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First build - a few questions

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January 25, 2009 5:13:34 AM

Hello Tom's Hardware,

I'm building my first desktop, so I have no existing parts to choose from. This is the build I'm currently leaning towards. It ended up costing more than I wanted, but since I want it to be upgradable in the future, I decided I had to go with the more expensive i7 processor/motherboard/ram...

i7 920 2.66 GHz
Radeon HD 4850 X2 2GB
Foxconn Renaissance LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V PSU
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB Hard Drive for Windows
Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB Hard Drive for media (I already have 2 full 1TB WD external drives, so I definitely need lots of storage space)
LG disk drive (It will rarely be used)
Full Tower ATX Cooler Master Case

I have two 22-inch 1920x1080 monitors, and I plan to do a lot of gaming on my system. I also plan to use Vista Business 64-bit, which I can get for free through my university.


I do have a few questions:

First of all, how's the power supply? Do I need more wattage? Or can I save money and go with less? Keep in mind I plan to add another graphics card in the future.

Secondly, should I stick with the 4850X2, or should I go with the GTX 285? I can get the 285 for just $15 more, but their benchmarks seem to be almost identical. I hope to Crossfire/SLI another card in the future, so would I get better multi-card performance with the 285 since it's just one GPU instead of two, like the 4850X2?

Thirdly, do I need any additional cooling? I don't plan to overclock right away, although I may look into it in the future...

Fourth, do I need to buy any additional parts to go with OEM hard drives or optical disk drives?

Fifth, how's the build overall? Any suggestions?

Thanks a lot guys!

More about : build questions

January 25, 2009 6:10:46 AM

With a possible overclocked power hungry i7 system with 2 powerful GPUs, 4 hard drives, case fans etc. i'd really think about spending $120 for the Corsair 850w PSU. 2- HD4850X2 in crossfire and 2- GTX285 in SLI use about 330w at load. Add that to system load it's better to go a bit big, even a larger PSU wouldn't be out of the question.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Personally i'd go with the GTX280 or 285 in SLI rather then go the crossfired 4850X2. You can always add a cooler at a later date when you start to overclock. You mobo supplies the SATA cables for the burner, if you get a retail burner for a few bucks more it includes the software and a cable. You might check out this article by guruof3D about 2x3GB of DDR3 1866, it has some great information and benchmarks showing different speeds configurations (1x3GB or 2x2 GB ) It's worth a read.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/corsair-dominator-6gb-186...
January 25, 2009 3:46:10 PM

Thank you very much, dirtmountain.

I'll go with the Corsair 850w PSU then, it's only $20 more. To go higher than that would cost considerably more, so I think I'll stick with 850w. The article about ram was a very interesting read, thanks for including it! I'll go with the GTX 285 then.

Thanks again,
Fetttson
!