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Few questions about a Core i7 build

Last response: in Systems
March 10, 2009 12:11:34 PM

Howdy all, I am looking about putting together a Core i7 build. I have spent nearly a week reading up on anything and everything I can find about this new architecture, but I am left with a few questions. I am limited by the only good hardware distributor in town, so only products available on their website are within my grasp. The vendor is .

I will be overclocking this puppy, hopefully up to 3.5 GHz, so i will need compatible RAM and motherboard.
Core i7 920 Ordered

Processor Cooler
Cooler Master V8 Ordered
I looked into all the options suggested, and the V8 was the most readily available. So that is what I will be going with.

I have 3 choices here. I am going for dual SLI 295's. What MB would be the best for SLI? What is the difference between the extreme and the UD5 boards? Here in Canada its nearly 60 dollars and I cant for the life of me find a significant difference between the boards. Which one will be the best for overclocking?

Gigabyte Extreme

Gigabyte UD5

Asus PT6 Deluxe V2 Ordered

I have a couple choices available here. The OCZ is about 20 dollars cheaper then the Corsair, but Corsair comes with Intel XMP. Anyone know what that means exactly? :D  Which would be the best choice for overclocking?

OCZ 6g x 3 PC3 - 12800 2 Votes

Corsair 6g x 3 XMS3-1600 PC3 - 12800 Recommended by the Vendor

Video Card
I am grabbing 2 of these for SLI.

EVGA Geforce GTX 295

Power Supply
Now we get to one of my conundrums. What power supply is going to be able to run this, without total overkill?

Corsair 850TX

Corsair 750TX

Corsair 1000W 2 Votes

Silverstone Olympia 1000W Recommended by the Vendor over the Corsair

Here I have no idea what is a good fit for these parts. I am not going to water cool, and am more interested in a silent case then one that has flashing lights. The less lit up the better. I have one option here, but otherwise I am totally open to ideas.

Cooler Master Cosmos

Cooler Master HAF 932

Antec 1200 Gamer Case Recommended by the vendor

This will all be run on a Samsung 26 inch HD LCD Monitor, with a 22 inch HP2207 LCD as the secondary monitor. My hard drives are two 74.5g WD Raptors in Raid 0 for the OS, and 2 WD 500g in Raid 0 for storage. Please share thoughts and concerns, and any tips/tricks one could do to perhaps bring the cost down.


More about : questions core build

March 10, 2009 12:26:53 PM

For 2 GTX 295's, I would go with the Asus P6T Deluxe v2 for the spacing of the PCIEx16 slots. It allows more room between the GPU's, allowing for better airflow and cooling. It also is a proven champ when it comes to overclocking.

For a CPU cooler, I suggest this one, great performance for the price:

On the Ram, XMP is extreme memory profile. They are setting programmed into the memory chips to give the best speeds of your memory supposedly. However the OCZ's are much better modules IMO, Corsair seems to charge a lot more than other companies for comparable ram. Since you will be overclocking the CPU, the XMP profiles based on a BCLK of 133 will be useless, and I don't recommend them.

For GTX 295's in SLI, you want a 1000w PSU. I would go with this one:
Don't look at wattage so much as the amperage on the 12v rails, this is a much more important statistic that tends to be overlooked. The Corsair is a very highly regarded PSU. I don't know too much about the silverstone you found, but it also appears to be a good one and would probably be adequate.
March 10, 2009 12:28:33 PM

XMP is a setting used in the bios i think it stands for Extreme Memory Profile(i think)
I have the P6T Deluxe (not V2) I am extremley happy with it. it also quite good for OC
I ahve a 1000w HDD because i was recommended 850w for my system wich has only one GTX295, I got the extra watts for upgrades in the future. I think the 750w is out of the picture with 2 GTX295's, and I'm also pretty sure that an 850w might struggle.
I went with the HAF 932 which is a nice case (BIG) not sure about that though.

Hope I helped.

Related resources
March 10, 2009 12:40:24 PM

Yes this helped :)  Both of ya. I was leaning towards the OCZ Ram anyways after reading that its one of the best on the market. Thanks for clearing up the meaning of the acronym for me.

As for the PW, I was not aware of the Corsair 1000W, and i found it on my site, so I will be going with that.

Is the HAF case fairly silent? I ask because it will be running in my room 24/7. Perhaps there is an excellent liquid cooling solution for this setup that I am unaware of? The quieter the better.
March 10, 2009 1:00:09 PM

If you want quiet then the Cosmos cases are excellent choices. The Haf is pretty quiet too, but it won't dampen the sound of your internal components like the Cosmos. For your setup the Cosmos case would be a better choice if you want quiet as well.
March 10, 2009 1:18:28 PM

Another PSU that you might want to take a look at for powering two gtx 295's would be Antec Signature 850
March 10, 2009 1:27:16 PM

The Antec Signature is an awesome PSU to be sure.
March 10, 2009 2:25:26 PM

Look at the Xigmatek cooler... I've heard good things about it and it's smaller than the V8.
March 11, 2009 1:52:14 AM

Anyone heard anything about the Antec 1200 Gamer case? It has like 7 fans, so I am unsure about the quietness of it.

As well the Vendor recommended NOT to use OCZ RAM as apparently it overheats like crazy. From what I have read on Tom's Hardware that the regular OCZ 6g modules are the best in the benchmarks. Any advice?

As for the PSU, I was told that the Corsair doesnt have enough amperage to support dual SLI 295's, while the Silverstone comes closer to the recommended amperage. I really dont want to get a PSU that wont handle this computer, so any advice?
March 11, 2009 2:15:54 AM

*grins* That might be overkill. They also dont carry that PSU :( 

The Corsair sounds good to me still, just wanted to make sure I wasn't overlooking something.
March 11, 2009 2:38:17 AM

I threw in the FSP Everest 900W review since it's in stock at your source of supply.
And its a good example of why you might want to avoid some PSUs.
March 11, 2009 5:52:29 AM

Awesome reviews... just what I was looking for. Thanks WR2.
March 11, 2009 2:06:39 PM

Be sure to let us know how things turn out.
March 12, 2009 4:04:05 AM

So my system is ordered. Went with the Antec 1200 Gamer case, as well as the Enermax PSU.

It shall be ready in a few days, I will let you know how things go :)  Thanks again for all the advice!!!
March 18, 2009 7:52:18 PM

I have my new system, again thanks for all the advice. It is overclocked to 3.8 GHz and has been running stable and cool for 3 days now! Great work guys.
March 18, 2009 11:13:05 PM

Great work yourself. Toss us a few pictures when you get a chance.