Solved

Second attempt at build - would love feedback

I know I'm not using the normal post format, but I'm mostly interested in feedback on a suitable motherboard (I also posted there), and any feedback/opinions. For 3d rendering and digital art, mild gaming, eye toward future upgrades, most choices made to maximize heat/power efficiency, and digital art work flow, rather than blazing frame rates.

Full Tower ATX case

Phenom II x6 core (socket AM3)

SSD boot/OS drive (with SATA 6GB/s, 2.5")

Second drive (slower, SATA 3GB/s, 3.5")

PCIe 2.1 x16 Vid Card... would love to be able to add a second in crossfire down the road (rec: 400W, 500W CF)... also note that this card did NOT fit in my Mid-Tower because of side fans.

650W Power Supply... enough?

2 x 4GB RAM DDR3... would like to add as much of this as humanly possible.

Oh yeah, will run 64-bit W7 OS
17 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about second attempt build love feedback
  1. 1. Fine casse but u sure u need a Full Tower for mild gaming, etc? Have a look at these casings
    CM 922
    NZXT Hades

    2. F3 1TB + XFX 650 80+ Bronze combo?
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.454705

    3. Hmm current $$/GB i would hit a 60GB SSD and be more selective what is installed on em hehe
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220511

    4. Mobo/GPU
    870 + HD 5850/GTX 460?
  2. Thanks batuchka.

    1. I'll check the cases out. My main reason for the full tower was a.) I don't mind the size, b.) I want to future proof for expansion, and c.) my new graphics card has an elephant-man-like shape that hogs more real estate than it should.

    2. Nice combo find! that F3 was pretty high on my list as well.

    3. Yeah. If I start cutting cost, the SSD will be the first thing to get downsized (that's why I'm being especially nice to my wife!). I currently have just under 70GB in a WD RAID array (2 x 35ish GB striped), but I'm running out of space... 3d art is a cruel mistress!

    4. Any suggestions for a mobo? CRAP! Just missed that. I'll check it out, thanks!... Actually, I'm dense when it comes to motherboards... could you link?
  3. Am actually advocating 1055T + OC ^^
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.470531
    Hades and CM 922 both are HD 5970 capable FYI^^
  4. Thanks again. It looks very good... might have just solved my problem, but I'll still take more feedback from folks.

    EDIT: Unless I'm misunderstanding, this mobo has only a single PCIe 2.0 x16 slot. Wouldn't that keep me from using crossfire down the road?

    Maybe better choices???: This Gigabyte and this Asus seem to have two slots, though the second slot seems to only run at x4.
  5. All except the Asrock 870Extreme3 870 chipsets seem to either have 1 x PCIex16 2.0 or 2 that do 16/4 in CF Am actually advocating single GPU solutions ^^
  6. pedrov said:
    I know I'm not using the normal post format, but I'm mostly interested in feedback on a suitable motherboard (I also posted there), and any feedback/opinions. For 3d rendering and digital art, mild gaming, eye toward future upgrades, most choices made to maximize heat/power efficiency, and digital art work flow, rather than blazing frame rates.

    Full Tower ATX case

    Phenom II x6 core (socket AM3)

    SSD boot/OS drive (with SATA 6GB/s, 2.5")

    Second drive (slower, SATA 3GB/s, 3.5")

    PCIe 2.1 x16 Vid Card... would love to be able to add a second in crossfire down the road (rec: 400W, 500W CF)... also note that this card did NOT fit in my Mid-Tower because of side fans.

    650W Power Supply... enough?

    2 x 4GB RAM DDR3... would like to add as much of this as humanly possible.

    Oh yeah, will run 64-bit W7 OS


    The maximum reasonable amount of ram you can get, short of workstation motherboards is by using a X58 motherboard with 6 slots, giving 24gb using 3 x 4gb kits.
    The AMD 6 core cpu would have to give way to a i7-930 cpu with a mild overclock. The 930 is an outstanding deal if you can go to a microcenter and pick one up for $199.
    Only if you know that your apps can make use of 6 cores would I consider the 6 core AMD today.
    Note that you need windows-7 pro if you want more than 16gb of ram.

    Most mid size cases will hold 6-8 hard drives. Using 2tb drives, that is lots of space.The Antec 200 would be fine.

    A large case like the Antec 1200 is mostly needed for cooling of multiple high end graphics cards. Spend those funds elsewhere.

    I don't much like cases with side fans. I think they disrupt natural cooling flow and reduce the type of cpu cooler you can use.

    As to the vga card, I suppose that a 5670 is good for your apps. If the time ever comes that you need more, the best upgrade path is to sell it and replace it with a single stronger card.

    I like the XFX650w suggestion. It is well priced, and has good reviews. It will power the strongest single video card you can reasonably buy today.

    The WD caviar green is a slow drive, For a bit more, get the black model which performs better.

    I like the SSD, it is one of the best performance components you can buy. If you buy today, be prepared for buyer's remorse. Gen3 drives will be here by fall, giving you larger, cheaper,and faster products. If you want an interim unit for the OS, get an Intel X25-M 80gb drive. I think it will hold it's value best on the resale market because if the Intel brand name.
  7. Wow! Thanks! All really helpful info.

    I'll reconfigure and see what I can save cash-wise. Both of you recommended the reduction in case size, and I'll look around for best prices, but unless there is a lot of money to be saved, I'll probably stick with the largest case I can get... may need to reevaluate those side fans though.

    My software can definitely make use of as many cores and as much RAM as I can spare.

    I'll check out the i7 cores... don't know much about them to be honest... always been more of an AMD guy.

    Two questions given the feedback:

    1.) Can I upgrade the amount of RAM on the X58 board incrementally and, if so, in what numbers (assuming 3 x 4GB groups)?

    2.) Could I still run my old WD Raptors (2 x 35ish striped to form 70) on these newer boards... accepting of course that I won't be maximizing the board? Maybe then I could hold off on the SSD until the next gen comes out.
  8. Best answer
    pedrov said:
    Wow! Thanks! All really helpful info.

    I'll reconfigure and see what I can save cash-wise. Both of you recommended the reduction in case size, and I'll look around for best prices, but unless there is a lot of money to be saved, I'll probably stick with the largest case I can get... may need to reevaluate those side fans though.

    My software can definitely make use of as many cores and as much RAM as I can spare.

    I'll check out the i7 cores... don't know much about them to be honest... always been more of an AMD guy.

    Two questions given the feedback:

    1.) Can I upgrade the amount of RAM on the X58 board incrementally and, if so, in what numbers (assuming 3 x 4GB groups)?

    2.) Could I still run my old WD Raptors (2 x 35ish striped to form 70) on these newer boards... accepting of course that I won't be maximizing the board? Maybe then I could hold off on the SSD until the next gen comes out.


    A trivial overclock makes the i7-930 run like a i7-975@3.3
    On that basis, it competes with the X6 AMD cpu's. Exactly where it wins and loses is dependent on the app.
    The 930 has 4 cores and 4 hyperthreads which are each worth about 1/3 of a full core. That gives you 8 threads vs. 6.
    The i7 instructions tend to do more per clock cycle than AMD so it becomes very hard to do an exact apples to apples comparison.
    My net is to consider them comparable in a highly threaded environment, with the i7 superior when all threads are not needed.
    Here is a review which includes some comparisons:
    http://www.guru3d.com/article/phenom-ii-x6-1055t-1090t-review/1

    1) A X58 motherboard will normally have 6 slots. It is best to populate them with three or 6 sticks to give you triple channel operation.
    Any other number of ram slots can be populated wit the caveat that some of the sticks will not run in triple channel mode. Actually, that is a negligible consideration because the nehalem memory controller is very good at feeding the cpu with ram data. Think a 1-3% hit for single channel ram. If you are looking for lots of ram, I suggest a 3 x 4gb kit which will give you 12gb of ram. You could add a 3 x 1gb, 3 x 2gb , or 3 x 4gb supported kit later without a problem.

    2) Any modern board will support onboard raid-0. However I would suggest that it is not a good idea if you plan on a SSD. A SSD uses the trim command to do deletions in the SSD by avoiding the read/rewrite that is normally required. Windows-7 drivers will pass on the trim command properly to the SSD. Currently, the raid drivers do not do that. No doubt, that will change in time. In the interim, I suggest that you use one of the raptors as a single drive for the OS if there is sufficient room. Alternatively, carve out a 80gb partition or such from your 1tb drive and install the OS there. Clone that partition to a SSD later. The new 1tb drives will probably be faster for the OS than your old raptors anyway.

    3) You will save about $100 on a more modest case. Is that a lot to you?

    4) The X58 motherboards will have at least two x16 pci-e slots.
    For SLI/crossfire, actually two X8 slots are sufficient for anything but the top graphics cards like the 5970.
  9. I can't seem to find the "best answer" option here, but these are extremely helpful responses... definitely appreciated. Thanks for taking the time!
  10. Best Answer only shows up when the thread in question is, well, a question (indicated by the ? icon). This thread is a discussion (indicated by the " icon).

    If you decide to get an SSD with this build, the 120 GB OCZ Vertex 2 is only $310, and has equivalent/better performance than the 128 GB C300. Recent Anandtech article about the C300 line. Read the conclusion, if nothing else. The 256 GB is worthwhile, the 64 GB & 128 GB aren't worth it compared to other drives on the market.
  11. Thanks coldsleep. I started with the OCZ SSD, but the ones at newegg didn't have SATA 3. Maybe I missed it or maybe newegg is just limited... or SATA 3 isn't that big of a deal.
  12. Best answer selected by pedrov.
  13. pedrov said:
    Thanks coldsleep. I started with the OCZ SSD, but the ones at newegg didn't have SATA 3. Maybe I missed it or maybe newegg is just limited... or SATA 3 isn't that big of a deal.


    SATA 3 isn't that big of a deal yet, it's still a premium feature on motherboards. At any rate, very few drives even saturate SATA 2 these days, really only the 256 GB C300. The fact that WD sells traditional HDDs with a SATA 3 interface is very weird...except from a marketing perspective.

    I have the 128 GB C300 myself, but I bought it before the Vertex 2s were out, and before the benchmarks comparing them were available. Given the choice, I'd go with a Vertex 2 today. Not that I'm dissatisfied with the C300...it's still a good drive, but it's unfortunate that the smaller models, which don't normally touch SATA 3 are marketed as being SATA 3.
  14. Thanks! That helps as well... I wasn't aware the smaller drives weren't even reaching the ceiling of SATA 2.
  15. As far as I know they're not. They may in very short bursts, but not enough to really worry about it. Just stick with a SATA 2 SSD if you go for one for the time being (unless you have the cash to drop on a 256 GB C300).
  16. pedrov said:
    Thanks! That helps as well... I wasn't aware the smaller drives weren't even reaching the ceiling of SATA 2.

    With the rapid development of SSD, it would not surprise me to see some which can push sata 2.0 and approach sata 3.0. I would look for 6gb sata in a new motherboard. USB3.0 looks like a winner to me also, particularly for external backup devices. These features come with modern iterations of motherboards at little, if any price premium. USB 3.0 is easy and cheap to add on later.
  17. Thanks again geofelt. I did decide to hold off on SSD for the time being, instead choosing to use my existing hard drives.

    I'm going with the Asus Rampage III Gene for the mobo. looks like SATA III and USB 3, plus the micro ATX will let me go with a smaller case... and note that it has a spot for a side fan, but doesn't come equipped with it. I'm guessing my Sapphire HD5670 fanless card wouldn't fit otherwise... it's a beast in terms of horizontal size.

    EDIT: forgot to mention I went with the i7-930 quad core for the build. I will be using W7 64-pro.
Ask a new question

Read More

Homebuilt Systems Product