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Mid-to-High Range i7 920 - Suggestions Needed (Take 2)

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April 22, 2009 1:43:56 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: End April, Beginning of May 2009 BUDGET RANGE: (US $1500-1800)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: (Gaming, surfing the internet, everyday use)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor (Samsung 226BW 22” 1680x1050)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: amazon.com, newegg.com (I am an Amazon Prime member, free 2-day shipping on all items, except for cases which is free super-saver shipping)

PARTS PREFERENCES: I would like to use an Intel i7 920 CPU, Gigabyte or ASUS EX58 mobo, full-tower case, red ambient lighting, EVGA GTX2xx video card, Corsair, OCZ or G.Skill XMP memory, Western Digital Hard Drives, Vista SP1 64-bit until Windows 7 arrives.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes, CPU to about 3.6 to 3.8GHz MAX SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Need to have a case window, mostly red lighting
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Hi again everyone. This is a follow-up to a new mid-to-high range i7 gaming build I posted 2 months ago. I just want a final review before I purchase these components within the next week or two. I chose Amazon over Newegg for most of my components because I do not pay shipping or tax with Amazon Prime, but do for Newegg.

Please provide any feedback or input as to any potential compatibility issues, or whether a component is overkill or needs an upgrade. I was going to get a GTX285, but once the GTX275 came out, I switched to that because I only have a 1680x1050 monitor. My next games will be Empire: Total Earth, Diablo III, and maybe Crysis. I would do SLI GTX275s or buy a DX11 card when they come out to replace my GTX275.

COMPONENTS
CASE: COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail $159.99 (AMAZON)
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-High-Tower-Black/dp...

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD4P LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $239.99 after rebate (NEWEGG)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Also looking at the ASUS P6T Deluxe V2, any comments/suggestions? I want to be sure I can fit SLI VGA cards one day plus a soundcard. I have an extensive MP3 collection that I want to play with good sound quality.

CPU: Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail $289.99 (AMAZON)
http://www.amazon.com/Intel-2-66GHz-Hyper-Threading-LGA...

PSU: Corsair CMPSU-850TX 850-Watt TX Series 80 Plus Certified Power Supply - $123.21 after rebate (AMAZON)
(In case I choose to go SLI one day)
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-CMPSU-850TX-850-Watt-Cert...

RAM: OCZ 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) - $75.99 after rebate (NEWEGG)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Should I consider this Corsair DDR3 1600 RAM instead for possible “major performance gains”?
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-TR3X6G1600C8D-Dominator-P...

CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail $65.98 (AMAZON)
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Nickel-Aluminum-Hea...

Graphics Card: EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GTX 275 896 MB DDR3 - $252.76 after rebate (AMAZON)
http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-896-P3-1170-AR-DDR3-PCI-Expr...

Should I stick with the 275, or go to the 1796MB GTX275 for $40 more, or a GTX285?

OS Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $74.99 (AMAZON)
http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Caviar-Black-WD64...

Storage Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $129.99 (AMAZON)
http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Caviar-Black-WD10...

DVD Reader/Writer: LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS30 - OEM $24.99 (NEWEGG)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Keyboard: Logitech G11 Silver & Black 104 Normal Keys 29 Function Keys USB Standard Gaming Keyboard - $58.99 (NEWEGG)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mouse: Logitech G5 7 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Laser Mouse - $43.99 (AMAZON)
http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Laser-Mouse-Blue-Black/d...

Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card - $94.99 (NEWEGG)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders – OEM $99.99 (NEWEGG)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I will eventually upgrade to Windows 7.


Total Price: $1795 (includes tax and shipping)

Also, any fans you can recommend to add to the CM HAF-932, red LED in particular, and a very good 5.25" NON-BLUE-LED Fan Controller?

Thanks in advance for your input!! These forums have been a huge help so far.
-Misfit14

More about : mid high range 920 suggestions needed

April 22, 2009 1:56:43 AM

I think most people would prefer that ASUS board to the Gigabyte. The ASUS deluxe V2 is supposed to have a decent amount of room, much more than the regular P6T.
April 22, 2009 2:07:36 AM

Looks like a solid build. I can't imagine why you would want to add more fans to the HAF 932. It has 3 X 200mm fans and 1X140mm fan, two intakes front panel and front bezel, and two exhaust 1 X on the top (200mm) and 1 X on the back (140mm) the 200 mm run at 700 rpm and move a huge amount of air, and the 140 on the back runs at 1400 I think. I have the HAF and it moves ALOT of air and does so quietly. And before you buy the sound card....give the onboard sound a try first...save some money, they are very good these days. And I am running the Asus P6t Deluxe and it is a ROCK!! Love that board!!
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April 22, 2009 6:15:36 AM

Jack64 said:
Looks like a solid build. I can't imagine why you would want to add more fans to the HAF 932. It has 3 X 200mm fans and 1X140mm fan, two intakes front panel and front bezel, and two exhaust 1 X on the top (200mm) and 1 X on the back (140mm) the 200 mm run at 700 rpm and move a huge amount of air, and the 140 on the back runs at 1400 I think. I have the HAF and it moves ALOT of air and does so quietly. And before you buy the sound card....give the onboard sound a try first...save some money, they are very good these days. And I am running the Asus P6t Deluxe and it is a ROCK!! Love that board!!


Thanks jack64. Would you recommend the Asus P6T Deluxe V2 over the Gigabyte EX58-UD4P?

Also, which Corsair RAM did you use in your build, and does it have XMP or did you have to manually set the memory timings in the BIOS?

April 22, 2009 6:17:54 AM

jsrudd said:
I think most people would prefer that ASUS board to the Gigabyte. The ASUS deluxe V2 is supposed to have a decent amount of room, much more than the regular P6T.


Thanks jsrudd. Can you cite a few reasons why the Asus over the Gigabyte? Is the Asus P6T Deluxe V2 worth the extra $30 over the Gigabyte EX58-UD4P?
April 22, 2009 6:19:38 AM

It seems my build is pretty solid from the start. Just want to know if the RAM and video card I chose are good enough, or if I should upgrade to DDR3 1600 RAM and a GTX285?

Thanks!

-Misfit14
April 22, 2009 11:54:01 AM

The corsair that I used has the XMP and in the bios it is listed as an option in the ram timing drop down list. I just selected it and it worked fine. As far as the Asus board goes, I got it because I had heard on reviews it was the most stable, I built this before I was a member here, mostly through alot of research on my own, but I have built computers since 1992, one about every 3 to 4 yrs for myself, among a few for friends. I can't say for the Gigabyte board as I have no experience with it, but it seems some on here use it and it seems to be ok. So the choice is yours.
April 22, 2009 1:23:24 PM

misfit14 said:
It seems my build is pretty solid from the start. Just want to know if the RAM and video card I chose are good enough, or if I should upgrade to DDR3 1600 RAM and a GTX285?

Thanks!

-Misfit14


If the price difference is negligable go for 1600mhz, can't offer much help on the GPU side of things though however from what I've heard the GTX275 is much better value for money of the 285, not worth the extra $100 aparently

Jack64 said:
Looks like a solid build. I can't imagine why you would want to add more fans to the HAF 932. It has 3 X 200mm fans and 1X140mm fan, two intakes front panel and front bezel, and two exhaust 1 X on the top (200mm) and 1 X on the back (140mm) the 200 mm run at 700 rpm and move a huge amount of air, and the 140 on the back runs at 1400 I think. I have the HAF and it moves ALOT of air and does so quietly. And before you buy the sound card....give the onboard sound a try first...save some money, they are very good these days. And I am running the Asus P6t Deluxe and it is a ROCK!! Love that board!!


Don't mean to be picky but they're 230mm fans =] I know this because no shop will do any 230, they'll do 220 or 250 but not 230 which was a pain when I tried looking for some faster fans, (to misfit) You can't fit anymore fans onto the HAF without removing the existing ones, and that is a pain, when I looked to try and remove the top fan so I could have my PSU at the top instead of the bottom it was very awkward and I couldn't do it, plus like Jack says, they're really quiet and move ALOT of air.

Don't get a non-blue LED front panel fan controller, first off becuase the fan controller would be useless max speed is 700rpm +/-10% and are on maximum anyway (silent, put it this way, I wondered what theticking inside my case was, turned out it was the HDD ticking over) plus although the front fan is a dim red, the HDD and power lights on the front are VERY VERY bright blue. only front bay thing you'd want is a front bay card reader.
April 22, 2009 1:24:55 PM

Woops forgot to add, P6Ts are generally accepted as the best i7 motherboards, all reviews I've read and from my personal experience suggest they're the most stable and best for overclocking.
April 22, 2009 7:10:54 PM

jsrudd said:
I think most people would prefer that ASUS board to the Gigabyte. The ASUS deluxe V2 is supposed to have a decent amount of room, much more than the regular P6T.



Cause it's cheaper? I was just about to suggest going up from the UD4P to the UD5, but staying with gigabyte. I've been burned twice in the past with ASUS boards, so I didn't even consider ASUS for my build. But I am genuinely interested in why people say they're better in this case. If it's price, it's understandable...Misfit, you should be comparing the deluxe to the UD5, not thee UD4P. The gigabyte boards cost more than comparable ASUS boards. If people say they're better because some reviewer said he got better stability when OCing a 920 to 4.2Ghz, then that's only useful information if the reader intends to go just as high. Does the ASUS board have bling that the gigabyte board lacks? Even though I'd open a major artery before buying another ASUS motherboard (their sound cards, I'd consider...), I'm interested to hear concrete reasons for the preference. Reasons that go beyond the online mob wisdom of "everyone knows they're better."

Rain, you are a perfect example of what I'm talking about. You say "from my personal experience," the ASUS MOBO OCs better...does that mean that you've personally built two i7 systems on comparable MOBOs from both companies and OCed them both to the same level for testing? You also say "all the reviews I've read." The sub-$300 X58 mobo review on this site, for example, doesn't include a gigabyte mobo. I assume that that's because gigabyte failed to provide a sample for testing.
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