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First home-built gaming rig, comments before purchasing

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October 15, 2007 4:10:18 AM

I've been waiting what seems to be forever to get started on this gaming rig but now that I have the funds I'm going no holds barred on this baby. I'm basing my rig on what i'll need to run crysis at 2560x1600 so heres what i'm thinking now.

QX6850
Thermalright Ultra-120 extreme
2 BFG 8800 GTX OC2 in sli
EVGA (A1) 680i
4G OCZ DDR2-800 Gold
150G 10,000RPM Raptor
500G 7200 RPM Western Digital
30" Samsung LCD

Comments or suggestions are greatly appreciated
October 15, 2007 5:05:29 AM

that is one CRAZY rig.
suggest:
going from QX6850 back to Q6600 and OC you will save alot of money here for not much loss
Lian Li A71 will give you the space you need with good air flow, or Coolermaster stacker.
You will need a Fan for the Ultra-120. look at scythe fans they are awesome.

Good luck.
October 15, 2007 2:58:47 PM

You're getting Vista?

Are you going to overclock?
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October 15, 2007 3:19:41 PM

That is one CRAZY rig, lol

I would agree that switching to the Q6600 will save you some money, plus with a good CPU HSF, you can overclock it quite well. Also you didn't metion a case for this build. Lian-Li would be a good choice. I also hear good things about Antec and coolermaster. good luck, this thing should make crysis run quite well. :) 
a b 4 Gaming
October 15, 2007 3:28:15 PM

The QX6850 is overpriced, you get 25% more speed than with a Q6600 and you pay 3 or 4 times more. However, if you have plenty of cash and you want to overclock a lot and you like to boast about your PC, then go for it, what the heck. :D  :D 

Apart from that, very nice. Agreed about Scythe fans, get a SFF21F for your cooler.

I'd recommend Silverstone TJ09 for the case, with 3 additional SFF21F fans (you can leave the 2 stock fans there, they're great). Also a PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750W Crossfire PSU. It has the 4 PCI-E connectors and the juice you need for two 8800 GTX cards and it's top quality.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341011&Tpk=silencer%2bcrossfire

Let's see, what else is missing: Z-5500 speakers and a serious sound card... If you're getting Vista you may want a non-Creative card - there are some driver issues there AFAIK.
October 15, 2007 7:12:39 PM

I'm hearing what you're saying about the QX6850. If my strategy is to go 6600 and overclock would i be better off moving to a water cooling solution then? Regarding the case and sound card i'm looking at the CM Stacker and the mid-level X-Fi soundblaster (the mid range one).
Also yes to vista.
October 15, 2007 7:31:35 PM

Right even though that rig is just about as uber as you can get I'm not actually sure it will handle crysis on max settings at those resolutions- seriously. But hey as there's nothing better around and i suppose you don't want to wait then go for it, just make sure you've got decent cooling. And i will be eternally jealous of you. Till i get a new rig.
a b 4 Gaming
October 15, 2007 8:57:45 PM

Watercooling is nice, especially to reduce noise, but you don't really have to do it and it's tricky. I've read posts like "oops, it leaked and fried my mobo". Also, it's expensive (the cheaper solutions tend to be not so good, they are even beaten by air cooling solutions that cost less). Go for it only if noise is a serious concern and you are willing to pay $300 or more and it will be installed by somebody who has done it before.

The Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme, with an SFF21F or SilenX Ixtrema fan, is the best air cooling combination I know. It should be enough, especially if you get a CM Stacker and add the optional fans. I'd recommend SFF21E fans for the case (they move less air than SFF21F - 1200 instead of 1600 rpm - but 20 dBA instead of 28 dBA is a major advantage IMO when you have several).

OK, about Vista and Creative X-Fi cards, you really need to do some research here. Unfortunately I didn't pay much attention to this topic because I'm happy with my XP (for now) but I do understand that Vista users are better off with other types of sound cards. Why don't you just go ahead without any sound card, see how the integrated sound works for you in Vista, and in the meantime also find a card that actually has good Vista drivers. You may end up buying no sound card at all, or buying an Auzentech or whatever.
a b 4 Gaming
October 15, 2007 9:20:42 PM

Ummm, you pay $270 more for the Q6700 and you get 10% more speed and a free game. If he's overclocking anyway he might as well get the Q6600. I bet that either Q6600 or Q6700 will overclock to about the same level anyway on his machine because the mobo or RAM will hit a limit before the CPU. Either way is fine, it's just the price of the QX6850 that bothers me :) 

I just wanted to say good choice for the video cards. I've only got one of those OC2s but it's good enough for my 22" monitor. It comes with a totally ugly T-Shirt, but apart from that no complaints :)  Just make sure to get the latest beta drivers, because the latest official drivers from July were rather bad. I used to get crashes in some games with those July drivers and they're gone now with the September beta.
October 15, 2007 9:55:12 PM

If you want to run crysis at 2560x1600, id wait for better hardware to be released (eg. geforce 9xxx / penyrn) or get extreme cooling.

I have a Q6600 running at 3.3ghz (maximum on air cooling) and a single 8800gtx overclocked to 648/1042 (more or less) and its not enough to get 60fps at 1900x1200 on high. it gets around 20-40fps. and thats without AA.

DONT step down to a q6600, even though you can OC it to qx levels, it will not OC as much as the QX does... and believe me you need the extra cpu power.

Consider alternative cooling for your gfx cards, as you may need to overclock your two GTX's even further than stock cooler limits to achieve stability in crysis @ 2560x1600 on high incl AA.

You will HAVE TO OC your cpu even if you get the QX as quadcores relative low clock speed restricts the performance of the 8800gtx/ultras.

Other than that, its a sweet looking game that most people around the world won't be able to appreciate for atleast a couple of years due to its high hardware requirements when all eye candy is on.

Good luck.
October 15, 2007 10:23:25 PM

You are going to spend $3000 to play Crysis?!
October 16, 2007 2:34:48 AM

So i'm feeling kind of conflicted here. I'm not making this computer exclusively to play crysis but i want to get the requisite performance to make it work. I feel like if i got that down i'd probably be completely set for at least a year. Waiting for new hardware doesn't really look promising right now. The desktop quad core penryns aren't slated till Q3 2008 and the G92 isn't looking to replace 8800 GTX as #1. It looks like major overclocking is unavoidable in any case. Questions i guess are

On a price performance basis am i best off Water cooling the VGA's, cpu, neither, both?

Will I NEED an extreme to get this res or not?
October 16, 2007 5:25:12 AM

Consider phase change cooling or TEC.

vapochill www.asetek.com
Promethius Mach 1
Amanda TEC
etc

if you want to overclock

October 16, 2007 7:43:31 AM

Your going to have to put all that hardware somewhere, SilverStones TJ09 is a full tower case designed for graphics card cooling. Playing Crysis at 1920x1200 is a pretty hard thing to do, let a loan at anything above that.
October 16, 2007 10:44:44 PM

Those phase change coolers are definitely not in the budget lol. How does this sound to any of you guys. Go with the Q6600, overclock it using the Thermalright u120. Use the money i save to make a water cooling system to overclock the two gtxs. I'm assuming here that overclocking the VGAs will make a bigger impact on high res fraps then oc'ing the cpu.

How does that sound?
a b 4 Gaming
October 17, 2007 2:02:31 AM

Umm, silly question: if you watercool the GTX cards, why not do it for the CPU too and get rid of the Thermalright. Sounds logical to me, but I'm not an expert. I hope an expert reads this and clarifies.

Overclocking the video card(s) usually helps more than overclocking the CPU, but there are exceptions like Flight Simulator and of course any non-gaming programs.
October 17, 2007 2:13:44 AM

wouldn't putting the cpu in the loop decrease the cooling power to the VGA's? I'm not sure about it either way. Maybe i'll throw it over to the overclocking board.
October 17, 2007 2:30:09 AM

Predead said:
If you want to run crysis at 2560x1600, id wait for better hardware to be released (eg. geforce 9xxx / penyrn) or get extreme cooling.

I have a Q6600 running at 3.3ghz (maximum on air cooling) and a single 8800gtx overclocked to 648/1042 (more or less) and its not enough to get 60fps at 1900x1200 on high. it gets around 20-40fps. and thats without AA.

DONT step down to a q6600, even though you can OC it to qx levels, it will not OC as much as the QX does... and believe me you need the extra cpu power.

Consider alternative cooling for your gfx cards, as you may need to overclock your two GTX's even further than stock cooler limits to achieve stability in crysis @ 2560x1600 on high incl AA.

You will HAVE TO OC your cpu even if you get the QX as quadcores relative low clock speed restricts the performance of the 8800gtx/ultras.

Other than that, its a sweet looking game that most people around the world won't be able to appreciate for atleast a couple of years due to its high hardware requirements when all eye candy is on.

Good luck.
You shouldn't use the beta as an accurate measure of performance; also the thing making the game perform poorly isn't your CPU, as I've got an X2 4800+ at 2.6GHz and my performance is roughly the same as yours. :lol: 
October 18, 2007 1:11:06 AM

So has anyone tried to run these kinds of resolutions in the beta?
October 18, 2007 2:05:15 AM

drkevorkian said:
So has anyone tried to run these kinds of resolutions in the beta?


In Crysis? Thats unrealistic to expect from Crysis.
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