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The Ultimate 'Build-A-PC' Thread. Complete With Pricings & Recommendations (06/06/10)


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#1801 j-cart

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 10:35 PM

j-cart, if my build looked like this, which would you recommend?

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE ($130 @ microcenter)
Mobo: MSi 870A-G54 or Gigabyte GA-880GM... ($40 @ microcenter, bundled with CPU)
Hard drive: WD 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache (~$60 @ newegg)
Ram: A-DATA XPG Gaming Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) (~$46 @ newegg)
CD Drive: ASUS Black DVD/CD Burner ($22 @ newegg)
Case: Rosewill Challenger Midtower w/ 3 fans (~$50 @ newegg)

PSU: ??? need something good/reliable ???
GPU: ??? 2x 4850 or 5850 ???

I also plan on OC'ing, and using dual monitors if that matters.


Looks great. Just make sure your PSU is capable of running a crossfire system (I've personally never built one before). Was planning on it, then I got me a 470 fermi on the cheap.

Things to make note is that the ram you plan on purchasing will only work on that mobo ONLY if you OC your system from the get go. The ram is fine (fast too!) and your mobo supports it only if it is OCed. Mobo supports 1333, but OCs up to 2000, which is nice. I have a biostar mobo that can OC to 1600 and purposely bought 8gb of ram.

I actually have the 975 BE and plan to OC it soon. When you do OC, make sure you buy an additional heatsink+fan for your CPU. You will need to make sure that it won't run too hot. I'm still in the research phase for a new heatsink+fan, so I can't comment yet on what to get.

Rosewill is a great brand for cases. However I got this Coolermaster on the cheap:

http://www.newegg.co...9-233-_-Product

But my friend got this one and now I wish I bought his:

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811119196

#1802 MSI Magus

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 01:45 AM

Can someone explain what a TV Tuner is, what it does and how it works?

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#1803 Megazell

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 02:01 AM

Can someone explain what a TV Tuner is, what it does and how it works?


It's actually old tech that use to allow you to connect your cable and TV to your PC. So that you can watch cable on your PC or show what's on your PC to your TV with some cards.

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#1804 MSI Magus

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 02:09 AM

It's actually old tech that use to allow you to connect your cable and TV to your PC. So that you can watch cable on your PC or show what's on your PC to your TV with some cards.


Thats what I thought. Was hoping it was something that let you watch it even if you didnt have cable, but I was highly doubting that was the case for obvious reasons ;) Guess we stick to netflix instant streaming and downloading episodes of our fav shows from torrents!

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#1805 Hydro2Oxide

Hydro2Oxide

Posted 22 May 2011 - 08:11 AM

Quick question about SLI, as I'm not at all familiar with it.

Could this motherboard run 2 cards in SLI. Say, GTX 560's perhaps? It's tomorrow's shell shocker from 4-12 west coast time.

http://www.newegg.co...0-590-_-Product

I'm upgrading my motherboard soon (Curse me for thinking DDR3 was too expensive at the time) and want to make sure it's gonna be ready for the future. I'm also looking at picking up a 560, and would like to go double in a few years when it starts showing its age. If it's not compatible, could you point me in the direction of a (cheap) motherboard that can?

#1806 v1et r1ce

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 03:30 PM

Looks great. Just make sure your PSU is capable of running a crossfire system (I've personally never built one before). Was planning on it, then I got me a 470 fermi on the cheap.

Things to make note is that the ram you plan on purchasing will only work on that mobo ONLY if you OC your system from the get go. The ram is fine (fast too!) and your mobo supports it only if it is OCed. Mobo supports 1333, but OCs up to 2000, which is nice. I have a biostar mobo that can OC to 1600 and purposely bought 8gb of ram.

I actually have the 975 BE and plan to OC it soon. When you do OC, make sure you buy an additional heatsink+fan for your CPU. You will need to make sure that it won't run too hot. I'm still in the research phase for a new heatsink+fan, so I can't comment yet on what to get.

Rosewill is a great brand for cases. However I got this Coolermaster on the cheap:

http://www.newegg.co...9-233-_-Product

But my friend got this one and now I wish I bought his:

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811119196


Thanks for the help! I'm still debating whether to crossfire or just get the 5850 haha.

I also ended up buying this case for $35. First purchase for my build :D


#1807 gpthree

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 04:33 PM

Thats what I thought. Was hoping it was something that let you watch it even if you didnt have cable, but I was highly doubting that was the case for obvious reasons ;) Guess we stick to netflix instant streaming and downloading episodes of our fav shows from torrents!


It also lets you connect an over the air antenna to watch and record local network shows. If you have a media center extender (like the 360) you can stream to the tv, you dont need the pc connected to the tv.
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#1808 pbnate88

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 07:11 PM

I could use some of your guys help with a non gaming pc. What would you suggest build wise for only internet (youtube, fb, mostly streaming live video feed) office (word and excel) and basically other small tasks

#1809 j-cart

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 07:43 PM

I could use some of your guys help with a non gaming pc. What would you suggest build wise for only internet (youtube, fb, mostly streaming live video feed) office (word and excel) and basically other small tasks


Anything from this list. (Note: You will still need to purchase ram and HDD for these systems. Also need to install your own OS).

http://www.newegg.co...arebone-Systems

Or you could build a PC around an ATX mini motherboard. The cost will be around the same price, but with the ability to upgrade.

#1810 gpthree

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 09:12 PM

I could use some of your guys help with a non gaming pc. What would you suggest build wise for only internet (youtube, fb, mostly streaming live video feed) office (word and excel) and basically other small tasks


If you have a Microcenter near you, they have some pretty good deals on AMD motherboard/cpu combos starting at $99, which would be plenty powerful for what you want to do.

http://www.microcent...undlePROMO.html

This probably goes against the theme of the thread, but unless you want a specific case size or just enjoy building PCs, I'd probably just look around for a good sale on something prebuilt for what you want it to do.
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#1811 j-cart

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 03:01 AM

Thanks for the help! I'm still debating whether to crossfire or just get the 5850 haha.

I also ended up buying this case for $35. First purchase for my build :D



http://www.tomshardw...590,2912-7.html

Check the list, Tom's Hardware has 2x 4850s over the single 5850. Price will be your determining factor here.

#1812 MillerTime2523

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 04:41 AM

Need to get a new laptop eventually. Anything that can play games like Crysis maxed / medium to high settings, at under $800? Anyone who can point me in the right direction, that would be greatly appreciated.

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#1813 j-cart

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 05:21 AM

Need to get a new laptop eventually. Anything that can play games like Crysis maxed / medium to high settings, at under $800? Anyone who can point me in the right direction, that would be greatly appreciated.


Sorry to ruin your plan, but that is not going to happen on a laptop for under $800. You will need to spend $1100 minimum to play Crysis @ 30+ FPS on medium settings.

However for $800 you can build a desktop PC that will run easily run 55+ FPS Crysis on high to max no problem.

Honestly a laptop is not meant for gaming. It will eventually crumble due to extensive heat wear and tear in a short period of time than a desktop PC.

/edit: Newegg is having a sale on a combo set for a Zotac Zbox. For those looking for a light desktop PC or an HTPC, this thing works very well.

http://www.newegg.co...ombo652523-LM2A

Edited by j-cart, 24 May 2011 - 07:11 PM.


#1814 MillerTime2523

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 07:05 AM

Alright forget it then. I just figured if I was going to upgrade and get one for school, it would be a plus to be able to play a bunch of games.

If that's not an option, are there any recommendations on a laptop in the $600 - $800 range? What I'm looking to do is just word processing, web browsing, should have a good battery life and decent size screen.. I'm also into making music and what not, don't think thats really intensive computing but thought I'd throw it out there. Is there something that would really be the best bang for my buck, or could I really not go wrong with much of anything?

:edit: I'm looking at this right now, 4GB Ram, i5 processor, 15 inch screen, and cheaper than my price range at around $550.. Never dealt with Acer though but it looks like it's got pretty favorable reviews. Thoughts?

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16834115984

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#1815 j-cart

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 07:28 AM

It will do everything you want to do on it. Just know it has a very limited battery on it 3 hours tops after a few months of use.

I have a netbook that I use for everything that you mentioned. Works great and the battery life is awesome. 3 years later and my netbook can still run for 8 hours with video playback.

#1816 headpiece747

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 08:11 PM

Ok here is what I am putting together so far. If you have any options to change to get this cheaper with the same performance I would appreciate it. The case is still up in the air because I keep changing it. Also anyone with real world experience with the 570 GTX I have read reviews but it doesn't seems like it will max most games. I have the 580 GTX on my build because I want one card and then I can SLI later once the price drops.

http://secure.newegg...Number=17649126

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#1817 j-cart

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 12:57 AM

That PC will kill any game.

Review for the GTX 580:

http://www.guru3d.co...tning-review/16

#1818 crystalklear64

crystalklear64

Posted 29 May 2011 - 12:47 AM

Ok here is what I am putting together so far. If you have any options to change to get this cheaper with the same performance I would appreciate it. The case is still up in the air because I keep changing it. Also anyone with real world experience with the 570 GTX I have read reviews but it doesn't seems like it will max most games. I have the 580 GTX on my build because I want one card and then I can SLI later once the price drops.

http://secure.newegg...Number=17649126

Let me just click on that link and see wh-JESUS CHRIST 2000$ WHAT THE Fuck IS WRONG WITH YOU.

Suggestions:
Really my suggestion is to make 2 1000$ builds for half that amount of time you were thinking a 2k build was going to last you.

Specific shit since you'll say hurrdurr futureproofing derp to my sound advice:
Get an i5-2500K instead. Its still got an unlocked multiplier for you Mr. hotshot overclocker.

Don't get a liquid cooler. You're buying a wrist strap which says to me you either have never done this before or are absent minded. You're going to jump straight into overclocking so much that you need liquid cooling?

Your SATA harddrive doesn't even have anything useful listed in the info page which is very sketch. Might be a 5400, might have god awful read/write times. At least it has a 32mb cache but thats not saying much. This is what all the cool kids use- http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822152185
WD has an equivalent too for around the same price if you care.

Your case has something wrong with it. The 932 has some sort of issue. I remember because I was considering getting one but it stopped me from getting it. Aside from the 160$ price tag I mean.

Your video card. Here I made this for you:
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You're willing to pay almost double for 9% improvement (on average across gaming tasks)?

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#1819 j-cart

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 01:15 AM

I didn't want to mention anything about the price he wanted to spend, but yes a PC worth $2000 in parts is only going for single digit upgrades compared to a $1000 gaming PC.

#1820 headpiece747

headpiece747

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 10:50 AM

Let me just click on that link and see wh-JESUS CHRIST 2000$ WHAT THE Fuck IS WRONG WITH YOU.

Specific shit since you'll say hurrdurr futureproofing derp to my sound advice:
Get an i5-2500K instead. Its still got an unlocked multiplier for you Mr. hotshot overclocker.

Thanks for the advise for the i5-2500k after reading tomshardware and other reviews it would give me the same performance.

I went with a prebuilt after all this because they were having a Memorial Day sale I could not past up and it was cheaper than my build and buying all the same components with some cool freebies thrown in.

CASE: Coolermaster HAF-X

DRIVE:24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD+-R/+-RW

CPU:Intel® Core™ i5-2500K

EXTRA FANS: Maximum Enermax 120MM Case Cooling Fans

FREE: Asetek 510LC Liquid Cooling System

FREE: Shogun 2 Limited Edition

FREE: PCI Wireless Card

FREE: 30 GB Kingston Gaming MLC SSD

FREE: CoolerMaster Storm Inferno 4000dpi Gaming Mouse

HDD: 120GB Corsair Force Series 3 550MB/s Read & 510MB/s Write

Free:Xtreme Gear Keyboard

MEMORY:8GB Kingston HyperX DDR3/1600MHz

MOTHERBOARD: Asus P8P67

Free:XtremeGear Optical USB 3 Buttons Gaming Mouse

NETWORK:Onboard Gigabit LAN Network

OS:Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium

POWERSUPPLY:850 Watts - Corsair TX850V2

FREE: Microsoft® Office® 2010 STARTER EDITION

SOUND:Creative Labs SB X-FI Titanium Fatal1ty Champion

VIDEO: EVGA Superclocked GTX 580

TOTAL: $1689.60

Thanks everyone for the help, positive and harsh because it did make me research and shop around for the best prices. I think it is a great build and I will probably have it for a looong time. This going to replace my Pentium P4 with 7800GTX so it is a super upgrade.

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#1821 Corvix

Corvix

Posted 01 June 2011 - 12:19 AM

Let me begin by introducing myself (first post evar) I've always been a lurker and currently in a dilemma that I need assistance with. By the way this community is awesome! I finally came to the conclusion after giving console gaming a try thats its not for me and need to return to the PC master race to fufill my life. Currently in the process of liquidating my current PS3 setup and all proceeds will contribute to my sweet "rig" My budget is around the $800-1000 area. I predominantly will be playing WoW, Starcraft II and Diablo 3. Blizzard biased much? Oh an Battlefield 3 when it comes out :} So my main concern is playing a silky smooth game. Im not the most technologically adept but am a fast learner and I will do the necessary research so do not take this as a tell me what to do but more as a help me do. My main issue is with time I'm giving my PS3 liquidation a week before I trade everything in to Amazon. (Impatient much?) Also "bulldozer"(I looked up what it was) was brought up and supposedly it would be in my best interest to wait for that before making any sort of purchase. I'd like to be able to get my set up up and running ASAP but if it will make that much of a difference I suppose I can wait. Keep in mind I'm not aiming for the godliest rig but a rig that will play the games I want on the highest setting. I will be doing everything myself because I'd like to learn for future experiences. Im hoping for cash for my PS3 set up from craigslist so I can buy my stuff from newegg but I will settle for Amazon credit. I definetely need a rig by end of August because I go away for school. I would like it sooner because once my PS3 is gone I will have no form of entertainment =( Shout out to J-Cart I looked up all the links and that grid you posted up. Thanks man that stuff was very helpful. I've learned alot from that info and already looked up all the videos of how to put the thing together so overall Im very much excited for this. Thanks to everyone in advance for any help! Happy gaming.

#1822 j-cart

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 02:45 AM

Enter key, it's your friend :)

Just work off that grid picture. For $800-$1000 expect to build a very competent gaming rig (basically godly, but not quite GOD tier). If you don't need it until August, then by all means wait it out.

#1823 headpiece747

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 12:22 PM

Let me begin by introducing myself (first post evar) I've always been a lurker and currently in a dilemma that I need assistance with. By the way this community is awesome! I finally came to the conclusion after giving console gaming a try thats its not for me and need to return to the PC master race to fufill my life. Currently in the process of liquidating my current PS3 setup and all proceeds will contribute to my sweet "rig" My budget is around the $800-1000 area. I predominantly will be playing WoW, Starcraft II and Diablo 3. Blizzard biased much? Oh an Battlefield 3 when it comes out :} So my main concern is playing a silky smooth game. Im not the most technologically adept but am a fast learner and I will do the necessary research so do not take this as a tell me what to do but more as a help me do. My main issue is with time I'm giving my PS3 liquidation a week before I trade everything in to Amazon. (Impatient much?) Also "bulldozer"(I looked up what it was) was brought up and supposedly it would be in my best interest to wait for that before making any sort of purchase. I'd like to be able to get my set up up and running ASAP but if it will make that much of a difference I suppose I can wait. Keep in mind I'm not aiming for the godliest rig but a rig that will play the games I want on the highest setting. I will be doing everything myself because I'd like to learn for future experiences. Im hoping for cash for my PS3 set up from craigslist so I can buy my stuff from newegg but I will settle for Amazon credit. I definetely need a rig by end of August because I go away for school. I would like it sooner because once my PS3 is gone I will have no form of entertainment =( Shout out to J-Cart I looked up all the links and that grid you posted up. Thanks man that stuff was very helpful. I've learned alot from that info and already looked up all the videos of how to put the thing together so overall Im very much excited for this. Thanks to everyone in advance for any help! Happy gaming.


Welcome to posting on CAG. This is what I would build for under a grand, all I did was add all the components to the cart you can make it cheaper by doing combo deals on newegg. I did not include the OS because you can get Win 7 for $30 if you have a edu email. You can also get a 560ti or AMD to lower price and find a cheaper case I just put in what I like for that.

http://secure.newegg...Number=11734569

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#1824 crystalklear64

crystalklear64

Posted 01 June 2011 - 02:31 PM

currently researching a build myself for around 1k, i'll let you know what i come up with. parts i'd recommend so far though:
cpu: i5-2500k cpu. really nothing compares to this for the price atm.

memory: 4-8gb ddr3 ram. 1066 is "native" speed for ddr3 so just get whatever is cheapest and has a good warranty faster memory is pointless in all but benchmarks. 1 stick of 4gb if you need to cut some money, 2x4 for 8gb if you have some to spare.

cpu/case: i am very impressed with the results on the cp-850 psu price and specs. all the psu review sites i found were stunned at its performance for the price. there is one drawback and it could be a major one depending. there are only 4 cases i've found that can hold the thing since its antec's custom format. your choice of cases are the df-85, antec twelve hundred, p183, p193. thats it. you won't find a better psu for the price though. so if you like one of those cases i'd say get it. however, i'm a big proponent of researching for your psus and i've even written a guide here on cag a few years ago on how to do it yourself. this thing pumps out a retarded 94 amps which is overkill for so many things. if you're not planning on heavy overclocking, dual/triple video cards, and plugging in a ton of drives/stuff, you can easily get away with a cheaper PSU. 80$ is the sweet spot for a good psu, but don't buy too much more than you need. here's the link to my psu buying guide:
http://www.cheapassg...d.php?p=8526973

the p183+cp-850 is a particularly good setup if you're going for low noise, the antec 1200 (what i'm leaning towards) is a gigantic monster of a case that will hold a million different peripherals, the p193 is a solid all around case, and the df-85 is like the 1200 only its dust filters are easier to get at and clean than the 1200. sadly i think the front looks stupid and lets be honest looks mean a lot for a case. i don't care for the side windows either but i can live with it.

hdd: people only recommend 2 hdds these days and those are the 1tb f3 spinpoint and the western digital caviar black and they are both solid choices with fast read/write times. get which ever one is cheaper at the time. note that the non-1tb sizes of these have different specs so always look out for thoses before you buy.

ssd: i'm getting an ocx vertex 2 from amazon since its cheaper. fastest ssd for its price range and holds 80gb. its a little pricey at 160$ for only 80gb but i have some money to spend and wanted to see what the ssd fuss is about for myself. you could easily skip this part of the build.

mobo: don't know yet. always the hardest part of any build imo is choosing a mobo. i'll be researching this today.

videocard: don't know yet. always the more fun part of any build imo so i'm saving this to do with the mobo to balance it out. leaning towards a 6970 but we'll see. x2 6870's is tempting.

i will also be finally picking up a bluray drive and am considering a new 120hz monitor so i'll be doing some research on that as well.

drawback is that if i go with my ideal specs and parts i'm going to be coming in at 1300$, so i'm looking to shave off some money myself so i'll be changing these recommendations around.


And finally the falcon guide was updated on the 27th. CAG won't let me post the link, but theres a link that always goes to the latest version its listed in the guide itself as well.

http://i1002.photobu...Guide/Guide.png
tinyurl/falconguide

Edited by crystalklear64, 01 June 2011 - 05:45 PM.

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#1825 crystalklear64

crystalklear64

Posted 01 June 2011 - 02:44 PM

http://secure.newegg...Number=11734569

this build runs on hamsters and magic i take it?

(you forgot a psu)

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#1826 Hydro2Oxide

Hydro2Oxide

Posted 01 June 2011 - 03:28 PM

Hey guys, just a quick question. I'm making the swap from ATi to nVidia today, is there anything I need to do with drivers? Do I need to uninstall the ATi ones before I plug in my nVidia card, or will Windows just sort that whole mess out?

#1827 Megazell

Megazell

    Linux Gamer

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 05:06 PM

Hey guys, just a quick question. I'm making the swap from ATi to nVidia today, is there anything I need to do with drivers? Do I need to uninstall the ATi ones before I plug in my nVidia card, or will Windows just sort that whole mess out?


Uninstall the drivers. Here a guide you can use to make sure all of is gone before placing the Nvidia card in - http://www.hardwareh...s-properly.html

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#1828 Corvix

Corvix

Posted 01 June 2011 - 08:23 PM

Wow thanks you guys for all the help. Would've posted earlier if I knew, fear of being ripped apart by e-thugs I suppose. You guys are making it increasingly difficult to wait it out for end of summer, I want the rig now :( Now for some noobie questions. Is overclocking that standard now, that everyone does it?(only because I dont know if I feel comfortable pushing something further than what it was intended to go) Also what is the benefit to having 2 video cards is it that much improvement?(more is always better I suppose) Also for j-cart do you think its going to be a huge difference between getting something now versus getting something in 3 months? Forgive me for slow replies with work and commuting I dont have time till the evening.

#1829 Megazell

Megazell

    Linux Gamer

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 08:35 PM

Wow thanks you guys for all the help. Would've posted earlier if I knew, fear of being ripped apart by e-thugs I suppose. You guys are making it increasingly difficult to wait it out for end of summer, I want the rig now :( Now for some noobie questions. Is overclocking that standard now, that everyone does it?(only because I dont know if I feel comfortable pushing something further than what it was intended to go) Also what is the benefit to having 2 video cards is it that much improvement?(more is always better I suppose) Also for j-cart do you think its going to be a huge difference between getting something now versus getting something in 3 months? Forgive me for slow replies with work and commuting I dont have time till the evening.


Try to space out your text a bit to make it easier to read.

Overclocking is a hobby on it's own. There a very few reasons for gamers to overclock these days. That's something to do when your machine is unable to deal with current games but with a few OC' technique you can extend the life of said rig and run those games. You need a lot of air flow though. If you're not comfortable doing it. Don't. If you have a spare rig you don't care for to learn it...Go for it.

Many people prefer 2 videos cards so that they can go max on all settings for modern games. The thing is you're will run into games that don't support this or may have errors when you try to run it with these setups. Those games and issue are decreasing over time as crossfire becomes more common place but expect to deal with issues.

As for your 3 months...that depends on your $ and time. If you could wait...and wanted a better deal...I would wait til September (far off I know) but this is when vendors do a lot of deals, rebates and bundles to get students to buy.

Edited by Megazell, 02 June 2011 - 12:43 AM.

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#1830 Corvix

Corvix

Posted 01 June 2011 - 10:01 PM

Whoops thanks for clearing that up was wondering what j-cart meant by his comment. :) Cool overclocking is not relevant then and I'm still not so sure about the dual video cards but that seems something down the road. (not in the initial build)

I really dont want to wait but if the difference is going to be that significant I may have to bite the bullet. I have the money for it now, money is not the issue, but then again I wouldn't be here if I wasn't a CAG. :)