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New gaming pc, now or wait?

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September 20, 2008 3:38:16 PM

So here is the story. I was a pretty big pc gaming nerd back in HS and College, built a few PCs during that time and loved it. Now I own a company and make pretty good money. I've been really enjoying console gaming for the past year or 2 but still really want to get back into PC gaming. I still play TF2 and some other random things with my friends online with my macbook pro booted up into vista for gaming. Now I'd like to be able to play CoD, Warhammer, STALKER, etc... and any other games that will be coming out in the next year. But I want to do what I was never able to do in college, and that's play them on a machine where I can turn all the settings up :) 

So the good news: no budget. I don't have any price restraint. Now, that doesn't mean I want to blow money on useless stuff like visual mods or things I probably won't get much use out of (some crazy high end sound card for example), but things like Solid State Hard drives might be worth the extra money, performance wise.

My real question though is, do I wait for Nehelam? I haven't built a PC in a while and haven't been keeping up with everything. I've read a few articles and forum posts on here about Nehelam, but it's hard to take everything and really process it. Is it really going to be worth it to wait for these? Am I going to see a really significant increase in performance? Or should I just build something now that will be killer for the next 2+ years? Or will the Nehelam stuff really be that amazing, that it'd be a waste to spend 2k-3k+ dollars on something now instead of waiting?

I don't necessarily have a time constraint, but I would like to get the system soonish and start having fun :)  I know Nehelam is supposed to be out anytime now, but how long until good stable full systems can be build around the Nehelam chips? Or could I even build something killer now and just swap out the mobo/chip later?

I know it's a lot of questions, just trying to figure out the best bang for my buck and how to proceed from here.

Thanks in advance for any advice, suggestions, or tips.

More about : gaming wait

September 20, 2008 3:58:30 PM

Well Nehalem has about 8 threads cause of their new hyperthreading but currently games only use 2.
So at the start for games Nehalem will be more of a luxury.
But prices of current C2Q will drop as well as motherboards.

If u want to buy just need to no size of monitor and if u are overclocking
September 20, 2008 4:02:46 PM

if you have 2 to 3k to burn on just the tower i'd wait for nehelam. while right now it's only about a 15 percent increase in performance per core, once programs are better multi threaded then I'm sure that gap will get bigger. For people with 1500 dollars to burn then i would suggest going with the quad cores available now.

Really it just comes down to price. Nehelam, ddr3, and the first batch of x58 boards will be pretty expensive especially considering that alot of those boards will prolly get the sli cert which will add even more cost.
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September 20, 2008 4:13:28 PM

yea Nehalem will be a premium for awhile especially for SLI
if u can wait for it then do that....some say late September to October and others say December

@ PsyKhiq: isnt that the new Sonic game???
September 20, 2008 4:14:21 PM

Oh sorry, forgot about monitor. 24" Dell 2408WFP Ultrasharp. I don't really have any plans to Overclock.
September 20, 2008 4:15:52 PM

Well assuming that you building a whole new setup w/o a budget i'd wait for nehelam. If for nothing else it will let you choose between ati crossfire and nvidia sli on the high end boards. Also the extra threads will come in handy if you choose to do a multimonitor setup. I like to have a game running on one monitor and have IM, firefox and napster on the other.

Also Nehalem boards will more ram, they will up to 6 slots for ram. so putting 12 gigs will be easy. That will be great if you wanna setup some virtual machines to help with your business. Virtual macines are great cuz they can be backup entirely and taken from different pc to pc w/o any issues. Plus for owners of vista ultimate, business, and windows xp pro microsoft virtual PC is free.

yep my avatar if from the new sonic game.
September 20, 2008 4:49:01 PM

Alright, well thanks for the info. I'll probably just wait for Nehelam then, sounds like that'd be the way to go.
September 20, 2008 6:29:20 PM

This waiting for Nehelam makes a lot of sense if you enjoy riding the cutting edge. But keep in mind that there may be driver problems, reliability problems, possibly hardware bugs, etc. If you find dealing with those kind of fun (and many of us do, within reason) then grab Nehelem when you can. If you just wanna have fun playing on (not with) your computer, you might instead buy a quad core now and upgrade to Nahelem in 18 months or so.
September 20, 2008 11:34:21 PM

Hmmmm, I didn't really think about that. More to think about I guess :o 
September 25, 2008 9:58:09 PM

So after thinking about it. I think I'd rather get a system now that I can depend a bit more on it's stability and drivers. Nehelam sounds good, but I definitely don't want to be buying this stuff right out of the gate. I'd rather upgrade later once all the kinks and drivers get worked out a bit.

So any suggestions on a build?

Like I said above, no plans for crazy overclocking. I use a 24" monitor that runs at 1900x1200
September 25, 2008 10:11:55 PM

The easiest way for any of us to give you build recommendations would be for you to pick a budget. $1500 (without monitor/keyboard/mouse/speakers) will get you a very nice system that can run anything for the forseeable future. $2000 will make the build more fun!
September 26, 2008 6:40:08 PM

Mexpedip: what I said in the OP still stands. I don't necessarily have a budget constraint. If I were to give a number, I'd say I don't want to really go above 3k, cause I don't think it'd be worth it at that point unless someone made a persuasive argument why :) 

Coleman: thanks for the suggestion, I'll take a look at those and fool around on newegg based off of that.
September 26, 2008 8:51:25 PM

well then here it goes...

MOBO - x48 chipset which will allow for full x16 in xfire. the P45 does not do that.
ASUS RAMPAGE FORMULA LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU - my guess is you won't need a quad core but it makes the system more future proof.
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz 12MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heatsink -
XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and
XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - there are arguments for basically every card available but I chose this one because it can run anything on high to max settings and you get the best price/performance ratio. You could select the 4870x2 but you would not utitlize the card to its fullest. The 2nd part is that crysis is easily the most demanding game on the market. The 4850 can run it easily and crytek has apaprently started optimizing the the game so it is not as much of a resource hog. My guess is that as games progress and become more detailed the developers will find a way to make the games more PC friendly. Let's face it, the demands of crysis on your PC has been its reason for low sales. No one wants to spend $400-$700 upgrading a comp for one game.
SAPPHIRE 100242-1GL Radeon HD 4850 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - DDR2 800 @ 1.8v. anything else is overkill with little to no advantage.
mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD #1 - pure speed. use for OS and games or frequently used apps that are resource hogs.
Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD #2 - storage and backup
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU- room if you ever decide to xfire or jump up in the next generation of cards.
CORSAIR CMPSU-1000HX 1000W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CD/DVD Burner - ummm, I just picked 1 with a high rating ;)  get 2
LG Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 20X DVD±R DVD Burner w/ SecurDisc Tech - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case - its big and has good airflow
Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS -
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit English for System Builders 1pk DSP OEI DVD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



I didn't include a keyboard or mouse. Total price before mail-in-rebates and shipping = $2165. The only thing I would consider upgrading in this is the GPU but either way the 4870x2 is overkill. Another thing to consider is an SSD for your OS/main apps drive. TBH, I don't know enough about them to make a recommendation.
September 26, 2008 10:02:22 PM

+1 for the above post,great mobo, definatly worth it but i would still go with a hd 4870
September 27, 2008 12:58:05 PM

Wow, thanks for the amazing post. I'll be taking a look at all of this over the weekend. The only question I had was the one you also had at the end, and that was about SSD HD's and if they are worth it.
September 27, 2008 4:40:58 PM

I would recommend a DFI X48 over Asus anymore. Their quality isn't what it once was and DFI has quite the following of enthusiasts and community to help you out if you decide to really get in there and play. I had a Striker board and it was pitiful.
October 3, 2008 7:02:59 PM

Sony/Dell Trinitron Monitor
Microsoft Optical 1.1
Model M Keyboard
Sennheiser Headphones
Logitech USB Microphone
Lian Li Mid-tower Case
$150 Video Card
$150 CPU
$60 Motherboard
$150 RAM
$40 Hard Drive
$40 Optical Drive
$75 Power Supply

:D 
!