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n00b ordering custom system needs help

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November 11, 2006 1:04:35 PM

Hi, I'm a PFC in the Army, I would like to build my own computer, but I don't have the time. (You know mortars, patients late night attacks, that sort of thing :wink: )

Well I'm ordering this from Cyberpower, and I was wondering if I could get some opinions on components I should change, if somthing wont work, tha type of deal.

My budget is at 4100$

$4030.00
(before all applicable rebates)
CASE: TURBO X-DREAMER CASE 350 WATT W/ WINDOW & LCD Temperature Display (BLACK COLOR)
PSU: 1100 WATT Change out.
CPU: (Quad-Core)Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme QX6700 Processor
MOTHERBOARD: (Quad-Core) EVGA nForce 680i SLI Chipset LGA775 Supports Core 2 Duo/Quad CPU FSB1066 DDR2 Mainboard
MEMORY: (Req.DDR2 MainBoard)2GB (2x1GB) PC6400 DDR2/800 Dual Channel Memory (Corsair XMS2 Xtreme Memory w/ Heat Spreader)
VIDEO CARD: NEW!!! NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB 16X PCI Express Video Card
VIDEO CARD 2: NONE
LCD Monitor: Gaming LCD ViewSonic VX922 19" (2ms White-Black-White Typ) SXGA LCD Display Monitor
HARD DRIVE: Single Hard Drive (150GB Gaming Western Digital Rapter 10, 000RPM SATA150 16MB Cache WD1500ADFD)
Data Hard Drive: 320GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM Hard Drive
Optical Drive: LiteOn SHM-165H6S 16X Double Layer DVD+-RW Super Allwrite + Lightscribe Technology (Black Color)
Optical Drive 2: LiteOn SHM-165H6S 16X Double Layer DVD+-RW Super Allwrite + Lightscribe Technology (Black Color)
SOUND: New! Creative Labs X-FI XtremeGamer 24-BIT PCI Sound Card


Any help would be appriciated. Thanks in advance.


Sorry about the PSU, put in the option for a 1100 Watts. Incase I want to add a 2nd card and if it is ever worth it a physics card


--------------------------------EDIT------------------------------------------------

A more conclusive list of my components. Sort of.

TURBO X-DREAMER CASE 350 WATT W/ WINDOW & LCD Temperature Display

Tagan 1100W TG1100-U95 TurboJet Quad Quiet SLI Ready Power Supply

(Quad-Core)Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme QX6700 Processor((Quad-Core)Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme QX6700 Processor)[+0]More ...

CoolerMaster Liquid CPU Cooling Fan System Kit + 2 EXTRA CASE FANS

(Quad-Core) EVGA nForce 680i SLI Chipset LGA775 Supports Core 2 Duo/Quad CPU FSB1066 DDR2 Mainboard((Quad-Core) EVGA nForce 680i SLI Chipset LGA775 Supports Core 2 Duo/Quad CPU FSB1066 DDR2 Mainboard)

2 GB Corsair XMS2 Xtreme Memory w/ Heat Spreader[+0]

NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB 16X PCI Express Video Card

Gaming LCD ViewSonic VX922 19" (2ms White-Black-White Typ) SXGA LCD Display Monitor

150GB Gaming Western Digital Rapter 10,000RPM SATA150 16MB Cache WD1500ADFD[+0]

320GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM Hard Drive

2x- LiteOn SHM-165H6S 16X Double Layer DVD+-RW Super Allwrite + Lightscribe Technology

New! Creative Labs X-FI XtremeGamer 24-BIT PCI Sound Card

Creative Labs Inspire P7800 7.1 Surround Subwoofer Speaker Syste

INTERNAL 12in1 Flash Media Reader/Writer

High Performance Thermal Compound on CPU

1.44 MB FLOPPY DRIVE

Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional w/ Service Pack 2 & Free Upgrade to Windows Vista™ Business



There we go a slightly better complete list.

Oh yeah nah not shipping this puppy to Iraq, going home to Ft. Campbell, since I'm heading back in a month or so.
November 11, 2006 1:24:55 PM

every thing looks great, almost all top of the line components, you might want a different psu though i dont think that 350w is going to power a 8800 GTX i just hope your not taking it into live combat! :D 
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
November 11, 2006 2:03:54 PM

Quote:

PSU: 1100 WATT Change out.
CPU: (Quad-Core)Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme QX6700 Processor
MOTHERBOARD: (Quad-Core) EVGA nForce 680i SLI Chipset LGA775 Supports Core 2 Duo/Quad CPU FSB1066 DDR2 Mainboard
MEMORY: (Req.DDR2 MainBoard)2GB (2x1GB) PC6400 DDR2/800
VIDEO CARD: NEW!!! NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB 16X PCI
LCD Monitor: Gaming LCD ViewSonic VX922 19"
The 1100W PSU is vast overkill. Change out to the 750W Toughpower. Will handle SLI 8800GTX.
Get the E6700 CPU instead of the QX6700. There are no real performance benefits to Quad core CPUs at this time. Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 Quad-Core Performance Preview
Upgrade the monitor to a 20" widescreen ( ViewSonic VG2030WM Black 20.1" 5ms DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor).
Or maybe look at a 22" widescreen LCD ViewSonic VG2230wm Black 22" 5ms or SAMSUNG 225BW Black 22" 5 ms
Case upgrade to the COOLERMASTER MYSTIQUE 632 is more of a personal preference but I think its a higher quality part too.
Related resources
November 11, 2006 2:05:25 PM

oops sorry i didnt see the 1100W PSU, i though he was going to use the one with his case.
November 11, 2006 2:33:52 PM

Thank you for awnsering. I edited in the 1100 PSU after you mentioned it. THen I added a more complete list of stuff.

Now the 1100 may be overkill like you said, but will the 750 be able to support SLI and a physics card, if I do decide to buy it? I keep reading magazines that say that we will be needing 1000w power supplies very soon, that why I opted for it.

For the quad core. Currently no games use it, but I do some video encoding, plus I also read that it wont be long before game company's will implement quad core in their games.

how hard is it to overclock the 6700 compared to 6800? I read the 6800 is unlocked, but 6700 and below are locked. (Knows nothing on OCing).

Sorry for all my questions, but trying to get all the facts, to make an informed decision.

Edit-- Also, I'm going overkill at least initially becuase if I want to upgrade parts on my comp in the 2 years, I don't want to worry about anything except for RAM, Video card, and processor. If possible, I want this rig to last a 3 maybe 4 years, with just the addition of another GTX 8800 in SLI

Any other things i should change.

Thank you all in advance again, and thank you for helping already.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
November 11, 2006 2:41:56 PM

Quote:
For the quad core. Currently no games use it, but I do some video encoding, plus I also read that it wont be long before game company's will implement quad core in their games.
By the time any games can really make of a quad core CPU (maybe 2 years) the prices will have dropped below the $400-500 you'll save now going with the E6700. Yes media tasks can make use of the quad cores now (IF your software supports it - its not automatic) but the actual peformance gain is not that great considering the much higher cost of the CPU.

Yes the E6700 has a locked multiplier so you overclock the CPU by pushing the FSB frequency higher though the BIOS settings. E6700 CPU multi is 10 and the FSB default is 266Mhz (quad pumped = 1066 rating). 10 * 266 = 2.66Ghz speed of E6700. A very small overclock pushing the FSB to 300Mhz will have the E6700 running at 3.0Ghz. 325Mhz FSB will have the CPU running at 3.25Ghz and so on. The C2D CPUs really do overclock nicely. Are you getting the free watercooling option at Cyberpower? You can expect your CPU to go to 3.6Ghz and probably higher.
November 11, 2006 2:44:01 PM

it'll last 2 years easy, depending on what kind of CPU's are out then you might want to upgrade though, 3-4 years i cant tell you, theres a good chance but you never know what might come out in that amount of time. as for the 1000W PSU the 750W will be fine, while i think that 1000W+ power supplies are in our future by the time that happens the various different requirments on that PSU will probably be outdated and you'll need to get another anyway.
November 11, 2006 2:56:39 PM

Okay that makes a lot of sense. I'll go for the change in the PSU and CPU. Should I change anything else. I have been wondering about the sound card. DO I need it or is the onboard 7.1 enough. I'm no picky about sound, as long as it is decent, and I hear no static in the background.

For the display, would changing from a 19 to 20 make a huge diffrence?
November 11, 2006 3:06:43 PM

if you only need decent then the onboard is MORE than enough, only invest in a sound card if you have like a really nice set of speakers, or are an audiophile. then it starts to make a difference.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
November 11, 2006 3:18:18 PM

Going from 19" to 20" alone would not be that great a difference.
Going from 19" to 20" widescreen, IMO, is a major upgrade. If you have a chance to eyeball the difference down at a CompUSA or BestBuy I think you'll recognize the benefits. If you're interested in watching DVDs on your monitor they'll be the best reason to go widescreen.

I'd use some of the savings you're got so far for upgraded keyboard, mouse, joystick or gamepad. headset/mic and speakers. If you're not a hardcore audiophile you can leave out the sound card upgrade. Its an easy upgrade if you later decide your tastes have changed. If you're a barracks rat you'll want a good set of headphones (wireless) too.
November 11, 2006 3:40:25 PM

I'd argue that you could spend half as much, get something with 80% of the usable power or bang for buck, and then spend another $2000 in 18-25months and get the same 80% of top of the line again. I don't like to see people wasting money, and picking the top options all of the time is definately that.

Just a thought.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
November 11, 2006 3:48:58 PM

Quote:
Just a thought.
And its a good thought. It's how I personally buy my systems.
November 11, 2006 3:54:52 PM

Try a different case. I think the Coolermaster Stacker would do nicely. Everything else looks fantastic. I ordered a custom one from that same company for a friend. Loved their support, and their shipping was decent, but I ordered it around the xmas holiday, so what did you expect :p 

Anyways, have a lot of fun with that sick setup.
November 11, 2006 4:07:58 PM

Okay here is a revised list of what I might get. Its the condenced format that they have on the right.

$3338.00
(before all applicable rebates)
CASE: CoolerMaster Praetorian 730 RC-730 Aluminum Tower 420W Case (Black Color)
PSU: Thermaltake ToughPower 750 Watt Power Supply - Quad SLI Ready(Thermaltake ToughPower 750 Watt Power Supply - Quad SLI Ready)[+0]More ...
CPU: (Sckt775)Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6700 CPU @ 2.67GHz 1066FSB 2x2MB L2 Cache
MOTHERBOARD: (Quad-Core) EVGA nForce 680i SLI Chipset LGA775 Supports Core 2 Duo/Quad CPU FSB1066 DDR2 Mainboard
MEMORY: (Req.DDR2 MainBoard)2GB (2x1GB) PC6400 DDR2/800 Dual Channel Memory (Corsair XMS2 Xtreme Memory w/ Heat Spreader)
VIDEO CARD: NEW!!! NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB 16X PCI Express Video Card
VIDEO CARD 2: NONE
LCD Monitor: ViewSonic VG2030WM 20" WSXGA+ Color TFT Active Matrix LCD Display Monitor
HARD DRIVE: Single Hard Drive (150GB Gaming Western Digital Rapter 10, 000RPM SATA150 16MB Cache WD1500ADFD)
Data Hard Drive: 320GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM Hard Drive
Optical Drive: LiteOn SHM-165H6S 16X Double Layer DVD+-RW Super Allwrite + Lightscribe Technology (Black Color)
Optical Drive 2: NONE
SOUND: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO


I took out the audio card, downgraded CPU and PSU , upgraded case and LCD monitor.

they also offer LCDTV options, are those anygood?

Thank you agin for all the advice.

Yeah I'm gonna be a barracks rat for a couple of years yet.
November 11, 2006 4:10:18 PM

Quote:
it'll last 2 years easy, depending on what kind of CPU's are out then you might want to upgrade though, 3-4 years i cant tell you, theres a good chance but you never know what might come out in that amount of time. as for the 1000W PSU the 750W will be fine, while i think that 1000W+ power supplies are in our future by the time that happens the various different requirments on that PSU will probably be outdated and you'll need to get another anyway.


Your system is close to the one I'm having built in dec/Jan.
I'm going the 8800GTX SLI route - since I'm getting a high
resolution monitor. Therefore, I'm getting a 1Kw PSU. I don't
think there's a huge price difference. But, that's relative to what
someone can afford. I'm also going quad. I'm a big Half-Life fan,
and there going multiple core. Think about it, Xbox 360 and PS3 are
multiple cores, so game developers will be learning very fast.
November 11, 2006 4:20:49 PM

Very true, but also that I think about it, I tend to play games at 1280x1024. Not mega resolutions. I love the idea of Quad Core, but do I really need it. I dont, so I'll probably stick witht eh 6700 and OC that. If I need more power, then SLI with 8800 GTX.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
November 11, 2006 4:23:56 PM

LCDTV is not a bad option but it's lower resolution than the monitor. 1366x768 vs 1680x1020. The LCDTV has a built in tv tuner so you watch TV without the computer being turned on.
However the really smart play would be to get the 20" widescreen LCD and order Windows XP Media Center Edition with the Dual TV Tuner with FM Stereo+Remote Control+MS Remote Keyboard(watch one TV channel while recording another) option. This will let your PC act as a PVR (personal video recorder - like TIVO) and record TV shows while you're away.
Knowing what the electrical service is like on military bases I'd highly recommend getting a UPS - like the OPTI-UPS VS575C 575VA/345W BACKUP POWER SUPPLY available at Cyberpower. Cheap insurance for a high end PC system.
November 11, 2006 6:45:58 PM

Im going to go that route, with the tv tuners.

What website do you reccommend to get an LCD, UPS and Headphones from. Not going to buy it from cyberpower, because Im sure I can get better deals on another website.

Thanks again for all the advice
November 11, 2006 7:34:12 PM

Quote:

A more conclusive list of my components. Sort of.

TURBO X-DREAMER CASE 350 WATT W/ WINDOW & LCD Temperature Display

Tagan 1100W TG1100-U95 TurboJet Quad Quiet SLI Ready Power Supply

(Quad-Core)Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme QX6700 Processor((Quad-Core)Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme QX6700 Processor)[+0]More ...

CoolerMaster Liquid CPU Cooling Fan System Kit + 2 EXTRA CASE FANS

(Quad-Core) EVGA nForce 680i SLI Chipset LGA775 Supports Core 2 Duo/Quad CPU FSB1066 DDR2 Mainboard((Quad-Core) EVGA nForce 680i SLI Chipset LGA775 Supports Core 2 Duo/Quad CPU FSB1066 DDR2 Mainboard)

2 GB Corsair XMS2 Xtreme Memory w/ Heat Spreader[+0]

NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB 16X PCI Express Video Card

Gaming LCD ViewSonic VX922 19" (2ms White-Black-White Typ) SXGA LCD Display Monitor

150GB Gaming Western Digital Rapter 10,000RPM SATA150 16MB Cache WD1500ADFD[+0]

320GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM Hard Drive

2x- LiteOn SHM-165H6S 16X Double Layer DVD+-RW Super Allwrite + Lightscribe Technology

New! Creative Labs X-FI XtremeGamer 24-BIT PCI Sound Card

Creative Labs Inspire P7800 7.1 Surround Subwoofer Speaker Syste

INTERNAL 12in1 Flash Media Reader/Writer

High Performance Thermal Compound on CPU

1.44 MB FLOPPY DRIVE

Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional w/ Service Pack 2 & Free Upgrade to Windows Vista™ Business



There we go a slightly better complete list.

Oh yeah nah not shipping this puppy to Iraq, going home to Ft. Campbell, since I'm heading back in a month or so.


I'd suggest the NZXT Zero Aluminum case they have on the cyberpower site.

The 1100W PSU is a bit of overkill, as people have been saying, but if you plan to OC massively and maybe add another 8800GTX at some point, you might get to use some of it. Plus, it's best not to run your PSU at full load: it'll last longer and get better efficiency if it's running between 50-80% load.

I would NOT get the monitor from cyberpower. Order it with no monitor, and take some money to go monitor shopping at a real store. You don't necessarily have to buy there, but you definitely want to look at the real thing before you buy one... then you can go online and price-shop.

Depending on how discerning your ear is, that X-Fi might be a waste of money. An Audigy 4 board might do just as well, if your hearing as about on par with mine. I can't imagine that sleeping under mortar blasts has left you with better ears than standing around a classroom has left me. :'P

By the way, what's the deal with your hard drives on that machine? The 150GB Raptor is actually 4x in RAID 0, right? That's what the default system has. Anyway, that's overkill, IMO, and has very very poor data security (A single drive fails and you lose everything) If you're really attached to 4 drives, put them in RAID 10. Half the capacity and not quite as much speed, but you're still going to burn up all those bastards with a single 7200 RPM drive(or even a single Raptor), and if one fails you just replace it and get to keep all your data.

Also, the 7.1 speaker system is probably a waste. Unless you happen to have a room with the perfect geometry for it, it's no better than a good 5.1 system... plus, some 7.1 systems just suck, and get by on the fact that they're 7.1 instead of 5.1. As with the monitor, I'd suggest you not get the speakers from cyberpower, and instead you should study up on 7.1 vs. 5.1, read some reviews, and get the best sound system you can afford, implement, and appreciate, making an informed choice.
November 11, 2006 9:33:50 PM

Opps duplicate
November 11, 2006 9:34:11 PM

One more thing. Maybe, it's just me. I always get 2 differnt optical drives. For example, I would get a plexor DVD writer, and then a different well known brand. I then feel more protected. In case one has a problem doing something. But, then again, the second drive is mostly for backup, in case the first one fails. Is it just me? do u guys always get the same drive. (only one set of drivers - that's a positive). Bad experience with laptop optical drives, had problems just reading the disk.
Some type of security stuff on the disk. Kept on timing out. The software game people were pointing the finger at the reader, the hardware people were pointing the finger at game. So now I get 2 differnt kinds.
November 12, 2006 4:26:06 AM

yeah Im going to for go the 7.1 system and speakers since I will be living in the barracks, I dont want to bother my neighbors so I'll get a decent 2 speaker system and a set of nice headphones.

As for the 2 diffrent drive sets, what would you recommend?
November 12, 2006 11:17:17 AM

I'd agree with getting different ones, even if just so that you can tell which one is which and don't erase the wrong thing.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
November 12, 2006 6:52:14 PM

I'd suggest going to look at the LCDs, headphones & speakers at a local BestBuy or CompUSA. The prices can as good, or better than online stores when you factor in shipping and/or taxes. Figure that out by shopping online at places like NewEgg and compare total cost to what you find in stores.
For example: Best Buy Samsung SyncMaster 22" Widescreen 225BW $399 ~$422 in store pickup
or NewEgg Samsung SyncMaster 22" Widescreen 225BW $379 ~$418 shipped
Get your headphones/speakers and UPS there as well if you can find a competitive price.
November 12, 2006 7:02:56 PM

What about LCD displays, should I got widescreen or full screen. I dont mind watching movies iwth the horizantal black lines.

FOr gameing what type should I look for.
November 12, 2006 7:07:39 PM

widescreen vs. 3:4 is almost entirely a matter of personal preference. Graphics cards tend to perform a bit better in 3:4 modes, but the performance hit isn't huge, and honestly you're going to have a lot of power, so you can take the hit if you prefer widescreen formats. So, whatever you prefer. I got a Samsung 204B 20.1 inch, and I can definitely recommend it. However, you seem to be splurging and may want to investigate 24 inch models.
November 12, 2006 9:00:01 PM

It's actually a bit more complex then that.... With a widescreen (16:9) display, newer HD content (720p, 1080p, Widescreen DVDs) the picture won't be stretched as harshly as it is on a standard (4:3) display.

Depending on what you're getting, things can vary a bit... You can get a 1280x1024 (5:4), 1600x1200 (4:3) monitor, or 1680x1050 (16:10) or 1920x1080 (16:9) widescreen. In order of performance, it's 1280x1024 > 1680x1050 > 1600x1200 > 1920x1080. They should all perform similarly, but off course increasing resolution means lower performance.

I'd recommend a 1600x1200 display for games since not many games have good support for widescreen. If you want to watch DVDs, the 1920x1080 would probably be the best quality, and would make for good gaming in the games (like oblivion) that support that resolution.

I'd steer away from the 1280x1024 though, it's such a lower resolution for such a beast of a rig you're getting.
!