Hi, I'm looking to build my first system from scratch. I'm considering the following components for my build and would appreciate and helpful comments, criticism, or advice.
CPU- intel i7 930 bloomfield
MOBO- gigabyte GAx58a- Ud3r
RAM- 4 gb G.skill ripjaw ddr3
Case- Antec 300 Illusion (am i cheaping out on this case?)
PSU- Antec earthwatts 650 w
GPU- evga gtx geforce 460 fermi (haven't liked the past 2 ati cards i've had and eventually when needed i intend to get an additional matching card to put in SLI)
HDD- samsung spinpoint 500gb 7200
Optical- Asus DR-W SATA 24x DVD burner. (very rarely use my CD dirves these days)
Monitor- Asus VH242H 23" Widescreen HD monitor.
I think that's everythign i need. If i missed anything please let me know. Thanks!
The Antec 300 Illusion is a solid choice for a case.
The power supply only has 530 watts on it's 12V rails, so I think a bit light for a system with two GTX 460s. That RAM comes in a combo with this PSU: Combo with XFX 650W Modular 80Plus Bronze PSU $173 ($20 rebate). Which will have enough power.
I think you should change to a P55 build if you aren't planning on adding three graphics cards to this build. The i5-750/60 will save ~$90. Going down to an Asus P7P55D-E Pro or MSI P55A-G55 would save a decent amount as well. If 'media' means watching tv/movies, listening to music etc, then the i5-750 will be plenty of processing power for you.
If this is just gaming an i5 750 or 760 & Asus P7P55D-E Pro will do. If you want to play around with video editing and applications of the sort then I suppose the i7 is somewhat justifiable, and if you want the i7 930, you'll want a triple channel memory kit, i.e., 3x1 GB or 3x2 GB (6x1 is also possible but 3x2 GB is better, I doubt you'll need 12 GB).
Very many thanks. The i7 chip came highly recommended from guys i work with but does seem like a bit of overkill. I also want this build to have staying power for the next several years. If i downgraded the cpu / mobo would this build have the same lasting power / upgrade ability to keep me happy for the next couple of years and beyond?
MSI have brought plenty of boards to market which mean that you don't have to spend $180 to get a quality P55 board with SATA6Gbps and USB 3.0: MSI P55A-G55 $125 ($20 rebate, $2 shipping). The reasons you wouldn't want to get this board include: lack of eSATA, firewire port, coaxial, out of the box support for 1600mhz memory and DrMOS. If you do want eSATA & firewire and DrMOS: MSI P55A-GD55 $150 ($7 shipping).
The only reason I would recommend someone to get more than 650W for a system with two 460s is if they were going to OC both their CPU AND GPUs.
I've seen plenty of benchmarks that showed that a system with two 5850s and an OCed i7 chip won't exceed 500 watts power draw under a furmark load. GTX 460s use a very similar amount of power to a 5850, so I think they are very comparable. Furmark is a stress/torture tester, so it will cause higher power consumption than a game or other normal usage would.
So taking that 500 number, you're getting 150 watts of headroom or 76% utilization in a scenario that you're unlikely to be in that often. So IMO you are likely to have even more headroom/less utilization than that.
Two reasons to get an aftermarket heatsink. 1 - Overclocking. 2 - You want your CPU cooler to be as quiet as possible.
It is possible to install a heatsink later, but unless your case has a hole in the motherboard tray you usually have to take it all out. So it is a lot easier to do it first time around. Altho installing a heatsink would be a good opportunity to have a proper clean out inside your case.