Any Recommended Improvements to this ~$1600 i7-950

Hi all,
I’m requesting good, bad or ugly comments on the following i7-950 build which will be mostly used for gaming. Do you see any obvious problems? What are my weak points and do you notice any overkills? Thanks!!

Intel Core i7-950
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115211

ASUS Sabertooth X58
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131665

G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) CL7 ->F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231335

COOLER MASTER HAF 922
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119197

EVGA GTX 570
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130595

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006

2 X Crucial Real 64GB SATA III in RAID 0
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148357

2 X WD Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065

2 X Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R….
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118039

Total ~ $1570
10 answers Last reply
More about recommended improvements 1600
  1. Looks like a good setup you got there, if you have to buy now, and can not wait until the "re-release" of Sandy Bridge in April.

    Cases are very much down to personal preference, and despite the apparent craze about the HAF cases, I am not a fan.

    If all you are looking for is a gaming PC, you could drop down to an i5 760 without really losing anything.

    If you are looking to go SLI in the future, I would bump the PSU to a 850W model.

    Most that will comment, will probably tell you to change to Samsung F3 HDDs, I will not. If you are prepared to pay the slight price premium, go with the WD Blacks, they are great HDDs.

    For only $10 more I would drop the CM 212+ and get a Scythe Mugen 2, quieter and much improved cooling, that is if you are even going to overclock, if not, there is no need to get an after market cooler.

    I do not get the 2 DVD drives, but I guess you have a need.
  2. vatech1 said:
    Hi all,
    I’m requesting good, bad or ugly comments on the following i7-950 build which will be mostly used for gaming. Do you see any obvious problems? What are my weak points and do you notice any overkills? Thanks!!

    Intel Core i7-950
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115211

    ASUS Sabertooth X58
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131665

    G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) CL7 ->F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231335

    COOLER MASTER HAF 922
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119197

    EVGA GTX 570
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130595

    CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006

    2 X Crucial Real 64GB SATA III in RAID 0
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148357

    2 X WD Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533

    COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065

    2 X Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R….
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118039

    Total ~ $1570


    Well, if you want more' gaming' performance here we go!

    Drop the TX 750 in favour of the better quality
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371025&cm_re=TP-750-_-17-371-025-_-Product
    for $89.99 and you don't need to file for a rebate...

    Next: I know your SSD's will slow down, but consider dropping 1 of them in favour of opening up some money to contribute towards another GTX 570 - giving you a 70-%+ boost in fps.

    Drop the WD- Black hard drives for 2 of these http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185&cm_re=samsung_spinpoint-_-22-152-185-_-Product
    They are a bit faster, and $25 cheaper each. Saves $50 for a better product.

    Any reason why getting 2 optical drives? Should drop 1.

    And heres the real bombshell....:

    Why not.. get an i5 760 for $210 and a decent $140~ motherboard. That'd mean you could get 4 gigs of 1600MHZ ram at CAS 7-8 at voltages of 1.35>1.5 for $35 to 40. 2 sets of them would give you 8 gigs of ram for almost 1/2 the price those 6 gigs cost you. (And you only need 4).
    That'd save you around $90+50+50+50+125+10 (i5 760+EVGAsuperclock 570 combo disc)= 370 - enough for another GTX 570. Save and you can get that 2nd SSD later :)
  3. If this build is meant to be primarily for gaming, then you build off your vid cards, not your h/d. FPS is what it's all about. Dual SSD's and dual optical drives ?

    Try this build. The Samsung h/d in this build runs just as fast as that WD you have, yet it's cheaper. The o/c gtx 560's run close to on par with the 570's yet they run cooler and need less power seeing how they are built on a newer (and latest) chipset. Two of those will eat up a gtx 580 which goes for $500. btw, this build down below contains two of those over clocked gtx 560's :)

    http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=6606 <--- more info on that case

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119197 $99.98 FREE SHIPPING
    COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

    http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-CMPSU-750TX-750-Watt-Certified-compatible/dp/B000X2677A/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1297461457&sr=1-1 $104.74 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    Corsair CMPSU-750TX 750-Watt TX Series 80 Plus Certified Power Supply compatible with Intel Core i7 and Core i5

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.592174 Combo Price: $474.99
    Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
    ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002G1YPH0/ref=s9_simh_gw_p23_d0_i2?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=198BHWZY74N2MFGJW8CD&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846 $28.05 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    Cooler Master RR-B10-212P-G1 Hyper 212 Plus 775/1156/1366/AMD/AM2/AM3 Universal Direct Contact Heat-Pipe 120mm Fan CPU Cooler

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226181 $89.99 FREE SHIPPING
    Mushkin Enhanced Radioactive 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model 998983

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125363 $249.99
    GIGABYTE GV-N560OC-1GI GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125363 $249.99
    GIGABYTE GV-N560OC-1GI GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136177 $16.99 FREE SHIPPING
    LG Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM SATA DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185 $64.99 FREE SHIPPING
    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227590 $206.99 - $176.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING
    OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD3-2VTX120G 3.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

    Total: $1,586.70 *not including shipping, rebates, etc..
  4. Why_Me said:
    If this build is meant to be primarily for gaming, then you build off your vid cards, not your h/d. FPS is what it's all about. Dual SSD's and dual optical drives ?

    Try this build. The Samsung h/d in this build runs just as fast as that WD you have, yet it's cheaper. The o/c gtx 560's run close to on par with the 570's yet they run cooler and need less power seeing how they are built on a newer (and latest) chipset. Two of those will eat up a gtx 580 which goes for $500. btw, this build down below contains two of those over clocked gtx 560's :)

    http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=6606 <--- more info on that case

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119197 $99.98 FREE SHIPPING
    COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

    http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-CMPSU-750TX-750-Watt-Certified-compatible/dp/B000X2677A/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1297461457&sr=1-1 $104.74 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    Corsair CMPSU-750TX 750-Watt TX Series 80 Plus Certified Power Supply compatible with Intel Core i7 and Core i5

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.592174 Combo Price: $474.99
    Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
    ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002G1YPH0/ref=s9_simh_gw_p23_d0_i2?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=198BHWZY74N2MFGJW8CD&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846 $28.05 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    Cooler Master RR-B10-212P-G1 Hyper 212 Plus 775/1156/1366/AMD/AM2/AM3 Universal Direct Contact Heat-Pipe 120mm Fan CPU Cooler

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226181 $89.99 FREE SHIPPING
    Mushkin Enhanced Radioactive 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model 998983

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125363 $249.99
    GIGABYTE GV-N560OC-1GI GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125363 $249.99
    GIGABYTE GV-N560OC-1GI GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136177 $16.99 FREE SHIPPING
    LG Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM SATA DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185 $64.99 FREE SHIPPING
    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    Total: $1,379.71 *not including shipping, rebates, etc..

    *A 40gb SSD will allow you to load your o/s or you can go for bigger...o/s, apps, games, etc...whatever you use the most

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227590 $206.99 - $176.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING
    OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD3-2VTX120G 3.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)


    Of course 2 GTX 560's will eat up the 580, and yeah, a 560 will run close to a 570 overclocked, but in a fair test, the 560 oc'd must be compared to a 570 oc'd etc. Then see if the price/performance is worth it. IMHO i'd get a 580 instead of 2 560's for the same price.. I mean getting a 580 leaves room for a 2nd in a few years time. I doubt he'd need the performance of a single 560, let alone a 580, so a 580 now will be plenty, allow his e-peen to be blown AND fit under his budget and lastly allow room for upgradeability!
  5. vibhas said:
    Of course 2 GTX 560's will eat up the 580, and yeah, a 560 will run close to a 570 overclocked, but in a fair test, the 560 oc'd must be compared to a 570 oc'd etc. Then see if the price/performance is worth it. IMHO i'd get a 580 instead of 2 560's for the same price.. I mean getting a 580 leaves room for a 2nd in a few years time. I doubt he'd need the performance of a single 560, let alone a 580, so a 580 now will be plenty, allow his e-peen to be blown AND fit under his budget and lastly allow room for upgradeability!

    That makes about zero sense and I will explain why.

    The odds of anyone picking up a second 580 or even a second 570 in a few years is about 10% or less. Look at the vid cards two years ago...power hungry, ran hot, and they are out dated now. Now take a look at the vid cards four years ago....it's the same. Technology is going faster than ever atm...especially with computers RE vid cards, cpu's, etc... I mean this build is already out dated seeing how the Sandy Bridge builds eat up any other build out there atm. And in less than a year it will be Ivy Bridge yet they will use the P67 1155 mobo's so there is upgrading potential. Those boards are due out in early April.

    Ask anyone their opinion on this and if they have half a brain they will tell you just what I did. It's now or never with dual vid cards most of the time, and when you can get two vid cards that run cool, eat up little power, run off a new chip set, and over clock like they were born for it...well then you figure it out.

    That build I posted was less than the OP's build (your build ?) and it will eat up and spit out that build for any game out there. SSD's in regards to gaming are about as useful as tits on a nun when it means cutting out FPS.
  6. Thanks all for the excellent and quick feedback on this build. I think I'll wait for Sandy Bridge then.

    lothdk thanks and I'll go with that PSU upgrade to 850W, the cooler upgrade and consider the F3 HDD and i5-760. Two opticals are for backing up DVDs....should not have listed as they just confound this build's main intent (gaming).

    vibhas, thanks and that's two votes for 15-760....I guess the games don't really make use of hyperthreading.

    vibhas and Why_me....good advice and I'm still processing what you guys are saying about the GPU. I'm thinking about going up to the single 580....unsure though.

    I understand that the SDD will make zero difference on game performance....but 10 seconds to boot Win 7 sounds awesome (but not relevant for gaming).

    U guys rock!
  7. vatech1 said:
    Thanks all for the excellent and quick feedback on this build. I think I'll wait for Sandy Bridge then.

    lothdk thanks and I'll go with that PSU upgrade to 850W, the cooler upgrade and consider the F3 HDD and i5-760. Two opticals are for backing up DVDs....should not have listed as they just confound this build's main intent (gaming).

    vibhas, thanks and that's two votes for 15-760....I guess the games don't really make use of hyperthreading.

    vibhas and Why_me....good advice and I'm still processing what you guys are saying about the GPU. I'm thinking about going up to the single 580....unsure though.

    I understand that the SDD will make zero difference on game performance....but 10 seconds to boot Win 7 sounds awesome (but not relevant for gaming).

    U guys rock!

    Wise choice waiting for April and the SB build.

    April is right around the corner (less than 2 months away :) ) and the Sandy Bridge builds actually run cheaper than the 1136 builds. So if you have the same budget in early April, you will get more for your $ and then some :)
  8. vibhas said:
    Of course 2 GTX 560's will eat up the 580, and yeah, a 560 will run close to a 570 overclocked, but in a fair test, the 560 oc'd must be compared to a 570 oc'd etc. Then see if the price/performance is worth it. IMHO i'd get a 580 instead of 2 560's for the same price.. I mean getting a 580 leaves room for a 2nd in a few years time. I doubt he'd need the performance of a single 560, let alone a 580, so a 580 now will be plenty, allow his e-peen to be blown AND fit under his budget and lastly allow room for upgradeability!

    One other thing I left out. I doubt you play newer games because if you did you would know that the 570 doesn't max the newer games out with a decent resolution and all the affects turned on. If the OP isn't into playing older "retro games" like CS, then I'm, sure he would appreciate being able to play all the latest games...and the ones coming out in the near future on the highest settings knowing that he isn't going to lag and get his arse kicked online because his vid card can't handle the game and/or settings.

    Google some benchmarks :)
  9. Save $15 and get the MoBo / CPU in combo

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.592174

    Take that savings (and an extra $5 and upgrade to much better PSU. The XFX Black Edition 850 is comparable to Corsair HX 1st tier series (TX is 2nd tier) and the extra 100 w will give ya plenty fo room for a 2nd 570 and overclocking stability.

    Getting one now and adding the 2nd come XMas is a great way to stay within budget today while extending the life of your system significantly. Picking up that 2nd card just before the new ones come out and take advantage of the significant price reductions.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207001

    Spend another $10 and upgrade to the Scythe Mugen 2 ... the 212 has fallen outta the top 25.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185142
    http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=447&Itemid=62&limit=1&limitstart=15

    Another option is that Asetek seems to be getting the hang of these sealed water cooled systems. The H50 and H70 that they made for Corsair have had their problems but BMR writes about the Kuhler 620.

    Quote:
    It's the first compact liquid cooler I've tested that can honestly be considered as competition for the likes of the Cooler Master V6 GT, Prolimatech Megahalems, and Thermalright Venomous X.


    http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=694&Itemid=62&limit=1&limitstart=5

    Unfortunately, I haven;t found a place to buy it yet.
  10. You will see a lot of people saying SSDs have no impact on games other than "level" loading, however, some games, especially MMOs constantlycontinually load data, and in those cases, an SSD can improve the gaming experience, as if you have an older/slow'ish HDD you can experience stutter in those games (mostly MMOs).
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