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Gaming Rig for next 1-2 years - Ordering Today

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Last response: in Systems
October 20, 2006 6:18:35 PM

First off, thanks to all of you who's comments have helped my research tremendously!

I'm building this rig to game with for the next 1-2 years. Games like BF2, QW:ET, and hopefully a decent MMO.

I'm going to be ordering today, so I'd appreciate any input.

CPU: $183
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe 1.86GHz 775 Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
I might splurge another $40 and get the E6400, but I'd rather put $40 towards RAM or GPU.

GPU: $215 (after $40 rebate)
HIS Hightech Radeon X1900XT 256MB CrossFire Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
I don't know anything about HIS. $215 seems amazing for an x1900xt, but is a risk?

MoBo: $143
GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 Socket T Intel P965 Express ATX - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
Seems to be a highly recommended board for the Intel C2D chips.

RAM: $266
OCZ Platinum Revision 2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...
One area I'm not shy in spending more money on. I definitely want the 2GB for gaming.

PSU: $87
Antec TruePower 2.0 TP2-550 550W - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
I'm not too familiar with PSUs, but this one seemed to be a popular choice when using the x1900xt.

HD: $95
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...
Seemed like a nice drive for the price. I don't have to have the fastest load times, but I don't want my HD to be a huge bottleneck either.

Case: $85
LIAN LI PC-7B plus II Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
Again, seems to be another popular choice for a case; however, I'm not partial to any case, as long as it's easy to work with and doesn't embarass me at the next LAN.

DVD: $29
MadDog DVD Burner - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...
Whatever on this... I just need something that will work. I wanted the NEC one, but it's on backorder.

Cooling: $36
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro CPU Cooler - Retail ($30)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1683...
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1683...

Total Damage: $1179 + $35 shipping

I've got XP Pro and an Eclipse keyboard, G5 mouse, and 19" ViewSonic CRT monitor I'll be using from my old system.

Did I miss anything? Thanks for looking and for your comments!

More about : gaming rig years ordering today

October 20, 2006 6:36:42 PM

Looks good to me.

Not a fan of OCZ RAM, I prefer Corsair. But that's just me.

Which Eclipse are you getting? I heard the red one is slow. Just kidding. :) 
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
October 20, 2006 6:46:16 PM

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound not required with the Freezer 7 Pro CPU Cooler. It has thermal compound pre-applied to the heatsink for ease of installatiion. And it works just as well (or better) than AS5.
Review showing MX-1 vs AS5 comparison

Your 2.1v RAM and 965 chipsets have some issues with the higher speed higher voltage RAM. A new motherboard BIOS usually fixes that - but some have found they need a cheap 1.8v RAM stick to boot up to do the BIOS update.

Everything else looks good.
Related resources
October 20, 2006 7:31:55 PM

Thanks for the links WR2! Good to know I can save another $6. :D 

So I shouldn't have an issue with the RAM/MOBO combo? I don't have an old stick of RAM laying around for me to boot with... so I hope it's really fixed. (I guess I could always find a way to get one if I had to...)
October 20, 2006 7:36:46 PM

I see two glaring mistakes (IMHO) that you have made. First you painfully don't have a real sound card. Second that Mad Dog DVD Burner stinks...and will "Burn" out sooner than you would like. So here are my remedies:


Sound Card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

DVD Burner:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

The Lite-On is only 2 dollars more but comes with free 3 day shipping...so you are actually saving 3 dollars and getting a far superior product.
October 20, 2006 7:36:52 PM

All looks very good! Can't think of any improvements, apart from maybe changing the x1900xt to an x1950 PRO if you can find one for a good price.
October 20, 2006 7:38:38 PM

HIS is a good brand; that setup is looking mighty fine.
October 20, 2006 7:43:38 PM

Looks good, I can't comment on the MadDog burner, but you should be fine, I have an NEC3550A that I love so far.

Stick to the x1900xt 256, its a good deal and proven to work well. Also, stick with on board sound at first, it'll be fine. Once you get everything set up, se how it sounds and then decide if a soundcard is worth it or not.
October 20, 2006 7:43:56 PM

Quote:
Looks good to me.

Not a fan of OCZ RAM, I prefer Corsair. But that's just me.

Which Eclipse are you getting? I heard the red one is slow. Just kidding. :) 


*slap*
Ocz rules in my experience, there gold and plat stuff is very overclockable.

Cosair doesnt have as good timings either.
October 20, 2006 7:48:43 PM

Id move up to the 6600 Conroe, because its the best value out of all of them. its enough 130 bucks, but eh, MORE POWER.
October 20, 2006 7:57:53 PM

Quote:
Id move up to the 6600 Conroe, because its the best value out of all of them. its enough 130 bucks, but eh, MORE POWER.


But $130 can be quite a lot to someone, especially when spending around $1200 in one go. Adding another $130 can really hurt! Especially if you're a student.
October 20, 2006 7:58:39 PM

Quote:
Id move up to the 6600 Conroe, because its the best value out of all of them. its enough 130 bucks, but eh, MORE POWER.


Negative.

The whole point is to put something together right at that break point where it gets a lot more affordable.

If I was going to spend an extra $130 I'd put it into the GPU.
October 20, 2006 8:01:09 PM

Quote:
I see two glaring mistakes (IMHO) that you have made. First you painfully don't have a real sound card. Second that Mad Dog DVD Burner stinks...and will "Burn" out sooner than you would like. So here are my remedies:


Sound Card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

DVD Burner:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

The Lite-On is only 2 dollars more but comes with free 3 day shipping...so you are actually saving 3 dollars and getting a far superior product.


Thanks for the recommendation. I'm going to agree with TSIMonster's advice and pass on the sound card for the time being.

However, I will change to the Lite-On DVD burner, based on your recommendation.

Thank you!
October 20, 2006 8:02:26 PM

X1900XT wipes the floor with the 7950GT! HIS is a great card maker!

Best,

3Ball
October 20, 2006 8:03:27 PM

Quote:
X1900XT wipes the floor with the 7950GT! HIS is a great card maker!

Best,

3Ball


What he said.
October 20, 2006 8:10:37 PM

If you want this rig for the next 2 years then you should get a GF8 series.because it will be a DX10 cards and you will be able to enjoy play games for a longer time. you only have to wait another month.. And the wait will be worth it in the long run.
October 20, 2006 8:11:19 PM

In the end, you can upgrade to a quad core processor in a few years, it should just drop right in.

I'm a student but also a bartender so i put a rig together off of tips :p 
October 20, 2006 8:15:22 PM

Quote:
If you want this rig for the next 2 years then you should get a GF8 series.because it will be a DX10 cards and you will be able to enjoy play games for a longer time. you only have to wait another month.. And the wait will be worth it in the long run.


I've battled back and forth on that.

In the end, I've decided that if I get really impatient for DX10, I'll just sell off this rig and upgrade then. (I've found it's usually pretty easy to sell a rig like this in a year or so for around $6-800 to someone who's not really into gaming but needs a good PC for cheap)
October 20, 2006 8:24:53 PM

Quote:
Id move up to the 6600 Conroe, because its the best value out of all of them. its enough 130 bucks, but eh, MORE POWER.


thats why god created overclocking
October 20, 2006 8:28:01 PM

Two changes:

Upgrade the the CPU to a 6600, it will be worth it especially if you don't plan on upgrading again for another year or two.

Secondly, ask yourself why that HIS X1900XT GPU is discounted so heavily? This is about $70 below MSRP if I'm not mistaken. If you have to purchase the GPU today, go for it, this is a great deal and a great card.

But it is probably so cheap because the G80 and R600 are just around the corner. Just know that in about 6 months both ATI and Nvidia should have next generation mainstream priced cards that will outperform your X1900XT. If I were you I would wait and cough up an extra $250 or $300 for a 8800GTX or 8800GTS that is launching mid November.
October 20, 2006 8:37:38 PM

But its like a waste of money then instead of selling it in a year.. just wait 1 month and great a DX10 card and it you will have the system for a longer amount of time.
October 20, 2006 8:37:45 PM

Quote:
Two changes:

Upgrade the the CPU to a 6600, it will be worth it especially if you don't plan on upgrading again for another year or two.

Secondly, ask yourself why that HIS X1900XT GPU is discounted so heavily? This is about $70 below MSRP if I'm not mistaken. If you have to purchase the GPU today, go for it, this is a great deal and a great card.

But it is probably so cheap because the G80 and R600 are just around the corner. Just know that in about 6 months both ATI and Nvidia should have next generation mainstream priced cards that will outperform your X1900XT. If I were you I would wait and cough up an extra $250 or $300 for a 8800GTX or 8800GTS that is launching mid November.


But if I did that, I would be looking at a $1700+ pricetag instead of a $1200 pricetag.
October 20, 2006 8:50:13 PM

Quote:
Id move up to the 6600 Conroe, because its the best value out of all of them. its enough 130 bucks, but eh, MORE POWER.


But $130 can be quite a lot to someone, especially when spending around $1200 in one go. Adding another $130 can really hurt! Especially if you're a student.

That's why credit cards were invented. Take my advice, spend a little more up front and avoid the hassle of having to upgrade again 6 months from now.

6600 = bigger cache and better overclocking potential (or a better way of saying it, it will extend the life of your computer)

$130 works out over the course of a year to $2.50 a week. You can make that much standing out on a street corner with your hand out. Better yet, if the Dems win back congress this November, they'll probably raise all the taxes on the upper 1% and send checks to all the poor slobs with no job or low income (e.g. college students).
October 20, 2006 8:50:17 PM

Allright all-

I went ahead and pulled the trigger on this. I did change one thing... I caved in and got the E6400 for $40 more. (I know I would have been just fine with the E6300... hell I'm going to OC it anyway...) :roll:

So total price shipped was $1244.23 and I signed up for the newegg prefered account thing, so i have 6 months to pay it off.

Thanks again for all the comments!
October 20, 2006 8:59:22 PM

Quote:
Two changes:

Upgrade the the CPU to a 6600, it will be worth it especially if you don't plan on upgrading again for another year or two.

Secondly, ask yourself why that HIS X1900XT GPU is discounted so heavily? This is about $70 below MSRP if I'm not mistaken. If you have to purchase the GPU today, go for it, this is a great deal and a great card.

But it is probably so cheap because the G80 and R600 are just around the corner. Just know that in about 6 months both ATI and Nvidia should have next generation mainstream priced cards that will outperform your X1900XT. If I were you I would wait and cough up an extra $250 or $300 for a 8800GTX or 8800GTS that is launching mid November.


But if I did that, I would be looking at a $1700+ pricetag instead of a $1200 pricetag.

I understand, I was a poor college student once too but in the big scheme of things its only $500 (easy for me to say). At least get the 6600, I believe there is only a $100 difference between it and the 6400 and it's available now.
October 20, 2006 9:21:35 PM

I like the 1900XT. Think it's a better card than the 7950X2.
I originally had considered that option, but if you can get an XTX or a 1950 then that'll hold you. If you're not planning on OC'ing consier the e6400 or possibly the 6600 with more L2.
Antec PSU's are good, bt consider other manufacturers. I like PC Power and cooling and they have reliable PSU.
I'd suggest a Sony or NEC or LiteOn burner. They're generally reliable but at the current prices are easily replaceable.
Im interested in some of the new SATA burners but the only one I can find is a Plextor which is over 100. The SATA DVD roms are way cheaper tho.
October 20, 2006 9:23:02 PM

For the time frame of 1-2 years it looks good. The GPU may not keep you happy once DX10 games start showing up in 6-12 months.

You can do a little better on the HDD price. I have seen prices as good as 300GB for under $60.
October 21, 2006 12:23:56 PM

Quote:
Id move up to the 6600 Conroe, because its the best value out of all of them. its enough 130 bucks, but eh, MORE POWER.


But $130 can be quite a lot to someone, especially when spending around $1200 in one go. Adding another $130 can really hurt! Especially if you're a student.

That's why credit cards were invented. Take my advice, spend a little more up front and avoid the hassle of having to upgrade again 6 months from now.

6600 = bigger cache and better overclocking potential (or a better way of saying it, it will extend the life of your computer)

$130 works out over the course of a year to $2.50 a week. You can make that much standing out on a street corner with your hand out. Better yet, if the Dems win back congress this November, they'll probably raise all the taxes on the upper 1% and send checks to all the poor slobs with no job or low income (e.g. college students).

It's not just slobs who have no jobs. Think of all the people with disabilitys that physically can't work, and the people that have to care for them all day?
October 21, 2006 1:54:11 PM

Get the e6400, its good enough to reach e6600 core speeds and beyond. Hardly a noticeable difference between these core 2 procs while your actually doing something on the computer besides benchmarking.
October 21, 2006 2:30:42 PM

Quote:
Two changes:

Upgrade the the CPU to a 6600, it will be worth it especially if you don't plan on upgrading again for another year or two.

Secondly, ask yourself why that HIS X1900XT GPU is discounted so heavily? This is about $70 below MSRP if I'm not mistaken. If you have to purchase the GPU today, go for it, this is a great deal and a great card.

But it is probably so cheap because the G80 and R600 are just around the corner. Just know that in about 6 months both ATI and Nvidia should have next generation mainstream priced cards that will outperform your X1900XT. If I were you I would wait and cough up an extra $250 or $300 for a 8800GTX or 8800GTS that is launching mid November.


But if I did that, I would be looking at a $1700+ pricetag instead of a $1200 pricetag.

Exactly i would definetly go with what you have with the X1900XT, waiting till mid-november to get a $500 gfx card is a very bad choice, not only does no one really know how they will perform but no one knows how the competition will perform...with graphic cards so cheap right now its a great idea to pick one up...buying a graphics card right when they first come out always proves to bite you in the ass later when you see its dropped $100 in price in a month or two already.

Not very many games will be dx10 in 1-2 years, and even if they are it still won't show dx10's full potential, also you should consider to wait till they scale down to 65nm and start lowering the power requirements and get an overall more efficient gpu
October 23, 2006 3:20:56 PM

Quote:
Two changes:

Upgrade the the CPU to a 6600, it will be worth it especially if you don't plan on upgrading again for another year or two.

Secondly, ask yourself why that HIS X1900XT GPU is discounted so heavily? This is about $70 below MSRP if I'm not mistaken. If you have to purchase the GPU today, go for it, this is a great deal and a great card.

But it is probably so cheap because the G80 and R600 are just around the corner. Just know that in about 6 months both ATI and Nvidia should have next generation mainstream priced cards that will outperform your X1900XT. If I were you I would wait and cough up an extra $250 or $300 for a 8800GTX or 8800GTS that is launching mid November.


But if I did that, I would be looking at a $1700+ pricetag instead of a $1200 pricetag.

Exactly i would definetly go with what you have with the X1900XT, waiting till mid-november to get a $500 gfx card is a very bad choice, not only does no one really know how they will perform but no one knows how the competition will perform...with graphic cards so cheap right now its a great idea to pick one up...buying a graphics card right when they first come out always proves to bite you in the ass later when you see its dropped $100 in price in a month or two already.

Not very many games will be dx10 in 1-2 years, and even if they are it still won't show dx10's full potential, also you should consider to wait till they scale down to 65nm and start lowering the power requirements and get an overall more efficient gpu

The X1900 series line is ending, buying cards at the end of their lifecycle (no matter how cheap) is not a good idea financially, it looks good up front because you think you are getting a deal. But in reality, your buying technology that is already behind the curve. Nvidia and ATI know exactly what they are doing and in about 2 weeks the X1900 is going to look like a dinosaur along side the new G80 cards. Yes, it will be expensive but again I go back to my original premise, pay a little more up front or pay a lot more later.

Also what you said about DX10 games not being available (or not reaching its full potential) for another year or two is incorrect. How do your think this guy is going to feel in in 4-6 months when Crysis (even if this is DX10 at half potential, I'll take it) comes out and he can't play it because he needs a DX10 card. Or maybe he can play it but has turn off all the features just so he can play it at a decent frame rate. Then, guess what, time to go and shell out another couple of hundred dollars (or more) to upgrade.

The 8800 series card performance estimates have been released on Dailytech and at other sites, no there haven't been real world tests but I think it is safe to say that the next generation of GPUs are going to easily surpass the previous. Why do I think this? History proves it, my 7600GT (a $150 mainstream card) blows the doors off the previous generation flagship card, the 6800GT.






1-2 years for DX10 games
October 23, 2006 3:37:06 PM

Quote:
Id move up to the 6600 Conroe, because its the best value out of all of them. its enough 130 bucks, but eh, MORE POWER.


But $130 can be quite a lot to someone, especially when spending around $1200 in one go. Adding another $130 can really hurt! Especially if you're a student.

That's why credit cards were invented. Take my advice, spend a little more up front and avoid the hassle of having to upgrade again 6 months from now.

6600 = bigger cache and better overclocking potential (or a better way of saying it, it will extend the life of your computer)

$130 works out over the course of a year to $2.50 a week. You can make that much standing out on a street corner with your hand out. Better yet, if the Dems win back congress this November, they'll probably raise all the taxes on the upper 1% and send checks to all the poor slobs with no job or low income (e.g. college students).

It's not just slobs who have no jobs. Think of all the people with disabilitys that physically can't work, and the people that have to care for them all day?

Sorry brother, my joke was kinda crude. I'm sure that there are a lot people out there that need the help.