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Old 06-14-2010, 09:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New Gaming Computer

Hi everyone !

So I finally decided to save up money and buy a new computer, because my current computer is finally starting to slow down and it can't handle the newer games and expansions for games I'm playing. (World of Warcraft, Modern Warefare 2, Team Fortress 2, Starcraft 2) And I play on the lowest settings.

I've been researching as much as I can about computers recently so I can make a smart purchase considering I plan on spending at least $2,000 on a computer, which will take me a few more months to save up for. I'm definitely headed in the right direction but I NEED your help. I'm going to start off by providing the specs to my current computer and the items I made a wish list of on newegg, and then tell you my intentions with the new computer so you can help me out.




This is my current computers specs. It's 5 years old. I spent about $1,100 on it buying parts from newegg and a friend helped choose all the parts and helped me build it. Also the graphics card, RAM, and power supply were upgraded about 2 years ago in an attempt for me to (fix it) play some of the newer games I liked.



Current Computer
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Operating System
Microsoft Windows XP Professional (Service Pack 3)

Motherboard
Abit AN8 Series(NF-CK804)

Processor
AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3800+ (A single Processor)
2.41GHz

Graphics Card
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT <---Upgraded

Memory
G.Skill NS 1 GB DDR (x2) <---Upgraded

Hard Drive
Seagate ST380817AS (80GB, SATA150, 3.5", NCQ, 8MB Cache)

Monitor
Older flatscreen monitor with max resolution 1280 x 1024 Max resolution.

Power Supply
~650W <--- Upgraded
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So you can see my computer is starting to get outdated. It actually runs some games surprisingly well(at minimum settings) for how old it is. Here is the computer I made with pieces on newegg.



New Computer
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Operating System
Windows 7 Home Premium

Motherboard
EVGA P55V 120-LF-E651-TR LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Processor
Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I7860

Graphics Card
EVGA 015-P3-1482-AR GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) SuperClocked 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI

Memory
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory

Hard Drive
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Monitor
ASUS MS227N Glossy Piano-Black / White 22" 2ms Ring Stand & Ergo-Fit Widescreen LCD Monitor

Power Supply
Rosewill Xtreme Series RX950-D-B 950W Continuous @40įC ,80 PLUS Certified, ATX12V v2.2 & EPS12V v2.91, SLI Ready CrossFire

Sound Card
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio PCI Interface Sound Card

Case
COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

Keyboard
Razer Lycosa Mirror Special Edition

Mouse
Razer Orochi

Mouse pad
Razer Sphex

Headset
Sennheiser PC 350
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So this is what I have come up with. Right now the Keyboard, Mouse, and Mousepad are pretty much fillers because I know Razer is a popular gaming brand and I will most likely love what they provide.



My intentions for this computer...
To have a computer that can run all the games I play at a very minimum of 30 fps at max if not near maximum settings(Hopefully 60+ fps). I would like to have a computer that can also run these games flawlessly while running the web browser in the background so I can stream Pandora, and consistently alt + tab(keeping browser tabs open) without it effecting gaming performance. I want to have a computer that can also run Fraps so I can record game play footage and make videos, so I need it to be able to run all these applications at a minimum of 30 fps, and have enough space to store and edit these very large clips.

Games I plan on playing...
(World of Warcraft: Frozen Throne/Cataclysm, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, Warhammer Online, Team Fortress, and any new amazing FPS or RPG games in the near future)




If I'm spending all this money I want exceptional performance, so I'm willing to spend the extra money for a better monitor with faster refresh rates or better visual quality for gaming(and quality is better then size so anything in the 20" through 22" area is perfect). This also means I would love to have exceptional audio so I can enjoy listening to high quality music, in game music and sound effects, and use Ventrilo or other VOIP software with a quality mic.



Concerns/Reasoning for the pieces I chose:
-I wanted to make sure my power supply had enough watts to power my system.
-Will all the pieces fit in a mid tower? Will the air flow be sufficient to keep the system cool?
-Is the system powerful enough to run on a monitor with a max resolution of 1920 x 1080, I heard it can affect the performance of your system/video card quite a bit which is why I chose a lower resolution monitor.
-If I choose a higher resolution monitor should I use SLI or Crossfire? Is it worth the money?
-I heard a high contrast ratio is very important, but there aren't a lot of monitors with this.(60,000:1+)
(When I think of more I'll add them)




If you respond and can help me make better choices on my new system please try and respond with not only which piece is better, but a link to the piece, an explanation on why it's better, the cost difference from the piece I have and the "better piece", and the possible performance increase/decrease if I switch pieces. I would love to keep learning so any additional information you can provide would be awesome.




If you would like to know anything else about me, the computer, or have questions about the thread just ask about it in your reply and I'll gladly update my thread with more information. Just a reminder, it will take me a few months to save up enough money so if you guys know of any new processors, video cards, etc. that will be released soon and are worth waiting for I would love to see them cause I will most likely end up waiting for their release if it seems worth it. Just leave links to articles or anything talking about it.


Thank you guys so much for your help.
-Josh
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Gaming Computer

i stopped reading after you said its going to take you a few months to save up the money, wait untill you have the money then we will help you, by the time you have the money newer better things can come out or, what is now the greatest most expensive thing might be cheaper.
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: New Gaming Computer

Get ready and buckle your seetbelt because you've got some reading to do!


I strongly agree with what Sean said above. However I will share with you a couple of my thoughts on your current configuration as well as what you have planned (at least planned for now, in a few months everything will be better than what you have listed )

You seem to have some similarity's between how the computer I was using two years ago looked. I was actually using an 8800 GT (Don't shoot me...) on my gaming rig up until about a year ago and it could max out most games (with low to mid AA) including Crysis (If you can even use that as a benchmark anymore). I have since upgraded to the GTX275 (Oc'd by MSI) which was good performance for my price range, and while I have not tried the GTX480, I have heard some very nice things about it.

As far as windows 7 goes, I love it (Actually running business edition on all three of my computers because I get it free through my school )

The power supply you have in your new computer is the same one I am using now (I believe) and you should have no problems with that (except if you SLI two newer gfx cards, in which case you may need an adapter for one of the cables, but it may come with it and I lost it, who knows) as it only comes stock with two of the power connectors (each card takes two).

As for your monitor, I recently was in the market (About three weeks ago actually) and I had it narrowed down to the monitor you have listed and the ASUS VW246H (2" bigger than you want, but it is something to consider), and I ended up going with the ASUS, it costs a bit more, but I could not be happier with it, Also, I will be hated for saying this, and to be honest I thought I was crazy for it too, but If you get that monitor (The VW246H) get it from amazon.com, their return policy is better (especially concerning pxls, as they will take it back for even 1 stuck or dead). Also, it comes with free shipping.
Newegg.com - ASUS VW246H Glossy Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 ASCR 20000:1 (1000:1) Built-in Speakers
Amazon.com: ASUS VW246H 24-Inch Widescreen LCD Monitor - Black: Computer & Accessories

The hard drive on your list, I actually ordered yesterday (As apparently I have too much porn or something because I managed to fill two 1tb Hd's and my quick 320gb HD is reserved for games . (Actually planning on using it (the one I just ordered) as a backup HD.) But for the price, it will work for you, but obviously if you want to spend more you can get more.

As for the sound card, unless you are getting a high end one (which what you have is now) your on-board will be fine, you won't need the card (use it towards more ram or a better monitor or something.

Have not seen that mouse before, looks like a cool concept, let me know how that works out for you.

As for the games you listed, people here may hate me for saying this (or perhaps not) but I almost think you may have too much gfx card (Though you would be set for longer in the future than I will be) I would think that a GTX 275 may work out for you, though again, it boils down to, do you want to save money now or later. At least at this point, I can run everything maxed out with full AA and such with my GTX275 (I play allot of FPS's like Bad company 2, Crysis maxes out alright, Will handle just about any MMO no problem (Even my 8800GT could max out WoW). So for the "Near Future" a 275 will work, but for the "Far Out" future, stick with something bigger.

Finally, you may want to consider more than 6g of ram.

But again, if you don't act soon, all that will be changing, like in 3 or 4 months, I may consider the 275 out of date for example, and the price on all that could drop and there could be bigger better things. Your call.


PS: I noticed you did not have speakers, I never rely on monitor speakers so check out the Logitech Z-2300 or if you are on a budget and size constraint the Logitech S-220's.

PSS: I can't remember the last time I used a mouse pad, Good for you !
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Gaming Computer

Thank you so much for replying.

(Just so people read this I could possibly have the money in 1 month and 1 week if no unexpected bills come up (like my car just overheat on me today). I just said a few months(3 months tops) because you never know whats going to happen.

I realize new things will be released before I buy a new computer but this is just as much about the learning experience as it is selecting the computer I want to buy. If I can realize my flaws right now it will make selecting a computer when I have the money that much easier, and I will understand why I chose what I did, and if it will be worth it.

Anyways...



Hard Drive
---------------------------
You said you had a faster hard drive. Are you talking about RPM? I'm guessing it's not a Solid State drive or w/e it's called cause when I saw those on other websites a 320 gb drive would probably cost the same as my entire machine.

If you are talking about the RPM I chose a 7200 RPM hard drive, so yours is probably 10000 or 15000. What is the effect that has on gaming? Basically faster installs on games or faster loading times, and is it a pretty noticable difference? 20/50/100% faster increase?


Sound Card
---------------------------
You said the Sound Card was basically equivalent to the one that comes on my motherboard? How much should you pay to hear quality audio? I am making an investment purchasing an expensive headset so I want to make sure I can make the most of it with a good sound card.

Video Card
---------------------------
You said I might be spending too much money for the type of games I'm playing, and that is probably true but I would like to spend the money on a card that will last me a while. I also want to make sure Fraps can record smoothly while I play games and that's recording video. I'm just not sure if you need an amazing video card, faster RAM, a faster Hard Drive, or a combination of all of these for Fraps to run smoothly.

RAM
---------------------------
I will mostly likely get at least 8 GB's of ram now that you mention it. Windows 7 alone takes 2 GB's of ram which puts me down to 6, and a lot of newer programs take more then a GB of RAM to use. I'm still not sure if I should get higher or lower then 1600 RAM though and how much it will effect performance.



P.S. I still wish Sean W. would have replied.
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Gaming Computer

after i saw the " P.S i still wish Sean W. would have replied " i struggeld through my ADHD and read this wall of words...

So here is my 2 cents.

when i bought my computer i didnt do any research, i went to a family friend and he burned me. now i wish i would have started a month or 2 before and started researching and built my computer my self.

so here it goes.


as far as hard drive RPM speeds go, it does effect the read/write speed, but if you have any patience what so ever, it isnt really worth the higher price that you pay for the higher RPM drives. 7200rpm is plenty fast.

i dont really think a sound card is anyway worth it. back in the day they were, but the motherboards nowadays ( especailly the higher quality ones ) have a plenty good enough sound card integrated. i suggest you start with what is on the mother board and if you think the sound is crap ( which i cant imagine will be the case ) go get a sound card.

As far as a video card goes, this is probably the the most improtant piece of hard ware that you dont want to slouch on. i really like Radeon cards, of course, ive never had a Nividia card, so i dont really have anything to compare to. but my 5870 is a beast, and with a $2000 budget you can afford the BEST graphics card on the market at the moment, the ATI Radeon XFX 5970. it is unstoppable, nothing you throw at it can make it trip. the only thing i think Nivida has going for them is that you can turn on " physix " (sp?) which helps the processor, eh, process... processor intensive applications.

DDR3 ram stomps all over DDR2 ram, and i think that is where you are getting at that you need 8 gigs, so i think 6 gigs of DDR3 dripple channel ram would be plenty, plus is less expensive. i have 4 gigs of dual channel DDR3 ram and ive never seen all 4 gigs used, and i do have windows 7.

i dont know anything about mother boards sorry mate


a 950 watt power supply is plenty

your case is outstanding, but you might want to look into the " HAF X " that just came out today. $199. its the HAF 932's hybrid big brother.

hope i helped, and ill be here to help ( as much as i can ) with any questions. but slaymate, soulphire, calcprogrammar, muffinman and countless others are way more expereince than i am. ive never build a computer, just read about it haha...
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SLI GTX 980s
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2x Alphacool ST30 240mm, 1x Alphacool ST30 120mm, swiftech Micro res, Enzotech Rev A. CPU water block, Full Coverage EKWB GPU blocks, modded Vari MCP655 pump
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Old 06-16-2010, 02:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: New Gaming Computer

Just some more followup on my part.

You are correct, the faster hard drive speed will not bother 99% of the population, and in fact, on large loading files, the difference boils down to about 3-6 seconds (surprisingly, that is actually very important to me, but I do allot of large file moving) and a 7,500 hard drive is very standard, that said, don't go lower unless it is like a network storage drive.

I will say again, your onboard is probably better than any sound card short of a studio card (Just the way it is)

As for the Radeon graphics card, I am not very familliar with them, so I can not comment.
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