Current PC – i5 750, 16GB RAM, GTX 780

Built in May 2010 and upgraded along the way, this is my current computer:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-750 2.66GHz LGA 1156 Quad-Core Processor @ 3.21 GHz
  • CPU Cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Rev.2 (not shown in pictures below)
  • Motherboard: ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0
  • RAM: 8GB 16GB (4x4GB) of CORSAIR XMS3 DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
  • Video: Dual (SLI) EVGA GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 (second one added in August 2011)
  • Video: Dual EVGA GeForce GTX 780 with ACX coolers in SLI
  • PSU: CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-850HX 850W (modular)
  • Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Full Tower (230mm fans!)
  • Hard Drives: 2x 160GB Intel 320 SSDs in RAID 0 for Windows and programs, 2TB Western Digital, another 2TB Western Digital, and a 1.5TB Seagate that I kept from my previous build. I also have a 8TB Synology NAS (networked storage) and a 5.4TB NetGear NAS in my closet. That puts me at a total of about 18.7 TB of real actual storage space.
  • Main Monitor: 30″ Dell U3011 16:10 LCD (2560×1600)

I also kept and used these parts from my previous builds:

  • Second Monitor: 24″ Westinghouse L2410NM HDMI 16:10 LCD (1920×1200)
  • Speakers: Logitech Z-680 5.1 surround 500 watts
  • Keyboard: Logitech G19 (built in LCD screen)
  • Mouse: Logitech G500 laser gaming mouse
  • OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

Here are some pictures of the build: (click for bigger)

17 thoughts on “Current PC – i5 750, 16GB RAM, GTX 780

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  3. Cabinet is the best part here :P . I’m getting a similar configuration [cant get that cabinet here though].

    I got questions :

    What was the reason behind not going for something from i7 9xx series?

    Do i really need a 850W PSU if i am going to have only 1 HDD, a pretty basic gpu like ASUS GeForce GT220 [i never play games], 2×2 gigs RAM & its highly unlikely i will be adding more components there so will a 450W from Corsair will do me good?

    • The i7 is like $100 more and I don’t need Hyper-threading for gaming or my CPU-unintensive coding work. the i5-750 is more than enough unless you’re doing a lot of video rendering or something.

      A 850W PSU would be major overkill for you. I probably should have gone with a 750W, but I felt better safe than sorry and it was only marginally more expensive. I have such a high wattage PSU due to my graphics card (these 4xx cards use insane amounts of power) plus I run 5 hard drives in my case.

      450W sounds fine, but I’d fill out this little wizard to see if you’re in the ballpark or not: http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

      (That form tells me I need 525W, but I want some breathing room personally.)

  4. Thank you Alex, you’re the best :) , yep its most coding, 1 window of virtualbox running most times and occasional 1080p movies for me so such a rig more than sufficient.
    See you around #wordpress :)

  5. Hello there.

    Glad I ran into this site. First of all, the rig looks fantastic: one look at her and you know she means serious business.

    I’ve been searching for relevant information about the rig I’m about to put together. I already have all the components waiting in the basement for me but I am hesitating as I do not want to go through the trouble of assembling the rig only to find I have to take it apart again because I overlooked something. (Yes, I’m a newbie so forgive the lack of fudamentals here.)

    It’s going to be built around a central set-up similiar to yours: i5-750 (stock speeds, though), a GTX 470, and a 320 GB raptor HD. It will be for gaming mostly, and I;m thinking about getting a 512 mb GT 220 or 240 for Physx. Do you suppose a 700W PSU will do the job for what I’m building?

    I currently have an i5 650 hooked up to the GTX 470 on 550W of power. No problems thus far. But I’m sure I’ll be needing more juice once I get the 750 and the raptor in there. I’m looking at a 700W CMaster Silent Pro at the moment as the price is well within my reach. I’ll have to put together more cash for anything more powerful, but that’s better than spending on something inadequate right now.

    Also, do you think the 750 is good for gaming? Will its performance be noticably better than the 650? Most of the 750 owners I’ve come across in gaming forums and the like have their i5 750s overclocked. I don’t intend to do any overclocking.

    Your advice and inputs will be much appreciated.

    • I personally don’t think a dedicated PhysX card is worth it. Few games use PhysX and even then, the GTX 470 has lots of overhead with current games. Plus you can always get one later once more games start supporting it (assuming it catches on more).

      700W should be perfectly fine, but 550W is a bit low I think. I run 850W because it was the same price as 750W (sale) and because I run 5 hard drives.

      The i5-750 is a great chip and no game I’ve found comes close to maxing it out. It’s way cheaper than the i7’s but is still quad core. It doesn’t have hyperthreading, but really that doesn’t matter for games.

      The i5-650 is dual core, the i5-750 is quad core. So that’s 2×3.2GHz = 6.4GHz vs. 4×2.66GHz = 10.64GHz. Quite a bit of difference in terms of available processing power.

      As for overclocking, I don’t have the time to fine tune that crap, make tiny tweaks, etc. However my motherboard has a simple overclocking utility in BIOS and I just said “overclock by 20%” and it did the rest. Took me 2 seconds and combined with a non-stock HSF to cool it better, it was easy as pie. Incredibly stable and a nice speed boost.

      Hope that helps. :)

  6. Thank you for the reply. Yes, it was helpful.

    I put the rig together and it appears to be running fine. The cores run a bit hot, but I’ve not seen the temps breach 64 degrees celsius even at full load. While that is still too hot for my peace of mind, and I’m uncertain as to the adequacy of the CM Hyper TX3 CPU fan, I’ve been told I’m safe so long as I do not overclock. Maybe I should have gotten a 212+.

    I took note of your opinion regarding the dedicated PhysX card and put off installing a second card. I did some reading on the subject and it appears you are right. No reason for this piece of equipment to burn more juice than necessary.

    Again, thanks!

  7. 64C is normal, especially for a stock cooler. Like most new stuff, they run hot.

    My GPU (video card) gets to 90C under load, 70C when idle for example.

    Glad you got it sorted out! :)

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  9. Hi again. Posted here a while back, as you can see. And now I’m going to eat my own words. I had said wouldn’t overclock my system. Well, I’m fiddling with it right now with the i5 750 I bought. Heh-heh.

    I recently purchased a new motherboard which features a utility called Turbo V Evo. It basically helps beginners to overclock their systems using software without making permanent changes to the BIOS. I am, of course, one such clueless newbie.

    I’ve used this utility a lot when playing games, sliding the BCLK up from 133 to 142 for that added snap. But I always got these crackling noises during the cut scenes of Modern Warfare 2. (I never heard these sounds while playing other games.)

    Worried that I was doing more damage to my system by constantly shifting the value of the BCLCK back and forth, I decided to make the change in the BIOS. The crackling sound disappeared.

    I ran OCCT twice (an hour each time) without any errors. I ran Prime95 for one and a half hours and my temps held steady at 65°C. I then did 15 passes of the Intel Burn Test at the highest possible settings without problems (my temps ran up to 69°C, though).

    Am I safer keeping the changes I made to the BIOS than making them with the ASUS Turbo V utility? Or should I just stick to using Turbo V Evo and keep my processor at stock settings for uses other than games? (it’s the snapping, crackling sounds I’m worried about.)

    I know that I probably shouldn’t fiddle with these things at all, but I do enjoy the added speed. The temps I’ve mentioned above are all lower than when I used an Intel P55 mobo on stock speeds. Realtemp, Argus Monitor, and HWMonitor all registered temps of around 65°C just having games load up back then.

    Thanks

    • I don’t believe Prime95 is multi-core aware, is it?

      And I didn’t do my overclocking using any software (although I probably have the same software on my ASUS DVD). I went into the BIOS and did it that way. One of the pages provides a one-“click” method of overclocking.

      I’m currently running a 20% overclock (3.2GHz). However I also have an aftermarket cooler on it that can dissipate more heat than the stock one can.

  10. Prime 95 did burden all four cores to the maximum limit. After a while, though , I decided that I was doing unnecessary damage to an otherwise good chip. (I’ve read that some people actually put their processors through 24 hours of Prime95 torture before declaring a stable overclock, but I really have to wonder whether the damage done in the process is worth it. )

    Yes, my motherboard also permits a “one-click” overclocking facility. To tell you the truth, however, I’ve become daunted by the whole overclocking process as described in the internet forums I frequent. I write speeches and regular news stories for a living and must beat two or three deadlines a day to keep the paychecks coming and the girlfriend happy. I simply don’t have time to put my PC through that many hours of torture: a day and a half of Prime95 testing is just way too much for me. In any case, I’ve decided to put off overclocking for now. I want to learn more before I proceed in earnest.

    By the way, I’ve heard much about Rivatuner’s triple buffering software for direct 3D games. It’s supposed to allow Nvidia GPUs to yield more than 60 or 75 FPS when vsync is on. I tried it and could not discern any difference. A great number of gamers swear by the efficacy of Rivatuner’s stuff, yet I still get a nearly fixed 75 frames per second when vsync is on. Do you use this?

    • Damage? A CPU will become too slow to bother using long, long, long before it dies.

      Personally I just turned on one-click overclocking and essentially forgot about it. It’s stable as can be (no crashes) and I never even bothered stress testing it.

      Never heard about such a feature in Rivatuner, although I don’t usually use vsync or have issues with low FPS.

  11. hey i need to know ….i have a 16gb ram mushkin silver ….and the power supply is 520W ….but then whenever i using the computer i stops and at start up it fails to show any display. when i remove a 4gb ram ….it starts again ..what would the appropriate smps reqiured if i had to run it with 16gb of ram

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