Finally! Something interesting in GD!
I'm not against building a machine, but I don't know the first thing about picking out and matching components. I'm still trying to decide between a single large monitor or 2 smaller monitors. I can't decide which would be best.
(takes a huge breath)
If you have a crossfire or SLI setup, would running dual monitors lower the performance over running a single monitor?
Can't run SLI or Crossfire on dual monitors. Given you can disable one monitor when you want to play games and enable SLI....Phil's probably running one monitor on each card right now.
Rule out AMD processors entirely. They use too much power and get too hot to overclock much. Unless you go with the new 790GX board which allededly uses some "hidden pins" on the Phenoms (see here
Most games don't benefit from quad cores, you'll get better frame rates with two cores clocked higher (2 fewer cores cranking heat, higher overclocking potential).
GeForce 9 series are for the most part simple rebranded 92-based 8 series. FOr example, the 9800GTX is an 8800GTS G92 with a couple memory tweaks and the addition of a second SLI connector for 3-way SLI (don't get me started on that, 3rd card is almost useless). 9600GT is an 8800GT, same deal with those. In short, don't waste the cash on the the 9 series, the 8 performs exaxtly the same.
Never consider specified clock speeds. Always buy the slowest if it's the same part. For example:this
are exactly the same card, only HIS changed values in the card's bios that clock the later one faster by default. Simple use ATI Overdrive or Riva tuner to bump up the clock and memory speed on the first one, and you've saved $45.
Not quite the same with CPU's. Two factors to be concerned about, you have a FSB value and a multiplier (default Front Side Bus X multiplier = advertised clock speed). Let's take the Intel E8400 and the E8500. Intel locks down the multiplier value according to the model. Both are exactly the same chip, except that Intel has physically changed a setting in the processors so that the maximum multiplier of the 84 is 9.0 and the 85 is 9.5. When you are overclocking strictly for CPU speed, you want the FSB as high as possible, and both chips will max out the FSB right at the same speed (because they are the same part). You'll eventually hit an FSB wall (some limiting factor that keeps you from increasing it any further...heat, board limitations) which is where you want a higher multiplier. But...you have to balance the memory speeds out with the processor and you're probably not going to be maxing out the multiplier if you want a stable system. The extra money for the 85 is almost uselss.
As far as graphics cards, wait a couple of days, ATI is coming out with the new HD 4850 and 4870. 4850 is all over the internet because it's beating down the 9800GTX by itself, and with a $200 price tag for each, a Crossfired pair easily beats the nVidia flagship GTX 280 ($650). No signs of what the 4870 will do yet (25th is the official release date), but I'm waiting to see what the 4870X2 can do (to be released in August). Two 4870 chips on a single board; if the setup scales as well as as the 3870X2 did, two cards for a total of 4 GPUs and nVidia won't be able to touch it performance or price wise.
So here's what I would build if I were you (you'll see me building something similar in the next month or two)
-ASUS or Gigabyte X38 board (user-friedly BIOS, ASUS actually has a nice quick-overclocking feature that you can use until you get the hang of setting it manually)
-Nice heatsink, I highly reccommend the Tuniq Tower
-Case doesn't matter, bottom mounted PSU's are preferable however
-700-800W PSU (don't skimp here, low quality ones don't maintain tight voltages or tolerances while operating, what should be a 5V connection can be 3V or 10V....not good. Also, more power rails is bad. Look at top of the line PC P&C ones, 1 rail. Reason is with 4 or 12 rails (
) there are fewer amps per rail, so your parts might not be getting the power they need and when you reach the maximum amperage for a rail, the voltage starts to fluctual which again is bad. I like ABS power supplies, they havea switch on the back to convert 4 rails to a single rail, plus they are modular, cheaper than similar PSUs and usually hold their voltages better than PC P&C ones twice the price.
-2 to 4 GB of DDR2 1066, units with micron brand chips like Crucial Ballistix (the Ballistix Tracers look sweet btw) and Corsair can usually clock up higher to 1300 or so and still get decent timings
Oh and that 26" monitor has the same resolution as a 24": 1920x1200. Pixel pitch is just higher, so the image is just a stretched out version of what the 24 can display. Useful if you are farther away but you probably won't be. I can't stand anthing bigger than the smallest pitch availabe, looks blocky to me otherwise. I highly reccommend the Gateway 24"
. I would die without mine. Touch controls, rediculously amazing picture (I like watching HD stuff on it more than the 50"), best monitor stand I have ever
seen...cheaper than the Samsung too.
I think that's it for now.....