General questions about a new build


Aug 11, 2008
I've just built my first computer ( :bounce: !!), and I've tried to get the top hardware in the budget I've allocated for it. I've managed to put together this configuration:

* CPU: Intel Quad Core i7-920;
* RAM: 6 GB of DDR3 triple channel Corsair i7 Dominator at 1,600 MHz (which for some reason run at 1066 MHz in default configuration);
* HDD: Seagate Barracuda of 500 GB;
* HDD: Hitachi (?) of 1 TB;
* GPU: XFX GeForce GTX285 overclocked (overclocked as default factory setting, on the box was written Black Edition, overclocked already);
* MB: ASUS Rampage II Extreme
* Chassis: NZXT Lexa Blackline
* PSU: these components are powered up by an Apevia Warlock of 750 W.

Without any overclocking at all, it is able to run all the games I've tried so far (Crysis, Crysis Warhead, Far Cry 2, FallOut 3, NFS Undercover, TimeShift), with all the details at max, at the highest resolution possible.

Now, I've got a couple of questions. First: it runs everything and I am more than happy with it, but. But! I feel it is still room for some more. I am thinking about getting another GTX285 Black Edition to put them in SLI, now would that be possible without having to invest in another PSU as well? Will my 750W PSU be able to power this build up? Or would it really be neccesary another GPU?

Second question: is the GTX295 REALLY better than than GTX285? I've benchmarked it in 3DMark Vantage and it scored way above 16,500 points without any overclocking. And if I go to nVidia site and try the performance advisor (you know, to see how much the performance will be increased if I purchase the GTX295, it tells me this (I copy and paste from the page: "Your current PC's 3DMark score: 16,400

Your PC's 3DMark score with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295: 15,000

What do these 3DMark scores mean?.
" :ouch: LOL?! :ouch: if I just follow what they say, they literaly admit that the GTX285 is better than the GTX295! So is a GTX295 better than the GTX285, or this is only the general impression? (you know, because it is $100 more expensive and it has more RAM on it?)

Third question: I've overclocked the CPU up to 3,2 GHz and the RAM up to 2,00 GHz. I've run the benchmark once more. It scored less than without overclocking! Overclocking is all about speed -- the more you overclock, the more performance you get. But it was not so in this particular case! Anybody knows what went wrong?

And the last question: I did not notice any performance boost if running Vista Ultimate x64 vs x86. I've found that it eats up more space, and the programs installed run crazy after some while. The shortcuts on the desktop do not work anymore, if I search for the .exe file, it is somewhere in Users\BlaBla\EtcEtc, and not in the location where it was initially installed. Why would someone need x64 when you get the same speed (or even higher!) on a x86?

The video card is in idle 35 degrees, but when gaming, it goes up to 59-60! Is that normal? CPU stays under 42, NB and SB are always 45-50 each. I am using the default cooling, I did not put anything extra. Is it normal for the GPU to be that hot when gaming? And which would be the max time it can spend being 60 degrees?

Last, and the last question: the RAM (Corsair i7 Dominator - read specs here) was supposed to run by default at 1,6 GHz. It does not, unless I overclock it -- which I don't. Is it something wrong with the BIOS? What could it be the reason it runs at 1066 MHz instead of 1,6 GHz, as I thought it would?
* PSU: these components are powered up by an Apevia Warlock of 750 W.

Bad choice. You need to replace this right away, regardless.

The GTX 285 may be fast, but it is the worst GPU to buy if you look at FPS per dollar. For the money, you could have bought two GTX 260s or two 4870s.

If you overclock beyond a safe limit, the CPU will throttle down and run slower than it would at stock speeds.