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Old 04-06-2007, 04:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Customising a gaming rig...

The funny thing about money is that, when you save up for something, you get to that point where you no longer want to spend it, (or maybe thats just a wierd thing i got going for me). And hence i came to the conclusion that although there are no real restraints on how much i can spend (in the personal computer range, i'm not talking about some superconductive supercomputer), i'm guessing there will be a point where i have things i really won't need.

I have found myself becoming addicted to games such as CSS, BF2 and WOW. The games may not have the largest graphics requirment, but for some time i would be very happy to slide those graphic options to full and know that doing so wasn't going to create a fire hazard out of my computer.

Now, i know that Alienware is quite an expensive option, but i believe that it will be reliable and the customer support is something i see as quite essential (mainly because it allows me to be more lazy when it comes to fixes, drivers, etc..)

Whilst looking at Alienware computers i have come accross a few options, that i really don't understand. It would be great if i could understand exactly what i would be choosing and why i would wish to choose it.

1. The processor,

A. I personally have always been an AMD fan, and believe that the 64bit version would suit my needs, however should i be looking into the core duo range of intel cards?

B. If i still choose to go with the 64bit AMD card would it be worth paying an extra $75 to upgrade from an X2 5200+ processor to an X2 5600+ processor?


2. The ram,

A. I am considering going with the purchase of "2GB Low Latency DDR2 PC2-6400 SDRAM at 800MHz". Currently i have been running 640MB ram on my laptop (please don't ask how i have 640, my system just says thats what its running) the reason i went with 640MB was due to a fear that having more would cause my system to 'bottleneck' or so i was told. Therefore would there be a risk that 2GB will bottleneck my system and thus be a waste of money? would i be better of with 1GB?


3. The Hard drive,

A. I could either go with 250GB at 7,200RPM or would i see a large difference in performance if i added another +$250 for 150GB at 10,000RPM?
From my limited knowledge on computers, could a disk defragment and low % use of the 250GB drive do the same job as the 10,000RPM Disk?


4. The Graphics,

A. The 768MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8800 GTX or the Duel 768MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8800 GTX - SLI enabled for about another +$650. (Would the single GTX card still play WOW, CSS, and BF2 on full graphics is the main question)
I have never considered overclocking but if i was to overclock the single 768MB card, could i reach similar levels as the Duel cards? (please don't laugh if it really is a stupid question)

B. With the Ageia PhysX Processing Unit w/ 128MB GDDR3 is it worth investing into now, or will there be new technology soon in terms of physics processors that would see this particular card out of business? (considering its another $200)

Thanks for any responses in advance.
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Old 04-06-2007, 05:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Customising a gaming rig...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goober View Post
1. The processor,

A. I personally have always been an AMD fan, and believe that the 64bit version would suit my needs, however should i be looking into the core duo range of intel cards?

B. If i still choose to go with the 64bit AMD card would it be worth paying an extra $75 to upgrade from an X2 5200+ processor to an X2 5600+ processor?
Right now Intel provides the fastest processors, they also overclock extremely well. Overclocking is a good idea as you can make a less expensive chip perform better than an expensinve one. If you are going to be overclocking something like a e4300, e6300, or e6400 would be a good choice. Otherwise the e6600 would be great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goober View Post
2. The ram,

A. I am considering going with the purchase of "2GB Low Latency DDR2 PC2-6400 SDRAM at 800MHz". Currently i have been running 640MB ram on my laptop (please don't ask how i have 640, my system just says thats what its running) the reason i went with 640MB was due to a fear that having more would cause my system to 'bottleneck' or so i was told. Therefore would there be a risk that 2GB will bottleneck my system and thus be a waste of money? would i be better of with 1GB?
I've never heard anything of the sort...2gb is basically the standard these days and will give you much better performance over 1gb.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goober View Post
3. The Hard drive,

A. I could either go with 250GB at 7,200RPM or would i see a large difference in performance if i added another +$250 for 150GB at 10,000RPM?
From my limited knowledge on computers, could a disk defragment and low % use of the 250GB drive do the same job as the 10,000RPM Disk?
IMHO, 10k rpm drives are a waste of money...the performance/price ratio isn't very good and the fact that they spin so fast is said to reduce the life of the HD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goober View Post
4. The Graphics,

A. The 768MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8800 GTX or the Duel 768MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8800 GTX - SLI enabled for about another +$650. (Would the single GTX card still play WOW, CSS, and BF2 on full graphics is the main question)
I have never considered overclocking but if i was to overclock the single 768MB card, could i reach similar levels as the Duel cards? (please don't laugh if it really is a stupid question)

B. With the Ageia PhysX Processing Unit w/ 128MB GDDR3 is it worth investing into now, or will there be new technology soon in terms of physics processors that would see this particular card out of business? (considering its another $200)
For those games 8800GTX's in SLI is overkill, so is just 1 8800GTX. I suggest a 8800GTS (still overkill for those games but its a great 3d card that will most likely last you quite a while)
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Old 04-06-2007, 08:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Customising a gaming rig...

Thanks gurusan for a great response,

I have taken what you have said into consideration and here is a following list of what the computer will probably be composed of. However, there is always more options to be made.

CPU
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6400 2.13GHz 2MB Cache 1066MHz FSB

Btw, with the CPU, if i decide to overclock it would the standard cooling within the Alienware Area-51® 7500 be sufficient? (and does it significantly lower the life of the CPU?)

MOBO
NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI Motherboard

I'm guessing that this is a good choice by alienware?

RAM
2GB DDR2 Performance SDRAM at 800MHz - 2 x 1024MB

Or there was a choice of "Low latency" ram, which reduced the timings of the ram from 5-5-5 to 4-4-4, is that much better? (ie. worth another +$200 to get the latency to 4-4-4?)

HD
250GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s 7,200 RPM w/ 8MB Cache

GPU

768MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8800 GTX

I know its an overkill, but i'm prepared to fork out the money here just incase some game pops out that i "need to have"

Thanks again,
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Old 04-06-2007, 08:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Customising a gaming rig...

I would strongly consider building the rig yourself...you will not only save a LOT of money but you'll have a bunch of fun and learn a lot.

Also you will get the best components for your needs.

What kind of budget are you working with?
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Old 04-06-2007, 08:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Customising a gaming rig...

I'm most likely looking at a budget around $2600 - 2900 US (I say US, because its a global currency) for a made computer. If i make it myself, probably $2200 - $2500?

The problems i see with building a PC myself is having to get drivers, individual warranties, construction itself seems like a huge milestone for me and where to buy (that immediately come to mind).

However, rightfully so, purchasing a pre-made computer does have its limitations.

So if i was going to make a computer for myself, what parts would i be needing...

CPU
Motherboard
RAM
Video Card
Hard Drive
Optical Drive
Power Supply
Case
Speakers
Monitor
Mouse
Keyboard
Operating System
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Old 04-06-2007, 09:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Customising a gaming rig...

Building your first rig is a milestone, but it is a great experience. Also it is not that difficult, most things only fit into one spot and go in one way. There are some excellent tutorials online also if you need the help.

For where to buy parts I would strongly suggest Newegg.com they are fantastic, very reliable, and fast. I don't worry to much about warranties, newegg has an excellent return policy. If anything is dead on arrival you can RMA it with no hassle.

Drivers is probably the most tedious thing about building your own pc, once you've done this once though, you'll be a pro. Also keeping them update helps keep your computer in tip top shape.

As far as what you need I think you have listed everything, but if you have any of those things from a previous computer you can use them with your new one. There is no need to buy a new monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, and such unless you absolutely need them. For your price range you can build your self a killer computer, i don't think you will have any problems setting all the sliders to the max.
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Old 04-06-2007, 10:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Customising a gaming rig...

Okay, that was a gigantic post; In the interest of this topic, and to prevent complaints about walls of text, I've relocated my comments to here.

BEHOLD! MY HTML-EY GOODNESS!

EDIT: Also, If you want to access the list that I created without having to go through my post and go to every single link, click here. Scroll down to the bottom, and right above the buttons is a link that says "Select All". Click that, and then click "Add to Cart".

The price for my build is before the $70 of mail-in rebates. I know that some people forget to do those sometimes, so...

EDIT2: Oops! You want a monitor too? How greedy can you get?! :P

Anyways, I'll add one in if you'll give me a few minutes. I'll even edit the webpages.

EDIT3: I just realized, I don't know what size you want... Widescreen? 46 inches?
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Old 04-06-2007, 10:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Customising a gaming rig...

Case of your choice (Recommend Antec P180 or Antec 900)
Computer Cases, ATX Cases, Cheap Computer Cases, Custom Computer Cases, Cool Computer Cases at Newegg.com

PSU - Corsair 620w
Newegg.com - CORSAIR CMPSU-620HX ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 620W Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CUL, CE, CB, FCC Class B, TUV, CCC, C-tick - Retail
$149.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate

Motherboard - Asus P5B Deluxe
Newegg.com - ASUS P5B Deluxe LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
$179.99

Processor - Intel Core 2 Duo e6600 (good performer at stock and can OC well later if you choose to do so)
Newegg.com - Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail
$308

RAM - Crucial Ballistix PC2 5300 (i have this memory and it does FAR past its rated speed...it's rated at 667mhz but I have it running 1138mhz!)
Newegg.com - Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
$246.99

Graphics Card - EVGA 8800GTS 640mb
Newegg.com - EVGA 640-P2-N821-AR GeForce 8800GTS 640MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - Retail
$339.99 after $30.00 Mail-In Rebate

Hard Drive - Seagate 7200.10 320gb
Newegg.com - Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS (Perpendicular Recording Technology) 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
$84.99

Optical Drive - LG 18x DVD Burner (will burn/read DVDs and CDs)
Newegg.com - LG Black 18X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 18X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache IDE Super-Multi DVD Burner - OEM
$29.99

Keyboard - Logitech G11 Gaming Keyboard (Your choice really though, but this is a good one)
Newegg.com - Logitech G11 Silver & Black 104 Normal Keys 29 Function Keys USB Standard Gaming Keyboard - Retail
$54.99

Mouse - Logitech MX518 (again your choice)
Newegg.com - Logitech MX518 2-Tone 8 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB + PS/2 Wired Optical Gaming-Grade Mouse - Retail
$39.99

Monitor -Benq FP222WH 22'' Widescreen LCD
Newegg.com - BenQ FP222WH Black 22" 5ms DVI Widescreen HDMI LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 700:1 - Retail
$299.99


Total before shipping = $1734.91 ....add 100-150 for the case of your choice and a few hundred for the operating system and there ya go. This PC will do quite well in any modern game.

And if you wanted to get a better graphics card (8800GTX) or whatever you have lots left in your budget for that.
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Old 04-06-2007, 10:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Customising a gaming rig...

darn looks like i was beaten to it
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Old 04-06-2007, 10:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Customising a gaming rig...

This would be an incredible system..............

2x PHILIPS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with 12X DVD-RAM Write Black IDE interface (ATAPI) Model SPD2413BD - Retail
Item #: N82E16827248006
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$65.98
($32.99 each)



Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811129021
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$15.00 Instant
$139.99
$124.99



2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS (Perpendicular Recording Technology) 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Item #: N82E16822148140
Return Policy: Limited 30-Day Return Policy

$169.98
($84.99 each)



ViewSonic VX2245wm Black-Silver 22" 5ms ViewDock for iPod DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail
Item #: N82E16824116064
Return Policy: [LCD] Limited Non-Refundable 30-Day Return Policy

$50.00 Mail-in Rebate
$389.99



EVGA 768-P2-N837-AR GeForce 8800GTX 768MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 KO HDCP Video Card - Retail
Item #: N82E16814130078
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

$649.99



Antec True Power Trio TP3-550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply with Three 12V Rails - Retail
Item #: N82E16817103942
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

$79.99



ALTEC LANSING FX5051 89 Watts 5.1 Music & Gaming Speakers - Retail
Item #: N82E16836113009
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

$183.99



Logitech G11 Silver & Black USB Standard Gaming Keyboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16823126009
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

-$4.00 Instant
$58.99
$54.99



Logitech MX Revolution Black 7 Buttons 2 x Wheels USB RF Wireless Laser Mouse - Retail
Item #: N82E16826104015
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

-$10.00 Instant
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate
$99.99
$89.99



Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
Item #: N82E16835100007
Return Policy: Consumable Items Return Policy
$5.99



G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400PHU2-2GBHZ - Retail
Item #: N82E16820231065
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

-$30.00 Instant
$209.99
$179.99



ABIT AW9D-MAX LGA 775 Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813127011
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

-$10.00 Instant
$219.99
$209.99



Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 SP2b - OEM
Item #: N82E16832116171
Return Policy: Software Return Policy
$109.99



ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail
Item #: N82E16835186134
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

$59.99



* Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6600 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819115003
Return Policy: Processors (CPUs) Return Policy
* THQ Gift - Supreme Commander PC Game - OEM
Item #: N82E16800997016
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

-$39.99 Combo
$347.99
$308.00
Subtotal: $2,683.84

I got abit carried away sorry

Matt
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