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Motherboard & RAM

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December 2, 2011 3:45:36 PM

Hi,

I'm getting ready to put together a new gaming rig. After reading a few reviews I've decided on the following components:

i7-2600k (best gaming CPU, apparently)
Cooler Master HAF X case
Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 1000W
2 x GTX480 SLI (I already have one and I've read some reviews that show a great leap in performance on high resolutions)
Zalman CNPS 9900NT CPU cooler (I have one now on a Q9550 and it's brilliant, although a bit tricky to fit)
Logitech G700 mouse
Asus 1155 P8Z68-V PRO
Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C​8 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1600MHz CL8 DDR3 Vengeance Memory, or
Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1866C​9 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1866MHz CL9 DDR3 Vengeance Memory

My questions are:
1. Is the mobo good enough, as long as I don't want to add another graphics card?
2. Both the RAM above are in the Asus QVL but is it better to go with CL8 on a lower frequency or CL9 on a higher frequency?

Thanks.

More about : motherboard ram

December 2, 2011 4:06:41 PM

shep66 said:
Hi,

I'm getting ready to put together a new gaming rig. After reading a few reviews I've decided on the following components:

i7-2600k (best gaming CPU, apparently)
Cooler Master HAF X case
Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 1000W
2 x GTX480 SLI (I already have one and I've read some reviews that show a great leap in performance on high resolutions)
Zalman CNPS 9900NT CPU cooler (I have one now on a Q9550 and it's brilliant, although a bit tricky to fit)
Logitech G700 mouse
Asus 1155 P8Z68-V PRO
Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C​8 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1600MHz CL8 DDR3 Vengeance Memory, or
Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1866C​9 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1866MHz CL9 DDR3 Vengeance Memory

My questions are:
1. Is the mobo good enough, as long as I don't want to add another graphics card?
2. Both the RAM above are in the Asus QVL but is it better to go with CL8 on a lower frequency or CL9 on a higher frequency?

Thanks.


1. Actually the i5-2500K is commonly regarded as the best gaming CPU for the money at the moment. The i7-2600K is usually only 1-2% faster for gaming and that really is not worth the extra ~$100 for most users. Ultimately both CPU's are very good though.

2) I have heard this is a good motherboard and I currently have one being shipped to me for my new build :bounce: 

3) Typically speaking I have always heard that Intel builds benefit more from RAM speed vs. latency where AMD builds are the opposite although both factor into the speed of the computer. However, since the stock ram speeds of the Intel memory control for Sandy (and I think the upcoming Ivy) Bridge is set at 1600MHz there is really no benefit to getting the 1866MHz unless you plan on overclocking the memory quite a bit. I would stick with the CL8 1600MHz
December 2, 2011 4:11:37 PM

Thanks Venom4U. I'll probably stick with the 2600k but the RAM advice is just what I needed.

Another question, can you confirm that sockets 1155 & 1156 are the same when it comes to coolers? I've read somewhere that they are but the vendors advice seems patchy and I really want that Zalman.
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December 2, 2011 4:28:03 PM

shep66 said:
Thanks Venom4U. I'll probably stick with the 2600k but the RAM advice is just what I needed.

Another question, can you confirm that sockets 1155 & 1156 are the same when it comes to coolers? I've read somewhere that they are but the vendors advice seems patchy and I really want that Zalman.


Yes the 1155 and 1156 are the same with regards to CPU heatsinks.

Also product specs 775/1366/1156/1155 socket support on the Intel side: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
December 2, 2011 4:42:06 PM

about the rams - at those speeds - better to get the lowest latencies. if its above 1600MHZ than get the higher latencied rams dimms.

+1 to sticking with 1600Mhz rams - unless you plan to OC heavy with the dimms
December 2, 2011 5:16:12 PM

I have the copper version of that heatsink, and while it is good, I like the hyper 212 better. The problem with the zalman is that for the price there are better heatsinks, and while the fan is fairly quiet (I have never had to let it go past setting 1 of 9 on my mobo) it was by far the loudest fan in my case until I purchased a 570GT (I had a passive heatsink on my 9800GT which was recently replaced). Other than that they are beautiful, and work very well. I just wish my mobo had an off option for it as the fan is really not needed on modern processors while browsing the internet and other simple stuff.

Dual 480's sounds wonderful!

as venom said, stick with the 1600 unless doing some major OCing. Normally I even suggest going with 1333 as most people would never see the difference, but you strike me as someone who might.

Lastly, the i5K would be the way to go for the processor. Games do not recognize the hyperthreading, and there is literally no consistently provable difference between the i5K and i7K when it comes to gaming. Video editing and 3D work is a different story, but if just playing games save yourself $100 to spend on a bigger SSD or something else that you would get a better benefit from.

Looks like a fun build
December 2, 2011 7:50:55 PM

Yeah CaedenV, I can't wait to get started. You mention 3D work but what about 3D gaming? Would the i7 be better there?

The other thing is, I don't want to have to upgrade again for at least 2-3 years, so the i7 might be better for whatever is around the corner.
December 5, 2011 12:34:22 PM

I also need a cooling solution for the twins. Are there any coolers that sit in between 2 cards on this Asus board, say in a PCI slot, and cool both at once? Or do I need to buy 2 separate coolers? Any recommendations welcome.
December 5, 2011 12:53:38 PM

shep66 said:
Yeah CaedenV, I can't wait to get started. You mention 3D work but what about 3D gaming? Would the i7 be better there?

The other thing is, I don't want to have to upgrade again for at least 2-3 years, so the i7 might be better for whatever is around the corner.


No 3D gaming we be essentially the same for i5 and i7. I would only recommend the i7 if you do some heavily threaded applications like video transcoding or the like as games typically do not utilize all the i5's cores.

Also, regarding the twins you could probably setup a case fan for incidental air flow although if that is not enough there are custom heatsink/fan configurations on newegg that could be something to look into.
December 5, 2011 7:55:41 PM

I've been looking at custom heatsink/fan combinations and it looks like they all somehow bolt on to the card. It looks like they also require the stock cooler/fan to be removed. I haven't looked at water coolers. Is it normal for an SLI set-up to have 2 (or more) separate coolers?
December 5, 2011 8:15:39 PM

yeap

in fact if you look at the DirectCU II of the GTX 580 - you'll see its a 3 slot cooler
December 17, 2011 8:50:06 AM

venom4u said:
Typically speaking I have always heard that Intel builds benefit more from RAM speed vs. latency where AMD builds are the opposite although both factor into the speed of the computer. However, since the stock ram speeds of the Intel memory control for Sandy (and I think the upcoming Ivy) Bridge is set at 1600MHz there is really no benefit to getting the 1866MHz unless you plan on overclocking the memory quite a bit. I would stick with the CL8 1600MHz


When I checked RAM on Scan, they classify Vengeance as "entry level". Is it really that basic or are they just being elitist? I'm guessing it's still good for gaming.

There's a lot of choice on the QVL (for the Asus 1155 P8Z68-V PRO), so does anyone know if there is better, faster RAM I could use (e.g. Kingston, OCZ)?
!