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Ultimate home build. Any advice plz?

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Where is the bottlenck of this system?

Total: 26 votes

  • Processor
  • 24 %
  • Memory
  • 0 %
  • Graphics Card
  • 4 %
  • Hard Drive
  • 31 %
  • Power supply
  • 27 %
  • Motherboard
  • 16 %
December 18, 2006 1:33:02 AM

This is a gaming computer build for a friend. the budget is $2000 USD. Here are the specs:

CPU: Intel Core2Duo E6600 2.4ghz
Mem: 2GB (2x1GB) Corsair XMS2 DDR2 800Mhz
HD: 2x36.7GB Western Digital Raptor SATA150 RAID 0
GPU: XFX GeForce 8800GTX 768MB
PSU: Antec True Power Trio 550watt and Thermaltake 250watt Graphics card dedicated PSU
Optical Drive: Samsung 18xDVD+/-R, 12xDVD-RAM Lightscribe
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 Intel P965 chipset

Total Price = $1791.54

All parts are from Newegg. What would change for better performance? Would you pick any different brands and why? There are two rules. A: Price must stay at or below $2000 after shipping. B: Do not make this an intel vs amd thread, or nvidia vs ati hatred, or anything of the sort. I am looking for constructive opinions to make the best machine for the money. Also, is the stock CPU cooler going to work well? There are no plans to overclock..........yet.
December 18, 2006 1:41:01 AM

ditch the 4gb's of ram, its a waste, 2gb's is fine for now. 32bit windows cant even fully utilize 4gb's of ram, you would the 64bit version. need screw the cooler master psu, $10 says it dies within a week. This psu is a much better choice. the stock cooler is fine if you not ocing, kinda sad though, that rig would be perfect for it.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
December 18, 2006 1:58:14 AM

What case are you trying to stuff that all into?
On the motherboard you should probably read this article on NVIDIA nForce 680i Chipset Problems when using RAID.
Even if you don't overclock right away, just a very light overclock will have that E6600 CPU running at X6800 speed. Even the stock HSF will handle that easily.
Related resources
December 18, 2006 2:12:33 AM

Obviously quite a system, but I'd look to cut some of the price frankly, and use the saved money to buy games! One thing to cut? 4GB is more than you will need for quite a while, even when they upgrade to Vista. 2GB is a premium level. 2nd, if they want it even cheaper, you've already got what counts: A top graphics card, and enough memory. A fast hard drive is nice, but then at the bottom of the priorities has to be which dual core you use. Frankly it's a good place to save money. Look for a low priced dual core IMO.
December 18, 2006 2:39:42 AM

Thanks for the info about the PSU. My concern about your suggestion is, will 550watts provide enough power for 2 hard drives, 1 optical Drive, the CPU and the power hungry 8800 GTX? I'm definitely dropping the RAM. He'll add another 2 gigs when he gets Vista 64bit. The case is a mid tower that can accommodate a full ATX board, 4 CD drives, and 6 hard drives.
December 18, 2006 2:53:00 AM

Quote:
Thanks for the info about the PSU. My concern about your suggestion is, will 550watts provide enough power for 2 hard drives, 1 optical Drive, the CPU and the power hungry 8800 GTX?/quote]

yeah, the 3 +12v rails with 18amps each will easily support the system.
December 18, 2006 3:04:46 AM

those hard drives are probably a possible bottleneck. check out the western digital raptor series hard drives if u want fast...
December 18, 2006 3:15:13 AM

Don't go for the Antec, get the Silverstone Zeus 650w...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817163108
It's better than either the Antec or the CoolerMaster that you have listed but it is larger than a standard psu so maybe check its dimensions and the psu area on your case to make sure it will fit (about the only complaint it's ever had). I do agree with the ram though, don't need the 4gb. other than that you can't really do anything better without spending more money.

be carefull with the 8800gtx and a mid size tower, it may not fit in there with a case which has a hdd cage at the front bottom (right in front of the 8800gtx).
December 18, 2006 3:54:07 AM

what i did was:

1, i got a thermaltake power express 250 just for my video card (it's powerful enough to run the 8800gtx, dont worry, i checked), which is 50 dollars plus shipping. LINK

then get an an antec neo he 550. 85% efficentcy, etc. all in all, a great and very stable power supply, plus, it's modular. have the rest of your system running off of this, and your gtx running off of the power express. LINK TO POWER SUPPLY

this way, you have stable power, and you can say you have a power supply just for your video card, which just sounds bad a$$
December 18, 2006 4:26:55 AM

Alright. I edited the list of parts in my original post to accommodate the suggestions of others in the THG community.
December 18, 2006 4:43:52 AM

nice. your buddy's e-penis will be GIGANTIC once this system is built. also, i dont know if i missed it or something, but what case will you be going with? keep in mind, the 8800gtx is a big card.
December 18, 2006 4:58:03 AM

Its the same case he has been using for the past 6 years! This will the third rebuild since his original P4 1.7ghz, 256MB RD-RAM, and 64mb ATI 8000 AiW. Currently he has an AthlonXP 3000+, 1gb RAM, and a 128mb Radeon 9600SE. I'd say he's averaging an upgrade every 3 and half years. Personally, I like Macs and always will. But he barely tolerates the one that's 2 doors away from him! I'm not sure what the dimensions are on his case, but I know the card will fit. Its a surprisingly roomy case for a mid tower.
December 18, 2006 5:56:46 AM

ok, that does not help at all. not one bit. is the case even big enough to fit the gtx in it? look into it. you dont wanna order the parts, and then be like

Quote:
SH17, THE GTX IS TOO BIG! IT WILL NOT FIT IN THE CASE. I SHOULD HAVE LISTENED TO LAMBOFGODE3X ON THE THG FORUMS. OMG


hehe i had to throw that last part in there just for shi7ts and giggles. the card is about 11 inches long. measure it out. make sure the card fits and that the hard drives fit too with the card most likely sitting right on the hard drive mounting cage (if it does fit). if it is a tight squeeze, plan your wiring really well, and dont forget cable management. since the trio isn't modular, make sure you have places in the case to hide those wires and get them out of the way of the airflow.
December 18, 2006 6:02:24 AM

by the way, im not trying to be a dick (it comes naturally with me)...i just havent had any sleep in a while, so i may come off as arrogant and crap.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
December 18, 2006 1:20:40 PM

Quote:
I'm not sure what the dimensions are on his case, but I know the card will fit. Its a surprisingly roomy case for a mid tower.
It's not a question of how roomy the case is - it's more about how much clearance the 10.5" video card has inside the case. If you can't get us the make & model of the case so we can check for you - it's probably a smart idea to go with the 8800GTS. You can overclock most GTS to near GTX performance specs.

Also, since you are already upgrading your PSU you really don't need to get that extra, external video card power supply (especially if you get the GTS). The Neo 550 is fine but if you want a little extra insurance just get the next larger size PSU
Antec Trio 550W - OCZ GameXStream 600W
December 18, 2006 5:35:44 PM

dude, for stability at full load, its a good idea to have. plus, what does he have to lose?
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
December 18, 2006 6:08:09 PM

[code:1:4e671a6d2c]what does he have to lose?[/code:1:4e671a6d2c]A real cable mess inside his case? About $50 that he doesnt need to spend? And having to hook up another AC power cord to the back of his case.

Seriously, why would anyone... that already has a power supply big enough to run his whole system want to cludge together a make shift add-on to his motherboard power supply? It's not like anyone with a decent power supply to begin with is in any way running a un-stable system if he has a 8800GTX

Now if you didn't have any choice of PSU upgrading and had to find a way to run dual video cards with an underpowered PSU - that would be the reason to use that item. It makes MUCH more sense to use that $50 to just upgrade his new power supply to one cable of running SLI 8800GTXs in the first place.... that is.. if he was getting a SLI motherboard.
December 18, 2006 7:09:37 PM

Quote:
dude, for stability at full load, its a good idea to have. plus, what does he have to lose?

.....$50
There is no need for a separate PSU to run the graphics card if the primary PSU was selected correctly,
the additional PSU will just add more heat to the front of the case where it's not wanted, plus it requires a 120VAC line to be run thru the case and use up one of the PCI slots in the back cover
The secondary PSU that Tt makes is/was a bad idea that has come and gone IMHO.
December 18, 2006 7:56:48 PM

1.) upgrade psu look at this list and decide for yourself Link

2.) get yourself a decent aftermarket cooler wusy's OC guide has a list of a few good ones

3.) get him a new Case (you appear to have the money for it) lian li v series are nice

4.) What monitor is your mate going to be using you stated this is a gaming machine (quite obviously) Monitor may be the only bottle neck here as the components will most likely outperform anything that your monitor can handle if its over a couple of years old.

5.) spend the rest on decent perepherals (sp.) G5 mouse G15 keyboard etc.

6.) just in case you didnt realise there has just been released a factory Oc GTX have a look at that
December 18, 2006 8:23:26 PM

Hard drives are generally at least an order of magnitude removed from any solid state device. I.E - you will never find a hard drive with the speed and bandwidth equal to or greater than that of memory, system bus or CPU. In fact they are almost always the limiting factor of any complex environment - Therefore - it will always be the bottleneck - as it is the slowest component in any system.

Now this may be debated at some simplistic levels - but once the complexity of the environment increases to real-world levels - it will always be the case.

This simply responds to the survey - Otherwise - your build seems fine.

Cheers.
December 19, 2006 8:31:37 AM

whist i agree that hard drives are the slowest (well second slowest compared to CD/DVD drives and i suppose a floppy if anyone still uses one ) thing in a modern system i dont think it would be right in calling it a bottleneck as it will have no effect on the speed of the game only during the first 20secs or so when the game is loading up
December 19, 2006 9:54:14 AM

I hope you are getting a larger HD for storage.
December 19, 2006 10:27:52 AM

You will need a third HDD for storage. The two small Raptor HDD are fast...but
extremely SMALL. Look into new HDD created using perpendicular recording technology. Those are biger and faster the older 7200 RPM drives.
December 19, 2006 11:54:43 AM

Quote:


4.) What monitor is your mate going to be using you stated this is a gaming machine (quite obviously) Monitor may be the only bottle neck here as the components will most likely outperform anything that your monitor can handle if its over a couple of years old.


It's true... If you're playing games at full AA, AF, HDR settings at 1600 x 1200 and getting 100fps, it's no use having it on a 15" CRT @ 70Hz!

The 8800 demands 22" at least... :D 
December 19, 2006 12:04:50 PM

Yeah, everything looks good other than the raid 0 stripe, your going to need to have a third drive as a backup for when one of the drives decides to fall out of the array, I had it like that for a while mine fell out and I never went back to 0 again

The drives you are getting are fast enough without the raid
December 19, 2006 12:40:20 PM

That was my point - the slowest item in the system is the limiting factor or bottleneck. Of course once the disk is out of the equation - such as the game is loaded into memory - then it is not a limiting factor.

On a practical note - I have noticed that if I exit a game and start it up again - the majority of the game is already in memory and it starts up much quicker than it would after a fresh reboot.

On a theoretical point - if you have 100Gig of data to process, 2 gig of memory and 2 Meg of CPU Cache - they will all try to feed data as quickly as possible to the next teir of storage (dependent on system bus speed). The memory to cache to CPU is generally near optimal. However the hard drive will be the limiting factor in this mix. It doesn't matter if you have faster memory, cache, or CPU - since the majority of the data for the task is on the disk - it becomes the bottleneck. A faster HD would lessen the impact - but it would still be a bottleneck.

If instead you could get all 100Gig into memory - then chances are the system bus would become a limiting factor - but this scenario would require a bit of math and comparisons of the component speeds. Now I forget all of the fun equations and such from my college days - but this is basic Computer Science stuff.


Cheers.
!