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First Build - Much Advice Wanted

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July 26, 2009 3:37:38 PM

Help me Obi-Tom Kenobi, you're my only hope.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next 7 Days
BUDGET RANGE: US$1500, but I'm married, so in the interest of having relations again less is more.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies.

Specifically interested in a system that will kick this game's ass:
http://pc.ign.com/dor/objects/18954/mech....err_070809....

Since it's not out yet, future proofing is absolutely necessary.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor (running a 17" Samsung I've had for 2-3 years, will consider upgrading when the game above comes out. Would be nice to play on my 40" LCD, but since I'm married I wouldn't be able to enjoy a game on it without hearing how no one else can watch TV. Also, I imagine I don't have the graphics buget to support such an endeavor).

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com (would prefer to single source this build to minimize shipping costs).

PARTS PREFERENCES: I don't know what's good and what's sketchy, help a guy out on that.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024 (MUCH higher if I want to use the 40" LCD, but again don't want to spend X-box money for a graphics card, prices still amaze me)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I've never built my own system before. Looking for advice on getting more performance for the price, or the same performance for less money.

I know I could save money on the case, but I love the way this one looks. Classy. Unless it has cooling problems, I'm pretty set on it.

Components Planned (Subject to change based on the TH gurus comments):

Case:COOLER MASTER COSMOS 1000 RC-1000-KSN1-GP Black/ Silver Steel ATX Full Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PS: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

Memory: OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler: ZALMAN CNPS9900LED 120mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU/Motherboard combo: Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W and ASUS P6T SE LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Graphics Card: HELP, I have no idea. I'm an electrical engineer, thought I was smart, but the more I read on graphics the more confused I get. 95% of my play would be on a 17" monitor, so high resolutions aren't a big deal...yet. Playing on the 40" LCD would be fun, but between the nagging wife and the sticker shock on GTX295 and multi card setups, I'm not sure what to do. Single now, add another later? Grrr....maybe I should stick to the Wii.

I'll also need thermal paste, and probably should get an antistatic mat and wrist strap since I can't build this at work. Are there any other tools/accessories I'll need to build it myself?

I have XP, but know I need to move on to use the RAM and latest DX. When will 7 be released? Am I best off trying to buy Vista with the free upgrade to 7?

Brands to avoid like the plague? Brands worth paying an extra few bucks for?

Any parts suggestions or help in educating someone about to drop 2 weeks pay on personal funstation is greatly appreciated.

More about : build advice wanted

July 26, 2009 3:51:57 PM

I gotta run but I'll just put in a few cents.

Brands you got here are all top brands (and top specific parts, too), everything looks pretty ship-shape. Except the Zalman cooler. Especially for $60 you can get a cooler that would eat the Zalman for lunch. Check out something like the Dark Knight or Megahalem.

The video power required to play on your 40" is probably less than you might imagine. It sounds like a 1080 TV? If this is the case it only has like 1920x1080 pixels, which is about equivalent to a standard 24" computer monitor. Something like the GTX295 is only needed for 30" computer monitors, which have a much higher resolution.
July 26, 2009 4:23:17 PM
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July 26, 2009 5:41:52 PM

I dig the monitor, that's a lot of size and good response time for the price.

Why two seperate smaller hard drives instead of the one larger? Is there some advantage to that?

Is the 750W PS I originally poseted large enough to run the equipment I speced plus a $150-$250 Vid card at 1/2 load? I need to check a calculator as I was guestimating in my head on that.

I'm kind of an Intel fanboy, so definately going with the I7 920.
July 26, 2009 8:19:48 PM

Riktoven said:
I dig the monitor, that's a lot of size and good response time for the price.

Why two seperate smaller hard drives instead of the one larger? Is there some advantage to that?

Is the 750W PS I originally poseted large enough to run the equipment I speced plus a $150-$250 Vid card at 1/2 load? I need to check a calculator as I was guestimating in my head on that.

I'm kind of an Intel fanboy, so definately going with the I7 920.

Okay... i7 920 it is than.

Additional Recommendations:
1.)Change your case to Cooler Master RC-690. It is very similar case for $100 less.
2.) Get the Xigmatek Dark Knight I listed above. The Xigmatek has better cooling performance for less money.
3.) Get the WD 640GB Black, it is faster then the 1TB Black. If you need a TB, get the one you picked. You have me confussed on the two smaller HDD comment? I think I listed just one hard drive but maybe I said two???
4.) Get the XFX HD4890 GPU for your system, specially if you buy the Hanns-G monitor. If you aren't getting the 27 monitor, get the EVGA GTX 260 Core 216 that is on sale now on Newegg.

The 750 Corsair PSU is plenty for your system. I listed the 850w PSU to give you a little more upgrade room for your PSU.
July 26, 2009 10:40:13 PM

Oops, I thought you listed two of the 640Gb WD drives. My bad.

So the 640Gb is faster thean the Tb eh? I did not know that. Never even considered hard drive speed as a factor. Just out of curiosity, they both say 7200 RPM, I take it this is not the "speed" of the drive. What statistic should I be looking at?
July 26, 2009 10:48:20 PM

Riktoven said:
Oops, I thought you listed two of the 640Gb WD drives. My bad.

So the 640Gb is faster thean the Tb eh? I did not know that. Never even considered hard drive speed as a factor. Just out of curiosity, they both say 7200 RPM, I take it this is not the "speed" of the drive. What statistic should I be looking at?


The RPM is a factor in how "fast" the hdd is, but more than that is the cache size. I didn't have time to look up the two hdds that you are talking about but i assume that the cache size is what's making the difference.
Anonymous
July 26, 2009 10:56:09 PM

I don't think they really say the information in the specification section but the piece of information you should look out for would be platter density. Basically the 640GB HD is faster because it has 2 x 320GB platters opposed to 1TB HD = 3 x 333GB platters. You can probably find the number of platters in the review section just search "platter".

skyturnred: Is also right about cache but I don't know how much of a difference it will make.

PS. Your link to that game you wanted to run does not work.
July 26, 2009 11:53:27 PM

I would go:

pick a case and 600w+ psu you like

gigabyte x58-ud3r
core i7 920 (if your not overclocking, the stock cooler is fine, if you are pick a cooler based on reviews+price)
6gb of ddr3 (again look for a deal)
I would get 2x WD 1TB black and run them in raid-0 on the intel ich10r (your fastest option on a budget)

videocard, go for a 9800gt 512mb or higher, if your not gaming, this will do just fine
July 27, 2009 4:07:52 AM

Quote:
the piece of information you should look out for would be platter density. Basically the 640GB HD is faster because it has 2 x 320GB platters opposed to 1TB HD = 3 x 333GB platters.


This is headed in the right direction but sort of off the mark. In this case, the 640 should be slower because it has a lower aerial density (320<333). Higher aerial density almost always translates into higher sustained read/write speeds, and this holds true for the WD Black editions as well. They lose in sustained read/write to higher density Seagate drives, for example, but often have faster seeks.
July 27, 2009 7:03:43 AM

basically.... the 640gb is very SLIGHTLY faster than the 1TB version...it just depends how much room you want...and if u need more, just add another 620gb..... and my two cents
mobo: gigabyte ud4p
GPU: gtx 275 (especially for the 40", if smaller, not needed)
PSU: corsair 750tx (should be able to run dual gtx 275, even OCed right? don't blame me if it doesn't <-------- help please)
!