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Built (was Building) A (Gaming) PC

Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15286
    
    6

It's been a long time since I've had to concern myself with what hardware was in the computer I bought. I've been buying laptops for the past few years and late last year bought a Macbook. Recently though I've had to dig back into it because I wanted to build a desktop PC and I wanted to gear it for gaming but without going completely crazy on cost. So far I've purchased the following items:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550
EVGA nForce 790i Ultra SLI Motherboard Socket 775
EVGA nVidia GeForce GTX 285
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3

Items I have left to purchase at a later date (trying to spread the cost out a bit)

Case (Tower)
Power Supply 1000+ watts
Some sort of DVD drive
Hard drive
Some sort of cooling system

On the items I have remaining, does anyone have any suggestions? Has anyone else built a PC recently? If so, what specs and how is it performing?




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Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4637
    
    5

Man, Core 2 Quad is so last year. i7 is the way to go, and Intel just announced new models yesterday, so all the prices will change.

I just got a new machine, and went C2Q because the cost goes up fast with the i7 stuff. Not only were the CPU more expensive, but the i7 motherboards were much more expensive than the C2Q ones. I expect that the i7 will get cheaper as they stop being the fastest of the fast. Or at least once the MB vendors get their production volumes up.

I went with 8GB of ram, you never can have enough RAM. Which forces X64 OS, which has not all been joy and happiness. Flash support for 64 bit is spotty. With all the websites using and overusing *&^% Flash, it makes it a pain.

I went with
* Intel Core 2 Quad 2 Q9400 2.66 GHZ
* 8 GB ram
* ASUS P5Q PRO Turbo P45 DDR2 Crossfire
* EVGA GTS 250 1GB DDR3 PCI-E

The video card is not top of the line, but its very fast and fairly inexpensive.

It was just a few bucks over $900, complete with shipping and warentee, mouse and keyboard -- no monitor.

I'm very happy with it. It runs Netbeans so fast I can't believe it. I run NB, Apache, MySql and lots of other stuff and it all flies.


Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 13875
    
  10

If the computer is specifically for gaming, then a 64-bit OS doesn't help you to play games any better (I don't know a single game for which there is a 64-bit version; 32-bit games will work on a 64-bit OS, but you might have compatibility problems). Also, 8 GB is overkill for gaming.

And I think a 1000+ watts power supply is far more than you need, especially if you're going to put one and not multiple video cards in it.

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Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 13875
    
  10

This might be interesting: Intel launches all-new PC architecture with Core i5/i7 CPUs

So with the advent of the P55, Intel's core logic has gone from a two-chip to a one-chip implementation, pushing ahead of the comparable AMD platform. In theory, this very tight, direct coupling of the GPU + GDDR and CPU + DRAM systems should make for a performance boost vs. both earlier topologies.

It's "in theory," because Tech Report's Core i5/i7 benches show some surprising results that indicate that all isn't right with the new platform under Windows 7, and that (contrary to the stated conclusion) gamers are better off with the older Core 2 Duo systems.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15286
    
    6

Nothing takes advantage of new hardware. Going a year old is the best way to meet some sort of budget without compromising a lot of performance. So this morning I purchased a processor cooler (heat sink):

http://www.svc.com/megahalems.html

And will probably wind up with the following case:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119160

That really takes care of all the major components. Hard drives and DVD Roms are cheap. Now everything just needs to get here so I can start putting things together, which should be interesting. There's so much more an art to this than there was 10 years ago.
Ankit Garg
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 03, 2008
Posts: 9280
    
  17

I came to this thread thinking that I would recommend GeForce 9600 (which I have) but it seems that you wanna build a very high end gaming system. My poor 9600 doesn't stand a chance here . AFA power supply goes, I'm running it on 450W supply which is the minimum the card supports ...


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Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15286
    
    6

Some pictures as I start putting the pieces together. Should have some more tomorrow but link will be the same.

https://www.getdropbox.com/gallery/116330/1/computer?h=5c73e3
Monu Tripathi
Rancher

Joined: Oct 12, 2008
Posts: 1369

What do you have for display? I think, one of the things that makes me choose Playstation over PC is bigger displays.

I mean you cannot have a 29" monitor, can you?


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Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15286
    
    6

Monu Tripathi wrote:What do you have for display? I think, one of the things that makes me choose Playstation over PC is bigger displays.

I mean you cannot have a 29" monitor, can you?



why can't I? My graphics card supports hdmi so I can connect to any display any size.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4637
    
    5

With a serious system like this, I'd expect the video card to have two dual-DVI outputs, so you could run four monitors, each as big as you want.

Right now, three 21" LCD is a sweet setup and much cheaper than getting really big monitors.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15286
    
    6

Pat Farrell wrote:With a serious system like this, I'd expect the video card to have two dual-DVI outputs, so you could run four monitors, each as big as you want.

Right now, three 21" LCD is a sweet setup and much cheaper than getting really big monitors.


Yes, there are dual-DVI connectors with an additional DVI -> HDMI dongle.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15286
    
    6

I've never big a big fan of playing games across multiple monitors though. There's still too much frame and it jacks with my vision. Also, I don't care to have to turn my head or move my eyes completely from one side to the other to play. Tires me out. I'm getting old. Of course, not as old as Pat. ;)
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4637
    
    5

Gregg Bolinger wrote:I've never big a big fan of playing games across multiple monitors though.


Agree, for die hard twitch games, you want only one fast monitor. How big do you want your pixels?

Even with a fast machine and fast monitors, you can't drive games like Crysis to really big resolutions at high frame rates with all the eye candy turned on. Even a 24 inch LCD has more resolution than most machines can keep up with.

And sometimes, you have to do things like write software for a living, and for those times, man are multiple screens nice.
Monu Tripathi
Rancher

Joined: Oct 12, 2008
Posts: 1369

Gregg Bolinger wrote:
..
My graphics card supports hdmi so I can connect to any display any size.


cool!

Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15286
    
    6

It is built and it is running. So far so good. Got it to go on my first try also. Figured I'd be fiddling with cables for hours. I've got some cable management to deal with but the case is large enough I don't think it will be a problem. The air coming out of the case is cool, even while playing WoW. CPU temp on all 4 cores doesn't go above 40C The GPU is hitting around 70C while gaming and 50C while idle. Not bad.

https://www.getdropbox.com/gallery/116330/1/computer?h=5c73e3
 
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subject: Built (was Building) A (Gaming) PC
 
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