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Please Check my $1000 i7 Build.. and need some recommendations.

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August 23, 2010 7:46:25 PM

This is my first post, and I just wanted to say you guys are great. I've been addicted to reading these forums lately and it's thoroughly satisfied the inner nerd in me.

Anyways, I've finally decided to build a new computer. I was planning to wait til the G73jw or G53jw laptops get released, but I don't think I have the patience anymore.
So on to the build. The things I'm set on are the i7-930 (since it's so cheap at microcenter), the GTX 460 (don't need a crazy GPU at the moment, and I can always add 2nd one in the future), and the Antec case. All the other items I have picked out are pretty much based on the most/highest rated items at Newegg and/or Toms recommendations.

I was hoping I can get your guys' input on this system.
1. Are there any hardware compatibility issues?
2. Is the RAM ok? (read somewhere I have to manually do the settings in the bios for it to work properly).
3. Is the 650 watt PSU enough if I plan to add a 2nd GTX 460 in the future?
4. Recommendations for the Monitor (something with accurate colors for photo editing)
5. Recommendations for the Hard Drive (midrange one, since I plan on getting an SSD in the future and changing this to a storage drive).
6. Any other comments about the system.

Please let me know what you think. Any input is much appreciated!!

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APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week
BUDGET RANGE: 1000-1200... cheaper the better
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: SC2, Work stuff (Adobe CS5 Photo editing, GSP Omega, Adobe Illustrator)
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Need everything.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Amazon.com is 1st preference. Any site that doesn't charge tax for CA. Other websites ok too (newegg, microcenter, frys, tigerdirect, etc.)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US, California
PARTS PREFERENCES: Stuff with good/many ratings mostly.
OVERCLOCKING: Maybe.. when I feel more comfortable with it.
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: In the future.. (add a 2nd gtx 460 in SLI)MONITOR RESOLUTION: Dunno.. haven't looked into a monitor yet
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Quiet is always good

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[REVISED]

PROCESSOR: Core i7-930 Processor
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
$217
MOTHERBOARD: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0034CSTFY/
$210
VIDEO CARD: ASUS GTX460 1GB
http://www.amazon.com/PCI-Express-ENGTX460-TOP-2DI-1GD5...
$210
RAM: Corsair XMS3 6 GB PC3-12800 1600MHz Triple Channel CAS 7 DDR3
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003375H3M
$150 after MIR
PSU: Corsair CMPSU-650TX 650-Watt TX Series 80 Plus Certified Power Supply
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000X24ISU
$70 after MIR
CASE: Antec Nine Hundred Mid Tower ATX Computer Case
http://www.frys.com/product/4991611
$78 after MIR
HARD DRIVE: Samsung 1 TB Spinpoint 7200 RPM 32MB Cache Hard Drive
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001U3S5S0
$69
CD DRIVE: Some $20 drive.
MONITOR: ASUS VH236H 23 Inch Widescreen LCD Monitor - Black
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002453K5G
$158 after MIR

TOTAL: $1,182
August 23, 2010 8:08:05 PM

I should point out that the LGA 1366 socket is dying. Intel is replacing it by the end of the year. I'd actually consider looking at the X6 CPUs, since that tends to be better in some photo editing applications.

If you're stuck on the i7...

RAM: Do not get OCZ RAM. They have compatibility issues, especially with Intel boards. I'd check out some 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 sticks from Corsair or G.Skill. I know Corsair's sticks are $150 after rebate on Newegg.

HDD: Only one real choice. Samsung's Spinpoint F3 1 TB. In a great combo at Newegg with that PSU.

Monitor: No real good idea here. I like to throw out the Asus 23.6" 1080p because it's fairly cheap and still good quality.
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August 23, 2010 9:26:29 PM

Thanks for the quick reply admiral!

As much as I'd like to wait for Sandy Bridge.. it seems so far away. Hopefully I won't have to upgrade 3 or so years with the i7-930. And the 980x is always an option if I ever desperately needed an upgrade, even though I doubt it'll ever be a reasonable price. I was totally gonna go with 965 BE until I realized I could get the 930 for such a steal at Microcenter.

Thanks for the tips about the RAM, monitor and hard drive. I was really iffy about the RAM and you helped confirm my fears. I'll definitely look into the ones you recommended. A few min of surfing the net was all I needed to see that your HD recommendation should be a no-brainer for me too.

Again, much thanks!!
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August 23, 2010 9:39:48 PM

Wut? 1366 is good until Q3 2011, and even then it's not really dead.

However, for a work build the X6 is a better choice. The i7 is pretty close, and IMO probably worth it.

If you want accurate colors you're going to have to move your budget past 200$. You're not even going to be able to get PVA for that much, let alone IPS.
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August 23, 2010 10:35:53 PM

My budget is pretty flexible. I could probably go up to 400 on the monitor. Any good recommendations for a color accurate monitor at that price point?




Also.. I'm probably gonna go with this RAM. Timings are 7-8-7-20. <--- dunno what that means, but i assume it's good. Any opinions on this RAM?

CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX6GX3M3C1600C7

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
for $150
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August 23, 2010 11:36:45 PM

@sp: Not according to Intel. They've already said they aren't going to release any more LGA 1366 CPUs and the new sockets (LGA 1155 and LGA1365) are due out this year.

Those Corsair sticks are pretty good. The CAS Latencies are what really determines who fast the sticks will run. It's also what determines how high of an overclock you can get.
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August 23, 2010 11:42:11 PM

No. 1155 is launching late Q4 2010 (earliest), while 2011 is set for Q3 2011.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGA_2011

And just because a socket has no more CPUs planned does not make it dead. Look at the people with Q6600s on socket 775.

Yes and no. CAS and speed determine how fast it will run, but anything past 9 offers very small returns, even for synthetics. Overclocking ram in general is for synthetics, and for overclocking the CPU 1600 speed at 1.5 volts is the most flexible (lots of divider options to keep the ram around 1600 as you raise the BCLK, while the voltage prevents you from frying the chip/prevents 1.65 volts from becoming a barrier).
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August 24, 2010 12:21:15 AM

Really, citing Wikipedia? Are you serious? At least find a real source...

Still, Q4 2010 is this year (and it's the LGA 1155 from my brief search) and very soon after that. That's only four months away. I wouldn't want to spend $1,000 on a PC that's going to be obsolete in four months.

Also, the DEFINITION of a dead socket is that there are no new CPUs out for it. Basically, at the point that you don't want to build on it is when it becomes dead. Does that mean you should stop using it? No, but you certainly don't want to shell out big money for something with no future.

On the RAM: That's somewhat true, but it holds a great deal on how high you can overclock. 1600 mhz CL 7 is pretty much deemed the standard. 1333 mhz CL 7 is the minimum right now. That said, there is basically no cost difference between 1600 CL 9 and 1600 CL 7, so you might as well get the faster one.
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August 24, 2010 12:31:32 AM

The wikipedia article itself is sourced (I would know, I wrote it), would you like me to link to the leaked Intel roadmap?

A dead socket does not make a dead CPU. Q6600 comes to mind. Look at people still going great with socket 775 after 3 years. I disagree with your definition, but I don't think I'll be able to find a formal one.
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August 24, 2010 12:59:37 AM

I can't find it off hand. I'm not arguing the dates. I just hate when people cite Wikipedia as authoritative. And saying you're the one who wrote it doesn't help the case.

That's true, but it does make a build that's more susceptible to becoming obsolete in a heartbeat. That's the main difference. In a matter of months, you could go from having an amazing performing gaming build to having one that can't play the newest games. All it would take is the need for six cores to play the current hot game.

That IS the formal (or at least generally used) definition of a dead socket. The instant a technology has been replaced, it becomes dead.

Do you see anyone recommending new LGA 755 build? No. That's because it's a dead socket. There are still some great performing CPUs on the socket, but I would NEVER advise any one on building with them.
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August 24, 2010 1:09:45 AM

I agree.... Socket 1366 has at least 10 more months. IMO it's still fine.
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August 24, 2010 1:17:25 AM

10 months still isn't exactly long term. When I'm putting together a build, I'm not just looking at the present or the next year. I'm looking at the next 4+ years for the heavy lifting parts (CPU, PSU, GPU, board) and a good 6 years for everything else. Once you're talking about making a build last that long, you'll likely need to upgrade the CPU. Having a couple years of options (Bulldozer) versus one (i7-980) is a lot more appealing.

If you replace the build every two to three years, then the i7 is definitely the right choice. If you're looking longer term, you've got a decision to make. Lower current performance (slightly) for longer life, or higher performance now for the desire to upgrade sooner down the road. Really, either one is just fine. I just present the options.
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August 24, 2010 3:27:28 AM

Ohh nice~!! Thanks for the find sp12! Do wish it had an HDMI port, but it's not like I ever needed it anyways.. woulda just been nice to have. Gonna order one first thing in the morning.
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August 24, 2010 3:49:15 AM

scur51 said:
Ohh nice~!! Thanks for the find sp12! Do wish it had an HDMI port, but it's not like I ever needed it anyways.. woulda just been nice to have. Gonna order one first thing in the morning.



If you are getting a display port monitor, consider switching your GTX 460 with one that has a display port like this...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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August 24, 2010 4:02:40 PM

Looks like I'm a day late on the Dell U2311H deal. Coupon expired.... :( 

Probably just gonna pick up this for now.

ASUS VH236H 23 Inch Widescreen LCD Monitor - Black
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002453K5G
$158 after MIR

and hopefully the dell monitor will go on sale again and I can pick up a 2nd monitor.

So I went ahead and revised the list at the top for anyone that was following the thread. Just wanted to say thanks to everyone that helped with my decisions. I plan on making all the purchases by tomorrow, but any input is still very welcome!
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August 24, 2010 5:56:20 PM

scur51 said:
I was actually gonna get the Asus GTX 460 shown here.. (if it ever becomes available)

http://www.amazon.com/PCI-Express-ENGTX460-TOP-2DI-1GD5...


Don't think it has a DiplayPort output though. I can always use the DVI. Is there that big of a difference between DVI vs DiplayPort?


DisplayPort carries audio as well as video and is intended to replace DVI and be an alternative (royalty free) to hdmi. Display ports are going to be more prevalent in the future as TV's will have them instead of vga or DVI connections.
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