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Thread: PC Spec

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    PC Spec

    Hey,

    It's been a long while since I last built a PC but I am looking to build an entire new system from scratch, I had a read around and came up with the following spec for 1350 (including vista ultimate OEM which isnt listed below). I am building a new gaming rig for myself but the ambient temp where I live can get quite high so cooling is very important, because of this I won't be overclocking. Incidentally I went with this particular mobo because of the accelerated hardware RAID. Disk space isnt a problem as this pc will only be for playing games, I will be using this old one with a large raid array as my filestore.

    NOTE: REVISED SPEC, SEE POST 12 IN THIS THREAD!!! I am leaving this spec here purely for comparison.

    Can I get people's oppinions please so I don't end up making daft buying decisions?

    NOTE: I absolutely want to go Nvidia as the better linux support is very important to me.
    Last edited by eviljonny; 09-06-2007 at 05:05 PM. Reason: Revised spec below

  2. #2
    A shadowy flight. MSIC's Avatar
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    Generall good, but a few opinions as follows:

    Arctic Cooler Pro is generally regarded as a better cooler for this price range.
    The Corsair 620 PSU also remains a firm fan favorite at the moment, although i love my Tagan PSU so no personal qualms with that.
    Regarding the graphics heatsink, i used that one (or similar) on an old Geforce 4, and whilst it worked well (back in 2003) i wouldn't trust it to dissapate modern GPU heat. What's more, Zalman do not list it as compatible. My advice - do not buy it.
    In all honesty i do not know what aftermarket heatsink/fan goes well with an 8800 series, but i did read that the stock cooler is actually quite good (and fairly quiet).

    Also - what monitor resolution are you using? Anything under 1920 x 1200 and the graphics card chosen, whilst very nice, is overkill.

    As for the RAID issue, it's a classic tale, but i can only give you my personal thoughts - firstly, if you use motherboard-based RAID, and the motherboard fails, you lose everything. With a RAID PCI controller, at least your RAID data is saved. Secondly, I assume that you are doing this for speed (no-one would use 2 x 160 for size?), but even then a high-density modern drive (Samsung T series, seagate 10 series etc) with the new perpendicular technology is fast, depending on applications and much, much less likely to fail. I am aware that plenty of RAID fans exist here at hexus, but i'm not one of them based on principal alone.

    Edit: based on price alone, you could chose this motherboard / RAID combo:
    Highpocket RAID card £77
    Nforce 650i motherboard £73.
    I must stress i am not a RAID expert though, so there may be reasons to not get that card for your needs.
    Hope that helps
    Last edited by MSIC; 08-06-2007 at 08:39 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSIC View Post
    Arctic Cooler Pro is generally regarded as a better cooler for this price range.
    The Corsair 620 PSU also remains a firm fan favorite at the moment, although i love my Tagan PSU so no personal qualms with that.
    Will have a look at the cooler and noted on the PSU front.

    Quote Originally Posted by MSIC View Post
    Regarding the graphics heatsink, i used that one (or similar) on an old Geforce 4, and whilst it worked well (back in 2003) i wouldn't trust it to dissapate modern GPU heat. What's more, Zalman do not list it as compatible. My advice - do not buy it.
    In all honesty i do not know what aftermarket heatsink/fan goes well with an 8800 series, but i did read that the stock cooler is actually quite good (and fairly quiet).
    Ah, now that shows that I really didnt put any research into the GPU cooling, doh. If stock is good then stock it shall be.

    Quote Originally Posted by MSIC View Post
    Also - what monitor resolution are you using? Anything under 1920 x 1200 and the graphics card chosen, whilst very nice, is overkill.
    I will be in 1920*1200 on a 24" (or maybe 27) Dell Ultrasharp.

    Quote Originally Posted by MSIC View Post
    As for the RAID issue, it's a classic tale, but i can only give you my personal thoughts - firstly, if you use motherboard-based RAID, and the motherboard fails, you lose everything. With a RAID PCI controller, at least your RAID data is saved. Secondly, I assume that you are doing this for speed (no-one would use 2 x 160 for size?), but even then a high-density modern drive (Samsung T series, seagate 10 series etc) with the new perpendicular technology is fast, depending on applications and much, much less likely to fail. I am aware that plenty of RAID fans exist here at hexus, but i'm not one of them based on principal alone.
    I hadn't thought of it like that, I wont really be keeping anything essential on the PC anyway it is only for gaming, nothing else so it doesnt really matter if I have to format in the end. I don't really want the extra expense of a seperate RAID card also doing this with my fileserver gave me nothing but headaches in linux. If people have a recomendation for a hard drive or two for somewhere in the £100 region it's certainly an option. I dont need that much space, but enough to fit lots of games on without having to remove any for a long while.

    Quote Originally Posted by MSIC View Post
    Hope that helps
    It was, thank you for taking the time to reply to me.

  4. #4
    A shadowy flight. MSIC's Avatar
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    Just remember, the fact that you have 2 hard drives and RAID on the motherboard, doesnt actually mean you have to use it!
    I don't, and am better off
    And you are welcome, i have been helped plenty by folk here.
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  5. #5
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    I would choose NEXUS or SILENX fans instead of the Xcilo fans you plan to use.

  6. #6
    Yeah dude! NightshadowUK's Avatar
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      • Storage:
      • 240GB Crucial M500 & 1TB HGST 7K1000
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 4GB Sapphire 290X Vapor-X
      • PSU:
      • 620W Corsair HX
      • Case:
      • Silverstone TJ08B-E [AP181 & NF-S12B]
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 Home Premium [64bit]
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      • Dell U2412M
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    SilentX fans are overpriced pap, go with:

    120mm Sharkoon 1000 - if you want to keep things quiet.
    120mm Sharkoon 2000 - if you need a lot of airflow and don't mind a lil bit of noise or have a fan controller.

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    • sitalchauhan's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P5K-E Wi-Fi
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (XSPC Edge V2) @ 3.30GHz
      • Memory:
      • 4GB Corsair DHX 6400C4 DDR2
      • Storage:
      • 1x 2TB Samsung, 1x 640GB Western Digital, 2x 500GB Western Digital
      • Graphics card(s):
      • BFG 8800GTX OC (EK-FC8800 GTX) @ 626MHz
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX-620
      • Case:
      • Antec P180B Windowed (Nexus Real Silent Fans, PA120.3 Rad, Swiftech MCP655 Pump With EK X-Top Rev2)
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Samsung SM-226BW 22" Widescreen & IBM T541 15"
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      • 20mb Virgin Media
    This is what I would do considering you are not overclocking. You have quite a few mistakes where you have bought overclocking components, but you have no plans for overclocking, so I have recommended components that are much cheaper but will perform exactly the same! With this extra cash, you can probably get the next higher CPU (E6800) but I would personally save the extra cash for future upgrades

    Mobo: Good choice. EVGA are a great company with excellent support. Also, the 680i chipset is probably the best at the moment for a hardcore gaming system.

    CPU: The best bang for buck cpu out at the moment if not overclocking. Just to let you know that there are going to be some price drops soon, so if you can hold back for a little while you will probably be able to get a quad core cpu when the prices drop.

    CPU Cooling: Do not get that heatsink. As mentioned above in another post, the 'Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro' is a MUCH better heatsink for the same price.

    Graphics Card: Excellent choice and XFX have excellent support should anything go wrong.

    GCard Cooling: DO NOT get the one you have listed. It is completely incompatiable with the 8800gtx and would never be able to cope with the amount of heat it produces. I would stick with the stock heatsink as they are excellent and it isnt worth spending the extra for an aftermath heatsink when the stock one performs excellently and exhausts the heat out of the case.

    Memory: A seriously bad choice if you are not overclocking. You would not notice any difference between the memory you have chosen and 6400 memory as you are not overclocking! Get the Corsair Dominator 6400CL4 as it would run at exactly the same as the one you have listed and is much cheaper, and still gives you lots of headroom should you want to start overclocking. If you are getting a 64bit OS, it is probably best to get 4gb of ram now because ram prices are extrememly low. However, if going for a 32bit OS then stick with 2gb

    Mem Cooling: Only needed if overclocking the memory. If running everything at stock, there is no need to buy this and it is a complete waste of money

    Hard Drives: I would recommend the Western Digital SE16 range or Samsung Spinpoint range of hard drives over the Seagate as they run huch cooler and quieter

    Case: The case is normally a very personal choice as it is what you see every day so it really is up to you which you like best. However, if looking for excellent cooling (and i personally like the minimalistic design) I would recommend the Antec P182. Many people also recommend the Lian Li cases, but I have never used one so dont know what they are like

    Case Fans: I would definately say that this is a very bad choice. I am a frequent member of SilentPCReview so really do know what im talking about here. I would get the "Scythe S-Flex SFF21E" or the "Scythe S-Flex SFF21F" fans. If you want your pc to run quieter, get the SFF21E. However, if you dont mind a bit of noise for lower temps, get the SFF21F. The S-Flex range of fans are one of the best fans that move the most amount of air for the lowest amount of noise. I think these 2 S-Flex fans are the best available for a gaming system. You can get quieter fans, such as the 'Nexus Real Silent' fans, but they wouldnt move enought air to cool a serious gaming system.

    PSU: I would personally go for the Corsair HX-620 power supply as they are extremely stable, Corsair's customer service is second to none, and they run extremely quietly. Also, 620W is more than enough should you decide to get Sli 8800gtx in the future You could power your system off the Corsair HX-520 520W power supply, but I think its better to get the 620W for the little bit extra so that you are set for any further upgrades.

    DVD Drive: An excellent drive. However, I would recommend a sata optical drive over an IDE drive to minimise cable clutter in you case, and therefore improve airflow. I think eventually, everything is going to go the sata router and IDE is going to be phased out, so a sata drive will last you for the future aswell. Scan sell the "LG GSA-H30NBAL" which is a superb sata optical drive It is basically identical to the one you have selected, but is sata instead of ide

    Floppy Drive: I was thinking of getting that exact same floppy+card reader combined drive for my build, but after reading the user reviews on newegg, it put me off it very much so. I decided to go for just a normal floppy drive, and then get a usb card reader. Might be worth reading the user reviews on newegg and see what you think after. Seems to be that the floppy drive is extremely noisy, and lots of people complaning of the card reader ramdomly completely dying

    Hope this helps

    EDIT:
    So here are the components I would get if I was in your situation. You would be saving money and getting a better performing system than the one you wrote in your original post:

    Motherboard: EVGA 122-CK-NF68-A1 NF680i
    CPU: Intel E6600
    CPU Cooling: AC Freezer 7 Pro
    Graphics Card: 768Mb XFX 8800GTX Extreme
    GCard Cooling: N/A (Stick with the stock heatsink)
    Memory: 2Gb Corsair 6400 Cas4 Dominator
    Mem Cooling: N/A (Not needed)
    Hard drives: (In raid 1) 2 x 160Gb Samsung Spinpoint
    Case: Antec P182
    Case Fans: 4 x 120mm Scythe S-Flex SFF21E
    PSU: Corsair HX-620
    DVD drive: LG GSA-H30NBAL
    Floppy: Standard 1.44" Floppy Drive
    Card Reader: Any decent external USB card reader

    All of the above are available from scan. I have got absolutely no experience with RAID so will leave that to the experts
    Last edited by sitalchauhan; 09-06-2007 at 02:29 PM.
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    • sitalchauhan's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P5K-E Wi-Fi
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (XSPC Edge V2) @ 3.30GHz
      • Memory:
      • 4GB Corsair DHX 6400C4 DDR2
      • Storage:
      • 1x 2TB Samsung, 1x 640GB Western Digital, 2x 500GB Western Digital
      • Graphics card(s):
      • BFG 8800GTX OC (EK-FC8800 GTX) @ 626MHz
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX-620
      • Case:
      • Antec P180B Windowed (Nexus Real Silent Fans, PA120.3 Rad, Swiftech MCP655 Pump With EK X-Top Rev2)
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Samsung SM-226BW 22" Widescreen & IBM T541 15"
      • Internet:
      • 20mb Virgin Media
    double post
    Last edited by sitalchauhan; 09-06-2007 at 02:18 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Brilliant post, thanks. I will be rewriting the spec later on and will post the revised spec.

    I had already decided late last night not to go with that case. Can I ask what do people think of the Windtunnel case?

    Oh and I shoudl have stated noise is not a problem so Im not bothered at all about keeping things quiet.

    As for the card read come floppy I've actually got one in my current PC that I really like, unfortunately I cannot remmeber the model and at the moment cba taking it apart to find out, but then I have been thinking, if I am ONLY using this pc for gaming why do I need a card reader, or floppy drive at all!

    Oh and with the DVD drive, lord knows what I was thinking, I was actually looking for a SATA one, not quite sure how I ended up with an IDE one on my list

    Edit: Forgot to ask, what kind of time frame are we talking about before quad core price drops?
    Last edited by eviljonny; 09-06-2007 at 02:40 PM. Reason: Additional question
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  10. #10
    Yeah dude! NightshadowUK's Avatar
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    • NightshadowUK's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI Z87M GAMING
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i5 4670K [4GHz w/ Macho Rev.B]
      • Memory:
      • 2x8GB Corsair Vengeance LP
      • Storage:
      • 240GB Crucial M500 & 1TB HGST 7K1000
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 4GB Sapphire 290X Vapor-X
      • PSU:
      • 620W Corsair HX
      • Case:
      • Silverstone TJ08B-E [AP181 & NF-S12B]
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 Home Premium [64bit]
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2412M
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media 200Mb
    July 22nd apparently although it'll take a few weeks for Scan's prices to feel it.

    I agree with sitalchauhan, there's absolutley no point in getting PC8500 RAM when you're not overclocking. If you're certain you never will, go with:

    2GB Corsair TwinX XMS2 PC5400 - if you'll be running Vista x64 go 4GB and get two lots.

    Or if you think you might overclock at some point go for:

    2GB CorsairTwinX XMS2 PC6400

    Also, why not get the 250GB Samsungs as they're only a few quid more than the 160GB models?

    The motherboard's probably overkill as well if you're not overclocking...

    Go for something like the Abit AB9 i965 instead or if you really have to have SLi go with the Asus P5N-E.
    Last edited by NightshadowUK; 09-06-2007 at 03:08 PM.

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    • sitalchauhan's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P5K-E Wi-Fi
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (XSPC Edge V2) @ 3.30GHz
      • Memory:
      • 4GB Corsair DHX 6400C4 DDR2
      • Storage:
      • 1x 2TB Samsung, 1x 640GB Western Digital, 2x 500GB Western Digital
      • Graphics card(s):
      • BFG 8800GTX OC (EK-FC8800 GTX) @ 626MHz
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX-620
      • Case:
      • Antec P180B Windowed (Nexus Real Silent Fans, PA120.3 Rad, Swiftech MCP655 Pump With EK X-Top Rev2)
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Samsung SM-226BW 22" Widescreen & IBM T541 15"
      • Internet:
      • 20mb Virgin Media
    I have not heard much about the windtunnel case, so cant really comment on it. Looking through all of the cases that scan have available, these are the ones that I would seriously consider:

    Akasa Eclipse-62:
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=137809

    Maxi-View Windowed Side Panel for Eclipse-62 Case if you would like a windowed case:
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=153511

    Antec Nine Hundred:
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=501972

    Antec P182:
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=604059

    They are all excellent cases and cant go wrong with any of them
    The Akasa Eclipse-62 is an extremely roomy case and looks very clean and professional.
    The Antec Nine Hundred is a hardcore gamers case with excellent airflow and extremely good value for money.
    The Antec P182 is designed for excellent airflow, acoustics, and thermal management, with a minimalistic look (you either love it or hate it )

    If you are going for an Antec case, the stock case fans (Antec Tri-Cool fans) are good and not worth replacing if you are not concerned about noise. On high they move enormous amounts of air, but produce quite a bit of noise, but since noise isnt a problem for you they are excellent fans.

    However, if going for another branded case other than Antec, the stock case fans are normally very poor and I would recommend to get the "Scythe S-Flex SFF21F" fans as replacements as you will gert much better airflow.

    Even though noise isnt a concern, I would still recommend the Corsair HX-620 PSU as it is extremely stable and well worth the money for Corsair's excellent support service just incase Also, I really like the look of the flat psu cables that the corsair has, which are very unique.

    If you are going for RAID, I think you need a floppy drive to install the RAID Drivers at the F6 prompt. If you arent really going to use the inbuilt card reader very often, definately get a seperate usb one. Because the inbuilt one in the floppy drive will always be conencted so wasting resources when you are not using it. However, with the external one you can connect and disconnect it whenever you require.

    As NightshadowUK mentioned, if you NEVER have any plans for overclocking at all, you can get the pc5400 ram and save a lot of money and not drop any performance at all. Also, I agree get 4gb of ram if you are getting a 64bit os as it is so cheap at the moment. The only difference between the ram that NightshadowUK has linked to and the dominator series of equal specification is the bigger heatspreaders on the Dominator ram. So I agree, go for the standard non-dominator series of ram as you are not really going to be overclocking so will save quite a bit of money.

    NightshadowUK also made a good point that the 250gb drives are only slightly more than the 160gb drives. I saw that you mentioned that you do not need much space at all because it is going to be a gaming system, but it is only a couple more quid for a lot more space. I would get the 250gb drives just to ensure that you never run short on space because otherwise you would have to sell both drives and buy new ones, which would be a right pain
    Regarding the raid, have you considered getting a single 150gb WD raptor drive instead? As they are also extremely fast drives but without the headache of setting up raid. I personally wouldnt get the raptor or the raid, and just get a single 7200rpm decent drive as I cant justify spending that much more for such a small difference in loading times that I wouldnt even noticee to be honest.

    Regarding the motherboard, yes it may be slightly overkill, but I personally like getting a motherboard that is overkill for the system when building a new pc, because then it will last me for future upgrades for a while. Upgrading a motherboard is a massive hastle so I always try to avoid it until there is no other choice However, if you have no plans for doing Sli, I think there are much cheaper options out there, and I personally think SLi is completely pointless, but that a whole new story
    Last edited by sitalchauhan; 09-06-2007 at 04:18 PM.
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    Ok, revised spec


    Note: No RAID, floppy drive, card reader, after market GCard cooling or memory cooling. Still not sure on the case

    Related question:
    Are sata cables all pretty much the same other than length and colour?

    EDIT: There was a vista question here, ignore it if you saw it
    Last edited by eviljonny; 09-06-2007 at 04:59 PM. Reason: Doh, premature posting
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  13. #13
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    • staffsMike's system
      • Motherboard:
      • evga 680i
      • CPU:
      • e6600
      • Memory:
      • geil ultra pc6400
      • Storage:
      • WD 320gb
      • Graphics card(s):
      • leadtek 8800 GTS 640mb
      • PSU:
      • ocz gameXstream 700w
      • Case:
      • akasa eclipse
      • Monitor(s):
      • dell 2007wfp and Lg L194WT
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      • pipex homecall
    Deffinatly consider the antec p182 but if you do go for the wind tunnel let us know how you get on because it looks interesting.

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    I think unless I hear specific bad things about it I probably will go for the wind tunnel, in which case I will write up a little review. I probably would go for the Antec but my mate (who is on this forum, akeira I think) just bought one and I wanna go with something a bit different. Also will be taking it to the odd LAN at work (great working somewhere that lets you hold LANs in the office ) so it's nice to have something a bit different.
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    • sitalchauhan's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P5K-E Wi-Fi
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (XSPC Edge V2) @ 3.30GHz
      • Memory:
      • 4GB Corsair DHX 6400C4 DDR2
      • Storage:
      • 1x 2TB Samsung, 1x 640GB Western Digital, 2x 500GB Western Digital
      • Graphics card(s):
      • BFG 8800GTX OC (EK-FC8800 GTX) @ 626MHz
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX-620
      • Case:
      • Antec P180B Windowed (Nexus Real Silent Fans, PA120.3 Rad, Swiftech MCP655 Pump With EK X-Top Rev2)
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Samsung SM-226BW 22" Widescreen & IBM T541 15"
      • Internet:
      • 20mb Virgin Media
    That is a superb system and I am sure you will be more than happy with it! Just make sure to remember to buy a 64bit OS to use all of the 4gb of ram

    Think you make a nice saving aswell from the spec in your original post, so keep that for future upgrades (although I cant see that system needing any upgrades any time soon )

    The sata cables that come with the mobo are completely fine and work perfect. You can get other sata cables such as the Akasa sata cables, but the only difference is the colour and length, no real life difference in performance. I think some sata cables have a small latch that hold them into place, but never had any problems with non-latched connectors becoming loose. I think some of the sata cables from other companies claim to have much thicker shielding, but I doubt this makes any difference at all and is just marketing BS

    I would say go for the Akasa Eclipse 62 case and get the window to show off all your top components inside with some nice white cold cathodes It looks a bit plain in pictures but looks amazing in real life (just like lian li cases)!
    Last edited by sitalchauhan; 09-06-2007 at 07:47 PM.
    Home Cinema 1: Panasonic TX-P42ST30B Plasma | Mission 7.1 Speakers | REL Quake Sub | Denon AVR-3802 | Denon DVD-3800 | Xbox 360 | WDTV Live
    Home Cinema 2: Panasonic TH-42PX80B Plasma | Logitech Z-5500 5.1 | Pioneer DV-565A | Virgin Media V HD

    Hexus Trust

  16. #16
    Yeah dude! NightshadowUK's Avatar
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    • NightshadowUK's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI Z87M GAMING
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i5 4670K [4GHz w/ Macho Rev.B]
      • Memory:
      • 2x8GB Corsair Vengeance LP
      • Storage:
      • 240GB Crucial M500 & 1TB HGST 7K1000
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 4GB Sapphire 290X Vapor-X
      • PSU:
      • 620W Corsair HX
      • Case:
      • Silverstone TJ08B-E [AP181 & NF-S12B]
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 Home Premium [64bit]
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2412M
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media 200Mb
    Quote Originally Posted by eviljonny View Post
    Related question:
    Are sata cables all pretty much the same other than length and colour?
    Some actually click into place while others just slot in, usually you get crappy slot in ones with motherboards but I've no idea what EVGA will supply. Maybe check out a few reviews?

    Oha and I second the Eclipse-62 and window suggestion, it's what I'm using and it looks immense.

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