I'm building a new computer and have a couple questions about the specifics. I approached two friends and they suggested two different setups for the processor, motherboard, and memory. The have been having a small debate on which is actually the better setup. I asked two more very computer-savvy friends their input and they are split as well.
"ya someone mentiond once that tirple channel doesnt get fully utilzied and it was better to jsut stick w/ dual channel. that's why most sandy bridge motherboards do dual channel instead of triple but i did not confirm this"
"triple channel ram that is rated above 1333 doesn't get utilized... (for instance your brother bought ram that is rated at 1600 mhz...) but he is only going to get to use 1333 unless he decides to overclock... which is risky... So since most ram is rated higher than 1333, yes its easy to see how people come upon that conclusion... however... three sticks all running at 1333 are faster than 2 sticks running at say 1600"
---------------------------------- Ali’s Comment’s:
For starters: Donald is right. Your practical gain out of triple channel memory may not offset the cost. I haven't looked at prices in a while to see if they've leveled out, but if you wanna spare some bank, go dual channel.You should go the Donald route in the spec sheet,
---------------------------------- Jackson's Comments:
All I can say is the more memory bandwidth, the better. It's hard to say though, which setup offers more. At first glance, tri chan does. But you have to remember that new processors come with new socket technology that just straight up offers more bandwidth on a lot of stuff. It's impossible to tell without some involved reading.
Donald's right in that the processor maybe slightly faster, but that probably won't ever be the bottleneck of your system. You can have a magic processor from the future that's 20x as fast, but it'll still be waiting to read from memory and disk, so you won't ever feel it. Imagine a guy who is really good at math, but I only give him 1 simple problem to solve a day. The rest of his day, is just wasted."
Any help or advice would be extremely appreciated! If there is a "better" setup you can suggest for a similar price, go for it. Who do I trust?
EDIT: For those interested, this is "the rest" of the setup I've looked at so far.
I can't find any reviews of that Coolmax power supply, so don't know what it's quality is like. With power supplies it is better to buy units which you know are high quality, from reading a review and sometimes from buying from brands/manufacturers which are known for releasing only high quality products. Coolmax definitely aren't known for releasing high quality products (maybe my knowledge is the limitation).
Secondly you don't need a 1000W for your build even if you added another 6950, you may if you added a third but the Coolmax doesn't have enough PCIe cables for that. A 650W (or 750 if overclocking) PSU will be plenty.
Here's some options:
Corsair 750TXV2 80Plus Bronze $105 ($15 rebate) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If you want absolutely no limitations in terms of upgrading in the future and want to go for serious overkill then you'll probably have to spend closer to $150 to make sure you get enough wattage and quality.
As for your dilemma about what is basically performance difference between the two systems. I have seen no evidence to support Frank's initial statement, altho this link shows that there was virtually no difference in performance between dual channel and triple channel on the X58 chipset, so I don't see how the triple channel performance on X58 can be that superior to the RAM performance of dual channel on Sandy Bridge. So that leaves us with CPU performance where the Sandy Bridge processor is clearly superior than the i7 950 in almost every benchmark that I can remember (I haven't checked any in awhile so my memory could be failing me).
Another consideration is upgrading, it is basically not worthwhile to add a third graphics card to Sandy Bridge motherboards, so if you want the option to add a third graphics card then Nehalem-Bloomfield would might be the better option.
The final consideration is cost, I calculated the cost difference at ~$40 and only one thing would be worth the extra cost and that is the option to add a third graphics card, which sometimes is not worthwhile either due to the uncertainty in performance scaling, potential driver issues and diminishing returns, value etc.
You should really be going with Donald's choice, even thought it's dual channel, the controller is actually much faster, and thus gives similar bandwidth to triple channel http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sandy-bridge-core-i... also since you have 1600mhz RAM for the 2500K you'll be even better, compared to the 1066mhz of the 950
Beyond that the preprocessor is faster, RAM speed makes very little difference in gaming once there's no bottleneck.