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New system for SC2 [< 3000$] !

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February 28, 2010 10:32:56 AM

I want to buy a new system for the launch of SC2, feeling its going to be soon I need to start thinking on the build I want to buy.

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APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: BUDGET RANGE: 2000 - 3000 $

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Playing SC 2

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel, nvidia, evga, samsung

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe underclocking SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080, 1920x1200

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My main goal on the build is to achieve a nearly silent PC but with enough graphics power to play sc2 on maximum setting. My main problem on noise seems to be the graphics cards.
I would also like to have 2 SSD on RAID 0 for OS (windows 7) and apps and games and then some bulky 1TB Samsung hds for media (movies, music).

Therefore I want to know which boards support RAID, have the i7 socket and have SLI capability. I'm thinking that maybe the best way to get enough graphics at low noise is to get two passive cooling cards on sli or maybe even 3.
I'm willing to spend money on a good case which helps on lowering the noise level of the pc, maybe one with few but big fans.

More about : system sc2 3000

February 28, 2010 1:55:22 PM

-If you want a silent PC, then get a very large and well cooled case with big fans so that you won't have to turn up your GPU fans which are the noisiest in any modern system. Big fans equates to slower speed equates lots of air moved equates to less noise.

-Why do you want an SSD in raid 0??

-And what is SC2 lol
February 28, 2010 2:03:28 PM

Oh sorry, SC2 is Starcraft 2. I feel that hd speed is a big bottleneck on todays systems having as main storage a raid0 of ssd will speed up everything.
Current gpu fans adjust their speed depending on the temperature?

Which case could be a good choice?
Related resources
February 28, 2010 6:41:40 PM

mhm, an HDD is a big bottleneck but it won't improve your FPS in games...not even a single FPS. And RAID 0 ssd's wont improve anything, an ssd is fast because of access times, and raid 0 wont improve access times...at all so your speeds will be equal so dont waste money on 2x ssd's.

And some software will adjust fan on GPU depending on temps however GPU's get hot and since thier fans are tiny, when they spin on high rpm's they are very noisy often very annoying, so you should keep your GPU very cooled so you wont have to increase its fan speed, thats why a big case w/ good airflow is the way to go. if you want absolute space/dead silence, then water cooling is heading your way.
February 28, 2010 6:48:29 PM

So here is the build I'd recommend for you:

CPU: Intel Core i7 920
RAM: OCZ/G.Skill/Muskin 6GB Triple Channel Memory
GPU: ATI Radeon HD 5970
PSU: Corsair HX950 (incase you want to Xfire the GPU's)
Case: Antec 1200/ Cooler Master HAF932
MOBO: Asus P6X58
HDD: Western Digital/Seagate 1TB
SSD: Intel X25-V/M 40GB or 80GB or 160GB for the OS/Apps
ODD: Whatever you want

Cooler: If you want to overclock, get aftermarket thermal paste and heatsink, for thermal paste i recommend artic silver 5 or 7 and some noctua's are good, for cooler you can get CM Hyper 212+/V8/V10 or go for other companies. If you wont overclock stick the stock made heatsink. And OS is definatly Windows 7. BTW if you want the 5970, i suggest get a higher res monitor to use its full potential, otherwise drop to a 5870 or 5850.
February 28, 2010 8:58:47 PM

Thanks for your recommendation.

- CPU: Intel Core i7 920

- RAM: Not really sure on this one, just choosing one G.SKILL 6GB

- GPU: Scared of driver issues, ATI Radeon HD 5970

- PSU: Corsair HX950, Cant find link

- MOBO: Asus P6X58

- CASE: I've been looking the cases in reviews and I feel I like the cooler master HAF 932 better.
HAF 932

- SSD: I think 80 GB will be enough for windows 7 and starcraft 2
Intel X25-M 80GB

- HDD: Western digital 1TB

- Cooler: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..." target="_blank">CM Hyper 212+


This is the current build for now, any other recommendations or component switches?

Any recommendation for an nvdia card?


February 28, 2010 9:11:34 PM

It's untrue that a RAID 0 array won't speed up access times beyond one SSD.

What is true though is that it won't help you in games at all. I would also be surprised if you were able to notice a difference between 1 SSD and a RAID 0 config (outside of benchmark tests). SSDs are extremely fast. SSDs reduce the time it takes to boot, they reduce the time it takes to load applications, and they may reduce the time it takes to load a level (in a game that does things like load levels). If Starcraft 2 is similar to the original, that won't be an issue, as most of the level-loading was done in the background (for single-player) while you watched a cutscene. And it won't help at all in multi-player.

You would probably be better off getting a Seagate 7200.12 or Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB drive, as the WD drive doesn't use 500 GB platters.

I believe the driver issues have been fixed for the 5800 & 5900 series ATI cards. As for nVidia, I would wait until Fermi is out (theoretically) in March sometime before venturing to make a recommendation. The 5970 is currently the best gaming graphics card on the planet, there's no reason to shy away from it, though if you can delay buying until the new nVidia cards come out, there may be an effect on the prices, and who knows, the new cards could beat out ATI (or they might not).

The RAM you've picked is CAS 9, typically you want to go as low as possible there. I would pay $25 ($15 after $10 MIR) more for this Mushkin 6 GB CAS 6 kit.
February 28, 2010 11:23:12 PM

Coldsleep:
Quote:

It's untrue that a RAID 0 array won't speed up access times beyond one SSD.


Dr. Solid State Drive, did you discover something new?...enlighten me on how RAID 0 decreases access time of a Solid State Drive. Maybe you made a typo, earase the "un" from untrue and your statement shall now be correct.

I agree with everything else though :) 

EliOcs
Quote:

I think 80 GB will be enough for windows 7 and starcraft 2


Ofcourse, Windows 7 installed is under 8GB :) , its actually 7.68 i think to be precise. You can probably fit starcraft along with tons of other applications on it, 80GB is a big SSD drive.
March 1, 2010 3:21:06 AM

I was reading that more generally and didn't catch that you were referring to random I/O access. You're right, it won't improve random I/O access time or initial latency. It will improve access to striped I/O though.
March 1, 2010 6:45:43 AM

Updated the build with the RAM and HDD recommendations

- CPU: Intel Core i7 920

- RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Redline 6GB

- GPU: Scared of driver issues, ATI Radeon HD 5970

- PSU: Corsair HX950, Cant find link

- MOBO: Asus P6X58

- CASE: HAF 932

- SSD: Intel X25-M 80GB

- HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint 1TB

- Cooler: CM Hyper 212+

I'm willing to wait for the release of the new nvidias as this system will be used to play a game which will be probably be released at the start of june.
Any more case ideas?
Thanks again for the help. Any more recommendations will be apriciated.
March 1, 2010 8:06:20 PM

The 5970 is a very big card. That link states:

"Full Expandability: Room for high performance 10.5" cards, over sized heatsinks, even larger dual radiator solutions."

The 5970 is about 11" or 11.5" long. You might still be able to fit it in that case, but you would probably have to do a bit of modding.
March 1, 2010 8:20:27 PM

For gaming, a i7 920 surely isn't worth the extra money compared to the PIIX4.
i7 860 is more reasonable.
March 1, 2010 10:26:51 PM

Quote:

I was reading that more generally and didn't catch that you were referring to random I/O access. You're right, it won't improve random I/O access time or initial latency. It will improve access to striped I/O though


No prob :) 
--------------------------------------
anyway about the case, you will want something very big, the 5970 is like a foot long. So if you can fit a subway 5$ sandwich into it you are fine. Also about the nvidia cards, i am doing the same thing as you but i woudn't count on the release being so soon, if they want they can keep you waiting for a very long time unless an exact release date will be announnced.

And about the HX950 i recommended, take if you are only sure you will SLI/xfire the two 5970's. If not, then an 700-800watt will be fine. 1898 brings a good point, if gaming is your only concern then save yourself serious money, grab a PIIX4 965 or something and use the left over to buy other games you can enjoy, seriously. A 920 is good for if you do much more serious things. If you want to splurge though and have the money then by all means take the high end i7 route :)  I am not against either i'll assist with you whichever way you wish to go.
March 1, 2010 10:36:42 PM

just a quick thought:

a 5970 is a ton of overkill for starcraft 2. if that game is all you are worried about, you're in a position to save a ton of money on your gpu to spend on a huge monitor or a new chair or something. a single 5850 or 5870 will splatter starcraft 2 no problem with highest possible settings, and are smaller and cheaper. if your single card doesn't suffice in a year or two, then you can add another one or upgrade at that point. also, stick with the i7-920, it is the best choice of chip for your budget, and it overclocks like a champ. i'm not sure why 1898 recommended the i7-860 since it's on a socket that will soon be dead...
March 1, 2010 11:10:39 PM

Could you enlighten me as to how and when 1156 is going to die? Haven't seen its obituary yet. Apart from that, the 860 is faster.

On a more serious note.
I haven't seen any SC2 benchmarks either - except a Chinese one - but I gotta agree, a 5970 is most likely overkill. It would make perfect sense combined with Eyefinity though.
March 1, 2010 11:37:16 PM

Just a quick note, you likely have 2 months, minimum, before SC2 hits the shelfs. I'm doing a build for it aswell, but I'm waiting for cheaper prices.
March 1, 2010 11:54:50 PM

1898 said:
Could you enlighten me as to how and when 1156 is going to die? Haven't seen its obituary yet. Apart from that, the 860 is faster.


sorry, what i meant by "dead" is that development on this socket is now over. it doesn't support 16x/16x, and in the future will not support hex core chips. i suppose what i should have said is: "since you have room in your budget you should think about investing in the 1366 socket for excellent performance now, and upgrade ability in the future, since the 1156 socket has some obvious limitations that the 1366 socket does not share."

a2love makes an excellent point. if this build really is all about sc2, waiting wouldn't hurt.
March 1, 2010 11:58:12 PM

whatelsematters said:
just a quick thought:

a 5970 is a ton of overkill for starcraft 2. if that game is all you are worried about, you're in a position to save a ton of money on your gpu to spend on a huge monitor or a new chair or something. a single 5850 or 5870 will splatter starcraft 2 no problem with highest possible settings, and are smaller and cheaper. if your single card doesn't suffice in a year or two, then you can add another one or upgrade at that point. also, stick with the i7-920, it is the best choice of chip for your budget, and it overclocks like a champ. i'm not sure why 1898 recommended the i7-860 since it's on a socket that will soon be dead...


I didn't quite got the dead part..

anyhow +1 on the 5970 being an overkill, if sc2 is anything like the first one, you will enjoy it with 5770, and that we aren't even sure if they have a big budget to re-define a new graphics engine and make the game a DX11, so if this your only concern wait until the game requirements are out, then build, you definably have the budget, so dont be on a rush.
March 2, 2010 4:11:09 AM

the I7 920 is a great great great processor... but you arent going to use 6gb of memory for games. Even if ur Frapsing or streaming on Xfire and playing a game and music, you wont use it.

If it was me doing this build i would do as follows

i7 860 230.00

Asus Maximus III Gene P55 200.00

ATI 5870 380.00

4GB Mushkin Blackline 105 after rebate

Intel 80GB Solid State Drive 300.00

Lite-On BluRay 70.00

Antec 1200 160.00 (I have now built with both the HAF and 1200, and the 1200 is better, that may just be me, but I like the look of it too.) Check out TJHarlow on youtube.

Antec CP-850 110.00 (larger size PSU allows bigger fans allows less noise and amazing price)

Noctua NH-U12P SE 2 Ultra - 70.00

The Antec 1200 Provides a ton of cooling and is one of the best Selling Gaming cases in history. After I read your post I turned over to my bench and shut everything on my current 1200 build which had 2 5770s in it. I turned all speeds to low on the fan controllers and it was near silent.

That comes out to 1625.00 - A lot less than you planned.

If it was me, I would spend the rest on some goodies, Grab a new Headset, keyboard, mouse, mouse pad, 2 or 3 Monitors.

http://www2.razerzone.com/sc2/

I've Read good things about eyefinity with http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
March 2, 2010 7:44:08 AM

whatelsematters said:
sorry, what i meant by "dead" is that development on this socket is now over.

So Sandy Bridge won't be coming to 1156? I'm curious as to where you read that.
March 2, 2010 3:40:58 PM

1898 said:
So Sandy Bridge won't be coming to 1156? I'm curious as to where you read that.


from what i've read, and from what intel has released, sandy bridge will be on socket 1155. and even if it does continue on socket 1156, it will not use the p55 chipset.
March 2, 2010 4:26:16 PM

well, I dont know much of "Sandy Bridge" myself, at this point no one knows, exept for Intel, there are many rumors lurking around, this is what i read http://www.guru3d.com/news/intel-quadcore-sandy-bridge-...

Quote:
While we can not reveal to you some details of the architecture in the heart of Sandy Bridge, a few remain unknown. First, the Socket. According to the noises heard in corridors at a manufacturer of motherboard, the CPU should resume Socket 1156 of Clarkdale (generation "Westmere" above) but require a new chipset. Then, the performance of the integrated circuit graphics are all subject to speculation. We already know that the IGP Sandy Bridge will always be based on GMA and not on any variation of Larabee.


like I said, they can't even give you the facts just yet, just what they hear/rumors.

but one point I want to make clear, it is true that socket 1156, doesn't support dual graphics fully @ 16x,
some processors on this platform doesn't offer hyper threading and it doesn't support triple channel memory, ok, fair enough, However 1156 never intended to support any of these, Intel knew that this was more of a midrange class of platform and decide to leave 1366 as flagship, Intel know is marketing, they are definably not going to launch something to then get it out of the market or phase it out before it meets it end, that just plain stupid.
March 2, 2010 8:44:28 PM

For the GPU I'll wait till the release is inminent to decide but the rest of the build I think I'm decided.


Build 20090302

- CPU: Intel Core i7 920

- RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Redline 6GB

- GPU: Waiting patiently :D 

- PSU: Depends on the GPU decission, something silent
Cooler master Silent Pro M850
Antec CP-850 850W
Nexus RX-8500 850W

- MOBO: Asus P6X58

- CASE:
HAF 922
Antec twelve hundred

- SSD: Intel X25-M 80GB

- HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint 1TB

- Cooler: Noctua NH-D14

I'll get de i7, its not so expensive and the new socket allows future upgrades which is handy.
I think 6 GB of RAM isn't such of an overkill so I will stick to them.
March 2, 2010 8:47:37 PM

eliOcs said:

- CPU: Intel Core i7 920


The i7-930 was just released and is only $10 more last I checked.

- SSD: [urlExt=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167016&cm_re=Intel_X25-M-_-20-167-016-_-Product said:
Intel X25-M 80GB]- SSD: Intel X25-M 80GB
[/urlExt]

Corsair just released a new line of SSDs (the Nova and Reactor series) that are supposed to be very good, check out some benchmarks before you buy.

I think 6 GB of RAM isn't such of an overkill so I will stick to them. said:
I think 6 GB of RAM isn't such of an overkill so I will stick to them.


With a 1366 build, you really want to get 6 GB. The only other choice that doesn't cost a ton is 3 GB...I'd say stick with 6.
March 2, 2010 10:06:35 PM

One more point about SSD's that I thought I'd mention since I didn't see it, is that to my understanding, currently there is not TRIM support for SSD's in a RAID.
March 3, 2010 12:16:31 AM

@snakej: yeah very little info is available at the moment, however it is clear that sandy bridge will definitely not run on the p55 chipset, regardless of the socket. it'll be interesting to see how it all plays out.
March 3, 2010 12:52:05 AM

Hey, i checked my drivers on nvidia, and happened to see this:
http://www.nvidia.com/Download/Find.aspx?lang=en-us

If you go product type and put in Geforce and then go to Product series, it shows:
"Geforce 300 Series"
and then for Product it show 3 cards:
Geforce GT 320
Geforce GT 330
Geforce GT 340

I dont know if they are on sale yet but we sure know now what models they will be :) 
March 3, 2010 1:35:17 AM

blackhawk1928 said:
Hey, i checked my drivers on nvidia, and happened to see this:
http://www.nvidia.com/Download/Find.aspx?lang=en-us

If you go product type and put in Geforce and then go to Product series, it shows:
"Geforce 300 Series"
and then for Product it show 3 cards:
Geforce GT 320
Geforce GT 330
Geforce GT 340

I dont know if they are on sale yet but we sure know now what models they will be :) 



haha nice that's pro research :) 
March 3, 2010 4:24:02 AM

whatelsematters said:
from what i've read, and from what intel has released, sandy bridge will be on socket 1155.

It's just rumour but even if so, it's highly likely that it will be compatible with 1156.
Thus I don't get the 'dead' and 'development is over' part.

GT 300
That's a perfect example why they did it. Even some ppl in a computer forum get confused by it.
April 17, 2010 9:20:54 AM

I've been reading benchmarks for the new nVidia GTX 480 and still haven't decided which graphics card I like the most.
But I've been seriously thinking on building a water cooled setup, but I have no experience on this area and have the following doubts:

- Does water cooling require a regular maintenance ?
- Are water cooling radiators noisy? (will the system be quieter with water cooling (that has a pump and radiator fans) or with air cooling)
- Which cases do you recomend for water cooling ?
- Which radiators, water blocks and pumps do you recommend ?

Reading the last tom's hardware article I have been conviced to buy to monitors. I'd like to know where I can find stands for a two monitor vertical setup.

Build 20090412

SYSTEM:

- CPU: Intel Core i7-930

- RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Redline 6GB

- GPU: Not decided

- PSU: Depends on the GPU decission, something silent
Cooler master Silent Pro M850
Antec CP-850 850W
Nexus RX-8500 850W

- MOBO: Asus P6X58

- CASE:
HAF 922
Antec twelve hundred
SilverStone FT02

- SSD:
Intel X25-M 80GB
Corsair nova 128GB

- HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint 1TB * 2

- COOLING:
· AIR COOLER: Noctua NH-D14
· WATER COOLING: Does water cooling require more mantainance than air cooling? Good water cooling kits you would recommend?

EXTRAS:

- MONITOR: I was thinking on getting a dual vertical widescreen monitor 22" - 24" setup

- MONITOR STAND: CHIEF - KTP230
April 17, 2010 12:00:01 PM

eliOcs said:
I've been reading benchmarks for the new nVidia GTX 480 and still haven't decided which graphics card I like the most.
But I've been seriously thinking on building a water cooled setup, but I have no experience on this area and have the following doubts:

- Does water cooling require a regular maintenance ?
- Are water cooling radiators noisy? (will the system be quieter with water cooling (that has a pump and radiator fans) or with air cooling)
- Which cases do you recomend for water cooling ?
- Which radiators, water blocks and pumps do you recommend ?

Reading the last tom's hardware article I have been conviced to buy to monitors. I'd like to know where I can find stands for a two monitor vertical setup.

Build 20090412

SYSTEM:

- CPU: Intel Core i7-930

- RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Redline 6GB

- GPU: Not decided

- PSU: Depends on the GPU decission, something silent
Cooler master Silent Pro M850
Antec CP-850 850W
Nexus RX-8500 850W

- MOBO: Asus P6X58

- CASE:
HAF 922
Antec twelve hundred
SilverStone FT02

- SSD:
Intel X25-M 80GB
Corsair nova 128GB

- HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint 1TB * 2

- COOLING:
· AIR COOLER: Noctua NH-D14
· WATER COOLING: Does water cooling require more mantainance than air cooling? Good water cooling kits you would recommend?

EXTRAS:

- MONITOR: I was thinking on getting a dual vertical widescreen monitor 22" - 24" setup

- MONITOR STAND: CHIEF - KTP230


I don't know anything about water cooling exept that a good system costs at least 300-400 dollars which unbelievebly high. And the 480 gtx isn't such a good buy. The 470 gtx or 2 maybe are pretty darn good in price performance ratio.
!