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My new Rig - Help me, Please

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July 29, 2010 4:27:31 PM

Hello there,
(Please bear to read...)
For the past one and a half months I have been browsing around reading charts and review to find myself new components for a new PC. I wanted something great.
After many sleepless nights I finally set my mind on something and finally placed my order yesterday... but here is what happens

Mother board: Asus P6X58D premium

Now... the CPU. I did buy I7 980X Extreme... quite the price but this time I decided to spend on CPU instead of Video Card... only.. to find that it got a rating of 7.8 in windows ( I couldn't do other benchmarks but later on that). Well, ok, is only 0.1 from the MAX score, but for one of the most expensive and supposedly best (excluding the XEONs) ... I felt disappointed, not the mention that it started with 7.7 and after 1-2 (mostly random) tweaks at the bios it got the 7.8.
So do I have to do something special to make the best use of my CPU... to get the extreme part working?

Memory - Corsair D3 6G Kit, 2000MHz,CMT6GX3M3A2000C8, DHX+, XMS3 - Win7 bench.. rated 7.8 again... well I guess that is possible since its only 6G ... But the fan those RAMs use - My, my, so noisy.

For HDD I was wondering between VelociRaptor 600Gb, 2xVelociRaptor 300, Intel SSD 25-M 160Gb or 2x Intel SSD 25-m 80G... So I went with 2 SSDx80Gb RAID 0 ... 7.9
the 600gb VR was my first choice but.. later I decided I could use RAID for even better performance.. but the 2x300 were even more expansive then the single SSD 160Gb.. so I went with the 2x80. Do you think the other would have been better?

Now... the video... Asus GTX 480 ( sadly in my country its either Asus or Palite for the Nvidia). First after putting in the drivers... benchmark showed 7.9. Minutes later Win7 updated and... it conflicted with the Graphic card.. it dropped to 6.0. I updated the drivers still no change.. so I ended up formating and reinstalling to fix this.

Now here is the good part... After that... win7 reinstall, drivers, RAID setting etc, etc etc. I decide to check if the VG is performing good again. I run the win7 rating and half way through it display starts showing Artefacts ( or pixes distortions or whatever they are called) and... voila! card is burned out.

This is 2 hours after my PC was put together.

Ok, they will send my card back and replace it... but now I am concerned with my choice. Should I change it? Ati's 5970 seems a bit too much now since I already spent
most my money on the CPU and I am not sure if the 500$ are worth the 5970. Please give me advice.

Comment on my choosing please. Right now I can use the VG trouble to change other stuff as well. Is that 480 really that troublesome. Should I consider liquid cooling? I have put some reading for liquid and its seems like a decent cooling will cost me additional 700$+.

As for now, tomorrow I will probably take the XFX GTX 280 XXX from my present PC and put it in the new one just to have it running but I do need to have this solved as soon as possible.

EDIT: I have CoolerMaster HAF X case with all fans possible.

More about : rig

July 29, 2010 5:03:58 PM

If your system is stable, forget about the windows 7 ratings. My onboard video actually scores higher than a separate video card. The ratings system is a sham, designed to only measure certain features of windows 7. I know for a fact that the separate video card is faster for gaming even though it scores lower.
July 29, 2010 5:05:51 PM

There is no problem. WEI is complete and utter bullshit. It can be accurate, but only to a degree. The GPU scores are especially inaccurate.

You are worrying way too much and paying too much attantion to WEI.

Also, I recommend you get another 480. The 5970 may be two chips on one, but each chip is less powerful than a 480. I always go the safe route and avoid crossfire/SLI.
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July 29, 2010 5:24:16 PM

Well I wanted to avoid CF and SLI. My previous set up was X1900 XTX ( I think) on CF. And was total failure. Switched to the GTX 280 shortly afterwards. But this burnout on my GTX 480 really worries me. Since the people from the retailer here are my friends and in the past month they have sold 1 more gtx 480 and it also burned out after 2 days.

What about the HDDs? Did you think I got it right with the 2xSSD 80G RAID ?
July 29, 2010 5:37:19 PM

For the CPU, you may want to overclock it a little. That is what the Extreme edition is for, it has an unlocked Multiplier for easier OC'ing.

For the GPU, that shouldn't be. My 280 is a 7.3.
July 30, 2010 2:29:33 AM

zippystar said:
What about the HDDs? Did you think I got it right with the 2xSSD 80G RAID ?

There is no TRIM support with raid. The drives will degrade with only their internal garbage collecting helping them. I doubt they will go below the trimmed single drive but still...
I remember reading something a while back about which controllers were best for raiding. I think intel had horrible internal garbage collection or something but I cannot remember. It may have been on anandtech. They have some really good SSD articles.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/2738
There's a newer article on anand that covers the different controllers including sandforce. I can't find it though.

Either way, it's something to look into.
July 30, 2010 6:39:57 AM

Hmm... that was really helpful. I didn't knew that about the SDD. Hopefully I won't fill it that fast... and obviously secure format everytime I reinstall windows.

Any advice on the video card... They will swap my GTX 480 with a new one... but I am kind of spooked now that it broke off after 2 hours. I do know they tend to heat up very much. For now I will put in my 280 inside the new rig to make it work.

Here is my dilemma:
Simple choice is I get my replacement 480 and hope it doesn't break
I can get another 280 and sli mine with it... problem is that XFX nolonger imports their products here, so would it be ok if I SLI my XFX 280 with and Asus or whatever other 280 manufacturer?

I could inviest 300$ to get liquid cooling ( pump, reservoir, radiator and a block for the 480) for the GTX 480 so it doesn't heat up... but well if it does indeed break down I will lose my warranty.

Should I just suck it, bash my head for choosing 480 and switch to the new 5970 for an additional 500$?

Does the 480 really overheats and breaks that easily, or was it just bad luck?
July 30, 2010 7:12:26 AM

How about getting a couple of GTX 460 1GB cards and put them in a SLI setup..!! That'll pull out performance equivalent to (or more sometimes) a single GTX 480 / HD 5970.. As a side note, you should not be bothered about WEI or any other synthetic benchmark scores.. The way your stuff performs with real world apps will give you enough knowledge and satisfaction..
July 30, 2010 7:31:23 AM

Quick update:
Today we decided to test the 480 again... and this time when we tried it at first it showed artefacts/ grumbled pixels... but we decided to run 3D Mark neverthe less.
Shortly after the test started the pixeles stopped showing and pictures cleared.
Now I think it might have been driver problems... but still I am worried.

Sadly when the test reached CPU phase... it got stuck on the CPU warming up screen... the PC didn't freeze.. more like the application froze.. because when I clicked ESC the test stopped and Win was working fine. I tried this several times... same thing.
July 30, 2010 8:10:09 AM

Oh so you haven't RMA'd it yet? Well, I would RMA it and get it replaced with another 480. If you want more time to think about your options though, see about getting your money back and use your GTX280 until you figure out what you want.

Another option is to stick with the 280 for now, and get the new 6xxx radeon series this christmas, if you can wait.

Like I said, I like to avoid crossfire/SLI, but that aside, the idea of crossfire 280s would outperform a GTX295 and probably come close to a 480 in anything that can utilize the SLI.
July 30, 2010 12:22:10 PM

Thanks a lot for the help. I will be taking it home today with the 480 inside... try to push it to the limit this weekend see if I can break it :) 
July 30, 2010 2:53:54 PM

zippystar said:
Thanks a lot for the help. I will be taking it home today with the 480 inside... try to push it to the limit this weekend see if I can break it :) 

Let us know how it goes, eh:p 
July 31, 2010 5:37:00 AM

Things seem stable so far, CPU does go to above 80+ degree C, but so far I haven't manage to hit it to its "famous" 90+

I haven't done any tweaking yet and 3d Mark Vatage gives my GPU 18662 score.
Sadly I doesn't give full score because I can't test the CPU. Seems like (from what I have read around) that Its's 2nd test for Physics isn't compatible with 8+ core CPU's and this can't go pass the 2nd test.

If you can recommend other benchmark I would be thankful.

No problems with the GPU so far even at the hight temps. Only thing now is that my Cooler Master HAF X, doesn't fit in the desk where my previous PC case :) 
July 31, 2010 5:46:44 AM

Good to hear everything worked out so far. I do know a few GPU benchmark programs but unfortunately, none of them are consistent and reliable lol.
I would recommend crystalmark for the CPU score alone but I recently found out that it only benches up to 4 CPU cores.
July 31, 2010 2:16:09 PM

Indeed that seems to be the problem with the benchmarks I know :) 
Thanks anyway :)  Hopefully everything will turn out fine :) 
!