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New Performance Rig - Are these parts compatible?

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  • New Build
  • Performance
  • Compatibility
  • Systems
  • Product
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October 21, 2008 7:03:31 AM

Hi all,

I am building a new high performance rig, (no I can't wait any longer, PC dead for 2 months already, and getting really pissed off with using a laptop)

My old rig would be about 6 years old now if it was still alive, so I'm kinda out of the loop as far as compatibility goes, but this is my want list, let me know if there's anything blindingly obvious that I should change.

Price isn't too much of an issue (unless I get some big bills in soon), but just because I say that, doesn't mean I have to buy some stupidly priced stuff.

This is what I'm thinking of:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650
Mobo: Asus P5E3 Premium
GPU: 2GB Power Color HD4870X2
RAM: Corsair 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz 7-7-7-20 DHX
HDD: 2x 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F1
Optical Drive: LG GGC-H20L

Monitor: 24" Iiyama PLE2403WS-B1

Case + Water Cooling from ChilledPc

I DO want to overclock a little, probably only from 333fsb to 400fsb, the water cooling is mainly to reduce noise levels. The Asus P5E3 seems a little overpriced, can anyone recommend a board that offers similar overclocking abilities with less of a price tag? Also willing to drop to a Q9550 if I really go over budget (actually I might do that anyway and go for 8gb RAM - I'll be doing video / graphics rendering too)

And I realise the monitor might look like a strange choice, but Toms did a monitor review a while back, and after a few colour tweaks, the Iiyama came out with a pretty high score.

Let me know what you guys think.

Cheers,

leigh.

More about : performance rig parts compatible

October 21, 2008 7:05:22 AM

I should add, the PSU will probably be a 1kw Corsair thingy.
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October 21, 2008 9:16:12 AM

So according to your post, your only reason to "avoid" them is because of cost, and because the first round of Nehalem supporting boards will not support a higher voltage?

Since I'm buying now, I think it will be safe to say I'm not going to be an early adopter of Nehalem, and in a couple of years time when I'm looking to replace/upgrade, it's fairly feasable that chipsets will support higher voltages, or will use new technology altogether.

As for the matched pair issue needing 3 matched modules for future chipsets, as long as the capacity / frequency / chip arrangement is the same, they can be practically considered matched right? So worst case scenario, if I wanted to re-use them, I'd either ditch 1 module (assuming I had 4x2gb), or buy another 2x2gb of the exact same type of ram, giving me 6x2gb with the same characteristics that can be matched.

So aside from you advertising your own post, there's nothing actually wrong with what I've chosen?

Cheers,

leigh
October 21, 2008 9:50:39 AM

hey leigh

i know you said money isn't an issue for you, but i would really consider the Q9550 instead of the Q9650

the only difference between the two is a .5x multiplier, Q9550 has a 8.5x where as the Q9650 has a 9x multi. but the price difference between the two is 320$ with newegg prices.

even though the Q9560 can OC higher b/c of the .5x, 320$ is not a validation for such minimal performance gains.

Q9550 = 400x8.5 = 3.4ghz
Q9650 = 400x 9 = 3.6ghz

200mhz difference is not worth 320$.

like what proximon says, drop the DDR3 also. i didn't quite understand what you were talking about with your 3 matched pairs, but i think you're saying, if you get the DDR3 now (2x2gb), you would be able to use it in the future with the i7 if you do decide to upgrade then but will buy another stick to make it 3 modules so you can run tri-channel? here's an article from anandtech talking bout how DDR3 now with high Vdimm voltages will not work with i7, unless you want to kill your processor in a few weeks :D  basically it says, the high voltage DDR3 modules right now on the market will not work with i7 so it's a waste.

http://anandtech.com/memory/showdoc.aspx?i=3426

here's some memory that i would recommend you use instead, if you're only going to OC to 400fsb or a little over. ie.425 or something

Mushkin 2x2gb DDR2 800mhz 4-4-4-12 (58.99$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

side note, if you OC to 425fsb with the Q9550, you'll be at 3.6ghz which is the same speed you'll be at with the Q9650 but just saved yourself 320$ :p 

October 21, 2008 10:37:31 AM

Agree on the Q9550, especially seeing today with Intels latest price cuts, the 9650 isn't included (which is what I was hoping for)

The thing with patched triples was related to his comments that current DDR3 cannot be used as an upgrade path for future Nehalem based machines. He states that you need 3 matched modules, not 2, all I was saying is that it should be easy to make 2 matched triplets from 3 matched pairs, given they are all the exact same product.

I'm not too bothered about that upgrade path right now, so you can ignore those comments pretty much.

Wont the DDR3 still yield a higher data throughput?

Lets say I do change my mind, and go for a Asus Rampage Formula and 4x2Gb of 1066Mhz CAS5 Corsair Dominator RAM, that will still chug along happily at say 450Mhz 1:1 right? (the CPU is watercooled don't forget, if I can push it this high, I will do)

Cheers,

Leigh.
October 21, 2008 10:42:36 AM

Actually, I should probably also ask, is there a benefit to running at 1:1.

I think I read somewhere that there was, but obviously this RAM would probably also be happy at 4:5, at this FSB
October 21, 2008 11:21:20 AM

leigh said:
Wont the DDR3 still yield a higher data throughput?

Lets say I do change my mind, and go for a Asus Rampage Formula and 4x2Gb of 1066Mhz CAS5 Corsair Dominator RAM, that will still chug along happily at say 450Mhz 1:1 right? (the CPU is watercooled don't forget, if I can push it this high, I will do)

Cheers,

Leigh.

you will not see any real-world performance gains with DDR3, you'll see them in synthetic benchmark programs though. if you do decide to get the 1066mhz DDR2 memory, you won't need to OC the memory when you hit higher overclocks so basically the memory will work as advertised and that will be one less variable you have to worry about in OC-ing your CPU.

1066mhz x 2 = 2132mhz fsb freq.

so you can theoretically go up to 2132 on your fsb freq without having to OC the ram, which is good is you're gonna raise the FSB 450+ or beyond. (btw, with 4 modules for memory, it is harder to hit higher mhz than with 2 or so. ex. 4x1gb is harder to OC than 2x2gb) so lets say you OC the Q9550 to 450fsb... 450x4 = 1800fsb freq, you still got another 332mhz to go before you push your 1066mhz ram to it's rated limit. btw, when you do buy your Q9550, be sure to get the "E0" stepping version, you'll be able to OC much higher with that stepping than the C1.


leigh said:
Actually, I should probably also ask, is there a benefit to running at 1:1.

I think I read somewhere that there was, but obviously this RAM would probably also be happy at 4:5, at this FSB

ideally, you would want to the DRAM/FSB ratio to be at 1:1. the only time when you would use other ratios to my knowledge (anyone correct me if i'm wrong), is when your memory can't go as high as your CPU fsb, so a lower ratio on the memory is needed to keep the system stable b/c the memory can't clock high enough. and as you can see 4:5 is pretty close to 1:1. otherwise, if you have good memory modules with high rated mhz such as 1066, there is no reason not to run it at 1:1.

here's a forum post talking more about memory dividers and ratios, you'll get a better grasp about it when you read it.

http://www.howtofixcomputers.com/bb/ftopic137216.html

good luck, hope my post helped :) 
October 21, 2008 12:10:10 PM

If you overclock to 450, DDR2-1066 has 83 left for overclocking (533-450=83).
If your memory is faster than your CPU speed, you can run the memory at a speed higher than your CPU. If your CPU is running at 450 (450x4=1800) and you have DDR2-1066, you can run the memory at 533x2=1066.
Hope this clears up some things.


October 21, 2008 12:46:50 PM

leigh said:


I DO want to overclock a little, probably only from 333fsb to 400fsb, the water cooling is mainly to reduce noise levels. The Asus P5E3 seems a little overpriced, can anyone recommend a board that offers similar overclocking abilities with less of a price tag? Also willing to drop to a Q9550 if I really go over budget (actually I might do that anyway and go for 8gb RAM - I'll be doing video / graphics rendering too)



You clearly illustrate that you do indeed have a budget. You are basically saying you are willing to cut corners to have DDR3 RAM. The jump from Q9550 to Q9650 is .17ghz, more performance than you will get by using DDR3. This is all common knowledge on these boards. Everyone that comes here wanting to use DDR3 gets told the same thing.

For many hours each week, I come here and help people, free of charge. I answer the same questions and give the same advice every day. If I choose to have one place that answers most of the questions, I have certainly earned that right.

You didn't like my answer and chose to be insulting. Fine, I'm done with this thread.
October 21, 2008 1:24:38 PM

Right, thanks for the posts, both very informative.

I think my guessed ratio of 4:5 was backwards and should have been 5:4 :p  which would have slightly OCd the RAM, but reading around it seems 6:5 is also possible which would have put the RAM at 1080Mhz, it's so close to 1:1 that the overhead in running out of synch probably negates the benefit of running in synch anyway...

Well you have me 90% converted to DDR2 now.

The current lineup is:
Asus Rampage Formula
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550
8GB (4x2GB) Corsair Dominator DDR2 PC2-8500 (1066), CAS 5, EPP, DHX
2GB Power Color HD4870X2
2x 1TB Samsung HD103UJ Spinpoint F1
750W TX Corsair PSU, single 12V rail, 80%+ Eff
LG GGC-H20L DVD/Blu-Ray/HD-DVD
24" Iiyama PLE2403WS-B1

Case + Cooling TBC.

Actually with the slight savings on CPU/RAM/Mobo, considering going for a non-tn monitor.
October 21, 2008 1:35:24 PM

Proximon said:
You clearly illustrate that you do indeed have a budget. You are basically saying you are willing to cut corners to have DDR3 RAM. The jump from Q9550 to Q9650 is .17ghz, more performance than you will get by using DDR3. This is all common knowledge on these boards. Everyone that comes here wanting to use DDR3 gets told the same thing.

For many hours each week, I come here and help people, free of charge. I answer the same questions and give the same advice every day. If I choose to have one place that answers most of the questions, I have certainly earned that right.

You didn't like my answer and chose to be insulting. Fine, I'm done with this thread.


My budget is high, but not limitless. I certainly have the money for parts more expensive than I originally listed, but like I said, no point spending stupidly because of it. Money saved on PC = money to spend on beer, and with that justification, nuff said.

Your advise was simply "avoid these boards and memory" with no reason until I had to follow a link to another thread, which simply stated "they're expensive and you can't use them to upgrade to Nehalem", which isn't really much of a reason to avoid them, if they do offer a reasonable preformance increase, albeit at some cost.

The kind of advice offered by AznGuy0028 is far more helpful. For example, the price of DDR3 has come down a lot since it's release, these days the price/performance may be more viable these days. If not, all you need to do is say so with a quick example.
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