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Budget i7 Build - advice

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July 20, 2009 6:58:04 PM

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APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 1 week-ish...

BUDGET RANGE: £750

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Hardcore Gaming (RTS, MMO, RPG, and some FPS), Surfing, Watching Movies

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

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: overclockers.co.uk, scan.co.uk, ebuyer.co.uk

PARTS PREFERENCES: NVidia Graphics Cards ONLY

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: SLI

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1600x1200, 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200, 2048x1152

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I may be moving around next year, either to university in the UK, or I might move to Australia/The Middle East to work (not decided yet). So I'd like a desktop that I can take with me. So something not too heavy would be ideal.
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Build
Intel Core i7 920 D0 Stepping (SLBEJ) 2.66Ghz (Nehalem) (Socket LGA1366) - Retail £205.99

Asus GeForce GTX 275 896MB GDDR3 PCI-Express Graphics Card (Includes Terminator Salvation PC Game) £151.98


MSI X58M Intel X58 (Socket 1366) PCI-Express mATX DDR3 Motherboard £129.98

PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad-Crossfire PCI-E 750W Power Supply £89.99


Patriot Viper 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600MHz) Low Latency Tri-Channel (PVT36G1600LLK) £75.99

Antec 300 Three Hundred Ultimate Gaming Case - Black (No PSU) £44.99

Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB SATA-II 32MB Cache - OEM (WD5001AALS) £44.99

Samsung SH-S223B/BEBE 22x DVD±RW SATA Dual Layer ReWriter (Black) - OEM £16.99

OcUK Value PS2 Keyboard OcUK Value PS2 Keyboard £4.99

OCZ Freeze Extreme Thermal Conductivity Compound £3.44

Total: £769.83 (including VAT), + £12.50 DPD parcel next day delivery (ugh)

so comes to about £783 - a tad over budget..... dayum....


Additional Notes:
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1) MSI X58M Micro-ATX mainboard - I read from some reviews that this is a high performance board targeted at gamers and with a BIOS update it has SLI Support. I want a cheap i7 solution OR would rather go for Intel Q9xxx

2) Patriot Viper 6GB RAM, 1600 MHz 8-8-8-24 - Seems like a good option for future overclocking

3) Antec 300 - the case is only 7.2 KGs, which is why I picked it over the CM 690 Dominator which is only £5 but weighs some 9.5 KGs. I hope it will fit everything, including my plans for Future dual GTX 275 SLI

4) OCZ Freeze + Stock i7 920 CPU cooler - I plan on getting a good 1366 cooler later on, when I can afford to put in more money. At the moment I'm pushing the budget already and dont wanna push anymore... I added the thermal paste cos I hear just using better thermal paste does help the stock cooler out a bit. Is this true?

5) PC P&P Silencer 750w Quad-Crossfire - it seems to have the power I need for SLI. I dont like the weight of this though. It seems to be about 1KG heavier than most 750w supplies but at £89 its hard to find a case that is as good but lighter. Would like a different option though. I'm half-considering ordering the Antec EArthwatts 750w off Ebuyer (with 5day, free delivery) as thats 1KG lighter and about £3 more expensive. watcha think?

6) WD Caviar Black - cheap, good.

7) Asus ENGTX 275 - it's the cheapest GTX 275 I could find. out of stock at the moment but hoping it will be in stock when i'm ready to order. otherwise I will pay £9 more and go for the sparkle card (OC UK Value GTX 275), or £14 more and get the Gainward GTX 275

8) OC UK value PS/2 keyboard - the cheapest keyboard i could find. £4.99

9) Samsung DVD RW - again, cheapest one i could find.




I'd like some input on what you all think about this build. thanks







More about : budget build advice

July 20, 2009 9:44:38 PM

anyone?

I am also planning on getting this CPU cooler. IT seems to have among the best performance of any cooler and is still pretty cheap.
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Titan-Fenrir-TTC-NK85TZ-...(775-1366-K8-AM2-AM3)

There's a review here showing it to be about 12 degrees cooler than the Akasa Nero - http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cooling/2009/05/17/tit... ... I'm not too worried about the sound as long as it will allow overclocking the i7 920 3.8-4.2 GHz.

Also not sure if it will fit in the case all right. Antec 300 is a bit smallish but the width of the case (205mm) is higher than the stated dimension of the Fenrir: 156mm x 124mm x 107mm ... i'm assuming 156mm is the height of this thing.


I've seen that in most benchmarks that are not games (SiSoft Sandra, PCVantage, etc), an i7 seems to do waaaaay better than Core 2 Quad Q9550, and even QX9770 ... makes me wonder if the next generation of games will take full advantage of the NEhalem architecture and lead to much better results in gaming.... i remember some time ago, Intel did tout its i7 as being awesome for gaming and some nvidia guy responded by saying even an E8400 was good enough and to instead spend all the extra cash on GPUs... that certainly makes sense... but i wonder if thats set to change in the future with high-end graphics cards coupled with Core i7 processors delivering much better performance in newer games... for RTS at least i can see it making an impact...
Related resources
July 21, 2009 5:20:16 AM

^ Very nice build...
And all are very good value components...

I would choose the Titan over the Akaska...Like that review pointed out, it is a very good one...

And as for the HDD, just a info...The WD black 640GB are the newer ones and are faster than the 500GB ones...But they cost about £9 more though...

But heads up on the mobo...The NB gets very hot..So adding a small fan to it might help...
July 21, 2009 5:24:10 AM

great. Thanks I'll go for that drive.... :) 

anyone have any info on the NZXT's suitability for a high-end gaming rig? I know the case came out some years ago, and comes iwth only 2 fans (3 max), so a bit worried about cooling for an OC i7 + GTX 275... would the antec 300 be better?

if both are not great options i might have to go for the more expensive and slightly heavier stormscout.
July 21, 2009 5:41:19 AM

^ Antec 300 is far better...
July 21, 2009 2:48:11 PM

ah, that's great. guess i'll stick to that then. its cheap and light too. thanks :) 
July 21, 2009 3:38:40 PM

gkay09 said:
And as for the HDD, just a info...The WD black 640GB are the newer ones and are faster than the 500GB ones...But they cost about £9 more though...


Not to derail your thread or anything, but is the 640GB faster because it has more platters or something? Would it stand to reason that the 1TB is faster still?
July 21, 2009 8:24:05 PM

does the titan fenrir fit into the Antec 300 okay? ... it is 10mm taller than the Akasa Nero (iirc), but still not as wide as the antec 300. with mainboard + processor added in and the fenrir sitting on top will there be enough room? ... i know the nero fitsi n the 300, but i just wanna make sure about the fenrir
July 22, 2009 4:15:23 AM

@drokkon the WD Black 640GB ones are faster because it has less number of platters with high density...To be precise - 2 platters with 320GB each...Even the WD Black 1TB ones have the same platters but the count is 3( 3x 320GB)...
So as the platter density is high, the access time is faster...

But the older 640GBs have 3 platters with lesser density...Hope this clears...

@tastelikecrab as for the fitting, it would fit (Maybe just about)...
But looking at other cooler options, I would suggest you consider this one too...
Scythe Mugen 2
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Scythe-Mugen-2-Quiet-CPU...
Reason - http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/coolers/display/core-i...
July 22, 2009 4:36:55 PM

gkay09 said:
@drokkon the WD Black 640GB ones are faster because it has less number of platters with high density...To be precise - 2 platters with 320GB each...Even the WD Black 1TB ones have the same platters but the count is 3( 3x 320GB)...
So as the platter density is high, the access time is faster...

But the older 640GBs have 3 platters with lesser density...Hope this clears...


Great info! Much appreciated.
July 22, 2009 5:20:03 PM

this is just my two cents...but you should take a look at the antec p180 mini.
It is a very nice microATX case that is black on the inside. I had one and they are sweet! You could even fit big heatsinks and 2 gpu's no problem. Best of all it will be more portable then the Antec 300 but you still get Antec's awesome cases.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
!