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Final Build Questions.... Feedback Wanted...

Last response: in Systems
June 23, 2010 8:49:29 PM

Hey guys,

Thanks to all the feedback I received here, I have finally decided on the parts I'm getting, I will be using this rig for video editing, multitasking, and gaming down the road.

I am ready to buy now, my original budget was $1500, but I'm ok with going a bit over, so long as I don't exceed $2k!

The i7-930 will be overclocked to 3.8 - 4.0 GHZ to maintain stable temps.

The build has been purchased!

- i7 930 + ASUS P6X58D-E


SSD Boot Drive - 120 GB SSD OCZ Vertex Series - Boot Drive

HDD - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1 TB

GPU - ZOTAC GeForce GTS 250

PSU - CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-650HX ( If I upgrade - I'll need 750w to future proof SLI )

HS - NH-D14 Cooler + 2 x 140mm Noctua NF-P14 Exhaust fans + 120mm rear fan

Burner - Samsung DVD Burner

Case - 690 II Advanced case

Any further feedback for the GPU would be appreciated.

GTX 470 vs 5870

The 470 runs very hot it seems - and in Dual SLI would be insane temps.

June 23, 2010 9:02:35 PM

1. The thermal take line you wanna use is the toughpower line. Those are made by Channel Wells, same guys who make the corsair 750tx and 850tx. Don't think that one is.

2. Really no need for 12gb of RAM. Get the PI kit instead.

3. Mobo you should be getting

4. Scythe or a CM Hyper 212 Plus would both be fine.

5. Assume you're getting the GTS 250 for CUDA?
June 23, 2010 9:08:58 PM

get the 6gb ram, no need for 12.
get a radeon 5870 instead. its better.
Related resources
June 23, 2010 9:37:30 PM

Thanks for the quick feedback.

The GPU I'm getting is for OpenGL 3.2, as I am primarily video editing. The 5870 doesn't have OpenGL 3.2

I will be gaming lightly if ANY right now, down the road I will upgrade the GPU accordingly.

I will be using Photoshop and Premiere PRO a LOT, along with video rendering of course, and thus this is the GPU Alvin recommended. Plus I'm a crazy multi-tasker and have a ton of things open at any given time, and thus the need for extra ram.

My plan was to get 6 gb ram now, and 6gb later, so it was recommended to get 12GB right off the bat.

Here's a link to my original thread, this may give you a better idea of where I'm at.

My 2nd choice for the MOBO was the UD3R or UD5, but there are many reported issues with it, plus I found quite a few people who upgraded to other MOBO's after using the UD3R, the hissing sound around the CPU is not something I want to deal with.

3rd choice was the ASUS P6X58D-E or ASUS P6X58D

Plus, the upgradeability options are very limited on all those other boards.

I don't mind paying the extra $90 for the MSI board, I love that board for many reasons, and will give me the best future proofing options down the road.

My 2nd choice of RAM is:
G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600


I feel the RAM and PSU are my last deciding factors at this point. I'm just not sure how good the Thermaltake is, I do like that it's modular, but all cables will be going behind the case anyhow.

Thanks again.
June 23, 2010 11:44:05 PM

ahh nice - I too wonder if 3.2 is supported, I'm sure it would be

tbh - I am staying away from the high end GPU's for now on purpose, 'cuz I would be too tempted to play games, and currently, I am in work mode, and don't want to get sidetraked gaming ;) 

I have an xbox 360 anyway, and I am up to date on most new releases that I like.

This is one of the reasons I'm going with the MSI board, I'll likely build another computer down the road in 1 - 2 years, with up to date components, and this build will turn into my gaming rig. I will have many GPU options in what ever configuration I choose, I like having those open possibilities, where as the other boards are some what limited, plus it is a very solidly built board and will last longer than the others, as it has much improved cooling, military grade parts, etc etc

The UD3R has way too much negative feedback from real world users returning it and upgrading to other boards such as the MSI. The hissing sound around the CPU, 30 second posts before booting into windows, among other things... To some, it's not a big deal, to me, I'd rather have the peace of mind from the get go.

But then again, I'd like to hear from UD3R satisfied users.... any of you out there?
June 24, 2010 9:50:45 AM

Hey guys,

Something just came up and would like immediate feedback if possible...

I just found a way to shave off $400 from the build above if I order from, instead of .ca, while taking advantage of a Shell Shocker Deal.

ASUS P6X58D-E + OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 - ( 8 - 8 - 8 - 24 )
Combo price = $329.98 ( $100 Savings + $15 rebate )

This would replace the MSI Big Bang + the 12 GB of Eco Ram.

Plus, I'd be getting the CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-850HX Modular at a $25 discount, PLUS, the i7-930 an additional $25 discount for the combo deal.

Total on .com = $1,123.85 + $215 for SSD x25m ( currently out of stock )

$1338 + say $50 shipping to Canada though it won't be that high.


Ordering the exact same parts from comes to $1,469.02

But would include this --> CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX Non Modular

i7-930 regular price


The deal is $120 cheaper + has the MODULAR PSU 850HX

This is the only combo I could find to go with the i7-930

If I were to take advantage of this, I only have about 6 hours to decide, since the Asus deal expires at 12 p.m. Eastern Time

The RAM is sketchy - worst comes to worse I could sell it and pick up different RAM.


IF you read this in time - what are your thoughts - should I go for it?

This would shave off about $427 from the build above.

Of course I'd be giving up my MSI + 12 GB Ram

Yes, I have a U.S. P.O. box to ship to, and will make arrangments to ship here.
June 24, 2010 8:18:37 PM

go for it!
June 27, 2010 2:14:52 AM

Thanks Al, I've gone ahead and changed it.

I'm ready to pull the trigger on the build, and for now, after a TON of feedback not only here, but from calling stores, I'm going to pass up on the MSI board, and get something under the $250 range for the mobo - which leaves me 3 options. The AS Rock x58, the GA-X58A-UD3R & ASUS P6X58D-E

The GA-X58A-UD3R has a 10% special - $189 after discounts - I know the issues with it, and hopefully I can get them resolved.

I'm also going with the Scythe cooler.


Last but not least, I'm going to stick with 6 GB RAM for now...

I found this ram with 7-7-7-20 timings @ 1333 MHZ - $175.49

or would this be a better performer?

Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 6GB DDR3 1600 - 7-8-7-20

I was also looking at:


I'm making these last minute changes so I can stick within the $1500 budget.

Any thoughts?
June 27, 2010 9:49:19 AM

corsair ... my 1st pick

mushkin .. my 2nd
June 27, 2010 9:56:20 AM

I just double checked you graphics language support ...on that exact zotac sub-model ... you are good to go ....

send me a PM with your "final" RAM and I'll verify the voltage, etc.
June 27, 2010 5:43:50 PM

Thanks again Al,

PM Sent ;) 
June 28, 2010 12:25:05 AM

I already explained this in a PM (to you) just now ... but ... for the benefit of others ...


= Al =
June 28, 2010 4:23:11 AM

There's nothing in this thread that mentions open box MOBO's - I'm not really sure what you're talking about. LOL

( I've already edited my previous post to exclude the open box MOBO option ;)  )
June 28, 2010 10:40:42 AM

ok ... time to get some sleep (obviously).
June 29, 2010 6:47:09 PM

Thanks Al,

I have some VERY final feedback / advice needed.

Thanks for that feedback once again.

From what I found so far, for the best airflow with my CM 690 II case, I guess, the ideal set up is 2 exhaust fans up top, 1 exhaust in the back, 1 intake in the bottom - possibly 2 x 120 mm in the front ( from what I heard that front fan now doesn't do a very good in take )

So it turns into something like this:

I just don't know which fans to get, looking for fans that push a lot of air, and are relatively quiet.

Is there a fan controller you can recommend as well?

I need to purchase today to take advantage of the rebates, and quite frankly, I'm ready to buy now, once I get the fans figured out.

Btw - here's the final build - I ended up going with the NH-D14, purchased from

June 29, 2010 6:59:40 PM

Your mobo only comes with TWO SATA Cables ...

You have THREE SATA Devices.

Get a SATA3 rated slim locking right-angle of ~18" length. @$4 (CAD)

= Al =
June 29, 2010 7:17:45 PM

Thanks Al,

I will do just that - also - in the "what's in the box" pic, I noticed this board doesn't have the eSata PCI adapter like the Premium does.

About the cable, is this what you had in mind?

In regards to fans, I'd love something with performance like this one:

without the green led.

RPM 2000 RPM
Air Flow 90 CFM
Noise Level 19 dBA

Though, most reviewers claim it's louder than the 19dBA specified.

Have also found this one:
COOLER MASTER R4-C2R-20AC-GP 120mm Case Fan

RPM 2000 RPM
Air Flow 69 CFM
Noise Level 19 dBA

I don't care ( that much ) about the fans' cost - I'd like to have fans that push a lot of air, as quietly as possible. I had 2 x 140 MM Noctua fans in my cart at one point - but I'm sure I can get a much better bang for my $50. I'm sure the right balance is out there.
June 29, 2010 8:35:47 PM

Cable? .... Yup ... slimness should not be critical as your GPU is not very long.

Noctuas are nice (sexy) but much better options, at half the cost ... true.

WoW ! That's a lot of CFM for 19dB ! Would not surprise me if it is louder than spec but you can "turn it up to HI", just for render sessions ... eh?

I could not find a decent fan controller that had a "click-off" on the knobs. I thot about inserting some (NASA Style) toggles, on the adjacent plate, next to each knob ... Too precious and involved ... maybe when I upgrade.
June 29, 2010 8:42:02 PM

Yeah, that's impressive - but most people say they're pretty loud.

I'm considering these, They're both $24.

Noctua NF-P12

Airflow: 54.36 CFM
Acoustical Noise 19.8 dB(A)

Noctua NF-P14
Airflow: 64.96 CFM
Acoustical Noise: 19.6 dBA

I've seen much higher CFM ratings, but also a lot louder fans too, and as you know, the low noise level is pretty important to me.

The NH-D14 supposedly runs at 19.8 dBA, so, quite frankly I wouldn't want fans louder than the HS, though they're hard to find it seems.


These may be a pretty good bet:

COOLER MASTER R4-C2R-20AC-GP 120mm Case Fan - $8.99

RPM 2000 RPM
Air Flow 69 CFM
Noise Level 19 dBA

I find it hard to believe that they have a higher air flow at the same noise level than the Noctua's - then I'm just being a skeptic or a realist - I'd like to think the latter.
June 29, 2010 9:01:32 PM

The Noctuas aren't cheap but they will prolly last for 2 builds AND I would wager that they ARE as quiet as they claim to be. (20dB is NOT loud).

Also ... I just like typing "Noctua" ... Don't You ? (So exotic !)

... I took a chance on those Typhoons ... No clue how that will turn out ... looks like someone made some kind of effort (at marketing, anyway).

= Al =
June 29, 2010 10:10:44 PM

Yeah, the Noctuas are looking good for sure, and they may have a weird color scheme, but they'll match that monster cooler nicely - LOL

I'm grabbing 2 NF-P14's instead of NF-P12 for the top, same price, same noise, higher airflow.
And 1 NF-P12 for the back.

I'll move the top fan either as the front or bottom intake.

The front fan now doesn't seem to be that powerful, so I guess I gotta grab a 140mm for there too, but I'll see how this works out first.

Fan controller? Probably not needed right now...

We've now hit $1600!

$1700 if we count the case, still, not too shabby.
June 30, 2010 1:53:26 AM

shabby? ... you funny.

of course ... a FERMI 470 wuold also look pretty kool, in there.

= jab =
June 30, 2010 1:56:32 AM

Considering that I was at $2k at one point, without the HS or extra fans, we worked it out well.

Btw- I went and got that gaming mouse from a local store today - and I've gotten too used to my Microsoft mouse that it's a weird fit, plus I wasn't thrilled about running an extenstion cable - luckily, I can return it for a refund. ;)  That's another $45 off the cart.
June 30, 2010 7:34:17 AM

gtk ... i'm getting a used dell optical mse for $6
June 30, 2010 8:55:31 AM

I've been using it today- and I have to adjust to this grip- I've been working with this bigger Microsoft mouse for the past 4 - 5 years:

I have 2 weeks before I can return it - it's an excellent mouse, and if I can get used to this grip, I will end up keeping it, it's still a great recommendation.
June 30, 2010 9:21:36 AM

Alvin Smith said:
shabby? ... you funny.

of course ... a FERMI 470 wuold also look pretty kool, in there.

= jab =

Ouch - remember I had a Fermi in my cart for a couple days, that's what brought it to $2k.

As I was looking at the build, the only thing that would fully "complete it" is a Fermi.

I added this to my cart now to see the grand total:

Brings the total cost to $1832

Come to think of it - the GPU was my least researched component. :o 

Oh boy.... here I go again...
July 1, 2010 1:13:11 AM

Hey Al,

Guess what?

I just improved my SSD storage by 50% for $5!

120 GB SSD OCZ Vortex for $228.99 AFTER the $30 rebate.

Found some benchmarks:

The OCZ is on par with the x25-M!!!

I placed my order for the system yesterday, so I will RMA the x25 when it gets here.

The NH-D14 arrived today - delivered in 2 days ( impressive )

This cooler looks VERY well made, loving it! And yes, it's HUGE, but we already knew that ;) 
July 1, 2010 4:52:45 PM

I would rather have the F3 but the Blacks are good, too.

I would not buy the Caviar if the price was the same, tho.

... Really ... cost should govern that decision ... F3 is "slightly" more desirable.

= Al
July 1, 2010 9:59:24 PM

Alvin Smith said:
oh, well ... guess it's too late for this :

Yeah, I learned my lesson from a previous Shell Shocker deal - when I saw this, I jumped all over it.

zalick said:
With the sale, the Caviar Black and F3 are the same price. Which is better?

Go with the F3 - they're a bit better.
July 2, 2010 5:24:43 AM

BTW ...

... Remember that most of the "common" turnkey CS5 prebuilts employ that 9800GT-EE GPU ... The 250 was a (~fair) bit better than the 9800GT-EE ... So ...

... That FERMI 470 would devour anything you might wish to endeavor, within the entire family of ADOBE Creative Suites (and all partner products and plug-ins).

= mischevious grin = ( Search H.O.T.A.S. )


July 2, 2010 7:07:07 AM

July 3, 2010 8:38:26 AM

My choice order, for nvidia manufacturers is ...

1) Sapphire (but not Vapor-X model)

2) PNY

3) Zotac


5) XFX

Those are the ONLY brands I would own and the main differnces are the efficiency and the noise of the fans and sinks.

I really DO think that Sapphire and PNY have the best build quality .

Zotac is a slight favorite, over EVGA ... just a matter of "total execution".

XFX is OK (I guess) ... They provide (and honor) a lifetime warranty (I am told).

= Regards =

July 3, 2010 9:28:48 AM

Interesting order - from what I've been reading I thought that EVGA was #1 for the GTX 470, especially the superclocked+ with the extra plate which reduces temps by 5 - 7C, along with their lifetime warranty, and 90 day step up program. Do all the other brands have lifetime warranties?

Is it just me, 'cuz I can't find any GTX 470's on sale by Sapphire?

Any further feedback for the GPU would be appreciated.

The 470 runs very hot it seems and that concerns me right now.

The build has been purchased!

- i7 930 + ASUS P6X58D-E


SSD Boot Drive - 120 GB SSD OCZ Vertex Series - Boot Drive

HDD - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1 TB

GPU - ZOTAC GeForce GTS 250

PSU - CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-650HX ( If I upgrade - I'll need 750w to future proof SLI )

HS - NH-D14 Cooler + 2 x 140mm Noctua NF-P14 Exhaust fans + 120mm rear fan

Burner - Samsung DVD Burner

Case - 690 II Advanced case


I'm returning the x-25m since I got a better deal on the OCZ, and I'm considering returning the GTS 250 as well, and upgrading right now, instead of later. I'm not sure how easy or hard it would be to sell the GTS 250 down the road, this way I don't end up with 2 GPU's.

Do you have any info on the upcoming GTX 460? My guess is it will be priced around $300, to directly compete against the 5850 price wise ( hopefully it outperforms it and runs cooler too ;)  )
July 3, 2010 9:30:52 AM

Seriously ... The 470 WOULD be nice but the 250 is puh-LEN-ty ! d it (the 250) WILL GAME (not bad ... better than 9800). Honestly ... the 470 will stretch your PSU fairly thin and the only reason I like it is that the memory interface is WIDER.


No turnkey graphics or edit build uses a radeon (none, ever, that I have seen)
Radeons are for gaming ... Period. ATi even makes "workstation cards" but NOBODY (that has market share) would buy ATi for graphics or vid-edit or even engineering CAD.

You be sure and let me know how that 5870 works out (NOT!), for CS5.

Why not start a thread over on Creative Cow or some CS5 or Photoshop Forum ??? I'll bet you get lots of great advice, over there. Those folks are using the sw ... nothing like the old "Horse's Mouth", eh?

But, hey ... If you decide to get "all cocky" and go with a 58xx (totally against all MY best advice~) ... Well ... if you decide to go that route, anyway, I would love to hear your reports, some months, even years, down the road ... just to see if ATi is really all that glitchy, as some have opined.

CS5 Forums is where I would be asking ... The 250 with OGL3.2 is the obvious choice ... That or (even more standard), the 9800GT-EE ... That is the only "reasonable" route, 9800-EE, 240/250 3.2. 470 is great for gaming but overkill for graphics, unless you are doing (Fox Sports) 3D flying graphics renders.

= I got two 240's to run 3x monitors ... They look sweet .. we'll see =
July 3, 2010 9:40:31 AM

Yeah - I'm not going with the 5000 series - I had a brain fart for a moment looking up GAMING benchmarks and how close they are to one another, and how much less power the 5000 series uses, compare to how hot the 470 runs, etc, but oh yea - I'm not gaming right now! But I know that when I do decide to game - WHOA - it'll be insane.

I'm definitely NOT going with the 5870 ;)  I had already concluded that ATI is not the way to go for my build.

If I went with the 470, I'd definitely upgrade to a 750W PSU right off the bat.

Your "jab" got me thinking .... and double checking to make sure I had made the best choice. I know I'd like to upgrade to a Fermi later, and don't want to be stuck with an extra GPU that I spent $150 on, where as that could go towards the Fermi now.

350 now for Fermi for 1 GPU - $150 credit makes this a $200 upgrade, plus, if I mix and match the fans and cooler,

Plus, after reading this entire review last night, it really left me wanting the Fermi, BADLY - DX11 Hardware Tesselation, 320 bit, DDR5, 3D Surround, 448 Processor Cores, etc, etc, etc it's such a SICK card - drool.

Plus, looking at the 3DMark Vantage GPU score, the 470 got more than twice the score, as the 250, and got me thinking that I'm investing in older technology right now....

Anyway - I just want to know I'm making the best choice right now.
July 3, 2010 10:03:35 AM

How much worse would a PS/3 or X-Box be ??? Just wondering.

I really like the idea of getting a cheap PS/2 (used) and a stack of last year's greatest games ... At MY age ... I mean ... I grew up on scrabble and monopoly.

PS/2 could prolly keep me well engaged, if I had time to game. I guess the is a whole virtual on-line "reality", now ... Like WoW is cloud based, right? ... I mean ... that world goes on even when YOU sleep.

I like flight sims ... would love to fly with real wing-men, against real enemies, on-line, in a virtual battlespace. ... I am good at ACM.

= Al =
July 3, 2010 6:26:20 PM

Well, see, that's the thing, I already have an xbox 360, with all the latest games, I've got about 100 games total. Reading up on the Fermi though, the consoles have nothing on computer games, though, the consoles do pack a big punch as well.

The GPU was my last researched subject, so I just wanted to make sure I made the right decision with the GTS 250.

A new fermi far exceeds the price of a new console, and if you were to get a console, don't get a ps2, just get an xbox 360, TRUST ME!
July 3, 2010 7:00:40 PM

I WILL trust you ... But many folks opted for PS/3 because it is a decent Blu-Ray player. ... already got one of those, anyway.

= Al =
July 3, 2010 8:49:21 PM

No personal judgements, here ... Just as for me ... I pay for all sw and content ... unless I am just evaluating for purchase. I do have some ancient mp3s that I found on a DVD (in the trash, right?) ... BUT, anything that requires good quality (DJ & party mixes) ... yup ... I'll buy and rip.

Supposedly ... content would be cheaper, if EVERYONE pays .... supposedly.

I broke up with this Chinese chick because one of her pals delivered 3 binders of pirated movies, for her to take back to China ... She was like, "You don't really feel any responsibility to those greedy corporations, do you ? ... I was like, NO ... But I do feel a responsibility to the actors and "officers" who earn royalties, from such content ... even moreso with musician's (tho Motown artists all got totally screwed).

Anyway ... not to preach ... just that "free content" is not a consideration ...

... That was one reason I kinda liked the PS/2 ... Runs ALL PS/1 & PS/2 games and all those older games (purchased used) are (to me), "essentially free", because they are so darned cheap.

I also like to play just a few, really good games ... I already know (pretty much) what I like ... videos of game-play are available.

I hate to be such a boy-scout but I really do think that content creators (and their agencies) SHOULD be paid and I also believe that pricing (*MIGHT*) be more reasonable IF everybody paid equally (naw).

Well ... A really good game is surely worth $40 ... or even $80, if it will thrill me for a whole year.

... at least pR0n is "free", ... ooops ... another can of ethical worms.

= Al =
July 3, 2010 9:32:10 PM

I hear ya - and for me - I hardly play all these games that come out at their unreasonable prices, $70 a game adds up quick. Also, I have 2 360's, one that I use for online gaming, and all those games are of course bought. Either way, Microsoft wins, I'm on my 3rd 360 thanks to their RROD, plus I've bought at least 20 games over the years, and any online worthy game I end up buying, somehow it evens out for the games that I simply don't play, and would've wasted money on, come to think of it, I hardly play the new games that come out, there aren't that many hours in a day, but anywho...

This build is being made for work, and I have to remember that, being able to play games like Crysis, Metro on insane settings would surely side track me from my current goals right now.

July 3, 2010 9:42:02 PM

btw - I've been looking for a 9800gt-ee, and can't seem to find it anywhere available for purchase... will keep looking...

errr - nvm - I found a few now

PNY VCG98GTEE1XPB GeForce 9800 GT EE 1024MB

It would be the exact same price after rebates as the GTS 250 - and only plays games at 1440x900, for the odd game I'll play, I'll take full advantage of the 1080p screen.

Well, for now, I'm gonna wait and see how loud the card really is, and how well it performs in Photoshop, Premiere, etc - if it has great performance, and runs relatively quiet, I'll wait it out and see how the 470's play out over time.

Thanks again!
July 3, 2010 11:42:00 PM

Like I once said ... 20dB is much more quiet than your HDD whine. That is why I got two removeable drive racks, for my F3s ... I just lift a handle and slide them out 1/4 inch and they are fully disengaged (powered off).

THAT is why I got all anal over system fan noise ... because, with the HDDs "OFF" and the passive GPUs ... ONLY the noise of those essential fans can be heard ... and, of course, the emergency vehicles that drive past my window every hour.

Yeah ... On the game expendiatures ... I'll let you slide on the "Total outlay of money versus total hours of entertainment" (cost averaging equation) ... we can still be pals, on that basis ... besides ... I ain't exactly "lilly white" ... Content "theft" is like driving a car ... No way you are going to drive to the corner store, without breaking a half dozen traffic laws ... that's reality.

= Al =