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One Man's View of First Build

Last response: in Systems
September 1, 2010 5:24:26 PM

In my excitement i spent numerous hours in research and burnt the midnight oil picking all the "right?" components. i'm nearly finished purchasing the few remaining pieces. last evening the dumbness set in. i should have asked first... Wow, I hope i didn't screw thing up. I've spent money already! and I saved and I'm still saving money to complete this build. I might have been single focused or maybe too cocky. I don't claim to know it all. I'm at a loss why i didn't just start here in the first place. Anyway, laugh at my dumbness but accept my apology for not asking you guys first. There might be some way I can salvage this if I've done wrong. Can you help me? Here's the list. What has this neophyte done wrong? I'm sure I'll be back with more questions when the build gets underway and even more when it's time to set things up and configure everything. I look forward to the challenge. But, right now I can't sleep with the worry I didn't get it "right?" Please help me in my first build. Comments and advise please.... Thank you so much

Computer Build Component Log
Final Configuration 3.0 - 8/28/2010
The Purpose of my “Build” is to fulfill my “Hunter-Gatherer-Protector” need for “Speed” and to “Build” my
3d Multimedia, Video Entertainment, Database & Word Processing, Mid-Level Gaming, Internet Surfing, Video Chat computer
i can fiddle and play with in my first attempt with overclocking. Did I Hit My Mark?

Computer Case - Xigmatek Utgard Mesh CPC-T90DB-U03 Black Steel / Aluminum and
Mesh Side Bezel Computer Case

Case Fans - (9) x Thermalright TY-140 140mm Enhanced Hyper-Flow Bearing Case Fans
(120mm Mounts) 0 – 2400rpm PWM 0 - 73CFM @ 21dB
PSU - XFX 850 W Modular Power Supply P1850BCAG9 (Black)

Motherboard - ASUS Maximus iii Extreme

CPU - Intel 875K Quad Core 2.93Gz Unlocked CPU

CPU Cooler - CoolIT Eco Cool c240 A.L.C.

Memory - 8 GB Corsair Dominator GT 1600 CMT4KITGX3M2A1600C7 with (2) 2 fan coolers

Video Card - ASUS GTX460 1 GB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card ENGTX460 DirectCU TOP/2DI/1GD5 -
- Overclocking Edition

Monitor - ASUS VG236H 23-Inch 120 Hz 3D Ready Panel Monitor with nVidia
(2) x 3D Vision Glasses

Hard Drives – (1) x OCZ SSDPX-1RVD0180 Solid State Drive 180 GB - Serial ATA/300 - PCI Express
For OS, Page file, and Programs
(2) x WD 1002FAEX 1TB/7200RPM CAVIAR BLACK SATA600 6Gbps RAID 0
For All Data, Documents, Videos, Music, and Photos

HD Back-Up Drive - (1) x LACIE d2 QUADRA v2.1 1TB/7200RPM SATSA3/3Gbs, SATAe 3Gbs,
eSATA300/Firewire800/USB2.0/3.0 - For Imaging Other Drives

Optical Drive - Lite-On iHBS112-29 12X 3D Internal Blu-Ray Writer - BD-R SL 12X, BD-R DL 8X, BD-RE SL/DL , DVD±R 16X, DVD-RAM 12X, DVD+RW 8X, DVD-RW 6X, CD-R 48X, CD-RW 24X, 3D Playback,
LightScribe, Black (OEM)

Optical Drive - ASUS 24X SATA DVD Burner, 8X DVD+RW, 16X DVD Reader, P/N: DRW-24B1ST/BLS/B/AS

Sound Card - Creative Technologies Ltd. Sound Blaster-X-Fi Xtreme Audio

Printer - HP Deskjet 4850 All in One Scanner/Copier/Printer

Keyboard - Deck Legend - Frost (tactile) Mechanical Key Keyboard w/Cherry MX Soft Tactile Key
Switches (MX1A-C1NW) Blue LED Back lighted 1 LED per key - no illumination between keys

Mouse - SteelSeries Xai Laser Gaming Mouse

Web Cam - Logitech Web Cam Pro 9000

Operating System - Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

Network Adapters - Buffalo WLI-UC-G300HP wireless a/b/g-n
Netgear RangeMax PCI adapter - WN311B

Router - Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH wireless a/b/g-n

Security - Norton 360 v4.0

Utility - Registry Mechanic

Word Processing - Microsoft Office 2010

Remaining To Buy –

Keyboard Deck Legend …. $140.00
Mouse Xai gaming mouse …. $85.00
SSD HD OCZ RevoDrive 120GB …. $375.00
3d Monitor ASUS VG236H 23-Inch 120 Hz**
3d Glasses nVidia 3d vision …. ** $500.00 Kit w/Monitor & 3d Glasses

3d Technology … I may hold off the purchase of the 3d Monitor & Glasses until this technology develops. There are now HMD’s (Head Mounted Displays) at consumer prices and Monitors that do NOT require 3d glasses for viewing. There are also new monitors @240Hz. That’s twice the definition and clarity of the 120Hz monitors rushed to market for the early development/roll out of 3d. And we haven’t heard from AMD who has been involved with industrial 3d development in the medical, aerospace, military and entertainment sectors for quite a long time. AMD is keeping pulse and will be ready when the bugs in early stage standards are worked out. HDMI 1.4a has already been replaced with HDMI 1.4b just when the monitor manufactures began the HDMI 1.4a roll out. The dust must settle sometime in the coming years. Its BIG money I can’t gamble with.

More about : man view build

September 2, 2010 2:04:31 PM

A few comments.

I'm assuming you're looking to overclock. The 875 is about on par with the 930, which is about half the price. You would need a 1366 mobo instead of a 1156 one, but would still come ahead. You could also drop down to 6gb a ram.

If you're looking to raid, samsung spinpoint f3's would be the better choice, as I have heard there are problems raiding the caviar blacks.

Your case looks pretty low quality. It has some good features, but some reviews have mentioned pretty spotty build quality. I would look at the lancool pc-k62 instead. It usually has some sort of bundle with XFX power supplies. I think it's at 170 with the 850w, but prices jump around there a lot.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 2, 2010 2:37:25 PM

You might be better off getting a more reknowned CPU cooler too, like a Titan Fenrir. Like Neo said, you may as well go for an I7 setup if you're wanting to overclock to a high level and take advantage of a lot of memory. In all cases, Samsung Spinpoint F3's are the way to go.

You don't need that big of an SSD with all that storage you're putting down, go for a Sandforce based Corsair Force or OCZ Vertex 2 at about 40GB.

No need for a soundcard, onboard is good enough.

You'll need something a bit beefier if you're going to be doing multi-monitor 3D, you'll have to stick with Nvidia so either get a second GTX 460 in SLI and overclock them both or get a couple of 470's in SLI if you can afford it. If you don't want to go with 3D then get an ATI 5870 or 2 5850's in crossfire if you can.

Unless you're planning to actually regularly use your computer to watch blu-rays just get a simple DVD drive.

Get better peripherals like the Roccat Kone mouse and some sort of Razer keyboard.

Get an Antec 902 or a CM Storm Scout, they are better cases.

Swap the PSU for a Corsair HX 850.
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September 2, 2010 6:25:00 PM

You guys are GREAT!!! I'm sorry I didn't come here to get advice first. I figured to join for just that purpose after reading some "get help" advise from members here at Tom's Hardware. This advise helps a great deal. One thing that got me started is troubles with the old computer. I always wanted to do a build so I started reading reviews.

The i7 875K dropped in my lap for $185.00 so it got me going the 1156 route. The mobo for it was expensing but the pci lanes I figured to be future proof. Many new add ons are going the pci route. I sure like the idea of the i7 930 and 1336 motherboard. I had the sound card from my old computer so I listed it to get the advice from you about using it. Looks like I'll have some parts to sell after this build. I couldn't believe the price for that extreme iii mobo. i should have taken that as a clue to my error going with the deal I got on the 875K. I didn't think of the importance a case has on the build. This Xigmatek really is a good design (for what I know) more substantial than the reviews give credit and well built The issues I now believe I have with it is how to set up all the fans and if a solid side is more better for cooling than a big open mesh with or without a 200mm fan on it????????? To get airflow right i've learned there has to be directional airflow across the hot parts of the mobo with exhaust fans moving out the air a little faster than the front intake. The side of this monster has ability to mount a 200mm or 4 120/140mm fans that would blow directly at the mobo but fear doing so could create turbulence???? then there is the front intake fan 120mm blowing towards the upper rear 120mm. There is a bottom 140mm intake and at the top there is mounting for 2 more 140mm fans.... where I'll mount the 240 radiator/fans. The top of this case is set up by design for the 240mm water cooling radiator/fans. How the heck is a newbie going to figure out the fan flow with all the options this case provides???? Please, again remember I don't know Sh*t about this other than what i read. I'm good at reading/understanding/applying so i have no fear of diy stuff be it mechanical, automotive, electrical, wood, metal, etc... but this stuff is so involved, there's so much information, and most of that is conflicting because of publishers'/reviewers' relationships with manufactures. Then there's the marketing crap from the entire industry. So, I went into the overclocker's forums where I figured they knew better. They know this stuff. They really do but I'm new and not into flashy glowing fans kind of things. I'm just getting started fooling around here and I'm most likely 30years older than the oldest of them. I want to learn!!! by doing but i don't want to make the same mistakes others have if i can avoid it. this is where your advise is so helpful. AND, I do appreciate the advise!

I didn't know how to size the SSD for the os and programs. I did some checking on size of windows 7 ultimate then just started guessing for the other programs I have. I'm sure Office is the second biggest. So I'm safe to go down to a 50G ssd for programs and applications??? I'm sure about the sizes of the other drives. I got a lot of important work files, videos, and music.... i don't wanna loose. I'm a bit uncertain about the difference in speed between the other hdd's and the ssd and how that mix will play together???? I've got the how to's on the organization of my stuff on those drives but don't know about all the possible compatibility issues???

unfortunately, i've made some budgetary purchasing decisions/sacrifices to speed this project along ie. case/power supply maybe the video card? I just learned I still need to sli another card to get the 3d. My video card is the Geforce 460 TOP model factory overclocked and built to overclock and has lotsa room to overclock more. the 460 was a use/budget decision. Still I find I need another one to do 3d. i won't be doing multi monitor stuff. I do enjoy my bluray disks but have, within the past year, purchased a really nice big screen home theater that i wont replace for 3d anytime soon. So, my "new" 'puter will give me that 3d enjoyment.

i kept going back and forth between air and water cooling. here again a budgetary consideration was made. Good water cooling systems are upward of $200.00. And, though i want to learn/do overclocking I will not be going extreme here. I game but for fun and pleasure not competition. The air coolers I checked out all interfered (size) with my ram heat sinks and ram fans installation/use. I didn't know another way except for water cooling my cpu for the cooling it provides (sort of on par or better with the best air coolers with the 240 radiator and upgraded fans. Here we get back to the case issue??? i will need to determine how that Xigmatek case effects that. If i can avoid changing out new parts for better new parts (if I don't need to for my use requirements) i wont. I am more agreeable to look at the change to the 1336 platform. The power supply was a compromise I will change on your advise if it will have effect on my 'puter performance, stability, longevity, etc... I don't want any problems with the electrical quality or efficiency!

Your right about the mouse and keyboard. I am so tired of typing mistakes from my keyboard!!! same with wireless or usb mice. here we go... the only way to go is with mechanical switches (cherry) and a ps2? mouse. i didn't know how or why all the fu*king mistakes were happening!!!! these membrane keyboards are crap! I continued to buy replacements figuring they just wear out fast. I have a cupboard full of them and mice too!!! shows how slow a learner I am, huh? I saw them when looking for replacements but 'cause they had "gamer" associated with their use I overlooked checking into them at the time. On this "build" I tried to look closely at everything..... but the stupid in me didn't check here for the good advise I needed.... bitch slap me someone..... ROFLOL i will check out the cases, mice/keyboard/ssd/1336 and mobo difference and review the video card.....

Thank you guys for all the help!!! I do really appreciate this. Any other help you have I will appreciate even more.... THANKS BUNCHES!!!
September 2, 2010 6:46:24 PM

If you got the 875k for 185, that's a solid deal. Just go forward with the 1156 socket build. Water cooling is COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY! Do not bother dropping $200 for it. Parts don't run nearly as hot anymore and the 460 is especially low-heat producing. If you are not extreme overclocking, then ram fans are also unnecessary. I would much rather have a quality cpu heatsink over ram fans any day.

What advice do you really want here? It seems like you've bought all your components already. In terms of fans, I would do two front intake, side intake, back and top out. The worst thing that can happen is if your cold air is exiting before running over your hot components, so you want the side to bring air in.

September 3, 2010 3:33:08 AM

NeoElemental said:
If you got the 875k for 185, that's a solid deal. Just go forward with the 1156 socket build. Water cooling is COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY! Do not bother dropping $200 for it. Parts don't run nearly as hot anymore and the 460 is especially low-heat producing. If you are not extreme overclocking, then ram fans are also unnecessary. I would much rather have a quality cpu heatsink over ram fans any day.

What advice do you really want here? It seems like you've bought all your components already. In terms of fans, I would do two front intake, side intake, back and top out. The worst thing that can happen is if your cold air is exiting before running over your hot components, so you want the side to bring air in.

Hi neo and apprentice,

thanks for the airflow tips!!! yea, i got that 875k for $185 on a deal for a 775 mobo i had laying around for a q9550 back when i was going to do a build some time ago. that build didn't work out because of marital problems. i sold the q9550 so i had no use for the 775 mobo. that was as far as i got then with my "way back then" first build. i really looked hard at air cooling. the colage true spirit, thermalright and thermaltake 120 series performed well in benchmarks and wouldn't interfere with my ram heatsinks. there again my bad for not checking here for advise. i didn't know if the tall ram heatsinks came off? if they were needed? or if my ram (Corsair) needed the fans that came with the ram package. i figured if the ram fans came with the ram it was necessary. i don't know yet where my venture into overclocking may lead me. to hedge i bought the c240 coolit for the cooling margin it provides over air cooling when better fans are used with the radiator. i didn't know there was a quality issue with the c240?? i will keep an eye on it. thanks

i checked the lancool pc-k62. wow, thats a lot of case for $99.00 which happens to be what i paid for the lesser quality xigmatek. there are so many similarities i wonder if xigmatek didn't copy that exact case. where lancool uses aluminum on the 5" and hhd toolless, the top and front the xigmatek uses plastic. other than the top of the cases and optional side panels and quality these two cases are the same. here again i lick my wounds for not seeking this advise first. i also checked the i7 900 series at intel site's product comparison and mobo's. the extreme editions make sense in a performance comparison but not for the price. the 920, 930, and 940 are different in some ways i don't know matter. all i do is read the specs, some reviews, and now that i've smartened up asked for help. the system bus speeds are different i7 900's 4.8Gts vs 875 2.5Gts, wattage 130 vs 95, 24gbs ram vs 16gbs ram, memory bandwidth 25.6 vs 21gbps, the i7 900's use ddr3 3 channel vs ddr3 2 channel, max turbo frequency on the 875k is 3.6Ghz vs 3.46 on the 960's/940s, the core bus ratio on the 875k is 22 and that is equaled on the 960s/940s also. i really don't know what all it means yet but looks like the extreme editions of the 900 series are much better and the 940/9830/920 are on par with the 875k but have more and better ram ddr3 triple and more memory bandwidth. the specs also show the 875k has dmi memory bus type and the 900 series uses qpi. newer has to be better right? so i can feel secure to say qpi is better than dmi?? prices to change processor/mobo are not cost beneficial to me at this time with my experience. i blundered on a few things i know. the biggest blunder is not coming here to seek advice before starting. that shows how important these forums are. tom's hardware has always been a favorite site i visit often. i didn't know about forums like this until i checked out a few overclockers forums. after this experience with you guys i could be an enthusiastic advocate for tom's hardware.
i will look really hard at the lancool with a better psu. i'm sure that change will be made before i build and go with smaller ocz vertex 2 ssd for my os and programs. am i good with a 50Gb ssd for os and programs??? i don't want to mess this up. the money you saved me with these recommendations is enough to upgrade the psu and case.

all this has helped me a great deal. please do not take my explanations/excuses/comparisons to your suggestions as being difficult or combative in any way. i am humbled by this experience and embarrased as hell with my stupidity for not asking for help first. with your help at the beginning i may have saved even more money and got better components. i have learned by this. truly this has helped me sleep. for that alone i am greatfull. there are many personal reasons for buying certain components over others. the only personal choice i exercise is i'm not flashy and don't care for lighted fans or too noisey computer. it is my belief it is unnecessary to spend for a component that i cannot benefit, use to full value, or is something to impress others. i don't need the "best" but i will always jump on the "best" i can get for my money. And, i'd rather save to get what i need or better quality rather than impulsively buy on the hype of marketers or promoters. i do "research" before buying but have failed here by not taking advantage of the help from you or others here at tom's hardware. i wish there will be a time when i can repay in some way. i have replied to others seeking advise when i had something i could contribute from my "research". as i get more experienced i will help as i can. your help has helped me so i know when i know somethings my advise could help too... do u think? LOL. thanks neo.... you haven't wasted your efforts and time with me.
September 3, 2010 2:32:38 PM

50GB might be a little tight, depending on how many programs you run, but not undoable. The 875 is on par with the 930 in terms of real world performance for most things. I wouldn't worry about swapping that out for this build, especially since even if you upgrade to i7 9xx, you'd only be able to stick with that for one generation.

My advice would be to stick with 1156 until the new set of chips come out at the very least, since you already have the processor.