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$2500 Multimedia Demolisher - Opinions please

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June 27, 2011 1:02:26 AM

Kay I have revised my build and am about to pull the trigger on it. will be used for Multimedia, gaming some video editing, many thanks to those who commented on my previous posts the information you provided was invaluable. Hoping this will be somewhat futureproof for the next year at least.

thoughts/ revisions welcomed

thanks


CPU - Intel i7 2600k - 299$ - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - EVGA GTX 580 in SLI - 1060.00 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - Antec TruePower Quattro TPQ-1000 1000W - 179.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO - ASUS P8P67 WS REVOLUTION LGA 1155 Intel P67 - 259.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD - OCZ Vertex 3 - 249.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD - Seagate Barracuda XT ST33000651AS 3TB - 214.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB - 83.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler - Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler - 99.99 - http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...

Case - HAF X - 209.98 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DiscDrive - ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X - 20.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor - Dell 24" Professional - 319.00 - http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c...
June 27, 2011 3:50:01 AM

Looks good to me! lol awesome build.
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June 27, 2011 3:53:34 AM

Three more psu's to consider.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $159.99 - $139.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING
PC Power and Cooling Silencer 910W High Performance 80PLUS Silver SLI CrossFire ready Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $169.99 - $129.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING
ENERMAX REVOLUTION85+ ERV920EWT 920W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $149.99
Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-900 900W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

and RAM...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBSR
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June 27, 2011 8:02:45 AM

Thank you for your suggestions, I really appriceate them, I didn't go with that ram because its not as good for Overclocking. I picked that power supply because it had 6 12 volt rails and over voltage protection, many of the others only offered 1 or 2 at the most and some didn't include over voltage protection. 1000w is probably more than I need for SLI and a full case of fans, I think I might scrape by with 900 or 950 but I'd rather have more and not need it than need more and not have it, ya know?
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June 27, 2011 8:08:43 AM

lieutenantfrost said:
Thank you for your suggestions, I really appriceate them, I didn't go with that ram because its not as good for Overclocking. I picked that power supply because it had 6 12 volt rails and over voltage protection, many of the others only offered 1 or 2 at the most and some didn't include over voltage protection. 1000w is probably more than I need for SLI and a full case of fans, I think I might scrape by with 900 or 950 but I'd rather have more and not need it than need more and not have it, ya know?

Just out of curiosity how far do you plan on o/c that RAM? Past 1866?
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June 27, 2011 10:01:36 AM

well I was told in regards to OC'ing that its better to go with lower voltages as you won't notice the reduction in ram speed and it makes it easier to balance the ram OC against the CPU. I've not Overclocked before so I need some room to experiment without frying my system.
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June 27, 2011 3:22:37 PM

Why a 3TB HDD? For that price you could find a 2TB hard drive on sale, buy 3 of them and put them in RAID 5. The result would be higher performance, higher reliability, more storage space (4TB vs 3), but would take up 2 more SATA ports. You could also just use the 3x2TB drives individually instead of in RAID to double the storage space for that price (versus your original 3TB drive).
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June 28, 2011 12:18:54 PM

Even if your primary interest is gaming, it would seem that you're throwing a lot of $$$'s away by buying those two 580's. Your monitor of choice isn't high-res enough to get any real benefit from them.

I'd get a graphics card for around $200 and replace the 24" monitor with a 30" one. That will have more impact on your PC experience than the top-of-the-line SLI'd cards, especially since, in your proposed configuration, you'd be doing your gaming with those cards on a resolution (1920 x 1200 or lower) that wouldn't really benefit from them that much.

You can also save some bucks by getting a cheaper 3TB HD (I got one recently for $120, and RAID-quality ones can be found for $180), a cheaper power supply (when you don't need to power those twin rocket engine GPUs), a cheaper case (Antec 300 is good and only about $60), and then get more RAM, a second SSD, and a Z68 motherboard.

Given the reports about how easy Sandy Bridge is to overclock, the CPU cooler also seems like overkill. If you use a case where it's easy to swap out the HSF (not always the case, pardon the pun), then I'd start with the stock HSF, see whether I'm satisfied with how much I can overclock using it, and if not happy then get a $30-$50 HSF.
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June 28, 2011 3:34:16 PM

While I agree that 2x GTX580s are a fair bit overkill for 1920x1080, if playing newer games on good looking settings (i.e. max details and effects, with 4x or 8x AA) is a priority and the money's not the biggest issue, then more than a $200 gpu is definitely necessary. Even my GTX570 doesn't fully stand to the challenge. That being said, i think there are options much much cheaper than 2x580 that would be up to the challenge (i.e. a 580 or 6970, or an SLI of a couple of series down i.e. 2x560 or 2x570). This said, gaming at good settings at good framerates should be something that you really want to do in order to dump that kinda money into gpus.
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June 28, 2011 4:24:05 PM

Jeroly
first I thank you and appreciate your response but your info is a little off base. currently I game with a 24inch monitor similar to one listed above and it struggles in wow with geforce 8600gts in SLI, was a semi decent set up 4 years ago when I got it but it never really preformed well. Couldn't handle the original crysis at all. Diablo TOR Battlefiend3 coming out in the next 6 to 8 months, I don't want to lower my game settings and then deal with it for another year or two just to save the cost of an extra gpu.

As for PSU, going from 1k watts to 950 or 500 is a savings of only 20 to 40 bucks, the one I selected has 6 rails, plus OVP, many of those others don't or max out at 1 rail.
20 -40 bucks is not much to protect my 2500 investment.

I did a lot of comparison on the D12 cooler and there is a substantial degree cooling benefit over the cheaper coolermaster 212

i did swap out my 3tb HD for a 1tb WD black caviar, better specs and cheaper.

Z68 won't let me have x16x16 pci lanes, also the benefits are largely useless to someone with my requirements, readyboost is flawed tech and SSD cashing is worthless on larger drives. I've yet to see a compelling reason to spend the extra cash if you can offer me one I'd certainly be open to it.
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June 28, 2011 7:05:50 PM

According to the Tom's Hardware GPU charts, the Radeon HD 6950 offers 'excellent 1920x1200 performance' for $245. That's not even taking into account the fact that you can do a firmware upgrade to 6970-level performance.

Your 8600GTS is an old card that doesn't really compare. Moreover, up to a certain point your FPS is affected by the CPU you use, which if it's 4 years old is going to be an order of magnitude slower than the Sandy Bridge processors.

You can get a Z68 motherboard for as little as $109, and there are boards out there such as the GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD7-B3 that support two x16 lanes. However, given that you don't need SLI or crossfire, it's really irrelevant.

Perhaps I'm missing something but I thought that you needed some video editing, which should be accelerated by the Z68 board, no?

If you're determined to spend many $$$ then shell it out where it will improve your PC experience - get an extra monitor (or a 30" one), better sound system, blu-ray reader (or reader/writer), better keyboard/mouse/microphone/webcam, etc.

Along those lines, your decision to include an SSD is excellent. It will have a dramatic impact on your 'puting experience.

...and here's a pitch...

When you get a processor as powerful as the one you're looking at, it will be drastically underutilized almost all of the time. Consider running boinc where you can put some of your excess CPU cycles to good use, helping to find cures for various diseases, determining the structure of proteins, or even finding alien life!
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June 28, 2011 7:34:02 PM

Jeroly
Im a little confused by the rest of your post though. I was comparing my older budget system and my reasons for wanting something much more powerful this time. Trying to pinch pennys and then losing out in 5 or 6 months for the cost of 100 or 200 bucks is self defeating. I don't care for ati or crossfire, to me its a budget compromise which I don't understand when your dropping cash on something to play video games, you want the best, if your gonna scrip go play boggle or risk.

I've also reconsidered the SSD, after doing much reading I've come to the conclusion that they are overhyped gadgets. Far inferior to standard HDDs

thanks agian for your posts and taking the time to read my response.
Bionic sounds interesting I'll definitely look into it.
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June 28, 2011 8:44:32 PM

2x580s would be very hardpressed to actually use the majority of their power for any games in the next year (it's hard to say past that about any gpu config). If you really want to use those 580s, then you should probably consider using 2-3 monitors or doing 3D gaming, cause a pair of 580s should be able to play almost every modern game on max settings across 3 1080p monitors. At 1080p by itself, however, I don't think you'll even max out a pair of GTX570s on almost any modern game @ max settings (the exceptions might be Crysis or Metro 2033 with all their effects enabled). If you've got the room, you should get a pair of 570s and 2 more monitors or a home theater speaker system for 5.1/7.1 If you actually have the $2500 and you want to spend all of that on this system, you can do a few better things here.

First, I'd recommend against the SSD. This doesn't help gaming nor multimedia. It just does things like, make your programs start a bit snappier and start up your system faster. Replace this with a Spinpoint F3. I don't know how much storage space you currently need to hold everything you've got, but you should get just that much with maybe 1TB more, in 2TB drives or 1.5TB drives, whatevers better on sale that you can get to your target size, performance isn't particularly a big issue here, as long as its new and has a large capacity, it's probably fast enough as an internal hard drive. Personally i've got 2.25TB of videos, 945GB of music, and 192GB of games, take it from me that just going with internal hard drives that are cheap are both fairly good enough, and the easiest thing to add on later if you find you'll need more space. You should probably only need either a spinpoint F3, maybe another 1.5-2TB HDD if you're already cramped for space, otherwise save it for later. This should take you from $465 of storage down to $60~$130 netting you the ability to keep those 580s AND give yourself a hefty visual or sound upgrade.

I'm also going to have to criticize the choice of coolers here. When helping my roomate build his most recent machine, he went with the 212, and that is easily enough to put on a heavy overclock of your CPU, that should save you another $50.

Your RAM looks ok, and i'm not going to look at that mobo. PSU's probably not a bad choice.

Why that monitor? It doesn't look appreciably better than the 24" asus monitor I bought years ago for more than $100 less. If you're going to pay that kind of money for a monitor it'd better be IPS (much much better color than the vast majority of monitors available) or 3D (if you're into that). If you'd prefer supreme quality, go with an IPS monitor for a similar price to that one, or go for a 3D monitor if that floats your boat (would let you flex your 580s' muscles a bit more), or if neither of these sound particularly appealing (you don't care about 3D and you've always found normal monitors to be fine on color), then just drop down to the $200 range 24" monitors and get like 3 if your desk can fit them. That'd let you get the best out of your dual 580s.

If you don't have room for multimonitor setups, go for a larger monitor with a higher resolution. If you still don't have room for that, then go for a real audio system (Receiver/Amp + home theater speakers + subwoofer). This will add a serrious degree of awesome to your movies + games, especially if you get a 5.1 or 7.1 system. However, these options will cost a few hundred dollars, so only do this if you end up with only a single 1080p monitor and a pair of 570s instead. As far as multimedia goes while still packing an absurd gaming punch, that's probably the best you can do on that budget, Movies w/o a good sound setup are a lot worse.

tl;dr: given your priorities, I'd go with a cheaper monitor or an IPS monitor, drop down to a pair of GTX570s, take the HDD recommendations I made, down the heatsink, and buy yourself a nice $800 Home theater audio system. This will give you a ridiculously good media enjoying environment while still being able to play any modern game on either high or max settings at good framerates for the next foreseeable future.

If you don't wanna go the audio route, I'd take the HDD changes, and the heatsink change, get a cheaper monitor and get two of them and put them next to your current one (or just get 3 new ones if you don't have the current one anymore)
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June 28, 2011 9:08:25 PM

+1 to what scotu said, except that I've found an SSD to really be the best upgrade I've ever made. For example, going from 1 5400rpm HD to 2 10,000rpm raptors in RAID0 was only about a tenth the quality-of-computing-life improvement of one 2nd generation SSD (80GB Intel 25-M) for my system drive.

You say that you don't want SLI or crossfire but you propose 2 580's? That reminds me of a line from The Princess Bride..."You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Scotu proposes 2 570's... I think that, based on what I've read rather than personal experience (personally, I am very happy with my $60 GPU as I don't do gaming), that the 6950 with the firmware upgrade offers significantly better value, but whatever... in any case you could always get one 570 or 6950 and if you're not happy with the FPS's get a second later.

Nobody is talking about penny-pinching here. What we are talking about is getting you the very best system for your budget. If you save $50 on a CPU cooler, and $40 on a power supply, for example, you could upgrade to 16GB of RAM and be able to do things like have an 8GB ramdisk or run a web server in a VM. If you have an unlimited budget, then get it all (replacing the CPU/motherboard combo with dual Xeons and a 2-cpu server MB).

Good luck with your build and enjoy your system, whatever you decide on!
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