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New Gaming Build - Have some questions (Partitions and GPU related)

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May 15, 2011 4:42:50 PM

Hello,

I recently purchased the following build (components can still be modified, the rig still needs to be built by the company I purchased it from) :

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K Quad Core CPU & Noctua NH-U12P 120MM Heatpipe Cooler
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V Pro Z68 LGA1155
PSU: Corsair Professional Series Gold AX850
SSD: Crucial M4 SSD Micron C400 128GB 2.5IN Solid State Disk Flash Drive SATA3 6Gbps
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA3 6GB/S 7200RPM 64MB Cache
RAM: G.SKILL F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR Sniper SE 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 1.5V
Case: NZXT Phantom EATX Steel Computer Case
GPU: I am re-using my 6870.

Question 1:

I was wondering if the 6870 will suffice until next year. I would prefer to have an ATI card, as I would be able to keep my current configuration (i.e.: have 4 monitors connected to a single card).

I could also purchase another 6870 in order to crossfire them. Do alot of games take advantage of cross fire ?

In short, the 6870 will suffice for now ? Or should I crossfire it with another one , or just purchase a new card ?

I plan on gaming at 1920*1200 most of the time, maybe at 2560x1440 if I purchase an Apple Cinema Display down the line.

Question 2:

As you can see in my rig's description, I purchased an SSD and HDD as well as an Z68 chipset motherboard. The reason is that I would like to take advantage of the Smart Response Technology offered by the chipset.

Where should I install the OS ? On the SSD or the HDD ?

If I install it on the SSD, will I still be able to take advantage of the SSD caching ?

If I install it on the HDD, how much space on the SSD would you recommend that I allocate for caching ?

Thanks everyone, I really value your feedback.

Best solution

May 15, 2011 5:20:53 PM

If it was up to me, i would do away with the smart response tech. It works well with a small SSD (20gb) but seeing as you can afford (and have) a large ssd, it isnt the best setup. You will find that if the OS is installed totally on the SSD, it will be the fastest solution by a long way. 120GB is more than enough for all your core programs and a few games. Install the rest of your data on the hdd.

Tanke a look at the review
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4329/intel-z68-chipset-sm...
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May 15, 2011 5:47:03 PM

Hereisphilly said:
If it was up to me, i would do away with the smart response tech. It works well with a small SSD (20gb) but seeing as you can afford (and have) a large ssd, it isnt the best setup. You will find that if the OS is installed totally on the SSD, it will be the fastest solution by a long way. 120GB is more than enough for all your core programs and a few games. Install the rest of your data on the hdd.

Tanke a look at the review
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4329/intel-z68-chipset-sm...


Thanks I'll go ahead and read that.

Would you then recommend that I purchase another SSD mainly for caching purpose, and keep the 120 GIG I purchased for the OS and applications I will use ?
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May 15, 2011 5:57:22 PM

Naah, save your pennies, just use the 120GB outright for your install, SSD cache isnt worth bothering with if you have the setup you have
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May 15, 2011 6:21:07 PM

I would agree with philly, ssd caching is unnecessary with the size of your ssd. For your 1st question: since you already have the 6870, try it out and see if it's enough, if not, then check the games you are playing to see if it supports cf.
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May 15, 2011 6:30:45 PM

The thing I don't understand is :

I will have to allow at least 50 Gig from the SSD for the OS. That will leave me with about 60 gig for the rest of the applications and games that I use, which will be filled up really quickly.

Wouldn't SSD caching then help for the rest of the applications / games on the HDD if I were to get another SSD ?

I mean, yes the SSD is big, but 60 gig of data gets filled rather quickly with 2-3 games and 2-3 applications.
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May 15, 2011 6:40:52 PM

Ssd is only going to help load times so only put the apps and games that need it or you play a lot. You can get another small ssd and set up ssd caching later if you don't have enough space on the ssd or if you're not satisfied with the hdd speed. But I think 60gb is plenty for like 10 games.
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May 15, 2011 6:47:13 PM

Thank you K1114, and philly, much appreciated :) 

I'll go ahead and install the OS on the SSD then.

I wish I could select two answers as being the "best answer".
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May 15, 2011 6:48:09 PM

Best answer selected by axdenied.
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May 15, 2011 8:18:58 PM

I'm going to use Windows 7, but I heard that I should install it on a partition of at least 40 gig.

Is that not correct ?
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May 15, 2011 8:39:36 PM

Right now my windows folder is about 30gb. Don't put it on a partition.
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May 15, 2011 8:40:39 PM

So I just install the OS directly on the SSD without any partition, and fill the rest with all the applications / games I want..?

Wouldn't that affect the performance of the OS if the drive is full ?
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May 15, 2011 8:52:43 PM

Yes but don't fill the ssd up. The size windows takes will depend on what version, programs you install, and your settings. There are some tweaks to get more space on the ssd but I can't find the article explaining the performance differences each tweak could do as some can have a negative affect in certain situations. You're not doing a partition so size is not much of an issue but 40gb is usually the minimum recommended ssd size for os.
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May 15, 2011 8:55:00 PM

Thanks again K1114 !! Really appreciated.

Same Mouse :) 

I'll just install it directly then, without any partition.

I'll look for these articles you mentioned too.
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