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 Post subject: New build, already debating upgrades
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:46 pm 
Little Foot
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Location: Oakland, CA
Hey folks. I just built a new machine, and I'm debating tossing a little more money into it. Being as I've already tossed a big chunk at it, funds are a bit tight at moment.
Here's where I'm at on it right now.

Antec 300 case
Asus P9X79 LE motherboard
EVGA Superclocked GTX 560Ti
Antec EarthWatts EA 750 power supply
Intel i7-3820
OCZ Vertex 4 256GB SSD
16GB Corsair Vengeance SSR3 1600
Pioneer BDR-207 Blu-Ray burner
LG UH12LS29 Blu-Ray
Asus Xonar Essence ST sound card
Corsair H60 Liquid cooler

I migrated the Xonar Essence, two 1TB and a 2TB drive, and the LG Blu-Ray drive over from my last build for mass storage. I'm using two Hanns-G 27.5" monitors, and a set of Klipsch iFi speakers and modified Grado SR80 headphones as my sound output devices.
I'm debating getting another 16GB of memory, or possibly another 560Ti for SLI. Other possibilities are a second Vertex 4 and go RAID 0 on my primary drive so I can keep all my games on it, but I'd have to lose one of my hard drives as I'm maxed out on SATA controllers.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to where I should go with his build? I'm a gamer, but it's not my primary use for this build.


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 Post subject: Re: New build, already debating upgrades
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:30 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5529
  • A video card upgrade is always going to see the most improvement.
  • More RAM won't help you. It doesn't help most of the people who ask here.
  • An SSD may help if you're impatient or annoyed enough with jitter.


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 Post subject: Re: New build, already debating upgrades
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:36 pm 
Klamath
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Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:24 pm
Posts: 286
Just curious, if gaming is not the primary function of your rig, what may I ask do you do? And what games do you play at what settings?

I concur with LatiosXT on all counts. I might even push the matter regarding your video card. Two 27-inch monitors eh? What resolutions are you running?

I do believe getting another GTX 560 Ti will allow you to SLI and use that nVidia surround thingy. If you are interested in that, that is. Otherwise, your rig could use a new GPU with more muscle (again, depending on what you want to do).

I'm guessing RAM will do very little, if anything, for your system regarding performance.

Another SSD might make sense now, but perhaps the price of 512 GB drives may come down so it would make more sense to replace your 256 GB model sooner or later. Then again, I did read that the price of memory may fluctuate soon.


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 Post subject: Re: New build, already debating upgrades
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:39 pm 
Little Foot
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Location: Oakland, CA
hindolio wrote:
Just curious, if gaming is not the primary function of your rig, what may I ask do you do? And what games do you play at what settings?

I concur with LatiosXT on all counts. I might even push the matter regarding your video card. Two 27-inch monitors eh? What resolutions are you running?

I do believe getting another GTX 560 Ti will allow you to SLI and use that nVidia surround thingy. If you are interested in that, that is. Otherwise, your rig could use a new GPU with more muscle (again, depending on what you want to do).

I'm guessing RAM will do very little, if anything, for your system regarding performance.

Another SSD might make sense now, but perhaps the price of 512 GB drives may come down so it would make more sense to replace your 256 GB model sooner or later. Then again, I did read that the price of memory may fluctuate soon.



The monitors are big and inexpensive at the cost of resolution; they run at 1920x1200. I do a fair amount of image editing in Photoshop, and a bit of video encoding. I do a lot of remote access network administration also.
As far as muscle, the 560Ti seems to run Portal 2 just fine for me. I'm not playing a lot else at the moment, but I tend to gravitate toward first person shooters and Deathmatching.
I would think that two 256 GB drives in RAID 0 would give me more throughput than a single 512.
I should mention that my machine is also my primary audio source, hence the Xonar Essence and the Grado cans. I love the iFi speakers, but they seem to be slowly dying, and keeping them alive has proved costly. I may need to go with a proper receiver and a decent set of book shelf speakers and a subwoofer.


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 Post subject: Re: New build, already debating upgrades
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:04 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5529
I'm going to go on a whim and suggest like everything else in the computing world, your secondary storage transfer rates are going to increase performance logarithmically (i.e., double the performance doubles the performance, doubling again only increases by like 25%-50%). So I wouldn't really worry about improving your transfer speed that much.


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 Post subject: Re: New build, already debating upgrades
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:09 am 
Clawhammer
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Location: In the closet
If funds are tight as you say, then simply do nothing. When they loosen up I'd do first ditch that H60 for at least an H80 or better still an H100 so you can OC. Then I toss that ho-hum 300 for a Define R4. Next I'd ebay those two cheapo Hanns-G TN panels and their stupidly stretched HD and get a pair of killer res Catleap or Achieva Shimian IPS panels for cheap. You're eyes will thank you for the massive 2560x1440 upgrade. Then just sit back for 10-12 months and enjoy your top tier system and wait for IVB-E since it's set for 2011...you're running socket.


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 Post subject: Re: New build, already debating upgrades
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:34 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
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Before you start jumping into a Catleap or similar...

  • These are the same LG panels used in the 27" iMac
  • However, Apple has a zero-defect policy. Yamakasi monitors are those that failed. The vendor claims these are A- monitors, which have 1-5 dead pixels.
  • You don't get any real warranty, unless you fork over $50 for one (which I guess is still a good deal altogether)


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 Post subject: Re: New build, already debating upgrades
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:00 pm 
Klamath
Klamath

Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:24 pm
Posts: 286
Meh imho, I think you probably are better off than you imagine :mrgreen: Again, I'd suggest consideration of a GPU later down the road that might suit your needs better - I don't recall which, but I do believe some Radeon cards are the preference for image and video stuff.

A better HSF would be a good idea if you plan on overclocking. Something to consider.

The increase in performance from a raid 0 for two 256 SSD drives vs one 512 I did not consider. I guess that could be attractive, but I don't think most people will benefit because the extra complexity of the setup itself and the marginal, real-world performance increase. If it is something you want to do though, then by all means have fun with it - that's the interesting part of building a PC!

I do like kleinkinstein's suggestion for a Catleap or Achieva IPS panel, and I wish I thought of it, as that would be a benefit that you would probably appreciate more than marginally faster SSD performance. It ain't for everyone though, so do some research on the forums and decide if it's right for you.


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 Post subject: Re: New build, already debating upgrades
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:26 pm 
Little Foot
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 10:49 am
Posts: 145
Location: Oakland, CA
Bang up job on suggestions, gentlemen. The change to IPS panels is tempting, although I do kinda like my cheapass*d Hann-G monitors. Going to SLI looks attractive also.


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 Post subject: Re: New build, already debating upgrades
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:00 pm 
Little Foot
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Posts: 145
Location: Oakland, CA
I located another GTX 560Ti (they seem to be scare) as well as another Hanns-G 28" monitor. The SLI config is running pretty smoothly at the moment. I should have the third monitor by next week.


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 Post subject: Re: New build, already debating upgrades
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:10 pm 
Clawhammer
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Location: In the closet
When you secure that 3rd panel you simply must snap a pic or two and share. You know what they say, "if no pics it doesn't exist!" :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: New build, already debating upgrades
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:38 pm 
Little Foot
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Posts: 145
Location: Oakland, CA
As long as you hold yourself to the same standard. Agreed?


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 Post subject: Re: New build, already debating upgrades
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:57 pm 
Little Foot
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 10:49 am
Posts: 145
Location: Oakland, CA
Image
The third one should be here in a few days.
Image
Apologies for the cable management. I'm still sorting that out.
My next major challenge is getting a decent shot of the bridge wide enough to span all three panels.


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 Post subject: Re: New build, already debating upgrades
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:29 am 
Clawhammer
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Location: In the closet
klaatu wrote:
As long as you hold yourself to the same standard. Agreed?

What could I possible show that I haven't already. Try out search, I have years and years of builds plastered in this place.

That third Hanns-G will make the visual perfect. I always say, because of the bezels, it's best to skip dual and go straight to tri panel. I do luv my MX mouse too. Everyone get's one free hall pass on shoddy cables. But why do you have your 4x4/8 dimms on a single side? You understand the engineering of quad channel, right? And, Sam Adams, Yuengling or Bass?


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 Post subject: Re: New build, already debating upgrades
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:26 am 
Little Foot
Little Foot
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 10:49 am
Posts: 145
Location: Oakland, CA
The heat sinks won't fit under the tall fans. I do intend to get lower profile RAM to fill the additional four slots.
The beer is a Racer 5 IPA.


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 Post subject: Re: New build, already debating upgrades
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:56 am 
Clawhammer
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Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 6:22 pm
Posts: 4406
Location: In the closet
Racer 5. That's a new one, and on my to do list tonight.

If you want low profile, look no further than the Magic ram. They are lilliputian and OC like a rabid bitch. They were just $15/dimm last week @ Amazon, so be watchful. On a z77 Pro4-M I'm running 4x4 of MV-3V4G3 OC'd @ 2096MHz, 9-9-9-28-1T, 1.43v which nets 22.6gbps! Crazy insane throughput, I know.


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 Post subject: Re: New build, already debating upgrades
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:36 am 
Little Foot
Little Foot
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 10:49 am
Posts: 145
Location: Oakland, CA
I had planned to get this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820233197
It's effectively the same RAM that's in the other four slots albeit without the big, showy heatsinks, and the old timer in me doesn't want to mix brands or timings.
Racer 5 is a bit difficult to find outside of the Left coast.


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 Post subject: Re: New build, already debating upgrades
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:06 pm 
Little Foot
Little Foot
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 10:49 am
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Location: Oakland, CA
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Finally!
Next up I want to get another 256 Vertex 4 so I can do RAID 0. 12 GB/s baby!


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 Post subject: Re: New build, already debating upgrades
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:57 pm 
Little Foot
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Location: Oakland, CA
I finally located a longer SLI cable and was able to put my Xonar ST back in. Onboard sound was pretty unbearable. The major downside is that one of my vidcards is in an 8x PCIe lane. I can live with that.


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 Post subject: Re: New build, already debating upgrades
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:22 am 
Smithfield
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5529
klaatu wrote:
The major downside is that one of my vidcards is in an 8x PCIe lane

Video cards don't need x16 to begin with so...


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