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New 2600K, SSD, Raid0 Build. Insights Inside!

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August 31, 2011 3:20:48 PM

I just got done with my new build.
Here it is...

Case Cooler Master Haf X. Great case, would use it again for sure. It's a monster though.
CPU Intel I7 2600K Sandy Bridge. 3.4ghz/3.8ghz turbo. Fast and nice.
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD7-B3. Great board, wish it came with better software and bios.
GPU MSI Frozr III R6950 2GB video card. Runs smooth and cool.
Ram 16GB Corsair Vengeance 1600mhz. Plenty of ram and runs great.
Power Supply Corsair TX750. Great PSU and seems to do the job.
SSD OCZ Vertex3 120GB Solid State Drive. Super quick! For OS and programs. Have CS5 Master, and a ton more on it & only using 51GB of space!
HDD 2X Western Digital Caviar Black 1.5TB 64MB cache. Set in Raid 0. Very quick! Used for pictures/video and all data.
Drive Asus Blu-Ray burner. Great drive.
OS Windows 7 64bit. Love 7 and have been using for awhile now.

System cost just over $1,500 with all said and done.

My thoughts/Insights...

Setting up a SSD/Raid.
I first setup my ssd on the Marvell chipset SataIII controller and my hard drives on the Intel SATA3 controller (as RAID0 in bios).
I was achieving 350MB a sec read on my ssd and 250MB a sec on my RAID0 drives.
I then moved my ssd to the Intel chipset SATA3 and my two WD HDD to the Marvell SATA 3 controllers.
Turned on AHCI in my bios and set my RAID0 up in the built-in Windows 7 Raid format.
This is by far a better setup.
I am now getting 560MBs read on my ssd, 500MBs write.
330MBs read on my RAID0 and 180MBs write.
Super fast and what I paid for.
I've had no issues with the Marvell chipset dropping out or anything like I've heard others have.
Windows 7 Experience is 7.9 on the SSD, 7.6 is the lowest on this system and it's the CPU.

Issues
I put the system all together, didn't even bench test, and it worked right out of the box.
No dead parts at all.
I am saddened that the Mbo came with F2 bios on it when F8 is the Newest out.
Gigabyte's @Bios updater sucks and does not work.
Every time I try, it say's it can't update or there is no update.
I also have a very hard time entering my bios as it won't go there 90% of the time, even though I hit Delete when prompted.

Other Thoughts...
I'm so impressed with Windows 7 built in Raid controller, it is kicking the pants off the Intel Bios controller.
I've been singing it's praises everywhere.

I wish Cooler Master didn't leave one of the two 200mm fan bay's on top empty, had to buy one to go in there.

Intel needs to get real... The stock cooler with the 2600K is WAY too small.
Need to upgrade even for stock settings.

Do your research on what you need to do to optimize Windows 7 and your SSD for it (TRIM anyone?).
There are many steps to do to get it to run smooth and as fast as it should.

Everything else about this system I love.
For $1,500 you can build a monster now.
Runs Adobe Master CS5 like a champ.
Loads so stinking quick!
August 31, 2011 3:49:47 PM

That's a lot of hardware. I've been thinking about a very similar configuration for my next CAD workstation.
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