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Core i7 GTX 295 build

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August 26, 2009 4:13:29 PM

I know this is my first post on here, but I look stuff up on here all the time. This will be my first high end build for myself. I've done two high end builds for other people, as well as several low end builds. I'm looking for some opinion/suggestions. I've been researching for over a month and this is what I've come up with.
Lets just say money isn't exactly an issue. If you suggest something, make sure its not too ridiculous, eh? I'm not going for SLI right now. Anyway, a bit about what I'm going for. I'm in college, while I'm majoring in IT, I also program, do graphics design, video editing, and I play games like Crysis. I'm looking for something amazing for right now, that will keep up with technology for a decent time and I'll be able to upgrade easily later on (aka SLI, more memory, etc.)



Core i7 920
Would it be worth it to get the 950 i7? I'm planning on OCing to 3.0GHz-3.2GHz.
I've overclocked quite a bit before, mostly with Core 2's.

Noctua U12P CPU cooler
Not too fond of the "toaster with bread" look inside my case, but the fans are great, and the heatsink seems to be on par. Nothing compared to the TRUE, but I like it.

Evga E757 x58 mobo
Had a Evga E761 Classified, switched to this one. Going to suck if I end up going tri sli, but eh.

6x2GB 1600 OCZ XMP
Had Corsair Dominator XMP. This is cheaper w/more performance.

Evga 9800 GT (PhysX card)
Introducing... my PhysX card. Extreme overkill, but I have one that isn't being used... so, in it goes.

2 BFG GTX 275 OCX's, I intend to get a third later possibly
Works good for what I have. Switched from a GTX 295.

Corsair 1000HX PSU
Good enough for 3 GTX 275's in SLI?

2 1TB Western Digital Black hard drive
One hard drive will have Windows 7 (already have it waiting to be installed thanks to MSDNAA, mwahahahaha) the other hard drive will probably have Ubuntu installed.

Samsung DVD Burner
Just a cheap sata burner. Getting a Bluray RW when they go down in price a bit more.

Cooler Master HAF 932
Looks like it may take 2 120mm fans on the bottom? Switched from an NZXT Tempest

Samsung 23" monitor
Really like this 23" with 1920x1080 resolution. Used it in a build for a friend, loved it. I grew up with Samsung, and this monitor in particular has great reviews. Unless you guys know of Samsung's quality slipping or something, I'll probably get this.

Microsoft Keyboard & Mouse
Not that great. Will be upgrading when I can find a DeathAdder and Eclipse II for cheap.

More about : core gtx 295 build

August 26, 2009 4:41:55 PM

Great system... but lets see what we can do to help out!!

RAM: G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7T-6GBPK - Retail, better timings and won't noticed the difference between DDR3 1333 and 1600. $72 in savings

MOBO: EVGA E758-A1 3-Way SLI (x16/x16/x8) LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail, you don't plan on running tri-sli, so why pay for the ability to tri-slit and phyics. Just run SLI and use the other slot for your physics card. $120 in savings

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail, all the power you need, plus I kept you with a modular. You can save more by going with the 850TX PSU. $50 savings with HX or $100 savings with TX

GPU: x2 EVGA 896-P3-1171-AR GeForce GTX 275 Superclocked Edition 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported ... - Retail, this will provide you better performance in gaming and will last for a while after the release of DX11 cards in Oct. $9.02 savings for a SLI setup
August 26, 2009 4:48:50 PM

Swap the ram out for OCZ platinum, saves you 46 and gets you better performance
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A single GTX275 is sufficient for most people, unless you are running significantly above 1920x1200 you dont need more than 2 GTX275s, but a single one is plenty for 1920x1200, and will save you a ton, even two of them in SLI will save you 20 while out performing the GTX295. Two of them only require a 750TX power supply which will save you alot too.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Do you really need all of the features of the classified board? You can save 160 by just getting one of eVGAs regular boards, supporting 16/16/8 SLI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Drop the PCI slot coolers, you will get a better result by simply getting a case with better airflow to begin with, like the HAF 932 or the Antec 1200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Related resources
August 26, 2009 5:07:28 PM

Unless you're just going for bragging rights, spending the money on 2 275s is monster overkill on a 23" monitor at 1920X1080.

You can save over $100 with 2 of these with the exact same performance.

HIS H489F1GP Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you prefer Nvidia, 2 GTX 260s will be more than you need as well.
August 26, 2009 6:16:31 PM

Wow, left for lunch and I got some replies! It is indeed a bragging rights computer :p  More than anything though, I want something that will last a looong time, and I have the money to do so. I'm going for overkill. I know everything will be cheaper in a few months, but then there will be better stuff out anyway.

Motherboard - I know its extreme overkill, I actually like the layout though.

I'm not too fond of the idea of GTX 275 SLI because of a build I did with 2 9800 GX2's. I know, quad SLI, and that was a LOT less perfected than dual SLI, particularly then. The main issue with that is SLI would only enable for games (that supported SLI) not for graphics design or video editing. Thats why I'm fond of the idea of SLI right off the bat. I'm willing to pay for a GTX 295, so price isn't much of an issue there. I may end up getting another monitor in a year or so as well.

Sweet, I'll be changing the memory to OCZ. Any thoughts on the OCZ XMP over the OCZ Platinum? I was wondering about that one, I've used OCZ in the past and its excellent, but for x58 set ups, everyone seems to be using Corsair Dominator. I haven't had good luck with g.skill at all. I bought some for my second build and it resulted in RMAing twice. Not fun.

PCI slot coolers, I could have the best airflow case in the world, or an open air case and I'd probably still use PCI slot coolers. I'm weird like that? I will look into the HAF further though, I've seen it and liked it. Although I just figured out what it was called last night.

Oh, thoughts on an i7 920 or 950? I most likely would not/VERY minorly overclock the 950 if I got that.
August 26, 2009 6:26:09 PM

Hmmm, I didnt think you could run dual monitors with SLI. Did that change? I thought only Crossfire gave that capability. I could be wrong. Anyone?
August 26, 2009 6:31:23 PM

920, it will easily OC to the 950's level for alot less. You wont be able to fit the PCI slot coolers in very well because the GTX295 is a dual slot card and they suck air out of the case which will actually hinder the cooling of graphics cards with their own fans because the cooler and the graphics card will be fighting to fit air in between them.

Im not sure why people go for the dominators, they are overpriced and have looser timings than the platinums so they provide lower performance for significantly higher cost.

If the computer is just for bragging rights, then i suggest 2 EVGA GTX275 FTW Editions, they will greatly out perform any GTX295 out there, and tri-SLI fares quite a bit better than quad-sli.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
August 26, 2009 6:48:43 PM

Opps, I wasn't aware that SLI couldn't do multiple monitors. It never even occurred to me actually. I had 2 9800 GX2's connected to a monitor and an tv with hdmi playing games in SLI without issues though. Of course, the video was cut to the monitor. I've always kind of wanted dual monitors though, amazing for graphics design.

Okay, definitely a 920 then. I've heard that the lifespan of overclocked i7's is shortened more than say an overclocked Core 2's because they run warmer, is that true? Any guesstimates as to how much shorter?

Slot coolers I stick above the graphics card(s). I've notice a 1-2 degree drop in the CPU temps in two builds I did it (no excess heat off the GPUs rising up to the CPU). If I get this NZXT Tempest case, the PSU is on the bottom and I'm concerned about heat rising off of it onto the graphics cards. Just my thought. On the newegg thing there's a quantity of three slot coolers - those aren't only going in this build. I totally forgot about that.

So the Dominators are a fad, glad to finally work that out. :p  What are your thoughts on ram coolers? Memory can get a lil toasty when overclocking, but at the same time, the coolers are built to support the memory with the HUGE heatsink crap, so it blocks the CPU fan a bit. Worth it, or no?

I think I'm being turned over to the GTX 275's... I'm gonna compare some benches before I really decide on a GPU though. Am I understanding correctly that 275 and under is better for lower resolutions, and 280 and higher is better for higher resolutions?
August 26, 2009 7:00:14 PM

The i7 requires that memory voltage not exceed 1.65 volts so the ram will stay rather cool. In a recent test here, the kit with no heat spreads actually did better than the ones with heat spreaders.

The large fan at the top of the PSU pulls air into it from the case and exhausts it out the back so there wont be any heat from the PSU going into the case.

The GTX275 can easily handle 1920x1200 by itself, the GTX280 is older and is clocked lower than the 275 while running hotter, the GTX285 is basically the same as the GTX275 but has slightly more ram and tends to cost significantly more, you can get a GTX275 clocked way higher than a GTX285 while still costing significantly less, and a GTX295 is 2 underclocked GTX275s that run on a single slot, more useful for people who want alot of graphics horsepower but dont have SLI capability or only have 1 16x slot. A GTX295 will handle 2560x1600 fairly well.
August 26, 2009 7:19:28 PM

I've heard a lot of good things about the OCZ Platinum.


If you really want the Classified, this combo might be a good choice:


1. EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail


2. EVGA E760 CLASSIFIED "Overclocker's Pick" 3-Way SLI + PhysX 1366 Intel X58 EATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

August 26, 2009 7:23:58 PM

hunter315 said:
920, it will easily OC to the 950's level for alot less. You wont be able to fit the PCI slot coolers in very well because the GTX295 is a dual slot card and they suck air out of the case which will actually hinder the cooling of graphics cards with their own fans because the cooler and the graphics card will be fighting to fit air in between them.

Im not sure why people go for the dominators, they are overpriced and have looser timings than the platinums so they provide lower performance for significantly higher cost.

If the computer is just for bragging rights, then i suggest 2 EVGA GTX275 FTW Editions, they will greatly out perform any GTX295 out there, and tri-SLI fares quite a bit better than quad-sli.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


The OCZ is nice when it comes to performance. :D  But, They don't look that stiller when your going with a setup that is on the black and red are what ever color your going. I think this is the reason that most people chose to go with with the Dominators. ;)  Check these out. Its amazing sometimes on how things come out when you have a vision. :D 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
August 26, 2009 8:13:02 PM

I actually really don't care about color much. The blacker the better, but I'm not going to skip on a better product because of the color scheme. I mean, I'd prefer it if something wasn't bright yellow or something but it doesn't really matter. I will admit, color scheme is why I asked about the OCZ XMP, performance seems to be about the same. I'd pay whatever the difference was ($5 or $10 more?) for more black. :p 

Alright, changed the newegg list a bit. Downgraded the mobo to an evga e757 (better layout isn't worth the price, still planning on putting a fan on the nb), changed the ram to OCZ, and I'm looking at graphics cards. All of BFG's cards are out of stock on the egg. Serious fan of BFG, I'll probably go for dual GTX 275 OCX's (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) Its quite a bit cheaper than EVGA's FTW edition and the specs are nice.

I'll check out the HAF case a bit more in a few minutes - nearly time to go home from school. *cough* I have been very erm attentive in class today... yes.... and by that I mean attentively staring at my laptop researching computer parts. =)
August 26, 2009 8:15:39 PM

hunter315 said:
Swap the ram out for OCZ platinum, saves you 46 and gets you better performance
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A single GTX275 is sufficient for most people, unless you are running significantly above 1920x1200 you dont need more than 2 GTX275s, but a single one is plenty for 1920x1200, and will save you a ton, even two of them in SLI will save you 20 while out performing the GTX295. Two of them only require a 750TX power supply which will save you alot too.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Do you really need all of the features of the classified board? You can save 160 by just getting one of eVGAs regular boards, supporting 16/16/8 SLI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Drop the PCI slot coolers, you will get a better result by simply getting a case with better airflow to begin with, like the HAF 932 or the Antec 1200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

+1 for hunter315, but you can get the ram he suggested for $27.00 cheaper at Amazon.com.
OCZ OCZ3P1600LV6GK DDR3 PC3-12800 1600MHz 6GB Platinum XTC Triple Channel Kits $113.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping.
http://www.amazon.com/OCZ-OCZ3P1600LV6GK-PC3-12800-1600...

Get one of these CPU HSF Coolers'.
CoGage True Spirit Heatpipe CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Silent Fan for Intel LGA1366 $37.95
(It is similar to the ThermalRight and cools within 1 or 2 degrees' of it.)
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...

If you do get the CoGage True Spirit, I would suggest this Mounting Bracket, instead of the Push-Pin one that come with it.
Thermalright LGA1366 Bolt-Thru-Kit Retail BOX Bolt-thru Board Mounting kit $9.95
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...

If you want one of the Best CPU HSF Cooler for the Core i7 then I would suggest this one, but it is more expensive.
Thermalright Ultra120 eXtreme-1366 RT Premium Heatpipe Cooler for Intel LGA1366 $74.95
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...

Also you can get another fan bracket and fan (but have to buy serarately) for around $22.00. I am using the Thermalright Ultra120 eXtreme-1366 RT in the Push/Pull configuration and it does not block any ram slots like the Noctua does.
Thermalright Ultra120 Series Fan holder $5.99
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...

Thermalright Whisper Quiet FDB 120mm Case Fan - Medium High Speed 1600 RPM - Sleeved $14.99
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...




August 26, 2009 9:27:33 PM

shbek said:
I actually really don't care about color much. The blacker the better, but I'm not going to skip on a better product because of the color scheme. I mean, I'd prefer it if something wasn't bright yellow or something but it doesn't really matter. I will admit, color scheme is why I asked about the OCZ XMP, performance seems to be about the same. I'd pay whatever the difference was ($5 or $10 more?) for more black. :p 

Alright, changed the newegg list a bit. Downgraded the mobo to an evga e757 (better layout isn't worth the price, still planning on putting a fan on the nb), changed the ram to OCZ, and I'm looking at graphics cards. All of BFG's cards are out of stock on the egg. Serious fan of BFG, I'll probably go for dual GTX 275 OCX's (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) Its quite a bit cheaper than EVGA's FTW edition and the specs are nice.

I'll check out the HAF case a bit more in a few minutes - nearly time to go home from school. *cough* I have been very erm attentive in class today... yes.... and by that I mean attentively staring at my laptop researching computer parts. =)


I was pointing out why some people might chose Dominators. Was not suggesting you chose your parts this way. LOL And i don't think you would have much better product than Corsair. OCZ performs really well for the price. But there are others close in price and black in color. The timings and voltage are the same on some of the Corsair and other brands. LOL
August 26, 2009 9:57:35 PM

Wow, HAF 932 is awesome! Switched out.

It is cheaper though. I had actually switched out the OCZ and Corsair in that wishlist multiple times. I've used OCZ in most builds, never had an issue. I've never gotten Corsair, it was just REALLY common to see a x58 board with Dominator ram, and the egg has ridiculous reviews on it. I hadn't researched either much. Like I said, I'd prefer black, but I wouldn't buy crap ram for the color. Both are black, and if you guys are telling me to go OCZ, I'm definitely going OCZ.

Alright, ended up changing my original graphics card, memory, motherboard, and case. Liking this build more and more. I should be ordering it in 2-3 weeks.
August 27, 2009 12:24:48 PM

I was reviewing your wishlist and list on the top of the thread and I would like to add my few cents. (not sure if this is still up to date)

Unless your looking to push an overclock to 4.0ghz+ you won't be utilizing the classfied. You're paying for features that you don't need. I would consider this board as EVGA E6758-A1 $300 . It also is a good over clocker and will still be overkill but much more reasonbly priced.

Go with the i7 920. The price increase for the i7 950 is just not warrented.

I would highly suggest not getting the sound card until after you put your computer together and try the onboard sound. If the sound quality then is not satifactory then go and pick up a sound card.

I know there's a big debate on the gtx 295 vs 2x gtx 275's. Personaly I think both are great choices. I lean more towards the gtx 295 side because it free's up an pci slot. draw's overall less power (lower power bill!!) and because its only one card vs two, it'll keeps the temps in your case lower. Plus you do obtain the ability to add a second card at a later date. You do scarfice some preformance though (that's the flipside). And like u said if your looking for bragging rights bottom like u can say you'd have the best signle card gpu solution on the market currently. This is my personal opipion though.
!