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Ordering in 5-7 days, any conflicts or better ideas? (gaming rig)

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August 27, 2010 4:38:04 AM

Hello! To jump right in, I am ordering my new gaming PC in roughly one week and am looking for professional advice ensuring compatibility, any possible alterations for the better, and any tips or suggestions to help make this a great purchasing experience. This will be my first pure Intel/NVidia build (I was previously an AMD/ATI fan until I fell in love with an NVidia GPU last build).
*Note: This will also be my first overclock on a CPU, and I plan to pickup a 2nd GPU in a few months, so I chose the PSU with that in mind. Everything will be ordered from Newegg. And, I'll list any specific questions below.

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Mobo: ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
CPU: Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80601930
CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Intel Core i7 compatible V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler
RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX6GX3M3C1600C7
*edit: Thanks Calguy/geofelt! Switched to triple channel / went with 3 stick setup for gaming.
GPU: EVGA 015-P3-1485-AR GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) SuperClocked+ 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply
Monitor: (Already ordered) ASUS VW266H Black 25.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 20000:1) 1920x1200
OS: Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
*Going to use 1TB WD Caviar Green Sata 3Gb/s & DVD burner from my old rig for now.

1. I've done my best to verify, but does anything seem incompatible? Will that cooler keep my CPU cool enough @ 4Ghz 24/7?
2. Are there any noticeable last minute adjustments I could make for better performance?
3. After overclocking the CPU to 4GHz & adding the 2nd GPU, do you think this would handle 3D vision (after an obvious monitor upgrade) -OR- an Eyefinity 3 monitor setup at reasonable settings?
4. I chose not to buy a SSD or a 10k RPM HDD @ 6Gb/s because I have read that it doesn't make a major performance difference. So I am holding off on an HDD until SSD has been out longer or prices come down on 6Gb/s HDDs. Am I right to assume this won't bottle neck my gaming, aside from slightly longer load times?
5. I prefer to keep the Antec 900 two as the original 900 kept my previous system very cool, and the dust filters are something I need (I own cats).
*I use the same PSU in my current machine and know about the mass of cables, which I tuck away under the empty drive bays. I also ran a test at http://www.extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine to ensure I would have plenty of wattage with my OC/future SLI in mind.

Thanks in advance, and thanks so much for taking the time to read/respond. I'm really looking forward to the purchase.
cya
-J
a b B Homebuilt system
August 27, 2010 9:57:15 AM

^ +1
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a c 83 B Homebuilt system
August 27, 2010 3:19:04 PM
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1) X58 does not demand triple channel. What you ordered will work fine, and single/double/triple channel will make little difference in fps. But, ram for that chipset is best ordered in three stick kits. If your purpose is gaming, then 6gb is a very nice size. If you will be heavy into multitasking or use a 64 bit app that likes ram, like CS$, then get a 3 x 4gb kit.

2) The best air cooler around is, I think the Prolimatech megahalems. The mounting kit is the easiest I have yet seen. That said, almost any oem cooler will do the job, and the differences between them are minor. Your cooling will mostly depend on the fan noise that you can tolerate. Tall coolers may impact the side fan holder on the 902, but it is easily removed, and side fans are not that useful anyway.

3) Eyefinity is an AMD brand option. I think Nvidia has a similar one. I find it hard to imagine that dual GTX480 would have a problem with any graphics configuration. I might suggest that you order your second monitor now. It is best to have identical monitors when planning a multimonitor setup. If the sizes or models differ, you can have mismatched colors. It is disturbing to see the sizes or colors change when you drag images from one to another.

4) I love the SSD. It makes everything you do seem so much quicker. But, I concur on waiting on the SSD. Gen3 ssd's are due to launch by fall. They will be built on a 25nm technology which will be cheaper. The marketplace is very competitive. You should be able to get a bigger, faster, and cheaper ssd then. In the meantime allocate a 160gb OS partition on your 1tb drive and install your OS and apps there. When you get a ssd, clone the partition to the ssd. When initially installing the OS, select AHCI(not IDE or RAID) as the sata mode in the bios. After OS installation, it is very difficult to change the mode without a reinstall. AHCI is necessary for the SSD to use the trim command. The trim command muchly improves the efficiency of file deletes. Currently the delivered Windows-7 driver is the only one that can pass on the trim command. In time, the Intel raid drivers will get updated with that capability.

10k hard drives are faster for the OS, but not much else, certainly not in comparison to a SSD. 6gb makes almost no difference since that is only a cache to sata rate, and you will not get many cache hits. If a large SSD will hold all your stuff, that is the best. Until that becomes cheap enough, the small SSD for OS and apps, and a large HDD for storage is a good plan.

5) With a bottom mounted PSU, you might want to order a 4/8 pin cpu power lead extender. It may be necessary to use one to route the lead behind the mobo. You may find that a strip of duct tape will keep your cables separated and flattened to allow the right side cover to fit without bending. Download read, and print the manual for the 902, mine did not come with one.

6) What do you plan for sound?

---good luck---
August 27, 2010 11:13:39 PM

calguyhunk said:
Faster RAM : 1366 demands triple channel - CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB)

If you wanna stick to GSkill - G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB)

There's nothing wrong with your board, but you can go with either - GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R or the - Rampage III Gene in the same price range.

Better cooler if you're looking @ 4 Ghz - Noctua NH-D14

The rest of your build looks pretty good.


1. Thanks for pointing out that the ram I had selected was only dual channel. I chose the Corsair ram you linked to start, and will buy a 2nd batch later on.

2. I'm going to stick with my current board because I love the Asus mobos, and the Rampage III was a micro ATX and customers were having heat issues on their GPUs running 2x SLI with it due to the positioning. (even tho I'd have loved to have the Rampage's onboard sound, oh well)

3. Thank you for the cooler info, Unfortunately both the cooler u mentioned + geofelt mentioned were out of stock on Newegg, but no big deal, tigerdirect has them. What about the Corsair H50 Hydro Cooler? I have been reading some good reviews for that one as well.
August 28, 2010 12:08:42 AM

geofelt said:
1) X58 does not demand triple channel. What you ordered will work fine, and single/double/triple channel will make little difference in fps. But, ram for that chipset is best ordered in three stick kits. If your purpose is gaming, then 6gb is a very nice size. If you will be heavy into multitasking or use a 64 bit app that likes ram, like CS$, then get a 3 x 4gb kit.

2) The best air cooler around is, I think the Prolimatech megahalems. The mounting kit is the easiest I have yet seen. That said, almost any oem cooler will do the job, and the differences between them are minor. Your cooling will mostly depend on the fan noise that you can tolerate. Tall coolers may impact the side fan holder on the 902, but it is easily removed, and side fans are not that useful anyway.

3) Eyefinity is an AMD brand option. I think Nvidia has a similar one. I find it hard to imagine that dual GTX480 would have a problem with any graphics configuration. I might suggest that you order your second monitor now. It is best to have identical monitors when planning a multimonitor setup. If the sizes or models differ, you can have mismatched colors. It is disturbing to see the sizes or colors change when you drag images from one to another.

4) I love the SSD. It makes everything you do seem so much quicker. But, I concur on waiting on the SSD. Gen3 ssd's are due to launch by fall. They will be built on a 25nm technology which will be cheaper. The marketplace is very competitive. You should be able to get a bigger, faster, and cheaper ssd then. In the meantime allocate a 160gb OS partition on your 1tb drive and install your OS and apps there. When you get a ssd, clone the partition to the ssd. When initially installing the OS, select AHCI(not IDE or RAID) as the sata mode in the bios. After OS installation, it is very difficult to change the mode without a reinstall. AHCI is necessary for the SSD to use the trim command. The trim command muchly improves the efficiency of file deletes. Currently the delivered Windows-7 driver is the only one that can pass on the trim command. In time, the Intel raid drivers will get updated with that capability.

10k hard drives are faster for the OS, but not much else, certainly not in comparison to a SSD. 6gb makes almost no difference since that is only a cache to sata rate, and you will not get many cache hits. If a large SSD will hold all your stuff, that is the best. Until that becomes cheap enough, the small SSD for OS and apps, and a large HDD for storage is a good plan.

5) With a bottom mounted PSU, you might want to order a 4/8 pin cpu power lead extender. It may be necessary to use one to route the lead behind the mobo. You may find that a strip of duct tape will keep your cables separated and flattened to allow the right side cover to fit without bending. Download read, and print the manual for the 902, mine did not come with one.

6) What do you plan for sound?

---good luck---


Thanks so much for the detailed response,

1. I took your & calguyhunk's advice on the RAM. I wanted triple channel and had made a mistake on the original choice, so based on that plus your advice about using a 3 stick set I chose the Corsair XMS3 6GB (3x2GB) and edited it in to my original post.

2. I removed the side fan casing on my Antec 900 original so I know what ya mean, and will know what to do to make space ;D. For the CPU cooler, both of the cooler's you and Cal mentioned were sold out on Newegg, but I guess I wouldn't mind getting it through Tigerdirect. I really like that Prolimatech Megahalem Rev. B but I noticed that I would also have to buy 2x120mm case fans for it, and being that I've never installed a non stock cooler that sounded a bit scary to me with the complete installation. I'm sure I could do it , and watch youtube movies with instructions to help but there was one other option I'm looking at. What do you think about the Corsair H50 Hydro Cooler w/ my case?? To play things safe, I may only overclock to 3.6 or 3.8 being that it's my first time, but either way, I plan to use the overclock 24/7. I play 6+ hours of computer games per day, surf the web, and leave the computer on when I go to sleep. So I just want a cooler that's going to keep me at a safe temperature anywhere from 3.6-4.0GHz for the activity that I listed. You mentioned that most coolers will do the trick, so would that H50 hydro be ok? Or should I go all out just to be safe and get the Megahalems & 2 fans? I have confirmed that the Megahalems/H50 would both fit safely with my chosen RAM. *ALSO* Would it be wise to only overclock before a gaming session, and run stock speed for everything else, or keep the cpu at the same speed 24/7? AND, is there supposed to be some sort of rubber washers where the cooler attaches under your motherboard that you have to buy special? I heard one guy say that the metal contact to the mobo was causing his ram to short out.

3. Thanks for the info about eyefinity being an ATI setup, I was not aware. I'm going to stick with my 1 new monitor for now, as I haven't decided between 3D and whatever NVidia's eyefinity-like setup might be. (haven't looked at NVidia's response to it yet) I understand what you're saying about having identical monitors, but if I decide to just go 3D instead, I'd have to buy one of the special monitors for it anyways. So I will be putting this off for several months until both aspects have been tested / reviewed more.

4. I did a 500/500 GB partition setup on my HDD initially, 1 for OS/Games and 1 for storage. I just looked at my system partition and I've used ~268GB, but there may be a large amount that I can get rid of or move to the storage partition. I have a rediculous amount of games & game saves. *I do plan to do a fresh install of Win7Pro again so I could attempt a 160GB partition to practice for the SSD. But maybe I have this mistaken.. you do install your games on to your SSD right? And not your storage drive? Or is it operating system and non-game applications only? If it's just OS/non-game apps I could easily do 160GB SSD or less. We might be on to something here ;D. The answer to this will definitely change how I set the new CPU partitioning up. (Ex. about games on my program partition - The Witcher's save games alone take about almost 4GB!)

5. The cables are very long on the PSU I'm ordering. It's the PSU I'm running in my current machine. In fact, the cables are so long / in quantity that I have to tuck the remainders down inside the unused bottom drive bay on the Antec 900 original. Thanks for the info about running the cables behind the mobo, I'm sure that will help ensure proper air flow. My current case is a bit of a cable mess, but still runs at low temps. And I will definitely go ahead and print out the manual for the 902 just incase they don't send me one.

6. I plan to use the 8 channel Realtek onboard sound for the time being. I mainly use a Logitech headset, but there are times that I use a hefty 5.1 surround system that I purchased several years ago that still works great, and the sound (especially bass) can be heard all the way out in my driveway lol. I don't have any big reasons to buy a sound card atm.

I can't tell ya how much I appreciate you guys' help on this! I'm feeling much more secure about pressing the order button in a few days ;D.
a c 83 B Homebuilt system
August 28, 2010 4:38:27 AM

Dual fans are not necessary for the megahalem. I don't think much of the H50. It seems overly complicated to me, and from the reviews I have read, it does not cool any better than an air cooler. You have to read cooler reviews carefully. Are they using the same fans on each cooler? You can cool very well if you use a very noisy high rpm fan. The megahalems extracts heat from the cpu chip very effectively. I use a noctua fan at 900rpm and it cools adequately. I run my 920 overclocked to 3.2 all the time. I don't need more. I use s3 sleep when I am done which puts everything into a low power state, keeping data in ram only. Waking up is very fast.

I have everything on a single 160gb drive which is sufficient for me. I have a couple of games installed and there is still 90gb free. It also contains the usual stuff like e-mail, and a photo library. In the past, I have used a second hard drive for FSX which had lots of scenery fiiles. I guess it depends on your particular games.
August 28, 2010 6:19:51 AM

I suppose I'd probably do a clean install rather than clone when I go SSD, but I will definitely practice the space restrictions when I run a fresh install for the new PC. I play a ridiculous amount of games so between the game files + saved games it adds up very fast. For the H50 I was concerned about changing the rear antec 902 fan from exhaust to intake, and hoped it would stretch to the side fan but it probably won't. For some reason that cooler master V8 is drawing me to it, not sure why. I had a few more questions in my last response to ya but I know that's a lot of info to read thru, and I can look those answers up deeper in the forums or google. I appreciate your original response and I'll go ahead and mark it as best answer :)  thanks for the help!
August 28, 2010 10:28:04 PM

Best answer selected by dutchrend.
!