New build commencing: Comments welcome

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figment
Posts: 232
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:15 am
Location: "Fake" Virginia, US

New build commencing: Comments welcome

Post by figment » Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:30 am

Almost by accident, I have started my new build. I was planning on waiting for the price on the Q9450 to come down to $300 before I pulled the trigger, but to my surprise, I am now holding one and I got it for $299.98 + tax. So, it looks like I'm on my way. Here is the full plan:

Case: Antec P182 (purchased: $70)
CPU: Intel Q9450 (purchased: $300)

CPU Cooler: Xigmatek S1283
CPU Cooler Fan: Scythe Kama PWM 120mm (Strongly prefer PWM fans)
CPU Cooler Retention: Thermalright Bolt-thru Kit (I hate pushpins)
Motherboard: Abit IP35 Pro (for uGuru fan control)
PSU: Enermax Modu82+ 525W (I'd prefer a modular PSU)
Memory: 2x2 GB DDR2-800 (Corsair? G.SKILL? GeIL? Mushkin?)
Video: EVGA GeForce 8800GT "Akimbo" or Other GeForce 8800GTS (nVidia cards only)
Hard Drive: Western Digital 640GB SATA or Samsung F1 640GB SATA
Optical: Samsung 20x DVDR
Exhaust Fans: 2 x Scythe Slipstream 1200rpm (To be undervolted by uGuru)
Intake Fan: Scythe Slipstream 800rpm (To be undervolted by uGuru)

(Legend: Firm/Unchangeable, Very confident, Willing to Consider Alternatives, Looking for Advice)

I'm hoping to be able to overclock the FSB to 400MHz (from 333MHz stock) for a speed of 3.2GHz with RAM at 1:1. As far as I've heard, this isn't a terribly aggressive overclock and I shouldn't have trouble reaching it.

I'm still trying to decide between the 8800GT and 8800GTS. The price difference isn't really much of a problem (about $30 or so). I found the "Akimbo" and preferred it to the single-slot GTs because of the hope of a quieter fan. I'd rather not have to get an aftermarket cooler for the video card, but I will if the card is obnoxious. Thus, the leaning toward the dual-slot coolers.

I have no idea what (brand of) RAM to get. I'm planning on starting with 2x2GB and then matching it with another set in a year, so I'd prefer to stay away from rare sets that will be hard to find in a year. Since I'll be running the RAM 1:1 on a 400MHz FSB I'd guess that I could grab pretty much anything. I might opt for CL4, but I'm not convinced it will really make much difference.

Any thoughts? Recommendations? Comments?

I'm looking to start purchasing smaller stuff soon, particularly the S1283, the Bolt-thru kit and the Scythe fans. I'll try to update the post as I buy stuff.

I'm hoping to spend quite a bit of time on the air-flow and cable management. With luck, I'll document the process with photos.

toki_c
Patron of SPCR
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Post by toki_c » Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:26 am

You shall keep your feet in Earth...

Firstly, where did you see the 640GB Samasung 2 platters hard drive? If ever a two latters hard drive were released it should be 666Gb and not 640GB... And yes, there's a 750GB Samsung drive but this is strongly suspected to got 250GB platter since performance is not that great... You SHALL the latest scpr's 320GB WD review for more...

Secondly, Akimbo you said? Forget anything about... well you SHALL definitly read the 8800GT/S1 thread! But to sump up in two words: get the cheapest card and add a S1 or else get one from ECS.

Good luck,
toki.

PS: And yes, as you're gonna get a IP35Pro, you should consider getting Nexus 120mm fans... those ones are really cheap...

PS2: And yes 2, why a 525? Need to read PSU fundamentals? It doesn't hurt reading again that concentrated ideas/thoughts... but why not considering a 425? It's cheaper and all... Oh you're saying a quad core? Really? If you have doubt about Penryn quad core consumption, you can find the figures wherever you go. But a 425 should be more than enpugh. believe me... or not.
[size=75]Sonta 3 - 425W Pro82+, 3x120mm Noctua S12 fans @6-6.5V, NH-U12F, Abit IP35Pro, Zotac 8800GT512 AMP! Edition 700/1700/2000-Accelero-S1-Rev.2, E4300 @2.43GHz, 4x1GB G.Skill 6400CL4PK @810MHz-1.8V-tRD6, Vista x64 + XP 32bit on 2x750GB WD GP, Club3D Theadron 7.1DTS - CMI8788, Logitech Z5400, Plextor PX-760A, Dell 2007WFP-IPS, MX518, SpeedLink Al-Flat Keyboard[/size]

figment
Posts: 232
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:15 am
Location: "Fake" Virginia, US

Post by figment » Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:49 am

toki_c wrote:Firstly, where did you see the 640GB Samasung 2 platters hard drive?
Of course. I knew I forgot something.

I haven't seen the 640GB Samsung F1's. They are rumored to be coming out soon. It is the missing step between the 320GB (1 platter) and the 1TB (3 platter) drives. I'm still trying to decide whether it's worth waiting or if I should just take the 640GB Western Digital. The 640GB F1's seem to have been announced a long time ago, and they just haven't appeared anywhere.
toki_c wrote:If ever a two [platter] hard drive were released it should be 666Gb and not 640GB.
It looks like the missing F1 is indeed 640GB: HD642JJ. Perhaps hard drive manufacturers are worried that the Catholic Church might condemn them if they made a 666GB drive.
toki_c wrote:Secondly, Akimbo you said? Forget anything about... well you SHALL definitly read the 8800GT/S1 thread! But to sump up in two words: get the cheapest card and add a S1 or else get one from ECS.
I'm not confident that I'll be able to run the S1 passively. So, I'd need the S1 and the turbo modules (or another suitable fan). For the price of the S1 and fan, I can almost pay for the 8800GTS with prices falling like the are:

EVGA 8800GT: US$210
Accelero S1 rev 2: US$20
Turbo Modules: US$8

EVGA 8800GT Akimbo: US$250
EVGA 8800GTS: US$250

So, an 8800GT + Accelero comes to $238. For just $12 more, I could get the Akimbo version or the GTS, both of which have better performance.

Is the GTS so much louder that it's not worth the performance and $12?
toki_c wrote:PS: And yes, as you're gonna get a IP35Pro, you should consider getting Nexus 120mm fans... those ones are really cheap...
The Slipstreams are US$6.50. I can get Yate Loons for US$4, but they use Molex connectors. I've only found Nexus Real Silent fans for about US$12. With the Slipstreams undervolted, they will be nearly silent anyway.

What is the selling point on the Nexus fans?
toki_c wrote:PS2: And yes 2, why a 525? Need to read PSU fundamentals? It doesn't hurt reading again that concentrated ideas/thoughts... but why not considering a 425? It's cheaper and all...
...and comes with only a single SATA power cable which isn't going to cut it in a P182 case with a hard drive (eventually two) in the bottom and a DVDR in... well, anywhere but the bottom.

The 525 is also the quietest of the bunch and its fan doesn't begin ramping up the rpms until the very height of the power usage of this system. The 425 supposedly uses a slightly more aggressive fan speed which will kick in at medium-high loads on this build (~220W, remember the Q9450 has a 20% overclock).

I'm not trying to shut down all chance to convince me, here. I'm just saying why I picked the 525W.

toki_c
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Location: Earth

Post by toki_c » Thu Apr 17, 2008 1:02 pm

Well, I, too, forget something... I was sure about it.
Well, a 8800GT+S1 need a very little air flow to keep the board enough cooler thus getting the quietest or rather the most silent/performance combination.

The thing between a GT512 and a GTS512 is, well, performance wise a GTS512 is not that great. The 128SPs of the GTS512 is not that power/performance efficient in face of the 96SPs of a GT512. Do you really need the little extra perforamnce? look again on the perforamce charts between a GT512/GTS512 there's really not enough difference between both. It's just that a GTS512 is a little better when it comes to higher resolution (more than 19x12). Where a GT512 cannot deal with... a GTS512 is not better at all too, i.e. unplayable games in high res./high details.

In contrary, a GTS512 draws more power than a GT512, you can go to xbitlabs to check out the exact figures about it. It draws more power and is hotter than GT512.

With a S1 or HR-01 you can cool passively (case good air flow) a GT512 or semi passively with an (120mmm of course) fan intake.

So think about it... I putted enough thoughts about the same think when switching from a reference GT512 to the AMP! Edition... Well it was a long story... I almost got a GTS512 and made up my mind at the last minute...
[size=75]Sonta 3 - 425W Pro82+, 3x120mm Noctua S12 fans @6-6.5V, NH-U12F, Abit IP35Pro, Zotac 8800GT512 AMP! Edition 700/1700/2000-Accelero-S1-Rev.2, E4300 @2.43GHz, 4x1GB G.Skill 6400CL4PK @810MHz-1.8V-tRD6, Vista x64 + XP 32bit on 2x750GB WD GP, Club3D Theadron 7.1DTS - CMI8788, Logitech Z5400, Plextor PX-760A, Dell 2007WFP-IPS, MX518, SpeedLink Al-Flat Keyboard[/size]

figment
Posts: 232
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:15 am
Location: "Fake" Virginia, US

Post by figment » Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:02 am

Though it's not at all my style to do such things, I (slightly impulsively) pulled the trigger on this build last night. Basically, the set of discounts (along with a pair of rebates) that I was able to collect made the cost fall below my budget and so I purchased rather than waiting and hoping that I'd be able to find the same deals in a month or two.

Here is what I've got:

Case: Antec P182 <$70>
CPU: Intel Q9450 (8 x 333MHz, 2x6MB cache) <$300>
Motherboard: Abit IP35 Pro <$140 AR>
PSU: Enermax Modu82+ 525W <$140>
Video: EVGA 8800GTS 512MB Knock-Out <$220 AR>

Memory: G.SKILL 2x2GB DDR2-1000 <$90>
Hard Drive: Western Digital WD6400AAKS 640GB <$130>
Optical Drive: Samsung 20x DVDR <$34>
CPU Cooler: Xigmatek S1283 <$37>
CPU Fan: Scythe Kama PWM 120mm <$10>
Retention: Thermalright Bolt-Thru Kit <$6>
Case Fans (Exhaust): 2 x Slipstream 1200rpm <$9>
Case Fans (Intake): Slipstream 800rpm <$9>
Thermal Paste: Tuniq TX-2 <$4>

Total: $1199 (a shocking $1 under budget)

Operating System: Vista Home Premium 64bit SP1

Comments/Admissions:

PSU: Yes, it's overpowered for the build. However, will run at a lower load percentage than the 425W and run without ramping up the fan even under most load situations. In reviews, the 525W also has the slightly higher efficiency at 110V and a slightly better 12V rail for overclocking. I'm still concerned about using a PSU that hasn't been proven to be reliable on the 6 year timeline I'm hoping for, but the rest of the build is fairly conservative so this is my one gamble.

Video: As toki_c pointed out above, the GTS isn't all that much more powerful than the GT (about 5-10% by numerous benchmarks). However, the price difference is about 5% at the moment and my standard policy is to buy the most power I can get within my budget. The next GT card I was considering (from EVGA or XFX) was only about $40 cheaper and would have required an Accelero S1. I might end up getting one for this card anyway, but I'll see what it's like before I make that decision. And yes, I paid a bit more for a factory overclock. I've never liked GPU overclocking. It's an instability that I find very discouraging. I'm willing to pay $20 for the factory to check and set this up for me.

Operating System: I'm aware that Vista is a bloated piece of trash. However, this machine is supposed to last 3 years as a Windows box. With no betas even close, there is no way that Windows 7 is going to be out before the end of 2009. I'd guess 2010 at the earliest and it will probably be just in time to be part of my next build. Until then, I need 3 years of decent 64bit support. With XP disappearing from shelves in just a few months, the only apparent answer is Vista. I've accepted this and I will move on. At least I was able to get the new disk with SP1 pre-applied.

toki_c
Patron of SPCR
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Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:27 pm
Location: Earth

Post by toki_c » Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:29 am

Ah yes, I forgot to mention that a 425W is enough for your rig cause the fan does not speed up till 250W. You can check out the figures/graphic on Anandtech review. You can be certain that when our rig will draws 250W at full load + oc (well you shall consider the vga... GT or GTS?) you will need to disipate heat rather than getting the quietest...

quote: I'm aware that Vista is a bloated piece of trash.
Some people do thinkk that way... there's even a campaign against vista...
But after using vista for three months, I do not think the same way. For your information, I was pretty against the idea to try vista, but I'm glad I did. You should onsider a dual boot for XP for older games which do not support DX10.
[size=75]Sonta 3 - 425W Pro82+, 3x120mm Noctua S12 fans @6-6.5V, NH-U12F, Abit IP35Pro, Zotac 8800GT512 AMP! Edition 700/1700/2000-Accelero-S1-Rev.2, E4300 @2.43GHz, 4x1GB G.Skill 6400CL4PK @810MHz-1.8V-tRD6, Vista x64 + XP 32bit on 2x750GB WD GP, Club3D Theadron 7.1DTS - CMI8788, Logitech Z5400, Plextor PX-760A, Dell 2007WFP-IPS, MX518, SpeedLink Al-Flat Keyboard[/size]

figment
Posts: 232
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:15 am
Location: "Fake" Virginia, US

Post by figment » Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:43 am

toki_c wrote:Ah yes, I forgot to mention that a 425W is enough for your rig cause the fan does not speed up till 250W. You can check out the figures/graphic on Anandtech review.
When heavily loaded, I suspect that the system will draw over 250W. The CPU is being overclocked and it will eventually have 4 DIMMs, 2 HDs and perhaps even 2 DVD-ROM drives. Most (respectable) estimators suggest a minimum of 430W for a PSU that is going to be used for 4 years. I would like to use it for 6. This is one time when a little excess is probably worth it.
toki_c wrote:You can be certain that when our rig will draws 250W at full load + oc (well you shall consider the vga... GT or GTS?) you will need to disipate heat rather than getting the quietest...
This was one of the reasons to get the GTS. It should be exhausting air out the back of the case. The case should be able to dampen whatever noise it makes. If not, then I'll consider the Accelero S1.
toki_c wrote:
figment wrote:I'm aware that Vista is a bloated piece of trash.
Some people do think that way... there's even a campaign against vista...
But after using vista for three months, I do not think the same way.
I was being (mostly) sarcastic. I've been around too long to take such criticism too seriously. I remember when XP was the bloated version of 2000. And I remember when 2000 was the resource-hog cousin of NT4. And I remember how 98 was the pointless money-grab after 95.

Objectively: 95 was not a stellar OS, but it was a step in the right direction. 98 was a pretty patch over 95's problems with support for shiny new devices. NT4 was stable, but made for servers. 2000 was good, but its shell could really eat the limited memory people had then. I refused to switch to XP until SP2 because it was seen as wasteful. All of the insults leveled against Vista just fit the pattern.

Now, don't get me wrong. Windows has horrible security. Microsoft employs loathsome anti-competitive practices to keep their dominance. Vista is, indeed, bloated. This is the way its been for years. I do actually expect Vista to be an "orphan" OS like Mindows ME was, though perhaps less shunned for its better 64bit support. I only need it to last 3 years. In 3 years most people will be using it and they'll forget all of their petitions they signed.

Or we'll all be using Linux. Which would make me even happier.
toki_c wrote:For your information, I was pretty against the idea to try vista, but I'm glad I did. You should onsider a dual boot for XP for older games which do not support DX10.
That would require an extra XP license and I'm not going to buy one just to get 5 extra fps out of a game. This box will have no problem churning through any games I have now. I didn't buy the GTS for high fps in Crysis or Team Fortress 2. I bought it to have decent performance for Starcraft II, Spore, and all the games that will be coming out around Christmas 2009.

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