Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

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twitch
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Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

Post by twitch » Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:12 pm

Hi All,

Could use some advice on the following build:

1. Purpose of computer: Upgrading from an old E6600 OC'd to 3.2ghz 6gb ram and radeon 5850 to sandy bridge i5 2500k with radeon 6950 CF primarily for fps gaming on a 30" dell 3008wfp 2560x1600. Will relegate current rig to htpc duties till bulldozer

2. Budget: $variable I already have most of the items except motherboard and gfx card. Just wanting to make sure I'm not missing something. Without the video cards I should be able to stay under 15db. With two video card - the noise is concerning to me.

3. PARTS:
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/Publi ... r=12262294
a. CPU: core i5 2500k (ordered from microcenter $201) CPU cooler - Prolimatech Megahalems Rev.B CPU Cooler (ordered $50) with scythe slipstream 120mm 1200rpm pwm.
b. Mobo: asus p67 pro??? (must support cf)
c. GPU: ??? (considering 6950 x2 will hack to 6970 via fw) - newegg has sapphire 6950 $285

d. Hard drive: intel x25m g2 (reuse). Also have a bunch of 1.5tb and 2t lying around
e. Ram: g.skill ripjaws 4gb x2 ddr3 1600(arrived)
f. PSU: antec cp 850 (will order and return seasonic x750 for $129.99)
g. Case: antec cp 183 (have, and modded with acoutipak foam noise dampeners and two scythe slipstream 120mm 800rpm)
h: Optic (CD/DVD/Blu-ray): reuse some old optical drive
i. Monitor (size&resolution): dell 3008wfp (2560x1600 30") in landscape and dell 2408wfp (1200x1920) in portrait will re-use both. The 30" primarily for gaming, the 24" for web surfing.
4. Overclocking: Yes
5. build timeframe: building NOW

Thanks.

MikeC
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Re: Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

Post by MikeC » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:55 pm

All looks good. Asus P67 Pro is an excellent choice. EFI BIOS is great. The case fans you should be able to ramp down when not gaming.

ballcall2
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Re: Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

Post by ballcall2 » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:57 pm

I think that two 6950 in cf will be extremly noisy, esspicially on load condition, so maybe you can consider two asus directCU 6850 in crossfire which will give you a lot of graphic power (unless you are doing an Eyefinity setup or something similar). Another recommendation is to get a case like Silverstone FT02 or Raven 2 that will provide enough airflow for such high end system- the p183 doesn't have enough airflow for that kind of system.

MikeC
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Re: Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

Post by MikeC » Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:00 am

ballcall2 wrote:I think that two 6950 in cf will be extremly noisy, esspicially on load condition, so maybe you can consider two asus directCU 6850 in crossfire which will give you a lot of graphic power (unless you are doing an Eyefinity setup or something similar). Another recommendation is to get a case like Silverstone FT02 or Raven 2 that will provide enough airflow for such high end system- the p183 doesn't have enough airflow for that kind of system.
Agreed.

twitch
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Re: Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

Post by twitch » Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:56 pm

ballcall2 wrote:I think that two 6950 in cf will be extremly noisy, esspicially on load condition, so maybe you can consider two asus directCU 6850 in crossfire which will give you a lot of graphic power (unless you are doing an Eyefinity setup or something similar). Another recommendation is to get a case like Silverstone FT02 or Raven 2 that will provide enough airflow for such high end system- the p183 doesn't have enough airflow for that kind of system.
Thoughts on using antec 900? I have the acousticpak on p183 and was thinking of trying it on that box with maybe the front door open for better air ventilation (esp during summer months) and just monitor the temps. On the video card, 6850 cf may not be enough esp with aa/af as they only have 1gb ram each vs 6950 with 2gb ram each and plus the free up to 6970 via fw. Though the challenge remains - what to do with the noise from the 6950....

CA_Steve
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Re: Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

Post by CA_Steve » Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:22 pm

The killer for crossfire is the lower GPU card gets starved for airflow, which leads to higher rpm fans/noise. You sure you need it, really?

twitch
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Re: Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

Post by twitch » Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:43 pm

well the 5850 is supposedly more powerful than the 6850 (which is an out of band product, not the next revision up). The next version up is 6950. The 5850 I have now is also noisy but the fix is a $60-80 gpu cooler such as the the two Mike recently reviewed. Too bad they ?can't be used with 6950

MikeC
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Re: Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

Post by MikeC » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:15 am

Antec 900 or other similarly open cases such as NZXT Tempest EVO would work better than P183 for your system, which is going to need a lot of good airflow, in/out. Leaving enough air space between/around the video cards is very important for cooling & noise. AC accelero xtreme plus does not explicitly support the HD6950, but this German site shows how they fitted it on a 6970. The main issue is adequate spacing between the PCIe x16/8 slots and below the bottom card. I'd say a big case with some room between the bottom mounted PSU and the bottom edge of the ATX board is needed.

twitch
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Re: Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

Post by twitch » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:22 pm

I contacted thermalright and their tech support says the shaman should work on 6950. The hurt ofcourse being the price $75 x 2 for the crossfire. Too bad there isn't a 6950 with a better cooling solution from the factory built in. The other issue ofcourse being whether there will be enough space between and around the gpu as you mentioned. My current feeling is to go ahead and build the existing 5850 and try out the games that are current causing issues, esp call of duty black ops - this seems to be fairly jerky but hopefully the cpu upgrade and going to pcie rev 1.1-->2.0 on the new platform may help ease the fps issues. If there are still issues then I'll spend the additional money for upgrading the gpu.

UPDATED PARTS LIST BASED ON FEEDBACK ABOVE
a. CPU: core i5 2500k (ordered from microcenter $196) CPU cooler - Prolimatech Megahalems Rev.B CPU Cooler (ordered $50, arrived) with scythe slipstream 120mm pwm + voltage regulator (ordered)
b. Mobo: asrock p67 extreme 4 (ordered $156)
c. GPU: try existing radeon 5850 first(may consider 6950 x2 will hack to 6970 via fw) - newegg has sapphire 6950 $285
d. Hard drive: intel x25m g2 (reuse). Also have a bunch of 1.5tb and 2t lying around
e. Ram: g.skill ripjaws 4gb x2 ddr3 1600(arrived)
f. PSU: corsair hx 520 reuse (if upgrading gpu to cf, may keep seasonic x750 for $129.99)
g. Case: antec 900 reuse (based on feedback above)
h: Optic (CD/DVD/Blu-ray): reuse some old optical drive
i. Monitor (size&resolution): dell 3008wfp (2560x1600 30") in landscape and dell 2408wfp (1200x1920) in portrait will re-use both. The 30" primarily for gaming, the 24" for web surfing.
4. Overclocking: Yes
5. build timeframe: building NOW

alecmg
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Re: Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

Post by alecmg » Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:38 am

twitch wrote:c. GPU: try existing radeon 5850 first(may consider 6950 x2 will hack to 6970 via fw) - newegg has sapphire 6950 $285
6950 hack to 6970 is tempting cost wise, thats for sure. In crossfire it'll be tough to cool tho.

Another variable is upcoming dual-gpu card from AMD, 6990 i think, in February. It might perform similarly but hopefully stay in 300W package

tim851
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Re: Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

Post by tim851 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:22 am

Call of Duty: Black Ops should definitely run smoothly on a Radeon 5850 at 2560x1600 with 4xAA.
I concur that you should try out the 5850 in a Sandy Bridge environment first.

Crossfire with Dual Shamans would be badass, though! :)
Mind you, that's an EIGHT slot solution, so you'll need a case with appropriate space beneath the mainboard. You have the Antec 900 or 902? The latter is an eight-slot design that will take two Shamans, but the bottom one will have only a few millimeters clearance to the PSU fan, so they will be in a major bitchfight over air. The 902 also has a side panel fan, which in this situation is probably mandatory.
You'll also need to get an extended Crossfire bridge.

CA_Steve
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Re: Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

Post by CA_Steve » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:29 am

Bit-Tech benchmarks GPUs for COD: BLOPS.
Techspot benchmarks CPU and GPU performance of BLOPS.

rpsgc
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Re: Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

Post by rpsgc » Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:31 am

Just a small nitpick, but you should've chosen this DDR3 kit instead (better suited for P67 and Sandy Bridge :P)

It's OOS though :?

michaelius
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Re: Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

Post by michaelius » Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:20 pm

tim851 wrote:Call of Duty: Black Ops should definitely run smoothly on a Radeon 5850 at 2560x1600 with 4xAA.
I concur that you should try out the 5850 in a Sandy Bridge environment first.

Crossfire with Dual Shamans would be badass, though! :)
Mind you, that's an EIGHT slot solution, so you'll need a case with appropriate space beneath the mainboard. You have the Antec 900 or 902? The latter is an eight-slot design that will take two Shamans, but the bottom one will have only a few millimeters clearance to the PSU fan, so they will be in a major bitchfight over air. The 902 also has a side panel fan, which in this situation is probably mandatory.
You'll also need to get an extended Crossfire bridge.
You could make a crazy setup with upper card getting Spitfire and lower card getting Shaman :)

twitch
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Re: Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

Post by twitch » Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:05 pm

tim851 wrote: ...You have the Antec 900 or 902? ...
I have antec 900.
rpsgc wrote:Just a small nitpick, but you should've chosen this DDR3 kit instead (better suited for P67 and Sandy Bridge :P) ....
I'm not sure what makes the this series more special compared with the regular ripjaws that are not specifically for sandy bridge. Per the study done by bit tech they seem to indicate the best gaming memory is ddr3 1600 4gb x2 with cas 8 buying you slightly better performance for media stuff but gaming cas 8 vs 9 is not much different. Linky - http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/memory ... y-bridge/1
CA_Steve wrote:Bit-Tech benchmarks GPUs for COD: BLOPS.
Techspot benchmarks CPU and GPU performance of BLOPS.
It's those articles that gives me hope that with sandybridge upgrade alone I should be able to get better performance as this particular game appears to require more out of the cpu than other traditional fps.

Anyone have any thoughts on the cpu fan? I've been reading that the scythe slipstream have low static pressure so may not be as good paired with prolimatech mega cpu cooler??

quest_for_silence
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Re: Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

Post by quest_for_silence » Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:01 am

twitch wrote:Anyone have any thoughts on the cpu fan? I've been reading that the scythe slipstream have low static pressure so may not be as good paired with prolimatech mega cpu cooler??

To me it's perfectly able to pair with the Prolimatech, but if you feel (psychologically) a bit uncomfortable with, it you may safely go for a 120mm Nexus Real Silent Case Fan.

danimal
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Re: Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

Post by danimal » Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:07 pm

twitch wrote:b. Mobo: asrock p67 extreme 4 (ordered $156)
c. GPU: try existing radeon 5850 first(may consider 6950 x2 will hack to 6970 via fw) - newegg has sapphire 6950 $285
tri-slot spacing between the main gpu cards, very smart.

twitch
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Re: Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

Post by twitch » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:45 am

Thanks. Now, I'm just hoping the prolimatech clears the gskill ram with the heat spreader. It's going to cut it close as it's exactly 40mm to the tips of the heat spreader. What sucks is I'm going out of town so won't be able to play with the new toys when it comes home.

CA_Steve
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Re: Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

Post by CA_Steve » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:47 am

I don't think you'll need the heat spreaders at 1.5V.

twitch
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Re: Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

Post by twitch » Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:26 pm

CA_Steve wrote:I don't think you'll need the heat spreaders at 1.5V.
Great, thanks!

alecmg
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Re: Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

Post by alecmg » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:52 pm

CA_Steve wrote:I don't think you'll need the heat spreaders at 1.5V.
thats if you manage to get them off. Most of them are glued or whatever, can't get them off without using a lot of force.

CA_Steve
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Re: Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

Post by CA_Steve » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:43 am

alecmg wrote:thats if you manage to get them off. Most of them are glued or whatever, can't get them off without using a lot of force.
Bummer - there's always tin-snips :D

Here's another COD: Black Ops video card benchmarking review via X-Bit Labs.

twitch
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Re: Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

Post by twitch » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:46 pm

CA_Steve wrote:
alecmg wrote:thats if you manage to get them off. Most of them are glued or whatever, can't get them off without using a lot of force.
Bummer - there's always tin-snips :D

Here's another COD: Black Ops video card benchmarking review via X-Bit Labs.
I'm definately not getting those fps with my 5850 @ 2560x1600 using the old c2d. So I have the snb cpu (i5-2500k), just waiting for the mobo to arrive.

On the prolimatech cooler - worse case scenario, I might use the prolima on the htpc, and use the scythe mugen 2 rev b in a push pull with two scythe slipstream pwm on the gaming snb. Ideally I wanted the prolima on the gaming pc as it will be overclocked whereas the htpc uses a h67 board, so no cpu ratio overclocking and perhaps the prolima might be overkill.

twitch
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Re: Sandy Bridge Gaming Rig - Please comment

Post by twitch » Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:01 am

Just an update:

1) Gaming rig - very fast. cpu was a great upgrade. OC'd to 4.8 without a sweat. Getting temps of low 40s with no other fan in the case other than a pwm fan on the prolimatech mega and core i5 2500k. Without overclock shaves off 4-5c's. Idle voltage doesn't vary with oc, but load voltage does. Still getting noise - suspect video card 5850 with stock cooler. stiill need to test call of duty black ops to see if there is an improvement

2) htpc - the noise has significantly gone down, but there is a baseline whine/buzz. suspect maybe fans too high on rpm, or seasonic x400 psu which concerns me. Need to troubleshoot

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