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Jumping into the PC gaming world head first...  

post #1 of 74
Thread Starter 
but want all you experts, (there are alot of you:D ) to help me get all the right components.

I have found a website, xtechnology.com that is very much like Dell or gateway but seems to have much better pricing. Since i wont dare take on building my own PC they seem to be the best way to get a nice PC built.

My purpose for the PC: To play games and watch WM9 DVDs on my 65" Hitachi. Play the sound thru my 7.1 Onkyo. So with that being said, here is what i have selected so far:

AMD-418 Customized QTY

Asus K8N Athlon64 nForce3 Pro 250 (800ASATARU)
AMD Athlonâ„¢ 64 Processor 3400+
Cooling Fan CPU Athlon 64
2x 512Mb PC3200 - 400MHz DDR Memory
Samsung 40GB 7200rpm 2M
Black Floppy Disk Drive 1.44MB
ATI X800 XT 256MB 8X AGP Video
ULTRA GT Cordless Mouse and Mobile Keyboard Suite
Black 52X24X52CDRW+/16XDVD Combo Drive
No CD/DVD-ROM -
========== No Sound Card -
ATC-620-BX1 Desktop Case /no Power Supply
450W Power Supply
Windows XP Home Edition CD ver.
No Network Card
1 Year Limited Warranty -

Running sound and Ethernet thru the the MoBo. Would picking up a esoundblaster 7.1 value sound card yield better results? I dont want 2.0 DD sound during games and i want to have 7.1 when software actually supports it.

Any thoughts or opinions will be much appreciated.

PS- the price i have for the above is $1427.
post #2 of 74
if you plan to play lots of games, i can't recommend the Soundblaster Audigy 2 ZS enough, best for gaming, music is a different story, re-samples 44.1kHz to 48kHz, other then that, it's great, I'm using it right now for headphone gaming, and it sounds unbelievable realistic for headphones
post #3 of 74
Thread Starter 
I see that the only Creative soundcard that supports 7.1 is the eSoundblaster Audigy 2 Value 7.1. 6.1 is nice , but with my receiver already ready to take on 8 separate channels, i would like to take that on.

Is the Value 7.1 all that different?

EDIT - actually nevermind, i see they do offer 7.1 cards at newegg.
post #4 of 74
Nice rig. I have the same video card and processor and could not be happier.

My first bit of advice. For love of all that is holy, DO NOT pay somebody to build your computer!!! It is very, very, very easy and you'll get a lot more computer for your $ if you spend 4 hours of your own time. The fact that you have 1678 posts tells me that your technically proficient enough to do the job yourself.

What I would do differently:

40gb hard drive is microscopically small these days. Get AT LEAST 120gb, preferably 160gb+. Once you put all of your music, movies, photos, games, videos etc things start to get fill up quick. If you already have a second PC I guess you might be ok with 40gb, and could add a second drive later. If you have kids you're going to want to use DVD Decrypter to burn frequently watched Disney movies to the hard drive. Each movie is about 5gb.

Lose the 1.44 mb floppy drive. I haven't had one in years and have never regretted it.

I think that sound cards are a waste of money. Mobo 5.1 sounds awesome to me. If you have golden ears and disagree, you can get one later.

I would get a DVD burner, if you don't already have one. They're not that much more money. I use mine all the time.

Oh, and did I mention? You should build your own PC. It's like snapping together LEGOs.
post #5 of 74
thats good a setup i would get xp pro though keep the 40 gig for your system drive and get a 160 gig for movies/music..etc
post #6 of 74
What brand ram?
What brand PSU?

For $1400 they better be damn good. :)
post #7 of 74
Thread Starter 
first off thanks for all the replies. As far as the hard drive size, this computer will have only games and powerstrip on it. other then that, nothing else. The other computer i have (this one) has all my multimedia stuff and has an 80 and 120 gig hard drive on it.

As far as building the computer, i understand the idea of plug and play, but my main concern is getting windows running, dealing with bios, etc. Opening up my Xbox and throwing in a preflashed modchip, piece of cake. My concerns are if there is any problems, i wouldnt really have much to fall back on.
post #8 of 74
In all honesty there is little more you have to do to get the PC running after putting it all together then just inserting the windows CD and following the directions. There is very little that windows doesnt imediatly recognize and install the proper drivers for these days.
post #9 of 74
DUDE! Make sure you get a GOOD power supply. I just built a PC and spent a little less on the PS. It blew almost instantly. Luckily, no other components were damaged. Go for an Antec or better, at least 430w...
post #10 of 74
I'd advise against buiding your own computer. I've built 4 systems, and will probably never build another one. The hassles seem never-ending, and the performance benefits are marginal.

Dell computers are generally quiet and well designed. Just add a decent video card and you're set. And you'll also have some resale value once you want to upgrade because people look for them by model number on ebay etc. Hunt around the net for Dell deals, there are tons of them out there that you can stack on top of each other.

As for the xtechnology site, looks like they use off the shelf components so you'd be dealing with the same issues as DIY.(The cases they choose for you look particularly cheap.) Ask any DIY'er if they would like for their computer to run quieter. You'll get a resounding yes. Then look how expensive it is to get components that stop the thing from sounding like a vacuum cleaner.

It's understandable if you still do it the hard way. Some people learn better from their own mistakes.
post #11 of 74
Thread Starter 
Well i did a quick comparison with newegg and found that all the components come in at around $1300. And after playing with a few things on my order to make sure combatibility is top priority, my total comes to $1450.

So $150 for me not to have to build it. Honestly i can live with that. I love the feeling of doing something myself and having it work perfecty, but sadly that isnt the case in teh PC world. I would still love some more input.
post #12 of 74
might be a stupid question but why do you want a floppy drive? do they even still make them? save the 30 bucks and buy a game i never had the need for one in 3 years, but hey you might have a use for it though i guess.
post #13 of 74
Just do it. If you get stuck at any point on the project, we'll help you. You were wise to seek advice here rather than HTPC forum. They'd start talking about overclocking your RAM and all kinds of nonsense.

I'd like Roy to explain about "never ending hassles." I've built three PCs and never had a problem. You just put them together and and turn them on. You only need to continue to tinker with the computer if you have a certain upgrade. If you just want a low cost PC for surfing the internet, Dell is the way to go. If you want a high performance machine, DIY can save 100s of $$, plus you gain the experience to be able to confidently do any future upgrade.

By the way, be sure to buy the OEM Windows XP disc from Newegg. It's a lot cheaper than the version with the stupid cardboard box.
post #14 of 74
By never ending hassles I meant what happens when things don't go smoothly, and they almost never do. Honestly without forums, most of these far east hardware manufacturers would be out of business. I don't want to bore people here with examples, bottom line is DIY is not for everybody. With OEM if you don't like it you box it back up and send it back.

Also heads up on the subject of pricing. The reason it seems you save money with building your own gaming PC is that as soon it's billed as a 'Gaming Rig' the price get jacked up at least 10%. How else do your Alienwares, Voodoos and Falcon Northwest stay in business. Even Dell want a piece of that gullible market with the Dimension XPS which should also be avoided.
post #15 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by chris5977
Just do it. If you get stuck at any point on the project, we'll help you. You were wise to seek advice here rather than HTPC forum. They'd start talking about overclocking your RAM and all kinds of nonsense.
Yeah thats the exact reason i posted here rather then there. I just want to have it set up where i can boot up and play or watch anything and just enjoy the computer rather then tinker with every littl thing. Is that so hard? ;)

Decisions, decisions. Luckily, I am in no rush to getting an HTPC . I plan on getting it going in march probably. I have copies of Half Life 2, Doom 3 and Far Cry sitting in my spare bedroom, waiting for a computer powerful enough to play them. So I have that motivation. (best buy had there 10% off coupon weekend this past week and figured i could save some money.)

One thing also about xtechnology is they have a 14 day money back gaurantee in addition to there 1 year warrantee and tech support. So I feel safe with that. Is there any other custom built PC websites out there? (not that i havnt ruled out building it myself)
post #16 of 74
Looks like a pretty beefy setup, and should have no problem running the games you listed. Here are my thoughts:

Like tic-tac said, make sure you get a good power supply- 430 watts minimum, 450 watts would be better. Antec would be my first choice.

Make sure you buy name-brand memory like: Kingston, Corsair, or Crucial.

As for a heatsink, I prefer the Thermalright XP-120. It’s a huge motha’, but if you want the ultimate in cooling look no further. The great thing about this heatsink is that it will accept a 120mm fan, which you can spin at lower RPM’s. This allows you to run it quiet.

I would also want a 120mm fan outlet in the case. Bigger = quieter. :D


BTW, I'm with Chris. I'd build it myself, but if you don't want the hassle I understand. If you do take the DIY route, just holler.
post #17 of 74
I took the DIY route barely knowing how to build it when the parts arrived at my house. It only took about 1 1/2 hours to put it together (and I was takling it slow) while following one of many identical online pc building guides. When I was done putting it together, I thought "that couldn't possibly be all there is to it", but indeed it was :) The standards that pc hardware is made under is very much meant for "normal" human beings to use :D Literally just clipping stuff together.
post #18 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by ragedogg69
I have copies of Half Life 2, Doom 3 and Far Cry sitting in my spare bedroom, waiting for a computer powerful enough to play them.
Your in for many hours of high quality gaming once you get your PC.:)
post #19 of 74
Thread Starter 
Once again for all the replies.

Mobius brings up a good point on name branded parts. Are there particular brands i should look to use? such as antec. Are there any brands i should avoid. Going from a component to component basis, i find this pretty confusing.

Also, if there is any tweaks that can be made to my system adding parts or taking away or downgrading unnecessary parts, let me know. :)
post #20 of 74
I thought this might be a good thread to share the parts I just ordered. I'm finally getting back into the PC world (just for gaming, all it's good for) after years away. I am getting an Athlon 64 2800+, Asus motherboard, Geforce 6600, 80 GB hard drive, Logitech MX Duo wireless desktop, 512 of corsair RAM, and an nMedia home theater PC case all for under $570. Glee!

Oh yeah, and to play my high res xVids of Star Trek Enterprise!
post #21 of 74
I don't work for them, but I've bought about 4 systems from www.monarchcomputer.com

They consistently have some of the lowest prices on custom built PCs and workstations that I've seen online. They generally have a good selection of name brand hardware to select from.

I'd give them a look-see.

Ozy
post #22 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by nothru22
I thought this might be a good thread to share the parts I just ordered. I'm finally getting back into the PC world (just for gaming, all it's good for) after years away. I am getting an Athlon 64 2800+, Asus motherboard, Geforce 6600, 80 GB hard drive, Logitech MX Duo wireless desktop, 512 of corsair RAM, and an nMedia home theater PC case all for under $570. Glee!

Oh yeah, and to play my high res xVids of Star Trek Enterprise!

Sounds like a good setup nothru22. I'll be interested to hear your impressions of the Logitech MX Duo. I've heard good things about it.
post #23 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by ragedogg69
Once again for all the replies.

Mobius brings up a good point on name branded parts. Are there particular brands i should look to use? such as antec. Are there any brands i should avoid. Going from a component to component basis, i find this pretty confusing.

Also, if there is any tweaks that can be made to my system adding parts or taking away or downgrading unnecessary parts, let me know. :)
IMO, it's most important to not cheap-out on the power supply, mainboard, or memory.

Mainboard: Hard to go wrong with Asus. They're an OEM supplier to several “name†companies.

Memory: Like I said, Corsair, Crucial, or Kingston are all good brands. I don’t know about which brands are bad per se, because I only stick with name brands. That way I don’t have to worry (generally speaking). :D

Samsung HD: Nothing wrong with that selection AFAIK. From personal experience, I’ve been using WD’s for years without any problems. I’m sure the same could be said of Seagate or Maxtor. Oddly enough, I had one of the original 20GB 7200rpm IBM Deathstars, and it’s still spins like a top.

ATI: While I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with licensed cards, I would prefer to stick with ATI. However, this is mostly due to superstition, not hard evidence. Nvidia doesn’t have a problem with licensing their designs. I hope not, since I have an XFX 6800GT. ;) Therefore it would stand to reason that ATI wouldn’t either.

Wireless KBM: I don’t have any experience with Gyration so I can’t say. Lot’s of forum members here at AVS do though. You might ask that question, if you’re unsure, in the HTPC forum. From experience, I can tell you that Logitech makes top-drawer gear.

AFA the combo drive, brands I like: Lite-On, TDK, Pioneer, HP, and Sony. Sometimes you can catch a rebranded drive at a good price. I have a 4X Cendyne DVD-R which is a rebranded Pioneer DVR-A04.

Just take your time and get what you want for the price you want to pay. You have a good list, so I wouldn’t sweat it too much.

BTW, one final, one last component that I would HIGHLY recommend is a decent UPS. I've lost at least three setups, (power supply, and mainboard) because of shoddy power at the outlet, surges, and brown-outs.

A UPS (Tripplite, Belkin, or APC) is good insurance against that.
post #24 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by mobius
Sounds like a good setup nothru22. I'll be interested to hear your impressions of the Logitech MX Duo. I've heard good things about it.
I purchased the MX Duo as well for my HTPC/Gaming rig setup for my bedroom theatre setup. The PC and receiver are about 13' away (directly in front) from where I would prefer to sit in bed with the duo combo but for some reason, the mouse tends to be real unresponsive at this range. If I scoot in about a foot or 2, the response is back up there. At about 10' the mouse functions flawlessly for me. I attempted to elevate and lower the receiver to see if I could get better signal from 13' but was met without much success.

I have the keyboard and mouse on a makeshift platform that sits on my lap in bed at the moment since the bed trays I had found were not wide enough to hold both the kb/ms. Still looking for a good inexpensive tray to hold both the kb/ms for sofa/in bed usage.

The keyboard on the other hand is pretty responsive all around in the room. It has only been the mouse that has given me problems with range and response. I have yet to figure out why the mouse does not respond so well at that distance in my room. I had thought it was the light emitted from the projector as it is aimed straight at the duo reciever as well but have not found any correlation to that yet.

All in all, I am still quite happy with the MX Duo. sitting 2-3 feet closer to the screen when playing games isn't that bad. Plus it makes the 80" screen appear to be even larger than it already is. :p
post #25 of 74
That's good to hear. I already have the MX700 mouse and I love it. How's the battery life on the KB?

I've been eye-balling the Bluetooth MX Duo for a while now, but I would hate to ditch such a good mouse.
post #26 of 74
The battery life on the keyboard has been exceptional thus far. I have not yet changed the batteries that have come with the keyboard since I purchased it, over 3 months now, and is not showing any signs of weekness. However, I must admit, that the last couple of months, the keyboard has not seen much action due to all of the Halo2 XBOX gaming thats been going on.

If I had more $ and my budget was higher for a keyboard/mouse I probably would have gone with the bluetooth setup seeing the problems I have now with the mouse signal strength.
post #27 of 74
I was kind of afraid of the MX700's range. It's a great desktop mouse though. I wonder if there is some type of RF repeater for it? They state the range as only six feet, so you seem to be doing pretty good actually.
post #28 of 74
Thread Starter 
thanks for all the replies. (again)

ive read that the blue tooth is the way to go if you want responsive gaming from your mouse.any one deal with the blue tooth?
post #29 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by mobius
I was kind of afraid of the MX700's range. It's a great desktop mouse though. I wonder if there is some type of RF repeater for it? They state the range as only six feet, so you seem to be doing pretty good actually.
I have the MX700, the range is pretty poor for HTPC users (around 6 feet, and watch out for interference). The MX900 uses bluetooth tech and has a range of 30 feet, so forget the RF repeater.
post #30 of 74
Thread Starter 
Just found a website (once again thanks to this forum) that has the best prices ive seen. www.cyberpowersystems.com

The problem is i keep seeing both good and bad reviews from this site. I worry about getting too much of "get what you paid for". But im asking around to see what the story really is.

Anyone use them?
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