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Thread: i7 Upgrade Advice (PSU/Case fans/Lapping TRUE)

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    i7 Upgrade Advice (PSU/Case fans/Lapping TRUE)

    Hi all -

    I'm looking at upgrading my current system to an i7 920 (4GHz aim) based PC for use primarily with Flight Simulator X. FSX is very picky when it comes to hardware - it does not like SLI or Crossfire, and tends to run better clock for clock on the i7 than any other CPU available today including the AMD Phenoms. It will eat as much CPU power as you can throw at it, and the ram timings need to be as quick as possible (8-8-8 max, 7-7-7 ideal)

    I'm currently running:

    E8500 @ 4.0GHz (Thermalright TRUE)
    Gigabyte P45-DS5
    4GB OCZ Reaper
    GTX 280
    625W Enermax MODU82+ PSU
    2x74GB WD Raptors
    1x750GB WD Caviar
    Running in an Akasa Eclipse 62 with fan side panel (3x120mm Sharkoon 2000RPM on the front/back/side of case, and 1 on the TRUE)

    While I get satisfactory performance in many situations in FSX as the situation stands, an i7 would, from what I can surmise from current users, give benefits that would outweigh of the cost of upgrading.

    I'm looking to put all the new kit in a Coolermaster HAF 932 (following the crowd seemingly!). I don't plan on liquid cooling.

    1 - Would it be worth it to replace the stock fans in the HAF? (ie, could I get better airflow at a lower or only slightly higher sound level? I've read good things about the Enermax Magma 120mm, is this justified?)

    2 - The i7 920 D0 is a given, but what specific motherboard would people recommend? The EVGA X58 SLI LE looks like a good bet - would it be?

    3 - Given that I need good timings, what would be a sensible 6GB 1600MHz kit to get?

    4 - A general question here with many different opinions around on the net - would it be worth lapping my TRUE? I got this one in July 2008 (from Scan for £34.89) - is there any difference in cooling capability between one sold then and one sold now? (ie new revisions etc?) I'd need a 1366 mounting bracket for it clearly.

    5 - Would I need a new PSU? I'm running a 625W Enermax at the mo. Given the GTX 280, i7 920 at 4GHz ideally, 3 hard drives, 8+ USB devices (many of which are controller hardware for FSX) and as many as 8 120mm fans + a 240mm and a 140mm (if I decide to upgrade the stock cooling), would 625W be enough? If not, could you recommend a good one please?

    For the moment, lets assume a budget in the region of £700-£800, but i'd like to spend quite a bit less if I can get away with it. I'd like this upgrade to last me a long time given the cost!

    Thanks for your time

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    Re: i7 Upgrade Advice (PSU/Case fans/Lapping TRUE)

    I can't tell you much about i7s, other than what Hexus have said in their articles.

    But for power supplies there is a set of calculations you can do:
    1. Find out the wattage og each component. (Remember to add about 30-50W to the CPU for overclocking)
    2. Add it all together.
    3. Get your power supply's efficiency curve.
    4. Plot power demanded against effieciency.
    5. Multiply your power supply's continuous power output by the effieciency needed.
    6. This should end you up with a figure for how much power your power supply can provide if you try and demand a certain amount of power out of it.
    7. If this is above say 60% (75% at the most) then it may be worth upgrading to a higher pwered power supply.

    I hope that this has been of some help at least, and that you can understand its purpose.

    Good Luck!

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    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: i7 Upgrade Advice (PSU/Case fans/Lapping TRUE)

    Couple of questions as I don't know about FSX performance.
    Does Triple channel memory have much impact over dual channel with it?

    I ask because a p55 motherboard and a i7 860 mgiht be a better idea

    So far from the benchmarks I've seen the 1156 version of the i7 performs just as well as the 1366 version of the i7 at the same clocks.
    But I've not seen any numbers for FSX
    the main difference between the two are
    x58+920 = more expensive (the cpu is slightly cheaper but the motherboards are more)
    p55+860 = dual channel ddr3
    x58+920 = triple channel ddr3
    x58 = full 2 x16 channels for sli/crossfire (not an issue for FSX with it's bad dual gpu performance)

    for ram for a 1156 G.Skill do some cas7 stuff (remember you can only use the low voltage stuff on 1156)
    http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/p...L7D-4GBRH.html
    Only 2x2gb but I don't know how memory hungery FSX is so you could get two sets for 8gb

    For Case I'd stick with the Akasa Eclipse 62, with sharkoon 2000rpm jobs? which ones? the system fans or the golfball fans?
    I ask because there's a major difference, if they are the system fans then YOU ARE PROBABLY DEAF BY NOW, but your room will be spotless as your pc has hovered up all the dust.

    Oh and no need to change your PSU it will be fine

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    Re: i7 Upgrade Advice (PSU/Case fans/Lapping TRUE)

    Quote Originally Posted by laywill View Post
    [*]Find out the wattage og each component. (Remember to add about 30-50W to the CPU for overclocking)[*]Add it all together.[*]Get your power supply's efficiency curve.[*]Plot power demanded against effieciency.[*]Multiply your power supply's continuous power output by the effieciency needed.[*]This should end you up with a figure for how much power your power supply can provide if you try and demand a certain amount of power out of it.[*]If this is above say 60% (75% at the most) then it may be worth upgrading to a higher pwered power supply.[/LIST]
    Thanks a lot for that - I've found some good efficiency data, but determining the wattage of each component will take some time, so I'll give that a shot in the morning!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    Does Triple channel memory have much impact over dual channel with it?
    I had the same thought, though I'm not sure yet since there hasn't been much analysis so far as to the benefits (or lack thereof) to using a 1156 setup with FSX. All I can say is that people running low latency triple channel setups with i7s are getting the best performance we've seen so far with FSX!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    Only 2x2gb but I don't know how memory hungery FSX is so you could get two sets for 8gb
    6GB is enough as far as I've seen. FSX is hungry enough to see the benefits of 6GB vs 4GB that's for sure! What's your opinion on the Corsair stuff from scan? There's a 7-7-7 kit there, albeit rather expensive...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    For Case I'd stick with the Akasa Eclipse 62, with sharkoon 2000rpm jobs? which ones? the system fans or the golfball fans?
    I'm using the Silent Eagle 2000 Golfball ones. They move a lot of air but are pretty loud imo...I certainly wouldn't say the 'Silent' part is justified

    I'd like to get the HAF if possible, since I would like all the cooling I can get for the i7 overclock. I've had this 62 for a few years now and while it's in very good nick, I'd like a change. Plus I'll be moving the PC onto my desk (from the floor), so would like something a little less aesthetically bland

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    Oh and no need to change your PSU it will be fine
    Good to hear
    Last edited by collettnj; 16-09-2009 at 12:23 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: i7 Upgrade Advice (PSU/Case fans/Lapping TRUE)

    Quote Originally Posted by collettnj View Post
    I had the same thought, though I'm not sure yet since there hasn't been much analysis so far as to the benefits (or lack thereof) to using a 1156 setup with FSX. All I can say is that people running low latency triple channel setups with i7s are getting the best performance we've seen so far with FSX!
    Well that's my point to if it's down to the triple chanel or or the hyperthreaded 4core cpu with high clocks.
    If it's the HT 4cores (ie 8virtual cores) & high clocks then the i7 860 would be better in theory as it's the same for cache and HT cores but has a higher stock speed due to a x21 multiplier, so should overclock slightly better as well, esp as you're only on air.
    edit: it's also a lower TDP so should run cooler

    6GB is enough as far as I've seen. FSX is hungry enough to see the benefits of 6GB vs 4GB that's for sure! What's your opinion on the Corsair stuff from scan? There's a 7-7-7 kit there, albeit rather expensive...
    If you go for 1156 then you cannot use triple chanel and you can only use lower voltage memory, so if you put that memory in you end up running in single chanel mode.
    The G.Skill seem to currently be the best 1156 memory atm, there's really nothing else with the low voltages and low cas that I know of.

    EDIT2: thinking about it, it may be worth sticking with an i7 920 + x58 simply because it's a known resault, ie less risk, the i7 860 + p55 is still too new to know the resaults, so it's only a little cheaper but higher risk.
    Well I say Risk, ether will be better than you're current cpu for FSX

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    Re: i7 Upgrade Advice (PSU/Case fans/Lapping TRUE)

    Oops that's one thing I forgot to mention - there is much debate as to whether HT really helps FSX performance - many say they see a big (negative) difference when they turn it off, and some say it makes no difference to them at all. It'd be safe to assume therefore that it helps, so it looks like it's down to the dual vs triple channel memory, and I don't have a clue as to whether FSX has a preference for either

    This PC wouldn't be used solely for FSX, I do a bit of other gaming (Supreme Commander is a CPU intensive example) and video encoding, but I'm not spending £600 to shave a few minutes off a Sony Vegas render!

    EDIT:

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    If you go for 1156 then you cannot use triple chanel and you can only use lower voltage memory, so if you put that memory in you end up running in single chanel mode.
    The G.Skill seem to currently be the best 1156 memory atm, there's really nothing else with the low voltages and low cas that I know of.

    Thinking about it, it may be worth sticking with an i7 920 + x58 simply because it's a known resault, ie less risk, the i7 860 + p55 is still too new to know the resaults, so it's only a little cheaper but higher risk.
    Well I say Risk, ether will be better than you're current cpu for FSX
    I'll bookmark that G-Skill incase anyone sways me towards the 860, but I do agree that the 920 is probably the safest bet. The question then is the RAM and Motherboard to use. What reccomendations would you give? I've heard good things about the Asus Deluxe boards but then their customer support is far inferior to EVGA's...

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    Re: i7 Upgrade Advice (PSU/Case fans/Lapping TRUE)

    Interesting...I am also in pursuit of the ideal FSX experience; I recently upgraded from a Q6600, 8GB RAM and 8800GTS 512 to an i7 920, 260GTX and 12GB of ram. I can honestly say that FSX runs *much* better, although I still can't run at max settings. That said, I'm not sure a system exists that can run FSX...

    My mobo is a P6T SE (so can't run SLI), with the CPU running at a stable 3.90 Ghz (Noctua cooler).

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    Re: i7 Upgrade Advice (PSU/Case fans/Lapping TRUE)

    Quote Originally Posted by kungpo View Post
    That said, I'm not sure a system exists that can run FSX...
    I'd agree with you there...it's too poorly coded and too poorly optimized for todays equipment. Have you tried following NickN's tweak guides on simforums? If you haven't already, you'll see a huge improvement after following that thread - it takes a while but is 100% worth it, it works wonders

    What 12GB RAM kit are you using?

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    Re: i7 Upgrade Advice (PSU/Case fans/Lapping TRUE)

    I dont want to hijack this thread or change topic or anything, but since im guessing you guys play FSX, what Joystick for £30 would you recommend for this game?

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    Re: i7 Upgrade Advice (PSU/Case fans/Lapping TRUE)

    Quote Originally Posted by DeludedGuy View Post
    I dont want to hijack this thread or change topic or anything, but since im guessing you guys play FSX, what Joystick for £30 would you recommend for this game?
    I've heard good things about the Saitek Cyborg Evo, though I can't speak from personal experience as I run the Saitek Yoke + Throttle with CH Pedals. If you could stretch your budget a little the X52 would be a safe bet (£75 from Scan).

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    Re: i7 Upgrade Advice (PSU/Case fans/Lapping TRUE)

    I have two of the Corsair XMS3 1600 (3x 2GB) memory kits. The only upgrade I am considering now is a GTX 295 (but I'm not convinced I will see £300 worth of improvement in performance).

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    Re: i7 Upgrade Advice (PSU/Case fans/Lapping TRUE)

    Quote Originally Posted by kungpo View Post
    I have two of the Corsair XMS3 1600 (3x 2GB) memory kits.
    I'd probably only be looking at one of the 6GB kits, the XMS3 stuff does look good, nice low latencies.

    What do people think about these three:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/6GB-%...AS-7-7-7-20-1T

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/6GB-%...-CAS-8-DHX-EPP

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/6GB-%...d-CAS-7-7-7-20

    Would there be any point in spending the extra £30 for the dominator CAS 7 kit? The CAS 8 seems to be well received in the hexus review, although not from a bang for the buck perspective.

  13. #13
    Overclocking Since 1988 nightkhaos's Avatar
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    Re: i7 Upgrade Advice (PSU/Case fans/Lapping TRUE)

    Quote Originally Posted by collettnj View Post
    I'd probably only be looking at one of the 6GB kits, the XMS3 stuff does look good, nice low latencies.

    What do people think about these three:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/6GB-%...AS-7-7-7-20-1T

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/6GB-%...-CAS-8-DHX-EPP

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/6GB-%...d-CAS-7-7-7-20

    Would there be any point in spending the extra £30 for the dominator CAS 7 kit? The CAS 8 seems to be well received in the hexus review, although not from a bang for the buck perspective.
    CAS 7 is CAS 7. If the XMS3 CAS 7 is cheaper, get that. The better heatsinks are only a concern if you intend to overclock the RAM.
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    Re: i7 Upgrade Advice (PSU/Case fans/Lapping TRUE)

    I don't think the extra £30 is worth it either.

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    Re: i7 Upgrade Advice (PSU/Case fans/Lapping TRUE)

    Quote Originally Posted by nightkhaos View Post
    CAS 7 is CAS 7. If the XMS3 CAS 7 is cheaper, get that. The better heatsinks are only a concern if you intend to overclock the RAM.
    I'd be getting the i7 as close to 4GHz as I can, so wouldn't I be overclocking the RAM by doing that? Would the heatsinks be beneficial in that case? I'm also concerned that having a CPU overclock might need me to relax the RAM timings unless it's a really good kit...I don't have a very good understanding of how memory is affected by i7 overclocks yet, so I have no idea whether or not i'm talking sense or not

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    • kungpo's system
      • Motherboard:
      • ASUS P6T SE
      • CPU:
      • i7 920 @ 3.90 Ghz
      • Memory:
      • 6x 2GB Corsair DDR3 1600
      • Storage:
      • 2x WD AAKS 640GB RAID0
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 260 GTX
      • PSU:
      • Corsair 1000HX
      • Case:
      • Silverstone Fortress
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 Professional x64
      • Monitor(s):
      • 2x LG L1952S
      • Internet:
      • 3MB ADSL

    Re: i7 Upgrade Advice (PSU/Case fans/Lapping TRUE)

    Well, mine is running at 3.9 Ghz with the "standard" ram, so I shouldn't think you'll have any troubles.

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