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What Difference Will I see?

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September 26, 2009 1:23:16 AM

You, know I already have an i7 system in my home and been using but its configuration isn't really for what I do, its just for sharing a bunch of hard drives and acting like a server with all the data and multimedia on it. I will be getting another i7 system for myself and I will give you specs of my current system and the exact specs of the system I will be getting and I was wondering what kind of a performance boost am I looking in terms of Boot up time, speed to open applications, performance in video-games, virus scans, file conversions, overall responsiveness and ability to heavily multitask without losing performance as much. Just say in relations in what areas and how much improvement I will get. Please be specific also because i am really curious about this :) 

-Current System
Processor: Intel Pentium D 820 2.8Ghz (It has two cores) 1mb or 2mb cache i think
Motherboard: I dont know, but it has 400mhz FSB, with a PCI-E 4x or 8x slot
Ram:2GB of DDR 400MHz ram 2x1GB
Hard Drive: Western Digital 7200rpm with a couple megabyte buffer. 250GB space with either 2 or 3 platters SATA (60mb Read Speed tested by me)
Graphics Card: Nvidia Geforce 8800GTS 640mb
Power Supply: 500 Watt power supply
Operating System: Windows XP Service Pack 3 32bit home edition
^Sorry for bad specs but its like 3-4 years old and i can't find good specs for it :( 

-New System Specs
Processor: Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66Ghz
Motherboard:GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
RAM: 6GB (and might be upgrading to 12GB early on if i notice its not enough)OCZ 1800mhz Ram triple Channel
Storage: Primary hard Drive
Solid State Drive (not sure with model, need to find it ) with (Read Speed of 230Mbps and write speed of 155mbps)
Secondary Hard Drive for Data Hitachi 15k rpm 147GB
Graphics: Staying with my 8800GTS 640mb and might upgrade to another higher end nvidia card like 260 or 275
Power Supply: 800-watt Cooler Master
Operating System: Windows 7 64bit

^I'll be getting that system in november because i have no time for it right now. Probably on thanksgiving when i'll have 5 days off :)  I am hoping the new system will be a big jump from this. Thanks for advice...I am just Xtremley curious to see what others think.

More about : difference

a b B Homebuilt system
September 26, 2009 1:51:12 AM

What are you seeing in differences of you current i7 920 for home use and "your system"? You will see a huge difference in boot and load times with the SSD.

Your new specs...
Change your PSU to the Corsair 750TX, much better PSU and all you need.
Change your second HDD to the Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB.
Change your GPU to at least the GTX 260 Core 216, but would recommend the ATI 5850 when released. A 8800GTS isn't worth a i7 920.
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September 26, 2009 3:12:51 AM

^I will consider your first two points, I probably dont need a 800watt PSu, however I really dont care about graphics, I am not a gaming enthusiast, if my videos and overall video quality is fine then I am fine. I dont mind cranking my settings to medium in games also :)  I and a GTX 260 core 216 is exactly the card I was looking at if I were to upgrade, but for now my GTS 8800 will be perfect, its doing excellent for me right now and its bottlenecked by almost everything in my system so it will do even better in my new system i suppose, since its bottlenecked by my PCI slots, my CPU, and my RAM :) . Right now on my other i7 system, I see major faster virus scans and responsivness and it can multitask better. However the other system has xp 64bit with 1066mhz 3GB triple channel ram. And a lower end motherboard and yet I still see a pretty noticeable difference. Mine will have an SSD though. Thanks for the comment :) 
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Related resources
September 26, 2009 6:05:31 AM

as written out, you would notice minor changes in gaming, some speed in boot times and noticeably faster application load times. virus scans/winzip type programs would go so fast you'd be amazed, the typical application that hogs cpu would benefit as well (databases, photoshop,...). your gaming would be nearly identical.

triple channel ram is a waste (the bandwidth can be saturated with paired ram), you could go with like an i7 860 on the lga1156 platform instead and use ram in twos instead (2x2gb=4gb, 4x2gb=8gb). that way you can get the on-chip memory controller, hyper threading, the most excellent turbo mode, and also i7's cpu core virtualization. you need a 64bit os if you plan on being able to USE anythign above 4gb, win7 should be about as fast as xp64 for most comparisons, although you can add a readyboost usb drive and shave off a few seconds here and there... they just started shipping sata3 (6gb/s) drives this week, so buying a sata2 ssd right now might be like flushing cash in the toilet. a few sata2 drives in raid0 will be plenty fast enough... there normally isnt much of a point in having a 15k rpm secondary drive; what are you planning to use it for? gaming will continue to suck since you plan to have $900 sunk into hard drives, $400 into a motherboard+CPU, $400 in ram of which $200 worth of it will be not helping you at all, and a no-longer-sold 8800 gts video card worth ~$40.
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September 26, 2009 12:34:34 PM

^The specs I listed are my specs, maybe i will make minor changes. I am really thinking of getting a WD caviar Black instead of that hitachi 15k. However everything is else is staying how it is. My SSD is a little over 200 i think, I dont understand how 900 will be sunk into hard drives?..I already did my research and decided, I am sticking with LGA1366 and an i7 920. Also< and i i7 takes better better advantage of triple channel so why not just get triple channel? More over I need like 6GB at minimum because i have quite a few applications that have a background processes and if already am getting it...why not just get triple channel. Thank you for the commets so far :) 
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September 29, 2009 8:12:15 PM

900$ = an slc ssd with those specs is going to be ~$750, +a 15k drive. Unless you are thinking of going with am off-brand tiny mlc ssd, which i dont think will reach those specs,. small second gen mlc maybe? on the other hand, i think i understand why you are thinking of a fast secondary drive. ..in builds i normally see mlc ssd drives paired in raid0, whereas slc ssd drives appear alone.

yep, lga1366 take better advantage of triple channel memory. if by *better* you mean effectively equal to LGA1156 since the bandwidth is maxxed out in both. lga1366 is like an 8 lane freeway with two lanes blocked off, where as lga1156 is like a 6lane freeway. not bashing lga1366 -- there are definitely plus points to this architecture, it's just that memory isn't one of them... the reasoning i used is: the 1156 has the memory controller integrated on the cpu (a bottleneck when external to the cpu), so if mem/mem performance is important, an i7 on an 1156 would probably be more fitting.

the 'ability to heavily multitask without losing performance' will be more limited by whether or not multithreading applications are used and less a function of ram (when speaking of 6-8-12gb).

the current 2gb of ram is very likely the most limiting factor right now, as is the 32bit os. so i completely understand wanting to max it out. Personally I have 8gb here, but even doing some amazingly taxing things I have never noticed more than 6gb ram used.

a pair of 1.5tb 7200rpm drives short-stroked to 750gb (each) in raid0 would scream.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 29, 2009 8:19:56 PM

rkaye said:
the 1156 has the memory controller integrated on the cpu

I know you've tried to make that point a couple times. What I guess you don't understand is that the RAM controller on LGA 1366 chips is also integrated into the CPU.
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September 29, 2009 8:31:48 PM

the memory and bus interface on the Nehalem is also on the Lynnfield.

it's the memory controller hub which is on the 1156 and external to the 1366's cpu (on the northfield chip).

1366:
cpu:[] -- northbridge:[ram] --southbridge: [pci bus]

1156:
cpu:[ram, pci]


no? did i get it wrong?
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 29, 2009 8:34:23 PM

The RAM controller is on the CPU with 1366 chips.

http://www.pcauthority.com.au/News/146515,lga-1366-expl...

"One reason for this expansion is that with Core i7 the CPU takes over memory controller functions that were previously handled by the north bridge. In place of the old front side bus it now has a dedicated high-speed connection directly to the system RAM, just like the HyperTransport used by AMD processors. Intel calls its new bus the QuickPath Interconnect (QPI)."

The RAM controller is NOT located on the Northbridge of X58 boards.

The LGA 1366 chips also have hyperthreading and turbo mode. The turbo mode isn't as aggressive as it is on LGA 1156, but it is there.

This is from the same link posted above:

"The icing on the i7 cake is a pair of logic features found on neither the Phenom nor the Core 2. The first is Intel's HyperThreading (HT) technology, and the second is a new feature called Dynamic Speed Technology, which allows the processor to detect when load is unevenly balanced and automatically boost the speed of the cores with the most work to do. Idle cores are clocked down to keep power consumption within tolerance."

I suggest reading up on LGA 1366 before continuing to spread false info.
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September 30, 2009 12:50:05 AM

Actually I changed my mind, after thinking about, i'll ditch the hitachi 15k and get a WD caviar black 500GB instead. My reason for this is because my OS and applications will all be installed on my SSD and all my multimedia and data will be on my HDD and i don't think i will notice any difference in opening up a small song or picture. Moreover either way this will be a MASSIVE jump from what I have now since right now, i benchmarked and my hard drive gives a read speed of 57mbps and on benchmarks I saw the WD Cavair Black was giving like 108mbps and my Solid state(the one i am looking at) will give me around a 220mbps read speed according to its specs.

-Also here is really important question, even though my solid state is going to be fast, I hate the pagefile and want to disable it and force the windows into my ram. Is it possible to do this in windows 7 and how much ram do you think it will take up if forced to ram, because i wouldn't mind upping the ram to 12Gb of necessary. Since I have a solid state drive, if my pagefile is used it will be take up 1.5 to 3 times the amount of ram and my solid state will be 60Gb most likley and a 9GB pagefile is the minimum i will have and on a 60Gb hard drive thats a huge amount and plus the pagefile will be slower then ram since no matter how fast my SSD is, ram is much faster. So any help on this topic?
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 30, 2009 3:20:33 PM

Don't get a 500GB WD Black drive. They use two 250GB platters. The new drives like the Samsung F3 use a single 500GB platter. The higher data density makes them considerably faster for the same price.

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM $49.99

If you want to stick with Western Digital, at least get a 640GB drive. They use two 320GB drives, so they're also faster than the 500GB Black drives.

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM $74.99
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September 30, 2009 9:16:05 PM

^True that, good point, I might consider getting the samsung with the 500GB since it has a higher density of storage however i don't specialize in hard drives so my question is that the WD drives have a 32Mb cache while the samsung has a 16Mb, will that affect me in anyway?, If this matters, my use for it will be strickly multimedia which includes, music,videos,pictures, downloads, data, and other misc storage. It will have no applications on it, just pure files. So please explain how the difference in cache will affect me and which drive should i get, the WD Black 640GB or the Samsung your proposed. Thanks for the help BTW!
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 30, 2009 9:19:29 PM

The cache size has very little effect on performance. You can't go wrong with either the F3 or 640GB black drive. The F3 will be slightly faster, but the WD Black drives have a 5 year warranty. I guess which one you pick depends on whether a slight speed increase or a better warranty is most important to you. The F3 for $50 is hard to beat, IMO.
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September 30, 2009 9:23:03 PM

I think i might go with that, because i really dont care much about my hard drive as i am focused on getting an expensive solid state drive for my operating system and applications :) , I also dont care about warranty, my important data is backed up on 4 different hard drives and i have a service that images one of my hard drives every 12 hours and stores in a data center for safe keeping...so i'm good. I could get away with keeping my old drive from my old computer as it will do all i need (opening pictures and music). However i will look into the samsung because it seems good and has a sexy price so i will consider. Thanks for all the help. :) 
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October 1, 2009 7:20:39 PM

Also, I don't know if this is worth or not or weather i will get a benefit or if its even possible but I heard people using 1 card as a physics card only and thier primary card for the main stuff. So in that case instead of putting my old 8800GTS 640mb into my drawer and letting sit there, I can put it to good use because i most likley will get a GTX260 or GTX275 and my 8800GTS which is a very good card and has served me very well, can be my physics engine? Thoughts? ideas? Opinions?

-If this turns out to be worth it and possible then here are some questions:
-How do i enable or activate this? (I do have the nvidia control panel)
-How do I download nvidia drivers for both of them?...what if they require different drivers, then how do i specify which drivers goes for which?
-Will applications take use of this? (I only play COH, COD5, and Crysis...every now and then)
-Will this cause any instability or interference?
^thanks for any help :) 
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October 1, 2009 7:29:59 PM

Blackhawk1928,

You can specify in Windows 7 for there to be no paging file. To do so, you would open System Properties, select "Advanced system settings", under performance select "settings", click the "Advanced" tab, and then hit the "change" button under "Virtual Memory." Once that Window opens, deselect "Automatically manage paging file size for all drives" if checked. And then select the circle for "No paging file."

If you require additional assistance and have trouble with the previous advice, Microsoft does have an official Windows 7 Support Forum located here http://tinyurl.com/9fhdl5 . It is supported by product specialists as well as engineers and support teams.

Jessica
Microsoft Windows Client Team
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