Help Me Build My PC Catch-All

Thin_J wrote:
TempestBlayze wrote:

Quick question for a friend. Will a GTX 760 work in a PCI E 2.1 slot? I know the 760 is 3.0 so I'm working if it will bottleneck with 2.1 or not work at all.

It will work fine. Tests done on the different PCIe versions have always shown performance differences so minimal they're not even worth considering.

Good to know thanks. Never had to think about that one before. He is trying to put a new video card and PSU in an older machine.

Do we have any sense of when the new Geforce 800 series cards will start coming out? I am wondering whether or not I should hold out for those before I drop a bunch of cash on a card. It isn't like my 570 is on its last legs or anything.

EriktheRed wrote:

Do we have any sense of when the new Geforce 800 series cards will start coming out? I am wondering whether or not I should hold out for those before I drop a bunch of cash on a card. It isn't like my 570 is on its last legs or anything.

Those will probably be on a 20nm which means no time soon... my guess is mid 2014.

TempestBlayze wrote:

Quick question for a friend. Will a GTX 760 work in a PCI E 2.1 slot? I know the 760 is 3.0 so I'm working if it will bottleneck with 2.1 or not work at all.

3D uses surprisingly little bandwidth. It's always been sold as a graphic thing, but it's never been that important in the 3D era. Where it's really needed is when pushing out 2D frames at high speed, like with games, and even that was pretty decisively handled by PCIe 1.0. (A 2560x1600 screen, updating every pixel, every frame, would need about 737 megabytes/second to run at 60fps. That would (just barely) fit in x3 bandwidth; x4 would give you about 20% slop.

They've gradually expanded the bandwidth use, because they had it.... live streaming textures and the like require PCIe-class bandwidth. But, as far as I know, a PCIe x4 slot, version 1.0, is still perfectly adequate to drive nearly any game.

I'll be scanning Newegg of course. I've already started. But if I'm looking for some quiet case fans and a quiet CPU (LGA-775) fans, what are the rules of thumb and are there brands to focus on/be wary of? I would like to make my desktop machine an always-on machine to simplify logistics, both in terms of number of computers sitting around, and to situate the networking stuff. The Verizon/Novatel MiFi supports Ethernet-over-USB, and since my desktop has no wifi, this is what I'll be doing. However, if the desktop's off the MiFi has only ~8 hours battery life, so we'd plug it back into its wall wart.

muraii wrote:

I'll be scanning Newegg of course. I've already started. But if I'm looking for some quiet case fans and a quiet CPU (LGA-775) fans, what are the rules of thumb and are there brands to focus on/be wary of?

The larger the fan, the slower it has to spin to move the same amount of air, and so the quieter it can be while delivering the same cooling performance. For brands and such, I'd google CPU cooler reviews. The better reviews will include noise benchmarks. NewEgg seems to list noise ratings as well for many coolers (presumably the ones where the manufacturer says how loud they are).

Back when I built my system a year ago, I got the Arctic i30 because it was the quietest one I could find that still had good cooling performance. You also want to consider the noise generated by your graphics card cooler and other fans in your case, as at some point, getting an even quieter CPU cooler won't even matter relative to the other stuff in your case.

Finally, the case you get matters (assuming you aren't repurposing an old one). The more holes in the case, the more noise will leak out. Noise dampening often seems to be at odds with good cooling, so there are bound to be some compromises. I spent up and got a Silverstone Fortress FT02 for a number of reasons, but noise was a significant factor. Even with the 3 large case fans, the computer is pretty close to silent. I couldn't be happier.

complexmath wrote:
muraii wrote:

I'll be scanning Newegg of course. I've already started. But if I'm looking for some quiet case fans and a quiet CPU (LGA-775) fans, what are the rules of thumb and are there brands to focus on/be wary of?

The larger the fan, the slower it has to spin to move the same amount of air, and so the quieter it can be while delivering the same cooling performance. For brands and such, I'd google CPU cooler reviews. The better reviews will include noise benchmarks. NewEgg seems to list noise ratings as well for many coolers (presumably the ones where the manufacturer says how loud they are).

Back when I built my system a year ago, I got the ARCTIC i30 because it was the quietest one I could find that still had good cooling performance. You also want to consider the noise generated by your graphics card cooler and other fans in your case, as at some point, getting an even quieter CPU cooler won't even matter relative to the other stuff in your case.

Finally, the case you get matters (assuming you aren't repurposing an old one). The more holes in the case, the more noise will leak out. Noise dampening often seems to be at odds with good cooling, so there are bound to be some compromises. I spent up and got a Silverstone Fortress FT02 for a number of reasons, but noise was a significant factor. Even with the 3 large case fans, the computer is pretty close to silent. I couldn't be happier.

I have an existing system with the E6850 and a GTX 460. If acpi is reading accurately, it's 19C at idle, which is to say, it's not accurate. I mean, yeah, it's chilly in this country house but....

I'll definitely keep looking on Newegg. I'm hoping I can make the thing noticeably quieter--it's certainly not a jet engine, but noticeable--for on the order of $50-70.

In that case, you might want to look into swapping in some really quiet case fans as well, assuming the ones currently in your case aren't.

Yeah, that's the idea. A quick search reveals, for instance, some Enermax fans in the 5-10 dBA range. They're variable but hover in the 30-55 CFM range, and I'm not sure if that's enough airflow. Maybe with four or five of 'em (I have the slots) would suffice.

muraii wrote:

I'll be scanning Newegg of course. I've already started. But if I'm looking for some quiet case fans and a quiet CPU (LGA-775) fans, what are the rules of thumb and are there brands to focus on/be wary of? I would like to make my desktop machine an always-on machine to simplify logistics, both in terms of number of computers sitting around, and to situate the networking stuff. The Verizon/Novatel MiFi supports Ethernet-over-USB, and since my desktop has no wifi, this is what I'll be doing. However, if the desktop's off the MiFi has only ~8 hours battery life, so we'd plug it back into its wall wart.

You could also consider fan speed controllers. Some motherboards allow for control of fans direct through the headers as well.

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2013/...

Looks like the 780Ti is a winner.. better thermals and acoustics than the 290x with similar performance but at a $150 premium. Hopefully this pushes the 780's down to 290 pricing.. then we have some competition again.

Malor wrote:

So, I got around to buying my first MicroSD card today.

I can't believe these damn things. It's 32 gigabytes, class 10. It cost me 24 entire dollars. And it's smaller than my thumbnail.

I tell ya, when the Curiosity rover landed on Mars, I realized that I was living in a science fiction novel. Being able to store something around 60,000 books in a device the size of my thumbnail is not dissuading me from that idea.

And that was the cheap one, I could have gotten a 64-gigger for $50.

They're to the point where it's so small it's almost too easy to lose. They should make them in day glow colors.

So, I got around to buying my first MicroSD card today.

I can't believe these damn things. It's 32 gigabytes, class 10. It cost me 24 entire dollars. And it's smaller than my thumbnail.

I tell ya, when the Curiosity rover landed on Mars, I realized that I was living in a science fiction novel. Being able to store something around 60,000 books in a device the size of my thumbnail is not dissuading me from that idea.

And that was the cheap one, I could have gotten a 64-gigger for $50.

edit: not so many years ago, I was mightily pleased with a 256-meg SD card. Two hundred floppies in a an oversize postage stamp! Near as I can figure, I'm up to 23,000 on a card so small you could easily lose it in a shag rug, and it cost less than $25.

Yeah, I dropped it, and it took me a minute to find it again. Knowing that it was in my chair, I still couldn't spot it, and had to stand up, and then rescue it from where it fell to the floor.

The sheer information density in these things is appalling. There used to be a computer truism, "never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon loaded with backup tapes." It morphed to hard disks, but it more or less remained true.

But, these days, who needs the freaking station wagon? All you need is an Altoids tin.

Malor wrote:

But, these days, who needs the freaking station wagon? All you need is an Altoids tin.

Heh, that's basically what I keep my SD/microSD's/microSD adapters in. I use an Icebreakers container.

IMAGE(http://d3spdo3nk3n5ki.cloudfront.net/p300/497879-20121004232257-ice-breakers-sours-mints.jpg)

I just keep each of mine in the device it was purchased for.

RoughneckGeek wrote:

I just keep each of mine in the device it was purchased for.

There are always upgrades. I took my old EVO from the stock 8GB to 16GB, then on to 32GB as it got older.

With the little USB adapters, they become basically USB drives.

MannishBoy wrote:
RoughneckGeek wrote:

I just keep each of mine in the device it was purchased for.

There are always upgrades. I took my old EVO from the stock 8GB to 16GB, then on to 32GB as it got older.

With the little USB adapters, they become basically USB drives.

I either find someone to take my retired ones or throw them away. I have 2-3 USB 3.0 thumbsticks that are 32gb.

I ordered a 290 to replace an aging 6950. Just in time too, last night was our first night of freezing temps and tonight will be even colder.

Would love to see a thumb drive that you could insert 6-8 microSD cards in and have it raid 0 them together automagically... I've got at least 10 between 2-8GB lying around.

Malor wrote:

The sheer information density in these things is appalling. There used to be a computer truism, "never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon loaded with backup tapes." It morphed to hard disks, but it more or less remained true.

But, these days, who needs the freaking station wagon? All you need is an Altoids tin.

Someone did the math

The bandwidth is huge but the ping time is horrible.

tanstaafl wrote:
Malor wrote:

The sheer information density in these things is appalling. There used to be a computer truism, "never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon loaded with backup tapes." It morphed to hard disks, but it more or less remained true.

But, these days, who needs the freaking station wagon? All you need is an Altoids tin.

Someone did the math

The bandwidth is huge but the ping time is horrible.

We could always switch to CPIP

Yeah it is unfortunate that the seek times aren't better on SD cards because when ssd's were much more expensive I had always wondered why we didn't just use 32 or 64 gb sd cards for rapid loading os drives and bigger buffers for hdds.

Also, I'd like to chime in on the AMD vs. intel cpu debate because I've found it gets more interesting when shopping for pre-builts.

First of all, the pre-built market is all over the map. It is flooded with decent systems for the right price that they gutted the ram on (only 4gb), complete garbage systems (old core2duo based selling for $500), similar systems by the same manufacturer where the slightly better buy is $50 less, and a ton of amd A based systems with higher numbers in the name that seem equivalent to low end core i3's. Also, the market is rife with unfulfilled opportunity.

I'll start of with a question regarding that unfulfilled opportunity: I know haswell is relatively new but why are their no systems based on what seems like a crazy bang for your buck processor, the i3 4130? Nearly every i3 system I see is based on the 3120 or 3240. *facepalm*

Like I mentioned before the A series are being pushed pretty heavily on the AMD size and aside from a few processors, they seem like junk. The A10 6800k and some of the high end A8's seem decent but most systems I see offer the A10 5700 or 6700 which are worse that the i3 4130.

But where AMD gets interesting is two fold: most of the prebuilts aren't as shy at putting a decent amount of ram in their systems. (8, 10 or 12gb) This is unlike the intel's which seem to overwhelmingly come with 4gb.

The other thing interesting is that the fx line of cpu's perform well and seem to be more discount friendly so far. I see a fair amount of FX 6300 systems that out perform the i5 3350p or 3330 for the same price, $40 less, or with more ram.

And then lets talk about the fx 8140, and 8320 or 8350 based systems. They are still out of my price range (if I spend more than $500 it had better be a monster and a steal) but they appear to come close the i7 3770 in performance but you can find systems for $150-200 less.

So black friday or tech monday can't come soon enough. I just have this nagging feeling that with all the junk out there, that is the only stuff that will have its prices slashed =(

I couldn't wait until Black Friday. I'm not known for my patience.

With the parts arriving today I have the following:

Fractal Design Node 304
SeaSonic G-Series 650w PSU
Intel i7 4770k
Intel 530 Series 240GB SSD
ASUS Maximus VI Impact
16GB Crucial Balistic Sport (Low Profile)

I'll be using my current ATI 6750 temporarily. I'll be working with a friend to make a couple modifications to the case, then ordering an ATI R9 290X. The modifications are to allow me to stuff a water cooling setup in it. The sacrifice is that I won't have any room for storage drives. I'm looking at either 2-4 bay NAS options or possibly eSATA connected storage to use instead of internal storage. Any suggestions?

RoughneckGeek wrote:

Any suggestions?

So you only have room for the SSD, not even one HDD? It would be perfect if you could get a 3 TB drive in there. If not, I would at least get one drive directly hooked via eSATA (does eSATA have a performance hit compared to SATA? I can't recall). As long as you could split up the NAS option between a data section and a backup section and have it hooked up via eSATA, I would think that'd be the best option, although you would need 2 separate eSATA ports for that. Maybe do a 3 TB data drive via eSATA and a 3 TB backup drive via USB 3.0? Anyways, those are more musings than advice.

Enjoy overclocking the 4770k. Let us know where you end up with it. They tend to vary a bit. The ASUS overclocking tools are really easy to use.

What's the easiest way to move a Windows install from one drive to another? I have a 128 GB SSD that I'm considering moving to a larger SSD. Maybe switch to RAID 1, let the drives sync, then rip one out and disable the RAID? Or is there a software tool that handles this? Alternately, I guess I could just get a second SSD for games that I want to load quickly...

complexmath wrote:

What's the easiest way to move a Windows install from one drive to another? I have a 128 GB SSD that I'm considering moving to a larger SSD. Maybe switch to RAID 1, let the drives sync, then rip one out and disable the RAID? Or is there a software tool that handles this? Alternately, I guess I could just get a second SSD for games that I want to load quickly...

I remember looking into this and it ended up looking like a nightmare or at least prone to creating issues down the line so I just did a fresh install.

Bummer.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
RoughneckGeek wrote:

Any suggestions?

So you only have room for the SSD, not even one HDD? It would be perfect if you could get a 3 TB drive in there. If not, I would at least get one drive directly hooked via eSATA (does eSATA have a performance hit compared to SATA? I can't recall). As long as you could split up the NAS option between a data section and a backup section and have it hooked up via eSATA, I would think that'd be the best option, although you would need 2 separate eSATA ports for that. Maybe do a 3 TB data drive via eSATA and a 3 TB backup drive via USB 3.0? Anyways, those are more musings than advice. :)

I might be able to find a way to put a single 3.5" drive in it if there's room to make a mount on the right side of the case. If so, I'll just go with a nice 4TB and call it good. As it is, the SSD is just going to be slapped under the front cover with double-sided tape. The case has 3 hard drive brackets each capable of holding 2 3.5" drives. One has to come out to make room for the video card. The other two (and the cross bar they attach to) have to come out because that's where the radiator/pump/reservoir combo is going to be mounted. That leaves little to no room left in the case.

I'm not concerned about slow access over the network because I don't plan to ever run anything off of the storage drive. It'll mostly just be for storing video, snapshots of the SSD and my Steam pile. Whatever game I'm actively playing will be on the SSD. NAS would also give me the added bonus of giving my boyfriend a place to backup some of his stuff to... and the ability to access stuff from our phones/tablets without having to go through a share on my PC for it. Besides speed, is there another reason you're leaning towards eSATA over NAS?

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

Enjoy overclocking the 4770k. Let us know where you end up with it. They tend to vary a bit. The ASUS overclocking tools are really easy to use.

Thanks. I won't be touching that until after I have the water cooling loop in place and see how hot temps rise with the 290X in the loop. Initially I'll be using the crappy air cooler that comes with the i7.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
complexmath wrote:

What's the easiest way to move a Windows install from one drive to another? I have a 128 GB SSD that I'm considering moving to a larger SSD. Maybe switch to RAID 1, let the drives sync, then rip one out and disable the RAID? Or is there a software tool that handles this? Alternately, I guess I could just get a second SSD for games that I want to load quickly...

I remember looking into this and it ended up looking like a nightmare or at least prone to creating issues down the line so I just did a fresh install.

I don't know, going from a small SSD to a larger SSD is totally doable. It's going from a larger HD to a smaller SSD that it's more complicated.

Lots of programs help with the first option without much work, then you just expand the partition after you've moved the image. You don't have to worry about all the stuff that Windows does differently for SSDs that werent' done for the HD, etc (TRIM/no defrag, etc).