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i7 Upgrade - Final Confirmation

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July 21, 2009 12:24:42 AM

Thanks to everyone who has helped me to get this far on my old thread. To sum up: I'm looking to swap out an old Athlon 64 with an i7 CPU, and I think these are my final choices:

CPU/Mobo: i7 920, Asus P6T SE http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

My current setup includes:

Case: Antec P180
GPU: EVGA GeForce 7600GT
PSU: Antec TruePower II 550W
LCD: 22" HP (Wide)
HDD: Various 500GB SATAs
Sound: Sound Blaster Audigy SE
Mouse: Microsoft Comfort Optical 3000
Keyboard: Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000
Optical: DVD Burners (Sony, Lite-On)

Anything you would change? Any anticipated price drops in the next week or two? Any reasons I should get cheaper RAM? Will my PSU suffice with just 3 internal hard drives and one old video card (and the Audigy SE PCI, unless the onboard is superior)?

Thanks!
July 21, 2009 1:04:11 AM

Definitely get a more powerful graphics card such as the 4770 or the 4850. Yes the PSU is sufficient. Onboard sound should be fine as well.
July 21, 2009 1:20:04 AM

Consider installing a oem cpu cooler up front.
Xigmatek dark night or similar will be about $40.
Your cpu will run cooler, overclock higher, and be quieter.
It is a pain to remove the motherboard to do it later.


---love that keyboard---
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July 21, 2009 1:32:08 AM

jbakerlent said:
Definitely get a more powerful graphics card such as the 4770 or the 4850.

^+10,000.... It is truly funny to see a i7 build with a 7600GT. I do have two old ones in use by my nephew & daughter but not on a new build.

I do take hope from his original threa that the OP does plan on upgrading to a 4890 or something soon after the build. Until then, the system will be bottlenecked by the GPU.
July 21, 2009 3:38:59 AM

tecmo34 said:
^+10,000.... It is truly funny to see a i7 build with a 7600GT. I do have two old ones in use by my nephew & daughter but not on a new build.

I do take hope from his original thread that the OP does plan on upgrading to a 4890 or something soon after the build. Until then, the system will be bottlenecked by the GPU.


Thanks for the help, everyone! I suppose I'll have to upgrade the graphics PDQ, according to you all, but what if I don't plan on gaming? I'm actually sick of spending $200 on cards and then never having time to play games. :(  Before you know it, they're subpar and all I've ever used them for is e-mail, Photoshop and word processing!!!

As far as the aftermarket cooler goes, I'll have to look into that - I was stoked to see that one came with the system - but if others are quieter, I'd love to hear more about them?
July 21, 2009 3:47:33 AM

If you don't plan on gaming or doing many intense tasks maybe check out an newer AM3 based setup such as one with this CPU. If you think this would work I can suggest the rest of the components to go with it...
July 21, 2009 4:24:02 AM

i say ditch out the 920 really if your not gonna do gaming or over clocking it seems such a waste having one and youll do fine on amd or C2D C2Q
July 21, 2009 4:27:55 AM

jbakerlent said:
If you don't plan on gaming or doing many intense tasks maybe check out an newer AM3 based setup such as one with this CPU. If you think this would work I can suggest the rest of the components to go with it...


Thanks... my first-ever build was an AMD 120MHz back in the mid-nineties. I bought a 400MHz Pentium system after that, but when it was time to upgrade, I again went for an AMD: 1.4GHz. My last build was an AMD Athlon64 3700+. So I've been an AMD fanboy for awhile - but I've been drooling over the i7 since before AMD got their legs back under them, and haven't even looked at anything else. I really don't want to have to start this thing over again either, so I think I'm going to stick with the i7... besides, maybe I'll find my way back into gaming. :) 

So... Dark Knight cooler... any other suggestions?
July 21, 2009 4:31:37 AM

jinu said:
i say ditch out the 920 really if your not gonna do gaming or over clocking it seems such a waste having one and youll do fine on amd or C2D C2Q


Wow! I can't believe all you trying to talk me out of this! As I just wrote, I am an AMD fan and you could easily sway me! But before you do, remember:

As I said in my original post, I'm a graphic designer and will be using Adobe CS4 pretty intensely. (We're talking Photoshop files of several hundred megabytes, and having multiple CS4 programs and files open at once.) I will overclock modestly, but only because it's apparently so easy with the i7. While I may not game constantly, I'd love to be able to run some newer games. Most of all, I'd like for this computer to have legs for 3-4 years.

So is it okay that I'm still looking at the 920, or do I need swaying?

Thanks, all.
July 21, 2009 4:53:07 AM

Well I love AMD too but since you put it that way and seem you really wanna get the i7....id say go for it. Buy now and regret later....what has always happens to me...
July 21, 2009 4:58:12 AM

drokkon said:
Wow! I can't believe all you trying to talk me out of this! As I just wrote, I am an AMD fan and you could easily sway me! But before you do, remember:

As I said in my original post, I'm a graphic designer and will be using Adobe CS4 pretty intensely. (We're talking Photoshop files of several hundred megabytes, and having multiple CS4 programs and files open at once.) I will overclock modestly, but only because it's apparently so easy with the i7. While I may not game constantly, I'd love to be able to run some newer games. Most of all, I'd like for this computer to have legs for 3-4 years.

So is it okay that I'm still looking at the 920, or do I need swaying?

Thanks, all.

CS4 is one of the few applications that can take advantage of multiple cores, it is also one of the few to take advantage of more than 4gb of address space.
The i7 is faster than any other quad out there, you will be amazed. Keep it on your buils.

You might also want to consider upping the ram from 6gb to 12gb for our application.

Check out if there is not some advantage to CS4 using nvidia gpu processing. You may want a good vga card after all.
July 21, 2009 5:35:52 AM

Thanks, Geo. So I'll upgrade my GPU sooner rather than later, and consider 12GB at some point (even though the TomsHardware article would suggest that unnecessary).

For now I'm sticking with the i920, P6T SE, and 6GB of OCZ RAM. I guess my last consideration is an aftermarket cooler. I plan on modestly overclocking, but QUIET is my main concern. Can someone point me to a good resource to start navigating the confusing world of aftermarket heatsinks/fans?
July 21, 2009 4:02:49 PM

drokkon said:
Thanks, Geo. So I'll upgrade my GPU sooner rather than later, and consider 12GB at some point (even though the TomsHardware article would suggest that unnecessary).

For now I'm sticking with the i920, P6T SE, and 6GB of OCZ RAM. I guess my last consideration is an aftermarket cooler. I plan on modestly overclocking, but QUIET is my main concern. Can someone point me to a good resource to start navigating the confusing world of aftermarket heatsinks/fans?



You might want to look at http://www.silentpcreview.com/ for quiet computing info.
My thought is that any cooler with a 120mm fan running at 1000 rpm will be quiet and do a good job.

Here is a link to the performance of the top coolers:
http://www.frozencpu.com/resource/r24/Best_CPU_Cooler_P...
July 21, 2009 9:13:06 PM

geofelt said:
You might want to look at http://www.silentpcreview.com/ for quiet computing info.
My thought is that any cooler with a 120mm fan running at 1000 rpm will be quiet and do a good job.

Here is a link to the performance of the top coolers:
http://www.frozencpu.com/resource/r24/Best_CPU_Cooler_P...


Thank you! That gave me a nice morning of fun FUN reading! Now I know to stick with my Dark Knight (even if I'm not frequently under load, the measurements on the stock cooler were frightening), replace Arctic 5 with OCZ Freeze, and the best way to apply it to its Heat Pipe DirectTouch bottom!

It also got me thinking about my noise levels. My current Athlon64 build is in an Antec P180 case, but I always found it rather loud considering how quiet the P180 was supposed to be (now there's even a fan that "whines" for a few minutes after I turn it on or until I hit the chassis). Now that I get a chance to "get it right" with this i7 build, I'd like to.

The case came with three "tri-cool" fans, with room to add two more:

- 1 rear 120mm fan (standard)
- 1 top 120mm fan (standard)
- 1 lower chamber 120mm fan (standard)
- 1 front 120mm fan (optional)
- 1 graphic card "air duct" 80mm fan (optional)

- 1 120mm fan will also be on the Dark Knight
- There are also obviously fans on my PSU and GPU

So should I add fans? Remove them? Or, more likely, replace them with quieter fans?

The P6T SE mobo has two fan headers - should I take advantage of these? If so, should I look for a mobo that has MORE fan headers? Or does it make more sense to get some kind of "fan control" for a 5.25" drive bay?

Can anyone comment on the fan that comes with the Dark Knight cooler? Is it worth replacing?

I know that the noise/volume ratio is in play here, and without controlling all the variables (such as which graphics card and new PSU I'll eventually buy) there's no way to know what my needs are, necessarily. I can tell you that I'll have three hard drives in the case, along with a WinTV PCI card and the rest of the stuff I've already mentioned.

(Specific info on my case here: http://www.silentpcreview.com/article249-page1.html)

July 30, 2009 6:16:14 PM

Thanks to newegg.com's promise (on Facebook) that there would be an upcoming special for "loyal customers," I have yet to order my build parts.

In the meantime, I noticed that Tom's just posted a budget X58 mobo comparison article. My P6T SE seemed middle-of-the-pack all the way, and wasn't even mentioned in the conclusion. :(  No, an "ass-rock" won the recommendation (I had 1 ASRock board once that I replaced with an Asus after endless problems).

So now the ASRock is looking pretty good, aside from temperature. Anyone have any other recommendations now that Tom's new article is in the open?

Thanks!
July 30, 2009 7:03:02 PM

drokkon said:
Thanks to newegg.com's promise (on Facebook) that there would be an upcoming special for "loyal customers," I have yet to order my build parts.

In the meantime, I noticed that Tom's just posted a budget X58 mobo comparison article. My P6T SE seemed middle-of-the-pack all the way, and wasn't even mentioned in the conclusion. :(  No, an "ass-rock" won the recommendation (I had 1 ASRock board once that I replaced with an Asus after endless problems).

So now the ASRock is looking pretty good, aside from temperature. Anyone have any other recommendations now that Tom's new article is in the open?

Thanks!

With the exception of the jetway, they all performed about the same.
Look for the features that you need, like ide, amount of ram, sli/crissfire, parallel ports, etc... Even then, most such features can be had with a cheap add in card. How about support?. Download and read the mobo manuals to see which ones are clear and complete. Find the manufacturer's forum/support site, and see how well the product is supported. You would be happy with any one of them, assuming that it functions properly.
July 31, 2009 3:08:14 PM

geofelt said:
With the exception of the jetway, they all performed about the same.
Look for the features that you need, like ide, amount of ram, sli/crissfire, parallel ports, etc... Even then, most such features can be had with a cheap add in card. How about support?. Download and read the mobo manuals to see which ones are clear and complete. Find the manufacturer's forum/support site, and see how well the product is supported. You would be happy with any one of them, assuming that it functions properly.


Thanks for the fair analysis - I know I was just splitting hairs, but after thinking about it, I think I'll stick with P6T SE. Will post the final build order today!
July 31, 2009 9:26:53 PM

Well, RAM prices went up and all the combos in my cart were removed, so I had to start from scratch. Going through their new combos, however, I ended up with better stuff for the same price!

i7 920
P6T (Not the SE after all! Actually saved money in the new combo...)
OCZ Gold 6GB 1600 RAM
--->$620 - $62 combo = $558!

Xigmatek Dark Knight HSF
Xigmatek 80mm LED fan (don't need it, but it's free!)
6ft USB cable (definitely don't need it, but it's free!)
--->$45

WD Caviar Black 1TB
Acronis True Image (don't need it, but it's free!)
--->$90

Antistatic Wriststrap
OCZ Freeze Thermal Compound
--->$10

Shipping is offset by an additional $10 rebate for the RAM (that I admittedly may or may not get), so I ended up right at $700, and they even threw in a Bunny People Bobblehead for good measure. Set aside next weekend for the build, so I'll be back with all kinds of great questions!

Thanks for all the help, everyone!
!