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This is it... Please Look Before I Pull the Trigger! - Page 2

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January 31, 2008 6:53:46 AM

Althius,

Your setup looks like exactly what I've been trying to put together for the last week or so. Hopefully you won't think me too lame if I copy you.

I did have a few questions and changes I wanted to ask you guys about.

First off, I like to game (although I don't have a lot of time to) and I'm sick of my current computer lagging. I was thinking of trying for a MB with x2 PCI-e slots so that I could add another video card in the future if the new games require it. Is this worth worrying about? If so what would be a good motherboard to change from this rig to? I'd like to stick with the Q6600.

Second; they are having a special on the HP nVidia GeForce 8800 GTS PCI-e 640MB, is this worth getting or should I stick with the XFX 8800GT 512MB?

http://www.legendmicro.com/store/more_info.asp?product_...

Right now I only have a 19 inch monitor. If anything I may buy another 19 inch monitor and connect them both up (right now I also often connect my 32 inch tv thru the DVI port) will this change anything?

I'm trying to stay as close to $1000 as I can but I already have Vista Ultimate/kb/mouse/and dvd-rw so hopefully that will save me some cash.

Sorry for all the questions/jack


January 31, 2008 11:24:32 AM

Np... I'll tell you what I've learned.

1) As far as I can tell SLI/Crossfire just isn't worth it. Even if you think "I'll add another card in 6 months or a year, and get more performance!", you will still (probably) be better off buying whatever cool card Nvidia has come up with, rather than dealing in old technology.

2) I can't tell you exactly WHY, but I read that the 512MB version of the GTS was better than the 640MB or 320MB. Again, this is just based off of things I've read.

3) Your system might be a little overkill on the 19"... but is that really a bad thing? The whole reason I got my new system was that my wife got me a kicka$$ 24" widescreen for Christmas and I couldn't do anything in 1920x1200.

4) My system ended up being (after shipping before rebates) around $1350. The DVD is $35ish and VISTA was $110. So there is $150 to save. Also, I would recommend (as it has been recommended to me many times over) buying two HDs if you can. I didn't cause my budget was busted, but if you can, it would be a good thing.

Good Luck! My CPU should be coming today... (stupid FedEx has been a real pain...)
January 31, 2008 1:14:41 PM

althius said:
Np... I'll tell you what I've learned.

1) As far as I can tell SLI/Crossfire just isn't worth it. Even if you think "I'll add another card in 6 months or a year, and get more performance!", you will still (probably) be better off buying whatever cool card Nvidia has come up with, rather than dealing in old technology.

2) I can't tell you exactly WHY, but I read that the 512MB version of the GTS was better than the 640MB or 320MB. Again, this is just based off of things I've read.



1) I agree. My strategy is to buy the best card I can afford, wait two years, sell the card, repeat. SLI and Crossfire are mostly worth it only if you can add the second card right away. To "add a second card later" you still have to get a more expensive motherboard and a more expensive PSU from the start and it's silly if you never benefit from all this.

2) This is absolutely true. The 512MB version has more stream processors (128, just like the GTX and Ultra, not just 96 like the other GTS versions). It also comes with higher clocks. Also, it's using 65nm technology instead of 80nm, which allows for higher overclocks and less heat and less power consumption. In fact, the 8800 GTS G92 512MB matches the 8800GTX pretty well except for two things: at higher resolutions the GTX wins thanks to more RAM, and the GTX supports Triple SLI.
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January 31, 2008 2:20:40 PM

aevm said:
1) I agree. My strategy is to buy the best card I can afford, wait two years, sell the card, repeat. SLI and Crossfire are mostly worth it only if you can add the second card right away. To "add a second card later" you still have to get a more expensive motherboard and a more expensive PSU from the start and it's silly if you never benefit from all this.

2) This is absolutely true. The 512MB version has more stream processors (128, just like the GTX and Ultra, not just 96 like the other GTS versions). It also comes with higher clocks. Also, it's using 65nm technology instead of 80nm, which allows for higher overclocks and less heat and less power consumption. In fact, the 8800 GTS G92 512MB matches the 8800GTX pretty well except for two things: at higher resolutions the GTX wins thanks to more RAM, and the GTX supports Triple SLI.

I totally agree with Aevm on this one. 95% of builds don't need SLI/Xfire and by the time you add another GPU to your build there will be a better single card solution out that will beat the SLI/Xfire setup that you had built. Generally if you SLI/Xfire your going to spend more $ on GPU's/Mobo/PSU/Case to make things happy. If you stick to a single GPU configuration you can take the $ not needed for the items stated previously and use it for a better GPU/CPU. Since your going with a q6600 you won't need to upgrade that for a bit. You can make a very nice computer with $1k, so pick your parts wisely and you won't have to worry about anything at all.
January 31, 2008 2:59:10 PM

Kudos to your wife, you are a fortunate man. Treat her well!!
January 31, 2008 3:41:15 PM

Seriously man... try out Vista before you really regret paying money for it. Stick with XP SP2. Vista makes fluffy bunnies sad :( 
January 31, 2008 4:02:31 PM

LOL, everyone hates on Vista.

I have Vista on my current (5 yr old) computer and I think it beats out XP in every way. You just have to disable UAC (the annoying warning messages).

Can I ask why you choose the Antec P182? It looks kinda high priced. I was at Fry's the other day and saw the El Diablo on sale for $80 and thought about going with that:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Can the El Diablo handle the hardware above?
January 31, 2008 4:33:50 PM

The Antec 900 case is on sale at buy.com for $66 with rebate & google checkout, $66 for the 900 delivered is a "call the police cause ur robbin someone" price. But the sale ends today 1-31-08.
January 31, 2008 7:14:57 PM

Damn, that does look like a nice case!
February 1, 2008 2:43:01 AM

Althius,

Did you go with the 650MHz XFX 8800GTS 512 or the more expensive 678MHz at Newegg? I'm assuming that the 678MHz has just been overclocked by the seller and I can do it myself? The 650MHz is about $70 bucks less then the 678MHz
February 1, 2008 2:47:43 AM

You're not guaranteed that your 650MHz card can be overclocked to 678MHz and remain stable. I guess it's worth a few bucks for that. Not $70 though.
February 1, 2008 2:49:12 AM

Just the Regular... not the XXX.

I should be able to OC this with ATItool... right?
February 1, 2008 2:58:49 AM

Another dumb questions, I'm assuming that I want the SATA hard drive?
February 1, 2008 3:46:17 AM

You can overclock with nTunes, for example. (It's a free download from nvidia's site.) It's pretty good, it can even analyze the system for you to see how far it can push. AtiTool and RivaTuner are also popular.

Yeah, SATA drives are better because they have narrow cables (better airflow) and no master/slave jumpers to mess up and higher bandwidth than IDE.
February 1, 2008 12:10:56 PM

althius said:
I should be able to OC this with ATItool... right?

I prefer RivaTuner for overclocking. Simple but effective.

I have had bad experiences with nTune.
February 1, 2008 12:39:10 PM

Today is a snow day, so there is no work for me. Hurrah! So, I'll be getting a chance to start this build.

Hopefully all goes well. I think my old computer knows I'm about to put it out to pasture... It just started overheating and giving me random BSOD in the last day. :) 
February 1, 2008 8:16:07 PM

Ok,

So I wasted no time. I've bought the majority of my new PC last night. Althius, thanks tons for letting me copy your build.

I bought pretty much the same equipment that you did except I went with the Antec 900 that was for sale on buy.com (thanks for the tip mlaporta!)

I wasn't able to get the same heatsinks that you did since they were all sold out by the time I put in my order but I can probably find something similar locally or just do some more online shopping.

Now I just have to put it all together. To be honest, this will be my first time putting together a computer from the motherboard up. Pretty sad for a Systems Administrator huh!
February 2, 2008 2:06:50 PM

So, I finally had time to put it all together last night. Started around 7:30pm, hit the power button for the first time around 12am.

Lots of bumps along the way... but I got into the BIOS... and even stuck in the Windows CD to see if I could get into the setup.

I know there are still a lot of things that could go wrong, so I'm not safe yet... but at least I know that my MOBO, CPU, GPU and PSU weren't DOA... which was one of my main fears.

I'm going to try and install VISTA 64 tonight and see what happens.
February 2, 2008 5:04:21 PM

you might want wait for Q9300 2.6 in a few weeks. This new chip will perform, and over clock better than q6600 for $266.
February 2, 2008 5:13:37 PM

Thats a fabulous idea. I'll disassemble my rig... undo all the wiring... take off the TRUE, clean off the CPU and return it ClubIT and tell them that I'd like the Q9300.

:pt1cable: 

I did end up with a question regarding case fans. Someone please take a look and see what you think.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/248211-28-using-case-fans-connect
February 3, 2008 8:59:12 AM

Just keeping a brief log of how things are going for anyone who might care...

Got Vista installed no problems. Might have made my OS Partition too small. I guess worst case I can reinstall.

Updated all the drivers and got all the Vista fixes.

Finally did something 'fun'... and installed 3dMark06. Final score is 11686, which supposedly rates better than 90%. This is still stock speed of 2.4ghz.

Had something funny come up with Speedfan where all my voltages looked wacky. Like the 3V was 5.2 and the -12V was -16.4

Not sure if thats right, or a problem or what.

I hope to start doing some serious benchmarks tomorrow, and then OC'ing in a few days.
February 3, 2008 6:52:41 PM

Sounds very good. My system gets a few hundred points more, also with stock Q6000 but with an 8800GTX OC2. Your score is exactly what I'd expect from that hardware. If you overclock the CPU and GPU you'll get into the top 5% IMO.

Don't worry about Speedfan. I gave up on it because it was showing garbage for me too. I just use CoreTemp and CPU-Z and nTunes. Maybe Vista is confusing Speedfan too, I don't know...

February 3, 2008 7:24:07 PM

Out of curiosity... you don't OC your 6600 at all? Not even a little? I thought it was pretty safe to OC to 3ish with the stock cooler?

Thanks for all the help in putting my build together.
February 3, 2008 7:37:05 PM

Nope, not even a little :)  I haven't seen it reach 100% usage, ever, so why bother. It's held back by the hard disks. I'll overclock it later, after I get a SSD or some Spinpoint F1 disks in RAID. Too broke for that right now... I got a Scythe Ninja on it, that should be good for 3.4 GHz.

February 5, 2008 4:01:17 PM

Thanks for keeping it all up to date, seems like the perfect rig for performance and value currently.

The 24" monitor sounds good, i was looking at some a tad smaller but i supose saving on the monitor would just spoil the whole setup.
February 5, 2008 4:56:41 PM

You may want to wait for the Yorkfield (if you can wait that long).
Also, your PSU is minimal. You can't SLI for example.

Don't EVER push the RED button!
February 6, 2008 10:33:36 PM

Althius,

I put my build together last night and I have to say, I am very happy with it. It runs like a charm.

One problem I've run into is that I can't get the CPU temp or fan speeds to show up on the EasyTune5 program that came with the MB. Is there a better program like that out there that you guys recommend?

Also, I have one of those expansions that lets your computer read SD cards, CF cards, etc. Anyone know where I would connect that thing at on my mb?
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