Accumulating Components For Core i7 2600 System

I'm squeezing everything I can out of my current Core i7 920 rig hoping that Intel does the smart thing and launches Sandy Bridge before Christmas rather than after (why miss the holiday sales rush?) Anyway, Intel works in mysterious ways, so I want to get ready for the Sandy shoe to drop and get my system ready ahead of time so that when I can finally buy the CPU and mobo, I can just plug it in and go.

I have a lot of questions:

1) Are the HSF mounting holes on LGA1155 similar to any other socket? Will I be able to use an existing high end HSF such as a Tuniq Tower, or do I have to get a special mounting bracket?

2) All the LGA1155 mobos I've seen to date have 4 RAM slots. I guess that would make the best configuration 4x4=16GB. Any ideas of what speed/type of RAM would best? Note that this is not the K CPU, so I am not overclocking.

3) I want a small SSD boot drive and then a conventional 1TB RAID (2x1TB Hard Drives). The more I read about TRIM and garbage collection the more I'm confused. Would an SSD boot drive easily/quickly exceed the limit of about 5,000 read/writes that seems to be the time many of these SSDs go south?

4) This rig will not have any cards in any slots as I'm using the 2600's GPU and onboard audio. What is a recommendation for a good, solid, fanless CPU?
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  1. Sorry for the double post, but I wanted to add a clarification on the #4. I need a very quiet system but I can accept fans in the PSU and HSF as long as they are extremely quiet, so any suggestions will be gratefully appreciated!
  2. 1) You would figure by the die size that it would easily fit either within the LGA1366 or LGA1156 (especially the latter given one lousy little pin difference) but who the heck knows.

    2) The triple channel RAM was so widely lauded so it's a bit weird to see the high end Sandy Bridge dump it in favor of going back to dual channel.

    3) Yeah, I definitely want the SSD for boot drive only. I'll keep the RAID for file storage.

    4) I'm running an HD4670 now and I'm as happy as I can be. My gaming is absolutely zero. Heck, I can't remember the last time I even played Minesweeper or Solitaire!
  3. Yeah, there's a whole dozen Giga mobos here:]

    3 MSIs:]

    and 4 Asus:]

    I just am not quite sure about the dual channel RAM. Seems like a step backwards, but likely it has to do with the 2600 being high end at launch but it will be superseded at the very high end by the LGA2011. Those should be running Sandy Bridge as well, but according to wiki, they'll be the 4 to 8 physical core Sandy Bridge EPs and it seems as if they're running triple channel RAM. Maxing out at 12 sticks. Yikes! The ENs will run on LGA1356 and they'll have 8 core models too but back to the LGA1366 standard of 6 sticks.

    The Ivy Bridge 22nm tock is going to be really hot, with up to 16 physical cores, but I think PO is deluded if he thinks they will come out in the second half of 2011. Look for those at least in early 2012.

    Regardless, I can't wait that long. I need to pass along my i7 920 to my gf pronto and get the first Sandy Bridge I can find!

    By the way, is it just me or when I click on the URL link I get [url= instead of ???
  4. Hello halfcalf,

    1. I have heard rumors in one or two places that the 1156 and 1155 will share the same mounting holes, but those are just rumors so far.

    2. The Sandy Bridge that are releasing in early Jan 2011 during or after CES, are considered to be mainstream products, and the socket 2011 will cover the high end by replacing the 1366 in late 2011. As for DDR3 to DDR2 there is very little performance difference a few % at most, there are benchmarks out there to show this.

    3. SSD are best used as boot disks and/or apps as you have said, anything that you wont be writing and erasing alot. Its best money wise to get something that can hold your OS and frequently used apps and maybe a little extra space. Tom's just did an artical on SSD's a few days you may want to readRoundup: The Best SSDs For Enthusiasts

    4. The IGP can game, I dont know where your getting your information from greghome, Intel demoed it playing Starcraft 2. That being said just put your 4670 in there, I still game on a 4670 OC'd, I can play Crysis, Far Cry, L4D2 and many other games at 1920x1080 with medium to high settings with AA, no problems.

    I do not know if you want to be set on going fanless for the CPU just yet, it would be best to wait and see what the benchmarks of SandyBridge are and then go from there, but if your looking for a cooler to do the job look at the high end heatpipe towers used on OC'd i7's and those will be your best bet. If you want to use fans the Scythe Gental Typhoon or S-Flex are a good place to start also Noctua, but they are both pricey.

    Well I hope that helps you out halfcalf, good luck with your new build.
  5. Thanks for the info thechief73!

    1) It really would make sense to be able to use existing mounting brackets but not everything that Intel and AMD do makes sense so we'll just have to wait and see.

    2) The first release Sandys are supposed to be LGA1155 although if they came out with an LGA2011 I'd buy it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately I can't wait and have to have the first one out.

    3) I read that comparo as well as some articles on Anand, but I'm still confused about the situation with the 5000 rewrite limit and the whole issue with TRIM and garbage. In the best possible case I'd get something around 40 to 60GB, but it seems that the best performance is from the drives that are 128GB and up such as the SNV425-S2/128GB which is reasonably priced. I currently use a Velociraptor as a boot drive running Vista and I still am under 40GB with all the apps. I'll run Win 7 on the Sandy, so I could do perfectly well with a 40GB drive. Although having the extra space is always handy.

    4) I can't take the HD4670 as the system is going to my gf as a whole so I'm starting from scratch. And I will never game, so all I need the video to do is to drive the monitor in conventional web surfing and office apps. The IGP in Sandy will be fine for that.

    Yeah, I think I might go with very silent fans and a huge HSF. I love the Tuniq Tower but the Noctua is huge and good too. Any suggestions on a really good 450 W or so PSU which is really supersilent?

    Thanks again!
  6. Well, first the socket 2011 is not coming out with the 1155, they will be out in Q3 or Q4 of next year(if we are lucky maybe late Q2, but I have only read this in one or two places).

    As for PSU's all I can say is that with a good brand PSU under 500w you really shouldnt be able to hear it unless you stick your head right up close. I have never been able to hear any of the fans in the Antec PSU's I have owned: Smart Power 500w, Earthwatts 430, and NeoPower 500w.

    The two coolers you have listed are quite nice, I doubt you would be dissapoited in either of them. Here is a list of HSF review sites I used when looking for my own, the all have a great deal of information and have very good reviews, I would say the best:

    Hardware Canucks

    I belive that HardwareCanucks actually turns the fans off and does a test with and OC'd i7 and just uses the HSF as passive cooling, this may interest you to help find what your looking for.
  7. I wish I could hold on until late next year to get my rig, as the LGA2011 sounds fantastic, but I have no choice. It has to be no later than mid January and if it could be earlier it would be even better.

    I'll definitely check out those HSF reviews. I'm really leaning now towards some sort of fans as I'm really concerned about going completely fanless, although it would be so great to get rid of the constant humming. I've had noisy and quiet PSUs and they all bug me so I'd be the happiest guy around if I could have the case not make any noise at all. However, if Sandy runs cool I might just follow the Hardware Canucks lead and run it passive. That would be amazing!
  8. Oh, I forgot about the IGPU, your right that will be just fine to do what you want.

    You can get some really quite good performing fans out there but they can cost up to $20 a pop. Or maybe consider getting a nice fan controller and some good performing fans like Yate Loons(just an example) and then turn them down to an acceptible noise level. Here is a link with all the fan info your brain can handle:

    As for the tests that they just used the HSF as a passive cooler I am not sure if that was Hardware Canucks or any of the other sites I listed as I cannot seem to find them now, but I know I seen them somewhere and if I figure it out i'll let you know.

    [EDIT] It turns out my memory served me right the first time, it was HardwareCanucks, but they do not perform that test on all the coolers they have reviewed so it seems.
  9. Historically, Intel drops prices on its existing CPU's in late february .... the new CPU's introduced shortly before see ramped up production after that.

    1. Expect the best selling coolers to have ne mounting bracket kits shortly thereafter.

    2. Depends on what you doing. Generally, RAM timings have to be loosened (read slowed down) when the second set of modules are installed. When you say you are not OC'ing what does that mean. For example on a 920

    BCLK of 133 x 20 CPU multiplier = 2.66 Ghz
    BCLK of 133 x 8 memory multiplier = 1066 Mhz

    The desired OC is a 200 BCLK which is gets you 4.0 GHz and 1600 MHZ but you can still run DDR3-1600 memory at "rated speed"

    BCLK of 133 x 20 CPU multiplier = 2.66 Ghz
    BCLK of 133 x 12 memory multiplier = 1600 Mhz

    Will what you are doing benefit ? I dunno, O dunno what you doing w/ your PC ? So memory speed is simple .... bigger number is faster but you have to research whether you'll see anything outta that based upon your activities on the puter.

    Next is RAM timings or CAS Latency ...essentially how long memory waits between doing things. CAS 6 is faster than CAs 7 which is faster than CAS which is faster than CAS 9. CAS 7 memory is generally only marginally more expensive than 8 or 9.

    3. No issue....the Vertex 2's seem to be the best buy at tjhe moment. I find the 120 GB one the sweet spot at $204.

    4. Here's your quiet PSU answer
  10. thechief73:

    Yeah, I really don't need superGPU capabilities. Anything that will run a 1920x1200 in just conventional office apps and web surfing does the job for me. I don't even encode video and when I do some Photoshop work it's always basic 2D. I don't think I've even ever clicked on the 3D menus!

    Right now, my build looks something like this... all prices very approximate:

    i7 2600: $300
    Mobo: $200
    4x4GB RAM: $300
    SSD: $200
    2x1TB HD: $150
    PSU: $150
    Skeleton Case: $150
    24" Monitor: $250
    Win 7 64 Upgrade: $100

    So I'm going to be dropping just under 2 grand on the rig. I'm hardly wealthy but I use my PC to make my living, so I'm more than happy to pay an extra few bucks to get the silent fans I need. Thanks for the xbitlabs link. I'll be studying that in depth! I've checked the Canucks site and it would be great to see fanless comparisons, but the way I figure it, in an open Skeleton case, I might be able to get away with an ultrasilent HSF fan that I can crank up when necessary. But when it's just in more or less normal load situations, I might be able to just turn it off if I have a huge HSF like a Noctua or Tuniq. When it's off and the PSU I'm using might be the Seasonic X400 fanless, then the only sound would be the two HDs. Heck, I've even seriously considered placing the two HDs in an external case and only using them as backup and archive. Then I could have a rig that is 100% silent! That would be amazing!


    It's the "shortly thereafter" that concerns me. I have to pass along my i7 920 to my gf. She works in the same room as I do and she's stuck on a laptop that simply doesn't cut it. She needs a more powerful system right away, and I've managed to hold her off just until after the holidays with the promise that I'd be getting the first Sandy out and then she gets my 920 rig. That's why I'm discussing all this at this point in time. I need to be able to drop the hammer within hours of the first Sandys showing up in newegg or other etailer. Naturally I need all my components the same day so I can get my new system up and running ASAP.

    When I state I don't OC I have always just run the CPU as it comes out of the box. For example, my 920 is running at 2.67GHz. Especially since I'm considering fanless or very low fan speed components, the last thing I need is any more heat from the CPU so that's why I'm not getting the 2600K model. So all I need is the right RAM speed to fit the i7 2600 as it arrives from Intel. I've read quite a bit about Sandy but I'm still not clear on what memory I should get. I'm thinking that 4 x 4GB DDR2-1600 will do the trick but damned if I know! I appreciate the info on the CAS as I'll keep an eye out for that. Anything else I should look at in the RAM specs to fit Sandy? I'm also happy to read about the Vertex 2 and that great Seasonic fanless. Definitely on my buy list now!

    Thank you both for your valuable input. I appreciate your time and effort!
  11. For your RAM questions, you want to go with DDR3 Dual Channel (not DDR2) 4GB(2x2GB) @1333MHz or 1600MHz will do and you can double that in a later upgrade if need be or you can consider this ( ) which I would buy if that fits in your price range. Any higher than those speeds the prices will probably go up far faster than the performance gain you'll get and going lower I dont belive saves you much $. Also you may be able to find a nice deal on 2000MHz but you may have trouble with the motherboard recongnizing it and will require BIOS tweaking and in some cases will not work very well at all. It is all dependant on the Motherboard and RAM kit and is a gamble.

    But you do have the Holidays coming up and you'll have to watch out for price drops and good deals, as you can buy good DDR3 Dual Channel kits right now. As for the CAS latency the lower the better at those RAM speeds your looking at CAS7 to CAS9, lower that 7, if available will usally be more expensive than its worth and over 9 is basically to high. RAM voltage 1.65v NO HIGHER, but lower is good, say 1.5v, that just means the RAM is less strained to reach the same speed.

    I would definatly recommend you to watch the deals Newegg has been having since Nov 1. Sign up for thier all thier newsletters and sales adds(ShellShockers, Gorrilla Deals, Daily Sales, and Black Nov. through thier website) if you have not done so already. If your lucky and come across a deal you like, you may be able to save some $. But with the Holiday season and Sandy Bridge comming out its always a gamble to speculate what the prices will do or be in the near future. And make sure to compare prices and watch how they change because they have been putting some things in thier add's for the normal or even a increased price!

    I have read several articles and the difference between 800MHz RAM and 1600MHz RAM was within a few percent of eachother in benchmarks. Now the higher MHz can put through more information faster theroretically but in real world it barley is untilized to its potential or makes any noticable gain. Here are just a few articles I read, there are many more out there:,2325.html,1754-3.html
  12. Thanks for the clarifications, and yes, I will certainly go with the DDR3. I have to go with 16GB from Day One as I deal with huge files (I was just working with a 4.5GB text file a few minutes ago, and I have some 10GB files in Photoshop) so I max out my current 12GB RAM on a daily basis. That's a main reason why I'm unhappy with the dual channel capabilities of the first Sandys. I'd love to have the six slots for RAM so I can go with 24GB but that is reserved for the future bigger sockets only. Damn!

    So the choice for this rig should be:

    4 x 4GB DDR3 1333MHz, Low CAS, Voltage around 1.5v.


    I'm going to try to opt for the ASUS mobos with the EFI BIOS as I've been waiting for a decent mouse graphic BIOS for years. With this setup, I shouldn't have to change any of the default BIOS settings (for OC, etc.) but it's just nice to have anyway!

    Thanks for all the articles! I'm doing so much studying I'll soon be able to write my doctoral thesis on Sandy Bridge!
  13. Quote:
    I have to go with 16GB from Day One as I deal with huge files (I was just working with a 4.5GB text file a few minutes ago, and I have some 10GB files in Photoshop) so I max out my current 12GB RAM on a daily basis.

    Wow, those are some HUGE files you are working with there! Good idea to go crazy :pt1cable: on RAM.

    So the choice for this rig should be:

    4 x 4GB DDR3 1333MHz, Low CAS, Voltage around 1.5v.


    I couldnt have said it better, I would recommend 1600MHz, but the price difference is ~$150 for the 4x4GB kits and thats REALLY not worth it at all, hen you look at the 2x4GB kits the 1333/1600 are almost the same price. So, yup go with 1333MHz, I would recommend this: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB (4 x 4GB)

    I'm going to try to opt for the ASUS mobos with the EFI BIOS

    Yeah those are very cool, I hope my next Mobo has the same feature.
  14. Yeah, the file sizes are insane. I'm zipping one file right now that's 16.7 GB. I looked at the price diff for the RAM and figured that the variance in performance would be sooooooooooooooooo minor that it would be indistinguishable. Especially since my OC will be 0. I love that zoomy EFI BIOS so I'm really looking forward to it! now all we need is to get Intel to get off its a$$ and release Sandy Bridge! :)
  15. Well, I'm making some progress on designing the system. Here is what I have if I were to order today (Intel willing)...

    i7 2600: $300 ???

    Mobo Definitely With EFI: $200 ???

    4x4GB RAM G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9S-4GBRL: $57 each = $228
    (I can't seem to find a lower CAS than 9 without paying double, so I'll live with it)

    PSU Seasonic SS-460FL Active PFC F3, 460W Fanless ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91, 80Plus Gold Certified, Modular Power Supply: $160
    (Although I might be persuaded to go with the SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply for ten extra bucks and get a silent fan and more juice... but I really want the no fan if I can get away with it)

    OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2-1VTX120G 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD): $200
    (No HD... Yup, none. I currently have a 1TB RAID with all of 100 GB on it. I'm going to plunk the files I need on the Vertex and run just one drive. I'll use a Fujitsu external 2.5" 160GB HD for archive and only hook it up on backup day!)

    Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme Universal CPU Cooler 120mm Magnetic Fluid Dynamic LED Fan and Fan Controller/Heatsink Rev.1 with TX-3 & 1156 Brackets: $60
    (I'm gonna try to run it fanless but might end up buying the most expensive and silent fan in the universe for it if my temps spike)

    Skeleton Case: $150
    24" Monitor: $250
    Win 7 64 Upgrade: $100

    Comments, complaints, questions, congratulations, doubts, alternatives, anything but flames heartily welcomed! :pt1cable:
  16. That's a lot of money for a 460W PSU......I guess you're paying up because it's fanless?

    I just saw the Antec Earthwatts 430W on NE over the wkend for $29 AR. May be comparing a Toyota with a Lexus though, I'm not sure. I just won't pay $160 for a PSU especially if not gaming......
  17. Yeah, I'm on a budget for this rig, but I am absolutely adamant that it be as silent as possible. I work up to 12-14 hours in a day and I like to listen to my music while I work... and hate having to put up with BUZZZZZZZWHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH all the time. So even though I don't need 600 or 700 watts for this system (heck, probably 300 would do fine) I'm pretty well stuck on what I can get that is fanless (or at least with a supersilent fan). So any suggestions as alternatives to this system are more than welcome! :hello:
  18. Ok I'm no expert but hard for me to believe that if you're already playing music that whatever small fan sound coming from a PSU would be enough to overcome music of any sort........but again to each his own........

    good luck
  19. I listen to the tunes very softly as background toe tapping so I can concentrate on my work and although I have a fairly silent HSF, videocard and PSU fans (with no case fan... side's open) I can still hear the darn thing. I agree with your point though... different strokes for different folks. :)
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