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I7-920, $2000-2500, motherboard confusion...

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September 28, 2009 3:53:24 PM

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APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within 2 weeks BUDGET RANGE: 2000-2500 (Not including Monitor)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Editing/Encoding Movies

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: None

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg, amazon preferred, but doesn't matter COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES:
Intel based solution

OVERCLOCKING: Yes (whatever I can get out of air cooling) SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes (Crossfire)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200 (I currently have a 22" 1920x1200 monitor, possibly looking for a second 24")

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Would prefer a quieterish PC. I will be doing some video editing (mostly 720p/1080p video, and doing some gaming as well. I like a fast, peppy computer... who doesn't... I have already purchased the SSD drive (128GB kingston, I should have read more reviews before buying it), and I pre-ordered the Radeon HD 5870 from amazon. I am very confused about what to get when it comes to the motherboard and memory.

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Parts on my list so far: (starting with ones I am more sure of:

CPU - Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor $279

I want to go intel, and from reviews I've read, the new i7-860 isn't as good is you are planning on going crossfire or SLI (which I plan on in the future)

Case - COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case $140

I love this case from all the reviews, unless there is something I am missing from all the review sites. I was originally thinking about the new corsair as it looks awesome, but read bad reviews on its air cooling abilities.

OS - Windows 7 when it comes out, Home Premium for now

CPU Cooler - COOLER MASTER Intel Core i7 compatible V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler $60

Have read lots of reviews on LGA 1366 cooling solutions, this one seems to be good performance / noise / ease of installation compromise

OS Drive - Kingston 128GB SSD (already purchased)

already purchased this, I should have done more research beforehand, I hope it isn't too bad of a drive...

Data drives - 2 x Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EADS 2TB $210 each

I plan on getting a NAS in like 6 months and move one of them out to it, any other suggestions for Data drives other than these? I have a couple 1TB green drives in my HTPC right now and love them for their temps. Willing to consider with brands though.

Memory - CORSAIR DOMINATOR-GT 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMG6GX3M3A1600C7 $224

I picked this one because of CS7 and it came with a fan unlike the others. Willing to consider other memory brands, CSs, etc... no clue on memory really.

Power Supply - CORSAIR CMPSU-1000HX 1000W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Compatible $240

Do I need this much power? Or is the 850W good enough?:

Motherboard - I'm clueless in this category, I've read so many different sites recommending different boards, kinda narrowed it to the following, although people also say the MSI is good, some people say the ASUS doesn't do crossfire, others say it doesn't do SLI, but it says it does both... I've had a lot of ASUS boards in the past and have loved them, never heard of ASRock... I kind of keep up on things whenever I'm buying a new system, and then don't look for years because I'll get jealous of what I'm missing :) 

ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard $290

ASRock X58 Deluxe LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard $170

or the extreme is a bit cheaper? Couldn't really figure out what i lose.. looks like the more expensive one doesn't have PATA, but does have one more PCIe?

Monitor - I'm possibly looking at getting a new LCD, 1920x1080, 24". Not too expensive... I won't be purchasing this with the rest of my system most liekly... I heard this was good:
SAMSUNG 2443BWT Matte Black 24" 5ms
September 28, 2009 7:34:53 PM

There are multiple versions of ASUS's P6T line of LGA 1366 motherboards which is likely causing your confusion:

All these boards HAVE support for Crossfire.

The ASUS P6T SE is the most "basic" version which has NO support for SLI, NORMAL heatsinks, and NO SAS ports.

The ASUS P6T is identical to the ASUS P6T except that it HAS support for SLI.

The ASUS P6T Deluxe is idential to the ASUS P6T except that it has IMPROVED heatsinks, and 2 SAS ports.

The ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 is identical to the ASUS P6T Deluxe, but it has NO SAS ports.

I recommend picking up a ASUS P6T SE for about $200.


You're also going waaay overboard on how much power you need. Even with overclocking and 2 GPU's, you won't need more than a Corsair 750TX, I'd wager. An 850TX if you're want more headroom, but that's still more than enough.
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September 28, 2009 7:41:53 PM

kufan64 said:
There are multiple versions of ASUS's P6T line of LGA 1366 motherboards which is likely causing your confusion:

All these boards HAVE support for Crossfire.

The ASUS P6T SE is the most "basic" version which has NO support for SLI, NORMAL heatsinks, and NO SAS ports.

The ASUS P6T is identical to the ASUS P6T except that it HAS support for SLI.

The ASUS P6T Deluxe is idential to the ASUS P6T except that it has IMPROVED heatsinks, and 2 SAS ports.

The ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 is identical to the ASUS P6T Deluxe, but it has NO SAS ports.

I recommend picking up a ASUS P6T SE for about $200.


You're also going waaay overboard on how much power you need. Even with overclocking and 2 GPU's, you won't need more than a Corsair 750TX, I'd wager. An 850TX if you're want more headroom, but that's still more than enough.



Thanks for the reply. I want to have future SLI/crossfire support, so I think I might then go for the P6T Deluxe. I'll also knock down the power supply to a 850W (it got better reviews too, which is great). Any suggestions on the RAM?
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September 28, 2009 7:58:03 PM

Just to clarify, SLI is for Nvidia video cards like the GTX 260, GTX 275 etc. X-Fire is for ATI cards like the HD 4850, HD 4870 etc.

You said that you had already pre-ordered a 5870 from amazon, so there's really no reason you should be interested in Nvidia or SLI at all.

As far as the RAM is concerned, I'd recommend these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?
They're just as fast, but cost quite a bit less. You don't get the nifty fan, but there's a good chance the fan may not even fit after you install your monster CPU cooler.
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September 28, 2009 8:53:14 PM

kufan64 said:
Just to clarify, SLI is for Nvidia video cards like the GTX 260, GTX 275 etc. X-Fire is for ATI cards like the HD 4850, HD 4870 etc.

You said that you had already pre-ordered a 5870 from amazon, so there's really no reason you should be interested in Nvidia or SLI at all.

As far as the RAM is concerned, I'd recommend these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?
They're just as fast, but cost quite a bit less. You don't get the nifty fan, but there's a good chance the fan may not even fit after you install your monster CPU cooler.


This is goign to be a dumb question I am sure.... but what is the difference between the dominator and XM3 series? The XM3 series is much cheaper, but from the specs on newegg, there really is no difference... I guess I picked out the dominator RAM because I assumed RAM fro the same company, almost twice as expensive, must be much better performance...

And ya, I have a radeon pre-ordered, but didn't want to preclude myself from nvidia in the future...
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September 28, 2009 8:58:06 PM

The "Dominator" Corsair RAM is basically just designed to cool itself more efficiently. It has fins and higher quality heat spreaders, but in my opinion it doesn't justify it's higher cost.
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