Is this hardware compatible

Hi Experts,

I'm ready to purchase a new PC and am hoping someone can tell me if the following set of components will work well together. If otherwise please give me your thoughts/recommendations. Although the PC is for work purposes (Adobe CS5) I'm after something powerful enough for the most resource demanding games.

Motherboard: Gigabyte X58A-UD7 ATX s1366
CPU: Intel Core i7-960 3.2GHz s1366
Memory: Kingston 4GB DDR3 1066MHz ECC
Video Card: Sapphire ATI HD6950 2GB PCIe
HDD: WD VelociRaptor 450GB 10K SATA
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit.

Sound good? Bad? Overkill? Maybe someone can perfect this combo for me.

Thanks in advance.
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Abduljalil Abou AlzahabInfrastructure Team Leader – Professional ServicesCommented:
You can check Windows 7 compatibility center web site, enter your HW or SW, to know that you are ready for Windows 7
Abduljalil Abou AlzahabInfrastructure Team Leader – Professional ServicesCommented:
The above specification will work on Windows 7
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
NICE motherboard and superb CPU.    Unfortunately, this motherboard does not support ECC RAM, so you'll need to use non-ECC modules.     In addition, it supports triple-channel memory, so you'll get better performance if you install three matching modules ==> so you don't want to install 4GB.    I'd install either 6GB  (3 2GB modules) or 12GB (3 4GB modules) ... preferably the latter.

Note that for bus loading reasons, your memory will be much more stable if you only install 3 modules -- even though the board has 6 slots, it's not a good idea to populate them all.    Keep this in mind when building, as you may want to simply buy 3 4GB modules now rather than buying 2GB modules and later deciding you want to increase the memory size.    I'd buy this:

The rest looks good, although unless you need the alternate language support or the BitLocker full disk encryption, Win7 Pro is all all you need for your OS.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
The 7 Worst Nightmares of a Sysadmin

Fear not! To defend your business’ IT systems we’re going to shine a light on the seven most sinister terrors that haunt sysadmins. That way you can be sure there’s nothing in your stack waiting to go bump in the night.

You will be doing a fair amount of I/O, and presumably the data is important.  As such, pop for a 2nd HDD so you can use RAID1 mirroring to protect against both drive failure AND block-level corruption.

Use the native windows software-based mirroring, and you will be able to take advantage of native load balancing.  The O/S will instruct both disks to work at the same time handling read requests, so in a perfect world you would get 2X the read throughput, (write throughput would have a small performance hit, but you wouldn't notice it except on a benchmark).

Of course I'm biased towards storage, but really,all that money on extra protection like ECC, when you have an absolute, drop-dead, 100% probability of eventual disk failure, and 1000X higher probability of having unrecoverable read errors from your disk drive then RAM.
TonyCaboneAuthor Commented:
Thank you guys, quite insightful.

I'll add at least one secondary hdd for backup purposes.

Regarding the memory, is it a disadvantage to use non ECC?
Well I personally would change most of what you have there but keep windows 7 x64  and the WD Hard Drive..and then apply the suggestion from dlethe with raid 1 or use a secondary drive to store ram
To give you a reference point for cpu hogging software power director 9 ultra is an excellent comparision with CS5 resources
Here's an example of what it can do

Now that you looked at that example here's the minimum system requirements you can compare

Now looking at your dream machine

CPU: Intel Core i7-960 3.2GHz s1366 << I prefer AMD Phenom dual core
 is this dual core quad core 6 core??

Gigabyte X58A-UD7 ATX s136<<

Memory: Kingston 4GB DDR3 1066MHz ECC I prefer corsair

Sapphire ATI HD6950 2GB PCIe << not my choice do a bench test against
 Radeon my preferred Gigabyte nvidia
try and keep your brand the same throughout.
The rating is good though
here's a couple of user feedback
What audio card?

I live in Australia and this is one of many computer stores I use to buy the parts online to build my own.
Just for reference look at what you can get now verses what you're looking at.
I meant to ad this as a reference point,
lists the hardware componenets for diffrerent builder
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
"... Regarding the memory, is it a disadvantage to use non ECC?  "   ==>  Yes, but you don't have much choice with desktop motherboards.     Further, as long as you don't load the bus too much (see my earlier comments r.e. only using a max of 3 modules), modern unbuffered non-ECC modules will be VERY reliable.

Memory reliability is dramatically improved if you use buffered modules;  but no modern desktop boards support this -- you have to use a server motherboard to get this support.    For what you're building, you don't really need to do this.

As for the suggestion to switch to AMD ... DON'T.     That would be a BIG performance reduction in your system.     The i7-960 you plan to use scores 6703 on PassMark's CPUMark.   NO AMD quad core comes close to that ... and even their hex-core CPU's are well below it that  -- for example the X6-1090T scores 6071.     And of course the per-core performance is FAR higher with the i7, so any programs that aren't multi-threaded will have even higher relative performance.     AMD has been well behind the performance curve of Intel chips ever since the release of the Core architecture series .. and that's still true.    Just notice the dominance of Intel in the PassMark scores here (Notice there are only 4 AMD CPUs in the top 60 !!):
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
... One other comment:  While the motherboard you selected is, as I noted before, excellent, it IS "overkill" for what you're building.    Unless you intend to add a 2nd video card and want the full x16 bandwidth on the 2nd x16 slot, this is also an excellent board at a much lower pricepoint:
TonyCaboneAuthor Commented:
Thanks again- I've been dead set on intel from word go. What I'll do is post my full system specs for you guys to check out plus add a few points to share around.

Regarding sound card, I thought the motherboard already supported 5.1 surround, or do I require a sound card too? Sorry, may be a silly question.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Onboard sound these days is fine for most purposes -- I use it for both of my HTPCs and all of our personal systems.     If you're in the audio business and need higher S/N for recording and or better multi-channel support you may want a dedicated card ... but I'd certainly wait until you've got it installed before deciding you want something better -- odds are very good you'll be happy with the onboard sound.    [I actually bought a high-end audio card for one of my HTPC systems ... but never used it as the onboad works just fine.]

By the way, since someone criticized your graphics card selection, I'll toss in my nickel's worth:    the HD6950 is a SUPERB card which will EASILY meet your criteria of a card that will be  "... powerful enough for the most resource demanding games."    It scores 3108 on PassMark's G3D benchmark -- and while there are a half-dozen higher-ranking cards (GeForce 470, 480, 570, 580, and 590), they don't rank appreciably higher (3208 - 3833), and the "value" rating of the HD6950 (cost/G3D point) is FAR better than any of the nVidia cards.

TonyCaboneAuthor Commented:
OK here it is, final specs:

Antec Nine Hundred Two V3 Case       
Antec True Power 650W PSU       
Gigabyte X58A-UD7 ATX s1366       
Intel Core i7-960 3.2GHz s1366       
Kingston 4GB DDR-3 1333MHz       (3 x single sticks)
WD VelociRaptor 450GB 10K SATA       
WD Caviar Black 2TB SATA3 64M       
Leader 96 in 1 Card Reader       
LG 10X Blu-Ray Int Writer OEM       
MS Win7 Pro 64Bit SP1 OEM       
Sapphire ATI HD6950 2GB PCIe       
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Looks good -- I only have 3 comments:

(1)  I presume by 4GB (3 x single sticks) you mean a total of 12GB using 3 4GB sticks

(2)  The Antec PSU is okay;  but I'd use this one instead -- using a single-rail supply you're much less likely to encounter issues with your 12v bus, since it won't depend on which line you happen to plug your various peripherals into.

(3)  When you install Windows 7, do so without plugging in the card reader or connecting the 2nd hard drive ... and be sure the partition you're installing to is designated as C:     Card readers and other disk drives can result in a non-standard system drive designation.
TonyCaboneAuthor Commented:
1) Yes

2) Is there an equivalent in Seasonic, Coolermaster or Antec?

3) Thank you for the tip, will do.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Seasonic makes a nice single-rail supply:

FWIW my favorite PSU's are Seasonic and PC Power & Cooling, which also makes a good single-rail supply:

I suggested the Corsair because it's got good reviews and is less expensive than the Seasonic and PC P&C units  [Personally, I'd buy the Seasonic]
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.