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$2200 i7 build to replace my 6ish yr old - need expert review

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September 22, 2009 6:05:42 AM

Hi, I know there are a lot of these i7 builds on this forum, and I read most, but I hope someone can spend a few moments on mine too. Thanks in advance!

I have been using a trusted machine (XP32 SP3) but my patience because of its lack of speed has finally ended w/ the new Firefox update and recent upgrade to MS Office/Outlook '07.

I think I built it around 2002, it's basically (all approx): ASUS P4S533 P4 2.4GHz, GeForce 4 Ti4600 128M (AGP 8x), 800M PC-2700 RAM, 80Gb UDMA100 Raid 0, mild cooling upgrade; mid-tower steel case has front/back 90mm fans and dying/noisy HDDs.

Anyway, I'm looking for a sanity/budget check for my selection.

---

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week or when confident
BUDGET RANGE: $2000ish, more than $2500 will make me cry

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
Surfing & School Study in Internets, Games (I'm not that hardcore), Matlab/Psipce/Photoshop/etc, DVDs/streaming/videos...

PURPOSE: Upgrade my computing horsepower to last the next handful of years, it is the bread and butter for a significant portion of my college/entertainment/hobbyist life.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: I like Intel, ASUS, NVIDIA, EVGA, Corsair for some reason.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes (basic and straightforward to start off but have room to play)
SLI: Yes, sounds sweet!

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would like it to be reasonably quiet(er), my girlfriend makes me turn my 'beast' off at night... I tried to tell her that it's against the 'rules' but, ya know.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Parts List:

CPU:
Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
MOBO: (Picked this because it was the common answer and I don't know much better)
ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

HDD: (Will risk RAID 0 w/o third OS drive, I have ext backup to ghost to)
(Edit: Shifting aim to cheaper F3's) 2x - Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MONITOR:
(Edit: Need similar but better) Hanns·G HG-281DPB Black 28" 3ms Widescreen HDMI LCD Monitor - Retail
OS:
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

GPU:
(Edit: Shifting aim towards single card) 2x - EVGA 896-P3-1171-AR GeForce GTX 275 Superclocked Edition 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported ... - Retail
RAM:
(Edit: 1x) 2x - OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CASE: (Checked out HAF922, Antec 900/902 but like the quiet feature and look of this one)
Antec P183 Black Aluminum / Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OPTICAL:
SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223B - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU:
CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER:
Noctua NH-U12DX 1366 120mm SSO CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

THERMAL:
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TOTAL:
< $2200

Items that still concern me:
*1*) Will everything fit? I can handle dremeling for say the cooler cutout if need be.
2) Should I buy PSU extension cables?
3) Hard to gauge computing power, perhaps this is overkill?
4) Temperature? Purchase more case fans now? Ideas?
5) Where is my bottleneck?

Any insight or open conversation will be greatly appreciated.
September 22, 2009 6:11:27 AM

Don't buy 2x 275's, wait for a 5870 and get that.

If your photo editing, the hanns g 28inch isn't the best option. It is a TN panel monitor.
September 22, 2009 6:11:36 AM

do you really need 12gb ram?

quote: "SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
Surfing & School Study in Internets, Games (I'm not that hardcore), Matlab/Psipce/Photoshop/etc, DVDs/streaming/videos... "

those things look like 6gb is MORE than enough already. your budget should be a lot lower, 2200 for those needs? that's too much, try subtract 1000

u dont need 2x gtx 275 in the first place, you dont need "SUPERCLOCKED edition" which can be done for free by overclocking

i bet your either rich or your parents paying for this thats why such a money waster. save the money to buy your girlfriend a louis vuitton bag.

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

or

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Related resources
September 22, 2009 6:18:49 AM

True Creation said:
Don't buy 2x 275's, wait for a 5870 and get that.

If your photo editing, the hanns g 28inch isn't the best option. It is a TN panel monitor.


whats wrong with TN monitor..also there's no point of him gettin 5870 look at his uses. "youngster" should read more articles and learn , rather than "attempting" to help people which they "fail" at it "causing" more "problems"
September 22, 2009 6:27:11 AM

overshocks said:
whats wrong with TN monitor..also there's no point of him gettin 5870 look at his uses. "youngster" should read more articles and learn , rather than "attempting" to help people which they "fail" at it "causing" more "problems"



No need to whine, I simply suggested what best suited his needs.

Just because I am a "youngster" does not mean I do not know anything about computers.
September 22, 2009 6:35:03 AM

True Creation said:
No need to whine, I simply suggested what best suited his needs.

Just because I am a "youngster" does not mean I do not know anything about computers.


it does seem you dont know anything about computers you just avoided a question? who said im whining LOL

"whats wrong with tn monitor"
September 22, 2009 6:35:22 AM

overshocks said:
do you really need 12gb ram?

quote: "SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
Surfing & School Study in Internets, Games (I'm not that hardcore), Matlab/Psipce/Photoshop/etc, DVDs/streaming/videos... "

those things look like 6gb is MORE than enough already. your budget should be a lot lower, 2200 for those needs? that's too much, try subtract 1000

u dont need 2x gtx 275 in the first place, you dont need "SUPERCLOCKED edition" which can be done for free by overclocking

i bet your either rich or your parents paying for this thats why such a money waster. save the money to buy your girlfriend a louis vuitton bag.

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

or

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


I had left the Superclocked version there b/c/o a combo deal and minimal cost for it already done. But you're right, I shouldn't be so lazy.

My intention with this zealous build is to have it perform similar computing duties listed, in the distant future. The amount of memory originally installed in current computer received similar responses. Are you saying the additional 6 gigs will be forever under utilized perhaps? I don't plan to upgrade components once purchased.

Great suggestion on HDD, didn't even see those! Perfect.
September 22, 2009 6:38:58 AM

digitron_11 said:
I had left the Superclocked version there b/c/o a combo deal and minimal cost for it already done. But you're right, I shouldn't be so lazy.

My intention with this zealous build is to have it perform similar computing duties listed, in the distant future. The amount of memory originally installed in current computer received similar responses. Are you saying the additional 6 gigs will be forever under utilized perhaps? I don't plan to upgrade components once purchased.

Great suggestion on HDD, didn't even see those! Perfect.


unless you load 100 firefox tabs, run photoshop, put up crysis running in background, some other stuff, still a long way from 12gb. for your needs no need 12. and cut down your budget like i said before, how much you plannin to overclock CPU, you even know how?

after reading your needs again, your video card should not surpass 1 x 4890, probably 4870 will do depending what you mean by not hardcore gaming
September 22, 2009 6:43:48 AM

overshocks said:
it does seem you dont know anything about computers you just avoided a question? who said im whining LOL

"whats wrong with tn monitor"



TN bad viewing angles, less crisp colors, backlight bleeding.

September 22, 2009 6:46:22 AM

I'd go with 5870 when it comes out... And lose the 640GB HD, instead go with 1TB X2... they are about 20 dollars more.

Also, go with faster Ram timings. I'd recommend G.Skill or Corsair.

And in terms of gaming goes... if you are a casual gamer... no need to spend crazy money for SLI's... Sure they are fancy, but single 5870 will out-perform 295's. Better yet it's cheaper as well.
September 22, 2009 6:49:55 AM

True Creation said:
TN bad viewing angles, less crisp colors, backlight bleeding.


what you expect at their price? what do you suggest then ?
September 22, 2009 6:51:30 AM

I have that monitor, you should know you're going to get some ghosting in games. Anyways, when you're using 1920x1200 you absolutely do not need more than one video card, it's not that high of a resolution. I'm using a HD 4890 on that same monitor and it works beautifully.
September 22, 2009 6:57:27 AM

woostar88 said:
I'd go with 5870 when it comes out... And lose the 640GB HD, instead go with 1TB X2... they are about 20 dollars more.

Also, go with faster Ram timings. I'd recommend G.Skill or Corsair.

And in terms of gaming goes... if you are a casual gamer... no need to spend crazy money for SLI's... Sure they are fancy, but single 5870 will out-perform 295's. Better yet it's cheaper as well.


lol i love these people with so little knowledge trying to help people.
you dont get the point do you? look at his system usage, he does not even need a 4890 rather you suggest a 5870..how pathetic.

i already suggested samsung f3 drives..the WD sucks. know your facts before sayin anythin. its like the blind leading the blind
September 22, 2009 6:58:22 AM

overshocks said:
what you expect at their price? what do you suggest then ?



TN would be a great choice if your on a tight budget, OP has a flexible budget so he can squeeze in a nice monitor without sacrificing performance.

I'd recommended any of these to OP





To the OP - Spend around $1000-1200 on the computer, $300-$600 on monitor,keyboard,mouse... No need to waste $2200.
September 22, 2009 7:00:34 AM

RAM: You really don't need 12GB RAM - buy 6GB and if you ever see it full, buy 6GB more.

Vid Card: Your 28" monitor runs at 1920x1200 and can be driven exceptionally well for a hard-core gamer by a single 275. One 275 will be fine for you. Once again, if you maintain your mobo and psu purchase as if your *were* buying 2x275 (which I highly recommend), you can always buy the second 275.

Or buy a new 5xxx in a few months (when reviews and rpices settle a bit) and only have to ebay *one* 275 :) 

Cooler: You have a good one, here's as good or better for less:
http://www.coolerguys.com/840556090274.html
Review:
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2009/07/23/intel_core_i7...
September 22, 2009 7:00:45 AM

woostar88 said:
I'd go with 5870 when it comes out... And lose the 640GB HD, instead go with 1TB X2... they are about 20 dollars more.

Also, go with faster Ram timings. I'd recommend G.Skill or Corsair.

And in terms of gaming goes... if you are a casual gamer... no need to spend crazy money for SLI's... Sure they are fancy, but single 5870 will out-perform 295's. Better yet it's cheaper as well.


lol i love these people with so little knowledge trying to help people.
you dont get the point do you? look at his system usage, he does not even need a 4890 rather you suggest a 5870..what pathetic.

i already suggested samsung f3 drives..the WD sucks. know your facts before sayin anythin.
September 22, 2009 7:04:02 AM

True Creation said:
TN would be a great choice if your on a tight budget, OP has a flexible budget so he can squeeze in a nice monitor without sacrificing performance.

I'd recommended any of these to OP





To the OP - Spend around $1000-1200 on the computer, $300-$600 on monitor,keyboard,mouse... No need to waste $2200.


fix links? funny how those monitors are MUCH smaller, you really bad with computers and suggestions. the HP monitor is 535 dollars 24".
September 22, 2009 7:05:26 AM

overshocks said:
i already suggested samsung f3 drives..the WD sucks. know your facts before sayin anythin.


Has there been a third party review on the F3 that includes random I/O yet? Haven't seen one yet.
September 22, 2009 7:08:04 AM

Twoboxer said:
Has there been a third party review on the F3 that includes random I/O yet? Haven't seen one yet.


google is your friend. i think i seen one cant remember correctly
September 22, 2009 7:21:31 AM

True Creation said:
TN would be a great choice if your on a tight budget, OP has a flexible budget so he can squeeze in a nice monitor without sacrificing performance.

I'd recommended any of these to OP





To the OP - Spend around $1000-1200 on the computer, $300-$600 on monitor,keyboard,mouse... No need to waste $2200.


Good thoughts, I will dig into this in the morning and reallocate... perhaps reduce budget. It seems I can easily trade 6G memory and HDD portion over to better monitor (and less controversial).

@overshocks Initial overclocking will probably be 3.6 for awhile to measure temperatures. I suppose I didn't articulate my system usage all that well. It is difficult when this build's plan includes something like the crysis equivalent in say 4 years from now. My gaming needs are include current crysis et al but do not require uber eye candy. The attempt here is to use computing history as a lesson so we don't have to build every 2 years to keep up with burgeoning code.

@woostar88 I thought I had checked the RAM timings and got 'good' ones... ugh, thanks for the heads up. Seems I should abandon SLI too :( 

@Twoboxer You're right about the ebay routine and waiting for DX11 cards.

Single video card probably means I can shift down to 750W too?
September 22, 2009 7:27:55 AM

digitron_11 said:
Good thoughts, I will dig into this in the morning and reallocate... perhaps reduce budget. It seems I can easily trade 6G memory and HDD portion over to better monitor (and less controversial).

@overshocks Initial overclocking will probably be 3.6 for awhile to measure temperatures. I suppose I didn't articulate my system usage all that well. It is difficult when this build's plan includes something like the crysis equivalent in say 4 years from now. My gaming needs are include current crysis et al but do not require uber eye candy. The attempt here is to use computing history as a lesson so we don't have to build every 2 years to keep up with burgeoning code.

@woostar88 I thought I had checked the RAM timings and got 'good' ones... ugh, thanks for the heads up. Seems I should abandon SLI too :( 

@Twoboxer You're right about the ebay routine and waiting for DX11 cards.

Single video card probably means I can shift down to 750W too?

You're living in a dream. There is no way you can build a system now that will run the "crysis equivalent" in 4 years. Just stick with a 4890 or GTX275 for now and in a few years you can upgrade your card for what have you.
September 22, 2009 7:34:10 AM

overshocks said:
google is your friend. i think i seen one cant remember correctly

There isn't one - was wondering how you could be so sure. Figured you must have found something that doesn't come up on google.
September 22, 2009 7:39:42 AM

digitron_11 said:
@Twoboxer You're right about the ebay routine and waiting for DX11 cards.

Single video card probably means I can shift down to 750W too?


Honestly, the 750W will probably still handle 2x any card where that card was reasonable for 1920 in the first place. IOW, 2x275 would run fine on 750W.

For that kind of single card, you can go down to 500W. But make sure you want to commit "permanently" to a single card strategy. If so, you can certainly choose a lesser mobo as well.
September 22, 2009 7:56:49 AM

overshocks said:
fix links? funny how those monitors are MUCH smaller, you really bad with computers and suggestions. the HP monitor is 535 dollars 24".


IPS vs TN

as you said tn is much cheaper, ips comes expensive.
September 22, 2009 7:13:16 PM

@notzaar You're right, it is a stretch both in timeline & example. Scaling back my absurdity should reveal the point more though.

I believe I'll be switching to the Dell 2408WFP based upon previous comments and further review. Same resolution. $449
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Monitors/pr...

Downgrading to 750W PSU and leaving open upgrade potential.

Switching to Cogage TS as per Twoboxer, thanks for the additional review link!

Sticking with WD Black drives and dropping down to 500G x2.


Should I switch to Corsair Dominator RAM (7-7-7-20), have slightly better timings over OCZ Platinum (7-7-7-24) for $50 more?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Is there noticeable difference between GTX275 896 & 1792 versions?

Total is arount $2000 at the moment. Thanks all!
September 22, 2009 7:29:44 PM

digitron_11 said:
Should I switch to Corsair Dominator RAM (7-7-7-20), have slightly better timings over OCZ Platinum (7-7-7-24) for $50 more?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


There will be *zero* noticable difference in any real world task you run.

I *hate* spending $50 that way :) 
September 22, 2009 8:18:15 PM

overshocks said:
lol i love these people with so little knowledge trying to help people.
you dont get the point do you? look at his system usage, he does not even need a 4890 rather you suggest a 5870..what pathetic.

i already suggested samsung f3 drives..the WD sucks. know your facts before sayin anythin.


The Caviar Blacks actually do not suck. They are far from sucking actually. The F3 may be a little faster since it is a large single platter for the 500GB version or 2 platters for the 1TB version, but do not say that the WD's suck since they are one of the most reliable and well known HD brands.

However I do agree with you about people not being able to suggest the right GPU. If the OP is not going to be doing any hardcore gaming then the 5870 is far from what he would need.

Overshocks don't get me wrong, you give great advice but saying that the WD sucks got to me a little since they are in fact one of the best drives for the money.
September 22, 2009 10:51:50 PM

^I apologize for saying "suck" i should have referred it to "less" performance or "rethink about the hard drive".

Also, to OP don't get that RAM that's $50 more its pointless, stick with that OCZ Platinum

Also a 750W power supply would be good for FUTURE PROOF (adding another video card in say 1-2 years if you need it)

and why didnt you pick the samsung spinpoint f3's i suggested? it uses 1 platter so in theory it will be faster than the WD one's, ill try to find a review for it
September 22, 2009 11:17:44 PM

overshocks said:
^I apologize for saying "suck" i should have referred it to "less" performance or "rethink about the hard drive".

Also, to OP don't get that RAM that's $50 more its pointless, stick with that OCZ Platinum

Also a 750W power supply would be good for FUTURE PROOF (adding another video card in say 1-2 years if you need it)

and why didnt you pick the samsung spinpoint f3's i suggested? it uses 1 platter so in theory it will be faster than the WD one's, ill try to find a review for it


I couldn't find data to convince myself of the F3 over WD's. WD has a proven reputation for being reliable and that's worth some in this RAID case. That and the average opinion from googled forums around seemed to lean towards WD. Maybe that's just brand loyalty though.

Maybe I'm just making up that reliable notion about WD too, who's got data on this sort?
September 22, 2009 11:25:53 PM

it doesn't REALLY matter which you pick. WD is a great brand.
!