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Gaming/Dev build $1500, SSD question

Last response: in Systems
March 12, 2010 4:09:06 PM

So this site has been a tremendous help to me in deciding on my parts and all!! I have already ordered my parts and they are literally sitting at my doorstep as I type! I would still take any suggestions to my build, but as it stands now this is essentially finalized.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Sitting at my doorstep right now!

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Software, web, and game development, Gaming. I develop in Visual Studio for most part and gaming is nothing extreme.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Ordered everything from



SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Possibly in future


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Application speed is the most important to me primarily.


CPU: Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor

MOBO: ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

MEMORY: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL

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 Computer Case

VIDEO: ASUS CuCore Series EAH5770 CuCore/2DI/1GD5 Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX


SSD: Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2M080G2XXX 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

MONITOR: Acer H235Hbmid Black 23" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 ACM 100000:1 Built-in Speakers


1) Ok so that is my build. I was wondering if there were any compatibility issues that anyone sees or has experienced. I'm pretty sure I'm in the clear but always good to have a second set of eyes. This is my first home build so is there any equipment in there that is particularly difficult?

2) Now my specific question is about the SSD (of course). I have read the interwebs up and down about this stuff and read conflicting things and some common things. Can I set up my SSD to dual boot to Windows 7 or Ubuntu 9.10? I believe the answer is yes but has anyone here actually done it on an SSD? I was wondering if there is any issue with creating partitions on the SSD and their alignment? Should I install Windows 7 first, resize partition, then Ubuntu? Or set up partitions, then install???

Or is it possible to have Windows 7 'own' the SSD entirely and install Ubuntu on the HDD to boot from? I'm not sure how this would work since I assume it will boot from the first drive and not see the other drive is bootable?

3) I read the stickied thread with instructions for building and will be following that throughout my build. I was just curious whether I should mess with the BIOS before or after the OS install? I'd like to make the recommended changes to cut down on unnecessary hardware checks and make sure SATA is being used to full potential, not so much for overclocking until later. So should I do this before or after I install the OS?

But any tips/advice overall would be greatly appreciated!!!!

March 12, 2010 4:45:05 PM

Some issues with the build.

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $115. Much faster for only $10 more.
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 1 TB $90. Cheaper, faster, quieter and runs cooler.
Case: HAF 922 $90. Cheaper, bigger and pretty all around better.
GPU: HD 5870 $380. The 5770 is vastly underpowered for your resolution. I suggest ditching the SSD and grabbing this or the HD 5850.

2.) I have no idea on the dual booting. However, the current price of the SSDs, and the very small relative gain make them a poor choice for your budget.

3.) You should look through the BIOS settings before installing the OS. In fact, it should be the first thing you should do once getting the computer running. Overclocking can be done at any time. It's probably better to wait for the OS to be installed, as you need to make sure it's not overheating.
March 12, 2010 5:18:32 PM

Great, thanks for the quick reply!!

First I should mention that $1500 is a loose budget more than a hard budget, its just what it cost me in final, though I had originally planned to do 1300 I found the extra's worth it.

Would that RAM be a noticeable difference? It appears to use a little more voltage for a drop in latency from 9 to 7. I guess at this point would exchanging my current RAM be worth it? (I know I should have asked before I bought :non:  )

The HDD I don't really care too much about, I have had good experiences with WD and just went with the highest rated. I was curious however if going to SATAIII is worth it yet?

Case I'm fine with my choice, though that is also an excellent suggestion.

Ahh the GPU. Well like I said application speed is more important to me than gaming. So the SSD is sort of the most important part for me. Since I don't plan on running anything hardcore gaming wise (Civilization 4, WoW maybe) I thought my choice would be fine, but I am concerned that I get high quality video playback. Would the 5770 be sufficient at that resolution for video playback even if it falls a little short in gaming? Also if I do SLI (or Xfire I forget which one ATM) does it have to be with an identical card? If so would the suggestion be to sell this one and buy the latest and greatest when that time comes (around a year)?

I did have one other question. My case has tons of fans and open air vents and I don't plan on overclocking right away so I didn't get a heatsink for the CPU. Will I need this in the future if I plan on doing minimal OCing or will the stock one suffice?

Thanks again for the great advice, really wish I had asked sooner :??: 
March 12, 2010 5:24:12 PM

If you can get your money back without much hassle, you should do it. If you can't it won't make that huge of a difference.

SATA III drives haven't passed the point that SATA II can't handle the bandwith, so no. The problem with that drive is that it uses smaller platters than the Seagate 7200.12 1 TB or Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB, meaning it's a lot slower. I wouldn't get it just because they're asking for more for a worse drive.

The thing with buying the SSD now is that they're so expensive right now. I would wait until the prices comes down.

The 5770 should be alright for WoW, but I'm not too sure on Civ 4. The 5770 is just really weak for 1920x1080 resolutions. If you do decide to Crossfire, it doesn't HAVE to be the same card, but you lose anything extra above the weakest cards. You may also have some issues getting it to run as smooth as possible.

Depends on what you call "minimal." I would almost consider getting it anyway, as the Intel stock cooling is known to be fairly loud.