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[New/First Build] Suggestions/Advice for Beginner Build (~$1800 CDN)

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March 18, 2011 9:44:55 PM

=============================================================================================

Approximate Purchase Date:
  • The earlier the better!

    Budget Range:
  • ~$1800.00 CDN prior to shipping costs and rebates (excluding the price of the monitor)

    System Usage from Most to Least Important:
  • Intensive Gaming!
  • Live Gameplay and Video Streaming/Recording/Editing
  • 3ds Max/Maya/Photoshop
  • Movies/Music/Internet

    Parts Not Required:
  • Keyboard (suggestions welcome!)
  • Mouse (suggestions welcome!)
  • Speakers (suggestions welcome!)
  • Operating System (Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit)

    Preferred Websites for Parts:
  • Memory Express - Edmonton (local, in-store purchase)
  • NewEgg Canada
  • Direct Canada
  • Canada Computers
  • NCIX

    Country of Origin:
  • Canada

    Parts Preferences:
  • Intel Sandy Bridge CPU
  • Nvidia GPU (Interested in Nvidia 3D Vision technology!)
  • 24” LCD/LED Monitor
  • Mid or Full Tower PC Case (Mobile/LAN friendly case recommendations welcome!)

    Overclocking:
  • Yes (Intel i7-2600K CPU to ~4.0GHz+)

    SLI or Crossfire:
  • Yes (SLI)

    Monitor Resolution:
  • Preferably 1920x1200 @ 24” (planning on updating to a triple-display setup towards mid/late fall)

    =============================================================================================

    Parts List:

    CPU:
  • Intel Core i7-2600K Processor, 3.40GHz w/ 8MB Cache = $309.99 CDN PURCHASED!

    Motherboard:
  • Asus P8P67 PRO Rev 3.0 w/ Dual DDR3 1600, 7.1 Audio, Gigabit Lan, 1394, PCI-E, Quad CrossFireX / SLI = $189.99 CDN PURCHASED!

    RAM:
  • G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM = $126.49 CDN PURCHASED!

    GPU:
  • 2 x GIGABYTE Super Overclock Series GV-N560SO-1GI-950 GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card = $259.99 CDN each PURCHASED!
    VS.
  • 2 x Gigabyte GeForce GTX 560 Fermi 1000MHZ 1GB 4.58GHZ GDDR5 2XDVI Mini HDMI DIRECTX11 PCI-E Video Card = $282.83 CDN each

    HDD:
  • 2 x Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black 7200rpm SATA III w/ 64MB Cache = $82.99 CDN each (on sale!) PURCHASED!

    Optical Drive:
  • ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 1.5MB Cache SATA 24X Burner LightScribe Support - OEM = $22.99 CDN PURCHASED!

    PSU:
  • Corsair HX 850W Power Supply w/ 140mm Fan = $149.99 CDN (on sale!) PURCHASED!
    VS.
  • Corsair Professional Series Gold AX850 CMPSU-850AX 850W ATX Fully Modular 80PLUS Gold Power Supply = $159.99 CDN (on sale!)
    VS.
  • Corsair HX 1000W Modular Power Supply w/ Dual +12V = $199.99 CDN (on sale!)

    PC Case:
  • NZXT Phantom Full Tower, White = $159.99 CDN PURCHASED!

    Display:
  • Samsung SyncMaster 2443BW 24in Widescreen LCD, Black w/ HAS = $319.99 CDN

    Miscellaneous:
  • MASSCOOL G751 Shin-Etsu Thermal Interface Material = $5.99 CDN PURCHASED!
  • XIGMATEK Cooling System Crystal Series CLF-F1451 140mm Blue LED Case Fan PSU Molex Adapter/extender included = $14.99 CDN PURCHASED!
  • Elite Anti-Static Wrist Strap = $14.99 CDN PURCHASED!
  • NZXT FN-200RB 200mm Case Fan = $19.99 CDN PURCHASED!
  • eVGA Flexible 2-Way SLI Connector for EVGA SLI Motherboards = $19.99 CDN
  • Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus CPU Cooler = $29.99 CDN PURCHASED!

    Cheapest Path TOTAL = ~$1751.34 CDN
    Expensive Path TOTAL = ~$1847.02 CDN
    Maximum Savings Difference = ~$95.68 CDN
  • These prices are estimates prior to tax, shipping costs, and rebates!
  • Also excludes the price of the monitor and operating system!

    =============================================================================================

    Comments:
    Hello Tom’s forum goers and experts!
    This will be my first time posting, and building a new computer, so I would just like to start by saying that I really appreciate the time that you’re taking to consider my dream machine! My 6 year old HP Media Center finally decided to kick the bucket on me a few months back, so I decided that I would spoil myself a little bit this time around with a dazzling new rig (hoping to squeeze out 3+ years from it). Unfortunately, hands-off research of parts can only take one so far, that is why I am appealing to the vast, collective wisdom and experience that Tom’s has on offer to newbies such as myself! If there happens to be any glaring miscalculations anywhere within this post, please feel free to bonk me over the head with the correction mallet (but not too hard I hope!).

    Additional Questions:
  • I’m having some trouble deciding on a PSU, specifically whether or not 850W will be more than abundant if I’m planning to SLI a GTX 560 Ti, on top of overclocking the i7-2600K. Should I just upgrade to the Corsair HX 1000W ($70.00 off at the moment) and save myself the anxiety? Additionally, does anyone have any negative experience with fitting a Corsair HX 1000W into an NZXT Phantom case, or more specifically, is there enough headroom to fit in a second GPU after inserting the PSU?
  • Does anyone also have experience at attempting to fit a Cool Master Hyper 212+ in addition to the 200mm side fan on the NZXT Phantom case? I guess I could just go by the given component’s measurements and take an educated shot at it, but just throwing this out there in case anyone has any feedback!
  • I plan on setting the two Western Digital HDD’s in RAID 0 through the two Intel SATA III ports. Would it be recommended to purchase a distinct drive just for the OS? There seems to be a lot of suggestions geared towards purchasing a small SSD specifically for the loading of the OS, but would I be shooting myself in the foot if I were to just install it across the array? Also, would anyone have any suggestions for guide’s that would help with setting up RAID 0?

    If I do come up with any more questions, I’ll make sure to pester ya with it throughout the length of the post! Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to consider my build, greatly appreciate it everyone!

    :hello: 

    UPDATES:
  • 03.23.2011 - More purchased items have been marked off the list (GPU, RAM, and the optical drive).
  • 03.22.2011 - Broken links have been updated to working condition (hopefully!), and all purchased items have been marked off the list.
  • 03.18.2011 - My local computer parts store has finally received a respectable shipment of the Asus P8P67 PRO (B3) boards, so I will be purchasing that and the i7-2600K later on today (these dang boards seem to sell out quickly)!

    =============================================================================================
    March 19, 2011 8:35:28 AM

    Quote:
    Additional Questions:
    I’m having some trouble deciding on a PSU, specifically whether or not 850W will be more than abundant if I’m planning to SLI a GTX 560 Ti, on top of overclocking the i7-2600K. Should I just upgrade to the Corsair HX 1000W ($70.00 off at the moment) and save myself the anxiety? Additionally, does anyone have any negative experience with fitting a Corsair HX 1000W into an NZXT Phantom case, or more specifically, is there enough headroom to fit in a second GPU after inserting the PSU?


    For 2 GPU's in SLi, 850W is good. I am running 2 x GTX570's off a Corsair HX750, i5 2500k OC'd with power to spare. The HX 1000 will fit into the case, it meets the ATX PSU form factor. A 1000W should only be needed if you were to run 3x SLi. there is enough head room left on the 850 for even GTX580's in SLi. But if you have the $, go for it. bigger is alway better eh?

    There shouldn't be any issue fitting the second GPU. your MB has 7 PCI/e slots; the GPU's go in slots 2(3) and 5(6). slot 7 is next to the PSU and should be vacant. note: the GPU's take up 2 slots hence 2(3) and 5(6).


    Quote:
    Does anyone also have experience at attempting to fit a Cool Master Hyper 212+ in addition to the 200mm side fan on the NZXT Phantom case? I guess I could just go by the given component’s measurements and take an educated shot at it, but just throwing this out there in case anyone has any feedback!


    I'm pretty sure it won't fit both. you shouldn't need the 200mm side fan. the case has great ventilation without it. you can ask this question here: http://www.nzxt.com/forum/index.php

    Quote:
    I plan on setting the two Western Digital HDD’s in RAID 0 through the two Intel SATA III ports. Would it be recommended to purchase a distinct drive just for the OS? There seems to be a lot of suggestions geared towards purchasing a small SSD specifically for the loading of the OS, but would I be shooting myself in the foot if I were to just install it across the array? Also, would anyone have any suggestions for guide’s that would help with setting up RAID 0?


    Not fan of having the OS on the Raid array. when the system crashes, the raid manager almost alway wants to verify the raid array, very time consuming. HD's Fail and there is no redundancy in Raid 0. 1 Bad hard drive in the raid = no boot = Epic Fail.

    Installing your OS is on a regular disk, sometimes prevents this. I do like the idea of running the OS of a SSD. I wouldn't go less than a 60GB one though.

    Good and smart choices on the hardware!
    March 19, 2011 4:23:54 PM

    SolMaverick, that is a highly informed and impressive request for build review... good job!

    Is there a reason you are looking at 2x 560 instead of a 580? It may not be quite as powerful, but IMHO 1 GPU is better than 2 GPU; yes, I have 5850 in crossfire, but I had a choice to make and went that route, but originally I only had 1 card for the first 8 months of my system.

    If you get the 580 now and in the future you want more performance, you can pick up another 580. If you get 560 SLI, you will have to sell the two cards and 'start from scratch'.

    That's what I would do. Otherwise jerreddredd's advice is solid.
    Related resources
    March 22, 2011 6:33:55 AM

    Hello again guys!
    I appreciate the responses, and also apologies for my super delayed reply. I'll now be getting back to work ASAP!

    @jerreddredd
    Quote:
    For 2 GPU's in SLi, 850W is good. I am running 2 x GTX570's off a Corsair HX750, i5 2500k OC'd with power to spare. The HX 1000 will fit into the case, it meets the ATX PSU form factor. A 1000W should only be needed if you were to run 3x SLi. there is enough head room left on the 850 for even GTX580's in SLi. But if you have the $, go for it. bigger is alway better eh?

    Thanks a bunch for the real-world example! I found a lot of the information pertaining to power consumption slightly confusing and inconsistent among many benchmarking websites, with some declaring that 1000W+ is absolutely required for SLI, while others preached that ~700W was all anyone would ever need. Perhaps I'm just the one who is misinformed (that, or I have a penchant for bad websites). Anyway, I ended up purchasing the Corsair HX 850W, which allows me to throw that extra $50 at the SSD!

    Quote:
    I'm pretty sure it won't fit both. You shouldn't need the 200mm side fan. the case has great ventilation without it. You can ask this question here: http://www.nzxt.com/forum/index.php

    Took your advice to heart and decided to move the 200mm fan to the top of the case and popped in the Hyper 212+. So far, everything seems to fit like a charm!

    Quote:
    Installing your OS on a regular disk, sometimes prevents this. I do like the idea of running the OS off a SSD. I wouldn't go less than a 60GB one though.

    Hmm, so the SSD option is becoming more and more appealing the more time I spend mulling it over, but unfortunately I'm a bit lacking in knowledge when it comes to tech specs and brands for modern SSD's. I did manage to read up on a few models, and Intel seems to be held in very high regard by many (albeit more expensive), along with the OCZ Vertex II series. I'm not sure how accurate this information is based on just a few articles, but that's where I'm hoping you can hop on in and keep me from straying too far off the righteous path. At the moment, I have two models picked out, and as you mentioned, I kept the drives at 60GB+:
  • Intel X25-M SATA Solid-State Drive Kit, 80GB w/ Adapter = $189.99 CDN
  • OCZ Vertex 2 SATA II 2.5in Solid State Drive, 60GB = $129.99 CDN

    Quote:
    Good and smart choices on the hardware!

    Are you hitting on me, sir? :lol: 



    @jfby
    Quote:
    SolMaverick, that is a highly informed and impressive request for build review... good job!

    Is there a reason you are looking at 2x 560 instead of a 580? It may not be quite as powerful, but IMHO 1 GPU is better than 2 GPU; yes, I have 5850 in crossfire, but I had a choice to make and went that route, but originally I only had 1 card for the first 8 months of my system.

    If you get the 580 now and in the future you want more performance, you can pick up another 580. If you get 560 SLI, you will have to sell the two cards and 'start from scratch'.

    Thanks a bunch jfby, I aim to please!

    In regards to my choice for the 2 x GTX 560 Ti's over a GTX 580, was mostly due to me completely and utterly falling head over heels for it due to the reviews it received (specifically on Guru3D, Anandtech, HardwareCanucks, etc.), especially when considering the Gigabyte SOC 1000MHz model. It seems to perform on par with the GTX 570 (reference card, I believe), consumes less power, generates less heat, and to top it all off, is a ~$100 less! Of course, purchasing both puts it slightly over the cost of a single GTX 580, but I'm hoping that the performance boost is well worth the price tag.

    I truly do appreciate the suggestion, though, and I even struggled greatly over these two cards during my first attempt at a parts list. The option to add a second GTX 580 later down the road is a definite incentive to pick one of these lovely pieces up over my current dual GPU setup, but alas, I'm a stubborn little mule.

    NOTE:
    It seems that the Gigabyte SOC 1000MHz is nigh on impossible to find... sooo, that GTX 580 may be my ultimate answer. Perhaps it was destiny? :wahoo: 



    Anyway, anymore tips on SSD's at this point are unabashedly welcome!
    March 22, 2011 7:13:29 AM

    OK it's about 1 AM right now so sorry if I'm a bit blunt. I'm going off after this post. Oh and I only just skimmed this topic. So sorry if you guys already went over this.

    GPU -
    Nvidia 3D tech will probably be the main program/tech used for most 3D supported games. Nvidia likes to bribe/pay devs to have support for there products. Be weary though, Nvidia 3D works only with special certified Nv (for the sake of time I'll abbreviate Nvidia) 3D monitors. (I BELIEVE, not sure)

    AMD's offering for 3D is more wide and broad. It works for all 1.4a HDMI monitors/TVs and requires only 3D glasses you purchase off a shelf. W/ Nvidia you also need special Nv cert. 3D glasses. Here is AMD's offering tested. Many games offer support and I would recommend this route personally.
    Source:
    Myself and knowledge
    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/radeon-barts-3d-hdmi-h...

    As for Maya and such, you probably want to take advantage of CUDA which is why Nvidia WOULD actually be a beneficial route. However if your doing major Maya models. It'd be more beneficial to have a workstation card rather than a gaming card. They're made differently to handle different usages.

    I hardly recommend SSDs at this point. Reason. Simple SF-2xxx controllers are releasing soon and they kill older generations. Even killing the Intel 510 SSDs. (what a rip off)

    Source: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/vertex-3-sandforce-...
    Source (Intel 510 getting killed): http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-510-solid-state...

    GPU Cont.
    560 Ti SLI would be a smarter route personally. They run quieter, they're more compact and run cooler rather than a big clunky hot energy consuming 580. So personally I think you should go with the 560 Ti. They also have great OCing ability as opposed to the 580. And if really want computer prestige, you'll push the limits of overclocking.

    Get the 2600K/2600. You'll benefit from the 8 threads because Maya/3DMax whatever what not is a pretty crazy CPU program. I mean it would help if you used a workstation card. But that's whatever right? Umm, yeah bottom line get the i7.

    As for motherboards, the Extreme4 P67 from Asrock will do you justice. Cheap (150$ US) and is a real solid motherboard comparing to 200$+ mobos.

    Source:
    http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1098/pg2/asrock-e...

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4080/welcome-to-sandy-bri...


    March 22, 2011 10:32:12 AM

    I wasn't thinking about the 560's OC capabilities; and when my crossfire works I really dig it. Let us know how you go when ordering and building.
    March 22, 2011 11:49:05 AM

    SolMaverick said:

    Anyway, anymore tips on SSD's at this point are unabashedly welcome!


    I think as long as you get a Sandforce (SF) or Intel based SSD you will be fine. I agree with AznShinobi about the SF2 SSD killing the market for the older drives, but they aren't here yet and they will be pricey when they arrive. I love my G.Skill Phoenix pro SSD even if its only a original SF based drive, its still wicked fast and rock solid. With that said, get as big a drive as you can afford, because you will get spoiled by it and want to put every program on it. I love that it takes only about 4 seconds for my L4D2 maps to load instead of 20 seconds +. I would look at getting 80-128GB SSD.

    from newegg.ca


    Mushkin Enhanced Callisto Deluxe MKNSSDCL120GB-DX 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    $224.99

    G.SKILL Sniper Gaming Series FM-25S2S-120GBSR 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    $229.99

    OCZ Agility 2 OCZSSD2-2AGT80G 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    $159.99

    Corsair Force CSSD-F80GB2-BRKT-A 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    $159.99

    OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTX80G 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    $164.99

    Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH080G2K5 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    $177.49

    Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH120G2K5 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    $229.99

    For your VGA dilemma :

    Either choice is a good one, I would prefer a single GTX 580 over the 560's in SLi. SLi has come a long way, but it is still finicky and some games just don't scale well.

    I saw the GB GTX 560 Ti's 950's SOC's at Newegg.ca for $260 CAN each, not the 1000's but still a good buy.

    GIGABYTE Super Overclock Series GV-N560SO-1GI-950 GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB
    Item #: N82E16814125369

    or the

    GIGABYTE GV-N580UD-15I GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) for $510 CAN
    N82E16814125364
    I like this card for for the better (quieter) cooler and it is already OC'd

    just some more advice.
    March 23, 2011 7:49:24 AM

    @AznShinobi
    Quote:
    As for Maya and such, you probably want to take advantage of CUDA which is why Nvidia WOULD actually be a beneficial route. However if your doing major Maya models. It'd be more beneficial to have a workstation card rather than a gaming card. They're made differently to handle different usages.

    Hmm, that's definitely an interesting notion, but I guess I should have clarified myself earlier in my post. I'll be using 3ds Max and Maya on a casual basis (mostly self-teaching and dabbling in its features), and probably no where near the level that warrants a workstation card (to be honest, I wasn't even aware that separate cards for such things even existed!). Perhaps further down the road, if/when I begin taking a more serious approach towards such applications, I'll be sure to keep this wonderful piece of advice in mind!

    Quote:
    As for motherboards, the Extreme4 P67 from Asrock will do you justice. Cheap (150$ US) and is a real solid motherboard comparing to 200$+ mobos.

    I've jumped the gun and already purchased the Asus P8P67 Pro, but luckily it seems that their performance is fairly comparable, albeit the Asus is slightly more expensive. But thanks for the heads up in regards to another great brand that I was not formerly aware of!



    @jfby
    Quote:
    I wasn't thinking about the 560's OC capabilities; and when my crossfire works I really dig it. Let us know how you go when ordering and building.

    Will do! At the moment, it looks like I will be sticking with my original plan and going with the 2 x GTX 560 Ti's from Gigabyte. I'm too much of a sucker for its price-to-performance ratio, and also the blue PCB definitely helps in keeping with the whole 'blue everything' motif! :whistle: 

    UPDATE:
  • The Gigabyte GTX 560 Ti's (Gigabyte 950MHz SOC edition's) are now ordered!



    @jerreddredd
    Quote:
    With that said, get as big a drive as you can afford, because you will get spoiled by it and want to put every program on it. I love that it takes only about 4 seconds for my L4D2 maps to load instead of 20 seconds +.

    Yikes, that kind of performance sounds dangerously addictive. Alas, the 120GB drives may be a little over my budget at the moment, so I'll probably settle for a sub $200 SSD (perhaps the 80GB). I'll be mainly using the storage for my OS boot drive anyhow, with some essential applications installed on it as well. Now the question is, which brand should I go with? Intel seems to have some decent reviews, but their drives also seem to be slightly higher priced than other products with equivalent storage capacity. Crucial also seems to be highly regarded as far as their SSD's go, also being toted has having high resistance to read/write speed degradation when compared to other brands. I'm not too sure how accurate this information is, but I've come across it being mentioned several times by users on the forums. The G.Skill SSD's are also very appealing (based purely on your comments and NewEgg user feedback), but I'll probably have to bump down to the 60GB edition. Essentially, I'm just unreasonably anxious about the SSD's reliability.

    Anyway, here is a list of SSD's that I have narrowed out from your list:
  • G.SKILL Sniper Gaming Series FM-25S2S-60GBSR 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) = $135.99 CDN
  • Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1CCA 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) = $149.00 CDN
  • Intel X25-M SATA Solid-State Drive Kit, 80GB w/ Adapter = $189.99 CDN
  • Corsair Force Series Solid State Drive, 80GB = $189.99 CDN

    If the notion about Crucial SSD's being more reliable holds true, I will probably go that route, else, I may stick with the Intel drive from my local parts store (although you now have me seriously considering the G.Skill drive... It seems variety and indecisiveness has struck again!).



    As per usual, all suggestions/criticism is appreciated! :wahoo: 
    March 23, 2011 1:25:35 PM

    Did you get the 1000's or the 950's (GTX 560 Ti's)

    Oops! I forgot to put Mushkin in my list SSD's. Crucial seems to be a bit pricey for what you get, Corsair seems to be a good value for SSD's and so does Mushkin. I've always liked both their memory sticks in the past. The reviews I have seen are positive. Basically a SF controller is in all of them so you can 't go wrong. I would just look for the best value.

    If $200 is your max for an SSD I would go with one of these (in order of preference). I left out the Intel SSD, just because of its write preformance is sub par with that of the SF based SSD's. As long a you set them up in AHCI mode and enable TRIM support all of the SF based SSD's should do well. you should be able to set up the Marvel controller as AHCI for the SSD and the Intel controller as Raid putting your dual WD's in Raid 0.

    Mushkin Enhanced Callisto Deluxe MKNSSDCL90GB-DX
    N82E16820226171
    $179.99 CAN (I think newegg is out of stock on these)

    Corsair Force CSSD-F90GB2-BRKT 2.5" 90GB
    N82E16820233149
    $189.99 CAN

    Corsair Force CSSD-F80GB2-BRKT-A 2.5" 80GB SATA
    N82E16820233161
    $159.99 CAN

    SKILL Sniper Gaming Series FM-25S2S-60GBSR 2.5" 60GB (SSD)
    $135.99 CD

    Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1CCA 2.5" 64GB S (SSD)
    $149.00 CDNG.


    March 23, 2011 7:44:15 PM

    @Sol

    No problem, glad I could help a bit.

    As for SSDs, sorry but I would honestly suggest waiting for the newer SATA III SF-2xxx controller SSDs. A review for one is shown here.
    Vertex 3:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/vertex-3-sandforce-...
    They kill the older ones and are future proofing as well (SATA III).

    Another thing you should know, although the ones Jerreddredd lists are good. Be aware of 25nm SF-12xx controllers. They've replaced the older 34nm design for cheaper SSDs but at the sacrifice of poor performance compared to 34nm controllers. The problem is explained and shown here:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ocz-vertex-2-25nm-s...
    It doesn't apply to ALL companies, but just something to be aware of when purchasing an SSD. Be sure to get a 34nm SF controller if your buying SATA II.

    ^ This, however, doesn't apply to companies using controllers that aren't SandForce. So the C300 is good to go. Well at least I don't think. Still I strongly suggest going SF and not the C300's (Idelinx or Marvell) controller SSDs (I believe the C300 uses Idelinx controllers, not sure if I spelled it correctly).
    March 24, 2011 7:25:09 AM

    Quote:
    AznShinobi said:
    As for SSDs, sorry but I would honestly suggest waiting for the newer SATA III SF-2xxx controller SSDs. A review for one is shown here:


    While I agree the increased speed at 6G may worth the wait of you were trying to build the ultimate super system, it will come with an increased price. The projected lowest priced model being the 120GB @ $250 (this may only be the 3G not the 6G) which is out of Sol's stated budget of less than $200.

    Of the SSD's I recommended, the strongest performers are going to the be the Corsair Force series, they are very strong in the 4k write tests.

    Regardless of which one you choose, an SSD will perform about 10 times as fast as even a WD 600G Raptor HD. Lets not over think this, just get one with a good price to capacity ratio.

    Looks like the SSD is the last piece you need to get. Be sure to let us know how the RIG performs when you get it finished. By performance I mean does it meet your expectations, not so much the 3D Mark numbers and such, but those would be nice also.

    Piece of advice: build the system with minimal hardware first, then add it one piece at a time after windows is loaded and updated. This is especially necessary for the GPU's, start with one then add the other and configure SLi.

    good luck!

    March 24, 2011 4:27:40 PM

    @AznShinobi
    Quote:
    As for SSDs, sorry but I would honestly suggest waiting for the newer SATA III SF-2xxx controller SSDs. A review for one is shown here.
    Vertex 3:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/review [...] ,2869.html
    They kill the older ones and are future proofing as well (SATA III).

    Wow, those sure are some attractive numbers! Unfortunately though, I'll have to pass up on those drives for the time being, especially when I take their price tag into consideration. I think I'll be alright even with the current generation SSD's for quite some time. Perhaps later this year/early next year, when the Intel Ivy Bridge is unleashed upon the world, and Nvidia has a shiny new GTX 660 looming on shelves, I'll pick up these fantastic drives to complement the rest of my dream setup! Of course, that's if I'm willing to let up a little on the funds at that point in time. :whistle: 

    Quote:
    Another thing you should know, although the ones Jerreddredd lists are good. Be aware of 25nm SF-12xx controllers. They've replaced the older 34nm design for cheaper SSDs but at the sacrifice of poor performance compared to 34nm controllers. The problem is explained and shown here:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/review [...] 67-11.html
    It doesn't apply to ALL companies, but just something to be aware of when purchasing an SSD. Be sure to get a 34nm SF controller if your buying SATA II.

    Hmm, that piece of information is definitely great to know! I've decided to go with the Mushkin Callisto drive, and judging mostly from the NewEgg user reviews, it doesn't seem like they are plagued by this surprise-25nm issue (at least that's what I'm hoping for!). Anyway, thanks again AznShinobi for enlightening me on the subject of SSD's! I was pretty much shooting in the dark with these things until you and jerreddredd showed up and saved my behind from making a choice that I would have later deeply regretted!



    @jerreddredd
    Quote:
    Did you get the 1000's or the 950's (GTX 560 Ti's)?

    I settled on the 950MHz edition, not that that's a bad thing! Apparently the production of the 1000MHz line has been halted due to the factory overclock settings being unstable for many people. I'm not too sure how true that notion is, or how that'll affect my cards (hopefully not at all!), but I'll remain confident that these cards will run without a hitch for a long time to come.

    Quote:
    Looks like the SSD is the last piece you need to get. Be sure to let us know how the RIG performs when you get it finished. By performance I mean does it meet your expectations, not so much the 3D Mark numbers and such, but those would be nice also.

    The one piece to rule them all, or more aptly, the one piece that is going to delay my build! I've decided to go with the 90GB Mushkin Callisto that you mentioned earlier in your list of preferred SSD's, but unfortunately, NewEgg still seems to be out of them.
  • Mushkin Enhanced Callisto Deluxe MKNSSDCL90GB-DX 2.5" 90GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) = $179.99 CDN
    The apparent arrival date was supposedly today, but now it seems that there isn't one listed at all! Let's hope for the sake of my sanity, that they'll be receiving them reasonably soon. Anyway, I'll definitely try my best to keep you guys updated during/after the build, granted that I don't pass out from being overly excited. I'll also see if I can snag a few snapshots throughout the length of the build, just to share them with all you delightfully helpful forum dwellers! :hello: 

    Quote:
    Piece of advice: build the system with minimal hardware first, then add it one piece at a time after windows is loaded and updated. This is especially necessary for the GPU's, start with one then add the other and configure SLi.

    Good luck!

    That seems to be the general consensus among everyone that I've pestered so far in regards to PC building tips, so I'll definitely keep that solid piece of advice in mind, and thanks! Although, hopefully it won't have to come down to relying on all that much luck! :wahoo: 



    Anyway, thanks again guys! Truly appreciated everyone's effort to help a fellow in need! If anyone has any more tips/advice that they would like to include in addition to all the other fantastic posts, I'll be more than eager to listen in!
    March 24, 2011 9:32:14 PM

    Good luck on the build. Hope it works out.
    !