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Final look mid-range gaming rig

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February 3, 2009 8:11:47 PM

Hoping to get some opinions on this setup. I was about ready to order but it would be great if I could have some more sets of eyes looking at this.

1 EVGA 132-BL-E758-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
1 Intel Core it 920 Nehalem LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920
1 Corsair Dominator 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
1 Thermaltake ArmorPlus VH6000BWS Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower
1 Cooler Master V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler
2 Western Digital VelociRaptor WD1500HLFS 150GB 10000 RPM SATA 3.0Gb
1 Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS 300GB 10000 RPM SATA 3.0Gb
2 EVGA 01G-P3-1288 AR GTX 285 FTW 1GB GDDR3 PCI Express
1 Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Tatal1ty Professional 70SB088600002 7.1 Channels
1 Corsair CMPSU - 1000HX 1000W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready Modular


I plan on RAID 0 with the two 150gb and then I will schedule a weekly backup mirror image with acronis on the 300gb.

The only question that remains unanswered is if I will see much of an increase in performance with my current rig which will soon become my backup system. Currently using:

QX6700
GTX260 x 2
Raptor 75GB x 2

Can you give me an approx % increase in performance if any? I mostly game and some photoshop/website development. Most of my photo/video editing is done on my mac.

Thanks in advance for the feedback.
February 3, 2009 8:40:53 PM

I'm not 100% sure the gaming gains make that a real worthwhile move. In the future, perhaps, but RWP I think is slightly limited, especially since you video edit on the mac.

Seems like you could probably go with a large storage drive and ditch the redundant raid array, or go SSD/1TB for fast performance.

Also, I'm not sure about using another jurassic park contender as your mirror backup, as they typically aren't as secure. Plus, the need for fast access on a mirror is rather minimal.
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February 3, 2009 8:46:27 PM

Darn proximon beat me =(
February 3, 2009 8:48:17 PM

A couple of questions about your post techwiz. What is RWP? Next, I'm not savvy on storage at all. My goal is to have the fastest access time to increase gaming performance and file retrieval. You see what I'm trying to do. I want the best speed with the ability to have a bootable backup in case. I thought RAID 0 is the fastest but in real life, I'm not sure what % faster it is. Suggestions would be appreciated. I don't know anything about SSD.
February 3, 2009 8:55:59 PM

Real World Performance. A lot of the times we talk about performance difference in benchmarks, but it's actual difference as far as noticed by the average end-user. For example, someone using a 60hz monitor and we talk about FPS's between 80-120. You'd never know the difference in real world performance, despite the benchmark variances.

Solid state drives have shown some promising speed, though they are rather costly. In all honesty, most users could get away with new 7200rpm drives using the new platter system and not feel cheated at all (new platter technology makes the newer 7200 drives faster than gen 1 raptors)

Many people go with a fast drive for OS/apps/games, and larger storage drives for their...storage >.>

What you might do is run a 300gig velociraptor for the former, and a 1tb WD caviar blavk for the storage. If it makes you feel good, partition the 1tb at ~350 and use it as your system backup.

Less money, similar performance, no RAID hassle, and you will still be yelling "BOOOM!...headshot" just as much :) 
February 3, 2009 10:18:55 PM

So you feel that most will not notice the difference between RAID 0 vesus no RAID? Thanks for the info
February 4, 2009 12:29:38 AM

It was a bigger issue before Vista 64-bit became viable about 10-12 months ago.

Now that we have access to all that RAM and processing power, trying to push the envelope on hard drive speed is less important.

Personally, I haven't had a hard drive fail on me since the mid-90s. Yes, I still have some of them around too. I have seen many fail, but somehow mine never do.

What are the real life problems we encounter? I really doubt Crysis load times are going to be markedly improved with a Velociraptor...

Here, these guys do some good work:
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/699/6/

Check this graph they posted. The top bar shows a Raptor, very similar in performance to a current gen Caviar Black or Seagate Barracuda.


Less than half a second.
February 4, 2009 6:54:44 PM

See, look how the forum vets manage to pull such pretty charts.

If I were you (which given the recent cloning news... ;) ) I would just go for 2 WD caviar black 1tb drives.

Plenty of storage for all your (legally) downloaded material and fast enough to keep most enthusiasts happy
February 8, 2009 12:31:31 AM

I ordered all the parts a few days ago from Newegg. All due to arrive on Monday. The only thing I changed from the original post was taking the advice of a couple of guys posts and going with 1 VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS and 1 Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS for the backup.

I also picked up two SAMSUNG ToC T260 Rose-Black 25.5" 5ms HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor. I could have stuck with the two I had but what the hell. I'm currently using a Samsung 245BW and a Samsung 244T which are basically about the same. I'm hoping for a nice picture with the two new ones.

Only one potential issue. I forgot to order thermal paste for the cpu. I have been reading some other build posts and I guess there is a special CPU thermal paste out there but I do have a couple of tubes of Arctic Silver 5. Will that work? Not sure what the shelf live is but the paste is probably almost 2 years old.
February 8, 2009 12:34:16 AM

If it's still liquid it's fine, but that sounds like a long time unless you had it in the freezer and wrapped in a baggie.
February 8, 2009 12:51:24 AM

No. They have been in my office but they are sealed and have never been opened. I guess I could open them and see if they are still pasty
February 8, 2009 12:52:11 AM

Yup, still pasty. Hope they are good to go then.
February 8, 2009 12:55:34 AM

Oh sure if unopened I'm sure they are good.
February 8, 2009 12:59:21 AM

Should get mx-2. Good stuff w/ ltl conduction if any at all from what I can remember.
February 8, 2009 1:09:08 AM

Yeah newegg seems out right now. I don't think conduction is a big deal, but AS5 does have a cure time that requires months before it reaches it's lowest temps.
February 8, 2009 1:14:39 AM

Yeah. Cure is okay if you have patience. Mx-2 is cheap all around so you can shop. Also if you are not going to overkill your system w/ Oc at first then cure is ok. I like ltl conductivity cause it's good w/ new builds and so you don't worry about mistakes.
February 8, 2009 9:47:59 PM

Couple of questions. First, you said you like ltl conductivity. What is ltl? Second, are you saying that I can't overclock with AS5? It sounds like you're saying that it could be a mistake to use with a new build. How do I apply this stuff> A film? A dab?
February 8, 2009 11:59:50 PM

He meant "little."

No, AS5 is the standard by which all other TIM is judged. It has been used on countless PCs for a very long time.

AS5 is made from silver. It conducts heat very well, but also conducts electricity to some degree. If you were to get some on your motherboard, it might short something out.
AS5 takes time to reach it's full heat conductivity. It works very well at first, but then gets a bit better over time, dropping temps another few degrees.

Other TIMS, such as Ceramique, have been shown to do as well at cooling, but have no cure time. They are not as dangerous to electronic parts if spilled.

Visit Arctic Silver's website for instructions.


February 9, 2009 10:44:54 PM

Yeah, the 5 is a classic. Relatively inexpensive (not even relatively, I mean, we're talking like 5$) and good performance. However, the MX-2 ceramic is the new hot compound, utilizing ceramic (you know, that stuff they make performance brakes out of?) rather than metallic, which is known to be capable of producing discharge.

However, if I had spare 5 lying around, I wouldn't sweat. Though, if ordering new, it's worth the 7.99 (+2$ upgrade) in some's opinions.
February 17, 2009 9:19:47 PM

I thought I would show a few pics of my completed rig. Disregard the lights out photo with CNN in the background! :) 








February 17, 2009 9:33:36 PM

She's a beaut there my friend
February 17, 2009 9:34:28 PM

Very nice!

Any problems?
February 17, 2009 9:47:41 PM

im pretty sure he went with an Armor+
!