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I have chosen likely parts but will they fit together?

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April 7, 2011 4:40:02 AM

I have spent many weeks reading the guides and attempting to come up with the right parts for a perfect gaming and multiprocessor heavy build and these are the parts that I have selected: my Newegg Wishlist Page.

I am happy with my choices and I believe that they will all fit together and just work but I am not sure. So I would thought that I would just ask the Tom's Hardware community: are these choices going to work together and is there something that I have overlooked?

Also, if you have any suggestions on my build then please let me know. Thanks in advance, any and all help and suggestions are much appreciated.

More about : chosen parts fit

April 7, 2011 5:35:08 AM

Great build!
I would suggest:
6950 or 6970 over 470.
You probably don't need 16GB of RAM.
Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB.
Blu-ray Drive.
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April 7, 2011 5:41:56 AM

looks pretty good
i suggest you get the 560ti instead of the 470, it will be quieter and cooler with similar performance. it will also have room to overclock.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/311?vs=330
You should also get a CPU heatsink, the stock one will be louder and hotter
http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategor...
also consider this going with an intel 2500k. it is the same price and will pretty much destroy the 1100t, especially in games
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/203?vs=288

Edit: Joe is right, 16gb is overkill for gaming
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April 7, 2011 5:45:42 AM

Thanks for the reply!

JoeAdamsIV said:
Great build!
I would suggest:
6950 or 6970 over 470.


Oh by the same manufacturer? So something like this: http://goo.gl/pagBA

JoeAdamsIV said:
You probably don't need 16GB of RAM.


Maybe not but I am willing to put in an extra ~100 just to have it anyway. I am a Computer Scientist too and some of the things I do require lots of RAM...like running eclipse and Java for starters.

JoeAdamsIV said:
Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB.
Blu-ray Drive.


What did you mean by that, as in I do not need those either?
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April 7, 2011 5:50:46 AM

Yes Gigabyte is very good in the GPU market.
If you have the cash, then 16GB isn't going to hurt.
I meant I would suggest that Hard Drive over the Hitachi, and suggest a Blu-ray drive.
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April 7, 2011 6:03:45 AM

attackllama said:
looks pretty good
i suggest you get the 560ti instead of the 470, it will be quieter and cooler with similar performance. it will also have room to overclock.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/311?vs=330
You should also get a CPU heatsink, the stock one will be louder and hotter
http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategor...
also consider this going with an intel 2500k. it is the same price and will pretty much destroy the 1100t, especially in games
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/203?vs=288

Edit: Joe is right, 16gb is overkill for gaming


Wow, really good suggestions.

I am on the fence about the Graphics card change, it seems to be much better but the Newegg reviews do not seem to be as impressed. I think that I will go with it but I might do more research on the two. Nice suggestion though.

As for the change in processors, well the writing is on the wall isn't it, it absolutely sped through the games in the benchmarks and the extra cores are not really worth it. However, that will require me to change the motherboard will it not? Maybe I will create another similar build based around that processor.

Thanks for the suggestions and the benchmark comparison site is a great find.
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April 7, 2011 7:06:40 AM

for the graphics card, there are many other options as well. It should depend on what resolution you run and what kinds of games you play

you will need a different mobo. If you arent going to do crossfire/sli at any point, you dont really need a super fancy motherboard with extra pci express slots
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April 7, 2011 7:41:28 AM

I would highly recommend the switch to the Intel P67 chipset and the i5 2500K processor - if you want some ideas, I recently built the following 2500K system and was very impressed with its perfromance:

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K OC'd to 4.5GHz
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12P-SE2
Motherboard: Asus P8P67-PRO
Graphics: x2 MSI Twin Frozr II GTX 560 Ti in SLI
RAM: 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600MHz CL8
SSD: 120GB OCZ Vertex 2 EC
HDD: x2 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 in RAID 0
Optical: Pioneer DVR-219L DVD-RW
PSU: XFX 750W Black Edition
Case: Cooler Master HAF-932

- Obviously your SSD is better because it's the new SATA III standard (I couldn't get my hands on one, unfortunately)
- How much you spend on the graphics cards is up to you, but what others are recommending above is sound advice (Radeon 6950 or GTX 560 Ti), or you could spend more for more performance. You could put one in and then add another in CrossfireX or SLI later if you wanted.
- As others have mentioned, 8GB of memory should be enough - more for gaming is completely pointless, but if you need 16GB for other applications that's fine
- I highly recommend two Spinpoint F3's in RAID 0 - a little extra performance for only $10 more, unless you don't want to use RAID (it's a breeze to set up on the above mobo)
- I also recommend the P8P67-PRO as a good mobo, especially since the new EFI BIOS is very well implemented by Asus (Gigabyte hasn't adopted it yet unfortunately); if you aren't going to SLI / Crossfire then you could get a cheaper one, maybe the plain P8P67 or the -LE version
- Final note: if you end up going Intel P67, get an aftermarket cooler, since the stock coolers, while not terrible at cooling, are a horrible pain to install. The Coolermaster Hyper 212+ is super cheap and recommended if you aren't overclocking.

What resolution are you running at? The above system is overkill if you aren't running at least 1920x1080. Your original system might even be overkill as well, it's very easy to build a cheap system that runs on lower resolutions (1680x1050 or less).

Hope that helps!
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April 7, 2011 10:13:27 AM

MannyB said:
I would highly recommend the switch to the Intel P67 chipset and the i5 2500K processor - if you want some ideas, I recently built the following 2500K system and was very impressed with its perfromance:

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K OC'd to 4.5GHz
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12P-SE2
Motherboard: Asus P8P67-PRO
Graphics: x2 MSI Twin Frozr II GTX 560 Ti in SLI
RAM: 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600MHz CL8
SSD: 120GB OCZ Vertex 2 EC
HDD: x2 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 in RAID 0
Optical: Pioneer DVR-219L DVD-RW
PSU: XFX 750W Black Edition
Case: Cooler Master HAF-932


That is a very nice setup indeed. After looking at the evidence via the benchmarks and comments in front of me I have decided that I am going to come up with a completely new build based around the i5 2500k and see what I can pump into it. Though I guess I can keep most of the details the same...actually only the motherboard should need to change really.

MannyB said:
- Obviously your SSD is better because it's the new SATA III standard (I couldn't get my hands on one, unfortunately)
- How much you spend on the graphics cards is up to you, but what others are recommending above is sound advice (Radeon 6950 or GTX 560 Ti), or you could spend more for more performance. You could put one in and then add another in CrossfireX or SLI later if you wanted.
- As others have mentioned, 8GB of memory should be enough - more for gaming is completely pointless, but if you need 16GB for other applications that's fine
- I highly recommend two Spinpoint F3's in RAID 0 - a little extra performance for only $10 more, unless you don't want to use RAID (it's a breeze to set up on the above mobo)
- I also recommend the P8P67-PRO as a good mobo, especially since the new EFI BIOS is very well implemented by Asus (Gigabyte hasn't adopted it yet unfortunately); if you aren't going to SLI / Crossfire then you could get a cheaper one, maybe the plain P8P67 or the -LE version
- Final note: if you end up going Intel P67, get an aftermarket cooler, since the stock coolers, while not terrible at cooling, are a horrible pain to install. The Coolermaster Hyper 212+ is super cheap and recommended if you aren't overclocking.


- I will try and get away with just buying one graphics card for now but I want the ability to easily expand if I want to, thus I am going to get a top of the line Motherboard for that purpose. Exactly like you said.
- I have not considered a Raid 0 hard drive setup but I will look into it now. I do not know much about RAID but I am planning on dual booting Windows and Linux and I just need to make sure that nothing hinders that (that comment probably shows that I know nothing about RAID at all other than the vague recollection that I should look into it if I need production grade servers).
- I will get an after market cooler; it seems like it is just the right move to make. What if I do want to overclock? What would you recommended then?

MannyB said:
What resolution are you running at? The above system is overkill if you aren't running at least 1920x1080. Your original system might even be overkill as well, it's very easy to build a cheap system that runs on lower resolutions (1680x1050 or less).

Hope that helps!


That helped heaps and yes, I am running a 1920x1080 setup as a minimum. I am even hoping to make that larger in a year or two if I can. Thankyou for the great response.
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April 7, 2011 3:26:06 PM

Just a friendly word of advice, if you end up going with the Crucial C300 I would buy from amazon. Right now it's priced at 229.99 vs the 254.99 listed on newegg. I just got mine in on Monday!
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April 8, 2011 3:57:04 AM

robertmassaioli said:

- I have not considered a Raid 0 hard drive setup but I will look into it now. I do not know much about RAID but I am planning on dual booting Windows and Linux and I just need to make sure that nothing hinders that (that comment probably shows that I know nothing about RAID at all other than the vague recollection that I should look into it if I need production grade servers).
- I will get an after market cooler; it seems like it is just the right move to make. What if I do want to overclock? What would you recommended then?


RAID 0 isn't technically RAID (since it isn't redundant) - it means that the data is striped evenly across two disks. So your operating system sees the two 1TB disks as one 2TB disk, even though they are physically separate. The disadvantages of this are:

a) you can't separate the disks after you've implemented it (since all your data is split between them - eg. one file might be split into several pieces with some on one disk and some on the other)
b) if one disk fails, then you lose ALL the data on both disks - it's not possible to recover the data off just one of the disks.

The advantages are that you gain a bit of extra performance, since you have two hard drive heads that are able to search for your data simultaneously.

Obviously disk failure is going to be fairly rare, and you should of course be backing up any important data frequently anyway, so the disadvantages are not as bad as they sound. If you look around you'll probably find a few people recommending two Spinpoint F3s in RAID 0, as they offer better value performance over a single 2TB WD or Seagate drive.

With regards to the aftermarket cooler, you can apparently OC on the Hyper 212+, but I personally prefer to spend more money on a better cooler for peace of mind. The Noctua coolers are the upper end of the market, but they do offer excellent performance. I'm not really an expert on this matter, though, so I'd ask for advice in the appropriate parts or overclocking forum before making a decision.

Also note that while it's very easy to overclock with the current tech, you still need to know what you're doing. Do extensive research, ask the experts, and make sure you know the risks. A lot of the time it won't be necessary, and if the performance gain isn't that noticable, then it's usually better not to do it, as it does reduce CPU lifespan.

One final thing to note - some motherboards (eg. the Asus boards I recommended above) don't allow fan control for 3-pin CPU fans (non-PWM fans). This means that your fans will always run at full speed. With the Noctua cooler I used it's not an issue, because it's pretty quiet at full speed, but some fans will be noisier - it depends what level of noise you're willing to tolerate. So maybe check if the cooler uses PWM (4-pin) fans if that's important for you. Or buy a motherboard that can regulate 3-pin fans (pretty sure most Gigabyte boards are able to).

Sorry for being so long-winded, hope it helps. Let us know how you go with your planning!
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April 8, 2011 5:01:37 AM

MannyB said:
Sorry for being so long-winded, hope it helps. Let us know how you go with your planning!


Don't be sorry, that was an excellent answer and covered the questions that I had and pointed out some new concerns that I should look out for; which was exactly what I was looking for. That last piece of advice about fan speed and therefore noise being related to the Motherboards ability to handle non PWM Fans was excellent.

On the note of cooler, well I think that I will put much more effort into looking into good ones. I too would just rather have piece of mind than anything else.

My basic rule of thumb is 'No Premature Optimisation' which, in the case of Overclocking translates to: don't overclock unless you absolutely have to. I think that I will just wait and see if the computer blitzes through everything that I throw at it (which I fully expect it to) and then overclock as reqired.

The RAID0 description was very thorough but I have one question: as you know I am planning on buying an SSD and a normal 2GB drive. If I combine the SSD and the normal drive into one RAID0 and they get treated as the same thing then I loose the benefits of having one drive that is certainly faster than the other. And, if I do not combine them because I want to keep that benefit then what is the point of RAID0? I looked at what you suggested above and I think that you suggested two of these drives, which would make more sense if I RAID0'd them together and left the SSD as its own partition. But I notice that they apparently only give 3Gb/s of speed as compared to the drive that I picked which gives 6.0Gb/s of speed. Is that really not that important? Is it the RPM that counts more?

Thanks for all of the great help so far. I am learning heaps.
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April 8, 2011 6:42:25 AM

With RAID you can only use drives of exactly the same size - practically this means multiples of the same drive to ensure there are no problems. So you would have the SSD as the boot disk with Windows installed on it, and then two 1TB Spinpoints would be in RAID 0 (displaying as one 2TB drive). You mentioned that you wanted to dual-boot Windows and Linux. Which one do you use most often, and what do you use each of them for? Obviously Windows for gaming, but is it just for gaming, with all your other tasks done in Linux? Or do you use Windows for gaming and some tasks, and Linux for others? Also, what distro are you planning to use?

Basically, you want the SSD to be for the most resource-intensive programs, and preferably the OS. The thing is, if you dual boot both OS's on the SSD (using two partitions), you won't have a lot of space for programs. I'd probably recommend installing Windows on the SSD (since Windows is more demanding than Linux). The exception here would be if you want to run any demanding Linux programs (ones that involve a lot of reading from the HDD) that could make use of the SSD, in which case I'd partition it.

Now comes the part I'm not sure about - I have no idea how easy it is to partition a RAID 0 setup for dual-booting, ie. putting Linux in one partition and leaving Windows free to use the rest of the drive. Theoretically it shouldn't be any different to doing it on a single drive, but I have no experience with Linux and RAID. What I'm planning to do with my next build is buy a separate, small and cheap drive to put Linux on, then have the SSD and two 1TB's in RAID for Windows use. Linux can read NTFS file systems, so if you need to store files on the Windows drives, you can still do that through Linux, but Windows can't read or write to partitions formatted with Linux filesystems (eg. ext4) - hence why I recommend giving Windows most of the drive space. If you don't want to buy an extra HDD for Linux, I'd recommend putting a Linux partition on the RAID drives - whatever size you need, but remember that you should err on the side of giving Windows more space. As a final point, remember to install Windows first, then Linux, it's much simpler that way.

With regards to the speed, traditional HDD's aren't fast enough to deliver 3Gb/s, let alone 6Gb/s - the 3Gb/s figure is just the maximum speed of the SATA II connection used by HDDs. Only SSDs can transfer data faster than the 3Gb/s SATA II standard, hence why the latest SSDs are designed to use SATA III (officially called the Sata 6G standard). With regards to rpm, the figure does have more meaning, but is still somewhat subjective - a modern 7,200rpm drive can be quite a bit faster than an old 7,200rpm drive, due to things such as number of platters, bigger cache, modernised design, etc. The Spinpoint F3's are fairly quick for 1TB drives, and they're comparatively cheap, hence why they get recommended a lot.

Hope that answers some questions - I'm glad my advice is helpful to you!
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April 9, 2011 1:33:07 AM

MannyB said:
With RAID you can only use drives of exactly the same size - practically this means multiples of the same drive to ensure there are no problems. So you would have the SSD as the boot disk with Windows installed on it, and then two 1TB Spinpoints would be in RAID 0 (displaying as one 2TB drive). You mentioned that you wanted to dual-boot Windows and Linux. Which one do you use most often, and what do you use each of them for? Obviously Windows for gaming, but is it just for gaming, with all your other tasks done in Linux? Or do you use Windows for gaming and some tasks, and Linux for others? Also, what distro are you planning to use?


I use Ubuntu Linux far more than I use Windows; I really only ever use Windows for gaming. Absolutely all of my other work happens on Linux but it would be useful to have Windows there for testing purposes. I was thinking that I would give around 400GB to Windows and the rest to linux. And split the SSD 50/50 between the two. However I found this guide online that seems to be good value and should help Dual Boot Linux and Windows on RAID 0.

MannyB said:
Basically, you want the SSD to be for the most resource-intensive programs, and preferably the OS. The thing is, if you dual boot both OS's on the SSD (using two partitions), you won't have a lot of space for programs. I'd probably recommend installing Windows on the SSD (since Windows is more demanding than Linux). The exception here would be if you want to run any demanding Linux programs (ones that involve a lot of reading from the HDD) that could make use of the SSD, in which case I'd partition it.


Yeah, I think that I will partition it and perhaps give windows 20GB above the minimum it needs and save the rest for Linux.

MannyB said:
As a final point, remember to install Windows first, then Linux, it's much simpler that way.


Usually I would agree with this advice, it was what I learned by trial and error myself but interestingly enough the guide suggests the opposite: "Against the common procedure, we have to install Linux before Windows. This is because Windows partitions the array in a way Linux can't read, but Windows can read the Linux partitioning."

MannyB said:
With regards to the speed, traditional HDD's aren't fast enough to deliver 3Gb/s, let alone 6Gb/s - the 3Gb/s figure is just the maximum speed of the SATA II connection used by HDDs.


And this is why I come here, so basically the speed increases by a disk based hard drive are not that much between a 3Gb/s and 6Gb/s drive? Well in that case I might just change it up.
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April 9, 2011 6:55:24 AM

Well you're clearly a much more advanced Linux user than me, I've only begun using it in the last year, so I'd follow your own knowledge and that guide - but from what I do know your plan sounds good.

robertmassaioli said:
And this is why I come here, so basically the speed increases by a disk based hard drive are not that much between a 3Gb/s and 6Gb/s drive? Well in that case I might just change it up.


Essentially correct. 6Gb/s HDDs might have some minor advantages in performance and power consumption, but it's definately not something you'd notice outside of a synthetic benchmark. It seems to be more of a marketing thing at this point, although that may change in future, if ways are found to increase the speed of disk hard drives. I don't have any data to support this, but I'd say it's a reasonable possibility that two 3Gbps 1TB drives in RAID 0 (such as the setup I recommended) would be faster than one 2TB 6Gbps drive.

If you manage to finalise a build, post it here - it's looking like it'll be very nice one way or the other :) 
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