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Old February 16, 2007, 01:27 PM
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Default Help with new rig (~$2500)

My old first gen Pentium 4(Williamette) PC finally died on me, it's probably just the PSU but I'd like to take this as an omen for me to buy a new computer.

I've been out of the hardware scene for awhile and have been studying the parts for the past two weeks now. Here's what i've come up with so far, there are some blanks that I'm still not 100% on.


Budget:

~$2500CND


Specs:

*All Prices courtesy of Canada Computers*
CPU: E6600 ($379.99)
GPU: eVga 8800 GTX ($684.99 *price from directcanada.com*)
Optical: going to use old ones
Storage: Raptor 36GB + going to use old ones ($132.99)
Memory: OCZ DDR2 PC2-8500 2x1GB ($389.99)
Mobo: *read below* (~$150 - $300)
Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX ($129.99)
PSU: Antec True Power 650W ($139.99)
HSF: Zalman CNPS9500 ($74.99)

Total: $1932.93 (w/o Mobo)
$2203.54 w/ tax


Background + Requirements:


I work as a photographer so performance in programs like Photoshop CS2, Lightroom, etc is critical. Along with that I do a lot of videoediting so Adobe's line of products need to run at their peak performance.

I have a curiosity in 3D Design. However, I haven't had the ability to play around with it since 3D Studio Max 3.
I'd really like to be able to get back into it and have a powerful enough workstation to do so. I don't nessasarly want a Workstation GPU for this, I still would rather be able to play games and daddle in 3D Design.

I'd also like to try my hand at overclocking, nothing extreme, I'd like to be able to have a system that will last me several years, I don't want to burn out any parts too early due to insane ocing.

Most of my gaming is done on console. However, I'd like to get back into playing on the PC, I deeply miss the RTS genre.

SLI is far from my mind.


Questions:
  • I'm confused by all of this SATA lingo. I have 2 WD Cavier 250GB, I'd like to add a 3rd raptor as a boot/scratch drive and add my two old optical drives. I see that PSU's generally say they have 4 SATA connections, am I screwed?
  • Another thing is RAM... I'm at a complete loss, I was using Rambus up until now and it was fairly simple. Now there are so many numbers associated it tends to go right over my head.
  • Motherboards are even worse, I can't decide between ICH7 and ICH8; 680i, 965 or 975.
  • Should I consider 4GB of ram instead of 2GB?
  • Last question, I have an old school Apple Cinema Display 22" from the G4 Era. Will this monitor have problems with ghosting while gaming?

Last edited by Wolfbeta; February 16, 2007 at 01:40 PM. Reason: Price Update
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Old February 16, 2007, 01:59 PM
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Hi-- welcome! - here's a couple of alternate PSU's you might want to consider:

ocz GameXstream 700W $117
http://www.directcanada.com/products...anufacture=OCZ

Silverstone Strider 750W $166
http://www.directcanada.com/products...re=Silverstone Technology

For the CPU, If you do want to overclock and money IS an object you might consider saving a bundle by buying a low-end conroe chip (maybe even the e4300). These chips when overclcoked, will be almost as fast as the e6600 oc'd and are much cheaper- If you're worried about the cache, there are 4MB versions of the e6300 and e6400 coming out soon (e6350, e6450 if I remember right) but it really isn't a big deal. For example- I have my e6400 overclocked to 3.4 Ghz on a $20 air cooler, and I'm a total noob (my temps are really good too). You could spend much more on a 6600 and not get much better at all.

For air cooling - the tuniq tower 120 is the best out there right now according to, well.. everyone, and it's cheaper, but it's hard to find one in stock at some places. But if you insist on the zalman, its only 58 bucks at direct canada

I'll be back in a bit to throw more cents in- I'm sure there will be lots of opinions.
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Old February 16, 2007, 02:43 PM
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Here's my 2 cents.

If you want to save a few bucks you might want to take a look at this video card as it's an excellent value on sale @ $349.99

EVGA E-GEFORCE 8800 GTS 500MHZ 320MB 1.6GHZ GDDR3 PCI-E Dual DVI-I HDTV HDCP DIRECTX10 Video Card


I'd pass on that power supply and go for this one on $117.95 after MIR

OCZ GameXStream 700W ATX12V 24PIN SLI Ready Active PFC ATX Power Supply 120MM Fan Black

Swap the heatsink for this one on sale @ $49.99 or the Tuniq as Babrbarossa mentioned.

Noctua NH-U12F S939 S940 AM2 LGA775 Heatsink Heatpipe Cooler W/ NF-S12 120MM Fan 8DBA

1) Most power supplies have 4 SATA connectors these days but if you run out of connectors on the power supply you can buy 4pin molex adapters.

2) Usually if you go with PC2-6400 you will have some room for overclocking.

3) 965 and 975 chipsets are always a good bet. The 680i is good but still fairly buggy.

4) Alot of people are having trouble getting 4gb kits to run stable.

5) I'm not sure about ghosting on that monitor but it sure is a nice display.

Just to plug our two forum sponsors. DirectCanada always has excellent pricing and NCIX.com has weekly sales and a Price Match option.

As for overclocking questions, there are alot of people here that would be willing to help you out.
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Old February 16, 2007, 02:49 PM
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Hey Gav,

Could you provide me with the names of the products you were linking to?
I have less than 10 posts so I can't see them.
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Old February 16, 2007, 03:04 PM
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Just throwing something out for you to consider.......

Would you consider going with a raid array rather than the raptor?

I'd have to get back to you after the weekend (Need to double check with my sources at work.... :) ) but I'm thinking that a 3 or 4 drive array might be faster for your editing work than the raptor, as well as offering redundancy.
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Old February 16, 2007, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfbeta View Post
Hey Gav,

Could you provide me with the names of the products you were linking to?
I have less than 10 posts so I can't see them.
Sorry about that Wolf, I had something set wrong. You should be able to see the links now. If not log out and then log back in.
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Old February 16, 2007, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sswilson View Post
Just throwing something out for you to consider.......

Would you consider going with a raid array rather than the raptor?

I'd have to get back to you after the weekend (Need to double check with my sources at work.... :) ) but I'm thinking that a 3 or 4 drive array might be faster for your editing work than the raptor, as well as offering redundancy.
I think he would need a 4-5 drive array before he would beat the raptor. It was either Anandtech or Tomshardware that did this exact comparison, Wolf might want to see if he can dig it up. I know for a fact that a 2 drive raid would definitely not beat the raptors.

I don't think this is the exact article I was thinking of but it might be interesting none the less.

Showdown Between 7,200 RPM RAID 0 And The Raptor-X

Last edited by Gav; February 16, 2007 at 04:48 PM. Reason: Add Article
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Old February 16, 2007, 07:34 PM
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That display will be fine- I'm running a 4 or 5 yr. old 18.1" lcd and its just fine (I haven't been able to tell the difference between it and newer ones that I've used).

As for the mobo, I have an evga 680i and I love it and as long as yours worked like mine, I would recommend it a thousand-fold, but there are many out there that would have you steer clear due to problems they've had. So otherwise I tell you to go with 975. Check out some of the mobo reviews on this site.

For ram-- the regular ol' 6400 ram is getting good and cheap these day with OCZ xtc 6400 platinum down to 220 bucks at NCIX which has 4-4-4-15 timings but probably will oc to 4-4-4-12, 850 or 900 and will be very compatible with pretty much any mobo. That is pretty much your best dollar per performance I think. If you want to go better , it gets expensive quick, and you start running into rma's because faster stuff seems to be inconsistant in quality.

Also- what I've learned is that unless you have 64 bit vista, don't get more than 2 GB, and even if you do, 2 GB is probably enough (demanding DX10 games might benefit from more, but you'd be ok.
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Old February 16, 2007, 08:35 PM
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I'll have to do some digging around as it looks to me like they only did a two drive array.

3 is the minimum to provide redundancy, and performance increases with each added drive. (I don't for the life of me know why they suggested that a single drive was safer than raid.... well I do actually.... it's because they were only using a dual HD raid setup).

I'll do a bit more research this weekend and get back to you folks.....
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Old February 16, 2007, 09:15 PM
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Yeah-- you can either have two drives which are used to speed things up by reading and writing different data to each drive making it faster (which is risky because if you lose either, all the data is gone), or two drives that read and write the same thing to both drives making it more secure (if you lose one, the same data is still on the other, but it's slower). This trade-off can be solved by adding a third drive, and is made even better by a fourth. These configs are a little more comlicated so I'll leave it to Anandtech to explain.

Last edited by Babrbarossa; February 16, 2007 at 09:20 PM.
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