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Old October 15, 2008, 01:52 AM
Hreidmar Hreidmar is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 6
Default build advice appreciated

This is the first PC I've decided to put together since PII's were roaming the earth, so I'd like a sanity check and appreciate any advice people have for me. I'm technically competent but have been buying pre-built units for a while, so just rusty (current gamer is a Mac Pro laptop of all things).

This PC will be used primarily for gaming. I play a lot of WoW, and while even my lamo Mac Pro laptop can run it, I'd like to be able to crank up the video options a bit, get surround sound (damn the connector and lack of DTS encoder on Mac notebooks!) and have a Ventrilo client with normalization so I'm not subjected to retards with bad mike setups.

It'd also be nice to be able to try out Warhammer Online (and then come back to WoW 1 week later like everyone else I know).

I'm keeping my 30" Apple Cinema Display, so I'm hoping for something that is comfortable driving MMO's at 2550x1600 or whatever it is. I have no desire to use my PC to watch movies since my TV is about 20' away from my office. I haven't played anything fast paced since my Counter Strike days, so don't want to invest in a lot of (noisy and expensive) HW in order to run Crysis or whatever, but I don't need to skimp if I can buy some future proofing. I'm comfortable spending around $2500 for the system (without speakers, monitor, keyboard etc). I can go higher if needed but would probably take some convincing, since it seems like you can get a lot of machine for about $1500 these days. I'd like to buy soon (before Wrath) but can wait if there's a compelling reason to.

I live in Ontario and will be buying from Canadian vendors if possible (likely NCIX and/or TigerDirect). I have no real brand preferences - they've all irritated me at one time or another. I have no interest in overclocking, and *hate* to reboot my PC as I usually have about 50 windows opened in various apps, so stability is important to me. Low power at idle would also be nice.

Here is my current thinking: with Nehelam around the corner, spend a little more on the case and power supply (as a platform to reuse for a couple of years), a middling amount for graphics card and as little as I can for a MB and CPU that will get replaced in a year or so when Nehelem's are dropping in price.

After a bunch of reading, here is my first take on a system (about $1750 currently):

Silverstone FT01-BX Case $240
- another option would be Antec 182; how quiet is FT01?
Seasonic S12 650W Power Supply $175
- know this is expensive but I'm hoping it'll be compatible with Nehelem MB's - anyone know? I'm assuming 650W should be fine as long as I'm not running dual GPU's

Asus P5Q Pro $140
Intel E8400 retail (3Ghz) $180
- saving some money here since these will likely be first parts to be upgraded
- may get some PWM fans and aftermarket CPU cooler to cut down on noise instead of stock retail CPU/case fans

Corsair Dominator 2x2G DDR2-1066 $182
- prices have really been jumping around lately, is going to DDR2-1066 worth it over DDR2-800?

EVGA GTX 260 Core 216 with 896 MB $375
- was also considering a 1GB 4870. I'm currently leaning towards the Nvidia because it seems to be a little less power hungry, and the 1G 4870's are in short supply; am bugged that I can't SLI this without going to an Nvidia MB/chipset, but am likely to just replace card in a few years rather than try and hunt down a compatible card to pair it with anyway; I'm assuming that the larger memory would help a lot at higher res's, even with lightweight games like WoW/Warhammer, so trying to avoid ubiquitous 512MB cards

Seagate 7200.11 500G 32MB cache drive $92
- don't need a lot of storage, will never fill up 500G. Heard conflicting things about 7200.11's as far as reliability - any better choices?

Samsung SH-S223Q DVD Writer $35
- no real desire for a Blue Ray drive

Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit $140

Creative Labs Fatality Titanium $140
- much of a difference over built-in audio? Have Logitech Z5500 speakers


Another option (appealing after a frustrating bout with NCIX) is to chuck it all and buy a Blackbird 02, but while cool that would involve spending a lot of money on HW I don't really need, and the air-cooled one would likely be noisier as well. Besides, where's the fun in that.

Thanks for any and all advice!
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