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Thread: Some help required from the more knowledgeable please

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    Re: Some help required from the more knowledgeable please

    What is your partner running atm and does he build his own PCs? It may be worth finding out what he has and using an upgrade path if he has one planned. It may ruin the suprise but if he was like me I would like to know whats going on; I think more planning goes into my PC than my family.

    With the overall outlay an SSD would be a must in my eyes.
    The SB 2600k chips are supposed ot be on a par with the hex I7s in terms of performance.
    Ram is really cheap atm, upgrading to 12gb may only add £50 odd quid.
    I imagine your HDD are going to run in RAID0; a backup HDD may be required.
    Your interent speeds are mad you could always try for online storage as you upload is faster than my download.

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    Re: Some help required from the more knowledgeable please

    Quote Originally Posted by Domestic_Ginger View Post
    What is your partner running atm and does he build his own PCs? It may be worth finding out what he has and using an upgrade path if he has one planned. It may ruin the suprise but if he was like me I would like to know whats going on; I think more planning goes into my PC than my family.

    With the overall outlay an SSD would be a must in my eyes.
    The SB 2600k chips are supposed ot be on a par with the hex I7s in terms of performance.
    Ram is really cheap atm, upgrading to 12gb may only add £50 odd quid.
    I imagine your HDD are going to run in RAID0; a backup HDD may be required.
    Your interent speeds are mad you could always try for online storage as you upload is faster than my download.
    Hi Ginger, thanks for replying. He has a Q6600 with a 8800GT, 2x 500gb hdd's and Windows Vista with 3gb ram. He's built a couple of pc's but after his last one went pop he has't done it since (I believe it was an issue with the psu).

    He does a lot of photo editing and storage, some video editing, and lots of 'montages' for people using Sony Vegas. It feels like lots anyway because he's always on with one! He mostly games on his xbox but he's always complaining about how much less quality the visuals are on his games on that and the extra cost generally of an xbox game over the same game on pc. He does some gaming on his pc but not so much as it can't really handle it at the resolution of his new monitor (1920x1080). He says at the quality settings he would have to run games at on his pc they actually look much better on the xbox.

    I realise a benchmark will make a 6-core look rather good but what about real-world applications? Is there anything out there, considering his usage quoted above, that would make it beneficial over a quad?

    With the SSD as I understand it it's rather a messy proposition using one as your boot drive and then installing your games on another hdd in the build? I would prefer an SSD but after researching it some more I came to the above conclusion. He will run out of room fast on an SSD if I'm correct.

    I've seen the ram is cheap and was considering 12gb on this build but what application out there needs 4gb per channel? Especially considering the speed of the ram.

    Nope, wasn't going to run them in Raid 0. As I understand it unless you get a Raptor or a SSD then the perfomance boost compared to the increased risk of data loss just isn't worth it.

    I realise the cost keeps increasing but it's only money and I only have one of him and it's more than likely a one off so I want to do it correctly. His parents and my parents think I'm nuts spending all this on a pc but as they're old the nearest they probably ever got to a computer in their youth was someone scratching on the stone tablet for them.

    Last edited by Chewypuppy; 25-02-2011 at 07:11 PM.

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    Re: Some help required from the more knowledgeable please

    Hey, glad to see you back again, and still thinking about your PC build for one very lucky guy.

    I'd have to concur with D_G, an SSD is a must at this price range really. I would disagree with the assessment of it being messy, you simply tell your game / Steam / the application where to write to and you are done (ie Windows is on the SSD, you put most of your other applications on other drives). Anyone with a basic level of IT use can do this, and i'm 100% confident your partner can if he can use video editing software. That said, an SSD wouldnt make video editing much quicker (of course, the data will not be on the SSD due to space requirements) but its the little things like the menus, the windows, quickly tabbing to a web broswer... all of those sorts of things are literally transformed with an SSD and make the general sense of 'responsiveness' of a computer completely improved, much much more so than a faster processor.

    A 6-core in principle will be a good idea for the uses you mention, when compared to a quad-core of the same generation... however the Sandy Bridge generation are better again, so i'd probably be recommending the newest i7's overall. That said, it's swings and roundabouts, and you really cant go wrong with either.
    Depending on what sort of video work he does (ie specifically if it is video transcoding, which means converting from one sort of video into another format of video) he may in fact benefit from the 'H' series of motherboards which allow the newest on-board Intel chip graphics, as compared to the 'P' series that allow the overclocking. There will be a new type again, called the 'Z' series, that will allow both features (personally I think its a travesty that Intel have created this artificial divide as it is).

    Read more here. (Intel call this feature 'Quick Sync' - in truth, i dont quite understand how to use it yet, so it could be more a 'cool' feature for the future than anything practical for now).

    Finally, i'm going to go back on something that I suggested to you the other day about on-board sound cards.
    Again, given the budget that you have, as well as the use that your partner has, i'm thinking that at least £20 spent on an improvement in audio quality is worth it. Feel free to post back what choices you have, and i can give you a rough idea of what is good value (in my opinion of course)

    PS I've just been thinking about the RAM issue... i'm again on the fence about RAM sizes. 6GB ought to be enough for all but the most hardened editor, unless he really is applying great numbers of layers to RAW images. As long as the motherboard still has space to add more RAM in the future, I think that you get 6GB now. 12 GB does seem a bit excessive and unnecessary. That said, photo editing (not video) really is about the only application I can think of that might benefit from more. But he's got 3GB now and is clearly coping. Get 6.
    Last edited by MSIC; 25-02-2011 at 07:52 PM.
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    Re: Some help required from the more knowledgeable please

    Hi MSIC.

    Ok, a SSD it is then. But if it's really that easy to install applications and games on another drive (could you point me to a 'how to'?) is there any point in going for the 128gb Crucial one that I've specified? I'm getting rather confused here.

    Intel would no doubt claim that they've made the motherboards that way to lessen the financial impact for people who don't want to overclock or who do but don't want the features of a board allowing better transcoding. But in reality it's all marketing rubbish as the H and P are just separated to create sales.

    He already has a sound card in his current pc, as that won't be getting used would he be voiding his warranty if he just installed it in the Scan pc? We've had a look and it's the X-Fi Extreme Audio.

    Just to ask, why the change of mind regarding the soundcard?

    Thanks for the info MSIC, once again you've done me a great service. And thanks to D_G as well!

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    Re: Some help required from the more knowledgeable please

    Quote Originally Posted by Chewypuppy View Post
    Ok, a SSD it is then. But if it's really that easy to install applications and games on another drive (could you point me to a 'how to'?) is there any point in going for the 128gb Crucial one that I've specified? I'm getting rather confused here.
    Good choice of SSD. Those Crucial C300's are the best bang for buck option currently. When you install most applications/games they have an install wizard which lets you choose where you want to install (usually labelled as 'custom install') and this will let you choose your second drive to install to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chewypuppy View Post
    He already has a sound card in his current pc, as that won't be getting used would he be voiding his warranty if he just installed it in the Scan pc? We've had a look and it's the X-Fi Extreme Audio.
    Shouldn't void the warranty. As for the soundcard I would try the onboard audio first and then decide if a dedicated card is needed.

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    Re: Some help required from the more knowledgeable please

    Its easy to install programs on a seperate drive. I do it!

    I thought your partner would be using something much older. I would like to spec the DIY approach; This is what I would do but I generally have a much smaller budget, I appreciate this may not be what you wanted to do:-

    The Q6600 is still very good in my eyes and a new PSU, GPU and perhaps a case (if needed) would see a huge improvement. A cheapish cooler and a mild overclock (if the mobo) supports it would provide performance gains upto the point where I can't really see the need to invest in a completely new rig. Apologies Scan for thread jumping!

    Coolermaster hyper 212 would be transferrable to a new build as it supports plenty of sockets. £19

    EVGA 560 £192. It 'only' comes with a three year warranty.

    Antec truepower modular 650W is a very good PSU at £60 on today only and it keeps cropping up. The current PSU may be fine at the moment

    £271 in total. The rig will not be as good as your specced earlier build. Of course vista is not brilliant and a possible upgrade to W7 may be a good move. You can save the rest and upgrade later.

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    Re: Some help required from the more knowledgeable please

    I can see where you are going with your idea Domestic_Ginger, but you are taking away from the essential premise of surprising the partner with a 'here you are, the best that money can buy' machine all wrapped up with a Scan warranty.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chewypuppy View Post
    Hi MSIC.
    Hey. I keep secretly hoping that you are my wife, and that i'm actually helping myself here
    Quote Originally Posted by Chewypuppy View Post
    Ok, a SSD it is then. But if it's really that easy to install applications and games on another drive (could you point me to a 'how to'?) is there any point in going for the 128gb Crucial one that I've specified? I'm getting rather confused here.
    The thing is, you dont need a 'how to' since it wont be you installing things on the machine (correct me if i'm wrong). I dont want to come across as patronising, but it really is very straightforward: when you install something (a program, a game etc) it actually asks you where you want it - if you've not seen this before, chances are that you do what 99% of people do and just press 'Enter' without reading.

    As for the Crucial SSD, there are 2 choices to make. Firstly, what capacity do you want? A 60GB is perfectly good enough considering that it is essentially your Operating System that you want on the SSD, and not really much else (maybe a very commonly used program or two), and since Windows 7 is typically around 20GB then you dont need masses of space. As I said, 60GB is fine, it's your choice if you want to increase this size to allow even more programs on or not. One note of caution - some brands are actually slower as the capacity reduces, and Crucial's write speeds seem to follow this. Dont worry too much though, once Windows is written to the drive, its the read speeds of an SSD that really matter.
    Secondly, 'Crucial' brand or other. You can happily buy Crucial and know that its a good choice, or if you want have a read of some comparisons at Anandtech.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chewypuppy View Post
    He already has a sound card in his current pc, as that won't be getting used would he be voiding his warranty if he just installed it in the Scan pc? We've had a look and it's the X-Fi Extreme Audio.
    Thats a fine card, certainly worth re-using without buying anything else. There was some issue when Win 7 was first released (or was it even Vista? My mind isnt so sharp these days) however drivers are now fully available for that card.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chewypuppy View Post
    Just to ask, why the change of mind regarding the soundcard?
    Just a few threads recently here, however it does depend a little on which motherboard you eventually settle on as some on-board sound chips produce a higher quality than others. Still, the XFi takes care of that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chewypuppy View Post
    Thanks for the info MSIC, once again you've done me a great service. And thanks to D_G as well!
    Its one big happy family here. I must say, it's quite apparent to me that you have clearly done a huge amount of research, to the point that you know as much as many on the forum. I remain eager to hear your final spec, and also to have feedback once it arrives (both in terms of if the PC does the job you want, and if you can describe the look on your chap's face!).
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    Re: Some help required from the more knowledgeable please

    Sorry MSIC, no I'm not your wife. I've seen your wife and I don't use a rolling pin I just sulk.

    Ah, I didn't explain myself at all when I asked for a 'how to' did I. Initially, it will be me (and my brother) installing software on the system as I'm also purchasing him a HD capture card and some other software and I want it all ready to go when he gets home on the day. But you've explained it anyway, so many thanks.

    So I won't be voiding the warranty with Scan if we install the other soundcard? I'd rather buy one in the build if that's not the case.

    I'm still researching everything! haha. Spent all day today looking at various builds and google'ing various components. Actually, I'm rather enjoying myself.

    Many thanks to you also, D_G. The input is appreciated. I did look at just upgrading but as MSIC says I really want a whole new system with all the bells and whistles. I have a total budget of 2.5k but £700 of that is taken up with the capture card, the new desk, new chair, new speakers (maybe), external storage and software. I'm almost glad about the SB issue now as waiting has allowed me to increase my budget fo rthe pc itself, dramatically.

    So based upon your comments (again, thank you gentlemen) I'm now looking at this spec:


    Case: Corsair 600T Graphite Series Black Mid Tower Gaming Case
    Motherboard - Intel P67 Chipset: Asus P8P67 Pro Intel P67 Express S 1155 PCI-E 2.0 (x16) DDR3 2200(OC) SATA 6Gb s SATA RAID
    CPU - Intel 2nd Generation "Sandy Bridge": Intel Core i5 2500K "Unlocked" 3.3Ghz Quad Core 6Mb Cache
    CPU Coolers: Corsair Cooling H70 Hydro Performance - Not suitable for Silverstone TJ07
    Overclocking - CPU: 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ Sandy Bridge CPU professionally overclocked by our 3XS engineers to 4.5Ghz
    Memory - Selecting 16Gb of memory may limit overclock on CPU!: 4GB (2x2GB) Corsair XMS3 Classic DDR3 1600Mhz 1.5v
    NVIDIA Graphics - Multi GPU SLI Options Available: 1280Mb EVGA GTX 570 732Mhz GPU 480 Cores 3800Mhz GDDR5
    ATI Graphics - Multi GPU Crossfire Options Available: *No ATI VGA Card Required* (NVIDIA Required)
    Power Supply Unit: 850W Corsair HX Series Modular (Dual Graphics Cards)
    System Drives 3GB s: *Drive Not Required - Using 6GB s or SSD See Below*
    System Drives 6GB s: 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black SATA 6Gb s 64MB Cache
    Solid State Drives: 128GB Crucial RealSSD C300 6GB s Read 355MB s Write 140MB s
    Storage Hard drives: 2TB Western Digital Caviar Green 64MB Cache
    Optical Drive 1 - DVD Blu Ray: LG CH10LS20 - 8x Blu-Ray Reader & DVDRW
    Optical Drive 2 - DVD Blu Ray: *DVD Writer Not Required*
    Floppy Drive Flash Card Readers & Writers: Scan AK-ICR10 Multi Card Reader with 2.5" Sata Support
    Sound Card: sound card not required
    Gaming Network Card: *Use On Board Network Port*
    Internal External (USB) Wireless Adaptors: Edimax 300Mbps Wireless 802.11 b g n PCI-E Adapter
    Case Cooling Fans: *After Market Fans Not Required - Use Fans Included with Case*
    Lighting Effects: *Lighting Effects Not Required*
    Operating system: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit - OEM
    Software - Acronis True Image 2011 complete back-up software. : A hidden partition is created & a complete system image is produced. Giving you the option to reset it back to factory defaults should you need to. The software also lets you create scheduled backups.
    Software - Application: *No Software Required*
    Software - DVD Blu Ray Decoding: *DVD Blu Ray Decoding Software Not Required*
    Software - Security: *No Software Required*
    Software - Hottest PC Games: *No Software Required*
    TFT Monitor: *Monitor Not Required*
    NVIDIA 3D Vision TFT Monitor - Requires NVIDIA Graphics Card: *NVIDIA 3D Vision Not Required*
    Gaming Keyboard : *Gaming Keyboard Not Required*
    Gaming Mouse Option: *Gaming Mouse Not Required*
    Gaming Mouse Mat: *Gaming Mouse Mat Not Required*
    Speakers: *Speakers Not Required*
    Headphones: *Gaming Headphones Not Required*
    Extended Warranty: Standard 3XS System Warranty - 2 Years (1st Year Onsite 2nd Year Return to Base)
    Delivery & Setup Options: 3XS System Delivery - Our Technician will contact you & arrange a convenient time prior to delivery then your system will be delivered direct to your door.


    I mention external storage as he currently has 5.5tb of storage overall and it's very nearly full as he saves all his projects. So I'm already currently considering 2 of the 2tb storage drives instead of the single one spec'd.

    A question regarding the H70: Corsair state it should be configured to intake air from outside the case but as it gets mounted where the exhaust would be how do Scan get round pumping hot air into the enclosure?

    Thanks for the other links MSIC. More reading for me. Excellent!
    Last edited by Chewypuppy; 27-02-2011 at 02:11 AM.

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    Re: Some help required from the more knowledgeable please

    Morning.
    As I understand it I would agree with JohnnyMnemonic above, that you can happily add other components in to a Scan built system and retain their full warranty. That said, this is my opinion though, and i've had a look on their website for any FAQ's etc, can't find anything to confirm that they do hold this view - ultimately, i'm not affiliated to Scan in any way other than being a customer, so only they can give you a 100% guaranteed answer.

    By the way, do you have a new desk sorted yet? See my sig for the one I got from a company on ebay, cost about £300 but i'm very happy with it.
    Edit: Oops - I just checked, and that company dont trade any more The downside of buying from ebay i suppose. Must update my signature.
    In terms of your PC build, i'd probably increase from 4GB to 8GB. As i said earlier when you were thinking about 6GB or 12GB, 6GB is likely to be enough, and indeed 4GB is still generally sufficient certainly for any games. The only thought I have is that 4GB is likely to be fully used for his activities, and increasing to 8GB gives a bit more breathing room. Additionally, is you can spec 2 x 4GB RAM sticks now, he still has slots spare for the future as requirements inevitably grow. The other aspect of this is very simple - 4GB has now become a standard size.... and you surely don't want to give him a 'standard' amount of RAM on an otherwise kick-ass PC ?? LOL. I have to say that this is almost all opinion though, I cant link to anywhere explaining evidence behind my recommendation

    The PSU is a touch over the top, however it's really not a grumble. You could get away with less (a 650W should be enough) but if in any doubt always go more not less. The main thing is that you have a good quality make.

    For storage options, either is fine. For general PC use, gaming etc, a 1TB drive really is plenty for a number of years, although a 2TB is wise as a storage drive. Either keep the spec you mention, or change to 2 x 2TB, it makes no big difference as I see it.

    Finally for the Corsair H70, i'm afraid that i have no experience - you'll have to ask someone else i'm afraid! (Sorry - i think its the first time ive said this!).

    By the way, did you read the recent Hexus review of a similar Scan 3XS system? It may be of general interest to you as the core parts are the same, plus it's a 3XS. Just FYI.
    http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=29060


    Other than this, I really would encourage you to consider ordering your system ASAP, once the Intel motherboard issue is confirmed as sorted (should be any day now? They will be identified as a 'B3' version). There may well be some time needed for Scan to build and test it. I cant say what the standard time should be for Scan to aim for (again, i checked on their website, cant find a time period) but i'd be very surprised if it's less than a week, and more likely to be 2. Also, there are occasionally posts on Hexus of people waiting even longer, so again, ask Scan directly.
    Last edited by MSIC; 27-02-2011 at 08:30 AM.
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    Re: Some help required from the more knowledgeable please

    Quote Originally Posted by MSIC View Post
    Finally for the Corsair H70, i'm afraid that i have no experience - you'll have to ask someone else i'm afraid! (Sorry - i think its the first time ive said this!).
    The H70 is over the top for Sandybridge builds as the CPU runs very cool. The H50 is ideal IMO if you want water cooling. 8GB of RAM is nice to have, especially for video editing, photoshop, modelling, etc.

    All in all, a very nice build, your bloke should be over the moon when he gets this!

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    Re: Some help required from the more knowledgeable please

    Hi you two, thanks again!

    I'm going to specify 8gb ram now after reading the last replies. Considering the extra cost it's inconsequential considering the price of the pc I'm looking at. Plus when I tell him the spec I can now say "And it has 8gb ram" I don't know which he'll be more surprised by; the pc and other stuff or the fact I'll be quoting "It's a Sandy Bridge 2500k at 4.5ghz, 8gb ram, GTX 570, ssd boot with a sata 6gb/s WD for games and a 2tb drive for storage". Haha. Yup, your comment about surely I don't want to only spec 4gb in this kick-ass build has sold it for me MSIC.

    I take your point about the H70 Johnny but I like it 'cause it's chunky and it's not a whole lot more than the H50.

    I've spec'd the psu I have MSIC because it's modular allowing for an even tidier build and it's certified for 2 gtx570's allowing him to go SLI in the future if he so wishes. That should help prolong the life of the build as a gaming machine.

    Still stuck on whether to go for a 60-64gb ssd or the 128ssd. Have to think on that some I guess. Would I see even better read speeds if I got 2x 64gb ssd's and asked the nice Scan man to raid them in 1? Not so much bothered about the write speed's as they'll 'bottleneck' with the platter drives anyway. My fella would probably faint if I said there's two ssd's and they're in raid 1. LOL.

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    Re: Some help required from the more knowledgeable please

    Raid 1 is mirroring, you wouldn't get any performance gains as what I think your thinking of is striping which is Raid 0.

    Just thought I would mention it in case you asked for the wrong thing.

    Jon
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    Re: Some help required from the more knowledgeable please

    Dammit, I did put '1' didn't I. Twice.

    Oops. Well I meant '0'. Thanks for the input though Jon, I could have missed that and just gone and ordered raid 1 as well.

    So would Raid 0 make a lot of difference in read speeds? After researching the revo and the fact it's basically just two OCZ Vertex's in raid 0 with a raid controller on the pcb I was put off it as the real read speeds were nothing like the theoretical speeds quoted by the manufacturer.

    I do appreciate all the help from everyone. I know I have a million questions and your patience is duly noted. I've just come from knowing nothing about computer's and it's extremely important to me to get this as close to perfect as I possibly can.

  14. #30
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    Re: Some help required from the more knowledgeable please

    Just a quick update. As I said at the start of this thread I'm unable to ring Scan due to my working hours at the moment so I E-mailed Sales Early last week and haven't had a response yet. Ok, they may be busy no biggy. I've also contacted one of the Scan men on here, directly.

    But my brother rang Sales yesterday and inadvertently pressed the incorrect line to go through to on his phone and after explaining why he was callling the man at Scan was rather patronising and downright rude in my opinion said "Well obviously you've pressed the wrong button because obviously you should have selected the sales option"

    I realise you keep winning awards for your service Scan but are your staff resting on their laurels a tad because you keep having these successes?

    You can't make a first impression again and I'm kind of put off buying from Scan now. So it looks like I may have to start almost from scratch again somewhere else.

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    • billythewiz's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus Sabertooth P67
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i7 2600K Clocked to 4.7GHz with Alpenfohn Matterhorn Performance Cooler
      • Memory:
      • 8Gb (2x4Gb) Corsair Vengeance, DDR3 1600Mhz
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    Re: Some help required from the more knowledgeable please

    That's the problem with etailers, when they deliver what you ordered, on time and working .... they are all the same. It's only when things go wrong that you find the few OK ones amongst all the bad ones.

    Can't you call the sales team yourself at the weekend ? In my experience their sales people are very helpful.

    You have to realise that the guy your brother spoke to is one of these two
    Last edited by Chris P; 15-03-2011 at 11:10 AM.

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    Re: Some help required from the more knowledgeable please

    Quote Originally Posted by billythewiz View Post
    That's the problem with etailers, when they deliver what you ordered, on time and working .... they are all the same. It's only when things go wrong that you find the few OK ones amongst all the bad ones.

    Can't you call the sales team yourself at the weekend ? In my experience their sales people are very helpful.

    You have to realise that the guy your brother spoke to is one of these two
    I take your point Billy. Sincerely, I do. I said pretty much the same as you in another thread where someone had taken the time to type about how pleasurable their experience with Scan was.

    But. I can only go by my own dealings with them (or rather my brother's). This is the first time I've been considering using them and the first impression wasn't favourable. You can't state either way that if I'd rang myself and got someone ace I wouldn't be on here going on about how good a first impression it was.

    to be fair of course Sales people are going to be helpful.....

    Anyway, enough of that. I decided to build it myself for that extra personal touch I'm all anti-static'd up! The bits should be delivered today or tomorrow in a massive box no doubt considering Scan's packaging is always ace. Rather looking forward to it actually. Wish me luck! xx
    Last edited by Chris P; 15-03-2011 at 11:11 AM.

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