Looking to build new system: Have questions

This will be my second home built system. I built one 4 years ago and it's time to build a new one. I'm into gaming and photography. I'm looking to build for Windows 7 64bit.

I'm thinking along the lines of:

CASE: Thermaltake Armor(model with slideout MB tray).

I've had Thermaltake since the days of the Xaser's and love my current older Armor case(without the sliding MB tray).


MB: ASUS: possible models....
ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58
ASUS Rampage III Formula LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX
ASUS Rampage II Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX
ASUS P6T6 WS Revolution with NF200 3xPCIe true x16 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX
ASUS Rampage III Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX

I have had ASUS motherboards since time began and they have never giving me an issue.


CPU: Intel Core i7-970 Gulftown 3.2GHz 6 x 256KB L2 Cache 12MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor BX80613I7970

I don't need the extreme CPU's.

MEMORY: I Love Corsair, so probably 12gigs of Dominator or perhaps depending on which MB I get, 24gigs???

HD: probably 1 WD Velociraptor for system drive and 1 standard(7200) for storage.

Power Supply: 1200w:I have had Enermax with no issues, but I see a lot of good things for EVGA and Thermaltake PS's too.

Sound: Creative PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion Series Sound Card. I've always had Sound Blasters and love them.

Video: EVGA Nvidia GTX 580. I've always had EVGA/Nvidia cards and love them.

FOR THE QUESTIONS:

With regard to the sound blaster, I currently have an X-Fi pro(model with internal card and large external controller). I assume that this card will be too slow for gaming.....that the newer model will be faster? I assume I can just put the new card into a PCI-E 16 slot if need be as some of these potential MB's I'm looking at only have 16x slots?

With regard to the video card, I only use 1 card, no SLI. I have a small room and it can get warm. No overclocked model, just reference, again to help with heat. Also, I game on a 22inch at like 1650 res, so it's no biggie. However, having another 16x slot just in case I want to at some point is a requirement.

With regard to the MB choice, any thoughts? Any models that stand out as overkill?

With regard to memory, is 12GB more than enough? Is 24GB overkill? Also, I don't overclock memory, just factory specs.

Also, with regard to heatsinks/fans for the CPU, what's a good brand/model considering I'm putting it into a Thermaltake Armor case? I consider this the hardest part in building a system...........finding a good CPU heatsink/fan that works great and fits the case, let alone the MB. These things can get huge as you know.
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More about looking build system questions
  1. If you are going with a single GPU solution then a quality 650watt PSU would be enough for your system, 1200watts would be a waste of money.
  2. my recommendation: wait a month and get an 1155 Sandy Bridge: a 2600 (or the overclockable 2600K) beats a 970 hands down. It goes toe-to-to with the 980X for 1/3 the cost.

    a Sound Blaster is really not necessary, a sound system just as good is built into the motherboard.

    1200W Is serious overkill unless you plan to use *3* 580s. twin 580s needs about 850W
  3. I hear ya on that, but I love and crave overhead when it comes to power. My current system has an intel core 2 quad 6600 with a single GTX 285, but with a Enermax Galaxy 850w(the older, huge long one like the 1000w model). I always want to have MORE than enough power. I don't want to, in any way shape or form, under power, or even close to under power a system. Just paranoid I guess....hehehe
  4. It would not exactly be underpowered with 650watt here is total system load overclocked I7 920 with a single GTX580 490 watts under stress test with Furmark http://www.anandtech.com/show/4061/amds-radeon-hd-6970-radeon-hd-6950/24
    Enermax, Corsair, Antec, Seasonic and XFX would all be good choices of PSU.
  5. ScrewySqrl said:
    my recommendation: wait a month and get an 1155 Sandy Bridge: a 2600 (or the overclockable 2600K) beats a 970 hands down. It goes toe-to-to with the 980X for 1/3 the cost.

    a Sound Blaster is really not necessary, a sound system just as good is built into the motherboard.

    1200W Is serious overkill unless you plan to use *3* 580s. twin 580s needs about 850W



    As far as overclocking......I just don't do it on anything, from the video card, to the CPU to memory. I prefer not to mess around and or live dangerously as I call it. So everything I get will stay at factory specs.

    As far as the Sound Blaster is concerned, I like having the extra front panel control, but I was just concerned about whether it can go into a 16x PCI-e slot.

    As far as the power, I'm a sucker(and that may be what it is, hehehe) for having a lot of headroom. I don't want to even entertain the notion that I might not have enough power and I may at some point go SLI.
  6. Seaclam said:


    HD: probably 1 WD Velociraptor for system drive and 1 standard(7200) for storage.

    Power Supply: 1200w:I have had Enermax with no issues, but I see a lot of good things for EVGA and Thermaltake PS's too.

    Sound: Creative PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion Series Sound Card. I've always had Sound Blasters and love them.


    i see that up there and and it's like taking a trip back in time. Circa 2002 - 2006. Enermax and Thermaltake used to make decent psu's back in the day...unfortunately they didn't keep up on the quality aspect and now their junk. Sound cards...becoming a thing of the past anymore with the quality of the on board sound these days...and the Raptors...SSD's are taking them out of the game.
  7. I would like to get into SSD's, but I consider them still too expensive and too low in capacity, especially for the price. I think they need a few more years before they become the standard and are priced and spec'd capacity wise to drives today. I find, that at least with my ears, that I can hear the difference with the Sound Blaster. There's something just not right, sound wise, with these onboard solutions. They are missing fidelity.
  8. I would not consider Enermax junk as stated above, they are pricey though. http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story&reid=194
  9. best option: Gets 60-90 GB SSD (they run $110-180) to hold windows and your favorite programs, and 1 TB SATA 2 drive for storage.
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