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Need Motherboard for Dual Mode ASUS 9800 GT Graphics Cards

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January 17, 2010 12:51:56 PM

I'm looking to buy a new motherboard for a video editing workstation. My graphics cards, which I would run in dual mode, are ASUS GeForce 9800 GTs. I'd probably use a Intel Core i7-860 Quad-Core Processor. Can someone recommend a good mainboard to support these cards and this processor?
a b Î Nvidia
a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 189 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
January 17, 2010 1:06:18 PM

i always use Gigabyte motherboard.
Any of them, make sure it support i7 and has 2 PCI-E slots then u will be fine... :) 
How much do u want to spend?
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January 17, 2010 1:16:32 PM

My budget is $200-250, unless I'm persuaded to spend more.

You're right, I need two PCI-E slots. Do I need them both to be x16?
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a b Î Nvidia
a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 189 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
January 17, 2010 1:21:02 PM

for maximum performance, yes, u need them both x16.. :) 
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January 17, 2010 1:27:57 PM

Do you have a specific recommendation for my setup?
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January 17, 2010 1:36:31 PM

Thx. Will take a look and respond shortly.
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January 17, 2010 2:10:05 PM

Your help is greatly appreciated. The reviews seem to say that the PCIE slots in both MBs are "too close together" and it is hard to keep two graphics cards cool. Do you have an opinion about this?
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January 17, 2010 2:23:58 PM

I prefer Gigabyte boards for overclocking and support provided and the UD – ultra durable – construction/

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gigabyte-ultra-dura...

Also note the Gigabyte ultradurable boards selected by THG in their recent $2,500 Performance and $1,300 Enthusiast Builds:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-new-pc,2497.h...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-own-pc,2503.h...

This would be an excellent for SLI or Crossfire:

GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD4 LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard – Retail - $135
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You can also get a more expensive version with that the new SATA 3.0 and USB 3.0 incorporated:

GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3P LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard – Retail - $160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Although note there are some limitations on how it was incorporated into the P55 design:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/usb-3.0-performance...
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a b Î Nvidia
a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 189 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
January 17, 2010 2:23:58 PM

then try this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

really, i'm not good at motherboard, don't take my advise too seriously, we must hear what the other people says...
anyone can help us?
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a b Î Nvidia
a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 189 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
January 17, 2010 2:34:02 PM

oh, really? i think i7 use 1366 and i5 use 1156... :( 
Sorry about that.. i'm so sorry...
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January 17, 2010 2:55:44 PM

wa1, it seems to me you're doing just fine with motherboards. Regarding your last suggestion, the ASUS P6T, is a little pricey, but maybe I can overcome that.

rockyjohn, thanks for your input, too. Please give me your thoughts on the following:

1. The expansion slot specs for the P55M-UD4 describe the PCIE slots as follows: "2 (@x16 or @x8, x8)." Does this mean you can run them both at x16, or only at x8? (Why would anyone want to run them at x8?)

2. The P55A-UD3P ($160) appears to have only one PCIE 2.0 slot. Also, the review says, "you lose 8x lanes of your primary PCIe graphics interface" for GIGABYTE's USB3/SATA3 implementation.
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January 17, 2010 3:00:21 PM

I should add that I don't understand your last post, rockyjohn. Are you saying that wa1's suggestions won't work for me?

Also, I need to remind those seeking to help me out that I want to use the computer for video editing using two GeForce 9800 GT grahics cards. So, two PCIE x16 slots and Nvidia compatibility are high priorities.
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a b Î Nvidia
a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 189 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
January 17, 2010 3:02:34 PM

I'm pretty noob about motherboard here.. so let us hear what rockyjohn will says...
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January 17, 2010 3:03:05 PM

Okay, now I think I understand you, rockyjohn. Keep in mind, though, that using the i7-860 CPU is important, but I do have flexibility there if there's a better idea for me.
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January 17, 2010 3:13:00 PM

Quote:
My graphics cards, which I would run in dual mode, are ASUS GeForce 9800 GTs.

Are you talking about SLI or just displaying to 2nd LCD with the 2nd card?

I'm assuming you aren't talking about SLI as that would be pointless in a video editing workstation (unless gaming o f course! ).
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January 17, 2010 3:20:22 PM

Good question, Sniper. No, I'm not planning on using SLI. I'll use one graphics card for a computer monitor, and I'll display my main Windows desktop on it. I'll use the second card in clone mode for a second computer monitor and an 86" HDTV monitor, and I'll display the extended Windows desktop on both of them.
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January 17, 2010 4:49:45 PM

^ Ok, that makes sense. HOWEVER, consider using cards with lower power requirements (ie ATI 4650) to do that (again assuming no gaming). Imo, it's pointless to waste electricity,etc powering the 2x 9800s. (I'm assuming the 9800s haven't been bought yet).
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January 17, 2010 5:10:01 PM

I already own one ASUS 9800. I opened the box from Newegg last week but haven't installed it.

I bought it because I want a powerful card for cideo editing and playback and Nvidia's website ranks it high for that purpose. Is the ATI 4650 jas good? I don't want to be stupid and waste power, but I also don't want to compromise more than necessary on the graphics cards.
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January 17, 2010 5:24:59 PM

whistler49 said:
I already own one ASUS 9800. I opened the box from Newegg last week but haven't installed it.

I bought it because I want a powerful card for cideo editing and playback and Nvidia's website ranks it high for that purpose. Is the ATI 4650 jas good? I don't want to be stupid and waste power, but I also don't want to compromise more than necessary on the graphics cards.


Many of the recent 9800 GTs are the low voltage version with the smaller fab. Which do you get? Also some video cards can support two monitors. What size monitors do you use and what does your 9800 GT say about supporting more than one?

Also keep in mind that nVidia's Physx can assist in video editing, depending on the software.
If you are using two monitors and have software that uses the card to assist in processing, then two cards might be the best way to go
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January 17, 2010 5:35:42 PM

Thanks, Rockymount. I have the high voltage 9800 GT, and it supports two monitors. As I said above, I need two cards. I use one graphics card for my main computer monitor and display my main Windows desktop on it. I use the second card, in clone mode, for my second computer monitor and an 86" HDTV monitor. I display the extended Windows desktop on the second monitor and TV.
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January 17, 2010 5:37:22 PM

Sorry, Rockyjohn, for getting your name wrong. Won't happen again.
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Best solution

a b U Graphics card
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January 17, 2010 5:40:41 PM

whistler49 said:

1. The expansion slot specs for the P55M-UD4 describe the PCIE slots as follows: "2 (@x16 or @x8, x8)." Does this mean you can run them both at x16, or only at x8? (Why would anyone want to run them at x8?)


One can run at x16 - if you use two they will run at MAX x8. The latter means that the board can only support bandwidth up to half the full x16 speed. But that is no practical problem sense few graphics cards run faster that what is allowed by x8. You would have to spend over $300 to get a video card that runs faster than an x8 slot can handle.

Note that you have to keep separate the socket physical size - x16 - which is required for almost any PCIe graphics card. These are not x8 slots, but only run at that speed.

Also note the "2 (@x16 or @x8, x8)" configuration is the standard spec for the P55 mobo - regardless of manufacturer. You won't find any with more bandwidth for the 1156 socket - so obviously the engineers don't figure there will be much of a problem.

whistler49 said:
2. The P55A-UD3P ($160) appears to have only one PCIE 2.0 slot. Also, the review says, "you lose 8x lanes of your primary PCIe graphics interface" for GIGABYTE's USB3/SATA3 implementation.


Sorry, linked the wrong one - here is the UD4P with the newer SATA and USB:

GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD4P LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard w/ USB 3.0 & SATA 6 Gb/s - Retail - $185
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 17, 2010 6:19:24 PM

So, rockyjohn, if I understand you correctly, in my proposed configuration (with two ASUS 9800 GTs) and for my purposes (video editing and playback), I can do no better than PCIE 2.0 x8 for both cards? And even if I could, it would make no difference in performance?

Follow-Up Question: Some motherboards spec two "PCI Express 2.0 x16" and do NOT qualify the spec by adding that, if two video cards are used simultaneously in the slots, they will run at only x8 (e.g., GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R, see http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...). Are these motherboards of a different and higher technology? Sorry for my ignorance.
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January 17, 2010 6:31:49 PM

rockyjohn, I'm still confused. Check out the specs for the ASUS P7P55 WS SuperComputer with NF200 (see http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...). These specs say the board has two PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots that can be configured as follows: "2 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (@ x16 or x8)." This board has an LGA 1156 and a P55 North Bridge. What am I missing? More important, does it matter?
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January 17, 2010 9:29:43 PM

whistler49 said:
rockyjohn, I'm still confused. Check out the specs for the ASUS P7P55 WS SuperComputer with NF200 (see http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...). These specs say the board has two PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots that can be configured as follows: "2 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (@ x16 or x8)." This board has an LGA 1156 and a P55 North Bridge. What am I missing? More important, does it matter?


I stand corrected. The ASUS P7P55 WS is a specially designed board that does not follow the reference design and does have two full speed x16 slots. The mobo was also made for workstations and can handle Xeon processors - but should still work for normal PC use if you want to spend the extra $100. Here is a review about it:

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=23...

But as I said before, it makes no difference if the mobo has the bandwidth if you are using slow graphics cards that don't take advantage of it. I doubt the cards you have will even use half the bandwidth of the x8 speed slots. Other reviews of bandwidth show you need the top end graphics card to see any difference between x8 and x16 speeds.

Here is a review from several years ago that happened to use a 9800 GX2 card with dual processors to test pci express lane usage and generally found that x8 speed lanes handled all the dual GPU could do and increasing to x16 speed made no or a negligible difference.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pci-express-2.0,191...





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January 17, 2010 9:37:07 PM

whistler49 said:
So, rockyjohn, if I understand you correctly, in my proposed configuration (with two ASUS 9800 GTs) and for my purposes (video editing and playback), I can do no better than PCIE 2.0 x8 for both cards?


That is correct, subject to the exception for the special ASUS board you found.

whistler49 said:
And even if I could, it would make no difference in performance?


That is correct until you are ready to start spending over $300 each graphics cards.

whistler49 said:
Follow-Up Question: Some motherboards spec two "PCI Express 2.0 x16" and do NOT qualify the spec by adding that, if two video cards are used simultaneously in the slots, they will run at only x8 (e.g., GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R, see http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...). Are these motherboards of a different and higher technology? Sorry for my ignorance.


As the name shows, that is an X58 series mobo, not a P55 series. The X58 series are for the i7-920 and faster CPUs and have the 1366 socket required by those CPUs that is not compatible with the 1156 socket as explained above.
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January 18, 2010 2:13:53 PM

Thanks again, rockyjohn. Your detailed responses have been incredibly helpful. I'm learning something about computers in an area that I never expected to explore, and I find it fascinating.

Here is a configuration that I think is workable and affordable (definitely not overkill) for my purposes:

CPU: Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield
MB: ASUS P7P55D
Graphics Cards: ASUS 9800 GT x2
RAM: GSkill Ripjaw 4GB (2GB x 2) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
Power Supply: CoolMax CUL 950B 950W 12V v2.3
Case: Cooler Master StormScout SGC 2000-KKN1-GP

Would be very interested in your comments, if you have the time. Thx.
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January 18, 2010 4:22:33 PM

Have you confirmed that the memory is compatible with your mobo?
What are the timings - are they the fastest available for the money?

That power supply is probably larger than what you need but also from a brand that is not highly regarded.

You probably do not need more than 750w - and maybe not even that. As configured, 650w would be fine. What is the most you will have connected to your entire system that you want to provide for? Are you likely to be getting one of the new Fermi cards down the line?

Here is a list of PSU models ranked into tiers. The one you selected is not listed by model but the manufacturer is listed at the lowest level - tier 5. You should try to go no lower than tier 2 considering your system. You are paying a premium for a faster CPU and mobo and it does not make sense to service them with a cheap power supply - it is like trying to race in a Ferrari with a Volkswagen engine. If there is a budget issue, better to spend on little less on other components to get a better PSU.

http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx

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January 18, 2010 6:08:15 PM

Memory: It won't surprise you to learn that I don't understand all of the acronyms (e.g., PC3, ECC) or how to check the compatibility of some of the specs with my proposed Mobo (e.g., timing, voltage, latency). But the following G.Skill memory has specs that say it is "tested compatible" with my Mobo and CPU, and it appears to be as fast as my Mobo can handle: G.SKILL PIS Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2200 (PC3 17600) (see http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...).

PSU: I have been told by another trusted source (local computer tech) that I need 950W because of my two 9800GTs, which are PCI-Express x16 graphics cards each requiring extra power. Please confirm that you were thinking in terms of two graphics cards when you recommended a 750 PSU. Other than the two cards, there won't be much else going on in the slots. I do want to leave my options open for future upgrades and additions, but I don't plan to upgrade the graphics cards anytime soon. What do you think of a Tier 1 unit like the SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W (see http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)?

Again, I can't tell you how appreciative I am of your expertise and willingness to help me out.
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January 18, 2010 6:12:40 PM

P.S. - More details regarding power needs: I expect to have four SATA HDDs and two SATA DVD writers. I will have several USB devices, as well.
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a b U Graphics card
January 18, 2010 6:24:32 PM

For simply cloning purposes even an X4 PCI-E slot won't be noticeable.

Unless your applications take advantage of hyperthreading & 8 logical cores then a i5 750 will be plenty.
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January 18, 2010 6:58:40 PM

whistler49 said:
Memory: It won't surprise you to learn that I don't understand all of the acronyms (e.g., PC3, ECC) or how to check the compatibility of some of the specs with my proposed Mobo (e.g., timing, voltage, latency). But the following G.Skill memory has specs that say it is "tested compatible" with my Mobo and CPU, and it appears to be as fast as my Mobo can handle: G.SKILL PIS Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2200 (PC3 17600) (see http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...).



If you are not that familiar with components, I suggest you post a list of all components for others to review for compatibility or suggestions. I cannot see what page you are talking about when you state above the G.Skill says it is compatible....." and the link you provided above is to a page full of different RAMS - so that is no help.

whistler49 said:
PSU: I have been told by another trusted source (local computer tech) that I need 950W because of my two 9800GTs, which are PCI-Express x16 graphics cards each requiring extra power. Please confirm that you were thinking in terms of two graphics cards when you recommended a 750 PSU. Other than the two cards, there won't be much else going on in the slots. I do want to leave my options open for future upgrades and additions, but I don't plan to upgrade the graphics cards anytime soon. What do you think of a Tier 1 unit like the SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W (see http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)?


Your friend is not very knowledgeable about power requirements. According to nVidia's website, an Antec 550w PSU is certified for two 9800 GTX cards (they don't list just the 9800 GT but the GTX requries more power than the GT).

http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_build_psu.html

However I would go with the 750w to leave a room to upgrade if you want faster cards later and because PSUs are more efficient and quieter when not operated near capacity. You can purchase a Tier 1 if you wish, and that SeaSonic is top of the line, but I think it is overkill and generally recommend tier 2, such as this one:

CORSAIR CMPSU-750HX 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail - $130 + $6 shipping - a savings of about $50 compared to SeaSonic
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That is an outstanding PSU and one of the models most frequently recommended at this site. It is modular - which means you only have to connect the wires you need and don't have a bunch of extra wires permanently attached to the PSU that you have to stuff somewhere inside of case. Many go with the latter because it saves considerable money without sacrificing performance, in which case you could get the non-modular brother of the above:

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail - $95 with free shipping and save about $80 from the Seasonic
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


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January 18, 2010 7:49:09 PM

Memory

Sorry about the wrong link. Here's the correct one:

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


Components

As suggested, here is a list of my proposed components, based on recommendations you and others have provided so far (I'm also posting it separately in the Homebuilt System Forum).

CPU: Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield
MB: ASUS P7P55D Deluxe LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX
Graphics Cards: ASUS GeForce 9800 GT x2
RAM: G.SKILL PIS Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2200 (PC3 17600)
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC
Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower

I would appreciate any comments or suggestions, especially regarding compatibility and cost issues. Thx.

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January 18, 2010 9:38:51 PM

I would not get that RAM. If you look at the mobo specs you will see that with that speed of memory you can only use it in one channel. Thus if you want to add more memory later you will not be able to simply add two more sticks in the open slots.

I recommend going back to DDR3 1600 memory to keep this option open. You most likely won't notice any difference from the slower speed now but may later if you can't add more memory as application requirements and ability to use it increase.
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January 19, 2010 12:21:42 AM

After research, rockyjohn, I've come up with some 4GB DDR3 1600 memory kits that claim to be compatible with my P7P55D mobo selection. The cost differences are not enough to be a significant consideration. Am I right in looking for low latency, timings and voltage? What other factors are there? Which of these, if any, would you recommend?

1. CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M2A1600C7 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145285&Tpk=CMX4GX3M2A1600C7)

2. G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231321)

3. Kingston HyperX T1 Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model KHX1600C8D3T1K2/4GX (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104142&cm_re=kingston_ddr3_4gb_1600-_-20-104-142-_-Product)

4. Crucial Ballistix 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model BL2KIT25664BN1608 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148325&cm_re=crucial_ddr3_4gb_1600-_-20-148-325-_-Product)

Thanks for looking out for me.
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January 19, 2010 1:05:33 AM

The G.SKILL Eco runs at 1.35V vs 1.65V of most others.
Get the Corsair one, the tightest timings.
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January 19, 2010 1:16:51 AM

Thanks for the recommendation, sabot00. Did you check out the timings for all of them? I couldn't find any for the Kingston in the Newegg specs.
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January 19, 2010 1:53:36 AM

Agreed - the Corsair have the fastest timings so if they are compatible they would be my choice from that lot. It might be impossible to find faster timings without going to some very expensive memory.
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a b U Graphics card
January 19, 2010 1:57:25 AM

The Kingston CAS is 8, the Corsair's is 7.
Most of the timings are tied together & won't vary much, thus it's safe to assume the Corsair is faster.
Agreed with rocky, for tighter timings you would need to probably use Corsair Dominator, G.Skill's PI, etc.
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January 19, 2010 2:13:57 AM

Here is an updated description of my proposed build (I have made some changes based on recommendations received in this forum, and I have added links to the newegg product pages):

Proposed Components (Revised)

CPU: Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115214)

Mobo: ASUS P7P55D Deluxe LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131400)

Graphics Cards (x2, but not for SLI, see below): ASUS EN9800GT/DI/512MD3 GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121352)

RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M2A1600C7 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145285)

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006)

Case: LIAN LI PC-7F Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112194)

Additional Info

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP
BUDGET RANGE: 800-1200 After Rebates
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: hi-def video editing and playback for three video monitors (two in clone mode), surround sound digital audio on mobo (already have digital audio mixer, amp, speakers, etc.)
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, HDDs, DVD Drives, video monitors, sound mixer, sound amp, speakers
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: ASUS/Nvidia graphics and mobo
OVERCLOCKING: No
SLI: No (maybe in future)
MONITOR RESOLUTION: n.a.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: need a quiet setup for sound studio; will need to buy Windows 7 Pro (64-bit)

Please continue giving me your honest recommendations. I am grateful for all your opinions, which are welcome and respected.
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January 19, 2010 2:16:58 AM

P.S. -- At this point, I am particularly interested in your comments regarding my choice a case (I'm looking for adequate cooling, quiet and classic design).
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January 19, 2010 2:21:34 AM

Thanks to rockyjohn and sabot00 for your assistance with my selection of a memory component. I now know a little better how to evaluate the products available in this area.
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January 19, 2010 2:58:41 AM

sabot00, according to nvidia, the 9400GT and 9500GT are not appropriate for video editing and fast video transcode (remember, I'm not a gamer). You may want to try running the nvidia comparison test at http://www.nvidia.com/content/HelpMeChoose/fx2/HelpMeChoose.asp?lang=en-us.

I didn't choose the 5750 because:

(1) I've had success with Nvidia GeForce and trust the company more than ATI (now AMD), and

(2) I need two graphics cards so I'll be able to drive three monitors -- unless you're telling me that one 5750 can drive three monitors. Two 5750s would be substantially more expensive than two 9800GTs. Also, I'd need four PCI Express x16 slots for the two 5750s, and neither the P7P55D nor any other comparable board I found out there provides four PCI-Express x16 slots. Even if some reasonably priced mobo did offer four PCI Express x16 slots, I don't think I'd want to dedicate that many powerful slots to my graphics cards.

I hope this makes sense. If not, let me know.
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January 19, 2010 3:17:18 AM

On what do you base your negative opinion of ASUS?
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January 19, 2010 4:10:42 AM

Cases I like include:

Cosmos 1000 $180

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...(Computer+Cases+-+ATX+Form)-_-Cooler+Master-_-11119138

Cosmos Review on THG – Selected for holiday gift list

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/11/01/holiday_buyers_g...

Review at Overclockersclub

http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/coolermaster_co...

Note that it is a very large case so I suggest looking at one in person before buying.

Others:

Lian LI PC-B25 Black
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/mid-tower-case-roun...
Hiper Osiris
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/mid-tower-case-roun...
Antec P193
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-case-review,...
Cooler Master Cosmos S
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pc-case-roundup,195...
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January 19, 2010 2:03:33 PM

The Lian is an excellent choice. Lian is one of the top manufacturer's of PC cases and the PC-7FN is a nice aluminum case at a good price. It is only a mid tower case (not to be confused with the smaller mini tower which is the most popular mainstream size) but one of the larger ones that should be able to accomodate most graphics cards - I am just not sure about the largest ones but I doubt you will want to spend $400 on a graphics card anyway.

I only provided the other case recommendations so you could have a range to pick from. A lot of cases meet the basic requirements of size, drive spaces, and good air flow, so it becomes a matter of personal stlye and choice.
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