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First time builder: Can you help me choose ram/hard drives?

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April 4, 2012 9:56:31 PM

Hi, everyone!

So here's what I'm pretty confident in (though tell me if you see anything wrong, I can still exchange things):

Rampage IV Extreme 2011
Intel i7 3930K
Noctua NH-D14
Win 7 64 Ultimate
Cooler Master Haf-X case
GeForce GTX560ti 448-pin (my monitor, which I'm not ready to upgrade, is only 1440x900)
Corsair Enthusiast 850watt 80-plus bronze


Here are the components I'm worried about (some are on the way, some I haven't ordered yet):

RAM: Corsair 16gb - 2133 MHz
Since I've started looking into forums I've noticed NOBODY mentions this ram. Am I making a mistake? Is there something I don't know?

2x Intel 320 series SSD
I'm a novelist and, thus, horrified at the prospect of lost data. I intend to put these 2 SSDs in a RAID 1 (mirror) configuration. Though, they are really only going to be hosting my OS. I only recently noticed, however, that the drives are only 3gb/s capable. Obviously I should go with the 520 series, right? Except, where the 320 series drives are all highly rated, the 6gb/s SSD drives I've read about all seem to have issues with failing (see above, my worst nightmare). Am I really going to see that big of a jump in quality by returning my 320 drives in exchange for 520s? Are the 320 series drives more stable at the moment? Although I want performance, I prize stability a little more right now.

4x Western Digital 1TB RE4 HDs
Okay, second verse same as the first. I intend on putting these 4 drives into a RAID 10 configuration. Again, these are only 3gb/s drives and I wonder if I should be considering the WD Black Caviar drives. They are comparably priced but I notice sooo many user complaints about the Caviar drives (from noise to the dreaded disk fail) whenever anyone tries to put them into a RAID configuration. Help? Same questions from before: 1) will I really notice much difference between the 3gb/s and the 6gb/s (I'm not running a server or anything, these drives are just for my personal use... you know, massive collections of porn, comic books, "how to" manuals I will never read, games, music, etc. I also do a fair amount of video editing (not porn) which will take up most of the space on these drives). 2) Would I be sacrificing major stability for a minor performance boost by switching to the Caviar drives?

This computer will mainly be used for gaming and video editing (well writing mainly, if you want to get technical, but consider this build a great test of how distracted I can get while supposedly finishing my novels). At the moment that is my entire set up. I don't need a keyboard, mouse, or monitor. I really appreciate any advice you can give. This is my first build, I'm very excited about it, and I don't want to mess anything up too badly.

Thanks for replying!

Last minute I forgot to add: I'm in the U.S!
April 4, 2012 10:06:19 PM

Go with the new hd 7850 graphics card, corsair ram is great but imo you don't need any ram faster than CL9 1600 Mhz ram. Caviar Black drives are usually pretty stable from what i have heard(i currently have a seagate 1tb drive and it is fine) but i could be wrong.

Now for the ssd, Intel is probably good but i have not had one of their ssd's. I have a samsung 830 series 64gb ssd, and it is great with no problems.
You could keep the intel, go with samsung, or you could alternately go with a crucial m4.

Do you really need that mobo and cpu for gaming and "video editing(writing)", i mean seriously? If you want to do a much cheaper build, you could go with a p8z68-v pro/gen3 with a 2600k if you actually do any video editing, if not go with a 2500k.

And for the OS, do you really need Win7 ultimate, why not just go with home. Will you actually ever use the features in Ultimate. Of course if you are getting the OS by *cough* other means *cough* then by all means go with Ultimate.
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Best solution

April 4, 2012 10:12:01 PM

Quote:
And for the OS, do you really need Win7 ultimate, why not just go with home. Will you actually ever use the features in Ultimate. Of course if you are getting the OS by *cough* other means *cough* then by all means go with Ultimate.


Don't get 7 Home Premium on an X79 build - because then you forfeit use of any extra RAM over 16GB you might need if you're using Adobe CS 5 or anything that requires heavy use of RAM. Get Pro - it's a good balance between HP and Ultimate.

Quote:
2x Intel 320 series SSD
I'm a novelist and, thus, horrified at the prospect of lost data. I intend to put these 2 SSDs in a RAID 1 (mirror) configuration. Though, they are really only going to be hosting my OS. I only recently noticed, however, that the drives are only 3gb/s capable. Obviously I should go with the 520 series, right? Except, where the 320 series drives are all highly rated, the 6gb/s SSD drives I've read about all seem to have issues with failing (see above, my worst nightmare). Am I really going to see that big of a jump in quality by returning my 320 drives in exchange for 520s? Are the 320 series drives more stable at the moment? Although I want performance, I prize stability a little more right now.


Yes you should - the Intel 320 is SATA-II based and it's quite a bit old and outdated - the 520 is a better bet, but if you can get a Crucial M4 that would be the ultimate - I have the M4 and the 320 and I'd vastly prefer the M4 over anything else.

Quote:
RAM: Corsair 16gb - 2133 MHz
Since I've started looking into forums I've noticed NOBODY mentions this ram. Am I making a mistake? Is there something I don't know?


The reason why nobody mentions this RAM is because you're never going to notice any performance gains over 1600 when the motherboard by default will set the RAM to the lowest speeds it can handle - and this is universal across X79, P55, Z68, 975, AM3, you name it.

Quote:
Now for the ssd, Intel is probably good but i have not had one of their ssd's. I have a samsung 830 series 64gb ssd, and it is great with no problems.
You could keep the intel, go with samsung, or you could alternately go with a crucial m4.


Any drive that uses a Micron-based controller like the 830 or M4 will be far better than any drive with a Sandforce-based controller like the Vertex 3 or Force 3.

Quote:
4x Western Digital 1TB RE4 HDs
Okay, second verse same as the first. I intend on putting these 4 drives into a RAID 10 configuration. Again, these are only 3gb/s drives and I wonder if I should be considering the WD Black Caviar drives. They are comparably priced but I notice sooo many user complaints about the Caviar drives (from noise to the dreaded disk fail) whenever anyone tries to put them into a RAID configuration. Help? Same questions from before: 1) will I really notice much difference between the 3gb/s and the 6gb/s (I'm not running a server or anything, these drives are just for my personal use... you know, massive collections of porn, comic books, "how to" manuals I will never read, games, music, etc. I also do a fair amount of video editing (not porn) which will take up most of the space on these drives). 2) Would I be sacrificing major stability for a minor performance boost by switching to the Caviar drives?


No - if you've got a fast SSD for your boot drive, you won't notice any difference between 5900 RPM and 7200RPM - anyone who says you will otherwise most likely doesn't know what they're talking about.
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April 4, 2012 10:16:55 PM

Hey, terpsfan,

Thanks for the reply! Great advice, too. I don't know why (I'm greedy, also lame) but I never even considered getting a lesser version of Win 7. You're completely right about how I'll probably never use most of those features. Boom! The sound of you saving me money.

As for the mobo, you are also right. It was a gift, however, from someone who knows very little about computers and I basically decided to build the entire computer around said gift. I could be stuck with worse things ;-)

I'll take a look at that proc you mentioned.

Sounds like the only question I have left is whether or not these Caviar Black drives are stable enough in a RAID 10 config. Does anyone know?
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April 4, 2012 10:23:51 PM

Hi, g-unit1111,

Thanks a lot for the comments! So Pro is better, cool. I will definitely take your advice on the SSDs and look into Crucial M4 (awesome that those drives are actually cheaper).

So you're saying the difference between the Caviar Black and the RE4 is zilch as far as performance. Does that mean I should just stick with the RE4? They are close enough for me to call them the same price.

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April 4, 2012 10:29:39 PM

bazinfan said:
Hi, g-unit1111,

Thanks a lot for the comments! So Pro is better, cool. I will definitely take your advice on the SSDs and look into Crucial M4 (awesome that those drives are actually cheaper).

So you're saying the difference between the Caviar Black and the RE4 is zilch as far as performance. Does that mean I should just stick with the RE4? They are close enough for me to call them the same price.


Yes - on mechanical drives you'll never notice any performance difference 5900 RPM, 7200RPM, and 10K RPM. If this were your primary drive that would be a different story but it's secondary so you won't.
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April 4, 2012 10:38:19 PM

2133MHz offers no advantage. Get 1600 or 1866, and invest the money in an SSD.
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April 4, 2012 10:44:42 PM

obsama1 said:
2133MHz offers no advantage. Get 1600 or 1866, and invest the money in an SSD.


Thanks, Obsama1,

I'm pretty convinced you are right after what everyone has been saying in this thread.
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April 5, 2012 5:20:09 AM

Best answer selected by bazinfan.
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