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Help with spec for a new PC

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by markjw, 4 Aug 2007.

  1. markjw

    markjw What's a Dremel?

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    First off I'm new here (first time posting, long time visitor though) and would like some opinions / recommendations for my new PC build. Some of the spec is pretty much settled in my mind but I'm always open to other suggestions.

    Here is the spec - numbers in brackets are Scan part nos:

    Case: 1x Antec P182 (LN18867)
    Power Supply: 1x Corsair HX620 (LN15215)
    Processor: 1x Intel Q6600 2.4Ghz Quad-Core (LN17245)
    Motherboard: 1x Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 (LN18793)
    Memory: 1x Corsair TwinX XMS2 PC2-6400 4-4-4-12 (LN14277)
    Video Card: 1x XFX 8800GTS XT 320Mb 560/1700 (LN17509)
    Hard Drives 1: 2x Seagate 7200.9 160Gb (already have these)
    Hard Drives 2: 4x Seagate ST3500630AS 7200.10 500Gb (LN15377)
    DVR-R: 1x Pioneer DVR-112BK (LN17596)
    TV Tuner: 1x Hauppauge WinTV-HVR1300 (already have this)
    OS: 1x Windows XP Media Centre Edition 2005 (already have this + the remote)

    The hard drives are planned to be setup as follows, the two 160Gb drives as RAID-0 for OS and apps, the four 500Gb drives as RAID-5 for data. Machine will be used a a media centre and for some gaming (casual gamer but likes quality).

    Questions so far:
    1. Is the Corsair HX620 going to be up to the job?
    2. Is there any advantage going for the DQ6 over the DS4 motherboard?
    3. Should I be getting a 640Mb version of the 8800GTS or some other card?

    Thanks in advance for any advise / thoughts,
    Mark
     
  2. jegerjon

    jegerjon What's a Dremel?

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    Your PSU should do the job.

    Great machine though, wish I had the money for such a baby :)
    I think you should search for some test, and see how much the 640 preform compared to the 320..

    Good luck :)
     
  3. lamboman

    lamboman What's a Dremel?

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    Welcome!
    Spec looks good, but the case is not big enough for something of an 8800GTX/Ultra size, so if you upgrade to a card like that in the future you might have to go and buy a new case.

    To your questions:
    1. Yes, easily, this could take up to 8800 Ultra SLI.
    2. Not really.
    3. It does depend on how big your display is. Anything more than 19 inches calls for the 640MB, IMO.
     
  4. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre <b>banned</b>

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    Well, the case could take those cards in SLI, but you'd have to remove the top hard drive cage. And cable routing would be a bit of a bear.
     
  5. markjw

    markjw What's a Dremel?

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    very unlikely to be going SLI as I can't justify the cost so the GTS is going to be my graphics card for the next 2 to 3 years. Current monitor is a Dell Ultrasharp 18" LCD running at 1280x1024 - may upgrade to a 22" or 24" if money allows later. Have been saving for a new machine for many months - current system is a Athlon XP 2500+ and a Radeon 9800 Pro 128Mb so this should be quite a performance upgrade.

    Also forgot to say the system will also be used for running Virtual Machines (under VMware) for testing purposes as part of my job involves setting up / supporting software solutions for customers and I do end up playing with software at home. 4Gb RAM would have been nice, but 2x2Gb DDR2 seems hard to get and expensive so I will probably go with 2x1Gb initially then either add another 2x1Gb or if prices drop 2x2Gb.

    With six hard drives and the GTS how much spare capacity would the HX620 have just in case I wanted to add / upgrade anything else later?

    Mark
     
  6. lamboman

    lamboman What's a Dremel?

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    True, well, doesn't matter, chances are that he won't upgrade to that.

    The PSU should be able to cope with this very easily.

    I would get the 640MB version of the GTS if you are planning to get a 22 incher. But, a 24incher would require more power, so you would have to either get an SLI motherboard now, or later, or get a card that is powerful enough to play games at this resolution by itself.
     
  7. markjw

    markjw What's a Dremel?

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    thanks for all the comments - couple more questions though:

    1. Any big differences between the 8800GTS 640MB cards - most seem to be 500/1600Mhz. Any makes to avoid or do I just go for the cheapest?

    2. Is it worth getting a better heatsink for the Q6600, ie something like the Sythe Ninja Plus, rather than sticking with the standard Intel jobby? If so what is a good match for the P35-DS4, ie will fit and is not a pain to install.

    Mark
     
  8. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    Don't bother with the RAID0 drives - it's a very small speed increase on a normal desktop for double the risk of data corruption. Another thing I wouldn't bother with is RAID5 done by the mobo itself - it's horrendously slow compared to a proper RAID card, and it chews up a lot of CPU power once you start using it. If you really want RAID5, I'd put some serious thought into getting a proper RAID card (there are plenty about, but the Areca series are pretty good at a price/performance point, the 1210 is only ~£220 and a fantastic buy for the moneys. :)

    Other than that, nice setup! :)
     
  9. thesharper1

    thesharper1 What's a Dremel?

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  10. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    P182 is plenty big enough tbh, don't listen.
     
  11. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre <b>banned</b>

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    If you take out the top hard drive cage, which is easy, but limits you to 4 hard drive bays.
     
  12. morfeus

    morfeus What's a Dremel?

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    Krikkit, I really know very little about RAID, and from what I've read (very little) software RAID5 IS very cpu intensive but surely a quad-core *ntel CPU will be able to cope, no?
     
  13. markjw

    markjw What's a Dremel?

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    actually I don't think RAID5 performance will cause much of a problem as they array will only be used to store data such as backups of disks, software installers etc. All the running programs will be from the RAID0 array and any data on here will be backed up to the RAID5 or DVD-R.
     
  14. lamboman

    lamboman What's a Dremel?

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