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 Post subject: Some RAID questions on a semi future-proof build? Comments?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:11 am 
8086
8086
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Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:27 pm
Posts: 28
I'm in the process of making a laundry list build for a pc for my buddy in the military. He wants to spend a good chunk of money (around $3k) for something that will probably last reliably for 5+ years. Here's what I've coughed up so far (and yes I know I'm going "over" budget but I'll convince him later):

Motherboard:
ASUS Rampage IV Gene LGA 2011
CPU:
Intel Core i7-3930K Hexa-Core Processor 3.2 Ghz
RAM all in quad-channel:
CORSAIR DOMINATOR GT 32GB DDR3 1866
GPU's in crossfire:
XFX Double D Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition (x2)
PSU:
Antec HCP-1200 1.2kW 80 PLUS GOLD
Case:
Corsair Obsidian Series 800D Full Tower Case
HDD's in RAID5:
WD 3TB NAS Red Hdd's (x4) (9TB raid)
SSD for win7:
Samsung Electronics 840 Pro 256GB SSD
RAID controller card:
Intel RAID SATA PCI-E 2.0 x8 Controller Card RT3WB080

And here's where I stopped. That above card is hella expensive ($450) but from what I've read you should NOT go cheap with these cards because you're going to be in a world of pain if you don't. I just need some extra confirmation that you really should go with this card (and not the cheaper $100 cards) instead of relying on the software raid controller on the (high-end mind you) asus Gene motherboard. Taking a look at the "highest" end LGA2011 motherboard -- the Rampage IV Extreme (link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131802 ) -- even that board only has 2 sata III "raid" ports, and the 4 drives I'm getting are all sata III. It really is insane to me. Also, shouldn't I include like 2 more "extra" drives in case 2 years down the road, a drive fails and that model is no longer for sale -- your raid would be screwed if you didn't have an extra drives (of the same make and model as the others in the raid) in storage right? I was also thinking that since that raid card comes with 8 ports, then why not get 3 or 4 128GB SSD drives (instead of the single 256GB one I have listed) and put those in a separate RAID0 for the OS drive...leading to insanity IO speeds, minus well right? I was also shopping around for those Intel cards, seems like you can get double the cache memory at 512MB with the $520 card (link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6816117152 ) -- worth it since we might be using all 8 ports?

I still need a water-cooling option (I've never done one before so I'm doing hw), peripherals, and a Dell ultrasharp S-IPS/P-MVA monitor but everything is going to be around 4.5-5k when complete. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Some RAID questions on a semi future-proof build? Commen
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:30 am 
Smithfield
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5025
I don't think you need a RAID card unless you're doing highly demanding tasks and you absolutely need the integrity (i.e., for servers). Heck the 2012 Dream Machine uses RAID 0 on the SSDs without a RAID card.

And if you want an honest opinion on the build overall... You should trim down a lot of the parts and save the money for incremental improvements in the future.

Processor/Mobo: You'd probably be better off with a Core i7-3770K if you need something now. Otherwise come June, Haswell is released. Also think hard about the motherboard features. If you're not using them, then get a cheaper board.
RAM: Unless you're using programs that eat RAM like a crack whore, I've not seen any practical use for the average person to have more than 8GB. The only times you would probably need it is if you have long extensive hours on Photoshop, some sort of video editing program, or you run a few VMs at once.
GPUs: Are you sporting monitors with 2560x1440 or higher resolution? Are you aiming for 3+ monitor gaming setup? If not, a single high-end GPU will do.
PSU: 550W-600W is all you need for a single high-end video card set up. Every addition high-end card you add, tack on another 150W-200W.

A $1500 rig now can easily last two years without upgrading (and that's just the video card). And if it's just games, I could see 5 years before requiring an absolutely new system possible. If it's for anything else, it really depends on how patient you are.

And I'm against water cooling unless you plan on doing heavy overclocking.


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 Post subject: Re: Some RAID questions on a semi future-proof build? Commen
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:46 am 
8086
8086
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Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:27 pm
Posts: 28
Thanks LatiosXT,

from what I've read, anything with parity checks (RAID5 or higher) will require you to offload the processing to a raid card, this was why I opted for a discreet processing here. Advice everywhere says, "don't go cheap with these cards period." His data redundancy was a "semi-priority" versus a "high-priority" so that's why I also opted for 5 instead of several mirrors.

The crossfire setup was intended for future-proofing games only on a 24-30" panel but I tend to agree with you as well.

He's done some mild video editing in the past but I may just cut it down to 16GB, still in quad-channel.

I also received suggestions that building right before Haswell could be a dumb idea, and that I should even wait until the 'E' version arrives later too. Everything is a wait game when building, isn't it?


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 Post subject: Re: Some RAID questions on a semi future-proof build? Commen
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:32 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5025
It's a waiting game when it's just around the corner :P

And Intel's chipsets support RAID 5. I believe it's only a performance hit when you do a write, because the parity block is used only when there's a read error (not really likely) or one of the hard drives die. And even then, it's handled on the chipset at least with Z77 boards.

And after using a multi-card setup, I've pretty much concluded they're not worthwhile. They eat up a lot of power, produce more heat, and since the upgrade period is potentially longer (which is good), you're stuck with two cards that nobody probably wants (which is bad). I'm packing a GTX 670 now and I haven't found a game that brings it to its knees. I also don't have faith that video game developers will start pushing graphics on computers to their limits any time soon.

Well sure, you can say Unreal 4 is OMFG amazing and that's sure to bring a GPU to its knees. Except they ran the Elemental demo on a PS4, which is entry level in terms of performance.


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