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Need some help preparing for pwnage

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August 23, 2008 6:09:01 AM

Hello all!
I'm trying to put together an uber awesome gaming rig (first time building something from scratch). I'll be using it for gaming (obviously), and for a lot of music listening and some DVDs. My budget is between $2000-3000, plus a little extra for some games so I can actually use it. Probably be running a combo of Vista>Linux>XP, mostly Vista because thats where the gaming's at. Here's what I have picked out so far:

Case-Antec 900 (+hella fans)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Power Supply-PC Power & Cooling 750W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU-Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 + HSF
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Sound-Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro (PCI Express)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Drive- 2 x LG DVD±R DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Hard Drive- 3 x Western Digital Caviar 640GB SATA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM- 4 x 2gb OCZ DDR2 1066
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Motherboard-ASUS Rampage Formula
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Video-Sapphire Radeon HD 4870X2 2GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Display-Samsung T240 24" Widescreen LCD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A few questions:
1) Is this power supply a good match for the kind of system I'm building?
2) Any favorites in terms of a cpu HSF you could suggest?
3) I have a pair of Sony MDR-V6 headphones that I've been using for like 4 years and they've treated me pretty well. Should I stick with those or would it be worth my while to get a pair of higher end headphones?
4) Any other weaknesses/suggestions you could give me for the components I've listed? Anything I'm forgetting about?

Thanks!
joysofpi

More about : preparing pwnage

August 23, 2008 7:22:20 AM

Looks really good. I would get an aftermarket cooler instead of the stock one, like the Xigmatek HDT S1283. If you get that one, buy the retention bracket also. You might also want thermal paste, and I recommend Arctic Cooling MX-2. PSU looks great, I have the PC P&C 610W and lovin it.
I think you've got a good little build going for ya!
Antec 900 is nice, you'll like it. Oh, and theres no need to buy extra fans for it, unless you want to buy a few 3k RPM scythe fans to replace the tri-cools. But the tri-cools are great as they are.
Good luck!
August 23, 2008 7:22:41 AM

1) Yes, but i would change to a corsair 750tx instead, a bit cheaper and plenty for your needs.

2)Xigmatech hdt-s1283+ Arctic Silver 5+ retention bracket

3) If you plan on gaming, get a USB headset with a mic. (dont know if yours got one)

4.1)Take off the sound card, they don't work well with vista and onboard sound is probbably better than it anyway XD EDIT: Not sure anymore, is this one a new model or an old one?

4.2) If you don't plan to Crossfire ( you won't be able to crossfire 2 x2 with that psu anyway) get a P45 motherboard, like the Asus P5Q-E

4.3) Get ddr2 800 instead, unless you want to do a big OC.
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August 23, 2008 7:28:02 AM

It looks pretty solid. I thought about getting that same monitor but stuck with the Samsung 22". I wanted the T220, but I got the cheaper one cuz Best Buy sucks, only $30 cheaper but the T220 was a little better. I would recommend a cooler that everyone else is suggesting, just get the retention bracket instead of the dumb pushpins that I have on my Hyper TX2. Also...3 640GB HD's?? Really? I have a 160 and 320 and thats not enough but 3 640;s? If that's what you want go for it. I'll probly end up getting a few SSD's when the price comes down next year. Good luck on the build. Looks great.
August 23, 2008 7:29:06 AM

A couple thoughts.

You'll never be able to crossfire two of those cards on that board AND run your soundcard at the same time. Both PCI slots will be covered.

The PSU is not enough for two 4870X2s.

Given that, there is no good reason to get that rather expensive board. You can get more features and better overclocking with a P45 board that will probably work even better with a single 4870X2.

Perhaps the P5Q -E or deluxe.

Do you intend to really overclock a lot? If not, 800Mhz RAM will do you fine.

CPU Cooler:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
August 23, 2008 8:04:12 AM

BigBurn said:
1) Yes, but i would change to a corsair 750tx instead, a bit cheaper and plenty for your needs.

2)Xigmatech hdt-s1283+ Arctic Silver 5+ retention bracket

3) If you plan on gaming, get a USB headset with a mic. (dont know if yours got one)

4.1)Take off the sound card, they don't work well with vista and onboard sound is probbably better than it anyway XD EDIT: Not sure anymore, is this one a new model or an old one?

4.2) If you don't plan to Crossfire ( you won't be able to crossfire 2 x2 with that psu anyway) get a P45 motherboard, like the Asus P5Q-E

4.3) Get ddr2 800 instead, unless you want to do a big OC.

BigBurn, proof!?

I have an X-Fi XtremeGamer, latest updates for it was just last July 31 to August 01 of 2008. The update is for all cards, Audigy and X-Fi, they updated drivers, console, software, ALchemy. Update is for Vista and XP in 32 and 64-bit flavors. I'm using Vista Home Premium 32-bit and the drivers are great.

BigBurn, it's obvious you didn't do your research, you cannot even tell us if his sound card is a new model or old. To answer your question, it is one of the two (2) newest models indicated by the PCI Express connector. Older models use the PCI connector. :) 
August 23, 2008 9:08:14 AM

So they did finnaly updated their drivers to work with vista? Took them a while XD, just checked their forums and seem they got less people complaining. Doesn't change i would never buy something from them this is one of the reason XD http://forums.creative.com/creativelabs/board/message?b... have fun reading the 226 pages of replies.
August 23, 2008 9:25:36 AM

BigBurn said:
So they did finnaly updated their drivers to work with vista? Took them a while XD, just checked their forums and seem they got less people complaining. Doesn't change i would never buy something from them this is one of the reason XD http://forums.creative.com/creativelabs/board/message?b... have fun reading the 226 pages of replies.

BigBurn, you are living in the past, the far past. Every hardware company has had problems writing good drivers for Vista. ATI, NVIDIA, anyone? Stable sound card drivers have been published many months ago, this driver just solidifies the fact that Creative can write good, stable, and compatible drivers.

What do you mean "finally"? They have been writing drivers since Vistas release, I've gone through three (3) drivers since I've bought my XtremeGamer, just 4-5 months ago. One official, one official public beta, and this official release. Each one of them more stable than the last, which is not to say the first official driver was not stable, or the public beta not stable. I just like the console updates of the latest update. :) 

The whole Daniel_K thing is about how Audigy owners were not getting all the features promised of their card because they picked Vista as their OS of choice. On XP, the features work flawlessly, but in the drivers and software for Vista, features were omitted, angering a lot of once satisfied customers. Now, the newest drivers have put all the promised features back, so by using Vista, they do not lose certain features that work on XP. Daniel_K was writing drivers to put back the features for Audigy owners, but when he decided to ask people for donations, using Creatives intellectual properties (drivers) which he changed, he stepped over the line. However, Creative has changed it's mind, and has graciously put back all features back into their Vista drivers for Audigy owners. This can be seen with the latest release of drivers and software.

Once all Audigy owners update their software, and drivers, your argument is without a foundation. Like you, I have done (extensive) research into sound cards. Yet, you did not research the fact that he bought an X-Fi, which in the past would have all features work no matter if it's installed on XP or Vista. But, in the present, Audigy owners get all their features back, XP or Vista. Your base of argument is like sand. Sand that is slipping and shifting under your feet, soon to disappear for all time. Why? Because today, your link is irrelevent. Even during the days when Creatives drivers didn't fully support Audigy under the Vista environment, his sound card is still an X-Fi which did not get the same treatment.

But alas! Audigy owners rejoice! You now get back all the features you paid for, no matter if you use XP or Vista, 32 or 64-bit.

BigBurn, if you don't want to buy Creatives cards, fine. It is in every way your money. But by saying onboard audio is better than a dedicated sound card is blatantly lying to people like Joysofpi who wants to be informed about his future PC purchase. Not only are you bashing Creative without a base of fact, you are bashing Asus, AuzenTech, and other dedicated sound card manufacturers. If onboard audio was really better in sound quality, features, ports, etc, why are some people still be buying dedicated sound cards?

I can understand why some people would pass up on one, maybe the onboard audio quality is good enough for them, or dedicated ones are out of their budget, or they don't have good enough speakers in which to pair up with one to validate the money spending. I sure know, I built my PC and spent months using onboard audio with a 2.0 speaker system, before buying my sound card, with plans to purchase a Z-2300.

To BigBurn: Have fun reading my reply weighing in at 585 words. I would love to see you reply to my posts, hopefully after you do some more research on sound cards it seems.
August 23, 2008 10:53:34 AM

I have owned Creative sound cards since the original Sound Blaster, and had occasion to curse them all, including the current X-FI, whose full name is too long to remember and apparently has to be spelled with 4s instead of As.

I am offended by a company that can charge so much for a product yet take so long to provide decent drivers. It would probably take me well over 500 words to describe all the problems and conflicts I have had associated with Creative drivers over the years. Yet, they maintained during that time a virtual monopoly on sound cards that should have guaranteed excellent compatibility and playability in all games.

Sadly, nothing else sounds as good when it works.
August 23, 2008 11:20:19 AM

Proximon, I agree. I know what you mean.

I was frustrated with Dell because my 2-3 year old Inspiron 6000 can't update it's drivers for my X300 Mobility Radeon 64MB card. I just had to use the one Dell provides me, which haven't been updated since 2005. The fact that Dell could easily sign up for ATI's program that allows certain Dell laptop customers to use official ATI drivers and make a lot of Dell customers happy but refuses to this day, frustrated me. Then again, it was an entry-level computer and support just isn't as good. Now that my new PC is built, I do not care anymore that Dell doesn't update the Inspiron 6000 laptop video drivers, nor allows official ATI driver installs, because I stopped playing WarCraft 3 on that entry-level laptop once my gaming desktop PC was built.

Competition is good for everyone. With Asus and AuzenTech in the competition today, we can hope to see Creative changing for the better. I am happy with my Creative sound card, it is the second one I've bought.
August 23, 2008 7:51:10 PM

The difference is that creative made it on purpose and misslead people into thinkking they would fully work with vista at the beggining, im happy you didn't had problems. Have you ever checked creative forum before when 99% of the post where about problems? Of course everyone had problems with vista driver at the beggining, but creative was the worst.

Ok, ill admit it, i didn't do my research for the sound card, BUT since it's a creative, i can't say it's a good choice, not because the product isn't good, but because the compagny is. And it will take a long time before they get my trust back.
August 24, 2008 3:12:21 AM

BigBurn, I agree entirely. Creative should never have omitted certain features on Audigy cards on Vista.

Creative needs to work to get back their customers trust. Releasing a driver that fully supports all Audigy features on Vista was a start.
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