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First time building. advice needed

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August 27, 2009 10:09:05 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 9/1/09 - 9/8/09
BUDGET RANGE: $1500 (USD) for everything except os. I don't have any parts i will use in it yet except the os. I think i can do everything i need for cheaper, but this is my upper limit for now.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Programming (will be running virtual machines a lot), surfing web, photo editing, possibly video editing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: OS (i already dl'ed windows 7 rc (64 bit) to put on it when i build it)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: whatever is cheapest. I want to find the right part and then find somewhere that has a lot of them for cheap. i will get my monitor and keyboard/mouse at a store probably.

PARTS PREFERENCES: I would like to get the i7-920 cpu and a high quality mobo that supports everything i need (asus/gigabyte/evga or any other good one. i am not too familiar). Form factor should be ATX. Must support win7. I don't want to go over $250(usd) ish for the mobo.

I've heard ATI graphics cards are better lately, so i'd probably go for those over nvidia, but that's just what i saw on that long sticky post.

I want to get 6 gb of ddr3 memory.I've seen that the speed is a concern in overclocking, so i'm not really sure how fast i need to go, but i don't mind spending a bit more on better memory. I'd like to eventually have room for up to 12 or 24 gb if possible.

I don't know what to look for in a PSU or a case, so i haven't done much research on those yet. all i know is that i want them both to have room to expand.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes. i have never done it before, so i would like a bios that is easy to use and understand for a beginner (I wont be overclocking a ridiculous amount)

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 (whichever one is the more common one, i think 1080)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would like it to be quiet. I want to have 2 monitors, both on hdmi if possible (or dvi if that's easier and not any worse quality). I want to RAID 0 two 500 gb 7200 rpm sata drives together, and eventually probably change that to raid 10 and 4 drives. In the beginning, i will only have one video card, one dvd drive, 2 hard drives, and i won't overclock. I need a power supply that will be able to handle expanding to two video cards with crossfire/sli, 4 hard drive, adding on a blu ray rom drive, and overclocking.

the expansion slots i know i'll need so far are 2 graphics cards, a wifi card, and possibly a sound card if the built in one doesn't suit my needs or work with whatever speakers i end up getting.

the only thing i am set on so far is the i7-920. I'm not too concerned with picking out my monitors, speakers, dvd drive or mouse/keyboard right now. I am more concerned with picking out the mobo, video card, case, cooling stuff, and hard drives. I've never bought any of these before and i want to make sure i get good parts that will work together.

I've done some research for the mobo, and the Asus P6t and p6t deluxe v2 look good. I'm not really sure what deluxe adds or if its worth it. I also looked at some of the boards by gigabyte and EVGA, but i wasnt sure how they compared to the Asus one or if they were as good.

One last thing, i am not sure about all of the little things i need like that paste that goes under the cpu or all of the fans.

Any help you can give would be appreciated.

Thanks.
August 27, 2009 11:07:38 AM

I think the p6t v2 would be ideal for you. It will have your expansion slots and is certainly good quality.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $290

You say you want reasonably fast memory, I agree... at least 1600mhz with tight latencies is what i would recommend...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... -$135
I must admit that this particular kit is pricey, most 6gb kits come at around $100, if you want to save, you could browse around some more.

A good gpu. Unless you plan to sli or crossfire in the very near future, there is no point in doing it. I would say either get a solid single or dual gpu setup now, or accept defeat and upgrade when the time comes, and when i say upgrade, i mean changing the gpu and not doubling it. Whenever next gen cards come out, they are usually more powerful than 2 of their previous generation cards, while using less power.

ATI may be launching their new dx11 cards in september, if not then, it will be certainly before windows 7 launches in late october, you can consider those. If you wanted a solid gpu now for that resolution, you can look at the gtx275 or the radeon 4890. They should both be going for around $200 on newegg, the 4890 may be a bit cheaper and they both perform relatively the same, but at the same price i would get the gtx 275 as most games these days favour nvidia gpu's.

You can get 2 500Gb caviar blacks for your raid 0 setup, but the 640Gb blacks are only $5 more. You can get 2 of those for $150...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD drive: you can get any on newegg for around $30, as you can see, newegg is my prefered site, as is for many others.

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
That is one hell of a psu, 80plus SLIVER certified, 4 6pin and 2 8pin pcie connectors and 700W of available power. Now some may say that 700W may not be enough, but the incredible efficiency on this makes it more than enough. And its a steal at $100, in fact, the price may go back up very soon.

Monitor: ASUS VH222H-P Black 21.5" 5ms HDMI Widescreen Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
2 of those would come up to $320.

Case: I like the cooler master 932 full tower, affordable full tower case and quite attractive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $140

Ok, those in addition to the $280 i7 920 comes up to $1645. A bit over...
Now, you can save some dollars on the memory, maybe the hardrives, the case, and maybe a cheaper motherboard. Look around for any combo deals on newegg, they can save a bit. I can look around for some cheaper parts if you need them.
August 27, 2009 11:31:25 AM

You are on the right track...forgive me for the lack of links, but here are a few suggestions. i7920, Asus P6t vanilla or even SE if you don't think you'll even go to nvidia sli...you've already got those figured out. On a high end build I use the deluxe, but I don't think it would add anything you really need.
Video card...buy the cheapest 4870 you can find, 2 if you can fit them in your budget.
PSU...Corsair 750tx is a good one for your needs
Ram...its gone up in price lately, so the bargains are a little harder to find. Since you plan to overclock you should get the cheapest 1600mhz ram you can find with timings of 9 or lower. I like OCZ Gold, but g-skill and others are good also.
Case...personal preference, but be sure you have good airflow
Cooler...Scythe MUGEN

You are going to have some issues keeping the graphic cards quiet. so the best thing you can do is add a high flow 2000rpm quiet fan blowing across them toward the back of the case like this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Related resources
August 27, 2009 1:10:55 PM

I like belial2k's PSU suggestion better than the coolermaster one. PSU manufacturers are moving away from split 12v rails and going with single rails with much higher amperage. The CoolerMaster HAF 932 is a pretty nice case and a popular choice. I did take a look at one last time I was at microcenter and saw that it uses a lot of plastic on the top and bezel though. I didn't like the feel of it, but it still looks quite sharp.

Since everything else is pretty well covered, I'll add a bit on hard drives and RAID arrays. 2 500 GB WD Caviar Blacks in RAID 0 is an okay suggestion. I think you'll squeeze a little bit more performance out of the 640 GB ones since the platter layout is more efficient. You mentioned interest in possibly going to RAID 10, which certainly is possible with most on-board controllers, but they get crappy performance in just about any RAID configuration other than 0 and 1. If you are going to invest in a RAID array, I'd suggest getting a PCI-e controller card. They are much better performing with the higher level RAID arrays, and will actually use less CPU cycles than the on-board controller. The HighPoint RocketRAID is a good choice since it's price is pretty reasonable at the entusiast level: http://www.maximumpc.com/article/reviews/highpoint_rock...
August 27, 2009 6:29:10 PM

The only reason i wasn't sure about the p6t is that i've heard it's hard to fit 2 graphics cards in to do sli/crossfire with it, since the design is not too good. and i've heard that one of them can only go to 12 gb of memory, but that seemed to be inconsistent and some places said they can both go to 24 gb. but other than that, i don't know of any advantages the deluxe has over the regular. or even what advantages the p6t series has over other brands, like evga and gigabyte. do they make equally good motherboards that i should consider?

one other quick thing on the built in sound for motherboards, is it usually good? If i wanted to watch a movie or play a game, would the difference between the built in sound and a separate sound card be noticeable?

also, it seems like the 4870 is a really good graphics card and at a pretty good price. Am i right to assume i don't need the 4870 x2 for now? Also, how much better is the 4890? Because if it's much better it might be worth the extra 50 dollars. And how does the GTX 275 compare to those. I am planning on watching HD tv and blu ray movies with it eventually, at 1920x1080 resolution. And i do plan on having 2 monitors. (i would definitely need to add another card if i wanted more than 2 monitors, right?) Also, i will be playing games with it. I don't want to spend a ton now because i think in the next year or two i'd get two new cards and crossfire them, and that's when i'll start more of my gaming. But if a single one of these ends up working out fine, then i wouldn't want to change.

wathman, i think i'll hold off on the raid card for now since i will only be using raid 0 for the time being. But it should be easy to just add one in and add 2 more hdd's if i ever want to use raid 10, right?

also, i see you guys have been suggesting 700 w and 750 w power supplies, but i went on
http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine
and i think i might get a little close to that. i wasn't sure though about some of the things on there. If i overclocked the i7 920 to 3667 Mhz, what would the vcore be around? i guessed 1.4 v, but i had no idea, and it seems to make a big diff. but between that and potentially having dual 4870's and 4 hdd's and a couple pcie cards, the wattage got to 700ish W. and if i added in the capacitor aging feature, it went to 850ish W. Is 750 enough to expand as much as i plan to (if i plan on keepiing the psu for at least 5ish years)

one last thing. in general, are open box deals on new egg reliable? if i do one, i can save like 80 - 100 dollars on a motherboard, but i don't want to get something that doesnt work well.

Thanks for all of the help everyone. i really appreciate it.
August 27, 2009 7:34:31 PM

You are getting some misinformation on the p6t...there is a reason all the review sites use them as the reference boards. Easy overclocking, great voltage control, and better memory control than most boards.

Speaking of voltage, I usually set the vcore to around 1.32 for a 4.0 overclock, with a D0 stepping processor you could use even less. On the p6t you don't have to worry much about vdroop, so can usually get by with lower voltages.

Built in sound on any x58 board is more than enough.

The 4870 is the sweet spot in price/performance right now. The 4890 is good, but not at that price when you can get 4870s for 125 or even less with MIR. Crossfire another 4870 and its all you need at 19x12 and two monitors for a long time to come. If you prefer intel, newegg has this deal, but of course its a refurb to get it that cheap
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Those PSU engines always overestimate what you'll need because they have to take into account all the poor units out there. If you buy quality, you'll have more longevity, less chance of blowing up your other components, and you can get by with a lower rated model.

I LOVE the open box deals....but I build computers for a living and have everything I need already laying around the shop. Keep in mind open box deals are always a crapshoot on what you'll get with the item. I've had MBs show up that were just the raw MB, and NOTHING else. No I/O panel or anything. You can always get the other stuff you need, but it might delay your build and in some cases, like the I/O panels they can be a pain to find sometimes. You might also end up spending more than you saved trying to get everything you need. For simple that don't need accessories go for it...but for items that need the extras be very cautious.
August 27, 2009 7:48:53 PM

belial2k said:
You are getting some misinformation on the p6t...there is a reason all the review sites use them as the reference boards. Easy overclocking, great voltage control, and better memory control than most boards.


but it can fit 2 graphics cards without restricting airflow or any other problems, right? and i see on asus's site that it can do 24 gb, that's good. but then what is the difference between the p6t, p6t deluxe v2, and p6td deluxe? And is the only difference between the p6t and the p6t se that the se cant; do sli?

also, for hdd's, what is the difference between these two?(the 750 gb ones are all $5 more than a 640 gb, so i'm gonna go with those)

Western Digital WD7500AADS Caviar Green Hard Drive - 750GB, SATA-3G, 32MB, Intellipower
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Western Digital WD7501AALS Caviar Black Hard Drive - 750GB, SATA-3G, 7200rpm, 32MB
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

and how they compare to this

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 Hard Drive - 750GB, 7200rpm, 32MB, Serial ATA-300
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

and just out of curiosity, why are these so much more $

Seagate SV35.3 ST3750330SV 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital RE3 WD7502ABYS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate Barracuda ES.2 ST3750330NS 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

thanks again
August 27, 2009 8:09:27 PM

first thing on hard drives, you're comparing a Caviar Green to a Caviar Black. Caviar Blacks are performance drives meant for read/write speeds and random access. They will run windows OS and applications very well. the Caviar Greens are energy efficient drives meant more for storage. They will use a fraction of the power, and generate much less heat, but performance will not be as good as the Caviar Black. As for the raid arrays, going from raid 0 on an onboard chip to a raid 10 on a controller card isn't as simple as slapping in 2 more drives and telling it to go raid 10. You'll have to do a sector by sector reimage of the raid 0 array, reformat the drives, create the raid 10 along side the new ones, and then transfer your image over to the newly built raid 10 array. Or, you could just save all your important data, reformat the drives, build the raid 10 array, and then reinstall windows as a fresh install.
August 27, 2009 8:15:14 PM

The p6t uses standard double slot x16 spacing, just like every other board out there. You do need to make sure you have good cooling when doing crossfire. Use a case that has a side vent fan, and/or place a fan in front of the cards blowing toward the back of the case.

Green Drives are meant to save energy, but at the cost of some performance. The caviar black drives are the WD performance drives. I'm not fond of Seagate due to the large failure rates they have had in the past...I'm waiting to see if they have actually got their act together yet.

I cannot explain pricing schemes....all I can tell you is that spending more doesn't mean you'll always get better quality.

August 27, 2009 9:34:13 PM

Got busy with some work stuff, so I'm coming back to why those other drives are more expensive. Those are RAID edition drives, or enterprise class drives. They are optimized for continuous use in RAID arrays. The motors and other mechanicals are more durable, and overall, the drive is less likely to fail. If you dig for the MTBF (mean time before failure ratings) they should be significantly better. Sometimes, these drives carry a longer warranty as well.

In performance terms, they pretty much perform exactly the same as the cheaper versions. What you're paying for is reliability, which is just as important to some people as performance is.
August 27, 2009 10:37:40 PM

Lets start off with the motherboard, this one is a dark horse, made by Asrock and is a subsidiary of Asus
ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $169.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Here is a Combo Deal for CPU Cooler/CPU.
1. XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V: $44.98 Free Shipping*

2. Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz BX80601920: $279.99 Free Shipping*

Combo Discount: -$10.00
Combo Price: $314.97
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Another Combo Deal with above Case and the PSU you picked.
1. Corsair Memory CMPSU-750TX: $119.99 Free Shipping*

2. Cooler Master HAF RC-932-KKN1-GP: $139.99

Combo Discount: -$10.00
Combo Price: $249.98
$20.00 Mail-In Rebate Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Get this Ram from Amazon.com it is over $30.00 cheaper then NewEgg has it.
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...

Graphic Card
XFX HD-487A-ZHFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 $144.99 Free Shipping*
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

*note: If you can wait until last week of September the Radeon HD 5870 to be launched on 22 September and priced at US $299.
http://www.techpowerup.com/102342/Radeon_HD_5870_Aggres...

Since you mention Photo & possible Video editing I would suggest either one of these HDD's.
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache $94.99 Free Shipping*
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache $74.99 Free Shipping*
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

*note: would get 2 of either above HDD (same size or 1 of each) and use 1 for the OS and other for Storage

Monitor
ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen $199.99 ($189.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate)
Free Shipping*
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Or go with kevin1212 suggestion for Monitor(s).
Monitor: ASUS VH222H-P Black 21.5" 5ms HDMI Widescreen $169.99 ($159.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
(2 of those would come up to $320.)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive
Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM $29.99 Free Shipping*
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Items you will need.
Thermal Compound.
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail $7.98
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...

Subtotal with WD 1TB HDD or shipping costs = $1135.88
with out Monitor choice added.
Subtotal WD 1TB HDD, Plus pair of 23.6" Monitors' after MIR's and before shipping costs = $1515.74
Subtotal WD 1TB HDD, Plus pair of 21.5" Monitors' after MIR's and before shipping costs = $1455.74

Hope this helps you out some..

August 28, 2009 10:25:25 AM

bdwain said:

also, i see you guys have been suggesting 700 w and 750 w power supplies, but i went on
http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine
and i think i might get a little close to that. i wasn't sure though about some of the things on there. If i overclocked the i7 920 to 3667 Mhz, what would the vcore be around? i guessed 1.4 v, but i had no idea, and it seems to make a big diff. but between that and potentially having dual 4870's and 4 hdd's and a couple pcie cards, the wattage got to 700ish W. and if i added in the capacitor aging feature, it went to 850ish W. Is 750 enough to expand as much as i plan to (if i plan on keepiing the psu for at least 5ish years)

one last thing. in general, are open box deals on new egg reliable? if i do one, i can save like 80 - 100 dollars on a motherboard, but i don't want to get something that doesnt work well.


Most PSU calculators overestimate the size of the PSU that you will need because they need to allow for all the crappy PSU's out there. However, in the 700 - 750 watt PSU class, I would go with the Corsair TX750. (Oh, wait. I did. :) ) Excellent PSU. Very conservatively rated. Anybody else selling it would call it a 900 watt PSU. It will give you plenty of power if you do not use two upper end "X2" video cards. In that case go with the TX850.

The TX line is not modular, but with 2 video cards, you will not have many cables leftover.

Overclocking the CPU will not significantly increase power consumption. One of my older computers had a Q6600 OC'd to 3.6 GHz. Voltage increased from 1.2625 volts to 1.42 volts. CPU power current, as measured by a lab calibrated clampon ammeter, went from 8 amps to 9.5 amps under 100% P95 load.

So, assuming you use a couple of 4870's (less than 12 amps each), that's only about 34 amps. Four hard drives when they spin up together will pull another 3 amps. So that's about 37 amps from the 12 volt rail. "Only" 23 amps left.

The biggest problem with open box deals is not their reliability. It's that they do not guarantee that you will get all the accessories that come in a sealed factory package. Missing cables are no big deal, but a missing i/o shield is a little harder to replace.
-------------------
GA-EP45-UD3P, Q9550 OC'd to 3.6 GHz/TRUE, 4 GB Crucial Ballistix
GTX260-216, 3 WD HD's - 2.6 TB total, Corsair TX750, Antec 900
August 28, 2009 10:44:10 AM

I'm having some trouble deciding on a mobo and a graphics card and a psu.

first though, for a psu, I like the Corsairs (850tx, which is only $120, and the 750tx is $110, so why not), but their modular ones (750hx and 850hx) are more expensive. the 750hx is $145 and the 850hx is $170.
i'm worried about not modular because idk if it is a pain to keep the cables neat without it modular. i've never done it before.

the other ones i see

COOLER MASTER Real Power Pro RS-850-EMBAD1-US 850W ATX12V (how does it compare to the 850tx, since it is only $130)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thermaltake W0116RU 750W Complies with ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V version SLI Ready CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS Certified Modular (this one is modular and only $90 after MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thermaltake Toughpower XT W0229RU 750W ATX12V V2.3 80PLUS BRONZE ATI CrossFireX Certified AMD GAME READY FanDelayCool (not sure how this is different from the above one, but it is $120)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thermaltake Toughpower W0178RU 850W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail (850w for $145)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

how do these compare to the corsairs?


for graphics cards, i don't want sli/crossfire for now, and i'd like to stay under $200 if possible, but not at the cost of my card not being able to handle some games. i'll be watchinbg blu ray movies and playing games in the beginning. I will have 2 monitors , but i'd game on just one of them. ideally, i'll get a single card now and then find out that i never have a need to upgrade to sli/crossfire. (if i want to watch hdtv on my comp, i can just plug an hdmi wire from the cable box to the monitor and the gpu doesnt even matter right?).

so i like the radeon 4870 and the gtx 260 (the 4890 and 275 are a little pricey right now and i'm not doing a ton of gaming for a bit anyway). they seem pretty comparable in price and performance. i can find the 4870 for 125ish and the 260 for 145-150ish, but is the 260 worth the extra $20 (it also comes with a free game usually)? and how do the nvidia 9 series, like the 9800, compare? i thought they were a bit older, but they seem to do well in some of these reviews incluidng the 4870 and 260 from last nov-08. also, i see in one of these reviews that some games wernet playable on the 4870 or 260 last winter at very high res, and i was curious why that would be since it's a high end card.

http://techgage.com/article/ati_hd_4870_1gb_vs_nvidia_g... (look at the bottom)

is it just because 2560 is a really high resolution that you'll need sli or an x2 card to support it?

and here, it says flight simulator x wasnt playable on the 4870, which is surprising because flight sim doesnt seem like a graphic intensive game. and it's definitely one i see myself playing

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-4870,1964...

and the 9800 gtx was better than it there, but in all of the other games, the 4870 seems to get way better than the 9800 (like this one)

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-4870,1964...

isnt the 4870 a high performance gaming card? are the 4870 and 260 different kinds of cards than the 9800? and is flight sim a different kind of game?

but the 4870 and 260 seem nice other than those few unplayable games? Are those problems still around?

also, i thought ati was the only maker of the radeon boards and nvidia was the only maker of their boards, but a bunch of other companies seem to make them. Which ones are the good ones for each?

here are the 4870s on newegg

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

and here are the 260s

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

so as you can see, some brands are way cheaper for the same card, which is weird. and some have free shipping and some have a free game (mostly nvidia). (btw, what's better, farcry2, stalker, or batman arkham asylum)

for motherboards:
just so you know, the most expansion slots i ever see myself using is 2 graphics cards, a raid card, a wifi card. i'd like to take that into consideration when i pick my mobo.

this is the expansion slots for the p6t
3 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (at x16/x16/x4 mode)
1 x PCIe x1
2 x PCI

just so im clear, that means there are three x16 slots, and one of them only has x4 speed. so if i had an x4 raid controller, and an x1 wifi card and 2 gpu's crossfired/sli together, i could plug all 4 in? and i'd still have 2 pci slots left over. (do they make stuff that uses plain pci anymore?)

this is the expansion slots for the p6t deluxe v2
3 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (at x16/x16/x1 or x16/x8/x8 mode)
1 x PCIe x4
2 x PCI

that means i can run 2 gpu's (one at x16 and one at x8) crossfired, another card at x8, and a last card at x4, or i can do the same as the p6t offers. is the only real difference between the two this second option for the x16 slots and that if i go with the first option, i can plug a wider card into the x1 slot?

also, if i was to put one gpu in the x16 slot and one in the x8 slot, how much would the performance be affected compared to if they were both in x16?

assuming it can handle those expansion slots, if i go with asus i think i'll just go with the p6t. the advantages of deluxe seem to be an extra ethernet port (ill never use it), 2 extra usb ports (not a big deal), 16+2 power thing instead of 8+2 (i'm not going to overclock my gpu or cpu ridiculous amounts, so i don't think that's a big deal), and slightly different expansion slots (if the p6t works then its fine). i think they both support 24 gb of memory. also, idk what this is, but the p6t has a
JMicron® JMB363 PATA and SATA controller and a JMicron® JMB322 (Drive Xpert technology), while the deluxe just has a Marvell 88SE6111. idk who that is better for, or what it really means at all, but i don;t think it's a big deal. i don't know of any other diffs really. i don't want the p6t se because i don't know how nvidia and ati will compare in the future, so i'd like to keep my option for sli open.

but i was curious how the p6t compares to the deluxe x58 mobo from asrock (the extreme didnt have enough pcie slots i think), and also to the x58 boards from evga.

i've been able to find the p6t for 225

asrock x58 deluxe
http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=X58%20Delux... (i've seen it for 200)

i see the deluxe one for 200. i'm not sure how the overall quality compares, but the deluxe seems to have everything i want and nothing majorly different than the p6t. but i'm not sure if the 25 dollars it saves over the p6t is worth whatever quality difference there is (if there is one, idk)

also, how does the evga x58 sli compare to those 2? i can't find it for less than 250, so unless its way better than the p6t, i don't see myself getting it.

evga x58 sli
http://www.evga.com/products/moreInfo.asp?pn=132-BL-E75... (i've seen it for 250)

and the last mobo i'm considering are these gigabyte ones (i can't see any major differences)

GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD4P LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail (i've seeen it for 215 somewhere else)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail (i've seen it for 260)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

from what everyone is saying, the asus p6t boards seem to be the best quality, but i could be misinterpreting. but it is def cheaper than most of the other boards, and if not, no more than $25 more, which is not a lot. that would pretty much eliminate everything else, right? Do you all think the p6t is the best board of the ones i listed?

one last thing i wanted to ask about is my hard drive configuration.

originally, someone told me it would be faster to have 2 drives of size x rpm 7200 raid 0'ed together than to have 1 drive of size 2x rpm 10000. But that would mean my os and everything i had would be on raid 0. Is that safe? And is it fast? SOmeone else suggested i get those 2 and then get a small 150 gb velociraptor drive to put windows on, separate from the raid config. But that would add like $150. What do you all think of that? Would it be better, or worth it? (btw, the 2 big drives i get will be 750 gb caviar black with 32 mb cache)

one other thing. everyone has been suggesting cooling kits. Do i need those if i don't plan to overclock much or do any type of crossfire/sli in the beginning? how hard would they be to get later and install then?

sorry for the really long post. but Thanks for all of your help again.
August 28, 2009 12:12:00 PM

For the list of alternate PSU's, Corsair is better than any of them. And if the TX850 is only $10 more than the 750, by all means, get the 850.

Graphics cards - the GTX260 and the 1 GB 4870 in their stock versions are of similar performance. Some games run better on one than the other, and vice versa. :)  But currently, the 4870 is the better deal. The 9800 is an older, but still competitive model. When you compare prices on the video cards, you need to factor in how much memory they have and their speed. Some manufacturers will test the GPU's and use the faster one to build factory overclocked models.

Not really familiar with X58 motherboards.

The problem with RAID 0 is that if anything goes wrong with either drive, you have lost everything if you do not have backups. If you are going to get 2 WD Blacks, you should get either two 1 TB drives or two 640 GB drives. They will be a little faster than the 750's. The 750 uses three 250 GD platters. The other two models use two or three 320 GB platters. The higher areal density makes them a little faster.
August 28, 2009 12:25:56 PM

Coming in a bit late, but I have $0.02 to add (may be all it's worth...)
Sounds like the Coolermaster PSU has already been shot down; just as well. The review of it here: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/759/9 says it is electrically a little noisy at high loads, which you may well have.
Corsair is a nice choice, but I would suggest an Antec Truepower New 750W for $100: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
jonnyguru.com recommended it over the Corsair ( http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=... ), and in your case it has specific advantages. The first minor one is 80+ bronze, instead of just 80+. The bigger one though is that it is semi-modular. Since you plan to start with just one video card, you won't have all those extra cables until you need them.
As to the video card, the way I read your posts, you are planning to put in one card now, and hope to not need another, but might add it later. A single HD4870 is probably the way to go. By the time you discover you need more, the next series of GPUs will be out. The reviews of all of the HD4870s seem to be all over the place. I'd probably choose this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HIS H487QT1GP Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported IceQ 4+ Turbo Video Card - $165
It isn't the cheapest, but the three other HIS cards I've used all ran very quietly with the IceQ4 cooler on them. It also comes with a "free" (you need to buy the card) game. If you decide you want a different brand, I would suggest a model with a dual-slot cooler to exhaust heat, and even more strongly suggest NOT to buy Diamond.
The rest seems to be pretty well covered.

August 28, 2009 7:03:06 PM

alright, i do like the look of that antec power supply over the corsair.

so right now, i'm kind of set on (unless anyone has a reason that something else is better)

asus p6t mobo
i7-920
radeon 4870 or gtx 260, whatever i can get a better deal on.
Antec Truepower New 750W PSU

for hdd's, i want to get 2 640 gb caviar blacks, but what does everyone think about what i said before about putting my windows stuff on the raid 0? here's what i said before.

Quote:
originally, someone told me it would be faster to have 2 drives of size x rpm 7200 raid 0'ed together than to have 1 drive of size 2x rpm 10000. But that would mean my os and everything i had would be on raid 0. Is that safe? And is it fast? SOmeone else suggested i get those 2 and then get a small 150 gb velociraptor drive to put windows on, separate from the raid config. But that would add like $150. What do you all think of that? Would it be better, or worth it? (btw, the 2 big drives i get will be 750 gb caviar black with 32 mb cache)


and for memory, how big of a difference do the timing #'s and the speed of the memory make? I know it was suggested that i get the cheapest 1600 mhz memory with timings less than or equal 9 that ican find. Is anything faster than that overkill? i will be overclocking, but not to an absurd amount. What do the voltage and the timings mean? Would it be worth it to spend a little extra and get faster memory or lower timings or different voltage?

i'll figure everything else out after i decide on these. thanks everyone.
August 28, 2009 7:40:14 PM

Timing are very important, the lower you can get the better you are off. At stock or when OC'ing, plus the 1600mhz (12800) is the sweet spot for ram right now on the X58 mobos'.

This one that I posted above, the OCZ OCZ3P1600LV6GK DDR3 PC3-12800 1600MHz 6GB Platinum XTC Triple Channel Kit, is Cas7 {CL 7-7-7-24/(CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS)} and at 113.99 & Free shipping it is a veru good buy.
http://www.amazon.com/OCZ-OCZ3P1600LV6GK-PC3-12800-1600...

Also the ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard is back in stock and is on par with the P6T plus it its $120.00 cheaper. You did know that Asrock is a subsidary of Asus. :) 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
August 29, 2009 11:24:46 AM

that ocz memory looks good, but the reviews on newegg were pretty bad. It seems 1/4 people who get it have to rma it and that it hardly ever works.

the only brand that seems to get good reviews all over the place is corsair.
i know it's expensive and probably more than i need, but how is the corsair dominator? it seems like it's one of their higher end chips, and it had like 430 5 star reviews out of 440.

CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8D - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and this one is a similar price

CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C7D G - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i know it's like $75 more, but if it's that much better and that much more reliable, it might be worth it? I know i'd be totally pissed if i got the other memory and it didnt work like it said it would or it was doa.

the other ones from corsair that looked good were these two xms ones.

CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C9 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

it's also here for $20 cheaper, but idk if i want to deal with a weird uncommon site
http://www.antonline.com/p_TR3X3G1600C9-GP_581185.htm

and this one

CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8 G - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i'd be happy to go with those if the performance difference between them and the dominators is not so big, or if it's just something that i wouldn't come across.

as for the asrock mobo, i'm not sure if the extreme has everything i need (i could see myself wanting more pcie slots). and the reviews i saw of it said it was good but still not as good as the asus p6t. i'm not sure how the deluxe compares, but i found the p6t for 225, so the price difference between it and the 2 asrocks isn't so big and id rather go with the better reputation brand.

after doing some reading, i am no longer sure about what hard drive configuration would work best for me.

origianlly i just planned to do 2 caviar black 640 gb drives raid 0'ed togehter.
but i've heard that the problems with that are that its bad to put your system drive on raid 0 and that the performance boost of raid 0 isnt that big. (if raid 1 would also boost performance alot, i'd prob be fine with just 640 gb, i'm not sure i'd use all of that anyway. i was going with 2 drives more for performance increase than space increase.) the caviar black 640 gb's are $70.

it was also suggested that i get a velociraptor drive to put just windows on and have that separate from my raid 0 thing, but that's getting to be too much $. i suppose i could also get just one, but i'm not sure how much i could fit on the velociraptor drive and accessing the stuff on the other one might be a bit slow. i found a 150gb velociraptor for $160, and a 74 gb for $70.

although, if i did that, i could also get like a 32 gb ssd to use as the windows drive instead, which would save 60 dollars and prob be faster, but still be slow to access anything other than windows stuff. is 32 gb big enoguh for windows 7? i don't think i'd want to risk 16 gb. the 32 gb ssd is around $100, plus or minus a bit.

I am most concerned with minimizing boot time, but i also want all other disk accesses to be above average as well. I'd also like to have it somewhat quiet, so no 15000 rpm drives. I don't think i can go much over $200 for storage. does anyone have any suggestions on which route i should go?

thanks
August 31, 2009 1:29:06 PM

For $200, it's a tough call. You also have to consider if you want better write speeds, or better read speeds. For an OS boot up, read speeds are most important. For application performance, it's usually write speed. A single Caviar Black 1 TB probably has the best overall single drive performance for a non-SSD. To go with an SSD as a primary drive, I would not recommend going with less than 60 GB. I just migrated my C: drive to an OCZ Summit 60 GB, and it's just big enough for the OS, a few games and programs, and that's it. I've moved all documents, downloads, etc, to a storage array. In terms of SSDs, there's a lot of choices out there and a lot of price points too unfortunately. The current speed record holders are all SLC flash based drives, like the high end intels, OCZ Vertex, etc. These also will set you back at least $500 for tiny drives so not worth it for the majority of us. There are faster MLC based drives, intel's is probably the best, but still expensive in the $250 range. All the others are about the same, though take note of who built the controllers for the cheaper SSDs, jMicron makes the worst, Samsung ones are a good bet, indilinx are probably the best currently.

SSD's I'd recommend tend to start at the $150 range for ~ 60GB, you may get lucky and find one on sale at $130 or so. If you do, you could get an SSD + an average 640 GB drive for storage right at $200. Otherwise, go with 2 Caviar Blacks in RAID 0.
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