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Old 04-27-2005, 09:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default second opinion please

evening all,

I am building a new rig for the first time in about 5 years.
The last one was a screamer at 1333mhz with a geforce2
SB pro platinum, 128mb, cdrw. Cutting edge of a knife.....five years ago.
It has served me well, the first time it got beat by a game was doom 3 and since that is the current benchmark, that aint so bad.
However it is time to build a new rig as this just aint cutting it for video editing and D3 was just the first of many to follow that will out require it.

PLUS now there is so much more bling then back then (I like the bling) So here are my basic stats.

AMD Athlon 64 FX-55 939
Sapphire ATI Radeon X850 XT PE 256MB GDDR3 PCI-e
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 Nvidia NF4 Ultra
Crucial memory 1 GB DDR I guess the 400 speed
NEC Multisync 20" TFT LCD
2 Seagate 7200.8 300GB 7200RPM SATA Drives
BenQ 16X DVD+R DVD Burner support dual layer with lightscribe tech
SB audigy2 ZS Platinum PCI
Sicuro Tecno lighting 5.1 speakers
Macall USB2.0/firewire Hub
X-Clear Acryllic case w/5 quad blue LED fans
Dual UV Cold cathode Kit
4 multi color laser LED's Controlled by sunbeam chameleon
Sunbeam light bus fan&light controller
Ultra X-connect UV Blue 500W
SIIG USB 2.0 9-in-1 R/W + FDD
Thermaltake beetle 4 in 1 CPU cooler
Coolmax ata-133 round cable
Motorola surboard docsis


I welcome any and all to pick apart my specs and tell me if there is something better.

However I have 3 main questions:

1. Which is the better option or better bang for the buck
the ATI sapphire radeon x850 XT PE or SLI with two ultra 6800's ?

2. The Thermaltake beetle has good reviews for fuctionality (and added bling) However it is supposed to be a capital B to install and even when completed I understand the install doesn't seem overly stable. Also the thing is a monster, if I go SLI would I even be able to fit a beetle in the case or even if I dont go SLI will I be able to fit it ?

3. I read fantastic reviews on the ultra x-connect but on a previous site I heard that it was all hype and that the Ultras are overrated and under perform. Is this the case? and also, if I go SLI with all the other bling in my case will a 500W Ultra be enough to power it all?

All comments and suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance to all


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Old 04-27-2005, 09:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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One thing I can say about that video card, is while it is currently the fastest card on the market, you will be much better off with 2 6800 Ultras in SLI. The reason why is the 6800 Ultra has Shader Model 3, which games are starting to use. Game manufacturers are purposly skipping over Shader Model 2.0b and jumping to 3.0 to sabotage ATI cards. If you get the X850XT P.E., you will have a $700 card that can't play the lastest games with full eye candy.

Secondly, if you are going to do SLI, I would get at least a 600W.

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Old 04-27-2005, 09:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You seem to like keeping PC's for a long time. ATI cards are not very futureproof, and a single x850XTPE isnt much better than a 6800Ultra

Getting 2x eVGA 6800GT's and running them in SLI would be almost as cheap, and you can OC these cards above ultra speeds easily.

However SLI doesnt completly double, and in some older games like CoD their's a peformance decrease. However it does wonders on newer games if you have the money.
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Old 04-27-2005, 09:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I tend to agree with beed on the video card dillema, however I'd think it'd be better to simply get a single 6800GT (or ultra if you insist) and then upgrade to the newer generation of cards that are coming up in a few months which supposedly have the double the performance of the fastest cards around right now.

I also am not a fan of SLI as it has a number of bugs, puts unneccesary heat into your system, has unjust performance considering the price, and has a number of compatibility issues.

The Ultra X-Connect is something to avoid, it uses cheap chinese capacitators made by some no name company and it does not perform as well as it's been hyped to. More reliable brands include the Antec Truepower, OCZ powerstream, and Thermaltake Purepower. Thermaltake is probably the most cost effective solution of the three mentioned.

I'd just like to add that if you want a better configuration you should switch to a DFI Lanparty nf4 motherboard (availible in both SLI and single PCI-E flavours). I've heard that the fatality from Abit is overpriced, and the DFI is undisputably the best nf4 socket 939 boards around.

Also, I would recommend waiting a bit longer and buying the San Diego FX-55 as it has a better memory controller, better process )90nm vs. 130nm), SSE3 support, and runs cooler and consumes less voltage. In my must humble opinion the FX series is overkill and simply overpriced, a 4000+ will perform nearly on par with the FX-55 and can be overclocked to match it easily.
Intel C2D E6320 / AMD Athlon X2 3800+
Gigabyte 965P DS3 / DFI nF4 Ultra-D
2GB OCZ Gold PC2-6400 / 2GB OCZ Gold PC4000
eVGA 8800GTS 320MB / eVGA 6800GS 256MB
150GB Raptor / 74GB Raptor
2x500GB / 320GB
OCZ GameXStreme 850w / OCZ StealthXStream 600w
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Old 04-27-2005, 10:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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nvidia is way better than ati currently

btw, x-clear acrylic cases and ultra psu's suck (acrylic don't have much airflow and ultra just dies)

thermaltake cases and ocz powerstream powwer supplies are much better

also, get the dfi lanparty ultra-d SLI board instead of that abit

and try getting better ram if you're going to OC (can u give me a link of that ram?)

oh, and why are you getting a new cable modem? don't you already have one?

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Old 04-28-2005, 06:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Nah, stick with the fatal1ty. Much better. Seeing as your looking to spend a fair amount. get some OCZ platnum/gold ram.
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Old 04-28-2005, 07:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Beed thanks for the advice on the 600w, seems unfortunate that at that strength they seem to lose the bling look for the industrial strength look but then that goes to the saying "do you want to be a power supply or a light bulb" personally, I will go for the power supply.

DJ thanks for the warning on the ATI as I am buying for longevity.
I really don't overclock intentionally.

Gaara, that was a bit of a concern of mine that SLI, being a new tech might have some bugs to still shake out, so I may take your advice there. Since I have deep pockets, but not that deep, it is going to take me a couple of months to get all the components together so the last items I intend to get are the mobo, cpu vidcard & memory, so hopefully the new cards and CPU you speak of will be released by then.
BTW when you talk about the new CPU are you talking about the dual core? In my research, they seem wonderful if your running a large DB2 database but for video editing, gaming and net surfing, I don't know how much benefit I would reap.
Your comments about the Ultra x-connect fit in line with most of what else I heard, oh well, too bad, it is a damn nice looking PSU but I guess it chose to be a light bulb.
The lan party mobo I have seen in my discovery however I passed it up for the more familiar abit/asus boards. Perhaps it is time to look it over again if it is indeed the premier mobo out there.

Diablo, I begining to agree with you on nvidia over ati point.
You are probably completely correct about the x-clear (nothing that purdy could truly be effective) however that is one bling I would be hard pressed to eliminate as I was quite impressed purely on an asthetic basis with that, So I will just have to try and ultra cool the case.
OCZ & thermaltake have been stated as the PSU's of choice so I guess I will head in that direction.
Here is the link to the RAM
Umm,no, I screaming along at a 56K modem at present.

VIII, I will look into the OCZ RAM
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Old 04-28-2005, 09:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah defiantly consider the DFI

For the video cards, at first you appeared to be loaded with cash, if you have to wait a while and dont have that much cash, their's no reason for going SLI.

For CPU's, a 4000+ would be fine as it's basicly an fx-53 and can easily OC to fx-55 speeds. Dual core are not good for gaming right now.
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Old 04-28-2005, 10:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Stick with the Fatal1ty IMHO. Abit has great support and community help and easy website to deal with.

Also instead of the 7200rpm 300gb seagates, check out these: - the 16MB cache will give you nice boost with the SATA interface.
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Old 04-28-2005, 10:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Meh but the maxtors are terribly unreliable

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