PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

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Winnow
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PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Winnow »

First, I'm not suggesting this build is the best for everyone. I'll explain my reasons for choosing the various parts and then leave it up to the rest of the VV techies to add their thoughts on modifying it or suggesting why changing something might be beneficial.

I'll include Newegg links.

CPU: Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor 289.99

Here is a non techie, short article explaining the differences between the Core Duo and the i7.

There's no debate currently that the i7 CPUs are the best. Best for gaming, best for general applications and best for overclocking.

The i7 920 2.66GHz is the least expensive of the new i7's and without any overclocking at all, it matches the fastest extreme Core Duo CPUs but ignore that as with a few keystrokes, the 920 can be OC'd to 3.4-3.8 GHz, blowing the doors off all other CPUs and matching the more expensive 940 and 965 i7 CPUs which have less headroom or OCing but are a lot more expensive chips.

Here's a performance chart for reference:

Image
Keep in mind, your current CPU probably doesn't even make that list. Also make a note that the $999.99 i7 965 extreme CPU is only clocked at 3.2 GHz retail. Even it has to be OC'd to reach the 3.4-3.6 GHz no brainer air cooling OC the 920 can reach and the 965 also tops out around 4 GHz which is the same that the 920 can reach. So there's a $600.00 savings and you still get the best CPU performance available.

RAM: G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory 135.99

With the new i7 CPUs and X58 MB chipsets, you want to get triple channel DDR3 memory. The performance gain over dual channel isn't that much but the 3X2GB G.Skill triple channel kit is more than reasonable at 135.99. (keep in mind, you need a 64 bit OS to use more than 3.xGB of RAM) In addition, for OC'ing purposes, the 1600 speed RAM will work great and actually have to be underclocked slightly in order to overclock the i7 920. You can spend more on memory with better timings but the performance gain is insignificant. G.Skill is great memory but if you go with a different motherboard than what I've selected, make sure the memory you choose works with it (do your research).

Motherboard: ASUS P6T Deluxe LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard 299.99

Don't cheap out on the motherboard. in the case of the i7, you really can't cheap out much as all of the MBs are expensive but there are some available closer to the 200.00 range. Gigabyte also makes a good X58 motherbord but it uses the JMicron SATA controller and here's no way in fucking hell I'm going to deal with a JMicron controller again in case I install OSX or Linux. The non deluxe version of the P6T also uses a JMicron controller so I eliminated it from consideration. It also only supports a max of 12 GB ram, and doesn't have the 2 SAS ports that some may want to use. The non deluxe also doesn't have the 16 phase power (it has 8 ). You can save 50.00 and get the standard but I'd personally go with the deluxe.

The P6T supports tri-SLI although the way the card slots are arranged, it's only capable of standard SLI or Crossfire with the fatty cards out currently. While X58 motherboard benchmarks are very close, the 6T also beat out the competition for performance in just about every measured area. I've never owned an ASUS so I'm not pimping them. This will be my first one.

Here's a youtube video overview of the board:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPnqk4TJKc0&


Here's the summary page of a roundup of the X58 boards for reference if you want to compare.

Hard Drive: Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive 229.99

Edit: I recommend the Western Digital Caviar Black 640 GB instead for 79.00

Go for the Western Digital Caviar Black HDs if you don't want to pay the premium for the fastest HD. The 300 GB Velociraptor is quieter than the 150 version and much quieter than the older Raptors while providing the fastest access. I'm focused on complete performance so you can't ignore your hard drive. Remember the old EQ zone loading days? That was mostly your slow hard drive that delayed you. Loading times are another piece of the speed puzzle that needs to be considered. your speedy CPU does you no good if you're waiting on your hard drive. Again, for ~70.00 the 640 GB WD Caviar drive offers very good performance so go for that if you don't opt for a VelociRaptor.

Video Card: XFX GX285NZDFF GeForce GTX 285 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card 354.99

I took the longest time deciding on a video card. Here's why I chose the nVidia 285:

1. It's the fastest single core GPU out atm.
2. It's the most power efficient (well designed) card out
3. I didn't want to deal with the ATi or nVidia dual core cards with their driver issues.

Here's a power performance comparison between the cards:

Image

Nice to see the 285 idle at 156W compared to the other cards and top out at 290W

As for performance, it falls right behind the dual core cards and outperforms them when an app cant take advantage of dual cords.

A few charts:

Image


Image


Image

The final chart shows a test where only one core can be used (some games can't use two cores). In this case, the 285 bests the x2 cards.

Power Supply: Not sure yet. probably going with 750W. I currently have an excellent Tagan 480W PSU but it might be borderline with the new video card. 750 would be enough for me to add a second 285 at a later date or add my current video card to drive 4 monitors.

Summary:

CPU: Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor 289.99

RAM: G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory 135.99

Motherboard: ASUS P6T Deluxe LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard 299.99

Hard Drive: Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive 229.99

Edit: I recommend the Western Digital Caviar Black 640 GB instead for 79.00

Video Card: XFX GX285NZDFF GeForce GTX 285 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card 354.99

Total Cost: $1,160.95

Missing for full system:

Power Supply
DVD
Case

-------------

I considered the 4850 x2 with it's 4 X DVI outs and performance around the same as the nVidia 285 but the problems I read with dual core GPU issues and lack of driver support, along with higher power consumption/heat turned me away. I'm going for high performance with as few headaches as possible.

1,310.95 isn't bad a upgrade price for a very high performance PC. If you want to start cutting corners, start with the VelociRaptor and save yourself 150.00. HD performance gain for me is important though. You can also cut corners by grabbing a cheaper motherboard depending on your needs. Maybe 50.00 there. Take the 200.00 saved and but yourself a case and PSU!
Last edited by Winnow on February 22, 2009, 11:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Leonaerd »

Those benchmarks are absurd. To think about my two year old computer and how terrible it is by comparison for the same price hurts deep.

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Aslanna »

Leonaerd wrote:Those benchmarks are absurd. To think about my two year old computer and how terrible it is by comparison for the same price hurts deep.
Does it still do what you need it to do? Then why does a comparison matter. Obviously in 2 years time the system above will appear pokey to what's out. Doesn't bother me any!
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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Leonaerd »

Sure, it works, but like most good rigs there's always something better. I wish I could play Medieval II or Bioshock with full, juicy graphics.

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Canelek »

Intersting build. I will be adding another later this year since I have an extra evga 790i ultra mb....

And I dig my G-Skill RAM also. It is one of the best value/performance combinations out there.
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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Winnow »

I Obamasized my order and downsized to the 640 GB Caviar Black drive over the VelociRaptor. After viewing more comparisons between the two, I couldn't justify the Raptor. My motherboard/cpu/graphics card combo gave me a -35.00 off at Newegg. I also, for the first time ever, used the free shipping with Newegg and didn't upgrade (saving 67.00). That's a direct affect from the current economy!

For some reason or another (one of the items) I was shipped a WoW novel:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6800995068

Oh well. There's something that won't be read!

Total cost: $1,125.00 shipped

Everything but the processor shipped from California. the i7 920 shipped from Tennessee. I'll probably end up getting the Cali stuff Thurs and wont be able to do anything until the processor arrives. Hope it all works after being banged around by UPS.

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Aslanna »

I never pay for shipping if I don't have to. So the stuff gets here a day or two later big deal. I can wait. I would rather spend that money on something worthwhile. Like sushi.
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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Soreali »

i hate you..
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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Leonaerd »

Aslanna wrote:I never pay for shipping if I don't have to. So the stuff gets here a day or two later big deal. I can wait. I would rather spend that money on something worthwhile. Like sushi.
Mmm calimari roll. Miso souuuup.

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Winnow »

I received all the items for my new PC build from new egg yesterday (3 days free shipping arrived in two) but the i7 920 CPU arrives today.


I threw the nVidia 285 into my e6600 core duo PC. I wanted to see if my 480W Tagan PSU could handle it. So far it seems OK. The i7 requires slightly more power than the e6600 but i have 4 hard drives also going and only plan on running 2. It's fast

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by sarlen »

Love this build, I'm starting my wish list for my build coming in the early summer. For cost and performance I'm sticking to what you have picked except the hard drives but I need to add a case, PSU, DVD-RW drive, and Vista home premium 64.

This is the case I'm checking out. Looks pretty good and comes with water cooling (always wanted to try it). There are better and sexier but this fits my needs.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811168001

For the power supply I haven't done all the research yet to see where I need to be. I may at some point add a second video card and I want to make sure what I buy now will power what I may get later. (Any advise would be great!)

DVD-RW drive, nothing fancy just the basics. Cant seem to justify a blue ray player just yet.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6827136153

I did deviate on the hard drives, the price and performance difference just wasn't enough for me to go that far. Barracuda's x2

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822148262

1420.91 so far without the PSU but I suspect it will be just under 1600 when I do choose it, and because its going to be about 6 to 8 weeks before I order the prices on this stuff will go down a bit I'm sure. I was also thinking of going with 12gig of RAM just for the fun of it but not really sure if I could make use of it.
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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Winnow »

UPS didnt arrive until 8PM Friday night but i got my i7 920 CPU.


I spent 15 hours working on the build right after that. So far I'm pleased.

I was a little concerned about the WD640 Black drive. The bubbles were all popped on one side of the wrapping protection and that side was up against bottom of box with no peanuts. I figured high impact must have happened.

I eventually got Vista 64 on new hard drive then decided it was too much work to make the switch after seeing how generic a fresh install of Vista is so I cloned my 32 bit vista over to new hard drive and went through a few reboots while vista figured out the new motherboard , etc. I'll deal with the lower memory for now.

I ran into an issue that took a few hours to figure out. It turns out if you install Vista in regular SATA enhanced mode, the drivers for AHCI arent installed and the P6T MB defaults to non AHCI mode so I happened to install in that mode, plus I had a jMicron controller before so I went through a few failed reboots till I got that squared away. I need to be in AHCI mode to enable hot swapping of SATA drives which I need for my four quick swap bays. It's working great now.

I've had the system up and running for 30 hours now with no problems. I've rebooted the system at least 20-30 times and have four hard drives running along with the nVidia 285 and i7 CPU, all on the 480W Tagan which has turned out to be an excellent PSU.

I haven't messed with OCing anything yet. Will do that tomorrow. The Video Card came with Far Cry II so I'll try that out as well.

Most important thing is for it to be stable and it's been that so far!

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Winnow »

After letting the Arctic Silver bake for 2 days, I tried an Overclock today. I decided to hell with it and went for the full OC right off the bat that I was shooting for.

I haven't run any performance tests yet but so far the system is stable at 3.7 GHz (OC'd from 2.66)

Here's the settings I adjusted in the bios: (everything else left to auto)

Ai Overclock Tuner: Manual
Intel Turbo Mode Tech: Disabled
Speed Stepping: disabled

BLCK: 185 (changed from 133) (giving the 3.7 GHz OC)
DRAM: 1483 Mhz (underclocked from 1600)

CPU Voltage: 1.225
QPI/DRAM Core Voltage: 1.26
DRAM Bus Voltage: 1.64

Image

Image

While it's not hard to get 5.9's across the board in Vista these days, it's nice to see them and they were there before the OC. I did load up Windows 7 and got a 7.4 out of 7.9 rating for my stock 2.66 i7 920. I haven't checked since OCing to 3.7. Hopefully it's close to or is 7.9.

It's very easy to OC with the setup I purchased above. If you change anything, (ram/motherboard, etc) dont use my settings and do your own research.

I'm using stock CPU heatsink/fan cooling and my place isn't very cool. I wont be surprised if I need to lower my OC a bit. Will know soon enough as I'm going to test it out more.

for reference, I'm at 3.7 GHz which is slightly above my goal. See chart below:

Image

I'll run the test above later and report my scores. (or if it failed and crashed)

Happy so far with the entire experience besides the unavoidable monster task of switching to Vista 64 eventually, with all the tweaks and apps I have installed in Vista 32 right now, for more RAM. At least I have two installed, fully loaded, working copies of Vista 32 that work on my new MB/CPU to fall back on now with easy hot swapping when I do make the switch. I've also got working copies of Windows 7 and Vista 64 on other hard drives with the new system.

On a side note, Acronis True Home 2009 is fucking up and I can't make backups so I need to scout out a different partition/HD backup solution. Acronis has taken a step backwards lately in reliability.

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Winnow »

Alrighty then!

Here are some of the benchmark results. I'm happy to report that I actually beat the top score on the chart above, perhaps because my memory was faster. Dunno, but I'm happy about it!

CPU Benchmarks: (woo hoo!)

Image

Here's the multimedia test, my results are always the red bar:

Image

Next up is the memory test. Things are still looking good:

Image

Finally the file system, hard drive test. Of course the VelociRaptor wins but the Caviar Black has same access time and very respectable stats:

Image

Not bad for a couple minute overclock using stock heatsink/fan. So far this build is Winnow performance vs cost approved!

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Jarori Bloodletter »

Winnow, you have just convinced me to UPGRADE to the i7 920, i'm excited to see how all my stuffs (tm) work out ~
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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Canelek »

Nice results!

I am certainly leaning that way for the next build.
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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Soreali »

Winnow,

I still hate you :(
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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Winnow »

One month update: This system has been running smooth at 3.7GHz with no hiccups now for 30 days.

Hella fast. Stable. Relatively Cheap.

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Soreali »

Well since my lovely frankenlaptop finally died on me last night, I decided to do some browsing for a laptop. I wanted a gaming rig in laptop form. So I came across this and couldn't resist.

http://www.mwave.com/mwave/skusearch.hm ... e&nextloc=

Ive never actually heard too much about MSI (which shocks me) but after reading the specs and the reviews I was sold.

Any thoughts? I personally cant wait to get this thing and fire up L4D on it. The 9800GS benchmarks impressed me for a notebook.
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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by pyrella »

Jumped on the bandwagon - bought the cpu/mobo/memory/hdd (memory was down to 93$, most everything else was 2-10$ cheaper)

The video card will have to wait til after next pay day, but I also picked up a case/700w power supply/dvd burner/arctic silver.

I'm seriously considering using this as much a VMware machine as much a gaming machine, and am already looking forward to the next PC so I can utilize this as a VM box. I'm also trying to see if I can get work to spring for having us build a couple of these as VMware boxes for our test lab, instead of spending ~12k/machine that we do in the data center.

So now I'm hoping for rapid shipping - and that I get a cpu that's a as tolerant of the 3.7ghz OC as yours with standard cooling.
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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by pyrella »

OS reccomendations? I have a copy of Vista Ultimate 64, but am I better off using the Home Premium 64 or what not for having less 'bloat' in it? I don't know how much I'd actually use features like the Media Center as my xbox/ps3 both just access the share on my NAS fine.
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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Winnow »

I use Remote Desktop every day so Business or Ultimate is needed for me, otherwise, you can probably get by with Home Premium.

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by pyrella »

Built yesterday - doing the bake. The case I got is very very very quiet, even tho it has 610mm of fans in it. The reclaimed space on my desk is insane since I no longer have a case, with a vornado stuck inside of it.

Case I got it - love it: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811215006
Power Supply - 700W: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817171032
DVD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6827151176

I get all 5.9's in Vista - however I still want to buy the 285 for the reduced power/heat, I will more than likely order the second set of 6g G.skill memory at the same time as well. Using a 9800 GTX+ atm, but it's 512, lower speeds, etc.

I tried to do the OC settings you gave up top just to see if I could get vista to see the 3.7 for a couple mins - but it wouldn't even make it to the animated loading bar before rebooting. Ah well, I'll try again in a few days.
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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Stonie »

Heya guys. You probably don't remember me, but I'm Stonie Rocks from Veeshan.

I've been reading your forums since the move from the old IGN vault. So jackass away, but I got mine long ago =)

Winnow: I was shopping for Core i7 stuff when you made this post, and just ordered yesterday. I really wanted the Intel brand mobo, but it was out of stock. I bought the same mobo you did, except I got the V2. I was wondering if you are using the stock HSF? I ordered the Zalman 9900 for mine.

Full system:

Mobo: Asus P6T Deluxe V2
CPU: Intel Ci7-920
RAM: Corsair TR3X6G1600C9 6GB
Video: EVGA Nvidia 285 GTX
HDD: dual SATA WD Black Ed. 640gb for RAID0 (wanted 500gb but was out of stock)
DVD: LG GH22NS30 22X SATA DVD Burner
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W
Case: Antec Nine Hundered

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Winnow »

Stonie wrote:
Winnow: I was shopping for Core i7 stuff when you made this post, and just ordered yesterday. I really wanted the Intel brand mobo, but it was out of stock. I bought the same mobo you did, except I got the V2. I was wondering if you are using the stock HSF? I ordered the Zalman 9900 for mine.

Looks good. I'm using the stock HSF @ 3.7 GHz.

You chose different memory. As long as you researched compatibility between that memory and the MB, you should be fine.

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Stonie »

The RAM was on Asus' QVL and it's Intel XMP v1.2 compatible. I'm guessing XMP is like Intel's propietary DSP?

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Stonie »

Ai Overclock Tuner: Manual
Intel Turbo Mode Tech: Disabled
Speed Stepping: disabled

BLCK: 185 (changed from 133) (giving the 3.7 GHz OC)
DRAM: 1483 Mhz (underclocked from 1600)

CPU Voltage: 1.225
QPI/DRAM Core Voltage: 1.26
DRAM Bus Voltage: 1.64
I tried these settings and it was fine for almost 24 hours. Memtest and Prime95 went great, then I got a BSOD while just web surfing. Backed the BLCK down to 180 (3.61ghz) and left the DRAM Bus Voltage at Auto, everything else is the same as above. It's been stable since (roughly 48 hours). Realtemp shows the 4 cores at 50-55c while running Prime95.

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Winnow »

Stonie wrote:
Ai Overclock Tuner: Manual
Intel Turbo Mode Tech: Disabled
Speed Stepping: disabled

BLCK: 185 (changed from 133) (giving the 3.7 GHz OC)
DRAM: 1483 Mhz (underclocked from 1600)

CPU Voltage: 1.225
QPI/DRAM Core Voltage: 1.26
DRAM Bus Voltage: 1.64
I tried these settings and it was fine for almost 24 hours. Memtest and Prime95 went great, then I got a BSOD while just web surfing. Backed the BLCK down to 180 (3.61ghz) and left the DRAM Bus Voltage at Auto, everything else is the same as above. It's been stable since (roughly 48 hours). Realtemp shows the 4 cores at 50-55c while running Prime95.
Did you use the thermal paste that came with the CPU? You might try some Arctic Silver if so. That will lower your temps a bit. I have the same Artic Silver little.5 oz tube I got in...wow maybe 2000. It's covered 5-6 or so CPUS and plenty left.

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Stonie »

Yep, just ran out of Artic Silver on this build. I bought it in 2002 when I built my first machine that I used an aftermarket HSF (Thermaltake Volcano on a Socket A, Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe). I used it on friends' builds a lot too. CPUs used to have smaller surface areas too. I used as much on this build as probably 4-5 socket A builds.

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by pyrella »

I'll need to retry the overclocking now that it's been running for a week. Normal temps are cpu 46-47 while gaming and mid 60's for GPU (using 9800 GTX+ right now, ordering 285 tomorrow).

I'm thinking I should probably order another 120mm for the case - there's a 250 in front, and a 320 on the side....I'm just concerned it's still not enough since ambient, etc are all fairly high. The case seems to be well ventilated - but the area it's in seems pretty warm and I'm concerned that as temperatures rise, it will start doing the overheating bit again - and I'll end up putting it on my desk with a vornado stuck in the side of it again....which was the whole purpose of building a new pc.
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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Winnow »

pyrella wrote:I'll need to retry the overclocking now that it's been running for a week. Normal temps are cpu 46-47 while gaming and mid 60's for GPU (using 9800 GTX+ right now, ordering 285 tomorrow).
I cranked mine up to 3.7GHz pretty quick. Within a day if not sooner if I recall. Im definitely not in ideal conditions for OC'ing. My home is hot during the day when Im not there and use stock HSF. I do have the Antec P180 case that has good air flow though but that's my only plus for OC'ing. I'm sure a lot depends on the chip.

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by pyrella »

Well, vid card and another trio of memory sticks ordered. This fucker better last a few years ;P
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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Winnow »

pyrella wrote:Well, vid card and another trio of memory sticks ordered. This fucker better last a few years ;P

I'm hoping so : ) well at least two yers per my usual cycle but could be longer.

the i7 is one of those substantial leaps in speed that make it worth upgrading to and provide lasting power.

You got more memory? How much you going to be running with? I'm upgrading to 64 bit with Windows 7 so will be able to use all my 6GB soon.

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by pyrella »

I went with Vista Ultimate 64 for this box so I could take advantage of it right away. Even now when running some games, I'm seeing memory usage of 3-4g (with firefox/voice chat/music going) as well.

I currently run a box on the side that i keep VM's of my old old machines, just so i didn't have to redo them - but they run semi shitty - they should run smooth as silk on the new box. Still didn't do the OC, last night i was super busy - going to give it a try tonight tho. Even if it isn't meant to be, and I didn't get a chip as tolerant as yours - the stock speed is phenomenal compared to what I'm upgrading from (core 2 duo e6400 i believe).
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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Winnow »

pyrella wrote:I went with Vista Ultimate 64 for this box so I could take advantage of it right away. Even now when running some games, I'm seeing memory usage of 3-4g (with firefox/voice chat/music going) as well.

I currently run a box on the side that i keep VM's of my old old machines, just so i didn't have to redo them - but they run semi shitty - they should run smooth as silk on the new box. Still didn't do the OC, last night i was super busy - going to give it a try tonight tho. Even if it isn't meant to be, and I didn't get a chip as tolerant as yours - the stock speed is phenomenal compared to what I'm upgrading from (core 2 duo e6400 i believe).
It should be a no brainer OC to 3.4GHz minimum but hopefully you'll run stable at 3.6-3.8GHz range. The ~3.6GHz has been almost a given it seems with these 920 i7's. Keep in mind, I'm running 4 hard drives, an nVidia 285 card, and lots of fans all stable on a 480W PSU.

Since I can't upgrade my 32bit Vista, I'll probably make a VM of it so I can access my key apps while I slowly install them onto the 64bit Win 7 build.

It looks like even with the upcoming RC for Win 7, it wont' be a smooth upgrade to the final release so I'm sticking with 32 bit for a few more months. I'd rather fresh install Win 7 64 than upgrade from Vista 64 even though it shouldn't be an issue.

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by pyrella »

I missed the earlier question about how much I'll have. The total will be 12 gig - I figure that'll give me 6-8 gig to throw at VM's and still keep a healthy 4-6 for fun.

What are recommended settings to go for the no brainer 3.4, in case the original settings you gave fail on me again? I bought all the same parts you listed above - and then the case/700w PSU/DVD burner I listed above.
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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Winnow »

pyrella wrote:I missed the earlier question about how much I'll have. The total will be 12 gig - I figure that'll give me 6-8 gig to throw at VM's and still keep a healthy 4-6 for fun.

What are recommended settings to go for the no brainer 3.4, in case the original settings you gave fail on me again? I bought all the same parts you listed above - and then the case/700w PSU/DVD burner I listed above.

Here's the thread you'll want to readover:

http://vip.asus.com/forum/view.aspx?id= ... uage=en-us

keep in mind, the more memory slots taken up, usually the more difficult it is to OC so 6 slots of memory may not OC as well as 3 slots.

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Raistin »

If anyone has questions or would like more info on overclocking and such. I hang out on this forum http://www.overclock.net/ sometimes. Just from reading peoples successful and failures I've learned a lot. Not to mention all the mods and water cooling stuff going on. It seriously is bad ass what you can do with a computer. Why anyone would buy a pre built computer and not build your own boggles me.


Overall nice build Winnow. Although I think my set up will bench and run just as well as yours, and cost like 400 dollars less! I got my AMD 940BE to run a stable 3.8 GHz on air cooling. Runs like a beast and was only 175 at the time I got it.

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by miir »

Raistin wrote:Why anyone would buy a pre built computer and not build your own boggles me.
Unless you're building a top end gaming rig, a Dell or HP is going to give you the best value and the least amount of hassle. :)
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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by pyrella »

miir wrote:
Raistin wrote:Why anyone would buy a pre built computer and not build your own boggles me.
Unless you're building a top end gaming rig, a Dell or HP is going to give you the best value and the least amount of hassle. :)
This - I almost went with a pre built, because you're getting similar/better performance getting a prebuilt in 750-1200 range - but once you spend more than that, you're better off building your own - but the prebuilt companies are getting closer.
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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Winnow »

Raistin wrote:
Overall nice build Winnow. Although I think my set up will bench and run just as well as yours, and cost like 400 dollars less! I got my AMD 940BE to run a stable 3.8 GHz on air cooling. Runs like a beast and was only 175 at the time I got it.

Hmmm, I'd be interested in seeing your benchmarks for that compared to those posted above.

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Stonie »

AMD's unlocked multiplier 955BE looks tasty too, at 1/4 the cost of a Core i7 965:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819103674

The overall cost difference between going AM3 and Core i7 is very tempting.

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Winnow »

Stonie wrote:AMD's unlocked multiplier 955BE looks tasty too, at 1/4 the cost of a Core i7 965:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819103674

The overall cost difference between going AM3 and Core i7 is very tempting.
Well you need to compare it to the 920, not the 965. The i7920 clocks up faster than the P965 for like $7-800.00 less. (1/4 the cost)

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Stonie »

Yeah, I guess I was just comparing Intel's top vs AMD's.

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Fenna »

I just ordered all the parts to build this machine. Just like I built your last PC upgrade recommendation, Winnow, and I am enjoying that one still.

One difference is I wasn't able to find the original version of the motherboard--I'm getting version 2.

I'm looking forward to overclocking as you did, once the Arctic Silver is done baking.

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Stonie »

One difference is I wasn't able to find the original version of the motherboard--I'm getting version 2.
Version 2 replaces the original. The only difference (supposedly) is they removed the on-board SAS controller. They either couldn't get it to work, or had so many problems that they made a V2 board without it.

The only complaint I have with my P6T Deluxe V2 so far, is the Marvell E-SATA controller doesn't hot-swap. Some poeple are having trouble getting it to work with some SATA devices at all. It's more just an annoyance with me. I have to power off, start my external SATA drive, then power up.

I read all of this before I bought this board, and I also have known about the problems Asus has been getting worse about the past few years. They have flaky utility apps, they sporatically and unreliably update their drivers and BIOS, and their support is horrible (the last I have only read from other people, thank god). I really wanted to buy the Intel brand X58 board over the Asus, but it was out of stock on both Zipzoomfly and Newegg for over a month when I was ready to buy.

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Kluden »

If you want the best support humanly possible on a motherboard, you have to fork the money out for the evga boards. Sure, they don't make them (Foxconn does, I think), but they warranty replace any problematic boards, and really strive to keep their customers extremely happy, because they know that their brand name has a small premium cost to it. Sure, their products have problems too, but they are easily the quickest and most reliable company for a bios update to fix stupid poo poo stuff found on their boards.

Asus is the next biggest, so if you think their service sucks, you only have one option. Don't expect much service out of Intel. Their boards aren't going to give you the options others do. I run an Intel 975x board, and it was the first one they produced to get "back into" the modder/OCer community. Its a great, and very stable, board, but the OC options are not as open as you get with an Asus board.

In other words, trust me on this, Asus is not the problem, its the people using their product, read a web article, and all of the sudden think they know how to make a computer hum. Each part purchased for a build affects the quality, reliability, and the OC potential of your system...but peope who read an article on the web, love to just point at the mobo...cause what else could it be...

Anyways...just wanted to throw that first suggestion in, even though I ended up ranting a bit.

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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by valryte »

After reviewing EVGA, ASUS and GIGABYTE, I've settled on a GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5 motherboard and the Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz. I also grabbed CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) (7-7-7-20). Took the free 3 day shipping so should have it in time for the Thanksgiving weekend. Going to pull the trigger and give Windows 7 64bit a shot (currently running Windows 7 32bit).

The EVGA that I was looking at was the EVGA E760 CLASSIFIED 3-way, but after reading some reviews, I wasn't too thrilled about the extra power consumption and heat compare to the ASUS/GIGABYTE equivalents. It has to do something with the NVidia N200 being included even though it's not really used/needed. Plus it's also 100+ bucks more than the other motherboards I was looking at.

Ultimately I chose the GIGABYTE for a couple reasons. Currently all 4 of my existing computers run on GIGABYTE motherboards, and while far from perfect, I've been pleased with how they've turned out. I used to always get ASUS, but at some point GIGABYTE surpassed them in terms of quality and features, so I switched and have stayed with them since.
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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Aslanna »

They don't even make that anymore. Or at least no longer carried by Newegg. It looks like my 8800GTX bought the farm so I need something new. It does have a lifetime warranty if they honor it (waiting on RMA) but will probably pick up something in the interm. Definitely not going top of the line for video cards on the next go as I seldom play any games on my PC these days.. But I still want something decently speedy!
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Re: PC Upgrade: 2009 Edition

Post by Winnow »

I haven't researched the latest cards but a new wave of cards is right around the corner from the ATi and nVidia camps. I know this is always the case but they are within a month of release. You should get great deals on the current 285/295, etc cards. Much cheaper then the $354 I paid above.

No idea though atm on what the best price/performance is for video cards although you might glance through the Hard Forums forums, scroll down to the video cards forum, to get a good idea of your options.

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