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Suggest system improvements

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March 29, 2010 7:16:36 PM

I wanted to post my system here and get some suggestions for improvement. I'm not ready to step up to the new i3/i5/i7 chips yet so i built this system about 2 months ago. I'm a gamer first and foremost, media junkie second. I want as much speed, horsepower, and FPS as possible with this setup.

XFX 750i SLI nForce
Windows 7 64bit
Q9650 @ 3.0 GHz
8 GB Supertalent DDR2 PC-6400 (800)
2 EVGA GTX 260 SLI
1 OCZ Vertex 120GB SATA II SSD
1 160GB Seagate 7200RPM HDD
LG DVD SuperMulti Writer
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 2250
CoolMax RM-1000B PSU
24" Asus VE245H Widescreen LCD

Any suggestions are welcome. What would you improve upon?
March 29, 2010 7:18:47 PM

first of new psu stat
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March 29, 2010 7:27:49 PM

ok, but what is the reasoning?
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March 29, 2010 7:47:46 PM

With the exception of Enermax, the appearance of "max" in the name of a PSU is an indicator of the size of the pyrotechnic display and/or the number of components it will take with it when it dies.

Edit: The last jonnyguru review of a Coolmax was back in August of '08. A performance score of "0" was awarded: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
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March 29, 2010 7:49:33 PM

775 is dead and that PSU is gonna blow up with the rest of those components.
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March 29, 2010 8:06:25 PM

I included the model number of the coolmax in an edit
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March 29, 2010 8:29:25 PM

irishredbloke said:
I wanted to post my system here and get some suggestions for improvement. I'm not ready to step up to the new i3/i5/i7 chips yet so i built this system about 2 months ago. I'm a gamer first and foremost, media junkie second. I want as much speed, horsepower, and FPS as possible with this setup.

XFX 750i SLI nForce
Windows 7 64bit
Q9650 @ 3.0 GHz
8 GB Supertalent DDR2 PC-6400 (800)
2 EVGA GTX 260 SLI
1 OCZ Vertex 120GB SATA II SSD
1 160GB Seagate 7200RPM HDD
LG DVD SuperMulti Writer
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 2250
CoolMax RM-1000B PSU
24" Asus VE245H Widescreen LCD

Any suggestions are welcome. What would you improve upon?




Here is what i will recommend:

first & foremost, get a better quality PSU, like an 800w+ from Corsair of Antec or seasonic... 800w PSU from any of those brands is MUCH MUCH better than the 1000w you have and will last longer with a 7-year warranty. This is the backbone of your current rig and future rigs and has the potential to take out every piece of hardware. In my Opinion, the PSU is the most important part of any Rig.

second, you have the best non-extreme Core2 CPU out there running at 3.0!!! Overclock that thing at least to 3.6 or better, can be done easily if you have an aftermarket cooler, can also be done on stock, but i would not recommend any higher than 3.6 on stock cooler. This will give you a nice little boost.

third, you're fine with the 2 x 260 in SLI. Consider this. the ATI 4870 is very close in performance to the 260, same holds true for 2 x 4870 & 2 x 260. So in essence, you are running almost equal to a 5870 in performance.

Unless you plan to go i5/i7, these are the only suggestions i can give you. You are good with the SSD/HDD/RAM, so nothing more to do...
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March 29, 2010 9:40:43 PM

Indeed, I also suggest upgrading the PSU and overclocking the CPU. Get a good CPU tower cooler to overclock your CPU. It's interesting that you have 8GB of DDR2 800. While I would recommend DDR2 1066 if you had 2GB, or even perhaps 4GB, the switch with 8 would not really provide enough of an improvement to justify the cost. You of course, can try and overclock the RAM as well. Anyway, read an overclocking guide to get started. Hitting at least 3.7GHz with that CPU will provide you with a noticeable improvement.
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March 29, 2010 9:50:23 PM

You have a superb setup bud. What aren't you happy with?

OC + new PSU + 1

New GPUs would up your gaming performance, maybe a couple GTX470s? Other than that you're still doing fine. You won't see any increase by going i7 at this time (once you OC you q9650).

Nothing else is really going to give you better gaming performance other than new GPUs and a CPU OC.
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March 30, 2010 2:32:18 AM

Ok so PSU first.

what do you guys think of the mobo? im not sure about the 16x/8x mode that my SLI is in right now. I wonder if changing boards can allow 16x/16x. Would that even be feasible with the pair of GTX 260s? Additionally, i could make a memory change to DDR3 at that point but obviously remain with the LGA 775.

Thanks for all the advice!
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March 30, 2010 4:51:29 PM

irishredbloke said:
Ok so PSU first.

what do you guys think of the mobo? im not sure about the 16x/8x mode that my SLI is in right now. I wonder if changing boards can allow 16x/16x. Would that even be feasible with the pair of GTX 260s? Additionally, i could make a memory change to DDR3 at that point but obviously remain with the LGA 775.

Thanks for all the advice!



Do not worry about running 16x / 8x mode in SLI unless you plan on running 2 x GTX 295's, you won't see a performance hit if any...
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March 30, 2010 5:33:55 PM

thanks jonpaul, what is the reasoning behind that? i have a clue but not positive. I thought it may limit the capability of the second GTX260. ya know, one at 16x, and one at 8x. I imagine that the capability of the second card is not going to exceed the bandwidth of an 8x link on PCI-E 2.0.
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March 30, 2010 6:28:10 PM

I think its more along the lines of the difference between 16x and 8x, so if you use an ATI 5850 in a 16x slot and in a 16x slot, you will not see much of a performance decrease from 16x to 8x. So, all things created equal (except 16x and 8x), 16x only has slight improvement over 8x. There was a link here on tom's about it, i'll see if i can conjure it up...
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April 4, 2010 3:42:13 AM

Hey guys, got the Q9650 up to 3.6 quite easily. I got a Thermaltake Black Widow V1 and its great! Idle temps are 32-34 and load is consistently under 50. What sucks is it seems i have two limitations I had no idea about. First, the XFX 750i board OC's up to 1800, so that gives me a theoretical of 450MHz * 9. I'm sure this Q9650 could rise above the 4.0GHz mark with some water. #2. the DDR2 memory i have is PC6400, or 800 MHz. Based off of what I've read, that will limit my OC ability to 400MHz FSB due to memory max of 400MHz clock speed. The memory doesnt seem good enough to OC; it's supertalent memory. Prob not ideal for gaming.
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April 5, 2010 8:01:06 PM

that is not entirely true, i have DDR2-800 RAM and i can OC it, and in reality, you really don't have to have a 1:1 ratio, the performance hit really isnt that bad...
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Best solution

April 5, 2010 10:36:28 PM

Your DDR2 800 memory can be overclocked, but you will need to give it a little more voltage and probably loosen the timings. Loosen the timings as much as you can until you settle on a final CPU overclock. Once you do that, you can proceed to tighten the timings until it can no longer pass Memtest. It's a tedious process, but you'll do it if you want to squeeze every drop of performance ^_^.
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January 27, 2011 3:23:31 PM

Best answer selected by irishredbloke.
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