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  1. #1
    Member mercalf's Avatar
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    Near-future project, advice wanted..

    I plan on building a new setup within the next 3-4 months. I would like to know some advice on what to get...here are my wishes:

    - Main HDD = Solid State (40-100 gig)
    - Secondary SCSI Fiber Channel (Between 50-500 gig)
    - AMD if possible
    - SLI? (And SLI capable board)
    - I'm fine with fans as they save on costs
    - 2 17-19'' LCD's
    - Lot of space on the MB
    - I would like the case to be fairly large, with sufficient space for fan mounting - a cool look (of course, but I don't need to land any planes on my desk) - and some sound dampening.

    Would definitely appreciate some advice. REMEMBER, this project will START in no less than 3 months. So whatever will be available at the time would be great. I plan on having this system for at least 2 years. I don't game very much on PC's - but it's gotta have a solid video card(s) [Current system has 2 gigs of video ram].

    .:|[BUDGET]|:.
    $0.01-1500 USD (Goal, not ultimatum)


    EDIT (UPON REQUEST)

    The SCSI drive is for performance. I know a few people that have them (with the daisy chain setup), and they make up a LOT of ground when it comes to computing. Comps are only as good as the weakest link, and I need everything running tip top. The solid state is not necessary, but I'm so used to SATA and IDE, that I want to have something faster. (The solid state in my laptop boots XP in about 7-8 seconds). The system will be for many things - but mainly network administration, hacking (school-related), video editing, sound editing, web-site managing, business managing, gaming here and there, etc. etc. I go to school for Network/Communications management. Sorry for not being specific - but the only way to describe this thing is to be a system capable of anything. I want this thing to be a bit like Steven Seagal - adaptable to ANY role, whether it be indian, navy seal, former navy seal, purple heart soldier of fortune...etc.

    The SLI question mark was because I've never tried it before. However, many people I've talked to say that the SLI cards whoop up on your regular video cards.

    This thing will not be for your standard computer-using, I gurantee it. But I need to be able to take this desktop with me anywhere (work, home, etc.) and have it capable of doing the job. Now - I have a very LARGE truck, so I don't care how big the case is...so long as it's not flimsy. I hope this helps, sorry for the not-so-informing start of this thread (though I was on 42 hours without sleep!).
    Last edited by mercalf; 02-06-09 at 07:03 PM.
    |-------------------[RamBox]-----------------|
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  2. #2
    kkpudge7's Avatar
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    To be honest I would dump the SSD drive for now, they aren't a whole lot faster than the current SATA hdd that we have, and they cost more than 2x the price. Wait a little while longer until they get cheaper. put that extra $100 into the GFX cards/card. You will see more gains in performance spending the money there.

    Specially since you want a large case, the only real advantage to SSD right now is size.
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  3. #3
    Member BigBadBaz's Avatar
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    What do you want SCSI for? It just adds an extra headache and extra costs. I also believe that SATA is just as fast as SCSI (if not faster). I'd go with 2 wd6401aals in RAID 0. You'd be much better off.

    EDIT: I don't like AMD and I don't use it, so I don't have any suggestions there for you. In my opinion (others may argue) the only advantage to AMD is price. At your budget I'd say an E8400 from Intel would be you best bet. If you want AMD...

    EDIT: For what your looking for in a case, I can't recommend the HAF932 enough. It's a HUGE case, almost silent, great cooling (3 x 230mm + 1 x 140mm fans) and in my opinion looks great. I really love 932.
    Last edited by BigBadBaz; 02-06-09 at 12:51 PM.

  4. #4
    do u need an OS?

    what do u need the pc for?

  5. #5
    What do you want SCSI for? It just adds an extra headache and extra costs. I also believe that SATA is just as fast as SCSI (if not faster). I'd go with 2 wd6401aals in RAID 0. You'd be much better off.
    Well, not so much that, but why fibre-channel? SCSI can have some advantages depending on what you're doing with the system, or if you just want blazing fast disk performance (though I do somewhat agree, for 90% of uses, fast SATA disks will give just fine performance with a lot less cost and headaches), but I can see absolutely no reason to use fibre-channel for anything outside of a datacenter.

    No offense OP, but your list kinda looks like you picked up on some buzzwords and decided to build a 'leet' system around 'em without doing any research about practicality. Perhaps it would do well to explain what you actually want to do with the system and let us help you assemble something more reasonable?

  6. #6
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    If you are building in 4 months, post another thread in 3 months. There will be a lot more parts out and pricing will be significantly different then as well.

    +1 on Thrashbags post as well. More info plzzzzzzz!

    "We have more information and more ways of accessing it than ever, yet seem increasingly less inclined to do so."- Michael Wilbon

  7. #7
    I agree with Thrash, you sound pretty clueless OP. Why are you asking for SLI when you say you don't even game that much? What are you doing that requires 2GB of video ram that isn't gaming? Just trying to sound good?

    Asking for good components to use 3 months from now is like asking what your preschooler should wear to college graduation. Too much changes too fast. Spend three months familiarizing yourself with the basics and then focus on individual components when the time actually comes to buy them.

  8. #8
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    In three months SSD and DDR3 prices will drop and might actually look good price/performance wise.

    Core i7 motherboards might actually be affordable also.

    Wait until then.

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  9. #9
    Member mercalf's Avatar
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    ~Edited. Sorry
    |-------------------[RamBox]-----------------|
    Storage............................Hitachi 1TB SATA II
    CPU..........AMD Phenom II x4 Deneb Black Edition(stock 3.0GHz)
    Heatsink..........................Zalman CNPS8700
    Memory.........16GB HyperDrive / OCZ Reaper 4GB DDR2 8500
    Mobo............................DFI LanParty JR 790GX
    GPU..................2x BFG nVIDIA 9800GTs O.C. 2GB DDR3
    PSU...........................Corsair 620HX 620W Modular
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  10. #10
    Member nealric's Avatar
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    I also see little reason to do 17-19 LCDs when 22s can be had for not that much more. Frankly, I would get 2 24s if I were on that budget, but I like big screens

    I also think Raptors are a far better choice than SCSI if you are looking for quick desktop performance.

    The only possible way your current system has 2 gigs of video ram without SLI is if you have either: 1. A very high end graphics card already (highly unlikely) 2. Onboard graphics you have assigned 2 gigs to (completely worthless video) 3. You have an x-fire setup (also unlikely). If option 2 is the one, then you will be quite happy with most discrete graphics cards out there by comparison.


    There is nothing earth-shattering coming out in the next two months- so you won't need to worry about that. I would say nothing earth shattering coming out in the next 2 years in fact.
    Last edited by nealric; 02-06-09 at 07:36 PM.
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  11. #11
    Member JonSimonzi's Avatar
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    You would not need SLI for a 17" or 19" monitor. Even a 19" widescreen monitor, would run at 1440 x 900. One video card could handle that perfectly fine. If you were doing something at 1920 x 1200 or above, then I might suggest looking into SLI.
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  12. #12
    Member mercalf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nealric View Post
    I also see little reason to do 17-19 LCDs when 22s can be had for not that much more. Frankly, I would get 2 24s if I were on that budget, but I like big screens

    I also think Raptors are a far better choice than SCSI if you are looking for quick desktop performance.

    The only possible way your current system has 2 gigs of video ram without SLI is if you have either: 1. A very high end graphics card already (highly unlikely) 2. Onboard graphics you have assigned 2 gigs to (completely worthless video) 3. You have an x-fire setup (also unlikely). If option 2 is the one, then you will be quite happy with most discrete graphics cards out there by comparison.


    There is nothing earth-shattering coming out in the next two months- so you won't need to worry about that. I would say nothing earth shattering coming out in the next 2 years in fact.
    ATI Radeon HD 4670 1 gig with ddr2, I could prnt the dxdiag...

    I am a bit partial to "smaller" screens because I sit 2 ft away from them, and don't want glasses in my 20s. Do you believe that the Raptor HD's will outperform a fiber channel'd SCSI though?
    |-------------------[RamBox]-----------------|
    Storage............................Hitachi 1TB SATA II
    CPU..........AMD Phenom II x4 Deneb Black Edition(stock 3.0GHz)
    Heatsink..........................Zalman CNPS8700
    Memory.........16GB HyperDrive / OCZ Reaper 4GB DDR2 8500
    Mobo............................DFI LanParty JR 790GX
    GPU..................2x BFG nVIDIA 9800GTs O.C. 2GB DDR3
    PSU...........................Corsair 620HX 620W Modular
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  13. #13
    Epic Fail Guy JamesXP's Avatar
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    Yes, because In real world usage you will never reach the capablites of fiber channel, fiber channel is for massive input/output transfers not casual computer usage.
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  14. #14
    Vacationing to find my sanity Mutterator
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    EarthDog's Avatar
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    Exactly. Its not like the sata bandwidth is even close to being saturated even in a 3 drive Raid0 setup. Its not the bandwidth that needs expanding.

    "We have more information and more ways of accessing it than ever, yet seem increasingly less inclined to do so."- Michael Wilbon

  15. #15
    fiber channel is for massive input/output transfers not casual computer usage.
    More importantly, it's not designed to be used in a standalone tower at all. It's a networked variant of SCSI designed for remote storage installations in datacenters, where you have large disk arrays spread out over a large enough area to make local attachment impractical.

    It would be stupid and pointless to use fibre channel in a desktop machine, if you need super fast disk performance, regular SAS would be more appropriate. But OP, none of the tasks you listed requires super fast disk performance.

    As for SLI and all that, I still don't understand why you need a better video card if you're not heavy into gaming. I can (and do) perform everything you're talking about wanting to do, including a bit of casual gaming, using just my motherboard's onboard 780G graphics. So is there something specific you want to do that your 4670 can't?

    Fact of the matter is, you're really not doing anything particularly special, that couldn't be perfectly well achieved with a standard upper-midrange build like everyone else does. If you like AMD, then go for a decent quadcore, an ATi chipset motherboard to avoid the Nvidia hassles, video card of choice, couple fast SATA drives, and call it a day. What specifically you should get, figure that out when you actually want to build the machine.

  16. #16
    Member mercalf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Thrashbarg View Post
    More importantly, it's not designed to be used in a standalone tower at all. It's a networked variant of SCSI designed for remote storage installations in datacenters, where you have large disk arrays spread out over a large enough area to make local attachment impractical.

    It would be stupid and pointless to use fibre channel in a desktop machine, if you need super fast disk performance, regular SAS would be more appropriate. But OP, none of the tasks you listed requires super fast disk performance.

    As for SLI and all that, I still don't understand why you need a better video card if you're not heavy into gaming. I can (and do) perform everything you're talking about wanting to do, including a bit of casual gaming, using just my motherboard's onboard 780G graphics. So is there something specific you want to do that your 4670 can't?

    Fact of the matter is, you're really not doing anything particularly special, that couldn't be perfectly well achieved with a standard upper-midrange build like everyone else does. If you like AMD, then go for a decent quadcore, an ATi chipset motherboard to avoid the Nvidia hassles, video card of choice, couple fast SATA drives, and call it a day. What specifically you should get, figure that out when you actually want to build the machine.
    My 4670 (did) perform fine, but it is on the way to Visiontek because it 'done broke on me... When I get the new one in the mail again, I suppose that I COULD very well reuse it.

    I didn't list all of my computing needs, but I DO need/want a very very nice/fast system for any applications. I have not even touched some of the heavier things I will be doing in school, and I want to be ready. Everyone is mentioning data centers and what not - so again I am majoring in exactly that. A big reason why I want to sell my current system is because I want to use the hardware that I will be learning about (short of the UUUUGE servers and actual data centers). So as far as the fiber/sata debate is concerned - couldn't a well-built case sustain the large vibrations and "hassles" of a SCSI drive? I mean, really - CPU's run your programs, RAM holds them while they're being used (pretty much), and everything originates from the hard drive...correct? So wouldn't having that EXTREMELY fast HD be the best way to go? Again, the idea is to have the best (or close to it) - not a system to run regular software applications on. The drive needs to be able to transfer large amounts of data, sometimes store that data...and from what I hear, you can't beat fiber channel with speeds right now.

    Also, my plan really isn't to save money (I mean, I don't want to overpay of course...but I'm not trying to build a 'decent' computer). I like AMD because they've NEVER (knock on wood) broken on me...not once. I have had both Intel and AMD comps (all AMD since late '01), and those Intel machines always had something else going on with them...and finding support was terrible because Intel was too busy producing their newest CPU for that weekend. This might have changed in recent years - and I'm not against the switch back over.

    Really appreciate the input thus far, thanks' to everyone who has contributed. Though I don't really want this thread to get turned into a SATA v. SCSI debate (though it's proved interesting so far!).
    |-------------------[RamBox]-----------------|
    Storage............................Hitachi 1TB SATA II
    CPU..........AMD Phenom II x4 Deneb Black Edition(stock 3.0GHz)
    Heatsink..........................Zalman CNPS8700
    Memory.........16GB HyperDrive / OCZ Reaper 4GB DDR2 8500
    Mobo............................DFI LanParty JR 790GX
    GPU..................2x BFG nVIDIA 9800GTs O.C. 2GB DDR3
    PSU...........................Corsair 620HX 620W Modular
    Barracks.......................NZXT Rogue Crafted Series

  17. #17
    Member mercalf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBadBaz View Post
    What do you want SCSI for? It just adds an extra headache and extra costs. I also believe that SATA is just as fast as SCSI (if not faster). I'd go with 2 wd6401aals in RAID 0. You'd be much better off.

    EDIT: I don't like AMD and I don't use it, so I don't have any suggestions there for you. In my opinion (others may argue) the only advantage to AMD is price. At your budget I'd say an E8400 from Intel would be you best bet. If you want AMD...

    EDIT: For what your looking for in a case, I can't recommend the HAF932 enough. It's a HUGE case, almost silent, great cooling (3 x 230mm + 1 x 140mm fans) and in my opinion looks great. I really love 932.
    Man, that case OWNS. Definitely on the top of the list right now. Found a YouTube on it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvsG7AH-9c0
    |-------------------[RamBox]-----------------|
    Storage............................Hitachi 1TB SATA II
    CPU..........AMD Phenom II x4 Deneb Black Edition(stock 3.0GHz)
    Heatsink..........................Zalman CNPS8700
    Memory.........16GB HyperDrive / OCZ Reaper 4GB DDR2 8500
    Mobo............................DFI LanParty JR 790GX
    GPU..................2x BFG nVIDIA 9800GTs O.C. 2GB DDR3
    PSU...........................Corsair 620HX 620W Modular
    Barracks.......................NZXT Rogue Crafted Series

  18. #18
    Member diaz's Avatar
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    I support AMD, but if you are going for a gaming solution I would definitely go for an intel platform. Even the current generation 775 cpu's beat the nextgen phenom II from AMD. Not to mention that the i7's are just belching mama jokes at the phenom II's.

    Just a thought.

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  19. #19
    Member nealric's Avatar
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    ATI Radeon HD 4670 1 gig with ddr2, I could prnt the dxdiag...
    Umm... Then you have a 1gig card. Ddr2 is just second generation ddr memory. It doesn't double your memory.
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  20. #20
    Member mercalf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nealric View Post
    Umm... Then you have a 1gig card. Ddr2 is just second generation ddr memory. It doesn't double your memory.
    Dxdiag is printing 2 gigs of unique video ram.
    |-------------------[RamBox]-----------------|
    Storage............................Hitachi 1TB SATA II
    CPU..........AMD Phenom II x4 Deneb Black Edition(stock 3.0GHz)
    Heatsink..........................Zalman CNPS8700
    Memory.........16GB HyperDrive / OCZ Reaper 4GB DDR2 8500
    Mobo............................DFI LanParty JR 790GX
    GPU..................2x BFG nVIDIA 9800GTs O.C. 2GB DDR3
    PSU...........................Corsair 620HX 620W Modular
    Barracks.......................NZXT Rogue Crafted Series

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