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Can someone look over this system

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January 6, 2008 12:47:40 PM

I'm looking to replace a 5 year old dell with a moderately priced gaming rig. My limit is around $1700.

I placed all of the info on a spreadsheet.

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pzngozBbHDrNRj0KhXV3iCg

Should I get a different powersupply? motherboard?

Thanks in advance!

More about : system

January 6, 2008 4:42:27 PM

Looks pretty good so far. Only thing I would say is wait for the new 45nm CPU's that are going to be released at the end of this month. PSU and mobo look fine.
January 6, 2008 5:26:04 PM

if I were you, I'd buy an upgrade copy of xp instead of an OEM. you are limited to 1 motherboard with the OEM copy, but with the upgrade, you can swap your mobo out as many times as you want.

do you think you'll upgrade your mobo in the next 5 years? the upgrade copy is only $10 more. only drawback is you will need to hang on to your installation discs from your old dell (this is what I do, but I change out my mobo once every year or 2)
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a b 4 Gaming
a b V Motherboard
January 6, 2008 5:46:10 PM

Your motherboard comes with a respectable 7.1 audio chip. Why not wait on the X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty till you check out the onboard sound first? Unless you have an expensive speaker system (not the Logitech X-230) Im not sure the $135 sound card will make any noticeable difference in quality. Usually you see a speaker system cost 2 or 3 times the cost of the sound card.
-> Or maybe get the vanilla X-Fi XtremeGamer and Logitech X-540 speakers? Or just the X-540 speakers and try them out with the onboard sound.
Instead of the Antec thermal compound get some Arctic Cooling MX-2 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
XP or Vista? I'd recommend Vista with that hardware of yours.
a b V Motherboard
January 6, 2008 5:49:08 PM

^Agreed. Might also want to try Arctic Silver 5.

Over all solid build. For RAM you can go with this ($37):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...(XMS+Series)-_-N82E16820145590

They both work very well but go with the XMS2 if you plan to OC. See:
http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=2079&p...
^Corsair XMS2 Review.
3-4-3-9 @872
5-5-5-15 @ 1056

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/memory/display/ddr2-80...
^Crucial Ballistix Review.
3-2-2-8 @ 626
5-5-5-15 @ 1008
January 6, 2008 10:22:16 PM

Wow... Thanks for the replies!

@nzxtlexa
Is it worth waiting? Is there any speculation on how much the processor will be improved? Will I need to change to a different motherboard?


@sepanye21
I was thinking about getting the upgrade version except that I want to keep my old dell running xp. Plus I'm not sure if the upgrade would work as it is also an xp computer and the installation is locked to the system/motherboard.

@WR2
The x-540 was what i originally picked for speakers but i don't have anywhere to put the rear speakers. Should i just give up on the soundcard for now?

The Antec thermal stuff was recommended by a friend, but I will look into it. Also, is the standard heatsink/fan combo sufficient. I don't plan to overclock. That can come in a month or two.

Regarding Vista and XP, I'm not so sure. I know the ins and outs of XP and I heard the gaming performance on XP was superior. Is vista worth getting yet? Also what version?

@Shadow703793
Believe you meant $67 but $37 would have been nice :D 

So the Corsair preforms better at a cheaper price (if i overclock)? I'm a little confused at how the differences in speed affect the computer. Does overclocking noticably improve performance?

Thanks again for all the help. I'll update my list if I change parts.
a b 4 Gaming
a b V Motherboard
January 7, 2008 1:36:19 AM

The stock Intel heat sink fan is actually quite good. Even for light over clocking to ~3Ghz (6850 speed) or a bit more.
It comes with thermal compound already on the heat sink. If you dont plan on over clocking much there really isnt any reason to clean it off and use an after market thermal compound. Its true that aftermarket thermal compound will let the CPU run cooler and thats a good thing. The Antec and Arctic Silver 5 are both metallic compounds but the MX-2 is non-conductive and a little easier to use. Any of the three are good performing thermal compounds. MX-2 review

No reason not to test the onboard sound. Its really easy to add the sound card if the onboard sound doesnt meet your requirements & expectations.

If you ran Vista and WinXP on the SAME machine you'd be able to measure some performance advantage for WinXP.
With your new hardware its not like you'd need that extra small advantage to get overall excellent performance. IMO starting out with a fresh install of Vista now is better than upgrading later. And you won't buy two OSs for this system. Vista32 Home Premium is best for gaming and all around home PC usage.

Waiting for the new Wolfdale/Penryn CPUs might get you ~5% performance advantage depending on what programs you run. Anandtech review: Wolfdale vs Conroe Your motherboard choice will handle either CPU.

January 7, 2008 3:09:05 AM

Taking off the sound card and adding vista home premium x64 leaves me with ~$250 extra. Any recommendations for 4GB of ram (or is it not worth it)? If I chose to wait for the new processors, would there be a big price gap between processors with similar specs? Should I get a q6600 or the equivalent penryn processor?

Technology is a love hate thing. Everything becomes obsolete the instant you buy it.
January 7, 2008 4:01:36 AM

Great build but I’d recommend ASUS mobo… just for the simple fact that Gigabyte is a sub company of ASUS and why settle for 2nd best? And I’ve found that the support and after sale service is much better.

just my opinion. but rest of the build looks good.
a b 4 Gaming
a b V Motherboard
January 7, 2008 4:11:51 PM

I just saw the Penryn/Wolfdale pricing chart: Wow! [:wr2]



E8400 @ 3Ghz for $183 available in Jan (actual street price higher $$?) compared to E6750 @ 2.66Ghz for $190 now. Still a E6750 OC @ 3Ghz will still be an awesome CPU. Waiting isnt that much fun.

Even if you want to get 4GB of RAM I'd still suggest the 32bit version of Vista. Your PC will only "see" ~3.5GB of RAM but thats still a LOT of RAM. 95% of what you'll run on your system in the next couple years will probably be 32bit programs. And 32bit programs running on Vista64 (using the 32bit emulation layer) won't see any extra memory anyway and probably take a bit of performance hit because of the emulation activity.


Anonymous
January 7, 2008 5:49:03 PM

Nice prices for Intel !!!
I sure hope Nvidia chokes on the money and dies from the profit they are making on their 8800 series. A$$holes.
January 7, 2008 10:30:27 PM

I don't think I'm going to wait for the wolfram processors. Demand will probably cause the prices to rise. I changed the processor to the q6600, changed the motherboard to the Asus recommended (thanks n@n0), took away the soundcard, and added 4 gigs of ram still under the total of $1700. Any objections or am I good to go?

Edit: What is wrong with Nvidia? Also will I need extension cables for the power supply due to the antec 900's awkward power supply location? Will my video card fit?
a b 4 Gaming
a b V Motherboard
January 7, 2008 10:53:30 PM

Nothing wrong with nVidia at all. ATI is not performing, nVidia can take advantage of that and sell cards for $800, it does so because shareholders want big profits. Thecompukid, as a buyer of video cards, is unhappy, of course. However, nVidia's executives are obligated by law to make the shareholders happy, not the customers.

Anyway, enough politics. I like your config. Maybe get a bigger hard disk iwth a better price/GB ratio (search newegg for WD7500AAKS).
January 7, 2008 11:14:02 PM

WR2 said:

Even if you want to get 4GB of RAM I'd still suggest the 32bit version of Vista. Your PC will only "see" ~3.5GB of RAM but thats still a LOT of RAM. 95% of what you'll run on your system in the next couple years will probably be 32bit programs. And 32bit programs running on Vista64 (using the 32bit emulation layer) won't see any extra memory anyway and probably take a bit of performance hit because of the emulation activity.


- Vista license keys are compatiable with either 32 bit or 64 bit media. If you dont like 64 bit and want to change to 32 bit you can use the same key, just download an image of the 32 bit media and use that..
- 32 bit programs still benefit from 4gb of ram under vista. Why? because other programs can use that memory above the 32 bit address space even if they cant. Remember there is always more processes than one running on any PC.
- Can you please provide some evidence about the 32 bit 'emulation layer' negatively effective address space performance?

N@n0 said:
Great build but I’d recommend ASUS mobo… just for the simple fact that Gigabyte is a sub company of ASUS and why settle for 2nd best?


Gigabyte is not in anyway a sub company of ASUS. Gigabyte is a publically traded company in Taiwan and is not owned in anyway by ASUS. Back in 2006 they did briefly think about merging but that did not happen.


Quote:
if I were you, I'd buy an upgrade copy of xp instead of an OEM. you are limited to 1 motherboard with the OEM copy, but with the upgrade, you can swap your mobo out as many times as you want.


Not really although the web based activation may fail. If you have any activation issues after a motherboard upgrade you can still ring Micro$oft and get them to give you a new activation code over the phone. I have done this personally twice for mobo upgrades without any problems, I just explain exactly what I am doing. As long as you are not replacing the whole PC they dont seem to have a problem.

p.s. you dont need to hang on to your old XP discs with an upgrade version. once you have actually purchased the upgrade you can use it like a normal retial copy. You can even have both the XP and vista running on the same PC as it does not deactivate your XP key. (note running the XP on a different machine once you have activated the upgrade key is illegal ofc)
January 7, 2008 11:14:19 PM

Just so everyone knows I dual boot XP pro and Vista Ultimate and XP for games gets a higher fps and their really isnt much quality difference (not noticeable)
January 8, 2008 12:10:55 AM

@aevm
I swear I actually changed that to the 750gb drive at about the same time you posted, but I forgot to update the website. Just fixed it. Wow, $0.20 a GB (maybe a little less due to the differences between how hard drive manufactures and Windows lists their drives). Thanks anyways.

@MikosNZ
I think I'll stick with 32 bit vista until I feel the need to change over to 64bit. Unfortunately, I'm guessing that isn't "legal". Or am I wrong.

@random1283
Nice to know. Has the recent release of SP1 increased performance?

Also, does anyone know about the motherboard and powersupply cable length issue (with the antec 900). Just found out that the graphics card will fit:
http://www.yougamers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=55428

Thanks again for all the help.
January 8, 2008 2:06:45 AM

wonginator1221 said:

I think I'll stick with 32 bit vista until I feel the need to change over to 64bit. Unfortunately, I'm guessing that isn't "legal". Or am I wrong.


Sorry if I wasnt clear I thought I was. You can use any vista home premium CD key with either the 32 bit or 64 bit version. This holds true even if the DVD only has one version on it.

So if you buy a 32bit copy and then at a later point decide you want to upgrade to 64 bit, all you need to do is download the 64bit DVD image and then use your 32bit key to install it. It works aroung the other way aswell. For example I purchased the 32 bit upgrade version, then I borrowed the 64bit MSDN DVD from work and used it to install vista64 using my 32 bit key. It is 100% legal as microsoft states in their documentation the keys are cross compatiable and can be used in that manner.
January 8, 2008 2:11:52 AM

wonginator1221 said:
Has the recent release of SP1 increased performance?


Sp1 hasnt been offically released yet, there is a beta version avaliable however.
January 8, 2008 2:17:48 AM

Ah. Thanks for clearing that up.

Reviews on Newegg (their server is having issues) say that the power suppy has long enough cables to reach the motherboard in the antec 900.

I plan on buying this system within the next day or two. If anyone else has a recommendation for the system, please post it!
a b 4 Gaming
a b V Motherboard
January 9, 2008 4:08:57 PM

MikosNZ said:
- Can you please provide some evidence about the 32 bit 'emulation layer' negatively effective address space performance?







http://zone.ni.com/devzone/cda/tut/p/id/5709 From this linked article:

Misconceptions about Windows Vista x64 Edition
Operating systems such as Windows Vista x64 Edition are not automatically faster than their 32-bit counterparts. In some cases, they may even perform slower because of the larger pointers as well unrelated OS overhead. Overall, an application’s performance depends on what it is used for and how it is implemented. Emulated applications running within the Windows on Windows 64 layer (discussed in more detail later in this
article) will not be able to address any more memory than they could on a 32-bit system.

[:wr2:2] Also from the same article:

Potential Drawbacks to Windows Vista x64 Edition
Many 32-bit applications will not be updated for Windows Vista x64 Edition; however, most 32-bit software will still function because of a Microsoft emulation layer. This emulation layer, known as Windows on Windows 64 or WoW64, enables 32-bit programs to run as though on a 32-bit version of Windows by translating instructions passing in and out of 32-bit applications into 64-bit instructions. Emulated programs act as though they are running on an x86 computer and operate within the 2 GB of virtual memory that a 32-bit version of Windows allocates to every process. However, despite Wow64, 32-bit programs on Windows Vista x64 Edition cannot take advantage of the larger 64-bit address spaces or wider 64-bit registers on 64-bit processors.

[:wr2:2] When you think about how 32bit programs expect to handle memory address space its likely that limitation was designed in as a safety feature.
a b 4 Gaming
a b V Motherboard
January 9, 2008 4:18:53 PM

wonginator1221 said:
I plan on buying this system within the next day or two. If anyone else has a recommendation for the system, please post it!
I see you're at your budget limit. However if you want to "use" the savings you be able to get through rebates you might want to think about an aftermarket CPU cooler. The stock Intel HSF is pretty decent but you can get better performance for not a huge extra cost. This article shows the how the stock HSF fan stacks up against some of the aftermarket cooling out there. Anandtech CPU cooling review
!