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Finalizing my gaming rig

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March 14, 2008 8:06:35 AM

Well here it is, not 100% finalized as I'm waiting to see if the 9800's are worth their weight, but putting it all up here is a way to get input + being a little more organized

Having said that, I wanna thank those who have given me advice along the way (Cnumartyr, Beurling, and others in my much older post ;)  )


Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16811129021

CPU: E8400 LGA775 3.00G 6MB 1333MHZ FSB BOXED PROCESSOR
Ordered from www.shopBLT.com

Mobo: * EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI Core 2 Quad Socket 775 1333 MHz PC2-6400 (DDR2-800) ATX Motherboard Retail
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=10007493

GPU: * EVGA 512-P3-N841-A3 GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16814130312

PSU: Corsair HX Series CMPSU-620HX 620W Power Supply Retail
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=373110

Memory: Crucial Ballistix 4GB (4 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16820146565

HD's: 2x SEAGATE ST3500320AS 500GB SATA 7200 RPM 32MB Hard Drive Bulk
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=10005939

Heatsink: XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16835233003

Cooling Fan: Scythe S-FLEX SFF21F 120mm Case Fan - Retail (or maybe just the fan the heatsink comes with)
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16835185006

Drives: 2x SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S203B - OEM (considered buying from zipzoomfly for bulk packaging, but the mobo should come with necessary cables...)
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16827151153

Case Fan: APEVIA CF12SL-UBL 120mm Blue LED Case Fan - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811998121

Monitor: SAMSUNG 245BW 24in 1000:1 5ms LCD Monitor Black Retail
https://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=10005420

Additional: ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186020&Tpk=MX-2

Total Price: $2252.68 at the moment, might trim more off as time passes. If anyone sees any good deals i'd gladly take them :p 

But what would this be without the "OR" situations, which feel free to take on - any input is appreciated.
(The red asterisks are the points i'm waiting on/debating on the most.)

*Motherboard - Considered the ASUS Maximus Formula Intel X38 offered on zipzoomfly, however I'm not interested in crossfire, and although i'm not sold on SLI there is a chance I might pursue it... if you were wondering I'm most likely going for a 24" inch samsung monitor so i'm debating whether or not SLI will be significant improvement.

*GPU - SLI vs Non SLI question carried on - obviously waiting for benchies on the new 9800 cards, although I doubt they'll be significantly better.

Otherwise I think thats pretty much it. The rig will be used mainly for gaming and I'll try to oc the 8400 up to around 4ghz, but once she's all set up and completed i'll be sure to post some pictures on here! Thanks all.

More about : finalizing gaming rig

March 14, 2008 8:25:41 AM

This cooler is performing just as well in the reviews I've read and the fan is included;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If you're getting 2 optical drives, get different ones, the reasoning given to me was one might read a disk that the other won't, haven't decided if thats good advice but it does seem reasonable.
Good luck with the build


March 14, 2008 11:16:51 AM

At 1920 x 1200, the GTS512 may be pushing it. My standards are very high. So it may be just me. I buy a new card to play new games in all its glory. 'cept for Crysis. I think a better card to handle this would be HD3870X2.

Word is that there's bug in the new Geforce. So that may cause the delay. Be assured that it will be fixed.
Related resources
March 14, 2008 5:05:28 PM

I say it looks good exept memory. DDR2 800 is ok on the e8400 unless you plan to OC. because once you hit 400MHZ on the bus the memory is already at 1:1. PC2 8000 or 8500 would be better for OC.

akhilles said:
At 1920 x 1200, the GTS512 may be pushing it. My standards are very high. So it may be just me. I buy a new card to play new games in all its glory. 'cept for Crysis. I think a better card to handle this would be HD3870X2.
I agree with pushing it if he is gaming. However I'd stick with the 780i mobo and do Sli with 2 9600,8800gt, 8800gts whichever the budget allows.
March 14, 2008 8:39:07 PM

That heatsink is really nice... I looked up several reviews on it and everywhere I've looked it's knocked the TRUE off the throne. Hm.. think it would have better results with this http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16835185006?
Seems much quieter and more efficient, but the heatsink is already great...
Combined with the arctic cooling this thing should have amazing results.

I realize 1 GTS may not be enough for the 1920 x 1200 resolution, but two in SLI (or maybe ( two 9800 GT's) should be fine I would think, but maybe I don't know what i'm taking about :p  I'm the same way Akhilles, i'm a nut for eye candy and I usually always get the "best" thing, however i've never been an ATI fan - thats why i'm so interested in the new 9800 series, although they aren't supposed to be true upgrades necessarily.

As far as the ram goes I was kinda hoping for 4 gig of 2x2 would be easier to OC, but looking around I did find this:
https://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=10006488

And about those two optical drives, I'll have to do some digging on that. I've never heard of that being an issue, but I'll look into it.

Hmmm!
March 14, 2008 9:17:10 PM

As far as the optical drives, I don't believe it was anything I've read, more of a comment made by a customer in the shop I used to work at. I don't recall what drives he had, but he made the 2 different manufacturer statement. I can see where it might be a valid point, but I haven't seen to many disk that a drive won't read. This was just something I was throwing out for you to consider.
March 15, 2008 2:18:23 AM

Updated heatsink solution, total price, and I might end up getting a different optical drive from zipzoomfly as to buy bulk packaging.
March 15, 2008 4:24:14 AM

All Balistix Sticks are pretty much the same when comparing 2Gb kits, but if you want a 2x 2Gb kit, your overclocking will be slower than with a 2x 1Gb kit. Either way, all kits previously mentioned will work. I have the 2x 1Gb kit, and if you need a higher memory speed, increase the latency and clock speeds to match those of the bigher binned models, or if need be, increase the voltage, as the warrenty is good up to 2.4 Volts, wich should be high enough. Oh, and remember that Nvidea boards support SLI but not Crossfire, but the HD 3870 X2 works in any motherboard you would look at. I like the heatsink too.
March 15, 2008 8:14:21 AM

Have to say, losing interest in the x38 mobo and more interest in the possibility of dropping SLI and going for a cheaper p35 mobo. Could drop the monitor size down to 22" and get a single 8800 gts 512 or 9800.

would save money, but on the other hand i'm not sure which p35 i'd get, lol. I know SLI is depended on resolution, but I started debating if I would want SLI or not. 1920 x 1200 would be sexy, but at what price eh? lol...
March 15, 2008 8:47:08 AM

I'd be looking at the HD 3870 X2 also... think it's the best solution for you graphics wise.
March 15, 2008 9:24:40 AM

With the new platform arriving later in the year, a P35 is a wise choice. Find the ones with the features you want and go from there. I myself am getting the Asus P5K-E wifi.
March 15, 2008 11:33:58 AM

Go with chuckm's mobo suggestion.

X38 may be worth it if you're an extreme overclocker or you don't plan to upgrade this year. It supports PCI-E 2.0, true x16 Crossfire, FSB1600 (vs FSB1333 on P35) and some more. I overclocked a q6600 on x38 for a friend and it worked on the 1st try. I love x38. He's at 3ghz. I'll up it further this weekend if he wants.
March 15, 2008 12:29:09 PM

hulkingsmith99 said:
Have to say, losing interest in the x38 mobo and more interest in the possibility of dropping SLI and going for a cheaper p35 mobo. Could drop the monitor size down to 22" and get a single 8800 gts 512 or 9800.

would save money, but on the other hand i'm not sure which p35 i'd get, lol. I know SLI is depended on resolution, but I started debating if I would want SLI or not. 1920 x 1200 would be sexy, but at what price eh? lol...
If you want to go that way, you can get a Samsung 226BW (the little brother of the 24" monitor you were considering) and a Gigabyte DS3L. With the money you save, just grab another mid-range GFX in a year ;) .
March 15, 2008 6:59:49 PM

Yah, I have to admit that the 780i seems very expensive with little reasoning beyond the ability to use SLI - which is really questionable in performance with the amount of money you're shelling out. With that said I think the 22" would be reasonable with 1 card i'd save a considerable amount of money. On the topic of the x38 vs. p35 - I would like to OC the 8400 near 4ghz if possible, but it's not totally necessary. As far as upgrading goes I'm not sure, it depends on what comes out :D 

Overall the p35 looks more attractive - and thats because i'm doubting SLI.
March 15, 2008 10:08:08 PM

If you looking at two cards, the pricing on the 9600 GT's is very attractive and ya can do Crysis at 1920 x 200 w/ 31 fps for $350.

As for monitors, the Lenovo L220x is the 1920 x 1200 monitor to have....can be had for $450. All the Samsung 1920 x 1200 models under $500 I have seen are TN types which don't do true color (3 x 6 bit = 18 bit, so it dithers the rest to get to true 24 bit color). S-PVA monitors can do 24 bit true color "for real", have 178 degree viewing angles. Word or warning .....ignore all manufacturers advertised response times as the are quite good at neglecting just how they measured it. Look for 3rd party reviews for response times.

With regard to the APEVIA CF12SL-UBL 120mm Blue LED Case Fan, here's the 900 case cooling system:

Advanced cooling system:
- 1 top 200mm TriCool fan with 3-speed switch control
- 1 rear 120mm TriCool fan with 3-speed switch control
- 2 front 120mm special black TriCool blue LED fans with 3-speed switch control to cool HDDs
- 1 side (optional) 120mm fan to cool graphic cards
- 1 middle (optional) 120mm fan to cool CPU or graphic cards

I see no reason not to stick with the Antec Case Fans for the 2 extra optional ones, give you already have 4 Antec fans in there.

Given tom';s recent CPU Cooler review, I'd be grabbing the Thermalright IFX-14 w/ Scythe fan

Given the 2nd "Buyer's Choice award at newegg, I'd consider this burner:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
March 16, 2008 12:48:10 AM

Great links Zenthar, gonna have to check those and check them out after I get back from the movies. After looking back through all the rebates and whatnot I think I would save around ~$500 by going that route ;) 
Shame the 780i isn't as strong as a mobo for the money you put into it :/ 

I hate how i sometimes am a nut about the best resolutions and eye candy... blah... :p 
March 16, 2008 12:55:52 PM

hulkingsmith99 said:
Shame the 780i isn't as strong as a mobo for the money you put into it :/ 
It can be, just not for mid-end computing. For someone investing in high-end SLI components, the ability to add a 3rd card can be quite a money saver. I'm also a bit disappointed by the nForce 7 chipset, not that it's bad, just that it could have been better (about the same debate between Phenom and C2D). I strongly considered the 750i chipset boards, much cheaper and still SLI capable (but not 3-way and not 16x 16x ... boohooo :p ), but it seems the chipset runs hot and the I/O is low compared to competition (not that important in itself, but when you pay more, you expect more). The only 750i board I could find rather good reviews of was the MSI P7N SLI Platinum, then again, it's a near 200$ board, not that cheap.
March 17, 2008 5:00:43 AM

Money isn't really an issue, I just didn't wanna burn money on something (SLI) that might not make that much of a difference. I'm unsure how many games of 08 plan on optimizing for it.

I'd tried looking for other reliable reviews on the xigmatek heatsink, I thought it was weird that on that frosty review they rated the Thermalright ultra better than the extreme. No doubt it comes at a much more attractive price, not a big fan of push clips so it sounds like it's build quality is cheap, but how well it cools compared to the TRUE is what I'm trying to find info on.

All in all money really isn't an issue whatsoever, I just don't want to be foolish and end up on the bleeding edge ;)  which I know I'll end up doing if I don't keep myself in check lol.

Again thanks for the comments everyone! I'll update the build when I get home from work tomorrow with what i'm looking at now.
March 17, 2008 8:21:53 AM

Reviews of the Xigmatek are mainly on europeon sites, check their website,they have a list of reviews. There several post about it on Xtreme;
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=17...
I can't stand push pins either just get a bolt thru kit for $5 or 6 and you'll be good to go. I've got get ready for work, but I'll dig you up some reviews when I get home this evening.
Here's a link to the Xigmatek website, they have reviews listed;
http://www.xigmatek.com/

!