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Old 07-23-09, 12:43 AM   #1
NWCook
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Default First time computer builder asking for advice

Hi,
I'm thinking of building my own computer from scratch for the first time. My previous computers were all Dells. I would appreciate any advice on parts and if the list below makes sense. Thanks.

Case: Antec 900
PSU: Antec TruePower 750
CPU: Intel Core i7-920 2.66GHz
RAM: 6GB (3x2GB)
GPU: evga Geforce GTX 295
MB: evga X58 SLI Micro
OS: Windows 7

Any recommendations on what kind of RAM and hard drive would go well with this system? Thanks. Also any recommendations on a good 24" widescreen monitor?
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Old 07-25-09, 10:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: First time computer builder asking for advice

better case than the antec 900? Thats actually a really good case, not sure what you're talking about there...

But you are actually right with regard to the PSU. I wouldn't get an Antec PSU, they're pretty bad. Never touched a Corsair so can't recommend whether they are good or not. Obviously PC Power & Cooling are the best, but it all depends on your budget. Don't skimp on a PSU, most people do and it causes so many problems down the road.
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Old 07-25-09, 10:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: First time computer builder asking for advice

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Originally Posted by hokeyplyr48 View Post
I wouldn't get an Antec PSU, they're pretty bad.
That's a bad generalization. Definitely. Antec's been in the game longer than most and has a high quality rating.

Don't car-salesman-ize this guy, folks.
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Old 07-25-09, 11:27 AM   #4
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Default Re: First time computer builder asking for advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by NWCook View Post
Hi,
I'm thinking of building my own computer from scratch for the first time. My previous computers were all Dells. I would appreciate any advice on parts and if the list below makes sense. Thanks.

Case: Antec 900
PSU: Antec TruePower 750
CPU: Intel Core i7-920 2.66GHz
RAM: 6GB (3x2GB)
GPU: evga Geforce GTX 295
MB: evga X58 SLI Micro
OS: Windows 7

Any recommendations on what kind of RAM and hard drive would go well with this system? Thanks. Also any recommendations on a good 24" widescreen monitor?
If you have a Microcenter near you they have the Antec 902 for $115 which is a steal. IMO much much nicer than the original 900.
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Old 07-25-09, 12:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: First time computer builder asking for advice

If you decide to upgrade later with maybe another GTX295 i dont think the PSU would be sufficient.

Try the Corsair PSU's or the coolermaster at least 850w.
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Old 07-25-09, 01:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: First time computer builder asking for advice

you should wait fore the GFX update after ATI and NV rel ther new cards R800 and G300
they are not far a way and fore the PSU buy a Corsair 1000 or TT 1200 they are good performers
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Old 07-25-09, 03:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: First time computer builder asking for advice

If you are a first time builder, I would recommend a full tower case. You are getting some really top end stuff, and I think its wise to give lots of room for your equipment.

I have had no trouble with the one Antec PSU I had, but this time around i went with the modular 750w corsair. As a first time builder, modular supplies are a must in my opinion. frozencpu.com have some good deals.

I got corsair memory because there was a combo deal with my motherboard. I have had 0 problems with it so far. This is the model TR3X6G11600C8D

Monitor = Samsung (never had any issues)
Hard Drive = Western Digital (no issues)

Good luck, I recently built my first rig. Dont rush anything, go through it slow, and it will work great
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Old 07-25-09, 03:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: First time computer builder asking for advice

Whatever case you get I would recommend one with a removable motherboard tray for easy times.
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Old 07-26-09, 10:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: First time computer builder asking for advice

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Whatever case you get I would recommend one with a removable motherboard tray for easy times.
Agreed. It makes it so much easier and nicer.
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Old 07-26-09, 10:58 PM   #10
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Default Re: First time computer builder asking for advice

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Originally Posted by ragejg View Post
That's a bad generalization. Definitely. Antec's been in the game longer than most and has a high quality rating.

Don't car-salesman-ize this guy, folks.


Agreed!

I had Antec PS's in systems back in the Pentium 1 days so yea their pretty good.
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Old 07-27-09, 01:10 AM   #11
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Default Re: First time computer builder asking for advice

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Agreed!

I had Antec PS's in systems back in the Pentium 1 days so yea their pretty good.
I don't have any experience with Antec 900's, but I've hear dthe P182 is great. I've also heard great thinks about HAF932 and 922, and the 932 is what I would buy if I had money right now. As it is, I wipe my bum with my hand..

The HAF's are extremely quiet (about ~32db at medium speed with the 220mm fan running, where background is around 28). http://www.insidehw.com/Reviews/Case...32/Page-3.html great temps as well.

But every case I bought since I was 11 was an antec, except for this last Coolermaster Elite I got for 50 bucks. In 12 years of building computers, I've apparently gotten cheaper They make great stuff, but their mainstay has been in workstation-esque moniliths. They are up there, but there are better manufacturers out there.
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Old 07-27-09, 01:48 AM   #12
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Default Re: First time computer builder asking for advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by NWCook View Post
Hi,
I'm thinking of building my own computer from scratch for the first time. My previous computers were all Dells. I would appreciate any advice on parts and if the list below makes sense. Thanks.

Case: Antec 900
PSU: Antec TruePower 750
CPU: Intel Core i7-920 2.66GHz
RAM: 6GB (3x2GB)
GPU: evga Geforce GTX 295
MB: evga X58 SLI Micro
OS: Windows 7

Any recommendations on what kind of RAM and hard drive would go well with this system? Thanks. Also any recommendations on a good 24" widescreen monitor?
Err, I'm a goof, but why are you getting the Micro? That's micro-atx no? Your case is full-atx spec...

If you wanted to go for a different manu, I'm using a DFI UD5, and it is a great board. The new revision doesn't have vdroop issues either I believe. I've heard mixed reviews about the evga boards, and been scared off by some user issues with their motherboard customer service (check h.forums).

RAM: Get some decent PC-1600 ram, nothing slower. This way, when you hit high bclck you won't be limited. I believe that you hit PC-1600 with an 8x multiplier at about 190blck. That nets you 4200mhz at 21x multiplier (not sure if this is the case on all boards, but the DFI gives you a permanent 21x multiplier with Turbo On). 4200 is probably your limit with the D0 on air for absolute stability.

As far as how RAM speeds affect performance, above PC1600 can apparently even give you performance decreases because you can get very low latencies at PC1600 that you won't get at PC1833 or whatever & up.

Check here: http://hothardware.com/Articles/Trip...re-i7/?page=11
http://techreport.com/articles.x/15967/6

etc.

But PC-1600 will give you very nice performance. We're talking around 30GB/s with your top frequency overclocked and aggressive QPI & bclck. I believe at 6.4GT/s you have a 64GB/s with 3 channel 1333mhz ram, but usable is quite a bit lower. With overclocking you come closer to acheiving the theoretical frequency (not sure why in this case).

So get the cheapest low-latency PC-1600 you can. Even pc1600 cas8 ram u are good to go. Realistically you won't notice much of a degredation even with cas9 ram, which is very cheap.

As far as HD's do yourself a favor and get a SSD; 64GB or 128GB (or 80GB if intel) would be perfect for an OS drive. You really don't need an SSD to store games, but if you use photoshop or anything like encoding, load that on the SSD as well. Using the SSD as your OS drive will actually improve game performance as well, as any pagefile accesses (which happen regardless of whether or not you have plenty of ram...W7 & Vista use a fixed ratio of ram/pagefile. Bigman reported great drops of HD access with 12GB ram, but with 6 it may still be noticeable once in a while.) will be on the order of (.08*.75 random 4k latency on Gen2 intel MLC drives) 60,000ns, so about only 2,000 times slower than the fastest memory on i7 and about 1000x slower than Core2 memory access, as opposed to ~ 580 THOUSAND times slower on a regular old HDD (even raptors). That's because random read/write latencies for small chunks, like 4k reads, which happen quite frequently perform terribly in mechanical drives.

http://www.anandtech.com/storage/sho...spx?i=3403&p=8

Expect to spend an extra 150-200 for a good SSD of 64GB - 128GB size. I would go for the 128, because OS will take at least 30GB (assuming you install office on that drive, and store some documents) due to temp files and appdata, the former which can be cleared, the later which can't (my app data folder is several gbytes). If you use photoshop, or encode, or anything like that you'll want the SSD.

Here is how bad HDD's are at random reads/writes: http://anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/sho...spx?i=3607&p=4

Id recommend the new intel SSD's (generation 2 X25-m's). Very good pricing at the lower end.

edit: Theres a bit of confusion with Anand's benchmarks. It seems that intel SSD's give you something like .9 - .22 milliseconds of latency for small random reads. The Gen 2 performs 25% better on latency according to intel. So assuming the .0675 millisecond best-case latency you have 67,500ns latency for SSD reads, or 2 thousand times slower than ram on your new i7. Assuming .2 (Gen2 results from Anand) then its 200,000ns or 6,700 times slower than the ram. However, in the X25-M Gen2 preview, anand states a 17.5millisecond 4k random read on the raptor. That is a gross 17.5 million ns latency. That is 583 thousand times slower than ram reads on your i7. Ouch!

Just for reference, P4 CPU - ram reads could take 300ns, assuming a 2GHZ clock speed. That's quite a lot! An SSD is only about 2 -3 orders of magnitude slower!
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