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Updated i7 build up for comments and tweaks! (UPDATED WITH PICTURES!!)

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February 3, 2009 9:09:32 PM

Hey guys,

I have been researching and browsing this forum pretty much every day for the past month or so and have hopefully come to a conclusion on what I want to build. Your advice has been incredibly helpful up to this point.

I have decided to go i7 after a long debate between it and the duo. While it's going to cost me an extra $600 or so, I think it will be worth it. I will probably not build until March, but I hope to keep these components the same, and hopefully the prices will have come down a bit by the time I get around to the build. I'm hoping to spend about $1500, not including the monitor which I might ask for for my upcoming birfday. This is what I've come up with.

----------------------------------------------------------

CASE:

Coolermaster RC-690 - $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

POWER SUPPLY:

Corsair 750TX - $119.99 (w/o $20 MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOTHERBOARD:

ASUS P6T - $249.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU:

Intel Core i7 920 - $294.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU COOLER:

Coolermaster V8 - $69.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU:

EVGA GTX 295 - $504.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MEMORY:

OCZ Platinum 6gb - $169.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD:

WD Caviar Black 640gb - $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MONITOR:

Samsung 2433BW 24" LCD - $289.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OPTICAL DRIVE:

LG 22x DVD burner - $24.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

THERMAL PASTE:

Arctic Cooling MX-2 - $6.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS:

Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit - $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


In total it comes to a little over $2,000 after shipping and rebates

------------------------------------------------




------------------------------------------------

EDIT - Lucky change in plans and I will be order within the next couple of weeks. I made some changes, and am going to go w/ the 295 and P6t non-deluxe. The prices on some of my components are currently up on newegg :fou:  but hopefully will come down again by the time I order. Also, I just realized there is a microcenter by my house (not college apartment) in VA so hopefully I can snag a 920 during their insane sale. ($230).

One concern I had was that I saw someone post problems w/ the corsair 750 and the gtx295. I believe that there are enough power connectors to handle it (I saw on a picture of the 750w that there were multiple 'PCIe' connectors which looked like 6 pin w/ a separate little 2 pin which I assume could be combined for an 8-pin. The 295 requires one 8 and one 6, so do you think this will be a problem.

Anything else you guys can see? Thanks as always!
February 3, 2009 10:16:50 PM

Samsung > Acer.

Since you're using a single video card, the Corsair VX550 would be plenty. Or the PC P&C Silencer 500W.

On the subject of the video card, I would suggest a GTX285 would be perfect for a 24" monitor. Single GPU is always the best way to go, less driver issues and 100% scaling in every game.
February 3, 2009 11:36:18 PM

the animal makes some good points. personally i would stick with your current psu to allow you to upgrade in the future. Also if budget is a concern i would go with a 4870 1gb gpu for now. with a 24" this gpu will be more than sufficient for now, you can grab a second and crossfire it in the upcoming months and save yourself some cash. Also i have heard there is some slight clearance issues with the v8 and the evga board. The p6t deluexe has some better clearance and imo is an overall better board, also its 15 bucks cheaper. While im at it, the Noctua 1366 cooler might be a better choice. its smaller, quieter and comes with thermal paste that is fantastic.
Related resources
February 4, 2009 2:09:02 AM

good points guys. For the video card, i'm looking to tear through all modern games at max settings for a while to come, so I'd like to stick w/ at least the 4870x2. If the 295 comes down in price in the next month I might consider it. I will definitely look more into the p6T. Thanks!
February 5, 2009 1:28:04 AM

Did some poking around and saw a large number of negative reviews on the p6t regarding multiple RMA's and reliability issues. I also hear if you use a big GPU it can be awkward to get to some of the SATA ports. I read about some people using the coolermaster V8 with the evga board with no problems. Also, can anyone clarify this version 2 thing? Are they releasing a whole new board under the same name? Or is it simply a bios update?

February 5, 2009 1:40:50 AM

The V2 doesn't come with SAS ports, and I'm not really sure how the layout of that board looks, but I'm guessing the positioning of the SATA ports will be the same. I have the P6T non deluxe and getting to the SATA ports isn't an issue if you have the straight SATA cables, the 90 degree cables do make it difficult.

The V8 shouldn't have clearance issues in that Case, I have it as well and I have about 3/4" of clearance from my side panel, the 690 is very wide for a midtower. I would say go for the Gigabyte UD5 board if you want another option from the ASUS and EVGA boards in the $300 price range.

I would also go for a smaller PSU if you want to stick with that GPU, in the 650w range. That card is pretty power hungry so you wouldn't be able to xfire another one of them on that PSU, you would have to get 1000w probably for that to work, or an 850w if you wanted to add a regular 4870 (which I think you can do...might be wrong about that though). 750w is kind of an awkward place coupled with the 4870x2. Either go bigger or go smaller I would say.
February 5, 2009 1:51:38 AM

well, I feel like the gpu itself is sort of an awkward spot. I feel like the gtx280 would not be able to cut it at the highest settings on the newest games on a 24". However, two of them in SLI could...but like you said I would probably need more power for that.

I feel like the 295 is ultimately the best option because of its low power consumption. I probably wouldn't ever SLI the 295 or xfire the 4870x2. With that being said, do you think a 650w PSU would cover a single 295 or 4870x2 while still leaving enough headroom for potential addons like an additional WD 640 for raid0 and 3-4 additional fans?

Or am I off base on my gpu mindset. Will a single 4870 1gb be plenty to max games out on the 24" for a while? My highest priority is maximum FPS on maximum settings for this PC.
February 5, 2009 2:09:30 AM

A single 4870 1gb will have trouble maxing games out on a 24" right now. I have a 19" monitor that runs at 1440x900 with a GTX 260 Core 216 and in Far Cry with highest details and max AA it can get a little jumpy at times, although most of the time its fine. So if you want to max out every game for a while I would say get a GTX 285 or better.

If you plan on adding on a bunch of stuff like you said then maybe you should stick with that PSU. It should cover any GPU you get and any other add-ons you throw at it. Plus if you don't use up all the headroom it gives you, it will run more efficiently saving you money when it comes time to pay the power bill.

I kinda feel like a hypocrite going back on what I just said earlier...lol.
February 5, 2009 10:01:18 PM

I think i've decided to bite the bullet and go with a gtx295. Since I probably won't ever buy another one of these to quad-SLI in the future, do you think a different mobo could work? I really don't want to skimp on the mobo if I can help it because I'm looking for the most friendly OC options. Are the OC options largely the same on all of the mobos? Could I go with a P6T non-deluxe or gigabyte's version to save like $70?

I'm looking to probably get the i7 to 3.5 on the v8. If I can, I would like to push 4.0, but I know it's cpu dependent. Will I be held back by my memory?

Thanks guys!
February 5, 2009 10:11:37 PM

Ram speed is determined by BCLKxRam multiplier. So to OC to 3.5, you would need a BCLK of 175, which gives you the option of 1404mhz ram speed or 1758mhz (8x and 10x multipliers, respectively; I know this from experience, I am using the P6T non-deluxe and have my CPU OC to 3.5). I can't get my current ram stable at 1758 without going over the 1.65v ram spec from intel, so my ram is running at 1404 (you can get stable overclocks by going over 1.65, some say staying within half a volt is safe, but its unknown what longterm effects are and I want my CPU to last ;)  ). So since the memory you are looking at is rated to run at 1600, I think you should be fine. I have the Platinum 1600mhz ram, which is the next step up from the kit you are looking at (only $10 more right now, you should consider it, it has much better timings than the golds). I got my CPU up to 3.8, but I backed it down cuz I didn't like the temps that I was getting. The P6T Deluxe will probably overclock better, so if you want to push it to 4.0ghz I would suggest you get that mobo, but if you can live with 3.5 (which is very fast, I might add) then the non-deluxe version will do fine. And with the GTX 295, you shouldn't have any problems running your CPU at 3.5ghz in games.
February 5, 2009 10:18:50 PM

So if your interested, I got my CPU to 3.5 with the following bios tweaks:
1.288 CPU Voltage
1.3125 QPI/DRAM Core Voltage
BCLK 175
DRAM Frequency 1404, 7-7-7-18 1T
DRAM Bus Voltage: 1.64
Disable Speedstep and turbo
All else left on auto.
February 5, 2009 11:15:45 PM

beyond excellent info kid, I was looking for some solid stats I could use as a starting point for my first OC experience. I will consider the platinum ram as well. I doubt I should need to go to 4.0 anytime in the near future anyway, so maybe i'll go with the standard P6T. I see it only has two sata cables, but I believe all i'll need cables for are the OEM WD640gb and the OEM dvd burner.

btw, the platinum is actually cheaper right now :o 

gold -

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

platinum -

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

:D 
February 5, 2009 11:30:10 PM

Jump on that s**t
February 5, 2009 11:34:19 PM

meh...I wish. See my OP - can't build until March most likely. Need to start making money from my internship and stop scraping by my senior year of college :p 
February 7, 2009 5:46:18 AM

If it matters to you, the P6T Deluxe V2 is now out.
February 7, 2009 3:24:49 PM

snap diggity...not on newegg yet though?

Also, just to ask more questions...can someone help me differentiate between the deluxe and non-deluxe? I just ran down their spec pages side by side and it looks to me that the only differences are:

deluxe has a different onboard audio (I assume better quality)

NON-deluxe says it supports higher memory speeds (2000/1600/1333 v. 1600/1333/1066)

slightly different PCIe modes (16x 16x 4x mode vs. 16x 16x 1x)

Deluxe has two LAN ports and two more USB slots.

So, essentially I would be paying like $70 extra for some extra cables and possibly better onboard audio?
February 7, 2009 7:22:29 PM

Wish that damn V2 wld go on newegg already
February 7, 2009 7:36:39 PM

foolycooly said:
snap diggity...not on newegg yet though?

Also, just to ask more questions...can someone help me differentiate between the deluxe and non-deluxe? I just ran down their spec pages side by side and it looks to me that the only differences are:

deluxe has a different onboard audio (I assume better quality)

NON-deluxe says it supports higher memory speeds (2000/1600/1333 v. 1600/1333/1066)

slightly different PCIe modes (16x 16x 4x mode vs. 16x 16x 1x)

Deluxe has two LAN ports and two more USB slots.

So, essentially I would be paying like $70 extra for some extra cables and possibly better onboard audio?

The Deluxe also has 16 + 2 phase power, whereas the nondeluxe has 8 + 2 phase power, but that makes little difference unless you go for a record OC
February 11, 2009 12:39:55 AM

ninja edit bump...
February 11, 2009 2:56:30 AM

The connector is called a 6+2 and will work fine.
February 12, 2009 2:56:57 AM

Here is the P6T Deluxe V2 on NCIXUS.com: link. There are only a few left in stock, apparently, so move fast if you want one now (or else wait for Newegg).


Some of the key differences between the P6T Deluxe and non-Deluxe:

1. The Deluxe has better heatsinks and heatpipes.

2. The Deluxe has a better power design, as mentioned by xthekidx, which assists in high OC stability.

3. The Deluxe cannot run tri-SLI, period.

4. The non-Deluxe can't really run tri-SLI either--the third slot is x4, which is likely a problem.

5. Regardless of what they say for "officially supported memory speeds", the Deluxe will OC better than the non-Deluxe and should be able to support DDR3-2000 if everything is just right (a mobo can be picky about memory when squeezing out that last drop of speed).

6. The Deluxe puts an x4 slot in a better place--above the first video slot (i.e. you can run a PCIe x1 sound card there with SLI). I also like the expansion slot layout of the Deluxe better--and this is key for SLI/Crossfire--it leaves a gap between the video cards for better cooling.


The other smaller differences can be seen from running the comparison on Newegg (ports, I/O chips, etc.).
February 12, 2009 1:51:13 PM

will I see higher shipping costs if I live in the US when buying from ncixus? The V2 is only $37 more than the standard P6T atm.

I'm just not sure I can justify spending the extra money for features I probably won't need. I probably won't run another gtx295 in quad sli any time soon, and I don't see myself OC'ing to the extreme. I will probably be satisfied with 3.5Ghz, and I've read about people achieving 4.0 w/ the non-deluxe board. Do the better quality heatsinks and heatpipes make a noticeable difference?
February 13, 2009 12:49:25 AM

NCIX does charge shipping to the US, so it will cost more than Newegg's free shipping.

Based on your particular needs and at a modest OC of 3.5 GHz, then the P6T non-Deluxe is all you need. You won't need the fancy power phases and better heatsinks and heatpipes in that case. If you wanted to OC to 4 GHz+, then I would go for the Deluxe V2.

However, I personally don't think that $37 is too much extra to pay for a "long-term" investment in a top quality i7 mobo, since this is one piece that would definitely last for a while, because of the fact that you're buying into i7 at the very beginning of its product cycle. It's just nice to have more features and flexibility over the long-run.

It is always better to have a better cooling design, but that matters most when squeezing out the highest possible OC.

Keep this all in mind, though, because when you go to build in March, then the pricing, etc. may change as well.
February 13, 2009 1:41:08 AM

thanks akebono...i'm still thinking about it. The problem is i'm going to have to order next week I think because I plan to build during my spring break (March 6th - 16th), so I'd like to have all the parts by then. I'm hoping newegg will get it in stock soon, although I honestly have no idea. I might send them an e-mail asking if they know when they'll get it in.

Any news on that?
February 13, 2009 2:03:00 AM

No, unfortunately not. I see it on a handful of sites in Canada and Australia, but not Newegg USA. As you might have realized, this V2 thing has caused a problem for Asus and I would think that Newegg also has a lot of inventory on hand to clear out before they allow anyone to buy the V2. :( 
February 15, 2009 6:33:57 PM

yeah, i sent a few e-mails to newegg trying to squeeze some info out of them, but they aren't budging. They won't say when they are going to carry it, or even if they will carry it at all.

I made a trip home this weekend to pick up my processor at microcenter. The salesman claimed I had to buy something with it because they were having problems with people reselling them. I'm not sure I believe him and could have probably gotten the processor alone if I talked to management, but I planned on buying my cm690 there anyway since they were running a sale for $69 and I could avoid shipping costs. However, they were apparently out of stock (even though their website said they had some), so I went ahead and bought a P6T (non-deluxe) for $249.99 (same price as newegg). I probably paid more in tax than I would have to get it shipped from newegg, but I figure it's better to go ahead and get it at a place where I can quickly return a dead board.

So, I guess i'm somewhat locked into the non-deluxe route. I couldn't really wait for newegg to get the V2s in stock and I would end up paying about $60+ more to buy it from nciux due to high shipping costs. Hopefully I'll be happy w/ the non-deluxe...I don't see why I wouldn't be. Plus I can still return it within 30 days if newegg puts it on sale again. I also picked up the corsair 750w from amazon for $108.66 ($88.66 after the MIR) and free shipping.

so, so far I have -

i7 920 - $229.99 + tax
asus p6t - $249.99 + tax
corsair 750w - $108.66 - $20 MIR.

Gotta find the case cheap, and i'll probably go ahead and buy the gtx 295 tonight when newegg gets them back in stock...don't want to be stuck w/o a GPU.

Thanks for the help guys!

February 16, 2009 7:35:15 PM

another shameless bump (I apologize! This is more to chronicle my build for myself than anything else :??:  )

Made another batch of purchases today -

Coolermaster V8 - $60.24 (and free shipping from amazon)
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-V8-Aluminum-Heatpip...

Samsung 2433bw 24" LCD monitor - $289.99 (-$30 MIR) = $259.99 total (and free shipping from newegg)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ Platinum 6gb 1600 - $154.99 (and free shipping from amazon)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-this ram has been dropping in price frequently, so not sure if I made the right decision to buy now...then again it could go back up at any time :na: 

LG SATA DVD burner(whoopee...) - $24.99 (and free shipping from newegg)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

---

The following is still yet to be bought -

GTX 295 (either the EVGA model or the ASUS model -- ASUS preferred because they are running a $30 MIR on newegg atm)

-if anyone knows where to find one in stock right now, you would make me a happy guy

CM 690 - hopefully micro center will get them back in stock so I can save on shipping

Windows vista 64-bit

WD caviar black 640gb (just sold out on newegg :fou:  )

MX-2

---

As always, open to some suggestions/changes on the remaining items and comments on how I've done so far.

Hopefully these updates don't get on your guys' nerves too much :ange: 

February 17, 2009 12:26:19 AM

Good going on the parts you've got so far. I wouldn't change a thing in your overall plan either--this will be a very sweet build when it all comes together.

The PNY GTX 295 is available at TigerDirect right now: link. Looks bone stock with their own sticker applied, so you could go with this if eVGA and Asus don't come through in time. Also have a look at CDW.com as well.

Here's the Caviar Black 640 on ZipZoomFly: link.

Good luck on clinching everything!

And if you're able, we'd always love to see some pics of your final build too.
February 17, 2009 12:46:50 AM

I know a few people here were confused whether the Coolermaster V8 fits on the Evga x58. Well, I have both and they do work together perfectly. Only if I could say the same for my Cosmos S.....
February 17, 2009 1:51:46 AM

I got lucky and was able to grab an EVGA GTX 295 about a half hour ago. They promptly sold out again after I checked out. It doesn't look like ASUS has the rebate anymore anyway, so I'm happy w/ my purchase...$504.99. I will probably get the backplate from EVGA's website as well...apparently it makes a phenomenal difference in temperatures.

the caviar black is also back in stock on newegg but I'm going to wait until the last minute to order that in hopes that it goes on sale again.

And yes, I will probably start a new thread when I begin building with pictures/videos. Thanks again guys!
February 17, 2009 2:27:43 AM

foolycooly said:
I got lucky and was able to grab an EVGA GTX 295 about a half hour ago. They promptly sold out again after I checked out. It doesn't look like ASUS has the rebate anymore anyway, so I'm happy w/ my purchase...$504.99. I will probably get the backplate from EVGA's website as well...apparently it makes a phenomenal difference in temperatures.

+1 to that! There was a post here about a month or 2 ago showing before and after temps with the backplate--it was absolutely amazing. Makes you wonder why the backplate doesn't come stock...


Btw, if you start a new thread, do post a link in this thread so that those of us posting in and following this thread will get an e-mail notification as well.
February 20, 2009 6:55:36 PM

So, the P6T Deluxe V2 is now in stock at newegg. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it just looks like they took the SAS ports out and smacked a sticker on there to differentiate it from the V1.

Any of you guys think it's worth it to go ahead and get the V2 for $290 + shipping and return the P6T non-deluxe to microcenter when I get home? (paid around $263 including tax). Do I really stand a chance at getting a 4.0 24/7 overclock w/ the deluxe and not the non-deluxe? Or am I going to be limited by things like my case air flow before it comes down to a mobo bottleneck?

Btw, monitor, dvd drive, ram and GTX295 all arrived at my house today. Too bad I can't see them until I get home for spring break :\.

Also was able to get a friend to grab my cm690 at microcenter for $69.42.

Just the 640gb WD caviar black and vista left to buy.
February 20, 2009 9:33:06 PM

If you want 4.0ghz, then definitely get the V2, I don't think the non-deluxe will go that high.
February 20, 2009 9:47:08 PM

Technically, the V2's only difference is that the SAS ports have been removed. However, it is my belief that there is much more under the surface, akin to SP1...

You're getting the CM-690, so you will have no airflow limitations (could always add more fans if you wish). If you want 4 GHz stable 24/7, then the smart money is on the Deluxe V2. The Deluxe is designed to OC better than the non-Deluxe.

You may be able to reach 4.0 with the non-Deluxe, but the key here is stability over 24/7...
February 20, 2009 10:43:55 PM

well here's another question...will the i7 even be running at 4.0ghz any time soon through any gaming activity? If it's going to be wasted, maybe it's pointless to go that high.

In other words, which will become my first bottleneck...the 920 or my GTX295?
February 21, 2009 2:06:57 AM

Knew you couldn't resist that magic 4.0 GHz...

A higher CPU OC is never wasted.

Generally speaking, higher linear speed helps in many other things too, such as virus scanning, A/V encoding, etc. Don't discount the fact that there are many unglamorous day to day activities where it never hurts to have more speed. Real world PC use is *dynamic* and you're going to be multitasking many things, so more CPU speed is always welcome.

Since the answer to your question depends on which game matters more to you, it's not possible to answer it outright.

1. Games like Crysis and Supreme Commander are GPU limited.

2. There are games where the GTX 295 doesn't even come into play, like Civ4 or the Total War series. If you're into those, then CPU speed is important too.

3. Now, for those CPU limited games like Unreal Tournament 3 where you're going to be running 200fps anyway, then extra OC doesn't matter at all.

4. If however, you're looking at a CPU limited game like World in Conflict, then extra speed there does matter.

So the practical answer is that because one generally plays many different games, overclocking the CPU is never wasted for gaming purposes.

And don't forget one other very important point, one that is not immediately apparent from looking at benchmarks. On a CPU limited game where it does matter, sometimes that extra little increment of speed can mean the difference between playable / non-playable, or smooth and less smooth, or it may allow for just a little more eye-candy to make you happy.
February 22, 2009 3:18:19 PM

Convinced...I'm going to go ahead and get the V2 at newegg and return the non-deluxe when I get back home next friday. I figure this is a good long-term investement...hoping to keep this pc for a while, like the dell gx620 that I've had for 4+ years.

I have until Thursday-ish of this week to grab my HDD, the V2, windows, MX-2 and some case fans possibly.

Come onnnn sales!
February 24, 2009 9:31:40 PM

Final Update before build:

Made my final order today:

ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 - $289.99 + shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This was out of stock this morning, but just came back in stock a few minutes ago, so I figured I would jump on it and just get the rest of my stuff now as well.

Western Digital Caviar Black 640gb - $79.99 + free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit - $99.99 + free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Arctic Cooling MX-2 Thermal Paste - $6.99 + shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Coolermaster 120mm Blue LED fans (4 pack) - $9.99 + shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I was going to go with some higher quality Yate Loons, but I went ahead and got these for now. I wanted some matching blue LED fans to add to the cm690. They're obviously very cheap and have received pretty good reviews on newegg, so I'll try them out for now. If I find I have inadequate airflow later then I will buy a new set.

----

This completes my ordering. I will be heading home for spring break next Friday and will begin my build then...very excited! I will post pictures upon completion. Thanks again guys for all of the help.

March 6, 2009 5:02:00 PM

Spring break is finally here! I got the unfortunate news last week that my accounting internship for this upcoming summer was terminated due to a lack of work :(  (F U economy!) so I've been pretty bummed. However, I got home from school today to see a pile of beautiful things in my room. Pretty solid way to lift my spirits.

















I can't get the second and third images to rotate correctly for some reason...but i'll take more pictures later anyway.


The flat white package on the floor is the GTX 295 backplate from EVGA...the two bubble wrapped packages are the samsung dvd burner and the 640gb wd caviar black. I will probably put this sucker together tomorrow. More pictures/news to come.

:D 
!