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OK, SCREW IT!!!!! I'm building a new rig!

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  • OK, SCREW IT!!!!! I'm building a new rig!

    It had to happen some time.... I have been DYING lately to play games. I'm getting CoD2 and BF2 tonight. (I am getting BF2 to force me to build the rig)

    SO, in honor of going 2 years without playing games, I am putting together the following setup.....

    Biostar N4SLI-A9
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813138253

    Athlon 64 3800+ X2
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103562

    MSI RX1600PRO times 2!!!
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814127201

    2 gigs DDR PC3200
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820231036

    Enermax Libery SLI ready PSU
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817194002

    WD800JD 80 gig HDD TIMES 2!!! (raid 0 baby)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822135106

    Raidmax xB Black case
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811156053

    Lite on DVD+/-RW
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16827131419


    now knowing that I need to stay at or below 1100............

    what could I edit to get more bang for the buck... this is pretty much my computer for the next 3 years or so (give or take the odd upgrade...) so any expertise would be appreciated.... (God I build the things for a living and I'm all indecisive about my own computer..... of course, its MY money this time I guess, and I gotta live with the thing for a while. Is that horrible of me? hehehe)

    TIA!
    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein
    The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -Harlan Ellison

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  • #2
    Re: OK, SCREW IT!!!!! I'm building a new rig!

    My advice?

    1) Avoid RAID0. The last thing you need is an exponential increase in the chance of a failure. A single large drive is better. If you want RAID, go with larger drives to get the capacity you need, and mirror them. I like mirrored root drives and RAID5 or RAID10 for data drives, but that's serious $$$.

    2) I'm not yet convinced of the value of dual-core processors -- and by value, I mean bang for the buck. My own choice was a single-core 3700+.

    3) For $250, you're better off IMO with a single, higher-end video card than a pair of lower-end ones. How about a Sapphire X800 GTO^2?

    4) Don't get value RAM. Get good fast stuff. I use OCZ Platinum EL 3200 @ 2-3-2-5.

    5) I'm not familiar with BioStar, so I can't comment on your choice of mobo beyond the specs.

    6) Get a beefier power supply. 400W is not enough; you want 500W at least if you're planning on ever running two video cards.
    |TG-1stMIP|Mannerism​​​​​​​

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    • #3
      Re: OK, SCREW IT!!!!! I'm building a new rig!

      Originally posted by KeithMann
      My advice?

      1) Avoid RAID0. The last thing you need is an exponential increase in the chance of a failure. A single large drive is better. If you want RAID, go with larger drives to get the capacity you need, and mirror them. I like mirrored root drives and RAID5 or RAID10 for data drives, but that's serious $$$.

      2) I'm not yet convinced of the value of dual-core processors -- and by value, I mean bang for the buck. My own choice was a single-core 3700+.

      3) For $250, you're better off IMO with a single, higher-end video card than a pair of lower-end ones. How about a Sapphire X800 GTO^2?

      4) Don't get value RAM. Get good fast stuff. I use OCZ Platinum EL 3200 @ 2-3-2-5.

      5) I'm not familiar with BioStar, so I can't comment on your choice of mobo beyond the specs.

      6) Get a beefier power supply. 400W is not enough; you want 500W at least if you're planning on ever running two video cards.
      That's great advice. The only thing I'd differ with is the RAID0 part; I've been running RAID0 for over two-and-a-half years now without problems. Me, myself, and Irene like it. :D

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      • #4
        Re: OK, SCREW IT!!!!! I'm building a new rig!

        Originally posted by KeithMann
        My advice?

        3) For $250, you're better off IMO with a single, higher-end video card than a pair of lower-end ones. How about a Sapphire X800 GTO^2?
        This one I want to echo. SLI/crossfire is really only useful in two situations:

        a) If you want to go faster than the top single card solution. In other words you have a lot of money to spend.

        b.) You want to get a single SLI/crossfire capable card now and leave the option for adding a second in the future if the cost is right.

        Summary: Go for a high end single card solution because you'll get more bang for the buck.

        Now which card? I don't doubt that the X800 GTO^2 is a nice card when you unlock the extra pipelines and overclock the sucker(which its good at) but the X800 series is old technology these days. Note I'm not saying bad...I mean the tech inside is a bit behind the times. In my eyes its not a good recommendation for someone who wants this thing to last a while(2-3 years). The lack of Shader Model 3.0 in particular is going to hurt that card when the newer games start coming out later in 06 and the 07 games.

        To me the best bang for the buck is still the 7800GT at the moment. The 7800GS may upstage it though if it comes out soon and the price is right...
        |TG-12th|mantis

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        • #5
          Re: OK, SCREW IT!!!!! I'm building a new rig!

          a single x800 beats 2 x1600? something doesn't sound right there. is there any place you can point me to show some benefit....(getting one good card now and getting a send later would be a good idea....)

          I have almost 2 terabytes of storage.... I got the 80's instead of 40's because they were 4 dollars more each.... I want the raid, I don't care about the size.....

          the power supply suggestion has merit...

          never heard of biostar? wow. you need to check them out......
          Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein
          The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -Harlan Ellison

          If all else fails: "rm -rf /"

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          • #6
            Re: OK, SCREW IT!!!!! I'm building a new rig!

            Get an Opteron dual core instead. They OC like champs. Also get an X1800XT 512MB then flash it with the Sapphire BIOS.

            Assuming the budget allows it.
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            • #7
              Re: OK, SCREW IT!!!!! I'm building a new rig!

              The budget doesn't like that idea...

              now knowing that I need to stay at or below 1100............
              |TG-12th|mantis

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              • #8
                Re: OK, SCREW IT!!!!! I'm building a new rig!

                Originally posted by =DdogG=
                a single x800 beats 2 x1600? something doesn't sound right there. is there any place you can point me to show some benefit....(getting one good card now and getting a send later would be a good idea....)
                I don't have any benchmarks handy, but I recommend the GTO^2 because you can soft-mod it to X850PE specs and beyond. In any case the core of my suggestion was to buy a single fast card rather than two slower ones.

                I have almost 2 terabytes of storage.... I got the 80's instead of 40's because they were 4 dollars more each.... I want the raid, I don't care about the size.....
                OK, so these are root drives for you then, and you wanted the RAID for performance? Clearly not redundancy or capacity. I would still recommend RAID1 over RAID0.

                never heard of biostar? wow. you need to check them out......
                I have heard of them, but I haven't used their boards so I didn't want to comment.
                |TG-1stMIP|Mannerism​​​​​​​

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                • #9
                  Re: OK, SCREW IT!!!!! I'm building a new rig!

                  I would say go with 1 good card over 2 crap card's SLI, IMO. Also I wouldn't go dual-core for gaming, it won't be needed/important for years, and even then it probably won't be used much for gaming becuase they'll be focusing on the next best thing. I would recommend a high-end FX processor or the like.

                  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817104934

                  My reccomendation for a PSU for your system.

                  If you go SLI, be aware that you need atleast a good 450W PSU. SLI = massive power drain. If you don't go SLI, you can get by on a good brand (antec, Fortron Source, OCZ, etc.) 400W easily. I deffinantly recommend against SLI. It's like putting craptons of cold-cathodes in your case. Nice bragging rights but performance wise it's pretty much eh.

                  Biostar is a great BUDGET brand Mobo. I use them all the time in non-gaming builds. I never use them in gaming rigs, however, becuase they are "user-friendly" boards (read: you can't adjust the bios nearly as well as you'd like, particularily for OC and whatnot) But I will add that when I build gaming rigs I build for enthusiasts, so.

                  Also note that you're putting ATI cards in an Nvidia chipset motherboard. I don't do this just on obvious principal, though there is no proof that it won't run right or as well as it could.
                  Last edited by Spyder; 01-13-2006, 05:44 PM.
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                  • #10
                    Re: OK, SCREW IT!!!!! I'm building a new rig!

                    That's a SLI mobo but does it support Crossfire? ATI uses Crossfire and nVidia uses SLI. I think the mobo must say it supports Crossfire.

                    - It's who you game with.

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                    • #11
                      Re: OK, SCREW IT!!!!! I'm building a new rig!

                      Originally posted by KeithMann
                      My advice?


                      4) Don't get value RAM. Get good fast stuff. I use OCZ Platinum EL 3200 @ 2-3-2-5.
                      Does expensive memory make that much difference? Especially with the mother board he is getting?

                      I have read that midrange mother boards actually can choke on expensive ram.
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                      • #12
                        Re: OK, SCREW IT!!!!! I'm building a new rig!

                        Well, as I said, I'm not familiar with that particular motherboard. I'd be surprised if good RAM caused a problem with a bad motherboard; good RAM is generally tolerant of slower timings. I suggest fast RAM as a general principle.

                        The short answer is, yes, faster RAM timings make a significant difference.
                        |TG-1stMIP|Mannerism​​​​​​​

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                        • #13
                          As others have said, it's doesn't make financial sense to CrossFire those cards. I would recommend making a couple small changes:

                          MASI K8N Socket 939 Motherboard - This is a high quality motherboard at a very reasonable price. $81

                          EVGA 7800GT - Will blow away CrossFired 1600's. $300

                          Seagate Barracuda 7200.8, 250GB - Three times the storage for the same price. $108

                          Total: $1018

                          The higher quality video card will make your machine very fast. It wouldn't be a bad idea to upgrade the PSU as well, but it may or may not be necessary. I've not known anyone personally who had a Raid0 setup fail on them, but then again many people don't believe that there's much performance benefit in the first place. The Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 series is very popular and known to have good performance.
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                          • #14
                            Re: OK, SCREW IT!!!!! I'm building a new rig!

                            I'll echo what everyone else has said about SLI/Crossfire: Don't do it! Buy the best single card you can fit into your budget right now. Two years from now, when you need a graphics boost, the cost to add another card will be a third what you would pay right now...

                            It's easy to assume that two cards will double your graphics performance. It most certainly does not, and I don't think it's worth buying the second card until that card becomes inexpensive...
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                            • #15
                              Re: OK, SCREW IT!!!!! I'm building a new rig!

                              I've got an AMD 4000, 7800GT 256, and 2gig of good ram. Run everything maxed out and no problems. I love my rig and have no regrets.
                              The Old Guy
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