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Hardware Nub Seeking Advice On New Hardware Choices & Expected UX

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Intel Z97 LGA 1150/ i7 4790k
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PNY GTX 770
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Hi team, thanks for even reading, thanks more if you can help! I find hardware pretty overwhelming. I've been using soley Hackintosh builds for about 4 years now. This time, I'd like to be more careful in choosing my gear—I've made some blunders in the past.

The question is whether it's time for a new build or just upgrades; in general, I don't know how to translate hardware stats into performance experience. I also want to sell my current box while it's still worth something. Just really looking for:

a) any problems with these choices
b) which among them will have the most significant boost in UX
c) if it's worth it; IMO, 20% "overall" performance boost is the threshold for being "worth it" (I know those are both vague and subjective, indulge me haha)

#########
# CPU & Mobo
#########
Current:
Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor (http://bit.ly/18QI2T3)
ASUS P6X58D-E (http://bit.ly/dTSrpK)

What I Could Afford Now:
($ ideally) Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5Ghz (http://bit.ly/LIgTHd)
($$ maybe) BIOSTAR TPOWER X79 (http://bit.ly/181Nhgr) **note: NOT from TonyMac buyer's guide—I can't see a difference?
($$$ reluctantly) GA-X79S-UP5 (http://bit.ly/1e3BWEX)

#########
# GRAPHICS
#########
Most of the time I have need to drive 2x27" LED mons and run VLC on them, haha. But I do freelance 2D design, and I go in for games like Skyrim, Fallout3, SCII. No shooters, though.

Current:
Radeon HD 5870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 (http://bit.ly/17XlSyr)

What I Could Afford Now:
--All PCI-e 3.0--
($ ideally) PNY GeForce GTX 660 2GB (http://bit.ly/QY3y10)
($$ maybe) Asus GeForce GTX 660 Ti 3GB http://bit.ly/18QJkNY)
($$$ reluctantly) 2 x GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost (SLI)


#########
# SSD & RAM
#########
Currently:
CORSAIR Force Series 80GB SATA II (http://bit.ly/14Mr2Li)
CORSAIR (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1333 (http://bit.ly/1e3Clar)

What I Could Afford:
--The RAM below I actually have purchased. I have 3TB of extra storage, SSD is boot only--
Patriot Viper 3 (4x8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600 (http://bit.ly/15kU4W7)
($ ideally) Kingston 120GB SATA III SSD (http://bit.ly/15TFod8)
($$ maybe) SAMSUNG 840 Series 250GB SATA III SSD (http://bit.ly/1146Szb)
 
Joined
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Messages
17
Motherboard
OS X 10.9
CPU
Intel Z97 LGA 1150/ i7 4790k
Graphics
PNY GTX 770
Mac
Classic Mac
  1. eMac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Lots of views, no responses; if there's something I can do to make this more likely to garner a response, tips and requests are very welcome!!
 

Going Bald

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  3. Mac mini
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Mobile Phone
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I doubt any upgrade to Haswell will net you a 20% improvement. 5%, maybe 10%, but not 20% over an X58 mainboard and core i7.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Motherboard
OS X 10.9
CPU
Intel Z97 LGA 1150/ i7 4790k
Graphics
PNY GTX 770
Mac
Classic Mac
  1. eMac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Terribly concerned I'm about to embarrass myself, but... which Haswell hardware? I don't see that I have any listed, though I presume you're referring to one of the mobo's I picked out. Sorry, I really am bad at hardware; I'm a designer, we're a helpless lot. ;)
 

Going Bald

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Terribly concerned I'm about to embarrass myself, but... which Haswell hardware? I don't see that I have any listed, though I presume you're referring to one of the mobo's I picked out. Sorry, I really am bad at hardware; I'm a designer, we're a helpless lot. ;)

Ok, went back and look more closely at the OP. You list 2 X79 mainboards - socket 2011 and an Ivy Bridge CPU which is socket 1155 and won't work with the x79's.

Still won't get you the performance increase you are looking for. I compared the performance of the X58A build in my sig to a Sabertooth Z77/i7 3770K build with 16Gb ram and a 660TI. Time to render same files gave me about a 7% performance increase with the Sabertooth. Sabertooth was built for someone else, so I wasn't as disappointed in the small increase in performance as I would have been if it had been my own money spent.
 
Joined
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Motherboard
OS X 10.9
CPU
Intel Z97 LGA 1150/ i7 4790k
Graphics
PNY GTX 770
Mac
Classic Mac
  1. eMac
Mobile Phone
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Man I really do appreciate your obviously informed input here, thanks for it. You're also just a touch over my head, though I'm starting to follow. For real, I don't know a thing about hardware, I got into hackintoshing primarily because I design/develop (web!)/game, refuse to not be a mac user, refuse to use an underpowered rig, and refuse to pay Apple what they want for their gear haha. And I'm self taught, I'm an anthropologist by training haha.

The performance increase turns out to suddenly matter; I bought a new case and when I moved everything over, I'm reasonably sure my rig sustained some damage—processor is making funny noises, now, and this after extensive cleaning. : /

To that end, am I right in understanding that this chip:
Intel Core i7-3820 (LGA 2011) http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115229

work with the Biostar X79 board I mention above?

I have trouble understanding even which factors I need to be considering, it's a touch overwhelming. The current gear I have, I never got the sleep function to work—I was naive about this, then, and didn't really get the consequences of having a computer that never sleeps because I never turn my machine off anyway (it's a private server). Now I'm a bit older/wiser and I've realized just the power I drew alone has cost me hundreds of dollars. So I'm really, really trying to build a machine that will, with relative ease, both work and work well, ah ha.
 

Going Bald

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Man I really do appreciate your obviously informed input here, thanks for it. You're also just a touch over my head, though I'm starting to follow. For real, I don't know a thing about hardware, I got into hackintoshing primarily because I design/develop (web!)/game, refuse to not be a mac user, refuse to use an underpowered rig, and refuse to pay Apple what they want for their gear haha. And I'm self taught, I'm an anthropologist by training haha.

The performance increase turns out to suddenly matter; I bought a new case and when I moved everything over, I'm reasonably sure my rig sustained some damage—processor is making funny noises, now, and this after extensive cleaning. : /

To that end, am I right in understanding that this chip:
Intel Core i7-3820 (LGA 2011) http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115229

work with the Biostar X79 board I mention above?

I have trouble understanding even which factors I need to be considering, it's a touch overwhelming. The current gear I have, I never got the sleep function to work—I was naive about this, then, and didn't really get the consequences of having a computer that never sleeps because I never turn my machine off anyway (it's a private server). Now I'm a bit older/wiser and I've realized just the power I drew alone has cost me hundreds of dollars. So I'm really, really trying to build a machine that will, with relative ease, both work and work well, ah ha.
Yes, that CPU will work in that board. Whether the board will work with OS X is something else - I just do not know. You might want to look at socket 2011 builds in User Builds and Golden Builds forums.
At this point in time, there is no speed step support (either 1 core is running at minimal speed at idle, or every core needed is running at full speed to process the data - there are no in-between speeds) or sleep support for the socket 2011 platform.
Sleep, on a server, is something you don't want anyway, although I wouldn't want to use my production box as a server. A private server just doesn't require a lot of power - just access to a NAS and a network.

Sleep/speed-step on socket 2011 may be supported after the new Mac Pro and Mavericks is released as the new MP is using a 12 core socket 2011 Xeon CPU.
 
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I would definitevely stay away from the biostar board.
Your best bet for compatibiliy are the gigabyte mother boards. Anything on the tonymac recommened list is a safe bet.
The X79 platform is not "officially" supported by Mountain Lion (sleep broken/no native power management support) but many people like myself have traded those things for the added power because you also loose quicksync and native USB 3 support.
Going back to the Z77 vs X79 debate, unless you need the extra PCI-e lanes of extra cores (4 vs 6), most people feel the extra money you need to spend is not worth it, specially if you are going for a quad ore cpu.
In summary, the most compatible systems RIGHT NOW and this may change tomorrow are Z77 based and ideally using Gigabyte boards. The I7 3770k is a good CPU and overclocks fairly well but is not a great breakthrough even from the first generation Core architecture. I am not certain you will see a major improvement from an X58 architecture.
Let us know how it goes.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2011
Messages
17
Motherboard
OS X 10.9
CPU
Intel Z97 LGA 1150/ i7 4790k
Graphics
PNY GTX 770
Mac
Classic Mac
  1. eMac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Hardware Nub Seeking Advice On New Hardware Choices & Expected UX

Crazy-helpful. Just reading that was a pile of stuff I didn't know about/know to look for. Thanks!

- - - Updated - - -

Yes, that CPU will work in that board. Whether the board will work with OS X is something else - I just do not know. You might want to look at socket 2011 builds in User Builds and Golden Builds forums.
At this point in time, there is no speed step support (either 1 core is running at minimal speed at idle, or every core needed is running at full speed to process the data - there are no in-between speeds) or sleep support for the socket 2011 platform.
Sleep, on a server, is something you don't want anyway, although I wouldn't want to use my production box as a server. A private server just doesn't require a lot of power - just access to a NAS and a network.

Sleep/speed-step on socket 2011 may be supported after the new Mac Pro and Mavericks is released as the new MP is using a 12 core socket 2011 Xeon CPU.

Crazy-helpful. Just reading that was a pile of stuff I didn't know about/know to look for. Thanks!
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2011
Messages
17
Motherboard
OS X 10.9
CPU
Intel Z97 LGA 1150/ i7 4790k
Graphics
PNY GTX 770
Mac
Classic Mac
  1. eMac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
I would definitevely stay away from the biostar board.
Your best bet for compatibiliy are the gigabyte mother boards. Anything on the tonymac recommened list is a safe bet.
The X79 platform is not "officially" supported by Mountain Lion (sleep broken/no native power management support) but many people like myself have traded those things for the added power because you also loose quicksync and native USB 3 support.
Going back to the Z77 vs X79 debate, unless you need the extra PCI-e lanes of extra cores (4 vs 6), most people feel the extra money you need to spend is not worth it, specially if you are going for a quad ore cpu.
In summary, the most compatible systems RIGHT NOW and this may change tomorrow are Z77 based and ideally using Gigabyte boards. The I7 3770k is a good CPU and overclocks fairly well but is not a great breakthrough even from the first generation Core architecture. I am not certain you will see a major improvement from an X58 architecture.
Let us know how it goes.

Well, purchase-day is just around the corner, next week, so this help is huge—I was definitely going to make some poor choices!

Sleep and power management never worked on the rig I currently have, and as the server I run is indeed private—just for myself or for clients to sample work in progress—so I'd like to have this option if for no other reason than to cut down on power bills.

Is there a processor with more than 4 cores you could advise on? Does using a 6/8 core processor demand an X79 board?

On my current machine, for reasons I don't understand, I don't get all the performance I could/should from (at least) my graphics card, possibly more. I dual-boot, and my Win7 side can (for example) play StarCraft 2 at "Ultra" settings without a blip; on the Mac side, I have to step it down to "high" for everything to get the same performance, and I still get the occasional screen tear. I use Starcraft as my example b/c Blizzard don't just port their software (unlike, say, Fireaxis : | ). Any advice on how to avoid such problems/ is this related to my choice of MB & CPU?
 
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