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$1000 i7 920 Gaming build, advice needed

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September 9, 2009 2:45:35 AM

Thanks to a previous thread I made, I was able to decide on going with a i7 920 socket 1366 build. Since I've narrowed down the choices, I could use some more input on my build before I purchase all the parts.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 2-4 weeks BUDGET RANGE: $900-1000

SYSTEM USAGE (all equally important): gaming, web development, programming, rendering, encoding

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I have a keyboard, mouse, 24" monitor, speakers, OS

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

PARTS PREFERENCES: I want to stick with a standard ATX size case (Antec P183) with an ASUS or Gigabyte motherboard (see my post), XFX or EVGA GPU

OVERCLOCKING: Not immediately, want to make sure it functions correctly first and then overclock CPU to 3.8 GHz maximum when I feel I need the extra power. I would either do SLI/Crossfire in the far future or just exchange the 1 GPU for a better one.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I want it to be quiet (silentpcreview.com standard of quiet), air cooling only, no liquid cooling of any sort. Please see my wish list and potential system specs in the rest of post.


Please nitpick any flaws, let me know if something isn't compatible, won't fit, has difficult installation, etc. because I have not built a computer before and have no experience with any of these parts. I have tried to research and make sure compatibility issues are at a minimum but I probably overlooked something (or lots of things).

YES I have considered the new socket 1156 options but I would like to stick with the socket 1366.

Current Wish List (9/8/2009)

I've decided on some parts for sure, and those are listed in the specs section at the bottom of this post. The items I need help on have "HELP" listed in that section. I've found good prices (shown in parenthesis) on certain items listed in the specs section which factor into my budget of $1000. Suggestions to help me reach my budget and for the noted parts would be great.

Please keep in mind I haven't bought any parts yet.

The following are my questions and concerns regarding this build.

Motherboard
I am unsure whether to take the ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 or the Gigabyte EX58-UD5 ($280 from Amazon), or if I should wait for the Gigabyte EX58A-UD5 shown here. Input from anyone with experience with any or all of these boards would be very helpful.

Graphics Card (GPU)
XFX ATI Radeon 4890 or EVGA NVIDIA GTX 275 and why? I want to stay around the $200 price point. Does the NVIDIA card work better on an Intel system and ATI works better on an AMD system?

Power Supply (PSU)
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750W or Corsair HX750? Would 750W be enough to support this build even if I add dual GPUs in the future? Which one runs quieter and more efficiently? Is the Corsair HX750 worth the extra $20? Suggestions for other power supplies are welcome.

PC Cooler
I am unsure if the cooler will fit into the case. If anyone knows a cooler for the same price point with a more quiet, better performance please tell me.

Case
Antec P183. Will my selected wish list components fit well inside?

Please tell me if you find one of my listed items at a cheaper price, I would be very grateful.


__________________
Potential System Specs (9/8/09)

Budget: HELP! $1000
CPU Purpose: Gaming, web development, programming, rendering
GPU: HELP! Prefer XFX/EVGA, 4890 ($200) or GTX 275 ($200)
Monitor: 24" 1920x1200 Acer
MB: HELP!!! ASUS P6T Deluxe V2, Gigabyte EX58-UD5, or Gigabyte EX58A-UD5
OS: Windows 7 RC x64
CPU: i7 920 Socket 1366 ($200)
Sound: onboard
Memory: OCZ Platinum 6GB DDR3 1600
PSU: HELP! PC&C Silencer 750W ($130) or Corsair HX750 ($150)
HD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB 7200rpm
Cooling: Scythe Mugen 2
September 9, 2009 5:45:13 AM

Doing some simple math, I find your desired components exceed your budget by over 30%. Also you possibly can not get that $200 i7 920 anymore (The santa clara store was sold out today). Only way I know of to come in under $1000 is go for an i5.

xfx and evga are both good GPU companies. GTX 275 and HD 4890 are both good cards. Which will work better for you really depends on what software you run.

Only thing I know of that could save you money and not sacrifice performance is to go for this ASRock motherboard when it comes in on 9/11. It has been selling out in 2 days every time. With the p55 motherboards now in play, im not sure if it will anymore. Still its the only good under $200 motherboard for the i7 920.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You could also drop to a good 500-600W power supply but wont be able to add a second GPU if you do that.

Reading the specs on the P183 I see
Lower chamber fan is now located in front of the hard drive cage, allowing for installation of longer PSUs said:
Lower chamber fan is now located in front of the hard drive cage, allowing for installation of longer PSUs
so I suspect the cards wont be a problem, except maybe if you try to add a second GPU.
September 9, 2009 7:19:44 AM

dndhatcher said:
Doing some simple math, I find your desired components exceed your budget by over 30%. Also you possibly can not get that $200 i7 920 anymore (The santa clara store was sold out today). Only way I know of to come in under $1000 is go for an i5.

xfx and evga are both good GPU companies. GTX 275 and HD 4890 are both good cards. Which will work better for you really depends on what software you run.

Only thing I know of that could save you money and not sacrifice performance is to go for this ASRock motherboard when it comes in on 9/11. It has been selling out in 2 days every time. With the p55 motherboards now in play, im not sure if it will anymore. Still its the only good under $200 motherboard for the i7 920.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You could also drop to a good 500-600W power supply but wont be able to add a second GPU if you do that.

Reading the specs on the P183 I see
so I suspect the cards wont be a problem, except maybe if you try to add a second GPU.


Thanks for your advice dndhatcher

I did realize I'm over budget which is why I was asking for help trying to meet my budget haha. For the i7 920, I'm lucky because it's still available for $200 here, I may order it soon in case they run out because I am sure I want an i7 build.

I did look at that AsRock motherboard and I would get it if it wasn't out of stock, I'll be sure to check on it again. I agree it is great performance for a very good price. One thing that did steer me away from that motherboard was unclear or lack of instructions and difficulty of use compared to other mobos. Since this PC will be my first build, I wanted a reputable brand like ASUS or Gigabyte with easy installation and potential for overclocking. I would hate to get a motherboard that died right after a warranty ends or something. I hope the Gigabyte EX58A-UD5 comes out while I'm waiting for the AsRock. That way I could keep my options open and make better comparisons.

I was thinking of dropping the PSU watts to 650W. Not sure if it's enough power for a second GPU though, it seems iffy with dual 4890s.

From what I know, the P183 may be cramped for dual GPUs. But when the time comes to go dual GPU or upgrade the GPU, I might choose upgrade. I guess SLI/Crossfire isn't TOO big of a deal to me, but I like motherboards that give me the option of having dual GPUs.

To help meet my budget, I'm considering changing the Antec P183 to the NZXT Whisper, and I'm considering going for a cheaper RAM -- doing more research on that now.
Related resources
September 9, 2009 7:42:35 AM

I still dislike ASUS. Its a probably irrational leftover from several bad experiences with their crappy 386 and 486 motherboards. I wont say anything bad about them now, but I will go out of my way to get another brand when possible. Ive never used ASRock, but since that board got a good review and seems to not have the RMA problems some other boards have I would trust it.

According to the specs on the sapphire 4890 on newegg, one card requires a 500W PSU, two requires 600W so you may be ok as long as you dont massively overclock.
September 9, 2009 6:55:42 PM

i personally like Asus a lot and have the Deluxe V2 board, it has served me well for the past 6 weeks i've had it. Everything fits pretty well but I am using only 1 graphics card, I don't know how well a second "new" gpu would fit.
September 10, 2009 1:46:49 AM

Thanks for the input dndhatcher and lehighace06!

dndhatcher, what kind of bad experiences have you had with ASUS motherboards, and has anything bad happened on an ASUS x58 motherboard? Any horror stories like completely fried parts or something similar? I would definitely like to know because I'm gonna change my list by going with an ASUS Rampage II Extreme for $285, which makes it a better deal than a P6T Deluxe V2 in my opinion.

Now I just have to reconsider for a case because the Rampage II Extreme is 1 inch longer than a standard ATX mobo -- I'm considering the Coolermaster HAF 932, but no dust filters bothers me... I looked at the Antec 1200 but the mobo blocks 2 of the side holes for cable management, so I don't want that. Alternative case suggestions for <$140 would be great!

Quote:
xfx and evga are both good GPU companies. GTX 275 and HD 4890 are both good cards. Which will work better for you really depends on what software you run.


For gaming, I would play L4D, TF2, AoE III, Crysis, Far Cry 2, Fallout 3, Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, etc.
For productivity, I would use Photoshop, Aftereffects, MATLAB, CAD, Parallels Desktop, Office 2007, etc.
I'm leaning toward the 4890 because it's cheaper, is it appropriate for the programs I'd run? I liked the GTX 275 because of its PhysX and CUDA.

Quote:
i personally like Asus a lot and have the Deluxe V2 board, it has served me well for the past 6 weeks i've had it. Everything fits pretty well but I am using only 1 graphics card, I don't know how well a second "new" gpu would fit.


lehigh, glad to know know the P6T motherboard is working out for you. I hope the ASUS mobo will work out just as well for me. Just curious, did your Antec 900 have extra room on the sides after you installed your motherboard? I want to try and find a mid-tower ATX case that can fit the Rampage II Extreme, but no luck so far.

Quote:
Doing some simple math, I find your desired components exceed your budget by over 30%. Also you possibly can not get that $200 i7 920 anymore (The santa clara store was sold out today). Only way I know of to come in under $1000 is go for an i5.


At this rate, I might as well increase my budget to $1300 *sigh*, since it seems I can't get all the parts I would like for $1000.
September 10, 2009 1:52:58 AM

my i7 build was around $1180 because of bing cashback ... but the high cashback rates are gone so $1300 is around the price of an i7 rig atm =/
September 10, 2009 1:59:20 AM

fatpanda said:
dndhatcher, what kind of bad experiences have you had with ASUS motherboards
:sarcastic:  You didnt comprehend everything I said. I said had problems with their 386 and 486 motherboards. Those were the CPUs prior to the pentium. It was 15 years ago. They seem to have matured into a better quality company and I would be doing you a disservice if I implied they are an unreliable company today.
September 10, 2009 2:07:17 AM

jchan said:
my i7 build was around $1180 because of bing cashback ... but the high cashback rates are gone so $1300 is around the price of an i7 rig atm =/


Yea, my friend built one late August and prices seem to have gone up by $20 or more for a lot of parts -- it sucks. I was hoping I could get a good price just by finding deals but that's not going as well as I imagined.

Sorry dndhatcher, I didn't read carefully enough. I understand what you're saying now. I guess I'll give the Rampage II Extreme a shot. Now for some more case research!
September 10, 2009 5:03:45 AM

Thanks for the suggestion lebaneseguy. That GPU seems pretty good, but I think I'd prefer a double lifetime warranty over a 3 year warranty. After having an ASUS laptop and its GPU dying on me, I don't know if I should go for an ASUS GPU right now.
September 11, 2009 7:54:54 PM

sorry it took so long to get back to you. my antec 900 fit everything "pretty well" - i didn't say "really well" for a reason:

after the fact i did see this same complaint on newegg, but the GPU required a little bit more force than i'd like to use to make it line up with the slot in the back once plugged into the mobo, and i feel like it'd be a pretty tight fit to use 2 graphics cards. i can't complain about this because it did fit together and is working beautifully, but i was a little anxious while putting it together

which direction is the rampage larger? front to back? top to bottom? top to bottom there was a little extra room but not a lot, front to back there really was very little wiggle room because of the beastly gtx 275; but the board itself would still fit just fine
September 12, 2009 3:37:29 AM

No problem lehigh. Thanks for letting me know about your experience with the Antec 900. Glad to know everything fit for you. I would consider the Antec 900 but it has no dust filters, and in my view the HAF 922 seems better than it after a lot of reasearch.

I really would like a mid-tower case instead of a full tower because I would need to move it to and from school, etc. Also when the computer's at home, I would probably have to move it upstairs and downstairs more often than I'd like. That's why I was really anxious to get a P183 and I'm now considering a less risky HAF 922.

I've almost decided to take the P183 off my list because of this. The HDD cage has to be removed for a GTX 295 to fit, and based on my research a GTX 295 is about 10.5 inches long, maybe longer. The Rampage II Extreme is 10.6 inches long so it'd be a really close call.

Quote:
which direction is the rampage larger? front to back? top to bottom? top to bottom there was a little extra room but not a lot, front to back there really was very little wiggle room because of the beastly gtx 275; but the board itself would still fit just fine


Based on a lot of pictures I saw, I think a standard ATX 12" x 9.6" fits in a case with 12" top to bottom height and 9.6" front to back width if you're looking at a case with the side panel open. Seeing as the Rampage II Extreme is 12" x 10.6", I'm guessing the board is longer horizontally, in the front to back direction.

September 12, 2009 4:46:11 AM

I just built the following after MUCH research and help from this forum:

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail $279.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $169.99 (comes very highly recommended here)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK - Retail $124.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $104.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 ... - Retail $99.99 (overkill for my needs)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PLEXTOR 24X DVD/CD Writer Black SATA Model PX-880SA LightScribe Support - Retail $49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM $74.99 (very highly recommended here)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM $74.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail $44.98 (very highly recommended here)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA 01G-P3-N959-TR GeForce 9500 GT 1GB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail $64.99 (not for gaming)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Total: $1,089.89


Might not be as quiet as you want due to the case, but I wanted a window.

I'm not a gamer as you can tell from my video card.
September 12, 2009 8:26:29 AM

fatpanda said:

Based on a lot of pictures I saw, I think a standard ATX 12" x 9.6" fits in a case with 12" top to bottom height and 9.6" front to back width if you're looking at a case with the side panel open. Seeing as the Rampage II Extreme is 12" x 10.6", I'm guessing the board is longer horizontally, in the front to back direction.

I have a 10.5 inch 9800 GTX+ in my antec 900. It is sticking about an inch past the motherboard. There is still almost an inch before hitting the drive cage. The only thing you cant do is mount a drive in the drive cage at the same level as the GPU since the drive stick about an inch past the drive cage also.
September 12, 2009 9:04:26 AM

You have champagne taste on a beer budget. This build is set up for SLI...psu, case, etc... Shoot for an o/c of 3.2 - 3.4 with this.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$10.00 Combo Price: $89.98
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
COOLER MASTER Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-GP 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU - Retail

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product... $104.99 Free Shipping
PC Power and Cooling SILENCER 750W QUAD S75CF Power Supply Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $169.99
ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$12.00 Combo Price: $387.98 $20.00 Mail-In Rebate Card Price After Mail-In Rebate(s): $367.98 Free Shipping*
Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
OCZ Obsidian 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3OB1600LV6GK - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $49.99 Free Shipping*
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $219.99
GIGABYTE GV-N275UD-896I GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

Total: $1,004.92
September 12, 2009 9:30:31 AM

Why are you wasting your time posting this stuff Why_Me?




You should just buy a bunch and resell them assembled at $1399.
September 15, 2009 7:30:56 AM

Thanks to everyone for the advice.

Thanks scott_see, your build definitely gave me more options to consider and I'm glad you took the time to post your list.

DNDHATCHER, as always thanks for your input. I had a chance to check what cases I wanted that would fit my Rampage II Extreme motherboard, and I have chosen the HAF 922. It doesn't have a window as I would like, but currently I think it's the best I can get for now. I'm also impatient for the windowed model to start selling in the US haha.

Why_Me, thanks for listing some of those prices for me. I did go with the PC Power & Cooling 750W PSU from zipzoomfly.com, but I got the black one for $118 and I have a $30 Mail In Rebate.

Just curious, do you know the difference between OCZ Obsidian RAM CL 9 and OCZ Platinum RAM CL 7 besides the obvious slower timings?

Again, thanks to everyone for their input.
September 15, 2009 5:06:42 PM

don't know if it's too late, but I just picked up an Antec 1200 at the local microcenter yesterday for $139
!