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Review this system build

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December 13, 2009 9:08:12 PM

What do you think? Any parts which can be upgraded to a better choice? Can this build be improved?

How do you see the system overall?




Summary:

i7 (860)
ASUS P55 mobo
EVGA Gtx260
30GB SATA II MLC SDD
6GB DDR3 1600 (PC3 16000) w/ XMP
Rosewill Green Series 630W
Antec 1200 case


Detail:


ASUS SABERTOOTH 55i LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Patriot Viper II Sector 5 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA 896-P3-1257-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Edition 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Rosewill Green Series RG630-2 630W Continuous @40°C,80 PLUS Certified,ATX12V v2.3,SLI Ready,CrossFire Ready,Active PFC"Compatible with Core i7, i5" Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2-1VTX30GXXX 2.5" 30GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Notes:

No need SLI.
Future upgrades: double ram only.
Peripherals: perhaps a blue ray drive or a dvdrw or attached HDD for storage. (mind not to exceed PSU power limits)
Was considering a SLC SDD but read/write speeds seem 3x better with the MLC counter part. (also more storage space)

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December 14, 2009 12:16:27 AM

Couple of recommended changes:
  • PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ... - Retail - You don't want a Rosewill PSU. They are not known for good PSU and you'll put your system at risk!
  • GPU: HIS H577FN1GD Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail - Better / Newer GPU at less money, plus DX11 support!
  • RAM: G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBECO - Retail - Better timings (means better performance) and ECO friendly at 1.35V.
  • Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail - While the Antec 1200 is a great case (Have one myself), you don't plan on going SLI, so I see you having no need to go with a full size case. This is a great smaller version of the Antec 1200. I would recommend this case to pretty much anyone as a good mid-size case for the price... (Cooler Master RC-690 is a great option as well!!)
  • Secondary Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - One of the fastest non-SSD hard drives you can buy and best performance for the price!!
  • DVD: Sony Optiarc DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM

    You didn't list one or discuss it but I would add this HSF for your CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus
    Share
    December 14, 2009 2:26:50 AM

    tecmo34 said:
    Couple of recommended changes:
  • PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ... - Retail - You don't want a Rosewill PSU. They are not known for good PSU and you'll put your system at risk!
  • GPU: HIS H577FN1GD Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail - Better / Newer GPU at less money, plus DX11 support!
  • RAM: G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBECO - Retail - Better timings (means better performance) and ECO friendly at 1.35V.
  • Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail - While the Antec 1200 is a great case (Have one myself), you don't plan on going SLI, so I see you having no need to go with a full size case. This is a great smaller version of the Antec 1200. I would recommend this case to pretty much anyone as a good mid-size case for the price... (Cooler Master RC-690 is a great option as well!!)
  • Secondary Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - One of the fastest non-SSD hard drives you can buy and best performance for the price!!
  • DVD: Sony Optiarc DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM

    You didn't list one or discuss it but I would add this HSF for your CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus


  • First of all, appreciate very much your time and insight put into the reply.

    These are my thoughts:


    PSU: will the 550W single rail handle the gtx260 and the i7 safetly? Is there another PSU pick that can handle the load more comfortably at a reasonable price? Do we need more +12V rails for cleaner power current? How about as well for possibly upgrading to SLI down the road (and getting another equal gtx260 on this build)? Do would we require more maximum power?

    GPU: If gtx260 were the available option, is it a good idea to run SLI at 16x/8x or just wait for SLI

    RAM: I like the suggestion. However, isn't a good idea to take advantage of XMP memory boosts and go after some ram with DDR3 2000 as well to reach the full potential that the mobo supports (even if the CAS timings drop a bit...wouldn't XMP+PC3 16000 be better off performance wise?) And is G.Skill a growing safe brand on the market? Would you trust it? And does lower voltage flow reduce memory corruption/crashes incidents? (thinking of possible advantage to voltage)? Is it worth it to change to the suggested G.Skill or could there be another option?

    Case: The Antec 300 is $100 less than the 1200 -- a good thing. However, would the more physical space on the 1200 full tower give better air flow and hence better CPU/GPU temps? or is case size irrelevant while fans/room AC are more significant in matters of heat dissipation? So the main technical difference in the 300 to 1200 is just room size? And if SLI was a possibility down the road, would you then recommend 1200 then? Or can the 300 fit a SLI setup with the two gtx260's if that were the case?

    Drive: Was that SSD listed a good pick? Do you like the idea of booting up OS/apps from a SSD and not the usual generic HDD 7200 RPM? The SSD selected was due to factors of brand/price/and highest read/write speeds listed on the specs sheet. Is there a better SSD choice? I've read the SLC architechture is superior in terms of data reliability if backups are in mind (and longer overall lifetime), but MLC appears to perform better, and provide more GB space at reasonable prices. So SLC (date integrity) and MLC (performance/space).

    DVD: How about a cheap blue-ray reader or would you rather leave blue-ray playback to an external DVD/Blue-ray player hooked to TV?

    Mobo: Can the mobo be improved? or was the listed pick a fine choice?

    CPU: Good cooler selection -- thank you. What is a quality thermal grease do you trust and recommend? How about...

    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    How often should thermal compounds be re-applied to the CPU? Every 1 year for example? 365 days of heating must evaporate or destroy the compound over time? And hence increasing the risks of CPU frying or increased temps over time... (reducing it's overall lifetime) Isn't that so? Please correct me if I'm wrong. Any other good maintenance habits aside from air dusting?
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    December 14, 2009 5:06:02 AM

    +1 for tecmo.
    And as for your doubts,

    PSU - The Corsair 550VX has a single 12V rails, but check the amperage on that...What matters the most on the 12V rails is the amperage...A single powerful 12V rails will be more efficient in load balancing and also will be efficient overall...
    And for a single GTX 260 and i7, that 550W can easily handle it without any issues...
    But for SLI, you will need atleast 650W+ PSU...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...

    CASE - Well the 1200 because of the size and more number of fans will have better airflow, but the Antec 300 might have issues with the GTX 260 SLI as they might clock the HDD cage...
    So you can check out the CM 690, which is slightly bigger and has very good airflow...
    Another very good option - CM HAF 922 - It wont have any issues even fitting the GTX 295...

    SSD - OCZ Vertex SSDs are very good options but 30GB might be a bit low, but its upto you though...
    And as for SLC, they are more suited for high performance servers and highly demanding application...The MLC would be a better choice as they have good price/performance too...

    Thermal Grease - TX-2/ MX-2/ Noctua NH1
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    December 14, 2009 7:55:53 PM

    Thank you all for the insight.
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    December 14, 2009 8:09:35 PM

    but the Antec 300 might have issues with the GTX 260 SLI as they might clock the HDD cage...

    Is it the same issue with dual ati 5770?

    I'm building a system with the antec 300 case and looking for the possibility to dual card in the future, but if the case is too small then I'll have to get a bigger one.
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    December 14, 2009 8:10:28 PM

    gkay09 said:
    SSD - OCZ Vertex SSDs are very good options but 30GB might be a bit low, but its upto you though... And as for SLC, they are more suited for high performance servers and highly demanding application...The MLC would be a better choice as they have good price/performance too...


    I'm thinking might be wise to let SSD mature and let prices drop so a SLC SDD raid 0 setup with proper storage space becomes more accessible under budget.

    For now, would you recommend as boot drive, a generic raid 0 WD 7200 or a single WD Velociraptor (two are expensive)?

    What would yield better performance for the money? Or would you encourage a VR on raid 0 anyhow?
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    December 14, 2009 8:26:27 PM

    I would pick up the Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB hard drive. It is as fast as the VRaptor but at a $60 price tag! :) 
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    December 14, 2009 8:31:49 PM

    woozyM said:
    but the Antec 300 might have issues with the GTX 260 SLI as they might clock the HDD cage...

    Is it the same issue with dual ati 5770?

    I'm building a system with the antec 300 case and looking for the possibility to dual card in the future, but if the case is too small then I'll have to get a bigger one.

    The Antec 300 will fit dual 5770's but space will be tight. I would up your case to a CM RC-690 for close to the same price. The case will give you more room to play with. If you purchased the Antec 300 already, don't worry you'll still be okay with dual cards.
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