Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

I need to build a new box - Advice me

Last response: in Systems
Share
November 20, 2006 6:59:56 PM

Hello everyone,

In a month or two, or perhaps in the beginnings of 2007, I'll get a new box built and probably sell my old one.

Now, I'd appreciate if any of you more experienced and perhaps even professional users could assist me with advice on making all the right choices.

Possibilities are seemingly endless when building a new box, but I'll start out with a draft sketch on a system and we'll take it from there.

I will have a budget for the box available at around 4.000 - 4.500 US dollar, maybe a little more if need be, and by all means, anything that can be done cheaper is great as well, heh.

First off, though...



Purpose of Usage:

1. Graphic Design (Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver)
2. Gaming (must handle the most demanding games to perfection)
3. Multimedia (excellent capability for Movie and Music playback)



System Proposal:

Cabinet: Silverstone TJ09 Black - Window
Power Supply Unit: Silverstone Strider ST60F 750W
Motherboard: Asus ATX / nForce 590 SLI - SATA II - Gigabit [M2N32/WS/PRO]
Optical Drive 1: Samsung DVD±writer Dual Layer 16X - Bulk
Optical Drive 2: Samsung CDRW Writer 52/32/52 Bulk - Black
CPU: AMD Dual-Core Opteron 285
Memory: Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400C4D Dominator
Hard Drives: I honestly don't know!
Video Card: 2 x nVidia GeForce 7900 GTX PCI-E 512 MB - Silent
Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum



Comments:

Cabinet: I prefer a Silverstone cabinet because I know they deliver high quality, which is what I prefer. I just found their newest product, the TJ09B-W on their website, and it looked so great.

Power Supply Unit: Again, I know Silverstone to deliver quality power supplies and have chosen of theirs in hopes of getting a good product. Though, is 600 Watt too much or too little, and what about the silence? Is 24 db too loud for a surposedly Silent PSU?

Motherboard: I'm very unsure of this one, too. It's clear that I haven't had the time to follow the development of computer hardware for the last few years, heh.

1. Which board should I choose for a fast AMD 64 Bit Dual-Core CPU?
2. Which board should I choose for a fast Intel 64 Bit Dual-Core CPU?

Optical Drives: To be honest, I don't know much about optical drives. I just want a drive that can read and write CD's and DVD's, is all. Any suggestions? Heh.

CPU: I'm highly unsure of what new processor I should purchase. I really need some advice on this matter. Which processors are leading right now? AMD Opteron or Intel's newest creations? Regardless, it needs to be a Dual-Core 64 Bit processor, because I intend to buy Microsoft's Windows XP 64 Bit.

Memory: Is Corsair still one of the leading manufactors of memory modules? If so, I think that's why I've chosen one of their products. I'm currently using Crucial PC3200 RAM in my present box, and I've been happy with them. Did I make a good choice on this matter with the Corsair selection?

Hard Drives: I honestly don't know! Yep, it's true. I've no idea. All I know is that I'd prefer two harddrives working together (that's the SATA harddrives, right?), and they have to be fast and reliable and at around 200GB per drive. Any ideas?

Video Card: I was thinking of just using a single of the latest nVidia cards - the nVidia GeForce 8800. Should I get a single of those, or will 2 nVidia GeForce 7900 GTX be better?

Sound Card: I don't really know about this component either. All I need is for the box to toss out sound in stereo and in great quality. I don't have a home theater or surround sound or anything like that, so I might've been choosing this card even though it would be way more than what I really need. I don't work with music or sound editing either, all I need is for the card to produce some sound. So far, on my old box, I've been pleased with my onboard soundcard. *Shrugs*



I currently have an 21' Samsung SyncMaster 1100DF monitor, and I'll keep that one for the time being because it's still one of the better monitors available at the market.

Keyboard and mouse I can handle myself.

I don't know what I/O cards are. Do I need one? What are they used for?

Any components that I have missed to cover?

Anyway, I'm somehow getting the feeling that the above system will be steep in price, and I'm just not s[/b]ure what components to select on the most part, so if any of you talented guys and girls out there got any ideas or other systems they'd advice me with, feel free to let me know! :) 

Looking forward to hear from you lot! :) 


Cheers,
Bassa

More about : build box advice

November 21, 2006 11:10:28 AM

*bump*

Anyone? :?
November 21, 2006 12:03:16 PM

First off, I'm no expert.
I think you are looking for the Opteron 185 (285 is for dual cpu motherboards). That is a decent choice, but you would have better upgrade options with either Intel C2D, or AMD Opteron 1218. Either way you are looking at DDR2 ram. You should be thinking about Vista this late in the game.
Go for that and a DX10 graphics card. I built my rig in April, and it's fine;but If I could have waited it would be different.
Related resources
November 21, 2006 12:27:34 PM

Go for a Core 2 Duo setup E6600

For the motherboard get a Evga/Asus 680i if you can afford it or an Asus 590SLi.

I would ditch the two 7900GTXs and get a single 8800GTX.

That RAM seems like a bit of a waste of money as you wont really see the difference between that and 800MHz Value RAM. Go for 2GB 800MHz RAM with low timings, such as Corsair or G. Skill.
November 21, 2006 12:28:14 PM

Oh my... so much reading, so much questions... it's actually a good thing, but I'm at work =P

Quick run-down... damn, just noticed 4-4.5k US... I would say that's WAY too much, 2-2.5k will get you top of the line, or near enough performance-wise anyways...

Good choice on case, kind of expensive, but if you have the money, go for it.

Nice PSU, any reason you choose that one? You want a modular PSU? TT Toughpower has a 850W Modular PSU that's real nice. 24dB is pretty darn silent. Listen to your room right now, that's probably 30dB or so. But are you going for a silent computer? Quick run-down of all the good psu brands if you want to look around (OCZ GameXStream series, Corsair, PC P&C, Zippy, TT Toughpower series, Antec Trio series, Silverstone, Enermax Galaxy series, Seasonic, FSP)

Mobo, best mobo out there for enthusisast would be the 680i chipset, eVGA and Asus has the only ones out right now. I would recommend the eVGA over the Asus since it's cheaper and performs just as well. However, if you want 4 graphics slots, get the Asus P5W64WS Proffesional, review below... but only if you want 4 graphics slots...

http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=1010

Oh yeah, uh, get a C2D e6600 for your CPU. Best price per perforamance for the 4mb line, and great OC'er. Will slaughter anything AMD has. If you really want, you can get the Xeon 3060, xeon version of the e6600. Only 20 bucks more.

e6600:

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

xeon: 3060

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

Optical drive, eh, they're all cheapies anyways. Nickels and Dimes. Get the Samsung 18X DVD writer, or the NEC one. All about the same anyways. SH-182D I think for the Samsung, NEC-4550A or something for the NEC one... But thats only if you want a DVD-writer

Corsair is one of the leading manufactueres, and that one you choose actually has a decent deal going on. But Crucial, OCZ, G. Skill, Team, Mushkin, all make good memory. Can't really go wrong with any of them.

HDD wise, get the 320 gig Seagate Barracuda rev 10 version, it utilizes the new PMR drive tech which should makes it faster than before.

A single 8800GTX will be better, not to mention you leave room for expansion. Plus, it works great with the 680i board.

On-board sound should be fine. Everything looks good, and damn, this post took a long time.
November 21, 2006 12:36:22 PM

After some searching and plenty of research I got a few new upgrades/corrections to the above system.

Cabinet: Silverstone TJ09 Black / Window
Power Supply Unit: Silverstone Strider ST60F 750W
Motherboard: Asus ATX / nForce 590 SLI / SATA II / Gigabit [M2N32 / WS / PRO]
CPU: Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 2.93 GHz / 1066 MHz
Memory: Corsair XMS2 Dominator Xtreme Performance TwinX Matched / 2 x 1 GB / DUAL RAM / DDR II SDRAM / PC2-8888CL4 / 1111
Hard Drives: 2 x SATA Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250 GB / 7200 RPM / 16 MB / Serial ATA-300
Video Card: 2 x NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX / 400 MHz / PCI Express x16 / SLI
Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum

What about this then? Any modifications that would improve the system, or should I choose other components that might perform almost just as good for a way better price?

I spoke to an expert downtown today, and he adviced me to buy 2 harddrives at 7200 rpm and set them up in SATA and RAID, instead of buying 2 10000 rpm harddrives... since they're much more expensive.

Is that a good idea or?


Cheers,
Bassa
November 21, 2006 12:42:42 PM

I envy you and your money.

2 x 8800GTXs ?!!!!?!?!

Meh looks fine, I would go with the 680i Chipset though. And maybe a PC Power and Cooling PSU.

Also have you looked at the Raptor HDDs ? Spin faster than normald HDDs so you could buy a 74/150GB one and use it for OS, also if youre planning to use those two HDDs in RAID then just inform you that RAID 0 reduces the lifetime of both HDDs, try looking at the Seagate 750GB HDD :) 

If you wanted to save money just cut the RAM down to 800MHz stuff and the CPU to an E6600 and overclock it.

You could watercool that system aswell if you wanted low noise factor ;) 
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
November 21, 2006 12:49:46 PM

Do you plan to overclock your system?

Case: Temjin TJ09 looks to be an Excellent case. And big enough for the extra long 8800GTX video cards. A solid case (non-window) might be a bit quieter but that is up to you (and your ears).
PSU: An excellent choice. Sized correctly if you should choose SLI 8800GTX video cards.
DVD-RW: SAMSUNG Black 18X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW LightScribe is also a CD burner as well. For your 2nd optical drive I'd suggest 2nd DVD-RW from another manufacturer such as LiteOn or Sony. That way if the Samsung has any issues you don't have two of the same problem.
RAM: Corsair is still a top echelon choice. Dominator RAM or XM2 TWIN2X2048-6400C3 (more expensive but CAS3) would be overkill if you're not intending to overclock your CPU.
HD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 SATA 3.0Gb/s or Western Digital Caviar SE16 SATA 3.0Gb/s are equally good choices with 7200.10 being more popular at the moment.
Sound card: As you noted the onboard sound is a 90% solution. If you feel you need the 100% solution then the sound card you mention is a good choice. If you're thinking about a home theater you could add a sound card later if you're not happy with the audio quality.
Video card: "2. Gaming (must handle the most demanding games to perfection) " That can get expensive! But for now the top choice would be GeForce 8800 GTX and 8800 GTS. That review article had a section that looked at 2560x1600 gaming resolution and found it acceptable with a single 8800GTX. Thats close to your SyncMaster 1100DF max resolution of 2048 x 1536. I think its a good idea for you to start out with 1 8800GTX and then evaluate if you'd need a 2nd card in SLI.

CPU and Motherboard choices:
ASUS P5N32-E SLI nForce 680i SLI and C2D E6700 2.66Ghz
ASUS CROSSHAIR AM2 NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI and AMD Opteron 1218 Santa Ana 2.6GHz AM2 or AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ Windsor 2.6GHz AM2
November 21, 2006 12:56:03 PM

Quote:
I envy you and your money.


Don't.

I easily work over 100 hours each week.

This is what I can do when I work that much.


Cheers,
Bassa
November 21, 2006 12:57:55 PM

Quote:
I easily work over 100 hours each week.


i hope thats a 7 day week. 8O
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
November 21, 2006 12:59:24 PM

Quote:
I don't know what I/O cards are. Do I need one? What are they used for?
I/O are input/output cards. A sound card is one example. And a video card is another example. Usually you only need extra I/O cards if you're motherboard doesnt have enough of something you need - for example USB or Firewire connectors. You can add them, or add extra connetors through an add-in I/O card. There are also more exotic I/O cards such as video capture cards, music making hardware, etc.
November 21, 2006 1:00:57 PM

Quote:
i hope thats a 7 day week. 8O


Yes, it is. :) 

It's about 14-16 hours each day, 7 days a week.


Cheers,
Bassa
November 21, 2006 1:02:19 PM

Quote:
I/O are input/output cards. A sound card is one example. And a video card is another example. Usually you only need extra I/O cards if you're motherboard doesnt have enough of something you need - for example USB or Firewire connectors. You can add them, or add extra connetors through an add-in I/O card. There are also more exotic I/O cards such as video capture cards, music making hardware, etc.


Ah, alright.

Thank you.


Cheers,
Bassa
November 21, 2006 1:07:13 PM

Quote:
CPU and Motherboard choices:
ASUS P5N32-E SLI nForce 680i SLI and C2D E6700 2.66Ghz
ASUS CROSSHAIR AM2 NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI and AMD Opteron 1218 Santa Ana 2.6GHz AM2 or AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ Windsor 2.6GHz AM2


Why do you reccomend AMD CPUs ?

Ah sorry, I can't read :/ 

Anywho yeah C2D just pounds the AMD so i'd go with the E6600 - lowest clocked 4MB Cache, and a 680i Mobo if you can afford it.
November 21, 2006 1:32:08 PM

Quote:
Oh my... so much reading, so much questions... it's actually a good thing, but I'm at work =P


Hehe, well I was trying to be very specific on all departments. You see, I haven't been following the hardware development on computers for the last few years, so I've got quite a "setback", unfortunately.

This is why I chose to make a post here on the Tom's Hardware forums, because I've had VERY good experiences with the expert advices in here. :) 

Quote:
Quick run-down... damn, just noticed 4-4.5k US... I would say that's WAY too much, 2-2.5k will get you top of the line, or near enough performance-wise anyways...


I have a nice purse of gold that I simply seek to purchase a new box with. Been working my ass off for a long time now, because I have my own webdesign company, so I decided it was time to build a new rig for both gaming and work.

Right now, my old computer is doing a terrific job on the working department, but I'm sure you're aware of how quick the game developers are to incorporate new features and more powerful (and thus demanding) technologies into their games... and it should be that way as well, of course. So, it's more because of the gaming I need a new computer.

This is my old system, btw:

Motherboard: MSI 865PE NEO2-FIS2R
CPU: Intel P4 Prescott 3000 1MB L2 Cache
RAM: 4x512 Crucial PC3200 DDR
HD1: SamsungSP 160GB 7200RPM
HD2: BarracudaST 120GB 7200RPM
Video Card: PowerColor ATI X850 XT 256MB
Monitor: Samsung 1100DF 21" CRT

This system runs quite well, especially along with the Zalman cooler and the Chill Innovation PSU I bought not too long ago, as an upgrade.

I'm only keeping the Samsung monitor for my new box, because I just LOVE that monitor.

Quote:
Good choice on case, kind of expensive, but if you have the money, go for it.


Cool then. I've always wanted a Silverstone cabinet, preferably a Miditower, and a Silverstone PSU, so I checked their website and just selected the first cabinet I saw on their front page. I know... odd choice to pick the first thing you see, but I didn't want to sit and scan hundreds of webpages to find a few things only, so I just made a choice and hoped it would be good.

Quote:
Nice PSU, any reason you choose that one? You want a modular PSU? TT Toughpower has a 850W Modular PSU that's real nice. 24dB is pretty darn silent. Listen to your room right now, that's probably 30dB or so. But are you going for a silent computer? Quick run-down of all the good psu brands if you want to look around (OCZ GameXStream series, Corsair, PC P&C, Zippy, TT Toughpower series, Antec Trio series, Silverstone, Enermax Galaxy series, Seasonic, FSP)


No reason at all, Doughboy. Again, I just went and took one that I thought would be able to give the system the power it would need, hence the 750 WATT PSU... but then again, a 750 WATT PSU might be way more than I need. I am very unsure, so if anyone would strongly advice me with a better, and maybe even a cheaper PSU, I'm all ears.

Btw, what's a "modular PSU"? :) 

Quote:
Mobo, best mobo out there for enthusisast would be the 680i chipset, eVGA and Asus has the only ones out right now. I would recommend the eVGA over the Asus since it's cheaper and performs just as well. However, if you want 4 graphics slots, get the Asus P5W64WS Proffesional, review below... but only if you want 4 graphics slots...


Why would I need 4 graphics slots? Do I need 4 slots for two GeForce 8800 GTX cards?

Quote:
Oh yeah, uh, get a C2D e6600 for your CPU. Best price per perforamance for the 4mb line, and great OC'er. Will slaughter anything AMD has. If you really want, you can get the Xeon 3060, xeon version of the e6600. Only 20 bucks more.


The expert dude at the shop downtown told me exactly that. He said "get a E6600 instead of aE6800. The E6800 is way more expensive, and the E6600 performs almost just as well.

But no, I don't intend on Overclocking anything on the system, at all.

What's the difference between those two, though? I mean, the difference between the E6600 and the Xeon 3060? Is it just a matter of personal preference, or?

Quote:
Optical drive, eh, they're all cheapies anyways. Nickels and Dimes. Get the Samsung 18X DVD writer, or the NEC one. All about the same anyways. SH-182D I think for the Samsung, NEC-4550A or something for the NEC one... But thats only if you want a DVD-writer


Yes, that's what the dude downtown said, too. He told me that I'd just need a single, good quality drive with the purpose of reading and writing CD's and DVD's.

Quote:
Corsair is one of the leading manufactueres, and that one you choose actually has a decent deal going on. But Crucial, OCZ, G. Skill, Team, Mushkin, all make good memory. Can't really go wrong with any of them.


I know Corsair has a good reputation for quality memory modules, so that's why I decided to check out their website. And then I found the above ones on my System list, hoping they'd be a great choice.

Quote:
HDD wise, get the 320 gig Seagate Barracuda rev 10 version, it utilizes the new PMR drive tech which should makes it faster than before.


I've no idea what that drive is, heh. Could you tell me the model name of the drive? :) 

Quote:
A single 8800GTX will be better, not to mention you leave room for expansion. Plus, it works great with the 680i board.


Yes, though I will set the system up with two cards in SLI. That way, I can always leave one out when the shop gives me a total price for the entire rig... just in case it gets a bit too expensive for my likings.

Quote:
On-board sound should be fine. Everything looks good, and damn, this post took a long time.


LoL! Thanks, man. I appreciate your hardworking efforts. ;) 

I think I'll go with the X-Fi Platinum card by Creative, though. Never had a great soundcard for any of my previous computers, but this new rig will definately be equipped with one.


Cheers,
Bassa
November 21, 2006 1:42:03 PM

Alright, so the Guru's in here have helped me get a bit further ahead.

Here's the new Box, modified and optimized:

Cabinet: Silverstone TJ09 Black / Window

Power Supply Unit: Silverstone Strider ST60F 750W

Motherboard: ASUS Striker Extreme Republic of Gamers Series / LGA775 Socket / NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI / 1333 MHz / ATX

CPU: Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 2.93 GHz / 1066 MHz

Memory: Corsair XMS2 Dominator Xtreme Performance TwinX Matched / 4 x 1 GB (4 GB total) / DUAL RAM / DDR II SDRAM / PC2-8888CL4 / 1111

Optical Drives: Samsung SH-S182D / DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD-RAM 2 MB / 110 ms (CD) / 130 ms (DVD) / 48x (CD) / 16x (DVD) (R) / 48x (CD) / 18x (DVD±R) / 8x (DVD±R DL) (W) / 32x (CD) / 6x (DVD-RW) / 8x (DVD+RW) / 12x (DVD-RAM) (RW)

Hard Drives: 2 x SATA Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250 GB / 7200 RPM / 16 MB / Serial ATA-300

Video Card: 2 x NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX / 400 MHz / PCI Express x16 / SLI

Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum

So, are we getting closer to the edit? Any ideas for improvement?


Cheers,
Bassa
November 21, 2006 1:51:33 PM

I noticed this article here Hardcore Enthusiast posted by WR2.

Is the system we've put together ready to run Windows Vista smoothly as well as the upcoming DirectX 10?

I think it should be more than capable of handling those two coming things, but I'm not totally sure, so I'd rather ask you guys just to make sure.


Cheers,
Bassa
November 21, 2006 1:58:45 PM

As long as you're spending that much on the system, get 2 more of those HD's to use RAID 10 (HD's are cheap now anyway). That way you are spared HD failures that could cost your data. Even if you are very diligent on backing up, you say you work long hours so if one HD fails, you want to be able to pop another in, not reinstall & recover from backup since this is too time consuming. RAID 10 all the way.
Jo
November 21, 2006 2:04:23 PM

I don't understand people that will spend on systems like these, but if you are, I'm happy to tell you that you have a good system there. Happy to see that you chose quad core, and 4 gigs of ram. Unfortunately, only one of those video cards will be able to run all games for about the next 2 years at highest quality setting, so getting 2 is a waste. Save the $500, and upgrade in 2 years with the latest.

I hope you know your system will sound like a jet engine. Choose quieter fans, or put in liquid cooling.

Bruce
November 21, 2006 2:12:10 PM

Quote:
As long as you're spending that much on the system, get 2 more of those HD's to use RAID 10 (HD's are cheap now anyway). That way you are spared HD failures that could cost your data. Even if you are very diligent on backing up, you say you work long hours so if one HD fails, you want to be able to pop another in, not reinstall & recover from backup since this is too time consuming. RAID 10 all the way.
Jo


I've never had a HD fail on me. Has this become a bigger problem over the course of the last few years, since you mention this or?


Cheers,
Bassa
November 21, 2006 2:19:46 PM

Quote:
I don't understand people that will spend on systems like these, but if you are, I'm happy to tell you that you have a good system there.


Is it because you think that spending so much money on a new computer system is kind of a waste, or is it because this system's survivability wont make up for the money spent on it?

Quote:
Unfortunately, only one of those video cards will be able to run all games for about the next 2 years at highest quality setting, so getting 2 is a waste. Save the $500, and upgrade in 2 years with the latest.


I will probably choose only one card, yes.

Now, what I don't know is this; If I take only one card, will I then be able to upgrade the computer with a brand new released card in a few years of perhaps a different brand, and they will still work well together, as in SLI and all?

Quote:
I hope you know your system will sound like a jet engine. Choose quieter fans, or put in liquid cooling.


Which fans are you referring to? The cabinet fans, special video card cooling, CPU fan or what?

I will probably go with liquid cooling, yes.

But I will let the guy that will build the system for me know that I'd prefer a lownoise system, then he can give me advice on what to choose.

Thanks for the input!


Cheers,
Bassa
November 21, 2006 2:25:19 PM

Quote:
I've never had a HD fail on me. Has this become a bigger problem over the course of the last few years, since you mention this or?


I never have either (two people I know have - 1 in a laptop, 1 in a desktop) and there is no reason HD's should be less reliable now. The reason I mension it is that raid is an easy fix to get peace of mind. 2 More 250GB HD's cost less than pretty much any single component in a good rig (much less than the components you've selected). The odds of a hard drive going south after the 1st week are very low, but I'd be pretty screwed losing my work, digital pictures ... I want the speed of raid 0 but this introduces higher chance of failure (2 drives, each of which having a failure meaning ALL your data is gone), so with raid 10 I get the speed I want but I can rest easy, trusting I won't have a drive in each set fail at the SAME time.

Jo
November 21, 2006 2:34:48 PM

Quote:
I will probably go with liquid cooling, yes.

But I will let the guy that will build the system for me know that I'd prefer a lownoise system, then he can give me advice on what to choose.


By the way about the noise - if you are serious about low noise go with watercooling (with a passive tower on your windowsill). Fans drive me nuts so I hardly turn on heat & AC in my car. I sit on my computer all day now & I had a standard case with 2 80mm fans in the back, 1 in front & a generic power supply. I asked computer shops what I could do, so slowly I got the components - a new power supply, then a zalman cooler for my cpu without making much difference. I then got a better case (Antec P160) to have 120 mm fans & more room. I got 2 120mm's with the vibration dampening kits, my HD's are vibration dampened & my internal cables are skinny (no wide IDE cables).

Still almost as loud. Having to redo the purchases, I'd go liquid. Remeber though that most liquid coolers aren't passive - the liquid tank is cooled by fans! So the quiet solution is a *noiseless* case using passive heat sinks and a passive cooling reservoir. [All very expensive though]

Jo
November 21, 2006 2:45:25 PM

8800 water cooled

didnt know if that would interest you since water cooling would be the best bet for quiet.

Im not sure if anyone has made seperate Gpu blocks for the 8800 yet

I also like danger den for water cooling but thats just me.

Why dont you just get raptor hd's? you obviously are getting some of the best, dont slack there.

on psu with water cooling and such i dont know if you will need to up the PSU, im just throwing it out there just incase someone has the time to do the math.
November 21, 2006 2:55:17 PM

HDD failures... I just had my laptop hdd die on me 2 days ago after 2 1/2 years of faithful service, still got all my info off of it. I've also had a Maxtor die on me a little over 3 years ago. But other than that, my other HDD's are nice and running.

Hmmmm, your memory is way overkill. Here's a quick breakdown why. First off, your memory relies on your FSB to run. The Conroe runs at a 266 MHZ FSB quad-pumped to 1066... therefore if your memory runs at DDR2 speeds then a 533MHZ memory would run at a 1:1 divider. Having higher rated memory guarantees better resutls when OC'ing, say raising the FSB to 500 MHZ, then having DDR2 1000 would be useful. So your PC2-8888 (which is 1111 MHZ, corresponds to a FSB of 556 or so) is way overkill. I would say get a good low timing DDR2-800, maybe the Corsair DDR2-800C3 or C4. Either one of them would be fine. Buying such high end memory is just bragging rights, not actually performance.

Raid raid... your choice. Raid is useful for moving large files and data throughput, but it also increases your seek times slightly since it has to search between two drives. Not that useful for games, but useful if your opening or using large files. Go for it, no reason not too.

2 8800GTX... you could also toss in a PhysX card if you want too. The 8800GTX is a dual-slo GPU, means they take 2 slots on your case (they only plug into one PCI-E x16 slot, but they'll cover the other one so it's unusable). Just a warning if you plan on adding more cards into your system. They will take up one PCI slot, so you can only add in one more PCI card to your comp.

If you get the Striker 680i, you won't be able to use the X-FI Plat because it comes with it's own audio riser card that takes up the slot that would be used by the PCI. Therefore, in this case, either choose on-board and stick with the striker, or get the X-FI Plat with the eVGA reference board. Your call on this.

PSU... 750W might not be enough for 2 SLI 8800GTX... well, it will be enough, but won't leave you with much headroom if you're going to add a lot more things to this case. If you have the money, an 850W PSU isin't going to cost much more. A Modular PSU means you can disconnect cables and choose exactly which ones you want to use, it does wonders for cable management. Here is a quick review of a modular PSU:

http://techgage.com/article/thermaltake_toughpower_modu...

Hmmm.. If you're going to spend all that money... I would get a C2Q, or a quad core instead of the extreme. It will help you immensely in video and music editing. Gaming wise you won't see a diff, but anything that multithreaded will see a huge difference.

A Xeon is basically a desktop proc with added SMP (Symetric Multi-Processing) instructions, supposed to help workstations.

Your're system will devour Vista and shiat it without even wincing. DX10 games might give it a slight indigestion, but nothing too bad yet.
November 21, 2006 3:02:57 PM

Quote:
Your're system will devour Vista and shiat it without even wincing. DX10 games might give it a slight indigestion, but nothing too bad yet.


Disagree wholeheartedly with Doughboy. DX10 games will not give any indigestion.

Noise: Comes from all fans, I'm not referring to any in specific, but of course front fan can be heard directly since it's right there.

HDD Failures: Don't know if more common nowadays, but I think the Raptors are worse than other drives.

Price: Excellent hardware just doesn't cost that much anymore. Software doesn't use all the power available to very high end hardware. However, for photo work you will be happy to have the quad core. (I'm not sure though if Adobe CS2 is multithreaded, but probably is)
November 21, 2006 3:12:34 PM

Meh, Flight Simulator 10 can't even have everything on ultra high with one 8800GTX... shrug

Cooling wise, I forgot to mention it, you can get a top-end water-cooling system for something akin to 300-400 bucks. However, you're not OC'ing so there is really no point in doing so. How quiet are you looking for? A nice large heatsink with a quiet 120mm fan would do the trick fine, expecially if you have quiet fans everywhere in you're case.

But me... I don't believe in a quiet case, I believe in power!

Buying this fan for my next build, tell ya'll how it goes:

http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/de12tfexhisp.html
November 21, 2006 3:35:29 PM

Updated:

Cabinet: Silverstone TJ09 Black / Window

Power Supply Unit: Silverstone Zeus ST85ZF 850W

Motherboard: EVGA nForce 680i SLI

CPU: Intel Core 2 Extreme Processor QX6700

Memory: 4 x Corsair XMS2 Xtreme Performance / 1 GB / DDR II SDRAM / PC2-6400CL5 / 800 MHz

Optical Drives: Samsung SH-S182D / DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD-RAM 2 MB / 110 ms (CD) / 130 ms (DVD) / 48x (CD) / 16x (DVD) (R) / 48x (CD) / 18x (DVD±R) / 8x (DVD±R DL) (W) / 32x (CD) / 6x (DVD-RW) / 8x (DVD+RW) / 12x (DVD-RAM) (RW)

Hard Drives: 4 x WD Raptor X 150 GB WD1500AHFD Raid

Video Card: 2 x BFG Tech GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB Water Cooled PCI Express + BFG AGEIA PhysX Physics Accelerator Card

Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum

Like this?

(*Vomits* I'm beginning to think that my purse will lighten up real quick.)


Cheers,
Bassa
November 21, 2006 3:40:22 PM

That is pretty much the most extreme system you can get; it will surely be very expensive. Very, very expensive. Like a [not very] used car.

Get dual or triple big LCD's while you're at it.

Jo
November 21, 2006 3:40:50 PM

Ok, someone PLEASE finally enlighten me on this!

1. What is RAID?

RAID is when two, or more, harddrives are working together to find and load files faster and such, right?

2. What is SATA, then?

3. What is SATA II?

Dang, my head's spinning! :D 


Cheers,
Bassa
November 21, 2006 3:46:40 PM

Quote:
That is pretty much the most extreme system you can get; it will surely be very expensive. Very, very expensive. Like a [not very] used car.


Can it be done for around 5-6000 US dollar?

Maybe if a few components are downgraded, yet still being a highend machine that will last long?

Quote:
Get dual or triple big LCD's while you're at it.


What are those?


Cheers,
Bassa
November 21, 2006 3:48:55 PM

[
Quote:
(*Vomits* I'm beginning to think that my purse will lighten up real quick.)


lol ya pretty much, Last week i went and priced me my dream comp ended up being 6k even. Unless i become a bad ass i prob wont be getting anything close to it.

Honestly i don’t know about the Physics card i have very little experience with it. I don’t know of many games that use it as of now. maybe someone else here knows more about it then me.

Ram looks aright but why do you need 4 gigs? i know Vista will support more but as of now its a bitch to get windows xp to recognize all 4. i sometimes shows up as 3.25 or 3.75. But then Vista is supposed to be around the corner. unless another delay.

Have you considered what kind of Pump/ water blocks will be getting for cpu. Radiator/reservoir?

I assuming you have a good set of speakers ? or plan on getting some.
November 21, 2006 3:54:41 PM

Sata is just an Interface with the Hd. (uses the lil sexy red cable)
Sata 2 same thing, just rated faster,

sata drives also use a different power cable then the reg molex connector.

Raid sets the hd's in a array, more or less

raid 0
writes info on both drives, if something crashes you lose everything,fastest
Raid 1
it basically writes everything from drive one to drive 2. so if 1 drive fails you still have you stuff.
November 21, 2006 3:56:02 PM

Quote:
Have you considered what kind of Pump/ water blocks will be getting for cpu. Radiator/reservoir?


Again, I have no clue about water cooling systems, whatsoever. I'm open for good suggestions with silent cooling, though I don't intend on overclocking any component at all, so water cooling might be overkill for me.

Quote:
I assuming you have a good set of speakers ? or plan on getting some.


I have a pair of B&W DM602 speakers, though an older model, they play as if the angels sing.

Now, speakers is something I know quite a lot about, so I'm not worried there. ;) 


Cheers,
Bassa
November 21, 2006 3:56:29 PM

Quote:
JMecc wrote:
Get dual or triple big LCD's while you're at it.



What are those?


Im assuming he means multiple moniters.
November 21, 2006 3:59:42 PM

Ah, but no thanks.

I'm a graphics designer. I only use CRT monitors - until LCD development reaches a much better display quality, at least.


Cheers,
Bassa
November 21, 2006 4:01:59 PM

About the LCD's - I meant if you are not already using dual monitors, it is very nice for graphics & even general tasks. You can keep photoshop on the main screen while having the original photo on the other screen (or prior work you have done so you don't forget anything), or email, this forum...

About SATA & RAID:
SATA I & II are interfaces for 150Mb/s & 300Mb/s respectively although the physical drives don't go that fast except maybe for raptors. New mobos are sata II so don't worry about that. Raid 0 writes part of the information on each of 2 drives, making it faster (reading/writing 1/2 from each is faster as the drive is the bottleneck). Raid1 writes the same info to 2 drives such that if either goes down, you can keep working on 1 drive no prob or buy another & pop it in to keep the redundancy in case of another failure. Raid 10 does both (using 4 drives) - generally 2 sets of raid 0 each writing the same info, so any drive going down or 2 in the same set is ok.

Jo
November 21, 2006 4:05:17 PM

I have to disagree with most above that your choice of PSU is enough. You will be right on the edge with that PSU. I figure your proposed system will draw 700w at least. Then throw in aging, heat, future growth and possible some higher level of cooling in the near future and you'd be looking at a new PSU.

With the amount of money you are willing to spend I would recommend a larger PSU of the highest quality. This unit will provide plenty of reliable power for your rig, has 4 PCIe power plugs (each of your selected cards requires two PCIe power connections each) and leaves room for growth.
http://www.pcpower.com/products/viewproduct.php?show=T1...

It is way expensive, though, and probably overkill but will last for years and provide rock solid voltage to all your high end parts.
November 21, 2006 4:07:10 PM

Well you got one up on me, i dont know jack about sound.

If you think water cooling is a little beyond you thats cool, you will need to change out those vid cards then.

If these fans are what they say they are they should be awesome. Low db they should be queit.
Fan

Someone else said you could just get a large heatsink with a 120mm fan.
I belive Scythe has some good coolers.
November 21, 2006 4:14:52 PM

Quote:
About the LCD's - I meant if you are not already using dual monitors, it is very nice for graphics & even general tasks. You can keep photoshop on the main screen while having the original photo on the other screen (or prior work you have done so you don't forget anything), or email, this forum...


Yeah, I know what you mean. One of my friends who work with dual monitors as well tried to talk me into using them too, but truth be told, I never felt comfortable with using two screens at the same time.

I guess it's just about getting used to working in such an environment, but then again, I've gotten used to be multitasking instead, and I'll hang on to that for now, at least.

Quote:
About SATA & RAID:
SATA I & II are interfaces for 150Mb/s & 300Mb/s respectively although the physical drives don't go that fast except maybe for raptors. New mobos are sata II so don't worry about that. Raid 0 writes part of the information on each of 2 drives, making it faster (reading/writing 1/2 from each is faster as the drive is the bottleneck). Raid1 writes the same info to 2 drives such that if either goes down, you can keep working on 1 drive no prob or buy another & pop it in to keep the redundancy in case of another failure. Raid 10 does both (using 4 drives) - generally 2 sets of raid 0 each writing the same info, so any drive going down or 2 in the same set is ok.


Alright, cool. Thanks for enlightening me.


Cheers,
Bassa
November 21, 2006 4:20:53 PM

Quote:
With the amount of money you are willing to spend I would recommend a larger PSU of the highest quality. This unit will provide plenty of reliable power for your rig, has 4 PCIe power plugs (each of your selected cards requires two PCIe power connections each) and leaves room for growth.
http://www.pcpower.com/products/viewproduct.php?show=T1...

It is way expensive, though, and probably overkill but will last for years and provide rock solid voltage to all your high end parts.


LOL! That PSU is insane!


Cheers,
Bassa
November 21, 2006 4:46:36 PM

Quote:
With the amount of money you are willing to spend I would recommend a larger PSU of the highest quality. This unit will provide plenty of reliable power for your rig, has 4 PCIe power plugs (each of your selected cards requires two PCIe power connections each) and leaves room for growth.
http://www.pcpower.com/products/viewproduct.php?show=T1...

It is way expensive, though, and probably overkill but will last for years and provide rock solid voltage to all your high end parts.


LOL! That PSU is insane!


Cheers,
Bassa
Actually the Zeuss should be enough. I didn't realize Silverstone was making a 850 watt unit. That is a good fit as well. Still, the 1KW is a trip isn't it. :lol: 
November 21, 2006 5:24:59 PM

I remember a post I saw a year or two back made by some prominent member of the ExtremeSystems.org website, and he said something like this:

"You really don't ever need to overclock your PC. When you buy a new PC, it will work at a high level and produce as much efficiency as you'd probably ever need, at least if you purchased the right components.

We overclock our computers because we just love to do it. We don't need to do so, but we do it because it's challenging and fun."

I guess that's true, right?

I mean, if I (a not very techy guy) was to overclock the above rig, I probably wouldn't get much of a difference?

I saw a video by that k|ng|n dude from the extremesystems.org forums, and he certainly proved that it can indeed power your rig to hells, and then some.

But then again, that dude is bloody amazing. He's probably got a lot of expertise and a LOT of cash to play around with such expensive experiments... I mean... shit! Liquid Nitrogen? Jesus christ! lol


Cheers,
Bassa
November 21, 2006 5:44:24 PM

OC'ing fairly useful, only in heavy CPU tasks, such as video encoding and the like. But if you don't OC, there really isint a problem with that.

Raid stands for a Redundant Arrray of Independent/Inexpensive Disks. I would suggest 2 HDD's in a Raid 0, for performance, or 2 HDD's in Raid 1 if you want stability. You could even get Raid 5 if you want to have a backup of everything, but thats up to you. I'm not a big backup person because i just like to store the most I can, but if you are, you should consider it...

And uh... you don't need the WD Raptors, they're way overpriced... and the performance gain they offer is fairly marginal. You lose a lot of storage for only a bit of speed. But again, it's up to you here.

LCD's are nice enough these days, but thats up for you to decide.

PhysX... debatable, I would hold off on it until it's more widely adopted, otherwise it's just going to sit in your system and suck power for nothing.

Watercooling, no need, since you're not planning anything fancy. Rmr, whatever can go wrong in your comp, will go wrong, and you don't want water everywhere. Well, most likely nothing will happen, but if you don't need it, don't get it. You can always upgrade later.

Get the PC-6400C4 memory, C5 is a bit outdated and slow. 4 gigs, is probably fine if you're going to jump on Vista. Won't hurt to have it anyways, and the price isin't too bad.
November 21, 2006 6:05:22 PM

Quote:
Raid stands for a Redundant Arrray of Independent/Inexpensive Disks. I would suggest 2 HDD's in a Raid 0, for performance, or 2 HDD's in Raid 1 if you want stability. You could even get Raid 5 if you want to have a backup of everything, but thats up to you. I'm not a big backup person because i just like to store the most I can, but if you are, you should consider it...


Alright, I've decided to go with 2 harddrives in Raid 1.

Could someone recommend two fast and stable SATA II harddrives for this rig? I'd prefer them to be at around 150-200 GB's each.

Quote:
PhysX... debatable, I would hold off on it until it's more widely adopted, otherwise it's just going to sit in your system and suck power for nothing.


I think I'll disregard this component.

Quote:
Watercooling, no need, since you're not planning anything fancy. Rmr, whatever can go wrong in your comp, will go wrong, and you don't want water everywhere. Well, most likely nothing will happen, but if you don't need it, don't get it. You can always upgrade later.


I'll get some advice from the guy at the computer shop. I'd prefer something remotely silent, if possible.

Quote:
Get the PC-6400C4 memory, C5 is a bit outdated and slow. 4 gigs, is probably fine if you're going to jump on Vista. Won't hurt to have it anyways, and the price isin't too bad.


Done.


Cheers,
Bassa
November 21, 2006 6:08:51 PM

Hd

5 yr warranty


Edit* i posted wrong hd my bad
November 21, 2006 6:14:56 PM

Hrm...

Silverstone's TJ09 tower seems to be impossible to get a hold of where I live.

Could anyone recommend another tower of equal, maybe even cooler, proportions, and a PSU to go with that if need be?

Thanks.


Cheers,
Bassa
November 21, 2006 6:46:57 PM

Lian Li has some nice cases, Personally i like Thermaltake Armor

Only problem i have with is the front panels. Useless.
November 21, 2006 6:56:23 PM

Those Seagate HDD's will do the trick. I don't know if I mentioned that Raid 1 is mirror, which means all info on one drive will be copied to the second drive in real time. If one hdd dies, the other one will be the exact duplicate.

Yeah, watercooling will work nicely if you want a silent rig, however, the QX6700 has a fairly high TDP, which means you have quite a bit of stuff to dissipate. Not to mention even if your CPU cooling is fairly silent, you will have tons of other fans adding to the noise. But you can always get quieter fans.

TJ07 is a nice case, Antec Nine-hundred is decent also, CM Stacker 830, NZXT Zero, TT Tai Chi, TT Armor, you might want to check the ultimate gaming case thread, they probably have much better discussions on it.
November 21, 2006 7:03:20 PM

Water cooled case

All in one, Big nasty

Not cheap but what do ya want.

Looked like a good setup to me. I dont know much about the Koolance kit on it.

If you didnt notice the MB will be inverted so you will actually get to see those exspensive Vid cards.

Thats why that fan in the middle.Next to where cpu will be.
!