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New System for Home - Opinions?

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April 24, 2009 12:45:55 AM

Hello!

I'm looking at building a new computer system for home use (primarily will be photo editing/graphics/ web - perhaps some gaming in the winter when the snow hits). I would consider myself an 'intermediate' tech person - I worked as a tech in a computer store for a few summers (but that was 15 years ago), so I do have some knowledge of what I'm doing inside the case (and I did manage to build the computer I'm currently using - four years ago). However, my knowledge of the current technology is quite limited, but I'm feeling it's time to get a new machine - similar to my current computer, I'd like it to last awhile (with the occasional upgrade)

I went ahead and generated the following system, and I'm curious about people's opinions/suggestions. Thank you in advance

- Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920
- EVGA 132-BL-E758-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
- Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 120mm SSO CPU Cooler
- Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
- Antec earthwatts EA500 500W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.0 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready
- OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit
- SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
- Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM
- Pioneer Black 8X Blu-Ray DVD Burner w/ Software SATA Model BDR-203BKS

More about : system home opinions

April 24, 2009 1:27:40 AM

Dump the NH-U12P. It is the best air cooler for the i7 920, but you don't need it because you are not ready to overclock. Save your cash. The stock cooler will be fine.

You could save a bunch with a GA-EX58-UD3R motherboard. The eVGA has more features, but I doubt you need them, and it costs more. Compare features and decide for yourself.

I'd upgrade the PSU to Corsair 650TX or (even better) 750TX. That way you will be able to add a second HD 4870 later (or replace it with something really high-end later, if that turns out to be a better deal).

Good choice of CPU/case/HDD/RAM.

No clue about the Blu-Ray, sorry. Hopefully somebody else can help you there.
April 24, 2009 9:27:30 PM

Thanks for the suggestion - quite a bit of saving (from Newegg.ca)

Dropping the NH-U12P saves me $106.50

Switching the motherboards saves $110

Upgrading the power supply to the 750TX (is on special) only cost me $29

Any other thoughts?
Related resources
April 24, 2009 9:47:25 PM

oh wait - dumb question time - would it be better to get the UD3R with or without SLI capability?
April 24, 2009 9:51:48 PM

I think you're all set.

Maybe a second hard drive? It would help if you edit a large video and manage to put the source file and target file on different drives.

Maybe a different case? For example the RC-690-KKN1-GP is $35 less than the Antec 900 and doesn't have all those lights. If you do like the lights, check out the NZXT Tempest too. It's bigger and a bit cheaper than the Antec 900 and it has air filters (and 6 fans!)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146047

April 24, 2009 9:56:28 PM

ebonhawke said:
oh wait - dumb question time - would it be better to get the UD3R with or without SLI capability?


Since you're shopping at Newegg.ca, I'd say the one with SLI capability, since it's 50 cents less than the other one.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128386

It doesn't really matter, because (a) you're getting an ATI card and (b) the version without SLI does get SLI support by simply updating the BIOS to version F5.

April 24, 2009 9:59:06 PM

Just to clarify: the GA-EX58-UD3R-SLI does support Crossfire too. That is, you will be able to add a second HD 4870 in Crossfire later if you want, even if the motherboard's name contains "SLI". It's in fact capable of both SLI and Crossfire. That's the coolest thing about X58 boards :) 
May 9, 2009 12:43:10 AM

Been travelling a bit for business, so didn't have an opportunity to update the forum. The parts above were ordered and delivered - took me about four hours to build (most of that trying to tweak the order of adding cables to the case as the full length graphics card made things a bit interesting to pass cables through (while keeping it somewhat neat).

Now the next challenge - learning Ubuntu!
!