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Very Sexy Gaming Rig; Input requested

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January 16, 2008 4:24:17 PM

I'm putting together a new rig that I want to be able to run Crysis at reasonably high settings and have the longevity to last me well into the next socket generation. I haven't bought any of the parts yet and I'm just making my final decisions. With 780i being just released (I'd like PCIe 2.0 capability but don't really know if its worth the cost), I would just like to know if I am overlooking anything. Budget is $3000-$4000.

Case:

Antec Nine Hundred

Motherboard:

ASUS Striker Extreme

Processor:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600

Memory:

4 GB Crucial Ballistix PC2-6400 1024 MB BL2KIT12864AA804

Video Card:

2 EVGA 512-P3-N841-AR Geforce 8800GTS 512MB For SLI

Sound Card:

Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS

Hard Drive:

Western Digital Caviar 750GB SATA2 7200RPM (For RAID 0)
Western Digital Caviar 750GB SATA2 7200RPM (For RAID 0)
Western Digital WD3200AAKS (For RAID 1)
Western Digital WD3200AAKS (For RAID 1)

Power Supply:

Power & Cooling's Silencer 750W

Optical Drive:

PIONEER 18X SATA Double Layer Dvd Rw Drive DVR-212DD

Keyboard and Mouse Combo

Logitech Cordless Desktop Wave

CPU Cooler

Zalman CNPS9500 LED Copper CPU Heat Sink 92MM Fan 1350-2600RPM 18-27.5DBA W/ Blue LED

Extra Fan

Yate Loon D12SL-12 120MM Quiet Cooling Fan 1350RPM 47CFM 28DB 3PIN & 4PIN Sleeve Bearing OEM

I plan on running Vista 64 bit.

Any questions will be promptly responded to. Any input is appreciated.
January 16, 2008 4:49:33 PM

Seems like a pretty solid build. I know there are probably some better coolers than the Zalman 9500, but it's still a very nice cooler. As far as I can tell, you haven't missed anything.

I'm not sure if waiting is an option, but the Q9770 is clocked at 3.2Ghz stock and will OC to 4Ghz while staying under 1.4v (presumably - basing this on reviews) which seems really attractive to me. All that and you get a 6MBx2 L2 Cache. It's probably going to cost an arm and a leg though... :lol:  Figured I'd throw that out there for you in case you were interested.

What kind of display are you going to be running this on? I'm hoping it's at least 1680x1050 since you're going SLI, really, 1920x1200 would make this baby shine though. :o  (I just went from 1280x1024 to a 1920x1200 display and wow... it has brought new life to games that I thought had only mediocre graphics. :D )
January 16, 2008 4:55:08 PM

I am currently running a pair of 19" Acer AL1916, (1280x1024). I plan on adding a third bigger display capable of those resolutions later on in the year.
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January 16, 2008 5:19:16 PM

Ah, cool. If that's the case, you could go with a single card at the resolution and upgrade once you get a bigger display. I'm pretty sure that a single GTS would still be pretty good up to 1650x1080 for most newer games. Anyways, that's my $0.02.
January 16, 2008 8:49:24 PM

Make sure your memory is DDR3 and 2x2gb and not 4x1gb, this will allow you to upgrade in the future, and is generally more stable than 4 sticks.

Also, since your budget is relatively high, you should consider 2x 150gb raptors in raid 0 for all your programs and Vista. This will really speed things up and you will still have a ton of HD space.

Also, in SLI mode, my computer always tells me that multi-monitor setups are not supported, whether they've fixed that or not I'm not sure.

Good luck with the build, looks freakin' sweet.
January 16, 2008 8:53:31 PM

Quote:
Make sure your memory is DDR3 and 2x2gb and not 4x1gb, this will allow you to upgrade in the future, and is generally more stable than 4 sticks.

Striker only supports DDR2, which he selected (PC6400), but I agree with 2x2GB is better than 4x1GB.
January 16, 2008 8:55:07 PM

its a dream system... but dont get all bent out of shape when you cant play Crysis....No one can play it silky smooth... Get one GTS to hold you off and wait for nvidias or Ati's new offerings
January 16, 2008 9:04:09 PM

My bad i thought it was a maximus extreme which is DDR3. :) 
January 16, 2008 9:32:03 PM

amddiesel said:
its a dream system... but dont get all bent out of shape when you cant play Crysis....No one can play it silky smooth... Get one GTS to hold you off and wait for nvidias or Ati's new offerings



Agreed.
January 16, 2008 9:32:55 PM

rgeist554 said:
Ah, cool. If that's the case, you could go with a single card at the resolution and upgrade once you get a bigger display. I'm pretty sure that a single GTS would still be pretty good up to 1650x1080 for most newer games. Anyways, that's my $0.02.


Ditto. I run Crysis 30-45 frames with my system (in sig) and your new system should smash mine into the ground :sol: 
January 16, 2008 9:42:06 PM

Definitely wait for the new processors and 9800 vid cards…

I have to tell you, I made pretty much the same build 6 months ago (check my SIG)…

SLI is something I would reconsider unless you have the coin to purchase two 8800GTX or have a mammoth display.
-In my case I made the Striker SLI build and planned to buy a second 8800GTX when the prices came down… but you quickly realize that the ‘new’ top end vid card will almost match two older cards.

If I could go back I would have not bought a Striker or any SLI board… I would have purchased a cheaper board, and spent the money elsewhere… like processor.

Truth is, why have two 8800gts? Next month one 9800 will beat it.


*** If I had a Budget of $3000-$4000***

Get a new non SLI board.
DDR3
45nm processor
9800 Vid card.

This machine will annihilate your SLI machine… and when it comes to upgrade you buy 1 vid card.
January 16, 2008 9:48:13 PM

/agree with Grieve.

January 16, 2008 9:49:57 PM

Awesome, though I wouldn't have spent so much money on drives and instead gotten some good Quad-fire action, if you know what I mean.
January 16, 2008 11:10:19 PM

I agree with all the others about SLI - until you get a higher resolution screen a single 8800GTS will more than suffice. By the time you upgrade the screen there'll probably be a faster single card solution that will appeal to you, or you can always choose to go SLI at that point. SLI scales better at high resolutions anyway.

Don't worry about DDR3. Price/Performance is still horrible, and besides, your Crucial DDR2 will be all you need to unlock the potential of the Q6600. Unless you're an extreme overclocker, you won't be pushing the FSB far beyond 400mhz (9 x 400mhz = 3.6Ghz). Just try to get the G0 stepping if possible.

If you're absolutely determined to play Crysis on high/very high settings at high frame rates, you're better off to settle down a wait (not very long) for the next generation GPU's to come out. Throwing a ton of money into it right now might not be your best option, depending on how patient you're willing to be.
January 16, 2008 11:47:39 PM

yup
January 17, 2008 12:07:39 AM

Go EVGA so you can take advantage of the step up program. It will make the transition to the 9800GT2 a breeze.

Thats my plan!
January 17, 2008 12:12:20 AM

I AGREE WITH rallyimprezive STEP UP PLAN WITH EVGA IS THE BEST WAY TO GO REALLY GOOD BUILD.
January 17, 2008 1:11:56 AM

This is a great bunch of advise guys... thanks so much thus far.

It sounds like I should be able to make due with one 8800GTS for now. It also makes sense to upgrade to the 9800 when it comes out and when I buy a bigger display. I think that might be the way to go.

What is the EVGA Step Up plan??

I have read that the Raptors in RAID 0 don't perform much better than these two hard drives in RAID 0. Have I been misinformed?

I would very much like SLI at some point down the road, but see the logic in buying the 8800 and waiting for the new offerings to come out. Will the Striker be able to utilize the 9800 to its fullest, or should I think about maybe a 780i chipset?

Finally, as for the CPU, I don't think I have the patience for the new offerings and considering this socket doesn't have much life left, the Q6600 should do me nicely I think
January 17, 2008 1:39:29 AM

What does everyone think of a 780i board?

The advantages I see:

45nm support
PCIe 2.0 Support

That should enable me to buy one 8800GTS now and provide the capability to upgrade in the future to:

45nm CPU
9800GX2 in SLI (with bigger display)

Comments?
January 17, 2008 1:50:39 AM

Go with Samsung f1 drives, they are the fastest 7200rpm drives available. I would also go with a wired keyboard such as a g15 rev 2... and definitely a wired mouse (G5 or G9) wireless keyboard/mouse aren't really made for gamers. As for psu i would go with a ocz odin (800w), same great quality but modular. finally if you really want to bling i would go for http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... as a case but it might be more then your willing to spend. as for mb I think x48 is the smarter choice. 780i offers tri sli that you cant use because you have a g92 and i really think that sli will be more then enough, i mean where starting to incorporate multiple gpu's in one card.
January 17, 2008 3:27:29 PM

Okay, based on the suggestions here, I have made some modifications. What does everything think?

Case:

Antec Nine Hundred 120

Motherboard:

ASUS P5E3 DELUXE/WIFI-AP X38 ATX DDR3 3PCI-E16 2-PCI-E1 2PCI SATA RAID 350

Processor:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 387

Memory:

OCZ Platinum OCZ3P13332GK 2GB DDR3 2X1GB DDR3-1333 CL 7-7-7-20 Dual Channel Memory Kit 271

Video Card:

EVGA 512-P3-N841-AR Geforce 8800GTS 512MB 340

Sound Card:

Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-FI Xtreme Gamer 24BIT Sound Card 7.1 PCI Retail Box Bilingual 102

Hard Drive:

Western Digital SE16 500GB SATA2 7200RPM 16MB Cache 8.9MS NCQ Hard Drive OEM 3YR MFR Warranty 126
Western Digital SE16 500GB SATA2 7200RPM 16MB Cache 8.9MS NCQ Hard Drive OEM 3YR MFR Warranty 126

Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB SATA2 7200RPM 16MB 8.9MS Hard Drive 3 Year MFR Warranty 82
Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB SATA2 7200RPM 16MB 8.9MS Hard Drive 3 Year MFR Warranty 82

Power Supply:

Power & Cooling's Silencer 750W 160

Optical Drive:

PIONEER 18X SATA Double Layer Dvd Rw Drive DVR-212DD 40

Keyboard and Mouse Combo

Logitech Wave Keyboard 43
Logitech MX400 Performance Laser Mouse 5 Button USB PS/2 Silver Black 47

CPU Cooler

Zalman CNPS9700 LED Copper CPU Heatsink 110MM Fan LGA775 AM2 S939 1250-2800RPM Blue LED 76

Extra Fan

Yate Loon D12SL-12 120MM Quiet Cooling Fan 1350RPM 47CFM 28DB 3PIN & 4PIN Sleeve Bearing OEM 8
January 17, 2008 4:27:41 PM

Seems to be an overall solid build there. the 900 is not my favorite case, I prefer the Raidmax Smilodon or the P180 series by Antec. The PSU is a graet choice. The QC Intel should be decent for now, but when the new cores come out, keep in mind you will see higher FSB speeds. Also the value of 8800GTS over 8800GT is doubtable. Another good option is two 3870s in crossfire, as crossfire is currently more efficient and the performance for one 3870 is not the same as an 8800, but in Crossfire it is a worthy alternative.
January 17, 2008 5:03:58 PM

Don't build right now. The Q6600 is already obsoleted by the 45nm process, and the new Penryns that are not over $1000 will be out soon.

Wait for that, get a 780i MOBO, and you are ok. But if you build on a Striker Extreme and a Q6600, you are already dating yourself and putting your computer up to be bottlenecked in one or two years when the next graphics card updates are out. With Penryn, you will be good presumably for 3 to four years with only graphics card updates required every two.
January 17, 2008 6:36:10 PM

scryer_360 said:
Don't build right now. The Q6600 is already obsoleted by the 45nm process, and the new Penryns that are not over $1000 will be out soon.


Technically yes, practically no. The Q6600 is overkill for any game out there at the moment, and should be more than adequate for the immediate future. I believe even my lowly E6600 which is now 1.5 years old will be more than viable for at least the next two generations of GPUs. GPUs are the bootleneck for gaming performance at the moment not CPUs.
!