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Asus Rampage II Extreme build

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February 16, 2009 9:58:06 PM

Okay first I'd like to say hello to everyone on Tom's Hardware. I'm new to the forums and new a little assistance. I'm looking to build my first/second gaming rig and figured there'd be no better place to get help from but the best. So heres what im going with at the moment. also this setup would be purchased within the next 3days

Antec 1200 case
Asus Rampage II Extreme mobo
Intel core i7
2 Geforce 9800 GTX+ Black Edition
Ultra x3 1000watt PSU
2 Acer 23" 40000:1 monitors

now this is where I need help. im not sure on the memory that i should purchase, and am rather confused on the specs. The board says it can accept speeds of 1600+ but overclocked. would i be able to buy native 1600 mem and it run at that speed or would i still need to overclock the ram. I would also need a cpu cooler as I would be looking to overclock the i7. That is also something that I would need a tad bit of assistance with. and can anyone tell me what the strain is on an overclocked system, like does this shorten the lifespan of my system?

any suggestions? im looking for something that would run stable and be able to run every game that I throw at it. I also need an OS, it was suggested that I buy vista ultimate 64bit. is it worth it or should i just buy home premium 64bit seeing how windows7 is going to be coming out.

sorry for the excess long information

thank you guys
February 17, 2009 2:44:06 AM

Its a good system, I would recommend cutting the 9800 GTX+'s and going either GTX 285 or GTX 295 for a more updated card, from my experience with SLI it isnt worth it, a single card is so much better than a dual card solution unless you are top of the line. The 1600 mem is good for stock speeds, but will not give you much headroom to overclock from there, 1866 or 2000 will be a better choice to go for overclocking assuming you upgrade the stock fan, but be careful there is some kind of flaw in the i7 with voltage, people were saying they were frying them cuz of higher voltage bumps in the memory or something like that, but I can't remember exact details. What power supply manufacturer you going with also, cuz that would dictate how much you can push out of that setup without losing stability on a high end system like that.
February 17, 2009 6:24:53 PM

Quiksilver said:
Its a good system, I would recommend cutting the 9800 GTX+'s and going either GTX 285 or GTX 295 for a more updated card, from my experience with SLI it isnt worth it, a single card is so much better than a dual card solution unless you are top of the line. The 1600 mem is good for stock speeds, but will not give you much headroom to overclock from there, 1866 or 2000 will be a better choice to go for overclocking assuming you upgrade the stock fan, but be careful there is some kind of flaw in the i7 with voltage, people were saying they were frying them cuz of higher voltage bumps in the memory or something like that, but I can't remember exact details. What power supply manufacturer you going with also, cuz that would dictate how much you can push out of that setup without losing stability on a high end system like that.



i havent really decided on a psu yet. im really looking for suggestions. i want to order my parts tonight or go to the tiger direct up the street. the original unit i was looking at was called ultra x3 1000watt. i have no idea who makes it
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February 20, 2009 10:31:21 AM

I just built a system with the Ultra 1000 W power supply with a ASUS Rampage II motherboard and the system is crashing a lot. I have read similar accounts that other people are having the same problem, they have isolated the Ultra PSU as the problem when using it in combination with the ASUS Rampage II. I'm buying a new PSU with hope it will solve my problems.
February 20, 2009 1:18:22 PM

You can only reach 1600 on the RAM by overclocking, but things are slightly different when overclocking the Core i7 platform. There's no longer a frontside bus, it's been replaced by the QPI (Quick Path Interconnect). That being said, the best thing to do is pick up a RAM kit rated to run (at least) at 1600, with XMP. XMP is an extension of SPD (Serial Presence Detect - tells the BIOS what settings to operate the RAM at), XMP adds profiles for overclocking the RAM by automatically setting the timings/voltage to the proper levels. I would stick to OCZ or Corsair kits if you plan to overclock, they are the best performers/most stable. (Side note, I'm running OCZ3X1600LV6GK @ 1600 effortlessly.)

For CPU coolers, look for Noctua NH-U12P, Cooler Master V8, Cooler Master V10, or the Akasa Nero (can't find a link atm). Overclocking may shorten the life span, but when done correctly, you'll be fine. Just be sure to do it in small increments to find the sweet spot, there are plenty of guides out there to help you accomplish this.

In response to Quicksilver, the voltage issue you are talking about is the new limit for DIMM voltage. The original DDR3 that rolled out for the 775 platform used higher voltages to reach higher clocks (some up to 2V). The Core i7 platform can't operate with more than 1.65V on the VDIMM. I'm not sure the exact reasoning on this, but it may have something to do with the memory controller being on the CPU now.

Additionally, improvements gained with SLI on the Core i7 platform are much better than any other, this processor simply has the horsepower to keep up where others didn't. This CPU (especially when overclocked) moves the bottleneck to the GPU. That being said, I would take Quicksilver's advice and skip the 9800's. The 260 Core 216's are very decently priced right now, a pair of those in SLI will demolish anything you throw at it. The EVGA 1255-AR is a great card (highly overclockable, and 55nm) that's only $199 after rebate right now. Additionally, EVGA has their step up program allowing you to pay the difference and upgrade up to 3 months down the road if you choose.

Finally, it's not worth dropping all that money on a premium CPU/Mobo/Performance RAM/GPU's if you're going to cheap out on the PSU. It's sooo tempting, but you will likely regret it. If you're going for a single card, the PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750W will be more than enough. It might even be able to handle 2x260's in SLI, but I can't confirm this (the math backs it up, but I haven't tested it yet. Many have reported they are able to do it though.)

Sounds like it's going to be a great build, let us know what you decide to go with, and if you have any other questions.
May 16, 2009 10:35:08 AM

I was running my two GTX 260's on an Antec Earthwatts 650W power supply... along with a liquid cooling system, 6 case fans, and a 125 watt quad-core CPU.
It's totally possible to run them on a PSU under 750W. The thing is, that will cause the PSU to age and lose stability at a faster rate than oh, say...an 850W PSU. Always overshoot by like 200-250W if possible. The more headroom, the better.
May 16, 2009 11:13:28 AM

j2lil2 said:
i havent really decided on a psu yet. im really looking for suggestions. i want to order my parts tonight or go to the tiger direct up the street. the original unit i was looking at was called ultra x3 1000watt. i have no idea who makes it

i recommend coresair hx1000 and enermax revolution 1050w
May 16, 2009 11:14:32 AM

use g.skill 2000 ram or kingston TI 2000 CL8 or corsair dominator gt
!