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New high-end gaming PC

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December 24, 2006 1:41:23 AM

As soon as Vista Home Premium edition is released (end of January hopefully?), I will be purchasing a new high-end gaming and home theatre PC. These are the components I have decided on so far:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 2.67GHz LGA775
Graphics: GeForce 8800 GTX
Ram: 4gb (4 x 1gb) DDR2-800 (PC-6400) (not sure what to get; don't know much on timings etc.)
Motherboard: ASUS P5B
Main hard drive: Western Digital Raptor X WD1500ADFD (150gb, 10000rpm)
Secondary hard drive: Seagate 400GB SATA 7200rpm
Sound card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic
Case: ThermalTake VB6000BWS Swing Case Black
Power Supply: 600w Silverstone ST60F
LCD Monitor: Philips 190B7CB 19"
DVD writer 1: Pioneer DVR-111D Black
DVD writer 2: Samsung SH-S182D 18X DVD-R/+R Dual Layer DVD Writer Black OEM
TV/FM card: Hauppauge PVR150

As mentioned, I'm not sure what the best ram will be, but would prefer not to spend more than NZ$900 all up on ram. I don't understand much on the timings, and whether DDR-800 is going to be the best performance/price ratio for the type of graphics card, CPU and motherboard I'm choosing.

With the expensive nature of most these items, I really do not want to overclock anything, and would prefer components that have good stock speeds.

I'm hoping my budget will not exceed NZ$6000.

I was considering 2 400gb Segate 7200.10 SATA2 hard drives in RAID 0 configuration instead of the 1 Raptor 150gb, but I need to split (maybe with 2 partitions) my games & the OS from high definitions videos which will take up 60% of the hdd space. The reason for this spliting will be so I can Image the partition that has my apps on, but not the partition that contains the high def videos. I would be using Acronis True Image 10 for Imaging the partition. Hopefully this makes sense :?

I'm open to suggestions on any of these components. Thanks for any help.

More about : high end gaming

December 24, 2006 2:10:53 AM

Looks nice. You might want to wait on the 4 gigs till after Vista launches unless you're planning on running a 64-bit OS in the meantime. Just get two now and pick up a matching set later when prices (hopefully) are lower. I've been pleased with Corsair memory. You can run most of their CAS 5 PC 6400 matched pairs at CAS 4 with stock speeds or better. Anyway, good luck and Merry Christmas
December 24, 2006 2:18:52 AM

-You definately need a more powerful PSU with a E6700 and a GTX.

-I recommend you to get the E6700 after the HUGH price cuts on jan.7/07 Otherwise, I think you should get a E6600 and invest on other things.

-For the HD, just get a Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 HD instead of the raptor. Less heat, less noise, less trouble, just a tad bit slower. (Raptors are over-rated ;)  )

GL
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December 24, 2006 2:52:48 AM

I read that Microsoft optimized Vista a bit more to the point where it can run almost as well as XP on the same hardware. I think 2 GB of Ram will be quite enough for gaming (I hope, because I'll be ticked off if my 2GB aren't enough). For the TV Tuner, check out NVidia's offering. I read some pretty sweet reviews of it. Just go nvidia.com > shop > TV Tuner.
December 24, 2006 5:09:10 AM

Quote:
-You definately need a more powerful PSU with a E6700 and a GTX.


Really?!? Heck, my power bills aren't gonna look good then :? I'm surprised at the power requirements, I thought the Core 2 Duos were quite a bit more power efficient. I could put in a Silverstone ST75F 750W though instead. Please advise if this enough.

Quote:
-I recommend you to get the E6700 after the HUGH price cuts on jan.7/07 Otherwise, I think you should get a E6600 and invest on other things.


No worries, I won't be buying any of the components until late January/early February.

Quote:
-For the HD, just get a Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 HD instead of the raptor. Less heat, less noise, less trouble, just a tad bit slower. (Raptors are over-rated ;)  )


Should I put these in RAID 0 configuration, or are they fast enough on their own? I want fast loading times for Battlefield 2 maps, and for Oblivion.
December 24, 2006 5:23:24 AM

Quote:
I read that Microsoft optimized Vista a bit more to the point where it can run almost as well as XP on the same hardware. I think 2 GB of Ram will be quite enough for gaming (I hope, because I'll be ticked off if my 2GB aren't enough). For the TV Tuner, check out NVidia's offering. I read some pretty sweet reviews of it. Just go nvidia.com > shop > TV Tuner.


I'm happy spending the extra for 4gb, unless it really, really isn't neccessary for running Battlefield 2 and Oblivion with maxed out graphics settings.

As for the TV tuner, are you talking about the Nvidia DualTV product? I can't find any TV tuners made by Nvidia in New Zealand for analogue TV (which is what NZ is still stuck on)

Here's a couple of RAM modules I can afford:

LEMEL 1GB DDR2 6400 800MHZ CL4 UNBUFFERED DIMM 240-pin

G.SKILL 1GB PC2 6400 5-5-5-15 Single Channel DDR2-800

Of course I would be buying 2 of the same, and running at dual channel.

In NZ, the Corsair RAM modules are quite a bit more expensive than these for example. Would either of these RAM modules be pretty much as good as the Corsair? (or not far behind?)
December 24, 2006 6:48:01 AM

You should try these.....then eventually go for 8 gigs.
December 24, 2006 7:22:28 AM

Quote:
You should try these.....then eventually go for 8 gigs.


I'll have a look around, but so far these don't appear to be available in New Zealand. :( 
December 24, 2006 7:51:16 AM

Personally, I think I'd wait a bit on any Vista purchase.... And unless you get a x64 bit version, then 4GB RAM's a bit of a waste,unless they've made huge improvements between RC2 and the RTM version.

I'd also wait until I could see a comparison of Nvidia's G80 and ATI's rumoured R600.

But hey, it's your dollars...
December 24, 2006 7:59:58 AM

Yarh, nice to see another NZer on teh forums ;p
Id definatly say go for the 750W PSU, those 8800 suck a fair bit of juice plus it gives you the option to go to quad core cpu at some point :twisted:
Ive had Vista rc2 on my rig with only 2 gig of ram, and its slow as a dog so 4 gigs is probably a good idea, unless the retail version is much more streamlined..
And this is just a personaly dislike, but id look for a non-creative soundcard, ive had 3 creative cards and ive allways had issues with them (mostly driver based issues)
Id also second the barracudas in raid over the raptors, raptors are way overpriced, particularly over here ;p
maybe go raid 5 on 3/4 HDs? depends on how much you dont want to lose your data i guess ;p
All in all a pretty sweet project though, way better than mine :( 
Oh and dont forget a Zalman CPU cooler, and probably a GPU cooler too ;p
Have a good christmas bro
December 24, 2006 8:23:34 AM

There are more Kiwi's here than uou know of... Off topic.

Why does one think that a 750 PSU is required for just that little system? If going SLI with two n80 GTX's, then maybe.... But even then it would be a bit of overkill.

And if your RC2 ran 'like a dog' with 2GB ram, what were the performance specs? I'd bet that unless you had really crap ram, that wasn't the bottleneck. I get 5.2 in performance, and its my AMD 3700+ that's the bottleneck.
December 24, 2006 8:44:55 AM

My rig is

Opty 175@2.7Ghz
2GB Crucial Ballistix Tracer@270Mhz
DFI Lanparty NF4 SLI-DR
Enermax Liberty 500W PSU
XFX 7900GT
all enclosed in a lovely NZXT Nemisis Case

And i should probably clarify that by slow as a dog i mean it runs slower than XP runs on the same PC (dual boot)
I had to use my brother in laws computer a few weeks ago, when i was staying at his place, he has a 2.8g P4, with 512mb of RAM, Windows Vista runs on my machine like XP does on his, which is to say slowly, not so slow as to be unusable, but slow enough to be annoying
December 24, 2006 9:25:50 AM

To be honost, if you want a great computer without exceding $6000 you could probably do even better.

I put together a list on newegg myself:

CPU: Intel Quad Core QX6700, Matter of opinion here, could go with extreme, but with more multitasking games coming out i would go with the quad core.

Graphics: GeForce 8800 GTX x 2

RAM: Corsair Dominator 4 GB(4 x 1)

Motherboard: Asus Striker Extreme Socket 680i

Main Hard Drive(s): Raptor 150 gb x 2 (10000 rpm) in a raid 0.

Secondary storage hard drives: Western Digital 500 GB x 2

Sound Card: X-Fi

Case: Any case

Power supply: 800+ watt

LCD: whichever one you wanted

etc

With those parts it would be around 5300?Ish and would last you years.

With the processor its a matter of opinion, personally I would get the quad core, for gaming currently the core 2 duo EX6800 has a slight increase, but in the future if/when multitasking games come out you'll have a bigger increase.
December 24, 2006 9:33:10 AM

Quote:
To be honost, if you want a great computer without exceding $6000 you could probably do even better.


he said $6000 NZ, thats New Zealand's currency, it only comes out to a little under $4200 after the conversion, and everything costs more in other countrys, so you have to take that into consideration as well.
December 24, 2006 10:29:52 AM

Last I heard newegg doesn't ship to New Zealand, Australia, Canada, UK, etc.
December 24, 2006 11:47:18 AM

Quote:
Last I heard newegg doesn't ship to New Zealand, Australia, Canada, UK, etc.


still the case.
December 24, 2006 4:56:00 PM

Quote:
if your trying to tell me his comp will draw more power than mine your in fantasy land. 600W will be fine.


So if I was to purchase a 750w power supply, other than the extra cost, would it be less efficient with power than the 600w? If I'm not going to even get close to exceeding 600w, then I'll go with 600w. (remember that I'm not going to be overclocking any components)

Quote:
to the OP: tbh a 19" LCD is too low a res for that setup. perhaps a 20" widescreen or higher.


I'm using this computer as a HTPC as well as for gaming, and will be hooking up a 1080p LCD TV via an HDMI to DVI cable. That's when I'll be switching to higher resolutions :D  For email and surfing the net, and maybe for some games, I'll probably just use the 19" monitor instead.

Quote:
for ram just get the lowest timings for the best price IMO. don't go over board though on price.


So would it be safe to go with this: LEMEL 1GB DDR2 6400 800MHZ CL4 UNBUFFERED DIMM 240-pin? It's a very good price over here, at NZ$224.
December 24, 2006 6:46:15 PM

Quote:
hmmm,, i've never heard of lemel. anyone else heard of them because it woould be a good idea to go with a well known brand. what other brands do you have over there.


Here's a list of DDR-800 1GB RAM modules available here that I'm working off... my budget is around the NZ$250 mark: http://www.pricespy.co.nz/pno_7931.html
December 24, 2006 7:45:37 PM

Quote:
You should try these.....then eventually go for 8 gigs.
Yeah, but the timings are complete sh!t.
December 24, 2006 8:35:22 PM

This would probably be good: http://www.playtech.co.nz/product.php?action=showdetail...

Little bit more than what I wanted to spend, but hey :lol: 

I just want to be certain that for the motherboard, graphics card and CPU, this is exactly the sort of RAM I should be getting... or if it's over the top.
December 25, 2006 8:51:52 AM

Just doing some more research, there is also a G.Skill DDR2-800 2gb kit (2x1gb) for over NZ$60 less, but has CL5 timings instead of CL4. How much of a performance difference would I see with CL5 instead of 4 with these RAM modules?
December 28, 2006 12:02:17 AM

I think I will choose 2x 2gb kits (4gb total) of G.Skill DDR-800 RAM with CL4 timings for a total of NZ$1023. There are other versions of these 2gb kits, I could get 2x 2gb kits of G.Skill DDR-800 CL5 for NZ$897, or 2x 2gb G.Skill DDR-667 kits at CL4 timings for NZ$852.

What sort of performance differences would I see between these RAM types/timings?
January 3, 2007 1:14:38 AM

Quote:
I think I will choose 2x 2gb kits (4gb total) of G.Skill DDR-800 RAM with CL4 timings for a total of NZ$1023. There are other versions of these 2gb kits, I could get 2x 2gb kits of G.Skill DDR-800 CL5 for NZ$897, or 2x 2gb G.Skill DDR-667 kits at CL4 timings for NZ$852.

What sort of performance differences would I see between these RAM types/timings?


Does anyone know?
!