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Old 11-27-2009, 02:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Building my gaming rig and I could use some advice!

Hey all, I'm new here to the Tech forums. I've been looking for a place where I can discuss and read about all the things I like, and I think I've found the place

Just a bit about me first: this will be my first computer I've built. I'm looking to build a gaming rig that will last some time. The last gaming desktop I got was back about five or so years ago, and things have changed since then. I've come across a few things I haven't heard of before, like dedicated PhysX cards. I'm a pretty hardcore gamer so I'd like to have a desktop to match my interests!

Alright, well here's my build. This is the first computer I've ever built from scratch. Let me know what you think - if I should make any changes, or if there are any compatibility issues, or anything at all really!

Case:
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower

CPU:
Intel Core i7-960 Bloomfield 3.2GHz LGA 1366

Motherboard:
EVGA E760 Classified -- is this overkill? Should I look into something else? I plan to OC my system some, but I've never really ventured into this area yet.

Graphics Card:
Sapphire Radeon HD 5870

RAM:
Corsair Dominator 6GB (3 x 2GB)

Sound Card:
ASUS Xonar vs. Creative SB X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional vs. Creative SB X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion Series -- which to get here? Creative SB has been my choice in the past, but some friends have suggested the ASUS Xonar. Also, what's the difference there between the champion series and the professional series? I see almost nothing other than the front 3.5" attachment, but I could be missing something.

HDDs:
2x - Western Digital VelociRaptor 300GB 10000RPM
Western Digital RE3 1TB 7200RPM

Power Supply:
Corsair CMPSU-850TX 850W

Optical Drives:
2x - Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD R/RW

Monitor:
ASUS VW246H Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor - I currently have a 23" 1680x1050, so I figure this might be a bit of an upgrade.

Keyboard:
RAZER Lycosa

Mouse:
RAZER Lachesis Banshee

Headphones:
Sennheiser PC166

Software:
Windows 7 64bit Home Premium -- Would I want one of the other versions for gaming? I looked at the additional features of their other versions and I didn't see anything I'd want, but I could have overlooked something.
Symantec Norton AntiVirus 2010 -- I know a lot of people say anti-virus programs compromise performance. I read into Norton 2009 and 2010 and hear they have a "gaming" feature, where when a full-screen app is being run, most of Norton shuts off. What sort of software protection do I need?
Don't need Office as I already have a laptop for my college/business work

Some questions:
Power protection - my friend has a power protection unit to keep his unit on for a few minutes to save his work and shut down in case of power loss. Is this a necessary component for gaming, or mainly for people worried about losing data?

Cooling - will I need to look into additional cooling for my system? Will this be running too hot? Should I look into some liquid cooling units? Or will additional fans do the trick? CPU cooling, hard drive cooling, any of this?

Network card - I hear about this Killer Xeno Pro network card. I read an article saying that it's great for gaming, but if you attempt to run multiple things at once, it slows down quite a bit. Would my mobos network card be enough or should I look into another upgrade?

Any other advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you all for your help!
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Old 11-27-2009, 02:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building my gaming rig and I could use some advice!

Get a i7 920 instead and save the cash.

Do not get a classified unless you plan on some serious overclocking. Max bclk at sub zero temps is where it excels.

Get an ssd instead of 2 velociraptos.

Dominators while great ram are overpriced. pick up 6gb of some OCZ gold 1600's.

Unless you are real serious about your sound try onboard first. You may be surprised and it will save you some cash as well.
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Old 11-27-2009, 03:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building my gaming rig and I could use some advice!

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Originally Posted by Hefemeister View Post
Get a i7 920 instead and save the cash.

Do not get a classified unless you plan on some serious overclocking. Max bclk at sub zero temps is where it excels.

Get an ssd instead of 2 velociraptos.

Dominators while great ram are overpriced. pick up 6gb of some OCZ gold 1600's.

Unless you are real serious about your sound try onboard first. You may be surprised and it will save you some cash as well.
Thanks for the advice, Hefemeister. Will I compared clock speeds to price with the i7 series and thought that the 960 looked like a safe bet. Would I see a great performance loss with the 920?

Is there a motherboard you could recommend instead of the classified? I had my eye on the ASUS P6T Deluxe before someone recommended the classified. Also, quick question: why do I see to internet ports on some mobos? What are the functions of those?

I've heard a bunch about the SSD but I'm not sure if I can fit all that I'd want on some of those. Currently, I have a 300gb harddrive and it's full; I'm constantly uninstalling games just to fit others. If I RAID two velociraptors, will there be a significant loss on performance compared to an SSD? I imagined I'd switch to an SSD once they are bigger and cost less, unless you think the performance gain is worth it now.
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Old 11-27-2009, 03:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building my gaming rig and I could use some advice!

You can easily clock a 920 to 960 speeds and the extra cost is just not worth it.

I have the p6t deluxe V2 and love it. the classified is a great board but more than you most likely need at this point in time.

If you get a ssd drive you use it for OS and programs only and have all your data on a separate data drive. Get something around 1tb for data. They are much faster than velociraptors. Worth the extra cost? debatable. You could pick up a 1tb wd black for the meantime which is plenty fast and wait for ssd prices to drop. That is what I am currently doing.
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Old 11-27-2009, 03:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building my gaming rig and I could use some advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hefemeister View Post
You can easily clock a 920 to 960 speeds and the extra cost is just not worth it.

I have the p6t deluxe V2 and love it. the classified is a great board but more than you most likely need at this point in time.

If you get a ssd drive you use it for OS and programs only and have all your data on a separate data drive. Get something around 1tb for data. They are much faster than velociraptors. Worth the extra cost? debatable. You could pick up a 1tb wd black for the meantime which is plenty fast and wait for ssd prices to drop. That is what I am currently doing.
Thanks again Hefemeister. I think I'll switch my mobo out for the p6t deluxe v2 then. I'll keep my eye out on the SSDs for now and see what comes up.

Anyone got an help for my other questions posted above? Network cards - necessary, or should I just stick with my mobos?

Cooling systems - will I need additional fans or water cooling units? Can anyone point me in the right direction for these?

And what about power protection?

Any gaming benefits by getting windows 7 ultimate, or is home premium enough?

Also, why do some mobos have two internet ports on them? Is it an I/O function or...?

And finally, does my case look like a good choice? Wasn't sure if I needed a full tower or a mid.

Thanks so much guys!
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Old 11-27-2009, 05:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building my gaming rig and I could use some advice!

Quote:
Anyone got an help for my other questions posted above? Network cards - necessary, or should I just stick with my mobos?
one's on mobo is fine
Quote:
Cooling systems - will I need additional fans or water cooling units? Can anyone point me in the right direction for these?
you won't need additional cooling unless you plan on overclocking
unless it's like really warm at wherever you dwell
Quote:
And what about power protection?
up to you, if you care about losing your data then get it
but I don't do any professional work on my computer, so I don't care as much
games are just for fun after all..... right?
Quote:
Any gaming benefits by getting windows 7 ultimate, or is home premium enough?
none, home premium is just as good
Quote:
Also, why do some mobos have two internet ports on them? Is it an I/O function or...?
no idea on this one
marketing? more the merrier
Quote:
And finally, does my case look like a good choice? Wasn't sure if I needed a full tower or a mid.
I prefer Lian-Li cases myself...... but mostly it's personal preference
full tower would give you more room to work with
and could possibly go water cooling in the future

mid tower would be more cramped, but it's really not that bad
Quote:
which to get here? Creative SB has been my choice in the past, but some friends have suggested the ASUS Xonar.
personally, I'd prefer the asus xonar.......
creative was REALLY BAD at coming up with drivers that works with Vista( don't know about windows 7 though)
so I am never getting another creative card
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Old 11-27-2009, 06:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building my gaming rig and I could use some advice!

Thanks for your help Fat.Clown, just the information I was looking for! You all have been very helpful, thanks again!
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