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$2000 Sandy Bridge Machine

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January 10, 2011 11:19:40 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Sometime between now and February. Not set in stone.

Budget Range: $2000 give or take.

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
CAD/rendering, MathCAD/MATLAB/Maple/Excel, (light) programming, Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign (CS5), media playback/general productivity/everyday internet usage, light gaming at most [but more realistically none at all].

Parts Not Required:
Software/Monitors. I own two 1650x1080 LCDs. Potential to upgrade in the future for more resolution, although that may be a little ways off.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg but not picky.

Country of Origin: United States

Overclocking: Potentially a light overclock

SLI or Crossfire: Yes (sooner than later) Possibly in the future

Additional Comments:
I'm looking for a machine that can handle the more processor-intensive things I'll be throwing at it. That said, I don't need professional-grade workstation specs (most of that is out of price range anyway). Seeing as I'll be using this as an every day machine, I'm looking for something pretty well rounded.

I'd like to stick to nVidia GPUs for CUDA. If not SLI now, I'd like to have a PSU that can deal with it in the future.

Need the most help choosing a PSU, memory, and GPU(s). Is 850W sufficient (and necessary)? Corsair worth the premium here or are there better choices? I'd appreciate any suggestions being modular.

Input on other choices welcomed of course, as well.

Build List:

Case:
COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 - $199
(Potentially HAF 9xx to save a few dollars)

Motherboard:
ASUS P8P67 PRO LGA 1155 - $190

Processor:
Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz - $330

Memory:
(2x) G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL - $110 ea.

SSD:
Crucial RealSSD C300 128GB SATA III - $265 (Chose this for SATA III)
OCZ Vertex 2 120 GB SATA II - $218

HDD:
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200 RPM - $70
(Any reason to pay extra for SATA III on a storage drive?)

PSU:
CORSAIR AX850 850W - $190
SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W - $150

GPU:
(2x) EVGA GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) Superclocked - $230 ea.
EVGA SuperClocked GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit - $370

This build list brings me in around $2000 on the nose $1825 before rebates. I know the ASUS board will run x8/x8 with SLi but from what I've read that isn't anything to be significantly worried about. Input?

Thanks in advance!

More about : 2000 sandy bridge machine

January 10, 2011 11:29:00 PM

JBS103 said:

SSD:
Crucial RealSSD C300 128GB SATA III - $265
(Chose this for SATA III)

HDD:
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200 RPM - $70
(Any reason to pay extra for SATA III on a storage drive?)


Don't pay extra for Sata III because the reality is, these drives can't even get close to SATA II speeds. Hard Drive can't even get to SATA I

And 8x 8x doesn't effect anything.
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January 11, 2011 12:26:51 AM

Mr Pizza said:
Don't pay extra for Sata III because the reality is, these drives can't even get close to SATA II speeds. Hard Drive can't even get to SATA I

And 8x 8x doesn't effect anything.

Thanks for the response. It's worth it then to save the $60 and go for something like an OCZ Vertex 2?
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January 11, 2011 12:43:24 AM

JBS103 said:
Thanks for the response. It's worth it then to save the $60 and go for something like an OCZ Vertex 2?

Yes the OCZ vertex 2 is about the same speed if not faster than the Crucial RealSSD 300 and it is quite a bit less

Just my $0.02
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January 11, 2011 1:08:40 AM

For $230, I'd get a 470 over a SC 460 ......

Here's a superclocked 470 for $244 ....and yes, a 850 watter is fine for two 470's

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

And I'd stick with the SATA III, true no mechanical HD can saturate the bandwidth but it's cache certainly can. Also the SATA II barrier has been broken by a single SSD ... the C300. Check out some SATA III reviews and read what happens when they connect it to a SATA II board. Also see anandtech site:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3792/crucial-realssd-c300...

Quote:
Our first encounter with the C300 series showed some impressive results, particularly in the sequential read tests where the SATA 6Gbps interface allowed a single drive to break the 300MB/s barrier


x8 x8 won't bother ya w/ the 470....pinch starts with the 570, 580, 6970

I use a lot of Vertex 2's ....nice rebate currently.
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January 11, 2011 1:32:27 AM

Thanks JE_D. From the couple of forum posts I've found, I think a lot of people feel the same way.

JackNaylorPE said:
For $230, I'd get a 470 over a SC 460 ......

...


Thanks for the suggestion, Jack. I think the savings had by going with an OCZ Vertex rather than a Crucial could be put toward the SC 470s. Anyway, thanks for the links-- I will do some more reading on that front before making a decision.
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January 11, 2011 4:03:29 AM

You're spending way too much on the case get the 922 for 100 dollars less and free shipping from amazon
Also the PSU is too much as well get the xfx 850w be (110 AR)

To tired to post links, got keywords though
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January 11, 2011 4:48:19 AM

Any reason why you're going SLI? I do a lot of 3d work and as far as I could tell no 3d apps that I'm aware of support SLI. That's why I was planning on going with a single card configuration.
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January 11, 2011 4:48:55 AM

Hi Joel I appreciate the input. There are a few features on the HAF X that I like including USB 3.0 on the front panel and hot swapable bays. The dust shields are also a big plus for me. Considering I like the HAF X aesthetics as much if not more than the 9xxs, I don't mind spending a little bit extra. Its also something I can plan on using for many future builds to come if I want to. That said, you're right; the 922 is an excellent alternative. Ill make that decision based on where my budget stands.

I will look into the XFX also. After doing some reading I may use a good quality 750W supply instead of 850W. I read that this is more than sufficient for two 470s with some room for a light overclock. I'll of course double check all of this before I order.

Thanks again.
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January 11, 2011 5:19:25 AM

jasonwf said:
Any reason why you're going SLI? I do a lot of 3d work and as far as I could tell no 3d apps that I'm aware of support SLI. That's why I was planning on going with a single card configuration.

Hi Jason. You're probably right. I must admit I haven't done too much research concerning software end of things. I would suspect that on the modeling side of having things a second card may not make that much of a difference if any at all-- although I really don't know.

However, on the rendering side of things SLi should provide a rather large increase in performance. Lots of renderers out there approaching interactive global illumination on the GPU. Unless I'm mistaken this scales nicely in SLi. I'd also like to do CUDA programming for my own personal projects at some point.

Granted I'm not a professional so maybe it is a bit of a splurge. In fact, going SLi right away probably is. Maybe I am better suited looking into a GTX 500 series with the intention of adding a second one in 12 to 18 months. Although the rebates available now for the cards I have been looking at offer a quite a bit of performance for the cost from what I can tell.

I'm also hoping support for GPU acceleration only increases. Maybe that's a little bit more of an excuse to spend money than a justification. Just another thing to think about for sure. I'd love to hear more about your plans for your set up if you feel inclined to share.

Thanks again.
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January 11, 2011 6:00:58 PM

As far as what I use (modo/maya) GPU really only aids in viewport rendering. And my concern is if the app doesn't support SLI am I crippled to a single card setup? Or is all the video memory still available if not SLI supported? I haven't had much luck finding an answer, that's why I'm leaning more toward a higher end Nvidia (I also use stuff that utilizes CUDA) setup. Something like a 580.
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January 11, 2011 7:14:26 PM

JBS103 said:
Hi Jason. You're probably right. I must admit I haven't done too much research concerning software end of things. I would suspect that on the modeling side of having things a second card may not make that much of a difference if any at all-- although I really don't know.

However, on the rendering side of things SLi should provide a rather large increase in performance. Lots of renderers out there approaching interactive global illumination on the GPU. Unless I'm mistaken this scales nicely in SLi. I'd also like to do CUDA programming for my own personal projects at some point.

Granted I'm not a professional so maybe it is a bit of a splurge. In fact, going SLi right away probably is. Maybe I am better suited looking into a GTX 500 series with the intention of adding a second one in 12 to 18 months. Although the rebates available now for the cards I have been looking at offer a quite a bit of performance for the cost from what I can tell.

I'm also hoping support for GPU acceleration only increases. Maybe that's a little bit more of an excuse to spend money than a justification. Just another thing to think about for sure. I'd love to hear more about your plans for your set up if you feel inclined to share.

Thanks again.

If you are dead set on GTX 460's, get the cheapest 768mb version - It costs $125 AR each.
Thats' 250 for 2. That means you are getting almost 2 for the price of 1 - a 768mb version performs within 2-3% of the 1gig version in any resolution - especially 1680x1050, for only 2/3 the cost.

However, IMHO, getting the GTX 570 might be better - its less 'dead' end, around 20% slower than 2x GTX 460's, but you can always chuck a 2nd one in.
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January 11, 2011 7:37:24 PM

I think the previous two posts have raised valid points. The more reading I'm doing, the more I'm leaning toward a single card. I think my understanding of SLi was a little bit off in the first place, too.

Thanks again for the heads up.
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January 13, 2011 2:39:57 AM

Yeah working on a build now for 3d apps/gaming and am going with that 580 you linked.
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January 13, 2011 2:41:42 AM

The 570 will be powerful enough
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