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New system build for a friend - check for errors/compatability issues

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November 3, 2009 6:14:23 AM

Hi - I'm recommending a new system build for a friend - even though I have said to wait until NVidia GT300 and 32Nm Here is what I've recommended for the new system - the budget is $2000 AUS (a lot less in the US I know) but what I've got here about fills the budget - and should be more than enough for the Gaming, Audio editing/creating, Web browsing and software developing that he does/planning to do. So If you people could just look over the specs to see if I've made any glaringly obvious errors, or there are any compatibility issues or suggestions. Also as a guide I'll add the AUS price of each component. Please try not to laugh at Australia's disadvantaged computer stores either ;) 

CPU - INTEL CORE I7 860
(2.80GHz/8Mb CACHE/LGA1156) http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid=23160&pid=37962&p=pro...

GPU - ATI SAPPHIRE RADEON HD5850 Typo - is actually a HD5870 1Gb GDDR5 http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid=23524&pid=38272&p=pro...

RAM - CORSAIR DDR3 RAM 1600MHz TR3X6G1600C9
(3 X 2Gb KIT) http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid=23552&pid=35162&p=pro...

Now is - 4GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600Mhz RL http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid=23552&pid=38271&p=pro...

DVD - SONY DVD DUAL LAYER BURNER BLACK (THE TOWER IS BLACK) SATA 24X WRITE http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid=23390&pid=37642&p=pro...

MOTHERBOARD - GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2 http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid=23145&pid=37942&p=pro...

CASE - ANTEC 300 GAMING TOWER, ATX, AIR FILTERS, 2 FANS http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid=23275&pid=37439&p=pro...

HDD - WESTERN DIGITAL 1Tb SATA2 32Mb http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid=23423&pid=37493&p=pro...

PSU - COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus 650W http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid=23705&pid=35421&p=pro...
Now is - Antec Earthwatts 650W PSU 80Plus http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid=23386&pid=37459&p=pro...

CARD READER - 25 IN 1 CARD READER + ESATA (INTERNAL) http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid=23468&pid=35169&p=pro...

System build costs $65

the computer store is ARC - http://www.arc.com.au

Chose ATI because they have DX11 out now - core i7 to make up for no Physx and to future proof

Thanks for your time,
Luke
November 3, 2009 6:28:52 AM

See the form in my sig, but in the meantime, switch out the PSU for an Antec EA or Corsair TX. A lot depends on whether you plan on crossfiring... You'll want dual channel RAM for that 1156 motherboard and look for some lower latencies as well.
OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop
for example. Also, check out the Spinpoint F3. After I know whether or not you plan on crossfire (and about the other questions from the form as well), I'll help you fine tune it some more.
November 3, 2009 6:37:11 AM

EDIT: Dint refresh...

^ There are some components which wont go well with the setup...
1. Dont get the 6GB kits(3 sticks). If you populate 3 of the 4 slots on the mobo, you will loose Dual-Channel hence loose memory bandwidth...
Get this one instead-
http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid=23552&pid=38271&p=pro...

2. PSU - Dont get that CM - It is of low quality...get this one instead -
Antec EA...The PSU is one of the main components of the PC and never go low on that ...
http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid=23386&pid=37459&p=pro...

Rest are fine...
Related resources
November 3, 2009 7:11:08 AM

Ok - Thanks for the feedback - see what you mean, and have changed the system list to add in those parts that gkay09 suggested. Just one more question - The 4GB of RAM has freed up a little more in the budget - so would it be better to go for a higher RAM frequency - perhaps a 1800 or a 2000

thanks for the help so far,
Luke
November 3, 2009 7:24:25 AM

Actually, higher frequency (above 1600MHz) RAM does not have much impact on overall system speed (especially since the higher frequencies are generally associated with higher latencies which negate any potential improvement).
November 3, 2009 7:38:58 AM

kk -thanks, so no point in going above 1600 - and If I was using the core I7 socket LGA1366 (like the i7-920) then it would be a good idea to go for 3 RAM sticks - I think I read somewhere that the LGA1366 uses tri channel memory - probably not worth the extra cost for 1366 motherboards though.

Thanks again,
Luke
November 3, 2009 8:30:55 AM

You are correct about the triple channel RAM, and I would recommend the 1156.
November 3, 2009 6:24:31 PM

For a single 5850, I think you shoud go with a Phenom II 955. Just switching platform from a LGA 1156 to a FX790 will make you save around 200$ US.

From the latest benches I have seen, going with Intel really gives you benefit with at least 2 GPUs. For a single 5850, the result between the 2 system will be, at best, 5% higher for 200$ US which I think will be a waste of money. Better spending that money later on a second 5850.

Also, I would get at least a 700W power supply that is CF/SLI ready. The power supply is one of the most important part of your PC and probably the one that will last you for the largest amount of time. A good Corsair 750(HX or TX) or an OCZ-Z with the money you saved from going LGA1156.

Better an all around PC than a PC with highend core components and lackluster Power supply, computer case etc....
November 3, 2009 6:36:58 PM

By the way, it seems that your motherboard is a really poor candidate for a crossfire setup, which a Core i7 should be used for. Your second PCIx slot will be running at x4.

After seeing this, I really recommend you going Phenom II on a FX790 platform.

Phenom II 955
MSI 790FX-GD70
Radeon 5850 (XFX if you can)
Corsair 750TX power supply
Cooler Master haf 922 (I really doubt an Antec 300 will be able to fit a 10 inches video card)
Western Digital caviar black 1TB

The rest of your stuff is really good. Sony DVD burner are the some of the best. LG dvd drives are lousy to the max.
November 4, 2009 2:20:07 AM

Sorry, my mistake - the GPU is actually meant to be a Radeon 5870 - will change it in the parts list - yeah will re-check the case size to see whether it will fit the video card - sorry about that

My friend doesn't really want two video cards - but I will look at the options of putting in 2 video cards.

Also with the RAM could i put in 4 X 2GB sticks without having the higher latency issue - or is 2 sticks the maximum you can have without getting the latency issue on a socket 1156
November 5, 2009 5:20:19 AM

So I thought I would just re-post the updated specs so far - just to check that we have got it sorted out or not -

CPU - INTEL CORE I7 860
(2.80GHz/8Mb CACHE/LGA1156) http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid= [...] &p=product

GPU - ATI SAPPHIRE RADEON HD5870 1Gb GDDR5 http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid= [...] &p=product

RAM - 4GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600Mhz RL http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid= [...] &p=product

DVD - SONY DVD DUAL LAYER BURNER BLACK (THE TOWER IS BLACK) SATA 24X WRITE http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid= [...] &p=product

MOTHERBOARD - GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2 http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid= [...] &p=product

CASE - ANTEC 300 GAMING TOWER, ATX, AIR FILTERS, 2 FANS http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid= [...] &p=product
- providing the computer store says that it will fit or not!

HDD - WESTERN DIGITAL 1Tb SATA2 32Mb http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid= [...] &p=product

PSU - COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus 650W http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid= [...] &p=product
Now is - Antec Earthwatts 650W PSU 80Plus http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid= [...] &p=product

CARD READER - 25 IN 1 CARD READER + ESATA (INTERNAL) http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid= [...] &p=product

so if we could just see how these parts should go for compatibility - and I would like to know what are the options to upgrade the RAM without the latency issues by keeping to dual channel RAM only (eg - can I put in 4 RAM sticks without extra latency on the RAM?)

Thanks for your time,
Luke
November 5, 2009 9:35:22 AM

If I were you, I will drop down to the i5-750 and take this mobo which has SATA, USB 3.0 support + CF/SLI

GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD4P
Item code: MB1156GAP55AUD4P

Because cost wise I think a better motherboard with SATA, USB 3.0 will be better
November 6, 2009 5:15:14 AM

thanks for the suggestion - will look at it now - might still keep the core i7 though
November 18, 2009 7:27:56 AM

kk - the SPECS are FINALIZED - Getting built in about 2 weeks!

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions!

Luke
!