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Critique my build + Questions

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July 3, 2011 1:20:42 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: August 1st.
Budget Range: $2000, though not willing to spend hundreds of dollars for a 2% performance increase.
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Heavy Gaming
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, storage hard drives, optical drives.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: None.
Country of Origin: U.S.
Parts Preferences: None
Overclocking: Yes
SLI or Crossfire: Yes
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 or 1920x1200
Additional Comments:


Motherboard $139.99($7.87 s&h)
GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3-B3

CPU $219.99
i5 2500k

Z68 + i5 combo $319.98

Video Cards $286.99 x 2 = $573.98(+$15.12 s&h -$60 mail in rebate)
2x XFX HD-695X-CDFC Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5

6950s @840MHz $249.99 x 2 = $499.98

SSD $419.99
Plextor PX-M2 Series PX-256M2S 2.5" 256GB SATA III(SSD)

Faster Corsair SSD $449.99

CPU Cooler $51.99
ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler

Better, cheaper CM CPU cooler $37.99

Case $159.99
Silverstone RV02-BW

PSU

RAM

Also, what would be the best way to ship this across the US? I will be moving from NC to California at the end of the year. How much would shipping this system cost me, roughly?
Related resources
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
July 3, 2011 3:05:21 AM

2500K + MB -$333
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
2* Corsair Force Series 3 120GB ($210x2) $420 - $30 MIR Each
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Hyper 212+ $30
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-Sleeve-RR-B10...
2* MSI 560 Ti OC TFII ($250*2) $500
http://www.amazon.com/MSI-PCI-Express-N560GTX-TWIN-FROZ...
HAF 922 $100
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Tower-RC-922M-KKN1-...
Total: $1383 before rebates.

Z68 isn't really needed because SSD Caching for large sized SSDs is pretty useless, it's more for small SSDs like 64gb/60gb.
July 3, 2011 8:31:33 PM


The MB has less reliable reviews than the z68 I have. I couldn't find a p67 board that was reliable, at least not according to NewEgg's reviews.

Quote:
2* Corsair Force Series 3 120GB ($210x2) $420 - $30 MIR Each
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Is there an advantage to running two drives(which I would still use as one logical drive)? I think it would be a hassle to have 2 logical drives when I want it to hold the OS and all of my steam games.


Is this better than the ZALMAN CPU cooler?

Quote:
2* MSI 560 Ti OC TFII ($250*2) $500
http://www.amazon.com/MSI-PCI-Express-N560GTX-TWIN-FROZ...

6950s are supposed to be the best cards for ~$550. Do 2x 560 Ti in SLI outbench 2 6950s in CF?


Sorry, I should have said I prefer the vertical MB mount.

a c 91 B Homebuilt system
July 3, 2011 8:48:42 PM

Newegg reviews mean nothing. Do all of the reviewers on Newegg even sound competent? They're all ignorant on the subject. You have 5 Star tech guys giving a product a 1 star because it is DOA? Then you got guys saying that an HDD is fast and reliable as well as quiet after a week? How do you know an HDD is reliable after a week. And to the HDD being quiet, they say that about the WD Black but they're louder than the Samsung F3's.

2 drives can run in RAID 0. That's what I mean, that'll stack up to fit 240GB and be faster since RAID 0 partions it onto the 2 disks (SSDs) Also the Force 3's sport SF-2200 controllers which are much better than any of the Idelinx (Think that's how you spell it) and Marvell ones.

The 560 Ti's I linked are stock OC'd to be matching up to the 570. Both are good I guess, pretty close in fact, though the 6950's win in some games, but the 560 Ti OC'd in others.
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/02/21/msi_n560gtx_t...
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/02/21/msi_n560gtx_t...
Your preference I suppose.

And yes, the Hyper 212+ is better.
http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=249...
Just CTRL+F the Hyper 212+, it is about 2 spaces better than the CNPS9700
a b B Homebuilt system
July 3, 2011 9:02:03 PM

You'll probably want a 750W PSU for two high-end cards like that. Look for full range active PFC (no little voltage switch) and some level of 80+ certification for efficiency. Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, XFX, and Enermax/LEPA are among the better brands. The best sites for competent technical reviews of PSUs are HardwareSecrets, Jonnyguru, and HardOCP.
I have a WD Black, and it is fast, but the loudest "performance" drive I've ever owned.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 3, 2011 9:06:13 PM

^AFAIK, RAID SSDs still don't support TRIM. Plus you get the risks of RAID0. 240GB drives perform slightly better than the 120s anyways:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

On the GPUs, a pair of these would be better than the 560s as its OCed also, $500 too
(not much point in 2GB without the unlock):
http://www.amazon.com/HIS-Radeon-256bit-Mini-DisplayPor...

Heres a 2500K+Z68 combo, $320. Though theres not much point, Lucid might turn out to be interesting:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
July 3, 2011 9:13:12 PM

^ Could you show me where 6950 1GB CF would beat 560 Ti's OC'd SLI?

a c 91 B Homebuilt system
July 3, 2011 9:36:07 PM

Hmm... In certain other games, I'm seeing that 560 Ti SLI is beating out the 6950 1GB quite a bit. But some they're on par at best if not a little better. But true, that 6950 1GB isn't OC'd. Though how much of a difference are we expecting here?
a b B Homebuilt system
July 3, 2011 9:44:22 PM

aznshinobi said:
Hmm... In certain other games, I'm seeing that 560 Ti SLI is beating out the 6950 1GB quite a bit. But some they're on par at best if not a little better. But true, that 6950 1GB isn't OC'd. Though how much of a difference are we expecting here?

There are games that favors Nvidia alot, though there are some AMD-favoring ones too.
The 6950 @880Mhz comes pretty close to a stock 6970, while @1000Mhz matches a 580, so 940Mhz is about the middle i guess.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
July 3, 2011 9:47:25 PM

Huh, pretty solid. I dunno, I still like the 560 Ti since OCing that would give you better temps IMO. But IMO it's personal choice. The 560 ti OCs well too and can surpass the 570 pretty well which is close to the 6970.
July 4, 2011 2:43:18 AM

aznshinobi said:
Newegg reviews mean nothing. Do all of the reviewers on Newegg even sound competent? They're all ignorant on the subject. You have 5 Star tech guys giving a product a 1 star because it is DOA? Then you got guys saying that an HDD is fast and reliable as well as quiet after a week? How do you know an HDD is reliable after a week. And to the HDD being quiet, they say that about the WD Black but they're louder than the Samsung F3's.

2 drives can run in RAID 0. That's what I mean, that'll stack up to fit 240GB and be faster since RAID 0 partions it onto the 2 disks (SSDs) Also the Force 3's sport SF-2200 controllers which are much better than any of the Idelinx (Think that's how you spell it) and Marvell ones.

The 560 Ti's I linked are stock OC'd to be matching up to the 570. Both are good I guess, pretty close in fact, though the 6950's win in some games, but the 560 Ti OC'd in others.
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/02/21/msi_n560gtx_t...
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/02/21/msi_n560gtx_t...
Your preference I suppose.

And yes, the Hyper 212+ is better.
http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=249...
Just CTRL+F the Hyper 212+, it is about 2 spaces better than the CNPS9700


Someone else brought up the point of TRIM with SSDs in raid 0. I've also heard the gain from RAID 0 for SSDs is not nearly as drastic as it is for HDDs. Did I hear wrong?

The Hyper 212+ is indeed better, and cheaper. Thanks for that!
a b B Homebuilt system
July 4, 2011 3:03:52 AM

timothy2180 said:
I'm reading 840 MHz on the link. Would a 940 MHz overclock be most likely successful? Also, do I not need the 2GB RAM, playing at 1920 x 1080?

840 MHz 6950s

Whoops, got confused with 8 and 9.
However, OCCs had theirs at 1Ghz, so 950Mhz shouldn't be hard.
1080P doesn't need 2GB, unless you are extreme in term s of AA and undersampling. the 2GB parts are better chips from what I've seen and would use a bit less power.
July 4, 2011 3:22:57 AM

Timop said:
Whoops, got confused with 8 and 9.
However, OCCs had theirs at 1Ghz, so 950Mhz shouldn't be hard.
1080P doesn't need 2GB, unless you are extreme in term s of AA and undersampling. the 2GB parts are better chips from what I've seen and would use a bit less power.

Ok sounds good, thanks. I switched my cards with those.
!