Sanity check please - new build $2000-2300

I have been considering building my new rig now since early December. As is always the case after months of looking at parts, considering prices etc., I have lost any and all form of objectivity :pt1cable: Any advice on the below specs is much appreciated. I am particularly interested if there is any part to be released in the next month or two that will significantly obsolete the parts below (yes, I'm using "obsolete" as a verb :D ). My budget is $2000-$2300 US. I'm under budget now (that's a first...), so any suggestions for significantly increasing performance welcome.

Please note, I'm strongly leaning towards ATI for a GPU solution since I've always gone with nVidia before, and am up for a change. That said, I'm open to constructive criticism here...

Core 2 Q6600 - $275 (really wanted to go AMD this time, but DAMMIT Phenom sucks...)
ASUS MAXIMUS FORMULA LGA 775 Intel X38 - $250
4GB OCZ Reaper HPC DDR2 800 - $120 ($101 AR)
2X SAPPHIRE Radeon 3870 X2 1GB GDDR3 - $880 (will be putting in CrossfireX)
Samsung 20X DVD+/- DVD - $25
NEC 1.44MB 3.5 Internal Floppy - $7
2X Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB SATA - $140 (will be putting in RAID 0)
ABS Tagan BZ Series BZ1100 1100W Modular Power Supply - $350
Razer Barracuda AC-1 - already purchased
Gigabyte 3D Mercury Water-cooled ATX case - already purchased

TOTAL: 2039.40

This PC will be used almost exclusively for gaming (Crysis, Witcher, Age of Conan, Frontline, Barbie Horse Adventures) and Pro Tools mixing.
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More about sanity check build 2000 2300
  1. "C2C e6700 (@3.5ghz) - eVGA 680i SLI
    4GB Corsair 8500 - 2XWD 160GB SATA RAID 0
    2X eVGA 8800gtx SLI (635/1000)
    Vista Premium 64"

    If that's your current build I'd wait...
  2. Quote:
    If that's your current build I'd wait...
    Seconded.
  3. I agree that the man already has a crazy good rig by itself, but if he wants to spend the money...

    get an e8400/e8500. They overclock to 4 GHz and will run games better than the slower quad-core.

    newegg doesn't have either available, but both websites are reliable:

    e8400:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0012YZPBM
    e8500:
    http://www.bestbuybusiness.com/bbfb/en/US/adirect/bestbuy?cmd=catProductDetail&showAddButton=true&productID=BB10829001&websrc=FRBB10829001

    Other than that pretty solid choices. You'll enjoy it. Be sure to include a keyboard, mouse, and monitor.
  4. I would also go with an over clocked dual core like the 8400.
    I'm using the same mobo you want and it's excellent; highly recommended.
    I have a Sapphire 3870x2; using 2 should be fantastic when the drivers are released in a month or so.
    The 3870x2 requires (1) 6-pin and (1) 8-pin power connectors to get over clocking potential, or just (2) 6-pin for standard clocks. I don't think the P.S. you were looking at has any 8-pin connectors for PCIe. And remember, the card is very long; choose your case wisely.
    If you had your heart set on Seagate drives, go with the 7200.11 series, but I agree with the above regarding a level 0 stripe set for an O.S. drive.
  5. I might add that depending how quickly you need it you may wait a month and go with the Q9450 kinda a bit of future-proofing...
  6. If you have the upgrade itch and want to play those games, do you have great sound? Your sig doesn't say. Kick butt sound makes those games way more fun. I have these...http://www.klipsch.com/products/details/promedia-2-1.aspx Consider an audio upgrade while you delay as others have suggested.
  7. Most mobo's have 7.1 decent onboard sound. Try it first then see!
  8. Yep, you're insane if you have the rig you are already running and want to WASTE another 2300 on something that will perform mildly better at best.
  9. He's recording on Pro-tools. Anyone who's willing to drop the $$ to record on something like that shouldn't even consider onboard sound. By the way, in real world game performance, a quad or dual core really doesn't make a difference as the GPU is the bottleneck, so either one is fine in that cenario. BUT if you are doing studio quality work with audio files, every high end studio app is multi-threaded and a quad will leave any dual core in the dust every time. One last thing I recomend you do is check the SNR of your sound card and make sure you have nice cables. White noise is not your friend.
  10. Will he need better than this:
    Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card
  11. If you don't think your current rig is good enough you could flog the mobo and cpu and get a 780i and an E8400 and a third 8800GTX but dont waste your money on another rig.Althogh if you really wanna spend 2000-2300 on a build you could buy a 30 inch monitor that supports 2560x1600 http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/category.aspx?c=us&category_id=6761&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs. If you were to pick the 3007 wfp you get get what i suggested earlier with it or you could get a 3007 wfp and save some more money for a 780i mobo and a third 8800 GTX.
  12. Samsung SH-S203B SATA

    (Get the "Retail" version of the optical drive in order to get software with it. This will include the decoder you'll need to watch movies on it.)
  13. mlaporta said:
    Will he need better than this:
    Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card


    Yes, there's a nice way creative cuts cost on its lower end X-fi's. By using cheaper DAC's and a lower bit rate on the recording port. Quite simply, those who buy these cards usually never need the ability to record in 24/96, which is almost a requirement for profesional audio work.

    You may think that you are recording in 24/96, but you actually are not. they record at 16/44 natively and upconvert it via software. You also don't get the benefit of the lower SNR in the microphone port, which leads to white noise.

    Again, if you are gaming or using a mic to talk via VoIP it doesn't mean squat, but if you are recording a lot of the dynamics of the sound will get lost in the noise.

    I myself use a X-fi elite pro in my PC. It records at 24/96 NATIVELY and the SNR is at 116Db. Plus the outboard control unit allows me to plug in better cables than the standard 1/8" mic plug which further helps sound quality.
  14. Sprayn'Pray said:
    He's recording on Pro-tools. Anyone who's willing to drop the $$ to record on something like that shouldn't even consider onboard sound. By the way, in real world game performance, a quad or dual core really doesn't make a difference as the GPU is the bottleneck, so either one is fine in that cenario. BUT if you are doing studio quality work with audio files, every high end studio app is multi-threaded and a quad will leave any dual core in the dust every time. One last thing I recomend you do is check the SNR of your sound card and make sure you have nice cables. White noise is not your friend.


    Got a Barracuda AC-1 and the HP-1 headphones. I've got my PC rigged to my stereo as well (Harman Kardon AVR347, Carver m1.3, BIC Venturi speakers), so no upgrade is needed here.

    This isn't my main mixing rig, but Quad Core makes a big difference in Pro Tools, so I think I'm going in that direction.

    Understood that my current rig is high-end. It's just, I have the extra money and would like to toy with a new system.

    Edit: I know some will critique my use of an AC-1 in a machine to be used for recording, but it's basically the X-Meridian with high-quality DACs. Recording options are limited compared to my older Audigy 4 pro, but sufficient for my needs. Due to continued crummy drivers (and the pos band-aid for DirectSound in Vista called Alchemy), a Creative card WILL NOT be going in any of my systems again.

    Off topic, but I highly recommend the AC-1 for gaming (especially with the HP-1 headphones; I've tried many different cards/phones and they're the best paired soundcard/headphone for games out there). The sound is clean as a whistle and the software is flexible and easy-to-use.
  15. Thanks for the info Supremlaw regarding the HD's and I/O efficiency. I think I may use the extra $ for Raptor's, maybe a pair.
  16. Nice audio setup!
  17. harmattan said:
    Thanks for the info Supremlaw regarding the HD's and I/O efficiency. I think I may use the extra $ for Raptor's, maybe a pair.

    I still dont understand this.....why are you getting a new rig???

    It seems like a total waste, that system you have now is perfectly good.
    I say wait till Nehalem to get a new rig. Or wait till the 10 series and RV770s (summer rumors)
    Also raptors are if you have money to blow.

    But as stated...why bother, in six months it will be totally obsolete again. Save the $2000 for a MUCH better future rig

    Edit: Also, how is $2000-2300 "under budget"???
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