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Old November 29, 2008, 02:28 AM
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Default High-End Gaming Build

Hey there,

I stumbled on this site looking for reviews on x-58 chipset motherboards and the Core i7 processors. I must say I've been thoroughly impressed by the articles here and I must give props to the site staff.

Moving on, I'm considering a future desktop build, in about a years' time. However, I'm absolutely clueless on hardware. Thats where you guys come in( ;) ).

I want to build a well-built, high-end gaming desktop. The top priorities are futureproofing and quality. I DO NOT want to do a major overhaul of my system for QUITE a while; replacing a graphics card or getting more RAM is fine, but nothing much more expensive than that. When it comes to quality, I'm not stringent; I just can't stand no-name brand knockoffs. I'll pay top dollar for quality products, but I won't give over a penny for something I don't need or want. Please keep these two objectives in mind.

I need this setup to run at blazing speeds for both work and play. For games, I want to be able to play Crysis on this rig ... I think that standard is high enough. For work, I will be running Visual Studio 2008 and want my programs compiling as fast as possible. As well, I will be running Windows Media Player, multiple Firefox browsers, MSN, and an anti-virus program simultaneously whenever my computer is on. My primary want is faster application and windows bootup and shutdown.

Moving on, I've become pretty deadset on getting myself an Alienware desktop case. The problem, as you are probably aware of already, being the cases aren't distributed individually. As well, I don't trust buying them from eBay. My current gameplan involves me buying the lowest-priced Alienware Desktop and 'salvaging' what I can, in order to reduce costs, while replacing the junk with beefier equipment.



This is what the initial build will look like:

Case: Alienware P2 Chassis
PSU: ThermalTake Toughpower 750W
Cooling Equipment: Alienware Standard System Cooling
Motherboard: ASUS P6T Deluxe
Processor: Intel Core i7-920
Memory: 3GB 1066MHz DDR3
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT
Sound Card: (Integrated)
Optical Drive: LG 20x DVD Burner
Hard Drive: 320GB@7200RPM HDD


However, I will be slowly pushing it toward this[, somewhat realistic,] 'dream' build:

Case: Alienware P2 Chassis
PSU: ThermalTake Toughpower 1200W
Cooling Equipment: Alienware Standard System Cooling
Motherboard: ASUS Rampage II Extreme
Processor: Intel Core i7-920
Memory: Corsair XMS3 - 6GB 1333MHz (9-9-9-24) DDR3
Graphics Card: (2x) ATI Radeon HD4870 2x
Sound Card: SupremeFX X-FI
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-S223Q/BEBN DVD Burner w/ LightScribe, ASUS DRW-1205PT Blu-Ray Player
Hard Drive: (2x) OCZ Core Series V2 120GB SSD



I got most of my parts down, but I still need help. For both of these builds, please inform me of any compatibility issues and any components I forgot to include. As well, I still need help choosing the appropiate RAM. Also, I need a recommendation for a sound card. For the record, it'll be primarily for playing music and movies(I'm told this is important to mention) on 2.1 and 5.1 speakers. On another note, I selected those two optical drives based on asthetics - if they don't 'perform,' please make mention of it. Lastly, should I be investing in extra fans(of any nature)?


Also, overclocking is something I am interested in trying, but have never done before. If I were to overclock everything to a 'average' degree, would I be needing a liquid cooling system?

Finally, does anyone have any predictions for how prices will adjust over the next year?
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Old November 29, 2008, 03:52 AM
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Looks good but instead of wasting the money on the 9800GT now & losing the depreciation on it why not just get a 4870X2 right off the get go? You'll be saving yourself min $150-200 prolly by just making the jump now.

The Alienware stuff is nice but if you went with normal gear you could put the money into getting the X2 then for sure. Plus I don't even know if their cooling will handle the i7 yet or not either? Whether they are set up for it or not? You pay for the name with them not the product I find. Everything else looks good imo but bump your HD up to a 640Gb black 32mb cache if it's initial speed you want. 2 would be evn better in Raid0 till you got your ssd's anyways.

These are just my suggestions but there are much more experienced on here than I who might see things different I dunno? Good luck with the build though!
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Old November 29, 2008, 05:43 AM
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Sniper is right on the ball, I would just get the 4870X2 right off the ball, not much point sticking with the 9800GT. I'd also recommend going with the WD 640 Black Edition drive in your initial build. Other than that your initial build looks EXCELLENT.

As to the "future/dream build" I'd first of all drop the plan to go to the Rampage II Extreme, you do not need it, most of its features are suited toward hardcore overclockers and outside that segment there are little to no features/performance improvements over the P6T in your initial build.

I'd also drop the plan to go with OCZ SSD's, with the exception of uber expensive microns and the not expensive but hard to find Intel SSD's, most SSD suck. This will change in the future, but for now they are generally not worth it. That said, if you want to go with the blazing speed of an SSD, go for an Intel one, they seem to be the only affordable ones with any decent performance.

Now to your want for a moderate overclock, grab a TRUE(Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme) for around $70-80, slap it on the i720, and I guarantee you'll get at least 3.6GHz out of that puppy. When it comes down to it you do not need to watercool it. That being said watercooling is always fun, and usually can help improve your OC'ing performance, weither you'll be able to fit it into that case thou is a whole other issue, I'd stick with air cooling for now if your new to the OC game.

Hopefully we've answered many of your questions, if not, feel free to ask! As for the specifics of OC'ing, comeback to use when you have your system we'll be more than happy to help.
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Old November 29, 2008, 12:40 PM
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thanks for the quick replies guys ;)

in order to get that alienware case, I`d be purchasing their new x58 desktop which already includes the 9800 GT as a minimum and upgrading to the x2 is MORE than the cost of the x2 itself. now....if anyone knows a way to get a GOOD quality alienware case at a cheap price, that would be awesome - such as a reputable eBay store owner.

did you have a bad experiences with the OCZ core V2? cause apparently the Core v1 sucked hard, but the V2 blows every mainstream SSD out of the water.

also, on the issue of memory, do i just go for the highest speed? or is there more to it? Is there an upperbound limit to this? also, when overclocking, do i need to buy somme heatsinks for the RAM sticks?
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Old November 29, 2008, 12:51 PM
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Simply put, ask the same question in a year's time. What your asking cannot be answered today.

As for the chip, my i7 920 crunches (100% usage) at 4.0 GHz 24/7 using a TRUE 120.

I know cases are a personal decision, but IMO there are much better cases out there than Alienware: Lian-Li, Silverstone for example.
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Old November 29, 2008, 02:03 PM
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Agreed, LiLi cases or SS cases are better in quality and design. Though the Alienware case does have some pretty slick lighting. I think the NZXT Apollo looks similar to the Alienware case. But I haven't seen an Alienware before, so I honestly don't know.

Also, I'm not sure if anyone mentioned this yet, but don't SSDs have a shorter lifespan, since if hes using it as a main drive, it is constantly being written on?
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Old November 29, 2008, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3.0charlie View Post
Simply put, ask the same question in a year's time. What your asking cannot be answered today.

As for the chip, my i7 920 crunches (100% usage) at 4.0 GHz 24/7 using a TRUE 120.

I know cases are a personal decision, but IMO there are much better cases out there than Alienware: Lian-Li, Silverstone for example.
I didn't even notice that hes not planing on building for a year . If thats the case, alot is gonna change in a year, any answers we give today are gonna be horrible out of date in a years time.
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