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please critique my (almost) final choice for a gaming rig

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January 12, 2007 10:13:18 PM

LITE-ON 18X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write Black IDE Model LH-18A1P-186 - Retail
Item #: N82E16827106043
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$31.99



LIAN LI PC-7B plus II Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811112099
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$20.00 Instant
$109.99
$89.99



Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM
Item #: N82E16822136012
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

-$10.00 Instant
$30.00 Mail-in Rebate
$229.99
$219.99



Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Item #: N82E16822144701
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

-$5.00 Instant
$79.99
$74.99



eVGA 640-P2-N821-AR GeForce 8800GTS 640MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - Retail
Item #: N82E16814130071
Return Policy: Limited Non-Refundable 30-Day Return Policy

-$20.00 Instant
$30.00 Mail-in Rebate
$419.99
$399.99



Antec True Power Trio TP3-650 ATX12V 650W Power Supply with Three 12V Rails - Retail
Item #: N82E16817371001
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

$129.99



APC Back-UPS BE500R 500 VA 300 Watts UPS - Retail
Item #: N82E16842101141
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

$59.99



CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400 - Retail
Item #: N82E16820145590
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

$40.00 Mail-in Rebate
$264.00



EVGA 122-CK-NF68-AR LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813188009
Return Policy: Limited Non-Refundable 30-Day Return Policy

$249.99



Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6600 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819115003
Return Policy: Processors (CPUs) Return Policy

total is about $1900- about $300 over what i was planning to spend, but what the heck!

if anyone has any suggestions, please give them, with your reasons.

thanks!
:D 

a few questions-

1) if i plan to overclock in the future (when it is needed game wise), will i need something like an Arctic-Cooling Freezer 7 PRO?

2) will 650w of power be enough for 2 8800gtx cards in sli, or something similar, assuming i choose to do that in the future?

3) how many usb ports does the LIAN LI PC-7B plus II case have? i need quite a few- 8 or so, b/c i use 3 for my ch joystick, throttle, pedals, 1 for mouse, 1 for keyboard, 1 for track ir device, 1 for removable dvd burner
January 12, 2007 10:31:04 PM

ok 300$$ over budget?? i suggest you get 1gig of ram and drop the raptor hard drive for now.. you could add a raptor and more ram down the road. just get ur system up and running for now and 1 gig of ram is enough. you ll run anything just fine. and when u get a few more bucks saved then by more ram for all the people who are gonna moan " 1gig is not enough boo whoo.."
January 12, 2007 10:35:09 PM

Quote:


1) if i plan to overclock in the future (when it is needed game wise), will i need something like an Arctic-Cooling Freezer 7 PRO?

2) will 650w of power be enough for 2 8800gtx cards in sli, or something similar, assuming i choose to do that in the future?

3) how many usb ports does the LIAN LI PC-7B plus II case have? i need quite a few- 8 or so, b/c i use 3 for my ch joystick, throttle, pedals, 1 for mouse, 1 for keyboard, 1 for track ir device, 1 for removable dvd burner


1) It depends on a few things: Security, chance and goals. Plan on going post 3.2 ghz? Get the Freezer 7 Pro or Scythe- Infinity. Modest OC? The stock air cooling is fine

2) Short answer? No. If anything the True Power 650 isn't as good an investment as what you can get for roughly the same cost. Get the OCZ GameXStream 700w for 139$ (Has a rebate too). Great 12v power. Most people recommend the GXS 800 for SLI 8800 though.

3) I have no idea.

EDIT: Also, I recommend the following.
Drop the raptor drive, it's unnecessary. Get a 500 gb Serial ATA WD drive, also drop the back-up PSU (Also not necessary), spend the extra on an 8800GTX. My saying as far as 8800's go, "If it ain't GTX, it ain't worth bragging about".
Related resources
January 12, 2007 11:10:09 PM

thanks folks

was gonna go w/ the raptor as my gaming hard drive, since is has 10,000rpm so i thought it would be optimal for gaming

thanks for the psu recommendation- i am bumping it up to 850w to future proof my system if i choose to go sli

no way i am gonna drop the apc backup supply though- i've just had two diff't computers die successively in last 2 months that were plugged into the same powerstrip. not gonna risk this system being damaged b/c of something like a power spike or a cheapo power strip

the gtx cards are just so darn expensive, i just don't want to take that hit to be bleeding edge. i will be playing oblivvion, maybe supreme commander, stalker, lock on modern air combat, il2 series, possibly microsoft fsx, and a few others. am i not correct in thinking that an 8800gts will run these (maybe not fsx yet, due to very poor programming) darn well? those gtx's are close to or over $600!

oh, and i am putting this on a 12month 0% apr credit card, so the funds are not a problem, i just don't want to make the price too hard to pay off before the 0% ends. appx $125-150 is what i can swing for monthly payments.
January 12, 2007 11:14:05 PM

Quote:
thanks folks

the gtx cards are just so darn expensive, i just don't want to take that hit to be bleeding edge. i will be playing oblivvion, maybe supreme commander, stalker, lock on modern air combat, il2 series, possibly microsoft fsx, and a few others. am i not correct in thinking that an 8800gts will run these (maybe not fsx yet, due to very poor programming) darn well? those gtx's are close to or over $600!


You won't get a noticeable increase in frame-rates with a raptor over an SATA drive. The only noticeable change is lowered Load times. Even then, I promise the difference is negligible.

As for the 8800 GTS. Trust me, look up the benchmarks. The 8800GTS doesn't do that well over the 7950GX2 and doesn't justify the price difference.

They don't know if it's driver support or the architecture not being meant to be stripped down, but the 8800GTS for the cost, isn't exactly creme of the creme.

A 7950GT would get you the results you desire until you can afford to get top of the line.

Just trust me, my saying is 100% accurate. "With 8800's, if it ain't GTX it ain't worth talking about."
January 12, 2007 11:16:32 PM

ok thanks.

any particular gtx you would recommend? any with some rebates?

what do other folks think about this?

also, any recommendations on a good SATA drive?
January 12, 2007 11:22:10 PM

Western Digital has a 500 GB SATA 3.5 drive for 150 on newegg.

That GTX is perfect.. Also EVGA has a step-up program in case you want to upgrade later.

The GTX and the GTS are roughly the same size.
January 13, 2007 2:52:54 AM

would having 1 ATA hard drive like the Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM 16MB Cache Serial ATA150 Hard Drive and 1 SATA hard drive like the Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive be compatible?

just curious if one system could run both an ATA hard drive and a SATA hard drive
January 13, 2007 3:01:31 AM

Yes it could.
Stick with sata, it is faster and more future proof.
January 13, 2007 3:06:43 AM

ok, thanks

faster though? i thought the whole point of the western digital raptor ATA drive was being faster than much else out there, so how could the western digital SATA drive be faster?

maybe i need a basic schooling about the fundamental diff't btwn SATA and ATA drives. any explanation or link would be appreciated.

:D 
January 13, 2007 3:22:33 AM

Quote:

The GTX and the GTS are roughly the same size.


Ummm.....Yeah
The GTX is 11" long where as the GTS is 9.5" long.
Not the same size.
The GTX also requires more power than the GTS and there for a more expensive PSU.

The GTS is just as powerfull, and usualy more so, than the X1950XTX which in turn is more powerfull than the 7950GX2.
You can also overclock the GTS and make it almost as powerfull as the GTX.

This is the first thing google poped up but it should work.
Pata is the past, sata is the future.
Newer chipsets will be droping support for pata alltogether so might as well save your self the hassle next time you upgrade and go sata now.

320Gb is the sweet spot right now.
Anything bigger and you will be wasting money.

The cpu, mb and ram you listed origanialy will work verry nicley.
If, however, you wanted to save a few buck.
You could go with the Asus P5B Delux.
It is also a great overclocker but it does not support sli, only crossfire.
January 13, 2007 3:14:59 PM

hmm, so i am "wasting" (spending unnecessarily) my $ by buying a gtx over a gts in that i am spending an extra $200 mainly for the priviledge of being bleeding-edge?

so having two SATA drives with diff't rpm speeds (7200 & 10,000) doesn't present a problem within one system, and will play nice together in my comp? just checking...

forgot to mention that i need a wireless network card to internet- any suggestions?

how can i determine if an 11" gtx will fit my lian li pc-7b case?

lastly, i forgot to add a soundcard- is the most basic creative xfi adequate?
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio 70SB079000000 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface Sound Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...


thanks
January 13, 2007 4:48:42 PM

I would go with the LG Super Multi Burner over the Lite-On. It is a much better drive. CPU did a review of lots of cd drives and the LG and the least errors and top 3 write times of all.
January 13, 2007 8:03:35 PM

Well, you woulden't really be wasting your money on a GTX.
It costs ~25% more and has ~25% more performance at stock from the GTS.
You can also overcolock it nicely.
Either way, you will have more than enough power for any current game.
I perfer an overclocked GTS (which is what I run) vs a GTX just because of the price.

Having 2 diffrent sata drives at any diffrent speed/capacity will not cause a problem unless you want to raid them.
Even then the raid aray will default to the smallest/slowest poss combo.

Most any wireless card will work for you, but I perfer Linksys.

Your MB should have onboard sound but if you want a dedicated card get this one as it is better for gaming.
January 13, 2007 8:51:16 PM

Rather than the GTX, EVGA do an overclocked GTS with a 580MHz core and memory running at 1700MHz. Also according to a UK site that sells it (www.overclockers.co.uk) it has 768MB memory and 128 stream processors.

i.e. its a GTX....except its cheaper. Then you can just overclock it a bit.
January 13, 2007 11:27:43 PM

All GTS' only have 640Mb, 96 stream processors running stock at 500/1600(effective).

All GTX's have 768Mb, 128 stream processors runnign stock at 575/1800(effective).

If it has 128 stream processors, it is a GTX and not a GTS.
January 16, 2007 3:24:17 PM

I could be mistaken, but I think those are both SATA drives.
January 16, 2007 5:11:33 PM

Quote:
thanks folks

no way i am gonna drop the apc backup supply though- i've just had two diff't computers die successively in last 2 months that were plugged into the same powerstrip. not gonna risk this system being damaged b/c of something like a power spike or a cheapo power strip



That APC (Back-UPS BE500R 500 VA 300W) may not be enough for you, especially if you want to have your PC stay on battery power for anything more than a few minutes. It will cost you more $ to go with a APC with a bigger battery; but, this will give your PC more time to shut down or go to hibernation peacefully before the battery runs out of power.

I have this model, and I can tell you that it gives me only about 2 minutes of backup with a system that needs less power than your new system.

Go with APC's 650VA model or higher, especially since you have that big boy 8800 video card.

Check out the other free battery backup selector websites (many of which are better and more accurate than APC's) on the internet just to make sure before deciding. Some of the good ones have been mentioned here in Tom's many forums.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2007 5:52:24 PM

Agreed. That UPS is too small. You can get a bigger one for not much more, especially considering the cost of the other parts of your system.

Oh, and SATA = Serial ATA. An earlier question about SATA vs. ATA drives looked like it referred to SATA vs. Serial ATA, which are the same thing.

I too would ditch the Raptor; the price premium doesn't seem at all worthwhile. One of the perpendicular recording Seagate drives will be bigger, cheaper, and almost as fast.

1GB is "enough," but I think you will notice an improvement with 2GB, especially with big RPGs. There were too many other differences to make a direct comparison, but my primary PC with 2GB was notably faster at some things than its backup, which had 1GB.
January 16, 2007 6:07:59 PM

Pretty good overall, but I have a few point to show.

First, I would remove the 150GB WD 1000rpm HDD. All it's gonna get you is faster loading of levels, at nothing elses (pretty much). I'd get 2*320GB Raid configuration. It'll cost you less and perform just as good with more storage to spare. It'll cost you 2*110$ (or so) instead of 220+75$, you save more than 75$ and end up with comparable performance and almost 200GB more storage.

Second, your PSU (same that I'm planning to get next month on my new rig) might not be enough on the connection front. It has "only" 2*6-pin connector and I'm not sure if the GTS has 1 or 2 of such connector. If it has one, no problem, otherwise you'll need something with more of those 6-pin connector to go SLI.

Third, when you connect all these USB device, make sure to connect the USB1.1 ones on the same "double" connector, because otherwise the faster USB 2.0 device will revert back to USB 1.1. For keyboard and mouse it's usually not a problem, but for your DVD burner it might be.

Forth, I realize that I forgot to mwention the backup PSU might not be enough, unless you configure it very well and that your USB device are not on it. I'd either get a more powerful one or simply let it go for now.
January 16, 2007 6:15:13 PM

Agree - stay with 2GB RAM. RAM is one of the biggest factors impacting performance and you can be sure over time you'll need more not less. More memory is the best bang for the buck available when building a system.

Agree - the raptor isn't worth the premium (and its noisy).

Agree - the GTX card isn't necessary, but over time you'd at least see the performance there (as opposed to the something like the raptor where it would exist on benchmarks only). Again, over time games will require more not less video performance. Not necessary by any stretch of the imagination, but not a bad upgrade if you just don't want to mess with the system again any time soon. Otherwise, spending $200 on a decent card now and then $400 at the end of 2007 is another reasonable option (you'll be able to buy more with $400 9 months from now than you can buy with $600 today and a $200 card will likely give you all the power you need for now).

Personally, I wouldn't worry about SLI. By the time you need more performance than a GTS or GTX has to offer, you'll likely be better off buying a new card that supports DX11 or whatever the new standard is. For that same reason, I usually recommend an ASUS P5B-E. It is perhaps 4% slower, but you can't see 4% and it it is 33% less money (which I believe is better spent elsewhere). And with that said, 650W PS is fine (though for the money you're spending I like the Corsair 620 but that's just because it is very quiet).

Also, look into OCing your 6600 to 3GHz. That is a very easy OC that will give a much bigger performance gain that you lose from everything I suggested scaling back.

Of course, everything above are just opinions. Good Luck with your build.
January 17, 2007 12:41:04 AM

almost everyone who critiques my build tells me to drop the raptor- so i am going to, and take the advice to go with the 2 320gig RAID config- but what type of RAID- the one where they are mirroring each other, or where each is it's own drive?

thanks for the backup ups advice- i will choose the APC's 650VA if need be. i only want the ups so the comp doesn't shut down unexpectedly. i don't plan on keeping the comp on if the power goes out. i would turn it off pretty much immediately, so having like 3-5min of backup power is sufficient to me. will the apc ups i have chosen provide that much?

so if i don't decide to sli cards down the line, is my 850w power overkill? if i can save some $ by going to 650 or 750w, i will do so. this really depends on whether sli is worth doing or, like has been mentioned, by the time it's needed a new kick butt card will be available that is more powerful. then again, by that time, the 8800gtx's will be pretty cheap, so wouldn't sli be a possibly more econonmical way to increase my videocard power & frames per second?

not sure i understand the usb "double connector" advice for usb1.1- care to provide it in noob speak? thanks.


:D 
January 17, 2007 12:52:27 AM

can you recommend a diff't psu, one that definatly could take 2 gtx cards?
January 17, 2007 1:20:50 AM

Quote:
is this a good choice for hard drive?

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200KS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive


That's a good choice if noise is important to you. If you want raw performance, the Seagate 7200.10 might be a better choice.

I would advise to never use RAID 0 striping by itself. If it is important to you to guard against losing data, use RAID 1 - mirroring. That stores the same info on 2 drives just in case one fails (but doubles your storage cost since everything is stored twice). There are some instances where raid 10 (raid 0 + raid 1) makes sense, but I wouldn't put you into that category. 1 drive is likely enough for you and I really doubt you really need a second drive.

Quote:
and for psu?

OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI ATX12V 700W Power Supply 100 - 240 V - Retail



Nothing wrong with that choice, though it is still overkill for non-SLI. Real world, very few systems actually pull more than 300W. An efficient 500W system will easily meet your needs and then some. But again, nothing wrong with the OCZ 700W unit if that's what you want.
January 17, 2007 1:26:35 AM

Quote:
almost everyone who critiques my build tells me to drop the raptor- so i am going to, and take the advice to go with the 2 320gig RAID config- but what type of RAID- the one where they are mirroring each other, or where each is it's own drive?

thanks for the backup ups advice- i will choose the APC's 650VA if need be. i only want the ups so the comp doesn't shut down unexpectedly. i don't plan on keeping the comp on if the power goes out. i would turn it off pretty much immediately, so having like 3-5min of backup power is sufficient to me. will the apc ups i have chosen provide that much?

so if i don't decide to sli cards down the line, is my 850w power overkill? if i can save some $ by going to 650 or 750w, i will do so. this really depends on whether sli is worth doing or, like has been mentioned, by the time it's needed a new kick butt card will be available that is more powerful. then again, by that time, the 8800gtx's will be pretty cheap, so wouldn't sli be a possibly more econonmical way to increase my videocard power & frames per second?

not sure i understand the usb "double connector" advice for usb1.1- care to provide it in noob speak? thanks.


:D 


Lol, I don't know of any RAID where each drive is an independent drive. There's striping and mirroring. And many levels. If you want to know more about RAID check out the RAID FAQ in the storage section of the Forumz. Now, I wouldn't really RAID as you won't notice much of a difference in data flow on a desktop PC. Now if you're doing anything like video editing you might like RAID 0, but you'll have to backup since you'll have no redundancy.
January 17, 2007 1:58:30 AM

Quote:
is this a good choice for hard drive?

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200KS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive


That's a good choice if noise is important to you. If you want raw performance, the Seagate 7200.10 might be a better choice.



noise isn't relaly a big deal to me- speed and reliability are what i value most
that said, what drive would be best then?
January 17, 2007 2:06:54 AM

Quote:
oh, and i am putting this on a 12month 0% apr credit card, so the funds are not a problem, i just don't want to make the price too hard to pay off before the 0% ends. appx $125-150 is what i can swing for monthly payments.


You're either an idiot or very very very stupid. Ok, so maybe you're just ignorant of finances. Any way you look at it, this is a bad decision.

Credit = good for a couple of things.

1)Cars (only when ABSOLUTELY necessary for survival, and even then..there's the bus)

2)Land/House Do your homework, understand what you're buying. Be THOROUGH and always save up more than what you think you'll need. There are always unforeseen costs.

3)Starting a business.

For #'s 1 and 2, use a credit union. They're cheaper.

Credit cards are NOT for money. They're for SECURITY and EASE OF USE. Use credit cards for...

1) Shopping online.
2) Travel.
3) So you don't carry cash (you can put a hold on a CC account if you lose your wallet)

I would use a CHECK CARD, which is a debit card that works like a credit card. Just don't over draw your account. If you're spending money you don't have, you're asking for trouble. Sure, credit card companies don't send out hitmen like a bookie or casino might...but they still aren't someone you want to anger. Do yourself a favor and pay cash for anything in life you could do without. You'll save yourself a hard lesson, and a lot of money in the long run. Oh, and for God's sakes...all you idiots living in apartments and double wides...quit pimping out your car. Buy a HOUSE. Cars are like computers. They depreciate VERY rapidly and the upkeep on them is insane.
January 17, 2007 2:12:45 AM

Quote:

noise isn't relaly a big deal to me- speed and reliability are what i value most that said, what drive would be best then?


I would recommend the Seagate 7200.10 drive then. It is slightly faster and though there is little science for proof, it would likely get more reliability votes than the WD drive as well.
January 17, 2007 2:43:29 AM

Quote:
oh, and i am putting this on a 12month 0% apr credit card, so the funds are not a problem, i just don't want to make the price too hard to pay off before the 0% ends. appx $125-150 is what i can swing for monthly payments.


You're either an idiot or very very very stupid. Ok, so maybe you're just ignorant of finances. Any way you look at it, this is a bad decision.

Credit = good for a couple of things.

1)Cars (only when ABSOLUTELY necessary for survival, and even then..there's the bus)

2)Land/House Do your homework, understand what you're buying. Be THOROUGH and always save up more than what you think you'll need. There are always unforeseen costs.

3)Starting a business.

For #'s 1 and 2, use a credit union. They're cheaper.

Credit cards are NOT for money. They're for SECURITY and EASE OF USE. Use credit cards for...

1) Shopping online.
2) Travel.
3) So you don't carry cash (you can put a hold on a CC account if you lose your wallet)

I would use a CHECK CARD, which is a debit card that works like a credit card. Just don't over draw your account. If you're spending money you don't have, you're asking for trouble. Sure, credit card companies don't send out hitmen like a bookie or casino might...but they still aren't someone you want to anger. Do yourself a favor and pay cash for anything in life you could do without. You'll save yourself a hard lesson, and a lot of money in the long run. Oh, and for God's sakes...all you idiots living in apartments and double wides...quit pimping out your car. Buy a HOUSE. Cars are like computers. They depreciate VERY rapidly and the upkeep on them is insane.

ok, i'll let the insult pass and thanks for good intentions
i am an adult and know what i am doing- i will pay this off before the 0% apr expires, therefore i have paid 0% interest- where is the idiocy in this? i only suffer financially if i have to pay extra $ for the system via finance charges. by the way, my credit is great and i am not in debt. i would rather keep the extra funds in my savings acount and going toward my fidelity IRA funds to earn interest. hopefully this meets with your approval :roll:
January 17, 2007 3:00:43 AM

Well, your first mistake is putting money into a savings account. :-) Checking accounts generally earn better interest, but if you have a substantial amount I'd consider investing. Unforeseen financial burdens can arise, such as loss of a job, medical expenses, family needing help, etc. Then there's the not-so common things like being sucker to insurance fraud, etc. I still stand by my policy of not spending what you can't pay for up front...in an idealic (and truly intellectual) world none of us would spend an extra dime until we had the cash in the bank to retire on. So what the hell...it's not like the majority of us aren't living paycheck to paycheck or off of Uncle Sam anyway. Live on. But don't expect me to help you if you have to work at Walmart when you're 80. :-D
January 17, 2007 3:09:08 AM

Ryan -
Your advice is sound, though it comes off as preaching in a somewhat condescending manner. OK, maybe the "somewhat" part was just being generous. :) 
January 17, 2007 3:27:52 AM

Quote:
Ryan -
Your advice is sound, though it comes off as preaching in a somewhat condescending manner. OK, maybe the "somewhat" part was just being generous. :) 


Tell me something I don't know. :-) The delivery isn't what I care about. Getting the message out is what matters to me. It's not like I need to spare feelings online. People either have confidence or they don't. I'm not here to make friends, are you? Besides, most of my posts are directed towards getting the masses to think more. If one person reads that and stops themself from buying crap they don't need when they should be more responsible with their finances then I've achieved my objective.
January 17, 2007 3:45:30 AM

Again, your motives are sound and your advice is directionally correct. That said, you are making some assumptions. If the purchaser needed a computer for school work in order to further their education and expand their earning capacity, would that change the analysis? If they had a substantial bond that comes due in 6 months with a coupon rate of 11%, would that change your conclusions? In all likelihood, your analysis is spot on. But condescension combined with ignorance of a situation is not necessarily a good combination. Drawing and then forcefully voicing unsolicited opinions without knowing the full range of circumstances can be dangerous. Furthermore, if the intent is to educate and alter behavior, then another approach would likely be far more effective. Confrontation often produces defensiveness rather than acceptance. While I understand your comments, I suspect the style in which they are offered are far more likely to generate heat rather than light. :wink:

OK... enough of the philosophical and financial distractions. With those dead horses well beaten, shall we now return to discussions on systems? 8)
January 17, 2007 2:46:51 PM

ok, i am making a few cuts to bring the price down a bit- going back the less expensive lian li pc-7b case, b/c i think that an earlier poster made a good point about sli being less likely than just replacing the 8800gtx in the future with a much better card

also getting rid of both western digital caviar drives and replacing them with one Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320g drive.

my question is this-- having the 1 seagate 320g is plenty adequate for a straightforward gaming rig, right? other than itunes and writing, i really don't plan on doing anything else with my system.

thanks again.
January 17, 2007 6:14:31 PM

Quote:


my question is this-- having the 1 seagate 320g is plenty adequate for a straightforward gaming rig, right? other than itunes and writing, i really don't plan on doing anything else with my system.

thanks again.


Yep. Unless you are ripping a whole lot of movies onto your hard drive, that's plenty. Even with itunes, 10,000 songs at ultra high quality 256kps encoding would only take up a quarter of the space on that drive.
January 17, 2007 6:30:31 PM

i am going to have about 8,000-10,000 cds in all, and btwn 50-80gigs of games

maybe i need more room?
January 17, 2007 7:05:30 PM

Quote:
i am going to have about 8,000-10,000 cds in all, and btwn 50-80gigs of games

maybe i need more room?


Ten THOUSAND CDs???? Ten Thousand? Wow. Do you really get just how many that is? That is ripping/downloading a dozen full CDs every single day for more than 2 years straight.

OK, if we assume 10,000 CDs with an average of 12 songs, 4 minutes each at 256kbps, that's just under 1 terrabyte of storage for just your music collection. At 128kbps, it's obviously half that. Hopefully that will give you some guidelines for determining what you really need.
January 17, 2007 7:13:50 PM

Hey, not "everyone" is against the raptors!

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/16/2007-hdd-rundown...

Two 74gb raptors in raid 0 for a system drive will noticably outperform ONE of the new 320gb perpendicular recording drives, and drives are one of your biggest bottlenecks. A couple of people in here say its not worth the premium then turn around and recommend the 8800! It's like anything, it depends on what you are looking to get out of your system. I'd rather save a few hundred by waiting a year on dx10 until I actually can use it and put some of that dough into raptors now. For me, the premium on the raptors was worth it for how I use it.

IMO, no media or data should be on your raid 0, just your OS, apps, and games. If you lose a drive, you've lost what? Say 12 hours of patching windows and some game saves. If you use one drive for your system drive and it goes out, guess what you've lost? Make no mistake, you double your failure rate going with raid 0 but I'll risk it with the raptors.
January 17, 2007 7:29:51 PM

Quote:
Hey, not "everyone" is against the raptors!

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/16/2007-hdd-rundown...

Two 74gb raptors in raid 0 for a system drive will noticably outperform ONE of the new 320gb perpendicular recording drives, and drives are one of your biggest bottlenecks. A couple of people in here say its not worth the premium then turn around and recommend the 8800! It's like anything, it depends on what you are looking to get out of your system. I'd rather save a few hundred by waiting a year on dx10 until I actually can use it and put some of that dough into raptors now. For me, the premium on the raptors was worth it for how I use it.

IMO, no media or data should be on your raid 0, just your OS, apps, and games. If you lose a drive, you've lost what? Say 12 hours of patching windows and some game saves. If you use one drive for your system drive and it goes out, guess what you've lost? Make no mistake, you double your failure rate going with raid 0 but I'll risk it with the raptors.


Not against raptors, you just have to understand bang for the buck to determine where they are appropriate.

The THG article shows raptors have a 75.3 MB/s average read transfer rate versus 62.3 for the 7200.10. That's a quite healthy 20% overall performance improvement - not bad. However, when you factor in pricing (Newegg has the 74GB Raptor for $159.99 and the 250GB 7200.10 for $74.99) the cost per GB is $2.16 for the raptor versus $0.30 for the 7200.10. So that 20% performance boost is costing you a 720% price premium. While there may be instances where that additional investment is warrented, the price performance ratio doesn't work for most home consumers.

Raid 0 is a separate topic but in my opinion there are very very few instances where the benefits outweigh the risks for a home system.
January 17, 2007 8:00:21 PM

I stole my 74s from Fry's for $110 a piece, but I don't know that price per gigabyte really comes into play for a system drive. Really anything over 30-40 gb is a waste depending on how many games you have, but more is nice if you're going to be encoding video.

This guy is talking about ripping 10,000 cds! What is the cumulative benefit of improved load times on 80 gigs worth of games? (Can you even play that many games often enough to warrant having them all loaded? I don't see how.)

Rather than dismiss it out of hand, I'm thinking real world he might appreciate a raptor making life a little faster ... maybe even more than an extra $400 in a video card is gonna get him. I haven't seen mention of the size of monitor and resolution he is planning to game at. I'm with you on this one John, $200 in a video card now should be plenty to game at 1280 x 1024 on his dusty old 17" lcd. The $400 saved can go into a 2nd gen dx10 card in the fall.
January 17, 2007 8:21:43 PM

hey guys--

i have a 22" crt monitor and want to game at 1600x1200 or 19440x1440 or so, all options maxed

my girlfriend and i have about 2500 cds, and we have about 4 sets of friends who have btwn 1000-2000 each, and i intend on copying their cds too. so, 10,000 is about accurate

no, i doubt i will be playing 80gig worth of games at a time, but since i like flight sims, these tend to stay on my drive and not get uninstalled, compared to say a linear fps where when it's done, it's done. so, add up about 5-6 flight sims (possibly including fsx, which is 14gigs!), stalker, bf2, oblivion, quake wars, possibly supreme commander. all these games are gonna take awhile to play, so i thought a 150gig raptor would be ideal to put them on. that said, i do really need to excercise some discipline $ wise, and i really want to come in under the $2G mark for my system.

so, the consensus i am reading here is that the 150g raptor just isn't worth it cost wise. sure, it's faster, but so much faster than the 7,200 drives to justify the extra cost?

i had someone else tell me that the APC BE650R 650 VA 390 Watts 8 Outlets UPS i am considering will not be sufficient. in his words: " When you try to draw too much power from a battery backup unit, it'll trip the circuit breakers (or melt some leads) in the backup unit."

my intention in buying the apc is only to give myself a min or two of power in the event of a power outage in the house, so that i can shut my system off, and also to protect again power spikes or surges. the price of apc ups's above 390 watts get pretty high--btwn $150-450, which is pretty steep.

is his advice accurate, and should i pony up for the higher wattage units?


this is a must have for me- the power in my area is flakey sometimes, and two diff't computers in our house have died in the last few months, at diff't times, but both on the same power strip. i don't decisively know the cause, but i am being very careful about ensuring consistent and safe power levels for this gaming rig i am building.



so, to simplify things here- i want to build the best gaming rig i possibly can for just under $2G, and it seems the hardrive and the backup ups are about the last unknowns here. videocard, cpu, mobo, soundcard, memory, case, optical drive (when newegg gets the lite on satas in) are all taken care of.
January 17, 2007 8:36:58 PM

Quote:

i had someone else tell me that the APC BE650R 650 VA 390 Watts 8 Outlets UPS i am considering will not be sufficient. in his words: " When you try to draw too much power from a battery backup unit, it'll trip the circuit breakers (or melt some leads) in the backup unit."

my intention in buying the apc is only to give myself a min or two of power in the event of a power outage in the house, so that i can shut my system off, and also to protect again power spikes or surges. the price of apc ups's above 390 watts get pretty high--btwn $150-450, which is pretty steep.

is his advice accurate, and should i pony up for the higher wattage units?


That UPS won't give you a lot of up time, but it is fine for protecting against short (1-2 minute) outages and it definitely won't melt down or anything crazy. Sounds to me like it meets your planned need.

If you really are planning to have a terrabyte of songs stored on your system, that would change the equasion for me. In that case, if it were me, I'd likely go with a raid 10 array with 4 500GB drives. I just can't image going to the effort of ripping that many CDs and then losing them all if I ever had a drive failure. With that much music storage, you're essentially building a media server and not just a gaming rig. Once you accept mirroring and have solid reliability ensured, then it is much easier to justify and accept striping. Getting to 1TB using multiple striped drives gives you slightly better performance and slightly lower cost per GB. Ideally, you'd be able to use 6 320GB drives, but MBs don't typically support 6 device RAID 10 AFAIK (I haven't really looked though - if anyone is aware of a good MB that can handle it, please chime in). So, I'd go with 4 500GB drives in RAID 10 (Raid 1 + Raid 0). That will give you the massive storage you are looking for, solid relaibility to protect all that data from a drive failure, and top notch performance as well. It will impact you cost though, so give it some thought before making your decision on this one. Also, I don't remember what case you were planning, but ensure you have the space/cooling for all those drives also.
January 17, 2007 10:38:21 PM

Quote:
Again, your motives are sound and your advice is directionally correct. That said, you are making some assumptions. If the purchaser needed a computer for school work in order to further their education and expand their earning capacity, would that change the analysis? If they had a substantial bond that comes due in 6 months with a coupon rate of 11%, would that change your conclusions? In all likelihood, your analysis is spot on. But condescension combined with ignorance of a situation is not necessarily a good combination. Drawing and then forcefully voicing unsolicited opinions without knowing the full range of circumstances can be dangerous. Furthermore, if the intent is to educate and alter behavior, then another approach would likely be far more effective. Confrontation often produces defensiveness rather than acceptance. While I understand your comments, I suspect the style in which they are offered are far more likely to generate heat rather than light. :wink:

OK... enough of the philosophical and financial distractions. With those dead horses well beaten, shall we now return to discussions on systems? 8)


Ahh, the first worthy opponent I've encountered. :-) Your point holds true, and it's well written. To answer your first question. If a computer is needed for school or work, then it's not merely a toy but a tool. Why would I chastise someone for purchasing a needed tool? If in all likelihood my analysis is on...as in, chances are it is...then MOST of the time, condenscending or not...I have a point and it registers in the back of a nearly thoughtless mind somewhere or other. You, my good sir, are not thoughtless. I applaud you. Let the discussion commence. :-) I hearby renounce my abrasive behaviors and crown you...well...puddin'! Haha. A lot of people take things too much to heart. You haven't, therefore you truly are the man in control.
January 17, 2007 11:25:22 PM

Actually... after some additional consideration... I am going to counter myself. Typically it doesn't make sense to purchase a dedicated RAID controller for a home build. But for 1TB of storage, it is worth considering as that's buying a lot of excess capacity for mirroring. RAID 5 is more efficient, but you need to run it on a dedicated controller else the CPU has to perform all the parity calculations. For this amount of storage, I'd look into 4 320GB drives plus a dedicated RAID 5 controller. I think you can likely build that solution for less than 4 500GB drives using BIOS RAID 10.
January 18, 2007 1:25:13 AM

i should have mentioned that i am in no rush in adding all these cds to i tunes---i expect it will take at least a year. so, as one drive fills up, i can always buy another in 6 months or so, and when prices are cheaper. and, there are 2 other computers in the house- older ones, but able to store some of the music.

itunes storage is definately of secondary importance here, gaming is first.
January 18, 2007 1:43:14 AM

Quote:
i should have mentioned that i am in no rush in adding all these cds to i tunes---i expect it will take at least a year. so, as one drive fills up, i can always buy another in 6 months or so, and when prices are cheaper. and, there are 2 other computers in the house- older ones, but able to store some of the music.

itunes storage is definately of secondary importance here, gaming is first.


Adding RAID later can be done but is usually a major pain but you can always just burn all your MP3's to DVD as backup (though it will require a certain degree of discipline).

Option 1: Just get the single 320GB drive for now and expand later. This is definitely the route to go if the 10,000 CDs was just a "it sure would be neat and maybe I'll get to it one day" type of requirement. Cost: <$100

Option 2: Get a RAID 5 controller and 4 320GB drives (1 for parity, so 960GB storage). This is the preferred route in my mind if you are absolutely serious about building up your digital music collection and really have access to 10,000 unique CDs worth capturing. Cost: ~$500 (think of it as 5 cents per CD and you'll see the potential value).

Hopefully that gives you enough to be able to make some final decisions and get everything ordered. Best of luck to you.
January 18, 2007 1:49:21 AM

thanks john- option 1 it is

i do plan on getting all this music to itunes, but it isn't the prime focus of the rig. maybe by the time i get anywhere close, the whole blueray etc formats will be finalized and i can buy an external blueray or whatever burner, then have those 10,000 cds on like 100-200 highdensity dvds.

also, by the time i get anywhere close, i am sure that a nice 750G seagate or western drive will be pretty cheap, or at least a lot cheaper than now.

it'll take at least a year to add all those cds, so i might as well let harddrive prices fall while i go about doing so.
January 18, 2007 9:17:10 AM

I wouldn't put all those drives in my gaming rig myself. That's what a NAS is for ... or even an old pc. I would hate to leave my overclocked, watercooled, tricked out hawtness on 24/7 so I could listen to Green Day when I felt like it.
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