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View Full Version : Building A Rig . . . Got Q's


six_storm
09-12-05, 03:31 PM
Ok, as everyone knows, I recently switched to Apple with my iBook, sold my PC Gaming rig in order to pay my lappy off and reserved a XBOX360. In preparation of going to another college next spring, I got to looking at my classes and found out that I am going to need a PC for programming, networking, experimenting, etc . . . So I ask myself "Why not build a gaming rig?". Everything (especially my budget) basically came down to me cancelling my reservation for the 360 and start buying parts for my new rig; I cannot afford to get a new PC and the 360 right now. I might get the 360 later on down the road . . .

Here is my goal for my new rig:

I want this PC to be a nice, powerful gaming machine with some nice components (CPU, RAM, GPU, etc), the ability of being a "jukebox" and "movie box" (so to say) and have a nice amount of storage.

I want to build this PC with some real nice parts, but I don't want to go into debt or break my wallet. :D I am buying parts piece by piece, and constantly adding onto my machine. So, here is what I am buying for sure.

ASUS A8N-SLI
XFX GeForce 7800 GT SLI (TV/High Def Outputs on Card)

And of course, here are some of my questions:

1.) Which display is better for the price? Apple 20" Display or Dell 2001FPW?

2.) Should I go ahead and buy 2 GB of RAM now? If so, what kind? If not, what 1GB kit is nice these days?

3.) I want at least 200GB of storage on my machine. Any good deals recently with the HDDs?

4.) Should I stick with the Athlon 64 CPUs (preferably the 3500+) or should I go ahead and take the pludge with the 3800+ X2? Is the $100 difference really worth it?

5.) What power supplies are good to have?

6.) What's the deal with the X-Fi and how much are they going to cost? Would it be better to just get the Audigy 2?

Again, I'm putting this rig together over the next few months, part by part, and will have it complete by the end of this year. I'm on a budget of $2,000 INCLUDING the monitor! I would really really like EVERYONE's input please since I am oblivious to the PC world right now lol.

P.S. No Apple jokes or "I knew you'd be back" comments please. I know it's coming . . . :D

toxikneedle
09-12-05, 03:57 PM
Dell 2005FPW is much cheaper than a Apple Cinema. You might see some coupons from them to get one for around $400.... you jus gotta wait. As far as X-FI they are kinda rip-offs with their starting prices, maybe wait a bit til holidays so I'd suggest using onboard audio, nForce 4 mobos have nice onboard audio.

saturnotaku
09-12-05, 04:06 PM
six,

Check your PMs, dude. :)

Riptide
09-12-05, 04:08 PM
I am going to need a PC for programming, networking, experimenting, etc . . .
Yes, return to the light side of the force. Drink your Bill Gates kool-aid!!! lawl

1.) Which display is better for the price? Apple 20" Display or Dell 2001FPW?
Dell. For the price, the 2005FPW is a better deal. And by now I would imagine the backlight bleed problems have been fixed with it.

2.) Should I go ahead and buy 2 GB of RAM now? If so, what kind? If not, what 1GB kit is nice these days?
I would. The OCZ I have in my sig is nice. If you aren't overclocking it has nice latency - 2/3/2.

3.) I want at least 200GB of storage on my machine. Any good deals recently with the HDDs?Western Dig and Seagate 300-320GB models, 7200rpm, SATA, have been going pretty damn cheap. Less than $150 on occasion. Check zipzoomfly and newegg. Oh and maybe monarch.
4.) Should I stick with the Athlon 64 CPUs (preferably the 3500+) or should I go ahead and take the pludge with the 3800+ X2? Is the $100 difference really worth it?
If you plan on sticking with the CPU for a while get the X2. If you're OK with upgrading once the X2 drops in price a bit get the 3500+.

5.) What power supplies are good to have?OCZ, PC Power/Cooling are both great. Antec isn't bad for the $$$.

P.S. No Apple jokes or "I knew you'd be back" comments please. I know it's coming . . . :DLOL to late. ;)

zoomy942
09-12-05, 04:17 PM
i would get a 3500+ or so for now. the X2's will get cheaper, but for now, they are pricey and you dont really get the full advantage of them yet. when they start to be useful, they will be much more cost effiective.

get 2gb of ram. patriot brand is my choice. its not too overclockabole, but who needs to overclock when you already have a nice machine, and 2gb modules arent too overclock friendly just yet

lastly, i would get an audigy 2 if you HAVE TO HAVE a SB card. the newer alc850's that are on riser boards use the same amount of cpu (dfi and abit mobo's). if you get an alc880, those are nice too, but not too much different than the alc850. just avoid true onboard alc850's. get the riser board ones. but thats just my 2 cents, cause i ahve too many bad times with SB cards.

jAkUp
09-12-05, 04:25 PM
P.S. No Apple jokes or "I knew you'd be back" comments please. I know it's coming . . . :D


I knew you'd be back BIATCH! :afro:

Riptide
09-12-05, 04:30 PM
P.S. No Apple jokes or "I knew you'd be back" comments please. I know it's coming . . . :D
Yeah maybe we should start a thread just for this purpose? :angel:

BrianG
09-12-05, 04:32 PM
i would get a 3500+ or so for now. the X2's will get cheaper, but for now, they are pricey and you dont really get the full advantage of them yet. when they start to be useful, they will be much more cost effiective.

get 2gb of ram. patriot brand is my choice. its not too overclockabole, but who needs to overclock when you already have a nice machine, and 2gb modules arent too overclock friendly just yet

lastly, i would get an audigy 2 if you HAVE TO HAVE a SB card. the newer alc850's that are on riser boards use the same amount of cpu (dfi and abit mobo's). if you get an alc880, those are nice too, but not too much different than the alc850. just avoid true onboard alc850's. get the riser board ones. but thats just my 2 cents, cause i ahve too many bad times with SB cards.
I have to disagree about X2s. An X2 will be a better all around CPU, even the 3800+ than anything near the same price. All purpose, HTPC and mp3 ripping/hosting, all while gaming, the X2 CPUs pwn. Hopefully, 2nd core usage will be bumped when the multi-threaded GPU drivers are able to offload vertex calcs to the idle processor. Nifty.

Shifting cash from the sound card to CPU will get him into X2 land easily. That is one test I want to see is if on-board sound has the same gaming performance decrease on a dual core system versus a sound card. (I think I found a weekend project.)

Coupon code the 2005fpw, find one. This monitor kicks much ass. Great for gaming, I sometimes run Q3A at 11x854 windowed to be able to watch for newe posts and scan inbound email on the rest of the screen. Another advantage to X2, I don't bother closing windows anymore before launching games, heh. DVDs look great. ATI's MMC does a decent job of full screen though the best video mode gets out of sync. An HDTV wonder might be cool addition given the widesreen monitor.

Ponder on that... $.02

zoomy942
09-12-05, 04:36 PM
I have to disagree about X2s. An X2 will be a better all around CPU, even the 3800+ than anything near the same price. All purpose, HTPC and mp3 ripping/hosting, all while gaming, the X2 CPUs pwn. Hopefully, 2nd core usage will be bumped when the multi-threaded GPU drivers are able to offload vertex calcs to the idle processor. Nifty.

Shifting cash from the sound card to CPU will get him into X2 land easily. That is one test I want to see is if on-board sound has the same gaming performance decrease on a dual core system versus a sound card. (I think I found a weekend project.)

Coupon code the 2005fpw, find one. This monitor kicks much ass. Great for gaming, I sometimes run Q3A at 11x854 windowed to be able to watch for newe posts and scan inbound email on the rest of the screen. Another advantage to X2, I don't bother closing windows anymore before launching games, heh. DVDs look great. ATI's MMC does a decent job of full screen though the best video mode gets out of sync. An HDTV wonder might be cool addition given the widesreen monitor.

Ponder on that... $.02


good call on the X2's. if he shifts money to that and skips on the SB, he'll have plenty.

six_storm
09-13-05, 02:27 PM
Ok, after looking around at some prices, I've made a final decision on a few things:

Dell 2001FPW (whenever a frickin coupon comes out, for cryin out loud)
Rosewill 500 Watt PSU
Lian Li PC 7-b Plus Case
OCZ Value RAM 1GB PC3200 Dual Channel
Seagate Barracuda 160GB SATA HDD

I do still have another question or two:

1.) Is the ASUS A8N-SLI the best NForce 4 SLI mobo out there? [H] gave it some pretty bad comments when it comes to gaming.

2.) What's the difference between the A8N-SLI Basic and Deluxe mobos besides $34? Is it really that much of a big deal?

I priced the Mobo (A8N Basic) and the 3800+ at $553.00, so that's not bad. Let me know what you think.

zoomy942
09-13-05, 02:38 PM
i personally have mixed feelings about the Asus. it's nice cause the SLI PCI-express slots are spaced farther apart, which helps using aftermarket cooling. but the onboard audio is not on a riser board, so it steals as many cpu cycles as possible. i am very ver impressed with my AudioMax Abit

six_storm
09-13-05, 04:24 PM
Ok, just for my wallet's sake, I'm NOT getting the X2. I am instead getting the 3500 Venice. That way, I have room to upgrade down the road when the X2's come down a tad bit cheaper.

Here's what I'm ordering today:

AMD Athlon 64 3500+
ASUS A8N SLI Basic
OCZ Performance Series PC3200 1GB Dual Channel Kit
Western Digital 160GB SATA HDD

Total: $612.19

My next purchase (give it another week) will be the XFX 7800GT. With my spare parts, I should have an up and running PC . . . . with newer and better parts on their way.

Comments anyone? :D

ViN86
09-13-05, 04:28 PM
yea, we knew youd be back :cool:

and before i forget to add, nice rig :D

Riptide
09-13-05, 05:02 PM
six_storm you aren't planning on overclocking right? Because if you are I don't want to see any threads about "See! I toldja Windows is totally unstable!". ;) :D

six_storm
09-13-05, 05:06 PM
six_storm you aren't planning on overclocking right? Because if you are I don't want to see any threads about "See! I toldja Windows is totally unstable!". ;) :D

I might do a lil bit of OC'ing later on down the road when my rig is complete. IF you wanna hear a funny story, I was showing a friend of mine Half Life 2 about 2 weeks ago. I started a new game and played through the first part up until where you are going through the sewers. Whenever it decided to load up the next part of the level, it took it's sweet time and crashed to a BSOD. I was laughing so hard cuz I that's never happened in HL2 before. But then again, Lord knows what my parents have done to my poor old gaming rig lol. :)

Riptide
09-13-05, 05:11 PM
Good luck w/the overclocking, I am jealous of those who have had better success than I. I failed but it wasn't for lack of trying let me tell you that. Now I just run stock and if I have a problem it's almost always a software/drive issue. When you're overclocking if the computer crashes you always have that question in the back of your head whether the o/c caused it or not.

PS: Join the folding team if you can dude. The more the merrier. :)
Saturnotaku used to fold for us as well but then he went Mac. Now he might be re-joining the family so I'll have to bug him about folding again. Besides that FX53 I sold him burns through those 600 point work units like a hot knife through buttah.

acrh2
09-13-05, 05:25 PM
2GB of ram is a must.

six_storm
09-13-05, 05:26 PM
Well, my order is complete and hopefully I'll have enough cash build back up to get my video card soon. Thanks for everyone's advice and such. BTW, I'll make a new thread about my project rig with pics, details and etc because I wanna spread the joy of gaming on a PC once again. :D (Rip, shut up lol)