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Parts list for new gaming - all advice welcomed

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August 18, 2009 1:42:53 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Approximately 1 week (if before dx11 / i5)

BUDGET RANGE: max is ~$1700, same performance for less is welcomed!

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (all other uses are sufficient in any capacity)

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

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: www.newegg.com (others are fine, always have used newegg with good results)

PARTS PREFERENCES: Best price/performance available, as long as it is a reputable distributer/producer.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes SLI OR CROSSFIRE: If it is the best solution

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050, dual screen

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: My primary concern is the best performance in video games. I plan to overclock a good deal, probably as far as air will take me on either an aftermarket cooler or stock. As for SLI/Crossfire, I am not a big fan of upgrading 6 months or a year down the road, so if it is the best bang for the buck to last ~2 years, then I will go SLI/Crossfire.

I care a great deal about multitasking. I will almost always have a game, iTunes, Chrome, Firefox, VLC, aim, and more open at once, and constantly tabbing through, so having all that work well while still having great game performance is important to me.

I do not have a huge brand loyalty, but in the past I have always been satisfied with Asus for motherboards. I have a retail key for Windows 7, so I will be putting that on.

I only need a single hard drive with average storage. I have about 1.5 terabytes of media on two others that I will be adding. Just need space for os / apps.

So the dilemma I have is: do I purchase in the next week or two OR do I wait until after i5 and dx11 come out and purchase in October/November. I am leaning towards earlier rather than later, but that would be to lack of patience. I realize the i5/dx11 will be newer, but will the performance increases be worth the time + increased cost?

If you have made it this far, I appreciate it! Any advice (expert or not) on experiences or your luck with these parts / better parts / combo deals is greatly appreciated.

PARTS LIST:

CPU: Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: 2x MSI N275GTX TwinFrozr OC GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Drive: LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooling: LINK
August 18, 2009 2:13:01 PM

Since you are overclocking, I've seen people looking at Sunbeam, Xigmatek, and Scythe for i7 compatible coolers. If you stick with stock cooling, you won't get a very high overclock.

I've always thought that single card solutions are almost always a better bang for the buck for graphics. For specific suggestions right now, I'd recommend the GTX 275 over the GTX 260, or if you prefer AMD, 4890 is a good choice.

If you're like me and would rather build a new system in 2-3 years rather than upgrade, you could probably downsize that Corsair 850w to a 750w and save a little money there. even the 650w should cover your needs if you don't go overboard on peripherals.

Right now I can't say if you're better buying now or waiting. In theory the new platform for i7/i5 is not any more powerful than the current X58 boards, but there are no performance benchmarks to really say if they are worth waiting or not. It seems that it is yet another socket design, so for future compatibility sake, it may be worth waiting just for that.
August 18, 2009 3:53:30 PM

Cooler - Definitely recommend the popular Thermalright True Black 120, great oc'ing with it!

If you prefer Nvidia, I would suggest the Gtx275 SLI - If ATI 4890 1gb Crossfire is good too. ; your 850w would be fine for either option, and even more later!

I don't care what people say I'm just stubborn like that, even though my monitor was 1680x1050 I still bought my freaking 4870x2 I know my res was too low to run the card at full capacity but I knew i was going to upgrade my monitor anyways.

So go ahead and SLI / Crossfire you won't regret it.

Screw the i5, get your i7 now, the i5 is an i7 without hyperthreading, I would pay the extra 50 or so dollars for 8 virtual cores any day.

Every x58 motherboard is well made, and pricey! So go ahead and choose which you like best and fit your needs!
However I would change one thing, your hard drive is 500gb / two 250gb platters, I would recommend the 640gb.

It doesn't cost that much more and it supposedly performs better because of the dual 320gb platters.

Great case btw, I used to have one and it had served me well.. In ways you could never imagine ^_^

- One more thing, Dx11 might be a joke. On paper it sure looks good, but minimal increase in real world performance. Of course those so called Dx11 cards will perform better than the cards we have now but it's to be expected.

You have a great build there, I really love my CPU. Much faster than my phenomII 940 in desktop apps I use often!
Have fun with your new PC when you build it!
Related resources
August 18, 2009 4:47:25 PM

I agree with stevensl2 on the i5 as being worse than the i7. I've been reading what I can find on the new p55 platform, and it seems that a new batch of i7s will be out to utilize these newer boards as well. From what I can gather, the p55 will compromise on performance some to hit a better price point, making it a mainstream and not an enthusiast product. What I haven't been able to determine yet is the X58 platform going to be the top dog for a while yet, or is there going to be a new chipset that will surpass it in a few months?

Since intel's LGA 1366 socket isn't all that old, I don't really get why they went ahead and made a new LGA 1156 socket to go with the P55 boards. Are they going to continue to make i7s for 1366 and 1156 sockets?
August 18, 2009 5:40:17 PM

I updated the post with the changes suggested. I was curious if you could link the specific heat sink that you recommend? Also, is there anything about this you might change? Maybe a different P6T (there are a host to choose from)?

I plan on using this system for 2-3 years and then building again. I do not generally like upgrading. Input is greatly valued, thanks!
August 18, 2009 8:50:43 PM

Shameless self bump. Hopefully looking for a little insight into a specific heat sink, and any even remote concerns with the parts listed above. Thanks in advance to anyone able to help out.
August 18, 2009 9:13:14 PM

Get this Case instead, has Free Shipping and with that figure in will cost less then your selection. Plus has better Airflow and is slightly wider, which you will need for CPU HSF Cooler.
Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $123.95 Free Shipping*
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Since you mention that you might OC, then get either of these CPU HSF Coolers'.
XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail $44.98 Free Shipping*
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Scythe MUGEN-2 $36.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CoGage True Spirit Heatpipe CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Silent Fan for Intel LGA1366 $37.95
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...

Thermalright Ultra120 eXtreme-1366 RT Premium Heatpipe Cooler for Intel LGA1366 $74.95
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...

One of the latest Reviews on 1366 CPU HSF Coolers'.
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2009/07/23/intel_core_i7...

Items you will need.
Thermal Compound.
Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Compound - Retail $9.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You will need this 8-pin Power Extension Cable for most Cases that has Bottom Mounted PSU.
1ST PC CORP. 12" 8-pin EPS extension cable Model CB-8M-8F - Retail $8.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Now to the Operating System. Download the Free Windows 7 RC 64-bit now before this Thursday when you can not download it and then buy the full version when it comes out.

Download Link for Windows 7 RC
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/get/download...

The other Option is to get this one that comes with Upgrade for Windows 7.
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee $109.99 Free Shipping*
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hope this helps you out some, Good Luck on your upcoming Build. :wahoo: 
!