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Planning a new i7 build - your thoughts?

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May 22, 2010 11:26:12 PM

Hi Folks,

This will be my first build. I've been researching the individual components for the last few weeks, and have settled on the following. Please advise if this seems to be a good fit.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within one week
BUDGET RANGE: $1800

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (currently mostly L4D2, but want to get into Crysis, CoDMW2 - can't do either on current system); Home video editing; Adobe photoshop and dreamweaver; Internet/music etc.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Have Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor - just bought the Corsair 750W PSU and Samsung HDDs listed below (sales about to expire at Newegg)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel build - prefer 1366/x58 as the difference is not all that much between i5 or AMD Phenom 965, and won't be upgrading much for next 3 years or so. Prefer full tower case as this is my first build, and don't want to run into lack-of-space problems. Space around desk etc. is not an issue.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes (never done it before, but definitely intend to try) SLI OR CROSSFIRE: None for now; may do later

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200 (Dell 24 inch)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
1. I think the components I've picked should all work with each other, but if anyone notes any compatibility-type issues, I'ld appreciate a heads up.

2. Several of the components are available as combo deals at Newegg, and the total price for the system including shipping came out to $1744, which is within my budget.

3. Please let me know if anything seems to be utter overkill for my purpose; I suppose it would ultimately only matter if the downgrade for such components saves a fair bit of cash.

4. I understand that "bare drives" come with no cables etc. Will I get enough cables with the case, or should I be ordering these as well?

5. XFX good enough as a manufacturer, or should I be looking at a different one? (Picked this due to the warranty and combo deal with the memory)

Thanks for your help!

Components:
COOLER MASTER ATCS 840 RC-840-KKN1-GP Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8T-6GBRM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX HD-587X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5870 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

More about : planning build thoughts

May 23, 2010 2:21:13 AM

I'd get a smaller cooler, your current choice is very expensive, and very large.
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus is a good alternative, it is much smaller, and much cheaper.
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May 23, 2010 8:09:05 PM

Thanks for replying, dfield. The cost of the Noctua cooler still keeps me within my budget, which is fairly loose to begin with. From all I've read, the NH-D14 appears to be the best air cooling solution out there at the moment. I agree that the size is huge, but the case I'm considering appears to have more than enough room to accommodate it. Even the memory I'm considering is compatible (size wise) with the cooler.

Anyone else with thoughts, advice, comments, disbeliefs? :) 
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May 23, 2010 8:22:27 PM

I would get an i7 860 instead of the Bloomfield and overclock it. You can get a lot out of the 860 and you won't need 3x RAM. Since the 860 is a 1156 setup, I would buy a ASUS P7P55 WS MOBO.
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May 23, 2010 8:24:16 PM

ashergill said:
4. I understand that "bare drives" come with no cables etc. Will I get enough cables with the case, or should I be ordering these as well?

5. XFX good enough as a manufacturer, or should I be looking at a different one? (Picked this due to the warranty and combo deal with the memory)
4. SATA cables will come with the motherboard, usually at least two, sometimes more. 5. Yea XFX is quite a good manufacturer.
The 750W PSU will be fine for two 5870s btw.
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May 23, 2010 9:36:23 PM

Take a look at my build - total comes to ~$1300 (I have a monitor too that I haven't included)


LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM $19.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply $139.99

Logitech Deluxe 250 Black USB Wired Standard Keyboard - OEM $19.99

G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI $174.99

ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $229.99

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM $99.99

COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case AND
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive COMBO $119

I7 930 from microcenter, $200

Cooler Master RR-B10-212P-G1 Hyper 212 Plus 775/1156/1366/AMD/AM2/AM3 Universal Direct Contact Heat-Pipe 120mm Fan CPU Cooler $20 from Microcenter

Graphics card - Sapphire 5850 $314

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May 25, 2010 12:52:01 AM

nexuss said:
I would get an i7 860 instead of the Bloomfield and overclock it. You can get a lot out of the 860 and you won't need 3x RAM. Since the 860 is a 1156 setup, I would buy a ASUS P7P55 WS MOBO.


Thanks, Nexuss. But, with what you are suggesting, the only place I'll possibly save money is the RAM; the MoBo and CPU will end up costing about the same. I'm not sure that a small amount of money saved on the RAM is worthwhile downgrading the CPU, unless I'm missing something here.
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May 25, 2010 12:57:58 AM

Somebody_007 said:
The original build is very good nothing really needs changing. I do have some comments though.

You could bump up your ram to this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

this could also save you some money and keep performance pretty similar http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... as the 470 exels at low res on high settings.


Any particular reason you'ld suggest that RAM, somebody_00? It has higher speed, but also higher latency from what I've picked. Is that a better fit? I'm not well-versed in real-life performance of memory, or the effects of latency, speed, timing etc. Perhaps you could explain why this RAM would be better.

As for the GPU, I think I'll stick to ATI as there seems to be a pretty solid consensus after much research that it is generally better. Besides, the difference between the 2 cards seems to be fairly small.

Thanks for replying; I appreciate it.
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May 25, 2010 1:07:51 AM

Yeah, I'm not sure I'd buy the i7-860 over the i7-930. If saving money on the memory was that big of a deal, you could always just go with 2x2GB RAM. Most people do, but you don't have to run an X58 with triple channel memory.

Anyway, the build in the OP is essentially the rig I'm using. Differences: I'm using 2x XFX 5870, have an SSD as the OS drive, and am using the CAS9 non-Ripjaws G.Skills. It was worth every penny, and the XFXs have been great for me.
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May 25, 2010 1:09:06 AM

metaxas said:
Take a look at my build - total comes to ~$1300 (I have a monitor too that I haven't included)


LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM $19.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply $139.99

Logitech Deluxe 250 Black USB Wired Standard Keyboard - OEM $19.99

G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI $174.99

ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $229.99

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM $99.99

COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case AND
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive COMBO $119

I7 930 from microcenter, $200

Cooler Master RR-B10-212P-G1 Hyper 212 Plus 775/1156/1366/AMD/AM2/AM3 Universal Direct Contact Heat-Pipe 120mm Fan CPU Cooler $20 from Microcenter

Graphics card - Sapphire 5850 $314


Pretty similar build, Metaxas. My choice of HSF won't allow tall memory, thus ruling out some of the modules, including the ones you've picked. I also think that price-wise, the upgrade to a 5870 is worthwhile, especially with a combo deal from Newegg. I'm also spending a bit more on the case, as I don't really like the looks of the HAF cases. I know they are quite popular, but I am after a cleaner look. The lack of air filters on the HAF 932 also was a demerit for me.
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May 25, 2010 1:11:04 AM

I would consider the Storm Sniper Black then.
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May 25, 2010 1:19:06 AM

Chuckles_ said:
Yeah, I'm not sure I'd buy the i7-860 over the i7-930. If saving money on the memory was that big of a deal, you could always just go with 2x2GB RAM. Most people do, but you don't have to run an X58 with triple channel memory.

Anyway, the build in the OP is essentially the rig I'm using. Differences: I'm using 2x XFX 5870, have an SSD as the OS drive, and am using the CAS9 non-Ripjaws G.Skills. It was worth every penny, and the XFXs have been great for me.


Thanks for the input, Chuckles_. Did you start off with 2x 5870, or did you add one later? From what I've been able to gather, I think a single 5870 will be quite sufficient for me at this time, but I'm certainly open to adding another card in a few months if I feel otherwise. Glad to know about the XFXs, as it's been tough to narrow down the manufacturer choice.

As for the SSD, I've decided to skip for now. I'm planning on 2x spinpoints in raid 0. I think the SSD will be worthwhile for me in a couple of years...maybe for my next build.

The storm sniper still doesn't have as clean a look as the ATCS 840. The price is also not much lower.

Btw, how big is your PSU? I'm told that 750W will be enough for CF 5870s. Do you think that's true, or should I be spending a bit more on a larger PSU?
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May 25, 2010 1:29:51 AM

Yes, that's what I'm using, the Corsair 750TX. It's fine for me, and I'm OC'd as well. I started with just the 1 5870. Yes, it's plenty. I just happened to run into a good deal for a 2nd, and had some "me" money burning a hole in the pocket.
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May 25, 2010 5:58:27 AM

ashergill said:
Any particular reason you'ld suggest that RAM, somebody_00? It has higher speed, but also higher latency from what I've picked. Is that a better fit? I'm not well-versed in real-life performance of memory, or the effects of latency, speed, timing etc. Perhaps you could explain why this RAM would be better.

As for the GPU, I think I'll stick to ATI as there seems to be a pretty solid consensus after much research that it is generally better. Besides, the difference between the 2 cards seems to be fairly small.

Thanks for replying; I appreciate it.


With either GPU you're doing a good buy the 470 is little more suited for your usages but it's all quite similar. But in that combo I showed the 470 is a FAR better deal than the 5850 unless you can get a very good combo with the 5850.

As for the ram to get an absolute speed number(the higher the better) if I'm correct you need to devide the frequency by the latency.

2000/9= 222

1600/8= 200

so the one I suggested is around 10percent faster its not a lot but its something. You can choose either it doesn't matter that much.
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May 25, 2010 4:54:48 PM

Somebody_007 said:
With either GPU you're doing a good buy the 470 is little more suited for your usages but it's all quite similar. But in that combo I showed the 470 is a FAR better deal than the 5850 unless you can get a very good combo with the 5850.

As for the ram to get an absolute speed number(the higher the better) if I'm correct you need to devide the frequency by the latency.

2000/9= 222

1600/8= 200

so the one I suggested is around 10percent faster its not a lot but its something. You can choose either it doesn't matter that much.


Thanks for explaining about the memory, 007. I'll consider the ones you recommended. As for the GPU, I'm after a 5870, not 5850; I believe the 470 will perform better than the 5850, but not the 5870.

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May 25, 2010 6:36:05 PM

true the 5870 is better than the 470gtx. The 480gtx is far better still but it doesn't justify the price or the heat.
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