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New Core i7 System Build. Critique.

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January 30, 2009 1:57:41 PM

Please critique, offer suggestions as you see fit. Right now the machine costs about ~$1700. The plan is to have the two VelociRaptor's in a RAID-0 setup for those curious. And I'm looking at a max resolution of only 1650x1050, although when gaming I don't NEED it to be that high. Also, I don't intend to overclock and possible additions down the road might include more RAM, another video card (for SLI) and maybe a TV tuner.

Thanks!

CPU:
  • Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
    Motherboard:
  • EVGA 132-BL-E758-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    RAM:
  • G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
    Graphics Card:
  • EVGA 01G-P3-N880-AR GeForce 9800 GTX+ 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
    Hard Drives:
  • Western Digital VelociRaptor WD1500HLFS 150GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive (bare drive) - OEM
  • Western Digital VelociRaptor WD1500HLFS 150GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive (bare drive) - OEM
  • Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
    Sound:
  • (On motherboard)
    Network:
  • (On motherboard)
    Case:
  • NZXT TEMPEST Crafted Series CS-NT-TEM-B Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    Power Supply:
  • ZALMAN ZM1000-HP 1000W Continuous @ 45°C (Maximum Continuous Peak: 1250W) ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Modular Heatpipe-Cooled SLI Power Supply - Retail
    Optical Drive:
  • LG Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 20X DVD±R DVD Burner w/ SecurDisc Tech - OEM
    January 30, 2009 4:11:34 PM

    The 9800GTX+ is overpriced junk. Get a GTX 260 Core 216 or a HD 4870 1GB.

    The WD10EADS has a horrible average read/write rate around 64 MB/s. Get a WD6401AALS (rates around 100 MB/s) or two.

    A Corsair 850TX ($120 at Newegg) would be enough for 9800GTX+ *2 or GTX 260 * 2 or HD 4870 1GB * 2 or GTX 295 or HD 4870 X2.

    A PC Power & Cooling S75CF 750W ($70 at newegg) would be enough for 9800GTX+ *2 or HD 4870 1GB * 2 or GTX 295 or HD 4870 X2.

    There's really no point in going for an expensive 1000W PSU here.
    Related resources
    January 30, 2009 9:38:25 PM

    Ok, so smaller power supply. I thought the one I had was too big, but I couldn't find a calculation to back me up.

    Second, for the hard drive, is it worth getting a smaller sized hard drive that is faster? I mean I plan to use the WD Caviar for backup/movies/music etc. The RAID-0 is for the operating system, gaming and other applications. So is it really worth it?

    Third, the 9800GTX+ is junk... ok can I get some justification there? The GTX 260 series, even the cheapest model is $30 more then what I've picked. I don't want the highest end gaming card out there, it just needs to be happy with most games, lets say GTA4 or Saint's Row 2 for example.

    Fourth, I understand that a lower Cas Latency/Timing for RAM is good... but how much better is it? I want to buy this machine soon, so I don't really want to have to wait unless it is noticeably worth it.

    Thanks for all the help so far!
    January 30, 2009 11:21:28 PM

    PopeJohnPaulII said:
    Ok, so smaller power supply. I thought the one I had was too big, but I couldn't find a calculation to back me up.

    Second, for the hard drive, is it worth getting a smaller sized hard drive that is faster? I mean I plan to use the WD Caviar for backup/movies/music etc. The RAID-0 is for the operating system, gaming and other applications. So is it really worth it?

    Third, the 9800GTX+ is junk... ok can I get some justification there? The GTX 260 series, even the cheapest model is $30 more then what I've picked. I don't want the highest end gaming card out there, it just needs to be happy with most games, lets say GTA4 or Saint's Row 2 for example.

    Fourth, I understand that a lower Cas Latency/Timing for RAM is good... but how much better is it? I want to buy this machine soon, so I don't really want to have to wait unless it is noticeably worth it.

    Thanks for all the help so far!


    RAID 0 will (almost) double performance when dealing with large files, if the disk is not fragmented. It will make (almost) no difference when dealing with small files, because the time needed to find the first sector is still the same as with a single drive. Also, RAID 0 increases the chances of losing the data. Whether it's worth it for you, that depends on your usage patterns.
    If you choose to do RAID 0 then make backups often.

    Proximon has already answered the part about 9800GTX+. There's also a rather higher rate of failures for that card than I'd like.

    Better timings are helpful if you overclock. If you don't, don't worry about them.


    January 31, 2009 4:11:42 PM

    Ok. I guess another thing worth think about is that this machine will be booting Linux on occasion. So between ATI and NVIDA, which has better support. Also... I've really been leaning towards NVIDA, but I'm just not sure. (Please no fanboy flames)
    January 31, 2009 4:30:53 PM

    How about if I replace the Power Supply with this,

    CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

    and the Video Card with this,

    XFX GX260NADFF GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
    January 31, 2009 4:59:53 PM

    The GPU seems to be a good card and so does the PSU... both by respectable companies but there may better alternatives depending on their prices... i take it you dont want to overclock your CPU?
    January 31, 2009 5:40:54 PM

    PJPII said:
    How about if I replace the Power Supply with this,

    CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

    and the Video Card with this,

    XFX GX260NADFF GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

    Bueno
    It will give you option of SLI with two GTX260's later if you want it.

    If you wanted to save a little cash, you could get a PCP&C 750w PSU then go with HD 4870 1GB which performs almost the same as the GTX 260+ and consumes a little less power, so you could xfire it on that 750w PSU and be in good shape.
    January 31, 2009 9:04:40 PM

    From what I hear ATI doesn't do well with Linux. Not enough driver support. Probably the GTX 260 plan is best.
    February 1, 2009 2:59:47 PM

    +1
    !