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Need Advice - I7 Gaming/Video Encoding Build

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September 14, 2009 9:23:20 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next 1-2 months (Barring a major video card change)
BUDGET RANGE: CAD $1500

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Video Encoding

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, OS, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: www.memoryexpress.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel I7 (Need some help deciding between 920 and 860)

OVERCLOCKING: Yes (not right away though)
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes (not right away though)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Have a 1680*1050 Samsung I will be using

Current Parts List (I7-920)

CASE: Cooler Master HAF 932 High Air Flow Full Tower Chassis
http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX21828%28ME%...

PROCESSOR: Intel Core™ i7 Processor 920 2.66GHz w/ 8MB Cache
http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX22588%28ME%...

Motherboard: Asus P6T X58 w/ TripleDDR3 2000, 7.1 Audio, Gigabit Lan, 1394, PCI-E, 3-way CrossFireX/ SLI
http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX23264%28ME%...

MEMORY: Mushkin XP3-12800 Xtreme Performance DDR3 SDRAM (7-8-7-20), 6GB Triple Channel Kit
http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX24411%28ME%...

VIDEO CARD: eVGA e-GeForce GTX 275 896MB PCI-E w/ DualDVI, HDTV-Out
http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX24133%28ME%...

HDD: SEAGATE 500GB Barracuda 7200.12 SATA II w/ 16MB Cache
http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX23454%28ME%...

DVD DRIVE: PIONEER DVR-212D 18x18x10 Dual Layer DVD+/-RW Drive, SATA, Beige (OEM - No Software)
http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX16979%28ME%...

POWER SUPPLY: Corsair TX 750W Power Supply w/ 140mm Fan
http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX18779%28ME%...


I need some advice on my I7 build. I'm a bit torn right now on whether I should go ahead and build with a I7-920 or use a I7-860. Both are about the same price for the processor but the motherboard cost difference is up to CAD $100 (not including memory cost difference here). The other reason I'm torn is because the DX11 video cards coming out in the next while. I'm debating waiting on this build as I've heard the new cards are a fairly big performance jump over current hardware. Waiting means likely using an I7-860 as the shop I've been pricing this out with has told me the I7-920 will be discontinued somewhat sooner rather than later (they just don't have exact information yet). My main question in all this is should I go ahead with the above build (or some slight variation of - I'm open to suggestions) or wait for the new video cards and go with an I7-860? If I wait I can probably up the video card a bit from the savings I'll get by going with the I7-860.

P.S. Please let me know if any of the links above are broken. I tried posting them using the insert URL button when posting but they weren't showing up correctly in the post preview.
September 14, 2009 9:26:45 PM

Just thought I'd let you know the links are indeed broken. :) 
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September 14, 2009 9:29:20 PM

It's apparently under maintenance, so the links should be up and working in a few.
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Related resources
September 14, 2009 9:35:27 PM

Links are now working...
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September 14, 2009 9:48:48 PM

First off, I'm not a big fan of you planning to buy a computer a couple of months in advance. Computer technology moves at such a fast pace, that it's possible better options will arise in the time between now and when you actually purchase the thing.

With that in mind, I might suggest switching platforms to the LGA 1156 socket unless you plan on doing some pretty CPU-intensive tasks. If you change processors, I'd suggest the i5 750. You'll need to replace your motherboard as well. You'll save a good bit of money in the process too.

Have a look at this HDD:
http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX22447(ME).aspx
Faster performing, more storage space, and more reliable than that Samsung.

Don't order a beige colored optical drive with that case. It'll look very out of place lol.
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September 15, 2009 12:00:57 AM

Thanks for the reply. I realize looking 1-2 months in advance is a rather nuts idea. The only reason I put that limit on it is otherwise I'll end up comparing parts for a much longer time frame. As a bit of reference, the last machine I built was in 2005. I had started looking at parts in February or March of that year but didn't actually buy anything until April or May (Compulsively comparing parts which didn't net me any benefit). Ideally I'd like to get the PC built within the next week but am just wondering if the 860 is going to be any less stable when overclocked given the lower thermal design. I also haven't included any aftermarket cooler in the build simply because I haven't done any research on that at this point. From what I've seen so far the 920 is more easily overclocked using stock voltage than the 860.
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