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Do i have your blessings? i7 build.

Last response: in Systems
February 20, 2009 2:18:44 PM

OK so about six months ago I was very close to building a quad core system but i decided to hold off until this year and be patient. Well I've done a bunch of research and started to get the itch to get this thing built sooner rather than later. It will be primarily for gaming but i will be doing some HD video editing as well as some Photoshop work. The games i'm really interested in are Dawn of War II, Sins of a Solar Empire, Diablo III, Starcraft II, Dragon Age: Origins.

So here is what i've come up with

Intel Core i7 920

ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard

PC Power & Cooling S75CF 750W

SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB

OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600


Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB


LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black

Saitek PZ30AU Black USB Wired Standard Eclipse

Logitech MX518

Initially i'm going to be using a 22" LCD but plan on upgrading to the Samsun T240HD down the road so my target gaming resolution is 1920x1200. I've considered switching the GPU to the GTX285. I've also considered downsizing the HAF. I'm not sure I want a tower that BIG but i want to make sure i don't have any space issues with the CPU cooler or video cards. I was thinking of switching to the Antec 300 or CM690. I don't need all the crazy LED's or anything. If i'm saving money on the case then maybe i'll go with a better card.

These forums are a great resource. I'm definitely one of those people that needs to research and plan like crazy before i make these types of purchases and this place has been great.

Oh and the current total is about $1,625 after shipping. I'd like to keep the budget close to where it is now.

More about : blessings build

February 20, 2009 4:36:04 PM

That is a very good build. If you want your gaming res to be 19x12, then I would say go with the GTX 285. Will you SLI or xfire in the future? if you think you will SLI GTX 285's then you need to go with an Corsair 850tx for the PSU. If you will only use one card, then the 650tx would be enough, or you can keep that 750w, its a good one.

If you want to downsize the case, the CM 690 is big enough to fit everything. I have it, as well as the V8 which fits fine and you can fit your large GPUs in there too.
February 20, 2009 4:58:33 PM

I'd like to keep my options open for SLI/Xfire. I had read that ATI cards where better with games like Diablo III (havok engine) and Nvidia seemed to be more FPS games. I have no brand loyalty when it comes to this stuff and the difference may not even be noticeable. I also read that the side panel fan would have to be removed to fit the V8. Is that true? I'm not even sure if it's that important.

Thanks again.
Related resources
February 20, 2009 5:13:28 PM

It would depend on the motherboard layout, but with the P6T its not an issue, the fan and V8 will fit fine together.

Yes some games like ATI or Nvidia better, it depends on the types of games you play. However its not a huge difference. If you want to SLI or xfire, I would suggest getting the P6T Deluxe V2, its layout of the PCIEx16 slots is much better and allows for more airflow to get to the cards. The P6T's PCIEx16 slots are placed very close together and there is almost no room between the two video cards for airflow to the first card. The P6T would work for dual cards, but I think the V2 is better.

Since you aren't getting a new monitor until later, you could put off SLI/xfire until then. The 4870 is cheaper and it will work fine on your 22" right now, the only problem will be when you have a bigger resolution. You could get another 4870 when you want to get the new monitor and xfire then, and you won't have a problem in games with two 4870's at 19x12 res.
February 20, 2009 5:16:05 PM

Excellent build.

Save your $70 and use the stock cooler instead of buying the CoolerMaster V8. You only need an aftermarket cooler if you overclock, and you shouldn't overclock if you use the PC for other things than gaming.

Buy two hard drives. Video editing works a lot better if you manage to keep the source and target files on different physical disks.

If you need to cut costs change the case to CM 690. It doesn't have wheels but still, it's a very good case.

Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 will use Havok for physics, which means they prefer an ATI card. I couldn't find what the other three games you mentioned prefer. They probably don't care.

None of those games are shooters so I strongly doubt you'd need Crossfire or SLI, even at 1920x1200. Try with a single card for now and add the second one only if necessary.

You could save about $200 by getting a Q9550, a P45 motherboard and 8 GB of DDR2-800 instead of the i7/x58/6GB of ddr3.

It would be better in some games,

or extremely close in others.

It would be 10% slower at encoding HD video, unless your videos are huge and the extra 2GB of RAM make the Q9550 setup faster. Pretty hard to predict that one.
February 20, 2009 5:24:04 PM

Thanks for all the advice. I was planning on trying my hand at overclocking. Nothing huge but a nice bump. I'm not going to do a ton of video editing. Mostly just home movie stuff. And I'll probably do most of my photoshop on my G5 mac.

I'll probably switch the case to the 690
I think i'd prefer to stick with i7
To save a bit of money should i switch the cooler to the Xigmatec 1283 with the retention bracket? Or just stick with the v8
Should i just get a second WD 640?
February 20, 2009 5:51:03 PM

All right, if you want to overclock then it's worth buying a cooler.

The Xigmatek cooler for i7 is this one:
XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail $40
You don't need to buy a separate retention bracket for this one. That was necessary for the HDT-S1283 cooler on LGA775 platforms (i.e. on a Q9550 or E8500 or similar),

Yeah, I'd just get a second WD6401AALS.
February 20, 2009 6:04:30 PM

I have a general rule…
If you don’t crossfire sli on build day, you likely won’t ever. By the time you buy a second card you will b better off buying a single better card.

I like your setup as is, 4870 can play 19x12, and you don’t need more. As aevm mentioned XIGMATEK is a great heastsink, I love my LGA775. Save yourself some cash and snag it instead of the V8.
February 20, 2009 9:21:12 PM

+1 Xig
February 21, 2009 1:26:36 AM

So what do yall think? Is the 285 worth the extra moola?
EVGA 01G-P3-1285-AR GeForce GTX 285 SC Edition 1GB
SAPPHIRE 100243-1GTXSR Radeon HD 4870 1GB (this one has a slightly higher clock speed 780Mhz than the SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB = 750Mhz) and it's cheaper. These are good things right?
February 21, 2009 2:15:12 PM

February 21, 2009 4:29:36 PM

My vote is get one Saphire HD 4870 1gb toxic now and add a second one when you upgrade your monitor. You will probably end up spending less because prices on the 4870 will drop more (because ATI is soon going to be releasing their next round of cards) and you will end up with better performance because you will basically have a superclocked 4870x2 with better cooling, vs GTX 285.
February 21, 2009 6:57:20 PM


AFAIK the new round of cards from both ATI and nVidia is expected this summer.
February 21, 2009 10:59:21 PM

I'm planning on getting the 24" monitor sooner rather than later. I've found a great deal for $100 less than newegg or any of the other sites i usually go to.

I'd rather stick with a single card solution until i really need to sli/crossfire.
That being said do yall think i should stick with the 4870?
February 22, 2009 3:00:19 AM

If sooner means nowish, then go with the GTX 285, as I'm sure that deal you found won't last.
February 23, 2009 12:48:54 PM

Is there a particular thermal compound i should go with for the CPU cooler?
February 23, 2009 12:58:27 PM

I would change your hard drive to 2 raptor 300 and a tera drive. Raid 0 for raptors and tera for back up.. I would also go for a better graphics card. Nividia 295 or ati 4870x2..
February 23, 2009 1:18:02 PM

Thanks for the advice but I'm pushing the limits of my budget as it is now. I think the 285 will work fine and i can SLI down the road when needed.
February 23, 2009 3:01:00 PM

abp667 said:
Is there a particular thermal compound i should go with for the CPU cooler?

Most thermal compounds are reasonably close in performance however if you are buying some get the good stuff, MX-2. Many people like AS5 as well.
February 23, 2009 3:17:10 PM

The main difference is that MX-2 does not conduct electricity. That's useful if you spill.
February 23, 2009 4:02:36 PM

Thanks. Since this is my first rodeo i'm going to go ahead with the MX-2
February 26, 2009 5:36:48 PM

I think i'm going to upgrade some of the fans in the 690 right off the bat.
Add a couple 120mm to the top and a 140 to the bottom while removing the side fan. I was looking at adding this fan controller to the system and wanted to get some of your thoughts.
Sunbeam RHK-EX-BA Rheobus-Extreme

Oh and i also upgraded the motherboard to the Asus P6t Deluxe V2 so i'll have a bit more space for SLI as well as the added ram bonus.

Thanks again for all the help
March 13, 2009 10:04:49 PM

Sorry. So i received all my parts yesterday and started the assembly. I wound up taking a half day today and left work at noon to finish the build. I finished all my cable management then went to go turn it on. I got power but it wouldn't post... hmmm ok. Shut down Reseated the cpu/heatsink and all 3 sticks of ram. Plugged it back on and turned on the power supply...... Nothing. No power at all. I can't even get the power supply fan on. PLEAAASSEE help.
March 13, 2009 10:43:09 PM

Sounds like the MB isn't correctly mounted to the standoffs. A direct short will kill the power from the PSU before it even causes the fan on the PSU to quiver. Make sure you have all standoffs in the correct places and snug. Other than that I can't think of anything that would kill the system that quick. However, I do not know all there is to know about this kind of stuff. Also make sure ALL plugs are seated good and make sure all plugs are in place, 2 for MB 24 pin and 8 pin, also the GPU plugs. thats what will kick the PSU off but usually not as quick as you are saying, usually if one plug isn't seated it will emit a beep or series of them. Someone on here will have abetter idea I'm sure, but try what I said in the mean time and see if it Works, also I do not know how your cable management was done, but make sure there isn't something sharp cutting into one of you cables causing a direct short, but something like that usually involves smoke...and you didn't mention any. CPU and Ram are the two things and you have already checked them, so I'm not tottaly sure.
March 13, 2009 10:47:03 PM

Also, does your PSU have a selector on it for 120/240?? I know it is silly, but make sure it is selected to the correct voltage, just to cover that base. And I know this is obvious, but make sure you haven't tripped a could happen. it has to me. or you haven't poped you surge protector. mine has a reset on it, although I have nevr popped it, I have popped the much stuff plugged into the outlets and overloaded a 15 amp breaker.
March 13, 2009 11:03:51 PM

There was a sticky here for a checklist of stuff when problems occur like you are having....but I can't find it.
March 14, 2009 12:52:07 AM

I figured out what my original problem was... before i broke it...
-8 pin plug wasn't connected. Guess thats why it would power on but not boot up
-In my effort to find the problem i must have done something to the PSU
-MB is on all the correct standoffs
-unplugged all connections and reconnected
-Still no power from PSU
-Did Paperclip test per Corsair website and still no go
-If i plugged the psu in while it was in the "on" position could that blow it?
-What are the chances that i did any other damage?
March 14, 2009 1:49:12 AM

ok thanks for the help aevm. as far as doing damage to the psu, i'm really not sure....I s'pose you could, but not sure, wouldn't think so, but if you have tried it since plugging all plugs in...then I s'pose you could have...but not sure....someone will chime in with the answer I'm sure of that!!!
March 14, 2009 3:07:11 AM

Unfortunately nothing on that checklist worked :( 
March 14, 2009 10:57:16 AM

ok when you did the paperclip test on the psu....did you have fans hooked up to it???
Or did you just stick the paperclip in the shown pins and try to fire it up.
March 14, 2009 1:59:41 PM

I hooked up a single fan to it
March 14, 2009 3:06:18 PM

Ok, and nothing? If it didn't spin the fan...then I am guessing the PSU went on you.
Box it back up and RMA it, I guess. Man that sucks. But, I know the feeling, My MB, and HDD on this build were DOA. Put me behind a couple of weeks.
March 14, 2009 3:07:15 PM

Will a 500w PSU be able to run my rig until i can get the 850w replaced? I have a friend with a spare 500w psu. He is going to bring it over to make sure nothing else was damaged when the 850 blew.
March 14, 2009 3:23:55 PM

Ya know, it should...and also that way you can check to see if it got anything else.....I was about to sugest that....was on the phone with the wife....her and my daughter went to abilene thursday.
March 14, 2009 3:32:35 PM

Make sure it has all the right connections....the 24 pin and the 8 pin for the MB....If it doesn't then I don't know if I would chance it....also make sure it has enough and the right plug ins for your video card. if it does then yes the 500 wat will power your system till you get the 850 replaced. I think you (can) use a 4 pin plug for the top of the MB instead of the 8 pin, at least mine came with 4 of the 8 covered with a plastic cover.
March 14, 2009 4:17:34 PM

Do you have a place you can place all of your hardware on a flat surface?? I was thinking perhaps, to rule out a short or anything with the cable management, could you build it just on a table and not have it in the case??? easier to plug up and check stuff that way. I have always put mine together on a workbench first and powered it up, I have even gone as far while waiting for my case to get in one....I used it on my workbench for a week that way....won't hurt anything and makes it a snap to check stuff. It also elimanates the possibility of a direct short from the metal on the case....just incase it was that that took you PSU out, if it works on the table....the put it inside your case and double check everything each piece as you put it in and secure it. Just a thought. thanks

Anyone else want to chime in with other ideas???? More brains on this might help.....I only have 1/4 of a brain, so any help would LOL help.
March 14, 2009 6:13:28 PM

That 500W PSU should do, if it has 2 PCI-E connectors. If not, you can still use it, but with some older video card.
March 14, 2009 7:01:49 PM

He couldn't find his 500w but he brought over his 400. I just wanted to make sure i wasn't crazy and get the mobo and fans to power on. I don't think it has 2 PCI-E connectors so i didn't plug the card in.
March 14, 2009 7:07:48 PM

ok, well let us know, if it didn't, then something else is going on besides the PSU
March 14, 2009 10:00:38 PM

The MB powered up (my primary concern) But i didn't have it near the monitor and i had removed the graphics card. I may try a full startup later, after my son goes to sleep.
March 14, 2009 10:11:27 PM

Sounds fantastic, I am glad to hear that.....whew. Well, I hope it all comes together better now, and when that new PSU gets in....make her FLY!!!!
March 14, 2009 11:01:02 PM

The Sys requirements for the GTX285 asks for a minimum 550w psu so i'm gonna have to wait until i get the new one in.
March 15, 2009 1:43:42 AM

Oh man, bummer. Wasn't sure the minimum requirments. Have you already gotten your rma# and stuff? Haven't looked at newegg, but tigerdirect will let you do it on thier website so you don't have to wait to call them to get one. Makes it convienient.
March 15, 2009 2:20:00 AM

Yeah i got a RMA from the Newegg site but i can't ship it out until monday anyway.
March 15, 2009 3:00:30 AM

Ok, good. I feel for ya bro, wish I could have been more help than hiderance. Good luck and have fun, your system is gonna fly!! best of luck