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The year's half over...


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#1
Cantousent

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Okay, homies! (I'm trying to establish street cred by talking the talk)

It's nearing the end of the year and you know what that means! Time to consider the next rig. My wife will get this behemouth and you guys can help guide me on my path of righteousness. A righteously kick ass computer!

So, I'm going to get started with the basics: Motherboard, CPU, and video card.

Let's start with video. First of all, I bought the 7900 before the 7950s hit the market and I haven't been unhappy. Frankly, video hasn't been a problem for me since I had to tweak everything when I first built the system. One thing that does bother me, however, is the noise. It's crazy loud, so I was thinking of getting a water cooled video card.

BFG Tech BFGR88640GTSOCWCE GeForce 8800GTS 640MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 OC Water Cooled Edition HDCP Video Card - Retail

It's a bit pricy, but it's also quiet and should run a little cooler. I'm not dead set on it and, as always, my goal is to stay under 2k if possible.

As far as processors go, I'm at a bit of a loss. I've currently got an AMD 64 dual core 4400. However, I know that Intel had the best latest showing. On the other hand, I know that Intel's advantage was somewhat less running a 64 bit operating system. So, what's the deal, braniacs?

In terms of motherboards, I've always had good luck with Asus, so I'll probably stick with them unless there's something I should know.

I don't even want to worry about power supplies, case, or anything else until I figure out what I'm going to do with the video, motherboard, and CPU.

#2
Bokishi

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Whats your budget?

Watercooling can get a bit pricey, and if your gonna WC the videocards, then might as well WC the processor too!

Motherboard: If you are going to go SLI then totally get the nForce 680i. If you are planning to stay single card, then go with the Intel Bad Axe 2, for its guaranteed stability

Video: 8800GTS 320 you might have a bit of trouble with, its 320mb framebuffer causes some problem you can read about here. I'd bump up the video card to the 640mb edition.

CPU: Core 2 Duo all the way! Not even the high end one either, you can overclock an e6600 to beyond x6800 speeds. If you wait about a month longer you can snag a Q6600 quad core for a low price. Simply put, Intel has the performance crown right now and AMD is playing catch up

#3
Sand

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I am getting an e6600 with a motherboard with Nvidia 680i northbridge. By September I should have enough money saved up to get two 8600GTS to go into SLI mode.

#4
taks

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BFG Tech BFGR88640GTSOCWCE GeForce 8800GTS 640MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 OC Water Cooled Edition HDCP Video Card - Retail

i've got the 320 MB eVga 8800GTS "superclocked" and it's sweet.

As far as processors go, I'm at a bit of a loss. I've currently got an AMD 64 dual core 4400. However, I know that Intel had the best latest showing. On the other hand, I know that Intel's advantage was somewhat less running a 64 bit operating system. So, what's the deal, braniacs?

i think intel's disadvantage with 64-bit may be due to poor support for 64-bit and not any inherent degradation over AMD. and E6600 smokes and is rather overclockable. plus, it is MUCH cooler running than any of AMD's chips. that may change with AMD's forthcoming update.

In terms of motherboards, I've always had good luck with Asus, so I'll probably stick with them unless there's something I should know.

the P5B Deluxe. i have a P5B-E and i cannot recommend it. too many issues and/or strange things with it. in particular, these idiots put the ONLY IDE connection on the other side of the monster video card, below the 6 SATA connectors. what were they thinking? SATA cables can route anywhere with ease, IDE cables are typically associated with CD/DVD drives, which means the top of the freaking case you dumb****ed *******&^, just out of reach of any standard IDE cable. sheesh.

I don't even want to worry about power supplies, case, or anything else until I figure out what I'm going to do with the video, motherboard, and CPU.

i've got one of those modular cable supplies and i must say, it is nice. however, i'd have preferred it if they also gave you some 1-1 or 1-2 cables since i have several one of a kind or two of a kind supply needs. as a result, i still have a mess of cables unconnected in my main chassis area. i could cut 'em all off, however.

oh, and if you haven't heard, mammaries don't make much of a difference anymore as long as you don't go way low end or otherwise ham-string your bus (like using dual-channel mammaries in single-channel mode).

taks

#5
Enoch

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BFG Tech BFGR88640GTSOCWCE GeForce 8800GTS 640MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 OC Water Cooled Edition HDCP Video Card - Retail

i've got the 320 MB eVga 8800GTS "superclocked" and it's sweet.

I have the very same card, and I quite like it as well. However, Cant is probably going to want to shell out for the version with more memory, if he plans on gaming with the ultra-high resolutions he can get with his new monitor.

Edited by Enoch, 21 June 2007 - 02:45 AM.


#6
mkreku

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Just a head's up: AMD are releasing their next CPU design (Barcelona) late this summer. Personally, I'd wait for them to release that before deciding on a new rig right now. Who knows, it might give Core 2 Duo (Conroe) a run for its money.

#7
Spider

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My friend who recently built his own system (I asked a lot of questions on these forums to help him) did a lot of research on motherboards and ended up with Gigabyte P35-DS4. As future proof as you're going to get since the circuits are new. Not that much more expensive than the generation before it either, so it seems like a good deal to me. I'll be getting one of those myself soon. There are similar Asus cards if you prefer, but my friend found out that they were a bit trickier during instal in regards to memory. Not exactly sure what it was, but it involved a lot of rebooting. Once they're up and running they should be more or less equals though.

In regards to graphics, I'd go with the 320mb version, but I have less money and a smaller monitor, so I'm sure your choice is good. Have you considered going all the way and shell out for a GTX? That should be doable without skimping on anything else and still land under $2000, provided you already have the monitor. On a performance/price basis it's probably not worth it, but could still be interesting.

When it comes to processors, with your budget the e6600 is clearly the way to go. Best bang for the buck by miles. The cheapskate option is to get either a e4320 or e6320 and clock the hell out of them. But I'd go with the e6600 (and clock the hell out of that).

I'd also recomend the Noctua NH-U12F 120mm for CPU cooling. Efficient and quiet. I'll be getting one of those myself soon. It's bloody huge though, so if you consider it, make sure it fits on the motherboard and in the case. (it does fit on the board I mentioned)

#8
Cantousent

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Just a head's up: AMD are releasing their next CPU design (Barcelona) late this summer. Personally, I'd wait for them to release that before deciding on a new rig right now. Who knows, it might give Core 2 Duo (Conroe) a run for its money.


Yeah. I don't tend to do computer builds before year's end, so I don't have any problems being patient until the end of summer.

#9
metadigital

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It's only June.

Water-cooled cards are false economy. (They don't cool the Video RAM, for a start.) If you want to get a water cooled PC, get one ... either yourself or a custom build will ensure that all the performance bits get cooled, either by air or water (e.g. spot fans and Corsair's heat-spreader technology for their RAM).

Specifics: the DirectX10 performance seems to be dependent on the hardware architecture of the cards, so (surprise!) nVidia and ATi have different results for their cards again. ATi is not good with Need for Speed, for example.

Motherboards: you can either opt for a good, fast relatively cheap motherboard, or one that is more expensive and doesn't have any performance benefit EXCEPT that it implements technology that hasn't been adopted yet (but will be in the next few months). In other words, depending on the upgrade strategy, you either buy a cheap mobo and CPU, or an expensive mobo and CPU that you can upgrade later (without upgrading the mobo).

The next round of CPU technology isn't due for a couple of months, and the latest Core 2 Duo is dirt cheap and easy to overclock A LOT.

specifics shortly

#10
Cantousent

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I knew you guys would pull through for me. You know how I like to take my time on this stuff, so waiting a few months won't bother me.

#11
Joseph Bulock

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It is also rumored that the Intel quad cores are getting a massive price cut on July 22nd. I'm personally waiting for that to build my new rig.

#12
Gfted1

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Ive got a stupid question regarding quad cores. How do they work? Meaning, currently there are hardly any application that will take advantage of a dual core much less a quad core so whats the benefit of a quad? Is it really like paired dual cores so it seems to software to be dual core, just much faster?

#13
metadigital

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Software needs to be written with multicore optimisation in mind ... and more of that is being written all the time.

#14
Wistrik

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I'm probably going to wait until year end to build a new machine. I have ideas of what I'm going to get, but I'll wait until I'm ready to start shopping before I check Anandtech and other sites (I like to get more than one opinion) to see what's best and which pieces of hardware work best together. I'm planning on a multicore CPU (probably quad) because in addition to gaming I also tend to run several applications at a time, especially when I'm coding software. The only media work I do is playing DVDs. I'm also waiting to see how Intel's Penryn and AMD's Phenom/Barcelona work out.

Chances are I'll be going with nVidia for graphics, and probably SLI. I'm tired of running with one or more options disabled on certain games (well, NWN2 is the only one at the moment) in order to have playable performance. My goal is to play HL2:EP2 and DA with all options maximized and lots of FPS to spare. And at a resolution of 1920x1200. I can currently play a lot of games at that resolution, though not older games that don't support it, or sluggish games like the one previously mentioned.

Oh, and I'm going to stick with air cooling. I'm not that much of an enthusiast to play with water cooling, or more esoteric options. There are some very nice air cooling options at the moment (ThermalRight, etc.) and I'm not interested in extreme overclocking.

Edited by Wistrik, 21 June 2007 - 12:59 PM.


#15
Cantousent

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Yeah, I've thought about water cooling the last couple of years, but I've always decided against it in the end. For one thing, I buy great hardware, but I never overclock anyhow.

#16
metadigital

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Overclocking is becoming very easy and even expected now: the Core2Duo has about 50% headroom.

#17
Bokishi

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Its true, if you don't OC your C2D then you're a chump.

#18
metadigital

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Even with nothing but a stock cooler, it still overclocks a lot.

#19
metadigital

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Motherboards: LGA775 Core2.
  • expensive futerproof (i.e. uses technology not implemented by the daughterboards yet): Asus P5K Deluxe Wi\Fi-AP
    This P35 chipset has for support 1333MHz FSB
    but only supports DDR2 ... the DDR3 support is in a board suffixed with PK3
  • Abit FP-IN9 SLI
    nForce 650i SLI chipset
    is a great overclocker, too
If you are considering a PC for tv reception and HD viewing, etc, you might still look at an AMD ... their CPUs start at 40 (as opposed to the cheapest Core2Duo 6320 at 105) and they are NOT automatically constrained to use all the HD en-/de-coding hardware ... you could conceivably create a linux distro that avoids all the extra admin. If you do want a socket AM2 motherboard, the Asus Crosshair is 142.

I will be getting Samsung SpinPoint T166 HD 501LJ as my next HD purchase.

#20
Cantousent

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I really don't understand overclocking. I mean, I've been reading about it for years, but it just doesn't make sense. The gist of overclocking seems to be pushing the hardware beyond its designed specs. You could take something that was designed to run at a certain speed and "overclock" it to run faster, but at the cost of quicker degradation of the hardware. However, if things nowadays have tons of overclocking available, does that mean that they're designed to run faster but the manufacturer is setting the speed slower? Can someone give me the gist of all this?




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