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New system for school/gaming

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September 14, 2011 1:05:44 AM

Hey guys,

I'm getting ready to build a new computer. My current system is in my sig line. I'm building this computer because I have a friend that wants to buy my current rig and I also am able to use some money from my school fellowship if it will benefit my research. The one key thing is that in order for school to pay for parts and me keep them they have to be under $300. Anything over that becomes the property of the school. Right now I'm looking at having them pay for memory, SSD's, and possibly part of the CPU if I go 6 core. My two primary uses for this machine will be gaming and school applications. School applications include statistical and mathematical software packages such as Stata, MatLab, SAS, and of course normal applications like Microsoft Office.

Given the current landscape of the pc world (SB-E, Ivy, etc.) I'm pretty unsure of what to do at this point. I'll go down the list by components.

CPU:

Given the software I use for school to do simulations and iterations of economic models I think I could benefit from having 6 cores. From what I've read most of the software I use can use multiple cores and even multiple cpus. That means that I am basically looking at a Sandy Bridge-E. Most likely the 3930K. If I can get school to really pony up I'll consider the 3960X, but I think both the school and myself will ultimately determine that infeasible.

Memory:

It will depend on the CPU obviously, but I'm looking at getting 16 gb of whatever it ends up being. My question is mainly memory speed vs. memory timing. Which is more important? Should I go for Cas 8 memory at 2000 or 1866, or Cas 7 at 1600?

Motherboard:

Entirely depends on the CPU again, but I've always been a fan of EVGA's boards despite the fact the two boards I've owned have been Asus. I've never bought a super expensive motherboard, but this time I'm going to drop some dough. I"d love to have one of the EVGA Classified or FTW boards with the little overclocker display that goes in the front of your case. I also need a lot of PCI-E slots. I have 2 graphics cards, a tv tuner card, an internet card, and a sound card.

Boot Drive(s):

Right now I'm looking at 2 120 gb SSD's. Remember, the price has to stay under $300 or I would just buy a single larger drive. Right now I'm probably looking at the M4 or the Intel 510. I would love to have the speed of the Vertex 3, but reliability scares me. I'll take suggestions on how to use the 2 drives. I could Raid 0 them and lose TRIM, or run them as separate drives (Windows and programs on one drive, all games on the other drive) and keep TRIM. Which would be better? Also, are there going to be any new drives from Intel, OCZ, or Crucial in the next few months (basically until SB-E comes out)? I've read a time or two about new Intel drives possibly in the next couple months. Has anyone heard anything about new drives?

Storage Drives:

Right now I'm thinking 2 x 2 tb Seagate Barracuda XT. This part is really pretty trivial though. Storage drives are storage drives, right? Or am I wrong? I can decide this part later. I also thought about Caviar Green's or Black's. Any suggestions?

Video Cards:

Right now I have 2 GTX 570's and I'm keeping them. I'm not going to do anything with video cards until Kepler comes out next year.

Power Supply:

I'm waiting on the new Seasonic power supplies. Thinking either the X1250 Gold or the Platinum 1050 they're bringing out. I want to be able to power 3 very large cards in the future. I run 5760x1080 resolution so I'm planning on getting 2 GTX 680's or whatever they are with hopefully at least 4 gb of memory while possibly running a third down the line. Would you go for the 1050W platinum or the 1250W gold?

Case: HAF X
Some DVD/Blu Ray drives

I guess I'm just looking for overall advice on what to build. I've built several computers before so I'm pretty experienced in selecting parts and puting them together. I just have a hard time making decisions between similar parts, and I also always look for the input of people that are probably more knowledgable than me in you guys. I lined out a few things I was really debating on, but I'll take suggestions on anything. Any input is appreciated. Thanks.

More about : system school gaming

September 14, 2011 6:12:54 PM

Little update:

Boot Drives:

Thanks to THG, it appears Intel will be releasing the 520 SSD's sometime in Q4 of this year. That's one thing I've been waiting on. Maybe this 520 series will combine Intel's reliability with speed more comparable to the Vertex 3. I'll definitely be waiting for that drive to come out. The question still remains as to what configuration to run them in, raid 0 or separate?

CPU:

I've done some research further on Stata and MatLab and it appears they can both use mutliple processors and even cpus if you have the multiprocessor version of them. I need to check with our departments IT guy to determine if we have the necessary versions. If we do not and won't be getting them then it does me no good to buy 6 cores and I'll just go for the i7 2700K. I would almost rather go this route anyways that way I would have a more resaleable platform. If Ivy Bridge is the next coming of sliced bread it will be easier to find a buyer for a Z68 platform than the X79 platform. Regardless it appears as though I'll be waiting at least until close to the release of X79 to wait for the new Seasonic PSU's and the new Intel SSD's.

Speaking of power supplies, what do you guys think? I know Seasonics are usually underrated in terms of the power they produce. What will it take to power 3 flagship Nvidia cards? Will it take the X1250 gold, or will the platinum 1050w do the trick 3-4 years down the road?
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September 14, 2011 11:07:12 PM

Man, I feel like I'm in a room by myself over here lol. Nobody has any opinions on any of my questions?

Memory timings vs. memory clock? SSD's in Raid with no TRIM or separate with TRIM? 1050W vs. 1250W PSU for 3 flagship nvidias?

I realize we're talking a lot about future parts here, and the only reason I'm trying to nail down things now is to get everything cleared first through the school and have my boss up to date on everything. Maybe I should come back to this thread in a month or two.
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September 15, 2011 1:21:24 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: November-December

Budget Range: Nothing is really set, but I'll say 2500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: 1a.Mathematical/Statistical Simulation Packages (Stata, MatLab, SAS) 1b. Gaming 2. General media usage (Movies and Music) 3. Everything else

Parts Not Required :

Monitors: 3 x 23" Samsung

Video Cards: 2 x EVGA GTX 570 Superclocked in SLI

Speakers: Logitech Z-2300

Headphones: Logitech G930

Gamepad: Logitech G13

Keyboard: Logitech MX200

Mouse: Logitech G9x

Preferred Websites for Parts: 1. Newegg 2. Tiger Direct

Country of Origin: United States

Parts Preferences:

CPU: I want Intel for sure. If we have multiprocessor versions of software at work, then I'll probably go for the i7-3930K. If not, I imagine I'll go with the i7-2700k.

CPU Heatsink: I'm really liking the Promilatech Super Mega right now. It seems to be a great cooler. Are there better ones? There's so many that I don't know what all is out there. What's the best cooler for a Sandy Bridge machine?

Motherboard: Preferrably EVGA with the EVGuage and ECP V4. I also like Asus motherboards a lot. I need a lot of PCI-E slots. I currently have two graphics cards, a tv tuner, and an internet card. I anticipate running three graphics cards on this board at some point down the road.

Memory: I probably prefer Corsair. I had always had in mind the Dominator series. I want the fastest memory I can get but I also want it to be stable. I'm probably looking at buying 16 GB too for working with a lot of data. I don't know what's more important, speed or timings. 2000 mhz Cas 9 vs. 1600 mhz Cas 7?

Power Supply: Definitely Seasonic. I'm wanting one of their new ones that is suppose to come out later this month. Since at some point in the future I want to be able to power 3 flagship Nvidia graphics cards, I'm looking at probably the X1250 Gold that will be coming out. Could I get by with the 1050W platinum?

Case: HAF X. That's set in stone unless they come out with a better version of their flagship HAF case.

Boot/Application Drives: I have to buy 120 GB drives to keep it under $300 a piece so school will buy them. I'm looking at getting 2 120 GB SSD's, although I'd love to have 2 160's. I'd like to stick to either Intel, OCZ, or Crucial. I would love to have the Vertex 3's speed, but their reliability scares me. I'm probably looking at the Intel 520 if it comes out sometime this year. I don't know whether to run them in Raid 0 and lose TRIM or run them separately and keep TRIM. Thoughts?

Storage Drives: Looking at a couple 2 TB drives here. I had considered the Seagate Barracuda XT or the Western Digital Caviar Black or Green. I'd probably prefer Sata III (6 Gb/s) drives, but does it matter on storage drives?

Media Drives: Doesn't really matter. I'll probably have a blu ray reader and a dvd burner. It would be cool if they were from the same company and matched, but I haven't looked around a lot since it's down the road a ways.

Overclocking: Definitely. Whatever chip it is I'll turn it as high as I can while prime 95ing at a max of 70-72C. That's why I want the best air cooler possible without having to strap jet engines for fans to it.

SLI: Definitely. Right now with 2 cards and probably 3 down the road.

Monitor Resolution:: 5760x1080

Additional Comments: I would just like to mention the limit on some of the parts again. I'm planning on having school pay for the SSD's and memory so each item must be under $300. That really only limits me on the SSD which is why I'm going with 120 GB or 160 GB if possible each.
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September 15, 2011 1:28:43 AM

If your plan is to do that much computing, I say wait. Wait for AMD to release the FX-8xxx which would have 8-Cores. Now although that doesn't mean that the performance will be better than Sandy Bridge, however it is worth the wait to see. After all you're not buying until 2-3 months later so... Yeah.

As for memory. You don't need any speed faster than 1600, it would make minimal difference and so would CL7 or 8. Just get the standard 8GB DDR3 1600 CL9 and regards to 16GB if you think you need it the go for it. Usually 8GB is enough even for many heavy memory apps.

Regards to the PSU, you DEFIANTLY do not need the Seasonic PSUs and defiantly not that many watts. At most you'd be looking at an 850w for even SLI 570 + OC on the CPU. Maybe 950w. With that said I'd recommend this. Now if you do want that much power, Seasonic is going to charge WAYY to much I recommend these just to save some money. But offering similar performance.
LEPA 850w 80+ Bronze $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OR
ABS Majesty 1100w 80+ Gold $180
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OR
Lepa G900 80+ Gold $180 (MIR Avail)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for overclocking.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Review (Don't trust the Newegg ones)
http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/4127/nzxt_havik_140_cp...

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September 15, 2011 1:41:43 AM

This power supply is going to have to power what I have in a year or two or three as well, though. I don't know what that might be. It may be an overclocked 3930K and 3 GTX 680's or 780's. Who knows. And I'm pretty stuck on Seasonic. I've always had them in the past. I'm willing to pay for the quality as long as it's not astronomical (i.e. <$300).
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September 15, 2011 1:43:47 AM

That cooler is pretty awesome though. Thanks for the find!
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September 15, 2011 1:52:49 AM

I will say also on the Seasonic topic that I would not be getting rid of the one I have if it didn't have to stay with the computer. It handles my 2 570's beautifully, and I think that thing could handle 2 x 3gb 580's which is what I really would love for 5760x1080.
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September 15, 2011 2:05:44 AM

If your going to be crunching numbers then you might want to check those two links out down below.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i7-3960x-x79-p...

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/sandy-bridge-e-core-i-...

First off EVGA isn't even in the motherboard game these days as far as being competitive. Their 1155 boards are over priced and lack the basic features you would expect. Corsair makes great RAM but this G.skill RAM down below is the required low voltage RAM (1.5v) and it's the max speed wise these boards handle. That board down below is set up for Ivy Bridge and the new generation vid cards do out whenever.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $279.99
ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) Desktop Memory Model F3-17000CL11D-8GBXL

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z68%20Extre... <---- A better look at that board

http://www.asrock.com/microsite/PCIe3/ <----- PCI-E 3.0 supported by the new 22nm Ivy Bridge cpu's due out in April/May

http://www.asrock.com/microsite/IntelZ68/index.asp <----- Z68 Features

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/4272/asrock_z68_extrem... <--- Full review of that board with benchmarks

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut... <----- Review done here on Toms a few weeks ago showing that boards with the NF200 Bridge reduce micro stutter.
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September 15, 2011 2:19:26 AM

Micro-stuttering is probably the most dumb thing I've ever heard of. NF200 may reduce it but it's not bad enough that it requires reduction in the first place. NF200 is expensive and most of the time not worth it. Though it also depends on the pricing, but usually. It's just not.

As for Ivy Bridge, I still don't think it is worth it yet until we see BD's benchmarks. Specially since the crazy high Floating point number could mean crazy productivity performance, and since it's cheaper why not wait and see? Only a few days away after all. Intel is currently pretty scared tbh about BD.

If you notice, the day BD breaks the record for overclocking (8.429ghz) (Which by the way the last chip to hold that high of an OC was the Celerons) Intel temporarily releases the NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) to the hardware reviewers for Ivy Bridge. So with that said, I'm pretty sure Intel is treating BD like a real threat and with that said you should probably wait for BD too.
Oh btw.
http://valid.canardpc.com/records.php
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September 15, 2011 2:29:56 AM

aznshinobi said:
Micro-stuttering is probably the most dumb thing I've ever heard of. NF200 may reduce it but it's not bad enough that it requires reduction in the first place. NF200 is expensive and most of the time not worth it. Though it also depends on the pricing, but usually. It's just not.

As for Ivy Bridge, I still don't think it is worth it yet until we see BD's benchmarks. Specially since the crazy high Floating point number could mean crazy productivity performance, and since it's cheaper why not wait and see? Only a few days away after all. Intel is currently pretty scared tbh about BD.

If you notice, the day BD breaks the record for overclocking (8.429ghz) (Which by the way the last chip to hold that high of an OC was the Celerons) Intel temporarily releases the NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) to the hardware reviewers for Ivy Bridge. So with that said, I'm pretty sure Intel is treating BD like a real threat and with that said you should probably wait for BD too.
Oh btw.
http://valid.canardpc.com/records.php

Yes, AMD setting the o/c record with liquid nitrogen wants me to buy an BD ASAP!.

TBH I'm glad they set that record. It gives the AMD freaks something to go on. Like the ones posting in that 200+ page BD thread on here about whether BD will be able to give everyone free bj's or not. If BD is a giant flop, I wonder how many peeps are going to off themselves in a mass lemming like suicide. I'm betting this board loses a large chunk of it's posters by reading that BD thread. Even the mods on here have seemed to lost it.

But yes, I do agree to wait on those benchmarks as long as they are out within the next two weeks. If AMD can't put any benches out by then ...screw em.
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September 15, 2011 2:47:42 AM

I'm buying Intel. That's pretty much all there is to that. I am really anxious to see how Sandy Bridge-E ends up turning out though and seeing how well it OC's. I'd really like to hit 4.7-5.0 Ghz on whatever my next chip is.
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September 15, 2011 3:10:52 AM

@ Why_Me yeah I'm liking the looks of BD

@thebski I'm not trying to be a dick. But your ignorance to rule out AMD as a valid competitor is a pretty ... one. But that is your decision.
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September 15, 2011 3:51:48 AM

Well I'll definitely read the BD reviews, but so far Intel has ruled for a while. AMD would have to have something pretty impressive. I'll definitely pay attention to Bulldozer though and see what it's about.
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September 15, 2011 4:03:54 AM

i have decent experience with Matlab and i am know that it is multi core optimized but there is a catch. lets say you have a very simple loop going and you have it counting to a million and then printing a 1 to signify it reached a million then next time a 2 etc. well in that case it would only be using a single core it would not use 2,4,6 or even 8. each task will be done on a core but if each task relies on the previous then it will still only use one core. the point is yes matlab and prolly your other programs can use as many cores as you can throw at them but you have to write the program to utilize them, im pretty sure that is the case correct me if i am wrong.

Im sure you know that though as you seem knowledgeable i was just saying that for other peoples sake.
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September 15, 2011 4:06:39 AM

thebski said:
Well I'll definitely read the BD reviews, but so far Intel has ruled for a while. AMD would have to have something pretty impressive. I'll definitely pay attention to Bulldozer though and see what it's about.

What reviews? AMD hasn't posted any benchmarks yet, so any reviews on BD is purely speculation.
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September 15, 2011 1:53:32 PM

Well I'm assuming BD will be out and have reviews out sometime in the next couple months, correct? Regardless I'm not waiting on BD. If its out and blows me away I'll consider it, but if it's not out I'm not going to wait around for 2 years for it.
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September 15, 2011 10:29:59 PM

... BD releases next month or this month. You clearly have your facts wrong.
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September 15, 2011 10:33:28 PM

aznshinobi said:
... BD releases next month or this month. You clearly have your facts wrong.


why so aggressive?
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September 15, 2011 11:29:37 PM

I know. That's why I expect to be able to read reviews before I make a purchase. You're all about BD and I respect that. On the other hand I've always been all about Intel, and lately AMD hasn't had anything at all that should make anyone think otherwise. If that changes, I'll listen, but until then you can call me an Intel fanboy.
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October 12, 2011 2:57:32 PM

Well the day is here that we can read the Bulldozer review, and just as I suspected a month ago, AMD still doesn't even deserve to wear Intel's jock strap. Bulldozer is a joke compared to Intel's year old chips. What will SB-E and IB do to them? Yikes.

Sorry, aznshinobi. I appreciate your enthusiasm about AMD, but there is 0 chance I'll own one this round.
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October 12, 2011 3:13:41 PM

thebski said:
Well the day is here that we can read the Bulldozer review, and just as I suspected a month ago, AMD still doesn't even deserve to wear Intel's jock strap. Bulldozer is a joke compared to Intel's year old chips. What will SB-E and IB do to them? Yikes.

Sorry, aznshinobi. I appreciate your enthusiasm about AMD, but there is 0 chance I'll own one this round.

I think he was just trying to point out that bd could be better, and that you should be open to getting one if it is.
At least in my opinion, though, bd is pretty worthless.
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October 12, 2011 3:31:54 PM

morgoth780 said:
I think he was just trying to point out that bd could be better, and that you should be open to getting one if it is.
At least in my opinion, though, bd is pretty worthless.

I'd have to agree here too. People are expecting a quantum leap in computing out of BD which just isn't going to happen, period. Also, I'm sure Intel and AMD have worked out an agreement to stay off eachoter's turf as both are pulling in tidy profits. It's all about $$$ for the corporation first and foremost. They are not going to be starting a turf war.
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