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Some advice if you will for my $1000 spec

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September 26, 2009 5:27:20 AM

Hi there,

before I go ahead and make a custom order for my new PC, I wanted to check with you knowledgeable types to see if when combined, rather than forming Voltron, these parts form some kind of hideous swamp beast....

- ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 Mobo
- Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz
- 2 x Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS HDD 1000GB 32mb cache SATA-2 (in RAID)
- Gigabyte GV-N260C-896I GeForce GTX 260
- A-Data AD31600G002GU3K, 3x2GB, DDR3-1600, PC3-12800, CL9, DIMM
- Antec Signature 850 PSU
- ASUS WL-130N wireless adapter PCI
- ASUS DRW-24B1ST DVD Writer SATA

Does anyone see anything there that might give me more woes than a speech impaired florist?

Many thanks

Lee

More about : advice 1000 spec

a b Ĉ ASUS
September 26, 2009 5:33:36 AM

Dont get 2 caviar greens to put in RAID, it defeats the purpose of raid, get 2 samsung F3 drives, they are usually cheaper and will out perform the caviar green drives easily.

Try to find some ram with CL7 it will help for most things, if you have the choice between DDR3-1333 CL7 and DDR3-1600 CL9 the CL7 will perform better.

What are you going to be using this system for? If you are gaming at 1920x1200 consider a GTX275/4890/5850, and a corsair 750TX is plenty for 2 cards, you dont need an SG-850
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September 26, 2009 5:58:11 AM

Thanks Hunter! All great suggestions. I wasn't planning on having two video cards though...

will be using it for *some* gaming, mostly though for my work, which is photoshop/CS4 suite etc.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
September 26, 2009 6:04:38 AM

Okay, if you arent going to be using multiple cards in there save yourself a bunch of money and drop down to a 550VX, it has plenty of power for any single card out there. Tighter ram timings will help you significantly with apps like photoshop so try to find some CL7 ram. If you arent going to be running 2 video cards you likely dont need all the features of the P6T V2 Deluxe, check out some of the lower end boards, or even a build based around an i7 860 on a p55 board to save some more, the 860 performs almost identically to the 920 but the overall platform cost is less.
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September 26, 2009 6:16:48 AM

the overall spec is based on one listed as a "this should be good" option in the hackint0sh forums. they listed a slightly higher PSU which is why i went with the 850.

thanks heaps for those suggestions! much appreciated :) 
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September 27, 2009 12:37:44 AM

does anything else sing out as potential trouble here? such as conflicts or things that will cause heating issues? Do I need to think about any extra cooling?
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September 27, 2009 12:56:15 AM
September 27, 2009 1:19:57 AM

The 260 should be plenty for moderate gaming - just so long as you don't expect to play Crysis-type games with everything on max. It will run games like WoW or Starcraft 2 when it comes out at max settings and a big resolution no problem. It's more than fine for all your non-gaming needs as well. You could also consider a Radeon 4870; the boards perform very similarly, so the price and reviews of the specific 260s and 4870s you look at would be the deciding factor, unless you have some particular reason to prefer nvidia or ati.

As others have said, RAM with a CAS Latency of 7 is a good price/performance balance. The three DDR3-1333 kits obsidian linked to would all be good choices. It doesn't actually make that big of a performance difference, but if you wanna stick with the faster DDR3-1600 modules, then OCZ Platinum looks like the best deal: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... . I would personally go with the 1333 as the price difference is much bigger than the performance difference.

I would not recommend the i7 860 as an alternative; the 920 you have selected is a better choice for you. The cores are nearly identical, but the 920 has triple-channel memory (expensive and unnecessary for the gamers that make up the bulk of this forum, but great for photoshop and similar activities) and an upgrade path to the 6 core Gufltown chips later on down the road. Despite being a new socket, 1156 still has less to look forward to on Intel's current roadmap.

As others have said, look into a cheaper mobo if you don't plan on ever using multiple GPUs; that's the only compelling reason to get such an expensive motherboard, IMO.

Also as others have said, the Samsung Spinpoint F3 drives will match the performance of WD's more expensive Caviar Black line, for prices comparable to their Green and Blue lines. Newegg lists 'em at $50 for 500GB, $80 for 1TB, both with free shipping. The WD drives are fine too, but I trust the Samsung drives a tad more and they're ever so slightly cheaper (the WD Green drive you listed is $85 on newegg).

Do you need a case? Unless I'm losing my mind you didn't mention one and nobody here has, either... I haven't used it myself, but I'm planning to buy an Antec Three Hundred Illusion for my upcoming gaming rig. For $60 on newegg, you get a quality all steel mid tower from a trusted brand with 4 case fans included (almost unheard of at this size and price) and room for a fifth. Reviews are great as well. You can get a combo deal on an Antec power supply through Newegg as well. Here's the case and an Antec TruePower 650W for $140: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
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September 27, 2009 4:38:19 AM

wow, thank you all so much -- you can't see me but i'm bowing down with i'm not worthy-ness :) 

all great things to think about and i'm definitely going to sit down with all you've said and come up with a new spec based around your advice.

as for a case, i'm going with the Lian-Li PC-A17B ATX Mid Tower Case (link http://ascent.co.nz/ProductSpec.aspx?itemID=364900) -- think it should do everything i need, look good and provide enough space to allow for future upgrades.

i don't think a dual graphics card config is definitely out of the question for me; im just going through a non-gaming patch but i'm still a gamer at heart.

if there was one game i'm waiting for and will be definitely installing when it comes out it'll be Diablo 3. Any comments around my current config with respect to that?

Cheers again you're all awesome :) 
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September 27, 2009 4:57:00 AM

Blizzard is *really* good about scaling their games to older hardware. I would be shocked if any >$100 graphics card on the market today isn't plenty fast enough for D3. You may not be able to play with max resolution and settings (depending on how far Blizz scales the graphics engine on the higher end), but you should be able to play with settings relatively high at at least 1680 or 1920 resolution. It's hard to be certain since the game isn't released and has no official requirements announced but I wouldn't worry about it. Even games like Crysis would be plenty playable on a GeForce 260 or Radeon 4870, just not at maxed settings.

In my opinion, Lian-Li cases are overpriced. That case is good, but if memory serves me (that link doesn't work for me) it's around $150 US. Unless you plan to load your machine up with a large RAID or something, I don't see the need for such a big, expensive case. If you are looking to spend that much, I would look at some of the higher end Antec and CoolerMaster cases; that Lian-Li case doesn't have very many case fans for such an expensive model. Number of fans is far from the end all be all of cooling performance but it's certainly a big part of it. The MUCH cheaper Antec case I linked to above (the 300 Illusion) has significantly more fans.

If you can see yourself wanting to upgrade this machine later on for a longer gaming lifespan, then go ahead and get a motherboard that supports Crossfire. My advice would be to get one Radeon 4870 or GeForce 260 core 216 (I'd go for the Radeon myself but the 260 is a solid alternative if you prefer Nvidia software or something) for now, but get a motherboard that supports a second one and a PSU with plenty of extra juice (650 or 750W from a quality brand like Antec or Corsair with plenty of amperage on the 12V rail). In a year or two if you decide to upgrade, a second 4870 or 260 should be considerably cheaper than current prices to nearly double your graphics performance. This will allow you to save money compared to buying a new single card and throwing out your old 4870 (much like getting a 2x2GB RAM kit is usually smarter than getting a 4x1GB - you can upgrade capacity without wasting the hardware you already paid for).
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September 27, 2009 5:37:39 AM

thanks! i'm totally stoked with all your help. really great!
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