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First build, i7-860 system with ASUS motherboard

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January 11, 2010 8:16:13 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: this week with a budget range of approximately 1000-1200

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: 3ds max, After Effects, Photoshop, internet, some gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor

PREFERRED WEBSITE FOR PARTS: newegg.com, I'm in the US

PARTS PREFERENCES: I think I want to use an Asus motherboard with an Intel chip in an ATX mid case

OVERCLOCKING: maybe some small amount of OC'ing and no immediate plans for SLI/xfire though the ability to expand in the future is a plus

I'm putting together my first system. I'm not as concerned with overclocking as I am with stability and ease of use/assembly. To stay within my budget I decided to go with an i7-860 vs. an i7-920, mostly due to motherboard and RAM prices. These are the parts I'm thinking about ordering off of Newegg. Does anything jump out at anybody? Have I made any noob mistakes? Do any of these not play well with the rest or have some kind of negative reputation that I missed in my research? Also, given the parts I'm looking at, should I be ordering any cables or screws or is it safe to assume these will be included (I tended towards Retail as opposed to OEM versions for this reason)?

Thanks very much in advance for any help!


Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail

ASUS P7P55D PRO LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1333LV4GK - Retail --2 of these for a total of 8GB RAM

PNY VCGGTS2501XPB GeForce GTS 250 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card - Retail

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler - Retail

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 24X DVD-R SATA Black 24X DVD Writer - Retail
a b V Motherboard
January 11, 2010 10:26:56 PM

The motherboard you chose is excellent. However, for $20 more you can get the same motherboard with USB 3.0 and SATA 6 GB/s capabilities (P7P55D-E PRO). USB 3.0 will quickly become mainstream in the next 6 months, and the ASUS MB has a very good implementation with their PLX chip for USB. I think it is worth the $20, but you could always add a USB 3.0 card in the future if you decide to stick with your original choice.

You should consider getting a ATI 5750 graphics card (I like Sapphire) because it is fast, has low power requirements, runs cool and quiet, and can support up to three monitors. The GTS 250 is an older generation card.

If you want to keep your crossfire options open in the future you should get at least a 600 W PSU. I would recommend either the Corsair TX650 or 650HX or the Antec EA650 or TP650. If your not going to crossfire, then the Corsair 550VX is excellent.

The samsung F3 and Seagate 7200.12 drives are slightly faster than the WD Caviar Black, so if you can get them cheaper you should consider switching.

Most motherboards come with at least two SATA cables which should be enough for the HDD and ODD, although it doesn't hurt to have a spare or two.

The rest of your build looks great.
January 12, 2010 4:57:04 PM

thanks so much for your reply. I switched to the motherboard you recommended and also switched in a Seagate drive for the WD drive. Going with the Sapphire ATI 5750 over the Nvidia I had listed actually saved me $20! Also switched in the Corsair TX650 for the 550VX just in case I want to do xfire type stuff somewhere down the line.

any other recommendations before i pull the trigger?
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January 12, 2010 5:06:55 PM

Well, I'm not quite sure where you are in your budget, but it might be worth while to upgrade to the 5770 for only $20-30 more. Also, I'd say be prepared to Xfire, as it's quite possible that the 5750 won't be powerful enough for your needs fairly soon, but two of them should be fine, and with that PSU, it looks like you're all set.
January 12, 2010 5:34:39 PM

the 5770 might be a nice upgrade for just 20 or 30 more. that's a good point. there were some mentions of conflicts between the 5770's built in sound support and onboard sound support causing problems and some people needing to flash their BIOs. is that a hard process.

also, for flashing the BIOs on my motherboard or any of my other hardware, is this a process that i can do with a little USB flash drive? I shouldn't be worried about putting some kind of *gasp* floppy drive into my build, should I?
January 12, 2010 5:47:55 PM

you can flash your bios with a usb drive ( asus's utility is easyflash i think). got for the 5770. it is 30 dollars more that will pay off greatly down the road. oh and nice case. im using one now and its my favorite case i have owned so far. the price is right too.
January 12, 2010 8:03:36 PM

order has been placed! nice little chunk of change. thanks to you guys for the responses to my own post as well as all the valuable responses to all the other posts throughout these forums that I looked at while I was researching this build. I'll be back in a couple days when I manage to fry some important component or another.
!