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Are any components on this Cyber build junk?

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August 25, 2010 3:05:52 PM

Hi-

I am putting a computer together primarily for doing research on relatively large databases and am hoping to keep the budget around $2000. As you can see with the 24gb of RAM and SSD, I believe the size and speed of memory are important. The following build comes out to about $2100 with discounts/rebates/shipping, which is fine. I have no homebuilding experience and have limited time, so I'm okay with paying the $300 premium to have it built for me. However, my concern is that CP may put crap parts in certain places. Unfortunately, I don't know enough about hardware to make that determination myself. Is there anything in the list below that looks suspicious? Also, any other comments on the build in general are most welcome. Thanks in advance.

-CI

•CD: 24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD+-R/+-RW + CD-R/RW Drive (BLACK COLOR)
•CAS: * CoolerMaster 690 II Advanced Mid-Tower Gaming Case (Black Color)
•CPU: [Special] Intel® Core™ i7-950 3.06 GHz 8M Intel Smart Cache LGA1366 [Ship after 8/28]
•FAN: Asetek 550LC Liquid Cooling System 120MM Radiator & Fan (Advanced Cooling Performance + Extreme Silent at 20dBA) [+18]
•HDD: 120GB Corsair Force 120 Gaming MLC Solid State Disk [+260] (Single Hard Drive)
•HDD2: 640GB SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 64MB Cache 7200RPM HDD [+69] (Single Hard Drive)
•MULTIVIEW: Non-SLI/Non-CrossFireX Mode Supports Multiple Monitors
•MEMORY: 24GB (4GBx6) DDR3/1333MHz Triple Channel Memory [+783] (Corsair or Major Brand)
•MOTHERBOARD: * (3-Way SLI Support) GigaByte GA-X58A-UD3R Intel X58 Chipset SLI/CrossFireX Ultra Durable™3 Triple-Channel DDR3/1600 ATX Mainboard w/ 7.1 Dolby Audio, eSATA, GbLAN, USB3.0, 2 x SATA-III RAID, IEEE1394a, 4 Gen2 PCIe, 2 PCIe X1 & 1 PCI [+42]
•OS: Microsoft® Windows® 7 Professional [+135] (64-bit Edition)
•OVERCLOCK: Extreme OC (Extreme Overclock 20% or more) [+49]
•POWERSUPPLY: 600 Watts - XtremeGear Power Supply - SLI/CrossFireX Ready [+26]
•VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce GT 220 1GB 16X PCI Express (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA)
August 25, 2010 3:13:47 PM

There's little point in getting a SATA III mechanical hard drive. Currently most SSDs cannot saturate SATA II, much less SATA III. Traditional hard drives are, of course, slower than that, and come nowhere close to SATA III. If you can get a larger hard drive for less, I would go that route. Either a Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB or 1 TB, or a Seagate 7200.12 500 GB or 1 TB should be the best price/performance.

Most people would recommend avoiding the i7-950, as the i7-930 can generally be overclocked to the same speed. The price is rumored to be coming down on the 950, but I haven't seen that it has yet.

I don't know anything about the liquid cooling, but I tend to stay away from budget liquid cooling. Usually an air-based HSF is less expensive and requires less maintenance.

You don't need a SLI/CrossFire-capable power supply, unless you're planning on running multiple nVidia cards for CUDA. Additionally, I'm not finding any useful reviews in a very quick google search...you might want to try an 80+ certified PSU from a known manufacturer.

Other than that, it doesn't look terrible. Standard disclaimer follows. :) 

Please be aware that this is still a homebuilt dominated forum, and most of the answers you get are going to be directed at building it yourself. You are also likely to get many posts telling you to build it yourself. You certainly don't have to, and you can take the recommendations given and attempt to apply them to a pre-built, but it's not always going to fit quite right. The reason regulars on this forum aren't interested in pre-built computers is because typically those businesses cut corners on some of the less-visible parts, such as the power supply, RAM, and hard drives. This doesn't make them bad people, but it does mean that the parts may not be as good as if you bought them yourself and built the computer on your own.
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August 25, 2010 6:03:39 PM

Thanks very much for taking the time to reply coldsleep, your input is very helpful. A few responses to your points (and a few questions if you or anyone else would care to address them):

-Point taken on the second HD.


-The less maintenance comment is just the kind of thing I need to hear. Last thing I want is to have to open the box up to take care of things when I'm clueless. Below are the non-liquid cooling options, do you see anything here that would work for my set up and has good marks? Those with two asterisks are listed by CP as good for overclocking.

*Intel LGA1366 Certified CPU Fan & Heatsink [-38]

*Kingwin XT-1264 120mm Xtreme Direct H.T.C. (Heat-pipe Touch Chip) CPU Cooler w/ 1366 Bracket [-25]

*Thermaltake V1 Gaming CPU Cooling Fan (Excellent Overclocking + Silent Proof + Smart CPU & System Thermal Monitor) [-5]

*Thermaltake SpinQ Gaming CPU Cooling Fan (CLP0466) [+1]

**Thermaltake FRIO Overclocking Cooler Fan (CLP0564) [+2]

**XtremeGear HP-1216B Five Heatpipes Direct Core Contact Copper Heatsink CPU Cooling Fan (Extreme Silent at 20dBA & Overclock Proof) (Extreme Silent at 20dBA & Overclock Proof) [-21]

*XtremeGear Ultra Triple Heatpipes Cool Copper Heatsink CPU Cooling Fan (Extreme Silent at 20dBA & Overclock Proof) [-29]

**CoolerMaster V6 CPU Cooler (Copper Base Double-V Heatpipe) [-12]

**CoolerMaster V6 GT CPU Cooler (Nickle Plated Double-V Heatpipe w/ Color Changing LED Cap) [+4]

*CoolerMaster V8 Gaming CPU Cooling Fan (Extreme Silent Operation at only 22dBA + Overclock Proof) [+4]
Ultra ChillTec Thermo Electric CPU Cooler [+81]


-I believe I am getting a free upgrade on the i7-950 from the i7-930, so unless there's another reason besides price, I'll probably leave that in place. I was going to have the 950 overclocked (costs $50 plus any add'l cooling upgrade required) - does it make sense to do so, or is it already 'maxed out' (for lack of a better term)?


-I have had trouble finding CP's power supply options on jonnyguru's rankings, so that has been a little concerning. These are the options up to 750W (don't imagine I'll need more than that based on what I've read)...any here that look good?

*450 Watts - Standard Case Power Supply [-26]
*500 Watts - Standard Case Power Supply [-4]
*500 Watts - Sigma SP-500AB ESP 80 Plus Power Supply [+0]
*600 Watts - XtremeGear Power Supply - SLI/CrossFireX Ready [+0]
*600 Watts - Sigma SP-600AB ESP 80 Plus Power Supply [+4]
*600 Watts - CoolerMaster Silent Pro Power Supply [+73]
*650 Watts - In-Win Commander IRP-COM650 Active PFC 80 Plus Modular Power Supply - SLI/ CrossFireX Ready [+55]
*650 Watts - Corsair CMPSU-650TX - Quad SLI Ready [+73]
*650 Watts - Thermaltake TR2 RX Modular PSU - PN: TRX-650M [+57]
*650 Watts - Thermaltake Toughpower Grand TPG-650M Gold Modular Power Supply [+131]
*675 Watts - Thermaltake Toughpower XT TPX-675M Modular Power Supply [+87]
*700 Watts - XtremeGear SLI/CrossFireX Ready Power Supply [+10]
*700 Watts - CoolerMaster Silent Pro Gaming Power Supply [+88]
*750 Watts - Corsair CMPSU-750TX - Quad SLI Ready [+83]
*750 Watts - Corsair Professional Series Gold AX750 Power Supply [+139]
*750 Watts - NZXT HALE90 80 Plus Gold Power Supply [+112]
*750 Watts - Thermaltake TR2 RX Modular PSU - PN: TRX-750M [+71]
*750 Watts - Thermaltake W0308RU EVO_Blue Series w/ A-PFC [+98]
*750 Watts Thermaltake Toughpower Grand TPG-750M Gold Modular Power Supply [+151]


-Your disclaimer is what scares me the most. Are these businesses known to claim something will be a certain brand and then using something else? Or do they tend to cut corners on quality only where it says something like Corsair or Major Brand?
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August 25, 2010 6:41:19 PM

Of the HSFs listed, I believe that the Thermaltake Frio is the best bet. You could compare with the list of Frostytech's top "5" heatsinks for more info.

Free upgrade from the 930 to the 950 is nice, and yes, that comment was based primarily on price. The 950 is still $600 on newegg, compared to $290 for the 930. $300 for a .2 GHz increase when you're going to be overclocking anyway is a little unreasonable.

Of the PSUs, the Corsairs appear to be the best choices, or at least they're the only one I can eyeball as 80+ efficiency. I am reasonably confident you could go with the 650W unit, as even 2x GTX 460s or ATI 5850s should be fine on that PSU. Since the GPU & CPU are the primary draws on the power supply, your non-gaming GPU won't need much, though overclocking the CPU will increase the wattage required. 650W is probably still overkill, but not so much that it's unreasonable.

The disclaimer wasn't meant to create fear. :)  Virtually any pre-built manufacturer (Dell, Gateway, Cyberpower, etc.) does need to make money, so they will cut costs where they can. In part, they do that by getting bulk discounts, but also by using less expensive parts in the less visible areas of the system.

With a business like Dell, where you don't have the customization options that Cyberpower offers, there's less transparency, so you can almost guarantee that the PSU/mobo/RAM/HDD will be either proprietary or of questionable quality. For example, Dell will sell you a Studio XPS 9000 system with an ATI 5970 (top of the line, dual-GPU graphics card) and an unbranded 550W PSU that fails to meet ATI's minimum recommended wattage. This might not be a concern on a known, high-quality PSU, but I'd be incredibly skeptical about running with the unknown PSU. I don't believe Dell would sell something that flat out wouldn't work, but I wouldn't be surprised to see multiple strange problems with the machine.

With Cyberpower, it's going to be on the components that say "or other major brand" (that definition is highly variable, at least to me), or on the components that people typically know less about, like the PSU, where one could easily select, say, a 1000W PSU that has horrible efficiency.
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August 25, 2010 6:48:14 PM

coldsleep said:

Of the PSUs, the Corsairs appear to be the best choices, or at least they're the only one I can eyeball as 80+ efficiency. I am reasonably confident you could go with the 650W unit, as even 2x GTX 460s or ATI 5850s should be fine on that PSU. Since the GPU & CPU are the primary draws on the power supply, your non-gaming GPU won't need much, though overclocking the CPU will increase the wattage required. 650W is probably still overkill, but not so much that it's unreasonable.
Its not a gaming machine, he is getting a GT 220 graphics card. The Sigma 500 is 80+ bronze.


The kingwin cooler is $27 cheaper than the frio and looks to be plenty capable based on frosty's review.
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August 25, 2010 6:53:22 PM

dndhatcher said:
Its not a gaming machine, he is getting a GT 220 graphics card. The Sigma 500 is 80+ bronze.


The kingwin cooler is $27 cheaper than the frio and looks to be plenty capable based on frosty's review.


Sure, I was mentioning the 460s & 5850s as high-end options that can be handled by that PSU. Note that my next sentence called out the "non-gaming GPU".

Nice find on the 500W PSUs, I didn't really have time to go looking for reviews on each of the options. Again, I just said that the Corsairs were the only ones I was sure of immediately. :) 

I can't reach frostytech right now for some reason, couldn't compare their ratings (I just have the link handy for cut & paste). My language may not have been 100% clear. I know that the Frio is at/near the top of the recomendations. I should have said "best performance", not "best bet". Best performance & best value are clearly two different things, and I try to be more clear which one I mean when giving a recommendation.
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August 25, 2010 7:38:44 PM

Guys, I'm blown away by your willingness to help. Thanks again.

Here's what I found on the FrostyTech site:

@150W:

Kingwin (high fan speed) - 17.2 degrees C, 45.5 dBA
Kingwin (low fan speed) - 31.1 degrees C, 32.5 dBA


Frio (high fan speed) - 14.5 degrees C, 62.6 dBA
Frio (low fan speed) - 17.8 degress C, 37.7 dBA

I don't know if the performance differences are neglible or not for practical purposes (although based on dndhatcher's post, it sounds as thought they probably are), but I may just go with the Frio anyway for only $27 add'l...added piece of mind I guess since I am ordering 20% overclocking.

And I will get the Sigma 500W PS.

The only remaining question for me is if I've selected an appropriate case. So if I could ask one final question...without you going through the trouble of doing research, do you recognize one of these options to be more suitable for me than the CoolerMaster 690 II I have selected? I don't care much about matters of style, just want to get something that will cool properly.

*CyberPower CX-9959 Lan Party Case w/ See-Thur Window [-52]
*NZXT Hades Gaming Case with Dual 200MM Fan and Tri-Temperature Display [-7]
*NZXT Khaos Black Full Tower Case w/ Side Panel Mesh [+278]
*Thermaltake V3 Black Mid-Tower Case [-42]
*Thermaltake Element-T Mid-Tower Case (Original Color) [-17] More Color ...
*Thermaltake Armor A60 Gaming Mid-Tower Case with SideClick EasySwap and SSD Support [-12]
*Apevia X-Dreamer 3 Mid-Tower Gaming Case w/ Side-Panel Window & Temperature Display [-34]
*Apevia X-Cruiser 2 Mid-Tower Case w/ Side-Panel Window & MultiMeter Display (Black Color) [-26] More Color ...
*Azza Orion Gaming Mid-Tower Case with See-Thru Side Panel (Black with Red Lightning) [-37] More Color ...
*NZXT M59 Gaming Mid-Tower Case with See-Thru Window [-36]
*CoolerMaster Elite 310 Mid-Tower Case with See-Thru Side Panel (Blue Color) [-42] More Color ...
*CoolerMaster Elite 430 Mid-Tower Gaming Case with Side Panel Window [-40]
*In-Win Ironclad Full Tower Gaming Case w/ 220MM Side Panel Fan (Black Color) [+21] More Color ...
*In-Win Dragon Slayer MicroATX Mini Tower w/ Support Dual ATI 5970 [-22]
*Raidmax Typhoon Gaming Mid-Tower Case with See-Thur Side Panel [-47]
*Raidmax Skyline Mid-Tower Gaming Case w/ Side-Panel Window (Silver Color) [-27] More Color ...
*Raidmax Quantum Mid-Tower Gaming Case w/ Side-Panel Window [-22]
*SilverStone/Raven RV01B-W Black Color Full Tower Case w/ Side See-Thru Window [+82]
*SilverStone FT02 Fortress Series Full Tower All Aluminum Body Case w/ Right-Sided See-Thru Window [+143]
----------------------------------------- Cases Support 240mm Liquid Cooling -----------------------------------------
*AZZA Solano 1000 Full-Tower Advance Cooling Case w/ Dual 230mm Fan + Extra 3 Fans [+7]
*Corsair Obsidian Series 800D Full Tower Gaming Case [+168]
*CoolerMaster 690 II Advanced Mid-Tower Gaming Case (Black Color) [+0] More Color ...
*Coolermaster HAF-X Gaming Full Tower Case w/ 1x230mm Red LED Fan, 1x200mm Fans, 2xFront USB 3.0 Port [+88]
*CSX CX-830DRGN-01-GP Hand Airbrushed Green Dragon Tower Case w/ Side-Panel with Window [+0]
*CoolerMaster Storm Sniper Mid-Tower Gaming Case (Original Color) [+46] More Color ...
*Thermaltake Spedo Advance Full Tower Case w/ Side-panel Window [+108]
*Xion Predator 970 Gaming Series Mid Tower Case w/ 2 External Removable HDD Bays [-30]
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August 25, 2010 7:44:20 PM

That is a really interesting difference between the two HSFs. You could, of course, change out the stock fan that comes in the HSF to change the characteristics, but it's surprising (to me) that they're reasonably close when operating at full, but really really far apart when operating at low. 32 vs. 37 decibels isn't a huge difference, but 18 degrees C over ambient vs. 31 degrees is a pretty big deal.

Of course, if you just left it on high all the time, that doesn't matter at all, as the Kingwin does a reasonable job of cooling -- 3 degrees difference isn't anything to worry about, and it's quieter than the Frio on high. If noise isn't a concern, then the Frio does provide better performance. If noise is a concern, however, the Kingwin is actually a better deal. You won't notice the heat difference between the two on high, but a nearly 20 decibel difference is insane.

Well, or get the Frio and leave it on low. dndhatcher is right though, the Kingwin does offer good value.

The CoolerMaster 690 II gets a fair amount of love around here. Not as much as the HAF series (especially the 922), but quite a bit. It's generally considered a pretty good budget case.

If you don't care too much about looks, I'd say stick with it. If the HAF 922 was on the list, that would also be an option. I haven't had my hands on a lot of cases though, so some of the cheaper cases might certainly be viable.
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August 25, 2010 8:05:16 PM

Given you are not putting a high power, hot graphics card inside the case isnt going to matter as much. I would pull up newegg and look at pictures of all those cases to see which look good to you, then check that they have good front->back airflow or front->back/top airflow. Good large fans out the top and rear are probably the most important thing for good cooling. A case with a single front mounted fan and no rear or top exhaust fan is not good.
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