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Critic Gaming Build Take II

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August 13, 2008 8:12:56 PM

Hello everyone!

Re thread.... http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/252762-31-critic-syst...

THX for all the help with my first build (Shadowduck, AEVM) . I took my time, read a lot, listened to some good advice.....and it came together very well! Everything is up and running very well :kaola: 
No more commercial computer builds for me!

Fresh off my newbie success, I now want to build a system for myself. The above system was for one of my rugrats :o  I cannot have one of my rugrats having a lot nicer system than me :non: 
I am thinking of a very similiar build to the rugrat's with a few choice upgrades.

Well here it is (Newegg.com item #)......

MOBO

ASUS RAMPAGE FORMULA LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Model #:Rampage Formula
Item #:N82E16813131284

OR

ASUS P5E Deluxe LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Model #:p 5E Deluxe
Item #:N82E16813131317

-both are X48 chipsets. With my first build I went with the P5E Deluxe. I heard here the Rampage MOBO
has a few extra "fluff" on it. I am having a hard time seeing what the extra "fluff" is. I cannot even find the
Rampage on ASUS's web site. It appears the Rampage has only 2 PCI Express x1 slot compared to the P5E Deluxe's 3. The Rampage also does not list a Marvell 88E8056 LAN chipset. Any comments on the differences of the two boards would be appreciated.

CPU

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400 - Retail
Model #:BX80570E8400
Item #:N82E16819115037

OR

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 Yorkfield 2.66GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80569Q9450-Ret.
Model #:BX80569Q9450
Item #:N82E16819115042

-Leaning toward the Dual Core like my first build, since at this point it will be faster. The rig will be used mainly for gaming. I do not do a lot of multitasking. Again imput here or new choices would be appreciated.

GPU

SAPPHIRE 100251SR Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB 512-bit (256-bit x 2) GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
Model #:100251SR
Item #:N82E16814102768

MEMORY

CORSAIR XMS2 DHX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C4DHX - Retail
Model #:TWIN2X4096-6400C4DHX
Item #:N82E16820145194

-I love Corsair. I am also taking prior advice to stay DDR2 800 compared with DDR2 1033.

PSU

CORSAIR CMPSU-1000HX 1000W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 Power Supply - Retail
Model #:CMPSU-1000HX
Item #:N82E16817139007

-I went with an Antec TPQ-850 on the first build. I was impressed with the PSU. I went with it due to a great rebate at the time. Going with the 4870x2, I am thinking I need more headroom on the amount of power.
I did not see a good Antec choice in the 1000W range. I have heard good things here on Corsairs PSU's.
Modular cables is also a "must" for me.
-I want to have some headroom.....not sure but I might add a second 4870x2 at a near future date.
At this point, I am thinking two 4780x2 would be way overkill.

HARD DRIVE

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Model #:ST3500320AS
Item #:N82E16822148288

-Not planning on any RAID set up at this point.

SOUND CARD

Creative 70SB046A00000 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Professional Series - Retail

-I want a dedicated audo card on my rig compared to the SupremeFX II Audio Card that comes with the MOBO.
-I am a unsure if I should get a PCI or PCI Express Audio card?

CD/DVD

2 of the following:
LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write Black SATA Model LH-20A1S - Retail
Model #:LH-20A1S
Item #:N82E16827106057

CPU COOLER

XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail
Model #:HDT-S1283
Item #:N82E16835233003

XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket - Retail
Model #:ACK-I7751
Item #:N82E16835233019

FAN CONTROLLER

AeroCool Modern - V Controller - Retail
Model #:Modern - V
Item #:N82E16811999188

CASE

COOLER MASTER cosmos S RC-1100-KKN1-GP Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
Model #:RC-1100-KKN1-GP
Item #:N82E16811119150

OR

LIAN LI PC-V2110B Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
Model #:p C-V2110B
Item #:N82E16811112172

OR

LIAN LI PC-X2000
-Looks quite awesome.
-I am not, however, seeing it in stock yet on the net :fou:  Anyone see it in stock somewhere?

-The Cosmos S case turned out nice. I swapped a out the stock fans for the Xigmatek fans.
The case now has 6 x 120 mm fans and a side 240 mm fan. I think the cooling is great. Downside, there were
a few plastic components on the case that I was not impressed with. The Lian Li cases seem like they
are a "higher end" build. I heard that some sites recommended adding another 120 mm front fan to the
LIAN LI PC-V2110B for better cooling.

CASE FANS

-The plan was to swap out stock fans of the above cases for:

XIGMATEK XSF-F1251 120mm Case Fan - Retail
Model #:XSF-F1251
Item #:N82E16835233009

OS

Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition SP3 English for System Builders 1 Pack CD - OEM
Model #:N09-02215
Item #:N82E16832116511

-With my first build I stuck with XP. My wife has Vista on her Laptop and I like XP over the Vista.
I know I am gonna loose the memory recognition with XP vs Vista (the first computer build above, the computer only recognized 3.25 GB of the 4 GB memory). Memory is, however, cheap! Dx10 also requires Vista. Am I loosing out on anything else with my XP OS choice?

Any imput on my above choices would be greatly appreciated!

G'Day

More about : critic gaming build

August 13, 2008 9:12:17 PM

Glad to hear your first build is doing well :) 

Rampage vs P5E Deluxe: I'd pick the P5E, simply because it's cheaper and I couldn't find anything interesting in the Rampage specs to justify the extra cash. I don't know... If you're less lazy than I am, find some reviews and see if the reviewers can justify it.

E8400 (or E8500) is probably best for you, yes.

HD 4870 X2 - excellent choice. Adding a second one is probably overkill. It depends a lot on how good the drivers will be and how well your favorite games will support a 3rd and 4th card. For example CoD4 supports them extremely well, with huge gains when GPU#3 is added and good gains from GPU#4, but Crysis doesn't really benefit. I saw this in an article where they had a 790FX MB with 4 slots and they kept adding HD 3850 cards to it. Get a powerful PSU, sure, but don't buy the second video card yet.

With a little luck, drivers may support HD 4870X2 + HD 4870. They do support HD 4850 + HD 4870, so why not. HD 4870X2 + HD 4870 would probably be more bang for the buck. It depends on how well future games are programmed, so it's really hard to predict.

1000HX is a great PSU. It has two rails of 40A each. That might complicate things a bit - you need to distribute things right so that each rail gets a video card and about half of the rest, or you'll end up overloading one rail. Either do that, or get a single rail PSU with 80A like the Silverstone OP1000-E.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817256043

+1 for the WD 640 GB. 90MB/s average read rate, it's just fabulous. And cheaper/GB too than any modern HDD I can think of.

Quiz: can you list 10 reasons why it's better to get two different burners instead of two identical ones? OK, maybe 10 is too much, but I can think of several.

Sound card: no idea how PCI-E sound cards behave. I've always had PCI cards. Why not give the SupremeFx a try first, since you're paying for it anyway?

Good HSF.

No idea about the fan controller.

I can't believe you're planning to spend $1000 on video cards and play in DirectX 9 mode. You need Vista anyway because CrossfireX is not supported on XP. That is, with XP you are stuck with two GPUs (i.e. one HD 4870 X2) and can't add the second one. You also have the 32-bit issue, of course, i.e. you'll see a tiny bit of your 4GB of RAM. Can't guess how much, but let me see: if a 8800GTX with 0.75 GB of RAM makes my XP system show 3.25 GB instead of 4, then two 4870X2 cards with 2GB each will make your system show 4GB-2GB-2GB=0. OK, that's not very good. Maybe I got my math wrong, but anyway I'm sure it will be small. Anyway, get Vista Home Premium 64-bit.





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August 13, 2008 9:21:37 PM

Looks good, I would go with the Duo over the Quad. Yea i think 2 4870x2 would be overkill right now.

Lian Li's have some of the best build qualities as far as cases go, I have both a lian li and a coolermaster case, if you have the extra money go with the Lian Li there just a lot easier/nicer to work with.
August 13, 2008 9:50:07 PM

1000HX is a great PSU. It has two rails of 40A each. That might complicate things a bit - you need to distribute things right so that each rail gets a video card and about half of the rest, or you'll end up overloading one rail. Either do that, or get a single rail PSU with 80A like the Silverstone OP1000-E.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817256043


-Looks like its not modular. Any imput on 1000W or bit more PSU that is modular and has singular 12v rail. Furthermore, I hear a single 12V rail is better than multiple rails. Any explanation of why this is the case would be appreciated.



+1 for the WD 640 GB. 90MB/s average read rate, it's just fabulous. And cheaper/GB too than any modern HDD I can think of.

-The Seagate choice I had above had 32 MB compared with the WD of 16 MB....that mean anything?



Quiz: can you list 10 reasons why it's better to get two different burners instead of two identical ones? OK, maybe 10 is too much, but I can think of several.

-I plead my newbie ignorance. I cannot answer this :??:  Please elaborate on why two burners of the same model number are bad karma.

THX for taking the time to reply all!
August 14, 2008 2:18:10 PM

Don't worry about single rail/multiple rails. PC Power & Cooling says single rail is best, Enermax says otherwise, both are very respected.

Western Digital says the 32MB vs 16MB is just not worth the extra cost because the speed improvement is negligible. It's hard to verify for yourself because you can't find two completely identical disks that differ only in the amount of cache, but they created such disks and measured and that's what they decided. If you don't believe them buy Seagate disks, they are very good too and even have longer warranties.

Why it's better to have different burners:

1. movies from the public library or BlockBuster, with scratches - some times they work on one of my drives but not on the other. No general rule - I've had disks that worked only on one and disks that worked only on the other.

2. games with tough protection schemes - sometimes they refuse to work on certain drives (e.g. Asus).

3. two CDs with different software are better than two CDs with the same software.

4. if a burner is very good at ripping audio or at ripping video or at burning audio CDs or at burning data DVDs, you can discover which does what better and use the right one. No drive is perfect at everything.

5. If you really want to verify a disk you've burned, you can write it with one drive and read it with the other. Better test than reusing the same drive.

6. If you buy a 100-disk spindle and the disks work at 4x on one drive and 16x on the other, you're better off than with two drives both at 4x. I've seen this for example with Verbatim disks (they work fine at 16x on my Plextor, but burning at 16x on my LG fail with them. The LG is fine otherwise - it burns at 16x all right on Memorex or Phillips media.)

OK, I can't come up with 10 reasons, I knew that was too much.

October 10, 2008 8:12:24 PM

THX again to all that helped in the build :hello: 

Took a while to finish everything IoI

Also took a while to get around to moving some pictures from the camera to computer

With that said.....here is some pictures

I finally did get around to loading up some pictures I took of the new build

9550 Intel Quad Core
Asus Rampage Formula
Corsair 1000w Modular PSU (CMPSU-1000HX)
Sapphire 4870x2 GPU
Two Seagate SATA II 500 Gig 32 MB cache hard drives (ST3500320AS)
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface Sound Card
Corsair Twin2x4096-6400C4DHX memory (2 x 2 Gig DDR2 800)
2 Optical DVD/CD Burners (one Lite-On the other Samsung)
Xigmatek S-1283 CPU Cooler with retention bracket
Sunbeamtech 7 channel fan controller
Scythe 120 mm fluid dynamic fans
Lian Li PC-A7110 Case with after market clear side panel/250 mm fan and top panel that has two 120 mm fan cut outs
OS: Windows XP, will try a dual install with Vista once I get off my arse to do it.

Sorry .....should have cleaned it a bit prior to the pictures IoI

Parts prior to assembly...


Close up of MOBO...


Right side...


Right side door open....


Left side...


Front door closed...


Front door open...


Back view...
October 11, 2008 3:31:51 AM

Placement of the HSF is kind of iffy. Looks like you're blowing hot air at your gpus. I'm not sure, but I think it might be to your benefit to point the HSF out the back of the case.

EDIT:o n further examination of your board, it looks like you can only have it facing up or down. In that case, I suggest having the HSF face up. Still, I could be wrong.
October 11, 2008 4:44:31 AM

The HSF sucks air onto the heatsink not away, so there is no hot air being blown onto GPU's.

I was kinda confused which way to point the HSF when I first did the build. I did get more than one input to have the HSF blow onto the heatsink.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/248239-29-xigmatek-s1...
October 11, 2008 8:11:17 PM

Hmm, learn something new every day. I always thought to have the fan pull the heat away from the heatsink towards one of the exhausts. Weird.
October 12, 2008 12:53:54 AM

is that HUGE thing a fan? it looks like you glued another mobo onto youre first one! or is that just a trick of light lol
!