First Build Help - $2000 Multi-use

This is my first post on TH for my first ever build.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next month or so

BUDGET RANGE: $2000 before rebates; preferably including tax and S&H

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: CAD drafting (ACAD specifically) > gaming > internet/multimedia

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers



PARTS PREFERENCES: I'm looking at Intel over AMD (but would gladly accept opinions to the contrary), otherwise, not too particular re: brands, but I demand quality of product/service. I would prefer Mid-tower and if I can get a pretty decent system without spending the full 2 G's that would be great!

OVERCLOCKING: No / Maybe later

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No / Maybe later

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1600x1200 minimum

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Some buzz-words: reliable, quiet, multi-tasking capable, easy installation


THIS IS MY FIRST EVER BUILD. I will have access to an experienced builder for troubleshooting, but I really would like to do it on my own. Please try to avoid products that are known to be finicky or more appropriate for vets.

I've taken a stab at selecting some components based on speed > positive user review > price.

CHASSIS: Not a super-critical part for me. I want something fairly well built and fairly easy to get along with.
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

The CPU/MoBo/RAM situation is nearly a complete mystery to me. I think I've found compatible products, but I don't know if they're more potent than I'll need, or whether they're even good choices. This is where I could use the most assistance!

CPU: Looking at Intel, but not sure if I need it. I want something that will last me and be at least a little useful in 3-5 years.
Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80601930

MoBo: I've read good things about Gigabyte & Asus. Same req'ts as the CPU. Fit a Mid-tower case.
GIGABYTE GA-P55-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Memory: Don't even get me started! Help!
CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8D

GPU: I like nVidia, I prefer EVGA, I don't want to spend an arm and a leg. Open to commentary, though. I'd like to be able to double up sometime down the road; I think the MoBo, PSU and GPU are all SLI-ready (right?!).
EVGA 01G-P3-1465-AR GeForce GTX 465 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

PSU: At a loss here; everything seems to be the same. Looking for the best quality/value. Heard good things about Corsair.
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

HARD DRIVE - I want to go the SSD boot, regular HDD storage rout. Not PRECISELY sure how to go about it, but I'm sure I'll be able to figure it out ;P

SSD Boot: Not a clue about this type of product. New to me, but I've heard great things. Feel free to comment.
OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE60G 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

HDD Storage: Just looking for reliable, fast and quiet. Primarily for media storage and application install.
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Optical Drive: Again, not a biggie. I want a reliable, quiet drive that won't cry when I rip DVDs.
ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

OS: I think I'm finally ready to let go of my beloved/hated WinXP. I could use some guidance with the version selection. I believe all the components I selected will work with 64 bit; not even sure if that's an issue.
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

As I've got it added up on I've got a total of $1627.41 ($1861.43 after taxes and S&H). I've laid out my requirements, now I leave it up to the masters to set me straight! :D

Anywhere you feel I can get away with a lesser product (less speed/size, not quality), let me know. Also, I did not touch upon the CPU cooler or fans. I'm hoping I don't need to upgrade the stock products as I'm not OC'ing and I won't be doing any extensive gaming (I'll be cracking out on SC2 and D3 when it comes out, of course ;) ); but please set me straight if need be.

Thanks all!
9 answers Last reply
More about first build 2000 multi
  1. I was hoping that SOMEONE would have responded by now...
    Anyway, in the last 24 hours I've vastly increased my knowledge of modern components (taking said knowledge from basically zero up to noob ;) ). As a result I swapped out the MoBo and changed a couple items for cost savings. All links in this reply and the original post go to

    MoBo: Turns out I had the wrong socket type selected. Yeah, like I said...
    ASUS Rampage III Gene LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

    SSD Boot: Strictly cost and availabilty swap here. Any thoughts on Corsair SSD's?
    Corsair Force CSSD-F60GB2-BRKT 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

    HDD Storage: Another cost savings.
    Western Digital Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    OS: Looked at the different versions, I don't think I need Ultimate
    Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

    New total is $1637 ($1873 after S&H and tax - stupid HST!!).

    So, I think I've settled on the i7 930 over the Phenom II 965. It's pricier overall w/ MoBo, but it seems more future-proof. I suppose my posts are a little long winded, but I'm hoping someone can at least say, "you're way off buddy, try again" or even better, "looks good, but I would suggest..."

    Thanks again all!
  2. Case- Antec 300 is good, but Cm 690 is roomier for same price.

    Mobo- A Ga x58 Ud3 is perfectly fine, and excellent mobo for the i7.

    SSD- You want either a Sandforce or Intel controller. Top choices ATM are OCZ Vertex or agility 2, or Intel X25-M. However, major price drop in a few months so wait is you can to buy SSD then.

    HD- SPinpoint F3 is the way to go. $80 for 1tb drive that rival raptors in performance.

    RAM- You want tight timings, low voltage and 1600mhz for future OCing. G Skill is the best to go with right now.

    I assume you want CUDA performance. In that case you'll want the Full Fermi, not the 104 derivative. A GTX 470 would be the best bet.

    On future proofing, AMD socket AM3 be around a lot longer than socket 1366 from Intel. It's slated to be replaced next year, and all new architecture and new Sandy Bridge CPU's will not work with 1366. AMD's bulldozer however will be socket am3.

    On the other hand, current Intel CPU's pretty much massacre AMD's in workstation tasks.

    Cm 690 $80

    Spinpoint F3 1 tb $80

    Corsair 750TX $116 w/ $20 MIR

    win 7 OEM 64 bit $105

    i7-930 and GA x58 ud3 $508

    Optical $20

    EVGA 470 $341.50 w/ $20 MIR

    G Skill Pi DDR3 1600 7-8-7-24 $180

    Intel X25-M 80 gb $237

    Not the best sustained read/write, but Intel controllers still have amazing random read/write performance (which is what matters in a boot drive). Cost per usuable GB is a lot lower than the OCZ ones, so this is still my rec, despite it's age. Again, as I mentioned, if you can put off the SSD for now, you should.

    Total; $1646 before taxes and shipping
  3. Thanks for the response and the detailed product selection! I think I agree with all of your suggestions, except that I still want to stick with the i7 (your comment about "Intel CPU's pretty much massacre AMD's in workstation tasks" really caught my eye. I do need this to be a system where I can work from home from time to time.

    Why do you figure the price of SSD's is coming down? What do you mean when you say 'major price drop'? I'm hoping to build this system in the next few weeks and would like to do it as cleanly as possible right from the get go. I suppose I can wait, but if we're talking $50 I'm not really worried.

    Gotta admit, I don't know what kind of a difference we're talking about between the 465 and the 470 for the GPU. As it stands, I think the 465 was already overdoing it for my needs. I was really thinking about 2 x 460 in SLI (1 now and one down the road). I don't plan on doing a whole lot of intensive gaming and what I've read seems to point at these cards being pretty beastly. I'm running a single GTX 260 in my current rig, and that runs beautifully as it is.
  4. My build has an i7.

    465 is complete waste of money. Same gaming performance and 352 CUDA cores.

    470 recommendation is under assumption you want CUDA, as noted.
    460 is a derivative of the Fermi GF 100 chip, the GF 104 chip. It's limited to 336 CUDA cores.

    The 470 is 448 CUDA cores. Cheapest are $280 after rebate right now. Definitely worth it for CUDA.
  5. Here is some news re: GF 100 & GF 104, posted today apparently.

    Unless I'm reading that wrong, aren't they making the change to 104 anyway (for heat issues and increased clocking)? Wouldn't I be heading this off at the pass and investing in a cheaper card to start with? I don't plan on investing in any additional cooling at this time if I don't have to. As it is, the 460 already has double the CUDA cores my 260 has, and I'm getting dangerously close to my max price. :??:

    Sorry, I'm not spitting on your opinion, I'm just taking this opportunity to educate myself and I grately appreciate this discourse. Plus I'm cheap! :D
  6. For $9 over current build, the 470 upgrade is worth it.

    If you want to save money then swap for a 260 will save you $90.

    new 24nm flash is costing half the price of the old Flash for SSD's. Whether this leads to a halving of SSD price, or more likely, a doubling of capacity for same price, or a mix of the two remains to be seen.

    In addition, several new controllers are coming out, including the much anticipated new intel controller.
  7. Would it be beneficial for me to forgo buying the SSD for now; setting up the new system using the HDD as the boot disk; then buying an SSD later when the price drops (or capacity increases); image the disk across; format the HDD and proceed as originally intended?
    Do you know what kind of risks there are in attempting that?
  8. Yes that's fine.

    There aren't any issues long as you image properly. Though you may run into an issue where image is bigger than SSD if you have lots of media on current drive.

    May be better to just partition a system section onto HDD and leave media in it's own partition.
  9. Make sure the motherboard you buy is a socket 1366 (for the i7 930), not an 1156 like in your first post.

    Something like:

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