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My First Build - i7

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March 2, 2009 12:36:01 AM

Ok so for my birthday thats coming up, I have decided to build a new PC. almost none of the parts are written in stone and I am fully open to suggestions on any of that parts or even the build it self. So without further a due, here are the basic outline of my build so far:


1. Case:
NZXT Tempest ($99): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(The case is definitely not final, I picked the tempest because I like the looks and reviews and space in it. - Open for changes)


2. Motherboard:
EVGA x58 ($300): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(I like this one but would go with the P6T if its a lot better.)


3. Processor:
Intel i7 920 ($230): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(This is pretty final if I do get an i7, but if I later decide on a regular quad core later, Ill change - I need suggestions)


4. Processor Cooler:
Noctua NH-U12P ($60): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(Flexible on this)


5. Power Supply Unit:
Corsair CMPSU 650 or 750 ($100-120): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


6. Graphics Card:
NVIDIA GTX260 Core 216 ($230): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(Kinda flexible on this, but dont want something very over priced or not good. Also, I like NVIDIA)


7. RAM:
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) ($100): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(Im still considering brands and 3 or 6GBs)


8. Optical Drive:
LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model ($20): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(No idea about this, this one was cheap and looks ok.)


9. Hard Drive:
Cant decide between anything! 500GB Western Digital Caviar or like 150 GB Velociraptor, I have no idea, you guys choose.


So is all this stuff compatible?

Oh and I thought I would include some of my personal tastes so it could be easier to aid you guys:

1. I would like a case with a good window. (The HAF's window sort of qualifys)
2. I would like to future-proof as much as possible.
3. I want atleast 100GB HDD space.
4. I would like a computer that can run games like COD, Left 4 Dead and other similar games on high, with good fps.
5. The computer needs to run editing videos in Sony Vegas smoothly without lag. And watch lag-free HD videos.
6. I would like it to run very quietly.


I also have some questions, but I cant think of them now so I will post them later for you guys.

Thank you people of Tom's Hardware!

More about : build

March 2, 2009 12:44:32 AM

Oh and I forgot to add some of the important facts:

1. Buying somewhere within the next 2 months.

2. I dont need a keyboard, mouse, monitor (want a new one though), speakers.

3. I prefer to buy from newegg and microcenter.com or trusted websites.

4. I prefer Intel and NVIDIA.

5. I would love to overclock a good amount but not too much.


I just thought these would be important facts (from the how to ask for new build advice thread...)
March 2, 2009 1:18:51 AM

how much money are u willing to spend on a HDD? i would go with the biggest u are willing to pay for until u reach 500-750Gb then i would grab a velociraptor for my OS and software

otherwise seems pretty future proof
Related resources
March 2, 2009 1:42:53 AM

For a HDD I would like to spend roughly $100 maybe a little more. So your saying the Velocirator for the os(s) and then a large one for files and stuff? Thats sounds good but 2 HDD could make it a little pricey.
March 2, 2009 1:52:06 AM

You dont need $100 for HDD, get the 640gb Western Digital Caviar Black. the black is labeled because its 5% faster than the normal 640gb.

Case, Antec 900 is a nice one for cooling.

Motherboard, P6T would probably be more reliable for x58.

PSU, since its only a gtx 260, the 650tx corsair is good enough.

ram should be fine, timings on it are pretty slow but, its 1333 ram so should be good unless you want to spend a little more and look for a tighter timing than 9-9-9-24.
March 2, 2009 2:22:54 AM

Ok good HDD find!

Im not sure, the Tempest is a clone of the Antec 900 and the Tempest is a little bigger.

Could you explain why?

OK the 650 is fine but I may want to add more HDDs and mabey another graphics card in the futre, is the 650 still sufficient?
March 2, 2009 3:54:39 AM

If you will add another GPU later on, then get PC P&C 750w silencer. If not, then 550vx is enough.

You will have to buy a separate mounting bracket for that cooler, that one only comes with LGA 775 brackets.
March 2, 2009 4:14:40 AM

Ok so 750 Watt it is I guess.

Yeah I know, its free on Noctua's website.


Also, is the GTX260 Core 216 a good enough graphics card to run games like CoD:Waw on a small monitor with good fps?

If not, can anyone suggest any better options? (superclocked edition?)
March 2, 2009 4:25:22 AM

If WaW is all you will play, then you could get by with a 4850, the GTX 260 will be more than enough.
March 2, 2009 4:44:09 AM

Ok cool. I would be playing more then WaW but that would probebly be the most played game.

Also, would the 750 PSUs mentioned be compatible with the GTX260 Core 216? Also, is the Superclocked edition of the 260 worth it? Or can I just overclock myself?
March 2, 2009 5:03:33 AM

Just get the base model of the GTX 260 and overclock yourself, unless those other GTX 260's come with a modified cooling design...and there aren't any that do to my knowledge. For compatablility, look to make sure you have at least 30-35 amps on the 12v rail(s) and to make sure it has the right connectors. The GTX 260 needs 2x6 pin connectors, and all the above mentioned 750w PSU's will have that. If you want to SLI GTX 260's (doesn't sound like you will) then you need 4x6pin connectors.

You said "small monitor" earlier. What resolution do you mean by that? WaW isn't that graphics intensive as far as FPS games go, but others like Crysis need more firepower from the GPU. If you will play more graphics intensive games, then it is possible you will need more. But at 1440x900 or smaller resolution, the GTX 260 is plenty for just about any game.
March 2, 2009 1:41:20 PM

Ok so I think your saying get the GTX 260 Core 216 then overclock myself?

By small monitor I mean like a 19" 4:3 flatscreen monitor. However, I do have a 26" 16:9 HDTV right near me, and I noticed that the GTX 260 has an S-video out and some even have the s-vid to component adaptor. Could I use my TV as a monitor?
March 2, 2009 5:47:06 PM

You can use your TV if you want, it may look distorted however because the pixels on TV's are usually much bigger than on a monitor.
March 2, 2009 6:11:41 PM

I was about to make this exact same post. I am buildinga PC for the 1st time. My current machine is 10 years old and such a dinosaur. I tried to rebuild it with XP pro {currently XP home} and failed miserably. The I just could not get all the componets installed and working properly with current drivers. So I have decided to build the ultimate machine.
I am h-bent on the Asus P6T, but reading reviews I have become a little weary. Now there are three or four versions of the p6t and little or no explaination about the differences. {P6t, p6t deluxe, p6t deluxe with oc palm, p6t WS Pro, and p6t Deluxe v2} So now I am getting nervous because of my failure to rebuild my dinosaur system.
I want to start off with the right mobo, basically decided I have no need for an OC palm. If anybody has some info on difference on the other configs that would be appreciated.
I am also getting a WD Raptor for the O/S {currently thinking Vista Ult 64, but have my reservations on that as well. Thinking of building Xp pro and waiting for windows 7} i also have a WD 500GB EIDE drive from the failed dinosaur rebuild. Was going to use that for file storage.
If anyone has experience using an IDE drive on the P6t, am I going to have problems. Money isn't so tight that i won't buy a SATA for data storage, but hate to waste a 500GB harddrive.
Any thoughts on the mobo selection along with builder wanrings would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
March 2, 2009 6:27:19 PM

teer1998 said:
I was about to make this exact same post. I am buildinga PC for the 1st time. My current machine is 10 years old and such a dinosaur. I tried to rebuild it with XP pro {currently XP home} and failed miserably. The I just could not get all the componets installed and working properly with current drivers. So I have decided to build the ultimate machine.
I am h-bent on the Asus P6T, but reading reviews I have become a little weary. Now there are three or four versions of the p6t and little or no explaination about the differences. {P6t, p6t deluxe, p6t deluxe with oc palm, p6t WS Pro, and p6t Deluxe v2} So now I am getting nervous because of my failure to rebuild my dinosaur system.
I want to start off with the right mobo, basically decided I have no need for an OC palm. If anybody has some info on difference on the other configs that would be appreciated.
I am also getting a WD Raptor for the O/S {currently thinking Vista Ult 64, but have my reservations on that as well. Thinking of building Xp pro and waiting for windows 7} i also have a WD 500GB EIDE drive from the failed dinosaur rebuild. Was going to use that for file storage.
If anyone has experience using an IDE drive on the P6t, am I going to have problems. Money isn't so tight that i won't buy a SATA for data storage, but hate to waste a 500GB harddrive.
Any thoughts on the mobo selection along with builder wanrings would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Start a new topic in the forum so people can focus on your questions, they will need more than a simple answer. This thread belongs to the person who started the thread.
March 2, 2009 6:36:02 PM

If you want a fast drive for the os then get an ocz solid state, 30 or 60GB, your choice. They're both cheaper than the velociraptor and quicker.
March 2, 2009 11:48:13 PM

Ok well guys I have another question about PSU's. Should I get a modular one?

They seem interesting and allow less wires if needed.

I was looking at http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... but its only 620W. Can anyone suggest anything better, or do I only need 620?

Also, how many 12v rails does my setup need? Also, Ive heard that if you have more then one 12v rail, you have to balance out your power needs by hand. Whats that about?

Finally, with my setup, is the amps with the mentioned psus good enough?

Remember, Im new at this and like being very sure everything Im buying will work flawlessly together.

March 3, 2009 12:03:08 AM

Having more 12v rails allows you to balance things out manually yea, more around for oc'ing for gaming as of what i've heard, which seems better for gaming, as proximons guide says.

Single railing would send power out any where at any limit. 3-4 railing would limit each main unit, but, its not bad to have single railing.

the 620w modular you chose has 3 12v rails at 18a.(amperage).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
heres an antec, modular, slightly higher amperage at 650w and cheaper.

March 3, 2009 12:08:49 AM

Xigmatek/seasonic also have some really good modular psu's for around the same price at higher amperage and wattage. Wattage isn't what you would really need to worry about, its your amperage. Having a little more wattage is kind of a good thing for a long term build. As usual capacity takes over and wattage does drop in time. Thats why i say get a little more than good enough.

heres 2 psu's i seen that have a nice bundle of 6-pin and 6-pin+2 for crossfiring/sli'ing if you would like that to take effect.


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

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

now, I know people don't really use xigmatek much for psu's there more for there good s1283, but, that one seemed descent
March 3, 2009 12:11:00 AM

Ok so more rails would be good?

My main concern is which modular psu should I get for my rig that would power all my stuff with the right amperage and leave room for more HDD's and another GPU.

Can anyone post links to some PSUs that fit these requirements and that are reliable and good?
March 3, 2009 12:18:30 AM

If you wanted, the 620w corsair you chosen will be just fine.
March 3, 2009 1:46:56 AM

Exactly, modular was pretty pricey, but, if you had the money and was pickey about those kind of things, the 620w is fine. or the seasonic.

March 3, 2009 10:19:33 AM

Yeah, I guess it would be better to save some money and just zip-tie the extras (and how many could there be except the floppy drives).

So would you guys say that the 650/750tx psus would be good enough? Which one?



Also, I was wondering what Processor Coolers would fit in my case? I saw a video on youtube of a guy putting the Noctua I picked out into an Antec 300 which is 8.1" Wide and my Tempest is 8.3" Wide. The Noctua is 158mm High (6inches?). Would It fit? Also, if the noctua fits, wouls the thermalright ultra 120 that everyone says is the best for i7 fit at 160mm?
March 3, 2009 10:39:32 AM

Both should fit in your case.

If you want "future proof" then you should get the 750tx so that it will allow for SLI later. If you don't think you will get another GPU, then you will be fine with the 650tx.
March 3, 2009 10:57:48 AM

if the noctua fits, would the V8?
March 3, 2009 11:15:26 AM

Wicked cooler, hah, thats niceee. Only looked at the V8, I thought it was pretty neat but, that one is wicked.
March 3, 2009 6:25:59 PM

Lol yeah the V10 is...well....huge! And expensive!

So really, any cooler will fit, awesome! I was just wondering that even though the case is 8inches and the coolers 6inches, I thought that mabey with the motherboard risers and other things, but if you guys say it will fit, I trust you.

The only thing is, while they may fit, would I have to remove the side window fan or would the cooler miss it or something. I would rather have it so that the side fan could take the cpus hot air out when it comes up the heat sink. Would this be a problem?

And lastly for this post, another question, so which cooler is the best? Some say Noctua and some say the TRUE some say the V8 but which is the best overall i7 compatible cooler?
March 3, 2009 6:36:38 PM

I don't know where the side panel fan is located, but its not that big of an issue because ideally you side panel fan will be an intake fan, fans at the back and top of your PC will be exhaust fans, so you should aim the fan of your heatsink at your exhaust fans so that the hot air coming off the heatsink is directed straight out of the case.

The TRUE is still the best out there I think, however they all perform admirably and different reviews will place one over the other. My feel of it though is that the TRUE is still king.
March 3, 2009 8:34:21 PM

Ok so as I said I would rather have the side fan in rather then take it out. Do you think I could keep it in with a 158-160mm cooler right there?

Also, yeah I have seen that the TRUE is better but I have also seen that it dosent come with a fan and that it costs a little more.
The only reason I think I will go with the Noctua is because it comes with a really good fan (I think), its very quiet and IM pretty sure it runs just a little hotter then the TRUE. And because Im not gonna overclock the i7 920 too much, mabey just a little over 3.0, I think the Noctua is suitable, what do you think.

Plus, I could get the second Noctua fan and have a push-pull thing going.









PS: My main concern is still these big coolers fitting with out it hitting the side window. But you already said it would so I guess it will.
March 3, 2009 8:49:22 PM

UPDATE: OK well these quotes from reviews of the case on NewEgg unofficially confirms what you guys said:

"This case has a lot of room. My Thermalright Ultra 120 extreme and GTX 280 fit with no problem. I can still access the hard drive cage opposite the video card (if you do this make sure you install the HD's first). I thought that it would be noisier with five fans but it's not."

AND

"Was able to fit the Cooler Master V8 on my EVGA x58 MB and still able to close side panel without removing side fan (barely). Fits GTX 280 video card with room to spare."

Tells me that since a TRUE or V8 will fit almost anything (V10 looking at you) will. Also big video cards are nice.

So now that I know lots of stuff can fit, Il have no prob getting a TRUE if it really is worth it getting for someone who wont overclock MASSIVELY. Like a little but nothing extreme. Ill get it if I really need it/should get it.
March 3, 2009 9:46:53 PM

The TRUE is not worth it if you won't go for a big overclock. For 3.2 or so like you are saying, Get the Xigmatek S1283v Dark knight, it will be more than sufficient for you.
March 3, 2009 9:59:26 PM

Well what would you consider a high enough overclock for the Noctua or TRUE sufficient? 4.0? From the reviews on newegg, people say that while the dark knight is a good cooler its not too good on the i7.

I would love to overclock higher, but I dont want an unstable system and I dont want to limit the life of my processor by very much. If you could point me to a good guide on overclocking the 920 on an EVGA x58 or ASUS P6T (Btw: does either of those boards have a big advantage other the other, i like evgas c/s) I may be inclined to overclock higher.
March 3, 2009 10:48:06 PM

Thanks for that article. The only thing is it dosent really explain how to do it. Ive never OC'ed before and need to learn the basics. However, with the utility's that come with the EVGA and ASUS boards, it seems to make overclocking easy.

Which board would you suggest for me, someone who would have max 2 GPUS and has a few PCI cards? I like the EVGA but Im not sure yet. I would also like to overclock the cpu to around 3.5 if I learn to do it well or its easy enough. Could I just run a utility like the EVGA precision one and it would really just overclock to a certain speed?



PS: Someone mentioned that the ram timing were too slow, would these be better: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
March 3, 2009 11:55:46 PM

Yea there slow at default, you should be able to tightin them once you go in for an overclock but, the other set should be fine.
March 4, 2009 12:02:23 AM

Wait, I can tighten the timings by overclocking? Awesome!

So should I get the red ones or the blue ones (ram-g.skill)
March 4, 2009 12:06:50 AM

Yea.. you should be able to tighten or release timings on any certain ram like that one if its available. In my Bios, you have to disable automatic setting and set timings, look it up before going ahead and getting it and not being able to find it when looking in your new computer. Every motherboard has different settings.
March 4, 2009 12:27:27 AM

Ok so what motherboard would you suggest?

I posted some things I plan to do above (pci cards ect).
March 4, 2009 1:06:27 AM

Asus P6T Deluxe V2 has the best board Layout IMO and overclocks better than any other boards at that price. The Spacing between the PCIEx16 slots is ideal for 2 way xfire or sli.

Get This kit instead, its cheaper and better ram. I have them, look at my signature.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
March 4, 2009 1:18:54 AM

Overclocking the i7 is pretty easy. Here is how you do it on ASUS boards:

Go to BIOS menu and go to the AI Tweaker tab. There will be an option for auto, manual, and a high performance ram setting. Set it to manual. At this point you can adjust all your voltages and clock frequencies. The P6T Deluxe V2 has drop down menus I believe, mine is the P6T and I had to enter my values manually. To get the frequency you want for your CPU; you must find out what BCLK you need. BCLKxCPU multiplier (20) =CPU frequency. So my settings are at 175x20. I got my i7 stable at 3.5ghz by changing voltage to 1.272 on the cpu, 1.64v on the ram, 1.3v uncore, and 1.9v QPI (I think, but that one could be wrong...its been a while since I did this.) and left the rest of my settings on auto. Disable speed step and virtualization tech. Ram frequency I chose 8x multiplier because my ram wouldn't run stable at 10x (1758mhz) under the 1.65v spec from intel. Then go set DRAM Timing Control or DRAM Clocks or something like that and changed timings.

Solid as a rock.

The Deluxe V2 may not need voltages as high as I used since it has a better power management design and is made to overclock better, so play around with it until you find the lowest voltages you need to run stable.
March 4, 2009 6:28:41 PM

OCZ platinums are most likely your best bet, would have been my choice aswell if i went and looked for them on newegg.
March 4, 2009 9:48:47 PM

Om so the OCZ Platinum that was linked looks a lot better for 10 more dollars.

From what xthekidx said, overclocking looks simple. The only parts I dont understand is what to put for "1.3v uncore, and 1.9v QPI" I think I want the lowest voltage but the fastest clock right?
March 5, 2009 2:20:22 AM

Correct.
March 5, 2009 2:21:23 AM

Watch this, I found it very helpful.
March 5, 2009 10:02:31 AM

xthekidx said:
Watch this, I found it very helpful.


I dont see anything to watch. :??: 
March 5, 2009 7:15:52 PM

xthekidx said:
:pfff:  Forgot to post the link...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwbzQblRQ7I


:D  Oh ok thats the link. Yeah that video was very helpful! Thanks!


Ok so I guess were back to which cooler? I think Im gonna want eaither the TRUE or the Ncotua so I have room for overclocks.
!