Looking For Advice/Critique On Gaming Build

Building a new system? Need help choosing between parts? Then step in and let our trained gerbils assist you.

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Postposted on Sat Jul 30, 2005 1:15 am

That looks good at first glance.
One question I have: is gaming going to be your most important priority? If so, then I don't think it's worth the extra to get an X2. Either put the money into a faster single-core CPU, or maybe the 7800gtx. That's just my opinion though.
Is that the budget you have for your system? I total it to $1690.

Oh, I notice that your data drive is ATA/133. Any reason why you're not going SATA for it?
Also, what about optical drives?
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Postposted on Sat Jul 30, 2005 1:51 am

Yeah, I debated long and hard about whether to go dual or single-core and 6800 or 7800, but I decided on the X2 because I liked the flexibilty as there's a strong possibility that this will turn into a more all-purpose machine. And with an X2 processor, the 7800 would be a little too pricey, especially for SLI.
I wasn't sure which optical drives to go with, I've been out of the loop for a while so I'm pretty out of touch as to which configuration I should go with. Any help is greatly appreciated. Oh, and the ATA drive was a mistake...should be SATA :p

And btw my budget is around $1800.

Thanks for the feedback.
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Postposted on Sat Jul 30, 2005 2:06 am

$43.00 NEC Black IDE DVD Burner Model ND-3540A - OEM
$26.00 LITE-ON Black IDE DVD-ROM Drive Model SOHD-16P9S Black - OEM
The 2nd one is not manufacturer specific. It's just always good IMHO to have a 2nd drive to do straight cd-copies, and for $26, it was the cheapest. You could also have a CD-RW as a 2ndary if you burn alot of CD's

And I was just curious as to your choices, not really saying one way is better than another. It's good to see that you've thought it out 8)
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Postposted on Sat Jul 30, 2005 2:11 am

Looks great. Only two comments:
- Aforementioned PATA/SATA thing. I'd get a nice SATA drive with NCQ support (Seagate 7200.8 for example).
- XMS memory is way overpriced for the actual performance increase you gain, I'd only consider it if I were overclocking, and even then I'd rather get vanilla PC3200 and set the divider/multipliers so it stays at 400MHz.

Well, actually, three -- for $50 more you can get another 2x512KB cache in the X2, which I'd probably go for, but fine either way.
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Postposted on Sat Jul 30, 2005 5:00 am

A64's really like tight memory timings. I went for the xms ll stuff, and the low latencys seem to make quite a large difference. When overclocking, i tuned them down a bit, and my comp felt so much more slugish, so i've stuck to stock speeds and 2-2-2-7 timings, and im sweet as a peach. (i read in a review on Anand i think that 2227 > 2225)

I'd advise to splash out a little extra and get some low latency, dual channel memory, and since its a gaming rig, go for a high end a64 rather than an X2. Save the cash...put more towards the gfx, maybe a 6800 u, or an SLI setup.
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Postposted on Sat Jul 30, 2005 5:15 am

mikehodges2 wrote:A64's really like tight memory timings. I went for the xms ll stuff, and the low latencys seem to make quite a large difference. When overclocking, i tuned them down a bit, and my comp felt so much more slugish, so i've stuck to stock speeds and 2-2-2-7 timings, and im sweet as a peach. (i read in a review on Anand i think that 2227 > 2225)

In every memory review I've ever read, the most increase it ever resulted in in a nonsynthetic (but very memory intensive) benchmark was 5%ish, but usually more like 0-1%. So I'm not sure what to make of your experience... are you sure it's not placebo effect or some other factor you hadn't considered?

mikehodges2 wrote:go for a high end a64 rather than an X2.

If it'll be used /exclusively/ for gaming, then yes, no point in going dual core (but even then I wouldn't likely go higher than 3500+ for a single core, it's seriously diminishing returns from there). But otherwise, comparing an X2 4800+ to an FX57 (cost roughly the same, both ridiculously overpriced), in single threaded apps (games) the FX will be 400MHz faster; in multithreaded apps or multitasking scenarios the X2 will be 2GHz faster.

mikehodges2 wrote:Save the cash...put more towards the gfx, maybe a 6800 u, or an SLI setup.

I don't think a 6800U is worth more than $50 over a GT... the next step up I'd go would be straight to 7800GT(X), it's better than an SLI setup and not much else in between that's worth it. (Maybe an X850XT, but then you can't upgrade to SLI later on, unless ATi decides to support Crossfire on nForce motherboards -- not impossible, but wouldn't even hope for it.)
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Postposted on Sat Jul 30, 2005 11:40 am

Thanks for the input all. Reading through your comments I've decided to make these changes.

Seagate Barracuda 7200.8

AMD 64 3500

Usacomp2k3, that DVD burner looks perfect, and I think I'm gonna go with a straight CD-Rw drive because I do burn alot, so thanks for that :)

I'm looking into the memory situation as I'd love to find that middle ground between price and effectiveness and this looked good.

CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB (2 x 512MB)

It's still up in the air between the 6800Gt and 7800...I'll probably go with the 7800 because I'm looking for any excuse to spring for it over the GT.


I have another question, do you guys think I'll need another 120mm fan or will the three that come with the case be enough?


Thanks again...I'm really glad to have stumbled across this board :)



Edit: I was also looking at this monitor: acer AL1716 Silver/Black 17" 8ms LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 500:1 0.264mm Pixel Pitch - Retail

It's not the greatest native res ever, but I like the 8ms seektime and it looks like the best I can get in my price range. But im always open to other suggestions.
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Postposted on Sat Jul 30, 2005 11:49 am

Noooo!! Don't let yourself be talked into a 3500+ over an X2 4200+. Not only are multithreaded games coming in the next year or so, but the 4200+ will be more than capable for gaming. For any type of general use, the X2 will blow away a single-core CPU.
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Re: Looking For Advice/Critique On Gaming Build

Postposted on Sat Jul 30, 2005 1:04 pm

Those all look like very good choices to me.
Here, I believe that you could do better. You probably want a power supply that has dual +12V rails and all of the ATX 12V 2.0 connectors.
$51 Enermax with 18+18A on the +12V rails
$57 Fortron with 18+18A

Get a SATA hard-drive. 250GB is a nice size.
$126 250GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 SATA hard-drive

Usacomp2k3 wrote:$43.00 NEC Black IDE DVD Burner Model ND-3540A - OEM
It's just always good IMHO to have a 2nd drive to do straight cd-copies.
Unless you are ahem "copying" dozens of discs per week, that extra one minute that it takes to copy a CD with a single drive versus with two shouldn't be a problem. The DVD burner that you linked looks like a good value to me.
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Postposted on Sat Jul 30, 2005 1:23 pm

Is this PSU a better choice?

Antec TRUEPOWERII TPII-550 ATX12V 550W
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Postposted on Sat Jul 30, 2005 1:27 pm

Regalo wrote:Is this PSU a better choice? Antec TRUEPOWERII TPII-550 ATX12V 550W
Yes, that is a very good (but rather expensive) power supply. Once you get up into that price range, you might also take a look at the Seasonic S12 power supplies.
I was also looking at this monitor: acer AL1716 Silver/Black 17" 8ms LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 500:1 0.264mm Pixel Pitch - Retail
It's not the greatest native res ever, but I like the 8ms seektime and it looks like the best I can get in my price range. But im always open to other suggestions.
Ack! Please do not buy an LCD monitor that lacks DVI digital input!

Take a look at the Dell UltraSharp 1704FPT, 1905FP, 2005FPW or 2001FP instead. After DVI, I believe that the next most important features for an LCD monitor are the number of pixels and the contrast ratio. LCDs with low contrast ratios will display grays instead of black.
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Postposted on Sat Jul 30, 2005 1:54 pm

See, that's why I asked :D

Thanks for the heads up, I think I'll go with the Dell UltraSharp 1905FP.

About the PSU though, is Seasonic significantly better than Antec?
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Advice

Postposted on Sat Jul 30, 2005 5:32 pm

Hi hi,

A random comment from the peanut gallery.

You might want to consider downgrading from an SLI board, unless you have firm plans to do SLI in the near future.

SLI affects some games a lot, some not at all. My opinion is that going with a single slot board and a single 7800GT now will save you a good bit over SLI'd 6800GT's. However, for some games, the 6800GT in SLI would give you screamin' performance.

I do like the idea of dual core over single core. However, if you are over budget, a 3500+ is a good bang for buck choice. The dual core option in 6 months might be a possible future upgrade path. By then, I am sure we will see the 3800 and 4000 dual cores putting a LOT of downward pressure on CPU prices across the board.

Finally, consider getting a pair of 1GB DIMMs. There would be a cost premium, but prices on RAM are as awfully low. Might as well get the extra RAM now. If you have to push out a purchase till later, Vid card and CPU prices will always come down, and performance will only go up. RAM may be as cheap as it is going to get for the next year or so.

Just some thoughts for your consideration.
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Postposted on Sun Jul 31, 2005 1:00 am

SLI boards have come down in price, they aren't too much more than Ultras... I think it's worth getting one just for the option of getting a second card later.
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