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Building a new rig need help/suggestions

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August 26, 2010 3:05:40 PM

First off this computer is mainly for graphics (Photoshop, Illustrator, Premier) and website design but I also want to play the latest games.

MOTHERBOARD- ASUS RAMPAGE III EXTREME SK 1366 INT X58 ICH10R4XPCI-E 16X 6.D.DDR3-1600MHZ, 1600/1333 FSB,SATA,GB

- Not sure if I will be fully utilizing this motherboard with it's extra graphics slots...but I do plan on overclocking...any other suggestions?

CPU - Intel Core i7 Quad I7-930 2.8GHz LGA1366 8MB 4.80GT/S

- Is this a good overclocking cpu?...I plan to use stock cooling and hit around 3.5GHz

RAM - Kingston ValueRAM - Memory - 6 GB ( 3 x 2 GB ) - DIMM 240-pin -DDR3 - 1333 MHz / PC3-10600 - CL9 - 1.5 V

- The Kingston memory came with my quote but my old rig had OCZ ram and I was very happy with it especially when it came to overclocking. Is 6GIG ram pretty good these days or should I go for more?

VIDEO CARD - Sapphire HD 5870 1GB GDDR5 HDMI+2xDVI+DP PCIe

HARD DRIVE - 2 Seagate Barracuda's 7200.12 - Hard drive - 1 TB - internal - 3.5" -SATA-300

OPTICAL DRIVE - PIONEER DVDRW DVR-218L 22X SATA

POWER SUPPLY - OCZ 700W StealthXStream Power Supply

CHASSIS - Antec 300

Thank you for your help/suggestions

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August 26, 2010 8:29:26 PM

It would help if you followed the guidelines from the link in my signature.

I'd switch the board for a Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R. It should be a little cheaper, yet it's a better board overall.

That RAM wouldn't be very good for overclocking. I'd defnitely look for some 1600 mhz CAS Latency (CL) 7 sticks. Avoid OCZ this time. They're DDR3 sticks are horrible and are basically unusuable with Intel builds. 6 GB is more than enough. In fact, 4 GB is pretty much the minimum, but since the i7 needs triple channel RAM, you'll want to stick to 6 GB.

I'd also check out some Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB drives. They should be about the same price, but they're a touch faster and a little more reliable.

OCZ's PSUs aren't that great. If you're looking to Crossfire down the road, you'll want a 750W unit. Stick to Antec, Corsair, Sivlerstone, SeaSonic and XFX to get the highest quality PSUs.

Finally, the Antec 300 is a good case, but might be a touch small. I'd check out the Antec 900 (or 902), Coolermaster 690 (or 690 II) and HAF 922. They're all bigger and are excellent cases for decent prices.
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August 26, 2010 8:38:33 PM

Lol i7 does not need 6GB, it runs fine in dual or single channel.

IMO avoid OCZ PSUs and Seagate hard drives, both have had an inordinate share of bad products lately.

Chances are you're overspending on that 5870.
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August 26, 2010 8:55:34 PM

Need was a bit strong. Prefers is better. I wouldn't run an i7 without triple channel. Single channel is just insane. That's where the real speed loss occurs.

Seagate's drives aren't that bad right now, especially if you get a good price. Their history is certainly against them, though.
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August 26, 2010 9:09:17 PM

Sorry bout the guidelines MadAdmiral...I am kind of hitting a deadline with this purchase.

What kind of ram would you suggest instead of OCZ?...you didn't recommend a brand name...how about Corsair?
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August 26, 2010 9:12:05 PM

Corsair's good. Basically any brand EXCEPT OCZ is good. If I had to rank them, G.Skill would be #1, followed by Corsair, then Mushkin, everyone else (Patriot, Kingston, etc.), and then OCZ at the bottom.

RAM brand doesn't really make a big difference once you leave out OCZ. OCZ's sticks just require too much voltage to be run safely on most boards. That's why you should avoid them.
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August 27, 2010 12:25:16 AM

I plan to moderately overclock to approx. 3.5GHz will I run into potential heat issues with stock cooling?

I've been looking for 6GB of ram...

G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Tripple Channel CL9 - $159.00

Corsair Dominator 6GB DDR3 3X2GB DDR3-1600 CL8 - $305

Is the Corsair (being twice as much $$) really worth it?
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August 27, 2010 1:07:56 AM

You can't overclock on stock cooling. You'll need an aftermarket heatsink. I recommend the Scythe Mugen 2 Rev. B. It's about $40 about.

Absolutely not. The Dominator series is extremely overpriced. However, there is a Corsair XMS3 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CL 7 kit for about $150 (after rebate), assuming you're shopping from Newegg. Those will be faster than the G.Skills.
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August 27, 2010 1:40:22 AM

Thank you MadAdmiral for your help and advice...I am almost ready to make a purchase.

You saved me hours of research.

Cheers!
:D 
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August 27, 2010 1:52:33 AM

Still want to know how much you're spending on that 5870, the 5850 or 470 offer significantly better price/performance.
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August 27, 2010 2:14:54 AM

sp12 said:
Still want to know how much you're spending on that 5870, the 5850 or 470 offer significantly better price/performance.


The Sapphire HD 5870 1GB is $409.99
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August 27, 2010 2:18:00 AM

That's no longer a good deal. A GTX 470 can be had for 250 (plus 2 free games)$ http://slickdeals.net/permadeal/38392/pny-xlr8-geforce-...

And offers very close to the same performance. Wins some, loses some, but matches in the majority of apps. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/160?vs=162

And it's gotten about 5% faster than that with the latest drivers.

Alternatively, a 5850 could be had for 290$. It won't perform as well as the 470, but will have lower power/heat.
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August 27, 2010 2:54:59 AM

Thanks for the advice sp12

I am buying all of these parts locally (from the same store) and having them do the build and then ship it to me. Buying single parts from newegg, slickdeals etc., would probably end up costing me about the same with the shipping costs?

I would put the computer together myself but it's been years since I've done that and I want to avoid headaches.
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August 27, 2010 12:35:10 PM

You'd be surprised at the cost. Many Newegg parts are shipped free.

I should also point out that paying $410 for the 5870 is very high. I know Newegg's got an XFX one for $370, and that's before getting some good combos. I'd at least look at it.

Also, you can't specifically say that the 470 gotten faster over those benchmarks. There isn't a date, so you don't know what drivers are being used. To be fair, ATI has released new drivers as well, so the 5870 performs even better than.

Something else to consider about the 470 is the amount of power it needs. If you wanted to SLI it, you'd need to spend more on the PSU. You'd want at least an 850W unit to be comfortable. Even then, the 470 uses a lot more power, hiking up your electric bill. In addition to all that, it produces a hell of a lot of heat. Altogether, I don't find the 470 an attractive choice.
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August 27, 2010 5:21:17 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Something else to consider about the 470 is the amount of power it needs. If you wanted to SLI it, you'd need to spend more on the PSU. You'd want at least an 850W unit to be comfortable. Even then, the 470 uses a lot more power, hiking up your electric bill. In addition to all that, it produces a hell of a lot of heat. Altogether, I don't find the 470 an attractive choice.


Realistically what kind of power consumption are we talking about?

Would a weekend of gaming be the same as leaving your television on for one week?
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August 27, 2010 6:02:58 PM

I think the last time I logically laid out costs, people got pissed off about my assumptions. I believe it came out that if you played for a couple of hourse a day, and the computer was completely off the rest of the time, you'd end up paying something like $15-20 more a year at average rate. Of course, no one leaves their computer off all the time, so I'd easily double that estimate for the non-load periods.

Basically, if you always turn the computer off when you're not gaming, and you play two or three years a day on average, it'll cost you around $60-80 over the life of the build. And that's assuming you don't add a second 470, that the PSU doesn't get less efficient (which it does as it ages), and your electric rate stays the same. I'd fully expect to pay more than that estimate.

Another way to look at it is that if you did buy the 470, the extra amount you'd pay for electricity would have allowed you to buy a 5870 without spending more. That's more power for the same amount.
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August 27, 2010 6:37:27 PM

It would be interesting to know the actual amount of money it costs per/year. My computer at work has been on for over 4 years...but you also have to look at the wear and tear on the internal parts when you turn your computer on day after day after day...it's similar to the wear and tear that a car experiences and anything else that has internal working parts. Friction and heat are the enemy.
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August 27, 2010 6:43:22 PM

The problem is that there are a lot of assumptions. How much are you going to play? Do you leave it running when not in use? What's the efficiency of the PSU? What are your energy costs?

You can average some of those, but it's likely to spark a flame war, so I'd avoid it.

I can tell you that the 470 uses a good 60W more than the 5850 at load. If you've only got an 80+ Plus Certified PSU operating at exactly 50% load (i.e. the computer requires 1/2 the maximum power it puts out), that'll need 72W from the wall. That amount will increase if you're using more or less than 50% of the load or don't have a PSU that's as efficient.

I agree the heat produced is the bigger problem. I've heard the actual internal temperature of the case only goes up a few degrees, but with the heat the GPU puts off, I'm sure the card won't last as long.
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August 27, 2010 8:37:46 PM

There are a lot of assumptions. I know there was a huge Hardocp thread about it and they decided an average person (playtime, energy costs, PSU efficiency, extra AC costs) would end up spending 17$ more over 3 years (expected time someone could realistically keep a GPU for gaming). I do know the driver numbers because the bench was last updated with the GTX 460 launch.

Another consideration is that the 6000 series is imminent (listed in the drivers, leaked benchmarks).
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August 27, 2010 8:53:49 PM

As was determined in the other thread about this, $17 per 3 years is completely under stated. I'm willing to bet that if that was the actual number they came up with, they drastically understated the amount of time spent playing (that'd be about a half hour a day from what I calculated), the cost of energy, they probably left out any idle time (like I did) and many other factors. $17 per year is more feasible. I'm also willing to bet that was the number they came up with and you just remember it wrong. Unless you've got the link, don't bother throwing out a number.

The fact of the matter is that the 470 uses about 100W more than the 5850 and 60W more than the 5870 (source: Tom's, the Average Power Consumption graph). The fact of the matter is that unless you play very sparingly (then what's the point of a gaming PC?) or you get free power, it WILL cost you more to use the 470 than the 5870 over the lifetime of the cards. Everything else is speculation.
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August 27, 2010 9:05:24 PM

I will definitely agree with more, but depending on your specific 470 chip and which site you review from the amount varies. It's not too relevant as that 250$+2 free games deal has since expired, but I would still avoid a 5870 at it's current price/time till execution.
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August 28, 2010 4:42:59 PM

Best answer selected by slappyJ.
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August 30, 2010 9:01:42 PM

I am more than likely going to purchase a similar build to be my new work computer.

But, I certainly don't need a gamer video card and save a few bucks...

Anybody have some suggestions?
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August 30, 2010 9:38:49 PM

Depending on how much GPU power you need, you might want to look at nVidia's Quaddro line (I think I spelled that right). Those cards are specialized for non-gaming applications. They can be somewhat pricey, but they're great performers with a lot of good support.

If you don't need a lot of GPU power, just get anything that's cheap. It really doesn't matter, you just need something to put out some video at that point.
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