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I7 system

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October 5, 2009 11:33:18 PM

I'm planning on building an i7 system for anything up to £2500 but so far I've only managed to decide on :

Cooler Master Storm Sniper PC Tower Case
Cooler Master V8 Fan

(and even these could be changed if circumstances require).

I'm really stunk on a motherboard and psu. Once I've sorted those I'm hoping the rest will fall into place. Any advice would be truly appreciated as I've been going round in circles for the last two months.

More about : system

October 5, 2009 11:46:39 PM

sorry hunter315, hope that helps.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: asap

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: home system, gaming.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: monitors

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: none in particular

PARTS PREFERENCES: intel i7 (probably 950)

OVERCLOCKING: yes

MONITOR RESOLUTION:1920x1200 (x3)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: can't think of any.
Related resources
October 6, 2009 12:58:12 AM

So you are looking to crossfire two 5870s and game on all three monitors at once, like this?

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5870,2422...

Video
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2009/09/28/amds_ati_eyef...

There is really no need for a 950. just use an i7 920 and put the money saved where it will do more good.

Asus P6T deluxe V2
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/159455#

Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz Socket 1366 D0 stepping
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/161171

OCZ 1600 6GB CL7
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/164786

Two of these:
Sapphire 5870
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/175016

PSU
Corsair 850HX
http://www.dabs.com/products/corsair-memory-850w-corsai...
or
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/164951

October 6, 2009 12:03:13 PM

Thanks Proximon that's given me even more to think about. I had been looking at the Nvidia GTX 295 but that might just be overkill I don't know. Also the P6T motherboard is really good ( I know it quite well) but does have some flaws, as an alternative I was considering the Revolution (although I don't know if it has the same flaws) otherwise there's the Intel DX58SO.
October 6, 2009 8:24:20 PM

I don't think Intel boards will OC very well. I think the Asus Revolution has the same issue with the two X16 slots being too close together for airflow if you crossfire. I think this newer P6TD Deluxe might be the answer:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB...
Here's some newegg reviews
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N...

A single 5870 is about the same speed as a GTX 295. Two are of course the fastest setup you can get, and ideal if you want to game on all three monitors at once.

October 6, 2009 8:41:25 PM

Proximon said:
A single 5870 is about the same speed as a GTX 295. Two are of course the fastest setup you can get

Thats not quite true. Three 285s will beat a pair of 295s or 5870s. You should be able to run up to four 5870s, which would definitely be the fastest setup you can currently get. Thats also probably crazy overkill. :pt1cable: 
October 6, 2009 8:47:47 PM

deorcnys said:
Thanks Proximon that's given me even more to think about. I had been looking at the Nvidia GTX 295 but that might just be overkill I don't know. Also the P6T motherboard is really good ( I know it quite well) but does have some flaws, as an alternative I was considering the Revolution (although I don't know if it has the same flaws) otherwise there's the Intel DX58SO.


The 295GTX isn't really overkill as it only beats the 5870 by 5-10% on average. For $20 more than the cost of a 295GTX tho, you could have twin 5850's. As for the rest, you might wanna look at a build my son is doing at this link.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/270740-31-college-bou...

He's helped me w/ about 20 or so builds but he's "flying solo" on this one :) 
October 6, 2009 9:46:10 PM

Thanks, I should have been more specific I meant Nvidia 295GTX x2 but that is only my initial thoughts. The motherboard is my serious problem at the moment I think in the end I'm just going to have to go with the Asus PT6 Deluxe and hope that a better option becomes available later (because I can't find anything at the moment) but short of just waiting that means throwing money away on an interim board.
October 12, 2009 5:12:14 PM

This is what I think I'm going to settle on :

CPU : Intel i7 950

Motherboard : ASUS P6T Deluxe v2

CPU fan : Coolermaster v8

Case : Coolermaster Sniper (or Cosmos)

Memory : Corsair 6GB DDR3 1600

PSU : Corsair 850w Modular

GPU 2x Nvidia 295 GTX

Disks 2x 1TB Western Digital WD1002FBYS, 1x 2TB Western Digital WD2002FYPS

If anyone can suggest any improvements to this spec or can say if there's anything I really am wasting money on please let me know. Also does anyone have any idea how to choose what make of nvidia is the most suitable.
October 12, 2009 5:33:39 PM

I just wonder why you would spend that much on graphics cards that in 3 months wont be able to play the latest games at the best graphics levels? To spend that much and not have DX11 seems wasteful.

The Xigmatek Dark Knight is a better cooler than the V8. I believe the inexpensive Xigmatec S1283 is also. www.frostytech.com
October 12, 2009 6:01:11 PM

dndhatcher said:
I just wonder why you would spend that much on graphics cards that in 3 months wont be able to play the latest games at the best graphics levels? To spend that much and not have DX11 seems wasteful.

The Xigmatek Dark Knight is a better cooler than the V8. I believe the inexpensive Xigmatec S1283 is also. www.frostytech.com


Thanks DNDHATCHER. Can you suggest a better graphics card?
October 12, 2009 7:28:56 PM

obsidian86 said:
5870

Yep, the 5870 single core is about as fast as a 295, handles 3 monitors on its own and is one of only two DX11 cards out. Nvidia has the 300 series that may be out sometime by the end of the year or not until next spring.
October 12, 2009 9:06:22 PM

dndhatcher said:
I just wonder why you would spend that much on graphics cards that in 3 months wont be able to play the latest games at the best graphics levels? To spend that much and not have DX11 seems wasteful.


There are valid reasons why a person might go that way if their goals are different from yours. First depends on how long you keep a graphics card. If it's 12-24 months, DX11 ain't gonna matter for beans. Reading about DX11, the best things anyone has to say about it seem to be that it's DX10 hardware compatible and "may"actually get people to start programming games for it. If a person has the money to spend, I see no reason to criticize their choice in this regard if it's getting them what they want whether that be higher fps in the game they play, easier dealings w/ multiple monitors or PhysX). I'm still waiting for that article that says "DX11 will enable us to [insert game feature here]. Sure there will be more and faster of "the same" but I ahven't seen nothing "new" mentioned yet.

On the other hand, if you are more impressed with PhysX over DX11 (as I am at the moment) , the GTX 295 is a valid choice, though not one I'd make if I kept GFX cards for more than 2 years. The review here gives a lot of reasons to like PhysX.

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/batman_arkham_asylu...

but again, if your the type of gamer who speeds through levels w/o taking the time to "stop and smell the roses" so to speak, this won't be of any appeal to you. However, cloth that tears, papers that move when you run by, smoke and steam that behaves well like smoke and steam, enemies that fall in unique ways, and walls that blow up when you hit them with a rocket launcher add a sense of realism otherwise absent in PC games w/o PhysX. Firing a rocket at a plaster board wall that just leaves a smudge on the wall when the smoke clears is a bit off putting. I wanna see a big majunga hole there.

There is currently an option for those that want the best of both worlds and ya can now add an nVidia card (i.e. 9800 GT) to say a pair of 5850's and get PhysX on your ATI box. THG has an article which can easily be found by searching on "PhysX plays nice ATI" that links to the place where you can get the "patch" that allows this but only on Win7. There's a lot of ATI owners now raving about the effects they are now able to enjoy on the patch site.

Personally, I never buy the 1st batch of a new generation of cards figuring to let those early adopters absorb the slings and arrows of the bleeding edge.....forgive me I had a shakespearean moment :) ...... If forced to buy now, I'd have to wrestle between the 295 GTX and twin 5850's combined with a 9800 GT. The risk there is however, what if nVidia comes back and breaks the patch ?

I like to build new boxes every 4 years or so with a GFX upgrade half way thru. I start planning those builds in February after the Intel price drops. So I generally wind up buying GFX cards between late February and July when the early hardware revisions are in the dumper, drivers are mature, non reference tweaked boards are available and the industry has a chance to shake out the deadbeat models. Of course by then, it will be a whole new landscape and guessing what will be most attractive then is more than I am willing to postulate. This year however, w/ nVidia being late to the starting gate, we are all really in no position to guess whether ATI will win this round or nVidia will repeat with a successor to the GTX 295. I for one, am looking forward to see how things shake out and making a decision on what card to buy after I know the answer. In the meantime, people's choices will depend on their goals and situations, and as these goals / situations may vary, their choices may vary.
October 12, 2009 9:30:06 PM

That was well said, though I think the first sentence pretty much says what's needed :) 

People have different priorities. I myself like a stronger processor and prefer to keep GPU and CPU costs about even, but most gaming systems I recommend will be a bit more weighted towards GPU.
October 12, 2009 10:10:22 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
There are valid reasons why a person might go that way if their goals are different from yours.
I agree and that is why I (tried to) make my question clear which goal it was directed toward. There are reasons to go with a 295, but not if you are looking for a card that is going to play the newest games maxed out and has a 3-5 year lifespan. With all the console game development focus, it may be a long time before there is anything a 5870 cant handle on a 1920x1200 monitor.




October 13, 2009 12:22:13 AM

dndhatcher said:
I agree and that is why I (tried to) make my question clear which goal it was directed toward. There are reasons to go with a 295, but not if you are looking for a card that is going to play the newest games maxed out and has a 3-5 year lifespan. With all the console game development focus, it may be a long time before there is anything a 5870 cant handle on a 1920x1200 monitor.


Full PhysX support on the major game consoles and 150 or so PC based games (way more than DX10 and 11 combined) are reasons why I think even the old NVidia cards still have legs. I am still looking for an article that says "I sure can't wait for DX11 enabled games to hit so we can enjoy features like [insert something here].

nViida brass must be having a hissy fit now that peeps can go out and buy a pair of 58xx cards and still play PhysX simply by adding a $100 nVidia card and applying the hacked patch.
October 13, 2009 5:57:39 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
I am still looking for an article that says "I sure can't wait for DX11 enabled games to hit so we can enjoy features like [insert something here].

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-5770-review-tes...

I know you are excited about PhysX right now, but since it requires a second graphics card and is Nvidia proprietary it will never become mainstream. DX11 is going to become mainstream and promises better image quality with less GPU power than DX10. Given how fast it seems everyone on vista will be moving to win 7 I think DX11 is going to catch on faster.
October 13, 2009 11:40:18 PM

Again, where's the [insert feature here] ? Lots of techno jargon but no "this will be cool". I am reminded of every single new release of Windoes with all its stated improvements yet there has never been a MS OS release that ran anything faster than it's predecessor....meybe Win7 (aka Vista SP3) will break the streak....

PhysX is already mainstream.....w/ 150 titles it dwarfs DX10 and let's not forget that it's standard fare in console games. ATI is coming w/ havoc but is s a bit back in the hunt. PhysX now works even if ATI hardware present and only requires a cheap add on card. With game devs releasing console games 1st, porting to PhysX for the PC is no bigga deal.

I just don't see DX11 having much of an impact for at least 15-24 months and that's 2011. By the, half of us have replaced the cards we're buying now.
October 14, 2009 1:00:11 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
PhysX is already mainstream.....w/ 150 titles it dwarfs DX10
What percentage of gaming PCs are using PhysX right now? There are quite a number of games that will do multiple screen gaming using some standard TGGA ragged at me about. Like I said then, if there are insignificant number of users using it then its not mainstream. Every new build is looking at crossfire/sli compatibility. Why isnt PhyX also coming up in every build discussion? Because almost no one (even on an enthusiast site like this) is even thinking about it. In the PC arena its basically a non-entity. Having it on consoles is the only thing that makes me wonder if it might have a chance.

It may take 12-18 months for dx11 to have much impact but I try to value buy hardware that will be useful 3-5 years. It also does sound like win7 may be the trend breaker and be more efficient than vista.

When you are talking high end like 295 there is also a "brag factor" and being slammed because your brand new uber expensive machine cant play battleforge and Dirt at their best this winter might leave someone with a bad feeling. Its worth thinking about in addition to raw performance today.
October 15, 2009 2:47:21 AM

Quote:
but I try to value buy hardware that will be useful 3-5 years.


That's why selection is a matter of personal choice....your reason for your choices won't be the same as everyone else's . I don't have a problem with that. But that doesn't diminish my choice in any way or make my choice or anyone else's choices less valid.

Again, I don't keep a video card more than 2 years, therefore your 3-5 year concerns are irrelevant to my situation .....as we see many people here talking about upgrading from 200 series nVidia and 4xxx series ATI, it's obvious I am not alone. But , again, your situation being different, your concerns are perfectly valid for your situation. We don't really know what DX11's impact will be, we do know that DX10's impact was between miniscule and none.

As far as playing Dirt 2 "best", it depends on how you define best ? By the amount of fps one can brag about ? The card bought today will be subject to "slamming" in a month so I really don't see why anyone would be consider that issue seriously.

I have seen it stated repeatedly that a non DX11 card at this state of the game is a unwise choice. Not one has said why. I am interested in what I experience in the game, the level of immersion and realism. Before I am going to accept the statement that DX11 is important, someone has to tell me what I am going to see on the screen with DX11 that I won't see with DX10. Then again, the same can be said of DX10
October 15, 2009 9:53:28 PM

Great debate many thanks helped me a lot. Does anyone have first (or second or third) hand knowledge of the ASUS P7P55D motherboards?
October 16, 2009 6:38:43 AM

I saw a review of the EVO version that was rather negative. Not for the board itself but for the BIOS as I recall. I think the Pro version and the straight version are probably good.
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