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New Gaming Rig - advice requested

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May 1, 2006 9:03:49 PM

Well after pricing up an Alienware Aurora 7500, I came to my senses and hope to build a better PC for the same sort money.

Current specification of my air cooled gaming rig is:

Case: Antec P180
Mobo: Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe Crossfire
PSU: Seasonic S12 600W Silent ATX2.0 Power Supply
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800
Cooler: Gigabyte G-Power Pro
Grease: Arctic Silver 5

RAM: Corsair 2GB DDR XMS3500LL Pro TwinX (2x1GB) CAS2
GPU1: Sapphire Radeon X1900 Crossfire Edition (Master) 512MB
GPU2: Sapphire ATi Radeon X1900XT 512MB
Coolers: Arctic Cooling Accelero X2

HDD1: Western Digital Raptor 150GB WD1500ADFD
HDD2+3: Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 10 NCQ 300GB 6V300F0 SATA-II 16MB Cache * 2 (RAID 0)
Sound: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS Edition
DVDRW: Plextor PX-755SA Serial ATA 16x16 Dual Layer DVD±RW ReWriter

Speakers: Logitech Z-5500 THX® Certified 5.1 505 Watts Speakers
Headset: Sennheiser PC155 USB Pro-Gaming Headset
Keyboard: Logitech G15 Gaming-Grade Illuminated Keyboard
Mouse: Logitech G5 Gaming-Grade Laser Mouse
Mat: Everglide Destrukt Mousemat

LCD: Dell 2405 (1920 * 1200) - already purchased
OS: Windows XP Professional SP2 OEM

If anyone has any thoughts on better value kit or even better performance kit, I would be greatful for the advice.

Regarding overclocking, I will no doubt put some time toward trying this out in the future but for now I am just looking for stock raw performance.

Will be using this to run lots of games and build .Net software.
May 1, 2006 9:08:41 PM

Sweet Rig but if I was you I would go opteron 180 which cost a little more than a 4800x2 but can OC much better. Other than that it looks GREAT
May 1, 2006 9:13:53 PM

£ 529 for an Opteron 180 compared to £ 444 for a 4800 X2.

Comparing this to the price of upgrading to an FX-60 at £ 740 it looks great value for the extra money.

Seems to have a 2 MB L2 Cache and presumably better quality silicon since it used as a server chip. Out of the box it runs at 2.4 GHz exactly the same as the 4800 X2 but I guess I will need to get to grips with overclocking to get the best from it.

I just wonder if the cooling I have selected is suitable for this CPU?
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May 1, 2006 11:16:19 PM

the stock heatsink that comes with optys are great... No need to get aftermarket cooling unless you are doing some SERIOUS overclocking
May 1, 2006 11:37:15 PM

OK well I am likely to err on the side of caution when overclocking.

From my limited reading, it seems 2.8 GHz is likely to be achievable, although higher may be possible, depending on the actual quality of the main components.

Looks like I can save some money on a cooler then. :D 

I had no idea about the stock cooler supplied, so thanks for your advice on that.
May 2, 2006 12:03:18 AM

If you are using those two maxtor 300gb drives for storage i think putting them in raid 0 is a waste of money, just stick with one of them, also consider sticking with onboard sound instead of spending money on a sound card, most good boards come with built in 8ch audio. Is this computer going in a small room? if so then a 500w sound system is a waste of money too, i have the logitech 280w system and its plenty loud! The sub shakes my basement walls! I would also consider an opty 170,175 or 180. They are cheaper than x2s and can OC like mad bc they are made from the same silicon as the FX series, but if ur not big on OCing then stick with an X2.
May 2, 2006 12:35:50 AM

Having considered the storage drives, I think you are right. I'm very unlikely to need 750 GB total in the near future. Not a huge saving but helps bring the price down a bit.

My old rig simply used the NForce 2 onboard sound and yeh I agree, onboard sound today is really good compared to 4 or 5 years ago. My old rig uses Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 system and I know what sort of performance you can get (turning volume up to half way would have all my neighbours evacuating).

However, I am looking to maximise gaming quality on a fairly large LCD and so I believe an additional sound card can assist with this. Also I am planning to look into acquiring a midi keyboard and some low end music production software later, although no doubt there are better choices of sound boards for that.

After reading some articles though, most see the XRAM included on this model as a gimic and so I may downgrade it to a cheaper XiFi Platinum which still has a breakout box.

The speakers I have deliberated over a lot. Since the PC will sit in a small room, I know that I will never use anywhere near the maximum volume on them. However I have always believed that good quality speakers will shine at low volume levels too. I guess I'll go and look at what other 5.1 systems are on offer to determine the options.

The thing about speakers are that you want to hear them before you buy them but I guess I'll just have to shop on reviews.

I have changed my mind on the CPU. Although the Opteron 180 is slightly more expensive than the 4800 X2, I am hoping I can get more performance out of it. I'm new to overclocking but you have to start somewhere. So, Opteron 180 it is!
May 2, 2006 12:39:24 AM

What would serious OCing be? Like 2.65 on a Opty 165?

DDay
May 2, 2006 1:03:09 AM

Quote:
What would serious OCing be? Like 2.65 on a Opty 165?

DDay


I saw that you are getting the opty 165 and 2.6 is a serious OC but reviews say they do it on stock all the time. but I hear if you want to go 2.8-3.0 you need watercooling
!