Hard Drives And Accessories
System Drives: Two Crucial CT64M225 Solid-State Disks
With its faster program launch times and quicker response in certain games, we really wanted an SSD in this month’s system, despite the negative effect on our later performance-to-price assessment. A 128GB unit would be large enough for all our programs, but two 64GB units in a RAID controller’s Level 0 mode should provide even better transfer rates for around the same price. Our previous M225 review showed that Crucial’s performance ratings are realistic, so it took only a small leap of faith to purchase the yet-untested 64GB versions.
Read Customer Reviews of Crucial's CT64M225 64GB SSD
Cooler Master’s Cosmos S doesn’t have the two 2.5” drive bays needed to hold our pair of SSD drives, but that doesn’t bother us, since SNT’s sleek 2.5” hot-swappable backplane cost only $22.
Storage Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB
Most high-end users need far more than 128GB of storage, but the stuff that typically fills a drive doesn’t require super-fast access. An additional 1TB of space can usually accommodate dozens of movies, hundreds of songs, and thousands of photos simultaneously.
Read Customer Reviews of Western Digital's Caviar Black 1TB
Western Digital’s Caviar Black was chosen primarily for its good performance, though we could have just as easily selected its more energy-efficient Green series counterpart and saved money at the same time.
We normally recommend at least two drives and RAID 1 for continuous backup of long-term storage, but feedback-based disagreement between our audience led us to leave that option up to individual owners. One thing that can be said for RAID 1 on Intel controllers is that, in the event of system failure, any surviving drive can be migrated to “single” mode on most other Intel-based motherboards through its Matrix Storage Manager software.
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...