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Yet another i7 Build $2200 Budget

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January 21, 2009 12:24:56 AM

First things first...
Proximon you rule, thanks for your gazillion informative posts. Hopefully I do them some justice in my decisions?
Anyways
So I've been doing a fair amount of reading and research on the forums here, and other places, and I guess it's time to finally clog up the forums with another post...but I'd really hate the alternative to seeking input.

So I'd like to stay under $2200 dollars, but if I HAVE to go to $2400, I WILL. RELUCTANTLY.

Here are most of my choices, but none are solid, I'm kinda hoping for some input from all you great people.


Procy

Intel I7 920 $294 or less

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Motherboard

I'm leaning towards
EVGA 132-BL-E758-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard $300
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I was thinking about the Asus P6T, but I read some bad reviews about it, plus with the V2 of it coming out, I have to wonder whats wrong with it. Seems semi-scandalous, so I wanna stay away from it.
From what I've read EVGA is a good company as far as customer support, and the board doesn't seem too lacking. +1 for the 3xSLI too I suppose, although I think it'd be sometime before I ever actually even run dual.
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Memory

Its a toss up between

Mushkin 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory $204
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory $170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It seems like everyone loves the mushkin, so I'm thinking thats what I'll end up choosing, although its out of stock on newegg atm....
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Video Card

I'm strongly considering footing the bill for a GTX 295 just because they are so nasty. I'd probably buy a second one someday, when it's actually necessary.
Otherwise I was gonna do a little SLI action or whatever, and get a couple 260's but it seems wiser and more cost effective to just start with the one nasty card. I'm really not sure what to do here, because in some ways I feel like it's overkill.

ASUS ENGTX295/2DI/1792MD3/A GeForce GTX 295 1792MB 896 $506
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I suppose another possibility would be getting 2 GTX 260's for about $500 and planning to buy a 3rd later to utilize tri SLI?
Decisions decisions

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Power Supply

I deffinately want a 1000+ watt, as I may be running dual gtx295's someday. I haven't done a ton of research on PSU's, but as far as price/watt goes this bugger seems nice
COOLMAX CUQ-1200B 1200W $200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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CPU FAN

This seems pretty nasty, although the coolermaster v8 may be a better choice? I haven't really stumbled over any concrete reviews...

Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 120mm SSO CPU Cooler $84
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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Case

Hehehe this is funny.
Seriously though, I dont want a clear side panel. I want a sleeper of sorts.
So at anyrate I really want the Antec 300, I dont much care what it looks like...and it seems to have a nice design. The only concern I have is would it be spacious enough for that MASSIVE heatsink I want on my cpu. And am I being ridiculous wanting such a low end case?
I feel like I could buy 100 dollars worth of fans and such instead of a more expensive case. Plus if the case ever became an issue, at $50 dollars it's not too much to just get a new one.
Antec 300 $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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Hard Drive(s)

Its either 2 WD Raptors 74GB run in raid 0 @ a total of $200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or do I foot the extra 70 dollars and get 2 GSKILL SSD's and run them in raid or something? $270
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm torn, because it seems like the 2 SSD's would be so much nastier, but I haven't done enough reading to make an adequate decision.

I only need 150 gig's or so of space for awhile, so I wanna have everything set up in raid.. I fully intend to buy a random terabyte drive a few months from now when space actually becomes an issue.

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Monitor

I dont know too much about monties, but I want something w/ a 2ms response time, and a really really clear picture. Too much to choose from really, but this acer struck my eye with its extremely high contrast....
Acer P244Wbii $320
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

My only question here is with the resolution being 1920-1080, should I be shooting for a 1920-1200 instead?

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Also

WINXPVISTA64Ultimate @ $179
and some random dvd drive @ $25


By my calculations this puts me right around $2300...I should beable to knock off 100 dollars or so shopping around too using pricegrabber and combined deals and such...

My main concerns are

The case, will the Vid card fit? will the Noctua cooler fit? am i being ridiculous even thinking about such a case?

The hard drives, what do I do?!

The motherboard, is the EVGA actually a good choice? I also read somewhere about one of the heatsinks on that board getting in the way of some cpu coolers....is this a potential problem for my choice of cooler?

Another quick Q, the WD drives are sata 1.5Gb/s, thats like not a problem or something with my board choice having a 3gig/s rating is it? I assume its not but just wanna make sure.

Thank you everyone for all the info you've already probably shared with me without knowing it, and thanks for all your input. YOU RULE.

More about : build 2200 budget

January 21, 2009 12:41:15 AM

The coolermaster V8 fits perfectly on the Evga x58 board. You should get a case larger than the antec 300, maybe the 1200. I am not sure about the 900. Consider also the coolermaster HAF, people seem to like it and it gets good cooling.
January 21, 2009 12:43:45 AM

Also, I didn't see this in your post, but are you planning on overclocking? If you are not, then you could save some money on that build.
Related resources
January 21, 2009 12:51:35 AM

Yeah I forgot to mention that, I definately intend to OC it. Not anything outrageous, but I'd like to have as much room to overclock as possible.


Thanks for the info on the coolermaster fitting, that's one of my primary concerns w/ that EVGA mobo.

As for the case, it's physically too small you figure?

Or it's just too small to permit descent airflow?


Thank you veddy much :) 
January 21, 2009 1:12:02 AM

I think it is physically too small. I doubt it will fit the coolermaster V8. I have it, and trust me, it is large. Also, I know that two 260s or 295s would not fit in that case. The cooling will also be hampered. It seems like you need a full tower case, a 300 is meant for a lower end configuration. I have the Coolermaster Cosmo S and don't recommend it. Consider the Antec 1200 or Coolermaster HAF.
January 21, 2009 6:02:32 PM

Right on, thanks for the info Greg.

The only thing I dont like about any of them is the bottom mount power supply, seems to me it would be stupid having a fan blowing up into the vid card, as the vid card fan is trying to blow down, which would probably hamper performance in that respect.

I'll rule out the 300 then, and go for the Antec 1200 instead, I thought that would end up happening.

As far as the CPU heatsink/fan, from what I've read the Noctua is the top performer...so I might end up just sticking with that beast.
January 21, 2009 6:17:29 PM

I'd also like to mention that I've been swayed to get 2 640 AAK Western Digital's, run them in raid 0, rather than the Raptors...Saves 50 bucks or so, plus I'd rather have alot of storage, and if something better comes out (maybe a descently priced SSD) then I'd use the 2 640's for storage.

Nifty.
January 21, 2009 7:43:15 PM

For a case I would go with CoolerMaster 690. From what I have seen on coolermaster's website, it will fit the V8 heatsink. The site says you have 176 mm to fit a heatsink from the top of the CPU I think...Anyways that is what I am planning to do at the moment for a heatsink, and I have this case. Its also very well ventilated, and $80 vs. $200 for the Antec 1200
January 21, 2009 7:47:50 PM

I just checked the websites, Antec 1200 and CM 690 are both 213 mm wide, and so they should have about the same amount of room for heatsinks. The CM 690 is the widest Midtower case that I have seen and I think it will fit most heatsinks.
January 21, 2009 8:55:24 PM

I'd recommend going with a 1920x1200 if it is mainly going to be gaming. If there is going to be a lot more tv shows and movies than gaming, then a 1080 resolution may be preferable. Look at the Samsung t240 or maybe a 2443bwx or 2433bw. One that was also looking at was the Acer P243WAid, which is going for $330 on newegg. That is an excellent monitor, IMO. I just got a great deal from ncix for my t240. I purchased the extra protection against any dead pixels, as well as insurance if something goes wrong, just because I usually don't like buying monitors/televisions online. After everything, it came out to $306. It was a weekend sale, but from what I hear, ncix does that quite often. Maybe keep an eye out for it?

Also, just a heads up: your and my system are almost identical. I chose the same mobo, processor, gpu, and RAM choices. I have finally decided to go with the mushkins after having seen their performance is truly as good as I thought they would be.

As others have said, for your kind of build, not only will space for the cooler and the GPU be important in your case, but airflow will as well. An Antec 300 will just not work for you. I am going with an Antec Twelve Hundred because of all the fans that help with the airflow, the great cable management, and the huge size of it. I received it just yesterday, and it looks absolutely beautiful. I often see newegg doing sales with huge price drops on the Twelve Hundred. I got mine for $110 about a week ago.

SSDs aren't worth the expense at this time, IMO. Maybe once they are more competitively priced they'll be worth it for the speed increase. If you really want some extra speed for your OS boot, perhaps go with a single Velociraptor, or RAID0 them, and then get a bigger hard drive for straight up storage... perhaps a Western Digital Black Caviar 640gb or maybe 1tb Samsung spinpoint f1?

I am going with a 300gb velociraptor as my OS hard drive, and then the WD Black Caviar 640gb as my storage.

Also, I am going with a 750tx Corsair PSU since I don't think I'll ever be upgrading to a 2xgtx295 SLI config, because this thing is just going to last me through grad school, and then I'll be making a new computer again.

For that mobo, many are saying the v8 is the way to go. There have been reports of people having trouble fitting some of the bigger heatsinks, such as the Noctua on that EVGA x58 mobo. Some have said that they had to sand off a bit off the corner of the mobo to get it to fit correctly. Just keep that in mind. I am going the V8 route with the mobo, as I've heard great things about it, and it is less expensive.

Also, are you sure you need Vista Ultimate? Most can get by QUITE easily with just Vista Premium. That'd shave off roughly $75 off your total. Check this chart to see the differences between the versions:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/compare-...

Lastly, make sure you check out the combo that has the EVGA x58 mobo + the EVGA gtx 295 card for -$45 discount: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

That would definitely be the best deal if you are set on getting that mobo, and the gtx 295. Every little bit saved helps, right?

That's really all I can think of at the moment. Anyone correct me if I made any wrong observations.

January 22, 2009 1:25:45 AM

Well I switched OS's at the last second, THANKS A MILLION on that one. You saved me some cashola there. I assumed ultimate was just that "ultimate". Apparently not all that much different. I did do the combo deal on the MOBO/vid card, which I intended to do anywho but thanks there. I went with the CM 690 case, I think that'll be a sweetspot for me.
Also thanks for the monitor advice, glad you got to me in time, spent an extra 30 bucks and got a nice 2ms 1920x1200. Thanks much much much.
January 22, 2009 1:51:01 AM

Good luck, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask us!
January 23, 2009 12:37:21 AM

KK, thanks so much.

I have a possibly good one, when I am setting up my HD's in Raid, what kind of stripe size and such should I go with?

I haven't really found any great info on what to go with...so I suppose that'd be nice to know :) 

!