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Final Thoughts on this i7 system

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Anonymous
January 30, 2010 10:24:34 PM

Hi all

After getting some advice from posting a previous thread earlier in the week (one I cant find at the mo to continue!), I have now pretty much finalised the system I am ordering tomorrow based on the recommendations. Some of the recommendations havent been that easy to source so have gone with alternatives. Before I order,

- any feedback or improvements on the below system (pref without spending any more!)
- Should I use my ATI 4570 card for the time being and wait for the 5970 to become avail
- what spec should the power supply be? I used an online caluclator and came in about 800W with crossfire. Is this adequate for the below system
- What is a good CPU Heatsink & Fan capable of some over clocking at a reasonable price


SPEC

Asus P6X58D Motherboard
Intel i7 920 CPU
CPU Heatsink
6Gb DDR3 (either OCZ 1600Mhz or Corsair XMS3 1600Mhz)
Asus ATI 5970 or 5870 and add a second later
Asus Xonar STX Soundcard
2 x 500Gb Samsung Spinpoint F3 (config Raid 0 OS & Apps)
2 x 1Tb Samsung Spinpoint F3 (config Raid 1 Data)
Pioneer DVDRW Drive
Coolermaster HAF 922 Case (new version)
Silverstone or Antec 850W PSU
120mm Additional Case Fan

Thanks for any more advice!

More about : final thoughts system

January 30, 2010 10:31:00 PM

If you're playing at 1920x1200 or lower, your rig will put a smile on your face even with a single 5870. you could always crossfire at a later stage.
January 30, 2010 10:36:38 PM

I was in a very similar spot regarding the 5970.

I ended up going with a single 5870 for the time being with the intent on upgrading to a crossfired 5870 Eyefinity 6 when it ships. The price will be higher than a single 5970, but you'll have a real 2gb of vram to work with, you'll have 6 monitor support for eyefinity as well.

Right now the best deal on topnotch 850w psus imo is

Seasonic 850w Silver 109.99 (70.00 off)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151083&Tpk=seasonic%20850

At the end of the day, I'm skeptical of the 5970. There have been reports of people experiencing stuttering at higher resolutions (eyefinity or 30") and most attribute it to the 1gb of accessible vram.
Related resources
January 30, 2010 11:10:07 PM

The MoBo has some darn good sound already on board. I'd hold off on buying a sound card until you had a chance to experience it.

Why do you want RAID ? Unless you doing some extreme database apps or just need to have your system boot in half the time, the only thing you are going to see is a miniscule increase in gaming performance.....storagereview showed an increase from 519 to 529 (< 2%) on gaming performance with 2nd drive in RAID 0 added.

http://74.6.146.127/search/cache?ei=UTF-8&p=RAID+0+stor...

http://www.anandtech.com/printarticle.aspx?i=2101
"If you haven't gotten the hint by now, we'll spell it out for you: there is no place, and no need for a RAID-0 array on a desktop computer. The real world performance increases are negligible at best and the reduction in reliability, thanks to a halving of the mean time between failure, makes RAID-0 far from worth it on the desktop."

http://www.techwarelabs.com/articl [...] ex_6.shtml
".....we did not see an increase in FPS through its use. Load times for levels and games was significantly reduced utilizing the Raid controller and array. As we stated we do not expect that the majority of gamers are willing to purchase greater than 4 drives and a controller for this kind of setup. While onboard Raid is an option available to many users you should be aware that using onboard Raid will mean the consumption of CPU time for this task and thus a reduction in performance that may actually lead to worse FPS. An add-on controller will always be the best option until they integrate discreet Raid controllers with their own memory into consumer level motherboards."

http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1001325
However, many have tried to justify/overlook those shortcomings by simply saying "It's faster." Anyone who does this is wrong, wasting their money, and buying into hype. Nothing more.

http://computer-drives-storage.sui [...] erformance
The real-world performance benefits possible in a single-user PC situation is not a given for most people, because the benefits rely on multiple independent, simultaneous requests. One person running most desktop applications may not see a big payback in performance because they are not written to do asynchronous I/O to disks. Understanding this can help avoid disappointment.

http://www.scs-myung.com/v2/index. [...] om_content
What about performance? This, we suspect, is the primary reason why so many users doggedly pursue the RAID 0 "holy grail." This inevitably leads to dissapointment by those that notice little or no performance gain.....As stated above, first person shooters rarely benefit from RAID 0.__ Frame rates will almost certainly not improve, as they are determined by your video card and processor above all else. In fact, theoretically your FPS frame rate may decrease, since many low-cost RAID controllers (anything made by Highpoint at the tiem of this writing, and most cards from Promise) implement RAID in software, so the process of splitting and combining data across your drives is done by your CPU, which could better be utilized by your game. That said, the CPU overhead of RAID0 is minimal on high-performance processors.

Yes, there are certainly applications that benefit from RAID 0 but gaming is not one of them. For the investment, I think your money would be better spent on a SSD....Intel G2 or the new Vertex 2 when they hit the streets.

As for what HD to pick.....check out the performance charts and pick whatever 500 GB per platter drive performs best under your usage patterns. The WD Black 2 TB is a good choice but at smaller capacities, you are limited to the Seagate 7200.12 or the Spinpoint F3. The 7200.12 excels in gaming, multimedia and pictures whereas the F3 wins at music and movie maker. See the comparisons here (copy past link in manually, link won't work in forum):

(http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-3.5-desktop-har...[2371]=on&prod[2770]=on)

As for PSU, the best buy is the Antec CP-850 which gets a 10.0 performance rating on www.jonnyguru.com and gets an Editor's Choice over at www.silenctPCreview.com But that would require a Antec 1200, P193 or P183 case. Next to that I'd recommend the Antec SG-850 or the Seasonic M12D 850W. Note: that's the M12D not the S12 which is an entirely different class. The Corsair HX-850 is another choice....matches the others electrically but it's not as quiet as the others.

Heat Sink - For performance and ease of installation, the Prolimatech Megahalems fits both criteria. Here's what I'm putting in new builds Mega w/ IC Diamond TIM and twin Scythe PWM fans (make sure ya MoBo can handle the fan wattage). ($95 for the HS, TIM and two PWM fans and a Y cable splitter). If you only going to OC to 3.33 Ghz or so , I'd skip the 2nd fan and the splitter.

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8807/cpu-pro-01/Proli...
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/7038/thr-41/Innovatio...
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/10026/fan-639/Scythe_...
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8418/cab-150/FrozenCP...

If that's a budget breaker, look at the Xigmatec S1283 or one of the others here:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/Recommended_Heatsinks
http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm#INTELHEATSI...
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

With twin GPU's, I'd opt for larger case ....Antec 1200 or HAF 932
January 31, 2010 9:08:16 AM

Slipstreams are pretty wretched fans to use on heatsinks. Great for cases though. Gentle Typhoons, Sans Ace, Yate Loons, Panaflo, Sharkoon, Deltas are the way to go. You need fans with high static pressure.

Yate Loon D12SH-12 can be found for under 5 bucks a pop and rival even the the 45 dollar high decibel Deltas.

Also the Seasonic M12D is great, but it's also 250 bucks while the S12D is 109. The difference? One is modular, and the other is 70 dollars off.

Frostytech is rather dated and using a 775 comparison for either 1156 or 1366 is unadvised.

Currently the best hsf's out there are the TR Venomous-X, Noctua NH-D14, and the Megahalems. They're all premium prices though.

The Xigmatec S1283 hasn't really held it's own for quite awhile now. If you need budget look at the Scythe Mugen-2 or the CM212.





Anonymous
January 31, 2010 10:25:43 AM

Thanks for all the input. Reason for the soundcard is because of the headphones I use. Currently I run the PC through a preamp into a headphone Amp which has issues at the moment and needs a service. Because of the quality of the headphones, they really suffer with anything less than high grade amplifiers, hence when I saw the reviews on the Asus, suited my use.

Secondly, appreciate the advice on the Raid but reason for it wil be because the system wont just be for games. It is for work and play and at times when I get really busy will be put onto my office network and made part of a render farm and be used for intense 3D and file IO will be pushed to the limit to keep up with the Servers we have and every little bit of performance I can get out of the machine can make the difference in the end. Obviously the mirrored raid is to make a copy of all key data and this has in the past saved me on more than one occasion! Also, should add, I am utilising it via an Adaptec sata raid card with 128Mb cache which will help

Thanks for all the info,
!