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Feedback on my (over-speced) $2850 build

Last response: in Systems
July 2, 2011 8:24:35 PM

My current desktop is an Intel Q6700 @ 2.66Ghz (Socket 775 Asus P4N32-E 680i), 4 Gigs DDR2 800, NVidia GTX 260, 150 Gig 10K RPM SATA-150 boot, 1TB 7200 RPM SATA-150 data drive

I'm looking to get a new desktop. I work from home, so it's my main desktop during the day (I do also have a laptop I work from some time), so the main apps are just the typical MS Office, Skype, Chrome, GoToMeeting, ITunes, Adobe Creative Suite, Evernote, etc... I do some video editing (using just 1 stream of HD in Sony Vegas Pro), and some encoding/transcoding. I used to be a hardcore gamer, but haven't played anything in a while.

The system I'm considering buying is way overkill, but it makes me happy to own a powerful system, and I do want snappy performance for my work tasks and to know that I can try/play the latest gaming titles if I choose.

So I'm thinking: i7-2600K, Z68 chipsit, 8 Gigs DDR-3 1600, SSD based system drive. The system configured below would run $2800. Yes, I know I could get by with far less, but I hate re-installing my whole digital life on new PC's so I tend to only change boxes every 3 years or so.

I'm on the fence about the system drive and the video cards. I want the best performing system drive possible (will probably make the biggest difference in my day to day tasks), and my (by current standards) 150Gig system drive is constantly full which is a pain.

Q1: If I go with a Raid 0 set of of 120 Gig SSD's, will I get meaningfully better performance than a single SSD? Will 240 Gig's be adequate (it still seems like lots of Apps in Win 7 dont make it easy to put on the data drive)? Would I be better off with the simplicity of a single SSD? Is the OCZ Vertex the way to go?

Q2: Video cards. I'm sure a single GTX 570 would be plenty of performance, but if I want to know I can game it seems like the a pair of the AMD's 6970's are the price/performance sweetspot. If I'm going to spend that kind of $$ would I be better off to just get a single GTX 580 and preserve the option to add a second one later if I every really started gaming?

Q3: I'm assuming there is no benefit to a 30 Gig SSD for Smart Response if I'm on faster SSD's for my system drive?

Q4: Anything else on my config that is a serious mistake? (case, power supply, etc...).

Q5: Any other vendors I should consider besides CyberPower to build it?

Thanks for any feedback!


Here's the full configuration from Cyberpower (did a great job on my last 2 desktops):
Configuration URL:
Product Name: CyberPower Z68 Configurator (NO MONITOR)

Price: $2,833.00

CARE1:Ultra Enhanced Packaging Solution - Protect Your Dream System During Transit [+19]
CARE2:CoolerMaster Thermal Fusion 400 Extreme Performance CPU - Thermal Compound Optimized for Thermal Dissipation [+10]
CARE3:p rofessional Wiring for All WIRING Inside The System Chassis - Minimize Cable Exposure, Maximize Airflow in Your System [+19]
CAS:* Corsair Obsidian Series 650D Mid-Tower Gaming Case w/ dual 200mm fans, integrated fan controller, front USB 3.0 Port & Side-Panel Window [+124]
CD:LG WH10-LS30K 10X Internal Super Multi Blu-Ray Rewriter [+104] (Black Color)
CPU:Intel® Core™ i7-2600K 3.40 GHz 8M Intel Smart Cache LGA1155 (All Venom OC Certified) [+100]
CS_FAN:Maximum Enermax 120MM Case Cooling Fans for selected case (Maximum Silent Operation) [+29] (1,000 RPM Black Color with No LED Enlobal Magnetic Barometric Bearing 17 dBA)
FAN:CyberPower Xtreme Hydro Liquid Cooling Kit 240MM w/ Dual Fan(CPU & GPU Liquid Cool Capable, Extreme Overclcking Performance + Extreme Slient at 18dBA) [+63]
FREEBIE_CU1:FREE! Killer Xeno Pro Gigabit High Speed Online Gaming PCI Network Interface Card [+0]
HDD:120 GB OCZ Vertex 3 SATA III 6.0G/s Gaming MLC Solid State Disk [+227] (120GB x 2 (240GB Capacity) Raid 0 Extreme Performance [+295])
HDD2:2TB (2TBx1) SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 64MB Cache 7200RPM HDD [+119] (Single Hard Drive)
MEMORY:8GB (4GBx2) DDR3/1600MHz Dual Channel Memory Module [+10] (Kingston HyperX)
MOTHERBOARD:[CrossFireX/SLI] MSI Z68A-GD80 (B3) Intel Z68 Chipset DDR3 ATX Mainboard w/ Lucid Virtu + Intel Smart Response Technology,OC Genie II,Winki 3& 7.1 Audio,Dual GbLAN,USB3.0,SATA-III RAID,3 Gen2 PCIe,2 PCIe X1&2 PCI (All Venom OC Certified) [+137]
MULTIVIEW:Xtreme Performance in SLI/CrossFireX Gaming Mode Supports Single Monitor [+0]
NETWORK:o nboard Gigabit LAN Network
NOISEREDUCE1:Sound Absorbing Foam on Side, Top And Bottom panels [+29]
NOISEREDUCE2:p ower Supply Gasket [+5]
NOISEREDUCE3:Anti-Vibration Fan Mounts [+9]
OS:* Microsoft® Windows 7 Professional [+135] (64-bit Edition)
POWERSUPPLY:800 Watts - XtremeGear Gaming Power Supply - Quad SLI Ready [+41]
VIDEO:AMD Radeon HD 6970 2GB GDDR5 16X PCIe Video Card [+307] (Major Brand Powered by AMD)
VIDEO2:AMD Radeon HD 6970 2GB GDDR5 16X PCIe Video Card [+366] (Major Brand Powered by AMD)
July 2, 2011 8:49:09 PM

Are you sure you don't want to do it yourself? Saves a chunk of money and have alot more flexibility

Right now, you're buying a seriously bad system for the price.
Probably horrible cooler, potentially explosively bad PSU and cash down the drain on unneeded parts.

For gaming, the "sweet-spot" is a 2500K and a pair of 6950s. Heres an alternative build for $2180 and slightly worse gaming performance and maybe even better cooling.

Though for the price, you should probably check out something like Falcon NW.