Building a new system, need experienced eyes

Hi, my computer I built 5 years ago with a lot of difficulty (I can put it together but I don't really know whats going on) died on christmas day ironically...

The last one I did a ton of research and bought all the parts from newegg, and had a great experience with them so I plan to buy there again. Anyway, for gaming I'm looking for something that will really handle anything at this point, but within reason on price. Basically I just need knowledgeable people to see if my parts go with each other :)

I decided against vista for the time being, until DX10 becomes prominent. I don't need a monitor or a sound card as my Audigy 2 seems to have survived.

My one concern I have on compatibility is the case has the psu bay on the bottom, which I have never seen, even though the case is listed as ATX, that is just new and weird to me so I'm skeptical :P

Rebates, discounts and return policies removed for easier reading.

Thanks for any input.

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811129042

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
Item #: N82E16817139006

Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model CT2KIT25664AA800 - Retail
Item #: N82E16820148160

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819115202

EVGA 01G-P3-1280-AR GeForce GTX 280 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
Item #: N82E16814130365

EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813188024

Subtotal: $1,022.89
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  1. You made a big mistake on your build--choosing an i7 processor with an LGA 775 mobo. That obviously won't work.

    If you're looking to stay with XP, then suggest you go with one of the following P45 chipset mobos, both of which are non-Crossfire: Asus P5Q or Gigabyte EP45-UD3R.

    You'll have to decide if you want dual core or quad core processor here.

    Start with the base I've given you above and build up from there.

    No problems with the PSU on the bottom--that's a better design for cooling, IMO. Your PSU size is fine to drive that GTX 280.
  2. Ok good thing I asked

    Need some clarification on the XP comment. I'm not ruling out getting vista down the road, just not right now, so I'm not sure if that makes a difference. Also not ruling out doing SLI down the road as well so I assume if those mobos you listed are non-crossfire they are non-SLI as well?

    The mobo and processor not working together makes me somewhat laugh because I found it through "People who purchased this also got:" when I looked up the i7 so I guess there's some other ignorant people out there besides myself lol

    Thanks for the reply :)

    EDIT: Just reviewed the specs and guess I got excited, that was really dumb that I missed that socket incompatibility
  3. You also need DDR3 as well as a x58 mobo if you go i7.
  4. My build maybe you like it:

    CPU :E8400(great overclocking possibilities)
    Mobo :Gigabyte DQ6 x48 DDR2 version FSB1600 2xPCIex16
    RAM :2x2GB Corsair Dominator TwinX CL5 1066
    Vcard :HD 4870 X2 2GB GDDR5 DX10.1 HDTV 2xDVI PCI-E
    PSU :ToughPower W0116 750W PFC
    CASE :Thermaltake Armor+ VH6000BWS

    as i can see you buiding a gaming rig check the benchmarks of games you are going to play and buy the video card the best suites you,DQ6 is crossfire mobo doesn't support SLI so if you re Nvidia fan keep the board you wanted but its always good to keep the SLI/Crossfire option bcz you buiding PC for years and the technology evolves very quickly.

    your build is ok just buy E8400 instead of i7 920 :> and 280 in such small case can be a problem and you also should consider better CPU cooling wich also can be a problem in such case
  5. LOL indeed.

    Regarding XP, I misunderstood your original comment in my reply. Upgrading to Vista "down the road" might mean upgrading to Windows 7 down the road (likely release at the end of 2009), so factor that into your build today.

    I think that your major question is whether to go with the old Core 2 platform or the new i7 platform. Price difference is roughly $350 - 400 right now, so think about how that fits into your upgrade budget too.

    We're just in a funny part of the product cycle when you put these two variables together, so first think of your needs and what you want to do in the future. The i7 is obviously more future proof.

    If you decide on the old Core 2 platform, here are the corresponding Crossfire mobos: Asus P5Q Pro or Gigabyte EP45-UD3P.

    Crossfire is for ATI cards, SLI is for nVidia cards. You can't SLI on a Crossfire mobo under the old platform (and vice-versa), but you can on the newer i7 platform. And nobody ever recommends the SLI mobos for Core 2.

    So, if you want to stay with the Core 2 and want to build in Crossfire, then get the 4870 video card instead of the GTX 280. However, if you just want to upgrade single video cards, then it doesn't matter whether you go with nVidia or ATI.

    Looks like the main question for you right now is how much budget and how future proof you want to be, in light of the above.
  6. Awesome, thanks for the replies.

    The DDR3 ram is killing me. It is just so expensive, trying to get 4 gigs the best deal I can find is around $90 but the reviews aren't that good and after that...its $225+ for reputable brands

    How much would performance suffer if I toned it back a generation? To something like mama35's post, bearing in mind I've only ever overclocked a GPU

    Also, does the memory type on the gpu matter? 260/280 are listed as GDDR3, so does that mean if I go back a generation I have to on that as well?

    Thanks again
  7. Wait for GTX 285 and the GTX 295.
  8. Take a look at the brief platform discussion at the bottom of this thread. Optional 22 and aevm's 2 posts near the bottom sum up the platform issue pretty succinctly.

    And don't worry about the video memory part. nVidia's GDDR3 and ATI's GDDR5 are two different generations of memory built into very different overall graphics architectures, so to the ultimate consumer, this one element in isolation doesn't really matter. For GPUs, the other factors are more relevant.
  9. If you get an i7 CPU, don't get 4GB of DDR3 as you will not be able to use it in tri channel mode. Instead of getting 2, 4, or 8GB of RAM with DDR2, its either 3, 6, or 12GB with DDR3. ALSO, another huge thing with an i7 CPU is making sure the RAM voltages are set correct for your processor. Just because the RAM is DDR3 does not mean you want to use it in an i7. Make sure the RAM voltages on the DDR3 are 1.5 - 1.65V. Any higher and you risk frying your chip.

    If you use windows xp you will be fine with 3 x 1GB of DDR3 ram.
    here's some memory I found that I am ordering for my i7 920 on newegg that's decently priced:
  10. There are some articles out there that show how on an i7 platform, 3x2GB in tri-channel offers very little performance increase over 2x2GB in dual channel. Ergo, you are "wasting your money" on that extra stick of DDR3. That is a discussion for another thread, but be aware that it is out there and it is possible to run an i7 mobo in dual channel with 2x2GB.

    ehanger is right about XP 32 bit, as a 32 bit OS has a maximum 4GB memory address limit, inclusive of that on the video card. However, in that case, I would definitely run DDR3 in dual channel 2x2GB configuration. However, people generally don't run XP 32 bit on an i7 platform... ;)
  11. Haha yea, my theory is, I hear all the horror stories about vista, and I've been using XP flawlessly for years. Plus, saves me money since I don't have to buy vista :P
  12. Vista is a solid OS. I've been using it for 3 years now.

    If it saves you money, just wait until Windows 7, which comes at the end of next year. D3D 11 will hopefully kick ass.
  13. 3 years? I know I'm not really in the know but lol

    Anyway, as for the memory, its possible to use the 2x2 DDR3, but it's safer to use 1x3 DDR3?

    Basically I'm trying to just install the parts and get going with this thing without much hassle, I obviously don't have the knowledge to deal with it, so if something like the 2x2 is not really the norm for the X58 board then I should probably stay away from it :P


    Came up with a $1250 budget so I made some changes.

    Downgraded to the 260 because the benchmark charts on here tell me I don't need to spend $100 more for 5 more fps :)

    Also looked up reviews of the Antec Three Hundred case and people said 260 fit no problem, so good to go there I guess.

    Also switched the mobo to GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX

    and planning on the i7 920 as Akebono put it, is more future proof, which is good as I need this to last a few years.

    And if 1x3 DDR3 is the more stable route then I found the Corsair Dominator 1x3 for about $75 less than the 2x2.

    Changes put me below budget including a 500gb WD 7200 HD and a new keyboard.

    So, my question is, since I'm a little OCD and really want to not go over $1250, are there any small upgrades I could make? ($70 under atm)
  14. Here are a couple of fine-tuning suggestions:

    1. I think your Corsair Dominators are absolutely fine. However, if you are looking for something that is a little better value, then consider this DDR3 from G.Skill for $100: link. The heatsink is not as nice as the Corsair, though.

    2. If you're going with the GTX 260, make sure you get the newly released 55nm version of the GTX 260 Core 216, like this one.

    3. Double check your mobo designation, it should be the Gigabyte EX58-UD5, not "UD3R" as that is the old LGA775 model.

    4. On your hard drive, a slight improvement is to get the WD Caviar Black 640GB (AALS version) which is faster than 500GB because of higher platter density. Caviar Black is also faster than SE16 models.

    5. If you want to leave room to SLI in the future, then you will need the Corsair TX850 PSU instead of the TX750.
  15. Akebono,

    The Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R is compatible with Core i7's LGA 1366 socket. There are only 4 slots for memory but you can use 3 of them for triple channel compatibility. Check link:

    I know that it limits your ability to upgrade RAM, but the price difference between this particular board and all other X58 Mobo's is ridiculous. It's $210 as compared with at least $245 and up for the rest of the field. Also Newegg will give you $20 bucks off for a combo deal with the Core i7-920. That sort of price difference makes the slot deficiency worth it in my book.

    My tentative build that I'm thinking pretty hard about:

    Gibabyte GA-UD3R LGA 1336 -- $190
    Core i7 920 -- $295
    G-Skill DDR3 (3 x 1GB) -- $85
    Asus EAH4850 TOP Radeon HD 4850, 512M -- $135 after rebate
    Corsair 750W PSU -- $110

    Don't need a case, monitor, or soundcard. With that cheap Mobo also being Crossfire certified, I'm thinking this is a solid, yet budget-concious Core i7 build. Just adding another video card or ugrading memory (when price is reasonable) are pretty simple upgrades down the road. The real question is whether Intel socket LGA 1336 is here to stay or not.

    Certainly any commentary is welcome and appreciated.


  16. @Skander: It's a bit fuzzy to turn back the clock, but I think that the EX58-UD3R wasn't out yet at the time of this thread back in late December '08 or I must have been confused along with the OP. Serves me right for using shorthand on the Gigabyte mobos--which are excellent, IMO.

    I'd prefer not to breach forum etiquette, so have a read of these two threads:

    Core 2 Quad build

    i7 build

    Then start a new thread with your last post (and notify me by PM) and I'll be happy to help you out.


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