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Advice for a new Gaming PC

Last response: in CPUs
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October 27, 2008 4:31:55 PM

I'm buying a new pc for the 1st time in 8 years. Needless to say, there are a lot more choices nowadays. I've looked at Cyberpowerpc, iBuyPC, and Alienware. Is there another good vendor I should be looking at?

I have about $1600 to spend on a gaming system. Here are the basics I am looking at:

Case - No clue! There are way too many choices. I don't care about flash, only functionality/noise. CyberpowerPC lists about 20 cases. Which is the best for price?
800W PS
Quad-Core)Intel® Core™ 2 Quad Q9550 @ 2.83GHz 1333FSB 12MB L2 Cache 64-bit
Cooling - Again too many choices. Which is best for cooling and noise?
Thermaltake V1 Gaming CPU Cooling Fan (Excellent Overclocking + Silent Proof + Smart CPU & System Thermal Monitor)
Thermaltake MaxOrb Enthusiast CPU Cooling Fan(Slient & Overclock Proof w/ Highest Efficiency Cooling)
Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX Gaming CPU Cooling Fan (Excellent Overclocking + Silent Proof 16dBA)
Raidmax Maxcool Intel CPU Cooling Fan (Extreme Silent at 20dBA & Overclock Proof)
CoolerMaster Hyper TX2 Gaming CPU Cooling Fan (Extreme Silent Operation at only 22dBA + Overclock Proof)
Asetek Liquid CPU Cooling System (Extreme Cooling Performance + Extreme Silent at 20dBA)
Ultra ChillTec Thermo Electric CPU Cooler
(3-Way SLI Support) EVGA nForce 780i SLI Mainboard FSB1333 DDR2 3 x PCIe x16 SATA RAID w/ USB2.0,IEEE1394,&7.1Audio - This is the default choice
4GB RAM
EVGA NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB 16X PCI Express x2

Have I made any bad choices above?

Does anyone have any experience with the Killer NIC? I only play one MMORPG (Anarchy Online) and I have read mixed reviews for this card.

Any suggestions/feedback is welcome!

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October 27, 2008 4:42:07 PM

well im to lazy but some 1 will come up with a list of parts here :p 
October 27, 2008 4:55:43 PM

ok you got a great build there but, why dont you build it your self instead of buying from some one. usually cheaper to build for your self. dont get the 9800gtx+, if your going to spend that much money for the whole system get at least a gtx280.
no the the killer NIC will probably not help you too much. its really just too expensive for the little gain.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/killer-nic-network,...

if your worried about noise build a system with water cooling. that will keep some noise down.

are you going to be using this for gaming only?
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October 27, 2008 5:02:19 PM

Killer NIC? I've heard it's a waste of $. That amount of money buys a serious upgrade for another system component.
October 27, 2008 5:35:40 PM

Some of the benchmarks I saw on that Killer NIC were very favorable, but in terms of performance gains vs. $ spent... unless you've got a fully maxed out $3k+ rig... I just don't see it being a good investment. Too many other components would benefit from that money.
October 27, 2008 7:30:03 PM

killer NIC is really not worth the money, some reviews showed that a few games get a2-3 fps more with killer NIC.
October 27, 2008 9:59:44 PM

Hi Op,

If I was going the Nvidia route stick with EVGA but get a single GTX 280. Nvidia have had to drop their prices following the release of the 48xx cards by ATI. SLI appears to be not a very efficient way to get extra performance...

With watercooling there are 2 ways to do it the right way or the wrong way. Watercooling done the wrong way is expensive and no better than a high performance aircooling solutions coupled with a case with good airflow.
  • The wrong way is getting cheapo kits that claim to be 20dB and maintenance free, etc... You know the ones that use a single 120mm radiator... TEC cooling is not for the beginner... If it is for the beginner it is generally underpowered or noisy.
  • The right way is at least a week of research/reading on what can go wrong and basic FAQs of watercooling... Then you go out and get the best performing gear (e.g. 3/4-way radiator (Feser/Thermochill), blocks by Swiftech, EK or D-Tek).

    The best aircooling solutions are the likes of Thermalright, Scythe, Arctic Cooling, Zalman, Xigmatek, etc. Just make sure that the cooler chosen has a direct path of cool air to the cooler in your chosen case and a way to direct that hot air out of the case again. Quad-core CPUs will need one of the higher end coolers that can deal with the extra watts of heat and possibly an overclock on the top of that... MX2 or similar high thermal paste (correctly applied) will be essential...

    I wouldn't get too hung up on details like the KillerNIC or SLI at the outset. You are just going to give yourself some big headaches...

    Listing a "800W PSU" is not a good recipe for a high spec. machine... You want to make sure that it is very high quality (like Tier 1 or 2) for a high performance rig like that:
    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=108088
    The powersupply will form a foundation for stability of the system... Or a poor choice which will provide you with anything from the odd blue screen to serious instability and potentially component damage and/or little explosions... :pt1cable: 
    PC Power and Cooling, Seasonic, Corsair, Ultra X3,

    Also RAM is of big concern. You need to do a lot of research here. I am not up on what is the good, the bad and the ugly in the DDR2 RAM charts just now but you have a processor choice with a high, default FSB. If you want to push up towards a 4Ghz CPU frequency you will need to plan ahead and get some really good quality RAM sticks.

    Bob

    PS As a side note I think a PCIe 1x version of the KillerNIC at half the price might be worth considering at a future date - those guys really know what they are doing but the card is not yet fully developed...

    !