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Old 09-12-08, 10:26 PM   #1
Vanzagar
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Default Expert opinions on new gaming system please…

New system used mainly for gaming, could wait until mid Nov at latest…

Please let me know if you can think of any better component for around the same cost, or please let me know if you can see any issues or conflicts with what I’ve got so far… I’ve also got about another $200, where should I blow it?

EVGA GeForce GTX 280 01G-P3-1280-AR.......$430 (may wait for 40/55nm version, gtx280+?)
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield.........$325

ZALMAN 9700 110mm Ultra Quiet CPU Cooler..$70

BIOSTAR I45 LGA 775 Intel P45 Mobo .......$170

G.SKILL 4GB(2x2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 1000 .....$73

PC Power & Cooling 750W Power Supply......$130

Antec Nine Hundred ATX Mid Tower Case.....$130

ViewSonic VP2650wb 25.5" 5ms, 2ms(GTG) ...$620


WD VelociRaptor 150GB 10000RPM 16MBCache .$180
(maybe RAID0?)
Western Digital 640GB 7200 RPM............$170 (2x $85)

Pioneer Black 20X DVD Burner..............$30

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound..........$6

Total.....................................$2340.00


Will the power supply be good enough (rail voltage, pins, enough power …etc)?

Currently have x-fi sound card, good headphones and a Razor mouse and pad...

Picked my cooler based on http://www.anandtech.com/casecooling...spx?i=3005&p=4 seemed to be the best compromise of good mounting vs. cooling ability

Also, thinking about waiting for Intel Core i7 replacement of Q9550, think it will be here by mid November? Same with vid card, worth waiting until mid Nov?

Would you guys go for DDR2 or DDR3?

Thanks for any opinions or suggestions… 26”, 1900x1200, AA gaming BOOYA!!!

Vanz
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Old 09-12-08, 10:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: Expert opinions on new gaming system please…

Maybe I'm wrong in thinking this, but I think the Raptors are way overrated.
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Old 09-12-08, 11:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Expert opinions on new gaming system please…

Looks like a very solid system to me.

The 55nm GTX 280 is still a ways off and won't be much of an improvement over the current 280. It will run slightly cooler and have slightly better clocks, but nothing amazing. Personally, the current version is cheap enough and fast enough that it should hold you over until Nvidia's 40nm offerings at the beginning of next year, which should offer noticeable architecture improvements. I'd want a new card now given all the games coming out soon such as Crysis Warhead, Clear Sky (which is already sort of available), Fallout 3, and Farcry 2.

The PSU should be fine, it has the proper connectors for the GTX 280 and a 60A +12v rail.

The Zalman cooler is overpriced for its performance, you'd be better off spending your money on a Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme and a nice 120mm fan. Remember that in the test you referred to, they were using a dual core processor at relatively low clocks. If you look at the overclocking performance, you'll see that the Zalman does not do as well as clocks are increased when compared to the TRUE. Quite frankly, I think all socket 775 coolers are a pain to mount regardless of the method. If you aren't planning on overclocking, then it will probably be decent, but you're still paying $70 when you could get a better cooler for roughly the same price.

Only other thing is the Antec 900 might be a little tight, and I don't have much experience with Biostar, although at first glance the mobo looks ok, and the P45 chipset is a proven performer.

As far as Core i7, it does offer some pretty nice advances in virtualization, multi threading, encoding, and more server oriented tasks. True gaming performance has yet to be seen, early reports are conflicting and not many games show substantial gains, if at all. From a pure CPU price standpoint, I think you'd be better off in the long run with Core i7 given that the 2.66GHz version will be around the same price point. That said, the only compatible motherboard at launch will be Intel's X58, which will probably be $250 or more depending on the vendor.

There's no reason to go with DDR3 for Core 2 at this point, eventually you will upgrade to the Core i7 platform and much of the current DDR3 will not be 100% compatible, meaning you will probably have to lower clocks, raise latencies, or both in order to maintain the stability and longevity of your system. There's simply no point in spending $300 on a ram kit that you won't be able to fully utilize when newer, more compatible kits will be be available at lower prices for Core i7.
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Old 09-12-08, 11:51 PM   #4
Vanzagar
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Default Re: Expert opinions on new gaming system please…

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uberpwnage View Post
Looks like a very solid system to me.

The 55nm GTX 280 is still a ways off and won't be much of an improvement over the current 280. It will run slightly cooler and have slightly better clocks, but nothing amazing. Personally, the current version is cheap enough and fast enough that it should hold you over until Nvidia's 40nm offerings at the beginning of next year, which should offer noticeable architecture improvements. I'd want a new card now given all the games coming out soon such as Crysis Warhead, Clear Sky (which is already sort of available), Fallout 3, and Farcry 2.

The PSU should be fine, it has the proper connectors for the GTX 280 and a 60A +12v rail.

The Zalman cooler is overpriced for its performance, you'd be better off spending your money on a Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme and a nice 120mm fan. Remember that in the test you referred to, they were using a dual core processor at relatively low clocks. If you look at the overclocking performance, you'll see that the Zalman does not do as well as clocks are increased when compared to the TRUE. Quite frankly, I think all socket 775 coolers are a pain to mount regardless of the method. If you aren't planning on overclocking, then it will probably be decent, but you're still paying $70 when you could get a better cooler for roughly the same price.

Only other thing is the Antec 900 might be a little tight, and I don't have much experience with Biostar, although at first glance the mobo looks ok, and the P45 chipset is a proven performer.

As far as Core i7, it does offer some pretty nice advances in virtualization, multi threading, encoding, and more server oriented tasks. True gaming performance has yet to be seen, early reports are conflicting and not many games show substantial gains, if at all. From a pure CPU price standpoint, I think you'd be better off in the long run with Core i7 given that the 2.66GHz version will be around the same price point. That said, the only compatible motherboard at launch will be Intel's X58, which will probably be $250 or more depending on the vendor.

There's no reason to go with DDR3 for Core 2 at this point, eventually you will upgrade to the Core i7 platform and much of the current DDR3 will not be 100% compatible, meaning you will probably have to lower clocks, raise latencies, or both in order to maintain the stability and longevity of your system. There's simply no point in spending $300 on a ram kit that you won't be able to fully utilize when newer, more compatible kits will be be available at lower prices for Core i7.
Hey Uberpwnage, excellent info and advice, much appreciated...

Thanks again, esp for the cooler advice...

Vanz

Last edited by Vanzagar; 09-14-08 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 09-13-08, 12:02 AM   #5
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Default Re: Expert opinions on new gaming system please…

ya, wait for nehalem and check back.
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Old 09-13-08, 12:15 AM   #6
Vanzagar
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Default Re: Expert opinions on new gaming system please…

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonPC View Post
Maybe I'm wrong in thinking this, but I think the Raptors are way overrated.

Guess it depends on how you define "overrated"... it also can improve the min fps in games like Crysis (see links below)

Quote:
Final Thoughts and Conclusions:

The Western Digital VelociRaptor was a blast to test since it's not every day something this new and innovative comes across the test bench. The Western Digital VelociRaptor is hands down the fastest single hard drive we have ever tested and it is hard to believe that the firmware is still being improved.
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/699/7/
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/the...ver?page=0%2C0
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets...px?i=3403&p=14
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Old 09-13-08, 12:20 AM   #7
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Default Re: Expert opinions on new gaming system please…

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanzagar View Post
Guess it depends on how you define "overrated"... it also can improve the min fps in games like Crysis (see links below)



http://www.legitreviews.com/article/699/7/
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/the...ver?page=0%2C0
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets...px?i=3403&p=14
I'm gonna blame Vista on that one But yeah I can see what you mean. I'm going to have to try turning off all of Vista's harddrive thrashing features off and compare the min framerate in XP to Vista for Crysis and see if there's still a difference. I'm tempted to say in XP there wouldn't be much of a difference between the raptor and a good seagate.
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Old 09-13-08, 12:45 AM   #8
Vanzagar
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Default Re: Expert opinions on new gaming system please…

nvm got it... LGA1366...

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/775/1/
http://www.nordichardware.com/news,8057.html
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Old 09-14-08, 07:24 PM   #9
Vanzagar
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Default Re: Expert opinions on new gaming system please…

Any other suggestions/improvements?

Thinking about going with this LG monitor instead of Viewsonic...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16824005114

Looks like it's an S-IPS panel but I don't believe them for this price...
http://www.lge.com/products/model/detail/W2600HP.jhtml

Thoughts? Saw it at my local Frys and it looks pretty good and is $100 cheaper...

Also, where else would you spend $200 more...

Thks,

Vanz

ps. Haven't layed down this much cash on a system before, a little nervous about it...
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Old 09-15-08, 08:48 AM   #10
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Default Re: Expert opinions on new gaming system please…

the zalman cooler goes on sale like every other week, so keep an eye on that. make sure you get this one and not the black one.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...&nm_mc=OTC-RSS
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Old 09-15-08, 10:32 AM   #11
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Default Re: Expert opinions on new gaming system please…

no Nehalem?

id wait for Nehalem
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Old 09-15-08, 10:50 AM   #12
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Default Re: Expert opinions on new gaming system please…

get yourself a bigger psu.. you'll be happy you did in the future..
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