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Is this a good gaming system?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by cvmocanu, 30 Aug 2008.

  1. cvmocanu

    cvmocanu New Member

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    Hello,

    I plan to buy a new computer soon and I thought it's wise to ask more people about my choices.
    Here is what I have in mind:

    Motherboard : ASUS Maximus II Formula (200 EUR)
    CPU : INTEL E8600 - Core 2 Duo, 3.3GHz (230 EUR)
    Video card : ASUS EAH4870X2 Radeon HD 4870 X2 (460 EUR)
    RAM : Corsair TWIN2X4096-6400C4DHX, 2x2GB, DRR2-800 (100 EUR)
    HDD : 2 x Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS (480 EUR)
    PSU : Zalman ZM850-HP - 850W (160 EUR)
    Case : Thermaltake Kandalf LCS (240 EUR)
    DVD writer : Samsung SH-S203P (40 EUR)
    Keyboard : Logitech G15 2005 or G11 (80 EUR); hope I will still find G15 2005 (had that cool wheel)
    Mouse : Logitech MX 518 (45 EUR)
    Display : Samsung SyncMaster 2493HM, 24'', 1920x1200 (360 EUR)

    In total it's about 2500 EUR and this is kind of my budget (can go a few hundreds higher but I don't really want to).

    And here are my reasons:

    Motherboard
    - it's a P45 chipset based mobo because I don't trust NVIDIA on chipsets and it's not a X48 because I don't plan to use CrossFire (P5 has 2 PCIe ports, but each is 8x unlike 2 x 16x on X48)
    - has hardware RAID (Speeding HDD)
    - performs fine in reviews
    - I trust ASUS as a brand

    CPU
    - fastest Core 2 Duo
    - I plan to overclock it and would like not to increase the voltage; from the reviews I read this processor is the most stable with this kind of overclocking (probably brought by the new E0 stepping)

    Video card
    - needed a bad video card because I want to play all the games maxed out at 1920x1200
    - the only thing better than this (but only slightly and not in all games) is 2 GTX 280, and that's at least 300 EUROs more. It's a no-brainer who provides better value here

    RAM
    - 2 x 2GB seems the best/enough for now (will use Vista or XP 64 bit editions)
    - I trust the brand
    - it's on ASUS' Qualified Vendor List which means it has been tested with the motherboard so I won't have problems

    HDD
    - 2 pieces of the fastest hard-drive available
    - will use RAID 0
    - solid state hard drives are just too expensive now (perhaps in a few years...)

    PSU
    - has enough juice (including amps)
    - respected brand
    - performs ok in reviews
    - it's very quiet

    Case
    - looks cool
    - it's quiet
    - it has water cooling and I want that (I like it quiet), but I am not ready to make case modifications. I'm sure that if I were to cut the case myself it would look horrible

    DVD RW
    - from the reviews it seems ok
    - has LightScribe which might come in handy

    Mouse
    - it's wired (had some bad experiences with gaming using wireless mice)
    - can change DPI on-the-fly while you are in the game
    - it's lighter than G5 (I don't like brick mice - heavy and big)

    Display
    - I like 24'' / 1920x1200
    - it performs ok in the reviews
    - has HDMI
    - looks nice
    - has TN panel which means it's cheap and it doesn't have noticeable input lag; I don't mind viewing angles: I will be gaming right in front of it


    The video card will probably be the most noisy component and I will probably buy a water block as soon as I know there is no fabrication problem with it. I heard that mounting a water block voids the warranty so I want first to make sure I won't return it.

    What do you think?
    Will I have any incompatibilities?
    Known issues with any component?
    Are my choices correct?

    P.S. Sorry for the huge post.


    Thank you.


    edit:
    - added clarifications
    - added links to the components' specifications
    - updated prices
     
    Last edited: 31 Aug 2008
  2. tonpal

    tonpal New Member

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    Looks as though you have done your homework.

    The only comment I would make is do you need to go for the Maximus or would something like a P5Q-E do the job (and save a few euro).
     
  3. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    I hope you don't plan to use the computer speakers for your sound...
    I don't particular know these for this monitor, but usually they are just as bad or worst as laptop speakers.
     
  4. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    Are you going straight to water cooling for the CPU? Or are you going to cool it with air for now? If so, what sort of cooler were you thinking?
     
  5. Otis1337

    Otis1337 aka - Ripp3r

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    really think it would be worth the extra money to get 1066MHZ DDR2 not 800MHZ so that it keeps up with your E8600.

    btw the E8600 is fking crazy fast 0.o iv seen it going at 4.5Ghz lol ,crazy stuff!
     
  6. notatoad

    notatoad pretty fing wonderful

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    how much ram are you getting? 2 sticks of 2gb or 2 kits of 2x2gb? and i agree with Otis, you should get 1066MHz DDR2.
     
  7. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    he said "2 x 2GB see" so that means 2 times 2Gb so 4GB.
    Which I'll assume cvmocanup will use Vista 64-bit.

    NVIDIA chipsets are not bad... from my experience they are about the same as Intel, sometimes faster... (especially on the older models, as Intel was unable to keep up (working on the Intel Core 2 Duo))
     
  8. Skiddywinks

    Skiddywinks Member

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    I posted my thoughts on Guru3D, but glad to see you are getting a wide variety of opinions :p
     
  9. notatoad

    notatoad pretty fing wonderful

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    but he also said 2xTWIN2X4096, which would be 8GB.
     
  10. jbloggs

    jbloggs New Member

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    Last edited: 20 Aug 2011
  11. cvmocanu

    cvmocanu New Member

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    One of the reasons I like Maximus is hardware RAID (they call it "speeding hdd"). It's nice to have RAID without drivers...

    Of course not!
    It would also be a pity knowing my motherboard doesn't have an integrated sound card and comes with a SupremeFX X-Fi.

    The Kandalf LCS case has water cooling and a thick copper CPU water block.

    I read that running the memory synchronously (1:1) with the processor is the best. That means I need RAM with more that 800MHz only if I overclock the FSB over 400MHz. This means a 4GHz CPU (10x multiplier). I don't see me going higher than that at stock voltage.
    I also read that there are compatibility problems with DDR2-1066...
    Taking this into consideration do you still think DDR2-1066 is a good ideea?

    4 GB. 2 sticks of 2GB. I edited the post to make this clear.

    Indeed the E0 version might be a better option than E8600. Is just that I really want E0 and buying online it's hard to be sure I'm getting that. There is no other stepping for E8600, so I can't go wrong with that.
    I want the new E0 stepping because I read that it allows me to overclock more without increasing the voltage. I also read that the E8xxx have some problems with the thermal sensor which they fixed. I wouldn't like to see my CPU reporting 80C. Even if probably the real temp is not that high at all.
     
  12. Jipa

    Jipa Avoiding the "I guess.." since 2004

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    I have serious doubts about the reliability of that Thermaltake thing. Acryl covers on blocks are rather easy to crack and atleast I wouldn't trust my rig on a Tt pump. These are just my personal thoughts, it just seems like a way too low price to pay for a decent water cooling.

    The Velociraptor RAID seems hugely expensive as well, but if you reckon it's worth it then who am I to tell... Other than that it seems like a nice build.

    EDIT: Also is there water cooling blocks for the HD4870X2? I thought it's one of the harder cards to cool make blocks to... And if you're gonna keep the stock cooler on the graphic card then just forget about the WC.
     
    Last edited: 31 Aug 2008
  13. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    a friend of mine have the water cooling Kandalf and it only cools a little bit better than my Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme. but if you think watercooling is quiet, then go for GPU, since the ATI's GPU cooler is not as quiet as you'd like it. for CPU cooling, you can achieve same overclocks with TRUE and 2 quality quiet fans.


    my guess is that you plan to use Maximus2's automatic RAID0?
     
  14. cvmocanu

    cvmocanu New Member

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    At least Danger Den already has one.

    Yes, but I will also take some benchmarks to see if the hardware solution really works better.
     
  15. ktmakwana

    ktmakwana New Member

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    wish i had that much to spend!
     
  16. tonpal

    tonpal New Member

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    Asus have been kind enough to include the Silicon Image RAID chip on all their P45 models right down to the basic P5Q.
     
  17. cvmocanu

    cvmocanu New Member

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    This is what I have decided:

    1. Motherboard: I like the Maximus II Formula one, even if it's expensive.
    2. CPU: will buy a dual-core. I will buy a quad when at least 50% of the games I play can take advantage of it. I will also get it cheaper.
    Now, I know E8600 it not worth the money, but it's the only way to make sure I buy a E0 stepping (I buy online) so I will go with that.
    3. Video card: 4870x2 it is. No question about it.
    4. RAM: I keep it. Of the DDR2-1066 2x2GB kits on the ASUS Qualified Vendor List I can't find any of them to buy. I don't want to buy memory that's not on the QVL. I know it will probably work, but I also know that the memory on the QVL works for sure).
    5. HDD: It seems 2xVelociraptor in RAID is not worth it. What do you recommend? Would a 64GB SSD system drive and a Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS, 640GB for data would be a good ideea? Or maybe two? In RAID :) ? At least the price of two of those is still a lot less that a single Velociraptor.
    6. PSU: It seems Corsair is pretty popular. Do you have recommendations to make for a quiet model?
    7. Case: I'm torn apart on this. I understand their water kits are the entry point to water cooling. All the reviews I read said it's ok (not great), it's on par with high-end air cooling. Is this true? Because, frankly I don't need more.
    And one more thing. I CAN'T go with air cooling. Water is the only way to make the 4870x2 silent.

    So that left me with 3 questions: HDD, PSU and case. Could you help me here, please?
     
  18. tonpal

    tonpal New Member

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    Some suggestions on HDD, PSU and Case:

    HDD: For the best possible performance I would go with a large HDD partitioned for OS / Data storiage and a pair of 64GB SSDs in RAID 0 for a Gaming Drive. The OCZ core series, although still expensive are not prohibitively expensive. I have attached a link to a review which you may find interesting:
    http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.p...ask=view&id=200&Itemid=1&limit=1&limitstart=0

    PSU: Running a PSU at significantly less than its rated load may be the answer. Corsair claim the HX100 is only 24dBA up to 500W.

    Case: The Antec P-182 has good all round performance including noise dampening. It looks like a big black fridge but I cannot fault its performance.

    All these suggestions are based on reviews I have read. Unfortunately I do not have this sort of kit knocking around at home to give you my first hand observations.
     
  19. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    the p182 requires modding to fit anything other than single 120mm radiator. so if water coling is a must, p182 is not a very good option. that's my first hand experience with my p182, no, it doesn't feel like a big black fridge, computer cases should be elegant, not holes and/or grills everywhere.
    for water cooling, do you actually know what you are doing? do you know enough to build a custom water cooling yourself? if not, use air for now.

    2nd Corsair Hx1000w

    i'd say 2x WD 640AAKS in RAID0 for performance, and a 1TB WD Black for storage?
     
  20. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    All Corsair models are very quiet. However the HX series the quietest of them all.
     

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