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Thread: Another new build system thread.

  1. #1
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    Another new build system thread.

    Hoping to get some advice here as I'm in the market for a new pc.

    It's going to be for games so I'm looking to get something fairly future proof.

    I need to get it pre built, I know everyone will say "do it yourself it's not that hard etc" and while I understand this to be the true, I really am no good with these type of things, plus if I can't get it to work I have nowhere to go for troubleshooting.

    I'm happy to pay a little bit more for a quality item and have that safety net of support to fall back on if I need it.

    My main issue is that I have a 26" monitor which runs at 1920 x 1200
    What I'm looking for is a rig that can handle that screen size with all the gaming settings cranked up to max. I'm not talking about Crysis levels here but every other game beside that, e.g. MMO's the odd FPS etc. But I'm not sure which card is the best for this?

    I need to go Quad Core and ideally I need to have water cooling, currently the rig I have kicks out so much heat in a room with another pc and a laptop it just gets unbearable with the heat.

    I'd like some good solid stable Ram currently I have 4 Gig but part of that gets lost as I use XP 32bit.
    I really don't like Vista and I don't want to use Xp 64 either so I'm guessing 4gig still will be ample even though only 3.25 Gig will get used.

    I know I need a quality PSU but again not sure which is trusted out there by the community.

    Budget wise is this all possible for £1,500 I can go higher if needed but not sure if it's worth it.

    I've heard there is a new chipset due shortly as well so would it be better waiting for this or not?

    the only prebuilders I know are Scan and Ocuk, I don't like Ocuk so won't be using them, previously I had a pc from Vadim but they went bust so I'm guessing it's going to be Scan. Got the Wife's pc from there and build quality and support has been superb.

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Pseudo-Mad Scientist Whiternoise's Avatar
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    Re: Another new build system thread.

    £1500 should sort you easily if you already have the monitor.

    The new chipset - do you mean Nehalem? Nehalem should be released fairly soon, however, you may just be better off buying a Quad when they get cheap.

    http://3xs.scan.co.uk/ShowSystem.asp?SystemID=491

    Would that do you? You can customise it a bit to suit what you want. It's not watercooled but it should easily be enough cooling for what you want. If you change the case to an Akasa Mirage/Eclipse the price will be almost exactly 1500.

    It's got a Corsair PSU, XFX GTX280 (will easily handle what you want), 45nm Quad, 4GB RAM, etc.

  3. #3
    Folding Flunkie Webby's Avatar
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    Re: Another new build system thread.

    Yeah I would stick with Scan in your situation.

    Too address you other concerns/questions

    Graphics card wise, you will want to be looking at 6 possibilities first from ATi the HD4870 (either the 512mb or 1GB models will do), 2x HD4850s in crossfire or the HD4870x2, nVidia's offerings are the GTX260 (192 cores) GTX260 (216 cores) and the GTX280. Performance wise they probably sit in the following order (depends on the specific game) HD4870 and GTX260 (192) -> GTX260 (216) -> HD4850 CF -> GTX280 -> HD4870x2

    On to your temperature concerns, having the system water cooled will mean that the componets will be cooler (on the whole) but they will still be outputting a very similar level of energy so water cooling will not make the room any cooler. If you still want a water cooled system then be prepared to spend £250 on the cooling alone. If this is something you want to do then I can discuss it in more detail later just let me know.

    RAM wise you are correct (but available memory will depend on how much is addressed elsewhere so the 3.25GB is not a fixed value) anything by Corsair, OCZ, Patriot etc will be good quality if you plan to get a Q6600/Q6700 then 800MHz memory will be fine if you want one of the newer quads with a 1333 FSB then if you plan to attempt a large overclock you may want to consider 1066MHZ memory.

    PSU wise anything made by Corsair, Enermax, Seasonic, Be Quiet are all good.

    Budget wise it should be easily achievable depending on cooling (I don't know if Scan offer a custom water cooled system or not)

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    Re: Another new build system thread.

    Right thanks for this, I'll dump the watercooling option, didn't know that was the case.
    I don't really want 2 cards and I've always gone nvidia so would feel safer there so the GTX280 I think will be the card for me.

    Thats a very nice system White, I think I will have a tinker around with that and see what works best for me.
    How much of a difference does Ram speed make?
    I'm thinking about going for a 10% oc but then part of me things is it worth it?
    For all the extra heat output should I leave it as is?

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    Folding Flunkie Webby's Avatar
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      • Memory:
      • 2GB OCZ Flex DDR2 PC2-9200 5-5-5-15 @ 1000MHz 4-4-4-12
      • Storage:
      • 2x 250GB WD SataII
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Sapphire HD4870 512MB, Cooling Swiftech MCW60
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX520w
      • Case:
      • Silverstone Tremjin TJ06 - Modded for Water Cooling Goodness
      • Operating System:
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    Re: Another new build system thread.

    Right mem speed, depending on what options are available to you in the BIOS will determine how fast the memory runs after the CPU is overclocked basically memory speed is determined by the front side bus (FSB) for the Q9550 the FSB is 1333MHz now this figure has been Quad pumped so the actual frequency is 333MHz when you overclock the processor this is the number you increase. Memory speed is related to the FSB by a 2x multiplier (DDR = double data rate) so if the FSB is 333MHz and you are using a 1:1 divider (more on dividers in a minute) then your memory will be running at 667Mhz.

    So dividers they are settings which tell your memory how many times the FSB it should run at so 1:1 means the same speed as the FSB then multiplied by 2 because its DDR, depending on your motherboard a number of dividers will be available to allow faster memory to run at its rated speed.

    So back to overclocking so if you have DDR2-800 and a 1:1 divider then you can run the FSB at 400MHz before the memory is overcocked. This would translate to a 20% overclock for the Q9550 and a CPU clock speed of 3.4GHz (assuming the CPU can reach that speed, which is highly likely). Now if you decided that you wanted to aim for 4GHz say then that would require a FSB of 471MHz so with the 1:1 divider the memory would need to run at 942MHz, now if you buy DDR2-800 this is not guaranteed to run at these speeds it might but the is no guarantee, if you bought DDR2-1066 then it would be fine and assuming your CPU would go that fast you could push to 4.53GHz without overclocking the memory.

    Hopefully that made some sort of sense...

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    Re: Another new build system thread.

    Thanks, that is much clearer now for me to understand now

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    Pseudo-Mad Scientist Whiternoise's Avatar
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    Re: Another new build system thread.

    With regards to watercooling, think of it like a fridge.

    You're keeping the components inside nice and chilly, but all that heat has to dissipate somewhere (feel the back of a fridge, it's not cold!). Remember that you've probably got around 2 120mms cooling - just like you would in your case. You're also dissipating 10-20W from the pump straight back into your room. The CPU block will stay nice and stable at room temperature, but your room's still heating up!

    The main advantage is that it cools much more effectively than water does and can often be a bit quieter than an air cooled rig (although typically only if you cool the graphics card which is generally the loudest component unless you have a beefy CPU cooler of course). The disadvantage is that it's expensive. A reasonable rig would work out as follows:

    Pump: £60-80
    Radiator: £30-50
    CPU Block: £30-70 (varies immensely)
    GPU Block: £50-70
    Piping and Clamps: £10
    Special Coolant (or something like distilled water - you don't want limescale lol!): £10
    Extra Connectors and so on: £20
    Reservoir (optional but recommended): £10-40
    Low Noise, High Output Fans (1-3): £10-30

    So that works out to around £150-170 without the graphics card block. You can of course buy cheaper kits, but the above is what i'd expect to pay for a decent quality set up. You're looking at well over £250 for a high end watercooling rig. The other main catch is maintenance and failure. Well prepared, watercooling is incredibly safe - IBM have famously watercooled servers for years without any problems - however, it's not a trivial thing to set up. You need to meticulously test every single component for 12-24 hours to make sure you've got no leaks, because a single drop could fry your system.

    Now that's assuming you go homebuild. If you get a pre built system, that figure could jump to £400 and possibly more. Quite simply unless you're going for the mod factor or you're a serious overclocker, go with a decent, quiet air build. Most low noise coolers can easily handle low overclocks due to the flexibility of C2D - and no doubt Nehalem too.

    As an example.

    My system (see sidebar) is pretty much silent without the GPU fan (i'm getting an Accelero S1 to cool it passively). In the past i've pushed my E2160 to around 3.00Ghz which is a standard overclock as far as i know (a 1.2Ghz increase - 60&#37. My temps without overclocking and with clean cabling inside are around 30 degrees (my room temperature is 21 without the heating on so that's a 9 degree difference). With overclocking that pushes me up to a core temperature of around 50 with 100% CPU usage. Your Quad is likely to run hotter than mine, but it will still be within a reasonable range.

    10% in my opinion is not worth it, if you're going to overclock, pick a temperature ceiling you're willing to hit and then see how far you get trying to meet it stability wise. As Webby says, you should be able to get 20% no problem at all. Have a read of Clunk's awesome guide though - if you do end up with the build i linked you it's an Asus motherboard so you can follow along with the BIOS screenshots quite well. It's stickied
    Last edited by Whiternoise; 25-09-2008 at 11:25 PM.

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    Re: Another new build system thread.

    Most informative, I never thought of the pc like that but of course this does make perfect sense.

    Thanks for taking the time to put me right.

    Yeah i'll do that and see what my options are.

    One last question, my monitor resolution, doesn't require an SLi or Crossfire does it?
    The cards above that were posted should be able to handle that 1920 resolution with max settings ok?

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