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Back into the fold - New build advice

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June 7, 2010 4:44:39 PM

Hi all,

Now that my trusty D3ll XPS P1000 (yup, you read that right) has given up the ghost, i've been given an opportunity to put together a new rig, something that i've had earmarked for quite a while!

Admittedly, i've been out of the loop for a number of years and it's pretty impressive how the tech has moved along since i picked up my old 1Ghz box back in '98. Nonetheless, i've had some fun putting together a system that i think will last me for a while yet.

I must point out that i will not be using the box for any specialised purposes but i will be doing a bit of everything with it. DTP, Photoshop, VMware, gaming, overnight number crunching and the usual AV entertainment.

I'd be grateful for some feedback on what i've assembled so far: -


NZXT Hush Black Silent Case - No PSU
Intel Core i7 860 2.8GHz Socket LGA 1156 8MB L3 Cache OEM Processor
2 x Western Digital 1TB Hard Drive SATAIII 7200rpm 64MB Cache - OEM Caviar Black
LG BH10LS30.AUAU 10x BD-RE with DVD±RW DL & RAM with Lightscribe SATA - OEM Black
Iiyama B2712HDS 27" LCD Monitor 16:9 1920x1080 Resolution 400cd/m2 Brightness 1000:1 Contrast Ratio 50000:1 DCR VGA DVI-D HDCP HDMI Tilt Swivel 85mm Height Adjustable Stand 2x1.5W Speakers VESA 100mm 3 Years Advance Exchange Warranty - Black
Arctic Power 700W PSU - With PCI-E, 4x SATA, 20+4, ATX12V, 8pin +12V Connectors - Retail Boxed
NZXT Sentry 2 Touch Screen
ASUS P7H57D-V EVO H57 Socket 1156 DBI VGA HDMI Out 8 CHannel Audio ATX Motherboard
Corsair CWCH50-1 Cooling Hydro Series H50 High-performance CPU Cooler supports LGA1156 LGA775 LGA1366 AM2 and AM3 processors
Corsair 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz XMS3 Dominator Memory CL8(8-8-8--24) for i7 Motherboards
Sapphire HD 5870 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDMI Display Port PCI-E Graphics Card


There are a few areas i need to do a little more work in (LCD, PSU additional cooling) but am going all out in some areas. My biggest concern is whether i go for a single ATI 5870 or a crossfire 5770. Price wise they are about the same but one is more future proof etc. I'm sure you all know the rest ;) 

So, am i on the right tracks?

Cheers
Pops

More about : back fold build advice

June 7, 2010 5:43:40 PM

There are a few things in your build that made me scratch my head. The first thing that jumps out is the cheap power supply. A quality PSU is the key to a stable system. You should get a quality unit from a known good manufacturer like Corsair, Seasonic, Antec, Enermax, or PC Power & Cooling.

The second thing that stands out is the H57 chipset motherboard. The i7 860 doesn't have an integrated GPU, so the video outputs on the H57 motherboard won't do you any good. I would get a nice P55 chipset motherboard. Something like the ASUS P7P55D PRO would be a good option.

Your CPU doesn't support triple-channel RAM. You should get dual-channel RAM for this system. Your best options would be either 4GB or 8GB, assuming you will use a 64-bit OS so you can use 4GB and more of RAM.

I would use a single 5870. Going with Crossfire right off the bat doesn't make much sense since it eliminates your upgrade path. A Crossfire setup also will use more power, run hotter, and be louder.

Are you building this system yourself? It would help us if you would fill out all the information in the "How to ask for new build advice" sticky at the top of the forum.
June 8, 2010 2:15:52 PM

SS_mt

Thanks for your reply. The predefined format as per the sticky seemed a little too clinical and wanted to keep it low-key. Nonetheless, i've copied the spec and amended now that i've had some more time on those items i wasn't so sure about initially -


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:
Asap

BUDGET RANGE:
Circa £1,600

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
DTP, Photoshop, VMware, gaming, overnight number crunching and the usual AV entertainment all in no particular order

PARTS NOT REQUIRED:
KB & mouse, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:
TBH, all the usual enthusiast sites

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
UK

PARTS PREFERENCES:
Only that it being an Intel CPU (not snobbery just lazy!)

OVERCLOCKING:
Yeah, why not if just a little ;) 

MONITOR RESOLUTION:
Any high res but have spec'd for 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
A fairly quiet runner and no glitzy case


BTW, thanks for your input on the original spec. Yes, there were a few holes that needed patching up: -

  • I've had a look at the PSU in more detail now and feel that with a mid-tower case, a modular unit would be best. The corsair unit seems to be rock solid and a good performer.
  • Cheers for the head's up on the chipset variant. I thought i read that the H57 was slightly superior to the P55 notwithstanding the video circuitry, but i'm comfortable with your recommendation
  • Thanks for the spot on the Ram. Incidentally, this was a last minute pick when i ditched a previous 4GB config but forgot about the pairing. Hopefully the revised choice is ideal.
  • I've heard lots about the Dell 24" (the usual good and bad, so reckon it's worth a punt) and consider that since i will be spending quite a bit of time on this set up, i should get the best affordable possible.

    Here's the revised spec: -

    NZXT Hush Black Silent Case - No PSU
    NZXT Sentry 2 Touch Screen
    Intel Core i7 860 2.8GHz Socket LGA 1156 8MB L3 Cache OEM Processor
    Western Digital 1TB Hard Drive SATAIII 7200rpm 64MB Cache - OEM Caviar Black
    LG BH10LS30.AUAU 10x BD-RE with DVD±RW DL & RAM with Lightscribe SATA - OEM Black
    Corsair CWCH50-1 Cooling Hydro Series H50 High-performance CPU Cooler supports LGA1156 LGA775 LGA1366 AM2 and AM3 processors
    Sapphire HD 5870 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDMI Display Port PCI-E Graphics Card
    Corsair 750W HX Modular PSU
    ASUS P7P55D-E PRO iP55 Socket 1156 8 Channel Audio USB3 ATX Motherboard
    Corsair 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz Dominator GT DHX Memory Kit CL7(7-7-7-20)
    Dell U2410 UltraSharp 24" Widescreen Flat Panel with PremierColor 1920x1200 80,000:1 (Dynamic) 6ms DVI-D/HDMI/Display Port (IPS Panel) - Black


    I could live with this set up :)  but am conscious that i'm knocking close to £1,800 ($2,600?). I could possibly swallow this but am wondering if there is anything i could scale back. Clearly the GPU & LCD form a large percentage of the cost but am keen to have a system that will keep above the water line for a little while yet (say 3 years?).

    Cheers
    Pops
    Related resources
    June 8, 2010 2:55:58 PM

    The build looks good! There are a few places you could save a bit if you need to. I haven't checked prices or availability in the UK, so I'll leave that research up to you.

    In the US the Samsung F3 1TB drive is cheaper than the WD Caviar Black. The Samsung F3 is also faster due to higher platter density. The WD drive uses three 333GB platters while the Samsung drive uses two 500GB platters.

    The liquid cooling really isn't required for your system. A nice air cooler like the Cooler Master Hyper 212+ would work fine to save some money.

    I don't know if G.Skill RAM is available to you, but they generally offer RAM with the same or better specs than Corsair for considerably less money. I've used G.Skill RAM in many builds and have yet to be disappointed.
    June 8, 2010 2:58:22 PM

    First thing I would drop back is the i7 860 to an i5 750, here in the Uk that is a big price difference:
    i5 750 - £156.97
    i7 860 - £219.26

    (using www.scan.co.uk for prices because I like them and find it easy to find stuff)

    You do a bit of everything but do not use it heavily for specific things so I see no reason for the i7 860.
    For gaming the i5 750 is best and I get the feeling that will be what stresses your computer most for periods of time

    I would change the HDD to the Samsung spinpoint F3 - 500gb or 1TB, your choice. I personally have never used even 500gb in my computer but then I only game. This is simply because it is an excellent HDD.

    The Watercooling is uneccessary especiallyif you are not planning to do any big OCing, a Hyper 212+ would do, hell even an Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro v2 (£15) would be sufficient if doing no major OCing

    To be honest, as you are not a hardcore user of your PC I would give the Dell monitor a miss. It is nice with all the bells and whistles, but a good HD resolutioned monitor is all you truly need. I spend alot of time in front of my computer and a 24 inch monitor with HD reso and a fast response time is what really matters to me.

    You can get a nice 24 inch HD monitor from between £160-£200 easily enough.

    The RAM is nice but you could save almost £50 going for G Skill 1600mhz Ripjaw 7-8-7-24 for £102

    Your build is a nice one, aside from changing the HDD to Samsung Spinpoint, there is nothing that NEEDS changing, all the suggestions I have given are things I would suggest to cut costs without losing any real performance.

    With the changes I suggest your computer will still last the 3 years
    June 8, 2010 3:08:12 PM

    Dominators are overpriced, unless perhaps you want to OC your RAM alot. See how these compare: G.Skill 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz/PC3-12800 Ripjaw Memory Kit CL7(7-8-7-24) 1.65V £105.

    The Antec Truepower New TP750 is probably going to be the cheapest good, modular 750W PSU available.

    IMO the WD Sata 6Gbps drive isn't worth the extra cost over either the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB or the Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB, at least not because of performance differences, the WD maybe faster, but I doubt it is fast enough to justify being more expensive. The new FAEX WD 1TB uses 500GB platters btw short.

    If you aren't going to be overclocking a lot then maybe the Corsair H50 isn't the wisest choice?

    I'm wondering if I you linked to the 5870 you're thinking of atm, if I would be able to find a cheaper one.
    June 8, 2010 3:34:31 PM

    Some cracking advice, thanks chaps! I'll look into this when i get home tonight and crunch the numbers.

    How much should i factor in for the usual extra gubbins like paste, cables, brackets etc?

    Cheers
    Pops
    June 8, 2010 3:39:45 PM

    The system should come with everything you need. Most aftermarket CPU coolers come with thermal paste, the motherboard comes with SATA and IDE cables, and the case comes with motherboard standoffs and screws.
    !