Constantly-advancing technologies assure that “future proof” systems will never exist. But a little consideration of near-term improvements should allow a system to remain useful a little while longer than some of the haphazard tier-one builds we still see from time to time.
To that end, we believe we’ve covered every aspect of upgradeability in today’s high-priced build. Easy upgrades such as additional memory modules, an additional graphics card, or even a replacement CPU with additional cores should be able to keep this particular system near the top of the performance curve for at least a year or two, and we even have the extra power supply capacity to support those upgrades.
Overclocking did push us up against the limits of our 2x 120mm radiator, but not before we reached impressive 62% CPU and 31% GPU overclocks. Those who’d like to push the GPU farther will find that the case and pump can easily handle an upgrade to a 3x 120mm replacement, and that this type of upgrade can still be made within our original budget.
Yet we’d have preferred a second high-capacity storage drive for similar money, to enable RAID 1 redundancy. With no consensus between builders and readers over the value of these features, pocketing the price difference was an easy way to avoid conflict.
Raising the budget for this month’s system allowed us to avoid regret completely, with an extra $400 spent on cooling (including the more expensive video card model) that would have otherwise forced us to sacrifice the SSD drives. Reaching our goals without pushing the limit of this new budget should help this system score extra points in Thursday’s value analysis.
You're repeatedly ignoring that it's 128GB, not 64GB, because the article repeatedly states that the drives are striped (Level 0) by the RAID controller. And there's a terabyte of added storage on top of that for stuff that isn't programs.
This thing is a beast.
Overclocked 5970 + i7 on a single 120.2?
ARE YOU MAD!
Well, I personally would have dropped something else and gone for a 120.3 or 140.3 radiator. =D
Hell, maybe even a 140.4 radiator, but then again, I like my system to run chilly and silent. It's also be very difficult to mount a 140.4 I assume. Maybe I could jack a radiator form work, I think it's about 1 metre by 3 metres by half a metre. Granted, it's for industrial use, but just for one day, please boss please?
Good results on the i7 though. Decently low voltage and still managed to reach 4.3GHz. My i7 is a lemon. It makes me sad. =(
Also an impressive overclock for a 5970.
At this kind of power, you should be testing multi monitor resolutions. I have a 5770 and I run 7 megapixels, you use a 5970 and only run 4 megapixels.
Looking forward tho the $1,500 build. See how my build compares to one six months older on a similar budget (and cry).
Well, the explanation is in the conclusion, the builder wanted redundant storage instead of the big radiator but chose neither, leaving enough room in the budget for anyone who wanted to copy the build to make their own upgrade choice.
But what's not in the budget is that the water was never hot, it was barely warm. The problem with running the CPU at 100% load and the GPU at 100% load is that the water temperature went up by around 10 degrees...we're talking about going from the 30's to the 40's here at full load. The article points to the GPU cooler as a likely flow restriction so I have three solutions:
Solution 1: Add 1/2" by 3/8" adapter T's and cool the chipset block, parallel to the GPU block. That would allow some of the water to bypass the GPU cooler, which is OK since the GPU was always cold. But 1/2" by 3/8" T's are hard to find outside of a hardware store, and Newegg certainly doesn't have them.
Solution 2: Switch to a 3-fan radiator. A 4-fan unit won't fit nicely into that case, and making an ugly system wasn't considered a solution.
Solution 3: Add a second liquid-cooled 5970 parallel to the first. Get twice the GPU power and completely unblock the lines in the process. The GPUs would run slightly hotter when each gets only half the water, but at least the CPU block's flow won't be restricted. And...since it's probably adding another 10 degrees to the coolant...stick the three-fan radiator in there as well. For FOUR grand you could have a KILLER system!
OK, so solution 1 is the cheapest, but you have to admit solution 3 is tempting...
Another solution to the constricted water flow would be to change the block on the 5970.
This build gets one and a half thumbs up from me, not that anyone cares...