Buying a top of the line rig, whats your spec?

PokerIsFun

Standard Member
Hi Guys,

In the very near future (I have picked the launch of Windows 7 as a time to upgrade as I am sure a lot of people have) I will be buying a brand new rig. It is my first major upgrade in nearly 5 years so I am looking forward to it. I have come in here for advice from you guys as there seem to be a lot of very savvy and knowledgeable posters on here. I've checked out the FAQs etc and here is the breakdown of the situation.


Ok the idea is to basically get the best of the best, in every department. I am looking for an absolute top of the line rig in EVERY respect with the best money can buy. I do not expect to get this at any cost efficient price dont worry, so there is a budget of 6k for you guys to help me with. I do not want to spend this kind of money without being absolutely sure on everything which is why I am posting here. There is 0 chance I am going to build this rig so that is out of the question. I am also going NOWHERE near Dell (and therefore alienware I think - they are the same nowadays right?) but I am open to any other companys/brands you might suggest. I am a bit lost to find companys that deal with this sort of thing but one rig I have been taking a close look at is this.

Liquid I7 Hydra

I have added in some customisations and am wondering on your views, they are the following...

*BASE_PRICE: [+2091]
CAS: Coolermaster HAF 932 Full-Tower 420W Gaming Case W/ Side-panel Window
CASUPGRADE: NONE
CS_FAN: 3 x 120mm Silent Case Cooling Fans in key area for selected case for ultra silent operation [+25] (500-1,200 RPM SHARKOON Silent Eagle SE 120mm Modular Fans with Dimple Surface Blade and Twister Bearing 8-14 dBA (Custom PC Award Winning !!) [+14])
CPNR: Cyberpower Sound Absorbing Foam -- reducing audible noise transmitted through solid case panels by up to 75% [+19]
CPU: (Quad-Core)Intel® Core™ i7 975 @ Extreme Edition 3.3GHz 8 MB cache LGA1366 ***Overclockable S&S***
CD: LG BH08LS20 8X INTERNAL BLUE BLU-RAY DISC REWRITER & HD DVD-ROM DRIVE [+120] (Black Color)
CD2: LG BH08LS20 8X INTERNAL BLUE BLU-RAY DISC REWRITER & HD DVD-ROM DRIVE [+86] (Black Color)
CABLE: HDMI Male to Male Cable [+8] (1.8m)
EXPAN: Internal USB Expansion System + BlueTooth module -- provide more USB headers / connections, also including BlueTooth module [+15]
FAN: Cyberpower Advanced WaterCooling Large Kit (Including 240m Radiator, 750res Pump/Reservoir, Delta CPU Block, 2 High CMF Fans, Tubing, and Coolant) ***Overclockable XXX***
FLASHMEDIA: INTERNAL 52in1 Flash Media Reader/Writer (BLACK COLOR)
FA_HDD: TITAN TTC-HD90 Hard Disk Drive Cooling System [+20] (2 x Systems [+20])
FLOPPY: NONE
FREEBIE_CU1: FREE! Cyberpower Unleash The Power T-Shirt
FREEBIE_CU2: FREE GAME - Street Fighters IV
GEAR: Razer Baracuda™ HP-1 Gaming Headset [+64]
HDD: Single Hard Drive (256 GB 2.5 inch SATA Gaming MLC Solid State Disk (Nearly Instant Data Access Technology) [+409])
HDD2: 2TB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 32M Cache 7200RPM Hard Drive [+162]
HOMEINSTALL: NONE
IEEE_CARD: NONE
KEYBOARD: Gigabyte PS/2 Multimedia Keyboard & Optical Mouse (Silver/Black) [+9]
MOUSE: Logitech Optical PS2 Mouse (Black) [+5]
MODEM: NONE
MOTHERBOARD: Foxconn Bloodrage Intel X58 Chipset SLI/CrossFireX Mainboard SAS Triple-Channel DDR3/1800(OC) SATA RAID w/ eSATA,Dual GbLAN,USB2.0,IEEE1394a,&7.1Audio ***Overclockable XXX*** [+90]
MEMORY: 12GB (6x2GB) PC16000 DDR3/1800mhz Triple Channel Memory [+81] (G.SKILL GBTD Series w/Heat Spreader)
MONITOR: NONE
MONITOR2: NONE
NETWORK: ONBOARD 10/100 NETWORK CARD
OVERCLOCK: No Overclocking [-1]
OS: Microsoft® Windows® 7 Ultimate [Pre-Sell, Ship on/after 10/22] [+65] (64-bit Edition)
OS_UPGRADE: None
POWERSUPPLY: 1300 Watts Power Supplies [+90] (Tagan 1300W TG1300-BZ PipeRock Series Modular Power Supply)
PRO_WIRING: Professional Wiring for All WIRINGs Inside The System Chasis with High Performance Thermal Compound on CPU [+11]
RUSH: NONE
SOUND: New! Creative Labs X-FI Elite Pro 24-BIT PCI Sound Card [+200]
SPEAKERS: NONE
TEMP: NZXT FAN CONTROL SENTRY LX METER BLACK [+46]
TVRC: NONE
USB: Built-in USB 2.0 Ports
USBHD: NONE
UPS: Belkin 8-Socket Surge Protector [+21]
VIDEO: (Watercooled)BFG GTX 295 H2O 1792MB 16X PCI Express (Built to order, please be aware waiting time maximum 2-3 weeks) [+246]
VIDEO2: (Watercooled)BFG GTX 295 H2O 1792MB 16X PCI Express (Built to order, please be aware waiting time maximum 2-3 weeks) [+246]
VIDEO3: NONE
VC_PHYSX: None
WEBCAM: Logitech Quickcam Sphere AF [+76]
WNC: D-LINK DWL G132 Super G 108Mbps USB 2.0 Adapter [+35]
WAP: NONE
WARRANTY: PLATINUM WARRANTY: 3-YEAR LIMITED

Some questions on these upgrades :-

Will the motherboard I have chosen support this multitude of upgrades first and foremost, or is there a better one? If I choose to add a dedicated PHYSX card ontop of the dual gfx cards will it be able to cope?

The HD configurator confuses me. Under HD I can only select "Single Hard Drive". However I can still select a data HD below the main one so I can run two even tho it only says single? (If you see what I mean)

I am very intrigued by solid state disk technology although the space is limited. Ideally I would like the 256GB solid state as my main HD and the 2TB standard type for data storage. Would this combo work ok? I have read up on solid state drives and although they seem impressive I was a little worried when I read they had a limited life span of write/erase cycles before they die. This computer will be left on 24/7 and will be performing some very heavy duty database crunching a lot of the time so if this is true I would end up with a wasted HD after a while? If any of you know about solid state disks I would be interested to know about this.

I selected dual hard drive coolers for the 2 disks, does the solid state disk need cooling like the data disk might do?

Apologies if my questions seem a bit dumb, I have a very solid background in computing all over but I do not know so much about the latest technology or where is best to buy it from so I popped into this section of the forum to find some advice.

Oh and as for what it will be used for it really doesnt matter, I just would like the highest spec possible. Just imagine it has to run the latest games at the highest speeds with some very intensive data crunching on the side. It will also be left on 24/7 for what its worth.

Thanks in advance for all your opinions,

POKER IS FUN!
 

Valleyman

Novice Member
BFG GTX 295 H2O 1792MB x2

This isn't a good choice. You'd essentially be running 4 boards, each with 896mb of RAM. Though you can get blistering fps in most games you get all the pain of only having 896mb per card. Believe it or not some games will actually refuse to run in maxed out settings, with super detailed textures, unless each board has 1GB of memory.

Next week ATI will be releasing their 5870x2's (Or 5970's whatever they call them) which will blow those 295s out of the water, considering a single 5870 isn't too far behind this is a very sensible decision. Oh, and they're dx 11 capable aswell.

As for sound cards. Creative labs have annoyed one too many times for me to ever reccomend that buggy, incompatible poop ever again. Look into the xonar range or an external usb DAC if you're wanting the best of the best.

As for the rest of the system. I find it hard to reccomend the i7 975, given the lesser cpus can be made to run just as fast, and the extra money could be put towards something else. SSD's in RAID? Money towards a set of hi-fi seperates to really make the system pop?

And and that case moves alot of air, but has no dust filters so fills up with dirt pretty fast. Why not go water cooled, and get some sort of mega Zalman case like the LQ1000, and run super cool and super quiet.
 

PokerIsFun

Standard Member
Hi Valleyman many thanks for your post and points,

I have taken the point about the 295s onboard. I am awaiting the watercooled 5870s next week and will be running two of them in the system yeah, after checking up on it I agree with you that this is the best choice.

Thanks for the soundcard pointers. I can remember way back when Creative was the best make. I will look into what you recommend and take it on board.

The CPU I have heard the same thing, that I could get a cheaper CPU and overclock it and it would be just as good. However I have decided I will have 0 overclocking on this system at all so I think the i7 975 is the fastest choice, given this decision, is that right?

As for the case and dust filters, if you check the original link you will see the whole thing is watercooled, so is that the sort of thing your recommending?

Thanks again.
 

Noggin1980

Well-known Member
Scan and Kobalt both do amazing and beutiful liquid cooled systems if you are spending over 2 grand or so and clearly you are. Both have great customer service and will make something special for you. Kobalt are launching some new systems in a couple of days too I think. Both companies offer painting and laser cutting of the case etc, it's not particually cheap but if you want something that looks awesome the options are there.

Buying a 975 and no overclocking it makes no sence and is just throwing money away for no reason especially since you'll have a great water cooling system that you won't be making proper use of and buying from scan or kobalt the computer will come overclocked already, you won't need to know anything about overclocking and of course it will be under warenty if something goes wrong. But yes if you insist on no overclocking and don't care that you are wasting money the 975 is the fastest processor. A £200 overclocked 920 will be faster than a £700 non overclocked 975, I can't recommend strongly enough that you allow whoever you buy from to overclock for you.

I also agree with the 5870's over the 295's for graphics.

Aesethics of course are personal but there are some really sexy cases out there when water cooled and personally I don't feel the one you linked too is one of them. Silverstone, Lian Li and Corsiar do some great cases for water cooling when cost isn't much of an issue.
 

Noggin1980

Well-known Member
your welcome, kobalt are a small family buisness, a couple of brothers so you get very personal service but things can take longer and you get a bit less bang for your buck.

Scan of course are one of the biggest and best retailers in the country and so have the economy of scale so you get more for your money. They still have good personal service though, I've currently just ordered a £3k including monitor computer from scan, water cooled etc in the big corsair case. Arrives in just over a week, very excited.

edit - both will do alot more for you than is listed too, if you want something just ask, don't assume because it's not on a config page it's a no go.
 
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PokerIsFun

Standard Member
Nice one on the new computer mate, I hope to have the same feeling soon!

First of all you guys are probably changing my mind some on the overclocking. It seems I am being a bit stubborn with it and to have a fully watercooled system and not take advantage of it is a bit stupid. So I will probably overclock some. I guess the overclocked 975 will still be the fastest processor over the overclocked 920? so I will be sticking with the original choice on that front.

Secondly I do quite like the look of scan noggin. Plus the fact you gave them a personal recommendation means a lot more to me than a review in magazine for a multitude of reasons. I do hope they will do more for me than is listed in the configure options tho. For example even tho it says "Selecting 12gb of memory will limit overclock", I cant select 12gb of memory on any of there top systems which is a shame, I come from an old school computing background and have seen memory requirements shoot through the roof since the early 80s - and seeing as I am making the leap to 64bit computing here I have my heart set on getting a future proof 12gb of memory - do you think they would do this for me? The PSU is a little weaker than the one I could choose from cyberpower, although I take it 1KW will still be enough to power a system like this with no hitches? Unfortunately they only have creative sound cards on offer as well, although this is something I still have to look into. Oh and no sound proofing available for the case in the options? Or perhaps this is standard?

Cheers again

POKER IS FUN
 

Noggin1980

Well-known Member
First of all you guys are probably changing my mind some on the overclocking. It seems I am being a bit stubborn with it and to have a fully watercooled system and not take advantage of it is a bit stupid. So I will probably overclock some. I guess the overclocked 975 will still be the fastest processor over the overclocked 920? so I will be sticking with the original choice on that front.
The 920 and the 975 are the same chip really so when clocked to the same speed they are equal, The 975 will overclock further than the 920 so if you want a big overclock then the 975 is an option. I belive the normal speed they send an overclocked 920 out at with a water cooled system is 3.8ghz, they can go further with a 975, at best though you are going to be spending £500 more for 10% more cpu speed. I can't recommend it at all but it's your money. I know they are selling their silly money 10grand pc with a 975 at 4.4ghz and they say they can't do it that high with 12gb of ram. So with 12gb of ram it's quite possible you could be spending £500 more for less than 5% cpu performance, better to save the money and use it on an upgrade down the line.

Secondly I do quite like the look of scan noggin. Plus the fact you gave them a personal recommendation means a lot more to me than a review in magazine for a multitude of reasons. I do hope they will do more for me than is listed in the configure options tho. For example even tho it says "Selecting 12gb of memory will limit overclock", I cant select 12gb of memory on any of there top systems which is a shame, I come from an old school computing background and have seen memory requirements shoot through the roof since the early 80s - and seeing as I am making the leap to 64bit computing here I have my heart set on getting a future proof 12gb of memory - do you think they would do this for me? The PSU is a little weaker than the one I could choose from cyberpower, although I take it 1KW will still be enough to power a system like this with no hitches? Unfortunately they only have creative sound cards on offer as well, although this is something I still have to look into. Oh and no sound proofing available for the case in the options? Or perhaps this is standard?
I don't honestly don't know to what level going with 12GB of ram will limit overclocking but yes they will most certainly sell you a pc with 12GB of ram, yes a 1KW power supply will be plenty but if you want a different power supply they will sell you whatever one you want. They sell plenty of different sound cards, you can have whatever you want doesn't need to be a creative one. Go to the main scan page and you can see they sell pretty much everything they will build you a computer with any parts they sell and probably ones they don't.

I'm not sure on sound proofing you'd have to ask, I know they sell some sound proofing bits and peices, though I think you wouldn't want things like padding if you have a windowed case.

Both hexus and avforums members get free shipping but scan themselves post at hexus. So you can ask them questions there or better still just ring the sales team.
 
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Noggin1980

Well-known Member
A few other little thoughts.

"CD: LG BH08LS20 8X INTERNAL BLUE BLU-RAY DISC REWRITER & HD DVD-ROM DRIVE [+120] (Black Color)
CD2: LG BH08LS20 8X INTERNAL BLUE BLU-RAY DISC REWRITER & HD DVD-ROM DRIVE [+86] (Black Color)
"

I know money is no real object here but 2 x blu-ray writer?

"MOUSE: Logitech Optical PS2 Mouse (Black) [+5] "

lots of great mice and keyboards out there, I like logitech ones myself but razor and microsoft do some good stuff too. G500 or g9 mouse and G11, g15 or g19 keyboard perhaps

"MONITOR: NONE"

I've gone for dells high end 24 incher u2410 but the machine you are specing will handle a 30 incher if you wanted, I think that would feel too big for me but many people love it.

HDD2: 2TB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 32M Cache 7200RPM Hard Drive [+162]
I think you can get 2x 1.5TB drives for a similar price and of course thats an extra TB of space
 

Noggin1980

Well-known Member
oh and depending on what you mean by heavy database crunching the ssd will be fine.

There are versions for buisness that last 10 times longer but I'd be very surprised if any home user managed to run out of write cycles before the flash cells lose their ability to hold a charge which is about 10 years.
 

PokerIsFun

Standard Member
Hi Guys,

Yeah the dual blu ray writers is a bit excessive I know but I will prob go with it. Thanks for the tip on the treble HD setup. Its a bit more secure that way if either of the data drives fail I suppose (I lost two HDs - the infamous deathstars - which also lost all my data at the start of 2005, it was sick!) plus an extra TB of space is nice. As for what I mean on heavy db work I mean REALLY heavy DB work. Well I suppose not multi national company heavy work but for individual use there are probably not any more intensive users I would think. We are talking gigabytes of size, which is constantly read/written to multiple times every minute I am playing poker, which can be up to 60 hours a week. It will just increase in size over the years as well. When I run calculations and clean up processes on it under my current setup it takes hours and hours, even a simple graph can take minutes. It is way too big for access to handle and it is a Postgres or whatever its called db. I dont think I will take the chance of putting it on the SSD although it would be very nice to have it there, and I will put it on the data drive to be sure.

P.S. Trey, whos RAZOR (his nick sounds cool haha)
 

Noggin1980

Well-known Member
Hi Guys,

Yeah the dual blu ray writers is a bit excessive I know but I will prob go with it. Thanks for the tip on the treble HD setup. Its a bit more secure that way if either of the data drives fail I suppose (I lost two HDs - the infamous deathstars - which also lost all my data at the start of 2005, it was sick!) plus an extra TB of space is nice. As for what I mean on heavy db work I mean REALLY heavy DB work. Well I suppose not multi national company heavy work but for individual use there are probably not any more intensive users I would think. We are talking gigabytes of size, which is constantly read/written to multiple times every minute I am playing poker, which can be up to 60 hours a week. It will just increase in size over the years as well. When I run calculations and clean up processes on it under my current setup it takes hours and hours, even a simple graph can take minutes. It is way too big for access to handle and it is a Postgres or whatever its called db. I dont think I will take the chance of putting it on the SSD although it would be very nice to have it there, and I will put it on the data drive to be sure.

P.S. Trey, whos RAZOR (his nick sounds cool haha)
My inital reaction is that would be no worries at all. It's The number and size of writes that uses the ssd life and one person recording all their poker hands even if you are playing 60 hours a week and multiple tables at once is no big deal. You could of course e-mail whoever you buy the drive from and explain exactly what you want to use it for. Intel says the drive will last at least 5 years if you are writing 20gb a day to it. I don't fully know how databases work though, presumably it doesn't write the full size of it multiple times a minute because that obviously would be a deal breaker. But yeah If you are worried it can always go on the data drive it might benefit alot from the ssd though, I'm not really sure if something like that is hardrive or cpu limited, if it's hardrive it would benefit hugely.
 

PokerIsFun

Standard Member
ok, I think like you say it will be all right. It places demand on both the drive and cpu so this computer will make it run so much better, especially if it is on the SSD.

I have no idea how much would get written to the swap file by windows 7 either on average, that might be a good thing to know as far as this goes also, as it will be left on 24/7
 

Valleyman

Novice Member
An overclock will be hard with 12GB of RAM, you'll struggle to get an i7 920 above 3.6Ghz even with the greatest cooling system in the world. You could get lucky of course, some people have. Either way though it will wtill hold an overclock back.

The problem with 12GB RAM right now is that you're filling all six DIMM slots (6x2GB) and it's really cooking the hell out of the Northbridge with an overclock.

When 4GB sticks reach decent speeds it'll probably be a problem of the past (3x4GB). Problem is there isn't any good 4GB sticks out there.

This is why I'm ony running 6GB at the moment... because I'm able to clock an i7 920 at 4.2Ghz...
 

PokerIsFun

Standard Member
Interesting re the overclock, will it make it at all unstable at all do you think? This is probably why scan only offer such system with 6gb of memory I guess?
 

Noggin1980

Well-known Member
ok, I think like you say it will be all right. It places demand on both the drive and cpu so this computer will make it run so much better, especially if it is on the SSD.

I have no idea how much would get written to the swap file by windows 7 either on average, that might be a good thing to know as far as this goes also, as it will be left on 24/7
You most definatly don't need to worry about the ssd not lasting long enough from swap file useage.

anand (anantech.com owner) worked out with his useage the drive would last 986 years with perfect wear leveling and 10 years under the absolute worst case scenario with wear leveling. The worst case isn't realistic at all so it's more likly to be in the hundreds of years with his useage. Of course the drive won't last past 10 years for other reasons so the write cycles become irrelevent.
 

Noggin1980

Well-known Member
Interesting re the overclock, will it make it at all unstable at all do you think? This is probably why scan only offer such system with 6gb of memory I guess?
they will sell you it with 12 np, it's just when they come to overclock it they won't be able to get it as high before it becomes unstable, the system they send to you will be just as stable weather you go for 6 or 12 it's just it's likely to be clocked higher at 6. Of course this quite possibly means you will have a faster computer for less money by going with 6 but it kinda seemed like you had your heart set on 12.

Of course no guarentees the computer they send you will be stable, they do a 24 hour test I belive but whoever you buy from has a chance of selling a computer that crashes weather it's overclocked or not, but they will sort it np.
 

Noggin1980

Well-known Member
By the way this months custom pc is the dream pc edition where a few different vendors submit a money no object pc and they pick the best. Your budget isn't enough for the winner (which was scan) but it is enough for the second place one.

Might be worth buying the magazine for a look,.

The scan review is here

http://3xs.scan.co.uk/BuildPhotos/3XS/Documents/Scan3XS_JellyfishReview.pdf

it's a 12mb pdf though btw.
 

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