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460 SLI build for review / recommendation

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November 5, 2010 6:58:36 AM

Hello All,

Would you guys/gals please let me know if my choices below are good ones and that there are no compatibility issues? I've had them in the past with a previous build and ASUS confirmed that their mobo was "glitchy" with windows 7 Pro and SLI ... so this time I would like to be free of "Glithcy" issues and would rather not write to all the manufacturers prior....


I have spent a lot of time on a list of components but I'm wondering if I should wait another week or so as Newegg's "Black November" sale trickels in or if I should just get it all now while it is in stock... I know, my call on that one


Core Components Only are:


ASUS Rampage III mobo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Corsair Dominator 6gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


i7 950
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Arctic Freezer pro 7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Corsair Pro Series AX850, 850W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


2 X EVGA gtx 460 @ 850MHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Windows 7 Home



My choice of the 850mhz 460 card has been on again off again for many reasons as has the 850W PSU. As for the GPU, 850mhz pre-clocked cards are appeliing but I'm not sure I will see a big difference from lesser clocked cards.... is it worth $30 more/card? Will a card with an 850mhz clock burn out faster??

As for the PSU I thought the 850W AX model was best??... Well it has phenominal reviews and while I know 750W is plenty of juice for 2, 460's I figured it wouldn 't hurt to have extra and possibly be slightly more future proof. I was going to go with watercooling but the Corsair Freezer seems to work just fine for 1700+ reviewers many with Overclocked i7 950's...

Would someone please let me know if it is necessary to run 2 Velociraptors in RAID 0 to see the benefits of a 10,000 RPM hard drive? Would ONE Velociraptor be a dramatic improvement over a 7200RPM card? Seems to me I have read dissagrement on this

One more question, How seriously should one take the reviews on Newegg? If they are to be taken seriously, is it safe to assume that 40 - 70% of all merchandise is defecive? I am always shocked to see such abominal reviews of products yet the company stays in business. Also it seems that some reviewers copy and paste a review and use it more than one product ... maybe I'm imagining things, maybe I'm too sceptical, but your opinions would be appreciated. When let's say an item like a motherboard has a review with 3 out of the 5 stars ... Does it really mean that there's 40% chance the board will arrive DOA, or explode in 3 weeks time? :non: 

I am basically looking for parts that are Very solid, require the least amount of tweeking and TLC, and that will last a good long time... i.e until an Intel hexacore processor is more justifiable.

Thanks! .... Jack

More about : 460 sli build review recommendation

November 5, 2010 7:21:05 AM

Seriously, no need for 850W corsair.
Heck, a 650W Corsair could pull it, no need to chuck together a system that good if its not gonna last you 3¬ years unless you are a pro gamer =)

Personally I'm looking at dual 460's too, but prices in my country are higher cause our populations around 4 million (New Zealand) so I'm restricted in getting an AMD pii processor.

Can't help from the compatibility area, but with that Mobo (almost 300USD) I think actually, go for whatever you want cause seems liike you got the dough! Goodluck!
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November 5, 2010 8:18:11 AM

I've never heard 650W could safely handle 2, 460's... From what I knew 700W was "probably ok" and that 750W was the recommendation... especially for overclocking purposes.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 5, 2010 8:25:54 AM

A good 650w like a corsair would handle it, but i'd go with a 750 anyway just for the extra headroom and efficiency.

I'd still go with a hex core like the 1055t, since you want the rig to last. And if making the switch to AMD go with 6850's instead of 460's.

Just seems like a better choice in the long run IMO.

P.S@ Vibhas: i too am form NZ :) 
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November 5, 2010 10:21:36 AM

Also change the artic cooler freezer 7 pro with a hyper 212 plus which is similarly priced and performs better.I wouldn't go with dominators too as their heatsinks can block some large cpu coolers and I found that out after I build my pc :pfff:  Your motherboard is a personal choice but I think it's overkill so I would recommend this instead.
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November 5, 2010 10:34:08 AM

welshmousepk said:
A good 650w like a corsair would handle it, but i'd go with a 750 anyway just for the extra headroom and efficiency.

I'd still go with a hex core like the 1055t, since you want the rig to last. And if making the switch to AMD go with 6850's instead of 460's.

Just seems like a better choice in the long run IMO.

P.S@ Vibhas: i too am form NZ :) 

Ha, the irony, I say we have a small 4 million population and then you pop up in this thread and post =)

I'm looking @ 2x 460's in a 955/965BE and am a little confused (Antec Earthwatts 650W).
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 5, 2010 1:52:36 PM

Hello Jack. :) 

What are you looking to do with this PC? Just game?

If your just gaming then the i7 is not required. The i5 is basically the same CPU but without HT which is not used in games and sometimes decreases performance so you'll probably find your self disabling it.

X58 is really only for gamers when they are running more then 2 cards as the board has more lanes so that they won't be bottlenecked. The 980X will never really be viable and will continue with an unrealistic price for years to come. Sandy Bridge will make it so it is cheaper to replace the board and CPU then to get the overprices 6 core. Therefore I don't see much advantages to the X58 over P55/AM3.

As to i5 vs AMD I think I will have to go with the i5. If you don't want to upgrade the CPU and board in the future when you upgrade the graphics the i5 will be the best choice. A Phenom II X4 955 already has a pretty large bottleneck with 2 5870s so it doesn't really give you much room to upgrade graphics.

Though if your not looking to upgrade the graphics without the rest of the system in the future I would go for the Phenom II X4 955 as it will save you some money over the i5.

For the raptors I don't believe RAID 0 benefits much. I don't believe RAID benefits much else other then benchmarks, for real world performance it isn't worth the price. Do you already have the raptors? If not then just get a nice SSD.

I disagree with wleshmousepk's recommendation to get a 1055T if this is a gaming build. This would hinder any graphics upgrade from a CPU bottleneck and would offer nothing over the 955.

I also wouldn't trust newegg reviews. If the brand is good I don't think much can go wrong. Though I don't know an over supply about newegg.

Also if your still convinced on the i7 950 (say so and I'll try to talk you out of it). Microcentre has it for $230 and they offer pickup.

Hope that helps. :) 
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 5, 2010 2:48:09 PM

Wolygon said:

As to i5 vs AMD I think I will have to go with the i5. If you don't want to upgrade the CPU and board in the future when you upgrade the graphics the i5 will be the best choice. A Phenom II X4 955 already has a pretty large bottleneck with 2 5870s so it doesn't really give you much room to upgrade graphics.


Can you provide a reference for that?

Agree on the i5 vs. i7, but I have never seen any articles that indicate that the Phenom II X4s have problems with CrossFire setups. I've seen reviews that indicate i5/i7 offer better performance with 5870CF, but not that the Phenom II X4 + 2x5870 is hitting some sort of fps limit on the graphics cards.

In other words, everything I have seen indicates that the performance difference between a Phenom II X4 + one 5870 vs. an i5/i7 with one 5870 is about the same as the difference between either setup when you add another 5870. If you have evidence that the Phenom II setup has a increased performance gap when you add the 2nd 5870, I'd like to see that info.

Also agree on SSD over Velocraptors.
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November 5, 2010 4:30:19 PM

Point taken Wolygon ... although I hear / read a lot of people saying that the P55 is a dead end [?] ...is that right? or am I hallucinating again...... Yes the computer is primarily for gaming.

I actually have an i5 set up variation tht I am considering ... and it is of course cheaper:


MSI P55 Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


i5 750
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


4 Gigs RAM [should I do 8 gigs?]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


XFX 750W PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


2 X Lower-Clocked gtx 460's
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...




and 'BeCoolBro' thanks for the advice on the 212 ... I think at some point I meant to change the cooler to the 212

Do I need to buy a little motherboard speaker to hear "Beep" ??
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 5, 2010 5:49:24 PM

Motherboards should have the onboard speakers.

That XFX BE PSU is great; it will be more than capable for dual 460s OCed (as you can I see, I'm proof that 650W is enough ;) ).

You can get a better 460 for the price; Check out the EVGA's cards. This one has a lifetime warranty, is slightly OCed (they don't have a stock card at EVGA anymore hahaha), qualifies for the Step Up Program with EVGA, and is a much better brand than PNY:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I have the stock version of that card and it's awesome. I'm actually using the Step Up program to trade up to GTX 470s. I'll need a new PSU though.

You'll be fine with 4GB of RAM; I haven't seen a reason to get more than my 6GB for gaming (computational programs like Matlab eat it up though), and even then it's far too much. My GPUs limit performance before my memory does.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 5, 2010 5:51:50 PM

vibhas said:
Ha, the irony, I say we have a small 4 million population and then you pop up in this thread and post =)

I'm looking @ 2x 460's in a 955/965BE and am a little confused (Antec Earthwatts 650W).


I have exactly that power supply, and it has plenty of power. The Earthwatts provide 650W continuous power; a 650W max power PSU would be risky.
Also, I don't know if AMD's chipsets will support SLI; they've had issues with some of the newer cards and people have been recommending against it. I'm not too familiar with AMD's chips, so I would look into that.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 5, 2010 10:27:38 PM

coldsleep said:
Can you provide a reference for that?

Agree on the i5 vs. i7, but I have never seen any articles that indicate that the Phenom II X4s have problems with CrossFire setups. I've seen reviews that indicate i5/i7 offer better performance with 5870CF, but not that the Phenom II X4 + 2x5870 is hitting some sort of fps limit on the graphics cards.

In other words, everything I have seen indicates that the performance difference between a Phenom II X4 + one 5870 vs. an i5/i7 with one 5870 is about the same as the difference between either setup when you add another 5870. If you have evidence that the Phenom II setup has a increased performance gap when you add the 2nd 5870, I'd like to see that info.

Also agree on SSD over Velocraptors.


I never said that they have a "problem" with crossfire setups. I was just saying that X4s have a bit of a bottleneck to 2 5870s, not in a crossfire link but as a CPU based bottleneck. But maybe this is not the case...you say that i5s offer more performance over a "single" 5870? Why would this be? The bottleneck from two 5870s is only smallish so I would think that the bottleneck would be completely gone when you half the graphics power. Is this not true?

The stuff I was quoting is from legion hardwares 5870 CPU scaling. Here:
http://www.legionhardware.com/articles_pages/radeon_hd_...

My main point was that since the bottleneck from the Phenom II is already noticeable from 2 5870s then bigger and bigger graphics cards are going to make it worse...

@OP
Good work on the build. As said 4GB of memory will be fine.

On the 1156 deadness. Yes it will not be getting anymore CPUs.

Though 1366 "may" be similar. It was thought that it would not receive any CPUs also. But then it seemed like they actually might, waiting on intel to say something. So I'm not sure and I can't find anything on whether it is or not. Though there is probably a pretty good chance that it will not receive any new CPUs.
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November 6, 2010 2:25:17 AM

Go with 6850, it gives its run for its money compared to GTX460.
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November 6, 2010 5:38:21 AM

You guys are GREAT ...

I have to admit, Dearest Wolygon, that my thinking has gone back to the 950 with the hope that the processor might last me at least 5 years at which point hyperthreading might acutally be being used in some games. As for the motherboard, while the Rampage III might be overkill for the time being it could be useful should an ass-kicker card come out to rival the 460's in the next couple of years ... at which point the option of tri-SLI of said card could launch me into orbit :o 

I'm now wondering about a Drive for the OS and game installs ... Any suggestions?

Cog [I mean jack .. HA] ---------->> Finger hovering over the purchase button. I doubt waiting for Black Friday sales will be worth all that much.. Or is it.

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a b B Homebuilt system
November 6, 2010 5:55:39 AM

Though I don't think that 950 is a good idea I see your point and I don't think you will be convinced otherwise. The positives are: HT which you may use in the future though I doubt, 3 way Xfire/SLI, possible upgrade to Sandy bridge CPUs or gulftown.

Though I don't see any point to the Rampage III. Unless your looking to REALLY overclock I don't think it will be worth it. All X58 boards can so 3 way SLI fine and thus that isn't a positive. Also I'm pretty sure GTX460s are limited to 2 way SLI and cannot do 3 way. Maybe this will change your decision on them....

Are you looking for an SSD? If so the following 120GB should be good for $230:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you can't afford it you could go for a 64GB one for $130:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Note that I do not know an over amount on SSDs so if anyone contests it they're probably right.

I don't know anything about "Black Friday" so I can't help you there.

Do what you think is right Jack. :) 
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November 6, 2010 6:34:27 AM

OK ok OK ok OK ok

You sold me on the i5 750. I just googled many many benchies as examples and you are right. I even recall now, after seeing these results, that my intent many many months ago, when I was young and pretty, was a 750.........................................

Yes gtx 460's are only capable of 2 way sli ... Plenty O'toole apparently, but I was trying, perhaps futily, to build with at least some futureproofing, but I think this build will indeed be enough to grow with newer cards as time goes by. The review I re-read, after reading your posts simply states in a conclusion and I quote Tom from this site:

"Thus, the conclusion here is pretty simple. When gaming is your top priority, buy “just enough” CPU and reallocate the rest of your budget toward graphics."

the full article is here: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-gaming,2403...

So, the Motherboard and RAM I picked for this build are good to go?


MSI board
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


4gigs of A-DATA ram
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 6, 2010 9:28:16 AM

Ha so your going with i5 now aye?

Plenty O'toole? Eh? So you don't really want to go future proof route anymore?

That board will be alright if your not looking at upgrading your SLI setup. Though if your looking to upgrade to 3 cards the following will be as good as X58 with 3 way SLI or 4 way Crossfire. Here it is:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If your not really worried about 3 way config then the following board is a bit cheaper then your MSI for the same thing.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Though I'm not sure on A-DATAs quality they seem to be good. Though I would prefer Ripjaws for the same price:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also if your not looking to upgrade the GPUs in the future any more then the AMD Phenom II X4 is a good idea. The reason I suggested against it previously is that if you were going to upgrade your GPUs the Phenom could start to bottleneck a nice GPU setup.
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November 6, 2010 9:46:25 AM

Wolly World, in the description of the MSI mobo I had listed it has the following:

"Expansion Slots

PCI Express 2.0 x16
3

PCI Express x1
2

PCI Slots
2 "

Where do you see it only supports 2 way SLI?

PS you don't get the dual Plenty O'toole reference? HA
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 6, 2010 11:21:19 AM

"Wolly World" Having fun there? :) 

For P55 boards it is common not to support 3 way SLI even if they have 3 PCIe slots. Generally 3 way crossfire is all that is supported. Quoting the MSI page for the board:
"3-way SLI N/A"
http://www.msi.com/index.php?func=prodmbspec&maincat_no...
Also this is not the main thing I was talking about. The board I showed includes a "NF200" chip which allows for more PCIe lanes.

The problem with P55 and 3 way setups is that the PCIe speeds go like this x8/x8 (2 GPUs) x8/x8/x4 (3 GPUs). The x4 is a bottleneck for cards and thus the performance is not as good as it could be. On X58 there are more lanes and thus with 3 way there are no cards running with less then x8.

With NF200 a P55 board can have enough lanes to run a 3 card setup at x8/x8/x8. Therefore being as good as X58. If you look at results for SLI/CF scaling with P55, from 1 to 2 it is good but then up to 3 the performance actually drops right down to the performance of 1 card. This is why you cannot run a 3 card setup on P55 even if it supports it, but with NF200 it is as good as X58.

Did you get that?

I searched up "Plenty O'toole" just then. James Bond aye?
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November 6, 2010 12:19:08 PM

OK ... but we digress ... I doubt I will really actually ever use a 3-way [HA] anyway :non:  In fact I only recently even decided I would go 2-way sli and it was because of the 460's performance. The Plenty O'Toole ... Yes James Bond ... but also a reference to the 460 beiing 'plenty of tool' for gaming.

SO that being said I guess the MSI board is ok afterall ... and you know what? for 90 bucks more that Rampage III is looking good again ... probably should stick with my first impressions. I think when I first started this thread I was mostly asking if the parts I had were compatible .. ie do I have the correct RAM, has anyone had other problems with those parts etc.

There was this one board that I came across that seemed to have everything that was possibly imaginable... it did like 9 way SLI and 32 way Crossfire or something really Extreme like that..[HA]... I think it was called the "Fat Bastard" or "The Tsunami" or something along those lines ... let me look again....... OH I was close ... "The Big Bang". It can use Nvidia and AMD cards at the same time but apparently it shuts off physx [I think].


Woly ... Just TELL ME what to do. Does that MSI board pose any real problems for me with 2 way SLI? Is the lack of USB 3.0 a super huge deal? [I don't think it had 3.0] ... No just 7, 2.0's but 3.0 is Backward compatible correct? And I don't really see myself running anything crucial that requires super fast speed via USB. Will I?

I don't mean to sound impatient ... I'm just afraid that someone is going to close this thread :(  AND the more I think about it I am wonderiing if I should even be trying to do my own build. Seems there is a Lot I do not know
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 6, 2010 1:10:58 PM

Ok so you don't want to go 3 way SLI, though this board is very cheap especially with the rebate only $170. So why not go for it? Why go for the more expensive standard MSI board? If instead you went for the standardASUS board I suggested you would be saving $20 which is somewhat substantial. Why do you seem "addicted" to the MSI one? The Asus board is below:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Yes the Big Bang is pretty crazy. Don't expect to use any PCI slots though, there all PCIe and it makes it look very sexy I think :) . By the sounds of it you don't know what "Physx" is.....

Generally all parts are compatible, though any weird ones (like your "apparent" previous build problem) will never be shown by others. Since if it has happened before it is likely that it has only happened to a few people with the came combination.

NO THE MSI BOARD HAS NO PROBLEM WITH 2 WAY SLI (like my caps?). I don't think that the lack of USB 3 is a bad problem, maybe if you were looking to get a USB 3 external drive but other than that I don't think it will matter.

Though SATA 6Gb/s is more of what you should worry about, I'm not sure on how much it matters at the moment though it will matter more and more in the future. I do think that current SSDs do get more performance from SATA 3. In the future you might want a faster SSD and you could be bottlenecked by SATA 2. The only reason not to get SATA 3 is if you won't ever be running an SSD.

If your getting SATA 3 the following should be good:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Why is the Rampage 3 looking good? It should be looking like an overpriced, overfeatured board that you don't need. $90 is a lot for 0 performance gain.
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November 6, 2010 3:37:39 PM

Addicted? No but I might be vesting too much intrest/credit into the newegg reviews ... when I see that 40% of an items reviews say **danger danger will robinson do not buy** I tend to think that it is not a good idea to buy it [?]

The previous build I had was built for me by an e-tailer. The thing spent more time crossing the counrty in a UPS truck than I care to admit. The motherboard in that machine was the ASUS P7P55D-E Pro ... I will NEVER NEVER NEVER .. Ever go near that board again. [how 'bout Those caps huh??] In the end, I was told that the board and Windows 7 Prof. and SLI did NOT like each other in combination. I had more BSOD's and RSOD's than I thought was ever even nightmarishly possible. Seriously it was out of control. Just when I thought I had the BSOD's under control [after ~14 reinstalls of windows] the RSOD's began ... In even greater numbers / frequency. fyi if you are unsure: RSOD is Red Screen Of Death [although it seems like there is not much you do not know...]

I do know what Physx is ... all I was saying is that the 'Big Bastard' board dissables it when both Nvidia and AMD cards are used in conjunction with one another.

The MSI board that I *seem* to be addicted to just has solid [for the most part] reviews and the layout "looks" good. [it's also rather pretty]

the ASUS P7P55D Deluxe board you list above is one that is actually appealing... However it's close cousin: the " -E PRO" gives me chills even thinking bout it.

Can you verse me in RAM voltages? The addictive MSI board stated that it "Supports four unbuffered DIMM of 1.5 Volt DDR3" How does this relate /equate / translate to 1.65v RAM? Or does it.

As far as SSD's go I am not sure about them right now. The prices are falling Very Rapidly and I am thinking to wait another year. What does SATA 3 have to do with USB 3.0?

I did not realize I needed SATA 3 for SSD. Doesn't SATA 3 mean 6gigs bit somethings / sec? And what does that have to do with USB 3.0? :o 

See? there is A Lot I do not know. All I know is that I want to make every possible choice correct so I do not repeat the DISASTER of the last build I had. Those specs are still in my profile if you care to take a gander.

Yeah guess you're right on the Rampage ... It just seems like it does everything for you automatically .. Didn't it say that it even screws itself to the case?

What about this Motherboaord?? Looks like you need to buy extra cables .. what do you think I would need?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Nevermind ... NO SLI support ...Why Not! Rediculous how some of these boards are one-sided
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 6, 2010 10:47:07 PM

Ok, for an SSD, you do NOT need SATA III. It will be faster if you get a SATA III SSD and have SATA III on your board, but even then it's more than necessary (my WD SSD is "slow" and it boots W7 in 30 secs).

What you have to be careful with concerning the P55 chipsets is the number of pathways. X58 has enough bandwidth to support 4-way SLI, but P55 really can only support 2-way (that's why that board with 3 PCI-E x16 slots only supported 2-way).

Where you run into problems is when you're trying to get SATA 3/USB 3.0 AND SLI; they all use the same pathways, so obviously something gets compromised somewhere. I'd recommend sticking with something that supports SLI well, and skipping on SATA 3/USB 3; it's still going to take a year or two to get enough devices out there to make it worth your money.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 6, 2010 11:57:32 PM

@ boiler
The OP wants to keep this build for a while (5 years maybe) and thus SSDs will get faster and cheaper. SATA 6Gb/s already seeing improvments in speeds of current SSDs. This is only going to get bigger in the future.

Plenty of P55 boards support 3 way SLI. Whether you should run it is a different story.

The board I have suggested includes a PLX chip. This is supposed to free up the PCIe lanes and allow you to run USB 3 and SATA 6Gb/s while using all your PCIe lanes. Unless you have evidence of this not working your argument is not valid.

@ OP
I don't see where you see that "40%" of people have problems. All I see is a rating of eggs with most of the boards we're looking at being 4/5.

I'm not saying that I don't believe you but I don't see how ASUS would let and know about a problem with SLI, the board and windows 7. Probably around 5-10% of people buying that board would be running SLI and Windows 7. I think you should run some threads here and other places talking about your problem and see if anyone else knows about it.

What did you end up doing with that PC? Why not just buy a new board?

That 1.5v figure is rather confusing, it seems to be the voltage that the board can run the specified frequency at. Manny boards say this but its really just a minium, 1.65v is fine.

SATA 3 is often on USB 3 boards though they are not similar. SATA is what connects the HDD/SSD to the PC, SATA 3 just increases the max transfer speed.

As said you do not NEED SATA 6Gb/s for SSDs. At the moment you could see a bit of a performance increase with SATA 6Gb/s though it is not substantial. In the future though many SSDs will have very fast speeds where SATA 2 will limit them.

I really don't think it "screws" itself into the case...thats sounds cool as but I've never heard of it.

The funny thing is that I have already recommended your "favorite" board. Yeap thats right I recommended the "-E PRO", its the board I recommended for SATA 6Gb/s. Looks like you didn't click the link aye?

I'm guessing theres not way your getting that board so I guess you'll have to go without SATA 6GB/s. Gigabyte doesn't have a PLX enables board it seems so thats really the best board available for SATA 6GB/s.

I guess you can just get your nice MSI board as you must hate ASUS by now. It will do you well and hopefully you won't have any problems.
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November 7, 2010 12:14:57 AM

That board, Windows 7 Professional, in conjunction with an SLI setup was an absolute no go. I am not the only one who has experienced this. Other people on this site have also experienced it .. Unless they lied to me. An ASUS rep admitted to having encountered this issue with me on the phone. I don't think there was wide spread co-conspired sympathy to make me believe that I was not alone in this particular situation.

HOWEVER, the issue may have been resolved with a change of OS from Professional to 7 Home. Seems to me one person said that fixed the BSOD issue for them ... although I don;t remember them saying anything about the RSOD's I was plagued with.

Yes I know you had recommended the "E-PRO". I wonder if I should swallow my dignity and give the "-E PRO" a chance with 7 Home. Or if I should go with it's cousin the "D-Delux" Or if I should remain "*addicted*" to that MSI board ... My mind was so much clearer when I had the Rampage III and the 950 in my 'shopping cart'

As for that particular PC, I packed it up one last time and sent it back for good and got a refund. I never wanted to see it again..
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 7, 2010 1:49:29 AM

Ha ok, ASUS fails with that issue. They didn't offer to give you a different board? Thats not very good customer service for their problem.

I say stuff the ASUS board and just get that nice MSI board that you like. As boiler said SSDs that run on SATA 2 are pretty damn quick anyway.

Thats my conclusion of this massively long discussion, get the MSI board.
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November 7, 2010 3:20:19 PM

You're not just saying that to shut me up are you??

No, there was no offer to change out "-E Pro" ... and I doubt I would have taken them / him up on the offer as when it was in his possession all problems somehow seemed to conveniently dissapear and immediately on return the problems persisted.

I have to admit I was wondering what you had 'against' that MSI board. To be honest I am not entirely convinced that any of those boards have me terribly excited. We'll see what comes of my 'shopping cart' in the next 1 - 14 days. I will make a choice very soon.

Thanks Wolygon, and to Everyone who piped in on this thread!
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November 7, 2010 3:21:35 PM

Best answer selected by cognitoo.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 7, 2010 10:33:37 PM

No I'm saying that in your position if I found out that the board that was giving me so much trouble was a known problem. I would be pretty pissed. I think I'd probably stay away from ASUS for atleast 6 months.

Many people dislike MSI boards over ASUS and Gigabyte. It seems that if you can avoid them you do, though if they're much cheaper or offer unique things like the Big Bing they can be very good.

Good luck with choosing a motherboard, you really can't go wrong. Even if you chose the dreaded board you probably wouldn't have the same problem and if I did I would be RAWRing at ASUS support. I'd make then give me a different board, since they know about the problem and don't say anything publicly.

Good luck, its been a long thread but its been fun. :) 
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November 8, 2010 2:29:45 PM

Hey Woly...

I bought everything half an hour ago ... Went with the MSI board, the i5 750, the PNY 460's, g.skill ripjaw 4gb, xfx 750W, cooler master 212, cooler master 690 II, and a hanns-G 25" monitor. [and a pack of screws]

Can't wait for it to arrive ... shipping is apparently "rushed" for free with my egg account

yeeeaaaah :bounce: 
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 8, 2010 8:23:39 PM

Awesome work, "pack of screws"? The case generally comes with enough for normal things....

If you have any trouble post it here. Also when you done you should post up a pic of it :) .

If its your first build read up on how so you can get right in.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/274745-31-step-step-g...
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November 9, 2010 3:06:41 PM

Thanks for the link ... and the "pack of screws", while I did order one for extras, was more or less said tounge in cheek :p 
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 9, 2010 5:18:25 PM

Wolygon said:
I never said that they have a "problem" with crossfire setups. I was just saying that X4s have a bit of a bottleneck to 2 5870s, not in a crossfire link but as a CPU based bottleneck. But maybe this is not the case...you say that i5s offer more performance over a "single" 5870? Why would this be? The bottleneck from two 5870s is only smallish so I would think that the bottleneck would be completely gone when you half the graphics power. Is this not true?


Way late, and I realize that the OP has his parts already, but I wanted to discuss this.

I think perhaps we have different definitions of what a bottleneck is. I believe that you're referring to the fact that the X4 is not quite as powerful as the i5.

If part A is truly bottlenecking part B, I would expect to see some sort of ceiling, or a marked decrease in the effectiveness if you add more B. Theoretically, f you had an X4 and an i5 system, if you get, say, 30 fps on the X4 and 35 fps on the i5 with one 5870, when you add the 2nd 5870, you might see 70 fps (theoretically, I realize scaling isn't 100%) on the i5 system, but if you hit some sort of processor bottleneck, you would see the X4 system cap at 40 fps. In other words, you wouldn't see an equivalent level of scaling between the two systems.

The article you linked doesn't seem to point to anything of the sort, it simply calls out that overall, the i5 tends to have slightly better (a few fps) performance in some games. In fact, on Crysis Warhead and STALKER at 2560x1600, the X4 had a higher maximum fps (36 vs. 35 and 113 vs. 110). The X4 was nearly lapped by the i5 and the i7 in the World in Conflict benchmarks though, so if that's your game, then it might be advisable to go with Intel.

From the Crysis Warhead compiled results page:
"Clocking all the processors to 3.6GHz provided some interesting results. The majority of processors were now able to push the Radeon HD 5870 Crossfire graphics cards at full speed with average frame rates between 33–35fps. The only processors to deliver weaker results included the Core 2 Quad Q6xxx and Pentium E6xxx series."
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 10, 2010 4:28:07 AM

Ok I see your point, I guess I was saying that the less performance the 5870 got was a "bottleneck" when really it wasn't. But I guess it is still ok to call it a "bottleneck" as the GPU can clearly put out more power.

If the X4 isn't bottlenecked why does it get less performance? I don't understand this, I thought that there wasn't anything other than no bottleneck and bottleneck, but there is?

"Way late, and I realize that the OP has his parts already, but I wanted to discuss this."
I always like a good discussion and I'm sure OP won't mind....
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 10, 2010 2:18:11 PM

Wolygon said:
If the X4 isn't bottlenecked why does it get less performance? I don't understand this, I thought that there wasn't anything other than no bottleneck and bottleneck, but there is?


The X4 isn't as powerful a processor at some tasks/games as the i5 is. It can't send quite as much data to the 5870.

In some games, there's no difference between the two processors; other games, there is a large difference. It also depends a lot on what resolution you're gaming at. Many articles/reviews test at lower resolutions to heighten the differences between chips. At 1920x1080 and up, most games are GPU-limited, not CPU-limited.

In a graphics-card-neutral situation, the Intel chips perform better than AMD at WoW:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/CPU/62 -- but both the X4 965 and the i5-760 are above 60 fps, which is the max the human eye can perceive. Admittedly, the i5 is 15 fps better, but in the real world it doesn't matter that much (until you start to see additional CPU load from other sources).

Again, graphics-card-neutral, Fallout 3 exhibits almost no difference between top-end AMD & Intel chips.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/CPU/47 -- this suggests that the game is GPU-limited, even at this low resolution. Virtually all desktop dual-cores can produce at least 60 fps in Fallout 3.

Crysis Warhead is another good example.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/CPU/50 -- a 2 fps difference between the i5 and the X4.
From the legionhardware article ( http://www.legionhardware.com/articles_pages/radeon_hd_... ), the i5 and the X4 are only 5 fps different, which isn't a significant drop in performance. If the X4 were truly bottlenecked with multiple cards high-end, I would expect to see a larger difference. I realize that we don't know what card anandtech used to test (though it's probably in the notes somewhere), but the proportion is what we're interested in, not the raw numbers.
As you move to higher resolutions ( http://www.legionhardware.com/articles_pages/radeon_hd_... ), the difference disappears, again suggesting that CPU makes little difference for most games at high resolution. As you can see, none of the combinations produced much more than 35 or 36 fps, indicating the graphics solution is the bottleneck.

Anyway, my contention is that while it's not as powerful as the i5, the X4 is still a very competent processor for gaming, and as you start to move to higher resolutions, you increasingly put the load on the graphics solution, so (to some extent) the CPU matters less and less. The i5 is certainly superior at a number of productivity benchmarks, as can be seen at http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/102?vs=191 , but the difference in most games is relatively minor.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 11, 2010 4:22:13 AM

Yes that was a nice read, thanks.

I did see that the X4 caused a small performance hit in games though my main concern was that it would grow largely with more high end graphics cards. I guess this isn't really the case.

Also I realize the uselessness of having lots graphics power and running on a small screen where the CPU comes into play. The X4 will never be a large realistic bottleneck because the only reason for such high end graphics cards is that your running really high resolutions or really fancy games (Crysis 2?) and thus the bottleneck goes back to the graphics card.

Thanks for writing, I have learned a bit. :) 
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November 12, 2010 12:32:00 PM

How do I post a picture ?
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 12, 2010 11:46:07 PM

Are you finished? Awesome work!

You have to upload it to a site then use the IMG tags. Its a bit of work so don't worry about it.

How'd you go?
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November 14, 2010 12:53:56 AM

I just finished it ... Went to install windows 7 [OEM] and I am being told that the activation code is NOT valid.... I from what I have read I know this happens sometimes but I am not sure how to resolve the matter...


HELP!!!

EDIT ... Do I need to download and install the "OEM Preinstallation Kit" [OPK] .. Just stumbled across this.. didn't see it on the packaging until I decided to read it ...
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 14, 2010 2:31:35 AM

Sorry to hear that you have problems.

Does this happen after you install it? Because you should be able to install it for a 30 day trial. Did you install it with the key and then try activate it online and it said that? Please provide more information, also search around a little to see if you can find anything.

No you do not need the OPK, that doesn't have anything to do with this.
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November 14, 2010 3:02:17 AM

I was not on-line ... I was just starting the whole "starting up" process. Windows will not install. "Invalid Product [Key] Code" :( 

Why would I only be able to install it for a 30 day trial?? I bought the software DVD / CD [whichever it is] from Newegg. It is not an upgrade version. It is the full 64 bit OEM copy of windows 7 Home.

Do you think I need to be on-line for this? How would I get on-line without an operating system? :( 

--------->> NEVERMIND I have no idea what just happened. I re-entered the product code 3 more times. Voila it installed. What is this "activation" that is required in 30 days? Will I have the same problem with the code not registering?

The new putter is seeing 2 GTX 460's and seemingly everything else it's supposed to see. Just tried to install my antivirus but they are conviently "updating" so I can't add this maching to my account. I'll ask if i have any questions if thats OK. What image site would I upload to to post a pic? My photos are taken with my phone; an old Razer so they're not high def anyway. I cannot believe it's actually running! The sides of the case are still off but it sounds like the fans are running a bit loud ... I know can find it by researching but any chance you or someone can point me in the right direction ?
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 14, 2010 6:20:51 AM

Glad you got it installed. You should just have to connect to the internet for activation and you'll be all good.

Did you install your own drivers? It doesn't matter that much for chipsets/audio though for graphics cards you'd see more performance with the latest nVidia drivers.

I'm not sure what the best non-member image upload site is but here is one:
http://tinypic.com/
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November 14, 2010 3:37:38 PM

Thanks I'll try that .. Any idea how / if I can slow down my various fans without one of those Fan Controllers that are installed on the front of the case?

EDIT: It is definately the Coolermaster 212 CPU cooler that is spinning at high revs. Isn't there something that should be triggering it to spin fast under load palying a game and to rev down when typing here on Toms? HA
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 14, 2010 8:10:45 PM

Yeah if you connected it to the motherboard. In the BIOS, I'm not sure where, maybe under PC Health Stats. Your manual might tell you.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 16, 2010 4:28:24 AM

Well it seems you've sorted yourself, good work!

All done?
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November 16, 2010 10:53:25 PM

Hey for one last entry I thought I would copy and paste the solution to the sound issue from the other post:

..................""Hi again, I know everyone was just frantic about my sitchiation .. but I have remedied the problem.

On my head set I have something called "The Boosteroo" It is a device that boosts signals from dvd, blue ray, and other hardware connected to your TV in the absence of a receiver where the out put volume signal reaches a max at very low audible levels. While I did take out all of the components of the putter and put them back in... and while I still am not sure what the 'JFP2' connectors are for ..I now have a seemingly perfect build!

Yeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaah

Cog ............"" I'm not sure if I made that clear... the Boosteroo device connects to a headset to boost the volume from the Output of a device to the headset. When I removed the Boosteroo from the headset the jumpy / cutting out of the sound stopped. I'm not entirely sure why this was happening but it seems as though there was some sort of feedback going on between the Boosteroo and the PC.

With that I just really want to thank you a Whole Big Lot of Bunches !! for all of your help Woly. From our first encounter when I adopted the name ''jack" to now with me having a successful new build. I joined this site months ago with the hope that I would reach this goal and it has come to fruition!

Thanks Woly and everyone else who has helped in here over the last several months.

Cog :bounce: 
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 17, 2010 1:03:40 AM

So glad I could help. Awesome work.

Best of luck "Jack"! :)  Look forward to seeing you around some time...
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!