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Help / feedback on i7 build <=$1200

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June 3, 2009 6:18:08 AM

This is will be my first PC build to replace my 4 year old Dell. I put together a list, mainly from browsing through these forums for the past couple of weeks, but I need some input. I'm open to changing the entire list as long as it'll fit the use and my budget.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: July – August

BUDGET RANGE: not more than US$1200

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Multitasking, Drafting - AutoCAD & Revit, 3D modeling & rendering, Photoshop, reading multiple large PDF's, watching movies, internet, word processing, video editing, FPS games. Want to run Crysis and GTA IV. Just because the games are at the end doesn't mean it's not important.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, CDROM/DVD drive, OS.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, amazon.com, any other good site.

PARTS PREFERENCES: good quality parts, i7 system.

OVERCLOCKING: No. Maybe later on…

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes but I would get a second card later on. I'd rather get a good single card now but leave the option to add a second card later.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: I'll be using my current monitor: 22" SyncMaster 226BW 1680x1050.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I plan on adding my existing CD/DVD drives, 2 hard drives: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 SATA 1TB and 1.5TB, and a PCI TV tuner card.

Here are the parts I have selected:

Case:
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $69.99

PSU:
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail $109.99

Motherboard:
GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD4P LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $259.99

CPU:
Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Retail $279.99

CPU cooler:
XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail $39.99

Thermal compound:
Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound - Retail $4.99

RAM:
OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail $99.99

OS Drive:
Seagate ST3640323AS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM $64.99

Video Card:
BFG Tech BFGEGTX275896OCE GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail $249.99

or
EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail $249.99

or
ASUS EAH4890/HTDI/1GD5 Radeon HD 4890 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Video Card - Retail $259.99

Based on benchmarks, the GTX 275 looks very very slightly better than the ATI 4890 so I'm leaning towards Nvidia.
I also currently own an OLD Nvidia video card which works well and had a bad experience with an ATI card a LONG time ago, so that's more points for the Nvidia brand based on personal experience.

OS:
Windows 7 RC for now

Total: $1179.91 (w/ the GTX 275 video card)
$1189.91 (w/ the Radeon 4890)

Wondering if I should get a different video card or more RAM. Don't know much about motherboards either.
Thanks in advance for your input.

More about : feedback build 1200

June 3, 2009 10:51:46 AM

Beautiful build :) 

The only thing I would switch out on that build is the HD to a WD 640 Black for the fact it's fast fast fast...not to mention it's reliable. Otherwise you have it down. Anyways here's some cost savers not to mention the new D0 stepping i7 920. And if you do a google search on "ewiz coupons" you can knock off some more $ off that mother board. Also check "zipzoomfly" for prices on their gtx 275's. Sometimes they have newegg beat on the price not to mention they have free ground shipping on just about everything on that site. But ya, that is a nice build you have going.

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-EX58U4P $219.99 | $204.99 after rebate
GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD4P Core i7/ Intel X58/ DDR3/ CorssFireX & 3-Way SLI/ A&GbE/ ATX Motherboard

https://www.antaresdigital.com/customer/product.php?pro..." $280
Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz LGA 1366 Socket 8MB Cache CPU, 4.8GT/Sec, Soket LGA 1366 D0 stepping

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $94.99 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... $74.99 Free Shipping*
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM


http://www.anandtech.com/weblog/showpost.aspx?i=584 <---short review on that D0 stepping i7. It runs cooler than the older C0 stepping i7's

http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&ta... <--- that's one way you can tell if you have a D0 stepping cpu or not
June 3, 2009 11:24:38 AM

@ lsixecho Very nice build...
+1 to Why_Me's suggestions...
!