My latest build idea... 24 replies

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>Omen<

Modern Warfare

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1st January 2005

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#1 8 years ago

It's getting very close now to me finally putting a complete build together and I've recently found a few different parts than what I had planned to spec before. In fact the prices aren't too bad even if I were to go right into Fry's and get most of it over the counter.

Here's the list:

CPU - i7 950 RAM - HyperX 3x2GB 1600MHz CAS 7 MB - EVGA SLI3 GPU - ASUS GTX 580 782MHz Case - Antec DF-85 PSU - Corsair HX850 HDD - Seagate 1TB 32MB cache DVD - ASUS SATA OEM Sound - HT Omega Claro

The following are explanations for some of the parts chosen. The RAM is chosen for best in industry XMP compatibility and low price on their low latency version. MB is chosen for it's excellent layout and price for what is a full featured and great performing product. Basically I need something that will mount two GPUs spaced well apart and run a PCI sound card, which is explained below. The GPU was chosen because it's a top tier brand, has the voltage tweak, is clocked to 782MHz, and is priced at only $500.

The PSU was chosen because it is high efficiency, has all Jap caps, and is well priced. On the HDD I was considering the WD Caviar, which some say are better than the Seagate 1TB, but the Seagate is not only priced well I'm impressed with the one my neighbor bought as far as overall performance, reliability and speed. Lastly, on the sound card I know it's pricey but it's a solid unit with great reviews for everything including gaming and it supports upmixing a 5.1 encoded stereo signal via digital optical input to analog outputs. This I need to hear 5.1 TV broadcasts in surround without adding a HT receiver. This is the only decent sound card I could find that does such a thing, and it's PCI.

Now to the questions:

Anyone here use the EVGA SLI3 MB? Just wondering about the temps, HS clearance and any compatibility issues. The RAM compat shouldn't be an issue. I'm really only concerned about the GPU and sound working OK with it. The only nit picks I've seen in reviews don't apply to me. It was said the CPU 8-Pin and front panel audio connections were badly placed. For me they're not because I'll have a bottom mounted PSU (8-Pin) and I've looked closely at the front panel audio connector and even if I can't fit the case's FPA cables on it with the sound card in place (only reason to do that is to use the front jacks for onboard sound vs the sound card) the sound card itself has a FPA connector on it.

Prices:

Fry's

i7 950 - $270 EVGA SLI3 - $200 ASUS GTX580 782MHz - $500 Antec DF-85 - $170 HDD - $70 ASUS SATA OEM DVD - $20

Newegg

HX 850 - $160 HT Omega Claro - $160

Kingston

HyperX 3x2GB 1600MHz CAS 7 - $158

Grand Total - $1708

The only thing making me hesitant at this point is the less than desirable SLI performance of the 580. I may jump on the CPU for now just to ensure getting that price on it though. Fry's is willing to hold any in stock item for me for 3 days. I just checked and they have all but the GPU and DVD of what's listed for them above, but they're expecting them in any day.




*Daedalus

A Phoenix from the ashes

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18th April 2006

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#2 8 years ago

Looks solid. That's a funky case too.

The only thing I'd recommend is to get a Spinpoint over a Seagate. I've had six Samsung drives, and none of them have failed so far, the longest one running for over four years. They also never go above 30°C, and are very quiet.

Newegg.com - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Also the same price.

Also, if you're interested, I'd have a look at a cheap SSD. They make quite a bit of differences for general speedyness. One of the great things about using them as OS drives that I've only recently come to realise is that you don't get that gradual slowdown of your OS thta you usually would over time. I've been running the same Win7 install for over three months and it's still quick as ever.




>Omen<

Modern Warfare

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#3 8 years ago

Don't know what you mean by funky, but the case isn't the best on looks IMO, but great on performance. I'm still not even sure what it will look like with the bar removed from the optical drive bay and the drive in place. I'm thinking the drive may not line up flush with the bars that aren't removed, which could look odd. I've been trying to find a pic of the front with a drive installed. Others I considered were the CM HAF-X and Lian Li A70F, but on those the price is higher and you don't get quite as good cooling.

On the HDD, I know they're a very personal preference thing. I've had good luck with my Raptors, but lately I've noticed no speed advantage with them over my friend's Barracuda 1TB. As I said it was a toss up between the Barracuda and Caviar, but I want to go with what I know first hand works well.

As for a "cheap" SSD, I've pretty much passed on that idea after seeing that they have poor write performance and not nearly as good reliability or price to capacity ratio as HDDs. It's definately a consideration on down the road, but not for now. Heck, I'm even going to put off getting the sound card for at least a month due to being a bit tight on finances right now after replacing my Corolla that broke down.

Other future upgrades will include some sort of CPU cooler, a moderate OC on the CPU, and another 580. I have seen a 3DMark score of 35,000 someone posted on two 580s even with a stock 940 though.

Which brings me to one of the questions I forgot to ask. Originally I was planning to go with an ASUS MB, partly because they offer a 1 step bump on the CPU multiplier in the BIOS. Last I talked to EVGA the rep said all their 1156 MBs I was considering at the time supported the 1 step multi bump too.

I seem to recall him saying all their X58 MBs did too. Can anyone verify if this is true about their X58 MB supporting a 1 step CPU multi bump? For now I'd like to just bump up the multi 1 step in the BIOS until I can get a decent CPU HS and maybe do a moderate OC in the 3.6-3.8GHz range. Ideally I'd like to see how far I can take it without a voltage increase, because I really don't want to have to reconfigure the RAM.




*Daedalus

A Phoenix from the ashes

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#4 8 years ago

I think my Gigabyte does too... perhaps it's something to do with turbo boost... that you can have your processor running at the turbo's multi 24/7 or something...




>Omen<

Modern Warfare

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#5 8 years ago

What I'm referring to isn't the same really as the CPU's TB. It's something some MB BIOSes have where you can up the actual multi. It's a one step bump across all cores. TB only works with certain active cores depending on the load.

Anyways, it appears after looking again at the P6X58D-E that I can in fact run two GPUs on it AND a PCI sound card. In fact besides 16x/8x/8x, it even does 16x/16x/1x, in case I ever get a HT receiver and use a PCi-Ex sound card. That way each 580 would have full 16x.

The EVGA SLI3 is limited to 16x/8x/8x. So I'll probably stick with the P6X58D-E I originally planned on even though it's a bit more money because I also did some superimposing of case/MB pics in Paint and found that the EVGA SLI3's CPU socket is too high to clear the DF-85 MB tray cutout. I also don't like that the EVGA SLI3 has only a 2 vs 3yr warranty on the P6X58D-E.

The SLI3 is a very good value considering all the fan headers on it, onboard CMOS button, LCD diagnostic readout, and easily accessible multi meter terminals, but I'd rather have the better warranty, Pci-Ex slot bandwidth, and MB tray cutout fit with the CPU socket, even if it costs $30 more.




*Daedalus

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#6 8 years ago
>Omen<;5427108What I'm referring to isn't the same really as the CPU's TB. It's something some MB BIOSes have where you can up the actual multi. It's a one step bump across all cores. TB only works with certain active cores depending on the load.

Yeah, I know what Turbo Boost is. :)

What I'm saying is I think my BIOS lets me select 24 as a multi - the usual being 23 - as an actual multiplyer. I'll check later when I have a bit of time, but I'm pretty sure it's an option.




*The.Doctor

Trust me, I'm a Doctor

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#7 8 years ago
>Omen<;5427108What I'm referring to isn't the same really as the CPU's TB. It's something some MB BIOSes have where you can up the actual multi. It's a one step bump across all cores. TB only works with certain active cores depending on the load.

I assumed that most high end mobos supported that. My P55-UD6 does, which is how i've got 4.2Ghz now with a x22 multi instead of the i7 860s standard x21.

Its just a little tricky to set up at first. You need to have turbo boost enabled, then manually set the multi higher. TB needs to stay enabled for the multi to be available even after its manually set. If it all works properly, the BIOS should lock the multi then and turbo boost should not function. That's on a 1156 setup at least, i would imagine 1366 should be about the same.




&gt;Omen&lt;

Modern Warfare

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#8 8 years ago

OK, thanks Doc, that's kinda what I thought it was and tried desperately just now to explain to EVGA. I figured it was something that converts TB to a one step multi bump, but try explaining it to Giga or EVGA and it's like a foreign language to them. Honestly I don't think some of these employees even know what their own product is capable of. It doesn't bother me at all if I lose TB by it because quite frankly the TB on any 1366 i7 chip is a worthless one core affair anyway.

Daed, can you tell me what Giga board you have and double check if it does in fact support the one step multi bump? Fry's has the GA-X58A-UD3R at the same price Newegg carries it for, so if it supports that feature I'll get it instead. The salesman at Fry's I spoke to also checked that board and it's CPU mounting holes fit the MB cutout of the DF-85 too.

So the MB and a couple other items have been changed last minute which brings me to being able to get everything but the sound card from Fry's, that is IF they get the dang ASUS ENGTX580 in soon. If it doesn't come in soon I'll just get the CPU while it's on sale and postpone everything else. The other two items are the CAS 9 vs 7 version of the HyperX 1600Mhz kit and the XFX Black Edition XPS-850W-BES 850W PSU, the former of which they have in stock and the latter can be special ordered with minimal ship time.

That brings my total without the sound card down to $1520 before tax, which isn't bad really. If it weren't that the onboard only goes up to 15Khz, I might suffice with that, because I've read the specs on Realtek's HD audio and most of the other numbers are fairly impressive for onboard. I would be limited to just the TV speakers for television were I do stay with onboard though. I've also located some 120mm flexible SLI bridge connectors for only about $10 w/ shipping, so running the two 580s 5 slots apart (about 107mm actual I think) to fit in the PCI sound card shouldn't be a problem.

I have to admit on the PSU I didn't know it was such a high quality unit. It's about the only PSU I've ever seen jonnyGURU rate 10/10 on performance. Only thing he nicked it on was looks at 7/10. Everything else was 9.5 or above. It's made by Seasonic and based on their highly acclaimed M12D 850w with the same exact specs on down to the 70A current. It has all Jap caps too. I asked Seasonic about why a few customers were reporting whine in them, but they assured me it was likely a very small return rate, as did XFX. EVGA says this PSU should run two 580s, which also jives with MSI's claim that 55-60A and 850w minimum is needed for SLIing two 470s or 480s.




&gt;Omen&lt;

Modern Warfare

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#9 8 years ago

An update on my progress. Snatched an i7 950 and Palit GTS250 1GB at Fry's today. The 950 was on sale for $270 and the GTS250 on rebate for $70. The GTS250 is just to get me by until they get the ASUS ENGTX580 in, then it will be relegated to PhysX duties. This GPU should play any game I throw at it though, including GTA IV on max textures, so I may even use it until the 28nm GPUs come out.

I decided to get everything else except maybe the CPU cooler (thinking H50) at a local PC parts store that dickered with me on the pricing since Fry's and Best Buy don't have the MB I want in store and Fry's was totally managing to mess up even holding two items for me,then tracking down the parts since they weren't actually put on hold like I was told. Some of the prices they're offering are pretty good considering the size of their biz, but I'm going through them also because they cover defects much better.

They're going to sell me the DF-85 case for the same $170 Fry's has it for, the P6X58D-E for $245, the HyperX 1600MHz CAS 7 RAM for the same $158 Kingston sells it for, the XFX Black Edition 850w for an incredible $145, the 1TB 32MB Barracuda for $69, and a Lite-On SATA DVD burner for $23. Unlike Best Buy and Fry's they don't leave customers hanging if a part needs to be RMAed. They'll ship it to the manufacturer at their cost anytime within the warranty period.




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#10 8 years ago

why dont u wait to see what amd has to offer with there 6900 series?