Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

A Newb's First Build -- Experts: Can You Review It??

Last response: in Systems
Share
June 18, 2010 6:43:29 PM

Hello All,

I've lurked for a while and have already learned a lot by reading threads and stickies already provided. Anyway, I'm working on my very first build and would like some feedback. For example, am I getting the best parts for my money? Are they compatible with each other? Am I a total moron?

I will use the template provided.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: As Soon As Possible

BUDGET RANGE: $1,500-1,700, Before Rebates, and NOT COUNTING Monitor/Keyboard/Mouse/Standard peripherals

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
1) Heavily using Photoshop/Lightroom/Photomatix to process and render HDR images and other Raw Camera files. Lots of filters and working with images at full resolution.
2) Heavy standard use: Office, Web, organizing/listening to music.
3) Occasional video editing (trying to learn Adobe Premier).
4) I also would like the ability to record and edit high-quality audio, sort of like a mini recording studio.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, printer

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, Amazon.com, any other reputable and affordable sellers

PARTS PREFERENCES: I would prefer an Intel CPU. Other than that, I am not married to any of the components listed below.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe after I learn more, but not now.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Again, maybe in the future, but not now.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Do not know.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I plan to use a smaller HDTV as my monitor, in the 24-32 in. range. So, I'd like the ability to watch TV on the computer as well. I would like the machine to be used also as an all-in-one media center, to watch HDTV, DVDs, etc.


Here is my actual planned build:

Intel Core i7-960 Bloomfield 3.2GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Model BX80601960
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...

CORSAIR XMS3 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model HX3X12G1600C9 G
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...

SAPPHIRE 100296HDMI Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD10EALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
(Planned storage drive)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital VelociRaptor WD1500HLFS 150GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
(Planned OS/Programs drive)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Creative 70SB073A00000 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Pioneer Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 40X CD-R 32X CD-RW 2MB Cache IDE CD/DVD Burner LabelFlash Support - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

NO CASE PICKED OUT YET!

Concerns:
I have several things I wanted to ask the community.

1) Can I do the RAM as I have planned above? The mobo I picked out has 6 memory slots, but it also has triple channel support. This was the most confusing thing to me. Can I do the 6 sticks as planned, or can I only do 3 sticks?

2) Is the Creative sound card overkill? I've always used an Audigy card in previous systems and have never had complaints. Is onboard audio nowadays good enough to not use a sound card?

3) Is the VelociRaptor a good-enough boot drive, or should I splurge and get an SSD?

4) Is the PSU too strong? I tried using an online power supply calculator and it seems it may be too high wattage.

5) It seems the video card is the weakest component. Do I need a better one if I POSSIBLY want to watch HD television on the computer, or edit HD video. Again, I plan to use an HDTV as a monitor, 24-32 in. in size, or a dedicated monitor if that's a better plan.


Thank you all very much, I apologize for the length of this post. But I'm a newbie needing some help from all you experts. Any help or advice is greatly appreciated!
June 18, 2010 6:52:50 PM

1. 12GB will run in triple channel configuration. It is good you have chosen 12GB too since those programs/uses will eat that up.

2. I am not that up to date on the sound card market as people don't really use them much these days. I know the Asus Xonar were regarded pretty highly, but I am sure the Creative one is fine. Onboard audio is great, and I would advise sticking with it, though if you have some hi-fidelity speakers, then go for a nice sound card (audiophiles can tell a difference)

3. For your uses, a SSD would be fantastic. If you have the budget, the new Crucial C300 is SATAIII and blazing. Another good choice is the Intel X25-M 80GB. Use this for your main programs and OS. For the storage drive, go with the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB. Its faster and quieter, and probably the best in class right now.

4. Yea its on the high side for what you are doing. I would also suggest going modular, since it helps with clutter. You could look into the 650TX, or the modular version, the 650HX.

5. For just watching HD content, pretty much anything will suffice. I would however suggest a 5XXX series card for DirectX 11. The HD5670 would be a good choice. Also it lets you use eye-finity should you want to add more monitors.

m
0
l
June 18, 2010 6:57:56 PM

I would swap your drives for the Samsung F3 1TB, its the same price as the caviar blue and has a better sequential transfer rate than the VRaptor. It is one of the fastest HDDs available. If you have the funds i would swap the VRaptor for an SSD, it will be significantly quicker.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would swap the i7 960 for the i7 930, and use some of the saved funds on a good cooler, like the Prolimatech Megahalem, it will keep you nice and cool and let you OC over the stock speed of the 960, it will also save you quite a bit.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Your question about the ram, it is setup to handle two sticks per channel, so triple channel works with 3 or 6 sticks of ram so your choice will work fine. If you want to do audio work you will probably end up needing a better sound card than that, the
one you have picked out wont be much better than the onboard audio.

The components you have picked certainly dont need a 750W PSU, you can save a bit and go with a smaller, high quality unit.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I suggest looking at the programs you use and see what they recommend using as a graphics card, some programs have hardware acceleration with certain cards it all depends on which program you use. If the ones you use dont have any recommendations then your 4670 will be more than enough, it can handle HDTV easily.
m
0
l
Related resources
June 18, 2010 6:58:21 PM

Transmaniacon said:
1. 12GB will run in triple channel configuration. It is good you have chosen 12GB too since those programs/uses will eat that up.

2. I am not that up to date on the sound card market as people don't really use them much these days. I know the Asus Xonar were regarded pretty highly, but I am sure the Creative one is fine. Onboard audio is great, and I would advise sticking with it, though if you have some hi-fidelity speakers, then go for a nice sound card (audiophiles can tell a difference)

3. For your uses, a SSD would be fantastic. If you have the budget, the new Crucial C300 is SATAIII and blazing. Another good choice is the Intel X25-M 80GB. Use this for your main programs and OS. For the storage drive, go with the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB. Its faster and quieter, and probably the best in class right now.

4. Yea its on the high side for what you are doing. I would also suggest going modular, since it helps with clutter. You could look into the 650TX, or the modular version, the 650HX.

5. For just watching HD content, pretty much anything will suffice. I would however suggest a 5XXX series card for DirectX 11. The HD5670 would be a good choice. Also it lets you use eye-finity should you want to add more monitors.


Thank you for the quick response! I'm still confused about the RAM issue, however. The way I have it set up, using 6 sticks ... would that be triple channel? In other words, do I have it right, or am I doing it wrong? If it's wrong, how should I do it?

m
0
l
June 18, 2010 7:04:58 PM

hunter315 said:
I would swap your drives for the Samsung F3 1TB, its the same price as the caviar blue and has a better sequential transfer rate than the VRaptor. It is one of the fastest HDDs available. If you have the funds i would swap the VRaptor for an SSD, it will be significantly quicker.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would swap the i7 960 for the i7 930, and use some of the saved funds on a good cooler, like the Prolimatech Megahalem, it will keep you nice and cool and let you OC over the stock speed of the 960, it will also save you quite a bit.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Your question about the ram, it is setup to handle two sticks per channel, so triple channel works with 3 or 6 sticks of ram so your choice will work fine. If you want to do audio work you will probably end up needing a better sound card than that, the
one you have picked out wont be much better than the onboard audio.

The components you have picked certainly dont need a 750W PSU, you can save a bit and go with a smaller, high quality unit.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I suggest looking at the programs you use and see what they recommend using as a graphics card, some programs have hardware acceleration with certain cards it all depends on which program you use. If the ones you use dont have any recommendations then your 4670 will be more than enough, it can handle HDTV easily.


Thanks hunter for your tips, very informative. Now, as far as overclocking, I know nothing about how to do it. I've heard there are risks associated with doing it? Or, is it safe to do if done properly and you have enough fans/cooling units? Does it shorten the life of your components? I wasn't planning on doing any overclocking, but if that's a better option than using the 960 stock, I will consider it.
m
0
l
June 18, 2010 7:14:51 PM

As long as you go slowly and dont boost the voltage too much the risks are minimal and it wont affect the lifespan too much, you will be upgrading the system long before the OCing has damaged the CPU. The 975, 960, and 930 are all the same piece of silicon, so the speed increase wont hurt it at all.

Considering that OCing is free(aside from the price of the cooler) and the 960 is so much more, OCing is one of the best ways to increase the performance/dollar of your system.
m
0
l
June 18, 2010 7:56:51 PM

hunter315 said:
As long as you go slowly and dont boost the voltage too much the risks are minimal and it wont affect the lifespan too much, you will be upgrading the system long before the OCing has damaged the CPU. The 975, 960, and 930 are all the same piece of silicon, so the speed increase wont hurt it at all.

Considering that OCing is free(aside from the price of the cooler) and the 960 is so much more, OCing is one of the best ways to increase the performance/dollar of your system.


It's an intriguing proposition, but considering I know absolutely nothing about overclocking, or how to do it safely, I'd prefer to avoid doing it, at least right now.

Now, if we compared the stock i7 930 to the stock i7 960, is the 960's performance that much better? Or is it a better idea to go with the stock 930 and upgrade other components, like the video/sound cards?

Again, I'm not dead against OC'ing ... I'm just weary of doing it because I know nothing about it, and don't want a $1,500 paperweight if I screw something up. I feel safer sticking with stock equipment.
m
0
l
June 18, 2010 9:08:23 PM

Check out the charts for photoshop CS4 and premier, compare the 920 and the 965 they are the two closest to your picks
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-desktop-cpu-cha...
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-desktop-cpu-cha...
Its not too much of a difference, and i certainly wouldnt pay twice as much for less than a 20% increase in CPU performance, but its up to you.

I would still recommend getting an aftermarket heatsink, partly because stock heatsinks dont perform nearly as well, and because most aftermarket heatsinks have far easier mounting methods than the stock ones, and it gives you the option to try OCing at least a little, there are lots of guides out there.
m
0
l
June 18, 2010 9:50:59 PM

jchindamo said:
It's an intriguing proposition, but considering I know absolutely nothing about overclocking, or how to do it safely, I'd prefer to avoid doing it, at least right now.

Now, if we compared the stock i7 930 to the stock i7 960, is the 960's performance that much better? Or is it a better idea to go with the stock 930 and upgrade other components, like the video/sound cards?

Again, I'm not dead against OC'ing ... I'm just weary of doing it because I know nothing about it, and don't want a $1,500 paperweight if I screw something up. I feel safer sticking with stock equipment.



You should go with the i7-930 and overclock it. When done properly (and at safe levels), overclocking is not harmful to the chip at all (it will theoretically degrade the life of the chip a little bit quicker, but we're talking after tens of years here).

The i7-930 and 960 are the same exact chip. The only difference is that the 960 is overclocked by the factory, and therefore has a waranty at that level. They literally make thousands of the same chips and then test them with an algorithm- depending on the scores, the factory will designate their "name"/"Number" and clock them from there. Because of this, you can theoretically get higher overclocks out of the higher grade chips, but not by much. For your purposes, you should be able to easily and safely overclock an i7-930 to at least 3.5, with pretty much any properly fit aftermarket cooler.



For your price range, I would go with an SSD as a boot drive at most- the price/GB is simply too expensive right now to be totally worthwhile. With the rate that SSDs are advancing, even within a few month time frame, you're better off investing in other hardware now, then SSDs in the (near) future.


If you install that 12gb kit, it will run fine. Theoretically, you're running to sets of triple channel ram (two "tiers", effectively). Each tier has it's own triple channel setup, and will be excellent for your intended uses.


You don't need a massive amount of wattage out of your PSU- be sure to choose a PSU that is rated well though- don't skimp out on the most important part of your system :) 

There are tons of guides on Tom's forum and a few other overclocking sites that have walkthroughs on how to overclock/assemble/etc, or you could always ask here again how to do it with the 930 and i'd gladly help out :) 
m
0
l
June 18, 2010 10:41:29 PM

Omniblivion said:
You should go with the i7-930 and overclock it. When done properly (and at safe levels), overclocking is not harmful to the chip at all (it will theoretically degrade the life of the chip a little bit quicker, but we're talking after tens of years here).

The i7-930 and 960 are the same exact chip. The only difference is that the 960 is overclocked by the factory, and therefore has a waranty at that level. They literally make thousands of the same chips and then test them with an algorithm- depending on the scores, the factory will designate their "name"/"Number" and clock them from there. Because of this, you can theoretically get higher overclocks out of the higher grade chips, but not by much. For your purposes, you should be able to easily and safely overclock an i7-930 to at least 3.5, with pretty much any properly fit aftermarket cooler.



For your price range, I would go with an SSD as a boot drive at most- the price/GB is simply too expensive right now to be totally worthwhile. With the rate that SSDs are advancing, even within a few month time frame, you're better off investing in other hardware now, then SSDs in the (near) future.


If you install that 12gb kit, it will run fine. Theoretically, you're running to sets of triple channel ram (two "tiers", effectively). Each tier has it's own triple channel setup, and will be excellent for your intended uses.


You don't need a massive amount of wattage out of your PSU- be sure to choose a PSU that is rated well though- don't skimp out on the most important part of your system :) 

There are tons of guides on Tom's forum and a few other overclocking sites that have walkthroughs on how to overclock/assemble/etc, or you could always ask here again how to do it with the 930 and i'd gladly help out :) 


Thanks for your reply omni, all you guys have been great!

Regarding your first point. Maybe it's impossible, but ideally, I'd like this system to last for 8-10 years WITHOUT needing any upgrades. My two previous systems -- a factory Gateway and a factory Dell -- are still alive and kicking. The Gateway is 10+ years old and is slow, but can still perform basic functions. The Dell is my current CPU, and with a Pentium 4 at 3 Ghz, it can almost do everything I need. It just starts to slug with large Photoshop renderings.

Long story short, I've never upgraded anything in either of those systems, except for RAM in the Dell.

Can I expect the same life cycle from my built system EVEN IF I overclock the 930? How much of a hit will its life cycle take? I'm not a CPU gamer, so I don't want to have to upgrade anything for many years, unless it breaks or can no longer do what I need to do. That's the only reason I'm building up from the Dell.
m
0
l
June 18, 2010 10:52:37 PM

If you are doing "safe" overclocks of just increasing the base clock (maybe the voltage up a notch or two, or you can leave voltage stock), then there is a very low chance of the life of the chip degrading at all. These chips are rated at 15+ years (not sure of the exact years, you can verify on their site).

If you do an overclock of 15-20%, which should still be a safe overclock, it might take 5-15% of the life of the chip, which is still more than 10 years. Additionally, the powersaving features that are active in these newer chips will aid in the chip life.

You can definitely take an i7-930 and safely overclock it to the 960 levels, and not ever notice a decrease in longetivity. That is, it'll be completely outdated -like your old gateway- before it even becomes close to approaching the end of it's lifetime.
m
0
l
June 19, 2010 12:19:35 AM

Omniblivion said:
If you are doing "safe" overclocks of just increasing the base clock (maybe the voltage up a notch or two, or you can leave voltage stock), then there is a very low chance of the life of the chip degrading at all. These chips are rated at 15+ years (not sure of the exact years, you can verify on their site).

If you do an overclock of 15-20%, which should still be a safe overclock, it might take 5-15% of the life of the chip, which is still more than 10 years. Additionally, the powersaving features that are active in these newer chips will aid in the chip life.

You can definitely take an i7-930 and safely overclock it to the 960 levels, and not ever notice a decrease in longetivity. That is, it'll be completely outdated -like your old gateway- before it even becomes close to approaching the end of it's lifetime.


OK, good to know. I think you are convincing me to go the 930 overclock route. I can use the money saved to probably go towards other components.

So to do the 930 overclock, I'd just need an additional heatsink and cooling unit, correct? I saw hunter315 above suggested the "Prolimatech Megahalems." Is that unit pretty much the way to go, or are there any other options? Would I need to modify my motherboard selection (or any other components) to accommodate the 930 and an additional cooler, or is the one I selected good to go?

I'd love your continued feedback on this, because you've helped me out greatly already. Thanks a lot!
m
0
l
June 20, 2010 9:15:37 AM

Hi guys,

Thanks again for all your help. I've since modified my build slightly and now I feel ready to buy all my parts from both Newegg and Amazon. Let me know what you guys think, because you've already given me excellent advice (which I've followed!). I've included all Newegg links for reference, but I noted when I plan to purchase from Amazon.

-------------------

Case: Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Processor: Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Model BX80601930
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: 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...

RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model HX3X12G1600C9 G
[Buy from Amazon]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 600 RS-600-AMBA-D3 600W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Storage Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD7501AALS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Boot Drive: Western Digital 64 GB SiliconEdge Blue SATA Solid State Drive SSC-D0064SC-2100
[Buy From Amazon]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 120mm CPU Cooler
[Buy from Amazon]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card: ZOTAC ZT-20109-10P GeForce GTS 250 1GB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sound Card: PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion Series
[Buy from Amazon]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD-Burner: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-----------------

Somehow, by shopping on both Newegg and Amazon for the best prices, this build comes out to around $1,620, including shipping and after rebates, mail-in rebates, etc. Seems like a steal to me.

Do you see any glaring weaknesses or anything that looks out of place? I've done a considerable amount of research in the past few days about compatibility and fitting all the parts on the motherboard, but it's tough to know for sure.

And yes, I now plan to overclock, probably slightly. Omniblivion, I'm counting on your help for that, haha.

Thanks again!
m
0
l
June 20, 2010 5:38:09 PM

Any thoughts? I really want to try to buy everything today (June 20), but I don't want to do it without your guys' blessing, since you've helped me so much. Any input would be greatly, greatly appreciated!! Thank you!
m
0
l
June 21, 2010 3:26:48 PM

Hey! Sorry, weekends are rough for me to get online :) 

1) CASE- Why the Antec Case? If it's personal preference, go for it. If you are just looking for a good case, get the HAF 922; almost half the price, pretty much the same size (HAF 922 is a full case even though it says "mid"- look at the specs)

2) MOBO- You can save $30 by switching to the Gigabyte X58A-UD3R; effectively the same board. Gigabyte is top notch quality as well.

3) HDD- Unless you're a fan of WD Black, I would go with either Seagate 7200.12 or Samsung Spinpoint- I believe you can get a combo deal with one of these and the HAF 922 case (and not to mention they perform slightly better than WD Black)

4)HEATSINK- I'd take a look for the Coolermaster Hyper 212 on Amazon- should be around $30, pretty much all you will need for a safe overclock (sub 4.0)

5)SOUND- I'm not too familiar with that sound card, but you may be able to find a similar quality one at a cheaper price. Maybe someone can advise on a good sound card (or perhaps you can buy that at a later time once you've done a bit more research)


Other than that- looks good!
m
0
l
June 21, 2010 6:30:53 PM

Omniblivion said:
Hey! Sorry, weekends are rough for me to get online :) 

1) CASE- Why the Antec Case? If it's personal preference, go for it. If you are just looking for a good case, get the HAF 922; almost half the price, pretty much the same size (HAF 922 is a full case even though it says "mid"- look at the specs)

2) MOBO- You can save $30 by switching to the Gigabyte X58A-UD3R; effectively the same board. Gigabyte is top notch quality as well.

3) HDD- Unless you're a fan of WD Black, I would go with either Seagate 7200.12 or Samsung Spinpoint- I believe you can get a combo deal with one of these and the HAF 922 case (and not to mention they perform slightly better than WD Black)

4)HEATSINK- I'd take a look for the Coolermaster Hyper 212 on Amazon- should be around $30, pretty much all you will need for a safe overclock (sub 4.0)

5)SOUND- I'm not too familiar with that sound card, but you may be able to find a similar quality one at a cheaper price. Maybe someone can advise on a good sound card (or perhaps you can buy that at a later time once you've done a bit more research)


Other than that- looks good!


Thanks for the reply omni!

Ok here was my reasoning regarding your points:

1) Case: I was looking at the 922 but decided on the Antec because online reviews said the 922 was notorious for sucking in dust. Now, I've never seen one in real life, but I'm going off of what other people have said. Also, I was worried about my cooling unit fitting inside it. I figured a huge case would offer more room to work, and better air flow. But, I could be wrong. I don't really like the lattice-looking stuff on top of the Antec, as that's just dust collection, but it seemed like it was better at keeping dust OUT of the inside of the computer. Thoughts?

2) Mobo: If I swapped to this board, I'd have to change my RAM too, since according to the specs, this board does not accommodate 1600 DDR3. And I found a great deal on my 12 gb of RAM, so I'm hesitant to change that.

3) HD: I'd definitely be open to changing HD's if I can get better performance. I'd read good things about the WD Caviar Blacks, but if the Samsung is the way to go, I can change that.

4) Coolers: You'll probably laugh, but I did a day's worth of research on coolers alone. I finally decided on the Noctua after saying no to the Hyper 212 because I didn't like its base -- it's not totally flat and you have the copper pipes running right on it. I read that you can use thermal paste to fill in the gaps, but that a perfectly flat base is better. Is that true, or does it not make a difference?

5) Sound card: I'm doing more research on that as we speak.

Thanks again for all your feedback, you've been priceless through this build so far. My buying deadline got pushed back because I want to make sure I get everything perfect first. More time to modify! I think I'm on draft 13 of this build, haha
m
0
l
June 22, 2010 12:49:33 AM

I can't answer all of your questions but i can give you my two cents on the cooler...

You don't seem like the kinda guy who wants to push his parts that far, so I can't really see you needing to spend all that money on a cooler, it just doesn't seem like it would be worth it to you. What you said about the Hyper 212+ is correct, but for someone who might try and get another .2 - .3ghz out of your system, it just doesn't seem worth it.

It's up to you, and i would get a few more opinions on it, but If it were me, i wouldn't do it.
m
0
l
June 22, 2010 3:58:06 PM

jchindamo said:
Thanks for the reply omni!

Ok here was my reasoning regarding your points:

1) Case: I was looking at the 922 but decided on the Antec because online reviews said the 922 was notorious for sucking in dust. Now, I've never seen one in real life, but I'm going off of what other people have said. Also, I was worried about my cooling unit fitting inside it. I figured a huge case would offer more room to work, and better air flow. But, I could be wrong. I don't really like the lattice-looking stuff on top of the Antec, as that's just dust collection, but it seemed like it was better at keeping dust OUT of the inside of the computer. Thoughts?

2) Mobo: If I swapped to this board, I'd have to change my RAM too, since according to the specs, this board does not accommodate 1600 DDR3. And I found a great deal on my 12 gb of RAM, so I'm hesitant to change that.

3) HD: I'd definitely be open to changing HD's if I can get better performance. I'd read good things about the WD Caviar Blacks, but if the Samsung is the way to go, I can change that.

4) Coolers: You'll probably laugh, but I did a day's worth of research on coolers alone. I finally decided on the Noctua after saying no to the Hyper 212 because I didn't like its base -- it's not totally flat and you have the copper pipes running right on it. I read that you can use thermal paste to fill in the gaps, but that a perfectly flat base is better. Is that true, or does it not make a difference?

5) Sound card: I'm doing more research on that as we speak.

Thanks again for all your feedback, you've been priceless through this build so far. My buying deadline got pushed back because I want to make sure I get everything perfect first. More time to modify! I think I'm on draft 13 of this build, haha



No problem, glad to give my $.02 where I can!

First of all- newegg reviews are questionable at best. Just keep that in mind :) 

1) The HAF922 doesn't have dust filters, so dust will inevitably get inside the computer/on the fans. Simple way to solve this, get an air can! :)  I think I mentioned this before- I have the 922 (for about three weeks now)- no visible dust inside my computer yet; I'll probably air can it for good measure here in another couple months.

The HAF 922 is big enough to fit anything you need in there. It's labelled a "mid" case but is actually the size of a "full" case. If you don't believe me, check the specs on newegg :) 

2) I'm using 1600 DDR3 on my x58a-ud3r. Where do you see that it's not compatible? The UD3R is designed to support the i7/x58 chipset, especially triple channel ddr3. Edit: Be sure to check the manufacturer's website to see if your chosen ram set is compatible with the board.

3) HDDs: At this point, it's almost a matter of personal preference and price. Samsung Spinpoint F3, Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 and WD Caviar Black all perform similarly (some better than others in certain applications). I have te Seagate and I love it; pretty much comes down to which one you personally prefer and how much you want to spend :) 

4) A perfectly flat base is theoretically better (very slightly). The biggest concern is the direct contact of the copper pipes with the cpu, as that is where the majority of the heat transfer will take place. The Hyper212+ in fact does have small gaps on either side of the pipe. Considering you are not going to overclock the CPU over moderate levels, even with those minor gaps it would still perform amazingly. One trick that we use is to actually fill the gaps with thermal paste (use a razor to scrape the excess off to make a flush surface)- then apply thermal paste as normal (very small amounts to have a thin layer across the whole chip. There is a pretty in depth guide on one of the forums here- it's a sticky. Check that out and decide if you want to use it :) 

5) Good luck- let me know what you find :) 
m
0
l
June 22, 2010 4:02:41 PM

(I just realized how many happy faces I used... must be early)
m
0
l
June 22, 2010 6:22:10 PM

Omniblivion said:
No problem, glad to give my $.02 where I can!

First of all- newegg reviews are questionable at best. Just keep that in mind :) 

1) The HAF922 doesn't have dust filters, so dust will inevitably get inside the computer/on the fans. Simple way to solve this, get an air can! :)  I think I mentioned this before- I have the 922 (for about three weeks now)- no visible dust inside my computer yet; I'll probably air can it for good measure here in another couple months.

The HAF 922 is big enough to fit anything you need in there. It's labelled a "mid" case but is actually the size of a "full" case. If you don't believe me, check the specs on newegg :) 

2) I'm using 1600 DDR3 on my x58a-ud3r. Where do you see that it's not compatible? The UD3R is designed to support the i7/x58 chipset, especially triple channel ddr3. Edit: Be sure to check the manufacturer's website to see if your chosen ram set is compatible with the board.

3) HDDs: At this point, it's almost a matter of personal preference and price. Samsung Spinpoint F3, Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 and WD Caviar Black all perform similarly (some better than others in certain applications). I have te Seagate and I love it; pretty much comes down to which one you personally prefer and how much you want to spend :) 

4) A perfectly flat base is theoretically better (very slightly). The biggest concern is the direct contact of the copper pipes with the cpu, as that is where the majority of the heat transfer will take place. The Hyper212+ in fact does have small gaps on either side of the pipe. Considering you are not going to overclock the CPU over moderate levels, even with those minor gaps it would still perform amazingly. One trick that we use is to actually fill the gaps with thermal paste (use a razor to scrape the excess off to make a flush surface)- then apply thermal paste as normal (very small amounts to have a thin layer across the whole chip. There is a pretty in depth guide on one of the forums here- it's a sticky. Check that out and decide if you want to use it :) 

5) Good luck- let me know what you find :) 


OK, one question about making sure the RAM is compatible with the mobo...

I went to the ASUS Web site and found my board: http://usa.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=gFBKfNyhppW9tDbB&...

Under "Memory Support List," I downloaded the PDF and checked it out. I can't find my selected RAM on the list. Here is my ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Does that mean it's NOT compatible? The RAM is DDR3 1600 and is supposed to work with all "Triple Kit i7 Solutions."

Scrolling through the list, I saw only ONE option for having 12 gb of RAM, even though the board has 6 slots. I'm confused...
m
0
l
June 22, 2010 6:24:27 PM

jchindamo said:
Does that mean it's NOT compatible? The RAM is DDR3 1600 and is supposed to work with all "Triple Kit i7 Solutions."

Scrolling through the list, I saw only ONE option for having 12 gb of RAM, even though the board has 6 slots. I'm confused...


No, it just means that the kit wasn't tested. In general, any memory kit will work in any motherboard, as long as it meets the voltage specs & type requirement (DDR3 in a DDR3-only mobo, obviously). If every manufacturer tested every kit of RAM before releasing it to the public, they'd be in testing for a long, long time.
m
0
l
June 22, 2010 6:27:26 PM

+1^

Effectively, having 12 gb of RAM is the same as having 2x 6gb sets (or rather, 6x 2gb sticks). You can buy 2 packages of the same set of 3x2gb and put them on your board, and they should run fine. Just be sure you don't mix and match the types of ram on the same board :) 
m
0
l
June 22, 2010 6:34:09 PM

coldsleep said:
No, it just means that the kit wasn't tested. In general, any memory kit will work in any motherboard, as long as it meets the voltage specs & type requirement (DDR3 in a DDR3-only mobo, obviously). If every manufacturer tested every kit of RAM before releasing it to the public, they'd be in testing for a long, long time.


Quote:
+1^

Effectively, having 12 gb of RAM is the same as having 2x 6gb sets (or rather, 6x 2gb sticks). You can buy 2 packages of the same set of 3x2gb and put them on your board, and they should run fine. Just be sure you don't mix and match the types of ram on the same board :) 


That's kind of what I thought, but thanks for confirming guys!

And yes, since the kit is sold as a 6 x 2gb, I shouldn't have any problems with mixing and matching, unless Corsair decides to get tricky, lol.
m
0
l
June 22, 2010 6:45:29 PM

Omni, you said you have the HAF 922 and love it so far.

I read a ton about it, watched some videos, and I'm impressed. I LOVE the fact that it's 10" wide. I couldn't even find any other cases, other than the Cooler Masters, that offered anything like that.

The one thing I'm questioning is the tool-less assembly. I actually LIKE setups where you use tools and screws -- in my mind, it makes everything that much more secure.

Does the tool-less assembly make it seem sort of unstable at all? I'll be building this at home and then driving it to school (4 hours away), where it should never have to move again. If everything stays put, it shouldn't be a problem. But it just seems like without screws, stuff can slide around.

If that's not a concern and it holds everything in, awesome. If not, do you know of any other cases that are comparably as wide as the HAF 922 (at least 9"), and has screws?
m
0
l
June 22, 2010 9:38:20 PM

I think what they are referring to are the drive bays... you don't really need tools to secure any drives into the removable bays (i still did!). Everything else you need tools for (mobo, psu, etc etc). The only thing I didn't use screws for was my optical drive, and the bays that are set up for it are very solid- no concerns at all. I often pick up my computer and move it to work on it, and have no issues with the case.
m
0
l
June 22, 2010 10:07:35 PM

Omniblivion said:
I think what they are referring to are the drive bays... you don't really need tools to secure any drives into the removable bays (i still did!). Everything else you need tools for (mobo, psu, etc etc). The only thing I didn't use screws for was my optical drive, and the bays that are set up for it are very solid- no concerns at all. I often pick up my computer and move it to work on it, and have no issues with the case.


Can you add screws if you want to? Specifically, for the HDDs, the optical drives, and the expansion cards. I know the optical drives have that push-button thing, and the HDDs have those plastic trays, but I'm wondering if you can add screws too. And since I'll have a fairly large GPU and a soundcard, I definitely want those secure.
m
0
l
June 22, 2010 10:33:11 PM

Both the GPU and the Sound Card use screws to mount the I/O board to the back of the computer, on top of the clamp on the actual PCI-E slot.

I added screws to my HDD (and my SSD mount)- they are not going anywhere :) 

The Optical drive doesn't really have a place where you can screw it, and to be honest, you do not need it at all. I put mine on the bottom slot to be safe, and the thing literally does not move.

It's really well designed, and I have no doubts that everything will stay put :) 
m
0
l
!