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#274699 - 10/12/09 12:24 AM Windows 7 PC Build
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11273
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I think I'm ready to start getting advice on building my new computer. I don't have all of the money yet, but I will over the next few paychecks.

The things I'm pretty set on are that I'll get an Intel Core i7 Extreme processor and 160GB SSD. My friend who works for Intel says that there's a set he can get that includes those two items along with an Intel motherboard for around $1000. I don't know if it's the new P55 motherboard or not. My friend hasn't gotten back to me with the pricing list. Anyway, I know I want the CPU and SSD, but I'm not really sure on what motherboard(s) I should be looking at. Gigabit ethernet and eSATA are important to me. I would like two eSATA ports, if possible, but if that has to be an add-on card, I can live with that. Onboard audio isn't important. I'll use a USB DAC until I can utilize the HDMI audio output of the video card at some point (whenever I get around to purchasing an A/V receiver for my computer).

I imagine I'll only ever run one video card. I figured I'd make it one of the new Radeon cards, since I've been happy with the performance of the one that's a couple generations old.

I was also thinking I'd stick with an Antec case, since I really like the P182SE that I have now. I was thinking P193, but customer comments about not being able to fit bigger aftermarket coolers has me undecided. I definitely want a quiet CPU cooler, so it would be nice to know what my options are. I haven't had good luck with stock fans. Right now, I like the Zalman I'm using. I'm just not sure what will fit right in the P193, or what would be a better case to use. I like the front eSATA port on the P193, though of course I'd need a motherboard that can take advantage of that.

I also thought I'd stick with Corsair for a power supply. I imagine the 850-watt HX model would be a pretty safe bet.

Whatever advice you can give me would be appreciated, especially on motherboard, memory, and CPU coolers. Thanks!

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#274701 - 10/12/09 12:33 AM Re: Windows 7 PC Build [Re: CV]
Ken.C Online   content
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17809
Loc: NoVA
If it's an Extreme, it's an i7-965, which requires X58. I have a Gigabyte X58-UD4P board, and I'm pretty happy with it. It's got gig-E (single port) and 2 eSATA ports that are on a backplate. For a cooler, I would look at a Thermalright Ultra 120 variant, with a Scythe 120mm fan. Doesn't get much quieter than that--and it's damn good cooling, to. Corsair is an excellent choice of PSUs.

Oh btw, that i7-965 is $1000 retail, and the SSD is $500. Lucky stiff...


Edited by kcarlile (10/12/09 12:34 AM)
_________________________
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#274702 - 10/12/09 12:55 AM Re: Windows 7 PC Build [Re: Ken.C]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11273
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I've seen that Thermalright mentioned quite a bit. I'll look into that and the Scythe. Your Gigabyte board sounds like a winner.

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#274705 - 10/12/09 02:17 AM Re: Windows 7 PC Build [Re: CV]
Ken.C Online   content
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17809
Loc: NoVA
For memory, you'll be wanting at least 6 GB of DDR3-1600. That's pretty easy to find tehse days, but I'd stick with Corsair, OCZ, or Crucial. I believe I've got OCZ DDR3-1600 8-8-8 XDR in mine. XDR makes it a little easier to set memory timings, but really, memory latency doesn't make that much of a real world difference.
_________________________
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#274709 - 10/12/09 02:33 AM Re: Windows 7 PC Build [Re: Ken.C]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11273
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Good to know. I'll probably end up with more than 6 gigs simply because I have 8 in my current machine, so I'll feel the need to outdo myself.

Oh, I was also curious as to what optical drives seem to be the best ones to get these days. CD burning and CD ripping are always important. As far as DVD and Blu-ray go, I'd like to be able to play back both, but I still don't feel the need to burn either format. I'm sure I'll end up with DVD burning just because it'll be included, but yeah, as far as Blu-ray, I'm only interested in playback. And of course, the quieter the drive, the better.

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#274711 - 10/12/09 02:35 AM Re: Windows 7 PC Build [Re: CV]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11273
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
HD DVD playback would be a nice bonus, since I know there are still combo drives out there that will play them, but it's a feature I'd certainly sacrifice for performance/noise reasons.

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#274714 - 10/12/09 02:42 AM Re: Windows 7 PC Build [Re: CV]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3452
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
No one is building HD DVD combo drives any more. They only existed one generation after the format died.

Most optical drives are very quite when run at their 1x speed. It's up to the player software to slow them down for movie playback (most software does).

Plextor used to be the company for optical drives. They've since stopped making their own, and have turned to other OEM and just rebadge. Pioneer is one of those OEMs and now the top dog. I know you said you don't care about burning DVDs/BDs. But you want this drive, you know you do.
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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#274719 - 10/12/09 03:33 AM Re: Windows 7 PC Build [Re: ClubNeon]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11273
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
It's not unreasonably priced. I may get a non-Blu-ray drive at first, then add it a little later. We'll see.

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#274723 - 10/12/09 11:18 AM Re: Windows 7 PC Build [Re: CV]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4855
Loc: western canada
 Originally Posted By: CV

I imagine I'll only ever run one video card. I figured I'd make it one of the new Radeon cards, since I've been happy with the performance of the one that's a couple generations old.

Up until recently had a nVidia EVGA E-GEFORCE 7600 GT PCI-E 256MB VGA DVI-I HDTV Out.

I love the nVidia for performance. After the first few months the fan was making loud noises (failing) so i bought an aftermarket fan (Zalman) and things were good. After the 3 year warranty ended this past June, a month later the capacitors popped. Dead card for 3D (2D will worked ok). I contacted eVGA and complained saying "hey, one month after the warrenty ends i have issues? Come on."
They allowed me to return the vidcard with all parts intact for a replacement equivalent.
Well dammit if i had kept the failed fan from 3 years prior i would've been fine, but i guess i threw it out not having considered a possible returnable product scenario into the future (I could have returned it for a failed fan but really, i would've got another unit with the same crappy fan design so why bother?).

Before that i had Radeon cards, usually All in Wonders (tv tuning).
Fans never failed but the buggy drivers, glitchy performance and crap customer service had me screaming constantly. I know other sites and people use them, love them but i just have had no luck. I vowed never to buy another one again. I put nVidia into two other machines, worked solid.

So after this eVGA died, what did i do?
I was convinced the best price performers were the new Radeon 4000 series compared to what nVidia was selling at the time, so i couldn't bring myself to buy a nVidia. I should have just thrown out the extra $150, but i over analyzed the situation.

Now, i have a Radeon 4850 and the fan is dying, my computer halts on shutdown and occasionally won't come out of standby. Upon reboot i get m/b error beeps indicating a vidcard issue.
Only by powering off the psu for 30 seconds and trying again (sometimes with multiple attempts) does it finally boot normally.
Everything works fine once booted though.
No BSOD, no random reboots, no 3D glitches, etc. However, the fan is failing (the ONE thing that never happened with ATI before but did happen with nVidia cards now seems to be a shared flaw; crappy fans).

So WTF??

I'm going back to nVidia; change out the stock fan and feel better about stability or rather, consistent performance.

 Quote:

I also thought I'd stick with Corsair for a power supply. I imagine the 850-watt HX model would be a pretty safe bet.

I love the Corsair HX psu i bought.
Detachable cables.
Quiet fan.
Beefy unit.
Pretty good efficiency (see reviews on Tom's Hardware).
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#274725 - 10/12/09 11:25 AM Re: Windows 7 PC Build [Re: chesseroo]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7241
Loc: Canada
Chess. Is it driver quirks on the ATI card then? I am looking at one of the new lower end 5 series cards to bitstream bluray in my HTPC. I will probably wait a few months for the [major] bugs to get ironed out though.

I love my Corsair ps. It is unbelievably quiet and the cabling is very nicely wrapped. The only thing that would make my psu nicer is detachable cables so I could remove the uneeded cables. I think they do that in the bigger supplies (mine is only 450W).
_________________________
Fred

-------
Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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