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First build, ~$1400

Last response: in Systems
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July 3, 2009 8:43:08 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Sometime during the American 3day weekend

BUDGET RANGE: (US$1300-1400)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Multitasking, gaming, CAD, movies

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard & mouse, I also have another HDD I'll be using in addition to the ones I get.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I've always bought from Newegg and enjoy supporting them, but if there are drastically different deals I would consider other reputable sites.

PARTS PREFERENCES: I'd like to stick with the Core i7 and have Windows 7 asap too.

OVERCLOCKING: Since I've been reading how easy it's gotten, I think I'd like to try it finally.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Perhaps in a few months, depending on my needs.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I've been looking into this for months now, off and on, and while I've come a far way in my computer knowledge, there's a lot I don't/won't know until I get my hands on the components. This is mainly why I am posting here, I don't want to make (too many) foolish mistake.

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Case: COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail - $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail - $119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Retail - $279.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD4P LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail- $259.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: OCZ XMP Ready Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3X1600LV6GK - Retail - $100.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM - $74.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I'll also be getting a 1TB card about a month down the road.

Video Card: SAPPHIRE 100269SR Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail - $199.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor: ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 20000:1) Built in Speakers - Retail - $197.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Speakers: I'm not sure honestly, something that puts out decent sound, preferably 2.1, I have my stereo for music and just don't want to be wearing my headphones all the time.

Optical: Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD/CD Rewritable Drive - OEM - $30.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional Upgrade - Retail - $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Until then, I'll probably be running XP 64bit from the MSDN Academic Alliance. Hopefully.
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Total: $1352.90, but not including speakers. Also, the price is this way because of a Memory/HDD combo and a CPU/Mobo combo. I was hoping for sub-1300, but wasn't really banking on it evidently. Anyways, the optical drive I wanted, the SH-S223, is out of stock at Newegg currently. If it comes back in before I buy, I will buy it instead.

Is my RAM good?
Would it be worthwhile to drop to the 4870 instead? Also I went with ATI but I'm not opposed to going with Nvidia.
If I do OC, am I going to need an aftermarket heatsink or would stock be okay? I read an article on this site saying OC'd to 3.33GHz would be a good performance ratio, but I can't seem to find it now.

Thanks for any assistance or advice guys, I really appreciate it!

More about : build 1400

July 3, 2009 9:21:38 AM

^ That is a pretty good build that you have come up with...

Now for your questions...
1. Yes that RAM is very good and comes with XMP profiles, that helps in easy setting of the rated speeds...


2. Stick with the HD 4890...for that resolution, it would serve you well better than the 4870...But if you are not extreme gamer and OK with HIGH settings rather than MAX in the current games, then the 4870 1GB would be suffice...


3. If you want to achieve a good overclock (Which am sure is very much possible with that mobo and CPU), you should get an aftermarket CPU cooler...
Here is a very good CPU cooler...
Scythe Mugen 2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And a good article that would help you overclock...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/overclock-core-i7,2...

Here are a few bargains that you can check out...

i7 + UD4P for about $477 with Free Shipping and if you search the net for coupons for ewiz, you can save more...And ewiz.com has good seller ratings...
http://www.ewiz.com/combo.php?cat_id=238
July 3, 2009 1:02:45 PM

Everything looks really good. If you want to make sure you get a "DO stepping" of the Core i7 920, check out link below.

Core i7 920 2.66GHz LGA 1366 Socket $ 272.00 + $8.00 (to gurantee DO stepping) = $280.00
https://www.antaresdigital.com/customer/product.php?pro..."

Also would get Tuniq TX-3 Extreme Performance and Exceptional Reliability Thermal Compound $10.99($5.99 after $5.00 Mail-In Rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Here are some Speakers you can look at.

Creative Inspire T6100 76 Watts 5.1 Speaker $79.99 @ NewEgg
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$59.99 directly from Creative store.
http://us.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=4&...

Creative Inspire T3100 2.1 2-way Speakers $49.99 @ NewEgg
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$34.99 directly from Creative store.
http://us.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=4&...

Logitech X-540 70 watts 5.1 Speaker $78.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hope this helped you out some.
Related resources
July 4, 2009 6:59:21 AM

Thanks for the replies guys.

gkay09, thanks for confirming my thoughts with my questions, put me at ease. I have also added that CPU cooler to my list on Newegg now, but that brought a worry to my mind. How do I know if all these components are going to fit on the motherboard nicely? The large GPU, the aftermarket CPU cooler, the PSU reaching everything, and how well the mobo will fit in my case?
Are these legitimate concerns? I never saw any size indicators to check for, other than ATX-sized cases, so I assumed it would be a universal fit, but now I'm not so sure. Any reassurance on the matter will be quite helpful.

Yoosty, thanks for the D0 stepping links, I actually hadn't heard of that so it was interesting. I will consider that as an option. Though since it came out in March, is it likely that all the 920's being sold by now are the new D0 stepping model?
And thanks for the speakers links, I will consider them. I hadn't realized that it was such a big price difference between Newegg and the original site. I may just purchase them separately later on.
With the thermal compound, do I need some sort of special cleaner to get the existing compound off of the CPU? Or is it just on the retail cooler? I have added the thermal compound to my list, but I saw another cleaner product so I became curious.

Thanks again guys! It's nice to know all my lurking and reading has paid off somewhat lol.
July 4, 2009 8:36:34 AM

I have just about all of your listed parts and they all fit inside my CM 690 with ease.

Although I have a coolermaster v8 instead of the Mugen 2, but everything will fit. The 690 is quite roomy.
July 4, 2009 8:57:39 AM

That's quite reassuring to hear, thanks. Does the case dissipate heat well for you with the stock fans?
July 4, 2009 9:00:38 AM

I have 3 x 120mm fans, plus the 120mm fan in the V8 itself and my temps are just fine. My problem is ambient temps, as my room gets quite hot.
July 4, 2009 9:31:28 AM

That is a rather good point, it does get pretty hot in Louisiana so ambient temperature may be a problem.
July 4, 2009 6:45:40 PM

On a side note, it doesn't seem that you really need it, but you said you'd maybe CFX or SLI in a few months, the Corsair 850TX can be found on zipzoomfly.com for an extra $10 than the 750TX from newegg.com. And then they are actually the same price after the MIR, so I decided to go ahead and pick one up for my new build and figured I'd let people know about that deal too.
July 5, 2009 11:36:45 AM

Would the 750TX not be able to manage two cards very well?
Nevertheless, that's a pretty good deal I think, so I may very well jump on it. Thanks for the heads-up!
July 6, 2009 4:30:00 AM

@AngieCC the CM 690 like astrodudepsu said is a very roomy case, suffiicent space for all the components to fit in...and has very good airflow too...You can add more fans to it if you feel it is required...
Get this fan...
Scythe SY1225SL12M 120mm "Slipstream" Case Fan
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And as for 850TX, if you get a good deal, then go ahead and get that...
July 6, 2009 5:46:06 AM

EDIT: Double post :|
July 25, 2009 3:55:57 AM

Hi guys!
Sorry it's been awhile, but I just thought I'd let you guys know I bought and put together everything. I ended up going with the CM V8 instead of the Mugen 2, and I have to say I never thought it would be so huge! Surprised it could fit in the case actually!
gkay09: I did get a good deal on the 850TX, <$100 I believe. :) 

I ran into a few problems, most of them newbie issues (wait, I have to connect stuff to the optical drive instead of just sliding it in? :) ), but my biggest issue was dropping the CPU on the motherboard pins. I bent two of them and spent about 30 minutes with a needle, a razor, and a magnify glass fixing it. My question though is how do I know if I did a good job? (1) My system is running currently and has been for awhile now, so does that mean I did okay bending them back? I don't want it to break 2 weeks down the road if possible. :( 

Sadly, I'm having driver problems with my wireless card here. I was unable to find Win7 drivers apparently, would Vista 64-bit work? (2) I found this site for newer drivers, but they didn't register either.

Also, I read about different programs you can use to stress test your CPU/GPU, what are some good programs to use for this? (3) I remember reading that stress-testing will help to break the CPU while it's still under RMA, but I just cannot recall the article name. :( 

Thanks again for all the help guys, it's really made it a lot easier. And if this isn't an appropriate place for my new questions, I'll move it to wherever indicated.

EDIT: I found an article, it was Prime95 for CPU, Memtest for Memory, and ATItool or Rivatuner for GPU. Perhaps I should I have looked a lil better before coming in here to whine! :) 
July 25, 2009 4:57:39 AM

It looks like Microsoft has a driver available through Windows Update. Here's a few quotes from Newegg reviews:

"The Windows 7 64-bit RC did not come with the driver on the disc, but found it immediately as an "Important Update" when I connected via ethernet."

"Drivers weren't an issue and worked flawlessly on 32/64-bit versions of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and the Windows 7 B/RC."

"contrary to what everyone has said this does work with Vista 64 bit and Windows 7 64 bit.
http://www.ralinktech.com/ralink/Home/Support/Windows.h...
choose the driver for (RT256x/RT266x) before you install this into your computer and it will work fine."

"Works on Windows 7 x64 (let Windows install Ralink drivers--new driver released 6/9/2009)"

"CD in package didn't work properly, so I downloaded the 2.1 driver off the Edimax site and it works perfectly with Windows 7 (7077 build) 64bit."

You get the idea. :)  It should work fine.
July 25, 2009 5:18:36 AM

shortstuff_mt said:
It looks like Microsoft has a driver available through Windows Update. Here's a few quotes from Newegg reviews:

"The Windows 7 64-bit RC did not come with the driver on the disc, but found it immediately as an "Important Update" when I connected via ethernet."

"Drivers weren't an issue and worked flawlessly on 32/64-bit versions of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and the Windows 7 B/RC."

"contrary to what everyone has said this does work with Vista 64 bit and Windows 7 64 bit.
http://www.ralinktech.com/ralink/Home/Support/Windows.h...
choose the driver for (RT256x/RT266x) before you install this into your computer and it will work fine."

"Works on Windows 7 x64 (let Windows install Ralink drivers--new driver released 6/9/2009)"

"CD in package didn't work properly, so I downloaded the 2.1 driver off the Edimax site and it works perfectly with Windows 7 (7077 build) 64bit."

You get the idea. :)  It should work fine.


Thanks for the help! I ended up taking the ethernet cord out of my game system and plugged that in to update Windows 7, and I noticed that update. But thanks for the link, evidently I was downloading the wrong file.
Installing it now though, hopefully it works well!
July 25, 2009 6:09:54 AM

That was greatastic, worked after 3 minutes and practically no hassle. Everything should be like that. :D 

Going to run Prime95 overnight and see how that runs, so that'll be good.

And I guess since my computer is running nicely now, that means I did a good job on rebending my motherboard pins. Once I decide on that, it'll be overclock time I suppose.
July 25, 2009 6:14:29 AM

Yea, if your computer passes an overnight Prime95 run it's fine. It's a good thing you were patient enough to carefully fix the pins.
July 25, 2009 6:26:59 AM

Well, I'll tell you I had to wait awhile to be able to have a cool enough hand to work that delicately after having dropped the cpu on it. I didn't realize how tiny it would be, I needed a magnify glass just to see how the pins were shaped.
Oh well, at least it posted first try, so that was nice.

I'm thinking of buying another harddrive to load games and programs onto, since I'm going to end up wiping this one whenever I change off of Windows 7 RC. I know the 640WD is popular because of platter density, so would it be wise to get one of those for doing this? Or would it not make so much difference because my OS will be on another drive?
!