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Need advice on two seperate builds 1166 vs 1366

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February 14, 2010 7:47:40 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: No Firm date set, likely within the month.

BUDGET RANGE: No real budget range, but itd be about $3500 max Australian id be prepared to spend.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, (shooters, MMO's, sims), video and browsing, Minor applications development (close to trivial)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Peripherals (Monitor, KB etc. )

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: www.auspcmarket.com.au

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Australia - Important when considering price range, Components here in Aus tend to be higher than our Euro and US counterparts.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel CPU - NO AMD. Preference for Nvida gfx over ATI.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes, on air cooling, ambient room temp may be ~28deg Celcius. SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050 x2 monitors.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
Im genuinely torn between where to go with the build. I have used the recommended build thread from here, with some tweaks based on local product availability and preferance.

Is the 1366 build worthit?
Is the 1156 build any good?
What other decent featured (and easy overclocking) motherboards are available for the 1156 are available other than Gigabyte P55A series that dont use Foxconn socets?
Ive found Gigabyte bios' hard to work with in the past, so would be interested in knowing what are solid motherboard options for the 1156 outside gigabyte. (again without using foxconn)

I tend to be the "buy new system" over upgrade a component type. Which is why ive considered the 1156 build. Thats not to say id never upgrade a part. Just whats historically been the case.

My target overclock would be ~3.6-3.8ghz. Nothing too aggressive but enough to have a bit of grunt.

Im unsure of the Ram in the 1156 build. Ive never used anything other than corsair in the past.

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1156 build
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD4P

CPU: Intel Core i7 860 2.80Ghz

CPU Heatsink: Noctua NH-U12P-SE2

GFX: Gigabyte GeForce GTX285 - GV-N285UD-1GH

HDD: 500Gb Samsung F3 7200rpm SATA300 hard disk, 16mb cache HD502HJ

RAM: 4GB G.Skill ECO PC-12800

PSU: 850W Corsair TX-850 ATX - CMPSU-850TXAU

Case: Antec TWELVE-HUNDRED

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1366 build
Motherboard: Asus P6X58D Premium

CPU: Intel Core2 i7 920

CPU Heatsink: Noctua NH-C12P-SE14

GFX: Gigabyte GeForce GTX285 - GV-N285UD-1GH

HDD: 500Gb Samsung F3 7200rpm SATA300 hard disk, 16mb cache HD502HJ

RAM: 6GB Corsair Twin3X 240-pin DDR3 1333Mhz PC-10600 - TR3X6G1333C9

PSU: 850W Corsair HX-850 ATX - CMPSU-850HX

Case: Antec TWELVE-HUNDRED

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Both builds would have blueray, windows 7 64 bit thrown at it.
Im just a little apprehensive about the 1156 build.. Ive read all the review about what ive put together for the 1366 build, and know it'd be a beast.
But for what ends up a price difference (at the moment) of almost $1000 Australian, its really somthing i wanted a few opinions and a good rundown on.

Thanks in advance :) 
February 14, 2010 9:02:41 PM

As long as you're serious about not doing SLI, I'd go for the 1156 build.

It *should* be cheaper, and because of the more aggressive turbo of the 860 it will generally beat the 920 in most tasks.
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February 15, 2010 12:47:39 AM

Putting anything else but the Antec CP-850 in the 1200 case is hard to justify. Up here, the 1200 / CP-850 combo costs $244 and the PSU alone costs $109 compared to the HX850's $179. Down under at the site you listed, the CP-850 is $58 cheaper than the HX and $43 cheaper than the TX.....of the 3, only the CP makes the Editor's Choice list at www.silentpcreview.com
http://www.auspcmarket.com.au/show_product_info.php?inp...[product_code]=AL-CP-850&input[category_id]=1574

Here's some reviews:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/Recommended_PSUs
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article971-page7.html
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

The HX you have in the 1366 build is a match for the CP-850 electrically, both getting a 10.0 performance rating at www.jonnyguru.com, but the CP is superior acoustically. The TX is not in the same category.

Platform - Reasons to do 1366:

1. future (March 16th) availability of hexacore processors for X58-based platforms
2. the 1366's ability to support triple-channel memory that will probably only noticeably benefit hexacore processors.
3. the X58’s additional support for high-bandwidth devices such as professional RAID controllers.
4. the ability to run 2 or more GFX cards at PCI-E x16 bandwidth (can be overcome w/ nVidia's NF200 add on)

On the 1156 w/ UB 3 and SATA II, I'd read this:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/usb-3.0-performance...

Asus’ solution appears to be the most elegant option because it doesn’t steal pathways from the x16 graphics card slot, but instead relies on a PLX bridge to convert four of the chipset’s 2.5 Gb/s pathways to two 5.0 Gb/s pathways. Yet Gigabyte managed to edge out Asus in write performance by taking its 5.0 Gb/s pathway directly from the CPU, eliminating any middle parts (like the DMI interface connecting Core i7 to P55) that could slow the interface down, while also limiting the PCIe slot to x8 mode. This tradeoff can be blamed directly on LGA 1156 platform limitations, and high-end buyers who want the best of everything should instead consider X58-based solutions such as Asus' P6X58D Premium or Gigabyte’s X58A-UD7.

Hard Drives - 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)

look at the tests that reflect your usage and choose accordingly.

RAM - DDR3-1600 for OC potential
6GB Corsair Twin3X 240-pin DDR3 1600Mhz PC-12800 Triple Pack (3x 2048mb sticks) XMSP w/heat spreader, 7-8-7-20 1T 1.65V CMX6GX3M3C1600C7
http://www.auspcmarket.com.au/show_product_info.php?inp...[product_code]=AL-CMX6GX3M3C1600C7&input[category_id]=1560

HS - Pick from the top 3 here:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/Recommended_Heatsinks
http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm#INTELHEATSI...
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

pick a TIM from the top 3 here:
http://www.hwreviewlabs.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/coolers/display/therma...
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

I'm using the Prolimatech Megahalems w/ IC Diamond 7 Karat TIM both because of performance and ease of installation. Everyday OC profile is 3.7 GHz w/ all BIOS features enables and CPU core temps in low 50's. Other profiles from 4.2 to 4.4 Ghz w/ temps in low 70's.

As for the GFX, the 285 just doesn't match up well price / performance wise with the stuff from ATI. After the 260, the only nVidia card in the THG GFX roundups (November thru January) getting a price / performance price category win or honorable mention was the 295 (were no winners over $400) but THG dropped the price category between the $400 and $650 categories in the February roundup. Prices down under may shuffle THG's recommendations.

With just a few weeks to go before the fermi cards drop, I think I'd put the hold on that purchase till after we see how things shake out. Then again, Intel drops hexacore on march 16, Intel drops prices at end of February, new MoBos will be out and all the stuff shown at CES will also drop in March....that's one of the reasons I usually build in June :)  .....lets the market settle after intro of new stuff.
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February 15, 2010 1:22:12 AM

Many thanks, Ill take this on board, digest it a bit, and let you know :) 

Thanks again :D 
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