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Need suggestions on lowering cost of new build

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September 5, 2010 4:53:27 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Now - this week

BUDGET RANGE: not important

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, home office, VPC

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitors, web cam, headset

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: www.tigerdirect.ca

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel CPU, Thermaltake Level 10 case

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: SLI Yes

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Looking for the best possible performance for anything I might want to do, prices are in Canadian dollars.

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CPU:
Intel BX80613i7980X Core i7 980X Extreme Edition Processor - Retail CPU w/ Fan, FREE DIRT 2 Game Coupon = $1,079.97
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6634216&sku=B69-4464

Q: How much slower will a lesser priced i7 really be? The difference between 6.4GT/s and 4.8GT/s seems unsurmountable but I don't really know how much impact it has on real computing power.

CPU Fan:
Thermaltake CLP0564 Frio Dual 120mm Universal CPU Cooler = $74.99
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6046364&sku=T925-3046

Note:I use one of these on a i7 930 now and am very pleased with it.


Noctua NH-D14 LGA775/1156/1366/AM3 I7/I5/PHENOM Heatpipe Cooler W/ NF-P14 140MM & NF-P12 120MM Fan = $89.99
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=47090

Note:After reading up on the Noctua fan design, I really thought this would provide more airflow over the CPU. Coupled with the replacement case fans. Increase of $15.00

Mobo:
EVGA X58 FTW3 - Intel X58 3-way SLI LGA1366 MB = $349.99
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6337561&sku=E145-2081

Note:I considered the Gigabyte 890FXA-UD7 but it lacks RAID.

RAM:
32 x Corsair CMX8GX3M2A1333C9 XMS 8GB DDR3 RAM - PC10666, 1333MHz, 2x 4GB = $713.97 ($237.99 each) - $20.00 Mail-in Rebate
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6611013&sku=C13-6165


2 x G.SKILL F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL Ripjaws 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1333 CL9-9-9-24 240PIN DIMM Memory = $353.88 ($176.94 each, price-matched with DirectCanada's price)
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=44264

Note:24GB total. Based on feedback, reduced this to 16GB. Went with G.Skill over Corsair both for cheaper price, and availability. Savings of $360.09

Video:
2 x EVGA 015-P3-1482-AR GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) SuperClocked Video Card = $1,039.94 ($519.97 each) - $20.00 Mail-in Rebate
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6075295&sku=E145-0482


2 x MSI N470GTX Twin Frozr II GeForce GTX 470 Fermi 607MHZ 1280MB 3348MHZ GDDR5 PCI-E 2XDVI Video Card = $779.98 ($389.99)
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=54634

Note:I have had nVidia for a long time now and like it. I've currently got a pair of GTX 295's, I hope the GTX 480's will be significantly faster. Do you think they will? Feedback says I probably won't notice the difference between the 480 and 470, especially after overclocking. Savings of $259.96

Boot Drive:
Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC256MAG-1G1 - 256GB, 2.5", SATA 6Gb/s = $579.97
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5975116&sku=C19-8022


2 x Patriot PS-100 Solid State Drive - 64GB = $389.98 ($194.99 each)
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...


Corsair CSSD-F120GB2-BRKT F120 Force Series Solid State Drive - 120GB = $259.97
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6361339&csid=ITD&body=MAIN#detailspecs

Note:Configured as RAID 0. Based on feedback from Timop I managed to figure out how to reduce my boot drive requirements down to <128GB with room to spare. See below. Savings of $320.00

Existing Data Drives:
WD VelociRaptor 300GB Hard Drive WD3000HLFS - 10K RPM, 16MB Cache, SATA 300MB/s = $249.99
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4177125&CatId=2458

Note:I have a second one if you think I should RAID all data drives, but if not I was going to put non-crucial/temporary data on this drive and use the 2nd one in another machine.

2 x Seagate ST32000542AS Barracuda LP Hard Drive - 2TB, 5900 RPM, 32MB, SATA-3G = $229.94 ($114.97 each)
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4545311&CatId=4357

Note:Configured as RAID 1.

Gaming NIC:
EVGA 128-P2-KN03-TR Killer Xeno Pro Network Card = $99.99 - $10.00 Mail-in Rebate
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6052355&sku=E145-3012

Q: Do these really work? I have a T1 to the net.


Note: Based on feedback, removed this completely. Savings of $99.99.

Accessory/Bling:
NZXT Sentry II SEN2-001 5.25" Touch Screen Fan Controller = $43.99
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6044658&sku=A406-1134

PSU:Corsair CMPSU-1200AX 1200-Watt Power Supply - ATX, 140mm Fan, SLI Ready, CrossFireX = $374.99 - 10.00 Mail-in Rebate
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6391024&sku=C13-2594

Case:Thermaltake VL30001N1Z Level 10 Super-Gaming Modular Full Tower Case = $874.99
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5550536&sku=T925-3022

Note:I know this is a lot of money for no real functionality but I love this case and am going to have it.

Replacement Case Fans:
GPU/Mobo Compartment Intake:
Noctua NF-P14FLX 140MM Ultra Quiet Cooling Fan 10.1-19.6DBA = $21.99
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=45800

GPU/Mobo Compartment Output:
Noctua NF-P12-1300 120MM Ultra Quiet Cooling Fan 12.6-19.8DBA = $19.99
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=27129

HDD Fans:
4 x Logisys Twin Fan HD Cooling Pad (HC102) = US$19.98 (US$9.99 each)
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/6409/hdc-55/Logisys_Twin_Fan_HD_Cooling_Pad_HC102.html

Note:My plan is to extract each of the 2 60mm fans from this gear and mount each in a different drive bay. It is hard to find 60mm x 15mm fans, and of course Thermaltake have no stock on the one they built the case with.

HDD Fan Power Consolidation Board:
Bitspower X-STATION POWER-EXTENSION I - Male Version 4PIN Molex to Power Distribution Board = $20.38
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=30588

Note:These weren't part of my original config, but the replacements came about from recommendations. I forgot to add the HDD fans. Increase of $84.07.

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So, are there any components here that you think are top of the line for no good reason? e.g. can I get equal performance from another CPU, GPU, RAM??

Anything you'd add?

Total savings since posting...$940.97

Order is being placed as we speak. I really want to thank the few people who participated in this thread as saving me $940.97 is GREAT, and totally unexpected. More importantly, the conversation made me think of a few things I had not considered so I feel more confident that the build will go great. Thanks!

FWIW, the total cost of this build was CAD$5,328.44, which includes HST, overnight air shipping, and added insurance.

Best solution

a b à CPUs
September 5, 2010 5:17:57 PM

First of all, get a nice big monitor, a single GTX480 will max out 1080P and beyond that is plain OVERKILLL.

You really dont need a 980, the quads would be great. The QPI link is only important when you have a dual socket and up solution, for single CPUs, the difference is like 1%. But if you want a six core go nuts.

Also, any reason to buy 24GB DDR3 1333?

Finally, skip the NIC, lowers latency by a couple of ms, not worth the $100..

Share
September 5, 2010 5:56:01 PM

THIS IS SUCH A WASTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XD XD XD XD XD XD XD XD WASTE! WASTE! WASTE!!!!!!!!!!!

Get a cheaper case! That case sucks! get a smaller SSD like 60gigs! get 6gb ram! get 1 gtx 480! get an i7 970! Q: Do these really work? I have a T1 to the net. no they don't work!
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September 5, 2010 6:47:29 PM

Timop:
I have a Samsung 46" 3D LED TV (1920x1080/1080p) and 2 x HP 23" LCD monitors (1980x1080/1080p), so I need the 2 cards to be able to get to all 3 monitors. Thanks for the tip on the processor.

I have 8GB of RAM now and regularly see hard faults getting into double digits, especially when I have Virtual PC running my office system and I'm doing some debugging in Visual Studio on the host system. I have been thinking about moving my VS2010 to another box entirely, but I haven't paid that much attention to precisely what is causing the hard faults so I can't say that's going to resolve the need for >8GB of RAM. Do I need 24GB, probably not, but I didn't want to get anything other than 4GB DIMMs to future proof them.

Mr Pizza:
My current W7 Ultimate installation occupies 230GB of my C:. Granted, 55GB of that is in documents, pictures, and music (which could be on another drive), but that only lowers my requirements to 180GB'ish. That doesn't really get me into a 60GB range, or even a cheaper SSD range. How do you get away with a 60GB boot partition for W7?

As for the case, as I said, I like it...its going to be a piece of art in my home office so 'nuff said...

Thanks to both of you on the NIC, wasn't sure if it was worth a try or not.

As far as the i7 970 goes:
Intel BX80613I7970 Core i7 970 Processor 3.20GHz - Retail w/ Fan = $1,124.99
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6524805&CatId=4072

So, as you can see, not really an option. I guess they're getting a volume deal on the 980's. I could go with:

Intel BX80601960 Core i7 960 Processor 3.20GHz - with Fan = $712.99
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5765907&CatId=4072

or

Intel Core i7 940 Processor BX80601940 - 2.93GHz - Retail, Fan = $699.99
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4240164&CatId=4072

or

Intel Core i7 930 Processor BX80601930 - 2.80GHz - Retail, Fan = $299.97
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5719283&CatId=4074

I've just upgraded my Server 2008 R2 box (AD/DC/Exchange 2010/SQL) with an i7 930 and its performing very well, but not as ridiculously faster than the former E4600 I had hoped it would be.
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a b à CPUs
September 5, 2010 6:54:48 PM

If you run hardcore VMs, you could go for the 980, at that point 12 threads do help. Just figured since listed it last you'd pass by just fine with a 950/950 saving $700.

On your Win7 partition, 60GB? My Win7 Ultimate takes up barely 15GB, and I get away just fine with a 35GB partition...
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September 5, 2010 7:47:48 PM

Am I safe in assuming you don't have applications installed on your boot drive? My C:\Windows directory alone is 25GB and my user profile (in the C:\Users directory) is another 75GB. I'd really rather not get into telling windows to put "standard" directories onto a drive other than the system drive. Programs add another ~30GB. So that either puts me right at the 128GB mark, or pretty darn close to it (assuming no pagefile.sys, for example).

I could get:
2 x Patriot PS-100 Solid State Drive - 64GB = $389.98 ($194.99 each)
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5572011&CatId=5300

and put them in RAID 0 to get 128GB, but then I'd only be saving $270 and would have no room for SP1 when its released (since its going to end up backing up crap into the system directory) for example. But I appreciate your thinking I shouldn't need such a large boot drive when your's is obviously using way less space than mine.

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September 5, 2010 10:20:56 PM

Timop:

I really want to thank you for calling out your ~50GB Windows 7 boot drive. I was flabbergasted by how little you had on your boot drive compared to my 230GB. That got me to thinking. I moved some stuff that definitely didn't need to be there (and wouldn't have benefited from an SSD anyway) and brought the 230GB down to ~180GB. But as I mentioned in my last message, I didn't want to muck about with the "standard" directories that are normally under the C:\User directory. So I did some checking.

You can make that directory anywhere you want on a fresh install...but that's too late in my case. Then I found this thread:

Move the Users Directory in Windows 7

I followed the instructions...waited quite a while for it to complete, and bingo, my boot drive now contains ~85GB...that's 145GB less!!

So now I can totally see going with the 2 x 64GB drives I mentioned above and putting them in RAID 0 to make my boot drive. That knocks $270 off my total price...excellent! The C:\Users directory will end up on my velociraptor and still be reasonably quick.

So thanks again. I never would have thought of it had you not mentioned it.
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a b à CPUs
September 5, 2010 10:35:29 PM

NTBugtraq said:
Timop:

I really want to thank you for calling out your ~50GB Windows 7 boot drive. I was flabbergasted by how little you had on your boot drive compared to my 230GB. That got me to thinking. I moved some stuff that definitely didn't need to be there (and wouldn't have benefited from an SSD anyway) and brought the 230GB down to ~180GB. But as I mentioned in my last message, I didn't want to muck about with the "standard" directories that are normally under the C:\User directory. So I did some checking.

You can make that directory anywhere you want on a fresh install...but that's too late in my case. Then I found this thread:

Move the Users Directory in Windows 7

I followed the instructions...waited quite a while for it to complete, and bingo, my boot drive now contains ~85GB...that's 145GB less!!

So now I can totally see going with the 2 x 64GB drives I mentioned above and putting them in RAID 0 to make my boot drive. That knocks $270 off my total price...excellent! The C:\Users directory will end up on my velociraptor and still be reasonably quick.

So thanks again. I never would have thought of it had you not mentioned it.

Yeah, I have my Users on my D drive. :lol: 

One thing is, RAIDing SSDs requires a wipe every couple of months as TRIM is not supported AFAIK. If you want to avoid the hassle, Id suggest you just get a 120GB Sandforce like this: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...
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September 5, 2010 10:54:52 PM

Geez, you can't trust their categories-based navigation. It does not appear under their 2GB - 180GB capacity section...never would have seen it...and its cheaper than the 2 Patriots...lol. So that's another $130.01 saved.
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September 5, 2010 11:17:37 PM

Get a cheaper case. The level 10 is a horrible case.
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September 5, 2010 11:20:46 PM

Should I bother paying an extra $40 per card to get the EVGA "Super-clocked" version versus the "normal" one?
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September 5, 2010 11:23:35 PM

Mr Pizza:
Ok, that's the second time you've said that, and neither time have you given any reason other than its expensive. Could you possibly be specific? I did reply to you saying I liked it and was paying for what I consider to be a piece of art. But if there truly is a problem with its functionality, state it.

FWIW, I've read every review I could find on it and nobody has said anything negative beyond the price and the fact it keeps CPU's a little hotter than other cases. To counter the heat problem I've opted for a FRIO which could add significantly to the airflow of the CPU/Graphics chamber.
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a b à CPUs
September 5, 2010 11:37:45 PM

NTBugtraq said:
Mr Pizza:
Ok, that's the second time you've said that, and neither time have you given any reason other than its expensive. Could you possibly be specific? I did reply to you saying I liked it and was paying for what I consider to be a piece of art. But if there truly is a problem with its functionality, state it.

FWIW, I've read every review I could find on it and nobody has said anything negative beyond the price and the fact it keeps CPU's a little hotter than other cases. To counter the heat problem I've opted for a FRIO which could add significantly to the airflow of the CPU/Graphics chamber.

Personally (like a lot of people here) I think its a waste as I think there are cheaper cases that both work and look better; its not the best case cooling wise, and can be easily bested by $80 cases. But its just a case of form over function, as decoration and a "sculpture" its worth it as long as you really like it and can afford it.

(BTW, What do you mean that the frio ""add significantly to the airflow of the CPU/Graphics chamber."?)
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September 5, 2010 11:42:39 PM

The FRIO has 2 fans which would increase the draw pressure inside that chamber. If necessary, I either bump up the revs on the discharge fan or get a faster RPM discharge fan (or swap it with one of the FRIO fans.) No?
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a b à CPUs
September 5, 2010 11:53:48 PM

NTBugtraq said:
The FRIO has 2 fans which would increase the draw pressure inside that chamber. If necessary, I either bump up the revs on the discharge fan or get a faster RPM discharge fan (or swap it with one of the FRIO fans.) No?

The Frio just cools the CPU, the GPU heat will still be there.

I wold suggest replacing the 140mm fan where it draws air for the GPUs with a higher CFM one and use a high-flow bracket. Especially with 480s.

To answering your previous question, no need for superclocked versions as you can always OC yourself, but Id just get the Galaxy.
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September 6, 2010 3:18:56 AM

Well, I've made a bunch of changes. Noctua NF-14FLX for the intake, NF-P12-1300 for the output. NH-D14 as the CPU cooler. Also changed the EVGA's GTX 470's for the MSI N470GTX Twin Frozr II since nobody has stock on the EVGA 470 with the high-flow plate and backplate.

I also used Shopbot.ca and managed to get NCIX to save me $300 over Tigerdirect.ca's prices. I'll update the profile above accordingly.
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a b à CPUs
September 6, 2010 3:24:04 AM

Check newegg too, NCIX will match even their deals if you givem a email.
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September 7, 2010 12:08:41 PM

Best answer selected by NTBugtraq.
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September 8, 2010 11:47:52 PM

FWIW, NCIX sucks as a supplier. They back ordered my Level 10 case and offered no explanation despite the fact their online stock check said they had stock. I bought their VIP program, extra insurance, and expidited shipment and they said "you have unrealistic expectations".

I've cancelled the order.
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