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~$1500 for X-mas

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August 8, 2010 1:12:42 AM

So, for the first time in my life I have: 1) A real job. 2) A HUGE tax return check coming. 3) Permission to go hog-wild with my computer build.

I currently have 2x 4850s in my current rig. I am going to move them over, and add a third. My monitor set up is 2x 22" (1680x1050) and 1 20" (900x1440).
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So.. Here we go:

From Newegg.com = I7-930 combo
# Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80601930
# 475965GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
# 475965OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK
# 475965COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
# 475965COOLER MASTER Silent Pro RS850-AMBAJ3-US 850W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.92 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active ...
# 475965Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
# 475965Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler


Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC128MAG-1G1CCA 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
SAMSUNG Black Blu-ray Combo Drive - Bulk SATA Model SH-B083L/BSBP LightScribe Support - OEM
Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model AD-7260S-0B - OEM

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My primary usages are gaming (WoW Cataclysm with Civ IV/V/Colonization) running at the same time, as well as multi-tasking a lot of other crap.

Anything that you guys see as a problem/bottleneck/wasted money?

More about : 1500 mas

August 8, 2010 2:41:43 AM

get the i7 920 instead
go with 4 gigs of memory, nothing in the consumer market can saturate 6 gigs

other than that, everything seems to be fine
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August 8, 2010 5:25:30 AM

Looking at SuperBiiz, which actually is doing much better prices than NewEgg, the i7-920 is only $4 less than the i7-930... Any reason to go with the 920?
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August 8, 2010 5:32:02 AM

To save money, get a core i5 750/760 and a p55, 4gb of ram and your set until bulldozer comes. It's not the best time for a new rig since sandy bridge and bulldozer are coming soon
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August 8, 2010 4:52:59 PM

nvm about the 920 then if is i just 4 bucks

ubernoobie would be right, but sandy bridge isn't for enthusiasts like you

and bulldozer is still circa 10 months away

so don't worry
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August 8, 2010 5:37:42 PM

Go for an OCZ Vertex 2 over the 128 GB C300. I have the 128 GB C300 myself, and I'm very satisfied with it, but at that size, the Vertex 2 performs a little better. If you were buying at 256 GB drive, I'd say go for the C300.

People have reported having trouble getting OCZ RAM to run at rated speed/timings, but I don't have any first hand experience with it, I'll just suggest that if you can find something similar for the price from another brand, it should be considered.

It looks like you're looking at this combo, which means that you can't really switch out the RAM. Looks like a decent deal, though there aren't a lot of reviews on the PSU.

The i7-930 is a fine processor, and the 920 is no longer available at newegg anyway. Near the end, they were selling for the same price.

Looks pretty good, though it seems a shame to add another last-gen graphics card in. I'd consider holding off on that and saving up for more recent tech.
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August 8, 2010 6:29:51 PM

If you're spending your time waiting for the next new thing that's going to be coming out 3 quarters away, you're be waiting for all eternity, imo.
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August 8, 2010 6:31:27 PM

I will be getting a new graphics card in there eventually, but given that the 5800's seem overpriced, and the 5770's aren't really much of an upgrade over the 4850's, is it really worth it to upgrade yet?
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August 8, 2010 6:54:08 PM

no not really, two 4850s in Xfire aren't bad

and bulldozer will come out next January pretty much, so......
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August 8, 2010 6:57:12 PM

Jan 2011 or Jan 2012? I seemed to understand it was a Q3/Q4 2011 thing.
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August 9, 2010 4:48:37 AM

yeah bulldozer may come out earlier because AMD has a kick start but i really wouldn't count on any time in january or february, i wouldn't place my money even on september of next year

i was just wondering maybe AMD can bring out its guns earlier

but still a waste of time
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August 9, 2010 6:44:35 AM

henryvalz said:
I will be getting a new graphics card in there eventually, but given that the 5800's seem overpriced, and the 5770's aren't really much of an upgrade over the 4850's, is it really worth it to upgrade yet?


No, I didn't mean to upgrade now, just don't put a 3rd 4850 in there. The scaling for the 3rd card isn't really that great. You'd be better off going with 2x 4850 for now, but save the money that you would spend on a 3rd and use it to save up for a better future graphics card setup.
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August 10, 2010 12:58:46 AM

Part of my problem, and the reason I'd be inclined to get a 3rd card is that my current set up is getting murdered by my 3rd monitor.

My system ran pretty fast, as far as the visual goes, until I tossed in the 3rd, because I had to take off the CF of the video cards to get 3 monitors to run.
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August 10, 2010 1:05:16 AM

henryvalz said:
My system ran pretty fast, as far as the visual goes, until I tossed in the 3rd, because I had to take off the CF of the video cards to get 3 monitors to run.


Have you updated your drivers recently? I thought they fixed that...or was that just for the 5nnn-series?
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August 10, 2010 1:24:30 AM

I believe that is just in the 5XXX series. I tried everything to get that fixed. Drivers, yelling, research, using different DVI ports, etc...
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August 10, 2010 2:00:46 AM

I dunno, I empathize, but dropping another $100ish on another last-gen card seems like a mistake. I'd be really tempted to just live with the 4850s & save up for a new GPU if it were my build.
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August 10, 2010 2:05:21 AM

+1

you could sell them and get two 5770s and CF those
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August 10, 2010 2:07:18 AM

True... I like that idea...
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August 10, 2010 2:08:14 AM

Thank you two (upendra and coldsleep) very much for your help, btw.

It's been very helpful, and I appreciate it!
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August 10, 2010 2:31:22 AM

Henry, I recently went through the same decision making process with a similar budget and picked a very similar system:

Intel i7-930 (at Microcenter for $200, rest through newegg)
1 x GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
1 x CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
1 x OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTX50G 2.5" 50GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
1 x OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK
1 x LIAN LI PC-A71F Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case
1 x Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
1 x GIGABYTE GV-N460OC-1GI GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
1 x SAMSUNG 24x DVD Burner - Bulk SATA Model SH-S243N/BEBS LightScribe Support - OEM
1 x SilverStone SDP08 3.5" to 2 x 2.5" Bay Converter

Alltogether, the system cost $1475 (takin advantage of newegg combo deals) and not including approx $50 mail in rebates. Since you don't need a graphics card, you should be able to purchase a similar system around $1250 (not including mail in rebates).

I too consider the Crucial SSD and went with the Vertex 2 after reading on line reviews and posts on this forum. And I spent a long time on PSU, before deciding on the Corsair 850HX.


Good luck in your decision and have fun.
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August 10, 2010 3:50:04 AM

It seems to me that with a board capable of SATA III, you would want a SSD capable of utilizing that. That is the reason I chose the C300 over the Vertex 2...

Is that wrong? Is it not really capable of those speeds? It would seem from the reviews from Toms that you would get better speed with that board from the C300...
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August 10, 2010 6:05:46 AM

Both the C300 and the Vertex 2 are very fast. As I said earlier, I have the 128 GB C300, but if the Vertex 2 had been available at the time I bought mine, I probably would have gone for the Vertex. From the comparisons I've seen, the 100 GB Vertex 2 is better than the 256 GB C300 at some measures.

Due to the controller used in most SSDs (but not the Vertex 2 and a few others), as you reduce the size of an SSD, the speed drops. The comparison from anandtech linked above showed the Vertex 2 beating the 256 GB C300 on a number of the benchmarks, so it's going to be faster than the 128 GB C300 as well.

From another anandtech article:
"The 128GB C300 tends to be slower than the 100GB SandForce drives while the 256GB C300 is about on par and sometimes faster. The 256GB C300 also pulls ahead if you move to a 6Gbps SATA controller."

Note the lack of mention of the 128 GB SSD in the 2nd sentence.

If you have the time, I recommend reading through both of the linked articles. Yes, if you have the cash to drop on the 256 GB C300, it's likely worth it. If you're looking in the 100-128 GB range, the Vertex 2 offers more performance. The real world usage tests are pretty interesting.

Yet another quote from that article:
"If you’re running Windows 7, have a 6Gbps controller and want a 256GB drive, go Crucial. If you’re running any other OS, are using RAID or can only afford a 128GB drive, go SandForce."

Much like the Western Digital 1 TB WD1002FAEX traditional hard drive, just because something has a SATA 6.0 GB/s controller, that doesn't mean that it can max it out.
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August 10, 2010 8:06:47 AM

So I read the crap out of those 4 articles, and just like every time you learn more, you end up realizing you know less...

But what I'm seeing with the Anandtech article is that if I A) Have a 6GB/s controller, and B) am running Windows 7 (both true) then the Vertex 2 and C300 at 100 and 128 are very similar.

On top of that, the C300 is a little cheaper, from what I'm seeing. However, the Vertex 2's price is hard to figure, since there appears to be a 90,100, and 120 out there... But I'm going to keep looking...

At least I have a few more months for prices to drop, hopefully.
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August 10, 2010 4:07:49 PM

Yeah, that last article confuses the issue a little more, as the 128 GB with a SATA III controller is faster at a few tasks. Overall though, the Vertex 2 is faster at more tasks

If you're going to wait for a few months, you probably want to ask for build suggestions again at that point. It's almost certain that some of the recommendations will have changed by then. Clearly if the C300 128 GB is a lot cheaper than the Vertex 2, the value is too good to pass up, but who knows what will happen by then? :) 
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August 22, 2010 6:05:18 PM

Best answer selected by henryvalz.
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