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New System Build Drive Selection Questions Please

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Hi Guys

 

Been away for a couple of years and am looking to build a new machine to get back into the air. I have done a fair bit of reading here (thank you all contributors) and gone through the latest component specs for long enough to do my head in frankly, to arrive at the following short list of components below which I think fit together ok but open to any suggestions.

 

Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor 

Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler

Asus Z170-DELUXE ATX LGA1151 Motherboard

Kingston FURY 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 Memory

MSI GeForce GTX 970 Gaming 4 GB

EVGA Super NOVA P2 Platinum 1000W

Fractal Design Define R5 Mid Tower

Win7 64bit Home Premium with SPI (Currently Home standard)

Extra 2 x Noctua NF-A14 ULM 140 Case Fans @ $35 ea

 

The main area where I am trapped in a circular reference and would appreciate your learned opinion is in the drive selection. My current pick and proposed use is as follows;

 

Drive C:/   500GB WD 10K rpm VelociRaptor SATA 6GBS with 64MB Cache  for Win7 & Programs  - A$294

 

Drive E:/   Samsung 950 PRO 512GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive - for FSX & ORBX  -  A$520

 

Drive F:/   Samsung 850 EVO Series 500GB 2.5" SSD - for ASNext & Apps  -  A$265

 

Drive G:/  1 TB WD 10K rpm VelociRaptor SATA 6GBS with 64MB Cache - for Clone /Backup Drive  -  A$329

 

Drive H:/   Reuse my 500GB 7200 Data Drive - for Data

 

My first thoughts were to just pick SSDs but apart from cost I have come up with a couple of other things which are worrying me such as

 

•Defragging FSX and ORBX installs which I understand is not an option for SSDs

 

•To get around this I have thought about using the G:/ drive VelociRaptor in the first instance to clone my existing C:/ drive with installed programs to the new C:/ drive - then do the same to my existing FSX drive after a final defrag them clone it to the new E:/ M2 drive – Is this practical ?

 

•Following on from above - is the cost of my proposed M2 Drive for FSX,add-on Aircraft and ORBX Scenery going to provide performance benefits commensurate with the cost compared to say the VelociRaptor which is pretty quick and can be defragged ?

 

•Is there a performance benefit to be had by using my proposed separate drive for AS Next and other apps so as not to interfere with FSX or should they be on the same drive?

 

 

I fly PMDGs 737NGX & JS41 - Majestic Q400 - Aerosoft Twin Otter Extended a lot plus some other resourse hungry GAs with G1000s and RealtyXP GNS 530 & 430. I was generally happy flying with my current rig but it has inevitably slowed down as I added most of the ORBX scenery which I love and some lovely but punishing add on airports such as YSCB Canberra where on late finals the frame rate is dropping to a fast slide show.

 

My PRIMARY motivation is to get FSX running as well as is possible without re-mortgaging the house. I first looked at upgrading but decided this isn't an option with the recent change in the chip sets . I had hoped to keep the build under $3,000 but my current short list stands at just under $4000 which is just doable if I satisfy myself that the outcome will give me the most gain for the pain ?

 

Sorry for the length of the post but wanted to put it all on the table first time round - Your comments / input would be very much appreciated and valued.  -   Cheers Pete

 

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I would say that the spec is fine, but drives complete overkill.  The two SSD's are fine.  I would ditch the raptors, just get a 120 or 240gb standard SSD for windows, and a bog standard 1 gig HDD for your backups.  

 

Job done

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Kingston FURY 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 Memory

 

Wouldn't it be better to go for RAM specifically designed for Skylake? Higher frequency and density.

 

For my Skylake system, I went for GSkill Ripjaw V's.

 

G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series F4-3200C16D-16GVR 16 GB (8 GBx2) DDR4 3200 MHz C16 1.35 V Memory Kit - Classic Black

 

 

 You could save money on your PSU. 1000 watts isn't required unless you're thinking of SLI sometime in the future.

 

Same for the Z170 Deluxe. Do you need all the features the board provides? I was thinking of the Deluxe, but decided to save money and went for the Z170-A.

 

Perfectly okay of course if you aren't bothered about cost cutting, and just fancy the Deluxe.

 

I have to say though, if you saved a ton of money by avoiding the excessive storage, went for the -A instead of the Deluxe and something like an 850 watt PSU... you could spend the money saved on an even better graphics card, a component that would give you better performance.

 

 

 

Defragging FSX and ORBX installs which I understand is not an option for SSDs

It's not an option because it's not required. SSD's don't have a head that has to dart around looking for fragmented files. So no defragging is required.

 

It's not something you need to "get around".

 

If you decide to go for an M.2 PCIe SSD... then it makes sense to install your OS on that drive and benefit from a super fast OS experience. Bit of a waste to not do so.

 

I would say install OS on the M.2, along with anything else you'd like to be a fast as bullet and all else on a conventional SATA SSD, namely an 850 Evo.

 

If you want a blisteringly fast drive with higher capacity, you could consider the Intel 750 800GB U.2 drive. Again, you can save money to afford such a thing by rethinking PSU wattage and motherboard model.

 

M.2/U.2 would provide an advantage to flight sim in terms of scenery loading I would imagine. I haven't built my system yet so not yet any personal experience.

 

Just my thoughts.

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Wouldn't it be better to go for RAM specifically designed for Skylake? Higher frequency and density.

 

Missed the Ram speed, definitely go for faster ram

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Charlatan & Martin-W - Thanks for your suggestions 

 

Wouldn't it be better to go for RAM specifically designed for Skylake? Higher frequency and density.

 

I took on board your comments re RAM and downloaded the ASUS QVL which I hadn't thought to do prior to your comments. The Kingston I had short listed wasn't on it – I was also surprised to note that whilst there were pages of sets listed the majority weren't shown as having XMP support so Ill need to go through the exercise again - so thanks for that heads up.

 

You could save money on your PSU. 1000 watts isn't required unless you're thinking of SLI sometime in the future

 

Accept your comments on the PSU especially having regard to your later comments re disk drive overkill so Ill drop back to a EVGA Super Nova G2 Gold 850W which will save me $100.

 

Same for the Z170 Deluxe. Do you need all the features the board provides? I was thinking of the Deluxe, but decided to save money and went for the Z170-A.

 

In regard to the Motherboard choice I think I'll stick with the ASUS Z170 Deluxe. After comparing the specs the much better Wi-Fi performance, provision of bluetooth V4, better quality on board Audio and support for the latest USB 3.1 2nd gen are worth the extra dollars to me.

 

Thanks also for the Drive advice – I can see I've been a bit one eyed looking only at FSX requirements and haven't thought about some of my other programs such as Photoshop and Auto Cad which I use regularly and I want to try some 3D modelling with either Solidworks or 3D Max so the program drive speed is important.

 

Did you have any thoughts on my remaining question in regard to whether it would be performance benefit to run ASNext and FS2 Crew on a separate drive?

 

Cheers Pete

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I took on board your comments re RAM and downloaded the ASUS QVL which I hadn't thought to do prior to your comments. The Kingston I had short listed wasn't on it – I was also surprised to note that whilst there were pages of sets listed the majority weren't shown as having XMP support so Ill need to go through the exercise again - so thanks for that heads up.

Hi Pete,

 

I would definitely look at the new GSkill kits. GSkill have released the Ripjaw V's that I purchased, but also the Trident Z. These aren't just modules that are "okay" for Skylake, they are specifically designed for Skylake.

 

These are they...

 

http://www.gskill.com/en/press/view/g-skill-conquers-4000mhz-speed-barrier-and-releases-new-trident-z-and-ripjaws-v-series-ddr4-memory

 

They aren't that expensive either. I picked mine up for £130 here in the UK.

 

 

In regard to the Motherboard choice I think I'll stick with the ASUS Z170 Deluxe. After comparing the specs the much better Wi-Fi performance, provision of bluetooth V4, better quality on board Audio and support for the latest USB 3.1 2nd gen are worth the extra dollars to me.

Fair enough, I almost pulled the trigger on the Deluxe myself. I have each room where there's a PC wired with Cat5e though so no Wi-Fi requirement for me. One thing I would have liked though is the fan extension card, I believe you get one with the Deluxe. For the -A it's an accessory you order. I've looked all over the place and can't find one to purchase, so if you see one anywhere let me know.

 

Re the audio on the -A, both the -A and the Deluxe feature Crytals sound 3.0 so no different. 8:01 in the video.

 

For USG 3/3.1 both boards are equipped, the Deluxe has 6 USB 3.1 on-board, 5 type A ports and one type C. The -A has 2 USB 3.1, I type A and I type C.

 

8:46 for the differences between the boards. The super fast Wi-fi on the deluxe is no use unless you have an equally capable router.

 

Bothe boards oveclock the same, but the Deluxe may have a slightly lower VRM temp due to the bigger heat sink. Both stable, so essentially the larger heat sink isn't really required.

 

 

 

 

Did you have any thoughts on my remaining question in regard to whether it would be performance benefit to run ASNext and FS2 Crew on a separate drive?

 

 

I'm thinking not, but I can't be definitive on that.

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I'd also say do take ESD seriously. Electrostatic discharge. Many will say it's no big deal, just touch your case every now and again or a central heating radiator. Or perhaps install the PSU first [switched off].

 

I used to be of that opinion, but after research I'm not any more. Many believe that a static discharge will be felt and even seen, that's' not the case. It takes at least 3000 volts for a static discharge to be felt, but a fraction of that to damage components.

 

Many also believe that damage as a result of ESD will be immediate. Again that's not the case. ESD can result in early component failure and intermittent faults. The military discovered this a few years ago, they were experiencing early component failure. With the help of the industry they pinned it down to ESD.

 

So the next time someone tells you that they've been building PC's for decades without any thought to ESD and never had an issue... ask then if they've ever had a component they assumed was faulty from new, or a motherboard that failed after several months, or random issues. Almost all of us have and we may be naive to assume it's not ESD related.

 

We don't have to go mad, we don't have to be paranoid, but sensible precautions make sense. You won't find Asus or any other manufacturer ignoring sensible ESD practices and neither should we.

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Hi Martin

Thanks once again for the input. Had a look at the new GSkill kits as you suggested - they are quick little gadgets aren't they. Ive swapped out the Kingstons which I was going to do anyway on your previous advice and have opted for the G.Skill Trident Z F4-3200C16D-16GTZB 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 at $259 which looks pretty good value and is only $80 more than the kingston. Wish I could spring for 32GB now but Im stretching it.

 

Ive locked into the Deluxe mobo now as I ordered it last night. Im trying to buy the large tag items first @ $500 a fortnight as Im worried about the AU$ falling again with the inevitable price hike. I'll have a look around over here and see if I can source the fan extension card for you.

 

In regard to the separate Drive for AS Next and apps etc - Im afraid I've gone bigger and better? in my thinking - watching froggle on youtube today with one of his fully loaded flights in the Q400 and decided I now Need/Want Aivlasoft Electronic Flight Bag so Im going to follow suite with him and run that and AS Next and other applications I want open during the flight on my old PC networked.

 

Hear what you are saying with ESD - Ive taken it very seriously most of my life first in the Military and as a long time GA pilot - amazing how easily things catch fire from a discharge you never see.

 

Mate I really appreciate your time and input - I got myself so tied up in specs that I wasn't looking at the broader picture and solutions - thanks for the generous sharing of your experience and giving me someone to bounce things off. See what I can do about that fan card for you.

 

Cheers Pete

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G.Skill Trident Z F4-3200C16D-16GTZB 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 at $259 which looks pretty good value and is only $80 more than the kingston. Wish I could spring for 32GB now but Im stretching it.

Very nice RAM indeed. In fact a friend of mine over on the Just Flight forum has just bought them. He's just completed a Mini ITX Skylake build.

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I'm in the looking at parts stage also, and I will be going for the G.skill 16GB 3200mhz also, a really good bit of kit I'm told. 

 

 

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I'm in the looking at parts stage also, and I will be going for the G.skill 16GB 3200mhz also, a really good bit of kit I'm told. 

 

 

I reckon so. This will be my first GSkill purchase. Will be a few weeks till I nail it all together, I need to posh up my bedroom first. And decide on a monitor, which is driving me nuts.

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