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Building new gaming PC need advice/feedback

Last response: in Systems
November 1, 2007 12:20:59 AM

Hello everyone!

I will be building a new system in the next few months and I would like to know what you guys think about my build!
I have only built one other system two years ago for $700, P4 3.0, Radeon X850 so I know how to set things up.

I am on a budget of $1800-2000.
Also, I already have my case: XG Viper II - Mid Tower and a Monitor: Samsung 226BW running at 1680x1050

The components that I need are PSU, motherboard, CPU, CPU Cooling, Memory, Video Card, Hard Drive(s)? and Operating System. I plan to mostly use it for gaming, and also 3d modeling/animation/rendering in 3ds max.

Here are the parts I plan to buy right now:

EVGA NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI Intel Motherboard
(Processor: I plan to OC it from 2.4 to 3.4-3.6ish)
Q6600 Intel Quad Core 2.4Ghz
Cooling: ZALMAN 9700LED 110mm (Any better air cooling out there? for under $70?)
(I want to stick with air cooling to keep the price down but I wouldn't be against water cooling if it is not very expensive and is reliable. )
Here is my Video Card dilemma. The 2900XT costs less than the 8800GTX, and also has better specs. People are equally divided arguing which one is better. In a year or so when the new gen cards come out I might buy another for crossfire or SLI. I really don't know which one to choose! Help!

EVGA GeForce 8800GTX 768MB 384-bit GDDR3
DIAMOND 2900XT 1GB 512-bit GDDR4

G.SKILL 4GB(2 x 2GB)DDR2 1000 (PC2 8000) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
(I don't know much about memory but I think this would be pretty good for my 3d app.)

My last and final problem is HDD and OS.
I dont know why but i really want to try 2x10,000rpm in RAID0. :pt1cable: 

(2x) Raptor X 150GB 10,000 RPM 16MB Cache Serial ATA150
(2 of them would cost $370. Is it worth it? Any alternatives?)

Windows Vista Home Premium 64bit OEM -111$ (To run on these babies.)

Lastly to power this rig:
XION Supernova ATX12V / EPS12V 800W Power Supply
Rosewill RX850 ATX12V850W Power Supply (-$45 if bought together with Q6600)

Both look pretty cool, but I'm not really sure which one is better.

I would really appreciate feedback or any advice that you can give me! Thanks!
November 1, 2007 1:12:19 AM

8800gtx kicks the 2900xt all over the map get the 8800gtx raid 0 the harddrives or dual boot vista/xp. second one is better psu wise
November 1, 2007 2:57:43 AM

1-get a 8800gt or maybe two of them, they cost the half that one GTX but the GTX is only 8% faster
2-if you buy two of the 8800 gt buy the 680i if you don't want to go sli buy a p35, abit pro is a nice one
3-Get a tuniq tower i think it has a 20$ off at newegg, i thnik it costs 44, and it perform the same if not best than the zalman
4-nice ram!! 4gb is a good choice specialy if you are going vista
5-well i have never tried a raptor so i can't tell you by experience but from what i have read it is not worth by any mean, 2 samsung's t166 in raid or a WD caviar 750gb should do the trick, if you don't need to much space buy some samsung 320gb or something like that.
6-Pc power & cooling silencer 750 is enough and is solid as a rock
Related resources
November 1, 2007 3:05:59 AM

Super! Gonna check those out right away.

Yeah, now that I think about it, two raptors are a little OD.
November 1, 2007 3:10:49 AM

what are you going to do with that pc? games and 3d?
November 1, 2007 3:58:10 AM

Yeah, as i wrote above, Gaming and 3d modeling/animation/rendering.

I am just hoping that it will last for a few years. =D
November 1, 2007 4:59:42 AM

Gigabyte DS3R, Abit IP35 (pro too), Asus P5k, which ever has the options that you want. This is of coarse if you don't SLI, which I don't recommend, but I'm not willing to spend that kind of $ for it.
2 x 2gig DDR2 800mHz you pick which brand. This will allow you to get more RAM later if you need it for 3d rendering or whatever.
2 x 320 gig WD or Seagate HDD's will give you raid 0 and more than double your capacity for more games, files, etc.
Thermaltake Tunic Tower 120 I believe is the best cooling solution around $70. Use Shin Etsu thermal paste (since your going for high end OC's), it's the best right now and sells for about $13 shipped.
And at the minimum for a quality PSU, I'd go with this: $78 shipped or $68 w/Google checkout and no MIR's!!!
Corsair 520W SLI Certified Modular ATX Power Supply - CMPSU-520HX
otherwise go with Antec 550 NeoHE, Seasonic 610w, or even the 620w Corsair HX model. If you want to add more watts, I'd go with the 750w PC&C Quad, it'll set you back about $160, but it's all anyone should need for quite some time.
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad (Crossfire Edition) EPS12V 750W Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CE, CB, RoHS - Retail

PC Power & Cooling Silencer 610 EPS12V EPS12V 610W Continuous @ 40°C Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, cUL, CE, CB, TUV - Retail

Antec NeoPower NeoHE 550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CUL, TUV, CE, FCC, CCC, CB, C-tick - Retail

Corsair HX Series CMPSU-620HX 620W Power Supply Retail ***Free Shipping***
November 1, 2007 1:20:54 PM

Thanks lunyone!

I think I will go with PC&CSilencer 750W, would look good in my red case.
2x320gig drives sound pretty good and are much less expensive than raptors. That Tuniq tower looks pretty effective. I think I'll still go with the EVGA board since I might SLI in the future.

What is the difference between DDR2 800 and 1000?

These two G-Skill sticks are the same in timing, only different in voltage with a $5 price difference.

Which one is better and why do I see many high end gaming PCs using 2gb-800Mhz ram which is very expensive?
November 1, 2007 2:21:56 PM

If you doing extreme OC's the $5 more one will do, but even 667mHz DDR2 will do for an Intel build. Yes the 800mHz DDR2 is a tad better and will allow you more OC room than the 667mHz one. The difference between the 2 you listed is, one is 800mHz and the other is 1000mHz. The 800mHz is rated at stock voltage (1.8v-1.9v) and the 1000mHz is rated above stock voltage (2.0-2.1v). So you can decide. If your not doing extreme OC's you could save some $ and go with CAS 4 DDR2 667hHz memory like this below for $150 shipped.
G.SKILL 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

And even if you want to stick with 800mHz, you could get this too at $145 shipped!
A-DATA 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
November 1, 2007 6:20:41 PM

I think ill spend the extra buck for the 1000mhz one, I plan to OC quite a bit.

Has anyone tried the new G9 mouse and G15 keyboard? I'm planning to buy those.

Thanks a lot for the input!
November 1, 2007 9:04:22 PM

So what is your final build at this point?
November 1, 2007 9:19:13 PM

Motherboard: EVGA NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI Intel Motherboard
Video Card: EVGA GeForce 8800GTX 768MB 384-bit GDDR3
CPU: Q6600 Intel Quad Core 2.4Ghz
CPU Cooling: Tunic Tower 120
Memory: G.SKILL 4GB(2 x 2GB)DDR2 1000
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750W
HDD: 2x320gb Samsung/Seagate/WD drives (havent decided which one yet)
OS:Vista 64bit Home Premium OEM

(I have a Seagate drive right now, its warranty just ran out and its starting to have read/write errors and slowdowns. Maybe thats because I reinstalled my OS a million times or its just too old for Vista.)

November 2, 2007 1:25:13 AM

Nice build! Looks like you should be set for some time. Enjoy it and get a new HD by what your saying.
November 2, 2007 3:16:49 AM

Definitely go Sli with the 2 8800gt's it will smoke a single gtx.
November 2, 2007 12:42:48 PM

Yeah! I was just starting to look into these cards. Seems that they are smaller and the performance is very close. I think I will wait a little bit to see more benchmarks and a price drop. They are out of stock right now anyway...

Which company should I go with?
This EVGA card looks pretty good, Superclocked with Lifetime Warranty? XFX, PNY
This one also seems pretty hot

I'm thinking about getting 2xEVGA 8800GT SSC Editions in SLI, later in mid-November.
November 2, 2007 2:55:17 PM

I was looking at the same card you were, and have decided the 8800GT (x2) is the way to go, I will likely save 40-60 bucks and buy the KO versions and then OC the short jump to SSC.

I bought the two of 2x1GB G.SKill DDR2 800 CAS4 from newegg (F2-6400CL4D-2GBHK) for a total of 4GB and they seem to be great, were ranked very close to Corsair in the reviews I read.
November 4, 2007 2:29:51 AM

I have a couple of more questions about this build.

1. Is 750W going to be enough to power 2x8800GTs OC in SLI and some overclocking on the Q6600, from 2.4 to 3.4ish? and will that Tuniq Tower 120 be a good enough heatsink?

2. How does the performance of 2xRaptors in raid0 compare to 2x7200rpm HDD in raid0, is it a significant difference?

3. Is it worth looking at Radeon HD2900XT
Its 1Gb 512bit, costs a little less than GTX, worth for Crossfire in the future?

November 4, 2007 2:48:13 AM

1) Yes 750w is enough power, especially since your using PC&C PSU! TT 120 is probably the best air cooled HSF right now, from what I've read.
2) Don't think the raptors are really that much better for the $. Your better off with the 2x7200rpm HD's than the 2xRaptors, IMHO.
3) I wouldn't get the 2900xt right now. You'd be better off waiting for the 8800gt's to come down in price and/or waiting a couple of weeks for the new AMD 38xx's to come out. You might find something that will fit your needs better and will probably be ALOT cheaper than 2x8800gtx's. The 2900xt's also need more power than the 8800gtx's, so you'll have more heat in the system. Yes the 2900xt's have been getting a little better with each driver update, but I don't think right now they are a good buy. If they were about $325 or so, than I would consider it. I think they have a better circuit design, but is more complex than I think it needs to be. The other bonus, if you can wait, is that the 38xx are supposed to be Dx10.1 & PCI-E 2.0 compatable, which is supposed to allow more throughput. Not sure if PCI-E 1.1 is saturated yet, but it won't hurt to have the capability of 2.0 under the hood either.
November 4, 2007 3:14:14 AM

Thanks for telling me about the 3800s, they sound really good from what I read. Around Thanksgiving would be a good time to order right?

I played the crysis demo and my goal right now is to be able to play it on high specs. Heh.
November 4, 2007 4:29:33 AM

invalidka said:
Thanks for telling me about the 3800s, they sound really good from what I read. Around Thanksgiving would be a good time to order right?

I played the crysis demo and my goal right now is to be able to play it on high specs. Heh.

Your welcome. I just try and inform people of the options and try to steer them to make better decisions. I have my favorites, but when it comes to bang for the buck, I follow what makes sense. Hopefully the after Thanksgiving sales will have some good values. I know that AMD is probably going to be pushing whatever they have this year, because they haven't had a good year. Hopefully this will force nVidia to drop their prices (which is LOOOOONG overdue).