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Unread 06-19-2008, 09:32 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bman9089 View Post
so what would you do:

dual monitors: 22" with a single graphics card like geforce 9800 GTX (<---I assume that would work)

OR

single monitor: 26" with dual graphics cards in SLI mode like the geforce 8800 GTs?
Really...i would go for a 26" single. I want duals, but only because i am half way there with my single 20". If i was to do it again, i would get a single 26-28".

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Unread 06-19-2008, 11:54 PM   #32
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alright, I think I'll go with the single. That way, If I for some reason decide it isn't enough and want to run dual screens, it'll be another 26" or something like that and then that should be plenty.

So, single monitor in the Intell/Nvidia setup, with a dual core processor and not the quad core because it would be a waste. Any other changes I should make?

Hey J fry, you said you have the klipsh sound system. How do you like it?
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Unread 06-20-2008, 12:06 AM   #33
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I think you should be good.

I don't know which hard drive you're going for but you'd be hard pushed to beat the Seagate 7200.11 Barracuda drives.

They have 32mb caches and so have decent throughput.

The 10k rpm raptors are decent drives, but they're overpriced and bloody loud.
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Unread 06-20-2008, 12:08 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bman9089 View Post

Hey J fry, you said you have the klipsh sound system. How do you like it?
best sounding computer speakers i have ever owned, well other than hooking my comp up to my BIG speakers. but they sound great, I love my set.
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Unread 06-20-2008, 12:26 AM   #35
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I actually have both of the 5.1 variants (won the Ultras in a promotional contest). They sound amazing for analog 'computer speakers'. Logitech's and Creative's 5.1/6.1/7.1/3024968530948.1 systems have blah speakers, over-emphasized subs and built-in decoders so they are cheap and dominate the market. Klipsch didn't want to cut corners and make crap speakers to stay competitive so they only make the more affordable 2.1 systems now. You'll like 'em. Same speakers from the 5.1 sets and a slightly smaller sub.
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Unread 06-20-2008, 12:27 AM   #36
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Finally! Something interesting in GD!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bman9089 View Post
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 and 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)
-E8400
-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.
-Dual HD4870's
-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.....

Last edited by NewdRiver_; 06-20-2008 at 01:56 AM..
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Unread 06-20-2008, 12:30 AM   #37
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Oh and I like my Sound Blaster X-Fi and Bose Companion 3 2.1 setup very much. Built in crossover my ***, it still can shake my house apart. Perfect noise in all ranges to my ears, at least. Klipsch is good too, I just heard the Bose system at the store and couldn't leave without it.

I highly recommend doing whatever Phil wants you to do in the sound department however

highly recommend highly recommend highly recommend <- I think I'm done saying that for today :/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyoseki View Post
I think you should be good.

I don't know which hard drive you're going for but you'd be hard pushed to beat the Seagate 7200.11 Barracuda drives.

They have 32mb caches and so have decent throughput.

The 10k rpm raptors are decent drives, but they're overpriced and bloody loud.
Oh yeah forgot to talk about RAID 0. RAID 0 is where the information is split up even between an even number of drives (256MB file, 128 goes here and 128 goes there, not bit by bit but according to stripe size).

Yeah....RAID 0 7200 drives wipe the floor with raptors. Kyo talked me into RAIDing a pair of the 32MB Seagates a while ago. Load times will not exist when I build my new system. This is mainly up to you though, it won't get you higher frame rates.

Last edited by NewdRiver_; 06-20-2008 at 12:48 AM..
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Unread 06-20-2008, 01:38 AM   #38
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I don't think he wants to run 4 hard drives for a gaming/work system though.

The ICH9 southbridge on the X38 boards can do Intel Matrix RAID, so you can partition the drives and run RAID 0 on one partion and redundant on the other.

It should be given that anthing you want to keep that's RAID 0'd should be backed up.

Anything other than 0,1, and 5 confuses me though

You must be the RAID god
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Unread 06-20-2008, 02:26 AM   #39
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alright, let's say I go for dual monitors. How exactly is the picture split up? Would a single card be better overall than an SLI setup? I'd like to be able to use both monitors at all times. That just seems to make sense to me. And also, while playing games on multiple screens, will that be odd having the gap in between the screens? I've never played on multiple screens before. Most likely if I go that route they'll be 22" as that's what I can afford. ~$600 for the monitor(s)
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Unread 06-20-2008, 02:28 AM   #40
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And thanks NewDRiver for the help. I'm not sure my parents are going to trust me to take $2000 and go at a project that I've never done. They'll probably want the PC bought, but we'll see.

And you were right about heating problems. I've spent hours reading customer reviews from newegg. Idle temps of 60 C for amd chips? That's crazy.
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Unread 06-20-2008, 02:31 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirt View Post
How do I say this, RAID 0 in my opinion is darn near useless for anything other than temporary high speed, high volume storage (like web caching, high definition video transfer, etc), and even then, I feel it's a waste. A properly setup RAID 5, RAID 50, etc setup can outperform (depends on a lot of variables, etc) a RAID 0, and it offers the data redundancy.

I say RAID 0 is useless, because if just ONE of the drives in the entire array goes down, you've lost everything. You're throwing a lot of money and potential space at something that is a disaster waiting to happen (especially with that ~2% hard drive failure rate).

Even in gaming, you won't notice a real difference over a properly setup RAID 5 system. The potential losses with RAID 0 simply aren't worth it.

I'm rambling here, but the only time I've seen RAID 0 productively used is in a professional studio when the fiber optic links between the HD (or bigger) 4:4:4 cameras were bottlenecking on the recording systems, so they setup a huge RAID 0 array (and even then it wasn't a true RAID 0 as they did have redundancy) to use as a buffer.

That being said, my file server downstairs is running 6x320GB drives setup in a RAID 50 configuration. I have four more 320GB drives ready as hot spares (simply because I have the SATA busses maxed out right now on the system). I haven't benchmarked it in a while, but if I recall correctly, my hard drive raid throughput was faster than my network .
Single drive is all I want. I don't have money to spare to put it in redundency. Viruses or other system errors generally have me re-imaging enough as it is. I'm used to it.

I'll back up files that I can't recover (like music) and put that on an external drive.

BTW, your network sounds amazing.
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“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it” -- Mark Twain

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Unread 06-20-2008, 02:48 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bman9089 View Post
alright, let's say I go for dual monitors. How exactly is the picture split up? Would a single card be better overall than an SLI setup? I'd like to be able to use both monitors at all times. That just seems to make sense to me. And also, while playing games on multiple screens, will that be odd having the gap in between the screens? I've never played on multiple screens before. Most likely if I go that route they'll be 22" as that's what I can afford. ~$600 for the monitor(s)
There are only a handful of games that can utilize multiple monitors....Flight Simulator for example. Crossfire and SLI cannot function on more than one. What you can do is just have one card assigned to each monitor. One card renders each display and gets the full rendering power of the card. Say you want to play another game that can't do multiple monitors, you have to switch from dual monitors in the graphics card control panel to a single one and then enable Crossfire or SLI. No games that I know of that will render one scene across multiple monitors except Flight Sim. No gap to really worry about because it just doesn't happen often.
Edit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvOlZUnwdN4

I'm slightly addicted to multiple monitors. My 24" displays the game and a 17" shows xfire, TS, ventrillo, etc. I've got a single card btw. I am fully willing to give it up for the framerates that crossfire and SLI can give out though. One card just doesn't cut it with modern games. That brand new GTX 280 that came out a couple of days ago can't even run Crysis maxed out at 1680 or 1920 without choking at 15-20fps with mild AA and AF.

IMO, you've gotta choose what you want to do, multiple monitors for multitasking or single monitor and dual graphics cards for gaming. Or both and just switch on and off dual card rendering.

Building is really easy, we can help you out. Use the line that you'll save money.

Last edited by NewdRiver_; 06-20-2008 at 03:01 AM..
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Unread 06-20-2008, 04:00 AM   #43
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Threw together a list for you:

-Asus P5E $224.99
-Intel E8400 $189.99
-Tuniq Tower $49.99
-Arctic Silver thermal compound $5.99
-Crucial Ballistix Tracer (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 $129.99
-Seagate 32MB cache 500GB HDD $104.99
-ABS Tagan BZ 700W PSU $164.99
-Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 512MB X2 $379.98 (some wierd automatic discount)- $20 rebate
-Thermaltake Armor case $169.99- $35 rebate
-Lite-On DVD burner $33.99
-Gateway 24" monitor $479.99

Total: $1954.88 up front and then $55 in rebates

Not only is it in budget, it is better than the Alienware in terms of quality of the parts, the CPU is rediculously better, and it has about twice the graphics power.

Crap, you need a keyboard and mouse and speakers too. Oh well. G15, G5, and Klipsch 2.1 speakers bring it up to $2249.85

Note: You'll have to pick up Vista somewhere, there should be some local computer retailers selling the OEM version for cheap, or you could pick it up from Newegg for $84.99 .

BTW, I tried configuring an Alienware how you had it. They don't sell the 26" Samsung so I chose the 24". Upgraded to what you had listed, everything else left as it was $2253.00. The price they charge for a larger hard drive scared the crap out of me.

Not only is my list cheaper, it will perform rediculously better.

Last edited by NewdRiver_; 07-28-2008 at 02:16 AM..
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Unread 06-20-2008, 04:46 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewdRiver View Post
Phil's probably running one monitor on each card right now.
Yep. My new 2408 is running off the primary (HDMI->DVI) and the 2407 is running off the secondary (DVI->DVI). I figured there's no point in running both monitors off one card.

Know of any screensavers that support multi-monitors?
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Unread 06-20-2008, 06:52 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bman9089 View Post
Dell freaking owns them now?! Damn you dell! Leave me alone!

Well, I've replaced RAM before and I'm certain I could put a computer together, but I really don't understand the whole front bridge/rear bridge on the motherboards and all the really technical stuff, like matching components so they'll work together. I'm lost with that.

And why would you go with Intel/Nvidia over AMD/ATI?
I don't know if you build your pc or bought already it but i just happend to come across the website and is aw your thread at the same time.

Scroll down "How To Build A Computer. Step By Step Instructions To Assemble. Skip To Any Assembly Step." it has step by step instructions for each individual piece to build your PC and how to go about installing each one. Here is the Link
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