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Considering 2 different builds. Opinions desired :-)

Last response: in Systems
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September 2, 2009 2:30:08 AM

Ok guys, so i'm about to order some new parts to upgrade my system.

Currently i'm running:

Gigabyte EP45-UD3R
C2D E6600 @ 3.4ghz
4gb DDR2-800 4-4-4-12 (4x1gb)
Coolermaster GeminIIs
Caviar Black 640gb
GTX260 C216 OC.

My processor is getting a bit long in the tooth and this is the main reason i want to do an upgrade, secondarily is to obtain a raid setup, i can't afford SSD at the moment and i've been running single hard drives for as long as i can remember. Tertiarily (sp?) i want to move into a larger, better cooling case, i will be purchasing an Antec Nine Hundred Two (case is set in stone, i recently did a build with it for a friend and fell in love).

Machine is 95% used for Gaming.

Forgot to mention, both builds would be using Win 7 x64.
Also forgot to mention, both build will use a PC P&C Silencer 750w.


Option 1, the cheaper option:

Q9550 or Q9650
2x WD RE3 320gb in Raid 0
Re-use current MOBO
Re-use current heatsink
Re-use current memory
Re-use current vid card

Advantages: Cheaper, Price/Perf higher?

Disadvantages: No further room to upgrade with current CPU socket limitations, would neccesitate an entirely new build in the future to upgrade. OC'ing options limited to 3.4ghz (q9550) or 3.6ghz (q9650) due to memory constraints.


Option 2:

Core i7 920
New Heatsink
6g Memory
Gigabyte EX58-UD4R
2x WD RE3 320gb in Raid 0
Re-Use Current Vidcard

Advantages: (possible) Higher performance. Future upgradeability in terms of memory capacity and CPU options. Would allow full overclocking capability since i could purchase whatever ram is neccesary to acheive OC goals.

This build would also allow me to use my old cpu/mobo in my HTPC, resulting in a significant upgrade in my HTPC overall speed, etc.

Disadvantages: Price, overall about a $500 difference between the two.

Just curious what your guys opinion was, thanks again all!
September 2, 2009 2:52:55 AM

Third Option is to wait a week or so until the new CORE i5/P55 comes out. Should cost between your other two Options. :) 
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
September 2, 2009 3:52:33 AM

a fourth option is to buy a phenom rig which is likely to game better than a similar priced intel set up .

Also why the RAID ? You do know it wont make even a tiny difference to game performance except speed loading by a few seconds , right?
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September 2, 2009 4:04:30 AM

Yoosty:

Definitely an option. I'm just at the point where in order to get a noticeable performance increase over my current setup, i'm not sure anything but the best of the i5's will do it. Course i could be wrong, i havent done a *ton* of research, just read some articles here and on anandtech, etc, so i cant say im well versed in how i5 is panning out.

Outlander_04

Yes, i am aware of how a Raid 0 setup will affect my system performance. Unfortunately a lot of the games i play have long loading times, some of them are absurdly long (Dawn of Discovery comes to mind). Sadly, the raid 0 setup can also help with hitching in some MMO's, specifically EQ2.

As for a phenom build, i'm at the point that if i'm going to spend the amount of money neccesary to rebuild the entire computer, sans video card and PSU, i'm going to go with an i7 setup, as the overclockability/overall system performance is still better than what AMD can offer at this point.

Now, don't get me wrong, i'm not an intel fanboi, if anything my history suggest i'm an AMD fanboi, until i bought the e6600, i hadn't owned an intel CPU since a PIII-650.
September 2, 2009 4:41:18 AM

Sorry outlander, i didnt mean to suggest that you were an AMD fanboi, though re-reading my response i can see how it can be interpreted to mean that. I really just mentioned it so that anybody who read that post would know that i wasn't rejecting the idea of a phenom build simply because its an AMD setup.

As for the anandtech article you linked. Was a very good read, i was unaware that AMD was able to produce a proc that can compete with the q9650/i7 920 in most situations and beat it in some.

Although, i have to agree with the reviewer's conclusion:

"the Phenom II X4 965 is easily just as good of a gaming CPU as an i7 in today's titles. Now once you start throwing in background tasks and look at future titles being more threaded then the picture becomes a little more muddy. "

Mainly, its the last sentence, when you look at the far cry 2 data which was specifically optimized to take advantage of multiple threads, the i7's started mopping up. I think for future games that are properly multi-threaded the i7's are going to be the proc to have.

I think when you also factor in OC'ing, and that historically i7 920's are pretty regularly able to hit 3.9-4ghz, whereas the 965 has shown some limitations, I feel the $35 price difference in the i7 is justified.
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
September 2, 2009 5:11:45 AM

The phenoms lose at encoding tasks as well , and thats important to some people

But this latest generation of Phenom is a very competitive CPU . Its not just the cpu cost BTW . You can buy a good AM3 mb for $70 , and a crossfire board for $110 . Ram also makes a difference because you only uses 2 x2 gig instead of 3 x2 gig without any affect on gaming performance .
SYSTEM cost is important

And since the 945/955/and 965 all OC to about the same level you just dont have to buy the 965 . People are getting 3.8 regularly and some getting 4GHz +
The 945 is harder to OC , and that makes the 955 the sweet spot IMO

The other thing is i5 will be on sale in a week , so watch for all the prices to shift esp if i5 games as well as phenom and is cheaper

I got that you were making a joke with the fanboy comment and its all good
September 2, 2009 5:21:15 AM

Definitely, right off the bat you're talking over $100 savings on a mobo, probably another 30 or so on ram, though thats debatable since you *are* getting 6gb vs 4gb, but, your point remains valid.

I may have to put something together.

i priced out all the components just a moment ago, and the difference in cost between the Q9550 setup and the I7 setup was $495 USD. Seems like a hell of a lot to pay for future ugradeability.
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
September 2, 2009 5:31:33 AM

Theres a really good article on this site about how much memory you need
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/memory-module-upgra...

Not much if any advantage using more than 3 gig , so a 2 x2 gig set up is more than enough .

If I had your choice to make I'd probably just upgrade rather than start again , beause you are exactly right . You'd be spending a lot for not that much gain if you start from scratch .

IMO dont decide till next week when some i5 benches are published and we see how AMD respond with their pricing
September 2, 2009 5:57:35 AM

Yeah i definitely think thats wise, to at least wait till i5 drops, hell for all i know the mobos for i7 might come down a hair too. Still i think im leaning towards a q9550 lol and saving money.
September 10, 2009 5:28:51 AM

your 640 gig black is a keeper, raid isnt really that necessary for gaming but if you really wanted to do it i suggest keeping your current 640 gig and simply getting another
!