Considering new build, looking for spec advice

Ceap

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Hi all,

I've finally got round to upgrading from my laptop to a decent desktop. I've got around £1,000 to play with, excluding monitor.

I'm currently moving towards a Core i7 system that can be upgraded over time. I've got very minimal hard-drive and optical drive requirements... my laptop had about 30 gigs of HD space.

Overclockers have a barebones system that looks interesting:

Intel Core i7 920 2.66 ghz PCU
Gigabyte EX58-UD3R Intel X58 (Socket 1366) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard
Corsair TX 650W ATX2.2 SLi Compliant Power Supply
Antec 900-2 Nine Hundred Two Ultimate Gaming Case
OCZ 6gb PC3 1066 C9 DDR3 RAM

That's going to bring me to £700.

I'll be using Vista 64bit. For stoarge and an optical drive I was looking at:

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB SATA-II 16MB Cache (£40)
LG GH22NP20 22x DVD±RW IDE Dual Layer ReWriter (£20)

Neither is overly flashy, but unless anyone can recomend something better for a similar price, they seem to meet my needs for now (and can always be upgraded later).

Then it's the other big question: what GPU to use?

I hear great things about the ATI Radeon 4870, but also about the nVidia 260. In the future I'd like to be able to run two GFX cards in Crossfire or SLI, so I'd be looking to add another in six months to a year.

These both look good:

Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 4870 1024MB GDDR5 TV-Out/Dual DVI/HDMI (£164.99)
BFG GeForce GTX 260 OCX MAXCORE 896MB GDDR3 TV-Out/Dual DVI (£183.99)

I have no idea about the merits of one against the other; feedback would be much appreciated. And does anyone know whether the Antec 900 2 can fit two GFX cards like this? I know one is a struggle but can be accomodated.

Also, do I need seperate cooling? And are there any glaring errors in this build?
 

Ceap

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Mar 12, 2009
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Ah, just noticed that the motherboard doesn't support SLI, so nVIDIA cards are out, unless I get a different motherboard.

Are there any recomended x58 boards that are similarly priced, worth getting and are SLI-ready? Is it worth getting SLI-compatibility? I'm not wedded to either GPU brand, just don't want to be caught out when I come to upgrade later.
 

fullmetall

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Sapphire hd 4870 1gb has a little bit of an advantage over the gtx 260, but, like by 1-2%. They both go back n forth on resolutions on which is the better product. The build looks good however the seagate barracuda isnt. Look at the WD hdd's. Prefferably: wd hdd black(320gb). when you say ocz 6gb, that is the ocz platinums right? at 7-7-7-24 timing, that particular set is a very nice.

Cooling: if you OC, look at the V8 cooler, also the S1283 Dark knight and a lga1366 retention bracket + arctic silver 5.

If no oc'ing is avaliable to you, a Stock cooler will do you just fine.


 
Get the HD 4870 if you want Crossfire, but upgrade the PSU to Corsair 750W or Silverstone 750W or PC Power & Cooling 750W. IIRC the Silverstone is 80 pounds and the other two around 104 pounds.

Those 750W PSUs have 4 PCI-E connectors and each HD 4870 needs two connectors. The 650TX has only two connectors, and you'd need to buy two adapters for Crossfire (that is, each adapter takes two molex connectors and produces a PCI-E connector). I found those adapters at www.scan.co.uk for 4.5 pounds each + shipping.
 

theAnimal

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Linky.