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Old December 2, 2009, 08:53 AM
Pax Pax is offline
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Default Potential i7 Build...thoughts?

I work for a Marketing/Web Design and Dev company and, for the past number of years we've been faithful Dell customers, but recently their support and sales teams have been letting us down quite a bit. I proposed that we start buying parts and building the computers we use instead of buying pre-built ones from Dell.

The powers that be agreed that it is something we should look into, as they're tired of giving Dell so much money (we've purchased over 150 computers from Dell in the past 7 or 8 years). I was given a budget of around $2000 per computer (we need two, potentially three right now). This set of computers will be for some of our designers, so we're looking for some good horespower so they can be doing video editing/effects, 3d, flash and obviously design work in photoshop/illustrator. Having quick and responsive computers is a must for them. Hard drive capacity isn't all that important, because all of our projects are stored in source control, so we have the storage in our SVN server.

We also have after-work gaming sessions on Monday nights, so we'd be somewhat interested in anything that might help with work that could be useful for that...or some kind of remote keyboard/mouse kill-switch built in to those computers. I'll take any advantage I can get

Cooling is going to be important, too. Right now the design guys are running Dell XPS systems....and they always complain about how its like straddling a portable heater when they're sitting at their desks.

For a parts list this is what I was thinking:
Case: Coolermaster HAF 932
Big case, good cooling and still plain enough to not stick out too much in the office

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750HX 750W
I've always had good experiences with the Corsair PSU's, and the modular ones are nice.

CPU: Intel Core i7-920 2.66GHz

Ram: CORSAIR XMS3 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
Lots of fast ram is good for working with files that are >1gb, I'd assume.

Mobo: ASUS P6TD Deluxe LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
Not sure if this is the best board for what we're doing. I've heard the only real advantage to the i7 9xx processors is not having a limit on the PCI lanes. Not sure if that's true or not, but I'm assuming if it is true, to actually benifit from this we'd need to use SLI/Crossfire.

GPU 1: XFX HD-577A-ZHFC Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5
GPU 2: XFX HD-577A-ZHFC Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5
Going with the Crossfire here...I've heard two of these cards together are pretty powerful.

CPU Heatsink/Fan: Scythe SCKTN-3000 92mm Sleeve "KATANA3"
No idea if this is the best fit for the system, but I've seen some decent ratings for it, and its a very reasonable price.

OS/Apps HD: Crucial CT64M225 2.5" 64GB SATA II MLC
Data HDs (Mirrored): 2x Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM

Optical: Just going to toss in a dvd burner...whatever is the cheapest when we go to buy.

Right now this stuff puts me at 2054 from newegg.ca. I haven't bothered to price match or shop around at all, since I didn't know if the stuff chosen here was best suited to what we're looking for. If these built computers turn out well, we'll probably continue to purchase all our computers this way.

So if anyone has any suggestions on how to make this better or cheaper, I'd like to hear 'em.

Thanks in advance.
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Old December 2, 2009, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pax View Post
CPU Heatsink/Fan: Scythe SCKTN-3000 92mm Sleeve "KATANA3"
No idea if this is the best fit for the system, but I've seen some decent ratings for it, and its a very reasonable price.

For a start I would get a Premier Partner account at NCIX which costs $150 a year but will easily recoup that in savings once you spend $2000+-.

For a heatsink the stock one will work fine but if you must go aftermarket I would consider this:

NCIX.com - Buy Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus Direct Touch 4 Heatpipe Heatsink AM2 AM3 LGA1366 LGA775 LGA1156 120MM - RR-B10-212P-GP In Canada.

Sounds like a fun company to work for!!
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Last edited by stoanee; December 2, 2009 at 09:09 AM. Reason: spelling!
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Old December 2, 2009, 09:12 AM
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I'd probably just suggest the following changes

Gigabyte EX58-UD5 - Reviews are fantastic, and the cost is less than the Asus.
Intel 80GB Gen 2 SSD - Powerhouse. Can be PM'd for only a few dollars more than most 64GB SSD's. Well worth it.
CM Hyper 212 Heatsink Price/Performance is fantabulous.

Video cards I have no clue, you may want to check with the developers; if I remember correctly quite a bit of multimedia development software utilizes CUDA, a pair of NVIDIA cards could be a better option if that's the case.

Edit - And what Stoanee said. PP membership at NCIX when you're a company dealing with upgrades will be well worth the annual fee.
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Old December 2, 2009, 10:04 AM
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I think you should grab two 5850s at that price point. The 5770s are pretty much like a new generation 4870 1GB.
The 5850 is a much better performer.

And yeah, grab an NCIX premier partner account and Coolermaster Hyper 212s. (Hyper 212s are the best bang for the buck right now for the LGA1366 socket)
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Old December 3, 2009, 10:49 AM
Pax Pax is offline
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Thanks all for the info. I'll be using the Gigabyte mobo and the other cpu fan, too. Gotta check out the intel drive to see if it has trim on it. I've read that that is important for an OS drive. Tried to dig up some info on what programs can really utilize CUDA, but wasn't able to find a whole lot. I'll keep looking for that.

We're also going to check out the PP @ NCIX

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Originally Posted by stoanee View Post
Sounds like a fun company to work for!!
It's a pretty awesome place to work for. Best company I've ever been at.
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