Yippee! Weeee! Gonna Do it ! **UPDATE NEW PICS**

Ok. I have been dealing with my Athlon 2400+ XP system for way to long! With that said, it has been a very long time since I have built.

I mostly want to use it for movie encoding and some occasional gaming. I will buy StarCraft II when it comes out. I already have WIC but can not play it on my current antique.

I am going with Intel i7 because I understand it will do really well with encoding.

I want to stay under $1500 as much as possible. If I can save money and do it for $1200 to $1300 that would be awesome !

All I need is the box. I will re-use 19" CRT for now but plan to upgrade at some point. I will want to get at least a 22" 1080. So the option of adding a second video card is a must. For now I will go with a good single card.

Oh.. I will want to buy a new mouse so any suggestions on that would be appreciated.

Please go easy on me I am not up to date on things 100% so I might seem like I don't know much in some areas.

I do not plan to OC at first but in a few years when the thing start getting a lil long in the tooth I might. For this reason I only plan on getting the 1333ddr3

Here is what I have in mind so far:

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

SAPPHIRE 100258-1GL Radeon HD 4850 1GB


ASUS EAH4870 DK/HTDI/1GD5 Radeon HD 4870 1GB
$249.99 ($229.99 after rebate)

Not sure which one I should get. As I said, I love to play games but don't seem to have much time to game as seriously as I use to. Would it be worth $75+ more to get the 4870 or something else over the 4850 ?

PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W
$99.99 after $35 mail rebate

Would this be good enough for 2 video cards and some lite OCing in the future ?

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz

G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB

I already have an external 500GB drive as well.

LG Black 22X

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit

I am going to dual boot. I already have XP

So the totals before shipping and rebates are

with the 4850 $1339.91

with the 4870 $1419.91

I am open to all suggestions.

Thanks for the help.
51 answers Last reply
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  1. Actually, you want the Sapphire 4870 1GB:
    It's very well cooled, although you will want to play with the fan controls a bit to keep it from being too loud. One card will do well on a 1080 type monitor in all current games, so you likely won't feel the need to add a second too soon.

    Your other choices are all excellent.

    Yes the PSU is enough. If you would like a bit more margin, there is a new 850TX with a great review from one of the most respected PSU reviewers:

  2. Thanks for the reply . If the 750 PSU will work. I think I will stick with that.

    I think I will get the better video card though. I need to check the charts and see if the Nvidia 260 216 core works better with WIC. I may want that one instead.

    I was also wondering if any new video cards will be released in the next month or two. I was thinking about waiting to see what happens there. Then again I could always wait for that..

    I think I will start ordering here within a week..

    One thing I have been considering is a CM HAF case. I would like the extra room for more drives in the future. I have several dv tapes to capture.

    I was thinking either the haf or the

    COOLER MASTER COSMOS 1000 RC-1000-KSN1-GP Black/ Silver Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail


    Not sure which one.. I worry a little about getting a mid tower as far as space and heat goes.
  3. The HAF will be much cooler than the Cosmos, which could be quieter.
  4. +1 on the PC P&C 750W and your analysis of 4870 vs. Core 216 for WIC.

    Major upcoming video card release will be GTX 295, but beyond your stated budget. Doubling up either of your contemplated cards in the future will probably be sufficient GPU. ;)

    However, when building in the upgrade path, I'd go with 750W for crossfire 4870 and Proximon's 850W for SLI Core 216 (because this card needs a little more power). Both of these power supplies have the necessary four PCIe power connectors for two of these video cards.

    Regarding HAF vs. Cosmos, HAF is designed for maximum cooling (mesh case) while Cosmos is quieter and looks much classier (non-mesh). Up to your personal preference, but sounds like you're more sensitive to cooling issues. For your needs, you'll also want to look closely at the HDD racks of the two cases because they are slightly different.

    One final point about your HDD, get the Caviar Black 640GB (the AALS version) as it is faster than the SE16. You might also want to think about the "fast system drive + large data drives in RAID 1 configuration" here.
  5. Hmn. yeah. I think the most I would ever get for video cards would be 2 of the 4870's.

    I will start adding more harddrives over the years to make room for my video projects.

    I changed to this main drive. Its a 500gb ALS model. Would that be as fast as the 640 ALS ? its a few bucks cheaper than the first one I listed.

    Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

    I am going to see how much my total is after I settle more on all of the parts, then I might add a 1.5TB drive.

    Worse case, would the 750watt PSU be good enough for 2 4870's and say... 4 hard drives?

    Now. I am thinking I will go with the haf as I went to fry this weekend and I like it over the Cosmos for my purpose .
  6. The 640Gb drive will always be faster. Has to do with platter size.
  7. Ah... Ok I will change that to the ASL 640 then.. Thanks !

    Update.. I just got 3 Amazon.com gift cards. 2- $25 and 1- $100. I just hope I can use them all at once. I think I will get the haf from Amazon for almost free if I can use all 3 cards at the same time. if not for about $44 from buy.com on there. I think I can get free shipping too !

    So that is going to leave room for a 1.5tb drive ! Also I may consider getting the 850watt PSU as suggested before, if you guys think I need it, if I get another card and more drives later ?

    Thanks again.
  8. ok.. Now that I have a little more money to work with, I am thinking about getting an aftermarket cooler and doing a mild OC. Would it be worth $40 more to get the "Extreme" version of that MB ?
  9. Doubtful, but look closely at the features.

    Generally, the ASUS P6T would be the easier OC for a beginner.

    Also, we tend to neglect EVGA because they built SLI boards for so long. They have a very nice entry in the X58 category:
  10. I was thinking about getting that board. I am not sure I am reading the spec correctly.

    It has 3 PCIe slots, but isn't just one of them full 16x and the other two 8x ?

    Wouldn't the Asus be better in this respect ? Not sure. It seems the EVGA has better reviews (maybe).

    If the asus is better for beginners, maybe I should get that one.

    Still on the fence with the PSU
  11. Try running your planned upgrades through this Power Supply Calculator and buy the right size to future proof.
  12. I love my HAF 932! It is such good quality and looks great! Plenty of room to do nearly anything you want!
  13. Thanks Akebono

    It said 751watts !

    I think an 850 would be safe.

    That was with 2 4870's in Crossfire, A bunch of fans with LEDs, and 4 HDs.

    So I think it is safe to say 850watt psu is needed, unless you consider the PC P&C way under rated and think it wold handle it ok?

    I am still trying to decide on the MB.. I am starting to talk myself in OC'ing a little bit. I still need to look over the features and options and decide. I will start ordering very soon. I just need to get my Amazon gift cards in the mail.
  14. That calculator can be a bit exaggerated. It was designed back in the day when 12V rails were far less supplied, then gradually updated. It does include margin.

    However, as I said the 850W Corsair is a bit more margin. If you want EXTREME quality get an Antec Signature 850... but it's pricey.
  15. Margin... that's the $64,000 question, eh? How much should you build in?

    Power draw fluctuates and it would be nice to put more of that fluctuation within the range of continuous output. That way you don't have to dip into the headroom as much (because that output can only be delivered temporarily). A power supply itself has headroom above its continuous output wattage to deal with the transient spikes and in your case, that PC P&C 750W has peak output of 825W. This is somewhat analogous to dynamic headroom in a hi-fi system and determining how big of an amplifier you need to avoid clipping (when the capacitors run out of power).

    An electrical engineer would be able to make a sharper estimate of power needs than most of us PC builder / enthusiast types can (or maybe not), but we would just generally follow the rule in engineering to build in extra margin so that our systems run with stability (that is the purpose of a PSU). And generally, how much margin usually depends on available budget. Margin is just a global method of accounting for all of the hidden assumptions in this exercise.

    What is just as important is a power supply that can deliver high current with stability over time. That's why we gravitate towards the quality brands, which include PC P&C, Corsair and Antec.
  16. Ok I have been reading up a little on the 260/216 vs the 1GB 4870. It seems that the 216 outperforms the 4870 in almost everything. Especially in COD . I was thinking about getting COD5. I also read some where that the 55nm 260's will be out in a week or so.

    I am thinking I should wait a week or so on the video card and see how the prices shift when Nvidia releases its new products in the next week or two. I have to wait on the gift cards to come in the mail anyway so I might as well.

    Now I found the cpu on sale at tiger for $269 so I think I will order that tonight.

    I have pretty much decided on the Corsair TX850W PSU. It looks like a really good one for a good price as well.
  17. The benchmarks are going back and forth, depending on driver releases ;) Honestly. ATI lost ground then gained it back with the latest drivers.

    You'll be happy either way, for sure. I have COD 5, and have all the graphics maxxed. Not seeing any performance problems on my 4870 512MB Toxic @1680X1050.
  18. you downloading porn my sister asks?
  19. Thanks for the replys Proximon. I am getting ready to order a few things.

    Getting the PSU from ZipZoomFly for a really good deal after rebate $114.99.

    I think I will change my ram to this ram:

    Best price I could find. I think its really good ram for a really good price.

    Here is a review on it.

    Getting the CPU at Tiger for $268 . Saved a few more bones there.

    I think I am getting the UD5 Gigabyte MB because I want to make sure I can keep adding video cards in the future as needed. The asus only goes up to 2 cards. Not to sure about the EVGA. So right now its between the gigabyte and the evga. Leaning towards the gigabyte because of features.

    Now I just need to find a good place to get the heat sink. I want the Thermalright Ultra 120 RT 1366

    @ OmegaStalker where did that come from.... ? was your sisters mind in the gutter? LOL
  20. UPDATE

    I am getting the EVGA 260/216 SSC and the UD5 Gigabye MB in a combo deal at egg for $528 . I like the price without rebates and the fact that it comes with 2 games for free. Glad I got the 850watt PSU now. I will probably get another 260 in a few years but not for awhile.

    Also egg dropped the price on the i7 920 to $279.99 so Im just getting it at egg.

    I will have everything ordered except for the case. I have to wait for the gift cards !!!! uggh !
  21. ntel Core i7 Quad 920 2.67 ghz
    Gigabyte UD5 MB
    6GB of DDR3 1600 Triple Channel
    1) 1.5TB HD
    1) 500GB HD
    1) 640 GB HD
    Card reader
    Dual boot xp and vista 64
    22X DVD burner
    Geforce GTX 260 (216 core) GPU

    I have a Theralright U120 CPU cooler on order.

  22. Looks like a good clean setup. Post some benchmarks for us. Lets see what's under the hood.

    I think the new antec 850 signature is the best psu at that rating i've ever seen. We did some testing on that one when it first came out and was just jaw dropped with its preformance. We beat the crap out of that thing too and it just laughed back at us. Problem is its price. can get one for 100 bucks less like crosiar or pc power and cooling and get similar results.
  23. That case is BA. Is that an intake on the bottom? And I don't see it...but does it have a removable motherboard tray?

    Great build, benchmarks awaiting.
  24. Thanks for the replies. I am very happy with all of the parts , except for the ram.. I haven't even looked at the bios other that to set boot order. I just finished the thing last night.

    I am very new to "New" hardware because it has been over 6 years since I last built.

    About the ram.. I found this thread:


    I am in contact with the poster and will try 1600 when I get home tonight .

    In case it isn't just his bad luck and its my bad luck too ,, does anyone have any ideas on this?

    I hope he just has bad ram. I haven't moved my settings from the default (auto) on anything yet. Actually, I am still loading software but I did load up Far Cry and played for a bit.. Wow I know that is not the latest and greatest game but Man! Games have come a long way since I really played a lot !

    I will have to dl the free versions of 3d marks and give it a go.

    I will probably wait until I get my cooler before I OC the cpu (too much ) :)
  25. @ frozenlead

    Yes, there is an intake on the bottom for 2 120mm's but you can only use one when you install the psu on the bottom.


    unfortunately the MB tray is not removable, but that doesn't make much difference because of all of the room this case has to work with. Also all of the cutouts in the back of the tray are placed perfectly and make cable management very easy.

    The toolless add in card clips kinda suck though.

    I love this case ! The fans are not loud at all. If you put your hand in front of them they don't seem to have a lot of air coming from them. But if you put your hand in the back of the case, you can tell that there is a lot of positive air pressure coming out of the case. So I think my temps should be fine.

    So so quite. Of course I am use to a really loud 120mm on my old puter.
  26. I lost my blue flag on this one... wonder why?

    Thanks a bunch for the pics! It's really the nicest way to say thank you to those that help out.

    That HAF sure isn't going to win any awards for aesthetics, but it makes a statement that you know what you are doing :)
    The cable management alone tempts me to trade in my Silverstone.
  27. Not sure about the flag...

    But yeah.. thanks a lot for all of the help guys !

    I was a little on the fence about the case to be honest. After I got it and started building. I has really grown on me. I am really happy with it. It is almost silent compared to what I am use to. Lots of room to work with. I can add drives at will. No worry for ATi video cards and there power cords. Lots of room behind the big cards!

    The main thing I wanted to do with this was start video editing all of the video footage that has been building up. I also want to stream videos eventually, So encoding to mp4 is a must.

    I am getting nero 9 for my main mp4 encoder. I will post times on how long it takes to encode.. say.. a whole dvd.. or something.

    Thanks again !
  28. Wow. What a nice build. I hope you enjoy it! I'd also like to see those benchmarks :D
  29. Superb build and pics! Enjoy and have fun. :D
  30. Add Watercooling when you get some more $$$ and you are golden! :)

    Anyways, did you install the DES software?

    Also mind running some benches?
  31. Sorry shadow, not sure what you mean by DES software ???

    I benched it last night . I have had limited time and I am still trying to figure out optimal memory settings. I need to read up on the forums for this board. Like the other guy, I can't seemed to get this memory up to spec on timings. I can bump the mem multi to 12 and get 1600 but nothing I do in the bios seems to move the voltage in cpuz. looks like it stays at 1.5 all the time.

    So I benched with 12 mem mult and the horrible auto timings it gives me ( 10 9 9 25 )

    First time out I used the old drivers 180.48. The I loaded the new 181.20 and tried those.

    They are not impressive but I still need to tweak a lot more. One thing I was wondering is, isn't the cpu score kinda high and the gpu low ?



    I still haven't installed the new cooler nor have it OC'ed the cpu. I will have more time this weekend to do a full work up on everything.
  32. Pretty much the same thing happened to me with my 1066 Reapers, and I'm always running into somebody here or around town that has had the same trouble with OCZ. They will replace them of course :p

    Odd about the memory voltage. I would definitely fire off a query to Gigabyte.
  33. As a last ditch effort I actually read some reviews on NewEgg and one guy on there said to set the voltage to 1.65 and timings manually to 8 8 8 24. I haven't upgraded the bios yet so I am going to try that and digg around for voltage settings. I might (gasp) have to read the owners manual .......

    I am thinking it will run ok if I can get the voltage to show up as 1.65 in cpuz. I always change it in the bios but then it shows 1.5 in z .... so who knows..

    all else fails, I have an RMA # from zip thats good for 10 days. Bad thing about that is I already cut the upc for the rebate. they said they would refund minus the $40 rebate amount.
  34. Just to make it clear I was talking about the Dynamic Energy Saver (aka DES) Software that comes with the drivers DVD. DO NOT INSTALL DES SOFTWARE. It may lead to system instability.
  35. Shadow703793 said:
    Just to make it clear I was talking about the Dynamic Energy Saver (aka DES) Software that comes with the drivers DVD. DO NOT INSTALL DES SOFTWARE. It may lead to system instability.

    Oh Poo !!!!

    Too late.. although I have yet to run it.. I will uyninstall. Hopefully that will work ?

    I am still playing with timings. I set my ram voltage to 1.64v and 8 8 8 24 timings but it froze up a few mins after i ran 3d marks. Not sure it waited until after a little while after it was working hard. Anyway, I went into the bios after the freeze and low and behold on channel A I must have set the 24 number to 8 because it was set to 8 when I got back in there. So I changed it to 24 and rebooted. I am just now posting this message after that reboot. Getting ready to re-bench. and stress the system a little. I have the command rate to 1T. I set the enhancement setting to Normal instead of Turbo....

    Here is my cpuz info.

    btw does the SPD tab mean anything ? It never seems to change now matter what I do to the settings. Also it shows the voltage at 1.5 and timings all funny. Is there any place in windows where I can see the actual ram voltage?


  36. SPD is taken from your system memory. It's a list of possible settings that the vendor has made available to your motherboard.
  37. Well it locked up again,even at 2t rate with the rated timings..

    To top it all off, my dad brought his gskills 1333 9 9 9 24 ram over. All I had to do was set the multi to 10 and all of his timings showed up just fine in cpuz.

    I got a reply from OCZ support. They are telling me to set my trc to 45 and my trfc to 90 and the command rate to 2t .

    Is this acceptable if it works? What are these settings ?

    I am benching with those settings now. It always locks right after running 3dmarks
  38. I tried the settings. and ran 3dmarks 3 times in a row and everything seems stable. Not sure if 2t and the other two things are acceptable settings for this ram..

    With how easy my dads ram worked I am thinking about using the rma zipzoom has given me.
  39. UPDATE

    I did some temp testing with the stop cooler vs the U120

    Stock Fan:

    Cold Boot Idle Temp 34C
    Load for 30 mins or more 62C

    U120 (with one Fan)

    Cold Boot Idle Temp 24C
    Load for 30 mins or more 40C

    U120 (with two Fans)

    Cold Boot Idle Temp 25C
    Load for 30 mins or more 41C

    Both fans are rated at 68CFM They are 3pin. I used a Y connector to connect both the the 4pin header on the MB so they are on full blast all the time. They don't seem to be overly loud. It seems that one fan works better than two. I lost about 1c cooling with two. I think they would need to be perfectly in sync to be better.

    I just have one fan installed now.

    I also got my replacement ram Gskill 1333mhz

    I installed a red LED case light as well.

  40. Those are *wicked* pics! :ouch:

    Love those red RAM heatspreaders--I've got Mushkin Redline myself.
  41. :sol: Thanks ! Yeah I do like the red heat spreaders better than the Gold ones for my build. It plays off of the red lights.

    I like my Panasonic TZ5 PnS camera. I just put it on the 2mp setting for this so I wouldn't have to resize the pics. It does well with closeups.
  42. Nice. Though blue would have been better. Any plans to case mod?
  43. @cah027: Here's a tip for your digital camera. Switch off the flash and change your ISO setting to the highest one (likely 400 or 800, or maybe even 1600). Then your exposure would come out a little more balanced and you wouldn't have that harsh flash glare.

    Would bring out the colors of your rig a little better... ;)
  44. wow! nice big case ...can I rent one of the xtra rooms in there? lol new here - wow the cooler is enormous!
  45. Akebono 98 said:
    @cah027: Here's a tip for your digital camera. Switch off the flash and change your ISO setting to the highest one (likely 400 or 800, or maybe even 1600). Then your exposure would come out a little more balanced and you wouldn't have that harsh flash glare.

    Would bring out the colors of your rig a little better... ;)

    Yeah.. I know I can get better pics from this camera. For the pics I just put it on auto and snapped.

    I just got my G5 mouse and I will be getting a different keyboard. I will take more update pics and I will try those settings. See if I can get some really nice shots.

    I did play around with it before and tooks some nice pics of the monument in downtown indy.

  46. Totally digging the cable management. I'd been anxious to see a user's HAF 932 rig... thanks for posting the pics.
  47. Ah, a fellow photographer... your exposures are fine, just adding a little polish from my side.

    Btw, your exposure on the monument is superb!
  48. OK...

    Now I am getting a little power hungry as far as graphics go. As I play Far Cry2 on my 19" CRT I sometimes get a little sluggish here and there. I don't remember the res atm but its one of those weird crt res's like 1440x1040 or something weird. Its not the highest res available in the settings but its the highest one that is most playable with everything Maxed out.

    Also I am planning on getting a good 1900x1200 lcd sometime in the future so I was thinking about either getting another EVGA 260/216 and going SLI or selling it and getting a 4870x2 .

    Which should I get. I was thinking if I go the 260 route I would try to save a little and get one used off ebay. Alternately I could sell it on ebay. They seem to be going for about $220 or so used.

    What do you guys think ?

    Or should I just spend a little tweak time and fine tune and be happy? I haven't really looked into better settings. I am still learning about the new hardware out these days. Being my first new system in over 6 years .
  49. You've not mentioned how high your CPU overclock is at the moment, but I'd try to max that out first, if you haven't done so already. Try to get a baseclock of 190-200, which should be possible with the TRUE.

    The next thing, if you're feeling adventurous, is to lap the TRUE and the CPU heatspreader. However, this voids the warranty, so I'm not sure if I would recommend that you do this.

    You can also try overclocking the video card (without voltage adjustment) too, for a bit more performance on the video side. eVGA has also just come out with a new voltage tuner that would allow for even higher overclocks, but apparently, the newer 55nm 260 is not yet supported so you'll have to wait just a little longer for this piece.

    Now with respect to video cards, don't forget that eVGA has a 90 day step-up plan, so you're still in the window. Therefore, you can step up to either the GTX 285 or the GTX 295. Perhaps step up to the 285, tweak everything to the max, and then when you get a 24" monitor, buy another 285 at that time for SLI. If you do step up, try to wait until the last possible moment to account for any price drops between now and then.

    Or you could always go with 2 GTX 295s... but that's a little overboard!
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