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My First Build - i7 920

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February 10, 2009 7:40:44 PM

I've never built my own PC, but I've done plenty of Mods on an older PC. The time has come for me to start over with the new phase of the i7's. Recently I picked up an i7 920 processor from Microcenter for 229.00$. Along with the processor I purchased an Asus P6T Deluxe Mobo for 269.00$. I went back and forth with the decision to liquid cool or air cool, and I couldn't quite trust myself installing a radiator inside my pc. So, I went with an after market heat sink Thermalight Ultra 120 Extreme for 59.99$. Originally I went with 2 GTX 280's, but I've been told the main game I play EQ2 does not support dual SLI. So I sent them back and picked up a single GTX295. I always can add another GTX295 after the price comes down when the new model comes out.

I've read through several reviews and posts, but I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for. First off the main reason for my PC is going to be gaming & running large database queries when I take my work home. Money is not really an issue, but the more money I spend the longer I'll have to wait to finish the build. I'm looking to have my PC built by the first week of March. I'm a smart shopper and I look for good deals instead of jumping on the first decent deal I see.

For the Case I've decided on the Antec 1200, again open for suggestions
I'm not sure which DDR3 memmory to purchase, although I know I want 6gb to start.
For the Power Supply I'm looking at 1000w+ and I am open for suggestions that support SLI
For one of my Hard Drive's that I will store my games, and several smaller databases on I am looking at purchasing the VelociRaptor 10000rpm HD.
I'm open for suggestions on a normal sata HD for general data & music.
I'm out of the loop on what CD/DVD/Blueray Disk Drives there are.
I plan on installing Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (64MB), or should I go with the Home version for my needs?

What else do I need to purchase since im starting from nothing, just the Mobo & Processor.

Also I do plan to overclock my PC, but nothing to the extreme perhaps 3.2 or 3.5, will I need anything extra to get to those limits?

Any advice anyone can give, while building, on deals/parts, or advice with my build please do. I appreciate anything anyone can offer.

Thanks in advance!

Nick Hoff

More about : build 920

February 10, 2009 8:38:26 PM

you're off to a great start. I would suggest this 6gb memory set -

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

It's a great deal right now at $170 and free shipping, and the timings for that price are outstanding.

You don't really need 1000 watts of power for that system, but if you plan to add a lot of storage or SLI another 295, then I would suggest corsair's 1000w PSU -

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

If money is not an issue, I would get two velociraptor HDDs and run them in raid 0. I would then pick up a 1TB or 640gb WD caviar black for storage -

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

they are the fastest 7200rpm models on the market.

You probably don't need vista ultimate, but that's something you'll have to research yourself by comparing features. Yes, go with 64-bit either way.

For the optical drives, it depends on if you want blu-ray read/write capability. If not, then you can pick up a good OEM DVD burner for around $25.

You can OC to 3.5 fairly easily, especially with an aftermarket cooler, so no, you don't need anything else for that.

Hope some of this helps.
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February 10, 2009 9:17:22 PM

Really Vista Ultimate is for people who run have their own private businesses and things like that, most people do not need the backup utility and remote access capabilities that Ultimate provides over Home Premium, and its not worth $100 more I don't think.

+1 to all of Foolycooly's suggestions

Antec 1200 is a great case, look also at Coolermaster HAF 932 and Coolermaster Cosmos and Antec P182 are also great cases, it just depends on the look you are going for.

If you didn't go SLI in the future, you could make do with a 750W PSU from Corsair or PCP&C and save $100+ on the PSU, but if you want to leave the door open the Quad SLI, then stay with that PSU that Foolycooly suggested. However you will not see a large performance benefit from getting another GTX 295, 4 GPU's get hammered when it comes to scaling, I personally wouldn't go for more than a 2 GPU configuration, the diminishing returns make it not worth it IMO. But then again, you sound like you have a lot more money than I do, so maybe it is worth it to you :p 
February 11, 2009 12:23:01 AM

Vista Ultimate is not for businesses - it combines Vista Business and Vista Home Premium - it is has all the features possible.

Compare the editions. Figure out if you need some of those features. If not, choose the correct edition for you. You may want to just install Windows 7 Beta and wait for the official release, instead of getting this OS and then upgrading in the future.

The build you have looks good. The RAM suggestions are on point as well.

I personally wouldn't spend the money on a Velociraptor - I don't think the performance improvements are worth the huge premium in price. I also wouldn't set up a RAID 0, since if it goes down, you have no way to rebuild that.

For my HDD choice, I would go with the Western Digital 640GB HDD - get the black edition for a little more and you'll have a nice, fast, and well-priced HDD. It scores about as high as the old Raptor drives do.

The Antec 1200 is awesome. I almost upgraded from my 900 to it.

I am not sure if you'll really need the full 1000w. I agree that the PC Power and Cooling 750w can't be beat. You may want to check out the article at Anandtech about true PSU usage. You may be surprised.
February 11, 2009 12:28:03 AM

huron said:
Vista Ultimate is not for businesses - it combines Vista Business and Vista Home Premium - it is has all the features possible.

And why would you need those business features if you don't have a business?
February 11, 2009 11:56:36 AM

Some people get Ultimate because they want all the features just in case. I have Ultimate because it was a cheap upgrade for students.

If you compare the editions, Ultimate is like Business with Media Center and a few extra features, OR Home Premium with a few Business features (like fax and scan).

I completely agree that most people don't need Ultimate and I suggest Home Premium as well. I was just pointing out that people who run businesses would probably go for Business (or XP Pro for that matter) and wouldn't pay the extra for Ultimate as well if they only want Business features (and don't want the Media Center, etc).
February 16, 2009 3:59:51 PM

Thank you all very much for the suggestions and information. I've done a bit more shopping and I picked up the Antec 1200 case finally for 129.99$. I purchased Vista Ultimate for 175.99$ from Microcenter.

My GTX295 has arrived, but I was wondering if I needed to purchase an aftermarket heatsink for the video card? Is it worth it? Also are they difficult to install?

I'm still shopping around for PSU's if anyone has suggestions let me know. I need 1000W+ and it must support quad SLI. Another thing is it bad to go a little over kill on your PSU, if you plan to add more Ram & an extra GTX295 in the near future?

Also I decided on running two VelociRaptors on Raid 0 as suggested, is there a faster HD out there than 10000RPM that is as duable?

For those who've installed the after market heatsink, how much thermal paste did you use, and did you spread it with a plastic bag over your finger?
February 16, 2009 4:27:50 PM

I'm pretty sure "a grain of rice sized amount" will suit you. I personally spread it with a modeling wedge (which in all reality is a piece of reasonably firm plastic used to apply pressure when cementing). Non-metallic, non-flaky (cotton, course cloth) should do it
February 16, 2009 7:01:51 PM

so jealous of your 295...I can't find one anywhere! It's pretty much the last thing I need to buy. I woke up for my 8am class this morning and saw newegg had the ASUS model in stock...I figured I'd grab it when I got back an hour later, but alas, it was sold out. I guess i'll just have to be patient with newegg.

If you didn't get RAM yet, the set I suggested earlier just keeps getting cheaper! It's down to $154.99 with free shipping -

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
February 16, 2009 7:27:07 PM

I seen the RAM you suggested Foolycooly, I'm still shopping around because I really want the Corsair Dominator and im told its going to be on sale after March 1. But, well see that 154.99$ is hard to beat though.

Also I had to do a pre-order the 295 at Microcenter and they called me when it arrived. The sales person stated they sold 10 cards in three days, they are going that fast. But, I can't believe it with the economy the way it is.
February 16, 2009 8:24:58 PM

You have to remember, the economy works both ways. True, there's less money flying around, but this is also a great time to have disposable income.
February 18, 2009 1:34:31 PM

It is amazing that they are going so fast.

People are willing to spend on the things they truly enjoy (hobbies, etc), so maybe it's not so amazing.

Good luck to those of you still looking for that beast.
!