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What do you think?


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#1 mgb856

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 02:28 AM

Hello all!

Im doing a high-end overhaul my main PC while keeping the price range...reasonable. That being said, I have A LOT of questions.

My credentials - I self-taught myself everything I know about computers. I learned building through manuals, trial-and-error, tearing apart old machines, and keeping up with new technology press releases and reviews. I have been building desktop PCs for nearly ten years, but I have no formal certifications

My current setup - I have a 4 year old system that has recently been retrofitted with better parts.
- Mobo: Asus P5N32E-D
- CPU: Intel E6600 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo (Conroe) OC'd to 3.35 GHz
- RAM: 8GB (4x 2GB) OCZ Reaper PC2 8500 (I forget the latency and voltage settings, but their OC'd too)
- HDDs: 1x Seagate Barracuda 7200 RPM @ 1 TB
1x OCZ Vertex SATA II SSD @ 32 GB
- Video: 1x Galaxy GTX 465 (Fermi) GPU, OC'd by manufacturer
- Audio: Onboard Asus HD Audio (RealTek)
- PSU: Thermaltake Key3 750w PSU
- Case: CoolerMaster Stacker 830 NVidia Edition (giant f'in case)
- Optics: Not that anyone cares, but 2x LG DVD-RW
- Cooling: Antec Freezer 7Pro for the CPU
7x Scythe Ultra KAZE 120mm fans (approx. 133 CFM per fan @ 45 dB)

My plan - Overhaul the PC with all new parts, keeping the build under $1500. Looking to run gorgeous games like Witcher 2 and eventually Skyrim on the highest settings without skipping a beat. I also want to add 3D capability and NVidia Physix to the system. Thinking about hooking up three screens like I saw at the Alienware booth at PAX-east (the monitors not counting towards the $1500). I went ahead and ordered some new parts to kick off the project.

2x EVGA 01G-P3-1366-TR GeForce GTX 460 SE (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express GPUs (currently en route), set them up in SLi, and keep the Galaxy as a Physix card when I replace the mobo. Also ordered a Corsair Professional Series Gold 1200W Modular Active PFC Power Supply to run the world let alone anything I can think of.

My questions - Besides "Am I going in the right direction?", I want to know some technical information so I can make the best choices.

First the infamous CPU question: Intel i7 quad core or AMD Phenom 6 core? I have always preferred the rock solid Intel processors but the AMD Phenoms look amazing (and cheap!).

Mobo: Looking to stay with ASUS or go for a Gigabyte, but recently demoed a Zotac and it was pretty nice. Anyone have an opinion on the high-end Zotac gear?

HDDs: To RAID or not to RAID. Thinking about 3 WD Raptors on a RAID, but I've never set a RAID up. Do I need a controller? Benefits of RAID vs. SDD?

GPUs: How do I get a three screen system going? I want to have the game spread out across the screen (in 3D) without making the system hiccup. Will the twin 460's + the 465 at the Physix slot make the happen?

RAM: Definitely getting a triple channel board with max ram, and I doubt anyone will convince me that Corsair's top lines shouldn't power my system. Despite the fact that i'm using OCZ now, Ive been using Corsair for years with no problems. Tried Kingston HyperX sticks previously, still not better than Corsair dominators.

Sorry for the crazy long post, I'm just trying to get this right. I'd appreciate any help I can get.

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#2 killerx525

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 04:21 AM

The 4 series is old now, the latest is the 5 series. 2 of these would of been a better choice. But the one your ordered would also do. You could wait for AMD's 8 core processor to come out or you could wait for Intel's long awaited 2011 socket. For gaming, i would go Intel. I have never used Zotac before but i would still stick with Asus or Gigabyte. RAID could be risky sometimes and SSD is a better option because of less hassle and faster. I'm not sure how the 3 screen will work together in 3D but someone will come along and work that out. Corsair makes some nice ram.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#3 mgb856

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 06:51 AM

The only problem with the 5 series is that the price corresponds with the model...$500/gpu. Im paying $130/gpu for the 450s, which fits my $1500 budget better. I can splurge on a mobo with the $740 I saved.

#4 killerx525

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 07:36 AM

Fair enough, so what do you in mind for the motherboard?

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#5 mgb856

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 02:31 PM

I was looking at the x58s. Gigabyte looks dominating and I've heard that they're the best in town. I've been using asus though since I've started building. I rma'd two evga boards so im not particularly into them. Im definitely open to suggestions for a triple channel board, 2 or 3 way sli with physx capability, either intel or amd. Preferably under $300.

#6 mgb856

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 03:54 PM

What do you think about the asus rampage III?

#7 killerx525

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 04:52 PM

You do know that it is a 1366 which is gonna be phased out by the 2011 scoket.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#8 DJBPace07

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 04:53 PM

A few things to note. AMD will be releasing their new CPU's soon in July or August. The FX-8130P, which is the flagship eight core CPU, is positioned to go up against the i7 2600K. I would hold off if I could. Also, the X58 motherboards are only available with the older LGA 1366 sockets, which Intel is going to be phasing out in favor of LGA 2011, which has no backwards compatibility. In short, you will have a longer upgrade path with AMD if you get a 990FX motherboard, unlike Intel's X58 which is nearing EOL. Triple channel is also not really needed unless you want bragging rights with benchmarking software. In real-world gaming, it makes no difference over a dual channel.

Nvidia's PhysX is overrated, don't base your buying decision on this. It really doesn't make much difference which card you get aside from performance and value. If you're wanting to run newer games, try to get the best card you can without the need for using a multi-GPU setup. This ensures the best performance, however, if you do decide to go SLI or Crossfire, use the best cards you can afford. There is driver overhead and a greater potential for things to go wrong in multi-GPU rigs. Three way SLI/Crossfire also yields diminishing returns and isn't suggested. Frankly, the GTX 460's are getting a little old with the GTX 580's and Radeon 6900's.

With motherboards, there are plenty to choose from. I just got an Asus Sabertooth 990FX and it is very nice with UEFI. Other brands are Gigabyte, EVGA, XFX, and MSI.

Unless you need redundancy, the average home user does not need RAID, especially RAID 0. Save yourself the headache and get a good SSD.

As for three screens, you need to use SLI on an Nvidia system to get the same effect as EyeFinity on a single AMD GPU.

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#9 mgb856

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 05:37 PM

I actually had no idea the 1366s were being phased out. It's a good thing I posted to this forum before I started buying gear. Im going to wait for the amd 8 core and see how it does against the Intels, then select a mobo.

After rebate, the twin 460s are costing me $100 a card, so if I find they're lacking after I sli them, Ill spring for a 5 series.

#10 killerx525

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 01:17 AM

I want to see if Intel's 2011 socket go up against AMD's 8 Core processors.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#11 DJBPace07

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 05:29 PM

They probably will not be able to, at least not until the second generation Bulldozer due out in 2012.

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#12 killerx525

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 05:37 PM

LOL 2nd gen Bulldozer :hysterical:

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#13 DJBPace07

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 05:54 PM

Actually, AMD forcasts a six month lifespan for 1st gen Bulldozer. It's not too surprising AMD is planning ahead for 2012.

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#14 whathuhitwasntme

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 06:25 PM

nice choice on the corsair 1200
I have that one, its NICE, completely modular EVERY cord come off it!
paid 300 bucks for it and have never had a issue, 7 yr warranty is nice to.
as for the 1366 being phased out, it is. BUT, that also means for the budget up-grader
if you already have a board, you can pick up a step up cpu affordable and be happy till the new
stuff is not the new stuff any more!~
seriously though, the 460's are heat makers
Pallit came out with a 560 just this month, and its on par with the newer stuff
and a bit cooler. Its not as fast as the 560ti, but its very nice for the 200 range card

egg for you
thinking you would be better served with that one

sorry had to edit for 3 screen
once you have multiple gpu's, you can run 3 screens fine
my rig handles it simply enough. you have to set up the primary etc but
the software is pretty ez, and its basic nvidia dash, so its free
yeah yeah eyefinity blah blah, but while you run 3 screens you get lower refresh rates and lower everything else. anytime you split one out put into 3 places you get diminishing returns!

Edited by whathuhitwasntme, 24 June 2011 - 06:30 PM.

You, yes YOU! STAND STILL WITH IT! How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

#15 DJBPace07

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 06:52 PM

There are no LGA 1366 CPU's coming out, nor were there many to begin with. To get one that substantially will outperform the potential benchmarks of Bulldozer, you will probably be paying for the upper tier of LGA 1366 i7's. Don't worry too much about the brand of GPU, you can get Crossfire or SLI, I typically go for the one that offers the best value versus performance, not to mention stability. I've had an on-off relationship with Nvidia cards for the past 15 years, I had to end it when Forceware stopped working constantly while listening to music while using two 9800 GTX's in SLI. Drivers have really taken a nose dive in Nvidia land, but AMD drivers aren't THAT much better.

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