New comp!

By CMH ยท 25 replies
Mar 25, 2010
  1. Okay, I've been building my computer case for a couple of months now (click on link for details/pics).

    Its time to fill it up with some fun stuff!!

    I'm going for a build centered on the DFI MI P55 T36 motherboard. Well, the whole computer case is built just for a mini-ITX motherboard, and this is about the best you can get.

    I will take suggestions for motherboards, but bear in mind that the board has to be a mini-ITX with PCIEx16, and space around the CPU for a Thermalright Venomous X (which disqualifies the Zotac H55 board).

    The rest of the system (comment pls!!):

    DFI P55 T36
    i5 750 or i7 860 <--- someone please talk me into buying the better one :D
    4GB (2x2) 1600mhx Gskill ECO cl9 <---- only cl9 can be found in the ECO series here. Also req normal height DDR3 RAM (no Corsair Dominator there). Had a thread on this.
    Gigabyte GTX260 SOC <---- Digging from my current comp. Recently bought, so will not be replacing this.
    2x 64GB SSD (in RAID 0) <----- Thinking of the Corsair Nova, but will take suggestions. Intel/Vertex LE is above budget.
    Antec True Power Trio 650W <--- PSU must be 14cm long due to case constraints
    Thermalright Venomous X <---- Will change to a better one if there is. Max 12cm fan due to case constraints.
    Sata DVDRW
  2. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    Hi CMH!

    I would suggest the i5 750 purely based on price / performance ratio.

    As long as you're not using your computer for heavily multithreaded applications where hyperthreading can be a distinct advantage, the i5 750 is the CPU of choice.
  3. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,039   +9

    Problem is, I'm not using it for heavily multithreaded apps.... :S
  4. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    I like how the case is coming out; props to TC for that Project Whisper case haha. Seems the little shuttle-style cases are becoming more and more popular these days. Not a fan of them myself but i kinda seeing how much stuff builders can stuff in there lol. Anyways, an i5-powered mini-ITX would be nice; future-proofed.

    Someone needs to build a shuttle with liquid cooling :D
  5. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,039   +9

    A shuttle with liquid cooling would actually be smaller than one with aircooling I reckon (especially one without a reservoir). Right now, there's quite a bit of "dead space" in the case surrounding the CPU area.

    I've actually thought through the liquid-cooling thing sometime ago, but gave up on it since I like my hardware itself to be low-maintenance (no need to change/top water, blockages, etc). But I have already pictured a pretty compact layout for a watercooled shuttle-type case.

    Unless you have a real need for SLI or all the extra PCI/PCIe slots, there isn't a need for anything larger than a mini-ITX m/b. There are m/b with 6x SATA ports, a choice of PCIe or PCI, 8Gb of RAM (triple channel possible?), 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports, usual backplate ports, front panel ports, etc, etc. With this DFI, overclocking is almost on par to full sized ATX boards, which would keep a casual overclocker like me happy.

    From there, its standard components, and the range of cases available is actually (arguably) larger than full sized ATX cases in terms of size: from flat/book style, cube, mini-tower, weird (antec skeleton for ITX available), and for those who are adventurous, building your own has more possibilities, and much easier too.

    Okay, I STILL want feedback on my hardware choices. Especially on the SSDs, as they represent the biggest chunk of money here.
  6. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    Then the i5 should be your choice.
  7. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    SSD is good if you want no vibration or noise and low power consumption... but they aren't necessary and regular laptop drives are much cheaper if you want the small form factor. you're not gonna get a lot of space cheap going with SSD. All the other hardware I'd say would be fine.
  8. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,039   +9

    Looks like I'm going for the i5.

    As for SSD, I can fit regular HDD in my case, but I wanted the performance of SSDs.

    I'm a very impatient person, and I get VERY impatient, and frumpy using other people's non-RAID-0 computers (including computers at work) which takes 2 secs longer to open Firefox....

    And I sometimes feel like we're back in the '80s where bootup gives me enough time to get a coffee. Which is weird since I was born in the '80s.
  9. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,485   +45

    What's your plan for redundancy. Just in case one of the ssd's go bad. Its not like you're going to be able to rebuild an array as if you had a raid controller if/when something goes bad.

    Intel onboard raid controllers are ok, Both of my old ones topped out at about 400mbs read speed for raid 0 setups.

    I havnt heard good things about corsairs ssd's for raid setups. I'd say get you two small vertex ssd's to stripe for raid 0 and grab an hdd and partition it to have enough room for your media and a party to use as a backup for your os.

    I have an arc 1231 raid controller with 8 ocz vertex drives in raid 0, 1600mbs> read speeds, but it doesnt make movies or music play any better or barely loading it any faster than my caviar black drives.
  10. nazartp

    nazartp TS Enthusiast Posts: 178   +12

    At this point I'd steer away from SSDs. $3 per gigabyte is way too much. If space is no problem stick a couple of Velociraptors for about the same price and triple the storage. My son's computer flies with a pair of those.

    Sweet setup otherwise.
  11. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,485   +45

    I doubt he has the space for 2 raptors. I have 3 as well, but even those were in raid 0 once they get about 70% full speed treads. Not to mention 3 cant beat out 1 ssd in startups still.
  12. nazartp

    nazartp TS Enthusiast Posts: 178   +12

    That's why I qualified it about space. Honestly, from pure human perception I don't think I'd notice further improvement over what I have with two raptors. Most of the disk operations seem instant in my eyes, short of copying large files. Of course, once the SSDs start going for something like $1.5 per gigabyte I will immediately want one. :) Or two...
  13. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,039   +9


    Just to note, as its been brought up, I can fit in 2x 3.5" HDDs, so 2x velociraptors is something I can do.

    However, 3x isn't.

    Also, according to reviews, Velociraptors vs SSD is similar to 200GB HDD vs Velociraptor in terms of performance.

    Redundancy isn't going to be a problem for me, as these SSDs would only be for OS/Programs/installations/etc. All other data will be transferred out via eSATA to a handy 1.5TB HDD. My current setup is 2x500 GB RAID 0, which is much more dangerous in terms of HDD failure anyway, so I'm used to living on the dangerous side :D

    As for space.... I've got a NAS with god-knows-how-much HDD space, 1.5TB "floating" HDD (which is connected via HDD dock), and I've got 2x 500 GB HDD in my current setup which I'm not sure what I'll do with (probably going into NAS). I think I'll manage.

    And thats a sweet setup with 8x SSD in RAID.

    As for Raid performance, the Corsair Nova is new (released early March 2010), and there's few reviews of the product, much less in RAID configurations at the moment.

    I took a quick look at both products. Max read speed for the nova is faster at 270MB/s vs 230MB/s. Nova uses the newer Indilinx ECO controller, which may mean a couple of things: updated architecture for better performance/lifespan/etc, and ability to use lower performance NAND flash for better value. At least thats what I made of it.

    However your point about RAID.... Max read speed for the Vertex RAID 0 seems to be about 500MB/s, which is very desireable.... Will need to wait for reviews on the Nova for this one.

    As for write speeds, I'm not too fussed. It'll be faster than HDDs, and thats good enough for me.

    Owell, I've got about a week to finalize this, as the motherboard has been a pain to obtain. Hopefully I can make a decision by then.
  14. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,485   +45

    Well gl on your build then. You cant do much better than the dfi for what you want to do.
  15. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,039   +9

    For anyone who is interested in ITX builds, there is a Zotac H55 board which I think should be another pretty good board to consider, given that it has 6x SATA ports, instead of the measly 3 the DFI gives.

    However, that board will have problems with larger than life heatsinks I think, because of the placement of the CPU, which is close to the PCIe x16....
  16. nazartp

    nazartp TS Enthusiast Posts: 178   +12

    Hey, good luck with the build!
  17. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,039   +9

  18. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,039   +9

    Okay, I bought all the stuff now.

    Problem is, I'm painting my case, so I can't put the motherboard in yet. Which means I can't do anything with all the hardware.

    It will be tomorrow before I get a functional, but unfinished, case.

    Anyway, enjoy the pics for now.
    Inside the box
    Wrapped wonder
    Something weird
    Red label
    Couple of disks
    Motherboard in the flesh
    With a CD for comparison
    All the stuff
    Contents of SSD box
    Noctua fans
    Black box
    Stuff in the black box
    Thermalright vs Stock
    Preparation for HS installation
    Arctic Silver 5
    With the motherboard installed
    Side view 1
    Side view 2
    Closeup 1
    Closeup 2
    Closeup 3
  19. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,986   +12


    There is no Calcutta, now. I should know. I was born there, and it is my "hometown".

    It now is Kolkata, whether you like it or not.
  20. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    I'll keep it as Calcutta, Sir. Thank you.
  21. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,986   +12

    My apology

    Sure you can.

    BTW, I got the original post, before the edit. :D

    And, you need not call me sir. I don't recall teaching you, ever ) prior to today).

    Pity, the English Babu Mentality.

    But then, you can call Kolkata Timbuktoo too, if it pleases you.

    Another BTW, which School & College did you attend? :)
  22. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    Well, since you got the post before the edit I'll just say that no offence was meant.

    I call you Sir (and my reason for editing the original post) as you are very much my senior. I respect that. Not "the English Babu Mentality" but very much our Indian culture. You're too quick to judge, I'm afraid.

    To answer your last question, I'm from La Martiniere for Boys.

    But anyway, nice to meet you. :)
  23. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,039   +9

    Hmm.... I'm really wondering how this conversation started in this thread.....
  24. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,986   +12

    La Marts! ;)

    I should have known.

    But I will leave this thread, and send a pm instead. :blackeye:
  25. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    Sorry about that CMH.
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