It looks like money is not a serious object here. I'd go for a Q6600 or even a QX6700. It won't bring any benefit over the E6700 in some applications but in others it will wipe the floor with the E6700.
Maybe save some cash by getting the P5N32-E SLI instead of the Striker.
4 GB of RAM is overkill, unless you're willing to be a guinea pig for Vista. I'd stick with XP and 2 GB for this year.
I just figured 4gb would eliminate issues with buying another matched pair in the future, but as you say, there's issues with that amount of ram anyway... tbh - im avoiding Vista completely - im sure its nice and all that, but i dont buy into any OS straight away, too many issues. XP Pro x64 should be fine i guess - at least the hardware would work... unless of course im missing something with Vista - ie does it make better use of the Quad core? I was under the impression Vista had a lot of overheads on the system = xp was at least reliable and compatible ...
What is the difference between the P5N32-E SLI and the Striker?
If i do go Quad core - do you think i need to change the build? ie faster ram/different mobo?
Vista does have better support for multiple cores, that's the theory. However, if the drivers for the various parts are buggy (e.g. the 8800 GTX drivers) then it's all pointless.
The main differences between Striker and P5N32-E SLI:
- Striker costs about $100 more
- Striker has more eSATA ports. For example you can connect 4 external drives instead of 2, or something like that.
- Striker has nice LEDs inside. Very useful if you buy the PC to look inside it all the time. Personally, I prefer looking at the monitor
- Striker has a more complicated cooling system. The jury is still out on whether it's actually better.
- Striker comes with a "Republic of Gamers" ring. It won't impress the girls but it could be handy to impress geeks or children :twisted:
There was a great review a few weeks ago, but unfortunately I forgot where I found it. It was comparing these two motherboards and the conclusion was that the Striker is not worth it. I especially liked it because I had been planning to get a Striker myself. You can probably find it with Google...
Ok So if i plop for the other mobo, i did a search - it was available in a few flavours, the one that stands out to me is the :
Asus P5N32-E SLI NF680i SLI, S 775, PCI-E (x16), DDR2 533/667/800, SATA II, SATA RAID, ATX
I dont feel the need for external sata ports, nor am im that bothered over lights in the case
I have always been an ABit guy in the past, right from the bh6 i think - it used to drive my Celeron 300a at 500mhz 8O So this will be my first venture into any other mobo make.
PSU - if im uping to quad core - would you recommend:
750w Silverstone SST-OP750, 60A on single +12V rail, 80% efficiency, 4x6pin PCI-E, 1x8pin PCI-E RoHS
I do have one more question that i have thought of (if you dont mind) :
I am buying x4 sata300 drives in the expectation i can make them into a Raid0 setup therefore getting the performance of 4x300mbs =1.2mb ? Is that theory right? Or does setting a Raid0 with x4 sata300 switch the drives to sata150? Therefore only achieving 4x150 = 600mbs
The PSU sounds very nice, but I'd look for a review on the Web or at least the manufacturer's Web page. If you're going for a SLI motherboard you should at least make sure the PSU is also SLI-capable. I strongly suspect that it is, at 750 W.
Typically PSU efficiency is between 65% and 85% so I'd say 80% is very good (85% PSUs cost a lot). There's a sticky thread somewhere on Tom's about PSUs, I'd look for it.
I really don't know much about RAID. I've just read in a book yesterday that using Raid0 for anything other than a server is not worth it. But then, that's just one author's opinion, others may disagree. The total access time needed to read or write a chunk of data to/from disk consists of reading from the FAT or NTFS tables or whatever, then finding the right track on disk, then waiting for it to rotate to the right place, then writing or reading. Raid0 helps only with some of these parts, others are still done at the same speed as with just one disk. I'm guessing that the Raid0 will be faster if you read or write a huge file, but not for small and frequent accesses.
Also, if one of the 4 disks fails you lose all data, which means your risk of hard disk failure is increased.
From what I've read in the forum so far, both Raid0 and the Raptors make loading levels in games faster, but once the level is loaded there's no noticeable difference.
I'm not saying don't use Raid0, OK? Definitely get advice from somebody who really knows. Personally though I'd just get a Raptor 150 GB (on sale at newegg these days) and a 500 GB drive for storage, and add another 1.5 TB drive in 2 years or so Or just get 2 of the 500 GB if storage is important.