Kindly advise on build for CS 5 + Vegas 9

Greetings from a noob builder, hope you guys can look into my first one primarily aimed at Photoshop CS5 and Vegas 9. Any input or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: would like to order by Monday, May 10
BUDGET RANGE: US$ 1,100 (need only: case, CPU + cooler, MB, PSU, RAM, GPU)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Photoshop CS5, Sony Vegas 9, FSX flight sim (no other gaming)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: monitor, OS, HDDs, keyboard, mouse, spk

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg, microcenter
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: whatever works

PARTS PREFERENCES: Major, solid brands

OVERCLOCKING: probably, but nothing extreme (fwiw I've never OC'd before!)
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: not planned but would like the ability if needed

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200 on a Dell 24"

Currently pre-selected components:

CASE: Coolermaster HAF 932 ATX full tower
Newegg $139.99
* I prefer full ATX simply due to space. Prefer tool-free, will initially be mounting 4 HDD + 2 DVD

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Cert. Active PFC Comp. I7
Newegg $109.99
* 750W overkill for below?
* Is this unit ok to be mounted on bottom of selected case and will I have problems with cable lengths in full ATX?
* I take it the PSU would have to be mounted upside down? Any potential problems? (aside from being clumsy with screws)

CPU: I7-930 2.8GHz LGA 1366
Microcenter $199.99
* Is microcenter reputable? First time I heard of them was through here and am surprised to see the
I7-930 priced $100 (!) less than newegg. Usually if prices are too good to be true, they are.

COOLING: Cooler Master Hyper 212+
Newegg $29.99

MB: ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58
Newegg $299.99
* Any problems I may encounter with above case?
* Will I need any extra cables if I plan on 4 HDD + 2 DVD (all SATA)

MEMORY: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit
Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8D
Newegg: $229.99
* 6GB to begin with, may upgrade to 12GB somewhere down the road

GPU: PNY GeForce 9800 GT EE 1024MB GDDR3 PCIe 2.0 Graphics Card
microcenter $99.99
* Main uses: photoshop CS5, vegas 9 (HD from Canon 5DmkII), and Microsoft FSX (the only game I play on the PC)
* From what I gather Photoshop is more CPU+RAM dependent, not GPU. However, Adobe seems to prefer Nvidia and
the above features CUDA. B+H seems to be using this card in their "turnkey" CS4 builds.
* I can't find any good info on GPU requirements for Vegas 9 from Sony
* Don't know how well the card would perform for a game like FSX.

Total cost: ~$1,100

Totally lost on finding suitable GPU and open to suggestions (on everything). I've done quite a bit of research and the only thing currently spinning at 7200 is my head. Hope to reduce costs perhaps by downsizing PSU or different RAM or MB provided any loss in performance is negligible.

I will be running Win7 Pro 64 (have seperate budget for OS + software upgrades) and would like to put something together which will serve me well for the next few years and with room to grow and keep up in terms of features, ie SATA III, USB 3.0, possible SLI or Xfire, CPU upgrade, etc.

To compare... my current PC:
Dell XPS, Core2 Quad 2.4Ghz running WinXP Home 32bit SP3, 4GB RAM, GeForce 8300 GS.

Thanks a bunch !!
68 answers Last reply
More about kindly advise build vegas
  1. Ok... Everything looks good, although here are a few comments and recommendations:

    Microcenter sells Core i7 860s and 930s cheap mainly to attract customer and get them to buy other components from them as well.

    Corsair Dominator RAM is a bit overpriced I'd say but if you're planning to overclock later it might help.

    You will need three extra SATA II or III cables as the motherboard only comes with three IIRC.

    As for your graphic card question, the only application where CUDA might be useful would be Premiere Pro, where CUDA acceleration is supported for its Mercury Playback Engine. As for Vegas 9 requirements, AFAIK, I don't think any Vegas video editing suite supports video acceleration at all. FSX is very heavy on CPU and a bit on RAM, relatively light on the GPU, and the 9800GT should max it without any problems. In terms of performance, an HD 4850 is better, but if you do expand your designing horizons then I'd just stick with the 9800GT should you plan to use Premiere Pro.
  2. ^ The selection of parts is good...some good alternative to bring down the overall cost...

    1. Mobo - Get this one...Has nearly all important the features of that ASUS sans the Dual-Lan, which I think wont be a major issue...Saves good money...

    2. PSU - Yes you wont need a 750W PSU...
    Get this one...It is a high quality 600W PSU...Even though you wont need a 600W, but if in the future, you would want to upgrade to more powerful Nvidia cards, then the 600W is a safe bet...
    COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 600

    3. RAM - IMO you wont need the Dominators unless you are planning for an extreme overclock...
    Stick with standard RAMs...

    4. Graphics card - I doubt the 9800GT would perform well against the FSX...Change it to something better...
    GTS 250 would be a good improvement...
    Or even better the GTX 260
    Note: There are newer DirectX 11 cards available both from ATI and Nvidia
    - Not selected the ATI parts as like you said Nvidia perform better with CUDA, but have read recently that ATI Stream(ATI's CUDA alternative) works well Premier but not sure if it helps Photoshop...
    - Not selected the Nvidia cards are they are higher priced and IMO not worth for your usage...but maybe in few days time, they might launch low, mid end versions but still no word yet...
  3. +1 for above posts except on motherboard. I recommend an ASUS P6T SE over the X58A-UD3R. I'v used both boards and prefer the ASUS.
  4. Shadow is correct on the mobo ... the Gigabyte has an auto-switch for the X16 slots that can limit pro expansion options from companies like BlackMagic Design ...


    The GPU that gKay recommended DOES NOT support OpenGL3.x ...

    Here are your only viable choices (and not only in my opinion) outside of Quadros.

    I actually like the first one because it is lower power and true single slot (but SLI). ...

    BUT the 2nd card (zotac 250) will provide best performance for the money :
  5. ALWAYS CHECK OpenGL version support on ANY GPU OPTIONs YOU MAY CONSIDER !!!

    ALWAYS VERIFY !! .. OpenGL 3.0 ... 3.1 ... 3.2 ... ! ! !

    ATi is not a viable option.
  6. Quote:
    the GPU that gKay recommended DOES NOT support OpenGL3.x ...

    Here are your only viable choices (and not only in my opinion) outside of Quadros.

    Good point. Nice catch btw.

    PS: CS5 (Photoshop at least) is really nice. I'v been playing with the trial since the day it came out. Pretty cool. It runs much smoother than CS3/CS4 on my i7 920@Ghz with a 8800GTX (softmodded to a Quaddro).
  7. Hwo do you game then Shadow?
  8. And Microcenter is not just reputable, but awesome.

    half the fourm has bought stuff there!

    Also, the Hyper 212+ is 20$ there!
  9. Thanks to everyone for their excellent advice. I've changed a couple of components and am now considering:

    same CASE: Coolermaster HAF 932 ATX full tower

    PSU changed to: CoolerMaster Silent Pro 600
    Would this unit still handle a potential future upgrade to dual GPU / SLI?
    Compared to the Corsair 750W unit, which unit would allow for easier and cleaner install? No problems with cable lengths on either?
    Incidentally, just took a look and it appears Dell put a whopping 375W unit in my XPS. Not that it ever gave me any problems, just seems so impotent now, heh.

    same CPU with cooling: I7-930 2.8GHz LGA 1366 + Cooler Master Hyper 212+

    same MB: ASUS P6X58D Premium
    I took a look at the Gigabyte MB and the specs look great but I'm a little concerned with the very mixed reviews on newegg. Correct, don't need dual LAN though. Checked out the ASUS P6T SE and no doubt it's a great board too but I find it's lacking SLI support and no USB 3.0. Neither the Gigabyte nor the P6T SE support the DD3 1600 of my selected RAM natively, ie without OC, which the P6X58D does without the need to OC. It seems the P6X58D fits the bill nicely although it's a bit pricier. I'll plan for extra cables and am of course still open for suggestions.

    RAM changed to: 6GB (3 x 2GB) - Gskill, either Ripjaw or PI series.
    Is the PI series worth the extra $10? Timing is a little better but I don't know how noticeable this difference would be, if at all. Voltages are also different... I take it this doesn't matter and is configured in bios.

    GPU changed to: EVGA 01G-P3-1158-TR GeForce GTS 250 1GB 256-bit DDR3
    Alvin, I learned of OpenGL the hard way last year when I moved to CS4 and my brushes no longer worked correctly. Reverted back to CS3 and planned on upgrading my system back then but eventually decided to wait for Win7 and do a new build on 64bit platform.

    Was initially going to go with the GeForce9800 but the extra $40 seem worth the GTS and savings elsewhere in build offset this. Just saw Frys has the GTS 250 for $119 after rebate, unfortunately not in stock.

    The GTX 470 looks rather appetizing but perhaps overkill and still need to purchase Win7, CS5 and Veg9 upgrades. Adds up quick. Wouldn't be an issue had I picked the correct powerball numbers but noooo.

    Builderbob, thanks for the cooler @ microcenter. I'll look to compare the other components too before dumping stuff into the cart at newegg.

    Thanks again to everyone for their great help. I feel a lot more comfortable going forward with my first build.
  10. I would feel safer with a better PSu in there....

    Prehps an HX from Corsair
  11. builderbobftw said:
    I would feel safer with a better PSu in there....

    Prehps an HX from Corsair

    Thanks. As in this one?
  12. Uh, This says TX, But it is relay a cheap HX without modularity.

    (Corsair revised the TX sersi with the 950< Wich combines Awesomeness, High Wattage, And low price)

    I would get that.

    Overkill, But cheap, awesome overkill.
  13. I wouldn't be put off by the HX if it's a better alternative but a 950W TX? That's a beast.

    I don't have experience with new builds but the modular designs of the CoolerMaster and Corsair HX are more appealing too.
  14. ^ Honestly, I'm prolly getting a TX-950W for my new build, and my freind has a TX-950W, It rapes.

    Modularity is overrated.

    Get the TX-950!

    A 950W non moudular or a 650W modular at the same price, easy call.
  15. builderbobftw said:
    A 950W non moudular or a 650W modular at the same price, easy call.

    Easy call, if you actually need the 950W. I don't need anything near that though.
  16. ^ What about if you wanted to buy a 5970 for Trifire as an upgrade later?

    Or a Fermi 2 or Fermi 3 chip down th road?
  17. Then I come to your house and steal your PSU, lol.

    I do see your point. Would even just two GTS 250s call for a 950W PSU?

    edit to add: plan is for a single GTS 250 which should keep me happy for a while. Should I upgrade at some point, it would probably be along the lines of dual 250s or something like a single GTX 470. Nothing extreme and no OC of GPU.
  18. Alright, Fine.


    Can't undertand paying that much extra for modularity.
  19. I hear you. I've never done a build before so I can't really judge for myself how beneficial (or not) modularity would be. At the end of the day, I'm not too worried about making it look clean as I used to wire industrial control panels. On the other hand I wouldn't mind modularity if it helps me out on my first build and speeds up the process. As the case allows for behind-mobo wiring maybe the modularity is even more useless, no idea... but will definitely look into it again and I sure appreciate your input!

    I'll be ordering on Monday so given UPS 3-day I should be frying my first mobo Thursday.
  20. *****************************************************************
    ATTENTION!! ... ATTENTION!! ... You are about to read the most important post on this thread !!
    first ... i7-930/X58 is really the only way to go ... I finally had to accept that.
    Second: An SLI mobo is highly advisable and only a very FEW GPUs are appropriate

    I currently am carrying two of these (and a Corsair 750W PSU) in my own cart/"CS5 capable" render engine.

    ONE OR TWO OF THESE (IN SLI (or not SLI ... either way)).

    ZOTAC ZT-20109-10P GeForce GTS 250 1GB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
    $10 off w/ promo code VGA5152, limited time offer

    = Alvin =

    Brand ZOTAC
    Model ZT-20109-10P
    Interface PCI Express 2.0 x16
    Chipset Manufacturer NVIDIA
    GPU GeForce GTS 250
    Core Clock 675MHz
    Shader Clock 1620MHz
    Stream Processors 128
    Effective Memory Clock 2000MHz
    Memory Size 1GB
    Memory Interface 256-bit
    Memory Type DDR3
    3D API
    DirectX DirectX 10
    OpenGL OpenGL 3.2
    HDMI 1 x HDMI
    D-SUB 1 x D-SUB
    DVI 1 x DVI
    Max Resolution VGA (Up to 2048x1536)
    Dual-link DVI (Up to 2560x1600)
    SLI Support SLI Ready
    Cooler With Fan
    System Requirements Power requirements:
    450-watt power supply recommended
    122-watt max power consumption
    Dual-Link DVI Supported Yes
    HDCP Ready Yes
    Dimensions Height: 4.376in - 111.15mm
    Width: 7.48in - 189.992mm
    Features ECO Edition
    Manufacturer Warranty
    Parts Lifetime limited
    Labor Lifetime limited

    If true single slot or lower power is required ... go with the PNY 9800GT-EE (THE MODEL WITH OpenGL 3.x !!)

    ATTENTION!! ... You have just read the most important post on this thread !
  21. ^ Alvin, X58 is awesome for Multi GPU gaming at the high end.

    (Think GTX 480 Trifires)
  22. PS : The 250GTS card you spec'd in your latest build/post is ONLY OpenGL3.0 !

    ... AND it is $155 BEFORE *MAIL-IN* Rebate ! ? ?

    The ZOTAC (good company) has OpenGL 3.2 and costs only $120 (after you enter this "$10 OFF" product code) : ...

    $10 off w/ promo code VGA5152, limited time offer

    = Al =
  23. builderbobftw said:
    ^ Alvin, X58 is awesome for Multi GPU gaming at the high end.

    (Think GTX 480 Trifires)

    Well ... Since you are *HERE*, instead of gaming, I can only guess that *THIS* is more fun !!!

    (The price certainly is right) ...

    ME? ... Almost pulled the trigger, last night (after 4 months of extremely arduous analysis and debate) ... (thank YOU ALL !! )

    I'll be back for a "spoon-fed" build and OC, tho. ... After that, you will see me on the VEGAS-PRO and CS5 forums, prolly. ... till I build my Audio rig ... in some months.

    = Go crank up your jaccuzzi pump and do some fps ! .... PLEASE !!!? =
  24. Hey Alvin, thanks for your enthusiastic participation. I'm about to head out the door and am running late... will reply tonight.
  25. builderbobftw said:
    Hwo do you game then Shadow?

    I swap out the card + drivers as needed. It's a bit of a PITA but I can do it in ~2-3 minutes.

    Do realize, that I use the softmodded card only when I'm doing some serious photo/vid editing and CAD. If I'm just doing a simple pic/vid edit I use my 5850. 80% of the time, I have my 5850 in the system.
  26. builderbobftw said:
    Uh, This says TX, But it is relay a cheap HX without modularity.

    (Corsair revised the TX sersi with the 950< Wich combines Awesomeness, High Wattage, And low price)

    I would get that.

    Overkill, But cheap, awesome overkill.

    Imo, for a little more you may as well get the modular XFX 750W:

    XFX is a new player, but they did hit the high wattage segment really well.
  27. Thanks for endulging me, OP, Guys et. al.,

    As I feel that *I* am getting very near the end of my long and bumpy (4 month) build-research phase (market cycles/timing is to blame), I keep running into fairly strict and specific requirements and certifications, amongst the various guilds of "Professional Partner Products".

    Here is one company that seems to have carved out a great deal of acceptance, ... especially amongst the CS5 and VEGAS/VEGAS-PRO communities.

    Familiarize yourself with their products and, more important, ... their hardware and software requirements and certs.

    FUNNY THING !? ... Select ATi cards ARE listed on the "certified preference list" for some products at Blackmagic Design .... BUT ... nVidia (Mostly Quadro ... and "like") are the only cards that seem to satisfy the entire "Pro-Graphics Community".

    Smaller companies (plug-ins, etc.) seem to "trust" or use nVidia's "implementation" of OpenGL (Over ATi) ... I do not know if there are actual technical reasons (vs. marketing relationships and historical perceptions) or if the smaller firms just do not have the budgets to test/certify more than a few options ...

    ... In any event ... I do see that ATi is finally making some penetration into this very anti-competitive arena and, in the end, such inroads will benefit the purchaser ... which would be ... ... ... Us!.

    For now? ... nVidia OpenGL 3.x is the user's best hope of "best satifying" professional edit/graphics/CAD "industry-wide" requirements (foreseen or not).

    = so far =

    = Al =

    Installation: USB 3.0. Requires x58 based computer or better with a USB 3.0 connection. Does not support USB 2.0 capture and playback. Please check the Support pages to see the full system requirements
  28. yes, Alvin me to.

    4 months of reasrch, and I'm odering the parts.
  29. It is a "conceptual birthing process" ... measure twice, cut once.

    Computers cost so much ... can do so many things ... and have so many compatibility considerations, that some real effort, up front, will definately come home to roost, both initially and, in the future ...

    ... Like Chess, ... I am thinking not only of THIS build, but of future builds (of dedicated studio clients and home service and control). ... So, each part should be considered for general flexibility (or disposability).

    I see the real villians, here, as the "Professional Tools Priesthoods" who are much more concerned with profit from limiting access to truly professional solutions, rather than from providing ability to a wide user-base at fair cost.

    The biggest names in video editing are the most evil. Their top paying studio clients do not want independent content producers usurping their profit structure. Any pretense at some intention to actually deliver those solutions to the pro-sumer is purely to deny competitors the profit, while functionally distracting and derailing would be independent producers from technical successes (marketable output).

    Thank God that enough smaller companies are finally putting some serious cracks, in that wall ... The HDV/NLE toolsets that I am using, today, surpass what the networks were using a dozen years ago (conservatively). But, trust me, the new and current BBC "production submission standards", do not include my (already puny) HDV 1080i 4:2:0 color-space ... Gotta be doing 50Mbit/sec @ 4:2:2 Intra-Frame to even get into the game ... PBS too. Less than 10% of program length can be HDV or beelow ... usually for dramatic, archival, or documentary effect (simulating security footage and home movies, etc. ... or historical footage)

    ... HDV and VEGAS provide ALL the tools required to "prove one's-self", tho ... Ever hear of Spike Lee ?

    = Al =
  30. Lost me 4 paragraphs in.

  31. builderbobftw said:
    Lost me 4 paragraphs in.


    Just killing two birds with one stone ... combining my daily "finger callistenics" with practice for an upcoming fillibuster ... espresso is great stuff, tho, Hmmmm ? ... drink it by the gallon.

    = [:boudy:1] =
  32. First off, I got literally zero sleep last night after goofing around way too late, staying up to watch Formula1 live at 5am, then spending the whole day under the sun doing some volunteer gardening for senior family friends. Never again, I say.

    Anyway, I'm dead tired and apologize if I make even less sense than before.

    Alvin, I'm really glad you brought up blackmagic. I'm not sure if your primary intent was to highlight the importance of nvidia or to focus on BM's products, or both - doesn't really matter. You brought to light a feature I've apparently forgotten - don't know why... perhaps because I was only starting to get into video at that point and wasn't planning any system upgrades. I had heard of BM back then as they do seem quite popular - also on a forum dedicated to 5DmkII video:

    I shoot video on the 5DmkII, majority of which are short clips @ HD 1080p30. I would really like to output to secondary display in Vegas to HD LCD. Blackmagic's intensity (either the card or usb3 shuttle) may fit the bill - at a very attractive price point - while providing far superior output performance. The card's requirements are a little vague as I've seen some conflicting information such as intensity card not supporting the I7. Perhaps the info is outdated, was from a user quoting BM but can't recall where I read this. Info on Vegas support is unclear as well at this point - they kind of refer to Vegas but not officially listed it seems. I'd have to do more digging. Finally, I'm not sure if I could use the Intensity to preview the 5D's h.264 MOV files through Vegas. I'll have to go dig around tomorrow, also on cinema5d. Would be nice to have solid playback output to secondary display! Don't need it for color-correcting, just a good-sized quality preview.

    Back to the cards we were squabbling about, I see both pros and cons:

    EVGA GTS 250 Only supports OpenGL 3.0 whereas ZOTAC has GL 3.2.
    However, even Adobe's full CS5 Suite only requires GL 2.1.
    Regardless, point goes to ZOTAC.
    In turn, EVGA model shows slightly better speeds. Perhaps negligible, but they're there.
    ZOTAC may be a little cheaper, but personal preference I would much rather go with EVGA.

    Thanks again to everyone. Original plan was to order Monday but I'll be out all day... so I thought I'd order Sunday. I'll delay as needed to get more info on blackmagic potential - very interested in taking advantage but will see.
  33. just as a quick retort ... lots of folks on Vegas Pro forum are using Blackmagic products for 3rd display HD output/preview (and other included features) ....

    ... Also ... heard a few good things about THIS ... but have not fully vetted compatibility ...
  34. Regardless of peripherals ... I CAN say that Vegas 9 Platinum (consumer rev) digests the .mov quicktime files, from my Lumix TZ5 ( very nicely and the sound is even amazingly clear.

    I hope your intended C5D-II workflow works out smoothly ... can't see any reason why it would not ... 'Cept one Canon rep did make fun of Vegas for not "being able" to support the new Canon 50Mb/s 4:2:2 Codec, in Pro.

    Also .. I went to YouTube, to watch that HOUSE TEASER (Shot with C5D) and, can you believe that even on the YouTube site (proper), it would only display at 480P max rez ... What good is that for proving the C5D's capabilities ??? (I ask you).

    Oh, well ... catch up on your sleep ... 'nuther big gulp of espresso, for me!

    = Al =
  35. So I pulled the trigger at Newegg.

    BuilderBob, ended up swapping 650HX for a 750TX. I guess the extra 100W may come in handy sometime and thought a modular PSU would kinda be like cheating on my first build, lol.
  36. Alvin can you post a link to the trailer? Is it a remake of the 80s movie?

    Don't know what good 480P does to show capabilities of the 5D but interesting they shot the movie with it. I know there have been a number of productions in both tv and film but never looked into what they actually were.
  37. House Season Finale Teaser Shot With Canon 5D Mark II’s.
  38. Well done OP. Good luck. Just make sure you ground your self and double check your work.

    Off topic: Any one here know if the next version of Vegas is going to have any GPU acceleration (ie like the new CS5 "Mercury" player).
  39. Cool.

    But I find it hard to recomned the TX-750 when teh 950 is like 10$ more.
  40. I'm just going to guess ... no.

    Reason? ... The system requirements for VEGAS read like a fortune cookie ... one of the main advantages ... but it may fly as an add-on.

    = Al =
  41. Shadow, thanks, you can bet I'll double and triple check but will still be freaking out on first boot. Never paid much attention to static when installing new hardware before but yeah - ended up ordering one of those wrist-straps too.

    BBob, the 750TX is $100 after rebate on Newegg.
    850TX $120 after reb
    950TX $130 after reb
    Maybe the 950 can be had cheaper elsewhere but ordered all in one place.

    Alvin, goes to show how much tv I watch, lol... never even heard of the series. Hard to tell anything at 480p really in terms of quality but that's some mighty nice shallow dof in some scenes :) I'll check the listings later, would be interested to catch an episode in HD.
  42. I admire the lighting and makeup ... painting with shadows ... gritty closeups.

    Hey ... I'm going to give you my greatest gift, yet. Read this the night before your build and refer to it during your build ... so that you will not need to ... AFTER your build ... especially the sections and links covering thermal paste.

    = g'luck! =
  43. Was already bookmarked, hehe... along with the MB manual, various other threads over at ASUS forum, threads on OC, proper amount of paste, etc. Probably good I have a few days before the stuff arrives so I can read up beforehand. Great advice nonetheless, much appreciated.
  44. Oh my...just missed the weekend, and lots of things happening here...
    But you have been getting very good responses though, which I can see are very useful to you...
    And as for the graphic card issues, my bad...I had thought that all the GTS/ GTX would support OpenGL 3.x, but it doesnt seem so...good that Alvin found out...

    And just an info -
    GTX 460 possible by June...It seems very attractive...

    And as for the mobo, the Gigabyte feature wise I dont see any issue...and Alvin, which issue are you talking about ?? AFAIK, having auto-switch for the X16 slots, only helps, when you populate more than 2 graphic cards - then those 3 cards run x16x8x8...if the mobo doesn't have auto-switch for the X16 slots like the P6T, then they run - x16x16x4, which is a bottleneck for the 3rd card...
    But seeing the number of boards dying after few days of usage, even I would suggest some other alternate, but only for this reason and not for any feature related issues...

    As for the PSU, going with a bigger PSU wouldn't make sense if you wont use that much power...
    CM unlike their Extreme Power PSUs, their Real Power and the Silent PRO series are in a different league...I built a PC(i5 750 + HD 5770) few months before with their Real Power 460W...they really feel good and work even better and have not yet had any complaints about them...
    As for the amount of power, a single GTX4xx series would require at the minimum 600W to be safe...But if you plan for an SLI of those cards, I dont think they would cut it...but for GTS 250 SLI, 600-650W will do...
    But I feel to keep an option of adding a higher powered graphics card, later down the road, 750W would be a good option...
    Modular is not necessary for the HAF 932...
    Corsair 750TX
    But for about $40 more, 7 years warranty + Modular, can be considered...these PSUs will last you atleast for 2 builds IMO...

    And never overshoot your power requirements...950W even though cheaper doesnt make sense...
  45. Welcome home, Kay.
    Some of the 250GTS DO support OGL3x (I have one in my cart) but those cards tend to be underclocked (I am assuming) for office use by graphics pros who want a lower power, lower noise card that is cheaper than a quadro ...
    BUT the vast majority do not support the latest versions of OpenGL ... I cannot understand why that is so ... do they pay for a license? ... Gotta be just a firmware thing ... I am befuddled but, it looks like they converted a few good candidates for pro graphics.

    I would LOVE to see a 450 (not 460) as two cards are required for more than two monitors and, since I have to buy two cards to do that, I would much rather have a cheaper, quieter, cooler, lower powered card than even a 460, so I can afford it and so my system can support it and so, in a Fortress2 case, they might be quiet enough for a live studio (voice-overs and acoustic apps).

    I sure have missed your PSU knowledge-base, of late ... You and Techmo seem to bee the only PSU gurus around and "Corsair/Seasonic" discipline has slipped, alot, lately ... seeing lots of PSUs that LOOK OK but I am unable to validate.

    Slot switching ... uhg ... Well, all I can tell you is that *I* want to be the one to decide how many lanes should be assigned to a given slot, or at least to be able to choose between the various 2 and 3 card configs.

    Game heads often forget that graphics types need to shove all sorts of 1X and 4x and even 8x cards into that crowded cardbus with dual slot cards blocking 1Z slots, etc. I am talking about Blackmagic Design Intensity and Decklink products as well as slot based SSDs and external RAID controllers ... etc., and so on. Right now, I have a PCIe FireWire card in my build with plans for Intensity (perhaps).

    I never owned a Gigabyte board so I can only site the boogey-man of slot auto-switching as taking away vital config control. For all I know, maybe it won't switch if it does not see an ACTUAL GPU (rather than non-graphics 1/4/8x components.).

    Was that everything you commented on? .... PSU? ... I was not in on that conversation.

    Glad you are back.

    = Alvin =
  46. ^ Yup as for the OpenGL support, even I have a doubt that it would be just related to the firmware and driver support...
    and thanks for the warm welcome :)

    As for the mobo, you must have seen that it has about 2x PCIe x16 slots, 2x PCIe x8 slots, 2x PCIe x1 slots and 1 PCI slot...
    And the auto switching will only occur with the 2x PCIe x16 and the 2x PCIe x8 when you populate the PCIe cards in appropriate slots, you get atleast x8 bandwidth in all the 4 slots when 4 cards are populated, and that bandwidth is suffice even for a high powered graphics card...but only the slot placement is the limitation here if you want to populate many Dual-slot cards...
    So overall I would say it is advantageous to many but disadvantageous for some...
  47. yeah ... I would like, for instance to have the primary slot STAY at 16X when I insert something other than a GPU in the secondary ... OR .. I may indeed want to go 8x8 ... I just do not see why I cannot select the config myself ... Does Asus force such choices ?
  48. ^ Well that is the advantage of the X58 get full x16 bandwidth at 2 slots...So take for instance you populate 1 graphics card and some other card at the 2nd slot, both would get full x16 bandwidth...
    and if you populate 3 cards, then the bandwidth allocation would be - x16x8x8 and the gigabyte board even splits the primary slot's bandwidth i.e., on paper, if 4 cards are populated then the slots would run @ x8x8x8x8 bandwidth...
  49. I can live with that ... and I will ... but it really is that third card that can kill ...

    ... Not to be a pill ... not to split hairs ... I actually would like to run two 250s or two 450s (if/when) @x16 ... Then ... I am considering products like firewire 400 (and/or 800 .. beyond the integrated port) and also Blackmagic Intensity or OCZ slot drive, etc ... so all I'm saying is that I am/was worried that the auto-switch might shut-me-out and am/was hoping the ASUS option might allow some more specific/discreet control of lane assignments through the BIOS.

    Example: What if I have GPU slots 1 and two populated with 250s/SLI and I then put a simple x1 Firewire card in the 3rd or 4th(some boards) slot ???

    Is that 1x card going to drag down my secondary x16 to 8x?

    I think I like the 16x16x4 option pretty well (plus a couple of short x1s) ... Anyway ...
    .... This consideration makes my choice much tougher ... This system is at the core of a full-blown audeo/video studio and, so, must function as a central multiplexer for lots of serious peripherals ( Like m-Audio Digi03 and many others) ...

    I have thought of distributing cardbus load across muliple clients ... I do have racks and all ... but I do not have significant cash flow to support unbridled procurements.

    ... So ... let's just say I am seriously concerned about the bandwidth and management of the cardbus ... especially.

    I'll understand if you are "played out" on this topic ... I wish I could see the available options more clearly, in my mind, is all ... I *NEED* the most possible options and flexibility, BOTH with the slot layout and with the lane assignments ... more length on the more cramped x1 slots is also welcome (very).

    Thanks for playing ... if you think you can shed any more light ... great ... I guess I have to get 3 or four finalists and REALLY read the manuals very closely ... hmmm.

    = Al =
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