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I7 860 build, mid-range, advice especially on MoBo, GPU, PSU?

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September 10, 2009 3:15:28 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next 10 days
BUDGET RANGE: US$600-850

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Picasa, Hulu, Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel), Home Video Editing, surfing internet

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor (have Dell UlraSharp 2208WFP), speakers, OS (have Windows 7 Home x64 on pre-order), HDD (have a new WD 640GB Caviar Black)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: MicroCenter (live near a retail store); NewEgg

PARTS PREFERENCES: Lynnfield i7; leaning AMD GPU

OVERCLOCKING: No (maybe if it is not too difficult)
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
This is my first build and it will replace my current 1.5 Ghz P4 that is almost 10 years old. I may add another HDD or two in the future, possibly setting them as RAID 0 or 1 (depending on my needs). I’ve listed a choice for all parts below. Please let me know if you see any inconsistencies or potential problems, and of course any better options.

Any comments on the mother board? I have had a hard time finding information on these new P55 boards.

I would like to have a reputable PSU, with as low a Wattage as I actually need.

Also, I’m considering getting a TV tuner to use this system as DVR. The GPU I selected has both DVI and HDMI out. Can I run dual (span) screens with the DVI connecting to my monitor and HDMI connecting to my TV (“Full HD” 1080p)? What other impacts would the TV tuner have on my system?

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Core i7 860 Processor Boxed $229.99

MSI P55-GD65 Socket 1156 P55 ATX Motherboard $149.99 (after $20 rebate)

OCZ PC3-10666 Platinum Low Voltage 4GB (2x2GB) Dual Channel Kit $84.99 (after $20 rebate)

ASUS EAH4670/DI/1GD3/V2 Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail $54.99 (after $20 rebate)

Question – can I connect the DVI to my monitor (1680x1050) and the HDMI to my 1080p TV at the same time? Should I consider upgrading to the 4850?

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $69.99

I’m open to other suggestions on the case. I want something that’s easy to work with and will keep cool. And while I don’t care much what it looks like, something that is more than just a black box gets bonus points.

StealthXStream 500 Watt ATX Power Supply $34.99 (after $20 rebate)

My main question here is how much power do I really need? Also, I was leaning towards a modular SeaSonic until I saw the price on this unit. Which is better? SeaSonic example: S12 Energy Plus SS-550HT 550W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 which is $79.99 (after $10 rebate)

LightScribe 22x DVD±RW Burner with Dual/Double Layer Support OEM $29.99

Of all the research I’ve done, I have done the least on the CD/DVD burner. Any better recommendations?

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Total is $634.93 (including rebates, excluding tax and shipping). I’ve already spent $100 on the OS and HDD, so if I can keep these remaining components under $700, that would be preferred. But it’s not a hard ceiling.

Thanks in advance for your advice!

Best solution

September 10, 2009 5:15:30 AM
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Nice build. :)  The only two changes that I can see that would benefit you are these two down below. Gigabyte has a better reputation than MSI as far as mother boards go (quality), and this memory down below is not only faster than what you chose, but it's cheaper atm. 500w psu is more than sufficient for that build. I can't answer your vid card/out put question but I'm sure someone will soon.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $109.99 Free Shipping*
GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2 LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $79.99 Free Shipping*
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL - Retail
Dual Channel Intel Core i5 & Core i7 CPU for P55 motherboard
September 10, 2009 1:19:22 PM

Why_Me said:
... and this memory down below is not only faster than what you chose, but it's cheaper atm. ...


Thanks Why_Me. I'm giving the mother board a good look this morning.

One question though about the RAM. The OCZ I had picked is rated Cas Latency 7, Timing 7-7-7-20 (my original link was to MicroCenter because it was cheaper there after rebate, but it doesn't show the specs). The G.Skill you suggested is Cas Latency 9, Timing 9-9-9-24. I'm new to this so maybe I'm misunderstanding something, but I thought lower was better. Isn't the OCZ faster than the G.Skill?

Thanks again.

EDIT
I see the new link is for the Ripjaws DDR3 1600 (9-9-9-24). Thanks for pointing me in that direction!
September 17, 2009 1:23:42 AM

I decided to take Why_Me’s advice on the RAM. I also changed PSU’s to a 450 W Corsair VX.

Two things are giving me the most problems right now. One is the case. I wanted something that shows off my build (this being my first of hopefully many). So a see through side would be nice. But I don’t need it to be super flashy. I also can’t decide if I want an eSata port at the front of the case. Any advice here?

The second item I’m still holding off on is the mother board. The one Why_Me suggested is a mATX. I’d prefer to get an ATX. I’m leaning towards the Asus P7P55D or the P7P55D Pro. But I had previously been eyeing the MSI P55-GD65 and would still consider the Gigabyte GA-P55-UD4P. I really wish reviews were coming on line faster!

Here’s my current build:

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers, HDD (have a new WD 640GB Caviar Black), monitor (have Dell UltraSharp 2208WFP, resolution is 1680x1050), OS (have Windows 7 Home x64 on pre-order)

I have decided to skip thermal paste and an aftermarket cooler at this point. I hope that doesn’t prove to be a dumb decision.

CPU
Core i7 860 Processor Boxed $229.99 (MicroCenter)

MOTHER BOARD
ASUS P7P55D PRO LGA 1156 Intel P55 $169.99

OR

ASUS P7P55D LGA 1156 Intel P55 $149.99

OR ...??

RAM
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) $79.99

GPU
GIGABYTE GV-R467ZL-1GI Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 $59.99 (after $10 rebate)

PSU
CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC $54.99 (after $20 rebate)

CD/DVD Writer
Will probably go with either the Sony Optiarc or Samsung below, depending on which comes on sale or gets free shipping soon.

Sony Optiarc Black 24X $32.99 (and not currently available) or from MicroCenter where it’s $29.99

OR

SAMSUNG Black 22X $30.99 or from MicroCenter where it’s $24.99


CASE
Very undecided. Considering many options, possibly in this order:

XION Armor X AXP-ARM001-BL $49.99 (after $10 rebate)

COOLER MASTER Elite RC-310-BWN1-GP $39.99

Antec Sonata Elite Black $79.99

XION Solaris XON-403 Black with Green LED $39.99 (some reviews of the case material quality and bending/cracking have me worried about this one)
!