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Custom building, would like critique and advice please


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#16
james_8970

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lol we highjacked this thread so bad.

Don't expect the ATI revision cards till August or September.
DDR3 will not be cheap also latencies are much looser which may eliminate the advantage is has over DDR2. As time moves on this will not be an issue, also it has lower voltages so it'll overclock easier.
June 2nd is said to be the release date of P35, but tiger is already selling them.
The 680i boards will still support Penryn as far as I can see, so P35 arn't a must.

James

Edited by james_8970, 27 May 2007 - 10:39 AM.

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#17
Adebisi

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Thanks OK, hijack all you like. I am gaining much perspective from the posts :whistling: I fix computers for a living but find it hard to keep up on the cutting edge stuff because, well lets face, people who need other people to fix their computers usually do not own anything cutting edge.
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#18
james_8970

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:whistling: Only people with really deep pockets can stay on the cutting edge for extended periods of time, anyone may be there from time to time, but thats it. Also it's really not worth having the cutting edge when something thats 1000 less can perform the same.
James

Edited by james_8970, 28 May 2007 - 06:29 PM.

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#19
warriorscot

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There is a nice spot between mid range and high that i like to be in, good enough that everything works at high settings but not so good that you are spending money on power you wont use for another couple years.
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#20
james_8970

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:whistling: Yup, quad cores come to mind. In the fall they may be more of a use for them but right now there are only like 5 home based programs if that, that will utilize the other 2 cores.
James
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#21
Adebisi

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First and foremost, thank you for all the advice. I wanted to report back with my purchasing decision, and the parts are on the way right now.

Please do not be offended if I didn't follow all recommendations. They helped me make my own decision in the end, so if I did not go with your advice, the advice was valuable with certainty.

I scaled back a little here and there to save a few bucks. I will explain some of the wierder choices I may have made.

E6600 CPU, retail, will use retail fan for now, once I decide to overclock I will order the zalman fan I want. But I never overclock a CPU for the first few months of its life. It is just my way.

RAM -Dual channel DDR2 2GB Kingston PC5400 kit (I already own this but will buy faster RAM if I feel its bottlenecking me, may also go to 4GB soon) I wanted to try it out first since I already own it, like I said

Mobo, EVGA 650i ( I know it has only an 8x SLI potential, but having looked into it the affect on performance is pretty small, but to be honest I do not think I will ever go SLI so I saved 170 bucks and still got a lifetime warranty mobo, I do not care if the board cannot run the next gen CPU as I usually do not upgrade, but sell the computer as a whole and buy new again)

Video Card - 8800GTX by EVGA, 768mb, non-overclocked model. Will OC it myself later.

HDD 1 - 150GB Raptor ( Will hold my windows and games, everything else will go to HDD 2)

HDD 2 - Seagate 250GB (I already own this one, at the front of this drive I will put the windows paging file, the remainder will be for program files, my documents, mp3s and stuff)

HDD 3 - Depending on how the above 2 HDDs perform together, I may order a 2nd raptor and replace the seagate, relegating it to a data backup drive

Sound - OnBoard (Will get an SB later but for now this system will more than run any of the games I play with onboard sound without any hiccups at all)

LG 18x DVD-RW SATA interface (20x was not available where I wanted to order it from, and the price is right, and I don't do much burning anyway)

Antec 900 case - I already own this

Silverstone Zeus ST75ZF 750W ATX12V 24PIN Power Supply W/80MM Fan Active PFC Quad SLI Certified ( A friend of mine is running 2 8800GTXs, 3 HDDs, E6400, 4 GB RAM, 2 DVD ROMs, off this PSU without issue and a few people I talked to spoke highly of the zeus line)

Logitech G15 gaming keyboard (because it is just so cool!)

Already own mouse, speakers and all that other crap

Samsung 245B 24" Monitor - I am hoping this will outlast my next 3 computers (or longer) so its a worthwhile investment

I already own a Win XP Pro 5 user site license, so I will install that, but I also ordered Win Vista Ultimate 32bit OEM for dual booting purposes, as I need to begin mastering Vista to help support my Vista clients (of which I have barely any but that is likely to change, plus I will need it for DX10 games soon)
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#22
james_8970

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Looks good to me, hope you enjoy the build.
My only recommendation is not to get that raptor, they arnt worth it any more, the gap in performance they once held has now nearly closed with new drives and performance gain is very small if even noticable in real world applications.
James
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#23
Adebisi

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I agree that the price difference does not wholly justify the cost difference. Which is why I ordered only one heheh. But there is nothing wrong with a bit of excess :whistling:
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#24
james_8970

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:whistling: you mean performance difference doesn't justify the cost difference :blink:
The 750GB from seagate has pretty close the same performance with much more storage and the new hitachi drive (don't know if it's been publically released yet) goes head to head with the raptors.
James
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#25
Adebisi

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I will check into it because I am pretty sure I can return the raptor with ease before I open it.
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#26
warriorscot

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Yeah i would have one of the monster drives than a raptor they just arent worth the hype and on top of that they burn out much quicker and its the exact opposite with the really big drives which will last longer than normal. Woulda went with a P35 mobo wholly for performance and the ability to upgrade to DDR3 when the price goes down but if you got the nf6 board cheap you may as well get it other than it not being p35 its only downside is its a really ugly board but i guess we are getting spoiled these days with all the nice colours and fancy cooling.
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#27
Adebisi

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Well, I have had the new computer up and running for a bit now so I thought I would post here with a follow up.

First I wanted to comment about the raptor and the chance raptors burn out fast. I don't care. It has a 5 year warranty, WD is easy to get replacements from, and I only use it for games anyway so if it dies, nothing lost :whistling: However, it has totally noticeably improved my game load times under XP. Is it enough of a speed difference to justify the price? Especially, as pointed out, you can get 750GBs in the same speed bracket for the same price, likely the answer is no. OK the answer is no. But it is still hella fast compared to my 4 month old seagates.

First the motherboard, EVGA 650i Ultra Conroe LGA755. By far the oddest motherboard I have ever worked with. It would do strange and unusual things. I would, for example, unplug the computer, and it would tell me after that I had changed the CPU. I checked the battery, its fine. I updated the BIOS, same thing. Then suddenly, it stopped doing that. Hasn't done it since. There were a few other issues that came up. I would definately NOT recommend this line of mobos for novice builders. I have built many many computers so I puzzled things out OK, but a novice would likely have simply tried to return this board. So save yourself the trouble and get something else. Bonus, at least the drivers in windows claim it, the onboard sound has hardware acceleration. I know most people hate onboard sound but I don't care much about it. I usually play games with sound off and winamp on anyway. Lifetime warranty, rapid RMA option for 8 bucks if you live in the USA, which I dont =/

The graphics card, EVGA 8800GTX 768mb. Awesome, period. Lifetime warranty, rapid RMA option for 15 bucks if you live in the USA, which I dont =/

E6600 CPU is plenty fast, have not OC'd yet, waiting until my Zalman fan arrives, will report back. (Edited, have an E6600, not a E6400)

The 24 inch Samsung 245B LCD 5ms. I have read many angry comments about this monitor, all written about 5 months ago or longer. Let me say this, the monitor is beautiful. It keeps up with my games no problem. No ghosting at all. There is no light bleed around the frame, so whatever caused that problem in the past seems to have been addressed. Windows exactly, perfectly, aligns to the edge of the screen, and there is no light bleeding though at all, yet I can see every single pixels that windows offers. I could not be happier with this investment. This monitor should last my next few computers so I am now very glad I put up the extra cash and went with it. And the 1920x1200 resolution is to die for. The contrast and color quality is top notch.

My Antec 900 case. The goods: Attractive, very very good airflow especially with optional 120mm side panel fan (the huge blow hole fan helps too of course), good quality sturdy construction, handy device tray on top of case for MP3 player or digital camera. The bads: Pain in the [bleep] during building, took about 2x longer to build than with cheapo cases, but that is the price you pay for modular design. It is a vicious dust collector, especially the front panel and top button area which have crevasses for looks that make perfect dust collection pits, not quite as roomy inside as you would hope but easily fits 8800 GTX cards (May require you move a drive out of the way though, not hard since you have 8 other places to put it).

The PSU, Siverstone Zeus 750w. Good power for the price. Quad SLI certified. 4 rails. Has no trouble keeping up to my computer load. Tonnes of connectors, TONNES!!! Not modular so you have to store all these long, braid wrapped wires in your case some where. The excess wires took up a full 3 hard drive bays in my case to give you an idea of the bulk. The cabling is nicely braided in black. Generates very little heat under load. In fact, under load while 3D gaming, I have put my hand on it and it barely felt warm. Of course, I am not using nearly the max load on this thing. Likely I am using a third most of the time. My computer plus 24inch LCD, plus speakers, plus 19inch CRT use less than 400w under full load according to my UPS.

APC 1200 VA UPS - Good software bundle, 19 minutes uptime at full load (max 3D gaming and CPU usage) for my computer plus 24 inch LCD, 19 inch CRT and speakers, so plenty of time for safe shut down if the power goes out. User changeable battery (of course, that is a crock because by the time the batteries die, you can likely buy a more powerful UPS cheaper than buying the battery for your now older UPS)

Logitech G15 keyboard. My favorate toy in the whole works. I have already created my own custom LCD application that monitors the CPU usage of both cores along with individual CPU core temps, CPU fan speed, FPS and resolution while in games, as well as pagefile and physical memory usage, all in one handly little display right on my keyboard??!?! Pure geek pwnage! Some of the user created winamp plugins actually make your keyboard backlights flash in time with your music. And, in 25 years of typing from manual typewriters right up to today, it is by far the most comfortable keyboard to type on I have ever had. The built in USB ports are near useless as they are USB type 1 and the keyboard itself likely uses most of the alloted power delivered along USB type 1 ports anyway. You can plug a mouse in but I wouldn't plug in anything that draws the juice as it likely will not work. Great for a USB headset though.

Vista Ultimate - So far I hate it. You will either love it or hate it too. Honestly, I think 99% of home users should stick to Vista Basic. Most home users do not have to connect to domains, and aero is not worth turning on. The rest of the features can be accomplished with freeware readily enough. DX10 works on Basic so your gaming is covered. However, the video editing software built into the home premium and ultimate versions is very nice.

So anyway, I hope my follow up of mini reviews helps a few people decide what to buy or not buy.

Thanks again for all the advice I have received here. I am very happy with the performance with my new computer.

Edited by Adebisi, 10 June 2007 - 10:47 AM.

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#28
james_8970

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I got my Antec 900 case on friday, still waiting for my video card to boot up, probably the first and only time I'd wish that I got intergraded so I could boot it up. I'd have to agree with you though, great case but it's going to collect alot of dust, i'm thinking of putting filter on the back and possibly front if I can make it look right :blink: I love how you can adjust the speed with the switches. I'm thinking of getting one myself to protect my investment, where did you get yours?

Glade you hear you enjoy your build :whistling:
James
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#29
Adebisi

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Actually, the dust collecting inside the case is not really worse than most cases, even unfiltered.

The dust collects in all those little circles that make up the grill in the front panel in a great big way. And at the top of the grill there are these little sort of parallelogram kinda shaped holes that seem to attract a lot of dust and crud and are nearly impossible to clean in the corners because they are deep and at sharp angles. Even a Q-tip does a crappy job there. Same with the holes in the blow hole output.

The hard drives do get a lot of dust as well. So you will want to give them a wipe once a month or so.

The rest of the internals, after 4 months of use, seemed only slightly dirty.

The dust collection is the exterior of the case. First it is black which shows off the dust. 2nd the type of coating used on the aluminum/steel really seems to attract dust, and like I said, the little circles that make up the grill that takes up the entire front of the case really do need weekly cleaning it seems.

Now, mind you, I have my fans on full blast.

If you plan to use filters, I would consider placing them on the inside of the fan some how, instead of outside it. I cannot see how you could use filters outside of the fan without ruining the looks of the case. But I do not think the internal dust level of the case is out of whack. I actually have found cases with bad airflow to attract more dust than cases with good air flow except in areas where the fans blow directly against.

Anyway, just wanted to clarify my dust criticism.
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#30
james_8970

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Yeah I just got I so I have no first hand experience, read a lot of reviews stating this, but it was a cheap cool alternative to other brands that offer the same experience.

Agreed about the filters on the front, to add to my dust worries, I have it on the floor (it's hardwood) which tends to collect a lot of dust and require weekly cleaning itself. I scares me to think how much of that dust is trapped in carpets though.

James

Edited by james_8970, 10 June 2007 - 10:24 AM.

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