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I7 920 Build

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August 6, 2009 9:37:06 AM

Hello. This is going to be my first time building a new system, though I've had some experience with computers. I'm selling my laptop and an old desktop I had lying around in order to replace them with a shiny, powerful new computer. My main usage will be intensive graphic applications (Ultra-high resolution Photoshop files, 3D rendering, etc), with some gaming on the side. After much research and comparison, I've decided on the following build:

Intel Core i7 920 Quad Core Processor LGA1366 2.66GHZ Bloomfield 8MB LGA1366 4.8GT/S - $329.98

Gigabyte EX58-UD3R ATX LGA1366 X58 DDR3 2PCI-E 2PCI SATA2 RAID Sound GLAN CrossFireX Motherboard - $224.99

EVGA GeForce GTX 275 633MHZ 896MB 2.26GHZ DDR3 PCI-E Dual DVI-I HDTV Out Video Card - $261.99

Corsair XMS3 TR3X6G1600C9 6GB DDR3 3X2GB DDR3-1600 CL 9-9-9-24 Core i7 Memory Kit - $119.61

Antec Nine Hundred Mid Tower Gamer Case 900 ATX 9 Drive Bay No PS Top USB2.0 1394 Audio - $126.31

Antec Earthwatts 650W Power Supply ATX12V V2.2 EPS12V Active PFC 80PLUS 120MM Fan - $99.99

LG CH08-LS10 Black BLU-RAY 8X Reader & 16X DVD Writer Combo Internal SATA Lightscribe - $152.76

Western Digital WD1001FALS Caviar Black 1TB SATA2 7200RPM 4.2MS 32MB 3.5IN Dual Proc Hard Drive OEM - $89.99

Logitech Cordless Desktop S510 Keyboard & Optical Mouse Silver Black - $76.08

Total: $1,504.70

It's worth it to note that I am Canadian which means the prices will probably be somewhat higher than the US counterparts.

Here is the template for a few extra details:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: In the next few days.

BUDGET RANGE: The current build is pushing my budget as far as it's willing to go. ;)  Whatever configurations I make, I want to keep it under CAD$1,500.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I would like to use NCIX.com over newegg.ca because they ship within Canada, but if the savings are enough I will be happy to use newegg.

PARTS PREFERENCES: No preference.

OVERCLOCKING: I would like to dabble in overclocking a little, and I would like to push my system with some cooling upgrades and overclocking in the future.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Not for a long time, and I know that SLI is not possible with my current motherboard selection.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Building for a 1920 x 1080 LCD TV.

Thanks for taking a look, any suggestions are welcome.

More about : 920 build

August 6, 2009 10:24:27 AM

^ That Gigabyte does support SLI after a BIOS update...But the main problem I see is the 4 RAM slots...For your requirements, having more RAM would be very good...but the unavailablity of extra RAM slots might be a problem...

this board would be a good option...
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=40654&vpn=12...

With these changes, you might be able to bring it into the budget...
Graphics Card -
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=37424&vpn=N2...
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=37633&vpn=BF...

But if you are into occasional gaming only, then even a GTX 260 Core 216 would be suffice...So you save more going with that...
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=38853&vpn=BF...

RAM - Though its a 1333MHz but has CAS 7 so it is better when compared to a CAS9 DDR3 1600MHz RAM...
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=39033&vpn=PV...

You can save more money by going with this case -
CM 690...
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=26048&vpn=RC...
August 6, 2009 12:18:28 PM

For a decent Rig like that you should also concider a decent keyboard and mouse set up. Have a look at the logitech Wave Pro you wont be disappointed its a bit more expensive but i wreckon its worth forking out that little bit extra.

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=39182&vpn=920-001048&...

$171.06 is a bit steep on that site im sure u could get it cheaper if you shop around it retails at about £65 over here.
Related resources
August 7, 2009 1:34:19 AM

gkay09: Thanks a lot for your time. Good to know that the Gigabyte board supports SLI, but isn't the MSI that you linked a micro ATX? I'm not sure if it matters, but I'm just curious as to the differences.

I was originally going for a GTX 260, but a lot of reviews pointed out that the 275 is quite a step up for only a small increase in price. I'll take a look at that case, too.

Thanks again.

Prawn: About the keyboard, well, we have a demo of the one that I selected at the Future Shop I work at and I quite liked it. I don't think I'm willing to put another $100, or even $50, into the keyboard, unless there's a major problem with the one I selected. Thanks, though.


Bonus question: What is the difference between the various mainstream brands of video cards (BFG, evga, MSI, etc)? I couldn't find a decent comparison in the quality for say, the various builds of the GTX 275. Various models of the 275 varied by $100-200 and I couldn't see any appreciable differences between the specs. What's up with that?

EDIT: I'm looking at the Antec P183 for a case, since it's on sale for $20 off. It pushes me a bit further over my budget, haha, but it's just the sweetest looking case I've ever seen. http://ncix.com/products/?sku=37119&vpn=P183&manufactur...
August 7, 2009 3:13:41 AM

Here is a Build using NewEgg.ca on certain parts of your build.
(All prices shown in Canadian dollars unless otherwise specified)

Mobo/Graphic card Combo
1. EVGA 017-P3-1175-AR: $324.99

2. EVGA 141-BL-E757-TR: $274.99

Combo Discount: -$30.00
Combo Price: $569.98
($20.00 Mail-In Rebate)
($20.00 Mail-In Rebate)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

CPU/Ram Combo
1. OCZ Technology, Inc. OCZ3G1600LV6GK: $104.99

2. Intel BX80601920: $319.99

Combo Discount: -$12.00
Combo Price: $412.98
(Before $10.00 USD Mail-In Rebate)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Item...

Case suggestion
COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP $99.99
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

This Case has Free Shipping
http://promotions.newegg.ca/CoolerMaster/081709/index.h...

KB/Mouse
Logitech S 510 Silver/Black Wireless Slim Cordless Desktop - Retail $60.49
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...



Using Parts you picked.
LG CH08-LS10 Black BLU-RAY 8X Reader & 16X DVD Writer Combo Internal SATA Lightscribe - $152.76

Western Digital WD1001FALS Caviar Black 1TB SATA2 7200RPM 4.2MS 32MB 3.5IN Dual Proc Hard Drive OEM - $89.99

Antec Earthwatts 650W Power Supply ATX12V V2.2 EPS12V Active PFC 80PLUS 120MM Fan - $99.99


NewEgg Parts Price : $1143.44
NCIX Parts Price : $324.74

Total $1486.18 (before shipping costs and MIR's)

If you wish to OC more 3.0ghz, I would suggest you get an aftermarket CPU HSF Cooler. TO do that and keep your price under your $1500 range, I would suggest you change out Blu-Ray to a DVD Burner. Then get your Blu-Ray Cobo drive later when price is lower. Below are my alternate suggestions if you go with my suggestion

LG GH22LS40 22X/22X DVD+-RW SATA DVD Writer Lightscribe Black OEM $35.90 CAD
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=41927&vpn=GH...

Then get this CPU HSF Cooler
Scythe Mugen 2 Heatpipe CPU Heatsink LGA1366 LGA775 Socket AM2 120MM $38.96 CAD
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=35847&vpn=SC...

If you do that the Total would be $1408.28

And then maybe you could also change your PSU selection to this one for a added cost of $10.00 after MIR.
Corsair TX750W 750W ATX 12V 60A 24PIN ATX Power Supply Active PFC 140MM Fan $109.99 CAD
Save $11.00 with manufacturer's mail-in rebate!
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=26415&vpn=CM...

Hope this helps you out some, good luck on your upcoming Build.

August 7, 2009 3:55:39 AM

@Ceuper the board that I had linked is an EVGA board...and Yes its an mATX...There are no issues going with those boards...
The main feature that they loose over their ATX counterparts is that they have only 2x PCIe X16 slots compared to 3 or 4 in others...But I highly doubt most of them would use over 2 graphic cards...
And unlike that Gigabyte board, they have 6 RAM slots...

Also you can also refer Yoosty's build...it has a very good setup...You can save money in that build, by going with the mobo I had linked.

And as I had said, if you are not a serious gamer and wouldnt mind playing games @ lowered settings, then the GTX 260 Core 216 is more than suffice...But if you get a good deal on the GTX 275, then go for it...
August 7, 2009 5:29:23 AM

Thank you very much Yoosty and gkay09. I played with the combo deals on newegg for a while, but found that the savings were negligible compared to the shipping costs (free for NCIX on my order) and the trouble of ordering from the US.

I chose the MSI X58M X58 mATX over the EVGA X58 Micro mATX because of the $70 price difference, and I read some very positive reviews on the former.

I went with the BFG GTX 275 because of the $40 total price difference over the EVGA.

The Coolermaster Storm Scout is an open box which saves about $25, and I didn't think that would be a big deal on a component such as the case.

I decided to ditch the Bluray drive on par with Yoosty's advice since my budget for Bluray discs is minimal right now anyway.

My plan is to build this setup and wait a few months to upgrade it a bit further. At that point I'll buy some improved cooling, maybe more RAM, and a Bluray drive if prices have fallen enough.

Intel Core i7 920 Quad Core Processor LGA1366 2.66GHZ Bloomfield 8MB LGA1366 4.8GT/S - $329.98

MSI X58M X58 mATX LGA1366 DDR3 2PCI-E16 1PCI-E1 1PCI-E4 CrossFire SLI SATA2 GBLAN Mot - $186.02

BFG GeForce GTX 275 OC 896MB GDDR3 PCI-E Dual DVI-I HDTV Out Video Card - $224.99

Patriot Extreme Performance Viper 6GB 3X2GB DDR3-1333 CL7-7-7-20 Triple Channel Memory Kit - $113.92

Open Box/Refurbished Coolermaster Storm Scout Black ATX Tower Case 5X5.25 5X3.5INT 120MM & 140MM Red LED Fan No PSU - $108.94

Antec Earthwatts 650W Power Supply ATX12V V2.2 EPS12V Active PFC 80PLUS 120MM Fan - $99.99

LG GH22LS40 22X/22X DVD+-RW SATA DVD Writer Lightscribe Black OEM - $35.90

Western Digital WD1001FALS Caviar Black 1TB SATA2 7200RPM 4.2MS 32MB 3.5IN Dual Proc Hard Drive OEM - $89.99

Logitech Cordless Desktop S510 Keyboard & Optical Mouse Silver Black - $76.08

Total: $1,310.64 before tax, free shipping.

Thanks so much for your help and time, guys, it appears this is a much more economical choice for essentially the same system. I like the case a lot, the handles are a big plus because every once in a while I may want to move it to a friend's house. If anyone has any thoughts on the current build I'd be happy to hear, otherwise I think I'll be ordering this tomorrow.


EDIT: Upon further consideration, I think that with my core components I should have a computer that is rock solid with a few upgrades over the next couple of years. As time goes on I may very well want to go SLI, overclock, and add cooling systems in order to maximize the efficiency of this thing. I know very little about overclocking and cooling, however. Would the PSU and motherboard that I selected be adequate for these potential upgrades in the future? I do only game on the side, however I plan on hooking the system up to a 32" TV and entertaining friends so being able to run new games for a while is a major plus.

Also, something that I forgot about is wireless connectivity. It will be necessary on this build, and I'm assuming that motherboards don't support it by themselves. What is the best way to connect to wireless?
August 7, 2009 12:27:05 PM

I don't know which part of Canada your from, but it couldn't hurt to check out Memory Express @ www.memoryexpress.com . I have found that in most cases their prices beat those of NewEgg and NCIX. It's worth a look anyway.
August 7, 2009 3:45:03 PM

techgeek said:
I don't know which part of Canada your from, but it couldn't hurt to check out Memory Express @ www.memoryexpress.com . I have found that in most cases their prices beat those of NewEgg and NCIX. It's worth a look anyway.


Wow! It seems that they have less selection, and based simply on the components that I've already selected on NCIX it appears that they are a little pricier, but they have an outlet in my city (Winnipeg)! That's a huge plus, obviously, and I had no idea. I owe you big time, thanks. :D 
August 7, 2009 6:37:58 PM

if you buy evga gtx 275 dont spend the extra $ for the oc on them, just oc them yourself and save that money for a psu upgrade or soemthing... thats what im doing, not reason to buy a ocd item when you can do it yourself :) 
August 7, 2009 9:46:09 PM

slong said:
if you buy evga gtx 275 dont spend the extra $ for the oc on them, just oc them yourself and save that money for a psu upgrade or soemthing... thats what im doing, not reason to buy a ocd item when you can do it yourself :) 


I've actually been picking the cheapest GTX 275 model available, which happens to be the BFG because of the $30 rebate. Thanks for the advice, though.
August 12, 2009 1:53:30 AM

It's built, if anyone is curious as to how it turned out. Final specs:

Core i7 920
BFG GTX 275 OC 896MB
6GB OCZ DDR1600 Gold
Asus P6T SE
Coolermaster Storm Scout Case
Antec Earthwatts 650
Western Digital 750GB Harddrive

I've overclocked the i7 to 3.46Ghz on the stock cooler (for now), and this thing really feels like a beast compared to my previous computers. Everything runs amazing, and it was money well spent. After trying one keyboard/mouse set, I did decide that it... sucked, and went for the Logitech illuminated keyboard and the Razer Deathadder. I'm very happy with those, and it makes everything much better.

August 28, 2009 1:57:39 PM

nice setup man thats close to what im building once i get the cash
August 28, 2009 8:17:08 PM

You Canadians and your wierd currency......
!