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I7 gaming/multimedia build review and a few questions

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April 23, 2009 4:08:38 PM

About to order parts for a new gaming/multimedia build and was wondering if I need to spend the money on an aftermarket HSF if I do not plan on overclocking.  If it would be a good idea to go ahead and buy a HSF, any suggestion on what would fit well in the Antec 300 case?

Also, what are the advantages of going with the Asus P6T deluxe v2 over the regular P6T?

Brief specs (Completely open to suggestions...PRICE: ~$1500 including monitor, all from newegg):

Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor (newegg combo deal w/MB)
Item #: N82E16819115202

ASUS P6T ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813131359

EVGA GeForce GTX 285 01G-P3-1281-AR Video Card
Item #:N82E16814130442

G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory
Item #:N82E16820231225

CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W Power Supply (SLi in future)
Item #:N82E16817139009

Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Item #:N82E16822136319

ASUS VH226H Black 21.5" 2ms(GTG) Widescreen LCD Monitor Built in Speakers
Item #:N82E16824236051

3x Scythe S-FLEX SFF21F Case Fan (To fill out the antec 300 slots)
Item #:N82E16835185006

Optical drive ~$22

Total:  $1,556.84


Thanks!
April 23, 2009 4:31:03 PM

looks good overall...I'll let others comment on air cooling since I use liquid in all my rigs (if you ever do want to overclock there are some good under $100 self contained liquid units you could use)
I would stick the the p6t...the main differences are heat sinks and dual lan in the deluxe, but I've had over 50% failure rate on those boards in the past month, so there is definately a QC issue on them right now.
I would also consider going to a 4850x2 video card. It is far and away the price/performance leader right now, and will outperform the 285 and cost less. You can still crossfire it in the future with another 4850x2 if games catch up or you want 2560x1600 resolutions.
April 23, 2009 6:46:56 PM

Thanks for the input, I'll probably just save $50 and go for the p6t. Anyone else have any input before I order?
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April 23, 2009 7:08:28 PM

Get the EVGA x58, i love mine and its so easy to use. great forums.
April 23, 2009 8:32:37 PM

Save money. Get the GTX 275. The extra 50$ is not worth the 3fps it'll give you. And especailly since you're using a 21.5'' Monitor, you won't need the extra 256mb of VRAM.
Nice build, looking to get one exactly like it myself.
April 23, 2009 9:07:28 PM

Thanks for the comment on the gfx card, I was actually on the fence about that one. I'll probably be going with the 275 now.
April 23, 2009 10:02:38 PM

Instead of GTX 285 or 275 get 2x GTX 260 core 216 in SLI its the same price of a 285 but much better.
April 24, 2009 2:49:12 PM

Get the GTX 275 896MB. There are other issues such as idle power and support to take in Audio to pass out an HDMI port if needed (maybe not now, but in the future).

Don't get a monitor with crappy speakers. Yes, do get a 1920x1080 with 1000:1 True Contrast Ratio.

The M-Audio AV40 speakers are amazing. Sure they cost a bit, but why are you not investing anything in good audio on such an expensive system?

Other:
Personally, I'd get an AM3 ATX motherboard like the Asus M4A78T-E, 4GB DDR3 RAM and the AMD Phenom X4 945 3GHz CPUuse the savings to offset the M-Audio AV40 speakers and a good Auzentech audio card. You may even save enough to buy pay for both.

You may consider downloading Windows 7 RC 64-bit on May 5th instead of buying Vista. You'll be able to use it long enough to buy OEM Windows 7 instead.
April 24, 2009 2:50:17 PM

Went for just 1x gtx260 core 216 that I can sli later as I really don't need a lot of power now. After installing vista ultimate 64bit and getting everything up and running, the user experience rating for graphics is 1. I've installed the latest nvidia drivers and updated the rating multiple times but it still reads as 1. Anyone run into this problem?
April 24, 2009 2:59:33 PM

HSF for CPU:

Maybe the OCZ Vanquisher.

Basically make sure it fits the socket then get one with a 120mm fan (which hooks into your motherboard; ensure BIOS fan control is enabled). Go to NCIX or Tigerdirect and read comments. Prices vary I'd spend $30 to $50.

Higher price isn't necessarily what you want either. Some are for overclocking and will be noisier even when Idling. Look for ones with a range with a low fan speed and low noise at the low end (such as 800RPM-2000RPM).

You want your fan noise to below when not needed then rev up when it is.

Other:
The two included tri-speed fans are great. Leave them both on the lowest speed. You shouldn't need any other case fans.
!