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$1500 gaming pc, almost done

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June 10, 2009 4:26:16 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Probably tomorrow. No rush though.
BUDGET RANGE: Up to $1700.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Internet browsing, occasional movies

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, monitor, speakers, OS.

PREFERRED WEBSITE FOR PARTS: www.newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: Quality brands, good cooling, and not too loud.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI: Yes

MONITOR RESOLUTION: As high as I can get without sacrificing performance.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I need some advice on which motherboard would be best for my build. Other than that, if anybody sees any problems/mistakes (compatibility, size, etc) with this build please let me know, and if you see a way to improve upon what I have here feel free to provide constructive criticism. If anybody has any suggestions for a good gaming mouse, that would be appreciated too. Thanks!

PARTS:

EVGA E758-TR 3-Way SLI (x16/x16/x8) LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
OR
ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard

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

EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card x2 in SLI configuration

CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive x2 in RAID0 configuration

XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler

CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply

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

More about : 1500 gaming

June 10, 2009 5:09:49 AM

Nice build you have up there. :)  I do see a few ways to cut the cost on that build though without losing any quality and/or performance.

Those 275's don't eat up much juice. A decent 750w psu like this one down below will push two of those cards and leave you plenty of juice left over.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $119.99 ($109.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail

If you do a google search on " ewiz coupons " you can take another $5 - $15 dollars off that board down below. This board is solid.

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-EX58U4P $222.99 | $207.99 after rebate | Free Ground Shipping
GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD4P Core i7/ Intel X58/ DDR3/ CorssFireX & 3-Way SLI/ A&GbE/ ATX Motherboard

D0 stepping i7 920 cpu. It's new to the market, check the links at the bottom of this post. Runs cool.

https://www.antaresdigital.com/customer/product.php?pro..." $ 280.00
Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz LGA 1366 Socket 8MB Cache CPU D0 Stepping

That Xigmatek you have is a great h/s, it's even better with some decent thermal compound.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $4.99
Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound - Retail

If you go to the main page of this site, you will see a test tomshardware just did on DDR 3 tripple channel memory. It proves what most of us have been saying on here for months now...that Dominator is a hose job if there ever was one. Try this G.SKILL...you won't be disappointed.

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

Here's a decent burner.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $23.99
LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) 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±R DVD Burner - OEM

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dd353205.... <--- Save yourself some money on an o/s until March 2010 and dl the 64 bit version of Windows 7

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--- more pics, specs, and customer reviews of that Gigabyte UD4P mobo

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
Related resources
June 10, 2009 5:46:29 AM

Id get mx518 instead of g5.
June 10, 2009 6:25:27 AM

I can't decide between the OCZ Platinum and the G.SKILL. The platinum has lower timing but a lot of reviews say you have to manually set it to 1.65v and it may not run at the advertised timing and such. Should the platinum be a safe buy as long as I change the voltage to 1.65?
June 10, 2009 6:38:38 AM

Senor Snarf said:
I can't decide between the OCZ Platinum and the G.SKILL. The platinum has lower timing but a lot of reviews say you have to manually set it to 1.65v and it may not run at the advertised timing and such. Should the platinum be a safe buy as long as I change the voltage to 1.65?


Takes but min. to go in and set your voltage and timings.

OK on one of those newegg reviews (G.SKILL in link down below) a poster said he got his up to 1866 without a hitch. You can't always go by those reviews, but the proof is seeing it. This is the difference between good RAM (G.SKILL, Mushkin, and a few other brands) and the pretender brands.

http://www.gskill.us/forum/showthread.php?t=532 <--- Check it out :sol: 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--- The OP in that thread is using this RAM here
June 10, 2009 6:53:12 AM

Wow, that's really good. I'm not much of an overclocker though (seeing as I've never tried it, haha), so I guess I'll go for the platinum if changing the voltage wouldn't be too hard. I do plan on attempting to overclock at some point though. I have no idea what I'm doing in that area, but I would really like to try it. Thanks for the advice. I'll get the thermal paste you suggested, but that motherboard supposedly makes a high pitched noise, which would really bother me because I have very sensitive ears, and a lot of people seem to have other problems with it. What do you think of this?

I'd get that burner but I'm planning on transferring the one in the computer I'm using right now.

By the way, is that site you gave for the D0 stepping core i7 920 reputable? I want a D0 but I've never heard of the site. I googled it and a few threads in some different forums said they were good, but do you have personal experience with them?
June 10, 2009 7:02:33 AM

Senor Snarf said:
Wow, that's really good. I'm not much of an overclocker though (seeing as I've never tried it, haha), so I guess I'll go for the platinum if changing the voltage wouldn't be too hard. I do plan on attempting to overclock at some point though. I have no idea what I'm doing in that area, but I would really like to try it. Thanks for the advice. I'll get the thermal paste you suggested too, but that motherboard supposedly makes a high pitched noise, which would really bother me because I have very sensitive ears, and a lot of people seem to have other problems with it. What do you think of this? I'd get that burner I'm planning on transferring the one in the computer I'm using right now.

By the way, is that site you gave for the D0 stepping core i7 920 reputable? I want a D0 but I've never heard of the site. I googled it and a few threads in some different forums said they were good, but do you have personal experience with them?


I haven't ordered from them myself, but a fellow who I posted a build on here has last week ordered from them and he got his D0 stepping a few days ago so as far as I know they are a decent retailer. Just to make sure on that, I always post a link on what to look for so as to recognize it from the older C0 stepping i7.

http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&ta... <--- that link there.
June 10, 2009 7:06:45 AM

I'm sort of weary of sites I haven't heard of before, so I might hit up Fry's downtown to see if I can find a D0 there by looking at the serial numbers on the box (I heard that's a method of finding them, right?). The site seems to be decent like you said so I'll order from them if I can't find one at Fry's.

What do you think of that DFI motherboard?
June 10, 2009 7:10:40 AM

Senor Snarf said:
I'm sort of weary of sites I haven't heard of before, so I might hit up Fry's downtown to see if I can find a D0 there by looking at the serial numbers on the box (I heard that's a method of finding them, right?). The site seems to be decent like you said so I'll order from them if I can't find one at Fry's.

What do you think of that DFI motherboard?


http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/266599-31-stepping-av... <--- check that thread out. If your near a Micro Center they just might have it in stock.

http://www.microcenter.com/at_the_stores/index.html <---Micro Center store locations

On the mobo I would stick with the Asus...not sure about X58 boards, but in the past DFI boards were great boards, but not so user friendly if your a novice at heart.
June 10, 2009 7:25:32 AM

Meh, it looks like not all Fry's have them yet. I just found more people saying Antares Digital is legit, so I'll just order from them.

Yea, I looked people in the comments about the DFI board were saying it's not for newbs. That scared me off. I'll get the P6T. I guess that's it then.... I've decided on the RAM and the motherboard. I think I'm ready to order everything. Am I missing anything that you can see?
June 10, 2009 8:41:20 AM

Actually, I did some more research and it looks like Antares Digital claims they have things in stock when they really don't. They're supposedly slow to ship and sometimes they send out C0's when people order D0's. I really don't want to do business with them, and there aren't any MicroCenters in my state. How important is it to get a D0?
June 10, 2009 8:47:38 AM

Senor Snarf said:
Actually, I did some more research and it looks like Antares Digital claims they have things in stock when they really don't. They're supposedly slow to ship and sometimes they send out C0's when people order D0's. I really don't want to do business with them, and there aren't any MicroCenters in my state. How important is it to get a D0?


That sucks about Atares....most likely some sales person grabbed the wrong one when shipping it out. As far as differences go, the only difference I have read about is that they run cooler. I read one review where a guy got to 4.1 on the older C0, and with the new D0 he got to 4.3 is all...so not that much of a diff. in his case.
June 10, 2009 8:52:23 AM

Would you say it's worth a serious hunt to get one or should I take a 50/50 chance with newegg? I would like one but they seem very hard to find.
June 10, 2009 8:56:44 AM

Senor Snarf said:
Would you say it's worth a serious hunt to get one or should I take a 50/50 chance with newegg? I would like one but they seem very hard to find.


To be honest, unless your shooting for a high over clock I don't think it makes all that much difference. According to the review I read on this site, the over clock that gives you the best results as far as FPS with the i7 in games is right around 3.4 - 3.6 which is easily achieved with the C0 i7's.
June 10, 2009 9:01:16 AM

Like I said, I'm not much of an overclocker so I think the C0 should be ok if that's true. Feels good to be able to order everything from newegg, too. It's nice to know you're getting everything from such a reliable site. Anyway, the G5 mouse looks good. I might shop around to make sure that's the best I can get for the money but that's not that important to me right now.

Well, with everything I listed at the beginning of the thread along with the changes I've made over the course of this thread, I'd say I'm pretty well set. This is my first ever build so I'm nervous about making that commitment and ordering everything, haha. Think everything looks good?
June 10, 2009 9:05:17 AM

That's going to be a wicked rig when it's done. :)  Let us know how it turns out when you get it put together.
June 10, 2009 9:07:23 AM

Thanks, man. I'll definately be sure to let you guys know how everything went and how it performs once I get it all set up. Here I go....
June 10, 2009 10:50:09 AM

what difference is there between the layout of the two following motherboards:
asus p6t
gigabyte ud4p

@why_me - u always recommend the gigabyte... Y? easy for Overclocking (dual bios settings?) ? better layout? or is it just preference? (gigabyte>asus)

its been bugging me: whether to look at the ud4p, or the p6t... and what do u get for the extra price difference?
June 10, 2009 10:59:24 AM

micky_lund said:
what difference is there between the layout of the two following motherboards:
asus p6t
gigabyte ud4p

@why_me - u always recommend the gigabyte... Y? easy for Overclocking (dual bios settings?) ? better layout? or is it just preference? (gigabyte>asus)

its been bugging me: whether to look at the ud4p, or the p6t... and what do u get for the extra price difference?


To be honest,...in my opinion the only thing separating the Asus PT6 and that Gigabyte UD4P is price and I'm a fan of Gigabyte. Otherwise it's a toss of the coin.
June 10, 2009 3:10:15 PM

What is your monitor's resolution? Because 2 GTX 275s could be major overkill if your monitor is 24" or less.
June 10, 2009 9:16:12 PM

Yea, I know it is, but I want a rig that can handle any game I throw at it for more than a month, so I figured I'll take all the power I can get for my budget. I ordered everything at 6 this morning, looking good so far. I ordered rush processing and the transaction was completed 20 minutes before the requirement, so I should be good to go.

I have a funeral to go to on Saturday, which is when I was planning to put it all together. That's sort of depressing.... but oh well. I think it'll be fun when I do start working on it.
June 10, 2009 11:07:20 PM

ah..kk... so the layout is all the same? i think the DUAL-bios (gigabyte) helps for OCing, right?
June 16, 2009 5:38:21 AM

Update... I got everything today and assembled it, but there's one small problem preventing it from booting. I even know what the problem is... I just don't know how to fix it. I'm so close to having everything running I can taste it. Here's the thread on it: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/265999-33-problem

Thanks for all the help you guys gave me in this thread. I wouldn't be able to make a n00b mistake putting it together if you guys hadn't helped me pick the hardware to make the mistake with, lol.
June 18, 2009 10:24:59 AM

Well, I got everything set up. This thing is blazing fast. I just finished playing Far Cry 2 on max settings at the highest resolution my monitor supports for several hours. Not a single stutter in the framerate. It was beatiful. Thanks again guys.
!