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Optimal P8P67 configuration; need advice please!

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June 24, 2011 6:55:38 AM

Hello all I humbly request your opinions. I have an Asus P8P67 Deluxe Motherboard w/ 8GB RAM, an Intel i7-2600k Chip, an nvidia 560 GTX Ti video card (eventually will have 3 for SLI), 2 x Seagate 1TB HDD's, 2 x Seagate 500GB HDD's, and 2 x Western Digital 10000 rpm 6Gb/s 600GB Velociraptor HDD's, a PCI 1x RAID controller and a 700w Power Supply. I have a few questions regarding the best way to configure it all. In the end I need to run and render in a 3D GPS mapping program, while listening to tunes, running standard business apps, conducting rather large file transfers on-line and from storage devices, run network administration, maintain a rather large video collection as well as the usual Tom Foolery and Shenanigans.
1. Where should I put my operating system? ie. Put it on RAID 0 on the 2 Velociraptors and run them through the motherboard 6Gb/s SATA, or run them through the PCIe 2.0 1x RAID card? Or mount the OS in a small SSD on PCIe 2.0? Or load it to RAM?
2. Where do I want my data in relation to OS? ie on same drive? on different drives in same bus? Different drives on different buses (SATA vs. PCI?) etc. Another concern here is the data for the GPS program needs to be fast so I was thinking of putting it on the Vleociraptors too and having my music on the 500GB HDD's in RAID 0, and my movies in the 1TB HDD's Raid 0, but overall clueless here.
3. How big (if any) should my paging file be? Do I want more than one? Or just one and where should it be in relation to the data vs os equation?
I know there's a ton of variables here, and overall I think the system is a bit overkill but I got a sweet bonus at work and am putting it all into this system so advice on how to truly appreciate this tech will be seriously appreciated. I will also take feedback on things relating to TPU's, EPU's, Cooling Concerns, Bios Settings, ETC.
Thanks in advance,
Stillbourne
a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 257 V Motherboard
June 24, 2011 3:54:39 PM

1) The best place for the OS is on a SSD. The os does mainly small reads and writes, a task that a ssd with negligible access times does very well.
Among your current options, put the OS on one of your velociraptors where the faster access times can help.
Plan on at least a 80 -120gb ssd, it will cost about $2 per gb.

2) Put your data on drives separate from the OS, so it will not interfere. If your GPS data is accessed in a sequential manner, then raid-0 will be a good fit, and the data should go on a raid-0 array. Otherwise, I see no benefit to raid. All of the HDD's will have comparable sequential data transfer rates.

3) One paging file is enough. Put it on the OS drive. You want to resolve a page fault as fast as possible. Let the OS pick the size.
With 8gb or more, you will do very little paging.

4) Considering the high level of multitasking you anticipate, consider going to 16gb of ram. Ram is cheap today. Windows-7 will be able to cache more of your workload in ram for fast access. Here is an article on why:
http://blog.corsair.com/?p=65

5) What 700w psu are you looking at? Quality counts. 700w may not be enough for triple sli GTX560ti.

6) Do you plan on an aftermarket cooler? You should.

7) What case?
June 26, 2011 5:31:33 AM

Geofelt you rock. Thanks for the direction to head in. I was wondering for the SSD do I want it to go through the PCIe bus or get a SATA drive? I was thinking Intel 510 series 120gb SATA or OCZ Revodrive 120gb PCIe 4x? SATA would be best for board space, but does performance change between the two? My case is a Cooler Master 610 and I have a total of 9 fans running in it. I do have plans for an after market cooler but haven't started looking yet. Suggestions? Is this the kind of system I want liquid cooling on? Or is abundant air flow enough. The tower will be living in a relatively cool room on a sealed concrete floor, with it's own HEPA enclosure. At peak the HEPA can be 300cfm and it feels pretty cool to the touch. My only concern here is if I should have the chassis fans blowing into the case or out, or a couple of each. As for RAM I will be getting more RAM as soon as the 8Gb DIMM's come out so I can go to 32GB, and I will be upgrading psu when the other video cards come in too, but the one I am running now is a Cooler Master 700W. Am I missing anything? I had it running today kind of barebones like, but was very pleased to see it up and running. I really like the new Bios menu and overclocking features. N e weighs, thanks again for the input.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 257 V Motherboard
June 26, 2011 5:51:06 PM

1) The pci-e based ssd's are very expensive, and not much worth it. Pci-e has a higher data transfer bandwidth for sequential operations. But, what you want out of a ssd is good random performance, and they all do that well.

2) Intel has had fewer issues in the past, and I would go with them first.
http://www.behardware.com/articles/810-6/components-ret...

3) As an early adopter, I bought a Intel 120gb 510. It works well, but to tell the truth, I can not tell the difference between it, and my previous X25-M gen2 160gb ssd.
Save a bit of cash and get a 320 drive.

4) I hate to take apart a working PC to install a cooler later. It will be much easier to install an aftermarket cooler up front.
It need not be expensive. The CM hiper 212 is popular, and cheap. The Xigmatek Gaia SD1283 with a 120mm fan Is even cheaper and would be fine:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

5) Liquid cooling will not be significantly better, and will be more expensive. The stock cooler is even ok if you have good case airflow, but it can get noisy when the small fan spins up under load.

6) CM is OK for a psu. My short list of the best quality psu's would include Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, XFX, and PC P&C.

7) In general, you want your case fans to draw in air from front and low openings. The rear and top openings should be exhaust. I don't much like side fans which are usually intake. I think they disrupt the natural flow of air through the case.
June 28, 2011 11:13:58 PM

I am so thankful for your help Geo. I got the CM 212 today ($25) and the Intel 510 ($190), have re-configged my airflow and am in the process of putting it all together for the final assembly. It'll probably be a few days but I'll let you know how it all turns out. Thanks again.
June 28, 2011 11:14:37 PM

I am so thankful for your help Geo. I got the CM 212 today ($25) and the Intel 510 ($190), have re-configged my airflow and am in the process of putting it all together for the final assembly. It'll probably be a few days but I'll let you know how it all turns out. Thanks again.
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