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Trepanation's high-end, no-budget, multimedia HTPC build thread!

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September 11, 2009 2:57:15 AM

BIG UPDATE: My processor of choice has changed from the i7 920 to the i7 860. First thing's first - what all needs to be changed about my current build, aside from the motherboard? Please recommend some parts conducive to a nice i7 860 build, especially motherboards and RAM.

Succinctly, the purpose of this build is to be a high-end multimedia HTPC. I will spare no expense so long as the return is favorable. I will use an example to illustrate this point. My current processor of choice is the i7 860. It is around 250 dollars. The i7 955 is 550 dollars, and the i7 Extreme 975 is a thousand dollars. Due to the technology being newer, the 955 and 975 are much more expensive than the 860, but their performance is only marginally better. The AMD Phenom II 955 is only 190 dollars, but the minor savings of 60 dollars results in a significant drop in performance for everything but gaming. My choice would be with the one that has the greatest value, the i7 860. This same principle should apply to my choice of every part.

I will go through this by stating my wants and needs for each individual part, and showcasing the currently-seen-as best part. This is subject to change with the opinions I will be denoting in this discussion. Please do not think that just because a part is selected that you should not try and make any changes to it!

CPU - I think the superior Turbo Boost tech of the i7 860 is more important than the i7 920's hyperthreading. I could be wrong, so of course please let me know if you think so.
Intel Core i7 860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor
$289.94 shipped

Mobo - I have heard getting a mobo the same brand as the GPU yields benefits. Obviously it needs to be socket 1156 to be compatible with i7 860, and I would appreciate recommendations and suggestions as to how much I should spend on one.
No motherboard selected

RAM - I want the RAM that would ideally run with an i7 860 build. i7 860 is supposed to benefit from 1600MHz+, so if you think I will see real merit from purchasing more powerful and expensive RAM then let me know. More than 6 gigs of DDR3 is probably overkill.
No RAM selected

HDD - Would buying small HDD's in greater quantity reap a better performance than vice versa? I would like to hear opinions on if investing in a small but fast HDD (10-15k or solid state) to store the most frequently-called-upon programs such as the OS would be worth the high cost. About a terrabyte of total memory will be sufficient for now.
No HDD selected.

OS - Not much to say here unless anyone has any objections to Windows-based OS's. If feasible I would simply torrent Windows 7 anyway.
Torrenting *** is free taxed/shipped/jailed

Case - The case must be big enough to hold everything and be conducive to a cool environment. As far as having a slick and baudy case with flashy lights and stuff, I am quite opposed. I would like to have a simple case with a clear window to see inside, but as for lights and out-of-box paintjobs? I would much rather do that sort of customizing myself than have someone else do it for me. COOLER MASTER Storm Sniper SGC-6000-KKN1-GP Black ABS Bezel, SECC Body ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
$115.99 taxed/shipped

GPU - I don't plan on upgrading to dx11 cards anytime soon, and I found a GTX 285 for 279.99 plus shipping and tax, and BFG, which means I get to trade the card for a newer one and I only pay the price difference between them. BFG - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285 OC 1GB GDDR3 PCI Express Graphics Card
$300.95 taxed/shipped

PSU - 650w seems to be right where I need it to be. I shouldn't even exceed 400w anyway. I've heard having the case and PSU from the same company is beneficial. Again, I don't mind spending some money to make sure it is a quality part, but again, I don't need it to be fancy. CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
$99.99 shipped

CPU cooler - The cooler needs to um... well, you know. Keep things cool, cool like this badass mofo right here --> 8) XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail
$44.98 shipped

ODD - Needs to be able to burn just about any kind of disc I would want, including but not limited to Blu-Ray Not if it pushes the ODD up in the couple-hundred dollar range. If it doesn't, then um... point me to one. and Dual-layer discs. Also, that Lightscribe concept of lasering pictures onto the disc from the drive sounds cool.
SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 22X DVD-R 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner LightScribe Support - OEM
$31.99
(Does this one burn dualdisc?)
LG GGW-H20L Blu-Ray Rewriter/HD DVD Drive - OEM
$174.00 taxed/shipped
(I REEEEALLY don't want to spend this much on one, so unless I can find a sale on one pretty quick I'll probably just buy the Samsung and wait till these things get cheaper)

VDU - Dell UltraSharp U2410 24 inch 1920x1200 6ms 1000:1 HDMI/DVI/VGA/DisplayPort Widescreen LCD Monitor
$505.00 taxed/shipped Purchase made

Audio - I still do not know if I should purchase a stereo system or if I should just buy traditional computer speakers. I have seen different people swear by each one, and after all of my research I have a feeling that the quality difference between two different systems of the same price would be negligible at best, but opinions are, as always, welcome and appreciated. I have heard that older top-end sound systems would bear comparable output to more recent top-end sound systems, at a drastically reduced price. I have heard very positive opinions regarding the Logitech z5500's, but I am not sure if they are worth the high price (300+ dollars). Surround sound with wireless rear speakers would be ideal.
No Audio selected.

Keyboard - Those silly Logitech boards with the silly little screens and 90 extra buttons are dumb. I want a practical and comfortable keyboard with keys that have space between them and have noticeable depression. Laptop-ish keyboards are out-of-the-question. Backlit keys are essential!
Steelseries 7G 64022SS Black 104 Normal Keys USB or PS/2 Wired Standard Professional Gaming Keyboard
$71.99 taxed/shipped

Mouse - I've seen endless debate regarding the Razer Lachesis versus the Logitech G9. People raged and raged over which would be better, so I figured, hell, why not just buy both? O3O
RAZER Lachesis Phantom White 9 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Laser 4000 dpi Gaming Mouse - Retail
$32.49 taxed/shipped Purchase made
Logitech G9 Black 5 Buttons Tilt Wheel USB Wired Laser 3200 dpi Gaming Mouse
$54.99 taxed/shipped Purchase made

Remember, everything is negotiable and nothing is ever final. I want to hear every suggestion you have and problem you see until you get sick of me or think my build is perfect. For all the time I and the people who've helped me have spent on this machine, I want it to turn out nothing less!

Thank you! Let's get bouncing.
September 11, 2009 6:36:42 AM

I'd like to help but your post is rather too long BUT:
I would wait for HD5000
I would swap the PSU to Corsair HX850
Swap the WD black for SAMSUNG SpinPoint F3, the greater quantity and less space will give you several things: 1. high heat 2. high power consumption 3. SLIGHTLY better performance 4. greater demand on the CPU ... . So the situation here is you won't gain any value from that EXCEPT maybe if you run them in RAID0 which DOUBLES the data lost probability.

Will update later.

Stay tuned.
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September 11, 2009 9:06:36 PM

CPU - Agreed

MoBo - Primarily a matter of what you are used to within certain limits. Lotsa good manufacturers ... can't really go wrong with premium board from Asus, EVGA or Gigabyte. For my money though I stick w/ Asus ....I can get them on the phone, the BIOS is easy and I'm used to it and the tools are very useful. And, as usual, you get what you pay for.

RAM - I'd get a 3 x 2GB XMS set, one with the lowest timings that you can afford at DDR1600 that's within your budget.

HD's - Six months from now I'd prolly get an SSD for the OS drive. MY NAS vendor chooses Seagate 7200.12's and I'm hardly in a position to argue the choice given my experience with them.

OS - Download the free Windows 7 90 day Trial from the MS website.

Case & PSU - I try whenever possible to get both from same vendor. Usually eliminates cable reach issues and any problems can be solved with one phone call. My current fav is Antec 1200 Case with 850 Signature series PSU. Lights can be shut off, has lots of cooling, 12 drive bays for plenty of storage. Also look at the 193 & 300

GPU - Again, I usually try and get both GPU and MoBo from same vendor. All major vendor shave comparable stuff and the 1 call to TS to solve and compatibility issues has saved my butt more than once as support reps try and pull the ole "it must be the other piece of hardware that's at fault" schtick. If ya want the current latest and greatest, it's the GTX 295. The new DX11 cards will be out by XMas but past experience has shown the 1st for series of products in a new line are ... well let's just say "less then mature".

VDU - My last year's fav was the Lenovo L220x but it's out of production. Loved having a 1920 x 1200 in a compact 22" frame. The Dell 2408 WFP Revision A02 is the only other S-PVA monitor I can find worth looking at less than $500. However I'd recommend finding a friend w/ Spyder3 to calibrate it.

Audio - I'd suggest on board sound from the getgo and only update if ya feel the need. As for speakers, the Logitech 5500's rock but don't hold a candle to a high end home audio system. Then one could buy 20 - 30 high end PC's for what it costs to set up one of those.

KB / Mouse Combo - Logitech DiNovo Media Desktop Laser seems to fit your bill.
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September 13, 2009 8:27:12 AM

psycho sykes said:

I would wait for HD5000 What is this?
I would swap the PSU to Corsair HX850 Why?
Swap the WD black for SAMSUNG SpinPoint F3 Again, why?, the greater quantity and less space will give you several things: 1. high heat 2. high power consumption 3. SLIGHTLY better performance 4. greater demand on the CPU ... . So the situation here is you won't gain any value from that EXCEPT maybe if you run them in RAID0 which DOUBLES the data lost probability. Well, as HDD's get more full, they are slower at retrieving individual pieces of data. With less data for each HDD to dig through, they would each be faster, and I wouldn't have to run it in RAID# at all. I might consider doing that somewhere down the line though.


JackNaylorPE said:


MoBo - Primarily a matter of what you are used to within certain limits. Lotsa good manufacturers ... can't really go wrong with premium board from Asus, EVGA or Gigabyte. For my money though I stick w/ Asus ....I can get them on the phone, the BIOS is easy and I'm used to it and the tools are very useful. And, as usual, you get what you pay for. Link me to one you think would be good, and tell me why it is better than my current one, please.

RAM - I'd get a 3 x 2GB XMS set, one with the lowest timings that you can afford at DDR1600 that's within your budget. It's already debatable if there is a real-world difference between 1066 and 1300 DDR3. Why are you recommending 1600?

HD's - Six months from now I'd prolly get an SSD for the OS drive. Why 6 months? MY NAS vendor chooses Seagate 7200.12's and I'm hardly in a position to argue the choice given my experience with them. Do you think that your HDD of choice will be noticeably better than any other, or are you just giving a limited personal reference?

OS - Download the free Windows 7 90 day Trial from the MS website. Sounds like a good idea, but I'm still pretty certain Windows 7 will be what I get. It's not like torrenting it would cost money.

Case & PSU - I try whenever possible to get both from same vendor. Usually eliminates cable reach issues and any problems can be solved with one phone call. My current fav is Antec 1200 Case with 850 Signature series PSU. Lights can be shut off, has lots of cooling, 12 drive bays for plenty of storage. Also look at the 193 & 300 I was quite taken with the Antec 900. I am sure that is is plenty big enough to house everything, so the 1200 seems like major overkill. I have been told I might have to install at least 1 additional fan to the 900, but fans are cheap, so that's not a problem. As for a PSU, anything more than a 650w PSU would be overkill; don't you agree? Either way, please link me to a PSU you would recommend with the Antec 900.

GPU - Again, I usually try and get both GPU and MoBo from same vendor. All major vendor shave comparable stuff and the 1 call to TS to solve and compatibility issues has saved my butt more than once as support reps try and pull the ole "it must be the other piece of hardware that's at fault" schtick. If ya want the current latest and greatest, I don't it's the GTX 295. The new DX11 cards will be out by XMas but past experience has shown the 1st for series of products in a new line are ... well let's just say "less then mature". They will also be quite expensive, and will have performance highly excessive of my needs. The opinion on my GPU of choice is almost unanimously that it will be "plenty" to run any modern game. I would appreciate a mobo recommendation.

VDU - My last year's fav was the Lenovo L220x but it's out of production. Loved having a 1920 x 1200 in a compact 22" frame. The Dell 2408 WFP Revision A02 is the only other S-PVA monitor I can find worth looking at less than $500. However I'd recommend finding a friend w/ Spyder3 to calibrate it.

Audio - I'd suggest on board sound from the getgo and only update if ya feel the need. As for speakers, the Logitech 5500's rock but don't hold a candle to a high end home audio system. What do you think of the z5300's? The room in which they will be housed is not very large, so a high wattage will be somewhat useless, and I can get a pair of 5300's for half the price of a pair of 5500's. Then one could buy 20 - 30 high end PC's for what it costs to set up one of those.

KB / Mouse Combo - Logitech DiNovo Media Desktop Laser seems to fit your bill. I don't want it to be wireless.


Thoughts in bowled.
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September 13, 2009 12:31:03 PM

It's bold not bowled. :) 

CPU -
By using LGA 1156 you reduce the cost of your motherboard. You can use an i7 860 at $300 and still come out ahead. Whether you should or not depends more on what GPU(s) you setlle on and what you are actually doing with this build.

MB -
P55 would be totally fine for you. If you are running a larger monitor and two GTX 285s then I could see staying with X58. At 19x12 you don't need that much GPU power. P55 will SLI just fine should you feel the need later, but you will likely start with one GPU anyway. Asus and Gigabyte are tier one. ASRock, MSI, and others are more tier two. They may be fast and look pretty, but they won't last as long or be as reliable.

RAM -
Any gains you would get from 6 sticks of RAM would be very minor. You would just be generating more heat and burning more electricity. Buy low latency 1600Mhz RAM and you will be fine. CL7 is usually affordable:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD -
Stay with the Caviar Black for now. As has been mentioned SSDs will be more mature in a few months. Perhaps 6 months. Your assumptions about hard drives are incorrect. Searching through multiple hard drives for a piece of data is no faster than searching a single drive. Unless they are in RAID 0, in which case you increase the risk of failure.
If you really feel the need now:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case -
An "HTPC build" means an HTPC case. This is typically a small case that matches your home theater equipment. This is not what you want I think, so it's not really an HTPC build.
You don't want flashy, but you haven't really stated what you do want. Quiet? How much cooling? Are you going to overclock?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU -
It's the most important decision you will make. It needs to match or exceed your power needs and needs to do so quietly and efficiently. Since you want a case with a clear side, it should also be modular to reduce cable clutter. The HX850 mentioned will cover any GPU config you are likely to use, and is superior to the 750TX in every way... better voltage regulation and efficiency, and quieter as well.
If you are certain to stay with just one video card, then something like this:
Antec SG650
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU -
The next generation of ATI cards, supporting DX11, will be out in a few weeks. You will be wanting one of these. They are not going to be overpriced or immature. the 4000 series released without a hitch, at prices far under what NVidia could match.
Wait a few weeks and you will match or exceed a GTX 295 in performance, at less cost, and with more functionality.



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September 13, 2009 2:18:46 PM

Proximon said:


GPU -
The next generation of ATI cards, supporting DX11, will be out in a few weeks. You will be wanting one of these. They are not going to be overpriced or immature. the 4000 series released without a hitch, at prices far under what NVidia could match.
Wait a few weeks and you will match or exceed a GTX 295 in performance, at less cost, and with more functionality.


http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2009/9/2/ati-radeo...

"The top dog carries the name Radeon HD 5870X2, and we are talking about single-PCB, dual-GPU card that will retail for cool $599......For some odd reason, the $499 bracket will remain without a card. We expect that slot will be filled with a water-cooled edition of 5870, or more likely - 5870X2 once that nVidia launches their competing products. Afore mentioned Radeon HD 5870 is set to go on sale for $379-399, while the cheapest entry into the 5800 series, the Radeon HD 5850 is priced in the $279-299 bracket."


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September 13, 2009 3:39:21 PM

trepanation said:
What is this? (5xxx series ATI cards)


GPU - The 58xx cards are currently vaporware like nVidia's 3xx series. These are ATI's new DX11 cards, many speculate that they will be released in late September. On one hand, many feel that having the latest and greatest series "future proof" their system, others feel that early releases are too buggy and expensive to invest in. I dunno if DX11 will make a big splash, after all how many games are you aware of that require DX10 ? (answer :)  , I found 28 on wikipedia).

If and when they are released, expect the high prices that come with being the 1st on your block to have the latest and greatest, $599 is expected for the top of the line ATI card. Bloggers are still speculating a September release for ATI and November for nVidia.

PSU - Why the 850 ? The 650 and 850 seems to be the "sweet spots" for PSU manufacturers. Antec for example does not make a 750 in there premier "Signature series". I went over to the Antec site and used their PSU calculator to figure your load (Hi end desktop, 1 CPU 920 oc's to a very low 3.67, future addition of a 2nd GTX 275 in SLI, assume future expansion from 3 to 6 sticks of RAM, 2 HD's, one DVD-RW and a BR burnner added down the road, 1 PCI-e card, 3 external USB items (printer, mouse/KB, camera, Mem stick, back up HD) and 1 firewire, fan controller, card reader, 5 fans and 25% capacitor aging) and came up with 779 watts.

Keep in mind that an 850 PSU can only handle about 600w of continuous draw before it gets very loud and other bad things start to happen.

For your 900, I'd recommend the 850 Signature series from Antec or the equivalent from Corsair. If you are never going to SLI, then the 650 should work out. If you grab a GTX 295, the 850 is fine. If you SLI two separate cards, you'll need 1000W minimum off nVidia's SLI certified list (not many make that list). The 650W goes for $169 if that's all ya need. Peace of mind for future upgrades would add $60 for the 850W

http://www.antec.com/Believe_it/product.php?Family=MjI=

HD's - See this post

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...

The WD Black runs 11% hotter and is several orders of magnitude louder with comparable performance as compared with the 7200.12

I say 6 month's for SSD's cause , for the most part, they have severe drop off's in performance over time. Just like fragmenting slows down HD's, SSD's suffer worse cause when they need space, they must do an erase where old deleted data exists before they do a write. Windows new TRIM feature is "suppossed to" eliminate this but will need time for vendors to get their firmware in gear.

OS - Since the RTM is freely downloadable for free from the MS web site I figure why mess w/ questionable sources.

MoBo - Lots of them are good. My personal preference is Asus mainly cause I have build over 50 machines using them and I know the BIOS, methods for getting TS on the phone quickly and have had no bad experiences. What I was getting at though, all things being equal, is that getting the MoBo and GFX card from the same vendor has saved my butt in the past when I call TS and the MoBo guy wants to get you off the phone and blames the GFX guy rather than trying to solve your problem. When it's the same company, that can't pull that routine.

Personally, I prefer hi end MoBos regardless of what my application or my client's application is "today". I find this leaves me in a position to get 4-8 years out of a PC by dropping it down to a user who might not have the needs that the original user does. For example, a new box arriving in my office might go to a CAD operator after build day and then a year or so later, it's on an engineer's desk....a year and a half later, it's on a secretary's desk. After that it "goes home".

Longevity comes down to two things.....1) does it have all the goodies on board (read "Deluxe verison") so I don't have to change it in order to add something ? and 2) how cool can it operate ? "Designed for the Overclocker" boards have much better power regulation and are loaded w/ "metal" (heat sinks). One can easily clock a $ 280 i7 920 (2.66) to well over the 3.33 speed of a $999 i7 975 Extreme on a decent board. So if I spend an extra $250 on a better MoBo, Case and CPU HS, I can save $720 and extend the longevity of my box. The hi end MoBos also have the "head room" for future upgrades which will generally draw more power making future CPU and vid card upgrades more feasible.

A case w/ such a card will operate much cooler and deliver more stable power for more years (capacitor aging and such) than a "run of the mill" MoBo is designed to do. I should note that after 65 builds, I have never had to replace a MoBo....if I did, I'd just build a new box. My son, who currently has his build posted here under the "College Bound w/ Money to Spend" thread, is currently using an 8 your old PC that's been through CPU, Vid card ad RAM upgrades but still has the original MoBo. He uses it to play all his current games, mostly WoW to my chagrin :) , and w/ his 19" 1280 x 1024 it runs just fine.

My current fav, BTW, is the Asus Rampage II Extreme. There are similar boards available from other vendors but again, being so familiar with Asus, it's just easier for me to stay w/ what I know best.

KB / Mouse - I'd suggest that you pop over to newegg.com and do this.

-Hit "Computer Hardware" drop down and kit say "Keyboards and Mice"
-Hit the enxt drop down to hit "Keyboards"
-Hit the manufacturer" drop down to hit "Logitech"
-Hit the "Wired" drop down and you are down to 8 choices

The MX-518 mouse by Logitech is astounding for it's miniscule $39 price. Looks like someone beat it w/ a hammer as the paint job make sit appear dented all over the place (it's not). The KB equivalent would be the G11 ($59)
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September 13, 2009 7:50:34 PM

What I'm hearing about the new cards is pretty amazing. At this stage buying before you see what that 5850 actually does would be a mistake.

5850 should be the next step up from 4890, and I would not be surprised to hear that it out-performs GTX 285 by a good margin.

We do know that the high end card will be able to drive 6x30" monitors:
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3635
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September 13, 2009 7:58:26 PM

Again sorry for the delay as i didn't receive the notification.

I believe your Qs have been answered else ask for specific device advice.
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September 13, 2009 9:11:01 PM

Proximon said:
It's bold not bowled. :)  Really?

CPU -
By using LGA 1156 you reduce the cost of your motherboard. You can use an i7 860 at $300 and still come out ahead. Whether you should or not depends more on what GPU(s) you setlle on and what you are actually doing with this build. I think the GTX 285 looks best right now. If I don't like it I can use the BFG whatever and trade it in for a 58xx, but I doubt it.

MB -
P55 would be totally fine for you. If you are running a larger monitor and two GTX 285s then I could see staying with X58. At 19x12 you don't need that much GPU power. P55 will SLI just fine should you feel the need later, but you will likely start with one GPU anyway. Asus and Gigabyte are tier one. ASRock, MSI, and others are more tier two. They may be fast and look pretty, but they won't last as long or be as reliable. K, point me to one you think would be best.

RAM -
Any gains you would get from 6 sticks of RAM would be very minor. You would just be generating more heat and burning more electricity. Buy low latency 1600Mhz RAM and you will be fine. CL7 is usually affordable:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Why 1600? Isn't 1600 supposed to be severe overkill?

HD -
Stay with the Caviar Black for now. As has been mentioned SSDs will be more mature in a few months. Perhaps 6 months. Your assumptions about hard drives are incorrect. Searching through multiple hard drives for a piece of data is no faster than searching a single drive. Unless they are in RAID 0, in which case you increase the risk of failure.
If you really feel the need now:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Someone at another forum passionately suggests I get a Spinpoint as my HDD. What do you think of these?

Case -
An "HTPC build" means an HTPC case. This is typically "Typically," eh a small case that matches your home theater equipment. This is not what you want I think, so it's not really an HTPC build. Cuz the case doesn't match the color of my speakers? lol
You don't want flashy, but you haven't really stated what you do want. Quiet? That would be nice How much cooling? Precisely as much as I need Are you going to overclock? Depends on if the components are all fast enough or not. Overclocking means shorter life spans and more heat, wattage etc. I would like to have the option though.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU -
It's the most important decision you will make. It needs to match or exceed your power needs and needs to do so quietly and efficiently. Since you want a case with a clear side, it should also be modular to reduce cable clutter. The HX850 mentioned will cover any GPU config you are likely to use, and is superior to the 750TX in every way... better voltage regulation and efficiency, and quieter as well.
If you are certain to stay with just one video card, then something like this:
Antec SG650
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... What's wrong with mine?



JackNaylorPE said:
GPU - The 58xx cards are currently vaporware like nVidia's 3xx series. These are ATI's new DX11 cards, many speculate that they will be released in late September. On one hand, many feel that having the latest and greatest series "future proof" their system, others feel that early releases are too buggy and expensive to invest in. I dunno if DX11 will make a big splash, after all how many games are you aware of that require DX10 ? (answer :)  , I found 28 on wikipedia). My thoughts, exactly.

If and when they are released, expect the high prices that come with being the 1st on your block to have the latest and greatest, $599 is expected for the top of the line ATI card. Twice as much as a GTX 285 Bloggers are still speculating a September release for ATI and November for nVidia.

PSU - Why the 850 ? The 650 and 850 seems to be the "sweet spots" for PSU manufacturers. Antec for example does not make a 750 in there premier "Signature series". I went over to the Antec site and used their PSU calculator to figure your load (Hi end desktop, 1 CPU 920 oc's to a very low 3.67, future addition of a 2nd GTX 275 in SLI, assume future expansion from 3 to 6 sticks of RAM, 2 HD's, one DVD-RW and a BR burnner added down the road, 1 PCI-e card, 3 external USB items (printer, mouse/KB, camera, Mem stick, back up HD) and 1 firewire, fan controller, card reader, 5 fans and 25% capacitor aging) and came up with 779 watts. PFFF, GET REAL.

Keep in mind that an 850 PSU can only handle about 600w of continuous draw before it gets very loud and other bad things start to happen.

http://www.antec.com/Believe_it/product.php?Family=MjI=

HD's - See this post I will, thanks.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...

The WD Black runs 11% hotter and is several orders of magnitude louder with comparable performance as compared with the 7200.12

I say 6 month's for SSD's cause , for the most part, they have severe drop off's in performance over time. Just like fragmenting slows down HD's, SSD's suffer worse cause when they need space, they must do an erase where old deleted data exists before they do a write. Windows new TRIM feature is "suppossed to" eliminate this but will need time for vendors to get their firmware in gear. OK, good idea.

OS - Since the RTM is freely downloadable for free from the MS web site I figure why mess w/ questionable sources. "Questionable" lol. Well, I'm pretty sure the download is only free for 90 days.

MoBo - blah blah My current fav, BTW, is the Asus Rampage II ExtremeThis? http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=10010369&prodlist=froogle. There are similar boards available from other vendors but again, being so familiar with Asus, it's just easier for me to stay w/ what I know best.

KB / Mouse - I'd suggest that you pop over to newegg.com and do this.

-Hit "Computer Hardware" drop down and kit say "Keyboards and Mice"
-Hit the enxt drop down to hit "Keyboards"
-Hit the manufacturer" drop down to hit "Logitech"
-Hit the "Wired" drop down and you are down to 8 choices

The MX-518 mouse by Logitech Not a claw grip is astounding for it's miniscule $39 price. Looks like someone beat it w/ a hammer as the paint job make sit appear dented all over the place (it's not). The KB equivalent would be the G11 Yeah, looks pretty cool. I will consider it.($59)


Thoughts in Beauxl'd
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September 13, 2009 9:43:15 PM

Combo deal with i7 860 and Gigabyte UD4P
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Frequency in RAM is not as important as latency. However, there is some sense in buying RAM rated for a higher frequency. Consider it a passed stress test. Less likely to be issues at 1333Mhz, and you might even squeeze out CL6.

I haven't seen any tests that proved the Caviar Black wasn't the best mainstream drive around, but it's possible the Spinpoint is better. I haven't had a WD drive fail on me in 10 years or more... I think I have a working 10GB drive in a drawer somewhere.

The better air cooled cases are the Antec 1200 and the Cooler master HAF. They can be made reasonably quiet by dialing down the fan speeds, but if you want real quiet you have to go with a Cooler Master Cosmos or Antec P183.

The Cosair 750TX is a quality part, but I would not recommend it for two GTX 285s, should you add one later. It can also be a bit noisy.

If you just want a simple, non-modular PSU, the 650TX is quieter. Built by Seasonic, and enough to drive your single-GPU setup.
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September 13, 2009 10:21:41 PM

It's pretty hard to answer your posts with the quotes within a quote but I will try.

trepanation said:
K, point me to one you think would be best.


I did. The best choice right now, at least for me is the Asus Ramapage II Extreme. Use Yahoo, Google or newegg.com to find it

trepanation said:
PFFF, GET REAL.


I did. Do your research.

trepanation said:
"Questionable" lol. Well, I'm pretty sure the download is only free for 90 days.


I have already downloaded the RTM took about 2 minutes. It remains the only legal download you can get. If you don't think torrents are questionable, again, a little research will reveal this:

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Whatever-You-Do-Do-Not-D...
http://keznews.com/5565_Microsoft__Don_t_Download_Windo...
http://blogs.msdn.com/wga/archive/2009/05/01/windows-7-...

As for the 90 days, Windows 7 hits the streets on October 22. You only need it for 39 days. Since 39 < 90, you can install the retail or OEM version over itself w/o worrying what Vista left on ya PC. The download is byte for byte what's on the CD.....RTM means "Released to Manufacturers". You wanna install Win7 over Win7 or Qin7 over Vista ? When doing a new OS, most of us format C and install on a fresh, clean partition.

trepanation said:
"This? http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Prod [...] st=froogle.


No, there's no guy named "Gene" :)  in what I listed. Again....

-Go to www.newegg.co,m
-Type "Ramapage II Extreme" in the Search box

You will wind up with this

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

trepanation said:
Not a claw grip


Neither is the G9 but since you have already purchased two mice, I guess it's moot.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2621SMEJCAZGJ
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September 13, 2009 11:14:38 PM

OP just got a massive revision. A big change was the potentialling of the i7 860 over the i7 920. Take a look!
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September 13, 2009 11:16:35 PM

Proximon said:
Combo deal with i7 860 and Gigabyte UD4P
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Frequency in RAM is not as important as latency. However, there is some sense in buying RAM rated for a higher frequency. Consider it a passed stress test. Less likely to be issues at 1333Mhz, and you might even squeeze out CL6. What's CL6?

I haven't seen any tests that proved the Caviar Black wasn't the best mainstream drive around, but it's possible the Spinpoint is better. I haven't had a WD drive fail on me in 10 years or more... I think I have a working 10GB drive in a drawer somewhere. Okay, thank you.

The better air cooled cases are the Antec 1200 and the Cooler master HAF. They can be made reasonably quiet by dialing down the fan speeds, but if you want real quiet you have to go with a Cooler Master Cosmos or Antec P183. But I can get the Cooler Master Storm Sniper for 115 dollars, shipped and taxed. Cooler Master is supposed to be a great case, right? Are the ones you suggest better?

The Cosair 750TX is a quality part, but I would not recommend it for two GTX 285s Why in the world would I want two anyway, should you add one later. It can also be a bit noisy.

If you just want a simple, non-modularWhat's "modular?" PSU, the 650TX is quieter. Built by Seasonic, and enough to drive your single-GPU setup.


JackNaylorPE said:
It's pretty hard to answer your posts with the quotes within a quote but I will try. O3O



I did. The best choice right now, at least for me is the Asus Ramapage II Extreme. Use Yahoo, Google or newegg.com to find it Need a different socket now due to changed CPU's. Do you have a recommendation for a nice mobo for 1156?



I did. Do your research. So you expect me to be using like 3 GPU's and 4 screens and overclock the processor to 6+ MHz. You're silly. Stop being silly.



I have already downloaded the RTM took about 2 minutes. It remains the only legal download you can get. If you don't think torrents are questionable, again, a little research will reveal this: That Microsoft "recommends" that people pay them for their OS instead of downloading it for free? WHAT A SHOCKER



As for the 90 days, Windows 7 hits the streets on October 22. You only need it for 39 days. Since 39 < 90, you can install the retail or OEM version over itself w/o worrying what Vista left on ya PC. The download is byte for byte what's on the CD.....RTM means "Released to Manufacturers". You wanna install Win7 over Win7 or Qin7 over Vista ? When doing a new OS, most of us format C and install on a fresh, clean partition. But it is not free.

Neither is the G9 but since you have already purchased two mice, I guess it's moot.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2621SMEJCAZGJ That's just 1 guy's opinion. If I don't like it when it gets here I can always just sell it.



Thoughts in bald

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September 14, 2009 1:01:38 AM

trepanation said:
Thoughts in bald


MoBo - I'm done. At this stage you need to do some research on your own and narrow down your choices. With no DDR3, no HT, I'm not really looking at the i5 stuff and it's way too early in the P55 development cycle for much rad stuff to come into the channel. Again, try using Yahoo and visiting sites like tweaktown, overclockers club to do your research.

http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/asus_rog_maximu...
http://www.tweaktown.com/cse/?cx=009985794650471705332%...

Memory - CL 6 is CAS Latency....the lower the number, the better.

trepanation said:
So you expect me to be using like 3 GPU's and 4 screens and overclock the processor to 6+ MHz. You're silly. Stop being silly.


Are you imagining things or just trying to dismiss information that is contrary to your preconceptions. I used 1 CPU, not 3. Screens, whether it be 1 or 4 don't plug into a PSU. The overclock I listed was a meager 3.66 not 6.0 If you want further answers, I'd suggest you :

a) respond in a civil manner
b) learn how to use a search engine
c) visit the links people give you for information and don't ask to be spoon fed everything.
d) don't take people's answers out of context nor exaggerate what is in them

I simply used the parts you listed , went over to the site and put your devices in to the calculator. I used the number of fans in the Antec 902 case as middle gound (1-200 and 3-120's) , I used one DVD, and 1 blue ray burner which you might purchase down the road. I gave you the link to the calculator so you could use it yourself ..... instead of asking everyone to do it for you, might I suggest you visit the site and do it for yourself ?

Here it is again, plug in the numbers and see if you get a different answer

http://www.antec.outervision.com/PSUEngine

Single CPU
High End Desktop
No overclock (overclcoking doesn't add a single watt BTW)
6 DDR DIMMS (3 watts per stick so you can subtract 9 watts if you will never add RAM.
1 GTX 285 w/ 1 GB RAM
1 SATA HD
1 DVD-RW
1 BR Burner (assume you will add at some point in your PC's Life)- adds 0 watts BTW
1 PCI-e accessory card
1 Memory card reader
Fans from Antec 902 case (1-200mm and 2-120's)
1 120mm CPU fan
5 USB devices (mouse, keyboard, printer, mem stick, headset)
1 firewire device (camera)
Assume 90% of peak load on at worst case
Assume 25% capacitor aging.

Total = 508 watts

With PSU rating to power consumption of 1.5 to 1.0, multiplying by 1.5 will get you 762 watts would put you in a 750W PSU minimum

If you want capability to add a 2nd card in SLI down the road when all the new games won't play on your old rig, adding that 2nd 285 brings you up to 660 watts. Multiply the 660 by 1.5 and we get 990 watts. Now let's drop over to nVidia's web site and look at what they approve for dual 285's and we see that the smallest certified SLI ready PSU is 1,000 watts. So I guess nVidia must be silly too.

You were originally saying anything more than a 650 would be "overkill" and now you have a 750 on your purchase list.

trepanation said:
That Microsoft "recommends" that people pay them for their OS instead of downloading it for free? WHAT A SHOCKER


Again, stay with facts.....it wasn't microsoft doing the recommendation. Vist warez sites and you're bound to have malware dropped on you sooner or later. In addition, it's not very wise to be blabbing in a public forum that you are going to use illegal software. Besides, why go from "buying" Vista to torrenting Win 7 ?

trepanation said:
But it is not free.


Neither is anything else on your list

trepanation said:
That's just 1 guy's opinion. If I don't like it when it gets here I can always just sell it.


No, that link had 8 guys opinions. Could give ya more.

http://gamingweapons.com/logitech-g9-customisable-id-gr...
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September 14, 2009 1:59:32 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
MoBo - I'm done. This is a sad day indeed

Memory - CL 6 is CAS Latency....the lower the number, the better. Thank you

Are you imagining things or just trying to dismiss information that is contrary to your preconceptions. Uhhh... the second one. I used 1 CPU, not 3. Screens, whether it be 1 or 4 don't plug into a PSU. The overclock I listed was a meager 3.66 not 6.0 If you want further answers, I'd suggest you Oh, stop being so butthurt. You base your recommendation on absolutely silly amount of power that I would simply NOT need. I was exaggerating your suggestion to set myself up better for sarcasm. Nothing more.

You were originally saying anything more than a 650 would be "overkill" and now you have a 750 on your purchase list. I do? Well I guess someone besides you must have convinced me to get one. Don't get your feelings hurt.

Again, stay with facts.....it wasn't microsoft doing the recommendation. O RLY

Quote:
“If there's a thing that we absolutely do not recommend to end users, it's that they should download interim builds of Windows 7 from torrent trackers,” revealed Tudor Galos, Windows Business Group Lead at Microsoft Romania, exclusively to Softpedia. “Galos indicated that Microsoft’s official channels should be considered as the sole source of Windows 7 development milestones. “Why? Because many leaked releases can be affected by hackers.”

Galos underlined that Windows 7 interim images could be reversed engineered, with the resulting image being made available on BitTorrent websites. He warned that leaked interim builds of Windows 7 could very well contain malicious software that could put end users' machines and sensitive data at risk.

“End users should not play around with leaked Windows 7 builds, because they are not official, supported releases. It's best that they use only Microsoft’s website to download Windows 7 bits, accessing builds that come with certain guarantees, and with recommendations, security guidelines, deployment and usage guidelines, and that allow for feedback to be sent to Microsoft,” Galos concluded.


Vist warez sites and you're bound to have malware dropped on you sooner or later. oh gnoez haxxerz gonna make my pc asplode In addition, it's not very wise to be blabbing in a public forum that you are going to use illegal software. Because BitTorrent is illegal, lol Besides, why go from "buying" Vista to torrenting Win 7 ?Good question. When I meet someone who does this I will give you their number.




Thoughts in butt
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September 14, 2009 2:01:42 AM

Proximon said:
I haven't seen any tests that proved the Caviar Black wasn't the best mainstream drive around, but it's possible the Spinpoint is better.


The Black actually excels in server / workstation work but trails a bit in mainstream comparisons. Check this link which compares the three 1TB offerings over 36 individual benchmarks:

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-3.5-desktop-har...[2371]=on&prod[2360]=on&prod[2365]=on

-The WD Black winds up with: (12) 1st place finishes / (5) 2nd place finishes / (19) 3rd place finishes - 65 points
-The Spinpoint F1 winds up with: (0) 1st place finishes / (26) 2nd place finishes / (19) 3rd place finishes - 71 points
-TheSegate 7200.12 winds up with: (25) 1st place finishes / (5) 2nd place finishes / (6) 1st place finishes - 91 points

The points assignment is completely arbitrary w/ 3 points given for 1st place, 2 for 2nd and 1 for 3rd. But it's where each does well that is important.

The Black won all or most of the server / workstation I/O and access time tests making it the server / workstation choice. The Seagate roars on sequential reads and writes so if you are video editing for example, this is a no brainer. As an AutoCAD user working w/ large files, this is my most important criteria. The Seagate also stands well above the pack in power consumption, noise and temperature.

There's very little available about the F3 but what I have seen is that it performs roughly the same as the F1. In 6 months this could all be moot. Come Win 7, a few firmware updates and mass production, we could all be using SSD's making this discussion moot.

In the single user environment, if you big bugaboo about HD perfomance is application loading and finding lots of small files, the WD seems to be the best choice....well assuming you don't wanna go to 15k SCSI's.....but the difference is marginal.

If your bugaboo is heavy read / write performance, then the Seagate would seem to be the best but again, it's not like the other two are days behind.

However, if heat, noise and power consumption are a concern then the 7200.12 stands alone among the three. I have 4 7200's in an NAS on my desk and can't hear a sound outta them at 36 dB in their NV+ box. The Black's at more than 8 times the sound pressure level would require moving the NAS to a more distant location. I'm also concerned about heat as IBM reported back in the mid 90's that each 10 degree rise in HD temperature results in a reduction in HD life of 50%. With a 5 degree difference between the coolest and the hottest, that's an issue where long term reliability is concerned. Of course if you are not using your machine in a production environment or as long as you're not this guy .....

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/wow-world-warcraft-add...

...perhaps it simply won't run long enough to ever matter.

One disturbing trend I have noticed in polling the forums is that both WD and Samsung will not do an "advance RMA" where you can "cross ship"your failed HD by letting them charge your credit card when it ships and credit it when they receive the failed drive. I'm not picking on these two, it's just that I have seen people complain about this with those vendors and given vendors proclivity to do whatever the competition does, I expect it has become industry wide. I don't like to have HD's sitting around sitting on a shelf but this will have an effect on my "spares" policy if I have to wait 3 weeks to replace a failed drive.

Can anyone else chime in on what Seagate, Hitachi and others are doing in this regard these days. My last Seagate failure was cross shipped but that was like .... holy last millenium.
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September 14, 2009 2:40:11 AM

Do not discuss pirated software on this forum.
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September 14, 2009 10:21:25 PM

Thanks for your advice, Jack.

Still need a mobo.
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!