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New Build...for the future? Please advise.

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November 26, 2007 8:58:10 PM

I'm looking to upgrade my old PC (read: build new one for me and give wife my old PC...monitor and all) and I have a limited time to take advantage of some funds (read: Christmas present but wife wants it built and delivered by Christmas morning).

A few parameters.
A) I don't plan to overclock but would like to reserve the ability in case it becomes needed to do.
B) I plan to use my box for online game playing, especially MMORPG's and to also do stand alone/network gaming (Crysis, Civilization, etc). I also do a great bit of Photoshop work, all my business work on here, and store all my *cough* totally legit movie backups and music backups here as well.

I want a system that I can build now with an eye for the future. I won't have funds available every 6 months for upgrades or part switching. I don't have to have the bleeding edge right now, but if I can get parts that should work well for a good bit (my current rig works well and it's over 5 years old).

With that in mind...here is what I've put together so far. I know AMD just dropped their new chips, but I put more trust atm in Intel even though Tom's Hardware reports that the current X38 stuff will be incompatible with next years "next gen" processors. I may be able to wait until early Jan to build, but I can't wait past that.

Case: Thermaltake Armor Series VA8003SWA Silver ATX Full Tower Computer Case w/ 25CM Fan - Retail $199

I thought this could hold my proposed vid card and give me plenty room for air cooling and other cards. Thoughts ?

Motherboard: ASUS P5E3 Deluxe/WiFi-AP LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail #349.00

I was going to go with the Asus Striker Extreme, but I read that this board would be a better fit.
Thoughts?

Video Card: XFX PVT80FSHE9 GeForce 8800GTX Extreme 768MB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail $489.99

Yeah, I'm a fan of the GeForce cards and since I'm going to have this card for some time and the people who play the current games I do who have it swear by it, I went for it. I don't need SLI since I don't think anything I'll be playing should want more than this card can handle.
Thoughts?

Pwr Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower W0132RU ATX12V / EPS12V 1000W Power Supply - Retail $320.00

I want my power supply to not sweat AND to give me many years of juice...in case I get crazy and add tons of other cards and stuff to my case. No need trying to do it with 500W when I am trying to build so I don't have to keep paying for new parts unless I have to.
Thoughts?

Proc: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80562Q6600 - Retail $275.00

I had hoped that the quad cores would keep me in enough speed so that I wouldn't have to OC. From what I've seen of my friends quads, this hopefully won't be a problem. I was going to get the Q6700, but it was roughly $250 more and I'm not sure I'll get that much benefit from the step up...although I could be flat out wrong.
Thoughts?

Memory: CORSAIR 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN3X2048-1066C7 - Retail $275

Before you try to flame me for wanting DDR3, keep in mind, this is my build for future use as well. I could go with DDR2 but since I can't honestly say I'll have the cash to jump to DDR3 when it becomes more mainstream, I thought getting it now would help. Besides, the mobo I picked uses only DDR3...and I remember when I built my current rig everyone was shouting how "overpriced" DDR2 was and that it offered no real "advantage" but it seemed to work out for me just fine and I'm still using that DDR2 memory today.
Thoughts?


HD: A pair of Western Digital Caviar RE2 WD5000ABYS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $260 (for both)
Someone told me I'd be better off with a 10k RPM WD Raptor and these, but I'm not sure I want to pay an additional $250 bucks for that raptor....can someone tell me why it's best to have a 10K RPM main drive over the 7.2K ones? Is it THAT much of a difference to warrant the price diff? If so, I'll grab one.
Thoughts?

The only thing I left out is the soundcard, speakers, DVD burners and a monitor. Since I type ALOT, I didn't want that post to get toooo long so I'll stop now.

Please respond and thanks in advance to anyone taking the time to read this book I just wrote. I really appreciate your input/advice.

More about : build future advise

November 27, 2007 12:24:15 PM

Looks awesome mate, however if u have the money then get ASUS MAXIMUS FORMULA instead ,its one of the best(if not the best) X38 board

TT ARMOR is a solid case, definitely go for it, very cool and also alot of room

Dont change anything, everything looks solid
November 27, 2007 1:55:28 PM

Since this PC is for you, not a real gift, I would recommend waiting until January. Prices will be better once the holiday demand ends, and there will be some new CPUs and GPUs available too.

Great choice of case and CPU.

$349 for a motherboard is an incredibly bad decision. Come on, you don't even need Crossfire or SLI, there are good motherboards there for $100 that can do the job. Even worse, that mobo needs DDR3, which is an even worse thing as far as price/performance goes.

I would say GA-P35-DS3R (about $130). Maybe GA-P35-DS3P if you need Firewire or support for 3 or 4 monitors.
If you prefer Asus look at their P5K series. Either way, add 2x2GB DDR2-800 and you'll be all set for a few years.

PSU: I would recommend the PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750W Quad Crossfire. It will be more than enough for a setup with a single video card even if you add 10 hard disks. It's also top quality and has 6/8 pin PCI-E connectors (so you're covered regardless of what you next video card needs). You don't need 1000W.

Disks: get WD7500AAKS or Hitachi 750GB disks, they are faster than the 500GB disks and the price/GB is almost the same.

DVD burners: the Plextor PX-810SA can copy those totally legit movies in 9 minutes. An LG does it in 25 minutes, for comparison. The Plextor is also quieter. On the other hand, the LG H62N does everything perfectly and it costs 3 times less.

Monitor: Samsung 22" is probably the best thing for you. That is, more than 22" may be too much for a single 8800GTX in some games on high settings. Samsung monitors are typically very good. Get a monitor that comes with DVI cable included.

Sound card: if you want Vista, look for an Auzentech or HT Omega, avoid X-Fi.

Speakers: Z-5500 are fantastic, and based on your mobo/RAM/video card choices you obviously have the cash. :D 
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November 27, 2007 2:19:50 PM

Ah, ok first why are you buying a 1000watt PSU? not needed, you would be fine with a Corsair 750watt PSU. The other thing is your RAM, as of right now DDR3 is over priced and there is no real benefit to using it. if you want high performance RAM, then use DDR2 1066, you will save money by switching. As for eveything else, your good. chnage these few things and you will have money for Crysis, or COD4:MW(great game).
November 27, 2007 2:23:36 PM

Iw as going to say P35 with DDR2 but when he wants DDR3 and has the money then let him have it, when u have the money its always good to get the best :D 
November 27, 2007 2:41:49 PM

Thanks alot for the responses all. Quick addition...I'm currently using XP and I keep hearing nothing but horror stories about moving up to Vista...but I also hear Vista is better for DX10. Thoughts?
November 27, 2007 2:57:25 PM

For current games the difference between DX9 and DX10 isnt very much
November 27, 2007 3:04:48 PM

Yeah, the only games I know where DirectX 10 makes a difference are Crysis and FSX, and it's not a huge difference IMO. Then there are games that only support DirectX 10, but those are rare.
November 27, 2007 4:15:50 PM

Can XP take advantage of DX10 or is it an exclusive to Vista? Also, is there a good Asus board that can use DDR2 and DDR3?
November 27, 2007 4:53:47 PM

Exclusive to Vista.
P5KC
November 28, 2007 12:47:20 PM

P5KC is good but P5K-E WIFI OCs better and also it has better cooling
DDR3 option of P5KC is limited to 4GB but the DDR2 optionis limited to 8GB,so the DDR3 option wont become useful
November 28, 2007 1:15:35 PM

Another question...just read that the X48 mobos should be coming out in Jan. In light of what was wrote (Intel says x38 will NOT be supported by next year's new procs)...should I try to wait until Jan for the X48 board and then get my proc and board then or what? The more I learn, the more questions I seem to have !! *screams*
November 28, 2007 1:39:27 PM

Waiting isnt good, if u want to go with new tech, u cant every buy a new PC, so get a good board now and enjoy :) 
November 28, 2007 1:44:43 PM

If you can wait until January then by all means do so. Prices should drop a bit after the holiday demand subsides. Also, there will be the new Penryn quads (Q9450, for example), and the new G92 8800GTS (which I suspect will be a bit faster than the 8800GTX while consuming less power).

X38 and X48 will not support SLI (unless there's some major change in the Intel/nVidia relationship soon), so with your 8800GTX you wouldn't really have any serious advantage from X38 or X48 over P35. Might as well get a P35 motherboard, it's cheaper and consumes less.

Edit: I hadn't seen Maziar's reply. Well, your choice. You'll probably save some money by waiting, but don't expect a lot. If you're getting a long Christmas break (like I am :)  ) then get the PC now so you can use it.
November 29, 2007 10:49:14 AM

Thanks again...and yet another question...I keep hearing about the size of the monitor and whether or not to go with dual vid cards or not. I currently have a 20" Viewsonic Widescreen, but I'm thinking of moving up a size or two. But I was told that if I went to 24" then I'd need to go dual vid cards or else I'd have graphical problems with high resolutions? Anyone care to help me understand why someone would say such? Advice? Thoughts?
November 29, 2007 1:11:42 PM

20" or 22" widescreen means 1680x1050, which is 1.764 million pixels.
24" to 28" widescreen typically means 1920x1200, which is 2.3 million pixels.
30" widescreen means 2560x1600, which is 4.1 million pixels.
The more pixels, the more powerful the card needs to be.

Cards like 8800 GT, 8800 GTX, 8800GTS 512 MB (to be released in two weeks) can handle up to 28" pretty well. You'd even get over 30 fps in Crysis, with a single card, and IMO that's playable. At 30" though a single card will do badly, you'd have a slideshow instead of smooth animation. Adding a second card typically adds 50% to the fps, give or take some, depending on type of card/game/settings/CPU/RAM/OS and so on.

Look at these URLs and experiment - change game, card, resolution.

Single card:
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx=33&model1=706&model2=857&chart=298
Two cards:
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_sli2007.html?modelx=33&model1=804&model2=867&chart=358

The results for the upcoming 8800GTS 512MB (also called G92 8800GTS) will be a bit better than what you see here for the 8800GTX. I just saw a review for it at Tweaktown, and it's extremely close to my own overclocked BFG 8800 GTX OC2.
November 30, 2007 9:35:12 AM

8800GTS 112 SP (G92) is a little faster than a 8800GT 512 and will perform closely to a 8800GTX (the difference will be very little)
however, these are all gueses , wait a little more for true benchmarks, however, dont worry 8800GTX would still be the king :D  , so if u buy the GTX now, u wont be disappointed :) 
November 30, 2007 1:24:49 PM

There are rumors that a new high-end card will be released in February. That would be the 9800GTX, I guess. Too bad you can't wait past January...
November 30, 2007 3:39:49 PM

remember the rumors saying we will have 9800GTX after 8800GTX? and u see what happened :D  , (8800GT and 8800GTS 112SP) , so they are all rumors and no one exactly knows when 9xxx comes out
!