I'll be gentle - looks like a good rig, if it were me (bare in mind I don't know your budget here!) I would make the following changes if you intend on overclocking:
MB: DFI LANParty nF4 SLI-DR Expert - don't bother with the Venus, limited edition, good luck finding one! CPU: AMD Opteron 165 @ 1.8GHz stock - Slow as a stock CPU, loads of potential overclocked. I would get a 170 for the 10x multiplier that way you don't have to struggle achieving 2.6Ghz+ overclocks with a skyhigh HT speed (normally people aim for 300HTT but its not easy) RAM: Corsair XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR 400 (PC 3200) 2-3-3-6 @ 2.75V - Think about higher speed but looser timings memory so you could run the memory at 1:1 with the HT speed, loads of bandwidth! OCZ or GSkill do some nice 2GB kits for reasonable money, the bigger timings are more than offset by the fact it can be run at 275Mhz+! GPU: eVGA Geforce 7900GT 256MB 550MHz / 1580MHz - no problems here SC: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic - cool HD1: Western Digital Raptor 150GB - maybe 2x 74gb's instead? in RAID-0 for fast system disk? Just a thought, the 150 is a nice drive though. HD2: Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 400GB SATA 3.0Gb/s - yup DVD-RW: Plextor PX-716AL/SW - bit overpriced for a DVD-R/W but not too bad PSU: PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 510 ASL - nice PSU but think about SLI upgradeability...maybe go for an 600W+ SLI certified Seasonic or summit...the PP&C might not have enough juice for an overclocked watercooled sli rig, especially for years of running. CASE: Koolance PC3-724BK, Lian Li Black Case w/Exos-2 integrated water cooling - no probs really, think its a little overpriced but at least its already pre-installed if you don't feel confident messing with water cooling. If you are only cooling the CPU then maybe consider the freezone liquid cooling and a normal case. OS: Windows XP SP2 / FreeBSD - yup
Anyway - my two cents! As you can see in my sig, a plain ol SLI-D and an Opteron 170 got me an FX-60 beater on air and its fairly quiet (all 120mm temp controlled fans) running cool... :twisted:
I don't think you will be happy with the Corair.... I would go with OCZ or maybe G-Skill or Mushkin. I have had bad luck with Corsair, and really GOOD luck with OCZ on 939 chips. I have used Corsair in DFI, ASUS, and Biostar 939 boards. Think there may be some compatibility issue, not sure though. Everything else looks find to me though. Good call on the Opty.... you can probably get that thing to close to 2.8 Ghz on air cooling, good air cooling..... I would not go with water, but that is my experience, I have never gotten a higher stable OC with water than what I was able to get with my SI-120.... my 2 cents....
Thank you all for the responses especially mfurse, weskurtz81 and wusy! I have updated the rig list below. I still have one nagging question. Is RAID 0 real world performance really noticeable? I don’t want to go through the trouble and expense slipstreaming this and that into SP2 for little gain.
MB: DFI LANParty nF4 SLI-DR Expert
CPU: AMD Opteron 170 @ 2.0GHz stock
RAM: Mushkin eXtreme Performance 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR 500 (PC 4000) 3-4-3-8 @ 2.8V
GPU: eVGA Geforce 7900GTX 512MB 650MHz / 1600MHz stock
SC: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic
HD: Western Digital Raptor 150GB x2 RAID 0(will add HD space if needed)
DVD-RW: BenQ DW1640(if I can find it!)
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 850 SSI(SLI and SSI Certified!)
CASE: Lian Li PC-V2000 Aluminum Server Case with Window - BLACK w/Danger Den water cooling components for CPU (RBX AMD64), GPU (NV78) & Chipset (DFI EXPERT MAZE4)
OS: Windows XP SP2 / FreeBSD
You fixed a few things, and that's good. Personally, if you are gonna spend the money on a 7900GTX, get an X1900XT and a Crossfire mobo if you so desire to add another down the road. If you can't live without SLI, then keep what you have. The hard drive setup is a step down. Either get one or two 74GB raptors (raid0) for system, and a big drive for storage. I can't comment on the burner, because it is not sold by anyone. I know wusy loves his older-generation drives, but there are recent versions that can do the job.
My experiance with Koolance and Custom built water cooling have been interesting. I went with koolance integrated case to ensure a proper fit and ease of installation, but due to excessive transportation it has gone the way of the dinsaur. I am in college so I take my computer home when I will behome for 1 week or more, and it sits montionless in the front seat... but apparenlty thats not good enough.
Anyways point is, custom built water cooling will always be better, but more expensive and more effort. but if you just want it to work and have decent but not great temps then go koolance, but dont move the case.... lol.
I have the Expert and its a damned fine board, now if i could just get a good venice core instead of the shitty one I have then I'd be ok.
The extra $300-ish for a Raptor might shave 2 seconds off of boot times, and 2-3 seconds off of game level load times (but still waiting 22-25 seconds for most games levels to load regardless!)
Personally, I'd skip that "2 sec faster load" convenience at $300 cost, and save that money for a physics card, or you could instead for a faster single card solution like a 1900XT, or a nice 19" LCD if you don't already have one....
(And finally, someone not proposing blowing $200 on a XFi Platinum/ Fatality, etc...! Nice! ) :-)
I am sorry but I am just not following your train of thought. I like the the Nvidia SLI chipset over the ATI Crossfire northbridge/southbridge deal, the sheer number of overclock options of the DFI over any other board and the extra PCI slot on the board.
As far as the video card situation goes, I am not running two cards nor do I plan to in the future. Hence, the fastest single card solution. If I wanted to save $200.00 bucks and take the performance hit, I would drop down to the 7900GT. Are you saying an ATI X1900XT beats a 7900GTX?
And how is a Raptor 150 x2 in RAID 0 a step down from a Raptor 74? I can understand 74 x2 RAID 0 faster than one 150 but not the other way around.
Moreover, the BenQ drive is a $100.00 dollars cheaper with better specs than the Plextor I originally sought. Now if I can only find it!
“Anyways point is, custom built water cooling will always be better, but more expensive and more effort.”
***You are absolutely right about custom built being better and more effort but after pricing everything out it was only $25.00 dollars more for the custom solution. And that isn’t exactly true because I chose a much bigger Lian Li server case over the Koolance Lian Li case with integrated water-cooling. I wanted to make sure I had room for the Danger Den components.
Even though the 150 has a bigger cache, the 74's have a lower seek time as they have less space to search through. This makes them faster. I apologize for seeming so intent on changing your setup.
As for the VGA debate, I don't care which way you go. Since you aren't doing SLI or CF, then stay with that mobo, or get a cheaper non SLI Lanparty. If you think the 7900GTX beats a X1900XT hands down, then that is just misinformation. Both win their share of games, but usually the X1900XT will win in shader intensive games and closes what leads the 7900GTX may have on it as resolution gets higher. Games like BF2, FEAR, and especially Oblivion run noticably better with the X1900XT.
The WD Raptor 150's are the fastest Sata drives available. I, however, would not raid them, I have to 74gb Raptors in a Raid 0 config, and have not really noticed a benefit, they are so damn fast already. I would just get 1 150, and then a storage drive for whatever you use it for. And from what I have read, the 150 is faster than the 74 under the same circumstances. IE, if the are both searching neat the center of the platter the 150 is faster in that situation. Everything I have seen points toward the 150 being faster.
Those cards are fairly evenly matched, with the latter doing perhaps a little better in the Doom3/Quake4 engined games, and the former doing quite nicely in FEAR. MOst folks would be happy with either, although I'd shoot for an Nvida variant if planning on tinkering with Linux in the future!