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  • Building a new rig compliments of the insurance company

    I'm in the process of claiming two damaged desktop computers with the insurance company and it looks like I'll have somewhere around $4000-$4500 to spend building a new rig. I don't need two computers like I had before. I just had extra parts.

    Now I'm looking to build a much more powerful rig. Here are the parts I'm looking at. Please give any comments if I should get different parts, different brands, etc. While I'm not concerned with price at the moment since I have a healthy budget to play with, I don't necessarily want to overspend on parts that aren't worth it.

    Any and all feedback appreciated.


    LIAN LI PC-A70A Silver Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case - $249.99
    I'm a huge fan of Lian Li cases but I'm not stuck on them. I don't really care for the modding cases with flashing lights, windows, etc.

    ASUS P5N32-E SLI LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - $219.99
    I've had great success with Asus mobos but I'm contemplating going with an EVGA mobo since my GPUs will be EVGA. I was thinking of waiting for the 780i but not sure I'd utilize the tri-SLI or PCI-e. By the time I get the insurance check I may change my mind depending on availability and price.

    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model BX80562Q6600 - $279.99
    Definitely want quad core and may go to the Q6700 or possibly one of the new 45nm CPUs depending on when I get the insurance check, availability and price.

    ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler - $79.99
    I'm not planning to overclock this rig but I do want to make sure I have a cool CPU. I don't really want to deal with water cooling.

    (2x SLI)
    EVGA 768-P2-N835-A3 GeForce 8800GTX Superclocked 768MB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - $589.99
    I do plan to stick with the EVGA brand here. They do offer lifetime warranties and a 90-day upgrade option which I used before with ease. I'm planning to run dual-SLI here.

    ENERMAX INFINITI EIN720AWT ATX12V/ EPS12V 720W Power Supply - $219.99
    I used the enermax component PSU in the past and loved it. No ties however.

    CORSAIR XMS2 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C5DHX - $159.00
    I was surprised at how inexpensive these were so I'm not positive these are the best to get. I do want 2 x 2GB to utilize dual channel. I understand there will be some memory lost due to Vista 32bit but I'm willing to deal with that.

    (2x) Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS (Perpendicular Recording Technology) 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - $84.99

    SAMSUNG 245BW Black High Glossy 24" 5ms DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor with Height Adjustment - $499.99

    Creative 70SB046A00000 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Professional Series - $135.99
    I had the XtremeMusic card before but those aren't sold anymore. I had great success with the XtremeMusic so I may look to find that one again. If not, I'll probably go with the Fatal1ty.

    Logitech Z-5500 505 Watts 5.1 Speaker - $302.99
    I want some good surround sound speakers. I don't really know what is good out there anymore. I had 4.1 THX certified in the past which were great. I do use headphones quite a bit, but want the option of some good 5.1 speakers.

    ASUS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model DRW-2014L1T - $39.99
    I just picked a basic DVD burner. No idea what's good or not.

    APC UPS
    I do plan to get a UPS but I'm not sure what watts or number of outlets I'll need to handle this system yet.

    Windows Vista 32-bit Home Premium

    Medusa 5.1 Surround Sound Headphones


    What am I missing? What are the thoughts on this setup?
    |TG-12th| asch
    sigpic

  • #2
    Re: Building a new rig compliments of the insurance company

    WOW. You may want to order a couple of sun lamps just to keep your vitamin D status processing going since you may not want to go out to the light of day any more. Those cards in SLi are going to be incredible for a long time. I have the same Zalman and it adds a very nice nuclear glow.:icon_cool Looks like a beautiful system that should be future proof for quite some time.

    EDIT:
    I overlooked that you asked for some feedback:
    Based on what you listed and my similar experience, you should be in great shape for a while.

    I have a ABIT IN9-32MAX mobo that is essentially exactly the same as the ASUS you have listed. Runs great and has lots of overclocking possibilities and easy onboard utilites to do it, although, I don't need to overclock it yet.
    You should enjoy that ASUS board.

    I have the same Seagate hard drives (2 X 320 gig). Super easy to install with SATA connections. Best Buy has those on sale this week for $59.

    PSU is similar, Coolermaster 750 W and I have no problems whatsoever with power so you should be in great shape.

    Your video goes without saying. No problems there. I am running a 8800GT OC 512 single and can run games high without any problems, but will add another in SLi later as needed.

    I went with a Core duo 3.0 with 4 Gigs of RAM for the same price, but will upgrade to quad in a few years.

    Added a basic 20x LG DVD similar to yours and it works great. I did miss out on the SATA option there.
    Last edited by jb4; 12-26-2007, 09:06 PM. Reason: more info

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Building a new rig compliments of the insurance company

      from what i hear 32-bit os do not use all 4 gigs of ram
      if that is correct why not go with 64 -bit vista
      im sure all your pards have 64-bit drivers and they both cost the same

      lTG- 187th MICSlSlugslinger
      Delta MICS
      Delta Forces Mobile Infantry & Combat Specilist

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Building a new rig compliments of the insurance company

        Originally posted by slugslinger View Post
        from what i hear 32-bit os do not use all 4 gigs of ram
        if that is correct why not go with 64 -bit vista
        im sure all your pards have 64-bit drivers and they both cost the same
        That is correct. Windows 32-bit has a theoretical memory utilization of (4 GB - Video RAM - some other small crap).

        I'm not planning to go to 64-bit windows just yet because of all the driver issues and other instabilities. I could go with 2x1GB or 3x1GB memory but it wasn't that much more expensive to go with 2x2GB. That way I can utilize dual channel and still be ready for 64-bit if I ever do go there.
        |TG-12th| asch
        sigpic

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Building a new rig compliments of the insurance company

          Hey asch, looks like you're building just about the same system as me ;)

          I hadn't heard eVGA offers a 90 day upgrade. How does that work (any links)?

          Also, from what I've been reading about the 680i, I'd wait for the 780i to be more readily available. There are some threads over at xtremesystems.org that suggest the wait is worth it.
          ~~ Veritas simplex oratio est ~~
          No matter how far a wizard goes, he will always come back for his hat. --T. Pratchett

          <---- You know you're getting old when you rely on your forum meta-data to remind you how old you are.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Building a new rig compliments of the insurance company

            Originally posted by Rincewind View Post
            Hey asch, looks like you're building just about the same system as me ;)

            I hadn't heard eVGA offers a 90 day upgrade. How does that work (any links)?
            EVGA Step Up Program

            Basically if you purchase an EVGA product and register it, you have 90 days to upgrade the item for only the difference in cost. I had purchased a 7 series video card shortly before the 8 series came out. So I paid the difference and received the new card.

            Also, from what I've been reading about the 680i, I'd wait for the 780i to be more readily available. There are some threads over at xtremesystems.org that suggest the wait is worth it.
            There are only three things I see with the 780i. Tri-SLI, the upcoming 45nm intel chipset support, and PCI 2.0 support. So far I don't see myself using those. By the time I would, there will be newer technology out.
            |TG-12th| asch
            sigpic

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            • #7
              Re: Building a new rig compliments of the insurance company

              That's pretty good since you don't really have to worry about saving money. $4000 is a lot to spend on one computer. It's A LOT. So put in the fastest components you can stuff in $4000. If you can squeeze in a faster processor, do it. If you can stuff in lots of RAM, do it. It doesn't matter if it isn't worth the money because it's all on the insurance bill.

              - It's who you game with.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Building a new rig compliments of the insurance company

                Originally posted by =Sarc= View Post
                That's pretty good since you don't really have to worry about saving money. $4000 is a lot to spend on one computer. It's A LOT. So put in the fastest components you can stuff in $4000. If you can squeeze in a faster processor, do it. If you can stuff in lots of RAM, do it. It doesn't matter if it isn't worth the money because it's all on the insurance bill.
                I thought about that, but I can use the extra $$ on other things that we're upgrading in our house. I definitely want to build a powerful rig, but also want to balance the worth of the components with the money spent.
                |TG-12th| asch
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Re: Building a new rig compliments of the insurance company

                  for the CPU, go with one of the new Penryn's they're out right now. but a bit on the pricy side. 780i is also out now, and i would say is a good investment.

                  I own an eVGA 680i. its a great motherboard, no complaints

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Building a new rig compliments of the insurance company

                    Oh, the $4000 is part of the entire insurance claim. Then ditch the 4GB RAM for 2GB. Ditch the 2nd 8800 GTX. Those aren't worth it unless you can burn money. A regular gaming system doesn't need that kind of hardware unless you want bragging rights.

                    - It's who you game with.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Building a new rig compliments of the insurance company

                      I just built a new rig and did MONTHS of research before buying anything, so thought I would post a few links and thoughts for you.
                      Originally posted by asch View Post
                      LIAN LI PC-A70A Silver Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case - $249.99
                      I'm a huge fan of Lian Li cases but I'm not stuck on them. I don't really care for the modding cases with flashing lights, windows, etc.
                      I really like Lian Li cases as well, and not into windows and neon. I finally decided to go with the new Antec P182 after reading reviews, and am so glad I did. I have been inside a lot of PC cases working on them, and it is the best designed one I have ever seen. Not only the layout of how things are arranged, but I love that you can run the wires behind the motherboard and it makes my case look like there aren't any wires at all. Also, considering you are going with the mega long GTX cards, the p182 has 2 easily removeable harddrive cages. You will want to do like I did and put your HDs in the bottom cage and completly leave out the top cage, meaning you won't have to take a saw to your case like you have to with a lot cases when using a GTX.
                      The case is also extremely quiet. When I was putting it together on the coffee table, my wife was watching TV, and I turned it on and asked what she thought. She actually said "go ahead and turn it on", and didn't believe me when I told her it was. My old computer sounded like a vacuum cleaner. And the air flow is amazing in this thing. Even with the adjustable fans on LOW, I can feel air sucking in through the front. My inside temps only go into the 40s C when gaming, even with my CPU overclocked to 3.0.
                      Best part is it is only $130, though I have seen newegg put it on sale for $99. If you have any questions about the case let me know and will be glad to answer. It is one of my fav. things about my new computer.
                      Check out this review: http://www.anandtech.com/casecooling...oc.aspx?i=2966


                      ASUS P5N32-E SLI LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - $219.99
                      I've had great success with Asus mobos but I'm contemplating going with an EVGA mobo since my GPUs will be EVGA. I was thinking of waiting for the 780i but not sure I'd utilize the tri-SLI or PCI-e. By the time I get the insurance check I may change my mind depending on availability and price.
                      I went with the P5K Deluxe Wi-Fi with the p35 chipset and am very happy with it, but since you are going to SLI, your 680i is good. You are right about considering the 780i, but they won't all have tri-SLI. Guess it will depend on when you get your check vs. when 780i gets released, but so far the tech sites are liking the new MBs, and the 680i is more than a year old.
                      Preview article: http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets...oc.aspx?i=3180
                      By the way, I know I will link to anandtech a bunch, but they offer very balanced, detailed reviews. I literally have hundreds of bookmarks though with links to everything, so if you would like more details on something, just ask.


                      Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model BX80562Q6600 - $279.99
                      Definitely want quad core and may go to the Q6700 or possibly one of the new 45nm CPUs depending on when I get the insurance check, availability and price.
                      I am very happy I went quad core, even though lots of people still insist on pointing out there are only a few games that support them. The tide is changing though now that the cost of the quad has come down, meaning more people have them, meaning more companies will be willing to write multi-threaded programs. I like playing Crysis and looking over to my 2nd LCD monitor to my hardware monitors and seeing all 4 cores only having to run at 60%, instead of seeing 2 cores having to work their asses off at %90-100.
                      Also lets me run multi programs at once, like later today when I will be running both Sandbox 1 and Sandbox 2 at the same time, while doing some mapping for Crysis, while still listening to I-tunes radio and firefox open in the background.
                      Make sure you get a GO stepping. Read though the buyer reviews or make sure that the title of the sale says it is a GO.
                      When you get your check will be the time to decide to go for the 45nm chips. Word out this week is it is looking like Feb. or March now for release, but we will find out next week at the CES show. (Can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
                      Review sites are loving the new 45nm chips, and I am wishing I could have held off, but I really needed a new computer back in OCT.


                      ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler - $79.99
                      I'm not planning to overclock this rig but I do want to make sure I have a cool CPU. I don't really want to deal with water cooling.

                      I really wanted to get a good cooler, but didn't want anything too huge or deal with H2O either, so went with this:
                      http://www.anandtech.com/casecooling...spx?i=2981&p=1
                      Look at the graph on the 3rd page to see what I mean. The intel cooler is a joke. The Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme is amazing. I tried running Prime95 to test my computer stability, and my CPU would only go into the high 40C'c and hit 50c right at the end. That is actually the only way I have been able to get my CPU load to go up. Games so far arn't very taxing to the CPU. I read others running Prime95 and temps up in the 80-90C, which means their CPU is going to have a much shorter life if they keep running like that. CPU cooler and a really good quiet fan for only $70. Don't take my word for it. Just look at some of the buyer reviews: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-120%2beXtreme


                      (2x SLI)
                      EVGA 768-P2-N835-A3 GeForce 8800GTX Superclocked 768MB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - $589.99
                      I do plan to stick with the EVGA brand here. They do offer lifetime warranties and a 90-day upgrade option which I used before with ease. I'm planning to run dual-SLI here.
                      That is going to be crazy powerful!!! Depending on when you your check, it might be almost release time for the next highend Nvidia card, supposed to be in Feb. or so. I went with EVGA for the same reasons you did, and the 8800GT came out right after I bought mine, but even though it scores better than my 8800GTS 640mb in lots of stuff, it is not considered an up grade to get a 8800GT, so stuck with my card.
                      I do have to kind of agree with the guy above about the 2nd card, but that is personal choice, and you may need it if you want to run on max on a 24" monitor.



                      CORSAIR XMS2 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C5DHX - $159.00
                      I was surprised at how inexpensive these were so I'm not positive these are the best to get. I do want 2 x 2GB to utilize dual channel. I understand there will be some memory lost due to Vista 32bit but I'm willing to deal with that.
                      Those are OK, and that is a mind blowing price after rebate. See what I said about Vista below. Some people will argue you don't need more than 2 gigs, but I use more than 2 every day, and regularly more than 3 gigs, both gaming and running programs. You will be very happy with 4 gigs if you run Vista.

                      (2x) Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS (Perpendicular Recording Technology) 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - $84.99
                      So are you running a RAID setup?

                      SAMSUNG 245BW Black High Glossy 24" 5ms DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor with Height Adjustment - $499.99
                      You are going to drool when you get to play on this...................drip drip drip
                      Just make sure you compare it to the Dell 2407 that everyone loves and has tons of extras with it. There are like 3 Dell 24" LCDs, it is the one that is in the $699 range (though you can find online discount coupons that bring the price down to as low as $629). All the review sites compare other monitors to it when doing reviews.
                      http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/c...=19&l=en&s=dhs
                      Also notice on that site that they have the same Samsung you are looking at for $429.99
                      I don't know tons about monitor tech, but usually those cheaper 24" monitors use something like TF panels and they aren't as good as the ones used in more expensive displays. Anandtech.com has a lot better info on how to pick an LCD, but if you are going to spend this much on a computer, might want to consider the extra $100 if it will make what you actually see worth all the other money spent.



                      ASUS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model DRW-2014L1T - $39.99
                      I just picked a basic DVD burner. No idea what's good or not.
                      I went with the ASUS just like yours but is $35 because the only difference is the write speed is like 18X, and most DVD blanks I have seen arn't 20X anyway. Cool thing with the ASUS I got, and one of the reasons I got it is it comes with Nero, which is pretty good for burning DVDs, making movies, doing backups, etc. If you look at newegg there is also a $19 ASUS regular DVD player. It is nice to have 2 drives (I may actually go with 3 soon) so you don't have to constantly change out disks, and if you copy things like CDs or DVDs, you will need 2 drives. Glad to see you also picked a SATA drive. It makes such a difference not having to deal with all those stupid gray PATA flat cables any more.

                      APC UPS
                      I do plan to get a UPS but I'm not sure what watts or number of outlets I'll need to handle this system yet.
                      Bestbuy had an awesome sell on the APC 1300 (one model down from this one : http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1157067061643). They had it for $119 with no rebate. Works great and you will need something that powerful to handle a rig like yours. The ones that are like $75-$100 won't cut it for a power rig.

                      Windows Vista 32-bit Home Premium

                      Vista 64 bit is really good, and you won't have a problem with any of the parts you mentioned above, or pretty much any others you might get in the future. The only problem I have had with it was finding a free firewall like Zonealarm, but just a few weeks ago Comodo (one of the best) released a new version and it supports Vista 64 and is free for home use. Zonealarm is supposed to be working on theirs as well. Doesn't really matter because I am behind a router firewall, but still like having it.
                      Only other problem with 64 is I-tunes won't let me burn CD's, but it really isn't a problem unless you are a huge I-tunes fan, and you know they are going to fix it.



                      What am I missing? What are the thoughts on this setup?
                      A couple of more sites to consider when buying is http://www.techbargains.com/, where you can find TONS of great deals, either by watching every day like I do or doing a search. It is where you will find the Dell secret coupons, among others. A few weeks ago they had a paypal Newegg 20% coupon code listed.
                      Also look at Frys.com and http://www.clubit.com/. I ended up getting my CPU and motherboard from Clubit because they were guaranteeing a quad6600 GO stepping and the Asus motherboard was the same price as at Newegg.
                      I have also gotten really good deals from Buy.com lately. Bought some stuff from there for Christmas and ended up being $50 cheaper over same stuff at Newegg.

                      LINKS

                      * *


                      Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

                      -Carlos A. Urbizo-

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                      • #12
                        Re: Building a new rig compliments of the insurance company

                        Mouse and keyboard?

                        Might I recommend an MX518 Logitech Gaming mouse.

                        http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/mi...s/187&cl=us,en

                        I bought this mouse in may and my game instantly improved. All the buttons on it can be CUSTOM. You can set just about any common task to any of the buttons. Adjustable DPI in game really does come in handy. I have quite large hands, and this is one of the few mice that I feel comfortable with. The only feature it's missing, IMO, is adjustable weight. I believe the G5 has that.

                        I've been using a normal Aspire keyboard. Lime green. Nice. Had media keys but after installing my MX518 mouse all the media keys do not function properly. I havent been able to find if this happens to many other people, but it had me bummed.

                        If I were to suggest a new keyboard I'd suggest a Razer Tarantula.

                        http://www.razerzone.com/index.php?m...products_id=40

                        It beats the G15 in my book.
                        Skud


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                        • #13
                          Re: Building a new rig compliments of the insurance company

                          If you're going to buy a UPS, I'd go with one that can handle dealing out power to your system under full load.

                          This CyberPower UPS is 900W, and will keep an SLI rig running at full load for a few minutes (seems 5-20 minutes isn't out of the question).

                          http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...k=CP1500AVRLCD
                          ~~ Veritas simplex oratio est ~~
                          No matter how far a wizard goes, he will always come back for his hat. --T. Pratchett

                          <---- You know you're getting old when you rely on your forum meta-data to remind you how old you are.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Building a new rig compliments of the insurance company

                            are hd /blu-ray drives still expenisve
                            if they are cheaper why not get one of those?

                            lTG- 187th MICSlSlugslinger
                            Delta MICS
                            Delta Forces Mobile Infantry & Combat Specilist

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Building a new rig compliments of the insurance company

                              Originally posted by =Sarc= View Post
                              Oh, the $4000 is part of the entire insurance claim. Then ditch the 4GB RAM for 2GB. Ditch the 2nd 8800 GTX. Those aren't worth it unless you can burn money. A regular gaming system doesn't need that kind of hardware unless you want bragging rights.
                              I still want to have some fun with a new computer. :-) I want to play games in all their glory at the highest settings on my 24" LCD. That's why I was planning to go SLI. It won't help in all cases, but it should help some with Crysis... I hope.

                              Is there an advantage to running SLI?

                              Originally posted by Bamboo View Post
                              So are you running a RAID setup?
                              I don't really plan on it. Is there an advantage when it comes to gaming performance to run them in RAID?


                              Originally posted by Bamboo View Post
                              You are going to drool when you get to play on this...................drip drip drip
                              Just make sure you compare it to the Dell 2407 that everyone loves and has tons of extras with it. There are like 3 Dell 24" LCDs, it is the one that is in the $699 range (though you can find online discount coupons that bring the price down to as low as $629). All the review sites compare other monitors to it when doing reviews.
                              http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/c...=19&l=en&s=dhs
                              Also notice on that site that they have the same Samsung you are looking at for $429.99
                              I don't know tons about monitor tech, but usually those cheaper 24" monitors use something like TF panels and they aren't as good as the ones used in more expensive displays. Anandtech.com has a lot better info on how to pick an LCD, but if you are going to spend this much on a computer, might want to consider the extra $100 if it will make what you actually see worth all the other money spent.
                              I've had Dells in the past and had no issues. I'll look at the Dell monitors. I do want a high quality 24" LCD for gaming. That's the main purpose for this new rig.

                              Originally posted by Bamboo View Post
                              Vista 64 bit is really good, and you won't have a problem with any of the parts you mentioned above, or pretty much any others you might get in the future. The only problem I have had with it was finding a free firewall like Zonealarm, but just a few weeks ago Comodo (one of the best) released a new version and it supports Vista 64 and is free for home use. Zonealarm is supposed to be working on theirs as well. Doesn't really matter because I am behind a router firewall, but still like having it.
                              Only other problem with 64 is I-tunes won't let me burn CD's, but it really isn't a problem unless you are a huge I-tunes fan, and you know they are going to fix it.
                              I thought there were issues with Vista 64bit and gaming?

                              Originally posted by slugslinger View Post
                              are hd /blu-ray drives still expenisve
                              if they are cheaper why not get one of those?
                              I don't know if I'll be watching too many movies on my computer. If I were to get a blu-ray/HD device, I'd get a player to hook it up to my plasma TV.
                              |TG-12th| asch
                              sigpic

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