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Fastest PC - at least for the next couple of weeks

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February 3, 2007 8:28:35 PM

Hi everybody,

I'm interested in what you would combine to get the fastest PC for gaming. Budget is secondary. I think in particular it has to have extra-ordinary harddisk performance (iRam/Ram disks, RAID 5), good CPU performance (at least dual-core) and a top graphic card (don't think 2 cards are really required, but I can get convinced)

Goppi

More about : fastest couple weeks

February 3, 2007 8:41:23 PM

To get the ball rolling I will throw this

E6600 Conroe C2D
DDR2-800 extreme or pro the good stuff
8800GTX
BIG PSU 750W
big Case with AIRFlow
You might even water cooling depends on your o/c level
February 3, 2007 8:54:46 PM

Thanks, but kind of storage would you recommend?
Related resources
February 3, 2007 8:58:55 PM

How big is your budget? If the sky is the limit, I'd say get a Core 2 QX6700, Nvidia Nforce 680i motherboard, two Nvidia Geforce 8800GTXs, and some sort of RAID 0 setup with a few Raptor 150s or Seagate Barracuda 750GB hard drives. But on the videocard situation, I'd really recommend waiting until the end of February to see what ATI is cooking.
February 3, 2007 11:13:29 PM

Quote:
How big is your budget? If the sky is the limit, I'd say get a Core 2 QX6700, Nvidia Nforce 680i motherboard, two Nvidia Geforce 8800GTXs, and some sort of RAID 0 setup with a few Raptor 150s or Seagate Barracuda 750GB hard drives. But on the videocard situation, I'd really recommend waiting until the end of February to see what ATI is cooking.


No limit....

I'm not impressed of the Core 2 QX6700 - see http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2006/11/02/review_intel_core_2_extreme_qx6700/page6.html How do Xeon processors perform for games - perhaps 2 quad-core Xeon's ? Or, how about AMD? Isn't AMD not already faster nowadays?

What is your reason for 2 GPU's? Theoretical, yes - but which games do really need 2 GPU's? BF2 doesn't, that's for sure - I'm running this on max. resolution with highest details on one GPU.

I rather go for a RAID 5 or 6 - Raid 0 doesn't offer me any safety. And it will also increase the performance. But still, perhaps a RAID 5 of RAM disks and just a Raid 1 of bigger HD's for backup would be better...
February 3, 2007 11:29:02 PM

If you want speed and budget is no limit... well why wouldn't you want 2 gpus? Sure nothing needs it, but by fall there should be some games that will... especially if you have a high resolution display.
February 3, 2007 11:38:26 PM

For the hard drive situation I would get at least 2 raptor x 150 Gig drives in a RAID 0. (I have 1 raptor 150 and it was faster than a RAID 0 of two 400 Gig drives) After that get a 750 Gig or 1TB drive (if they are out now) and use a program from Acronis.com called True Image. This is a great, I MEAN GREAT, backup program. You can have your computer create a new backup image on the big drive every night, so if the RAID 0 fails you would only lose 1 day of work.

At first, the big drive will probably have room for almost 200 images. As the disk usage increases on the RAID 0 the length of time that you can keep a backup will decrease.
February 3, 2007 11:49:43 PM

Quote:
For the hard drive situation I would get at least 2 raptor x 150 Gig drives in a RAID 0. (I have 1 raptor 150 and it was faster than a RAID 0 of two 400 Gig drives) After that get a 750 Gig or 1TB drive (if they are out now) and use a program from Acronis.com called True Image. This is a great, I MEAN GREAT, backup program. You can have your computer create a new backup image on the big drive every night, so if the RAID 0 fails you would only lose 1 day of work.

At first, the big drive will probably have room for almost 200 images. As the disk usage increases on the RAID 0 the length of time that you can keep a backup will decrease.


I always wondered... does the more drives you put in raid 0 increase the speed? you know... 4 rapters > 2?
February 4, 2007 12:07:31 AM

budget is not an issue - but that doesn't mean that the config of the system shouldn't make sense. Hence at the moment only 2 gpu's.

the idea of backing up a raid0 overnight is not what I want. I still rather go with a Raid 5 and 4 or more Raptors 150's - faster than Raid 0 and is more secure. I have the usual backup of data running overnight onto a 1.5TB NAS anyway.
February 4, 2007 12:10:23 AM

On a RAID 0, yes the more drives you put on the faster it goes. I'm sure that there is a law of dimishing returns that comes in somewhere tho. RAID 0 does not have to do the calculations that RAID 5 and 6 do for the data redundancy.

I have not tested it personally, but a 2 drive RAID 0 should be quite a bit faster than a 3 drive RAID 5.
February 4, 2007 12:19:58 AM

Quote:
On a RAID 0, yes the more drives you put on the faster it goes. I'm sure that there is a law of dimishing returns that comes in somewhere tho. RAID 0 does not have to do the calculations that RAID 5 and 6 do for the data redundancy.

I have not tested it personally, but a 2 drive RAID 0 should be quite a bit faster than a 3 drive RAID 5.


Since you loose one drive for the checksum anyway, yes, a 3drive RAID 5 will be slower than a 2 drive RAID 0 - quite a bit? that depends on the RAID controller and the processor being used for the checksum calculation. But like I said, a 4 drive RAID 5 will outperform a 2 drive RAID 0 easily.
February 4, 2007 12:29:35 AM

Quote:
On a RAID 0, yes the more drives you put on the faster it goes. I'm sure that there is a law of dimishing returns that comes in somewhere tho. RAID 0 does not have to do the calculations that RAID 5 and 6 do for the data redundancy.

I have not tested it personally, but a 2 drive RAID 0 should be quite a bit faster than a 3 drive RAID 5.


Since you loose one drive for the checksum anyway, yes, a 3drive RAID 5 will be slower than a 2 drive RAID 0 - quite a bit? that depends on the RAID controller and the processor being used for the checksum calculation. But like I said, a 4 drive RAID 5 will outperform a 2 drive RAID 0 easily.

When you put it together please post the numbers, I would love to see the results. I have wanted to test a 4 drive RAID 5 with Raptors, but have not had the opertunity yet.
February 4, 2007 12:59:50 AM

If you really want the fastest hard drive regardless of price, get the HyperDrive4 from www.hyperossystems.co.uk . This is really RAM disguised as a hard drive. It is said to be 125x faster than the fastest hard drive. Of course. since it's max size is 16GB, you'll need a couple of Raptor 150's too. But the games on the HyperDrive will run instantly.
February 4, 2007 1:11:23 AM

That drive is insane. What will be next...
February 4, 2007 1:11:27 AM

Forget getting the fastest PC availiable; as you said, whatever you get will be outdated within a matter of months (or even weeks). Get some mid-priced CPU with a high-end grapihcs card; the GPU has much more effect on gaming performance.
February 4, 2007 1:13:24 AM

I dont believe in ram drives anymore after the one reviewed in the Maximum PC Mag. The performance difference was only very small compared to the 150gb raptor X.
February 4, 2007 1:23:59 AM

Quote:
If you really want the fastest hard drive regardless of price, get the HyperDrive4 from www.hyperossystems.co.uk . This is really RAM disguised as a hard drive. It is said to be 125x faster than the fastest hard drive. Of course. since it's max size is 16GB, you'll need a couple of Raptor 150's too. But the games on the HyperDrive will run instantly.


I saw some performance tests and by the looks of it RAM drives aren't as good as they look like. I hope I find that report again - I will than post it. But by what I can remember - to load a game (think it was BF2) took on a Raptor 25secs and on a RAM drive 20secs. To copy one huge file (600MB iso) took on the ram drive 1/3 compared to the raptor.

So "instantly" sounds nice, but isn't the case...
February 4, 2007 1:28:10 AM

How bout this. :wink:
Processor: Core 2 Extreme QX6700
Motherboard: Asus Striker Extreme 680i SLI
Ram: 4x1gb OCZ FlexXLC liquid cooled PC9200
Graphics Card: 2xBFG Liquid cooled 8800GTX SLI
Power Supply: 1KW PC Power and Cooling
Hard Drive: 4x150gb Raptor-X Raid 5, 2x750gb Seagate
Case: Lian-Li Premium Full Tower Server
Cooling: Swiftech Extreme Custom Liquid cooling
Optical: Plextor Dual Layer DVD Burner, Plextor Blu-Ray Burner
Monitor: 30" Dell UltraSharp Widescreen
Audio: X-fi Extreme
Mouse: G7
Keyboard: G15

THIS IS EXPENSIVE LOL. Maby 10k
February 4, 2007 1:36:58 AM

Quote:
Thanks, but kind of storage would you recommend?


Western Digital Raptors in RAID 0....fastest thing out there. The more drives you add to the array, the faster data access you get.
February 4, 2007 1:39:55 AM

The more drives u add the less reliable your setup is.with 4xhard drives in raid 0 you have 4x more possibility that one of the drives will fail.
February 4, 2007 1:40:05 AM

Quote:
On a RAID 0, yes the more drives you put on the faster it goes. I'm sure that there is a law of dimishing returns that comes in somewhere tho. RAID 0 does not have to do the calculations that RAID 5 and 6 do for the data redundancy.

I have not tested it personally, but a 2 drive RAID 0 should be quite a bit faster than a 3 drive RAID 5.


Since you loose one drive for the checksum anyway, yes, a 3drive RAID 5 will be slower than a 2 drive RAID 0 - quite a bit? that depends on the RAID controller and the processor being used for the checksum calculation. But like I said, a 4 drive RAID 5 will outperform a 2 drive RAID 0 easily.

When you put it together please post the numbers, I would love to see the results. I have wanted to test a 4 drive RAID 5 with Raptors, but have not had the opertunity yet.

Read this...
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/16/2007-hdd-rundown/
February 4, 2007 1:44:53 AM

Quote:
The more drives u add the less reliable your setup is.with 4xhard drives in raid 0 you have 4x more possibility that one of the drives will fail.


Which is why you put the OS on smaller drives in RAID 0 and any important data on a single drive. Raptors have a 5 year warranty, 1 million hours MTBF, and with how fast they load an OS, I've got no prob risking a drive dropout for the performance you gain.
February 4, 2007 1:57:41 AM

Quote:
The more drives u add the less reliable your setup is.with 4xhard drives in raid 0 you have 4x more possibility that one of the drives will fail.


Which is why you put the OS on smaller drives in RAID 0 and any important data on a single drive. Raptors have a 5 year warranty, 1 million hours MTBF, and with how fast they load an OS, I've got no prob risking a drive dropout for the performance you gain.

I wouldn't buy a system that Would have such an unreliability like that. 4xraid 0 is unethical. if your raid 0 goes "boom" then you will have to reintsal EVERYTHING. What if you had 500gigs of data/programs on the raid 0? And if you are only going to put programs all that extra space is completely wasted.
February 4, 2007 2:23:35 AM

Do you people read what the OP has said? He wants the fastest drive access, backup and data storage are not needed as he as access a 1.5 Tb NAS. If He wants the Fastest GPU, it's 2 7900 in SLI. If he wants some future proofing yes go with 1 8800, most reviews say the SLI in the 8800 does not live up the the concept yet.
February 4, 2007 2:32:23 AM

Quote:
Hi everybody,

I'm interested in what you would combine to get the fastest PC for gaming. Budget is secondary. I think in particular it has to have extra-ordinary harddisk performance (iRam/Ram disks, RAID 5), good CPU performance (at least dual-core) and a top graphic card (don't think 2 cards are really required, but I can get convinced)

Goppi


Give Voodoo or Falcon Northwest a call. They'll take your money and give you nice performance in return. :D 
February 4, 2007 2:46:34 AM

Quote:
Hi everybody,

I'm interested in what you would combine to get the fastest PC for gaming. Budget is secondary. I think in particular it has to have extra-ordinary harddisk performance (iRam/Ram disks, RAID 5), good CPU performance (at least dual-core) and a top graphic card (don't think 2 cards are really required, but I can get convinced)

Goppi


Give Voodoo or Falcon Northwest a call. They'll take your money and give you nice performance in return. :D 

For that kinda money that could build you a SWEET custom rg, and a nice paint job if thats your style.
February 4, 2007 9:19:16 AM

Quote:
If you really want the fastest hard drive regardless of price, get the HyperDrive4 from www.hyperossystems.co.uk . This is really RAM disguised as a hard drive. It is said to be 125x faster than the fastest hard drive. Of course. since it's max size is 16GB, you'll need a couple of Raptor 150's too. But the games on the HyperDrive will run instantly.


BTW, with usb flash thumbs prices falling, the product I am missing is something similar for them. 30MB/s 2GB flash drives are pretty cheap now; the missing part is to combine them into sort of RAID array. E.g. 4 2GB 30MB/s flash - 8GB good enough to store OS and applications, 120MB/s combined read.... Cheaper then RAM, no worries about battery backup.

Mirek
February 4, 2007 3:29:18 PM

Quote:
I dont believe in ram drives anymore after the one reviewed in the Maximum PC Mag. The performance difference was only very small compared to the 150gb raptor X.


Thanks for the reference to www.maximumpc.com/2006/05/gigabyte_i-ram.html . It said that because the RAM drive is volatile, it took 24 vs 31 sec to load Doom3. The HyperDrive is not volatile so load time isn't a problem (it's loading HyperRam to system RAM), although 16GB wouldn't hold too many games (maybe multiple hyperdrives! ;) . The article said if the RAM drive held 8GB and was SATA 3G, it would rate a 10. The HyperDrive is both of these and more. No, I don't work for them. But this is the fastest (and most expensive) that I know.
February 4, 2007 6:29:57 PM

Quote:
How big is your budget? If the sky is the limit, I'd say get a Core 2 QX6700, Nvidia Nforce 680i motherboard, two Nvidia Geforce 8800GTXs, and some sort of RAID 0 setup with a few Raptor 150s or Seagate Barracuda 750GB hard drives. But on the videocard situation, I'd really recommend waiting until the end of February to see what ATI is cooking.


I have seen so many people recommend the QX6700 with the 680i MBs. Has anyone actually seen the results of these boards with this processor? I can tell you that currently they are the worse boards to get if you are going Quad core.

At the moment, The Intel Bad Axe 2 is the best board you could if you want any of the current Quad processors. They are fantastic with the Conroe line-ups and OC ability has shown to overclock the QX6700 to 3.73Ghz stable. But these processors really do not need OC as you won't see any benefits at all except for maybe encoding applications. It will take years for games to fully, efficiently utilise all cores.

E6300 and above are/will be very capable for quite a while.
February 4, 2007 6:42:40 PM

The problem with Bad-Axe 2 is no SLI support; nVidia is the only supplier of DX10 cards.

Oh and some guy said that a pair of 7900 GT's in SLI would be better then like a 8800... open your eyes, dude!!
February 4, 2007 6:48:37 PM

Quote:
The problem with Bad-Axe 2 is no SLI support; nVidia is the only supplier of DX10 cards.

Oh and some guy said that a pair of 7900 GT's in SLI would be better then like a 8800... open your eyes, dude!!


There are hacked drivers out although I have never used them so I cannot comment on thier stability/performance. ATI will release thier new line up of cards very soon and at competitive prices.

Plus, why would anyone buy 2 X 8800 cards? Its totally unnecessary unless you like spending money. Plus, 2 X 8800 cards would also mean that you would need a water cooling kit installed, more ££££/$$$$.
February 4, 2007 11:21:32 PM

And why would you need water-cooling for two 8800GTX in SLI? Thats what the massive double-slot coolers are for....

SLI on an xfire-board loses like 20%-30% of the preformance against a SLI-board.
February 5, 2007 8:39:02 AM

QX6700 OC, 2 X 8800, course he will need a watercooling kit.
February 5, 2007 8:41:37 AM

Quote:
QX6700 OC, 2 X 8800, course he will need a watercooling kit.

Have you read the thread or are you a parrot?
February 5, 2007 11:19:31 AM

Quote:
QX6700 OC, 2 X 8800, course he will need a watercooling kit.

Have you read the thread or are you a parrot?

Your a parrot.
February 5, 2007 4:26:02 PM

Ehem... "newbie"... air cooling is fine for 99.5% of computer-users. The only places you will not have sufficent air cooling is when you have extreme overclocks or horribly-hot chips. Its not like his rig will be liquid-nitrogen-cooled for the NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS, and i seriously doubt he'll overclock to 5 ghz on a quad-core CPU...

Ehem... dalbert89; you failed to read the thread--you are a parrot.
February 5, 2007 5:34:24 PM

Quote:
The more drives u add the less reliable your setup is.with 4xhard drives in raid 0 you have 4x more possibility that one of the drives will fail.



EXCUSE ME. The raptors are server grade HDD that are rated to be as close to 100% as you can get, and are rated last over 1 million hours of continuous use. Raptors would make the safest RAID 0 configuration you could.

Relibility is shown Here

Please don't start flaming about stories that someone's brother's, sister's, best friend's dog walker heard that a friend of his lost all his data because his raptor drive failed. Fact is, we see lots of people comment on failed hard drives in these forums but never have I seen someone's raptor be part of the story. Only time I saw a raptor issue in this forum was because it was allegedly performing slower than expected.
February 5, 2007 6:28:23 PM

Ok.
My math...
1,200,000hr mtbf / 24hr a day = 50,000days / 365.25days a year = 136.89253935660506502395619438741... years of use before the average drive will fail. I cannot see anyone using JUST a 36/74/150gb MECHANICAL HARD DRIVE in 10 years, much less 136.89 years!!!

I'd say its a one-in-a-million shot of having a Raptor fail on you. If it does fail in 5 years, you get a new one free!

What is the average MTBF on other HDD's? 100,000 hours? 100,000hr / 24hr a day = 4167days / 365.25days a year = 11.407711613050422085329682865617... years of use before the average drive will fail. Maybe you'll still want to use your slow, overpriced 750gb hard drive in 11 years, but still; its a long shot. A good number of 11+ year old drives will not fail for a few more years... I am currently using a 8gb hard drive for an Ubuntu Linux dual-boot that was out of a system manufactured in 1999-ish. 8 years and its only a rarely-used drive. It was constantly used by a school since it was purchased with an old AcerPower... it still runs fine.

Anyways... the Raptor is the best hard drive you can buy; you're thousands of times more likely to lose serious data from a virus then you are from a failing Raptor.

I hope that helps...
February 5, 2007 7:00:27 PM

I happen to be a fan of the HyperDrive. It costs more money than god himself has, especially to get enough of them to have a useful drive hard drive of sorts, but 4 of them would give you 64GB when in RAID-0.

The Striker Extreme comes with a PCIe 8x port, and in that you could put an Adaptec SAS RAID controller card (it's got like DDR2 as a buffer.) Then, you could put in 15K RPM (150GB) SAS drives in RAID for additional storage and then one of those TB hitachi drives to back everything up.

The advantage of SAS is the reliability and the use of 15K. RMP drives
February 5, 2007 10:09:58 PM

Quote:
I wouldn't buy a system that Would have such an unreliability like that. 4xraid 0 is unethical. if your raid 0 goes "boom" then you will have to reintsal EVERYTHING. What if you had 500gigs of data/programs on the raid 0? And if you are only going to put programs all that extra space is completely wasted.


I do a lot of recording from TV. Most everything goes on a DVD fairly quickly, but I also like shows on my HD, to play easily. Normally, I would agree with Terror112, but in this special case (and possibly others), 4xraid0 might make sense - if I were that rich of course.
-------------------
Athlon3700 not O/Ced
Foxconn 761GXK8MB-KRS -onboard Vid
512MB PC3200
2 x WD740GD in RAID0 for boot drive
Hitachi 160GB
ND-3520AW Burner
Logitech Trackball
Kworld XPert TV-PVR 878 TV-Card
PPA DataLink Cable connecting to other CPU
Win XP Home -SP1
February 9, 2007 10:49:39 AM
February 9, 2007 11:51:29 AM

Although Western Digital might say its Raptor is rated a million hours+, I still wouldn't trust a few on a RAID 0. Even though you say it is for servers and next to 100%, if it WERE 100%, then we would have no need for RAID5 and other raids that provide redundancy. It is a FACT that hard drives will break down, that's y it doesn't have a lifetime warranty. Don't forget that mechanical failure isn't always the cause of a hard drive dying, it is possible that the computer gets bumped?

I currently have a couple of 80gig Seagate's in a raid 0, and have an external hard drive as a backup. For me, that's an acceptable compromise between performance and stability (and more importantly for me, price :p )
!