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I7 performance rig

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April 13, 2010 1:49:00 PM

*Updated with actual list here instead of just a link

First build. Still kind of nervous since never did anything past basic GPU/optical drive upgrades but have been reading about this for past 2 months or so. Overall generally I should be tech savvy enough for a build since hearing of all the bad stories with customer support with all major companies (P.S. buying a built system is still not out of a question so if anyone knows of good custom/semi-custom places with good track records, do tell). Thanks for your inputs!

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: very soon: within the month, probably sooner BUDGET RANGE: just over $2,000 (see parts already selected)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: everyday use, some gaming (high end but not constant), photoshop CS4 (i guess CS5 soon), some video editing.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor (will buy separate soon, for now use current), speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com (see parts list)

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US, NYC

PARTS PREFERENCES: full tower case for ease of installation and future proofing, i7 (LGA 1366) chipset

OVERCLOCKING: Unlikely, since I'm still a noob when it comes to that aspect

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No for now

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 most likely once I purchase a new one but since will deff get a 5850 this point is moot

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Just need a powerful performance and yet very stable. The HDD cooler that is in the parts section is meant as a vertical intake to take up the bottom 3 optical drive bays (will this case fit it?).

LINKY to parts

Corsair 800D case
Chipset+MOBO: I7 930+ Asus P6X58D Premium
GPU: ASUS EH5850 DirectCU
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750HX 750W
Memory: G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H50
HDD: WD 1TB Caviar Black
3 extra 120mm fans for exhaust on top
Scythe SCKB-2000BK HDD Cooler used as a vertical intake
Drive: LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA
Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit


So this is what I have came up with, what do you guys think?

More about : performance rig

April 13, 2010 1:52:35 PM

You can't link to a shopping cart. It takes you to your personal cart. Either create a public wishlist and post it or list the individual parts (which is preferred).

Here's what you should be buying:

CPU/Mobo: i7-930 and Asus P6X58D Premium $570
RAM: G.Skill Pi 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $190
GPU: HD 5870 $415
SSD: Corsair Nova 128 GB $369
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 1 TB $90
PSU: OCZ Z Series 850W 80+ Gold $190 after rebate
Case: HAF 922 $80 after rebate
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $22

Total: $1,917
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April 13, 2010 2:02:46 PM

Thanx for this reply and sorry for the initial link problem, i was still editing to make sure it worked right on different browsers. I already changed the memory to the G-Skill one. One question though, do I really need an SSD for the OS and apps (still not sure how to separate all that stuff out when installing and saving stuff)? Is there really that much of a difference (also, what about the fact that they won't really last incredibly long, what is it like 10,000 read/write cycles or something like that)?
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April 13, 2010 2:10:17 PM

You don't really need a SSD. And to separate stuff you just select what drive to save it to. It's just like selecting a save location for a download.

There is a huge difference between how fast a computer with a SSD feels over how fast a computer without one feels. In terms of actual performance, there is very little. They will last a really long time, especially if you don't use them to save data.

That said, you don't really need one. In fact, the majority of what's in the build is complete overkill for the uses you listed. "Everyday use" wouldn't need more than a $500 build. Tack on $300 for the GPU to support gaming and another $100 for a CPU upgrade. That leaves you with a great all around build at about $900-1000.
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April 13, 2010 2:19:06 PM

Well I know some of it maybe a bit of an overkill but just want something where I can easily do photoshop and at the same time run Crysis and such at relatively high settings. Also, don't really want to upgrade every 6 months too seriously and the LGA 1366 chipset is supposed to be more or less give you more upgrade ability from what I read on these boards. By everyday use, I mean I will be using it as my primary rig but then again I don't really have the space to run two separate one's for performance and one for everything else. Thanks for the quick replies. I will be switching my current Sony Vaio media center to my tv to watch hulu and such on my tv and if I just want to check my mail and such I have a macbook so you get the picture.
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April 13, 2010 3:09:58 PM

As far as SSDs go, you certainly don't need one. But if you're considering spending that much money at once, you should at least consider it.

Read this article for more info: http://www.anandtech.com/show/2829 . There's some napkin math in there on about how long 10,000 writes (per data page) will last, at even a moderate level of usage, it's estimated to be about 10 years. That being said, no one really knows for sure...but even when they wear out, they're still read-only, rather than the total failure that happens to a traditional hard drive.
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April 13, 2010 3:18:51 PM

Thanks for that info. I will read the article in detail when I get back home. So, the only thing I would need to do is just connect the SSD and install the OS and only after the system is up and running, only then I would add in the regular HDD, right? And also, the above post said about the saving but what about installing apps, when I say download skype onto the HDD, when I start installing it, will it ask which drive to install it to?
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April 13, 2010 3:22:36 PM

bCubed said:
Thanks for that info. I will read the article in detail when I get back home. So, the only thing I would need to do is just connect the SSD and install the OS and only after the system is up and running, only then I would add in the regular HDD, right? And also, the above post said about the saving but what about installing apps, when I say download skype onto the HDD, when I start installing it, will it ask which drive to install it to?


You could connect both the SSD and the HDD during the build, then when you install the OS, select the SSD (which is going to be the smaller visible disk). When you install a new application, it should ask where you want to install. You may have to select the advanced install option in order to specify, but very few programs will not allow you to choose where you install.
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April 13, 2010 8:51:53 PM

coldsleep said:
You could connect both the SSD and the HDD during the build, then when you install the OS, select the SSD (which is going to be the smaller visible disk). When you install a new application, it should ask where you want to install. You may have to select the advanced install option in order to specify, but very few programs will not allow you to choose where you install.



Ok, now that I think of it I can see my original question was semi-dumb but I'm just so used to a single drive configuration i can't think outside of a (HDD) box. What about things like pictures. When I sync with my camera and I do that a lot with my dSLR (average about 100 pics per transfer at least once a week) I just save through the Canon software to the "my pictures" folder (as in the default Windows OS folder). So, how would that work on a dual drive situation, will I some how define where this folder exists? I don't know why this is confusing me so, since I pretty much know the rest of the stuff...
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April 13, 2010 8:55:55 PM

You can move the "My Pictures" and any other Windows created folder to a separate drive. Actually, with Windows 7, you can just create a folder and tell Windows to associate it with the Picture's library.

Basically, once you set up were everything saves the first time, it's extremely easy to keep it there. There are a number of guides floating around about how to maximize a SSD's operations by moving certain files, folders, and changing settings.
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April 13, 2010 9:03:38 PM

bCubed said:
Ok, now that I think of it I can see my original question was semi-dumb but I'm just so used to a single drive configuration i can't think outside of a (HDD) box. What about things like pictures. When I sync with my camera and I do that a lot with my dSLR (average about 100 pics per transfer at least once a week) I just save through the Canon software to the "my pictures" folder (as in the default Windows OS folder). So, how would that work on a dual drive situation, will I some how define where this folder exists? I don't know why this is confusing me so, since I pretty much know the rest of the stuff...


There should be a couple of solutions to this.

1) When you import the pictures, it should ask you (at least the first time) where to put them
or
2) There is probably a more elegant method of doing this, but you could always make the My Pictures folder a shortcut to a folder on the regular HDD.

Here are a couple of sites with suggestions on how to tweak Windows 7 for an SSD. Note, I haven't read through all of these yet, just did some quick googling.

http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?...*-Windows-7-Ultimate-Tweaks-amp-Utilities-*
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/70822-ssd-tweaks-o...
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April 13, 2010 9:07:18 PM

Thanks admiral. Yeah that's what i thought because i was figuring that any default folders would save to the same drive as where the OS is.
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April 13, 2010 9:11:17 PM

Also, these are all things that make SSDs run at the absolute fastest they can. If they do get bogged down, they're still crazy fast. Also, a calculation shows that current SSDs will last for 10 years under medium use before they "fail". They don't really fail, they just lose the ability to write new data. Anything on the drive can still be accessed, it just can't be changed.
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April 13, 2010 9:22:56 PM

From that article above that seems to be the case. So for a good boot drive (and i guess I should put only the most important apps on it and not small bs?) should I be going for like a ~60GB OCZ Vertex SSD with their Indlinx controllers or stick to Intel?
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April 13, 2010 9:26:34 PM

bCubed said:
From that article above that seems to be the case. So for a good boot drive (and i guess I should put only the most important apps on it and not small bs?) should I be going for like a ~60GB OCZ Vertex SSD?


I would say that you should get the largest SSD that fits your budget. :)  The OCZ Vertex series is pretty good, as are some of the Crucial SSDs and of course, the Intel X-25M G2. Tom's just did a 2-part round-up of SSDs, you might search for those articles and see what they thought, or check other tech websites, like anandtech.

Or 2 smaller ones and RAID them together. As long as you take regular backups, some of the traditional problems with RAID 0 (and Win 7) are mitigated by SSDs.
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April 13, 2010 9:37:31 PM

Well both sort of fall within my budget which can be extended a bit. Also, I am considering for opting for a cheaper case, thus not needing the hdd cooler as front intake and that's at least $200 right there. On newegg, a G2 runs for about 220 right now so as you see that point is moot. Which is better for overall use sequential or random, because that is really the difference (I was reading the last of the trilogy of Anandtech articlez on SSD's)
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April 13, 2010 9:40:08 PM

I would say that random reads & writes are generally more important. Sequential will generally only apply when reading/writing large files (multiple GB). Random reads are what makes booting your OS slow on a traditional hard drive.
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