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First time build gaming pc - can't wait!

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May 30, 2010 7:32:12 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: June, approximately 1,000.00

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, internet

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor, windows 7-64 bit

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.ca (canada)

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel Core i7-920, 5870 GPU, 4G Ram

OVERCLOCKING: Yes SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: My games of interest are Mass Effect 1, 2, Dragon Age Origins, Starcraft 2.

I would like to be able to play these at 1920x1080 resolution with highest of details. My monitor is a Dell UltraSharp U2311H 23".

The case needs to be able to fit 2 5870's because eventually I will SLI them. I prefer cases without windows but good airflow, such as the Antec 300.

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ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard

XFX HD-587X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5870 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner LightScribe Support - OEM

More about : time build gaming wait

May 30, 2010 7:42:37 PM

You need 6gb of ram 3x2gb or 3x1gb because the i7 920 uses triple channel.
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May 30, 2010 7:43:36 PM

Noted. How about the PSU? what are the requirements in order to OC the CPU and SLI two 5870's?
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May 30, 2010 9:27:59 PM

A 750W PSU would be correct for a 2x 5870 Crossfire setup.
You'll want a CPU cooler if you're thinking about overclocking.
Look over the choices on the FrostyTech Top 5 chart
(yes, i know the list has 10 cooler and they're all fine choices).
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May 31, 2010 1:57:39 AM

Here is the revise list of components. The ram has been modified and is now triple channel 6G 3x2 to fit with the mobo. The HDD has also been swapped.

It looks like I'm nearing the final list of parts. Take a look to see if everything looks in check, if everything fits.

Remember, later I would love to experiment with OC the CPU and going 2x 5870's so when it comes time to nail down a case this has to be kept in mind. Here is the list of parts:

ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard

XFX HD-587X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5870 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor

G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner LightScribe Support - OEM

As for cases, here is what I have in mind. I prefer simple under the radar cases. Like this one:

LIAN LI K60B Black CECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
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May 31, 2010 2:06:25 AM

Lets swap out that i7 920 for the i7 930. Same price, higher speed (920=2.66Ghz vs 930=2.8Ghz).
Don't know how I missed that before.

K60 Dragon Lord case is a good choice.
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May 31, 2010 2:07:26 AM

I still don't see a CPU cooler in your list yet.
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May 31, 2010 2:09:16 AM

I read up about the 930 and heard a bunch of overclocking complications. When I decide to OC mine it will be my first and I may not know how to overcome those issues which is why I thought 920 would be better for someone with my experience.

I'll keep reading on the 930 to see if there are easy to follow guides to OCing it.

Aside the CPU, how does it look now? It's a bit pricier than I thought but I am getting the OS as well as top notch components so I can't complain.
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May 31, 2010 2:24:04 AM

Here is the latest guidance on the 920/930 choice that I know about: BitTech: Intel Core i7-920 versus i7-930 (19 May 2010
As always, there is the 'luck of the draw' as to which batch they pull your CPU from - some batchs are 'stars' when it comes to overclocking, others are just average.

You'd be hard pressed to improve your list without also pushing up the cost to get a 'next level' part.
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May 31, 2010 12:38:04 PM

Sounds good man, anything else we might have overlooked?
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May 31, 2010 2:48:49 PM

Did you find anything more on your 920/930 question?

Unless you're having sticker shock I think you're good to go.
Where you at on the total cost at this point?


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May 31, 2010 8:33:16 PM

Right now it`s sitting at $1,550.90.

Just a quick Q, how can you tell whether the heat sink is correct?

I`m waiting for my pay to come in and if you say this thing is good to go looks like a new beast is about to be born.

Care to share your thoughts on how to wisely keep this thing up to date as time goes on? I think OCing the CPU and adding a second 5870 is a good idea but I`d like to hear from someone who has more experience.
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May 31, 2010 8:42:54 PM

Not to say there aren't *any*, but I have trouble believing there's been many problems OCing the 930. The 930 and the 920 D0 are both amazing OCers. The 930 is favored online only because its hard to ensure that you're getting a 920 D0. The 920 is better if you're buying it in store, and plan to OC.
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May 31, 2010 8:52:31 PM

Well, a 920 D0 reaches a stable ~4.0+GHz OC pretty easy in my experience, so I don't see where the room is for the 930 to edge it out. Now some of the 920 C0s did have trouble reaching 4.0.
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May 31, 2010 8:53:40 PM

What is a 920 D0 and 920 C0?
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May 31, 2010 8:54:52 PM

C0 stepping was the first batch of i7-920s. D0 stepping was the revised batch.
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May 31, 2010 8:55:50 PM

I see. So ordering online has a chance the 920 will be C0 instead?
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May 31, 2010 8:59:20 PM

Yeah, personally I wouldn't risk it. I would just spend the extra dough for the 930, and peace of mind.
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May 31, 2010 9:13:04 PM

I`ll take both WR2 and your advice on the matter, 930 it is.
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Best solution

May 31, 2010 10:00:11 PM

vizering said:
Just a quick Q, how can you tell whether the heat sink is correct?
You want to make sure it's correct for your motherboard socket - socket 1366 in this case.
Make sure it will fit in your case - you can review comments by other owners. Found an owner with a CM V8 cooler (158mm high) who is happy with the case. TT 120 Extreme is 155mm high.
And you check for possible clearance issues around the socket area - the most common issue being RAM with tall heatsinks not an issue with your RAM or motherboard.
It's not like the TT 120 Extreme is the only good choice. There are other coolers that are almost as good and cost less.
Like a lot of enthusiast parts you can sometimes get 95% of the performance while spending 1/3 less.
ASRock X58 Extreme vs ASRock X58 Deluxe3 would be an example. In heatsinks you could get a CM Hyper 212+ for about half the price and get 90~95% of the cooling performance as the TT 120 Extreme.

I think the 920/930 question is more about wringing out the last 10% of a top overclock; not about the general worthiness of the CPUs themselves. At that level we're talking more about bragging rights than improving performance IMO.

Keeping it up to date is more of a personal issue than a technical issue. Some people think adding a 2nd video card ~18 months down the line is a good way to keep system near the top end of gaming performance. Others say its best to just by a new video card that's 1 or 2 generations ahead. It's all about your personal style of gaming and your satisfaction with your systems performance. You find a lot of people in here have four and five year old systems that they're just now getting around to replacing. I don't see much chance there will be a CPU worthy of upgrading in a socket 1366.
The one thing I think might happen down the road is a new game that makes a triple monitor set-up a 'must have'.
And you're already well positioned for that with your parts list.

I'm more of a casual gamer and I think I would have stuck closer to your $1000 budget going with an i5 750 / P55 MB and HD 5850. But then I'm buying a PC or laptop every year to replace the 4 or 5 we usually have around the house.
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May 31, 2010 10:11:53 PM

Well, take a look at this StarCraft 2 benchmark.

Playing this game flawlessly is a greater priority to me than trying to future proof the system. I`m not sure which benchmark article it was but it appears SC2 is CPu dependent and not GPU. So by this I assume they simply mean CPU clock speed and not the number of cores and I`m doubtful HT tech will do anything to improve the performance while playing SC2.

If this is the case, I believe a i5 or overclocked i5 will be more than enough since it has the same cpu clock speed as the i7. Correct me if I am wrong.

As for the GPU I chose the 5870 because the benchmark tests use that but now that I look closer it seems the FPS improvement is almost non-existant.

The resolution of my monitor is 1920x1080 and lookint at the 1920x1200 benchmark even a 5770 will perform well.

I could very well throw that $500.00 aside and get a super GPU in a year or two and that might blow away this setup.

I`m going to revise your recommendations on the other thread of mine and come up with an i5 build using best bang for buck and see what kind of improvements can be done.
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May 31, 2010 10:57:58 PM

Don't look at it as throwing $500 aside. Look at it as an extra long summer weekend escape into the country.
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June 1, 2010 1:38:23 PM

Best answer selected by vizering.
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