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Ok, heres the Rough Draft!


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#1
GottaHaveFaith

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Ok im building a new rig. Ive been waiting years to do this. I am very excited. But i dont have much knowledge in the subject compared to most of you. Ive been doing research and trying to make informed decisions. Here we go.


The Goal:

A gaming rig primarily. Everquest 2, other MMORPGs, FEAR, Doom 3, etc... all maxed out, max eye candy. Also i do alot of web surfing and research so its internet connectivity is important (i have cable broadband). I have no overclocking experiance, so i do not want to count on it, but i may o/c after i become familiar with it and do more research. Cost is a factor, but not at the expense of performance. I will be buying 2 or 3 components at a time, until all is compiled.

The Rough Draft:

CPU - AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ Manchester 1GHz 2x512KB L2 Cache Sckt 939 - $546.00
MOBO - Asus A8N-SLI Premium Sckt 939 NVIDIA nforce4 SLI ATX AMD - $164.99
GPU - eVGA 256-P2-N563-AX Geforce 7900GT CO 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 - $309.00
Memory - Mushkin eXtreme Performance 2GB (2x1GB) 184-pin DDR SDRAM Unbuffered DDR500 (PC4000) dual channel kit - $209.50
Hard drive - ???
PSU - ???
Heatsink/Fan - ???
Case - Aspire X-Cruise - $69.00
Optical - Lite-On DVD+-R Burner - $42.99
Optical - Asus DVD/CD-ROM - $22.99
Floppy - Sony floppy - $9.99
Sound card - Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic 7.1 channel 24-bit 96KHz PCI interface - $121.99
Monitor - Rosewill R912E Black 19" 8ms LCD Monitor 270 cd/m2 500:1 0.294mm Pixel Pitch - $259.99
Keyboard - Logitech G15 2-tone 104 normal keys USB wired standard - $69.95
Mouse - Logitech G5 Laser 931376-0403 2-tone 6 buttons 1x wheel USB laser - $46.89
Speakers - Creative Inspire P7800 90 Watts 7.1 speakers - $86.00

The Questions:

1. I would liek to use two hard drives. A 10,000 rpm smaller one (for operating system and game installations) and a 7800 rpm large one (250-300GB) for everything else. I dont know much about Hard drives, can you recommend them to me?

2. How powerful of a PSU do i need for this rig?

3. Do i need to purchase a heatsink/fan, if so, any recomendations?

4. Im still rather unclear about my memory. Im certain that i want 2GB. But my motherboards standard ram is PC3200. The memory i chose is PC4000. Is that going to hinder performance or just not matter?

5. The monitor i chose is a brand im unfamiliar with, but the price was appealing. Does my setup call for a better monitor than this, or will this suffice?

6. I am worried about compatability issues, do all these components get along?

The Conclusion:


I am ordering a couple of the cheaper items in a couple days. Most likely the case and an optical drive or two. This way i have time to discuss the rest with you and make any necessary changes before i order the important components.

I am a little skeptical about the high priced cpu. So much more expensive than everything else. But if its worth the extra cash then so be it.

I appreciate any and all advice, and help with this. Dont know what id do without you guys, thanks again.
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#2
warriorscot

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1. Stick with 7200rpm drives, get the SATAII 16Mb drives larger faster and cheaper than the 10,000 rpm drives when it actually comes down to it.

2. 500W psu from a reliable company should be sufficeint shouldnt need anymore than that but you can get a 600W if you like. Antec,Enermax,Tagan and Ultra are a few of the good brands.

3. For a retail CPU you dont need to buy an HSF it comes with a perfectly adequate one. Cpu wise if you drop down to the 4400+ you wont see much of a drop in performance but its cheaper and its the larger cache chip so its slower that the 4600+ by more than you think even though it doesnt perform that much slower, also a better overclocker if you ever want to.

4.Only get the faster ram if you are sure you want to overclock otherwise get plain low latency DDR400, brandwise i prefer Corsair but they are all good corsair i just know to be reliable with a good warranties and high performance(usually cheaper as well).

5. Rosewill i think is a Newegg own brand(correct me if im wrong not a yank so i cant be sure) itll be another monitor bought cheap and rebranded, do a search on google for reviews on it and other LCD monitors its about the right spec you are after though.

6. All looks ok compatibilty wise, if you are going to go with an SLI mobo go up one model if youre going with asus(the 32 version) or go someone else that particular model had a few glitches mostly sorted but im not reccomending them yet considering the other boards in the market were out alot longer and have had none of the problems. Good mobo brands are DFI, MSI, Abit and Gigabyte.
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#3
GottaHaveFaith

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Thanks for the prompt response.

I am changing it to a A8N32 deluxe MOBO. Its not much more money.

I am still confused about the hard drives though. Should i just get a couple 7200 RPM ones that you suggested? I was under the impression that if i installed my OS and my games on a smaller 10,000RPM drive then loading times will be cut way down. Then id put my songs, videos, saved games, etc... on a slower larger drive. Can you tell me specifically what you would do for this rig?

As far as the RAm goes, im not sure yet if ill be overclocking, so will the PC4000 act as PC3200 should i decide to leave it as is?

I think ill go with that monitor, if its the right specs for me.

I am using an SLI board but im only gonna get one 7900GT to satrt out with. I figure down the road ill either put another one in, or ill just change it up for a DX10 card when they arrive.

Whats yur opinion, will this rig give me what im lookin for?
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#4
warriorscot

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Yeah good call on the mobo the best thing to do is either get that 32 board or switch away from Asus completely.

The 10000 rpm drives did used to offer better performance back in the day but they dont anymore, raw benchmarks they pull out slightly ahead of the 16Mb cache sataIIs but when tested using actual games and OS load times the slower drives beat them hands down by several seconds in some cases. That and they are much larger and much cheaper, for the size of a 150Gb raptor you can get a terabyte of good SATAII disk space.

The Pc4000 will just be underclocked to suit, if youre gonna overclock though go for either the 4400+ or the opteron chips instead.

SLI you really have to do when you build the pc for it to be worth the money and only if you have a very very high resolution monitor as SLI is really pointless for anything below a 1600x1200 monitor.

Read reviews on monitors though some are identical on the spec sheet but are drastically different when it comes to image quality and build quality. Samsung is usually the cheapest for monitors(they make the panels everyone uses) or viewsonic is usually cheap as well.
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#5
GottaHaveFaith

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ok ill have to research those drives then.


Chances are, i wont overclock until my system seems more or less inadequate, hopefuly over a year down the road, so i should probably stick with the 4600+ and drop the RAM down to PC3200 ???


So if i dont go SLI then should i change my MOBO to something else??? Will a single 7900GT on whatever mobo be sufficient for the kind of gaming im looking to do?

Thanks again
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#6
warriorscot

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Certainly should be enough, you can get an SLI mobo if you want if the price isnt to much more, but its really more of a con to get money not alot of people who get SLI will ever use it or ever should use it, many would have been better saving the money and getting a better gfx card instead.

I would actually go for the 4400+ either way as its Toledo core which is the better core making it better value for money as youll save on money and temperature and it will overclock better of you ever want to.
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#7
Hemal

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If you want- you could look at the opteron 165 - it would require overclocking to unlock its best preformance but it is better then all of the dual cores in my opinion if you wanted to go that route

a good 500W psu should be fine unless you really are sure you do want that SLI preformance if/when you get 2 cards

(if you do get the opteron, you would lik ea ddr500-600 for Over Clocking)
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#8
Hammm

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AMD are raising Opteron prices to stop them from getting bought by gamers lol. well if you want maxed out HD preformance, get the new Raptor Xs but it may be best to buy 4 Seagate 7200.9 250Gb drives with 16Mb cache and RAID 0 them, around same price and preformance but over triple the storage. then maybe get another 2 250Gb ones and RAID 1 them, maybe get another two and RAID 0+1 with 8 drives lol, now that'd be sweet. one thing i'm unsure on is, can you RAID 0+1 with 5 or 6 drives or does it need to be a multiple of 4? the Viewsonic VX942 is hands down the best 19in display in town, 4ms display and good enough quality and low price, or, for big gunnys, go for the 24 or 30in dells. the 30in Dell actually proved two much for two BFG 7800GTX in SLI while running Far Cry HDR so 30in is really usless in gamers world, unless you have two 7900GTX or two X1900XTX, then it's a waste, the 24in however, is good enough
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