Questions about Memory/Power Supply for nVidia 680i


M

Michael B.

Hello everyone!

In about 3 weeks, I will be doing a complete overhaul of my computer.
Basically, I will be building a NEW one.

I have decided (based on reviews and comments) to go with the EVGA's
NF68motherboard (nVidia 680i). My graphics card will be the a 8800GTX PCI
Express 16x 768MB GDDR3. E6600 will be my CPU. I do not plan to initially
have an SLI-based system. My 8800GTX should be fine for the time being.
Hopwever, maybe in about one year or so, I plan to add another graphics
card.

My questions are:

1) I want to end up with 2GB of system RAM (two 1MB sticks x 2). What kind
of memory should I get? SLI compatible, so that I won't need to change my
RAM when I do eventually go with SLI? What about when the new 1033 CPU's
come out, won't I have to change the RAM also?

2) I would like to get a powerfull enough Power Supply to support a future
SLI system BUT I would like to get as silent of a PS as possible. I don't
want to start using water cooling for now.

PLEASE keep in mind that I am NOT an overclocker, so having faster memory
that is great for overclocking is not a necessity for me. STABILITY is most
important.

All comments and suggestions are much appreciated!
 
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P

Paul

Michael said:
Hello everyone!

In about 3 weeks, I will be doing a complete overhaul of my computer.
Basically, I will be building a NEW one.

I have decided (based on reviews and comments) to go with the EVGA's
NF68motherboard (nVidia 680i). My graphics card will be the a 8800GTX PCI
Express 16x 768MB GDDR3. E6600 will be my CPU. I do not plan to initially
have an SLI-based system. My 8800GTX should be fine for the time being.
Hopwever, maybe in about one year or so, I plan to add another graphics
card.

My questions are:

1) I want to end up with 2GB of system RAM (two 1MB sticks x 2). What kind
of memory should I get? SLI compatible, so that I won't need to change my
RAM when I do eventually go with SLI? What about when the new 1033 CPU's
come out, won't I have to change the RAM also?

2) I would like to get a powerfull enough Power Supply to support a future
SLI system BUT I would like to get as silent of a PS as possible. I don't
want to start using water cooling for now.

PLEASE keep in mind that I am NOT an overclocker, so having faster memory
that is great for overclocking is not a necessity for me. STABILITY is most
important.

All comments and suggestions are much appreciated!

The 680i board was designed by Nvidia, and is being shipped by about
four different motherboard makers. The difference between the products,
will be things like accessories. And maybe the cooling solutions used.
So EVGA did not design the motherboard - it is a reference Nvidia
design, and may in fact be contract manufactured in another factory,
as chosen by Nvidia. Then, EVGA adds accessories, installs chipset heatsink
and so on. QC should be by Nvidia, so blame Nvidia if your board doesn't
work :)

http://www.evga.com/products/pdf/680i manual.pdf

By the way, please read this before you begin your build:

http://www.nvidia.com/object/680i_hotfix.html

The memory doesn't "know" when you are using two SLI video cards. The
memory sticks don't even "know" there are a pair of them running in
dual channel. For dual channel, you want them to be matched, at least
to the satisfaction of the BIOS that sets up the memory controller.
Buying two sticks in the same package, doesn't have to result in
a large price premium, and is the easiest way to get a matched set.

The "SLI ready" memory they refer to, is an effort to use the EPP
(Enhanced Performance Profiles) memory settings that some memory products
now contain in the SPD (8 pin timings storage chip on the DIMM). This is
not a JEDEC approved standard, and is a way for a few companies to put more
than the standard timing info inside the DIMM.

The spec for EPP is here. The spec is downloadable from the Corsairmicro
web site, but the document is done in Nvidia fonts.

http://corsairmemory.com/corsair/products/specs/EPP_Specification_v01.pdf

Since many other types and brands of motherboards, survive quite
nicely without EPP, EPP is not essential. It allows more automatic
setup and selection of settings, above the standard DDR rates. When
you have your "DDR2-10000" memory, it would allow the settings to be
selected automatically (as long as the BIOS understands EPP).

The 680i manual above, suggests that memory can be "unlinked" from
FSB, implying some level of asynchronism. Doing so may have a slight
latency penalty, but if the memory interface is cranked high enough
on the clock rate, you may be able to overcome the difference.

I would expect your new board should be quite flexible with respect to
memory. You may choose to "drink the koolaid", and buy memory sticks
with EPP. Or shop around for some more reasonably priced DDR2-800
5-5-5 type memory.

The selection of your power supply is tricky. The E6600 processor, as
processors go, is a reasonably low power device. The 8800GTX video card
draws about 145W, according to Xbitlabs. (Well, actually, Xbitlabs
got the number from Mvidia, because the Xbitlabs test bed wouldn't
work with the new video card.) If you use two of the cards, the power is
65W (processor) + 145W + 145W, all from +12V. That is 6A + 12A + 12A
from the power supply, or 30A from +12V. Add to that 0.6A HDD, 1.5A ODD,
0.5A fans, for a total of, say, 33A.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/gf8800_11.html

The question is, what power supply exactly meets that requirement.
Finding that supply would save you the most dollars.

If this is a "dollars be damned" build, then this is your supply.
It has four PCI Express 2x3 power connectors. It even has a 2x4
connector for the processor (although at 65W, even a 2x2 connector
is good enough for the job - a 2x2 is enough for a 130W processor).
This supply is efficient, and costs $199 when purchased from PCP&P.
It is, I think, $249 at Newegg.

http://www.pcpower.com/products/viewproduct.php?show=S75QB
http://www.pcpower.com/products/assets/S75QB/S75E-QD2.jpg

You can search through this list for more supplies. But be careful
with the triple or quad rail supplies - is you use one of those,
connect only the 2x2 ATX12V power connector. And be careful with
using things like the Molex as a source of Aux power on the
motherboard. With a quad rail supply, there is a chance the Molex
connectors use a different rail, than the main motherboard 12V signals
on the 24 pin connector.

http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_build_psu.html#certified_powersupplies

The nice thing about the Silencer 750, is it is a single rail supply.
There is no worry about wiring diagrams, and which rail is which,
when connecting power supply to motherboard with that one. Some of
the other supplies need a lot more analysis before you can use them.

Years ago, Antec made a [email protected] supply, which I bet would have
been cheaper than the Silencer 750. But those supplies aren't made
any more. You'll have to do quite a bit of searching, to find a
single output power supply, as nicely made as the Silencer 750.

Good luck,
Paul
 
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buzz

The nice thing about the Silencer 750, is it is a single rail supply.
There is no worry about wiring diagrams, and which rail is which,
when connecting power supply to motherboard with that one. Some of
the other supplies need a lot more analysis before you can use them.

Years ago, Antec made a [email protected] supply, which I bet would have
been cheaper than the Silencer 750. But those supplies aren't made
any more. You'll have to do quite a bit of searching, to find a
single output power supply, as nicely made as the Silencer 750.

Good luck,
Paul

That 36A Antec was one of those server supplies (EPS?) and I recall
someone mentioning that the 36A was only really available at boot up
to kick start the hard drives. After that, the 12v rail wasn't
delivering as much and was actually throttled some.

Don't know if that's true, but Antec went to the dual 12 volt supply
which was pretty much obsolete at birth and now is trying to make up
with a tripple 12 volt supply. I think that's barking up the wrong
tree and I like the big single 12v designs.
 

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