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Custom Extreme System - Need Case/Cooling + Other Advice

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August 27, 2006 10:42:33 PM

Ok. This is a system I am building. Right now everything on it is pretty expensive but hopefully that will change. I have researched every single detail on every piece for compatibility and read many reviews to choose exactly what I want. I am saving the money before buying any of the pieces, because hopefully by the time I am done a lot of the prices will have dropped. The money I am saving is being saved in Iraq right now, when I get back around mid next year is when I hope the prices will have dropped a bit.

I need and will take advice on anything anybody can give me. Specifically a good case solution and a good overall cooling solution, and anything else someone might think needs to be changed and why it needs to be changed.

What I am not looking for is random ideas on replacement parts that cost 2x the price than the current part I have listed. I am on "somewhat" of a budget.

These are the current parts.

Motherboard:
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition (NVIDIA Socket AM2 ATX)

Processor:
AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 2.80GHz
: just changed to this today, not sure if I am going to keep it this and not even sure why I changed it to this.

Graphics Cards:
2x BFG GeForce 7900 GTX
: SLI mode obviously

Memory:
2x Corsair Dual Channel TWINX 2048MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz E.P.P.
: 2 matched pairs

Hard Disks:
2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250820AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
:simply cheap pretty fast mass storage, though not as fast as some of the better 10k harddrives I read about this one is signifigantly cheaper.

Seagate Cheetah 15K.4 73.4 GB SCSI Ultra320 SAS interface
:o nly to run operating system and misc games and programs I researched this pretty in-depth and made my decision. Hopefully this thread doesn't turn into a debate on why I should or shouldn't use SCSI.

Power Supply:
900w Duro from http://www.xgbox.com

Mouse:
Logitech G5 Laser Optical Mouse
:I know there are newer apparently better options but for some reason wireless peripherals annoy the hell out of me so I stuck with wired.

Keyboard:
Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard
:same reason as the mouse

Monitor:
UltraSharp 2407FPW 24.0-inch Wide Flat Panel LCD Monitor
:just seemed like a good deal I guess


Thanks in advance for any helpful replies!
August 27, 2006 11:09:49 PM

Quote:
Ok. This is a system I am building. Right now everything on it is pretty expensive but hopefully that will change. I have researched every single detail on every piece for compatibility and read many reviews to choose exactly what I want. I am saving the money before buying any of the pieces, because hopefully by the time I am done a lot of the prices will have dropped. The money I am saving is being saved in Iraq right now, when I get back around mid next year is when I hope the prices will have dropped a bit.

I need and will take advice on anything anybody can give me. Specifically a good case solution and a good overall cooling solution, and anything else someone might think needs to be changed and why it needs to be changed.

What I am not looking for is random ideas on replacement parts that cost 2x the price than the current part I have listed. I am on "somewhat" of a budget.

These are the current parts.

Motherboard:
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition (NVIDIA Socket AM2 ATX)

Processor:
AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 2.80GHz
: just changed to this today, not sure if I am going to keep it this and not even sure why I changed it to this.

Graphics Cards:
2x BFG GeForce 7900 GTX
: SLI mode obviously

Memory:
2x Corsair Dual Channel TWINX 2048MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz E.P.P.
: 2 matched pairs

Hard Disks:
2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250820AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
:simply cheap pretty fast mass storage, though not as fast as some of the better 10k harddrives I read about this one is signifigantly cheaper.

Seagate Cheetah 15K.4 73.4 GB SCSI Ultra320 SAS interface
:o nly to run operating system and misc games and programs I researched this pretty in-depth and made my decision. Hopefully this thread doesn't turn into a debate on why I should or shouldn't use SCSI.

Power Supply:
900w Duro from http://www.xgbox.com

Mouse:
Logitech G5 Laser Optical Mouse
:I know there are newer apparently better options but for some reason wireless peripherals annoy the hell out of me so I stuck with wired.

Keyboard:
Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard
:same reason as the mouse

Monitor:
UltraSharp 2407FPW 24.0-inch Wide Flat Panel LCD Monitor
:just seemed like a good deal I guess


Thanks in advance for any helpful replies!


I don't mean to sound like an ass, really I don't but I have this to say:

Buying this system at this point in time is about the dumbest thing you could ever do. For the following reasons:

1) FX-62 is absolutely hammered by Core2 CPUs costing $300-400 less. FX-62 & X6800 are horrible buys and rarely are worth the cost. New 65nm CPUs are going to be released in December that will improve performance by up to 20%. Then we have 4x4 which is going to be coming out later this year for FX series 65nm CPUs.

2) On the video card.. 7950 is hundreds less and only runs by 10% slower, and takes only 1 slot. However, with DX10 cards coming that will vastly improve performance, any dual card setup right now, is a really bad plan.

3) 4GB of RAM does not work very well wtih XP. Vista will improve this a little. Only buy 2GB of RAM now.

4) Good plan on the hard drives.

5) SCSI?! Are you out of your mind? Ok if you like jet engines running in your PC and heat, go for it.

6) 900W is way way overkill.

7) How are you going to use that SCSI drive without a controller?
August 27, 2006 11:19:28 PM

Are you dead set on getting an AMD system? Honestly, with E6700 prices down and stable I'd say that's the way to go if you're not a diehard. The motherboard will be a tad more, I'd recommend the P5W-DH, but overall the system will outperform the FX BEFORE you overclock it, and with the core 2's low power and heat output you can crank it up to 4Ghz and you'll have a computer that will perform well 4-5 years before you need to upgrade the mobo/cpu/ram. I LOVE my G5, and totally feel you on the whole wireless thing. The saitek eclipse is a cool keyboard, it's cheaper than the G15, not as many bells and whistles, but rock solid, so if you're not going to use all the G15 features you can shave 50 bucks off right there. You don't really need a 900W P.S. unless I'm missing something. Get a good ~700W, I'd rec. the OCZ GameXstream 700 if you don't mind non-modular. As far as cases go, Lian-Li is top of the line, I run a Koolance PC3-726 and liquid cool my MB bridges, cpu, and soon my 7950 too. Koolance stuff is expensive and doesn't perform as great as some DIY setups, but it's easy to set up, rock-solid, and has build in safety features that I feel are a must. There's a ton of great cases out there for ~150, but don't skimp too much! Anyway, thanks for serving, I also know the joy of tax-free HFP/IDP. Good luck to you!
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August 27, 2006 11:27:00 PM

Oh, ok, wait, you're not gonna be back until mid-next year? You know what man, keep a plan, but in the meantime just grow yourself a nice little computer nest-egg. Don't commit to getting ANYTHING until you're about a month from rotating back to the states, because by mid next year, with Vista, DX10, quad-cores, 4X4, etc, it's going to be a whole new ballgame. And even though you don't want advice on the subject, don't do SCSI. Just trust me. Get Raptors. I get into windows in under 10 secs on a cold boot with mine. And only get 2GB ram, wait to upgrade to 4GB, only a handful of apps fully use a full 2GB. TRUST ME! Well, you don't have to....
August 27, 2006 11:38:28 PM

Quote:

I don't mean to sound like an ass, really I don't but I have this to say:

Buying this system at this point in time is about the dumbest thing you could ever do. For the following reasons:

1) FX-62 is absolutely hammered by Core2 CPUs costing $300-400 less. FX-62 & X6800 are horrible buys and rarely are worth the cost. New 65nm CPUs are going to be released in December that will improve performance by up to 20%. Then we have 4x4 which is going to be coming out later this year for FX series 65nm CPUs.

2) On the video card.. 7950 is hundreds less and only runs by 10% slower, and takes only 1 slot. However, with DX10 cards coming that will vastly improve performance, any dual card setup right now, is a really bad plan.

3) 4GB of RAM does not work very well wtih XP. Vista will improve this a little. Only buy 2GB of RAM now.

4) Good plan on the hard drives.

5) SCSI?! Are you out of your mind? Ok if you like jet engines running in your PC and heat, go for it.

6) 900W is way way overkill.

7) How are you going to use that SCSI drive without a controller?


Starting from the bottom up.

The controller I am using is this:
LSI Logic SAS3041E - storage controller - Serial ATA-300 / SAS - PCI Express x4

I might very well add another scsi drive later for different reasons, depends on what I am doing. As far as heat, yes, I know about the heat they generate its insane, which is why I am looking for a good cooling solution.

The PSU, yes overkill, but very well priced and I like it, and regardless of what I might so happen to add later on this beast will most likely take it, and once again the price on it is very reasonable.

I didn't know that about the RAM so I guess I'll stick with two. I started out with two but the two empty slots annoyed me so I added another two. Very dumb reason, but it seemed to strike my fancy.

I did not know about the DX10, but I did recently do a small amount of reading on it. It seems very very bold of Microsoft to try and literally push everybody forcefully without offering the backwards compatibility. How long will it take gaming companies to re-do some of their games to work with the new DX10? And if they do it quickly what about those many people who don't want to go buy a brand spankin new graphics card and operating system, will they simply drop those customers? And if they keep it those users that do update will be stuck with a software solution for backwards compatability and lose performance on their game. I will bet my money on the last suggestion, that the game companies will simply keep using the previous version of DX until vista becomes as widespread as xp is right now. Otherwise they are going to lose a large customer base of gamers that live off budget systems and can't run out and buy new shit immediately. Anyways, I'm turning this into a debate so I will leave this subject here.

As far as the processor, my previous choice was an athlon 64 X2 4800+ I believe. I'm not sure why I changed it to the FX-62 as I have not read any reviews on that processor at all. Either way, remember. I'm not gonna buy anything at all until around June 2007+ or so. That is why I said around mid next year. If something better has come out, depending on what prices are tagged on those processecors ect. I could very well change my whole system. Maybe the gaming companies will take a complete opposite turn than what I would expect then I will def have to change everything. This is more of a help me out with this now instead of looking into the possibilities of the future.


PS>

I am a die hard amd fan, not gonna argue that point. Just like I am die hard on wired mice and keyboards. =<
August 28, 2006 12:07:49 AM

Well, I am not suggesting that MS is going to do that. However, Vista will require a DX10 card to run with all the eye candy on.

If you are not building until June 2007- quad core CPUs will be out from AMD by then and the entire landscape will be different. Vista should be out, and you can go ahead and get 4GB of RAM. However, I would get 2x 2GB, and filling up all slots can cause problems on many motherboards.

Also, speaking of DX10 cards, the 2nd generation of DX10 cards should be out by June 2007.
August 28, 2006 3:28:41 AM

Well, if you're dead set on AMD and SCSI.....

The Lian-Li PC-V1000 series cases mount the hard drives in an isolated air duct, that's probably the best option for you to isolate the heat and and not raise your M/B CPU temps too terribly much. Koolance and a few other MFGs make hard drive liquid cooling, but are you even considering liquid cooling? Or do you want straight air-cooled? With the PC-V1000 the PS you selected may not fit though, you'll have to check the dimensions on it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Kinda pricey, but you get what you pay for...they have more colors too. Also the MB you selected has heat pipes, and this case inverts the mobo, but it shouldn't be a huge issue.

As far as the FX-62 goes, it's still a good processor, but the fact that the core 2's beat the dogsnot out of it kinda takes away from its glamour. If you want to stick to AMD keep your eyes open for articles on the new 4X4 and K8L, both due around the time you get back. If you want a really top-of-the-line system, that's the way you'll have to go.

Don't even think of 7900's, wait and see man, wait and see. DX10 will change a lot, some game sites have preliminary DX9/DX10 comparison shots, and it's a big difference. If you want a bleeding-edge system you'll just have to wait. Repost when you're 2 months out from purchase, new info will be available then.
August 28, 2006 4:59:29 PM

I did look up the core 2 extreme. After being deadset on AMD I just never looked at the benchmarks on anything else, but after reading what I did. The core 2 did beat the dogshit out of AMD. So I might switch to the core 2. The reason why I will most likely not buy any of the 4x4's is because by the time I am going to buy all of the pieces to my system the core 2 should have dropped extremely in price while the 4x4's will most likely be extremely hot and extremely expensive. I still need to look at some motherboards for the core 2 which I am about to do here in a few minutes. I am glad I posted here instead of just dead setting myself on anything because if I had I never would have even gave the core2 a glance.



Concerning the graphic cards. Please correct me if I am wrong. I read that the 7950 is compatible with vista while it may still support only DX9 right now, wouldn't it simply require driver updates for the card to support DX10? I don't know too much about that, but after reading that is the conclusion I came too. If that is true that it might only need driver updates I will change over to the 7950 simply because quad sli should be better supported by the time I put all this together. The last guide I read on using 2 7950's said that there are a lot of minor problems with games right now using 4 gpu's.



And last of all the cases. Most of the computers I have built have been cheap quick put togethers to sell to other people for profit, never really had the time or need to build myself one. Thank you all for introducing me to Lian-Li. Very very nice cases. I think I'm in love. =) As far as water cooling goes. I have thought about it and considered it, but I am also scared of it. I have never installed a water cooling kit into a system and it scares me to think that if I do mess it up I just screwed everything I worked for.




-edit

I was wrong about the just needing drivers and alot of other things as I just found out. So just let this thread die, no matter what kinda list I made its gonna completely be changed by the time I decide to buy. Vista changes friggin everything.
August 28, 2006 5:31:40 PM

I'm glad you're finally seeing the light. I think you'll be extremely happy with a E6600 or E6700, but the new Kentsfield quad cores come out in January and by the time you get back their prices should have dropped a bit, so keep an eye on that as well. As far as I know they'll be fully compatable with current Core 2 mobo's, so that's not an issue. Some good mobos that are available now are the Gigabyte DQ6, Asus P5W-DH, DFI Infinity, and ASUS P5NSLI-deluxe SE. They're all too expensive right now, but prices will come down. Nvidia is supposed to soon release their new 590 chipset for core 2, so check those benches out when they're available to make your choice.

The 7950 is supported for Vista, but not DX10. Full DX10 support is basically a hardware issue, no current hardware will offer true native DX10 support, so I'd watch that issue as well. As far as quad-sli goes, there's still a lot of issues with drivers and software for it, hardly anything really can harness 4 GPU's in an efficient manner, a lot of times it actually slows things down. I'm sure in the future more apps will take advantage of 4 gpu's, but for now just wait and see.

Liquid cooling IS a bit intimidating, which is why I rec. Koolance. They're completely ready to go out of the box. Cooling the CPU is easiest, as easy as hooking up a regular heatsink, though cooling GPU's or northbridges is a bit tougher as you have to remove the previous heatsink. But they all come with great how-to step by step guides, it's as idiot-proof as any piece of computer gear can get.

http://www.koolance.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=28_...

That's what I'm running and I couldn't be happier. It's a big investment, if you go through directron or xoxide you can get them 10-15% cheaper, but you still have to buy a $60 cpu block and a ~100 dollar GPU cooler if you want to cool your video as well. But it performs and looks great. Great air-coolers are available too, and you can overclock a core 2 pretty damn high with one with no trouble. The tuniq tower or big typhoon are options there. Hope this stuff is helpful and you're welcome for the lian-li mention, they're good stuff.
August 28, 2006 5:47:54 PM

Quote:
Ok. This is a system I am building. Right now everything on it is pretty expensive but hopefully that will change. I have researched every single detail on every piece for compatibility and read many reviews to choose exactly what I want. I am saving the money before buying any of the pieces, because hopefully by the time I am done a lot of the prices will have dropped. The money I am saving is being saved in Iraq right now, when I get back around mid next year is when I hope the prices will have dropped a bit.

I need and will take advice on anything anybody can give me. Specifically a good case solution and a good overall cooling solution, and anything else someone might think needs to be changed and why it needs to be changed.

What I am not looking for is random ideas on replacement parts that cost 2x the price than the current part I have listed. I am on "somewhat" of a budget.

These are the current parts.

Motherboard:
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition (NVIDIA Socket AM2 ATX)

Processor:
AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 2.80GHz
: just changed to this today, not sure if I am going to keep it this and not even sure why I changed it to this.

Graphics Cards:
2x BFG GeForce 7900 GTX
: SLI mode obviously

Memory:
2x Corsair Dual Channel TWINX 2048MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz E.P.P.
: 2 matched pairs

Hard Disks:
2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250820AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
:simply cheap pretty fast mass storage, though not as fast as some of the better 10k harddrives I read about this one is signifigantly cheaper.

Seagate Cheetah 15K.4 73.4 GB SCSI Ultra320 SAS interface
:o nly to run operating system and misc games and programs I researched this pretty in-depth and made my decision. Hopefully this thread doesn't turn into a debate on why I should or shouldn't use SCSI.

Power Supply:
900w Duro from http://www.xgbox.com

Mouse:
Logitech G5 Laser Optical Mouse
:I know there are newer apparently better options but for some reason wireless peripherals annoy the hell out of me so I stuck with wired.

Keyboard:
Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard
:same reason as the mouse

Monitor:
UltraSharp 2407FPW 24.0-inch Wide Flat Panel LCD Monitor
:just seemed like a good deal I guess


Thanks in advance for any helpful replies!

Yuck...lol!!!

Ok... sorry had to sum it up in a single word.

Crossfire > SLI when it comes to performance and features in a 2 card config. Of course you have to live with a dongle (meh). you can do AA and AF without a performance hit as well (something SLI cannot claim). But that's a pesonal preference.. if you're an nVIDIA fan go right ahead.. I own both the 7900GTX and the x1900XTX.. I opted to Crossfire rather then SLI).

As for your choice on the processor... are you aware of just how much money you're wasting by going to such a high end AMD CPU? I'm all for you having some form of preference... but not if it loses you money. If you really want to do this highend then of course.. an Asus P5W-DH Deluxe motherboard, Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 or Extreme X6800, 2x1GB Corsair/G.Skill/OCZ PC2 6400 memory and most definatly a silent PC case (P180 being a good choice).

I cannot understand your choice of AMD in this case. It's just not logical. But then again I still don't understand why people go SLI over Crossfire on anything bellow a GeForce 7950GX2. Might I suggest you hold out until G80 or R600 before buying a Video card (this fall/winter).

As for AMD's 4x4, it will support AMD's 65nm CPU which should perform the same per clock (no tweaks or changes) as current AM2 CPU's. Anyone telling you otherwise sound suspicious to me. If you're buying now.. Intel Core 2/x1900Crossfire/GeForce7950GX2 is the way to go though... don't waste cash on AMD.
August 28, 2006 6:04:07 PM

The XG Duro 900 is not a very good PSU. I have the PSU sitting in my closet because I was having some compatibility issues with it and was in constant contact with their tech support. As it turns out, according to some people I spoke to there, The 900 watts is NOT rated at 50 celsius which is the temperature standard for most every major PSU brand. That 900 watts is actually rated for 20 degrees and it's 50 degree ceiling is 750. I had bought it for my ASUS 975x board and all it got me was disappointment.
August 28, 2006 7:00:42 PM

Thanks cb62fcni, I like the Lian-Li case with the Koolance already installed. Very nice. Right before I read your post I did read another article on the DX10, so pretty much I will have to wait untill they come out with all the hardware for it so that I can run it. Seems dumb to build a system that is gonna be almost completely phased out after DX10 and Vista come out. Although I also read that it might take a while for alot of the software companies to come out and change thier products as they wait for a larger population to upgrade so that they don't lose a very large customer base. So this pretty much sais that when I do build this system it will mostly likely be a bit ahead of its time in a bad way. In regards to supporting alot that isn't really gonna be available at the time of building it.

ElMoIsEvil - you obviously did not read any of the other posts in which was discussed every aspect of what was wrong with my build and what was coming out ect so I'm just gonna leave this reply at exactly this. Please take some time to read the other posts before replying.

Phreejak -
Thank you for this information, I saw a review on it and it seemed like a good PSU, but reviews rarely put somthing in a real world enviroment. I will look into a better PSU. I don't think it would fit in the case I am most likely gonna get anways.




-Solitude
!