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    Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

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    Bullarky
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    Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by Bullarky on Fri Apr 18, 2008 5:39 am

    I can never stand to be at the middle to low end of the spectrum when it comes to gaming, so in honor of AoC, I'm building my new system. I want to build a quad core/duel pci graphics system.

    I'm stuck on a mother board. I'm looking at the 780i chipset, but can't decide if the 790i is worth the extra $100.

    If any of you are system builders and have recommendations for equipment, please let me know.
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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by Heztac on Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:29 am

    Nice rig I have been debateing the same as my system is about 2 years old and will run AoC but there is somthing about haveing a high end system. Let us know how it works so we can copy the layout. celebrate
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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by Bullarky on Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:05 am

    This is what I'm looking at right now... But I'm waffling on the MB... Might be switching to an XFX board 780i/790i board.

    Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    Antec TPQ-850 ATX12V / EPS12V 850W Power Supply
    EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model HH80562PH0568M
    CORSAIR DOMINATOR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (TWIN2X4096-8500C5DF PC2 8500)
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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by Brakkish on Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:47 pm

    Bullarky wrote:This is what I'm looking at right now... But I'm waffling on the MB... Might be switching to an XFX board 780i/790i board.

    Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    Antec TPQ-850 ATX12V / EPS12V 850W Power Supply
    EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model HH80562PH0568M
    CORSAIR DOMINATOR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (TWIN2X4096-8500C5DF PC2 8500)
    2 EVGA 512-P3-N802-AR GeForce 8800GT Superclocked 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI
    Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM SATA 1.5Gb/s Hard Drive
    Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD4000AAKS 400GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
    Pioneer 20X DVDR DVD Burner Black IDE Model DVR-115DBK
    ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler

    Estimated price? I too am looking at building, my system now is pretty decent... but I think it's time to build something kick ass. And with the coming of AoC, what better a time.
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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by Bullarky on Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:18 pm

    Brakkish wrote:Estimated price? I too am looking at building, my system now is pretty decent... but I think it's time to build something kick ass. And with the coming of AoC, what better a time.

    1 Graphics card system = $1300
    2 Graphics card system = $1500

    You can definitely cut costs on a few items (like processor, motherboard, and ram), but I wanted good solid equipment near the top within reason.
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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by Brakkish on Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:34 pm

    2 EVGA 512-P3-N802-AR GeForce 8800GT Superclocked 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI
    EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard

    I was wondering if that motherboard has enough room for these cards. They take up 2 slots, per card Shocked


    That is one mean ass case too. Here's a video of it. Case
    And the fan: Fan Link
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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by Bullarky on Fri Apr 18, 2008 5:13 pm

    Brakkish wrote:
    I was wondering if that motherboard has enough room for these cards. They take up 2 slots, per card Shocked


    That is one mean ass case too. Here's a video of it. Case
    And the fan: Fan Link

    MB... yeppers, it has 3 PCI 2.0 Slots with enough space to run 3 cards... LOL


    As for the case, I already have the case and power supply. Newegg was offering a deal on the two (they still might be doing it). Plus there is a rebate. I think I got a total of $75 off the two. The air flow through the case is outstanding!

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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by Guest on Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:06 pm

    Complete system I currently use with 22" widescreen (also using 19" flat as 2nd monitor). I can run AoC max setting at 1680 x 1080. Total price was 1350.60 at time of build. The only thing I did not install was the fan controller because this case keeps everything very cool at low/medium fan speeds.

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    1 G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ - Retail $84.99
    1 Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $69.99
    1 Microsoft Windows Vista 64-Bit Ultimate for System Builders Single Pack DVD - OEM $189.99
    1 SAMSUNG 20X DVDR DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S203B - OEM $26.99
    1 BIOSTAR A770 A2+ AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $64.99
    1 ZALMAN ZM-MFC1 Fan Controller Panel - Retail $29.99
    1 AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ Windsor 3.2GHz Socket AM2 125W Dual-Core Processor Model ADX6400CZBOX - Retail $169.99
    1 LOGISYS Computer PS650U12 ATX12V / EPS12V 650W Power Supply - Retail $64.99
    1 MSI NX8800GT 512M OC GeForce 8800GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail $229.99
    1 Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $119.99
    1 Acer AL2223Wd Black-Silver 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor with HDCP Support - Retail $229.99
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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by Peanut on Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:28 pm

    im jealous of your processor Kohr.

    Beerbelly, look at the cost of the two 8800 Gt vs. one 8800 GTX.
    One 768MG GTX would be better but I don't know the difference in price in your currency.
    This is my system:
    AMD X2 6000+
    Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe (wireless edition)
    1024MB(x4) OCZ DDR2 6400 SLI
    500GB Western Digital HD (7200 RPM)
    BFG NVidia GeForce 8800 GTX OC (768MB GDDR3)
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    Coolermaster CM690
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    I had the same issue when i built my system but graphically a GTX would be better its just you would have more graphic memory going with 2 GT's. Through the higher card in if the cost isn't two much different and keep the MB you were looking at that way when the GTX isnt preforming to your standards, you can throw a second GTX in and it will be much cheaper by that time. I've run most newer games on this system without any problems. The only game that is making my card work is Crysis. But with everything set to Very High, i still get 12FPS(which is barely playable). This is only my opinion however.
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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by Bullarky on Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:01 pm

    I've always wanted to build a Athlon chip since they announced their 64 platform. Unfortunately, price to performance wise, every time I build, Intel ends up being a better deal somehow. The closest AMD has to offer is the Phenom 9700 and it's the same price point but is 10% to 15% slower. Q6600 with 4 cores running at 2.4 stock, OC'd to 3.2 is just too good to pass up. That's why I got the CPU fan so I can OC with some stability! The duel channel memory at 1066 will be nice too.

    However, I've heard horror stories of installing Vista 64 on intel chipset motherboards. I might do some rethinking and end up with a Phenom 9700! What good is a 64 bit chip with 32 bit OS? LOL

    As far as Vista 64... Have you had any issues installing it? Getting drivers for hardware? Have issues running 32bit software?

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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by Guest on Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:24 pm

    I have had zero problems with Vista 64. It installed with no problems and my 5 year old printer worked. The only issue I have is with the boot up that is very slow and there are tons of posts about this. Once it is running everything is extremely fast (the 4 gig helps) and I have all the eye candy running even while playing AoC.

    As far as 32 bit applications go Vista 64 knows the difference between the 2 so 32 bit apps get installed in folder "Program Files (x86)" and 64 bit go in "Program Files". I installed a few of my old 32 bit tools and all of them worked fine. I feel people are crying wolf when it comes to software compatibility.

    The operating system took a few days to get used to from the standpoint of finding what I wanted but after using it for a week everything made more sense and I don't regret getting it.

    I mainly choose Vista 64 for my latest build for DX10 and I figured in a year or 2 it will be more common so why not just take the plunge now. I just read M$ is stopping sales on XP in June so it is going to die eventually no matter how much people complain.

    edit:

    Oh another bonus is I wanted Vista 64 because XP only supports up to around 3.5 gig memory. I currently have 4 gig but for another $100 I can easily jump up to 8 gig. One thing I have read about Vista is it knows how much extra memory you are not using so it loads more of the OS in memory to make things faster then if apps need more it scales back. Right now with just Firefox open I am using 1.4 gig memory and with AoC running it is around 3.2 gig. A lower ram setup using Vista 64 supposedly would not use as much so I suppose this is why Vista is "slower" as some complain about. Everything I read is get 4 gig or more and then it flies.
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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by Hect on Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:24 pm

    After reading this I might just make the switch. I have been thinking about doing this for a while now, but your info might just put me over the edge.

    Thanks
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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by Peanut on Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:20 am

    The only reason i held out on the 64-bit OS was because i knew some games using punkbuster had major issues (Call of Duty 4 for example). But once I started reading about poeple in beta playing on 64 in aoC without problem, I payed the $11 for microsoft to upgrade mine to 64. Should be here next week Very Happy. But I made sure all my devices and components had 64-bit support prior to purchasing the 64-bit. One other thing i heard was some routers had probelms, it made no sense to me but when i was in sales a customer was complaining saysing that. Do you use a router kohr and if so, is it old(mine is about 6 years now but does the job well!).

    Edit:
    Hectiaz if your thinking of doing the switching, go on your manufactures website and double check for 64-bit drivers. You'd kick yourself after spending the money and not being able to use it. Unless you mean your just making an entirely new machine.

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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by Guest on Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:39 am

    Vir Umbra wrote:The only reason i held out on the 64-bit OS was because i knew some games using punkbuster had major issues (Call of Duty 4 for example). But once I started reading about poeple in beta playing on 64 in aoC without problem, I payed the $11 for microsoft to upgrade mine to 64. Should be here next week Very Happy. But I made sure all my devices and components had 64-bit support prior to purchasing the 64-bit. One other thing i heard was some routers had probelms, it made no sense to me but when i was in sales a customer was complaining saysing that. Do you use a router kohr and if so, is it old(mine is about 6 years now but does the job well!).

    Edit:
    Hectiaz if your thinking of doing the switching, go on your manufactures website and double check for 64-bit drivers. You'd kick yourself after spending the money and not being able to use it. Unless you mean your just making an entirely new machine.
    I have whatever router AT&T game me. I believe it is a 2Wire. I also use Vonage for my home phone and no issues there either. The "only" hardware that I have not tried is an old gps unit that I use at the deer lease that connects using the com port.
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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by Bullarky on Sat Apr 19, 2008 8:03 am

    Kohr, thanks for the good information. I've been steering most away from Vista because they are not computer/windows savvy enough to work through some of the difficulties out there. I've also read that SP1 has taken care of a lot of issues.

    Also, Athlon systems tend to like Vista where Intel systems choke. Intel chip sets make you only install 2g of ram for installation (on my of their chip sets). Once installed, you need to run SP1 update, then open your box and install the rest of your ram (totally bogus if you ask me).

    Based on your review, I'm now leaning towards V64 again. I really want a 64 bit OS!

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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by Guest on Sat Apr 19, 2008 8:21 am

    Glad to help. I have used AMD for so long I don't even look at Intel chips anymore. The only real issue I had with my build was I wanted an AMD processor but a single PCIE 2.0 slot with AMD chipset. Well I could not find that kind of motherboard so I went with Nvidia chipset (some say don't do this).

    I believe I read somewhere that this is only a concern if you plan to use 2 or more graphic cards (SLI or Crossfire). I like a good and fast PC but I just cannot justify getting 2 cards when I can just spend the same money on a single card. Plus I use dual monitors at home/work and I believe you cannot do SLI/Crossfire with dual monitors easily (if at all).
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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by Bullarky on Sat Apr 19, 2008 8:25 am

    Card prices have fallen...

    You can get to 8800GT OC for under 200. One 9800 is still around the 500 mark and still a lot slower than 2 8800GT's. It's amazing how fast the 8800 series fell in price. But interesting point on the Duel's... I'll have to research that. As a programmer it would be suicide to go back to one monitor!

    Excuse me while I go to Toms to look up the Phenom info. You've peeked my interest! Razz
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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by Bullarky on Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:29 am

    Well, my new PC is on the way... I tweaked a few things especially the memory/processor/mb to get a bit more performance... The processor dropped $100 in the last week and made it irresistable. It's still the QUAD but it's based of the extreme and has the same 12MB L2. Reports have this OC'd up to 3.6... WOOT! Anyway, here it is:

    Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    Antec TPQ-850 ATX12V / EPS12V 850W Power Supply
    XFX MB-N780-ISH9 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI
    Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 Yorkfield 2.66GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core
    OCZ Reaper HPC 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)
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    After our vent meeting, I'm going for Vista 64... Everything in my being is saying not too, but how can I have a 64 bit processor running at 32bit? It's just not right!

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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by Stigma on Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:25 pm

    If I could offer a word of advice: most games are not really optimized to run on quad-core processors at the moment, so a strong dual-core processor will generally outperform a quad. I apologize that I can't post a link (because I'm not at my home computer), but I read an extensive review that compared a Q6600 against an E8500 (E8400 too, I think), and the E8500 easily outperformed the quad-core in every simulation. Now, it may be that this is different in a few years' time, but for the near future expect lower performance from quad-core chipsets.

    Also, from what I read around the internet, the general consensus is that a strong single video card will outperform two weaker cards in SLI. Now, if you're looking at two 8800GTs versus a GTX, that's probably a crapshoot, because the GT is a such a solid card. But if you were looking at a x600 or something, or even a GS model card, you'd probably be better off with a single GT. (If I'm wrong on this, please correct me!)

    I'm also doing a system upgrade, but I'm not going as balls out as you playa's. I'm getting a PNY 8800GT card, an Asrock Penryn N1600SLI board, an E8400 processor, and a 500GB 32mb cache Seagate drive. I'm also tossing in 4 gigs of RAM and reusing the case, power and DVD drive of my current box. The nice thing about all that was that it ought to run AoC pretty well (not max, but med-high settings I'm hoping), and it only cost me $750. I could have saved a few bucks if I had shopped around for the video card, instead of just picking one up for $230.

    For people considering upgrading for AoC, but not sure of what they would want to buy, I might recommend two of the items I purchased:

    1. The Intel E8400 3.0GHz dual-core processor. Very affordable ($199.00 on Newegg), and scores very highly on almost comparison chart it measures against. In tests it outperformed the Q6600 quad-core, and comes in about $30 lower than that chip. Additionally, it makes use of the newer 45mm Wolfdale chip architecture, which reduces power consumption and increases efficiency. Its bigger brother, the E8500, is $100 more expensive but not significantly faster (3.16GHz as opposed to 3.0). This chip qualifies as "exceeds recommended specifications" for AoC (the recommendation being a 2.4GHz dual-core processor).

    2. The nVidia 8800GT 512mb video card. Another bargain, this card ranks high on Tomshardware.com's "best bang for the buck" charts (several months running). It performs respectably against cards that cost twice as much, and is kind of the nVidia "flagship card" for the time being. Not the most powerful on the market, but like the E8400, it's a great marriage of power and price (this card will cost around $180-250; more if you buy it overclocked). Also like the E8400, this card beats the "recommended specs" for video cards in AoC (the recommendation here being the 7900GTX). This card is also PCIe 2.0 and Dx10 ready.

    That's just my two cents. I try to be a fairly informed consumer, and I also don't like spending $500 for 100% of what I want when I can drop $200 for 80% of what I want.
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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by Bullarky on Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:22 am

    Dao Jones wrote:If I could offer a word of advice: most games are not really optimized to run on quad-core processors at the moment, so a strong dual-core processor will generally outperform a quad. I apologize that I can't post a link (because I'm not at my home computer), but I read an extensive review that compared a Q6600 against an E8500 (E8400 too, I think), and the E8500 easily outperformed the quad-core in every simulation. Now, it may be that this is different in a few years' time, but for the near future expect lower performance from quad-core chipsets.

    Dao... very good information and all correct. I know I labeled this thread in regards to blowing AoC out of the water, but the truth of the matter is, it will be used 90% of the time for my work. The E8500 is an awesome chip and I almost considered buying it, but because we are only talking $50 difference, I opted for the quad core. Games perform slightly less at stock for the Q6600, but when comparing other applications the Q6600 starts to pull away from the duel core.

    The SLI statement you made is true to a point. nVidia made a great solid foundation in the 8800 series. So much so, that the difference between just a normal GT and GTX are very slight. Now price wise there is no comparison... GTX = $350. The GT OC version I just got for $179. So for the price of 1 GTX, I got two GT OC's. Chart wise, the GT OC SLI outperforms the GTX most of the time. In some cases by 50 to 100%. So price wise and performance wise, this was a no brainer.

    However, I agree with you that being informed is the only way to go. Once you know all your options and how they fit into your plans, you can make the decisions right for you.

    Also, for those reading this, you might want to rethink the Q6600 vs Q9450. I just read an article (too late for me) that says the Q6600 for overclockers is a better all around chip than the Q9450. Even tho the L2 on the Q9450 is huge, they tuned the multiplier down to 8. The Q6600 has a 9 multiplier meaning you will get higher more stable overclocks.

    I'm hoping this build last me another 4 years...

    Thanks again for the info Dao...
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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by Lorahand on Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:13 pm

    Here is what I have right now

    AMD X2 6400
    2 x 8800GT's
    M2N32-SLI delux mobo
    750GB HD
    4GB of Mem(DDR2 800)
    22in Widescreen
    Vista 32bit(may make the upgrade to 64bit)

    I am looking to upgrade the processor and mobo to this

    Q6600
    EVGA SLI mobo I beileve 790i

    Should I make this upgrade and will I notice a big diff in AoC with that upgrade?
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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by hsalive on Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:19 pm

    i'm no tech expert, however when i was building my pc last christmas most people over at the [H]ardware forum advised against quad cores unless i just had money to blow as the difference was really only seen in high processor applications and not in gaming. My rig, which i linked to in my guild intro gets me around splendidly and i'll let you know during the beta how it holds up.

    although i think the jump from amd to intel at this particular junction will show you some interesting number increases just because amd is still playing catch up from their little ati merger, maby have a look at the e6750's or even higher now instead of the quads but thats up to you, i was also building sff and heat was a deciding factor for me as well.

    http://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/wishlist/PublicWishDetail.asp?WishListNumber=5465891

    was a good bang for the buck even though the g92s(or whatever the nvidia upgrade was) came out less than a month after i purchased.

    plays crisis on high which was my gold standard at the time
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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by hsalive on Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:30 pm

    [quote="Bullarky"]
    Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM SATA 1.5Gb/s Hard Drive
    quote]

    i know you probably feel silly with that raptor but i got one too, one with the window in the hdd and man it is the coolest thing i've seen lol

    that little needle flies
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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by Bullarky on Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:36 pm

    evilash wrote:i'm no tech expert, however when i was building my pc last christmas most people over at the [H]ardware forum advised against quad cores unless i just had money to blow as the difference was really only seen in high processor applications and not in gaming. My rig, which i linked to in my guild intro gets me around splendidly and i'll let you know during the beta how it holds up.

    although i think the jump from amd to intel at this particular junction will show you some interesting number increases just because amd is still playing catch up from their little ati merger, maby have a look at the e6750's or even higher now instead of the quads but thats up to you, i was also building sff and heat was a deciding factor for me as well.

    Evil, I would have been in the same frame of mind 6 months ago, however, the Q6600 has dropped nearly $300 in price since its release. Actually, overclockers are starting to find out how good a chip the Q6600 is. They have been running a stable OC at 3.6 GHz that is outperforming the 9650 extreme chip at stock. So lets compare $1000 for the extreme chip or $299 for the quad core and overclock it. The more and more I read about the Q6600 the more I'm impressed on what Intel has put into it. With its 9x multiplier, it is definitely a force to be reckoned with. However, as Dao pointed out, not much software is making use of the four cores. However, Microsoft Flight Sim and Crysis just released that their new updates will take advantage of 4 cores (actually MS stated 256 cores). There are other manufactures that are also looking at the quad as a way to increase application performance and are offloading some high end 3D rendering to a 3rd and 4th core.

    Lorahand wrote:
    I am looking to upgrade the processor and mobo to this

    Q6600
    EVGA SLI mobo I beileve 790i

    Should I make this upgrade and will I notice a big diff in AoC with that upgrade?

    Those are solid components. Not sure what your future holds, but the 790i might be a bit overkill. You won't be taking advantage of any of its unique features over a 780i board. However, if you are a constant upgrader (meaning you upgrade single parts here and there ever 6 months or so), it is a great board that should last you quite a while. If you go with a Q6600 and plan to overclock it, you will need to get a different CPU cooler. Stock ones won't work.


    Last edited by Bullarky on Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

    Post by Bullarky on Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:42 pm

    evilash wrote:
    Bullarky wrote:
    Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM SATA 1.5Gb/s Hard Drive

    i know you probably feel silly with that raptor but i got one too, one with the window in the hdd and man it is the coolest thing i've seen lol

    that little needle flies

    Never feel silly with the Raptor... They are the best drives short of SCSI. WD actually announced their new drives that will give raptors a run...

    Every system I built has a small HD for the OS and main files. It makes access times, load times, and the like seem like nothing. Keep your main drive clean and all your trash on your D drive. Razz

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    Re: Building a new system to blow AoC out of the water!

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