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View Full Version : New PC (not ready to call it a "gaming rig").


Medion
05-31-08, 11:25 PM
Well, my nForce4 SLI died on me. Problem is, it's Socket 939, and you know how AMD just LOVES to release new sockets more than new CPU architectures. So, getting a new S939 mobo was out of the question. This meant a new mobo, which meant moving to DDR2 or 3, and a new CPU. So I said f*ck it, time to get a new system. Here's how things went. (I'll try to get pics this week)

Motherboard:

I switched from the ASUS A8N-SLI (NF4) to the EVGA nForce 650i Ultra. There were two lessons that I learned from my last purchase. First, don't get active cooling on the chipset, as the fans are loud and die too often. Second, get it from a brand who actually honors their warranty. I was putting together this new system on the spur of the moment, so I was a bit uneducated. I wish that I had gone with an Intel P35, but this EVGA board is pretty solid so far. NV's Vista drivers are lacking, and it seems like they're not going to update them anytime soon for this series.

CPU:

Went from an AMD Athlon X2 3800 to a Core2Quad Q6600. Only downside is that Intel doesn't have a multi-core optimizer like AMD does, so NFS:Most Wanted is a bit jerky at times. Other than that, this baby screams. I had to buy an after market fan for it from a local CPU shop. The moron behind the counter tries to tell me that "Vista only recognizes 3.5 cores, so a quad is a waste." I asked if he meant "3.5GB RAM" and he said no.

It was between the Q6600 and the E8400 for me. Since I don't play bleeding edge games, and I want to keep the CPU for 3-5 years (I'm not kidding), quad was the better choice for me.

GPU:

I figured with all the upgrades, I'd move to DX10 and a HDCP compliant GPU. I upgraded from the EVGA 7900GTO 512MB, to the EVGA 9600GT 512MB. I expected enough of a boost to be able to play my current games at the same settings and AA/AF, at my new monitor's higher resolution, at roughly the same framerate. I was wrong, it's faster. This card is a LOT faster than I thought it was. I've decided to stick with mid-range GPUs from now on, instead of going with the higher end ones now. Better bang for the buck, and I can play with low/no AA if needed. I only need AF :)

Monitor:

Went from the 19" Samsung 940B to the 22" Samsung T220. Figured it was time to go widescreen, and I'm glad that I did. It's a beautiful monitor. The colored bezel isn't for everyone, but I saw it in person, liked it, and then decided to buy it. Went from 1280x1024, to 1680x1050.

Audio:

Now here is where everyone is going to question my sanity. My S939 mobo had Realtek ALC850, which was the highest end Realtek coded at the time (HD Audio codecs came out shortly after). Overall, I was impressed with the audio quality, and I disposed of my SB Live, which I found to be inferior. Plus, I hated Creative's drivers. However, the first time my mobo fan died, the onboard audio died. I went out and bought an X-Fi XtremeMusic.

This time, my new mobo came with ALC885, which is again Realtek's highest end codec. I decided to set up my system without the X-Fi. I'm using Logitech X-230 (2.1, 32W, but the sub makes up 20, so very weak speakers). I'm also not an audiophile. I was very impressed with the ALC885. I can't tell much of a difference between this and the X-Fi at all.

So, I had been debating - sell the X-Fi, or install it? For my system (2.1), it's a minimal gain at best. I'd lose the front panel hookups, and I would lose the excellent driver support. So, I'm sticking with onboard for now.

Power Supply:

Counting this one, I've not used SeaSonic in my last 5 builds. They're extremely quiet and efficient. I just can't see using another PSU brand.

My last PC had the S12 430W PSU. I thought about carrying it over, but then realized that the S12 2nd gen had sleeved cables, so I decided to get a new one for that reason alone. Well, it also has more connectors (mine didn't even have a 6-pin PCI-E). I looked at the 430W, but for $5 more I got the 500W. So, now I've got the room to go to a higher end GPU down the road if I need to.

Medion
06-02-08, 05:26 PM
Here's a pic.

http://antithesisguild.net/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=165&d=1212439625

grey_1
06-02-08, 05:32 PM
Why is that "Not quite a gaming rig?" Lol, you spend too much time around the compulsive upgraders in here. :D

That looks like a fine machine to me, and if it makes you happy, even better.

I'm no audiophile either. Personally I'm fine with onboard long as it sounds good to me.

Uberpwnage
06-02-08, 05:49 PM
A gaming rig can be any pc built to play games... I think I was more of a gamer before I started worrying too much about hardware and overclocking. Looks like good choices to me, hope it works out for you :)

Medion
06-02-08, 05:51 PM
A gaming rig can be any pc built to play games... I think I was more of a gamer before I started worrying too much about hardware and overclocking.

True, and it's why I've reverted. I don't care about having high end here. It's funny, because one poster here referred to the 9600GT as a "budget" card. However, I've run all my games at 16xAA/16xAF (except NFS:MW, 4x/8x) maxed settings. I even tried the Crysis demo, and was able to run medium settings with 16xAF at a playable framerate, no AA though. Still, AA didn't matter, the game was still excellent looking.

Keeping up with PC hardware isn't cost effective anymore. I'll play the PC games that I find fun, but otherwise, I'm sticking to consoles.

mojoman0
06-02-08, 07:28 PM
Congrats on the rig Medion, I'll be there someday, and thanks for making it easy to read! Grammar usually sucks on forums.

Medion
06-03-08, 08:30 PM
Finally got sick of what I thought might be a buzzing/hissing sound in one track on NFS:MW, so threw my X-Fi in. Same exact thing occurs, and I wasn't having interference issues with anything else, so it's the track.

Still, when I set up the X-Fi, I was blown away at the difference, even on my weak speaker setup. Guess I was wrong about onboard audio, granted, it won't be the last time I'm wrong about something :)

I'll use the X-Fi until Creative's drivers find a way to tick me off again. I'm not touching those beta drivers, as the last official Vista release are excellent, so far.

Starscream
06-03-08, 09:13 PM
What did you buy for ram?

Medion
06-03-08, 10:10 PM
2 of these kits

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231098