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Please review and comment on my New System Specs

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November 14, 2006 9:59:53 PM

Hi Guys

This it the usual review and comment about my system thread. I have tried to layout my needs and concerns as clearly as possible. Please constructive comments.

I do a small amount of video editing, but my main CPU intensive work is with Photoshop, illustrator and Indesign. I will also be sorting 1000's of photos on this machine. I am a keen Gamer but tend to stick with strategy and FPS such as Call of Duty and Battlefield series. I would like to start taking in game footage which may/may not affect choices.

The HDDs will not run in Raid (at least till I can afford more) But they will be getting a heavy work out.

I have had a Notebook for the last 5 years, and would like to start playing with something better then 5-30FS. The system should be able to last me three years without need for upgrading. But i would defiantly like the option to upgrade to the latest Intel CPU and or Nvidia/ATI video card over the next 12-18 months.

My Original budget was £800 but after waiting a few months I think anything between £1000 - £1500 is Now affordable. Although i would prefer to be at the £1000 mark. With this aim in mind please review the specs below and let me know if there are any issues/compatibility I have over looked or places I have over invested and Can I save money without compromising quality or performance? Especially interested in feedback from people with similar system specs. :D 

This is my starting point for specs:

Intel Core 2 DUO E6600 "LGA775 Conroe" 2.40GHz
Asus P5W DH Deluxe WiFi (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard
Corsair 2GB DDR2 XMS2-6400C4 TwinX (2x1GB)
Connect3D ATI Radeon X1900 XT-X 512MB GDDR3 AVIVO TV-Out/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB ST3320620AS SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB ST3320620AS SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM

Antec Nine Hundred Ultimate Gaming case
OCZ GameXStream 600w Silent SLI Ready ATX2 Power Supply

NEC AD7170A 18x18 DVD±RW Dual Layer ReWriter (Black) - OEM
Viewsonic VX922 19" LCD Monitor - Black/Silver
Logitech Media Keyboard Elite - Retail
Logitech G5 Gaming-Grade Laser Mouse

Windows XP Pro.

Total Cost:
1,438.88 GBP
2,137.16 EUR
2,737.27 USD
3,582.63 AUD

Motherboard:
On the motherboard I would like room for 4 HDD, eSata, As many USB ports as possible (I seem to collect things to plug into them). other then that performance and some future proofing. Is there another option or cheaper option that matches the above connections on the Asus P5W DH Deluxe WiFi?

Ram:
Was thinking of swapping Ram for another brand to save some dosh, but have seen a few problems mentioned with other brands. also not sure about the real performance difference from 667Mhz to 800Mhz, anyone got a good link?

PSU:
I was going to get one of the Hiper PSU's either the 580W or 670W But considering the Case I have decided to go with a OCZ to get the cable length. I have used the PSU calculator need about 450W and think I hit 550W taking into account

USB ports used etc. but am open to suggestions on this. again trying to keep the price down but willing to spend more if it means better performance/stability. are the OCZ any good?

Monitor:
I spend weeks in front of the computer before taking a break (my eyes) so quality counts. Also want good balance between games and Photoshop work. The Viewsonic seems good + the 2mS :)  . My space is a little tight so haven't worried too much about size but again am open to suggestions, if anyone thinks there is a similar priced 20"+ that is
just as good?


Quick Recap:

- Used for Graphics, Gaming and small amount of Video editing.
- Photo storage, editing and manipulation.
- Should be powerful enough to cope/last for three years.
- option to upgrade both CPU and Video card to next gen.

- No wasted power/money with parts choice.
- Any better choices in brand/price
- Any choices have major problems of compatibility issues.

- Is the motherboard the best option
- Is there cheaper Ram that will not give performance drop
- Is The PSU good enough, have quality.
- Is the monitor suitable.


PLEASE NOTE: I will not be overclocking, as I would like to get a lot of time out of this system. As this computer will most likely not be thrown or sold but reused by other family members I would like to last past its three performance into five++ years.

Apologies about the length. And thanks in advance.

Cheers

:{SnD}: Greed

More about : review comment system specs

November 15, 2006 5:19:23 AM

Whew, lemme catch me breath ............................................
ok, the 1st thing i would change is the graphics card to a NVIDIA unit and I'll tell ya why.
EVGA has what they call a step-up program where you buy a card from them and within 90 days if you decide to uograde to a better card you simply send them the card with a check for balance and they send you your new card.
I just used the program and it worked like a champ, i had bought a EVGA 7900GTO from Newegg for $253, a month later i e-mailed EVGA once i had the money for the better card, they gave me $253 credit and i paid them $402 for the balance on my EVGA 8800GTX with a life-time warranty...rock-on.

Next thing i would change is the PSU, FSP and Seasonic are top-shelf mfg's that build quality products, high-efficiency, stable voltages...i could go on, but to make a long story short they are the only 2 i recommend, i had a OCZ 600W and it died on day 1.

I also love Viewsonic monitors, i have the $215 19" wide-screen and it's wonderful.

Check out the Saitek Eclipse keyboard, i got one and it is way cool especially at night when the lights are low, i also have plenty of blue lights in my Thermaltake Armor.

I got a $7.oo optical mouse that works as well as those high-dollar units, it also has a blue light in it...

You can check out the EVGA 680i motherboard, but if your not overclocking your fine with the 590 chipset and the ASUS P5W-DH deluxe is top-shelf.
November 15, 2006 8:23:08 AM

Hi mad-dog

Cheers for the quick feedback.

Not sure if the graphics card advice is going to help, since I am not planning to adventure into the new GPU graphics cards for at least another 6 months, due to price and lack of software to take advantage. I also want to see how the ATI cards turn out (not that I have any ATI/Nvidia prefference). Sounds like an excellent deal though, just doesn't fit my time line.

Damn going to have to do more reading on the PSU's - haven't seen many that list cable length that is an issue in the 900 case.

Not too worried about the Blue flashy things, might make my wife want my computer more then hers ;) ,

I have also tried this mouse before and it fits my big hands really well so very keen to get it not willing to compromise :D 

Would really like the EVGA 680i but it will defiantely push me beyond the £1500 mark and I need to avoid that :( 

Cheers for the advice, I will take a closer look at the PSU.
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November 15, 2006 8:44:44 AM

normaly i swear by ati cards, but with that kind of cash to can easily get an 8800gts or an 8800gtx. though two are the best of the best right now.

and just like mad-dog said, if your oc-ing get an 680i based mobo, especially if your going to get one of the 8800's. even if your not going to oc i think that the 680i based boards are great.

P5W is a great board too, and i like asus products, but you have the money to get top of the line on almost everything.

your system will be more good for over 5 years with no upgades (well maybe more ram.) if a non-gamer gets it after you, and if he wants to play, all he'll need is a better graphics card. (thats assuming pci is still in use 5 years from now.)

i wish i had nearly $3000 to drop on a computer. :D 
November 15, 2006 9:15:58 AM

You could try the Xclio 700w PSU for £65 and dropping the case down to a Coolermaster Centurion 5.

But apart from that i'd definitely try getting an 8800GTS or GTX, cheapest i've seen them is a GTS for £320 and a GTX for £400.

Also watch out for which RAM you buy, there is sometimes a £40 difference between e-tailers. And about the difference between 667MHz and 800MHz, I read an arcticle (on Toms I think) saying that the difference wasnt really that big and you could even stick with 533MHz. It's only AM2 platform where you need decent speeds on the RAM to attain reasonable/good preformance.
November 15, 2006 11:32:03 AM

Thanks For the RAM tip sprite, But I have noticed that even if I shave £20 pounds off at one retailer the extra shipping charge can negate the benefit. Will take a good look at the price difference when i place the order, but thanks for the reminder :D 

I have never heard of Xclio or seen it on the sites I have been checking :( 

Humm I see what you guys are saying, it is so easy to go "oh just ££ more and I can have that". At the end of the day I am unsure if the benefit out ways the cost at the moment. Seriously considering dropping back the motherboard and Graphics to reduce the cost closer to the £1000 mark, not sure by how much though :roll: or what to.

If i was to take your suggestions of getting the 680i and 8800 GTS my costs would jump from £1,438.88 to £1613.00 an extra £175.00

OH such tough chioices :cry: 
November 15, 2006 12:54:12 PM

in your first post you included monitors, mouse, keyboard, that kind of thing in the main price and it came out to 2,137.16, so is this new £1000 budget still including those?
November 15, 2006 3:00:36 PM

Sorry, think I am confusing matters :oops: 

My budget is up to £1500.00 but I would like to be closer to £1000.00

My initial system spec was £1,438.88 including everything.

I am not worried about staying at £1500.00 pounds but was not keen to go above it. :roll: - kind of why I had't gone for 8800's and 680i :(  otherwise I need to save for another 2 - 3 months and I have already waited 4 months to buy.

But I am worried I am spending too much on expensive brands when i could get same performance quality out of others, especially with the RAM.

Anyway keep the thoughts coming I am weighing everything up :D 

Cheers!
!