Multipurpose i7 from $1000 to $1200


May 18, 2009
OK, I have been lurking on these threads for a few months and it is time to pull the trigger and get a new machine based on a lot of the feedback I have seen. So, here are my needs, budget, thoughts, and a few questions.

This is going to be a multiuse home machine,
• Heavy photo and video editing, a little amateur 3D design, and a little development work.
• I expect to be running a VM on top of the OS.
• I am not a big gamer now, I want a card where I can dabble a bit and jump in later if I want to (1900 x 1200 monitor).
• I plan on moderate over-clocking, but nothing radical.
• This computer it going to be out in the main room of my house so I very much care about noise and the looks of the case.
• I want to stay with an i7 720 build. I know I can get away with less but I want to go with something I can build on for a few years.

My budget is at most $1200 but I would like to get it down as close to $1000 as possible and spend the rest on something else.

Initial thoughts

CPU - Intel Core i7 920 $230 at Microcenter

Motherboard / Case –
GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 $200 at Newegg, I think I saw it for $164 at EWiz or something like this.
Antec Solo Black/Silver Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $85 at Newegg
Noctua NF-B9-1600 92mm Case Fan x 2 - $20 Each

Or ….

DFI LANPARTY JR X58-T3H6 LGA 1366 Intel X58 Micro ATX $219 at Newegg
Antec Mini P180 Black Steel MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case $120 at Newegg

Also love the Antec P183 but I want to keep it smaller and don’t know if I can justify the money

RAM - OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) $95 at Neweff

Video - I am thinking about getting a single card now and adding a second later. I was looking at starting with a 4770 or 4850. (other thoughts welcome)

HIS Hightech H485FN512P Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 $132 at Newegg
XFX HD-477A-YDLC Radeon HD 4770 512MB 128-bit GDDR5 $109 at Newegg

OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W -$90
CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W PLUS Certified $100

Hard Drive - Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB $75 at Newegg

Optical - SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner Black $25 at Newegg

Cooler - XIGMATEK Dark Knight- $40 at Newegg

Audio – Yep I want to get a good audio card, I am somewhat of a sound quality bigot
HT OMEGA STRIKER - $90 at Newegg

1) Do I wait for the a D0 Stepping version of the i7 720? From what I can find the only thing that it gives you is, possibly, running a bit cooler. Which could be good considering that I want to work with fairly enclosed case?
2) Which power supply? I am thinking of one of the two above in the 650W-700W range. But do I need that much power? Can I save a few bucks and work in the 500 range? Remember I would like the option to slap a second video card in.
3) Does it matter which company I buy the 4770 from (assuming I go that way)? The all look pretty much the same.
4) Finally, any ideas how to save a few bucks? Still want to stay with a solid i7 build but I would like to save where it makes sense.

Thanks everyone for your help.


May 15, 2009
Hey Jmorgan,

What's the D0 stepping version of i7 and how can I find out which version of i7 I'm getting?



May 18, 2009
The D0 Stepping is basicaly the next version of the i7 920 processor. From what I hear the difference is around how efficient it is and how much heat it puts out. I was hoping to find out if any of the experts could tell me if it was differnet enought to wait for.

Below is the link to the Intel site that lists the processor and the different SPEC Codes for the Stepping versions. You can find the code on the box for the processor. Many sites like NewEgg don't gaurentee which version you will get.