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Looking to buy Gaming PC

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August 15, 2009 7:08:56 PM

After looking for quite some time, i decided to check out on CyberPowerPc and i cuztomised this specification. I am not sure what else that is necessary to upgrade/downgrade and im hoping you guys can give me a feedback. My budget is around $1900

* CASE: Thermaltake Element-T Mid-Tower Case (Original Color)
* Neon Light Upgrade: 12in COLD CATHODE NEON LIGHT (RED COLOR)
* Extra Case Fan Upgrade: Default case fans
* Power Supply Upgrade: 850 Watts Power Supplies (Thermaltake TR2 RX-850 PSU (850w modular 80+))
* CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-950 3.06 GHz 8M L3 Cache LGA1366 with Factory OverClocked to 3.8GHz
* COOLING FAN : Asetek Liquid CPU Cooling System (Extreme Cooling Performance + Extreme Silent at 20dBA)
* MOTHERBOARD: (3-Way SLI Support) GigaByte GA-EX58-UD4P Intel X58 Chipset SLI/CrossFireX Ultra Durable™3 Mainboard Triple-Channel DDR3/1600 SATA RAID w/ eSATA, Dual GbLAN, USB2.0, IEEE1394a, &7.1Audio
* MEMORY: 6GB (2GBx3) DDR3/1600MHz Triple Channel Memory Module (Corsair Dominator)
* FREEBIES: None
* VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GeForce GTX285 1GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA)
* VIDEO CARD 2: None
* VIDEO CARD 3: None
* Free Game: None
* MULTIPLE VIDEO CARD SETTINGS: Non-SLI/Non-CrossFireX Mode Supports Multiple Monitors
* LCD Monitor: NONE
* 2nd Monitor: NONE
* HARD DRIVE: Single Hard Drive (1TB (1TBx1) SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD)
* Data Hard Drive: NONE
* USB PORTABLE DRIVE: NONE
* Optical Drive: Pioneer BDC-202BKS (Black Color) 5X Blu-Ray Player & DVDRW Combo Drive
* Optical Drive 2: NONE
* SOUND: Creative Labs SB X-Fi Xtreme Audio 24-BIT PCI Sound Card
* SPEAKERS: None
* NETWORK: Onboard Gigabit LAN Network
* MODEM: NONE
* KEYBOARD: Razer Lycosa Black USB Gaming Keyboard
* MOUSE: XtremeGear Optical USB 3 Buttons Gaming Mouse
* Extra Thermal Display : NONE
* Wireless 802.11B/G Network Card: NONE
* Flash Media Reader/Writer: None
* VIDEO CAMERA: NONE
* PRINTER: None
* PRINTER CABLE: None
* IEEE CARD: NONE
* USB PORT: Built-in USB 2.0 Ports
* FLOPPY: NONE
* OS: Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium w/ Service Pack 1 (64-bit Edition)
* Windows 7 Upgrade Coupon: None
* FREEBIES: None
* Media Center Remote Control & TV Tuner: None

Total Cost : $1830 (exclusive tax)

More about : buy gaming

August 15, 2009 8:26:59 PM

Looks like a nice, powerful PC. How do you plan to use the computer besides gaming? What resolution monitor does it need to power (now or in the futre)?

Case - mostly a matter of personal preference, but note that it only has 3 external 5.5 inch bays. Since you have only selected one drive to go there - that should give you room to grow. But also note if you add one more optical drive and say a card reader you will be at capacity. Most cases this size have 4 of 5 bays. The case above it - the Centurion RC-590 has room for more and only cost $2 more - but it is also a matter of personal choice.

Memory - 6GB seems right. You might consider tho whether it is better to have the Corsair Dominator PC1333 or faster non-Deminator memory - say PC1600 which would even be $30 cheaper. I think the key is the timings - but they are not listed here. You might talk to one of the sales reps about it - but of course before moving up to the faster RAM if it has good timings make sure they can guarantee that is what you will get.

Video card - that is a nice one. I recommend paying the $5 extra to be guaranteed an EVGA one. But since I have no information about what games you play with what settings at what monitor resolutions I have no way to evaluate its fit for you. I assume you have already done this using the THG video charts.

Plextor Blu-Ray Player - this looks like a good choice - but make sure that it reads and writes all of the formats you need - you can compare it with some of the others to see what if anything is missing. Also note that the DVD write speed at 12x is considerable slower than non-Blu-Ray DVD writers - which generally are about 22x. Do you want to add a second drive - either a DVD drive ($22) to have compatibility with more formats and/or a DVD writer ($30) for faster speed? Note this gets back to the question of number of bays in case. Of course, you can always add one later yourself if you find that you need it.

OS - My preference would be to pay the $27 for the Windows 7 upgrade option in case you wish to do it later

Other than that - the items look good - or they are personal preference items. You have spent a fair amount for upgrade items that don't affect performance - for instance the Blu-Ray player, sound card, and gaming keyboard.
August 15, 2009 9:21:43 PM

Basically just gaming or watching some movies/videos. I am still looking for 23ish inches monitor with (1920x1200) but i am not sure which monitor is good for gaming/movies... What monitor do you recommend i should get?

Yeah i chose that case because i love it but i guess ill change to one which has more slots.

I am still deciding on the blu-ray player because i have a ps3 and i don't think i am going to watch blu ray stuff from my PC. I might downgrade to a DVD/CD player to save money.

And for Windows 7, i will definitely get it :) , i have never tried Windows 7 but i've heard great things about it. Should i get the Ultimate or Home edition?

I was wondering also.. should i get the i7 core 920 or 950 (overclocked), which one is worth it? As i am thinking... i should be able to play most of the games with high settings using the 920. Do i need any fan upgrades as well to prevent overheating?

What does the network card do??
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August 17, 2009 12:31:46 AM

With that board, you could get the 920 and just OC it a bit. You can OC w/ the stock fan, but not as high as if you got an aftermarket fan. What's the price difference b/t the 2?

The network card (it's onboard, no card) is for your ethernet connection (modem).
August 17, 2009 5:46:03 AM

Mortinator -
Monitors - I recommed you browse the monitors forum for recoommendations. You will find a diverse range of opinions on what is best - and even on how to measure what best is. You will find a basic conflict between your two uses - for game playing the priority is on fast system with color quality secondary, while for video and graphics it is generally the opposite. You might also take a look at the recommendations and reviews at tftcentral:

http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/

The Dell UltraSharp 2408WFP 24 inch Widescreen with an M-PVA panel rather than the typical TN panel is the Cadillac of monitors for graphics and all around picture quality, but some report some ghosting in game play, and it comes with a Cadiallar price. It used to list for $650, then was recently reduced to $550 and $495 and right now it can be had for $395:

http://www.techbargains.com/news_displayItem.cfm/174567

For a good 23" monitor with a TN panel - you might consider a Dell S2309W 23" HD Widescreen Monitor (1920x1080) $239 - $80 Coupon M18WBZ?FND$BV$ = $159 Free Shipping

http://www.techbargains.com/news_displayItem.cfm/174399

Those coupon deals don't usually last long.

Re: Blu-Ray - if you want to watch the hi def movies it might be worth the added cost. But I bet the price will drop in half over the next year. I remember when DVD writers dropped from about $200 to $100 and they seemed like a deal - now they are about $30. I sure love Netflix and wish I had a Blu-Ray play so I could go for the higher quality - but not enought to shell out $100 yet.

Windows 7 - Home Premium or Ultimate? Do you need the features of Ultimate and are they worth the extra cost? I am sure you can find a simple side by side comparison of features at windows.com.

CPU - I agree with aford - I see no reason for the higher cost as the 920 will ably support both 285 video cards if and when you decide to add the second. Still if budget is no issue and you do much video editing or rendering then the faster card would be marginally faster.

August 17, 2009 12:35:38 PM

You realize you're getting Vista ultimate, not W7 right? And the 4GB doesn't have any bearing on the ultimate or home versions of Vista. You can still get the home version and utilize all your RAM (it's 64 bit OS).

It's better to get the 4870 x 2. You can compare the benchmarks here
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-card...
August 17, 2009 3:54:42 PM

Yep, i already changed to home premium 64 bit, thanks for telling me :) 

I just wanna say that im a newbie and im on my final step before buying this desktop.. I saw that on the chart that the points for 4870 X2 are way much higher than GTX 285 and on the site, it costs lesser to select on the 4870X2 but i have not much idea about ATI or Crossfire. Do i have to configure anything on the desktop after i buy it? Do i have to do any complicated stuff? I just want a desktop that is "complete" because im afraid of screwing it up. Any suggestion?
August 17, 2009 4:11:53 PM

Nope, you shouldn't have to do anything. I've never bought from cyberpower, but they should assemble everything and install the OS and all the drivers.
August 19, 2009 6:36:41 AM

Mortinator said:
I saw that on the chart that the points for 4870 X2 are way much higher than GTX 285 and on the site, it costs lesser to select on the 4870X2 but i have not much idea about ATI or Crossfire. Do i have to configure anything on the desktop after i buy it? Do i have to do any complicated stuff? I just want a desktop that is "complete" because im afraid of screwing it up. Any suggestion?


I think you two may be talking apples and oranges.

Mortimer - for select video cards - like the 4870 - they make special versions that place 2 video processing engines on one card. The one video card has twin 4870's - and is referred to as 4870 X2. This is what is reported on the THG chart and what I beleive Axford was referring to. This is not quite the same as having 2 separate video cards in two separate slots - which is the crossfire you were talking about and the only option offered on the Cyberpower selection list.

Maybe you could ask them about it and they might be willing to install a singe 4870 x2 video card - I don't know.

As I recall, reviews of twin graphics cards have generally shown them to be similar to the two in crossfire - with the crossfair a litlle ahead - which is not surprising since it has twice the slots and therefore twice the communications bandwidth. Since the single 4870 uses less then 1/2 the bandwidth of the PCIe 2.0 slot - this should hold for the 4870 as well.

But the bigger issue I see - if you cannot get the twins on one card - is future upgradability. If you use only one slot now, the later, when new games require more processing power, you have a simple upgrade by matching your old card with a single new one in Crossfire - and by then the new one should cost a lot less than it does today. But if you have used both slots today - then you have to thow out out both cards and buy 2 new cards or another large, new. top of the line card - and that starts getting expensive.

You also need to ask what you really are getting with the twin 4870 today compared to the 285.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-card...

Looking on the charts - anything over 30fps is considered playable and over 50 or 60 fps you wont even notice. So that when in FEAR 2 the 4870 gets 172 fps compared to 107 for the 285 - makes absolutely no difference in what you see. That appears to be the game with the biggest diference. Or that in the Last Remnant, the 285 gets 110 fps compared to only 64 for the 4870 makes absolutely no difference in what you see on the screen. And coincidentally the only two places on the chart that either one drops below 60fps, they both do and are about equal.

So if it were me, and Cyber did not offer to provide an 4870 x2 single slot card, then I would stay with the GTX 285 video card.

Also take care to check the memory on the 4870 - it comes in 512MB and 1GB of video memory which makes some difference in performance. On the chart linked above I added both to illustrate it. I beleive that the 4870 x2 only comes in a 2GB variety but you should confirm that too. Surprising the THG chart does not state the amount of memory on the twin card that was tested.
August 19, 2009 10:15:06 AM

i would strongly recommend the 4870 X2 over the 285 gtx.

4870 x2 comes with 2gb of memory, 1gb is used per chip. So its effectively 1gb.

4870x2 is a dual gpu solution and in most games it will beat the 285gtx by a good margin so its more future proof.

The only card that can top the 4870x2 is the 295 gtx.

Other then that your setup looks good.

i would add a velacoraptor 300gb hard drive as my primary gaming and windows hard drive. Its one of the fastest hard drives you can get running at 10000 rpm.

I would keep the 1trb hard drive as a back up hard drive (songs, movies, games not being played etc).

Hope that helps.
August 19, 2009 3:49:07 PM

Why spend an extra $200 to just get a little faster loading times? The games already will be played at over 30 fps - many at over 100 fps - so the faster HD is likely to have little impact unless you are doing a lot of major multi-tasking. And for that kind of money, I would instead purchase a SSD that is even faster and quieter.
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