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Greetings and salutations technophiles. After many years of tinkering with factory built systems, and the aggravation that went along with it, I have decided to save myself some cash and expand my personal repertoire of "doing-it-your-selfness".

Sad to say I've been out of the scene for quite some time (Pentium 4s just broke out). My own due diligence in getting up to speed to avoid sounding like a complete technological philistine has invariably led me to you fine people. So, with the prescribed format here is what I am looking to accomplish:


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:
All parts purchased within 30 days
BUDGET RANGE: US$ 1800


SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
Gaming (FPS, RTS) Crysis, World Conflict, etc ; Multimedia (Movies, Photo); Regular online hijinks; Heavy Multitasking; Ability to upgrade as needed


PARTS NOT REQUIRED:
Monitor (for now); Mouse; Keyboard


PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:
Newegg.com OR Tigerdirect.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: Only steadfast requirement is the i7 920

OVERCLOCKING: Yes (but once I've become comforatable/knowledgable enough), Yes to SLI OR CROSSFIRE (I'm sure it depends on the hardware but yes)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Eventually 1920 x 1200 but at the moment I'll be playing at 1024 x 768 ugh...


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
Just to reiterate, I would like a system that will allow to upgrade and OC (when comfortable) with relative ease. That is not to say that I want a paint by numbers no frills set up, I am looking forward to learning how to build my own 'rig' and be able to have a self-sufficiency that I haven't known up until this point.
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  1. With that budget i know we can fit a good monitor in, and 4890 crossfire should do well also.

    Asus 25.5" 1920x1200 monitor $330
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236047

    i7 920 and ASUS P6T $480
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.216037

    OCZ Platinum 1600MHz CL7 3x2GB kit $115
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227381

    Antec 900 $ 108
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021

    Corsair 850TX $140
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139009&Tpk=corsair%20850

    2x XFX 4890 overclocked to 900MHz $220 each
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150368

    1TB WD Caviar Black $100
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136284&Tpk=1tb caviar black

    Total 1713 before MIR

    Im not sure about aftermarket coolers, there are other people here who know more so i will let them suggest one.
  2. hunter315 said:
    With that budget i know we can fit a good monitor in, and 4890 crossfire should do well also.

    Asus 25.5" 1920x1200 monitor $330
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236047

    i7 920 and ASUS P6T $480
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.216037

    OCZ Platinum 1600MHz CL7 3x2GB kit $115
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227381

    Antec 900 $ 108
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021

    Corsair 850TX $140
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139009&Tpk=corsair%20850

    2x XFX 4890 overclocked to 900MHz $220 each
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150368

    1TB WD Caviar Black $100
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136284&Tpk=1tb caviar black

    Total 1713 before MIR

    Im not sure about aftermarket coolers, there are other people here who know more so i will let them suggest one.


    Many thanks for the kick off to my thread. The biggest unknown for me is how the whole FSB/CPU clock speed and multiplier/RAM speed relationships work... It's easy enough to buy hardware but what separates the good builds from the heaps of smoldering scrap metal and silicon is the knowledge of how these pieces fit together without killing them.

    I will need a good cooling system as the seasonal forecast for Los Angeles this time of year reads like Dante's Inferno.
  3. The Xigmatek Dark Knight works pretty well for the i7 CPU's.

    XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233029&Tpk=xigmatek%20dark%20knight $44.98
  4. Thanks for the advice. I've almost completed my components list and will submit for critique/review as soon as I have all the parts I would like to acquire.

    However, I would like to have peoples' thoughts on optical drives (either CD/DVD combos or separate). I haven't found any good information about quality optical drives thus far.
  5. You'll want to make sure the optical drive is SATA. I've had great luck with both Samsung and LG drives. This one would work great:

    SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151187 $26.99
  6. I wouldn't get dual 4890's, just get one, the 5870 is coming out soon which will make the 4890 obsolete.
  7. shortstuff_mt said:
    You'll want to make sure the optical drive is SATA. I've had great luck with both Samsung and LG drives. This one would work great:

    SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151187 $26.99



    Great, thanks for the advice. I will be posting my specifications in about an hour to have people go through and see if my hardware checks out.
  8. Thank you to those who've assisted me in crafting the machine I intend to build. Below is the chosen list of hardware that I have gathered, some, from your suggestions and others through my own research.

    I open the design up to you for your comments and advice on issues of compatibility, cost-effectiveness and the like. Thanks.


    APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: All parts purchased within 22 days

    BUDGET RANGE: US$ 1800


    SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (FPS, RTS) Crysis, World Conflict, etc ; Multimedia (Movies, Photo); Regular online hijinks; Heavy Multitasking; Ability to upgrade as needed


    PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor (for now); Mouse; Keyboard


    PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com OR Tigerdirect.com

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    PARTS PREFERENCES: ALL FROM NEW EGG

    CASE: Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail $130

    CPU: Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail $280

    MOBO: ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $289

    PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail $139

    RAM: OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail $114

    Video: EVGA 017-P3-1295-AR CO-OP Edition GeForce GTX 295 1792MB 896 (448 x 2)-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported ... - Retail $400

    HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive $75

    OPTICAL: SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223B - OEM $27

    MISC: 138
    CASE: 130
    CPU: 280
    MOBO: 290
    PSU: 139
    RAM: 114
    VIDEO: 400
    HDD: 79
    OPTICAL: 27

    TOTAL: 1596 + California 9.75% tax & 7.00 shipping
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    OVERCLOCKING: Yes (but once I've become comforatable/knowledgable enough), Yes to SLI OR CROSSFIRE (I'm sure it depends on the hardware but yes)

    MONITOR RESOLUTION: Eventually 1920 x 1200


    ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

    Some of the reasoning behind a few part choices:

    CASE: I like full tower cases with the extra room, airflow potential and the ability for better wire management. The Antec 1200 has all of this.

    CPU: I would like to get in on the ground floor of the i7 genre which will allow future processor upgrades if I find it necessary.

    PSU: Has great amperage on the rails that count and has great reviews

    Vid Card: This will undoubtedly be a source of contention for the critics... From all I have read, this card will satisfy my needs for years to come with the ability down the road to SLi if I so desire. Performance ratings seem terrific, although there is evidence that other cards are comparable in performance for less... so I've chosen this component mostly for a conversation piece, and if you can convince me to go with something else then so be it.
  9. SLI to GTX275's, it will save you almost $100 and give you better performance as the GTX295 is 2 SLI'd underclocked GTX275's that use a single PCI-E slot.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150387
    Or start with one now, and then wait for the 5800 series to come out from ATI, that will drop the prices on all of the video cards to stay competitive.
  10. Thanks for the tip. Is my system really that complete as to not garner any other suggestions? If so, excellent. I just would like to make sure that (1) I'm getting the most bang for the buck and (2) will not have compatibility or stability/power issues.

    So please, anyone's comments?
  11. Do you have an Operating system? or do you plan on buying one, or maybe using win 7rc?
  12. crazyman9116 said:
    Do you have an Operating system? or do you plan on buying one, or maybe using win 7rc?


    Going to purchase the 64bit Vista OS and upgrade to Windows 7 when it comes as part of the transition deal going on now.
  13. I would not waste the money, Just use windows 7RC untill the real version comes out
  14. crazyman9116 said:
    I would not waste the money, Just use windows 7RC untill the real version comes out

    I have to disagree. You'll have to do a fresh install of Windows 7 when going from the RC and the Home Premium version is supposed to cost about $120. You can get Windows Vista with a free upgrade coupon to Windows 7 right now for $110. You can also do an upgrade from Windows Vista instead of a fresh install. I think your original idea of getting Vista with the upgrade coupon would be the best idea.

    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116677 $109.99
  15. shortstuff_mt said:
    I have to disagree. You'll have to do a fresh install of Windows 7 when going from the RC and the Home Premium version is supposed to cost about $120. You can get Windows Vista with a free upgrade coupon to Windows 7 right now for $110. You can also do an upgrade from Windows Vista instead of a fresh install. I think your original idea of getting Vista with the upgrade coupon would be the best idea.

    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116677 $109.99



    I do believe that this, like you say, is the best way to go. The cost would be the same if not a little cheaper plus I'm guaranteed to have an alpha OS to start with rather than a possible beta problem on second boot.
  16. As far as the video card non debate, I think I'll actually go with gtx 275s in SLi.

    And, as before, thanks to those who've left comments and suggestions. I take it by the lack of response that there isn't an outstanding reason as to why this machine will not function properly. So it's off to purchase! Thank you for your thoughts. I'll write again with questions, but surely when I POST for the first time. Thanks.
  17. It depends heavily on what games he plays if he will get better performance as there are some games that perfer the nVidia architecture and will give significantly better performance, look at the cyber power dragon review where an i7 with GTX260's beat a PII with 4890's.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cyberpower-gamer-dragon,2337.html
  18. Take a look at the comparison of the PII vs the i7 when they were both running ATI cards, the PII performed much closer to the i7 in a few of the tests than when the i7 was running nVidia cards. Read the articles on here that have done comparisons between them.

    Oh and by the way it would be you who doesnt seem to realize that AM2+ and AM3 processors have their memory controller onboard the CPU just like the i7, nice try but that isnt what sets them apart.
  19. Here are two benchmarks to keep everything equal for you and show that some games favor nVidia architectures over ATI, but others show no real preference
    http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-charts-2009/Far-Cry-2,1177.html
    Stock GTX275 beats a stock 4890 by about 8 FPS, however on fallout 3 the case is different with the 4890 beating the GTX275 by 2 FPS
    http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-charts-2009/Fallout-3,1173.html

    It all depends on what games he wants to play, oh and next time someone states something that you believe to be false pull some facts out of your ass to back up your statements dont insult them.
  20. Quote:
    Expensive Brick, your first time building a system? Good luck

    Okay so bad choice on video cards, that guy has no idea of what he's talking about. Get 2 x 4890 (sapphire makes good cards) for around the same price with better performance, trust me I know.

    Are you purchasing a monitor, if so which one?

    Everything else you listed looks pretty good.
    Also get the core contact freezer (cpu cooler) it is in the top 3 zone and it is cheap.
    http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=2271
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835207004
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835207005
    you need to purchase the 1366 bracket


    As of now I'll be using an HDMI setup for my 32" LCD 720p. But 1920 x 1200 is not out of the question later on...
  21. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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