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Help building a nice gaming computer

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December 1, 2009 3:23:16 PM

Hello all;

I am in the process of building a new gaming system and need the community expertise.

Here is what I am thinking off, please let me know what you recommend.

CoolerMaster HAF 932 Full Tower Gaming Case - Black

Intel® Core™ i7 920 Processor (4x 2.66GHz/8MB L3 Cache

ASUS P6X58D Premium -- Intel X58 Chipset CrossFire and SLI Supported w/ 7.1 Sound, GbLan, S-ATA III, USB 3.0, PCI-E MB

6 GB [2 GB X3] DDR3-1333 Triple Memory Module - Corsair XMS3 Dominator w/DHX technology

2 ATI Radeon HD 5850 - 1GB - CrossFire

1000 Watt -- Corsair CMPSU-1000HX Power Supply - Quad SLI Ready

Liquid CPU Cooling System w/ 120mm Radiator [SOCKET-1366]

2 X 500 GB HARD DRIVE -- 16M Cache, 7200 RPM, 3.0Gb/s - RAID 0

22X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive - [Lightscribe Technology] Black



Many thanks for your help.
December 1, 2009 3:36:34 PM

Sorry I posted this in the wrong section :( 
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December 1, 2009 8:18:26 PM

Looks like a beast to me.

I don't think I'd recommend any changes.
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December 1, 2009 8:24:55 PM

Can you say super uber expensive? That build would rape everything, and I'm sure that's what you want. But you may wanna check your budget first :D 
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December 1, 2009 8:34:09 PM

THAT WILL KILL ANYTHING!!!
ARE YOUJKOKING THIS WILL BE SO EXPENSIVE!

its good just TOO much i think
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December 1, 2009 8:47:54 PM

You can get a cheaper motherboard...you really don't need an Asus Premium. Get the tried and treu Asus P6T regular, Gigabyte UD4P, or Gigabyte UD5P. You also don't really need liquid cooling if you have a HAF 932.
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December 1, 2009 9:16:22 PM

Thanks for the input guys, yeah I was wondering if I can go with a cheaper motherboard, the Asus P6T regular will cut the price by about $160, and the Corsair HX850 PSU will cut more about $80 more.

I was looking to spend no more than $2K and that build is $2100 as it is right now.

My current computer is 7 year old and its time for a nice upgrade :D 
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December 1, 2009 9:24:35 PM

The changes that I have done so far;

- XIGMATEK Dark Knight 120mm.

- ASUS P6T -- Intel X58 Chipset CrossFire

- 850W Corsair 850TX
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December 1, 2009 9:25:35 PM

The PSU is overkill - save yourself some cash and get a HX850 instead

Unless you want a near-silent machine/e-peen why watercool? You can get some great air performance at low noise with a good tower cooler. Are you planning on overclocking the CPU?

Do you really want USB 3.0, and are you planning on going triple graphics cards?

Why are you putting a RAID in a gaming system, especially as you have no boot drive?

Also, unless you're planning on seriously overclocking or tightening the RAM, Dominator is overpriced.

And if you're looking at spending this amount of money, why only Radeon 5850s? Why not 5870s?

Overall it's a nice rig on paper but there's a lot of money being burned unnecessarily - with some rejigging you can get an even better system.

My suggestion (based on using 2 GPUs)

Asus P6TD Deluxe
Core i7 920 D0 stepping
Thermalright Ultra 120 Rev C OR Prolimatech Megahalems (with at least 1 120mm fan - plenty of great ones to choose from)
6GB Patriot Viper 1600MHz DDR3 (PVT36G1600LLK)
2x Radeon 5870
Corsair X64 Extreme SSD as boot/apps
1TB Samsung SpinPoint F3 for storage
Corsair HX850 PSU
Whatever dual-layer DVD writer you want as long as it's SATA

If you want to make the most of the window in your HAF, get the Thermalright TRUE Black Rev C or Prolimatech Mega Shadow - the black costs a premium but they be smexy.

If you're not doing a significant overclock (like 4GHz overclock) then change the CPU cooler to a Scythe Mugen 2 or Cogage True Spirit.
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December 1, 2009 9:52:04 PM

LePhuronn said:
The PSU is overkill - save yourself some cash and get a HX850 instead

I agree, I was trying to have a strong PSU for future upgrades

Unless you want a near-silent machine/e-peen why watercool? You can get some great air performance at low noise with a good tower cooler. Are you planning on overclocking the CPU?

Yes, I will eventually overclock the cpu

Do you really want USB 3.0, and are you planning on going triple graphics cards?

No, was trying to stay ahead

Why are you putting a RAID in a gaming system, especially as you have no boot drive?

I thought RAID 0 will give performance boost

Also, unless you're planning on seriously overclocking or tightening the RAM, Dominator is overpriced.

Actually wasn't thinking of over clocking the RAM, good to know though

And if you're looking at spending this amount of money, why only Radeon 5850s? Why not 5870s?

I was trying to keep the price under $2k and read a lot of good reviews about the 5850

Overall it's a nice rig on paper but there's a lot of money being burned unnecessarily - with some rejigging you can get an even better system.

My suggestion (based on using 2 GPUs)

Asus P6TD Deluxe
Core i7 920 D0 stepping
Thermalright Ultra 120 Rev C OR Prolimatech Megahalems (with at least 1 120mm fan - plenty of great ones to choose from)
6GB Patriot Viper 1600MHz DDR3 (PVT36G1600LLK)
2x Radeon 5870
Corsair X64 Extreme SSD as boot/apps
1TB Samsung SpinPoint F3 for storage
Corsair HX850 PSU
Whatever dual-layer DVD writer you want as long as it's SATA

If you want to make the most of the window in your HAF, get the Thermalright TRUE Black Rev C or Prolimatech Mega Shadow - the black costs a premium but they be smexy.

If you're not doing a significant overclock (like 4GHz overclock) then change the CPU cooler to a Scythe Mugen 2 or Cogage True Spirit.



Thanks for the excellent reply, that is exactly what I was looking for since the last time I build a system was 7 years ago and was out of touch with what was going on.

Will definitely consider what you suggested, will go do some pricing.

Thanks again.
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December 1, 2009 10:12:31 PM

Do some pricing on what I suggested and see where it comes out and we can go from there.

It is good to get a degree of future compatibility in place where you can but be mindful of the premium you pay for it - for me personally I rarely use USB devices so USB 3.0 support wouldn't be a selling point on a mobo, but having hefty overclocking capabilities and/or support for 3-way graphics cards is a good investment.

I was also looking at the HX1000 for my PSU for exactly the same reasons, but I was looking at the power consumption of my possible 3-way GTX285 as the benchmark - graphics cards are drawing less juice with every generation, and realistically you could probably run 3 5870s on a high-quality 850W (like the HX850) while still clocking a D0 i7 920 to 4GHz, which is much more likely the route I'm going now (unless Fermi rocks - by the time I can build properly Fermi gaming cards should be out).

Regarding overclocking, it's really easy to give the i7 920 a boost up to 3.3GHz straight away - significant overclocks aren't too difficult either. But personally 4GHz is enough for even extreme gamers and you can cool that sucker on air.

Going higher than 4GHz is for the expert clocker and bencher and only then will watercooling come into its own - unless you want a sexy rig (don't we all, but you can do that on air too) or near-silence there's little point in watercooling for anything lower than 4GHz.

As far as the RAID goes, yes it will give you great I/O performance but you're increasing the chance of data loss with it - if one drive goes the whole stripe goes with it. Now granted, the chances of a hard drive failing are like a million to one, but having 2 of them in a RAID makes that 1 in 500,000, 3 is 1 in 333,333, etc, etc.

It's not a problem though if you don't have irreplaceable data on it - as long as game saves, your documents and whatnot are on a back-up or non-RAID drive it doesn't really matter. RAID goes down and you lose your OS? No big, just fix the RAID and reinstall.

If you can stretch it then fast boot and game loading time is now in the domain of the SSD, but good ones are pricey.

So given what I said about the RAID, you could still do a pair of SpinPoint F3 500GB in a RAID 0 and have the 1TB SpinPoint F3 for data if you want the performance but can't stretch the SSD.
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December 1, 2009 11:47:27 PM

Total $ 1400 so far, the only thing that is missing is the 2 GPU'S out of stock everywhere, but I am thinking add another $800 so the total is $2200.

Can you advise of what to order in term of any accessories (fastners, cables etc...)

Here is what I have so far:


PLEXTOR 24X DVD/CD Writer Black SATA Model PX-880SA LightScribe Support - OEM
Item #: N82E16827249054 $44.99

COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811119160
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy -$20.00 Instant $139.98

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822152181
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $109.98
($54.99 each)


CORSAIR CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
Item #: N82E16817139011
$179.99

ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail
Item #: N82E16835186020
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $7.98

select item 6 quantity of item 6
Patriot Viper 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model PVT36G1600ELK - Retail
Item #: N82E16820220365
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy $20.00 Mail-in Rebate20-220-365 $179.99

select item 7 quantity of item 7
ASUS P6TD Deluxe LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813131403 $289.99

select item 8 quantity of item 8
Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819115202

select item 9 quantity of item 9
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
Item #: N82E16832116754
Return Policy: Software Return Policy $104.99

select item 10 quantity of item 10
XIGMATEK Intel Core i7 compatible Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail
Item #: N82E16835233029
$44.96

1 Nippon Labs Premium 1M (3.28 ft.) SATA Cable with 2 right Angle Connectors for SATA I and SATA II Hard Drive Model SATA-1RR - Retail
Item #: N82E16812816033
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy -$6.49 Saving
$6.49
$0.00

Subtotal: $1,391.84
Grand Total: $1,400.55


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December 2, 2009 12:46:47 AM

Anyone can find where I can get a couple of Radeon 5870? why is there a short of the ati cards?
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December 2, 2009 12:52:02 AM

717200 said:
Anyone can find where I can get a couple of Radeon 5870? why is there a short of the ati cards?

TSCM is the company that makes the new 40 nm chips for the HD 5xxx series and they are having a hard time getting high yields so supply is lower than ATi hoped it would.
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December 2, 2009 12:52:50 AM

Thanks TheViper
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December 2, 2009 1:05:07 AM

Do i have to look at a different card?

Any sugestion?
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December 2, 2009 1:11:43 AM

I advise that you continue to search for the HD 58xx series cards. A computer is such a big investment that I advise everyone to have patience and ensure they are getting precisely the products they want/need and not rush through only to feel resentment later.
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December 2, 2009 1:14:01 AM

$159 for CAS 9 memory seems expensive, especially when newegg has CAS7 for $144 (outta stock) and CA 8 for 4119
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Check out moBo alternate:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

See comparison here:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...

Consider Win 7 pro 64 for built in "XP mode" if nothing else

For fasteners, sleeving, etc......"dis is de place"

http://www.frozencpu.com/

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December 2, 2009 2:11:09 AM

guys guys guys... you never let me down, thanks for the your input
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December 2, 2009 2:55:25 AM

I would suggest getting the retail version of Windows 7. Yes it's another $80 or so, but you're still well under your original budget. To my knowledge (correct me if I'm wrong), you can only install that copy of Windows 7 once. If not that then you can only install it on one computer (so if you ever need to change/upgrade any parts, you can't reinstall windows). I think it's the second one, but I'm not 100% sure.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
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December 2, 2009 3:09:27 AM

OEM - install 1 time on 1 computer.
Retail - install a few times on a few computers.
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December 2, 2009 8:32:56 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
$159 for CAS 9 memory seems expensive


The RAM I suggested *should* be CAS8

Patriot Viper 6GB Low Latency 160MHz (PVT36G1600LLK)

Did I paste the wrong manufacturer's code?

Here's the RAM I was on about:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


JackNaylorPE said:
Check out moBo alternate:

The P6T Deluxe V2 and the P6TD Deluxe are the same board, except the latter is an Xtreme Design update:

http://event.asus.com/mb/Xtreme_Design/
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December 2, 2009 1:14:38 PM

Ok, I have updated the memory and windows, here is what I have including 2X 5850 (which are in stock for now at newegg) (just to give me an idea of the final cost)

Everything is from Newegg. The Radeon 5870 will add about another $150


PLEXTOR 24X DVD/CD Writer Black SATA Model PX-880SA LightScribe Support - OEM
Item #: N82E16827249054
$44.99


COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811119160
-$20.00 Instant
$159.98
$139.98


2 X SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822152181
$109.98
($54.99 each)


XFX HD-585A-ZNBC Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB Black Edition 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported ... - Retail
Item #: N82E16814150454
$719.98
($359.99 each)


CORSAIR CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
Item #: N82E16817139011
-$20.00 Instant
$199.99
$179.99


ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail
Item #: N82E16835186020
$7.98


Patriot Viper 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model PVT36G1600LLK - Retail
Item #: N82E16820220363
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate20-220-363
$179.99



ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813131365
$289.99


Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819115202
Return Policy: Software Return Policy -$16.50 Instant
$199.99
$183.49


XIGMATEK Intel Core i7 compatible Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail
Item #: N82E16835233029
$37.99

1 Nippon Labs Premium 1M (3.28 ft.) SATA Cable with 2 right Angle Connectors for SATA I and SATA II Hard Drive Model SATA-1RR - Retail
Item #: N82E16812816033
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy -$6.49 Saving
$6.49
$0.00

Subtotal: $2,183.35
Grand Total: $2,196.34


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December 2, 2009 1:23:08 PM

Personally I'd still be a little concerned you only have the RAID and no other storage drive, but as long as you make back-ups you'll be fine.

One tiny little point though - if you look at the motherboard you'll see 4 of the 6 SATA ports are already at right-angles to the board itself - if you have double-right angle SATA cables you'll be pointing the cable itself straight into the motherboard tray which may make things a bit tricky to plug in! You only need 1 right angle for where you plug into the drives and DVD.
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December 2, 2009 1:38:37 PM

I see, that last item was put in my cart as a free item, I didnt chose it, but will go look at that.

I always back-up all my data, so it should be fine, I researched your option above and it would hike the price up even more, my idea is to start with a nice solid system and make changes later when more $$$$ is available ;) 
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December 2, 2009 2:15:43 PM

Enjoy your system, she's a nice one
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December 2, 2009 2:39:29 PM

LePhuronn said:
Enjoy your system, she's a nice one


Thanks for all your help, so should I order with the 5850's or wait for the 5870's? This is a very important component for me and don't want regret not waiting.

Also, do you tink there is any issues with the PSU fit in this case? the PSU fits at the bottom of this case.

Thanks everyone again. :D 

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December 2, 2009 2:45:13 PM

Personally if you've made budget available for the 5870s then I would wait for them - the 5850 is a great card, but the 5870 is better.

It all depends on how long you're prepared to wait.

Off to sulk now because I want to build my new one and I don't have the money!
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December 3, 2009 1:14:43 AM

717200 said:

Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819115202
Return Policy: Software Return Policy -$16.50 Instant
$199.99
$183.49



$184 for the i7 920 on Newegg? Where are you getting this price? It's still $288 for me...

I would also suggest waiting for the 5870's if you made your budget around them.

You could always buy the 5850's now then send them to me once you buy the 5870's :D 
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December 3, 2009 1:40:42 AM

thecoolermaster said:
$184 for the i7 920 on Newegg? Where are you getting this price? It's still $288 for me...

I would also suggest waiting for the 5870's if you made your budget around them.

You could always buy the 5850's now then send them to me once you buy the 5870's :D 


I copied and pasted what my shopping cart had, and yes, I will wait for the 5870, you only live once right?....... :D 
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December 3, 2009 2:11:03 AM

I see what you are saying...hmmmm what happened there
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December 3, 2009 2:15:28 AM

Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819115202
Return Policy: Software Return Policy -$16.50 Instant
$199.99
$183.49

Its funny, 199.99 - $16.50 is exactlly 183.49, wonder if they had it on sale or something
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December 3, 2009 7:09:55 PM

Good choice waiting for the 5870's!
but I still don't understand how it says it's only $184 for you when it says $288 for me when I look at it on newegg.com
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December 3, 2009 9:49:35 PM

thecoolermaster said:
Good choice waiting for the 5870's!
but I still don't understand how it says it's only $184 for you when it says $288 for me when I look at it on newegg.com


You are right "thecoolmaster", I must have copied something wrong , Its $288 for the I7-920.

I ordered everything and YES Newegg had the HIS 5870 so I bought 2 of this bad boy (please call the cops if my wife killed me... ;) 

Total ended up to be around $2300, oh well you only live once.... ;) 
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December 3, 2009 9:59:48 PM

It's worth it dude and she (the rig) will last you a good number of years.

Enjoy!
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December 3, 2009 10:04:18 PM

Thanks a lot LePhuronn for taking the time to help me, I do appreciate it.
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December 3, 2009 10:13:46 PM

My pleasure - if I can't afford to build my own system any more (boooo!) I'll live vicariously through somebody else's!

Ty for the medal too
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December 3, 2009 11:24:09 PM

Its been a while since I have done this, can anyone list the steps "in the right order" after I get the parts very briefly (just worried about trashing any of the expensive parts)

I know my basics so just interested in knowing how you would start building this system, very briefly.

Thanks again for the community expertise.
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December 4, 2009 12:17:17 AM

Youtube is your best friend for this part ;) 
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December 4, 2009 1:47:31 AM

Oh crap, order shipped from newegg :) 
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December 4, 2009 1:58:19 AM

In a few days it will be like OH CRAP I HAVE A BEAST COMPUTER.

But really, look at a lot of "how-to" videos on youtube to learn how to actually build the computer properly. And I would look for one that has a lot of views and subscribers so you know it's professional and trusted.
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December 4, 2009 7:59:30 AM

For me:

Install basic system on desk/testbench, so that's
- CPU with cooler
- RAM
- 1 GPU
- your system drive, whatever that will be (1 hard drive or RAID or whatever)
- 1 optical drive
- PSU

Boot up, set everything to defaults in the BIOS, install Windows
The do your tweaking (memory timings, optimised BIOS settings, whatever) and get a stable basic system.

Then, install everything else (other GPUs, optical drives, sound cards, other hard drives or RAIDs, etc. - EVERYTHING that will draw power from the PSU) and get a stable complete system

Then do all your crazy stuff like overclocking and burn-in

When you're sure you have a 100% working and stable system put it all into the case. My personal sequence (because I rarely get cases with removable motherboard trays) is:

- Slot PSU into position
- Slot optical drives and hard drives into their position
- Roughly run all the power and data cables into position using cable management holes and whatnot (don't fasten anything down)
- Position motherboard with ONLY CPU, heatsink and RAM on it, roughly tweak all cables to make sure everything fits, then secure the board
- Attach the first round of cables to the motherboard
- Install add-in cards and roughly cable them up where necessary

Boot the system to make sure everything's still OK

- Secure optical drives and everything else
- Tidy up cabling
- Enjoy!
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December 5, 2009 12:00:36 PM

Thanks again LePhuronn, should start the building process Monday :) 
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December 7, 2009 1:42:03 AM

Tell us how it all turns out and post pics :D 
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December 7, 2009 3:49:28 AM

thecoolermaster said:
Tell us how it all turns out and post pics :D 


Will do, should be done by Tuesday if all parts are here, will post some pictures, thanks for everyone help.
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December 11, 2009 12:04:29 AM

thecoolermaster said:
ISomeone please correct me if I'm wrong.


You can install OEM an unlimited number of times on one computer. What you can't do, for example, is take out every single component in your case and stick all new stuff in and reinstall. I dunno what Win7 is but back in WinXP days it was like changing more than 6 outta 10 things on a PC "at one time" would trigger an activation problem. Windows also forgets after a certain amount of time (90 days?) what you have changed.

http://www.helpwithwindows.com/WindowsXP/activation.htm...
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December 11, 2009 12:06:41 AM

LePhuronn said:
Here's the RAM I was on about:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Which is about $20 more than the same timings on the modules I linked....

Quote:
The P6T Deluxe V2 and the P6TD Deluxe are the same board, except the latter is an Xtreme Design update:


That's why i recommended it


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!