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New high end build

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November 4, 2010 3:50:04 AM

Hey guys,
First of all I want to thank the forums for my previous build three years ago, still going strong, but dated and in need of a replacement.

Below is what I've assembled so far. Some parts are ones a friend of mind who did a build back in February has so I used them as a starting point. ANY recommendations are welcomed. I've seen a lot of "wait for sandy bridge" responses on these forums which I'm open to if the performance is worth the wait and I can stay in my budget. I hope to build within the next couple of months. If Sandy is out in Jan and worth it, I'm willing.

Budget: 2 - 2500k

Uses:
3d modeling/rendering, hence the high RAM, my 4GB just isn't cutting it any more.
Gaming
Nvidia: Want to stick with this manufacturer because some of my 3d apps use CUDA acceleration
SLI: once again, went single card since I need the beefy memory for 3d. Pretty sure I can't take advantage of dual cards in 3d apps, but if a SLI setup is going to give me similar performance I'm willing to look into it.

Thanks!

CPU: (plan to OC)
Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HEATSINK: (in my friend's build)
COOLER MASTER Intel Core i7 compatible V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: (too little? I have a 700w one on my current machine, but I'm sure it's overkill)
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO: (just saw good ratings, open for alternatives, just want easy OCing)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MSI Big Bang-XPower LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

RAM: (in my friend's build, open to suggestions)
2 x CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8D
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: (just saw good ratings)
ASUS ENGTX480/2DI/1536MD5 GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE: (done with mid towers, was a bitch fitting my graphics card into my current one)
COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel/ Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

STORAGE: (have 1tb now and it's not enough)
Western Digital Caviar Black WD2001FASS 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: (for apps and OS only)
OCZ Agility 2 OCZSSD2-2AGTE120G 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD:
LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: win 7 home 64-bit

More about : high end build

November 4, 2010 4:31:05 AM

Hey Jason,

I am in a similar situation - a multipurpose higher end build with a large but not insane budget.

I chose the exact same processor, case, and RAM.

In the end I think I will go with the GTX 470 NVidia cards - because SLIed cards can stand to lose a little power. Plus, I've heard those 480s run really hot which might be tough on a 750W PS.

For Mobo I am leaning towards the Asus Rampage III Formula - however I'm no mobo expert.

Also, I'm told Lite-on DVD drives are loud - but that's only heresay.
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November 4, 2010 5:53:52 AM

Firstly, Jason & Omega - You'll never need those insane motherboards - Either the Big Bang or the Rampage III.

Get a $200 [http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...]ASUS Sabertooth X58[/url] which is gonna be good enough for almost anything under the sun.

HSF : Don't bother with this one till you OC. The stock Intel cooler is gonna be plenty good even for minor 10-20% OC's.

PSU : Could you please link/mention exactly the brand & make of your 700 Watt current PSU? I think you might be able to Re-use that one. That's already enough for a 480 - even with 3 HDD's, provided that it's a 80+ rated one with around 50 odd Amps on the +12V Rail(s).

Use This Power Supply Calculator to judge for yourself.

RAM : Much less expensive, but equally good - $145 CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB)

Case : Great full tower from the same family, but much less expensive - COOLER MASTER HAF 932

HDD : If 2GB is all you need, you can get another 1TB one & get them in a RAID 0 config. No need to buy a separate 2TB one.

ODD : Better options - Samsung/LG/Sony - LG SATA 22X DVD Burner - Bulk LightScribe Support
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November 4, 2010 9:05:42 AM

Whats with all the dominator hate? The have bad specs, but they are amazing sticks which overclock like dreams. I mean calguyhunk do you really believe corsair sells different models with a large rice difference that are equally good? I'd say if you like the dominators go for them since I suppose that 3d rendering is pretty ram intensive.

For gpu I'd get 2 460s in sli which will perform a good deal better(say 15%) than a 480 while costing more than a 100usd less.

Agreed about the 2tb drive: 2 1tb drives in raid0 would be faster and probably cheaper.

As for the case I'm not a fan of the haf series I like the cleaner looking cases like http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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November 4, 2010 11:08:53 AM

Somebody_007 said:
Whats with all the dominator hate? The have bad specs, but they are amazing sticks which overclock like dreams. I mean calguyhunk do you really believe corsair sells different models with a large rice difference that are equally good?
I can't possibly hate dominators, 'coz I use 'em with my ROG board - Rampage III Gene :)  As you said - an enthusiast's dream.

But I ask people not to get 'em not because they're not good, but because XMS3/Mushkin/G.Skill are cheaper & voltage permitting, shouldn't make a difference, OC'ing. Also the high profile heat-spreaders may sometime hinder the build process.

99% of the people asking for build advise on this forum may or may not be enthusiasts, but insane they're not & most of 'em won't mind shaving off $200 from their builds, without taking any real world toll on performance & reliability by going with Sabertooth/Giga UD3 instead of Dominators with Rampage III/UD9 etc.

Certain things are strictly for flush enthusiasts and should be left as such IMO & the Dominators & the 2 boards mentioned on this thread fall in that category.

But yes, if you feel like splurging an extra $30 on the same specs, you can do much worse than the Dominators. Real world performance may not increase an iota, but you'll know you've got the sexiest RAM in business :kaola: 

Also, 1 thing that I did miss was only 6GB RAM in a $2000 3D rendering system (Thanx to atotalnoob). You might wanna get a 3X4GB set. For a cheaper system, I'd have said wait & watch, but not a $2000 one.
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November 4, 2010 11:20:51 AM

Aaah ok I see what you mean then. Well yeah those things (boards and dominators) are mostly for enthousiasts, but IMO if you're planning on overlclocking and playing around with your system I think the dominators and big bang xpower are the way to go. Sure they are kind of overkill, but I mean we can live with a netbook so in that respect a high end pc is overkill already.

So yeah if you want amazing ram go with the dominators( or these http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... I own the same ones, but in red :( )
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November 4, 2010 1:04:57 PM

Thanks calguy - some good advice.
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November 4, 2010 3:17:31 PM

Thanks everyone for the responses.

RAM - yeah I'm getting 12 GB, thats why I put 2x in front of the link. I have 4 right now which kills my system when I'm loading large scene, I figure 2 more wouldn't be a world of difference.

CUDA - So are you saying that it doesn't accelerate performance as much as it claims? Any chance on some benchmark links? Because that's the only reason I'd stick to Nvidia.

SLI - I know that two 460's are better than a 480, but am I going to be crippled by less VRAM when using my 3d apps, or when playing games that aren't SLI? I've been playing Bad Company 2 for awhile and notices it doesn't support SLI, that's my only concern.

RAM - Thanks for all the options, I'm totally willing to save a few bucks.

MOBO - So since the MSI or Rampage are overkill, is that ASUS board going to last me awhile in terms of future tech? I'm currently on about a 3 year lifecycle with my PC.

CASE - I'll look into those as well. I didn't do a whole lot of research, just knew I wanted to go full tower with good front connection.

Sandy Bridge - No one brought this up which was surprising. Do you see it being beneficial to 3d rendering or gaming? In terms of a large performance upgrade or are we only talking about 10%? Also since we're coming to the end of the cylce of the current chipsets and motherboards, do you think buying a current motherboard will be tough to upgrade in the future or are all these boards pretty future proof except for CPU socket?

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November 4, 2010 3:34:51 PM

jasonwf said:
Thanks everyone for the responses.

RAM - yeah I'm getting 12 GB, thats why I put 2x in front of the link. I have 4 right now which kills my system when I'm loading large scene, I figure 2 more wouldn't be a world of difference.

CUDA - So are you saying that it doesn't accelerate performance as much as it claims? Any chance on some benchmark links? Because that's the only reason I'd stick to Nvidia.

SLI - I know that two 460's are better than a 480, but am I going to be crippled by less VRAM when using my 3d apps, or when playing games that aren't SLI? I've been playing Bad Company 2 for awhile and notices it doesn't support SLI, that's my only concern.

RAM - Thanks for all the options, I'm totally willing to save a few bucks.

MOBO - So since the MSI or Rampage are overkill, is that ASUS board going to last me awhile in terms of future tech? I'm currently on about a 3 year lifecycle with my PC.

CASE - I'll look into those as well. I didn't do a whole lot of research, just knew I wanted to go full tower with good front connection.

Sandy Bridge - No one brought this up which was surprising. Do you see it being beneficial to 3d rendering or gaming? In terms of a large performance upgrade or are we only talking about 10%? Also since we're coming to the end of the cylce of the current chipsets and motherboards, do you think buying a current motherboard will be tough to upgrade in the future or are all these boards pretty future proof except for CPU socket?


CUDA: It should impove the supported apps a great deal. I don't have any benchmarks but from what I heard it's not just marketing trash talk.

MOBO: In terms of future proofing those boards are just as good or bad. The only advantage that the better boards give is better sound, better overlocking, better cooling a ton of features which aren't always needed but cool nonetheless. If you want to play around with your system a lot they're worth their money if the only thing that appeals to you is the better sound then just get a sound card and the sabertooth.

Sandy bridge: They're just a new generation of CPUs and chipsets. I've seen benchmarks where the cpu that's supposed to be cheaper than the i7 950 keeps up with the i7 980s. The chipset also supports lighpeak and native sataIII probably some other cool stuff too. If you get one of those on realease and a motherboard for it then you'll probably be as future proof as possible. Because x58 and i7s are at the end of their cycle right now. SO if you can wait wait if not then don't.




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November 4, 2010 3:44:10 PM

CUDA works great for apps that are supported. If your apps can use CUDA, stay with nVidia. If they don't for whatever reason, just get the best deal on graphics, don't worry too much about which manufacturer you go with.
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November 4, 2010 9:28:04 PM

Thanks again everyone.
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November 5, 2010 1:00:15 AM

you're welcome
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