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$2.5-3k Gaming/Video system new build

-DarkMatter-

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Apr 29, 2010
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Hello all. I am working on a new build and would appreciate any advice on the items I have selected for it. My main concerns are whether the parts are compatible and reliable.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: (Within 1 Week from Newegg) BUDGET RANGE: (2500-3000)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: (Gaming(WoW full settings), and making video dvd's)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: (Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: (Newegg.com) COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: (USA)

PARTS PREFERENCES: (Prefer Intel over AMD and ATI over Nvidia...would like plenty of room in case with good airflow)

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe Crossfire in future

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: (Main concerns are compatibility, stability and temperature's. I am running both SSD & HDD's separate and not in Raid.)

CPU: Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition Gulftown 3.33GHz 6 x 256KB L2 Cache 12MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115223&cm_re=intel_core_i7_980x_extreme_edition_3.33ghz_12mb_l3-_-19-115-223-_-Product

MB: ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131641

Memory: CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C7 G
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145242

Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119160

Videocard: ASUS EAH5850 DIRECTCU/2DIS/1GD5 Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121375

SSD: Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2MH080G2R5 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167023

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136284

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Full (Installing 64-bit version)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116716

I have not really messed with using more than one HDD, but I would like to have the OS & WoW on the SSD so I can use the HDD for everything else. How should I go about installing the OS? Should I install on SSD or HDD first?
 

crabtek

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Dec 30, 2008
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Dark,

I'd like to offer my advice if I may. Although you're probably going to want to wait for more experienced builders to give you some feedback before you make your purchase.

First of all, the good:

■Your case looks solid. I've heard good things about the HAF and apparently it can handle the bigger graphics cards that are appearing.
■OS is on the money.
■Mobo looks amazing and I'm sure there are loads of people using that board meaning there will be some helpful tutorials out there on the Interwebs for OCing.

The Bad: (Well, not so bad I'm going to save you some money while upgrading your beast)
CPU: Way too much cpu for your uses. Unless you are a rocket surgeon who is toying with the fabric of space and time; you do not need this THOUSAND DOLLAR cpu. The i7930 is $755 cheaper and gives you room to pump the other system components that will give you a better overall experience, especially in regards to gaming. The i7930 below OCs like a dream. You should be able see an increase to between 3-4ghz quite easily.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115225
I would recommend purchasing a third-party heat sink and some decent thermal paste as you are concerned about temps. By doing this you are narrowing the gap between the i7930 and the 6core behemoth you listed above. I've been really pleased with my TRUE120 and have heard good things about the Noctua and the Megahalems.
■RAM: I can save you money here and offer lower voltage ram at almost equivalent speeds by suggesting the following,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231335
■Graphics Card: with all this money we're saving buy an awesome GPU. I give you the Radeon HD 5870,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102872
If you decide to add another somewhere down the road, two of these together should smash anything you throw at them. For now, one should suffice. I stopped playing WoW about a year ago but I do remember having major issues raiding with Crossfire enabled. Meaning, if you're only playing WoW currently, single card is the way to go. If you decide you want Eyefinity for a 3x1 screen setup, I don't recommend 3x2 for gaming, look for a different card.

So with the changes to the CPU, RAM, and GPU we've saved you roughly, $615. Please excuse me if I've boned the numbers. I'd recommend putting some of that difference into a bigger SSD,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167017
and a SATA 6 1TB drive for your data as you have a MOBO that supports it,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533

Basically, your OS, games, and major APPs will be installed on the SSD for fast load times. Everything else will be stored on your 1TB monster. Ignore RAID setups as I've heard there are very minimal returns to gaming and your SSD should blaze.

I hope this has been helpful and enjoy putting this beauty into action!

One last note, don't forget to leave some room in your budget and your case for a quality Power Supply Unit. Do not skimp here. I use a modular Corsair 1000W HX that is a bit overkill in my system but leaves me room for improvement and also gives me peace of mind.
 
You're wasting a lot of money to just play WoW. A good WoW build would only need about $800. So I'll give you two builds. The first is towards your budget, the second towards your stated usage.

CPU/Mobo: i7-930 and Asus P6X58D Premium $585
RAM: Mushkin Enahnced Redline 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 6 $225
GPU: HD 5970 $700
SSD: Corsair Nova 128 GB $319. A much faster SSD.
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 1 TB $80 (just as fast as that WD "SATA III" drive but $30 cheaper)
PSU: OCZ Z Series 850W 80+ Gold $190 after rebate
Case: HAF 922 $80 after rebate
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $22
HSF: Prolimatech Megahalems Rev.B $85 (with 2 fans)
OS: Win 7 Home 64-bit OEM $100


Total: $2,386. You literally cannot beat this build without buying duplicate parts.

CPU: X3 425 $70
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-770TA-UD3 $80 after rebate
RAM/GPU: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 and HD 5770 $275
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55
Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion and Earthwatts 430W $105
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $22
HSF (if OC): Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $35 (with free card reader)
OS: Win 7 Home 64-bit OEM $100

Total: $742. Can up the CPU to a X4 955 (combo with HSF) and spend a total of $826.
 

-DarkMatter-

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Apr 29, 2010
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Thx crabtek and MadAdmiral. I will be checking out the options you listed for me. :lol: When I have it built there will definitely be free time waitin for members to load Dalaran.
 
MoBo / CPU - You picked the best CPU but you don't need it for Wow......that's a helluva price premium over a 930 which you can OC to 980 speeds.... yes, of course the 980 will OC higher than the 930 but unless you are a competitive fps player or OC Fanatic, animator or scientist, it's hard to justify the price difference.....

This will save you $30 if you stick with the $1,000 CPU

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.379022

But the 930 combo seems more suited to your usage.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.378938

Case / PSU - You got the money so there's two comparable choices

Antec 1200 w/ CP-850 $230
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.359977

HAF 932 + Corsair HX850 (or XFX 850W Black Edition) $310
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139011

Both cases match up well according to the THG review trading pluses and minuses.....all of the PSU's get a 10.0 performance rating on jonnyguru.com....the CP-850 also makes silentpcreview,com's Editor's Choice list.

RAM - DDR3-1600, lowest CAS ya can afford ...and you can afford CAS 6. These Mushkin Redline aren't the revered 998692's or 998691's the 998805 's are the next best thing

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226121

GFX Cards - with your budget, I'd go twin cards by XMas, one now and one when ya feel the urge

$350 Asus ENGTX470/2DI/1280MD5 GTX 470 (Fermi) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121372
.....or
$320 ASUS EAH5850 DIRECTCU/2DIS/1GD5 HD 5850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121375

Hard Drives - Check out the performance charts and pick whatever 500 GB per platter drive performs best under your usage patterns. The 2 TB WD Black and XT from Seagate are good choice but at smaller capacities, you are limited to the Seagate 7200.12 or the Spinpoint F3. The 7200.12 excels in gaming, multimedia and pictures whereas the F3 wins at music and movie maker. See the comparisons here (copy past link in manually, link won't work in forum):

(http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-3.5-desktop-hard-drive-charts/compare,1006.html?prod[2371]=on&prod[2770]=on)

Given your stated usage,m the Seagate 7200.12 looks like the way to go.

SSD - you're fine, you have the money....no need to skimp to hit a budget.

OS - Again, w/o budget restraints, spring for the Professional version of Win7-64 and get XP mode, simple file sharing and the other goodies.

Heat Sink - I used to list a bunch of review sites for HS's saying pick from the top 5.....given this last review, I'm not gonna bother.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=492&Itemid=62&limit=1&limitstart=4

Again, at your budget, no need to skimp....here's my HS buy list:

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8807/cpu-pro-01/Prolimatech_Megahalems_Rev_B_Intel_CPU_Heatsink_LGA_775_1156_1366_AM2_AM2_AM3_Hot_Item.html
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/7038/thr-41/Innovation_Cooling_Diamond_7_Carat_Thermal_Compound_-_15_Grams.html?id=BZWnrfIC
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/10026/fan-639/Scythe_Slip_Stream_120mm_x_25mm_PWM_Fan_-_SY1225SL12LM-P.html?tl=g36c365s936
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8418/cab-150/FrozenCPU_PMW_Y_Splitter_Cable.html

Install the OS to the SSD, run windows update installing all OS important updates...skip the "optional" hardware updates....until it finds no more updates. Then install hardware drivers from manufacturers web site (not CD's in package). Then install programs / games. Do NOT install OS to HD.
 

-DarkMatter-

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Apr 29, 2010
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Thx for all the help, but I have another ? related to use of SSD and HDD.
As it stands now I have Win7 64bit and World of Warcraft on the SSD and nothing on the HDD. Nothing is installed atm on the HDD, and this is first time using 2 drives for me in computer so I feel like a noob with this ?
I take it I need to boot through cd-rom drive for Win7 install and format HDD in order to use it? Atm its not showing up under My Computer. According to JacknaylorPE I dont want to install any OS on the HDD, but I can still use it for everything else such as storing music and videos?
 

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