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building a new computer, help with parts


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#1 username455

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 03:05 PM

Ive seen a few of these types of posts, so I hope its ok if I add my own. Im building my first real computer (Ive put one together before) and had questions about parts/brands

First, the parts I have in mind so far:

case: Antec 1200
cpu: core i7 920
gpu: evga gtx 260
mobo: asus p6t deluxe v2
psu: corsair 850w
ram: corsair 6gb ddr3 cas latency 7
heat sink: cooler master v8
sound card: x-fi extreme audio
hard drive: wd 640gb sata 3.0


Questions so far:

Does gpu brand matter?

Is that mobo reliable/overkill?

do I want ram with a cas latency of 7?

is the sound card reliable? Ive had trouble with SB in the past, but is their x-fi line better?

finally, do I want a 64bit OS? Ive never really looked into what it can/cant do

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#2 dpunisher

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 03:37 PM

1) Not to me. I have had good luck and bad luck with NVidia and ATI.
2) Good motherboard. What do you mean by "overkill"?
3) Get RAM that will run at 1600. Timings don't make a lot of difference. I have mine at 1600 8-8-8-24. It can run 1200 at 7-7-7-16. Even slacking timings at 1200 to 8-8-8-24 the memory benches are very close. 1600 is nice to have when you bump that i7 to 4ghz. Triple channel set that does 1600 at 1.65v or less is what to start looking for.
4) I don't really buy soundcards anymore, onboard is fine for me. My only soundcard rule is, "Don't buy Creative". (It's a personal thing)
5) You absolutely want a 64bit OS. A 34bit OS with 6gigs+ of RAM won't fly. Avoid XP64.

As far as the heatsink/CPU cooler, it's not bad. Something to consider, those big CPU coolers take a lot of room. Memory with big fins on them (Like Corsair Dominator) can have problems fitting in the first memory slot with a big hog cooler like that. Good PSU. (850TX or 850HX)?

Looks like a good setup so far.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#3 username455

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 03:56 PM

hey thanks for the reply

1. as for brand I meant, EVGA, MSI, etc.

2. Im not exactly sure what I meant either haha. I guess is that the best deal on a mobo?

3. So would it be wise to find a different ram because a) it could be cheaper with a different timing and :thumbsup: it could be smaller (no fins) to fit better?

Do you have recommendations on a different heat sink?

the PSU I was looking at was the 850hx, although I wasnt sure which to choose

and I think Ill stick with onboard sound then, and have a go at 64bit os :huh:

thanks!

#4 DJBPace07

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 10:55 PM

1. Almost all graphics cards in a given line are the same and you're really only paying for bundles or special programs that the individual manufacturer may have. Cards are mass produced and quality can vary. I usually go with the least expensive one that has the specs I want. The GTX 260 is a mid-ranged GPU, if you game a great deal, you may want a better card.

2. It is possible to get a motherboard that is overkill. Such as buying one that has four PCI-Express X16 slots when you only are planning on using a single or dual GPU setup. There can be overkill in terms of the CPU. Most gamers often spend way too much for the latest and greatest CPU only to discover that many of their programs cannot take advantage of the CPU technology. For instance, a user plays games that are dual core optimized, not quad core, and they are planning on upgrading again in two years yet they still buy a high end quad core CPU with a lower clock speed. The games must be optimized to use all the additional cores otherwise the value of the quad is wasted. Users who keep their PC's for several years can see the advantages of using a quad. I think most of the LGA 1366 motherboards are very overpriced, look for ones that have enough PCI-Express slots for your purposes from a good company. The GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R and the ASRock X58 Deluxe LGA 1366 might be a better value.

3. I agree with dpunisher on this one. From what I've seen, RAM pricing varies mostly based on speed and added features, like heat spreaders. Since you're wanting a low-end i7 920 system, not the higher end i7 950 or 975, you probably have the cash to burn on these features.

4. I own a Xonar D2 and a Xonar D2X sound card and enjoy them. Sound cards are only really necessary for people who listen or make a great deal of music or those interested in home theater setups. I refuse to buy Creative again because of the way they treat their customers.

5. Absolutely go for 64-bit.

For PSU's, I suggest Corsair, PC Power, Silverstone, and OCZ. You will most likely get a very good PSU with those companies.

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#5 username455

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 01:33 PM

Hey thanks for the reply!

I was thinking of maybe up'ing the gpu. I would like to stay with nvidia, so what would you recommend? I was also looking at the gtx275 but that is only one up from the 260 right?

I think I'll stick with that ram then, it is 1600 I forgot to mention. And it should fit.. There are 6 slots on that mobo and I will only be using 3 slots.

And should I go with the corsair 850tx or 850hx psu?

And I will look into alternative sound cards :thumbsup: and go with 64bit!

Thanks guys, it's coming along. I hope to be ordering parts sometime this weekend!

#6 username455

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 03:14 PM

thought of another question:

which ram would you choose?

CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

#7 DJBPace07

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 04:49 PM

Both the Dominator and the XMS3 have the same speed, heat spreaders, and latencies. I would go for the least expensive. The GTX 275 is a step up from the GTX 260. Since you're getting an x58 motherboard, you can be more choosy about which card you want since you can both SLI and Crossfire. You could always go for the GTX 280 or 285. The Corsair 850HX is a modular PSU, you only install the cables you need, eliminating the need to tuck the unused cables away somewhere in the case.

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#8 username455

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 05:55 PM

when I look at the gtx 275 or 285 there are a bunch of versions of each. the 275 can either be 896MB or 1792MB and the gtx 285 can be 1GB or 2GB. Does it come down to what I want to pay for? And are superclocked editions as stable?

also, which version of windows 7 will I want to get? any reason to go for ultimate or professional? Im assuming I have to upgrade from say vista ultimate to windows 7 ultimate if thats what i choose to do?

#9 DJBPace07

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 11:11 PM

There are many different manufacturers for each different GPU model. Some manufacturers like to set their product apart by having more VRAM or special bundles. Ultimately, the hardware in each is mostly the same. Most people are alright with 1GB models of cards. But, if you're connecting the card to a huge monitor, or monitors, the 2GB version may be the way to go. Some games are able to take advantage of the increased VRAM, such as GTA IV or ArmA 2. Superclocked editions are merely factory overclocked cards using the standard GPU in whatever line the card is in. So, a superclocked GTX 285 is really just a standard GTX 285 that comes in the box already overclocked. Occasionally, the manufacturer will include a better cooler. The superclocked editions are fully covered under the manufactuers warranty, so if they overclock them too aggressively and they break, the maker will take it back. If you are comfortable with overclocking, it may be better, financially, to get a standard card and doing the overclocking yourself. As for Windows 7, most home users do not need the ultimate or professional editions. Home Premium will work very well for almost all users, though the Professional version does contain XP mode and EFS, but most applications will work as they do in Vista so even those features are unnecessary for home users. Each edition of Windows 7 is a superset, for instance, Professional contains everything in Home Premium plus the "pro" features. Enterprise, which you need a volume license to get, and Ultimate contain all the features in Professional and Home Premium, plus the Ultimate features. You don't have to go from Vista Ultimate to 7 Ultimate, you can go from Vista Ultimate to any other edition of 7. Here's the page with all the information surrounding Windows 7's SKU's.

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#10 username455

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 12:28 AM

ok this is what I ended up with:

antec 1200
core i7 920
asus p6t v2 deluxe
evga gtx275 superclocked
corsair 750hx (heard I didnt need the 850w? about $30 cheaper)
ocz platinum ram (same but cheaper than the corsair)
WD 640gb hd
coolermaster v8
samsung dvd drive
windows vista 64bit

look good? any last minute suggestions? thanks again guys!

#11 DJBPace07

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 04:39 PM

You're right, the GTX 275 only needs 550W, so a 650W or higher PSU would be best. It's a nice build.

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#12 username455

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 07:55 PM

sorry made one more change.

well I went to the 750tx cause I figure I have room for extra cables (also going to get the extension cable to make it easier to work with)

but, I decided to get the XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V heat sink.. heard it was better. The only question I see is how to put the thermal compound on. It has the pipes along the bottom that create gaps, as opposed to a flat surface. would I fill in the gaps and then apply the compound to the cpu like normal? or only on the bottom of the heat sink?

also, does thermal compound go bad? I have some from 2-3 years ago.


questions keep popping up hehe.. sorry about that. but thanks for the support! Im getting excited

#13 DJBPace07

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 08:35 PM

Most heatsink and fan units come with the thermal compound pre-applied so you don't need any. Some users choose to remove the thermal compound and apply their own. This is typical of users who are going for stock cooling, but since you are going for a premium aftermarket air cooler, the compound already applied should be good. Most thermal compound applications are simple as you just need a small dab in the center of the CPU. However, some different formulations do require a different application like Arctic Silver Ceramique. Look up who made your thermal compound to know, for certain, how your specific compound is applied. That Xigmatek cooler is very nice and it's quiet thanks to the large fan.

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