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How's my config ?

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December 12, 2008 4:32:26 PM

RAM = OCZ Dual Chanel DB12800 4GB (1600mhz)
MOBO = nForce 790i
CPU = Q9550 @ 2.8ghz
GFXCArd = 9800gtx (Is this a good choice, I'm an avid gamer and would like a good card(s) )
HDD = 150 GB RaptorX (10k rpm)
POWER = undecided

How important is th epower supply, does it make a difference if you 1000w vs 650w if you never use all the watts? (I'm gonna go SLI eventually)

Should I get an SSD (32GB) and put the OS on it, I want instant startups.

Would i7 at low speeds (~2.0ghz) be better then q9950 at 2.8ghz? Thanks, feel free to comment on any of my prefs.


More about : config

December 12, 2008 5:04:28 PM

What's your budget and what resolution will you be gaming at?
December 12, 2008 5:05:37 PM

For how long do you expect to run this machine unchanged?

I think your money should be invested more in the GFX card than the other components. If you absolutely want SLI go: 780i, DDR2-800, Non-Raptor and a GTX260 or GTX280. BTW, the RAM you initially selected wouldn't have been compatible for i7 and it would have been the only reason to use DDR3 with a non-i7 system.

If your PC doesn't draw the full power of the PSU there is no side effect, if you want to SLI eventually, I suggest a good brand 750W or more.
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December 12, 2008 5:24:32 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
What's your budget and what resolution will you be gaming at?


Something within $900, all the components come out to be around $810, I don't mind getting a used gfx card/mobo.

1876490,2,319610 said:
For how long do you expect to run this machine unchanged?[/quotemsg=1876490,2,319610]

2-3 years (if you mean unchanged as in no major changes are done, but Iwill be making minor ram speed upgrades, maybe go to a better gfx card every couple of months)

As for DDR2, It's almost at it's peak, I would like an expandaple system, while current DD3s aren't that much faster (but the one I'm getting at 1600hz 9-9-20 is...) it'll be worth it in the future as the gap widens.

Scratch the i7, I didn't check the price before I posted XD

What do you mean non-raptor?
December 12, 2008 5:39:53 PM

By "non-raptor" I meant any standard 7200RPM drive. Windows won't launch much faster (not worth the $$$ at least) and games won't load faster.

With current chipsets (excluding the X58), there is close to no gain when using DDR3. Moreover, games and applications CANNOT be optimized for new kinds of memory, so future applications won't work better because you have DDR3. The only sound reason to buy DDR3 RAM now is if you buy an i7 or if you plan to do so in the near future and want to carry-over the RAM to the new build. Given the last supposition, the i7 maximum memory voltage is 1.65V, but most dual-channel kits require more than that and thus would be useless with an i7. If you want DDR3, make sure the voltage is 1.65V maximum or it will be complete waste.
December 12, 2008 11:17:50 PM

Zenthar said:
By "non-raptor" I meant any standard 7200RPM drive. Windows won't launch much faster (not worth the $$$ at least) and games won't load faster.

With current chipsets (excluding the X58), there is close to no gain when using DDR3. Moreover, games and applications CANNOT be optimized for new kinds of memory, so future applications won't work better because you have DDR3. The only sound reason to buy DDR3 RAM now is if you buy an i7 or if you plan to do so in the near future and want to carry-over the RAM to the new build. Given the last supposition, the i7 maximum memory voltage is 1.65V, but most dual-channel kits require more than that and thus would be useless with an i7. If you want DDR3, make sure the voltage is 1.65V maximum or it will be complete waste.


Wait, I'm completely lost. How can the speed and seek time of a drive not affect the activities that require reading from a drive a lot? Also I've seen benchmarks for DDR3, it starts outperforming high end DDR2 at about 1600. You're saying if I get the 2ghz tri channel dd3s in the future (and latencies will continue to drop) there will be no benefits? What am I going to do with a DDR2 board? Maybe the latencies will drop some more, but I don't think it's speed will increase that much. What do you mean games games and apps cannot be optimized for DDR3? How do you optimize a game for specific ram?
December 13, 2008 1:20:36 AM

Sorry if I was confusing, I tend to type fast when at work :p 

For the HD, there are 2 main "speed factors": random access time and throughput. The first one determines how much time it takes to access a new memory space. This has an impact for databases, reading lots of small files and concurrent read/write. The second one determines how fast data can be transferred when the reading head has been positioned.

For an OS HD the Raptor can be good because the OS reads lots of small files (specially during boot), but games usually have much bigger monolithic files which are read all at once (texture packs for example). I don't mean Raptors are no good, hell I still use my old 36GB one, but if you want game performance, the money is WAY better invested in a video card. The Raptor will do NO difference for frames per seconds.Take a look at the following chats:
  • http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/3-5-hard-drive-chart...
  • http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/3-5-hard-drive-chart...

    For the RAM, it's a couple of factors that makes it nor worth the money. First 4GB of DDR3-1600 is at least 150$ and 4GB of DDR2-800 can be had for 30$, so you are paying 5 times more for memory that "starts outperforming high end DDR2". Factor-in the fact that you are planning to get one of the best socket socket 775 processor Intel released (and they will produce no more since they started the i7 which uses another socket). Finally, if you get DDR3 that is over 1.65V, you will not be able to reuse it if you get an i7 in the future.

    Let me put it another way. In the future, there will be only 2 upgrades that could be worthwhile for a gaming PC: CPU and GPU. A change in video card is rarely a problem, so I will not really speak of it. For the CPU, since you are getting one of the top, but last socket 775 CPU, the only path you would have is to go i7 (or AMD ...) wich will require a new board and, as mentioned before, if the DDR3 you have has too much voltage, you will have to change it anyway.

    Do I make sense? :p 
    December 13, 2008 7:07:28 PM

    Zenthar said:
    Sorry if I was confusing, I tend to type fast when at work :p 

    For an OS HD the Raptor can be good because the OS reads lots of small files (specially during boot), but games usually have much bigger monolithic files which are read all at once (texture packs for example).


    Actually I didn't expect to get a get a speed boost in games from using a fast HDD. I also do a lot of graphics work, so this is not really a dedicated gaming machine. Programs like Maya and photoshop tend to store small cache files on the hdd and I think the page file would alse get a decent speed boost. I can get the RaptorX 180Gb on ebay for $56, which I'm willing to pay. What I was also thinking is that maybe I should get a small SDD drive just for my OS, I heard that it was very fast at reading small files, would it boost my OS load speed compared to physical HDDs?

    Zenthar said:

    [ First 4GB of DDR3-1600 is at least 150$ and 4GB of DDR2-800 can be had for 30$, so you are paying 5 times more for memory that "starts outperforming high end DDR2".

    True, but DDR2 @ 800 is far from beaing high end. If I'm not mistaken the fastest DDR2 runs at about 1033. Most of the motherboards that support that speed are priced about the same as motherboard that support DDR3. And 4GB of fast DDR2 would run me about 50 bucks less then DDR3 PC1200.

    Zenthar said:

    Finally, if you get DDR3 that is over 1.65V, you will not be able to reuse it if you get an i7 in the future.

    But in order to get the i7 I would have to replace the whole motherboard anyways...


    Zenthar said:

    For the CPU, since you are getting one of the top, but last socket 775 CPU, the only path you would have is to go i7 (or AMD ...) wich will require a new board

    I'm getting a 2.8 ghz processor. Upgrading doesnt always mean going to a different processor family. I'm Intel wont abandon core 2 quad for at least another 5 years, and I'm sure it will realease it at even higher speeds. I can always jump to 3.6Ghz which counts as a reasonable upgrade.


    I'm sorry if I'm contradicting your every argument, but I don't see the logic in what you're saying(getting 800mhz ddr2 vs 1600mhz ddr3 and bottlenecking my system at 800mhz? ) Money is always the issue but if it's gonna cost me 100-200 dollars more to extend the life of my build by a couple of years then why not?
    !