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 Post subject: My PC is 7 years old
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 7:39 am 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 6:45 am
Posts: 2
Location: HK
My PC is seven years old and I am looking for a replacement. The problems/upgrades I have had over the seven years:

* Upgraded the memory because system was too slow and 1G was not enough.
* Power supplied failed and had to be replaced.
* OS SP upgrades.
* Much too Noisy (although quieter after a clean :)).
* Upgrade the 160GB hard disk because not enough storage, and also too slow.

I now live in a different country and won't be able to upgrade until I get back home in about 2 years (and am making do with an old ex-work laptop which is VERY slow and has also been upgraded to make it tolerable!).

Anyway, I want a system which will last me another 7 years which is powerful and expandable and which is very quiet. Not exactly sure what I will use it for mostly, but main thing is it can accomodate an as yet unspecified workload (but might include gaming, office work, etc).

After researching for a week, I reckon something like the below represents the state of the art in performance and quietness, is about $5500 Australian Dollars and would serve most needs.

2 x Crucial RealSSD C300 SATA 6Gbps 256GB
1 x I7 980X - INTEL CORE I7 3.33GHZ
1 x Kingston HyperX 12GB DDR3-1600 Memory Module (Kit of 3) for Desktops
1 x Power Color 5750 Go Green Passive Cooling
1 x GA X58A-UD7
1 x Fortress FT02B Case
1 x Seasonic X-750
1 x Scythe Mugen V2 cooler
1 x Optical Drive
1 x Lamptron FC-5 fan controller

In about 2 years hopefully an Intel CPU of similar performance will be a lot cheaper :), SSDs are cheaper and higher capacity (e.g. Intel is supposed to becoming out with a 600Gb model using 25 nm technology in 2011), and native support for SATA 3 and USB 3.0 is supposed to be available in Q4.

How does this system sound? I dont typically upgrade very often, so would want to start from a high base! Will keep mass storage off the system and look at a separate NAS at later date.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 8:02 am 
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you'll save a lot of money by getting the i7 920 instead, and overclocking it... same with ssd, unless you have a specific need for it, hard drives are much cheaper.

is there a reason for 12 gigs of ram? three 2-gig sticks should be plenty for most purposes.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 8:51 am 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 6:45 am
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Location: HK
SSD - SSDs are the major technology upgrade over the last 7 years and will make the most difference/improvement over my last system. Quiter and faster and a must have. Hopefully a bit cheaper in 2 years.

12Gb RAM. Well my last rig had 1G which at the time was excessive. Now its nowhere near enough. I'll buy the 12G now so that I can make best use of 6 memory slots and allow a further upgrade if I need it.

CPU - Yes, not much of a relative improvement from 920 to 980X and a big price differece. Maybe I'll settle for a 920 or a P55 system if price hast come down/nothing better available.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 9:18 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2003 6:54 am
Posts: 3025
Location: Sweden
I agree, a 920 or 930 is a really good choice!
Buying the fastest CPU is never a great idea, it's not like that computer will feel fast many more years just because of that.
Imagine 4-5 years from now, do you think the 920 would be slow and the 980 would be fast? By then they're both slow compared to what's new.

Or, look back on what was the fastest thing from Intel some years ago, the Pentium D 955 was the fastest, and the Pentium D 930 was pretty good, but today they're both just old.

That extra processor power doesn't justify the extra cost.

The same goes for that expensive motherboard and RAM. Some price comparisons in €.

Your system - €1815:

980X - €900
GA X58A-UD7 - €275
Kingston HyperX 12GB DDR3-1600 Memory Module (Kit of 3) - €640


System 2 - €505:

i7 920 - €205
Foxconn Flaming Blade GTI - €140
Kingston HyperX 6GB DDR3-1600 Memory Module (Kit of 3) - €160

By using these parts instead you have lots of money left to upgrade CPU/board/RAM again in 2-3 years or so. You'll obviously won't buy in €, but the price difference says it all.
Picking the absolutely most expensive combination and use it for several years is not a better solution in the long run IMO.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 9:42 am 
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Location: UK
The Core i7 920 has been supersed by the 930, which is a 2.8Ghz part with turbo boost to 3.06Ghz. It costs currently just a wee bit more than the 920 used to.

But essentially your original spec would give an extremely powerful and very quiet system. So if you can afford it, why not? And in that vein I don't see the case for downgrading the amount of memory. 6Gb/12Gb only works with a 64 bit OS, so I assume you will be getting Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit. That's a fairly expensive item in itself, so if this really is a cost is (almost) no object exercise it does not make sense to buy less memory.

The only area that perhaps you ought to look at is the choice of motherboard, where you could consider the Asus X58 motherboards, particularly the Asus P6X58D Premium. You are proposing to use a CPU cooler with a PWM fan, which makes sense and the Mugen 2 is a good choice. The Asus motherboards offer a choice of PWM modes including Quiet/Silent and Performance, and depending on what you use the system for it can be nice to have this flexibility. Gigabyte, even with its most expensive motherboards, persists in simply offering a PWM choice with no choice of modes whatever. It is a potential weakness in what otherwise are very good boards.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 10:03 am 
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lodestar wrote:
6Gb/12Gb only works with a 64 bit OS, so I assume you will be getting Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit. That's a fairly expensive item in itself, so if this really is a cost is (almost) no object exercise it does not make sense to buy less memory.

Home Premium or Professional works as well, and the latter have all the extra features I want at least.

Besides, the OEM versions are much less expensive, OEM Ultimate costs €150, while retail Ultimate costs €250.

As long as you have a valid Windows 7 key you can always download the 64-bit version from MS for free. Windows 7 keys works with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 11:30 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 3:29 am
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Location: UK
Prices for Windows 7 OEM and Retail versions seem to vary from country to country. For example, here in the UK 32 bit Windows 7 Ulitimate OEM costs €162, 64 bit OEM €173, or combined 32bit/64bit retail €196. So the difference between OEM 64 bit and Retail is €26, not €100. These are gbp prices converted to euros, and include VAT at 17.5%.


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 Post subject: Re: My PC is 7 years old
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 1:32 pm 
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Posts: 2179
Location: TN, USA
Blimey wrote:
2 x Crucial RealSSD C300 SATA 6Gbps 256GB
1 x Power Color 5750 Go Green Passive Cooling
1 x Seasonic X-750


I'm not a fan of Intel CPU/MB/Graphics so I won't comment on the CPU/motherboard choice with any more specifics.

As to the graphics card and PSU I'm liking both choices. Could go for the X-650 and save a few bucks but it's no big deal either way.

The 5750 Go Green is the sweet spot on power vs noise. Anything more powerful and you have to aftermarket mod and/or deal with fans. But if you don't buy until two years from now you have no reason to expect the 5750 Go Green to still be available. It will be discontinued before you are ready to buy one.

With the 2x C300 are you looking to RAID those or are you buying two to use one as boot and one as additional storage?

If you are thinking RAID 1 you would be better off getting one C300 256GB and one Intel 160GB and formatting the array to 150GB. Or since I think you said you weren't building this system right away get the 3rd generation Intel SSD that will be 300GB or 320GB as the second drive. I'm assuming the 4th generation Intel SSD won't be out between now and your build but who knows. Anyway you look at it buying brand new SSDs and/or making a RAID 1 from two identical SSDs is not a recipe for high availability (if the drives are identical whatever bricks one might brick both).

If you are thinking RAID 0 hey it's your money but I wouldn't bother. I'd just run the single C300 or Intel SSD and use trim to keep the speed up. If you are doing the buying two years from now the SSD is going to be insanely fast anyway you look at it. Again you don't want to buy the latest greatest SSD if you want a dependable system that you can rely on. Stick with last years SSDs (if you buy in 2012 buy the best SSD from 2011).

If you are thinking separate drives it make sense for the storage drive to be a 5400/5900 rpm hard drive. Again it's your money if you want two C300s or two 3rd/4th gen Intel SSDs or some combination of two different SSDs go for it.

Intel 2nd Gen SSDs are the current drive to beat when it comes to reliable fast performance. I believe the C300 may take that crown shortly before the 3rd Generation Intel SSD comes out but there is too much time ahead to predict who will be the better SSD in 2012.

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RAID levels thread http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=388987


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 1:51 pm 
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The OP said that he won't be able to upgrade yet, but after 2 years, so why is he asking this already? The available products change massively in 2 years.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 4:25 pm 
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lm wrote:
The OP said that he won't be able to upgrade yet, but after 2 years, so why is he asking this already? The available products change massively in 2 years.


Maybe he is trying to get a handle on what the reasonable trade offs are? A mental exercise to prepare him for the decisions he will have to make in the future?

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Please put a country in your profile if you haven't already.
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RAID levels thread http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=388987


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 5:48 pm 
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Maybe just trying to get a handle on the current state of hardware? Or if he's like me, dreaming about the nice machine he'd like to have if he could justify spending the money :wink:

I do agree that in two years time, specific hardware recommendations made now would be irrelevant. Technology and prices change too rapidly.

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