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  • E-Male's New Build

    Greetings,

    I have decided to build my own system so as to get back into the TG scene and do my share of chillin and killin (to say nothing of dying and crying).

    I have opened up this thread to document my build, the issues, decisions, results, and of course solicite advice and opinions along the way.

    My budget tops out at $2,000 CND, so I have a range of mid-level performace choices that should deliver a respectable gaming system and a good balance between bang and buck.

    I anticipate a few weeks of research which will lead to a spec sheet for a complete system. I will then run the build specs by a few local companies to see which will bend over the farthest for me.

    I realize that just about every issue I will raise here has been raised in other threads or are addressed in more specialized forums across the Net.

    I also realize that there are no definitive answers to questions such as 'best' -- too many variables, and conflicting tests and expert opinions muddy the waters.

    Nonetheless, here I go with the first issue -- the processor: Intel or AMD?

    Although AMD has a clear price advantage, I am tending toward Intel's i7 Core series. The i7-920, which runs at a mere 2.66 Ghz but can easily be overclocked to a stable 3.8 Ghz is a clear favorite among reviewers.

    But the i7-930 is more recent, retailing here around $359 (see related comments below).

    Reviews of the 930 chip are (so far) hard to come by. Some comments I have seen:

    "4.0ghz stable at 1.8v" -- on air
    "4.6 ghz ht on <1.4V" -- on air

    Enough for now.

    Comments?
    sigpic

  • #2
    Re: E-Male's New Build

    Good to hear from you E-Male! The LGA1366 platfom is more costly but still the fastest. One of my fave benchmark sites. The difference between the 920 and the 930 is minimal. Probably not worth the 20% price difference.

    DB
    Last edited by Bamboo; 02-28-2010, 08:59 AM. Reason: Edited to make the link show up

    «That looks like a really nice house except for that horrible bathroom.» Donrhos

    | |





    Comment


    • #3
      Re: E-Male's New Build

      Originally posted by Dick Blonov View Post
      The difference between the 920 and the 930 is minimal. Probably not worth the 20% price difference.
      DB
      Nice to hear from you again, DB.

      I am still digging through Intel i7 930 reviews, but it is clear that the processor can easily be overclocked to 3.8Ghz, and even 4.0. No decision yet, but am tending towards the 930 chip.

      The next issue is the motherboard.

      The ASUS Rampage II Extreme makes a good match for the 930 chip, as it is specially design to overclock the 930 type of chip. At $380 it is expensive but not over-budget, and may even survive a later upgrade to a more powerful processor in a year or two.

      So early estimates are (based on Tigerdirect.ca):

      $360 Intel i7 930 processor
      $380 ASUS Rampage II Extreme motherboard

      leaving another $1,000 in the budget for main cooling fan, power supply, ram, and box. Oh, and shag rug, fuzzy dice, and cool lights...

      More later,
      sigpic

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: E-Male's New Build

        If it isn't the man himself! Great to see you back in action e-male!

        I know Grunt, Jeepo, and myself have been asking where the wise man had gone to. Look forward to catching ya on TS.
        FORMER 22ND RRR/FORMER 1ST JTOC/ ALWAYS A TACTICALGAMER


        Spartan 4

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: E-Male's New Build

          So I'm sitting here scrolling through the forum looking at the new threads and I see the name E-male. Kind of stare at it for a sec. Start to wonder if we have a new player that just happens to have come up with the same name. No, it couldn't be the real E-male. :D :D

          For picking a CPU we just had these 2 threads in the last week:
          CPU Performance Roundup
          and
          Core i3 takes on Athlon II ...and everything else, including a Pentium 4

          They both include a ton of CPUs in the reviews. DB is correct that the LGA1366 is on top, but the LGA1156 is so much cheaper, and it really is only a fraction of a bit slower in almost everything. Going with the 1156 you save a ton of money on the motherboard, and usually a good bit on the CPU and RAM. The money saved could add up to enough to buy like the TrackerIR system or something. And I have yet to see a review that shows me the tri-channel ram is worth the cost of the upgrade. Who knows, maybe in the next year or two, devs will figure out a way to take advantage of it. And with i5, it has the built in automatic overclocking, so it gives itself a boost when you are running a lot of apps.

          As for the 930, it is replacing the 920, so if you do want the 920 you will need to grab one. Latest on it from Friday:
          Core i7 930 shows up in retail

          But if you have the money and want to go all out, i7 can be a beast, especially if you are playing at higher rez and spend the money on a gfx. card that can keep up with it. For instance look at the bench for Crysis from the link above






          All the top CPUs are bottlenecked. What is weird is they used a GeForce GTX 280 but ran it at 800x600 rez to take the GPU out of the equation. But it seems to be still a limiting factor here.

          Go point is, if you are going to spend the money on i7, just make sure you get a high end gfx. card to go with it. That means one of the new ATI 5870(Newegg Canada link) cards or the Nvidia 480 or 470, which we should be finding out more about next week at the CiBit show.

          LINKS

          * *


          Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

          -Carlos A. Urbizo-

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: E-Male's New Build

            First of all, thank you for the very warm welcome back. I will be delayed a while as I need to build a new system, but I am ready for another round of that good old TG experience. I am hoping to score a few speaking engagements, contracts, or maybe (if I am very lucky) an award or two for my new book, so I am willing to pay for a system that will make the best use of a high end GPU and also help me with my video editing.

            As I am going for performance over savings, my decisions for parts will favour a build that will not limit video quality or gaming experience.

            The AMD option seems to be justified primarily on economy, and certainly offers adequate chips, but the new Intel i7 930 (pricey at $360 CND), does render between 25% and 35% greater performance when overclocked:

            "Assuming the application is partial to scaling with frequency, a 4GHz-clocked Core i7 is up to 36 per cent faster than the 2.8GHz (2.93GHz with TB) Core i7 930. That difference is tangible and genuinely worthwhile in most cases."

            This latest i7 930 chip review here. The conclusion of this review (which admitedly gives a strong nod to the adequacy of the i7 920) follows:
            The Intel Core i7 930 processor represents a logical replacement for the long-standing Core i7 920 chip that has provided the most affordable entry to the chip giant's X58 performance-class platform for the past 16 months.

            Priced at £215 for a retail-boxed chip with cooler and three-year warranty, the '930 is identical to the model it replaces, save for a bump in the multiplier-factor, thereby pushing default speed from 2.67GHz to 2.80GHz.

            Our performance numbers show it to be provide a little extra default-level performance over the incumbent, expectedly so, but where it really shines is when overclocked.

            Clocking up to 4GHz with minor voltage adjustments and a few tweaks in the BIOS, the Core i7 930 becomes a superlative-inducing CPU and easily faster than any stock-clocked desktop processor shipping today. But the same can be said for current D0-stepping '920s, as well, so we'd only recommend the newer model if contemplating a platform upgrade as a whole.

            As good as (overclocked) Core i7 can be, platform costs - £500 for chip, X58 motherboard, and 6GB DDR3 - are considerably higher than AMD's, where the admittedly-slower CPU is available as a platform-wide proposition for almost £200 less, albeit with a lower RAM quota.

            The cynic in us says that the reviewed chip is nothing more than a rebadged i7 920 with a 21x multiplier. But that's no bad thing when the price remains the same. Thinking of the enthusiast, Intel's latest LGA1366 offering becomes our favourite CPU under £250.

            Bottom line: the new Intel Core i7 930 builds on established LGA1366/X58 technology and is a cinch to overclock to 4GHz with the stock cooler. It improves on the soon-to-be-retired Core i7 920 in every way.

            The good

            Better than the decent Core i7 920 in every way
            Clocks like a champ; 4GHz should be easy as pie
            Excellent performance once overclocked
            Etail price should be no higher than Core i7 920's

            The not so good

            Being harsh, we would have loved for it to be a 32nm chip
            Platform-wide value proposition isn't as sharp as AMD's

            Although the Intel route leads to more costs, re: chip, ram, and MoB, it also delivers a significant performance gain, worth what in the end will only be an additional $500 or so (sounds like a lot but priced out over the 5 year life cycle of my systems, and given the fact that I more or less live in front of a computer, I think the extra money will be well spent).

            I still have to read up on how to actually put all these parts together (build the darn thing), but after twenty years of yanking hard drives (and floppy drives), ram, fans, and cables in and out of cpu's and given the ton of how-to manuals and videos available, I should be ok.

            So to recap: tending towards the Intel i7 930 chip, the LGA 1366 platform, and looking lustily at the sexy ASUS Rampage II Extreme motherboard as the foundation for the build.

            Now what colours can I get the chip and board in?

            sigpic

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: E-Male's New Build

              Couple of things to consider:

              If you are going to spend the money on this system, you are going to want an SSD drive, especially for video editing and ARMA2 (people are saying it runs much better with a SSD).

              If you are going to spend the money and you do want to think about overclocking, you are going to want something better than the stock cooler. Sure, the review you posted got a really good overclock, but running some benchmarks and it being stable are one thing, but keeping it many years with the increased heat and power are another. You are going to want a high end air cooler or even the new sealed water coolers like the Corsair H50:
              CORSAIR Cooling Hydro Series CWCH50-1 120mm High Performance CPU Cooler
              This will also keep your noise down over the stock cooler which will have to work much harder to keep you running cool. Trust me, the videos I have rendered that kept all 4 cores of my quad at 100% for 6 hours will give any CPU a workout, and you want to keep it cool as possible.

              As far as building it, look up in the stickies for all the guides you could ever need:
              Ultimate PC Building Guide
              That thread has everything from video guides to step by step photos. It really is easy if you spend a few mins reading ahead of time, and you take your time putting it together.

              Also, any reason besides it being sexy you picked that motherboard. If you plan on keeping the computer, you really should pick a board with USB 3.0 and SATA6 connections. They just hit the market about 2 months ago, but I'm sure a year or 2 from now when everything is USB 3 and the new SSD drives are bottlenecked by SATA3, you will be kicking yourself for not getting it. Sure, you could put in an extra PCI card with some connections on it later, but that is just one more chain in the link of something that can go wrong. Here are some 1366 boards on newegg with those features:

              http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...e=8110%3A50511

              Edit: here is the link to the newegg.ca site with the same parameters as the one above, but looks like the options are more limited.

              http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...e=8110%3A50511

              You might want to use the Newegg US site as a reference for some model numbers of other boards like from ASUS and look around other CA shops like http://ncix.com/ to see if they stock them.

              And I doubt it would be $500 more to go the i7 route, maybe more like $200-$300 depending on the RAM speed and the features of the motherboard.

              Still also need to look at RAM, power supply (PSU), PC Case (I know what a fan of hot pink neon lights you are, so we will keep our eyes open), and a SSD drive, as well as extras like SATA Optical Drives if you don't have those already.

              LINKS

              * *


              Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

              -Carlos A. Urbizo-

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: E-Male's New Build

                Originally posted by Bamboo View Post
                Couple of things to consider:

                If you are going to spend the money on this system, you are going to want an SSD drive, especially for video editing and ARMA2 (people are saying it runs much better with a SSD)...

                If you are going to spend the money and you do want to think about overclocking, you are going to want something better than the stock cooler...

                If you plan on keeping the computer, you really should pick a board with USB 3.0 and SATA6 connections.
                Greetings Bamboo and thank you for the detailed reply.

                Yes, I had been thinking about the water cooling, USB 3.0 and related issues. Have seen many dismiss the USB 3.0 as not relevant at this time, but the cost of the ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 is still under my $500/component ceiling at $400 CND. Expensive, but a better match to the coming upgrade curve.

                So I'll switch focus to USB 3.0-ready boards, and look into the SSD drives and water cooling I am at the top of a ten floor apt, with no air conditioning, and Summer heat can hit 100C, so I can't rely on air (or beer) to chill.

                Aweseome helpful advice guys!
                Thanks again,
                sigpic

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: E-Male's New Build

                  Firstly I am in the market for an upgrade so shall be watching this thread.

                  IF I go water cooled, I will use this, as it seems a very good compromise:

                  http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showpr...odid=WC-002-CS

                  I will definitely be going USB 3.0, although their are no actual uses right now there will be in the future. As for SSD's, I can not recommend them enough, and can not wait to I get myself sorted out with one!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: E-Male's New Build

                    Originally posted by Jeepo_SAS View Post

                    IF I go water cooled, I will use this, as it seems a very good compromise:

                    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showpr...odid=WC-002-CS
                    um.....Jeepo..........
                    That is the cooler I linked to above:icon12::icon_lol:

                    As for the air conditioning, maybe we can save you enough on your build to buy a window unit for your game room/ office. :row__645:

                    LINKS

                    * *


                    Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

                    -Carlos A. Urbizo-

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: E-Male's New Build

                      Newegg.ca has the 930 for 325$.

                      DB

                      «That looks like a really nice house except for that horrible bathroom.» Donrhos

                      | |





                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: E-Male's New Build

                        Originally posted by Dick Blonov View Post
                        Newegg.ca has the 930 for 325$.

                        DB
                        Thanks! (but...)

                        Keep in mind I am in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada :-) So adding shipping and duty and the price is almost always better for me two blocks away (and I prefer to buy local and support the local businesses in my community, even if it costs me a bit more).
                        sigpic

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: E-Male's New Build

                          NCIX also has a good selection in Canada. Shipping to Ontario is usually covered by the savings in PST. The prices are much better than buying locally and you're still supporting the Canadian economy. ;)

                          - It's who you game with.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: E-Male's New Build

                            Originally posted by =Sarc= View Post
                            NCIX also has a good selection in Canada. Shipping to Ontario is usually covered by the savings in PST. The prices are much better than buying locally and you're still supporting the Canadian economy. ;)
                            Thanks, Sarc.

                            I see an immediate price difference on the ASUS P6x58D-P motherboard of $50 dollars less than at Tigerdirect.

                            Initially I thought I would order the parts through a local computer shop like Laurier Computers (a few blocks from me), but I am beginning to see that I don't really require their advice (when so many experts are here at TG and elsewhere online), I can build the machine myself (probably), and both TigerDirect and NCIX beat the local shop prices.

                            The last time I bought a fully built cpu at a local shop I paid far too much and got a middling machine that has been a constant source of problems.

                            So I guess I am reaching yet another decision (I know this one is a no-brainer to most TGers...) -- buy the parts online.
                            sigpic

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: E-Male's New Build

                              E-male, I am all about buying locally and supporting them, but somethings you have to reach out for. In the case of computers, if you go to a small local shop, they are most likely not going to have hard core game rig parts in stock because most people don't need that. They are just going to order it from somewhere like NCIX and then charge you what they paid plus a percentage for themselves. Completely understandable, but I don't know many people that can afford to do that when they could just order it themselves from NCIX or where ever else. I don't actually have any small shops near me, but when I lived in DC I would still hit them up when I needed a certain part quickly, like a special cable, or when my computer really went haywire on me.

                              LINKS

                              * *


                              Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

                              -Carlos A. Urbizo-

                              Comment

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