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Old March 29, 2007, 07:36 AM
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Hey all :D Been a short time lurker, now a first time poster

Anyways, I'm aiming to upgrade to a massive killer awesome pwnzing rig in the next month or two with the aim being squarely set on mid-high-end DXX gaming.

First, though, a few limitations:

-My budget is ~$2500 +/- $100
-The upgrade will be done in three stages (main, SLi gpu, 2gb more memory)
-It will be entirely air cooled (running an Antec P180 case, so airflow is excellent)

As it stands, stage 1 (the first upgrade) as it stands is as such:



I will most likely OC the cpu to ~3 ghz (as that seems to be a good stable OC available on 680i LT SLi chips). Vid card will NOT be OC'd until I have two cards in SLi, then will OC both minorly (maybe 25 mhz on the core, 50 on memory), so as to alleviate any bottlenecks. I will also be getting a Patriot Xporter XT 4GB usb drive for Vista ReadyBoost (the best drive for doing ReadyBoost)

Thoughts? Opinions?

All prices listed are $ CAD

Last edited by Vagabond142; March 29, 2007 at 07:40 AM.
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Old March 29, 2007, 08:02 AM
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Hi! Welocme to the forum- Here's some advice:

Don't worry about ready boost- It's designed to help slow computers rn Vista- you won't see much benefit from it with that system.

ALso - you might want to start looking in mid-april when both intel and amd are planning huge price cuts for their processors.

Also - if you're going to overclock and you're on a budget, save your money and by and e6400- they'll overclock on your rig to over 3.5 GHz.

Here's some money-saving links:

Zalman 9700 $73 (might as well-it's the same price as the one you listed and a better cooler)

XFX Nforce 680I LT $209

Silverstone Strider ST75F 750W $160


Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 $259


EVGA E-GEFORCE 8800 GTS 500MHZ 640MB $439

OCZ Platinum pc 6400 $179


Total = $1319
$1503 with GST

So you'll get pretty much the same system for 200 bucks less--

Last edited by Babrbarossa; March 29, 2007 at 08:05 AM.
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Old March 29, 2007, 08:10 AM
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Direct Canada has the full version of the 680i on sale for 229 right now- great price, and top-notch service from evga, and lifetime guarantee.

Evga Nforce 680I Sli LGA775 Conroe Atx DDR2 2PCI-E16 2PCI SATA2 Sound Gblan 1394 Motherboard - DirectCanada
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Old March 29, 2007, 08:27 AM
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Two points:

-NCIX is in Vancouver. I'm in Calgary. Shipping everything out here from NCIX will probably add $50-$100 to the price, so it's only $100 savings.

-I have a bit of brand loyalty to Memory Express (Memory Express Computer Products Inc. - Memory Express ) It's where I've built my last 4 systems out of (two my own, two for friends), and the guys there (North Store in Calgary) bend over backwards to get you hard to get items, rare stuff (like my HIS IceQ3 X800 Pro when it wasn't even on the sales list there), etc. For $100 more, I'll stay local :)

The reason I want the E6600 is, quite frankly, the 4mb onboard cache. It's been shown in reviews and in some real world probing of mine that the extra 2mb adds a lot more speed to the FSB as it isn't clogged with requests pending to get into the L2 cache.

As to the cooler: I don't like the fact that the 9700 weighs over 700 grams. This is a lan rig and will be carried to events often, hence I wanted the best cooling for the lightest weight. It was a toss up between the 9500 AT or the ThermalRight XP-90 with mounting kit and a panaflow 92mm fan. (They both work out to exactly the same cost after tax). The Zalman wins out because I have a massive 120mm fan at the back of my case that the Zalman would be shooting the hot air into, meaning rapid removal of heated air from the case.

The projected timetable for purchase is end of April to first quarter of May, depending on money available. Second stage (the second vid card) will probably be start of June, and third stage (extra 2gb of memory) will most likely be end of June/start of July, when all the major DXX games are slated to come out.

Last edited by Vagabond142; March 29, 2007 at 08:33 AM.
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Old March 29, 2007, 08:33 AM
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If you're buying in april and you want 4MB Cahe (i'm interested in seeing the reviews that show the 4MB making a significant difference- maybe paste some links if you still have them)- Intel will be releasing 6X50 (ex, 6450) chips where even the lower end chips will have the 4MB Cache.
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Old March 29, 2007, 08:49 AM
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I don't usually keep links but I will look for em again. It was a pretty decent jump (2-5% in 3dmark and Sandra scores) in one test, and average (3% in another).

I'm interested in where Intel will be releasing these 6x50 chips, pricewise o_O May have to revise my staging
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Old March 29, 2007, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
-NCIX is in Vancouver. I'm in Calgary. Shipping everything out here from NCIX will probably add $50-$100 to the price, so it's only $100 savings.
Directcanada has Free Shipping

Quote:
-I have a bit of brand loyalty to Memory Express (Memory Express Computer Products Inc. - Memory Express ) It's where I've built my last 4 systems out of (two my own, two for friends), and the guys there (North Store in Calgary) bend over backwards to get you hard to get items, rare stuff (like my HIS IceQ3 X800 Pro when it wasn't even on the sales list there), etc. For $100 more, I'll stay local :)
That is your choice but with DC's free shipping you will save:

- Upgrade to actual 680I for the same price (IMO the LT version is a complete ripoff)
- e6600 = $9
- 8800GTS = $60
- OCZ Plats = $70

Looks to me like the savings are closer to $150....

Quote:
The projected timetable for purchase is end of April to first quarter of May, depending on money available.
In that case, any advice given now will be out the window come a month from now. Prices are changing so fast and they will only get thrown out of wack again as the R600 is released, DDR2 production continues to ramp up and the new C2D processors are released.
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Old March 29, 2007, 08:54 AM
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These new chips are expected to be pretty much the same price as the current range, while the current range is going to drop in price.
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Old March 30, 2007, 12:24 AM
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I wouldn't expect to see any difference in real life usage from a 2MB cache chip to a 4MB cache chip...
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Old March 30, 2007, 03:31 AM
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I had a great sit-n-talk-over-MSN with a system builder buddy of mine (I do my own systems but this guy is experienced beyond belief) and he recommended some changes to my dream system.

So... to update on what my dream system will now consist of

What I am looking at is:

-Same mobo as before ("For a minor overclock to ~3 ghz, the 680 LT SLi works fine for you. As you've said, you really don't need all the testbench stuff so save some money" he said, and he has a point)

-Same CPU (E6600)

-Same PSU (SS ST75F)

-Same memory (OCZ 4-4-4-12 DDR800 sticks, 2x 1GB)

-NEW cooler: CoolIt Systems Eliminator CPU watercooler from directcanada ($204 after tax, shipping and insurance added onto cost)

-NEW video card: 1x 8800GTX. Either XFX or EVGA, both have lifetime warranties and cost exactly the same at MemEx. It's so bleedin edge powerful that one will suffice until very late in the year, when a second one can be picked up at reduced cost. Also, don't have a 30 inch monitor.... yet...


Total cost, including all shipping and taxes = $2323. Which is $180 below my budget, which means I have spare cash... wewt!

EDIT: Looking at pricing, I could get an ASUS P5N32-E SLI for ~$50 more than the 680i LT SLi... is it really worth it going the extra $50 for the full 680i SLi chip?

Last edited by Vagabond142; March 30, 2007 at 05:35 AM.
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