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Please tell me if there is something wrong with this setup before buy!

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July 30, 2008 9:45:38 AM

I am saving up a lot of money to buy a wonderous computer. I will be using it to run some demanding audio creation programs simultaneously (Live 7, Reason 4, a bunch of Native Instruments all at the same time) and for gaming.

My main fears are as follows:

- How much extra cooling products do I need? Should I get top of the line water cooling equipment? I plan on overclocking a bit.

- Is everything compatible with eachother? I truly tried my damn hardest to make sure it was, but I really don't want to have made a mistake!

- Is my soundcard sufficient for high-quality audio recording? Should I upgrade to the 4 times more expensive 16 channel? Is the X-Fi the best bang for the buck?

It may seem like money is no object here, but it really is. I'm not rich, but this computer is going to be my life (the music part, not the gaming... well, also the gaming.)

Please don't yell at me if I made a silly mistake. :D . I truly appreciate any and all help!


Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400
$174.99


Thermaltake ArmorPlus(Armor+) ESA VH6001BWS Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
$249.99


EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
$249.99


EVGA 01G-P3-1284-AR GeForce GTX 280 SSC Edition 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
( 3 of them)
$1,499.97


Thermaltake Toughpower W0133RU ATX12V / EPS12V 1200W Power Supply
$359.99


G.SKILL 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Quad Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5Q-8GBPQ
$174.99


Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300GB 10000 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
(2 of them)
$599.98


Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000340AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
(two of them)
$379.98


Logitech G15 2-Tone USB Wired Standard Gaming Keyboard
$73.99



Acer AL2216Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor with HDCP support
$209.99


RAZER Copperhead Blue 7 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Laser Tempest Gaming Mouse
$62.99


ASUS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model DRW-2014L1T
(2 of them)
$73.98


Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro 70SB055A00000 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card (Black/Silver) (Eng)
$254.99


Killer NIC M1 Gaming Network Card – 10/100/1000Mbps PCI Network Adapter -- Less Game Lag, Smoother Gameplay
$229.99

TOTAL: $4,595.81

More about : wrong setup buy

July 30, 2008 10:35:59 AM

It's perfect! Don't change a thing.
July 30, 2008 10:44:56 AM

OK I suppose there is this one little niggle.......

Change out the E8400 for the Core 2 Quad Q9450 Yorkfield 2.66GHz - it's only $155 more.

A good CPU cooling heat sink fan performs almost as well as a good water cooling system for less. Choose from any on the top ten list: http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm

Maybe an extra case fan or two for the ArmorPlus case.
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July 30, 2008 12:14:06 PM

going 3x sli on 22" monitor is not very smart. You wont notice any big difference.

Anyway if you still want to go multi GPU I would recommend you to go 4x4870 instead. You will save money and will end up with probably faster setup. With the saved money go at least 24"

If you wait few days 4870 1GB versions will be out (probably at the end of the week or next monday). My bets are that 4870 1GB will be VERY close to GTX280 which will make them the best possible solution.

If you want my advice , take only 1 or 2 4870 now with a CrossfireX motherboard (which supports 4xPCIE slots) and later go for another 2, or some of the 4870x2 which will arrive in 2 weeks.

I also think you should go Quad as it seems money are not a problem for you.
July 30, 2008 12:34:23 PM

I agree that a Quad Makes Sense.
However, before laying down that type of cache, I would think long and hard about waiting 2 months for Nehalm to come out.

And the gaming NIC won't help.
Most reviews show this.

The ones that do are either seriously flawed in obvious ways at best or nothing more than fiction for cash.

Simply put, standard NICs can handle 1000s of connections as servers so load is not an issue.

I can ping and get a response from my local router in under 1ms.
Considering travel time and the need for my NIC and my routers nic to respond, the possible improvement for any packet is about .5ms
That would be under 1/200th of a second.

Don't get me started on the folks buy into the KillerNIC.
July 30, 2008 12:45:17 PM

But it's soooooooooo Shiny!


Ohhhhhhhhhh! And you can get over 300FPS in F.E.A.R


GTX 280 SLI (Dual and Triple SLI) review

Now I'd never say a persons "life" was worth any less than $5000 [:wr2:5]
But the strange guy has a point.

If I were you I'd build a $2500 new PC and use the other $2500 taking a friend
on a nice holiday to Yosemite National Park
July 30, 2008 12:52:42 PM

Go for a quad core processor, change the motherboard and pick up the an X48 based mobo from Asus or Gigabyte....then crossfire two 4870s. Buy corsair DDR 3 Dominator memory LOTS of IT :)  And I'd go for the Coolermaster Stacker. Its a better case.
July 31, 2008 3:15:41 PM

well nice rig but i do have a few suggestions....

but first let me answer your questions:

get some case fans and a good CPU cooler (you don't need water unless you just want)

ok so i see a little bit of compatibility problem your 3 cards take up 6 out of a standard 7 slots you then have 2 PCI cards make 8 slots need you need to ether get rid of a GPU or the killer NIC card(will comment later on this)

your sound card is just fine i doubt their is a ton of difference although i don't know tons about sound cards...

ok on to suggestions

first off i have to say that $1400 on GPU is overkill if you are willing to spend that much fine but i have to say wait till the ATI 4870X2 comes out as just 2 of those will probably be on par. also very few games that truly need the power of 3 GTX 280 really use it (mainly just crysis) to me even 2 4870s would be fine in fact that is what i have right now....

ok next if you do go with an ATI GPU get a X48 mobo either ASUS or Gigabyte i have the Gigabyte X48 DS4 and i have had no problems

CPU...??? this is just weird ok even if you were not going to do any music stuff i for the amount you are spending you need a quad core i would recommend a Q9450 or Q9550 it will help a lot with music stuff if

i wouldn't get the killer NIC it doesn't really do much any motherboards built in will work just fine the only reason this is important is if you play MMOs non stop even then a lot of people say they don't really see a difference....

last little thing as for the case i like the coolermaster stacker 830 best just a personal opinion but what ever you do get a big case as you will need the room

so as a summery (sorry i know this is long) i would say at least drop one GPU and the killer card use the extra 700 bucks and bump your CPU up 2 or 300 bucks to a good quad core...

if you want to even more get 2 4870s a good X48 motherboard and a quad core and if you can wait get 2 4870x2s

ok i am going to go call my doctor as i probably have arthritis now and i hope this helps (i didn't mean for this to be so long)

July 31, 2008 6:40:05 PM

I truly, truly appreciate all of this wonderful help! Even the mild sarcasm of the guy who suggested I go to Yosemite (for the record, I've been there, and I still prefer tangible things to memories... call me a materialist).

I've decided to follow a lot of advice I was given, and I can breathe way easier because you guys just saved me a very good amount of money.

I'm waiting for the 4870x2 and getting two of those, getting rid of the killer NIC, upgrading my monitor, upgrading my cpu, getting a different motherboard, and I'm getting a Stacker 830 since it seems to be significantly easier to make cooler.

You guys have been wonderful!

If anyone is still looking here though, I have one other question about upgrading monitors...

I've heard about certain compatibility issues with monitors that are too large not working with some programs and applications. This sounds completely ridiculous to me since you can usually change resolutions in the program even if that WERE true. But is there any shred of truth to it?
!