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Hardware Thread, advice on new computer in Technical; ...
  1. #16
    mrbios's Avatar
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    How about this: http://i52.tinypic.com/2qwiy5e.png

    You don't really need 12GB or memory do you?

    Just realised i missed the PSU off, anything of £50+ would do it justice, something like maybe: OCZ ModXStream Pro 500w Silent SLI Certified Modular Power Supply [OCZ500MXSP-UK] Power Supplies OCZ or something

  2. #17


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    If I was spending my own money today, this is what I would buy (without going too OTT)...



    However, if I could wait until early next year I would get one of Intel's new 32nm processors (Core i5-2500K or Core i7-2600 perhaps?) and a P67/H67 motherboard, especially since they are moving to a new socket (LGA1155).

    As mentioned above, you could save a bit of money if you qualify for the educational discount on Windows 7, and if you reused your current mouse and keyboard or chose a smaller SSD. Based on the requirements of current and future games, I would say a 1GB graphics card is the absolute minimum. The Geforce GTX460 is an excellent choice as it is significantly faster than a Radeon HD 5750, even more so when overclocked.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrbios View Post
    You don't really need 12GB or memory do you?
    I agree. 6-8GB is enough for the majority of gaming PCs. Given that Joe has selected a Radeon HD 5750 I would say he doesn't actually need triple-channel RAM and a socket 1366 processor either.

  3. #18

    GREED's Avatar
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    Still Intel



  4. #19

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    The radeon 6800 series of cards came out just over a week ago, the 6870 is a pretty good mid-range card is extremely close to the nvidia 470 in performance.

    More info at AMD Radeon HD 6870 And 6850: Is Barts A Step Forward? : The New Radeon HD 6000 Family

  5. #20
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    I ended up purchasing, but with several differences.
    Went with an SSD, 2TB samsung HDD, 6870 GFX, i7 950, better RAM (1600Mhz), better PSU, and a better CPU cooler. Ended up costing 1200, but overall a good improvement! Thanks for all your suggestions
    Last edited by JoeBloggs; 1st November 2010 at 01:58 PM.

  6. #21

    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    @ Arthur - ref the SSD's you suggest

    Anyone looked at the OWC offerings Pro or RE Versions ( RE = Raid Edition I presume )

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/inter..._SSD_Sandforce

    OWC Enterprise-Class SSDs

    I believe memoryc.co.uk or even using parcel2go.com to register a USA address and ordering one from the USA would do the trick - not sure how warranty etc would work though but if memoryc can sort it out - prolly better to order through memoryc

    Plenty of reviews around the OWC Mercury SSD line - although I would like to know the difference performance wise etc between the different SSD's that OWC do

    There is a comparison between the C300 and the OWC drive and the OWC beats the C300 from what I could gather anyway

    http://macperformanceguide.com/SSD-R...evereDuty.html
    Last edited by mac_shinobi; 1st November 2010 at 02:11 PM.

  7. #22

    tech_guy's Avatar
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    If it was me I'd up the psu - 550w is never going to be enough especially if you upgrade anything in the future.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tech_guy View Post
    If it was me I'd up the psu - 550w is never going to be enough especially if you upgrade anything in the future.
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeBloggs View Post
    better PSU,

  9. #24
    mrbios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tech_guy View Post
    If it was me I'd up the psu - 550w is never going to be enough especially if you upgrade anything in the future.
    To be honest your both wrong and right with that comment

    A decent branded PSU by a company like PC&C of 550w would be fine (especially as components are focusing on using less power these days) but a 550w of a budget brand would obviously be crap

    Unless your using SLI/Xfire in major expensive setups there isn't ever really any need for anything above a nice 600w PSU

  10. #25

    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbios View Post
    To be honest your both wrong and right with that comment

    A decent branded PSU by a company like PC&C of 550w would be fine (especially as components are focusing on using less power these days) but a 550w of a budget brand would obviously be crap

    Unless your using SLI/Xfire in major expensive setups there isn't ever really any need for anything above a nice 600w PSU
    So a 600W sea sonic PSU then ??

  11. #26


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    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    Anyone looked at the OWC offerings Pro or RE Versions (RE = Raid Edition I presume).
    The OWC Mercury Extreme Pro and Mercury Extreme Pro RE are both MLC-based SSDs which use the SandForce SF-1200 controller. The only difference between them is the over-provisioning (the Pro model has 7%, while the Pro RE has 28%) and the warranty (3 years vs 5 years).

    The closest equivalents to these two SSDs would be OCZ Vertex 2E and OCZ Vertex 2 (both of which are widely available in the UK). If you read StorageReview's review of the 120GB Mecury Extreme Pro, you will see there is hardly any difference in speed between them - certainly not enough to warrant ordering one from the US.

    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    using parcel2go.com to register a USA address and ordering one from the USA would do the trick
    That depends on whether you actually want to see the item you ordered.

  12. #27

    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    The OWC Mercury Extreme Pro and Mercury Extreme Pro RE are both MLC-based SSDs which use the SandForce SF-1200 controller. The only difference between them is the over-provisioning (the Pro model has 7%, while the Pro RE has 28%) and the warranty (3 years vs 5 years).

    The closest equivalents to these two SSDs would be OCZ Vertex 2E and OCZ Vertex 2 (both of which are widely available in the UK). If you read StorageReview's review of the 120GB Mecury Extreme Pro, you will see there is hardly any difference in speed between them - certainly not enough to warrant ordering one from the US.


    That depends on whether you actually want to see the item you ordered.
    I wanted an SSD that

    1. Had constant throughput as per the comparison ( I have no way of being able to do this as I dont have access to each of the drives to see for myself )

    2. Has at least 200gb

    3. Has good read and write

    I was contemplating 2 X25 intel drives in raid 0 but not sure how I would achieve this on my 2008 Mac pro ??

  13. #28


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    Quote Originally Posted by tech_guy View Post
    If it was me I'd up the psu - 550w is never going to be enough especially if you upgrade anything in the future.
    MrBIOS is correct. A 550w PSU is plenty. Xbit Labs recently did an article on PC power consumption and they agree too.

    Also, the test system used in TechReport's recent review of the Radeon HD 6870 (which is fairly similar to Joe's) uses 129 watts at idle and 305 watts at full load.

    Processor Intel Core i7-965 Extreme (3.2GHz)
    Motherboard Gigabyte EX58-UD5 (x58)
    RAM 12GB DDR3 1600MHz (6 DIMMs) - Corsair Dominator CMD12GX3M6A1600C8
    HDD WD RE3 WD1002FBYS 1TB SATA
    Graphics XFX Radeon HD 6870 1GB

  14. #29


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    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    I wanted an SSD that...
    I agree that a SandForce-based SSD would be your best choice with Mac OS X. SSDs using this controller all do garbage collection in the background to restore performance back to how it was when new (like Windows 7 does with TRIM). However, performance does drop quite a bit when you are reading/writing data which doesn't compress easily (such as video). I would say you have three options.

    1) Get a 240GB OCZ Vertex 2E. If you want the SSD to last a bit longer, you could partition the drive so that you are only using ~200GB of its total capacity (for example) - leaving the rest unformatted. This would effectively turn it into an OWC Mecury Exteme Pro RE. There are some benchmarks of the Vertex 2E running under OS X here.
    2) RAID two smaller SSDs together (see below)
    3) Wait for the Intel X25-M G3, or SSDs based on the new SandForce SF-2000 controller. These are both only a few months away from being released - the G3 should be out in February 2011 and the 300GB model should cost around what a 160GB X25-M G2 costs today.

    N.B. Neither OCZ or OWC have a firmware updater which runs under OS X, so you currently have to use Windows for this.

    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    I was contemplating 2 X25 intel drives in raid 0 but not sure how I would achieve this on my 2008 Mac pro??
    The easiest way to RAID drives together in OS X would be the one described here. You will also want to read this regarding the long-term performance.

    Software Config
    Now you have two working SSDs in your MacBook Pro. You are currently in either one of two situations:

    • [My Situation] One of the SSDs has already been loaded up with OS X and the other is empty.
    • Both SSDs are new and empty. There is no OS loaded on either.

    If you are in situation #2, I am guessing (not tried it personally) that you need to:

    • Put your OS X disc into the SuperDrive you placed into the provided external enclosure and connect it to your MacBook Pro
    • Hold down C and boot into the installer
    • Close the installer window and go to the top menu to open up Disk Utility
    • Create the RAID array and proceed installing OS X onto it

    However, I have heard of some issues where the computer will not see the RAID array when you are booted off of the OS X install disc. You might need to create the array while booted off of another external OS X install or on a working OS X install already present on one of the SSDs — that’s why I recommend having an external hard drive lying around just in case. To clarify, it seems if you have the computer booted off of OS X on another drive, insert the install disc, run the initial setup from the inside-OS X installer that auto-reboots for you, that it should work.. if that makes sense. If not, leave a comment.

    If you are in situation #1 like myself, then things are a bit trickier. In a nutshell, I cloned my OS X installation onto an external USB 2.0 hard drive, changed the startup disk to that external drive then booted from it, created the RAID array, cloned the external drive onto the new RAID array, changed the startup disk to the RAID array and rebooted.

    While you can do the drive cloning back and forth like I describe below I always recommend doing a fresh OS X install whenever possible.
    Last edited by Arthur; 2nd November 2010 at 07:26 AM.

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    mac_shinobi (2nd November 2010)

  16. #30

    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    I agree that a SandForce-based SSD would be your best choice with Mac OS X. SSDs using this controller all do garbage collection in the background to restore performance back to how it was when new (like Windows 7 does with TRIM). However, performance does drop quite a bit when you are reading/writing data which doesn't compress easily (such as video). I would say you have three options.

    1) Get a 240GB OCZ Vertex 2E. If you want the SSD to last a bit longer, you could partition the drive so that you are only using ~200GB of its total capacity (for example) - leaving the rest unformatted. This would effectively turn it into an OWC Mecury Exteme Pro RE. There are some benchmarks of the Vertex 2E running under OS X here.
    2) RAID two smaller SSDs together (see below)
    3) Wait for the Intel X25-M G3, or SSDs based on the new SandForce SF-2000 controller. These are both only a few months away from being released - the G3 should be out in February 2011 and the 300GB model should cost around what a 160GB X25-M G2 costs today.

    N.B. Neither OCZ or OWC have a firmware updater which runs under OS X, so you currently have to use Windows for this.


    The easiest way to RAID drives together in OS X would be the one described here. You will also want to read this regarding the long-term performance.
    Read that ref the mac book pro - still have to read the pro longing performance but I have the 2008 mac pro ( Tower )



    Also if I get a SATA 6gbps pci express card - would that allow me to make a SATA 6 gbps SSD bootable on the mac ?

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