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$900+ i7 Media Hub/Workhorse - My Very First Build

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March 2, 2010 5:33:22 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP

BUDGET RANGE: Under $1k

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: All-day household media hub, also photo work, video editing, transcoding

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: See below

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe / SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Was torn between i5 and i7 - but when once I got the parts far enough below a thou$and, I've moved toward the i7 860. I ruled out the i7 920 or 930 due to power consumption and preference for budget motherboard below.


Okay, here's what I've put together. This is my first ever build...

CPU > Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I7860 - Retail ($279.99)

MoBo > GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail ($134.99)

GPU > SAPPHIRE 100253HDMI Radeon HD 4650 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Low Profile Ready ... - Retail ($54.99)

HDD > HITACHI Deskstar 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive 7K1000.C HDS721010CLA332 (0F10383) 7200 RPM -Bare Drive ($84.99)

Optical > LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM ($23.99)

RAM > Crucial Ballistix 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model BL2KIT25664BN1608 - Retail ($99.99)

OS > Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM ($139.99)

Case > Antec Sonata Elite Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail ($84.99)

PSU > Antec NEO ECO 520C 520W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
($69.99)

I was able to save $25 on a combo with the PSU and case. The issue of a sound card escaped me until just this moment, I'm not sure what board quality would be (I've been away from PCs for many years now - just returning from the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field).

Any input welcome. Thanks!
March 2, 2010 5:52:38 PM

HDD: Get a Samsung Spinpoint F3 instead. It's only $5 more, but is faster, quieter and runs cooler.

RAM: Those are alright, but I would try to get some CAS Latency 7 sticks. Check out the G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CL 7 for $115.

Sound: Onboard sound has really improved. I generally advise people to not buy a discrete card, but if you're a huge audiophile, go without one first. If you can actually tell that the sound isn't very good, add a card later.
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March 2, 2010 7:36:30 PM

MadAdmiral said:
HDD: Get a Samsung Spinpoint F3 instead. It's only $5 more, but is faster, quieter and runs cooler.

RAM: Those are alright, but I would try to get some CAS Latency 7 sticks. Check out the G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CL 7 for $115.

Sound: Onboard sound has really improved. I generally advise people to not buy a discrete card, but if you're a huge audiophile, go without one first. If you can actually tell that the sound isn't very good, add a card later.


Thanks for the advice!

I did try tracking down that specific Samsung, but it seemed to be out of stock at NewEgg and I couldn't find it elsewhere. I'll keep an eye out and turn the Hitachi into a backup when I find it.
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March 2, 2010 7:39:03 PM

The Seagate 7200.12 1 TB is a tab more expensive ($95), but it's just as good as the Samsung. They're about the same, just the Samsung is preferred because it's cheaper and performs slightly better in some benchmarks.

The reason these are recommended is that they use large 500 GB platters. WD and Hitachi both still use a smaller platter.
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March 2, 2010 11:32:34 PM

I toyed with putting my OS on a solid state drive, too, but that seems like the bleeding edge right now. Think I'd get much benefit from getting a small 10000 rpm oe 15000 rpm drive and throwing my OS and apps on it?
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March 3, 2010 12:00:36 AM

Nope. The older VelociRaptos are actually slower than the 500 GB platter drives. Not to mention that they're three times more expensive. Right now, you either use the 500 GB platter drives (Spinpoint F3 or Seagate 7200.12) or get the SSD.
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