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Thread: i7 920 D0, EX58, 6GB, HD4890 build.

  1. #1
    Retired WiiHacks Staff Tealc's Avatar
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    May 2009
    Sunny Wales, UK

    i7 920 D0, EX58, 6GB, HD4890 build.

    My latest Build, i7 920 D0 @4.0Ghz, Gigabyte EX58-UD5, 6GB Tri-Channel RAM, Radeon HD4890.

    This PC was built towards the later part of 2009 but is still in full daily use.

    Intel Core i7 920 revision D0 2.66Ghz

    The Intel i7 920 processor is the lowest rated desktop CPU in the flagship i7 9xx series, with a stock speed of 2.66Ghz. It has 4 native processor cores (not 2 x 2 core like previous quad cores) and has the memory controller integrated on the die. Hyperthreading allows 8 threads to be computed at the same time, bringing a reported 20% increase in throughput. The best thing about this CPU is it's enormous overclocking potential with some seen approaching and beating as much as 4.2Ghz on just Air cooling alone, and especially with the later D0 revision. For a low investment of around 200 it is possible to surpass the performance of Intel's flagship i7 975 processor, saving yourself a massive 600 in the process.

    I have overclocked my D0 CPU to 4.0Ghz as this provides a nice speed increase without raising my core voltage too high and producing too much heat. It doesn't crash and is running all day without problems. This CPU is one of the overclocker enthusiasts favourite chips.

    Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5

    A well known brand and one of the few desired overclockers board for the EX58 chipset. This was rated the PC Format Top 1366 Motherboard for 2009/10. It comes with dual BIOS, lots of lights and a intricate heatsink system to cool important components. The motherboard itself is a Tri-Sli, crossfire enabled board that can take 3 PCI-E Graphics cards, supporting a total of two full x16 lanes and one x8 lane for some serious graphics muscle.

    A very simple BIOS screen enables the overclocker to tweak a few values and upgrade their speed very quickly. There is also software that comes with the board for the less adventurous that enables selectable overclocks up to 3.2Ghz.

    Noctua NH-U12P SE1366

    Noctua, the Austrian manufacturer creates one of the best coolers available for the 1366 platform, mounting two vortex control fans in push-pull configuration to cool the 4 heatpipe and huge fin array. A very large cooler dominates the internals of the case and keeps the hot processor in check.

    Patriot Viper 3x2GB DDR3 1600MHz Tri-Channel.

    Overclockers memory with large blue heatsinks. The default speed for the board is 1066, but when overclocking it goes up to 1600Mhz. It's memory, it works, what more could be said.

    OCZ 600W StealthXStream PSU with a Scythe S-Flex 1600 Fan Swap Mod

    A quiet PSU that was only quiet when running a low power rig with very modest power requirements. It was by far the loudest component in the PC. I decided to break my warranty and fit a Scythe S-Flex 1600RPM quiet fan instead of the 2000RPM cheap standard fan. The noise characteristic and sound now generated by the PC is very quiet indeed, even under load.

    Sapphire Radeon 4890 Vapor-x 1GB

    Best bang for buck card at time of build, with the added benefit of Sapphire's Vapor-x technology assures quiet operation, something which is often overlooked on high end cards. Now somewhat superseded by the 5xxx series DX11 cards, the once flagship single GPU HD4890 remains very capable and runs any game I choose to throw at it. The card is a lovely blue colour and lights up the internals of the case. The card itself is only audible when under heavy stress, say for example in Shattered Horizons which is a very demanding game. The card is pre-overclocked by 2% and fully overclockable to around a 10% which I haven't bothered with so far as I don't really want to additional noise.


    Following a guide and a overclocking forum it just required a few setting to be modified in BIOS to push the processor from stock 2.66Ghz speeds up to 4.0GHz.

    Temperatures Highest Core
    Idle - 34 Degrees C
    Load - 60 Degrees C
    Idle - 48 Degrees C
    Load - 85 Degrees C


    SuperPi-Mod -1M - 19 Iterations
    Stock 16.975s
    Overclocked 10.163s

    Video Encoding
    20 Minute file of a cartoon based family series, file converted to..

    DVD VIDEO using WinAvi
    Stock - 93 seconds
    Overclock - 59 seconds
    As a comparison my old Athlon64 clocked at 2.1Ghz used to take about 12 minutes!

    Xvid @1300 using VirtualDub32
    Stock - 123 seconds
    Overclock - 88 seconds

    Mp4 iPod using Jodiz Free iPod Video converter
    Stock - 294 seconds
    Overclock - 211 seconds

    The core components of the machine were added to my existing components which include a super mid tower case, 2x Western Digital 500GB drives suspended on elastic bungee cord for silence, Soundblaster Audigy 2 ZS, DVD Writer.

    Why Self Build?

    There are a few reasons why one would choose to gather components and build their own computer.

    1) Fun.
    2) Learn some new things.
    3) Cherry pick components.
    4) Re-use components from an old PC that are not critical i.e. Case, DVD, Fans.
    5) Make it quieter.
    6) Cheaper.

    Overview of the internals, NOTE: I am not bothered too much about appearance and have no Window. My Case sits on the floor between desks, it's mainly the Monitor I look at, sometimes the keyboard. It's also a little dusty, having been cleaned out about a fortnight ago

    The Noctua Cooler in action, actually spinning at 600 RPM while the shot was taken.

    A closeup of the lovely blue lit Sapphire Vapor-X HD4890

    Suspended hard drive to dampen vibrations.

    Last edited by Tealc; 06-03-2010 at 01:09 AM.
    Not really doing much Wii stuff these days.

  2. #2
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    emuhack's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Windy City
    The best part about this is the way that you are holding the hdd... AMAZING

  3. #3
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    oddgriffin's Avatar
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    Quite a bit of power there. I stopped building computers back in 2005, but always want to start doing it again.
    Sent from my van, down by the river.

    Never quantify your life by comparison. It is always going to be apples to oranges. If you feel the need to always look down on others, you currently do not own enough mirrors------ Tommie Griffin.

  4. #4
    Retired WiiHacks Staff Tealc's Avatar
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    May 2009
    Sunny Wales, UK
    When you strive for a more quiet PC even the vibrations of the Hard Disks, and they aren't even considered noisy ones, can irritate. I could hear them whine up and down on start up and using WD software I could hear the difference when I spun them down. Most solutions are to put them in an expensive enclosure, or in a special caddy but it just doesn't isolate the vibration and harmonics entirely.

    I also have another suspended in a 5 1/4" bay at the top. I did initially have both drives up there but found they got a little toasty, I imagine a fair amount of heat is passed through the screws and bays they normally sit in.
    Not really doing much Wii stuff these days.

  5. #5
    ~Former Wiihacks Staff~
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    thucncao's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Pretty..... Thats a nice pc you got there. The way you have the hdd is just hella funny. But the first thing that came to my mind was "wow, thats a nice way to get it some air"
    Come to the Irc room to get help or just have fun

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  6. #6
    Retired WiiHacks Staff Tealc's Avatar
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    May 2009
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    Hard drive suspension is a well known trick over at SPCR
    Not really doing much Wii stuff these days.

  7. #7
    Retired WiiHacks Staff ShadowSonic2's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    Green Hill Zone
    That's a pretty powerful PC you got there Tealc. Really like the idea of suspending the HDD. I wish I'd get the chance one day to build a PC.

  8. #8
    This was my dream pc a while ago, now I have a better one, it's like a rocket, when i turn on the lights on my street goes off, it is called in many ways, some say it's a monster, some that is from future, they're just jealous on my "amd sempron 1.6 ghz, GeForce 4 mx 64 mb, 256 mb ddr, 40 gb HDD"

  9. #9
    Just wait till the amd tri cores come out, its going to smoke anything intel has out now, not to mention there twelve core cpu's for servers..

    AMD's 12-core "Magny-Cours" Opteron 6174 vs. Intel's 6-core Xeon - AnandTech :: Your Source for Hardware Analysis and News

    Nice setup though. I'm buying the latest Phenom 6x when it comes out, woot backwards with the quads, am3.

    Not to mention the price is going to be around 300$ compared to int$l
    I'm gonna open a file of whoop-ass on you
    new sig pending...

  10. #10
    Retired WiiHacks Staff Tealc's Avatar
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    Maybe the latest crop of AMD cores will trounce the Intel chips that currently exist but rest assured that Intel have their own six core behemoths in the pipeline and if they follow trends they will be massively overclockable, unlike some of the AMD offerings of late.

    This PC build is actually my first Intel build for many years. I've built/purchased around 5 PCs and only the first and last was Intel based. I've always strived for mainstream/cheapest option, until this time when I wanted the best without selling my soul to the devil expensive, plus I could afford it easily last year.

    I also have to wonder what will use 6 core CPUs, I have 4 cores/8 threads and the only thing I've seen stress them (even when at stock) is specially designed CPU torture testers.

    I doubt if I will be buying a new CPU for a couple of years. The motherboard I chose will be fine for 6 core Intel I'd imagine as it is an enthusiast socket but unless the chips are cheap as erm... chips and overclock massively I don't see the point.
    Not really doing much Wii stuff these days.

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