my pc gaming build

my budget is around $2k-2.5k

Case: (hm not sure.. feel free to add any recommendations that mite work with this build)

PSU: (hm not sure as well but i want to make sure it has enough power so i wouldnt mind if its overkill recommendations here would be nice as well :))

Mobo: DFI LANPARTY nF4 SLI-DR Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard ~ $194.00 (still not really sure whether to go dfi or asus a8n premium <both sli nf4>)

CPU: Athlon 64 x2 4200-4800 ~ $500-1000 (depending on whether i go over the $.. iv considered the fx 57 if enough $ was left but single threading jus sounds like outdated technology 2 me :p <IMO>)

RAM: OCZ 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel Platinum System Memory Model OCZ4002048ELDCPE-K - Retail ~ $259.99 (have really no clue which ram is best just picked out the 1 with the best timing 2-3-2-5 <i think its the best timing not sure :p)

HD: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA II Hard Drive ~ $151.00 (or sata 150 western digital raptor not sure wuts really better here)

Video Card: Nvidia Geforce 7800gtx ~ $599.00 (im pretty sure about this 1 :D.. for the sli i mite add another gfx card if games start to require higher specs in the future)

Cooling: i want to go h2o but not really sure on which kits to use or really how it works.. does a water cooling system have no fans at all? and wut about the gpu can it cool that as well?

thanks (feel free to comment on anything :))
31 answers Last reply
More about gaming build
  1. 7800GTX are yet available??? I doubt it!

    Good setup! If you get the 7800, I would buy the fastest CPU I could afford to make sure you will not have any bottleneck. X2 4800 would be the "creme de la creme".

    NOTE : I would never buy this kind of system since no existing games requires that much power to run very smoothly. But, if I had money to burn, I would get all this stuff! :smile:

    GA-K8NF-9 / <b><font color=green>Athlon 64 3200+</font color=green> @ 3800+</b>
    Infineon DDR400 (CL2.5) 2x512Megs
    <font color=green>GeForce 6600GT 128Megs</font color=green>
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  2. Case: Pick a Lian Li
    Mobo: DFI
    The other part of the list seems fine, maybe a raptor insted of the HD you picked.

    <font color=green>The other line always moves faster<font color=green>
    <A HREF="" target="_new">Free Software Links</A>
  3. Yep the 7800s are available now. They're shipping from major <A HREF="" target="_new">places</A> with lots in stock.

    AMD: [64 3000+][2500+][2400+][2000+][1.3][366]
    Intel: [X 3.0x3][P4 3.0x2][P4 2.4x5 down][P4 1.4]

    "...and i'm not gay" RX8 -Greatest Quote of ALL Time
  4. Water?

    <A HREF="" target="_new">Fanless Water Zalman</A>

    That mother is huge, but it's silent (fanless) and looks really awesome...ehhhhmmm it's turning me on right now...if it was a woman, i'd be like, baby, you want to cool my cpu? ehhhm yea...sorry tmi...

    AMD: [64 3000+][2500+][2400+][2000+][1.3][366]
    Intel: [X 3.0x3][P4 3.0x2][P4 2.4x5 down][P4 1.4]

    "...and i'm not gay" RX8 -Greatest Quote of ALL Time
  5. hm i need some help picking out which cooling to use for my comp (i decided not to go h20 since most from other forums seemed to be against it :P (still not 100 percent sure tho mite go water.. i looked at the huge fanless zalman water cooler would this fit inside the comp or is this external) also these are my specs so far

    Case: Lian Li PC-60BPlus Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail ~ $129.00 (some1 recommended to use the antec p180 instead but i dono which is better, in terms of cooling and reliability)

    + PSU: OCZ PowerStream OCZ600ADJ ATX12V 600W Power Supply - Retail ~ $200.00

    + Mobo: DFI LANPARTY nF4 SLI-DR Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail ~ $194.00

    + CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ Toledo 1GHz FSB Socket 939 Dual Core Processor Model ADA4400CDBOX - Retail ~ $689.00

    + RAM: OCZ 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel Platinum System Memory Model OCZ4002048ELDCPE-K - Retail ~ $269.99 (not 100 percent sure)

    + Pri HD: HITACHI Deskstar T7K250 HDT722516DLA380 (0A31637) 160GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA II Hard Drive - OEM ~ $86.00 (i read somewhere that these hitachi sata IIs come close to the speed of WD raptors not really sure tho and is raid really worth using and getting 2 harddrives? will it speed up load times by a lot)

    - Sec HD: ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DVD ROM: PLEXTOR Black 12X DVD+R 4X DVD+RW 8X DVD-R 4X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 8M Cache SATA DVD Burner - Retail (some recommend nec but they don seem to have any in sata only ide)

    Sound Card: either creatives 2zs or 4 probably 2zs tho

    + Video Card: Nvidia Geforce 7800gtx ~ $599.00

    + FDD: NEC Black 1.44MB 3.5" Internal Floppy Drive Model FD1231H-302 - OEM ~ $8.49

    - Keyboard: ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    - Mouse: ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    - Modem: ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    + Lan: (built in mobo)

    - Monitor: ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    - Speakers: ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    - OS: ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    between these 2 which would most likely keep the comp cooler (or is there a different model better than these 2)

    zalman - <im guessing this 1 loL

    thermaltake -

    and for the mobo (or does the dif mobo already come with a better 1)

    zalman -

    zalman -

    for ram (dono if these are necessary as wel but if they are which would be betterl )

    ocz -

    thermaltake -

    much thanks :)
  6. hmm... gaming eh?

    1) ditch the x2, buy the fx57!! unless you are like encoding some dvds while playing doom 3, x2s won't do crap for you

    2) as for the ram, 2gb is a over kill and puts much stress on the mem controller on ur CPU. how, get 1 gb dual channel.. and some high quality TCCD chips too, i would recommend g.skill 1gb dual channel, look for the "LE" at the end of the code.

    3)SATA2 doesn't do crap, raptor instead, its about how fast the drive access the stuff, not how fasts it transfers it. if you want high bandwidth, get RAID 0.. or 5... if your really rich. but, most mobos don't even SUPPORT SATA2, so stick with teh raptor for fast loads on games and faster boot ups.

    4) the 7800gtx seems a bit shaky... lol... ionno, i'm not that rich, so i have a hard time buying something that costs 600 dollars and in a few months, it'll get raped or something. (r520)

    5) don't ever be afraid of water cooling, your systems just begs to be OCed, and if you dont.. ur just plain cruel! i'll help you out on WC... here's the setup i would recommend

    (since ur rich)

    cpu block - g4 retailed (wait a lil)
    gpu block - maze 4
    pump - iwaki md-20 rzt
    tubing - tygon... make sure is 1/2 inch inner dia, and 3/4 outter
    resevoir - anything goes
    radiator - dual heater cores... if you really want to be special, add another pump and another dual heater core, and run two loops. one for cpu, one for gpu.

    the above setup will probably rape anyone of your friends or most of the guys on THGC =]. so good job, and don't come crying to me when ur wallet is empty!!

    PM me if you need more help on water cooling

    <font color=red>gforce mx100/200 @ 230/440 =]</font color=red>
  7. Grab and nice, fat 500GB hard drive with 16MB cache... it's speed rivals the Raptor's... with a lot more space.

    <font color=red> If you design software that is fool-proof, only a fool will want to use it. </font color=red>
  8. o man water sounds awfully complicated x_x

    lol i couldnt find a 500mb drive largest i foudn was maxtors 300mb 16m cache are these faster that/or similar to WD raptors?
  9. Well, since a few others have included their plan...

    I have the cash to buy anything out there but that doesn't mean I'm going to do it. I'd like to get as close to the bleeding edge as possible yet retain the ability to upgrade down the road. Most important...I'm hoping to build a box that from here on will evolve instead of being replaced.

    I'm currently looking at:
    Antec Performance I P160 Case (Was thinking of Lian-Li but read that aluminum doesn't really do much for cooling and transmits sound easier than steel. I don't need a door and want the front ports at the top and not next to the floor which seems kind of dumb. I also don't need a case that looks like a spaceship.)

    ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe MB (might want to go SLI later)

    AMD FX-57 or X2 4800 (leaning towards the X2 after reading the reviews and board messages)

    GeForce 7800 GTX (haven't found a good review of the different brands yet)

    At least a Gig of RAM

    Other goodies but these are the most important I think (I'll wait till my monitor explodes before buying an LCD).

  10. did you not learn anything? the x2s don't do [-peep-] for you when it comes to gaming. aluminum does NOT transmit sound better, think about it, it all depends on density.. and steal is WAY denser than aluminum... but as far as cases go, its up to you. if you want to do SLI (which i dont' recommend at all, because of itS HORRIBLE bang for the buck) you would want a DFI sli nforce 4, again YOUR SYSTEM NEEDS TO BE OCED. as far as ram goes, read my other post, its pretty bleeding edge w/o having complication with the 4000vx

    <font color=red>gforce mx100/200 @ 230/440 =]</font color=red>
  11. okay, i went a lil too far, no fx57 for you, fx55 will do... fx57 has horrible bang for the buck also.. its not like fx55 is that efficient either, but better than the fx57... plus... OC THE CRAP OUT OF THAT COMPUTER

    <font color=red>gforce mx100/200 @ 230/440 =]</font color=red>
  12. hm one thing im confused about for water cooling is about the gpu.. the 7800gtx already has heatsinks stuck all over it with a fan blowing through em if i used water would i have to individually have a h20 heatsink on each ram? not really sure how that works.. and if i dont go water would the thermalright xp 90 + panaflow 92mm fan be ok (and would this be much more inferior to the h20 cooling? thx
  13. Well, what I'm trying to balance is what we know versus what's just over the horizon concerning CPU's. The FX-57 reviews show it to be pretty much on par with the X2 4800. Yes, current software doesn't benefit from it but since I'd probably keep it a couple years, I figure new software might show up that will. I also have a sneaky suspicion that the new Longhorn OS will make use of it somehow but that's just a guess.

    It's been a couple months since I read all the case reviews. The Lian-Li (the one that looks like it's made out of a strainer) is nice but because of all the holes, the sound comes right through. Plus it has a door.

    I know that aluminum is stiffer than steel (as opposed to density) and has properties that approach that of being crystaline in nature (go ride an aluminum frame bike versus a steel bike and you'll feel the difference immediately). The reviews I read of aluminum cases all pointed to the need for sound dampening and gave decibals that showed them to be at or slightly higher than a comparable steel case. They also stated no appreciable difference in temps from steel cases. This is what I read, not what I concluded.

    The idea of SLI was to have the capability should I need it down the road and maybe by then it will be improved and a little cheaper. If I don't, the extra expense of the board is negligible compared to having to buy a new board if SLI became the next graphics wonder.

    So I will go do my research again to check out what you're saying. I don't doubt your advice and just want to educate myself. BTW, I didn't get what you wrote about "...complication with 4000vx." Can you tell me more?


  14. its great that ppl are leanrning!! w00tz, the x2s will be around for awhile on teh s939, so its your choice for dishing out the cash. well, when it comes to caes, it doesn't really matter.

    the complications with the OCZ 4000vx is that it needs to be bombarded with voltages (3.6-3.8) to perform great. when it does reach that level, it'll perform better than any other stick of ram. however, the extreme voltages can cause many other stability problems, not to say only one mobo (dfi) support such high voltages. and many people have burnt out the mobo/ram doign that. and a good amount of times, the vx can't even reach the extreme voltage levels. but with the high quality TCCD chips, you still have lots of OC head room, but it matches the a64s very well (no stupid problems like the vx)

    <font color=red>gforce mx100/200 @ 230/440 =]</font color=red>
  15. I checked out the DFI board and you're is the better solution. So the suggestion on the RAM would seem to follow suit. Your description of the RAM issue tells me I'm a little behind the eightball on the compatibility details. If I get your meaning right, what you're saying is the VX RAM is ideal providing it has the right board to support it. Are you saying to go with the VX or use something not so demanding?

    I've read that two sticks perform better than one (so for 1 gig, buy two 512's). I'm also eyeing an Antec 480 power supply. Should this be sufficient or is there something better out there?

    I'm still sitting on the fence about SLI. I'm afraid if I buy a single board, the technology will move towards SLI and I'll have to replace it. Right now, I know I don't need it so it's not about wanting to build one right now. I'm definitely going to get a 7800 GTX so I probably don't.

    Oh, I checked the Antec case (P160) and it turns out to be aluminum so I was wrong to that extent. It still looks like a great case though.

  16. Yes, you're right....using VX is a risk because of the high voltages. but with a fan blowing on them you can easily put 3.6V(the highest warrentied voltage) into the sticks and remain alright. TCCD chips do go way higher...but i have seen many reviews that show VX at 260Mhz(2-2-2-X) are on par with TCCD at ~325Mhz(3-4-4-X)

    I do like me some TCCD's, but if you get the DFI board and a quality PSU and a small fan(like the one that comes with the retail kit for the A64 that you can use when you water cool) to blow over the should be as safe as any TCCD.

  17. Yes, buy 2 stick of RAM.

    NO do not buy the Antec 480PSU, i dont think thats enough when you add in an X2/FX57/FX55, 1 maybe 2 7800's, DFI board, 3.6-3.8V to your VX RAM, a couple HDD's, couple optical drives, and a couple PCI slots and USB. Look for something in the 600W.

    Here is what i would do. Buy ONE 7800, buy a 4000+/3700+ San Diego, DFI board, 512x2 OCZ VX gold, enermax 600W PSU, and finally a good watercooling setup (two loops, one for CPU one for GFX) and OC this beast.
    I woudln't go SLI, i wouldn't go FX, and not 480 Antec.

    Then again, thats just what i would do....that San Diego chip should OC upto and quite possibly beyond the FX-57 on good water. The 7800 wont OC huge...but you should be able to get an extra 15% out of it. Just be safe you will need a fan for the back ot the vid card and for the ram and good case ventilation.

  18. I want to thank everyone for posting advice and knowledge. It is genuinely appreciated. Because of your efforts, I want to let you know what my goal is in building my PC.

    I've never done anything in the way of overclocking and this will be my first time to build a PC. My goal is not necessarily to squeeze every bit of performance out of the components but simply to make sure what I put together is stable, compatible, and runs well without burning itself up.

    I realize it's not a simple matter of installing all the parts and turning the thing on. There will be settings to be made and checked, adjustments to the BIOS, and other support programs to make sure everything is configured properly. To date, I've only installed or replaced components so I know my way around the major parts, know what a jumper is and that sort of thing. Where I'm weak is knowing the various electrical specs and how they impact each other negatively or positively.

    I want to learn and will listen to what anyone writes and try to understand it and do research where necessary. I'm in no rush to put this thing together and basically approach all projects by taking a big step back and gathering all the needed information first.

    Note: I just found an article on titled, "TCCD DDR600+ on the DFI Ultra and SLI" which looks like it's aimed at serious overclocking but I'm not sure.

  19. If you want to OC, going with the DFI board is a great start.
    Basically you could go with TCCD or VX, either way your going to get great OC's with the right setup.
    I think you should look through some of the past threads for other people asking advice about OC'ing. Check the CPU OC forum as well...

    The advice the people give on why somehting isn't OC'ing well, or weird things happening might help you realize some of the risks. Also whatever those people had as problems, might be a future problem for you. (weak PSU, bad choice of componants, not reading specs correctly when buying) and it will help you to avoid those mistakes.

  20. Thanks, I'll do that. I've poked around but can see I need to do more. One question overclocking versus simply properly configuring components really necessary if all you want is a stable machine? Asked differently, is overclocking a part of getting certain components fine tuned to work well together or is it just to juice up the machine for maximum processing power?

  21. OCing can be put easily like this situation....

    buy a socket 939 3200+ venice core and it will run at 2Ghz. It will run very cool and very stable. Now there are people who can get ~2.5 on stock cooling or ~3.0Ghz on water cooling.

    The chip that is closest to 2.5Ghz is the 3800+. Which at newegg is about $290 more. And there is no chip that is 3Ghz stock from AMD.

    So you have to decide what you want. Maybe you want every single ounce of speed out of the cpu. Or maybe you just want to buy the cheap chip, then OC it so it performs like the higer end model for 25% of the cost.

    So if you want a rock solid system but you want to OC it, i would say water cooling would be best. It will give you the most headroom and you can stop where you want to. Maybe you get 3.2Ghz but its kinda shakey...take it down to 3Ghz for rock solid stability.

    When you OC for max power you will fine tune things, but if you just want a simple clock bump without any high goals in mind you wont have to do much fine tuning.

  22. Ok, that's simple enough. I'm looking to build a high end PC that's stable and won't give me headaches (much). I can see the benefit of buying something and clocking it to save money. But...I don't know if I'm saying this right...I'm looking to get the performance a current high end chip offers without overclocking. Then, I can overclock it later to match the performance of newer, better chips that will appear on the market down the road. This way, I can keep up with performance as it develops. If I get something less expensive now, I can certainly max it out but I'll only be coming close to the current high end chips and in a year or two, be unable to do much more.

  23. If you buy a top end chip...FX-57 for will only OC to ~3Ghz on air. If a 3500+ San Diego can OC to ~3Ghz on air then its effectively the same chip....but for like 35-40% of the cost. The top end chips like the FX's are just the chips they test that do very well. They are the same chip...just factory OC'd and garenteed to run at higher speeds. Sometimes the very top end have special unlocked multipliers and other features but its more or less the same chip. And the lower models are just the crippled versions of the high end chip.

    If you get a 50% OC from a 3000+ you wont get the same % from a top end chip. As a general rule the lower the chip the better % OC you get. There are some sweet spots for performance because of locked multipliers.

    you want a chip you can buy today, thats very top of the line and then in a year or two be able to OC it to the speeds and performance of the newer chips. You wont be able to do that.

    Think about it from a backwards point of view.....Can any chip from a year or two years ago OC to the levels of the FX57? No. If you use extreme cooling with a peltier or something maybe. But on water you are going to be hard pressed to get a chip up to 2.8Ghz with 1MB cache and even faster for the 512K cache to perform the same.

    And if there is a chip you can buy today and in two years can OC to 3.5Ghz on air (where single core chips could be at that point) why wouldn't you just OC to 3.5 now? You could have the performance of a 2007chip for 2years.

    Edit: fixed an incomplete sentence and mistyping mistakes.

    Chaintech VNF3-250/A64 2800+/1GB(512x2) OCZ VX GOLD 2-2-2-5/BFG 6800GT/Thermaltake 420W/WD 200GB/Maxtor 300GB<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by pickxx on 07/02/05 01:54 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  24. a 3800+ should be all you need with your 7800.. having 300FPS instead of 250 wont do much.

    Video Card: Nvidia Geforce 7800gtx ~ $599.00 (im pretty sure about this 1 :D.. for the sli i mite add another gfx card if games start to require higher specs in the future)

    By the time you'll need more than the 7800 and ready to buy another one, better video card and motherboard and CPU might be available and you'll want to upgrade the whole thing anyway. Do buy for the future, buy for now.

    So you want a computer to play or to benchmark? It would be easier to advice if I know what you really want and what kind of game you plan to play on ..

    <font color=red>Sig space for rent. make your offer.</font color=red>
  25. I dont know if a 3800+ would be all he needs. From when i have seen the 7800GFX is still pretty cpu limited in some games.

    Now don't assume i mean its holding this beast to 30fps....but we are talking 16x12 and higher and very high settings on everything.

    I think if you are going to get the 3800+ and OC it to around ~3.2Ghz on water you can be pretty sure that you are not CPU limited. Why build a rig that costs $2,500 and settle for a bottleneck that doesn't have to be there? No matter what something will be the bottleneck....IMO it should be the one piece where you can upgrade. If you have the best CPU and still are CPU limited, you tryed. If spend that much money and you are cpu limited and didn't go all out...shame on you.

    Chaintech VNF3-250/A64 2800+/1GB(512x2) OCZ VX GOLD 2-2-2-5/BFG 6800GT/Thermaltake 420W/WD 200GB/Maxtor 300GB
  26. Thanks for those details. That changes the equation considerably. Now I'll have to look at what I want for a performance target and see what CPU can get me there without costing me more than necessary and not turning into a science project.

    How about the San Diego core? That seems to be important the way the articles talk about it. My main use of the PC is games (Doom3, Half-Life2, Silent Hunter 3, Falcon4, etc.) By the way, Silent Hunter 3 recommends a minimum of 1 gig of RAM but runs on 512 pretty good.

    Thanks again

  27. Venice 512K cache
    San Diego 1MB cache

    Those are the differences between those cores.

    What you said is exactly correct. Pick a level you want, and get there as cheaply as possible. Or get there as reliably as you can, without exceeding a certain budget.

    My advice would be to OC the 3800+ SanDeigo on water, the 7800 you talked about, and a gig of TCCD or VX and you will fly. Also a Raptor is nice for some of those longer load times for games.

    Chaintech VNF3-250/A64 2800+/1GB(512x2) OCZ VX GOLD 2-2-2-5/BFG 6800GT/Thermaltake 420W/WD 200GB/Maxtor 300GB
  28. errm... okay,

    1) no such thing as a 3800 san diego (not that i know of)... highest is 4000 right now

    2) i'm nto sure, but even with 3700+ san diego, you'll be VERY lucky to push 3ghz with water. most ppl use phase or cascades to push beyond 3 ghz. if you look at the over clocks that ppl do, with the 3700, its usually around 2.8 ghz. (which is still darn good in my book)

    fx57 = $1100
    3700 = $339

    3700 @ 2.8 = fx57

    think about it ;D

    <font color=red>gforce mx100/200 @ 230/440 =]</font color=red>
  29. I discovered that when I went looking at the chips (only 3700's). I must say this is all very interesting. I never realized a chip was introduced, then improved upon until it's clock speed is maxed out by the manufacturer (and overclocking is simply a consumer doing this on their own). I thought each new chip was an improved manufacturing process and each had the ability to be overclocked.

    So the FX-57 is really near the end of that particular core's potential in terms of clock speed. Since AMD is now focusing on dual core because single cores have been pushed as far as they can go, I guess there won't be any new single core processors that will be faster than the Athlon line.

    One question...when you add up the cost of what's required to overclock a chip (water cooling for example) how does that compare price wise to buying the faster chip and not having to overclock at all?

  30. I typed 3800 but i ment 3700...sorry. i do that all the time. Fat fingers.

    I am no expert but i know that people are getting right at 3Ghz on a dedicaded water loop. I have seen screen shots and stuff. I was looking around to see what OC best a while ago....air will get you to 2.8, water slightly over 3, and Cascade to around 3.4. Or atleast thats what i have seen...its all luck of the draw.

    Chaintech VNF3-250/A64 2800+/1GB(512x2) OCZ VX GOLD 2-2-2-5/BFG 6800GT/Thermaltake 420W/WD 200GB/Maxtor 300GB
  31. Think about it like this...
    fx57 = $1100
    3700 = $339

    That means you have $761 bucks to buy cooling for it. Water cooling is more exspensive then air...but its not $761. Once you buy a good water cooling kit, or make one, you will have plenty of money left over for other things for your computer.....or maybe just some beer and pizza. A LOT of beer and pizza

    Chaintech VNF3-250/A64 2800+/1GB(512x2) OCZ VX GOLD 2-2-2-5/BFG 6800GT/Thermaltake 420W/WD 200GB/Maxtor 300GB
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