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First Build, Need some suggestions.

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September 15, 2009 10:31:35 AM

So, I am getting my first computer build for christmas. I decided to check out the market -- see what was out there and what I could build. My budget is sub-$2000 and I am able to get it to $1594 after Mail-In-Rebates. I wanted to get a new headset (As I am a definately dedicated gamer and love my music to sound amazing) I have searched around and decided on this pair of headphones, but after reading some reviews they have suggested a Headphone Amplifier. What I need help with is finding either an Audio Card that will fit between my video cards (See the build below with links) or a headphone Amp suggesiton and an explanation on how I would use it and how it works. Also note that I will be running CrossfireX

Another option is to suggest another headset. My requirements are:
A) It must be an over-ear construction as I have piercings around my ear (non-lobe) which are easiely annoyed.
B) It must have excellent frequency range. (The ones I picked out had 10Hz-26,000Hz)
C) If they have more than the standard Mic/Headphone jack, would be great. Would really like to push this build to its max.

The Headset: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Build:

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Processor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Video Card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... x2
Hard Drive1: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Hard Drive2: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CD-Drive1: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Power Supply: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HeatSink: http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/thbauncpucos.html
CPU Fan: http://www.jab-tech.com/YATE-LOON-120mm-Case-Fan-D12SH-...
Case Fans: http://jab-tech.com/YATE-LOON-120mm-Case-Fan-D12SM-12-M...
Thermal Compound: http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/arcomxthco.html
Fan Controller: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I have been suggested the Omega Stryker 7.1 Audio card, but after some thought and talking out by another friend I decided that the motherboard has a beast of Onboard Audio. Then I thought about the headphones.

Omega Stryker 7.1 Audio Card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

More about : build suggestions

September 15, 2009 11:39:59 AM

Hi...thats a good setup that you have listed...But by the time you buy, some of the components would bereplaced with newer and faster replacements...
1. Graphics card - In case you dint know, ATI will be launching newer DirectX 11 cards by this month end...So you might want to keep the options open for the graphics card...
2. The Velociraptors are not worth it IMHO...Instead get a 60GB SSD for around the same price, that would offer incredile performance(though still command some price premium but if you want the best, then you have to be ready to shell out the money)...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And as for the sound card, I would suggest you first try out the onboard sound and then buy a sound card...Most likely you wont need a separate sound card...But if you need it, you can always add one...
September 15, 2009 11:42:11 AM

Looks like a solid build. You might want to check out this Headset, the ROCCAT™ Kave – Solid 5.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset that will make use of your Omega soundcard to it fullest. :sol: 

Also since you are planning this for Xmas, I would wait and see what the prices for the new AMD/ATI 5000 series will be that will be on sale Oct. 2nd, before getting your graphic cards.
Related resources
September 15, 2009 11:56:45 AM

Oh, I am not planning on buying any of this ahead of time, Except maybe the processor/motherboard on Black Friday. also, all of this is subject to change (Including the video cards) What this build was specifically for is to see what exactly was out there NOW that I could then switch out with the newer stuff and not have to strain my brain right before I send the list in for purchasing.

As for both of your suggestions, I never fully understood how SSD drives worked, are they connected the same way as plain SATA drives?

Yoosty. I like the headset, but as I said, I would like the Frequency to be as wide as possible. I have seen LOTS of headsets 20Hz-20,000Hz. Would like it a bit wider than that. But I am liking the imput, Please keep it coming =) Thanks!
September 15, 2009 12:02:08 PM

Yes SATA II drives connect the same way as SATA...
And even you might get newer revisions of the X58 mobos by then...
September 15, 2009 12:15:58 PM

after reviewing all of the headphones you had offered, gkay09, From the link you gave I think I have decided on the G35 unless a new contender comes in. I am going to read some reviews on Yoosty's recommendation and see how it compares. and I am pleased, I am a big Logitech fan, Sporting a G15 (Gen2) Keyboard and G9 Mouse on my current computer, as well as several console accessories from them.
September 15, 2009 12:24:32 PM

Aand, Read a review about the Roccat Kave, http://www.glopipe.com/2009/03/roccat™-kave-solid-51-gaming-headset-release-date-now-fixed/

I like it, I like whats being said, and I am feeling like taking a risk, I change my decision to the Kave! Thank you for the excellent suggestion Yoosty!

If anyone else has any suggestions of other audio cards, headsets, or ways I can improve my build altogether, please feel free to say so. But now, its time for sleep. I'll read more when i wake up!

Goodnight! :hello:  :sleep: 
September 15, 2009 7:31:42 PM

Any other Suggestions? I know there is a lot out there.
September 15, 2009 11:11:01 PM

dantrona said:
Any other Suggestions? I know there is a lot out there.

If you can go to Microcenter Store and buy from there I would suggest you get your Core i7 920ghz DO stepping there for $199.99.
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Micro Center: 22 Locations Nationwide
http://www.microcenter.com/at_the_stores/index.html

Unless you are set on the ThermoLab CPU cooler, here ar a couple that you should check out.

CoGage True Spirit Heatpipe CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Silent Fan for Intel LGA1366 $37.95
(It is similar to the ThermalRight and cools within 1 or 2 degrees' of it.)

http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...

If you do get the CoGage True Spirit, I would suggest this Mounting Bracket, instead of the Push-Pin one that come with it. Get the Thermalright LGA1366 Bolt-Thru-Kit Retail BOX Bolt-thru Board Mounting kit $9.95
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...

One of the latest Reviews on 1366 CPU HSF Coolers'.
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2009/07/23/intel_core_i7...

If you want one of the Best CPU HSF Cooler for the Core i7 then I would suggest this one, but it is more expensive.
Thermalright Ultra120 eXtreme-1366 RT Premium Heatpipe Cooler for Intel LGA1366 $74.95
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...

If you can wait until it is back in stock then get it here. Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme - 1366 RT for $54.95

Also on sale for today at Newgg is this 24x DVD Burner. PLEXTOR 24X DVD/CD Writer Black SATA Model PX-880SA LightScribe Support - OEM $39.99 Free Shipping*

You should also check out these Cases'.
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $69.99

COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $89.99 Free Shipping*

Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $119.95 Free Shipping*

This case is a bit more expensive then the others, but it has alot of cool features and great airflow that makes up for the higher price.
Zalman GS1000 Full Tower Server Case - Black $179.95

Another place to get the ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound at a lower price.
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound $4.49

A bit more expensive then your choice in ram, but it sets lower so you can use all ram slots if you do decide to fill up all the ram slots. Mushkin 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800): comparable to the Corsair Dominators, but is CAS6.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You will need this 8-pin Power Extension Cable for most Cases that has Bottom Mounted PSU.
1ST PC CORP. 12" 8-pin EPS extension cable Model CB-8M-8F - Retail $8.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hope this is what you were looking for when you ask for more input. :wahoo: 


September 15, 2009 11:42:46 PM

It definately helps, I have actually been looking at cases a lot, Looking over more headsets, SSDs, I am definately looking for a case that fits where I am going to put it, so case is set in stone, My buddy who has been helping me actually builds computers for a living and has actually helped me pick out a lot of these componets. I was also looking at Micro Center to pick up both my Processor and Motherboard (The Silicon Valley is the nearest to me) As for the ram, I don't think I am ever gonna go over 6gb of ram so mine is fine.

As for the cases, as this is my first build I would really like to have a bit of room to work with. I will ask my friend what he thinks about the Thermalright Ultra120 Extreme.

What I am mainly looking for as for imput is, Other options for ear-covering headphones with a lot of padding so not to anger my piercings, A microphone attached to it, and at least 20Hz-20,000Hz range, I am very strongly considering the Roccat Kave headset you had suggested before.

If I could get some suggestions for a Sound Card that offers 5.1 Surround, Would be great to hear about it. The Stryker is able to do up to 7.1, And thats only $90 which makes it fairly pleasing.

Again, Another great informational post, Yoosty. Thanks!
September 16, 2009 12:55:57 AM

Will keep looking for some other Headsets that meet your specs. But here is a Sound Card that I like and you should take a look at. The drivers for it are up to date and work with no problems in XP, Vista and even Windows 7 in both 32 and 64-bit OS.

So you can check it out when you go to Microcenter, since they carry it also. X-Fi Forte 7.1 PCIe Sound Card
September 16, 2009 4:20:59 AM
September 16, 2009 10:19:43 AM

Dint you notice the news that we told about the DirectX 11 cards that ATI will be releasing by this month end ?
And as for the HDD - Again I would like to say that the Raptors are not worth it at all IMHO...
Instead get 2 WD Black 640GB in RAID 0 that would easily outperform that Raptor(Actually a single Black comes close in performance to the raptors)
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

So you would get lots of space, speed for less...
But you want to keep the Raptors for bragging rights, then I can understand ;) 
September 16, 2009 10:50:46 AM

I did notice the DirectX 11 cards were coming out, And I have opted out for them, Getting the newest cards right out of the gate isn't always the best of things. Older games usually have trouble running them, Their way overpriced, and generally aren't that much of an improvment as far as I am told, I am no expert by any means. I do like your suggestion for the 640 Black, and will probably grab those and Raid them together.

I am not by any means a guy that gets something because of "name brand bragging rights" I am the kinda guy that gets a kickass computer and brags about having a kickass computer with quality parts.
September 16, 2009 11:01:29 AM

That is a good decision about the HDDs... ;) 

As for the graphics card, stick with 1 HD 4890 for now and see how the new cards perform...
So when the pricing is right(Price would come down when Nvidia releases their cards, which must be in 2-3 months time), replace that single HD 4890 with the newer cards...
From what I have seen in reviews, those cards are very powerful, even more powerful than a HD 4870X2...check for yourself about their performance...
September 16, 2009 11:27:38 AM

I've actually done some pretty in-depth looks on video cards, for example,

I was looking at the Tom's Hardware "Best Graphics Cards for the Money: September '09" and like I said several times before, this is all subject to change, This month for the $390 and up catagory, Two Radeon HD 4890 rated in there, had nice details (You can see for yourself here: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,2404-6.html)
And I also looked at the Q3 benchmark charts for 09 graphic cards.
3DMark Scores
And by FPS

I am not sure why CrossfireX 4890's aren't listed, but as they are coming out with the 4890 x2 fairly soon, and from what I have read CrossfireX is still a better setup if you have the room for it, I would sitll want to do the twin 4890's.
September 16, 2009 11:47:17 AM

^ The reason why they are still suggesting the 4890s is because they cannot report on the yet to release products...Have you heard of NDA(Non-Disclosure Agreement)...Most of the companies set NDAs when they share details of the upcoming products with these sites...
So these sites have to wait till official launch till they post any details/ reviews about those products...
September 16, 2009 11:54:31 AM

If you do go with the 4890 ATI card I would suggest going with XFX, since they are one of the best out there and they do have the Double Lifetime Warranty (which if you sell it the 2nd owner gets full lifetime warranty). :) 
September 16, 2009 12:03:18 PM

I will of course be looking at the new cards, and I know that when the new cards go out, the cards that are currently out of reach for me will then go down on price and I can pick up even better cards for more or less the same price.
September 16, 2009 12:05:08 PM

^ That is true... Good luck with your build... :) 
!