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2 builds under 3k, which one is the winner

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May 13, 2011 9:47:38 AM

after talk with mjmjpfaff about my build here, I have two contenders. Quick votes & thoughtful advice both welcome. Hoping to buy this thing this week.

Approximate Purchase Date: this week
Budget Range: 3000 usd
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Rhino, Autocad, CS5
Parts Not Required: -
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: -
Country of Origin: China
Parts Preferences: see parts list below
Overclocking: no
SLI or Crossfire: no
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
Additional Comments: workstation

OPTION 1:
MOBO: SUPERMICRO MBD-X8DAi
CPU: 2x Xeon E5620
GPU: NVidia Quadro 2000
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 12GB (3 x 4GB)
SSD: Crucial C300(128GB)
HDD: WD Caviar Black 1TB
DVD: Sony Optiarc AD-7240S
LCD: LG IPS231P-BN Black 23"
Key: K120(Logitech)
Mouse: M90(Logitech)
Case: Corsair 700D
PSU: Corsair HX750

OPTION 2:
MOBO: ASUS P8P67 WS REVOLUTION
CPU: i7 2600k
GPU: NVidia Quadro 2000
RAM: corsair vengeance ddr3 1600 12gb(3x4gb)
SSD: Crucial C300(128GB)
HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB
DVD: Sony Optiarc AD-7240S
LCD: ASUS ProArt Series PA246Q Black 24.1"
Key: K120(Logitech)
Mouse: M90(Logitech)
Case: Corsair 700D
PSU: Corsair HX750

*It was also suggested that i give up the quadro 2000 for mainstrem gaming graphics card like a 560 ti or 570, but instead i upgraded my monitor.

More about : builds winner

May 13, 2011 10:25:39 AM

The P8P67 board you have in Option 2 is not a triple-channel board. You need to buy memory in pairs as it's dual-channel.

This would be an example of an appropriate kit for you:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There is nothing in either build requiring an HX750. I recommend something a bit smaller so that your actual wattage requirements under full load will fall into a range that is efficient for the PSU. Seasonic X-650 at the most.... which is also a FULLY modular PSU and so a better idea.
The X-560 would really be best... but because the X-650 is a bit older you might find a better deal on it.

I think the Quadro is probably the better choice here.

Which build is better..... Unless ALL of your main work programs are heavily multi-threaded, I have to think the i7-2600K will be the faster choice. I would also expect the platform to be more trouble-free for you.

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May 13, 2011 11:09:05 AM

jeaz, thanks for saving me. do you think 16gb of mem is a bit much?

most of the applications i use are multithreaded, but i suspect that at most 30-40% of the time would i really benifit from the performane gain. hard to say of course. My bread and butter aps are rhino and illustrator/ps. I think rhino only takes full advantage of multithreading for rendering and i don't really do all that much rendering anyway. illustrator and ps are probably where i would get the greater payoff, but i'm not pushing them that hard most of the time. so i think i will go i7 unless some advocates for the dual quads.
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May 13, 2011 11:16:13 AM

Quote:
I would also expect the platform to be more trouble-free for you.


can you tell me what you mean by this?? thx
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May 13, 2011 11:27:35 AM

I think that 16GB might be... but I have no idea what the size of your projects are. I do know that if you got 8GB now you might have trouble matching it in the future if you needed it.... so buy according to your possible future needs. Maybe 8GB is it.

Definitely sounds like you need the i7.

I've never set up a "server" type board before, but my understanding is it probably won't have the level of compatibility with hardware and such that you will get with a mainstream board.
These generally cost more than you might expect because there's an advanced level of customer support needed to get them running right. Or at least that's my impression.

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May 13, 2011 12:09:00 PM

well, my working files are pretty huge and i move between programs constantly, so typically i have 2to4 very nasty/unwieldy files open at the same and a million or so browser tabs open on top of that, so perhaps 16 is not so crazy. Just seems like people are constantly getting berated in forums for suggesting anything upwards of 12gb:)  thanks again
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May 13, 2011 2:18:25 PM

correct no difference
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May 13, 2011 8:09:28 PM

mjmjpfaff said:
correct no difference


Internally they might be identical, but there is a difference. The company is standing behind the single set, saying it will work. Will you get the same level of support regardless? Maybe so, but they could potentially say "not intended to be run in a 16GB config."
I don't mean to make a big deal out of that, it's a minor point. Especially with RAM rated at 1.5V.
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May 14, 2011 3:11:56 AM

fair point. all things being equal (price & availability) i'll go with quad-channel set. but maybe hard to find here in beijing.
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May 15, 2011 7:26:07 AM

wondering if the Noctua NH-D14 is good cooling solution for me if i'm not OCing hard core. Brings up another point: Is it reckless to OC a workstation? And my dumb question for the day: how do i check if cooler fits in my case, etc. Thanks
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May 15, 2011 7:41:21 AM

Yes that's a fine choice in a cooler. You can spend a lot less of course and get adequate cooling, but the Noctua has a nice blend of cooling and low db.

It's not reckless to achieve a moderate overclock and back it up with rigorous stress testing. Your processor is not rated at that clock speed because it will somehow explode if it goes over. Rather, it's rated that way so that it can survive in a poorly ventilated case with a mediocre cooler and questionable power supply.

Choosing a high-end case pretty much means that any air cooler will fit. If you look at the cooler product page you can get full dimensions usually if you need to. The better question is will the cooler fit your motherboard, especially will it clear the heatsinks on your RAM.
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May 15, 2011 8:30:39 AM

The Corsair HX 850 is on sale at newegg right now for $119 after rebates. It is a steal at that price.

You may want to look at the Dell 27" monitor for the prices you are considering. There is a review here: http://reviews.cnet.com/lcd-monitors/dell-ultrasharp-u2... For CAD work this would be a great monitor and it also is great for movies and games. It recently was on sale for less than $750.00 which is a great price for this monitor.

Hp also is offering a 27" monitor that is well reviewed and costs less than the Dell.

Why go with the Crucial 300 when the OCZ Vertex 3 120 GB smokes it and costs only about $75.00 more?
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May 15, 2011 5:40:50 PM

wow, flong, the dell ultrasharps are pretty sweet. I am really in love with the Asus proart series but after reading the ultrasharp reveiws I'm torn. Also thanks for price tips, but I am buying locally in china. If i can find a deal that good on the 27inch ultrasharp in china i may be tempted, but for now I've narrowed it down to three 24" monitors:

ASUS ProArt Series PA246Q Black 24.1"
Dell UltraSharp U2410 24-inch
HP ZR24w 61 cm (24")

Here is a spec comparison of ultrasharp and proart

All are comparably overpriced at around 500. Hp is little less, Asus is little more. I guess I'm leaning toward either the dell or asus. The dell has higher contrast ratio of 80k:1 (vs asus 50k:1) and is S-IPS(vs asus P-IPS). Otherwise they seem pretty evenly matched. Also curious if anybody knows how the +-45 degree swivels joints compare mechanically.

Why Crucial 300? Well, in china the price spread is more like 120usd. What do you think? still the good choice?

Proximon, thanks again for more invaluable help. I stick with with Noctua NH-D14 and overclock modestly.
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May 15, 2011 8:34:52 PM

flong said:

Why go with the Crucial 300 when the OCZ Vertex 3 120 GB smokes it and costs only about $75.00 more?


It's a good question. Given the way OCZ behaved with the last gen SSDs are you so ready to trust them this time around? They were supposed to re-label their SSDs to reflect the slower NAND... did they ever do that? No.

The part numbers are supposed to reflect the type of NAND used. Here is my source:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4256/the-ocz-vertex-3-rev...

And here is the part at newegg, still not labeled:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You can get an OWC drive though ;) 
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computin...

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May 16, 2011 7:27:07 AM

caesparktom said:
wow, flong, the dell ultrasharps are pretty sweet. I am really in love with the Asus proart series but after reading the ultrasharp reveiws I'm torn. Also thanks for price tips, but I am buying locally in china. If i can find a deal that good on the 27inch ultrasharp in china i may be tempted, but for now I've narrowed it down to three 24" monitors:

ASUS ProArt Series PA246Q Black 24.1"
Dell UltraSharp U2410 24-inch
HP ZR24w 61 cm (24")

Here is a spec comparison of ultrasharp and proart

All are comparably overpriced at around 500. Hp is little less, Asus is little more. I guess I'm leaning toward either the dell or asus. The dell has higher contrast ratio of 80k:1 (vs asus 50k:1) and is S-IPS(vs asus P-IPS). Otherwise they seem pretty evenly matched. Also curious if anybody knows how the +-45 degree swivels joints compare mechanically.

Why Crucial 300? Well, in china the price spread is more like 120usd. What do you think? still the good choice?

Proximon, thanks again for more invaluable help. I stick with with Noctua NH-D14 and overclock modestly.


I agree with Proximon, the NH-D14 is maybe the best air cooler out there.

I started a thread on Tom's hardware about whether to go with the older Vertex 2 (which is similar to the Crucial 300 in performance) or the new Vertex 3. The opinions that I really valued came from people who owned BOTH cards. They are saying there is not comparison between the two. The new generation Sandforce drives appear to be vastly superior.

That being said, the Crucial 300 is SATA III and was one of the two fastest SSDs in its time. By all reports it is a great SSD and Tom's Hardware recommended it over the Vertex 3 because of the price difference. It may be more reliable also but information is spotty on which SSD is the most reliable.

For me the cost difference is worth it because the V3 nearly doubles the speed of the last generation SSDs and V3 owners say it has better Trim support and garbage collection. It is the actual owners of the V3 that have convinced me (I haven't bought it yet). Note that OWC makes an 120GB SSD that virtually ties the V3 in speed. Some people question OCZ's reliability but since there is only one study that I am aware of, we really don't know which manufacturer is the most reliable. Most people agree that it is Intel, but their 510 SSD is pretty pricey and it is slower than the V3.

You have narrowed your choice in monitors to four really great monitors. I have the HP 2475 which is a more expensive ZR24. I am very happy with the 2475 it is a beautiful monitor, the colors are very accurate and the screen picture is stunning - but I still drool over the huge Dell 27" ha, ha.
I read somewhere that Dell is updating the U2410 - if that is true, it may be the monitor to get as far as performance vs price. It competed well with the 2475 in reviews but the initial units had a pink tint that could not be adjusted out. The Dell update may eliminate that problem. The U2410 is a great monitor.

I have not seen any reviews of the ASUS pro-art but it is pretty pricey for a 24" monitor. You have me interested now - I am going to check it out. The Dell 27" is about the same price. http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/ is a great site to read monitor reviews. I don't know anything about that monitor.

Keep in mind that to get the best picture out of any of these monitors you will need a high quality video card. I am not familiar with the Quadro 2000, but in general the ATI higher level cards (68xx and above) produce better video than the GTX cards (per the reviews that I have read). However it looks like you have chosen the 2000 for its CAD prowess and so it may be the best choice.

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May 17, 2011 5:23:06 AM

hmm, I haven't really been taking the issue of ssd reliability seriously, naively assuming they are all more or less high quality parts. Now that I am I'm finding it very hard to cut through all the information, which is mostly qualitative and inconsistent. By most accounts seems the C300 is something of balance between performance, cost and reliability. I can understand performance and cost. But what does reliability mean? is there any data out there to help me understand what the actual risk of going with a "less reliable" drive is. Because if they are all "reasonably reliable", then the issue is really price v performance and thats something i can understand. This is workstation so reliability is important, but come on...

Also interesting reading about OCZ's shady behavior. Then again i try not to expect too much in the way of transparency. They will pay the real price if there reputation gets tainted. Its good enough for me that they know that better than i do.:) 

Once again, extremely helpful. ty, I will make & post final build soon.
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May 17, 2011 6:55:50 AM

caesparktom said:
hmm, I haven't really been taking the issue of ssd reliability seriously, naively assuming they are all more or less high quality parts. Now that I am I'm finding it very hard to cut through all the information, which is mostly qualitative and inconsistent. By most accounts seems the C300 is something of balance between performance, cost and reliability. I can understand performance and cost. But what does reliability mean? is there any data out there to help me understand what the actual risk of going with a "less reliable" drive is. Because if they are all "reasonably reliable", then the issue is really price v performance and thats something i can understand. This is workstation so reliability is important, but come on...

Also interesting reading about OCZ's shady behavior. Then again i try not to expect too much in the way of transparency. They will pay the real price if there reputation gets tainted. Its good enough for me that they know that better than i do.:) 

Once again, extremely helpful. ty, I will make & post final build soon.


I have heard of only one reliability study and it was Russian or something and so it is suspect. Everyone says Intel is the most reliable. Concerning the OCZ Vertex 3, people on this forum who actually own them swear by them (I started a thread about it). On newegg reviews the V3 seems to be doing pretty good but not great - but that is similar for every SSD. Everyone agrees that SSDs are more reliable than HDDs though as far as catastrophic failure.
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May 17, 2011 7:46:16 AM

well, thats good enough for me. I'll find your thread and probably go with the V3...IF i can afford it.
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May 17, 2011 8:35:09 AM

Everyone says the Intel SSDs are very reliable - so you have purchased a good drive.
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May 21, 2011 12:34:54 PM

well, here is the "final" build...no surprises really, except i decided to stick with c300 ssd and go with 24" ultrasharp display so that i could upgrade to the quadro 4000. ultrasharp was a no brainer because best price in china for the proart is 850 usd (300+ more than ultrasharp). I really want that proart though...(tear drops). After changing my mind 32 times, I decided the c300 will make me very happy and more importantly bring my dollars_saved upto 400+, enough to upgrade my gpu. Historically, I have no problem at all hitting performance ceilings with rhino and cs5, so i think the gpu upgrade will payoff. The 4000 does consume twice as much power(142W). The 650w psu is still sufficient you think?

MOBO: ASUS P8P67 WS REVOLUTION
CPU: i7 2600k
GPU: NVidia Quadro 4000
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
SSD: Crucial C300(128GB)
HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB
DVD: Sony Optiarc AD-7240S
LCD: Dell Ultrasharp U2410 24"
Key: K120(Logitech)
Mouse: M90(Logitech)
Case: Corsair 700D
PSU: SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold



Quote:
You have probably looked at all the data I looked at. I'll just mention what I bought after much agonizing, 3 weeks ago:

Intel 320 160GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820167055


Very tempting...could probably use the extra 40gb (not too mention the extra peace of mind). Hope it treats you well:) 


Proximon and flong, Thank you again for all your help!
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May 21, 2011 7:22:06 PM

That PSU will easily handle any single Quadro you have plus any other hardware you can fit in your box. Mine is running an overclocked 2600K, an overclocked 5870, eleven 120mm fans, a water pump, sound card, two platter drives, SSD, lights, digital fan control panel... and even after all that it's rare for the PSU fan to actually turn on. Meaning I'm usually below 25% of the capacity of the PSU.

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May 21, 2011 7:43:13 PM

Proximon said:
That PSU will easily handle any single Quadro you have plus any other hardware you can fit in your box. Mine is running an overclocked 2600K, an overclocked 5870, eleven 120mm fans, a water pump, sound card, two platter drives, SSD, lights, digital fan control panel... and even after all that it's rare for the PSU fan to actually turn on. Meaning I'm usually below 25% of the capacity of the PSU.


Wouldn't the 5870 alone take you to over 25% capacity? It eats a lot power when it is under heavy demand.
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May 21, 2011 7:51:17 PM

caesparktom said:
well, here is the "final" build...no surprises really, except i decided to stick with c300 ssd and go with 24" ultrasharp display so that i could upgrade to the quadro 4000. ultrasharp was a no brainer because best price in china for the proart is 850 usd (300+ more than ultrasharp). I really want that proart though...(tear drops). After changing my mind 32 times, I decided the c300 will make me very happy and more importantly bring my dollars_saved upto 400+, enough to upgrade my gpu. Historically, I have no problem at all hitting performance ceilings with rhino and cs5, so i think the gpu upgrade will payoff. The 4000 does consume twice as much power(142W). The 650w psu is still sufficient you think?

MOBO: ASUS P8P67 WS REVOLUTION
CPU: i7 2600k
GPU: NVidia Quadro 4000
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
SSD: Crucial C300(128GB)
HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB
DVD: Sony Optiarc AD-7240S
LCD: Dell Ultrasharp U2410 24"
Key: K120(Logitech)
Mouse: M90(Logitech)
Case: Corsair 700D
PSU: SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold



Quote:
You have probably looked at all the data I looked at. I'll just mention what I bought after much agonizing, 3 weeks ago:

Intel 320 160GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820167055


Very tempting...could probably use the extra 40gb (not too mention the extra peace of mind). Hope it treats you well:) 


Proximon and flong, Thank you again for all your help!


The Dell monitor and the Corsair 700D case both are real lookers, ha, ha. You are going to have an amazing looking computer.

Many of the Corsair PSUs are made by Seasonic but have some tweaking by Corsair and they are rated very highly. Check prices on the Corsair 750 HX and the 850 HX when you buy because they often go on sale and you can get them for about the same price as the Seasonic 650. Last week the Corsair 850 HX went on sale for $119.00 after rebates and it is one of the best PSUs in existence - probably in the top three sub-1000 W PSUs made, maybe the best made. Google some reviews of the 850 HX.
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May 21, 2011 8:26:32 PM

flong said:
Wouldn't the 5870 alone take you to over 25% capacity? It eats a lot power when it is under heavy demand.


Under a heavy gaming load... the card itself will probably pull 140W at most. Furmark will likely take it near 200W. So let's say at 1920x1080 in an AVERAGE game situation it's pulling 100W. And my CPU is only turbo-clocked... so in most games it's throttled down to nothing ;) 
Ref: http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/index.php?showtopic=264
Prime95 + Furmark? Yes of course it kicks right in.
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May 21, 2011 8:33:03 PM

I have long promoted the hybrid modularity found in the Antec TP-750 and Corsair HX series... but a recent event changed my mind. I had to RMA a 750TX because of a 24-pin connector that had grown loose over time.
Granted, as a water cooling guy I have to unplug that connector more often than most, but still that's a big hassle. Would have been way easier and cheaper to replace a cable. So, if you can afford it, I will always recommend full modularity over part modularity now.
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May 21, 2011 8:52:15 PM

Proximon said:
I have long promoted the hybrid modularity found in the Antec TP-750 and Corsair HX series... but a recent event changed my mind. I had to RMA a 750TX because of a 24-pin connector that had grown loose over time.
Granted, as a water cooling guy I have to unplug that connector more often than most, but still that's a big hassle. Would have been way easier and cheaper to replace a cable. So, if you can afford it, I will always recommend full modularity over part modularity now.


The Corsair HX series is fully modular as is their AX 1200. Man the AX 1200 - now that's a PSU, ha, ha and it has dropped in price to $225. One reviewer fount the AX 1200 was stable at 1538W - wow what a beast he, ha.

I bought the 850 HX because several reviewers tested it at over 1000W and it remained cool and stable and my build will never need more than 500W - 600W at the most. However, I wanted a PSU that was big enough to run at 50% capacity most of the time because that is where they are most efficient.

How much does a good water cooling setup cost? Also, aren't you afraid that a hose connection will leak over time and trash your system?
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May 21, 2011 8:57:36 PM

BTW I am curious - how did well did your 750 TX perform and did Corsair honor their warranty? The Corsair HX series is fully modular but the TX series is not.
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May 21, 2011 9:15:02 PM

The HX series in not fully modular. The 24-pin and 8-pin are wired in.

The original Corsair 750TX was a good PSU at a great price when I bought it. Back then, the $110 price tag was simply unbeatable. The only competition was the PC P&C 750W... often a better deal but louder despite the name (Silencer).
It was of course completely stable and voltage regulation looked good with my minimal loads and a good DIMM.
The RMA process: I sent off my RMA request stating exactly what was wrong, and that I had confirmed the issue was actually the connector because I swapped in another PSU. I received back an RMA approval and shipped off the old unit... I did not insure it or anything so it was $10 about.
Turnaround was very fast and when the package arrived I was delighted to find a brand new 750TX V2 in the box. I sent off a 2.5 year old CWT built PSU and got back a brand new Seasonic built PSU... seems like outstanding service to me :)  Of course, I had already bought a new X650 and have not yet found a use for the 750TX V2.
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May 21, 2011 10:27:29 PM

Proximon said:
The HX series in not fully modular. The 24-pin and 8-pin are wired in.

The original Corsair 750TX was a good PSU at a great price when I bought it. Back then, the $110 price tag was simply unbeatable. The only competition was the PC P&C 750W... often a better deal but louder despite the name (Silencer).
It was of course completely stable and voltage regulation looked good with my minimal loads and a good DIMM.
The RMA process: I sent off my RMA request stating exactly what was wrong, and that I had confirmed the issue was actually the connector because I swapped in another PSU. I received back an RMA approval and shipped off the old unit... I did not insure it or anything so it was $10 about.
Turnaround was very fast and when the package arrived I was delighted to find a brand new 750TX V2 in the box. I sent off a 2.5 year old CWT built PSU and got back a brand new Seasonic built PSU... seems like outstanding service to me :)  Of course, I had already bought a new X650 and have not yet found a use for the 750TX V2.



I have not installed my 850 HX unit yet and so I went and pulled it out and you are 100% correct and I am 100% wrong - I apologize. The 8 pin and the 24 pin are hard-wired. That being said the Corsair AX 850 and the AX 1200 is fully modular and so they follow your recommendations. The AX 850 did not get as good reviews as the AX 1200 did for some reason????

I still think that the 850 HX is a steal right now and thank you for letting us know how well Corsair backs their products. Consider the the 850 HX was $119.00 last week on newegg - and it puts out over 1000W and remains stable and reasonably quiet (at 1000 W, it is very quiet at 50% of its power rating). Wow they gave you a brand new unit - I checked on newegg and it has nearly an 80% five-egg rating - not too shabby.

I really think Corsair is the best buy on the market right now and they are certainly one of the best, most reputable manufacturers. I just bought the SP 2500 2.1 speaker system for my step-father and it is hands-down the most amazing computer speaker system I have ever heard. It only cost $180 on Amazon with free shipping. It simply blows away every other system I have ever heard. I have a full surround sound and it was cleaner and more accurate than my $2000.00 surround sound speakers (Harmon Karmon), which kind of bums me out ha, ha.
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May 21, 2011 11:49:39 PM

flong said:
The AX 850 did not get as good reviews as the AX 1200 did for some reason????



Different designs. Generally speaking a PSU rated at 1000W or higher will have very different architecture from lower wattage units. This also tends to be true for the other end of the scale, but the line can be more vague there.


Quote:
I checked on newegg and it has nearly an 80% five-egg rating - not too shabby.

Best to stick with the professional reviews ;)  V2 has much nicer performance than the original. The only real downside is the warranty only extends to the original cut-off date.
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May 22, 2011 12:07:38 AM

Proximon said:
Different designs. Generally speaking a PSU rated at 1000W or higher will have very different architecture from lower wattage units. This also tends to be true for the other end of the scale, but the line can be more vague there.


Quote:
I checked on newegg and it has nearly an 80% five-egg rating - not too shabby.

Best to stick with the professional reviews ;)  V2 has much nicer performance than the original. The only real downside is the warranty only extends to the original cut-off date.


I agree. The HX 850, the AX 1200 and the TX 750-850 have all gotten sterling professional reviews with many declaring that the HX 850 and the AX 1200 are the best PSUs in their class. The TX series also has gotten great reviews.
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May 22, 2011 6:23:24 AM

Quote:
There is nothing in either build requiring an HX750. I recommend something a bit smaller so that your actual wattage requirements under full load will fall into a range that is efficient for the PSU. Seasonic X-650 at the most.... which is also a FULLY modular PSU and so a better idea.
The X-560 would really be best... but because the X-650 is a bit older you might find a better deal on it.

Quote:
I still think that the 850 HX is a steal right now and thank you for letting us know how well Corsair backs their products. Consider the the 850 HX was $119.00 last week on newegg - and it puts out over 1000W and remains stable and reasonably quiet (at 1000 W, it is very quiet at 50% of its power rating


sounds like these are all great psus, with the seasonic a tad more modular and maybe a smidge quiter. But I'm more concerned with the size discrepancy in the recommendations. You can see that my initial build actually had the corsair 750hx. Proximon, you think 560-650W would more than enough. flong you recommend 850W. so my initial psu actually splits the difference nicely :na: 

Quote:
I bought the 850 HX because several reviewers tested it at over 1000W and it remained cool and stable and my build will never need more than 500W - 600W at the most. However, I wanted a PSU that was big enough to run at 50% capacity most of the time because that is where they are most efficient.


is running at 50% capacity a solid r.o.t. I know others in this forum suggest 200W buffer is the rule. seems like that might be behind the difference. If say I run at 400W, the "50% cap" rule says get 800W psu for max efficiency, while the "200 buffer" rule would tell me to get a 600W psu.

Also, should I leave room for possible future upgrades or is it better to step up your psu with the upgrades. I might get a second monitor at some point, maybe a second gpu, but no time soon.

Quote:
The Dell monitor and the Corsair 700D case both are real lookers, ha, ha. You are going to have an amazing looking computer.


hmmm, don't know how i feel about this. I was going for a modest, or functional, even serious, but amazing? :??:  Actually, I'm even uncomfortable with the asus mobo. Would prefer something for my "workstation" that wasn't so pretty. This brings up another point of ignorance on my part. What makes a good workstation motherboard? I will work incredibly long hours on this computer and probably run it into the ground, so i want quality, stability, power efficiency--things i associate with workstation but don't know if I'm making the best decisions on there behalf. Is there a better mobo. I know the asus sabertooth is built to last, but its not workstation-class, whatever that means.

Maybe one of these will suit me better:

supermicro c7p67
Gigabyte's GA-P67A-UD4
Intel® Desktop Board DP67BG

I guess now is when I second guess everything...
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May 22, 2011 7:02:14 AM

Well, why don't we just do the math?

Overclocked ASUS P8P67 WS REVOLUTION and with a 5870, tweaktown measured the max draw as 240W:
http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/3795/asus_p8p67_ws_rev...

Now let's assume that was not with the GPU fully loaded. We'll add about 100W.
Ref: http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/index.php?showtopic=264

So, that's 340W... but you are using a Quadro 4000, and that's not quite as thirsty... ah well we'll just pretend it's that much.

So why do you need a 750W PSU again? Did I miss something? I'm not being sarcastic, it's late and I help a lot of people and I don't want to re-read every post.

And yes consider that a vote for the original ASUS choice in boards.

The last "final build" you posted looked very good. The X650 made a lot of sense... even though that's possibly a bit too strong in the PSU dept it leaves room for an upgrade and of course it's one of the best PSUs made.

You could get the X-560:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
And that would be closer to ideal because it's going to be slightly more efficient at your normal loads (typically 250-300W). However we are only talking about a few dollars a year in energy savings... not a big deal. And it's close in price to the X-650... and that will give you more expansion room.

At current prices I would take the Corsair AX750 before any other Corsair for your build:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
But I just don't see a need. If they had an AX650 I would say sure... in fact I wrote them and told them about it when I bought my x650 ;) 

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May 22, 2011 7:47:15 AM

wow, great links!

Quote:
Overclocked ASUS P8P67 WS REVOLUTION and with a 5870, tweaktown measured the max draw as 240W:
http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/3 [...] dex12.html

Now let's assume that was not with the GPU fully loaded. We'll add about 100W.
Ref: http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/index.php?showtopic=264

So, that's 340W... but you are using a Quadro 4000, and that's not quite as thirsty... ah well we'll just pretend it's that much.

So why do you need a 750W PSU again? Did I miss something? I'm not being sarcastic, it's late and I help a lot of people and I don't want to re-read every post.


I don't think you are missing anything though the quadro 4000 draws 142W, so thats total max draw of 380W, times 2 is 760W--for psu sized to run at most at 50% capacity. But I suspect that I should be sizing to run typical loads at 50% capacity rather than peak loads.

so I'll stick with the x650. thx
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May 22, 2011 8:35:37 AM

caesparktom said:
Quote:
There is nothing in either build requiring an HX750. I recommend something a bit smaller so that your actual wattage requirements under full load will fall into a range that is efficient for the PSU. Seasonic X-650 at the most.... which is also a FULLY modular PSU and so a better idea.
The X-560 would really be best... but because the X-650 is a bit older you might find a better deal on it.

Quote:
I still think that the 850 HX is a steal right now and thank you for letting us know how well Corsair backs their products. Consider the the 850 HX was $119.00 last week on newegg - and it puts out over 1000W and remains stable and reasonably quiet (at 1000 W, it is very quiet at 50% of its power rating


sounds like these are all great psus, with the seasonic a tad more modular and maybe a smidge quiter. But I'm more concerned with the size discrepancy in the recommendations. You can see that my initial build actually had the corsair 750hx. Proximon, you think 560-650W would more than enough. flong you recommend 850W. so my initial psu actually splits the difference nicely :na: 

Quote:
I bought the 850 HX because several reviewers tested it at over 1000W and it remained cool and stable and my build will never need more than 500W - 600W at the most. However, I wanted a PSU that was big enough to run at 50% capacity most of the time because that is where they are most efficient.


is running at 50% capacity a solid r.o.t. I know others in this forum suggest 200W buffer is the rule. seems like that might be behind the difference. If say I run at 400W, the "50% cap" rule says get 800W psu for max efficiency, while the "200 buffer" rule would tell me to get a 600W psu.

Also, should I leave room for possible future upgrades or is it better to step up your psu with the upgrades. I might get a second monitor at some point, maybe a second gpu, but no time soon.

Quote:
The Dell monitor and the Corsair 700D case both are real lookers, ha, ha. You are going to have an amazing looking computer.


hmmm, don't know how i feel about this. I was going for a modest, or functional, even serious, but amazing? :??:  Actually, I'm even uncomfortable with the asus mobo. Would prefer something for my "workstation" that wasn't so pretty. This brings up another point of ignorance on my part. What makes a good workstation motherboard? I will work incredibly long hours on this computer and probably run it into the ground, so i want quality, stability, power efficiency--things i associate with workstation but don't know if I'm making the best decisions on there behalf. Is there a better mobo. I know the asus sabertooth is built to last, but its not workstation-class, whatever that means.

Maybe one of these will suit me better:

supermicro c7p67
Gigabyte's GA-P67A-UD4
Intel® Desktop Board DP67BG

I guess now is when I second guess everything...


I was being sincere when I said how well your build will look. It will be conservatively beautiful.

I am a huge believer in buying more PSU than you need for one simple reason - high quality 750 and 850 PSUs, heck even the Gold rated Corsair AX 1200 are relatively cheap (around $250). Proximon is correct in his reasoning the a 650 W will run your system - but what if you add a second video cards, overclock your system and some other hardware? Then you might start to push the limits of the 650. Add to this that modern video cards continue to require more power as they increase in ability.

Because the larger PSUs are usually within $20 or so of the 650 W PSUs in cost I don't understand not "future proofing" yourself and getting at least a 750 W. The Antec 650 80 plus certified is $90 on newegg right now. The Corsair 850 HX was selling on newegg last week for $119.00 after rebates. The Corsair is more efficient has 75% more capacity, is quiet and comes with a 7-year warranty. So you can use the Corsair for your next build and probably have more than enough capacity and still be under warranty. The Corsair is superior to the Antec and it costs $29- $59 more depending on if you get it on sale. The Corsair HX 750 is $30 more.


I like the security of having more than enough power and as a general rule the PSUs are most efficient at 50% power. So if I am using 300 - 400 W I will be right in the sweet spot of the 850. BTW there is no 50% rule that I know of.

Remember that there is a trend to run more than one optical drive and several HDDs, an SD (or two), extra case fans, an aftermarket CPU cooler and more than one monitor. All of these draw power. So add these to Proximon's math and you quickly get to approximately 50% of the 850 HX which would be 425 W (it will really put out over 1000W comfortably). What if you go SLI or crossfire - maybe you will in the future. What if you make some money and want to buy an GTI 580 which is very power hungry? You see for the extra $15 you have all of your bases covered - you have more than enough to upgrade your system or build a whole new system that may require more power. And all it costs you is $15 extra. This is chump change, to me it is a no-brainer but a lot of people disagree with me.

I think Proximon makes sense in recommending the 650 X (Seasonic). It is fully modular and gold rated but it costs $140 at newegg right now. It is a great PSU. The Corsair 850 HX is $155 after rebate right now and it is easily Silver rated (keep in mind the difference between gold and silver rated is negligible) and it could be the highest rated 850 W PSU in existence and its $15.00 more. The Corsair 750 HX is $130 after rebate and it is extremely highly rated and it is LESS than the Seasonic. All of them are modular with the Seasonic being fully modular. BTW some reviewers found that the 850 HX did qualify for a gold rating but Corsair was extremely honest because one benchmark was weak.

One other thing, if the PSU is running at 30 - 50% capacity it will be very quiet and it will tend to stay cooler. Even the Corsairs become audible as you begin to push them past the 50% mark. I owned the 750 HX with and I-7 920, an ATI 5850, an HP 2475 monitor, a hauppauge 2250 TV card, a 1 TB seagate drive, an external hard drive and an optical drive and I could tell that sometimes with that system that I pushed the 750 HX past the 50% mark because I could hear it crank up (it is still quiet, you can barely hear it). The PSU would crank up when the video card was working hard. Keep in mind that the 5850 was not a huge power hungry card - most of today's cards use a lot more power. Note that the 5850 was louder than the 750 HX - both were pretty quiet but you could hear them.

For your system you would not want to buy something like the AX 1200 because you usage would be too low and you would not enter into the best efficiency of the unit. Some reviewers write that the fan for the AX 1200 rarely comes on because that unit is so efficient. But either the 750 or the 850 would put you in the sweet spot of efficiency for your system.

So do why would you want a 650 W PSU when an equal or better 750 W PSU (the 750 HX) costs less? If you want even more reserve, the 850 HX is only $15.00 more. Heck Seasonic makes a lot of the Corsairs PSUs.

You can't go wrong either way because the Seasonic is a good unit. I just like the Corsairs for their cost and over capacity and their quality. I could easily run two video cards in SLI or crossfire with the 850 HX if I wanted to. And, if I get eyefinity monitors which I would like to, I might go to two video cards for a higher resolution - I'm not sure how that calcs out and it is in the future right now.
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May 22, 2011 9:40:57 AM

BTW I just got chewed out for recommending the 850 HX because it "will not run two GTX 580s in SLI" (I didn't say it would but that's another discussion) - so keep that in mind. If you are going to the $500 per card GPU range, you are entering into the 1200W or more PSU requirements. Check whatever GPUs you are considering for their power requirements in SLI if you are thinking of doing that.
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May 22, 2011 10:10:00 AM

Well, a second monitor is quite likely, as is a second HDD. My overclocking will be modest so I'm not sure if I need additional case fans. I assumed that another display would necessitate another gpu but now that I look, I don't think any software i use supports sli. Actually its not entirely clear how workstations benefit from multiple card setups in general as typically only one screen is active at any one time. But if I got a second 24" ultrasharp do think my single quadro 4000 could handle it? Max display resolution for 4000 is 2560x1600 but like I said I don't image too much happening simultaneously on both screens, so not sure how to interpret that--Though I do like to play movies on one while i work on the other.
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May 22, 2011 1:08:22 PM

Proximon, every professional review I have read showed that the 850 HX is over 90% efficient at 30% - 50% capacity. That is why I spec'd it for my system. I will esentially have a gold plus rated PSU for a bargain silver plus cost which saved me a lot of money. My system will spend almost all of its time in the 30% - 50% usage range for this PSU. That being said, it doesn't necessarily make the best choice for caesparktom because his GPU is completely different from mine.
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May 22, 2011 8:28:13 PM

Caesparktom, I think the Quadro will be fine even with the second monitor. It's not so much hardware performance you need as it is software performance. With a Quadro you are paying for drivers more than anything else... drivers designed specifically for your applications. Same thing for the ATI varieties.

Flong, I know the 850HX is a great PSU, and if you catch the right sale it can be a great buy for any gaming system. I'm sticking to my fully modular preferences though. We're going to have to end our Seasonic fixations soon though. Great Wall and Super Flower are both becoming serious contenders.
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May 22, 2011 8:53:08 PM

Thanks for the link! It's a good discussion but I need to point out that the last poster is probably wrong about bandwidth limitations. Not going to make a difference and so the SB build would be the better option regardless.
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May 23, 2011 2:29:05 AM

Proximon said:
Caesparktom, I think the Quadro will be fine even with the second monitor. It's not so much hardware performance you need as it is software performance. With a Quadro you are paying for drivers more than anything else... drivers designed specifically for your applications. Same thing for the ATI varieties.

Flong, I know the 850HX is a great PSU, and if you catch the right sale it can be a great buy for any gaming system. I'm sticking to my fully modular preferences though. We're going to have to end our Seasonic fixations soon though. Great Wall and Super Flower are both becoming serious contenders.


I agree ha, ha. People will think we have a Seasonic fetish or something :-).

I just read a great review for an XFX Black 750 PSU and it was the most stable PSU that the reviewer had ever reviewed. I am going to do some research into the XFX PSUs.
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May 23, 2011 6:26:54 AM

Yes I see a brand new one on newegg, was meaning to ask about those over at jg.
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May 24, 2011 4:26:21 AM

Quote:
I'm no expert, but, unless I missed it, no one above discussed the Xeon vs. Sandybridge issue (most likely I missed it; I'm the n00b here :)  ). In any event, you may find this link helpful: http://forums.hardwaresecrets.com/autocad-build-xeon/67...


great discussion, thx. what i have concluded with much help is that while many of the aps i use are multithreaded, cs5/autocad most notably, most of my time is spent modeling in rhino and running scripts--neither of which are threaded activities. So raw/cheap overclocked cpu speed(for scripting) combined with all the quadro i can afford(for modeling) is my processor strategy.

Quote:
Caesparktom, I think the Quadro will be fine even with the second monitor. It's not so much hardware performance you need as it is software performance. With a Quadro you are paying for drivers more than anything else... drivers designed specifically for your applications. Same thing for the ATI varieties.


hmm, nvidia offers 6 drivers for quadro 4000: Graphics, Performance, Partner-Certified, Autocad optimized, 3ds optimized, and Mosaic Utility. But no rhino-optimized...anyone know how to choose between them. Rhino recommends the quadro 4000/5000/6000 (link) but does not say anything about which driver to use.

Quote:
I was being sincere when I said how well your build will look. It will be conservatively beautiful.


thanks. yeah, i thought you were being sarcastic before. Clearly I'm a little over sensitive about this build :sarcastic: 
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May 24, 2011 6:25:17 AM

Probably a forum that deals with Rhino would be the place to ask about drivers :) 
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May 24, 2011 6:47:01 AM

Hey if cost is an issue for your SSD I found the OCZ Agility on Newegg for $215.00 after rebates and it is nearly as fast as the V3. The link is here:

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

Also Corsair is coming out with their second generation Sandforce drives and their 120GB drive which is comparable to the V3 is supposed to be priced at $220.00
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May 24, 2011 11:46:24 AM

thanks, but does newegg ship internationally? that is, to china?
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May 24, 2011 5:06:34 PM

caesparktom said:
thanks, but does newegg ship internationally? that is, to china?


I don't know but I thought I would show it to you to see if there is a Chinese supplier that sells the OCZ SSDs. The Sata III Agility appears to be as fast as the V3 but is $100 cheaper. Probably if Newegg does ship to China the cost would be prohibitive. Corsair also may be available through a Chinese supplier.

Also, since you are selecting the 700D, have you looked at the 650D? Supposedly, the fans on the 650D have been greatly improved. There is a review here: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1596/1/

The review says that air flow has been improved in the 650D and it is quiet. Keep in mind it does not cool quite as well as the Silverstone Fortress ft02 but it does a good job of cooling. With the Noctua D14 you should have plenty of cooling.

It also could save you some money. I think that both the 700D and the 650D are stunningly beautiful cases - I may get the 650D.
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