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New multipurpose build - need feedback

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November 25, 2008 2:44:47 AM


Hello,

I'm planning for a new build and have sketched out some ideas and am looking for feedback. The system will be doing alot of video encoding, and will also be used for high gaming. My budget is under $2k (Canadian), and what I have so far uses every cent (based on my local prices).

Heres what I got so far:

Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 - Like the buck vs benchmark on this one, any other suggestions?

Motherboard: ASUS SKT.775 NVIDIA NF780I - I plan to do some modest OCing, need Sli, is this good?

Hard Drive (OS): Patriot Warp 64GB Solid State Hard Drive - This drive would be for OS and primary Apps, I was also considering doing a 3x500GB sata 2 raid5 config instead, but I like the idea of the speed in a solid state, does anyone have experience with these?

Hard Drive (everything else): Seagate 1TB SATA II 32MB

Memory: OCZ Fatal1ty Dual Channel 4GB PC8500 DDR2 1066MHz Memory (4x1GB)

Video Card: SLi with 2 x ASUS En9600GT Silent 512MB DDR3

Optical drive: whatever - will be replacing with Blue ray once prices drop a little more

Power: NZXT PP-800 800-Watt

Case: Antec 900

OS: Vista 64 bit and OpenSUSE x64


It's been a few years since my last build and I haven't really kept up with hardware, so any feedback or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks!





November 25, 2008 12:53:17 PM

It's a good start, but you could do better.

Is there a reason you picked SLI 9600GT's? You would be much better off picking up a nice single card. The Nvidia chipsets are not great. Something like this would be a nice setup:

ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

&

ASUS EAH4870/HTDI/512M/A Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

You should also pick up a quality 2x2GB RAM kit instead of that high voltage 4x1GB kit.

G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

This PC Power & Cooling PSU is on sale right now and is a very high quality unit:

PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI NVIDIA SLI Certified (Dual 8800 GTX and below) CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Here's a nice DVD burner to tide you over until you get your Blu-Ray drive:

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
November 25, 2008 1:19:20 PM

+1 ^
Go with an Intel chipset, especially if you are going to be overclocking.
As shown above, there are better single card solutions than 2-9600GT's in SLI.
Always go with 2 sticks of RAM over 4.
Related resources
November 25, 2008 1:20:33 PM

Welcome to the forums!

How about i7?

1 GIGABYTE GA-EX58-EXTREME LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Model #:GA-EX58-EXTREME
Item #:N82E16813128361
Return Policy:Limited Non-Refundable 30-Day Return Policy
$328.99 $328.99

1 Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz LGA 1366 Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
Model #:BX80601920
Item #:N82E16819115202
Return Policy:p rocessors (CPUs) Return Policy
In Stock
$299.99 $299.99

1 PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI NVIDIA SLI Certified (Dual 8800 GTX and below) CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
Model #:S75QB
Item #:N82E16817703009
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
Mail-in Rebate

$249.99 -$120.00 Instant $129.99
1 G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ - Retail
Model #:F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ
Item #:N82E16820231225
Return Policy:Limited Non-Refundable 30-Day Return Policy
In Stock
$299.99 -$20.00 Instant $279.99

1 Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300GB 10000 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Model #:WD3000GLFS
Item #:N82E16822136260
Return Policy:Limited 30-Day Return Policy
In Stock
Mail-in Rebate

$269.99 $269.99
1 Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Model #:Nine Hundred
Item #:N82E16811129021
Return Policy:Limited 30-Day Return Policy
In Stock
$139.99 -$30.00 Instant $109.99

1 COOLER MASTER COSMOS 1000 RC-1000-KSN1-GP Black/ Silver Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
Model #:RC-1000-KSN1-GP
Item #:N82E16811119138
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$219.99 -$40.00 Instant $179.99

1 LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model GH22LS30 - OEM
Model #:GH22LS30
Item #:N82E16827136153
Return Policy:Limited 30-Day Return Policy
In Stock
$24.99 $24.99
November 25, 2008 1:26:02 PM

@ evongugg - Are you just going to go around suggesting i7 builds without even reading the original poster's needs/wants? It's not the first time you've done it today. The OP has a $2,000 CANADIAN budget. Posting an i7 build off of the US Newegg site in US dollars doesn't do him any good or fit his budget.
November 25, 2008 1:55:05 PM

I think i7 is a better choice today than 780i for that kind of money.
Newegg sells in Canada also.
The OP says he has not kept up with hardware.
I read his post.

November 25, 2008 1:55:11 PM

Shortstuff has a good conventional build..
If, however, you will be doing lots of video encoding, a good quad is the way to go. In the US, the Q9550 costs almost as much as the i7 920, and is nowhere near the same multi tasking performer. The problem is, that you need to pair it with a more expensive motherboard, and DDR3 ram. It may well be worth it.

Stay away from all MLC SSD's right now. They have a big problem with write delays. Only the 80gb Intel X25-M($600) is any good because it has a different control chip. A velociraptor is a much better bet for a fast OS drive right now.

For good gaming, stick with a single good video card. A 4870-1m, or GTX260-216 will give you very good gameplay.
November 25, 2008 2:30:35 PM

evongugg said:
I think i7 is a better choice today than 780i for that kind of money.
Newegg sells in Canada also.
The OP says he has not kept up with hardware.
I read his post.

I agree that i7 is a good option, but you should post Canadian links and values for a Canadian build. You also didn't list a GPU. Here's a revision of the i7 build that comes in under budget to allow you to pick up a version of 64-bit Vista:

Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... $369.99

GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... $349.99

PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI NVIDIA SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... $144.31 -$35.00 MIR

G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682... $313.43

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682... $87.72

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682... $87.72

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... $125.39

LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682... $31.49

ASUS EAH4870/HTDI/1G Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... $363.49

Total - $1,873.53 - $35 MIR = $1,838.53
November 25, 2008 2:31:42 PM

Thanks for all the feedback guys.

I had originally gone with the SLi setup because I've setup SLi's in the past and was pretty happy with the performance I was getting vs a single card. By the sounds of it a single higher-end card is the way to go these days for your buck so thats likely what I'll do, @shortstuff - the card you suggested is a crossfire card, say a yr down the line I decide to add a second one, would you say crosffire card now would still be a good choice, I was always under the impression Sli>Crossfire, or at least it was at one time.

Also thanks for the tip on the memory, I'll go with the 2 2GB sticks instead.

@evongugg - now you have me drooling for an i7 lol . In terms of the price of the cpu its about the same as the q9550, but the cost of the motherboard and ddr3 kinda pushes my budget over the top, wifey won't approve. Unless of course you know of some cheaper boards that would do the trick?

@geofelt - thanks for the tip on the ssd's, I wasn't sure because I have no experience with them, the high speeds just had me hypnotized. Is it really worth going for a raptor these days though, or would a raid on a few sata II's get me close to the same level?


Thanks again for all the feedback guys..
November 25, 2008 2:36:43 PM

@Short

thanks for the recent reply, I missed it while I was posting mine. Our high canadian taxes may push this one over the top also, but at least its close and I may be able to persuade the wife, or at least tweak it down a bit, thanks!
November 25, 2008 2:55:32 PM

Here's a cheaper build:

Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz 369.99
]http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115202]

MSI X58 Platinum LGA 1366 Intel X58 276.99
]http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130216]

CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 281.99
]http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145220]

SAPPHIRE 100257L Radeon HD 4870 307.19
]http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102797]

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit

Antec Performance One P180 Silver 187.99
]http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129154]

Antec NeoPower 650 Blue 650W 112.83
]http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371010]

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 87.72
]http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136218&Tpk=WD6400AAKS]

Total: Canadian$ 1,624.70
Add Microsoft Vista OS and DVD Drive
November 25, 2008 3:17:42 PM

Reading over your wants and needs, I also am going to say the core i7 maybe is the way to go. The core i7 rips up vidoe encoding on benchmarks compaired to the q9950.

Depending on your screen resolution 1920x1280 Nvidia gtx 260 or gtx 280 is the way to go. core i7 has made sli setups look impressive when compairing to ati/cf setups. In general I believe the gtx260 is just an overall better preformer than the 4870. Something you may want to do is look at some benchmark scores in games you play and determine which is best for your needs.

if your doing 2560x1600 then your probally going to want to go with ati/cf and do the 4870x2's in cf. This is where the real big dogs play with the 30' monitors and such. I don't believe that these are in your budget though. Maybe convince the wife you can watch TV on your monitor as well?

November 25, 2008 7:50:50 PM

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.

Today, the best experience(IMHO) comes from a velociraptor as the OS and fast access drive. Add larger, slower storage drives for capacity if you need to. I have a velociraptor, and I feel it makes everything feel snappier.

The Antec 900 is a good case, but an Antec 300 is cheaper, and cools as well, if not better.

November 26, 2008 2:07:12 AM

Thanks for all the feedback guys! I think I now have the info I need to start shopping for parts :bounce: 
!