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Building new i7 gaming rig

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August 16, 2009 8:06:28 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within 7 days

BUDGET RANGE: $1200-$2000

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, movies, software development

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

I have the following case, though I do expect to need a new PSU. I need to know if you guys think I can continue to use this case or if I should get a new one:
Antec Performance Plus PLUS1080AMG Metalic Gray 1mm SECC Steel Server Computer Case 430W TruePower Power Supply - Retail

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: Looking to build an Intel i7 rig, prefer ASUS for motherboard, prefer PNY for nvidia graphics (good experiences), prefer ASUS (good experiences) - no nVidia mobo chipsets; I am open to ATI for graphics cards this time, however. Not open to MSI (bad experience)

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I understand that Intel is coming out with a new socket model (the "i5"). Will Intel continue to support the socket 1366 motherboards for sometime along with the new 1156? Or would I be jumping on technology that is literally out the door? Does ATI have strong driver support like [my impression is of] nvidia? I am willing to try to overclock this time around (would be my first time in three rigs) but by no means will I push the envelop into any majorly risky areas. I build a new rig about very 4 or 5 years as crazy as that will sound for this forum, so I need durability. When recommending something, if you could keep in mind quality of manufacturer and warranties, etc, I would appreciate it. Although I capped the budget at $2000 I dont necessarily want to go that far if not needed.


Here is what I am thinking of purchasing:

CPU: Core i7 950 - Is the Core i7 975 worth the extra $500 dollars?
GPU: PNY GeForce GTX 295 1792 MB
motherboard: Asus x58 motherboard (you guys pick one)
ram::mushkin 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model 998681 - Retail
psu::OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

I am willing to spend more on a quality PSU if you guys feel there is something better. My RAM choice is a little bit arbitrary too.


Thanks in advance!

More about : building gaming rig

August 16, 2009 8:15:25 PM

you'll definitely need a new PSU, look in the 850w range form Corsair, Antec, PCP&C and OCZ.

for the mobo go for the standard ASUS P6T.

just get a 920, they overclock just as far as the 950's and only 200MHz away from the 975's.

get a 4890 now, and a 5870 later, it will cost less than the GTX 295 for both cards, and the 5870 will beat it.

look up the ATi 9.8 drivers, the increases are amazing.

1366 will last longer than 1156, and you get hex and octo cores with it aswell, but be prepared to pay a lot for them.
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August 16, 2009 8:26:01 PM

^*1 helloworld_98's comments.

Two additional comments:
  • Go with the OCZ Platinum 1600 6GB (3x2GB)
  • Upgrade your case to either the CM HAF932 or Antec 1200. Your current case supports only an E-ATX MOBO according to Newegg's specs. For the price of the case, you might be able to upgrade to the EVGA Classified to keep your current case.
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    August 16, 2009 11:56:35 PM


    Alright, as per your recommendations this is what I've got:

    CPU: Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
    GPU:ASUS EAH4890 TOP/HTDI/1GD5 Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
    motherboard: ASUS P6T SE LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    ram:OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail
    psu:OCZ Z Series Gold OCZZ850 850W ATX12V 2.3/ EPS12V 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
    case:COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail

    Total: $1,204.94

    So you guys have actually brought the price down to the lower range of the budget (impressive!).

    I have some other questions:

    1. As I mentioned previously, I am going to overclock, but this is the first time I am going to make the attempt and even if I do it will be a conservative OC. Does it make sense to get the i7 920 given I am not going to overclock the CPU that hard?
    2. Any concrete recommendations on the PSU? I selected on via your recommendations but it was pretty broad.
    3. Silly question, but is it possible to turn off those LEDs on the case or do you literally have to pull them out? I really dislike the whole look of enthusiast cases, and the LEDs are the worst (for me).
    4. If there are any changes recommended to the selection above, please let me know.
    5. "helloworld", you suggested going with the standard ASUS P6T motherboard. I am not sure if I have selected the 'standard' verison in the link above.

    I appreciate all the advice provided thus far! I sign-off on the above would be nice :) 

    palithius

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    August 17, 2009 12:06:11 AM

    oh yeah: I have been surprised no mention was made of a cooler.
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    August 17, 2009 12:11:48 AM

    hey palithius,

    the i7 920 makes the most sense even if you are just doing a mild overclock. You can get 3.6 easy on air cooling and it will be completely stable.

    this is the p6t helloworld was talking about:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    as for the psu get this one, it is by far one of the best and most recommended:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    I am not too sure about the LEDs on the case but if you are not too fond of the lights there are plenty of other cases that are not too flashy.
    This coolermaster is probably one of the best cases out if you do not want lights and all:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    A good cooler for the price is this:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    This cooler would allow you to OC to 3.6 no problem.
    And don't forget good thermal compound as well:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Also I see no mention of a hdd or dvd drive:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    If you need less space then that get the 640gb version.

    Sata DVD Burner: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    That should be everything unless you need an OS. I recommend getting this:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    vista 64-bit with a free upgrade to windows 7!

    Hope I could help and good luck!

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    August 17, 2009 12:21:48 AM

    palithius said:
    1. As I mentioned previously, I am going to overclock, but this is the first time I am going to make the attempt and even if I do it will be a conservative OC. Does it make sense to get the i7 920 given I am not going to overclock the CPU that hard?
    2. Any concrete recommendations on the PSU? I selected on via your recommendations but it was pretty broad.
    3. Silly question, but is it possible to turn off those LEDs on the case or do you literally have to pull them out? I really dislike the whole look of enthusiast cases, and the LEDs are the worst (for me).
    4. If there are any changes recommended to the selection above, please let me know.
    5. "helloworld", you suggested going with the standard ASUS P6T motherboard. I am not sure if I have selected the 'standard' verison in the link above.
    1. As I mentioned previously, I am going to overclock, but this is the first time I am going to make the attempt and even if I do it will be a conservative OC. Does it make sense to get the i7 920 given I am not going to overclock the CPU that hard? Yes, I would recommend still getting the i7 920. You can get it to 3.2 with not issues using most motherboards "Dumbie" overclocking settings

    2. Any concrete recommendations on the PSU? I selected on via your recommendations but it was pretty broad. I would get either of these two Corsair 850 PSU, which both are for less money... http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

    3. Silly question, but is it possible to turn off those LEDs on the case or do you literally have to pull them out? I really dislike the whole look of enthusiast cases, and the LEDs are the worst (for me). You will have to replace each fan with a fan without the lights. They don't have a "turn off" switch

    4. If there are any changes recommended to the selection above, please let me know. The above parts look good

    5. "helloworld", you suggested going with the standard ASUS P6T motherboard. I am not sure if I have selected the 'standard' verison in the link above. You picked the SE version not the standard, which is just P6t. The only real difference is the SE doesn't support SLI. You have picked an ATI card so you are good to go with the SE version
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    August 17, 2009 1:54:08 AM

    +1 for the Corsair 850 with the mir bringing it to 109.99 you can not go wrong there + out of the 5 MIR i did corsair was the only 2 i got back

    Corsair for the win!!!
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    August 17, 2009 3:42:56 AM

    Ok I settled on the Corsair :)  I am still undecided on the case. The case with the ugly lights has a big fan on the door and looks roomier, not to mention it is a lot cheaper (why?) -- however, it is ugly hehe. I'll settle on something eventually.

    waynec121: I did, in fact, settle on the WD 640 counterpart to the drive you recommended. But I did not mention it in my info request because I felt pretty confident with it (though your recommendation of the 1TB and the 640 reinforces it). Also, I have an old IDE DVD Burner that is pretty good still.

    The x58 ASUS boards have at least one IDE connection available right? Or I can buy a IDE to SATA converter, yes?


    Thanks again for everyone's kind help! It is very much appreciated, and you guys saved me a lot of money! This forum is a valuable resource.

    Peace!

    palithius
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    August 17, 2009 4:18:59 AM

    hey palithius,

    i did a little search on newegg and found this:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    This should work for that IDE drive you have, but I am not completely sure that you even need it. I am pretty sure the Asus boards have an IDE connector on them, but I would feel better if someone else on here confirmed that for sure!

    Glad to hear about the HDD too!

    Good luck with everything!
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    August 17, 2009 4:30:39 AM

    I would spend the 10 bucks more and get a new SATA over that converter
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    August 21, 2009 12:42:44 AM

    palithius said:
    Ok I am literally putting in the components into the basket at newegg, when I noticed that the price of the ram has gone up:

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

    It is now $145.99. My question is, at this price point, does your recommendation for RAM change?

    Also, is my UPS suitable for this rig? It is a Cyberpower BC1200D.

    Thanks as always


    UPS ? or PSU ? I would get the corsair over that
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    August 21, 2009 1:21:21 AM

    No I meant UPS.
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    August 21, 2009 1:59:25 AM

    meh for the case, you could definitely get something less flashy. Though i definitely like the look of the 932, you could always look into some lian li cases, which are all top notch but a bit pricier. The antec p183 looks alright as well. There are plenty of cases without the admittedly sometimes annoying side window.

    I don't have a lot of experience with that ups, but my google search of that product has produced a lot of troubleshooting questions, I believe there is a guide somewhere for choosing a UPS. Someone other than me probably knows where it is.
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    !