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Advice on $2k personal machine - i7950

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June 12, 2009 1:00:39 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: next 2days

BUDGET RANGE: approx. US $2,000 – 2,100

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, internet, movies, and music

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, and DVD burner

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg

PARTS PREFERENCES: i7-950, EVGA GTX295

OVERCLOCKING: some but nothing beyond air cooling

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: not yet

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200

----------------------------------------------------------

CPU: Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115211)

Mobo: ASUS P6T SE LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131386 )

RAM: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145224 )

Case: LIAN LI PC-7B plus II Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112099 )

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139009 )

GPU: EVGA 017-P3-1294-AR GeForce GTX 295 1792MB 896 Bit GDDR3
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130473 )

HDD 1 and 2: 2x RAID 0: Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136319 )

Sound Card: HT | OMEGA STRIKER 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829271001)

Miscellaneous parts:

CPU cooling: Titan TTC-NK85TZ Fenrir CPU Cooler
(http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HS-008-TI )

Thermal compound: Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100007)

Totals to just about US$2,100.

NewEgg Wishlist cart: http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?Source=MSWD&WishListNumber=13238808

Concerns: My only large concern is over the harddrive. I have been going back and forth with the 2x VelociRaptor WD1500HLFS 150GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136296 they are just so much $$ and I am not sure if it is really worth it.

Story: I build a new machine roughly every 4-5 years. I look to go on the very high end when I buy one so that I can have a decent machine that can handle most games till about the 4th-5th year. I generally stay within the $1.5k range but this one ended up running about $2.1k.

Any suggestions or comments anyone has please let me know ASAP. My plan it to purchase this over the weekend.
June 12, 2009 2:02:03 PM

here is a build tha will cost u 1780$

you don't need to get the i7-950 the 920 D0 stepping can be overclocked to average 3.6 GHZ and with the noctuca cooler you can overclock it to 4.0 GHZ,2x gtx 275 would kick the gtx 295 with lower price and you need a good case like the Antec 1200 and you don't really need a sound card

intel core i7 920 Do stepping make sure to select D0 stepping

ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail best mobo for sli

OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail cheaper and better and has lower timings

Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - RetailEVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail scales better and cheaper

HD:the same harddrives and i don't think you will need a Raptor

you don't need a sound card the onboard is good but if you really want a one then you have made a good choice

Cpu cooling:

Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 120mm SSO CPU Cooler - Retail this is an insane cpu cooler it is really good and quite

Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound - Retail this thermal compound is better than the Arctic






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psu:the same one the corsair 850TX is excellent

2xEVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail scales better and cheaper

HD:the same harddrives and i don't think you will need a Raptor

you don't need a sound card the onboard is good but if you really want a one then you have made a good choice

Cpu cooling:

Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 120mm SSO CPU Cooler - Retail this is an insane cpu cooler it is really good and quite

Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound - Retail this thermal compound is better than the Arctic






June 12, 2009 2:13:52 PM

First of all, this is looking like a very nice setup; you've got a lot of top-of-the-line hardware on that wish list. Let me give you my two cents on your part choices. (please excuse the very random order I address the parts in)

Your HDD's look great, don't worry about their performance. Velociraptors are nice, but they ARE quite a bit more expensive, much smaller capacity, and not that much faster at all than the ones you selected.

Don't concern yourself with 3rd party CPU coolers or thermal paste until you are going to overclock. The stock cooler is more than sufficient unless you're overclocking right away.

PSU choice looks great. I have the same part; it's a beauty.

The motherboard you selected has NO support for SLI. The processor you want has a combo deal with the ASUS P6T Deluxe V2. That board is very nice and supports SLI/XFire. LINK HERE

While I'm on the subject, I will admit I don't know much about the particular processor you selected, (it's very new even relative to the rest of the i7's) but it's roughly twice as expensive as the 17 920, just like the 940 was. It's worth doing research to see if the gains over the entry level processor (the 920) are worth such a price to you. You can get back close to $300 right then and there.

The same goes for your graphics card. You've selected the current "crown royal" of GPU's, but I suggest scaling it back to a single GTX 275, or if you want, two of them in SLI if you want even better performance (most of the time) than the 295. PROOF HERE

The RAM you selected is overpriced IMO. It may warrant such a premium cost when hardcore overclocking is done, but personally, I recommend these: Corsair XMS3 1600

I don't know much about the sound card or case you selected, but they both look fine. I hope I could be of some help to you. Good luck with the build.
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June 12, 2009 4:58:51 PM

Thank you Kufan64 and computersss for the comments.

First of thank you kufan64 great point on the MB and SLI compatibility. I will def. need to change out the MB and will do more research on the one you suggested.

I agree that the main issue with this setup is that I am paying the premium to get the highest end stuff. I understand I can drop to the GTX 275 and the i7-920 and save some money. My main goal here is to have a fast machine at stock/base levels and be able to have a much high starting point to tweak from there. The i7-950 seems to have some great advantages and with very minor freq adjustments can push it to 4GHz and still be unbelievably stable.
The point of going with the GTX 295 is that if needed I can buy another one in 6-12 months and SLI them. I want to be at almost the bleeding edge so I can go as long as possible without the need to buy/upgrade a new system. I perfer one lump sum every 4-5 years as opposed to upgrades ever few months.

Not a fan of the full tower case and the LEDs

I am going to do more research on the MB, you both have made great suggestions and with the bundle its a win win.

June 12, 2009 5:06:21 PM

^ or swap the 275's for 4890's as they will cost less and perform about the same in most games except mirrors edge and physx enabled games.
June 12, 2009 5:18:17 PM

@ helloworld_98
I was originally looking at crossfired 4890s but changed my find for a single GTX295. It seemed like a better fit for what I am going for. With a single GTX295 I can upgrade to SLI 295s in 6months to a year if desired. From what I have read the GTX295 will perform better than the crossfired 4890s. If anyone has some charts or comparisons that prove otherwise that would be great.
June 12, 2009 5:22:16 PM

^ a single GTX 295 will get beaten by a good 10%+ by Dual 4890's.
June 12, 2009 5:29:52 PM

Ah, I wasn't aware of that. Is there any charts or writeups that you know of that compare the 2x 4890s to the GTX295??
June 12, 2009 7:35:02 PM

A key thing to remember is that two 275's have better performance, and together are roughly $50-$100 cheaper, but the 295 generates less heat, draws less power, and gives you the option for installing another in the future. It's all about what you want. A single 275 is still a great card!

You're probably going to want to go with a card with OpenGL 3.0... I honestly couldn't tell you what the difference is, but if I was going all out for the 295, I wouldn't cut corners.

Let me know what you think. :) 
June 12, 2009 7:40:38 PM

Hi Mack,

Nice setup you will have there. For me two things

1- If you don't like bling bling (led color and other extra lightshow) I suggest you will go for i7 920 and for the case go for a full tower lianli or silverstone full aluminium case it,s expensive but in long term it's worth it . I know you said you not a fan of those cases but it will be a plus for the cpu cooling. if you have a small case, ambient temp have more chance to rise up really quickly and the I7 is sensible to that, any model of I7.

2- for the video card.... flavor of the moment or gazillion of graphics, two highend card still there ati 4890 or nvidia gtx-295. chose any of those two you will be happy.

Bye
June 13, 2009 2:01:13 PM

Thanks for all the help guys. Everyone had some great suggestions and def could have saved me some money. I ended up sticking with the higher end GTX 295 and i7-950 so that I can start with a higher baseline and tweak/add from there in the future. :) 

Here are my final specs and price:

CPU: Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)

Mobo: ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )

RAM: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)

Case: LIAN LI PC-7B plus II Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )

GPU: EVGA 017-P3-1294-AR GeForce GTX 295 1792MB 896 Bit GDDR3
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )

HDD 1 and 2: 2x RAID 0: Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )

Sound Card: HT | OMEGA STRIKER 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)

Miscellaneous parts:

CPU cooling: Titan TTC-NK85TZ Fenrir CPU Cooler
(http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HS...)

Thermal compound: Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)

Totals to just about US$2,080 after shipping.
June 13, 2009 2:41:59 PM

well i would get the tuniq thermal compound better and also i would change the psu to corsair 1000HX because i don't think that the 850TX will be able to power 2 gtx 295,also i would change the case to a one which has a better cooling and get the ocz platinum as it will be better if you are overclocking,if you don't want to change your parts as all of us suggested then you have just wasted your time because it seems that you don't listen to other people anyway it is your money and spend it as you like

edit:sorry if i am harsh with you
June 13, 2009 3:01:30 PM

@Computersss

Let me begin by saying you don't have to come on here with attitude. I did go through everyone's suggestions.

1. The 1000HX PSU was never suggested. If it was I probably would have considered it.... (too late now and can worry about that in 6-12 months if i decide to SLI)

2. I did not re-look at the thermal compound and its kind of a mute point its $5 and I'll look into it more and go ahead and order it (no harm).

3. I did some research on the ocz and several people have issues with the timings and voltage levels. There seems to be a large stability issue specifically with the motherboard I purchased. I preferred the Corsair Dominator.

4. I am a fan of the Lian Li cases. If I had the extra budget I would have prob gone with V1200Bplus II (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) If the case I bought causes cooling issues this is what Ill purchase. But again I do not plan on doing much OCing if at all to begin with. I also can not stand full tower cases bulky and annoying to move or work with. If I planned on some serious OCing with the possibility of watercooling I would most def. move to a full tower.

I did not find this to be a waste of time and I looked into everyone's suggestions.

Thanks,

Mack


June 13, 2009 4:01:11 PM

That sucks. Too late now already purchased the 950...
Oh well, they prob. will jack up the price of the 960 anyways.
June 13, 2009 4:50:51 PM

mack211 said:
@Computersss

Let me begin by saying you don't have to come on here with attitude. I did go through everyone's suggestions.

1. The 1000HX PSU was never suggested. If it was I probably would have considered it.... (too late now and can worry about that in 6-12 months if i decide to SLI)

2. I did not re-look at the thermal compound and its kind of a mute point its $5 and I'll look into it more and go ahead and order it (no harm).

3. I did some research on the ocz and several people have issues with the timings and voltage levels. There seems to be a large stability issue specifically with the motherboard I purchased. I preferred the Corsair Dominator.

4. I am a fan of the Lian Li cases. If I had the extra budget I would have prob gone with V1200Bplus II (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) If the case I bought causes cooling issues this is what Ill purchase. But again I do not plan on doing much OCing if at all to begin with. I also can not stand full tower cases bulky and annoying to move or work with. If I planned on some serious OCing with the possibility of watercooling I would most def. move to a full tower.

I did not find this to be a waste of time and I looked into everyone's suggestions.

Thanks,

Mack


well i am sorry if i talked in a harsh way but i really like to help everyone as if i am choosing the parts myself so i was trying to get you the best you can get with your money :D 
June 13, 2009 7:09:18 PM

hope you like your new system :) 

although I would have gotten some OCZ freeze instead of that Tuniq TX-2.
June 13, 2009 7:17:35 PM

well IMO the ocz freeze and the tuniq are both give same in performance
June 13, 2009 7:31:29 PM

^ well OCZ freeze performs slightly better, but only about 0.5C max, however it isn't electrically conductive which gives you a lower chance of screwing up your PC.
June 13, 2009 7:34:29 PM

Helloworld_98 said:
^ well OCZ freeze performs slightly better, but only about 0.5C max, however it isn't electrically conductive which gives you a lower chance of screwing up your PC.


but i don't think that applying the tuniq would be hard
Anonymous
June 21, 2009 7:07:55 AM

That was some good info, even it it was not intended for me. Thanks Guys.
P.S. What MB would you all sugest for EVGA 017-P3-1294-AR GeForce GTX 295 X2. And will COOLER MASTER HAF 922 have suficient air flow or do I have to go with a full tower like 932?
!