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New System Build – Gaming/Media PC (water cooled) OC – Advice needed <

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January 12, 2010 2:51:51 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: January/February ‘10

BUDGET RANGE: <$3000

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: I am a novice gamer (First Person Shooter, RPG) looking to stream HD video from this PC to my media room.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I have the following parts for reuse:
1. Antec P180 Case
2. Logitech Gaming Keyboard
3. Logitech Gaming Mouse
4. 24” Samsung Monitor w/HD
5. Windows XP Pro 32bit
6. Optical DVDRW (2 drives) SATA

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I have visited a few websites, but it seems Newegg has most everything I need and at a reasonable price.

PARTS PREFERENCES: I am not locked into any part or brand, but I do prefer Nvidia, Asus, Mushkin, Cosair, Swiftech.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: I would like this to be an option for the future with my current build, but to keep costs down I will one have one video card.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1600x1200, 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I am trying to keep the noise to a minimum and work with my current part list. Looking for a setup to last for the next 3-5 years. I have built pc’s in the past, but it has been sometime since my last build and parts have come a long way since. I have never O/C a system before, but have a few friends that have so they should be able to assist if needed. Looking to expand storage in the future for video storage/streaming.

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Below are the parts I was looking at:

Mainboard: Asus Rampage II Extreme or P6X58d (for 6/gb sata connection)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: Corsair Dominator GT 6gb kit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD System: Velociraptor 300gb (2 drives) RAID 1
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD Data: Seagate Barracuda 2tb (1 drive) – not sure whether I will buy the 6gb or 3gb sata version
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card: GTX 295
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Antec TPQ-1200 or Enermax Galaxy EGX1250WT – this is an area I am unsure due to my case size limitations. I am willing to mod my case to accommodate if I need.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel I7-920 (Planning to O/C to 3.7-3.9)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Watercooling: Swiftech H20-220 Ultima XT, Epilson GTX295 water block, MCW30 chipset water block
http://www.swiftech.com/

O/S: If required Windows 7 ultimate

I calculated costs and I am around $3k. I could really use help coordinating the right components that both work well together and will give me something to last for the next 3-5 years. Your help is greatly appreciated.
a b 4 Gaming
January 12, 2010 11:46:37 AM

Mobo: The P6X58 is better IMO.

RAM: Corsair's sticks are extremely expensive. You also don't need 1866 mhz sticks. Here's some cheaper, just as good sticks: G.Skill PI 6 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $165

HDD: VRs are a waste of money. A big one. The newer Samsung Spinpoint F3's are bigger, faster, quieter, cooler and most importantly, about 1/4 of the cost. 500 GB ones for $55 or 1 TB for $85.

GPU: nVidia is getting killed by ATI. Grab a new 5xxx series card. For your insane budget, get the 5970 ($650), if you can find it. If you can't, wait for it.

PSU: You don't need 1250W PSU. You don't even need anything over 750W. I would get a 750W Corsair unit. It'll be like $110.

Cooling: Someone else will need to chime in on that. I don't see the value in water cooling...

I think with my changes, you'll be down around $2,500, and the build will be much better.
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January 12, 2010 12:12:56 PM

Thanks for your excellent feedback.

With the savings should I increase the memory to 12gb?

Should I consider a more powerful PSU for future upgrades (ie. Crossfire/SLI, addtl HDD, etc.)?

What about those Phsx cards or network gaming cards. Does their performance justify their price?
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a b 4 Gaming
January 12, 2010 12:25:01 PM

Nope. Gaming PCs don't need more than 4, but it needs to be tiple channel for the LGA1366 CPUs. HTPC's don't even need 2 GB.

That PSU is sufficiently big. The technical requirement for Crossfiring is 600W, but it can actually be done on smaller ones. 750W will be enough for anything you through at it.

I don't really know, but I'm inclined to say no. PhysX just isn't that important in gaming today (save for a few examples), and the 5970 is sufficient to play any game at any resolution with any amount of detail. For the next several years.
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January 12, 2010 12:27:41 PM

No need to go with 12GB of RAM for your what your going to use your PC for.

IMO Crossfire 5970's is overkill for 1920 x 1080/1200.

If your only going for a 3.7 - 3.9ghz OC theres no point in watercooling, Good air cooling will get you there for alot less money.

A prolimatech megashadow with 2 x high CFM Fans will do the job well.
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January 12, 2010 12:35:12 PM

Just to note, if you're only using XP x86, then your computer won't even recognize the full 4GB of ram. I strongly suggest getting an x64 OS. If you're in school you can get windows 7 for next to nothing.
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January 12, 2010 12:45:24 PM

Rustyy117 said:
No need to go with 12GB of RAM for your what your going to use your PC for.

IMO Crossfire 5970's is overkill for 1920 x 1080/1200.

If your only going for a 3.7 - 3.9ghz OC theres no point in watercooling, Good air cooling will get you there for alot less money.

A prolimatech megashadow with 2 x high CFM Fans will do the job well.



My reason for the watercooling is 70% quiet PC and 30% cooling. I know this sounds moronic, but the PC is located in the sitting area of my master bedroom and with my current pc the wife complains all the time about the noise. I figured I could keep it quiet and maintain the O/C at the same time. I would consider more of an O/C, but want to start small since I have not done it before.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 12, 2010 12:50:23 PM

Lots of watercooling systems are actually louder than air cooling because it need both a pump and fans.

For example, the H20-220 you pointed to generates 29 dba of noise, while the Coolermaster Hyper 212 (one of the best value HSF, not even the quietest) generates between 13 and 32 dba. So if it's not under load, the air cooling would be quieter.
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January 12, 2010 12:54:24 PM

lsvjr13 said:
My reason for the watercooling is 70% quiet PC and 30% cooling. I know this sounds moronic, but the PC is located in the sitting area of my master bedroom and with my current pc the wife complains all the time about the noise. I figured I could keep it quiet and maintain the O/C at the same time. I would consider more of an O/C, but want to start small since I have not done it before.


Hmmm......still don't see the logic, :pt1cable:  The rad for your watercooling loop will need fans, just like air cooling needs fans. In both cases (air and water) you could use quiet fans, also consider the noise from a pump for watercooling.
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January 12, 2010 12:54:45 PM

mavanhel said:
Just to note, if you're only using XP x86, then your computer won't even recognize the full 4GB of ram. I strongly suggest getting an x64 OS. If you're in school you can get windows 7 for next to nothing.


Yes, I was reading about the limitation on the web. That is not a big deal I believe newegg has it for $165 (ultimate ver.)

Thanks
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January 12, 2010 12:57:39 PM

Rustyy117 said:
Hmmm......still don't see the logic, :pt1cable:  The rad for your watercooling loop will need fans, just like air cooling needs fans. In both cases (air and water) you could use quiet fans, also consider the noise from a pump for watercooling.


Your point is well taken. Obviously this is an area that I must research further.

Thanks for your input
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January 12, 2010 12:59:03 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Lots of watercooling systems are actually louder than air cooling because it need both a pump and fans.

For example, the H20-220 you pointed to generates 29 dba of noise, while the Coolermaster Hyper 212 (one of the best value HSF, not even the quietest) generates between 13 and 32 dba. So if it's not under load, the air cooling would be quieter.


Same here. I guess I need more research. Any recommendations for quiet air cooling is appreciated.


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