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New gaming system build

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October 25, 2007 10:28:46 PM

Hi, I am building a gaming rig that will be used to play new high-end games but will also be used as an all-purpose computer (hence the two DVD drives+extra HD). I am pretty much decided on the parts except for 2GB of RAM vs. 4GB. Comments on the build would be great.

Case: Antec 900 ATX
CPU: Q6600 (i will probably oc it sometime to around 3GHz)
Cooling: Zalman CNPS9500 (with LED)
PSU: PC Power and Cooling Quad Silencer 750W
Mobo: ASUS PK5N32-E SLI
Vid. Card: PNY XLR8 8800GTX
Memory: 2GB Crucial Ballisitx DDR2 800MHz
Hard Drive 1: Raptor 10000RPM 150GB
Hard Drive 2: Seagate 250GB 7200RPM
DVD: Two 20x DVDRW w/Lightscribe
OS: Vista Home Premium 32-bit

More about : gaming system build

October 25, 2007 10:41:44 PM

If you do decide to go with 4GB or ram, I would go with Vista 64bit. (Psst...There are alot of vista haters on this forum.)

If you don't ever decide on SLIing, then you can get a non-SLI MOBO.

Otherwise it looks pretty good.
October 25, 2007 10:45:20 PM

im thinking that if i go with 4GB ill just stick with 32-bit and use the ~3.2GB of RAM that is availiable because of better software compatability and drvier support. (why u gotta hate vista? :D )
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October 25, 2007 11:28:19 PM

P35 chipset mainboard is best single card GPU board for price.. look at Gigabyte or ASUS if you dont want SLI

Id go 4gb either way in a 2x2gb if you can afford it. More RAM is better, and that also leaves you room to upgrade.

Consider waiting on purchase as the new NVIDIA and AMD GPU options are comming and you maybe dissappointed in 2 months when the GTX aint the top of the pack anymore. You could look at an eVGA card and get there Step-Up Program which could help eliminate that 2-3month issue.

CPU cooling i would look at the thermalright 120 Ultra its the best thing out there for C2D arch.
October 25, 2007 11:58:39 PM

ill look into 4GB of RAM but it would be 4x1GB. As far as video cards go, I understand that the GTX might be outdated but Im not as concerned about not having the "best" video card. Im fairly sure the 8800GTX will be running high-end games at max or near-max settings for awhile and Im not planning to upgrade it anytime soon. Im definitely not changing the board (Im pretty much sticking with SLI support for now) and as far as cooling goes, I dont want the thermalright because of size issues with my case (itll give me something like a .5 inch of clearance between the cooler and the side of the case). I'm interested in the performance benefits of 2GB vs 4GB (~3.2GB to be used) in 32-bit Vista Home Premium. Any info on that would be great.
October 26, 2007 1:05:23 AM

Here's my $.02:

I'd do 2x2GB. You'll get slightly looser timings but as always more memory is better than faster memory, especially going forward. 4x1GB is alright, but it's harsh on the motherboard and doesn't leave any room to upgrade.

Definitely get Vista64. It's way easier to update your drivers than it is to update your OS :) 

Also I don't think that Raptor is necessary. Go for a single larger drive instead of the two smaller ones. The performance drop will be negligible and the extra space will be well worth it.
October 26, 2007 1:12:47 AM

As far as the memory goes, im not sure which 2GB modules my mobo supports so i think 2x2GB is out of the question (its also more expensive). If I ever upgrade my system to 8GB I would probably be getting faster RAM anyway. As for the HD Im not looking to change that even tho the performance is only a little better. Vista is my big question mark. Should I get 64-bit? What are the advantages of 32-bit? Can any1 give a link to compatable games in 64-bit?
October 26, 2007 1:36:36 AM

lockdownx1x said:
WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2 Weeks!!!!!!!!!
8800GT will almost beat the GTX and be a lot cheaper. Buy 2 of these and be happy :D 
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=36c333...


Not all games utilise SLI very well so two of them isn't better than one monster graphics card, graw 1 & 2 don't even use the second card at all, so its useless. "Its better to buy one monster graphics card for those games that only utilise one card". I have friends that have been playing the graw games for over a year now and that second 8800 GTX has just sat there doing nothing, what a waist of $$$.
October 26, 2007 1:43:09 AM

it doesnt make sense that a 250$ 8800GT should out-perform a 400$ 8800GTS. I have a feeling some of these "leaked" benchmarks are fake.
October 26, 2007 2:58:47 AM

That is a beautiful computer, besides Vista.
October 26, 2007 3:10:20 AM

paq7512 said:
That is a beautiful computer, besides Vista.

lol, vista isnt so bad :D  ill probably wait till monday tho b4 ordering my card
October 26, 2007 8:16:10 AM

cheeseking25 said:
lol, vista isnt so bad :D  ill probably wait till monday tho b4 ordering my card

I agree... if you have the horsepower to run it and your games no problem, what's the big deal? :p 
October 26, 2007 10:44:20 AM

if you want a cooler that cools good and looks good, go for the zalman 9700 if you have the money otherwise go for the thermalright 120 Ultra as
chookman said
October 26, 2007 12:04:56 PM

Why do people hate Vista so? My Athlon 3000+ runs it just fine, and my new C2D e6550 is gonna kick Vista's @$$! Yeah, Vista puts some serious load on your computer, but that's why we're thinking about new systems, isn't it? To have more power to do stuff? Well, let's do Vista with it!
October 26, 2007 9:15:21 PM

bcboy said:
Why do people hate Vista so? My Athlon 3000+ runs it just fine, and my new C2D e6550 is gonna kick Vista's @$$! Yeah, Vista puts some serious load on your computer, but that's why we're thinking about new systems, isn't it? To have more power to do stuff? Well, let's do Vista with it!



I think most are upgrading to run some of the many awesome new games that are comming out. Its got nothing to do with Vista (well maybe a small amount). I know i just bought a new Dell 2407 and ill be getting one of the 8800 series cards *updated ones* when they come out to run Crysis, Bioshock, Orange Box etc. and ill still be using the trusty XP Pro.
October 26, 2007 11:05:02 PM

Im really on the fence about vista vs xp and am looking for some concrete reasons to go one way or the other. I like DX10 and some of the eyecandy vista offers but Ive heard the antivirus program can delete your own programs without warning and im still shaky about the driver issues and game compatability. Good and bad vista stories would be helpful. This is the ONLY problem I have left before I build so I really need to get it solved.
October 26, 2007 11:23:52 PM

cheeseking25 said:
Im really on the fence about vista vs xp and am looking for some concrete reasons to go one way or the other. I like DX10 and some of the eyecandy vista offers but Ive heard the antivirus program can delete your own programs without warning and im still shaky about the driver issues and game compatability. Good and bad vista stories would be helpful. This is the ONLY problem I have left before I build so I really need to get it solved.


Build a duel boot system, one HDD for XP and the other for Vista. The best of both worlds.
October 27, 2007 12:35:03 AM

cheeseking25 said:
Im really on the fence about vista vs xp and am looking for some concrete reasons to go one way or the other. I like DX10 and some of the eyecandy vista offers

Need any other reason but eye candy? Seriously though, next time u get a chance, go take a look at a vista system...a really good look... The start menu's built-in search function is awesome, as are the search bars in all the explorer windows. Click on one, type in a program exec, hit enter, just like Start-->Run... in XP, but smarter. who needs to remember C:\Program Files\Insert Name Here\runme.exe ? Bah, type runme, its all good. Vista indexes your most used directories automatically. On a single-core system, I did notice a lag effect when it was indexing, but after the first couple of days, it generally indexes while your sleeping. That's just one of the improvements Vista has in store.
cheeseking25 said:
but Ive heard the antivirus program can delete your own programs without warning

o.O? Where'd u hear that one? Vista uses all the common av programs, norton, avg, zonealarm, and NOD32, so that statement seems um...wrong.
cheeseking25 said:
and im still shaky about the driver issues and game compatability.

I was too, when I first put Vista on my computer. Then again, I got a pre-release of Vista the first time. My dad was part of the 'quality-control process' :S And, yeah, at the time, there were no drivers, a lot of the xp and pre-xp software didn't work. But Vista worked like a charm lol. And now that the OS has grown out of infancy, the drivers are there, the compatibility issues have been addressed (somewhat), and Vista worked just fine in my second install, and on my new beast too, which I'm typing this out on, while running a virus scan, Media Player, whatchamacallit Video Desktop, ALL the bells and whistles!
cheeseking25 said:
Good and bad vista stories would be helpful. This is the ONLY problem I have left before I build so I really need to get it solved.

There's your good stuff. I have only one thing bad to say about Vista. Don't expect this OS to run properly on a PIII or less. This ain't yer grandaddy's operating system, sonny! It's a bit of a hog, but its worth it. For a new machine, there's really no question in my opinion.

systemlord said:
Build a duel boot system, one HDD for XP and the other for Vista. The best of both worlds.

Yeah, that's a great idea. I did the same thing when I did the second install. After about two weeks with Vista, I never looked back. After a month, the XP drive was formatted for storage space.

EDIT: but be careful if you decide to do that. If Vista is on your second HD, it won't set the partition active, so when you switch it to primary, your system won't boot. I spent quite some time scratching my head over that one...eventually it was a mix of fdisk and fdisk /mbr that saved the day.

This wasn't supposed to be a rant about Vista, but it appears that I have a lot to say...

:sol: 

October 27, 2007 4:34:06 AM

after alot of serious thinking, im thinking that im gonna go with xp. I hope this is not a mistake but vista doesnt seem to be worth it yet for DX10. i may upgrade (or dual boot) in the future. Now im just wondering which version of xp to go with...any ideas?
October 27, 2007 4:54:21 AM

My old 2.0GHz was running Vista with 1.5GB. Relax, Vista won't kill your computer, or try to eat you, or any other scary thing you can think of. Take it from someone who is actually using Vista. For a new computer, Vista is the way to go.
October 27, 2007 5:02:32 AM

im not as worried about performance as i am about compatability,software issues,etc.
October 27, 2007 5:11:12 AM

Stop worrying. There's not that big of a problem there. If a certain program won't install, google it. 99% of the time, someone else has had the same problem by now. I'm tellin' ya, Vista is ready.
October 27, 2007 11:44:52 PM

can anyone give me some good reasons NOT to get vista (besides slight performance drops, RAM hogging,etc.) Im back to thinking im getting vista btw.
October 27, 2007 11:58:11 PM

No, I don't really think anyone can. Vista is really not too bad as it is right now and SP1 should come out any day(month) now.
October 28, 2007 12:15:23 AM

I can't think of any sites, but if you're still not convinced, do like was mantioned earlier, set up a dual boot. With Vista, that's really easy to do: Install XP on one drive, then run the Vista install, it will automatically detect XP, and I think (it was about 6 months ago I switched, so I'm not sure) it will default to, or at least give the option of, a dual boot setup.

:sol: 

EDIT: Here, this thread is all about XP vs Vista, but I don't think you will find any real examples of how one is better than the other...At least you can get other opinions, though...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tomshardwareus.inc&cat=31&post=245862&page=1&p=20&sondage=0&owntopic=1&trash=0&trash_post=0&print=0&numreponse=0"e_only=0&new=0&nojs=0
October 28, 2007 12:20:16 AM

I can't.

:sol: 
October 28, 2007 12:31:08 AM

ive been searching all over the web for current articles on vista vs xp but have been unsuccessful. can any1 provide any good links?
October 28, 2007 6:13:28 AM

im thinking im gonna go with vista after all. It is actually cheaper than xp now (hmm...i wonder if that has anything to do with microsoft's attempted murder of xp :D ) and alot of people have told me thats the way to go. Now I am just wondering wheter to get 32-bit or 64-bit home premium. Which of my system components will need drivers for it and are they availiable? Would it be better to get 2GB of memory on 32, 4GB on 32, or 4GB on 64?
October 28, 2007 6:24:20 AM

Don't quote me, but I think that Vista-32 has some bugs regarding 4GB+ ram. So, if ya bought 2 gigs, use 32-bit...4 gigs or more, better go with 64-bit... As far as drivers go, go to the Asus and nVidia websites, and they'll have the latest vista drivers. Even if you get install CD's saying they contain Vista drivers, check the websites for newer ones. nVidia has released something like a dozen drivers since I first installed. Vista isn't a baby anymore, but it's still not an adult yet.
October 28, 2007 6:27:54 AM

sorry this is a noob question but here i go...what components actually need drivers? is it just the video card and mobo?
October 28, 2007 6:34:10 AM

well, that depends...lets see, some keyboards might, for the media/extra keys to work, but the regualr keys will work, same with mouse...gamepads, USB devices, printers, etc...but for internals, yeah, you'll need probably a couple of different things for the mobo, a BIOS flasher (in case a new version of the BIOS goes out), maybe a driver for your chipset, a monitor or overclocker program, that's what usually comes with a mobo, video drivers, CD/DVD burning software if it applies, if you can't connect right away(very very rare in Vista) you might need ethernet drivers, and of course, any special hardware, like a PhysX card, or a SCSI interface, will need drivers, but it doesn't seem like you got those in there...
October 28, 2007 5:46:24 PM

cheeseking25 said:
ok the only drivers im not 100% sure about are the mobo drivers so could you check those out real quick and make sure theyre ok for 64 bit? http://usa.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=3&l2=11&l3=397&l4=...

Guess what? That link shows almost the exact same board thats in my computer, that I'm typing on right now, in Vista-64...Yeah, I think the drivers work :) 

cheeseking25 said:
also this driver will work for my printer (dell all in one photo 924 printer) right?
http://support.us.dell.com/support/downloads/download.a...

I honestly don't know. I don't own a printer, and I've seen some posts around the Net about people having printer driver problems in Vista, but without a printer I can't really investigate. The link does say Vista-64 driver...It will very likely be a printer driver for Vista-64 :p  whether it works or not, all I can say is google it.
October 28, 2007 6:03:35 PM

im leaning towards 32-bit because of alot of problems with 64-bit in several programs that i use and in some dell forums people have issues with printers in 64. Id really rather play it safe when it comes to my os (but hey, im not playing it THAT safe if i get vista at all :D ) and I think 32-bit will be a better option for now. Would it be a good idea to still get the 4GB of RAM (i know ill only be able to use about 3.2GB in applications but thats plenty)? It only costs 30$ more to get the extra 2GB (to make 4GB) vs. getting 1 extra GB (to make 3GB total) so I would probably be getting 2 sets of 2x1GB of the RAM I have listed in my build.
October 28, 2007 6:33:35 PM

I think I have seen reports of some computers not working at all with 4 gigs in Vista-32. I recommend you stay at 3 gigs or less if you're going with 32. After all, 4GB memspace was only a 'theoretical' limit in the original 32-bit design; it seems that the practical limit is lower.\

:sol: 

EDIT: Then again, when the 32-bit design was created, 4GB of ram was completely unimaginable...There weren't even 1GB hard drives yet :lol: 
October 28, 2007 6:48:43 PM

maybe ill just get 3GB then (2x1GB and 2x512MB). I have a quick question, If i do get 3GB ill be using the same RAM (Crucial Ballistix DDR2 800MHz) but they arent the same model number (but they are both supported by my mobo)will they still work in dual channel (512 modules will be in corresponding slots and 1GB modules will be corresponding slots)?
October 28, 2007 10:51:58 PM

cheeseking25 said:
it doesnt make sense that a 250$ 8800GT should out-perform a 400$ 8800GTS. I have a feeling some of these "leaked" benchmarks are fake.


no it makes sense, this card is new, the GTS 640 came out almost a year ago, technology gets better over time, here is a review of the GT, it comes out tomorrow so you can check other sites soon and see it is definately not worth it to get the GTX
http://www.vr-zone.com/articles/Nvidia_Geforce_8800GT_R...

Im not sure but ask other people the GT is not the only card coming out this winter, other parts of the 8800 series should be getting the g92 update in mid november i think.

either way getting the current 8800gtx is not the way to go, do yourself a favor and sit on your hands for a week or two so you will get a deal in the long run
October 29, 2007 12:12:24 AM

bcboy said:
I think I have seen reports of some computers not working at all with 4 gigs in Vista-32. I recommend you stay at 3 gigs or less if you're going with 32. After all, 4GB memspace was only a 'theoretical' limit in the original 32-bit design; it seems that the practical limit is lower.\

:sol: 

EDIT: Then again, when the 32-bit design was created, 4GB of ram was completely unimaginable...There weren't even 1GB hard drives yet :lol: 


where did you see that 32-bit vista doesnt work with 4gigs of RAM? Im planning on going with 4GB and Vista 32-bit.
October 29, 2007 12:44:39 AM

google it, i can't remember...I was researching something else when I saw it...
October 29, 2007 12:54:18 AM

So I guess Ill just get Vista 32-bit with 3 Gigs of RAM (two 1GBs and two 512MBs).
October 29, 2007 3:55:53 PM

Okay, looks like you've made all the decisions, now you just have to put it together, and see if it actually works the way you dreamed it would :) 

:sol: 
October 29, 2007 6:38:54 PM

XP vs Vista? Vista has many upgrades from XP and overall will be a much better option. However, XP still is a more stable and supported OS. This is primarily due to maturity. I am holding off on purchasing Vista until SP1 comes out. Hopefully with SP1, users can have the same sense of confidence that the more mature XP offers. This is more of a preference choice, as vista SP1 should eliminate all the advantages that XP has over it if you live with an inferior product for ~3 months.

32v64? why not go 64 is what I ask you. 64 bit windows allows 32 bit applications to run in 32 bits. However, any new software that may come out in 64 bit cannot run on a 32 bit system. By this point, any hardware manufacturer that does not have 64 bit drivers does not have a future. Also, going with 64 bit architecture eliminates your concern over ram issues.

Ram. Whether you go with 3 gig or 4 gig, don't use all 4 slots. Do 2x1gig or 2x2gig. Read the first page and a half in this thread: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/245572-30-tomshardwar...
That explains it better than I could hope to.
October 29, 2007 7:55:19 PM

ok the 8800GT just came out and I still havent ordered...what do I do?
October 29, 2007 8:34:20 PM

Well what do ya think lol go get urself a shiny new gt ^.^
October 29, 2007 8:49:34 PM

ok im thinking about SLI but I wont be getting them till 2morrow. Do you think newegg will sell out by then?
October 29, 2007 9:22:28 PM

Probably lol
I have seen a few reports that say SLI aint working under Vista atm, but im sure theyll fix it if there is an issue.
October 29, 2007 9:44:00 PM

o.O? ur gonna shell out 5 big ones for 2x8800GT?
take this, wallet o~(>.< Q)
that's like 2/3 cost of my whole system right there
ps get one it'll do all the newest games, then get other later when ultrasuperhypermaxhdkickyerbutt comes out and the single cant cut it no more...sometime in y3k i imagine :) 
October 30, 2007 1:23:06 AM

cheeseking25 said:
ok im thinking about SLI but I wont be getting them till 2morrow. Do you think newegg will sell out by then?


There is only one way to find out, let us know tomorrow.
October 30, 2007 2:49:00 PM

there is a "theoretical" limit about 4GB of RAM in a 32bit system but there are workarounds for it now.... eg mobo support/os patches
this will allow you to have access to almost all of your 4GB

can't find the article/site yet will post when I do
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