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New Build Specs - Ordering Monday

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January 25, 2008 3:47:17 AM

This will be my first new build, and after getting help here, the extremetech forums, and about 80+ hours of my own research I have finalized my build. Critiques welcome:

- Antec 900
- ABS Tagan BZ900
- eVGA nForce 780i SLI
- Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3GHz (45nm)
- Tuniq 120LFB Blue Tower (with AR5 compound)
- Corsair XM2 4GB(2x2GB) DDR2-800
- eVGA GeForce 8800GTX
- Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB 32MB cache
- Samsung SH-S203N 20x DVD±R (DL) SATA
- Mitsumi Card Reader/Floppy
- Antec 120mm Crystal 3 step case fan.
- Dell Ultra Sharp 2208WFP with Dell AS501 Sound Bar (already here)
- Crysis and CoD4 for stress testing (least thats what I told my wife)
- Freebie gamers chair

Total: $1985 (to my door, after rebates)

It took me a lot of time to get to this point, but I am finally ready to purchase. My reasoning behind the rig? Well, no sense having a gaming rig without the games. The Dell monitor kicks serious butt for the price, and its extra speaker just for the heck of it. A (lol) $100 gamers chair for free!

Getting the extra fan for the side of the Antec case to help keep things cool. In particular the hot northbridge of the 780i board. The burner is a must, media reader will be nice, and floppy just in case. Though the Mitsumi may end up in my old Dell that's getting turned into a media server.

The real components:

The Antec 900 looks great, has awesome airflow, is the right size for my desk, and I love the top controls. I picked the 780i to future-proof myself for a while with its triple-SLI, 45nm quad support, and PCIe 2.0. I went with eVGA because if they release improved 790i board anytime soon, eVGA is likely going to offer its step-up.

I went with the E8400 because gaming won't be reliant on quad's for a while, and I want to OC in a air-cooled box, and this will let me OC alot. I chose the XMS2 for its ability to stay cool, and the 2x2GB setup to give me all the RAM that XP Pro 32-bit can use. When I am ready to go down the Vista road, I will go 64-bit and will be able to easily drop in another 2x1GB or 2X2GB.

I want to air cool in style, hence the cool blue Tuniq instead of the Thermalright. Finally, I will probably get another GTX board next year once I finish my game room, and pick up a 42" LCD, so no sense getting a PSU that I will have to replace. I went with the ABS Tagan because its a serious performer, and will look seriously cool in the case. After all the feedback I got, and carefully going over the charts I decided against the Raptor drive, and went to the Barracuda for the marks it got, the 32MB cache, and of course, the space. Games these days are taking up alot more room than they used to.

So I have what should be a rock steady and nice overclockable air rig. With the ability to move up to Vista 64, upgrade ram (without wasting any), upgrade to a 45nm quad core, and drop 2 more GTX's into or whatever new PCIe 2.0 cards come out. I should be able to get 5+ years of serious gaming out of this rig, which makes the wife very happy.

Thanks to those that helped.
January 25, 2008 4:17:19 AM

I would probably stay away from triple SLI, as not much benefits from SLI as it stands, usually more problems than anything in my experience (have had several SLI rigs and one nice card has always done better).

An EVGA 8800GTS 512mb will be comparable to a GTX and you could even SLI it with another if you REALLY want to sli in the future. Plus, the 8800GTS comes with FREE Crysis. I spent less than $1900 CAD before rebates on the rig in my signature this week and it blows everything out of the water.

If I can't sway you on the whole SLI thing then I hope you enjoy it! It should be a killer rig.

Cheers.
January 25, 2008 5:23:11 AM

SLI shines on large displays running high resolutions. Since I plan on getting into a big LCD later this year or the first of next year, I will be in need of the SLI setup. Who knows, by then games might benefit even more from them then.

I looked long and hard at the new GTS, but at only $80 cheaper, with less pipes and less memory, I just couldn't do it. Not for a single card setup. I'll wait to see what changes happen for vid cards this year first.
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January 25, 2008 10:50:30 AM

Drop GTX and get one of the following 3: 8800gt in sli, ATI 3870x2, or wait february for 9800gx2. These three cards performs better than a single GTX, and will shine in higher resolution. Its not worth buying GTX anymore, specially if u want to sli in the future, while ati 3870x2 beats it for lower price. If I was you, ill wait for 9800x2, should be around $550, then in the future buy another one and sli, this will equal 4 gpu and still cheaper than a gtx in sli.
January 25, 2008 2:26:25 PM

I have no intention on going ATI. I also would like to note that while I am sure you are correct about the GT SLI being faster, I was wondering why you are compairing a single board to dual boards? 2 GTX's would make the dual GT's eat alot of dust.

Aside from that, my choice in mobo and vid card is partly due to eVGA's step up program. So let the new parts come next month!

*** Build slightly modified, and purchased at 9am est. ***
January 25, 2008 3:14:40 PM

A 42" LCD TV does not necessarily mean you need Triple SLI. What is the resolution? For example I've seen 32" TVs running at 1366x768, which is even less than a 19" monitor.

Edit: I went to Future Shop's web site and looked at three 42" TV's at random. Resolutions 1024x768, 1366x768, 1920x1080. A single 8800GTX can handle the first two even in Crysis. For the 1920x1080 you do need two cards. Not sure about three, but it could be nice. Anyway, get a PSU that can handle three 8800GTX cards just in case, and pick carefully when you buy the TV.

January 25, 2008 4:13:24 PM

Just my 2 cents, I have the Antec 900 and am really happy with it, but I recommend you dremmel out some holes for the cables. It really cleans things up, and helps your airflow. Here's a post that got me started on mine:
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=12...

Keep in mind you may need to extend some cables.
January 25, 2008 5:23:33 PM

Sauvage said:
SLI shines on large displays running high resolutions. Since I plan on getting into a big LCD later this year or the first of next year, I will be in need of the SLI setup. Who knows, by then games might benefit even more from them then.

I looked long and hard at the new GTS, but at only $80 cheaper, with less pipes and less memory, I just couldn't do it. Not for a single card setup. I'll wait to see what changes happen for vid cards this year first.


GTX cards are like $500 here, so if you can get one for $80 more than a GTS, then hell ya! Im probably going to try to overclock my GTS to GTX standards :) 
January 25, 2008 6:52:44 PM

aevm said:
A 42" LCD TV does not necessarily mean you need Triple SLI. What is the resolution? For example I've seen 32" TVs running at 1366x768, which is even less than a 19" monitor.

Edit: I went to Future Shop's web site and looked at three 42" TV's at random. Resolutions 1024x768, 1366x768, 1920x1080. A single 8800GTX can handle the first two even in Crysis. For the 1920x1080 you do need two cards. Not sure about three, but it could be nice. Anyway, get a PSU that can handle three 8800GTX cards just in case, and pick carefully when you buy the TV.


I was actually looking at the Vizio (I think), but the resolution was 1920x1080 on whatever it was. I really have no intention on running 3 vid cards. 2 should be plenty, which is why I dropped from a 1100w PSU to its 900w kid brother. I went with the eVGA 780i to assure myself that I would either be able to upgrade in the future to whatever I could, or so I (hopefully) can take advantage of their step-up program on a better board. Same goes for the GTX. Word has it that the step-up will only be available for the GTX and Ultra.
January 25, 2008 6:54:41 PM

will087 said:
Just my 2 cents, I have the Antec 900 and am really happy with it, but I recommend you dremmel out some holes for the cables. It really cleans things up, and helps your airflow. Here's a post that got me started on mine:
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=12...

Keep in mind you may need to extend some cables.


Saved the link and will be reading it later tonight. Thanks for the tip!!
!