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Gaming/Programming core i7 machine - critque wanted

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July 16, 2009 6:33:32 AM

Hello, I've been reading Tom's for about two month's now and I'm building my first PC since about 2002. I'd appreciate any thoughts other forum readers may have to offer.

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APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week BUDGET RANGE: Under $1800 dollars

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Programming, Streaming video

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, Fry's

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe in the future

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Quiet PC, nothing too flashy

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PARTS:

CASE
COOLER MASTER COSMOS 1000 RC-1000-KSN1-GP Black/ Silver Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail

PSU
CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

MOBO
ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

CPU
Core i7 920 d0 stepping [ORDERED]

THERMAL COMPOUND - CPU
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail

CPU COOLER
Taking suggestions. Need something quiet that fits on the mobo. Does not need to be the strongest, but better than stock probably good when I overclock in the future.

MEM + GPU Combo
Crucial Ballistix 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model BL3KIT25664TR1608 - OEM + XFX GX285NZDDF GeForce GTX 285 XXX 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail


HARD DRIVE
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives - OEM
Related resources
July 16, 2009 8:28:01 AM

I agree with Video card and ram change. I use the OCZ oblivion linked and it runs great.

In addition to SLI setups, you may consider a 4870x2 like this one for the same price. Crossfire 4890s can also be had for just a bit more, which would offer huge performance.

The Dark Knight is also a good heatsink.

If gaming is your main concern, I would also recommend a sound card, like a xonar or x-fi. If it's not in the budget now, you can easily add it later. Assuming you have good speakers, it can really improve your gaming experience.

The Cooler Master ATCS 840 is also in your price range if you want a really nice, no-frills, feature-rich case. It has some really slick usability perks (namely full removable ball-bearing track mobo tray) and the large 240mm fans, but more noise may escape than in the Cosmos if you have something really loud inside (namely a video card with a fan running at mach speeds).
July 16, 2009 10:30:27 AM

+1 for the RAM + Video card change...

For the price of a single GTX 285, you can get 2x GTX 260, which would totally outperform the GTX 285...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And here is a very good memory, with tigher timings...
Mushkin 1600MHz CAS 7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A very good alternative for that Mobo...
EVGA 141-BL-E757-TR LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX X58 SLI LE Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And the case that spinny suggested is also a very good option that you can consider...
July 16, 2009 12:54:52 PM

he wants silence, therefore 4890 vapor-x is the card :D 
July 16, 2009 4:09:17 PM

rescawen said:
he wants silence, therefore 4890 vapor-x is the card :D 


I had actually considered that. Two of those would probably be OK, but it would cost a bit more.
July 17, 2009 1:33:20 AM

Thank you very much for the replies, +1 for all the suggestions.

I decided to take some suggestions and made the following changes:

UPDATES:

MEM:
OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK - Retail
(Ditched the crucial + gpu combo above; figured that was that was the weaker part of the build, looks like I was right!)

CPU Cooler:
Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 120mm SSO CPU Cooler - Retail

I'm having trouble deciding on the GPU. I don't know why I didn't think of picking a silent GPU beforehand until rescawen mentioned the 4890 vapor-x. I should mention that I don't mind spending the extra money for a better card combination since I'm still within my budget. The total cost of the new PC right now is floating between $1600-$1700 depending on the video card choice. I've taken your suggestion on SLI/X-fire over a single expensive GPU.

right now I'm torn between the following video card choices:

( SAPPHIRE VAPOR-X 100269VXL Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail ) x 2 (XFIRE)

( EVGA 896-P3-1257-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Edition 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail ) x 2 (SLI)

I was reading that the EVGA 260 GTX card has reasonable noise levels on the fan as well. Do you think there would be a major difference between the noise levels of these two cards? I would also be willing to pay a bit more for increased stability / lower temperatures. If anyone has other video card configuration suggestions I'm up for those as well.

!