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Old 27th Aug 2009, 06:54 AM   #1
industrialism
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Building a new pc.

Building a new pc from scratch, can’t decide what to do.

Considered an amd phenom 550 black edition (multiplier) dual core at one point, however some quads are roughly the same price (price isn’t a problem its getting the choice right for the requirements), can’t really determine if quad is better all round in general or even which manufacturer (overwhelmed with data and a limited understanding), given comparisons- they’re not exactly two dual cores (but their quads, supposedly Bigger newer etc must be double in some respect, although not all applications are utilizing their full potential, so save , and go dual core? Loop after loop, can’t decide when actually considering spending money, and being a small financial amount shy of a better choice cpu.

Over clocking and damaging your system slowly isn’t worth it, but given the below maybe you could help advise about choices when building a stock gaming rig.

64 bit operating systems, is direct x 10 exclusive or at least its advanced graphic features in games? Would you choose windows 7 or vista?

Dx 10 and 11 ready or at least future proofs towards choices, does the motherboard have to be dx 10 compatible? Probably a gpu issue will crop up regarding dx11 more so than a mobo or cpu, and that’s as simple as upgrading to a newer gpu that handles dx 11.

2560x1600, at least possible, don’t intend to run a 30” lcd, what power is required besides sli, any single high end card option that can pull that off?, also thinking more so mobo and a cpu power, what’s best for this, achieving high frame rates at that kind of resolution?

Water cooling the gpu and cpu, want to take good care of components, keeping them cool all the time, and benefit from this performance boost and life longevity, other deciding factor was having hopefully a quieter computer, need to pick the right case and do it yourself water cooling kit, ready to install liquid cooling kits are really noisy (exhaust fan around the pump), any pointers any recommendations? Researched into cpu blocks, gpu blocks, pump, but what tube size and what case?

Not trying to run crysis on a 2560x1600 (30”lcd) with these above requirements. Trying to achieve max settings with titles such as NB for ut3, using unreal ed (ut3 has something to do with quad maybe unreal ed to? doom3, thief2 for the fms, deus ex 3 and thief 4, maybe assassins creed and bio shock (apparently they have sequels now!) on a high resolution, good frame rate rig with a somewhat quieter pc using water cooling, that’s going to be running a widescreen monitor, getting the missing content (sides) and maximize those games to their top native resolution at least, considering the future requirement behind direct x11, and meeting direct x 10 now.

Thanks for looking.

Current pc spec and some details

asus a7n8x-e
amd athlon 1.1ghz
2048mb ram
dx 9.0c
radeon 9200

Couldn't keep using bfg 6800 ultra, had to remove it, pernumbra overture slows down and stops running, clear sky unplayable fps... had a boot up issue, green red black diamond background wierd shapes some times unreadable, ut3 in game videos lock up have to crash the program slowly to get back to desktop, "can't see's what im ctrl+alt+deling"
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Old 27th Aug 2009, 07:49 AM   #2
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Anything you buy now will be blindingly fast compared to a 1.1 Athlon.

I can offer you three pieces of advice:

1. Windows 7. It's more stable, less annoying and has a smaller system footprint than Vista. If you're building a gaming rig and you want DX10+ it is your only choice (still think XP is fine if you only need/have DX9).

2. SLI cards. My understanding is that you may as well buy one really good card than two decent ones chained together. There are twice as many things to go wrong on two cards and twice the expense when you upgrade. I never spend a lot on gfx cards on the assumption that, if I wanted to, I could comfortably upgrade every six months and still be financially better off than buying the latest, greatest card.

3. 64 bit. You won't notice any difference in the operating system but more applications are beginning to use the functionality it provides so you may as well go 64 bit now rather than find you need to later and didn't. The only negative aspect of a 64 bit OS is that you have two Program Files folders, they still run 32 bit apps fine. Also, you can put more than 3GB RAM in and actually use it with 64 bit (no, I don't want the argument from anyone that it's actually 3.2544435GB - it actually depends on the hardware devices in the system so it's always different). I'm not sure how optimised Win 7 is for memory but I would recommend 4GB minimum - more than 8 is going to be a waste though imho. DO NOT put more than 4GB in if you do choose 32 bit, you're throwing away money as the OS can't address the extra memory.

Hope that helps some.
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Old 27th Aug 2009, 09:29 AM   #3
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I have to agree with Chainsaws on all those points.

I too would generally go for one video card rather than two. It becomes slightly tempting to have two for the utility of being able to use one as a physics card (if they're Nvidia cards anyhow), in the as yet theoretical case that a decent game comes out that makes good use of that.

If you're going with a DX10+ OS, definitely go for 64-bit. Some architectural changes in Vista onwards means that video memory counts against the 2GB memory limit per application under 32-bit systems, which is only going to become more problematic as time progresses. Going straight for 64-bit means you can dispense with all these memory limit shenanigans, at least for the foreseeable future. I've been using a 64-bit OS for well over a year now, with few issues. 3GBs memory is probably enough for Windows 7, but you might as well go for 2x2GB sticks (in dual channel) or 3x2GBs if you make a i7 system (with their tasty triple channel memory support).

As far as I'm aware motherboards don't need to support DirectX in any way or form, it's all down to the OS and video card. They do of course need the proper PCIe slots for the card(s) you are going to have.

Don't forget the are 3-core AMD CPUs, if you want to take the middle ground.
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Old 27th Aug 2009, 10:46 AM   #4
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Seems to be precious little games even using DX 10 atm, either DX 11 is gonna come lighting fast or be ages away >.o
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Old 27th Aug 2009, 12:00 PM   #5
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Very few games require DX10 (are there ANY?) but most fairly modern ones support it. World in Conflict was one of the earlier ones I remember making a big deal about it, apparently it looks awesome in DX10 but it runs just fine for me on DX9.

I did not realise that video memory counted towards the limit, that makes it even more necessary to go 64 bit on anything post XP.
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Old 27th Aug 2009, 12:26 PM   #6
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Actually went and dusted off Stalker CS (optional DX 10.1) to see all the shiny stuff. Game still sucks but its got sunrays and wet surfaces (everything gets wet when it rains) and all sorts of advanced shakalaka, vewy pretty.

Only other game dipping into DX 10 deeply i could think of would be Crysis. Seems the technology is like two steps ahead of games right now
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Old 27th Aug 2009, 02:32 PM   #7
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You can get sunrays in DX9 in STACKER with mods. Call of Pripyat and Lost Alpha are on the horizon and should be better than CS. Hell, all they have to do is include more than 2 indoor areas and they'll have it beat. Oh yeah. And reduce the amount of scripted shite.

Anyway, my usual advice to comp performance comp buyers is to get an SSD. Single biggest noticable improvement. Intel 2nd gen ones are ~$220US for 80GBs and OCZ Vertex is good too.
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Old 27th Aug 2009, 04:53 PM   #8
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Most games didn't mess with DirectX 10 too deeply, because people weren't upgrading to Vista. Things may be different this time around as Window 7 doesn't seem to have quite the negative reputation.
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Old 27th Aug 2009, 08:55 PM   #9
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 Originally Posted by Moses2k: ( link to post ) 
Hell, all they have to do is include more than 2 indoor areas and they'll have it beat.
I wish id be able to speak in jest of such graven matters but alas, CS has wounded me deeply and my laments are many. But lets not turn this into a "Why Stalker CS is a pile of poop" thread
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Old 29th Aug 2009, 02:49 PM   #10
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BUilt a new PC a few months back myself after a few years and I am happy with it. saved up over several years so I was able to go high end. Upgradability was also an issue for me. My opinions are below, but verify anything that might be important to you.

=> OS:
Would recommend either waiting for Win 7, or at least getting Vista with an acceptable upgrade (preferably free) to Vista since. Currently Vista is a good OS- most of the issues it had have been fixed, and most third party drivers are compliant. From what I have read Win 7 is a cleaned up/streamlined version of Vista. have the Beta running on a couple of PC's, and it works well without me having to do anything.

Also, make the jump to 64 bit if for no other reason then this is where the future is, and 32 bit will be a bottle neck in the future. I have been running Vista 64 without any abnormal headaches. I have been able to run some older games with it (including Thievery and Thief 1 (with patches)). Only real problems I have had have been with Punkbuster (and I think that has been fixed now).

=> Memory:
Assuming you go for 64 bit, get at least 4gb, (though more will not hurt). My system has yet to go above 3.5gb in use (normally running just under 2Gb). Currently I have 6Gb of 3 channel DDR3.

=> Processor:
Dual core is nice, but would recommend quad. Not used fully now but applications/games that use it are soon to appear. Also helpful if you like to run numerous applications that pull resources. Also make sure it allows for virtualization. Should be particularly useful in Win 7. AMD CPU's likely will have it, but some Intel's do not. I would recommend Core I7 if you have the budget for it, or at least Core I5 (just coming out now). AMD is making some nice stuff, but Intel has the performance crown at the moment.

=> Quiet running:
My system is built quiet running using air. Looked into watercooling, but seemed more trouble then it is worth for similar results (useful though if you want to get serious with overclocking). Using an Antec 902 case (which is water cooling friendly supposedly) and and Noctua NH-U12P on the CPU. Not totally silent, but the hard drives are noisier then the fans. Typically see >=20deg C temperature rise over ambient which is acceptable to me. IT can do better with more noise by adjusting the fan speeds, but even then, still quieter then my previous PC. I did pull back on GPU power though, in favor of something that does a good job while running silent and cool versus the latest/greatest.

All that said- water cooling does give the option of enclosing the main PC someplace where it cannot be heard at all, with a good amount of sound dampening material. If you use external optical drives, USB hubs, etc, even better.

=> Graphics card:
Ditto whats been said about getting one good card versus two SLI/crossfire cards. Two cards might be nice though when you can get the second for ~$20. High resolutions are mostly affected by the choice of graphics card. Plenty of review sites out there (I like HardOCP.com myself). Also user opinions on sites like newegg,com are also useful. I also find that items that are popular on numerous store sites provide a good starting point when looking. Regarding AMD versus NVidia- do not think it matters to much in general. Look at reviews though as some games seem to favor one over the other.

=> Hard drives:
For performance, if running SATA II, would recommend a raptor over a solid state as the effective performance is about the same, but cost per gigabyte favors the raptor. SATA III might help the SSD show its true colors though if you wait for that. That said, a standard SATA II drive is no slouch, and you probably would not notice much performance differences day to day while getting an even better cost per gigabyte. Performance difference is even less noticeable if you use ready boost, and have enough RAM to minimize swap.

=> Power supply:
Do not skimp on the power supply. Great components will not work well if the power is "dirty". You can find numerous calculators around to help figure out actual power needs (useful to avoid spending more when you what you really need). HardOCP.com (again) does some nice reviews on power supplies. If unused wires annoy you, look into modular.
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Old 29th Aug 2009, 03:38 PM   #11
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I'd recommend AMD Phenom II tri-cores, which can be unlocked to quad-cores (I've done so with my 720). Intel's boycottable: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05...l_europe_fine/

SSD's way better on random reads and writes which make up most of what goes on while computin'. Maybe not worth twice the price, tho.

I agree with most of the rest, but I've always been fine with $25US shipped cases.
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Old 9th Oct 2009, 07:22 AM   #12
industrialism
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Update.

Asus P6T Deluxe V2 brand new with warranty.

141.00 - from 200 buy it now, 29.5% off iirc (made an offer on ebay, think the seller must of clicked accept accidently, thats rather cheap impo)
9.00 - postage
150 all in

Trying to get an Intel I7 920 for 150, lmfao. No luck, even from the United States with currency in my favour, barely get it sub 200, shipping concerns and it being faulty vs paying 10 to 20 more to get it from a UK seller, safer all round... not in any rush though *waits*

Some used I7 920's are going for 150 starting bid, and apparently some are special compared to others, not that i'd pay 400 for a used I7 because its not like the rest... lol, wasn't planning on overclocking anyway.

To top it off, my mobile phone was stole at work, nokia 5800 (wish i'd brought a luna 6800),
Apparently it costs the police *money* to ask the networks what sim is, or was being used in it, after say, the victims sim was removed, and the only time they ask for these details and when the networks get off their arse, is during serious cases and crimes like murder where a mobile was key. I said, "i'll pay you" they said "sorry we can't do anything". It gets deeper...
I actually work for a company that is contracted by my network provider, and the head of sia security at the company I work for, which is contracted by my mobile provider said, "your bollocksed", would be in there interest to sort this out, would be one less problem where I work and protect the companys stock (planning on leaving this company now). The memory card was the only think that made me walk off and punch the gents toilet walls for a bit, hard to describe how thats the only thing I'm bothered about guess its because its personnal content. The rest is acceptable (minor issue replacing) well done, they caught me out (wouldn't usually happen, over a year with no issues working there, open cloak room though), I would type what I'd like to do to the person, because I have to work around who ever it was so I'm angry, suspicious, watching facial expressions for smerks etc, but this is a pleasent gaming forum and besides The wall says, I doubt you'll get away with that one.
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