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Unread 06-22-2008, 06:37 AM   #76
PhilipJ
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Dual 9800GTX's will require at least a 750W PSU (some 'extra' wattage in there to allow for overhead and compensate for efficiency drop-off) and anything higher than 1000W is probably superfluous. Unless you change your mind and go with the newest cards on the market.

Get a decent brand... PC Power & Cooling, OCZ, Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, SilverStone, probably half a dozen others I'm forgetting... there's lots of options.

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Unread 06-22-2008, 01:25 PM   #77
bman9089
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Originally Posted by NewdRiver View Post
What did I say about the 9800GTXs?
I dunno. Tell me again. I looked online and saw comparisons (not crossfier vs. SLI, single cards) and price and performance was the same, they're just more of an energy hog.

I still haven't decided yet though.
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Unread 06-22-2008, 03:02 PM   #78
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Alright NewdRiver. I went back and read what you said. I also found some more comparisons online.

Can you explain to me what 4xAA and 16xAF means? It's something that you can turn on and off with the ATI graphics cards, and in games, it seems to boost performance by 30% or more and totally whips up on the 9800 GTX. Besides that though, with it off, both cards seem to be tied. This is the article I was reading:

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/...2320904,00.asp

Is the Asus Mobo that you posted up as good as it gets? I could go up to maybe $300 if there is more performance or expandability later on. I just want something reliable and beastly. I have a little room to manuever, so if there are any other mobos I sould be taking a good look at to run ATI cards, please do share.
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Unread 06-22-2008, 03:58 PM   #79
NewdRiver_
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bman9089 View Post
Is the Asus Mobo that you posted up as good as it gets? I could go up to maybe $300 if there is more performance or expandability later on. I just want something reliable and beastly. I have a little room to manuever, so if there are any other mobos I sould be taking a good look at to run ATI cards, please do share.
No, it's not as good as it gets. Best of the best would be the X48 (same exact northbridge as the X38, they just bin them better and raise the price) and DDR3 (not worth the money). I think it's perfect for you though. I don't quite understand you whole expandability thing... a slots a slot, you can put in new cards into any motherboard. And they all are socket 775 boards you're looking at....seems like a level play field all the way across to me.

But...are you going to run ATI cards or NVIDIA cards? That motherboard will only work for Crossfire. If you want SLI you will need a board with an nVidia chip...680i or 780i.

Oh and AA is not all that important at 1920 and above, the resolution is big enough that jaggies aren't noticed all that much. With older games you will notice it's off though and if you're not running at the native resolution of your monitor the image will look like it's made of legos.
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Unread 06-22-2008, 04:14 PM   #80
bman9089
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oh, awesome.

I say the underline in the PM and thought it was a sig.

I'll take a look at it now. Thanks man!
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Unread 06-22-2008, 04:17 PM   #81
bman9089
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Originally Posted by NewdRiver View Post
No, it's not as good as it gets. Best of the best would be the X48 (same exact northbridge as the X38, they just bin them better and raise the price) and DDR3 (not worth the money). I think it's perfect for you though. I don't quite understand you whole expandability thing... a slots a slot, you can put in new cards into any motherboard. And they all are socket 775 boards you're looking at....seems like a level play field all the way across to me.

But...are you going to run ATI cards or NVIDIA cards? That motherboard will only work for Crossfire. If you want SLI you will need a board with an nVidia chip...680i or 780i.

Oh and AA is not all that important at 1920 and above, the resolution is big enough that jaggies aren't noticed all that much. With older games you will notice it's off though and if you're not running at the native resolution of your monitor the image will look like it's made of legos.
I haven't decided yet what to run. If AA isn't an issue (I'll be running at 1900x1200 minimum), then both the 9800 GTX and ATI cards are the same from what I've seen.

I was also wondering about the X48 mobos and if there are benefits.

The Nvidia mobos looks better (not that it matters that much) and I wonder for future reference if ATI will be able to compete with Nvidia. It seems that people were surprised by this card that ATI could finally give Nvidia a run for their money since AMD bought them out.

As far as mobos go though, I want something that I can swap graphics cards or the like out later, and a mobo that would last me 4 or 5 years would be nice.
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"The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money." -- Alexis de Tocqueville

“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 06-22-2008, 06:36 PM   #82
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Well, Intel is switching over to another socket late next year, not much you can do about that.

X48 has zero advantage over the X38. It's the same chip exactly, they just hold the X48 to a higher quality standard. But the X38 is still a top-end northbrige.

Most manufacturers hate using nVidia chipsets; notice how there are maybe a dozen of them on newegg. They run very hot. They's why the reference 780i and 790i have that BBQ grill heatsink on them. Allegedly they don't overclock as well either. But if you want SLI....no choice. But the 9800GTX's are dropped to $199 now so it's worth a look. They are actually cheaper than the 8800GTS's for some reason There is a 9800GTX+ that is coming out soon for $250.

I think Phil's right about the power supply wattages. G92 chips have 65nm builds and the ATIs have 55nm, so the ATI's use singificatly less power. The 9800GTX+ is omving over to 55nm though. Plus figure in that the nVidia chip sets use a lot more power. 700 for ATI system, 800 for nVidia methinks.

You can swap graphics cards out on any motherboard, it's just that if you want SLI you need an nVidia board and if you want Crossfire you need anything else.

I do like that case though, but you know the front fan isn't actually motor driven. There is a 120mm fan behind it that moves the air that spins it. Plus the branding on the side if obnoxios. I suppose you could strip it off with Acetone or something. Notice how it leaves room above the PSU for you to shove all the extra cables if you don't use a modular PSU.
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Unread 06-22-2008, 09:50 PM   #83
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I like the layout and design of that unit, but I have seen similar designs (huge fan on the bottom and side, like a propeller) that's made by other companies. All the rest are Full towers and look slightly different. Would any of the other models from new egg be better?
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Unread 06-23-2008, 03:01 AM   #84
bman9089
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Hey NewdRiver,

What do you think of this asus board?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131218

I like the one you posted, and want something that is fairly straight forward, but I also would like something with a lot of connections on the back end. This also looks to have a built in wifi card which is something I am going to need to have and would have to buy seperately.

Let me know what you think! So far, I'm really finding good information on the stuff you've posted up.
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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 06-23-2008, 03:05 AM   #85
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I'll turn off the LEDs if they start to bother me. I'm thinking it will be alright though. I'm trying not to make things too bright so it doesn't irritate me. But I also want this to not look ordinary.

It's interesting. Dell and all these other companies are starting to add LEDs to their gaming rigs. It reminds me of when all the custom muscle car guys got pissed off at Ford and other companies when they started boxing up and selling generic muscle cars to the main public. Kind of takes away the fun and pride of ownership. So I definintly want this rig to stand out and look custom.
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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 06-23-2008, 03:23 AM   #86
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That board uses DDR3 memory which is overpriced and overrated. Compared to the P5E there are two external SATA and a IE1394, all of which I doubt that you will use. And two more USB, but are you really even going to use six in the back? The one extra LAN port and the WiFi thing are nice but if you are going to be using a wireless router neither matters.

Stop trying to find different hardware, I already picked it out for you
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Unread 06-23-2008, 09:19 AM   #87
ErikJordan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bman9089 View Post
Anyone in here have a desktop from alienware? My padres are going to buy me the base line Aurora as a graduation present (I'll have to buy the monitor though - going for a Samsung 26" LCD).

I've always thought Alienware was pretty good. I work with another guy who has one of their laptops and he runs some of the most complex CAD programs I've ever seen (he's an electrician that routes wires through buildings or something like that). I couldn't even believe that a laptop could handle the amount of CAD he was running. It didn't even flinch. High resolution, large CAD files, and the laptop seemed like it was idling.

I've already bought a dell laptop that's a couple years old that I'll use if I need something for class, so I'm really just wanting a powerful desktop for gaming (yeah, I'm a nerd ), occasional video editing and a lot of web design/graphic design that I do as a side job. So the desktop will be used for School, work and fun.

Right now, my budget for the computer/mouse/keyboard/speakers is $2000 max. I was able to configure this kind of setup:

Vista 64 bit OS
AMD 2.2 ghz quad-core x 512kb L2 Cache
750 watt power supply
512MB Radeon HD 3850 graphics card - dual cards running in Crossfire mode
4 gig dual channel 800mhz RAM
ASUS AMD 790FX Motherboard
500 gig hard drive 3GBs a second - 7200 rpm
HD 7.1 audio card
Klipsch Speakers and sub

It all sounds good, but so did my other computer purchases from Dell. Dell is out of the question. I can't even count how many parts I've had to replace. The quality is lousy. Their LCDs are the only thing I like about them. From business, to family, every dell computer I've had to work with has had some kind of hardware problem, and I am tired of messing with 'high end' PCs that can't even last a year without issues. A warning to all others: get a damn fine warranty for any laptop you buy, especially dell as I guarantee you will use it at some point.

I considered HP but they don't really have anything higher-end. They have mid-grade and then super high end (blackbird and Voodoo PC).

So, I figure alienware is the best shot.

These are what I want out of the PC:

-ability to upgrade

-quality (I don't want to have to constantly replace hardware like I needed to with Dell) How is their quality?

-performance (is this machine overpriced or will it kick ***?)

I'm here for suggestions and insight. I've never worked with Alienware before but I continue to hear good things about them. It's a huge investment. And if the computer will blow my mind and manage to keep itself working for a couple years without a hitch that would be nice. That's what I'm hoping for.

Here's the PC, by the way. I decided on a black case, but haven't decided on light color yet. Any ideas on what looks best is also appreciated.

Thanks for the help!

what are you going to use this computer for that you need so much power?

this is the way mine was built for CAD programs, and i have been very happy with it thus far.

1 Chasis: Antec Titan and 650Watt Power Supply
1 Asus P5K64WS Motherboard
1 Intel Core2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHzX4 with 8MB L2 cache
4 OCZ 1GBx4 PC10666 DDR3 1333MHz
1 BFGTech 640MB DDR3 DVI/DVI/S-Video
1 Creative Labs X-Fi Fatality Sound Card
2 Western Digital 150 GB HD 10000 RPM Serial ATA 150 16MB Buffer
2 Seagate 500GB ES Enterprise 7200RPM 16MB Buffer SATA2
2 Pioneer DVR-212DBK 18x DVD Burner 8x DL +,- R Warranty
1 Microsoft Windows Vista Business X64 Licensed DVD


a lot of money went into the RAM on this thing because i got it when it first came out. it is great ram. doing 3d modeling i cant get this thing to go over 40% usage, and the "windows experience index" is at 5.8 of 5.9.
perhaps a bit out of budget, but it is a set up that works, and is bad ***.
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What is all of this talk of Savvily designed products?
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Unread 06-23-2008, 11:21 AM   #88
PhilipJ
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Originally Posted by thedirt View Post
Ugh.. how depressing. It seems like yesterday when I upgraded to the LGA 775 socket.
Same here, but don't feel too bad. The next socket is just a die shrink to 32nm (Nehalem) and the return of hyperthreading. The costs will also probably be much higher than the current market due to new stuff like triple-channel DDR3 and QuickPath which replaces FSB architecture. It will be succeeded by a 22nm die shrink (Sandy Bridge) in 2011 -- I know fully well my current system will still be going strong then. You'll get your money's worth out of your system easily and well before it's absolutely necessary to upgrade.

I should mention to bman... the trickiest part of building a system is getting the CPU properly coated with the thermal grease/adhesive and mounting the heatsink. Not that it's difficult, but rather a little time consuming and a minor pain in the ***. Other than that, everything should snap together like Legos.
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Unread 06-23-2008, 11:42 AM   #89
wTheOnew
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Originally Posted by bman9089 View Post
Dell is out of the question. I can't even count how many parts I've had to replace. The quality is lousy.
You do know that Alienware is Dell right? When you start talking high end desktops your best bet is to build your own. It's not as difficult as people make it out to be.

Also, from where things stand right now with AMD processors, I would strongly advise against buying a PC with a Phenom and expecting it to be high end. AMD took a beating and is just starting to recover with it's CPUs. They don't have anything that can even remotely touch the Core2 architecture. Build out a machine with and Intel chipset and a quad core Core2. You won't be disappointed. If you stay away from the Extreme Edition Intels the price will only be marginally, if at all, more expensive.

As a side note, There is no longer a reason to buy Extreme Editions from Intel. I have a QX6700 and it maxes out around 4GHz with an unlocked multi. I also have an E2180 and an E8500 that max out around 4GHz and 5.3GHz respectively and they both have locked up-multis. The era of multiplier overclocking is gone. FSB overclocking is king, and is soon to be replaced by Nehelm (sp).
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Unread 06-23-2008, 01:58 PM   #90
PhilipJ
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With the smaller dies using less power these days, excessive heat isn't as much of an issue as it used to be. Most quality-brand heatsinks shouldn't require lapping at all -- my Scythe looked like a solid sheet of shiny copper right out of the box. Lapping the CPU/heatsink isn't necessary but can shave off a few degress to help with cooling if your case's airflow isn't up to snuff.

My method for thermal application:

- use acetone and a cleaning rag on both the CPU cap and heatsink
- apply a BB-sized amount on the CPU and heatsink
- spread evenly with a ChapStick cap on the tip of your finger (sounds weird but works GREAT)
- make sure not to get any thermal stuff on anything else as it's conducitve and can fry your components (unless it's ceramic-based, but still...)
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