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building new gaming pc, have a lot of questions ^^

by ant9985 / February 27, 2007 2:50 AM PST

hi all, its been close to 3 years sinse i built my last computer and i need to know a few things about the current technology available so i thought i would ask in these forums. the main game that i will be playing when i get the computer will be supreme commander but i would like the computer to be able to play some of the latest games for a few years. i have a lot of questions below, if anyone could answer 1-2 of them it would be greatly appreciated. dont feel obligated to answer them all at once Happy
thnx.

1.) I was thinking of putting my os and games on a WD raptor 150gb, is it a waste of money doing this? will the os and games run quicker or just load quicker.

2.) I keep hearing people mention raid0 or raid5, what are these?

3.) Iv heard people say that if your spending a lot on a graphics card then you should have a good monitor also. Why does it make any difference?
I currently have a 17? TFT monitor made by optronix, if I need to upgrade Im considering: 22'' Xerox XM3-9WB Widescreen TFT. But if it makes no difference ill stick with this one.

4.) AGEIA PhysX? Physics Processing Unit - I read a bit about these, they make your games look more realistic. should i get one? i cant find them on www.aria.co.uk which is the website ill be purchasing hardware from.

5.) Can you have duel monitors with 2 different sizes/makes?

6.) I heard Nvidia 8800 is the best GFX card atm. Is it worth paying an extra

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Some answers
by steve749 / February 27, 2007 3:05 AM PST

1) Depends on how much performance counts. The games will load quicker though understand that depending on the game there may be various points where data is loaded since some games can have large amounts of data and so they pause to load the maps for a new area in some cases.

2) RAID is an acronym for Redundant Array of Identical Disks. RAID 0 is where you have 2 hard drives that sort of act as one big drive sharing writes to make things quicker while RAID 5 is used for backing up data and if you Google these you will learn more like that there is also RAID 1.

3) Well, if you have a rather expensive graphics card that cost like $600 and the monitor is of poor quality then there is some waste of money since lower graphics cards would work equally well. The key here is how high end do you want to get as well as how big as if you had a 12" CRT then the detail isn't quite the same as say a 19" LCD for example.

4) I think most of what I've read says that they aren't worth the cost if you look up the reviews of it so I'd pass on that.

5) I don't know but I'd suspect you could have different makes but not sizes as then there could be some interesting combinations out there.

6) Depends on the size of the monitor I think as some reviews have noted that if you play above a threshold which I think is 1900 x 1200 then there is a difference. The other point is that down the road will new games need the extra memory that you could get now is something to consider.

7) Compatibility would be one thought if you go with Vista as some games can have trouble running in the old O/S if you used to game in Windows 95 or 98 and had to switch to XP and ran into some issues. The main difference would be that Vista will have Direct X10 that isn't in XP though I'm not sure when games will come out that fully use the new stuff in X10.

Cool Depends. If you want the most processing power then quad cores are likely a good idea though don't forget that not all software is optimized to run on so many cores yet. If you are concerned about the cost, then go with a high end dual core like a Core 2 Duo or Athlon 64 x2 which will likely last a few years as game makers figure out how to make the games play better on this type of architecture. Don't forget that there is always new stuff coming soon and so if you wait for something great to come and nothing else great for a while you could be waiting forever.

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Just my thoughts.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 27, 2007 3:06 AM PST

1.) I was thinking of putting my os and games on a WD raptor 150gb, is it a waste of money doing this? will the os and games run quicker or just load quicker.

Usually just quicker booting and loading. Actual gameplay and framerates should not be affected.

2.) I keep hearing people mention raid0 or raid5, what are these?

I'll just give a link -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redundant_array_of_independent_disks Again this area is going to affect load time, not gameplay. Beware that some disregard backup and suffer data loss.

3.) Iv heard people say that if your spending a lot on a graphics card then you should have a good monitor also. Why does it make any difference?
I currently have a 17? TFT monitor made by optronix, if I need to upgrade Im considering: 22'' Xerox XM3-9WB Widescreen TFT. But if it makes no difference ill stick with this one.

I like my 17 and 19 inch. But this is a personal choice area.

4.) AGEIA PhysX? Physics Processing Unit - I read a bit about these, they make your games look more realistic. should i get one? i cant find them on www.aria.co.uk which is the website ill be purchasing hardware from.

I'd pass. Only PhysX enabled games would be the nod. I'd get any high end ATI or Nvidia since they are the 600 pound gorillas and have the run of the house.

5.) Can you have duel monitors with 2 different sizes/makes?

Yes, I can.

6.) I heard Nvidia 8800 is the best GFX card atm. Is it worth paying an extra

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thnx
by ant9985 / February 27, 2007 9:09 AM PST
In reply to: Just my thoughts.

ok cool, thnx a lot for the replys.

3.) so a 17" tft is fine for an 8800GTX/GTS then?

5.) hmm.. jbking1 says u cant have different sizes, but bob says you can..
what i really wanted to know was if i did decide to purchase one of those 22'' Xerox's would i be able to hook it up with my 17" to the card and play supcom with duel monitors.

6.) havent seen those ati cards on aria.co.uk, but 4 grand? lol thats a bit steap aint it?

with the nvidia 8800s the different makes varie in price, is there a particular make i should go for or just take the cheapest offer?

omg i just had a look at the ram section on aria, and now i very confused Sad

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Well....
by steve749 / February 27, 2007 10:22 AM PST
In reply to: thnx

I haven't tried using different sizes but I'm just imagining that if one took a 22" LCD and a 17" LCD and had both plugged into the same video card, how would that work for anything trying to go "full screen" as it is no longer a simple rectangle. I was just taking a guess and never tried it myself, sorry.

Regards,
JB

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to add to the initial feedback... set a budget
by ramarc / February 27, 2007 10:50 AM PST

you've mentioned practically every cutting-edge pc component, but until you set a budget you won't be able to really decide if X is better than Y.

for a gamer, the key component is the video card, but an 8800gts can't overcome an underpowered cpu or cramped ram. likewise, a strip-set of raptors (raid-0) won't help much if you pair them with a wimpy video card.

set a budget and then decide what components you can afford. if you've only got 1500 to spend, a quad-core is out of the question so you don't need to anguish over one.

lastly, get the fastest pc you can afford and forget the 'future' unless you plan to build your pc in phases. with a phased build you could spend 150 now with the plan to spend another 200 later and wind up with a faster gaming pc going into '08.

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budget
by ant9985 / February 27, 2007 7:51 PM PST

np jbking2

i see what u mean there remarc. i really was hoping to keep it under 1k but this duel monitor set up idea has me intrigued, and if i can make a 22" work with my 17" i think i might get one, but what will i need? do i need another gfx card for the new monitor? if i do then should i buy 2 8800s or what?

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re: budget
by ramarc / February 28, 2007 4:53 AM PST
In reply to: budget

first, dual monitor support is going to be limited to a handful of games. supreme commander comes to mind but even that game's developer says a wide-screen is more than sufficient.

your 1k GBP budget is about $1980 USD so you can certainly get a pretty high-end kit if you're willing to build it yourself. (i'll be using USD estimates.)

motherboard: asus p5b-e or gigabyte ga-965p-ds3/ds4, $150
processor: core 2 duo e6600, $320
ram: geil GX22GB6400UDCK DDR2-800 4-4-4-12 2GB kit, $230
graphics: evga or xfx geforce 8800gtx, $560
monitor: samsung 225bw 22" widescreen LCD, $340
hard drive: 2, Caviar RE WD2500YS 250GB SATA 3.0Gbps drives, $160
dvd drive: lg, lite-on, sony, $40
case/ps: $65 for a name brand 450W power supply and $65 for your preferred case, $130
windows: vista premium oem, $120

total USD: $2050

these prices are without rebates and conservative estimates. i think you could shave at least $100 off by shopping around. you could also save $150 by going with an 8800gts ($300) since it can easily handle the 1680x1050 widescreen resolution. save another $80 by going with a samsung 20" widescreen at the same resolution.

one note on the hard drives. the asus mobo supports intel matrix raid so you can mix raid-0 (striping for speed) with raid-1 (mirroring for fault tolerance) on the same set of disks. dual 250gb drives could be configured as a mirrored 60gb C: drive and a striped 350gb D: drive.

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ramarc
by ant9985 / February 28, 2007 6:47 AM PST
In reply to: re: budget

thnx very much for that dude, its a gr8 help,

and yer i guess monitors are important part, but rest of pc needs to be good to run the software.

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3) Monitor
by william551 / February 27, 2007 7:57 PM PST

I used to work IT and my boss told me a trick about PCs that kinda stuck that so long as you had a good monitor, everybody was happy. So our kind of in-house unsaid policy was a fix on monitors. And when you think about it, its the part of the computer that gets the most attention. So even if you're a little slower, its still an overall benefit.

My personal preference is that the monitor gets top priority.

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monitor
by ant9985 / February 27, 2007 10:07 PM PST
In reply to: 3) Monitor

thats an interesting outlook

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that's good point....
by rexhepister / February 28, 2007 5:48 AM PST
In reply to: 3) Monitor

Well monitor is very important i think too...these days i replaced my monitor with newer vrsion and i really enjoy the big difference on playng games and working on my pc...i had Viewsonic 712 8ms response time 500:1 contrast brightnes 230 cd/m^2 and now i have samsung Syncmaster 932b 5ms response time 700:1 contrast 400 cd/m^2 brightnes...i must say now i see all the quality of my pc with other monitor i could't see that....so you have to buy a quality monitor to see and to experience all the quality offering of your graphic card and so on....

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free specs
by rich669 / February 28, 2007 9:20 AM PST
In reply to: that's good point....

If you want a list to help you out....go to one of many pc builders and select a pc to buy, configure the thing to about what you want or can afford. Then at then end where it is time to pay copy paste components list and print it out...free list of all the items you need to round up to build your own pc....problem is the savings wont be that much.

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free specs
by ant9985 / February 28, 2007 11:13 PM PST
In reply to: free specs

thnx for the idea

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this spec
by ant9985 / March 2, 2007 8:26 PM PST

here are the specs iv chosen with links:

Harddrive: WD 150Gb Raptor SATA 10k/150/16Mb
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Hard+Drives/Serial+ATA/+WD+150Gb+Raptor+SATA+10k%2F150%2F16Mb?productId=23817

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Retail
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/CPUs+%2F+Processors/Intel/Core+2+Duo/+Intel+Core+2+Duo+E6600+Retail?productId=23828

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Ultimate Gamer
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Cases/MIDI+Tower/+Antec+Nine+Hundred+Ultimate+Gamer?productId=25541

Ram: Corsair TwinX 2GB XMS2 Dominator
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Memory/DDR2/DDR2+1000+%28PC8000%29/+Corsair+TwinX+2GB+XMS2+Dominator?productId=25516

Screen: 22'' Xerox XM3-9WB Widescreen TFT
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Pc+%26+Displays/Monitors%2C+TFT/TFT+20%22+%26+21%22/+22%27%27+Xerox+XM3-9WB+Widescreen+TFT?productId=25737

Graphics card: Asus Extreme 8800GTS 640MB
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Graphics+Cards/PCI-E/nVIDIA+GeForce+8+Series/+Asus+Extreme+8800GTS+640MB?productId=26147

i need a motherboard to match all this, with 8 fan connectors as the case has 8 fans on it, and support for sli and quad core processors. Also im not sure what power supply to get.

can anyone recommend any please?

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