Planning a PC build for SSD reviewing

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Sean, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. Sean

    Sean Guest

    At the moment, I am fully happy with my current PC as far as everyday usage goes, but when it comes to reviewing SSDs, it only has SATA 2.0 on-board (Gigabyte GA-P55-UD4), making it unsuitable for reviewing any modern SATA 3.0 SSD.

    With a neighbour looking to purchase a Core i5 based PC for video editing and having little luck finding a store stocking one for a reasonable price, I thinking of selling him my current build, which makes it an ideal time for a new build. :)

    Here is what I propose getting for my build:

    • Intel Core i5-2500K: 3.3GHz, 6MB cache
    • ASUS P8P67 Deluxe Rev 3.0 LGA1155: Intel P67, DDR3, ATX, B3 Stepping
    • Corsair XMS3 8GB (2x4GB): DDR3, 1600MHz, CL9, 1.65v
    • Antec 300 Three Hundred case: Black
    • Corsair builder series CX600 600W ATX PSU
    • LGe 10x BD-RW: Includes Cyberlink BD software
    • LiteOn DVD-RW 22x SATA: Black
    • Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 120mm CPU cooler
    • XFX ATI Radeon 5570 HD: 1GB DDR2, PCIe, HDMI
    So far I have never found myself lacking processing power, but I do carry out the occasional video editing and re-encoding, so this i5 CPU should suit my needs, with some overclocking potential.

    The only concern I have is with the ASUS motherboard - My last three ASUS boards failed between 1 and 3 years of use: 2 x AMD based A7N8X-E's and a P5W DH Deluxe. The main reason I'm going for this one is that I've heard lots of positive feedback about this, so hopefully ASUS' reliability has since improved.

    I don't play any games and am not into heavy CPU overclocking. The graphics card just needs to be fit to play smooth HD video.

    As mentioned above, I do plan using this build for upcoming SSD reviewing, so would like this to get the maximum out of SATA-600 SSDs and potentially PCIe based SSDs also. I may also review eSATA, USB3.0 and other types of SSDs.

    I have no intention of reviewing any other type of hardware. E.g. I have no interest in taking on RAM, CPUs, etc. for review.

    Ideally, I'd like to keep the cost of the build as much as possible, which is the reason I'm not going for higher end RAM, case, etc. I might also leave out the BD-RW drive.

    Any comments or suggestions are welcome. ;)
  2. FiftyOne

    FiftyOne Guest

    I would look at the 2600-k if the budget permits & also a better graphics card. If you do a bit of encoding you could even look at nvidia & encode on CUDA. would be heaps quicker than the cpu

    also, that 300 case is ugly as sin
  3. Sean

    Sean Guest

    With how little CPU intensive work I do (at least over the past few years), I don't feel like spending an extra €100 for the 2600K. For example, I have no regrets going for the i5 750 than spending ~€100 extra for the i5 920 in my current build.

    The video encoding I do is very occasional, usually after a holiday or an event. If I have a lot of footage to convert, I usually just batch it and start the encoding process before heading off for work.

    My current build is in an Antec 300 case and it seems to be fine. I don't care about the case's looks, as long as it's quiet and keeps everything cool, which this one seems to do well. If you can recommend something better, I'll have a look. :) Personally, I find blue LED lighting effects irritating, so would rather a case without LED lighting effects or where the lighting effects can be dimmed or turned off.
  4. FiftyOne

    FiftyOne Guest

    ah, sorry, im thinking the 900, thats the butt ugly case. the 1200 might be a little more pricey but it cools well too. I dont really appreciate the wanker lights either

    this all said, I know a few people with the antec sonta 3 (v4 is now out too) and its a fantastic little case.
  5. Sean

    Sean Guest

    I've had a quick read at a couple of Sonata III reviews along with an IV review to see how it improves upon the Sonata II (my other PC's case).

    These are the issues I had with the Sonata II and my findings in the III/IV reviews I've read so far:
    • My II has a bulky air duct that must be removed to add/remove expansion cards. The III and IV appear to have eliminated this cumbersome ducting.
    • Hinged door - mine snapped off the case after someone bumped into it while open. This door remains on the III and IV, so am not sure if it's any more robust.
    • PSU - Motherboard must be removed to remove PSU. The Antec PSU that came with my II case failed after about a year, which meant a rather tedious process of rebuilding the PC just to change it.
    • Air flow - The single 120cm fan doesn't draw enough air on its lowest setting and I find it too noisy on med/high, so I ended up having to get additional fans. The IV appears to have improved airflow, but I don't think it's quite up to the cooling of the Antec 300, which includes a top mounted 140mm fan in addition to a rear mounted 120mm fan.

    What I do really like about the Sonata series, including my II, is the side access HDD bays, making it very straight forward to add or remove hard disks, i.e. just attach the provided rails to the HDD and slot it in place, i.e. no removing expansion cards, RAM, cables, etc. to slide in/out HDDs. As I'll be regularly adding and taking out drives during testing, I'm debating on whether this will outweigh the drawbacks, although generally with review SSDs, I just place them sitting on something since they don't have exposed circuit boards or run hot like HDDs do without air flowing over them.

    Thanks for the suggestion. ;)
  6. valomanden

    valomanden Guest

    Hmm... from what I can read you're only looking to upgrade your rig in order to test sata3 disks and so on, right? You are not interested in a more power full machine at all, right? Then why not just buy an enterprise SSD raid controller like the LSI-9260 x4 and use that as an sata3 interface (pretty sure it can run as a single non-raid disk setup), then you would also have the opportunity to do some nice SSD raiding in the future on the 9260. It will set back a few hundred $, but you will easy loose that on switching out your rig, not even mentioning you don't have to fix your neighbors PC every time he's been downloading p0rn "and it just stopped working, that PC you sold me...". Anyone who can confirm if solo drive is possible on a 9260 or 9265?

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