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Upgrading desktop computer.


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#1 pleurebleu

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 11:37 AM

Hi!

I've decided that it is time for me to upgrade my desktop computer. I'm coming here humbly asking for opinion and advices, thanks for taking the time to help :).

Current config:
GPU: 2x gtx-295
CPU: i7-975 XE bloomfield
MOBO : ASRock X58 extreme
RAM: G.skill 16gb trident 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000)
Disks: Corsair P256 SSD + 2x 1Tera HDD wd caviar green.
PSU: Thermaltake Toughpower W0133RU 1200W ATX12V
Case: Thermaltake level-10
Monitor: ASUS VK266H Black 25.5"

Why I want to upgrade it?
First of all, my two gtx 295s aren't allowing me to play all the games I want on maxed-out settings and won't even run smoothly with average-to-high settings on some games.

Then, there's the temperature issue. At the moment my cpu runs between 45-55C at idle. Might be due to high ambient temp since it's in a "small" compartment with the two 295s.

I feel my motherboard isn't what it used to be.

What I would like to upgrade? A bunch of things.

First, I am looking at the i7-990X and the soon-to-come i7-995X. Will it make a big difference? Would it be smarter to wait for the next generation of processors?

Second, I've been looking at a lot of reviews on the gtx 580 and 590. It seems that choosing a SLI of 580 is recommendable over a 590 unless you're going to use 3D. Also, it seems a SLI of 590 (a quad-sli) is not recommended, so, I'm also considering a 3-way SLI of 580s.

In any case, these graphics card pump a lot of power and I'm considering replacing my PSU. I've had it for 2 years or so and it did the job well but I feel I should invest in a new one if I'm going to upgrade other parts of my computer.

About the MOBO, since we're not too far (or so it seems) from a new generation of cpus (and potentially a different socket?) would it be smarter to wait for it to happen and to then upgrade?

Finally, I've been "digging" into water-cooling a lot and I am about 80% sure that I want to add water cooling to my system. But, because I have a thermaltake level 10 case, internal/embedded cooling system are most likely out of the question and so I have been looking at external cooling systems.

I have my eyes on the Exos-2.5 (EX2-1055) Cooling System at the moment, is that a good choice?
Although I have been looking at several CPU blocks I am a complete novice in the field and don't know what to make of the information I gathered, same things for gpu cooling blocks, are they hard to mount? Would it be advisable to go for something like the evga 590 classified hydro-copper that come "pre-mounted".

Lastly, note that the surface of my cpu is scratched/damaged due to my previous heatsink having been tighten too much... and it pains me :(
At the moment my heatsink is a ZALMAN CNPS9900.

I would also like to get myself a new screen that would go higher than 1900x1200 so I can fully benefit my investment in new graphics cards.

Finally, thanks to anyone who contributes!

Note that money is not the problem here.

Edited by pleurebleu, 30 September 2011 - 04:59 PM.


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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:22 PM

I don't think Intel will be continuing on with LGA 1366 so don't continue down that path. The upcoming LGA 2011 is for enthusiasts, though, gamers would only benefit so much due to how games are written. CPU's are generally not as important as GPU's on the gaming front. You would be better off waiting for LGA 2011, waiting a couple weeks for AMD's AM3+ CPU's (Benchmarks are impressive, so far, but take them with a block of salt), or going with current generation Sandy Bridge CPU's. All of these will involve a new motherboard.

Reviews seem to indicate that once people get more than two GPU's in an SLI/Crossfire setup, adding additional GPU's does not increase graphical performance very significantly. Few games scale well past two cards, so get powerful ones while you are at it. If you have money to burn on GPU's, and your power bill, go for it. As for PSU's, there are a number to choose from, but if your current PSU has the needed wattage and runs well, why bother. PSU brands to consider are Corsair, Silverstone, PC Power, Enermax, Seasonic.

If you go the water cooling route, get a closed system and realize they aren't that silent given the fact a pump is necessary. Frankly, if temperatures are within acceptable limits and the noise is tolerable, I wouldn't risk the possibility of damaging the computer just to get a few degrees cooler.

As for monitors, look for LED backlit ones, they often look letter than CCFL monitors. You can get 1920 x 1200 resolutions and use a junky graphics card. Actual performance deals more with postprocessing than the resolution, however, the higher the resolution, the harder the graphics card will have to work to apply certain effects to the image, like antialiasing.

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#3 killerx525

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 06:35 PM

I strongly recommend to get the 2011 processors and assuming that Asus will make the ROG series for the 2011 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


#4 pleurebleu

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 07:01 PM

Hey, thanks for your answer!

By the way, you were the one who helped me built this desktop in the first place... how nostalgic ^^.

PSU
I was thinking that my PSU was getting old but if you think not, I take your word for it. On the other hand, will it be enough to feed three gtx 580s?

CPU
I'm somewhat confused; Is a $300 i7-2600K sandy bridge 3.4Ghz better than my two years old i7-975 XE?
I didn't seem to find any sandy bridge processor better than that one. As for the AMD ones, I'm an intel/nvidia fanboy... :inlove:
When I'm talking about performance in CPUs, I mean gaming performance.

GPU
So going for a 3-way of 580s is what I'm going to do, any recommendations about which model to buy exactly? I've been looking at the evga ones but don't get what would make this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130655
$100 more expensive than this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130590

Monitor
Thanks for the clarification about resolutions, I was going to make a mistake.
Also I couldn't find anything interesting as to compared with my current one. I don't wish to go any bigger than what I have and it seems there isn't really anything better out there?

MOBO
My current mobo doesn't have enough slots for a three way. What would be a good motherboard to carry three 580s until I get myself a new cpu/mobo (probably will wait for LGA 2011). How about this one?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131642

Edited by pleurebleu, 30 September 2011 - 07:17 PM.


#5 DJBPace07

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 07:29 PM

PSU: It depends on the wattage, two years isn't very long for a PSU. The only time I've had to replace one due to age was about seven years old. It's hard to diagnose PSU issues without having a spare around...

CPU: The 2600K is a newer, more efficient architecture that often performs above the i7 975. If you are going to upgrade wait for AMD's Bulldozer "FX" CPU's to be released. They should be lower priced but similarly performing to many of the CPU's you are looking at, this should cause downward price pressue on Intel CPU's. I'm not a fanboy, if Intel and AMD cost the same, I would be for Intel since their current CPU's outperform AMD's current lineup. However, things aren't that simple. Because there is a price and performance gulf, same with Nvidia and AMD, other factors come into play. If I can get performance I want for less money I'm all for it. Truth is, most people don't need the higher-end CPU's unless they render or use data heavy functions. Gamers really don't need high-end CPU's since the GPU often takes the brunt of processing, however, there is a point where a certain amount of CPU power is needed.

GPU: Again, the price versus performance gulf makes it difficult for me to go for high-end Nvidia GPU's over AMD's. I don't believe the markup is worth it. That said, eVGA makes excellent cards, as does Galaxy. The second card is slightly overclocked whereas the first is not with a higher memory amount. Unless you run gigantic monitors, one or two GB of video memory is usually all you need unless you run memory heavy graphics operations, like supersample AA. Both cards are good, I also like the Galaxy 58NLH5HS3PXZ GeForce GTX 580.

Monitor: If you change your mind, Asus has some great monitors. 1920 x 1200 monitors are more difficult to find, the 1920 X 1080 resolution is the closest I could find at Newegg. You can get a really high resolution 27-inch monitor for about $900, but that is geared towards professional artists.

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#6 pleurebleu

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 09:24 PM

Thanks again for your answer.

Here's a draft of my order:

CPU:
Intel core i7-2600K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115070

MOBO: GIGABYTE G1.SNIPER2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128525

MEMORY:
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231473

GPU:
2x MSI N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127589

Heatsink: ZALMAN CNPS9900MAX-B
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118074

Edited by pleurebleu, 30 September 2011 - 10:26 PM.


#7 killerx525

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 03:06 AM

That looks fine to me :thumbup2:

>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 pleurebleu

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 01:20 PM

Passed the order.

Thanks for both of your inputs and help :thumbup2: .

As a last request, I'm having troubles finding cooling block reviews for the 580.

Any links?

#9 killerx525

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 05:26 PM

Danger Den
http://www.guru3d.com/article/liquid-cooling-overclocking-geforce-gtx-580-danger-den/


http://www.frozencpu.com/cat/l3/g30/c311/s1351/list/p1/Liquid_Cooling-Water_Blocks_VGA_-_Card_-_nVidia-GTX_580_Water_Blocks-Page1.html

>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


#10 pleurebleu

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 06:34 PM

Awesome thanks!

#11 killerx525

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 10:58 PM

No problems :)

>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





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