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Game Rig Help


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#16
warriorscot

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MSI is a good choice for beginners and experts it had alot of features that other boards dont have and is great quality and looks good, the DFI boards have alot of advanced features for tweaking but a beginer usually manages as the extras are optional.

Went on the MSI website and they have replaced the old fan cooler on the diamond board(which i think is a x32) and its a big heatpipe heatsink deal looks ok for the standard system if youre using a huge cooler it might be annying but its easily replaceable, the fan on the platinum is the same though on the new version(which has no x4 slot and is enviromentally friendly and is single instead of dual lan. The heatsink i cant see getting in the way of a gfx cooler or most coolers, but with the standard or the smaller more reasonable ones it should be fine, some people like the huge HSFs though i dont think youll need one of those i use the stock and i can even overclock well.
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#17
Fred Richardson

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Went on the MSI website and they have replaced the old fan cooler on the diamond board(which i think is a x32) and its a big heatpipe heatsink deal looks ok for the standard system if youre using a huge cooler it might be annying but its easily replaceable, the fan on the platinum is the same though on the new version(which has no x4 slot and is enviromentally friendly and is single instead of dual lan. The heatsink i cant see getting in the way of a gfx cooler or most coolers, but with the standard or the smaller more reasonable ones it should be fine, some people like the huge HSFs though i dont think youll need one of those i use the stock and i can even overclock well.


I was just browsing the MSI site as well. I'm trying to get a grip on what's selling at newegg and what the chronology of the boards are. I guess the current offerings are (in order of chipset):

nForce4 SLI x16: "K8N Diamond Plus"
nForce4 SLI: "K8N SLI-F"
nForce4 Ultra: "K8N NEO4 Platinum"
nForce4: "K8N Neo4-F"

The first one you're talking about (the Diamond Plus) is listed as "new" on the MSI site. The big heat pipe on that one apparently has a small fan that's hard to see (it's been a cause for concern on some reviews, but apparently it works well). I think you're right that it wouldn't be so hard to find a cooler that would work fine with that (but I think you're also right that there's nothing so wrong with the stock coolers).

nForce4 Ultra: "K8N Neo4 Platinum V3.0(ROHS)" (not at newegg)

This is the other one you talked about and it's also listed as "new" on the msi site. I can't seem to find out anything about it. Did it just come out?

Which of these boards is preferred for single graphics card operation? The does the "Ultra" have any advantages over the "SLI"?
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#18
Fred Richardson

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I'm still spinning in circles on this. The one fear factor I have is having to RMA a bunch of stuff.

Here are a few things I'm pretty much set on:

Case: I'm pretty attached to that case (it's a furniture thing).
RAM: I'm thinking of avoid low latency RAM. The performance difference is apparently negligble and there appears to be a high RMA rate over at newegg. The real key to happiness appears to be to get the BIOS settings right for your mobo.
Single GPU: I'm not going to run two cards in SLI mode.
AMD X2: I'd definitely like to go with dual core.

And here's what I'm still mulling over:

Mobo: It's funny reading reviews over at newegg. There's no mother board that pleases everyone. The RMA rate of some boards is worrying (but then the only people who write reviews are either really happy or really upset). MSI still looks good, but I'm not sure which one yet.
GPU: Since I'm thinking of going with a single GPU, the AT Radeon X1900XT looks like a pretty tempting solution. But I don't really know what the tradeoffs are.
DVD/RW: I've looked at DVD/RW reviews over at www.cdrinfo.com They like the new BenQ, but not everyone over at newegg does. I don't think I'll go with the pricey plexor drive though.

I have to admit that I have been thinking of having "PC's for everyone" build a rig for me. The advantage is that I can take it back to them and make them fix it if there's a problem. The down side is that it will cost a fair bit more and components are somewhat limited (they like Asus for example).
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#19
warriorscot

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The best thing to do is not read to many reviews from the sites you are going to buy, most people dont go back and post about stuff they bought unless the company emails to remind them and even then they usually only go back if they have a problem and go to moan, so it can give the impression of an artificailly high number of people having bad stuff.

The reviews that matter are the real ones like the ones you find on hardware review sites like tomshardware, hexus, custompc there is lots.

The nforce 4 ultra chipset is the best version of the nforce 4 but its more or less the same as the SLI nforce 4 ultra chipset.

The platinum ROHS board on there is the single option all the SLI boards are marked as SLI. Its the same board as i hae but its the v3 i have the v1 they have a comparison table, the only difference seems to be the dropped some features to get the ROHS which from what i read on it is just saying its evironmentally freindly, personally i would rather have a better board.

Low latency ram really isnt any more prone to breaking than any other if you get it from a good company, i havent seen many problems with the better quality memory, Corsair is who i would go with either the value stuff if you want to save money or the XMS stuff has the overclocking warranty as well as the lifetime warranty. And low latency ram makes a fair difference if you are going to have a gaming PC.

BenQ and LG drives are good and usually cheap, but optical drives the biggest difference between one drive to another is the price.

Graphics cards the X1900s are the best you can get really, and it would certainly do the job, in terms of gfx card there is tonnes of choice, you just need to decide on your price/performance ratio.

X2 is a good way to go if you want dual core they are the best choice at the moment. You might need a new power suppply as well.
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#20
Fred Richardson

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Well, okay, I took the plunge and ordered up a system. It's a bit pricey, but then I decided not to skimp:

CASE LIANLI|PC-V1200B PLUS BLK RT
MB MSI K8N Diamond Plus NF4SLI 939
PSU FSPGROUP|FX 700-GLN 700W 20+4 R
CPU AMD|ATHLON 64 X2 4400+ 939P R
MEM 1Gx2|CORSAIR Twinx2048-3200c2pt
FD 1.44MB|SONY MPF920 Black
HD 400G|WD 7K 16M SATA2 WD4000KS R
MNTR NEC|LCD 17" 4MS DVI 70GX2
CDRW PLEXTOR|PX-230A/SW-BL RT
OS MS WIN XP PRO w/SP2 SINGLE PACK
VC XFX GeForce 7900 GT

I wavered on the PSU but then decided I might add another video card some time later. I went for the 17" LCD since I'm going to staring at it up close (and I realized it's the same resolution as the 19" ones). I bumped up the CPU to get the bigger L2 cash and took off the DVD writer so I can decide on that later (I also might add a special cooler later if I try to OC the CPU).

So, I guess I'll let you all know how this goes. Hopefully everything will fit in the case :whistling:
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#21
jrm20

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Looks like a nice solid system man. Good luck :whistling:
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#22
JourneyMan

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Most reviews at ANY site that offers them are worthless. Mostly morons whining that the product doesn't work when they are either too dumb or inexperianced to figure out how how it works. Of course people are more likly to whine about a bad product than to congradulate a good one, it just the way people are.

Anywho, looks like it should be a good build. I would have gotten an ATI because its more bang for your buck, but I'm sure you'll be happy.

That is a massive PSU....
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#23
Fred Richardson

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I thought about the ATI, but the X1900XT is about 100$ more than the 7900GT (and the 7900GT is supposed to do better than the X1800). I set my price point at about 300$ for the video card.

Yeah, I probably went over the top with the PSU, though I heard that 550W isn't always enough. The main factor is probably running in SLI mode, though I think this mobo might draw a bit more.

I probably also could've done better with an Opteron 165 than with the Athlon X2, but I'm not too keen on jumping right in to over-clocking.
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#24
Fred Richardson

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Anywho, looks like it should be a good build. I would have gotten an ATI because its more bang for your buck, but I'm sure you'll be happy.


I'm thinking you may be right about the ATI. For Oblivion, it's a clear winner (not so sure about other games). The X1800XT is at about the same price point as the 7900GT. It looks like the 7900GT may do better than the X1800XT for some other games (the X1900XT is another story, but then so is the 7900GTX).
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#25
warriorscot

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At the moment the X1900s are the fastest cards you can get, in terms of raw FPS and benchmarks the 7900GTX and X1900XTX are similar however if you look at game reviews you notice the big difference between ATI and nvidia - stability. The x1900 cant get as high an FPS as the 7900s can at some games at max settings however the 7900s have much lower dipps, the ATI cards are better at maintaining there FPS in the acceptable range for longer than nvidia cards. The R4xx and R5xx core cards all have had this trend and advantage over the similar nvidia cards. But for the difference its not absilutley huge and it depends on where you are in the US ATI is more expensive so its less appealing in the UK and europe ATI cards are generally cheaper so it makes more sense to go for them.

Money is usually the big factor.
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#26
Fred Richardson

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At the moment the X1900s are the fastest cards you can get, in terms of raw FPS and benchmarks the 7900GTX and X1900XTX are similar however if you look at game reviews you notice the big difference between ATI and nvidia - stability. The x1900 cant get as high an FPS as the 7900s can at some games at max settings however the 7900s have much lower dipps, the ATI cards are better at maintaining there FPS in the acceptable range for longer than nvidia cards. The R4xx and R5xx core cards all have had this trend and advantage over the similar nvidia cards. But for the difference its not absilutley huge and it depends on where you are in the US ATI is more expensive so its less appealing in the UK and europe ATI cards are generally cheaper so it makes more sense to go for them.

Money is usually the big factor.


Yes, I think this is the problem for me. The 7900 GT I opted in to is at 300$, whereas the X1900's are over 400$. The 7900 GTX is also quite expensive. The game that kill's the 7900 GT is Oblivian, but the main factor there appears to be the on board ram size as the 7900GTX does pretty well as does the X1800XT (which is also around $300 here in the US). Both those have 512Meg onboard ram.

The nice thing about the 7900's is that the run at lower power than the 7800's (and I believe the AT X1800's and X1900's, but I'm not sure).
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#27
Fred Richardson

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Oh dear... well, I did a bunch of searching on the net and it looks like the consensus is that the X1800XT is probably a better choice than the 7900GT for a non-SLI config. So I think this may be the first piece I RMA. Ah well...

EDIT: I got lucky and cancelled the order. Perhaps it's a blessing that these cards are hard to come buy lol :whistling:

Edited by Fred Richardson, 12 April 2006 - 06:22 PM.

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#28
JourneyMan

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Save yourself some money and get this PSU while you're at it.
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817103941

I assure you it will be more than enough for your needs
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#29
FuM

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Dont get that powersupply the best one out in the market is the Antec Truepower 2.0. And its cheaper. And SLI certified.

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817103932
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#30
Fred Richardson

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Well, I may be a fool for sticking with the big 700W power supply, but I was thinking that one day I might throw in a couple of big SLI cards in there. I've read that the 550W supplies aren't always enough. But again, I may be a fool for sticking with this (FWIW, the FX 700-GLN did get a very good review).

I have to admit that I'm kind of already waisting money on that particular Mobo anyway for single card usage when the Platinum that warriorscot uses would've been just fine. But the Diamond Plus just looked so nice... (I probably also would've done fine with an OC'd Opteron 165 instead of the X2 4400+, but I'm not quite ready for OC'ing).
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