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First Build (1800 budget) Help Needed

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May 20, 2009 7:52:52 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 2-4 Weeks

BUDGET RANGE: ~ $1700-1800 (everything but mouse)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: core i7 920 2x 4890 1GB

OVERCLOCKING: Yes ATI CROSSFIRE: Yes

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This will be my first home built PC and I am in need of help. I plan to do a moderate overclocking on the i7 (~3.6 Ghz). Below is a list of the parts I am currently considering. Please let me know what you think about the build. I have done research and feel it will be a good build, but as this is my first build any advice is welcome.

My primary concern is system compatibility. Will these parts run well together?

PARTS: (Prices listed include any mail-in rebates offered)

COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail ($150)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Core i7 920 and Vigor Monsoon III combo ($320)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail (combo with) ($305)
OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready ($100)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate ST3640323AS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($70)

LG Black 6X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Model GGC-H20L - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($110)

ASUS VH226H Black 21.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen 16:9 Full HD 1080P ($160)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HIS Hightech H489F1GP Radeon HD 4890 1GB combo with Vist Home Premium 64 bit ($275)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

HIS Hightech H489F1GP Radeon HD 4890 1GB ($200)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAZER Arctosa Silver 104 Normal Keys USB Wired Standard Gaming Keyboard - Retail ($45)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ENCORE ENUWI-N IEEE 802.11b/g, IEEE 802.11n Draft 2.0 USB 2.0 802.11n Wireless Adapter Up to 300Mbps Data Rates 64/128-bits WEP Encryption WPA, WPA2 WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($22)

Total Price (after added shipping not included above) ($1790)
May 20, 2009 11:02:04 PM

I would stick with the 750TX. You don't need crossfire 4890's for a 1080P resolution either. One 4890 would work fine, but it's not my money. :)  I, personally, would rather spend some of that money on the ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 combo:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

I would avoid Seagate until they prove that they've got their firmware/reliability issues resolved.

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $74.99
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May 20, 2009 11:18:48 PM

Everything's fine really. But go with the HD shortstuff recommended- faster & reliable. Why not SLI 2 GTX 260s? It would be plenty for a 22'', and you could spend the money on an SSD, or something. :D 
just my suggestion.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
2x of these @ 320$. You save ~80$.
Just a thought, b/c you don't need that much power.

Oh, use WIndows 7. Free!
May 21, 2009 7:25:55 AM

Thanks for all the replies.
I'll get the WD black 640 GB instead of the Seagate.

As far as the gpu's go -- I plan to have this system for 2-4 years. Wouldn't it be better to spend slightly more on the 2X 4890 than the 260 gtx sli? Some of the benchmarks I've seen show the crossfire 4890s on par with 285 sli for much less cost.

Any thoughts on this? It seems more future proof. The crossfire setup is overkill for all but about 3 or so games at 1920x1080, but it most likely won't be in 2 years.
May 21, 2009 8:09:05 AM

I think you should get the GTX 260s now and worry about 2 years from now when it comes :) 

The difference between the GTX 260/ 4870 1GB, and the 4890/GTX 275 is 4 months.
To put it another way, at the rate that GPUs improve, SLI GTX 260 will need to be replaced 4 months ahead of the 4890s.

It's a matter of best bang for the buck today, as far as I can see. The longevity per dollar seems to me to be best with those cards. In two years there will be a single card that costs $200 that will beat them. Maybe 18 months.
May 21, 2009 8:18:50 AM

Thanks for all the help everyone.

I will be getting the system I listed with a change to the hard drive and possibly graphics (going to look into more benchmarks on 260 sli).

Are there any very informative guides for overclocking the i7 920? I have never done overclocking and the ones I have found, though I think I could follow them, do not seem geared towards people with little to no overclocking experience.
May 21, 2009 8:56:20 AM

Something I may have overlooked --

For overclocking the core i7 is it necessary to buy a different thermal compound than included? How difficult is it to do this?
May 21, 2009 9:24:48 AM

yeah,it is better to buy an arctic silver(costs like $5).It is not difficult at all to apply,just scrub gently the old thermal compound at your cooler and apply some(though not too much) arctic silver.You can check some tutorials at youtube to see exactly how much you need to apply
May 22, 2009 5:21:25 AM

Proximon --

I've been doing a little more reading and it seems the Xigmatek Dark Knight cooler is regarded as a much better cooler than the Vigor Monsoon. Would you agree with this?

I'd like to have a 24/7 cpu speed on my i7 920 of about 3.6-3.8 when I get it. With the Dark Knight and the thermal compound you posted in your most recent reply is this possible with the build I have? Also, would it be more wise to up the power supply to the Corsair 850W? I have seen some people that claim 750w is not enough for either the 260 sli or 4890 cf I am considering and then some that say it is more than enough power.
May 22, 2009 11:21:57 AM

We don't have a single source for standardized i7 cooling tests just yet. It's very hard to say which is better... But if you want the best, I'm pretty sure it's this one:

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

I think it's too much money though. If you can afford it, go for it.

The Xigmatek would be the least expensive of, say, the top ten i7 coolers. Probably not in the top 5 for cooling.

There's no way I can tell you what overclock you'll end up with. 3.6 is probably going to happen easily with most processors.

I'm not completely sure on the 4890s. You might need the 850W for those. GTX 260 SLI should be fine with the 750W, even if they are overclocked.

By all means get the extra margin for 20 bucks if you can afford it.


May 22, 2009 6:19:44 PM

Thanks again--
I think i will get the 850W corsair instead just to be totally safe since the overclock will increase my peak power.

Between just the Vigor Monsoon and the Xigmatek Dark Knight which is better (or are they basically the same)?

Edit -- The 850W corsair is currently only $10 more than the 750W due to a mail in rebate difference -- Thanks again for the advice this is an easy choice at this price difference.
May 23, 2009 1:15:50 AM

Good, I think the 850TX is actually slightly better made. Newer design anyway.

I've spent some more time with this comparison chart:
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/880/11/

Based on the second chart there, I have to say first that they are ALL very good. The Xigmatek should have the same performance as the Thermalright, or very near.

I think the Xigmatek may be a bit easier to install than the Vigor. Even if the Dark Knight lags behind in cooling, we are talking about 1C at the most. I think it's a safe bet.
May 23, 2009 4:16:26 AM

Thanks again Proximon and everyone else who helped.
I am going to be able to build the rig sooner than anticipated. I'll be ordering the parts tomorrow. I'll post how it turns out here when I'm done with the build.
!