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Ballanced i7 build?

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January 13, 2009 5:39:20 PM

I've been out of the game for a few years now on system builds so I'm looking for some advice. I want a ballanced system with the option of upgrading in the future. I'll be doing gamin and light duty video stuff along with the stanard PC uses. So here is what I've come up with:

Case: Antec P182 - (been in the closet for a year)
PSU: Antec NeoPower 550- (been in the closet for a year)

MB: Asus P6T Deluxe- not much different from the P6T so I could save $50
CPU: Intel i7 920
RAM: OCZ PC3 1066 6GB kit- decent timings and has XMP which might be nice?
GPU: ASUS GTX280 OC
HD: WD 640GB Black

OS: XP Pro until Windows7 comes to town...or might run the beta.

I think that's it. I'll probably run the stock cooler for a bit and then upgrade. Let me know if I need to upgrade/downgrade anything to make it ballance out better!

More about : ballanced build

January 13, 2009 5:50:01 PM

The NeoPower is cutting it pretty close with a GTX 280 and i7 CPU. I'm not convinced it will power that system. I also hope you're aware of the 32-bit RAM limitation. You'll only be able to use about half of your RAM until you upgrade to a 64-bit OS.
January 13, 2009 5:59:56 PM

Yup, should have said that I knew about the RAM stuff. I figured the PSU will work to start with, I won't be able to OC much though.
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January 13, 2009 6:01:22 PM

Go for at least a 650W psu, i have similiar build, if you oc you will need an aftermarket cooler and a bigger psu for sure, might want to look for a faster set of ram to complete your system too, either 1333mhz or 1600mhz Shark
January 13, 2009 6:10:34 PM

I think you are ok, but shortstuff is right.

You might want to wait a few days to see the GTX285. It will use less power, and only need two pcie-6pin adapters instead of the 6 + 8 that the current GTX280 requires. Alternatively, the GTX260-216 cards are almost as good. Nice price on the gtx280, though.

I have downloaded the w7 beta, and don't see much difference from vista-64 bit. It IS a beta, and you can expect some missing parts. For instance, there are only three anti virus programs that currently run on it. I think I would go with vista-64 to avoid having to re-install when the beta expires in august.

I think I would go with an oem cooler up front. A big 120mm fan will be quieter than the stock cooler under load.
It is a pain to remove the mobo to put one in later.

The P6T deluxe has some advantages, like sli capability, and 24gb ram capability. Check the details out.

---good luck---
January 13, 2009 7:45:03 PM

Good stuff, thanks!

I'll be waiting to see what the GTX285 is like, but I'm guessing it won't be cheap. Good point about upgrading the cooler later, I've done it and it's a pain. I'll have to check some out before I buy.

I was wondering if I should go with faster RAM. I'll have to check into that a bit more. Faster RAM would be better for overclocking right? I liked the low timings on the kit I picked, but maybe I should go for more speed.

Since I already have the 550w PSU I'm going to try that out. I'll hook it up and see how much juice it's pulling from the wall. If it's too close for comfort I'll order a new one. :) 
January 13, 2009 7:47:59 PM

Faster RAM isn't really necessary for overclocking the i7 chips. Their RAM has a completely separate multiplier that can be set independent of the CPU multiplier.
January 13, 2009 8:39:18 PM

As an early adopter, I went with faster ram. It turns out that it really wasn't necessary. Benchmarks show that there is little difference in application performance on an i7 between fast and slow ram. It makes little difference between dual and triple channel either. Just more is better. I am intrigued by the possibility of what superfetch can do with 24gb.


I can not speak with experience on overclocking slower ram. All I did on the P6T with patriot 1600 was change the bclk to 160 with everything else on auto. Result is 3.33 which is all I wanted.
January 14, 2009 3:16:01 AM

geofelt said:


You might want to wait a few days to see the GTX285. It will use less power, and only need two pcie-6pin adapters instead of the 6 + 8 that the current GTX280 requires. Alternatively, the GTX260-216 cards are almost as good. Nice price on the gtx280, though.



I don't think so.

$201 - evga 280 ssc
http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?sduid=34284...
$191 - evga 280 sc
http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?sduid=34284...
$100 off all 280's at newegg:
http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?sduid=34284...

They're phasing these cards out for the 285.

January 14, 2009 11:47:18 AM

Quote:
We'll start with NVIDIA vs. NVIDIA and move on from there. The GeForce GTX 295 performed pretty much where we expected: between the GTX 260 SLI and the GTX 280 SLI set

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3498&p=9

So imo, it might be worth waiting esp. if you plan to SLI.

Also just curious, what LCD do you plan to hook it up to?
January 14, 2009 12:25:20 PM

Great parts, the only thing is the PSU is not enough for the i7 and the GTX 280 especially if your overclocking. The PSU is great quality though. :p  I would recommend at least 650 for that, or even more if you plan to SLI.
Anonymous
January 14, 2009 1:25:07 PM

You did a great job, balancing your system, the only thing i can think of to take advantage of market prices right now is to purchase a terabyte drive, they're pretty affordable (im a college student and i have 2x terabyte backups) it is also a smart idea to go for the free beta of windows as your operating system. that saves you some bucks since windows is such an expensive os, and people have been praising the new os...
January 14, 2009 3:06:05 PM

Alright, after reading everyone's thoughts and not wanting to push my 550w PSU over the edge I'll probably get a new one. :D  Since I'm getting a new one I want one that will work for SLI. So I'm looking at the Corsair 850TX 850W PSU. Now, I haven't run the numbers, I could go for the 750 also. I'll have to check and see where idle and full load would fall in the efficiency curve.

For RAM, should I upgrade to somthing faster? I was looking at Corsair DOMINATOR 6GB DDR3 1600. But that is $40 more plus I lose a $25 combo discount. So it will cost me $65 more for the faster RAM. But it does have better heatsinks. Bottom line is, are we talking a big speed difference and will the heatsinks matter. If not I might just save the money and run.

I did forget to mention what screen I'd be using. Until summer I'll run a 19" that I have at 1280x1024 so I think I'm a bit over the top on my GPU. :pt1cable:  But, I want to upgrade to around a 24". So, I'll need some horsepower then. If I don't like the performance at that point I could go SLI. I really like the new 55nm 260's, but the old 280's are a steal. Of course if I go with new cards I can use a smaller PSU....to much to think about.

Thanks for all the input! Let me know what else you think!

January 14, 2009 4:08:29 PM

I just built a 920 i7 pc with that Corsair 850. Love it. I had some issues with the OCZ 1600mhz ram so I rma'ed and have 1333mhz Gskills on order. I have read a few articles that will confirm the performance difference isn't worth the price difference.
January 14, 2009 10:00:45 PM

This is what I just bought.
I went with a modular SilverStone 750W PSU.

Good Luck

Mark


11-129-021 CASE ANTEC|NINE HUNDRED BK RT 1 $109.99 $109.99
13-131-346 MB ASUS P6T DELUXE 1366 X58 RTL 1 $299.99 $299.99
14-130-365 VGA EVGA 01G-P3-1280-AR GTX280 1G R 1 $324.99 $324.99
17-256-009 PSU SILVERSTONE|ST75F 750W RT 1 $139.99 $139.99
19-115-202 CPU INTEL|CORE I7 920 2.66G 45N R 1 $294.99 $294.99
20-145-224 MEM 2Gx3|CORS TR3X6G1600C8D R 1 $232.00 $232.00
22-136-319 HD 640G|WD WD6401AALS % 1 $79.99 $79.99
27-136-153 DVD BURN LG|GH22LS30 22X LS SATA % 1 $25.99 $25.99
32-116-488 MS WIN VISTA HM PREM SP1 64BIT 1PK% 1 $99.99 $99.99
35-100-007 CPU THERMPASTE|AS5-3.5G % 1 $5.99 $5.99



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