Posts Tagged ‘PC’

Back!

Posted: October 2, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Well yeah, I didn’t forget about the blog. Just that life was being harsh haha!

But yeah. I’m back to posting tech and nerdy stuff. About my PC build, some stuff has changed to the final thing, but still on the “edge”. I got a 550Ti back on december, I’ll try to replace it with either a couple of GTX 660 or a single GTX 660Ti (since it’s cheaper than the 670 and it’s “virtually” the same thing). Having a small debate between getting an i5 3570k OR get an i7 2600 I saw on offer for less than the 3570k price. But then again, the big question: Sacrifice overclock capabilities but get 4 hyperthreaded cores (8 “cores” total), or go with quad core and OC capabilites.

Still going with 8GB of RAM (1600, not gonna go grazy with anything beyond that speed) using a Corsair Vengeance 2x4GB kit, and my current dilema: I’m going for either Gigabyte, MSI or ASUS for my motherboard, but I’m still debating which one to get.

On the Gigabyte side, one of my options is the GA-Z77X-D3H, decent entry/mid level ATX motherboard, SLI support and a good color scheme (blue/black). On the other hand, for literally no price difference, is the G1.Sniper M3. For a m-ATX, you get an onboard Creative sound card with enough power to boost your headphones to their max, net stability (sadly, not the old BIGFOOT killer NIC they used to implement on the old X58 G1 motherboards), and the best SLI config for a m-ATX board: the 2nd GPU is not placed on the 3rd slot, but the 4th.

On the MSI side, the Z77A-G45. This could be useful for a single card config (660Ti). And on ASUS side, the P8Z77-V LX.

But well, time will tell which one will be the best one for my build.

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There has been a lot of movement in the media with the upcoming release of Intel’s 3rd generation CPUs, codename Ivy Bridge, and what’s better than teasing people with random (and doubtful) benchmark results? What about motherboards?

The green flag was lifted a couple of weeks ago, allowing the public announcement and retail of next gen motherboards compatible with Ivy Bridge. So far, only the Z77 motherboards have been released, though no word on the P and H series (if they actually plan on releasing those).

Do remember that this next generation platform will allow the use of PCI Express generation 3, with double the bandwith compared to generation 2 (example: 16x on PCI-E 3.0 is equivalent to running on a PCI-E 2.0 slot with double the bandwith. 8x PCI-E 3.0 is equivalent to running on a 16x PCI-E 2.0 slot), and a new version of LucidLogic’s Virtu, called Virtu MVP. This new one allows a better hybridization between the CPU graphics and the GPU, also allowing 2 new modes to the control panel.

Also, all Ivy Bridge motherboards are backwards compatible with Sandy Bridge processors, though lacking the core features such as PCI-E 3.0. So if you use a Sandy Bridge system and want to buy a new Z77 motherboard while you wait for the CPUs to come out, you have green light.

Apart from the new motherboards, there has been some rumors that the new generation isn’t as “innovative” as Intel said. Something similar to the “FAIL”dozer episode from AMD, making a new socket that ended up being more unstable than the previous generation.
Even though Intel has a free road ahead now that AMD is “out” of the CPU market, I still don’t see a logic point for them to release a new die so fast, while having no competitors. Also, people are expecting good stuff from Haswell, instead of Ivy Bridge.

There are some benchmark results out there in the internet, but since Intel hasn’t lifted the NDA on anything related to the CPUs, it’s kinda hard to believe on that data. But from the looks of it, it’s just a slight upgrade compared to Sandy Bridge, something similar to the PCI-E bandwith benefits (like 16x – 8x – 4x being nearly 2% better one from another). Anyways, there’s a rumored date near April 21st for Ivy Bridge comercial launch, but until then, time will tell if it’s worth the upgrade from Sandy Bridge to Ivy Bridge or not (Let’s be honest. There are few PCI-E 3.0 GPUs out there, and you can only use the full 3.0 potential while using a capable CPU, since it’s not controlled by the chipset itself but the CPU).

Anyways, my PC build is still on hold, since Ivy Bridge got my attention, and I’m planning to get them no matter what (unless they’re worse than Sandy Bridge, of course). Also, certain Z77 motherboards are cheaper next to some Z68 boards. Right now, I’m focused on a new project with my air ventilation system, while learning about the positive and negative air pressure theories.

When we talk about custom PCs, we’re talking about what we want, not what those companies “forces” you to buy (yes, I’m looking at you DeLL/Alienware…). Sure, certain websites allows you to “customize” your branded PC by adding, removing or changing certain parts (RAM models. video cards, CPUs, CPU coolers, just to name a few).

Of course, changing parts may increase or decrease the total value of a PC (most of times, it goes up. Funny, isn’t it?), but you know you’re paying for “quality over brands” (Yeah, not quantity, but quality parts).

These brands, like CyberPower and MAINGEAR (heck, even NCIX and Alienware), allows you to build your own PC from scratch, or following a template of their “branded” PCs. What happens when you go nuts choosing the best of the very best? Some crazy stuff like $5k builds may roam around (I laughed when I saw the total price on a crazy quad 480 system I checked).

Others may offer special edition builds, featuring either “best bang for the buck” pieces, or the cutting edge technology, and even customization (paint color, LEDs, full watercooling systems, etc.).

During NVIDIA’s GeForce LAN Party 6 in San Francisco, alongside with Falcon Northwest (one of the best custom PC stores in the states), they decided to raffle the most expensive DESKTOP PC on the planet: The Mach V NVIDIA edition. There were around 50 raffle tickets on game: Single tickets at $200 per, 2 free tickets for the tournament’s grand champions, and a lucky draw.

Yes, just by saying NVIDIA edition, something pops immediately on our head: Green paint. Yes, true that. But apart from that, the inside of that monster is what makes it expensive as heck.

To name a few pieces:

  • Intel Core i7 990x Extreme Processor at stock speeds.
  • ASUS Republic of Gamers Rampage III Extreme motherboard.
  • 48 GB of DDR3 RAM (yes. FOURTY EIGHT Gigs of RAM. That’s 6 times 8GB).
  • Water cooling system for the CPU (Falcon NW branded).
  • Case Falcon NW ICON2. Only sold with Mach V systems. It makes use of “cooling zones”, optimizing the airflow and leaving all the case heat on the top of the case, at the GPU exhaust vents. No side window.
  • 2 Crucial M4 256GB SSDs in RAID0 config.
  • 2TB HDD for storage.
  • LG Blu-Ray burner.
  • Not just the case, but the keyboard and mouse as well are painted in NVIDIA green, with the ICON2 details (eagle logos, white stripes, etc).
  • What about the video cards? Yeah. If they used a $1k CPU in there, you may already know what’s on the video department: The ASUS MARS II.

    And not just one. TWO cards. In SLI mode, featuring a QUAD SLI system. Which PSU they used? No idea, but the MARS II box says you need at least a 1kW PSU to run that card.

    According to Elric from motherboards.org (who organized an interview with the lucky winner of the raffle), this PC, out of the box, is inside the Top 20 PCs in the world, that means, no OC at all. I wonder what would happen if you push it a lil bit further (both the CPU and the GPUs can be clocked waaaaaay higher than their “mid tier” counterparts)… Maybe Top 5? Top 3 perhaps? Could it be the fastest PC on earth?

    Here’s the interview:

    Congratulations to the lucky winner, and there you go my friends: A custom ~$10k desktop PC that will last for a looong time… Or until something inside explodes because of the awesome factor haha!

    And I know. I keep saying DESKTOP, because it is a desktop PC. Sure, they could have popped an EVGA SR-2 and change the CPU for 2 high end Xeon processors, but in my honest opinion, that’s a server, not a gaming rig (though people do use Xeon chips for gaming rigs…). To each, their own.

    Cooler Master N520 review

    Posted: June 30, 2011 in PC
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    Gotta admit… I got this CPU cooler 2 months ago and I totally forgot to finish my blog post about it. Yeah, I tend to forget some stuff.

    Since I’m still buying what’s left of my new PC (and if my parents give me green light on the budget, I’ll be able to build a 2nd PC, so I can upgrade this one), I decided to get a custom CPU cooler rather than relying on Intel’s stock cooler, and believe me. I saw tons of different ones, from 3rd party (aka “Who on earth are those guys…”) to Noctua. In the end, I decided to get the Cooler Master Hyper N520.  (more…)

    Z68 boards released

    Posted: May 16, 2011 in PC
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    Well, it’s been a LONG time since I posted. College got my full attention these last days and I’ve barely done something on MMOs. Here’s a little of what happened during these last days:

    • FW went into OBT (CBT was amazing). Now I’m lv 48 and part of the 1st place (level and members, soon zeal) guild: Paradise.
    • Maplestory is celebrating their 6th anniversary and my Mechanic reached lv 105
    • New LGA1155 stuff was released
    • Got a new CPU cooler, a Cooler Master Hyper N520 (couldn’t get the 212+ because of height issues)

    Right now, let’s point at “New LGA1155 stuff”. Intel has released their newest chipset on the Sandy Bridge platform: The Z68 (more…)

    P67: NF200 or not

    Posted: April 12, 2011 in PC
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    It has been a while since Intel made a HUGE mistake on their H/P67 boards with the SATA II port, but it’s now fixed and they’re back on market.

    Since then, some companies, like ASUS and MSI have developed “upgraded” versions of the P67 board, aimed for the “enthusiast” user.  As we know, P67 allows multi-GPU scaling to a bandwith of 8x on each card, similar to the P55 boards, and different from the X58 board, which allows the use of 16x on each card for a 2-way multi-GPU config.

    This upgraded board has not just one PCI-E 16x, but up to 4 (ASUS Maximus IV Extreme) or even 8 (MSI Big Bang Marshall)! You’ll be asking, “why would I need more than 2 PCI-E 16x if you can only run 2 cards?” The answer is simple. nForce 200 chip . (more…)

    Case modding ideas?

    Posted: February 2, 2011 in PC
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    Okay. After reading that most of the Sandy Bridge motherboards out there are having issues with the SATA2 3gb/s ports (they tend to decrease in performance, data corruption during file transfers and finally die), I’ll have to put my shopping cart on hold until this problem is fixed. Maybe I’ll take that time to double-check my part list and do a few changes (who knows? Maybe I’ll change my mind and get the 2600k and change the RAM module brand).

    Probably you have noticed that the intro for this entry ISN’T RELATED AT ALL with the entry title (funny, isn’t it?). So let’s go back to the topic.

    Modular PSU + case with cable management (CM, not to be confused with Cooler Master) holes = Nice looking interior and amazing airflow. Modular PSU? Check, it’s on my list. CM-ready case? Something between ready and not. Reset button? Not a need, but who knows? Backplate access door? Thinking on it… I need to sit down at the idea board for a while.

    (more…)