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Advice on my i7 build

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October 11, 2010 2:51:51 AM

Hello,
I was wondering if I could get some feedback on my current build.

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next 2 months

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers, OS, Power Supply, Case

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Non preferred.

Country of Origin: USA

Overclocking: Yes, to 4 ghz

SLI or Crossfire: Yes

Here is what I currently have for my build.

Antec 902 & Antec TruePower 750watt Power Supply $120 AR
EVGA GTX 470. (Planning to step up to a gtx 480 or getting another gtx 470 to sli.)
64gb SSD Vertex
750 gb seagate HDD
400 gb seagate HDD
Windows 7
ASUS P6X58D Premium
G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI

1. Can you give me some feedback on this build?
2. Is there a better motherboard that I could use? I know EVGA just released the classified 3 but I couldn't find any reviews or benchmarks on them. Or should I consider a mobo with a nf200 chip? Will either of these mobo's fit inside my case? (antec 902.)
3. What do you think about the ram? Is there one that is similar that was better reviews or price?
4. Do you think I need an after market cooler to OC to 4 ghz? What do you recommend?
5. Will a 15" cold cathode light fit vertically inside my case? I'm pretty sure the 12" will but not sure about this 15" because it's sound activated.
6. For people that have the antec 902, do I need to buy extenders or will the cables reach from my psu to my mobo if I want to make my pc look clean inside? It has holes so you can put your cables through the back.

Thanks for your help!

More about : advice build

October 11, 2010 7:35:49 AM

1. You are spending money in the wrong places to some degree, but I can't comment more without a budget amount.

2. What do you mean by better? This is one of the areas you are throwing money away for little return. It might be OK if you have a huge budget.

3. Ah the other problem area. RAM latency makes a difference sure, but not that much. Not when you could have bought better GPU(s) with the difference in cost.

4. Yes you do. What you get depends on the budget and other requirements.

5. You should think about upgrading the case anyway, but yes probably will fit.

6. I don't know for sure, it depends on cable lengths of the 8-pin on the PSU. An 8-pin extender is cheap.

Also, you don't get to just pick a number for your overclock. You'll get whatever your CPU is capable of doing comfortably. Probably the area of 4Ghz is reasonable.
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October 11, 2010 6:06:36 PM

1) Build is very good.
2) Motherboard is expensive; Something $100 cheaper will serve you just as well.
3) Ram speed makes very little difference to i7 processors. What you picked is fine, don't anguish about it.
4) Aftermarket cooler is very appropriate. It will let you OC higher and easier. It will also be quieter. One of the best is megahalems.
5) Can't answer; I am not a fan of "bling"
6) Yes, you will need an extender if you don't want the cable to extend over the top of the mobo. I did. Also, note that the mobo you picked has two 8 pin cpu connectors. Plan accordingly , you may need two connectors and an adapter. Check on the cables that come with the psu.

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October 11, 2010 6:56:55 PM

Proximon said:
1. You are spending money in the wrong places to some degree, but I can't comment more without a budget amount.

2. What do you mean by better? This is one of the areas you are throwing money away for little return. It might be OK if you have a huge budget.

3. Ah the other problem area. RAM latency makes a difference sure, but not that much. Not when you could have bought better GPU(s) with the difference in cost.

4. Yes you do. What you get depends on the budget and other requirements.

5. You should think about upgrading the case anyway, but yes probably will fit.

6. I don't know for sure, it depends on cable lengths of the 8-pin on the PSU. An 8-pin extender is cheap.

Also, you don't get to just pick a number for your overclock. You'll get whatever your CPU is capable of doing comfortably. Probably the area of 4Ghz is reasonable.


Thanks for your feedback. What mobo do you recommend? (http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/280911-30-help-decide...)

I picked my RAM based off of this thread. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/280981-30-best-build

Do you think the Cooler Master V8 will fit into my antec 902? What's wrong with my case? Should opt for the 1200?

Where can I get extenders for a relatively low price? Thank you for your help!
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October 11, 2010 7:02:45 PM

geofelt said:
1) Build is very good.
2) Motherboard is expensive; Something $100 cheaper will serve you just as well.
3) Ram speed makes very little difference to i7 processors. What you picked is fine, don't anguish about it.
4) Aftermarket cooler is very appropriate. It will let you OC higher and easier. It will also be quieter. One of the best is megahalems.
5) Can't answer; I am not a fan of "bling"
6) Yes, you will need an extender if you don't want the cable to extend over the top of the mobo. I did. Also, note that the mobo you picked has two 8 pin cpu connectors. Plan accordingly , you may need two connectors and an adapter. Check on the cables that come with the psu.


1. Thanks I have been researching the past 2 months as my current computer is dying.
2. Can you recommend me a mobo?
3. Thanks.
4. I will look into the megahalems. Any suggestions?
6. I have the antec truepower 750 watt power supply. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Will it be compatible with this mobo or do I have to buy additional cpu connectors?

Thank you for your help!
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October 11, 2010 7:17:07 PM

2) Asus sabretooth X58. $200. It has all the features you need, I like the 5 year warranty.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4) At newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It is the best there is, although $40 can get you one that is close.

6) Good psu. It has the 8 pin connector that you need if you get the sabretooth mobo. You will want to get an extender; they are not expensive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

---good luck---
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October 11, 2010 9:15:12 PM

On the RAM, Techmo actually linked you a good set:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$154 for CL7 is far more reasonable than $190 for CL6. It's just not $35 worth of difference. "Faster RAM" does not make a big difference, and will only show up on synthetic benchmarks. Now, once you compare 1333 CL9 with 1600 CL7, you might see a one or two FPS difference in games.

It's OK to spend a ton on a MB... but not at the cost of reduced frames in games, if that is your thing. The extra 100 bucks into a board is not going to improve FPS, but the same money into a GPU WILL. Well, top end boards do often give a 2 FPS advantage... a Jump from say a GTX 470 to a GTX 480 OR a pair of GTX 460s will make a much larger difference, see?

Since I still don't know your budget... Well, you cut corners on the GPU in your list, so I'm guessing you have a budget and you want the best bang for your cash. Less expensive RAM and MB along with better GPU is what will get you better performance.

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October 12, 2010 2:40:20 AM

Proximon said:
On the RAM, Techmo actually linked you a good set:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$154 for CL7 is far more reasonable than $190 for CL6. It's just not $35 worth of difference. "Faster RAM" does not make a big difference, and will only show up on synthetic benchmarks. Now, once you compare 1333 CL9 with 1600 CL7, you might see a one or two FPS difference in games.

It's OK to spend a ton on a MB... but not at the cost of reduced frames in games, if that is your thing. The extra 100 bucks into a board is not going to improve FPS, but the same money into a GPU WILL. Well, top end boards do often give a 2 FPS advantage... a Jump from say a GTX 470 to a GTX 480 OR a pair of GTX 460s will make a much larger difference, see?

Since I still don't know your budget... Well, you cut corners on the GPU in your list, so I'm guessing you have a budget and you want the best bang for your cash. Less expensive RAM and MB along with better GPU is what will get you better performance.


I'm not particularly tied to any brand. I've used Corsair and G.Skill before. Should I look for CL 7 RAM and buy the cheapest one that has a 7 7 7 24 or something along those lines?

I guess I could save on the motherboard and buy a nice gpu or a nice cooler. If I plan a 3 way sli would you still recommend a different mobo? Why would people opt to buy the asus rampage iii extreme or even the evga classfied 3?

I'm willing to spend around $1000 in new parts. Thanks for your response!
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October 12, 2010 3:14:27 AM

Yes that's not a bad idea on the RAM, just make sure it's not a fake one with like 7-10-10 type timings.

I don't think 3-way SLI or crossfire is ever a particularly good idea. I have an old friend who had a system made 2 or so years ago without consulting me... it has three GTX 280s in it. He paid somewhere around 6K for the system. LGA 775, unlocked quad....

He could have spent 2K then, 2K today, paid for a nice vacation as well. His current computer would be performing better than his 6K system.

The Rampage III has many extras like bluetooth and such. It can run 4 video cards but what's the point?

I think the Sabertooth has the features to get you where you need to be. Enough voltage regulation for a reasonable OC.

The P6X58D Premium would likely be as high priced as I would want to go, but mostly there I would be squeezing out performance with a large budget.

The more GPUs you add to a system the less performance you get in return. 3 GPUs are not 300% better than 1.

The majority of people that plan on buying a second GPU for CF/SLI in the future never do. By the time they really need one they discover they are all gone or that they can buy a single new GPU for less that will outperform their proposed dual card setup.

Sure you can buy two GTX 460s today, and it may well be the best bang for your buck possible. Buy one today and next week everything will change... that's the way GPUs work. I can't even count how many different GPUs I've used in the last 15 years.
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October 12, 2010 3:24:30 AM

I agree with you on that one. I probably won't do a 3 way sli. By then a new generation of gpu's will be out which will outperform the current ones. I'm planning to step up my 470 to a 480 in November and will probably buy another 480 to sli when prices drop or will eventually replace it with a new gen card.

I also read your big list of recommended parts. It's really helpful. If you could update it that'd be awesome. Thanks
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October 12, 2010 3:38:28 AM

All those links.... I wish they made a useful BBCode editor :p  I'll see what I can do.
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October 13, 2010 5:31:12 PM

Proximon said:
On the RAM, Techmo actually linked you a good set:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$154 for CL7 is far more reasonable than $190 for CL6. It's just not $35 worth of difference. "Faster RAM" does not make a big difference, and will only show up on synthetic benchmarks. Now, once you compare 1333 CL9 with 1600 CL7, you might see a one or two FPS difference in games.

It's OK to spend a ton on a MB... but not at the cost of reduced frames in games, if that is your thing. The extra 100 bucks into a board is not going to improve FPS, but the same money into a GPU WILL. Well, top end boards do often give a 2 FPS advantage... a Jump from say a GTX 470 to a GTX 480 OR a pair of GTX 460s will make a much larger difference, see?

Since I still don't know your budget... Well, you cut corners on the GPU in your list, so I'm guessing you have a budget and you want the best bang for your cash. Less expensive RAM and MB along with better GPU is what will get you better performance.


What do you think of OCZ compared to the G.Skill that Techmo suggested?
These are CL 6 and cost less than the G.Skill CL 7. Would this be a better choice considering it costs less and has a lower CL?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 13, 2010 5:36:29 PM

geofelt said:
2) Asus sabretooth X58. $200. It has all the features you need, I like the 5 year warranty.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4) At newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It is the best there is, although $40 can get you one that is close.

6) Good psu. It has the 8 pin connector that you need if you get the sabretooth mobo. You will want to get an extender; they are not expensive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

---good luck---


Does the Asus sabertooth come with overclocking features? According to this thread it seems to be lacking some.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/279764-30-asus-sabert...
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October 13, 2010 5:58:23 PM

OCZ seems to have had some quality issues recently. If you are patient and willing to RMA as needed, I would say go for the less expensive CL6 pair.

You probably do have more voltage tweaks on the more expensive board, but you should have ADEQUATE voltage regulation on the Sabertooth.
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October 13, 2010 6:33:45 PM

1) I would avoid ram with tall heat spreaders. They often will conflict with your cpu cooler. They are mostly marketing bling anyway.

2) Timings will not make a noticeable difference; discount that as a selection criteria.

3) Go to the ram vendor's support web site and forums. Pick the one that seems to support their products the best.
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October 16, 2010 10:18:08 PM

Proximon said:
OCZ seems to have had some quality issues recently. If you are patient and willing to RMA as needed, I would say go for the less expensive CL6 pair.

You probably do have more voltage tweaks on the more expensive board, but you should have ADEQUATE voltage regulation on the Sabertooth.


I've been doing some more research and I have read that when going SLI the PCI X1 slot is not accessible, which I will need for my setup.
How do I determine which brand is better? I've been reading that ASUS mobo's generally OC higher but lack the quality of CS.

I've been searching for a mobo similar to the asus x58 sabertooth which overs at least 5 yrs with 2 sli (16X 16X), usb 3, sata 6.0gb/s.
Is there a way to differentiate mobos? Thanks
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October 16, 2010 10:20:32 PM

Also, avoid ram above 1.5 volts.
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October 16, 2010 11:15:02 PM

I don't think any brand has great CS right now. Maybe Gigabyte has been trying harder.

In my guide I think you will find a link to an article on motherboard voltage regulation, an important factor. Beyond that you need to look at board layout and reliability. Find a likely board and look up reviews.

There are a lot of ASRock fans around. I did an informal survey a few years ago and discovered a lot of ASRock boards in use after 4 years... more than Asus or Gigabyte or MSI (who does not have a rep for longevity at all).
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October 16, 2010 11:25:07 PM

@jay05: I do not know of any X58 motherboard that does not have decent overclocking ability. Possibly Intel. Only if you are a competitive overclocker might you notice.
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October 16, 2010 11:59:33 PM

The closest motherboard I could find that was similar to the asus sabertooth is the GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R. What do you think of this mobo? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

@geofelt thank you. I'm only planning to overclock the i7 950 to about 4 ghz with an after market cooler.

@sp12 thank you. I will keep that in mind. Is that because more volt = more power and heat when OCing?

Thank you again!
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October 17, 2010 12:18:19 AM

jay05 said:
The closest motherboard I could find that was similar to the asus sabertooth is the GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R. What do you think of this mobo? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

@geofelt thank you. I'm only planning to overclock the i7 950 to about 4 ghz with an after market cooler.

@sp12 thank you. I will keep that in mind. Is that because more volt = more power and heat when OCing?

Thank you again!


Gigabyte should be fine, I have been satisfied with them in the past.. It has all you need.

OC to 4.0 is a strong overclock, but doable.. Do you really need more than 3.5 or so, which is trivial?
My thought is that so long as you do not need to increase the cpu vcore, it will be safe.

Most all DDR3 ram is, at it's base, 1.5v. The 1.65v ram you see are better 1.5v parts that are capable of an overclock to run at 1.65v. Not much of an issue, I think.
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October 17, 2010 1:43:50 AM

jay05 said:

@sp12 thank you. I will keep that in mind. Is that because more volt = more power and heat when OCing?

Thank you again!


Jedec (and hence chip manufacturers) actually only officially support DDR3 at 1.5 volts and lower. Higher voltage ram uses more energy, produces more heat, places more stress on your CPU's IMC, doesn't overclock as well, and is technically out of spec. Ram beyond ~1.7 volts can damage your CPU.

Currently, the big 3 produce ~90% 1.5 voltage chips, and the chips that fail to meet specs at 1.5 volts are overvolted to 1.65 and tested again. There are some speeds 1.5 volt ram isn't capable of running at, so almost all of the 1600+ is 1.65 volts.

Luckily, ram past 1333 Cas7/1600 Cas9 isn't all that consequential in realworld performance.
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October 20, 2010 2:48:30 AM

geofelt said:
Gigabyte should be fine, I have been satisfied with them in the past.. It has all you need.

OC to 4.0 is a strong overclock, but doable.. Do you really need more than 3.5 or so, which is trivial?
My thought is that so long as you do not need to increase the cpu vcore, it will be safe.

Most all DDR3 ram is, at it's base, 1.5v. The 1.65v ram you see are better 1.5v parts that are capable of an overclock to run at 1.65v. Not much of an issue, I think.


What do you think of the GB UD3R and OCZ Gold 6GB ram?
They are having a nice combo deal at newegg for $270 AR. I thinking about pulling on this.
I'm actually thinking about selling the RAM and buying the G. Skill after from a lot of the reviews. (A lot of people only sees 4gb of the 6)

Thanks for all the help guys!
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October 20, 2010 3:49:43 AM

jay05 said:
What do you think of the GB UD3R and OCZ Gold 6GB ram?
They are having a nice combo deal at newegg for $270 AR. I thinking about pulling on this.
I'm actually thinking about selling the RAM and buying the G. Skill after from a lot of the reviews. (A lot of people only sees 4gb of the 6)

Thanks for all the help guys!


I like the GA UD3R.
Here is a link to the OCZ configurator. You want your selected ram to be on the compatible list.
Get the cheapest kit for the amount of ram you want. Speeds and timings make little difference in your applications or FPS:
http://memoryselector.cnetchannel.com/ocztech/result.as...
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October 20, 2010 5:38:09 AM

geofelt said:
I like the GA UD3R.
Here is a link to the OCZ configurator. You want your selected ram to be on the compatible list.
Get the cheapest kit for the amount of ram you want. Speeds and timings make little difference in your applications or FPS:
http://memoryselector.cnetchannel.com/ocztech/result.as...


Does the GB UD3R support 16x/16x for the pci lanes when SLIing two gtx 470s or 480s?
Does the Asus Sabertooth support 16x/16x for the pci lanes when SLIing two gtx 470s or 480s?

Thank you!
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October 20, 2010 3:06:04 PM

jay05 said:
Does the GB UD3R support 16x/16x for the pci lanes when SLIing two gtx 470s or 480s?
Does the Asus Sabertooth support 16x/16x for the pci lanes when SLIing two gtx 470s or 480s?

Thank you!


All X58 motherboards that I know of can support two x16 pci-e lanes, assuming that they have two(ie. not mini-itx)
That includes both you asked about. It is somewhat of a moot point since X8 is sufficiently fast, and will make a minimal hit on sli performance.
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October 21, 2010 6:19:41 AM

Bad shipments happen. I've never spoken to a builder that has NOT had a bad lot where most had to go back.

However, that would make me nervous if I was planning to RAID, for sure. You are always rolling the dice on hardware... you just have to decide if the odds have swung too far on that board. Plenty of other fine boards out there.
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October 21, 2010 7:22:14 PM

Proximon said:
Bad shipments happen. I've never spoken to a builder that has NOT had a bad lot where most had to go back.

However, that would make me nervous if I was planning to RAID, for sure. You are always rolling the dice on hardware... you just have to decide if the odds have swung too far on that board. Plenty of other fine boards out there.


I think it was a specific batch. Do you think they have fixed the problem in the new batch?
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October 21, 2010 7:49:25 PM

Not knowing the specific problem I can't say. Was it a bad batch of chips from Intel? Marvel? Something Gigabyte did? A lightning strike near the pallet of boards after they left the factory?

I have to think it would be bigger news if it was more widespread, and I just searched some of the more serious boards and did a general google... nothing.
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October 22, 2010 1:41:09 AM

Seems to be unfixable at this point. According to that thread. I guess I'll avoid the UD3R and stick with ASUS or EVGA. I can't believe the EVGA classified 3 costs so much. Seems like all they did was add usb 3 and the new sata ports.
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October 22, 2010 9:35:03 PM

They are both good deals, and both good boards. The Premium is probably the more friendly OC board.
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October 22, 2010 9:41:09 PM

Proximon said:
They are both good deals, and both good boards. The Premium is probably the more friendly OC board.


Thanks. I've also read from the newegg reviews that the ASUS P6X58D Premium's "SATA 3 6Gbps ports on the Marvell 88SE9123 controller on this board cannot be raided. I've learnt this only after I made the purchase and built my rig. Neither the ASUS product manual nor the specs on Newegg's product page talk abt this gap."

Do you think this will cause a problem if I have SSD and multiple HDD set up? Not necessarily in RAID mode?

Is there a difference between these two ram? It seems like the more expensive one has higher voltage for a tighter timing. I may be wrong.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 22, 2010 11:02:30 PM

Yea i'm probably gonna buy the ASUS P6X58D Premium tonight. Can you tell me about the difference between those 2 g.skill ram and are they compatible with that motherboard?

It's probably better than the UD3R or the Sabertooth right?
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Best solution

October 23, 2010 12:42:06 AM

jay05 said:
Yea i'm probably gonna buy the ASUS P6X58D Premium tonight. Can you tell me about the difference between those 2 g.skill ram and are they compatible with that motherboard?

It's probably better than the UD3R or the Sabertooth right?


I always go to the ram web site to check compatibility.
In this case, the P6X58D is on the supported list for the cheaper kit:
http://www.gskill.com/products.php?index=252
and not on the list for the more expensive kit:
http://www.gskill.com/products.php?index=260

Your real application or FPS performance is insensitive to ram speeds or timings with a nehalem cpu. Buy the cheapest supported kit.

Both bundles look like a great deal.
I can't see any advantage to the more expensive bundle.
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October 23, 2010 3:11:55 AM

I have purchased the i7 950 and the ASUS P6X58D Premium
I'm probably going to get the G skill CL 7 $155
Will be looking for a nice cooler. I'm thinking of the H50/70.
What do you think?
How is that megahalems rev. B in your system?
I think Zalmans look really nice. I'm pretty sure they are good as well. Not sure if there are better ones out there.
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October 23, 2010 4:16:20 AM

I am not much in favor of liquid cooling.

Unless you are a record seeking overclocker, a decent air cooler will do the job.

There is a wealth of good info on this site:
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
You have to look carefully at the fans used, and what speeds they are running at. Some coolers have a proprietary fan so a true comparison can not be made,

The megahalems has one of the easiest to install methods out there. It has performed well.

That said, it is not significantly better than many other coolers that sell for <$40. I would spend the difference on something more productive, like a better graphics card or case.
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October 23, 2010 4:31:01 AM

I want to overclock my i7-950 between 3.8-4 ghz. I guess water cooling isn't necessary for that. Maybe stock cooling is enough for 3.8 ghz?
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October 23, 2010 4:44:14 AM

jay05 said:
I want to overclock my i7-950 between 3.8-4 ghz. I guess water cooling isn't necessary for that. Maybe stock cooling is enough for 3.8 ghz?

I would not use stock cooling. At load, the intel stock cooler fan will spin up and become loud. Budget $40 or so for a oem cooler with a 120mm fan. It will let you OC easier, and higher. Your system will run quieter and cooler.

I think 3.8-4.0 is doable, depending on the chip sample. My take is, OC only as high as you can, using BCLK only, keeping the voltages on auto. That should be safe. Your gaming performance will be limited more by your graphics card than by the cpu.
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October 23, 2010 4:59:53 AM

Yea I have an Antec 902 and it has a 200mm on the top and a couple 120mm with 2 optional 120mm fans that I could add. :) 

Thanks for your info. Do you think I should OC after I receive my parts or should I wait a couple weeks?

I think I will be ordering the G.Skill RAM on Monday unless you can change my mind to something else (better recommendation). :D 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 23, 2010 9:36:53 AM

I have a P6T Deluxe, 3x2G Corsair twinX DDR3 1600, and i7-930. I use the stock cooler, and my PC is permanently o/c, totally stable at 4.09GHz.

I have a pair of 9800GTS silent(fanless) video cards in SLi, and my case is a fairly compact generic case with good airflow and a 280mm case fan on the side and 120mm fan on the bottom front.

Not a big gamer so I dont care much about frame rates, but I do play all the modern games, and the video cards handle anything I throw at em easily, with the resolution maxed out.. the downside of these video cards is their size.. they are freaking huge.. take up 2 slots each and soooooo long.. but they are completely silent and run very cool too.

This combo runs 30-33C CPU temp at idle and when you really get it pumping it slowly builds up to around 55C. Never seen it get higher than that, amd I have seen all 4 cores at 80%+ at less than 50C.

Interestingly, I rarely see the hyperthreading kick in. If I could get those 4 virtual cores happening at the same time, perhaps it would push the temp up, but havent seen it happen yet.

In my humble opinion people invariably suggest that you overkill. Just stick with the basics. The i7 runs fairly cool, even when working hard.

You dont need extra cooling, just make sure the case ventilates well and the stock cooler is just fine. Just remember, the more cooling power you have, the more noise your PC will make unless you go for liquid or superfreeze options. One large (280mm) fan will produce a fraction of the noise of a smaller 100mm fan (because it runs slower), and you need only one large fan instead of multi smaller, faster, and therefore louder ones. My i7 is the quietest, coolest computer I have ever owned.

You dont need fancy RAM to run 4GHz on the CPU, and even if you did.. is there any actual reason you would need to? I am betting that in real world performance, as opposed to benchmark numbers, you would have a real job telling the difference between an i7 running at 3GHz and one thats running at 4GHz.

Its a shame you got sucked into the SSD drive already. They will be fast one day, but at the moment a raptor drive is still just as fast in most circumstances, and gives you triple the capacity at half the price... I wont be buying an SSD again for at least a couple more years I think. ( I had one for a few months until it died an early death..)
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October 24, 2010 12:00:05 AM

IamPegasus said:
I have a P6T Deluxe, 3x2G Corsair twinX DDR3 1600, and i7-930. I use the stock cooler, and my PC is permanently o/c, totally stable at 4.09GHz.

I have a pair of 9800GTS silent(fanless) video cards in SLi, and my case is a fairly compact generic case with good airflow and a 280mm case fan on the side and 120mm fan on the bottom front.

Not a big gamer so I dont care much about frame rates, but I do play all the modern games, and the video cards handle anything I throw at em easily, with the resolution maxed out.. the downside of these video cards is their size.. they are freaking huge.. take up 2 slots each and soooooo long.. but they are completely silent and run very cool too.

This combo runs 30-33C CPU temp at idle and when you really get it pumping it slowly builds up to around 55C. Never seen it get higher than that, amd I have seen all 4 cores at 80%+ at less than 50C.

Interestingly, I rarely see the hyperthreading kick in. If I could get those 4 virtual cores happening at the same time, perhaps it would push the temp up, but havent seen it happen yet.

In my humble opinion people invariably suggest that you overkill. Just stick with the basics. The i7 runs fairly cool, even when working hard.

You dont need extra cooling, just make sure the case ventilates well and the stock cooler is just fine. Just remember, the more cooling power you have, the more noise your PC will make unless you go for liquid or superfreeze options. One large (280mm) fan will produce a fraction of the noise of a smaller 100mm fan (because it runs slower), and you need only one large fan instead of multi smaller, faster, and therefore louder ones. My i7 is the quietest, coolest computer I have ever owned.

You dont need fancy RAM to run 4GHz on the CPU, and even if you did.. is there any actual reason you would need to? I am betting that in real world performance, as opposed to benchmark numbers, you would have a real job telling the difference between an i7 running at 3GHz and one thats running at 4GHz.

Its a shame you got sucked into the SSD drive already. They will be fast one day, but at the moment a raptor drive is still just as fast in most circumstances, and gives you triple the capacity at half the price... I wont be buying an SSD again for at least a couple more years I think. ( I had one for a few months until it died an early death..)

Thanks for your advice! I guess I will try it out without an aftermarket cooler to see what kind of temps to get. I will probably buy one on black friday though if I can snag a good one and some fans for optional slot on the antec. :D 
My SSD is a 64gb purchased for $64 but it was a refurb. Been working well so far.
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October 24, 2010 12:03:32 AM

geofelt said:
I am not much in favor of liquid cooling.

Unless you are a record seeking overclocker, a decent air cooler will do the job.

There is a wealth of good info on this site:
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
You have to look carefully at the fans used, and what speeds they are running at. Some coolers have a proprietary fan so a true comparison can not be made,

The megahalems has one of the easiest to install methods out there. It has performed well.

That said, it is not significantly better than many other coolers that sell for <$40. I would spend the difference on something more productive, like a better graphics card or case.


These are the after market coolers that I have looked at so far.
Noctua ND-D14
Prolima Megahalems
Scythe Mugen 2

Others that I have considered
Coolermaster v8
Spire Thermax Eclipse II

EDIT: Will any of these coolers conflict with my g skill ram as they seem a bit taller than my dd2 ram that I had before?
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October 24, 2010 12:04:17 AM

Get your oem cooler up front. You will have to remove the motherboard to properly install it. I hate to take apart a working system to do it later. Even if you don't need it for the oc, your pc will run cooler and quieter.
No need to spend more than $40 on it.
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November 3, 2010 11:29:36 PM

Best answer selected by jay05.
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