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Opinions on the rig i want to buy

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March 29, 2010 9:51:03 PM

Hi all,

I have been working on making a nice new build for my next desktop to replace my now 5+ year old desktop with a P4 processor which deserves to be retired.

I use my computer for studying (so word excel IE and so forth), lots of gaming, some rendering and Photoshop as well as encoding and movie editing or recording every now and then. I am not aiming for the best rig out there but a decent one that doesnt completely bankrupt me.

I would like to know what you guys think of the rig. More importantly I would also like to double check with the gurus here whether it would work and I havent made a complete error in parts choosing (ie i havent bought a CPU that doesnt go with the mobo etc):

I am in the UK and will be buying pretty much all the components from Ebuyer since I haven't found any HUGELY better deals on any other site, so I will include prices as well so feel free to let me know whether you think I am overpaying components.

Please note some components are recycled from my current desktop for budget purposes and will at a later date be upgraded

The Rig:

(All prices are vat and postage included)

CPU: I was originally going for the i5 750 but will be going for the Core i7 860 @ 2.80GHz OEM seen as I will be buying the CPU cooling sink anyway.

Cost: £206.82

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD4, yes I plan to later on aim for a dual SLi/CrossFire setup

Cost: £164.97

Memory: G-Skill 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz/PC3-12800 Ripjaw Memory Kit CL7(7-8-7-24) 1.65V

Cost: £104.99

Power Supply Unit: Corsair 850W TX Series PSU, this costs only £10 more than a 620W so I figured it would be a better choice if I aim to go for dual graphics

Cost: £100.00

Cooling: Scythe Mugen 2 Rev B Processor Cooler.

Cost: £35.69

Case: Antec P183 Mid Tower

Cost: £100.00

Hard Drive: Recycling my Seagate 7200rpm 360GB SataII 16MB cache from my old desktop

Cost: £0.00

Graphics Card: recycling my 8800GTS 512MB for the time being.

Cost £0.00

Paste Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Compound Thermal paste 3.5gram

Cost £5.69

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional - Licence and media - 1 PC - OEM - DVD - 64-bit - English

Cost: £114.13

Total cost of rig: £832.89


I look forwards to hearing what you think
Thanks for your help

More about : opinions rig buy

March 29, 2010 10:14:51 PM

Why the i7-860 instead of the i5-750?
March 29, 2010 10:29:30 PM

Pretty nice build.

With the board you have chosen you get a choice between second graphics card or SATA 6Gbps/USB3. So if you want to be able to utilize both those features then this is the board to get: Asus P7P55D-E Pro £172

I don't know that case that well, I think the harddrive cage is removable so that longer cards can be added. Personally I think there are better cases for the price, but if you're going to stick with it, then you should think about this PSU: Antec CP850 £93 Bare in mind that it only states about 760W on it's 12V rails. Personally I think that is plenty of room for expansion as you can easily do two 5870s on such a PSU.

Personally I think the i7-860 is the right choice for this build.
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March 29, 2010 10:32:01 PM

Hi Silvune would you care to tell me which cases you would personally recommend as mid tower? I chose this one cause i know it has dust filters included and i quite like the design. Oh I was wondering just now whether the PSU specially designed for the tower was a better option because I just noticed it, what advantage does it have that you know beyond probably having a tighter fit with the case? Please feel free to suggest cases you would personally think best.

Oh and I will look into that motherboard immediately sounds like a better deal I would like both to work simultaneously thank you
March 29, 2010 10:34:10 PM

jsc, I was going for the i5 750 because I wanted to be conservative but on second thought some of the applications I use i am pretty sure are capable of benefitting from the Hyper-threading ability also the i7 860 can be overclocked to a higher speed than the i5 750 if I am not mistaken. It is also so as to slightly future proof my system for a 40 pound premium price I think it is worth it.
March 29, 2010 11:47:58 PM

Fiztandantibus said:
Hi Silvune would you care to tell me which cases you would personally recommend as mid tower? I chose this one cause i know it has dust filters included and i quite like the design. Oh I was wondering just now whether the PSU specially designed for the tower was a better option because I just noticed it, what advantage does it have that you know beyond probably having a tighter fit with the case? Please feel free to suggest cases you would personally think best.

Oh and I will look into that motherboard immediately sounds like a better deal I would like both to work simultaneously thank you
Well I suppose I would go for the Antec 900/902 over the P183, as they have a tad more room inside and probably better at cooling, the trade-off being for louder/less insulation from fans.
The last time I checked the oft-recommended HAF 922 was around £80, altho that is not really a mid tower, doesn't have air filters and would be noisy. It is now £110 and doesn't look very good, altho it is the king of aircoolers.
The Coolermaster CM 960 II is a tight fit for a card over 10.5 inches, probably doesn't have dust filters. It is the type of case that I would consider good looking.
I also used to like the look of the Lancool PC-K62, altho it can be quite restrictive in what graphics cards will fit in it; it will not fit a 5870.
The case that I'm eyeing at the moment for my next case is the Lian-Li Armoursuit P50B, it is £115 over at scan. I'm not sure yet if it will fit a 5870, altho I'd put money on it.

The CP850 is much better at keeping cool, and as a result it is easier for it to perform better in an electronical sense. It is also nice that it is modular. The £7 saved is nice as well. The disadvantage is that the TX850 can definitely provide close to the full 850 on it's 12V rail, so you have a bit more choice with hardware. The CP850 is an uncommon form factor at the moment, I'm sure you know what that means.
Here are reviews for both of them:
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
I haven't read the one for the TX850.
March 30, 2010 12:01:02 AM

Hi again Silvune,

Indeed I was looking at the fact that the antec 183 might easily be bested on cooling by just its cousin the p193 and even more so by the antec gaming rigs. I'm not as fussy about noise so much as dust intrusion. I dont have a lot of space for my tower to go in at the moment and I cannot really put it on a table, though i might build a little DIY raised stand for it. My current one gets so dusty that it really needs to have a spring cleaning well... every month.

I also had my eye on the Themaltake Element G VL10001W22 which is pretty slick and much cooler than the p183 as well as cheaper and flashier.

The Lian-Li Armorsuit P50B is a very nice one and i have read it has a very nice air flow and storage space, although I must admit the £200 Obsidian D has tempted me with its highly managable internal space and cable routing systems and looks.

I will have a read of the review on the TX 850 thanks for that, I do admit that having a modular PSU is nice but its always a rather offputting premium price that needs to be paid versus a non modular PSU of the same power.

I am thinking of switching to the Asus P7P55D-E Pro Mobo it does make sense to have sata 6GB/s always available as well as the SLi. Thanks for the heads up on that.
March 30, 2010 1:37:04 AM

UPDATE on my Rig choices

The Updated Rig:

(All prices are vat and postage included)

CPU: Core i7 860 @ 2.80GHz OEM seen as I will be buying the CPU cooling sink anyway.

Cost: £206.82

Motherboard: ASUS P7P55D-E PRO instead of the original Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD4

Cost: £171.81 against original 164.97

Memory: G-Skill 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz/PC3-12800 Ripjaw Memory Kit CL7(7-8-7-24) 1.65V

Cost: £104.99

Power Supply Unit: Corsair 850W TX Series PSU, this costs only £10 more than a 620W so I figured it would be a better choice if I aim to go for dual graphics

Cost: £100.00

Cooling: Scythe Mugen 2 Rev B Processor Cooler.

Cost: £35.69

Case: ThermalTake Element G VL10001W2Z instead of the original choice ofAntec P183 Mid Tower

Cost: £98.13 instead of the original 100.00

Hard Drive: Recycling my Seagate 7200rpm 360GB SataII 16MB cache from my old desktop

Cost: £0.00

Graphics Card: recycling my 8800GTS 512MB for the time being.

Cost £0.00

Paste Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Compound Thermal paste 3.5gram

Cost £5.69

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional - Licence and media - 1 PC - OEM - DVD - 64-bit - English

Cost: £114.13

Total cost of rig: £842.50 against the original 832.89


Thanks for all your comments so far, if anyone else would like to voice their opinion please be my guest.
March 30, 2010 12:26:04 PM

I should have said earlier that an 850W PSU is probably overkill unless you want to keep it for ages or want to be able to crossfire 5970s or SLI 480s, 295s. And few of the cases we've mentioned has enough space inside for a 5970.
Personally I think that a good 750W PSU is plenty for future-proofing, by allowing for a power hungry high end single card, or two slightly less power hungry cards in CF/SLI. Pretty much any card apart from the ones I mentioned can be doubled up on a 750W PSU.

I suppose it depends on what card you are thinking about getting in the future or whether you would be prepared to be limited by the case and/or power supply or not.
March 30, 2010 12:37:21 PM

I am aware its a lot of power, but it is only a 7 pound extra to get the 850W TX from the 750W TX. Also the 850W TX seems to be a lot more stable and prefferable for the power output from the reviews you suggested I read. I am not sure what cards I will be getting just yet because it will be susceptible to my future budget which at present I have no means to determine. THe most likely scenario is I will go for a fairly high end graphics card and run on that single one until i can double it up after that. I do wish to try and keep components as long as I can. I don't mind the 850W TX not being modular but If i could find a deent 750W with good stable currents that was also modular for about the same price that would be a better option. If not for now I think the 850W seems a better choice. Do you know any reliable 750W modulars?
March 30, 2010 12:39:42 PM

Edit: Here you are: Antec Earthwatts 750W £80 Altho according to jonny it only does about 670 on it's 12V rails, so it might be a bit of a stretch for two 5870s and wouldn't be able to do two GTX 275s and above.

I realised that was probably not a good one to suggest, as it is not really a 750W PSU. Although I wouldn't hesitate if I was looking for a 670W PSU.
Whereas this is much more a true 750W PSU: Antec TruePower New 750W Modular PSU - 80plus Bronze £98 And a pretty good performer, apparently it is a repackaged Seasonic unit.
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

My thinking is that you should aim more for what you know you will use, rather than overkill, as if you use less than 20% of a unit's rated power you aren't guaranteed good efficiency, and taking it to another build might not always be possible as specs might have changed, or it still might not be powerful enough or stable enough after being used already. I admit this theory might have flaws if it is not completely wrong.

I hope that you are still thinking about what cards will be able to fit in the case that you choose.
March 30, 2010 12:50:38 PM

I had seen that but it is pretty much only a semi modular, and indeed with that peak power problem. Its like the CPX but not as high quality wouldn't you agree?
March 30, 2010 2:20:13 PM

Indeed Silvune I hadn't noticed that Antec TruePower and it does seem a better choice I was doing a calculation off the top of my excel spreadsheet and as far as i know if i used an 850W id be using 30-40% of it so it wouldn't be at its top form so the 750 will be the better choice and more economical.

Thanks for your constant great suggestions and fact pointing out :) 
March 30, 2010 2:30:03 PM

No problem, as long as I'm helping you then I'm happy.
March 30, 2010 2:31:57 PM

You most definitely are, I plan to paste up some pictures of the system the moment I put it together in the next weeks since I imagine it would be nice for you to see how your contributions helped me make the system. Maybe if someone could help me learn to bench mark it, something I have never done before since I have never had a desktop worth benchmarking 'till this one, I can paste those up too.
March 30, 2010 2:40:42 PM

The ThermalTake Element G can host graphics cards of up to 10.5" lengths, how is that compared to the cards of today?
March 30, 2010 3:04:31 PM

Well that seems to be the standard size for Nvidia cards, even the GTX 480 apparently is 10.5". If we're talking about the new 5000 series ATI cards, the 5870 is about 11", and the 5970 is 12", the 5850 is 9.6", so the same length/width as an ATX based motherboard, the length of a 5830 can vary a lot, every other 5000 series card is shorter than 9.6. I've made an html table with graphics card specs, I can send that to you if you want.
March 30, 2010 3:08:51 PM

I was working on the matter in your exact same way, it seems the standard for most mid and even full towers to allow a standard of 10.5" for the graphics cards expandable usually by removing HDD bays.

Which works well with the nVidias as you rightly say since I haven't found any that exceed that length and the ATi cards seem to vary a lot more according to the manufacturer as well. But don't seem to exceed 11.8".

I'd happily take a look at your spreadsheet, maybe we should post it on the site as well for others to see. I'll PM you my email

March 30, 2010 3:26:41 PM

Received it thanks very useful
March 31, 2010 9:20:36 AM

Ok the money is in its time to buy it :)  cant wait to start tinkering on it
April 5, 2010 11:30:42 PM

Hey there Silvune, Just posting some pictures of the rig finally in place.

I have currently overclocked my CPU to 4.1GHz without too much effort :) . I was wondering do you know exactly how much 2 8800GTS 640MB cards would require in terms of power? I'm trying to understand how to calculate it.

Thanks for all your help :) 









April 6, 2010 1:10:16 AM

It is the Scythe Mugen and at idle I get 40C on all 4 cores and at load i get 60 so far. So I guess I can actually rev it up a little more but since I dont have a pressing need or hype to want to burn my cpu to get 4 more FPS or 100 3dMark points I think I will just keep it as it is.

I am however getting issues with my monitor and it seems to have issues with some colours and I just dont know why I have calibrated it manually but its not the best for Photoshop in these settings. Sigh

Know any software that could help?
April 6, 2010 1:26:17 AM

Actually not to worry I have found the answer it was to do with the colour profile my monitor was using: it was the wrong one :) 
!