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new dev/gaming box

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August 2, 2008 2:23:21 PM

Forgive my long-windedness. Any comments or recommendations appreciated...

Have finally settled on parts for a new dev/gaming box which will be taking on web and db serving duties, as well. I'll be doing a mild overclock to 3 or 3.2 Ghz w/ stability of utmost importance, so I won't be going bleeding edge.

First, a nice looking, well thought-out case with a rock-solid psu.

I wanted a mid-tower so went with the Cooler Master RC-690-KKN1-GP Black. A very nice case for 75 bucks. PSU sits on the bottom, which I like. A super-well ventilated case with lots of fans (will replace fans with Scythe). It has clean lines and everything is tool-less. Only caveat is the plastic clips but, as I'm generally careful, it's not a biggie. It was pretty much a toss-up between this and the Antec 900, but I don't like acrylic windows and the lines on this case were very clean. I replaced the small thumbscrews on the back with something a little fatter - some gold-anodized aluminum thumb-screws that look pretty sharp!

The PSU is a Cooler Master 750W Real Power Pro RS-750. Four 12v rails and 17 dBA! Since I'm a freak for tool-less, I went with a few more gold-anodized aluminum thumb-screws to affix the PSU.

Decided on X48. The Gigabyte GA-X48-DS4 (X48/ICH9R) seems to be very popular with gamers and overclockers, so went with that. I wanted two x16 slots for crossfire or perhaps one X2 card and one RAID controller. Keeping my options open. Wanted the dual-LAN w/ teaming. Any good links that explain teaming?

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 Yorkfield 2.66GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80569Q9450. 12MB cache - I'm rolling in clover! Rather than waiting 4-6 months for the 3Ghz part to drop in price I'll overclock to 3.0 or 3.2 Ghz. Won't go above that, as I want to keep the box rock-solid. The Xigamatek HDT-S1283 sure is easy on the eyes as well as being a top-notch cooler. A dab of Arctic Silver 5 is all that will sit between it and four cores of Core 2 goodness! Retention bracket, of course. Will trade-up the fan for a Scythe.

8GB (4 x 2GB sticks) of OCZ Reaper DDR2 1066 oughta do the trick (OCZ2RPR10664GK). It was either that or G.Skill. I couldn't make up my mind, so I just went with the cooler looking of the two. Gotta love the heat pipes...

Dual Velociraptors in RAID 0 (600 GB). I don't care about a potential drive failure killing me, as I keep a hot backup on all data on an eSATA drive. Foremost in my mind are the fast seek times and massive IO. Am considering a hardware RAID card instead of ICH9R but at $300-$400 I would probably do just as well burning my money. I guess a x4 or x8 card would have to go in one of the x16 slots since all the others are x1? I don't know much about how PCI express works, so am making an assumption.

Backup duties go to an (eSATA) Acomdata PureDrive PDHD750USE-72 750GB 7200 RPM. These have a Samsung Spinpoint drive with 32MB cache in them. The svelte enclosure doesn't hurt either. Need to stay on top of backups since I'm riding the lightning (RAID 0). You're not going to blame me for not wanting to drop another $580 to go 0+1?

Am waiting for the Radeon 4870 X2 in mid-August. That will leave the other x16 slot free in case I want a RAID card - or have some other crazy idea.

Samsung SH-S223Q - DVD Burner (Lightscribe!). Am waiting a year-or-so for Blu-Ray.

Dual 27" monitors would just be obscene, so I went with dual 24" Acers.

Sound card - undecided - a mid-range PCI Express card.

Windows Vista 64-bit Home Premium (Aero). Dual boot with a 64-bit Linux (still evaluating which one). Is there a boot manager that you'd recommend?

Have ordered everything except the video card and the sound card. NewEgg and ZipZoomFly seem to have consistently good prices and no-fuss RMAs.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Let me know if there's something you'd change - I can always RMA it and eat the 15% if there's a good enough reason.

Thanks,
Cork

~~~

Do or don't. There is no try.

More about : dev gaming box

August 2, 2008 4:05:47 PM

VERY GOOD BUILD!!
August 2, 2008 4:17:57 PM

I'd drop the cooler master PSU and get something a little better, like a Corsair or PC P&C.

Fedora is a pretty good linux distro, I also used and liked Kubuntu.
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August 2, 2008 4:43:29 PM

nice, i´m jelous
August 2, 2008 5:26:00 PM

I'll give you a 9 out of 10 for that build. Everything is perfect, except the PSU. OK, make that an 8 because you ordered first and asked later.

Get a PC Power & Cooling 750W or Corsair 750TX.

"The Xigmatek HDT-S1283 sure is easy on the eyes" - thank you, I got a good laugh out of that. Who cares? You want a beautiful cooler, get the Zerotherm butterfly, and paint some pink rabbits or kittens on it too. :kaola:  What matters is performance/noise/whether the cooler fits on your MB & case. The Xigmatek is a great choice.

You could have ordered DDR2-800 instead of DDR2-1066, since you're not overclocking a lot, and saved some cash. I guess it's too late now. You won't save much if you pay restocking fees and shipping, so keep what you've got.

Most people who get that MB don't really need a sound card, AFAIK. Still, if you are an audiophile, get one that is known to have good drivers for Vista. E.g. HT Omega Striker. Avoid Creative.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829271001&Tpk=HT%2bOmega%2bStriker


August 3, 2008 6:00:05 AM

I'll see if I can RMA the PSU and pick up the PC Power & Cooling 750W after some more research into PSU's. That was the one thing I didn't do extensive reading on. I think I went with SharkyExtreme.com recommendation for a psu (their other recommendation was the Corsair 750TX that you mentioned). Dang it - I almost went with the Corsair!

I wouldn't mind having a modular power supply so the inside of my pc doesn't look like a grape arbor. Will be less things in the way when I'm tinkering.

What do you think of the modular PSU on the second link, below?
http://www.sharkyextreme.com/guides/MHGSBG/article.php/...
http://www.sharkyextreme.com/guides/EGBG/article.php/37...

Tom's has a good article on cpu coolers which is how I decided on the Xigmatek. Now, if only the quad 3Ghz were priced where the 2.66Ghz are at, it'd be exactly what I wanted. I'm sure that the moment my build is complete the universe will taunt me with a massive price cut.

Thanks for your comments, btw.

Thanks,
Cork
August 3, 2008 7:16:11 PM

I like that Ultra X3 800W PSU. Good quality. However, with 60A on the 12V rail, it's just as powerful as the 750TX 750W, not more. So much for the 800W label. I couldn't find the X3 at newegg, but if the price is $200 as that review says I wouldn't pay it. Not with the 750TX or Silencer 750W at half that price anyway.

If you really want 3 GHz overclock a bit, it shouldn't be any problem with the parts you've got there. :) 
!