Custom Gaming Rig

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Logicaly, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. Logicaly

    Logicaly Senior Member

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    So I have finally started the process of going through the first step of building my new custom gaming rig. It will take me a little bit of time to finally purchase all the parts, im thinking right around Jan is the max time it should take to purchase all of the parts. This way, I have time to catch the various components I want, on sale, so that I can save money. That and with the release of certain upgraded components soon, some of my selected components will become even cheaper, and that is what I am shooting for.

    However, here is the first phase of my project, I will update it as I move through each phase.

    Phase 1 - September 17th, 2008 - Component Selection

    CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 [http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115041]
    Mobo: EVGA 790i FTW Edition [http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813188028]
    Video: EVGA GTX 260 896MB [http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130370]
    Sound: Razer Barracuda AC-1 [http://www.razerzone.com/p-91-razer-barracuda-ac-1-gaming-audio-card.aspx]
    Memory: Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 [http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220286]
    PSU: Zalman 1000W [http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817379009]
    Hard Drive #1: Western Digital 500GB [http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136149]
    Hard Drive #2: Seagate Barracuda 1TB [http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148274]
    Optical Drive: Pioneer 20x DVD +/-R DVD Burner [http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827129032]
    Card Reader: Vantec All-in-one USB 2.0 Internal Card Reader [http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820192504]
    Case: Coolermaster HAF 932 [http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119160]

    Also, not mentioned in the component selection, is a lightscribe optical drive that I already own that I will be moving to the new system. As well as my external 500GB USB drive. On top of that, I intend to watercool the CPU, and I will be posting a list of my components for that in Phase 2 once I have selected all of my desired watercooling components.

    As well, I will be overclocking the memory, and the CPU. In fact, I intend to be able to bring the CPU to a 4.0 clock, fully stable. That is my goal speed and why I have chosen that processor, because it is capable of being clocked to that extent.

    In the next week or two, I should have my watercooling all picked out and will post a list of all the components. Once I am able to purchase all the parts, I will post pictures of them as they arrive, and of my building process as the rig begins to take shape.
     
  2. Neuron

    Neuron Senior Member

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    Don't forget the COD4. :D
     
  3. LiveEvil

    LiveEvil Active Member

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    To be honest, If your target is just 4ghz, I'd go for a Q6600. Buy some decent air cooling, like a Thermalright 120 Ultra Extreme, and 4ghz shouldn't be difficult. And the G0 stepping chips are plentyful and cheap. In fact, for the price difference, you could think about a GTX280. However, if you're stuck on the GTX260, I'd recommend a 4870. Much better value.
     
  4. Logicaly

    Logicaly Senior Member

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    I have no desire to run crossfire setup in the future, I prefer SLI, hence the GTX 260. Not to mention the sound level of ATI cards fans are horribly loud.

    As for the 6600 it produces so much more heat then my selected processor, and heat is bad. Not to mention my chosen processor has more cache and a higher fsb. It also takes overclocking alot better.

    As for the 4.0 its just a starting point for me. Once I can get it stable at that, I will defienetly try and push it further.

    I build computers far more advanced then this, ones that would blow your mind, for a living every day.
    But thanks for your advice.
     
  5. LiveEvil

    LiveEvil Active Member

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    Such as? I'm intrigued.
     
  6. LiveEvil

    LiveEvil Active Member

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    Also, why so set on SLi? It's never cost effective, and I fail to see how SLi is somehow better, or more efficient than CF. In fact, right now it's less efficient, as you're paying for two overpriced cards instead of just one. Anyway, give the market another six months, and the cards they'll have out then will put GTX260 SLi to shame.
     
  7. xlink

    xlink GR's Tech Enthusiast

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    nvidia chipsets are garbage intel side
    4870 is faster AND cheaper than a GTX 260
    2*640GB drives in RAID0 would likely work better
    also remember that highend air cooling will outdo low end water cooling(a single 120*120mm rad doesn't cut it) at 1/3rd the cost and with much less risk and labor involved

    also by january all your choices are no longer really valid. Both nVidia and ATi will have new stuff out in all likelyhood. Intel has a new line of CPUs out... etc.

    here's a better plan

    phase 1 - research on consumer parts market
    phase 2 - acquisition of funds and planning
    phase 3 - comparison shopping and purchasing 'future proof' parts(PSU, case, dvd drives, heatsinks) at a discount whenever possible
    phase 4 - purchase the bulk of the system and prepare for assembly.

    SLI requires an SLI board... nvidia can't make a decent memory controller period. lower performance than intel memory controllers and much less stable on the whole. Might just be that I've heard horror storries about fried memory, SATA data corruption and poor stability when using above 2GB RAM.

    as for the VGA heatsinks... worst excuse ever... how much more do the GTX 260s cost over the 4870s? put that money into getting yourself some new heatsinks or if you opt for water, some water blocks for the cards.
    also as far as OCing goes, higher FSB= bad. it means a lower CPU multiplier and you have to get THAT much higher to get to your desired clock speed. the 9550 has an 8.5 multiplier if I'm not mistaken, that requires 470FSB for 4GHz operation
     
  8. LiveEvil

    LiveEvil Active Member

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    Watercooling no longer has enough benefits over high end air to make it worth it. High end air costs as much as low end water cooling, but beats it out in every respect that used to draw people to water cooling. Like air cooling, water cooling cannot cool sub-ambient. And you'd need at least a high end 240mm rad with some high CFM fans, coupled with a good quality pump and a non-restrictive waterblock, just to move enough heat to match high end air. Since a good quality HSF only needs a single 120mm fan to be effective, you're essentially doubling your noise in the radiator alone.

    If you're really planning on going all out on cooling, for the max overclock, I'd suggest you go phase, or go home. I saw a little while ago that OCZ was soon to be releasing some "in the case" phase change coolers. I was quite interested til I found out they only shipped with the 115v compressors, instead of the 230v we need here in NZ. Switching out the compressor would require practically rebuilding the unit, incurring almost as much costs as me getting one custom built inside NZ.

    However, I've managed to get my E6600 running at 4.4ghz, at sub-zero temps with a similar specc'ed unit to the OCZ Cryo-Z, so as a whole, the unit should work well.

    My advice right now for a high end PC, would be a Q6600, P45, 4gig of DDR2 RAM, and an HD4870, with some high end air cooling for the CPU. Almost guarantee'd 4ghz, as the Q6600's have a 9x multi, which means you only need an FSB of 445 to get your 4Ghz, and the P45's can push the FSB higher than any board I've seen. I can attest to the 790i's being crap with FSB. I found it could push the RAM to no end. 2000mhz at CL7... not an easy feat. However it could barely get 5.5ghz out of a QX9650, and you don't have the luxury of an unlocked multi.

    While this type of overclocking obviously isn't what you're into, theres no point in buying a board that's only advantage to boards half it's price, is that it supports SLi. Especially as you can guarantee the board won't last a single upgrade.
     
  9. xlink

    xlink GR's Tech Enthusiast

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    you can typically get away with running the fans slower though. you might have a similar amount of sound pressure generated, but loudness can be significantly lower.

    that said you're right, no reason to drop $100-150 on lower end water when $40 on highend air does better and is easier to setup with fewer risks and comparable noise levels.

    as it is, current 45nm CPUs don't put out much heat, for them what is the big factor is voltage. they're voltage sensitive but they're damn tolerant of higher temperatures. It really now, moreso than ever comes down to getting a good chip that scales well at low volts and not like how it was in the past where you wanted a chip which was temp tolerant and could be super cooled for clock speed scaling

    also OCz's cryoZ was basically a failure just letting you know and isn't being sold retail, unless you're referring to something different.

    I'm with you on the nVidia based boards = POS though. They're just no as solid. They were OK during the 945 days when FSB scaling didn't matter too much and nvidia wasn't going all to crazy, but as it is now Intel is pushing out chips with low multipliers that NEED memory performance and nVidia just can't compete in that regard. Yes dual Core side 790i clocks way high in FSB... but it also has incredibly relaxed latencies and performance is mediocre in comparison to p45 or x48.
    p4 on the other hand clocks like a dream, is cheap and is just all around better. The only flaw is that you can't run three GTX280s on it... but that seems to be out of logic's budget and quite honestly is a stupid thing to do given the rapid rate of obsolescence of parts.
     
  10. Logicaly

    Logicaly Senior Member

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    Just a side note...since I dont have time to properly reply at the moment and I kind of skimmed the responses. But who do you think built that first in the system phase change that OCZ is talking about? Gee I wonder...oh wait, I was one of the techs working on the project. We have been working with the in the system phase change for months now. We had to take apart OCZ's outside the case system and rebuild it into the system.

    Anyways, just real quick, my choices, they work for me. Whether or not you like them, or think they are good, is quite irrelevant. I deal with enough systems every day, from intel to asus, and everything in between that you can think of, to know whats going to work best for me, and what I want out of my system. I have hands on experience, ten times over every day, with every single piece of hardware that would be suggested.

    And while I appreciate the advice. I have no intention of changing my configuration, as I said, it works for me, and is going to serve the purpose I intend for it to serve for me.

    As for all the technical stuff, I will get back to you on that later when im feeling better. I'm off to bed.
     
  11. LiveEvil

    LiveEvil Active Member

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    Real.
     
  12. dementia

    dementia Well-Known Member

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  13. Leetsauce

    Leetsauce Well-Known Member

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    Forgive my ignorance, but if you have no intention to change your plans or take into account peoples suggestions, why did you post a thread here?
     
  14. Logicaly

    Logicaly Senior Member

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    Perhaps im just sharing the process that im going through? If I wanted tech advice, no offense, but I would go to a real tech site. That or I would talk with the guys at EVGA, OCZ, Patriot, XFX, or any of the major companies in the industry. Not every post has to be about asking for advice, or getting opinions. Sure, your welcome to post your advice, and opinions, but just because I post, doesn't mean im obligated to even consider it.
     
  15. Leetsauce

    Leetsauce Well-Known Member

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    Alrighty, i was curious :)
     

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