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New (first) build, comments appreciated

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June 26, 2008 2:06:15 PM

Hiya,
I'll be using this build with 2 x 22" WS at 1650x1080 for gfx programming (opengl), gaming, watching movies, ...; multitasking alot.
It will be up more or less 24/7 in my bedroom, so quiet components are preferred, not at the cost of too much performance/cash though.

Current Build: ~ $1550 (PSU still missing)
Budget: ~$2000

This is what I came up with after doing a bit of research (new to self-builds though):

Case:
Antec SOLO, $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- looks decent, got all I need (I think), and got some noise reduction and suspension mount for 3 HDDs; think it has been around for a while though, there might be better more recent ones

MB:
ASUS P5E WS Pro, X38, $269.90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (there's a 2nd WS Pro on newegg, didn't get the difference. anything to look out for?)
- looks fine enough; I want to keep the option for XFire open

PSU:
TBD
- no clue what I would need for this system and what brand to get, a silent one would be preferred.

CPU:
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450, 4x 2.67GHz, 333MHz FSB, 2x 6MB shared Cache, $339.90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Quad core would be nice for multithreaded programming, so I won't go for a dual core; there could be better options for quad-cores though.

RAM:
Corsair XMS2 Dominator Series DIMM Kit 4GB PC2-8500U CL5-5-5-15, $136.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GFX:
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870, 512MB GDDR5, $309.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- I kinda need a top of the notch gfx card, and this one seems to be the one everyone is waiting for ^^.

HDDs:
2x Samsung SpinPoint T166 500GB 16MB SATA II (HD501LJ), ~$90 each
just found the HD502LJ on newegg, so can't give a link, any differences?

1x Samsung SpinPoint F1 1000GB 32MB SATA II (HD103UJ), $179.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- would be using the 2 500GB ones in raid 0 for some speed, and the 1GB one because I always seem to run out of disk space. The T166 are said to be silent; took the F1 for no special reason apart from sticking to one manufacturer for all of them.

Drive:
LG Electronics GSA-H55L bulk (H55LRBB), $26.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Any comments welcome. Budget is an issue, but not a big one. So if I get a considerably faster system for ~200$ more, I'd go for it (wouldn't mind spending less for an equally powerful system though either).
and since I'm new to building systems myself: Will it all fit together? :) 

I might also want a cooler for the gfx card (and maybe CPU)?

PS I'm from austria, so prices and availability might differ; all of the above is available here without problems (gfx card not before next week ofc).
June 26, 2008 4:17:59 PM

The 4870s can make good use of most of the aftermarket 3870 coolers. http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...
Which is good since they're not as quite as some other cards. http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

The Sapphire website recommends "600 Watt and four 6-pin connectors for ATI CrossFireX™ technology in dual mode" for 4870 CF setup. Look under System Requirements: http://www.sapphiretech.com/us/products/products_overvi...
Corsair 650TX http://www.silentpcreview.com/article813-page1.html http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Each of the HD 4870 cards should have a Molex to PCI-e power adapter to get the 3 & 4th PCI-e power connectors for a Crossfire setup in the card's accessory pack: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (look under Specifications and Package contents - also shown in the pictures)

Unless you already have an existing PCI-X card that you intend to use you can pass on the ASUS P5E WS Pro (X38). Instead look for the Asus P5E Deluxe (X48) @ $230 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...

Spinpoint F1 500GB is a nice, fast and quiet HDD. Recommend just 1 for now. A RAID 0 array would have both HDDs working at the same time and making more noise than a single drive.

Antec Solo is a good case choice: http://www.silentpcreview.com/article75-page1.html has some ideas on that site about how to further reduce noise.
SilentPCReview also discusses CPU coolers: http://www.silentpcreview.com/section11.html

The Q9450 is great CPU at a good price. The Q9300 2.5Ghz is also a decent choice and $60 less expensive. A slight overclock and you'll have the same performance as the QX9450 3.0Ghz $1000CPU.

You are clearly on the right track.


June 26, 2008 4:59:45 PM

The Q9300 is harder IMO to overclock due to lower multiplier.
Related resources
June 26, 2008 5:27:25 PM

WR2 is right on.

The stock cpu cooler is ok for cooling. For quiet, look at an aftermarket cooler with a slow turning 120mm fan. The www.silentpcreview site will have some good choices.

For your kind of work, more display acerage is good. Look for a pair of good quality 24" displays.


There is generally no real world(vs. synthetic transfer rate benchmarks) performance advantage to raid of any kind.
Go to www.storagereview.com at this link: http://faq.storagereview.com/tiki-index.php?page=Single...

If you typically process one large file sequentially, then raid-0 can help. If you read an input file, process it, then write it out, two simple drives would be better. Put the input on one, and the output on the other.
June 26, 2008 5:33:31 PM

ACF7P
Q6600
June 26, 2008 6:15:43 PM

I would suggest the Antec P182 case, very quiet, good cooling, and more room than the Solo. All hard drives are mounted on soft silicone isolation mounts. 182 has better wire management and far better cooling. It is a little bigger, but worth having the extra space for future expansion and functionality. HIS has a better rep for customer support than Sapphire, although I personally haven't had to utilize Sapphire's support so I can't speak from my own experience on this.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... nice modular unit, I am a fan of modular PS cabling, its nice to use only what you need for improved airflow. The Corsair units review well.
June 26, 2008 6:54:18 PM

Why_Me said:
Shipping: FREE
Im pretty sure Buy.com doesnt ship to Austria for free ~ [:wr2:5]
June 26, 2008 6:56:03 PM

WR2 said:
Im pretty sure Buy.com doesnt ship to Austria for free ~ [:wr2:5]


lol....oops
June 26, 2008 8:02:50 PM

wynn

I'm building a similar system. I'm using the Geforce 9800 GX2 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for my GPU. You might want to consider it if you haven't already. For an extra $120 (on Newegg at least) you'll get a considerable performance boost over the 4870.

Here's a performance comparison with both cards:
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=20

Also check out TH's recent 260/280 GTX review for more numbers on the GX2.

Of course if you did get the GX2 you would have to get a SLI capable mobo if you wanted the option of throwing in another GPU sometime in the future. It looks like you're interested in that, so you'd have to dump the X38.

Also, I'd imagine the GX2 is noisier than a single 4870. However, TH's 280 GTX review suggests the GX2 is relatively quiet compared to the other high end cards they looked at. It's also very close to the 4870 in terms of power consumption according to the Anandtech article I posted. So I don't think the 4870 would have a big advantage in either area.
June 27, 2008 11:22:56 AM

first of all, cheers for the fast replies.

for the PSU, I guess I'll go for the Corsair TX 750W, looks good enough and should run quieter than the 650 at same power consumption? On top of that, I might get crazy on disks/XFire/additional stuff, so might need it at some point anyway :) 

Thanks for the hint on the mainboard, will get the P5E deluxe.

Raid idea is done with, I'll just stick to one Spinpoint F1 1TB for now, as it got the same performance/noise as the 750 one, and upgrade with another one when needed.

The P182 indeed looks tempting, but I kinda hate doors on cases, so will stick to the SOLO, thanks for the link though.

GX2 looks tempting too, but it's 50% more expensive than the 4870 over here, and I personally like ATI better, so I'll stick to one 4870 for the start, and get another one if I need more performance (for ~30% more cash than a single GX2).

For cooling, I'll go with the stock CPU cooler (not planning on overclocking for now) and look for a GPU cooler once it's all assembled, to be sure I got enough space in the case. The passive ones are rather big and I had some trouble fitting the one for my current gfx card in. They are rather quick to install anyway.

/off to order stuff \o/

Thanks for the advice again. Can't wait for the 4870 to hit the shelves ...

PS @geofelt: you're right, been thinking about 24" aswell, but since I got one 22" already, I'll just get the same model again. 2 different screens are kinda annoying. Might get myself 2 24" for christmas or something :) 
June 27, 2008 2:26:34 PM

The Solo is a great case. Quiet, with no fussy doors.

I have been looking at upgrading my vga card, and found out that most of the high powered cards like the 8800GTX,9800GX2, gtx 280 are over 10" long, and won't fit. You would have to mod the drive cage a bit and give up one drive slot. It looks easy enough to do. The 4870, on the other hand, is a more normal length card which should be no problem. I particularly like the two slot cooler which directs the hot vga air directly out the back of the case. If they get the fan speed control right, it should be quiet normally, only ramping up under heavy load.

I would suggest getting the cpu cooler initially. You can only install them properly while the motherboard is still outside of the case. If it is a back plate mount, you have to remove the motherboard. If it is a pushpin mount, you should be able to look at the pins from the back of the motherboard to be certain that they are properly all the way through. The pins are tricky, and it is easy to get it wrong, and not know it. In addition, a 4870 class vga card will generate lots of heat. It would help to use a oem cpu cooler, even if you do not overclock.

---good luck---
!