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Uber Gaming Rig for AofC - Thoughts?

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June 8, 2008 12:46:01 AM

I built my last computer in 2004 and it served me well. I have fond memories of Everquest 1, Everquest 2, World of Warcraft, and a host of other games on my soon to be retired system. I started playing Age of Conan and it became apparant to me that it was time for an upgrade. The old system (may he rest in peace - *pours a little beer out of the 40 ounce bottle*):

1 Pioneer DVD Burner Black IDE Model DVR-108 - OEM
1 Logitech Cordless MX Duo 967300-0403 Black USB + PS/2 RF Wireless Standard Keyboard Mouse Included - Retail
1 Creative Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 SB0226 5.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card - OEM
Creative Labs (800)-998-1000
1 Thermaltake POLO 735 80mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler - Retail
1 Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
1 Western Digital Raptor WD740GD 74GB 10000 RPM SATA 1.5Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Item #: N82E16822144160
1 Nvidia GeForce 6800GT
1 Intel BOXD865PERLL 478 Intel 865PE ATX Intel Motherboard
2 OCZ Platinum 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200)
1 Intel Pentium 4 3.2E Prescott 3.2GHz Socket 478 Single-Core Processor Model BX80546PG3200E
1 Thermaltake Xaser V Damier V5420AU Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 420W Power Supply

Now for the new rig!

Case: LIAN LI PC-P80 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $399.99

CPU Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $339.99

Big and Slow HD - Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS 750GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $129.99

Power - Thermaltake Toughpower W0172RU 850W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $209.99

DVD - LG Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model GGC-H20L - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $199.99

Small and Fast HD - Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300GB 10000 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM -http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $299.99

CPU Cooler- XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $36.99

OS - Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $189.99

Misc - Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $5.99

Mother Board - Graphics Card - XFX MBN790IUL9 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra SLI DDR3 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $349.99

Graphics card - Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 - http://www.vr-zone.com/articles/GeForce_GTX_280_Card_St... - $650?

RAM - see below

---

Now the questions:

Any suggestions for DDR3 RAM? (I want DDR3)

Thoughts on the motherboard? I'm on the fence about future SLI, so I'm thinking better safe than sorry therefore I should get an SLI equipped board

I would like a great gaming 24" monitor. Suggestions?

Thoughts on the Lian Li case? It is out of stock, therefore I might look at other options.

Are the velociraptror drives worth the extra expense?

Any suggestions on good CPU fan, or am I good?

Is my power supply good?

Sound board? I'm somewhat of an audiophile and will likely hook the output to a decen Denon receiver.

Any another suggestions greatly appreciated! Yes, it is an expensive system, but my last system last me nearly 4 years. Again, this system will mostly be for gaming.
June 8, 2008 1:37:29 AM

About the rig: great rig, but the 790i chipset is not the best choice right now, I would go for the x48 if you want DDR3.

Also, the monitor you want is a Samsung at that size, and they just dropped their price on the 245T. I run 2 samsung 245bw's and cannot complain.

The PSU is too much if you don't want tri-sli. A 750W PCP&C will give you the same performance in terms of wattage used, with better quality components and much better stability.

If you are connecting this PC to a Denon receiver I suggest you invest in a soundcard with optical out (coax or RCA), and a Pre-amp before your Denon (Meridians are great) will also make a big difference if your speakers are good enough.

The case is too much cash. Get an Antec 1200 or comparable case with just as many features, and much less cost. It is heavier, but you don't buy a full tower for its weight!

The velociraptor is a cool idea! If you have the cash go for it, but you better make use of it!

My two cents.


June 8, 2008 2:06:22 AM

LOL about your "big and slow" WD7500AAKS. That's one of the best HDD drives out there. I'm still very impressed with mine. It is the fastest 750GB drive AFAIK.

DDR3 is a waste. Get an XFX 780i and 4x2GB of DDR2-800.

+1 for 245T and the Xigmatek HDT-S1283

If you want two GTX 280 cards get an Enermax Galaxy 1000W or Corsair 1000HX or the Toughpower 1000W. nVidia hasn't published a list of certified PSUs for GTX 280 SLI yet, but I'm sure it will be the same as the one for 9800GX2 SLI, and 750W or 850W is too little.
http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_build_psu.html

HT Omega and Auzentech make good sound cards that actually work well on Vista.
Related resources
June 8, 2008 2:29:24 AM

Quote:
Any suggestions for DDR3 RAM? (I want DDR3)
This is the DDR3 ram I got for one of my builds. Works well with XFX and Evga 790i motherboard.

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail $369.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231167

Quote:
Is my power supply good?
Will work, but it is not future proof in way of pci-e connectors. Would suggest the ENERMAX Galaxy EGX850EWL 850W ATX12V/ EPS12V/ BTX Power Supply 100 - 240 V cUL, UL, TUV, CE, FCC - Retail $249.99 ($189.99 after $60.00 Mail-In)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817194020
Since it will have the 8pin connector you will need for your G280 nvidia graphic card.

Quote:
Any suggestions on good CPU fan, or am I good?
Yes the XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler is a very good choice, the only other one that is as good or better is the OCZ OCZTVEND2 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail $49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835202007

Check out this review on CPU Coolers.
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=45&It

Would also change thermal compound, since Artic Silver5 takes 200 hours to set it. Would go with OCZ OCZTFRZTC Freeze Extreme Thermal Conductivity Compound - Retail $6.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835202006

Another good review on Theraml compound at this link below.
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=138&Itemid=47

Quote:
Thoughts on the Lian Li case? It is out of stock, therefore I might look at other options.
You can get this at PerformacePC for $374.95
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=204&products_id=23305

But here are some other cases for you to look at.

Antec Twelve Hundred Black ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail $214.95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129043

Thermaltake Armor + Super Tower Chassis w/Window - Black $199.95
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=114&products_id=23113

COOLER MASTER cosmos S RC-1100-KKN1-GP Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail $229.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119150

Quote:
Sound board? I'm somewhat of an audiophile and will likely hook the output to a decen Denon receiver.

Not sure if this is what you are looking for, but this sound card from Asus is giving Creative X-FI a run for its money. Also Asus will have a new one release shortly that will also have better HD sound playback.
ASUS Xonar D2X 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express Interface Sound Card - Retail $199.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132005

Review of ASUS HDAV 1.3 audio card
http://www.anandtech.com/tradeshows/showdoc.aspx?i=3328

On HDD's. That depends on what you are planning to use them for. The Western Digital VelociRaptor 300gb will be good for Gaming, but imho I would choose Seagate Barracuda ES.2 ST3500320NS 500GB $109.99 as Storage drive.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148294

and Two Seagate Barracuda ES.2 ST3250310NS 250GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive $79.99 and run in Raid0.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148309

Hope this helps you some, since the ulimate decision is yours to make. Good Luck on your upcoming build.
June 8, 2008 2:45:20 AM

Thanks for all the GREAT feedback! Keep it coming!
June 8, 2008 2:59:44 AM

+1 for the xigmatek here! I just bought it and I love it! Just make sure you have room in your case for it.
I also like the velociraptors. Wish I had the money for one of those beasts!
June 8, 2008 3:26:05 AM

ok, since this rig is for AoC as you stated i can give you some insight on one component. At the moment quads are not running too good for AoC. My lil bro had a 9600 Phenom and it ran AoC like crap, he RMA'd it and went with a 6400+ and it runs like a dream now. If it was me building i would go with
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and then when AoC is more quad friendly i would upgrade.
June 8, 2008 3:46:18 AM

i heard phenoms run age of conan like crap compared to intel's quad cores
June 8, 2008 3:50:58 AM

you are more than likely right in that case ukoduko. Just tryin to save him some headaches so if the intel quads run AoC like the AMD quads. Hell, if anyone is running an Intel Quad on AoC post your experiences with it plz. We have come to the agreement that AMD quads run like crap so how do the Intel Quads hold up?
June 8, 2008 4:03:03 AM

Intel quads run AoC just fine. I have no problems with mine,a q6600 at 3.6
June 9, 2008 5:44:46 PM

Yeah, my q6600 runs AoC just fine too
June 9, 2008 11:00:01 PM

System is done :)  I've named my new rig "HULK" :) 

Bought all my stuff at Frys megastore in Renton, WA (some items more more expensive than newegg, some cheaper). My system works like a charm. I got blue screen on my first attempt to install Vista 64 ultimate, but next load it installed nicely. I'll post the detailed spec tonight, but some random thoughts and notes:

- I went with the Q9450 Quad CPU. I also went with the nForce 790i for the motherboard. I want the option to SLI in the future (which I may do sooner than later). The 790i has worked great.

- I skipped the Lian Li case and instead went with a Coolermaster that came with a 1000 watter power supply. Saved some money here. The case is great. The power supply is mediocre, but I think I can live with it.

- 4 gigs of DDR3 Ram (relatively cheap OCZ gold edition - will upgrade when prices get better)

- I went with CoolerMaster Hyper TX2 CPU cooler (I think that is the name). It was a@#@#%@#%@% to install and I'm still a little nervous that it isn't super tight on the motherboard. However, it is keeping the CPU very cool. May need to mess with it a little more.

- Went with 26" Samsung Syncmaster. I was a little worred that such a large monitor would put a strain on the system for the games I play, but it looks great in Age of Conan. A GREAT monitor.

- My impatience is going to cost me - I bought a 9800 GTX, even though the new cards are coming out soon. However, I plan on returning the card if I can get my hands on the new card (Frys has 30 day policy). If I run into problems returning the card, I'll either (a) ebay/craigslist, or (b) SLI it.

I was a little nervous about the 9800GTX as it gets criticized a fair amount. However, it is working GREAT right now. Playing Age of Conan on very high settings and it is running very smoothly. The card isn't loud at all, and it doesn't seem to run super super hot. I'm actually pretty happy with it, and if the new Nvidia card isn't a huge improvement, I'll probably SLI the 9800 GTX.

Thanks everyone for the great feedback and replies. I'll try to post pics and post the specs soon.
!