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Buying PC, you guys seem the best to inform me of problems.

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April 28, 2007 4:36:28 PM

Having finally got bored of my adware-ridden, >1.8 GHz, 256 RAM laptop, i decided to get me a new gaming PC. However as its a tiny bit pricey and i know how many of you guys here are the fountain source of info on PCs () i decided to post the tech specs and ask if theres anything im missing out on, i was also unsure about the different uses of a hard drive and a data hard drive, is there a gaming specific difference? bearing in mind this PC is almost purely intended for gaming

The site i am buying this from is http://www.cyberpowersystem.co.uk

Here be the specs: (for the new PC)

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Ultimate Gamer 420W Case with Side Window (purely for the look, i dont know if its any good, and i will defo change it if it turns out from you guys that its not a great performance case)

Power Supply: Enermax Infinity EIN720AWT 720 WATT Quad Sli/Crossfire EPS12v CoolGuard

Processor: (Quad-Core)Intel® Core™ 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.4GHz 1066FSB 8MB L2 Cache 64-bit - thats 2.4 GHz each, not 2.4 altogether :p 

Cooling System: EITHER: ASUS Silent Square Pro CPU Cooler OR CoolerMaster Liquid CPU Cooling Fan System Kit + 2 EXTRA CASE FANS (price is the same give or take 1 quid, i just dont know which is better)

Motherboard: EITHER (Quad-Core Supports) EVGA nForce 680i SLI Chipset LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2 Mainboard OR (Quad-Core Supports) Asus P5N32-E nForce 680i SLI Chipset LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2 Mainboard

Memory: (Req.DDR2 MainBoard)2GB (2x1GB) PC6400 DDR2/800 Dual Channel Memory (OCZ Nvidia SLI Ready Edition w/ Heat spreader)

Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB 16X PCI Express Video Card

Hard Drive: Extreme Performance (RAID-0) with 2 Identical Hard Drives (320GB (160GBx2) SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 8MB Cache 7200RPM HDD)

Optical Drive: EITHER SONY DUAL FORMAT 18X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER OR Pioneer DVR-112 18x DVD+/-RW Black OEM Supports DVD RAM

Sound Card: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO (set into the motherboard i think, so dont have to pay anything for this)

Network Card: ONBOARD 10/100 NETWORK CARD

Wireless Network Card: PCI Wireless 802.11g 54Mbps Network Interface Card (unless i should upgrade to Netgear WG311T Super G 108Mbps PCI Adapter for 25 quid? LAN speed in my area is about 2Mbps max i think...so the 54Mbps shud be enough....)

Flash Media Reader/Writer: INTERNAL 12in1 Flash Media Reader/Writer

Cable Wiring: Professional Wiring for All WIRINGs Inside The System Chasis with High Performance Thermal Compound on CPU

OS: EITHER Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Business OR Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional w/ Service Pack 2 (EXACTLY the same price, it all depends on whether or not Vista has yet been properly debugged and all by the time i intend to buy this PC - hopefully about a month from now)

Virus Protection:

* McAfee Virus Scann 2007 OEM (XP Version ONLY,VISTA version will be available soon)
* McAfee Internet Security 2007 OEM (XP Version ONLY, VISTA version will be available soon)

EDIT: Is that mobo-integrated sound card good enough? Or should i go for an additional (non-mobo-integrated) one for proper sound quality.
April 28, 2007 4:52:35 PM

Looks like a good solid system. I only have one suggested change and a few comments.

RAM: I would highly recommend 2GB (2x1GB) instead of 1GB. You will notice a huge difference between 1GB and 2GB.

Case: Antec 900 is a good case but it is fairly loud (owing to the side panel and number/size of fans).

Cooling: I can't comment on liquid cooling. TT Big Typhoon works but is definitely not the best cooler. I'd suggest Noctua NH-U12F (virtually silent and good performance) or Tuniq Tower or Thermalright Ultra 120 (both near the top of the line in cooling). I believe all of them run around $60-70 (no idea on UK prices).

OS: For Vista, you really want Home Premium or Ultimate for a gaming PC. XP Pro is good but doesn't support DX10 (not (few?) games out for it yet anyway).
April 28, 2007 5:11:06 PM

I'd get 2 GB of RAM and Windows XP.

The PSU is probably overkill, you don't really need 720W for that setup.

Personally I'd choose an Antec P180 case because it's quieter.

I wouldn't dare install Sony's drivers on my new PC, it might have rootkits or spyware. I will probably forgive them for that and trust them again some time in 2090. Get an LG instead if you can.

All in all, it looks pretty good (except for the RAM and DVD, those you absolutely need to fix) :D  :D 
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April 28, 2007 5:16:11 PM

The thing is cyberpower only offers that sony drive and a LiteOn drive. Ive been told by other tech wizards on other forums that the LiteOn drive isnt great, but ill post it anyway.

LiteOn SHM-165H6S 16X Double Layer DVD+-RW Super Allwrite + Lightscribe Technology

Alternatively i could buy a seperate Optical Drive, but i dont know any good suppliers in the UK...PCWorld has stuff not even worth melting down for scrap.

And sorry, i did mean to post a 2GB Memory device, must've copied the wrong one :p 

As for the power supply...would 600 watts be enough then? or as low as 580?

Concerning the cooling system, i have no experience of liquid cooling, and i can find no reviews of the device i listed above, though i have heard it is loud. Would the ASUS Silent Square Pro CPU Cooler be a good substitute (considering it costs only £1 more?)

EDIT: Found a Pioneer Optical Drive on Amazon: Pioneer DVR-112 18x DVD+/-RW Black OEM Supports DVD RAM, ive hear Pioneer are the best, is this one what i want for a gaming PC (i rarely burn CDs/DVDs, but i do very occasionally.
April 28, 2007 5:37:33 PM

I was thinking 620W or so. But maybe the PSU you selected is a better idea after all. You're going to want to add disks and TV tuners and so on later, aren't you? My current computer has 3 more disks than it started with :p 
Besides, if you're investing in a SLI-capable mobo you might as well have room to support a second GTS later.

The problem with Liquid cooling is that the low and medium priced versions are terrible. Basically you're better off with the same money spent on good fans than with a liquid cooling solution, unless you're willing to spend a big bundle on it. This is just hearsay from the forum, I haven't personally experimented with liquid cooling so far.

OK, go with Sony then. I expect they're behaving better these days, after all those lawsuits and damages they had to pay. So far I've tried DVD writers from Pioneer (not so good), LG (excellent), TSST (not good at all). There was an article on Tom's recently about DVD burners (and it had tons of comments too) and it turned out that all burners are about the same. You could try looking for it if you want.
April 28, 2007 5:41:29 PM

Something other then LiteOn. The rest is great. This will give you alot of ocing potental and upgrade potental. D4/V\n, I would love to have the money for this set up.
April 28, 2007 6:01:03 PM

:p , i hope i can raise the money for it now ive spent about 3 weeks trying to see what the best is at the budget.

EDIT: How about a FSP Group (Fortron Source) FX700-GLN ATX12V, V2.2/EPS12V, V2.91, 700W RoHS Quad. SLi Power Supply?

I can buy that seperately and replace the standard power supply (which comes with the PC) with it cant I? or do i need some special equipment to do that?

And is the mobo-integrated sound card enough? or will i need a better one for proper sound?
April 28, 2007 6:28:21 PM

That PSU should work fine. When checking PSUs, I usually look at this tiered PSU list and the Fortron (FSP) GLN is a tier 2 (quite good).

Mobo integrated sound is very good. Most people can't hear the difference between integrated and separate sound card. A non-integrated sound card can give you a little better FPS in games though as most (all?) integrated sound uses the cpu for some processing. However, with modern cpus, I suspect this is similar to the Killer NIC (very small performance boost for the price).
April 28, 2007 11:00:19 PM

Ok, for CPU cooling, as i have pretty much the best case for overall cooling, do i go for the "CoolerMaster Liquid CPU Cooling Fan System Kit + 2 EXTRA CASE FANS" or the "ASUS Silent Square Pro CPU Cooler"

And mobo-wise, do i want the "(Quad-Core Supports) Asus P5N32-E nForce 680i SLI Chipset LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2 Mainboard"

or the "(Quad-Core Supports) EVGA nForce 680i SLI Chipset LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2 Mainboard"

The price difference is only about 5 quid, so i just wanna know which of the two will perform best with the rest of my system
April 29, 2007 12:14:24 AM

Neither. Stick with the good-quality OEM Intel CPU cooler. Later on, if you have some specific problem with it, you'll be able to buy something to fix that problem.
April 29, 2007 12:19:11 AM

The thing is with quad-core....its goin to get hot, especially when i intend to run some heavy games. My last pc melted (yes you read right), leaving me with enough PC power to play WoW and WoW ONLY on this prehistoric laptop. Since it only costs me 30 quid extra id like to make completely sure it will never melt, hence the case i chose, and hence why id like to know which of the two coolers works best.

And im still unable to decide between those two mobo's...im rather new to PC specs, so i dont know what to look for in a mobo really.
April 29, 2007 12:58:41 AM

Quote:
Ok, for CPU cooling, as i have pretty much the best case for overall cooling, do i go for the "CoolerMaster Liquid CPU Cooling Fan System Kit + 2 EXTRA CASE FANS" or the "ASUS Silent Square Pro CPU Cooler"

And mobo-wise, do i want the "(Quad-Core Supports) Asus P5N32-E nForce 680i SLI Chipset LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2 Mainboard"

or the "(Quad-Core Supports) EVGA nForce 680i SLI Chipset LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2 Mainboard"

The price difference is only about 5 quid, so i just wanna know which of the two will perform best with the rest of my system


Both of those mobos are excellent and have lots of fans on this forum. They are based on the same chipset so don't expect any serious differences anyway. The integrated sound is great, accordng to reviews I've read. They support nVidia cards better than other chipsets (some special nVidia tricks in the chipset). Personally I'm getting the Asus, just waiting for the promised Q3 price cuts on the Q6600 and hopefully a 8900 GTX or a cheaper 8800 GTX :p 

The last review I read about Asus P5N32-E SLI was comparing it with the Striker Extreme, the most expensive board for Intel these days. They are identical, except for price and some things I totally didn't need like a "Republic of Gamers" ring or some LEDs or additional eSATA ports. I wanted the Striker but I changed my mind after reading that review. Anyway, don't take this as "P5N32-E is better than eVGA", I have no idea about that because I haven't studied the eVGA.
April 29, 2007 11:00:04 AM

Alright so ive narrowed it down to everything except the cooler, where im still stuck between the "CoolerMaster Liquid CPU Cooling Fan System Kit (+ 2 EXTRA CASE FANS)" and the "ASUS Silent Square Pro CPU Cooler"

Ive read reviews of both and both seem to work well, especially the Silent Square, but apparently there are sometimes problems with it being properly attached to the surface of the CPU to absorb maximum heat, and im wondering if it will have enough cooling power to sufficiently cool a quad-core CPU. The Liquid Cooling costs the same give or take £1, and i think it may cool better, but as none of the major reviewers with a reputation seem to have reviewed it, i dont know how effective it actually is.
April 29, 2007 11:37:39 PM

The Q6600 is crap.

Its not truly a quad core processor, its really two dual core E6600 cores shimmed into a single LGA775 package. The issue here is, there are two seperate CPU dies.

This is really important, because with two dies, all communication between them MUST go thru the frontside bus, a decidely bad arrangement from a performance perspective. Any communication between the dies has a direct impact on any cores talking to the chipset.

A true quad processor has four coures one ONE die, and any core can talk to any core without going off-die.

What you are looking at really isnt a quad core, is more of a dual-dual core. True quads are arriving in Q3, last I checked. Please dont waste your money on this junk... get yourself an e6600 for around $350 US and wait... it'll be worth it.
April 29, 2007 11:49:14 PM

Having read a little further down this thread...

the eVGA 680i is in fact the nVidia reference board for that chipset-

There are five (possibly six) vendors selling the reference board, last I heard. All are identical as they are all manufactured by the same single contract manufacturer. The only difference is branding, and bundled options... the circuits, components, identical.

eVGA, BFG, XFX, ECS, and supposedly biostar. And maybe foxconn, havent determined for sure yet. If you want the reference board, pick whomever is cheapest this week off that list.

Any boards from Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, DFI, and Abit were designed around the 680i core logic by in house engineering teams. I personally like the Gigabyte and MSI solutions the best, of all. All 680i boards from these vendors are based on the 680i SLI northbridge except for DFI... They chose the (lesser) 680i LT. The MSI 680i board is particularly interesting in that it has the very first onboard X-Fi audio on any mainboard, with a chip provided by Creative Labs.

Non reference boards are expensive and hard to come by, save asus, where they are just expensive.

Good luck :) 

Regards,
Scott
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