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4850 crossfire build, ready to order

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July 25, 2008 4:10:44 PM

after much reaserch and suggestions i think i finally nailed it. i will oc cpu and gpu. i chose the 4850 asus cards in crossfire because they are better than the 4870 and are close to the 4870 in crossfire most of the time, normaly trailing just a few fps in most games. for about $300 after rebate from newegg its hard to pass up that deal. i used this article to help with my decision: http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=1

but here is the kicker for me, i want to get the wd raptor 300 gig for the 10,000 rpm. should i just dump it and grab another wd 640 gig instead and save the $300?
any other suggestions you got for me? thanks guys!!!

cpu - Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 Yorkfield 2.66GHz

cpu cooler - XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler

mobo - GIGABYTE GA-X48-DS4 LGA

ram - G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit

video - ASUS EAH4850/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 x2 for crossfire

main hard drive - Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300GB 10000 RPM SATA

storage drive - Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA

psu - OCZ EliteXStream OCZ800EXS 800W

case - Antec Twelve Hundred Black ATX Full Tower

optical - LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write Black SATA Model LH-20A1S x2


this is my first build and i'm excited!!!




July 25, 2008 4:27:24 PM

Great job there with that build. [:mousemonkey:5]

Add this retention bracket for the Xigmatek: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233019

I'd dump the Velociraptor and get another WD6400AAKS, yes.

Am I understanding correctly, you want two burners? Change one of them to SH-S203N. It's smarter to have two different burners rather than identical.

Your build would work fine with a Corsair 650TX, which costs $40 less, or a 750TX ($20 less).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005&Tpk=650tx
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006&Tpk=750tx
Doesn't matter, of course. That OCZ is a good PSU, and more room for upgrades can't hurt.

July 25, 2008 4:27:42 PM

No flies on that rig. Sure, the VelociRaptor is a luxury, but seems appropriate here. Very nice.
Related resources
July 25, 2008 4:37:27 PM

How about the monitor? A 24" would be a good match here.
July 25, 2008 4:40:41 PM

thanks guys, i really did a ton of research to ge this thing where i wanted it.

aevm thanks for the bracket suggestion, i put that into my cart already. also the samsung burner, got it!

i got the ocz 800 watt just in case i want to upgrade to 4870 crossfire or the 4870x2 later. on the ati site they recomended 1000 watt psu for 4870 crossfire but after some checking 800w should be enough

aevm says no and jtt283 says yes to my raptor hdd. keep the suggestions comming guys!!!

July 25, 2008 4:46:38 PM

aevm said:
How about the monitor? A 24" would be a good match here.


i got a 22" samsung right now and i'm gonna keep it. got it earlier this year and it will compliment my 4850 crossfire, really good fps at that res. i dont wanna shell out more $$$ right now for that upgrade.

i may jump to 24" later this year or early next year, at that time i might make the jump to the 4870x2 or 4870 crossfire as well.
July 25, 2008 4:52:58 PM

Sounds good.

About that velociraptor: look, if the $200 difference between it and the 640GB drive is not a big problem, and 640GB + 300GB is enough for you, by all means get the velociraptor. It's a great drive. Personally I'd prefer the bigger and cheaper drive because (a) I use my PC as a DVR too and that fills up disks very fast and (b) I'm still making mortgage payments. Your situation may be different.
July 25, 2008 5:12:45 PM

Got any thermal grease? The stuff included with the cooler is not pre-applied, and it's REALLY crappy (can corrode the copper on the heatpipes). Worse, it's in what's essentially a ketchup packet. Toss in 6 bucks for a syringe of some good stuff.
July 25, 2008 5:28:34 PM

aevm said:
Sounds good.

About that velociraptor: look, if the $200 difference between it and the 640GB drive is not a big problem, and 640GB + 300GB is enough for you, by all means get the velociraptor. It's a great drive. Personally I'd prefer the bigger and cheaper drive because (a) I use my PC as a DVR too and that fills up disks very fast and (b) I'm still making mortgage payments. Your situation may be different.


i hear ya on the mortgage payment!!! hahaha what you said about storage makes sense. i have a ton of music and video files and i'm starting to do more video editing and will definitely go all out now with my new rig.

i'm gonna add another wd 640 hdd to the mix. i had a budget of $2500 with speakers, keybaord and mouse. adding the extra hdd will put me over by $20.32, i can live with that... ;) 

i also added Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound. how could i forget the damn thermal grease!!!???
July 25, 2008 5:36:47 PM

For speakers, look at Z-2300 for 2.1 THX speakers. They run about $90.99 with Free Shipping on Newegg when they are the cheapest.
July 25, 2008 5:47:48 PM

pull the trigger!
July 25, 2008 5:54:15 PM

wow great build only 2 things

corsair 750watt PSU

and the velociraptor drive i would get 2 640GB and raid them in 0 it would be faster...

other than that great job and you are going to have one wicked fast computer
July 25, 2008 6:00:39 PM

If you want more performance you can always set the HDD's in raid.
July 25, 2008 6:02:35 PM

Yeah, I'd drop the raptor and save some money. If you do a lot with music and video, the more storage the better.
July 25, 2008 6:16:08 PM

I would go for some other case like the NZXT Tempest or the Antec 900, because you really dont need a full tower case unless you have watercolling system in mind at some point, rather than that, those two above will cool that rig out just fine, and u'd be saving 100$.

I also notice you will be upgrading alot and that you dont have budget limitations; i mean, there is not a good reason to upgrade from 4850 CF to 4870 CF, not till 2009... what kind of games you will be playing??
Don't get me wrong but its abit of hardware GREED... even if its a fact that you will buy a 4870x2 or u will CF two 4870 by early fall, the best choice is to get just one 4850 which is a real bang at 150$ after MIR... It will totally hold your back for a couple of months.

Just think about it and nice build
July 25, 2008 6:41:39 PM

NZXT Tempest and Antec 900 are very good cases with excellent cooling. However, somebody who picked the Antec 1200 is probably more interested in something without lights. It's just a matter of personal preference, of course. Maybe an RC-690?


July 25, 2008 8:40:46 PM

rammar16 said:
wow great build only 2 things

corsair 750watt PSU

and the velociraptor drive i would get 2 640GB and raid them in 0 it would be faster...

other than that great job and you are going to have one wicked fast computer


i starated to do some research on the raid thing and i was getting confused as hell. from what i read is that if something fails on the 1 hdd that all is lost? i wanted my os, games, and other software on the raptor i want that stuff to load as fast as possible.
the wd 640gb for storage only (music and movies mostly)

raid can do that for me at more than half the price and triple the storage?
July 25, 2008 8:44:20 PM

aevm said:
NZXT Tempest and Antec 900 are very good cases with excellent cooling. However, somebody who picked the Antec 1200 is probably more interested in something without lights. It's just a matter of personal preference, of course. Maybe an RC-690?


i posted a similar build with the antec 900 instead of the 1200 and the majority of people said that was not enough room for my vid cards... i'll take the 900 if it'll do the job and yeah i wouldn't mind the lights either, show off the build!!!
July 25, 2008 8:45:43 PM

yesiwillwin said:
i starated to do some research on the raid thing and i was getting confused as hell. from what i read is that if something fails on the 1 hdd that all is lost? i wanted my os, games, and other software on the raptor i want that stuff to load as fast as possible.
the wd 640gb for storage only (music and movies mostly)

raid can do that for me at more than half the price and triple the storage?


correction: i ment "at less than half the price" not more... :kaola: 
July 25, 2008 8:48:19 PM

Yes the Antec 900 will do the job. Here's a guy at newegg who has two HD 4870 in the Antec 900:

Quote:
Pros: My first impression was ""wow.."" when I opened this case up. I didn't take much credit in purchasing, which is my own fault, but I obviously had luck on my side. What I didn't know is that you can choose which harddrive to put a rear intake fan on for more air flow. This case holds my 2x ATI 4870, one of the BIGGEST heatsinks you can buy, and thats pretty much the bulk of the inside. Any gamer looking for a case better put this case on his/her top!


July 25, 2008 8:56:46 PM

yesiwillwin said:
i starated to do some research on the raid thing and i was getting confused as hell. from what i read is that if something fails on the 1 hdd that all is lost? i wanted my os, games, and other software on the raptor i want that stuff to load as fast as possible.
the wd 640gb for storage only (music and movies mostly)

raid can do that for me at more than half the price and triple the storage?


There's a useful primer on RAID here if you want: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID

Your GA-X48-DS4 supports RAID 0/1/5/10 so focus on those types.

I don't like RAID 0 much because (a) if a disk dies all data is lost from all disks in the array and (b) it does not a thing about access time, it only reduces the time to read/write large files. That is, small files or very fragmented files will still be accessed at usual speed, because the rotation is still 7200rpm and the time needed to find the right track is the same. However, if editing large videos will be a large part of your activities, and you do backups often, it's a good idea.

RAID 1 is a mirroring scheme. It does nothing for speed, it might even reduce it by a few percentage points, it makes you pay for two 640GB disks while still storing only 640GB in total, but it protects your data i.e. when a disk dies you lose nothing at all. Very good idea for a work machine, IMO. Not so good, for a gaming machine.

Types 5 and 10 need several disks and they're usually overkill for a home user.

July 25, 2008 9:13:14 PM

aevm said:
There's a useful primer on RAID here if you want: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID

Your GA-X48-DS4 supports RAID 0/1/5/10 so focus on those types.

I don't like RAID 0 much because (a) if a disk dies all data is lost from all disks in the array and (b) it does not a thing about access time, it only reduces the time to read/write large files. That is, small files or very fragmented files will still be accessed at usual speed, because the rotation is still 7200rpm and the time needed to find the right track is the same. However, if editing large videos will be a large part of your activities, and you do backups often, it's a good idea.

RAID 1 is a mirroring scheme. It does nothing for speed, it might even reduce it by a few percentage points, it makes you pay for two 640GB disks while still storing only 640GB in total, but it protects your data i.e. when a disk dies you lose nothing at all. Very good idea for a work machine, IMO. Not so good, for a gaming machine.

Types 5 and 10 need several disks and they're usually overkill for a home user.


i found this article:

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=322

quarter stroke?

i did a bunch of research on performance on vid cards and cpu's but hard drives loose me... =(

i'm making some changes to my build and will post in a bit once i sort all the stuff out in my cart on newegg. brb
July 25, 2008 10:24:03 PM

Here’s my build reloaded…

cpu - Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 Yorkfield 2.66GHz

cpu cooler - XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler

XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound

mobo - GIGABYTE GA-X48-DS4 LGA

ram - G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit

video - ASUS EAH4850/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 x2 for crossfire

hard drives - Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA x2

psu - CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V

case - NZXT TEMPEST Crafted Series CS-NT-TEM-B Black Steel

optical - LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write Black SATA Model LH-20A1S

2nd optical - SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model SH-S203N

speakers - Logitech Z-5500 505 Watts 5.1 Speaker

keyboard – Logitech G11 Silver & Black USB Standard Gaming Keyboard

mouse - Logitech MX518 2-Tone 8 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB

I took a good long look and decided to trim out some stuff and I still have a fast pc with kick ass graphics! Just cuz I had a $2500 budget didn’t mean I had to spend every last dollar of it. This new build is $2,137.41 with speakers, taxes and shipping. Plus there was a great combo deal with the nzxt tempest and the wd 640gb hd I wanted.

I also decided that I will not be upgrading the hardware any time soon so I lowered the psu wattage and am going to keep the vid cards for at least a year. I will however upgrade my 22” to a 24” monitor around mid winter. If anything maybe next year I’ll make a new build around the nehalem cpu, can’t wait to see what thing can do!

I feel like this one is a winner and is very overclockable. This is a keeper and should satisfy my hunger for fps and my favorite rts games. Any last suggestions before I checkout from newegg?
July 26, 2008 1:54:25 AM

No idea about mouse and keyboard. The rest looks fantastic.

The first newegg comment for that MB says it's used with that Xigmatek cooler, so I think you shouldn't have trouble there. I'm checking this sort of thing from now on - I got somebody in trouble recommending AC Freezer 7 for P5Q Deluxe already :( 

The Z-5500 speakers are very good. I have a set myself and love them. But, you should know that the subwoofer is a huge beast, and there's an enormous number of wires. Also, I'm using them with an X-Fi. I have no idea how they'd sound with the onboard audio on the GA-X48-DS4.

The AS5 is good, but the really fashionable stuff these days is the MX-2.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186020
The main difference is the MX-2 does not conduct electricity - convenient for the mechanically challenged who might spill it, I guess :) 

!