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Building a new rig, it's been awhile; guru's needed!

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October 9, 2008 6:39:09 PM

It's been about 5 years since I built my last PC, as I got out of gaming and became a bit too busy with life. I can not deny that I am a gamer at heart, along with everything else that I do

So basically, I'm wanting to put together a new rig; and before I state what my price range is I would like to hear the current "bests" of all genre's: processor, video cards, hdd's, monitors, motherboards, memory, PSU; cooling/case, etc

There are typically at least a top 3 of every genre that most will agree on, and I'd like to hear them and about how they're pricing. This will mainly be a gaming rig, and I don't want chop issues with any current games and upcoming games to come. I'll decide if money is the issue after I figure out what I would settle on if money wasn't a 'huge' issue.

It looks like I'm going to have to do some reading on everything again, as I have to do everytime I need an upgrade due to the industry moving so damned fast!

As for very general preferences:

- I'm thinking a 22-24" monitor, quick timing, and high resolution. What's currently known as great monitors and top models?

-processor; whats the latest and greatest, and what's the most popular? I've been an AMD guy, but I've seen a lot about intel taking over AMD's position on which is best; correct?

-Motherboard; open to this as well, but it seems the ASUS rampage seems to be the best way to go?

- At the least, 4GB ram at the least(is this very suitable for gaming, or should 8gb be thrown into consideration?) No idea on what is the best to go with, DDR2, DDR3, or whatever else is the latest and greatest now!

- HDD size I'm open on.. I've never really purchased a quick hdd and I'm curious if it's worth it. I remember the raptors being very popular, but I always settled on a typical 7200rpm hd.

- Video card; very very open on this and I'm sure there are a ton of opinions but I've come to the conclusion that the 4870x2 seems to be the way to go? Along with this I see cooling being an issue which seems to be easily resolved with fan control, correct?

-Case/cooling: very open to this, as I have no idea where to begin.

PSU- whatever is adequate for the rig I decide on, but 750w should be enough?

Mouse/keyboard setup; what's popular among gamers?

Speakers/sound card: very open to, I would like a nice sounding setup. Although I'm pretty sure most just stick with onboard sound now?

If I'm missing anything, or or tips or suggestions or ANYTHING that would help me build the best possible rig would be very appreciated.. I want to see what the price comes out to and whether or not I need to adjust!

Thanks for any help guys, I hate being the new guy again! I've got a lot of reading to do and I probably won't be placing my order for a few weeks!
October 9, 2008 9:56:03 PM

I was in a similar situation last winter and initially wanted to "future proof" my comp by getting the best of everything. What I settled on (idea and equipment) was to get very good parts on things that I can always use (case, psu, monitor, keyboard, mouse) and go middle of the road or best performance/value ratio. With that said, I went lower on my initial hardware purchase with the idea that instead of this lasting 2-3 years I could upgrade every 1-2 years. Hopefully closer to 2 years but realistically it will be around 1.5 years between major upgrades.

Background, I play FPS's, use photoshop and then the normal comp use like solitaire, hearts and occassionally something borderline productive. With that said, I purchased an E8400 with an X38 mobo, a 8800GTS and a 7200 rpm HDD. I still load faster into BF2 then everyone else. I run all graphics on high w/4xAA, COD4 is the same and Crysis I run at whatever the auto setup chooses. The total cost for my comp including monitor was $1200.

If I was going to do things again I would 1) get a larger PSU (I got a 650W) 2) 24" instead of 20" monitor and 3) I would have purchased DDR2 800 @ 1.8v RAM. I bought a performance/gamer DDR2 1066 RAM. When I replace the "performance" DDR2 1066 RAM with my old DDR2 800 RAM there is no noticeable difference. With all of my ramblings above if I were building today there is not much i would change about my comp.

Here's my long term parts suggestions
Case - Antec 1200 $175
Monitor - 24" 2ms, 1900 x 1200 $400
PSU - 1000w, overkill I know but... $225
Keyboard - logitech g15, it has a cool little screen on it. :sol:  $90
Mouse - any wired laser gaming mouse that you are comfortable with $90
speakers - good question, I use a headset $100
soundcard - I would use onboard audio unless you plan on using this as a media center and adding a blueray drive. $100

Upgradeable parts
CPU - E8400/8500 unless you will be doing video editing the I would say the Q6600(best value) or the Q9450. Max $300
MOBO - any X38 based MOBO that supports DDR2, not DDR3 $200
GPU - ATI 48xx - 4870 with 1gb would run anything you can throw at it with a 24" monitor. $400
RAM - DDR2 800 @ 1.8v. You can overclock it as high as needed if you get performance mem. $75 for 4gb (2gb x 2)
HDD - WD or Seagate 640mb hard drives. They are not as fast as the velociraptor but you can put two in for the price (or less) of a 150gb velociraptor $150 for 2
CD/DVD - any SATA with a good rating. 2 = $60


If you go on the high end of everything above you will be around $2200 before shipping and mail-in-rebates.
October 9, 2008 10:17:50 PM

Wait for Nahalem coming out next month.
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October 9, 2008 10:27:11 PM

ragsters said:
Wait for Nahalem coming out next month.

Yup, not much to discuss here…. All bets are off until Nehalem hits the shelves next month.
October 9, 2008 10:27:53 PM

nehalem will require DDR3 which is highly over priced. Lowest intial SRP is $289 which means it will sell for $350-$400 and the supply is going to be fairly limited until the end of the year. By initially going with nehalem you are looking at spending an additional $500 and based on the usage above he would not see a noticeable increase in performance. In 1.5 years he will be able to upgrade RAM, CPU and MOBO to the nehalem set up for less then the inititial $500 it would take and by then consumers won't be begging for BIOS and driver updates.
October 9, 2008 10:44:19 PM

If I were building today and not waiting for Nehalem this is what i would go with:

-Gigabyte X48-DQ6
-Q9550
-ATI 4870 or 4870x2 or idealy dual 4870x2 (even crossfire 4850's)
-4GB Mushkin 1066MHZ (2*2)
-Xigmatek HDT-S1283 or Sunbeam core contact heatsinks.
-MX-2 thermal compound
-Antec TruePower Quattro 1000 Watt (for crossfire) (PC Power and cooling 750 non crossfire)
-Samsung 22x DVDRW Lightscribe
-Antec 1200 or Cosmos

Just like my Sig :) 
October 9, 2008 10:55:23 PM

There is no question Nehalem will have a premium price, I suspect a person could build a Nehalem machine for just over 2k.

Nehalem will require triple channel ddr3 which is not even on the market, we don’t know the price. Also, according to initial reviews there will be a substantial bandwidth increase due to the triple channel... It may be worth the money. Furthermore it seems that lower MHZ ram is required which makes me suspect the price wont be too insane.

Nehalem prices, my guess:
Motherboard: $400
Processor: $650 (the middle of the 3 being released)
Memory: $400

Add a Vid card: 4870x2 $500
Power supply: $200 (not getting a cheap one)
Case: $150 (not getting a cheap one)
HDD : $80

Total: $2380 not cheap, but a crushing machine.
October 9, 2008 11:13:31 PM

Any new threads on dual 4870x2 GPU?

The last thing I read, the dual 4870x2 set up had a worst FPS than the single set up.....driver issue I guess.

Any updates on this?
!