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#1
Slow hand

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Hello!

I built my current gaming computer about 3 years ago (with a little help from a very tech savvy friend who no longer lives near me) and now that I have graduated college and have a REAL job I am looking at building a new gaming PC and passing the older components on. Unfortunately, in the last 3 years I have really fallen out of the loop as far as technology is concerned and have a few questions.

1) In reading some of the other topics on the site I have gathered that intel Core 2 Duo is the top of the line atm for mobo's. I have always been an AMD guy and want to know how significant the difference is betwen the 2 brands (I'm not sure what the top of the line AMD board is atm).

2) What specs should I focus on most when choosing my mobo? What specs don't matter as much? What should I look for in processors?

3) What should I look for in a HD (other than size)? Did the faster HDs catch on? (My friend was ecstatic about his raptor HD 3 yrs ago, I believe it was 10k rpm)

4) I want a video card that is [bleep] near top of the line, yet I want to stay with nVidia. I have also always been partial to Asus cards...are they still a solid brand or no? What would be other brands to consider? (I want something reliable that will have no overheating problems...yes I have a well ventilated case, but I have had cards in the past that did not have sufficient heatsinks)

5) I plan to use my current 450W power supply and my current x-fi creative sound card..are there any compatibility issues I should be aware of?

6) I want to get 2GB of RAM..will this be sufficient? What specifically should I look for when purchasing said RAM?

7) I will likely need to put in a new cd/dvd drive, my current one is probably the oldest component in my PC. I am also potentially looking at a DVD burner for this. Will a DVD burner operate fast enough to keep me happy or will I want a 2nd drive for loading software quickly? Do DVD burners also burn regular CDs?? What else should I consider?

Any other advice would also be greatly appreciated, I'm really looking forward to having a powerful and smooth running gaming PC, this one works, just doesn't handle the newer games at the level of play I am used to.

Thanks!!
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#2
jackflash1991

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Well just a couple questions for you Slow Hand.
1.) Budget? You will probably need at least $1000, $1,500 for a good midrange computer that will last you a while, and $1,800-$2,000 for a top of the line last you the longest PC.

2.) What do you play?/What do you want to play? Like the new FPS DirectX 10 Crysis game is coming out, or Orange Box, or World in Conflict the DirectX 10 RTT game???

3.) Operating System? I highly recommend Vista Home Premium.

1) In reading some of the other topics on the site I have gathered that intel Core 2 Duo is the top of the line atm for mobo's. I have always been an AMD guy and want to know how significant the difference is betwen the 2 brands (I'm not sure what the top of the line AMD board is atm).

Yep Intel is the way to go now a days. Take a look for yourself: http://www23.tomshar...m...2&chart=425
An Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 should be good.

3) What should I look for in a HD (other than size)? Did the faster HDs catch on? (My friend was ecstatic about his raptor HD 3 yrs ago, I believe it was 10k rpm)

The 10,000RPM drives are better but not by much. You are better off just sticking with the 7,200RPM drives and saving some dough.

4) I want a video card that is [bleep] near top of the line, yet I want to stay with nVidia. I have also always been partial to Asus cards...are they still a solid brand or no? What would be other brands to consider? (I want something reliable that will have no overheating problems...yes I have a well ventilated case, but I have had cards in the past that did not have sufficient heatsinks)

If you plan to play Crisis then I highly recommend the 8800GTX. If that card is a little out of range then I recommend the 8800GTS 640mb or the 8800GT all from Nvidia.
Asus is a good brand but there are many other good brands out there like EVGA, MSI, XFX, and others.

5) I plan to use my current 450W power supply and my current x-fi creative sound card..are there any compatibility issues I should be aware of?

You will probably need a PSU that is a little more powerful like 550W-700W, 650W should be good.

6) I want to get 2GB of RAM..will this be sufficient? What specifically should I look for when purchasing said RAM?

2GB should be good. http://www.newegg.co...amp;Order=PRICE

7) I will likely need to put in a new cd/dvd drive, my current one is probably the oldest component in my PC. I am also potentially looking at a DVD burner for this. Will a DVD burner operate fast enough to keep me happy or will I want a 2nd drive for loading software quickly? Do DVD burners also burn regular CDs?? What else should I consider?

I DVD burner is fine. They can usually read and write both DVDs and CDs. The only reason I would get two DVD optical drives is for if you are copying CD/DVDs a lot. Plus DVD burners are like the cheapest part of the computer so it is not that big of a deal.

PS: Welcome to Geeks to Go.

Edited by jackflash1991, 03 November 2007 - 02:51 PM.

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#3
Slow hand

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Thanks for all of the great advice!

1) I haven't exactly decided on my budget yet, but I do plan on making this upgrade last a while and I understand that means dropping some dough.

2) I want to play Crysis and hellgate:London specifically. The last time I built my comp it was for Crysis's predecessor (FarCry) and my current box doesn't run Crysis as smoothly as I would like.

3) Yes I plan on switching over to Vista, I know there are some driver issues with it, but I think it's time to make the leap.

4) Excellent, I will probably not worry too much about the 10k HD then.

5) Guess I will buying a new power supply also then. I didn't realize they had improved that much.

Once again, Thank you for all the help. It's time to start shopping :)
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#4
jackflash1991

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3) Yes I plan on switching over to Vista, I know there are some driver issues with it, but I think it's time to make the leap.

Most of those driver issues have been fixed. Also Vista SP1 is coming out so there will be no problems.

If you are going to play those games reviews are saying that you should go for an 8800GTX even though it is expensive and go for a Quad core processor. If you are not building until later I would look into the Penryn CPU from Intel that will be coming out. I believe it is a quad core and will be more powerful then the current quad cores and the Core 2 Duos.
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#5
james_8970

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Thanks for all of the great advice!

1) I haven't exactly decided on my budget yet, but I do plan on making this upgrade last a while and I understand that means dropping some dough.

2) I want to play Crysis and hellgate:London specifically. The last time I built my comp it was for Crysis's predecessor (FarCry) and my current box doesn't run Crysis as smoothly as I would like.

3) Yes I plan on switching over to Vista, I know there are some driver issues with it, but I think it's time to make the leap.

4) Excellent, I will probably not worry too much about the 10k HD then.

5) Guess I will buying a new power supply also then. I didn't realize they had improved that much.

Once again, Thank you for all the help. It's time to start shopping :)


1. Once you have a budget and know when you are going to buy let us know, there should be alot of releases during the months of November and January.
2. FarCry two looks better, but thats still a year away, :) I guess I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.
3. Vista is pretty good now.
4. If you upgrade late enough, the new raptors will probably be worth it, depending on their price. The current generation raptors are not worth it as they are 2+ years old now.
5. Power supplies have imporved dramatically over the past year. The sole reason for this is because of the huge leap in power requirements for current (future?) generation components, like my video card consumes as much as my previous rig as a whole consumed!

Unless you really need to upgrade now I suggest waiting till at least mid November, or if you could really wait a while, see Phenoms and Penryn offerings in Q1 2008. Phenom will be AMD's next offering, Penryn will be Intels next CPU offering, both with come in dual and quad core configurations. With Phenom also coming in a 3 core package. With the two competitors releasing a new range of products at the same time, pricing should be very competitive.

With the release of the 8800GT, it's hard to suggest a GTX or ultra till they are revised, however it is very difficult at this moment to get your hands on a 8800GT.

Also, every OS will have it's problems with or without service packs.

James

Edited by james_8970, 04 November 2007 - 02:05 PM.

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#6
jackflash1991

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The 8800GT is a good choice also but The 8800GTX will still be up there. I remember reading somewhere that the 8800GT skimped on some things like shaders and something else that I can not remember. 8800GT = midrange. 8800GTX = 2nd best perforce. 8800 Ultra = Waste of money.
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#7
james_8970

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You are saving 200$ for a small performance delta.
The shaders will make a slight difference in DX10 games, but it's not worth the 200$ price delta by any means. Also, the 8800GT is based on the new G92 core, it has much better HD encoding and consumes much less power then the GTX because it's manufactured on a 65nm manufacturing process.
James
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#8
Troy

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Would it be right in thinking that 2x 8800GT cards in SLI would be better performance than a 8800GTX for around the same price?
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#9
james_8970

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Exactly.
http://firingsquad.c...mance/page5.asp
James

Edited by james_8970, 04 November 2007 - 04:03 PM.

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#10
jackflash1991

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Wow the 8800GT is pretty good in SLI. I am impressed James.
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#11
james_8970

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I'm going to wait till a more reputable site releases something to make a final conclusion, as I can't find anything else on google, but at this time, the improvements in SLI are quite large on this particular card.
If you look closely they include the 2900GT, which is interesting, unlike the HD2900pro this card isn't just a underclocked version of the HD2900XT, there are some slight hardware differences.
It'll be interesting to see how well it overclocks though.
James
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#12
jackflash1991

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I believe it is a horrible overclocker though because it overheats easily. The reason for the overheating people are saying is the fact that the card is half as thick and does not have a big heatsink if any under the fan. This is not completely confirmed but I would keep an eye out for it.

Edited by jackflash1991, 04 November 2007 - 08:38 PM.

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#13
james_8970

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It's a single slot cooler apposed to a dual slot cooler. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, I personally prefer the dual slot coolers as I like the hot air outside of my case, not inside.
I'd like to know how it performs with a aftermarket cooler :)
James
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#14
Slow hand

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Well, Here is what I ended up ordering. It all arrived yesterday and I have begun my build (I can't wait to see what it can do). Any advice/suggestions/things to watch out for would be appreciated.


Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3750640AS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

ASUS EN8800GTX/HTDP/768M GeForce 8800GTX 768MB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

ASUS Striker Extreme LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX The Ultimate Gaming Motherboard - Retail

Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 Conroe 3.0GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6850 - Retail

Microsoft Windows Vista 64-Bit Ultimate for System Builders Single Pack DVD - OEM

ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card - Retail

Rosewill RFX-120BL 120mm 2 Ball Bearing Blue LED Case Fan with Fan Controller Set - Retail

Antec TPQ-850 ATX12V / EPS12V 850W Power Supply - Retail

2x SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S203B - OEM

OCZ Platinum 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2P8002GK - Retail

APEVIA X-CRUISER-BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

Thanks for all the help so far, the prompt and knowledgable responses have been terrific.

Steve
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#15
james_8970

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Everything looks good, I just would have suggested not purchasing a striker board as they are overpriced for what the offer and from what I understand don't support Intel's new CPU's.
Be sure to use stand off when mounting the motherboard in the case, it seems to be something that people forget about lately. If you fail to do this, your computer will not boot as there will be a short.
James

Edited by james_8970, 09 November 2007 - 04:41 PM.

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