I've Built my New i7 PC - Hrm

sjdean

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Background and Benchmarks

I've got real mixed emotions with this new i7.

For comparison

Previous system:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+
4 Gig DDR2 RAM
Gigabyte M59-S5 SLI (nVidia 590a) Chipset
2 x 9800GT Graphics Cards (SLI)
1 x Hauppauge HVR1300
Windows Vista 32

Just for background, prior to the 9800GTs, I tried an ATI4670 in the AMD 4800 rig:

3DMark Vantage Score: P2961
CPU Score: 3130
GPU Score: 2909

I then added 1x9800GT in:

3DMark Vantage Score: P4464
CPU Score: 3453
GPU Score: 4948

I then added a second 9800GT for SLI:

3DMark Vantage Score: P10604
CPU Score: 20671
GPU Score: 9123

Needless to say I was blown away by that one.

Great. Really great. Trouble is, it was kind of creaking around the edges. Transcoding MPEG files was slow, Sims 2 was a little slow, startup times, had way too much data. Plus my mobo was only PCI Express x16 v1.1.

So what I figured, I should upgrade to a better CPU to help improve general performance (loading times, multitasking, game loading times etc), add better disks, and get PCI Express x16 v2 which should give me double the bandwidth, and this was my theory, I should see something approaching double the GPU score in in 3DMark Vantage.

So I built:

Intel i7 920
Gigabyte EX58 Extreme (X58 Chipset)
6 Gig DDR3 (1066) Memory
2 x 9800GT Graphics Cards (SLI)
Windows Vista 64

My new Benchmarks are:

3DMark Vantage Score: P12870
CPU Score: 37992
GPU Score: 10545

Problems
■So as I was saying, I have real mixed emotions. Clearly this i7 processor is something quite amazing. I can now transcode video in TMPGenc faster than real time, including resizing and adding colour correction, noise reduction etc. It's quite something to behold.
■The Sims 2 still takes a long time to download, but Im figuring most of that is actually data transfer from the disk. Curse The Sims 2.
■Vista is faster to load now, and faster to shut down.
■Unfortunately I havent quite got the same performance upgrade as I expected on swapping my 9800GTs from a PCI Express x16 v1.1 to v2.0 bus. It's actually quite poor. Don't know if I'm doing anything wrong or this is normal.
■Stupid motherboard designs mean that you can only do one thing! I only have two XFX 9800GTs, even though they're only single slot, I think the cooler is fractionally larger which means I cannot then use the PCI slot for my Hauppauge TV Tuner card because the gap is only around 2 mm.
■Stupid stupid stupid - why did I go for the Extreme over the UD5? It takes up a PCI Express X1 and an X4 slot with it's stupidly oversize cooler.
■Suppose I could go with a HVR2200 and stick that PCI X1 card in the third PCI Express X16 slot (didn't know you could do that), but that means yet more money! So now, either do away with one of the 9800GTs which I thought I might not need if I an get double the performance on a faster motherboard, or get rid of the TV Tuner!

Any thoughts on all of this?

Cheers
Simon
 

xthekidx

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The newer PCIE 2.0 interface really doesn't make a difference for those gpu's, you need faster ones to get better GPU performance. I personally think that those high end MB are a total waste of money. The P6T or P6T Deluxe V2 are the sweet spot IMO. I hope you overclocked your CPU to 3.8ghz or so, otherwise you totally wasted your money.
 

sjdean

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I haven't overclocked yet. I don't like overclocking. But I will either go with watercooling or just get a better air fan after Christmas before I do so.

So I should probably sell my two 9800GTs and either go with something like an ATI 4870 or tried and trusted nVidia, perhaps a GTX of some description?

It really is frustrating to hear that the 9800GT is PCI Express X16 v2.0 compatible and then find out that it actually can't take advantage of the extra bandwidth available.

Grrr.

Cya
Simon

PS Speaking of watercooling, is there a section on these forums? Im wondering whether I can get away with water cooling the GFX cards allowing me to use the PCI TV Tuner with only a milimetre gap! Still, would like some advice for the future.

 



Think of bandwidth as the size of a pipe . The 8800gt's were pouring water [data] down that pipe . It was fine on your old system since the pipe wasnt full .

Now you have a pipe twice the cross section , but the same amount of data is being poured in .

Its not going to go faster , because the pipe was never the limitation


Maybe upgrade to a single GTX 285 , GTX275 or ATI 4890 or 4870 x 2
 

sjdean

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They're 9800GTs by the way, which, according to the back of packet, says, "PCI Express 2.0 compatibility provides the highest data transfer speeds for the most bandwidth-hungry games".

Presume the 9800s then are a little more capable under PCI Express 2.0 then but the difference is negligible?

What a crock.

What's the point in making a song and a dance about a card being PCI E 2.0 compatible when it doesn't physically have the horse power available to it?

Cya
Simon
 

daship

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If you dont have $500 for water cooling , then dont even bother. Cheap water = good air.

I run my i7 920 @ 3.6 on the stock cooler for the past 6 months. Crank it up and watch your scores soar.
 

sjdean

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One thing I forgot to mention, I now have this annoying buzz from the computer. It is intermittent and only happens when I do something that isn't labour intensive on anything, such as if I swap browser tabs, or use a mouse scroll, or click a button.

I can run a 3D Mark Vantage benchmark, and even run TMPGenc and do a transcode. I can take processor and video and nothing. But as soon as I use the mousewheel to scroll down in a web browser or something, I get a high pitched buzz that dies out after a couple of seconds.

Most annoying.
 

xthekidx

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The point is to make you buy it. Its called Marketing.
 

xthekidx

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You are going to kill your chip. I tried OC'ing my i7 to 3ghz on the stock cooling using all stock voltages and my temperatures were at 80C. DL RealTemp 3.0 to get accurate temperature readings. I doubt you have stress tested your i7 for an adequate amount of time either, your temps would get too high and your CPU would downclock or BSOD if you had. You should really get an aftermarket cooler if you want that CPU to last.
 

sassan

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I get that to, I think it's either the PSU or the GPU, I read online and I think it has to do with the some components inside the video card that causes it. Doesnt change any performance so if it's not annoying you just ignore it.
 

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