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I7 Build, first time builder

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October 27, 2009 6:20:46 PM

Approximate Purchase Date : November 29th, Pink Monday
Budget Range : ~$2300 max (I'm waiting until Pink Monday to make final decisions, I'll get the closest to what I want that is on sale)
System Usage : Heavy gaming
Parts Not Required : Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers.
Preferred Website : Newegg.com, but it doesn't particularly matter other than pricing and convenience.
Overclocking : Nope
Crossfire : Yes.
Monitor Resolution : 1900x1200 (Buying a new monitor)
Additional Comments : See below specific parts

CPU: i7 920
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mainboard: Going with ASUS, but one thing I notice is that all the best LGA 1366 boards seem to have a ~15% failure rate, at least. Is this common?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: 2x Radeon 5870 (when they are back in stock). I see some comments bewailing the fact that it can't crossfire, then see comments of people happily crossfiring. Exactly which is it? Or are there just bad drivers?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: GSkill 3x 2GB DDR3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: 1.5 TB Seagate 7200RPM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Corsair 750 Watt. I've seen on the 5870's comments that people keep saying to have 12V rails and all this. I have no clue what they are talking about. Should I be worried with this PSU?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Antec 1200.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor: 25.5 inch ASUS (The monitor is completely subject to change as to what is on sale the day I make my purchases)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This will be my very first computer build, and other than the questions already posed, should I be buying some cables along with all this?

Also, I'm doing this on pink monday specifically to get discounts. But I'm seeing a lot of things coming in the distance. Should I wait on some things, or am I good to go as far as system longevity is concerned?

More about : build time builder

October 27, 2009 6:30:49 PM

Regarding newegg reviews - mostly only people unhappy with their purchase bother to review so the "failure rate" is much lower than the review ratio. Many of the "failure" reviews are probably self inflicted (careless, dont know what they are doing, bought incompatible parts, etc.).


The only "cant crossfire" I have heard is that eyefinity does not work with crossfire. There are reviews with crossfire benchmarks so we know that it works.


Corsair makes good, generally underrated PSUs. The Corsair 750 should handle both those graphics cards and overclocking the CPU easily. If you are going to run those two powerful graphics cards, you may want to consider buying a decent CPU cooler and overclocking it so your CPU isnt limiting their performance.

If you are going to use a seagate HDD, dont go with anything less than a 7200.12. Earlier models had some firmware problems. The samsung F3 seems to be about as fast as anything right now and is very inexpensive.
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October 27, 2009 6:35:34 PM

Not to bad looking at it... Make sure if your going to be using this heavily that you get a good CPU Heatsink. The one that comes with the CPU really isnt that great. and buy better thermal paste then the crap that comes with cpu.

Also why that harddrive? I would recomend the samsung f3 1TB if you want to go for a big drive.

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

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

Thermal Paste: https://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=FAN-MX2
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October 28, 2009 12:31:42 AM

Again, I don't plan on overclocking any bit of my build, so why are you telling me to replace the heatsink? I've been told that the stock intel is fine for my needs, unless you guys think that I should absolutely overclock.

dndhatcher, how much would my CPU limit my graphics cards?
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October 28, 2009 12:36:12 AM

The stock heatsink is just a POS its not even good for regular usage in my experience lol... I still hold that the Samsung f3 harddrive would be better.
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October 28, 2009 1:15:52 AM

Assuming I got the third party heat sink, what then? Would it be more difficult to put on? The stock heat sink and fan would be custom made for i7, would this heat sink fit worse? I'm concerned because this is my first build, and I want it to be as close to perfect as possible.

I actually asked my PC/Troubleshoot teacher today about the heatsink problem, and he told me to absolutely stick to the stock heat sink/fan, as third parties tend to fit less snugly and the bearings come loose, etc. Now then, all things aside he doesn't make rigs like this and you do. I'm just concerned about what will happen down the road.
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October 28, 2009 1:20:05 AM

Its really up to you, but if your gaming, I have always found the stock heat sinks to be in adaquite...
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October 28, 2009 3:42:49 PM

The stock heatsinks are contracted (intel doesnt build heatsinks) and are no more likely to fit (and sometimes harder to install correctly due to cheap mounting hardware) than a good aftermarket heatsink.


Here is an article showing around a 10% FPS increase from overclocking i5s and i7s.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-750-overclo...

Here is Anandtech's article. They dont even bother showing twin 5870s on alot of the benchmarks since the frame rates from a single are beyond the monitors refresh rate.
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3643&p=18
Unless you are playing at 2560x1600 then a single 5870 is probably all you really need.
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