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What is the weak link in this system?

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June 25, 2008 2:27:37 PM

Hey all,
I'm a noobie to the boards, but I've been using Tom's Hardware for research for a while. I just ordered components for a new build, and I was wondering what you all thought was the weak link of this system. I haven't done a build in 5 years (I've been stuck in the console world, but recently broke free again and realized how great PC's are for gaming). Anyway here are the specs, what do you think is the weakest part/will need to be upgraded the soonest? Thanks for the advice!

E8400 3.0ghz
2 x MSI 8800 gts (G92) SLI
EVGA 750i mobo
2 x 2gb patriot viper ddr2 800
320gb western digital 7200 SATA 3.0
850w psu
vista-64 OS

More about : weak link system

June 25, 2008 2:28:34 PM

VISTA!!!
just kidding, thats a nice system. and welcome to the forums!
June 25, 2008 2:29:39 PM

the HDD. not only in your system every system uses tradiitonal HDD is the slowest component inside. everything seems pretty sleak but the mobo is OC pain. good luck.
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June 25, 2008 2:35:35 PM

how much would raid 0 help with the HDD? I was afraid of just adding more instability to the system without much benefit, which is why I just went with the one HDD
June 25, 2008 2:37:14 PM

it will definately help alot. but once windows or game is loaded it dont make much of a difference because the rate of read/write is so little during idle. but transfer big files you will see dramatic difference.
June 25, 2008 2:40:52 PM

Thanks! Maybe once my bank account is restocked I'll add another hard drive
June 25, 2008 5:26:16 PM

If you really want to save up for a nice hard drive, go solid state and slap vista on it. Maybe even throw in another 4GB of RAM. It's cheap these days so why not? :p 

Some people spit on vista but to be honest I think it's a great operating system. The features (that are strangely similar to ones Mac has had for a while) are sweet but I only have 1 problem with it - no DirectSound so no surround for me in counterstrike: source... no Speaker Fill in WMP... that's the only reason I'm on XP-64 (which isn't bad either!)

All in all, nice system and good luck with it!
You know where to find us if you run into any problems with your build ^_^
a b à CPUs
June 25, 2008 5:54:21 PM

Solid state HDDs are definitely not worth it right now unless you are of the opinion that money is no object. Realistically, the weak link is probably the 750i mobo, but that's not exactly a significant deal. The first thing I would upgrade though would be to go to 8GB of RAM - 64 bit Vista can actually take advantage of it, and so that would probably be worth it.
June 25, 2008 6:57:35 PM

SSD is very expensive now. at least wait until next year if you really want it. couple of those 7200.11 320gb will give you very good performance.
June 25, 2008 7:04:48 PM

I wouldn't get 2x G92 GTS...

I'd probs just get 1x 9800 GX2...its more expensive, but it is the better choice I think?

What was TH think?
a c 123 à CPUs
June 25, 2008 7:33:45 PM

GPU. They are being updated every 6 months with a new one (even if the new one offers no gains it supports new APIs and such). CPUs normally can last 2-5 years. But GPUs go very fast.
June 25, 2008 8:39:34 PM

what about the 750i? i think thats the weak link. shouldve went with a 780i. but you still have a very formidable system there, very very formidable.
June 25, 2008 8:57:41 PM

Since i am not anywhere in the near future planning in tri-SLI, what additional benefits would a 780i have over a 750i?
June 25, 2008 9:04:55 PM

if i was to get SLI mobo i will get the 790i because thats a totally new chipset. the 750i,780i just a new revision of the old 650i and 680i.
June 25, 2008 11:29:23 PM

the motherboard isn't the best but even with it it's still a solid system
a c 123 à CPUs
June 26, 2008 2:09:30 AM

The only benefit from a newer chipset i.e. the 780i or in this case the 790i really is better stability and OCing capabilities.

A good example is the new P45 chipset for Intel. The P35 would normally get close to a 500MHz FSB but still fall short. Some reviews have shown that the P45 chipset easily gets to 500MHz FSB and over. One guy posted having it run stable with a 612MHz FSB. That was at a lower multi though but still that means his FSB was running at 612x4 = 2448MHz.

And of course it normally means better features such as PCIe 2.0 and so on.
June 26, 2008 2:53:00 AM

The only I can see that might hold your system back is the 750i board.
a c 96 à CPUs
June 26, 2008 4:13:54 AM

spazznd said:
Hey all,
I'm a noobie to the boards, but I've been using Tom's Hardware for research for a while. I just ordered components for a new build, and I was wondering what you all thought was the weak link of this system. I haven't done a build in 5 years (I've been stuck in the console world, but recently broke free again and realized how great PC's are for gaming). Anyway here are the specs, what do you think is the weakest part/will need to be upgraded the soonest? Thanks for the advice!

E8400 3.0ghz
2 x MSI 8800 gts (G92) SLI
EVGA 750i mobo
2 x 2gb patriot viper ddr2 800
320gb western digital 7200 SATA 3.0
850w psu
vista-64 OS


Gaming video cards have a shelf life similar to unrefrigerated potato salad, so expect these to be the first to be upgraded. PSUs last a good long time as do Windows OSes- Windows XP Pro is now supported until 2014, 13 years post-release (!!) HDDs last for a while too, especially if you are not into video. If you work much with video or run a computer-based DVR, you should shoot for several 750 GB or 1 TB HDDs instead of the single 320 GB unit.

The CPU and board are a dead-end as far as upgrading is concerned as Intel is killing off LGA775 in favor of LGA1160/1366 for Nehalem-architecture chips. You could plop in a then-cheap Q9xxx later if you want, though. If you're an Intel fan, the DDR2 is also a dead-end as Intel will only be using DDR3 with the Nehalems. However, some future AMD socket AM3 boards will work with DDR2, so you could potentially keep your RAM. You might want to get DDR2-1066 if you plan to go that route, though. Basically, you are in the same situation I was when I was looking to build my desktop in early 2006. AMD socket 939 X2s and Opterons were the best choice at the time but were definitely a walking dead man of a platform as AM2 was going to come out in a few months and Intel's Conroe was set to debut later. We knew about as much about Conroe then as we do Nehalem now, except that people were much more skeptical of Intel hype as the hyped P4 Prescott was a real letdown but the Conroe actually lived up to most of the hype. I still bought my 939 X2 setup as personal experience and finances told me it is not worth it to me to upgrade any sooner than about every 4-5 years. If I'd waited to buy an early AM2 rig, at best it might have a Phenom X4 9850 BE sitting in it, but that's unlikely as most 2006-era AM2 boards never got the needed BIOS updates. Some never even supported 65 nm X2 processors or F3-stepping 90 nm X2s, so I may never have upgraded beyond the original 90 nm F2-stepping processor. If I'd waited for one of the first Conroe-supporting boards, I might have been able to upgrade the original E6000 to a Q6700- most initial C2D boards don't have VRM support for 45 nm E8000/Q9000 series processors. Or, I could have been saddled with a board that left be unable to run quad-cores. You just never know what upgrade paths you really have as they depend on a number of different factors, so I assume that only things that plug into external buses like PCIe are upgradeable. I don't think that's a bad way to go, personally.
a c 96 à CPUs
June 26, 2008 4:39:55 AM

customisbetter said:
VISTA!!!


You are partially right. It's an expensive, DRM-infested, resource-hogging pig of an OS that's wallowing in an ocean of hacked-up legacy code. But it may be your only choice if you are a gamer playing brand-new, big-name games and have 4 GB+ RAM. XP Professional x86_64 is a leaner OS with a little less legacy crap and less DRM but has poor driver support and is more expensive than 64-bit Vista Home variants. x86_64 Linux is a much leaner OS with good driver support, no DRM, no cost, and little legacy crap but I can count the number of recent big-name games that run natively on it with one finger (Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.) Sure, you can run some big-name Windows games under WINE and they'll do all right, but it's a crapshoot compared to almost all new big games working well on Vista. It also has a little bit of a learning curve for those accustomed to Windows as it's a completely different OS. Solaris x86_64 or an x86_64 BSD distribution are similar to Linux except driver support is much poorer and in some (most?) cases even worse than XP x86_64 or Vista 64-bit. And the Macintosh? OS 10.5 is an expensive, DRM-ridden, slightly less resource-hogging pig of an OS wallowing in an ocean of bugs and locked in a shiny white pen of Apple hardware that you pay through the snout for. Oh, and not to mention that Apple hardware has a relatively short time before planned obsolescence sets in and you cannot get OS upgrades. Those will cost you about $100 a year even if you can get them. The OS also has a learning curve for those not accustomed to using it, just as Linux, Solaris, BSD, or even Windows does.
June 26, 2008 4:53:49 AM

Intel itself wont use Vista. that might give you a hint.
June 26, 2008 5:17:24 AM

Is your 320 Gig the single platter version? If you don't know find out. If it is get another one and raid zero them. Then make sure you Defragment your drive/drives once a week.

Now if you want to talk about the real weak link in most people's PC's it's usually not anything to do with the hardware. The most common PC killer is bad maintenance.

Out of date drivers, spyware, not defragmenting, keeping an install too long, not cleaning up their registry. All of these things are huge PC killers.
Step number one is to keep your PC in top shape.

When you can confidently say you have all those things handled look inside your case and make sure it is spotless, and tidy.

This is when you are ready to consider new hardware. What's the point of spending that 100$ on new hardware when you can tidy up your computer and get the same performance boost for free.


TL;DR Keep your PC Well Maintained.

*edited for my terrible grammar*
June 26, 2008 10:28:33 PM

cabling FTW!

thats always crucial to make the PC perform in best condition.
!