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Request opinions/suggestions on my build

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December 8, 2011 6:03:53 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: (Dec '11 - Jan '12)

Budget Range: $3000 or less before rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Multiple applications running at once / FPS Gaming / Streaming video / Adobe Photoshop & Bridge

Parts Not Required: Monitor / Keyboard / Soundcard / Secondary & Tertiary HDs...120GB SSD & 640GB 7200 WD

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg / Tiger Direct / Amazon

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: No preferences

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200

Additional Comments: I'd like to liquid cool w/zero maintenance. Also, I'd like to keep the computer as quiet as possible.

Here's my proposal:

Case Antec P280
PSU Cooler Master SilentPro Gold 1200W ATX
MOBO EVGA X79 SLI
CPU Intel core i7-3930K
Cooling Corsair H100
Memory 16GB Corsair Vengeance 1866MHz 16GB CL9 1.5v
HD 300GB Intel SSD
GPU GTX 580

Thanks for any all input!

Regards,

Herkdrvr
December 8, 2011 7:22:49 PM
December 8, 2011 7:42:20 PM

Sadams04,

Thank you! I will definitely explore the options you presented.

Regards,

Herkdrvr
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December 8, 2011 7:57:35 PM

Is $3000 all the money that is going into this?

Or are you thinking of adding another GTX 580 soon after the build is completed, like within a year?

If this system isn't going to be upgraded until 4+ years from now when you buy a whole new system starting from scratch again, then you can do a lot better than a GTX 580.

A 6870x2 + 6870 setup will be about the same cost as a GTX 580 and will crush it in performance.

Micro stuttering is potentially a problem with 2x video card setups, but if the 2x cards include 3x processors between them (6870x2 + 6870, for instance) then it is less micro stuttering than x2 configurations and you don't have to deal with that NVIDIA code that reduces performance to cover up the micro stuttering.

In any event, +1 on sadams other stuff.

I would probably take a Lian Li case or HAF X over the AntecP280, but that is a minor thing.

I can't imagine why you would want 4x 8GBs of RAM, but I guess change his 4x4 to 2x8 if you really want that 32.

The optical drive seems to be a little gratuitous, maybe scale that back some and spend more on the PSU. XFX 850 is nice, but if you go with my video card suggestion that is 3 video processors which is quite a bit of juice. Your original 1200w would be fine, though.
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December 8, 2011 8:31:35 PM

Raiddinn,

Thanks for the reply. A few answers & follow-on questions:

Are you suggesting I need to increase the budget a little, or is $3000 sufficient?

In terms of the GPU, I want to have everything from the start. I realize I didn't list 2x580 in my original post. I'll look at the 2x6870 you suggest.

I suppose I could do a Google search for micro stuttering, but could you please explain that a little?

Understand your case preference, but why the Lian Li or HAF X? I selected the P280 because of its noise-dampening construction. Or at least, that's what I understood it to be.

I take it 32GB is overkill on memory? I have 8GB in my system now and its fine. Maybe I did get carried away. ;-)

Thanks again, and I really do appreciate it.

Regards,

Herkdrvr
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December 8, 2011 9:20:26 PM

Herkdrvr - His video setup was using three GPUs. That motherboard has a third high speed PCIe slot. The 6870s in CF and another 6870 in the third slot is a very debatable option. At this point you are maxed out without having to go with all new GPUs when needing to upgrade, but you are in business with graphics power. In all reality you should probably save the cash up front and start with a single GTX 580 or HD 6970, then add a second in SLI / CF if needed. Or if you need to get more crazy, for the cost of a pair or GTX 580's you can pull three HD 6970s. Not sure it is really going to matter though as.. get this.. it is all overkill anyway (.. for a single display at 1920x1200). Seriously though, start with a single GTX 580 or HD 6970. You have a great upgrade path if needed. On the memory front, 16GB now is fine with your high budget. It is also cheap these days.

Raiddinn - FYI, LGA 2011 has quad mem controllers (8 slots) so it would only take another 4x4 to get to 32GB. Change that to 4x8 now to get to 32, then 8x8 later for 64. Not really a big deal since it is all overkill anyway. Did I say that already?
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Best solution

December 8, 2011 9:47:54 PM

The 6870x2 is 2 video processors on one video card. Combined with a second regular 6870 that is 2 slots.

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/4212/powercolor_radeon...

Any board that can fit those two video cards will probably be able to fit 4 RAM sticks, so he could go with 2x 8GBs now if he really wants to save room to go up to 32GB later, or just 4 x 4GB now and no room to go up to 32. The latter would be how I would go because 16GB is still a lot, but that is just me.

My Lian Li case is extremely quiet given that it has 5 fans on it.

In any event, as far as micro stuttering goes it mostly applies to 2x video card setups and almost doesn't apply at all for 3x.

The basic concept is that combinations with 2 video cards, the second one goes too soon after the first with a long wait until the first one is ready to take its turn again.

Say you have a machine that gets 30 FPS in some game. That is an average of 33 milliseconds per frame rendered. However, it would average out to 30 FPS if you had one Frame, 10 MS later another frame, 50 MS later another frame, 10 MS later another frame, 50 MS later another frame, and so on.

That would maintain the 30 FPS figure (2 per 60 MS is below 2 per 66 MS) but you would perceive the 50 MS wait time as stuttering.

Essentially, the game would feel like the 1st and 2nd render were just 1 render followed by 50 ms of nothing. It would kinda "feel" like 1 frame per 66 MS, which is 15 FPS.

Pretend, for the sake of argument that the actual figures are
render
20 ms
render
40 ms
render
20 ms
render
40 ms

If you stuck a 3rd graphics processor in there, it would look like this
render
20 ms
render
20 ms
render
20 ms
render
20 ms

You can perceive the "smoothness" of this and it feels like a much higher FPS than you would actually be getting.

Basically your eye tricks your brain into thinking you have more or less FPS based on how smooth the delivery is.

NVIDIA has code in its drivers in its SLI setup to cause the video cards not to render as quickly as possible (lower FPS), but at the same time smooth the delivery (every 30 ms instead of 10/50/10/50) so the game actually has a lower FPS, but it feels like more FPS.

- Edit - Here is a write up by this website that explains micro stuttering in much more detail.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...

- Edit 2 - From that link, an image that shows what I was trying to describe about the lack of smooth frame rates

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December 8, 2011 11:03:29 PM

@Sadams04: Thanks for the follow up. Definitely a lot to think about in terms of cash saved. Let me ask you this follow up. Since you have hammered home the point it's all overkill, what would you recommend for something that *isn't* overkill in terms of a new build given my earlier specifications?

@Raiddinn: Thanks for the very detailed explanation of micro stuttering. I'll examine the hyperlinked sites in more detail over the weekend. Copy that 16GB will suffice in this application.

@Both: Again, thank you so very much.

Regards,

Herkdrvr
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December 8, 2011 11:40:32 PM

Just wanted to throw another chart in there from much farther forward in the article to show 1 gpu vs 2 gpus vs 3 gpus vs 4 gpus.



Blue = 1
Teal = 2
Gray = 3
Red = 4

The variations with the 2 gpu configuration are extremely pronounced compared against 1x, 3x, or 4x gpus.
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December 9, 2011 12:33:14 PM

Herkdrvr said:
what would you recommend for something that *isn't* overkill in terms of a new build given my earlier specifications?


As needed upgrades can be had with a second HD 6970 2GB, 16GB more memory, and an Ivy Bridge CPU. Swap the GPU for the GTX 580 if you prefer.

MB - ASUS P8Z68-V - $170
CPU - i5-2600k - $320
CPU Cooler - Hyper 212 EVO - $34
GPU - XFX HD 6970 2GB - $320 afer MIR
MEM - G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series DDR3-1600 CL9 16GB (2x8GB) - $140
OS HD - OCZ Agility 3 240GB - $290 after MIR
OPTICAL - LG Black 12X BD-RW - $80
PSU - XFX Core PRO850W 80+ Silver - $125 after MIR
CASE - Antec P280 - $140
OS - Windows 7 Home Premium x64 - $100

$1720ish
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December 9, 2011 12:56:27 PM

Sadams04: Thank you! Appreciate the alternate system.

Regards,

Herkdrvr
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December 16, 2011 2:41:49 AM

Best answer selected by Herkdrvr.
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