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New build...are these components good choices?

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October 9, 2010 12:16:48 AM

I'm looking at one of two builds:


1st build:

ASRock 870 Extreme 3 AM3 Mobo
AMD Phenom II X4 955
Rosewill Destroyer case
4GB of Ram, G.Skill Ripjaws, 2x2GB, DDR3 1600Mhz
Sound Blaster X-Fi
Corsair TX750, 750 watt PSU. Has single 12v rail
Two 500GB Samsung Spinpoint F3, SATA 3GB/s hard drives in RAID 0
Cannibalizing old 8800 GTX video card from old system for now, will upgrade to GTX460 later

2nd build:

ASRock H55M-LE Mobo
Intel Core i5-750 2.66 GHz Lynnfield
Rosewill Challenger case
4GB of Ram, G.Skill Ripjaws, 2x2GB, DDR3 1600Mhz
Sound Blaster X-Fi
Corsair TX750, 750 watt PSU. Has single 12v rail
One 500GB Samsung Spinpoint F3, SATA 3GB/s
Cannibalizing old 8800 GTX video card from old system for now, will upgrade to GTX460 later

The AMD build is nice in that the mobo comes with a RAID controller. I am concerned about going with 3gb/s SATA vs 6gb/s SATA. Does it matter much?

The Intel build is attractive because the i5 is generally considered a better CPU for running Starcraft 2, as far as I can tell. There's some conflicting information out there. Some claim that SC2 likes more raw CPU cycles, in which case the 3.4 GHz Phenom II X4 would be good, but others claim benchmarking gives the i5-750 an advantage.

My other issue is that, often in Starcraft 2, my loading time between missions will be long enough that it annoys me and I want to cut that time down, thus the RAID configuration. My own research suggests that the solid state drives that are within my budget right now would not be any faster than a RAID 0 array and provide far less capacity for the price.

Also, what is everyone's thoughts on Windows 7? I'm running Vista now, is it worth the trouble to upgrade from a performance standpoint? If so, should I roll with Home Premium edition or Professional Edition?
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
October 9, 2010 12:35:49 AM

Neither build needs a PSU that large, and there is nothing special about a single 12V rail.

The 750TX is not a quiet PSU and with a small build such as that the extra cables will be a hassle.

Of the two builds the AMD board has more features. SATA 6GB/S and USB 3.

This Seasonic PSU is partly modular, quieter, and costs less:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That's enough power for your system, regardless of what GPU you use.
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October 9, 2010 3:36:56 PM

Unfortunately, I've already got the Corsair....I bought that some time ago when i was having some stability problems, and my research suggested that a more stable PSU might help. That turned out to be wrong, as it happens, but what it does mean is that it's the PSU I got and am going with, for better or for worse :D 

I think, in most cases, either build would perform to whatever pace was set by the GPU. Starcraft 2 seems to be an exception to this seeing how it's rather more CPU intensive than most modern games.

What are your thoughts on SSD's? The one's I can afford are only rated in 220mb/s read range, and it seems like I could get similar performance with a RAID set up.
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
October 9, 2010 6:18:40 PM

It's not a bad PSU in any way, just not what you would buy today :) 

I should have realized those parts were being re-used.
I understand about game load times, but I feel you need the OS and games on the SSD and so for gamers I think one of the 120GB Sandforce SSDs are the minimum.

I don't think conventional RAID can even be compared, but it can help some, and is certainly less expensive per GB.

Vertex 2 is $220 after rebates
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A couple RAID type WD HDDs $160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'd say you have to decide yourself what is more important. The SSD will be much faster and more reliable, but with a lot less storage space.
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October 10, 2010 2:10:39 AM

I am on kind of a budget and can't really afford that much. I was thinking of using this:



for my OS and a select few (probably one or two) games, and using the HDD from my old machine for other games, programs, storage, and swap file.

If that SSD really isn't worth it, I'll probably just roll with a conventional large capacity HD. To that end, I'm looking at a Samsung Spinpoint F3 or WD Caviar Black. If I do this, I might cough up for 8gb of ram instead of 4.
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Best solution

a c 113 B Homebuilt system
October 10, 2010 2:41:58 AM

No, RAM above about 4GB does nothing for gaming performance.

Let's do some leg work on drives, I haven't done that in a few months....

Samsung Spinpoint F4 320GB looks like a real speed winner:
http://www.testfreaks.com/blog/review/review-of-samsung...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Put two of those on the AMD RAID controller and see how it goes?
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October 10, 2010 1:25:59 PM

Best answer selected by jamesp81.
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October 10, 2010 1:26:20 PM

Thanks for your help!
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