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$1000-1200 i7 build - suggestions welcome

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June 29, 2009 10:04:57 PM

So this is my first build in 5 years or so, and I've done quite a bit of research on this list, but I want any suggestions you all might have.

Processor: Intel i7 920
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD4P
Video: BFG Tech BFGEGTX260896OCE GeForce GTX 260
Memory: G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
Case: COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower
Storage: 2x HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.B 0A38016 1TB

In addition to any specific comments on the parts listed above, I have a few specific things:

1. I'm really a minimalist when it comes to cases, and even the case I have picked out right now is sort of too flashy for me. Any suggestions for another budget case that has fairly good airflow but also doesn't turn my computer into a lamp?

2. I've seen some people mentioning that the newer version of the GTX 260 with 216 cores as opposed to 192 on the one I picked out can make a good difference for the $20ish price jump (like this one). Any insight on whether it's worth it?

3. The parts listed above put my total at $1017.93 (with a mobo/processor combo), the remaining $200ish with which I am planning to get a second monitor to accompany my 19". I'd like to get a 22" panel and I've read a lot of reviews, but I figured I'd get any specific suggestions if anybody could provide them.
June 30, 2009 12:03:02 AM

Your list is missing a PSU what direction are you going there? Also do you ever intend on overclocking?

Cheaper Case (similar airflow) from CM:
COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

From what i've been told/read best bet for the money now is to buy a gtx275 variation, then leaving an upgrade in the future by SLI'ing another 275 (if you ever need that much 2x GTX275 SLI > GTX 295 in a test on here)
PNY VCGGTX275XPB GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

Also if you havent looked there ewiz.com seems to have better i7/mobo combo deals than the egg does.

John (Smokes)
June 30, 2009 12:36:58 AM

Are you planning on doing gaming with this rig? I will base my answers that you will be.

To answer the question about the 216 cores vs 192 core verison. Deffinatly worth the extra 20 bucks when compairing it to the price of the entire rig. There is a big difference between $20 bucks worth of preformance. Review article on difference

Another concern is your hard drive choices. You might heavly want to consider WD Black series. They are a much higher preformance drive and imo much more reliable.

What is the PSU you plan on using to power this rig?
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June 30, 2009 9:31:09 PM

Thanks for the responses so far.

I forgot to mention that I already have a PSU, had to replace one that died only two months ago.

@xtwosmokesx, thanks for the heads up on the ewiz combos.

@kubes, thanks for the link to the review, quite useful. I'll look into some other storage options. I will be doing some gaming on it, but it'll mainly be used for art, namely Maya and Zbrush and painting large canvases in photoshop.

To anybody, any thoughts on whether its worth setting up a RAID 1 or is the stability of the new WD drives good enough to not worry about it?
July 1, 2009 12:09:41 PM

I guess I still wonder what PSU you ended up landing on? Makes me worry *bites nails*

If you have data that is unreplaceable I would heavily reccomend RAID 1 with any hard drive. (personaly though I think the WD black series is the best preforming AND qualitly driven drive out there)
July 1, 2009 1:06:32 PM

i am currently building a machine for very similar uses to yours (maya/zbrush/photoshop). i am also going for the i7, and i opted for the GTX 275. great price for the money
July 1, 2009 2:13:21 PM

@kubes sorry, it was linked in the last post but the link color isn't very obvious. here's the PSU I have.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I'll definitely be looking into spending the extra money for the gtx 275 instead.

As far as storage goes I just need to figure out how much storage I really need. I'd love to get a pair of 1tb's but unfortunately I don't have $200 to spend on storage alone. Perhaps a pair of 500's?
July 1, 2009 2:54:06 PM

Also, quick noob question. I've built before but never OC'd, and plan on OC'ing for sure with this system.

If I buy 1600 ram as opposed to 1333, will I need to change the timings in BIOS on first boot or does the mobo auto-detect and change timings automatically?

** Edit:

Updated parts list:

Motherboard/Processor: GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD4P and Intel i7 920 (via eWiz combo) -- $492.99
Video: EVGA GeForce GTX 275 896MB -- $219.99
Memory: OCZ Gold 6GB DDR3 1600 -- $99.99
Case: COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 -- $49.99
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V -- (already owned)
Storage: Still undecided on capacity, but probably a pair of the WD Black's per @kubes recommendation and persistence ;)  -- $140 - 200

This puts my cost somewhere between $1000 and $1060, pre monitor cost, which I figure to spend about 150-170 on.

Any more thoughts on above posts?
July 1, 2009 7:47:03 PM

i'm sorry I missed the link earlier...:(  Your PSU choice has made me feel much more confortable!

It depends but most likely the motherboard will auto detect the wrong settings. So you'll have to manuly set the ram timings if you want them to be set at the manufactors specs.

dealing with your concerns about storage the newier generation of WD Black hard drives have a platter size of 320gb's meaning a 640gb hard drive has two platters. The 500gb wd blacks have a platter size of 250, and the 1TB has 3 x 320 (which wd rounds to 1TB). The more dence the plater the greater preformance gains you will recieve. So I would reccomend sticking with a 640gb or a 1TB drive if your budget allows it.

I think this build will end up working quite nicely for you :) 
July 2, 2009 6:52:17 AM

Seems your list is missing an aftermarket cpu cooler, If you intend on OC'ing this is a must.

Check out: i7 Cooler Reviews

Scythe Mugen 2 is a good one for the money but huge, i personally am going with Xigmatek Dark Knight don't need all the size of the other, and the DK came highly recommended from others on here.
!