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New i7 System - Critiques Welcome

Last response: in Systems
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June 2, 2009 8:41:11 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Mid-June

BUDGET RANGE: $1300-1800, and obviously lower is better.

SYSTEM USAGE: Gaming, movies, productivity

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.ca

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe crossfire

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Looking to build a solid i7 system while cutting costs where possible to get good bang for the buck. Any suggestions are welcome!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------**All prices in CAD

CPU - Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
$319.99

Motherboard - ASUS P6T SE LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
$259.99
**As far as I can tell, it's an ASUS P6T without NVIDIA's SLI licence, and a few minor features, and saves me $50. Comments are welcome.

Power Supply - PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V / EPS12V
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
$159.99 - $20 MIR

Video Card - SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
$210 - $15 MIR

OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
$129.49 - $20 MIR
** 1600 vs. 1333? Thoughts on brands?

CPU Cooling - XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm ***Comments welcome
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...
$49.99

------------
**I also like the Zalman CNPS9900 and their products have always been rock solid for me, but at twice the price I don't know if it's worth it.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...
$99
------------

Hard Drive - Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
$69.99

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
$108.49

Optical - Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
$33.49

Monitor - ASUS VW246H Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 20000:1)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
$269.99
**Would love some thoughts on a good 24'' monitor - this one got good reviews and seems like a good price for a 24''.


Total: ~$1340 CAD without the monitor and MIRs ($55); right now that converts to ~1227 USD. Any thoughts, suggestions or tweaks to improve performance or cut costs would be awesome. Thanks in advance!

More about : system critiques

June 2, 2009 10:16:41 AM

Hi...Nice build...
But I have few suggestions...
1. Change the mobo to this...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Reason -
1) http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/rampage-gene-lanpar...
2) Premium onboard sound
3) ATI would always not offer the best value graphics card

2. Change the graphics card to this...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Reason - The SLI scales very well on X58 chipsets...And this GTX 260 Core 216 is cheaper than the 4870 1GB and both have very similar performance...

or
Get 2x 4850 in crossfire...Would be CAD 20 more but would offer incredible performance than the 4870 1GB...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

3. Change the PSU to this...
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=26415&vpn=CM...
Reason - The PCP&S is also a very high quality PSU...it is just that the Corsair has 4 x 6+2Pin

4. You can save some money going with this case...Is as big as the 900 sans the side window...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Another cheaper alternative...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

5. Stick with the Dark knight CPU Cooler...The Zalman is not worth that much and for that price, you can get one of the best CPU Cooler for the i7 - TRUE Extreme
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=34994&vpn=U1...

6. Get the WD Black 640GB instead of the 500GB...It is newer and better...
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=34994&vpn=U1...
June 2, 2009 11:22:06 AM

I'd say change the mobo to the basic Gigabyte board. EX58 UD3R. Gigabyte has recently released a firmware update that adds SLI capability to the board even though it's not sold as one.

I've got it in my i7 rig and I haven't been unhappy with it at all. Saved me $100 USD over the ASUS boards, came with a plethora of tweaking software, and outside of a few trivial things (single heat pipe on the IOH aka Northbridge) and slightly lower quality audio you'll be happy with it.

Only reason not to is if you are looking for true HQ sound e.g. sound editing. if you plan to play games with 5.1 surround or 7.1 surround you won't notice the difference in audio quality... and if you do, you can always add a soundcard later.
June 2, 2009 11:25:13 AM

On the Zalman cooler, don't bother at that price point. I bought the 9700 and it's good, but the dark knight is slightly better given they're the same price. Only reason I'd say go with the Zalman 9700 for the same price is manual fan control. The Zalman comes with manual ability to control the fan and I'm not sure about the dark knight. That being said, if you plan on controlling your fans via a fan controller panel or do like and control it via software i.e. speedfan, it's a moot point and you should stick with the dark knight.
!