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Custom Computer - I Need Advice


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#1 AeroMonk

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 06:47 PM

I'm thinking of buying this custom desktop from CyberpowerPC. I need advice, did I choose the right features for my $1,300 spending limit? Here's what I picked:

Intel Core 2 Quad SLI Custom Build Configurator
$1,313
(before all applicable rebates)

CASE: Apevia X-Dreamer Mid-Tower 350W Case w/ Window & Temperature Display (BLACK COLOR)

CPU: (Quad-Core)Intel® Core™ 2 Quad Q9300 @ 2.5GHz 1333FSB 6MB L2 Cache 64-bit

MOTHERBOARD: MSI P7N SLI-FI 750i SLI Chipset LGA775 Supports LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2/800 Mainboard w/GbLAN, USB2.0, & 7.1 Audio

MEMORY: (Req.DDR2 MainBoard)2GB (2x1GB) PC6400 DDR2/800 Dual Channel Memory (Corsair or Major Brand)

VIDEO CARD 1: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT 1GB 16X PCI Express (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA)

VIDEO CARD 2: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT 1GB 16X PCI Express (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA)

VIDEO CARD 3: NONE

LCD Monitor: 19'' TFT Active Matrix LCD Display (Brand-Named LCD Display)

HARD DRIVE: Single Hard Drive (320GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD)

Data Hard Drive: NONE

Optical Drive: LG 20X Double Layer DVD+-RW Super Allwrite + Lightscribe Technology (Black Color)

Optical Drive 2: NONE

SOUND: ESS 3D WAVETABLE SOUND PCI

PSU: 800 Watts Power Supplies (Xion SuperNova Power Supply - Quad SLI Ready) -- ($10 off Mail-in Rebate)

COOLING FAN: Asetek Liquid CPU Cooling System (Extreme Cooling Performance + Extreme Silent at 20dBA)

SPEAKERS: 600Watts PMPO Subwoofer Stereo Speakers

NETWORK: ADDITIONAL PCI 32 BIT 10/100 NETWORK CARD (I already have a linksys 802.11b wireless router at home)

FLASH MEDIA READER/WRITER: INTERNAL 12in1 Flash Media Reader/Writer

CABLE WIRING: Professional Wiring for All WIRINGs Inside The System Chasis with High Performance Thermal Compound on CPU

IEEE 1394 CARD AND DRIVER

Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Basic w/ Service Pack 1 (32 bit)

GAMING GEAR: Logitech Precision PC Gaming Headset



Should I change anything?

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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 11:21 PM

I've seen a review of Cyberpower a while back and wasn't impressed. I just bought one from Maingear. They're more expensive but I haven't had any issues. You appear to be getting an SLI system, not all games scale well with two cards, a single GeForce 9800 GTX (or if you can afford it, in SLI) might be a better choice. I also suggest getting more memory, many new games on the horizon will require more than 2 GB especially with Vista. Keep in mind that if you get 4 GB or more of RAM you will need 64-bit Vista to see and use all of it. I'm not so sure about getting liquid cooling, there are definite benefits, but the risks are greater. Just my opinion....

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#3 AeroMonk

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 11:42 PM

I've seen a review of Cyberpower a while back and wasn't impressed. I just bought one from Maingear. They're more expensive but I haven't had any issues. You appear to be getting an SLI system, not all games scale well with two cards, a single GeForce 9800 GTX (or if you can afford it, in SLI) might be a better choice. I also suggest getting more memory, many new games on the horizon will require more than 2 GB especially with Vista. Keep in mind that if you get 4 GB or more of RAM you will need 64-bit Vista to see and use all of it. I'm not so sure about getting liquid cooling, there are definite benefits, but the risks are greater. Just my opinion....



So, would this one card "NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT 512MB 16X PCI Express"
be better than two of these "NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT 1GB 16X PCI Express"

#4 Sterling14

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 07:48 AM

a 9600GT is a better choice than a 8600GT's. It's faster, and a lot of older games don't work well with SLI. Then you could always throw in another 9600Gt if you wanted to in the future. Also, you could get a cheaper power supply. I'm not saying to get a cheap power supply, but that one is really overkill. I looked on their site, and recommend getting the 600 Watt power supply.

As DJBPACE07 stated, you should get more ram unless you feel comfortable putting more in yourself later. 3gb would help out with the newer games coming out.

Don't forget the freebies too! If you choose a 9600gt graphics card, you can get Age of Conan for free.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#5 AeroMonk

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 11:18 AM

I figured that it might help if I list the options that cyberpowerpc gives me. So, the things that I have already picked will be highlighted in red. But I just don't know if I picked the right ones for me. So, I need you guys to tell me if I should change anything. The important thing to remember though, is that I've already reached my $1300 spending limit. So, for example, if you tell me to get a better Motherboard that costs $80 more than my "red choice", then I would need too offset that by getting an $80 cheaper CPU (or vis-versa, you get the idea). I'll highlight the price difference in green. I wont list everything, just the important stuff (mobo, cpu, psu, gpu, etc.):

Power Supply Unit
* 600 Watts Power Supplies(Nzxt PP600 Watt Power Supply-SLI Supports) [- $15]
* 635 Watts Power Supplies(($30 off Mail-in Rebate) Sigma Shark SP-635W PSU - SLI Ready) [- $10]
* 650 Watts Power Supplies(Corsair CMPSU-650TX - Quad SLI Ready) [+ $29]
* 700 Watts Power Supplies(Thermaltake Toughpower 700W Power Supply - Quad SLI Ready) [+ $67]
* 750 Watts Power Supplies(Ultra Lifetime Series Pro) [+0]
* 800 Watts Power Supplies(NZXT PP800 Performance Power ATX 2.0 Power - Quad SLI Ready) [+ $31]
* 850 Watts Power Supplies(($40 off Mail-in Rebate) Thermaltake W0131RU ToughPower 850 Watts- NVIDIA GTX 8800 Certified) [+ $119]

CPU
* (Quad-Core)Intel® Core™ 2 Quad Q9450 @ 2.66GHz 1333FSB 12MB L2 Cache 64-bit [+ $124]
* (Quad-Core)Intel® Core™ 2 Quad Q9300 @ 2.5GHz 1333FSB 6MB L2 Cache 64-bit [+ $70]
* (Quad-Core)Intel® Core™ 2 Quad Q6700 @ 2.66GHz 1066FSB 8MB L2 Cache 64-bit [+ $70]
*(Quad-Core)Intel® Core™ 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.4GHz 1066FSB 8MB L2 Cache 64-bit [+ $14]
* (Sckt775)Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E8500 CPU @ 3.16GHz 1333FSB 6MB L2 Cache 64-bit [+ $74]
* (Sckt775)Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E8400 CPU @ 3.0GHz 1333FSB 6MB L2 Cache 64-bit [+0]
* (Sckt775)Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E8300 CPU @ 2.83GHz 1333FSB 6MB L2 Cache 64-bit [- $46]
* (Sckt775)Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E7200 CPU @ 2.53GHz 1066FSB 3MB L2 Cache 64-bit [- $76]
* (Sckt775)Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6850 CPU @ 3.00GHz 1333FSB 4MB L2 Cache 64-bit [- $10]
* (Sckt775)Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6750 CPU @ 2.66GHz 1333FSB 4MB L2 Cache 64-bit [- $20]
* (Sckt775)Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6550 CPU @ 2.33GHz 1333FSB 4MB L2 Cache 64-bit [- $46]

Motherboard
* MSI G31M-F Intel G31 Chipset LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2 Mainboard [- $56]
* Gigabyte GA-EG31M-S2 Intel G31 Chipset LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2 Mainboard [- $62]
* MSI P35 Neo-F P35 Chipset LGA775 Supports Core 2 Duo CPU FSB1333 DDR2/800 Mainboard w/GbLAN, USB2.0 & 7.1 Audio [- $36]
* MSI P7N SLI-FI 750i SLI Chipset LGA775 Supports LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2/800 Mainboard w/GbLAN, USB2.0 & 7.1 Audio [- $16]
* ($30 Mail-in Rebate)(3-Way SLI Support) MSI P6N Diamond nForce 680i SLI Chipset LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2 Mainboard [+ $54]
* Asus P5N-E nForce 650i SLI Chipset LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2 Mainboard [- $26]
* EVGA NFORCE 680i SLI CHIPSET 1333FSB DDR2/800 SATA RAID W/ USB2.0, 1GbLAN, & 7.1 AUDIO [+ $24]
* (QX9650 Support) Asus P5N-D nForce 750i SLI Chipset LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2 Mainboard [+0]
* (3-Way SLI Support) Asus Striker Extreme nForce 680i SLI Chipset LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2 Mainboard [+ $84]
* (3-Way SLI & QX9650/9770 Support) EVGA nForce 780i SLI Mainboard FSB1333 DDR2 3 x PCIe x16 SATA RAID w/ USB2.0, IEEE1394 & 7.1 Audio [+ $108]
* (3-Way SLI & QX9650/9770 Support) Asus P5N-T Deluxe nForce 780i SLI Mainboard FSB1333 DDR2 3 x PCIe x16 SATA RAID w/ USB2.0, IEEE1394 & 7.1 Audio [+ $108]

Video Card
* NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT 1GB 16X PCI Express [- $94]
* NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GTS 512MB 16X PCI Express [- $51]
* NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB 16X PCI Express [- $18]
* NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 1GB 16X PCI Express [+ $14]
* NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT 512MB 16X PCI Express [- $38]
* NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 16X PCI Express [+0]
* NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX 512MB 16X PCI Express [+ $84]
* NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB 16X PCI Express [+ $104]
* NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 1GB 16X PCI Express [+ $370]

Sound
* HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO [- $30]
* ESS 3D WAVETABLE SOUND PCI [- $18]
* Creative Labs SB Audigy SE [+0]
* Creative Labs SB X-Fi Xtreme Audio 24-BIT PCI Sound Card [+ $34]
* New! Creative X-Fi XMOD USB External Sound Control [+ $43]
* Creative Labs X-Fi 24-BIT PCI Sound Card [+ $49]

IEEE Card
* NONE [- $19]
* IEEE 1394 CARD AND DRIVER [+0]

OS
* Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Basic w/ Service Pack 1(32-bit Edition) [+0]
* Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Basic w/ Service Pack 1(64-bit Edition) [+ $19]
* Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium w/ Service Pack 1(32-bit Edition) [+ $15]
* Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium w/ Service Pack 1(64-bit Edition) [+ $34]
* Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Business w/ Service Pack 1(32-bit Edition) [+ $46]
* Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Business w/ Service Pack 1(64-bit Edition) [+ $65]
* Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Ultimate w/ Service Pack 1(32-bit Edition) [+ $120]
* Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Ultimate w/ Service Pack 1(64-bit Edition) [+ $139]
* Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition w/ Service Pack 2 [+ $30]
* Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional w/ Service Pack 2 [+ $76]


So, what features should I change, in order to get a better-performing Gaming System? But, keeping in mind that I can't afford to increase the Total Price, we just have to do a little "give & take".

#6 Sterling14

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 02:56 PM

It looks good, and if you want to save some money, you can choose onboard high definition audio for your sound. You probably couldn't tell the difference between this and the sound card, unless you're a big sound freak. Also, you'll save $30.

Another thing I noticed was that you selected the 9600Gt 1gb version. I don't think this really makes much of a difference compared to the 512mb version unless you're going to be using multiple screens, or very large screens (over 20"). If you plan to do SLI, you'll also have to spend the extra to get another 1gb version, or it will detect both cards as 512mb anyway.

Everything else looks pretty nice. I don't think the E8400 is $46 better than the E8300, but it's probably not a big deal. You could pick the E8300 and probably not really notice any performance decrease if you wanted to save more money .17ghz difference isn't much nowadays. As I mentioned before, getting the 600-watt power supply is a good idea too and you should have more than enough power with it, even if you decide to eventually do SLI.

Doing all these things I mentioned could save you another $100 or so, and barely effect the performance of your computer. I know you're not over your limit, but it never hurt to save more money :thumbsup: . If you do some Google searches on comparisons of the e8300 processor versus the E8400, you'll see most people suggest going for the E8300 unless you plan to do hardcore overclocking. Also using Google, people were saying the 1gb version of the 9600gt is not much better than the 512mb version.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#7 AeroMonk

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 04:38 PM

If I get Windows Vista 32 bit in this new computer, can I still use my old 802.11b Router? Will the router stop working if I use Vista 32 bit? The router specs are:


Model No: BEFW11S4

Linksys Wireless-B Broadband Router BEFW11S4 - Wireless router + 4-port switch - EtherFast Wireless AP w/DSL

#8 AeroMonk

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 09:57 PM

If I get Windows Vista 32 bit in this new computer, can I still use my old 802.11b Router? Will the router stop working if I use Vista 32 bit? The router specs are:


Model No: BEFW11S4

Linksys Wireless-B Broadband Router BEFW11S4 - Wireless router + 4-port switch - EtherFast Wireless AP w/DSL



If I do need to get a new router, that is compatible with Vista 32 bit - then I need to know which router will work.

I briefly looked at bestbuy.com and found a new router, would this one be compatible with Vista 32 bit?

D-Link - RangeBooster G Wireless Router
WBR-2310


$39.99

#9 DJBPace07

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 10:25 PM

Usually, the software which controls the router exists on the router itself, therefore it should not be affected. Unless you're using a huge monitor, the 1 GB graphics card is unnecessary, a 512 MB card would be more cost effective. Also, unless you're an audiophile, go with the on-board sound. Creative makes crappy drivers anyway and there are better choices for sound cards on the market anyway. How much RAM do you intend to get? Get as much as you can afford, you'll need it in the future. As I noted above, you will need 64-bit Vista to use all 4 GB or more of RAM. I find it odd that Cyberpower charges more for the 64-bit editions. Most builders have all editions of Vista like Cyberpwer, but the 32-bit editions cost the same as the 64-bit ones.

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