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What to build ... an i7-920 or i7-860 and other questions.

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November 23, 2009 5:30:33 PM

MOVED HERE

I am looking at building a new PC in December. I am a gamer but not an overclocker. I am interested in great performance but more importantly stability and reliability. I am currently plauged with a very fault prone system. Here are the specs.

Asus Striker Extreme
Q6600
4GB Corsair Dominator (4x 1GB)
BFG 8800GTS OC
RocketRaid 2640x1 SAS Controller
2x 15,000RPM 72GB SAS Drives (Raid 0)

This system is far from stable, I am not OCing it either. BSODs typically nvidia.sys dll.

I am looking for CPU and Motherboard recomendations. The 1st question is weather or not to build an i7-920 or an i7-860. Both CPUs are priced evenly and based on my observations of a comparison of the i7-870 vs the i7-920 the 870 outperforms. Therefore I suspect the 860 will perform more evenly with the i7-920 due to its slower clock speed.

Regarding motherboard selection, I am not looking for all the bells and whistles. I need a solid board that does well and doesnt cost an arm and a leg. My budget for a board is arround the $200 mark.

Other components I am looking at for this build are...

Video Card: Budget ~ $300-400. I would love an Nvidia 295 but I feel the price is not justified. Thoughts?
Hard Drives: Use above storage configuration.
Memory: Depends on motherboard (6GB or 8GB) Budget $150-$200

Any thoughts on this build would be great. I have done some homework but many questions still exist.
a c 210 à CPUs
November 23, 2009 5:41:21 PM

Head over to the homebuilt section and post in the format shown in this template.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...

The 860 will give you a cheaper platform so you can spend more on the GPU which will help for gaming performance. Toms has also done tests which show that more than 4GB of ram will not improve gaming performance and only really helps with memory intensive applications like Adobe Premiere or Flash. A GTX295 never was a good investment, what is a better choice right now is a 5870 if you can find one in stock, it performs slightly worse than a GTX295, but uses significantly less power, costs less, and wont pump out a ton of heat into your system.
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November 23, 2009 5:42:56 PM

As someone who bought an i5-750, I kinda wish I'd have gone the i7-920 route... especially after reading about the faulty sockets on some of the 1156 boards. Also, finding a decent cooler for the 1156 platform proved to be a chore... every cooler on the market would run on that i7-920.

Since you never really isolated your problem, are you certain you won't be carrying over your problem to your new rig? You didn't mention a PSU in the old or new build so I'm assuming that part is going to carry over.
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November 23, 2009 5:48:51 PM

Thanks rodney_ws for your reply.

I am not certain that the issue wont persist, but I believe it is most likely memory related. I have some extra memory that I plan on swapping to test this out.

PSU will be slightly over powered for the rig ~ 850W (budget ~ $150)
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a b à CPUs
November 23, 2009 6:52:42 PM

Myself I would pick the X58/LGA 1366 Core i7 Platform.And like rodney_ws says there is still a little concern over getting a defective Foxconn socket on P55 motherboards.

By the way the LGA 1366 Core i7 930 should be coming out soon so you might consider waiting a bit.Then again if the i7 930 comes out perhaps one might pick up an i7 920 online for really cheap later on if they are being phased out.
http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/2009/10/28/core-i...

I agree with hunter 315 on the choice of Radeon 5870 which is a bit under $400.

It doesn't hurt to get a good power supply.
Generally I also choose power supplies at around the 850 watts mark as well in case I intend to crossfire 2 high end graphics cards.
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November 23, 2009 7:27:06 PM

tobinmarch said:

I am looking at building a new PC in December. I am a gamer but not an overclocker. I am interested in great performance but more importantly stability and reliability.
...
I am looking for CPU and Motherboard recomendations. The 1st question is weather or not to build an i7-920 or an i7-860. Both CPUs are priced evenly and based on my observations of a comparison of the i7-870 vs the i7-920 the 870 outperforms. Therefore I suspect the 860 will perform more evenly with the i7-920 due to its slower clock speed.

Regarding motherboard selection, I am not looking for all the bells and whistles. I need a solid board that does well and doesnt cost an arm and a leg. My budget for a board is arround the $200 mark.

Other components I am looking at for this build are...

Video Card: Budget ~ $300-400. I would love an Nvidia 295 but I feel the price is not justified. Thoughts?
Hard Drives: Use above storage configuration.
Memory: Depends on motherboard (6GB or 8GB) Budget $150-$200

Any thoughts on this build would be great. I have done some homework but many questions still exist.

If you live near a MicroCenter you can get the 750, 860, or 920 at a decent discount.

The i5 750 beats the i7 920 in a number of benchmarks, though they go head to head in some. The i7 860 comes out on top. Check out this review (the whole thing is worth a read though I'm linking straight to the gaming benchmarks): http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=364...

If you don't need alot of expansion slots and you're not planning to CF/SLI, pick up a Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2 motherboard for about $105. There's $95 back in your budget. If you plan to CF/SLI, you shouldn't need to spend more than $160 on a good board.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Grab 2x2GB of RAM for $90-$110. There's another $40-$100 back in your budget.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Throw the money you saved at a top end video card, like the 5870.
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November 23, 2009 7:34:51 PM

i7 wins in dual gpu, that's probably it and server apps
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November 24, 2009 1:07:59 AM

MemTest86+ will help you pinpoint problematic memory.
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a b à CPUs
November 24, 2009 1:21:17 AM

ekoostik said:
If you live near a MicroCenter you can get the 750, 860, or 920 at a decent discount.

The i5 750 beats the i7 920 in a number of benchmarks, though they go head to head in some. The i7 860 comes out on top. Check out this review (the whole thing is worth a read though I'm linking straight to the gaming benchmarks): http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=364...



There's effectively no reason I would recommend the i5-750 over the i7-920 except for cost. The i7 is better in almost every way. That having been said, the 860 does make a strong case, and I would lean towards it over the 920 unless the extra memory bandwidth or the extra PCI-E lanes are truly needed.
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November 24, 2009 6:01:36 PM

Right now I would recommend that you get the i7 860 over the i7 920.. just because the 860 will take care of overclocking your cores via turbo boost when you're not using the other 2 or 3. I believe the 860 also has a much lower power draw and overall system cost (maybe 100ish). Graphics wise, consider the ati4890, it can be overclocked to be a monster card ;]

So in summary

~Processor
i7 860 (refined powerhouse) > i7 920 (powerhouse)
- less power draw
- same performance or better pretty much
- auto overclock via turbo boost
- cheaper overall system cost

~Graphics
ATI 4890
- Great benches
- Can overclock to beat some of the best

(edit) ATI 5770
- Great benches
- DirectX 11

NOTE: I would suggest waiting just because the i7 930 might drive down the price of the i7 920. The i5 750 is honestly a really good bang for buck processor, and you can overclock it quite well with proper cooling (the cost of cooling and this processor = around same price i7 860 or i7 920). With money saved on an P55 mobo, you could put even more into your gpu... Hope this helps with your decision :]

~mrcrybaby
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December 8, 2009 8:46:14 AM

http://secure.newegg.com/Shopping/ShoppingCart.aspx?Sub...

POWERCOLOR AX5870 1GBD5-MDHG Radeon HD 5870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
Item #: N82E16814131185

$426.99


CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ... - Retail
Item #: N82E16817139006

-$70.00 Instant
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$179.99
$109.99


CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8D - Retail
Item #: N82E16820145224

$258.99


GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813128375

-$10.00 Instant
$15.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$198.99
$188.99


Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819115202

$288.99


Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2M160G2R5 2.5" 160GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD) - Retail
Item #: N82E16820167024

$499.00
Subtotal: $1,772.95
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December 9, 2009 8:05:44 PM

Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819115202

$288.99

Get your i7-920 at Micro Center. I got mine there back in Feb. for $199. I just checked and it is still the same price.
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December 14, 2009 5:14:21 PM

As an avid gamer myself:

When comes to building a new system, you can’t always afford to buy the latest tech. I would definitely buy a i7 quad-core 1336. Sometimes I use my old video card, and wait a month or two for new gfx card prices to drop. It mostly depends on your budget. Advantages of socket 1336 are Triple-channel memory (more bandwidth for your buck), as compare to dual-channel memory for socket H 1156. Ideas to keep in mind when building are:
1. Can I easily upgrade my system, without having to buy a new mobo because of socket changes, etc.

I recommend the i7 920 quad-core socket B 1336. With gaming the CPU, GPU, and memory are important choices. Newer games are taking advantage of quad-cores.

New games will be making use of Direct X 11, so I recommend buying an ATI 5800 series card, its hard to say when Nvidia will release its card supporting DX 11, its not supposed to be until sometime in the 2nd quarter 2010. I saw a Sapphire 5870 1GB the other day online for $350. AMD/ATI has another new video core coming soon, and you know when those cards release, 5870 prices will drop. $380 is a lot to shell out for a new gfx card, but when comes to gaming, video cards play an important role. I can’t wait to see Bad Company 2 in DX 11 with all the eye candy cranked up. I have plans on upgrading to a i7 920 and 5870 1GB card before March.

You can buy fast high quality triple-channel memory for around $155. 4GB would probably do with Vista or Win 7, but 6GB is recommended.
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