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New System - First Time Builder

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November 1, 2010 12:58:18 PM

Hello Dear Toms Community

I'm a long time reader, first time poster and also a first time system builder.

Just Recently, I've found a very nice casual job which pays very well. Being a reckless uni student that I am I've decided to part with my 7-9 year old AMD system to build something grand, something that will serve me as long as my previous system (if possible).

My Budget is currently $5000, that includes everything, nice desk, good chair and of course, my new System!

Putting $1000 aside for the nice desk and chair, that leaves $4000 for my system so, after long research, this is what I've chosen, which according to local prices will cost approx $4000 AUD (After some bargaining of course!)

So, without further to do, here we go

Motherboard - GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R
CPU - Intel Core i7 - 950
GPU - Gigabyte GTX480 SLI (x2)
Memory - Corsair 1600MHz Memory 6Gb kit C7 (x2) - Total 12Gb
Windows - OEM Win 7 Pro
PSU - CoolerMaster Silent Pro Gold 1000W Modular
Case - CoolerMaster HAF X
SSD - Corsair F80 FORCE 80GB
HDD - Western Digital Caviar Black SATA 3 6Gbps 1TB (x2)
CPU Cooler - Thermaltake FRIO CPU cooler
Optical - LG BluRay Combo Writer
Speakers - Logitech Z2300 2.1THX
Monitor - Samsung 21.5inch BX2250 2ms LED (x3)
Keyboard - Logitech MK710 Wireless
Network - Some random D-Link Wireless reciever

I'm looking for some feedback, what can I change/add/remove to make this just that bit more awesome?

It has really been too long since I've spoiled myself, so i think this has been a long time coming :kaola: 

And of course, I will be overclocking this, with a Motherboard like that it would be a shame not to :sol: 

I'm also looking for some opinion for those 3x monitors, will those work with Nvidia Surround? (not 3D). I needed 2 screens for uni work anyway, so might aswell go the whole way? Work hard and play even harder :lol: 

More about : system time builder

November 1, 2010 6:40:27 PM

First things first, what is this system really gonna be for?

Not that it matters, 'coz with a crazy-a$$ budget like that, I think you can pretty much nail everything there is. But still tailoring your system to fit your usage exactly can't really hurt, I don't think.

A lot of the stuff seem a bit over the top, I think. The mobo, the case & also the RAM (unless you're into professional photo editing/3D rendering or something). The exact same performance levels can be attained by spending a whole lot less, I guess.
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November 1, 2010 10:55:21 PM

I'm a Games Graphics Programming Student which means I'll be making games for a profession. It also means that my system needs to be powerful enough to be able to run multiple "prototype" programs at the same time and still allow me to do other things.

I often try to get benchmarking data on the algorithms that i've come up with, they usually run for hours on end so I can conclude which methods are the most efficient to be used. I pride myself in finding new ways to solve problems :lol: 

So I need a system that can do extreme multitasking, be able to run multiple experimental software (both graphical and non graphical) at the same time.

Oh, did I mention extreme gaming? :D 

Like stated above, the budget is $4000 (AUD). If I can get some advice on what sort of parts I can swap for to maximise the system performance and still keep within budget, that would be lovely!
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November 2, 2010 12:15:38 AM

I would recommend more ram. 6gb will be good for about a year, and you want it to last much longer. 8 to 12 would be a much better number. Also in my opinion G.Skill has good value but is not the best possible brand of memory you will find. I would recommend Corsair. On the hard drives, I like the selection you have there. The SSD might be too slow though. I would get one that has a read rate greater then 280mb/s like the G.Skill phoenix pro or the Corsair Force. Otherwise the build looks pretty good although if it were me I would pick up 2 Radeon 6870s.
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November 2, 2010 12:22:20 AM

Saving on the Win7 edition from ultimate to Pro would enable you to almost double up on the RAM, that's what I would do.
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November 2, 2010 7:06:49 AM

RAM : Go with PC3 12800 RAM (DDR3 1600 Mhz). Super pi might get a little boost with 2000 Mhz, but the difference in real world performance is negligible aside for benchmarking or perhaps a couple of specialized apps here and there (CAD comes to mind). Also, the price differential is pretty astronomic (close to A$100 I'd assume). Get a 1600 CL7 kit so that if needed, you can slacken your timings to get a higher clock speed.

Mobo : Also, if you don't have a fascination with the ROG label, I'll ask you to go with ASUS Sabertooth X58. Same brand, much - much better value (Dual SLI @ x16/x16 - so you won't miss out on much). Unless of course you're looking at quad SLI :ouch:  . $200 is prolly a good enough reason to make that switch.

SSD : OCZ vertex 2 or G.skill phoenix pro SSD - Much faster than Falcon2. Also, do they still sell those? IDK. Please check.
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November 2, 2010 9:28:14 AM

Swapped the following parts

SSD - from Falcon 2 64GB to Corsair F80 FORCE 80GB with a saving of $1 :love: 
Memory - from 12GB Corsair 2000MHz C9 to 12GB Corsair 1600MHz C7 with a saving of $20 :love: 

As for the motherboard, unfortunately i couldn't find the Asus Sabertooth in any of the local shops, however an alternative that is about 2x cheaper is the Asus Rampage GENE.

Any suggestions for the 3x monitors? I think there are a set of Samsung 2233RZ "3D ready" available for the same price, i'm not huge on 3d though.
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November 2, 2010 1:38:36 PM

Wow, an astounding $21 in savings :pt1cable: 

'bout the Rampage 3 gene uATX, the whole ROG series is for extreme enthusiasts who don't mind paying that much extra for features we don't even use. Just makes us feel good to know that we can, if we ever wanted :) 

But it only has 2 PCIe 2.0X16 slots (@16/16). So no tri SLI. It'll be a bit cramped too, considering the amount of heat produced by the 480's. Prolly be a good idea to go with a more spacious full ATX with a 480 SLI set-up.

Do they have the either of these two then? GIGABYTE GA-X58-USB3 or the GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R. Priced at 180 and 200 US$ respectively. Both are USB 3.0, SATA 6GB/s & eSATA 6GB/s compliant and the UD3R allows quad SLI @ 16/16/8/8.

The Samsung 2233RZ's look plenty good, but why not look at a full HD monitor - 1920X1200/1080 set up. Look at min specs - 30,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio, 250 cd/m2, 3ms, preferably 120 Hz with HDCP support since you're getting ready for the blue-ray experience on your PC.
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November 3, 2010 7:12:01 AM

Thank you calguyhunk, I did find the GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R for $225.00 thats a saving of about $250.00 :love: 

As for monitors, it is quite difficult finding those 120 Hz that are Full-HD at a decent price. What I found was this.

Benq G2420HD 24inch Wide Full HD 2ms HDMI DVI D-Sub Gloss

58 people gave a 5star "mini-review" at the local shop, it seems to have nice features and costs $200.00
and a slightly more expensive

Benq E2420HD 24inch Wide 2ms HDMI DVI D-Sub Gloss Spker

27 people gave a 5 star "mini-review" for this one, costs $260.00 and is still cheaper than the 3D-ready monitors.

I will keep looking around for the monitors, Don't want to buy things to only end up regretting later :sol: 

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November 3, 2010 8:17:17 PM

Magranon said:
Thank you calguyhunk, I did find the GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R for $225.00 thats a saving of about $250.00 :love: 
Now that's what we're talkin' 'bout :D 

Monitor - I'm really not sure 'bout the 3D ready stuff though - maybe because I'm not completely knowledgeable 'bout the technology. Really looks too expensive for me - I'm not too sure 'bout the price-performance ratio.

Also, monitors (& TV) are only 30 frames per second, but since our power line rate is 60 Hz, and the interlace field rate is 60 times a second, they call progressive scan 120 Hz. That's not correct, but the marketing guys put it that way 'coz it sounds good. Especially when selling you something. Bottom line is, 120 Hz is meaningless for any true indication of performance.

1080p means that the monitor holds the first field for 1/60th of a second, receives the second field for the next 1/60th of a second, and then combines and displays the entire frame in the next 1/60th of a second. Problem is, in order to display an entire 1080 line frame every 1/60th of a second, it has to repeat it for 1/60th of a second. People think that it doubles the resolution. It does NOT. It shows the images twice as fast, but repeats the same frame twice as often. What it does is reduce flicker. So go with 1080p. It might cost a little more, but at least you'll be getting your money's worth.

Don't sweat over the Hz count. They're all 30 frames per second, regardless of the hype.

But in case you do wanna check that out - Full HD, 120Hz, 3D ready - Alienware OptX AW2310 23-inch 3D Full HD Widescreen Monitor
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