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Just when I thought I was out.....


Romier S
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...they pull me back in. I've tried to stay away but I've gotten the computer itch for a few titles coming out (Age of Conan interests me and all this talk of how great Lord of the Rings Online is makes me want to give it another shot;)). So with that, I've come to the conclusion that my poor dinosaur of a comp needs a major upgrade....i.e. it needs to be replaced:). I've been out of the computer game for some time though so I figured I'd post up the specs and get my fellow LCVG brothers opinions. Take a gander:

 

Thermaltake Armor+ MX Middle Tower Gaming Case - comes with a stock 420watt power supplythat will be replaced.

 

Here's a pic:

 

[ATTACH]3506[/ATTACH]

 

and nice video review:

 

 

-800 Watt Mushkin XP-800AP Power Supply

-Intel Core 2 Quad Processor Q6600 (4x 2.4GHz/8MB L2 Cache/1066FSB)

-Asus P5N-E SLI nForce? 650i SLI Chipset w/6-channel CODEC, Gb LAN, S-ATA Raid, USB 2.0, IEEE-1394 Dual PCI-E MB

-Extreme-Performance INTEL CPU Cooling Fan System Kit (was going to go the liquid cooling route but it seems a waste when all is said and done

-2048MB [1024MB X2] DDR2-800 PC6400 (Mushkin brand)

-500 GB HARD DRIVE Serial-ATA-II, 3Gb, 7200 RPM, 16M Cache

-eVGA Nvidia GeForce 9800 GTX 512mb w/DVI and TV Out Video

-Lightscribe Technology 20X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD?R/?RW + CD-R/RW Drive

-3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard (don't see a need for a sound card)

-Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100)

-20.1" LCD 16:10 Wide WSXGA HD(HDCP) Monitor Support DVI Video up to 1080P(HDMI)

 

All in all the purchase price is about $1500 for the whole build including the monitor. Thoughts? Any changes? Any comments appreciated (and no, I don't want a MAC:)).

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...they pull me back in. I've tried to stay away but I've gotten the computer itch for a few titles coming out (Age of Conan interests me and all this talk of how great Lord of the Rings Online is makes me want to give it another shot;)). So with that, I've come to the conclusion that my poor dinosaur of a comp needs a major upgrade....i.e. it needs to be replaced:). I've been out of the computer game for some time though so I figured I'd post up the specs and get my fellow LCVG brothers opinions. Take a gander:

 

Thermaltake Armor+ MX Middle Tower Gaming Case - comes with a stock 420watt power supplythat will be replaced. ($140)

 

-800 Watt Mushkin XP-800AP Power Supply (~$150)

 

-Intel Core 2 Quad Processor Q6600 (4x 2.4GHz/8MB L2 Cache/1066FSB) [$219 at newegg)

 

-Asus P5N-E SLI nForce? 650i SLI Chipset w/6-channel CODEC, Gb LAN, S-ATA Raid, USB 2.0, IEEE-1394 Dual PCI-E MB ($119 @ newegg)

 

 

-2048MB [1024MB X2] DDR2-800 PC6400 (Mushkin brand) (~$50)

-500 GB HARD DRIVE Serial-ATA-II, 3Gb, 7200 RPM, 16M Cache (~$80)

 

 

-eVGA Nvidia GeForce 9800 GTX 512mb w/DVI and TV Out Video (~$300)

 

 

-Lightscribe Technology 20X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD?R/?RW + CD-R/RW Drive (~$30)

 

-20.1" LCD 16:10 Wide WSXGA HD(HDCP) Monitor Support DVI Video up to 1080P(HDMI) ($250+ depending on brand/model)

 

All in all the purchase price is about $1500 for the whole build including the monitor. Thoughts? Any changes? Any comments appreciated (and no, I don't want a MAC:)).

 

Added newegg prices or at least a general price for the non-specific items (like DDR2)...you're looking at $1198 plus at least $100 in shipping, and that's assuming a generic LCD.

 

So you're not getting overcharged (assume a few hundred bucks in profit/building for them).

 

I'm not sure you need an 800w PSU right now. Q6600 + 9800GTX shouldn't need that much power, but if you ever toss in another 9800GTX any time soon you would need it. Down the road, a single new video card is normally better than a pair of older cards in SLI...so I dunno if you'd ever use that much power.

 

The quad-core probably isn't a benefit for games (games have just recently been utilizing 2 cores) but would be good for video encoding. At $220 it's not real pricey...but it runs more than a 2.66ghz-3.0ghz C2D which might be worth considering instead.

 

Word is that the 8800GTX is actually on par with the newer 9800GTX, but the 8800GTX actually costs more since it's hard to find. So that looks like a decent buy there as well. :)

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So you're not getting overcharged (assume a few hundred bucks in profit/building for them).

All in all I'm paying a $150 or so premium for what amounts to a three year warranty and complete lack of time spent building the damn thing. Something I can do mind you, but I really don't want to deal with the hassle.

 

I'm not sure you need an 800w PSU right now. Q6600 + 9800GTX shouldn't need that much power, but if you ever toss in another 9800GTX any time soon you would need it. Down the road, a single new video card is normally better than a pair of older cards in SLI...so I dunno if you'd ever use that much power.

This case is able to hold up to 7 HDD's and I plan to eventually turn this system into a mean media server. Maybe not all 7 bays, but one 500GB is just the beginning of where I'm going. If I decide to go SLI in the future (which is a possibility) as you noted the power will be necessary. The 9800 alone is quite the hog so better safe than sorry. The premium I'm paying over stock is very little anyway.

 

The quad-core probably isn't a benefit for games

The Q6600 is an overcloaking BEAST which is specifically why I've chosen it and that will be of benefit to games now (like Crysis) and future titles that will no doubt get processor heavy. Keep in mind I'm not just looking at the here and now of course. This thing will need to last me for a few years as I'm not eager to throw myself in the upgrade fray again for some time (hence the 800watt PSU).

 

Word is that the 8800GTX is actually on par with the newer 9800GTX, but the 8800GTX actually costs more since it's hard to find

Looking at benchmarks, the 9800 handles HD playback with a bit more ease and game wise it outpaces the 8800 by a smidge (in the end the 9800 is an overclocked 8800GTX;)). The price difference between the two is literally 10 bucks for me. I don't see any reason not to upgrade to it.

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Yup, looks pretty good to me.

 

I tend to skimp on the CPU and dump money elsewhere, simply because it's such an easy upgrade later.

 

I'd probably spend the 10% extra too to have someone else deal with it. It's hard to work on your Windows box with a baby banging on the keys :D Are they going to install Windows for you? ;) Although this takes a lot less time than it used to.

 

I think you made good choices. :tu I just did my best to point out anything I could think of.

 

BTW: be careful about XP SP3 & Asus boards (will post a thread on it).

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I was able to deal with the vendor selling me the PC and negotiate a cheaper price on a better mobo (Nvidia NForce 680i SLI Chipset w/7.1 Sound, Gb LAN, S-ATA Raid, USB 2.0 Dual PCI-E MB) so that frees up some extras cash for a 4GB upgrade.:tu

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Won't you need 64bit OS (so Vista or XP 64) to use the full 4gb of RAM? Its been a while so maybe I'm not remembering this correctly but, is there some fix for using 4gb in 32bit XP?

You're correct. A 32bit OS will only see about 3.5GB when all is said and done depending on the programs installed etc. Which is fine as in the future when Vista gets its act together (hardware driver support, older game compatibility etc.) I'll likely upgrade to the 64bit version.

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You're correct. A 32bit OS will only see about 3.5GB when all is said and done depending on the programs installed etc. Which is fine as in the future when Vista gets its act together (hardware driver support, older game compatibility etc.) I'll likely upgrade to the 64bit version.

 

Actually, a 32-bit OS addresses up to 4GB of RAM, but it also accounts for video RAM as well. So, in Romier's case, the OS will report 3.5GB as 512MB will be from the 9800. The other RAM the system doesn't use is used by the I/O bus.

 

A word of caution; XP can be extremely picky about installing with 4GB of RAM and a 512MB GPU.

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So I completely changed my mind on where I was going with this. I was originally going to have ibuypower.com build everything for me but frankly I'm not liking a lot of what I'm reading in so far as thier level of build quality. Not to mention when all is said and done (with shipping, rush processing) I'm paying nearly $350 bucks above the price of the system if I were to piece it together myself. Nearly $1800 when all is said and done which is quite different than the original quote. The monitor they are quoting me is also generic crap which really put me off when I spoke with them today.

 

So, long story short (too late)..I'm just building the damn thing. Scott (Buck) helped me get a build together and this is looking like the final parts list:

 

NZXT TEMPEST Crafted Series CS-NT-TEM-B Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

ASUS P5K-E/WIFI-AP LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model BX80562Q6600

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ

Antec NeoPower 650 Blue 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply - Retail

EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX(G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3500630AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

LITE-ON 20X DVD?R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model LH-20A1L-05

SAMSUNG 2253BW Black 22" 2ms(GTG) DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit English

 

Total price with shipping via newegg.com: $1,507.81

 

I'll be setting up a dual boot with Vista and XP when all is said and done by the way. It's been about 10 years since I sat down to build a PC so this should be interesting. Any tips are welcome.

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Have scott build it :-)

Heh, if he lived near me I would just bug him to do so but nah. I'd prefer to sit down and actually do it myself (read through some of the documentation on the mobo and frankly the hardware side looks terribly easy). Though I warned him I would bug the crap out of him if necessary.

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