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Old January 18, 2009, 04:15 PM
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Default New i7 build with some GPU muscle

Hey guys,

So it's time to replace my Athlon 64 3400... yeah, 2004 comes to mind

I'll start by responding to the sticky:

1. I'm looking to get back into gaming, continue CAD work, multimedia stuff; basically do all kinds of stuff while being able to stick it to games like Crysis (oh did I mention I want to pwn Crysis?).

2. Let's say my budget is now at $2000 CAD.

3. Canuckistan is where I want to buy my parts from.

4. No real brand preference but the system must be an i7 and I'm leaning towards a NVidia GPU at this time.

5. Currently I will keep my DVD combo drive, floppy drive, keyboard, mouse, monitor (LG 20" W2052TQ) and my PSU (OCZ 600W Gamestream unit, OCZGXS600). Please note that I may consider replacing the PSU if necessary given my uncertainty of which GPU to get.

6. Yes I've read a handful of similar threads on various forums such as Tom's, Anand, etc.

7. You bet I'll overclock it!

8. The latest I would build it would be the beginning of February to see how the GPU prices pan out after the release of the GTX 295.

Ok, hopefully I've fulfilled the mandatory requirements and can list my currently planned specs:

CPU: Intel i7 920 - $358.88
(Intel Core I7 920 Quad Core Processor LGA1366 2.66GHZ Bloomfield 8MB LGA1366 4.8GT/S - DirectCanada)

Mobo: Asus P6T Deluxe - $338.39
(Newegg.ca - ASUS P6T Deluxe LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards)

CPU Heatsink/Fan: Noctua NH-U12P - $79.99
(NCIX.com - Buy Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 LGA1366 i7 Heatpipe Cooler W/ 2XNH-P12 120MM Fan - NH-U12P SE1366 In Canada.)

Case: Antec Nine Hundred - $125.08
(Antec Nine Hundred Mid Tower Gamer Case 900 Atx 9 Drive Bay No Ps Top USB2.0 1394 Audio - DirectCanada)

Hard Drive: Seagate 7200.12 500GB - $77.49
(Newegg.ca - Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500410AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - Internal Hard Drives)

RAM: G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) - $171.29
(Newegg.ca - G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory)

GPU: Asus GTX 295 - $589.99
(Asus Geforce Gtx 295 576MHZ 1792MB 1.998GHZ GDDR3 PCI-E Dual DVI-I Hdmi Hdcp Video Card - DirectCanada)

This brings a grand total of $1741.11! Naturally this doesn't include shipping charges or taxes. Hopefully with those totals there won't be any shipping charges, but I would prefer to go a local retailer and see about price matching anyway.

Now for the questions.

Is the 600W OCZ PSU enough to run a GTX 295 with an OC'ed i7 920 (hopefully close to 4Ghz)?

The ram I selected was just a quick and dirty choice and I'm not sure which to get that will be able to run below 1.65V and keep up with the near 4Ghz OC. Suggestions?

Now the big question, am I crazy for getting the GTX 295? My monitor does 1680x1050 so would a much cheaper GTX 280 be fine with Crysis? Part of me wants the raw power now that can keep the system futureproof for a while.

Well, that's enough keystroking... what say you ladies and gents? Feel free to mock any and all aspects of the build

Cheers,

Kaytek
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Old January 18, 2009, 04:37 PM
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To answer your question, no, that 600 most likely won't be enough to power that GTX 295 with an OC'd i7..
You're better off going with a tx750 or something around there. Corsair make EXCELLENT PSU's (im sure nobody will disregard that statement :))

TBH, 1680x1050 is a little overkill with that GTX 295. I run at that res too and would only think about upgrading to a 295 if i contemplate running 1980.
I use a gtx 260 216 and can run most at max with great temps.
Maybe think about a gtx 285? That will give you GREAT results for sure and a couple hundred to spare.
possibly think about running a true instead of that noctua, but both will work great.
other than that, the rig looks great!
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Old January 18, 2009, 04:46 PM
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I have to agree with above statement....with only a Res of 1680 x 1050 the GTX 280 is more than suffice.and the 260 (Core216) woiuld be capable....295 would be huge overkill unless your planning to upgrade to a 1920 x 1200 monitor.
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Old January 18, 2009, 05:19 PM
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Listen to chouchou - he may be a young man, he knows what he's talking about. Good choices.

As for the ram, I have the same in the 3x1Gb flavor. No problems hitting 4.0.
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Old January 18, 2009, 06:21 PM
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Thanks for the input guys. Let's say that I want to futureproof this build a little... what PSU should I be looking at? Keep in mind that I'm having a hard time saying no to the GTX 295. For all your fancy logic and cost/performance suggestions, that 295 is so tempting... like crack... If I get one, I'd probably get a second in the future... to you know, futureproof 1000W PSU is something I should be looking at?

Now in another dimension, if I were to 'downgrade' (not really a downgrade from a X1950Pro AGP!!! ) to a GTX280 could I keep my 600W PSU? (BFG GTX 280 - 339.99 BFG GeForce GTX 280 OC Far Cry 2 615MHZ 1024MB 2.214GHZ GDDR3 PCI-E 2XDVI-I HDCP HDTV Out Video Card - DirectCanada).

Cheers,

Kaytek
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Old January 18, 2009, 06:26 PM
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Ha ha ha "downgrading" to a GTX 280.....If you're even considering a 280 or 295 SLI go for the HX 1kW! Nothing worse than having to replace a perfectly good PSU in 6 months because you decide to upgrade a little....my 750W PC P&C is still sitting in my closet...$150 worth of it!

EDIT: NCIX.com - Buy Corsair HX1000W CMPSU-1000HX 1000W ATX 20/24PIN ATX 80A 12V Afc Modular Power Supply W/ 140MM Fan - CMPSU-1000HX In Canada. - just beware that this unit is quite a bit longer than conventional PSU's, pay attention to what Case you plan on using.
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Old January 18, 2009, 09:46 PM
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GTX 295 is definitely overkill for the monitor you have. It can play every game nowadays, and every game for the next two years on max settings at 1680x1050. If you really, really want it, see if you can snag a cheap 24" or higher with the ~$300 legroom you have. Otherwise, a GTX285, 280, 260 C216, or 260 will do you justice.

If you want to futureproof a PSU, then the HX1000 will do you just fine. Like RJ said, it's a bit longer than conventional PSU's, so you may want to get a bigger case.

Actually, you should get a bigger case if you want an i7 setup plus any GFX card with GTX in front of it. Try taking a look at some full-tower cases, like the HAF 932, Antec 1200, or as RJ will most definitely reccomend, the Silverstone TJ09 (Black w/ Side Window) if you want to go the extra mile.

I can see what you mean about the GTX295 being the definition of futureproofing for you (especially at 1680x1050), but if you aren't planning to upgrade your monitor to a big honkin' 24" or larger in the next 6 months, then get a GTX 285/280/260C216/260
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Old January 18, 2009, 10:45 PM
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^Thanks 3.0Charlie. That felt good :)
Being futureproof in this day and age... it just doens't work that well with prices dropping the second you take your hands and open that box :P
Buy for now, and upgrade later - everything that you need to upgrade.
I came to realize that after i *Planned* on saving lots of money by waiting for boxing day. Didn't happen, and i bought earlier just because prices were right and it would have met my needs for now.
Later down the road, upgrades are imminent - that is just how technology works these days.
The most futureproof you can get is with that PSU, who most recommend the HX1K (Which is a GREAT psu. VERY VERY few (if any) reviews give it a bad score)
You can run any and all beasts with that psu - and its almost certainly guarenteed. It's hard to need anymore than what corsair provides with that psu.
If you dont plan on upgrading that monitor within the next say 6 months, grab a 260/280 maybe even if 285 if yuou got money to blow for now and look to upgrade it later on. I'm sure u can sell it off at these forums or any other forums if you feel the need to once you get ur new video card/monitor combo. But right now, at 1680x1050, few games will need that much horsepower. Enjoy!
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Old January 19, 2009, 07:35 PM
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Hey guys,

Thanks for all the extra input. I'm staring at two options right now.

The first is to go with a GTX 280 (BFG GeForce GTX 280 OC Far Cry 2 615MHZ 1024MB 2.214GHZ GDDR3 PCI-E 2XDVI-I HDCP HDTV Out Video Card - DirectCanada).

The only question is whether my OCZ 600W PSU could handle a GTX 280 with an i7 920 that won't be overclocked? If so, I can save a tidy sum and get my build going. The build would then be 'i7 with slightly less GPU muscle' .

If I can't get a GTX 280 to run on my 600W, I'll spring for a Corsair 1000W and then probably snag a GTX 295... all that power and nothing to feed it to?

According to some of my research, the GTX 280 needs a 550W PSU so I should be covered as long as I don't OC anything. This is what I'm hoping for. Thanks for your time guys.

Cheers,

Kaytek
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Old January 19, 2009, 08:02 PM
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What model is that PSU Kaytek, StealthXstream or GameXstream?

I did checked both and see that they have a single 6+2pin connection which will likely be just enough to power that system provided you don't overclock.

Corsair "recommendation" at minimum was a HX520, VX550 and TX650 with a
non-overclocked system.

EE
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