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  Re: Building the monster (a new computer for little me!)
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    PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:07 pm 
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Ok.. I didn't have any problems with that. My case is an Antec Performance P180 Mini. And I used the 3½" to 2 x 2½" SSD adapter from Silverstone.

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  Re: Building the monster (a new computer for little me!)
    PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:56 pm 
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Ok, I received the adapters (very fast) and they are just fine for installing 2.5" devices.

Here is the picture (quickly done, sorry for quality) showing one adapter and another mounted in a screw-less anti-vibration HD 3.5" bracket of the case.

Image

Now the question is why can't Cooler Master provide at least one of those tiny bits of plastic with a 200+ euros case?! :roll:

So now pictures of the assembled system are in the making.


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  Re: Building the monster (a new computer for little me!)
    PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:48 pm 
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Posted the information, details, pictures and comments about the case in a reserved post above
viewtopic.php?p=51899#p51899


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  Re: Building the monster (a new computer for little me!)
    PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 6:13 am 
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Well, reviews of the AMD Bulldozer are nonplussing at best, so, I finally ordered my system. Not as amazing as your monster, but it will do :)

* Case: Antec P183 v3
* Motherboard: MSI Z68A-GD80
* Water-cooler: Corsair H80
* Intel core i5 2500K
* 16GB G.Skill RAM @ 1866
* 120GB SSD main drive
* Power supply: Corsair AX850 80 Plus Gold 850W

Combine that with my existing hard drives and GeForce 560ti and I should be set for the next year or so.

The motherboard I picked will support Ivy Bridge CPUs and PCIe3 ... so I figure in a year I'll upgrade to a faster CPU and a PCIe3 GeForce card when they get affordable, and turn the 560ti into a PhysX card.

The motherboard also supports MSI's "OC Genie" ... which gives you a reasonably optimized Overclocking without all the work. Looking forward to that. That's why I splurged on the 2500K even though I'll likely replace it in not too long.

Total cost (including some stuff not listed, like extra fans) was around $1,400 including expedited shipping.

Well ... it SHOULD be ... but Newegg's ordering system hates my address/credit cards, so I need to fix the order tomorrow.


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  Re: Building the monster (a new computer for little me!)
    PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:00 pm 
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Well, that's a very nice system, Hyde, and the fact you'll be able to use Ivy Bridge CPU's is really cool. I don't think you could be disappointed with it at all. :)

The case is definitely nice; I had one but much older version. Yours is an improved one. Silent, well made, clean look. Very good quality/price ratio. With silent fans that should be very cool. (If you're looking for silent fans you'll probably have to test a bit unless you're lucky; reviews are questionable et reputations too.)

Your Corsair AX is made by Seasonic. (Corsair PSU's are made by either Seasonic or Channel Well Tech (CWT)). It's a Seasonic "X" series. Normally, most excellent stuff. I could have bought one. The Antec I use is made by Delta from their top lines too, a company making highly reliable server PSU's.

Water cooler: you picked the very one I would have picked myself before the Antec (Asetek) was released. On a i5-2500, its should be just fine. The only thing is that the tubes are a bit rigid compared to Antec's, shouldn't be a big deal though and it only matters when you mount it.

CPU: nothing to say! Excellent and more reasonably priced than mine.

RAM: 16 GB... so you're a RAM sicko too, hey?! I just added the last module to my system, so I now work with 4x4GB modules. Running the last versions of FC's Dreamworld Cheetah graphic engine (the one in AoC and more or less TSW) at 1980x1080 and close to full options uses like 28% of that RAM. Of course, a lot is done by the graphic card but the CPU and the system RAM have to prepare the work for the graphic card.

120GB SSD... I hate you! I didn't know I would be that happy with a home SSD... and now my 64GB needs a companion. I'm going to slaughter the money pig again -who hasn't recovered yet- and get a Crucial 256GB asap. It's just awful... SSD's are like a drug. You get addicted. You are working on a very nice Western Digital Caviar Black in the same system as the SSD and you are like "WTH... why does loading this software take FIVE seconds... it's unbearable! Five seconds, what a shame! and WTH is that painful noise?!" We're spoiled children...
You didn't say what SSD bran you picked but TBH, as long as the SSD supports TRIM for better reliability over time, I'd say that any SSD is a major upgrade over any regular HD, even if the very last series by Kingston (Hyper X SSD's) beats every other model.

MSI MB... I never forgave MSI to be unable to fix a boot issue that sometimes happen on my old Neo2 Platinium MB (AGP graphic card not starting whatever the card model is). On the other hand... the MSI MB is still running fine after 8 years! So you should be happy I guess and Ivy Bridge + PCIe3 support is a big bonus.

My Asus MB and also the Asus graphic card got easy overclocking ("auto" or push button) features too. Never tried so far BTW. I don't experience any lack of processing power so far.

Glad you got a nice system. I hope you'll solve your credit card issue... BTW I'm seriously worried by the increasing number of issues with companies rejecting credit cards and customers based on totally stupid and unfair criteria.


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  Re: Building the monster (a new computer for little me!)
    PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:58 pm 
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re: MSI ... if I held a grudge for every component manufacturer that screwed up a product since I started using PCs, I'd probably be using an Apple (actually, not even then, as I still hold a dark spot in my heart for batteries that can't be replaced).

The memory is more because it is relatively cheap and I want to be able to run my graphics stuff again without being swamped. I found 4 and 8GB both got filled pretty quickly these days. If I could have gotten 32GB for only 2x the cost of 16GB, I probably would have done it.

As for the SSD, yep, they kick butt. Turned my ancient laptop into a machine I can use as a daily driver. I plan on partitioning this one into 56GB + 64GB, using the 56GB as my system partition and reserving 64GB for Smart Response caching, which is a function of the Z68 board, and see how it affects performance on my older SATA3 drives.


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  Re: Building the monster (a new computer for little me!)
    PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:10 pm 
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I don't know what any of that means...I just want to hear...Yes Mud I'll back online soon!

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  Re: Building the monster (a new computer for little me!)
    PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 12:47 pm 
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Mud wrote:
I don't know what any of that means...I just want to hear...Yes Mud I'll back online soon!


What Mud said! :comehere:

About Hyde's last post
Memory: same for me; would have got 32GB but prices rocketed between 16GB and 32GB, as I could get 16GB for really little.

Smart response: when you try, tell us the results... I'm wondering about this technology. Because, basically, it "just another" cache (the SSD being used as a cache for the HD). Of course it's a huge cache and so, when caching can work (i.e. data reading can be predicted, or data to write is bigger than the existing HD cache), it should be nice. But when caching is irrelevant, like in the case of random reading on many files, it shouldn't help. This is worth experimenting. It would be really nice for our wallets if we could have a 2TB HD clearly improved by a cache SSD! :)

As a general comment, I regret that caching on computers is not unified and clearly coordinated at least for some parts: everyone tries to "cache".... some programs do; the operating system does; regular HD's do (for like 4 to 64MB cache); and now Smart Response will cache too (for many GB's though)... Too many good wills?!

For reference and for what reviews are worth (not always much), here are two tests about Smart Response:

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1587/1/
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/mainbo ... html#sect0

Side note: a recent and very positive test of your MSI board, talking a bit of Smart response too:
http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=2116&pageID=10983


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  Re: Building the monster (a new computer for little me!)
    PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 1:03 pm 
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System Cooling results.

I thought it would be interesting to show how the cooling performs in my system.

Here are screenshots showing various utilities displaying temperature.

The first picture was taken after 4 hours playing AO at 1980x1080, 32 bits, full options.

The second picture was taken after roughly the same time in FC's Dreamworld Cheetah (last version) engine, the one in TSW, AoC, and with a branch for AO in the future. 1980x1080, full options too (or close)

    The Asus window is the monitoring software delivered with the Asus MB

    The Antec windows is the monitoring and control program delivered with the Antac watercooling system

    Smartdoctor is the utility (one of them) by Asus delivered with the Nvidia 570 card

    CPUID is a well-known free monitoring software.

All temperatures and in °C and not °F but CPUID shows both C and F.

Note: the CPU fan says "zero" speed because tha Asus watercooling is NOT connected to the CPU fan socket. It is connected to the power supply + an internal USB connection to the MB.
Also, one system "fan" is actually the 2 fans at the top of the case. All case fans are 230mm ones.


These results are what I get with totally standard, default settings. Nothing was customized. It's how it works "right out of the box".


The system can be easily considered "silent" like this. Unless you're really close to it, like 50 cm, you can't really say it's powered on (except if the Western Digital disk has to spin a lot). If I switch on a desk fan for some fresh air on me, it's much much more noisy than the system.

AO

Image

Dreamworld Cheetah

Image


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  Re: Building the monster (a new computer for little me!)
    PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:47 pm 
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I posted the comments and details about the monitor:
viewtopic.php?p=51900#p51900

Hope it can be helpful.


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  Re: Building the monster (a new computer for little me!)
    PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:26 am 
Hyde!
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I figure the 64GB cache should be enough to hold whichever games I'm regularly using + system swap + GIMP and major parts of Windows ... while giving me flexibility in not needing to manually put those items there. If it turns out to not really accelerate my regularly used stuff I'll just put them on the SSD myself. Something between a volatile RAM disk and a full SSD. No way to know until I try.

I got the credit card "fixed" (had to pay with my debit card instead, which sort of hurt). Unfortunately it didn't happen early enough and so Newegg is still "processing" (step 2/5) my order. Which means Tuesday at the earliest and probably Wednesday.


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  Re: Building the monster (a new computer for little me!)
    PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:33 am 
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Hope you'll be back with a fresh comp soon, Hyde! :)

BTW I posted info about the monitor if you are still wondering about monitors. Check my two posts above.


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  Re: Building the monster (a new computer for little me!)
    PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:08 am 
Hyde!
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Thanks. Unfortunately having to buy a whole new PC completely destroyed my budget for niceties like a monitor with a good black level :) My 24" is still functional, but aging. Hopefully it makes it for a few months.


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  Re: Building the monster (a new computer for little me!)
    PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 3:17 am 
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I should have guessed, Hyde, sorry. :(

That said, your post reminds me I didn't mention the black lever or color temperature BTW.

(Sorry to add insult to injury, Hyde.) :(

Black level is at 0.20-0.21 cd/m² (measured with X-Rite) after setting global brightness to a reasonable value as I explained.

Anything below 0.3 is considered good. 0.1 or so is considered "perfect" and it's extremely rare and either very expensive or obtained by nerfing something else.

To have an idea, I re-checked two Eizos we have and I found the following values (once again at decent global brightness levels):

Eizo Coloredge GC241W (at 1400 euros when bought): 0.19
Eizo Flexscan SX2262W (at 820 euros): 0.23

Note that this is +/- 0.01, due to test conditions, maybe even a bit worse.



As for color temperature, when making grey levels vary from 100% black to white (0%), the Asus is almost always at 6500 °K (Kelvin) or extremely close, so at the "neutral" temperature (not too visually warm/orange, not too visually cold/blue). (Note: I say visually warm because "visually warm" is actually a LOWER temperature in °K, and "visually cold" is actually a HOTTER temperature in °K.)

In deep blacks around 80% black, color temperature drops to 6200ish °K which is good as, anyhow, it's already very dark. (The Eizos drop to only 6400ish in similar conditions.)

Color temperature can be modified in the on-screen menu.


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  Re: Building the monster (a new computer for little me!)
    PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:11 pm 
Hyde!
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Well, after who knows how many reboots during software installs ... my Smart Response cache partition got messed up. It seemed to work fine, when it worked, but didn't last long.

Still have a ton of driver updates to do (MSI's update utility downloads at around 20kbps ... ) so I'll give it another shot later.

The saddest part is ... I had just moved my AO install to the other partition on that same drive (to give AO a dedicated SSD install instead of relying on caching). When the system barfed on the cache partition it also took my SSD data partition. Which means my AO install just got wiped out.

I'm currently running an undelete operation on the old AO folder on my non-SSD drive that I moved it from. As long as I can restore my prefs I'll be ok. However there is no guarantee on that and this looks like it is going to take HOURS to complete (thousands of AO .xml files). And even then, I still need to get my drivers and stuff done, which means I'll be lucky if I can log in to AO before tomorrow.

PS. Logging in to AO with both Windows and AO on separate SSDs was pretty incredible. Under 10 seconds from entering my password to seeing my character stand up.


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