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New Intel Build, Questions Regarding RAM and PSU

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August 18, 2011 3:06:15 AM

So I'm going to build a new rig using a Sandy Bridge i7 2600K since I've heard MANY great things about it.
Below are the current specs + questions:

CPU: i7 2600K [Locked In]
Heatsink: Cooler Master Hyper 212+ [Locked In]
Thermal Paste: Arctic Silver 5 [Locked In]
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) [Locked In]
Case: Corsair 600T [Locked In]
Mobo: ASRock Z68 EXTREME4 GEN3 [Locked In]
PSU: Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-900 900W [Locked In]
HDD: Crucial M4 128GB [Locked In]

GPU:Sandy Bridge [Until I see a good deal for the 6950 2GB version but definitely before Battlefield 3 comes out.]
August 18, 2011 3:31:44 AM

If you are building a gaming machine, the 2600k offers no significant improvement over the 2500k in gaming. If you utilizing apps which utilize hyperthreading, ie. photoshop then you should get the 2600k.

As for mobo, it all depends on what you want to do really. Z68 offers 3 basic advantages:

1) You can use a 64GB or smaller SSD as a cache and make your hhd faster. This is negated if you ever plan to buy a 120GB SSD and store your OS on it.

2) Trans coding is faster using the z68 integrated graphics on the SB processor.

3) You don't need a dedicated GPU if you use the integrated graphics on the SB's processor.

besides that, gaming and all other performance is the same.

if you are not utilizing those above features, I would get a p67.

p67 boards:
GA-P67A-UD5 (IMO best OC board for the price)
ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155 (best future proof, feature-full mobo)
ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.1) LGA 1155

z68 equivalents:
GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD5 LGA 1155
ASRock Z68 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155
ASUS P8Z68-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z68

You can find all these boards at newegg.com As you can see, z68 is priced higher than the p67 equivalents.

RAM: Get 8gb G Skill Ripjaws at 1600mhz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: DO NOT GET THE AGILITY 3. First of all, it uses SLC nand which at 50% capacity, dramatically reduces performance. Second, it's an OCZ drive so unless you like the RMA process, I would not get the OCZ.

Get the m4 crucial, it avoids the sandforce problems:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You should probably also get an HDD and just use your SSD as a boot drive. HDD:
samsung spinpoint f3 1tb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



August 18, 2011 3:35:39 AM

As for video card, what is your maximum budget? 260 would be able to get you a nice aftermarket card - either an amd 6950 2gb or a nvidia 560 ti (similar performance)
Related resources
August 18, 2011 3:44:35 AM

Ah thank you for the suggestions, regarding the processor, I get half off through an Intel employee :D , so I don't see why I wouldn't get the 2600K haha. Also I will be using programs required by Computer Science/Engineering courses so I think the Hyper Threading might come in handy. As for SSD, since you suggested the Crucial M4, would the Intel 510 Series 120GB be a better choice (I might be able to get it at a price comparable to the M4, maybe slightly higher.). Since SSDs are still rather expensive, maybe I'll just get the Spinpoint and wait until next year for an SSD. For video card I'm pretty sure I would rather get the 6950 than the 560 ti.
August 18, 2011 4:02:25 AM

sekito said:
Ah thank you for the suggestions, regarding the processor, I get half off through an Intel employee :D , so I don't see why I wouldn't get the 2600K haha. Also I will be using programs required by Computer Science/Engineering courses so I think the Hyper Threading might come in handy. As for SSD, since you suggested the Crucial M4, would the Intel 510 Series 120GB be a better choice (I might be able to get it at a price comparable to the M4, maybe slightly higher.). For video card I'm pretty sure I would rather get the 6950 than the 560 ti.


I'll help if you tell me when ivy bridge is coming out lol j/k. yes 50% off 2600k - i would stock up on that.

the m4 is slightly faster than the 510 120gb in read and write benchmarks: http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=30751&page=1

but you will notice no real world difference so get whichever is cheaper. no one beats intel reliability.

August 18, 2011 4:53:57 AM

I have no idea when Ivy Bridge comes out lol. I think I will get the Cruicial M4. Would my heatsink get in the way of the ripjaws? Also noob question, what is transcoding?

Just a thought: What if I get 2x 64GB M4 and RAID...
August 18, 2011 5:56:38 AM

The ripjaws are pretty low profile so I think you will be fine.

Transcoding is just the conversion of audio or video, you can change the format/size/aspect ratio etc e.g. MPEG2 to MP4 (for ipod)

If you use RAID then you lose TRIM feature, at least that is how it is for the SSDs using the sandforce controllers. Most of the higher capacity SSD are really RAID0 all-in-one if you like.
August 18, 2011 6:10:15 AM

I would not RAID ssds - there might be people who disagree but raid 0 increases failure rates and ssds are not exactly a time tested device that is 100% reliable in the first place.

a single 120gb ssd will be a much better option.
August 18, 2011 6:11:00 AM

Um... what is TRIM? The Crucial M4 doesn't use Sandforce, I believe it uses the Marvell controller, also wouldn't RAID0 give me faster speeds?
August 18, 2011 6:13:02 AM

chillin15 said:
I would not RAID ssds - there might be people who disagree but raid 0 increases failure rates and ssds are not exactly a time tested device that is 100% reliable in the first place.

a single 120gb ssd will be a much better option.


Oh... well that makes sense, It's just that on the link you showed me it showed a RAID of the M4 and it was way faster than everything else so I thought it might be a good idea. I read somewhere that the z68 boards have the Smart Response Technology and it improves hard drive performance, is it worth it?
August 18, 2011 6:17:56 AM

you can't use smart response with ssds over 64gb...I guess you could partition a 120gb and maybe use half as a cache but no one does that.

The best setup is a 120gb ssd for the OS + commonly used apps ie. office, photoshop, etc. and a storage drive - 1tb or so.


With ssds, the larger size, the faster the performance. so a 64gb ssd performs slower than a 120 gb ssd.
August 18, 2011 6:24:57 AM

sekito said:
Um... what is TRIM? The Crucial M4 doesn't use Sandforce, I believe it uses the Marvell controller, also wouldn't RAID0 give me faster speeds?


TRIM is OS dependent and is a command for SSDs...so the m4 can utilize TRIM if on an OS which supports TRIM..windows 7 supports TRIM
August 18, 2011 6:38:32 AM

So from what I've read, TRIM erases data that you delete and makes it impossible to recover data(or super hard), kind of like an active DBAN?
August 18, 2011 7:50:56 PM

Now I'm considering getting a GTX 560 Ti since I could use an 8800GS as a PhysX card, but does having a PhysX card really make a difference? Also since the GTX 560 Ti has 1GB VRAM and the 6950 has 2GB VRAM I was wondering how VRAM really affects gaming performance. I like my 1080P :p 

How much power do I need for the PSU to support this system with overclock and possibly SLI or CFX in the future?
August 18, 2011 11:41:10 PM

Even without a PhysX card the CPU will handle it, adding that extra card is just taking the load off the CPU.

1GB VRAM is enough for 1080P right now but who knows in the future, maybe by the time you need 2GB VRAM the 560 and 5950 will be low end anyways.
Right now 2GB is better for resolutions over 1080P or multi-monitor setups.

As for power, I'd say a minimum of 750w for just 2 cards and overclocked CPU.
minimum of 850w (maybe more) for 2 card + 1 PhysX card and overclocked CPU.
August 19, 2011 1:06:38 AM

That is the first time I've seen a LEPA PSU, had it look it up.
It's OEM is Enermax but this one is made by Sirfa - they also make units for enermax and OCZ.

There are better ones in that price range like the TX850 v2 and XFX core 850w, but for $69.99 with Rebate that is pretty good value and is modular while the other 2 aren't.

You can't really go wrong with any of those 3 motherboards they are good brands.
August 19, 2011 2:02:19 AM

Hm.... Would you recommend that I go higher than 850W? I want to be safe and go higher but 950W power supplies are about twice the price of the LEPA PSU and I'm not sure if I really NEED the extra power.

Say I'm running i7 2600K at 4.2GHz, 2x6950 (maybe a little OC, just a little), 4x4GB RAM, Crucial M4, on the ASUS Mobo, in a HAF X case, would the 850W PSU hold?

Also I have eliminated the Gigabyte mobo, would you recommend the ASROCK or ASUS mobo?
August 19, 2011 2:22:05 AM

You don't need to go higher than 850w, that is enough power for 2x6970.
The 850 is more than enough.

If I had to choose i would go with the ASROCK - PCIe 3.0 mght make it last a bit longer than the ASUS.
August 19, 2011 5:09:03 AM

sekito said:
I'm having a hard time deciding on a motherboard:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... It has PCI-e 3.0.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... The video made it look really good. Editor's Choice.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Cheap, Editor's Choice.

Help me decide please!



The asrock board or the asus pro-v board are great options. I would personally go with the asrock - best price for the features.
August 19, 2011 6:22:56 AM

I'm considering getting a Mid Tower case now, I will be going to college and will have to move the thing so I think I should go mid tower, even though I really want the HAF X. Any recommendations for a mid tower say... under $100? Would be nice if it has USB 3.0.
August 19, 2011 6:40:02 AM

haf 912 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Still coolermaster, decent size, under 60$, even less with the rebate. Plus its what I have for my rig :p 

The only drawback is that my case fans on the top of the case get pretty loud during gaming :p 

edit: Doesn't have usb 3.0, but your choice of motherboard comes with a 3.0 breakout box that you can mount in the front of the case :p 
August 19, 2011 7:10:53 AM

Omg that price is really unbeatable! I'm not sure if it looks the way I would like it to or has enough fans... Is it really roomy? Fits 2x 6950 and cool them well? I was looking at the http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... it looks good and seems to have nice features.
August 19, 2011 5:43:40 PM

Alright forget the Thermaltake, right now it's either the CM HAF X, CM 932 Advanced, CM 922, or Rosewill Thor V2 (pretty much a nicer looking HAF X but cheaper, not sure about how well it cools compared to the HAF X though).
August 20, 2011 12:18:44 AM

I would go with the cm 922. do you really need a full tower?
August 20, 2011 12:31:00 AM

I have read that the mid-tower Corsair 650D is very good. Apparently its stock cooling is fantastic and it's very easy install. It looks really good too, imo.

Doesn't beat the HAF X though :) 
August 20, 2011 12:48:34 AM

650D costs pretty much as much as the haf x so I might as well get the haf x if I went for it. Not sure about full tower, I have always wanted a full tower and it seems like they almost always had better or more features than mid towers. Right now I'm really liking the thor v2. I really like the Corsair 600T with the new side panel (the white one) but it's rather expensive :(  it's also about the same size and weight as the HAF X...

So if I had to choose one out of the HAF X vs Thor V2 vs 600T (white) which one should I choose? (I may still end up getting the 922 or something similar.)
August 20, 2011 4:07:06 AM

So I was checking out the Corsair H60 liquid cooling kit and I watched a youtube video on how to install it and everything. I haven't seen or touched a liquid cooling system in a long time so I have no idea how it works anymore but um... Where is the liquid? Do I need to replace the liquid on the H60 once in a while? Because there doesn't seem to be any way to do that.
August 20, 2011 4:27:24 AM

How much are you OC'ing your cpu? With SB, you can get to and maintain a 5ghz OC with air. Liquid cooling is expensive...I usually like to spend that money on hardware..
August 20, 2011 4:30:09 AM

Anyone who has a custom watercooling setup will the tell you that the corsair kits are not "true liquid cooling". The liquid is already inside and the pump + radiator + waterblock is an all-in-one unit.

Theoretically you do not have to replace or top up the water because the tube is black and there is little evaporation.

These kits are about the same as an high end air cooler. It would be good for people with limited space in their case e.g. micro-atx
August 20, 2011 4:34:33 AM

Ah thanks guys, I was just wondering, I don't think it's worth the upgrade from the 212+ since it's about more than twice the price for an H60. I'm having a hard time deciding on the case though.

Corsair 600T (Special Edition) - SEXY, it's a mid tower but the dimensions and weight are close to full tower... and sexy

HAF X - High Air Flow

Thor V2 - A cheaper version of the HAF X? Better looking.

I really don't know which one to pick!
August 20, 2011 4:39:00 AM

With cases, its really personal choice. Have not heard much about the thor but the 600t and haf x are great cases.
August 20, 2011 4:50:14 AM

They all seem to get great reviews, I definitely like the look of the 600T more than all the other ones. As far as cooling goes, I'm sure the HAF X would probably be number one, but would the 600T be behind by much?
August 20, 2011 5:01:04 AM

I'm actually going to narrow it down to 600T vs Thor V2, HAF X just not good looking enough.
August 20, 2011 5:02:12 AM

sekito said:
I'm actually going to narrow it down to 600T vs Thor V2, HAF X just not good looking enough.


In that case, 600T...
August 20, 2011 5:08:56 AM

chillin15 said:
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cases/2010/09/23/corsa...

it's not bad - I mean, it's no silverstone ft02


The one they tested doesn't have the mesh panel :o , and I'm surprised the NZXT Phantom beat the HAF X.
Also on the mesh panel is there a way to just install one big 240mm fan instead of 4x120mm fans? I like my big fans, less noise than small fans.
August 20, 2011 5:29:33 PM

I think I have decided on the 600T, I have a question though, would the CM Hyper 212+ fit in the case considering the top fan and possibly 4x120mm on the side?
!