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New Build, Questions/Advice!

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May 15, 2012 9:53:40 PM

Hello,
Building a new computer. Its been almost three years. My old stuff will probably be sold or salvaged for other stuff. Lots of new stuff has come out so an upgrade, based on my research should be pretty significant now. Since I bought my last computer we now have: 22nm processors, 28nm video cards, USB3, SATA3, PCI-E-3...etc. And now Windows 8 is around the corner.

My current build is:

CPU: Intel Core i7 920 D0.
RAM: OCZ Platinum 6GB Triple Channel; 3x2GB, CAS-Latency=7.
MB: Asus P6T.
PSU: Corsair 850TX.
SSD: Intel X25-M.
GPU: EVGA Nvidia e-Geforce GTX460 (768MB).

Nothing here is overclocked. Also for my case I want an HAF-912 Black Edition. Downgrade in size from the 932, but I do not need it. In addition, I am not upgrading my GPU yet, because I am waiting later this year for something like a GTX660. The 600s cards are too overkill for my requirements at this point as the 670 is the lowest one. Just a heads up as comparison to what I am planning to upgrade to as well as some reason:

What I plan on buying:

CPU: Intel Core i7 3770

PSU: Corsair AX650
^(Reason I want this PSU is, because of good brand name and secondly, I want a fully modular power supply. I already made a mistake with my other previous build having a non modular PSU and not using a lot of wires which create a huge hassle and mess inside the case.)

SSD: Intel 520 60GB SSD

^If anybody has any advice, recommendations or anything to say about these parts so far, please do. These are the parts I found to be the best from my research and lurking.

=========================

Here comes the part where I cannot decide. It involves the motherboard and that involves the RAM. My main motherboard decision is between the:

Gigabyte GA-Z77-DS3H

And

Asus P8Z77-V LX

Anybody have any recommendations? I currently have an Asus and its been a fantastic motherboard. I particularly like the BIOS. Anybody have experience of very recent Gigabyte/Asus motherboards to say which is better...or even if there is another one I should be looking at?

Now, due the gigabyte supporting up to 2400mhz ram and the Asus supporting just 1600mhz (without overclocking), I am deciding between two sets of RAM.

I will get these Mushkin Enhanced Redlines @ 1600Mhz if I get the Asus

And

I will get these G.Skill Ripjaws @ 2400Mhz if I get the Gigabyte

I am not dead set on any of these parts so if anybody has advice or recommendations to differ, PLEASE say it, thats why I'm posting here after all. In addition, is the upgrade from a 2.67Ghz i7 920 to a 3.4Ghz i7-3770 a big upgrade in terms of REAL WORLD performance?...Benchmarks show absolute domination by the 3770.

Thanks for any help.

-blackhawk1928

More about : build questions advice

Best solution

May 16, 2012 6:06:18 PM

Quote:

What I plan on buying:

CPU: Intel Core i7 3770

PSU: Corsair AX650
^(Reason I want this PSU is, because of good brand name and secondly, I want a fully modular power supply. I already made a mistake with my other previous build having a non modular PSU and not using a lot of wires which create a huge hassle and mess inside the case.)

SSD: Intel 520 60GB SSD

^If anybody has any advice, recommendations or anything to say about these parts so far, please do. These are the parts I found to be the best from my research and lurking.


The Corsair is an excellent PSU no question but your PSU is largely determined by what GPU you'll be running. If you're going to be running 2 x SLI or 3 x SLI you'll need to adjust your PSU accordingly - the Keppler cards and even the new Radeons are far more energy efficient than previous generations - the days of 1K+ PSUs are coming to an end.

The Intel 520 is not a good choice for SSD - as is anything Sandforce based. You want a Marvell based drive - check out the new OCZ Vertex 4: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:

Here comes the part where I cannot decide. It involves the motherboard and that involves the RAM. My main motherboard decision is between the:

Gigabyte GA-Z77-DS3H

And

Asus P8Z77-V LX

Anybody have any recommendations? I currently have an Asus and its been a fantastic motherboard. I particularly like the BIOS. Anybody have experience of very recent Gigabyte/Asus motherboards to say which is better...or even if there is another one I should be looking at?

Now, due the gigabyte supporting up to 2400mhz ram and the Asus supporting just 1600mhz (without overclocking), I am deciding between two sets of RAM.


Do *NOT* use any RAM above 1600MHz - Intel will actually void your warranty if they find out you've been using such RAM. You'll never notice the speed increases because by default the motherboard runs the lowest speeds and timings it can handle and going beyond the stock speeds has the potential to be build frying.

You do not need 2400MHz RAM - invest that in getting a better motherboard, the lower end motherboards skimp on the features. Try something like the one I just got: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
I am not dead set on any of these parts so if anybody has advice or recommendations to differ, PLEASE say it, thats why I'm posting here after all. In addition, is the upgrade from a 2.67Ghz i7 920 to a 3.4Ghz i7-3770 a big upgrade in terms of REAL WORLD performance?...Benchmarks show absolute domination by the 3770.


That depends on what the primary use is going to be. If it's gaming then the 3770K will be overkill. You want the i5-3570K as it's a CPU that's marketed and geared toward gamers. Unless you're running heavy duty CS5 and video editing apps you won't need the full feature set of the 3770K.
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May 16, 2012 7:59:11 PM

Wow, I cannot thank you enough! Now, I have some more questions.

Quote:

The Intel 520 is not a good choice for SSD - as is anything Sandforce based. You want a Marvell based drive - check out the new OCZ Vertex 4: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820227791


Why stray away from sandforce controllers?
Are they slow/unreliable?
Currently, my X25-M is on Intels proprietary controller, but it seems that all of their SSD's have moved to Sandforce.

Also, is that OCZ Vertex 4 faster in real life than that Intel 520?

It seems that the vertex is cheaper per GB so am I sacrificing performance by sticking with Marvell and OCZ Vertex?
Oh and will it have trim?...I'll look that up myself haha. I just need to know what your primary aim of recommendation is...performance vs reliability.

Quote:

Do *NOT* use any RAM above 1600MHz - Intel will actually void your warranty if they find out you've been using such RAM. You'll never notice the speed increases because by default the motherboard runs the lowest speeds and timings it can handle and going beyond the stock speeds has the potential to be build frying.


What if the motherboard supports that ram?
Is the ram frequency limited by the CPU anyway?

In addition, I do not need that higher end motherboard IMO, I am not looking for features really. I just need PCI-3.0, sata3, and usb 3. Do not really care about much else unless it has something REALLY worth it.

Quote:

That depends on what the primary use is going to be. If it's gaming then the 3770K will be overkill. You want the i5-3570K as it's a CPU that's marketed and geared toward gamers. Unless you're running heavy duty CS5 and video editing apps you won't need the full feature set of the 3770K.


I do many things...I am a VERY heavy multi-tasker. I make my i7 920 sweat pretty hard. I game, browse, edit at the same time. I am willing to get that i7...it will serve me better.

Anyway, thanks for the help so far. I surely do not want voided warranty by using higher than 1600mhz or a frying motherboard. Sorry for the lot of questions!
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May 16, 2012 9:06:47 PM

Quote:

Why stray away from sandforce controllers?
Are they slow/unreliable?
Currently, my X25-M is on Intels proprietary controller, but it seems that all of their SSD's have moved to Sandforce.


Sandforce SSDs are faster but they're far from stable - my Intel SSD is a Sandforce based drive and I'm constantly having issues with it. My work PC has an M4 and it's been problem free since I got it.

Marvell drives like the M4 and Plextor M3 are slower but more reliable.

Quote:
Also, is that OCZ Vertex 4 faster in real life than that Intel 520?


See for yourself: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/vertex-4-everest-2-...

Quote:

What if the motherboard supports that ram?
Is the ram frequency limited by the CPU anyway?


If you look closer most don't and in fact are limited to 1600 - this was especially true on Z68 based motherboards and it's not necessarily true on X79 boards but Z77 and Ivy pretty much follows the design scheme of Z68 and Sandy by putting the memory controller on the chip itself rather than the northbridge on the motherboard - where X58 and P55 had that. That's why Intel will void your warranty if they find you've been using speeds above 1600. Your RAM frequencies and timings are limited by the motherboard - by default it will run your RAM at the lowest speeds it can handle. You can set your RAM to run at stock but you don't want to go over. In fact even most Intel branded boards aren't rated for speeds over 1333 and that includes Z77.

Quote:
I do many things...I am a VERY heavy multi-tasker. I make my i7 920 sweat pretty hard. I game, browse, edit at the same time. I am willing to get that i7...it will serve me better.


You might want to check out X79 then - that might be more suited for what you need it to do as the higher RAM capacities and hex-core CPU will be perfect for heavy multi tasking.

Quote:
Anyway, thanks for the help so far. I surely do not want voided warranty by using higher than 1600mhz or a frying motherboard. Sorry for the lot of questions!


No problem - one of the moderators posted a thread a couple months ago about how he tried to RMA a CPU through Intel and that they require that in order for a CPU to be returned that you don't run RAM over those speeds because of the SB/IB design (they will ask you what RAM and speeds you're running for tech support) and you can't throw away the stock fan because they require the serial numbers off it. I'll see if I can find that thread.
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May 16, 2012 10:09:54 PM

Thanks again!

Quote:


Sandforce SSDs are faster but they're far from stable - my Intel SSD is a Sandforce based drive and I'm constantly having issues with it. My work PC has an M4 and it's been problem free since I got it.

Marvell drives like the M4 and Plextor M3 are slower but more reliable.


OCZ V4 performance seems great. However, the controller says its Indilinix Everest, not Marvell. I saw somewhere that is just firmware. Either way, I hope I do not have any issues with whatever controller it uses. I know it is not sandforce.

I was looking at the M4 also, but it does not say anywhere that it clearly has Trim Support or some form of background cell clearing mechanism. Any information on this? Back when I was buying my X25-M like 3 years back, Trim was like the gold in importance. It was the the most important way to keep performance tip-top over time and usage.

I asked Google and I asked Bing, they are not helping. No official information on it.

Quote:

You might want to check out X79 then - that might be more suited for what you need it to do as the higher RAM capacities and hex-core CPU will be perfect for heavy multi tasking.


I was considering that, but after a lot of research, I realized 2011 is more expensive and that the Ivy Bridge i7 dominates anything thrown at it according to benchmarks.

SSD now is my biggest decision!
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May 16, 2012 10:52:36 PM

Quote:
OCZ V4 performance seems great. However, the controller says its Indilinix Everest, not Marvell. I saw somewhere that is just firmware. Either way, I hope I do not have any issues with whatever controller it uses. I know it is not sandforce.


Indiinx is a brand new variant of the Marvell controller - just as long as it's not Sandforce you'll be fine.

Quote:
I was looking at the M4 also, but it does not say anywhere that it clearly has Trim Support or some form of background cell clearing mechanism. Any information on this? Back when I was buying my X25-M like 3 years back, Trim was like the gold in importance. It was the the most important way to keep performance tip-top over time and usage.


SSDs have come a long way since the X25 - that's probably not that much of an issue now as it was back then.

Quote:
I was considering that, but after a lot of research, I realized 2011 is more expensive and that the Ivy Bridge i7 dominates anything thrown at it according to benchmarks.


Again that depends on what you're going to use it for - for multitasking and running intense CS5 and CAD drafting, X79 is the way to go (especially for the hex core 3930K and higher RAM capacities), for everything else it's Ivy/Sandy all the way.
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May 16, 2012 11:28:35 PM

Quote:

Indiinx is a brand new variant of the Marvell controller - just as long as it's not Sandforce you'll be fine.


Perfect. My only problem is that I would get the 64GB OCZ, but I cannot find it anywhere...I may go with the M4, just due to the 60GB. 128GB OCZ is a bit overkill for me. I place my Operating System and all my Software (except for games) on my SSD and 60-80GB would serve me fine. However, if I get a good deal than I'll just get the 128GB and put my games on it also.

Quote:

Again that depends on what you're going to use it for - for multitasking and running intense CS5 and CAD drafting, X79 is the way to go (especially for the hex core 3930K and higher RAM capacities), for everything else it's Ivy/Sandy all the way.


Well...if I do go with LGA2011, I ought to wait until later this year for Ivy Bridge-E to be released...no point in getting older 32nm technology with less efficiency.
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May 16, 2012 11:55:47 PM

Quote:
Perfect. My only problem is that I would get the 64GB OCZ, but I cannot find it anywhere...I may go with the M4, just due to the 60GB. 128GB OCZ is a bit overkill for me. I place my Operating System and all my Software (except for games) on my SSD and 60-80GB would serve me fine. However, if I get a good deal than I'll just get the 128GB and put my games on it also.


That's fine - alternately you should check out the Plextor M3: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It won an editor's choice in a recent roundup: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/plextor-m3-crucial-...

Quote:
Well...if I do go with LGA2011, I ought to wait until later this year for Ivy Bridge-E to be released...no point in getting older 32nm technology with less efficiency.


I'm not sure if IB-E will continue to use LGA 2011 or if it will use something else entirely - not a lot of details are known about it yet.
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May 29, 2012 7:10:40 PM

Just ordered yesterday! A 3770, 8GB of Mushkin Enhanced Radioactive @1600mhz CL7. I was going to get enhanced redline, but it was out of stock and had the exact same latency/frequency specs as radioactive as well as price...so I got that instead. Oh and I found the OCZ 64GB (although difficult) on CTI store. Also got my AX650!

About the case...I wanted a HAF 912, but I could not find the version painted black interior with USB 3.0 support, so I got a CM Storm Enforcer which is basically the exact same thing except a geeky looking front panel, but its almost the exact same case, nice black interior and I got it for 69.99 which isn't bad plus it has usb 3.0. It was the best option from what was available. I would get the XM, but its a whopping 129.99...unnecessary.

Anyway, thanks for the help! Parts should come in by thursday/friday and I'll get right to building. I will run on my x25-m windows 7 in the meantime and install windows 8 release candidate in june as soon as it comes out, onto my Vertex 4.
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May 29, 2012 7:10:59 PM

Best answer selected by blackhawk1928.
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May 29, 2012 10:40:04 PM

blackhawk1928 said:
Just ordered yesterday! A 3770, 8GB of Mushkin Enhanced Radioactive @1600mhz CL7. I was going to get enhanced redline, but it was out of stock and had the exact same latency/frequency specs as radioactive as well as price...so I got that instead. Oh and I found the OCZ 64GB (although difficult) on CTI store. Also got my AX650!

About the case...I wanted a HAF 912, but I could not find the version painted black interior with USB 3.0 support, so I got a CM Storm Enforcer which is basically the exact same thing except a geeky looking front panel, but its almost the exact same case, nice black interior and I got it for 69.99 which isn't bad plus it has usb 3.0. It was the best option from what was available. I would get the XM, but its a whopping 129.99...unnecessary.

Anyway, thanks for the help! Parts should come in by thursday/friday and I'll get right to building. I will run on my x25-m windows 7 in the meantime and install windows 8 release candidate in june as soon as it comes out, onto my Vertex 4.


No problem, I'm heavily considering replacing my Intel 320 with a Vertex 4 but that's ways off, I need to regroup my wallet after my last round of upgrades. :lol: 

Mushkin makes some great RAM, I just bought some for an HTPC I'm running. Although I use it more to play Civ V than HTPC functions. :lol: 
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May 30, 2012 12:27:08 AM

Updated: I canceled my order of Radioactive...reading enough about 1.65V voiding warrenty apparently and it not being good for Ivy Bridge...just to be safe, I canceled order and bought Mushkin Blackline 1600mhz. It has CL8 (instead of 7) and operates on 1.5V. I am not sure if there is any truth to all these rumors but I'd rather be on the safe side than waste time on loads of research.
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June 2, 2012 6:10:19 AM

Update: Got my parts today! And interestingly I got my correct ram, even though I ordered later, so good thing I could get building today. I am writing this from the new PC already. Still waiting on the Vertex4, but I am running on my Intel for now.

All I can say...as wow. This CPU makes my i7-920 look like crap. I did not think the jump would be this significant, but its ridiculous. Where my multi-tasking sessions would sometimes bog my 920 down a bit, this CPU handles it without even a hitch. I ran MW3 and COH at the same time with a windows 8 in a virtual machine +itunes+chrome and the only thing that stopped me was my ram. It renders images in image editing much faster, scans faster, extracts files absurdly faster, it even boots faster believe it or not...I actually got a few seconds faster boot, perhaps its my MB. Either way, the CPU is absurdly fast. It makes multi-tasking seem like nothing whatsoever.

Glad I went with a Modular PSU, I only used a fraction of the wires that PSU's usually come with so the inside looks clean and clear.

For my HSF, I used the stock cooler this time, however I wiped off Intel's thermal paste and put my own Arctic Silver on that I used on my old build. Getting about 34C idle temps (haven't prime95-ed yet). I surely would keep my V8, but thats getting sold w/ my 920 and MB because the buyer doesn't want anything removed to which I agree, because the sockets and CPU are very sensitive to every time they are tinkered with.

Thanks for the help. Worked and booted without a hitch! Building was rather easy except for some PSU pins. RAM is also excellent.
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June 2, 2012 6:30:01 PM

Quote:
All I can say...as wow. This CPU makes my i7-920 look like crap. I did not think the jump would be this significant, but its ridiculous. Where my multi-tasking sessions would sometimes bog my 920 down a bit, this CPU handles it without even a hitch. I ran MW3 and COH at the same time with a windows 8 in a virtual machine +itunes+chrome and the only thing that stopped me was my ram. It renders images in image editing much faster, scans faster, extracts files absurdly faster, it even boots faster believe it or not...I actually got a few seconds faster boot, perhaps its my MB. Either way, the CPU is absurdly fast. It makes multi-tasking seem like nothing whatsoever.


Yeah I upgraded from AM3 to the i5-3570K and it's been amazing, the 3570K makes the 1055T look like crap in comparison, my PC boots up in nearly 1/2 a second. I'm gonna try overclocking it but I still don't know enough about getting a stable clock yet. I also had an i7-920 and it was a great CPU back in its' day but I agree that it pales in comparison to Sandy and Ivy.

Quote:
Glad I went with a Modular PSU, I only used a fraction of the wires that PSU's usually come with so the inside looks clean and clear.


I've had better luck with non-modular PSUs than I have with modular ones. From now on I usually buy cases that allow for routing behind the motherboard tray and it looks great. My work PC has a HAF 912 and I modified it with a clear door that I got from Cooler Master's website and a front blue LED fan to make it look closer to the European version and it looks pretty sweet.

Quote:
For my HSF, I used the stock cooler this time, however I wiped off Intel's thermal paste and put my own Arctic Silver on that I used on my old build. Getting about 34C idle temps (haven't prime95-ed yet). I surely would keep my V8, but thats getting sold w/ my 920 and MB because the buyer doesn't want anything removed to which I agree, because the sockets and CPU are very sensitive to every time they are tinkered with.


Yeah that's understandable.

Quote:
Thanks for the help. Worked and booted without a hitch! Building was rather easy except for some PSU pins. RAM is also excellent.


No problem. The PSU pins are always the killer for me... why do they have to make them so tiny? :lol: 

I really want a Vertex 4 but I got to wait and rebuild my wallet for a bit, my last round of upgrades for my computer wasn't cheap. :lol: 
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June 2, 2012 8:38:55 PM

Haha, so I have been playing around and as I kind of "suspected"...the stock cooler absolutely sucks under load.

Intel changed its CPU plate design with Ivy where instead of soldering it, it apparently is just pasted on which dissipates heat far less than previous generations.

So I did some video conversion and under just 60-70% load, the CPU plate sensor was below 40C, but the cores were heating up to around 70C...that's absurd. So I just took off the stock cooler, installed my good old V8 and it keeps individual core temps below 55C under 100% load at a very low fan speed, because for some reason my motherboard won't let it spin at full RPM's like it did in my 1366 mobo before. Either way, the massive heatsink and pipes keep it cool. We agreed with the buyer, that they'll get the original i7-920 heatsink installed (with the discount), because I wasn't comfortable with these temperatures.

Quote:

I've had better luck with non-modular PSUs than I have with modular ones. From now on I usually buy cases that allow for routing behind the motherboard tray and it looks great. My work PC has a HAF 912 and I modified it with a clear door that I got from Cooler Master's website and a front blue LED fan to make it look closer to the European version and it looks pretty sweet.


Yeah for me my PSU and Case decision is inverse. If I get a big case then I get a non-modular because its cheaper and I have places to route wires. If I get a smaller case like this time, I got the modular, because a non-modular comes with a million cables and I end up using just a few, then spending hours trying to properly route them and cable tie-ing everything. Its just a PITA.

And I'm still waiting on the Vertex 4 to come in. As soon as it does, I am moving to Windows 8 Release Preview...which I am guessing is how your boot in 1/2 a second, because windows 7 boots much slower than that.
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