New 980X Build

I have been planning this build for some time and now I have the money to do it (will purchase in the next couple weeks) so I figured I would gather some input to see what others thought. This system will be used for movies, gaming, and school. The display will be 24" at 1920x1200 resolution. It's an extreme edition processor so it would be a shame not to overclock. I would be happy if I got it to 3.8 Ghz 24/7. I opted for air cooling just because of the horror stories I have heard and the desire to not have to clean it. I tried to create a system with very low noise, but still providing a significant amount of air to create a well cooled system.

CPU: Intel I7 980X
CPU Cooler: Prolimatech Megahalems
CPU fans: Push/Pull Gentle Tyhpoon AP-15 1850rpm (2)
Thermal Paste: GELID GC-Extreme
Case: Antec 1200
Motherboard: ASUS P6X58D
HD: Crucial SSD C300 SATA III 256 GB
Video Card: SAPPHIRE Vapor-X Radeon HD 5870 2GB (It's like 30 bucks more than the 1 GB version so why not)
RAM: Corsair XMS3 6GB DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Timing: 7-7-7-20
PSU: Corsair 1000HX
Optical Drive: LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R w/ lightscribe (nothing fancy at the moment)
Case Fans: Gentle Tyhpoon AP-15 1850rpm (4) and Gentle Tyhpoon AP-13 1150rpm (1 for bottom)
Fan controller: Lamptron FC-5

Estimated Total: ~$3500-$4000

The power supply might be overdoing it, but I wanted to be safe.
The fan controller has 4 ports (30 W each) so I figured 1 for the two back fans, 1 for the two front fans, and then 1 channel for each of the two CPU fans for more control. It is my first time with a fan controller, so thoughts on this are especially welcome. I choose the FC-5 over the sunbeam due to the insane brightness of the LEDs.
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  1. Why not get a HD 5970? You spending too much already, so why not go all out? Also, a 1kW PSU is complete overkill. 850W is enough to power dual 5970s and overclock. I'd get the Cosair 850W Modular 80+ Silver.

    You're likely overpaying for the RAM. Get either the G.Skill Pi 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 or Mushkin Enahnced Redline 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 6. You'll likely save money and either get the same performance or better.

    You also should get a data HDD. You don't want to be storing everything on the SSD. I'd recommend the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB.

    Finally, I'd switch out the case for something a bit larger. Take a look at the HAF 922 or Coolermaste Cosmos. They're bigger and the Antec 1200 is going to have some trouble fitting such a large HSF and a massive GPU.
  2. I would get this fan controller it has good proffesionall reviews

    Madadmiral pointed out most of the rest

    Also I disagree about a 5970. Everyone keeps on reccomending it and I am yet to see why. It's fast I'll give you that and it's 2 400dollar gpu's but they are clocked so low they will perform like 5850's or below. Some benchmarks show the cheaper 5850 xfire beating a 5970 on the others they are pretty much equal.

    And if you are willing to spend 700dollars on gpu's I'd still go 470 sli as its faster as the 5970 and the 5850 xfire(quite significantly actually) and provides some nice nvidia features. But it is hot and power consuming.

    The only reason I see the 5970 being a good buy is if you have watercooling and thus need to cool less cards. Or if you have space issues which you well don't.
  3. MadAdmiral, Thank you for the fast reply. I appreciate it. I will certainly be making some changes. One question though, I tend to use very little space on my desktop for whatever reason (for example I am only using up 50 GB of my current HD). Is there any disadvantage to storing everything on the SSD if I have the space? Also, since I have the option of SATA III wouldn't using this drive ( for storage be better?
  4. there is no disadvantage of filling up your ssd but Most people don't have less than 250gb I for example have around 250gb just applications and OS. I don't know how fast that WD is but I'm pretty sure its faster than the f3 but if its just for storage than there isn't much point in spending too much on an hdd.
  5. The disadvantage to storing everything on a SSD is that writing new data to a SSD makes the drive slower. It also wears the drive out faster. It's advisable to have two drives to avoid these negatives, and since other HDDs are cheap, there isn't a huge drawback.

    As far as filling a SSD to the max, there is a disadvantage. SSDs slow down considerably if you fill more than 80% of the drive. With a 256 GB drive, you really only have about 180 GB for apps and such after the 20% cushion and the OS.

    Actually, no that WD wouldn't be better. The WD SATA III drives aren't any faster than the other 500 GB platter drives (Samsung Spinpoint F3 and Seagate 7200.12) and they're more expensive. I'd stick with the Samsung, or get this combo with the HAF 922 since you don't see to need much space.
  6. To follow up on MadAdmiral's post, there are currently no mechanical hard drives that reach SATA III speeds, so there's really not a lot of point in getting them. Mechanical hard drives have yet to max out SATA II.

    If you want to spend the extra $30 or so to say that you have a SATA III drive, then go for it, but it's not going to provide increased performance.
  7. but why does everyone reccomend the 5970?
  8. Because the 5970 is the best. Also, it's likely that if you never upgrade above a single 1080p monitor that you won't need to replace it before the rest of the build is obsolete. I'd say that's a good deal if you have the cash for it.
  9. If I were you Id get a i7 920, the extra cores will benefit you 0. With the saved money buy a decent laptop for school, and keep the gamer, gaming at home.
  10. After many review of the i980x, it's definitely not a good buy. You could just get a 920 or 860, and upgrade your GPU, and get a HDD.
  11. Rise25 said:
    This system will be used for movies, gaming, and school.
    +1 for daship's 2-fer suggestion. A $2000 i7 930 build and a $1500 laptop.
  12. @ Rise25, you can get a computer that can handle any games, and crysis at $2k, and still have money to get a decent gaming labtop or work labtop for school.
  13. The CP-850 and CP-1000 are specifically made for that case, match the Corsair series electrically, The CP's are quieter than the HX series and the CP's are available for almost half the price.

    Antec 1200 w/ CP-1000 $264 ($114 net cost for PSU) Compare that w/ the $220 for the HX1000

    Antec 1200 w/ CP-850 $240 ($90 net cost for PSU) Compare that w/ the $170 for the HX8500

    An 850 watter is fine for twin 5870's or twin 470's .... 5970's or 480's go bigger.

    Your case comes with all the fans you'll need for an ATI card

    My son has an Antec 1200 with the Megahalems and a huge twin GPU card ....runs at 4.2 GHz 920 and 70-73 on all 4 cores under P95 small FFT's w/ HS fans at 85% speed. AT 3.77 Ghz, temps are in low 50's

    I would be happy if I got it to 3.8 Ghz 24/7

    You can easily do that with a 920/930

    1850 rpm is gonna be very loud. Anything above 1200 rpm is gonna be audible.

    RAM - Stick w/ the Corsair 7-8-7-20's unless you wanna drop to CAS 6 and spend more money. Your choice is $155 and is faster than the marginally slower GSkill's that are $30 more expensive (7-8-7-24). The low profile Corsairs also eliminate any concerns due to hi profile heat sinks interfering w/ your Megahlames

    MoBo - Consider the Rampage III Extreme w/ the moola I saved you, R3E is only $65 more but is an unbelievable board

    If not, drop the 2nd LAN and get the P6X58D-E go the other way and save $65

    Hard Drives - Check out the performance charts and pick whatever 500 GB per platter drive performs best under your usage patterns. The 2 TB WD Black and XT from Seagate are good choice but at smaller capacities, you are limited to the Seagate 7200.12 or the Spinpoint F3. The 7200.12 excels in gaming, multimedia and pictures whereas the F3 wins at music and movie maker. See the comparisons here (copy past link in manually, link won't work in forum):


    Look at the tests that reflect your usage and choose accordingly.

    As for the SATA III concern it is certainly true that no mechanical HD can saturate the SATA III pipeline....however, it must be taken into account that not everything comes off the disk. With today's large caches, a significant portion of HD activity is from the HD cache to the system and these can in fact be more than the SATA II pathways can handle....test have shown notable speed increases when HD activity contains frequent transfers from cache.

    GFX Card...if you're considering spending $530 for a 5870, ya might consider the faster $499 fermi's. Your case and PSU will easily handle them w/ no temperature issues. The 5970 is not all that far away in cost but it gets soundly beat by twin 470's at the same $700 cost. Twin 5850's is another option. One could make a good argument for any of those choices.

    Card (Avg/Min)

    BFBC2 (DX11)
    470 SLI (76/57)
    5970 (77/54)
    5850 Xfire (85/61)

    Dirt2 (DX11)
    470 SLI (128/116)
    5970 (93/83)
    5850 Xfire (11/97)

    Dragon Age Origins (DX9)
    470 SLI (102/65)
    5970 (102/55)
    5850 XFire (95/49)

    Far Cry 2 (DX9)
    470 SLI (131/86)
    5970 (119/76)
    5850 XFire (121/79)

    Far Cry 2 (DX10)
    470 SLI (139/86)
    5970 (111/76)
    5850 XFire (123/84)

    Metro 2033 (DX11)
    470 SLI (44/35)
    5970 (37/26)
    5850 XFire (40/28)

    Heaven (DX11)
    470 SLI (55/33)
    5970 (40/18)
    5850 Xfire (42/20)


    470 SLI (675/478) wins by 9% / 19% over twin 5850's ..... 17% / 23 % over 5970
    5850 XFire (617/418) wins by 7 % / 8% over 5970
    5970 (579/388)
  14. Somebody_007 said:
    but why does everyone reccomend the 5970?

    Cause it currently holds the title as the fastest card that uses a single slot....some peeps don't wanna settle for 2nd best. The 5970 is two downclocked 5870 GPU's on a single card so it uses a single slot.....performance wise it's the equivalent of two 5850's GPU's. I don't necessarily have a beef w/ its $700-$750 price tag but as it's MSRP is $599, I simply refuse to support vendors charging $100+ over MSRP.

    You would get better performance from twin 5850's which are still selling over MSRP too but by not as great a margin. The more trusted brands are selling them between $299 and $309 at the moment on so two of them would give you 7-8% better performance for $80-100 less. As indicated in the previous post, twin 470's give you 17 - 23% better performance for the same price as a 5970 however you lose a potential slot for a future upgrade. NOte: These comparisons are at 1920 x 1200 and hi settings, at other resolutions, the numbers are going to be different.

    To my mind, you could make a good argument for any of those choices....ATI and nVidia have priced their wares very competitively and the consumer is in a good place at this point having several viable choices.
  15. Finally someone who considers other options. I agree that the 5970 would be a good buy if you have an i5 so you can't support 16/16 or if you want to go to quadfire later. But I don't think either would be a real concern to you.

    IMO at 700 5970 on an i7 system is a waste. btw if really want to leave room for upgradebility I'd still get a 480 gtx. In belgium though the 5850 costs 300euros and the 5970 600 so here a5970 would be good but in America I wouldn't reccomend one.
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