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Need Advice for Purchasing and Building my First PC

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September 9, 2009 10:04:01 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Now --> Mid-October

BUDGET RANGE: $1250-$1750

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, HD Video Editing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers, OS, Wireless Networking, External Storage

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel i7 CPU, nVidia-based Video, Blu-ray Burner

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
My biggest requirement is that the system be as quiet as possible. I want to achieve high performance, but am willing to sacrifice a little in order to keep the computer quiet and cool. Along with general Internet usage, my new computer will be used primarily for gaming (mostly WoW), and video editing. I need to be able to edit HD content and export it to BR.

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HARD DRIVE
Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS 300GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

VIDEO CARDS
EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- OR -

EVGA 896-P3-1257-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Edition 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI ... - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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This will be the first time I'm building a PC on my own. I need some advice choosing the right case and additional components, as well as an optimal SLI configuration. I appreciate any direction and advice you can provide! :) 

Best solution

September 9, 2009 10:24:33 PM

The VelociRaptor's are overpriced. Current 7200RPM drives can match their performance for much cheaper. So you're looking to do SLI right off the bat? You said you don't need an OS. What OS are you planning on using? I hope it's 64-bit. I would suggest getting 64-bit Vista Home Premium with the free upgrade to Windows 7 for $110. Here's my suggested build:

Intel Core i7 860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD4P LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $449.98 (CPU + motherboard combo)

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRH - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $94.99

EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $239.99 - $15.00 MIR

EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $239.99

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $69.99

Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V version 2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $94.99

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... $49.99

LG BH08LS20K 8X SATA Blu-Ray Writer Black Drive Bulk
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product... $175.99

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $109.99

Total - $1,525.90 - $15.00 MIR
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September 9, 2009 10:51:13 PM

Thank you for the great advice so far! :D 

I plan on using Windows 7 Home Premium (x64) with this new system. I have a MSDN subscription and have all of the versions of Vista and Windows 7 available to me.

I've been told that I should have 6GB of RAM for gaming and video editing. Is this true, or is 4GB sufficient?
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September 9, 2009 10:55:25 PM

I think for the GPU you should wait, As AMD's next-gen graphics processors [Radeon HD 5000-series] draw closer on the horizon.

According to the latest rumors, AMD will launch the Radeon HD 5000 series in September.
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September 9, 2009 10:58:39 PM

ibnsina said:
I think for the GPU you should wait, As AMD's next-gen graphics processors [Radeon HD 5000-series] draw closer on the horizon.

According to the latest rumors, AMD will launch the Radeon HD 5000 series in September.


Thanks... I'll keep an eye on this and start doing some research now.

This is all great stuff... I appreciate all the input. :D 
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September 9, 2009 11:00:32 PM

The 6GB RAM kits are designed for the LGA 1366 i7 chips since they use a triple channel RAM controller. The new LGA 1156 i5 and i7 chips use a dual channel RAM controller, so they operate most efficiently with an even number of RAM sticks. You do have some more room in your budget, so you could grab two of the G.Skill RAM kits and go with 8GB.
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September 9, 2009 11:07:04 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
The 6GB RAM kits are designed for the LGA 1366 i7 chips since they use a triple channel RAM controller. The new LGA 1156 i5 and i7 chips use a dual channel RAM controller, so they operate most efficiently with an even number of RAM sticks. You do have some more room in your budget, so you could grab two of the G.Skill RAM kits and go with 8GB.


First, thanks for posting your suggested build with the links.

I do have a little wiggle room around the $1500 mark, so I think I will just get two of the kits you suggested and fill up all 4 slots.
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September 10, 2009 12:46:26 AM

Both AMD and Nvidia have press conferences scheduled tomorrow. Presumably ati's is to release the DX11 compatible 5000 series and nvidia's is damage control. Should be an exciting day.

Wow isnt the most graphics intensive game. A single 275 (or 4890) should be able to play it at max settings at FPS faster than your monitors refresh speed unless you are playing at over 1920x1200. You may not notice any benefit from a second card. Its easy to start with only one and add a second later if you find you need it. Just my penny pinching 2 cents.
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September 14, 2009 8:07:57 PM

Here is my updated build as of 9/14. Here are the changes:

- Added a second RAM kit for a total of 8GB
- Bumped the hard drive up to the 1TB version of the recommended Samsung
- Removed the second GTX 275

My budget is around $1500 (before tax)... any other upgrades you would squeeze into this build, or is it good as-is?

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Intel Core i7 860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $294.99

GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD4P LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $169.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $444.98 (CPU + motherboard combo)

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRH - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... x2 $189.98

EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $239.99 - $15.00 MIR

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $69.99

Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V version 2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $94.99

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $84.99

LG 8X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 6X BD-ROM 2MB Cache Blu-ray Burner Model BH08LS20 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $179.99

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64) - FREE (MSDN Subscription)

Total: $1,304.91 - $15.00 MIR
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September 14, 2009 8:45:48 PM

You can take advantage of a few more combos to reduce the cost:

Intel Core i7 860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz
+
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600
Combo Price: $384.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

MSI P55-GD65 LGA 1156 Intel P55
+
MSI N275GTX TwinFrozr OC GeForce GTX 275
Combo Price: $354.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel
+
Antec TruePower New TP-750 750W
Combo Price: $144.94
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Same HDD and Blu-ray drive.

Grand Total = $1,149.88 - MIR $15.00


Same processor and RAM.

Motherboard also supports SLI/Crossfire. MSI 275 has higher clock speed.

Great case and better PSU.




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