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New i5 720 build with some questions on component selection

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January 8, 2010 5:57:10 PM

Hello all!

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: End of Month
BUDGET RANGE: $700 - $1000
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (Various FPS and MORPEGs), Picture and Video editing, and Webdev/Software Dev
PARTS NOT REQUIRED (I hope/think): Enermax Noisetaker EG701AX-VE SFMA 600W Active PFC Power Supply, NEC DVD Burner, Acer AL2216WBD Black 22" LCD Monitor with HDCP support , Lian Li PC-V1200 Plus II, and three IBM 500GB SATA 3Gb/s: 2 of which are in RAID 1.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com or some other reputable company
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US
PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel, ATI, Used to be corsair but had a bad experience with last set of ram
OVERCLOCKING: Maybe
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe later
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Quieter is better but Stability rules

Here is what I have for replacement:

CPU/Motherboard Combo: Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield and Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD4P - $364.98
Video Card: XFX HD-585A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5850 - $309.99

Here are some of my questions.

Ram: I've read numerous posting on memory speed, timing and brands. I've normally always been a Corsair fan, but reciently I ran into some problems with their Dominator memory in my wife's computer. I understand that lower CL is good, but what about supported speed 2000, 1600, 1333? Traditionally I'm not much of an overclocker so I dont think ram @ 1.65v over 1.50 or lower makes much difference to me.

PSU: My PSU only has 2 PCIe 8 pin connectors so I know if I want to SLI down the road I will need to replace. My existing PSU isn't modular so I have a plethra of extra cables sitting at the bottom of my case next too my drives. Is it worth keeping my old PSU that is 5 years old? If I should replace it, should I go with modular? I'm assuming if I do replace the PSU, I should get better energy effenciency (assumption!!). Also, if replacement what are other manufactures that produce quality PSUs?

Heatsink/Fan: Is stock worth keeping? Currently I have a Zalman and it has been pretty solid. Because one of my requirements is noise level, is there anything that would reduce the noise level? Is the stock quiet? How is the assembly of the stock kit? I had some problems trying to get the stock Core2 Duo plastic pegs in my wifes computer if I remember correctly.

I think that's it but I'm open for futhur discussion.

Thanks and advance!!
CJS
January 8, 2010 6:06:49 PM

RAM: Generally, there isn't much difference in the speeds. The higher speed, the higher the latency. I'm currently recommending some G.Skill Ripjaws 1333 mhz CAS Latency 7 sticks for $100.

PSU: I don't see the worth of a modular PSU, especially if you have a bottom mounted case. The extra cords are already out of your way. I think you should stick with the PSU you have now, and pick one up if you decide to Crossfire later.

HSF: Intel stock fans are not quiet. I would pick up an aftermarket cooler if noise is going to be a problem. This is something you can wait and see on though. I recommend the Coolermaster Hyper 212 ($30) if you decide you need it.

Quick note on the HDDs in RAID: Are those already in a computer? It might not transfer over to the new one then, so I hope you've got it all backup already.

Also, how old are the HDDs? There are some really cheap and very fast drives out now. They're also quiet. The best ones are the Samsung Spinpoint F3s (500 GB for $55 and 1 TB for $85).
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January 8, 2010 7:07:23 PM

Thanks for the quick reply MadAdmiral!

These are the G.Skill right?

I'll look into the Cooler Master 212. If it is 30.00 then it should be a no brainer!

As per the HDDs, yes they are in my existing computer. I think they are about 2 year old. I'll need to compair specs to see any advantages. I'm still not sold on the Raid 1 in the new system. Maybe i'll grab a drive and drop the raid. Any thoughts on SSD's? Tom's did a nice review of them last month I think. Can grab one for about 150 I thought.
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January 8, 2010 7:10:37 PM

Those're the right ones.

I'm not a fan of SSDs. I don't think they're worth the huge premium. Keep in mind that those are only good as boot drives, and you'll probably need at least 60 GB for OS/apps and the required operating cushion. That size runs near $300 a drive...
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January 8, 2010 7:35:14 PM

For your build, I agree with MadAdmiral that a SSD isn't worth it at this time. The Samsung's are good drives but keep an eye out for new Western Digitals to compete with the Samsung. I've seen an article on a new 600GB VRaptor that seems promising, so hopefully new Blacks will be released soon based on single 500GB platters.
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