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Thread: Time for a New Computer

  1. #1
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    Time for a New Computer

    It's about time to buy a new PC, and I am a hardware idiot. I have a few quick questions for you tech-savvy folks:

    - Is SLI worth the money and additional heat? I had it in my current PC and one of the cards failed. Taking it out didn't seem to cause a very noticeable performance degradation.

    - Solid-State Drives are new since my last purchase. Are they worth the expense? I was thinking of getting a small SSD as the boot drive and all the games and shit go on a normal disk.

    - Is there some new bit of hardware coming out that I should wait for? I haven't done a whole lot of research on this yet.

    Thanks in Advance
    -Adam

  2. #2
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    SLI can be good and bad: Heat and noise is really an issue these days. Whatever case you get needs to move massive volumes of air. I'd also replace the default cooling system on the cards with something aftermarket. It will be MUCH quieter and will keep your cards much cooler. There are going to be driver issues but when it works it's good. You will probably get better performance per dollar with SLI vs buying the fastest single card.

    You need to spend serious cash to get an SSD that's really worth it. Probably better off with an inexpensive matrix raid of 500GB or 750GB per platter drives...might even be less of a hassle than the poorly implemented SSDs out there.

    New cards by ATI and NVidia just launched. CPU wise you're probably good to go with i7 9xx series. Make sure your motherboard has many, many USB 3.0 ports.

  3. #3
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    Few things I disagree with KD on.

    With a single 465 I was getting around a 19k bench in 3DMark Vantage. When I bumped that to SLI by adding a second card my score went up to 26k, a more significant improvement then I had expected, but not quite what I had hoped for. Either way, I was happy with the performance boost. Heat has most definitely been an issue but the noise of my case, which isn't all that loud, has over the years become comforting to me :). Twice one of my cards has spiked up to 90C during long marathon stretches of gaming. This causes particles, Windows 7 kills the video driver to protect the card, and the game dumps. But no BSOD or lock up, I just shut it off and give it a few to cool down. This of course didn't sit well as a solution for me so I tried switching the positions of the cards as I noticed distinct difference in temperature between the two. After doing this I have not had any further issues... But they still get quite hot, sometimes up to 86C (which is really fucking hot). But I have a friend with a similiar SLI setup rocking a different case (the fortress 2, while I have a Silverstone TJ10) and he never breaks 78C. So I plan to switch cases and fix the problem altogether.

    SSD's are imo the most significant upgrade a person can make to their system. Absolutely the most noticeable improvement I have made to my system since I went from my OG P4 to the AMD Barton core in like 2002 or 2003. If you transfer a large file internally on your system on standard SATA's from one drive to another you will be lucky to break 60mb's in that transfer... Likely you will see 30-40mb's. Running a benchmark on my Striped SSD's they read and write well upwards of 200MB's a second. Transferring files to other standard IDE SATA drives on my box from my SSD's runs at about 120MB's, capped by the SATA write capability. And WoW has virtually NO load time.

    i7 CPU's rock but even Windows 7 has been able to take full advantage of some of the new hardware tech in them.
    Computer Specs:
    Intel Core i7 930 2.8 GHz @ 4.0GHz
    1. BCLK @ 200
    2. 1.33V
    3. Thermalright Rev C. - idle @ 35c, burn-in @ 72c

    ASUS P6T V2 Deluxe
    Corsair DDR3 PC1600 2GB x 3
    eVGA GeForce GTX 465 Core 352 x2 SLI
    2x OCZ 60GB SSD @ RAID 0 (Stripe)
    Silverstone TJ10

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    Thanks!

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    FYI Intel is releasing (or just released?) a 120gb SSD if you are looking for good budget drives. They are set to run about $245, where the 80gb drives are $199 and the 160gb are $400+.

    I think the best SSDs are still the Crucial drives, and they aren't the most expensive but are definitely not cheap. I regularly check the charts at Toms HWG since I am in the market for a pair of SSDs myself. Sucks though, the Intels arent the best out there, but I can get the employee hookup through a friend.... Dilemmas :(
    "When the going gets tough, the tough go cyclic"
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    I have a buddy who works for Intel in Colorado Springs. Is the employee / good buddy discount a big savings? Just curious to see if I should be bugging him or slapping him silly with email's and phone calls XD?
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    Last time I checked, it was about 30% off of retail. Intel SSDs are just kind of middle of the road, though =/
    "When the going gets tough, the tough go cyclic"
    Email: provoker@xclan.org XFire: xprovoker

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by x[cazter] View Post
    SSD's are imo the most significant upgrade a person can make to their system. Absolutely the most noticeable improvement I have made to my system since I went from my OG P4 to the AMD Barton core in like 2002 or 2003. If you transfer a large file internally on your system on standard SATA's from one drive to another you will be lucky to break 60mb's in that transfer... Likely you will see 30-40mb's. Running a benchmark on my Striped SSD's they read and write well upwards of 200MB's a second. Transferring files to other standard IDE SATA drives on my box from my SSD's runs at about 120MB's, capped by the SATA write capability. And WoW has virtually NO load time.

    i7 CPU's rock but even Windows 7 has been able to take full advantage of some of the new hardware tech in them.
    Dropping some serious cash on an SLC SSD could give you a great experience. I'm still weary of the cheapo MLC SSDs out there and of most SSDs because a lot of them are bought controller + bought firmware --> slap parts on boards and ship it. Doesn't seem conducive to a great customer service experience when something goes wrong. Seen lots of bad experiences on the forums. Also when looking on the forums it seems like people spend a lot of time toying with them to get the performance they want. That can be 100% of what you want to do, but not me, not right now. Personal choice.

    As for loading times in WoW with 1920*1080 with 16xAF 8xAA with everything Ultra but shadows on Good. I can load into Dal (at the well) in less than 5 seconds, log out and log in with another character in Org (in front of bank) and it takes less than 3 seconds to load, then log out and log back into the character in Dal is less then 5 seconds. Not much room for improvement.

    General performance, between my old 1TB black and 300GB VR drive I get 100MB/s.

    Regarding i7 and Windows. When I unparked all the cores I went from 50's to locked 60FPS in Dal and Borderlands when from 'kinda shitty' to locked at 60FPS. Simply doing that helped a lot. Pretty dumb they're parked in the first place.
    Don't know what Intel's roadmap is like, but you're probably good buying the latest Intel chipset Asus motherboard and the best price/performance i7 out there and OC the shit out of it.

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