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i7 processor question

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December 8, 2008 6:27:01 PM

Hey! If I could get some good advice that would be great. First of all, I'm building a brand new computer from scratch. I haven't upgraded for 4 years and my old comp is all integrated so it's time for brand new everything. I started out looking at the Q9400 and the Q9550, but the new i7 is starting to intrigue me.

I guess my question is, since I'm building from scratch should I just go for the new i7 core since I have to get new everything anyways? I'm just really worried that these may end up buggy and what not. Also is the 940 worth the extra money over the 920? ANY input would be great because I'm really lost here. :) 

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a b à CPUs
December 8, 2008 6:28:14 PM

If you're building a whole new system, and it is within your budget, I'd go with the i7 920.
December 8, 2008 6:31:29 PM

cjl said:
If you're building a whole new system, and it is within your budget, I'd go with the i7 920.



Is the 940 far superior to the 920, or is it not much of a difference? I might be willing to go up to the 940...

Also do you have any motherboard, hard drive and PSU suggestions? I plan on getting the GTX 280 1 GB with 6 GB of RAM.
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a b à CPUs
December 8, 2008 6:33:38 PM

Stock, there's a bit of a difference, but they both overclock quite well. I wouldn't say that the 940 is worth it in most cases.

As for motherboard, HDD, and PSU, the Asus P6T Deluxe is nice, as is the Corsair 1000W PSU. Anything from Corsair or PC Power and Cooling at 750W or above would be my choice actually. For HDDs, the Western Digital Caviar Black series is nice - there's a 640GB in that line that's a great value, and a 1TB if you need more space.
December 8, 2008 6:43:34 PM

Does anyone know real key differences between the 920 and 940 besides clock speed? Also will I regret in a year that I didn't just get the 940?
December 8, 2008 6:53:55 PM

If you feel comfortable even with mild overclocking or can follow overclocking guides I'd say don't waste the $ on the 940. The 920 has no inherent differences that affect performance noticably save default clock speed.

If you absolutely won't overclock for whatever reason 940 might be worth considering but I feel anyone comfortable with building the system can manage to overclock at least by a guide as well.

As to motherboards for this chip:
I have read a few review sites having issue with the MSI Eclipse motherboard stability during testing. Shame since it's easily the cheapest 1366 socket motherboard.

After reading the heck out of the reviews I personally would spring for the Asus P6T Deluxe (hope I got the name right). No point in bothering with the higher version imo.

At work so don't have time for links etc sorry. That is a quick and dirty opinion on a few things you mentioned.
December 8, 2008 7:04:24 PM

There is no big difference between them, both are designe to achieve
4.8 GT/s. 965 Extreme is something more but u wouldnt regreat in a year also.
There is nothing u can't do with a 920 that u easily can with a 940. Even for a 965 extreme would be impossible to easily accomplish something hard for a 920 - their generation are to close. Maybe in a year or so we see something that makes a big difference.

The difference, besides the clock speed, is the lithography.
More stable silicon (more refined lithography) will support higher clocks and still keep power comsumption acceptable, the problem is the extra money that industry has to spend for a bit better waffer, after a certain line a little improvement means huge amount of money.

Sry for the bad english.
December 8, 2008 7:07:57 PM

That is very helpful Talon. One thing though, I've never built a computer before. Is it real tough? Should I even try or just let a pro handle it?
a c 309 à CPUs
December 8, 2008 7:20:27 PM

If you are looking at a >$300 quad, the i7 is probably the way to go.


The clock speeds on the 920, 940, and 965 are actually the same. The multiplier is different. The 920 is 20, the 940 is 21, Both are fixed. The 965 is 24, and is unlocked.
I think the 940 has no place in the market, particularly at it's price. It is trivial to boost the speed of the 920 to 3.3, matching the speed of the much higher priced 965.

I used the Asus P6T and had no problems with it. If it makes a difference, some X58 motherboards like the cheaper MSI did not pay a Nvidia license fee, so they are limited to crossfire capability, and not SLI.

I used 6gb of patriot DDR3 1600 ram with no problems. It is unclear to me if slower ram would not be just as good.

With a GTX280, you should be able to play any game out there very nicely.

I would get a velociraptor for the OS drive, and put anything that needs speed on it. If needed, get a larger, slower drive for overflow and capacity.

Do get a quality psu. Corsair, PC P&C , Antec, Seasonic are good; there are others. For a single card, you are looking at a 550-650w unit. For sli, a 750-850w unit.

Plan on Vista-64 bit. You probably will not get much value out of ultimate.

I would plan on using an oem cooler. It will be quieter under load. Noctua and thermalright make some good ones for the larger 1366 cpu size.

You are now doing the hardest part of building your own.---research on parts.
If you read the motherboard and case manuals, it is not very difficult or tricky. Probably any questions you have can be found with a google search, or a forum post.
December 8, 2008 7:21:23 PM

Ok, took time to get a link anyway :pt1cable: 

I was right on the name for the motherboard:


As for Ram I would probably get some capable of at least 1333Mhz. If you plan to overclock quite a bit I might go for some listed as 1600Mhz capable simply to have somewhat of a guarantee your Ram has some headroom. Everyone has their favorite brands but I've had the best experiences with GSkill and OCZ personally.

HDD depends on your storage needs, I prefer Seagate from experience (many years building both home and job). Like the better rebate, sort of depends on your storage needs. If you plan to store tons the choice is obvious, best performance/bang for buck is probably around the 1TB area. Seagate has a 1.5TB but it is a little slower. Depends on whats important to you.

If you don't need an overabundance of storage get a 500Gb Seagate or 640Gb Western Digital.

As for PSU.... something in the 600w range + I'd say, Some reliable PSU Brands I've owned are PC Power and Cooling, OCZ Gamextream, Antec, Corsair. If you plan to ever SLI that 280GTX with another then get at least a 750w PSU imo. If you go with these brands you should be in good shape although others on forum might have other good suggestions as well.

Sorry not being overly specific but boss in the next cube and figure if I give "ranges" you can pick something based on your intentions with the build and future of the build :kaola: 

Will make one suggestion on Graphics though. I would consider getting the 260GTX with 216pps. It has very nearly the same performance of the 280GTX with a little overclocking at nearly $200 less. If you are waiting a little bit before buying I'd wait on the graphics until we see the 55nm 260GTX arrive and see "if" it has anything better to offer like overclocking etc. Just a thought but if you wanted the best single GPU card right now it is still the 280GTX and it will overclock too, just usually not as much headroom from stock as the 260GTX.

Dang that got long, I better go hehe
December 8, 2008 7:31:13 PM

Thanks geofelt for pointing out the lack of SLI on the MSI. I forgot about that entirely, dodging the boss still, hehe.

Looks like we have similar taste in hardware and recommendations :sol: 

Whitemilk66:

As for building yourself, I say go for it, there are many guides online and much help can be had here in the forums if you run into any issue. Just get a nice clean area and make sure you're grounded or at least off carpet.

Think about what you're putting into a case before starting, sometimes you will end up rushing and have to pull something back out due to lack of clearance and realize if I'd just put that other item in first.... hehe.

It's relatively easy, Ram sticks only go in one way so watch those and always press firmly but if a stick or card doesn't go in with a firm push make sure it's lined up correctly before pushing with much force or you might just waste some big $. Other than that, not much to worry about. Plenty of guides online for every aspect and once you boot that sucker up you have a sense of accomplishment knowing you did it. Plus professionals, of which I'm one, hehe charge an arm and a leg to do it for you compared to the small trouble of doing it yourself. :lol: 
December 8, 2008 7:33:47 PM

Here is a post to another Core i7 Build here at Tom's Forum that you should look at. I will also add some additional links for some parts that you could choose from.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/258417-31-system-shop...

If you are going to go with a Air Cooler HSF, this is the one you will need. The Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme 1366 RT CPU Cooler, which is $59.99
http://www.heatsinkfactory.com/thermalright-ultra-120-e...

Now on DDR3 Triple Channel Ram, there are alot of choices. The best sets to get are the 6gb(3x2gb) kits and the prices for those are coming done daily. The top 2 choices are the Corsair Dominators 1600 and G.Skill PI Black or F3-12800CL8T-6GBHK.

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

Here is also the link to all NewEgg DDR3 Triple Channel 6GB (3 x 2GB) Ram.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Now for the X58 motherboard, depending on whether you want to be able to do Tri-SLi/Crossfire or just regular SLi/Crossfire is up to you. Here are the Top two X58 boards.

ASUS P6T Deluxe LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $299.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $298.99
(2 oz copper PCB & support 3 SLI/ 3 ATI crossfire)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you need a new case, the COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail $159.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Corsair CMPSU-1000HX ATX12V &EPS12V Power Supply - CMPSU-1000HX is on sale here for $224.99
Price After Rebate(s): $174.99
http://www.buy.com/prod/corsair-1000-watt-hx-series-12v...

To get some more info on the Core I7 Cpu and motherboards you can browse Tom's site and check out (H)ardCop site.
http://enthusiast.hardocp.com

Hope this helps you out some.


December 8, 2008 7:33:54 PM

That Ram looks like a good choice. Heard good things about it.

Nvidia had initially said they would have the new cards out by Christmas but time is running awfully short for that to happen. I haven't read anything new in the last week or so on it. I guess that leaves the answer at possibly before the holiday or soon after if they don't make it.
December 8, 2008 7:35:42 PM

Given the choice of those two PSUs Whitemilk66 I'd choose the Corsair personally. Great buy and it is capable of SLI in the future without issue.
a c 309 à CPUs
December 8, 2008 7:45:00 PM

Whitemilk661 said:
Thanks for all the responses they are very helpful!

Will this RAM do? 6GB or corsair. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I think I will go down to the 260 GTX, how long until that new one is supposed to come out?


I think that ram will do nicely. Corsair is a good company with good support.

The GTX260 is being phased out in favor of the GTX260-216 which has added processing elements. It is faster, and relatively a good value.
I would look for a EVGA GTX260-216 for several reasons:
You preserve your option to "step up" to a faster card within 90 days.
EVGA has good support and an active forum.
The card is very close in performance to the GTX280, at a much lower price.

You save some money by building it yourself.
But the satisfaction is priceless!
December 8, 2008 7:46:38 PM

You guys have been VERY helpful. I can't thank you all enough.


As for case, how is this one? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Is the coolermaster necessary?

Also if I just get the current GTX 260 will I def be kicking myself because I didn't wait for the new one? Is it that big of a deal?
December 8, 2008 7:48:46 PM

As for the 1000W PSU linked above, honestly that would be overkill atm. The 750W would power two 280GTXs without any problem. Now if you thought you may go to triple SLI at some point then maybe you could look at that.

Cases were brought up but above but not sure you are even looking for those.

I have a NZXT Zero and LOVE it. It is here:
It has soo many fans, is aluminum so lighter than the steel one. It's huge inside and I have my current system highly overclocked and the air blowing out the exhaust fans is cool on my hand. The airflow is more than enough and is surprisingly quiet at the same time. My old mid-tower with 2x120mm fans was three times as loud. Only thing you'll hear unless it's next to your ear is the CPU or GPU fan and they're pretty tame.

If you need something cheaper then the Hush and Tempest around $89 and $109 respectively on newegg are great and should fit 260GTX as well.
Can you tell I'm sold on NZXT ? The Zero and a previous Apollo really made an impression on me :) 

December 8, 2008 7:49:05 PM

geofelt said:
I think that ram will do nicely. Corsair is a good company with good support.

The GTX260 is being phased out in favor of the GTX260-216 which has added processing elements. It is faster, and relatively a good value.
I would look for a EVGA GTX260-216 for several reasons:
You preserve your option to "step up" to a faster card within 90 days.
EVGA has good support and an active forum.
The card is very close in performance to the GTX280, at a much lower price.

You save some money by building it yourself.
But the satisfaction is priceless!



is the GTX 260-216 out yet? I can't fin it on new egg.


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

This is what I was planning on getting.
December 8, 2008 7:51:44 PM

Talon said:
As for the 1000W PSU linked above, honestly that would be overkill atm. The 750W would power two 280GTXs without any problem. Now if you thought you may go to triple SLI at some point then maybe you could look at that.

Cases were brought up but above but not sure you are even looking for those.

I have a NZXT Zero and LOVE it. It is here:
It has soo many fans, is aluminum so lighter than the steel one. It's huge inside and I have my current system highly overclocked and the air blowing out the exhaust fans is cool on my hand. The airflow is more than enough and is surprisingly quiet at the same time. My old mid-tower with 2x120mm fans was three times as loud. Only thing you'll hear unless it's next to your ear is the CPU or GPU fan and they're pretty tame.

If you need something cheaper then the Hush and Tempest around $89 and $109 respectively on newegg are great and should fit 260GTX as well.
Can you tell I'm sold on NZXT ? The Zero and a previous Apollo really made an impression on me :) 



I was looking at the Apollo, will this be enough room?
December 8, 2008 7:53:21 PM

Funny, I just mentioned the Apollo in previous post, it is a very good case. I enjoyed it greatly in a previous build. I do believe it will hold a 260GTX as well.

As for waiting? Well the 55nm refresh should have the same clocks and 216sp that we have been suggesting thus far. The only difference I'm aware of is the die shrink to 55nm. This "may" give more overclocking room but honestly it is never a sure thing that a shrink will do that. Just forget I mentioned it. And like geofelt said above, if you order EVGA, currenly cheapest 216sp 260GTX on newegg I think, you can trade up in 90 days if something comes out that blows your mind :) 

BTW sorry my links turned out wrong, not sure what happened there....
a c 309 à CPUs
December 8, 2008 7:55:11 PM

Nobody knows exactly what the 55nm die shrink will bring. That is why I suggested an EVGA card. It is possible that the 55nm process will just be used to reduce the manufacturing costs on current cards. More likely, there will be some minor performance or other benefits to encourage the sale of new cards. I would not get the plain GTX260, instead opting for the GTX260-216 version.

I don't much like the coolermaster case you linked.
I find front doors to be a fussy pain.
I don't want "bling"
I like front intake fans and back and top outflow fans. Side fans disrupt the natural air flow.

As a suggestion, look at the Antec 300.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It is cheaper, and should cool better.
December 8, 2008 8:01:56 PM

Okay right now I have

intel core i7 920 processor

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

Asus P6T deluxe mother board

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

6GB corsair dominator

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

EVGA GTX 260 896 mb video card

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

Corsair 750 watt power supply (tell me if this needs improvement)

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

Western digitial caviar HD (should i go velociraptor? )

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


Anything I'm missing? Do I need to buy a sound card? What else do I need? Right now I'm at $1,384 and that seems pretty cheap. I was expecting more like $1600.
a c 309 à CPUs
December 8, 2008 8:18:14 PM

If your budget permits, get the velociraptor. It makes everything feel snappier. They come in 150 and 300gb sizes. Get a second slower drive for overflow later if you need it.

Defer the sound card. Onboard HD sound is very good. Get better speakers first.

Get a 1366 cpu cooler. It will be much quieter under load.
Here are two:
http://www.heatsinkfactory.com/noctua-nh-u12p-se1366-ul...
http://www.heatsinkfactory.com/thermalright-ultra-120-e...

Corsair psu is good.
December 8, 2008 8:23:59 PM

geofelt said:
If your budget permits, get the velociraptor. It makes everything feel snappier. They come in 150 and 300gb sizes. Get a second slower drive for overflow later if you need it.

Defer the sound card. Onboard HD sound is very good. Get better speakers first.

Get a 1366 cpu cooler. It will be much quieter under load.
Here are two:
http://www.heatsinkfactory.com/noctua-nh-u12p-se1366-ul...
http://www.heatsinkfactory.com/thermalright-ultra-120-e...

Corsair psu is good.



So the 750W Corsair PSU is good, or should I seriously consider the 1000W?

I'll def go w/ Velociraptor if it's that great.


And for the sound, the onboard comes with the processor? Sorry about a reall dumb question.
December 8, 2008 8:42:28 PM

I own a hardware review site, and we have all three core i7 processors, with both SLI and Crossfire setups, each system has 300Gb VelociRaptors, and 1200w-1300w processors, and 1600Mhz 6 Gb kits . I can tell you that you would be better off if you bought the 940, it smokes both the QX9650 and the QX9770, and comes very close to the performance of the 965, for $569 it's worth every penny.
a c 309 à CPUs
December 8, 2008 9:30:16 PM

stan116 said:
I own a hardware review site, and we have all three core i7 processors, with both SLI and Crossfire setups, each system has 300Gb VelociRaptors, and 1200w-1300w processors, and 1600Mhz 6 Gb kits . I can tell you that you would be better off if you bought the 940, it smokes both the QX9650 and the QX9770, and comes very close to the performance of the 965, for $569 it's worth every penny.


At 21 vs. 20 multiplier for the 940, it's not much difference to me, particularly at double the price. . It is easily made up by the most trivial of overclocks, let alone to 965 speeds.

The 750 corsair is fine for a single GTX260, and will still be good if one ever decides to install two such cards. It is best if a PSU operates in the middle 2/3 of it's capability. If it is at either extreme, the efficiency will drop. If the psu is underpowered, and operating at the top of it's capability, then the power will eventually become unstable and the fan noise will increase. If the psu is too big, the issue is only inefficiency. A middle ground is best. If you ever contemplate triple vga cards, then a 1000+watt monster is appropriate.

Onboard HD 7.1 sound comes standard with the motherboard. You just plug in your speakers to the back panel. Settings are done through the Vista control panel.
a b à CPUs
December 8, 2008 9:51:49 PM

stan116 said:
I own a hardware review site, and we have all three core i7 processors, with both SLI and Crossfire setups, each system has 300Gb VelociRaptors, and 1200w-1300w processors, and 1600Mhz 6 Gb kits . I can tell you that you would be better off if you bought the 940, it smokes both the QX9650 and the QX9770, and comes very close to the performance of the 965, for $569 it's worth every penny.



Try overclocking your 920. It'll easily hit 3.5-3.8, and blow away all 9770s other than the most ridiculous overclocks.

No 940 needed.
December 8, 2008 10:17:21 PM

I agree about not needing the 940 for double the price. If you can follow the directions, the overclock will be easy.

I would steer clear of a Velociraptor because it's so much more expensive for minor performance gains over the 640 GB HDD. That's up to you, but to me it's a lot of $$$ for just a bit of performance.

Nice build otherwise.

Have fun.
December 8, 2008 11:17:16 PM

How do you figure minor performance ? The VelociRaptor, is 25% faster than the Raptor X and 30%-35 % faster than the WD 750Gb. and how is thev 940 double the price? it"s close to $500 cheaper than the 965 Extreme, and $259 more than the 920
December 8, 2008 11:25:49 PM

i7 processors: 920 - 299.99, 940 - 569.99 (that is near double - 1.9x the price)

We weren't comparing the mid/high, but the low/mid.

The HDD comparison was not between raptor and 750 GB, but raptor and 640 GB HDD (2 platters). The performance is much closer, especially the Black model.
a b à CPUs
December 8, 2008 11:29:33 PM

Not in anything remotely approaching randoms. The Velociraptor is quite a bit faster, especially because the access time of the 6400AAKS is somewhat lagging (~15ms IIRC, compared to 7ms for the Velociraptor).

The price comparison of the processors is about right though - the 940 is 1.9 times the cost of the 920, which can definitely be stated as "double" with reasonable accuracy.
December 8, 2008 11:36:06 PM

I agree that the Velociraptor is faster, but it is more than double the price of the 640GB drive. I think that's a lot to spend for that performance, but that's up to the buyer.

The Black edition is faster than the AAKS too, for just a little bit more.
a b à CPUs
December 8, 2008 11:41:50 PM

True. The black edition is a nice balance of cost and performance for most, but it definitely can't match the velociraptor for pure speed. Still the 640 or 1TB BE drive is the drive I would probably recommend to most people for a typical system.

Of course, that doesn't stop me from having a pair of 300GB Velociraptors in RAID 0 in my setup. :) 
December 8, 2008 11:46:45 PM

Sometime in Jan, the new GX2 will be out, nvidia will be showing it off at CES around Jan 9th
December 8, 2008 11:48:52 PM

Wow...Velociraptors in RAID 0, huh? That's pretty nuts. Cool.
a b à CPUs
December 8, 2008 11:56:03 PM

Yep. Boot time on Vista64 is something like 30 seconds, and programs load amazingly fast.
December 9, 2008 12:04:17 AM

So what are the real top choices for HD's in this case? Are raid's any good?
a c 309 à CPUs
December 9, 2008 2:29:32 AM

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...
There are some specific applications that will benefit, but
gaming is not one of them. Even if you have an application which reads one input file sequentially, and writes
it out, you will perform about as well by putting the input on one drive, and the output on the other.

At that site, you could also look at their performance database. Look at the SR office drivemark 2006 benchmarks. That is what most closely approximates the typical single user desktop work. The top performer is a mtron SSD, a very expensive device. Next comes the velociraptor. Other drives, including some 15k scsi drives are lower. Do not be seduced by the synthetic maximum data transfer rates of raid-0. While impressive, there are only certain situations where it really helps.

It is my observation that those who have a velociraptor love it, and those who have something else don't.
a b à CPUs
December 9, 2008 2:41:12 AM

Actually, there is an advantage to raid whenever the queue depth is >1. This is because when there are multiple items queued, the drives are able to arrange it (as well as the controller) to allow for optimal performance. In addition, the Intel RAID controller with the write back cache enabled significantly improves writes by some very aggressive caching.
a c 309 à CPUs
December 9, 2008 2:15:21 PM

cjl said:
Actually, there is an advantage to raid whenever the queue depth is >1. This is because when there are multiple items queued, the drives are able to arrange it (as well as the controller) to allow for optimal performance. In addition, the Intel RAID controller with the write back cache enabled significantly improves writes by some very aggressive caching.


In the single user desktop environment, the queue depth rarely gets past 1. For that environment, drives may actually perform better if the NSQ capability is deactivated. The benchmarks referenced above have some examples of this. The difference is minor, though.
a b à CPUs
December 9, 2008 8:51:18 PM

Agreed, and the main performance advantage of RAID in the desktop environment comes from either large file transfers (where the higher sequential data rate can be used) or due to the extremely aggressive caching of the Intel controller rather than because the RAID itself is speeding everything up.
December 10, 2008 9:48:59 PM

Looks like there is a lot miss understandings about hard drivers arrays, both from the mainstream users and some tech blogs.

A Stripping array is meant for high performance desktop computers and home woskstations. Servers and backbones use Redundant arrays of type 1,2,3,4,5,6,0+1,1+0,50,60,100... but never 0. But that doesnt matter bcuz we cannto compare server raid with desktop raid since servers use true hardware raid controller and a cheap one is about U$800.

sry for the english.

The performance impact of Stripping for a mainstream user (msn, surfing the web and winamp) cannot be benchmarked due random acess and windows management - note that windows management does a lot of difference, if u disable the pagefile and u have enought RAM the Stripping performance will be less evident. Windows will allocate resources depending of software requests, memory avaliable and CPU utilization.

Being impossible to translate to numbers the performance bost for a mainstream user caused a total chaos and now the information u read (even in tech blogs) is that performance bost, in a system with a raid 0 configuration, is invisible. False.

Today's hard drivers are so fast compared to old ones, I still remember my huge 1 MB hardriver.... that being said helps explain why performance gain in a system with RAID 0 is less and less perceptive.
A single 640 GB harddriver is faster then many raid 0 configurations with lower capacitys like 2x 160gb or 2x250gb due the size of the plate (the head has to cover less space in order to read the same amount of data).

The main argument is that syntetic benchmarks doesnt translate real world results. Thats true, if u transfer a single 4GB file between 2 arrays (raid 0 arrays - 500GB each disk, 2 disks per array) the average transfer rate may reach 250mb/s wich is faster then most syntetic benchmark results. So syntetic benchmark results are really not good enought to be trusted, bcuz often they return lower value then a real world task would !!
Now say that u transfer 4GB in 300 files, then the transfer rate will barely go up 150MB/s even with 0.11% of Degree Of Fragmention.

The conclusion is that the average user will not see performance impact in most of his daily tasks if he uses high performance single drivers but performance gain transfering files, loading the operating system or even loading low CPU required games can who over 80% improvement. The down side, and here is where syntetic benchmark fails, is that raid in desktop uses processor time so unless u use multiple core fast cpus u can downgrade performance of your gaming when loading (for example).
!