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Please help before I order parts for my new system!!

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January 18, 2009 5:38:45 PM

I wanted to get thoughts on my system as I haven't built a machine in 5 years, which was my first system. I plan on overclocking, but don't need to get every single possible bit of speed from the processor. I may be able to research out these issues myself, but simply don't have the time as I did when I built my last system.

I will also apologize in advance if any of these questions are very basic. I'm a decent computer user, but nowhere near all of your level. Medicine is my field, not computers.

I have a few questions that I'd like to get answered as you look over the system.

1. I have no idea what latencies or specs of memory are or what they mean (ie 7-7-7-24). I'm going with DDR3 PC1600, which I have some sort of idea means. But I have no idea what the 4 number spec above means. What should I get with regard to these?
Also, is my memory a bit overboard? I was thinking to go with the cheaper model from Corsair (the XMS), which I used in my last PC with good results. But the Dominator series had great reviews and stability on newegg.
Gskill was reviewed highly. I've never heard of this company. Are they good? They were much cheaper than Corsair.

2. I chose the Coolermaster V8 fan since it got good reviews about cooling the i7. But it is big. Will this fit into the Antec 1200 case without making any sort of modifications to the case or motherboard? I don't want to have to bother with shaving this or that off or soldering anything.
I want a fan that just mounts to the board that's better than the stock fan.
If this fan is too big or needs modification, what fan that doesn't need any modifications is good for the I7, the motherboard, and the case?

3. Does the power supply fit with the motherboard and case? It's ATX12v, and the motherboard and case are ATX. I don't know what the significance of the 12V is.

4. In general, what type of specs on the CPU/motherboard/memory do I need to stay under the 1.65V required of the I7?

Any other thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks.


CPU: Core I7 920
CPU Cooler: Coolermaster V8
Motherboard: Asus P6T Deluxe OC Palm
Memory: Corsair Dominator 6 GB (3X2 GB) DDR3 PC 1600
Graphics Card: Asus Radeon HD 4870 1 GB
Sound Card: SoundBlaster X-fi Titanium
Hard Drive: 2 hard drives, both Western Digital Caviar 320 GB SATA 3 Gb/s 7200 RPM
CD/DVD Drive: 2 drives, both LiteOn DVD Burners
Power Supply: Corsair 750TX 750 watt
Case: Antec 1200
OS: Vista 64 Home Premium


What do you guys think? Any serious issues with regards to the questions above or any other issue that needs to be changed?

Again, thanks for what are probably basic questions for all of you.

More about : order parts system

January 18, 2009 10:44:29 PM

Instead of 2 old slow drives, get 1 WD6401AALS.
All the parts should fit fine in your Antec case.
The memory is overkill, but you seem to have the $$$.
Use the stock cooler for now. Overclock when you learn what 7-7-7-24 means.
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January 19, 2009 2:41:11 AM

Lol. Very good advice from Newf. Do NOT attempt to overclock until you are familiar how everything in your computer is related. 7-7-7-24 are the timings that your memory runs at. they refer to the latencies that your system must wait for the memory modules to respond. Read up, Wikipedia is a good place to start. I wouldn't overclock until you are very familiar with the i7 and the new jargon that goes along with it. If you don't have 6+ hours to research this information online, take your computer to a shop and have them overclock it for a fee.

That sound card isn't necessary. Motherboards these days come with good onboard HD sound. The OC Palm edition isn't necessary either, just get the P6T Deluxe. Check the voltage on that ram to make sure it doesn't exceed 1.65 volts or else it could damage your CPU. It should be fine though.
January 19, 2009 11:07:32 AM

May I make the point that if you get that set up you dont really need to overclock, take it from me (I have the same setup) it is very fast and the need isnt really there. Especially if you are an OC novice. If you dont OC, the stock cooler with do the job no problems.

The Corsair Dominator 1600Mhz ram is really nice, my mate has a set and easily out performs my OCZ 1333.

Asus P6T Deluxe OC Palm, as previously said dont bother with this. The P6T will do everything the OC palm will do but without the gimmicy palm thing.

This is purley personal prefference, but I dis-like onboard audio. The X-Fi you have selected will outperform any onboard solution and potentially sound better in games optimised of X-fi soundcards.
January 19, 2009 1:14:17 PM

+1 no need for the palm just stick with the P6T
+1 no need for the aftermarket cooler unless you plan to oc, which you wont need to do. I7 will blow the doors off whatever you are using now as is.
+1 no need for sound card. Onboard sound is great these days. Worse comes to worse you dont like the onboard sound you can always go back and get one later on. But 99 times out of 100 the onboard will be more than sufficient. The corsair dominator is a little overkill you can grab a combo on newegg with a nice set of corsair 1600 dd3 6gb and the P6T mobo for 30 bucks off.

I would take the extra money saved from the combo/non palm mobo/sound card/after market cooler and get a nice hdd. Western digital black 640gb's are really nice. Two of those in raid 0 will kick some names and take some ass. Or something like that

Rest of the build looks great
January 19, 2009 5:42:07 PM

merlinbadman said:
May I make the point that if you get that set up you dont really need to overclock, take it from me (I have the same setup) it is very fast and the need isnt really there. Especially if you are an OC novice. If you dont OC, the stock cooler with do the job no problems.

+1

The i7 920 is going to be litterally 10x (or maybe more) faster than your Pentium 3 or whatever it is that you are currently running, if you were to OC then you might be able to get it to 12x the performance. But you will be so blown away by the speed of 8 threads vs. 1 thread that it isn't necessary. Once you educate yourself a bit more about overclocking the i7 you can give it a try in a couple months or so.

I would get an aftermarket cooler, as they really aren't that expensive (compared to all the other parts in your system). Even if you don't overclock now, you will have the option of doing it without having to remove your Mobo from your case to install a new heatsink. Just do it now. Even if you don't overclock ever, the better heatsink will make your i7 last forever. And in an Antec 1200, you probably won't be able to find a heatsink too big for that case.
January 20, 2009 4:09:24 AM

Point taken. I shouldn't overclock until I knew what I was doing... Thanks for your help. Who knows, I may have royally screwed up my computer with overclocking myself.

But I do have to say, I thought there were computer programs that automatically overclock? I read a review on extremetech where they used soem TurboV software I think it was called.
Can I use that safely to overclock?

On the otherhand, if the gains are that small, maybe I won't bother. I was under the impression that you get liike 40-50% faster performance with overclocking. But going from 10X to 12X as one person said is hardly 40-50%. If it's that little, I won't even bother. I'm using an Athlon processor from 5 years ago, so this will be much faster just regular speed.


Sorry for another question, but this is the last one. (I apologize for being a pain in the neck...)

I downgraded the memory. Still Corsair DDR3 1600, but a lower level model. I knew about the 1.65 V limit on the I7, which this memory has a voltage of 1.65 V, so that's ok right? It matches, it's not below 1.65V, but I assume that shouldn't be an issue (I ask since other memory had voltages of 1.5-1.6V.

The timing on the memory is 9-9-9-24. Can I use any timings? 7-7-7-24 was mentioned before. Are any timings ok? Are timings really just a matter of which one is slightly better? It seems like they call technically can be used, instead of certain timings being unable to be used.

Do these timings have to do with the multiplier? I was told to match the multiplier of the memory to that of the processor.

The memory is on the qualified vendor list (QVL) that I downloaded from the Asus motherboard website, so would assume it's ok.


Again, thanks for your help. Those were my last questions. You have helped a great deal.
January 20, 2009 5:41:08 AM

You can get 40 to 50% increased clock speed, but not necessarily that much more performance. There will be other factors in your pc that bottleneck operations before the CPU. Overclocking does give you much more performance, don't get me wrong, but I wouldn't recommend it yet. Get used to your Mach 10 computer before you go to lightspeed. Also, the 10x to 12x difference I quoted you was me assuming you will be doing a light overclock ~3.4 or so, based on your relative tech savyness. A higher OC of 4 to 4.2 ghz will give you more performance, but are much more difficult to attain, and usually you will need liquid cooling for anything over 4Ghz. The highest overclock that I have heard of was 4.5 on the i7-920, and who knows how long it will be before that processor burns out. (12x speed is relative, it depends on the jump you are making in processors. Core 2 duo to i7 is much different than pentium II to i7)

There are no programs that exist that will just automatically overclock your system to a stable point that I am aware of. Turbo V can be used in windows to adjust voltages ect, but that doesn't mean its an automatic guarantee.

As for your memory, the reason the other modules were more expensive is because of the timings they operate at. You may be able to adjust your timings a little from 9-9-9-24, but I would be very impressed if you got the 7-7-7-24 timings. And no, you cannot just use any timings. Setting the timings too low will make your memory unstable and your system will crash. The more expensive memory is worth it, IMO because it has more flexibility to run at different frequencies and timings.
January 20, 2009 7:05:43 AM

xthekidx said:
I would get an aftermarket cooler, as they really aren't that expensive (compared to all the other parts in your system). Even if you don't overclock now, you will have the option of doing it without having to remove your Mobo from your case to install a new heatsink. Just do it now. Even if you don't overclock ever, the better heatsink will make your i7 last forever. And in an Antec 1200, you probably won't be able to find a heatsink too big for that case.

+1

Heat kills over time, so if you're not on a tight budget, get an aftermarket cooler. You did mention that you were the 5 year kind of guy... You should be able to get up to baseclock 180 pretty easily (stock is 133) and without too much tweaking, so it doesn't hurt to have a cooler from this angle.

Note xthekidx's point about removing your mobo to install a heatsink--it's a pain, so it's better to do it up front. Any good cooler will need a backplate and thus you would have to remove the mobo to install it (the backplate goes on the underside of the mobo for strength).
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