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  • Budget Core i7 PC Build


    Dave
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    Build 001

     

    Disclaimer: This post has nothing to do with WHS!

     

    I have received about 90 percent of the parts I ordered for my new build.  I’m calling it a budget Core i7 build.  It comes in around $1000 not including the hard drive and the cooler which I already had.  I’m waiting on my case to be delivered before I get started.

     

    This build will allow me to move my current pc to Windows 7 and use it solely as a Media Center.  I am going to give Win7 64 a shot for my PC.  I’ve never used a 64 bit OS up to now so it’s time to see what it’s all about.  I’m hoping some of my 32 bit apps won’t hold me back and I hope to migrate to 64 bit apps as I can.  I’m aware that 32 bit apps can actually run slower on a 64 bit system but have no first hand experience with them.  I would really like a 64 bit editing suite for video and photos.  I also finally get to try the Windows Home Server 64 bit connector.

     

    I’ll run my Vista Ultimate PC alongside this 64 bit build until I am comfortable with it.  If all else fails I suppose I can go back to 32 bit Win7 or as a last resort Vista.  I’m happy with my Vista now so I wont’ be terribly disappointed with it’s continued use.

     

    If anyone else has any experience with 64 bit Windows 7, driver issues, or application issues, drop me a line and let me know.

     

    Update:  All parts have arrived and the new rig is built.  I only ran into one problem during the build.  The fan on the CoolIT Domino didn’t turn so it threw out beep codes like crazy.  It seems the fan was pressed up against the radiator housing during manufacturing.  Luckily, I had two of them and the second unit ran fine.

     

    Memtest boot disk ran good for a few hours and the Windows 7, 64bit install went smooth.  I ran Prime95(64) for several hours without error.  Temperatures look good so I installed the Nvidia 64 bit drivers as well as the X-Fi 64 bit driver.  I’ll run Prime95 overnight to test it completely before calling it good.  I don’t have a feel for the speed yet as I have yet to do any real crunching on it.

     

    I think the next test will be to hook it up to the 55” Samsung LED.  I’ll try HDMI and VGA just for grins.  Photos to come.

     

    I’ll take your comments on any 64 bit Win7 issues you may have discovered.

     

    Parts List:  (all item numbers below are Newegg.com item numbers.  Copy and paste into newegg’s search box to go right to the part.)

     

    Antec EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active ... - Retail
    Item #: N82E16817371015
    OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail
    Item #: N82E16820227381

    ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard – Retail  Item #: N82E16813131359

     

    Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 – Retail Item #: N82E16819115202

     

    MSI N260GTX-T2D896-OCv4 GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card – Retail Item #: N82E16814127430

     

    LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS30 – OEM Item #: N82E16827136152

     

    Creative 70SB088000004 7.1 Channels PCI Express 1x Interface PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium – Retail Item #: N82E16829102024

     

    Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case – Retail Item #: N82E16811129042

     

    CoolIT Systems Domino A.L.C. Advanced Liquid Cooling Retail - Item#: N82E16835227005

    Notes on my build.

     

    This motherboard got the best reviews for overclocking and performance.  The first Video card slot will cover the only available x1 PCIE slot so be aware of that.  The manual states that you can place the video card in the second PCIEx16 slot which that is what I did.  That means there are two PCIEx16 slots if you want to run SLI or crossfire.

     

    I also considered the Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P mobo.  Item#:N82E16813128374  It will support 24Gb of RAM and the P6T only supports 12Gb.  In choosing a mobo I would look at the slots you need, RAM, and consider the cooler that you want to use and make sure it fits.

     

    I have been using CoolIT liquid coolers for some years now.  The Domino is very easy to install and nice and quiet.  It fit very well with the P6T motherboard and with the case.  One thing to note is the domino has a LCD module that looks really nice so you probably want to have a clear side panel so it is visible.  The case I chose was purely on price.  The Antec Three Hundred is a great case for around $50.  It’s not the best case for dressing cables but it does have room to stuff cables behind the back panel.

     

    I chose the Antec 650 Earthwatts power supply because i wanted a PS that is not modular.  I have found modular power supplies sometimes harder to work with than the PS’s that are not modular.  Choose a power supply based on what video you want to run.  If you are going SLI or Crossfire I would choose a little bit higher than 650 watts.  This should guarantee that there is enough power and cables for both video cards.

     

    I am going to run Windows 7 64 bit so I chose 12 Gb of RAM.  I also considered the OCZ 6x2Gb kit, N82E16820227421.  The 3x2Gb was a bit cheaper and had a Mail-In-Rebate.  I really don’t enjoy MIR’s but it’s nice when the check shows up, although 6 months later!

     

    I chose the base Corei7 processor.  It’s cheap and overclock-able.  The higher end processors are powerful and fast but this one can be pushed faster.

     

    I chose a midrange video card that was on sale at the time.

     

    The Creative X-Fi card has beta 64 bit drivers and i have them installed but have yet to test with it.  It’s been years since I’ve purchased a sound card.  I’ve always used the onboard sound so I’m excited to finally break down and get a SoundBlaster!

     

    Click the Newegg box to shop and plug in these part numbers.  HomeServerShow.com will get a little credit to help with the bandwidth costs!

     

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    Do you have links and specs to all the hardware you bought? I am thinking of doing a similar set up with core i7. Would be interested to see where you got your stuff and what you ended up going with.
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    I added a parts list and some notes for this build. If anyone has specific questions about the build let me know!
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    Start64.com is a wounderful site for anyone looking for x64 software of any type. To name a few, Minefield - x64 firefox shredder - x64 thunderbird avast offers thier antivirus for free as most of you know but it also includes a x64 virus scanner and has work just as good as their x86 version for me for more than a year. Great to hear you are trying x64 OS'es
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    hey dave, i just built my i7 build. Intel i7 920 EVGA x58 Motherboard Corsair 6 GB 1600 Cooler Master v8 heatsink/fan Stable @ 4.025 Ghz
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    With the advancement and the change in living styles of people, there has been a dramatic change in people’s preferences. With the increased choices, the demands have also increased. Building a home is one of an asset which you probably will build once in a lifetime, as the choices has changed people want to go for things that are in fashion whether they are regarding clothes, cars, furniture, home, shower doors etc.
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    Wow you really put a lot of time into this post. I love to build just about anything from computers to the walk in shower I just added to my master bath. I love to create something from the floor up and think I will try this as well. My shower was finished with a wonderful looking frameless shower door that just added the right feel to the whole bathroom. I love to build like i said and am looking forward to this new adventure!
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