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New Gaming Build - CPU/PSU/Cooling Advice?

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July 21, 2009 3:24:56 AM

I'm building a new gaming desktop but I can't decide between an i7-920 processor or an i7-950. Here's my system so far:

ram
GSKILL 6GB DDR3 1600
<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...;

video card
Zotac GeForce GTX285 1GB
<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...;

processor
Intel Core i7-950 3.06GHz
<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...;
Intel Core i7-920 2.66GHz
<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...;

motherboard
EVGA X58
<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...;

case
Cooler Master Centurion
<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...;

power supply
SeaSonic M12 600W
<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...;

hard drive
Hitachi Deskstar 500GB 7200RPM
<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...;

cd/dvd drive
Samsung DVD+RW
<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...;

I want to order all this later in a few days. Also, I'm building for the long haul, 4-5 years if possible. i'm planning to upgrade video (and psu) in a few years and add ram, but i'm hoping everything else will go the distance.

I have 3 questions:

1) Is 600W power supply sufficient?

2) What should i be looking at in the way of cooling?

2) should i get an i7-920 or i7-950? They're pretty close in performance, but the 950 costs 2x as much. the 920 is a much better value but i'm wondering if the lower speed will be a problem in a few years. some games already ask for 2GHz+ quadcores (GTA4 for example) so 2.66GHz (vs 3.06 on the 950) doesn't seem to leave a lot of room. budget is not a huge concern - i'd be happy to save $300 but i'll pony up for the 950 if it will save me an upgrade down the road. any advice would be welcome.

also, i'm not planning to overclock since i don't know what i'm doing and don't want to fry my whole system, so i hope whichever processor i pick will be able to last 4-5 yrs at stock settings and still run games on reasonable settings.

What are your thoughts?

any other opinions/comments on my build are also welcome!
a b 4 Gaming
July 21, 2009 4:52:20 AM

1) That 600W wont be suffice for high powered dual graphic card setups...
You need atleast 700W for such a config...and actualy for 285, 750W would be safe...

2) As you are not going to overclock, the stock would be suffice...but it is always better to get an aftermarket CPU cooler as it would further reduce the temps and incase if you feel that you are ready to try your hand at overclock, then it is advised you have one...
Get this CPU cooler -
Scythe Mugen 2...
It is one of the best and a cheaper one than most of the cooler out there...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3) The i7 950 is not worth the extra cash at all...get the i7 920...
Though you currently dont want to overclock, but things can change and if you just scan the net, you can find articles and very easy steps to overclock you CPU...So you save about $300 just like that...


And now for some general suggestions...

1. What is your screen resolution ???
If it is <= 1920X1200, then dont get the GTX 285...instead get the GTX 275...The difference in performance is just few FPS(Actually not noticable during gameplay) but the price difference - $100...So GTX 285 not worth it...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. Get this Powersupply...
Corsair 750TX...Best suited if you plan for future SLI...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. HDD -
Get this instead WD 640GB for just $5 more...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But if you want more speed, then the WD Black 640GB is the best option...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4. RAM - Get this one instead...Has XMP profiles, so it is easy to set the rated speeds and CAS...
OCZ XMP Ready Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hope it helps...
July 21, 2009 5:29:45 AM

IMO The i7 950 isn't worth it. Just like gkay09 said.
Related resources
July 21, 2009 10:51:34 PM

Don't get the 950, the 920 is stupid-easy to overclock to 950 speeds and above. Throw the extra cash into video cards now or later.
July 22, 2009 12:34:31 AM

everyone is going to emphasize one word to you here. *overclock*

the 920 and 950 are nearly identical once you overclock them. they both push to the same limit. considering the cost difference, no one likes anything but the 920. (well, mostly.)

you are losing out on SO much CPU potential by leaving your clocks so low, the cpu is truely capable of so much more. by not overclocking, you are, infact, underclocking... in a sense.

my core2duo would spank your 2.66 ghz core i7 in games. if that gives some perspective.
July 22, 2009 3:53:01 AM

thanks for the advice. sounds like the 950 is a waste, so i'll go with the 920 and maybe look at overclocking if its necessary down the road.

and thanks gkay for your suggestions. i'm definitely gonna go with the cpu cooler and the better psu (especially seeing how its discounted to less than the other one). and i think i'm also gonna drop down to a gtx 275.

gta4 here i come
a b 4 Gaming
July 22, 2009 4:39:34 AM

^ Good that you understood and saved your money...

And in your free time, try and check out the articles on overclock and about the i7 :) 
You can also post in the forums under the overclock section to get good tips and suggestions for a safe overclock...

Good Luck :) 
July 22, 2009 5:46:53 AM

The 950 is a waste of money, don't know who is doing the marketing for Intel but they need to go back to school.....

920 is more than enough, specially when overclocked......
July 22, 2009 5:48:30 AM

neon neophyte said:
everyone is going to emphasize one word to you here. *overclock*

the 920 and 950 are nearly identical once you overclock them. they both push to the same limit. considering the cost difference, no one likes anything but the 920. (well, mostly.)

you are losing out on SO much CPU potential by leaving your clocks so low, the cpu is truely capable of so much more. by not overclocking, you are, infact, underclocking... in a sense.

my core2duo would spank your 2.66 ghz core i7 in games. if that gives some perspective.


Will your core2 spank my 920 (in games) even if you have a 100Mhz advantage? Or did you mean to say a 920 at stock speeds compared to your Core2 (overclocked)?

July 22, 2009 8:53:58 AM

Depending if you want the option to SLI 285s in the future, you're going to need something at the 700-750w range, otherwise a Seasonic M12 600 would be more than enough for an i7 and any single gpu. Here's a link to an xbit labs article where they tested how much power some systems really need:
http://xbitlabs.com/articles/coolers/display/system-wat...

A Corsair 750TX was mentioned earlier in the thread, and that'd be a fine PSU for 'future-proofing' your system if you'd like the option for a multigpu setup.

Also, +1 to the suggestion to make the switch to the Western Digital 640GB Caviar Black.
July 23, 2009 8:58:14 AM

OvrClkr said:
Will your core2 spank my 920 (in games) even if you have a 100Mhz advantage? Or did you mean to say a 920 at stock speeds compared to your Core2 (overclocked)?


100 mhz difference? theyd roughly be about the same in current games. give or take.

oh and yes, i meant with the core2 overclocked, my core2 is @ 3.6 ghz.
July 23, 2009 3:19:30 PM

Well I would have to disagree on that one, a C2D @ 3.6GHZ using DDR2 compared to a 920 @ 3.5 using DDR3, when it comes to games it would depend... In CoD4, yes I agree with you... in Crysis, Warhead, WOW, FARCRY 2, GTA4, NFSU, etc... the 920 will crush your C2D.... not that your core2 cant hold it's own in games, but when it comes to games that require CPU and GPU speed like the above, the i7 920 wont break a sweat....There are games out that barely utilize a CPU like yours but again there are games that demand more power than any C2D IMO.....
!