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Fall Project/New System Build (~$1400)

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August 16, 2009 11:07:31 PM

I think that I have all my eggs in order for this new system build, but I wanted to receive some feedback via the forums before moving forward. Thank you for the help!

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Mid-September
BUDGET Range: $1200-1400

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, Folding@Home, internet, word processing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor (already have a Hannspree 23" widescreen; max resolution: 1920x1080), Operating system (I'm planning on installing Windows 7 RC initially and then the full version when it is available. Anyone out there think that this is NOT a good idea, given my hardware choices?)


PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, tigerdirect.com

PARTS PREFERENCES:
CPU: Intel i7 920

Mobo: EVGA 141-BL-E757-TR ATX X58 SLI LE
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

RAM: OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

GPU: XFX GTX285 (I know it is a bit pricey, but I am interested in the PhysX acceleration--not to mention the free bundle)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 320GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s (Thinking about running two of these in RAID 0 in the future)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler: Cogage TRUE Spirit
http://www.cogage.com/a_page/cpu_cooler/true_spirit/pro...

Thermal Compound: Arctic Cooling MX-2
http://www.arctic-cooling.com/catalog/product_info.php?...

CASE: CoolerMaster Cosmos 1000 (looking for a full tower with great airflow and acoustic characteristics)
Replacement fans for Case: 2 Skythe 120mm, 75 CFM fans for top exhaust

PSU: Corsair 850TX 850W (I've read some great things about this PSU, but I am not 100% sure if I need 850W--even if I do decide to add another GPU for SLI. Based off what I have read, XFX recommends 680+ watts of power if one wants to run the 285 in SLI. Comments?)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive: Sony Optiarc DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...


OVERCLOCKING: Yes SLI: Possibly

MONITOR RESOLUTION: My Hannspree can run all the way up to 1920x1080, which will most likely kill some games (i.e. Crysis, Far Cry 2). Ideally, I would like to run games like those in anything above 1280x1024--a feat that I think won't be an issue for this system.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm planning on adding my own window to the Cosmos 1000 and give it a "shnazzy" paint job. It would be great if I can manage to make this system as quiet as possible, yet maintain excellent temperatures on the GPU and CPU. Based off the reviews for the True Spirit, that shouldn't be too much of an issue.

Again, thank you for help and feedback!
August 17, 2009 12:14:11 AM

For the PSU, 750w is a good start for SLI/CF rigs.

If I were you, I'd get the case now as its on sale and free shipping. Start the custom work and wait for more info to come out. It might be worth it to step down to an i5 (which may benchmark higher than the i7 920 anyway) and spend the extra on a DX11 card that may or may not hit by the end of the year. I'd hate to see you throw $350 at a GPU only for it to become second gen technology within months and the price slashed at the same time. Also, not a big fan of the 285 when a pair of 275s will perform better and cost nearly the same. I have seen them for under $200 from time to time.
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August 17, 2009 12:21:52 AM

Agreed with the no go on the 285. Get a gtx 275! When overclocked they offer the same performance as the 285 for $100 less. Everyone that gives advice on these forums will agree that the gtx 285 is not a logical choice at all with the 275 out.
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August 17, 2009 1:12:05 AM

Hmm. Regarding the DX11 cards: where might I be able to find more information on these cards? In one way it makes sense to wait for those cards, but won't technology nearly always become second generation within a short period, given the way the market is these days? Also, where might I find information on DX11? Microsoft's site?

Regarding the 275: The gtx 275 is based off NVIDIA's larger die form, right? (I think it was 65nm.) Based off what I've read, the 285's smaller die (55nm) allows it to have produce less heat and consume less power, even when clocked higher. Are those benefits really not worth it, even if the 285 comes down in price in the near future?
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August 17, 2009 6:13:28 AM

Wow. I had no idea that DX11-capable cards might be available this soon. The new question now is this: how much will these things cost? Given the time frame that I have set out for building this rig, it looks like waiting to see how these new cards pan out before settling on my GPU. Again, many thanks for the input!

I did some reading up on DX11 capabilities, but the majority of the stuff was way over my head--seeing as I don't delve into graphics technology very much, this makes sense. Any idea where I might be able to find more info on DX11?
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August 17, 2009 6:23:54 AM

I have my doubts the launch would be mid sept, but its possible. I think maybe closer to the holidays or Win 7 launch is more realistic. This link will get a little into what else DX11 does and the launch of ATIs cards.
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1001/1/

And don't worry about it being over your head. Most of it gets over mine too.

If you can't wait till later in the year, the GTX 275 is still a great value for as much power as it pushes out. I'd buy one and then when the prices get slashed after the GT300 chip comes out next year, then SLI it up.
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August 17, 2009 4:54:20 PM

Is the GT300 NVIDIA's upcoming GPU? I vaguely remember seeing somewhere that the current generation of GPUs will be DX11 capable, but that could be a rumor for all that I know.

You suggested that I wait for the i5, but I am not sure what the significant differences between it and the i7 are. I know the i5 has hyperthreading disabled, but I have no clue what that means.
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August 17, 2009 6:18:03 PM

I would not really worry too much about the i5. If your budget is $1400 then the i7 is the way to go. Socket 1136 is still going to be very future proof with new cpus coming out in 2010. So definitely go i7!

As for Nvidia's DX11 cards...they most likely will not be released until early 2010. I would either go with one of two options:
1) Get the gtx 275 now and keep it until next fall or when you decide you need more gpu power then either SLI or get a GT300 when they are a reasonable price.
2) Wait until September 10 when AMD's DX11 gpu is realeased and pay a little bit more for it. ($250-300)
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August 17, 2009 7:39:25 PM

Many thanks for the insight. I'll plan on opting for the i7 and DX11 GPU when it comes time to order the parts. Who knows, maybe the i7s will drop in price a bit between now and then.

What do you guys think about my CPU cooling solution? I read some very positive reviews on the Cogage TRUE Spirit, but I want to make sure that I will get good temperatures with tolerable noise levels--i.e., I don't want my rig to sound like an F16 during take-off. :) 
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August 17, 2009 7:42:27 PM

The Cogage TRUE Spirit looks like a great cooler and I have seen it recommended before by the regulars on here. I think it will completely fine and you should be able to get a good overclock on it!

Good luck with the plan! Hope everything works out well!
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August 17, 2009 8:04:16 PM

They do support DDR3 but it will not be in triple channel mode. (aka 3x2GB kits)
The i5 boards support dual channel. (aka 2x2GB kits of DDR3)
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August 17, 2009 8:20:25 PM

That's what I thought, just didn't say it right:)  Not much of a performance difference from what I hear though.
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