So I have done the hard yards saving some money and now I am ready to spoil myself on a new PC for high end gaming and video/music. Having done a bit of research I think I have worked out what I want to keep me going for the next few years, but I would appreciate any advice/comments on my choices.
So the plan is...
Silverstone Raven Rv01
Asus Rampage III Extreme
Evga GTX 580
Corsair Dominator GT 3x2 6gb
I7 960 @ 3.2 Ghz
2 x WD Velociraptor 300gb in RAID 0
1 x WD Green 2TB (Media Storage)
Windows 7 Pro
Corsair AX850 Gold
...but I am unsure of a few things.
- Will the inbuilt fan cooling (Rv01) be sufficient for this setup?
- Is the Dominator GT RAM overkill (I saw a youtube review saying you should only get if if you are getting a I7 'Extreme' chip, in which case I guess the Dominator would be fine)
- Will the PSU be enough?
- I was also looking at the I7 950, is the performance difference going to be noticeable enough for the price bump-up?
- I see the case has no eSATA, but I don't think this matters. Am I wrong?
- I am tempted to get the "Black OPS" edition GTX580, but is that just a marketing gimmick?
- Am I likely to get any issues with media playback on the 'Green' HD
- Is the described RAID 0 config. a good idea?
- Are there any major bottlenecks?
- I have heard of internal cable length issues with this case, would I need to buy any extensions/accessories?
- I have a Evga 9800gt in my current setup, can I use this for Physx?
But most importantly, will this rig be a '100% Kick Ass Product'?
Okay first question is. Why are you going with platter HDD's when SDD's are 5x as fast, have a much longer run life, and the prices have dropped SO much over the past year that now you can get a 60gb boot drive for $80.00? "Western Digital claims the VelociRaptor delivers average read and write seek times of less than 4.7ms" My Corsair SSD's have a seek time of 0.19ms. So SSD is the way to go, they are much better than any HDD and with the new Sandforce drivers out they are even faster.
You would be fine with Corsair Dominator 1600mhz ram. The GT are if you are going to be doing some major overclocking. I use GT ram in my setup just cause I only like using the best products for any rig I build. But if you are looking to save a few bucks the 1600 or even 1800mhz ram will be just fine.
The Rv01 case has great air flow. Plus with the way the motherboard is facing all the warm air gets pushed right out the top of the chassis. You should be good with that chassis.
Your motherboard has an external eSata port on the rear I/O. Now using that chassis means that if you want to use it you would have to raise the top panel to get access to it. But all in all I do not see this being a life changing problem for you.
You will have no problem with the WD Green drive. It will play back your videos just fine. It will take a bit longer for the images to load cause of the slower access speeds, but it won't effect your over all video experience.
There are some issues with cable length. At most you will have to get an 8pin motherboard power extension cable. The PSU you got has plenty of cable length to feed your 24 pin and your GPU power cables.
As I stated in the first section on this, you need to go with SSD's over the HDD's you picked. But if you are hell bent on the WD VR HDD's then yes Raid 0 is the way to go.
Your rig will be fine, it is a good all around rig built for speed. It is a "Kick Ass Product" It's too bad that "The motherboard tray is not removable!" LOL
Ok thanks Phairo for you advice, this is very helpful.
Firstly, I think I am still inclined to get the 'Gt' if there is a difference at all, because the price difference is only $40 where I am looking and I can see myself wanting to overclock in the future when the rig starts becoming more outdated. I was under the impression that there was maybe no difference unless I had an I7 'Extreme' because of this guy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbefPIDGfA8
To answer your first question, I have considered SSD, but decided against it. I may be misguided in this decision, so let me explain. Currently have 19 games installed (24 if you count 'Orange Box' as 5). I like having many games at my fingertips. So right now I have a 500gb HDD with 92ish gb free. I know that as soon as I have a system that can support all the latest games (Duke Nukem, Portal 2, Assassins Creed Brotherhood, Brink, Bulletstorm, Homefront etc etc) I am going to get all of them. So in this case it appears I have 3 choices. Either fork out huge $$$ to get a SSD anywhere near 4-500 gb, or I will constantly be uninstalling/installing games to suit my tastes, or just have my OS on the SSD and my programs on another.
So I'm more likely to opt for the third option of the three, except 'ultra fast boot times' don't really bother me. Am I wrong in thinking that the speed at which a program runs depends on which HD it is installed on, not which one the OS is on?
Finally any thoughts on the GTX580 v Blacks Ops Edition ($60 price difference) or using a 9800GT for Physx??
P.S. Removable Mobo tray doesn't bother me as much as 'certain' people ;-) LOL
EDIT: P.P.S. I just noticed there is only $7 difference between 950 and 960 due to a recent drop, so no questions there :D
I do not have any advice on the Nvidia cards. As I have always been an AMD fanboy. All of my gpu's have been ATI/AMD cards. Sorry that I am of no use in this area.
You are correct in that any program will only access as fast as the drive that it is installed on. If you are looking for ideas on how to make this a really fast PC for it seems like you do a lot gaming, here is what I would do.
1. Change out using that WD Green drive and go with the Black instead. The WD Black has sata 3.0gb/s 32mb of cache and is made for high demand gaming rigs. Most games that you play will load just fine on this drive and for under $90.00usd you can't beat it.
2. Skip on the 10,000rpm drives. I understand that you don't want faster boot or log off times. But here is where it all comes into play. Two of the WD drives are $300.00usd ($150.00usd each) Giving you 600gb of space and at 10,000 rpm. This is a very tempting idea I mean they have 16mb of cache, Sata 3.0gb/s, 4.7ms access times, and WD delivers at least 75 MB/s sustained data rate from anywhere on the physical platters. All for $300.00usd. Now if you look at the OCZ Vertex 2 180gb SSD. It's price is $290.00usd just $10.00 under the cost of the WD drives and with just over half the space. BUT here is where it gets real good. Now the WD only gets a max sustained access read/write speeds of 70mb/s the OCZ drive gets a staggering 256mb/s sustained! So you are loking at a 3.65 times the speed. So half of the total storage room for 3.65 times the speed. It is a toss up.
But then you look at the fact that your OS (I am sure it is going to be windows 7) is going to take somewhere around 14-18gb. Then your overhead apps (ie: updates, browser, gadgets, ect.ect.ect) will take you to around a total of 30gb. Leaving you around 140gb after format on your SSD. Now you can fit a butt load of games on 140gb of space. Letting you put your favorite games on the SSD and letting WD Black do the rest of the work for other games that you really don't care about a short break for loading. As you can tell I am huge fan of the SSD, they made my overall experience with custom rigs so much more enjoyable.
I hope this helps you out some, I know that my post here is long winded. But here is a video of my rig just in case you were wondering what I am working with. Oh and good luck on that build, take pics and post them...I would love to see it completed.
Having an ssd solely as a boot drive isn't really worth the money as a fast hard drive can boot just as fast. The advantages of ssds come in games and other programs where you can actually notice the improved loading times. Another option is that you buy a 60 or 120GB ssd or RAID0 some together and use it as a boot drive and for some of your favorite/most played games and put the rest of your massive game library on a hard drive.
I can't speak for the black ops edition as I don't own it but its more expensive than the gtx580 lightning which I do own and the specs on the lightning are better. For high end cards having a dedicated physx card doesn't really do much so you can use it if you want but your fine with just a gtx580.
You show me any HDD in Raid 0 that will boot as fast as raid 0 SSDs and I will ship my rig to you. The numbers don't lie. 4.7ms access speeds vs 0.1ms access speeds, its like racing a Pinto against a Ferrari. In the long run the future of data storage is in SSD's not in faster spinning plates. But using the SSD for your browser and most played games is where it's at. I open Firefox (9 pages at once) in less than 1 sec. I load Dragon's Age II as fast as I can push the button to start it, no down time. But the best thing is, you sit down at your PC, you press the power button and 18secs later you are online or playing a game. No HDD I don't care how fast the damn thing spins will ever be that fast.
I have two ssds in raid0 so I know how fast they do everything but Im just saying if you are going to use an ssd just to put your os on and nothing else isn't worth it but putting games and programs on it is.
Hmmmmm... Decisions decisions... So I think I'm convinced to change my mind on the SSDs, but I can see 180gb frustrating me, so perhaps I will spend a bit more and get the vertex 2 240gb (+$125 on my planned Velociraptor setup).
And I'm definitely wanting to keep all my programs in one place, so what I might do is buy another one, reformat and raid them down the track when space becomes and issue.
Sounds like a good plan to me. Btw, when it comes to PhysX you have to be careful. The 9800 GT might not even be worth it, since there is a possibility that it will probably just end up bottlenecking your GTX 580. I'm not sure if it will bottleneck it or not, but according to this video it looks like it probably will:
Thanks for that... I guess I not use the 9800gt then
I was pretty sure of the ax850, but now the Silverstone Strider 850w Gold ($40 cheaper) and the Antec High Current Pro 850w (4 rails) are looking appealing. Is the Upgrade from Silverstone in quality worth that much, because otherwise the money would be better spent on SSDs?
You really can't go wrong with a Silverstone Strider. If it's $40 cheaper, then I'd definitely go for that over the Corsair PSU.
Ok so my long awaited tax return has arrived and I am about to purchase my new rig. I have made a few alterations and would like any feedback/opinions from anyone.
-I am going to go with the rv02-ew (evolution) the case looks a bit nicer and it seems that they have fixed all the reasons I decided against the original.
-I am considering getting the asus rampage 3 formula instead of the extreme. After reading it's reviews it seems that for that saving I am not going to lose out too much on anything that is important. I'm not sure if any of you have had experience with the board but I'd love to hear what you think of it.
So with those savings I'm thinking of upgrading the following
- Getting the 12gb (3x4) dominator gt kit
- Getting the same videocard but the DS overclocked version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRZpDp9m7To
Any feedback/comments/opinions are greatly appreciated.
Well international travel delayed this rig a bit further into the future, but this is what I went with. This thing makes Dead Space 2, Portal 2 and BF3 on the highest settings look amazing. Can't wait to get a 27/30" screen and run Assasin's Creed 3, Black OPS 2, Borderlands 2, Crysis 3 etc etc though it. Good time's ahead. Thanks for the help
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