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First build in several years plus some questions

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January 26, 2009 2:28:24 AM

Hi all!

Well, my my hyperthreading P4 with AGP slots has reached the end of the road. I want to do a bunch of video editing (a chore now) and the occasional new game. I have landed on the following setup based on an i7. Sure, I am possibly overbuying a little, but I want reliability for a few years, as much performance as I can get today (reasonably), and some upgradeability.

I would appreciate any opinions and insights on whether the pieces will all work well together, if you'd suggest anything different, if there are better deals or NewEgg combos I am missing, etc.

Processor
Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MB
ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM
OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-OR-
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card
SAPPHIRE 100258-1GL Radeon HD 4850 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I have my old/current monitor (ViewSonic VP2030b, 20 inch, max res 1600x1200) that I will keep using for now. I may someday get a nicer one, or add a nicer one and go dual monitor.

HDD
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD RW Etc
SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model SH-S223Q - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mouse
Logitech LX7 931395-0403 Blue 5 Buttons Tilt Wheel USB + PS/2 RF Wireless Optical Mouse - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Keyboard
Saitek PZ30AU Black USB Wired Standard Eclipse Keyboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Also, I have a few other questions:
1) Did I forget anything?
2) Do I need a CPU Cooler/Heat Sink/Etc? Probably won't try much overclocking, unless it's far easier than a few years ago. Don't mind spending a few bucks and doing the install for one though, if it's just a good idea to upgrade cooling from what comes from Intel.
3) I am running XP SP3 and love it, but I don't want to shut the old PC down for good, just move it to another part of the house, so do I what should I do for the OS? I read some posts here about Vista and was trying to determine whether I should:
a) buy Vista Ultimate 64-bit (or another Vista version)
Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
b) attempt to download and use Windows 7 beta (I checked out the MS site, and I have no doubt I can install it, etc, but how much work is it to keep it running?)
c) keep using XP Pro SP3 (Is this even possible? I have zero interest in doing anything against my license.)
d) buy a new copy of XP Pro (Is this possible, and if so, does it make sense, it's 32 bit, right?)

Thanks for sharing ideas!

More about : build years questions

January 26, 2009 2:55:02 AM

Looks like a solid, well thought out build. If you plan on doing any overclocking at all (light overclocking is pretty easy on the i7 with a bit of research), I would highly suggest picking up a cooler now. They can be a pain to install later, and the improved cooling never hurts anything. Give this one a try -

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, if you want to take advantage of all the RAM you are spending your money on, you should get a 64-bit OS. 32-bit versions are limited to 3gb. I would go ahead and pick up a copy of vista 64-bit home premium for $99 on the egg. Unless you need all of the bells and whistles that Ultimate has to offer, it might be a waste of money. That's something you'll have to research yourself though.

Hope some of this helped!
January 26, 2009 3:30:03 AM

definitely some great choices of components, looks like you've thought this out. i have just a few things to add:

1) the psu is a tad bit extravagent for your component choices so perhaps
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-or-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
those r considerably cheaper and would still do the trick. one is 80plus certified and the other is modular so whichever you prefer and there are always others. just fyi, i use the latter psu with a radeon 4850 and an amd P2 940 so there's certainly enough juice.

2) i find the hdd an interesting choice although there is certainly nothing wrong with it. you can get better performance for less money with only a small hit in capacity or vice-versa so i assume you chose this because it was best suited for your needs. just an observation.

3) i also find your mouse/keyboard choices interesting (mostly due to one being a wireless and the other wired and being different brands), but nothing wrong with them either. i know i might be a little biased but i love logitech peripherals so just think about it...

4) your questions:
1. no, you didn't forget anything
2. you don't necessarily need an aftermarket cpu cooler, but it'll be quite useful if u plan to overclock even a little. also, IMO, i would use one even keeping things at stock speeds because heat is the enemy and a good heatsink is your weapon. it'll help your cpu run more efficiently and last longer. if you do decide that you want one, Foolycooly was all over it, i would also recommend that cooler.
3. as for your OS, u can reuse your xp but its days are numbered whether we like it or not so IMO i would go with vista. again, i agree with Foolycooly to use vista home premium 64 bit as i doubt you will need what ultimate has to offer. if you do decide to reuse your old xp (you will need to reactivate it with a call to microsoft explaining what you did), then obviously you should save your money on the ram by buying a 3 gig kit instead of a 6 gig kit.
Related resources
January 26, 2009 3:33:14 AM

Quote:

2) i find the hdd an interesting choice although there is certainly nothing wrong with it. you can get better performance for less money with only a small hit in capacity or vice-versa so i assume you chose this because it was best suited for your needs. just an observation.


the wd caviar 640gb is the best hdd for the money on the market hands down. However, OP might want to spend $5 more on the black version.
January 26, 2009 3:49:08 AM

Solid build, good job!

I agree on the WD 640GB, an excellent hard drive. I've been using them for most builds for a while now and use them in my own systems.

As mentioned, you'll need a 64-bit OS to make use of all the system memory. I'd also go with Vista Home Premium, just take 45 seconds to use the control panel and navigate to the user account and turn off the stupid warnings. Vista runs fine otherwise at this point - unless you have ancient printers or something you want to use (no driver support).

I'd get an after market cooler if you're going to OC at all (which you pretty much have to do these days, much easier now).

I'll throw in the suggestion of looking at the Coolermaster 690 case, it's basically the same thing as the 900 but usually is cheaper. It's a popular forum debate, the 690 vs 900 both are good so up to you.

Maybe grab a couple extra Scythe 120mm fluid bearing fans (very quiet) for the case.

Good luck!
January 26, 2009 9:45:23 AM

Thanks everyone!

Foolycooly, I checked out the MS Vista website for a comparison and found this:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/compare-...

I think you were right, Ultimate would be a waste, and the Home Premium seems to have some nicer media features to replace some of the other things I wouldn't use. So I will swap that out.

You guys convinced me on getting a cooler. But, V8 cooler's out of stock - is there another, or should I (gulp) wait until 2/3 when it's scheduled to arrive in stock?
COOLER MASTER V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I will dig around a bit more on HDDs, and take a look at the "black". I am a little partial to WDs but it's probably just superstition - I have had 3 good ones in a row, and since those were all IDEs I should probably expand my horizons some. It seemed like the 650GB-ish ones had the best price/value for space, speed and user ratings. I will glady accept other recommendations if anyone's got 'em!

amdgamer, thanks for your suggestions on power supplies! Jevon, thanks for what you said about the Cooler Master 690 case - when I checked that out, I saw a combo deal with a Cooler Master UPC RS700 for $189.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
If that big Corsair 750W is overkill, would this combo be better and still give room to grow? Or should I step the PS down still more? I sure like the price!!

I will also look at KBs and mice some more. Was thinking that a wireless keyboard would make it impossible to use in bios setup, but that's gotta be wrong. Wireless KBs are okay? Sorry, that's probably the stupidest question of the year. :) 

Thanks again everyone, and if there are more thoughts out there, would love to hear them!
January 26, 2009 12:01:05 PM

Following your thread here. Working on a new (albeit lower budget) build myself, and have some of the same questions as you. I used to build every box myself, starting with my first 386sx.

As recently as the early 2000's it seemed you only had about 3 or 4 video cards to choose from, now there is easily 200 on newegg.
January 26, 2009 1:04:53 PM

robwsup said:
Following your thread here. Working on a new (albeit lower budget) build myself, and have some of the same questions as you. I used to build every box myself, starting with my first 386sx.

As recently as the early 2000's it seemed you only had about 3 or 4 video cards to choose from, now there is easily 200 on newegg.



Yeah, I have built every PC I have owned except my Packard Bell 286 years (decades?) ago, and a dog of a Pentium that I bought premade in the mid-90s. Unless I build it, I feel that I can't fix it or upgrade it effectively. I have helped several family members by building theirs too, so when they call with "my cupholder (CD) won't eject" or "I can't get to my email" I know what to do because I know their software and hardware.

Things sure have changed, but resources like Tom's sure help, as do all the great users of the forums. If you don't build them often, you need all the help you can get. :) 

I am sure you already checked the sticky at the top of this forum - I found it a great place to start learning:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/257075-31-guide-choos...

!