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Old 2009-08-29, 00:46   Link #1
TakumiFuji
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another question about pc build

I asked a question about pc building before and have a whole bunch of new questions.
Ive revised my budget from to 1000 - 1200$ us and am going for a pure performance pc that can watch blu ray movies, troll the net, and play WOW at the low end and Far Cry at the high end graphics games. The machine has to do this without being overclocked, so for those out there who play these can you list what you play them with.

Now for some technical questions how many gigs exactly does vista/WOW/Far CRY take up on a fresh install. this is to determine which of the raptor drives or two Corsair P128 SSD i will select for the OS and the other will be for the games.

What RAM Speed works the BEST for these games 667/800/1022etc. And how many gigs should i really run for the games alone. Also Vidcards is it better 2 in SLI / Xfire mode or a Single monster card.

The CPU can i get away with a Dual core or should i go quad core. this will determine whether i go watercooled or can get away with just air

I have so far is CM Haf 935 with CM 900w PS, wireless Keyboard/mouse, Blu Ray/DVD Drive reader only Combo, 6+2 Pci USB 2.0 Card
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Old 2009-08-29, 01:06   Link #2
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Generally, faster speed RAM will run faster, but will cost more... but 4 GB is sufficient for all the video games out there, but you will need to install 64-bit Vista or Windows 7 in order to take avantage of the 4 GB of RAM or more. Drivers won't be a problem with 64-bit since driver support have improved since Vista... and Vista is currently the only Windows OS that supports 64-bit pretty well until 7 comes out.
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Old 2009-08-29, 06:28   Link #3
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Well, are you sure that you want to use 2 x 128 GB SSD for that budget? One of those corsair P128 itselft cost $ 345.99. Which I believe it's much better to spend it for better CPU (e.g. i7) and GPU (e.g. 4890 / GTX275).

For memory, if you're going i7 (or DDR3 in general), 1600 MHz DDR3 with 8 CAS Latency is quite good and I think it's the sweet spot for DDR3 nowadays. 3x2 GB for triple channel or 2x2 GB for dual channel is quite adequate.

For video cards (GPU), it's actually depend on what resolution what you're gaming at. Below 1920x1200 I think a single 4890 / GTX 275 is quite sufficient.

And for $1000+ budget, obviously you want a good quad-core processor (i7 for best performance or Phenom II X4 for best price/performance). I don't recommend going Core 2 Quad since the Phenom II delivers the same (if not better) performance at a better price. And it will be replaced soon by the new Core i5.

Anyway, you might want to wait several weeks for a brand new Intel Core i5/P55 chipset platform, which should delivers near i7 performance at cheaper price.

Oh and here's some nice system building guide from anandtech :
http://www.anandtech.com/guides/showdoc.aspx?i=3610
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Old 2009-08-29, 11:46   Link #4
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900w is overkill. Xfire/Sli performance is dependant on game still. One monster card is still superior to 2 mediocre cards. You are not going to be using 667/800 for i7, these are ddr2 speeds. i7 is DDR3 exclusively and triple channel (3sticks of Ram) as well. Are you running a 64bit o/s or just 32bit? Pointless to go to high end system and run a 32bit o/s. You just can't use enough RAM to make the most of additional performance available.

Are you planning any RAID setups for the HDD's or just two separate drives? Some of the bigger 1tb+ HDD's are offering raptor performance simply because of the data density across the platters.
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Old 2009-08-29, 12:11   Link #5
TakumiFuji
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The idea behind the big PSU is im not taxing it as much. especially if there are minimum requirements on power.

It will be exclusively a DDR3 Machine thats the reason behind the budget and i dont wanna have to upgrade it for at least 3-5 yrs.

The OS will be 64bit vista until retail of Window7 64bit retail comes out. As far as
HDD each game will get a dedicated HD so yes there will be some form of a raid config.
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Old 2009-08-29, 14:14   Link #6
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Windows 7 is going to release in October and you should be able to obtain a free copy of Windows 7 if you bought a OEM copy of Windows Vista right now (but you might need to pay shipping which isn't much)

Also, SSD is still new technology and I have heard that they have higher failure rate and also SSD is too expensive and not perfected yet... It's best to stick with HDs at the time being until SSD finally mature enough, which won't be until several years later and HDs will give you better capacity at a lower cost of SSDs (which cost 200 and up depending on capacity, which is small)... and it's not that practical for desktop use since it's mostly geared for laptops since most notebooks would benefit alot more with no moving parts, so I don't recommend it currently unless you want the latest technology.
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Old 2009-08-29, 21:31   Link #7
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Well, I believe that the main reason of using SSD is one : speed. So everyone that want a very high I/O performance on their already high-end desktop should use a SSD instead of high-rpm harddisk. Here's some of the performance metrics comparison :

http://www.anandtech.com/storage/sho...spx?i=3607&p=4

And I think that the recent version of the mainstream controllers such as the ones from Indilinx (which is used on most OCZ/SuperTalent SSD) is already quite reliable since they're already support the TRIM command which eliminating the performance drop which usually occurs after you use a SSD for some time. Altough it seems to still in beta state...

Indeed, the price/GB is still very high... And I think that 3 x 1 TB RAID 5 is quite sufficient and much cheaper for you budget.

Oh, and if DX11 is a success, you do want to upgrade to a DX11 ready card (5XXX / GTX 3XX ???) sometime around next year (or closer?)...
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Old 2009-08-29, 22:27   Link #8
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The problem is, although SSDs loads information fast... they don't have very fast write speeds, since the blocks on SSDs are larger than of that hard drives which have higher storage density depending how big the HD is, which can make write cycles faster... Another problem is that SSDs, although don't have any moving parts, they have a limited amount of write(erase) cycles which is simular to flash drives since they practically almost use the same technology. This means you only have a limited amount of cycles until the SSD is unable to write to that sector... opposed to a HD, which can have unlimited life cycles, but it doesn't mean HDs aren't immune to any problems, but happens alot less since HD technology have matured already... Although most SSDs have wear-leveling on it, I wouldn't depend on it so much since it might not guantee how much cycles you can still write. (if you interested in write cycles on a SSD, check out this article.

Also, a Veloraptor with the capacity and speed will actually cost less per GB than a SSD... I wouldn't bother with any SSDs unless you use it on a laptop and store your files on a external HD to save write cycles. SSDs aren't quite ready for mainstream and will probably take years until it fully perfected and cheap enough for most consumers.
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Old 2009-08-30, 04:45   Link #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TakumiFuji View Post
The idea behind the big PSU is im not taxing it as much. especially if there are minimum requirements on power.
Too bad it doesn't exactly work that way. PSU have different efficiencies at different loads with the maximum usually around 50% load of capacity. The region from 50% to 100% load is more efficient than from 0% to 50% load. With the computer you're building, it would rarely get past 50% load of your 900W PSU. All that inefficiency is just creating more heat and taxing more on the PSU than needs to be. It's just better to get an appropriate sized PSU.

As for which RAM speed is best, they all work equally well. RAM performance would depend on both timing (something like 4-4-4-4-12) and the RAM frequency. A small trick to compare them would be to take the first number (CAS latency) and divide it by the frequency (ie 4/800Mhz = 5 ns). The smaller number is the better performing one. This basically tells you how long (in nanoseconds) it would take for it to access a sector.

Last edited by arenine; 2009-08-30 at 05:04. Reason: Added more info.
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Old 2009-08-30, 09:53   Link #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chikorita157 View Post
The problem is, although SSDs loads information fast... they don't have very fast write speeds, since the blocks on SSDs are larger than of that hard drives which have higher storage density depending how big the HD is, which can make write cycles faster... Another problem is that SSDs, although don't have any moving parts, they have a limited amount of write(erase) cycles which is simular to flash drives since they practically almost use the same technology. This means you only have a limited amount of cycles until the SSD is unable to write to that sector... opposed to a HD, which can have unlimited life cycles, but it doesn't mean HDs aren't immune to any problems, but happens alot less since HD technology have matured already... Although most SSDs have wear-leveling on it, I wouldn't depend on it so much since it might not guantee how much cycles you can still write. (if you interested in write cycles on a SSD, check out this article.

Also, a Veloraptor with the capacity and speed will actually cost less per GB than a SSD... I wouldn't bother with any SSDs unless you use it on a laptop and store your files on a external HD to save write cycles. SSDs aren't quite ready for mainstream and will probably take years until it fully perfected and cheap enough for most consumers.
You should probably read some of the review from the new SSD that have been released. The OCZ vertex for example is better than a velociraptor in nearly everything (except the price).

OCZ has put the warranty of all its SSD drive to 3 years instead of 2, even for already sold one. IMHO it's a proof that SSD don't have anymore a high failing rate.

(if you interested in write cycles on a SSD, http://www.storagesearch.com/ssdmyths-endurance.html )

And when the TRIM command will be implemented (when 7 will be released) one of the last problem of the SSD will be removed.
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Old 2009-08-30, 12:30   Link #11
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I continue to doubt the usefulness of SSDs at the moment out of price-efficiency. You'll be better off getting as good a normal hard drive as possible and spend the rest on getting a good graphics card, a good motherboard, and a good PSU. The motherboard, especially, should not be skimped on.

4GB of RAM in as high grade as your motherboard can take is sufficient. I suggest ordering them in 2GB sticks so you have some room for upgrade.

By the way, don't use wireless mice/keyboards for gaming. Lag happens, and you won't like it.

Please give us Newegg links to all your choices, so we'll have an easier time finding better matches for you.

EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by TakumiFuji
As far as HDD each game will get a dedicated HD so yes there will be some form of a raid config.
That's hardly a method for dividing your hard drive usage. As of 2009, each game takes up no more than 15GB. It's not like you're going to play all your games at once, so why are you dedicating a drive for each? Please take a step back and look at it. It's a little absurd.
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Old 2009-08-30, 13:50   Link #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TakumiFuji View Post
The idea behind the big PSU is im not taxing it as much. especially if there are minimum requirements on power.

It will be exclusively a DDR3 Machine thats the reason behind the budget and i dont wanna have to upgrade it for at least 3-5 yrs.

The OS will be 64bit vista until retail of Window7 64bit retail comes out. As far as
HDD each game will get a dedicated HD so yes there will be some form of a raid config.
I'm not going to argue with you but to get anywhere near 900w you're looking at a quadfire setup. You're working to a budget unless you can effectively use even 80% of 900w then that means you've spent unnecessarily and cut back on other things which will actually make a a performance difference

So how many HDD's are you planning to have if each game install will get a new HDD? I think you may need to review what your understanding of RAID is.

Unfortunately for you there's no way any build is going to hold up for 5 years. Directx 11 is yet to be fully implemented, there's rumblings of DirectX12 in the works. And whether your PC can deal with this and still be performing well is highly suspect.
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Old 2009-08-30, 17:50   Link #13
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Considering ATI's next gen video cards will be released in about half a month from today, I would wait. Even if those cards are out of your budget, they should still drive down the prices of the current generation.
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Old 2009-08-30, 18:32   Link #14
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If this is a gaming rig, you only want a small SSD for your root/OS drive. SSDs have write limits until the NAND cells go kaput, you want it to be as inexpensive as possible, and put the speed where it really matters.

Get a pair of 16gb RunCore or Intel SSDs for your OS volume, set them up for RAID 0. ^^;
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Old 2009-08-31, 15:18   Link #15
TakumiFuji
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Im starting with 2 1gig video cards because i wont just be playing games but watching movies and surfing at the same time. The hard drives will be an 80 gig ssd for the core functionality, 150 gig raptor for the games, and a pair of 300 gig raptors for anime files and game mods etc.
Most of you haven't read the most important part of my post which is i dont want to overclock this computer. thats the reason for the build using faster performing components.

As for processor choices it will be either the new AMD 3.4ghz Black pro. or a 2.66ghz I7 processor. The ram will be 2 sets of Mushkin 1600DDR3 2x2. The video cards have to support HD/bluray resolutions natively with hdmi plugs built in not with an adapter.

thats why im buying the comp piece meal as the new stuff comes out, the wireless combo will be for when im surfing or watching movies i will have a wired set plugged in for gaming.
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Old 2009-08-31, 16:47   Link #16
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2x1gb vid cards are not going to help you with any of that. Those are all tasks for the cpu and dependant on your connection. 2d rendering barely makes video cards work. A single 4890 will support 1080p res. No-one has mentioned overclocking. You have to understand what most people are telling you in this thread - you are going about this the wrong way and it's not going to work within your budget.

You're going crossfire/sli. so you should be looking at an ati 4890/ nvidia gtx 285. 2 cards are at least $500 currently. And if you want gaming performance these are your only real choices. You want 2x300gb raptors which is around $400 for a pair. Plus an SSD which again is $200 for 80gb, A150gb raptor =$180. That's your budget already maxxed out. No bluray, No PSU, No Cpu, No Mobo,No RAM and No case.

Put your anime/multimedia files on a normal 7200rpm HDD. The speed of the HDD isn't of any use here for playback. Why you'd want to put any sort of multimedia on a Raptor I don't understand. The speed of the raptors has a drawback - noise. Forget the SSD - at the price they go for, the speed isn't worth crippling your build for. Buy one 300gb velociraptor put your o/s, games etc for that. A Vista 64 install will take about 20gb. Most game installs are 5-6gb each at most 10gb. I doubt you play more than 20 games with multiple mods. Buy more RAM. You want speed right? This is always the cheapest and most effective way to improve application and system performance.

Also why nuy a black edition AMD if you're not overclocking?The reason they cost more is the unlocked multiplier so they can reach higher and faster overclocks. Save yourself $100 and get the regular edition if one is available
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Last edited by hobbes_fan; 2009-08-31 at 16:58.
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Old 2009-08-31, 17:52   Link #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TakumiFuji View Post
Im starting with 2 1gig video cards because i wont just be playing games but watching movies and surfing at the same time. The hard drives will be an 80 gig ssd for the core functionality, 150 gig raptor for the games, and a pair of 300 gig raptors for anime files and game mods etc.
Most of you haven't read the most important part of my post which is i dont want to overclock this computer. thats the reason for the build using faster performing components.

As for processor choices it will be either the new AMD 3.4ghz Black pro. or a 2.66ghz I7 processor. The ram will be 2 sets of Mushkin 1600DDR3 2x2. The video cards have to support HD/bluray resolutions natively with hdmi plugs built in not with an adapter.
I believe you mentioned something about a budget. Your list is going to throw that right out the window. >_>;;

I still frown at DDR3 at the moment when I suggest builds. These things aren't cheap. You really should wait.

Why would you need two state-of-the-art cards to watch BluRay and surf the web? 1080p is easily handled by most single midrange cards these days.

You don't need those Raptors. 7200rpm is good enough for storing your media. Your game performance isn't going to depend on hard drive speed, and the only thing the RPM changes is how long you're going to wait for things to load once. You're not going to lag hard by having 7200rpm drives. It doesn't happen to me. Promise. Game developers aren't that stupid. Hell, they're not even going to put games on BluRay for PC in 3-4 years, if even that.

Let's do this slowly. Find a motherboard first. I'm serious. It's the most important part of a PC, and it needs to support everything you want to put on it. One that supports everything you just said would be around $250+.
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Old 2009-08-31, 20:35   Link #18
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The RPM only is the speed the HD spins at, but depending on the data density of the HD, the HD transfer speed can be higher even if the HD is 5400 RPM compared to 7200 RPM. Raptors are expensive and the Caviar Black can have simular performance with a cheaper price and more capacity. You can get a 1TB WD Caviar Black for $94.99 over at Newegg which costs alot less than the Vaptor, just you game will load a few seconds slower, thats all. Don't bother with the WD Caviar Blue, it's slower and have less warranty. The Caviar Black have the same warranty as Raptor, so you don't have to worry.

Don't bother with the Seagate Barracuda drives... they have quality control issues over their firmware issues... Even though it's fixed, you shouldn't really trust them unless you using a Seagate drive just to backup data.

Also, a midrange card is pointless anyways when high end ones can be bought for $20-50 bucks more (e.g. 48xx series on Radeon and 98xx or GTX 2xx series for Geforce) and won't handle demanding games like Crysis if you are planning to play games at high settings in DirectX 10. If your concern is FPS and/or overclocking, you most likely won't need two graphics cards with SLI or Crossfire. You also don't need to have to get a video card with HDMI... you can also hook up a DVI to HDMI cable to get the same benefit, except no audio.

Also, without a motherboard, like said earlier, you don't have a computer... so it's best to find the best one first and never skimp on motherboards...
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Old 2009-09-01, 01:54   Link #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbes_fan View Post
2x1gb vid cards are not going to help you with any of that. Those are all tasks for the cpu and dependant on your connection. 2d rendering barely makes video cards work. A single 4890 will support 1080p res. No-one has mentioned overclocking. You have to understand what most people are telling you in this thread - you are going about this the wrong way and it's not going to work within your budget.
Well, even a good enough integrated graphic will do fine for HD playback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbes_fan View Post
You're going crossfire/sli. so you should be looking at an ati 4890/ nvidia gtx 285. 2 cards are at least $500 currently. And if you want gaming performance these are your only real choices. You want 2x300gb raptors which is around $400 for a pair. Plus an SSD which again is $200 for 80gb, A150gb raptor =$180. That's your budget already maxxed out. No bluray, No PSU, No Cpu, No Mobo,No RAM and No case.
I'm agree. I think you're spending too much for storage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbes_fan View Post
Also why nuy a black edition AMD if you're not overclocking?The reason they cost more is the unlocked multiplier so they can reach higher and faster overclocks. Save yourself $100 and get the regular edition if one is available
Well, I think you should just spend a little bit more and get an i7 instead if your budget still permits. Also note that it's better to use triple channel sets of DDR3 for i7. And make sure that you memory voltage is not more that 1.65v.

Oh, AnandTech has just wrote a very nice new article about today's SSD. Which I believe is very worthy to read. Here's the link :
http://anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3631
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Old 2009-09-01, 07:38   Link #20
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Not quite true there's still a lot of integrated gfx out there that can't do it, you're looking at the the budget chipsets though. You'd have to rely on the CPU to do the work.

Also the guy isn't O/c ing, does not really understand RAID. There's no need to go to a high end motherboard. A good basic solid motherboard with an Intel/AMD chipset from ASUS or Gigabyte is all he'll need. You just avoid Nvidia, VIA and SiS.
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