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$2000-2500 Gaming Rig build advice needed

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April 8, 2009 1:24:53 PM

Hi all - please make suggestions for me. It has been 4 years since I last built a system so I am not sure of the best optimization.

Purpose - Gaming, Movies, Web Surfing
Purchase date - 4/22/2009
OS - Windows 7 RC if available - Vista 64 otherwise
Air Cooled
Blue Ray
1920x1200 is the resolution I am aiming for in general
I am willing to overclock the i7 920
Parts not needed - Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers

COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - $149.99

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - $288.99

Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 120mm SSO CPU Cooler - $76.99

ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - $289.99

SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model SH-S223Q - OEM - $25.99

LG Black Super Multi Blu-ray Disc Burner & HD DVD-ROM Drive SATA Model GGW-H20L - Retail - $195.00

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - $109.00

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive x2 - $139.98

CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail - $139.99

SIIG 18" Serial ATA Cable - Right Angle Model CB-SATD41-S1 - Retail - $23.97

ZALMAN ZM - STG1 Thermal Compound - Retail - $7.99

Total so far: $1453.86

I was thinking of a GTX 295 but am wondering about 2 GTX 275s in SLI for pretty much the same price. I would be open to ATI if there is a compelling case for it.

I still need RAM and video card - I am thinking about Kingston due to the performance but it is out of stock at newegg - havent looked anywhere else yet.

I appreciate all of your work on these recommendations.


Scott
April 8, 2009 3:43:17 PM

I love the Cooler Master HAF 932 - great recommendation.

Thoughts on Vigor Monsoon III LT vs the Noctua cooler?

I definitely agree on the WD Caviar Black drives. Anyone know if there is a gaming performance hit running RAID 5 or RAID 1+0?

Thanks,

Scott

April 8, 2009 5:08:13 PM

a GTX 275 is the the same as one of the cores out of the 295. basically your going to get the same thing no matter which you choose. i would definitely go with a P6T Deluxe V2 and 6gb of the best reasonably priced 1600 ram you can find. 750W should be plenty, i would go with a Corsair 750TX. IMO raid is worthless in this kind of situation but its up to you.

i would go with this ram
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Related resources
April 8, 2009 8:39:07 PM

I think I will go with the GTX 295 with an eye on eventually adding a second. I like that model of power supply but I am going to step it up to 850 to cover the eventual SLI.

I have modified my current build but still need advice and suggestions!

April 8, 2009 8:43:30 PM

Yes if you plan on going with two gtx 295's i'd go with the corsair 850 over the 750 to give u a bit of breathing room. The gtx 295's require some pretty strong psu's. Same with the 4870x2's.

Does your build need to include a monitor?
April 8, 2009 8:49:22 PM

Yes I need a monitor but it's not included in the price. I was looking at this:

BenQ G2400WD Black 24" 5ms, 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail - $359.99

All my pricing is from Newegg btw.

April 8, 2009 9:02:52 PM

This would maybe be a starter setup for your build. There is plenty of room for imporvement and also I added a few overkill items such as the v10 vs the v8 for example. Is this the type of rig your looking for? Possibly another gtx295 put in there?

Let me know if this url doesn't work
April 8, 2009 9:09:29 PM

Sorry - it just takes me to my own cart. I would love to read your ideas though.
April 8, 2009 9:24:32 PM

i would say get :

>OCZ Blade Series 6GB (3 X 2GB) DDR3 PC3-16000
>gtx 295, and maybe go sli down the line
>Corsair HX 1000W ATX Modular SLI Compliant

and youre good to go.
April 8, 2009 10:14:41 PM

Bullheaded67 said:
Hi all - please make suggestions for me. It has been 4 years since I last built a system so I am not sure of the best optimization.

Purpose - Gaming, Movies, Web Surfing
Purchase date - 4/22/2009
OS - Windows 7 RC if available - Vista 64 otherwise
Air Cooled
Blue Ray
1920x1200 is the resolution I am aiming for in general
I am willing to overclock the i7 920
Parts not needed - Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers

COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - $149.99

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - $288.99

Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 120mm SSO CPU Cooler - $76.99

ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - $289.99

SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model SH-S223Q - OEM - $25.99

LG Black Super Multi Blu-ray Disc Burner & HD DVD-ROM Drive SATA Model GGW-H20L - Retail - $195.00

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - $109.00

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive x2 - $139.98

CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail - $139.99

SIIG 18" Serial ATA Cable - Right Angle Model CB-SATD41-S1 - Retail - $23.97

ZALMAN ZM - STG1 Thermal Compound - Retail - $7.99

Total so far: $1453.86

I was thinking of a GTX 295 but am wondering about 2 GTX 275s in SLI for pretty much the same price. I would be open to ATI if there is a compelling case for it.

I still need RAM and video card - I am thinking about Kingston due to the performance but it is out of stock at newegg - havent looked anywhere else yet.

I appreciate all of your work on these recommendations.


Scott


That 850w psu will match just fine with a pair of gtx 285's which is a low power consuming card, not to mention it kicks but.

Ok let's see if we can save you a few dollars and get just as good performance if not better. It's called shopping around. :) 

http://www.securemart.com/SMA2101442?mv_pc=294&mv_speci... $119.91
Cooler Master RC-932-KKN1-GP HAF 932 Chassis - 12 Bays - Black

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=I7-920 $265.99 Free Ground Shipping
Intel Core i7 Processor i7-920 2.66GHz 8MB LGA1366 CPU, OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $39.99
XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $6.99
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $329.99 ($299.99 after $30.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
BFG Tech BFGEGTX2851024OCPE GeForce GTX 285 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
Free Call of Duty: World at War w/ purchase, limited offer

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $94.99 Free Shipping*
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
April 9, 2009 12:00:11 AM

Thank you all for the excellent advice - I have a lot to think about. I appreciate the cost saving effort too :) 

Here is a question for everyone - will I regret not getting the GTX 295 now with the intent to go SLI in a few months vs going SLI with GTX 285s?

For the i7 processor I will be picking up a guaranteed D0 stepping from someone since they start shipping on the 14th. It will be a slight premium over the current stepping but it doesn't look like it will be much more.

I would love to hear your thoughts. I am certainly taking monitor advice as well - I linked my current choice above - the BenQ. I want to stay at 24" and $500.00 or less.

April 9, 2009 12:13:23 AM

That BenQ you chose is first rate, I would stick with it, but samsung and Dell monitors are high quality too.

2 GTX 285's will be more than enough for that resolution, and only crysis would require you to get anything more than one. If you get 2 GTX 285's, you will be set for a long time. Getting 2 GTX 295's is just a waste if you don't have a 30" screen.
April 9, 2009 12:41:44 AM

That certainly does look like an awesome monitor but unfortunately it is too big for my desk. I would be too close for the optimal viewing distance which would kind of defeat the purpose.
April 9, 2009 12:47:15 AM

Larger monitors also will not be as clear, since they will have larger pixels. The 24" monitor will have a crisper image.
April 9, 2009 6:41:27 AM

That looks like an awsome monitor for dell but I don't have any experience
April 9, 2009 12:01:13 PM

Sorry about the bad link:

Here's sort of an idea of where I was going with your build. This is what I had in the cart in the above post.

(case)
COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811119160
$149.99

(hard drives)
2 X Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Item #: N82E16822136284
109.99 each

(PowerSupply)
CORSAIR CMPSU-1000HX 1000W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
Item #: N82E16817139007
40.00 Mail-in Rebate $299.99
$259.99

(For heat sink)
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
Item #: N82E16835100007
$8.99

(Ram)
OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail
Item #: N82E16820227381
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate $139.99
$109.99

(Overkill heatsink)
COOLER MASTER V10 Hybrid TEC RR-B2P-UV10-GP 120mm CPU Cooler - Retail
Item #: N82E16835103056
$139.99

(Blu-ray Drive)
LG Black 6X Blu-ray Disc Burner & HD DVD-ROM Drive SATA Model GGW-H20LK - OEM
Item #: N82E16827136155
$175.00

Combo deal (CPU and MB):

ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813131365
Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819115202
$553.

(GPU)
Newegg is out of stock of gtx295's now. This was taken out of my cart.

Now this is only a starter setup. I didn't have enough time yesterday to go through and find every single best deal that I could. As I get time throughout the day I'll try to help refine. I'm sure some of the other forum residents will help too :) 
April 9, 2009 12:28:43 PM

Wow - thank you for all of that work. I think that since I don't plan on moving past a 24" monitor at any point in the next few years that I can probably save money, power etc by going with a SLI GTX 285 instead of the GTX 295. I was looking at the EVGA SSC edition GTX 285.

For RAM I did some comparisons with Tom's 6GB Ram Kit shootout and pricing.

mushkin 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model 998679 - Retail - $139.99 (it's got an instant $30.00 off right now) looks to be the best performance/cost balance right now. I love Crucial memory and use Kingston exclusively here at work but I just can't justify the extra cost. In the review the Mushkin scores higher than the OCZ memory. I would love to hear your thoughts though.

On CPU coolers - I admit I was pretty clueless when it came to the recommendation previously of the Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 120mm SSO CPU Cooler. I have been doing some research on the product and the company and I have to admit I am pretty damn impressed. I am not overly fond of the color scheme they use :)  but I am excited to see this cooler in action.

OK - so monitor decisions: Unless someone comes up with a new horse it looks like this race is between the BenQ and the Dell.

Here is another question - Should I go ahead and order both GTX 285s now or hold off for a price drop? I wonder if it's better to get two cards manufactured in the same batch or not? 2 would bring me in right under budget.
April 9, 2009 4:58:50 PM

The last article I read on i7 memory by TH was written in january, which was a good article for what it covered. But it did not cover very much, and since then many more memory kits have been released. TH did not test the OCZ platinum set that Kubes suggested, if they had I think it would have done pretty well. If you look at the specs, the only difference between the OCZ's and mushkins is 24vs20 in the final timing, and I can vouch for the OCZ's that you can change the final timing to 20 and run them at 7-7-7-20 1T at stock voltages 1600mhz. I think the OCZ's are a better deal, but you can't go wrong with either.
April 9, 2009 6:19:41 PM

To add onto thekid's comments about the ram: I was flipping a coin in which to recommend but ended up going with the OCZ due to the slight preformance increase and it was a few dollars cheaper. Mushkin however is very solid ram. And their customer service imo one of the best out there. You really can't go wrong with either. Both are smart picks.

Ideally its best if both the gpu's came from the same waifer but to be totaly honest it really doesn't matter to much now a days. I've got a bit of an electical engineering background and all i can say is by buying them from the same batch you might have a closer abiliity to overclock your cards to the exact same level. But even saying that, its not gaurnteed. Just a better guess. This wouldn't be something I'd be worried about.

I think I have a personal bias towards the cool master vx series but that's probally because I have one. I don't think you can go wrong with the Noctua, the dark Knight or the v8. All three have been been tested that they can handle a pretty nice overclock for the i7. I know a lot of people will say go Noctua or dark night because they are cheaper than the v8 and v10. (I've seen pictures of the v12...and it's a monster...to bad it will never go into production).

Few comments about the graphics cards. If you go with the gtx 295 I'd say grab the 1000w psu i stated above. If you plan on going with the gtx 285 and am pretty confident you'll be doing sli on it go with crosairs 850. If you think by any chance you might tripple sli the gtx285 stick with the 1000 stated above. If you plan on going with just one gtx295 and only one, you can get away with a 750,850. This is just antoher spot you can help custimize your build and save yourself a few bucks.
April 10, 2009 12:33:52 AM

Wow guys - I completely missed the OCZ memory was different - good call. Still looking on thoughts for the monitor if anyone has any.

April 10, 2009 3:20:08 AM

That Samsung is a very nice monitor. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. Going to head out to Fry's this weekend and see if I can put eyes on the monitors in question.

April 11, 2009 12:19:57 AM

I will post the final build tomorrow but I am still looking for any advice anyone might share. I am learning a lot from you and I appreciate it.
April 13, 2009 2:53:12 AM

Ok - here is the final proposed build. I have included pricing from Newegg as a general reference. The componants won't actually be purchased until 4/22/2009 so there will probably be some price fluctuation. I will also be shopping around for best pricing which would adjust the overall total.

I will be paying a slight premium for the D0 stepping of the i7 which will be released on 4/14 but the test results I have seen so far appear to make it a good value. I have decided on the Dell SP2309W which supports 2048 x 1152 resolution. With that in mind, I have decided on the GTX 295 which will open up the possibility of SLI GTX 295 in the future when the prices drop.

Final Build

COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail - $149.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-1000HX 1000W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail - $259.99

ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - $289.99

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail - $288.99

COOLER MASTER V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail - $69.99

EVGA 017-P3-1293-AR GeForce GTX 295 1792MB 896 (448 x 2)-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card w/ Pre-installed ECGA Backplate - Retail - $559.99

SIIG 6.56 ft. HDMI to HDMI Cable Model CB-000012-S1 - Retail - $19.99

OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail - $109.99

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - $109.99

2x Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - $149.98

LG Black Super Multi Blu-ray Disc Burner & HD DVD-ROM Drive SATA Model GGW-H20L - Retail - $205.50

SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model SH-S223Q - OEM - $25.99

Koutech IO-FPM220 3.5" Floppy Drive & Multi Card Reader Front Panel - Retail - $29.99

3x SIIG 18" Serial ATA Cable - Right Angle Model CB-SATD41-S1 - Retail - $23.97

Arctic Silver ACN-60ML (2-PC-SET) Thermal material Remover & Surface Purifier - OEM - $5.99

ZALMAN ZM - STG1 Thermal Compound - Retail - $7.99

Total - $2,312.81

Please feel free to continue to make comments.
April 13, 2009 5:17:49 AM

The cooler master v10 got some really poor reviews, I would skip it. The v8 is a good cooler, though. The dark night and the noctua are good choices. Most of the reviews of the v10 I saw said that it was unwieldy to install, expensive, and had poor cooling ability. I have the v8 and have a rather high idle temperature, without overclocking, of about 33 C. This most likely has nothing to do with the cooler and more the quality of my installation, but just thought it would give you more info when deciding on a cpu cooler. I like the OCZ 1600 2gb x 3 kit. Can be had at good price nowadays. When I bought it, it cost $200 (!). The HAF case is great, but I think the cosmos s looks better (just saying ;) ) You would have to remove the side fan to fit the noctua in the cosmos, though (sigh).
April 13, 2009 12:07:51 PM

I think you've got a very solid build posted above. Not much I'd change from stated above.

One slight change I'd pick is your thermal compound. I'd go with artic silver 5. It is the termal compound that sets the standard in the industry.
artic silver 5

I'm not sure what your wiring plan is but your motherboard will come with sata cables avialabe for you. You sure you need the ones you put on your list?

Something you also might want to pick up is an hdmi cable for your graphics card. If you are ever watching movies and want to go to a tv you probally want to pick up an hdmi cable to do that. You don't need this right away though. Might be something to keep an open mind to down the road.
April 13, 2009 12:19:33 PM

@Kubes - yep I have always used Arctic Silver in the past. I have read reviews of the Zalman compound which show an approximate 2C difference with the Zalman having lower temperatures. Here is one of the reviews:

http://www.bcchardware.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2688&Itemid=40

You are correct - I do need to get an HDMI cable - I will add that on the list. I am planning on running HDMI from the GTX 295 to the monitor as both have native support.

I read a review of the HAF 932 which recommended getting right angle cables for the hard disks just to make installation cleaner/easier since the ports come straight off the edge of the motherboard. If anyone with the HAF 932 and P6T Deluxe knows differently please let us know.
April 13, 2009 12:35:21 PM

You've clearly done your homework. Always nice to get a person that is willing to put some time in doing the research it takes to put a good solid build together.

I stand corrected. Go with the Zalman thermal compound. Looks like the winner there.

I have the evga x58 sli board. It came with a few right angle sata connectors. I am looking at the pictures on newegg for your board and can't tell if it has any and how many. Sorry :( . Just trying to squeeze every dollar out of your build for ya.
April 13, 2009 1:13:15 PM

Hey - I appreciate your effort to spare me money! I added an HDMI cable to the build.
April 13, 2009 1:33:31 PM

I would get MX-2 thermal compound though.

You don't want to risk your CPU and mobo.
April 13, 2009 4:09:17 PM

heh - the MX-2 site claims they are superior to the other as well.... I wish we had a thermal compound shootout somewhere. I need some objectivity - anyone have any objective findings?

April 13, 2009 4:31:17 PM

I actually was looking for one myself the other day. (Was installing the v8 on my cpu.) Didn't really find anything from a realiable source and just ended up going with as5 since i've always been confortable with their products. If someone does find any please report back so that I can read what people are getting from results.
April 13, 2009 5:09:05 PM

Awesome review Thanks Short!!
April 13, 2009 6:01:15 PM

I thought about going with SSD technology but the technology is still a bit cutting edge for my taste. I have no doubt that by this time next year SSD will be the norm among enthusiasts but it needs to mature a bit for me.
April 13, 2009 6:13:48 PM

I agree with bullheaded's comments. I think SSD technology still needs a bit of time to mature. The price preium is just not really worth it imo yet. Now there are other technologies i think it's worth such as the i7, gtx 295, 4980x2 ect...
April 13, 2009 8:54:05 PM

outstanding build. I can vouch for the ocz platinum set as well. I have it currently running at 7-7-7-18 1T and it's rock solid w/ my 920 at 3.8Ghz. Your build is very similar to mine and I am 100% satisfied with my system. The GTX295 has been nothing short of outstanding (runs a bit hot...but that's to be expected from such a beast). The most recent drivers released by nvidia fixed a minor downclocking issue I was having and I am now idleing around 50c. With the HAF you should have more than adequate airflow and should see great temps.

TheKid gave me my initial template for my overclock, but I would be more than happy to share w/ you the details I arrived at for my final OC if you're interested. GL with the build and have fun with that monster!
April 14, 2009 4:17:13 AM

foolycooly said:
outstanding build. I can vouch for the ocz platinum set as well. I have it currently running at 7-7-7-18 1T and it's rock solid w/ my 920 at 3.8Ghz. Your build is very similar to mine and I am 100% satisfied with my system. The GTX295 has been nothing short of outstanding (runs a bit hot...but that's to be expected from such a beast). The most recent drivers released by nvidia fixed a minor downclocking issue I was having and I am now idleing around 50c. With the HAF you should have more than adequate airflow and should see great temps.

TheKid gave me my initial template for my overclock, but I would be more than happy to share w/ you the details I arrived at for my final OC if you're interested. GL with the build and have fun with that monster!


Awesome - good to know! Any help you or TheKid could provide with the overclocking will be much appreciated. 3.8 is my target - I might be able to push 4.0 with the D0 stepping but I really don't want to push the voltage to hard.

Thanks again everyone for your help.
April 23, 2009 1:11:07 PM

OK - here was what was ordered:

Final Build

COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply

ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Stepping D0 I hope!

COOLER MASTER V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler

2x EVGA 01G-P3-1285-AR GeForce GTX 285 SC Edition 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

2x Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

LG Black Super Multi Blu-ray Disc Burner & HD DVD-ROM Drive SATA Model GGW-H20L

SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model SH-S223Q

Koutech IO-FPM220 3.5" Floppy Drive & Multi Card Reader Front Panel

Arctic Silver ACN-60ML (2-PC-SET) Thermal material Remover & Surface Purifier

ZALMAN ZM - STG1 Thermal Compound - Retail

Dell SP2309W 23 inch Widescreen Flat Panel Monitor


Total Price - just over $2500.00 which was within my target range as I was not including the monitor in that price originally. I was having problems finding a GTX 295 in a brand I was comfortable with from a retailer I was comfortable with. I got an incredible deal on the GTX285s from Newegg ($295.00 each) which, with the price reduction since I could drop the PSU down to an 850, actually saved me money over the price of the GTX295.

Should I just build it to default spec and let it run for a few days before doing the OC or just take it up right away? What software do you recommend I get to help with the OC or just cool tools to have in general. I am loading the Windows 7 RC and I have a copy of Ubuntu as well should I have OS issues.

Thanks!
April 23, 2009 1:26:39 PM

You've got a pretty Rock Solid build. I think you'll be happy to hear that two gtx 285's should outpreform the gtx 295. So if you were able to pick up two gtx 285's for under the price of a gtx 295 then yay for you.

Ussualy when i'm doing an overclock I'll wait a few days just to make sure that the thermal paste between the cpu and HSF has cured. But honestly that's just me. I think you'd be fine to overclock right away if you want.
April 25, 2009 9:05:35 PM

OK - so the system is up and running. The monitor isn't here yet so I am still on the old 19" but nothing to be done :) 

I am currently running at 3.66 GHz rock solid and my full load under the Prime95 In Place Large FFT test has temps in the low 70's. My room ambient is 26 C.

I am not sure I have my RAM set up correctly though. In CPU-Z it shows the NB Frequency as 2888 Mhz, the DRAM Frequency at 719.8 Mhz the FSB:D RAM is 2:8. The CAS I set to 7 7 7 24 per the manufacturer's specifications.

Thanks,

Scott
April 26, 2009 4:43:30 AM

How about some pics of the inside of the case...
April 26, 2009 5:03:51 AM

That looks like a fantastic build! I really hope you enjoy it.

Imagine my joy when after over 4 months of looking around and trying to do my homework I find a post that describes what I'm trying to do to a T.

I hope people are still around though as I do have a few questions.

I'm a college student interested in Architecture. I don't have time to game very often but when I do, I love it. I'm looking for something that can be a jack-of-all-trades, and I'm hoping a total system budget of ~2500 will get me something I can build off of.


I'm still uncertain about allot of my choices. This is my first time building and my first time throwing this build out on a forum. So please... be gentle. :) 


Case: Antec 1200

MoBo: ASUS P6T Deluxe V2

CPU: i7 920

CPU: cooler: can't choose between the CoolerMaters V10 and the Zalman 9900

GPU: Sapphire: Radeon HD 4870 1GB w/ Vapor-X (I plan to upgrade/add to my GPU regularly, perhaps every 1-2 years.)

PSU: Antec Signiture 850W

Memory: Kingston HyperX 3GB DDR3 2000 CAS 8-8-8-24 Timings (Model #:KHX16000D3ULT1K3/3GX)

HDD: Western Digital 500GB Black (although it looks like the 680GB has slightly better performance. Is that true?)

Optical: LG Blu-ray?HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD+-R DVD Burner (only reads Blu-ray won't write them)


Monitor: I still have no idea. I was going to try to describe how confused all of it was making me. but then I saw this smilie... :pt1cable:  ... yep, that just about sums it up.

Speakers: Logitec Z-2300 2.1

I don't have quite the budget of Bullheaded67 but I’m perfectly happy to build from here. After looking at the forums I'm wondering it the Kingston RAM is worth it. I'm also questioning the case. Lian-Li has been highly recommended to me by a friend, and the CoolerMaster HAF and Stacker 830 cases seem to be getting rave reviews on the web. As far as monitors go I've looked at everything from Professional grade 24" to 3x22" setups, to the new Dell G2410 which runs an LED backlight.

I'm really hoping to get the opinion of people who have been there before.
Thanks everyone. I really appreciate any help you could give me.

-Carcrazy202
April 26, 2009 1:34:20 PM

dcfan said:
How about some pics of the inside of the case...


I will do it once I clean up the cables a bit more. I didn't tie everything down in case I had to move some stuff around.

Anyone have any ideas on the memory? foolycooly or xxthekidxx - I know you are both running this same system pretty much - you out there? :) 
!