My first project

Hello Tom's!

I have been wanting to build my own system for years now, but I just never really had the knowledge or the funds for it. I'm working full-time now, and although I'm not exactly rolling in dough, I am pulling in a little extra every month. My birthday just passed last week, and when my fiance had asked me what I wanted for a present, I had spontaneously answered that I wanted a new tower. I've never built my own tower before, and although the handful of $700 gaming towers we've bought off of Craigslist are much better than average, they aren't really performing as dreamily as I'd hoped.

Of course, I don't exactly have the funds to jump in with both feet. My plan is to pick out a processor, mobo, and chassis first, and then pick up the rest month to month. That sounded simple enough...but here I am a week and 100+ pages of research and specs later, still chasing my own tail. So, that's when I decided I may need some (or a lot of) expert help.

General Specs (Tentative)

OS: Windows 7 Ultimate-64
Processor: Core i7-950 w/ Cooler Master Intel Core i7 compatible V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler
Mobo: *Refer below*
PSU: ???
GPU: *Refer below*
RAM: 4GBs initially ~ 8GBs (or more, need advice) finally
Sound: ???

Chassis: ??? (Will want steel full-tower chassis)
Cooling: ???

Processor, Mobo, Chassis

I have decided on a processor: the Core i7-950. That is, unless you guys feel I should go with something else. I am also contemplating on a Cooler Master Intel Core i7 compatible V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler; again, need your opinion on the product. I have not been able to decide on a mobo due to a) the number of mobo's and specs out there (all with conflicting reviews), and b) I don't know if I should be using SLI, or just stick with one GPU. I do know for sure that I want to go with Intel & nVidia products, if that's any help.

I have yet to even look at any chassis; although I plan to buy the chassis first, I want to have every component picked out already so that I can make sure everything will fit comfortably and correctly.

GPU

At this point, I am still unsure about the whole SLI thing. In terms of performance, what is the difference between running a GTX 480 and 2 x GTX 460's? What are the drawbacks? Any relevant information you can give me? I understand the concept and everything, just haven't read any real feedback from consumers. Thanks.

I guess that about wraps it up for now. Hope to hear from you guys soon, in the mean time I'll keep doing research. Thanks!
15 answers Last reply
More about project
  1. ok. 2 GTX 460s will outperform 1 GTX 480, as tom's proved in an article back in July.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-460-sli-geforce-gtx-480,2694.html

    teh i7-950 isn't that much better than the i5-750, and you can save some money that way.
  2. ScrewySqrl said:
    ok. 2 GTX 460s will outperform 1 GTX 480, as tom's proved in an article back in July.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-460-sli-geforce-gtx-480,2694.html

    teh i7-950 isn't that much better than the i5-750, and you can save some money that way.


    Thank you for the response! I skimmed through the article, and that's all I needed unless anyone else has any feedback. I will go with x2 GTX 460's. So now I need recommendations for the best mobo for that.

    As for the processor, can anyone else add any thoughts? Personally, as I have mentioned before, I have already purchased a handful of towers that "saved money", but in the end I just wasn't really satisfied. I don't plan on OCing if I can help it, so I really wanted to go with something higher quality off the bat. This is my first project, and somehow I feel I should be getting the best quality components I can, so price can come second. With that in mind, should I still change to a different processor?

    Thanks again for the advice, I look forward to more.
  3. if you're set on an i7-950, that's fine.

    since you're going with 2x460 in SLI, you want an x58 board that does x16/x16, by preference.

    you also will use triple channel ram, so you want 6 GB rather than 4 or 8.

    Whats your total budget?
  4. ScrewySqrl said:
    if you're set on an i7-950, that's fine.

    since you're going with 2x460 in SLI, you want an x58 board that does x16/x16, by preference.


    Thanks again for the prompt reply.

    For the mobo, this was one that I was looking at: www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131358
    Is this board any good? I can see that there are a few negative reviews, but honestly there are some for EVERY board I've seen so far. Can you recommend anything better or more suited for me? In terms of usage, I will be gaming mostly, and also running blu-ray media. Also, my tower stays on almost 24/7, so please consider that a factor.

    ScrewySqrl said:
    you also will use triple channel ram, so you want 6 GB rather than 4 or 8.


    I see, so 6GB will be better than 8GB for me? Can I get your feedback on this product?
    www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145224&cm_re=6gb_ram_ddr3-_-20-145-224-_-Product

    ScrewySqrl said:
    Whats your total budget?

    I don't really have a total budget. As I stated before, I will not be purchasing everything at one time; rather, I will be picking up components month to month. I am expecting to spend more than $1,000 in total.
  5. mosox said:


    I appreciate the suggestions, but I'm afraid you've misunderstood me. When I said I expect to spend more than $1,000, I meant that as a minimum budget, not maximum. I haven't looked at an accurate sum yet, but I am in fact expecting to spend upwards of $2,000 in the end, if not more.

    And also, it says in the specs that this mobo supports only dual, not triple channel; I was originally going to get 8GBs, but was told 6GBs would be better?? Though there was no further explanation on that. All of my current towers have at least 4GBs (one with 8gbs), and still are not satisfactory for me. So like I stated in my previous posts, this is my project tower, not just going to be "another computer" for me, and I want to put in the best (reasonably) components I can.

    I plan on putting in a blu-ray drive, but I have yet to even look at the peripherals; I'm just focusing on picking out the mobo first right now. HDD I've already got (a 2TB). Also, I stated above I wanted to get a full-tower size steel chassis?? Isn't this one a mid-tower size??

    As for the GPU, can anyone tell me what manufacturer has the most reliable product? I once burned out 4 different 9800's in 3 months; 3 of them were BFG, the last was PNY. Though the PNY hasn't had any problems since, it was huge compared to the BFG one, I had to change ports for one of my SATAs to fit it.
  6. OK, here's a nice case and a very good modular PSU, wait for more replies on the mobo/CPU/RAM but next year Intel is changing the sockets so you don't want to spend it all now.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119213

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207003&Tpk=xfx%20750

    As for the RAM, for gaming and stuff don't get more than 6G, you can't use more.

    Beside the i7-950 on the 1366, here's a very good CPU on the 1156:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116368

    HSF
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835608018

    LE fixed a link.

    Added a HSF
  7. it'l be best so sock it all away until you have your full build price.

    Prices of components almost always drop over time, so hold off and get everythng at once
  8. mosox said:
    OK, here's a nice case and a very good modular PSU, wait for more replies on the mobo/CPU/RAM but next year Intel is changing the sockets so you don't want to spend it all now.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119213

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207003&Tpk=xfx%20750

    As for the RAM, for gaming and stuff don't get more than 6G, you can't use more.

    Beside the i7-950 on the 1366, here's a very good CPU on the 1156:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116368

    HSF
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835608018

    LE fixed a link.

    Added a HSF


    I love the chassis! And the PSU looks really nice too, thanks! I think I'm going to stick with the 950, unless there's something about the product that's just not good other than price? This is great, I think I'll go with these, thanks a lot! Any suggestions on the RAM? Or feedback on the one I posted before?
  9. ScrewySqrl said:
    it'l be best so sock it all away until you have your full build price.

    Prices of components almost always drop over time, so hold off and get everythng at once


    I understand. I'll try to do that if I can, of course. The only reason I wanted to buy them separately is because I'm afraid I'll spend the money on something else, haha.
  10. Thanks! Alright, here's a current list of components:

    Mobo:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131666

    Processor:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115211

    RAM:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231304

    Chassis:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811119213

    PSU:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] =xfx%20750

    HSF:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835608018

    GPU:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814121391


    Am I forgetting anything? I'm not going to worry about peripherals yet, btw.

    Also, can someone give me some advise on this product?
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103055

    Is it worth it? Is it even necessary to have? Thanks.
  11. Better get this board though, it's cheaper and you still have 3 way SLI.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.519735
  12. mosox said:
    Better get this board though, it's cheaper and you still have 3 way SLI.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.519735


    Thanks, if the combo is still there when I order, I'll see if I can go with this.
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