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Gaming/Encoding build...

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January 1, 2009 4:35:41 PM

Hi, I'm looking to replace my old Socket A system as SupCom will only play for 20 minutes before the number of units just send the fps through the floor...

So far my list is (most links to scan, but getting parts from all over the place):

Case: Coolermaster HAF 932

PSU: Corsair TX650

CPU: Intel i7 920

Cooler: Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme 1366RT (with fan)

RAM: 3GB DDR3 OCZ (1333MHz, C7)

GFX: Gainward Radeon HD 4870 Golden Sample (775MHz GPU / 4GHz GDDR5)

HDD: 150GB WD VelociRaptor

KB: Razer Lycosa

Mouse: Razer Lachesis

Sound: onboard

The main questions I have are:

-Which motherboard:

Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5 (leaning towards this one as it's cheaper)

or
Asus P6T Deluxe

-As I'm running two 19" LCD monitors, is the graphics card overkill for what the pc will be doing?

If I drop to the Q9550, DFI LT TR2 X48, 4GB Crucial PC2-6400, Palit Radeon HD 4850 and a 160GB SATA 2 WD (16MB Cache, 8.9ms seek), it would save about £240.

If the main thing this PC is doing would be video encoding and playing games such as SupCom, would there be a huge difference in performance for the price? My current rig has lasted almost seven years now, with incremental upgrades. So I am preferable looking to keep some sort of upgrade path open.

I am open to any other advice on parts (PSU power etc) - and thanks in advance :) 

More about : gaming encoding build

January 2, 2009 2:38:37 AM

Looks good.

Keep leaning towards the Gigabyte :) 

The HD 4870 is not overkill IMO, but it can handle two 19" monitors, no worries. Maybe it won't give you 60 fps, but it will still be decent. Your MB and PSU allow you to add a second one if needed.

The Q9550 build is good too, but I don't trust Palit much. Also, the Velociraptor would make your video encoding go twice as fast as the 160GB WD. I'm not kidding. An older WD with no perpendicular recording can do about 60 or 70 MB/s average read/write, while the Velociraptor can do 120.
Maybe get two WD 640GB disks (average rate 90 MB/s). That would be way better than a single hard disk, even than a Velociraptor, as long as compressing operations have the source file on a disk and the target file on the other.

January 2, 2009 7:03:35 AM

Thanks - lots of help :) 

With the graphics I'm not looking for 60fps or so, just something that can stay in the computer for a few years before it struggles on medium game settings and needs swapping/dual carding (bearing in mind both monitors will only be at 1248x1024, and I think SupCom is still the main game that actively uses two monitors?)

And thanks about the HD information, will have to look into that (tempted to get the VR for OS/gaming, and a 640GB for files/encoding target)

Checking the scan site, I'm guessing you mean the 32MB cache drives?
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January 2, 2009 12:52:02 PM

Both the 16MB and the 32MB versions are good. They have the same platter density and rotation speed, which means they have pretty much the same speed when handling videos or other large files.

WD6401AALS is newer and has 32MB of cache. WD6400AAKS has 16MB and costs 5 pounds less. Yeah, I'd buy the newer one at these prices.

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/640GB-Western-Digital-WD6401AALS-Caviar-Black-SATA-300-7200-rpm-32MB-Cache

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/640-GB-Western-Digital-WD6400AAKS-Caviar-Blue-SATA-300-7200-rpm-16MB-Cache-89-ms
January 2, 2009 1:22:58 PM

Thanks

Just got to buy the parts before DFI bring their X58 board out over here and give me another 'second choice' for the motherboard :-)
!