I'm starting to put together my list of parts for a new PC build. One of the main functions of it will be for video editing. I also do some graphical work, web design, gaming, etc. It needs to be pretty well rounded and I'm trying to make sure it lasts me a while. My current Dell Dimension has done me for about 7 years but it's getting slow. I'll post my parts list and see if any one has any input. One main question I have is about RAID arrays. I was thinking of a RAID 5 array across 4 drives. I like to make Paragon backups as well. I haven't done much with RAID in the past so I'm new to this. I was wondering if it would be more efficient to use a single HDD for my primary boot drive and programing that I can easily back up with Paragon and then a 4 drive RAID5 array for storage. Any input is appreciated.
Attached PDF has my parts list.
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Get Western Digital 150gb VelociRaptor for your boot drive. Then get larger capacity drives for storage like the WD Black drives 640gb, 1TB or even the WD Green drives since they're low in heat and power.
Get some good 120mm fans for your CM HAF 932 case. Scythe S-Flex series is good but expensive. Also the Scythe Gentle Typhoon fans are suppose to be good too. If you want inexpensive fans get some Yate Loon medium and high speed fans from Petra's tech shop. They are the only one's the sell legit Yate Loon fans. They get them directly from the Yate Loon factory in China. The Cooler Master R4 fans are good too which you can get from Newegg but the one's that are 90cfm are led fans. Amazon has one that isn't led.
The CM Hyper 212 Plus I use in my new AMD Quad system. I use (2) 120mm fans in a push/pull configuration. I removed the stock fan and use (2) Scythe S-Flex "G" fans. It does well with cooling. Use Artic Cooling MX-2 or MX-3 thermal paste.
Here's a link on how to apply thermal paste on heatpipe exposed heatsinks:
Instead of that Asus dvd burner get a Sony Optiarc dvd burner which is currently the best dvd burner at the moment.
Recently I've been using Mushkin ram in most of my builds. They're great overclockers if you're into that.
Last edited by budz; 15th May 2010 at 14:55.
I would probably use a smaller, faster boot drive. I use a WD Raptor 10K RPM 150GB and it works well and is fairly fast. You could back up the boot to one of the other larger drives. I do that with Acronis True Image. Another option is a large SSD boot drive, maybe 128GB. Make sure it has the TRIM command available. W7 does work with that.
I'm not a big fan of RAID, but to each his own. RAID 5 seems a reasonable setup for the system.
I'm assuming you are using W7 Ultimate 64bit, otherwise the 6GB of RAM won't do anything. A 32bit OS can only use a bit less than 4GB RAM.
I'll definitely reconsider on the boot drive. The case comes with 3 230mm fans and a 140mm fan. I think I'll see how they do before I swap them out. I have a couple of Yate Loon 120mm on hand anyway. I currently have Arctic Ceramique and Silver 5 on hand. Are the pastes you mentioned a better option to these? I'll definitely take a look at the sony burner as well. Finding a good quality burner has been a bit difficult on my last couple of builds.
As for the RAID configuration, it's something I'm considering but it's not an absolute decision yet. What are your concerns with a RAID array?
Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
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Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core
Processor Model BX80601920 @ $279.99
Prices On Newegg today (saturday the 15th)
I was reading that the i7-930 overclocks easilyIf I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.
I'll leave the RAID question to redwudz & tboneit!
You can also purchase CM cases from there website. They have refurbished cases too at good inexpensive prices. Last year they had a cheap Memorial Day weekend sale. A lot of people buy the refurbished cases and have no issues with them.
HAF 932, $109.99
What is your real aim for price and performance? Do you wanna have all your data stored on one PC or are you going to have your data off site on a different PC, like a server. You should make the old Dell a file server. That way you won't need to have all those HDD in your main PC. If you're going for quiet this one is pretty quiet. I use this for my file server:
I agree with budz about the RAM. And if this is going to be the build that last for a fewq years, I would think about getting the OEM Windows 7.
I would stick with your original idea for the CPU or I'd go with this. Stick with the Quad Core family:
I don't know if the innards from a seven-year old Dell (Dimension 4700?) are going to work in another case. It looks like a standard MATX motherboard that is held in place using screws in the usual spots, but I would inspect it carefully to be sure. Dell sometimes used oddball motherboards. The CPU cooler may have to be replaced. Dell used the rear fan and a hood over the CPU instead of the kind of cooler system people who build their own computer are used to seeing. The PSU connections are standard ATX, but the USB headers as well as the power button and other front panel connectors may be unique to Dell.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 15th May 2010 at 20:01. Reason: grammar
I have an old Gateway PIII set up as a FreeNAS machine. I was thinking of leaving the Dell alone and put a fresh install of XP and Ubuntu on it. I have another older P4 Dell I have Ubuntu on now that I may transition into the file server and finally retire the old Gateway.
The storage on the main rig will be for Torrenting and for Music/Video archiving on a short term basis while doing encoding and authoring.
I agree with Bwizzy on the I5. It is comparible to the 920 I7 but if money is not an object then go with the 930 I7 build. Also, I'm not sure that case will work with an aftermarket cooler like the CM Hyper 212. That is a huge fan on the side of the case.
I have a CM 690 II and it is a pretty good case for around $100. I have 6 internal drives in it and it holds a drive on the top with a quickplug connection. It also has an e-SATA connector on top for my WD MyBook.
Here is my list for a I5 750 build...
After looking at the door closer, it looks like the area that the fan connects to protudes out about another half inch away from the cooler so it should be no problem.
I have my CM 690 case empty at the moment. I got tired of using that case because it's so damn bulky. I change out hardware too often that I wanted a lighter case. I may just sell it on craigslist. I'm a computer case whore!
The only thing I didn't like about my 690 is the big rubber feet. I'm disabled so it was very hard to move around to work on or clean around so I went to HomeDepot and bought some hard plastic feet that nailed into the rubber and now I can slide it around with one finger.
One thing has me baffled. There is a button on the top of the case that turns the fan light off and on. I moved the front 140mm fan to the side and put a 2000rpm 120mm fan in the front. I spliced in another connector from the light switch and when I push the button in, The side light is at full power but the front light goes out and when the button is off, both lights shine at half power. Very strange.
I love everything about the case though. The only thing I might add is a fan on the bottom. My all around temps seem to be slightly higher than in my old case.
I looked at newegg and the only cases that fit my needs besides a handfull of Coolermasters were a couple of Lian-li cases and they don't sell those at Fry's Electronics where I bought the CM690 II Advanced. I've never paid over $50 for a case before. I used the same case for almost ten years but after buying a Corsair power supply, I couldn't stand the wiring mess from all the huge cables and had to buy a better solution.
I can now see why RAID may be so problematic. The drives I had chosen evidently do not work well in a RAID array. I've seen a lot of topics talking about them dropping out of the array frequently. There is supposedly a tool to fix this by enabling TLER on the drive but WD has evidently modified newer versions of the drive so this tool no longer works. They want you to by the RAID Edition drives instead, which are a lot more expensive and evidently aren't built as well.
I was considering a 150GB Velociraptor for my boot drive which I would back up with Paragon, and then a three disk RAID 5 for my data storage which I would not run actual image backup of.
Now I have to rethink the whole situation. Anyone have any input on other drives to use in this setup? I use to use Seagate extensively but haven't heard much good about them lately. Samsung seems to be a newer contender but not a brand I've ever used for HDD. Maxtor and Hitachi have always be problematic for me in the past.
Thanks in advance.
Going back to the Dell:
Most Dell computers will need a Dell motherboard in the case. Dell MBs and cases use non standard connectors for all the front items. IE Power switch & light, USB Ports, Front audio. You can usually cut and solder by tracing the wires from the case, it just isn't worth it.
Why not just go simple and Mirror two drives.
No raid array will protect you against Virus damage or OOPS I didn't mean to permanently delete/overwrite that.
Instead of a 3/5 drive array just mirror and use the savings to get a eSATA external and do periodic backups.
FWIW I don't even bother at home. Anything I'd worry about goes on DVDs and my Documents gets backed up to a 16Gb Flash drive. At work I do have 3 Servers set up with raid. Point of sale, Security cams, Drive images for quick restores and customer backups. And of course IBM Workstations with 10,000 RPM SCSI drives for the workbench.
Acronis, Apricorn, Ghost they all work.
BTW The i7-930 shows 8 cores under win7 Pro and TMPGEnc Xpress 4 flies with it.
Good LuckIf I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.
You could always start with the Raptor and three 500GB HDDs and add RAID later if desired. I do like the WD 500GB black drives. No problems with any of them. The Samsungs seem to get good reviews also. I've had a couple of Seagates fail in the last year, so no more of them. I've used a few Maxtors in the past, but Seagate is the same brand now. Hitachi was formerly the IBM brand drives.
I have nothing against RAID setups. Most of my experience has been with RAID 1 and RAID 0. I just didn't find either dependable enough. A RAID 5 or 10 may be a better option, but I don't keep anything on HDDs that I can't afford to lose, so I don't really need the data integrity or speed of RAID. Most newer MBs also have AHCI mode available that improves SATA operation somewhat and allows easy hot plugging, if that is useful to you. I use that with my external eSATA drives and then they operate similar to a USB drive where they can be added or removed as needed.
I can't see getting storage drives under 1TB in size and with the 6Gb drives costing only a few dollars more than SATA 3.0 drives, it only makes since to take advantage of the SATA 6.0 connectors on the new MBs if your going to pay for them.
If you went AMD then you could take advantage of 6 SATA 6.0 drives.
GIGABYTE GA-890FXA-UD5 AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz 6 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor
External Storage to take advantage of the USB 3.0...
Western Digital My Book 3.0 1TB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive WDBAAK0010HCH-NESN
I did enable AHCI on my last build and it seems to work quite well. I may just forget about RAID for now. The board I'm looking at has 2 6.0 connection and 4 3.0 connections. I may just end up going with one Raptor and one 1TB drive for now. I really like the WB Blacks as well.
win7 ultimate is a waste of time for a SOHO user you could save money there and get either Home premium or Pro. I'd get HP for the media centre.(64bit of course)
150gb veloci is old hat now, they have newer drives, @ twice the storage.
Have a look at hexa cores AMD, very good for busy bees.
650w power supply will suffice unless you intend SLI or TRI card GFX.
and put in a Blu-ray reader at least, possibly burner
ATPIT I prefer velociraptor to SSD..Corned beef is now made to a higher standard than at any time in history.
The electronic components of the power part adopted a lot of Rubycons.
The 150GB WD Raptor was suggested for it's 'small' size. The main storage would usually be on the other drives. If you need to back up the boot, 150GB makes more sense to me, at least.
I see there is a 300GB Raptor as well. I'll decide between the two. The main drive will hold my OS and most of the actual programming. My current XP rig is doing all this in under 50 GB, so even considering the size of Win7 and the constant increase in software installation size 150GB would probably still be plenty.
As for Windows 7 running on a drive under 50GB, I had it loaded on a 40GB IDE drive but I couldn't use it since I couldn't load some of my drivers.
74GB is plenty for the OS and all of your programs. My old HP 98SE machine had a 14GB HDD and I had plenty of room for OS, software and a bunch of 320x240 AVIs. When videos starting getting bigger then it was bigger drives for storage but my OS drives have stayed as small as I can get them. My newest boot drive is 160GB and it is way overkill but it was the smallest one I could find at the time.
How is your experience with the Samsung drives? I want to say I wouldn't trust Samsung for hard drives since my past experience with the brand has been hit or miss. However, I don't think anything is really the quality it use to be so it may be no worse than other brands now.
I have no experience with Samsung drives but I have a Samsung LCD TV that I've had no problems with and the only DVD drives my friend will buy now are Samsung drives after an HP, a Plextor and a new Pioneer drive took a crap on him.
Most of my storage drives are 1TB Seagates but I have one 1TB WD. I have a 160GB WD boot drive that I have had no trouble with but I was afraid to buy it. I used to have all kinds of problems with all my WD IDE boot drives. After throwing a few in the trash can, I decided to reformat them and use them as storage drives and I had no more problems with them.
I did lose a 500GB Maxtor that fried and when I sent it to Seagate, they sent me a 750GB replacement drive so I was impressed with their customer service and warranty.
I think Seagate and WD are pretty much the same these days but I can't say about other drives since I haven't owned any.
I use WD Raptor 36gb hard drives as my boot drives on my Q9550 & AMD 630 Propus Quad pc. It's fast enough for me and even bought one of them used off the local craigslist ads. From what I've read the Samsung F3 spinpoint hard drives are very fast and faster than the WD Black series. If I'd known the Samsung F3 was going to be on sale I wouldn't have bought a WD Green WD5000AVDS 500gb hard drive from newegg. I've always wanted the Samsung F3 spinpoint hd's but they were never on sale when I wanted one.
As redwudz suggested just get a WD 150gb Velocity hard drive as your boot drive. Dunno why the 74gb VelociRaptor cost more than the 150gb one! Go figure!
I didn't know they made a 36GB Raptor or I probably would've bought one. The 74GB was out of my price range. I saw a Seagate 15000rpm drive about that size a while back on newegg and it was pretty cheap but when I went looking for it again it was gone.
I didn't realize that the 74GB and the 150GB Raptors were practically the same price. I've been waiting for the 74GB price to come down but it has stayed the same and the price of the larger drives have come down. A Raptor that size would've cost $300 a couple of years ago.
The 2.5 74GB Raptor is only $89.99 and this 30GB SSD would be perfect for my XP machine. It only has 18.7GB on the boot drive right now.
My CoolerMaster case comes with an adapter to mount a SSD in the HDD bays.
With that SSD, make sure you have firmware v 1.5 installed. It has TRIM, which is a necessity with SSD drives or they will start running slower in a few months. The SSDs work fine with Vista and W7, not so well with XP or older OSs as they don't have native support and I'm not sure they support TRIM. I had to use a aftermarket program to perform that function using XP.
And most SSDs operate best with 50% freespace, so the smaller ones aren't too useful. You will probably end up moving your temp and page files to a different drive and if you have a fair amount of software, you may end up installing some of it on a larger drive. Sort of defeats the purpose of a fast SSD if you need to do that. I have a 60GB SSD and it's much too small for Vista or W7.
Also with SSDs, make sure auto defragging is turned off on the PC, as that quickly destroys them. SSDs have an internal program that moves data around to keep from burning out individual cells from overuse that works similar to defragging. That's one reason they need lots of freespace.
SSDs aren't so simple to use as rotary drives. You might want to spend a little time at the OCZ site to learn more about their care. I still use my SSD for my page and temp files and it works fine with that.