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Build Advice i7 uATX SLI Gaming Rig Advice (Poll and WC Questions Added)

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by shomann, 5 Feb 2009.

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Which is best for video encoding and gaming (SFF, price/performance)?

Poll closed 2 Mar 2009.
  1. i7 920 @ 4GHz (requires water)

    16 vote(s)
    84.2%
  2. Q9550 @ 3.4-3.6GHz (on air)

    3 vote(s)
    15.8%
  1. _man1c_

    _man1c_ New Member

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    :hehe: just suggesting the sff case if the topic creator was still looking for one. the parts im installing in it should be alright. alot of headroom in this thing to do what you want to do. also ugh on full tower cases. think im through with them. to hard to move.
     
  2. AQNFX

    AQNFX Twist The Grip, Let It Rip!

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  3. shomann

    shomann New Member

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    Did you guys know that when you are searching for i7 and SG03, this thread is the first result on Google? ;) That alone suggests to me that this would be unique - but would it be unique for the wrong reason? What I mean is, with a GTX series GFX card and the i7 (which I DO plan on overclocking) is that too much heat for such a small area?

    I like the Li-li v350 a great deal as well, but to be honest if I go as small as possible, I want to try the SG03 for 2 reasons. One is better airflow the second is that fewer people have tried to mod this case ;). I think if I went with the v350, I would have to WC the CPU and northbridge at the very least, and like I have mentioned I am not sure that is the best idea for this computer's intended use.

    The other case that has me thinking is the Antec miniP180 (I think someone mentioned it). The only downside to this case is the obvious - its quite a bit larger than a SFF box. I haven't ruled it out though - that 200mm fan keeps tempting me.

    I am going to cowboy up very soon and get this moving. Thanks to all for the suggestions, they have been a huge help.
     
  4. docodine

    docodine killed a guy once

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    I'm pretty sure I've got someone ready to buy my Shuttle, and if it goes through, a computer much like the ones in this topic will be in my future. AQNFX, did you paint the video card black?

    Also, the TJ08 is pretty ugly judging by Newegg photos. I like the form factor of the Lian Li and the Shuttle more than tower cases though.. How about the transparent acrylic Sunbeam cube case? :D
     
  5. _man1c_

    _man1c_ New Member

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    aqnfx that is one of the sweetest systems ive ever seen when comes to sff. although i havent seen alot of sff pcs.:p i do hope i get as good as that though.
     
  6. AQNFX

    AQNFX Twist The Grip, Let It Rip!

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    No, XFX cards are just black. the cooler is Zalman is black too.
     
  7. shomann

    shomann New Member

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    I have been convinced.

    The research I have continued to do suggests that the only safe way of running an overclocked i7 system is with water. I don't think the case size has much to do with this as even high end, large heat-sinks seem to let a 4GHz i7 920 get into the 80-90c range.

    Since I intend for this machine to do double duty as an encoding and gaming machine, I will expect the system to remain stable for large chunks of time, at least in its early life. Therefore it seems I have a choice to make:

    1) Spend more money and go with an i7 rig (still shooting for small if not SFF) with a water cooled processor/northbridge and leave the GPU on air (no way that a GTX series card and the i7 could live on only a 240mm rad)

    2) Go with a q9550 and rely on air cooling and give up the novelty and extra speed of the i7.

    Like I said before, I don't mind spending the extra money for a better setup - to a point. The real question is whether or i7 is worth it. From what I have read it is definitely faster and 4GHz is totally realistic to expect with proper cooling. I will give up a bit of portability (but still want some), so I want to keep the SFF mindset.

    So, anyone want to help school me in watercooling? :-D. I know the parts I need, but have no idea which is best for what. I suppose I could just copy AQNFX, but where is the fun in that? ;)

    BTW AQNFX, could it be this rig is featured on another forum or 2 out there? ;) I want to say it again, this build is just awesome.
     
  8. Thatguy119

    Thatguy119 Member

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    620w should be fine, if it can run two 4870's it can run two gtx260's.
     
  9. AQNFX

    AQNFX Twist The Grip, Let It Rip!

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    Well, im going to say this off your new poll. You could always wait until Intel releases new CPU off if the 1366 line up. if you go with older tech then almost all of the problems have been fixed. Some of this new stuff does have its kinks. so keep that in mind. (if you wait for a bit then they will come out with their low end CPU and that are cost effective like the q6600 was)

    Things your benefiting for i7- Faster cpu, tripple channel, speed and Crossfire and SLi. that's it for now. its still the same PCI x16 2.0 and other common things are the same. (for now)

    The Rig has been in other forums.

    Liquid cooling isn't cheap, but in my opinion its the best way to go. I dont currently have LC for my main rig but I am getting there. My savings jar for my motor cycle comes first.

    And if your going to having it sit at 4.0Ghz all the time....... I personally wouldn't do that. if your going to do that then your going to heat your mobo more and a SFF case will need more fans to help keep that board cool. and keep the life. - in my opinion

    You could Always put UV tubes in there
     
    Last edited: 24 Feb 2009
  10. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    buying a Q9550 is a waste of cash, its over priced.

    So either an I7 920, or just grab a Q6600.

    Even tho the Q6600 is getting on in age now compared to other quads, its still just as good, and clocks extremly well.

    A Q6600 is still the best performance vs price CPU availble. And what with the economy going down the pan, i thought it would be wise to save a little.

    Real world use between a Q9550 and Q6600 equals little to no difference, both at the same clock speed.

    Over 3.4GHz you dont see much of a performance boost, the sweet spot is 3.2GHz i recon for day to day useage. I crank my Q6600 to 3.6GHz when i want a little overclocking fun.

    Right now, DFI's mATX boards are awesome so, plan the most cost effect system for performance/cost ratio.

    I7 is a workstation class processor, great for number crunching, hence its ability to wipe everything out to benchmarks.

    But in the end if your just playing GTA4 or something then a Q6600, with 4GB+ of ram, fast HDD's and a pair of 4870's in a DFI mATX board would be fine.
     
  11. shomann

    shomann New Member

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    First, thank you all for taking time to read/reply. It does seem this is quite a popular thread so hopefully the final build will do it proud!

    AQNFX - The main reason I was adverse to LC in the first place was because I thought that equaled a system that was going to stay in one place. The more I poke around, the more I think that moving a LC system around for local LANing wouldn't be a problem - like you said ;). I don't plan on running the system at maximum overclock 100% of the time. In fact, for the gaming part of its life, I plan on a very modest OC, whether it be i7 or LGA 775

    Burnout21 - I hear you about the budget concerns. What you have mentioned would make a fantastic computer in nearly any case we have mentioned here (my choice would be the Mini P180 if I didn't want to mod). In my case, since I have held off upgrading my main computer for some time (have a look at my sig), I feel that this computer is a good chance to use top-level components and to see if I have any modding skill :dremel:

    That has become something of a goal for me now - building a system that is both functional and something I might want to show off.

    If I can just find someone that has the V351b in stock... :naughty:
     
    Last edited: 24 Feb 2009
  12. AQNFX

    AQNFX Twist The Grip, Let It Rip!

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  13. Dmc

    Dmc Member

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  14. shomann

    shomann New Member

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    AQNFX - I had heard that ASUS was throwing their hat in this ring with the Gene - no one seems to know when it's going to hit the streets though. Its OK, I think I will hold off a bit more (I mean, this thread IS only 3 weeks old at this point LOL) to see if I can get my hands on the V351 and possibly the Gene. I have to say though the DFI board is getting pretty good press so far so I don't think I would go wrong with that one either.


    Pity you dont live in England as I found six on Ebay

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Lian-Li-PC-V3...14&_trkparms=72:1690|66:2|65:12|39:1|240:1318[/QUOTE]


    That would be the V350b my friend ;) The V351 is a brand new case that has been slightly tweaked. Namely for this project, the 3.5" drive by in the rear is removeable and there is more venting along the front/bottom of the case. There are other things as well as apparently they have improved vibration issues and for some reason moved the front I/O ports to the opposite side.

    Oh, and you can get it in Red and Blue in addition to Sliver and Black ;)

    Check it out
     
  15. shomann

    shomann New Member

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    A bit more about that Rampage II Gene:

    http://en.expreview.com/2009/02/23/close-shot-of-asus-rampage-ii-gene-motherboard.html

    I am officially waiting for this board. Though it probably won't effect my plans, anyone else notice that there are 2 set of mounting holes for the CPU? LGA775 and LGA1366 cooling options anyone?

    The other good news is that it looks like it will be price competitive with the DFI, eSATA and Firewire. :clap::D

    Now the waiting game ;)
     
  16. shomann

    shomann New Member

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    Sometime since the last post I got to thinking that I am just one step away from achieving a full WCing setup. I have it on good authority that 1 240MM radiator just will not properly cool an i7 processor and a top-level GPU...

    ...so, I am thinking about a total scratch case build :D. At least the guts are decided :)
     
    Last edited: 27 Feb 2009
  17. fonzo4741

    fonzo4741 New Member

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    AQNFX, great looking machine. If you don't mind me asking, what size radiator did you use and did you have to mod the front 120mm fan bracket to get it to fit? Also, was the mount for the pump off the shelf or your own design?
     
  18. ricickle

    ricickle Reamer

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    Anyone know how much the rampage matx board will cost
    im currently building a matx gaming rig thats water cooled inside an a05b
    going to use the dfi i7 matx board but if the rampage is priced closley i may have to think again
     
  19. shomann

    shomann New Member

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    Rumor has it will list for under $250 USD. However, if you do a Google search right now for "rampage gene price" you will get a few vendors that have the board for over that. Now, I think these are fly-by-night places and I wouldn't trust them for accurate prices.

    For me, when it hits Newegg it is "released".
     
  20. ricickle

    ricickle Reamer

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    wonder what the uk price will be
    i presume they will make it pretty close to the dfi as its there only competitor
     

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