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New Computer System For New 30" Monitor

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June 16, 2009 8:40:06 PM

This is my first post so bare with me. Delivery of my new Dell 3008wfp is expected today. Figured I would reach out to the community and get some feedback on building a new computer system around my new monitor. This will be my first computer build so I plan on taking my time and doing as much research as possible. Actually decided to get a 30" monitor for something besides gaming, but since I have it I figured I would build my new system around it so that I could play games at its native resolution.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: over the next month or so

BUDGET RANGE: US$1500-2000 (can go a little higher or lower depending on needs)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Online poker, gaming, surfing the internet

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers/audio system, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, SuperBiiz, NCIXUS, eBay, Amazon, etc...

PARTS PREFERENCES: Only thing I have decided on this the Intel I7 920 for the chipset, everything else is up in the air

OVERCLOCKING: Yes, eventually

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Potentially both

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 2560 x 1600

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Looking to play recent games at 2560 x 1600 at moderate to high settings. Most everything below will be linked to Newegg unless unavailable there. Overall just looking for the best bang for the buck, I'll be looking for deals and sales and probably taking advantage of some combo deals if possible.

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Video Card(s)
This is definitely the area I have thought most about the past two weeks. One day it will be the two or three GTX 275s. The next day it will be a single GTX 295. A day later it will be two or three HD 4890s. I could go a couple different ways. The more I think about it the more I am weary of spending a lot of money on this area given the fact that the next generation of video cards are seemingly right around the corner. Now I have no exactly knowledge of when they will be released, but I am assuming it will probably coincide for the most part with the release of Windows 7. Now that is not to say that I will go out and immediately get the first thing that comes out. I would definitely want to see how they perform and what the reviews look like. When it all comes down to it I am looking for a somewhat cheap setup that will last roughly for the next year or so. At which point I can look to upgrade to the newer generation. Right now hd 4870, hd 4890, hd 4870 x2, gtx 275, gtx 285, and gtx 295 are all in play. Help me decide.

CPU
Intel Core i7 920 seems to be the standard for most new builds

Motherboard
No brand here in particular, but would like to stick with the bigger ones (MSI, ASUS, EVGA, GIGABYTE, BIOSTAR). The ability to easily overclock the CPU is definitely a plus. Needs to support 3-way Crossfire/SLI. Here's a couple I have been looking at.

EVGA E758-A1
ASUS P6T6 WS Revolution
EVGA E760 CLASSIFIED "Overclocker's Pick"
MSI Eclipse Plus

Memory
I have heard OCZ and Corsair mentioned quite a bit here. Any others that have good reviews? I figure 6GB would be enough for the present, but 12GB might future proof me a little. From researching a little 1600MHz seems to be the way to go. For than likely I will try and combo this part with the purchase of the motherboard. Suggestions welcomed.

Power Supply
As mentioned above I would like the option in the future to possibly have a 3-way Crossfire/ SLI setup so that comes into play when choosing the size. I would rather oversize from the start than have to go back and buy a new one latter on. So I guess my question would be what is the minimum wattage I would need to run 3-way Crossfire/SLI setup. Is it 1000W? Higher? Lower? Also I'll need a total of six 6Pin and/or 6+2Pin connectors to run a 3-way Crossfire/SLI setup. Here's some that I have found:

BFG Tech EX-1200 BFGR1200WEXPSU 1200W
CORSAIR CMPSU-1000HX 1000W
Tuniq Ripper PSU-RIP1000W-BK 1000W
Rosewill RBR1000-M 1000W

Hard Drive(s)
No SSD at this time as they are still a bit pricey. Probably looking at around 1 to 1.5 TB total split between two hard drives. First one being smaller, faster and the second one larger used mostly for storage and what not. I haven't really looked too much at the different brands so I am open to suggestions here.

Computer Case
I don't plan on messing with a water cooled setup so I want the best air cooled case I can get. Right now I debating between this two full tower cases:

Antec Twelve Hundred
COOLER MASTER HAF 932

I figured that a full tower case would make the most sense with the potential of a 3-way Crossfire/SLI setup due to the large amounts of heat. From what I have read some of the mid tower cases are quite large and spacious so I am open to considering them or other full tower cases.

Fans & Heatsinks
Haven't really looked into this part yet. I have heard Zalman and Cooler Master mentioned quite a bit. All suggestions welcome.


Well that's about it. I appreciate any feedback/discussion anyone wants to give. I'll update as I make desicions and purchases along the way. Thank
a b C Monitor
June 16, 2009 8:48:53 PM

Well, as far as video cards are concerned, a GTX 295 would be a good choice, and probably what I would use. For the power supply, I'd lean towards the Corsair HX1000 - I have that PSU powering my setup, including a pair of 4870x2s and a i7 at 4.2GHz, and it doesn't even break a sweat. The modular cables are a nice plus too.
June 16, 2009 8:49:18 PM

I would go with HD 4890's x2 for your GPUs unless you're intent on playing the CRYTEK engine, in which case I would go with 2x 275s. I would stay away from 3x gpu solutions anyway, but especially since you're upgrading to a dx11 card in a year anyway.

ASUS P6T is the default board for most i7 builds unless you need functionality added by another. Great board.

For memory,

OCZ Platinum
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
G.Skill
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

1000w Corsair should handle any tri-gpu setup you throw at it.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For HDDs I'd recommend 2x WD 640GB Black HDDs in RAID0. Won't find anything faster except raptors, which are a waste of money.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Related resources
a b C Monitor
June 16, 2009 9:14:06 PM

There have been a number of benchmarks that show poor performance from i7/ nVidia in single card situations.
Have a look at www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/phenom2_955/8.htm.
The situation is not as clear cut with sli set ups , but nVidia recommended a month or so back that builders shouldnt use i7 for gaming pc's
My pick for a build like this would be a pair of 4890's in crossfire .

You wont need a 1000 watt psu . 750w would be plenty . Corsair preferably
June 17, 2009 7:20:04 AM

Usually I err on the lower side (wattage wise not quality wise) of PSU's but for a 30" monitor I would get the Corsair 1000W. Reason being you don't want to have to grab another PSU when the DX11 cards come out. Now that's not saying 750W wouldn't be enough then, but I have a feeling you will want to stay on the upper range of GFX performance (as you should given your monitor).

I would go with 4890's also for the time being. But know that for now, your PSU is overkill.



HSF, the 'house favorite' around here seems to be the Xigmatek S1283 Dark Knight, but the Scythe Mugen 2, Coolermaster V8 and of course the TRUE all offer excellent air cooling solutions.


Hard drives, it's hard to beat 2 640GB caviar blacks these days performance/dollar wise.
a b C Monitor
June 17, 2009 8:46:15 AM

+1 for the 4890 crossfire setup as you can get them for about $400 compared to the $540 GTX 295 and they both would offer similar performance...
But even the GTX 275 SLI would be better as they outperform a single GTX 295 and cost considerably less...
As it is going to be a temporary solution, go with the cheapest offering - 4890 crossfire...
But my personal suggestion would be to go with 4870 1GB crossfire for about $300...they too can handle that resolution though not as good as the above setups but can hold on till the DirectX 11 cards arrive...

As for the mobo, the ASUS P6T/ the Deluxe version if you want dual gigabyte LAN and other extra features...But if you still want more, then get the ASUS Rampage Extreme...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And for the memory, +1 for the OCZ Platinum suggested by drunknmunkys...but the GSkillz that he linked is not a very good one...check these...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you can get the DO stepping of the core i7 920...It overclocks better...

For heatsinks, the TRUE eXtreme 1366 RT is one of the best coolers for the i7...but even the Scythe Mugen II/ Xig Dark Knight/ Sunbeam 120 CCTF are good options...
a b C Monitor
June 17, 2009 8:57:36 AM

Outlander_04 said:
There have been a number of benchmarks that show poor performance from i7/ nVidia in single card situations.
Have a look at www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/phenom2_955/8.htm.
The situation is not as clear cut with sli set ups , but nVidia recommended a month or so back that builders shouldnt use i7 for gaming pc's
My pick for a build like this would be a pair of 4890's in crossfire .

You wont need a 1000 watt psu . 750w would be plenty . Corsair preferably


1) Nvidea and X58 boards had a problem with one card, that card being the gtx 280 which is based on older architecture and is in the process of being phazed out by Nvidea. We both read the same article posted here on toms.

2) Nvidea did not say builders should not use i7's as gaming builds, all Nvidea stated was gpu > cpu. Again we both read that same article posted here on toms.

3) X58 boards allow for both either SLI or Crossfire.

4) When both cpu's are over clocked (i7/AMD) the i7 mops the floor with the AMD.

5) You should be permanently banned from this board for lying through your teeth on here on a constant basis.
a b C Monitor
June 17, 2009 9:17:29 AM

Why_Me said:
1) Nvidea and X58 boards had a problem with one card, that card being the gtx 280 which is based on older architecture and is in the process of being phazed out by Nvidea. We both read the same article posted here on toms.

2) Nvidea did not say builders should not use i7's as gaming builds, all Nvidea stated was gpu > cpu. Again we both read that same article posted here on toms.

3) X58 boards allow for both either SLI or Crossfire.

4) When both cpu's are over clocked (i7/AMD) the i7 mops the floor with the AMD.

5) You should be permanently banned from this board for lying through your teeth on here on a constant basis.


^ Hmm...
But the last point is pretty harsh...

Not taking any sides here but the SLI is best done with the X58 chipsets...And actually SLI scales even better than the crossfire on X58 and has better driver support compared to the crossfire, which ATI is trying hard to get right...
But the performance is pretty much similar so it comes down to one's personal needs...Which card plays the OP's favourite games better, get that card...
And Why_Me it is Nvidia and not Nvidea :) 
June 17, 2009 10:11:23 AM

if he will be really playing at 2560x1600 then 2x4890 would be better choice.nvidia cards have a problem with 2560x1600 and IMO the 2x4890 would be the best bang for buck as he will be upgrading to DX11 card
June 17, 2009 10:18:48 AM

I'd say, get dual gtx 260's for now then with the money you saved, buy one of the DX11 cards in October/November when ATi releases them.
June 17, 2009 12:52:49 PM

Let's say that you get a 4890 and crossfire it with a 4850. Then, when they are available, you get a DX11 card. You pull the 4850 and put it on ebay.

Can you crossfire a 4890 with a DX11 card? My guess would be yes.

Will the result be DX10.1 or DX11? Anybody know?
June 17, 2009 1:44:52 PM

@gkay09

What's wrong with the g.skill I linked? Just curious for my own benefit.
a b C Monitor
June 17, 2009 1:59:18 PM

There is nothing wrong with that GSkillz you have given...it is just that it might not overclock as good as the DDR3 1600MHz counterparts...The 1600MHz can be pushed even further than 1600MHz speed but the 1333MHz would have a tough time getting to that speed...
And for the same price, you get the GSkillz 1600MHz and that OCZ platinum is certainly better...
June 17, 2009 2:05:45 PM

gkay09 said:
There is nothing wrong with that GSkillz you have given...it is just that it might not overclock as good as the DDR3 1600MHz counterparts...The 1600MHz can be pushed even further than 1600MHz speed but the 1333MHz would have a tough time getting to that speed...
And for the same price, you get the GSkillz 1600MHz and that OCZ platinum is certainly better...


I had just remembered from the TH DDR3 memory article that there wasn't much difference between 1600 and 1333 so I was just browsing the egg for good timings. Thanks for the info though, I'll make a mental note.
a b C Monitor
June 17, 2009 2:09:12 PM

^ Yes but still having a faster RAM for the same price is no harm :) 
June 17, 2009 2:35:48 PM

Prescott_666 said:
Let's say that you get a 4890 and crossfire it with a 4850. Then, when they are available, you get a DX11 card. You pull the 4850 and put it on ebay.

Can you crossfire a 4890 with a DX11 card? My guess would be yes.

Will the result be DX10.1 or DX11? Anybody know?


It's my understanding that you can only Crossfire the 4890 with the 4870 and 4870 x2. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.
June 17, 2009 2:48:58 PM

When you xfire two different cards, the faster one will run at the speed of the slower one, making it pointless. A 4850 xfired with a 4890 will perform like 2x 4850s. And I highly doubt dx10 and dx11 cards will be compatible.
June 17, 2009 3:17:58 PM

30 inch monitor? $2000 budget? I'd go woth a GTX 295. Or if you're undecided, you can always start with a GTX 275 and SLI later.
June 17, 2009 3:53:00 PM

Man I just missed a pretty good deal. Earlier this morning SuperBiiz was offering the Sapphire ATI Radeon HD4890 TOXIC for $208.99. Currently Newegg has the Sapphire ATI Radeon HD4890 TOXIC for $249.99. Just checked back at SuperBiiz and the price has jumped to $238.99. I probably debated for 10 minutes earlier this morning on whether or not I should pull the trigger and pickup 1 maybe 2 of them. Figured I would wait until after work to decide, but I guess I lost out. Oh well. Just curious anybody have any experience with SuperBiiz. I just happened to ran across them one day and they seem to have some real good deals, but they tend not to last very long.
June 17, 2009 4:34:27 PM

Never dealt with Superbiiz. Careful. There are some bait and switch retailers out there.
June 17, 2009 4:51:58 PM

Seems to be an acceptable option based on the ratings/reviews at PriceGrabber and ResellerRatings. But I am definitely with you, if a deal seems to good to be true it usually is.
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