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New System Build Questions - i7 3.06GHz, 12GB RAM, 15000RPM Hard Drive

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November 20, 2009 1:54:05 AM

Hello everyone,

I'm looking for some advice regarding new system I will be building.
I decided to spend a bit more serious money and buy following components:

  • Processor - Intel Core i7 950 3.06GHz Socket 1366 8MB Cache
  • Motherboard - ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 iX58 Socket 1366 8 channel audio ATX OR ASUS P6T WS Professional iX58 Socket 1366 8 Channel audio ATX
  • Memory (12GB) - 2 x Corsair 6GB (3x2GB) 1600MHz Triple Channel i7 XMS Memory Kit CL7 1.65VCorsair 6GB (3x2GB) 1600MHz Triple Channel i7 XMS Memory Kit CL7 1.65V
  • System Hard Drive - 2 x Hitachi Ultrastar 15K300 147 GB SAS Hard Drive 15000rpm 16 MB Cache - OEM (RAID 1) OR Western Digital WD1500HLFS 150GB Hard Drive SATAII 10000rpm 16MB Cache - OEM WD VelociRaptor
  • Operating System - Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

    I'm thinking about RAID 5 for other hard drives.

    In addition to that I will use NVidia 8800 GT (Maybe at some point will get second one if that helps with anything).
    I have 2 x 22" Samsung monitors.

    What is your opinion on above configuration and which components, from suggested, would you choose?

    Would difference between 7200, 10000 and 15000 rpm disks be big?

    Would it make a big difference if choose cheaper i7 processor ?

    Would it make a big difference if there was 6GB or RAM instead of 12?

    What kind of power supply would I need for this configuration?

    Also I'm thinking about the case, someone recommended this Chieftec SH-01B-B-B-OP case to me. What do you think about it, can you recommend some other similar cases?

    I spent quite a lot of time in front of the computer and my current system bought around 4 years ago (2.66 Dual Core, 2GB) is getting quite old and slow. I would like this configuration to last kind of fresh at least 5-6 years. Is that possible?
    Main things I do is graphic processing (Photoshop), music recording (Sonar), programming (Visual Studio, Aptana, Flash), I also want to play games like Call of Duty : Modern Warfare 2, Assasin's Creed 2.
    Initially I was planning to buy new iMac 27" with i7 processor but it's more expensive than my own build and I already have 2 screens.

    I was also thinking about Core 2 Duo 3.16GHz or Quad Core 3Ghz with 4 or 8GB or RAM, that would be much cheaper, do you think it should be consider an option?

    Thanks for any suggestions,
    Mahtar
    November 20, 2009 2:05:01 AM

    The 950 is over priced and you can OC a 920 well beyond its level for significantly less. The performance difference certainly isnt worth double the price.
    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/151477

    The samsung F3 500GB drive actually out performs the 300GB VRaptor. For the price of two raptors you can get 5 of those, put themm in raid 5 and blow the raptors away.
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD...

    I would suggest looking at something like the HAF 922, it will give you plenty of space for everything and the larger fans will keep stuff cool and quite.
    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/164961

    For that setup as long as you intend to stick to a single GPU you can get away with a PSU like the corsair 550VX, if you are considering crossfire or SLI down the line get the 750TX. You also should upgrade your GPU for significantly improved gaming performance.
    November 20, 2009 2:16:10 AM

    You may want to shy away from the HAF, as it's a very open case - getting a more closed machine would quiet it down for your recording.

    Are you going to overclock? If so, you should get an aftermarket CPU cooler. In fact, even if you aren't, I recommend you do anyway to keep the noise down. The 8800GT can get pretty loud itself, if you've a single-slot version.
    I agree with the 920 suggestion.

    I'd post links to parts, but I'd only be able to give US links...

    Make sure your recording interface (whatever it is you're using) is compatible with Windows 7, and has decent drivers out. I've been having trouble getting Sonar to play nice with newer drivers. It certainly will hate you if you attempt to use the onboard sound card.
    Related resources
    November 20, 2009 10:17:41 AM

    Thank you,

    It looks like I will be getting i7 920 in that case and I think I will get it up to 3.2GHz

    As for the hard drive, I'm looking into something fast for the system partition, that's why 10000 or 15000 RPM, I don't think mentioned Samsung F3 (7200RPM) would be faster than above, especially 15000 RPM SAS Hitachi, would it? (Probably I would consider few of those for Data partition on RAID 5)

    Still not sure if going for 12GB of RAM would actually make big difference comparing to 6GB, is the Memory I mentioned in first post decent or could I find something better for similar money?

    My recording interface is M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496 and it looks like Win 7 32/64 drivers just came out of beta stage. I'm running test copy of Win 7 RC 32bit, haven't tried Sonar on it yet.
    November 20, 2009 8:12:30 PM

    Hi mahtar

    I’d recommend checking each component at the Windows 7 Compatibility Center, located here: http://bit.ly/4uZDu2 . This will help ensure a smooth build.

    Best Regards
    GeoffV
    Windows 7 Client Team
    !