System Builder Marathon, May '09: $2,500 Performance PC

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arkadi

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Who requested that thing? It is cool, but i wonder what some dust will do to it ^_^, hope this thing will not burn the house down along with it.
 

doomtomb

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[citation][nom]scook9[/nom]Very interesting as I have a pretty powerful core i7 matx build as well, however, here is what I would have changed if I were you:Case: Antec Mini p180 - much more room, especially if you remove bottom hard drive cage, can take ANY graphics then, much better cooling, and allows for REAL cpu cooler.Motherboard: Asus Rampage II Gene - I used the DFI model then got the ASUS, its nicer, much nicer. Unless you need a couple specific overclocking things in BIOS, id recommend Asus board hands down, AND it has 2 firewire, one header, and one rear.For those that care (probably not many but why not), here is my system:Antec Mini p180Corsair TX750 PSU (wish I had the $$ for the 1000 watt model used here)LG GGC-H20L Combo Blu Ray Drive (same used)WD 640GB Caviar Blue - placed in top optical drive slot - working on VR 300GB6GB Corsair Dominator DDR3-1600 (saving for the Dominator GT DDR3-2000)Dominator AirFlow Fan (triple channel model)Intel Core i7 920Lapped TRUE5x Scythe S-Flex G fans (2 on TRUE, 1 exhaust, 2 intake in place of hard drive cages)Thermaltake Extreme Spirit II Northbridge Cooler2x EVGA GTX275 SLI (the SC models, even though I purchased stock clocks )This system hauls some serious ass, well staying reasonably cooled - although I will say that the S-Flex G fans have a noticeable hum to them. This system has run for days at 4GHz (50% overclock) with no issues.I "only" game on a 24" screen so the 2x GTX275 suffice for me. Thought about 295's in SLI but did not want to worry about the heat those can make (and the much higher cost).[/citation]
This guy has the right idea
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]Proximon[/nom]I really appreciate the unusual board choice and would really like to hear some further impressions, as in an actual review The case looks very nice, but then Silverstone always does.A bit surprised at the PSU selection given the cards, but impressed that it survived so well.Couldn't a higher RPM low profile heatsink have been found? Scythe Shuriken for instance?[/citation]

You can look forward to a review of the motherboard very soon, it's been waiting in queue for a while.

Newegg still has a very limitted selection of Core i7 coolers, and the only aftermarket cooler they had that would fit is the little Dynotron. The Asus Rampage II Gene supports both LGA-1366 and LGA-775 coolers, which would have opened up more cooling options except that Newegg DOESN'T SELL the Rampage II Gene.
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]doomtomb[/nom]This guy has the right idea[/citation]

Nobody requested a "so-called mini-tower" that's actually a slightly squat mid-tower. People did however request cubes, and the SG03/SG04 cases are a spin on the cube design.

You've seen very many mid-tower cases in previous System Builder Marathons, and Newegg sells full-ATX mid-towers that are the same size as the Mini P180.

Come to think of it, building specifically for the Mini P180 might just be a stupid idea, since you can get a full-ATX mid-tower the same size. If you have room for the full-ATX mid-tower case, why limit yourself to a Micro ATX motherboard?

The Mini P180 could be a good way to upsize the current system, if all you wanted to do was upsize to improve CPU cooling. But if you're planning to build a system with a 17-18 inch case, you'd might as well start with a full-ATX version to open up more motherboard choices.
 

andy_mcp1

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I own a SG03 case, think it quite a neat small case, not many others rival it for compactness and alows for full ATX PSU! I think in this day and age all PC's should be aimed to be this small, who wants an ugly fridge sized full tower PC in their house?

This is the only micro-atx case that proived two front 120 intakes, great cooling!

Anyway my question is, how they manage to fit two GTX295's which are 10.6" where as my out dated 8800GT which is only 9" barely fits. Can only presume that the front, bottom fans is removed???
 

MAD4AMD

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I really enjoyed this one - mATX! Nice solution with fans - simply cute! :)
Athlon 2 is coming! Get ready for AMD/ATI bang for the buck in next month at 500$! It is going to be core2 killer imo.
 

mrubermonkey

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Based on how dangerously close you came to the capacity of your power supply at load, I think you should have went with the BFG Tech EX-1200 for this build. Pretty much the same price point with more wattage and a lifetime warranty to assuming you register it online within the first four weeks of purchase.
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]andy_mcp1[/nom]I own a SG03 case, think it quite a neat small case, not many others rival it for compactness and alows for full ATX PSU! I think in this day and age all PC's should be aimed to be this small, who wants an ugly fridge sized full tower PC in their house? This is the only micro-atx case that proived two front 120 intakes, great cooling!Anyway my question is, how they manage to fit two GTX295's which are 10.6" where as my out dated 8800GT which is only 9" barely fits. Can only presume that the front, bottom fans is removed???[/citation]

Both fans are in it.

[citation][nom]scook9[/nom]bought my Rampage II GENE from newegg actually.http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] sus%20geneThey have been selling it for over a month. FYI. Look harder, all I did was search "Asus GENE". Pretty lame, try harder next time. THe article even said that newegg sells 2 matx x58 boards yourself, so you know that they DO sell it.[/citation]

They might be selling it, they certainly haven't catalogged it right. Here's the challenge:

1.) Go to www.newegg.com
2.) Go to motherboards
3.) choose Intel motherboards
4.) Choose Anvanced Search, socket type LGA-1366, Form Factor Micro ATX.
5.) See the result.

If Newegg doesn't list it properly than Newegg is going to have a very hard time selling it.

Rather than point out the "flaw" in the article, you should be screaming at Newegg for screwing up the listing. Someone other than the author changed the wording in the article, it originally said "Newegg only carries ONE product" because that's all their catalog revealed.
 

IzzyCraft

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Yeah only lists the DFI lanparty board. Not that i have anything against DFI it's just that i'd rather get Asus or Gigabyte over a DFI board

Also Newegg lists microatx with a u for the asus board making it even harder to find unless you are typing in the name.
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]IzzyCraft[/nom]Yeah only lists the DFI lanparty board. Not that i have anything against DFI it's just that i'd rather get Asus or Gigabyte over a DFI boardAlso Newegg lists microatx with a u for the asus board making it even harder to find unless you are typing in the name.[/citation]

Tom's knew the Asus motherboard was shipping but didn't see it using Newegg's catalog search. If it had been properly cataloged, it probably would have been purchased simply for its ability to support LGA-775 coolers. Newegg has several low-profile cooling devices for LGA-775 that may have been able to exceed the performance of Intel's boxed i7-920 cooler.
 

Enginerd

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I would love to win this thing. It would blow everything I have out of the water.

Personally, I like the case. It's small yet still able to fit 2x GTX 295s!!!

Cool(yet warm, lol) little system.
 

nerrawg

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Cool and fresh new idea for the system builder marathon guys! I especially like the contest addition, it makes the details of the upcoming builds even more exciting-
Just wonder though how long it would take before the electricity bill was no longer included in Halls of Residence fees if I or any other student were lucky enough to win that thing :D
 
G

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It makes absolutely no sense to have dual GTX 295s and only run the 920 CPU at a mere 3.25GHz overclock! If I were to build a system at this level, I'd at least have gone with a mid-ATX case like the Antec Nine Hundred Two, or at best a full ATX case. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY should ever use the stock heat sink/fan that Intel gives you. A PC of this level deserves a cooling option to kick it up to close to 5GHz, or at the least the mid 4s (with water cooling).
 

meatwad53186

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[citation][nom]Brandon12[/nom]It makes absolutely no sense to have dual GTX 295s and only run the 920 CPU at a mere 3.25GHz overclock! If I were to build a system at this level, I'd at least have gone with a mid-ATX case like the Antec Nine Hundred Two, or at best a full ATX case. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY should ever use the stock heat sink/fan that Intel gives you. A PC of this level deserves a cooling option to kick it up to close to 5GHz, or at the least the mid 4s (with water cooling).[/citation]

Tell me, did you even read the article or comments at all? The whole point of this system was to be a powerful computer, but at the same time be portable enough to take to lan parties and what not without being too much of a burden. Sure, it would overclock a little higher and be cooler if it were in a bigger case with a better heatsink, but that wasn't the point of this system.
 

meatwad53186

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Not to mention a that your idea of overclocking to 5GHz or even mid 4's is a little ridiculous. I highly doubt that 4.5GHz, let alone 5GHz, would be a safe overclock for any i7. 4.5GHz may be attainable on watercooling, but the amount of voltage it would take would leave that cpu with an incredibly short lifespan and 5GHz would only be attained with LN2, and who's gonna use that on their everyday gaming rig?
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]meatwad53186[/nom]Tell me, did you even read the article or comments at all? The whole point of this system was to be a powerful computer, but at the same time be portable enough to take to lan parties and what not without being too much of a burden. Sure, it would overclock a little higher and be cooler if it were in a bigger case with a better heatsink, but that wasn't the point of this system.[/citation]

You're right. You'll see in the system comparison that the overclock was not "good enough" to support the cards though, which means one thing: You'll never get the "most" from your high-end cards unless you can OC the crap out of the CPU.

And that means another thing: Though the GPU's might make 2560x1600 possible under a greater variety of games, there's going to be a lot of GPU power going unused simply to get the most portability possible.

All a compact system builder can do is throw in the most powerful parts the budget and case allow, and hope for reasonable results. It's a heavy price to pay for portability.

Most games won't get a significant performance boost from quad cores or the new architecture, so if you're building only for gaming, you might be better off with an E8600 at 4.00+ GHz.
 

Shnur

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It's very nice to see that you squeezed everything in a mATX form factor. While it's not always better it's taking less desk space and the PC itself looks less empty ^^
I don't mind winning this PC at all... Although I would probably aim for tomorrow's 1300$ priced PC... I don't know, I don't like super expensive things, they loose their value fast and you get deceived pretty fast =(
 

computabug

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Not to be a party pooper or anything, but if I won this by any chance, first I'd be so happy that I'd run through a wall, and second, I'd buy an Antec 1200 right away, transfer everything in there, and install a nice after-market hsf :)
 

radguy

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[citation][nom]Crashman[/nom]You're right. You'll see in the system comparison that the overclock was not "good enough" to support the cards though, which means one thing: You'll never get the "most" from your high-end cards unless you can OC the crap out of the CPU.And that means another thing: Though the GPU's might make 2560x1600 possible under a greater variety of games, there's going to be a lot of GPU power going unused simply to get the most portability possible.All a compact system builder can do is throw in the most powerful parts the budget and case allow, and hope for reasonable results. It's a heavy price to pay for portability.Most games won't get a significant performance boost from quad cores or the new architecture, so if you're building only for gaming, you might be better off with an E8600 at 4.00+ GHz.[/citation]

Your not cpu bound in crysis or stalker and not maybe not wic at 1920+ with aa and far cry 2 is more than playable so what is a higher oc really going to get you 90fps over 75 in one of the games. I don't know if an e8600 is a better gaming solution unless cost is a concern. Looking ahead I think for most of the games your still looking at being gpu bound as far as playablity is concerned.

I did enjoy the read and while I personaly would probably never go that route with a higher end system its nice to see what performance you can put in a smaller package.

 
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