Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

My i7 build...just ordered the parts!

Last response: in Systems
Share
April 21, 2009 3:44:06 AM

Okay, after weeks of research, I pulled the trigger. I've since heard a few "get this, not that" comments on some of the components, usually without any explanation. So I ask that if you are kind enough to give me feedback to change anything, please tell me why. I don't mind exchanging parts, even with a 15% restocking fee...

Case: Coolermaster ATCS 840 (black)

PSU: Coolermaster UCP RS-700 (80 plus silver!)

Mobo: GA-EX58-UD5

CPU: i7 920 (intend to OC to a mild 3.4)

Cooler: Noctua NHU12P SE1366

Video: Sapphire 4890

RAM: Gskill 3x2 DDR3 1600 8-8-8-21

HD: 1TB caviar green

Sound: X-fi fatal1ty champion (gotta love the jacks and controls on the front of the puter, plus I "only" paid $150)

Optical: two iHAS324-08

Total was about $1650 after shipping, and I'm looking to get better RAM for less money, as well as a second 4890 and maybe a SSD big enough for at least my OS, provided that prices come down enough...speaking of the OS, I'm starting with 64-bit vista home basic (using the key from a laptop that just died, so the price -free- is right), and jumping to Windows 7 as soon as it hits the SP1 gate...I've HATED every single windows OS until at least the first service pack came out, so I'm done being an early adopter....and vista home basic is actually not that bloated...I just have to get separate DVD software, basic has everything else I need, and virtually none of the bloatware that comes on the heftier versions.

More about : build ordered parts

April 21, 2009 4:02:22 AM

Case: Excellent

PSU: Not so much. It's an OK PSU in terms of performance, but the Corsair 750tx is a much better PSU for cheaper and would have been a better option.

Mobo: I prefer the Asus P6T Deluxe V2 for the PCIEx16 slot layout, there is more space between them for better cooling in an SLI/xfire configuration. If you do not plan on using SLI or xfire, then I guess its fine, but then I would have gone with the P6T or UD4P, both will easily achieve the OC you want and are cheaper.

CPU: Good

Cooler: Good

GPU: Good, XFX has a double lifetime warranty for the same price and typically better customer service, so I would have gotten them instead. Hardware wise, the GPU's are all the same at this point, no manufacturers have started producing with different than reference coolers

Ram: Good, as long as you didn't pay over $100

HDD: The Caviar Green series for WD are slow, the WD Caviar Black would be much faster, but the Green is quiet and low power consumption so if that is important I guess that is fine...but that might be the biggest bottleneck of your system right now.

Sound Card: Waste of money. The onboard sound on your MB is probably not much worse than that sound card, I think you will have a tough time telling the difference between them. Plug you speakers into the MB and the sound card and see if you can hear a difference whatsoever, or better yet have someone else do it and then have you tell them which is which. I think you will have a very hard time.

Optical: I prefer LG or Samsung for build quality, but they will probably perform exactly the same.
April 21, 2009 5:48:36 AM

I got a total build out with nice monitor for $1560or so... not much you can do about what you have purchased now, though

this setup maybe better suited for you Ocing as well for case and cooler setups. Asus rated a little better in the board shootout for OCING also.

Core I7 920 -
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Prod [...] e=10009642
Zip has an extra $30 on MIR

Asus P6T Deluxe v2
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Prod [...] e=10009631

Corsair TX750-
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Prod [...] e=10007112
Save another $10 after MIR over NewEgg

Bought top three from Zip I save $50 (includes shipping savings) over the same items from NewEgg... which I put towards my GTX 275

Antec 902 (awesome case and worth the extra cash i paid since it was only like 30 bucks or something) from local Store - $130


Dark Knight Cooler - with OCZ Freeze (good stuff and really well rated)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835233029

2 WD black 640 drives for raid config
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136319

XFX GTX 275 - had to change from GTX260 so I dont have to upgrade it in a year.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814150364

OCZ 3X2GB - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Pioneer DVD burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827129032

Asus 22 Monitor -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6824236050

Logitech Mouse and keyboard - Office Max had it on sale for $64 with tax
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6823126033

Scythe Flex-120E x 2 for XTRA cooling
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835185005

GRAND TOTAL $1567 after MIR....
Related resources
April 21, 2009 2:55:54 PM

xthekidx said:
Case: Excellent

PSU: Not so much. It's an OK PSU in terms of performance, but the Corsair 750tx is a much better PSU for cheaper and would have been a better option.

Mobo: I prefer the Asus P6T Deluxe V2 for the PCIEx16 slot layout, there is more space between them for better cooling in an SLI/xfire configuration. If you do not plan on using SLI or xfire, then I guess its fine, but then I would have gone with the P6T or UD4P, both will easily achieve the OC you want and are cheaper.

CPU: Good

Cooler: Good

GPU: Good, XFX has a double lifetime warranty for the same price and typically better customer service, so I would have gotten them instead. Hardware wise, the GPU's are all the same at this point, no manufacturers have started producing with different than reference coolers

Ram: Good, as long as you didn't pay over $100

HDD: The Caviar Green series for WD are slow, the WD Caviar Black would be much faster, but the Green is quiet and low power consumption so if that is important I guess that is fine...but that might be the biggest bottleneck of your system right now.

Sound Card: Waste of money. The onboard sound on your MB is probably not much worse than that sound card, I think you will have a tough time telling the difference between them. Plug you speakers into the MB and the sound card and see if you can hear a difference whatsoever, or better yet have someone else do it and then have you tell them which is which. I think you will have a very hard time.

Optical: I prefer LG or Samsung for build quality, but they will probably perform exactly the same.



PSU: Got it in combo with the case...so I paid $40 less than you think ;)  I suppose I should have mentioned that this computer is going about 15' from the bed through a doorless doorway in a room with a tile floor...silence is golden, especially since I rarely shut my computer off at night (80+ silver is going to run cooler and therefore quieter). Same reasoning behind the noctua and the caviar green.

RAM: How's $85 sound?

Sound card: Generally, I'd be 100% in agreeance. But I have significant hearing loss in midrange frequencies only in my left ear only, and creative's software makes it dead easy to calibrate my sound system to compensate (making it sound like garbage to anyone else, but whose computer is it, anyway?) Couple that with the awesome improvement in positional audio when wearing a headset (which I do most of the time), and for me, at least, it's worth the bucks...for most people, I agree, it's not worthwhile. And that specific card puts the headphone jack on the front of the case, which put me over the top when I also considered that the $50 price break put it $20 over the cost of the next model down. Anything below the $130 model is absolute garbabe anyway.

drteeth,

I'm only OCing to 3.4, so an edge in OC performance is not that big a deal to me, and I'm biased on account of having 2 of 2 asus mobos fail (okay, one of them lasted three whole years), while all three gigabyte boards in my past, including the one that my socket 939 3700+ is sitting on as I type this, made it to retirement. Actually, my mother in law is still using the first one with no problems after 8 years. So really, only one of them has been discarded, but it was perfectly fine at the time.
April 21, 2009 4:52:04 PM

march10k said:

CPU: i7 920 (intend to OC to a mild 3.4)


LIAR! haha, if its a D0 just OC to 4.0GHz and call it a day
April 21, 2009 10:14:23 PM

hehe...actually, I've done some more reading. 3.33 seems to be the highest speed that doesn't reqire me to monkey with the power settings AND still allows turbo mode (apparently, 3.33 in turbo mode means three cores virtually idle while one is pushed to 3.66 temporarily, which sounds like what would happen when running most games with a nearly empty system tray), while 3.66 seems to be the most efficient (4.0 is actually 17% LESS power/performace efficient than 2.66, using 37% more juice at idle and a whopping 95% more at peak...I can't even imagine the cooling issues). So I may actually stop at 3.33, instead of going to 3.4...or I may go for max efficiency and go all the way up to 3.66. Either way, it looks like it doesn't make sense to exceed the 3.33 threshhold unless you're going to 3.66. Above 3.66 seems to show diminishing returns, with sharply dropping gains and sharply rising heat/power penalties...so 3.33 or 3.66 for me.
April 22, 2009 12:22:36 AM

yeah ... once you get tainted by an manufacture.. hard to mess with them again... thankfully that gig board is pretty great too.

agree with the PSU, RAM Comments....

7-7-7-24 for $80 and a good overclocker... but thtats just spliting hairs... they are both good products and lots of folks like Gskill for OCing.

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

April 22, 2009 1:10:31 AM

drteeth said:
yeah ... once you get tainted by an manufacture.. hard to mess with them again... thankfully that gig board is pretty great too.

agree with the PSU, RAM Comments....

7-7-7-24 for $80 and a good overclocker... but thtats just spliting hairs... they are both good products and lots of folks like Gskill for OCing.

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



Hehehe....that was exactly the first ram I selected...but then I read enough bad reviews about OCZ ram in general that I eliminated OCZ from contention. If I was buying ram that I expected to last the lifetime of the computer, I'd have gone with mushkin, but I'm really looking for is something to be "good enough" for 12-18 months, till prices and cas come down...then I'll get good stuff to keep. My cycle is 5 years with an upgrade at the 2-3 year mark (if DDR3 performance/price goes the way I think it will, that will get an early bump, but anything else will wait till 2011.

The puter I'm about to sunset got 200% more ram, a new mobo (yeah, the asus fried), and an upgrade from 2200+ to 3700+ in 2006 for a total of $400, but I kept everything else, including the quarter gig AGP card that was top of the line in 2003. The first game that old card wouldn't run was crysis, and it ran more new games than it failed well into 2008. In fact, the video card is the excuse for this new puter...
April 22, 2009 3:04:02 AM

yeah with ya there. I do about the same upgrades. My old comp is a P4 2.4 OCed to 3.0 if i remember right. I have mushkin now but was going for bang for the buck then will upgrade when the wife isnt looking :) 
April 22, 2009 11:57:29 AM

drteeth said:
will upgrade when the wife isnt looking :) 


+1 :D 
April 24, 2009 8:33:58 PM

Okay..parts arrived yesterday...very few issues with assembly:

1. It took till bed time to get everything installed, powered, and connected. First time takes longer, hehe.
2. The power cable for the CPU that I was freaking out about it not being long enough...was the wrong one, anyway...but the right one barely reached.
3. Even though I'd read about how legendarily difficult it is to figure out the brackets for the noctua cooler's fans, due to the worst graphical instructions ever, I was still hoppin mad at how useless the instructions were in retrospect when I did finally figure it out.

Impressions from the assembly process:

1. the pushbutton locking mechanism on the 5.25 slots is okay...to a point. It does lock the drives in, so they won't fall out or slide around...but it's not really a tool-less design, if you want your stuff to look neat. because only one side was locked, the drives still wiggled more than a bit, so I ended up having to use *gasp* screws to lock down the other side. A+ for the concept, C- for the execution.

2. The sideways hard drive cage is awesome. The only less-than-ideal thing is that, while the MOBO came with 90 degree data cables (since the back side of the hard drive is up against the opposite side panel), but the power cables are another story. It's not really a functionality issue, but it does irk me that the power cable for the hard drive touches the panel.

3. Gigabyte's SATA cables kick lite-on's all up and down the street. Can't really tell if the cables are the same, but the ends are head and shoulders above, and the cables are long enough for some reasonable management. The ones that came with the drives had about 2" of slack when connected, not a mm more.

4. Dust filters on the case fans: Accept no substitute, especially in my part of the country. We inhale enough dirt here that the guy in Russia with a tree growing in his lungs doesn't faze me.

5. Flat black brushed aluminum case with no window, LED fans, or other bling= no-nonsense, dare I say intimidating, look. If Grand Moff Tarkin needed a computer case, this one would make his short list.

6. Huge, mostly empty hard drive cage= cable management. I stuffed all of the leftover power cables in there, and even routed the video card power cables into the bottom of the cage and back out across at the right level to run straight to the card. This also lifted the cables off the floor of the case, so when I get another intake fan down there, the airflow will only be blocked half as badly.

This morning, I powered it up for the first time. No issues, other than that the power button on this case blows. It's very spongy, and prone to not clicking fully on, so when you release, it dies immediately. It also gives no feedback, when depressed, on whether it's going to stay on or not, no click that you can feel or hear. I've learned that I have to push it down as far as it will go, and then hold for .3 seconds or so, and then watch the power light when I release. I had a CMOSS error on my first startup, but that went away when I tried again with the keyboard plugged in...which is odd because it was set to report all but keyboard. Now, it's unpacking windows at a rate of 1% every 3 minutes. I wonder if I should have, or even could have, loaded some drivers first, and whether that might have made any difference. I certainly don't remember windows taking three eternities to install itself. Oh, and I have the CPU cooler blowing towards the back of the case, with about 1" gap between it and the case fan that exhausts to the back...and for some reason, the air coming out the top of the case immediately above the CPU cooler is much warmer than the air coming out the back (the other top fan, over open space, is room temperature). I may have to rotate the cooler 90 degrees and blow it up instead of back....

Well, I'll update, probably with half a dozen questions, when I get home from work. Here's hoping windows finished installing by then. I'll also check CPU temp. I only watched it in the BIOS for about 5 minutes before deciding that it was healthy enough to continue on...it looked to be running at 42C...
April 24, 2009 9:30:36 PM

Sounds like a pretty good build +1 for the feedback on it.
April 25, 2009 12:17:21 AM

Okay, big issues when I got home...the install aborted while I was gone, and when I restarted it, it stopped in the middle and asked for dvd drive drivers, so I popped that disc in and it went down like a two bit hooker...and it wouldn't recognize the keyboard after that, so I had to dump my CMOS settings and start over. I said in my last post that it was unpacking windows at a rate of one percent every three minutes....well, this time it's at 85% after about two minutes, so things are definitely different. I may even have time for a victory cigar between the windows install and moving on to drivers! 97%...
April 25, 2009 7:44:04 AM

all my parts also arrived. took a few hrs to unpack, organize and install. Going great atm.

Idle with Dark Knight and OCZ paste - temp at 34C (no-Ocing)

Looks good so far. Cord management is very good with this Antec 902 case

keep ya posted.
April 25, 2009 9:50:48 AM

Pictures!
April 25, 2009 1:56:24 PM

Pictures? Got em! Er...do I gotta photobucket em, or does this site host them, too?

BTW, got an error message..."windows has detected a hard drive problem," along with a prompt to back up my stuff before the drive fails. Ok, no prob, I just put the thing together, and I have a brand new unopened 1TB external sitting in my closet...but what kind of diagnostics can I run?

On a separate note, I have a pair of 120GB discs that I had striped in the old computer, and I already tore it apart...without retrieving the data first. Oops. My first thought was to suck the data out via the new rig's esata port...but I suppose I have to crack the case and install them in a striped array in the new case to be able to get the data off of htem intact?
April 26, 2009 2:34:17 AM

Yeah photobucket works

I don't really know how you move raid arrays from PC to PC so I can't help you there.
April 26, 2009 3:23:26 AM

Working on photos...

still waiting on Ocing... gonna do a couple of days as a burn in.

35c idle with 60 under prime95 and OCCT full load tests at 2.8 ghz

Ocing should put me in the 40 range and 70 maybe... would be nice...

thats with fans on low speed.

main page it says 7 7 7 20 .. better than posted timings... and I didnt mess with them.. I am a noob when it comes to ram.
April 26, 2009 3:26:34 AM

What speed are you playing at?
April 26, 2009 7:23:03 AM

speed?

Crysis on high/ultra high mix

April 26, 2009 7:07:22 PM

I meant ram speed. Sometimes the default speed will be lower than what the modules are rated for and so it will give you tighter timings than it is rated for.
May 1, 2009 1:16:17 AM

Well finally got everything set and started to play with the OC.

due to multipier issues running at 1440 with 7 7 7 19 at 1.62DramV

at 3.6 (Cpu Mult @ 20) with all voltages set to min or stock. temps idle at around 40 with load at 69 (with all fans on silent) and about 65 with all funs on boost.

Guess I could play with the CPU mult and bclk to get the ram speed closer to 1600 but i could always underclock a bit and run tighter.

Any suggestions on this issue or changes?



One quick note... can anyone help me with this hard drive issue. BIOS reads second HD but windows doesnt. It shows I ahve a A-Drive 3.5 but I dont.... not a big fan of vista ATM....

Solved this issue above....
!