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Compatibility/Suggestions 2

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November 28, 2011 7:00:49 PM

I know I've posted this before, but the post has disappeared into the depths of the forum, so I decided to post it again, since you can't bump.

OP:
"So, I am making a new build for general use, gaming, and rendering (Photoshop/game design). These are the parts I have picked out. Since this is my first build, I just need someone to check them to make sure they are all compatible. Also, If anyone has any suggestions for something I should replace, feel free to give it :) 

Main Components

Case: Thermaltake VM20001W2Z Armor A60
Mobo: ASUS P8P67 Pro B3 Intel P67 Motherboard (possibly MSI Z68A-GD80 (G3) Intel Z68)
RAM: Kingston KHX1600C9D3K2/8G
CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K BX80623I72600K Unlocked (possibly 2700k)
GPU: PowerColor AX6950 2GBD5-2DH Radeon HD 6950 (getting two of these)
Slave Drive: Western Digital WD1002FAEX Caviar Black
Main Drive: Western Digital WD3200AAKS Caviar Blue
PSU: Corsair HX850W 850w
Monitors: Acer G235hAbd 23" Widescreen LCD (getting three of these)
Optical Drive: Liteon iHAS324 24X DVD-RW SATA

Extras

Extra Fan: Aerocool LightWave
Liquid Cooling: Corsair CWCH50-1 Hydro H50
Fan Controller: NZXT Sentry LX
Flash Card Reader: Sabrent CRW-UINB

Thank you."

I got one response about changing my CPU to a 2700k, and my mobo to Z68, which I'm assuming is this:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Now, there is one other thing. I got the suggestion for the PSU on these forums, and I went along with it, until I noticed that each of my GPUs need 500w at least. Having two of those would exceed 850w easily, not including processor or anything else that needs power. Would the PSU still work, as it was suggested by someone on these forums, knowing how much power the GPUs take?

Best solution

a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 28, 2011 7:18:47 PM
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Quote:
Having two of those would exceed 850w easily, not including processor or anything else that needs power. Would the PSU still work, as it was suggested by someone on these forums, knowing how much power the GPUs take?


With two of those cards, 850 would be stretching it. Try a PC Power & Cooling Silencer 950W if you're uncertain - it will give you plenty of power and then some, it's actually one of the best price/performance PSUs on the market.

First off, you do not initially need any of the extra fans or the card reader (although if you have to have one I'd highly recommend one of these ). Stuff like that is actually a waste of money when you get your build together, and most fan controllers from my experience are worthless. Even the one built into my case requires a bunch of crazy connections to get going - it's not worth it by any means. Spend the money on getting the best hardware you can - add the extra accessories later when you feel like it. Drop all that stuff and instead of getting the H50 go for the H100 - a much better investment.

Your build looks pretty solid except for a couple of suggestions. Drop the main drive and replace that with a Crucial M4. With HD prices as ridiculous as they are right now (and the manufacturers don't seem to care :lol:  ), getting two could kill your budget. Get one, and then pair it with an SSD - I had a similar setup but when I moved my main drive to an SSD it made a HUUUUUUUGE difference.

Instead of a P67, use a Z68 board - much better support for larger HDs, Asus makes good and very solid and reliable boards, but I've been using Gigabyte lately and really like them so far.

I don't know much about Powercolor graphics cards, but I recommend Sapphire for Radeon - their Flex series is one of the best on the market for setting up multiple displays. With the Flex 6950 you get the option of running multiple displays in native HDMI as opposed to using HDMI - DVI - DVI, with those monitors as good as they are, you want them running in HDMI.

The 2700K is actually very overkill when the $219 i5-2500K will do everything you need it to and then some.

I also don't like Thermaltake cases - with a build this high end that's one area I would not recommend skimping. Try the Corsair Carbide, NZXT Phantom, or Antec Lanboy.
November 28, 2011 7:50:07 PM

Thanks for the quick reply :) 

I will drop the fan controller (for now, at least), but I do need a card reader because I do want this machine to fit pretty much anything I need it for, but I will go with the one you suggested. May I ask why you suggest that one? It is significantly more expensive, and doesn't seem to be able to read as many types of cards as the one I originally chose, and the Newegg page for it doesn't help much.

Which model of the Crucial M4 do you recommend? I am thinking I will at least have to get the 256 GB version, as I use up a lot of space with programs (SWTOR takes up A LOT of room, on top of things like Photoshop and either Unreal Engine or UDK... That's a lot of space).

When I search for "Z68 gigabyte" on Tiger Direct, This is the search results page I get:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/sea...

Which one do you mean? Could you provide a link?

The GPU I just saw at (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...) looks amazing, I have to say. 2GB video memory, dual DVI and HDMI ports, Eyefinity (which I will be using), and the max. resolution is great. I'll definitely switch over to this one.

Even so, I think I will at least stick with the 2600k, mainly because of future-proofing, and it will certainly run things like UDK.

Thanks for the help. You have really changed my build for the better :) 

PS: May I ask why so many people prefer Newegg over Tiger Direct? I generally find cheaper prices on TD, and I don't care much that they're slower.

EDIT: Just saw your bit about my power supply. The new one will do nicely, thank you :) 
But how does adding up power work? Even the Sapphire GPU I will use now still takes 500w each, but you said that 950w will give me plenty of power. Why? I think I'm missing something about adding up power.

Also, about the case: What do you see that wouldn't work with the current one? Is it the size? Quality?
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 28, 2011 8:30:06 PM

Quote:
I will drop the fan controller (for now, at least), but I do need a card reader because I do want this machine to fit pretty much anything I need it for, but I will go with the one you suggested. May I ask why you suggest that one? It is significantly more expensive, and doesn't seem to be able to read as many types of cards as the one I originally chose, and the Newegg page for it doesn't help much.


I have two of those card readers - they are very solid, well built and will read any available format you have. They are also the only card reader on the market that does not require an adapter, and on some cases those can be a huge pain to install.

Quote:
Which model of the Crucial M4 do you recommend? I am thinking I will at least have to get the 256 GB version, as I use up a lot of space with programs (SWTOR takes up A LOT of room, on top of things like Photoshop and either Unreal Engine or UDK... That's a lot of space). ]


The 256GB model costs a lot of money - go with the 128GB model. What I do is I have my OS and a few main programs stored on the primary SSD, then I use a dedicated drive for media (MP3s, movies, etc), and then I have my Steam folder setup on a dedicated 320GB hard drive that I used in an old build. It's not going to decrease the performance of your system at all since the general rule of SSD is that you don't want to overload your drive beyond 80% capacity - an SSD can only perform a limited number of read / write cycles in the drives' lifespan and the less you store on your primary the better off you'll be. What you want to look for in an SSD is what programs you'll be using on the main drive (use the secondary for large data like games, CD/DVD/BD burns, and so on). A typical Windows install takes up ~16GB so you need to take that into account as well.

Quote:
When I search for "Z68 gigabyte" on Tiger Direct, This is the search results page I get:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applica [...] 8+gigabyte


The way Gigabyte works is that the model numbers generally indicate what feature sets they have are. I use the UD3P which has an HDMI output while the UD3 doesn't. The higher numbers you go the more features it has. For your setup I'd recommend the Z68XP-UD5, that should handle everything you can throw at it (and I really like the ability to charge USB devices even if your PC is powered off).

Quote:

The GPU I just saw at (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...) looks amazing, I have to say. 2GB video memory, dual DVI and HDMI ports, Eyefinity (which I will be using), and the max. resolution is great. I'll definitely switch over to this one.


Excellent choice. Sapphire is one of the best Radeon makers on the market - their products are on par with EVGA in my opinion. My Sapphire 5800 is still running quite strong, I'll stick with it until it dies. :lol: 

Quote:

EDIT: Just saw your bit about my power supply. The new one will do nicely, thank you :) 
But how does adding up power work? Even the Sapphire GPU I will use now still takes 500w each, but you said that 950w will give me plenty of power. Why? I think I'm missing something about adding up power.


It's simple math. Your CPU requires a certain wattage, so does your motherboard. Add any and all optical and hard drives you want to run. The fans and coolers require another amount, add extra wattage if you plan to overclock. Add wattage for one GPU, then multiply it by 2. Read this - it explains it better than I can (especially the last two pages). :lol: 
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-psu-re...

Quote:
PS: May I ask why so many people prefer Newegg over Tiger Direct? I generally find cheaper prices on TD, and I don't care much that they're slower.


Newegg has one of the best customer service and RMA departments on the planet if something goes wrong.

Quote:
Also, about the case: What do you see that wouldn't work with the current one? Is it the size? Quality?


What you mainly want to look for in a case is quality (obviously :lol:  ), how much space it has for your video cards and PSU, and how easy it is to add and remove drives in the future. I have the Cooler Master HAF 912 and I really like the case but it is not easy to work with large video cards since I have to remove the card if I need to do anything with the SATA ports. Cable management and airflow are also two highly important areas you need to research. If you plan to overclock you do not want to skimp in that area. I like the Corsair cases because the layout of the cases are very well thought out and they include everything you need for current and future expansion - I use the Graphite 600T and love this case - it has everything. If you're using an SSD you want to make sure that your case supports 2.5" drives. Toolless is always a good option (even though you still really need tools :lol:  ), but it's not necessary.
November 28, 2011 9:06:55 PM

What do you mean by an adapter?

So, you have 3 drives? The main drive, one for media, and one for programs?
I think I could probably cut it with 2 drives, the Crucial M4 128GB for my OS (Win7) and a couple of main programs (such as Firefox, TrueCrypt, things I use all the time), and then have a 1TB HD for other programs and files, as the only real files I will have will be for school work, some game design stuff, and various miscellaneous things, so I could probably cut it with one slave drive as opposed to two.

I'll probably go with that board, it looks great, thanks :) 

I don't know if that's a very good argument, as I can get great customer service on websites like this, or on various information websites. I'd much rather have a lower price, really.

I cannot seem to find any cases - on TD or Newegg - that have 2.5" drive slots, although I'm probably missing something. :ange: 

EDIT: Just thought of another question. Do you think I should go x32 or x64? I need power, but I have also been told that x32 would work fine. What would you recommend?
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 28, 2011 9:31:12 PM

Quote:
What do you mean by an adapter?


To use an SSD on a desktop you'll need a 2.5" to 3.5" drive adapters. Most cases come with them anymore but most of the time they don't really advertise it. If you look at the product pages closer most show some form of adapter on the photos.

Quote:

So, you have 3 drives? The main drive, one for media, and one for programs?
I think I could probably cut it with 2 drives, the Crucial M4 128GB for my OS (Win7) and a couple of main programs (such as Firefox, TrueCrypt, things I use all the time), and then have a 1TB HD for other programs and files, as the only real files I will have will be for school work, some game design stuff, and various miscellaneous things, so I could probably cut it with one slave drive as opposed to two.


Yeah I have three drives but my storage layout wasn't very well thought out. My build is mostly from 2009 and when I built that computer 2 and 3TB hard drives didn't exist yet. I did tons of research on my SSD and got the best one I could for the price and for what my motherboard could handle. I actually have two systems and my SB build that I use for work (Intel Z68) has a better storage layout with a 1TB Samsung Spinpoint and a 64GB Crucial M4. My home build (Intel X58) uses a 120GB Intel 320 for the primary, a 1TB Caviar Green as the secondary, and a 320GB Caviar Blue as the third.

Quote:
I don't know if that's a very good argument, as I can get great customer service on websites like this, or on various information websites. I'd much rather have a lower price, really.


Besides customer service - Newegg isn't saddled with the awful Ultra brand, they have a far better selection than Tiger (with a lot of brands you can't find on Tiger like Asrock, Seasonic, G.Skill, and Antec), and they're more honest about what they can and cannot sell. Plus they have far better user reviews.

Quote:
I cannot seem to find any cases - on TD or Newegg - that have 2.5" drive slots, although I'm probably missing something. :ange: 


They won't - most cases don't come with dedicated slots for 2.5" drives. The Corsair case I mentioned is setup specifically for use with SSD and they include plenty of adapters and mounts for 2.5" and 3.5" hard drives with plenty of room to add additional drives later on.

Quote:
EDIT: Just thought of another question. Do you think I should go x32 or x64? I need power, but I have also been told that x32 would work fine. What would you recommend?


That all depends on how much memory you want to run. <=4GB requires a 32-bit operating system. >=4GB requires a 64-bit operating system. I definitely recommend going with more than 4GB since it will allow your system to be more future proof.
November 28, 2011 10:11:16 PM

I was actually talking about the card reader with that adapter bit :) 

Yes, I have noticed that on Newegg, there are far more options than TD. But I also really dislike their search functions. There isn't a way to weed out categories like there is on TD. You just search for it, and it comes up with a list.

Can you buy adapters/mounts for SSDs? There aren't very many cases I feel would work well with my space that support 2.5" drives.

I have always planned on running 8GB of Kingston RAM, so it looks like I'm going x64 :) 
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 28, 2011 10:46:51 PM

Quote:
I was actually talking about the card reader with that adapter bit :) 


Oh, I misread that. :lol: 

You'll still need an adapter and mounting brackets if you plan to use any sort of 2.5" drive in your case - they're quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Quote:
Yes, I have noticed that on Newegg, there are far more options than TD. But I also really dislike their search functions. There isn't a way to weed out categories like there is on TD. You just search for it, and it comes up with a list.


Newegg has great search functions - on the top right hand corner in which ever category you are in they have a feature for guided search or advanced search.

Quote:
Can you buy adapters/mounts for SSDs? There aren't very many cases I feel would work well with my space that support 2.5" drives.


Yes. Most cases now should come with at least one or two - the Corsair case I mentioned does. If not try these:

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

Quote:
I have always planned on running 8GB of Kingston RAM, so it looks like I'm going x64 :) 


Yes much better. But one thing you do want to keep in mind is that Win 7 Home Premium will only address up to 16GB of RAM. Pro and Ultimate will allow for higher RAM capacities - way beyond 16GB. If you're going to be working with Photoshop and/or CS4 you will definitely need to make plans to allow for higher RAM capacities in the future. When choosing RAM you have to make sure that the voltage is compatible with the motherboard you've selected. Most MB manufacturers have a compatibility list for memory and CPUs - but it's just a general guideline - it's near impossible to test every part out there. As long as you have 1.5V for SB you're good to go.
November 28, 2011 11:17:32 PM

I'm not seeing those advanced search features. In the top right corner, I see login, the cart, wishlists, and help.

Oh, actually, my mistake. The case I'm looking at actually does have 2.5" bays :)  Sorry about that.

I was going to get Professional. I don't usually go for the Home edition of whatever OS it is.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 29, 2011 12:31:20 AM

TechHunter16 said:
I'm not seeing those advanced search features. In the top right corner, I see login, the cart, wishlists, and help.

Oh, actually, my mistake. The case I'm looking at actually does have 2.5" bays :)  Sorry about that.

I was going to get Professional. I don't usually go for the Home edition of whatever OS it is.


If it's a system that's going to be used just for games - that's when I only recommend the Home Premium version. Otherwise 7 Pro is always your best bet.

Oh and I meant left side of the screen. :lol: 
November 29, 2011 1:13:53 AM

Still not really seeing it, but no matter.
Do you have any more to say? Otherwise, I will pick a best answer :) 

Thanks for all your help by the way. You've definitely changed my build for the better.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 29, 2011 1:59:25 AM

TechHunter16 said:
Still not really seeing it, but no matter.
Do you have any more to say? Otherwise, I will pick a best answer :) 

Thanks for all your help by the way. You've definitely changed my build for the better.


The only thing I'd add is you should really research your case. Don't just pick the one you think looks the best or that is the highest rated. Really look at cable management, what size PSU and video cards it can accommodate and the air flow. Those are the main things you want to look at.

And no problem - that should be a sweet build.
November 29, 2011 10:05:55 AM

Best answer selected by TechHunter16.
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