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New Build Need Help (I use 6 monitors)


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#1 cpudreamer

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 10:37 PM

Hi All,

A middle aged man needs help (40) please! I am looking to start my 4th build, as my 3rd build (12 months ago) has never been completely "right". I seem to have suffered many performance issues.

I use my computer solely for work purposes, using code editors, CS4, light video editing and database work. My computer is on 24 hours a day and uses 6 Samsung monitors (4 x 19" with 1280 x 1024), 1 x 23" widescreen (2048 x 1152) and 1 x 24" widescreen (1920 x 1080). I always have at least 5 programmes running at the same time.

My main requirements are for a "super stable" system, running RAID 1, that can handle multiple programmes open at the same time.

My current build set up is:

XP Pro SP3 32-bit
Cooler Master Cosmos 1000
ThermalTake TMG i1 CPU Fan
Core Duo E8500 3.16GHz
Intel DX48BT2 Motherboard
4GB Crossair 1333MTz DDR3 (CM3X1024-1333C9DHX)
2 x Western Digital 120GB 7200rpm hard drives (both using Blowfish data encryption)
2 x ATI Radeon 3870
1 x VisionTek Radeon HD4870

I have been researching and come up with the following specs for my 4th build:

XP Pro SP3 32-bit
Cooler Master RC-1100 Comos S
Cooler Master V10 CPU Fan
Intel i7 920 or 950
ASUS P6T6 WS Revolution Motherboard
RAM - not sure
2 x Western Digital VelociRaptor 150GB 10,000rpm
3 x VisionTek Radeon HD4870 or BFG GeForce GTX 280

What do you all think? Please post any idea's on this or suggest a your system build.

Thanks!

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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 01:42 AM

Lets see what we have here...

Your suggested build seems okay, but there should be a few changes made. Your operating system should not be XP unless you have a program that will not run on anything else, no matter the amount of tweaking you do. Instead, if you can wait, go for Windows 7 Professional 64-bit. That edition has XP emulation and has some of the professional tools Home Premium doesn't have. Make sure you get the 64-bit version since you need it to run with 4GB or more of RAM. If you can't wait until 7's release date of Oct. 22nd, then I would suggest Vista Ultimate. Your case and fan are fine. I suggest going for the i7 950 or better, anything lower and you would be in the Phenom II category. For the motherboard, I would go for the GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5 LGA 1366 since it too can handle three graphics cards and has roughly the same specs as the Asus you chose, without the high price. As for the RAM, since you're going to be doing several tasks at once, you will need as much as you can get. I would buy two mushkin 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 memory kits to max out the RAM. Your graphics cards are fine, but the GTX 280's have already been replaced by the GTX 285's. If you want the most powerful card on the market, I would go for the SAPPHIRE 100281SR Radeon HD 5870 since it is at the same price point as the GTX 285. If you want something that is more powerful than the GTX 280, but at the same price, then I would get the SAPPHIRE 100282SR Radeon HD 5850 1GB. Either of these blows away the HD 4870 and the GTX 280 with the price of the 5850 being more reasonable than the 5870.

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#3 IrishGrimReaper

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 11:11 AM

You seem to have a high spec suggestion there, so I assume money itself isn't a big problem.

But for the CPU, I think you should stick with the 920, the added price for the 950 isn't worth it. You can easily overclock a 920 to about 3.6, probably even more around 3.8ghz. The CPU cooler you have is massive, and looks like it'll block some RAM slots. I use this-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16835608014

I got my 920 to 4ghz with it, but I just keep it at 3.9ghz now. You'll also need to go with a 64bit OS to get the best out of the i7 and tri channel RAM, use 3x2GB sticks of DDR3, you could get 12gb or 6gb.
If you're going to spend that much on that Intel mobo, I'd choose this instead it costs more but it's awesome!
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16813188048

Really though DJPace is right too, you could get a cheaper mobo that'll do the same job. I myself use a P6T Deluxe V2. Fitting the RAM will be a tight squeeze with a Noctua Nh-up12(if you use all the slots that is). And with that V10 thing or whatever it is, I'm not sure you could fit all the RAM in, that thing looks massive and totally unnecessary, especially for you as a business man who might need all that RAM. You'd benefit more from using the Noctua cooler, or even the Mugen 2 would be good(but it's more a budget cooler).

Also, I do recommend you get the new ATI 5xxx series cards like DJPace said. They're awesome!

And for your harddrives? You could consider getting Solid State Drives, I'm currently waiting for my Intel X25 80GB to arrive(not the black color one, it's a generation 1 drive that won't support TRIM, the Generation 2 which is the white ones, will support this, I see them in capacity of 80gb and 160gb. If you want excellent performance you could RAID 2x160GB Intel SSD's, the will be pricey but well worth it! And you would need to get Windows 7 when it comes out to support TRIM(basically the SSD equivalent of a Defrag).

I can't seem to find the 160 versions of the SSD on US sites, but this is the white one I'll be getting.
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/Se...&CatId=4147

Also, what about a Power Supply... You're gonna need some immense power for that machine, people will probably suggest the Corsair HX1000 Wat. But this is the best PSU in the world right now-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16817194040

I regard Enermax as the best PSU company followed by Corsair. A review can be read here.
http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=671&a...xpert&pid=8

Edited by IrishGrimReaper, 02 October 2009 - 11:14 AM.

|~|i7 920-D0@3.9Ghz|~|Noctua NH-U12P|~|P6T Deluxe V2|~|OcZ 3x2GB DDR3 1600Mhz|~|PNY GTX 275 898MB|~|Enermax Rev85+ 850 Watt|~|Xonar Dx 7.1|~|Lian Li P80|~|Samsung T220|~|G9|~|G11|~|Intel SSD X25M:G2-80GB|~|Windows 7 Home Premium 64|~|SteelSeries Siberia White|~|

#4 cpudreamer

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 03:01 PM

Thank you both for your quick reply's and suggesions.

As I have never used a 64-bit O/S would Windows 7 allow me to use the following programs? Forgive me if I sound a bit 'naive':

1.) IE8 + FireFox + Opera + Safri
2.) CS4 Suite
3.) BestCrypt
4.) Office 2007 Professional
5.) OutLook Express
6.) CuteFTP Pro 8.0
7.) NetScreen Remote
8.) TortoiseSVN
9.) UltraEdit Text Editor

#5 IrishGrimReaper

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 03:43 PM

I don't see why not, but W7 will have better compatibility than Vista, having XP emulation mode etc etc.
|~|i7 920-D0@3.9Ghz|~|Noctua NH-U12P|~|P6T Deluxe V2|~|OcZ 3x2GB DDR3 1600Mhz|~|PNY GTX 275 898MB|~|Enermax Rev85+ 850 Watt|~|Xonar Dx 7.1|~|Lian Li P80|~|Samsung T220|~|G9|~|G11|~|Intel SSD X25M:G2-80GB|~|Windows 7 Home Premium 64|~|SteelSeries Siberia White|~|

#6 DJBPace07

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 06:56 PM

Windows 7 does have emulation in the Professional and Ultimate versions, and the emulator is fine to run old productivity software with it, just don't expect performance that a gamer would want. Those programs should work fine with Windows 7 64-bit. That operating system, like Vista, has WoW64 which allows 32-bit applications to run while, at the same time, providing a native environment for 64-bit applications. All of your browsers will work fine and CS4 has 64-bit native compatibility built in so you are not limited in the amount of RAM you can use. Here's an Adobe knowledge base article regarding CS4 and 64-bit. BestCrypt and Office 2007 will run in 64-bit OSes. Outlook Express has been replaced by Windows Mail, or Windows Live Mail if you want a newer version of the software. They all pretty much do the same thing, anyway. NetScreen Remote will not work in a 64-bit OS, apparently the makers of that program don't realize that PC's with 4GB of RAM and 64-bit operating systems are commonplace both at home and work. However, people at the JuniperForums have discovered a workaround, the post is located here. You may be able to run NetScreen Remote from within the XP emulator since it uses 32-bit only. TortoiseSVN and the text editor should work normally.

Edited by DJBPace07, 02 October 2009 - 06:57 PM.

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