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$2250 to spend - what do you do?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

First post here on the forums. Clearly this is the spot to be to learn the ins and outs of tweaking a system. I've gotten bored of ordering complete systems through Dell / Alienware / whatever and have decided to take on the task of putting together my own. Benefits seem clear - price, selection, and even a bit of pride once it all comes together. That said, I'm really new at this so I'm not really sure what I should be buying to get the most bang for my buck.

I know this is more than just discussing Intel CPU stuff, but I couldn't find another forum I thought would be applicable, and seeing as I'm planning on using an Intel chip, I posted here.

So, that said, on the the specifics:

I'm working with $2250. I already have a nice monitor, speakers, and printer. Don't need to worry about that. I am going to need a nice keyboard and mouse however. Don't need to worry about the OS either, have Windows XP Home. So, essentially, I'm looking at $2250 to spend on making the best machine possible, fully taking advantage of overclocking capability when applicable (and obviously stable). Some initial desires:

1) I'm a gamer, definitely want to have a RAID 0 setup with some 10,000 RPM drives.
2) I also store a massive amount of music and what not on my drives - looking at the WD 750 GB drive with the vertical read, looks pretty nice and the price is good.
3) To liquid cool or not to liquid cool? Seems a lot of people here can do damn well on air alone.
4) Noise is somewhat important to me as my rig will sit up on my desk next to me. Don't want a constant annoying drone in my ears.
5) Graphics - I'm torn. Could go for the 8800GTX, or would an SLI setup using two cheaper cards get just as much performance?

Also, is this even a good time to buy? From what I hear, the quad core Intel chips are going to be coming down in price bigtime come August, and come Q4 2007 the NVIDIA GeForce 9 series are supposedly coming out, tripling the current capability of their best GPUs (8800GTX / Ultra). Is it worth waiting? I obviously don't want to wait forever, but if it is worth it to wait a few months, I could be willing. Or I could simply swap in some parts I know I'll eventually replace, so wouldn't opt for the top of the line.

What do you all think in terms of motherboard, CPU, RAM, HDs, DVD / CD drivers, cooling solutions, power supply, GPU, case, sound card, etc. All the stuff you'd need to make the thing work (preferably damn well). And given this is an overclocking forum, by all means chime in on what you'd think would be a nice way to clock it all.

Thanks in advance. Really happy I found this forum, all sorts of good info.
The 9 Design
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The 9 Design
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Core i7 920 Asus P6T eVGA GTX 260 (216) 2x2GB G.Skill DDR3 1333 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD 500 AAKS + Samsung 1TB Spinpoint F1 LG SuperMulti Windows 7 RC1 Samsung 226BW 22" 
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Generic POS Corsair 750W Coolermaster 690 Logitech G5 
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post #2 of 22
500gig drives are best bang for the buck. dont get any larger, just 2 of those.
id just get water if you have that much to spend.
if you want things silent, get a triple GT Stealth rad and 3 thermaltake thunderblades. cheap and effective. you could also try the Zalman ZM-MFC1 fan controller, i love mine.
for GPU, you could get a cheaper card right now, and see what the 9000 series do, or just go for an 8800GTX, it wont be slow anytime soon.
i recommend preordering a G0 quad from tankguys. will cost somewhere around 300 bucks and the G0 stepping is guaranteed (as you might've heard, they OC really good).
motherboard: Asus P5K DLX. this one is great for OCing quadcores, especially the mentioned G0 one.
RAM: Crucial Ballistix, or G.Skill HZ's. i personally have Team eXtreem, which is better, but more expensive.
post #3 of 22
I would wait. The 9xxx cards do seem promising and intel price drops are coming. As long as you have some kind of computer you should try to be patient.
my machine
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320 GB IDE Sony Dvd-rom XP SP2 19inch viewsonic 
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my machine
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Intel Core 2 Duo e6400 @ 2.70Ghz Asus p5n-e sli Nvidia Geforce Evga 7950GT 512MB 2GB GSkill 800Mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
320 GB IDE Sony Dvd-rom XP SP2 19inch viewsonic 
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550Watt Rosewill coolmaster centurion 5 
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post #4 of 22
if you want quiet i would go with everything listed by chielscape and you should get a p180 case. they are very well built and quiet. but if you have the money you should go for a p190, they are absolutely insane and still very quiet.
post #5 of 22
I would get more RAM instead of 10kRPM drives, you said you're a gamer and the HDD access speed isn't going to matter much except in the loading screen. 10kRPM drives will be fast but they will be loud, expensive and low capacity. The new Caviar 750's test well, and if you really want you can run those in RAID. Keep in mind RAID-1 benefits from greater read speed as well as far greater stability.

For $2250 you can easily get a
Q6600 ($475)
2x2GB or 4x1GB DDR2-800 (~$300)
8800GTX ($550)
680i chipset ($250)
WD Caviar 750GB which tests faster than 150GB Raptor except for random access. ($200/drive)
Add your misc (FDD/CD/DVD) $50
Throw in a nice case ($150)

That checks in around $1975 leaving you some for a mouse/KB/air/water cooler and it's extremely nice. As far as water/air cooling, water takes more maintenance and care than air-cooling and there are air coolers out there (such as the Tuniq tower) that do very well. Those quad cores put out a LOT of heat though, and I wouldn't run the stock cooler on it.
Steel Talon
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2x Seagate 7200.14 3TB RAID 0 Crucial M4 128 Seagate 7200.11 1TB Seagate ST2000 5900 2TB 
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2x Samsung SATA DVD/RW Windows 7, Fedora 12 x64, Ubuntu 9.10 (VM) Dell 3008WFP (yeah, the 30") Logitech G15 
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Steel Talon
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Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
2x Seagate 7200.14 3TB RAID 0 Crucial M4 128 Seagate 7200.11 1TB Seagate ST2000 5900 2TB 
Optical DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
2x Samsung SATA DVD/RW Windows 7, Fedora 12 x64, Ubuntu 9.10 (VM) Dell 3008WFP (yeah, the 30") Logitech G15 
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Antec Truepower 650 Thermaltake V9 Black Edition Logitech G700 lol 
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post #6 of 22
How old are you qnine? I'd suggest saving that money, in a 10% interest account it will double every 7.2 years. You'll thank me later. Could make the difference between being poor and being rich when you retire.
Rig
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32GB Corsair SSD + 2x 320 + 1x 250 Lightscribe drive Windows 7 Ultimate Hanns-G HG-216DPO 
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Rig
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Q6600 G0 Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P Sapphire 5870 Cypress XT EF6 2GB 4GB (2x2GB) G.SKILL 1066 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
32GB Corsair SSD + 2x 320 + 1x 250 Lightscribe drive Windows 7 Ultimate Hanns-G HG-216DPO 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard OCZ GameXStream 850W HAF 932 Logitech G5 Laser Gaming Mouse 
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post #7 of 22
*Post deleted to prevent derailment*
Steel Talon
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 920 @3.62 @ 1.104V MSI X58 Platinum EVGA 690_GTX 24GB Corsair Vengeance 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
2x Seagate 7200.14 3TB RAID 0 Crucial M4 128 Seagate 7200.11 1TB Seagate ST2000 5900 2TB 
Optical DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
2x Samsung SATA DVD/RW Windows 7, Fedora 12 x64, Ubuntu 9.10 (VM) Dell 3008WFP (yeah, the 30") Logitech G15 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Antec Truepower 650 Thermaltake V9 Black Edition Logitech G700 lol 
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Steel Talon
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 920 @3.62 @ 1.104V MSI X58 Platinum EVGA 690_GTX 24GB Corsair Vengeance 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
2x Seagate 7200.14 3TB RAID 0 Crucial M4 128 Seagate 7200.11 1TB Seagate ST2000 5900 2TB 
Optical DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
2x Samsung SATA DVD/RW Windows 7, Fedora 12 x64, Ubuntu 9.10 (VM) Dell 3008WFP (yeah, the 30") Logitech G15 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Antec Truepower 650 Thermaltake V9 Black Edition Logitech G700 lol 
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post #8 of 22
Buy a cd, put it in checking, some mutual funds make 30-40% interest a year. There's plenty of options, i'm not just talking about a savings account.
Rig
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Q6600 G0 Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P Sapphire 5870 Cypress XT EF6 2GB 4GB (2x2GB) G.SKILL 1066 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
32GB Corsair SSD + 2x 320 + 1x 250 Lightscribe drive Windows 7 Ultimate Hanns-G HG-216DPO 
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Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard OCZ GameXStream 850W HAF 932 Logitech G5 Laser Gaming Mouse 
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Allsop 
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Rig
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6600 G0 Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P Sapphire 5870 Cypress XT EF6 2GB 4GB (2x2GB) G.SKILL 1066 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
32GB Corsair SSD + 2x 320 + 1x 250 Lightscribe drive Windows 7 Ultimate Hanns-G HG-216DPO 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard OCZ GameXStream 850W HAF 932 Logitech G5 Laser Gaming Mouse 
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post #9 of 22
-_- dont put it in a checking account. many banks offer accounts with high interest, the only catch to them is you ahve to give 24 hours notice to make a withdrawal.
My Firepit
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My Firepit
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post #10 of 22
Simple, don't make a withdrawal, save 10% of every paycheck over your lifetime, and you'll be in darn good shape. And yeah, you're right, don't put it in checking. Doesn't get much interest, but it's easier to withdraw.
Rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6600 G0 Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P Sapphire 5870 Cypress XT EF6 2GB 4GB (2x2GB) G.SKILL 1066 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
32GB Corsair SSD + 2x 320 + 1x 250 Lightscribe drive Windows 7 Ultimate Hanns-G HG-216DPO 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard OCZ GameXStream 850W HAF 932 Logitech G5 Laser Gaming Mouse 
Mouse Pad
Allsop 
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Rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6600 G0 Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P Sapphire 5870 Cypress XT EF6 2GB 4GB (2x2GB) G.SKILL 1066 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
32GB Corsair SSD + 2x 320 + 1x 250 Lightscribe drive Windows 7 Ultimate Hanns-G HG-216DPO 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard OCZ GameXStream 850W HAF 932 Logitech G5 Laser Gaming Mouse 
Mouse Pad
Allsop 
  hide details  
Reply
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