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New Home system----Please critique

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July 13, 2010 4:28:44 PM

Hi Guys,
I have been out of the DIY PC hobby for several years now (built my last system 4 years ago...still using it as my main PC, this new one is to replace it).
As such its taken me the better part of several days catching back-up on all the technology changes. Anyway, I finally settled on what I feel is a good quality system, it wil be used for some hardcore Gaming but also a lot of engineering/CAD work.
Money is not so much an issue in that I spent it where I felt I wanted performance and budgeted it where I wasn't so concerned...it will probably be obvious where my emphasis lies, but that's what I want your critiques for.

Also, I used to be a big enthusiast, having fun messing with overclocking, this system anticipates that I may want to play with that a bit as well, though I may just leave it mostly stock for reliability purposes (system stability as well as lifetime).

Let me know when looking at the system if there are any absurdites or if you feel there are much better cost-performance options.

Thanks Guys!

Banthracis was right, should have included it this was.

NOTE:::: SEE the UPDATED BUILD a few messages down...based on all the feedback.



APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:This week

BUDGET RANGE: ~$3000 USD....flexible

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Heavy CAD/Engineering ... Hardcore gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse
Though I am not asking specifically, a good audio recommendation would be appreciated.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US

PARTS PREFERENCES:




CPU: ~$290 i7 930 Bloomfield 2.8Ghz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819115225

Mobo: ~$210 Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813128423

GPU: ~$640 SLI 2x Gigabyte GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280 MB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814125320

Mem: ~$380 12 GB (6 x 2GB) Crucial Ballistix Tracers DDR3 1333 7-7-7-24
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820148311

Harddrive: ~$650 Corsair RealSSD C300 256 GB 6Gb SATA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820148349

PSU: ~$130 Corsair CMPSU 850TX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817139009

Cooling: ~$70 ZALMAN CNPS10X Quiet 120mm
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835118052

Case: ~$109 Antex 902 ATX

BD/DVD/CD:~$130 LG Blue Ray BUrner WH10LS30

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 (most likely) or 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Will run Windows 7, possibly dual boot with Linux (CentOS or RedHat)

More about : home system critique

a b B Homebuilt system
July 13, 2010 4:50:45 PM

Fill out form in sticky, link in sig.

It's hard to give you cost/performance advice if you don't provide links or cost's for items listed...
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July 13, 2010 4:50:51 PM

that is a fine system, i would get an antec p183 and an antec CP-850 PSU both of which would be much more quiet. unless you want the bling of the 902 or feel the 183 does not give enough air, if thats the case look and then new antec darkfleet case. also personal preference, i see no reason to have an optical disk of any kind any more.
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Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
July 13, 2010 5:01:30 PM

I just built a rig for the same reasons that you did. I'm a gamer who also does eng/cadd.

I'll list what I chose and why... and list some options you might like.

i7-920 (cheaper, overclockable)
asus rampageIII mb (triple channel, usb3.0)
3x2gb ram + 3 sticks later (6gb is plenty, but can upg.)
2x1.5tb wd corsair black raid 0 (for mirroring)
corsair 1000w psu (modular, power for 2xgpu)
470gtx (great performance, half the cost of 480)
corsair 900d case (huge, watercooling in the future)
Lightscribe dvd/cd (cheap, so why not?)

My system is running fast & stable; the only problem I encountered is cable lengths from the case being a full tower.

A few recommendations for you:

*unless you feel like blowing money do not buy the 256gb ssd. If you want the performance stick with a 60gb ssd with 1 or 2 normal hdds as storage. Keep in mind that ssds can and do wear out.

*are you reusing your monitor/kb/mouse/perepherals? If not then you might want to look into those as well.

*have you looked at using a raid array? Raid 1+0, 0+1 and 5 offer speeds above a single non-ssd drive. Raid 0 does as well, but without data security (you are screwed if one fails)

*are you going to sli in the future? when I did my system build 550-650w was recommended for single gpu, 750-850w for two. Next factor in how much extra junk you will be running on it. 1000w was a simple decision, and its modular as well making cable routing easy.
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July 13, 2010 5:01:34 PM

Banthracis was right, should have included it this was.
Updateded the original post with better details and links


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a b B Homebuilt system
July 13, 2010 5:04:41 PM

*edit* (sorry edit button doesnt work at work so I have to use a new post)

if you take my suggestion of a ssd + normal hdds you would put your programs + OS on the ssd and use the normals just for file storage. I just wanted to clarify this.

*edit*
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July 13, 2010 5:05:02 PM

ezorb said:
that is a fine system, i would get an antec p183 and an antec CP-850 PSU both of which would be much more quiet. unless you want the bling of the 902 or feel the 183 does not give enough air, if thats the case look and then new antec darkfleet case. also personal preference, i see no reason to have an optical disk of any kind any more.



Bling not so much, it sits in my main office where I entertain clients on occasion.
I was looking for good airflow, SLI space and quiet..definitely check into the p183.

Thanks
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July 13, 2010 5:10:55 PM

ssddx said:
I just built a rig for the same reasons that you did. I'm a gamer who also does eng/cadd.

I'll list what I chose and why... and list some options you might like.

i7-920 (cheaper, overclockable)
asus rampageIII mb (triple channel, usb3.0)
3x2gb ram + 3 sticks later (6gb is plenty, but can upg.)
2x1.5tb wd corsair black raid 0 (for mirroring)
corsair 1000w psu (modular, power for 2xgpu)
470gtx (great performance, half the cost of 480)
corsair 900d case (huge, watercooling in the future)
Lightscribe dvd/cd (cheap, so why not?)

My system is running fast & stable; the only problem I encountered is cable lengths from the case being a full tower.

A few recommendations for you:

*unless you feel like blowing money do not buy the 256gb ssd. If you want the performance stick with a 60gb ssd with 1 or 2 normal hdds as storage. Keep in mind that ssds can and do wear out.

*are you reusing your monitor/kb/mouse/perepherals? If not then you might want to look into those as well.

*have you looked at using a raid array? Raid 1+0, 0+1 and 5 offer speeds above a single non-ssd drive. Raid 0 does as well, but without data security (you are screwed if one fails)

*are you going to sli in the future? when I did my system build 550-650w was recommended for single gpu, 750-850w for two. Next factor in how much extra junk you will be running on it. 1000w was a simple decision, and its modular as well making cable routing easy.


Thanks alot for your thoughts.

the 930 just didnt seem that much more expensive than the 920 and much cheaper than the 950.

As for the 256GB versus the 60 GB....its the IO throughput I am really after...I havent seen testbenchs for the 60GB version, only the 128 GB version which was not nearly as good...Ill check out the 60 GB data.

As for RAID or security, not too worried, I actually have a storage farm where all my data is backed-up regularly to other to the network, so I don't necessarily need to run RAID or have an extra disk in this particular system. Here is where your ^) GB maybe a good option as I only need the OS and critical programs on the local system...that will execute/load them fast.

As for the PSU 850-...here I am not certain, I wasnt sure if the 1000W was overkill and the 850 was more than good enough...from the specs the 850 should be fine...but power is a big reliability weakness for a solid system
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
July 13, 2010 5:26:12 PM

For RAM, you should get either the G SKill Pi 6gb ddr3 1600, cas 7 kit or the tridnet 2000 cas 9 kit. Both are better performance and lower voltage.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO and CPU combo for $16 off
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Also at $440 after rebates, you could consider getting 1 GTX 480 and sli when needed.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I really wish those things weren't so damn hot and power hungry though.

HSF
For cheaper, you can get a tuniq tower 120 extreme which is better.
$63
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you don't plan on an extreme overclock, then just grab a CM Hyper 212 Plus for $30 on amazon.com

Case you're gonna want nice airflow and lot's of space for 2 fermi's. Grab a HAF 922 and add in a side fan.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD choice is questionable with a major price shift coming in the next few months.

You should also get a data drive, so Spinpoint F3 1tb dirves would work.

Do you really need a blue ray burner?

Audio wise, how much are you looking to spend? Do you want headphones? 5.1? 7.1?2.1?
Share
July 13, 2010 5:42:20 PM

banthracis said:
For RAM, you should get either the G SKill Pi 6gb ddr3 1600, cas 7 kit or the tridnet 2000 cas 9 kit. Both are better performance and lower voltage.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO and CPU combo for $16 off
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Also at $440 after rebates, you could consider getting 1 GTX 480 and sli when needed.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I really wish those things weren't so damn hot and power hungry though.

HSF
For cheaper, you can get a tuniq tower 120 extreme which is better.
$63
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you don't plan on an extreme overclock, then just grab a CM Hyper 212 Plus for $30 on amazon.com

Case you're gonna want nice airflow and lot's of space for 2 fermi's. Grab a HAF 922 and add in a side fan.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD choice is questionable with a major price shift coming in the next few months.

You should also get a data drive, so Spinpoint F3 1tb dirves would work.

Do you really need a blue ray burner?

Audio wise, how much are you looking to spend? Do you want headphones? 5.1? 7.1?2.1?


This is Why I like THG..all of these are great suggestions and points. Thanks all of you.

I didn't see that particular Gskill part and your right...my big concern with the Crucials was the 1.65V.

Currently reviewing all the case suggestions.

As for the Blue-Ray burner..I dont know for certain, I like the idea of writing 50GB to a disk for certain aplications, but havent had the technology at my disposal to see if its something I can take advantage of ... sopmetimes you dont know how much you will use or need something until you try it.

Audio? I use headphones on occasion, particularly when I am in conference calls online, also on occasion for games but I love the feel of the speakers and heavy bass in my body for certain experiences or playing music in the office when I am working at the white board. In this system I will probably want 7.1.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 13, 2010 7:21:08 PM

Thanks for the clarification on system requirements. If you aren't worried about reliablility then ssd would work for you. However, I will state again that you might want to think about reliability as well. If your ssd crashes on you in 2-3 years do you feel like reinstalling the OS and every program? Also: having a small storage drive (250-500gb) internal would be great for storing files that you are working on at the moment. Accessing external drives will always be a bit slower in regards to response time.

As i stated before an 850w will probably work. However, I prefer to leave headroom for adding components in the future. Totally up to you.

As for speakers.. I've always had good luck with logitech. I picked up a 7.1 from walmart years ago and it sounds great. $100 if I remember correctly.

In regards to a blue ray burner: do you require 50gb disks to back up files? Keep in mind the slow write times and excessive cost of the media. I'm still of the mindset that DVD is still a better choice right now.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 13, 2010 7:22:18 PM

If you're going to go over 1KW for the PSU you're better switching to Enermax's Revolution 85+ series of PSU's. They're the only PSU to not have their 12V rail drop at all under load, other 1KW+ brands see small dips in 12V output when under load. If you're sticking with 850 then the Corsair HX series not TX series will be a lot better.
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July 13, 2010 7:44:02 PM

Srfii said:
Bling not so much, it sits in my main office where I entertain clients on occasion.
I was looking for good airflow, SLI space and quiet..definitely check into the p183.

Thanks


i need to point out that the p183 and antec CP-850 PSU are a pair that conspire to make a super quiet system,
cp-850 will not fit in other cases (except a select few antec cases), you will need to buy 2 addition 120mm fans for the front P183
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 13, 2010 8:14:50 PM

ssddx said:
Thanks for the clarification on system requirements. If you aren't worried about reliablility then ssd would work for you. However, I will state again that you might want to think about reliability as well. If your ssd crashes on you in 2-3 years do you feel like reinstalling the OS and every program? Also: having a small storage drive (250-500gb) internal would be great for storing files that you are working on at the moment. Accessing external drives will always be a bit slower in regards to response time.


There's no way to account for individual failures, but napkin math suggests that even in heavy-use scenarios, modern SSDs will last for quite a while. Anandtech's SSD Relapse is slightly out-of-date on product recommendations, but the foundation of the article is worthwhile reading for everyone interested in SSDs.

Napkin math:
Quote:
My personal desktop saw about 100GB worth of writes (whether from the OS or elsewhere) to my SSD and my data drive over the past 14 days. That’s a bit over 7GB per day of writes...

If I never install another application and just go about my business, my drive has 203.4GB of space to spread out those 7GB of writes per day. That means in roughly 29 days my SSD, if it wear levels perfectly, I will have written to every single available flash block on my drive. Tack on another 7 days if the drive is smart enough to move my static data around to wear level even more properly. So we’re at approximately 36 days before I exhaust one out of my ~10,000 write cycles. Multiply that out and it would take 360,000 days of using my machine the way I have been for the past two weeks for all of my NAND to wear out; once again, assuming perfect wear leveling. That’s 986 years. Your NAND flash cells will actually lose their charge well before that time comes, in about 10 years.


Beyond that, when an SSD fails, it should still be readable, making losing an SSD much less catastrophic than losing a traditional hard drive.

Based on SLI Zone, it appears that the minimum recommended wattage for 2x 470 is 750W. 850W is probably plenty of headroom.

Blu-ray burners are still overpriced. If you need to burn to blu-ray for a specific purpose, go ahead and get it. If not, stick with either a regular DVD drive or a blu-ray reader/combo drive.
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July 13, 2010 8:29:33 PM

OK, so I got a lot of great feedback and comments, here is an updated system build that I think will be great.


CPU: ~$290 i7 930 Bloomfield 2.8Ghz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819115225

Mobo: ~$210 Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813128423

GPU: ~$640 SLI 2x Gigabyte GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280 MB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814125320

Mem: ~$390 12 GB (6 x 2GB) G.Skill Trident DDR3 1600 7-7-7-21
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

[Thanks to Banthracis for this, for $10 more, I get 1600 vr 1333, slightly better latencies and I save 50mV VMEM]

Harddrive: ~$310 OCZ Agility 2 SSD 120GB 6Gb SATA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
~$75 Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3Gb SATA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

[Thanks to ssddx and Banthracis for making me seriously rethink the REalSSD C300 choice...in the end I will probably be much happier with this setup and save $300 for other features I had to upgrade]

PSU: ~$285 Enermax Revolutions 85+ 1050W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thanks to Griffolion for the recommendation[
Thanks ot ssddx for making me rethink my power requirements, turns out my SLI GTX470 are power hogs..big time. The enermax is a great choice and the performance numbers are solid. ]


Cooling: ~$63 Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme Universal CPU Cooler 120mm
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

[Thanks Banthracis, much better choice]

Case: ~$140 Cooler Master 932

BD/DVD/CD:~$80 LG Blue Ray plaver.... DVD/CD burner

(Yeah everyone, I probably do not really need Blue Ray burning)

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 (most likely) or 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Will run Windows 7, possibly dual boot with Linux (CentOS or RedHat)

I deal with audio later, but feel free to throw out your favorite speaker recs.

Final Verdict??? (At this point maybe Ill just spend an extra 100-200 to upgrade the processor...probably a waste though).

Thanks again for everyones Help!!!
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July 13, 2010 9:28:11 PM

Thanks coldsleep.

I'm still debating the PSU option, an extra $130 just for the additional 200 watts. Running numbers to see how much headroom I really have at 850
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July 14, 2010 3:27:48 AM

Best answer selected by srfii.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 14, 2010 3:35:37 PM

I'd like to add to cold's post that SSD's actually have a lower failure rate than magnetic HD's due to lack of moving parts.
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