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Thread: Advice on i7 system build please...

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    Question Advice on i7 system build please...

    Hello,

    I am going to upgrade my old Pentium 4 pc which was used in a home recording studio primarily with Cubase SX for audio production and other audio applications for audio editing etc.
    I do use the odd video editing and the only game that will play on this system is Flight SimX with high settings if possible.
    I have decided to go with a Core i7 PC which I will self build or go with a Scan build. My decision to get an an i7 system is so that I do not need to upgrade for the next few years and whatever I am running now will be quick and smooth.

    Here is what I have chosen so far:

    Processor: Core i7 - 920 2.66ghz,
    Motherboard: Asus P6T Deluxe
    CPU Cooler: Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme or Thermalright TRUE Copper 120mm
    Storage Drives: 1x WD 1TB Cavier Black for Samples/Audio and 1x Seagate 1.5TB for storage. I will also use my old Seagate 750GB and Maxtor 300GB drives.

    I need some advice on the following:

    Case: Antec 1200 Case (I like this case because it has good reviews about its cooling but I know it may be noisier as it doesn’t have sound proofing. Cooling is more important.)

    Memory: Corsair XMS TR3X3G1333C9 (3GB) (I will be running Windows XP 32bit as it is more compatible with my audio software / drivers etc. I am also waiting for Windows 7 so should I just stick with the 3GB? I do not intend to overclock for now)

    Graphics: Geforce GTX 260 (Not sure which is the best brand? Was looking at XFX?) (I do not want to use my old 9800XT!!)

    System Drives: Velociraptor 300GB (I have heard that this drive runs hot and can be noisy, is this true? Would I see a greater speed benefit using the Velociraptor? I do have two older 36GB and 74GB WD Raptor drives. Installation of the OS and applications on this drive)

    PSU: Corsair HX620 or HX1000 (I intend to have at least 4/5 hard drives + the GTX260, Which will be sufficient??)

    Monitors: I would like to run 2 20’/22’ monitors which again will be mainly for use with Cubase Sequencer software and for Flight SimX. Any good recommendations??

    Optical Drive: I am out of the loop with DVD burners so please could you advise on which one comes highly recommended for good burns? It will also need to be able to read and write to DVD ram discs.

    Operating System: Windows XP Professional 32bit with the possibility of dual booting into Leopard.

    Lots of questions so your advice and opinions on this would be great!!

    Thank you very much…
    Last edited by Scorpio1000; 03-03-2009 at 08:48 PM.

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    Re: Advice on i7 system build please...

    Hey mate, looks like you got a nice rig in the works there. I'll try to help you out:

    Case: Antec 1200 is a very nice case, with a good cooling reputation. Theres a wealth of high end cases at the moment, I have Cosmos S and its lovely. I'm a grass is greener kind of guy so the Raven case is really tempting me, with its new approach to cooling. Read some very positive reviews of it.

    Memory: 3GB should be fine. I'm not familiar with audio apps so I don't know whether their particularly RAM intensive, but I have 4GB RAM and a 1GB gfx card, and I never notice the difference gaming between 32/64-bit.

    Graphics: 260 GTX is a great card for 22" screens, I've been considering upgrading to one myself. There isn't really a "best" brand, more a question of personal choice. The main difference is in bundle/warranty/price - I twice now I've bought Leadtek, typically seen as one of the more budget brands, and their cards have never failed and overclocked like monsters! So its all the eye of the beholder.

    System Drives: I'll say this before the flood of comments saying the same thing; get samsung F1! Great value, virtually silent, and nearly as fast. Velociraptors really are poor value in comparison.

    PSU: Corsair HX620 is enough for ANY single card and quad core, plus as many drives as you like.

    Monitors: I dualscreen 20"+22" monitors, and I could never go back, their awesome. Samsung have a pretty good reputation.

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    • tickedon's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P6T Deluxe (V1)
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i7 920
      • Memory:
      • 6GB OCZ DDR3 (3x2GB)
      • Storage:
      • 1x 750 Samsung F1, 1x 250gb, 1x 320gb
      • Graphics card(s):
      • AMD ATI Radeon 6850 2GB
      • PSU:
      • 650w Corsair TX650
      • Case:
      • Antec P180
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 8 Pro (64bit)
      • Monitor(s):
      • 22" BenQ G2222HDL + 20" Samsung 205bw
      • Internet:
      • 24mb Be Unlimited ADSL2

    Re: Advice on i7 system build please...

    I just built a system with the i7 920, P6T Deluxe and the 650w corsair (non-modular). In terms of the PSU, I've got several case fans, motherboard, i7 920, 4 hard drives, 2 dvdrw and an ATI 4850 - all running fine without any issues.

    Corsair has a handy calculator on their site, http://www.corsair.com/psufinder/default.aspx, your choice of PSU should be fine - http://www.corsair.com/psufinder/res...se&vc_oc=False

    Your component choices seem excellent, although I'm an ATI guy rather than nvidia.

    I believe the Geforce 260 has also been replaced by a 265 or something which is slightly faster, which might be worth looking at.

    I'm afraid I can't help on the DVDRW, I've re-used all of mine (LiteOn's interestingly enough) so didn't look at them this time round!

    I also got a Vista ultimate (legitimate) upgrade very cheaply, so I ended up using the 64bit version of that and 6gb of RAM - personal preference really, I was going to stick to Windows XP until Windows 7

    Enjoy your build, it'll be a great machine.

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    Re: Advice on i7 system build please...

    Thanks for yor replies so far. From the posts I have seen elsewhere, it seems as though the Velociraptors are not worth the money. I will look at the F1's and the Caviers I think..

    Thanks again...

  5. #5
    Scan Computers PeteG@Scan's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on i7 system build please...

    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpio1000 View Post
    Hello,
    Hi,

    I am going to upgrade my old Pentium 4 pc which was used in a home recording studio primarily with Cubase SX for audio production and other audio applications for audio editing etc.
    I do use the odd video editing and the only game that will play on this system is Flight SimX with high settings if possible.
    How quiet does the p.c. have to be? Will you be recording in the same room?

    Some of your componant choices are going to be quite noisy when put together if your going to be mixing or recording in the same room.

    Here is what I have chosen so far:

    Processor: Core i7 - 920 2.66ghz,
    Motherboard: Asus P6T Deluxe
    What external audio hardware (sound cards/processing cards) do you have that will be plugged into this machine? The Asus range has a LSI firewire chipset controller which is pretty much the worst one out there for compatability. If you have firewire audio devices of any kind, then you may wish to budget another £20 for a firewire card with a T.I. chipset on it. Most if not all audio builders have moved away from Asus boards due to compatiabilty reasons over the last few years. If your just doing a bit of editing and then playing games more then don't worry about it but it wouldn't be a board i'd use if you have a full studio set up.

    Case: Antec 1200 Case (I like this case because it has good reviews about its cooling but I know it may be noisier as it doesn’t have sound proofing. Cooling is more important.)
    It's not a quiet case, but it's not one that rattles about either. The internal mounting section for the motherboard is also quite tight (the's not much space between the board edge and the harddrive bay for instance) so if you have right angle connector for you sata on the board it can be a royal pain in the rear to build within.

    Memory: Corsair XMS TR3X3G1333C9 (3GB) (I will be running Windows XP 32bit as it is more compatible with my audio software / drivers etc. I am also waiting for Windows 7 so should I just stick with the 3GB? I do not intend to overclock for now)
    The price of DDR3 at the moment you may as well stick with just the 3GB and then upgrade in a years time when windows 7 is an option. Don't forget that the's unlikely to be pro audio drivers that are fully functional for the first 6 months of windows 7 life span, and assuming that MS fails to go gold this year (I'll take that bet!) you could be looking the tail end of next year before you can move across fully, depending upon your hardware requirements.

    Graphics: Geforce GTX 260 (Not sure which is the best brand? Was looking at XFX?) (I do not want to use my old 9800XT!!)
    Remember that gamer cards are noisy. Donno how much this will affect your working enviroment audio wise? BFG and EVGA have the best warrentys if your building your own.

    System Drives: Velociraptor 300GB (I have heard that this drive runs hot and can be noisy, is this true? Would I see a greater speed benefit using the Velociraptor? I do have two older 36GB and 74GB WD Raptor drives. Installation of the OS and applications on this drive)
    Raptors/Velociraptors are noisy beasts. Also as it stands the Samsung F1 & Seagate ES2 both flatten the original Raptors in benchmarking, and to be honest are far better value if only a bit slower than the Velociraptors.

    Monitors: I would like to run 2 20’/22’ monitors which again will be mainly for use with Cubase Sequencer software and for Flight SimX. Any good recommendations??
    Samsung or Dell are the popular choices round here.

    Optical Drive: I am out of the loop with DVD burners so please could you advise on which one comes highly recommended for good burns? It will also need to be able to read and write to DVD ram discs.
    Pioneer x20 are the drives of choice with most our build boys.

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    Re: Advice on i7 system build please...

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteG@Scan View Post
    Hi,



    How quiet does the p.c. have to be? Will you be recording in the same room?
    It doesnt have to be that quiet because I will not be recording live stuff really. Mainly digital/sequencer work. However, i do not want it to be as loud as my previous P4 system!

    Some of your componant choices are going to be quite noisy when put together if your going to be mixing or recording in the same room.



    What external audio hardware (sound cards/processing cards) do you have that will be plugged into this machine? The Asus range has a LSI firewire chipset controller which is pretty much the worst one out there for compatability. If you have firewire audio devices of any kind, then you may wish to budget another £20 for a firewire card with a T.I. chipset on it. Most if not all audio builders have moved away from Asus boards due to compatiabilty reasons over the last few years. If your just doing a bit of editing and then playing games more then don't worry about it but it wouldn't be a board i'd use if you have a full studio set up.

    I will be using an M Audio Delta 1010



    It's not a quiet case, but it's not one that rattles about either. The internal mounting section for the motherboard is also quite tight (the's not much space between the board edge and the harddrive bay for instance) so if you have right angle connector for you sata on the board it can be a royal pain in the rear to build within.

    I love the look of the Antec 1200 and live the fact that it can hold lots of drives which I may need in the future. Any other recommendations then if you think this case might be a b**** to work with??


    The price of DDR3 at the moment you may as well stick with just the 3GB and then upgrade in a years time when windows 7 is an option. Don't forget that the's unlikely to be pro audio drivers that are fully functional for the first 6 months of windows 7 life span, and assuming that MS fails to go gold this year (I'll take that bet!) you could be looking the tail end of next year before you can move across fully, depending upon your hardware requirements.

    Yes, I wouldnt upgrade to Win7 until I knew that all the bugs (if any) are sorted and my hardware etc has the updated compatible drivers.



    Remember that gamer cards are noisy. Donno how much this will affect your working enviroment audio wise? BFG and EVGA have the best warrentys if your building your own.

    I have my heart set on the GTX260 (or the 4870 which i am being advise to get due to cheaper pricing and similar performance). Are they really that noisy??


    Raptors/Velociraptors are noisy beasts. Also as it stands the Samsung F1 & Seagate ES2 both flatten the original Raptors in benchmarking, and to be honest are far better value if only a bit slower than the Velociraptors.

    I have dropped the Velociraptors now and looking at the F1's and WD Cavier (which is meant to be a bit faster than the F1's)

    Samsung or Dell are the popular choices round here.

    Looking at a few Samsungs right now.


    Pioneer x20 are the drives of choice with most our build boys.
    Thanks!!

  7. #7
    Scan Computers PeteG@Scan's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on i7 system build please...

    Think it's easiest if I just respond to you response's

    1. I will be using an M Audio Delta 1010

    As a PCI based card this won't be affected by the firewire issues that are known. Should be fine using it on any board you choose.

    For audio machines I'm acturly spec'in the Gigabyte UD4 or UD5 boards for compatability reasons (every other brand has issues with at least one audio device on the market). If your considering a UAD or Powercore card, or even an upgrade to a MOTU or RME type card in the future then it's good to know now. If your sticking with the M audio the shouldn't be any issues with the ASUS through.

    2. I love the look of the Antec 1200 and live the fact that it can hold lots of drives which I may need in the future. Any other recommendations then if you think this case might be a b**** to work with??

    On the older antecs the drive's use to over hang and block these connectors so you couldn't use them all. I've just checked the case your refering to through and it appears they have moved the bay forward a little on the newer revisions and left a gap behind it to allow cable access so my previous comment is invalid on the new cases

    3. Yes, I wouldnt upgrade to Win7 until I knew that all the bugs (if any) are sorted and my hardware etc has the updated compatible drivers.

    Indeed.

    4. I have my heart set on the GTX260 (or the 4870 which i am being advise to get due to cheaper pricing and similar performance). Are they really that noisy??

    Yeah. All high end cards have high pitched whiney fans. You just don't tend to notice them because the psu's/heat sinks and system fans are also loud and whiney! It depends really how much sound reduction your planning on. The's no such thing as a quiet gaming system really. Even when water cooled all your doing is moving heat from componants to case sides, and then you have to mount a shed load of fans to shift the heat out of the system. I come from the school of thought of silence over everything. The gamers come from the performance is everything camp. We rarely catch sight of each other

    Suppose it comes down to how much recording or mixing down your doing in the room. If your just processing and sync'in to video I wouldn't worry about it (i'd just turn the speakers up personally!). If you have a cardnoid mic set up within 10ft of the p.c. through you'll have issues and may need to reconsider the gpx card.

    5. I have dropped the Velociraptors now and looking at the F1's and WD Cavier (which is meant to be a bit faster than the F1's)

    The Seagate ES.2 drives with 32 meg of cache are a personal fave. Enterprise class drives and maybe about £20 more than the F1 equalivent. You'll see more than 20% performance over the F1 through and the warrenty is longer too. As they are server class they can be mounted into a silent caddie without fear of them getting too hot as well

    6. Looking at a few Samsungs right now.

    Wish I was! Absolutly love em. I want 2 for every machine I own.
    Last edited by PeteG@Scan; 05-03-2009 at 01:51 PM.

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    Re: Advice on i7 system build please...

    Do you know if I need some kind of cable extenders from the PSU to the motherboard etc for the Antec 1200??

    Thanks for your replies!!

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    Re: Advice on i7 system build please...

    Depends on the psu. The only one that maybe an issue is the 12v cpu cable. In this case you can route the cables round the back of the motherboard case side to save space and keep it tidy, and I've been informed that a corsair HX620 won't reach but a HX1000 will as the cable lengths are different on the the two psu's.

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    Re: Advice on i7 system build please...

    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpio1000 View Post
    Thanks!!
    Quote Originally Posted by PeteG@Scan View Post
    Depends on the psu. The only one that maybe an issue is the 12v cpu cable. In this case you can route the cables round the back of the motherboard case side to save space and keep it tidy, and I've been informed that a corsair HX620 won't reach but a HX1000 will as the cable lengths are different on the the two psu's.
    Thanks for bit of info, much appreciated!

  11. #11
    Scan Computers PeteG@Scan's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on i7 system build please...

    No worry's

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