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Manufacturer roadmaps to keep in mind when building a new PC
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Old 10th June 2011, 14:21   #1
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Default Manufacturer roadmaps to keep in mind when building a new PC

I've been looking around to buy a new computer somewhere this year. Once upon a time, I could've rambled off the best price/quality build without thinking about it, but I've been letting myself slide on the hardware front (work keeps me more than busy enough).

The main question is if there are any releases planned which would be useful to keep in mind when building a new gaming rig this year (pref this summer)?
I know Intel will release a new/updated chipset in Q2 2011, so maybe that's worth waiting for? I don't think there's any earth shattering CPU releases, though, but the newly announced chipset seems 'enthousiast'-friendly.
Are there any Nvidia or ATI/AMD gfx releases that I should keep track of?


As for those who want to comment on the rig itself, I really haven't settled on much, so tips are welcome:
CPU: Biased towards Intel.
CPU cooler: No bias, but pref something that runs quiet that can also dish out solid cooling when needed (rheo). Probably some Zalman model.
Mobo: No bias at all, but likely one with the new Intel chipset?
RAM: 12 or 16 GB RAM, no specifics in mind.
GFX: No bias, but I see no use in going for SLI or Crossfire from the start. Something that's not very loud when idle would be nice, but needs some gaming horsepower.
SSD: 120-128Gb SSD probably, maybe something like the Intel 320/510 or OCZ Vertex 3? Or Revodrive once they finally support TRIM (v 3).
HDD storage: 2x 2Tb (RAID 1) or 4x 1Tb disks (RAID 10 or 2x1 + 2x1) for redudant storage. Pref 24/7 certified disks that aren't too loud, probably WD or Seagate, I guess.
Optical drives: Doesn't matter much, we'll see about that later.
Case: I have a Chieftec CH-01B-B-SL that I'm looking to trade for something better (quieter?). Fractal Design seems to have some interesting cases (the XL would probably be overkill, but Define R3 seems nice). Alternatives are welcome. The bigger the fans (low noise, manual speed control) & the more sound dampening the better (while still being gaming performance setup compatible ofc). The less attentionwhore crap and lights the better.
Fan controller: I'll probably need something flat? The Fractal Design cases (and many others) are not compatible with rheos that have knobs, door simply won't close... A bit of a design oversight if you ask me. The Chieftec can handle my sunbeam rheo just fine. Again, a fan controller with as little bling bling as possible is preferred, but it requires sufficient independent channels (with capability to handle multiple fans on the same channel).
PSU: No bias, but pref something that runs quiet while still suited for hot environments (LANs etc). Absolutely no use for bling bling on the PSU. Bonus points for high efficiency and good wire management.
Soundcard: I still have an Audigy (on PCI), but it's old. I presume current chipsets will give similar quality. Probably no longer useful to have a discrete soundcard?
OS: Win 7 Prof UK?

Budget is somewhere between 1300-1700 euros, maybe more if something is really worth considering.

PS: Do PCI-E SSDs like the Revodrive (PCI-E 4x) endanger response times on modern GFX cards (PCI-E 8x - 16x) since they share the bus? Is there any practical performance hit on that front?
 
Old 10th June 2011, 16:32   #2
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at the upper high end, Intel will release new CPU and socket, as S1366 is EOF

CPU Cooler: Scythe Mugen 2 with correct socket mounting, extremely good price/performance balance;

SSD: Intel 128gb is best buy according to Anandtech

PCIe drives don't impact GFX performance as far as I know?

16 lane slot (each direction):
v1.x: 4 GB/s (32 Gbit/s)
v2.x: 8 GB/s (64 Gbit/s)
v3.0: 16 GB/s (128 Gbit/s)

PCIe SSD can reach 1.6GB ? V2 has 8gb, latest 16Gb/s!
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Old 10th June 2011, 19:56   #3
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You could also stick with the just released Intel Z68 chipset which is an upgrade for the LGA 1155 socket, LGA1156 is also EOF. For LGA1155 we have Intel 2600k, a quadcore unlocked processor priced ~270. The non-K version safes you aprox. 50€.
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Old 11th June 2011, 16:29   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmke View Post
at the upper high end, Intel will release new CPU and socket, as S1366 is EOF
Any timeframe on when it'll hit the european market?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmke View Post
CPU Cooler: Scythe Mugen 2 with correct socket mounting, extremely good price/performance balance;
A bit huge, but does it support the socket 1155? Their site says it doesn't:

Compatibility:
Intel®:
Socket 478
Socket T / LGA775
Socket LGA1366
AMD®:
Socket 754
Socket 939
Socket AM2
Socket AM2+
Socket AM3
Socket 940

The Mugen 3 does have 1155/1156 compatibility though, but can't find it in stores yet (it also has one less heatpipe, though it's unclear if any performance is lost).

What's a good thermal paste nowadays? Still got a bunch of old stuff lying around, but I don't trust it anymore (years & years old). New stuff only costs 5 euros or something, so there's no reason to skimp on that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmke View Post
SSD: Intel 128gb is best buy according to Anandtech
Anandtech lists the Intel 510 120Gb disk as probably best choice, but from figures alone, the Vertex 3 seems to have much higher (theoretical!) transfer rates.
Hence it's possible that if the SF firmware gets un****ed, it might actually be a better choice, while still being significantly cheaper than the Intel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmke View Post
PCIe drives don't impact GFX performance as far as I know?

16 lane slot (each direction):
v1.x: 4 GB/s (32 Gbit/s)
v2.x: 8 GB/s (64 Gbit/s)
v3.0: 16 GB/s (128 Gbit/s)

PCIe SSD can reach 1.6GB ? V2 has 8gb, latest 16Gb/s!
Didn't think so. But I'm not sure there's any reason to go for a RevoDrive 3 or something similar when the Vertex 3 is around.

That said, it might differ from mobo to mobo & from gfx setup to gfx setup. I read that the lower class Z68 designs might run into PCI-E congestion in extreme situations (Asrock gets around it by adding a discrete PCI-E controller etc).

Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffrey View Post
You could also stick with the just released Intel Z68 chipset which is an upgrade for the LGA 1155 socket, LGA1156 is also EOF. For LGA1155 we have Intel 2600k, a quadcore unlocked processor priced ~270. The non-K version safes you aprox. 50€.
But does it make sense to go for the Z68? I don't transcode a lot (or rather at all), I don't expect to be using Virtu's I-mode and I will use the 120Gb SSD as a drive for OS, programs & games, so Intel's SRT won't be used either. The planned other HDDs are for simple storage, so it doesn't matter if they're slower.
The on board graphics are nice to have for when the discrete card breaks. But other than that? I doubt I need it.

Ironically though, the top of the line P67 are pretty damn near identical in price to the normal Z68 boards...




Anyhow, I did a quick configuration check @ alternate.de (since stuff tends to be cheaper in Germany):


CPU Intel i7-2600K (socket 1155) = 260
CPU cooler Scythe Mugen 2 Rev.B SCMG-2100 (compatibility issue?) = 35
Mobo ASUS P8P67 Deluxe R.3.0 = 205
RAM Corsair DIMM 16 GB DDR3-1600 Quad-Kit CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9, Vengeance = 160
GFX MSI N570GTX-M2D12D5 OC = 269
PSU Antec TruePower Quattro 850 = 113
Case (Tower) Fractal Design Define R3 Titanium Grey = 88
DVD-RW LiteOn iHAS624 = 26
SSD Intel® 510 Series 2,5" SSD 120 GB, SATA 600, SSDSC2MH120A2K5, MLC-Chips = 223
HDD x2 (raid 1) Hitachi HDS723020BLA642 2 TB, SATA 600, Deskstar 7K3000, 24/7 = 170
OS Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit UK (OEM)= 118
Delivery = 25
+ general expected overhead = 33

Comes to a total of 1725 euros not including: fan controller, additional fans & rubber mounts for noise cancelation
RAM, GFX & PSU taken to reflect price point rather than specific model (TBD).

If I buy local (alternate.be used for reference), I get to about 1830 euros for the same hardware (give or take a few).

This comes to slightly over the budget I had in mind, so comments & tweaks are very welcome.
 
Old 11th June 2011, 22:20   #5
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Z68 = P67 + H67: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4330/asus-p8z68v-review/8
You can skip on the features you don't need. X68 is indeed steep.

16GB RAM, that's huge, I'm still kind of surprised to see 12gb kits around and I'm not overly conviced with its usage for home computers, even for workstations I find it a lot! But it seems there is market for such kits, and if the use can justify the price for you, well there you go

The psu, @ 850 watt might be slightly over the top. Okay it gives you some headroom but unless you're using CF/SLI videocards you won't even come close to 500~600W. Doesn't safe you much money, but it's something.

Regarding the coolprut, maybe you get some with your heatsink. Otherwise, coolprut hasn't really changed since 10y ago, now that the impact of an overclocked cpu means significantly less than 10y ago I really see no reason to go for special flavor cooling paste other than personal matters
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Old 12th June 2011, 10:30   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffrey View Post
Z68 = P67 + H67
Yeah, that's why I used the P67 in the example config. As far as I know, I don't need any of the main extra features.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffrey View Post
16GB RAM, that's huge, I'm still kind of surprised to see 12gb kits around and I'm not overly conviced with its usage for home computers, even for workstations I find it a lot! But it seems there is market for such kits, and if the use can justify the price for you, well there you go

The psu, @ 850 watt might be slightly over the top. Okay it gives you some headroom but unless you're using CF/SLI videocards you won't even come close to 500~600W. Doesn't safe you much money, but it's something.
As mentioned above the RAM & PSU are not fixed, but simply meant to convey a price point I'd be looking at if I wanted to max out my budget.
Still need to research the RAM for best fix (be it 12Gb with hopefully lower latency or 16Gb) and will eventually probably go with a PSU that does good cable management but is also as quiet as possible at that price point.
Any suggestions are welcome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffrey View Post
Regarding the coolprut, maybe you get some with your heatsink. Otherwise, coolprut hasn't really changed since 10y ago, now that the impact of an overclocked cpu means significantly less than 10y ago I really see no reason to go for special flavor cooling paste other than personal matters
That's a bit disappointing. Everything else seemed to have evolved so much...
 
Old 20th June 2011, 19:34   #7
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With some research and some back & forthing, turns out that:
  • Scythe Mugen 2 isn't compatible (knew that pretty early on)
  • Thermalright Silver Arrow doesn't fit
  • Thermalright Archon is too tall for the case by 5mm
  • The bigass Noctuas don't fit the mobo
  • The Noctua NH-U12P SE2 does fit, but not with high RAM (think Vengeance or RipsawX heat spreaders)
Alternate.de @ 'european' instead of listed german price:
Asus P8P67 DELUXE <R.3.0>
Intel Core i7-2600K
Noctua NH-U12P SE2
Corsair 16GB 1600-999 XMS
MSI N570GTX-M2D12D5 OC
Fractal Design Define R3 Titan. Grey ATX
OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W
2x be quiet! Silent Wings USC 140x140x25
NesteQ MaxZero
LiteOn iHAS624
Intel 510 series 120GB
2x Hitachi 2TB HDS723020BLA642 7K3000
MS Windows 7 Professional 64bit SP1 UK OEM

Comes in at 1800 euros incl shipping to Belgium etc.


Alternate.be:
Asus P8P67 DELUXE rev 3.0
Intel Core i7-2600K
Noctua NH-U12P SE2
Kingston 16 GB DDR3-1600 Quad-Kit
MSI N570GTX-M2D12D5 OC
Fractal Design Define R3 Titan. Grey ATX
OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W
2x be quiet! Silent Wings USC 140x140x25
NesteQ MaxZero
LiteOn iHAS624
OCZ Vertex 3 120Gb
2x Hitachi 2TB HDS723020BLA642 7K3000
MS Windows 7 Professional 64bit SP1 UK OEM

Comes in at 1839 euros without shipping (might pick it up myself). Not really worth bothering with german shops in that case... A lot harder to return stuff to when it breaks.


Still, I'm not quite happy with it yet:
  • I'm above budget (though I don't really care unless someone can make cost effective suggestions).
  • The memory used in .be isn't quite as good, but nearly no one stocks low heatspreader 16Gb DDR3-1600 Quad-Kits in .be as far as I can tell.
  • Cooling solution selection was a series of different choices that all got shot down... Eventually settled on the NH-U12P SE2 due to availability and compatibility with the other hardware, but still I'm forced to limit my choices in memory. Makes me want to explore alternatives... Like the bigass Antec H2O 920 or small Corsair H70...
Comments & suggestions, gentlemen?
 
Old 20th June 2011, 20:00   #8
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Azerty.nl:
Asus P8P67 DELUXE rev 3.0
Intel Core i7-2600K
Noctua NH-U12P SE2
Kingston HyperX 16 GB DDR3-1600 Quad-Kit
MSI N570GTX-M2D12D5 OC
Fractal Design Define R3 Titan. Grey ATX
OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W
2x be quiet! Silent Wings USC 140x140x25
LiteOn iHAS624
Intel 510 series 120GB
2x Hitachi 2TB HDS723020BLA642 7K3000
MS Windows 7 Professional 64bit SP1 UK OEM

Total 1780 euros, incl delivery, but without fan controller.

Doesn't really seem worth the hassle either...
 
Old 23rd June 2011, 21:45   #9
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we're awaiting the benchmarks
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Old 23rd June 2011, 21:55   #10
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wondering why you consider 16Gb in a desktop... how many VMs do you plan to run?
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