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Advice: Is this configuration good?

Last response: in Systems
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February 21, 2011 7:50:43 AM

Hello,

I'm not a heavy gamer, but I'm interested in video editing, Photoshop, etc. After much research, I decided to go with CyberPower for the first time. My budget is around $2k. Please note that I do NOT want to build my own system; I would like to go with a vendor. Here is my config...I would really love to hear everyone's advice: :) 

- Case: CoolerMaster 690 II Advanced Mid-Tower Gaming Case
- Default case fans
- CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-970 3.20 GHz 12M Intel Smart Cache LGA1366
- No Overclocking
- Cooling Fan: CyberPower Xtreme Hydro Liquid Cooling Kit 240MM w/ Dual Fan(CPU & GPU Liquid Cool Capable, Extreme Overclocking Performance + Extreme Slient at 18dBA)
- Motherboard: (3-Way SLI Support) Asus P6X58D Premium Intel X58 Chipset SLI/CrossFireX Mainboard Triple-Channel DDR3 FCLGA1366 ATX Mainboard w/ 7.1 HD Audio, GbLAN, USB3.0, SATA-III, SATA-II RAID, 3 Gen2 PCIe, 1 PCIe X1, & 2 PCI
- Memory: 12GB (2GBx6) DDR3/1600MHz Triple Channel Memory Module (Corsair or Major Brand)
- Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB GDDR5 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by ATI)
- Power Supply Upgrade: 950 Watts - CyberPowerPC Gaming 80 Plus Power Supply
- Hard Drive: 1TB SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 64MB Cache 7200RPM HDD (Single Hard Drive)
- Optical Drive: Samsung SH-B123L 12X BLU-RAY Player & DVDRW Combo
- Sound: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO

If some of it's overkill, I don't mind -- I'd like to keep the system around for more than a few years.

Thanks for the help!

Best solution

February 21, 2011 9:13:07 AM

Yip, it's overkill, maybe to the extent of about $800 too much in parts. For example 5870 is an expensive gaming video card that you will never use. You are spending $300 extra on the CPU without getting much extra performance. Sound card is redundant. Power Supply is twice the size it should be, but that may not be bad, since you do not tell us the brand, so it could be some fry by night model that will kill your motherboard as soon as the warranty is up.

Try half the video card, maybe a 6850, which will still let you play plenty of games. Consider i7-950 or i7-940 CPU if it will save you money (cyberpower tends to throw in CPU upgrades for free). Ditch the sound card altogether. Get a name brand PSU - Antec, Corsair, Silverstone or XFX - around 650 watts if you want 50 percent excess capacity for aging.

Now, add back an SSD for some noticeable performance gain, sized between 60 GB and 128 GB for your OS and main programs. The fast SSD's are operating at 285/275 read write. If you have money left over, buy another monitor or two so you can run multi-display.
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February 21, 2011 10:57:55 AM

Good advice from eloric;
Stick with the i7-960 CPU. That very small performance difference won't extend the usable life span and $296 would get you a very nice 2nd monitor which would do more to increase your productivity over time.

I don't believe there are any features in the P6X58D Premium motherboard that you need not already in Asus Sabertooth default choice.

You didn't mention what video software you'll be using but if it's 'CUDA enabled' I'd choose one of the Nvidia options like the GTX 460 or GTX 560 Ti (my preference).
If the software supports both ATI Stream and Nvidia CUDA you have a choice of either both ATI & Nvidia video cards.

When I saw you could 'upgrade' from the 800 Watts XtremeGear Gaming Power Supply to the Corsair 850TX for +$85 that was kind of scary. We know the 850TX sells for around $130 plus $20 rebate so that standard 800W PSU is 'worth' around ~$45? Very scary. Without knowing the real MFGR & model number of the house brand PSUs it's not easy knowing what kind of value & quality you're actually getting. You want the PSU to match the quality of your other parts (or even to exceed that standard). You want to have assurance you're getting a good part. A good option would be the CM Silent Pro Gold 800W PSU.
Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 800 W Power Supply Review
I'd think a 650W PSU would be more than adequate for any single video card, but that doesn't appear to be an option @ CyberPower.

For SSD OS boot drive I like the 128GB A-DATA S599 Series SSD which uses a Sand Force 1200 controller.
A-DATA S599 128GB Solid State Drive review @ Tweaktown & A-DATA S599 128 GB SSD review @ TechPowerUp
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February 21, 2011 9:03:12 PM

Best answer selected by peanutty.
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February 21, 2011 9:13:49 PM

eloric, WR2,

thank you for your great replies! both were "best answers" in my opinion -- i'm sorry i couldn't select two.

i went with both of your suggestions: downgraded the CPU and video card, got an SSD drive, and upped the PSU to Corsair. (i did not know that a PSU make/model was that important!). after i placed the order, i felt very good about the final config.

i really appreciated your quick replies (love this board!). your posts were incredibly helpful and highly informative.

thanks again! :) 
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February 21, 2011 9:14:58 PM

I'd suggest getting a build list together here and bringing it to a local puter shop and have them build it for you. Here's a build I put together earlier today $(1,868) for a photo buff

Case - $160 - Antec P183 V3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $120 - Antec CP-850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo - $395 - ASUS P8P67 Pro http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
CPU - incl above - Intel Core i5-2500K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - $155 - (2 x 4GB) Mushkin CAS 7 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - $250 - Asus 560 Ti http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HD - $65 - Spinpoint F3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HD - $65 - Same
SSD - $245 - Crucual C300 2.5" 128GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Card Reader $35 AFT XM-35U http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Writer - $120 - ASUS BR Model BW-12B1LT http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OS - $140 - Win 7-64 Pro OEM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Keyboard - $65 - Logitech G110 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mouse - $53 - Logitech G500 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Of course for photo editing you're talking an IPS panel which means $550 at the entry point for a Dell U2410 ..... next for $950 would be the U2711 and then the U3011 at $1470
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February 21, 2011 9:28:23 PM

oh, one other thing i did change was the cooling. i decided to get a non-liquid option (Corsair V8), as i believed LC would also be overkill for my system. i'm hoping this is the case. :whistle: 

@Jack: thanks for your reply! i just placed my order. i've already spent SOOOOO much time researching all this, that to go back and think about it some more would just give me a pounding headache. :o 
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