" phillips screwdriver.
Related resources
December 15, 2008 11:07:53 PM

ugh I can't believe I mixed up the GP 1TB with the Black 1TB. thank you for that. Since I know practically nothing about PSUs, I'm curious to learn about the various manufacturers. Is there any particular reason you chose the PC Power & Cooling over Antec or other brands? Also, why 750? Wouldn't 900 or 1000 help in futureproofing the system to a degree?

edit: actually, now all I see on newegg is the GP model (I'm buying retail for a few personal reasons) but then again, I could always run to the local store and see what's there.
December 16, 2008 1:22:43 AM

PC Power and Cooling has a great well earned reputation for making solid, reliable and quality power supplies. There are a couple of badges that do a great job on all or some of their powr supplies (Corsair, Seasonic, Antec..etc.) but you can't go wrong with a PC Power and Cooling. 750w will be fine for your system.
I'd also invest in an additional external hard drive with an E-SATA connector for storage. Just the mobility alone would be worth the rather small expense.
December 16, 2008 3:30:05 PM

thank you for the info on PC P&C. what about an aftermarket CPU fan? and also, would you recommend getting any particular spare cables in case some are missing or likely to break easily?

edit: is 750 sufficient for future crossfire (or sli, you never know)? also, ATX12V / EPS12V is what I ought to be looking at correct?
December 19, 2008 6:21:30 PM

ok. I think I have everything in order now. I've changed to a PC P&C power supply ( http://www.pcpower.com/products/description/Turbo_Cool_... ) and the only thing I'm not sure about is if I have the right connectors for all my components.
I'm sure I have the right connectors for the CPU and video card. I just don't know if the power supply has all the other cables I need for audio card and the other components (I'm sure the hard drives and optical drives but I don't know for sure). I'm so close to finishing and I'm being taken down by my ignorance of 4-pins and 6+2 pins :) 

edit: also, would it be safer to get some RAM that's under the 1.65V since I've read anything more can damage an i7? the Corsair I'm planning on right now is marked right at 1.65V (at least according to Newegg) and I'm not quite sure if I'm taking a gamble here. I really can't afford to drop this kind of money and then have something damaged so perhaps I'm being a bit paranoid here, but I figure Murphy's Law and all :) 
!