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Which MOBO/Memory To Choose

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October 31, 2009 7:51:39 AM

Hey All,

I am about to purchase all of the parts to build my first PC (totals so far is about $4200) and I'd like opinions (please, I would like experiences if possible) on what recommended brand of memory to use with the MOBO. Also I am taking into consideration that I am buying two Sapphire HD 5870s, I know they are fairly big and I want to be sure that the MOBOs will allow enough space between them to, at least, keep somewhat cool while running and not cover up any other connection ports (especially the SATAs).

Which MOBO would you recommend (I have it down to three):

- ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58

- ASUS P6T7 WS Supercomputer "Ultimate Gamer"

- EVGA E758-TR 3-Way SLI (x16/x16/x8) LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard

From the images of these MOBOs, the EVGA and P6T7 look to have nice spacing between the PCI slots but I am reading not so good things about them from customer experiences and the EVGA isn't as equipped as the others. The P6T seems to be great, but the slots are fairly close together, so that is a concern considering the video cards I want.

The memory is:

- CORSAIR DOMINATOR 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

- Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (will be buying to sets to total 12GBs)

- CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (will be buying to sets to total 12GBs)

Do you think the 1866 Corsair is overkill, or is the 1600 good enough?

The system I am building will be this:

- 2 - Sapphire Radeon HD 5870s

- Intel Core i7 975 Extreme Edition

- Cooler Master HAF 932 High Air Flow ATX Full Tower Case

- Silverstone ST1000 1000W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire

- Asus P6T DELUXE V2 Core i7 / Intel X58/ DDR3/ CrossFireX & SLI/ A&2GbE/ ATX Motherboard (subject to change)

- Corsair Dominator 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) (Subject to change)

- Intel X25M 160GB Mainstream Solid State Drive

- Western Digital 1 TB Caviar Green SATA Intellipower 32 MB Cache

- Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard

- Logitech MX518 Laser Mouse

- LG - 8x Internal Blu-ray Disc/Double-Layer DVD±RW/CD-RW Drive

- LG Black 22X DVD+R 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R SATA 22X Super Multi DVD Writer LightScribe Support (undecided if I really need it)

- Windows 7 Ult. 64bit

- SAMSUNG ToC T240HD Rose-Black 24” 5ms

- Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer

More about : mobo memory choose

a b V Motherboard
October 31, 2009 11:56:54 AM

For others to more easily compare, here are the 3 boards' webpages:
http://usa.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=iRlP8RG9han6saZx

http://usa.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=9ca8hJfGz483noLk

http://www.evga.com/products/moreInfo.asp?pn=132-BL-E75...

If you're considering the Asus Super, not sure the other one is worth comparing. Might look for a similar offering by another mfgr.

I think the 1600 is overkill, I'd look at getting really good, and much less expensive, 1333 RAM.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/memory-scaling-i7,2...

Not sure why you'd consider the WD 1TB Green over the Black.

I don't notice a CPU cooler in there.

Seems like this Sony might be a better choice for Optical drive w/Lightscribe
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There's a recent article/review here at Tom's about the ultimate solid-state drives, worth finding and reading.

For RAM, I'd suggest 1333, but if you go for 1600, then get 1.5V, not 1.65V, with the lowest latency offered. Ignore fancy heatsinks or brands. 1.5V will be the newest and highest quality designs. I like G.Skill such as:
1333 w/CL=7 - likely faster than ANY 1600 RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

1600 w/CL=9
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair Dominator 12GB w/CL=8 w/fan (note 1.65V)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mushkin 1600 w/CL=6,7,6 1.65V
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If you're gonna get 1600s, these look good.

If you put 6 modules in, you're likely going to need to push up the RAM voltage by 0.5V to 1.0V to achieve rated performance, if you can - when starting at 1.65V it means you're above Intel's warning limit of 1.65V. Lots of reasons to get 1.5V RAM for any DDR3 motherboard.

Remember, you can get those cute Corsair fans starting at $20 or so, I think they have 6-7 models.

Consider RAM heatsink height in choosing a CPU cooler.
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November 1, 2009 3:31:20 AM

Mongox said:
For others to more easily compare, here are the 3 boards' webpages:
http://usa.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=iRlP8RG9han6saZx

http://usa.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=9ca8hJfGz483noLk

http://www.evga.com/products/moreInfo.asp?pn=132-BL-E75...

If you're considering the Asus Super, not sure the other one is worth comparing. Might look for a similar offering by another mfgr.

I think the 1600 is overkill, I'd look at getting really good, and much less expensive, 1333 RAM.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/memory-scaling-i7,2...

Not sure why you'd consider the WD 1TB Green over the Black.

I don't notice a CPU cooler in there.

Seems like this Sony might be a better choice for Optical drive w/Lightscribe
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There's a recent article/review here at Tom's about the ultimate solid-state drives, worth finding and reading.

For RAM, I'd suggest 1333, but if you go for 1600, then get 1.5V, not 1.65V, with the lowest latency offered. Ignore fancy heatsinks or brands. 1.5V will be the newest and highest quality designs. I like G.Skill such as:
1333 w/CL=7 - likely faster than ANY 1600 RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

1600 w/CL=9
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair Dominator 12GB w/CL=8 w/fan (note 1.65V)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mushkin 1600 w/CL=6,7,6 1.65V
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If you're gonna get 1600s, these look good.

If you put 6 modules in, you're likely going to need to push up the RAM voltage by 0.5V to 1.0V to achieve rated performance, if you can - when starting at 1.65V it means you're above Intel's warning limit of 1.65V. Lots of reasons to get 1.5V RAM for any DDR3 motherboard.

Remember, you can get those cute Corsair fans starting at $20 or so, I think they have 6-7 models.

Consider RAM heatsink height in choosing a CPU cooler.


Thanks for the reply. I really don't see any issues with using 1600mhz RAM and causing heat issues. I have read many forums and review regarding even RAM with higher speeds running with no issues on these boards. I was mainly wanting an opinion on the memory brands and the MOBOs. The G-Skill RAM has really good reviews though I have never heard of it. My main concern with the Mushkin, though I want that brand because of its low latency, is the fear of buying two sets of 3x2Gb modules and they don't match in the MOBO settings.

Anyway, thanks for the advice, good stuff.
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a b V Motherboard
November 1, 2009 4:27:45 AM

I wouldn't worry about buying two sets of 3 vs 1 set of 6. As long as bought at the same time/place, will be from same lot # and match perfectly - as long as specs the same isn't not a big deal regardless. It's each module in the set of 3 that have match each other well - the 3 don't need to perfectly match the other 3.

I'm not talking about the heat with 1600s, I'm talking about it being pointless. 1600MHz RAM of CL=x will run slower than the very same RAM running at 1333 CL=x-1
So why pay for 1600? Of course, if those 1600 Mushkins above will run at CL=5 at 1333, your system will run faster.

I'm using 1100 RAM, designed for 1066 use and running at 800 because I get better performance. And RAM speeds have so little real effect on your system speed regardless. An increase of 20% RAM speed might increase your system speed by 0.5%. An increase of CPU speed of 20% will increase your system speed by 19.5% - real improvement.
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November 1, 2009 7:22:46 AM

Mongox said:
I wouldn't worry about buying two sets of 3 vs 1 set of 6. As long as bought at the same time/place, will be from same lot # and match perfectly - as long as specs the same isn't not a big deal regardless. It's each module in the set of 3 that have match each other well - the 3 don't need to perfectly match the other 3.


I was just going by the many comments made in various forums where some had issues with mis-matched RAM, even from the same batch.

Mongox said:
I'm not talking about the heat with 1600s, I'm talking about it being pointless. 1600MHz RAM of CL=x will run slower than the very same RAM running at 1333 CL=x-1
So why pay for 1600? Of course, if those 1600 Mushkins above will run at CL=5 at 1333, your system will run faster.


Though you didn't mention "heat, you mentioned the Intel threshold as if I should worry about going over 1.65v settings. I've seen many comments where they had higher speeds than what I want ,with no issues. I have yet to find where someone complained their CPU got too hot by using high speed RAM or had some other issues due to those voltage settings at even higher than 1.65v.

Mongox said:
I'm using 1100 RAM, designed for 1066 use and running at 800 because I get better performance. And RAM speeds have so little real effect on your system speed regardless. An increase of 20% RAM speed might increase your system speed by 0.5%. An increase of CPU speed of 20% will increase your system speed by 19.5% - real improvement.


Maybe I have the wrong idea how RAM works in the context of how you are wording it.. RAM also is a source of data transfer rates, and the faster the RAM, the faster the rate. I think even the closest numbers are way higher than the .5% you mention:

(Image is made from a chart from here)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAS_latency



But since this is going to be a gaming rig, faster RAM should have some more benefits for accessing data faster and the expense for that faster RAM is minimal. I am seriously considering your points for using 1333mhz RAM as well, since I read the article (from here) that you posted earlier in this thread regarding memory speeds and that makes your case really strong.

Anyway, from looking at the MOBO of the P6T V2, do you think the PCI slots are a bit close for the videos cards I want to use. Other than that, I think the card is a go. I am hoping for others to comment on them.
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a c 216 V Motherboard
November 1, 2009 7:06:51 PM

Asus P6T Deluxe V2 or Rampage II Extreme (the latter comes with Soundblaster XiFi extreme daughter card and has built in, easy to use OC features)

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem for now ... save the $1000 CPU for late winter releases.

For memory, can't see a reason to get > 6 GB unless you doing 3D modeling or something wild
Mushkin Redline 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 Model 998692 w/ 6-7-6-18 timings and Ascent Coolers for 6 GB installations
Mushkin Redline 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 Model 998691 w/ 6-7-6-18 timings for 12GB installations

CM HAF 932 is fine choice
Antec 1200 is good alternate
Get any "optional fans" for case

For PSU, don't see need to go 1000w
Corsair HX-850W, Antec SG-850 and CP-850 are top tier (CP only in Antec 1200)

Photo Bug should have card reader - AFT XM-35U BLACK USB 2.0 Kiosk Card Reader (3.5")

Plextor Model PX-B320SA BR Reader / Cd-DVD Burner w/LS OEM unless you wanna burn BR

The WD 1TB Drives ain't so hot .... stick w/ 500 GB per platter drive such as the ED 2 TB model or any of the equivalents from Samsung, Seagate.

Intel 160 GB SSD G2

Prolimatech Shadow HS w/ IC Diamond 7 Carat Thermal Compound
Two fans must be bought separately.
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November 2, 2009 3:30:11 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
Asus P6T Deluxe V2 or Rampage II Extreme (the latter comes with Soundblaster XiFi extreme daughter card and has built in, easy to use OC features)

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem for now ... save the $1000 CPU for late winter releases.

For memory, can't see a reason to get > 6 GB unless you doing 3D modeling or something wild
Mushkin Redline 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 Model 998692 w/ 6-7-6-18 timings and Ascent Coolers for 6 GB installations
Mushkin Redline 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 Model 998691 w/ 6-7-6-18 timings for 12GB installations

CM HAF 932 is fine choice
Antec 1200 is good alternate
Get any "optional fans" for case

For PSU, don't see need to go 1000w
Corsair HX-850W, Antec SG-850 and CP-850 are top tier (CP only in Antec 1200)

Photo Bug should have card reader - AFT XM-35U BLACK USB 2.0 Kiosk Card Reader (3.5")

Plextor Model PX-B320SA BR Reader / Cd-DVD Burner w/LS OEM unless you wanna burn BR

The WD 1TB Drives ain't so hot .... stick w/ 500 GB per platter drive such as the ED 2 TB model or any of the equivalents from Samsung, Seagate.

Intel 160 GB SSD G2

Prolimatech Shadow HS w/ IC Diamond 7 Carat Thermal Compound
Two fans must be bought separately.


Would you recommend buying more case fans for my setup? I am getting the 975 extreme , no matter what.
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a b V Motherboard
November 2, 2009 8:13:35 AM

I'm not here to argue with you, you asked for advice, I'm giving it. The examples of RAM speed I gave are valid.

If you start with 1.5V-rated RAM and need to increase the voltage, and you will with 6 modules, you won't ever reach the limits of voltage that Intel says will damage their i7 processors. If you start at 1.65V, you WILL exceed that limit. Talk to Intel about it - they made the rules. Lower voltage RAM is newer and better designed than higher voltage RAM.

I don't agree that buying a 2TB drive when you need a 1TB drive makes sense. As with the RAM, the benefits just aren't there in real-world performance.

I recommend a non-metallic thermal compound, regardless of whatever marketing says is best. Tests have shown that peanut butter works pretty good and gives the system a nice nutty smell. Non-metallic can't short out your CPU or other components.

Regarding the slots spacing. Confusing and not sure what you mean. The slot spacing for any ATX/mATX motherboard is identical. Can't be changed or the board won't line up with the case. The order of the slots can be important since the big GPUs tend to crowd over the neighboring slots, that's why PCIe-16 slots are never next to each other. So consider how many old PCI slots you might need, how many PCIe x1 - and if any of the non-GPU cards you might add will extend into the overhang of the GPUs.

The GPU extending over the IDE or SATA or other header/ports on the motherboard isn't really an issue from my research. None will keep you from plugging in a cable, then putting the GPU in place, and once it's plugged in, you don't need to remove it. So let's say you put in 3 SATA cables when you build your system, 2 for drives, 1 spare. If you ever need a 4th one, it's not the end-of-the-world to have to un-screw one GPU and lift if out of the way for 10 seconds.

You can add case fans as desired after your build. Leave some room for tinkering because you'll have the urge to do so anyway. Base your changes on tests you do regarding your case temps after installation. Consider a fan controller with digital temp and fan rpm display.
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a c 216 V Motherboard
November 2, 2009 4:35:56 PM

tommy6860 said:
Would you recommend buying more case fans for my setup? I am getting the 975 extreme , no matter what.


The HAF I believe has 3 120mm optional case fans at the top. I always throw in whatever fans I can as it never hurts and it's generally a lot harder to put em in later than it is before.
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a c 216 V Motherboard
November 2, 2009 4:42:41 PM

Mongox said:
I don't agree that buying a 2TB drive when you need a 1TB drive makes sense. As with the RAM, the benefits just aren't there in real-world performance.


Only time I'd argue that point is if we are comparing a 2TB drive w/ 500 GB per platter and a 1 TB drive with say 333 GB per platter.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-3.5-desktop-har...[2772]=on&prod[2365]=on

There's a significant difference in price between those two drives so of course, a 1TB drive w/ two 500GB platters would be the ideal solution over a drive w/ three 333 GB platters or four 250 GB platters. I haven't seen any 500 GB platter drives from WD however other than the 2 TB model as yet.
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a b V Motherboard
November 2, 2009 10:33:37 PM

And gosh, in almost every real-world test, like the PCMark tests, the WD 1TB Caviar Black came out ahead of every drive costing under $250. The point I was making, again, is the difference between calculated speed or forced tests under unreasonable conditions and practical everyday use.

If you don't need 2TBs, just like if you don't need 12GBs, you're always better off waiting until you do. Because by paying the premium price now, you're missing out on getting faster, better technology 12 to 18 months down the road. In 18 months, pick up a 1TB SSD for $99 instead - or a 4TB HDD.
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a c 216 V Motherboard
November 4, 2009 12:05:02 AM

If I counted correctly, the 1 TB WD Black wins 13 outta 36 tests against the 7200.12 on the THG comparison charts, taking most of the workstation I/O tests and losing the MB'sec tests for the most part ..... OTOH, the 2TB takes 27 outta 36 giving an idea of how density affects performance.
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a b V Motherboard
November 4, 2009 2:26:52 AM

LOL ok man, recommend the drive that costs 3 times as much for a tiny increase in performance.
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a c 216 V Motherboard
November 5, 2009 1:31:01 AM

Some of those differences approach 50%.

Not recommending "that" drive. Merely making the point that just because the 2TB WD is a stellar performer, that perormance in no way means that the 1 TB model w/ 333 GB per platter drives performs t the same level.

WD at this point only has one option in the 500GB per platter category....and that's the 2 TB model. Other manufacturer's offer HD's, i.e. the Spinpoint F3 in a 1 TB size at the same price as the slower WD Black.
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November 20, 2009 4:57:40 PM

Hey All,

I just want to thank those two who gave some great advice in this thread.

I went ahead and toned down few of the items as suggested; they definitely were overkill.

Here's what I got ordered and should be built and ready by the end of next week:

* SilverStone ST1000 1000W ATX12V/EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply
* 2 x SILVERSTONE FM121 120mm Case Fan (to replace huge case fan on side of tower)
* 2 x Sapphire Radeon HD 5870 Video Cards
* ASUS Rampage II Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
* G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory
* SAMSUNG T240HD Rose-Black 24" 5ms HDMI Widescreen HDTV Monitor
* LG Black 8X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-ROM SATA Internal Combo LG Blu-ray Reader & 16X w/LightScribe
* Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601950
* COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
* Intel X25M 160GB Mainstream Solid State Drive SSDSA2MH160G2C1
* Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
* Logitech G110 Black USB Wired LED Backlighting Gaming Keyboard
* Logitech MX518 8 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical Gaming Mouse
* LG 22X Super Multi DVD Writer Black SATA Model GH22NS40R
* COOLER MASTER Intel Core i7 compatible V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler/ Noctua NT-H1 Thermal
Compound


Thanks Much
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a b V Motherboard
November 23, 2009 5:35:00 PM

Sounds like a great system! Hope the build goes smoothly and you're satisfied.

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