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Thread: Advice needed on a high end custom system build

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    Advice needed on a high end custom system build

    Hi all.

    I have been doing some research into putting together a new system as my current one is on its last legs. I have about £2500 - £3000 to play with and was hoping to construct it as quiet and cool as possible. So far I have assembled the following spec

    Case: Cooler Master Stacker 830 Black
    PSU: FSP Epsilon 700w or Enermax Galaxy 850
    Motherboard: intel D975XBX2 (Bad Axe 2) or Nvidia 680i SLI board
    Processor: Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700, Core 2 Extreme X6800, or Core 2 Duo X6600
    Processor Cooler: Arctic Freezer 7 Cooler Pro or Sythe Ninja with 120mm sharkoon Silent Eagle 1000 fan
    RAM 2Gb: G.Skill DDR2 1000 PC2-8000 or Corsair TwinX DDR2 XMS2 Dominator PC8500
    Graphics cards: Nvidia GeForce 8800 x2 SLI
    Graphics Coolers: ?
    Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme
    Hard Drive 1: 150 Gb Western Digital WD1500ADFD Raptor
    Hard Drive 2: Western Digital Caviar SE16 500GB or Samsung SpinPoint T HD401LJ 400gb
    Hard Drive Coolers/Silencers: Sythe Silent Box x2
    Optical Drive 1: Samsung WriteMaster SH-W163 or Pioneer DVR-111BK
    Optical Drive 2: Samsung WriteMaster SH-W163 or Pioneer DVR-111BK
    Cooling: T-Balancer Big NG Controller linked to 2-5 fans. Either Revoltec Fan UV Dark Blue 120mm, or sharkoon Silent Eagle 1000 120mm

    As you can see several components have not been finalised due to availability, cost or performance (or all three).

    There are several points that I would like advice and comments on.

    In picking a case I initially went with the Antec P180 as it has been getting rave reviews but after reading up on it and talking to a couple of system engineers a several problems came up.
    1. That the larger Enermax PSU's wouldn't fit in it.
    2. That with high spec components fitted that had been overclocked it could heat up more than larger full tower cases.
    3. That it did not leave much space for upgrading components or future fitting of water cooling.
    After looking at larger cases I choose the Coolermaster Stacker 830 over the Lian-Li V2100B Plus because I thought it was better looking.

    The PSU that I want to put in the case is the FSP Epsilon 700 as it is very quiet and good quality but looking ahead to the new standard of graphics cards they are meant to be very power hungry so the Enermax Galaxy 850 seemed a good (if expensive) alternative. Im hoping I don't have to go for the Enermax Galaxy 1000 as £200 for a PSU is daft. What do you reckon overall power needs might be considering that I will be overclocking the processor memory and maybe the graphics cards depending what their capable of?

    Which processor I get will mainly depend on budget. I am waiting for the Kentsfield to look at prices for all three. I'm wondering whether Kentsfield is worth getting as it will run hotter and be replaced by Yorkfield next year. Also most software is just starting to be optimised for dual core let alone quad core (especially in games). This means that a higher clock speed is better and that comes back to temp and overclocking.

    Motherboard will be based on whichever has more features and is better for overclocking when released.

    To cool the processor I would obviously like the Sythe Ninja as its the best out there but I just worry about the weight of it and the strain on the motherboard. I have heard stories of people ripping holes in their motherboards when moving PCs around. The Arctic Freezer Pro has a good rep and is lighter and more compact but I would still like the Sythe. What do you think?

    With RAM im not to sure what to get as Ive read many differing things such as latency isnt to important with the new Intel chips but contradictary to that, if you get kentsfield over 3GHz then low latency and high MHz ratings help the system speed.I looked at Patriot, G.Skill and OCZ 8000 - 8500 and all seem good but cost varies a lot. The new Corsair Dominator 8500 doesn't have the low latencies of the others but the heatsink will help keep temperature down. There is a 8888 version of the Dominator Dimms coming out but thats over £400 (I dont thinks so).

    As to graphics cards and cooling, we will just have to wait and see. I just hope the G80 isn't a turkey. Im a bit worried about the rumors that it is still a 90nm card as that will mean it will run like an oven.

    Can anyone tell me if its worth getting SATA DVD RW drives like the Samsung? or stick to the Pioneer drive?

    As you can see from the spec it is very unlikely that I will be able to afford water cooling (though any thoughts on it would be welcome as I know sod all about it). I have put down th BigNG fan controller as Ive heard its the best, though I did like the look of the Hardcano 13. Im still not completely sure what fans to use with it. I know that Zalman ZM-F3's are good at 7v but can be quite loud at 12v. But I picked the Sharkoon ones because they are meant to be the quietest available and the Revoltec ones because they are also quiet and have a nice blue glow that would look good in the case. Any advice on which would work best with the BigNG would be welcome.

    Also any advice on stuff like rubber washers and anti vibration screws would be helpfull.

    Now youve got to the bottom thanks for reading it (bit of an essay I know) and please post any comments that might help.

    Sophosuni

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    Senior Member ExceededGoku's Avatar
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    Basically that build is fine and I assume that you plan on overclocking , so tbh if I was you I would defnitely go for the E6600, you save quite a bit of money and can even afford water cooling with the spare change . You seem to be jumping the gun quite a bit and if it was me personally I would wait until some more news about R600 is released, atm both manufacturers are being tight lipped I think nvidia is trying to hide something whilst ATI is watching what nvidia is doing so I would say its unwise making a decision based on urban legend atm. More info here
    In terms of power requirements I actually think you might need than 850W with 2x 8800GTX (power requirements of 200+W each may be false but must be at least considered). But it is a good PSU to go by.
    P180 is not the case to go for if you plan on using all of that equipment (trust me )
    You seem to be spending too much money on good RAM... I would be looking at the GSkill or the GeIL PC6400(800Mhz) since you are getting a high multi CPU it doesn't really matter what your RAM is capable of since you can clock higher without even touching the RAM which is just not possible on low end C2Ds.
    I'm interested in the SATA DVD-RWs but they just seem to be unproven atm... If it was me I would go for the Samsungs (I was looking at these myself in replacing my now ageing drives...).
    Also for your case I can actually only recommend one awesome case but I know that you have your own opinion on the case...
    With all the savings mentioned in this post you could easily get watercooling as well....
    Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 3.2Ghz (400Mhzx8) 1.52V (set in bios, 1.47v real) | 4GB GeIL PC6400 4-4-4-12 | Gigabyte DQ6 @ 1600Mhz | HD2900XT 1GB | Enermax Infiniti 720W | Silverstone TJ07-B with custom watercooling | BenQ FP241WZ
    3dmark05 - 13140 | 3dmark06 - 6698 | SuperPi 1M - 15s

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    • b0redom's system
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    Second the opinion about the P180. It's a really nice case, but routing all the cables and tubes for watercooling is next to impossible in it after you've dropped a couple of graphics cards in there.

    Tom

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    buy the g skill ram. alot faster than the corsair. check the custom pc labs test on ram.

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    Flat cap, Whippets, Cave. Clunk's Avatar
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    have a look at the Lian-Li G70 case, large enough for watercooling if you get it, and if you dont, its got great ventilation for air cooling.

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    Thanks for the advice so far. Had a look at the Lian Li G70 and it looks like an interesting case. To be honest most Lian Li cases look top quality but why do they have to be so damn ugly. The P180 manages to look minimalist and elegant why cant the Lian Li's?

    I would really appreciate any advice on cooling and silencing.

    After reading the G80 specs on Daily Tech I doubt I will be getting 2 of them as they would slowly cook me alive or black out the whole street. Apparently Nvidia recommend 800w for SLI!

    I've also just read an excellent lab test on loads of RAM in Custom PC. It will probably be up on the website soon if anyone is interested. Vitesta DDR2 1000+ came top over clocking to 1.18GHz at 2.45v with 5-5-5-15 latency timings and only costing £225.

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    Senior Member ExceededGoku's Avatar
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    should probably advise you that the RAM at that voltage will probably output as much heat as a small nuclear power station. And would definitely need some kind of active cooling....
    What sort of overclocking are you interested in doing? Because tbh I could spec you up a nice quiet not very overclockable powerful system or a nice LOUD very overclockable system (well not necessarily loud- but the components would be very different).
    I still think the Silverstone TJ07S/B would be best
    Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 3.2Ghz (400Mhzx8) 1.52V (set in bios, 1.47v real) | 4GB GeIL PC6400 4-4-4-12 | Gigabyte DQ6 @ 1600Mhz | HD2900XT 1GB | Enermax Infiniti 720W | Silverstone TJ07-B with custom watercooling | BenQ FP241WZ
    3dmark05 - 13140 | 3dmark06 - 6698 | SuperPi 1M - 15s

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    • Nox's system
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    p5w64 over the intel board too

    its nice

    Nox

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    Quote Originally Posted by sophosuni View Post
    Thanks for the advice so far. Had a look at the Lian Li G70 and it looks like an interesting case. To be honest most Lian Li cases look top quality but why do they have to be so damn ugly. The P180 manages to look minimalist and elegant why cant the Lian Li's?

    I would really appreciate any advice on cooling and silencing.

    After reading the G80 specs on Daily Tech I doubt I will be getting 2 of them as they would slowly cook me alive or black out the whole street. Apparently Nvidia recommend 800w for SLI!

    I've also just read an excellent lab test on loads of RAM in Custom PC. It will probably be up on the website soon if anyone is interested. Vitesta DDR2 1000+ came top over clocking to 1.18GHz at 2.45v with 5-5-5-15 latency timings and only costing £225.
    yer that ram was great apparently. buy it. and about the temps as long as its well cooled it should be ok overclocking the ram like they did.

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    Senior Member Rack's Avatar
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    I think you'll find that the performance gain from that ram over more 800MHz ram averages around 0-2% since you won't be acheiving any further overclocks on the CPU anyway. Your money is better spent elsewhere. You haven't mentioned an LCD yet, and that will eat a grand easily for that system - 30" Dell/Apple is a must.

    This case is definitely going to do the job for you, i've seen it in person it's very nice, great space, well laid out. Goku had it right.

    With the money you save buying a E6600 and cheaper ram I'd get a custom H2O kit instead. It's worth it on the cooling/noise front, especially with those gfx cards.

  11. #11
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    that case omg, why would you ever waste so much money on that. you could get an akasa eclipse that is probably just as good and has more than enough space for half the price or less, or a stacker for even more space. dont buy a case just because its the most expensive. and you may aswell get that ram, its only a bit more than a normal kit.. so why not have the extra performance, why would you want a 30 inch monitor? thats about the last thing i would want to play games on. dont buy a dell either get a decent brand if your gunna do it properly. backlight bleed and dead pixels god i hate dell

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    Thanks for the information on the RAM. I guess I will wait to see what the new motherboards are capable of and then decide. I read that the bad axe 2 will feature full 800MHz support. If that is an improvement i'm not sure.

    Processor-wise everyone seems to be recommending the E6600 over the higher ones. Is the E6600 exactly the same as the E6700 just clocked at a lower speed or are there other differences?

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    the E6600 has a 9x multiplier and the E6700 has a 10x multiplier, the X6800 has an unlocked multiplier.
    Last edited by Clunk; 07-10-2006 at 07:50 PM.

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    off topic, but what does the multiplier repressent?

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    Flat cap, Whippets, Cave. Clunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackvdbuk View Post
    off topic, but what does the multiplier repressent?
    multi x fsb gives you your core speed in normal situations.

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    Id like to see how this turns out. I have got the T-Balancer on order as I am putting together, very slowly, a new watercooled power rig based on the Silverstone TJ06 (with a bit of modding there is room for a twin raditor, even a triple plus a single rad hanging off the back). Slightly off thread but has anyone got a T-balancer talking to an Alphacool USB LCD display. Given the report on the Kentsfield core I might wait for that

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