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Thread: Need a few tips to build a new system

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    Need a few tips to build a new system

    Hi all.
    I'm planning to build a completely new system from scratch, but before I finalise the list of components I'd like to ask around about a few things I'm not too sure about.

    First of all, about the CPU.
    Apart the usual day to day stuff like gaming and multimedia, I am planning to use my future PC for university work, which will involve some coding and maths/computational software like Matlab. A quad-core seems an obvious choice for number crunching, but I was wondering would it really make any difference if I use, say, an Intel E8x00 or a Q6600, or even a Q9x00?

    Also, a question about hard drives. I like to keep my system files and programmes separated from media and other file storage (helps if you need to re-install the OS ). What's the better way to do that - partition a big hard drive into a few parts, or have 2 or more separate drives? I'm wondering about the performance as well as reliability here.

    I'll probably have some more questions as I decide on other components

    Thanks for any replies in advance

  2. #2
    Keep it sexy Zhaoman's Avatar
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    Re: Need a few tips to build a new system

    I don't know if Matlab is multi-threaded, but since a Q6600 is the same price as an E8400 I would get the quad core just to be safe! Allows for some overclocking fun too

    I'm not fully versed in the most cutting edge of hard drives at the moment, but 1 high density hard drive partitioned for OS + applications; media; unimportant stuff, should deliver far more performance than even the most expensive of drives (Raptors... might wanna search for Zak's Partition Theory for the explanation) The brand spanking new WD Caviars and Samsung drives should have suitabaly dense platters for the job.

  3. #3
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: Need a few tips to build a new system

    The Q6600 is the best multitasking performance per £ chip. If you number cruching programs are only single threaded though, the higher clock of the E8400 will befefit you more.

    Will you be overclocking any of these chips? Not as scary as it may sound if you havn't done it before and with a chip like the Q6600 it's perfectly safe to get to, 3.0 - 3.4GHz

    Hard drive wise I always like to seperate out the drives. OS and apps on one, media on another, with a backup of the media somewhere esle.

    So if the O/S drive fails, you have the media drive to use as an O/S drive if necessary

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    Re: Need a few tips to build a new system

    Matlab's multithreaded as far as I know, at least on some functions that can actually run in parallel mode. So I guess then an overclocked q6600 would be better on price/performance, right? Oh, and it has more cache.
    But now I'm a bit lost on the hdd issue - two different answers here. Will have to look up that partition theory I guess.

    Anyway, thanks for the quick response, guys. Will be back with more questions

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    Re: Need a few tips to build a new system

    Well partitioning is cheaper, but you lose that one drive.. you lose everything. I don't like the idea of that.

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    Keep it sexy Zhaoman's Avatar
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    Re: Need a few tips to build a new system

    Save backups to an external I guess, I've never had a drive fail before (2 computers and 3 laptops in my house so far...) maybe I'm lucky;

    What Zak conjectured was that the first partition would take up the outer edges of your hard drive, thus it would perform to the highest speed of the drive all the time. The last partition would take up the centre of your drive, so it would perform at the slowest speed at all times. This means that even if you fill up your first partition, it would still be fast; whereas the speed of a smaller drive would decrease as you fill it up. So getting a larger drive and partitioning it would yield faster performance than 2 smaller drives.

    If you don't like the idea of drives failing then get 2 drives lol

    edit: 1 large drive partitioned for performance, 2 small drives for peace of mind... or 2 large drives partitioned for performance and peace of mind

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    Re: Need a few tips to build a new system

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhaoman View Post
    1 large drive partitioned for performance, 2 small drives for peace of mind... or 2 large drives partitioned for performance and peace of mind
    Sounds like a good idea. If I'll be able to fit 2 larger drives in my budget, might as well go for that.

    Now, on the graphics side, I was thinking of waiting for GF 9800GTX+, which apparently is already available on preorder from Scan. I've read some nice things about it in previews, and the price seems good at 130 quid. If the first reviews are gonna be positive, I'll get one of those, and maybe another one later. Yes, I was thinking of a possible future extension to SLI, so any tips on a decent motherboard would be appreciated

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    Re: Need a few tips to build a new system

    I've been reading an article on Ars Technica today, when I stumbled upon this little paragraph:

    Since we're going Crossfire thanks to AMD's impressive new Radeon HD 4850 and Radeon HD 4870 cards, SLI can take a backseat. Although it is still something to consider, since while an SLI board can do Crossfire, the reverse is not true thanks to NVIDIA's driver locks.
    What does that actually mean? I thought only Skulltrail platforms supported both SLI and Crossfire.

  9. #9
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    Re: Need a few tips to build a new system

    That intel (primarily crossfire boards) can't do SLi but nividia baords can do both?

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    Re: Need a few tips to build a new system

    Well, that's only logical, but I always thought nvidia chipsets for intel cpus did not support crossfire. Was I wrong?

  11. #11
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: Need a few tips to build a new system

    I've never really thought about it but I've never seen crossfire on SLi boards so i'm not sure.

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    Re: Need a few tips to build a new system

    And while we're on topic of motherboards, what would you suggest for a single gpu setup, decent overclocking and under £100?

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    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: Need a few tips to build a new system

    Abit IP-35 PRO

    It's the older P35 chipset but it's almost certain still one of the best overclockers out there.

    You can get P45 boads now, but they only really offer things you don't need,

    -faster crossfire support (8x over 4x)
    -1600MHz FSB, any 1600MHz chips?
    - PCIe 2.0

    It's only PCIe 2.0 that could be important later but it certainy doesn't mean anything right now.

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    Re: Need a few tips to build a new system

    id suggest a p45 board like the asus p5q pro, or if you want to save money, then a p35 board.
    If you want people to spec out some systems that would be suitable, then a budget for the entire system would help.

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    Re: Need a few tips to build a new system

    Asus P5Q-E is available at pretty much the same sub-£100 price, and the reviews seem to praise it as a mainstream board that can compete on par with the more expensive higher-end parts. And I'd probably prefer the newer p45 chipset if the price is the same. What do you think of that?

    @joz12345
    I'll be posting the parts and the budget I have in mind a bit later on today, when I'm off work
    Last edited by Crevan; 22-07-2008 at 02:05 PM. Reason: Replying to a new post

  16. #16
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    Re: Need a few tips to build a new system

    that looks like a triple crossfire version of the p5q pro
    The only additional feature worth having is an extra ethernet port, which you are likely to leave empty anyway
    get the p5q pro, it is much better value
    Last edited by joz12345; 22-07-2008 at 10:19 PM.

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