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Another New Build Thread... with particular requirements

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January 30, 2008 7:07:18 PM

Hello all,

I'm pretty new round here but this looks like the place to post this so here goes...

I'm about to build a new PC with the requirements of being both pretty fast but also near silent. I'll be using the same system for both gaming, and recording and producing music. Therefore it needs to be both high powered and quiet.

The spec and reasoning behind my choices:

Processor - E8400/8500, no real surprise there. The system will be a gaming system 1st, music system 2nd. Therefore I figure the outrageous overclocks people are getting with these for what they cost make it very desirable. I figure for the next 18 months the extra clock cycles that should be achieveable will be more beneficial than 2 extra cores when playing games. I know my music apps are probably one of the few apps that actually support multiple processors (suggesting Q6600 or new range of quad's about to come out) but they way I operate I'm not really using the capabilites of the existing cores. Sound logic?

RAM - OCZ 4GB (2x2GB) PC2-8000C5 1000MHz ReaperX HPC Enhanced Bandwidth Edition Dual Channel DDR2 (OCZ2RPX10005GK). The reasoning behind this is that, as I understanding it, being certified at 1Ghz should gaurantee me a good overclock, am i right? I need 4Gig RAM and as I understand it 2x2 is a better option that 4x1 for overclocking stability?

Case - Antec P190 +1200. I've have a P180 already and have been might impressed. The noise level from the three fans on low is about perfect for what I need. From the information I've gathered the P190's extra fans will give the extra cooling I need without adding to the noise. Furthermore, it comes with the PSUs that I know fit, have the right length of cables and are powerful enough for anything I could throw at it in the near future.

CPU Cooler - Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme seems to be the way to go from reading this board. I was thinking of marrying it with 2 Noctua NF-S12 1200RPM 120mm fans. These are a fairly reputable quiet fan (17dBA@1200RPM) with decent air airlflow (48CFM@1200RPM). With the case cooling, I should be able to keeps these at these speeds and still keep everything pretty cool, no?

HDD - 2 Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB drives. Seems to be the sweet spot for price/performance right now. I remember a few years ago that the Raptor used to be the drive of choice. However, am I right in thinking this has kinda fallen out of favour? The Barracuda at S300 will be more than sufficient for the track count I'm running during my music work so I will be using them in a RAID1 config. I can afford a raptor (I would probably go for two of the smaller ones and RAID0 them) but would it be worth it?

Gaming soundcard - Creative X-Fi Platinum Fatal1ty Champion Series. Pretty much made my mind up about this but if anyone knows of a good reason not to get this then let me know!

-------------------------------------------------

So those are the things I'm pretty sure about unless anyone has suggestions. However, I'm now stuck with the mobo and graphics cards. The main point is that I use two 19" CRTs and these are not being replaced right now (possible future upgrade after this mamoth spend!!). As I understand it, SLI does not support dual monitors but CrossFire does?

The games I mainly play are SupCom: FA and Battlefield 2/2142. The target is to build a system that can play Crysis at 1600x1200, everything on high, if possible very high. I expect Crysis to be a benchmark for the next 6 months - 1 year (look at how long far cry was used as one!) so my logic is; build a computer than can handle crysis now and it should last 1 year at least before looking to upgrade.

The PSU will certainly be able to handle a dual GPU solution although I'd like to avoid it if possible. I'd initially planned to wait for the supposed 9800GX2 but the rumours about this are unsettling. Coupled with the fact that the new 3870X2 appears to have matched the 8800 Ultra for £100 less I've had a rethink. Then today I found a small, possibly dubious, benchmark of the 9600GT which seemed to comfortably outperform the 3850. If that's what Nvidias next generation low end card can do, I can't imagine what their top card (real 9800 GTX) will do?

So the question is, what would you guys do in this situation. I know i can still go for SLI and just disable it when I want to use both monitors but SupCom:FA supports dual monitors so i'd effectively lose one card if I was to choose that approach. CrossFire supports dual monitors but ATI looks like it's current crop will soon be beaten by the 9x00. The mobo is effectively going to be defined by which graphics solution I go for so any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
January 31, 2008 12:03:47 PM

1 - best choice.

2 - You're correct. Rated at a speed will guarantee to run at that speed. As for 2X2 VS 4X1, don't matter to me cuz I can o/c anything. ;)  It's just a matter of time. Stick with 2X2.

3 - Best overall quiet well-designed case.

4 - Best combo of quiet cpu HSF.

5 - You're correct the regular hard disks are gaining on Raptors in terms of speed. They're still behind though, overall. The better investment, IMO, would be more ram. If you have 64-bit os, go with 4-8 GB. No harddisks can run as fast as ram yet.

6 - Yup, go with premium or nothing.

Quote:
Currently, all SLI configurations work only with a single digital video output.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scalable_Link_Interface#Ca...

Quote:
On the codenamed Spider platform, utilizing CrossFireX with AMD 790FX chipset and Radeon HD 3800 series video cards, the user can use multiple displays and maintain CrossFire functionality while SLI and previous generation CrossFire setups are limited to one display only.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATI_CrossFire#Comparisons_...

The Spider platform is for only AMD.

If it were me, I would stick with a single card solution so that I wouldn't be limited by the mobo chipset. I can drop my 8800gt in an any mobo. If it can't handle new games, I sell it & buy a more powerful gpu. Also, on a big monitor. I think I'm seeing a trend that people are skipping computer monitors altogether & going for a single HDTV for the computer & consoles & movie players. I see myself doing just that as well. No point in getting 2 when I can have one.
January 31, 2008 12:20:34 PM

although dual screen isnt directly supported by sli there is a "workaround", read about it here :

http://forums.nvidia.com/lofiversion/index.php?t6269.ht...

and if you are a heavy oc'er and dont plan to upgrade to 8gb ram go for a 4x1 kit.

now if you have the cash i would go for the asus striker 2 formula motherboard with GF 8800 gts 512mb in SLI (ordering mine next week)

also if you really want high speed hdd's take a look at this :

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

you will however need a raid/sas controller for those and they are all but cheap.

what akhilles said though is very true, a nice HDTV will be cheaper than 2 tft screens and give the same or even bigger screen size.
however i do understand the 2 screen setup for more efficient multitasking.
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January 31, 2008 3:49:18 PM

Thanks for that guys, kinda confirmed what I was thinking.

I actually noticed the new Asus Striker 2 today and seems like a good option. It seems as if the 780i's initial issues seem to have been ironed out and it's FSB1600. However I think I'm going to go for the Asus Maximus Formula. Ive decided to stay away from multi GPU myself so it seems like the best option for overclock/price.

My flatmate has a 8800GT so my thinking was I could by a 8800GT right now whilst I wait to see what happens with the 9X00 series cards over the next few months. Then I can sell the 8800GT to my flatmate so he can SLI and I can upgrade to the best single card solution in the future.

I have toyed with the idea of SAS etc but the heat, noise and most importantly cost have turned me away.

I've also decided to turn away from the raptor. I've got two 80GB SATA drives that i'm gonna RAID0 and experiment with first, hoping that should be sufficient.

Unfortunately, I'm now waiting for the E8500 to come into stock in at dabs, seems like there's a world wide shortage!
January 31, 2008 3:56:25 PM

modboi said:
Thanks for that guys, kinda confirmed what I was thinking.

I actually noticed the new Asus Striker 2 today and seems like a good option. It seems as if the 780i's initial issues seem to have been ironed out and it's FSB1600. However I think I'm going to go for the Asus Maximus Formula. Ive decided to stay away from multi GPU myself so it seems like the best option for overclock/price.

My flatmate has a 8800GT so my thinking was I could by a 8800GT right now whilst I wait to see what happens with the 9X00 series cards over the next few months. Then I can sell the 8800GT to my flatmate so he can SLI and I can upgrade to the best single card solution in the future.

I have toyed with the idea of SAS etc but the heat, noise and most importantly cost have turned me away.

I've also decided to turn away from the raptor. I've got two 80GB SATA drives that i'm gonna RAID0 and experiment with first, hoping that should be sufficient.

Unfortunately, I'm now waiting for the E8500 to come into stock in at dabs, seems like there's a world wide shortage!


nice solid plan, good choice.
February 1, 2008 12:16:29 PM

Excellent decision.

The X38 is the king of overclockers. X48 ain't out yet, so it doesn't count. 780i & 680i can't keep up with P35 & X38 in terms of overclocking. On 6x0/7x0i, 4ghz out of wolfdale is about the limit whereas on P35/X48, 4.2ghz is not impossible. Both on air, that is. That's stable 24/7/365 overclocks, not a 10-min fly-by.

9800GX2 and all Feb nVidia cards will be delayed by half to 1 month. The HD3870X2 is an excellent card & the fastest out now for less than ULTRA price tag.

BTW, the e8500 isn't out yet in North America. Not a shortage. There's no competition from AMD. Why rush? Expect it to cost more than expected. The e8400 is about $20-40 more than expected. The e8500 should be out in Feb or April. But If I were Intel, I would run over AMD right now!
February 1, 2008 2:27:07 PM

akhilles said:
Excellent decision.

The X38 is the king of overclockers. X48 ain't out yet, so it doesn't count. 780i & 680i can't keep up with P35 & X38 in terms of overclocking. On 6x0/7x0i, 4ghz out of wolfdale is about the limit whereas on P35/X48, 4.2ghz is not impossible. Both on air, that is. That's stable 24/7/365 overclocks, not a 10-min fly-by.

9800GX2 and all Feb nVidia cards will be delayed by half to 1 month. The HD3870X2 is an excellent card & the fastest out now for less than ULTRA price tag.

BTW, the e8500 isn't out yet in North America. Not a shortage. There's no competition from AMD. Why rush? Expect it to cost more than expected. The e8400 is about $20-40 more than expected. The e8500 should be out in Feb or April. But If I were Intel, I would run over AMD right now!


The e8500 does appear to be out here in the UK. I've placed the order now and the due date for the chip is tomorrow. So hopefully I should have everything together and built by the middle of next week. I'll fire it through some benchmarks and let people know how I get on.
February 1, 2008 6:56:47 PM

TrentB said:
The E8500 is now available, here is link that I found: http://www.antaresdigital.com/


allready out of stock in denmark, next shipment seems to be 14 days from now ><
!