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What parts should I get?

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June 26, 2011 9:21:16 AM

Hey everyone,

I'm trying to put together a computer but this is the first time, and I got no clue about hardware so I'm not sure what to do.

I would like to be able to play games, and although it's not my focus, I'm planning to get the best Graphics Card out there because I'm trying to learn how to take advantage of GPU to accelerate non-gaming applications. For example, password decryption time is cut down by nearly 10-25 times. This is just an example, ofcourse, I don't mean to pay for a top-notch computer just to decrypt stuff.

I don't want to use SLI or CrossFireX.

So forum, what parts should I get? My maximum budget is 4500$.

Best Regards,
Mansouri.

More about : parts

June 26, 2011 10:37:52 AM

Well, if you want the best graphic card, it could smoke both GTx 590 and Radeon 6990... If you ain't doing any SLI, so i picked the ITX MoBo instead and a good CPU with RAM as well as the best videocard... This all cost $4573 so a little money doesn't effect you right? so here is the build i picked up for you... XD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


EDIT: The 600Watts can handle the whole system.. the videocard uses a max of 204(Shown on Amazon) and not a whole lot so you should be good with the power and stuff... The cooling should be good enough for the cpu not to get OverHeat unless the heatsink that came with the CPU is half of inch tall(aluminum) than get a better Cooler...
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 26, 2011 1:32:36 PM

LegendKiller WTF sort of build did you put together

ITX motherboard + quadro wtf

DONT LISTEN TO LEGENDKILLER
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Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
June 26, 2011 4:37:12 PM

To be honest, I would not build a $4500 computer by myself...just in case I damage something that is $1000, thats my opinion tho
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June 26, 2011 7:23:51 PM

He ain't doing any CFx or SLI so I picked ITX and what's wrong with it? I do not see a point of the problem between Quadro and ITX... It's a perfect computer combo and there's aint any problem...
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 26, 2011 7:51:50 PM

How about:
CPU: AMD Phenom II 1100T - $190
MOBO: ASRock 890FX DELUXE5 - $180
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series Model F3-10666CL9Q-16GBRL 16gb - $160
PSU: CORSAIR Professional Series HX850 $165
Graphics Card: AMD Radeon HD 6990 - $800
HDD: Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS $160

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June 26, 2011 9:06:03 PM

AMD isn't meant to be playing games, it's ment mostly to encode or converter movies and stuff... AMD not good for gamings... Get an i7-920 and get GTx 590
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2011 5:42:58 PM

^ROFL - Get out of here. AMD's GPUs are better than NVidia's comparable cards (by price) in games across the board right now (due to the product cycle).
BTW: Quadro cards are for workstations ONLY - they are made to render images, so gaming is literally impossible on them.

The i7-920 is also "old" - @mansouri: you definitely want a P67/Z68 motherboard, an i5-2500K or i7-2600K, and a solid GPU like the 6950, 6970, or 6990. The 6950 is the best card for the money if you're playing games at 1920x1080 resolution, and let it be known that two 6970s will best a single 6990, so if you can take advantage of the 2 GPUs it will be money better spent.

We need more information on the specifics - Fill out this form and we can better help you.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2011 6:19:36 PM

mansouri said:

I would like to be able to play games, and although it's not my focus, I'm planning to get the best Graphics Card out there because I'm trying to learn how to take advantage of GPU to accelerate non-gaming applications. For example, password decryption time is cut down by nearly 10-25 times. This is just an example, ofcourse, I don't mean to pay for a top-notch computer just to decrypt stuff.

He's not searching for an EXTREME gaming machine...the Phenom II x6 will work for him as a gaming and other stuff like the decryption software considering I have an AMD Athlon 64 3500+ 2.2GHz processor that can run BF:BC2 on low res...the phenom II will do fine
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2011 6:34:09 PM

r0aringdrag0n said:
He's not searching for an EXTREME gaming machine...the Phenom II x6 will work for him as a gaming and other stuff like the decryption software considering I have an AMD Athlon 64 3500+ 2.2GHz processor that can run BF:BC2 on low res...the phenom II will do fine


I'd like to know more about the OP and what he is doing with his computer (any specifics? programming experience? just messing around? etc), which is why I asked if he could post the form in the sticky I linked. It'd be a shame to buy a $250+ GPU and use it for one or two tests and then lose interest, or to underspend and not be able to play games at higher resolutions.

That said, he could build a good gaming-only rig for $1000 with the i5 and a 6950 or GTX 560Ti, so it's not really an extreme gaming rig.
No offense, but you can get an i5-2500K and a good P67 motherboard for the same price (maybe less) as that X6/890FX, and with much better performance as well - at that point, why not?
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2011 6:43:48 PM

If he's running a lot of programs then 6 cores will be better than 4, just cause there are more processes running at once
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June 27, 2011 7:52:29 PM

boiler1990 said:
I'd like to know more about the OP and what he is doing with his computer (any specifics? programming experience? just messing around? etc), which is why I asked if he could post the form in the sticky I linked. It'd be a shame to buy a $250+ GPU and use it for one or two tests and then lose interest, or to underspend and not be able to play games at higher resolutions.

That said, he could build a good gaming-only rig for $1000 with the i5 and a 6950 or GTX 560Ti, so it's not really an extreme gaming rig.
No offense, but you can get an i5-2500K and a good P67 motherboard for the same price (maybe less) as that X6/890FX, and with much better performance as well - at that point, why not?


Without going into specifics, I'm creating, and using GPU accelerated software. However, without really calling myself I gamer, I played Assassin's Creed games, and Splinter Cell. And I plan to play the next releases when they come out, and possibly other games. Also I play some online games but they do not require even a half decent GPU. So basically, I would like to be able to play a game if I want to without being limited by my hardware, but Im more focused on programming that takes advantage of multi-core CPU and GPU.

I also want a computer that will be easy to upgrade later on, and has a great Graphics Card for GPU accelerated application. My maximum budget is 4500$ but that doesn't mean I have to use it all.

And thank you everyone for their input! I looked at some of online comparisons between Intel and AMD and I think Intel would be the best choice if I don't really care how much it costs. What do you think?

Best Regards,
Mansouri.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2011 8:17:48 PM

The system base just depends on what you're running. From what it sounds like, you won't be using heavily threaded applications that will take advantage of Intel's Hyperthreading, so you'll be fine with an i5-2500K. It should last quite a long time, given it's efficiency (both in computing and power) and ability to OC (increases longevity of the build's usefulness).

I'd probably stick with an AMD 6950 2GB then. The 6950 is the best price vs. performance card at 1920x1080, and the extra VRAM can be used either in your programs, future games, or multi-monitor set ups. It's only $250 after rebates on most sites.

With the rest of the stuff, you should be able to pull out at around $1000, and with a bigger budget you can get more of the bells and whistles that make using a computer more enjoyable (SSD boot drive, better peripherals, etc).
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June 28, 2011 5:22:25 AM

boiler1990 said:
^ROFL - Get out of here. AMD's GPUs are better than NVidia's comparable cards (by price) in games across the board right now (due to the product cycle).
BTW: Quadro cards are for workstations ONLY - they are made to render images, so gaming is literally impossible on them.

The i7-920 is also "old" - @mansouri: you definitely want a P67/Z68 motherboard, an i5-2500K or i7-2600K, and a solid GPU like the 6950, 6970, or 6990. The 6950 is the best card for the money if you're playing games at 1920x1080 resolution, and let it be known that two 6970s will best a single 6990, so if you can take advantage of the 2 GPUs it will be money better spent.

We need more information on the specifics - Fill out this form and we can better help you.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...


Hey, sorry I didn't notice the link first time I read this post. I apologize and I hope you didn't think I was ignoring you.

Approximate Purchase Date: None. If it would be best for me to wait than to buy now, then please tell me.
Budget Range: 4500$, but less is better
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Developing GPU accelerated applications, and gaming. Don't think I need to mention anything else since they most likely don't require great hardware.
Parts Not Required: Mouse, keyboard, etc. Pretty much anything outside the computer itself.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:
I wouldn't know, but newegg seems legit, wouldn't mind input though.
Parts Preferences: I'm leaning towards AMD 6950 and an Intel i5-2500k processor. But I'm not sure how to choose a motherboard, and what are the cons and pros of each one. The built in sound will probably be what I'm using, so would be nice if it's good, but I'm not sure how much that matters if I'm using headphones 100% of the time.
Overclocking: Maybe. Will it cause system instability? Reliability > Performance in my opinion, I wouldn't want to sacrifice it.

SLI or Crossfire:
No. But if I decide to upgrade later on, and using CrossFire would be cost efficient then yes. However, I don't want to start with 2 cards.
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
Additional Comments: 4GB+ RAM, but I don't think that 16GB is necessary, I have 4GB right now and I rarely go above 80% usage. The SSD boot drive would be cool, but only if the cost of the system is not alot. A quiet PC and one that doesn't over heat if I leave it on with CPU and GPU hungry software. My last computer had its hardware fail one by one because of this.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Does this seem like a good choice for memory?

Also, what PSU, or Case should I buy? Looking forward to your thoughts.

Best Regards,
Mansouri.
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
June 28, 2011 11:36:10 AM

Quote:
Hey, sorry I didn't notice the link first time I read this post. I apologize and I hope you didn't think I was ignoring you.

No problem man; a lot of people miss it, but nobody gets chewed up about it (unless somebody is having a bad day haha). Glad you filled it out, because it helps us help you.

Quote:
Approximate Purchase Date: None. If it would be best for me to wait than to buy now, then please tell me.

Check Newegg daily and subscribe to their email list - sometimes you'll get email-only specials as well as previews to the Daily Shell Shockers if you sign up for that as well. Be patient, look for combos, and you should be able to save a tidy sum.

Quote:
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I wouldn't know, but newegg seems legit, wouldn't mind input though.
[/b]
Newegg is generally the retailer of choice, but occasionally you'll find a better deal on Tigerdirect (ok, rarely) or Amazon (GREAT place to buy a case - free shipping on most). Newegg has much better customer service than Tigerdirect (dealt with both, unfortunately).

Quote:
Parts Preferences: I'm leaning towards AMD 6950 and an Intel i5-2500k processor. But I'm not sure how to choose a motherboard, and what are the cons and pros of each one. The built in sound will probably be what I'm using, so would be nice if it's good, but I'm not sure how much that matters if I'm using headphones 100% of the time.

Choosing a motherboard is sometimes a little difficult, but there are so many choices out there you can kind of tailor them to what you want. I'd recommend a P67 or Z68 board, because you can't OC with an H67 board. I don't think there are a ton of features of Z68 that would be useful to you, so you should be dandy with P67.

If you want something that looks cool aesthetically, there are boards like the Asus Sabertooth P67, but you'll pay a lot for those looks (~$200) and won't get much more than you would from a ~$130 board.
There are some boards that are overclocker/enthusiast boards, but these are often $250 and up - their consumer base is small but steady.

My personal recommendation would be the Gigabyte P67X-UD3-B3. It's a daughter board of mine (P67-UD4-B3), but it's ~$30 cheaper. I'm not sure about it's OCing capabilities (UD4 is a good OCer), but it's one of the cheapest boards that will support SLI as well as Crossfire, and has a very efficient expansion slot layout. It's almost the same as mine, and I have 2 PCI-E x1 cards, a PCI card, and a GPU (6950 2GB).

For headphones, the onboard sound will be fine. Unless you have surround sound headphones/speakers with multiple dedicated channels (like me), all a sound card would do is amplify the sound, and IMO the sound is a bit crispier (that is, if the drivers ever work haha).

Quote:
Overclocking: Maybe. Will it cause system instability? Reliability > Performance in my opinion, I wouldn't want to sacrifice it.

I'd say hold off for now, but you can always fiddle with it if you get bored. In general OCing causes some instability, but once you get the clocks and voltage tweaked properly the system will be very stable. However, OCing increases the number of calculations you CPU can perform, so you gain performance once it's OCed.
You'll need an aftermarket cooler to keep the CPU cool if you OC, so keep that in mind.

[
Quote:
b]Additional Comments:
Quote:
4GB+ RAM, but I don't think that 16GB is necessary, I have 4GB right now and I rarely go above 80% usage. The SSD boot drive would be cool, but only if the cost of the system is not alot. A quiet PC and one that doesn't over heat if I leave it on with CPU and GPU hungry software. My last computer had its hardware fail one by one because of this.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Does this seem like a good choice for memory?

You could probably get by with 4GB, but 8GB is really the sweet spot for pricing at the moment, and Newegg has lots of deals on 8GB G.Skill kits (good brand). Corsair is overpriced IMO; Kingston, Patriot, and G.Skill are all great brands that I've used. I would recommend a 2x4GB kit running at 1600MHz. 1333MHz - 1866MHz is the range in which cost and performance are very balanced, and the differences among them are minimal.

An SSD boot drive is an awesome thing to have in your system. To run W7 off of one, you'll need at least 64GB, but you can load more programs onto an 80-120GB. The SSDs I would look at would be the Intel 320, Intel 510, and OCZ Vertex 3.

Quote:
Also, what PSU, or Case should I buy? Looking forward to your thoughts.

A 650W PSU will support 1x6950, and a 750W can support 2x6950. I would suggest a Corsair Revision 2, XFX or Antec power supply. There are some other lesser known PSUs, like PC Power and Cooling's Silencer Mk. II 750W, that are good power supplies as well.

The case is really your preference. There are simple mid towers like the Antec 300 and Cooler Master HAF 912, but you can go as far as the Cooler Master HAF X or Corsair 800D. I would suggest a full tower in the ~$150 price range, because you get A) a bigger case, B) more features and C) better looks. I personally am a fan of Silverstone's cases - their Raven, Fortress and Temjin series cases have incredibly industrial looks to them. Just take a look around and see what looks good to you.
Share
June 28, 2011 3:52:06 PM

Quote:

Choosing a motherboard is sometimes a little difficult, but there are so many choices out there you can kind of tailor them to what you want. I'd recommend a P67 or Z68 board, because you can't OC with an H67 board. I don't think there are a ton of features of Z68 that would be useful to you, so you should be dandy with P67.

If you want something that looks cool aesthetically, there are boards like the Asus Sabertooth P67, but you'll pay a lot for those looks (~$200) and won't get much more than you would from a ~$130 board.
There are some boards that are overclocker/enthusiast boards, but these are often $250 and up - their consumer base is small but steady.

My personal recommendation would be the Gigabyte P67X-UD3-B3. It's a daughter board of mine (P67-UD4-B3), but it's ~$30 cheaper. I'm not sure about it's OCing capabilities (UD4 is a good OCer), but it's one of the cheapest boards that will support SLI as well as Crossfire, and has a very efficient expansion slot layout. It's almost the same as mine, and I have 2 PCI-E x1 cards, a PCI card, and a GPU (6950 2GB).

I read some people report OCing the i5 processor you recommended up to 5.1Ghz successfully. That seems like a very giant performance boost. I think it would be best if I get a MoBo with OC capabilities and an aftermarket cooler. But I'm not sure where to start looking for one that offers this. Also, the MoBo's you recommended do not support triple channel memory, should I use dual channel instead?
Quote:
You'll need an aftermarket cooler to keep the CPU cool if you OC, so keep that in mind.

Which aftermarket coolers would you recommend?
Quote:

You could probably get by with 4GB, but 8GB is really the sweet spot for pricing at the moment, and Newegg has lots of deals on 8GB G.Skill kits (good brand). Corsair is overpriced IMO; Kingston, Patriot, and G.Skill are all great brands that I've used. I would recommend a 2x4GB kit running at 1600MHz. 1333MHz - 1866MHz is the range in which cost and performance are very balanced, and the differences among them are minimal.

How many slots do I usually have for memory? There is higher than 1866MHz out there, would they be a bad choice?
Quote:

An SSD boot drive is an awesome thing to have in your system. To run W7 off of one, you'll need at least 64GB, but you can load more programs onto an 80-120GB. The SSDs I would look at would be the Intel 320, Intel 510, and OCZ Vertex 3.

120GB seems very small, is the performance boost worth the trouble?
Quote:
The case is really your preference. There are simple mid towers like the Antec 300 and Cooler Master HAF 912, but you can go as far as the Cooler Master HAF X or Corsair 800D. I would suggest a full tower in the ~$150 price range, because you get A) a bigger case, B) more features and C) better looks. I personally am a fan of Silverstone's cases - their Raven, Fortress and Temjin series cases have incredibly industrial looks to them. Just take a look around and see what looks good to you.

http://www.nzxt.com/new/products/crafted_series/phantom

Would this be a good idea or should I go for one of your recommendations?

Best Regards,
Mansouri.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 28, 2011 5:25:06 PM

Quote:
I read some people report OCing the i5 processor you recommended up to 5.1Ghz successfully. That seems like a very giant performance boost. I think it would be best if I get a MoBo with OC capabilities and an aftermarket cooler. But I'm not sure where to start looking for one that offers this. Also, the MoBo's you recommended do not support triple channel memory, should I use dual channel instead?


Tom's did a review of several sets of P67 motherboards, and OCing capabilities was one section of the review. I'd go to the articles section and take a look at those, since they were pretty comprehensive.

Also, 1155 does not support triple channel memory - that was a feature dedicated only to the X58 platform. You won't notice a difference between the two, but make sure you buy a dual channel (i.e. pair) memory kit because having 1 or 3 sticks will cause the RAM to run in single channel (noticeably slower).


Quote:
Which aftermarket coolers would you recommend?


My personal favorite is the Cooler Master Hyper 212+, simply because it is well made, comes with 1 fan and 2 brackets, performs very well, and is only $30. There are plenty of other coolers out there to choose from though. There's really no reason to spend over $50 on one IMHO, because the new i5s run cool compared to the 1156/1366 chips.


Quote:
How many slots do I usually have for memory? There is higher than 1866MHz out there, would they be a bad choice?


You have 4 slots divided up into 2 channels (the motherboard manual will tell you where to put the sticks). Anything higher than 1866 doesn't make a noticeable difference except in benchmarks, so you're just paying for (essentially) nothing. Almost everybody runs 1333 or 1600, but Newegg recently had a bunch of deals on 1866 kits so those have become popular as well.



Quote:
120GB seems very small, is the performance boost worth the trouble?


I should have clarified - you install ONLY the OS and a few major programs (I put Office 2010 on mine, as well as all my drivers, etc) on the SSD. Then you install everything else (games, other applications, miscellaneous storage) on traditional hard drives. It takes you a few seconds longer to install any new programs because you have to redefine the installation directory, but it is SO worth it. I boot in 30 seconds on a bad day, and I have an old SSD by today's standards.


Quote:
http://www.nzxt.com/new/products/c [...] es/phantom

Would this be a good idea or should I go for one of your recommendations?


The Phantom is a great case - I considered getting one before I saw the Raven RV02 (loved the design and 90-degree mounting). Most of the full towers have about the same features (cable routing, lots of space, good cooling) so the case is really something personal. Do you want LEDs? A flashy case vs. a sleek case? Tool-less installation? Take a look at reviews and see if you can find what you want.
If you're still stumped, find a few cases and ask about them in the thread.
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June 28, 2011 8:18:43 PM

Alright, so in summary, this is the build I should get:

Graphics Card: AMD 6950 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo: Asus Sabretooth P67 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: Crosair 750W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Memory: G.SKILL 1866MHZ 2x4GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HDD: Western Digital 7200RPM 1TB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD: OCZ 120GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Drive: LITE-ON DVD Burner http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case: NZXT Phantom http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Processer: Intel i5-2500k http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

220 + 50 + 140 + 21 + 250 + 85 + 90 + 110 + 210 + 250 = 1426$ Total(1176 if I don't use SSD, and even less if I get your recommended MoBo).

Or should I skip all this and buy: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Edit: Scratch that :p 

Looking forward to your input.

Best Regards,
Mansouri.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 28, 2011 8:33:19 PM

That's looking like an awesome build. The only tweak I would make is swap the WD Black with a Samsung F3 1TB. It's faster because it has a higher platter density, even though the WD Black uses the SATA III port. The F3 is also cheaper and just as/more reliable than the WD.

In regards to the prebuilt - it does have a massive GPU, but companies like iBuyPower and CyberPowerPC tend not to use brand name (read: reliable) parts (specifically PSU, RAM, HDD), so you'll have to replace them more often. CyberPowerPC is doing a better job, but a lot of their GPU brands are still a mystery.
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June 28, 2011 11:31:53 PM

Thank you so much boiler, if it weren't for you I would've probably bought some really overly expensive, and incompatible parts. I never built my own PC before and this could've gone in a whole different direction. Thanks to everyone else who gave their opinion aswell.

Best Regards,
Mansouri.
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June 28, 2011 11:56:06 PM

lol best video card is not NVIDIA Quadro 6000! yeah sure, a great video card that can run every game possible on the highest u can get, but also, HD 6990 can run every game on highest u can get!
its the price, performance, and technology upgrades that matters here!
today the NVIDIA Quadro 6000 is a beast, about a week a new video card at smaller price, for Exm. 450, and even better performance. now that can happen! u'll never know!
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June 29, 2011 7:25:09 AM

Best answer selected by mansouri.
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June 29, 2011 12:28:21 PM

Hey,

I know you've helped me enough, but was hoping you could help me sort out this last thing.

Upon reading Feedback of Asus P67 Sabretooth, I found that many are having all sorts of trouble with it, and I'm not sure what to get that fits with the rest of my build.

What would you recommend? The cost is not important. I'm leaning towards http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... at the moment.

Best Regards,
Mansouri.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 29, 2011 1:59:56 PM

The Extreme 4 is a pretty popular budget board, but if you were looking to spend $210 on the previous board, $170-180 shouldn't be a hang up: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Gigabyte UD4 (what I have) is a great board, OCs well (at the same level as the Extreme 4), but has better quality (IMO), a ton of features if you want them, and a 3 year warranty (vs. ASRock's 1 year). It's got a lot of the features of the Extreme 4, but is a better quality board.

I haven't had any problems with my board, although some coolers block RAM slot 1 (common among P67 boards) - just use the other RAM channel and everything will run fine. You can run the Hyper 212+ with one fan on the side opposite the RAM slots, and it will work just fine in terms of cooling.
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