Intel i7 920 Build Advice


BUDGET RANGE: ~$1800 (including shipping, without including mail in rebates)

System Usage: Digital Painting (Photoshop), A fair amount of 3D modeling/rendering (3D Studio Max, zBrush), Gaming (Bioshock, LFD2, and other steam games)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitors (2 23" LCDs), Keyboard and mouse, Speakers, Tablet




MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 (2 monitors)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm unsure about some of the parts listed below, namely the wireless PCI card, PSU, and MOBO. It's been about 4 years since I've built a computer, so I still need to look into RAID setup for the HDD.

Thanks in advance for any advice!


Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Full Tower

CPU: Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache

PSU: Antec CP-850 850W Continuous Power CPX SLI Certified CrossFire Ready



RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600

HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache

GPU: I'm unsure of which two setups would provide the better increase for around $400
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) or
Crossfire - SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT)

CD DRIVE: Sony Optiarc Black CD/DVD Rewriteable

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

WIRELESS ADAPTER: LINKSYS WMP600N IEEE 802.11a/b/g, IEEE 802.11n PCI Wireless Adapter
---> At the moment, wireless is my -only- option. Possibly in the next 6-8 months I will be able to run wired, if we can get the house setup properly

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound

NZXT Sentry 2
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  1. I would look into this mobo

    I would pick the 5870 over 2 5770s
  2. Also not sure that PSU will fit in that case, it shows that ( The Antec's CP series is exclusively designed for Antec's 1200/P183/P193 cases and provide an excellent price-to-performance ratio. )

    might pick up a
  3. You'll need to do one of the following:

    1. Move to the Antec 1200 and keep the CP-850 (Recommended)
    2. Move to the Corsair HX850 or Antec SG-850

    I gotta go against the 5770's as they can't do 30 fps at 1920 resolution in DX11.

    MoBo - With your line of work, USB 3 and SATA III gonna be big should be ready w/ a ASUS P6X58D Premium when components arrive:

    Heat Sink - Pick one if top 3 from these:

    New ones to consider are Noctua NH-D14 and Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme. Later rocks out on 775 socket but haven't seen how it performs on 1366 yet.....The Noctua 's weight of 3 pounds is a little scary. I'm still liking the Prolimatech Megahalems w/ IC Diamond Karat TIM. That Artic Silver stuff takes 200 hours to cure and is outperformed by the IC Diamond stuff and several others.

    RAM - That's CAS 8, CAS 7 is about $20 more

    Hard Drives - Check out the performance charts and pick whatever 500 GB per platter drive performs best under your usage patterns. The WD Black 2 TB is a good choice but at smaller capacities, you are limited to the Seagate 7200.12 or the Spinpoint F3. The 7200.12 excels in gaming, multimedia and pictures whereas the F3 wins at music and movie maker. See the comparisons here (copy past link in manually, link won't work in forum):

  4. Thank you guys for the replies! I just ordered the parts today, with the changes that were suggested. I went with the HAF case to be more aesthetically pleasing, but did pick up the Asus MOBO/RAM/Tuniq Heat Sink. =)
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