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Planning my first build - x86 or x64?

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October 1, 2009 11:05:21 PM

Hi guys, I joined the community a few days ago with a question about upgrading my graphics card. I've decided to go all in and go for a new build.
I've got a couple of questions, firstly should I go for 32 bit or 64 bit? I have access to [legal] versions of XP Pro, Vista Ultimate and Windows 7 (when it arrives) in both 32 and 64.

I understand with 32 bit I am capped at 4 GB RAM.

The PC will be used for general computing, casual gaming and engineering CAD.

Depending on my money situation I will most likely go with a AMD Phenom II X4 Quad Core 955 Black Edition overclocked to around 3.8GHz or an Intel Core i7 920 overclocked to around 4 GHz.

This brings me round to my next question - will the i7 be worth the extra money? I have always had Intel so am no too sure about AMD.

I appreciate any advice, as the title says, this will be my first complete build, in the past I have just upgraded.

More about : planning build x86 x64

October 1, 2009 11:08:57 PM

I'll be running DDR3 RAM if that makes a difference.
October 1, 2009 11:17:49 PM

1) Get the 64 bit of Win7! There is no reason now not to get a 64 bit system. It will allow you to see & use all your RAM. The support is much better since the days of XP 64 bit.

2) If you are going to be doing a lot of CAD work, I would recommend the Core i7 920. It os the best CPU for those types of applications and worth the price difference. In other words, I would recommend buying the Core i7 920.
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October 1, 2009 11:25:39 PM

Thanks for the quick response, I was leaning towards the i7 anyway, even when overclocked, the AMD can't match a standard i7 920.

I've been looking at 3 bundles but to be honest I am not sure which is best, could you help me out with that?

Bundle 1 - £650
1 X Intel Core i7 920 D0 Stepping (SLBEJ) 2.66Ghz
1 X Asus Rampage II Extreme Intel X58 (Socket 1366) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard
1 X Corsair XMS3 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 (1600MHz) Tri-Channel (TR3X6G1600C9)
1 X Prolimatech Megahalems Performance CPU Cooler (Socket 775/1366)
1 X Akasa AK-FN057 Apache Super Silent 120mm Fan - 4 Pin PWM

Bundle 2 - £600
1 X Intel Core i7 920 D0 Stepping (SLBEJ) 2.66Ghz
1 X Gigabyte EX58-UD5 Intel X58 (Socket 1366) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard
1 X Corsair XMS3 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 (1600MHz) Tri-Channel
1 X Corsair H50 High-Performance CPU Watercooler

Bundle 3 - £590
1 X Intel Core i7 920 D0 Stepping (SLBEJ) 2.66Ghz
1 X Gigabyte EX58-UD5 Intel X58 (Socket 1366) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard
1 X Patriot Viper 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600MHz) Low Latency Tri-Channel
1 X Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 CPU Cooler (Socket LGA1366)
October 1, 2009 11:34:19 PM

I would go with bundle 3, since it is the cheapest and provides good components. If you want to overclock a lot, bundle 1 has the best MOBO & HSF for overclocking.
October 1, 2009 11:41:46 PM

I'm pretty new to overclocking, I'll push the core up but that's about it. But for the extra £10 would it not be worth getting the water cooler? Again I've not used one of these before.
October 1, 2009 11:48:01 PM

Sorry, another question, but I just noticed you have a VelociRaptor - have you seen a big improvement with it?

I'm deciding between a 1 TB 7200RPM or the 300GB 10000RPM VelociRaptor.
October 1, 2009 11:58:20 PM

SevenVirtues said:
I'm pretty new to overclocking, I'll push the core up but that's about it. But for the extra £10 would it not be worth getting the water cooler? Again I've not used one of these before.

The H50 is a low end water cooling in sense of performance. Either of the two other HSF will equal or out perform it in cooling. If you are wanting water cooling, you are looking at about $300 for a good water cooling system.
October 2, 2009 12:04:44 AM

SevenVirtues said:
Sorry, another question, but I just noticed you have a VelociRaptor - have you seen a big improvement with it?

I'm deciding between a 1 TB 7200RPM or the 300GB 10000RPM VelociRaptor.

I have noticed a difference but there are better options out now for less money and similar performance. I would recommend anyone of these over the VRaptor... Western Digital 640GB Black or Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB hard drives. Both are almost equal in speed for a 1/4 the price. If you want to pay for the VRaptors price, I say look at a SSD for much faster performance.
October 2, 2009 12:11:23 AM

Thanks, you just saved me £100 on that HD,
October 2, 2009 12:16:24 AM

I appreciate the help. I'm just looking round to see if I can get the bundle you recommended any cheaper.
October 2, 2009 12:22:49 AM

No problem... Glad I can help!
!