I think my new build is pretty good, it's not brand new, built it august last year, but added an SSD (to make it the main drive) over the weekend. So now i wanted to post it. Bring me off my high horse people! Also, please let me know if i left anything out. Thanks!
EVGA X58 SLI Micro MB
Intel Core i7 930 2.6G
6GB Corsair DDR3 1600Mhz Tri Channel
ATI Radeon HD5870
OCZ Vertex 2 80 GB SSD (used only for OS and games)
Seagate 7200RPM 750GB (used for everything else)
OS is Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
Well, you overpaid on the motherboard. An ASRock X58 Extreme3 or Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R would have been just as good, and a little less expensive.
I don't know the exact sticks of RAM, but generally, Corsair is a bit more expensive than their similarly performing competitors, namely G.Skill. So it's very likely you overpaid for the sticks at that time.
The Seagate HDD was a bad choice, simply because the Samsung Spinpoint F3 would have been the same price, but a lot faster, quieter and just plain better.
Really, the worst part about your build is that you bought it at the worst possible time. The new Sandy Bridge CPUs (which were forecasted to come out last year) has made the LGA1366 completely obsolete, and brought a 20-30% performance bump for less (dual channel RAM, cheaper boards, same CPU cost). RAM prices sank like a rock some time in the last couple of months, taking good 3x2 GB kits from $150+ to closer to $100. The new HD 6xxx cards made the 5xxx obsolete and dirt cheap. At least you waited for the SSDs to come down a little...
Thanks for your reply mad, i wish i paid more attention to the industry, you make some valid points, if i'd known i definately would have rethinked somethings. The seagate i didn't buy new, i brought it over from my old build. It's nice to know though that i can replace my crap drive (as i put as the volume label) with what you just suggested. Thanks again!
1. I woulda bought the Asus but much of that is familiarity.
2. Based upon rate of return experience, and the time spent trying to resolve memory issues, I stick with Mushkin and Corsair. Gskill got real popular for a while because it was "the Walmart budget choice" compared to the more established brands ... over the last 18 months or so, the big boys have been matching them dollar for dollar so they kinda lost their position in the marketplace. If their the same price, I'm not gonna have GSkill, Patriot, Wintec etc. on my buy list.
3. I wuda went with the 470 ....(AutoCAD user)
4. Vertex 2's are the SSD of choice in my builds.
5. Unless the user has a particular application in mind, I basically choose the WD Black, Seagate 7200.12 or F3 based upon whichever is "on special" that day.....Most of the time I find that's the Seagate, right now it's the F3. Looking at Tom's charts, I will zero on which does what best if the build is mainly for a specific application.
For example, if movie editing, I go with the F3 (61.4 over 50.3) ...In photo work I go with the 7200.12 (57.4 over 35.3), Windows Media Center, the 7200.12 (143.8 vs 113.8) .... so it depends on what you're doing.
Where temperature and noise are concerned, it's the Seagate's hands down as they have a huge lead in those department over the F3 and Black.
For temps, Seagate is 38C to 41C for the F3 amd 43C for the Black
For noise, Seagate is 36.07 dB to the F3's 44.6 dB's and 46.67 for the Black... that makes the F3 almost 8 times as loud and the Black 10 times as loud
@Jack: G.Skill is not "the Walmart budget choice." They are the best brand of RAM out there. They just also happen to be on the cheaper end too. Last year, they won four places out of ten (I know it was first, but I think the others were third, fourth and seventh) in a major overclocking competition. Not only are they generally cheap, they are high performance and high quality. In terms of performance and quality, I'd say G.Skill comes first, followed by Corsair, Mushkin and the rest. Of course, they're all really good. The only brand I'd completely avoid is OCZ...
That's not quite how the decibel system works. It's a logarithmic scale, which means something that is twice as loud is one power of ten higher. You need to take 10 raised to the power of the difference in Bels (decibels/10). The 8 decibel increase is only 6 times as loud. While that sounds like a lot, it's really not. Any change in a logarithmic scale that's less than 10 times is generally considered unnoticeable. To equate the numbers to the real world, 30 decibels is a quiet library, while 40 is considered to be equal to a running water. Normal conversation is around 60 decibels. That basically means that only the WD is normally above ambient noise.
Something else to point out about those decibels quoted is that they were measured when the HDD was idle. HDDs are rarely at true idle. The F3, under load, only has an increase of 5 decibels. The Seagate goes up nearly twice that. So with the Seagate, when you go from doing nothing to doing something, the noise gets 10 times louder. The F3 only gets about 3 times louder. That's a pretty big difference when you change the level of activity. I'd rather have a drive that sounded close to the same when at idle and under load simply because once you got used to it, you wouldn't notice them any more. To have a drive whose's noise levels fluctuate widely would be just plain annoying.
I have a pair of F3s, and I can honestly say that I don't even notice them running over the rest of the build (the CPU and case fans).
Something else to point out about the Seagate and F3 is that the Seagate is generally consider to be lower quality. This is the company whose previous model (the 7200.11) was known to turn into bricks. That's a pretty big stigma to overcome. I will admit that the 7200.12 is a big step forward, but I just can't get behind it when the Samsung Spinpoint F3 is generally the same price. Of course, there's also the Spinpoint F4 out there, which is even quieter and faster. It's also more expensive per GB...