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New gaming build need advice and compatibility check

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August 21, 2007 5:30:33 PM

Hello forum readers,

I have been researching a new build for keeping up with todays and tomorrows high demanding games for a while now. I have taken computers apart and replaced every component on them but this will be my first personal build. It is hard to keep all the reviews and product commentary straight so I am here to see if what I have invisioned will work and if I could do better for a price range of $2000-2500 USD. I also plan to overclock, I want at least 3ghz on the CPU.

Case - Cooler Master Stacker 832

Motherboard - EVGA 680i SLI version A1

Processor - Intel Q6600 G0 stepping

Heatsink - Zalman 9700 NT

RAM - 4GB total of Patriot eXtreme Performance 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800

Video Card - EVGA 768-P2-N831-AR GeForce 8800GTX 768MB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP I plan to get a second as soon as I can

PSU - The one I want is not out yet. Cooler Master Real Power Modular 850

Hard Drive - 150GB Raptor, I have a Caviar 250GB in my current PC I will transfer over.

CD/DVD Drive - LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner with LightScribe

OS - Windows Vista 64bit and XP Pro 32bit dual boot

Monitor - I will transfer old monitors over till I can get a 24 inch.

Other - 5 Aerocool extreme turbine fans, G9 mouse, G15 keyboard, Zalman MFC1 Plus fan controller

I appreciate any feedback that can be provided.
August 22, 2007 3:06:46 PM

Thinking of changing the PSU to the highly regarded PCP&C 750 Silencer, really wish they made modular designs. But better to have a mess of wires than a mess of paper-weights in a big shell.
August 22, 2007 3:13:59 PM

Well if you changed the PSU to good one like the silencer 750, please enlighten me, what the hell do you need help on :D ? You did pretty damn well by yourself... Kudos to you.

One thing I'd like to point out though, even though the Zalman is good, I would prefer using the Tuniq Tower 120, it is just a superior cooler, but Im sure that the zalman will work out fine too.
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August 22, 2007 5:30:25 PM

Or the Thermalright 120 ultra extreme (or whatever its called :sarcastic:  )

Best air cooling you can get, these days
August 22, 2007 6:30:48 PM

Don't bother with the Raptor. I know that there is a proformance increase in dedicating it to your OS, but it does not justify the cost. For that price you could RAID two 320GB drives and get close to the same speed and over 4x the storage.
Save yourself $100 and go for the Antec P180 over the Stacker, I know the Stacker is the hot case right now, but it's overpriced.
Second the Silencer PSU recommendation.
If you're planning on going SLI, save some money with the 8800gts 320mb GPU. With two 760mb cards, you'll be paying alot of money for memory you'll never be using.
August 22, 2007 6:33:04 PM

the memory on the cards is besides the point, the GTX is considerably faster than the GTS, and he's going for a 24" display with most likely a res of 1920x1200, which needs and begs for at least 8800GTX SLI to play fluidly.
August 22, 2007 6:38:52 PM

The GTX is faster, but the GTS is overclockable and I don't believe that the GTX is enough of an improvement to justify an additional $600 after SLIing. Even on a $2500 build, that's a quarter of the cost. Unless, of course, money is no object.
August 22, 2007 6:41:28 PM

You are aware that at 1920x1200 you not only need the power of the GTX to push the games, but also the 768MB of memory aswell right? It's not really a matter of choice when you're planning on running displays THAT big.
August 22, 2007 6:45:00 PM

I would agree if he was planning on only one GPU then the GTX is the way to go, but even on that display I don't think he'll see enough of an improvement with the dual 8800gtx over dual 8800gts justify the cost.
August 22, 2007 6:52:23 PM

Dual GTX are about 40% faster than dual GTS. Seriously, if the OP (or anyone for that matter) intends to game on a 1920x1200 (Or even worse 2560x1600) display, they better be ready to shell out for Dual GTX, because there's no other way you'll get smooth gameplay on those resolutions. A single GTX will probably choke on 1920x1200, and SLI GTS are only like 10-15% faster than a single GTX.
August 22, 2007 7:43:22 PM

Outdoor Oblivion scenes crush every card, and probably any cards coming out anytime in the near future. If you want a card to pull down 60fps in outdoor oblivion scenes your going to need a DeLorean. Anyways we are way off topic. I won't argue that GTX>GTS, only that at double the cost, it's not worth it. IMHO, I'd pocket the extra money and put it towards a future 9800gt card.
August 22, 2007 8:07:17 PM

Thanks for all the great advice so far, I will probably be getting the 24 inch monitor and 2nd GTX at the same time because of the reasons listed by emp, and if I ever find a 30 inch monitor on my doorstep I'll be ready. I am still tossing around the reasons for and against a raptor, the cost is rather large and if the 36 or 74 were more 1 to 1 gb/cost then I would have leaned toward them more.
August 22, 2007 8:14:48 PM

Raptors have the same problem as a lot of gaming hardware. You're paying a LOT more for just that last little ounce of performance.
BTW, that G9 looks sweet, but have you seen the upcoming MS Sidewinder mouse. Tough tough call.
August 22, 2007 8:22:06 PM

I did see the sidewinder but I have been a logitech fan for a while now so untill I get my hands on both I am leaning toward the G9. Also as for the CPU cooler advice I have looked into the Ultra 120 Extreme but I am worried that it is just too large for the stacker, that may seem crazy but I read that some people have trouble getting the side panel on with all the fans in with that heatsink.
August 22, 2007 8:30:08 PM

question. you are buying all this nice hardware, but what are you going to test it on? :p  you need some games hehe... Bioshock comes to mind
August 22, 2007 8:43:27 PM

Heheh I guess I didnt go into detail on that. Bioshock is on the list as well as Crysis, Fallout 3(May Bethesda have mercy on my soul), SupCom, Assassin's Creed, and GRAW 2 just to name a few. Oh and Battlefield 2142, which I am already playing but could be better.
August 22, 2007 8:57:55 PM

Nice list, I'd add Lost Planet to that :D  Simply because I love it
August 22, 2007 9:17:31 PM

change your mobo to striker and your ram to corsair 10000 1250Mhz
August 22, 2007 9:31:37 PM

Striker is a POS.... and that ram is fine for 3Ghz OC...
August 22, 2007 9:41:58 PM

That ram is far too expensive and really beyond what I need, and I just like Evga's motherboards better than Asus's.
!