Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Building a new rig - feedback much appreciated

Last response: in Systems
Share
December 17, 2006 12:29:58 AM

I'm finally replacing my slightly aged gaming rig, and would appreciate your feedback on the components I've chosen for the new one.

Here's what I have in mind:

C-3 - Basic Setup

CPU: E6700
GPU: 2 x SLI'd Asus GeForce 8800GTX HTDP
Motherboard: Asus Striker Extreme
Memory: 2GB OCZ PC2-8000 Gold Gamer Extreme XTC

Storage

System drives: 2 x 74GB WD Raptor SATA (WD740ADFD) in RAID 1
Data drives: 3 x 500 GB WD Caviar SE16 (WD5000KS)
DVD+RW drive: Plextor PX-760SA

Infrastructure

Case: Antec Nine Hundred - Ultimate Gamer
PSU: 800W Tagan Dual Engine -series
CPU-cooler: Zalman CNPS9700LED

All suggestions regarding individual components and the overall setup are welcome. Now, if you think that I should change the setup in some way, please provide a short explanation as to why the change you're suggesting should be made, and note that all of the components should be readily available (in stock) in Europe. This rig is due to be built on the 28th.

Thanks!

*edit* Changed the GPUs from XFX 7900GTX to Asus 8800GTX, with a price increase of just 280 euros. This is exactly why I posted here, thanks so much WR2!
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
December 17, 2006 2:14:31 AM

Quote:

GPU: 2 x SLI'd XFX GeForce 7900 GTX XXX ed.
System drives: 2 x 74GB WD Raptor SATA (WD740ADFD) in RAID 1
Data drives: 3 x 500 GB WD Caviar SE16 (WD5000KS)
RAID-controller: Highpoint RocketRaid 2322
I'm curious why you want two 74GB Raptors in Raid1. I think 1 150GB Raptor would be less expensive and considerably faster considering the 100% overhead of RAID1. I would have expected 2 x 74GB WD Raptor RAID 0 in a gaming rig.

And since you're adding an expensive RAID card and not using the built in RAID on the Asus Striker Extreme I'm thinking you're using this rig for something other than gaming? If so.. what for?

You haven't told us all we need to know to evaluate your proposed system is what I'm thinking now.

2 x SLI'd XFX GeForce 7900 GTX XXX edition.
What resolution will you be using for gaming? Considering what you're spending on this system I think its a shame to not be looking at the 8800 video cards.

I'd suggest dumping the expensive RAID add in card and using those funds to go after 8800GTX video cards replacing the 7900s.
December 17, 2006 2:46:00 AM

Quote:

I'm curious why you want two 74GB Raptors in Raid1. I think 1 150GB Raptor would be less expensive and considerably faster considering the 100% overhead of RAID1. I would have expected 2 x 74GB WD Raptor RAID 0 in a gaming rig.


The RAID 1 is purely for redundancy, I hate losing (important-ish) data. (Which would be stored on the "system drives" instead of the "data drives", the naming logic is flawed, I know)

Quote:

And since you're adding an expensive RAID card and not using the built in RAID on the Asus Striker Extreme I'm thinking you're using this rig for something other than gaming? If so.. what for?


I actually decided that the integrated Silicon Image 3132 would do fine just before you posted. It's just nice to have e.Sata "just in case". Good point! I will use this as my future "main desktop", so it'll have to endure all kinds of experimentation I can't use my laptops for...

Quote:

You haven't told us all we need to know to evaluate your proposed system is what I'm thinking now.

2 x SLI'd XFX GeForce 7900 GTX XXX edition.
What resolution will you be using for gaming? Considering what you're spending on this system I think its a shame to not be looking at the 8800 video cards.

I'd suggest dumping the expensive RAID add in card and using those funds to go after 8800GTX video cards replacing the 7900s.


Another strong point here. The main reason I originally went for the 7900s was that there were plenty in stock. But it would seem that the situation with the 8800 isn't as bad as I assumed. The bang-for-the-buck factor is actually not bad at all, especially at higher resolutions. I'll have to get new monitors, so the resolution is really "as high as I can go".

Thanks a bunch! I'll have to redo the setup.
Related resources
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
December 17, 2006 3:18:50 AM

Quote:
It's just nice to have e.Sata "just in case".
I totally agree. And for what you pay for the Striker Extreme you'd think it would include eSata... right? 8)


I'd recommend 1x150GB Raptor for OS and programs.
1x500GB internal data drive and 1x500GB eSata external backup drive in a powered external enclosure. You can have your system automatically backed up to protect your data. Extra hard drives easy to order and install as you fill up the ones you buy now.

I also suggest getting a surge protector/battery backup unit with automatic voltage regulation for clean power and helping prevent data loss and hardware damage. Belkin 4-Way 800VA Universal UPS with AVR is a good example.
December 17, 2006 3:59:12 AM

Quote:
It's just nice to have e.Sata "just in case".
I totally agree. And for what you pay for the Striker Extreme you'd think it would include eSata... right? 8)

Indeed, and also that all-so-wonderful LCD-post-error-display, and the integrated LEDs on the PCB etc. etc. :D  I'm also going to run the sound directly to my amp via the integrated S/PDIF. Fist time I'm not buying a "real" sound card for a new rig.

Quote:

I'd recommend 1x150GB Raptor for OS and programs.
1x500GB internal data drive and 1x500GB eSata external backup drive in a powered external enclosure. You can have your system automatically backed up to protect your data. Extra hard drives easy to order and install as you fill up the ones you buy now.


I'll have to seriously think about that. You wouldn't believe how quickly I fill hard drives though. When I go into a video editing frenzy, 1,5TB really isn't that much! External backup would be ideal, except for when I move the rig, should I find the time to go to some LAN parties some day.

Quote:

I also suggest getting a surge protector/battery backup unit with automatic voltage regulation for clean power and helping prevent data loss and hardware damage. Belkin 4-Way 800VA Universal UPS with AVR is a good example.


I can proudly say that that's one thing that's right with my current setup. :)  Agreed, a sag'n'brownout free, constant supply of power is essential.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
December 17, 2006 5:14:06 AM

Quote:
video editing
That explains a lot. I had already suspected you did more than "just gaming".

There may be an issue with the Antec 900 case with 8800GTX cards. They fit - but its necessary to remove the plastic fan casing on the back of the hard drive cage (not the 120mm lighted fans on the case front). Also its unclear if there is enough room to mount hard drives where the 8800GTXs hang off the edge of the motherboard.

The only other issue is probably with cable management. Will your finished system look like this:
or this
Cable Management
December 17, 2006 6:02:06 AM

Quote:
video editing
That explains a lot. I had already suspected you did more than "just gaming".

You were quite right. :)  I like to call it that though, as this rig will enable me to cranck up the gfx settings to maximum for a long time. Gives me a nice bit of childish satisfaction!

Quote:
There may be an issue with the Antec 900 case with 8800GTX cards. They fit - but its necessary to remove the plastic fan casing on the back of the hard drive cage (not the 120mm lighted fans on the case front). Also its unclear if there is enough room to mount hard drives where the 8800GTXs hang off the edge of the motherboard.


Hmm, another fine point! Good thing I have a vendor nearby who has a huge amount of cases for display. That's rare these days. I'll just have to go and test fit some components on Monday. I think they'll oblige, as I'll be buying most of this stuff from them.

Quote:

The only other issue is probably with cable management. Will your finished system look like this:
or this
Cable Management


The former would be fine, if the case didn't have a big side vent/window. :D  No, I think I'll use a good part of my day assembling this thing trying to tidy up the insides. Hopefully it'll pay off! (Good thread by the way)

Thanks again for all of your help! I should probably name a partition after you at this point. I'll get back to this thread later in the evening (GMT time)!
December 17, 2006 6:18:01 AM

I would also suggest a bigger full size case, they are more of a pain for lans but you have extra room to tidy the cables and they won't have any problems fitting two 8800's.

Some good choices would be the Silverstone TJ09, Thermaltake Armor/Kandolf or the coolermaster stacker.

I also have to agree on the raptors, if you like to back up the data then I'd suggest getting a ghost program and making a copy of the hdd once you have it exactly the way you want. Either get one 150 raptor or put the two 74's into raid 0.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
December 17, 2006 9:01:04 PM

Quote:
should probably name a partition after you at this point.
Not required at all! :lol: 
I think you can make the Nine Hundred work for you but its great that you'll be able to check in person one of the cases. Setting up one of the 500GB in a eSATA external case might still help if you need to leave a HD cage slot empty for the 2nd 8800GTX.
I'm sure you've been doing your research so I'll just leave a couple links you might want to visit.
HardOCP ASUS Striker Extreme review 5 Dec
HardOCP : ASUS Striker Extreme Revisited 15 Dec
HardOCP Article: NVIDIA nForce 680i Chipset Problems 14 Dec
December 17, 2006 9:16:13 PM

GPU: 2 x SLI'd Asus GeForce 8800GTX HTDP
2 of these is probably overkill... I'd get 1, wait til the price comes down and direct 10 is supported then get the other one. If you have to have it then go for it, just consider it if budget is an issue
December 17, 2006 9:19:59 PM

Yep.

You really only need GTX's in SLI today if you're gaming with Oblivion max'd out on a 24" - 30" monitor. Truly. Other than that, it's a waste today unless it's for bragging rights.......and as well all know, those are priceless. Well, actually.....they're not. They cost probably about 4K....the price of a "bragging rights" rig ;) 

SLI likely not needed unless you got a BIG monitor.
!