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  • Phokal 12:10 am on January 21, 2008 Permalink
    Tags: building a pc, , , crysis, , help, , omg my current computer is a paperweight   

    PC Update 

    PC Update

    We’ve narrowed down some parts, and think we’ve got a good config. Anyone want to comment on it?:

    http://donttellmetheending.com/2008/01/16/building-a-new-pc/

     
  • mattlindh 3:36 pm on January 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: building PC, , hardware, help   

    Building a New PC 

    img_6419.jpg

    Building a New PC

    Phokal and I, mattlindh, are planning on building new PCs and we would appreciate some assistance as to what parts to get. Below are our current ideas with the asterisked parts already decided. Would you kindly help us out?

    **Updated with nearly finalized parts 1/20/07:

    **Purchased 1/31/07:

    (More …)

     
    • detnap 3:45 pm on January 17, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Looks pretty good, but there are a few suggestions:

      Case:
      It’s difficult finding a nice case (because for most parts, the variables are “it works” or “it doesn’t”. for a case, there are also questions if it would be easy to work on, if it is quiet, if it looks good, etc).

      I won’t say what is the best, but if I was going to buy a case today, I would try:
      http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811103011
      It has two large fans running at low rpms so that they move a lot of air while staying quiet at the same time.
      $109

      Motherboard:
      The P35 chipset is a good staple, but if you would like to plan for sli, you should probably get something with an nvidia chipset.
      http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131142
      $115

      Processor:
      A quad core is a very cool piece of work, but for today’s gaming, a dual core at higher clockspeeds will still probably be faster. A 3 Ghz Core 2 Duo will outpace a 2.4 ghz core 2 quad in most games (but will get wiped out in Maya or video rendering)
      http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115028
      $279

      Video Card:
      Right now, the 8800 gt is the goto card, but even so, there are a few variations of it. There are some that are “Overclocked” from the stock speed of 600 (up to 700, which is about a 15% increase). An example of one (not one that I would recommend, but as an example)
      http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125085
      That has an aftermarket Zalman fan, but the issue with it is that it only has 256 megs of onboard memory.
      My recommendation is to look for one with an aftermarket fan, already is clocked at higher than stock speeds, and 512 megs of video memory.

      Sound Card:
      I’m not sure, but I would first get the system put together, and then afterwards if the onboard sound isn’t performing enough, then get a sound blaster.

    • mattlindh 3:57 pm on January 17, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Good place to find deals that expire quickly:

      http://www.fatwallet.com/c/18/

    • scubamofo 8:56 pm on January 17, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I dont think I will be doing much gaming on my system but I am looking for something that I can use as a media center. What should I really be focusing on when looking for components? Also I know Phokal told me that a bigger monitor is better then multiple monitors. I really like the ease of two separate monitors rather then one larger monitor. Any input?

    • Phokal 3:10 pm on January 18, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148288
      Seagate 500gig.
      With a “firmware” issue apparently. We should figure out what that is and get the link to the new firmware needed.

    • Phokal 3:15 pm on January 18, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      ALchemy looks to cover most of the Vista issues:
      http://ask.americas.creative.com/SRVS/CGI-BIN/WEBCGI.EXE?New,Kb=ww_english_add,U={B8F60310-DA4F-11D3-94F4-00500463020E},Company={CEAE216D-8719-4C00-AC9F-03BC258F7B70},d=1130251443648,VARSET=ws:http://us.creative.com,case=9286

      Is it worth the 100 bucks, though? Or will they release another/better card soon? I think we should price out / set the rest of the box, and see if there is money left for that. Have to do it soon, b/c the mail in rebate expires soon.

    • mattlindh 3:36 pm on January 18, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Re: Firmware Issue

      “Seagate has recently discovered that some of Seagate’s Barracuda 7200.11 hard drives with firmware version SD04 or SD14 will report an incorrect cache size.”

      http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads/other_downloads/cuda-fw-disty

    • detnap 3:50 pm on January 18, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      “Is it worth the 100 bucks, though? Or will they release another/better card soon? I think we should price out / set the rest of the box, and see if there is money left for that. Have to do it soon, b/c the mail in rebate expires soon.”

      In Vista, they removed support for DirectSound for directional sound and put it natively into Vista. Creative got around that by putting a wrapper around DirectSound and then sending it to their hardware support. Theoretically, it will work with any game, but when games start to drop DirectSound support and support the new Vista, API, then the Hardware acceleration won’t work at all. And according to benchmarks, creative sound cards don’t necessarily perform better than onboard sound.

      http://techreport.com/articles.x/13874/6
      Average FPS
      Onboard Creative X-Fi
      BioShock 25 fps 24 fps
      Call of Duty 43 fps 39 fps
      Crysis 24 fps 24 fps
      Quake Wars 43 fps 36 fps

      Audio hardware for games is mostly a moot point in Vista.

    • mattlindh 4:00 pm on January 18, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      One issue with the EVGA 8800 GT: It’s superclocked, and some people report that it may get too hot at times and the fan might not be adequate.

    • detnap 4:01 pm on January 18, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      “Also I know Phokal told me that a bigger monitor is better then multiple monitors. I really like the ease of two separate monitors rather then one larger monitor. Any input?”

      For a Media Center PC, something like a dell would probably be fine.
      http://bensbargains.net/redirect/54263
      It’s about $450 and comes with a monitor (which you may want to upgrade to an ultrasharp for about $130)

      Working with 2 monitors changes the way that you work, but if you become accustomed to it, it gives you more bang for the buck.

      A 24″ monitor maxes out at 1900×1200 for $600, and gives you 2,280,000 pixels.

      Two 20″ monitors maxes out at 3200×1200 for $217 a piece (total of $434) and you get 3,840,000 (which is about 70% more pixels).

      If I were going to buy a monitor, I would buy 2 20″, (mostly because a 20 inch is so cheap and I’ve become accustomed to working with 2 monitors)

    • detnap 4:02 pm on January 18, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      “One issue with the EVGA 8800 GT: It’s superclocked, and some people report that it may get too hot at times and the fan might not be adequate.”

      Yeah, look for one with something like a Zalman aftermarket fan.

    • mattlindh 4:30 pm on January 18, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Looks like there aren’t any at newegg with aftermarket fans except the one with only 256 MB. We’d have to install one after. In the meantime, maybe we should find one that’s only the stock 600 MHz and then overclock it later?

    • mattlindh 4:44 pm on January 18, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      “And according to benchmarks, creative sound cards don’t necessarily perform better than onboard sound.”

      Yes, but I’m mainly interested in sound quality in sound cards. I listen to a lot of music and I watch movies on my computer, and I’m looking to make full use of my 5.1 speakers.

      It’s more expensive, but we might want to consider the Asus Xonar D2X or the Auzentech X-Fi Prelude.

      http://techreport.com/articles.x/13874

    • mattlindh 5:10 pm on January 18, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Two possible video card fans for the 8800 GT:

      VF1000 LED
      http://www.zalman.co.kr/eng/product/view.asp?idx=289&code=013

      ZM-RHS88
      http://www.zalman.co.kr/eng/product/view.asp?idx=318&code=013

      The problem is that the first goes for about $50 and the second goes for around $30. Not worth it?

    • detnap 11:24 am on January 19, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Something else to look at is the 8800 gts 512 (g92). In terms of pure bang for the buck, it isn’t as good as the 8800 gt, but for a little bit more money it’ll give you a little bit more performance (and since your video card will be your bottleneck in terms of fps, the faster the card, the faster the game). It will probably average 10% faster.

      On newegg, the gts is about $320, but there are a couple that come with crysis or company of heros, so if you haven’t bought those games already and were planning to, you can count that into the cost. A gt runs about $250, so with the game in consideration, the gts is about $20 more expensive.

      The gts does take 2 slots, but it will provide better cooling than a regular gt. It will also be able to reach a higher clockspeed than a gt with stock cooling if you try to overclock it. Also, if you put an aftermarket fan onto the gt, that will take up two slots anyway.

    • Phokal 11:16 am on January 20, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      This looks good to me:
      http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130312

      we should order before they run out of crysis ;)

      let’s price this sucker out today, if we can.

    • phokal 10:50 pm on January 20, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Added to cart, it is 1294.93 before $60 in mail in rebates.

      Kinda expensive, but it currently has $80 off the power supply.

      I was going to wait a few days so my Visa could be clear for this, but I may have to order the power supply soon, to save the $80…

    • Dave 2:23 pm on January 22, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Looks good to me. I’d invest in a heatsink though. Quad cores are pretty hot. The Thermalright ultra 120 might be a little extreme, but I’m sure there is something out there that won’t break your wallet as bad.

    • Phokal 2:54 pm on January 22, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Any in particular you recommend? In the archive is a link to a wizard, but I was never sure which options would be best.

      Any sold through newegg you recommend? (Save on shipping)

    • Dave 6:04 pm on January 22, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I do like this one:
      http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835154001
      Btw are you guys in CA? Cuz remember newegg taxes up the ass.

    • mattlindh 3:35 am on January 27, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      So do you want to order soon?

    • phokal 12:46 am on February 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      purchased.

      nwn2 better be frickin playable this time.

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