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Cost vs. real world performance?

Last response: in Components
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July 1, 2010 10:55:19 PM

I'm currently buying parts to upgrade my computer, and had a few questions as to whether spending the extra money is justified.

I plan to use the machine for heavy gaming as well as pretty frequent 1080p editing in Premiere Pro and After Effects. Essentially all the demanding stuff, minus folding. I already have an i7 930 sitting here waiting, and a 5870 (I know, AMD Stream is essentially useless and I probably should have gotten an nVidia card to help out with the Adobe Mercury playback engine) for the machine. I was hoping to get the 930 to 4+ GHz, with 4.2GHz being the 24/7 goal. I'm not worried about temps, I have a liquid cooling setup I'm going to install. I will likely utilize RAID (have one set up currently, would probably move that over) and have my eye on SSDs when they finally start dropping in price, mostly one for an OS drive.

1) As an avid fan of Gigabyte motherboards (many various builds with them and no issues thus far though open to other suggestions if it'd be a better idea), I was looking at the GA-X58A-UD* boards and trying to figure out which I should buy. I can't seem to see much of a difference between the UD3R and the UD5. The UD7 and the built-in water block is tempting, but it's almost $100 extra and only uses 3/8" ID connectors. I haven't looked at the UD9. From what I can tell, the only differences between the UD3R and the UD5 are slight changes in the NB/SB cooling setup? Anything I missed?

2) RAM speed. From what I understand, 1333MHz is the Intel standard, though 1600 also seems common. I was looking at the 2000MHz sets and wondering if there would be any noticeable difference for gaming/rendering between the different RAM speeds? I understand there's more configuration associated with higher RAM speeds, but with my plans to overclock I assume the higher RAM speed the better.

Any insight would be great! If I'd end up spending another $50-100 on faster RAM and a higher-model Gigabyte X58 motherboard for 1-3FPS and maybe a few seconds off my render times, I don't see it being worth spending.
July 1, 2010 11:50:14 PM

I can't speak to the MOBO question, but I can in regard to the RAM. I wouldn't waste the extra cash on the 2Ghz style memory, as it offers no noticeable difference in performance (latency issues). With your plan to OC, I'd go with the 1600Mhz RAM, as it will leave you the room for your desired OC an save you the cash.
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July 2, 2010 1:57:57 AM

Alright, so 2GHz memory's out.

Any suggestions on motherboards?
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July 2, 2010 2:10:56 AM

The gigabyte X58A-UD3R is an excellent motherboard so stick to it.. Also for memory, i'd recommend you to get the Kingston HyperX T1 modules..
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July 2, 2010 2:43:32 AM

Is there any benefit to the UD5? From what I could see in Newegg pictures, the NB/SB cooling looked slightly better.

EDIT:
These? Is the 2GHz RAM that much better?
http://bit.ly/cU4TXi

I was looking at either these G.Skill (http://bit.ly/D6plo) or these Patriot (http://amzn.to/9SqhVI) due to being less expensive. I don't have a preference for brand of RAM.
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July 2, 2010 10:31:01 AM

trkorecky said:
Is there any benefit to the UD5? From what I could see in Newegg pictures, the NB/SB cooling looked slightly better.

EDIT:
These? Is the 2GHz RAM that much better?
http://bit.ly/cU4TXi

I was looking at either these G.Skill (http://bit.ly/D6plo) or these Patriot (http://amzn.to/9SqhVI) due to being less expensive. I don't have a preference for brand of RAM.


Yes.. Those are the modules i was recommending.. They are available at lower speed ratings and obviously lower price.. Unlike you, i do have brand preference while selecting memory and as such i always kingston modules over any other brand.. Reasons being stability, compatibility and great stock performance.. They look good also..
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July 2, 2010 1:19:03 PM

Thanks Emperus.
GA-X58A-UD3R it is, and I'll look at Kingston modules.
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