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Build advice for i7-920 video editing/gaming system

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March 2, 2010 7:48:25 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP

BUDGET RANGE: ~$600

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (FPS, MMO, RPG), Video editing/transcoding, Internet/standard tasks

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS, DVD burner, video card, monitor

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Fry's & MicroCenter local; Newegg, CompUSA, Amazon, any reputable online dealer

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: Mid-tower case; i7-920 motherboard; 6Gb RAM; modular/cable management power supply.

OVERCLOCKING: No plans for it. Still, should I not use the stock HSF?

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Quiet, good cooling, front access USB & headphone/speaker jack, space for three hard drives, one optical drive; motherboard should come with header connectors for USB and audio, the more USB ports the better, will be using on-board sound, room for more than 6Gb RAM, Hackintosh compatibility a pleasant bonus; power supply, quiet, modular cable management.

Just looking to build a good, solid system around an i7-920 to do some transcoding and DVD building as well as general gaming. I don't play super-high resolutions as I only have a 22" display. Have considered either a Raptor or SSD for a boot/program drive, but don't know which gives better performance given current tech. Also, considering BD-ROM drive.


Current parts:
Intel i7-920
EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250
2 x 1TB WD Caviar Black (data drives)
LG GH20LS15 Super Multi DVD drive
HP w2207
Saitek Eclipse-II keyboard
Logitech G5 mouse

Feel free to ask any questions. Thanks for any help.
March 2, 2010 12:51:15 PM

So you need a case, board, PSU, and RAM on $600?

Might want to mention that if you can return some of those parts, it would be good. Mainly the GPU and HDDs. If possible, return the 250 and get the more future proof HD 5770. The HDDs are alright, but overly expensive and lower performing than the Samsung Spinpoint F3 and Seagate 7200.12.

RAM: G.Skill Pi Series 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $180
Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion and Earthwatts 650W $130. The PSU is not modular, but it doesn't matter because the case is bottom mounted. The excess cables are out of the way at the bottom of the case already.
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R $210

Total: $520

And a note on a boot drive. VRs are currently the worst decision in a build. They're slower, louder and hotter than the 500 GB platter drives (Spinpoint F3 and Seagate 7200.12). They also cost three times as much as the faster drives. A small SSD cost the same, but is an order of magnitude faster.
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March 2, 2010 2:20:57 PM

MadAdmiral said:
So you need a case, board, PSU, and RAM on $600?

Might want to mention that if you can return some of those parts, it would be good. Mainly the GPU and HDDs. If possible, return the 250 and get the more future proof HD 5770. The HDDs are alright, but overly expensive and lower performing than the Samsung Spinpoint F3 and Seagate 7200.12.

RAM: G.Skill Pi Series 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $180
Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion and Earthwatts 650W $130. The PSU is not modular, but it doesn't matter because the case is bottom mounted. The excess cables are out of the way at the bottom of the case already.
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R $210

Total: $520

And a note on a boot drive. VRs are currently the worst decision in a build. They're slower, louder and hotter than the 500 GB platter drives (Spinpoint F3 and Seagate 7200.12). They also cost three times as much as the faster drives. A small SSD cost the same, but is an order of magnitude faster.


Most of those parts aren't new, but legacy carryover from my old machine. The GTS 250 is brand new, but unreturnable. I had an old 8800GTS that went bad and was warranty-replaced with the GTS 250. One of the Caviar Blacks is already a data drive, but I can get something else to replace the other. I could move the Caviar Black to the boot position and replace the data drives with the 1.5 or 2TB F3s or 1TB Seagate drives. A 128GB SSD is a little out of price range right now @ ~$300, but I'll keep it in mind.

Thanks for your thoughts!
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March 2, 2010 2:24:03 PM

The HDDs aren't going to affect too much, but if it was possible to return them without having to pay more, it might have been worth it.

Definitely don't touch the VRs though. Just wait for the SSDs to drop in price (quality 128 GBs are more like $400 now).
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