First SLI build - want to build by end of month

rayman2k2

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Moving to the big apple the first week of July and want to take a PC up there with me. I'll have room, so that isn't a big concern. It will be my first SLI build:

CPU: Core i7 2600k
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128494)
Memory: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB)DDR3 1866 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233142)
Video Card: EVGA SuperClocked 012-P3-1572-AR GeForce GTX 570 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130595) x 2

Boot drive: WD6401AALS (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136319)
Storage: WD20EARX (2 TB green drive)

Case: Corsair 800D
PSU: Corsair HX1050 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139034)
Cooling: Corsair H60

LCD: Dell Ultrasharp U2410

Questions:
1. Will the PSU be enough?
2. Is the mobo a good choice?
3. Are the graphics cards good? I game heavily - from FPS's to strategy games to MMO's to RPG's.
4. Is it worth waiting for anything coming out in the next month?
5. Are there any other LCD's, in the 24" range, that I should look at? Preferably with a higher resolution?


My budget for the entire build is about 3,000 including the monitor. I won't be using any parts from my current PC as I will be leaving it at home for my parents and brother to use. Some of the parts, such as CPU, case, PSU, etc, I'll get from Microcenter. Whatever I cannot get from there, I'll order from Newegg.
 

Dangman

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1) Yes
2) Kind of. I would rather spend the extra cash for an Asus Z68 mobo
3) Those are overpriced GTX 570 cards IMO. I recommend these GTX 570 cards instead:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127552&cm_re=GTX_570-_-14-127-552-_-Product
4) AMD's new Bulldozer CPUs are supposedly coming out rather soon.
5) N/A

Additional notes:
- Do note that there is little to no real world performance difference between DDR3 1866 RAM and DDR3 1333 RAM. So you're spending $24 for nothing:
$76 - G.Skill Ripjaws F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333 RAM

- That Boot drive is a poor choice. Go with this faster hard drive instead:
$65 - Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

- Those storage drives are poor choices as well considering their $100 price tag. The SATA 6.0Gb/s doesn't make those drives any faster than their non-SATA 6.0Gb/s cousins. Go with these drives instead:
$80 - Samsung Spinpoint F4 HD204UI 2TB 5400 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
 
Last edited:

tonytnnt

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I'll have room, so that isn't a big concern.

Since when isn't room a concern in New York? :D

Before I answer your questions, a couple things:

A) You won't get any benefit from 1866MHz RAM on the current Sandy Bridge chips. If you want to save some money, you can downgrade to 1333MHz with no decrease in performance.
B) Have you considered an SSD boot drive? Also, if you do decide to not use an SSD for your boot drive, a Samsung F3 1TB will give similar or better performance compared to that WD640 Black Edition for the same or less money, but with more storage. Definitely consider an SSD though.
C) In general, to get more responses, and more thorough responses, answer The Sticky.

Now to answer your questions:
1) Yes
2) It's alright. I'm not a big fan of how Gigabyte has gone with their BIOS but otherwise I can't complain. I'm a bigger Asus and MSI fan personally, but Gigabyte is up there too.
3) They're good cards, but I don't know if I'd say their the best value. At that price, I would use two XFX Radeon HD6970s in Crossfire than those two GTX570s.
4) I'm not aware or anything definitive for the next month. Rumor has it that AMD is coming out with their 7000 series anywhere from Q2 2011 (which would be... now?) to Q4 2011.
5) To get a higher resolution, you'll need to jump up to a 27" or 30" IIRC. As far as I know there aren't any screens higher resolution at 24" than 1080p. But that Dell is a very good choice.
 

rayman2k2

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Hmm, valid point about those questions - completely forgot about them my bad :( I'm on my phone right now but I'll answer them directly tomorrow.

I'm hesitant to get an SSD simply because on my current 640gb HDD, I've used about 250gb of space for apps, games, etc. So I'll probably grab that Samsung HDD you both mentioned.

I'll take a look into the Asus mobo's, anything you guys recommend in particular? I picked Gigabyte simply because I have one now and have no complaints with it.

Also, and I know this is lame, but I have brand loyalty to eVGA simply because I've had phenomenal experiences with their customer service. So I'll probably get a cheaper 570 - but do you think the 570 SLI is a good option?

Thanks for the help so far! I'll post the answers to the questions in the morning!
 

rayman2k2

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Here sorry about forgetting it in the first place:


1) What will you be doing with this PC? Gaming? Photoshop? Web browsing? etc
Gaming, HD movie watching, gaming, and more gaming

2) What's your budget? Are tax and shipping included?
I don't want the entire thing including monitor, keyboard, and mouse to go over 3,000 - obviously the less it is the better but I'm willing to spend up to that
3) Where do you live?
Maryland, moving to NYC. Want the parts before I move to NYC
4) What exact parts do you need for that budget? CPU, RAM, case, etc. The word "Everything" is not a valid answer. Please list out all the parts you'll need.
Everything. Oh wait :p CPU, RAM, HDD, case, cooling, gfx cards, mobo, PSU, cd burner, OS, monitor, keyboard, mouse

5) If reusing any parts, what parts will you be reusing? Please be especially specific about the power supply. List make and model.
Nothing, completely fresh build

6) Will you be overclocking?
Yes, but nothing extreme. I'd rather have stability.

7) What size monitor do you have and/or plan to have?
Dell Ultrasharp U2410

8) When do you plan on building/buying the PC?
I would like the parts by July 1st. If the remaining items are small, that is fine, I can have it shipped to NYC. But the bigger items I'd like to have here in MD.

9) What features do you need in a motherboard? RAID? Firewire? Crossfire or SLI support? USB 3.0? SATA 6Gb/s? eSATA? Onboard video? etc.
SLI support primarily. Though I think a typical Z68 board will have everything I need.

10) Do you already have a legit and reusable/transferable OS key/license? If yes, what OS? Is it 32bit or 64bit?
No, I will be getting Win7 64bit Pro
 

tonytnnt

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Not a huge deal about the sticky, it helps us help you, and you'll generally get more responses.

The GTX570 SLI gives great performance. The only issue is the price premium you're paying, but as you have a loyalty to eVGA I see no reason not to go that route.

Since you're considering a Z68 chipset, why not factor in a $120 64GB Crucial M4 SSD? You could then take advantage of the Z68s built in SSD caching, and still have your boot drive, and a large storage drive. That way the chipset will take care of all the caching for you. Just a thought.

As for the motherboard, if you want a Z68, the Asus P8Z68-V Pro is highly rated, but expensive. If you're fine with a P67 based board, the MSI P67A-GD65 is a very good one and is also highly rated.

Do you plan on assembling the system in Maryland or in New York? Also, are you near a Microcenter?
 

rayman2k2

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See, I've looked heavily into SSD. I really like having all my steam games installed on my pc at one time that what I can go play it at a whim (and it does happen, I have video game ADD I swear).


And I plan on building it in Maryland and there is a Microcenter about an hour away. So, it's not unfeasible to go there, but it's not a place I can go back to easily.
 

tonytnnt

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Ok, I understand that you want to have everything installed. I'm the same way. But with the Z68's SSD caching you're not actually installing anything to the SSD. The chipset transparently uses it as a buffer for both reads and writes. So say you play Bad Company 2 a lot. The OS, plus a lot of those files will be cached on the SSD but will also exist on the hard drive. But say you play Civ 5 once in a blue moon. That file won't be cached and will therefore will come from the hard drive. Here's the HardOCP write up on the technology. Also note they suggest using the Intel 311 SSD rather than a Crucial M4. If you want to know why, I can go into it, but if you don't want an SSD at all that's fine too. It'll still be a pretty fast experience.
 

rayman2k2

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Ok, I understand that you want to have everything installed. I'm the same way. But with the Z68's SSD caching you're not actually installing anything to the SSD. The chipset transparently uses it as a buffer for both reads and writes. So say you play Bad Company 2 a lot. The OS, plus a lot of those files will be cached on the SSD but will also exist on the hard drive. But say you play Civ 5 once in a blue moon. That file won't be cached and will therefore will come from the hard drive. Here's the HardOCP write up on the technology. Also note they suggest using the Intel 311 SSD rather than a Crucial M4. If you want to know why, I can go into it, but if you don't want an SSD at all that's fine too. It'll still be a pretty fast experience.

Ahhhh interesting. Completely missed that all together and something I'm definitely interested in doing then. It seems like the 311 is specifically optimized for the Z68? If I recall correctly, the Gigabyte with the built in SSD has a 311 on it, correct?

I can't seem to find any on Newegg though. Also, any specific size you recommend? At the very least then, I'll get the Crucial that you mentioned
 

tonytnnt

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Yeah, it's the Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3-iSSD. I can't find it for sale though.

A major limitation of the SSD caching is the largest amount of space it can use is 64GB, so there's no reason to look at anything larger than that.

Also, HardOCP's review suggests that the caching technology is somewhat write intensive, which may be why Intel went with a 20GB SLC type SSD instead of an MLC SSD (see this Wikipedia article for some info on both types.) The basic information you as a consumer need to know is that SLC is faster than MLC and more durable, and that MLC is cheaper, but still faster than a hard drive. SLC SSDs are found most often in enterprise grade drives, however the Intel 311 is a consumer level SLC SSD.

So now that I've written a very confusing paragraph...

SLC = Faster, more durable (~100,000 writes)
MLC = Cheaper, less durable (~10,000 writes)

Since the chipset will be taking data on and off the drive quite often, small SLCs may be better than a large MLC for reliability.

The Intel 311 20GB SLC SSD is available from Mwave.com for $110 with free shipping.
The Crucial M4 64GB MLC SSD is available from Newegg.com for $120 with free shipping.

I think either choice is a decent one. If you need some extra help on what to decide, see this review comparing the Intel 311 against a 40GB MLC drive. (The Intel came out slightly ahead of the 40GB Corsair/Sandforce based drive. But the Crucial M4 is a better drive than the Corsair so ymmv.)
 

jeremyshaw

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TO futher drive the SSD question:

you may just install the OS, and a few key programs to the SSD, while keeping all games, movies, music, etc to the HDD. That way, you get the best of both worlds :)
 

rayman2k2

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TO futher drive the SSD question:

you may just install the OS, and a few key programs to the SSD, while keeping all games, movies, music, etc to the HDD. That way, you get the best of both worlds :)


Haha yeah that was one option but I think it would be hard discriminating which games should be installed on the SSD...lol, I'm weird like that.


But okay, here's what I have now:

CPU: Core i7 2600k (Microcenter)
Mobo: ASUS P8Z68-V PRO (Newegg)
Memory: Undecided as of now, will probably pick something up from Microcenter
Video Cards: EVGA 012-P3-1571-KR NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 (Cheaper on Newegg by 20 bucks each so probably will grab from there)

HDD's:
Boot HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ (Microcenter)
Storage HDD: I'm actually going to grab the 2TB out of my current PC for this and replace that with whatever 2 TB HDD is on sale at Microcenter (though that will most likely be the one Danny Bui mentioned. The reason for doign this is so I don't have to transfer all my data over)
SSD: Intel 311 20gb SSD (Mwave)

Case: Corsair 850D (Microcenter)
PSU: Corsair HX1050 (Microcenter)
Cooling: Corsair H60 (Microcenter)


The reason why I'm opting for the H60 is because I've heard horrid things about the fan noise of the H70. Ideally, I'd get an H100 but they aren't out as of yet :(
 

Dangman

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Memory: Undecided as of now, will probably pick something up from Microcenter
(
Just make sure that it doesn't cost more than $100 and that it's rated at 1.5V. Also note that going past DDR3 1333 doesn't yield any noticeable performance increase
Bulldozer has been delayed until September, but this is only a little more than 2 months away.
I thought that was just a rumor.
 

rayman2k2

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Yeah, it's the Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3-iSSD. I can't find it for sale though.

A major limitation of the SSD caching is the largest amount of space it can use is 64GB, so there's no reason to look at anything larger than that.

Also, HardOCP's review suggests that the caching technology is somewhat write intensive, which may be why Intel went with a 20GB SLC type SSD instead of an MLC SSD (see this Wikipedia article for some info on both types.) The basic information you as a consumer need to know is that SLC is faster than MLC and more durable, and that MLC is cheaper, but still faster than a hard drive. SLC SSDs are found most often in enterprise grade drives, however the Intel 311 is a consumer level SLC SSD.

So now that I've written a very confusing paragraph...

SLC = Faster, more durable (~100,000 writes)
MLC = Cheaper, less durable (~10,000 writes)

Since the chipset will be taking data on and off the drive quite often, small SLCs may be better than a large MLC for reliability.

The Intel 311 20GB SLC SSD is available from Mwave.com for $110 with free shipping.
The Crucial M4 64GB MLC SSD is available from Newegg.com for $120 with free shipping.

I think either choice is a decent one. If you need some extra help on what to decide, see this review comparing the Intel 311 against a 40GB MLC drive. (The Intel came out slightly ahead of the 40GB Corsair/Sandforce based drive. But the Crucial M4 is a better drive than the Corsair so ymmv.)



So I've been looking around, looks like mwave is the only place I can get the Intel SSD without having to wait a few weeks. But since that means I'll be ordering from another retailer (that, and I haven't had any experiences with mwave), I'm contemplating going with the Crucial M4 since they're readily available at Newegg and Microcenter. Or even going for the Gigabyte board with the SSD built in (chances are though, I won't be going that route).

But I guess my question is, if I plan on using this rig for ~2 years, or even the SSD itself for 2 years, do I have anything to worry about by going with the Crucial? I guess, I don't know enough about how many writes are typically made on a cache drive...
 

tonytnnt

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I'm not really sure myself. All I know is that Intel chose SLC for their technology on their line of cache drives, and MLC on their standard consumer line.
 

RoscoP

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Just make sure that it doesn't cost more than $100 and that it's rated at 1.5V. Also note that going past DDR3 1333 doesn't yield any noticeable performance increase

I thought that was just a rumor.

It may be a rumor, I read it in this article at Anandtech

Sandy Bridge Buyer’s Guide


I hoped this month’s guide would detail higher-end builds featuring and comparing AMD’s Bulldozer CPUs and Intel’s Core i5 and i7 chips, but unfortunately, AMD’s release of its high-end desktop Bulldozer SKUs is now delayed until September. The midrange Llano desktop APUs are scheduled for retail availability in early July, and Llano-based laptops are already showing up here and there online (though as of the time of writing, they are not available for actual sale). Thus, AMD’s entire product line will be refreshed within the next few months. With the imminent release of radically new APUs and no currently available AMD CPUs that can compete with Intel’s higher-end CPUs, this month’s guide focuses on the second-generation Intel Core processors.

I was hoping that Bulldozer would be out by now. The first PC I put together was an AMD socket A machine, I had a great time with it. I'm afraid I will give in and buy one of the new AMD CPU's.
 

eapleitez

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I got my evga gtx 570 sli bundle from tiger direct last week. The bundle comes to $577 after discounts and $80 rebate.

www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=621477&CatId=3669

I'm also using a asus p8z68-v pro and it's an awesome board.
 

rayman2k2

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Got all the parts, should be coming this week. Got the case, CPU, and HDD's from Microcenter on Monday. Will order the SSD after I move (small enough package to make things easy). Definitely excited. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!
 

Lycidas

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Got all the parts, should be coming this week. Got the case, CPU, and HDD's from Microcenter on Monday. Will order the SSD after I move (small enough package to make things easy). Definitely excited. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!

grats! As a personal experience, it has always seemed beneficial to me to wait until Newegg posts an "Shell Shocker" on their home page with RAM.
They usually will sell $80 G.Skill or even Corsair RAM at roughly $50.

To me, just waiting a couple days and spending about 30min of time overall to occasionally check their website is worth it for quality 2 x 4GB @ $50.

Just a suggestion! (Microcenter generally sells high on RAM)
 
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