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1st Time Building (looking @ i7 920) ~$1500.00

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  • Intel i7
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July 7, 2009 3:12:00 AM

Looking to build an i7 system as I have been using a slightly upgraded 1.8GHz Pentium 4. As you can see I don't update very often and not looking to have to update within 5 yrs.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: By end of month 7/09 or next

BUDGET RANGE:$1,000-1,700 USD

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

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, tigerdirect.com, other reputable websites, chain stores (bestbuy, staples, etc though they might be a bit higher easier to exchange/ return parts)

PARTS PREFERENCES: Have somewhat of an idea just missing a few parts needing to make sure that won't be NECESSARY to upgrade within 5 years!

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: looking at the

ASUS VH226H Black 21.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would like a quiet PC not having to make any MAJOR upgrades within 5 years


This is what I have configured so far based on my friends suggestions and my own research:

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

ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thermaltake W0116RU 750W Complies with ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V version SLI Ready CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM

I'm still tossing around savings vs speed/function on memory and gpu. Here is what I'm considering

OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C9 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA 896-P3-1255-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The GTX 260 was suggested to be overclocked...is that easy to do?
Is an after market heatsink/ fan needed if cpu only slightly overclocked?

Sorry for the long post, but hopefully the in-depth details will help with suggestions or comments. Thanks in advance for any input!!!

More about : 1st time building 920 1500

July 7, 2009 5:22:48 AM

The selection of the components are very good...
Here are a few suggestions that you can consider...

1. Mobo - You can most of the features of that mobo on the cheaper P6T/ Rampage Gene...

2. RAM - +1 for the OCZ Platinum...

3. I would suggest this card over the GTX 260...For nearly the same price, you get better performance...And it would better compliment that resolution...
For slight overclock, you would need aftermarket heatsink...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But if you want to o/c more, then instead of getting the standard edition, get any these...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4. Power supply -
Corsair 750TX FTW...It is not modular but is certianly little better than that PSU...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you want modualr...The extra cash on this PSU is well worth it...Corsair 750HX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 7, 2009 5:40:26 AM

The i7 920 is $199 at microcenter, but you have to buy in store ... zip zoom fly has a MSI gtx 260 for $139 after rebate and a MSI 4890 for $159 after rebate, both free shipping, yes on the ocz platinum memory, no on any thermaltake power supply, try corsair or pc power and cooling.
Related resources
July 7, 2009 5:44:29 AM

also the hanns g 27.5 inch monitor is about $339 at newegg and sometimes less at tigerdirect, including shipping, i'd rather have the big monitor and cheaper video card personally.
July 7, 2009 6:24:48 AM

Thanks for the input. After looking at it a bit I think I'll switch out for the Corsair 750TX FTW. Unfortunately I'm not close enough to buy in store at a microcenter. Not sure if my eyes could handle such a large monitor. I think the jump from my current would be to great to adjust to. Thanks again for the input. Appreciate it greatly!!!
July 7, 2009 6:47:24 AM

Is there any significant difference between EVGA and MSI?? Are they both decent manufactures? If I get in the MSI GTX 260 in time @ newegg I'll be able to get a free game for $10 more then at zipzoomfly. Which would be nice as I'd have more of a variety in games to play. It's been hard to play any kinda game with the system I've been working with.
July 7, 2009 7:57:30 AM

Since you are heading into high resolution gaming, you owe to yourself to research the superior performance and better pricing of an AMD system. At high rez, AMD outperforms i7 in gaming. At low rez, which is no longer popular, esp. in the price range you are looking at, the i7 does better.

OCZ also makes special Platinum DDR3 Ram for AMD systems.
http://www.ocztechnology.com/aboutocz/press/2009/334

Also AMD ATI 4870 will support Direct X 10.1, which nvidia CAN NOT do. AMD ATI is also soon releasing a Direct X 11 card in a few months.

AMD Phenom II 955 Black Edition socket AM3, stock clocks at 3.2 Ghz, and will exceed 3.6 oclox or more w aftermarket cooling - stock cooling will do 3.6+ easy (included HSF). (Also Ph II 965@3.4ghz stock is release very soon.)

Additionally, there is a slight performance advantage to using "ALL AMD Platform", esp. with the newest socket AM3 mobo, socket AM3 cpu, and HD-4870 (or newer HD-4890).

Best AMD boards are Gigabyte, Asus, MSI - you would want an FX or X chipset. (the X chipset is very economical (Gigabyte) and highly featured). The FX chipset is highest performance enthusiast overclocker grade. Since you don't plan on much oclox, the Gigabyte MA790XT-UD4P with the X chipset would suffice - although it also oclox well.

You will eventally learn about this anyway - I think you should know before you spend. You can save money and perhaps get a HD-4890 instead.

I don't work for AMD. I am a serious AMD FAN. I don't support out of control abusive monopolies that indulge in antitrust activities. AMD is a Smarter Choice for many valid reasons. But really this is about getting value for your dollar - rather than following the hoser that led you into a 1.8 P4 - it was supposed to be so great, and it was a dog. (wanna play again? it's your call.) (the hi-performing i7 is (over)priced a lot higher than the one you are considering). (i7 requires a separate power plug for the socalled uncore - high power consumption).

REVIEW - Written by Michael Schuette (clean, unbiased, well written)
http://www.lostcircuits.com/mambo//index.php?option=com...

(some of the fanboys here don't want you to know)
July 7, 2009 8:20:40 AM

evga has a lifetime warranty, other than that i don't know.

is amd better than i7 at high res? I haven't seen benchmarks that say that, and what i have seen suggests i7 is far ahead of amd.

i do believe intel chips overclock better than amd at the high end .. tho0ugh the amd 720 is great for the price. i took a e8400 from 3 to 4.5 and a q9550 from 2.8 to 3.8, which is more than an amd can do on either. and the q9550 is $169 with 12 mb l2 cache ... it outperforms most amd at stock to boot.

i could only getmy amd 9950 from 2.6 to 2.94, with a 700 nb.

i wish amd was better at the high end, but i think amd is best below about $120.
July 7, 2009 8:30:29 AM

and ocz has two 600 watt power supplys at zipzoomfly for $43

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

and $49 after rebates with free shipping, the more expensive one is modular.

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

and 500 watt modular for $34!!

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

my ocz 500 watt runs an overclocked q9550 at 3.8, 2x 2 GB ddr2 1200 ram, ati 4890 oc'd to 970/1070, 2x 640 GB wd black raid 0, dvd ram/cd rw liteon, 6x led fans, cigarette lighter and water cooling pump, and it doesn't cry.

unless you're going to crossfire 600 watts from ocz should work fine for you, they're not tip top but very good and well reviewed, hard to justify an extra $75 for no increase in performance, unless you're going to do extreme overclocking.
July 7, 2009 9:05:27 AM

sighQ2 said:
Since you are heading into high resolution gaming, you owe to yourself to research the superior performance and better pricing of an AMD system. At high rez, AMD outperforms i7 in gaming. At low rez, which is no longer popular, esp. in the price range you are looking at, the i7 does better.



Nonsense, no matter how much you like AMD (I tend to prefer AMD as well), stubborny believing this won't help anyone.

The fact of the matter is that the i7 is faster than Phenom II. End of story. Just as the GTX295 is faster than the 4870x2.
Then you might debate if the marginal improvement (especially in the case of ATI/Nvidia) is worth the hefty price tag.

Having the fastest CPU or GPU might be a question of prestige, while in reality most of the money comes from the mid-segment.
July 7, 2009 3:56:14 PM

When you boil it all down, what I'm seeing is that the i7 is the faster chip. Does it accomplish what I need any better than a Phenom II?? I'm thinking it's maybe just coming down to personal preferences. As I'm not a "hardcore" gamer and just wanting to be able to have things run smoothly for the next several years, does saving money really matter that much?? For me, I've been on an EXTREMELY tight budget and finally able to spoil myself a bit. So when all is said and done, I have no problems going with a slightly higher (some say overpriced) processor.

Thanks again for all the insight and options. Thinking that I'll just have to buck up and make a decision and run with it.



@ sighQ2 as far the 1.8 P4 goes it was something that I picked up @ a store. Was in my price range and offered what I was looking for. Knowing the little bit I know now, I don't believe I'll buy anything that way again. Unless I was being lazy and wanted something simple.
!