calling all experts

Hello experts!
This is my first ever thread on any forum so please be nice to help me.
I’ll soon be building a semi midrange machine for the following purposes
• Playing old and latest games (like F.E.A.R., crysis, gears of wars, world in conflict etc.) as well as upcoming titles (like far cry 2, red alert 3 etc.) on a resolution of 1440x900.
• 3d rendering (maya and 3dsmax)
• Movie viewing and storing all my music collection
• Mass downloading (bit-torrent/p2p rocks!) :kaola:
Keep in mind that this will be the first ever pc I’ll build myself and I don’t know much so I’ll need you people to stay around. Although I’ve never overclocked before, the output seems to be quite benefitting and so I’ll do it if you folks will help. Also I plan on running dual OS (vista ultimate 64bit and XP 32bit) so are there any special considerations I’ll have to take care about (I’ve heard it requires two hdd)? I may also be hooking up dual screens for more productivity and workspace so do I just plug in the two monitors to the two dvi outputs on the gpu?

From all the reviews and rating, the Pentium dual core series seems to be best price-performance wise as well as for overclocking. So what do you think, will it be right for this rig? And how far can these chips be pushed (3gigs will be cool). Which model (and stepping) should I go for (e2140,e2160 or e2180-don’t consider stock speeds as I’ll be overclocking)? I can get the entry level c2d e4000 series but they cost almost double. Does the price jump give anything in return.

I guess a 9600gt will be enough for my needs (for gaming at 1440x900). What about dual screen gaming? Does onboard gfx help in any way (I saw a really cheap 630i board from xfx will built-in 7100gs)? BTW does the gpu warranty becomes void if you overclock it?

For the hard disk, I’ll be going for a 500gb raptor (or equally priced two 160gb/200gb if necessary for dual OS).

Choosing the motherboard seems to be the hardest. The 630i above seems to be a good deal but I’ve heard about driver problems with nvidia boards (like setting up hdds in raid) and that nvidia uses a very old manufacturing process of 90nm for its board and heating issues means forget overclocking.

I suppose I’ll consider the mobo, psu and ram some other time cuz my first ever thread is going way too long for a start! I thank you guys in advance for all your help. ;)
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  1. What's your budget?
  2. well about $700. but i dont wanna be spendthrift. i want to go for the best cheapest options
  3. Ok listen up Gizmo,

    As a network and Systems Engineer and thus an IT professional I can tell you that $700,- is not going to get you any kind of acceptable high level performance in a game like Crysis. (unless you want to run it without many of the interesting possible eye candy and on low res.)

    I'm sorry to say this and mayhaps risk bursting your bubble, but sadly it is true.

    However, with $700,- you can still get yourself a decent system.

    As for the Dual booting, you will not specifically need 2 separate drives although most do prefer to use 2 drives it's not required.(both OS run NTFS so there will be no weird compatibility issues, though separating them by using two separate partitions is strongly advisable)

    As for the hardware you would like to put into your machine..

    Tell me first, will you need a screen too? Or will you only require a new box ? (Case, Motherboard, Memory, Graphics Card(s), Processor, Hard disk, CD-drive etc ?)

    Further more I would like for you to Organize and Prioritize your wishes into a format that shows whether or not you value graphics over a bigger hard drive etcetera.

    So if you could give me a list of the components you need to buy and those you already have and intend to take with you to your new machine. And may haps a max budget line (as I'm sure if you could get 150% the performance out of $100,- extra you would not mind... Let me know and I'll spin up some new potential gaming rigs for you :)

    As for over clocking or OC'ing as it's most commonly referred to, YES your warranty WILL most DEFINITELY be voided upon destruction of the parts through OC'ing. (unless specifically stated or guaranteed otherwise.)

    However I would like to add that it's almost idiotically hard to destroy hardware by sensible over clocking these days.
    (Most hardware has a built in protection that will shut down the pc or the part in question upon getting too hot, see for instance C.O.P. on AMD Processors.)

    My advice is to keep it as clean as possible and use your head... if you intend to do some OC'ing, make sure you have PROPER COOLING. Stock coolers will most likely not cut it if you want to do some creative clocking.

    Also once you start clocking always take it up step by step and try the PC under load of some games or a benchmarking program to check if it retains its stability before taking it up another notch or two.

    Good luck matey,


    PS: Should you want to choose to go over 4 GB of memory then I advise you to stick to 64bit XP and/or Vista and if you get less than 4 GB of memory then go for 32bit XP or Vista as there is practically no reason to go for 64bit in that scenario (Especially with the excruciatingly poor support in terms of drivers, games and non game-related software.)
  4. ^ I wouldn't say $700 isn't enough to get a gaming rig that can run Crysis. I'm in the middle of building my own e2160/8800GT rig that is going to run me about $550 including applicable taxes, rebates, and shipping fees. Granted, I've been shopping over the last month or so and jumping on the hot deals that pop up. However, even if you were to buy all my parts off of Newegg today, it's totalling at $719.92 as of this post, and that's without considering the rebates on any items:

    However, you are right in saying that needing a new monitor or OS will dramatically change the system. It would be good to know what the OP can salvage from a previous machine.
  5. you can get quad core barebone systems for 769 ...700 is definitly enough.
  6. Quote:
    I wouldn't say $700 isn't enough to get a gaming rig that can run Crysis.

    I never meant to make it seem that it was impossible to build a gaming rig for ~ 700 odd dollars that could "run" crysis, I meant to point out that if you want to play it in all it's glory... you will face the fact that it would cost you more than $700,-

    1440x900 is the resolution Gizmo Maniac wants to run crysis on, and to accomplish such a resolution and a playable FPS on this game is not something easily accomplished. (unless like I posted earlier, you don't mind turning down/off some serious eye candy.)



    (PS: I did not mean to sound negative, it's just that you should not expect to run a game like Crysis on 1440x900 with flashy effects, full physics etc if your budget is somewhat limited... Absolutely no offense indented.)
  7. hello, if youa re new to a pc build i woudl advice you to

    not think about overclocks for now
    and not think too hard about revision component parts

    not to say that is not good, but i think you are tryign to do so much in your initial build, so much that can go wrong and you wont know which made your rig not boot

    id say do build something nice but as they mention before 700$ wont get you far maybe around 900 =3

    also... specifically a game liek crysis, you really cant exdpect to run at 1440x900 with everything maxed with such a budget, other game swil work great
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