It’s been almost 3 years since I had my i920 setup. It’s been so reliable and lightning fast. I don’t know how AMD is going to survive with Intel fast and energy efficient I920 & the new I5, anyhow, this pdf is how I built and set up my computer. The base is 2.67GHZ, we OC it to 3.67GHZ. It’s been stable and solid with all heavy duty video encoding.
***** We hate rebates and there it is… BFG Tech is stiffing us the $20.00 rebate on the PS due to missing UPC at the time of receipt. They would not let us to supply it afterward because we cut out the part# bar my mistake. The best is to stick with brand names product with companies that care about customer service instead of buying from the hole in the wall company like BFG Tech*****
Our recommendation is stay away from BFG Tech for any rebates!!!!
After spending average of 12+ hours of shrinking blu-ray to 1920×1080 mkv and avchd dvd using the old E4300 (@3ghz), we decided to try the i7 platform. There are tons of reviews on i7 and its x58 motherboards on the internet. We took a chance to buy an oem board from NewEgg.com. So here is our i7 system.
1. MSI X58 PLATINUM (OEM) $150.00 which includes no accessories from NEWEGG.com. We choose this board because it got everything we wanted: Esata, Firewire, 2 Ethernet, 2 ps2, 3 PCIe 1x, 2xPCI.
2. BFG V2.2 GS 550W POWER SUPPLY $29.00 (after rebate) from MicroCenter, we don’t need 700W for what we do.
3. CORSAIR 6GB 1333 Triple Channels $64.00 (after rebate) from NEWEGGS.com
4. HITACHI 1TB 7K1000.B $85 from MicroCenter. We don’t use Seagate due to many returns (2 in a row).
5. i920 $142.00 (Intel Employee discount) or $220 @ MicroCenter.
6. KINGWIN XT1264 CPU COOLER $39.99 @ Fry’s
Total =$513.99 we are using our nice old case.
Now, is the money well spent for our purpose? Can we over clock this 2.67Ghz? Yes, we can and it’s running @ 180×21 = 3780Mhz after all the trials and errors. We can push it for more, but why? The $1000 extreme 965 only runs @ 3.2Ghz.
MSI X58 PLATINUM (OEM). The box came quickly from NewEgg.com as usual. It has 15 days to try out and return, it doesn’t come with any accessories supposedly and here it is.
3 CD drivers are from different chipset, we downloaded the current drivers for this board in advance since we expected nothing. The back io plate is missing which we hope we got one, but no problem.
The heatsink on heatpipe is bent upward at the south bridge, this may be the reason for the return (over heating?).
This really worries us, but we got it already, removed the heatpipe, bent the pipe to make it straight, apply some heat conductive paste on both ICs and the heatsink surfaces and hope for the best.
The board looks brand new although it’s opened boxed.
BFG V2.2 550W POWER SUPPLY
CORSAIR 6GB 1333 TRIPLE CHANNELS
Hooked up everything, only installed 1 stick to make sure that it boots up first before loading all 3. Hit the power button… nothing happened, oh my gosh, we’re dead… Wait, the power supply switch is off… switch it on first… all lights are on… No beeps? after 15-20 seconds… beep!!! the monitor has some life… WOW.
It was a hot night in April.
Turn off the system, populate all 3 memory sticks and voila… everything is running.
Since it’s tripple channels, we needed to populate 3 sticks on the same color sockets, black or blue.
We keep touching the heatsinks to see if they’re hot to make sure they actually touching the IC surfaces and they’re warm.
Leave everything at optimum setting in the bios, no over clock or anything fancy yet. Load windows XP 64 bit in 30 minutes.
Load all drivers from the website and install them
These days with HD audio driver from Realtek, the Front Audio Panel doesn’t work because of the jack auto detect setting. To enable front audio headphone and microphone jacks, DISABLE the detection in Audio I/O, Analog Settings, Connector settings. This one will work with all motherboards that have HD Realtek Audio driver.
Overclock the MSI X58 PLATINUM.
We went to the bios, by the way the version is still 1.10, we downloaded v1.13 but we don’t flash it yet. Tried to increase the frequency and it wouldn’t boot for anything, even with 135mhz instead of 133mhz. Darn, no wonder they returned this board… But wait… instead of leaving intel EIST to auto, set it to “enable” and voila… the board posts @ 150mhz = 3150mhz without touching anything. Now after trials and errors, we found the optimum speed which this motherboard & ddr3 & i7 will best perform.
This i7 is so great for OC, we don’t even need to raise the voltages too much to get to 3700Mhz. It’s amazing. The Corsair memories are doing very well too.
For those who like to install Mac OS Snow Leopard 10.6.3, this is a great system for it. Go here for reference.