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New i7 system build for $1600

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October 3, 2009 8:34:27 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within this month, ordering in approximately 2 weeks

BUDGET RANGE: roughly $1600 USD after rebates, quality first

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Mostly gaming, some multimedia stuff such as movies, and 3D rendering

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg (US)

PARTS PREFERENCES: No particular preference, just depends on quality build

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Not yet, but will

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 most likely

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: as silent and airflow-efficient as my budget allows

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Include a list of any parts you have already selected with descriptively labeled links for parts.

CPU: Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Retail

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

Motherboard: ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
or EVGA 141-BL-E757-TR LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX X58 SLI LE Intel Motherboard - Retail

Video card: SAPPHIRE 100281SR Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity - Retail

Memory: OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK - Retail

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-620HX 620W ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail

Hard drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives - OEM

Optical drive: PLEXTOR Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD/CD Writer LightScribe Support - OEM

Monitor: ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 20000:1) Built in Speakers - Retail


I have done quite some research in determining my parts, but if any improvement can be made based on your experience, I will gladly take the advices into consideration. The prices add up to ~$1600, and I will gradually add accessories, such as CPU heatsink, additional fans and/or fan controllers, etc. when I see they are needed. My biggest question lies with the motherboard choice: to my impression ASUS offers a better BIOS environment to work with, but recently I grow interest in EVGA boards. I do not favor particular brands, so I would like some suggestions between these boards (I have heard about integrated sound issues, overclocking & crossfire/SLI capability, etc., and I certainly understand there won't be a perfect board for my budget.

Any recommendation / suggestion are welcome. Thanks.

More about : system build 1600

October 3, 2009 10:02:35 PM

good build remember the size of 5870 11inches.
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October 3, 2009 10:02:57 PM

btw go with asus
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October 4, 2009 12:34:08 AM

Just as a thought, when I bought my first GTX260 (10.5in I think) I had to move around HD's to get it to fit. I would go with something like the CM HAF 932. It has more room available for the card, more airflow (3x230mm fans, top, side and front, and a 140mm on the back.) Pretty quiet, and the 230's move a lot more air for the amount of noise they make. The HD's are also mounted in a MUCH better way, and leaves a lot more space for the card aswell. I got frustrated pretty quickly with the drive bays in my Antec 900, the easy snap in and out of the HAF 932 is sooo much better.
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October 4, 2009 2:40:36 PM

brendano257 said:
Just as a thought, when I bought my first GTX260 (10.5in I think) I had to move around HD's to get it to fit. I would go with something like the CM HAF 932. It has more room available for the card, more airflow (3x230mm fans, top, side and front, and a 140mm on the back.) Pretty quiet, and the 230's move a lot more air for the amount of noise they make. The HD's are also mounted in a MUCH better way, and leaves a lot more space for the card aswell. I got frustrated pretty quickly with the drive bays in my Antec 900, the easy snap in and out of the HAF 932 is sooo much better.


Yeah I have read a lot of comments about CM HAF 932, compared to antec 902 coz' they are of a simliar price and airflow efficiency. I don't think I would need a full tower just yet though. My computer is going to be moved around quite frequently (still in college...) so I'm hoping for not breaking my back with a mid tower. However the tool-less HD installation is appealing...

And as far as I know, people are saying 5870 will fit in a Antec 902 case, so I'm not particularly concerned about it.

Thanks for the input!
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October 4, 2009 2:41:55 PM

geofelt said:
A fine list. Either mobo will be good.
I would suggest an oem cpu cooler up front. Pick one of the top ten from this review:
http://www.frozencpu.com/resource/r24/Best_CPU_Cooler_P...

One will make your pc quieter than the stock cooler, and easier to overclock.


If I'm overclocking, I'm thinking about the CM V8. The V10 looks really cool and reviews are positive, but it costs a bit too much...and the size just isn't really for mid-towers.
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October 4, 2009 3:43:07 PM

I am building almost the same system. I am using the Xigmatech Dark Knight for my cooler. By the I have the Antec 902 and the HD 5870 here and it will fit fine but you will not be able to use the internal fan behind the drive cages. I also wouldn't recommend putting any drives in the middle drive cage. This will still leave you with 3 large bays on top and 3 small ones on the bottom.

Also I found a youtube video where the Xigmatech was installed in the Antec 902 so apparently it will fit. You will not be able to use the case fan on the side but I believe that goes with any i7 cooler you would use.
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October 4, 2009 3:55:36 PM

newbuilder333 said:
I am building almost the same system. I am using the Xigmatech Dark Knight for my cooler. By the I have the Antec 902 and the HD 5870 here and it will fit fine but you will not be able to use the internal fan behind the drive cages. I also wouldn't recommend putting any drives in the middle drive cage. This will still leave you with 3 large bays on top and 3 small ones on the bottom.

Also I found a youtube video where the Xigmatech was installed in the Antec 902 so apparently it will fit. You will not be able to use the case fan on the side but I believe that goes with any i7 cooler you would use.


I think 3 bays at the bottom will be good for me, since my ultimate HD setup will only be 2 drives in RAID.

About the side fan, I'm not sure I will install a fan there because I heard side fans disturb the airflow. Is it true for Antec 902? I would just like to have more advice from someone who has experience with that case. If I need a side fan, I will determine whether to look for some low profile cpu cooler.

Thanks!
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October 4, 2009 4:02:02 PM

I have not built my system yet so I don't have experience, I just have it here waiting for the other parts. It seems to be a great case though. I am not planning to use the side fan and I think it should be fine. Search for tjharlow on youtube, he had videos of a system build in the Antec 902. I'll be building mine this weekend so I'll let you know how it goes.
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October 4, 2009 4:05:05 PM

Go with either Cooler Master RC-690 OR Cooler Master HAF 922/932. They have more space and hence more airflow than the Antec 902 I think.
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October 4, 2009 10:43:44 PM

obsidian86 said:
v8/v10 over rated this is 3 of the best air coolers you will ever find

http://www.moddersmart.com/en/noctua-nh-u12p-se1366.htm...

http://www.moddersmart.com/en/u120e-fan-fan-holder-for-...

http://www.moddersmart.com/en/prolimatech-megahalems-cp... need to buy a fan for this one


Thanks! I will look into these cpu coolers. I'm sure they will be a great addition to my upcoming system.

Another question: since I'm getting a mid-tower, is it better for me to get a modular power supply? And if I'm going to overclock and crossfire in the future, will be it safer to get 750W instead of 620W? The price will be a bit steep...but I still want some advice on that.
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October 5, 2009 4:34:50 PM

I got the Corsair HX850 power supply which is modular. From what I understand it is easier for cable management since you can just not hook up the cables you don't need. I went with 850 watts to be safe to cover future crossfire (HD 5870) and overclocking. Plus I figured that it would be better not having the PSU running close to capacity. I am a first time builder though so take that for what it's worth.
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October 5, 2009 5:47:45 PM

I was thinking along the lines of a larger power supply also...with the base system you're creating, it has the potential to be overclocked w/sli...or crossfire

It's up to you obviously (meaning $$$$$), but if you can swing it now, a larger psu will pay off in the future...you won't be limited to what you can do
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Best solution

October 11, 2009 11:40:56 AM

My specs are very similar to yours:

Intel core i7 920 @2.66Ghz DO batch A steeping
AsRock x58 Extreme motherboard
3x2Gb OCZ Gold DDR3 SDRAM 1600Mhz Cas 8 Timings: 8-8-8-24 @1.65v
Sapphire Radeon HD 5870
Corsair HX850 PSU
Xigmatech Dark Knight CPU Cooler
2x WD Caviar Black 640Gb HDD
Samsung CD/DVD burner
Antec 902 case

I built it yesterday and everything went really smoothly. Posted on the first try and recognized all 6Gb of RAM. As a first time builder so far I give high marks to all of the components. One thing to note, my motherboard has 10 screw holes but the Antec 902 only came with 9 standoffs and eights screws. There were other screws included that were similar enough to use but just a note if you don't have any spare parts lying around. The case is pretty awesome though, it moves a lot of air.
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