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New Computer Build for College


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#1
onetimeuseonly

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First of all, has anyone found it useful to have both a laptop and a desktop at college? I do some gaming and a lot of multitasking for video editing/graphic design, so I was hoping to just have the laptop for portable computing (word processing, research, etc.) and the desktop for more performance-intensive operations. Has this seemed to work out for people?

Second, what do you think of my desktop build?

Processor
- Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700 2.66Ghz 8MB
(I opted out of the Q9550 for price reasons. You don't lose much performance.)

Mobo - Gigabyte GA-EP45-EXTREME

RAM - 1GB x 4 Corsair XMS2 DDR 800

GPU - BFG GeForce 9800 GTX 512MB with ThermoIntelligence™ Water Cooling
(I opted out of the NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 1 GB for price reasons.)

Hard Drive
- Barracuda 7200.10 SATA 3.0Gb/s 500-GB
(I already have 300 GB and two others adding up to 200 GB.)

DVD
- existing

Audio
- built-in

Power Supply
- CZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI 700W ATX12V Power Supply

Case + Water Cooling
- Thermaltake Armor LCS - Liquid Cooled System


I know, I know, water cooling is probably unnecessary, but I've used both air and enormous heatsinks and I've still had GPU cooling issues. Also, does anyone know of a reasonable video capture card?

Suggestions to reduce price would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Edited by onetimeuseonly, 27 July 2008 - 03:03 PM.

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#2
Troy

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Hi there,

A few comments:

1) Get 2x 2GB sticks for your RAM
2) Use a Swiftech water cooling solution, or don't bother.
3) You could get the Q6600 and overclock it to save $$$
4) OCZ isn't too bad, but for PSU's, I would be looking at something like the Corsair 750W

Cheers

Troy
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#3
onetimeuseonly

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1) Get 2x 2GB sticks for your RAM
2) Use a Swiftech water cooling solution, or don't bother.
3) You could get the Q6600 and overclock it to save $$$
4) OCZ isn't too bad, but for PSU's, I would be looking at something like the Corsair 750W


1. Yeah, I've already switched to 2 x 2GB; I forgot to note it in my specs.

2. What Swiftech kit do you recommend? Pricewise, Swiftech is considerably more expensive; should I buy a kit or buy the CPU/GPU/pump parts separately?

4. Something like the Corsair TX750W?

Thanks for the suggestions!
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#4
james_8970

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What Swiftech kit do you recommend? Pricewise, Swiftech is considerably more expensive; should I buy a kit or buy the CPU/GPU/pump parts separately?

You can buy Swiftech or you can get a custom kit that I can recommend you. When it comes to watercooling, the term, "go all out or go home" comes to mind. If you attempt to cheap out, you will get parts that don't perform very well and worse yet, they'll leak. Lastly, why do you wish to water cool your computer?
James
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#5
onetimeuseonly

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Lastly, why do you wish to water cool your computer?


I've tried numerous air/heatsink configurations with the various computers I've built, and I've still had overheating issues, particularly with my GPU. One of the few configurations I got to cool effectively ended up being extremely loud, something I'd like to avoid especially since I'll be staying in a 'quiet hours' dorm in college.

What custom kit do you recommend?
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#6
james_8970

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Have you ever tried a aftermarket GPU cooler? While I love watercooling, the hobby is a very expensive one (my setup alone likely exceeds $500CND, though you don't need to spend nearly this much) that has minimal gains over aircooling and is very expensive. In addition to this, it has additional risks and takes a lot of time to set up properly.

NCIX is a company in canada that I deal with for my computer parts, they also put their own set up together and sell them to users at a discounted rate. Since they sell so quickly, they are rarely in stock. I'm not sure how much you want to spend, but they only have this one in stock at the moment.
http://www.ncixus.co...-KIT-REV2/NCIX/
It doesn't contain a GPU block, but one can easily be added.
James

Edited by james_8970, 28 July 2008 - 07:14 PM.

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#7
onetimeuseonly

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I tried adding both a new fan and a huge heatsink + fan to my GPU to no avail. Needless to say, I'm frustrated with the results.

I don't need a separate GPU block because the GPU I'm buying comes preinstalled with a water block. Is there a problem with the current case + water cooling system I have listed in my specs? It seems to be a good deal, but I'm unsure as to the quality of the system.
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#8
james_8970

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The quality of the system is great. If you want to go all out custom, I can give you a hand doing that as well. Tell me what you want to spend and what you want to cool.
While the advantages aren't huge on WC a CPU, they are massive on cooling a GPU. You are looking at cutting your temps (both idle and load) by 50%.

I don't need a separate GPU block because the GPU I'm buying comes preinstalled with a water block.

How much of a premium are you paying? Evga and XFX will cover you under their warranty policy if you wish to change the heatsink. A good GPU waterblock retails for 40-50$.
James

Edited by james_8970, 28 July 2008 - 07:47 PM.

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#9
onetimeuseonly

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I'd like a new case, preferably something with a fan/heat release on top of the case to improve cooling, as well as the capability for water cooling and water cooling expansion. I really like the case in my specs because it has a radiator in the front that is water cooled, but I'm not sure how readily available that feature is. I need CPU/GPU cooling; do you think I need chipset cooling?

I think I'm paying a rather large premium to have the GPU block preinstalled. What GPU block would you recommend if I purchase my nvidia 9800 512 mb from XFX? Also, the process of installing a GPU block is relatively simple to do yourself, correct?
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#10
stettybet0

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The 9800GTX comes with a dual-slot cooler, which is very effective at cooling the card even if the case cooling isn't top notch (the hot air is dispensed outside of the case). I also don't see how your past GPU overheating problems would transfer over to this new system with its new GPU... I see no reason to get a watercooling setup if you are only worried about your GPU overheating at stock speeds. That would be like nuking a molehill.
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#11
james_8970

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I really like the case in my specs because it has a radiator in the front that is water cooled, but I'm not sure how readily available that feature is.

I'm going to be honest, that radiator isn't good at all, don't buy that case.

I need CPU/GPU cooling; do you think I need chipset cooling?

That would entirely depend on how much you wish to increase the voltage of the chipset. It's always a good idea if you can spare the extra $30-50.

I think I'm paying a rather large premium to have the GPU block preinstalled. What GPU block would you recommend if I purchase my nvidia 9800 512 mb from XFX?

Yes you are paying a large premium, which is why I suggested you install it yourself. It may seem intimidating at first, but it's rather simple to do.
How much are you willing to spend? A lot of people like full coverage blocks, they are expensive, look best and perform a little better. That being said, they work on one card and one card only. I like the GPU waterblocks that only over the core as the usually work on a variety of cards and only marginally worse then the full coverage blocks.

Like I have already stated and stettybet0 repeated, only invest into watercooling if you enjoy fooling around with your computer. Performance wise, it's not much better then air cooling.
James

Edited by james_8970, 28 July 2008 - 10:30 PM.

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#12
onetimeuseonly

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I'm going to take your advice and not use watercooling. It does seem to be overkill, and I've found that it really doesn't provide that much better cooling.

In that case, I can use my existing Antec Solo chassis and save quite a bit of money.
I already have several quiet fans for the case; should I use the nvidia gtx 9800's own fan or should I install my own heatsink? What would you recommend as far as CPU/chipset heatsinks go?
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#13
james_8970

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should I use the nvidia gtx 9800's own fan or should I install my own heatsink? What would you recommend as far as CPU/chipset heatsinks go?

To answer both questions, wait to see if you are having over heating issues. I doubt you'd ever need to replace either one of them.
James

Edited by james_8970, 29 July 2008 - 03:42 AM.

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#14
onetimeuseonly

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Thank you all so much for your help!
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#15
james_8970

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Sorry, I missed the fact that you had mentioned a CPU heatsink in post #12. Yes, if you plan on overclocking you'll require a CPU heatsink. Though, if you only intend on running your hardware at stock settings, the stock heatsink will be sufficiant. If you want a suggestion, please give us your budget and what frequency you hope to achieve. Also, I suggest you change your motherboard if you are not overclocking.
James

Edit: added key word.

Edited by james_8970, 29 July 2008 - 06:27 PM.

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