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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,


I've been doing research for some time now, and think I have finally narrowed down my selections for the HT. Basically I'm starting with an empty room, so everything will have to be new. I have roughly a $5k budget, and am really wanting to put together a well-rounded setup that I won't need to mess with for years to come, or have to upgrade certain components.


Please let me know your thoughts on any area you have expertise in - I am probably going to start pulling the trigger on this stuff within a week.


Thanks!!!



Here goes:




Case: ????? - $140

Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-620HX ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 620W - $170

Motherboard: ASUS P5B Deluxe - $180

Chip: E6600 - $225

RAM: 2GB Corsair DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) - $120

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 320GB - $80

Video Card: NVIDIA GEFORCE 8800GTX - $550

DVD: Samsung 18X DVD - $38


Projector: Mitsubishi HC3000U 1280 x 768 DLP - $1200


Screen: Carada Criterion 110" Brilliant White - $880


Reciever: ONKYO TXSR604 7.1 Home Theater Receiver 90W x 7ch - $300


Speakers: SVS SBS-01 7.1 with PB12-NSD Sub - $1,430


Total - Approx $5,400


Have I missed anything important, or am making a bad decision somewhere? Also, what about a case? Something like the Antec 900 would be fine, but I've read a lot about configuration issues with cards, etc. Also, I already have monitors, keyboards, cables, so won't need that just yet.



Thanks again!
 

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Granted, you won't be upgrading in perhaps 2 years time? You should wait on Intel's bearlake to hit the market.The 8800 GTX is 6 months old, and the 8900 is around the corner (then again, you could always purchase a "EVGA" 8800 GTX now and make use of their upgrade program within the 3 month peroid .You could also perhaps purchase the higher end ATI R600 which has HDMI along with a quad core cpu.Which is reported to have a price drop sometime in June.


Although, if you absolutely must have it now. Then that's a great setup. As for the Antec Nine-Hundred, excellent active cooling with the drawback of it being fairly loud. In regards to your question on compatibility for full size video cards and the Antec Nine-Hundred. You will not be able to use the fan shroud that occupies the rear of the 2nd hard drive bay when using a 8800 GTX.Unless you opt to move the entire 2nd hard drive bay forward. Personally, I chose not to use it as it makes the 2nd bay useless for more hard drive space as the shroud is occupying the rear. Hope this helps.
 

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Firstly, the 8900 isn't even confirmed yet and my guess is NVIDIA will probably go straight to the G90 series. The high-end G90 might be out be christmas but if you're looking to buy a pc now I wouldn't bother holding out for it since it may well not be. Also, there will always be another high end component to wait for 6 months down the line. That won't change.


In my opinion, if you're going to spend that much on one component (8800gtx) then you'll want other components to match it. I'd suggest spending a little more on the ram, getting something in the PC2-8500+ range. If you want a little bit of future proofing as well then spend another $50 or so and pick up the Asus P5K deluxe instead of the P5B. It has the i35 chipset which means it will support Intel's 45nm CPU's. For one last additional performance boost you might want to consider picking up an identical second hard drive and setting them up in a raid 0 array.


Edit: I'm sure you've thought this through more than I have but you're spending over $2000 on your projector/screen setup for a resoultion of 1280x768. A resolution that small isn't going to be pushing your 8800gtx to anywhere near its potential. Have you considered getting a 40"+ 1080p HDTV instead? Still a large size (though not quite 110" admittedly) plus it will do upto 1920x1080 resolution.
 

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The Antec 900 is fine. There is a fan holder attached to the back of one of the HDD bays which takes up space, get rid of it... fitment problems solved. It's useless anyways since there is already a 120mm intake at the front of the cage.


Your PC build looks solid, you did your homework obviously. Of course there are always recommendations to get a bit more performance out of it but your build kind of hit the sweet spot in terms of cost/performance. Any extra money spent is just detracting from your A/V budget and I think a PC is a lot easier to upgrade later on then your equipment.
 

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My recommendation:


If you don't want to upgrade for a long time spend the extra money and go Quadcore and wait for Intel bearlake chipset (DDR3 ram).


Also, 65nm graphics cards will be out in 3-4 months aprox.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma0 /forum/post/0


Firstly, the 8900 isn't even confirmed yet and my guess is NVIDIA will probably go straight to the G90 series. The high-end G90 might be out be christmas but if you're looking to buy a pc now I wouldn't bother holding out for it since it may well not be. Also, there will always be another high end component to wait for 6 months down the line. That won't change.


In my opinion, if you're going to spend that much on one component (8800gtx) then you'll want other components to match it. I'd suggest spending a little more on the ram, getting something in the PC2-8500+ range. If you want a little bit of future proofing as well then spend another $50 or so and pick up the Asus P5K deluxe instead of the P5B. It has the i35 chipset which means it will support Intel's 45nm CPU's. For one last additional performance boost you might want to consider picking up an identical second hard drive and setting them up in a raid 0 array.


Edit: I'm sure you've thought this through more than I have but you're spending over $2000 on your projector/screen setup for a resoultion of 1280x768. A resolution that small isn't going to be pushing your 8800gtx to anywhere near its potential. Have you considered getting a 40"+ 1080p HDTV instead? Still a large size (though not quite 110" admittedly) plus it will do upto 1920x1080 resolution.

8900 has already been confirmed
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the input everyone!!


I'd like to wait for this next generation of stuff, but think it may put me a good bit out of budget. Also, I have been "waiting" for about 4 months already, just trying to plan this system out. I'll probably be happy with going ahead now, even though the new stuff is just a few months away. That is, unless all of this winter's games will be unable to run properly on the hardware I have currently listed.


I also may not even need the GTX, I don't know. Let me explain a little bit more about what I'm trying to accomplish with the system:


It will be used just in the home theater, on the 110" screen (at max 1280 x 768). This projector/screen will of course be used for movies and TV watching, too (instead of getting a HDTV) . I'm not huge into gaming, but do like to play here and there. I'm really not even a big FPS player - more like sports games and stuff like Hitman, Oblivion - things like that. But I did want it to look perfect when the PC is connected - hence the 1280 x 768 projector (instead of the 720 models). But anyway, I'm not looking to build a monster gaming PC, but more of 1 step down from the latest, greatest, fastest, you know? (I do have a 24" Dell that runs at 1920 x 1200, but probably won't ever use it for gaming on this new computer)


If all I need is, say, a 8800GTS 640Mb, then that's fine with me, I just didn't want to accidentally skimp in that area (I built a P4 2.6, ASUS P4C800-E, 2GB Ram, etc, about 2-3 years ago and it still flies (except for the old ATI card). It runs Vista like lightning, and hasn't ever crashed or BSOD'd on me with Vista or XP since I built it - So I'm not too hard to please, even with a 3 year old system).


And it appears the Antec 900 should be workable - especially if I don't use the GTX card.


Also - mention of the ATI R600 with HDMI output made me think of a question - I was planning on converting the 8800's DVI to HDMI to go to the projector. Is there any problem with that, or loss of quality, etc?
 

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Well IMO ditch the corsair ps for something with more juice, enermax galaxy, or pc power and cooling. Go with a quad core theres no reason not to (get a good aftermarket cooler) The AtI is a waste of time right now and if you don't get the gtx, you will kick your self for ever for not getting it when you had the chance.

Then you will be upgrade free for a good while.

Always prepare for the what if situations and you will always be one step ahead.
 

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The corsair PSU is fine - it's a very good PSU. Also, I wouldn't bother with quad core. It's all well and good staying one step ahead but when you consider the bang for your buck you're getting it just isn't worth it imo. It will increasee the price of the system quite significantly and won't really increase performance much at all. Hardly any programs make use of quad core yet so if it's something you need get it later on down the line when prices have dropped. It was for this reason I recommended the i35 chipset of the P5K deluxe board - a little future proofing.


If you don't really need the full grunt of the 8800gtx but still like to play the occasional game might I recommend the 8600? It is a newer card with better video processing than the 8800 having near 100% acceleration of H.264 decoding whereas the 8800 doesn't. It seems better suited to your A/V theater needs. It supports DX10 and at 1280x768 it will have enough grunt for new games for a while yet.
 

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I agree with the above, the corsair psu is solid and 620w is more then enough. The quad core cpu is twice as expensive and you will barely see any benefit of that in games since most are single threaded anyways.


I say stick with at least an 8800gts if you're gaming at all. You mentioned Oblivion, and that will take some power to run at high settings. If you need to cut corners get an E4300, they can be overclocked to E6600 speeds (2.4ghz) on the stock cooler, and usually can get to around 3.0-3.2ghz or more on an aftermarket cooler.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma0 /forum/post/0


For one last additional performance boost you might want to consider picking up an identical second hard drive and setting them up in a raid 0 array.

With all due respect to the poster above, this is bad advice.


Raid 0, with today's faster SATA drives, buys you almost no performance advantage, but does double your chances of losing your data if either of the drives fail. Maybe there is an improvement in moving huge multi-gigabyte files around, but for gaming and normal usage? The incremental speed increase is hardly worth it.


As for the OP's original request, if you are driving 1280x768, your 8800GTX should be able to drive that resolution for years to come. There will always be a 'next big thing' coming down the road, but in PC terms 1280x768 is a low resolution and the 8800GTX should be able to drive that with any game, even the ones coming down the line, with HDR and AA and AF turned on.


Oh yeah, and factor in $350 for a spare bulb if you plan on doing lots and lots of use with this projector
 

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Looks like these guys have your PC info covered.


I'll add a bit about the sound stuff since I've been looking into upgrading my system. The SVS SCS speakers are supposed to be a huge step up from the SBS series. They are a decent jump in price ($1225 vs. $799), but the quality is supposed to be much better.


Also, the new Onkyo 605 can be had for $399. It adds decoding of the newer lossless codecs (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA) and will also convert all incoming signals to HDMI, so you would only need one wire to your projector.


Remember that your PC will be obsolete in 2-3 years, while your audio stuff should last at least 3 times that. If you are going to skimp, I'd skimp on the PC and upgrade it later, especially since you are "not huge into gaming". Its a lot harder to "upgrade" your speakers or receiver without starting over.
 

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Anyone suggesting a 40" LCD over a 110" 720p projector clearly has little seat time behind such a projector
I game on my 100" 720p projector and let me tell you, its the greatest thing since sliced bread.
 

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I own both, and I'd never use my PJ as a daily use monitor for surfing the web, gaming, etc.


I'd go through bulbs in no time, and I dont always like to compute in the dim or darkened environment. If you use a PJ in the bright, all your games will be washed out anyhow, so that defeats the purpose.


A 768p LCD TV is the cheapest and easiest resolution to drive.....the only downside is that its the bare-minimum for desktop size. Still, its HD and its an easy resolution to push.


1080p is a much higher rez desktop, more room for apps to open up, more desktop space, and a higher overall resolution...but its also harder to drive that rez, and modern games will bring your PC to its knees wihtout the right hardware.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadRusch /forum/post/0


re room for apps to open up, more desktop space, and a higher overall resolution...but its also harder to drive that rez, and modern games will bring your PC to its knees wihtout the right hardware.

^^ this brings up a question I've been meaning to ask...


Can a modern computer (say a 2.66 Intel Core 2 Dou with 4gigs RAM, Vista, a current nVidia card... maybe SLIed?) run all of today's games at 1920x1200 @ 60fps with no noticable dips, pauses, hiccups, etc.?



Follow-up: this might be purely speculation, but what but the same computer ^^^ running tomorrow's DX10 games at the same resolution?
 

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I think you should stick with your original plan which includes the gtx. That is unless you are going to be adding a PS3 or Xbox 360 to your home theater in which case a gts will do for your needs and save you some extra cash to go towards a console or a higher end receiver. You dont want to skip in the receiver area as far as home theater is concerned.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaverJ /forum/post/0


^^ this brings up a question I've been meaning to ask...


Can a modern computer (say a 2.66 Intel Core 2 Dou with 4gigs RAM, Vista, a current nVidia card... maybe SLIed?) run all of today's games at 1920x1200 @ 60fps with no noticable dips, pauses, hiccups, etc.?

Essentially, No.


The 4 gigs of ram wont help you for the most part...while apps may take advantage of more than 2 gigs of ram, they dont run any faster with that much ram, at least nothing so far will show any framerate improvement. Battlefield 2 stopped texture-swapping with 2 gigs of ram, thats the kind of improvement you can expect to see, but DX10 games may change that.


Vista will hurt you in the short term..XP benchmarks faster, gotta give time for drivers to mature. The twin 8800GTX cards SLI'ed can push 1200p at 60fps with eyecandy on pretty well, but I think even STALKER brought an 8800gtx SLI rig to its knees at that rez...(have to check the firingsquad test they did).

And two 8800gtx cards are what....$1000?


What about Unreal Tournament 4? What about games that run on DX10, thast a whole different equation....

Quote:
Follow-up: this might be purely speculation, but what but the same computer ^^^ running tomorrow's DX10 games at the same resolution?

You should know by now that computers are obsolete the minute they hit your doorstep



The other big problem is that as games are developed for consoles and "ported" to the PC, performance usually suffers. Also, since the consoles now push "reasonable" resolutions at 720p, the resolution advantage the PC has isn't as big of ad eal as it was in the PS2/Xbox days....
 
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