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Gaming Rig Suggestions

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June 30, 2011 10:57:48 PM

Current Build.

Suggestions?

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Suggestions?

More about : gaming rig suggestions

July 1, 2011 12:18:07 AM

I tend to go with some of the extras that make the experience a little more real. To that end I would suggest a sound card. The choice of card is completely up to you. I run a prelude and the difference in sound vs onboard was night and day. I have many a kill becuase I could hear the unfriendly long before I saw him/her. I watched most of my movies over again due to the great sound. I have also paired this with studio quality noise cancelling headphones. This again increased the quality to the point that I stood for about 10 min. firing rounds down a valley so I could listen to the now very very sharp retort and echo of the sniper rifle.

Other additions, bought over time as money allowed, G7 mouse, n52 pad, Saitek Pro H.O.T.A.S. w rudders and a Samsung 275t plus.

My main system is a 720BE w X Fire 6870's and 16G of memory. Nothing fancy, but the overall experience is fantastic.

Just a thought.
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July 1, 2011 9:28:39 PM

Very well written article. I can agree with the vast majority of it. Only one point of contention. The following is based on the assumption that you are building a gaming rig.

Sound Card. I'll use BF2 as an example. It, and other games, have X-Fi audio. X-Fi is probably another point of contention for many, but that is for another time.

When you have a system that can take advantage of that option, the environment you are trying to simulate is now that much closer to being believable to they grey matter.

Sound cards are no longer horribly expensive for a decent card. Quality headphones are also coming down in price.

Please do not over look a sound card.

Gaming Rig or Gaming Components?

Begin Rant.

I believe that people are missing the nuances that differentiate a gaming component system from a true gaming rig.

The idea is to try and immerse yourself so completely that for all intents and purposes, you are in whatever world you have chosen.

This requires far more than just how many FPS your machine can deliver. Many posts have been stating how most PC games are ported console games or do not take full advantage of the compontens that are available. Crysis was the big (maybe only, at the time) exception. So we have to make the most of the scraps that we have to work with.

So now you have all these componets chosen. How is it going to feel? Did you buy a high end video card and go a little cheaper on mouse? Couldn't get a game pad because you bought a large capacity SSD? Want to fly but have to use the mouse and keyboard? Didn't hear that guy who snuck up behind you and knifed you :) ? All of this does take away from the experience.

If you are building a gaming rig, then there are two concepts that you are going to have to accept. First, some of your components are going to end up in the closet or HTPC. That is just the way it is. Second, some of your components can last a very long time. The trick is knowing which is which. A gaming machine must evolve.

What can I upgrade later on and save on now?

Case. I have two. My first case was very inexpensive. This allowed me to shift funds around and had the advantage that later on when I decided to try some case mods, there was no worry about destroying an expensive case if I screwed up, and I did. It had good air flow and was stuck in a little cubby hole so no one ever really saw it. My second case, purchased later and after saving up, is a Lian-Li ATI Cross Fire Spider Edition Case.

Video. I am a huge fan of X-Fire or SLI. This allows you to choose a cheaper card now and put another one in later. Usually you can achieve performace that is near the top end for a lower price. I have been doing it for years, (X1950 Pro's for example) and have had no problems. Maybe you don't have everything set on max, but the quality is still very good and will become better later on. The arguments about scaling are becoming weaker and weaker as both companies are now turning out excellent products. Why you could even cook on one of them.
The video card is going to be one of those throw away items. My personal inventory includes a very nice AGP, 1950's, hard mod 3870's and a pair of 4770's that served me extremely well and very cheap. I will be running my current 6870's for no less than two more years. Again this allows you to move funds.

You have to look at the entire system including all peripherals to decide which ones will give you the most enjoyment/use and longest life span for your dollar spent. You will buy a component that looked good, but when you tried it, just wasn't for you or did not work nearly as well as you thought it would. It will happen.

When you find yourself hunting or being hunted, Are you really attaining the whole experience? Did you hear someone go past you in the trees that you could not see and are now looking for them but they do not know they are being tracked? You know their there somewhere becuase you can hear them, unless of course you are using onboard sound.

Are the movments you are trying to input fluid and without conscious thought? Or are you fumbiling and maybe even having hand cramps?

When you have pursued your target and retired him/her/it or have had to use the Monty Python maneuver but successfully evaded them maybe even turned the tables because you could see and hear everything, all of your inputs were flawless and had exactly the desired outcome and your heartrate and breathing are up along with just a little bit of a sweat on your brow, you have attained a true gaming rig. The world you play in is as real as you need to make it. It's not about perfect, it's about being believable.

A list of items that have served me very well with long life (years).

PC Power and Cooling ATI X-Fire Cert. 750w
HR 03/07 and 120 Extreme Coolers. Moved with every upgrade.
Auzen X-FI Prelude 7.1 Starting to get long in the tooth.
G7 mouse. I have a brand new one for when this one fails. It still going strong however.
Razer Destructor pad. I love it, you may hate it.
Saitek H.O.T.A.S and Rudders. Bought one then the other as money allowed.
n52 gaming pad with most of the lettering worn off. Love it.
Sennheiser headset. Replaced only because of the studio set I was lucky enough to receive as a gift.
UPS. You would be amazed at how much our electricty spikes,drops, blacks or browns. I have never a single problem with my system as I provide it with a constant clean suppply. It has also never known an unintentional power off in years. Auto shut off in case of power failure.

I have managed to put together a decent and what I think to be a reasonably powerful unit over time. The last upgrade allowed me to have W7 on a ssd, XP Pro on raided 300G VelociRap and a 1TB storage drive.

You don't have to spend all of your money. If you choose carefully, you will find money still in your pocket to purchase another item or maybe a good start towards the purchase of another item.

End Rant
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