SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, solid modeling
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: none
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg
PARTS PREFERENCES: no preferences
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: sli at a future date
MONITOR RESOLUTION: widescreen, high resolution
I'm new at building my own rig. I picked out a potential list of parts but I'm not entirely sure they're all compatible. I am completely open to suggestions on any of the components. I'd like to spend a little less than the current price but still have a really nice comp for gaming. Also, I'm confused about the memory thing. I' was thinking 4gb because I was planning to go with 32 bit vista (anything over 4gb and I have to use 64 bit right?) Are there support issues in going to 64 bit? Also, why are there so many 2gb x 3 packages, I thought memory was best done in pairs? Sorry if these are stupid questions. Thanks in advance for the help.
1. If you are spending that much on a computer don't go with a 775 platform as its a dead end socket. Get either AM3 or LGA 1366 (I recommend the latter)
2. The only reason not to go with 64-bit is because a small (very small) portion of software isn't compatible with 64-bit architecture. 99% of mainstream software and games work in 64-bit so I highly recommend you get that instead of 32-bit due to the well known memory limit.
3. The reason DDR3 memory is in kits of 3x1GB and 3x2GB is because on the new Intel Core i7 (LGA 1366) platforms have a triple channel memory controller which works best with 3 channels of DDR3 memory. 2x2GB kits are typically found in older LGA 775 platforms where the motherboards use dual channel kits of either DDR2 or DDR3 (typically DDR2 in this case).
4. For the processor, motherboard, and memory I suggest you go with these:
5. That video card is VERY overpriced for what you get over the GTX 275 ($150 more expensive for 5% higher framerate). Even though it has 2GB of Vram it still isnt worth it. (just a note, if you end up going with a 32bit OS and this graphics card you will be left with less than 2GB of system memory)
Instead of that GTX 285 get either a GTX 275 vanilla for about $250 which is almost as powerful or get 2 GTX 275's in SLI which will blow the GTX 285 out of the water ($500).
6. For the PSU I recommend a Corsair TX750W/850W powersupply. They are cheaper and just as reliable.
7. For the hardrive... instead of that veloci raptor which is way overpriced get either a single or dual 500GB hardrives in RAID-0 which will be 90% as fast and much much cheaper.
8. The case is mostly just a matter of personal preference but if you haven't already you should take a look at the Antec 900/1200 series as they are very well designed and provide excellent airflow.
Maybe I haven't done my homework, but I'm not convinced RAID is actually effective in real world applications (Greg Monkiewicz
). The Velociraptor is a good drive, get it for your OS, you won't regret it.
The GTX 285 is a good card, and if you buy a second one in the future it scales with SLI very well. (Tom's)
Here's a build to consider (notice items are grouped into combos, that were live at time of posting):
LIAN LI PC-A17B Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
-$20.00 Mail-in Rebate
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
EVGA 02G-P3-1185-AR GeForce GTX 285 2GB 512-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
EVGA E758-A1 3-Way SLI (x16/x16/x8) LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Nvidia Gift Call of duty - World at war - OEM
Wow... I couldn't agree more with ehanger if I wanted to. Everything he said/suggested I support 100%. lol
I've spent the past few months doing constant research and asking questions in forums and gaining knowledge about the latest and greatest gaming hardware because I was due for an upgrade.
Here's what my PC now looks like:
Intel Core i7 920
ASUS P6T Deluxe
3x2GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1333
WD Caviar Blue 500GB, 2x WD Caviar Black 500GB
EVGA GTX 275
X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro
It's a very upgradeable/overclockable platform that will last for years. I spent around $1,500 on it, but that included a 24" widescreen monitor, a case, and a few other assorted parts I didn't list. I'm very happy with what I bought, and I recommend a similar setup to anyone looking for a gaming PC in this price range. (I use my blue HDD for my OS, and my 2 blacks in RAID 0 to install games to. This keeps the OS nice and fast, while still giving me increased performance for games. As a bonus, I can reformat my game drive and not have to reinstall Windows or drivers.)
In answer to the question about having to go with 64-bit Vista for over 4GB of RAM, this is true. A 32-bit OS (example: XP) will NOT use anything past approximately 4GB of RAM. In reality, it's even less. You'll usually only get about 3GB to use in a 32-bit OS, so for modern gaming, a 64-bit OS is all but required. Click Here for additional information on the problem. I experimented with 64-bit XP, (yes, it exists) but found it's driver support lacking, and it became clear to me that it was never intended for games. Your only REAL option (at least until Windows 7 is released) is to go with 64-bit Vista.
Your very old games (released in the days of Windows 9x or before) will either NOT function in a 64-bit OS, or will have major problems. There are a few that somehow manage to function properly, but most won't. This can easily be solved by dual booting with a 32-bit OS or using a virtual machine. (Google for walkthroughs and info) These oldies obviously won't need to take full advantage of your space-age future technology to run flawlessly in glorious 640x480 resolution with 256 colors and sound. Sorry I've gotten off topic...