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majingrim August 21, 2008 03:23 PM

Ideas on gaming PC major upgrade
 
I posted a thread a couple weeks ago about this, but didn't get a lot of replies, i'm guessing because i didn't follow much of the guidelines that were posted here the other day, so i'll give it another shot :)

1. What YOUR PC will be used for. That means what types of tasks you'll be performing.

Gaming on a 24" monitor (plan on buying with this build) (Crysis, Assasin's Creed, things like that), photoshoping, video converting, TV out to a 47" 1080P LCD for movies.


2. What YOUR budget is. A price range is acceptable as long as it's not more than a 20% spread

I'd really like to keep it below $2000 with tax and shipping included, but up to $2500 would be possible

3. What country YOU will be buying YOUR parts from.

Canada

4. IF YOU have a brand preference. That means, are you an Intel-Fanboy, AMD-Fanboy, ATI-Fanboy, nVidia-Fanboy, Seagate-Fanboy, WD-Fanboy, etc, etc, etc, you get the picture.

Asus motherboard with intel chipset, Intel Processor, Seagate hard drives, and i really would like to go with the Visiontek 4870 X2 (just one :))

5. If YOU intend on using any of YOUR current parts, and if so, what those parts are.

Case (Thermaltake Armor), keyboard, DVDRW (SATA 16x), fans/cooling except for CPU heatsink, and 3-4 hard drives that i already have, all SATA2.

6. IF YOU have searched and/or read similar threads.

I've looked around at some threads, most of them from this site cuz it's canadian :) and so far i'm thinking:

Asus P5Q Pro Atx LGA775 P45 DDR2 2PCI-E16 Crossfire 3PCI-E1 2PCI SATA2 Sound Gblan Esata Motherboard

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 Quad Core Processor LGA775 2.66GHZ Yorkfield 1333FSB 12MB Oem No Hsf

Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro LGA775 2500RPM 45CFM

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 3.5IN 500GB SATA2 8.5MS 7200RPM 32MB Cache Ncq Hard Drive Oem (already have one of these, works great)

Visiontek Radeon HD 4870 X2 750MHZ 2GB GDDR5 2XDVI HDTV PCI-E Video Card (I've read that Visiontek is the best ATI Manufacturer, any comments welcome)

OCZ Platinum XTC PC2-6400 4GB 2X2GB DDR2-800 CL5-4-4-15 DDR2 240PIN Dual Channel Memory Kit

Corsair TX750W 750W ATX 12V 60A 24PIN ATX Power Supply Active PFC 120MM Fan (I read that it'll handle this v.card no problem)

Logitech Mx Air Motion Sensing Rechargeable Cordless Air Mouse 2.4GHZ LI-ION Battery (Just cuz it's really cool, any comments on it welcome)

Acer X243WBD Black 24IN Widescreen LCD Monitor 1920X1200 2000:1 5MS VGA DVI HDCP or BenQ G2400W 24IN Widescreen Black LCD Monitor 5MS 1920X1200 1000:1 Senseye HDMI DVI VGA (Don't need swivel or height adjustable)

OCZ OCZUSBATV4G Atv Dual Channel Flash Memory Drive 4GB USB2.0 W/ Waterproof Rubber Housing and OCZ OCZUSBATV8G Atv Dual Channel Flash Memory Drive 8GB USB2.0 W/ Waterproof Rubber Housing (Not really part of the PC, but i'm including them in my price)

All these things from DirectCanada comes to $2,377.68 with tax (in Nova Scotia, 13% HST) They have a free shipping deal for orders over $300.

7. IF YOU plan on overclocking or run the system at default speeds.

I would prefer to leave at default speeds, but if overclocking was really simple and saved me a significant amount of money with no drop in speeds, i would consider it.

8. WHEN do you plan to build it?

I plan on ordering on or before August 31st

Any other info needed, let me know! I've been out of the computer scene for a couple years now and haven't kept up to date with all the new stuff, so i really don't know what's best anymore. Thanks for any input :)

geokilla August 21, 2008 03:40 PM

You may want to change your hard drive to Seagate 7200.11 640GB. The CPU cooler to OCZ Vendetta 2. For the power supply, if you want neat cables, you can get a HX620 since it's modular.

Other than that, nice build. Should be ready to go.

Lately, there's been many members recommending some Mushkin RAM. I'm no good with RAM, so I'll leave that to them.

Oh, and overclocking is really easy. =)

SugarJ August 21, 2008 04:12 PM

That's a damn nice list of parts. You've done your homework. I'd stay to the 750w power supply myself, with all your extra drives and stuff. The 620 would probably be ok, but the fan noise increases as your load percentage increases. That is, you'd probably notice the fan noise more from the 620 running at 80% load than the 750 running at 67% load.

If you don't plan to OC, or even to "mildly" OC your system, that HSF will be just fine. And your memory would be ok to a 3.2Ghz overclock (8x400). Whether you can get the chip there without overpowering the AC7 is another issue. As geokilla said, the Mushkins are very popular, but in short supply right now.

As for the monitor, I'd take the Benq over Acer. And you will absolutely love 24", I use them both at work and home.

As for saving some cash, you could look at a E8400-E8500 processor, it would actually be better for gaming, but not as quick for your video converting/editing. Or you get a Q9300 and OC the hell out of it. The Q6600 is still a pretty good chip too, just not 45nm.

majingrim August 21, 2008 04:13 PM

Thanks, great catch on the 640Gb hard drives! I already have something like 2.2TB in my system (i store a lot of TV/Movies/Music/Pictures and the like), but an extra 280 Gigs never hurt anyone :)

I looked at the Vendetta 2, but the way the heatpipes are setup, without having a totally flat surface, would that affect the heat spread at all or anything? Don't know a lot about them, i just remember reading that the surface should be as smooth and flat as possible.

As for the Power Supply, is there any major difference besides the modular cables? I'm not too worried about that part of it, my case is big enough to tuck the cables away. Just want to make sure there's enough power to run everything. Is there any other reason that the power supply would be worth the extra $, and have less Wattage?

Thanks again, getting really excited for this buy, it'll probably be my last for a while.

SugarJ August 21, 2008 04:32 PM

Vendetta 2 - Heatpipe Direct Touch. This is better than having the heatpipes mounted inside a block. The heat transfers directly to the pipes and up into the fins without having to travel through a heatsink. Check out the review on this site.

The extra dollars on the 620w is for the modular connections / cables, not because the guts are better. You should have plenty of room in that Armor to tuck extra cables away.

majingrim August 21, 2008 04:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SugarJ (Post 81688)
That's a damn nice list of parts. You've done your homework. I'd stay to the 750w power supply myself, with all your extra drives and stuff. The 620 would probably be ok, but the fan noise increases as your load percentage increases. That is, you'd probably notice the fan noise more from the 620 running at 80% load than the 750 running at 67% load.

Great advice, i checked again, and i actually have 7 HDs in my case at the moment. (i know) 4 IDE's and 3 SATA's. I plan on replacing at least 2 of the old IDE Drives with the new ones, possibly all of them. But either way, that'll leave me with at least 5 HDs running, so the extra power is probably a good idea.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SugarJ (Post 81688)
If you don't plan to OC, or even to "mildly" OC your system, that HSF will be just fine. And your memory would be ok to a 3.2Ghz overclock (8x400). Whether you can get the chip there without overpowering the AC7 is another issue. As geokilla said, the Mushkins are very popular, but in short supply right now.

In that case, would i be better off with one of these:

Mushkin SP PC2-6400 4GB 2X2GB DDR2-800 CL5-5-5-18 240PIN DIMM Dual Channel Memory Kit

or

Mushkin HP PC2-6400 4GB 2X2GB DDR2-800 CL5-4-4-12 240PIN DIMM Dual Channel Memory Kit
And would i see any advantage with the different timings? (I really don't know anything about timings, except that they're the 5-4-4-12 numbers)



Quote:

Originally Posted by SugarJ (Post 81688)
As for the monitor, I'd take the Benq over Acer. And you will absolutely love 24", I use them both at work and home.

Not helping contain the excitement :haha:


Quote:

Originally Posted by SugarJ (Post 81688)
As for saving some cash, you could look at a E8400-E8500 processor, it would actually be better for gaming, but not as quick for your video converting/editing. Or you get a Q9300 and OC the hell out of it. The Q6600 is still a pretty good chip too, just not 45nm.

I did consider this, but i also read that even though quad cores aren't as good for gaming right now, that future games will most likely be made to take advantage of quad core technology. The next time i expect to be able to do an upgrade like this will be 2-3 years.. Would you expect quad core to have a significant advantage between now and then, or should i just go dual core and suck suck it up a bit on my video conversions? Keep in mind i'm going from a P4 2.6HT with who knows what brand of RAM and an Aopen motherboard, so either way i'm sure i'll see a big difference. :clap:

Dwayne August 21, 2008 04:42 PM

Great minds think alike they say, you must have a great mind :) very similar parts to my build. I got the Corsair Dominator RAM from NCIX, it had a $40 rebate at the time and is 1066 rated though it should clock up to 1333 fine. I have not tried any OC yet. I have the same MB, PS, HD. I got the VisionTek 4870 but not x2... I think I may Crossfire but I understand that my CF will be 2 8 bit paths vice the 16 of the single slot. Still should run like stink though. I am not that familiar with the case you picked though I will look it up, I like reading about all enclosures. I have an Antec 900, though next time I think the 1200 would be easier to work in. I have a Coolmaster 690 on the way for the wife's computer, I liked the look of that one with some extra fans. The OCZ Vendetta 2 cooler is nice. The pushpin setup seems to work fine but I still hate the snapping sound when installing it. My idle temps are 10C apart, but I have seen a number of Core2Duo and some Quad posts that have the odd reading even after reseating the HS and fan. My low idle is 28 high idle core is 38. When I run Prime95 at stock clocks for 30 min the temps get closer but the top never gets above about 45 (37ish for the lower core). I am really happy with the Vendetta 2. I think you'll be very happy with the parts you picked... it is just a blast putting it all together and getting that first boot too! :) Good luck with the build.

majingrim August 21, 2008 04:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SugarJ (Post 81703)
Vendetta 2 - Heatpipe Direct Touch. This is better than having the heatpipes mounted inside a block. The heat transfers directly to the pipes and up into the fins without having to travel through a heatsink. Check out the review on this site.

Thanks SugarJ, what a great review. My mind is made up on the HSF, Vendetta 2 for sure. Although it sounds like installation will be less than exciting. Ah well, it'll make everything else that much more satisfying.


Thanks Dwayne, that gives me a bit more confidence :biggrin: I really don't know a lot about the RAM. When i first started this build, i was thinking about going DDR3 at 2000mhz, but from what i've read, that would be total overkill and a good waste of several hundred dollars. So i figure i'll go DDR2 for now, and by the next upgrade, i guess it'll be DDR9.5 or so and i'll see what the budget allows for at that point.

Jack Rabbit August 21, 2008 05:27 PM

I have an Acer X241W and it is crap. It is fine for gaming because it is very bright but not fun for normal use unless you want to use in on a park bench at noon on a sunny day. I know Acer has made some good stuff (I have an Acer laptop that I still think is the best laptop ever built) but I would be very leery about buying a big monitor from them right now.

majingrim August 21, 2008 06:22 PM

So that's two votes for the BenQ, looks like we have a winner as far as a monitor goes :biggrin:

Still considering the E8500 compared to the Q9450, not sure if it's worth the differences yet or not. Any more ideas on that front?

Thanks to all for the info so far! :biggrin:


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