I7 Trading PC build help


I need help choosing parts for a new PC. I need plenty of CPU power, so I've been looking at the i7 Core 920 CPU. But I'm less certain of which motherboard, memory, GPU and case to choose. My main priority is that all the parts should fit together nicely and not cause me a headache, as has happened when building PCs in the past.


BUDGET RANGE: Should meet my needs at the lowest cost possible. I'm expecting to pay around $1000, but no limit really.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Stock trading (multiple real-time stock charts are very CPU intensive), blu-ray ripping, h.264 encoding, internet, watching movies.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, hard drives.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I would prefer to buy from an online retailer in the US that charges no sales tax to California. I have free shipping with Amazon.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel i7 Core 920. No preference for the rest, other than that I want everything to fit together nicely without any compatibility problems.

OVERCLOCKING: No, SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe, if not complicated to set up (or manage if you have to switch between SLI and 4 monitor setup).

VIDEO/GPU: Fanless, Perhaps HDMI for connecting directly to TV incl. audio?

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 4 monitors at 1920x1200, but should be able to add 2 more later if I want to (3rd GPU?).

OS: Plan to run Win XP 32-bit but upgrade to Win 7 next year.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: My GPU power needs are modest as I'm not a gamer. However, please add an alternative that plays games nicely as well. I'm thinking that since I probably need two GPUs anyway, two cheaper cards could perform well with SLI or Crossfire? I also value a quiet computer and are looking for a quiet case (with a perfect fit for the motherboard), fanless graphics cards and maybe a custom quiet CPU cooler.
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  1. Best answer
    I'm really enjoying our new sticky.

    You didn't list gaming as a usage so I see no need to go there... but you have listed 4 monitors... Looks like you'll need something very specific there then.

    You have to have cooling. You can avoid active cooling on the card itself, but you'll have to move air over it.

    Probably this for GPUs:
    HIS Passively cooled 4650
    That would be a light gaming card that would probably provide moderate performance crossfired... you don't get any more without a fan or water cooling :)

    You'll want a big, open case that can be configured to move a lot of air gently.
    Cooler Master HAF

    A good board that will take three video cards:
    Gigabyte UD4P

    (You can match these things on Amazon or wherever.)

    Power Supply:
    You don't need a lot here, but it should be quiet. You like quiet, so:
    Corsair 650TX

    For the CPU cooler you will want a Noctua:
    Noctua NH-U12P

    RAM - I don't want you grabbing the wrong set here, so I'll go to Amazon:
    OCZ DDR3 1600 CAS 7

    Hard drive:
    WD Caviar Black 640GB
  2. Thank you for your reply. I'm now ready to order my parts, and just wanted to check if anything has changed since you made the list, or if anyone else has additional suggestions.

    Also, I want the most quiet case possible. And since the Cooler Master HAF has a clear window, I figure there must be other cases that are more quiet. Any ideas? Thanks.
  3. Hi,

    these are the parts I have chosen for my new i7 build. I would appreciate if anyone has comments. I'm worried that the 500W Power supply included with the case may not be enough. I'm planning on adding a second similar video card shortly. Also, I'm not sure about the video card. I want a fanless card that has enough juice for blu-ray. Perhaps I may as well go with the much cheaper recommended HIS Hightech H465PS512P Radeon HD 4650 512MB from Newegg? Is there a fanless video card that has HDMI out incl. audio for my HDTV, but also regular 2xDVI?

    ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard

    OCZ OCZ3P1600LV6GK DDR3 PC3-12800 1600MHz 6GB Platinum XTC Triple Channel Kits

    HIS H467P1GP Radeon HD 4670 iSilence4 HDMI Dual DL-DVI

    Antec Sonata III 500 Quiet Super Mini Tower ATX Case

    LG Electronics GGC-H20LK LightScribe Blu-Ray/HD DVD Combo Drive

    Western Digital Caviar Black 640 GB Bulk/OEM Hard Drive 3.5 Inch, 32 MB Cache

    Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz 8M L3 Cache

    Final price $1,123 from Amazon. No tax, no shipping.
  4. UPDATE:
    I finally settled on the build below. The PC posted the first time and installing Windows 7 RC was painless. I couldn't be happier. I have installed three HIS H465PS512P Radeon HD 4650 in this computer with no problems, even though the power supply is only 500W. I haven't run the GPUs in Crossfire mode or played 3D games though, but for stock trading and other types of work it works beautifully.

    The Sonata case looks great. Not so quiet as I had expected, but quiet enough. No grounding problems as other users have reported. Playing Blu-Ray movies worked as well, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that audio was passed out of the DVI ports with the supplied DVI to HDMI adapter. Without a doubt the best PC I've ever built.

    Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz Processor $280

    ASUS P6T SE LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $195

    OCZ OCZ3P1600LV6GK DDR3 PC3-12800 1600MHz 6GB Platinum XTC Triple Channel Kits $95

    HIS H465PS512P Radeon HD 4650 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail $71

    LG Electronics GGC-H20L LightScribe Blu-Ray/HD DVD Combo Drive (Black) $116

    Western Digital Caviar Black 640 GB Bulk/OEM Hard Drive 3.5 Inch, 32 MB Cache, 7200 RPM SATA II WD6401AALS $70

    Antec Sonata III 500 Quiet Super Mini Tower ATX Case (Black) $129

    TOTAL $956 (with one graphics card and mostly no tax and free shipping from
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