Monday, February 15, 2010

i5 gaming rig build Feb 2010

I put together a new pc last week with the following specs:

Intel i5 750 (quad core, 2.66Ghz, turbo boost)
4GB DDR3 RAM (Corsair XMS3 1600mhz)
XFX HD-577X-ZNFC Radeon gpu (XFX 5770, 1gb, DX 11)
Gigabyte GA-H57M-USB3 H57 motherboard (usb3, 7.1 audio, xfire, raid)
WD WD1001FALS 1 TB SATA hard drive (7200rpm, sata2)
OCZ OCZ600MXSP ModXStream Pro psu (600w, modular, 80+)
Thermaltake VI1000NWS M9 case (2 x 120mm fan, toolless, bought locally)

The parts I already have are:
Logitech MX518 mouse
Dell S2209w 22" LCD (5ms, 1080p, DVI-D)
Logitech x530 speakers (5.1, 70w rms)
MS Keyboard
Sony MDR-XD200 headphones
HP 3050 AIO

Most things were ordered from and in abount 8 days after ordering it I had it here in Trinidad. This was after free shipping from amazon. The system came alive after my second attempt to power it up. The first time I did not switch the power supply on. All parts ram straight out of the box. The only thing I changed for specs was to select an XMP to get the memory up to 1600mhz from the 1300mhz it was on.

Windows 7 took some extra long pauses when setting up but it went smoothly. After I loaded up the drivers I loaded a couple games. NFS Shift runs well although I just played for a few mins. I am playing Wolverine:  X-Men Origins now. It is now an 'old' game but looks amazing. I have seen slowdonw in a couple seems with water and fighting, but for stock settings... WOW. Pics and benchmarks will be up soon.
Here is a screenshot of the the win 7 assessment with stock settings.

The motherboard came in its own box. The ram was the smallest package as expected, althought it could have been smaller if the package was made for only 2 sticks instead of 3.

The gpu had the most sturdy box of the lot.

The hard drive was just the drive in a static bag in a 'padded' cardboard box, true OEM style. No cables etc. The motherboard came with 2 sata cables and the case came with plenty screws so no problem here.

This is a shot of the back ports on the motherboard. The next shot is a closeup of the cpu area on the mobo.

The GPU has the egg shaped cooler setup which I read is the 'revised' version. The back of it has nothing worth mentioning. It comes with a 6 pin PCI-E power adapter but my supply has 2 of these built in so I will not use the adapter. There is also a DVI to VGA adapter. The card is 2 slots tall so I had to remove one back panel cover, one was missing already.

This cooler design does not push air straight out the back of the case as the other cooler did but I guess with my case fans I should be okay.

I am using the stock cooler to see what results I get and decide if i need to upgrade it. The gray 3 sectioned circle is thermal paste exactly as it was shipped to me. The fan is a 4 pin connector, so it can be throttled as necessary.

The power supply comes with a carrying case for the unused cables and a standard 3 pin power cord. One point to note is as I was lining it up to screw it onto the case, I scraped a bit of paint off the power supply where it rubbed on the case. There was no force applied, I was just sliding the case around to line up the screw holes. Be careful when attaching the power supply to your case.

The Thermaltake M9 case is a decent case. The worst aspect I think is the hard drive attachment method. You have to load your HD into a 3 storey case that has a fan attached to the front. This case fits into the 5.25inch slot area and is held in place with plastic clips. The clips line up with the standard screw holes and the middle turns to lock/unlock the clip onto the case. Standard HD screws are used to keep the HD in the tray and the opening to attach the screw coupld have been much wider to maybe use your fingers, instead you are forced to use your screw driver to balance the screw into place.
If you have more than one HD, in order to take it out you must remove the 3 drive tall tray from the case. If you have a long video card or alot of cable this can be a problem if the tray is not placed in the lowest slots, even then it can be difficult. The clips are only used on one side but I think they are sufficient. I did have to take a riser from my old case to keep the board from flexing in the case. I used all the risers from the M9 bag-o-screws-n' stuff and there are 6 built in risers in the case (of which I used 4) but one corner was still left unsupported. Lucky thing for old spare parts. The M9 includes a single 3.5 or 2.5 to 5.25 inch adapter tray to use for a card reader or floppy drive. This is what takes up the top open space in the pic below. This too is held in by the same clips used for all the other slots. I took it out and put my burner here. The two fans that come with the M9 use big 4 pin pass through connectors so their rpm cannot be monitored. The cables going to the front of the case for USB, audio, power sw etc are long enough to get snaked around the outside of the motherboard. The right side of the case does not have any channels to pass wires behind or under the board to make it neater.

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