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Final draft before purchase, gaming. Pls comment

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January 20, 2007 6:41:01 PM

I'm a first time builder and am planning an building a mid-high end gamer. I've revised part twice based on helps from everyone here. This is the final (hopefully) list before I buy this week. I can get all this for about $2200 on Newegg after rebates, and will buy a monitor locally. I'd appreciate any last minute part advice/ revisions. I'm not planning on doing a lot of overclocking, may try it a bit, but not pushing it. I'm planning on running the Raptors in SATA 0, and the Caviar as a separate storage drive. Thanks!


Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

ASUS P5B Deluxe LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard

eVGA 640-P2-N821-AR GeForce 8800GTS

Thermaltake toughpower W0105RU ATX12V / EPS12V 700W Power Supply

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model

CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400C4

SONY Black 1.44MB 3.5" Internal Floppy Drive

Western Digital Raptor WD740ADFD 74GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive x 2 RAID0

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

Saitek PK02 2-Tone USB Standard Eclipse II Keyboard

Logitech G7 931375-0403 Black 6 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB RF Wireless Laser Mouse

LITE-ON 18X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write Black IDE

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio 70SB079000000 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card

Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 SP2B with Vista Upgrade Coupon

Logitech Z-4 40 watts 2.1 Speaker

Thanks again
January 20, 2007 6:51:20 PM

If that mobo has good onboard sound, forget the soundcard.

XP Pro is no good unless you are a business running networks etc. After many problems, I have gone back to XP home. This may not save a lot of money, but will save troubles :) 

Otherwise, looks a very good choice indeed. Good Luck :lol: 
January 20, 2007 7:18:58 PM

xp home it is. I've seen a number of comments on Newegg saying the onboard sound isn't too good on the MB, that why I went for a sound card, although I may get a cheaper card - after all, I'm only doing 2.1 speakers.
Related resources
January 20, 2007 7:43:24 PM

Yes, forget about x64. Don't get the sound card...I have that mobo and the onboard sound is more than enough.
January 20, 2007 7:51:52 PM

qwazzy, I'm not OCing...looking at your pic, you've got a cpu fan. Should I get one?
January 20, 2007 7:52:23 PM

Quote:
I'm a first time builder and am planning an building a mid-high end gamer. I've revised part twice based on helps from everyone here. This is the final (hopefully) list before I buy this week. I can get all this for about $2200 on Newegg after rebates, and will buy a monitor locally. I'd appreciate any last minute part advice/ revisions. I'm not planning on doing a lot of overclocking, may try it a bit, but not pushing it. I'm planning on running the Raptors in SATA 0, and the Caviar as a separate storage drive. Thanks!


Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

ASUS P5B Deluxe LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard

eVGA 640-P2-N821-AR GeForce 8800GTS

Thermaltake toughpower W0105RU ATX12V / EPS12V 700W Power Supply

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model

CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400C4

SONY Black 1.44MB 3.5" Internal Floppy Drive

Western Digital Raptor WD740ADFD 74GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive x 2 RAID0

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

Saitek PK02 2-Tone USB Standard Eclipse II Keyboard

Logitech G7 931375-0403 Black 6 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB RF Wireless Laser Mouse

LITE-ON 18X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write Black IDE

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio 70SB079000000 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card

Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 SP2B with Vista Upgrade Coupon

Logitech Z-4 40 watts 2.1 Speaker

Thanks again

I would suggest you get a 16GB motherboard. Heres some I found on newegg.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
January 20, 2007 8:08:44 PM

Any reason to get a 16Gb MB? I picked this one because it seemed to be used by quite a few people. All of the ones linked to use older chipsets, and I figured the newer chipsets would run faster.
January 20, 2007 8:08:46 PM

The only good reasons I can think of for getting XP64 Pro are: 1. if the upgrade coupon is to Vista Premium, and 2. the upgrade process might not be as painful by going from one 64 bit OS to another 64 bit OS, as opposed to going from a 32 bit OS to a 64 bit OS. Then again, if you wait a week or so, you should be able to buy Vista without going through the upgrade process at all.

If you like good, loud, and clear sound, I would stay with the separate soundcard, especially if you plan to get better speakers in the future. But if the 2.1 speakers are as good as you plan to get, the the on board sound should handle them well enough. Do be aware that running on board sound will take some of the cpu power. How much that will affect gaming frame rates varies, but it does affect it.
January 20, 2007 8:10:43 PM

Thats another reason I forgot about. The soundcard takes a load (power and workload) off the rest of the MB/ CPU. I think I'll stick with one. Thanks for the hint on Vista
January 20, 2007 8:40:34 PM

Quote:
Any reason to get a 16Gb MB? I picked this one because it seemed to be used by quite a few people. All of the ones linked to use older chipsets, and I figured the newer chipsets would run faster.

New may only mean more compatible or more features. At any time you compare a motherboard with 8GB and 1 with 16GB guess which system is faster? Guess which system will have the longest usable life? I would find a motherboard which can hold more RAM over any other options then find the newest out of those.
January 20, 2007 8:51:30 PM

Quote:
Any reason to get a 16Gb MB? I picked this one because it seemed to be used by quite a few people. All of the ones linked to use older chipsets, and I figured the newer chipsets would run faster.

New may only mean more compatible or more features. At any time you compare a motherboard with 8GB and 1 with 16GB guess which system is faster? Guess which system will have the longest usable life? I would find a motherboard which can hold more RAM over any other options then find the newest out of those.

That is a really strange strategy to picking a mobo.

I would definitely go with a newer chipset and then try to find one that supports enough ram for you. I am guessing you will be buying a new motherboard before 16Gigs of ram is even plausible/useful. Unless you are set on spending a couple thousand dollars on ram...
January 20, 2007 9:14:05 PM

Quote:
Any reason to get a 16Gb MB? I picked this one because it seemed to be used by quite a few people. All of the ones linked to use older chipsets, and I figured the newer chipsets would run faster.


There's no good reason that I know of for getting a motherboard capable of 16 gig of ram, unless you're into serious business use of some type. Just as XP was most efficient with 2 gig of ram, probably Vista will run best between 4 gig and 8 gig of ram. Besides, it will most likely be years before it starts needing even 8 gig of ram, and by that time we'll be getting new motherboards anyway.

I'd look for the newest chipsets and then pick the one with the best feature package. That will give the motherboard a longer useful lifetime than an older chipset by far.
January 20, 2007 9:29:38 PM

Quote:
Any reason to get a 16Gb MB? I picked this one because it seemed to be used by quite a few people. All of the ones linked to use older chipsets, and I figured the newer chipsets would run faster.

New may only mean more compatible or more features. At any time you compare a motherboard with 8GB and 1 with 16GB guess which system is faster? Guess which system will have the longest usable life? I would find a motherboard which can hold more RAM over any other options then find the newest out of those.

That is a really strange strategy to picking a mobo.

I would definitely go with a newer chipset and then try to find one that supports enough ram for you. I am guessing you will be buying a new motherboard before 16Gigs of ram is even plausible/useful. Unless you are set on spending a couple thousand dollars on ram...
We must look at the factors to date to really understand that even 16GB's isnt that much. Currently OEM system builders have systems with upto 2GB's of RAM. Enthusiasts have been placing 2GB's of RAM in their systems for about 2 years. Enthusiasts are already starting the move to 4GB's of RAM and most enthusiast will move to 4GB's by this summer. Currently there are 32GB motherboards for as low as $55. The OP is buying a 64bit windows XP which is only needed for 3.2GB's or higher.

PCI-E 2.0 is comming out soon so why pay alot for a motherboard? Some of my suggests were cheap compared to the OP's motherboard.

Now moores law state that technology doubles every 18 months. You do the math for how long this system will last with only a 8GB motherboard. Now 16GB's is a bit of RAM but the OP is buying 2GB now and 2 years from now may want to buy more than 2X2GB sticks. A 16GB motherboard would allow him to go to 10GB's in 2 years without lossing his current 2GB's.
January 20, 2007 9:34:44 PM

Quote:
qwazzy, I'm not OCing...looking at your pic, you've got a cpu fan. Should I get one?


Let me remind/inform you...that fan is for my 7600GT, not for the CPU...There is a stock heatsink for the CPU..but you've got money to burn, so if you want, get one, but there is no use if you're not going to OC...
January 20, 2007 10:03:59 PM

Drop the 64 bit windows and stick with 2 GB of RAM and your MB, it can handle 4 GBs, which is the amount I'm hearing is recommended most often for enthusiast gamers with Vista Ultimate.

That X-Fi Xtreme Audio is a terrible buy. It's an Audigy with X-Fi drivers. Get the XtremeGamer if you want a budget X-Fi.

EDIT: Oh, and on your budget I would drop those raptors or just keep one. For the 120 dollars one costs you can get most of the way to an 8800 GTX, which will improve your gaming performance by a lot more than a raptor would.
January 20, 2007 10:35:15 PM

I've heard you get really good performance from RAID0 and two raptors. That's why I went that route. But I like the idea on the soundcard. I understand the RAM issue, but if it doubles in speed every 18 months, then it will be three years before I'd need 16 GB. Time for a new computer in three years! Maybe I can find a good sale on an 8800 GTX and get both raptors as well as the card!
January 20, 2007 11:45:25 PM

Everything I've heard about RAID 0 suggests to me that it's not worth doing in a home system. You might see a 15% boost in transfer rate, if you're lucky, which will translate to maybe a second difference in load time. Definitely not worth spending an extra 120 on. Not to mention that if one drive goes down you lose everything on both. If you really want crazy transfer rates, buy several 320 GB drives and a raid controller with onboard RAM. Of course that will run you about 750 dollars and is totally overboard for a home computer unless you're planning to store a collection of home movies and CDs. I have a pretty pedestrian understanding of all of this, but that's what I got from reading posts by people more knowledgable than me when considering purchasing multiple raptors for myself.
January 21, 2007 1:03:31 PM

So I cut out the raptors, put in another WD Caviar 250, changed the sound card. That saved me enough to bumb up to the 8800 gtx. I'm planning on a 20-22" monitor. Will I be getting the benefit of the gtx with this or should I look bigger (don't want to, but I also don't want to waste my money on a better card if I don't benefit from it)
!