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New gaming system for Age of Conan

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May 21, 2008 2:01:58 PM

Please check this build out. It's for my brother. Let me know if I am missing something, or if something can be/should be upgraded. There is still a little budget left. Thanks!

CPU: E8400
Video: evga8800GT
Mobo: Gigabyte P35-DS3L
RAM: CORSAIR XMS2 DHX
Case: Antec Sonata III LifeStyle
Audio: optional, can be added later. Mobo has 8 channel-out audio.
HD: Samsung Spinpoint F1 Series HD753LJ 750GB
Optical: ASUS DRW-2014L1T
May 21, 2008 2:37:25 PM

Yay, you still have money left, let's spend it quickly :) 

Good choices, in general.

Upgrade the video card to 8800GTS G92 512MB. You definitely want a video card with a dual-slot cooler, otherwise that Sonata III will have a difficult time cooling it. It's also faster than the 8800GT and overclocks better.

Hard disk: get a WD6400AAKS or two instead of the Samsung.

I'm assuming you don't intend to overclock the CPU, otherwise the case is a bad choice and you'd need an aftermarket cooler too.

May 21, 2008 2:46:29 PM

Cool. Thanks!

Ok, i'll get that video.

I was gonna OC the CPU to 3.75 Ghz. I read somewhere on this forum that it'd be ok on stock cooling. What do you suggest then? What about the case?
Related resources
May 21, 2008 2:50:53 PM

Top 5 heatsinks:

http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm

Go for the Antec 900. Buy a separate power supply (~500W). Corsair is a good brand.

Top Tier PSU:
http://www.tomswiki.com/page/Tiered+PSU+Listings?t=anon

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=10...

http://www.jonnyguru.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1460

Silent PSUs
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article699-page1.html

AMD Certified PSUs (Single+Crossfire):
http://ati.amd.com/online/certifiedpsu/index.html

Certified SLI-Ready Power Supplies
http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_build_psu.html

For optical I recommend Samsung SH-203B or N.
May 21, 2008 2:56:48 PM

RC-690 case, $85+$22 shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137
The Antec 900 is great, but it costs more and has too many lights for my taste.

Xigmatek HDT-S1283 cooler, $37
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233003&Tpk=Xigmatek%2bHDT-S1283

PSU: Corsair 650TX, $90 after rebate and shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005&Tpk=650TX

+1 for the SH-S203B. Saves $11 over the Asus, loses only LightScribe. The SH-S203N has LightScribe but costs $3 more than the SH-S203B.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151153&Tpk=SH-S203B
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151154&Tpk=SH-S203N
May 21, 2008 3:02:15 PM

The reason I don't want to ship the case is because I live in Canada, and we get bent over on shipping here ;) 
May 21, 2008 3:07:30 PM

The Antec Nine Hundred for $130 but that would put you at a budget of around $220 (for PSU and CASE).

@aevm
Giving excellent advice again I see. ;) 
I agree on everything.
May 21, 2008 3:09:55 PM

Andrius said:
The Antec Nine Hundred for $130 but that would put you at a budget of around $220 (for PSU and CASE).

@aevm
Giving excellent advice again I see. ;) 
I agree on everything.


Why, thanks, but I did mess up. See, the OP is in Canada, and all those newegg links are useless :lol: 
May 21, 2008 3:10:52 PM

I like the P182, the Antec 900, and the Tsunami from that list.

If you're in Ottawa or Stittsville check out www.shoprbc.com too. They are located somewhere on Richmond Road. I got almost all my parts there last July, and I only needed a price match for the video card. They had the best local prices for everything else.
http://www.shoprbc.com/ca/shop/configurator.php?cgid=6

For the cooler: the best air cooler ever made is $60 at ncix today, for Canadians only. The US version (www.ncixus.com sells it for US$106)., It beats the Xigmatek. It even beats the Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme, according to an Anandtech review.
http://www.anandtech.com/casecoolingpsus/showdoc.aspx?i=3268

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=27130&vpn=NH%2DU12P&manufacture=Noctua

Edit: about the PSU. If you want it from oemexpress.com, my favorites are the Antec Earthwatts 650W and 500W. Their PSU list is really not that good. The best thing on it is the Antec Quattro 850W, I think, but you don't need that much power for that build.
May 21, 2008 3:19:13 PM

aevm: newegg does ship to canada i believe. and the links are very helpful as newegg has more info tha ncix...

so here is the final build, please comment if anything needs to be changed:

CPU E8400
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12P LGA775 AM2
Video EVGA E-GEFORCE 8800GTS
Mobo Gigabyte P35-DS3L
RAM CORSAIR XMS2 DHX
Case Antec Nine Hundred Gaming Tower
PSU Corsair TX650W 650W
HD WD6400AAKS
Optical Samsung SH-S203B Black
May 21, 2008 3:19:58 PM

@aevm
The value of the advice still doesn't change. It just gets adjusted for Canadian retailers. :) 

@molts
Looks good. I'd still take the XIGMATEK over the Noctua,
just because I know it's 30 EUR more here.
May 21, 2008 3:28:40 PM

As for OS, would you recommend to go with XP or Vista? I know the general downsides/upsides of both, but since I don't play games, I don't know if it's different in the gaming community. I'm a web developer, and stick with XP because of more compatibility.
May 21, 2008 3:34:58 PM

For performance go with XP. For eye candy go with Vista. :) 
The same rule applies to games. But it's a new system so I would vote for Vista.
May 21, 2008 3:37:43 PM

Will all the hardware work fine with Vista? I've heard some nightmare stories re drivers and such...
May 21, 2008 3:44:41 PM

aevm said:

For the cooler: the best air cooler ever made is $60 at ncix today, for Canadians only. The US version (www.ncixus.com sells it for US$106)., It beats the Xigmatek. It even beats the Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme, according to an Anandtech review.
http://www.anandtech.com/casecoolingpsus/showdoc.aspx?i=3268


I wouldn't say the Noctua beats the TRUE at the Anandtech review, re page 7: http://www.anandtech.com/casecoolingpsus/showdoc.aspx?i... but rather that they are equal. And I found a TRUE for a few less dollars than the Noctua. I did, use a Noctua NF-P12 fan combo for the silence, and to my ears, silence is golden.
May 21, 2008 3:49:01 PM

molts said:
Will all the hardware work fine with Vista? I've heard some nightmare stories re drivers and such...
That's generally a thing of the past.
NVIDIA is quite lazy with it's drivers but they fixed most of the issues.
The other hardware is pretty much driver proof. :) 
May 21, 2008 4:05:54 PM

sailer said:
I wouldn't say the Noctua beats the TRUE at the Anandtech review, re page 7: http://www.anandtech.com/casecoolingpsus/showdoc.aspx?i... but rather that they are equal. And I found a TRUE for a few less dollars than the Noctua. I did, use a Noctua NF-P12 fan combo for the silence, and to my ears, silence is golden.


I tried hard to figure out if the Noctua or the TRUE was best. Not that it matters, since they're so close, but I was curious. The only difference I found was in the temps of the X6800 overclocked at 3.94 GHz under load. Noctua 55 degrees, TRUE 59. OK, I can't just declare the Noctua the winner based on a single difference, but still I'm very impressed with it.

The Xigmatek is only $36 at www.ncix.com. Yeah, I think Andrius is right, at these prices it's better value than others.
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=30012&vpn=HDT%2DS1283&manufacture=Xigmatek

The Noctua comes with its fan, the TRUE doesn't. To get those nice numbers with the TRUE, Anandtech included a SFF21F fan, which is $19 where I live. Sailer, did your slightly cheaper TRUE include the cost of the fan? Anyway, you guys in the US are so spoiled, you've got a lot more good retailers :) 

Vista has DirectX 10. That makes Crysis and FSX look somewhat better. IMO it's not very important - who sits and enjoys the scenery when the aliens are shooting at you or the plane is crashing? Still, I'd go with Vista just because it's guaranteed to have patches for a long time.
May 21, 2008 4:27:59 PM

Andrius said:
For performance go with XP. For eye candy go with Vista. :) 
The same rule applies to games. But it's a new system so I would vote for Vista.


For Playing AoC, I'd go with vista. I'm playing it and the DX10 looks great.
May 21, 2008 4:47:55 PM

AOC doesn't support DX10 yet because well, there isn't any hardware out yet that will even run the DX9 version 16AF/AA and high in game settings. Reason why they're delaying DX10 until August: well nvidia releasing 9900s
May 21, 2008 5:37:26 PM

aevm said:
Sailer, did your slightly cheaper TRUE include the cost of the fan? Anyway, you guys in the US are so spoiled, you've got a lot more good retailers :) 

Vista has DirectX 10. That makes Crysis and FSX look somewhat better. IMO it's not very important - who sits and enjoys the scenery when the aliens are shooting at you or the plane is crashing? Still, I'd go with Vista just because it's guaranteed to have patches for a long time.


The TRUE didn't come with a fan, but buying the TRUE and the Noctua fan ended up slightly cheaper than buying the Noctua heatsink with its included fan. Yeah, I know, we have some good retailers here in the US. I also shopped around and found the TRUE on sale, so that made it a bit cheaper as well.

As to the Vista and DX10 (or 10.1 if you get ATI), I like the effects of Vista better than XP. I still use XP64 on my business computers, as its cost prohibitive to change them over, but my gaming computer is Vista 64 Ultimate and has a 3870, which I plan to change out for a 4870 or two when they get released, given they bench out nicely. I have been bothered about how the Nvidia drivers run so badly at times on my other computer that has a 8800 GTS in it. That's why I switched to an ATI card, and so far, I've been pleased. The ATI card may not support the detailed stuff quite as well, but like you said, "who sits and enjoys the scenery when aliens are shooting at you or the plane is crashing?"
May 21, 2008 5:48:22 PM

AoC runs DX10 on Vista 64, just fine.

I'm playing with an c2quad 6600. As long as you don't seriously multitask while the game is running a dual core is fine but you want a little extra speed.

I seem to be hovering just above what I feel should be the recommended minimum platform. I haven't hit a situation with lots of players yet and get a little jerkiness every now and again.

4 gigs is definite recommended minimum as Vista 64 is a mem hog. Once you start getting into AoC it will helpfully load in your favorite areas, which eats up space but makes zoning ultra fast. Especially if you turn of the paging file (which is safe and highly recommended when you have enough ram). If vista gets above 3.2 gigs of ram in use it will occasionally ask you if it can shut down program x. It won't force a program shutdown until you hit about 3.8 gigs with no paging file and there is no worry about crashing the system. And the more ram you give Vista 64 the better it runs (especially if you DO multitask).

Oh and as soon as the quest is done for an area...I sit there and enjoy the scenery....okay sometimes I stop DURING the quest as well. It really is quite pretty.

Intel c2quad 6600
4gb Corsair dominator
8800 GTS 640
Creative X-FI
WD Raptor X
May 21, 2008 6:23:02 PM

The 8500 got released. Why dont you go with a quad?
May 21, 2008 6:33:28 PM

I'm running vista x64 SP1 as well on my machine, Athlon x2 4800+ Ocd to 2.7, AMD/ATI 3870, 4 GB of DDR2 800, using a 2 WD 7200 rmp drive RAID 0 for a boot disk, and a 4GB iRam card set as the swap file. Running video at 1900x1200.

DX 10 is looking good, last night I was pulling 92 FPS in an instance dungeon, about 34 - 38 average running paths and open air missions, and at worst about 22 - 25 in town. So far a good launch as far as I've seen, and I was on Star Wars Galaxies at launch so I've seen the worst lol.

My wife's machine is running vista x32 sp1, on an older 939 board. Athlon x2 running OCd at 2.2 (I forget which model), 2 GB of DDR 400, ATI 3870, a WD raptor boot disk and a samsung 7200rpm game drive. She runs video at 1440x900. In the same instance with me was was pulling about 38fps, 25 - 28 in open air, and at worst 16 - 19 fps in town.

We both like taking the senic routes. The game is undeniably beautifully done, and doesn't take extreme machines to be playable.
May 21, 2008 6:49:55 PM

sailer said:
The TRUE didn't come with a fan, but buying the TRUE and the Noctua fan ended up slightly cheaper than buying the Noctua heatsink with its included fan. Yeah, I know, we have some good retailers here in the US. I also shopped around and found the TRUE on sale, so that made it a bit cheaper as well. "


Ya that's true looking at the deal and prices you can get I am jealous. It seems that Canadian E-tailers don't think that having our dollar almost on par with yours should profit us in any manners. Newegg should ship to Canada, I am sure that even with the shipping cost it would still end up better deals than buying locally. Anyways, that's off topic.......

For HS I like the TR Ultima.




May 21, 2008 6:57:11 PM

The problem with DX10 and AoC is that it doesn't exist yet.

DX10 won't be in-game until around August.
May 21, 2008 7:13:24 PM

DX 10 is a selectable option in AoC. I have it set on 2 machines. If it is for some reason not actually working, then the game still looks great on DX9. But at least on Vista x32 and x64 the option to run on DX10 is already selectable in the client.
May 21, 2008 7:15:46 PM

I'd also go with 4gb of RAM with Vista 64, esp since it doesn't sound like your bro will be using any weird programs that aren't yet updated with 64-bit drivers.

Another thing to consider Molts is that DirectCanada.com has free shipping on orders over $500 (that or $300, I forget), so you could grab it all from them. Their prices are generally lower than NCIX's as well, but NCIX has always been excellent at matching prices too ;)  Also, be sure to check out the NCIX sales on the banner on the main page; a lot of the sales lately have had nVidia gfx cards on sales with Free Shipping for the entire order.
May 21, 2008 7:24:52 PM

@Jevon: I'm going with E8400 32bit processor. I don't think I want to touch 64 bit yet. Thanks for the tip re DC and shipping. I'll check it out.
May 21, 2008 7:54:36 PM

tgmchuck said:
DX 10 is a selectable option in AoC. I have it set on 2 machines. If it is for some reason not actually working, then the game still looks great on DX9. But at least on Vista x32 and x64 the option to run on DX10 is already selectable in the client.

I was pretty excited too until I read [this]
May 22, 2008 2:10:17 PM

That is acutally strange. When I first downloaded the early access client, DX9 was the only option. But there was an update on the 19th, same day as the article that added DX10 as a selectable option.

But I did set it to dx9 and couldn't really see any difference, so maybe the dx10 option isn't active yet.

Either way, game looks awsome. Just ordered a replacement for my x2 4800. Getting a Phenom x3 8750, and a xigmatek s1283 cpu cooler. DO a little OC and see what that does for my fps. and my 3dmark score!
May 22, 2008 2:31:27 PM

FYI I installed and played AoC for about a half hour this morning. With my setup below, clip plane distance set to max, quality set to max, gaming at 1680x1050 I was around 30-50 fps. I didn't have bloom turned on, I only had 30 mins to check things out. I'd say I averaged about 38fps.

This game takes more horsepower than I expected, my rig is running it fine, though I'd prefer to be averaging over 50fps.

This, of course, is on DX9.
May 22, 2008 10:48:35 PM

i upgraded for AoC also..this is what I did/planned:

Case: Antec Twelve Hundred
RAM: CORSAIR XMS2 DHX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 4-4-4-12
CPU: Q6600 G0 (OC to 3.2)
Heatsink: XIGMATEK HDT-S1283
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3L
Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer 7.1
Speakers: Logitech X-540
Graphic Card: 8800GTS 512 MB
HD: Western Digital Raptor (if you can afford it) + 500gb Seagate
PSU: Corsair 550VX (or whatever its called)
Monitor: SAMSUNG 2253BW/SAMSUNG 2253LW
!