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Cannibalized Delll Inspiron

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October 30, 2011 11:57:22 PM

Hi All,

First let me say that I love this site and the Tom's community, you all have helped me understand much about computers and hope I too can help others in future, thanks all! :bounce: 

SO, I've finally decided to make my first build, and want to use parts from my Dell inspiron i bought last June 2010. Here's what I got:

Purchased in June 2010 for $700
Inspiron 580, Intel Core i5-750 processor(8MB Cache, 2.67GHz)
8GB DDR3 SDRAM AT 1066MHz-4X2GB
AMD Radeon 5450 (1GB) - want to replace
750GB - SATA-II 3Gb/s 7200RPM, 16MB Cache HDD
300W psu
Optical: DVR R/W
Windows 7 Home Premium 64
Monitor - Dell ST2310 (23" ) 1920 X 1080 res

Using the forum guide, here's what I want:

Approximate Purchase Date: this week

System Usage from Most to Least Important:Gaming (BF3!!!), surfing internet, photo editing, video editing
Parts Not Required: PSU, RAM, HDD, Windows 7
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: like to buy used from Craigslist or ebay
Country of Origin:USA
Parts Preferences:by brand or type: mid-high end from 1-2 years ago, DirectX 11
Overclocking: Yes
SLI or Crossfire: Yes (Trifire)
Monitor Resolution:3monitors at 1920x1200

Ok, so here is what I have so far, including the cannibalized parts from old Dell (in italics):

CPU: Intel i5 750 @ 2.67ghz
Heatsink/fan: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 (Newegg for $26)
MoBo: ECS BLACK SERIES P55H-AK (Ebay for $99)
Memory: 8GB DDR3 SDRAM AT 1066MHz-4X2GB
GPU: Sapphire HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 (Craigslist for $80)
HDD: 750GB - SATA-II 3Gb/s 7200RPM, 16MB Cache
Case: Thermaltake Armor (Craigslist for $80)
Optical: DVR R/W
PSU: Power & Cooling 1000w SR (Craigslist for $40)
Monitor: 1 X Dell U2410 (Craigslist for $200 - small red color smudge on bottom of screen)

I'd like to purchase two more used 5850s (or 5870s, depending on what's available), and rock the trifire. Also plan on purchasing 2 more used Dell U2410s for 3 monitor eyefinity.

So, my questions are:

1. Will my CPU bottleneck the trifire? If so, how high do I need to OC?
2. Will the 1066MHz RAM bottleneck my computer's performance? If so, guess I probably could just purchase some RAM, looking at forum, seems that 4GB is enough, but at higher speed.
3. Will I need to cool my RAM and HDD?
4. Should I consider purchasing a SSD? If so, how large?
5. Any suggestions for trifire? I have already purchased one 5850, can I mix/match with 6850/5870/other newer GPUs? Or do I have to stick with 5850?
6. I have reviewed Chris Angelini's extensive review of GPUs (dude, you rock man!) - apparently see that crossfire has some issues with BF3 - anybody seeing this changing anytime soon?

Thanks all for help, look forward to hearing from you all.

Chris

October 31, 2011 12:54:15 AM

Hi Malmental,

Thanks, got lucky on the motherboard i guess . .

3x CRX waste, really? How about just regular Xfire? Feel that 1 5850 might not be enough to really get good FPS for BF3
PSU came with the case and is rivited into the case, but I'm pretty sure it is a PC Power and Cooling Turbo-Cool 1KW-SR 1000W Continuous @ 50°C EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply
Here's the Memory, just bought it for my Inspiron: http://www.crucial.com/eu/store/mpartspecs.aspx?mtbpoid...


Also, my first question should be will my CPU bottleneck the trifire/crossfire? Pretty sure I have enough power . . .
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October 31, 2011 12:55:33 AM

oh yeah, should add that all prices are for used items, except for the COOLER MASTER Hyper 212
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October 31, 2011 2:18:09 AM

Ok, just purchased G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (Newegg for $55), I know it says "optimized for p67", but read reviews and see that will work with 1156 as well . . . I'll let you know if it works

What exactly will SSD do for me? I don't mind waiting longer for boot time, anything else it will affect? Really don't mind waiting a few months for prices to go down, SSD just so darn expensive and prefer to purchase 2nd hand for my 1st build (except for cheaper components like RAM and heatsink).

Here is my current fan setup:

- Front (intake) :
120 x 120 x 25 mm, blue LED fan, 1300 rpm, 17 dBA
- Side (intake) :
250 x 250 x 30 mm fan, 600 rpm, 15 dBA
- Rear (exhaust) :
120 x 120 x 25 mm blue LED fan, 1300 rpm, 17 dBA
90 x 90 x 25 mm, 1800 rpm, 19 dBA
- Top (exhaust) :
90 x 90 x 25 mm, 1800 rpm, 19 dBA

Where would I put the extra 120mm fans - front, rear, top / intake or exhaust?

Thanks for your suggestions Malmental
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November 1, 2011 1:41:49 PM

Yeah, I can add two more fans in the front for total of 3 - thanks for suggestion, I'll reply with picture when I finish.
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November 4, 2011 4:32:01 PM

well, have received all parts, but one question looms - can I run my new system from the dell OEM windows 7, or will I have to buy new copy of windows 7? I am following steps from this article: http://www.pcworld.com/article/200827/upgrade_your_moth..., but since don't have actual windows disk, not sure if I will run into any problems, any guidance would be helpful.
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November 4, 2011 5:03:53 PM

I am going to boot from my old dell HDD with windows 7, I don't have a physical Windows 7 disk - did not come with my dell. BTW, just found my Windows 7 Product ID and CD key using majical jellybean keyfinder.
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November 8, 2011 10:08:58 PM

Hi, just to give update :

I installed everything, but have issue with PCIEX16_1 slot. Computer runs, Windows works when use PCIEX16_2 slot, but since I want to run Trifire (or at least Crossfire), have to figure out if the PCIEX16_1 slot is defective, or if I am. I am posting new thread, since this is different issue here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/300479-30-pciex16_1-w...

More updates and pictures to come.
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November 16, 2011 7:52:23 PM

Ok, so am returning the ECS motherboard, PCIe16X_1 just doesn't work.

Found these online, which one would you get:

All are new:

MSI P55-GD85 for $130
MSI P55-GD80 for $120
MSI BIG BANG-FUZION for $100

I want to run crossfire 6950's.

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November 16, 2011 9:04:34 PM

first 2 links don't work
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November 16, 2011 9:05:35 PM

nevermind
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November 16, 2011 9:18:55 PM

couple of comments/questions:

ASUS P7P55 LX - looks like it will run xfire at x16x4, everything I read says for xfire should have at least x8x8
ASUS P7P55D PRO - going for 84+10 shipping = $94 refurbished. If compare to the gd80 new, seems to be very similar for 25 less. G85 is basically gd80 with usb3.0 and sata 6gb/s (and 1 less pcie16x slot), is the extra $35 worth it? I plan on getting ssd after christmas, gd85's PLX PCI-E bridge chip allows xfire with ssd, will p7p55d pro have similar performance?
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November 16, 2011 9:40:52 PM

left out fuzion as just read review that the fuzion chip doesn't perform as well as traditional xfire boards like gd80

really just want a board that will run xfire at x8x8 and also run ssd well enough. don't think usb3.0 is that important

also new boards would be better, since got burned on my last selection
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November 16, 2011 9:56:53 PM

malmental - I think I'm just going to go with the new in box MSI P55-GD85 for $130, and not go out this weekend. Really appreciate all your help, will be posting pics once I get the new mobo.
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November 16, 2011 9:58:07 PM

Best answer selected by wxy123.
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!