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First Time Build - Advice/Opinions?

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September 8, 2010 5:01:34 AM

Hey, this is my first build, so I'm just wondering if it looks alright. Budget is about $1500, but would like to keep it below $1400 if possible. But not as concerned with money. The build is mainly for gaming and internet use, but might see some video editing.

CPU: Intel i7 930 - $280
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922M ATX - $100
Video Card: GeForce GTX 460 - $220 (Plan to go SLI within six months)
Motherboard: Asus P6X58D Premium - $300
CPU Cooler: Thermaltake Frio - $60
Power Supply: Ultra X4 750-Watt - $120
Memory: Corsair Core i7 Dominator 6GB PC12800 DDR3 RAM - $170
HDD: Seagate 7200.11 Barracuda Hard Drive 1.5TB, 7200RPM, 32MB Cache - $80
ODD: (Already Bought)
Sound Card: Open to Suggestions

Total: $1330 (before tax)

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APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Tomorrow

BUDGET RANGE: $1400-1500

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Internet, Coding, Video Editing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Sound card, Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Router

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States

PARTS PREFERENCES: i7 930, SLI Capable

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: SLI (just not initially)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 or 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Open to recommendations to alternative parts. Is everything compatible? And should I opt for a full tower case or can I get away with a mid-tower?

September 8, 2010 6:35:42 AM

First, your parts are compatible.

You chose an expensive mobo, and could save probably $100 without noticing any performance difference by choosing another. One review of the P6X58D:

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/06/15/asus_p6x58d_premium_motherboard_review/6

You might check out this mobo ($210), or another in its price range:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128423

You can save more money with a different memory choice ($140) and without giving up any performance.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231230

I'd suggest you check out the onboard audio before buying a sound card. Unless you have some special requirements, I think you may be pleasantly surprised.

This Seasonic 650W bronze certified psu ($80) is high-quality and will easily run 2x460s and save you $40 and maybe something off your electric bill as well.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151091

The 460 is an excellent choice, and at 1920 resolution you will find no current need for 2x460s, even if you were to pair it with an i5 750 instead of the i7 930.

According to this review:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/HDD-6Gbit,2528-7.html

This 1.0TB Samsung is smaller but noticably faster ($75); note that it is currently out of stock at Newegg:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185&cm_re=samsung_spinpoint_1tb-_-22-152-185-_-Product

September 8, 2010 7:27:43 AM

With HD6k and the Nvidia riposte i would just hit the one HD 5870 1st and not do CF or SLI: at the rate tech moves and a game even more demanding than Metro 2033 in future i wouldn't enjoy being stuck with not one but 2 obsolete GPUs hehe
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September 8, 2010 7:57:49 AM

Agree with Batchuka here.. No point going low on the video card if your multi GPU plans are as good as 6months away from now.. Your build however looks fairly good.. You can opt for the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R for the motherboard as suggested by TwoBoxer and spend the saved cash in going for a HD 5850 or GTX 470.. May be even opt for the i7 950 over the i7 930 (no compelling reasons however)..
September 8, 2010 3:47:17 PM

First, thanks for the comments. I very much appreciate them.

PSU: I was thinking 750W because I might try to overclock at one point. Would 650 still be enough then?

GPU: Is there a significant performance increase when jumping from the 460 to the 470 or 5850? From what I've read, 460 is the solid choice until the next generation comes out.

And any links to previews about the HD6k?

September 8, 2010 3:47:33 PM

Good job for a first time builder. A very reasonable list of parts.

As a suggestion, look at the XFX 750w unit, it is top quality, modular, silver certifies, cheaper, and well reviewed:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$300 seems like a bit more than you need to spend for a X58 motherboard. Was there some feature of the ASUS board that appealed to you?
ASUS, Gigabyte, and EVGA all make good X58 motherboards.

The UD3R suggested by twoboxer would do fine.

The size of the case does not matter much, just so long as it can hold all your parts. For gaming, you want good ventilation, at least two 120mm intake or outflow fans. Your selected case will be fine.

I also like the GTX460. Get the 1gb version which is better. They scale very well with sli which is a good reason to pick them over a similarly priced ati offering.
At upgrade time, you will have the choice of adding a second unit or replacing the GTX460 with whatever might be announced six months from now.

Before you order, download and read cover to cover the motherboard and case manuals. They will answer many questions, and perhaps raise a few.

---good luck---
September 8, 2010 3:54:55 PM

No one seems to have mentioned it yet, but you can get an i7-950 for $299 right now. $15 for a .2 GHz bump isn't too bad.

I would avoid the Seagate 7200.11 series, there were multiple problems (that have hopefully been resolved) with that generation. The 1 TB 7200.12 is $75 and has similar performance to the Samsung Spinpoint F3 (which is likely out of stock because it was offered at $60 over Labor Day weekend).
September 8, 2010 7:45:50 PM

A quality 650W unit will easily power any single vid card, as well as 2x460. If you go with 470 and want to protect against 2x470, a 750W is in order.

There's no disadvantage to buying a larger PSU, except cost. So if you find a *quality* psu of higher wattage at a comparable price, that's fine. But there is NO reason to spend $130-$140 on a psu when $80 will do exactly the same job.

Note that small differences in efficiency do not save meaningful electric costs. For example, if you were GAMING for 8 hours a day, drawing 600W from the wall for *ALL* that time, and could save 3% (silver vs bronze), you'd save $6.31 per year. Realistically, your average draw will be half that, and you won't game 8hrs/day every day.

The 5870 is a great vid card, I'm using one now, purchased before the 460 was announced. At Newegg 460 is about $220, the 5870 about $365, and 2x460 = ~$440. Look at their relative performance here . . .

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/180?vs=162

. . . and decide for yourself. At 1920x1200 (not 1080), the 5870 provides higher frame rates as expected, but mainly when those frame rates aren't required for play. For me, that's $145 "wasted". Then change the comparison to show 2x460 vs 5870 . . .

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/181?vs=162

. . . and here you will find significant changes in minimum frame rates, which may be more important to you.

I'll come back again and say the 460 is plenty at 1920 resolution, and if it doesn't satisfy you the next best move is 2x460.
!