New 2600K Build - Need Spec Recommendations

Hello computer experts :-). Well I'm building my first computer - whew can you see the nervous sweat falling off my forehead. I have some motherboard and memory questions. Keep in mind that though I am a degreed civil engineer, I am not a computer expert - so forgive my lack of tech savy. And yes I did read the section on memory before posting.

1) I have decided to go with the ASUS p867 deluxe mobo..... but, is there any advantage to going with the revolution which has N200 support if I do not plan to go cross-fire or sli? Does it speed up other operations by supplying more bandwidth channels. Is the Asus ws revolution which includes the N200 bridge worth paying $40 more than the deluxe board. I plan to run only one card. I am not a huge gamer but I do CAD work.

2) I plan to overclock but the memory tests/reviews I have read show very little difference between different memory manufacturers. So is ddr 1600 a good cost choice - the sweet-spot so to speak?

3) What is the most reliable memory manufacturer.... Corsair, Gskill, ripjaws, etc.? Speed doesn't seem to vary much. Who do you experts trust most?

4) I am thinking of going with 8G of memory - 2 2x 4G. Any suggestions? Is there a better configuration?

5) Does the N200 bridge only support nVidia cards? I hope that isn't a dumb question but it is difficult to understand some of the threads.
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  1. Thank you malmental. I had the ATI 5850 and it was a great card, however, I now have the ATI 5450 and it is a terrible card. I am seriously looking at nvidia, however the 6950 is getting very good reviews and is over $50 cheaper than the 570 which is a better card.

    I was guessing from reading the forums that 8G, 1600 MHZ was the sweet spot and it is all that I need.

    So guys is any brand of RAM considered to be the best bang for you buck by all of you experts. What do you guys which build computers and work with computers trust.

    Also, does the n200 bridge produce better overall performance? It is difficult for a non-computer expert to understand exactly what the impact of the N200 bridge is. I do realize that it provides more bandwidth on a third PCI slot but I am not doing sli or crossfire. Are there any benefits for the non-sli/cf user?

  2. I would go with a G.Skill Ripjaws X 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) kit. Linky

    Tests have shown that tighter memory timings have practically no effect on performance with newer processors, so no real reason to pay for CL7 or CL8 memory.

    You can easily overclock the CPU with its multiplier without overclocking the RAM, and there doesn't seem to be much difference with faster memory anyway. Even 2133MHz memory doesn't give a big boost.
  3. Thanks guys, it gives me some light as to what people in the know are using. I still learning how to understand ram, its clocking and other notations.
  4. Best answer selected by flong.
  5. I was reading this

    On the chart it says 2600k Memory supported Up to dual channel DDR3-1333

    Does that mean i can only use 1333?

    I was planning to get a 2x4gb DDR3-2000, with 1.55 volt cuz i read somewhere it says sandy bridge only support up to 1.65 volt ram.

    I'm a noob at computer hardwares, thought only motherboards determine what type of memory to get.
  6. The memory speeds that Sandy Bridge supports: 1333, 1600 unofficial, 1866 unofficial, 2133 unofficial. The unofficial speeds are only supported on P67 boards, and they only have certain memory multipliers, so don't bother getting any other speeds. If you get DDR3-2000 you won't be able to use the full speed of the RAM, unless you try overclocking it to 2133 which may or may not work.

    And yes, you should get 1.5v spec RAM for Sandy Bridge.
  7. In reading the reviews DDR 1600 at cl8 does just about as well as 2133 at cl7 which is much more expensive. It appears that ddr 1600 will provide the most bang for the buck. Actually the DDR 1333 did really well too.
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