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Clearance issues and general comments

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May 27, 2009 12:11:02 AM

This is my first system. Here goes

Intel Core i7 920 (280)
Intel X58 motherboard (250)
6 GB OCz 1600 MHz CL7 tri-channel DDR3 RAM (80 with 20 mail in rebate from newegg)
HD Radeon 4870 X2 (365)

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s (69.99)

1 Velociraptor 150 GB (180)

LG Super Multi Blu-ray read (109)

COOLER MASTER Storm Sniper SGC-6000-KKN1-GP Black ABS Bezel, SECC Body ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (159)

Any other case suggestions??? I saw one that was a mid tower that had like a jet engine fan in the front. I can't find it now, though.

Ultra X3 1000 Watt PSU (150, already purchased).

My major questions are these: Will I have clearance issues with the 4870 X2 and this case? Has anyone got this setup or a better case for the 4870 X2?

I'm a bit confused about i7 overclocking. I've read a couple of guides, can I run this by you? So there's a base clock of 133 and a multiplier of 20. That base clock also controls the memory controller, which has a multiplier of 8.

So would I have to overclock the CPU to 4 GHz (200 bsclck x 20 multiplier) in order to take advantage of 1600 MHz RAM frequency (8*200)? Is there a way to run the CPU at 3.2 or so and still use RAM at 1600????

Any other issues you guys can help me with would be great! Thanks.

More about : clearance issues general comments

May 27, 2009 1:30:38 AM

I'm still getting caught up on the i7 memory controller, so while I think I know I'll leave that to another.

As to the case, yes you will have clearance. It's not quite a very roomy case, but better than some.

It is most certainly NOT an overclocker's case though. It might have adequate cooling for the system you describe at stock speeds, but that's it.

The Velociraptor is going to do very little for overall performance really. So you gain a second on boot times and level loads over a Caviar Black. Not worth it.

Spend the money of a good case instead:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 27, 2009 1:42:03 AM

The i7 920 retail version has an unlocked memory and QPI, and you can change these freely in the BIOS. OEM versions that come in PC's that are prebuilt will not have this unlocked, so you would have to adjust the BCLK to achieve that OC. The Memory multipliers go from 6 to 12, in multiples of two on my motherboard, others may be different. But honestly, you don't need to try to match the memory speed with what its rated at. I have that same kit you are considering running at 1444mhz (180x8) and its really quite fast, I don't feel the need to make it any faster.

I agree with Proximon's other suggestions.
Related resources
May 27, 2009 2:41:52 AM

Okay. So I could set the memory multiplier to 10, the baseclock to 160 and that would give me a CPU frequency of 3.2 and a memory frequency of 1600 MHz? And thanks a lot for the hard drive suggestion. I'm gonna switch that out and save some cash. I'll update the first post if I can.
May 27, 2009 3:00:19 AM

Yes that would get you to the specs you wanted. 10x should be a pretty standard multiplier for the ram on all motherboards, as long as you have the retail version of the 920.
May 27, 2009 3:15:14 AM

Hey, thanks a lot. I really appreciate the help. I want to just throw another case out into this thread. It looks SO BADASS. I don't know if anyone will have it, but:

Aerocool ExtremEngine ATX Black Mid-Tower Case with 250mm Side Fan, Front USB, Firewire and Audio Ports

http://www.amazon.com/Aerocool-ExtremEngine-Black-Mid-T...

Or (even more badass-looking than the first)

AeroCool AeroEngine Plus Mid Tower ATX Case - Black

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 27, 2009 3:31:41 AM

It is kinda cool :)  Lots of cooling too, but it's tight between the board edge and drive bays. Larger video cards will be a problem.
May 27, 2009 3:46:48 AM

I agree with the others....If your going to build a badass system like this....don't take a chance on the case!!! I went overboard and got the HAF 932, but mine lives in the garage and it is HOT during the summer in here, daily temps above 90 F. But you get what you pay for. The HAF moves a crap load of air and does it very well!!

As for your other components...they look great!!
May 27, 2009 4:33:31 AM

Those cases are flashy, but in terms of functionality I think they lag behind cases like the CM-690 or Haf 932 or Storm Sniper or Thermaltake V9 or Element S Or Antec 300...the list goes on.
May 28, 2009 12:18:23 AM

I'm thinking about a Solid State Drive now. None of them have perfect reviews. Any advice???

Also, I just brought my core i7 home. Got it from microcenter. This may be a dumb question, but I know it's retail because it came with a heatsink and fan in a box, right? OEM would've been just the chip? I'm ordering the RAM right now along with my motherboard and possibly a solid state drive?
May 28, 2009 12:22:10 AM

Don't get an SSD. That's my advice. They aren't that great, and cost a fortune. In a couple years they will probably be better options, but for now stick with WD6401AALS.
May 28, 2009 3:16:55 AM

Wait at least until the end of the year for SSD. It's advancing quickly.
May 28, 2009 3:23:27 AM

Yeah, I took you guys' advice and got the Western Digital Black 640 GB hard drive. I already ordered everything else too. Doesn't ship until June 1st, though. I was cheap and did super saver shipping. Well, on everything I could. I think I'll have an internal SATA drive and this CPU to stare at for a few days before I can actually assemble anything. Thanks so much for the help. I owe you all.

Also, I decided against getting the PowerColor brand and instead got the Sapphire HD 4870X2. I guess I'm just more familiar with the brand name. I never see anyone talk about Power Color???
May 28, 2009 3:34:55 AM

Saphire is a muche better choice for GPU's than Powercoler. Powercolor would be the last company I buy a GPU from.
June 1, 2009 9:34:14 PM

I see my motherboard supports RAID. Since this is integrated into the motherboard, does it use resources from the CPU??? If I got a separate RAID card, would I take a load off of my CPU? Also, I think I'm gonna RAID two 640 GB caviar blacks. Or could I get 320 and only RAID 320 from the 640??

edit: RAID 0, that is
June 2, 2009 1:50:22 AM

bump?
June 2, 2009 3:28:58 AM

The drives need to be physically identical. Onboard RAID is not as good as what you get from a discrete card, but I wouldn't really recommend it. As with other things, the money is best spent elsewhere for performance. Two drives means twice the chance of failure.
June 10, 2009 12:55:22 AM

Thanks so much you guys! I just turned my system on and installed the Windows 7 RC. I'm either going to buy a 25ft long ethernet cable or wifi card tomorrow after work. Then I'll install the drivers for my graphics card and try to overclock! YEAH!
June 10, 2009 1:03:44 AM

If you wanna thank us, Pictures are the best way! ;) 
June 14, 2009 5:14:17 AM

Hey guys, question. I just ran 3D mark Vantage and my GPU score was only 10,700. Shouldn't it be higher than that? I mean, 4870x2 is a pretty powerful card. My CPU score is about 18000.

CPU: OC'ed to 3.0 GHz
RAM: 1120 MHz

Is it a driver issue? Something wrong with my PCI express slot?

Also, right now I'm in ATI Catalyst and it's telling me my current GPU clock is 507 MHz and the memory clock is 500 MHz under 0% load. Why is it so low? It should be 750 and 900. When I try to put the sliders on 750 and 900 and "accept" that, it still doesn't move. Ah!
June 16, 2009 4:15:49 AM

My 3D Mark Vantage score for my GPU goes down from 15000 to around 10,800 when I run the CPU tests too. Why is this? So, if I run the test for just the GPU, I get 15,000, but with the CPU, I get 10,800. And the CPU score is 15,500.

Also, I get screen tearing in Crysis.

Any help would be appreciated!
!