Jump to content
 
Sign in to follow this  
Malaphax

Computer Plans "Delta"

Recommended Posts

Malaphax   

No I did not pick "delta" because it sounds cool. It's because this will be my 4th major pc build.

 

I have plenty of plans regarding this and I'm sure I'll be in need of some more information and suggestions. So let me start off with some basics.

 

I currently have a nehalim 920 processor and an amd 4890 gpu. Which is basically 2-3 years old. Is my system still up to par, for the most part yes. So I have plenty of options. I'll break down some of them.

 

I could theoretically just update my gpu (probably to a 7870) and do a bit of overclocking, possibly a new case. Mostly minor changes. This would be the most cost effective idea, and would work rather well, and keep me plenty competitive in terms of performance. There are some drawbacks to this. Currently I am starting to hit limits on the number of usb devices connected to my mobo. Not to mention that although my current system is pretty good. I feel like I would end up spending quite a bit of money and really only would be adding a gpu, the other additions would be mostly cosmetic/acoustic. While there are really no games on the horizon I feel will truly push my computer, and only bf3 does not run maxed out, I do wonder if this wouldn't leave me feeling... dissatisfied.

 

I could also just go apeshit. Complete new system from ground up. I would certainly see an increase in performance to a greater extent that my current system (or even the upgrade), and I would have yet another system capable of lasting me 2-3 years. It would also give the additional benefit of having a "second" system (although I do have my old system from before sitting in my closet). The second system might be used for other things, or could even be sold to offset certain costs (I have a feeling that would be unlikely).

 

There's another plan, that I have to take into consideration. I have long spoken about putting an htpc/settop box in my living room. I feel that with the current scheme of things this would greatly improve the living room experience and allow for a central hub of media. As it stands right now, the media I acquire is on my computer alone, and not shared, whereas a central htpc could be a shared computer on the network and would allow for media watching in the living room, which my mom/stepdad would greatly appreciate and probably be willing to offset costs for. I will preface this, I have not really looked into settop boxes or much into the way of htpc's besides some basics. If I build a brand new pc, I could theoretically use my old pc in a new case as an htpc (a ridiculously overpowered one at that), but the power consumption and other factors make that a bit of an issue.

 

So I'll start off with the htpc/settop box requirements I would have, since this will not change and the hardware is currently available. The full computer will be discussed and theory crafted probably as more components are released/reviewed.

 

HTPC: It needs storage capable of holding substantial amounts of data. I would estimate at least 3TB, mostly because of the fact I plan on also digitizing my mom's music collection, and other people may want to acquire other media.

It also needs audio/video playback at a high quality, and connections capable of interacting with our current tv and bose sound system (should not be an issue). In addition I'd like bluray, and h264 playback. If I get really picky, I need something capable of handling 1080p 10bit playback.

Wireless connectivity, I do think there is a data connection back there, however wireless is pretty standard and should not be an issue.

I'd also need a reasonable case, I need something that does not look out of place as a media device (should not be an issue), and it needs to be relatively quiet. I'd also prefer something low power consumption and if possible a device that could remain on/hibernating for extended periods of time.

 

If you guys have any suggestions for settop boxes or something along those lines, I would greatly appreciate it. I've heard they've come a very long way and tend to be quite good compared to when most serious people would go to the trouble of building their own htpc.

 

Also kuhla feel free to use this as a semi-dumping ground for any related info on the 1155 and 2011 sockets as well as any hardware reviews that you feel might be applicable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kuhla   

If you think it will bother you unless you go full apeshit upgrade than you should go for a full apeshit upgrade.

 

Having said that, I don't think your CPU is holding you back yet. The tangible benefits of a cpu upgrade have plateud pretty hard both for the average user and gamers. Naturally there are always niche performance barriers for enthusiasts and commercial interests. I think you stuck to your 920, it really wouldn't hurt you. For the money you would spend on motherboard+cpu in an upgrade you wouldn't get enough out of it. Slightly related: I'm planning to keep my current CPU a long time.

 

You mentioned you are hitting some GPU limits, mainly BF3, but if that is the only one, then I would wait for price drops or something. That doesn't seem reason enough to do it until at least summer. Hopefully by then Nvidia will have released something and prices will have a chance to shake up a bit.

 

Case "upgrades", mostly cosmetic. Very subjective. Up to you.

 

USB device limits, move less essential stuff onto a USB hub. I'm near my limit too but not quite there (I think I have 2 more USB ports until I'm spent and I'm down to 1 free sometimes).

 

Quick HTPC build:

 

$120 - ASRock Z68M-ITX/HT ITX motherboard

$ 35 - Intel Celeron G530 CPU @ microcenter

$ 80 - Antec ISK 300-150 case + psu

$ 40 - 8GB DDR3 (2x4GB) memory, 1.5V

$210 - Hitachi 3TB, 5400RPM hard drive

$ 11 - Encore USB WiFi adapter

Total: $496

 

If you want to add a blu-ray drive ($$$) then price goes up. Other than blu-ray discs (need a drive), that setup should handle every kind of media playback out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Malaphax   

There are a couple things I have in mind regarding upgrade timelines. The HTPC will probably be first on the list, with the only exception being if I end up wanting to build a new htpc rather than recycling old hardware. Looking at your suggestions I could probably find a reasonable case and just have my pc reshuffled into it with a bluray drive and a hard drive.

 

As far as the prices for video cards, when is nvidia releasing again? I know it's supposed to be summer, but depending on when it is I might just eat the price and go forward with a full upgrade in april.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kuhla   

......when is nvidia releasing again? I know it's supposed to be summer, but depending on when it is I might just eat the price and go forward with a full upgrade in april.

Welcome to rumor central. Please check your sanity at the door.

 

Latest rumor: Press will see it/handle it on 3-12, NDA lifts 3-23 but no one is sure if that is going to be a paper launch or retail launch. AMD has had to do some paper launches lately too because production of 28nm chips is still not completely ramped up by TSMC. This has been blamed for the low inventory on 7xxx GPUs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Malaphax   

I'm currently looking to do this around april, so if nvidia releases before then, that's fine. I would not postpone my purchase more than a couple weeks, it would mean a small price saving for a moderate amount of patience and headache.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kuhla   

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Nvidia needs to do two things if they want a chance at keeping me in this round:

 

1) Support 3 or more independent displays from one video card.

2) Put 2GB of frame buffer or more on their mid-range card.

 

If they don't deliver on both, I'm moving to AMD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kuhla   

what is it mean by 2gb frame buffer ?

Memory on the card. 2GB is already showing very noticeable advantages over 1GB in certain games. Look at the 1920x1200 and 1680x1050 charts at this page notice at 1920x1200 all the 1GB cards have their performance drop off a cliff but they come back in a big way if you move down to 1680x1050. That is happening because the frame buffer is being pushed beyond it's limits at 1920x1200.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Malaphax   

Alright a small update on some of the parts that I can at the very least think about.

 

Case:

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16811163176

The Trashcan. While it has a very specific look to it, and has some unique features, I have been hearing some rather unsavory remarks about it. Also considering how it handles cooling and more importantly noise, I'm not nearly as thrilled as I once was. Also I may end up doing some acoustic foam installation, it would probably require some very heavy amounts of measuring and cutting. This case also requires that I purchase a slot loading dvd-drive.

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...82&Tpk=tj08

The new contender. Slightly larger than kuhla's case, but with a 180mm in front instead of 2 120mm fans. I've heard great things about this case, even silentpcreview have mentioned this is quite a bit better than other sff style cases (even compared to the trashcan) it's also cheaper. The back can mount an additional 120mm fan, which will provide a bit more exhaust. Also the upside-down layout doesn't bother me. The only real negative I've heard mentioned is that the hard drive rack is not necessarily secured as well as other cases. But that's also pretty minor.

 

CPU Cooler:

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16835181015

The H60. I briefly skimmed over the anandtech article comparing this with the other coolers in the series. It looked like their only complaints were about the pwm fan hitting 100% quite often causing a bit more noise than the other coolers.

kuhla do you have any suggestions/opinions on the h60 vs the h80. It seems to me that with a push pull design and 2 fans, you'd get very slightly better cooling at HIGHER noise, but they were testing the base fans and also neither of the 2 fans will every really hit max, vs the single fan possibly having to hit a higher speed to keep up? I'd like your opinion on this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kuhla   

My case (SG03-F): 20 cm (W) x 36 cm (H) x 31.2 cm (D) = 22.46 L

TJ08-E: 21 cm (W) x 37.4 (H) x 38.5 (D) - 30237900 = 30.24 L

 

I don't know if you have noticed but some people in the SFF crowd use liters to measure size because it helps better differentiate volume differences when you have a wider variety of case proportions. In terms of volume, the TJ08-E is quite a bit bigger than my case. Not saying that is a bad thing, just pointing it out.

 

The only thing I ever really appreciated about the trashcan was the proportions. I like the idea of cases being taller and less wide and deep. Reason being I have plenty of z space in my room to work with but not as much in the xy. Looking at it in terms features/technical, yea, I don't find it that fancy. If you go with it, I would assume you were doing it purely for aesthetics.

 

The TJ08-E, they make a 2*120 version too called the PS07 and it's cheaper. The TJ08-E looks nicer but just letting you know. The TJ08-E is a pretty simple, straight forward case. It has room for the largest video cards out there unlike my case.

 

Talking about prefilled, liqued cooling setups, here are some important notes:

 

OEM CoolIT:

Corsair H60

Corsair H80

Corsair H100

 

OEM Asetek:

Corsair H50 <--- I think this is end of life. Can't find it much anymore.

Corsair H70

Antec 620

Antec 920

 

Does this make a big difference? No. You will notice different mounting hardware between the CoolIT (easier) and Asetek (harder). Some (note: some) people have a bit more faith in Asetek's engineering. Whatever you get, you should replace the fan. I just assume that whatever fan ships with whatever cooler is automatically garbage and replace it asap. Be concerned about static pressure (fan's ability to overcome resistance in this case radiator), not just cfm and noise.

 

In terms of performance, look at this graph.

 

source - http://www.anandtech.com/show/5054/corsair...h100-reviewed/5

Posted Image

 

On high, the H100 is not doing too much better than the H80 on high and it has a lot more surface area. Also note that the H80 on low is performing worse than the H60. The point is that these particular systems respond much more to airflow than size. If you go on some forums and look at what cooling temps people got in push/pull on an H60 and push/pull on an H80 they are almost comparable. You need to decide how much noise you want vs cooling.

 

Most balanced cooling solution: H60 + 1 high quality fan

Most performance within size limitations: H80 + 2 high quality push/pull fans

Most performance within size limitations and price: H60 + 2 high quality push/pull fans. Probably save 30-40$ over H80. The H60 goes on sale pretty often for $50. Keep an eye out. H80 is up near $90 I think most of the time.

 

Keep in mind I have my CPU at a very mild overclock of 4.2GHz with my Antec 620 cooler (1 fan pushing cool outside air in through rad) and don't run into heat issues. I have the fans set to increase with temperature. They run at only 60% most of the time.

 

Not too organized post. Let me know if I left something out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Malaphax   

Some more potential parts

 

Optical Drive:

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16827106369

The bluray drives have dropped way in price from what I remember. That's pretty damn reasonable for a bluray burner. Also just plain bluray readers are 60.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16827106374

I could consider purchasing bluray drives for both the htpc and possibly the desktop as well depending on the amount of full retard occurring at the time.

 

PSU:

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16817151088

Is what I currently have. I might consider getting the 750w variant.

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16817139016

Corsair option.

 

Memory:

 

This will probably be left to last minute, but I expect a 4x4gb setup, which looks to be rather reasonable in price, something like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820233198

I need to see what speeds are supported by my motherboard, but I have a feeling there's no real need to aim for the top end ram speeds. Also I assume that with 4 slots available there is no real difference in kits marketed as dual channel and quad channel, since that occurs on the motherboard itself rather than the memory. Or am I way off base?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kuhla   

Just out of curiosity, I was looking up what power supplies matched those requirements that I had back when I built my computer:

 

* Length of 150mm or less.

* 80 PLUS certified (most PSUs are these days)

* Not shit quality, decent OEM.

 

Results:

 

* Corsair Builder Series: All of it.

* Corsair Professional Series (HX###): HX650.

* Antec NeoECO series: All of it.

* Antec EA Platinum series: All of it.

* Antec TruePower New series: All of it.

* Silverstone Strider Essential Series: All of it.

 

 

The Corsair is probably the better choice. None of the above PSUs are all that new but that doesn't really matter. The HX650 is over 2 years old. A lot of newer power supplies are 160mm or more because of the 135-140mm fans.

 

Old power supplies.

 

No new tech really needed.

 

Lack of SLI/Crossfire on some

 

8 pins or just 6 pins? need 8 pins?

 

Checked some jonnyguru

 

Silverstone so old too old

 

corsair builder cheap only 1 vid card though

 

HX650 sequel to HX620 5 year old platform

 

Antec neoeco probably poor

 

Truepower same as mine

 

 

I DIDN"T FINISH TYPING THIS POST. SO I AM POSTING IT AS IS. QUALITY OF POST IS POOR.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Malaphax   

And for more prospective full retard:

 

Hard Drives:

 

SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820226237

Same controller as the ocz agility 3, I'm going to approximate data on that, and as such it's a good ssd for a decent price. Also rough estimates would be that 240 could keep most of my games on that disk without much of an issue. Worst case scenario, I could of course transfer some games onto a separate drive, which brings me to my next point.

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16822136792

Good hard drive empirically as well as a recommendation from kuhla. That's hard to beat. Also I would more than likely still have an additional 1.5 as backup, so this hard drive may not happen.

 

Also based on rough calculations, I'm looking like I have $900 in components before I hit the big 3 (cpu, gpu, mobo). So based on another very rough calculation, that would be another 1000 (350 +350 +300). Again these are napkin maths so whatever. So around 1800 to 1900. I briefly looked around for lower prices on some of the components I already need, and found a few small breaks.

 

Also kuhla, I briefly looked around about fan(s) for the 120 exhaust. Would you recommend a push or pull style? And would going for a 120x38 be a decent idea or is it completely up to the fan? Also could you briefly explain what your current setup is, I know you talked about 5v fan modding but you also adjust your settings with software as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kuhla   

I realize this is more philosphical than really addressing your questions but I just wouldn't spend that much on a computer. Too many other things (imho) worth spending money on.

 

An SSD is a totally legit upgrade, as we discussed on steam a few nights ago, but if it's getting your budget that high I would have second thoughts. I plan on getting one myself down the road but it will be small, just enough for OS and some apps.

 

The WD---FAEX drives have 500GB platters which is good for performance. There are some higher density drives out there but not many. The Western Digital Blacks routinely get high on the performance charts with some of their special sauce. The only warning I would give is that my drive is not quiet, not loud, but not quiet, I can always hear when it has a heavy load.

 

The current (albeit very slightly outdated) holy grail of fan reviews. I know it has been posted before but a lot of the information in it still applies. I chose my fans based on that list and I'm still quite satisfied with them, no regrets.

 

If your setup allows it, pulling through the radiator is slightly more recommended than push because there is a deadspot behind the fan's hub. Pulling avoids this. In my setup I didn't have a choice, I had to go with a push setup but it's nice that my fans have a very very small hub.

 

Nothing wrong with 120x38, most of them have higher static pressure and are high quality often because they were made with commercial use in mind but that also means they are often loud. I don't trust anything manufacturers say about their fans. I rely only on good, 3rd party reviews which often paint a very different picture.

 

On my last computer I manually voltmodded the fans to run at 7V. On my current setup, I have the fans plugged into the motherboard. The software for the motherboard (AI Suite II) lets me adjust them however I want to. See the picture I attached.

fanxpert.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Malaphax   

I'm not at the level of "money is no object" but I'm within my budget. I'm willing to spend quite a bit considering the amount of time I spend on my computer, not to mention that I feel as though I made some mistakes with my old build, and technology has progressed as well, and I'd like something that will last me another 3 years (or at the very least only worry about just a gpu upgrade).

 

The SSD will stay, if I really need to cut costs I'll just stick with one of my old 1.5tb drives and forgo the extra 2tb black.

 

I was looking around for this list, thanks for posting it. I believe last time I was looking at the nb m12s3hs: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showth...824#post4635824

 

I did have one last question about fans though. Often fans are sold at various speeds, the nb m12 comes in 3 varieties and the 3 is the highest speed version. I assume it's all the same fan, and the software will be more than capable of running the fans at lower voltage and lower noise? The gentletyphoons seem to actually vary and the 13/14 does not go beyond 20-25cfm. Would it be worthwhile to get a lower rpm version of the same fan, or would this decrease it's range rather than lowering the range it has?

 

Also this is what I mean regarding the push or pull of the fan orientation. With a push you have an airflow running into another fan, pushing through the radiator (with a deadspot).

Posted Image

Versus an airflow running into a radiator being pulled through by a fan.

Posted Image

You're suggesting that the pull would make more sense. Which I can start to understand... I suppose that's what I'd end up going for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kuhla   

I did have one last question about fans though. Often fans are sold at various speeds, the nb m12 comes in 3 varieties and the 3 is the highest speed version. I assume it's all the same fan, and the software will be more than capable of running the fans at lower voltage and lower noise? The gentletyphoons seem to actually vary and the 13/14 does not go beyond 20-25cfm. Would it be worthwhile to get a lower rpm version of the same fan, or would this decrease it's range rather than lowering the range it has?

Yes, it's the same fan just different rpm limits built into it. It's usually a good idea to buy the medium-to-faster fan because you can turn that down to what you want as opposed to being stuck with a slow/silent version which you can't turn up as much as you want when it gets into the dog days of summer.

 

With that being said, if you are manually volt modding then your lower limit is 5v, if you are using software (example being mine) then your lower limit is 60%. You will want to make sure that 5v or 60% gets you to where you want to be in terms of noise levels. It would suck to get a fan, turn it down to 60% or 5v and it's still too noisy for you. EDIT: I should probably add if you are super serial about getting the full range of fan control then you would need to buy a fan controller. I haven't shopped for those in years so you'll have to do your own research.

 

Also this is what I mean regarding the push or pull of the fan orientation. With a push you have an airflow running into another fan, pushing through the radiator (with a deadspot).

 

Versus an airflow running into a radiator being pulled through by a fan.

 

You're suggesting that the pull would make more sense. Which I can start to understand... I suppose that's what I'd end up going for.

Yes. I knew what you were saying.

 

Remember that fans do not blow air straight out the other side. Without any sort of ducting (which very few pc fans have) the air coming out is actually in a vortex going outward, away from the center. Silverstone made a

for one of their fans that has air guides/grill/fins/whateveryouwanttocallit which does a decent job illustrating what I mean with smoke. That is what causes the deadspot when a normal fan is pushing through a radiator. That's not to say that any fan with guides are completely superior to other fans, there are drawbacks (noise, added resistance, etc.).

 

When air is being pulled in, through the radiator, the deadspot over the hub is much smaller.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Malaphax   

Yea, I would almost consider starting to buy parts except I really dislike the idea of having multiple boxes of components laying around my room waiting for the next few deliveries. I don't even have a hard date for the cpu/mobo, otherwise I really would start buying.

 

On another note about components. I've been reading most of the 7870 reviews that I could find, and so far it sounds very promising. Not only does it get close to competing with the 7950, but it's also quite a bit cheaper.

The two versions I have been looking at are the gigabyte: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814125418

And the sapphire: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814102983

 

Although from what I've read/seen so far, the gigabyte cooler make a very large difference on heat/noise levels. Almost every review of that card has put it significantly lower on the heat levels, often below 60C at load, and they all say it's the quieter card of the bunch. All the cards except the XFX have the same outputs (the xfx has 2 DVI) So the only "drawback" is that I might have my old display on DVI/HDMI and the new one on Displayport.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Malaphax   

Because the HIS loses to the power color in terms of noise. I dislike blower designs and that thing is a big ass blower. It seems like all the open air coolers on gpus have not only gotten better but they generally perform at lower noise levels, the only downside being that you do rely somewhat on your ambient temps/airflow of your case.

 

I think the HIS would probably be a better secondary card to look at. However my main issue is that, I can't see a direct comparison between the two because no single site has tested them both, which leads me to compare somewhat dissimilar results regarding noise/cooling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kuhla   

I dislike blower designs and that thing is a big ass blower. It seems like all the open air coolers on gpus have not only gotten better but they generally perform at lower noise levels, the only downside being that you do rely somewhat on your ambient temps/airflow of your case.

I prefer blowers. The idea of open coolers recirculating warm air back into the case bothers me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kuhla   

I don't even have a hard date for the cpu/mobo, otherwise I really would start buying.

Possibly April 9th for Z77 launch and then Ivy Bridge possibly April 29th.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Malaphax   

I saw indirect mention of that in the other thread. I will most likely be making purchases in mid/late april. I do not want to set myself up for buying parts too piecemeal, or have all the parts and wait for the cpu. I'll be looking more closely at prices within the coming weeks.

 

Also for posterity, this will most likely be the case for the HTPC (my current pc, moved into the living room).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16811163166

 

As another side note, I may need to look for some form of remote/wireless keyboard device. I only very briefly looked around for these previously, these were some basic ideas:

http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Wireless-Ke...100&sr=8-27

http://www.amazon.com/2-4GHz-Wireless-Keyb...2067&sr=8-8

 

And finally I was briefly browsing around and found some open source media center software, which might be useful and allow some simplifications of the remote etc...

 

http://xbmc.org/

 

As always if anyone has suggestions regarding part choices feel free to chime in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Malaphax   

I have a price point for my mobo:

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16813131830

 

About $210, that's pretty damn good, I expected more along the lines of $250+. Also every bit of "leaked" news and rumors are pointing towards a 29th release date for ivybridge. I might start looking into purchasing some of the parts in the next couple of weeks. So if you guys spot any deals relating to the parts I happen to be looking at (or reasonable facsimiles) please feel free to help me out and post them here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×