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My shopping list for a non gamer- any thoughts? (i7 860)

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September 17, 2009 8:23:10 PM

right now im running an
e6600 overclocked to 3.1
p5w dh deluxe
550w antec hx
xms 4 gigs corsair 6400c4
ati 4750 -512mb
2x1tb barracuda 7200.11 (one of which is running my os after the raptor became a doorstop).

my new build after i give the mobo and chip to my dad after a fatal motherboard pin crushing incident last night. -my budget isnt constrained but id like to keep it down:

i7 860 $229 at microcenter

asus p7p55d-pro or the gigabyte ud3r $150 or $140 gigabyte at microcenter. overclocking is my main concern not gaming and im going to output the sound via coax spdif so no dolby necessary or 2x pci-e card needed

same psu

Ram -id like to run 8gb but its probably overkill for a non gamer. other forums are pushing ripskill which ive never heard of. ive always gone corsair xms but its much more expensive. people swear by ocz, kingston, mushkin but ive only had bad experiences. oh and the ud3r/udp4 etc dont seem to support 1600, it would read it as 1333? anyway some help here is appreciated.

velocoraptor or ssd arent my concerns right now unless it seems like the bottleneck would be here

same vcard

all in an antec p180 case with more dents on it than chris brown's apology.

thanks for any advice :) 
September 17, 2009 8:38:23 PM

Overclocking is a process, not an objective. Do you mean your main concern is computing speed, not graphics speed?

I dont see any good reason to not go with the ASUS MB and 1600 speed RAM. If you are comfortable with Corsair and money isnt an issue, they are certainly good. Make sure you are getting low voltage RAM. Gskill's Ripjaw series RAM is popular because they are a good manufacturer selling at a cheap price.
September 17, 2009 8:40:19 PM

well it's good to know you're a non-gamer, but what exactly will you be doing with this system? if you aren't doing multi threaded tasks like video encoding or complex 3D modeling renders, you wouldn't benefit much from the core i7's hyperthreading, making the i5 a better choice. For your RAM, the gigabyte board won't support 1600 out of the box, and really the p55 chipset is speced for 1333 operation, all the boards that specify speeds higher than that do so by built in overclocking. Corsair XMS is good RAM and expensive, though RAM from all the others you mentioned is all quality stuff for the most part. Do you manually adjust the RAM timings to what the manufacturer specified, or do you just rely on the motherboard's auto detect? That in itself may be the reason why you've had such bad luck with the other performance brands. The ripskill RAM thing I think is a garbled mash-up.. I've never heard of ripskill either, but G.Skill Ripjaws are fairly popular DIMMS for i5/i7 systems for the p55 chipset.

Don't go with a velociraptor, big time ripoff considering how good the current 7200 RPM drives are, and how much better the current SSDs are. The short list for current SSDs is intel G2, and OCZ Vertex.
Related resources
September 17, 2009 8:57:57 PM

DNDHATCHER - main objective is computing speed thx
wathman - i occasionally encode a video here and there/ do a lot of unraring and am always multi tasking. you are making me consider the $159 i5 750 and you are correct, i meant g.skill ripjaw ram. I have adjusted the timings in the past but ended up lowering the clocked speed to help the cpu/fsb. id love to save some cash on ram. and am googling the intel g2 vs. ocz vertex now - thx again
September 17, 2009 9:00:41 PM

One thing to consider. If you get an x58 motherboard with an i7 920 then in the future you will be able to drop a 6 core CPU in it. The p55 motherboard will not give you that capability.
September 17, 2009 9:03:39 PM

i dont really buy parts for upgrade capability. just focus on the now i guess and get what i figure is the best for my needs and cost now. plus who says the 1156 wont have something awesome to drop inside in a couple years?
September 17, 2009 9:10:00 PM

If your google-fu doesn't lead you to this recent SSD article on anandtech.com, here it is. http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3631

It goes probably into more depth than you need, but explains why the intel and OCZ Vertex are the top choices for now.
September 17, 2009 9:19:51 PM

cheers. i was hoping the performance degradation thing had been solved by now but it does seem the wiper tool helps and the degredation isnt that bad anymore. anyway, i have to focus on what im getting today. am i correct in assuming that i wont really see that much dif in speed with the 860 over the 750 with the way id use them? that being said, the asus looks popular but is it the better overclocker? without going for the asus deluxe...
September 17, 2009 9:28:30 PM

also, anand goes a bit into the TRIM function that will be present in windows 7, and improves the overall performance of SSDs. intel has an update that brings a similar function to Vista and XP, though it's unneeded when win 7 gets here. The 750 is a better value currently for most people, the major feature that the 860 has over the 750 is just the hyperthreading. Also on anandtech, you can read up on the Lynnfield processors review and he goes into detail about Turbo mode and how it really helps the 750 shine for single threaded apps.

As for Asus boards, this review is pretty good: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/806
September 17, 2009 9:28:36 PM

spencerfine said:
who says the 1156 wont have something awesome to drop inside in a couple years?
Intel does. The 1156 is the bargain line socket. They will be brigning out some cheaper dual core i3 CPUs for 1156. The i9 six core coming in a few months (and 8 core maybe next year) CPUs will be for the 1366.
September 17, 2009 9:54:10 PM

The P7P55D LE seems to me to be the best value in p55 motherboards, unless you can find a combo deal.
September 17, 2009 9:57:00 PM

what can you tell me about the power phase 8+2 vs. 16 on that chart though?
September 17, 2009 10:04:12 PM

so dndhatcher what would your build be? asus p6t 1366, i7 920, and some other brand combination of triple channel?
September 17, 2009 10:29:59 PM

spencerfine said:
what can you tell me about the power phase 8+2 vs. 16 on that chart though?

The more expensive motherboards have the "hybrid" thing where it supposedly shifts power around to keep from getting one voltage regulator to hot. Its new and I have not seen a review if it really works (probably so new there isnt a review yet).
September 17, 2009 11:24:51 PM

You could run the same 2 RAM sticks (4GB) in either computer to start with if you want and just compare the CPU/Mobo prices:
p55+i7 860 = 150+230 = $380;
x58+i7 920 = 170+220 = $390

The x58 build lets you add 2 more GB ram and make use of triple channel memory, lets you drop in an i9 (6 core) CPU and gives you dual PCIE x16 capability for SLI/Crossfire (the p55 runs dual at x8).

The p55 i860 would actually perform faster at stock speed and possibly a slight bit faster overclocked with its more aggressive step-up method.

Its a tradeoff and to me the deciding factor should be the likelyhood you would actually upgrade to an i9 at some point in the future.
September 17, 2009 11:28:47 PM

thanks so much dndhatcher and wathman. this site rocks
September 18, 2009 5:06:52 AM

not sure what local tax is where you are at, but yesterday I took a close look at equivalent parts lists for i5 builds at my local microcenter vs newegg. While the microcenter "doorbuster" price on the i5 looks great on paper, I totaled up the i5, an asus p55 board they both carried, and RAM that was fairly close in specs (Newegg's RAM selection is much better, and much better priced.) Newegg is still running i5/motherboard/RAM combos that shaves off about 30-35 dollars, and come with free shipping. The same parts from microcenter, after tax were a bit more, $15 or so.

dndhatcher is right on with his argument for the x58 route, though the i9 6 cores are going to be really expensive when they come out. I will be very surprised if the base i9 model debuts at less than $500.
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