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New 3d graphics/video i7 system - need help choosing right PSU + ram!

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June 2, 2009 4:23:09 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This weekend

BUDGET RANGE: up to $1500 AUS (though this can be pushed)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: 3D modelling (maya, mudbox etc), graphics (PhotoShop), video editing (After effects, premiere etc), gaming, web surfing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, HDS (2 x maxtor SATAs, one 320gig the other 80gig), optical drive

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: msy.com.au (look at www.msy.com.au/Parts/PARTS.pdf to see their price list)

PARTS PREFERENCES: no real preference

OVERCLOCKING: possibly (not really that important)

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: no

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: will be running windows vista 64bit

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PARTS SELECTED: (all these site are just reference because i cant link directly to a particular parts page for msy.com.au)

COOLER MASTER Real Power Pro RS-650-ACAA-A1 650W ATX Form Factor 12V V2.3 / SSI Standard EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Certified
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler Master Gladiator 600 RC-600
http://www.spotit.com.au/items.aspx?id=46976

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P6T SE LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Inno3D GTX 260 896MB DDR3
http://www.computeronline.com.au/products.php?C_ID=8&S_...

4x Kingston 2G DDR3-1333 2GB (so i want 8gigs in total)
http://www.compumusic.com/i512563.htm

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What i really need help with is in two areas: with the power, and the ram.

With the power, is 650w enough? should i get 750w instead, will it make a difference at all (is the system even going to need that much power)? I've been told a lot of different things so if someone could PLEASE put me out of my misery and let me know whether 650w will be fine or if I NEED 750w i will love you!!

with the ram, ive heard several things. one is that the x58 mobos are triple channel and that if i dont run it as triple channel (IE have 4 sticks in there rather than three) it wont perform as well/could blow up my i7. is there any truth to this? also, ive heard the ram voltage needs to be below 1.65 otherwise it will kill the i7 as well. not sure what to believe at this point, is the ram situation really that dicey? if it is, could someone pls suggest a good ram setup so i know how much to get of what brand of ram.

finally, any other thoughts you have about this system would be awesome to hear! thanks for looking guys :) 
June 2, 2009 11:17:07 PM

650w will be absolutely fine - I'd get a Corsair 650 TX instead of the Cooler Master, though. It's a more reputed PSU, and runs on a lot of 12v rail wattage. If you plan on SLI/XFire AND heavy overclocking in the future, 750w would be a wiser choice. If not, 650 will be more than enough.

Just buy a 3x2 GB kit of memory - the i7 DOES have a tri-channel controller, which means that if you run four sticks of memory your bandwidth will be halved (nothing will "blow up," it just won't perform as well). G. Skill makes high-quality, low-priced memory - I'd get two 3x2 GB kits from them. The voltage on a 3x2 GB kit should be less than 1.65v (as 3x2 kits are made specifically for i7 motherboards).
June 3, 2009 8:51:05 AM

awesome!! thanks so much for that info cpt deadbolts.

im not planning to do any sli or anything like that and the overclocking will be minimal if and when i do it...at the moment i've never overclocked so itll prob take me ages to even start with that - its more of an in the future thing.

ive changed my new parts list for the G skill ram. ace!
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June 3, 2009 9:00:00 AM

ok ive got another question now - im currently locked onto a asus p6t se mobo but is there any advantage in spending a bit more and getting the the plain old p6t? any advantages to be had??
June 3, 2009 6:21:53 PM

If you use MAYA and other modelling, when playing with big project youll need more RAM - GPU - CPU.

3D rendering is similar as gaming but use much more RAM. Ill recommand new 6x2gb kit for 12gb and a P6T that support 24gb . For the PSu, yes 650W is enough for a GTX260, its plenty for 2 .. or a GTX285 can do a nice job for 3d rendering.

+ ill recommend buying a new HDD like a WD 640 Caviar Black ( 32mb cache ). You old HDD are slow. Youll have real better performance with a newer drive.

So my recommend :

I7 920 + a good 120mm CPU cooler .. : 300-320$
P6T v2 ............................................... : 280$
6x2gb DDR3 kit .................................. : 175-225$
GTX260 ( or GTX285 ) ........................ : 150-300$ ( depend on deal )
WD 640 Caviar Black ......................... : 60$
600-700W PSU .................................. : 100$
A good case with decent AirFlow ....... : 100$

TOTAL : 1300-1500 $

And your good for a long period of time with a nice computer and plenty of RAM for you 3D rendiring needs.
!