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Building a system, stuck on deciding on motherboard etc.

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July 6, 2009 5:24:37 PM

Hello,

I am editing this post because I have decided on a few things. I have picked my processor. I went with the Core i7 over AMD because of the sweet price at Microcenter $199. Here is the rest of the thread.

I am building a new system and I am not sure which route to take in terms of which motherboard etc. Here is some info on what I am building a computer for. I am building this computer for music production and not gaming. Software I use is FL Studio and Protools as well as plugging in instruments to the computer for recording. I need a computer system that won't bogg down when I have all these softwares and plug-ins open. I already bought some parts and I am looking to spend $500 more, but no more than $600 more.

Once again, I am not a gamer, but when it comes to overclocking, I might do a small overclock, but I will not be overclocking like most gamers do.

For a motherboard, I am really not sure which one to decide on. Here are a few brands I have been looking at are EVGA, Gigabyte and ASUS. What about other brands like Intel, Foxconn, MSI, DFI?

Since I am not a gamer, do you still recommend I get a cooler for the CPU?

Any recommendations for Memory to go with my Core i7 processor. I bought this video card from Best Buy the VisionTek HD 4350 ATI Radeon Video Card, should I keep or upgrade it?

For Sound card people have recommended M-Audio an EMU for music production, What do you guys think?

Any recommendations for a good thermal paste?

I am using Windows XP 32bit, but I will need to get a 64bit so I can take full advantage of the memory. I am leaning towards the Windows Vista 64bit with free upgrade to Windows 7. Should I go with this? Anybody have any issues with vista?

Here is a copy of my build so far.

Jeff's Final Build -- http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...


Thank you very much for your time

More about : building system stuck deciding motherboard

July 6, 2009 5:41:25 PM

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

If you go the AMD route, you can save plenty of money by buying a cheaper motherboard like the 770. If you buy an i7, your only chipset option is the X58, which has crossfire and other options that you don't need at all. The linked Gigabyte 770 will support the newest AMD processors and DDR3 memory. (4GB of DDR3 barely costs any more than good DDR2 these days).
July 6, 2009 6:05:02 PM

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

If you go the AMD route, you can save plenty of money by buying a cheaper motherboard like the 770. If you buy an i7, your only chipset option is the X58, which has crossfire and other options that you don't need at all. The linked Gigabyte 770 will support the newest AMD processors and DDR3 memory. (4GB of DDR3 barely costs any more than good DDR2 these days).



Thank you for your answer. I am leaning towards the AMD that I linked above. I will consider it. Do you think I should go the AMD route?
Related resources
July 6, 2009 6:44:04 PM

I certainly like AMD more, and there's nothing better in the price range. Go for it!
July 6, 2009 7:19:56 PM

Niktavalos said:
I certainly like AMD more, and there's nothing better in the price range. Go for it!



Thank you. Can I ask you why? People tend to say Intel is better. What are your thoughts on my wish lists?

Thank you again.
a c 266 V Motherboard
July 6, 2009 7:30:11 PM

I do not see your application as particularly cpu intensive. Correct me if I am wrong. If that is the case, a cpu like the E8400 would do well.

If you do need quad cores, and lots of cpu power, then the i7-920 which you were interested in can not be beat today. Such a build will be only about $100 more than the amd quad, and the delta will be gone in a few months when the i5 series launches.

The azza solano is a nice looking gaming case that I have not seen before. But--- do you really want a gaming case?

Look at the Antec Solo. It is a very quiet case which I imagine would be a desireable feature if you are listening to music.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Since you are not gaming, the 4350 will perform just fine.
However, you might want to exchange it for a quiet fanless vga card such as the XFX version:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 6, 2009 7:47:27 PM

geofelt said:
I do not see your application as particularly cpu intensive. Correct me if I am wrong. If that is the case, a cpu like the E8400 would do well.

If you do need quad cores, and lots of cpu power, then the i7-920 which you were interested in can not be beat today. Such a build will be only about $100 more than the amd quad, and the delta will be gone in a few months when the i5 series launches.

The azza solano is a nice looking gaming case that I have not seen before. But--- do you really want a gaming case?

Look at the Antec Solo. It is a very quiet case which I imagine would be a desireable feature if you are listening to music.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Since you are not gaming, the 4350 will perform just fine.
However, you might want to exchange it for a quiet fanless vga card such as the XFX version:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Thank you very much. When is the i5 coming out? My software can get to be cpu intensive depending on the projects and what and how many software I am using.

I might be getting myself confused, when a computer is getting bogged down, does that have anything to do with the cpu or memory?

If so, then I might need a fast processor. What do you think of the AMD I linked above? I am interested in a Quad core.

Even though it might be a gaming case, I like a nice designed and well featured case.
July 6, 2009 8:08:00 PM

rocknje said:
Thank you. Can I ask you why? People tend to say Intel is better. What are your thoughts on my wish lists?

Thank you again.



I like AMD because I don't have a great budget and they're more accommodating to that than Intel. I know they can't quite keep up at the highest level now, but AMD has competitive pricing against the Intel Q9000 series and below.

As for the wishlist, it's mostly good, except that a 750W power supply is massive overkill for a system without a gaming video card. A 500W-600W would suffice.
a c 266 V Motherboard
July 6, 2009 8:24:57 PM

The number one cause of computer slowdowns is a lack of enough ram to keep all your work in ram at the same time. Fortunately, ram is cheap. Speed and timings have little effect, just get enough. 4gb at least.

Malware may also cause severe problems.

For gaming, the power of the vga configuration is all important.
With few exceptions a duo at 3.0 or better will give you a good gaming experience with any singlevga card up to a GTX295.

For everything else, the hard drive seems to be the limiting factor. Unfortunately only a good SSD will help, but they are pricey today, and of limited capacity. By the end of the year, we should see some better values in ssd's.

As to the cpu, most modern dual cpu's operating at 2.5 or better will be fine. A quad is only of help with multicore optimized programs or heavy multitasking of several cpu bound programs. If such is the case, the i7 with 4 cores plus the appearance of 4 more via hyperthreading is very good.

I think amd quads are a good value in their niche. They are more expensive than dual cores, but can't touch the i7 for multi core performance.
The launch if i5 seems to be gated by the availability of motherboards with the P55 chipset. Prototypes have been recently shown, so I expect availibility in the fall, in time for Christmas.
a b V Motherboard
July 6, 2009 8:26:03 PM

Ok so here is the deal as far as Intel and AMD go.....

First of all if you are not building a gaming rig you dont have to worry about performance when it comes to AMD. You can get the 955 that you posted and as far as music production goes you will NEVER max out all 4 cores. So the 955 is more than enough for your needs.

Btw Intel is not better than AMD. Nor is AMD better than Intel. It just comes down to personal preference and what you will actually need when it comes to your computing needs. Intel does have faster processors, thats a fact but in real world aplications you will never max out a high end INTEL no matter what you are doing.

So basically if you spend 1500.00$ on a i7 build specifically for music production, the only thing you gain over a similar AMD build is bragging rights and an empty wallet.

The clear choice here is an AMD system. On a side note the HT series audio cards are top notch for your needs. Hope this helps.
July 6, 2009 9:05:07 PM

geofelt said:
The number one cause of computer slowdowns is a lack of enough ram to keep all your work in ram at the same time. Fortunately, ram is cheap. Speed and timings have little effect, just get enough. 4gb at least.

Malware may also cause severe problems.

For gaming, the power of the vga configuration is all important.
With few exceptions a duo at 3.0 or better will give you a good gaming experience with any singlevga card up to a GTX295.

For everything else, the hard drive seems to be the limiting factor. Unfortunately only a good SSD will help, but they are pricey today, and of limited capacity. By the end of the year, we should see some better values in ssd's.

As to the cpu, most modern dual cpu's operating at 2.5 or better will be fine. A quad is only of help with multicore optimized programs or heavy multitasking of several cpu bound programs. If such is the case, the i7 with 4 cores plus the appearance of 4 more via hyperthreading is very good.

I think amd quads are a good value in their niche. They are more expensive than dual cores, but can't touch the i7 for multi core performance.
The launch if i5 seems to be gated by the availability of motherboards with the P55 chipset. Prototypes have been recently shown, so I expect availibility in the fall, in time for Christmas.



Thank you for your explanation. I have XP 32 bit, should I upgrade to a 64bit? From your knowledge, what do you think of i5? Cheaper? Affordable?
July 6, 2009 9:11:28 PM

OvrClkr said:
Ok so here is the deal as far as Intel and AMD go.....

First of all if you are not building a gaming rig you dont have to worry about performance when it comes to AMD. You can get the 955 that you posted and as far as music production goes you will NEVER max out all 4 cores. So the 955 is more than enough for your needs.

Btw Intel is not better than AMD. Nor is AMD better than Intel. It just comes down to personal preference and what you will actually need when it comes to your computing needs. Intel does have faster processors, thats a fact but in real world aplications you will never max out a high end INTEL no matter what you are doing.

So basically if you spend 1500.00$ on a i7 build specifically for music production, the only thing you gain over a similar AMD build is bragging rights and an empty wallet.

The clear choice here is an AMD system. On a side note the HT series audio cards are top notch for your needs. Hope this helps.



Thank you for your explanation. I am getting closer now to what I will decide on. If it came down to the AMD 955 or another Intel processor maybe the one before the i7 etc. Would you still tell me to stick with the AMD?

So, if I stick with the AMD 955, what motherboard would you recommend? What do you think of my wishlists? What memory would you recomend? Soundcard?
a b V Motherboard
July 6, 2009 9:53:15 PM

Yes indeed, I would stick to AMD due to the fact that for your needs it comes down to price/performance ratio. For example if you are rich and have no patience whatsoever i would recommend the i7 build. But most of us now at days are not able to throw away money and when it comes to price vs. performance we want the best deal for our hard earned money. Its just like I said, with the 955 you will have PLENTY horsepower for your computing needs, just make sure you get some nice DDR3 ram and good reliable motherboard and you are set to do whatever you want at blazing fast speeds.

Btw i will get home in about 30 min and come up with a nice setup that will work perfect as far as music production is concerned.
July 6, 2009 10:11:55 PM

OvrClkr said:
Yes indeed, I would stick to AMD due to the fact that for your needs it comes down to price/performance ratio. For example if you are rich and have no patience whatsoever i would recommend the i7 build. But most of us now at days are not able to throw away money and when it comes to price vs. performance we want the best deal for our hard earned money. Its just like I said, with the 955 you will have PLENTY horsepower for your computing needs, just make sure you get some nice DDR3 ram and good reliable motherboard and you are set to do whatever you want at blazing fast speeds.

Btw i will get home in about 30 min and come up with a nice setup that will work perfect as far as music production is concerned.


Thank you my friend. You are helping me tremendously. Thank you for your time and can't wait to see your build recommendation. What do you think about downloading the Windows 7 RC? In order for me to use more RAM I need the 64 bit. I am currently using Windows XP 32 bit.

I am interested in the Azza Solano 1000, what do you think about this case? Also, Antec 902 or1200, Thermaltake V9 or Armor Series, Cooler master HAF 932 are those ones so far I am interested in.
a b V Motherboard
July 6, 2009 11:01:17 PM

Ok, so if you are interested in having massive space i would recommend both the 1200 or the HAF 932. I love both but Antec has always been my favorite brand as far as cases go, so its up to you to decide what case to get. Go to Newegg.com and look at both cases inside and out.

Now if space is not your concern i would recommend the 902 or HAF 922. The Azza Solano is a sweet deal for a full tower case but since its new and hardly recommended I would rather go with a case that's been on the market for a wile.

July 6, 2009 11:24:36 PM

OvrClkr said:
Ok, so if you are interested in having massive space i would recommend both the 1200 or the HAF 932. I love both but Antec has always been my favorite brand as far as cases go, so its up to you to decide what case to get. Go to Newegg.com and look at both cases inside and out.

Now if space is not your concern i would recommend the 902 or HAF 922. The Azza Solano is a sweet deal for a full tower case but since its new and hardly recommended I would rather go with a case that's been on the market for a wile.


Thank you for your input. Will consider. Looking forward to your build recommendations.
a b V Motherboard
July 6, 2009 11:36:08 PM

Now we start with the hardware....

Here is what i would recommend for your new Music Production PC.

AMD Platform :

Antec 1200 - 180.00$
GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P - 79.99$
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz - 245.00$
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - 30.00$ or stock cooler.
2x 2GB G.SKILL 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 RAM - 64.00$ 4GB is more than enough for your needs, and remember its DDR3.
2x Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache - 150.00$ 75.00$ x2
2x LG Black DVD-RW - 50.00$ 25.00$x2
AuzenTech AZT-FORTE X-Fi Forte 7.1 Low Profile PCI Express Sound Card - 139.99$
EVGA 512-P3-1150-TR GeForce GTS 250 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 - 119.99$ you can go with a lower cost video card if you want, but this card is a beast for the price.
CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V - 99.99
As far as the OS, if FL Studio and Protools work well with Vista then go ahead and purchase a copy of Vista, if not go with XP Pro Sp3 and you should be fine.

You can add or remove from this list if you you like. This is just the parts that I would buy to make sure i would not have to upgrade in about 2-3 years.

These prices are based off Newegg.com, meaning that if you live here in the states I would highly recommend you buy all the parts off this website.

a b V Motherboard
July 6, 2009 11:38:53 PM

You can always add your other peripherals (hardware) when in need.

On a side note : Do you have a specific budget for this system?
July 7, 2009 12:47:12 AM

OvrClkr said:
You can always add your other peripherals (hardware) when in need.

On a side note : Do you have a specific budget for this system?


Cool. Thank you very much for your help. From stated above. I have about $500 - $600 more from what I spent here http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

As you can see from the list, I already bought the power supply and hard drives. What do you think of the 22X Multiformal DVD Writer Black SATA Model 1160i - Retail... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... compared to the LG DVD Burner?

For memory
--------------------
what do you think of the Mushkin hp? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

Motherboards
----------------------
I have to look again. Do any motherboards come with more than 2 PCI Slots? I Really want a motherboard that has more than 2? What are your thoughts about that?

What about this Gigabyte? What is the difference? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Out of this list would you recommend any other ones?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

List 2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

What about this MSI? It has good Ratings.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Do a lot of internal cards come as PCI E now? If not, how can I get a motherboard with more than 2 PCI Slots?


Here is a list

Sound Card
--------------------
Is the AuzenTech better than Creative Labs, EMU, M-Audio and Asus? Some people in the music industry recommended EMU or M-Audio. If you think I can do better with the AuzenTech then I will give it a go.

Does this do more than Dual Monitor? Also, Since I am not playing games, should I still get this? I am only using it for music production, Movies, Music playing like on winamp etc. Also, is this card going to be too big? The full tower case should give me enough room. If not, do you recommend anything smaller?

I have the VisionTek Radeon HD ATI 4350, I bought recently and can still return if you feel I need to get what you mentioned above.



OS
--------------------

Now for operating system, I have XP Professional 32 bit. I will do research, but until I do, how much will it cost to go to 64 bit or would it be better to download the Windows 7 RC version from Microsoft.... http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/download.asp...

a b V Motherboard
July 7, 2009 3:15:04 AM

Ok as far as the DVD-RW, ram and motherboard they are all great but they are more towards gaming. If you want to game as well the go for it. I was just trying to come up with a system for music production. As far as the 4350 that will be perfect for audio creation but not for gaming in my opinion. Auzentech and HT are the best as far as audio goes. I have tried all brands and this is basically the best for 7.1 HD audio and finally as far as the OS I would stay with Win Xp Pro till Win 7 comes out in November.
July 7, 2009 4:06:11 AM

OvrClkr said:
Ok as far as the DVD-RW, ram and motherboard they are all great but they are more towards gaming. If you want to game as well the go for it. I was just trying to come up with a system for music production. As far as the 4350 that will be perfect for audio creation but not for gaming in my opinion. Auzentech and HT are the best as far as audio goes. I have tried all brands and this is basically the best for 7.1 HD audio and finally as far as the OS I would stay with Win Xp Pro till Win 7 comes out in November.



Thank you very much for your time. I am feeling very comfortable now on what I am going to do for my system thanks to you and others. If you or anybody else has anything to add please don't hesitate to respond.

I would like to ask you another thing about motherboards, as a learning experience for me. What made you decide on that Gigabyte model compared to like a Asus, MSI, Foxconn, DSI, etc. Also, how come there are only 2 PCI Slots in motherboards?

Since there are 2 PCI Slots in the motherboard that you have chosen, would you recommend saving those Slots for other uses? Meaning, that since the board has 8 USB slots, and I do have 2, 4 slot usb cards, I should maybe return those and just use the motherboard USB Ports? Are those motherboard USB ports equivelent to the USB Card PCI's?
a b V Motherboard
July 7, 2009 5:01:27 AM

Well when I choose a motherboard i normally go with what I have used before. That way i know what works and what to stay away from. Another way of choosing a board is reading A LOT of reviews specially from Newegg. That Gigabyte motherboard is very stable and comes with solid caps. Another motherboard I highly recommend is the GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, I currently own this board and it is by far the most stable and highly reviewed AMD motherboard out at the moment. I used to buy Asus (AMD) and Foxconn but they just don't make them like they used to. The only MSI board i would go with is the MSI 790FX-GD70 AM3 AMD 790FX. Now at days PCI slots are scarce. You dont really use them unless you need to install a wireless card or an audio card. As far as USB ports you shouldn't need more than 4 to 8. Unless you want to buy every single USB device known to man-kind... hehe..And yes the mb's USB ports are equivalent to the USB card PCI's if you want to put it that way.
July 7, 2009 6:08:44 AM

OvrClkr said:
Ok so here is the deal as far as Intel and AMD go.....

First of all if you are not building a gaming rig you dont have to worry about performance when it comes to AMD. You can get the 955 that you posted and as far as music production goes you will NEVER max out all 4 cores. So the 955 is more than enough for your needs.

Btw Intel is not better than AMD. Nor is AMD better than Intel. It just comes down to personal preference and what you will actually need when it comes to your computing needs. Intel does have faster processors, thats a fact but in real world aplications you will never max out a high end INTEL no matter what you are doing.

So basically if you spend 1500.00$ on a i7 build specifically for music production, the only thing you gain over a similar AMD build is bragging rights and an empty wallet.

The clear choice here is an AMD system. On a side note the HT series audio cards are top notch for your needs. Hope this helps.


Go tell that to a video developer using Maya 3d, or a Photoshop cs4 user doing massive rendering or an Acad user doing a re-draw after a trivial change on a 30GB file... There is production software out there that will use every thread of every core and max them out for quite long periods. And I am sure that in the music arena, once you get into multi-channel production the same situation may very well be true.
July 8, 2009 12:51:39 PM

OvrClkr said:
finally as far as the OS I would stay with Win Xp Pro till Win 7 comes out in November.



If I stick with XP Pro should I atleast upgrade to the 64 bit one, so I can take full advantage of the memory?


For everyone else...

It looks like I will need to upgrade my operating system from XP Professsional to a 64 bit Operating System, so I can take full advantage of the memory.

Which one should I consider

Windows XP Professional 64 bit
Windows Vista Pro 64 bit
Windows 7 RC 64 bit

Thank you.
a b V Motherboard
July 8, 2009 3:18:56 PM

Like I said, if the software that you will be using is compatible with an x64 OS then go ahead but I do not recommend buying an x64 OS. Thats just my opinion due to inmature drivers and support.

On the other hand once Win 7 comes out and we have tested it, then you will be able to choose between XP Pro x64, Vista x64 and Win 7 x64. For now it looks like it will be a stable OS but we will have to wait and see.......
a b V Motherboard
July 8, 2009 3:22:35 PM

croc said:
Go tell that to a video developer using Maya 3d, or a Photoshop cs4 user doing massive rendering or an Acad user doing a re-draw after a trivial change on a 30GB file... There is production software out there that will use every thread of every core and max them out for quite long periods. And I am sure that in the music arena, once you get into multi-channel production the same situation may very well be true.


I agree but I dont think he will be using any of those programs in the near future..... The 955 should be more than enough for him and he will be able to overclock that chip by 400Mhz just by raising the multiplier.
a c 266 V Motherboard
July 8, 2009 4:31:51 PM

With your budget, I think it is silly not to consider the i7 920 today. All told, it will cost you about $100 more than a intel Qxxx or an amd phenom system, and the performance difference is no contest. You may not need the power for gaming today, but if this is a build that is to last, then get a bit more than you need up front.

Photoshop CS4 is one of the few programs I know of that can take advantage of multi cores and more than 2/3gb of ram.
The i7-920 with hyperthreading is effectively 8 cores, and 6gb is a typical amount of ram.

To use 4gb or more, you need a 64 bit OS. I would jump on the windows-7 home premium upgrade with a pre-order price of $50. Do this before July 11 or lose it. In the interim, download and run the windows-7 release candidate; it runs well.
If you have any doubts about compatibility or your current hardware or programs, download and run the windows-7 upgrade advisor program from microsoft:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyi...
July 9, 2009 6:54:38 AM

Thank you all for your help and assistance on this matter. Much appreciative. When it comes to the OS. I will have plenty of time by Sat. to do full research to see if my software will handle Win 7, vista etc. and I will make a decision from there. From what I am getting from you all, if my software can handle any of the OS 64 bits, I think I will download the free Win 7 RC. If anybody has any objections please let me know.

I heard that the The AMD Phenom II X4 965 is supposed to be on the way with a clock speed of 3.4 GHz! It is also said to be priced at about $250. Has anyone heard about this? If so, should I wait for this one?

This might of been mentioned above, but when it comes down to the Core i7 which is at 2.67ghz and then the AMD 955 which is at 3.2ghz, why would I go with the Core i7 920 when the AMD 955 is faster? Probably a dumb question, but I am new with these sort of things.
a b V Motherboard
July 9, 2009 6:57:50 AM

A setup with the 920 will be faster = more expensive. Not by a long-shot but it will be faster.
July 9, 2009 6:58:08 AM

geofelt said:
With your budget, I think it is silly not to consider the i7 920 today. All told, it will cost you about $100 more than a intel Qxxx or an amd phenom system, and the performance difference is no contest. You may not need the power for gaming today, but if this is a build that is to last, then get a bit more than you need up front.

Photoshop CS4 is one of the few programs I know of that can take advantage of multi cores and more than 2/3gb of ram.
The i7-920 with hyperthreading is effectively 8 cores, and 6gb is a typical amount of ram.

To use 4gb or more, you need a 64 bit OS. I would jump on the windows-7 home premium upgrade with a pre-order price of $50. Do this before July 11 or lose it. In the interim, download and run the windows-7 release candidate; it runs well.
If you have any doubts about compatibility or your current hardware or programs, download and run the windows-7 upgrade advisor program from microsoft:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyi...



Thank you for your response. If I were to go with the Core i7, what motherboard etc. would you recommend to go with it? I was planning on buying the Win7 to get that discount. Like said above, if my software can handle Win 7 RC, I will give it a go, unless I get tons of objections.
July 9, 2009 7:00:33 AM

OvrClkr said:
A setup with the 920 will be faster = more expensive. Not by a long-shot but it will be faster.


Thank you. For my understanding, what makes the i7 faster when the specs show the AMD faster.
a c 266 V Motherboard
July 9, 2009 11:06:43 PM

Do not look just at the clock speeds. The i7-920 at stock 2.66 speeds is actually faster than the phenom ii x4 955 BE at 3.2:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-x4-955,2278-...
There are architectual differences that explain the diffrence in performance. The X4-955 is a good chip and priced competitively. The 920 with a trivial overclock will operate at 3.33 and higher, the speed of the i7-965. The phenom 955 can also be overclocked, but it is my perception that higher overclocks are not as high, and come harder.

To assess you readiness for windows 7, and 64 bit, download and run the windows-7 upgrade advisor from microsoft:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyi...

I have been satisfied with the asus P6T deluxe, but any of the X58 mogherboards from Asus, EVGA, or gigabyte should be good. Look for one with 6 ram slots, and avoid the extreme overclocker's boards which are very pricey.
a b V Motherboard
July 9, 2009 11:16:00 PM

Thanks geofelt for posting that, very informative.... 8)
July 10, 2009 5:16:07 AM

geofelt said:
Do not look just at the clock speeds. The i7-920 at stock 2.66 speeds is actually faster than the phenom ii x4 955 BE at 3.2:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-x4-955,2278-...
There are architectual differences that explain the diffrence in performance. The X4-955 is a good chip and priced competitively. The 920 with a trivial overclock will operate at 3.33 and higher, the speed of the i7-965. The phenom 955 can also be overclocked, but it is my perception that higher overclocks are not as high, and come harder.

To assess you readiness for windows 7, and 64 bit, download and run the windows-7 upgrade advisor from microsoft:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyi...

I have been satisfied with the asus P6T deluxe, but any of the X58 mogherboards from Asus, EVGA, or gigabyte should be good. Look for one with 6 ram slots, and avoid the extreme overclocker's boards which are very pricey.


Thank you for the info. Helped a lot. I found out that microcenter is selling the Core i7 for $199 http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... Do you guys like this deal? If so, do you think I should then take the Core i7 route then? Is this the decsion decider?

This weekend I will assess my readiness as well as spend more time on yours as well as everybody elses replies. Please keep an eye out on this thread as I probably will have more questions.

I think I am leaning on getting the Vista 64bit with free upgrade to Win 7.
a b V Motherboard
July 10, 2009 5:27:14 AM

I would buy that i7 for 200.00 in a heartbeat. Just make sure its not an error and get charged later for the full 279.99. You can buy a LGA 1366 motherboard for less than 179.99..Heck there are a couple that go for 149.99....Its a no brainer....350.00 for an i7 and MB is a steal.
July 10, 2009 5:38:51 AM

OvrClkr said:
I would buy that i7 for 200.00 in a heartbeat. Just make sure its not an error and get charged later for the full 279.99. You can buy a LGA 1366 motherboard for less than 179.99..Heck there are a couple that go for 149.99....Its a no brainer....350.00 for an i7 and MB is a steal.



I was thinking the same thing with that price is kind of a no brainer, but still wanted to hear what people thought. Saturday, I will make my decision and then order from there.

I did make sure by adding it to the shopping cart and it showed up as $199 = $220 including tax.

I will throw out some Motherboard ideas on Sat to finalize the deal if I go the i7 route, which looks good I will.
a b V Motherboard
July 10, 2009 5:46:09 AM

Meh........ you still save 60.00$ compared to other sites...
July 10, 2009 12:49:07 PM

OvrClkr said:
Meh........ you still save 60.00$ compared to other sites...


That $60 can go towards a better motherboard. I was thinking, how is Microcenter selling it at this price? They probably bought this product in bulk.
a b V Motherboard
July 10, 2009 3:25:57 PM

I asked myself the same question yesterday night.... They must have purchased a cargo ship full of i7's lol.....
a c 266 V Motherboard
July 10, 2009 3:59:15 PM

rocknje said:
That $60 can go towards a better motherboard. I was thinking, how is Microcenter selling it at this price? They probably bought this product in bulk.

I wonder also. $200 is less than the 1000 unit price from intel, which is $284.
http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=37147

I think they must have gotten a better price from Intel to move the old C0 stepping units.

Or, perhaps microcenter knows that they will make it up when customers order motherboards and ram from them.
July 11, 2009 5:30:30 AM

Well, I purchased the Core i7 from Microcenter this morning. I am picking it up at the store on Sat Morning. So, decision made. Now I need to decide on mother board for the core i7 etc. For that price, it is hard not to go for it. I will ask them tomorrow how they are selling the processor at that price.

Ok, I will write more tomorrow for another update. Thanks again.
July 11, 2009 11:00:52 PM

Hey everyone, once again here is the link of my final build here... http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

I now need to pick a motherboard for the i7, Memory, Sound Card etc. I will update in a few. If you have any recommendations, please don't hesitate to tell. I am trying to make my decision by tonight or tomorrow morning the latest.

Thanks again everyone.
July 12, 2009 3:51:30 AM

OvrClkr said:
Now we start with the hardware....

Here is what i would recommend for your new Music Production PC.

AMD Platform :

Antec 1200 - 180.00$
GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P - 79.99$
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz - 245.00$
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - 30.00$ or stock cooler.
2x 2GB G.SKILL 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 RAM - 64.00$ 4GB is more than enough for your needs, and remember its DDR3.
2x Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache - 150.00$ 75.00$ x2
2x LG Black DVD-RW - 50.00$ 25.00$x2
AuzenTech AZT-FORTE X-Fi Forte 7.1 Low Profile PCI Express Sound Card - 139.99$
EVGA 512-P3-1150-TR GeForce GTS 250 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 - 119.99$ you can go with a lower cost video card if you want, but this card is a beast for the price.
CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V - 99.99
As far as the OS, if FL Studio and Protools work well with Vista then go ahead and purchase a copy of Vista, if not go with XP Pro Sp3 and you should be fine.

You can add or remove from this list if you you like. This is just the parts that I would buy to make sure i would not have to upgrade in about 2-3 years.

These prices are based off Newegg.com, meaning that if you live here in the states I would highly recommend you buy all the parts off this website.


Besides the processor and motherboard, would you recommend any of these for the Core i7 build?
July 12, 2009 5:29:08 AM

I have made a category list for you all to see. Please click on the links below to see the categories. These are just a few items that I have either been recommended or came across of. I will be adding more.

Please let me know, which one you like. I will go with the product with the most votes.

Sound card List http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

Memory List http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

Video Card List http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

Motherboard List http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

Also, I might need to get a heatsink or cooler, if you think I need to get one which one should I get?

Thank you all again.
a b V Motherboard
July 12, 2009 5:42:52 AM

I don't recommend Vista at all. If you want something newer than XP go with Win 7.

As far as the sound card goes, the XtremeGamer is enough for your needs. Personally I don't see big difference compared to the Titanium Fatal1ty Champion Series or Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Series. NO Dolby or DTS decode on S/pdif input. S/pdif pass-through does not work with 64 bit OS.

HT has better cards than Creative. The HT Claro Omega blows away all Creative cards and the sound is crispier, specially in games. Has no issues with 64 bit Os's..

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 12, 2009 6:49:56 AM

OvrClkr said:
I don't recommend Vista at all. If you want something newer than XP go with Win 7.

As far as the sound card goes, the XtremeGamer is enough for your needs. Personally I don't see big difference compared to the Titanium Fatal1ty Champion Series or Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Series. NO Dolby or DTS decode on S/pdif input. S/pdif pass-through does not work with 64 bit OS.

HT has better cards than Creative. The HT Claro Omega blows away all Creative cards and the sound is crispier, specially in games. Has no issues with 64 bit Os's..

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


Ok, I have to look up in your posts here, you are saying go with the Win 7 RC free and then pay for the retail version when it comes out? I get mixed reviews from people I have talked with about it. Some say it is stable, some say it has minor issues, some say it is better to go with vista for now. Also, I missed the Win 7 promotion.

Which one is the ExtremeGamer? So, if it came down to it would you say the Auzentech or the HT?

From my motherboard list, which one do you think I should get for the i7 build?

Video card, should I stick with your recommendation: EVGA 512-P3-1150-TR GeForce GTS 250 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 or what about the ones in my list?

In the memory list, do you like any of those that are listed there?

Thank you again for your help.
a b V Motherboard
July 12, 2009 7:10:37 AM

Ok as far as Vista, if you want the free upgrade later to Win 7 then go ahead. But i don't know if the offer still stands....

For the sound go with the HT Omega Claro.

For the video I would go with the 250.

For the memory get : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As far as the motherboard :

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

or

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

Both are awesome,as far as music production I recommend the Asrock due to its a lot cheaper and it is very stable. Most motherboards that you listed are more towards gaming.


July 12, 2009 7:45:09 AM

OvrClkr said:
Ok as far as Vista, if you want the free upgrade later to Win 7 then go ahead. But i don't know if the offer still stands....

For the sound go with the HT Omega Claro.

For the video I would go with the 250.

For the memory get : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As far as the motherboard :

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

or

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

Both are awesome,as far as music production I recommend the Asrock due to its a lot cheaper and it is very stable. Most motherboards that you listed are more towards gaming.


Thank you once again. As for the Vista to upgrade win 7 free deal. Here is the link again..

http://promotions.newegg.com/Microsoft/Windows7/TG_OEM/...

So far it is still there and there is no expiration date.


Actually, I am at amazon.com and I remember adding the Windows 7 in the shopping cart and it is still there with the promotion upgrade price of $99. Do you think now I should just use the RC version and buy the upgrade for $99?
a b V Motherboard
July 12, 2009 8:10:52 AM

Personally I don't use anything other than XP PRO. I am waiting on win 7 to come out full force before I upgrade. I have had so many issues with Vista that it got to the point that I was trying to track down Bill Gates to actually ask him for a refund. Not that I was gonna get a refund but wanted him to look at my angry face and realize that he and his pre-school interns did a horrible job. A year ago I purchased an Alienware laptop to play my games any where I would go (Vacations, friends house, flights, etc........ So I went ahead and bought it with Vista Home Crash Edition. I thought I would give it a try and experience the new direct x10 playing Crysis and WoW...It seemed nice till I started to get bsods and wierd error's for absolutely NO reason. There was no overclocking whatsoever on the laptop, everything was stock so there was absolutely no reason for the pc to start craping up on me. So from there on I said screw Vista and purchased XP PRO, I have not had 1 issue since.

On top of that support for XP will be obsolete soon....So Win 7 better be stable or we are doomed....That's when it will be time to pull out the Atari 2600 and play some stable PONG.
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