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Buliding 2 NEW programming/Video systems, Can You Help?

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September 20, 2010 7:04:19 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: (the closer the better)
Budget Range: ($1500 +/-)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: (Programming, 40-Tab three/four browser Surfing, HD Video/Photos)
Parts Not Required: (mouse, monitor, speakers)
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (newegg.com, Amazon.com)
Country of Origin: (US)
Parts Preferences: by brand or type: (Intel CPU & other are optional but want good stuff!)
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, I don't know but I do need dual monitors but not for gaming
Monitor Resolution: (Current settings are 1680x1050 and seem good. )
Additional Comments: (I want MAX Ram installed, must be fast and reliable without overclocking.)

Hi to every. I'm new to the forums but have really enjoyed reading the knowledgeable information on here.

My last system build was back in 2001. I have since upgraded it to P4 2.8 maxed at 2GB ram with an 512MB AGP video card. I think its time to upgrade. I really need some help this time around on building a new system since I haven't had the time I use to, to be able to keep up with all the new innovations in computing.

I have been reading on here about the "BestConfigs" and other projects on system builds, but nothing really seems to fit what I am looking for.

I would appreciate any information any of you guys might be able offer me on parts to put me one together.

A little about what I do on a computer...

I'm a windows application programmer. In my spare time I like to play with video and photo editing.

I will be using programs such as;
-I need Windows 7 Pro 64bit
-Visual Studio 2010
-Internet Information Server
-Several Version of the Microsoft .NET Framework
-Expression Studio 4
-My software in "Debug -Mode"
-WinZip
-WinZip Self Extractor
-Multiple different browsers open containing about 30 - 40 different tabs in all at any given time no matter what I'm doing.
-Video Editing Software (Sony Vegas, Adobe Premiere)
-Adobe Photoshop
-Other photo software
-Microsoft Office
-Adobe Acrobat
-Software based Firewall
-And a few more...

My thoughts/Needs
-Network abilities
-Edit HD video
-Good PS
-LightStribe Reader/Writer optical drive.
-Built-In "Multi" Media card readers (i.e. 15-in-1 memory card reader)
-I currently have keyboards with COPY & PASTE keys and would very much like to find a newer version keyboards that have them, along with drivers for Win 7, which these do not have.
-I run two monitors wouldn't mind three...
-Drives... I been thinking of running a couple of 500GB 10,000 RPM drives in RAID 0 setup for efficiency with one 1TB back-Up drive.
-I would like Intel and don't really want to go under the I7 series processors. I would like to make it somewhat "future proof"
-Would like to have USB 3, and 6Gbs drives

I do not care for overclocking, but rather stability

I DO NOT GAME nor allow for games to be installed on my system.

I will keep adding to this as I think of more or when decisions are made as to what I will buy per your recommendations.

Can any of you guys offer up any good system configuration in somewhat detailed explanation for this new system?

Thanks for lending me some of your spare time.

Prog
September 20, 2010 8:02:34 PM

Looking forward to your expert replies, Thanks.
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September 20, 2010 8:20:50 PM

Here is what I think you should aim for.

Processor should be an i7.

4 GB RAM is essential.

Velicoraptor or SSD for the System Drive.

Velicoraptors for a scratch drive. ( I have 2 in RAID 0 just for that purpose.)

2 x 1 TB HDD in Mirror RAID for redundancy and storage of large video files.

A Motherboard that supports RAID and at least 6 SATA Ports. More SATA Ports are desirable.

NVIDIA Graphics Card. GTX 260 is good bang for buck at the moment. The reason for the NVIDIA is CUDA. I use Corel VideoStudio X3 which takes advantage of CUDA and I must say the performance gain is considerable.

SATA DVD and or Blu Ray Burner.

Win 7 64 bit OS. Nice and stable.
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Best solution

September 20, 2010 9:02:23 PM

In my opinion, you would do well with an X6 and 8+GB of ram. 10000RPM drives aren't all that worth it anymore, as SSDs are hundreds of times faster while 7200 drives are within ~10% of the performance for a lot less.
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September 20, 2010 9:39:23 PM

Oh those 6 core processors are sweet aren't they? Have you seen the benchmark? Nice gain... Although I don't think I wanna put $900 just into a processor. I will have to go with a good quad. Are all the i7's using the same socked and chipsets?

Ram is cheap. I want all the ram the mobo will recognize. I haven't checked into the SSD's, but I will. Windows 7 Pro will make good use of the ram and I typically have 40+ web pages going at any given time. Most time, they stay open for days. I never turn off. I do shut down and do a cold start about every couple weeks. XP is pretty stable for me.

Quote:
2 x 1 TB HDD in Mirror RAID for redundancy and storage of large video files.

I think the money would be better spent on a blu-ray burner than two 1TB drives. Never keep al your eggs in one basket. What if lightening hits the computer? All data is gone on all drives.....

Wamphryi;
About the video card GTX 260. I don't know what CUDA is as it hasn't been used in the thread before so I will have to look it up. Also, when mentioning video cards, please state the brand of card please, there are many. I thank you guys for your help.

I would like to have information on a great mobo for the i7 processors and start from there.......

Prog
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September 20, 2010 9:41:40 PM

a 1055t x6 costs 180.00 and comes with bad company two

thats hardly 900 dollars
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September 20, 2010 9:59:33 PM

Yeah I know kmartel but I already mentioned that I don't want anything to do with AMD. the i7 860($282.46) even is faster (in the benchmarks) than the 1055t ($199.99)
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September 20, 2010 10:43:21 PM

Ah, but for realworld editing it's never 40% faster (to scale with the price), and that's before you account for the fact that AMD mobos are cheaper.

Assuming you're using CS5 (latest, threaded versions of your software), the 1055t will be no more than 10% slower overall. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/147?vs=107 In fact, it looks like the 1055t would offer significantly better price/performance in all the apps you have listed.

And if you're not using well-threaded apps I would step it down to an i5-760 or thereabouts.
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September 20, 2010 10:59:02 PM

First, thanks for your replies, but I think this thread is getting off topic. I was hoping for a list of components that would work well together for what I have outlined. Just listing a CPU doesn't really do anything. I have all the benchmarks at my fingertips for every CPU I'm looking for an overall system build list that is in use from someone that will be good for my particular applications. Not just Video. Thank You.

Prog
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September 21, 2010 12:17:48 AM

I'm running an i7 920 6GB ram + GTX 260 for heavy programming and video editing, and I can say that I'm quite impressed with it's performance. I can have several VS instances open at once with at least one virtual machine to test my code on linux and it'll run perfectly fine. It's also mad fast at transcoding video, offering near realtime framerates of 1080p in 2 pass (MPEG 2 -> h264) or in the hundreds of fps on constant rate factor (-17) of DVD -> h264.

I'd get a DX 11 video card, though, if you're ever thinking of learning graphics. That's the one thing I'd've done differently (and plan to upgrade to), cause DX 11 has some cool stuff that's not in 10.
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September 21, 2010 1:13:44 AM

scotu said:
I'm running an i7 920 6GB ram + GTX 260 for heavy programming and video editing, and I can say that I'm quite impressed with it's performance. I can have several VS instances open at once with at least one virtual machine to test my code on linux and it'll run perfectly fine. It's also mad fast at transcoding video, offering near realtime framerates of 1080p in 2 pass (MPEG 2 -> h264) or in the hundreds of fps on constant rate factor (-17) of DVD -> h264.

I'd get a DX 11 video card, though, if you're ever thinking of learning graphics. That's the one thing I'd've done differently (and plan to upgrade to), cause DX 11 has some cool stuff that's not in 10.


Scotu, thank you for your input.

I would like to ask you what version of VS you are referring to? I have been coding for over a decade, this is how I make my living. I am not a graphics programmer not do I care to begin anytime soon. But nonetheless I need new PC that is quick on its feed and I don’t want to have to build another one for a good while.

As you suggested, I am looking towards the high end of the i7 processors. I even consider the i7 970 x6 3.2 but, everything is getting ready to change again about Q1 of 2011 when AMD start to show some competition and the new lower voltage CPU’s come out. So I would never put the 900 into that CPU now. It will be 400 before you know it.

Do you have any recommendations on a Mobo to match the CPU? I Need lots of memory, in fact, I plan on loading the mobo up with the max when I order it. I would like to also make sure there is room for expansion… I would like a top brand and rated board. Does anything come to mind?

I forgot to mention earlier that I will also need to add sound. I am reading that soundblaster is now releasing PCIe sound cards. That is good.

I researched the GTX 260 which Amazon says came out in 2004, and found out that; there is also an GTX 470 for just a few dollars more which is also CUDA which came out in 2009. I guess this is what you were talking about when you said “I’d get the DX 11 video card”???

There are many manufactures of this card, which would you recommend? When reading about the GTX 460 it was the EVGA version of it.

Prog
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September 21, 2010 4:13:08 PM

Didn't fully read the other comments, but here's what I'd suggest (prices and combos might need updating, so give me a few minutes):


CPU/Mobo: i7-950 and Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R $485
RAM: 2x Mushkin Silverline 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $260
GPU: GTX 460 1 GB ($200 after rebate) or a Quaddro card. Definitely nVidia though. Spend whatever you have left here.
HDD/PSU: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB and Corsair 650W $115 after rebate. VelociRaptors are a horrible idea. The newer 500 GB platter drives (like the F3) are just as fast, yet a third of the cost. If you really want speed, get a SSD.
Case/Optical: Rosewill Blackbone and cheap SATA DVD burner $43
OS: Windows 7 Home 64-bit OEM $100

Total: $1,003 before the GPU.

You could throw in a SSD (80 GB for around $200, 120-128 GB for about $300) or another HDD if needed. If you decide you want/need a SSD, here's a couple of good ones in a combo with the i7-950: OCZ Vertex 2 128 GB $534 after rebate or OCZ Agility 2 128 GB $494 after rebate. That'd save you another $20 (if you go with the 460) through a combo with the board.
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September 21, 2010 7:30:38 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Didn't fully read the other comments, but here's what I'd suggest (prices and combos might need updating, so give me a few minutes):


CPU/Mobo: i7-950 and Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R $485
RAM: 2x Mushkin Silverline 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $260
GPU: GTX 460 1 GB ($200 after rebate) or a Quaddro card. Definitely nVidia though. Spend whatever you have left here.
HDD/PSU: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB and Corsair 650W $115 after rebate. VelociRaptors are a horrible idea. The newer 500 GB platter drives (like the F3) are just as fast, yet a third of the cost. If you really want speed, get a SSD.
Case/Optical: Rosewill Blackbone and cheap SATA DVD burner $43
OS: Windows 7 Home 64-bit OEM $100

Total: $1,003 before the GPU.

You could throw in a SSD (80 GB for around $200, 120-128 GB for about $300) or another HDD if needed. If you decide you want/need a SSD, here's a couple of good ones in a combo with the i7-950: OCZ Vertex 2 128 GB $534 after rebate or OCZ Agility 2 128 GB $494 after rebate. That'd save you another $20 (if you go with the 460) through a combo with the board.


Thanks so much for getting back to me MadAdmiral...........

I must have Win7 Pro,
I will have to look at the SSD's... I haven't really ever looked at them. They seem small though...
I realize that you are trying to help me keep the price down and I can appreciate that, but that isn't really that big if a concern. I need quality parts. The best optical drive that I have owned thus far has been an PleXWriter 12/10/32A I trashed all others, I'm not one to go cheap. I have always heard, "Always buy the best and you will never be sorry" I believe in that one.

Is the motherboard you listed the BEST for the processor?

Thanks a million...

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September 21, 2010 8:19:38 PM

The best isn't always the most expensive, in fact I'd be willing to say that saying is false 9/10 times in the world of computer hardware. You could spend ~350 on an X58 mobo, but at this point all the major brands have similar build quality and almost identical performance, and your system (assuming you have a good PSU) will no longer be fast enough to run apps well before the CPU/capacitors die of age.

Granted, all parts have a random failure rate, but very rarely will a part have issues beyond that. The UD3R is a great mobo for an i7 based build.
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September 21, 2010 9:48:10 PM

Then get Win 7 Pro. It's about $40 more.

SSDs are small, but fast. Really, really fast. Like you'll never want to go back to a standard drive fast. They are very expensive though, so I typically don't recommend them for all but the highest budget builds. I'd avoid shelling out for them until the 120 GB ones are down to around $150-200 if I were buying for myself. The prices come down fast and the technology is relatively new, so it might be better to hold off on it for a little while.

That Gigabyte board is considered one of the best X58 boards you can buy. You can spend a lot more on a board, but you won't get additional features or quality. Gigabyte and Asus are the best two brands for boards, and Asus's closest offering to the UD3R is a good $30-40 more.

I don't recommend low quality parts. Everything in that list is high quality and made by a company that is in the running for highest quality in that part. The only potential exception is the Rosewill case, which is a budget case. However, it's also a very good one as well. Tom's did a review of cheap (i.e. $50 or less) cases, and the Rosewill they reviewed got a very good review. The reason the cases are so cheap is because Rosewill is Newegg's in house brand. They make it and they sell them cheap.
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September 21, 2010 11:43:12 PM

Prog said:
Thanks so much for getting back to me MadAdmiral...........

I must have Win7 Pro,
I will have to look at the SSD's... I haven't really ever looked at them. They seem small though...
I realize that you are trying to help me keep the price down and I can appreciate that, but that isn't really that big if a concern. I need quality parts. The best optical drive that I have owned thus far has been an PleXWriter 12/10/32A I trashed all others, I'm not one to go cheap. I have always heard, "Always buy the best and you will never be sorry" I believe in that one.

Is the motherboard you listed the BEST for the processor?

Thanks a million...

M

First, +1 for MadAdmiral's build.

Second, the SSD should only have the OS + other needed software installed. 128GB is plenty for this.

As for the DVD RW, it really doesn't matter unless you are burning a lot of DVDs,etc. The X58A-UD3R is a good board, but if you have the budget, take a look in to the ASUS P6T Deluxe v2.


And yes, Mad did recommend you some really good quality parts.

For what you do, if this is pro level work, have you considered building a 2P set up? Both Premere and Vegas (assuming you are using the latest versions of both software, CS5,etc) will benefit from having more cores as these are pretty well threaded. However, I think a good 2P set up may be out of the price range by at least $500...

Do note, if you DO use Premere CS5, you may want a Quadro or a GTX470/480, seems as if the 460 is not supported (again, I haven't looked in to this recently). There is a hack for enabling other (nVidia) cards (ie GTX260), but I haven't messed with them yet.
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September 22, 2010 2:16:44 AM

Shadow703793 thanks for chiming in here with your thoughts on MadAdmiral's great suggestions...

So far, I have settled for the following;...

Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R
12GB of Corsair TR3X6G1600C8D

The reason for the memory change up is this (Corsair) says triple channel and MadAdmiral's suggestion of 12GB Mushkin Silverline says two channel. Corsair is CL8 While Mushkin Silverline was CL7 but, the Corsair also had better timings.

What are your thoughts?

If OK, then I'll move on to the graphics card and drives... The mobo sounds pretty good, I would like advise on the chosen memory though...

Thanks so much,

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September 22, 2010 2:33:20 AM

Channel refers to how many sticks are in the set. There are three sticks in the Mushkin set, so it is automatically triple channel.

The Dominator series is drastically overpriced. I wouldn't pay for them. If anything, stick to the XMS3 series from Corsair.

I also took a second look at the Silverline sticks, and they're actually not that great. I didn't notice the 7-10-10 timings, I just say they were rated at CL 7. Instead, I'd pay the extra for the Blackline set.
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September 22, 2010 6:59:47 AM

IMO corsairs aren't that bad. They are very expensive looking at the specs, but in real world performance and especially overclocking they are amazing. Also corsair sells coolers for dominators allowing you to overclock even more.

My friend has those dominators and his easytune (lol I know) overclocked them to cl6 and they are running perfectly.

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/862/10/
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September 22, 2010 3:33:52 PM

^ There is very little real world performance gain from going with faster RAM.
See: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/memory/display/ddr3-16...

This is not to say that RAM speed doesn't matter, but there are only a very few programs out there that are limited by RAM speed/latency.

And yes, I agree with Mad on the fact the Dominators are over priced. Unless going for world records,bench mark records,etc no point in getting the Dominators.

Quote:
Channel refers to how many sticks are in the set. There are three sticks in the Mushkin set, so it is automatically triple channel.

+1. Also take a look at the GSkill Ripjaws. I'v used them and they are quite good for the price.
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September 22, 2010 3:44:25 PM

Prog said:
Scotu, thank you for your input.

I would like to ask you what version of VS you are referring to? I have been coding for over a decade, this is how I make my living. I am not a graphics programmer not do I care to begin anytime soon. But nonetheless I need new PC that is quick on its feed and I don’t want to have to build another one for a good while.

As you suggested, I am looking towards the high end of the i7 processors. I even consider the i7 970 x6 3.2 but, everything is getting ready to change again about Q1 of 2011 when AMD start to show some competition and the new lower voltage CPU’s come out. So I would never put the 900 into that CPU now. It will be 400 before you know it.

Do you have any recommendations on a Mobo to match the CPU? I Need lots of memory, in fact, I plan on loading the mobo up with the max when I order it. I would like to also make sure there is room for expansion… I would like a top brand and rated board. Does anything come to mind?

I forgot to mention earlier that I will also need to add sound. I am reading that soundblaster is now releasing PCIe sound cards. That is good.

I researched the GTX 260 which Amazon says came out in 2004, and found out that; there is also an GTX 470 for just a few dollars more which is also CUDA which came out in 2009. I guess this is what you were talking about when you said “I’d get the DX 11 video card”???

There are many manufactures of this card, which would you recommend? When reading about the GTX 460 it was the EVGA version of it.

Prog


I've been running VS 2008 for the past few years, although I'm going to start using 2010 in the near future (I doubt the performance of my PC will change that much with the switch). For the Mobo, just grab a mid priced Asus, Gigabyte, or EVGA. I would like to say there's no way you'll need more than 6 or 8 GB of memory, but that may not be true if you run several VMs at once, or several absurdly memory intensive programs at once.

If you have no interest in graphics programming or GPGPU programming, then the GPU probably doesn't matter much and $150 on any nVidia/ATI card would be more than enough to power what you need If you were using Adobe's CS5 studio for editing, a more powerful nVidia (a GTX4__) card could help due to CUDA acceleration. EVGA's not a bad route to go for reliability for GPUs.

As for hard drive speed, I've got 2x1TB WD Caviar Blacks in Raid 0 and a fresh start of VS2008 takes 7 seconds to start (it's instant for times after the first due to virtual memory being awesome like that). I would imagine that a spinpoint would be a bit slower, and an SSD would be a bit faster. If 10 seconds once a day is too much, then go for the SSD.
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September 22, 2010 7:14:35 PM

^Unless you've got the newer SATA III Caviar Black, the Spinpoint is actually faster. If you do have the SATA III WD, the drives are basically the same speed. There is also the smaller Samsung Spinpoint F4 ($50ish for 320 GB) which is faster than both, but I haven't seen many reviews of it, and frankly thin that with the upcoming cheaper prices for SSDs and dirt cheap prices that can be found for the 1 TB F3, there isn't much benefit to the F4.

A SSD would be an order of magnitude faster, not just a "bit". I do agree that you're not going to save a huge amount of time with a SSD, but it's the technology of the future.
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September 23, 2010 4:11:19 PM

Spinpoint F3 is faster only in streaming speed. The Caviar Black SATA II is actually faster at loading applications because it's seek time is much smaller than that of the Spinpoint. While it's true that there is a magnitude different is speed between even a Raid 0 setup hard drives and a decent SSD, the perceived time difference isn't. If it only takes a small handful of seconds to load anything with the HDDs, an SSD isn't going to make a huge difference.
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September 23, 2010 5:03:00 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Channel refers to how many sticks are in the set. There are three sticks in the Mushkin set, so it is automatically triple channel.


MAD.
The above statement is not exactly true according to Wikipedia.
DDR3 triple-channel architecture is used in the Intel Core i7 family of processors (9xx), which are used on the LGA 1366 platform (e.g., Intel X58)

However, I think there are some mis-wording on Wikipedia
Socket AM3 processors use Dual-Channel-memory
Intel Core i5 and Core i7 (8xx) processor families also use Dual--Channel--memory

The Intel Core i7 (9xx) will need, and must have, Triple Channel rated memory, NO MATTER THE NUMBER OF "STICKS" used....

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple-channel_architecture



This is a great thread and I am learning quit a bit from it. Thank you all so much fot all the input you have offered

So far I have selected the the following for my build:
Intel i7 950
Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R (Rev. 2.0)

I am as of now still up in the air about the memory. I will most likely go with Corsair as the brand. One reason is because I the Heat Sink seems to me to be more efficient than the others that I have seen. The cooler, the better.

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September 23, 2010 5:05:00 PM

scotu said:
Spinpoint F3 is faster only in streaming speed. The Caviar Black SATA II is actually faster at loading applications because it's seek time is much smaller than that of the Spinpoint. While it's true that there is a magnitude different is speed between even a Raid 0 setup hard drives and a decent SSD, the perceived time difference isn't. If it only takes a small handful of seconds to load anything with the HDDs, an SSD isn't going to make a huge difference.


scotu
Thanks for this information. I haven't gotten to the drives yet, but this will be useful soon...
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September 23, 2010 5:06:38 PM

MadAdmiral said:
^Unless you've got the newer SATA III Caviar Black, the Spinpoint is actually faster. If you do have the SATA III WD, the drives are basically the same speed. There is also the smaller Samsung Spinpoint F4 ($50ish for 320 GB) which is faster than both, but I haven't seen many reviews of it, and frankly thin that with the upcoming cheaper prices for SSDs and dirt cheap prices that can be found for the 1 TB F3, there isn't much benefit to the F4.

A SSD would be an order of magnitude faster, not just a "bit". I do agree that you're not going to save a huge amount of time with a SSD, but it's the technology of the future.


MAD
Thank you for this information, I will put it to use very soon when I get to adding the drives...

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September 23, 2010 6:14:05 PM

Wiki is wrong. You DO NOT need to have Triple Channel RAM to run the LGA1366 system. You can run it 2 DIMMs or even 1 DIMM perfectly fine on the LGA1366, all that happens is you revert to Single Channel performance for the RAM.

Quote:
If it only takes a small handful of seconds to load anything with the HDDs, an SSD isn't going to make a huge difference.

Depends on your work load. I have a RAID0 set up with 2x Samsung F3s and reading/writing a lot of big files (ie RAW images, 1080 vids,etc) is much faster on my X25-M G2. For game load,etc it doesn't matter much.
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September 23, 2010 6:34:15 PM

Quote:
Shadow703793 -> Wiki is wrong. You DO NOT need to have Triple Channel RAM to run the LGA1366 system. You can run it 2 DIMMs or even 1 DIMM perfectly fine on the LGA1366, all that happens is you revert to Single Channel performance for the RAM.


Shadow703793
It's not a matter of how many sticks you have installed. To take advantage of the speed that the mobo provides by implementing Triple Channel Architecture, you must use memory that is also rated as Triple Channel. THis DOES NOT mean "3 sticks" but it is the "Architecture" of the chip that makes the performance faster.


"This, Intel claims, leads to faster system performance as well as higher performance per watt."

Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple-channel_architecture

Ref: http://www.valueram.com/europe/triplechannel/

Ref: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i7-x58,2087-12.html


The new triple-channel architecture present on socket 1366 models allows the CPU to access three memory modules at the same time to read or store data, increasing the number of bits that are transferred per clock cycle from 128 (in dual-channel architecture) to 192. In theory, triple-channel architecture offers a 50% bandwidth increase compared to the dual-channel architecture running at same clock rate. For example, DDR3-1066 memories working in dual channel have a maximum theoretical transfer rate of 17 GB/s, while if installed in triple channel they have a maximum theoretical transfer rate of 25.5 GB/s.

Ref: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/708
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September 24, 2010 12:48:31 AM

Triple vs. Dual channel is stupid for 99% of apps. Unless you're streaming gigabytes into and out of ram into something as fast as ram (ramdisk) you're never bandwidth limited by dual channel.

If you don't need the extra ram for triple channel, then there's really no point in buying into triple. That said, if you run synthetics/SuperPi all day then memory bandwidth can be applicable with significant (~10%) gains for triple channel.
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September 24, 2010 1:56:04 AM

sp12 said:
Triple vs. Dual channel is stupid for 99% of apps. Unless you're streaming gigabytes into and out of ram into something as fast as ram (ramdisk) you're never bandwidth limited by dual channel.

If you don't need the extra ram for triple channel, then there's really no point in buying into triple. That said, if you run synthetics/SuperPi all day then memory bandwidth can be applicable with significant (~10%) gains for triple channel.


I just wonder who would upgrade to an Triple Channel Architect motherboard & processor and not spend the extra money to put in the correct Ram that it supports for maximum throughput? That would be stupid to me. The point of the subject was; one person said that Triple Channel meant three sticks of memory and two channel meant two sticks of memory, and that just isn't the case. It's much more complex than that. If one can afford the bells and whistles then I wouldn't call them stupid. I'm one of those people.

I'm adding 12GB of Triple Channel Corsair to go with my new i7 950 and GA-X58A-UD3R mobo. I haven't built a computer since 2001, so I'm not skimping out like a cheap'o. I want this one to do me 9 years too. No I don't really need all this. I just like BIG and FAST. But I don't have to be the top dog or I would go with the GeForce GTX 480 and the new Intel Core i7 X 995 @ 3.60GHz which blows ALL the competition away by a LONG shot. I would hate to think I built a 950 system and didn't put Triple Channel Ram in it lol....

With that being said, thanks for chiming in on my thread!

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September 24, 2010 2:15:34 AM

I'd like to point out that you could get two of the Mushkin Blackline kits I linked to above for less than the cheaper set. Those would also be faster.

The Dominators are just a waste of money. They always are.
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September 24, 2010 2:16:46 AM

Alternatively, you could dual channel 4GB DIMMS today (8GB total), and when you want more space you could add additional ram (likely at a much reduced price) up to 24GB. You're not losing out performance wise with dual-channel, so it's really a price+capacity concern.

Computer parts make pretty terrible investments in that every 18 months they halve their price/performance. If you're really hoping to get 9 years out of this system I'll just point to all the benefits a system built 9 years ago would not have, eg, DVI, HD audio, an LCD screen, multicore processors, DDR2 and DDR3, SSDs, hard drives past 250GBs, probably Sata, DirectX 9c/10/11, the list goes on. In general, it's smarter to buy smaller more often.

And no, it's really not more complex than the number of sticks: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/Intel-Core-i7-Nehal...

(PS: that Corsair ram is mega-overpriced, not only that, but it's in 2GB dimms so it's really 3+3 channel, giving you worse performance than pure triple/dual channel and leaving you without an upgrade path)
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September 24, 2010 3:02:12 AM

Quote:

Shadow703793
It's not a matter of how many sticks you have installed. To take advantage of the speed that the mobo provides by implementing Triple Channel Architecture, you must use memory that is also rated as Triple Channel. THis DOES NOT mean "3 sticks" but it is the "Architecture" of the chip that makes the performance faster.

Ok, I misinterpreted your previous post, yes, you are correct, there are Triple Channel kits specifically available.
Triple Chanel have these requirements:
All three DIMMs must have the same size and speed. That's it.

HOWEVER, do realize as long as the RAM DIMM size and speed match you can mix two different manufactures,etc.
See: http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/sb/cs...

But for the sake of compatibility get the same model RAM kits. For example, if you need 12GB get two sets of 3*2GB kits of the same model (ie GSkill Ripjaws DDR3 1600).

Quote:
I just wonder who would upgrade to an Triple Channel Architect motherboard & processor and not spend the extra money to put in the correct Ram that it supports for maximum throughput? That would be stupid to me.

You WILL NOT notice that difference AT ALL in real world performance between Dual and Triple channel. Synthetic benchmarks != real world performance. Intel built Triple Chanel for the sake of servers and HPCs where RAM bandwidth matters (esp. in HPC) and they derived the i7 9xx CPUs from those. It's just cheaper for Intel to do it than to just have Xeons with Triple Channel and then have i7s with Dual Chanel on the same socket.
Note: I'm talking about LGA1366 here, NOT LGA1156.
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September 24, 2010 3:05:57 AM

Oh one more thing:
If you don't need this PC ASAP, realize that Sandy Bridge and Bulldozer are a few months away. Also realize that Intel will refresh the mainstream LGA1366 with 32nm CPUs.
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September 25, 2010 9:15:09 PM

Shadow703793 said:
Shadow703793
Ok, I misinterpreted your previous post, yes, you are correct, there are Triple Channel kits specifically available.
Triple Chanel have these requirements: All three DIMMs must have the same size and speed. That's it.

HOWEVER, do realize as long as the RAM DIMM size and speed match you can mix two different manufactures,etc.
See: http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/sb/cs...

But for the sake of compatibility get the same model RAM kits. For example, if you need 12GB get two sets of 3*2GB kits of the same model (ie GSkill Ripjaws DDR3 1600).

You WILL NOT notice that difference AT ALL in real world performance between Dual and Triple channel. Synthetic benchmarks != real world performance. Intel built Triple Chanel for the sake of servers and HPCs where RAM bandwidth matters (esp. in HPC) and they derived the i7 9xx CPUs from those. It's just cheaper for Intel to do it than to just have Xeons with Triple Channel and then have i7s with Dual Chanel on the same socket.
Note: I'm talking about LGA1366 here, NOT LGA1156.



Shadow703793;
You are so misinformed about what "Triple Channel Architecture" actually is. One stick, two sticks, seven sticks.. doesn't matter and has nothing to do with "Triple Channel Architecture". OK I'm done with this subject...................


I have changed up my order and placed an order for the following items and, the are already in the mail from Amazon via FREE 2-Day UPS thanks to Amazon PRIME.

On there way to me are the following;
ASUS P6X58D Premium - LGA 1366 - X58 - DDR3 - USB 3.0 SATA 6 Gb/s - ATX Motherboard : $289.99 (sold by Buy.com, shipped by Amazon FREE)
Intel Core i7 950 3.06GHz 8M L3 Cache LGA1366 Desktop Processor : $299.95
Windows 7 PRO 64 Bit System Builder 1pk : $139.99

I'm still up in the air on the RAM, Graphics card, case, Drives, Power Supply, Optical Drive


I am so thankful for everyone that have stepped up and helped me make informed decision which weren't all based upon saving money. I'm looking forward to more of everyone's helpful critiquing of my selections. I would like your thoughts about the selections that I have already ordered, and also, on the components that I still need.

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September 26, 2010 1:55:26 AM

Quote:

Shadow703793;
You are so misinformed about what "Triple Channel Architecture" actually is. One stick, two sticks, seven sticks.. doesn't matter and has nothing to do with "Triple Channel Architecture". OK I'm done with this subject...................

Which part of what I said was wrong? What am I misinformed on the "Triple Channel Architecture"?

Quote:
One stick, two sticks, seven sticks.. doesn't matter and has nothing to do with "Triple Channel Architecture".

False. You can not have Triple Chanel with 2 DIMMs,etc. Basically the channels have to be populated in multiples of three (3,6,12,etc DIMM sockets).
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September 26, 2010 3:52:06 AM

Well, you can run 'triple channel' with 4 DIMMS/whatever, but for all practical purposes (performance) it's in 3+1 channel (not that that's really a performance difference you can measure). You'd get the same performance from dual channel in 2+2.

Shadow, don't worry, it's only applicable on Gigabyte mobos, and even then only with performance degradation. I would never run triple channel on a non-multiple of 3.
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October 3, 2010 12:29:24 AM

BELOW IS WHAT I ENDED UP ORDERING

Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case $144.99 (NewEgg.com)
ASUS P6X58D Premium ATX Motherboard - LGA 1366 - X58 - DDR3 - USB 3.0 SATA 6 Gb/s - : $289.99 (Amazon.com)
Intel i7 950 3.06GHz 8M L3 Cache LGA1366 Desktop Processor : $299.95 (Amazon.com)
Windows 7 PRO 64 Bit System Builder 1pk : $139.99 (Amazon.com)
G.SKILL Phoenix Pro Series Internal SSD - FM-25S2S-120GBP2 - 120GB SATA II MLC (BOOT on SATA II) $249.99 (NewEgg.com)
WD Caviar Black 1 TB Desktop Internal HD (WD1002FAEX) - 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" (DATA) $84.99 (Amazon.com)
Corsair Power Supply CMPSU-750TX 750-Watt TX Series 80 Plus Certified compatible with Intel Core i7 $109.99 (Amazon.com)
Corsair TR3X6G1600C8D Dominator 6 GB 3 x 2 GB PC3-12800 1600MHz 240-Pin DDR3 Core i7 Memory Kit $189.99 (Amazon.com)
Corsair TR3X6G1600C8D Dominator 6 GB 3 x 2 GB PC3-12800 1600MHz 240-Pin DDR3 Core i7 Memory Kit $189.99 (Amazon.com)
EVGA GeForce GTX470 Superclocked 1280 MB DDR5 PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card 012-P3-1472-AR $342.69 (Amazon.com)

You get out if it what you put into it. Don't be fooled. This thread is CLOSED
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October 3, 2010 12:30:58 AM

Best answer selected by Prog.
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!