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I7 Gaming Build ~1500-1800 Need Advice/Opinions

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May 25, 2009 9:47:54 PM

Case: Azza Solano 1000 Full-Tower Advance Cooling Case
PSU: Corsair CMPSU-750TX
Motherboard: Gigabyte x58 GA-EX58-UD3R
CPU Intel i7-920
Memory: 6 GB (2GBx3) DDR3/1600MHz Corsair Dominators
Video Card: Two ATI Radeon HD 4870 in crossfirex configuration
HDD: Raid-0 (500GBx2) Sata-II 16mb cache 7200 RPM drives
blah blah...

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Tomorrow

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming/Photoshop to web browsing

PARTS PREFERENCES: Conflicted at the moment.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe - SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: The rest is irrelevant. I am looking for advice on my new rig. I am currently hovering at around $1500 and I am looking on advice for my new rig. I am heavily conflicted on what to get since I haven't been looking at hardware in 5 years... I used to be an AMD/Nvidia loyalist but it looks like I am breaking at least one of those alliances. The only preference I have is to maintain an i7 cpu with ddr3 ram, other than that I am flexible on almost anything.

The number 1 conflict I am facing is what to do with my graphics card solution. I like how inexpensive the new ATI cards are versus performance, but I am not sure I am getting the best comparable value versus say just a single higher end Nvidia. Since I have been out of the game for so long I am unsure of how well crossfirex configurations stack up against particular nvidia gtx 200 series cards.

Also, does my PSU check out well for the system? I want to make sure everything will run smoothly before I commit to a purchase and get this thing planned accordingly. I am looking for it to be maximize the best gaming experience for the money spent while also ensuring the longest system longevity. Any thoughts?
May 25, 2009 10:06:37 PM

The PSU is a good choice and will perform well.

IMO, The corsair dominators are a waste of money. They are of great quality but are not a great value. I would suggest this OCZ set --

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

For your HDDs, I would switch out to WD caviar black 640gbs...they have denser platters are absolutely wicked in a raid configuration, sporting twice the cache of the ones you have listed --

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

May 25, 2009 10:21:38 PM

Thank you. I will definitely look into the 32mb cache hard drives and the ram, I currently use OCZ's and am pretty happy with them.

Glad to hear that the PSU checks out, my main concern was the consumption of two 4870 cards in crossfire configuration. I figured it would be alright, but felt I needed a second opinion.

Also, what do you think of the choice with two 4870's? I know that is the raging debate now, whether to waste time with crossfire/sli and nvidia vs AT etc etc... Does dual 4870's stand up well or should I be considering other options that may perform better?
Related resources
May 25, 2009 10:24:01 PM

Also, what do you think of the motherboard? Do you think it serves its purpose or should I be looking to upgrade/switch that to that to an Asus P6T SE or Deluxe?
May 25, 2009 10:41:05 PM

Also, I was actually thinking about the HDD solution and had another question. What would be the performance difference between Raid-0 (500gbx2) Sata-II 16mb cache drives and one single 1.5 TB 32mb cache drive? Would it be all that noticeable?
May 25, 2009 10:54:03 PM

telos said:
Also, I was actually thinking about the HDD solution and had another question. What would be the performance difference between Raid-0 (500gbx2) Sata-II 16mb cache drives and one single 1.5 TB 32mb cache drive? Would it be all that noticeable?



Is this Canadian dollars?
May 25, 2009 10:55:07 PM

Huh? USD.
May 25, 2009 11:17:03 PM

D0 stepping i7 build

Forget the UD3P. With the instant $20 off with the promo code, the mail in rebate, and free shipping this UD4P in this build come out to $185 which is a bloody steal at that price. I put the promo code under the board details in this build. I didn't put a case in this build...leave that up to you. But both of these builds will blow away 4870's in Crossfire.

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product... $99.99 | $69.99 after MIR Free Shipping
PC Power and Cooling S75QB Silencer 750W Quad Power Supply (Black) Retail

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-EX58U4P $219.99 | $204.99 after rebate Free Ground Shipping
GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD4P Core i7/ Intel X58/ DDR3/ CorssFireX & 3-Way SLI/ A&GbE/ ATX Motherboard
Use Code: MEMORIAL20 to get an extra $20 off

https://www.antaresdigital.com/customer/product.php?pro..." $ 278.00
Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz LGA 1366 Socket 8MB Cache CPU D0 Stepping

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $41.99 Free Shipping*
XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $8.99 Free Shipping*
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $234.99 Free Shipping*
BFG Tech BFGEGTX275896OCE GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
Free Call of Duty: World at War w/ purchase, limited offer

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $234.99 Free Shipping*
BFG Tech BFGEGTX275896OCE GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
Free Call of Duty: World at War w/ purchase, limited offer

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $89.99 Free Shipping*
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $24.99 Free Shipping*
SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD Burner - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 Free Shipping*
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives - OEM

Total: $1,313.91 | $1,268.91 w/mail in rebates

* Same build as above but with gtx 285's in SLI and 850w Corsair psu.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $134.49 ($114.49 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $329.99 ($299.99 after $30.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
EVGA 01G-P3-1180-AR GeForce GTX 285 1GB 512-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
Free Cryostasis game w/ registration at manufacturer website

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $329.99 ($299.99 after $30.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
EVGA 01G-P3-1180-AR GeForce GTX 285 1GB 512-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
Free Cryostasis game w/ registration at manufacturer website

Total: $1,538.41 | $1,443.41 w/mail in rebates

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dd353205.... <---Save yourself some money on an o/s and dl the 64 bit version of Windows 7

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-275,226... <--- gtx 275, 285 reviews and charts

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--- more pics, specs, and customer reviews of the mobo used in this build.
May 26, 2009 1:29:24 AM

Thank you for the information. I have decided to use your build, your second build to be exact. I used my Azza Solano case. Only made a couple of changes. Since yours saved me a little cash I went for a 300gb raptor, I changed the thermal compound because the one you recommended was back-ordered so I got Tim Consultants T-C Grease, and I kept the dominators (even though they are a waste of money I really like their timings and flexibility). My total cost was ~$1700 and I am happy with that number. The SLI GTX 285's will be interesting and I look forward to taking them for a test drive. Anyway, your time has been much appreciated. Thanks.
May 26, 2009 1:44:56 AM

telos said:
Thank you for the information. I have decided to use your build, your second build to be exact. I used my Azza Solano case. Only made a couple of changes. Since yours saved me a little cash I went for a 300gb raptor, I changed the thermal compound because the one you recommended was back-ordered so I got Tim Consultants T-C Grease, and I kept the dominators (even though they are a waste of money I really like their timings and flexibility). My total cost was ~$1700 and I am happy with that number. The SLI GTX 285's will be interesting and I look forward to taking them for a test drive. Anyway, your time has been much appreciated. Thanks.


285's in SLI...well if you don't play Crysis you might as well start now. :pt1cable: 
!