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Thread: Gaming Rig Build Advice plse

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    Gaming Rig Build Advice plse

    Hi All,

    Just about to put my order in and thought that I'd run it past you guys (and gals) in case I've made any major goofs and for any advice.

    I'm going to be hooking this up to a 24" Dell monitor, and have to put it in either an Antec SuperlanBoy case, or a Centurion (Mesh variation of) as thats what I have to hand. Already got a Creative XiFi Sound card and good speakers too.

    Asus Striker Exteme V2 NF680i SLI, S 775, PCI-E (x16), DDR2 533/667/800, SATA II, SATA RAID, ATX £119.99 £140.99
    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 G0 SLACR, Kentsfield Core, Socket 775, 2.40 GHz 1066MHz 8MB Cache, OEM £122.99 £144.51
    4GB (2x2GB) Corsair DDR2 6400 2x256Mx64 non-ECC 2x240 DIMM unbuffered 5-5-5-18 64bit OS DHX £53.64 £63.03
    512MB MSI 8800GT OC, PCI-E 2.0, Mem 1900MHz GDDR3, GPU 660MHz, Streams 112, 2x DL DVI-I £124.32 £146.08
    150 GB Western Digital WD1500AHFD Raptor X, SATA I, 10000 rpm, 16MB Cache, 4.6 ms, NCQ + FREE GAME £110.59 £129.94
    700W Coolermaster Real Power M700 Modular PSU with PCI-E, SATA £76.79 £90.23
    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64Bit 1Pk OEM (DVD) £49.79 £58.50
    Zalman CNPS9500A-LED Aero Flower Cooler £25.99 £30.54

    My plan is to get a second 8800GT in 3 months or so when I have the cash. Then a new case, prob a Stacker as that will last me future builds too.
    I've got a 500Gig drive for storage, plus a 500Gig NAS, so the raptor is fien size wise.

    I'm a gamer, but will be looking for an overclock to 3Gig on the processor (poss not that much till new case). Dome some overclocking before, and not looking to go mad.

    So any comments, recommendations?

    Cam

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    Thumbs up Re: Gaming Rig Build Advice plse

    Quote Originally Posted by camalbitboy View Post
    Hi All,

    Just about to put my order in and thought that I'd run it past you guys (and gals) in case I've made any major goofs and for any advice.

    I'm going to be hooking this up to a 24" Dell monitor, and have to put it in either an Antec SuperlanBoy case, or a Centurion (Mesh variation of) as thats what I have to hand. Already got a Creative XiFi Sound card and good speakers too.

    Asus Striker Exteme V2 NF680i SLI, S 775, PCI-E (x16), DDR2 533/667/800, SATA II, SATA RAID, ATX £119.99 £140.99
    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 G0 SLACR, Kentsfield Core, Socket 775, 2.40 GHz 1066MHz 8MB Cache, OEM £122.99 £144.51
    4GB (2x2GB) Corsair DDR2 6400 2x256Mx64 non-ECC 2x240 DIMM unbuffered 5-5-5-18 64bit OS DHX £53.64 £63.03
    512MB MSI 8800GT OC, PCI-E 2.0, Mem 1900MHz GDDR3, GPU 660MHz, Streams 112, 2x DL DVI-I £124.32 £146.08
    150 GB Western Digital WD1500AHFD Raptor X, SATA I, 10000 rpm, 16MB Cache, 4.6 ms, NCQ + FREE GAME £110.59 £129.94
    700W Coolermaster Real Power M700 Modular PSU with PCI-E, SATA £76.79 £90.23
    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64Bit 1Pk OEM (DVD) £49.79 £58.50
    Zalman CNPS9500A-LED Aero Flower Cooler £25.99 £30.54

    My plan is to get a second 8800GT in 3 months or so when I have the cash. Then a new case, prob a Stacker as that will last me future builds too.
    I've got a 500Gig drive for storage, plus a 500Gig NAS, so the raptor is fien size wise.

    I'm a gamer, but will be looking for an overclock to 3Gig on the processor (poss not that much till new case). Dome some overclocking before, and not looking to go mad.

    So any comments, recommendations?

    Cam
    Seems good Very similiar to mine. The Corsair HX620W should be ok, I recon. I dont think you'll need 700W PSU but if thats what you want then its no problem

    If your buying from scan, dont forget your free shipping, might save you a bit

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    Re: Gaming Rig Build Advice plse

    If you're dead set on SLi (which I think is a mistake really) then you'll be wanting a 780/790i board not the 680i which are old news now.

    I would get a better PSU than that, by which I mean waulity not overall output. Something like an 520w Corsair HX will run GT's in SLi no problem.

    Wouldn't bother with a raptor. They are just noisey and not really than much faster than the best 500 - 1000GB drives which are cheaper than it.

    That CPU cooler isn't very good, get something like a thermalright ultima 90 + a decent fan or scythe ninja, both cheaper and better.

    Personally I'd go for the single graphics card route. Something like an ATi HD3870X2 can be had for as little as £240 but usually around £270 and are great performers especially at high res (essentially it's two gpu's on one board).

    Hooked up to a decent motherboard such as an Abit IP-35 dark raider which is often available for as little as £58 on scan.co.uk you will have an awesome setup with all the overclocking power you could require.

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    Re: Gaming Rig Build Advice plse

    I don't think you'll need the raptor, it's not that much faster than the denser 7200rpm disks these days (if at all). But, its up to you
    Dreaming

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    Re: Gaming Rig Build Advice plse

    That's really quite a nice shopping list

    Have you thought about splashing out another £50 for a 8800GTS?

    Like this one from Scan?

    Also what about splashing about another £10-15 on ram to get this RAM from Scan? Lower timings, same clock.

    Just ideas

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    Re: Gaming Rig Build Advice plse

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyhead View Post
    Also what about splashing about another £10-15 on ram to get this RAM from Scan? Lower timings, same clock.
    No, no, no. Lower timings make squit all difference. Where to save money: motherboard, PSU (CM trading on their case reputation) and HDD. Where to spend money: Gfx, non-OEM Vista (but buy on fleabay). Where to get better bang for buck: CPU cooler. Possible spend: new fans, and what about an OD?

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    Re: Gaming Rig Build Advice plse

    OK thanks for all advice so far.

    I was going for the 700W PSU as gives me the option of SLi with beefier cards later. Going by SLIZone I need at least a 650 for 8800GTs, so play safe with 700 for now I thought. Cm are a reputable brand, plus its modular, and as the SuperLAnboy is windowed...

    I already took into accnt free shipping

    All 780i gives you is 3 way SLI (out of my budget) ESA (no point as no other ESA kit)and Penryn support. By the time I'm looking at Penryn in a few years time I'll need the DDR3 support that will be the norm by then, and trust me, no one will be running 1st gen 790i boards by then, if at all. For the cash, 680i boards get all I need at a decent price point (I admit feely that I coud save £15 by getting the Asus P5N32-E SLI NF680i but the striker has e-sata and blue flashy lights. Sad I know.)

    You probably have a point on the Raptor, but it still wins bench marks, and I've always wanted one, plus storage isn't an issue, so what the hell. Its £60 over a barracuda but in an £800 budget you gotta have some 'nice to haves'

    StaffsMike - Why do you think that the cooler isn't very good? All the reviews score it highly, and its cheaper than some of what you've mentioned. My only reservation is that maybe a 'downdraft' cooler would be better so as to cool the mosfets. The cooler is def open to recommendations.

    Thanx again for all comments so far.

    Cam

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    Re: Gaming Rig Build Advice plse

    Well all the reviews I have seen always put the zalman sqaurely average. Rather noisey and temps that can't touch the thermalright or the scythe which are both less than £30 on scan

    You really don't need that much power. The 620w corsair can run SLi GTX's so I doubt very much the 520 would struggle with GT's. However if you do want 700W I'd go for something like enermax or the OCZ i've got.

    £140 is a lot of money to pay for a dead motherboard is my only concern. I really would go for the cheaper motherboard, single graphics card route which would still fit your budget.

    I very much doubt you would see a performance difference between the two, even at 1920 x 1200

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    Re: Gaming Rig Build Advice plse

    I second Mike's opinion regarding the cooler and PSU: Anandtech's 8800 SLI test system only drew 211 Watts. Even assuming that you will overvolt/clock it very heavily and add a couple of HD, it's still something a good 520W (let alone 620W) PSU can handle. The reason for the high recommendation is that there are cheap 'high wattage' PSU that are unable to actually sustain their ratings.

    Regarding the motherboard and GFX card, I would go 3870 X2 + Dark Raider as recommended over the 680 and GT (and the two works out more or less the same price). I am more optimistic about the future of SLI/Crossfire and multi GPU in general after seeing some of the more recent tests, but paying 140 quid on a motherboard does not strike as a very good deal. If you do go for your selected motherboard though, make sure that you look it up on various forums and make sure that it is relatively trouble free (in my experience, reviews sometime miss semi-widespread issues sometime reported by end users).

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    Re: Gaming Rig Build Advice plse

    Hmm ok I'll def look at the cooler again, prob a Thermalright SI-128 Computer hardware and software at amazing prices, available online from Scan Computers UK
    as thats got good reviews, plus will help to cool the mosfets NB etc.

    As for the PSU any recommendations then? I'm def after a modular psu as the chassis I'm working with is very small and I hate having all the excess cables hanging about. I'm considering a 600W Tagan instead of teh CoolerMaster.

    Now the MB and GPU

    I'm a bit confused as to how you can label the 680i board as 'dead' when the board that you recommend is a year old and superceeded by the X38 and now X48 boards. Admittedly it is half the price, but it has way fewer features than the 680I I'm looking at.

    As far as SLI vs single card I've been using 7800GTX's SLI for a couple of years now, and when I first got it I tested the diff between SLi and single card and there is a real difference. I also spot it every time i update the graphics drivers and forget to set it to SLI again. 99% of the review sites recognize that you get a considerable performance increase with SLI. Why do people still doubt it? Amusingly you then recommend a dual GPU setup anyway

    For £292 I can get 2 8800GT's or a 3870X2 for £275. The dual 8800GT's will outperform the 3870X2 by more than the difference in price. The down side is that the mb will cost me an extra £56 (Dark Raider 69.78 vs Asus P5N32-E SLI NF680i 126.30) but it does give me more options on teh graphics front. Its not a clear price/performance win then eitehr way for me. Hmm.

    I know that the Striker was a really bad buy when it first came out, but the V2 revision has resolved most of the probs (it was fussy about memory timings) and the price has dropped to only £15 over the Asus P5N32-E (instead of £100 at launch!). So basically I'm paying an extra £15 for some flashy lights and an E-sata port (I'd pretend that I'm only interested in the e-sata, but I'd be lying)

    Nvidia are meant to be releasing their new GPU's next week so I spose I'd be best off leaving it till then to see what they bring out (only topend above my budget I think) and see what it does to pricing of the existing boards.

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    Re: Gaming Rig Build Advice plse

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorsson View Post
    No, no, no. Lower timings make squit all difference. Where to save money: motherboard, PSU (CM trading on their case reputation) and HDD. Where to spend money: Gfx, non-OEM Vista (but buy on fleabay). Where to get better bang for buck: CPU cooler. Possible spend: new fans, and what about an OD?
    Ok Fair point about the PSU,a dn I've explained my choice on MB's above. I agree with you on the memnory timings as I'm not mad into overclocking.
    You recommed non-oem vista, why? Its 3 times the price and the only benefit is that you can load it on multiple motherboards without having to call MS and telling them that your MB has died. If its any cheaper than that then its not legit, and if I wanted dodgy versions of an OS I'd just download it for free. Or am I missing something here?

    I've got spare fans, cables and optical drives so no expense there.

    Cheers
    Cam

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    No-one's Fanboi Thorsson's Avatar
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    Re: Gaming Rig Build Advice plse

    I have bought 3 genuine upgrade Vistas on EBay for around £60 a time. I guess it depends on how often you change the motherboard, and how MS react to the "My MB has died" story.

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    Re: Gaming Rig Build Advice plse

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorsson View Post
    I have bought 3 genuine upgrade Vistas on EBay for around £60 a time. I guess it depends on how often you change the motherboard, and how MS react to the "My MB has died" story.
    Surely an upgrade would be of no use to me as its all new kit? I'm keeping my current pc's so I have nothing to upgrade.

    Oh and hopefully I wouldn't be swapping out the MB for a few years.

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    Re: Gaming Rig Build Advice plse

    Quote Originally Posted by camalbitboy View Post
    Surely an upgrade would be of no use to me as its all new kit? I'm keeping my current pc's so I have nothing to upgrade.

    Oh and hopefully I wouldn't be swapping out the MB for a few years.
    Oh this is worth knowing, I wonder if it still works?
    "Many people are upset by the fact that the economical, "upgrade" version of Vista won't accept a Windows XP or Windows 2000 CD-ROM as proof of ownership. Vista Upgrade is said to install only to a hard disk that already has XP or 2000 on it.

    But I've tested a method that allows you to clean-install the Vista upgrade version on any hard drive, with no prior XP or W2K installation — or even a CD — required."

    Get Vista upgrade, never pay full price

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    Re: Gaming Rig Build Advice plse

    Nice rig, but the Raptor isn't really necessary, get a 1TB Samsung F1 And I heartily applaud the SLI route, as at the moment it looks like that is the only way to go. I was hoping the 9800GTX might be a step above the 8800GTX, but it appears it's gonna be rather similar. Gone are the days of near doubling speed with a new generation

    Roll on the ATI 4000 series and let's hope they bring some speed! Else nvidia can sit on their ass a little longer...

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    Re: Gaming Rig Build Advice plse

    The dark raider is based on the P35 which is the midrange intel board (often the better overclockers anyway) is yet to be superceeded but there has been mention of a P45 which will probably add PCI-e 2.0 and 1600MHz FSB.

    X-38 and 48 are the enthusiast boards which don't really offer that much noticably gain and cost a hell of a lot more than the P35 which is suitable for almost everyones needs. I trust blitzens comments enough to suggest taking a look at the Abit X-38 given it's fairly cheap but that is only when considering the IP-35 PRO which is around £100 not the dark raider at £60.

    The dark raider has better compatability than the 680i by a long way. You'll probably find overclocking the Q6600 very difficult on the 680i as my mate has two variants of the board and couldn't get above 3.0GHz (although yours is said to be better)

    From what I have read the the 8800GT's in SLi (when they actually work relativly well) only perform as well or just above an 8800 ULTRA which is where the 3870X2 sits anyway. Scout around for one, they have been £230..£235 which is a steal, and you end up with a better motherboard.

    Dual GPU on one card isn't really the same as SLi's cards, well support for it is at least a lot better from what i've seen. I dont doubt that SLi improves things in some, even alot of games theses days but it can let you down..its been tried and tested.

    No one is trying to cost you more money at the end of the day (far from it) and the single card route offers a cheaper PSU and cheaper motherboard so the savings are in the region of £100.
    Last edited by staffsMike; 14-03-2008 at 02:43 PM.

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