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Tempted by the ALX® X58... (here's my build following the TEMPLATE)

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August 20, 2009 7:43:01 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:
  • Within a month.
    BUDGET RANGE:
  • Up to $7500 USD.
    SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
  • Adobe Master Collection CS4 stuff (tons of AVCHD footage to edit; output to various media);
  • Audio production;
  • Lightroom stuff;
  • MS Office stuff;
  • gaming.
    PARTS NOT REQUIRED:
  • Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor;
  • Storage/Archive space (I have 9TB WHS, which is probably the best product made by Microsoft to-date!);
  • OS - Vista Ultimate 64-bit (waiting for Windows 7).
    PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:
  • Newegg.com
  • Provantage.com
    PARTS PREFERENCES:
  • Please refer to Wish-List below.
    OVERCLOCKING:
  • Yes, eventually.
    SLI:
  • Yes, eventually.
    MONITOR RESOLUTION:
  • No less than 1920x1200.
    ADDITIONAL COMMENTS & SOME BACKGROUND:
    I'm very tempted to just purchase the $8174 ALX® X58 machine (only relevant parts reproduced) from Alienware, just to save time:
  • Processor: Overclocked Intel® Core™ i7-975 Extreme 3.86 GHz 8MB Cache
  • Power Supply: Alienware® 1200 Watt Multi-GPU Approved Power Supply
  • Graphics Processor: Single 1,792 MB NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 295
  • Memory: 24GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz - 6 x 4096MB
  • System Drive: Extreme Performance (RAID 0) - 512GB (2 x 256GB) Solid State Drive
  • Optical Drives : Single Drive Configuration - 6x Dual Layer Blu-ray Burner (BD-RE, DVD±RW, CD-RW)

    The downside is that I am not 100% certain about all the components they will use. Granted, for that amount of money, it'd be hard to think that they'd use some cheap mobo, memory, pwr supply and stuff...

    At the same time, I kind of want to build my own rig... In fact, I used to build custom systems and sell them to my friends in the late 80s, early 90s. However, I haven't built a custom system in a long time. Actually, the last computer I put together was my WHS - but I used a barebone SC440 and added pieces to it, so that doesn't really count.

    For over a decade now, I would just use the school's or work's desktops and just buy myself top-of-the-line laptops (e.g. Micron Transport; ThinkPad A31p; Dell XPS m1710). I was considering the Alienware M17x but I really want a nice desktop for my home office.

    I am a relative early-adopter who loves to tinker if time allows. But time is a luxury for me and although I really love tweaking things, I have no guarantee that I'd be able to spend time OCing and messing with timings and stuff. But who knows? If I build my custom rig, maybe I might!

    So, here is a Wish-List I put together on NewEgg:

  • IKONIK Ra X10 LIQUID IC-R1ABB-0000 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case $419.99
  • ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard $289.99
  • Intel Core i7-975 Extreme Edition Bloomfield 3.33GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601975 $999.99
  • CORSAIR XMS3 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model HX3X12G1600C9 G $259.99 (I couldn't find 24GB kits).
  • BFG Tech BFGRGTX2951792H2OCLE GeForce GTX 295 H2OC 1792MB 896 (448 x 2)-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported $849.99
  • Corsair CMFSSD-256GBG2D 2.5" 256GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD) $1348.00 (quantity 2; RAID 0 for the SSDs; I already have 4 HDDs for a RAID 0/10 scratch disk/volume)
  • Thermaltake Toughpower W0133RU 1200W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC $399.88
  • Pioneer Black 8X Blu-Ray DVD Burner w/ Software SATA Model BDR-203BKS $199.99

    All this is a little under $5000. Remember though, I configured the ALX® X58 with 24GB of RAM. Honestly, I couldn't find a retailer that had any 24GB kits...

    When you price the ALX® X58 with 12GB, it costs $5899.00. Factor in the mouse, keyboard, OS (and all that personalized crap) that it comes with and the time saved for building - it's not unreasonably priced when compared to my Wish-Listed items. At the same time, I did spend an inordinate amount of time the last two months drooling over parts. And typing this post has taken quite a bit of time too! Ugh! :) 

    What would you recommend?
    August 20, 2009 9:09:08 AM

    ^ You must have noticed these things...
    1. The graphics card too has its own water-cooling solution... - Adds ~$400 than standard cards that Alienware would use
    2. You wont require 1200W for that setup unless you are planning for another GTX 295 in Quad-SLI...
    The Corsair 850HX can run that setup without problems or as things would be water-cooled, Corsair 1000HX is more than suffice and am sure it would be as good or better than the Alienware's 1200W PSU ... So you save ~$100 there...

    So thats nearly $800+ more for an Alienware PC...

    If you were a complete noob with computers, then I would have suggested Alienware for the amount you are spending as you might not want to screw up your $6000 PC right...
    But as you are pretty much a system builder yourself, this a very good opportunity for you to save some money and to come back into the loop again ...

    And a suggestion for the SSD -> Get the newer intel ones...they are very good and have performance little better than other drives...but you get 160GB ones and 80GB ones...
    So 2x 160GB in RAID 0 -> about $900
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    And if you sure of overclocking if you build the rig yourself, then save a lot of money by going with i7 920...When overclocked to the same as i7 975, they perform pretty similar...So you again save about $700 there...The i7 920 can also hit 4GHz with that water-cooling setup...

    So with these changes, you save more and still have nearly the same performance
    Anonymous
    August 20, 2009 9:39:12 AM

    My suggestion is to do it yourself. But if you must don't give Alienware (Dell) your money. Try someone with a good support team and builds you a hand built rig. Warranty is great and they will work with you to build the PC you need. http://www.digitalstormonline.com/ Give them a call. There markup is not that high so you will save some money over the units cost. Each unit is hand built and tested before shipping. They also have some good sales going on right now. Here is a link to a video on there site give it a look. http://www.digitalstormonline.com/companyinfo.asp This is just a suggestion but i would try doing it yourself again. Also check out the review on Tom's of the Digital Storm Rig. Later Guys
    August 20, 2009 11:48:14 AM

    gkay09 said:
    A faster 12GB kit for less...
    OCZ 12GB 1600MHZ Kit DDR3 PC312800
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0021AFZ48

    I see that, but OP stated he was looking for 24gb total and the ram specs you posted is this.
    Memory Size: 6 x 2048MB
    August 20, 2009 6:34:54 PM

    Thank you for taking the time to respond! :) 

    gkay09 said:
    You must have noticed these things...
    1. The graphics card too has its own water-cooling solution... - Adds ~$400 than standard cards that Alienware would use
    Yes, you deduced correctly! Since the IKONIK case has a loop for the proc, I figured I should keep things separate and found that H2O-cooled card. But I'm surprised; is $400 about how much it'd cost to add H2O to a vid card?


    gkay09 said:
    2. You wont require 1200W for that setup unless you are planning for another GTX 295 in Quad-SLI...
    The Corsair 850HX can run that setup without problems or as things would be water-cooled, Corsair 1000HX is more than suffice and am sure it would be as good or better than the Alienware's 1200W PSU ... So you save ~$100 there...
    I did look at the 850HX - I wasn't sure whether it was sufficient... I'm sooo out of the loop with power requirements nowadays. Still, I did indicate that I was eventually going to SLI (another $850, assuming same vid card!); at the same time, by the time I really find time to get into some of these games and stuff, who knows? it might be time to buy a new machine! LOL So assuming I do go SLI, would the 850HX be sufficient at that point?


    gkay09 said:
    So thats nearly $800+ more for an Alienware PC...
    Assuming your estimations are correct, yes - a price of another vid card!


    gkay09 said:
    And a suggestion for the SSD -> Get the newer intel ones...they are very good and have performance little better than other drives...but you get 160GB ones and 80GB ones...
    So 2x 160GB in RAID 0 -> about $900
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    Ah, my friend, based upon my research (albeit very short), the Corsair P256 (actual review) are re-badged Samsung PB22Js - have you seen Samsung Awesomeness?

    If I'm not mistaken, these Corsairs:
  • have Samsung's 2nd gen. controller, not that JMicron crap;
  • can read at 210MBps, which is almost as fast the Intel X-25M;
  • write at over 190MBps, which is tons faster than the Intel!
  • plus, at full MSRP, you are "only" paying a little under $3/GB for the Corsairs, which is cheaper than the Intel X-25M 80GB as it works out to be almost $4.50/GB.
  • Not to mention 256GB vs. 80GB...

    However, please feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken!!


    gkay09 said:
    And if you sure of overclocking if you build the rig yourself, then save a lot of money by going with i7 920...When overclocked to the same as i7 975, they perform pretty similar...So you again save about $700 there...The i7 920 can also hit 4GHz with that water-cooling setup...
    I'm not interested in OCing and then just hitting... wait for it... 4GHz. :D  hehehe I can already do that without OCing by purchasing the i7 975 AND staying within my budget!!

    Besides, if and when I decide to OC - I can hit over 5GHz with my 975, as others already have!!! :) 


    gkay09 said:
    So with these changes, you save more and still have nearly the same performance
    No disrespect, but I'm not interested in "nearly the same performance." I'm interested in future-proofing as best as possible by getting the best that I can for under $7500. I'm just wondering if my Wish-List is a step in the right direction and whether the money I save by building my own is worth the actual time I'll have to devote in doing that, when, after all, i can just "pay" Alienware to build it for me... :) 
    August 20, 2009 7:22:20 PM

    Yoosty said:
    I see that, but OP stated he was looking for 24gb total and the ram specs you posted is this.
    Memory Size: 6 x 2048MB

    Honestly, I don't follow neither your's nor his (gkay09) replies. It is true I'm looking for a 24GB kit, so why do both of you post links to 12GB kits? Yoosty, you not only posted a link to a 12GB kit, it's a kit at 1333MHz vs. 1600MHz - and yet you talk about gkay09's post? :p  hehehe

    Are you suggesting I buy 2 of these kits to make my 24GB?
    August 20, 2009 7:48:56 PM

    Thank you for your response.

    Quote:
    My suggestion is to do it yourself. But if you must don't give Alienware (Dell) your money.
    Although I've never dealt with Alienware before, I've never had any issues with Dell - one of my non-profits and our for-profit corporation buy Dell hardware all the time. Our family has 5 Dell laptops. Granted, we don't have very much reason to deal with customer support but the few times we've had problems Dell has been decent (except one time, I got screwed over a screw! that's a different story though). Are you suggesting that Dell service is bad or the hardware is bad or both?

    Quote:
    Try someone with a good support team and builds you a hand built rig. Warranty is great and they will work with you to build the PC you need. http://www.digitalstormonline.com/ <snip>
    A few followup questions:
  • You're not affiliated with this company in any way, right?
  • Did you purchase something from them?
  • If so, what and when and what did you experience?


    *postscript*
    I just went there and configured a system very similar to the ALX® X58 with 12GB (~$5900) or my NewEgg Wish-List (~$5000). DigitalStorm's machine costs $7200 for the same setup! I don't know if your suggestion makes sense, unless one should pay a premium to avoid Alienware/Dell products...

    Granted, the $7200 is under my $7500 budget. But I might as well stretch the other way to $8174 and get 24GB from a company that is able to buy it's parts in bigger bulk/discounts!

    What is the basis for your suggestion?
    August 20, 2009 8:12:09 PM

    hohum said:
    Honestly, I don't follow neither your's nor his (gkay09) replies. It is true I'm looking for a 24GB kit, so why do both of you post links to 12GB kits? Yoosty, you not only posted a link to a 12GB kit, it's a kit at 1333MHz vs. 1600MHz - and yet you talk about gkay09's post? :p  hehehe

    Are you suggesting I buy 2 of these kits to make my 24GB?

    Yes on buying 2, that is the best deal I found last night. Saw some Kingstom Hyperx for about $100 more for same size.
    August 20, 2009 8:32:41 PM

    Build yourself... If you want a great computer, nothing is greater than the one you make yourself, for yourself, and by yourself. If you get lost ask here, or reference images on youtube videos. Wikipedia/ google for info.
    August 20, 2009 8:34:17 PM

    you dont really need to pay other people for stuff about your PC... You got the internet and the help of people without pay that will do their best to help better than customer services like alienware.
    August 20, 2009 8:42:44 PM

    Just a word about Alienware, and it may not be relevant anymore, but I got an Alien box back in 2001 and it was out performing new systems 5 years out, when I finally decided to build my own, and the parts were sold for about $800, with an original purchase price of about $2300 (I think). Anyway, it held on to running fabulously for 5 years straight, and kept up with newer systems. However, that was back in the day when Alienware was a garage (not really) in Florida, and it was handmade. I don't know how their track record has continued since being bought by Dell, but if it is anything similar, it would be a safe buy, although expensive compared to a home brew.

    I must note that you are taking the time to work through this and spec it all out. Yes building your own is very satisfying, can has the potential to save you tons of money, but purchasing has a safety net with it, that can't really be beat.

    However, you are going for a monster with high-end parts, and so home build should be pretty safe. And again, if you have the money to spend, and not that much time to spend building, and possibly troubleshooting (however unlikely), then Alienware would likely be a safe bet.
    August 20, 2009 8:51:53 PM

    dragonfang18 said:
    you dont really need to pay other people for stuff...
    While I appreciate your comments about YouTube, Wikipedia, Google and paying people, I don't think you fully appreciate my situation. Can you honestly state that you read everything I wrote in the OP?

    Let me reiterate. I listed a $7500 budget for a computer, so obviously money is not that significant of an issue. Additionally, I have absolutely no trepidations in building a rig myself. I've built countless computers in the past (not knowing how old you are, but probably even before you started walking! hehe). I'm fully aware of the personal satisfaction of putting something together by oneself. The thing is, to do this requires time.

    Anyhow, I realize I didn't make this clear in the first post so here it is... I am a very busy executive. I have a wife and two awesome babies (three, if you let me count my wife as a babe! :)  I travel not that all infrequently. Therefore, my time is extremely valuable. I honestly do not have a lot of "personal" time.

    So, you see? I wouldn't be paying people for stuff. I would be paying them to save me time.

    I guess the real question I have to answer is:

    Is the incremental benefit from the satisfaction of putting together an extreme machine myself worth the $900 or so that I would be saving by not purchasing a similarly equipped machine by Alienware?

    So for helping me clarify my own question, thank you! :) 

    This is why it's nice to have others to bounce ideas off of each other...

    August 20, 2009 9:25:19 PM

    Couple of pitfalls where I think youll be somewhat disspointed if you use these parts. Your WAY over spending for very little extra gain.

    IKONIK Ra X10 LIQUID IC-R1ABB-0000 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case $419.99
    BFG Tech BFGRGTX2951792H2OCLE GeForce GTX 295 H2OC 1792MB 896 (448 x 2)-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported $849.99

    Both of these are over priced. Both use a combination of aluminum and copper in the system which is guaranteed fail as you will have corrosion in a mixxed metals system. Its either all copper or all aluminum, not both. If you really want to watercool you need to shop somewhere like Sidewinders, Petras, Performance PCs, in other words a place that specializes in this stuff. Granted youll have to assemble the system yourself, but youll be MUCH better off in the long run. I will warn though. You may be better off starting with air cooling, then move into water once you get your system setup. If your interested in watercooling, google XtremeSystems and go look in the watercooling forums there. Many people there, with WAY more experience than me.

    Better options
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - BFG 295 with a Danger Den waterblock if you want to water cool. BFG will lifetime warranty a water cooled card. Pretty hard to beat that. The block is all copper as well, and DDs stuff is top notch.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Silverstone TJ07 - pretty much the best case ever built for water cooling. Isnt too bad at air either. Only case that you can install a 480 rad in the bottom without a single mod.

    i7 975 Extreme. The only thing extreme is the price. Buy a 920 and hit 4 ghz and I think youll be happy.

    SSDs. I dont honestly youll see that much performance increase by using the SSDs unless the files your working on are stored on the SSD. Youll still be limited by the performance of the raid array/network your using with regular HDs. Your OS will be faster, but if your loading massive files across the network, all that SSD is going to waste. To each his own I guess. If you plan on running the RAID array on the X58 it will work, but I think you would be better with a stand alone RAID card.

    The rest looks fine. I prefer a PCP&C or Corsair PSU, but the Tough Power should be fine. Remember, mad money doesnt increase performance that much. I could build veru similar system for less than 3 grand, watercooling included, and it might be 5% slower.

    And screw Alienware/Dell. Worst customer service ever. [:boudy]
    August 20, 2009 9:32:47 PM

    jared51182 said:
    Just a word about Alienware, and it may not be relevant anymore, but I got an Alien box back in 2001 and it was out performing new systems 5 years out, when I finally decided to build my own, and the parts were sold for about $800, with an original purchase price of about $2300 (I think). Anyway, it held on to running fabulously for 5 years straight, and kept up with newer systems. However, that was back in the day when Alienware was a garage (not really) in Florida, and it was handmade. I don't know how their track record has continued since being bought by Dell, but if it is anything similar, it would be a safe buy, although expensive compared to a home brew.

    I must note that you are taking the time to work through this and spec it all out. Yes building your own is very satisfying, can has the potential to save you tons of money, but purchasing has a safety net with it, that can't really be beat.

    However, you are going for a monster with high-end parts, and so home build should be pretty safe. And again, if you have the money to spend, and not that much time to spend building, and possibly troubleshooting (however unlikely), then Alienware would likely be a safe bet.
    Ah, finally someone who seems to understand the direction I was going with this! :) 

    Yes, all my laptops cost me a pretty penny when I bought them (my friends would incredulously exclaim, "You spent how much for your laptop?!@#??"). Yet each of them lasted me more than 3 to 5 years and at the very least, kept up with newer laptops. So I understand the huge benefits of future-proofing, especially when one can afford it. In other words, to bring in my automobile experience, why buy a Civic to rice it out when I can buy a twin-turbo 300zx, which I can then rice out if I want (I'm Asian so I can make the "rice" comment and I still have my 1995 Z32!)?

    Anyhow, I guess I'm trying to figure things out in my head and this forum post is helping me sort things out.
    August 20, 2009 9:41:31 PM

    jared51182 said:
    Just a word about Alienware, and it may not be relevant anymore, but I got an Alien box back in 2001 and it was out performing new systems 5 years out, when I finally decided to build my own, and the parts were sold for about $800, with an original purchase price of about $2300 (I think). Anyway, it held on to running fabulously for 5 years straight, and kept up with newer systems. However, that was back in the day when Alienware was a garage (not really) in Florida, and it was handmade. I don't know how their track record has continued since being bought by Dell, but if it is anything similar, it would be a safe buy, although expensive compared to a home brew.

    I must note that you are taking the time to work through this and spec it all out. Yes building your own is very satisfying, can has the potential to save you tons of money, but purchasing has a safety net with it, that can't really be beat.

    However, you are going for a monster with high-end parts, and so home build should be pretty safe. And again, if you have the money to spend, and not that much time to spend building, and possibly troubleshooting (however unlikely), then Alienware would likely be a safe bet.


    I loled at this. Even going from 2001 to 2006 there were such huge increases in CPU and GPU tech, there is absolutely no way it was out performing a new system unless that system was a bottom of the barrel bargain. Alienware in their early days, great. Today, shite. Overpriced, over hyped machines with poor customer support now at this point coasting on past fame.

    hohum said:
    Ah, finally someone who seems to understand the direction I was going with this! :) 

    Yes, all my laptops cost me a pretty penny when I bought them (my friends would incredulously exclaim, "You spent how much for your laptop?!@#??"). Yet each of them lasted me more than 3 to 5 years and at the very least, kept up with newer laptops. So I understand the huge benefits of future-proofing, especially when one can afford it. In other words, to bring in my automobile experience, why buy a Civic to rice it out when I can buy a twin-turbo 300zx, which I can then rice out if I want (I'm Asian so I can make the "rice" comment and I still have my 1995 Z32!)?

    Anyhow, I guess I'm trying to figure things out in my head and this forum post is helping me sort things out.


    I can agree with you on being future proof, but spending money for the sake of spending money is laughable at best. And yeah, Ive owned a couple of Sager laptops. best investments Ive ever made. The best thing, they were a grand less, and faster then the Dell/Alienware/etc. Current is a Sager 5793.

    If you really want to spend the coin. Falcon NW > all for hi dollar custom PCs.
    August 20, 2009 9:46:08 PM

    Yoosty said:
    Yes on buying 2, that is the best deal I found last night. Saw some Kingstom Hyperx for about $100 more for same size.

    I'm sorry Yoosty, I'm still not following your reasoning...

    Then why don't I just buy 2 of the Crucial 12GB memory kit that I listed? They are indeed both hexa-channel AND 1600MHz - your recommendation isn't! Additionally, the Crucial costs $260 each - your suggestion is $247 each - a difference of only $13 ($26 for two), an insignificant cost when considering the 1333MHz vs. 16000MHz...

    Is there something that I'm missing or this is a case of being penny-wise but pound-foolish? :) 
    August 20, 2009 9:50:10 PM

    hohum said:
    I'm sorry Yoosty, I'm still not following your reasoning...

    Then why don't I just buy 2 of the Crucial 12GB memory kit that I listed? They are indeed both hexa-channel AND 1600MHz - your recommendation isn't! Additionally, the Crucial costs $260 each - your suggestion is $247 each - a difference of only $13 ($26 for two), an insignificant cost when considering the 1333MHz vs. 16000MHz...

    Is there something that I'm missing or this is a case of being penny-wise but pound-foolish? :) 


    Because you can only install 6 sticks of RAM in an X58 board. 2 kits would = 12 sticks. You need to find a 4gig x 6 kit for 24 gigs of RAM.

    August 20, 2009 9:59:59 PM

    hohum said:
    Thank you for taking the time to respond! :) 

    I did look at the 850HX - I wasn't sure whether it was sufficient... I'm sooo out of the loop with power requirements nowadays. Still, I did indicate that I was eventually going to SLI (another $850, assuming same vid card!); at the same time, by the time I really find time to get into some of these games and stuff, who knows? it might be time to buy a new machine! LOL So assuming I do go SLI, would the 850HX be sufficient at that point?



    No, you need at last a 1000 watt PSU for 2 GTX 295s. A little thing however: if you want really to use SLI with that GPU then it's much better to go with 3-SLI with 3 GTX 285 (or 280) instead of Quad-SLI with 2 GTX 295 (a GTX 295 is two cards in one in SLI). Quad-SLI never works fine, the drivers don't support it so well (since almost nobody uses it) and so it scales very poorly; sometimes you lose frames instead of gaining them. If you really want a future-proof PC leave the system as it is (a single GTX 295 and change it later) or get 3-SLI for the absolute performance (no real need to be frank).

    Also the suggestion of buying an i7 920 is good. If you didn't want to OC then maybe (and I say really MAYBE) buying an i7-975 would make sense, but if you have no problem with Overclocking the i7 920 reach almost the same maximum speeds as a 975 with a lot less money to spend elsewhere. Just beware of the stepping you chose. The i7 975 has the D0 stepping (being a new CPU) while the i7 920s are stil mixed beetween C0 and D0. If you can get a 920 with the D0 stepping (the new one). Less power consumption, better overclocking, little performance gain.

    Last thing is about RAM. Also for what you do 24GB is overkill, really. 12 GB is enough. Much better to have less RAM with better timings and frequency for what you use the PC for than having more RAM. In video editing speed of RAM is very important, so use less RAM but fast.
    August 20, 2009 10:10:00 PM

    Kaldor said:
    Because you can only install 6 sticks of RAM in an X58 board. 2 kits would = 12 sticks. You need to find a 4gig x 6 kit for 24 gigs of RAM.

    Ah yes, thank you for the correction. I made an honest mistake in counting... :??: 

    BTW, I appreciated your insights into the H2O-cooling! :)  My one-week worth of research is paltry and I neglected to see what the radiators were made of...

    This just illustrates how much (or how little) time I have to do the extensive, time-consuming research, reading and evaluating...
    August 20, 2009 10:11:30 PM

    Kaldor said:
    I loled at this. Even going from 2001 to 2006 there were such huge increases in CPU and GPU tech, there is absolutely no way it was out performing a new system unless that system was a bottom of the barrel bargain. Alienware in their early days, great. Today, shite. Overpriced, over hyped machines with poor customer support now at this point coasting on past fame.


    Yes, you are right, it was not out performing gaming systems, but it could still play modern games and was beating out consumer PCs, the kind that most college students would get for gaming, which is not much, but still a 5 year increase is a long time for computer hardware, and it held up. I would never claim that the Alienware box beat out even a modest home brew in 2005.

    And as I said, I don't know what the current Alienware is like, and I was very disappointed to learn they sold to Dell (but I can see the business side of it), but that is another topic. He wanted something, and was considering Alienware, and that was my experience. But I agree, my comment was not exactly "full disclosure."
    August 20, 2009 10:23:30 PM

    hohum said:
    Ah yes, thank you for the correction. I made an honest mistake in counting... :??: 

    BTW, I appreciated your insights into the H2O-cooling! :)  My one-week worth of research is paltry and I neglected to see what the radiators were made of...

    This just illustrates how much (or how little) time I have to do the extensive, time-consuming research, reading and evaluating...


    Just beware one thing when chosing RAM. There are some DDR3 RAM sticks (usually the older ones with high frequencies) that are not compatible with an i7 system. You cannot use sticks with a voltage frequency of above 1.65v. Read the specifics well since if you want 12 or 24 gb it would be difficult for you to find triple-channel kits (you would have to find 4GB triple channel ones, very difficult to find, but if you can get these then they are the best choice) where you are sure of the voltages. So before picking them pay attention to this.
    August 20, 2009 10:31:17 PM

    selea said:
    Just beware one thing when chosing RAM. There are some DDR3 RAM sticks (usually the older ones with high frequencies) that are not compatible with an i7 system. You cannot use sticks with a voltage frequency of above 1.65v. Read the specifics well since if you want 12 or 24 gb it would be difficult for you to find triple-channel kits (you would have to find 4GB triple channel ones, very difficult to find, but if you can get these then they are the best choice) where you are sure of the voltages. So before picking them pay attention to this.

    That is why I could only find a few that make the Triple Channel 12gb(3x4gb). OCZ and Kingstom Hyper were the choices and OCZ had the Best price.

    12GB 1600MHZ Kit DDR3 PC312800
    Quote:
    Product Description
    The OCZ PC3-12800 triple-channel memory kit designed specifically for the impending Intel Core i7 processor/Intel X58 express chipset. Optimized for the Core i7's triple channel mode, these kits ensure optimal performance via an ideal combination of low voltage requirements, speed, and latency.Developed for enthusiasts and early-adopters, the low voltage OCZ triple Channel solutions are the choice counterparts for leading-edge performance that won't inhibit the functionality of Core i7 CPUs. In addition, modules are tested in matched triplets ensuring superior compatibility.OCZ's triple channel kits are 100% hand-tested for quality assurance and compatibility and feature propriety XTC (Xtreme Thermal Convection) heatspreaders for the most effective heat dissipation.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0021AFZ48
    August 20, 2009 10:34:20 PM

    Yoosty said:
    That is why I could only find a few that make the Triple Channel 12gb(3x4gb). OCZ and Kingstom Hyper were the choices and OCZ had the Best price.
    Thank you for your help! I'll keep these options in mind.
    August 20, 2009 10:35:10 PM

    selea said:
    Just beware one thing when chosing RAM. There are some DDR3 RAM sticks (usually the older ones with high frequencies) that are not compatible with an i7 system. You cannot use sticks with a voltage frequency of above 1.65v. Read the specifics well since if you want 12 or 24 gb it would be difficult for you to find triple-channel kits (you would have to find 4GB triple channel ones, very difficult to find, but if you can get these then they are the best choice) where you are sure of the voltages. So before picking them pay attention to this.

    That is why I could only find a few that make the Triple Channel 12gb(3x4gb). OCZ and Kingston HyperX were the choices and OCZ had the Best price.

    12GB 1600MHZ Kit DDR3 PC312800
    Quote:
    Product Description
    The OCZ PC3-12800 triple-channel memory kit designed specifically for the impending Intel Core i7 processor/Intel X58 express chipset. Optimized for the Core i7's triple channel mode, these kits ensure optimal performance via an ideal combination of low voltage requirements, speed, and latency.Developed for enthusiasts and early-adopters, the low voltage OCZ triple Channel solutions are the choice counterparts for leading-edge performance that won't inhibit the functionality of Core i7 CPUs. In addition, modules are tested in matched triplets ensuring superior compatibility.OCZ's triple channel kits are 100% hand-tested for quality assurance and compatibility and feature propriety XTC (Xtreme Thermal Convection) heatspreaders for the most effective heat dissipation.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0021AFZ48
    August 20, 2009 10:42:13 PM

    You are either a troll or and idiot.

    You dont need water period, you dont want to make your own so you wont likely keep up maintenance on the water setup.

    i7 920 will reach 4.0+ on air.

    GPU major overkill, especially next month when the 58xx series come out and are faster/chaeaper. According to you your a family man so no need to have a extreme game card when you got no time according to you.

    Ram, overkill but go or it.

    SSDs for OS and apps "Definately"

    Build one easy for $2500 and spend the extra on the wife and kids. Lots of nice ebay rigs for $2500.

    It would be sad for someone that buys cutting edge for extreme $$ to last past future gen for 5 years, and have a slower system then guys building i7 920s with 58cc series cards next month.
    August 20, 2009 10:55:01 PM

    If Time is money for you and you would be better off buying one than using up your time, (yes building one actually does take alot of time =p, researching, ppicking out stuff, took me a week or more just looking at parts and deals) than i would buy one. Only if the amount you make outweighs the other. either way you be happy building one or buying one.
    Anonymous
    August 20, 2009 10:56:03 PM

    I suggested Digital-storm because of the system type you were going after. They do a great job on the water cooling part, way better than Alienware. And when you're spend that much on a system that your not building i would gladly pay extra for the hand built and tested part. But do as you please, But in the end i would rather talk to someone i can understand and on the first call attempt than someone that knows jack and reads everything on there screen regardless to the problem at hand. But +1 to daship at this point in the thread. Good luck looks like you will need it.
    And the time your spending here?
    August 20, 2009 10:58:42 PM

    daship said:
    You are either a troll or and [sic] idiot.
    While you're opinions are exactly that, opinions. I don't appreciate the tone you're using in presenting them.

    My wife already has a nice laptop that suits her needs. My babies are too young to be in front of a computer.

    And what's wrong with wanting cutting-edge, especially when I can afford it?

    Plus, those guys that will be building with i7 920s with 58cc next month - do they all have similar backgrounds and situation as I? They will obviously have the time to tinker and tweak. What's wrong with tinkering with a i7 975? And what's preventing me from waiting a month and purchasing the 58cc when it does come out?

    If you have a viable alternative - then please take the time to present it, preferably itemized and most importantly, constructively.

    Finally, the reason I want water is silence and longevity... Why would I be interested in OCing on air if I've already indicated that I am looking at WC options...
    August 20, 2009 11:06:32 PM

    Quote:
    I suggested Digital-storm because of the system type you were going after. They do a great job on the water cooling part, way better than Alienware. And when you're spend that much on a system that your not building i would gladly pay extra for the hand built and tested part. But do as you please, But in the end i would rather talk to someone i can understand and on the first call attempt than someone that knows jack and reads everything on there screen regardless to the problem at hand. But +1 to daship at this point in the thread. Good luck looks like you will need it.
    And the time your spending here?
    Thank you for the clarification. Please note, I wasn't being hostile to you. I'm just very used to going back and forth with others when it comes to making a decision. As such, I'm discouraged that you seem to agree with daship's assessment of me.

    Perhaps you and daship are both right... I guess I am an idiot for wanting an extreme computer and wasting my time here in the process...
    Anonymous
    August 20, 2009 11:17:30 PM

    In the end it is a decision you will need to make. And no matter witch way you go are how much you spend the future of that system is not guaranteed. So build it, buy it, it's all the same if you take the money part out of the equation. So good luck and don't get so heated over it as i did (sorry) and as we all do sometimes it just takes the fun out of it. Good luck
    August 20, 2009 11:18:56 PM

    could be sarcasm by agirl who knows. but i have to disagree, foul language..were does it get you anyways. but yea i gotta go with agirl on digitalstorm. you should check out there forums and builds they made for other people. gl
    Anonymous
    August 20, 2009 11:22:01 PM

    Also remember sometimes people try to help you get your moneys worth and sometimes just so you don't get something they don't have. So choose your parts on facts then suggestions not the other way around.
    Anonymous
    August 20, 2009 11:23:55 PM

    silvergo said:
    could be sarcasm by agirl who knows. but i have to disagree, foul language..were does it get you anyways. but yea i gotta go with agirl on digitalstorm. you should check out there forums and builds they made for other people. gl


    :D  ;) 
    August 21, 2009 1:40:54 AM

    I have to say, honestly, it sounds like your time is important to you, and like half of the post after you have clearly stated this just continued to suggest doing random things such as building your own or attacking you for some reason.

    If this is the case, go ahead and grab a prebuilt computer,but I would also suggest looking at other websites as well and just spec-ing them out on the website, which basically takes no time at all and compare the quality and price of the products.

    I'm not really a big fan of the alienware since the case is a bit tooooo flashy, which is probably not really what you want to show everyone, god knows i wouldn't, and I'm even a teenager.

    So honestly, being who you are and knowing the importance of time, I am all for you spending the extra cash and going prebuilt. Just be sure to check the quality of the parts and aesthetics, as well as warranty and such.
    August 21, 2009 1:44:54 AM

    Also, I am not very familiar with many companies that prebuild computers, but I would agree that falcon northwest is a very good one, and they always tend to score a bit higher than the alienware ones according to cnet at least.
    August 21, 2009 4:10:36 AM

    @Yoosty I dint notice the stick count...My bad...

    And @hohum
    To clear up things,...

    1. PSU - If you want the option of GTX 295 Quad-SLI(Which IMHO is not worth it - Reason: 2x GTX 295s = 4X GTX 275 chips = Quad-SLI, which wont scale well, hence wont perform well...) then you would need 1000W+ and 1200W would be safe for GTX 295 SL I+ Water cooling setup...

    2. SSDs -> I think you have not read the reviews of the newer 34NM SSDs...
    http://hothardware.com/Articles/Intel-34nm-X25M-Gen-2-S...
    http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=750
    http://anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3607&p=...

    And about your calculation about the price ->
    And intel 160GB costs about $490 =~$3/ GB
    So its more or less the same...
    And am talking about the 160GB ones...

    3. CPU - Its you call about the CPU...But I would like to clear 1 thing...Yes the 975 is the fastest out there...but not a good value CPU...That is why I had suggested the 920...but as you might not have time for o/c, then stick with the 975...

    Hope it helps...
    August 21, 2009 4:23:15 AM

    gkay09 said:
    And @hohum
    To clear up things,...
    Hope it helps...
    Yes it surely does! Thank you kindly. :) 
    August 21, 2009 4:35:49 AM

    jonsy2k said:
    I have to say, honestly, it sounds like your time is important to you, and like half of the post after you have clearly stated this just continued to suggest doing random things such as building your own or attacking you for some reason.
    <snip>
    So honestly, being who you are and knowing the importance of time, I am all for you spending the extra cash and going prebuilt. Just be sure to check the quality of the parts and aesthetics, as well as warranty and such.
    Thanks for kind input! :) 
    August 21, 2009 4:42:08 AM

    Quote:
    In the end it is a decision you will need to make. And no matter witch way you go are how much you spend the future of that system is not guaranteed. So build it, buy it, it's all the same if you take the money part out of the equation. So good luck and don't get so heated over it as i did (sorry) and as we all do sometimes it just takes the fun out of it. Good luck
    One of the reasons I hate forums and emails and IMing... Despite all the smilies and stuff, tone and tempo cannot be conveyed.

    Anyhow, I appreciate and accept your apology. :D  I had no intentions of getting you so heated! Maybe we can find some H2O-cooling solution for you? :pt1cable:  :lol:  Okay, I'm probably the only one who is laughing... Sorry, cheesy.

    I'll be comparing DigitalStorm stuff with the other sites that have been mentioned, including FalconNW. And thanks for remembering that interacting on the internet and computing is supposed to be fun!
    August 21, 2009 5:09:02 AM

    gkay09 said:
    @Yoosty I dint notice the stick count...My bad...

    No problem gkay09, figure that you did not see it, but wanted to point it out. Since we do make alot of posts here on the Core i7 that sometimes stuff get blurry and we make mistakes. Like I did last week. :whistle: 
    August 21, 2009 10:37:09 AM

    1977816,30,82692 said:


    Plus, those guys that will be building with i7 920s with 58cc next month - do they all have similar backgrounds and situation as I? They will obviously have the time to tinker and tweak. What's wrong with tinkering with a i7 975? And what's preventing me from waiting a month and purchasing the 58cc when it does come out?

    If you have a viable alternative - then please take the time to present it, preferably itemized and most importantly, constructively.

    said:


    Don't wait, don't listen to these idiocies. It's much better to buy now instead of waiting. The i7 boards are now very stable and come with a good price and are very future proof. If you wait you will only lose time since the first boards of a new system are always unstable and prices are very high. If you will want to wait you will have to do it for another year or so.

    I suggest you to just buy. If I were you (since you want the best possible rig) I will chose an i7 920, 3x GTX 275 (or 285 stll better but really overkill) and 12 GB triple channel ram at 1600 (or better if you can find them) with fast timings. In the case you want to use 3-SLI chose your MoBo carefully so to have x16 x8 x8 instead of x16 x16 x4 in the PCI-E lanes. If you don't want to go 3-SLI then it depends: in some countries a 295 GTX is cheaper than two GTX 275 in SLI, in other just the contrary. Two GTX 275 are a little more performant than a single 295 GTX but this last has ample OC capabilities so if it cost less where you live it's better to go with it.

    Water cooling is fine and the future anyway also if people still don't get it. Silent PC and can reduce heat to multiple hardware. It's only that the price are a bit high yet and mainstream find it difficult to adopt, but things will change soon. The same happened with the first heatsinks when they first appeared, nothing new.

    Selea
    August 30, 2009 12:32:34 PM

    I see your point hohum... If time is what you are really talking about, why waste it on an alienware. (I appreciate the teaching and clarification you gave me btw.)

    Alienware takes a LONG time last I remember ordering mine before Dell took it.

    I suggest a better deal for you then, coming from a youngling such as myself. Looking at how you described your house hold, and that you are not the type to put all your eggs on the machine that you would save up on everything else.

    I suggest BFG phobos. Looking at how you described yourself, you would have a beautiful house to a job like that. Why ruin it with a serious machine that looks like a toy? BFG's phobos probably spends the same amount of time as an alienware, but makes it look more professional to your home than an alienware. Not to mention a consierge service that alienware does not have. As well as a physical touch screen on the case.

    August 30, 2009 12:33:41 PM

    http://www.bfgsystems.com/
    here is the link. Hope this helps in your decision.

    Note: I had bought my first alienware desktop in 2001. Thing lasted a long time, but then electronics get replaced more frequently, now than they had been in the past.

    So far I only built one PC. took only 6 hours. from to taking pics to cherish each moment, to setting it up. Compared to the months it would take to get an alienware... I would say thats more beneficial.
    !