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First Custom Build_Advice

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August 4, 2009 10:53:05 PM

Gentlemen,

For a while ive been wanting to build my first gaming pc. Ive always been too scared to try until now. At this moment im feeling brave. As a basis for further conversation:
-I would like a quality gaming PC. (MMO gamer)
-I like to keep my costs between $1500-$2,000

Included below is a build im thinking will work, however, im not 100% sure. For time reasons, i'll exclude necessities such as keyboard/mouse/speakers/monitor. Please offer me any advice or constructive criticism on these components.

Kindest Regards,

***********************************************

Motherboard:EVGA 121-BL-E756-TR Micro ATX SLI Micro Intel Motherboard

Processor:Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor (I think this processor is compatible with the above motherboard, seeing how they are both LGA 1366)

Video Card: EVGA GeForce 9600 GT 512-P3-N863-TR Video Card (wondering if this video card will run on the above motherboard/cpu)

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drives

Memory:OCZ Gold 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory

Power Supply:OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP 700W Power Supply compatible with core i7 (Guessing 700 W is good amount of energy)

Wireless Adapter: GIGABYTE GN-WP01GS PCI Wireless Adapter

Casing: Antec P183 Black Computer Case (Concerned i wont have enough room to fit all of the above components.)

Operating System:Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit (I hear alot of bad things about Vista. Not sure if Vista 64 bit is what i need for gaming. Concerned about it being a power hawg)

More about : custom build advice

August 4, 2009 11:06:00 PM

Get 6GB of OCZ platinums, they have better timings. What resolution is your monitor? For 1280x1024 get a GTS250/4850, for 1680x1050 get a GTX260/4870, for 1920x1200/1080 get a GTX275/4890. Swap the PSU for a corsair 750tx so you have enough power to SLI or Crossfire in the future.
August 5, 2009 12:03:14 AM

First off, go with a larger motherboard. Unless you plan on going to LAN parties all the time and really need the physically smallest system possible, ATX is a better choice. Especially for a first time builder. There really isn't a whole lot of difference between the two form factors other than size, you can buy great boards or crappy boards for either. Since you selected an Antec mid-size case, ATX motherboards will be less likely to frustrate you.

the Core i7 is probably the most popular choice right now, but keep in mind it's a $200-$250 processor. You are pairing that up with a GeForce 9600 GT that is a $50 video card. I admit that keeping up on the alphabet soup the graphics card market has become is difficult, Tom's is really an excellent resource when I need to know the latest and fast. But as a very quick rule of thumb, try to spend as much on your graphics card as you do on your CPU, if not more on the graphics card(s).

700 watt PSU should be enough if you don't plan on doing SLI down the road. If you want to absolutely be sure, check the amperage on your 12v rail specs for that OCZ PSU, and see that it meets specs for the graphics card you end up choosing.

For memory, go with the whatever you can get for the best price with the lowest CAS latency.

If you plan on doing MMO gaming on this system, I really recommend that you use a wired connection when you play. Wireless N adapters have come a long way, but they still have inferior throughput to an ethernet cable, and they are not immune to intermittent signal interference or other slowdowns. For browsing the web and such, wireless is great, but MMO gaming is one of the few things I wouldn't want to do over wireless.

For OS, Vista 64-bit is really your only choice right now. You will get a free promotional windows 7 upgrade on release date though so you are essentially buying that. Home Premium will meet your needs. Since you plan on going with 12 GB of RAM, forget about 32-bit OSes.
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August 5, 2009 12:54:23 AM

yeah
August 5, 2009 3:32:37 PM

Thank you fellas for your responsiveness. Very much appreciate your help. Based your recommendations i have a few questions/concerns/ideas:

1.) According to Hunter315, it was recommended i swap out the 12gb OCZ memory (6*2gb) for the 6gb OCZ memory (3*2gb) due to better timing/CAS latency? Say i go with the 6gb OCZ, will that be compatible with the motherboard ive chosen? (Someone on Tomshardware commented on "EVGA 121-BL-E756-TR Micro ATX SLI Micro Intel Motherboard" saying that said mobo "only supports 12G for 6x DDR3 slots" which is why i initially chose the 12gb OCZ)

2.) According to Wathman, i need a larger motherboard. I'm thinkin about going with the above mentioned 6gb OCZ memory because of lower CAS latency. I wont be going to LAN parties. Would this mobo be better idea?: "Core i7, 3-Way SLI & Crossfire Ready, E-LEET OC Utility
EVGA E758-A1 3-Way SLI (x16/x16/x8) LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard"

3.) Hunter315, im now looking at a 23" LG W2353 V-PF Black 2ms(GTG) 1080 HDMI Full HD monitor. I believe this would grant me a 1920 x 1080 resolution according to Tomshardware. Based your recommendation im now looking at a "XFX GX275XAHFF GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card"

4.) I swapped out the PSU in my initial setup for a: PC Power & Cooling Silencer PPCS910 910W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified" (Im not sure how to overclock SLI/Crossfire or whatever at this time, however im reading up on it. I'd like to be able to in the future and have the power to do so.)

5.) Im guessing my Antec mid size case will do the job and fit my components. I can upgrade to a larger tower if need be.

6.) How is my fan/heatsink combo looking?: "ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler"

What are you thoughts? Any further suggestions or ideas?

Kindest Regards,
August 5, 2009 3:48:35 PM

1. The 12GB for 6 DDR3 slots they were refering to was the maximum memory the board would support, not what was required to run on it. What that really means is that you cannot use 4GB DDR3 memory sticks in it, you can only use 2GB per slot.

2. Yeah that motherboard will give you alot more room to work with.

3.Yeah a GTX275 will give you enough graphics power to max everything out or atleast play it on high.

4. That PSU while super strong, is significantly more power than you need, a Corsair 750TX is powerful enough to allow you to SLI or crossfire any two single card solutions right now and save you quite a bit.

5. It seems like it might be a tight fit for some larger cards and doesnt provide the option for much more additional cooling. Take a look at the antec 300, it has plenty of space inside and saves you quite a bit over the p183

6. I suggest getting the sunbeam core contact freezer and mounting bracket, it only costs $50 before MIRs off of newegg and performs extremely well. Frosty tech does heat sink reviews and currently ranks it as the second best i7 heatsink.
August 5, 2009 3:57:12 PM

For your first question, Both memory configurations "should" be compatible, and actually you'd have slightly lower power consumption with the 6GB setup. Stranger things have happened when manufacturers build their boards, so it could be possible that the EVGA board has this compatibility quirk. I'll defer to people who actually own that board in question.

As for getting a larger motherboard, you don't "need" to go with a full ATX board, your case will fit either an ATX or micro ATX board just fine, you'll just be a little less cramped in terms of how things are spaced on the board.
August 7, 2009 7:38:02 PM

Oceanfury,

Take a look at this config...for MMO gaming, this is really all you would need:

COOLER MASTER, Elite 335 Black Mid Tower Case, ATX, No PSU, Steel
CORSAIR, CMPSU-750TX TX Series Power Supply, 750W, 80 PLUS®, 24-pin ATX12V EPS12V, Multi-GPU Ready
ASUS, P6T Deluxe V2, LGA1366, Intel® X58, 6400 MT/s QPI, DDR3-2000 (O.C.) 24GB /6, PCIe x16 SLI CF /3, SATA 3 Gb/s RAID 5 /6, HDA, GbLAN /2, FW /2, ATX, Retail
INTEL, Core™ i7-920 Quad-Core 2.66GHz, LGA1366, 4.8 GT/s QPI, 8MB L3 Cache, 45nm, 130W, EM64T EIST VT XD, Retail
KINGSTON, 6GB (3 x 2GB) ValueRAM PC3-10600 DDR3 1333MHz CL9 (9-9-9) 1.5V SDRAM DIMM, Non-ECC
EVGA, GeForce® GTX 285 Superclocked 675MHz, 1GB GDDR3 2538MHz, PCIe x16 SLI, DVI /2, HDTV-Out, Retail
WESTERN DIGITAL, 500GB WD Caviar® Black™ (WD5001AALS), SATA 3 Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 32MB Cache
RAID, No RAID, Independent HDD Drives
SONY, AD-7241S Black 24x DVD±R/RW Dual-Layer Burner w/ Lightscribe, SATA, OEM
ALPS, DF354H Black Internal 1.44MB 3.5" Floppy Drive
MICROSOFT, Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition SP1, w/ Free Windows 7 Upgrade Coupon, OEM
WARRANTY, Silver Warranty Package (3 Year Limited Parts, 3 Year Labor Warranty)
$1600.83

With Windows 7 comming around the corner, you will certainly benefit from it's performance perks. This motherboard is also very future-proof, which will surely allow you to add another GPU in the future, should you feel the need.


Kind Regards,

joseph.mundy@avadirect.com
August 7, 2009 8:07:46 PM

1. Get the antec 900 case, good air flow, not expensive

2. Get the core contact freezer , its cheap and performs well. you need to get the 1366 bracket like mentioned above

3. you only need 6gb of ram, trust me you dnt need 12gb, get 64bit O.S or it wont support the full 6gb

overclocked my e6400 to 3.2ghz using CCF


Core contact freezer Vs. Stock cooler

Mounted the CCF sideways <---> so air blows up through the exhaust by going up the top fan
e6400 oc'd 3.0ghz
Antec 900 case, every fan on low
Applied the tx-2 thermal paste that came with CCF
Closed case
Same ambient temp. 21C

Idle Temps

CCF

30-40C depending on fan speed

Stock

50-55C depending on fan speed

Load temps

CCF (intelburntest or prime95 small fft)

50-55C
depending on fan speed

Stock cooler

70-80C depending on fan speed


Noise level

CCF

You cannot hear the fan once its under 1400 rpm (MAX 1900)

Stock cooler

You cannot hear the fan once its under 1900 rpm (MAX 4200)
August 10, 2009 7:17:02 PM

Cool stuff. Provokes further questions yet:

1.) Does the "ASUS, P6T Deluxe V2, LGA1366, Intel® X58, 6400 MT/s QPI, DDR3-2000 (O.C.) 24GB /6, PCIe x16 SLI CF /3, SATA 3 Gb/s RAID 5 /6, HDA, GbLAN /2, FW /2, ATX, Retail" mobo have an integrated sound card chip or will i need a seperate sound card?

2.) What do you gentlemen think about the following component?: "Killer NIC K1 Gaming Network Card – 10/100/1000Mbps PCI Network Adapter -- Less Game Lag, Smoother Gameplay - Retail"

I'm guessing this has wireless capabilities.

3.) Overshocks/Hunter315: Is this the bracket your refering to that goes with the core contact freezer? "Sunbeam CR-LGA1366 LGA 1366 Core I7 Socket Retention Bracket Set - Retail"

Kindest Regards,
August 10, 2009 7:22:31 PM

Yes, that motherboard has onboard sound. I can't think of a modern motherboard that doesn't have onboard sound.

The Killer NIC K1 does NOT support wireless networking. It offers a wired gigabit connection that also isn't required since the P6T Deluxe V2 offers dual onboard gigabit LAN connections.
August 10, 2009 8:03:47 PM

Yes thats the one, shortstuff also linked to the bracket.

I really doubt you will notice any difference between network cards, few people with a decent connection(not the crap DSL im on at home) will ever saturate their connection, and $150 is a ton to pay for at best a very tiny improvement, spending that on a better internet connection would do more.
August 10, 2009 8:13:53 PM

Thanks Shortstuff-mt/Hunter 315. I'll drop the Killer NIC since P6T Deluxe V2 already has equivalent LAN connections.

Included below is my revised newegg wishlist which happens to be in my price range at the moment. Please let me know if theres something crucial missing or out of place.

*******************************************************************
-LG W2353V-PF Black 23" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Full HD 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail
-AMC 15 ft. Premium Gold Series 1080p rated HDMI/DVI Cable Model HDMI-DVI5 - OEM
-ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
-Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
-Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM
-Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
-Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives - OEM
-XFX GX275XAHFF GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
-CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC compatible with Core i7 Power ... - Retail
-Logitech Deluxe 250 Black USB Standard Keyboard - OEM
-Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
-Rosewill RTK-002 Anti-Static Wrist Strap - Retail
-OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail
-Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM
-Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2 - Retail
-Sunbeam CR-LGA1366 LGA 1366 Core I7 Socket Retention Bracket Set - Retail
-Paladin Tools 75001 12pc Computer Tool kit - Retail
-Creative Fatal1ty Professional Series Gaming Headset MKII

Subtotal: $1,763.82
August 10, 2009 8:24:16 PM

I wouldnt get the paladin tool kit, you can assemble everything with a non magnetized Philips screw driver. I also wouldnt spend $22 on a $10 cable, i would go for this one instead, they all have the same copper wire innards.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But its up to you in the end, other than that it looks like a nice build, have fun with it.
September 10, 2009 3:52:18 PM

I'm thinking about building the same machine as Oceanfury, but I want to change the motherboard to:

ASUS Z8NA-D6C Dual LGA 1366 Intel 5500 ATX Dual Intel Xeon 5500 Series Server/Workstation Motherboard - Retail

Would this be a problem? Motherboard is about the same cost so this way I can upgrade to a 2nd processor later. Thoughts?


*******************************************************************
-LG W2353V-PF Black 23" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Full HD 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail
-AMC 15 ft. Premium Gold Series 1080p rated HDMI/DVI Cable Model HDMI-DVI5 - OEM
-ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
-Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
-Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM
-Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
-Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives - OEM
-XFX GX275XAHFF GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
-CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC compatible with Core i7 Power ... - Retail
-Logitech Deluxe 250 Black USB Standard Keyboard - OEM
-Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
-Rosewill RTK-002 Anti-Static Wrist Strap - Retail
-OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail
-Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM
-Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2 - Retail
-Sunbeam CR-LGA1366 LGA 1366 Core I7 Socket Retention Bracket Set - Retail
-Paladin Tools 75001 12pc Computer Tool kit - Retail
-Creative Fatal1ty Professional Series Gaming Headset MKII
!