Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

1 or 2 new rigs?

Last response: in Systems
Share
July 4, 2008 3:07:49 PM

First post, relatively new reader of these boards... gotta say I really appreciate the wealth of good information here.

First a little background: I am a pretty heavy user of computers. Gaming: MMO addict (WOW currently, Warhammer when it comes out too). Work: extensive graphics (i.e. Adobe Creative Suite), workflow, project mgmt, and presentations (a LOT of this). Home: high-end digital photography and some low-end HD video, some web development and programming. Now, in the past, I have generally tried to separate gaming from all other stuff, building 2 rigs instead of 1 that can do it all. This hasn't been so much a HW issue as it has been a safety issue - can't have my gaming goodness potentially impact the critical work stuff.

So fast forward to today... both my current rigs are having major issues, and I suspect it is due to them both having very similar builds (the only difference is the RAID configuration), and more specifically, both are using geforce 7900 GTX in SLI (and Asus A8N32 SLI Deluxe, 2G DDR400 PC3200 RAM, Enermax 620W PSU, Athlon FX-60, Thermaltake Armor full tower case, SB X-Fi Plat, and Arctic Freezer Pro 64). Basically both rigs are locking up / freezing and becoming increasingly unreliable. For example, the gaming rig which has been able to run 2 instances of WOW without any hickups is now crashing to BSOD, or else just freezing. Strangely, the work comp is also doing the same without any gameplay - eventually the screen just locks or doesn't come back from the black screen even though the PC is still powered on. I have literally spent weeks trying to diagnose various things (from cooling to drivers to RAM to BIOS to MB to malware/virus to other components) and all are showing clear except the inevitable graphic lockups. Some research has basically told me that the most likely cause are the 7900 GTX cards, and that I may have even been lucky to get 2 solid years out of them... and also that the nvidia mobo is apparently a very moody animal. Anyway, I digress... Ironically, despite my anger with the nvidia cards, I have ordered a temporary replacement for the 7900 GTX cards atm: 8800 GT until I build new rigs. Hoping this will get me the fix till then.

Now at the time (little over 2 years ago), these rigs were considered pretty high-end. Problem was I went with stuff (specifically mobo and gfx cards) that turned out to be less than reliable. I definitely do not want to do that again. Furthermore, it seems that the much safer route is to get a mid-range system with proven HW, spend less money and potentially upgrade/rebuild more often? I can say with pretty high certainty that I am not gonna be building any leading edge / high-end stuff again... what an incredible money sink.

So, what do you guys think? Is my original precaution of separating gaming and all else into 2 rigs still appropriate? Seems like it would be. Also, should the rig build be different for each if I stick with this philosophy? If so, any suggestions are welcome.

Equipment guidlines that I am thinking of living with:
** stay away from Athlon CPU (Intel seems to be just way better these days), prolly a no-brainer atm
** stay away from nvidia mobos
** stay away from nvidia graphic cards (not so sure about this last one, but I am pretty pissed atm)
** stay away from Asus mobos??
** wide open on PSU, RAM, and other suggestions. Oh, and it seems that RAID seems less useful than I used to think (still have my server configured this way, but desktop RAID might be overkill)

More about : rigs

July 4, 2008 3:36:10 PM

I personally see no point in having 2 exact same computers just to do 2 separate things when your the only one using them. If you had 2 complete different setups, yeah I can see it being plausible to have 2 different computers (like one built for work and another built for gaming).

But if I were you I would build one good mid-range build with the intent to last a 2-3 years before being upgraded, and set up a duel OS on the computer each with the raid configuration you want on them.

As for the equipment guild lines:
1) Intel seems to be currently leading the pack.
2) can't comment, as I don't know much
3) Currently the 4850 and 4870 and a better bang for the buck compared to the Nvidia equivalent.
4) also can't comment mobo's aren't my specialty.
5) As for configurations of your computer try reading a couple pages in the home built forum, you get a better idea of what to get and what's out there than I can type in this box.
July 4, 2008 3:43:12 PM

Let me get this straight, you built a work computer, for no gaming at all, with 7900GTX SLI? Too bad - you paid several hundred bucks more than you had to, and paid a lot extra in electricity bills too.

For your work machine: use RAID 1 or no RAID at all. Do not use RAID 0, it puts your data at risk. Also, don't use SLI or even 8800GT. Just get a medium-range card, not a gaming card. A $40 HD 3450 or a $70 HD 3650 would be fine, for example.

For your gaming machine: a single HD 4870 would be a big improvement over 7900GTX SLI, and it avoids all the nonsense of multi-GPU. Two HD 4870 would handle even Crysis properly, IMO (as in, 46 fps at 1280x1024 with all the eye candy).

Your motherboard is a socket 939. That means it's a dead end, you can't upgrade the CPU unless you replace the motherboard too.

I suggest a Q6600 for each machine. Maybe a Q9450 for the work machine, if you use any software with SSE4.

For the gaming machine: a GA-EP43-DS3L motherboard:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128347&Tpk=GA-EP43-DS3L
This motherboard will not support either RAID or Crossfire. If you want them then GA-EX38-DS4.

Don't get Crossfire for your work machine, that would be a waste. Get a GA-EP35-DS3R for that machine. It has RAID, by the way, if you want RAID 1.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128086

PSU: 750TX for the gaming machine, existing Enermax for the work machine.

RAM: 2x2GB DDR2-800 for each.

Edit: about the main question, 1 or 2 rigs. You only need a $200 CPU/$100MB/$40 video card/$80 RAM for the work machine. That's a very small price to pay for peace of mind, if your income comes from that machine. I'd pay it.

Related resources
July 4, 2008 4:05:20 PM

I think you have it figured out about right.

Are your PC's clear of dust? That can cause your symptoms.

Two computers seems like a good thing to me. You have backup for your work machine, and can check out any updates or changes on your play machine first. When a new, better, generation arrives, build it on your play machine first.

Some guideline thoughts:
1)Intel is much better today, and probably more so when nehalem arrives.
2)Intel chipsets seem to be a bit more stable today. I think P35,P45 , X38, x45 are all good.
Gigabyte, and Asus mobo's should be good. For stability, Intel is also very good.
3)I would stick to a single vga card, unless you need more vga power than a single vga card can deliver.
sli/crossfire make pc's hotter and more complex.
Dual monitors don't work with sli/crossfire.
4)I have no problem with either NVIDIA or ATI, now that the prices are more competitive. It is better to stick with one, or the other. Upgrading to a different vendor is more complex because of cleaning up the opposite drivers.
5)I would avoid raid. For simplicity and performance, you can't beat the WD velociraptor today.
6)Get plenty of RAM, particularly since you do lots of multitasking. 4gb at a minimum, but 8gb is better, and is cheap today. Speed is not important. DDR2-800 is fine.
7)Don't overclock. You probably don't need it. Stability is good.
8)Get a good PSU up front. Something like the PC P&C silencer 750. It should last for several generations.
9)Go to dual monitors with the best and largest units you can afford. They will last a good while, and dual monitors are a wonderful productivity upgrade.

---good luck---



July 4, 2008 4:26:53 PM

All suggestions above are good but I was thinking that you might be better off just getting one mid-range system and ripping your 2 other systems apart to produce a backup system. You would have a solid comuter which you can do everything on and with regular backups to your backup system (consider it like a file server where you save all your important data) then you don't have to worry about data corruption or loss and if your main system goes down you still have a backup to use until it's fixed.

As for your golden rules
-Intel has been much better for the last couple years, AMD is coming back but they still have a long way to go.
-Nvidia chipsets are garbage, Intel chipsets are much more stable and less expensive.
-Price/performance wise ATI 4850 and 4870 are king
-Asus makes very good motherboards except for the aforementioned Nvidia based boards.
-PSU's are one of the most important part of the system and there are a lot of good brands but they all make good and not so good products so look for a particular model rather than brand. RAM is the same thing, just remember that the standard for DDR2 is 1.8v and speeds of 400, 533, 667 and 800. Anything sold at anything other than that is sold at it's overclocked speed so just be careful and look around. Raid is a bad idea especially with terabyte hard drives ~$200 or 750gb drives ~130. For data integrity and security you should go with single drives and make sure SMART is enabled. Running Scan Disk regularly will also help to ensure your data doesn't get ruined and inform you of any problems as they occur.
July 4, 2008 4:31:12 PM

Thanks for the quick replies already!!

One question though about the work comp... even though the true "work" that gets done is fairly graphic intensive at times, it is the home graphics that really push the limits of the rig - think 3 Photoshop filters applied to a very large digital image. If any of you have real experience with higher end digital photography and editing, I would love some additional input for build "minimums".
July 4, 2008 4:35:39 PM

Have you ever thought about building a work station with a Quadro or FireGL rather than using gaming cards, although they are much more expensive that's what their designed for.
July 4, 2008 4:40:14 PM

ausch30 said:
Have you ever thought about building a work station with a Quadro or FireGL rather than using gaming cards, although they are much more expensive that's what their designed for.


Can't say I have... would be a new experience for sure - do any of the fundamentals change other than chaning the vid vard?
July 4, 2008 4:43:01 PM

I think Photoshop depends on the CPU, not the GPU. I've seen benchmarks showing it does better on quads than on higher-clocked dual-cores, by the way.
July 4, 2008 4:52:18 PM

aevm said:
I think Photoshop depends on the CPU, not the GPU. I've seen benchmarks showing it does better on quads than on higher-clocked dual-cores, by the way.


It's just something I thought of and then I did a little looking around and it does make more use of the CPU rather than the GPU making use of the SSE instructions and multiple cores so I think your previous suggestion of a inexpensive video card coupled with a fast quad (something like the Q9450) and a lot of fast RAM would be the best option.
July 4, 2008 4:56:19 PM

I got some homework to do it seems... gonna go mull over 2 possible builds based on this feedback. I will post them here when I have my arms around the major components
July 4, 2008 5:02:55 PM

If one of your builds will use a Quad, it might be good to point toward a nahalem cpu, coming at the end of the year. They will include hyperthreading which is a massive increase in multicore enabled software.
July 4, 2008 5:12:24 PM

geofelt said:
If one of your builds will use a Quad, it might be good to point toward a nahalem cpu, coming at the end of the year. They will include hyperthreading which is a massive increase in multicore enabled software.


I was just thinking the same thing, Nehalem with DDR3 would run circles around what you could build today but there won't be full availability of Nehalem until spring of next year. They are supposed to begin production during Q4 of this year and I'm sure the only chip released before the new year will be the Extreme processors. Over the first few months of 2009 they'll start trickling the chips out just like the did with Penryn.
July 4, 2008 5:16:53 PM

Given that I have to most likely replace both rigs now, I am leaning towards building two solid mid-range machines with proven parts (geared towards the specific use)... Mebbe a year after the new CPUs/mobos have been out, I can look at a reasonable upgrade path. At this point, I am very leery about jumping on anything brand new.
July 4, 2008 5:35:55 PM

mojoroc said:
Given that I have to most likely replace both rigs now, I am leaning towards building a solid mid-range machine with proven parts... Mebbe a year after the new CPUs/mobos have been out, I can look at a reasonable upgrade path. At this point, I am very leery about jumping on anything brand new.


when it comes to this hobby you are always looking to the next big thing. A solid upper mid rage system would be a night and day improvement over what you have so you'll be fine without Nehalem.
July 4, 2008 5:47:39 PM

I would build one higher end rig and use virtualization software (VMWare WKS) for the work stuff and saved a lot of $$. Today, with a mid-end quad core (Q9450) and 8GB of RAM you could easily have more than enough power to get it all done one rig.

I think you'd be blown away at the power of VMWare on solid hardware.
July 4, 2008 6:07:21 PM

Dont hate on Asus motherboards. Just dont get one with Nvidia chipsets. Asus is good bud Nvidia chipsets are crap.

Asus with Intel chipsets are great.
July 4, 2008 6:34:39 PM

Ermm... perhaps a goofy question, but what kind of HD should I be looking at? SATA or IDE?
July 4, 2008 6:38:58 PM

SATA!
cabling is easier
faster
all new hard drives are sata
July 4, 2008 6:46:15 PM

IDE is dead, long live SATA. :) 
July 4, 2008 7:22:59 PM

mojoroc said:
Ermm... perhaps a goofy question, but what kind of HD should I be looking at? SATA or IDE?


since u apparently have the money, look at velociraptors, WD3000GLFS I think is the WD part number.

If you need more storage look at the 7200.11 series or even better the ES.2 from seagate
July 4, 2008 7:32:46 PM

I would suggest the 1Tb Seagate 7200.11 drives. I have 2 of the 500gb 7200.11's and they are very fast and quiet.
July 4, 2008 7:42:55 PM

I like the WD6400AAKS. Very fast and very cheap per GB. Seagate is good too, but you pay more for the 5 year warranty.

The velociraptor is VERY nice, but overkill for gaming IMO. Could be a great idea for the work machine.
July 4, 2008 9:05:02 PM

What are the best heatsink options for a daul core and also for a quad core?
July 4, 2008 9:12:33 PM

aevm said:
I like the WD6400AAKS. Very fast and very cheap per GB. Seagate is good too, but you pay more for the 5 year warranty.

The velociraptor is VERY nice, but overkill for gaming IMO. Could be a great idea for the work machine.


see thats the thing he should just combine both machines into one, and then the use for the velociraptor will be worth it.

Zalman has an amazing line of heatsinks, like the ZALMAN CNPS9700, simply one of the best, period!for the high end. [60-70ish]

thermaltake blue orb II is a very good mid-end solution, great cooling can reach some amazing overclocks with it, so it is pretty great, and the price can sometimes be a little high [35-4ish], but defiently a great cooler.

the arctic cooling freezer 7 is a must if cash is a little tight, amazing cooler for the price, can still achieve some really nice o/c w/ it, [23-35ish]

again those are just some the HSf I have used in the past and there are many more that do the job really well like the tuniq tower, or other equivalents.
July 4, 2008 9:19:49 PM

I am getting a little bit confused with the mobo/CPU and matching it to the appropriate heatsink. Duo is listed in most as compatible, but very few list quad core as compatible (thinking of this for the work comp)

The mobo I have tentatively picked for both is GIGABYTE GA-X48-DS4 LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel
July 4, 2008 9:33:28 PM

what do you mean nvidia chipsets are bad, I have the same board as he does and after 2 years I have had no problems, other than dust. but that is always an easy fix
July 4, 2008 9:49:21 PM

First, the stock heatsinks will do the job if you are not overclocking.
Under heavy load, the fans will spin up and be somewhat noisy. You get a stock heatsink with a retail cpu, none with an oem cpu.
A quad will generate more heat than a duo, but the heatsinks are the same. Unless you want maximum cooling for some reason, most of the oem heatsinks will do the job. I suggest a tower type with a large, (120mm), slow(800-1200rpm) fan that faces the rear of the case to get the hot air out quickly and quietly.
July 4, 2008 9:50:20 PM

Initial GAMING Rig parts....

Mobo
GIGABYTE GA-X48-DS4 LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard $224.99 1 $224.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory
CORSAIR XMS2 DHX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) $109.00 1 $109.00 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz (OEM) $229.99 1 $229.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU
VisionTek 900244 Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 $309.99 1 $309.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply $129.99 1 $129.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Storage
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb (OEM) $94.99 1 $94.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive
LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner $28.99 1 $28.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler (had to make sure i got the 4 pin)
ZALMAN CNPS 9700 NT 110mm 2 Ball Ultra Quiet CPU Cooler $79.99 1 $79.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case
XCLIO A380BK $119.99 1 $119.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS
Vista 64 Home Premium $99.99 1 $99.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TOTAL: $1,427.91
July 4, 2008 10:00:31 PM

Looks good overall.
July 4, 2008 10:03:59 PM

And was thinking the work comp would be very similar except double the RAM (8G), a quad core processor, and a 4850 gfx card or something... mebbe a little smaller PSU too, and perhaps one more HD.
July 4, 2008 10:15:51 PM

Your choice for mobo is good
GIGABYTE GA-X48-DS4 LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel
Also these two have very good reviews
ASUS RAMPAGE FORMULA LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard
ASUS P5Q Deluxe LGA 775 Intel P45 Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Now for gaming E8400-E8500 are good
For work Q6700-Q9450 are good
I prefer to have 2 rigs one for work and one for gaming
If yuo like youvan build one good syatem now and use for both
and after release of Nehalem build another high end
I suggest
1- Use the PSU you have Enermax 620W PSU
2- use the case you have
3- get ASUS P5Q Deluxe motherboard
4- get 4GB good RAM 1066
mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
5- use the graphic card you got 8800GT
6- I did not get what HDD you have but there are some very good
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS 750GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Western Digital Caviar RE2 WD7500AYYS 750GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is a good system you can use for both now, especially for work and you can keep it for work purpose later
Definitely for gaming you need better graphic card like the comming 4870X2
and more power supply
and X48 mobo will be better
the rest can be the same
July 4, 2008 10:31:52 PM

I myself have a home office..
Single PC multi boot is best option...
as for all your crashing... have you reinstalled windows lately?
that may solve all your crashing problems. windows gets flaky after a while.
get a good base OS installed with all your apps you need then ghost it..
then when it starts to go flaky just restore your ghost image and you are back to stable
July 4, 2008 10:55:57 PM

mojoroc said:
Initial GAMING Rig parts....
Mobo
GIGABYTE GA-X48-DS4 LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard $224.99 1 $224.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Memory
CORSAIR XMS2 DHX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) $109.00 1 $109.00 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz (OEM) $229.99 1 $229.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU
VisionTek 900244 Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 $309.99 1 $309.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply $129.99 1 $129.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Storage
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb (OEM) $94.99 1 $94.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Optical Drive
LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner $28.99 1 $28.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU Cooler (had to make sure i got the 4 pin)
ZALMAN CNPS 9700 NT 110mm 2 Ball Ultra Quiet CPU Cooler $79.99 1 $79.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case
XCLIO A380BK $119.99 1 $119.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OS
Vista 64 Home Premium $99.99 1 $99.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TOTAL: $1,427.91

Seems perfect except two things
change you Ram, for same price you can get better ones
mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and change your Zalman HS, XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 and True are better coolers
Good luck
:hello: 
July 4, 2008 10:57:48 PM

mojoroc said:
And was thinking the work comp would be very similar except double the RAM (8G), a quad core processor, and a 4850 gfx card or something... mebbe a little smaller PSU too, and perhaps one more HD.

Agree totally with you
Maaaaaaan. You seem an expert
:hello: 
July 5, 2008 1:26:31 AM

The XIGMATEK HDT=S1283 looks nice... but is it a 3 or 4 pin fan connector? Assuming it has to be 4 pin to match mobo.

Also, I have never used Mushkin ram... reputable & proven?

And finally, assuming I go with these things, is there ANYTHING else I need to get... like extra cables (SATA?) or fans? Several things I listed are OEM so I am guessing they don't come with all the cables etc.?

Oh, and are there any popular BIOS sites out there that show good configuration presets for the Gigabyte board? I will Google it but figured I would ask if someone here already knows of one or two.
July 5, 2008 1:37:43 AM

Checked the mnaufacturer.. its 4 pin! Ok... changed that then.

Still need to get some input on how solid Mushkin ram is though
July 5, 2008 1:40:38 AM

Ooops.. forgot about a soundcard. Any suggestions?
July 5, 2008 2:12:06 AM

Onboard sound is very good. Sometimes sound cards can cause problems. You can always add one later; I would defer it.
Gigabyte has options to reset the Bios to fail-safe settings, and Optimal settings. You could start with either.
The Mobo will come with sata and other cables.
You will need a #2 philips head screwdriver.
July 5, 2008 3:39:47 AM

mojoroc said:
Checked the mnaufacturer.. its 4 pin! Ok... changed that then.

Still need to get some input on how solid Mushkin ram is though



3 pin connectors work fine on a 4 pin CPU fan connector, I have a 3 pin connector running my CPU fan.

Mushkin is outstanding, one of the best manufacturers.
July 5, 2008 4:17:20 AM

As far as soundcards, I am ok with waiting a bit. Seems like there are SO many problems for people. However, I did find one nugget in the haystack that is getting pretty solid reviews by people using vista 64, albeit a bit pricey for sure... but it isn't Creative!!

HT OMEGA CLARO 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Sound Card
~$160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 5, 2008 5:21:57 AM

I don't think you need a sound card, onboard sound would be fine. If you are an audiophile and have quality speakers and can really tell the difference then get a sound card but for 95% of the population onboard is fine.
July 5, 2008 5:39:02 AM

mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)

Will 4 of these guys fit next to each other in the mobo?? Also, it sounds like there is some BIOS issue from the reviews - not really sure what this guy is talking about, but hope it doesn't apply to my chosen mobo

Cons: SPD timings (5-5-5-18-2T @ 400MHz) are lower than the rated timings (5-5-5-15-1T @ 533MHz) - which are stored as EPP. So if you have a non-nVidia motherboard, you'll have to manually set the timings. Not a big deal, but it would have been nice if the 400MHz timings were the same as the 533MHz timings, so that all I'd need to change in the BIOS was the divider
July 5, 2008 6:31:48 AM

That is the RAM I have in my system right now.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


DDR2 is rated @ 1.8v and speeds of 400, 533, 667 and 800 anything else is sold at it's EPP (Enhanced Performance Profile) speed, there is no such thing as DDR2 1066. As you can see from the screen shot the RAM has JEDEC speeds for 533 and 800 both at 1.8v which is the reason for the higher timings. Look at RAM from other manufacturers and you will see the same thing. Most of them sell RAM at it's overclocked speed but when you install it in your system you'll have to manually set it to the voltage and timings that the manufacturer specifies.


Just to give you another example these are my old RAM which was sold as DDR2 800 4-4-3-10 2.1v when it is actually DDR2 800 5-5-5-15 1.8v. All manufacturers do this, if you look down the list of memory on Newegg or whatever there are very few that are rated for 1.8v.

And as long as you have 4 RAM slots then yes 4 of them will fit in your motherboard.
July 5, 2008 5:09:18 PM

Most times the internet resources are awesome (like here)... but through my various research efforts about the build I am considering, I have come across some real horror stories. My biggest concern right now is getting a PROVEN mobo/RAM combination without straining the mobo & BIOS to get what the RAM claims to deliver.

Started a thread over at Corsair to see if the Ramguy can offer some help:
http://www.asktheramguy.com/v3/showthread.php?t=70886

If any of you have some rock solid combinations with the gear I have tentatively selected, let me know. BTW I did not find a proven compatability with the mushkin ram recommended above and the gigabyte mobo.
July 5, 2008 5:12:55 PM

So change the motherboard to a Rampage Formula because as you can see in the pictures above that is the combination I have and it works great. Also you could just pick a set off this which is the QVL for the Gigabyte board. All companies come out with a QVL (Qualified Vendors List) for compatible memory modules for their motherboards. That doesn't mean that other memory doesn't work but that just means that of the RAM they've tested these are the modules that work and since there are so many different memory modules on the market it is impossible for any company to test them all.

On second thought I think you would be happier with this. It has good timings of 5-4-4-12 and those timings are @ 1.8v so you plug it into your machine and it will work at that speed, no BIOS manipulation necessary.

Another thing to consider is to call Mushkin and ask. Mushkin has very good support and if you call their sales department and ask about compatability them they can answer any questions you might have. Also their Forums are very good and there are employees on there answering questions and you might be able to search for your answer. A while back I was trying to decide between the DDR2 8000 Redline or the DDR2 8500 that I have and I left a message and they got back to me the same day.
July 5, 2008 7:40:40 PM

For compatible ram, go to a ram vendor's web site configurator. Enter your mobo, and you will get a list of workable candidates. Kingston and Corsair have them; others might also. From corsair: http://www.corsair.com/configurator/product_results.asp...
The DHX2-6400C5 will do the job at 1.8v.
July 5, 2008 8:52:50 PM

ausch30 said:
So change the motherboard to a Rampage Formula because as you can see in the pictures above that is the combination I have and it works great. Also you could just pick a set off this which is the QVL for the Gigabyte board. All companies come out with a QVL (Qualified Vendors List) for compatible memory modules for their motherboards. That doesn't mean that other memory doesn't work but that just means that of the RAM they've tested these are the modules that work and since there are so many different memory modules on the market it is impossible for any company to test them all.

On second thought I think you would be happier with this. It has good timings of 5-4-4-12 and those timings are @ 1.8v so you plug it into your machine and it will work at that speed, no BIOS manipulation necessary.

Another thing to consider is to call Mushkin and ask. Mushkin has very good support and if you call their sales department and ask about compatability them they can answer any questions you might have. Also their Forums are very good and there are employees on there answering questions and you might be able to search for your answer. A while back I was trying to decide between the DDR2 8000 Redline or the DDR2 8500 that I have and I left a message and they got back to me the same day.


That mobo does look pretty good... despite being Asus, at least it isn't the nvidia chipset. What memory do you use in your rig? Also, it seems that for the work machine, given that there might be 4x2G memory, I REALLY have to make sure that they all fit, and perhaps even underclock them somewhat (which sounds ridiculous to me, but the experts say it places a big load on the memory mgmt or something). Bottom line, if you have a mobo/ram/bios configuration that WORKS and is close to what I am looking for, I am all ears
July 5, 2008 8:55:22 PM

mojoroc said:
That mobo does look pretty good... despite being Asus, at least it isn't the nvidia chipset. What memory do you use in your rig? Also, it seems that for the work machine, given that there might be 4x2G memory, I REALLY have to make sure that they all fit, and perhaps even underclock them somewhat (which sounds ridiculous to me, but the experts say it places a big load on the memory mgmt or something). Bottom line, if you have a mobo/ram/bios configuration that WORKS and is close to what I am looking for, I am all ears

I wrote it above and gave a link and gave you a picture I am using the same Mushkin XP2 8500 that was suggested to you earlier and yes it will all fit.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Underneath my name click more information and look at my configuration

Review of the Rampage Formula
http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3208
July 6, 2008 3:36:34 AM

What would be a good option to consider for ghosting backups (HD, CD, DVD, etc.?). Ideally, I could use it for both the rigs
!