Looking for feedback on new build

Killa|3yte

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Dec 22, 2002
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EDIT: Answers to questions:

1) What will you be doing with this PC? Gaming? Photoshop? Web browsing? etc
Software Development, Gaming, Virtual Pipe Organ (needs lots of CPU & RAM)

2) What's your budget? Are tax and shipping included?
Better keep it below $2K including tax and shipping

3) Where do you live?
Utah

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.
CPU, RAM, MB, GPU, Case/PSU, CD/DVD Burner, HDD

5) If reusing any parts, what parts will you be reusing? Please be especially specific about the power supply. List make and model.
Monitors, Audio Interface

6) Will you be overclocking?
No

7) What size monitor do you have and/or plan to have?
2x 24", 2x 17"

8) When do you plan on building/buying the PC?
Next 1-2 weeks

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.
Still on the fence about RAID, not a requirement ATM. Need firewire. Don't anticipate needing 2 GPUs.

10) Do you already have a legit and reusable/transferable OS key/license? If yes, what OS? Is it 32bit or 64bit?
Yes, Win7 x64. VirtualBox for Ubuntu. Can't live without my bash shell.

This is my first post here in a good 2-3 years. I'm a bit out of the loop, so I'd appreciate any comments on this system I put together on NewEgg. This machine will drive 4 displays. 2x24" and 2x17". It will do double duty as a workstation and a virtual pipe organ. (http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/11/virtual-pipe-organist-is-the-phantom-of-his-own-living-room/)

I've been using a Mac Pro, but I've had one too many video cards going bad in it, and am getting tired of tracking down and paying $150+ for limp video cards.

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=12613154

I'm open to overclocking, but never was really into it, and didn't build this system with that in mind. That's why you'll see that I opted for the locked multiplier i7, etc. Generally when I build stuff on NewEgg, I let the masses do the voting. I sort by most reviews, best rating, and usually there are a few items that stick out, and I generally go with that. The downside to that is that I may be overlooking some of the newer items, and that is why I'd love some feedback from you folks to see what you'd do differently.
 
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Dangman

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It would help immensely if you could answer the stickied "ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS FIRST" since it will give us an additional rubric to judge that system by.

With that said, several issues with that build already:
- You can get the faster Samsung F3 1TB for less:
$65 - Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

- Yeah a $130 1000W PSU just seems waay way too fishy to me. It's akin to getting to someone offering a Ferrari Enzo for $100. You know something is up. I recommend this better quality PSU instead:
$100 - Antec Truepower New TP-750 750W PSU

Though if you're planning on using two HD 6970 cards:
$190 - Silverstone ST1000-P 1000W Modular PSU

- You can save $36 by getting the four of this RAM set:
$41 - G.Skill Ripjaw Series F3-10666CL9S-4GBRL 4GB DDR3 1333 RAM

Same RAM you chose basically but cheaper.

EDIT:
Oh BTW: Awesome organ! :)
 

Killa|3yte

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Dec 22, 2002
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Danny,

Thank you for the excellent suggestions, I have made the changes you suggested and updated my post with answers to the questions.
 

Dangman

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Still on the fence about RAID, not a requirement ATM. Need firewire. Don't anticipate needing 2 GPUs.
Actually you will need two GPUs if you want four monitors: That video card only supports up to three monitors from what I've read so far.

Luckily the mobo you chose, which is a good choice BTW, can support two GPUs. So I recommend this GPU to power the two 17" monitors:
$40 - PowerColor Go! Green AX5450 512MK3-SH Radeon HD 5450 PCI-E Video Card

Case wise, I do not trust the Antec 300's ability keep the HD 6970 cool. As such, I recommend getting a new case. I recommend these:
$60 - Cooler Master HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 ATX Case
$80 - Lian Li Lancool PC-K58 ATX Case
$90 - NZXT Tempest Evo TEVO-001BK ATX Case
$90 - Lian Li Lancool PC-K56 ATX Case
$90 - Cooler Master CM690 II Advance ATX Case
$90 - Cooler Master HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP ATX Case
$90 - Lian Li Lancool PC-K7B ATX Case
$106 - Lian Li PC-7B Plus II ATX Case
$110 - NZXT Whisper WHI - 001BK ATX Full Tower Case
$120 - Velocity Micro GX2-W Silver Classic Aluminum Case with Side Window
$140 - NZXT Phantom PHAN-001WT White Full Tower ATX Case
$140 - NZXT Phantom PHAN-001BK Black Full Tower ATX Case

Besides what was said earlier and the above, the system should be good to go. However if you have cash to burn:

For faster system response, I recommend getting a SSD:
$135 - Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SSD
$225 - Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC0128MAG-1G1 2.5" 128GB SSD

Keep the OS and the most critical apps on the SSD and the rest on the Samsung F3 1TB.

For increased gaming performance, I recommend ditching the HD 6970 2GB and HD 5450 cards and get this:
$540 - 2 x MSI R6950-2PM2D2GD5 Radeon HD 6950 2GB PCI-E Video Card

If you do go with the above GPU upgrade, then definitely up the PSU to the 1000W linked earlier.
 

Killa|3yte

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Danny, I'm all for gaming muscle, but will 2x6950 be overkill for a 24" 1920x1200 monitor?
 

HardwareGuru

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I think Danny provided 2 x video cards to run those 4 x displays. Correct me if I am wrong but, if you have 1 x Radeon HD 6870 video card, it has 2 x DVI and 2 x Displayports. I'm assuming you can run 2 x monitors on the DVI and 2 monitors on the displayports. What 24" monitor do you have? Does it have displayport? The 2 x 17" monitors can be connected to the 2 x DVI. If the 24" monitors dont have displayports, then, you can use a DVI to displayport adapter.
 

Dangman

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I think Danny provided 2 x video cards to run those 4 x displays. Correct me if I am wrong but, if you have 1 x Radeon HD 6870 video card, it has 2 x DVI and 2 x Displayports. I'm assuming you can run 2 x monitors on the DVI and 2 monitors on the displayports. What 24" monitor do you have? Does it have displayport? The 2 x 17" monitors can be connected to the 2 x DVI. If the 24" monitors dont have displayports, then, you can use a DVI to displayport adapter.

From what I've read, you can't do that: Only three monitors max using any combination of ports.
 

HardwareGuru

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Hmm... looking at this article here. Looks like they saying you can run 5 monitors.

"Each one of these can fuel their own monitors, easily offering 5 monitors right out of the box"
 

HardwareGuru

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Hmm.. looking at the Flex Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 1GB card they saying:

Sapphire FleX Technology: SAPPHIRE Flex Technology supports 3 displays without the requirement of DisplayPort monitors or Active DP adapters, and can support up to 5 displays with the use of DisplayPort monitors or Active adapters.

Also

"SAPPHIRE HD 6870 FleX can support three DVI monitors in Eyefinity mode and deliver a true SLS (Single Large Surface) work area without the need for costly active adapters. With the SAPPHIRE FleX solution, the first two monitors are connected to the DVI outputs, as usual. A third DVI monitor can be connected to the HDMI output with the passive cable adapter supplied. Thus three DVI monitors can be used in Eyefinity mode without any additional investment, and the HD 6870 FleX can support up to 5 displays maximum with dual DisplayPort"

My question is, I thought the HDMI and DVI would share the same port though? Unless, they did something different on the Radeon 6000 cards that the HDMI and DVI port is no longer shared?

Damn, if this is the case, that is bad ass! No need to Crossfire or SLI to run 3+ monitors.
 
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Killa|3yte

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HardwareGuru,

Do you have any way of knowing if DisplayPort -> DVI adapters would affect being able to run 4 monitors?
 

HardwareGuru

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How will you have these 4 monitors setup? Mirrored? SLS (Single Large Surface) or Extended? I'm assuming your going to have all 4 monitors extended as most people do this with multi monitor setups.

Do you have these 4 monitors already? Or, you plan on getting them?
 

Dangman

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My question is, I thought the HDMI and DVI would share the same port though? Unless, they did something different on the Radeon 6000 cards that the HDMI and DVI port is no longer shared?

Damn, if this is the case, that is bad ass! No need to Crossfire or SLI to run 3+ monitors.
No the HDMI and DVI port port still share the same digital connections on the regular HD 6xxx series cards. But Sapphire must've done something to get them to separate.

Well this is interesting.

Hmmm, well here's the deal: That second GPU (if he doesn't go the Crossfire route) is only $40. So the OP can buy that Sapphire HD 6970, see if it supports the four monitors. If not, it's only gonna cost him $40 to get those additional monitors working. If it does, it saves him $40. Either way, it's not gonna be a huge impact.
 

HardwareGuru

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Hmm... maybe that's what makes this Sapphire Flex different than the other Radeon 6870 video cards. Actually, even other brands like MSI and Gigabyte also state Supporting multiple independent display outputs simultaneously
 

Killa|3yte

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Already have the 4 monitors. I think I may just use 3 though, Mac Book Pro using left monitor and then this machine using right monitor.

One 17" monitor clipped on right side:

organ.jpg
 
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