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Setting out to build the ultimate WC'd, OC'd gaming MoNsTeR

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February 22, 2006 9:29:53 PM

OK, so I started a post in the CPU section trying to decide between a AMD 64 FX-60 and FX-57 and now am more confused than ever. lol

(If I sound at all crabby in any part of this, I'm sorry. It's just the more research I do, the more confused I become!)

- Here's the Deal -
I'm a (now) single programmer (AMX, Java) who wants to venture much deeper into the extreme PC world where my heart really lies (and always has). I'm selling everything I own and working my butt off to build this baby and want to create an absolute masterpiece. (Plus I'd rather drop my cash into my PC than the bartenders pocket :wink: )

I'm setting out to build the ultimate gaming PC. I'm a newbie to custom building and need all the help I can get!! I want to create a WC'd, OC'd to the MAX MoNsTeR. It should be able to tear anything that I can throw at it to shreds at least for the next year (or two?).

The project is happening NOW and I'm not waiting for AM2. As CompGeek said "It will be the same as 939 with DDR2 and i doubt prices on a X2 4800 that already gives you a great bang for buck will greatly decrease." and I agree from the research I've done...I know upgradability will be an issue but I'll probably want to swap my MB and processor next year anyway...I get bored easily lol.

It's not really benchmarks I'm looking for but performance. I want to run Doom or Quake FULL TILT BOOGIE and have a beautiful result.

Cost really isn't a huge factor. It's not that I want to spend a fortune, god knows I don't have it, but I don't want to cut any corners and be sorry later either. I'd rather spend more now and "do it once, do it right." I'll drink a few more cups of coffee and jam the overtime to make this happen. 8O

($2500-$3000 would be good though...)

I have a ThermalTake Armor Case (I know but I like it...) that I am going to mod to the limits of my imagination.

I just got my Asus A8N32-SLI (Ai Life Ed.) motherboard so I can use a 939 socket processor.

AND...I'm NOT partial to ANY manufacturer...I want the best equipment, not the best name!!

Here's where I'm hitting the roadblocks now more than ever:

- Processor -
I was about 98% set on the 64 FX-60 until about an hour ago...If I can buy a Opteron 175, stick it on a DFI board and OC the crap out of it and get better performance than spending over 2x as much then sign me up!! But if I can crank the FX-60 and blow anything else away then fine.


- Water Cooling -
Any suggestions on where I can get good info on building my own? I'm considering a Koolance Exos-2 but would rather build my own custom tank inside the case. This enters the question of liquid volume, pumps, fans, radiator and waterblocks and all I've been able to find are reviews and "you should build your own" but how do I determine the specs?

- Video Cards -
So the motherboard supports SLI at true dual 16-bit instead of chopping it down to 8-bit. (Or so I've been led to believe...) Unless I'm really out in left-field here, that means that I can't do crossfire unless I swap motherboards. The many, many reviews that I've read, this Asus board kicks ass in the 939 category and that's why I already bought it.

SO now what? If I choose a 7800, How about choosing a manufacturer!?
I'm sure one 7800 is not as good as another...and if SLi isn't all it's cracked up to be (which it doesn't seem like it is...) then do I really want 2?

If one ATI X1900 XTX is that much better then I'd rather buy it and say screw SLi and XFire all together!!

- RAM -
Corsair TWINX2048-4000PT?

- HD -
2x WD Raptor 150G with some other large WD HD for backup?

Sound Card: 7.1 suggestions?

POWER SUPPLY: 600W+ I know, but from who and why?? This I really need to figure out soon so that I can get the case mods done...

Other cool stuff??? I like gauges, gadgets, etc. that will just really add to the wow factor in the case :D 


Thanks in advance for the help guys!! Any advice you can offer me on any part of this is greatly appreciated!!!

(XTra special thx to MoparMan390 & Admiral25 for all the help already today!)
February 24, 2006 3:31:32 PM

The great thing about the FX series is the unlocked multiplier. It gives you so many more options when overclocking to get the most out of your system. However I would recommend looking at the Opteron 180 as an alternative. Either one would suit you well, but they are slightly different. Just depends on whether you want the unlocked multiplier.

The A8N32-SLI board is about as fast as the A8N-SLI boards. Unfortunately they had to nerf another bus to get both PCIe lanes up to 16x, so it performs on par with the best 8x. Oh well, maybe they will get the full advantage out of dual 16x with the next nForce chipset revision.

Since you already have the ASUS, if you have the patience, wait for the next nVidia card to come out (7900 / 8 series ?). Remember that SLI is about a ~30% increase in performance. So a 7800GTX will beat two 6 series cards, so I would SLI two really good cards, but it is expensive. eVga has an upgrade program, where you can trade in a card up to 90 days after purchase for a new card, and they give your credit for your purchase price, might be a way to go if you need video now but want the new nVidia card when it comes out. eVga also has a lifetime warranty, including OC damage.

RAM - for serious OCing I would go with the higher DDR speeds (like 4000 or more), to give yourself options.

Sound card- cheap - best Audigy 2 you can find / no budget - X-Fi

PSU - total of 30+ AMPS on 12v rails for SLI, 500+ watts, there are a few threads here that will lead you to a good wattage calculator, but 500+ SHOULD suit you well (depends on everything you have in the case). Seasonic, OCZ, Antec (TruePower I think, is their top of the line series) are good choices. Some are modular, some aren't, take a look at the cable lengths and your case config.

There are many fan contraollers, lighting copntrolles, LCD displays for your 5.25" bays. I'm sure you can find some threads here that talk about the different ones.

Hope this helps-

Fritz
February 24, 2006 3:55:05 PM

So a question.......Opty's multipliers are locked? so you have to overclock it a different way?
February 24, 2006 3:57:28 PM

Yes, via bus speed
February 24, 2006 4:50:29 PM

opteron 165s overclock great....2.4 to 2.7 from what ive seen. 170s also overclock good....about the same as a 165. the rest of them dont overclock for s#$@. The thing is to get to 2.7 you raise fsb to 300 x the multiplier 9 = 2700ghz BUT usually, you have to set a divider for your memory becuase most memory/motherboards wont reach 300fsb. With an fx. you dont have to touch the fsb. you simply raise the multiplier, set your ram frequency, and presto....fast as hell. now ive seen people posting. my 165 is running as fast as an fx-60....yadda yadda. but actually because of their divider they are not coming close to the performance. This is just my opinion based on benchmarks from my own system compared to opteron systems. anyone can feel free to correct me if im wrong.
February 24, 2006 5:01:54 PM

Thanks for the advise guys...

I bought a Opty 170 and OCZ 600W

I chose the 170 because it has a 10x multiplier instead of the 9x on the 165 and because I found a smokin deal from a reputable distributor = $362!!

A good part of this discussion asctually happened on another thread which has become v-e-r-y interesting...you may want to check it out especially if you have any questions about doing anything like I am or the great which AMD debate.

It can be found here: http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/Choosing-AMD-Pr...

I am still looking for help on designing my own WC system so if you have any info for me there it will be greatly appreciated!!
February 24, 2006 5:14:07 PM

Quote:
Thanks for the advise guys!

I am still looking for help on designing my own WC system so if you have any info for me there it will be greatly appreciated!!


Check out Danger Den They have some bad ass stuff that you can totally customize to your specs....
a b B Homebuilt system
February 24, 2006 5:28:22 PM

"Remember that SLI is about a ~30% increase in performance."

At the non-gpu limited resolutions, perhaps, but, in many modern games at high res, often the performance boost is between 60-80%....

Example: FEAR perfomance demo at 1024x768/4xAA/16xAF

Single 7800GTX: 58 fps
SLI: 101 fps
---------


Oh, and to the original poster:

If faced with the choice of SLI vs. Crossfire, I'd opt for a single card solution, namely the 1900XT, which currently kicks butt in everything....; if you are potentially wanting Xfire as a solution later, you'll need a Crossfire capable mb now, and then can later add a Crossfire Master 1900XT, or could simply replace the single 1900XT with the next generation single card champ....

As for the cpu, I'd look for an Opty 170 or 175, and just OC it, and especially would pass on paying $1000 for an FX60, or $800 for an FX57...
February 24, 2006 5:47:19 PM

Crossfire is cheaper and faster if you are going for the top of the line, $1200 vs $1600 for a slower setup, obviously SLI is faster in certain setups and for cetain programs but when you turn on all the effects, the crossfire will work assloads(okay maybe not assloads) better if you are using x1900xtx crossfire.
In fact with max everything on in FEAR one x1900xtx beats two 7800gtx 512's.
February 24, 2006 6:18:52 PM

i second eVGA, they also warranty oc's.

as for psu, if you have no intention of saving money, might as well go for a 600w+ enermax
February 24, 2006 6:28:02 PM

do you actually say that an opteron 165 works as a fx60?
i´m intersed cause here in mex a fx cost 15600 and a opty 4200
I am building a gaming rig but I still are hesitant
not an expert but even in 266 x10 =2.66 which is fx specification
February 24, 2006 6:31:09 PM

Its a gamble but most opty 165s will do 2.6 easy........provided you can hit 300fsb with your memory and motherboard......and the multiplier is x 9 ....not 10......10 would be the opty 170. fx-60s can hit 3.0 without raising the fsb
February 24, 2006 6:50:34 PM

well, but I don´t think anybody with sense mess with a + 1000 usd expense
plus the mobo memories hd power supply cd reader or dvd reader etc..

do you notice how the pc is reaching the servers as the gaming consoles the pcs?

I won´t surprise if sun or another server maker come whit a revolutionary processor for consumers it´s amazing¡
February 24, 2006 8:23:51 PM

I no speak engrish. sorry, i had to... :D 
February 24, 2006 10:30:30 PM

:lol: 
i apologize: i want ask the guy who send the post, the english grammar is really tough
but i promise: the money i save whit the opty i´ll use for an english course
so any critize is welcome
February 24, 2006 10:34:23 PM

Don't worry i can't speak uuum... ? What language are you, plus you really are not bad.
February 24, 2006 11:25:58 PM

To be honest, buying an FX right inow s a REAL WASTE of money. I put together a smoking dev box for $2100 a few months ago. I even have a definite upgrade path.


X2 4400+ (No OC)
2GB Corsair
7200.8 250GB Seagate
BFG 7800 GT OC
MSI K8N Platinum SLI wSB Live 24bit


Later this year I'll grab an FX60. Then sometime in 2007 I'll go Quad core Opteron.

Believe me I blaze through .Net 2003 and 2005 so I think Java will fly also. I play Q4, D3, NFS underground all at 1280 HQ with pretty much everything turned on. If you are using WC, then you can OC both the 4400+ (or Opteron 1xx) and the FX60 close to the same percentage which is still a great upgrade path until AM2.
February 24, 2006 11:46:57 PM

Technically it won't ever be worth it, the chips will be too slow by the time they are cheap .
February 25, 2006 12:00:15 AM

I wouldn't say that. My 4400+ is so fast it's scary. apps open instantaneously. VS 2005 flies when compiling large projects. I can play evry game I have with almost all the eye candy. I can imagine what the FX60 will do. All the review comaprisons say the FX60 is at least 25% faster everywhere. That is by no means slow.
February 25, 2006 12:03:57 AM

spanish,

since the version you find here is oem I´ll consider watercooling for sure

I have many options for the mother board
the only upgradeable to am2 i´VE SEEN IS ASROCK BUT I DONT´T KNOW IF ARE SUITABLE FOR OC

I´VE BEEN THINKING IN LAN´PARTY DNY INFINITY; WHAT DO YOU THINK?
THANKS IN ADVANCE
February 25, 2006 1:04:00 AM

Dude - ur english is fine so chill on that.

There's nothing wrong with DFI - but of you're new to OCing - do your homework. DFI still has issues and will be more than happy to let you blow ur sh!t up. I'm not dissin it and a good majority of the folks here use it.

I c how much stuff costs in Mex and that would be even worse than having to replace a processor here!!
February 25, 2006 1:30:20 AM

I´m going for the opty 165 then the asus a8n sli premium and 2 gb corsair xms, hard discs I ever choose wd over another brand,I supose a caviar 250 sata, anyway the only demandant application I use are gaming , the usual office and internet but that´s all, thank you.
February 25, 2006 8:12:48 PM

Quote:
Don't worry i can't speak uuum... ? What language are you, plus you really are not bad.


Ya he is pretty good I have seen much much worse...heh
February 26, 2006 1:22:30 PM

LAN Party boards are good for overclocking so that sounds like a good choice.
!