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New system build and dual channel question

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April 21, 2008 10:19:16 AM

Newegg.com stuff:

Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
$149.99
Any better choice for cooling/space? I hear the zerotherm takes up a ton of room.

EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
$259.99

MSI NX8800GTS 512M OC GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
$224.99

PC Power & Cooling S610EPS EPS12V 610W Continuous @ 40°C Power Supply - Retail
$109.99

2x Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model BL2KIT12864AA804 - Retail
2x $60.99 = $121.99
My question is, should I get only 1 2GB package (2 x 1GB) of dual channel, and then get 2x 2GB of non-dual channel. I figure (without much knowledge on it) that the dual channel can handle the stuff that dual channel would be needed for, and then I have 6GB instead of 4GB for the most intense applications. Or am I wrong and should keep it how it is with 2x the 2 x 1 GB so 4 1GB sticks of dual channel?

2x Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM SATA 1.5Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
2x $169.99 = $339.98
In a raid-0 for loading times/data accessing, will have games/photoshop/3DS Max on this. Is it worth the money?

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
$129.99
HD for media

ASUS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model DRW-2014L1T OEM - OEM
$31.99

ZEROtherm Nirvana NV120 120mm 2-ball UFO Bearing / Transparent CPU Cooler - Retail
$49.99

Buy.com stuff:

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz Processor - 1333MHz FSB - 6MB L2 - 775-pin LGA Socket T
$288.99

Lenovo ThinkVision L220X Widescreen LCD Monitor - 22" - 1920 x 1200 @ 60Hz - 6ms - 1200:1 - Black
$469.99

TOTAL COST: $2177.87

System intended for gaming and some graphics work with 3DS Max/Photoshop/Illustrator. So I think thats about it, thanks for looking.
April 21, 2008 11:11:24 AM

What about this RAM instead?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You would still get 4GB, but only two sticks that would leave space for upgrading in the future.

On my build (a little more modest), I am looking at this for $62 after MIR:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

With 3 HHDs, a burner, a high end GPU with the potential for more stuff down the road, you might also want to consider a better PSU like this one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
April 21, 2008 11:23:48 AM

Depends. If you work in 3dsmax more than you game, you might want to consider a Quadra FX card which is designed for precision. Especially if your job is 3d artist. A gaming gpu is designed for speed.

Again, more work, get a quad cpu. More game, go dualie.

You're wanting to mix and match memory? Know that dual channel is NOT built into memory. It's the mobo that decides whether to run in dual channel or not. The memory kits make your job easy to find identical ram sticks for a d/c setup. Look at the memory section of the mobo manual.
Related resources
April 21, 2008 12:27:01 PM

Crucial Ballistix is great memory. Overclocks good too.
I suggest you buy your aftermarket cooler after you build your system. It is very difficult to judge how much room you have before hand.
Check the Storage charts before buying the Raptors. There are some hard disks that compete or win over those Raptors.
For optical drive I recommend Samsung SH-203B or N.
April 21, 2008 1:28:37 PM

Unless you're going to get a 64 bit OS, anything over 4GB is overkill and with a 512 Mb vid card, you will only be able to use 3.5Gb or less
April 21, 2008 1:50:55 PM

Using 3 sticks will kill dual channel. You need 2 or 4, otherwise dual channel will not work.

You can get a better monitor for $200 cheaper.
April 21, 2008 2:01:27 PM

I looked on the 3.5" Hard Drive charts,
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/3-5-hard-drive-chart...
there, and there are some hard drivers that beat the raptors, but a lot of newegg reviews say they're having like 3 DOA barracuda's in a row.

I suppose the reasons the 7200 barracuda is scoring better then the Raptor is the 32mb cache?

If I were to go with barracuda's what should I do as far as my system now of having a raid-0 with OS and applications and a drive for storage? Buy 3 500GB Barracuda's? Price would be about the same but that storage amount is insane.

Quote:
You can get a better monitor for $200 cheaper.

Which monitor would that be? I was told that this monitor is superior due to it using some different system of display WUXGA. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WUXGA
April 21, 2008 2:06:20 PM

So I'm beginning to understand, I thought it was the RAM and thought that dual channel RAM only came in 1gb sticks, because on newegg some RAM is listed as "dual channel" and only comes in 1gb sticks.
April 21, 2008 3:01:26 PM

About the hard drives: the WD6400AAKS is a great choice IMO. The Raptors not so much. I'd get a WD6400AAKS now and add a VelociRaptor later. It's supposed to be available in May, around $300. I expect the demand will be big at first and prices will go up, but that should be fixed by June, I think.

http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=548
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/HDD-SATA-VelociRaptor,1914.html

The problem with this is that Windows will be on the 640GB disk rather than the Raptor, but you can just leave it there or reinstall, your choice. I think the new Raptor will be better value for the money than the RaptorX.

April 21, 2008 5:25:36 PM

Quote:
Any 2 like sticks of ram (as long as they both the same size) arranged in the correct mobo slots is dual channel. They dont sell dual channel and single channel ram. They simply sell a pair for dual channel configuration. You can buy a single stick and then buy another single stick a year later and still have a dual channel configuration.



I learned something today. Thank you Mrsbytch. Sitched one of my sticks that I thought was single into the dual slot on mobo, and CPU-Z confirmed its now runnin 2g dual channel. I bet it scores 5.9 in Vista now.
April 21, 2008 5:48:39 PM

+1 for the 6400AAKS
+1 for the 2x2GB suggestion (2x 2x2GB in the case of 64-bit OS, because ram is rediculously cheap right now)
April 21, 2008 7:21:41 PM

Why the 780i motherboard if you're only going to run one video card? Do you plan on adding a 2nd in the future? If not then ditch the nvidia board and go P35 or X38.

I agree with all the above posters on the 2x2gb ram kit.

I have 2x150gb raptors in raid 0 and I really don't think it's a huge difference over the 7200.11 drive I have in my other PC. They're probably not worth the money.

Does that monitor have a S-PVA panel? If so that's not a bad price. I've been looking for a decent 22" monitor myself for some time.
April 21, 2008 9:06:44 PM

Quote:
Why the 780i motherboard if you're only going to run one video card? Do you plan on adding a 2nd in the future?

Yes

Quote:
Does that monitor have a S-PVA panel?

Yes

Thanks for the suggestions everyone!

So what I'll end up doing is getting the better PSU,
I'll use 2x2GB sticks atm, maybe another 2x2GB in the future.

The HDs are now my only question. What I'm leaning toward is getting two 320GB 7200.11 for the RAID 0 and maybe a 500GB 7200.11 for storage. It'll save me a lot and I don't think I'll notice a huge difference in performance.
April 21, 2008 9:17:12 PM

I would suggest against RAID 0. The benefits do not outweigh the risks for the vast majority of computer users. Just buy a VelociRaptor (when they come out) if you really want to decrease loadtimes and whatnot for your system/programs drive and a high density desktop drive for storage (I would suggest the 6400AAKS).

If you're doing some serious work on the computer (i.e. getting paid for it) than do it right by setting up a RAID 5 and have speed and security together. There's no way you should gamble with work (i.e. RAID 0). Just ask any IT administrator.
April 22, 2008 12:41:33 AM

I do school work mostly on the computer now, the only work I get paid for is web design from time to time, and that's all generally backed up online.

Generally I back up by burning to DVD every time and again, I don't think a RAID 5 is really for me, but if the RAID 0 wouldn't be that beneficial then maybe I'll just do as suggested with the 6400AAKS and another single HD.

TBH I'd like to start the build with that second dedicated HD though, not wait to buy one later, just because I've been putting off this build for about 8 months already and I'm getting antsy for an upgrade, so what would you recommend thats on the market now for an application/OS HD, the Raptor of the 7200.11?
April 22, 2008 1:13:59 AM

Quote:
2x Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model BL2KIT12864AA804 - Retail
2x $60.99 = $121.99
My question is, should I get only 1 2GB package (2 x 1GB) of dual channel, and then get 2x 2GB of non-dual channel. I figure (without much knowledge on it) that the dual channel can handle the stuff that dual channel would be needed for, and then I have 6GB instead of 4GB for the most intense applications. Or am I wrong and should keep it how it is with 2x the 2 x 1 GB so 4 1GB sticks of dual channel?


My choice would be Crucial Ballistix 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148183

Also you could go for Crucial Ballistix Tracer 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail $149.99 Newegg Exclusive, limited time offer.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148180
April 22, 2008 1:42:33 AM

Hawtsauce said:
Generally I back up by burning to DVD every time and again, I don't think a RAID 5 is really for me, but if the RAID 0 wouldn't be that beneficial then maybe I'll just do as suggested with the 6400AAKS and another single HD.

TBH I'd like to start the build with that second dedicated HD though, not wait to buy one later, just because I've been putting off this build for about 8 months already and I'm getting antsy for an upgrade, so what would you recommend thats on the market now for an application/OS HD, the Raptor of the 7200.11?

I'd recommend JBOD.

Between the current Raptor and the 7200.11, I'd choose the 7200.11. Overall I'd choose the 6400AAKS x 2 for your needs, though. I am [admittedly] biased to WD, so take that with a grain of salt. The 7200.11 is also an excellent choice.
April 22, 2008 7:17:08 AM

Damn it KyleSTL, you talked me into it. I'll get the 6400AAKS by itself for now and when I get my VelociRaptor I'll just do a reformat.

Thanks for the advice.
!