Yet another i7 system. Replies appreciated.


Jan 21, 2009
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within a week of settling on the hardware, so maybe two weeks.

BUDGET RANGE: About $1600

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (probably more single players since my internet connection is kinda not the best for the next year. WoW when I can) General surfing, downloading. I’d also like to explore the Folding@home stuff. Seems like a really good cause.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, speakers.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg as much as possible.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel/Nvidia. As far as specific manufacturers, I am open to all suggestions.

OVERCLOCKING: Some, but nothing too extreme.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: SLI possible later, but ideally I can hold out for a price drop or two from the GT300 series.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Will use primarily on a 1920x1080 21.5 monitor, and some on a 1920x1080 42” TV.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would like to avoid a lot of bling. I’m more interested in good air cooling while keeping noise very respectable. I’m also going for a high level of “future proofing as evidenced by the socket 1366 and DDR3 RAM.

HARD DRIVE: Very interested in a RAID 0 configuration, but not entirely committed yet.
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive $75 each ($150 to RAID 0)

STORAGE DRIVE: Nothing else really to add.
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive $100

MONITOR: Open to true 22”, not too interested in anything larger.
ASUS VH226H Black 21.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen 16:9 Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 12000 : 1) $180 ($160 with MIR)

Video Card: Going for something that I *should* be able to get away with not having to replace for up to two years and will run just about everything out now at max or near max settings. Not too interested in an ATI card as every forum I see has people talking about driver issues and that is one thing I will sacrifice some price saving/minor performance gains to avoid. This particular card will also come with CoD: WaW and Cryostasis.
EVGA 896-P3-1171-AR GeForce GTX 275 Superclocked Edition 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card $200 ($180 with MIR)

RAM: Some reviews, including one done by Toms recently saw very little performance gains between DDR 800 and DDR 1600, much less between competing 1600 modules. These are half the price of the highly touted Dominators with virtually identical performance.
OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory $100 ($80 with MIR)

Motherboard: This is one area I am most open to suggestions. It still seems like no one is putting out a well priced i7 board with very consistent results, and opinions range very widely in this area too. I do intend to do some moderate overclocking of the CPU.
ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard $250

(Note: Newegg has a combo to buy the i7 920, the OCZ Gold Ram listed above, and the P6T Deluxe for $10 less than the i7 920, OCZ gold, and regular P6T. My only hang up on this combo is the possibility of guaranteeing the D0 stepping from Tankguys, see below)

Case Fan(s): It seems these offer a very good performance/noise ratio and Scythe is one of the more touted fan makers in the industry (as long as you touch em up with olive oil before you install them). I plan on having one of these in every 120mm fan slot in the case.
Scythe SY1225SL12M 120mm "Slipstream" Case Fan $9 each ($63 for one in every slot)

CPU Heatsink: Once again, open to suggestions here. I’ve seen competitions where one first place sink will get 5th on a different comparison. The V8 appears to consistently be in the top 3 in every showdown and it’s that consistency that I’m looking for.
COOLER MASTER V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler $70

Power Supply: One of my least educated areas. I’m pretty sure I’m going modular, the thing I’m worried about is the wattage. It seems many manufacturers over-estimate their wattage requirements (videocards, SLI configurations). Also, once you pass the 700-750 range the price really escalates. I think 700 will be enough for a good while since the GT 300 series cards are supposedly going to be 15% better (performance and energy efficiency). Also, not listed is that it’s a single 12v rail at 50 amps. I understand single rails to be better for overclocking.
COOLER MASTER RS-700-AMBA-D3 700W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Power Supply $110

Case: Ideally I want a mid tower, but I’m not sure I can fit everything I want in there and still maintain the air flow I desire. These forums are huge on the CM 690. If anyone thinks this will not accommodate the gear inside please voice your opinion. I have a full size picked out if I have to go that route. Also, I know I said no bling, and this case has a big blue LED fan, but it will be swapped out during the install.
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $80

(Note: The case and power supply are available in a combo for $30 less than their individual price, plus a $10 MIR. This brings the total for those combined to $160 before the MIR)

CPU: The ONLY definite in my build. I do have one question though. Would it be worth it to order from Tankguys (for about $25 more) and guarantee a D0 stepping or probably settle for a C0 stepping from Newegg? I intend to OC to about 3.5 Ghz and I understand the C0s to not always be compliant in even getting to that point, while the D0s very regularly perform at 3.8 and even sometimes at 4.0 on air.
Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor $280 ($305 for the guaranteed D0, currently out of stock though)

Total price from Newegg: $1662.81 (plus $70 in MIRs)

I know I left out the optical drive, but that’s probably the most flexible, easiest choice I can make in this build.

I appreciate your thoughts, recounts of personal experience, and recommendations to this thread.

Thank you. $79.99
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $109.99 ($79.99 after $30.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7 - Retail Combo Price: $492.99 Free Shipping
GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD4P Core i7/ Intel X58/ DDR3/ CorssFireX & 3-Way SLI/ A&GbE/ ATX Motherboard
Intel Core i7 Processor i7-920 2.66GHz 8MB LGA1366 CPU, Retail $39.99
XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail $4.99
Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound - Retail $239.59 ($219.59 after MIR) Free Shipping
EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 (2.0v) Video Card Retail $94.99 Free Shipping*
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail $99.99 Free Shipping*
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives - OEM $24.99
SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD Burner - OEM $179.99 ($159.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
ASUS VH226H Black 21.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen 16:9 Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 12000 : 1) Built in Speakers - Retail
Full HD 1080P resolution

Total: $1,367.90 | $1,297.90 w/mail in rebates <--- Save yourself some money on an o/s until March 2010 and dl the 64 bit version of Windows 7 <--- more pics, specs, and customer reviews of that Gigabyte UD4P mobo used in this build <--- That's the G.SKILL RAM that's posted in this build in action. <--- Frosty Tech's review and rating of that Xigmatek h/s used in this build <---Issues that the new D0 stepping took care of <---short review on that D0 stepping i7. <--- that's one way you can tell if you have a D0 stepping cpu or not

Places where you can find D0 stepping i7's....;


For your ram...I would personally save money and get 1333mhz ram and not 1600mhz becuase your motherboard does not support anything over 1333mhz unless you overclock but question is, are you willing to overclock it?


Jun 11, 2009
I have the V8 and I gotta say, if I could do it again I would have picked up the Xigmatek S1283. It's equal to/better performance for much less. All of your other choices look fine, although as Why_Me suggested you may want to look at the UD4P, it's a great board for the price.


Jun 10, 2009
If you are concerned about airflow after adding two new video cards in the future, you may want to consider this full tower. I've read some really positive reviews on it.

Also, to satisfy the "no bling" requirement, this thing has an external switch to turn off the LED's on the two giant 250mm fans.

Might want to consider it, or at least look at some reviews if you aren't sold.


Jan 21, 2009
@ chronicbucks

I was hoping for personal opinions too. A lot of user replies at Newegg and even some tech site reviews (I'm at work and I have none of my bookmarks handy) are huge on the D0. Some C0s simply don't even perform above 3.3 from what I've read. The i7 is such a well engineered chip that it may not make that big of a difference.

@ fargorn

Why did you have to show me that case? I thought I was all settled on the HAF 922. I think I'm still leaning to the HAF, but that is a nice case. The bottom mounted PS is still appealing to me though. Plus, it's just slightly longer, a half inch wider, while being about 3 inches shorter. My one concern is if I get a loud 200mm fan I'm mostly SOL.

@ blackhawk1928

The 1333 RAM is actually no cheaper, and in some cases more than the 1600 RAM is most of the cases I've seen. Also, I've changed MBs, so no worries. Thanks though.

@ Why_Me

Thanks for the UD4P recomendation. I remember months ago looking at this board and I had comletely forgotten all about it. Also, with the Tuniq paste. Looks like a quality product there. Also thanks for the additional D0 links. One issue I'm finding though is no one likes to do APO shipping. I'm stationed in South Korea right now, so we'll see how it works out.

@ radiowars

The Platinum is about $20 bucks cheaper and I'm not convinced the 1 difference on the timings is going to do a ton. I'm taking that 20$ difference and getting the GTX 275 FTW. I think that I'll see more gain in the higher clocks on the card that on the RAM.

I greatly appreciate all of your recommendations. I'm going to see if I can get this D0 stepping/APO shipping thing worked out before I purchase. I'll put up new links tonight to my modified build, see if it passes most of the communities standards. Once again, thank you all very much.


Jun 3, 2007

I bought my Core i7 Build when it came out. Below is the specs of the build.

Asus P6T Deluxe/OC Palm
Intel Core i7 920 @ 2.66ghz
Corsair DDR3 Dominators' 1600, 2 kits of 3x2gb
2 EVGA 896-P3-1264-A3 GeForce GTX 260 SSC Edition running in SLi
2 Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB
ASUS 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model DRW-22B1ST
LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model GH22NP20
Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional
Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme-1366 RT CPU Heatsink (Socket LGA 1366)
Vista Ultimate 64-bit OS - Retail

The Core i7 920 is of CO Stepping and I have had stable up to 3.8ghz on air running @ 40-44 celius and I am currently running it at 3.2 ghz with no voltage increase at all.

I do plan on either getting another 920 w/DO stepping or waiting for Intel new i7 6-core 1366 chipset, later in the year. But if I did go for the DO stepping of the 920, then I would get it from Micro Center store, which there is one about 100 miles from me and costs 229.99 before Ohio 7% tax.

Here are some other good places to get info on OC'ing your Core i7; HardOcp, Overclockersclub and XtremeSystems Forums boards.

Good luck on your upcoming build. :sol:


Jun 15, 2009

do you know of anywhere online that sells the DO stepping one??

also what is the main difference between CO and DO stepping? <---Issues that the new D0 stepping took care of <---short review on that D0 stepping i7. <--- that's one way you can tell if you have a D0 stepping cpu or not

Places where you can find D0 stepping i7's....;


Jan 21, 2009
Sounds a bit harsh. We all overlook things one in a while and anyone who says they don't is a liar in my book.