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Dream build system advice

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November 13, 2009 2:17:22 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Dec/Jan most likely. Might wait for Gulftown/Fermi though.

BUDGET RANGE: $5k-$7k

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: 2D games, some 3D games, surfing web, writing novels.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: don't need a mouse or keyboard or router.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg usa.

PARTS PREFERENCES: see below.

OVERCLOCKING: Probably

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 2560 x 1600 (or 4800 x 2560?)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I have only had boring computers, would prefer a little bit of bling this time. My wife wants a quiet computer.

I'm working on figuring out what to build for a computer and when. I would either buy myself one for Christmas (purchase Dec/Jan time frame) or for my birthday in July (purchase May/June time frame). My budget is about $5k-$6k and goes up about $500 to $1000 for each month I wait before buying.

Cases...For a mid sized case, I like the Coolermaster Storm Sniper. If I go with an ATX motherboard, I would pick this case for sure.

For a full sized case, I'm leaning towards the Corsair 800D, or possibly the Thermaltake Element 10, or the Coolermaster Cosmos S. Or maybe a Lian Li. I'm not quite sure which case I like best for large cases. If I go with an E-ATX or XL-ATX, I would need a full sized or jumbo case.

For motherboards, I'm leaning towards Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5, or if it comes out soon (probably within a month?) the GA-EX58-UD7 so that I get USB 3.0 and 6 GB/s SATA. I am also considering the EVGA Classified (either 3-way or 4-way SLI versions), but this is an E-ATX (or XL-ATX) board, and I would need the larger case if I went this route. I could also go with the Asus P6T6 Revolution for my motherboard, that's got good PCIe lanes.

For CPU, I'm leaning towards the Core i7 975 Extreme Edition. I could also possibly go with a Core I7 960, or wait about 6 months for Gulftown Extreme Edition.

For power supplies, I would go with the Corsair 1000HX for a 1kW power supply if that would for sure be large enough. For a 1.2kW power supply, I would pick between Thermaltake Toughpower, PC Power & Cooling, or Silverstone, depending on what was available. Not sure if I'd need the larger supply or not, depends o graphics card setup, mainly.

For memory, if I build it myself, I would do 12 GB of Mushkin 7-8-7-20, 1600 MHz. If I buy from someone else, I'd do 1600 MHz Corsair Dominator. Going up to 24 GB is way too expensive for the benefit I would get from it, so that's out.

Blu-Ray probably LG. Leaning towards a reader only, not sure I would need a Blu-Ray burner, although for only a bit more, it would be tempting. I might get a 2nd optical drive to use to burn DVD's.

For boot drive, I would do an Intel X-25M G2 SSD 160GB. Not much debate here, it's a clear choice. Pity that they are high demand and low supply, the MSRP is $440 but they're going for about $600 on the street.

For storage drive, I would do a Seagate 1.5TB, 32 MB cache, HDD. I'm considering doing a pair of them in RAID-1 so that everything is automatically backed up. Wonder if that's worth it or not?

For cpu cooling, I would do one of three air coolers. Vigor Monsoon or Xigmatek Dark Knight or Coolermaster V8 or maybe something else, so many to choose from. Anyone know which of these does the best cooling for the least noise? For liquid cooling, I would go with a 240mm Asetek.

For graphics cards, I am considering going with triple ATI Radeon HD5870 and using each one to drive a different monitor, but for sure that would make me go with the E-ATX motherboard and larger case. Another possibility is that I could go with single or dual HD5970's once they come out next week, for quad-crossfire. Don't think six-way crossfire is possible, but that would be amazing if it was. Or I could wait for NVidia Fermi in about 4 months. Radeon gives DirectX 11 now, with Eyefinity. NVidia gives 3D-Vision, PhysX, and CUDA, but not for a few more months. I'm liking PhysX and would like 3D if I had a monitor that could support it. The 5870's are also very high demand, with an MSRP of $380 that just went up to MSRP $400. If I could, I would get the Vapor-X version of the 5870.

For thermal paste, I'd probably go with either Arctic Silver or Tuniq.

For monitors, it's down to one of two. Either Dell 3007WFP-HC or the LG W3000H-Bn. I'm tempted to go with three monitors. Very tempted. That'd be such an amazing setup. Not sure my current desk can hold that many though, LOL. I probably only realistically need one good monitor and would be better off beefing up the computer itself instead, or saving my money for another 5 years to get an OLED display. Pity there are no 120Hz 30-inch 2560x1600 monitors out there, that basically eliminates 3D for me. Bummer I didn't get a 120Hz 52" LCD TV, didn't realize I'd need one. The Dell 3007WFP has lower input lag, the LG has reasonable input lag but is brighter and has better contrast ratio. I can get the Dell for $999 at Sam's Club and the LG for $1160 on NewEgg.

I'm considering one of a couple different places to get my dream computer. I could build it myself with parts from NewEgg, but I'm a bit leery of that, not having built high end computers before. I could buy from CyberPowerPc, IBuyPower, AvaDirect, DigitalStormOnline, Maingear, Falcon-NW, Alienware, etc. I'm leaning towards CyberPowerPC, they seem to give the best value for the money.

Any advice would be appreciated.
November 13, 2009 2:40:10 AM

99% of these dream builds are fake. Assuming your that 1%, building the computer yourself will save you 40% of the cost of the computer. When you go extreme high end e-tailers tend to rip you off badly.
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November 13, 2009 3:24:59 AM

@Bolas...Seeing that you require a PC for playing only games, I dont think you would need 5-7K budget...For half of that budget, you can get an extreme PC, that can play games maxed out at your preferred resolution...
So first of decide that whether you want to spend that much money and then go ahead with your decision...

If you still want to spend more, then these would be my suggestions-

1. i7 920(i7 930 would be released by Q1 2010) - Can be overclocked to say 4GHz with a very good mobo and a good air cooler...So I dont see the need to spend on a Extreme series CPU - ~$290

2. Mobo - UD5 is a very good option and is good for overclocking...maybe even the Rampage Extreme would also be a good choice... - ~$380

3. A very good low latency RAM kit from Corsair/ Mushkin - ~$180

4. Graphics card - 2x HD 5870 or even a 2x HD5950(HD 5850X2) - ~$900

5. PSU - Corsair - ~$230

6. HDD/ SSD - I would rather go with 2x 80GB SSD in RAID 0 - ~$450
1.5/ 2TB drives - ~$130

7. Case - You can check out even the CM Stacker/ ATC840/ or even your choice - Corsair - $300

8. CPU Cooling - ~$50

9. LCD - If you go with ATI, then I would suggest this setup -
3x 24" 1080p monitor - ~$900 - More screen estate...

Max - $4k - This would be a Dream Build...
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November 13, 2009 10:43:41 AM

cory1234 said:
99% of these dream builds are fake. Assuming your that 1%, building the computer yourself will save you 40% of the cost of the computer. When you go extreme high end e-tailers tend to rip you off badly.


This is me:

www.facebook.com/zakdolan

40 year old with a master's degree in engineering and a good job with Bosch.

What better time to have a mid-life crisis than 40? Lots of guys buy a fancy sports car or get a mistress, neither of those is a good option for me and I've always enjoyed computer games ever since I was ten and hanging out in the arcade. Check out my garage and you'll see a Gauntlet arcade game (upgraded to Gauntlet II) and a Joust game (which my wife recently screwed up by drilling into a safety interlock in her haste to get it back together and out of her parking spot).

I checked out building it myself with parts on NewEgg vs buying one pre-made on CyberPowerPC and the costs were basically the same, so not everyone rips you off 40%. I've been researching this for a while now in my "spare time" which isn't much due to a wonderful 16 month old girl taking up most of my time when I'm not at work.

This is the build that I checked out on NewEgg, originally posted 9/26.

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

You'll notice that many of the parts show as "out of stock", making it less tempting to build myself. Configure that on cyberpowerpc and use the promo code "repeat" and you'll see the prices are basically the same -- but then I don't have to worry that one part of my build will be out of stock at newegg, screwing up my planned system.

Yes, I agree that many of the high end places I could save 40% or more by doing it myself. Falcon Northwest, Maingear, Alienware, and Digital Storm Online all would charge me a bundle to put together a dream system. Ibuypower and cyberpowerpc seemed much more reasonable.

-Zak
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November 13, 2009 10:58:07 AM

gkay09 said:
@Bolas...Seeing that you require a PC for playing only games, I dont think you would need 5-7K budget...For half of that budget, you can get an extreme PC, that can play games maxed out at your preferred resolution...
So first of decide that whether you want to spend that much money and then go ahead with your decision...

If you still want to spend more, then these would be my suggestions-

1. i7 920(i7 930 would be released by Q1 2010) - Can be overclocked to say 4GHz with a very good mobo and a good air cooler...So I dont see the need to spend on a Extreme series CPU - ~$290

2. Mobo - UD5 is a very good option and is good for overclocking...maybe even the Rampage Extreme would also be a good choice... - ~$380

3. A very good low latency RAM kit from Corsair/ Mushkin - ~$180

4. Graphics card - 2x HD 5870 or even a 2x HD5950(HD 5850X2) - ~$900

5. PSU - Corsair - ~$230

6. HDD/ SSD - I would rather go with 2x 80GB SSD in RAID 0 - ~$450
1.5/ 2TB drives - ~$130

7. Case - You can check out even the CM Stacker/ ATC840/ or even your choice - Corsair - $300

8. CPU Cooling - ~$50

9. LCD - If you go with ATI, then I would suggest this setup -
3x 24" 1080p monitor - ~$900 - More screen estate...

Max - $4k - This would be a Dream Build...


If I go with 3 monitors, I would do 3 30-inch monitors. Twice the pixels of 3 24 inch monitors, and the same res as six 24 inch monitors but no annoying bezels across the middle of the screen. That'd be $3100 for 3x Dell 3008WFP's and an active adapter to convert one of the dual link DVI's into a display port connection. So with games at my preferred resolution of 4800 x 2560, I would need a bit of firepower. Even if I just start out with one 30" monitor and buy more later as I get more funds. So if you figure $3100 for monitors and $4k for a computer (ref planned build on newegg but substitute a pair of 5970 graphics cards), then that's $7k budget. At my current rate of savings, I should have that early January. Sure I could skimp on the cpu and go with a 920 instead of a 975, but wouldn't the faster QPI combined with the unlocked multiplier be worth it for a dream build?

The reason I don't go with 2x 80GB SSD in Raid 0 (or 2x 160GB SSD in Raid 0) is that according to Anandtech, the TRIM command is does not support RAID-0 arrays. So the performance would degrade over time, resulting in speeds less than that of a single SSD. If TRIM supported RAID-0, I would get two 160GB SSD's in RAID-0, but it doesn't. Maybe Intel will come out with a 320 GB SSD, and I'd just do that, but really 160GB should be more than enough for a boot drive for me.

Given that we've spent $5k to give my wife a three week vacation in China with one of her gal pals... and $3k to decorate the house in the style she wants... and $3k in landscaping... and $3k on a tv.. and $3k on an AVR and speakers.. and $1k on wiring for surround and ethernet.. and $8k to finish the basement... isn't it about time to blow a nice chunk of money on something that's important to me... namely my own personal holodeck in the basement?
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November 13, 2009 11:16:50 AM

The reason that I want a bleeding edge build to last 5+ years instead of a good build to last 2-3 years followed by another good build is that each time I want to buy something, I have to convince my wife. Convincing her once is much easier than twice.

If I buy a good build now, then ask for a new computer in 3 years, she would say "you just bought a computer 3 years ago! we're spending the money to send me to the Bahamas instead!". But if I buy one that lasts for ages, five years from now I can say "i haven't had a new computer in 5 years, technology has evolved so much since then, it's time to get a new one, you just had a trip to the Bahamas two years ago, it's my turn now!".

That, plus with the economy sucking for who knows how long, if I get laid off or something I might not be able to get a computer again in 3 years, but if I already have the dream system, then no need to upgrade again for 5 or 6 years.
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November 14, 2009 6:11:25 AM

^ Well couldnt agree more...

I would post my dream build...See if you get any pointers from it...

1. i7 975 for sure...
Even though for the Faster QPI and unlocked multiplier, I still can justify the price premium it commands...
Even the 920 D0 stepping can easily overclock to 4GHz with the UD5/ Rampage Extreme with the Vigour/ even better with the Noctua CPU cooler...
But its upto you...But if you want to cut short somewhere, you know where too...

2. Mobo - Rampage II Extreme > EVGA Classified/ P6T6 WS for full x16 lanes on 3 slots > UD5

3. RAM - The Mushkin is good but I would prefer the Corsair Dominator GT - for better heatsinks and the fan...and it can handle the high voltages with ease...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4. CPU cooler - Nocuta -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Vigour also would do...but maybe even the Prolimatech Megahalems with fans from Scythe would be good...

5. SSD - Obviously Intel SSD - though I would have preferred RAID 0 but like you said TRIM still is not supported on RAID...

6. CASE - Corsair 800D no doubt...

7. PSU - Corsair 1000HX

8. HD 5870 TRI-Fire becasue 2x HD 5970 would become Quad-fire and is sure to have issues...

9. LCD - Either buy 1 or 3 LCDs and not 2 else u will have the crosshair near the bezel when you play across the screen...
Hope these help... :) 
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November 14, 2009 11:07:48 AM

I'm not for sure if I'll be building it myself (time constraints due to having a toddler in the house... "book? book? book?"... looks like she wants daddy to read her "Goodnight Moon" one more time...).

So if I end up buying one from cyberpowerpc or ibuypower or smooth creations, not much reason to post the pics. But I will anyways.

However it won't hurt me to post whatever setup I end up getting. I'm a bit tempted to wait for gulftown & fermi to come out. Then with a six core 32nm extreme edition chip, maybe I'll stop getting advice to go with a core i7 920 instead *grin*. Might be a six month wait for pics is what I'm getting at, unless I get impatient and buy one sooner. That'll just give me more time to research components and get it right, I suppose.

I like the look of the Thermaltake Element 10 case, but I'm not sure how to handle cooling with it. Can't just pop in a Vigor Monsoon III, can you?
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November 14, 2009 3:11:16 PM

As gkay09 said, that processor is really nice, but its $700 more than something that can overclocked near as high. If you don't plan on extreme overclocking then the 920 would be the much better option.
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November 14, 2009 3:34:45 PM

If your not going to build it cyberpowerpc or ibuypowerinc would be the cheapest route. They have the biggest selection to choose from.

I built a computer with your specs for ~4500 w/o monitor since they don't sell 30" monitors on the site.

I would go with a raid 0 setup with 2x intel 160gb ssds. Make sure your motherboard supports 6gbps sata.
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November 14, 2009 4:00:24 PM

I've been looking over some of the mod threads and water cooling build logs and I'm starting to get tempted to try to build my own. Something like this:

http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=81684

I don't go with raid-0 setup for SSD's because the TRIM command is not supported in RAID-0, as I mentioned. That would cause the performance to degrade substantially over time, not something I want.

None of the motherboards I'm looking at support 6 GB/s SATA, but for the setup I want, it is looking more and more like I am going to have to wait until some time next year to get everything -- Gulftown, Fermi, Superspeed USB (3.0), 6 GB/s SATA. That should give me plenty of time to research components and learn how to do water cooling.

I think I will probably go with Corsair 800D if I do water cooling, or the CM Storm Sniper if I wuss out and do air cooling. Leaning towards the EVGA Classified 3-way motherboard for the water cooling setup. If I do things myself, I'll do a build log of what it's like for a first time system builder trying to figure out how to build a dream system. My misfortunes should be good for a laugh. :) 

Ideally I would want 3-way GT300 (Fermi) graphics cards, with a 4th NVidia card as a dedicated PhysX card, with each one powering a separate 30" monitor. Wonder if NVidia will have some kind of drivers similar to Eyefinity with their Fermi boards?
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November 14, 2009 7:43:42 PM

Your going to be waiting a while..I don't see Nvidia's cards coming out till at least spring of next year and there is always the possibility that the fermi cards won't perform better than AMD's cards. There will always be something new and exciting 6 months down the road. That's why I think it would be better to build a 2k rig every other year so you can always have the latest technology.
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Best solution

November 14, 2009 10:03:17 PM

Building it yourself will give you a lot of satisfaction no amount of money can buy. If you are a little leary, and knowing you have more to spend then you need, start off with a practice build on a smaller, less expensive build - say a quiet $800 computer for your wife with a special stylized case mod - maybe her initials emblazoned in large stylish letters or whatever. Then go build your powerhouse.
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November 15, 2009 2:51:40 AM

rockyjohn said:
Building it yourself will give you a lot of satisfaction no amount of money can buy. If you are a little leary, and knowing you have more to spend then you need, start off with a practice build on a smaller, less expensive build - say a quiet $800 computer for your wife with a special stylized case mod - maybe her initials emblazoned in large stylish letters or whatever. Then go build your powerhouse.


I've tinkered with computers plenty due to jobs I have had. Troubleshooting, mostly. Upgraded RAM, replaced defective video cards, and so on. But never really done anything artistic like making a custom computer. I like your reply, you make a good point... I would be very proud of a computer that I made myself. And I have a couple friends that have built their own rigs, so I can probably get some advice from them when and if I get stuck. Plus the people on the forums seem quite helpful as well.
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November 18, 2009 2:33:56 AM

Some great combos going right now on Newegg. I'm thinking that I'll probably go ahead and build my own system rather than buy one someone else has built. Only problem is that they are out of many of the things I want. I'm trying to set up this build to be able to use a ATI Radeon HD5970 graphics card, and I hope to snag one of the first ones for sale before they are sold out just like the 5870's. I'm not going to wait for Fermi, seems like they are having too many problems with it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM
Item #: N82E16827118030
$31.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822152185
$84.99

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 ... - Retail
Item #: N82E16817139007
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$239.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
Item #: N82E16835100007
$6.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CORSAIR DOMINATOR-GT 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMG6GX3M3A1600C7 - Retail
Item #: N82E16820145269
$567.98
($283.99 each)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Vigor Monsoon III LT Dual 120mm Fan CPU Cooler Socket 1366 Ready - Retail
Item #: N82E16835702007
$55.43

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2M160G2R5 2.5" 160GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD) - Retail
Item #: N82E16820167024

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
LIAN LI PC-P80 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811112159
-$275.00 Combo
$693.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Intel Core i7-975 Extreme Edition Bloomfield 3.33GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601975 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819115212

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
EVGA E760 CLASSIFIED "Overclocker's Pick" 3-Way SLI + PhysX 1366 Intel X58 EATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813188048
Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
-$30.00 Combo
$30.00 Mail-in Rebate
$1,389.98

Tom Clancy's HAWX – OEM PC Game, Gift with Intel Purchase - OEM
Item #: N82E16800992039
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$0.00

Intel Gift - OEM
Item #: N82E16800995078
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$0.00

Intel Gift - Screwdriver - OEM
Item #: N82E16800995079
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$0.00

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Pioneer Black Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD Writer SATA Model BDR-205BKS - OEM
Item #: N82E16827129051

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
Item #: N82E16832116758
$339.98

Verbatim 25GB 4X BD-R Single Disc Model 96434 - Retail
Item #: N82E16817130042
$0.00

Subtotal: $3,411.32
Shipping: $37.40
Grand Total: $3,448.72

One concern that I have is that I don't think that my power supply will be big enough if I want to add a second ATI Radeon HD5970 or if I want to overclock everything. I'm sorely tempted to go with dual ATI Radeon HD5970's from the get-go, but presumably I would need a larger than 1kW power supply. 400W x2 for the graphics cards, 130W for the processor, and some additional for the drives and such... and pretty soon I'm bumping into the 1kW max of the psu. Then if I overclock the cards and processor, I'm way out of power. I want a large, modular power supply that is 80PLUS certified, but I'm having trouble finding out which would be best. Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W? Would that do it? Or is there a better pick?

I plan to do air cooling and stock speeds for now. Eventually, I'll do water cooling and overclocking of everything. I'll get the computer up and running, and then as time and money allows, start to trick it out a bit -- black anodize all the metal in the case, install a nice water cooling system, etc. So I want something that will work NOW... but which I can slowly customize over time until I get it the way I want it. I want to avoid buying things that are not more or less "future proof".

I plan to add a Dell 3007WFP-HC from Sam's Club for $999. I will use existing keyboard, mouse, and speaker setup, at least for a while. Long term, I'll increase to three of the 3007WFP-HC monitors.

I could go with the 4-way classified board to give me more flexibility down the road (for fermi or whatever), but that's probably a waste? That's one of the reasons I wanted this Lian Li case -- ten expansion slots, room enough for the 4-way. Should I reconsider the motherboard and go with the bigger one? More slots for more things = a good thing, I would think.

Taking the $3500 computer, adding in a $600 graphics card and a $1000 monitor puts the total at right around $5000, the low end of my $5k-$7k budget, still saving me some money to buy watercooling stuff or a couple more monitors.

Should I consider adding anything else to the system? A high end sound card or NIC or backlit keyboard or new speakers or headphones?

Are there any major mistakes I'm making with this setup?

Yes, I know, the core i7 920 can be overclocked, and that 90% of the people that look at this build will just say dude, drop the 975 and replace it with a 920. Looking at overclocked benchmarks still shows a nice advantage to the 975, however.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/overclocked_cpus.html

A 10%-14% increase in expense for a 17% increase in performance is worth it to me (6800 to 8000 benchmark, for an increase of $700 on a $5k-$7k budget). That's my thinking, anyways.

I'm open to comments and suggestions.
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November 18, 2009 4:32:30 AM

rockyjohn said:
Here's the website for calculating power requirements - only costs a few bucks - they have a free site that calculates only total wattage and not the amounts on the various legs:

http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculator.js



404: not found

The page you requested could not be found on this server.
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November 18, 2009 4:58:01 AM

If you want more power, then get this PSU -
Enermax EVO 1250W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And its review from one of the best PSU reviewing site - Jonnyguru.com
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

And as for the mobo - I dont think that EVGA 4-way SLI would be a good option...It would just be simply a waste as it is a pure enthusiast board and is better suited for "Nvidia Tesla Supercomputer" - Google and see what this means...

And I would like to have atleast 1 PCI/ PCI 1x slot as that mobo doesnt support USB 3.0 and SATA 6GB/s, which could become mainstream in 2010...So I would like to have an option of adding an add-in card for those...
And the SSDs would benefit from the SATA 6GB/s ports...

As for the case, that one is a very good option...Lian Li -> High quality...

And maybe a high-end sound card is missing here...even though the mobo has HD audio, for such a high-end setup, why not a high-end audio too ?
ASUS Xonar/ HT Omega... but just make sure they are WIN 7 ready else you would have trouble finding drivers...
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November 19, 2009 1:15:12 AM

Updated my build a bunch due to feedback on the boards. Toned down the processor, the motherboard, and the memory. Went with a blue on black theme for the parts. Pity the video cards are out of stock everywhere.

Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM
Item #: N82E16827118030
$31.99

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822148337
$119.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-1000HX 1000W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Compatible ... - Retail
Item #: N82E16817139007
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$239.99

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
Item #: N82E16835100007
$6.99

Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2M160G2R5 2.5" 160GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD) - Retail
Item #: N82E16820167024
LIAN LI PC-P80 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811112159
-$275.00 Combo
$693.99

ASUS P6T6 WS Revolution with NF200 3xPCIe true x16 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813131358
CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8D - Retail
Item #: N82E16820145224
-$35.00 Combo
$544.98

Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819115202
Vigor Monsoon III LT Dual 120mm Fan CPU Cooler Socket 1366 Ready - Retail
Item #: N82E16835702007
-$25.00 Combo
$319.42

Pioneer Black Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD Writer SATA Model BDR-205BKS - OEM
Item #: N82E16827129051
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
Item #: N82E16832116758
-$20.00 Combo
$339.98

Verbatim 25GB 4X BD-R Single Disc Model 96434 - Retail
Item #: N82E16817130042
Return Policy: Consumable Item Standard Return Policy
Free (with Blu-Ray purchase above)

This comes out to a more reasonable $2333.64, including shipping. I still need a graphics card, but everywhere seems to be out of ATI Radeon HD 5970 and 5870. Either one would probably work for me. A $600 graphics card would put my total at just under $3k for the computer, then I can spend the rest of the money on more monitors or Christmas presents for my family.
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November 19, 2009 3:58:13 AM

^ I dont see any porblem with those prices - For that kind of performance, those prices are not bad comparing to Nvidia(Remember the price of the GTX 295 during launch ?)
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November 19, 2009 3:49:01 PM

cory1234 said:
5970 overclocked: Preorder $650
http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-OverClock-PCI-Express-Gr...

On a side note, AMD is really jacking up the prices of their new cards...glad I got a 5850 when it was only $260.


Are you sure it is AMD? I thought it was the retailers - that AMD was happy to push all of the chips it could out the door at its OEM list price.
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November 19, 2009 4:57:52 PM

rockyjohn said:
Are you sure it is AMD? I thought it was the retailers - that AMD was happy to push all of the chips it could out the door at its OEM list price.

I read that AMD increased the retail price of the 5850 by $20, but yes retailers are making extra $$ because of demand.
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November 19, 2009 8:27:59 PM

Bolas, glad I read these posts. I was about to go way overboard and spend about 10,000 on a system but decided instead to go with pretty much the same setup as you are planning, except I chose a different case.

Thermaltake SwordM VD5000BNA Black/ Silver Aluminum Extrusion ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811133049
Standard Return Policy $359.

I like the fact that it has wheels and handles to make it easier to move.

Back in 2003 I built a pretty ridiculous system and ended up spending about 7000 on it total. Luckily, I had installed a vapor cooling system (Mach II Prometeia) on it so I was able to outlast the changes in technology for a few years through significant overclocking. This time around I want to keep it more simple, though, so I am going to leave out the vapor cooling. Actually, if anyone knows someone interested in a used vapor cooling system let me know
.
I just ordered all of the components through NewEgg, rushed shipping, and will hopefully have everything by Saturday. I'm not very patient! I will let you know how it goes. The only thing I will need to wait for is the video card to come out. In the meanwhile I will just use one of the way out of date cards that I already have.
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November 20, 2009 7:52:53 AM

bolas, if you are still interested in both water cooling and the corsair obsidian, you might check out this offering form Performance PCs.

It is expensive but it looks like a damn fine water cooling set-up. i have been looking at this case for quite a while now...i did all the math, added up all the parts individually (as sold from Perf. PC's website) and the additional markup for putting it all together is only $140 give or take.

i have never messed with water cooling, it seems like a fair price to pay for getting it right the first time using all high quality parts. a good baseline case/cooling set-up at which to throw upgraded computer hardware for the next decade or two.

the awesomeness of the obsidian sold me since the moment i saw it.
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November 22, 2009 4:41:37 PM

That is a sweet setup for the Corsair. I just started bidding on the Nvidia charity auction, though, so if I win that one, I won't be building my own system after all. You never know.

Feel free to bid against me, it's for a good cause and all.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Ultimate-NVIDIA-3D-Vision-Gaming-PC...
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November 22, 2009 4:43:31 PM

ptongrad05 said:
Bolas, glad I read these posts. I was about to go way overboard and spend about 10,000 on a system but decided instead to go with pretty much the same setup as you are planning, except I chose a different case.

Thermaltake SwordM VD5000BNA Black/ Silver Aluminum Extrusion ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811133049
Standard Return Policy $359.

I like the fact that it has wheels and handles to make it easier to move.

Back in 2003 I built a pretty ridiculous system and ended up spending about 7000 on it total. Luckily, I had installed a vapor cooling system (Mach II Prometeia) on it so I was able to outlast the changes in technology for a few years through significant overclocking. This time around I want to keep it more simple, though, so I am going to leave out the vapor cooling. Actually, if anyone knows someone interested in a used vapor cooling system let me know
.
I just ordered all of the components through NewEgg, rushed shipping, and will hopefully have everything by Saturday. I'm not very patient! I will let you know how it goes. The only thing I will need to wait for is the video card to come out. In the meanwhile I will just use one of the way out of date cards that I already have.


I can't find anyone selling any high end ATI Radeon HD 5970 or 5870 graphics cards at anything close to reasonable prices, so I will have to wait to build whatever I do anyways.
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March 18, 2010 12:13:34 AM

Well, my monitors ship out tomorrow. I decided to blow a huge chunk of my budget on the displays. I'm getting three refurbished 30" NEC monitors, 2560 x 1600 resolution each. I liked these because they have a built in "pivot" feature that the other 30" extreme high def monitors in that price range (Dell 3007 WFP-HC) did not have.

http://www.necdisplay.com/Products/Product/?product=67e...

Now I need some way to power these. My budget for the computer is now down to $4k-$5k because of the $3k+ expense of the monitors.

The landscape for computers has changed a bit. USB3 and SATA 6GB/s seem desirable now, so I'm looking at motherboards with this feature. EVGA Classified SR-2 looks good, but a pair of six-core Xeon CPU's would blow my entire budget, so I'll probably stick to either the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7 or the Asus Rampage III Extreme. Yes, I know that the SR-2 and the R3E aren't out yet, but they're due out within a month, so it's a possibility.

For the CPU, that leaves me to pick between the core i7 920 D0 for $200 cash and carry at Microcenter, or the core i7 930 for $295, or the core i7 980X for $1k+.

For the boot drive, I'm leaning towards the Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB, to take full advantage of the Sata 6GB/s. Probably doesn't make sense to use RAID for the boot drive due to lack of compatibility with TRIM. Although if they have a good garbage collection feature, it might be worth it to try out. Pity Newegg sold out of them, they had them at a good price for all of one day, it seems.

For the data drive, I'm leaning towards a Western Digital Caviar Black, probably a 1TB size with 64MB cache.

Not decided for sure on the graphics cards. I probably only need a Radeon HD 5870, since I don't do too much first person style games and mostly do 2D stuff. Could add in more of them later if I need. Tempting to see what the Fermi brings to the party, should know the price and such at the end of the month.
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April 2, 2010 10:32:44 PM

cory1234 said:
99% of these dream builds are fake. Assuming your that 1%, building the computer yourself will save you 40% of the cost of the computer. When you go extreme high end e-tailers tend to rip you off badly.


Here's the build log of this dream build. Check out all the "fake" stuff, as you so nicely put it.

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=24...

Pretty realistic fakes of the triple 30" displays and the core i7 980X.
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Anonymous
April 14, 2010 7:25:46 PM

You might want to think about MountainMods (http://www.mountainmods.com/) for your case. Their smallest case is 18x18x18 and go up from there. The EVGA 4XSLI Classified has 7xPCI-E 16x/8x which means you can have 4 Nvidia Geforce 480s; though if you get this motherboard make sure you get the special mobo tray insert, Mountain Mods Acension w/ Modular Motherboard Tray 10 PCI Slot . And why not the surround tv experience of three 3D tvs, one to your left one to your right and the third right in front of you, if this is a true dream build and all?
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April 15, 2010 4:29:37 AM

Quote:
You might want to think about MountainMods (http://www.mountainmods.com/) for your case. Their smallest case is 18x18x18 and go up from there. The EVGA 4XSLI Classified has 7xPCI-E 16x/8x which means you can have 4 Nvidia Geforce 480s; though if you get this motherboard make sure you get the special mobo tray insert, Mountain Mods Acension w/ Modular Motherboard Tray 10 PCI Slot . And why not the surround tv experience of three 3D tvs, one to your left one to your right and the third right in front of you, if this is a true dream build and all?


I thought about going with Mountain Mods and thought that would be a bit too challenging for my first build. I haven't build a high end computer system from scratch like this before. Also, even though the budget is large, it's still a budget, and if I doubled the price of the case, I would have suffered in other areas of the budget.

Eventually, I'll do another build and use a larger case. Probably either Silverstone TJ07 or Mountain Mods Extended Ascension or Lian Li PC-343B or Lian Li PC A77F. Heck lots of fun cases out there, guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I chose this case because it was noob friendly (and I'm a noob) and inexpensive. If I screw up this case, not a big deal, it's the practice case and then I get a more expensive one for my next build. Comparing the cost of a Corsair 800D ($300) with a MurderMod case ($1000-$1600 depending on options), I don't mind practicing on the cheaper one first. This is a decent case though, I'll probably keep it for quite a while. Eventually, it'll become my wife's computer and I'll build a new one for myself.

I considered the EVGA 4X SLI motherboard, but it's too limiting on case selection and it doesn't have SATA 6GB/s or USB 3.0. I would have gone with the EVGA Classified 3x SLI, which I almost did, because I don't really need 4 way SLI for what I do. I don't do much first person shooter games, mostly real time strategy, turn based strategy, and sometimes MMORPGs.

I waited to buy cards until I had checked out the Nvidia Fermi. This generation of Fermi is too loud, hot, and power hungry for my tastes. I'll wait for the next generation and stick with Radeon HD 5970's in the mean while.

Why not the triple 3D? Because they don't come larger than 1920 x 1080 resolution, for a total of 6 mega-pixels. I determined that total number of pixels with as few bezels as possible was what was important to me. I get 12 mega-pixels of display, with good color representation and built in pivot, with only two bezels across the view, and thin ones at that.
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April 25, 2010 3:46:05 PM

Best answer selected by Bolas.
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!