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My upgrades are here!


jcarle
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So the stars decided to align and it was the perfect time. I'm rebuilding my box. What I currently run is the following :

Antec P180

Corsair HX620

ASUS P5Q Deluxe

Intel E8400 overclocked to 3.6GHz (1600 FSB)

Noctua NH-U12P with a Scythe Kaze-Jyuni "Slip Stream" 1200rpm 120mm fan

8GB (4x2GB) of G.SKILL DDR2-800 4-4-4-12

XFX 9800GTX XXX 512MB

BFG 8600GT 256MB

Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic

4 x Scythe Kaze-Jyuni "Slip Stream" 1200rpm 120mm case fans

4 x Pioneer DVR-216D

2 x Western Digital 640GB WD6401AALS 32MB 7200RPM in RAID 0, short stroked to 100GB per drive

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I say rebuild instead of a new build because I'm keeping my old beaten up P182 instead of investing in a new case. (I haven't found anything new that I like yet.) I'm also keeping one or two other parts. I won't tell you yet what I ordered yet. The order was shipped this morning so I should have everything tommorow. I'll post pictures of the new build and new benchmarks when I get it up.

Edited by jcarle
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P182 is a nice case, I had the original P180 and I love the improvements that the P182 made to it.

I have that same motherboard and psu as well and they are both very nice as you can tell.

I also have a bunch of those 640GB WD drives, but you are lucky that you have the black ones :)

Is there a reason for two video cards though? What are you doing with them?

I just made my upgrade a few weeks ago and now I am very happy.

Edited by ripken204
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I just corrected my post. Unfortunately, it's the original P180. By the time I decided I wanted a P182, they got replaced with the P183... which is beyond fugly in my opinion.

The reason I need two video cards is because I have three monitors. One Samsung 2493HM and two 226BWs, see this post.

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My parts have arrived and I've built my new system! Here's a summary of everything that's inside it now :

Kept my old Antec P180 (which I moded by removing all the metal grills)

Kept three Scythe Slipstream 120MM 1200RPM case fans (the power supply is too big to allow for the bottom fan)

Got a new Enermax Galaxy Evo 1250W power supply

A new ASUS P6T6 WS Revolution motherboard

with a new Intel Core i7 920 (D0 Revision)

My previous Noctua NH-U12P was re-usable thanks to a LGA1366 mounting kit

I used Artic Silver 5 as a thermal paste and a Scythe Slipstream 120MM 1200RPM fan on the cpu cooler

Two kits of 3x2GB G.SKILL DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24 for a total of 12GB of memory

I also kept my XFX 9800GTX XXX 512MB and my BFG 8600GT 256MB

Now 4 x Western Digital WD6401AALS 640GB 7200RPM 32MB hard drives in RAID 0, short stroked to 50GB per drive for 200GB total and with write-caching enabled

And I changed my burners for 2 x Pioneer DVR-217D

Here's some bits on how some of these choices came to be...

For the power supply, 1250w may seem unnecessary but this gives me plenty of room to upgrade no matter how much power any upgrade may require. Also, johnnyguru's review was key in my decision to purchase this particular model.

The motherboard was an obvious choice for me, albeit as expensive as it is. In my opinion, if you're going to build an i7 based system, it's wise to invest in a motherboard that's as legacy free as possible and is as open as possible to upcoming and future trends in technology. It's no secret PCI is dying. It's no secret that DDR2 is also dying. So having a motherboard that supports 6 x PCI-Ex16 and has six slots of DDR3 was a no brainer. I believe that it's also the only motherboard on the market that can do both triple SLI and triple CrossFire on the same board.

The thermal paste was picked from the results of the 80-way Thermal Interface Material Performance Test.

The Noctua NH-U12P has always been a great performer on my LGA775 systems and as it stands now, it seems to be doing equally well on my i7. I haven't had a chance to test it under overclocked loads yet as I'm waiting for the Arctic Silver 5 curing period to be over first.

There's a good post over at Anandtech on the improvements of the D0 stepping for the 920.

I originally wanted to buy two kits of 3x2GB G.SKILL DDR3-1600 8-8-8-21 but I wasn't able to find it in stock anywhere. What I chose was the next logical replacement available.

And the quad RAID 0 is a cheap alternative to SSD, which although isn't as fast, it still performs much better then any single hard drive can by itself. Tom's Hardware has a good explanation of how short stroking works.

I'm really happy with the build. It's rock stable, it's fast and it's going to give me a great foundation to upgrade on in the future.

I wasn't able to perform the CPU benchmark I ran on my LGA775 system for comparison as for some reason, it crashes on an i7. Here are the rest of the benchmarks :

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Here's some pictures of what my case dremel looks like with the metal grills removed :

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And here are some pictures of the inside of my build :

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Talk about a fluke. That's really funny. I missed that thread completely, didn't know until you showed me.

The P6T (and it's variants) is a very popular board. I haven't seen many people with the P6T6 however. In my opinion, they're all good boards but none of them have the future expandability that the P6T6 can offer. Somehow, mixing an i7 with PCI seems backwards. If you're going to build an i7 system with PCI, you may as well save yourself the cost and build an economic LGA775 based system instead.

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All same to me, all North Americans. :lol:

Nice setup, but would it really hurt that much to use the other space of the hard disks? Or are you afraid you will loose your data again, or you have just a data-server some where else near that PC?

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Nice setup, but would it really hurt that much to use the other space of the hard disks?
If you partition the rest of the drives, then the drive heads will leave the outer region of the platter and the overall effect will no longer be short stroked, hence giving up its advantage.
are you afraid you will loose your data again
Yes, very much so. But that's not why I short stroked, I just wanted the performance edge while SSD pricing drops.
you have just a data-server some where else near that PC?
I do. Once I get a new router, I'll post pictures of my network setup including my Server 2008 R2 setup.
he just has the need for speed :)
Oh yea. "Good enough" is not part of my vocabulary. Edited by jcarle
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Nice setup, but would it really hurt that much to use the other space of the hard disks?
If you partition the rest of the drives, then the drive heads will leave the outer region of the platter and the overall effect will no longer be short stroked, hence giving up its advantage.

You know that the first part of a drive has lower transfer speed compared with let's say at 5% of the drive. I don't know if there are tools to not use that part, but I'm for sure you could do some tricks to leave the first 10GB aside and start from there. I never tried it (so kick me if I'm wrong ;)) but with Windows 7 you have already the 100MB partition, and you could set that to 10GB with some disc managers.

Just a thought...

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