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Got a massive tax return this year. Decided to blow majority of it on a new system as my Dual Core Athlon is near death.

Been researching parts for a couple of weeks and made compromises based on price, power consumption, quality and heat as I'm planning on a modest CPU overclock. I compromised on the video card because the GTX 280s run too hot for my liking. What do you guys think?


Asus P6T Delux


Intel Core i7 920


Asus Triton 81


Silverstone LC13 E

Video Card

Zotac Nvidea GTX 260 AMP2!


Seasonic PSR 650W


Asus 2Gb DDR3 1333mhz x3

Hard Drive

Western Digital 7200RPM 500gb x3 (RAID 5)


24" 2ms Acer P244WB

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As far as I'm aware these newer Core i7 motherboards work a bit differently to what we're used to. Instead of two identical sticks being optimal so you can run the RAM in dual channel, it's actually three identical sticks that's optimal and it similarly runs the three in parallel — very fast.

And while we're on that subject, IMO if he's building a new computer now he does want to be going down the Core i7 route. It's most definitely the leading technological marvel at the moment (~16-thread CPU), and if the last generation of CPUs taught us anything it's that Intel is on top of its game right now when it comes to delivering excellent cost/performance value.

There is an early adopter tax on Core i7 technology right now, but it's going to be with us for some years to come. If I were building now I'd base it around Intel and NVIDIA after what's been a very mediocre few years for both AMD and ATI. Golden boys of the enthusiast sector they certainly aren't anymore. :(

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Thanks for the opinions. Like Thrik said the i7 uses some tri channel shit instead of dual hence the 6gb RAM. I blew my budget and only got 2x 2gb anyway. I've heard the performance gain is negligable.

It's likely I won't be able to afford another significant upgrade for a few years so I went the new architecture with the possibility of replacing parts down the track. I was expecting to pay an early adopter tax but the price I paid is comparable to a top line previous gen system. I don't know what prices are like abroad but the i7 920 is actually cheaper than some previous gen Intel quads (eg. Q9650 is approx $859 aust, i7 920 $512). The motherboard was damn expensive though, $521!

The bottome of the i7 range, the 920 is a pretty good overclocker from what I've read. I'm going for a modest overclock between 3-3.2ghz.

Dux: I was initially looking at the ATI 4870x2 but it's power consumption is insane and there's no performance gains unless the resolution is above 1920x1080 (max rez of my monitor). The factory overclocked GTX 260 is comparable in performance to a GTX 280 and runs much cooler + it was cheaper.

My current system is an AMD Athlon. Saddly AMD is way behind in performance, especially when it comes to demanding tasks like rendering are compiling. They're not even significantly cheaper than Intel.

I tend to sway between Intel/AMD ATI/Nvidea depending on who has the best gear in my price range. This time it's in favour of the big guys.

System is ordered and on it's way :) .

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