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New Build - Home Studio (i5 750, i7 860, or i7 930)

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June 17, 2010 10:01:38 PM

I am looking to build a PC to use for my home studio. Will primarily be using the system for recording, mixing, and mastering in Cakewalk Sonar Producer Edition 8.5, but will also ideally have it hooked up to my 46" Samsung full HD LCD TV to watch 1080p video as well. Generally, will use a dual monitor setup when I am not using the LCD TV. May dabble in some video editing, but nothing too intense, and am not a hard core gamer either.

Since Sonar 8.5 is multithreaded, I was leaning towards a quad-core, but couldn't decide between the i5 750, i7 860, and the i7 930. Am looking for between 8GB and 12GB of RAM.

Unfortunately, I don't have access to microcenter and newegg in Pakistan, and am pretty much limited to a local retailer, Galaxy Computers, for my component purchases.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP

Budget: $1000 - $1500

Country of Origin: Pakistan

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Cakewalk Sonar 8.5, Photoshop, Video Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5, and other office applications.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Galaxy Computers

PARTS PREFERENCES: Prefer a Quad Core system, between the i5 750, i7 860, and i7 930,
8 GB - 12 GB RAM in order to load a large amount of synths and virtual instruments

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, if I can figure out an easy/safe way to do it

MONITOR RESOLUTION: normally a dual setup of two 1280x768 monitors, but sometimes an HDTV through HDMI

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I narrowed it down to 3 options for systems based on parts available on the website above

Option 1:

PROCESSOR: INTEL CORE i5 750 2.66Ghz (8MB CACHE - 2.5 GT/s)
MAIN BOARD: ASUS (INTEL) P755D-E PRO P55-2200FSB O.C (LGA1156-SND+LAN)
MEMORY: CORSAIR XMS3 DDR3 TWIN KIT 2X4096-1333 (2GBx2)
MEMORY: CORSAIR XMS3 DDR3 TWIN KIT 2X4096-1333 (2GBx2)
HARD DRIVE: WESTERN DIGITAL 500GB 3.5" HDD 7200RPM 32MB Cache 
HARD DRIVE: WESTERN DIGITAL 1500GB 3.5" HDD 7200RPM 64MB Cache 
GRAPHIC CARD: INNO GT240 GeForce PCX 1GB (128-BITS) DDR3
OPTICAL DRIVE:  SAMSUNG DVDRW 22X SATA
CHASSIS: COOLER MASTER ELITE 335 WITHOUT PSU
POWER SUPPLY: COOLER MASTER 500WATTS
CPU COOLER: COOLER MASTER (COOLING SOLUTION) CPU COOLER V10 
APPROX PRICE: $1,256

Option 2:

PROCESSOR: INTEL CORE i7 860 2.8Ghz (8MB CACHE - 2.5 GT/s)
MAIN BOARD: ASUS (INTEL) P755D-E PRO P55-2200FSB O.C (LGA1156-SND+LAN)
MEMORY: CORSAIR XMS3 DDR3 TWIN KIT 2X4096-1333 (2GBx2)
MEMORY: CORSAIR XMS3 DDR3 TWIN KIT 2X4096-1333 (2GBx2)
HARD DRIVE: WESTERN DIGITAL 500GB 3.5" HDD 7200RPM 32MB Cache 
HARD DRIVE: WESTERN DIGITAL 1500GB 3.5" HDD 7200RPM 64MB Cache 
GRAPHIC CARD: INNO GT240 GeForce PCX 1GB (128-BITS) DDR3
OPTICAL DRIVE: SAMSUNG DVDRW 22X SATA
CHASSIS: COOLER MASTER ELITE 335 WITHOUT PSU
POWER SUPPLY: COOLER MASTER 500WATTS
CPU COOLER: COOLER MASTER (COOLING SOLUTION) CPU COOLER V10 
APPROX PRICE: $1,350

Option 3:

PROCESSOR: INTEL CORE i7 930 2.8Ghz (8MB CACHE - 4.8 GT/s)
MAIN BOARD: ASUS (INTEL) P6T DELUXE V2 X58-2000FSB
MEMORY: CORSAIR XMS3 DDR3 TRIKIT 3X6G-1333 (2GBX3)
MEMORY: CORSAIR XMS3 DDR3 TRIKIT 3X6G-1333 (2GBX3)
HARD DRIVE: WESTERN DIGITAL 500GB 3.5" HDD 7200RPM 32MB Cache 
HARD DRIVE: WESTERN DIGITAL 1500GB 3.5" HDD 7200RPM 64MB Cache 
GRAPHIC CARD: INNO GT240 GeForce PCX 1GB (128-BITS) DDR3
OPTICAL DRIVE: SAMSUNG DVDRW 22X SATA
CHASSIS: COOLER MASTER ELITE 335 WITHOUT PSU
POWER SUPPLY: COOLER MASTER 500WATTS
CPU COOLER: COOLER MASTER (COOLING SOLUTION) CPU COOLER V10 
APPROX PRICE: $1,578

FINAL THOUGHTS: I am leaning towards going with one of the i7s because of hyperthreading being available for both of them, but I want to be able to justify the increased price with a noticeable difference in performance (i.e. I don't want to just spend the extra money unnecessarily).

And between the two i7 setups I have above, the ASUS board that I chose for the 870 has USB 3.0, which helps from a future perspective, however, the 930 setup has 12GB of RAM as opposed to the other two setups.

Also, in the RAM department, is it definitely necessary to use stocks like the XMS3 for my purposes, or would Kingston value RAM work as well?

So what would you guys suggest? And if you do check out the site that I will be purchasing from, remember there are about 84 Rupees to a $

Thanks so much for the help!

:) 
a c 134 à CPUs
June 18, 2010 2:00:17 AM

Do you have the i7-875k there?
Its an easy overclocker since its an unlocked cpu.
June 18, 2010 9:23:39 AM

Thanks for the reply, but no, unfortunately the only i5 and i7 options I have right now are:

INTEL CORE i5 750 2.66Ghz (8MB CACHE - 2.5 GT/s) - $238
INTEL CORE i7 920 2.66Ghz (8MB CACHE - 4.8 GT/s) - $297
INTEL CORE i7 860 2.8Ghz (8MB CACHE - 2.5 GT/s) - $311
INTEL CORE i7 930 2.8Ghz (8MB CACHE - 4.8 GT/s) - $315
INTEL CORE i7 980X 3.33Ghz (12MB CACHE - 6.4 GT/s) EXTREME EDITION - $1,119


You can check out the Processor/Mobo options I have at: http://www.galaxy.com.pk/main-forms/cpu-main.htm
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a c 117 à CPUs
June 18, 2010 2:39:24 PM
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As of late most multi-thread builds i've seen here are going with 860 or 930.
Between those two choices it comes down to budget.
They're both very good cpus.
The 860 1156 build will be a little cheaper.
You don't need a V-10 cooler and i'm not sure but it might not fit in your case anyways.
The Hyper N520 will do the job in any of your cpu options.
Save the money from the V-10 and buy a nice case like the 690II basic with the N520.
June 18, 2010 3:05:54 PM

Hey Davcon, thanks for the reply.

The price differences I'm getting here for the three builds I mentioned above are

i5 750 (8GB RAM): $1256
i7 860 (8GB RAM): $1350
i7 930 (12GB RAM): $1578

So I guess the real question is how significant is the performance difference between the 860 and the 930?

I should also factor in the increased RAM in the 930 build I have above, and the fact that the 860 build has a USB 3.0 compatible mobo.
a b à CPUs
June 18, 2010 3:10:50 PM

Well the i7 930 should give significant speed benefits in multithreading applications. No question. The problem is it will cost more not just for the CPU but the mobo, and the triple channel RAM. If it's in your budget, do it. Otherwise the 860 is probably the way to go, it'll be cheaper and still gives good performance for sure.
a b à CPUs
June 18, 2010 5:25:54 PM

The 930 wouldn't give any more tangible benefits than the 860, since both run at the same clockspeed.
If 8 GB of RAM seems sufficient to you, then 860 would be the way to go, since 8 GB is the max you could go with 2 GB modules. You could use 4 GB modules for a total of 16GB but those are insanely expensive.
The 860 platform, as you mentioned, also gives you more value added features like USB 3.
Also as Davcon said, you don't need the massive cooler master v10. A Hyper 212+ will overclock nearly as well. Plus it's a lot smaller & cheaper.

Quote:

Also, in the RAM department, is it definitely necessary to use stocks like the XMS3 for my purposes, or would Kingston value RAM work as well?


A normal DDR3 works sufficiently well.
June 18, 2010 10:24:45 PM

Thanks Davcon, Wolfram23, and ksampanna for the replies!

It seems to that the real benefits are in the i7 860, firstly because of price, secondly because there is not a big difference in performance, and thirdly, the ASUS P7P55D-E Pro supports USB 3.0 and eSATA III.

I think for now, I should stick with the 8GB total RAM and if in a while I find the system to be having issues with the virtual instruments, etc. that I run, I can always upgrade the RAM when the 4GB sticks are much cheaper!

So, if I take Davcon's advice about the case and the cooler, along with ksampanna's suggestion about using the regular Kingston Value RAM, I should end up alright. What are your thoughts? Also, Davcon, you meant the CM 690 case not the CM 690II Plus right?

Here is the updated system that is currently ahead in my mind:

PROCESSOR: INTEL CORE i7 860 2.8Ghz (8MB CACHE - 2.5 GT/s)
MAIN BOARD: ASUS (INTEL) P755D-E PRO P55-2200FSB O.C (LGA1156-SND+LAN)
MEMORY: Kingston Value RAM DDR3 1333 (4 sticks of 2GB each)
HARD DRIVE: WESTERN DIGITAL 500GB 3.5" HDD 7200RPM 32MB Cache
HARD DRIVE: WESTERN DIGITAL 1500GB 3.5" HDD 7200RPM 64MB Cache
GRAPHIC CARD: INNO GT240 GeForce PCX 1GB (128-BITS) DDR3
OPTICAL DRIVE: SAMSUNG DVDRW 22X SATA
CHASSIS: OOLER MASTER CHASSIS CM 690
POWER SUPPLY: COOLER MASTER 500WATTS
CPU COOLER: COOLER MASTER (COOLING SOLUTION) HYPER N520 (SUPP INTEL & AMD)
APPROX PRICE: $1,245

Does the PSU look like it's the right size for this setup?

Also, ksampanna, the Hyper 212 Plus isn't available at the store that I am looking at, so what do you think of the Hyper N520? And I have switched to the Kingston value RAM.. I shouldn't see much of a performance decrease because of this right? Because I end up saving quite a bit of money switching!

What are thoughts on the video card? And would overclocking be a relatively straightforward process on this i7 860 build?

Please let me know of any comments/ feedback. you have on this build!
June 18, 2010 10:38:31 PM

The best of the bunch for what you do is the 860 !!!
a c 117 à CPUs
June 19, 2010 12:46:03 AM

miqqy said:
Thanks Davcon, Wolfram23, and ksampanna for the replies!

It seems to that the real benefits are in the i7 860, firstly because of price, secondly because there is not a big difference in performance, and thirdly, the ASUS P7P55D-E Pro supports USB 3.0 and eSATA III.

I think for now, I should stick with the 8GB total RAM and if in a while I find the system to be having issues with the virtual instruments, etc. that I run, I can always upgrade the RAM when the 4GB sticks are much cheaper!

So, if I take Davcon's advice about the case and the cooler, along with ksampanna's suggestion about using the regular Kingston Value RAM, I should end up alright. What are your thoughts? Also, Davcon, you meant the CM 690 case not the CM 690II Plus right?

Here is the updated system that is currently ahead in my mind:

PROCESSOR: INTEL CORE i7 860 2.8Ghz (8MB CACHE - 2.5 GT/s)
MAIN BOARD: ASUS (INTEL) P755D-E PRO P55-2200FSB O.C (LGA1156-SND+LAN)
MEMORY: Kingston Value RAM DDR3 1333 (4 sticks of 2GB each)
HARD DRIVE: WESTERN DIGITAL 500GB 3.5" HDD 7200RPM 32MB Cache
HARD DRIVE: WESTERN DIGITAL 1500GB 3.5" HDD 7200RPM 64MB Cache
GRAPHIC CARD: INNO GT240 GeForce PCX 1GB (128-BITS) DDR3
OPTICAL DRIVE: SAMSUNG DVDRW 22X SATA
CHASSIS: OOLER MASTER CHASSIS CM 690
POWER SUPPLY: COOLER MASTER 500WATTS
CPU COOLER: COOLER MASTER (COOLING SOLUTION) HYPER N520 (SUPP INTEL & AMD)
APPROX PRICE: $1,245

Does the PSU look like it's the right size for this setup?

Also, ksampanna, the Hyper 212 Plus isn't available at the store that I am looking at, so what do you think of the Hyper N520? And I have switched to the Kingston value RAM.. I shouldn't see much of a performance decrease because of this right? Because I end up saving quite a bit of money switching!

What are thoughts on the video card? And would overclocking be a relatively straightforward process on this i7 860 build?

Please let me know of any comments/ feedback. you have on this build!

For the money and performance difference the Hyper N520 will suit you fine too bad they don't have the Hyper 212+ cuz it's the gem of CM's cooler line-up.
And yes i was referring to the 690II Basic the only difference between it and Advanced is a few features you will not miss for your purposes and of course the price.
The 690II Basic is a very nice case and a big upgrade from the Elite.I own a 690II Basic it's a really nice case.
Also at the present time the P755D-E PRO is the best value and performance mobo on the market imo.If i were to buy a mobo today it would be my choice.
The video card will be fine if you're not a gamer it's a lower end card so don't expect alot out of it gaming wise.I can't comment on overclocking the 860,i have one too but i haven't oc'd it yet,but you certainly have the mobo for it.
Looks like a very nice build ! i don't think you'll be dissappointed.:) 

Btw i overlooked your psu question and i recommend you change that psu it's a really cheap budget model.
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/728
Looking over Galaxy's offerings the only suitable psu is the Corsair TX 650 it's one of the best there is period.Get that one your build deserves it and it's really your only option.Your psu is a very important aspect of a build and one not to skimp out on.
June 20, 2010 8:44:40 PM

Thanks once again for the helpful reply Davcon!

I actually have the option of ordering something from the States, as long as it's not too huge... but I looked at the Hyper 212+ on newegg, and it looks like the price has jumped up to $60 + shipping. Is the cooler worth that much more than what I'd be paying for the Hyper N520? Would there be any other cooler you would suggest if I purchased it from the States?

I am just a bit weary about purchasing in the States and then bringing it to Pakistan because returning a bad product will be extremely difficult. But would a cooler have much of a chance of being bad?

Could potentially have a CPU brought back as well if there is a significant cost saving, as opposed to the $311 I am paying for the i7 860.

Oh and just to clarify, the 690II Basic isn't available here, it is the regular 690, but that should be fine too?

Will definitely update the system with the TX 650, thanks for the heads up!

Last question, what do you think about going with the Kingston Value RAM instead of the Corsair XMS3 as ksampanna suggested?
a c 117 à CPUs
June 20, 2010 9:35:35 PM

Go ahead and order the Hyper 212+ it's an excellent cooler.
Amazon.com has it much cheaper.
I live in Canada is ordering one from a site here an option.
I can give you links from Vancouver.
The old 690 is fine.
The Kingston ram is fine i think he was just suggesting a way of saving some $
June 21, 2010 5:08:03 AM

Yeah ordering from Canada is an option as long as I can have it shipped to Toronto by the first week of July. Amazon has it for cheaper, but it ships in 1 to 3 months... which is too long unfortunately.

Do you think it's worth picking up a CPU from microcenter ($244 U.S. after tax, saving about $65) and having it sent here or is it too risky in the case that there's a fault with it?

I'll just go with the Kingston RAM then since it does save a bit of money, as long there isn't much of a performance loss.

Thanks again!
a c 117 à CPUs
June 21, 2010 12:07:35 PM

Yeah kind of a risk miqqy concerning the cpu.
I don't think faulty cpu's are a common occurrence but my first 860 was rma'd.
I bought it locally at a shop and the head tech and manager were quite surprised.
Wow! all my usual sources for the Hyper+ are out of stock.
It could be had for $22 CAD + shipping.
I'll give you a link were they still have stock.
http://www1.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?item_i...
Canada Computers Quebec store
http://www.xpresscanada.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cm...
Here are links that sell it cheaper but have no stock at the moment.
http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/?sku=218427&kw=cooler master
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11130AC8843&v...
June 22, 2010 9:08:45 PM

Thanks again Davcon for the quick reply! Will definitely at least by the cooler from the website you mentioned. In fact, I may actually have someone go to the store and pick it up directly.

Unfortunately, Galaxy is now telling me that the mobo is not going to be available for another 15-20 days at which time the other components may no longer be available (the TX650 is not available right now but the TX750 is). So now I need to figure out whether I should hold on in purchasing all the components until the mobo comes in and risk some going out of stock.. or buy the components that are currently available and risk the mobo not coming in stock...

Well, I will definitely let you know what I decide!

Thanks again for all the help!
a c 117 à CPUs
June 22, 2010 10:00:29 PM

I have a updated source for the Hyper 212+ in the U.S. if this is still a viable option i would act quickly since i spilled the beans last night on a post.
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
I would go ahead and get my components and wait for the mobo and psu.
Those two components along with the cooler are probably the most popular on the planet right now and for a good reason.
The cooler and mobo are always in short supply here in North America.
I help people from all over the world and those are the parts everyone wants in their builds.
Your going to have a very nice rig mate!
Cheers!
June 22, 2010 10:26:38 PM

Wow thanks a lot for the heads up! Just picked up the cooler from Tiger Direct for $31 with shipping :) 

Will start accumulating the components in the coming days and will let you know how it goes.

Thanks again!
June 25, 2010 11:07:41 AM

Just got a backorder notice today from Tiger Direct even though I ordered the cooler on the 22nd. So it looks like the hunt continues. Will probably purchase it from Toronto.
July 2, 2010 2:31:25 PM

Best answer selected by miqqy.
July 2, 2010 2:46:13 PM

So, in the end, I decided to take a bit of a risk and ordered a couple of components from the States. In doing so, I saved close to $300, and my thinking is that if one of the components is bad or I need to change it, the savings should cover the cost of buying a new one. Might not be the smartest move, but I got too tempted.

Also, while I got tempted, I sort of changed my setup a little bit as well.

Processor: INTEL CORE i7 930 2.8Ghz (8MB CACHE - 2.5 GT/s)
Motherboard: ASUS (INTEL) P6X58D-E (LGA1336-SND+LAN)
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600MHZ 6GB (3x2GB)
HDD1: Corsair 64GB SSD
HDD2: WESTERN DIGITAL 1500GB 3.5" HDD 7200RPM 64MB Cache 
GPU: INNO GT240 GeForce PCX 1GB (128-BITS) DDR3
OPTICAL DRIVE : SAMSUNG DVDRW 22X SATA
Case: COOLER MASTER CHASSIS CM 690
PSU: CORSAIR 650 WATTS (CMPSU-650TX) NON-MODULAR
CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER (COOLING SOLUTION) HYPER N520 (SUPP INTEL & AMD)

Which comes out to about $1409 in all...

I hope I didn't make too much of a mistake going for this setup!

And Davcon, I ended up purchasing the cooler from Direct Canada for $28 CAD after tax when it was backordered from Tiger Direct.. Thanks for the links!

The parts should all arrive in the next three weeks at which point I'll let you know how the build goes
!