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  • New Rig From Velocity Micro - Your Thoughts?

    Greetings all-

    Loyalguard checking in after a lonnnnngggg absence. I have been out of gaming altogether for about six months due to those little conflicts in life that interfere with our more leisurely pursuits. Of course, just as my schedule clears my old machine dies (CPU=toast). Awful timing considering how well PR is turning out and ArmA coming to the U.S. market. Anyway, it was time for a new rig and so I am looking to acquire something decent.

    I was strongly considering building my own but have decided against it for a couple of reasons. I currently live in Iceland and parts cost double if not more than they do back home in the U.S. I can order from newegg and the like fairly easily but shipping can take up to 4 weeks from the time it leaves the warehouse so I am afraid that if I had a problem with any of the components it could be several months from order to ship to receive to re-stock, etc. I want to be up and running again by June so that has convinced me to go with pre-built. Yes, I know I can save 20% or more if I do it myself but given my unique circumstances I'd rather pay for the convenience.

    So, that left me with trying to find a maufacturer. Having purchased a PC from all of the Tier-1 makers at least once, the one thing I did know was that I didn't want to go with HP, Dell, or Gateway again. Long story short (too late!) after reading a lot of great advice here, at Tom's Hardware, and [H]ard|OCP, I have decided to go with Velocity Micro. It was a toss up between VM and MAINGEAR. Both get outstanding reviews from packaging to wiring to tech support but in the end I though VM was the way to go.

    So, I would like your thoughts on the rig I am about to purchase. This is essentialy their Gamer's Edge 1500 Gaming PC. I have chosen very little customization since for $1500, I think this is a great setup:

    Edited with changes in italics from fellow TG'ers as seen below:

    Case: GX Black - Velocity Micro Classic Case - Pure Aluminum, matching aluminum drive covers, 2 x 120mm fans
    PSU: 500 Watt Velocity Micro® Power Supply with Dual Blue Lighted Fans
    MOBO: Asus® P5N-E SLI nForce 650i SLI, Socket 775, PCI-E, DDR2
    CPU: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor E6400, dual 2.13GHz cores, 2MB L2 Cache
    CPU Cooling: Intel® Certified Oversized Solid Copper Heatsink/Dual Fans with Arctic Silver™ 5 Thermal Compound
    RAM: DDR2 Memory 1024MB Corsair™ DDR2 PC5300 DDR667 (2x512)
    Video: 320MB EVGA GeForce 8800GTS DDR3 PCI-E w/HDCP SUPERCLOCKED
    Video Cooling: None
    Audio: Creative Labs SoundBlaster® X-Fi™ XtremeAudio
    HDD: 250GB Western Digital WD2500JD 7200rpm SATA/150, 8MB Cache
    Optical Drive 1: 20x Lite On® DVD+/-RW/CD-RW Dual Layer, Black Bezel
    Optical Drive 2: None
    OS: Vista Home Premium 32-bit

    What do you think? I have also decided to stick with XP to avoid driver compatability issues and other headaches. We have other PC's in the house, so this will pretty much be mine. I am pretty much only gonna play BF2 and ArmA (and maybe Spore when it come out!). Is my $1500 better spent via a different configuration or method? Does anyone else have any experience with Velocity Micro? Thanks and I'll hopefully see you back out there as a SM soon!
    Last edited by loyalguard; 04-23-2007, 12:43 PM. Reason: To reflect latest changes
    LoyalGuard

  • #2
    Re: New Rig From Velocity Micro - Your Thoughts?

    Looks like an awesome deal. I would suggest upgrading to an 8800 if possible. The benchmarks I have seen show that the 8800 is way better than the 8600and for a game like ArmA it will make a huge differance. Here is a thread that has a little more info about the two.

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    • #3
      Re: New Rig From Velocity Micro - Your Thoughts?

      Originally posted by jonan_ View Post
      I would suggest upgrading to an 8800 if possible. The benchmarks I have seen show that the 8800 is way better than the 8600and for a game like ArmA it will make a huge differance. Here is a thread that has a little more info about the two.
      Thanks for the link re: the 8600s

      Hmm...I can get a 320MB EVGA GeForce 8800GTS DDR3 PCI-E (w/HDCP SUPERCLOCKED) and bring my total up to about $1640. If I went with the 640MB it would be $1775 total. $1450-1550 was really the range I was shooting for so I think I would go with the 320MB if I did.

      It looks like I can get on average an extra 16 FPS on highest settings (using BF2142 as a benchmark: 8800 vs.8600). Is this worth $140?

      Thanks for the help!
      LoyalGuard

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      • #4
        Re: New Rig From Velocity Micro - Your Thoughts?

        Originally posted by loyalguard View Post
        Thanks for the link re: the 8600s

        Hmm...I can get a 320MB EVGA GeForce 8800GTS DDR3 PCI-E (w/HDCP SUPERCLOCKED) and bring my total up to about $1640. If I went with the 640MB it would be $1775 total. $1450-1550 was really the range I was shooting for so I think I would go with the 320MB if I did.

        It looks like I can get on average an extra 16 FPS on highest settings (using BF2142 as a benchmark: 8800 vs.8600). Is this worth $140?

        Thanks for the help!
        That is the exact card that I have and it runs great. I max out everything in BF2142 and I get 99.9 fps. If I manually put in a higher resolution into the command line (1680x1050) then I still get somewhere around 75 fps. The only way the 640MB model is worth it is if you are going to be running higher resolutions. Here is a good article I just found. If you look at the fps at the 1600 range for the 320 vs the 640 they are almost the same. It is when you go higher than that the 640 starts to pull away. You can also see the the 8600 didn't do as well as the 7900's. Hope this helps.

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        • #5
          Re: New Rig From Velocity Micro - Your Thoughts?

          Actually, you get an extra 16 FPS + 16xAA (vs. 2xAA). HardOCP doesn't bench with the same settings for all video cards. They tweak for the highest possible graphics quality without compromising FPS. The 8800 will be well worth the extra money.

          It seems you're going for a similar range of performance to the rig I built last summer. I went with very similar performing parts that this pre-built rig has. My specs:
          Gigabyte DS3
          Core 2 E6400
          2x1GB Corsair PC6400 C4
          eVGA 7900GT 256MB

          Those were the main parts that I bought and the ones that really make a difference in performance. I'll say right now that RAM speed does make a difference in game load times. If you can overclock and get your RAM and CPU speeds higher, you can get extra juice out of that system. It should be easy too with the Core 2's.

          If you get rid of some parts, you can bring down the price enough to get the 8800GTS 320MB. Get rid of these parts:
          - Video cooling (just fans inside the case that blow air on the card)
          - Either of the optical drives (two aren't necessary and you could reuse parts from your dead system)
          - Keep the Vista OS (you'll need it eventually with that DX10 card)
          - Mouse/keyboard (reuse the dead system's)

          - It's who you game with.

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          • #6
            Re: New Rig From Velocity Micro - Your Thoughts?

            Jonan & SARC -

            Great stuff guys, thanks! I am definitely going to go with the 8800 now and trim a little fat from the rest of the build.

            I can save $75 alone if I go with Vista over XP. I was concerned about driver compatability but it looks like that is getting resolved.

            Thanks again!
            LoyalGuard

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: New Rig From Velocity Micro - Your Thoughts?

              Velocity Micro makes pretty good stuff. THe only thing I don't like about them is that they tend to use cheap RAM and slow hard drives. Like others have said, get the 8800 GTS instead of the 8600. Also, it would definitely be worth your while to get it with 2gb of RAM, especially if you're going to be playing Battlefield and running Vista at some point.

              Otherwise, tahhalooks like a pretty killer system. I'm sure you'll be really happy with it. :)
              sigpic

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              • #8
                Re: New Rig From Velocity Micro - Your Thoughts?

                Thanks buckets, good point about the RAM. Velocity wants to add $135 if I go 2X1024 instead of 2X512 which seems kinda hefty to me. I'm thinking about purchasing from newegg or the like and add later. Any thoughts?

                So here are the changes I'm looking at:

                -Added the 8800 320MB (vice the 8600)
                -Dropped the Video Cooling
                -Dropped the second DVD drive (Not sure why they include two in the baseline)
                -Going with Vista over XP. Velocity’s burn-in is supposed to pretty good so I won't worry about driver issues right now.

                I probably won't order until the end of the week so if there is anything else I'm still open to suggestions. Thanks for all the help so far!
                LoyalGuard

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: New Rig From Velocity Micro - Your Thoughts?

                  I would upgrade the power supply. I have found out the hard way what a good PS is worth. I wouldn't upgrade to Vista yet. There have been too many problems reported for my pain tolerance level.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: New Rig From Velocity Micro - Your Thoughts?

                    Hambergler-

                    I have heard good stuff about the quality of their PSU's...should I go for more watts. For another $125 I can get a SLI-certified 850w (they don't offer a 700w). But that is again exceeding my budget. I am not planning on SLI right now (but other than the PSU I can upgrade to it easily later). How would you rate the necessity of a higer wattage. I have heard that 700w is min. for SLI. Will I definitely need to upgrade if I want to go that route?

                    I am indeed struggling with XP vs. Vista. Does anyone have any negative experiences with the 8800 and Vista Home 32?
                    LoyalGuard

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: New Rig From Velocity Micro - Your Thoughts?

                      Originally posted by loyalguard View Post
                      Thanks buckets, good point about the RAM. Velocity wants to add $135 if I go 2X1024 instead of 2X512 which seems kinda hefty to me. I'm thinking about purchasing from newegg or the like and add later. Any thoughts?

                      So here are the changes I'm looking at:

                      -Added the 8800 320MB (vice the 8600)
                      -Dropped the Video Cooling
                      -Dropped the second DVD drive (Not sure why they include two in the baseline)
                      -Going with Vista over XP. Velocity’s burn-in is supposed to pretty good so I won't worry about driver issues right now.

                      I probably won't order until the end of the week so if there is anything else I'm still open to suggestions. Thanks for all the help so far!
                      You would probably be better off just replacing the stuff that ships with the computer with a decent 2x1gb set from Newegg. The sticks that ship with the Velocity Micro machines tend to be from value lines with high timings and no heat spreaders. So yeah, if thats an option, upgrade the ram with something decent ASAP. You might also think about upgrading the HDD sometime and making the one that comes with it into a backup. A nice 300 mb/s 16mb cache SATA2 drive would do the trick nicely.
                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: New Rig From Velocity Micro - Your Thoughts?

                        Have you considered building it yourself. It's really pretty easy, much easier then it used to be. Then you can be sure to get the nicest components for the cheapest price. Newegg is king. As far as psus go I stick with very well known reputable brands. Seasonic or enermax 700w is fine. Make sure PSU you get has the connectors you need for your video card. I also protect my systems with an ups. Power surges are a PC killer. I'm talking about slight variations in power that aren't apparent or visual.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: New Rig From Velocity Micro - Your Thoughts?

                          Helllllooooo Loyal...

                          Pleasure to see you on again..

                          Go with the 2 x1 GB of Ram...See if you can delete that from your build and just get it yourself from Newegg...despite the difficulties you spelled out re shipping.

                          Cant go wrong, it seems with corsair XMS but you'll find 10 others that have their loyalty to 5 other brands...Good luck mate...looking forward to fragging with you again.
                          sigpic
                          |TG-1st|Grunt
                          ARMA Admin (retired)
                          Pathfinder-Spartan 5

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: New Rig From Velocity Micro - Your Thoughts?

                            You can save much more than 20% if you do it yourself. But, I suppose being in Iceland makes it much harder.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: New Rig From Velocity Micro - Your Thoughts?

                              I wish you guys would stop be so darn helpful and quit making sense! :row__572:

                              Ok, so I am starting to swing to building my own and take a risk on the shipping issue (see my OP). So, spec'ing a similar rig with parts from newegg (actually better since it includes 2GB of better quality RAM and a higher wattage SLI-certified PSU) for less than $1400 I can get this:

                              Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
                              PSU: Antec True Power Trio TP3-650 ATX12V 650W Power Supply with Three 12V Rails - Retail
                              MOBO: ASUS P5N-E SLI LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
                              CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6420 Conroe 2.13GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6420 - Retail
                              RAM: CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400 - Retail
                              GPU: EVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - Retail
                              HDD: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KSRTL 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - Retail
                              ODD: LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write Black SATA Model LH-20A1S - Retail
                              Sound: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card - Retail
                              OS: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic DVD - Retail

                              Thoughts, opinions, suggestions? Am I missing anything big? Should I go with Vista or stick with XP? Should I get the sound card or stick with onboard audio? If I know little about MOBO's and GPU's, I know even less about cases and PSU's - How do those Antec cases and PSU's measure up?

                              I'm still trying to decide between buy and build, I want convenience but it is hard tossing down an extra couple hundred $ when you don't have to.
                              LoyalGuard

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