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NewBuild: Advice/Caveats to my build. (X79)

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April 6, 2012 11:04:06 PM

I am looking at completing the following items for my buildout, I would love to know of any caveats, warnings, conflicts, or otherwise of my build and maybe a few pointers.

Mobo: ASUS Sabertooth X79 (already purchased, but it was a fight between this or the Asrock Extreme6, I live in AZ, it gets hot here.)

Memory: Corsair Vengeance 32GB 1600 8x4gb

PSU: Seasonic X 1050W 80Plus Gold

SSD: 2x Samsung 830 256GB (Is it worth using these in Raid-0 with a system like this, or is an OS and Gaming drive just as good?)

HDD: Seagate ST2000DM001

Video: Single GTX 680 SC+ W/ Backplate for now. (no idea wtf the backplate is yet.)

CPU: I7-3960X (getting a massive deal on this.)

Case: Rosewill Blackhawk-Ultra

Not really planning any serious over clocking but I'll take advantage of the rig as I get more comfortable. It's been 6 years since my last build and I feel I've done as much research as I can. Any advice, caveats, warnings, recommendations or comments to my other questions from a more veteran enthusiast/rig builder would be extremely appreciated!
a c 716 V Motherboard
April 6, 2012 11:45:23 PM

Welcome to Tom's Forum! :) 

Only if you're getting a "massive deal" then sure get the i7-3960X. The SSD capacity depends on your needs and wallet, the Samsung 830's are an excellent choice. As far as RAID 0 it really won't help much for gaming, but what a lot of folks do is devote one SSD as their Steam drive and the other as their OS, Apps, and working 'Data.'

If there's a need for a RAID, it would be in the form of a RAID 1 (mirror) for their Data HDD plus backup (NAS, Home Server, etc).

Yeah, there's a huge caveat, follow my Installation Guide -> http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/303873-30-wont-resume... I'd say the vast majority of the folks with an X79 rig have their OS installed incorrectly.

MOBO, stick the the ASUS!!! Big time! I have the same MOBO and love it, but my first was killed by my PSU :( 

RAM, you really don't need anything more than a 4x4GB kit, but if you want a RAM Drive or SSD + RAM Cache then sure I 'get' the reasons. I'm running 32GB, and these kits look good with the VRM -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU, I'm fine with the GTX 680's, duh, but I'm holding out for the non-reference 4GB vRAM versions due out (best guess) 4~8 weeks. 4GB vRAM is only needed on multiple or 30" monitors. None the less, I prefer the non-reference with better cooling and better OC'ing.

Cooling, the SB-E gets toasty OC'ed so minimally a Corsair H100, or full water if you can afford it e.g. EK or Koolance.

Anything, you want to know just ask.
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April 7, 2012 1:11:50 AM

I'm getting it for around 600$ :) 

The SSD's was exactly that, 1 for Apps, OS, non-essentials, and my core heavy gaming data and non-compressibles on another SSD. I will be doing some form of imaging/backup with the SSD drives most likely to my storage drive.

I will follow your guide, thank you for the info, this was exactly why I was posting here.

The RAM I already have in my posession, but I do a lot of workstation and VM work as well and would assume it great for that.

I'm hoping to take advantage of the evga step-up program for the 680 to get the 4gb version myself as well, problem was I was also way too antsy on this build and I have been waiting for about 9 months to build it.

I'll look into water, though I to prefer air, and was actually going to use a Phantek PH-TC14PE, I've ordered a spare 120MM (or maybe I need a 140MM fan for the "cable" side of the rosewill case to suck all heat from behind the mobo/CPU directly out the side.

Thanks for all the advice, seems like I'll be following nearly the same course already charted. Going to also update the bios using the bios flashback feature to the latest and greatest before I drop the Memory and CPU in as well.
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April 7, 2012 1:17:36 AM

any thoughts on the media/backup drives? I figure it is Seagate, it's a barracuda, it's 7200RPM, not much else to say there besides it should work as my solid backup drive I think/hope...

That HDD and the CPU Cooler are my biggest nervous points currently.
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a c 716 V Motherboard
April 7, 2012 1:47:03 AM

Thankfully, the HDD prices are going down again. How you configure your HDD's depends on how valuable the data on them is and how paranoid you are of failure. In my case I have most all of my PC configured essentially the same.

SSD (OS, Apps, and Working Data)
HDD RAID 1 (General Data - Documents, Music, Video, etc)
Windows Home Server (backups)/large RAID 5 array @ home, and NAS @ office
UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply)

You can essentially do the same with either an external or internal HDD just for backups. Simply you need enough capacity to backup the items you want protected.

Caveat on HDD's, consumer WD (Western Digital lack TLER which makes them poor candidates for any form of RAID, but you listed a Seagate 2TB so you're fine. For the money the ST2000DM001 are fine, and if in a redundant RAID array you should be safe.
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April 7, 2012 3:01:12 AM

jaquith said:
Welcome to Tom's Forum! :) 

Only if you're getting a "massive deal" then sure get the i7-3960X. The SSD capacity depends on your needs and wallet, the Samsung 830's are an excellent choice. As far as RAID 0 it really won't help much for gaming, but what a lot of folks do is devote one SSD as their Steam drive and the other as their OS, Apps, and working 'Data.'

If there's a need for a RAID, it would be in the form of a RAID 1 (mirror) for their Data HDD plus backup (NAS, Home Server, etc).

Yeah, there's a huge caveat, follow my Installation Guide -> http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/303873-30-wont-resume... I'd say the vast majority of the folks with an X79 rig have their OS installed incorrectly.

MOBO, stick the the ASUS!!! Big time! I have the same MOBO and love it, but my first was killed by my PSU :( 

RAM, you really don't need anything more than a 4x4GB kit, but if you want a RAM Drive or SSD + RAM Cache then sure I 'get' the reasons. I'm running 32GB, and these kits look good with the VRM -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU, I'm fine with the GTX 680's, duh, but I'm holding out for the non-reference 4GB vRAM versions due out (best guess) 4~8 weeks. 4GB vRAM is only needed on multiple or 30" monitors. None the less, I prefer the non-reference with better cooling and better OC'ing.

Cooling, the SB-E gets toasty OC'ed so minimally a Corsair H100, or full water if you can afford it e.g. EK or Koolance.

Anything, you want to know just ask.



Why is it so "difficult" to install Win7 on an X79 board? Is this only if you're configuring RAID?
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a c 716 V Motherboard
April 7, 2012 1:30:49 PM

Tequila Stud said:
Why is it so "difficult" to install Win7 on an X79 board? Is this only if you're configuring RAID?

The problem is for both AHCI and RAID by default Windows will install the wrong default AHCI driver which can cause MBR corruption and an assortment of other oddball behavior. Further, once installed incorrectly there's no fix or at least any fix that I've seen. The Intel RSTE drivers can run their 'installer' but won't actually install; the test is to set Intel SATA -> RAID and reboot. The resulting BSOD confirms the drivers aren't installed -- regardless of how the two Start values are set in the registry. In contrast you can change Intel SATA -> RAID <=> AHCI like a Pogo stick if installed properly. Also, the latest Intel RSTE offer a good performance gain. Clerly, for RAID the Intel RSTE must be loaded prior to installing Windows or the SSD/HDD simply won't show-up to allow Windows to install which is the reason I recommend changing Intel SATA -> RAID -- because it forces you to install Windows correctly.
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