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Please critique my spendy i7 gaming rig

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June 16, 2009 11:56:34 PM

I've edited my post to reflect what I've bought (or plan to buy) and to avoid confusion.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Real Soon BUDGET RANGE: US$2000-

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies, word processing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, case (SILVERSTONE FT01-BW Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower ), psu (CORSAIR CMPSU-1000HX 1000W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, but I'm open to suggestions

PARTS PREFERENCES:
Intel Core i7-920

Prolimatech Megahalems Intel CPU Heatsink
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8807/?campid=bmr

Gigabyte ga-x58-ud4p motherboard

6gb ocz platinum ram

bfg GeForce GTX 285 1GB 512-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
I plan to get a second one and sli them.

ASUS Xonar Essence STX Virtual 7.1 Channels PCI Express Interface 124 dB SNR / Headphone AMP Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(for later -- plan to start with built in audio)

two wd 640gib drives in raid 0

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1024x768 or 1920x1200
I have a Dell ultrasharp 19" that I'm currently using, but I could try my Samsung 260hd as well for giggles.

I've got windows vista 64 bit.

Thanks!

More about : critique spendy gaming rig

June 17, 2009 1:40:44 AM

zougou said:
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Real Soon BUDGET RANGE: US$2000-

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies, word processing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, case (SILVERSTONE FT01-BW Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower ), psu (CORSAIR CMPSU-1000HX 1000W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, but I'm open to suggestions

PARTS PREFERENCES:
Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601950 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Prolimatech Megahalems Intel CPU Heatsink
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8807/?campid=bmr

ASUS P6T6 WS Revolution LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8D - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX GX285XZWBF GeForce GTX 285 1GB Black Edition 512-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I'm thinking of getting two; ow, my wallet hurts!

ASUS Xonar Essence STX Virtual 7.1 Channels PCI Express Interface 124 dB SNR / Headphone AMP Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LITE-ON Black Blu-Ray DVD Drive & DVD Burner with LightScribe SATA Model iHES206-08 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223L - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I need to decide what kind of harddrive setup I want. I was thinking of a RAID 0 with WD drives. I am not considering SSD unless someone can convince me otherwise...

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1024x768 or 1920x1200
I have a Dell ultrasharp 19" that I'm currently using, but I could try my Samsung 260hd as well for giggles.

So, does this look like all the parts will work together? Any constructive criticism?

I'm probably missing some details I'm sure. I was thinking of installing Vista Home whatever -- not sure if I should go with the 64 bit or not...

Thanks!


The 950 is a WASTE of money. An orangutang could clock the 920 to higher levels, for $300 less. Try the XIGMATEK Dark Knight cooler, or for extreme, the ZALMAN CNPS9900LED. Try the Gigabyte UD5 or ASUS Rampage II. Get 2 sets of OCZ Platinum 6GB 1600, for 12GB RAM. Buy this with the money from the i7: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I don't know ANYTHING about sound cards, but consider a Sound Blaster. Get an LG DVD Drive for $110.

This will all cost you less, and more performance. P.S., the GTX 295 is basically 2 GTX 285s put together.
June 17, 2009 1:50:26 AM

That build is a major hose job.
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June 17, 2009 2:02:24 AM

raybob95 said:
The 950 is a WASTE of money. An orangutang could clock the 920 to higher levels, for $300 less. Try the XIGMATEK Dark Knight cooler, or for extreme, the ZALMAN CNPS9900LED. Try the Gigabyte UD5 or ASUS Rampage II. Get 2 sets of OCZ Platinum 6GB 1600, for 12GB RAM. Buy this with the money from the i7: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I don't know ANYTHING about sound cards, but consider a Sound Blaster. Get an LG DVD Drive for $110.

This will all cost you less, and more performance. P.S., the GTX 295 is basically 2 GTX 285s put together.


Thank you very much, this is the sort of feedback I was hoping for.

Why the UD5 or Rampage II? Are they better for overclocking?
June 17, 2009 2:04:27 AM

zougou said:
Thank you very much, this is the sort of feedback I was hoping for.

Why the UD5 or Rampage II? Are they better for overclocking?


I'd actually recommend the UD5. Better board that's more reliable, better features, equal overclocking, much cheaper, better company.

What about the rest of my feedback? :sarcastic: 
June 17, 2009 2:06:33 AM

Why_Me said:
That build is a major hose job.

I see.

I'm not current with the latest schoolyard slang, is a 'major hose job' a good thing? :heink: 
June 17, 2009 2:08:33 AM

zougou said:
I see.

I'm not current with the latest schoolyard slang, is a 'major hose job' a good thing? :heink: 


Ignore him. Post an updated build.
June 17, 2009 2:17:00 AM

Unless you have high quality speakers that $200 sound card is a waste, also the 950 is overpriced, get a 920 a good heatsink and OC. And i would put a hose job somewhere between getting struck by lightning and falling in a wood chipper.
June 17, 2009 4:47:02 AM

Well...If Why_Me meant that a "major hose job" is a bad thing I would have to agree :) 
-You need to realize that for .4Ghz of extra clock speed, you are spending an extra couple of hundred of dollars. And as another poster above said, overclocking a 920 to 3.06ghz is the easiest thing. See between a Core i7 920,940 and a 950, the difference is tiny in my opinion, if you want a big difference in power over those three then you need to go to the ultimate high end processors, the 965, and 975 extremes, here you will see a difference but they costs like 1600-2000 bucks.
-And for your computer, unless you run CAD or something like that a 920 will do everything you will ever need :) 
-Also, 1920x1200 and 1024x768 are resolutions worlds apart, you need to tell exactly what your playing because at 1024x768 you can get away with like a 8600 card but with 1920x1200 you need something beefy like a GTX280(5).
June 18, 2009 5:45:44 PM

I see your point.

OK, I'm going with the 920.

I'm now considering purchasing the GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD4P.

I'm also thinking of 12gb of RAM -- OCZ Platinum sound OK?

So, one 295 is better than 2 285s or 3 270s?

I chose the Xonar card because it was designed to work with headphones. I have some nice Sony headphones to use with it.

I have a 5.1 Creative Labs speaker system with a digital input, but they recently died and Creative doesn't seem to sell a replacement. That's why I was thinking of just sticking with headphones.

I could save money and just use a 1 tb hard drive rather than a RAID 0 of WD 'raptors. Sound good?
June 18, 2009 6:01:38 PM

zougou said:
I see your point.

OK, I'm going with the 920.

I'm now considering purchasing the GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD4P.

I'm also thinking of 12gb of RAM -- OCZ Platinum sound OK?

So, one 295 is better than 2 285s or 3 270s?

I chose the Xonar card because it was designed to work with headphones. I have some nice Sony headphones to use with it.

I have a 5.1 Creative Labs speaker system with a digital input, but they recently died and Creative doesn't seem to sell a replacement. That's why I was thinking of just sticking with headphones.

I could save money and just use a 1 tb hard drive rather than a RAID 0 of WD 'raptors. Sound good?


I am no "pro" when it comes to computer building, but you will never use 12 GB of ram unless you do CAD or something very intensive. Gaming will run perfectly on 4gb, knowing that vista uses 2.

HD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK. Fast. Two Processors.

As for the 295, you could check out some benchmarks.
June 18, 2009 7:02:53 PM

Unless you spent about $100 on those headphones you wont notice too much of a difference, most people wouldnt even with good headphones. Unless you are doing audio work or are an audiophile save yourself the money.

The 295 is two downclocked 275's, so 2 285's would beat it but end up using 4 slots instead of just two along with needing more power and generating more heat.
June 18, 2009 7:27:52 PM

^ or go with a couple of 4890 atomic's, cheaper than GTX 285's but perform better.
June 26, 2009 9:34:08 AM

or why not get OCZ GOLD for 100 dollars minus mail in rebate = 79.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... they are pretty good memory :)  and alot less for the same specs as the DOMINATOR!what about the Sapphire HD 4890 Vapor-X Technology they have the TOXIC editon 960mhz and the Regular one at 870mhz
June 27, 2009 9:57:53 PM

I was able to get the OCZ Platinum for around $88 from Amazon.

I'm still waiting to get some parts.

One thing that bothers me about the Silverstone case is that none of of the case fans' cables are sleeved.

I've decided I should sleeve those cables.

I'm also adding some sound dampening material to the top and bottom of the case.
June 27, 2009 10:15:50 PM

Xonar Essence STX is a fantastic sound card, especially for headphones. Keep in mind though that it doesn't support EAX versions 3 and 4, which may create minor problems when gaming. It's not a big issue as most games support either EAX 2 or 5.

In my opinion you can't get a better card for headphones - Xonar Essence is a really good choice and is worth every penny.
June 27, 2009 10:17:22 PM

hunter315 said:
Unless you spent about $100 on those headphones you wont notice too much of a difference, most people wouldnt even with good headphones. Unless you are doing audio work or are an audiophile save yourself the money.


-1
June 27, 2009 10:28:05 PM

andyKCIUK said:
Xonar Essence STX is a fantastic sound card, especially for headphones. Keep in mind though that it doesn't support EAX versions 3 and 4, which may create minor problems when gaming. It's not a big issue as most games support either EAX 2 or 5.

In my opinion you can't get a better card for headphones - Xonar Essence is a really good choice and is worth every penny.

Thanks, that's good to know.

I suppose I should update my first post, as I have made changes to my list of parts.

At present I'm holding off on buying an audio card as the Gigabyte mb has audio (and I recently had to buy a net set of tires for my car, which ate into my budget).
June 27, 2009 10:28:28 PM

zougou said:
I see your point.

OK, I'm going with the 920.

I'm now considering purchasing the GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD4P.

I'm also thinking of 12gb of RAM -- OCZ Platinum sound OK?

So, one 295 is better than 2 285s or 3 270s?

I chose the Xonar card because it was designed to work with headphones. I have some nice Sony headphones to use with it.

I have a 5.1 Creative Labs speaker system with a digital input, but they recently died and Creative doesn't seem to sell a replacement. That's why I was thinking of just sticking with headphones.

I could save money and just use a 1 tb hard drive rather than a RAID 0 of WD 'raptors. Sound good?


just my 2 cents but i have been useing the built in sound on my mobo... spdif out to a 5.1 1000 watt pioneer amp sounds damn good
June 27, 2009 11:14:54 PM

you dont need 12GB of ram for gaming. toms did a test recently, and there was 0 performance gain in gaming between 12GB vs. 6GB.
!