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Buying/Posting Guide(vers 6/30/08); *Read Me*

Post Date: 2008-05-18

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!ender_ View Drop Down
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  Quote !ender_ Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: Buying/Posting Guide(vers 6/30/08); *Read Me*
    Posted: 18 May 2008 at 4:54pm
Ha, so i dug up this super old thread, it was our staple sticky, 13,600 views? for a long time, very dated info, but I thought it would be fun for a laugh
it sucksss that i didnt include any of the specific part info here and all the links are dead, but there is a mention of the yet to be released ati 4870! hahahaha
 
anyway, should I redo this guys?
my new computer is going to be MIA for a little, so between my few hour sessions of SC, theres not much for me to do but wait for my RMASad
i think dst4me and alex are the only 2 in this thread that are still around!
 
************************************
 
This is a guide for those new to the forum, or preparing to post a build to the forum for reviews and advice. I'll outline various FAQs and some good research sites for comparing and deciding on certain hardware.

 

Posting:

When you get all the drop down options just right, scroll to the very bottom of the page and click "Save Configuration" This will provide you with a Ticket Number: 000000. Copy the ticket number and click "Load Configuration" at the top of the page. Here you will be provided with a small text box to enter your ticket. When you enter it, copy the URL provided and past it in your post. Its a tiny hassle that saves everyone a lot of time.

 

LET US KNOW:

Before you create a post with a link and "what do you think?" there are several very important questions we need answered to help you best:

What is your budget?

What are you using the computer for?

What games/types do you like the most?

What size monitor are you using?

 

---------------------------------------------------

 

Guidelines:

All systems that are posted below are going to be focused on gaming. While versitility is important, its impossible to build a system based on being able to do everything under the sun. However, most strong "gaming" builds are quite versitile anyway, as most casual video and 3d rendering programs use similar resources.

No hardware outside of the tower (monitors, keyboards, etc) or visual frills, (case lighting) will be included as these do not effect system power, and for low-priced builds, they are simply wasteful.

 

FAQ:

Processors Quad v Duo:

While similar, quad cores are more heavily designed for multitasking while Duo are desgined more for the speed of a singular program. Currently, there are few applications that can take full advantage of this power, however I would imagine we will see that change soon enough.

 

Slang/Abbreviations:

CPU - central processing unit (processor chip)

PSU - power supply unit

GPU - graphical processor unit

Temps - the C (celcuis) reading of a component

idle temp - The C reading of a component while the computer is running nothing but the operating system

load temp - the C reading of a component while running a specific program, ie benchmarking/stability tests

Overclock/OC - Running hardware at higher than factory reccomended settings, amazingly, Digital Storm includes overclocking in thier warranty.

 

--------------------------------------------------- 

 

Personal advice:

 

Think before you act, when you are buying, advice from people is great, but a lot of this stuff is better off falling on the ears of someone who at least has thier foot in the door. You dont have to be an expert to do some of your own comparing. Any hardware you look at, research it! Why are you spending that extra 80 bucks, what kind of power will it draw. Try using sites like




Ask the same questions you ask here, DSO is a great source for information, but why take anything you see at face value? Shop around, see what other forums have to say about your build/questions.

 

Liquid cooling is becoming more mainstream and therefore a bit less scary, but realistically unless you are trying to build a system that has to be extremely quiet or you just have cash to burn (I take donantions) then air will solve most mainstream build temperature problems.

 

Asus v Nvidia.

While I've yet to find anything conclusive to compare the two for stability, it seems to basically be a matter of SLI and just preference. I personally chose Asus becuase I trust the brand, but by no means am I suggesting that Nvidia boards are not just as good. Plenty would swear by Nvidia over Asus. If you don't have an opinion... Pick everything else and then ask the forums or a DSO rep what board will fit you better.

 

SLI isnt worth it.

Obviously this is a matter of opinion, I just find SLI to be an inefficient idea. I feel that the best monitor size for competitive gaming is 19-22 inches, sizes at which SLI will show little to no difference. You're basically looking at 2x the space, temperature, and power consumption for a 15-20% increase in capability. Above those sizes, and in most benchmarking applications, you'll see a difference.

 

Case design.

I personally think there is a large inherent problem with case layouts. As you'll see in most, the intake fans are blocked by some flashy design on the front of the case, and the HDD cage on the inside of the case. Pay attention to the case you pick and the options you have with it. Most cases on this site are a solid base for the making of a good case, be sure you ask plenty of questions, after you choose your parts, about cooling options.

 

Overclocking.

All the hype these days with overclocking everything to the limit seems so silly. Of course I did it too, and there is certainly something to say for the advantages. You just have to keep in mind that its not as simple as running hardware harder, its shortening the life of your hardware, making case temps into a much bigger deal, and overall a costly investment. Youll be paying more for something that you can use for a shorter period and run the risk of damaging it in the process. Also you need to keep in mind that there is no garentee with overclocking. Its a roll of the dice, some times youll get something that increases speed and performance drastically, but you can also get a dud that will barely increase anything.

 

Order of Operations.

I find this to be the most effecient logical order for choosing the right build for you.

What you're buying a computer for

Your budget

Best hardware for the job at hand, not the best benchmarkers

Processor, Ram, GPU, extras, THEN motherboard, visual frills

case, then cooling

 

"Leave room for later" 

I personally feel that this idea was, at one time, a solid decision. Buying a system that was upgradable to keep up with the changing times made a lot of sense. I feel that this idea is now outdated itself and heres why: The times are changing so fast these days that you cant get an "upgradable system" that will last much longer than a one-shot package. (this does *NOT* mean replacements, like getting a completely new GPU in 6-12 months, I'm only talking about leaving an SLI slot open, leaving room for ram, etc) At least with DSO, this decision really just doesnt make -any- sense at all. While you may save a comple bucks by buying your second 2gb of ram or your second 8800gts512 later, its not at all worth it because the money you'd save would no where near cover the value of buying it upfront and have it covered in DSO's 3 year stock warranty. If you want 4gb of ram, get it now. Consider the extra bucks you lose as payment towards a very worthwhile insurance plan.

 

--------------------------------------------------- 

 

Price Plateaus:

Plenty of things effect how much someone wants to spend on thier system. This guide is designed as a launch pad for those who know their price range going in, while most of us end up going over the -exact- dollar amount we set, its a strong starting point. All prices are approximate.

 

*edit* keep in mind raedon's new cards, giving nvidia a scare HD4870 and HD4850, great cards and a cheaper alternative for skirting by under budget!

 



Not a benchmark crusher, but a great way to get your feet off the ground if you're a casual gamer looking for an updated system. Will handle any most any RTS / MMO at full settings and will likely continue to for quite a while.

 



Great power for the price tag. It won't set any benchmark records but it will definatly leave most satisfied with its versitility and performance.


 


My personal favorite and the best bang for the buck in my opinion, a solid system that will yield some suprising results, even if it is not the bleeding edge of the industry.



 


A reasonable price tag for an incredibly strong system, there is little left to want from here up... without getting into frills and toys.


 

 

------------This is where I get off, I personally feel that going over this line is only for people who are not trying to save money. The performance / cost ratio bottoms out around 2.8k 

 


Finally! Some liquid cooling. This build will satisfy any dream you've had that was at least a bit realistic as far as computing power. You need nothing more than this.

 


why...

 

 

---------------------------------------------------

*edit* 1.0 for some fixed/added content and suggestions

*edit* 1.1 added some opion and new GPU warnings

*edit* 1.2 renewed the build plateaus and added some to the opinion section

*edit* 1.3 revised to include the shiney new graphics cards and DDR3


Edited by !ender_ - 18 Jul 2010 at 12:52am
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 May 2008 at 5:29pm
Awesome. Check your high-end builds, they have SLI but, they are using a X48 chipset, that won't allow SLI...
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  Quote !ender_ Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 May 2008 at 5:58pm
yea, an inherent problem of not liking SLI is that you pay too little attention to it, foolish mistake, edited to fix it
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  Quote e.fruman Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 May 2008 at 8:44pm
instead of sli you can get one 9800 gx2 1gb which is an awesome card
that just needs time and driver updates to be the best.
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 May 2008 at 9:11pm
True, but, from the popularity of most builds, and our outlook, going with two separate cards is a better choice than a single card that has two video cards crammed against each other.
 
Don't get me wrong, the 9800GX2 is a great card for systems that do not have the capability of SLI, such as an Intel chipset.
 
Regards,
Alex
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  Quote Tyler Lowe Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 May 2008 at 9:25pm
That's alot of work you've put in !ender, and I haven't had time to look over all of the suggested builds yet, but I did notice that the pricing structure is a bit dated. IMHO, the possibility for a true "gaming" computer now starts at roughly $1250. I've really tried to put together something decent for $1000 or less in the current configuration choices and each of my attempts has been somewhat lacking, even as a budget machine.

I would suggest trying for $1250, $1750, $2500 as the starting price points in this guide.
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  Quote SunfighterLC Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 May 2008 at 9:28pm
I dont see how spending 111(98GTX) and 107(88GTS) dollars more for almost equal performance is better then going with a 98GX2.
 
Edit: Im not sure even EVGA will allow you to use a GX2 in a step up for a trade in, but if they do, and if the GT200 cards ARE as good as rumored, instead of having 1 card you cant do anything with if you get the SLI, you can turn in the single GX2 and have a LARGE amount of the step up price removed as well.
 
That is the reason why I chose a 98GX2 in my build...its a lot more flexible IMHO. Not only is it way cheaper overall per performance, but you have the option of quad SLI in the future should you like it, or you get a major reduction in a step up program price wise and are not left having another card you have to try to ebay or do something else with.


Edited by SunfighterLC - 18 May 2008 at 9:33pm
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4GB OCZ Reaper 1800Mhz
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Asus Xonar 7.1
Hanns-G HG 281D 28" HDMI Monitor
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  Quote GuessWho Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 May 2008 at 2:41pm
Just for grins, I configured a "$1500" system and compared it to the one listed above. The only things the two systems had in common were the RAM, the hard drive, and the GPU.
 
There is no right answer.
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  Quote david5182 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 May 2008 at 4:40pm
Originally posted by !ender_

.....
Asus v Nvidia. While I've yet to find anything conclusive to compare the two for stability, it seems to basically be a matter of SLI and just preference. I personally chose Asus becuase I trust the brand, but by no means am I suggesting that Nvidia boards are not just as good. Plenty would swear by Nvidia over Asus. If you don't have an opinion... Pick everything else and then ask the forums or a DSO rep what board will fit you better.
..... 
Surely you mean ATi and not Asus. Wink
 
 
 
EDIT: Also, this thread should be stickied.


Edited by david5182 - 19 May 2008 at 4:51pm
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  Quote SunfighterLC Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 May 2008 at 4:58pm

He is talking about Mobos, which in that case is Asus or Nvidia based tech, usually EVGA.

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  Quote skyR Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 May 2008 at 5:45pm
If you're talking about mobos.. it's either Intel vs Nvidia or Asus vs Evga.
The only thing that keeps me wishing on a wishing star.
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  Quote !ender_ Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 May 2008 at 9:56pm
Originally posted by GuessWho

Just for grins, I configured a "$1500" system and compared it to the one listed above. The only things the two systems had in common were the RAM, the hard drive, and the GPU.
 
There is no right answer.
 
there is little more to a system, realistically, than ram, GPU, and processor. changing 2 of the 3 is considerable. however, of course there is no "right" answer, the guide is desgined as a launching point, its something that i wish i had when i first found this site, and i wanted to try and give something back. if there was a "right" answer to any retail there wouldnt be much point in the US market, would there?
 
my plan is to continiously update it to serve as a reference for new buyers, both a way to keep the forums clear of continiously repeated questions and to just be a decent source of information
 
asus v nvidia is merely comparing the 2 listed choices for budget-build systems listed on DSO's drop list


Edited by !ender_ - 19 May 2008 at 10:00pm
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  Quote GuessWho Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 May 2008 at 11:59pm
Originally posted by !ender_

there is little more to a system, realistically, than ram, GPU, and processor. changing 2 of the 3 is considerable.
 
I picked a different case, CPU, motherboard, PSU, cooling system, optical drive, and OS. Except for the OS part, I doubt that anybody could tell which system was which just by sitting at the keyboard and evaluating their real world performance. Your system could be upgraded to SLI, however. Mine could not. So there might be some differences in future potential.
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  Quote !ender_ Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 May 2008 at 1:16am
sticky me!Tongue
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  Quote Aich Shaoden Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 May 2008 at 6:02am
Originally posted by !ender_

  
Overclock - Running hardware at higher than factory reccomended settings, amazingly, Digital Storm includes overclocking in thier warranty.
 
 
Where can this be found or can a Admin confirm, and what is the small text(rules) that goes with the OCin warranty. :)
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  Quote !ender_ Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 29 May 2008 at 11:14pm
well if you order the computer with an overclock, thats part of your package, ie covered in warranty
 
 
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  Quote Aich Shaoden Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 30 May 2008 at 4:36am
Originally posted by !ender_

well if you order the computer with an overclock, thats part of your package, ie covered in warranty
 
 
Yea, I found out lol.
Ordered: May 25 | Shipped: Jun 20 | Business Day: 19
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4GB Corsair DDR3 1333MHz + Fan Upgrade
250GB WD(7200) Air Stage 3
eVGA 9800GTX SLI
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  Quote Kliebor2 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 30 May 2008 at 6:26am
Alot of nice work and solid advice from the looks of things Ender... I am glad to see someone put something nice together. With very minor tweaks what I picked up looks fairly similar to your 3000 dollar level build.

I think you hit all the major price  points anyone seriously intending to buy a gaming rig would want to spend.

Cool Stuff.
Digital Storm 950Si - Q9450 Quad Core @ 3 Ghz
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  Quote !ender_ Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 14 Jun 2008 at 9:11pm
bump / killed my sticky?  Disapprove
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  Quote Tyler Lowe Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 15 Jun 2008 at 11:45pm

!ender, this is coming along very nicely, but I just can't disagree more when it comes to SLI. I used to share the low opinion you hold of SLI... until I took a chance based on reviews and tried it for myself. My system scores Vantage: P7401, and E20780 with the GPU score placing me dead even with the HD3870x2, just shy of the 98x2, and above a 98GTX. Amazingly, my in game frame rates and ability to run extreme settings at resolutions up to 1600x1200 reflect this benchmark result.

SLI is *not* a waste of money, it is another option that must be weighed carefully against other options available to someone at a particular pricepoint.
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  Quote !ender_ Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 16 Jun 2008 at 12:23am
i guess the biggest thing i have against it is how frequently people post saying they have problems with it and, more importantly, that i really dont feel you can game competitively at much more than 20" of monitor space, widescreen or otherwise... which is why i state that in my opinion its a waste of coin.
 
this is most likely rooted in the idea that you dont need anything more than a solid 75 fps no matter what the situation in competition, its sort of sprung from when i used to be very seriously into competition counterstrike, where everyone played 6x4 or 8x6. these days i just feel that anything over 1280x1024, maybe even 1600x1200 is just bragging rights, your eyes only see so much when your running and spraying for your life
 
i dont doubt the benchmarks at all, i would never suggest that SLI was not an advantage, i just think its excessive. a quick google shows 2x9600OC = $340 and a gx2 at $400. My opinion, based on lots of reading, id spend the 60 to avoid extra $ on case cooling, and all the hassle that SLI tends to cause
 
but your point is well made, which is why i put a solid effort in to making it clear that the whole post is based on opinion
speaking of... i guess i should update my $ plateaus too
 
*edit* toned down the anti-sli and incorporated it into more builds Smile


Edited by !ender_ - 16 Jun 2008 at 1:16am
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  Quote !ender_ Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 30 Jun 2008 at 9:53am

bump

lost the sticky again and updated the build plateaus to include the new shiney GPUsSmile
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  Quote Costone Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 03 Jul 2008 at 10:46am
This is a great debate with really good insights on both ends...
 
I certainly look forward to weighing out most of these concerns once my rig lands and comment back on my findings. This is exactly what makes cutting-edge technology so fascinating for us in our time. I purposely went all-out on my config just to see what the edge-of-the-envelope potential is.
 
Thanks !ender & TL for a deep discussion!
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  Quote Kliebor2 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 03 Jul 2008 at 10:57am
Wow that is one rocking system... and from the looks of it, it will have a paint job you really need to share pics of.


Digital Storm 950Si - Q9450 Quad Core @ 3 Ghz
Dual PNY OC2 GTX 560Ti
8 Gigabytes DDR2/800
2 Western Digital 500 GB SATAII 7200 RPM HD
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  Quote schulni Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Jul 2008 at 8:35pm
!ender, great guide, just wanted to add that from what I've seen on these boards, most people tend to agree on the following:
64 bit Vista
Intel Quad Core CPU
Stage 2 or 3 air cooling
Lightscribe DVD burner (for SATA connection)

By and large, the above specs are recommended on the builds I see here...
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  Quote DST4ME Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 28 Sep 2008 at 12:16am
well stage 3 cooling not if you pick the HAF, for that stage 2 will do but there is nothing like liquid cooling the cpu
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  Quote skyR Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 21 Nov 2008 at 10:47pm
this is pretty outdated eh =p where did ender go
The only thing that keeps me wishing on a wishing star.
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  Quote !ender_ Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 17 Jul 2010 at 11:31pm
bumped for comedy and to see if i should do another one!
 
also a serious tip of the hat to the old forum vets that taught me SO much back in my first few months of "performance" computers, skyR and tyler LoveLoveLoveLove


Edited by !ender_ - 17 Jul 2010 at 11:33pm
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