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$3800-$4200 gaming/editing system

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Anonymous
October 17, 2009 2:52:24 PM

Greetings,
I am a new user to the forums and will try to adhere to the rules and protocol.
After having built an AMD Athlon XP system, then upgrading later to AMD x64 dual core 6400+, I’m now looking to upgrade again with a completely new system. Plan is to upgrade in the next month. My budget is $3800.00 to $4200.00 but can be somewhat flexible with this amount. I’m coming in somewhat under budget right now, but that’s OK too. Computing is a passion and am desiring a system for gaming at ultra-high settings (2650x1600) and video editing. Will overclock the processor.
Wading through the current technology, I have come up with some basic thoughts about what might work. This setup is just a rough draft and all comments and suggestions will be appreciated.

Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor 280.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P6T6 WS Revolution LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard $350.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LG W3000H-Bn Black 30" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor $1150.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX HD-489A-ZDFC Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card X2 $400.00 (I chose this only because I have (1) already and thought I could do 3-way Crossfire 16x16x16)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR XMS3 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model HX3X12G1600C9 G $285.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-1000HX 1000W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply $240.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER ATCS 840 RC-840-KKN1-GP Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case $180.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ZALMAN CNPS9900LED 120mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler $67.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound $5.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Pioneer Black 8X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 8X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA Internal Blu-ray Burner 8X Blu-Ray DVD Burner w/ Software Model BDR-203BKS $200.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LITE-ON Black 4X BD-ROM 8X DVD-ROM 32X CD-ROM SATA Internal 4X Blu-ray Reader Model iHOS104-06 $60.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I already have (2) WD Raptor 300 GB HDD in Raid 0 for main drives. Have considered SSDs but??

Windows 7 Home

There are my initial thoughts. And I apologize for the long post.

October 17, 2009 3:16:31 PM

i would only switch to 2 5870's or 3 5850's and maybe to the prolimatech megahlm or thermalright ultra cpu cooler the zalmans tend to suck on i7's
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October 17, 2009 10:37:28 PM

No doubt dump those cards go with the new ati 5870.
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October 17, 2009 11:23:36 PM

Giving your budget, here's soem things to consider before taking the plunge.

My son just did a high end build and for reasons of OC and long term stability as well as the requisite "bling" factor went with the Asus Rampage II Extreme w/ the Asus OC Station. The latter not my thing but it looks to be one fine fan controller as well as providing front panel "in windows" access to all overclocking features except memory.

The Dell 3008WFP or its successor (if it's out yet, the 2408WFP's successor just came out) should be considered. Although I hate giving Dell money, it is consensus favorite.

How often do you upgrade GFX cards .... if it's more than two years, I'd say definitely go with some 5xxx combo. In a month, the 5870x2 will be out and that should knock the GTX 295 of its throne. If you want "everything", twin 5870's with a 3rd nVidia card dedicated for PhysX is the "be all and end all" at this point in time. See this if ya think PhysX might tickle ya fancy:

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/batman_arkham_asylu...
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/nvidia-ATI-physx-patch...


That memory is a bit weak (9-9-9-24) compared to the rest of ya system. I'd look for something w/ lower timings and unless you have some specific program that can address > 6 GB, I'd stick w/ a 3 x 2GB kit. Mushkin and GSkill have 6-7-6-18 kits

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

but the GSkills have problems fitting under many CPU heat sinks.

The PSU looks a bit big for your rig ..... Corsair HX-850 and Antec SG-850 are good alternatives

I'm partial to the HAF-932 and Antec 1200 cases ...tho haven't spent much time looking over your choice.

The HSF should be replaced w/ one from these lists:

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article30-page1.html
http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm

My current fav is the Prolimatech MegaShadow w/ IC Diamond 7 Carat Thermal Compound

Based upon past positive experiences, I went with the Plextor PX-B320SA BR Reader ...its twice as fast as the Lite-On ... I was waiting for Plex to release a new burner .... theri last one was $1,000 .... but no sign as yet.

I hope you are gonna dress this thing up a bit.....we spent about $100 on sleeving, heat shrink and UV over at frozencpu.com (where we found Megashadow and Diamond 7 Carat) . Don't forget to gran a Molex pin and 3 pin fan remover tools there if you gonna sleeve the wires in ya box.
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Anonymous
October 18, 2009 12:36:00 PM

Many thanks to Obsidian86, FREERAVEN, and JackTaylorPE. These comments were exactly what I was hoping to get from this forum.

It's great to have so many people out there with whom to share ideas and suggestions. I, unfortunately, do not have as much time as I would like to spend researching all the options, and sincerely appreciate all the comments and remarks. God knows I need the help.

Will definitely go with the newer video cards, change the HSF , memory and PSU. Gonna have to look over the other suggestions and decide. Although I'm already leaning to making all the recommended changes.

I really like the idea of front panel control of the OC. Will definitely need help with OCing, not really experimented with OCing either processor or memory, just dabbled a little. Not sure how to do it correctly yet.

Any suggestions for a clearly written OC guides for an OC novice?

Once again, you guys are great! Thanks for the much needed help.

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October 18, 2009 3:28:22 PM

Quote:
I really like the idea of front panel control of the OC. Will definitely need help with OCing, not really experimented with OCing either processor or memory, just dabbled a little. Not sure how to do it correctly yet. ....Any suggestions for a clearly written OC guides for an OC novice?


If you go the ROG (Republic of Gamers) route with the R2E you'll have access to a lot of "OC presets" in the Asus software and BIOS. Here's a set of BIOS settings I grabbed of another site for the R2E . 920 at 3.667 GHz

Ai Overclock Tuner - Manual
CPU Ratio Setting – 20
QPI BCLK Frequency – 183
PCIE Frequency - 100
DRAM Frequency – 1467
UCLK Frequency - 2933
QPI Link Data Rate - 4.8
DRAM Timing Control – 6-7-6-18
EPU II Phase Control - Full Phase
Loadline Calibration - Auto
CPU Differential Amplitude - Auto
Extreme OV - Disabled
CPU Voltage – 1.275
CPU PLL Voltage - Auto
QPI/DRAM Core Voltage - 1.275
IOH Voltage - Auto
IOH PCIE Voltage - Auto
ICH Voltage - Auto
ICH PCIE Voltage - Auto
DRAM Bus Voltage - 1.60
DRAM Ref Voltage - Auto
Debug Mode - String
Keyboard TweakIt Control - Disabled
CPU Spread Spectrum – Auto
PCI Spread Spectrum – Auto
CPU Clock Skew – Auto
IOH Clock Skew – Auto
Intel Speedstep Tech - Enabled
Intel Turbo Mode Tech - Disabled
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October 18, 2009 10:44:32 PM

Quote:
Any suggestions for a clearly written OC guides for an OC novice?


It doesn't get any better than this:

http://vip.asus.com/forum/view.aspx?id=2008122019104023...

Includes specifics for P6T.

Downlaod NehalemCalc 1.3 from here:

http://icrontic.com/uploads/2008/11/nehalemcalc.zip

If you are looking for a 3.6 GHz and up overclock suggest you start with the following:

Base Clock of 180
CPU Multiplier 20
QPI Multiplier 18
UnCore Multiplier 16
memory Multiplier 8

Can change base Clock from there until 200 w/o chaging any of the others w/ DDR 1600 memory.


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October 19, 2009 4:41:14 AM

I'm going to agree with the majority of comments here, certainly the suggestion of dual 5870's with a dedicated Physx card, which will undoubtedly provide the best bang for your buck and performance at the moment.

I must, however, disagree with the suggestion to downgrade on the PSU size.

Consider the importance of a PSU in the build of a PC. Everything in electrical technology inevitably comes down the input of power, and if I were investing such a HUGE amount of money into a system, with such high specifications and requirements, the last things I would skimp on are (in equal importance):

1) PSU
2) Case
3) Cooling

These specific components will almost always inevitably (at least hopefully) outlast all other components, and despite being often overlooked, play a much more serious part of a high end build than people realize.

I would certainly aim for the top of the line in these areas, and in doing so, would guarantee the longevity and ideal circumstances for your other components.

Just my 2 cents.l
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October 20, 2009 2:38:55 AM

The SG-850 at $239 is hardly skimping :)  It's the same price as the HX-1000.

In his box, even throwing in loads of extras and 25% capacitor aging which most will tell is way conservative, I come up with barely over 700watts. Drops to 625 watts w/ 10% cap aging. Used calculator over here and really loaded it up 5 USB, firewire, 8 fans, fan controller, 3 video cards, etc:

http://www.antec.outervision.com/PSUEngine

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October 20, 2009 4:22:32 AM

I agree it's certainly not skimping at all, ... perish the thought considering the 750watt Antec Truepower I'm currently looking at in an Antec 300 Illusion case combo for $154.90 lol ... but the point is that 850 watts is only a small amount over what your calculation came up with, and I always try with such purchases to shoot WAAAAY over. haha

For a comparison, I calculated my system (using crossfire 4850's instead of the crossfire 5770's I'm getting eventually as they weren't in the list and we all know their power consumption is significantly less) which I'm purchasing most of the parts tomorrow, and my overclocked, overcompensated build went to 464 watts ... so I decided to move up from the 650 to the 750 for the extra clearance.

I'm saying that at the OP's price range and specs, I would not settle for less than 1000 watts. I just personally wouldn't.
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October 24, 2009 2:30:07 PM

I guess to be clearer, when I'm doing my own, I take my answer and multiply by somewhere between 1.2 and 1.5 which I am oft criticized here for. Yes, it's true that with a top of the line PSU, Antec SG / Corsair HX, with their capacitors, probably 5% capacitor aging is fine, and perhaps loading in 6-8 USB and other extras is fine cause you just might add them. OTOH, the calculator probably adds a bit too much for each USB as it doesn't know whether you are talking a printer or maybe a Memory stick.

Taking a harder look, I came up with a safe 690 which gives a 1.23 multiplier. So where I might be, and you obviously also, might sleep better with the 1.5, I guess all I am saying I couldn't find fault with 1.23......on the condition of curse that it be an HX or SG series.
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