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$1500 Software Dev Sandbox and Gaming PC

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January 27, 2010 8:56:28 PM

Request for feedback:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Three weeks

BUDGET RANGE: $1000-$1500 including shipping and applicable taxes.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
1. Software development: Visual Studio, SQL Server
2. Web server: SVN and Trac on Apache, IIS, SQL Server Reporting
3. 3D gaming
4. Blu-ray DVD watching - I don't own a television, this is my entertainment center.


PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor (I have a nice 24" LCD), speakers (I have a nice Logitech 5.1 set)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA, shipping zip 98102

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel CPU

OVERCLOCKING: Yes
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes (2x)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: No cases with a window, no avoidable external lights (blue fans, blinking ***, etc). I require quiet, but it doesn't need to be totally silent. I can't use wireless mice or keyboards. No media keys should be present on my keyboard.

Here's what I had in mind (all parts from newegg):
CPU: Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield $280
Motherboard: ASRock P55 Extreme $140
Heatsink: Scythe MUGEN-2 Rev. B $36
RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 3x2GB DDR3 1600 $170
Video Card: XFX HD-577X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 1GB $165x2=$330
Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB $85
Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W $115 (includes shipping)
Case: GIGABYTE Triton 180 $81 (includes shipping)
Optical Drive: LITE-ON 4X Blu-ray iHOS104-08 $70
Mouse: Logitech G500 $57
Keyboard: KeyTronic E03600U2 $32 (includes shipping)
total: $1396

Basically I'm looking for any obvious bottlenecks and suggestions on component quality, brand, quantity (RAM) and overall impressions.

This is not my first PC build, but I'm not current on PC hardware anymore.

Some starter questions:
1. Is 6gb enough to run modern games without having to shut down my web server/SQL server?
2. Do I need a 750W power supply or can I get away with less? Should I buy a cheaper brand PSU?
3. Is it worth buying a core i7 over an i5 when I'll just be OCing it anyway?

Thanks!
January 27, 2010 9:14:52 PM

I would probably stick with 750w since you are xfiring right off, although personally I'd go with a Corsair or Seasonic. I don't know how threaded all your apps are, but really hyperthreading is about all you'll gain.[Edit]*with an i5 vs i7

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX

Also, don't get the Spinpoint F1-get the Spinpoint F3. Its $5 or so more and has two much-denser platters.

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"

I have the Scythe Mugen and its a good cooler, but I have seen the hyper 212 recommended a lot lately, its a little cheaper for around the same temps.

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212
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January 27, 2010 9:29:03 PM

I read that crossfire on LGA1156 is a performance loss. Should I go with an i7 920 and a LGA1366 mobo?
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January 27, 2010 9:39:23 PM

Thanks Zach. What do you know about higher RAM clock speeds? Should I even consider going higher than 1600 or would I be better off investing in lower CAS latency?
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January 27, 2010 9:44:07 PM

Its a give and take. If you plan on a monumental overclock, looser timings, higher clocks. If you are going with a mild(3.2-3.6ish) overclock 1600 with tighter timings is better. As you can see in my sig, I have OCZ gold ram rated for 1600, I had to loosen the timings a lot to get to 4.2.
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January 27, 2010 10:39:21 PM

you dont want trichannel memory on a p55 board it only support dual channel memory you lose efficiency with that ram i believe
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January 27, 2010 11:00:50 PM

+1 cfan, good catch
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January 28, 2010 3:43:34 PM

Thanks for the feedback. I've updated this build to use an X58 LG1366 motherboard, Core i7 920 CPU, and the Corsair PSU and Spinpoint F3 HD that Zach recommended.

I'm going to stick with the Gigabyte case and Scythe MUGEN-2 Rev. B HSF.

I have made a public wishlist on Newegg, take a look @ http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...
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