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Building your Rig - Things you NEED to know

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  • Building your Rig - Things you NEED to know

    Alright, I'm gonna get my spheel in here, see if some insite can help you guys out.

    First thing to remember: There are so many choices, you build the computer to fit your needs.

    Now, understanding components. I'm going to use a library analogy that seems to work best

    The Brain - CPU - This is the decision maker of the entire process. This is how fast you can make sense of the data that's being thrown at you.

    Ram - The Desk your working on. How much stuff can you have on your desk at once before you need to put stuff back on teh shelves cuz you've run out of room.

    The Shelves - Your Hard Disk. How many books do you own (how many songs/ movies / programs / ect ect).

    Bandwidth - This has so many meanings. Bandwidth with teh internet is how much data can travel between your desk and your shevles and your brain at once. If you have to wait less time to get something from teh shelves, better.

    HOW THIS ALL WORKS TOGEATHER.

    First off, what is the computer for. If it's a gaming rig, is it an internet surfer, is it a video editor, is it a math number cruncher. This is hte most important part. Next is price. What can you get for your money.

    GAMING RIG -

    Mid level CPU. Your all probably gonna gawk at me, but here's the reason. A game does not really take that much thinking to get across everything it needs. Try opening up your taskmanager sometime while your in a game, and see how much it's really using. Now try compressing something, or ripping down a dvd, where the computer has to analyze and change pixel after pixel after pixel. You will probably find that games use less CPU then you actually think!
    Ram - Faster the better, 512 is minimum, 1024 is great, 2048 means you'll probably never have to use your page file. (page file's the file that keeps all the stuff that should be in your ram, but isn't being used, on your hard drive)
    HD - Here's a secret. One fast low Gig HD will do better then 3 7200 RPM 320giger's. For instance, Western Digital makes a raptor drive, 10,000 RPM, very very low seek times. but they come in i think 14 gig max. Put your games on this drive, put windows on this drive, keep your music and your movies off of it. always keep atleast 40% of the drive empty. (I can get into why if you need me to, but essentially it means no defrag). getting the info into your ram is very important too. SATA is faster then IDE (and an industry norm now). Hook up your drive on SATA and it can send more info faster to the ram. (faster shelf to desk). IDE is slower, but if it's only storing music and movies, who cares. (unless your editing movies).

    Now the kicker, for a gaming rig, your grahpics card is the end all. Your graphics card does 2 things. A) It handles your grahpics, it makes thoes lines smoother, it makes explosions nicer, ect ect ect. We all know what good grahpics look like. B) IT TAKES THE LOAD OFF YOUR CPU. I can't stress this enough. The more you take off your CPU, the less it has to do, the faster it can do other things.

    Ideal setup for a gaming rig: (this varies hugely)
    CPU: AMD 3400+
    RAM: 1024 Corsair ram (the stuff is better then porn)
    HD: 1xWD raptor, 2x120gig other (space is space, how much do you need). If you can afford it, 2xWD Raptors in a Raid setup is blazing fast
    VIDEO: It's your choice. Price is the factor here, 2xGTX7900SLI's will set you back 1500$ alone. One's 800$ Or you can go X1900 ATI's. even a step down will cuz the price in half. Look at ram on it. Get a 256meg card, get something that's PCI-E if you have a MoBo that has it. go AGP 8x if you don't. PCI card's just dont' cut it any more. The bandwidth (remember this word?) matters here. You want informatoin getting from your CPU to your grahpics card as fast as possible. PCI-E does that. it's 16x faster then PCI. think of a highway, more lanes, more cars.

    If your looking for specifics, PM me, and I'll help you setup a rig for your purpose and cost. There are so many trade off's that you can do when it comes to building a PC. Faster CPU at the cost of HD space. Faster Ram at the cost of Grahpics.

    I know there are alot of people out there that play games, and here all these numbers and letters flying past you, and you want to know what they all mean. Peopel can tag numbers on anything, but if you can't interpret them, what good is it?


    *****

    Almsot forgot.
    Heatsink - So important. I say spend the extra money, and get something that's fantastic instead of good. Do you really awnna blow that new chip you have because it overheated?
    Case - A good case = less heat = more space for air flow = better layout = cooler looking. Don't buy a 300$ case when a 120$ will do, but don't buy a 120$ case if your dropping 4000$ worth of stuff in to it. It will over heat.
    Hard drives, CPU's, Grahpics cards all create ALOT of heat. ALOT. Fry and egg alot. They also suck alot of....
    POWER SUPPLY. Here's the backbone of everything that runs on your computer. You want enough CLEAN wattage to power everything you have. When I say clean, I mean un-interrupted. Which means, if it peaks at 650watts, but is only clean at 450, if your computer pulls 500watts, then you'll get dips, and dips break things.

    Conclusoin:
    At the end of the day a ferrari is great, but if you don't put in good oil, it'll blow up just as quickly as a Civic.

    Again, any questions please ask. I've built a few systems before, and while I'm running the most garbage peice of crap most of you have ever seen, its because I'm broke.

    It's 1am. I will edit this, and add, and probably make it more english, but I am tired right now, and I needed to get it out before I forgot to write the post.
    Ambriento for comm! Vote today!

  • #2
    Re: Building your Rig - Things you NEED to know

    One thing to add about expensive cases that if you drop them they are less likely to deform or break. I recently dropped my heavy Xaser III case (it was a mis step on 1/2 sloped driveway 1/2 dirt + slightly rolling the ankle) onto concrete and the only damage that I could note on it was a slight bulge on one side that was possibly 1mm out of place. A friend of mine had a case that looked like the Xaser, but was a cheap aluminum one and it took the same type of fall and it bowed and buckled like crazy. The funny thing is that he kept and still uses that case for a server even after a group of friends and I bought him a nice Lian-Li.


    Otherwise great little guide.
    -BB|KillerTarget

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    • #3
      Re: Building your Rig - Things you NEED to know

      There's so much more I need to write. I'll get on it tomorrow.
      Ambriento for comm! Vote today!

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      • #4
        Re: Building your Rig - Things you NEED to know

        Maybe you should amend the heatsink section. You don't really need anything better than stock if you are using AMD and not or just barely overclocking. For intel (why would you use intel for gaming anyway?) i would get a better HS.

        And i agree completely that spending good money on a case an PS is essential and not just for cooling. Sound, style, ease of upgrade/installation all make a case worth the money. The first computer i built is in a 50 dollar case and my new one is in a 120 dollar case and it made/makes a huge difference when i built it and when i work in it as compared to the old one.
        _____________________



        ---

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        • #5
          Re: Building your Rig - Things you NEED to know

          The need for a quality PSU needs to be emphasized more, IMO. People need to quit buying those $30 600watt power supplies... Stick with the big companies on this, if nothing else!
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          • #6
            Re: Building your Rig - Things you NEED to know

            I actually have had some really good luck with my cheap power supply. It is made by Rosewill, and it's a 500w. The rails are great. Especially for the roughly 50$ procetag. However, I completely and totally agree, get a good Antec PSU and you won't have to worry about a thing for years to come.

            Also, the case aspect is very, VERY important. For me, when a computer is in a good case, and looks good all together (tower, monitor, keyboard/mouse, and maybe speakers) it seems to have a feel about it that makes it seem like its running better than it may be.

            Steel_Penguin = correct about HSF stuff. If you think that it's running too hot with stock cooling, try getting some good thermal paste. I had my Athlon XP 2400+ running at 110F with a Thermaltake Volcano 6 HSF (7300RPM fan, loud as a beast) and when I put on some Artic Silver, it dropped down to running at 90F or so on idle. Which, is pretty damn good.

            |CS:S Dev Team|



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            • #7
              Re: Building your Rig - Things you NEED to know

              A quality PSU is essential - name brand only here or you are rolling the dice on if you will have hard to diagnose issues.

              Quality RAM - again, name brand is the game. It doesn't have to be super fast but name brand is the way to go. Crucial, kingston, etc...

              CPU - Get the best bang for the buck. But, your GPU card purchase will also affect which is the best CPU to get. A higher end GPU will push the system limitations to the CPU, while a lower end CPU has the opposite effect. (Disclaimer: AA and/or AF usually puts the limitations back onto the GPU)

              GPU - Best you can afford. Stick to true midrange or better.

              Case - I like the solid aluminum cases. They are heavy but they help shed heat and can withstand a close range nuclear blast.

              CPU Heatsink/Fan - I usually go with stock unless stock is to loud then I'll throw something better on.

              Case Fans - 80mm or 120mm depending on what you can fit. Bearingless designs. Go for quiet.

              Cable Management - One of the overlooked things when building a computer. Bundle the cables together and tuck them out of the way. Maintain good case air flow.

              Air Flow- Personally, i go with 2 in, 1 out as standard. 2 in near the bottom, 1 out near the middle. Sometimes, if the case has the hole I'll put another out at the top.

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              • #8
                Re: Building your Rig - Things you NEED to know

                When you have time, I'd like to see your suggestions for a video editing rig.

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                • #9
                  Re: Building your Rig - Things you NEED to know

                  Originally posted by SuperDudeBT
                  When you have time, I'd like to see your suggestions for a video editing rig.
                  A Quad core mac with maxed out memory, dual 30 inch LCD screens, and Final Cut Pro HD. Don't think I left out to much and it is pretty quiet also I think.
                  -BB|KillerTarget

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                  • #10
                    Re: Building your Rig - Things you NEED to know

                    Originally posted by KillerTarget
                    A Quad core mac with maxed out memory, dual 30 inch LCD screens, and Final Cut Pro HD. Don't think I left out to much and it is pretty quiet also I think.
                    Unfortunatly, he's pretty much got it down pat.
                    Video editing these days is done mostly if not entirely on mac's. (I can get into the way the processors work, but there's no real point).

                    Any audio or video (unless done on specialized machines) is done on a mac. If you look at pixar, or disney, or any high end CGI studio, all the work done there is built on a mac, and then pixal-processed through a CGI Supercomp. It would take a dell about a week per frame to get all the shading and everything done.

                    The other question to look at when doing high end video is space. A HUGE requirement on video editing is working with uncompressed video, which if you've done it before takes up stupid ammounts of room. (think a terrabyte to do a home film with some decient editing). Most of which you do in sections, but it's nice to be able to store.

                    Conclusion (if you decided to skip everything i typed) Buy a mac, talk to a specialty store to see what they recomend.
                    Ambriento for comm! Vote today!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Building your Rig - Things you NEED to know

                      Originally posted by Darkilla
                      Unfortunatly, he's pretty much got it down pat.
                      Video editing these days is done mostly if not entirely on mac's. (I can get into the way the processors work, but there's no real point).

                      Any audio or video (unless done on specialized machines) is done on a mac. If you look at pixar, or disney, or any high end CGI studio, all the work done there is built on a mac, and then pixal-processed through a CGI Supercomp. It would take a dell about a week per frame to get all the shading and everything done.

                      The other question to look at when doing high end video is space. A HUGE requirement on video editing is working with uncompressed video, which if you've done it before takes up stupid ammounts of room. (think a terrabyte to do a home film with some decient editing). Most of which you do in sections, but it's nice to be able to store.

                      Conclusion (if you decided to skip everything i typed) Buy a mac, talk to a specialty store to see what they recomend.

                      Indeed. I've done work on a Windows PC built for video editing. It was...unreliable to put it in a decent light. For small change work it was okay, but anything major just about made the system crap.
                      a.k.a. NinjaPirateAssassin
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                      • #12
                        Re: Building your Rig - Things you NEED to know

                        Ya, we have 3 macs at the television station at school. One of them has Final Cut HD, and the rest I think are Pro. I hope to get Adobe Premier 6.5 soon to run on my laptop to do any stories I have, soo I'm hoping it works out well.

                        And, it's 5 mins/1 GB for captured video. So, an hour equals 12 GB.

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