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Intel i7 920 Proposed Rig for Gaming

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April 27, 2009 7:01:36 AM

So to start out I'm a Mac guy and have never owned a PC. However, I have a lot of experience dealing with Windows OS and hardware and have become the go to guy at work for problems (minus tech support).

Anyways instead of putting down 3k on a Mac Pro I figured I'd build myself a computer since it was something I've always wanted to do. I do have experience doing basic upgrades on Macs.

I would like to play Crysis.

This is the Rig I'm contemplating:

CPU: Intel Core i7 920 $279.99

Motherboard: EVGA X56 SLI $279.99
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4484386&sku=E145-2055

GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Video Card - 896MB GDDR3 $179.99
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4369730&sku=E145-0262

Ram: Corsair XMS3 Tri Channel 6GB PC12800 DDR3 Memory 1600MHz, 6144MB (3 x 2048) $94.99
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4307845&CatId=4093

Power Supply: Corsair TX750W 750-Watt Power Supply $104.99
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3438609&sku=C13-2503

Hard Drive: Hitachi 7K1000.B Hard Drive - 1TB, 7200RPM $89.99
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4306125&sku=TSD-1000H4

CD/DVD Drive: Sony DRU-V200S/BR DVD $39.99
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3986421&sku=S167-4520

Case: NZXT Tempest $104.99
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3911521&sku=A406-1101

CPU Fan: Thermaltake / V1 / Multi-Socket LGA1366 $59.99
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3071635&CatId=4314

Fan Controller: NZXT Sentry LX LCD Fan Controller $59.96
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4146021&sku=A406-1103

I do plan on doing some overclocking. So How's this setup look? I really don't want to spend any more money. If there's a cheaper way though I'm all for it. (I realize fan controller isn't necessary)

I'm also planning on adding 1 or 2 hard drives in the future as well as with other upgrades.

Finally,I was wondering if there was any way I could get the Windows 7 beta and save money on an OS for now?
April 27, 2009 8:30:08 AM

Win 7 rc1 comes out may 5th...
build looks pretty decent
April 27, 2009 8:33:48 AM

Great (and drool-inducing) build IMO. If you're looking to cut costs, I suggest you take the time to look through different retail sites for each component. The prices you've listed look pretty low, but you can never be sure.

Regarding your graphics card, what display do you plan to use your build with? You might be getting a pretty awesome GPU, but your monitor may be too weak to maximize it.

Regarding Windows 7, I think you can wait for RC1 to come out. Microsoft said it will be "generally available" by May 5.
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April 27, 2009 8:57:46 AM

Well the build is fine but you can make it better...
I would suggest certain changes though...

CPU + Mobo combo...ASUS P6T - Very good board
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

RAM - If want to save some money...And is as good as the Corsair
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler -
I would certainly change it to any of these...All are very good...and you save some money there too without compromise in performance...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD -
Change it to the WD Caviar Black 1TB...It is faster than the Hitachi...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Maybe saving all those money, you could get the GTX275 ;) 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
April 27, 2009 12:42:10 PM

gkay09 said:
Well the build is fine but you can make it better...
I would suggest certain changes though...

CPU + Mobo combo...ASUS P6T - Very good board
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

RAM - If want to save some money...And is as good as the Corsair
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler -
I would certainly change it to any of these...All are very good...and you save some money there too without compromise in performance...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD -
Change it to the WD Caviar Black 1TB...It is faster than the Hitachi...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Maybe saving all those money, you could get the GTX275 ;) 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


+1 but why not get the OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

it has a lower latency than both the corsair and gskill and it is excellent and it's price is excellent too(90 dollars after rebates)

April 27, 2009 12:46:10 PM

^+1 Yes...the OCZ Platinum is also a very good buy...
April 27, 2009 3:21:02 PM

if it's just for gaming wouldn't it make more sense to get a 720 BE with a nice compact water cooler and 4890?
April 27, 2009 3:33:32 PM

That would do better in Crysis than i7 920+GTX 260, and it would be quieter too. I don't know about the water cooler though - those things are too much trouble fo rmy taste.

A 650TX PSU should be plenty for a single GTX 260, GTX 275 or HD 4890, and it's cheaper than the 750TX.

April 27, 2009 3:54:12 PM

well the new compact water coolers can't be taken apart and are pretty cheap.

they also cool better when using a higher wattage CPU vs a high-end air cooler.

not forgetting they're a lot quieter.
April 27, 2009 6:36:49 PM

Update: I decided to go with the OCZ Platinum RAM, WD Caviar Black HD and the XIGMATECH Dark Knight CPU cooler. I'm going to ditch the NXTZ fan controller due to battery issues.

I'm still up in the air about getting the Asus PT6 vs. the EVGA 58x board. I learned recently my sister's boyfriend works at EVGA and could hook me up for very cheap. However on a purely performance perspective, do you guys think the performance is better on the PT6? I went with the Tom's Hardware review and picked the EVGA.

Helloworld_98 said:
if it's just for gaming wouldn't it make more sense to get a 720 BE with a nice compact water cooler and 4890?


Sorry I'm a noob. What's the 720 BE?
And I don't really feel comfortable at this point going the water cooling route.
April 27, 2009 7:02:45 PM

The 720BE is a triple core processor from AMD. It has a lot of overclocking potential. But the i7 is a faster processor overall, and is intel.

I have recently taken the plunge and got a Domino ALC all in one liquid cooler. I was very afraid of the water cooling hassles but this was very easy to set up and maintenance free.  fficial&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=tQD2SavTKJSQswP7y7TcCg&sa=X&oi=product_result_group&resnum=1&ct=title" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.google.com/products?q=alc+domino&oe=utf-8&rl...

It can be had for under $80 including shipping, just for you information. I'm sure the Xigamtek will be suitable for your purposes.
April 27, 2009 7:12:40 PM

Yeah I plan to stay with the i7. I'm already set on that.

Thanks for the info though!
April 27, 2009 7:34:50 PM

well the only apps that justify the i7 are FSX and apps which use more than 4 threads, which at the moment, the only game which does so is FSX.

so you might aswell save yourself the cash and get a 720 BE and an uber powerful gfx card.
April 28, 2009 4:20:40 AM

Helloworld_98 said:
well the only apps that justify the i7 are FSX and apps which use more than 4 threads, which at the moment, the only game which does so is FSX.

so you might aswell save yourself the cash and get a 720 BE and an uber powerful gfx card.


Yeah I realize but I want to go Intel so I can install OSX on it easier. I know its possible on an AMD chip but its more difficult.

What about the Asus PT6 vs. EVGA x58? I'm still undecided about this.
April 28, 2009 4:31:12 AM

i7 920/Asus P6T Deluxe V2 Combo $524.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

XFX GX260NADBF GeForce GTX 260 Black Edition Core 216 $179.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V CPV Cooler $39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER RC-690 $74.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LG Black 22X DVD/48X CD $22.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB $74.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Newegg total is $1117.90
free shipping




April 28, 2009 5:42:41 AM

lol nice try, "you shouldnt get i7 LMFAO, get an amd sh*Tbox 720, HAHHA AS IF
April 28, 2009 5:58:11 AM

well his reason for the build was *GAMING* and amd p2's perform pretty much equally in games to i7's, so there's little point in him getting i7 when he can save a tonne of cash going with a just as good amd build for the base and then having a more powerful graphics card.

in the UK, the difference between a P2 720 build and an i7 build is that; if you bought a 4870 1GB in the i7 build, you'd have an X2 in the P2 build.

Now, which is going to perform better in games?

I could throw out the E8400 too if he wants OSX easier but it would be upto him if $40 was worth it to lose a core but gain easier OSX compatibility.
April 28, 2009 7:00:41 AM

We still have to consider the display; a strong graphics setup may be too much. I'd rather he get something with more potential for easy upgrading, rather than go all out for performance and not be able to maximize that on a mid-range monitor.
April 28, 2009 7:25:56 AM

I have a 1920x1200 native 22inch wide screen monitor.

The primary use of this computer will be for gaming, however I'd like to be able to do things like video editing and make use of a tuner at a later point. Its going to be an all in one machine for pretty much everything.

I'm now contemplating going the PT6 route.

I may also considering implementing some of knotnuts parts to save some money.
April 28, 2009 10:35:11 AM

v2 has no sas ports thats about it lol
April 28, 2009 2:13:58 PM

Gigabyte, EVGA, and ASUS all have good motherboards that use the X58 chipset. You can safely pick any one of them.
The performance differences among them are negligible. Only at dangerous overclock levels may one be better than the other. All are easy to overclock to i7-965 levels safely.

If gaming is your main purpose, then look at the best vga card you feel comfortable buying. This might be the GTX275.

The i7-920 is a very capable cpu. I suspect that it will be so longer than other new generation cpu's have been in the past.

---good luck---
April 29, 2009 3:00:35 AM

Agree with geofelt on video card and CPU, dmill2010. The card is especially important, since your main purpose is gaming, and you'll be doing it on a relatively demanding 1920 x 1200 monitor. Let us know what you settle on man. :) 
!