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My First Build: For Online Gaming & Producing Music

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by the_professor, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. caleb

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    Nah not really..
    My station eats about 280W when loaded (measured) and thats : pc + lcd + headphones amp + speaker amp + printer idle.


    EAX enviremental audio. Not many games make PROPER use of it. Developers just add it so it gives you the effect of a metal pipe when youre in one.
    Proper usage is to emulate the real sound behaviour for the player to use sound as a wallhack.
    I dont think Ive ever seen a game other than R6:Raven Shield that used EAX in such way.
    You could basicly know the exact position of enemy near you and you were able to supress footstep sounds with explosives and shooting. EAX gave that precision and the ability to filter a sneaking enemy inside multiple sounds.

    Im not sure dev's really care nowdays and dont even buy it from Creative and use their own 'echo' system which is actually good because EAX really worked completly diffrent on every card.

    About the computer I would really do everything in my power to wait a bit more for i7 - It is new gen and is just a few days/weeks away.
     
  2. Katanai

    Katanai

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    Well man, whatever. I thought I was pretty clear. What a clock for clock comparison means is this: you get an Intel system at 2.4Ghz, it will run Crysis let's say at 30fps, you get a Phenom at 2.4Ghz it will run Crysis at 24 fps. You want to decode a BluRay movie: on the Intel system it will take 20 minutes, on the Phenom 30 minutes. While both processors run at the same freaking clock speed. If you think 20$ extra is too much to get that, be my guest: buy a Phenom and be done with it!

    And if you think I'm full of it just look here: http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/cpu-charts-2008-q1-2008/3D-Studio-Max-9,369.html
    It's the most reputable source I know.
    I don't know what you've been reading but look through those charts and choose which application you want. They even got dinosaur CPU's in there...
    Here a newer one: http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/desktop-cpu-charts-q3-2008/benchmarks,31.html
    They even got Linux specific tests in there so you can see how many "problems" an Intel quadcore has with running that OS.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2008
  3. caleb

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    Hehe.

    I still wonder why do some buy AMD. I used to be a huge fan of it but face it they didnt make anything good since the Barton CPU.
    Intel pwnd the market and it will take a while before AMD gets lucky with something new to bounce off.

    Sorry for the off top.
     
  4. the_professor New Member

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    I'm gradually narrowing things down.

    Here's an update to the list...

    If anybody could chime in on sections that include more than one version of the similar-type component, I'd be grateful.

    "Version 1.5" of my list:

    [hr]
    CPU:

    "AMD Phenom 9950 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 140W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor - OEM"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103285
    ($169.00)

    or

    "AMD Phenom 9950 2.6GHz Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor - Retail"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103291
    ($184.99)

    [hr]
    Motherboard:

    "ASUS M3A78-T AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131331
    ($149.99)
    ("Unleash 140W Phenom Performance, DDR3 1333 Sideport Memory")

    or

    "ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe AM2+/AM2 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131339&Tpk=M3A79-T Deluxe
    ($188.99)
    ("AMD 790FX/SB750, Quad PCIe x16, Ideal OC platform")

    NOTE: I believe these are Crossfire/ATI. I am getting NVIDIA. Is there an equivalent to these AMD boards, perhaps even asus, that's has the nvidia chipset?

    [hr]
    RAM:

    "Kingston HyperX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104043
    ($78.99)

    or

    "Kingston 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134641
    ($60.49)

    [hr]
    Hard Drives:

    "Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000340AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148274
    ($129.99)
    ~~~~~ ...in addition to... ~~~~~
    "Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000340AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148274
    ($129.99)

    or

    "Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000340AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148274
    ($129.99)
    ~~~~~ ...in addition to... ~~~~~
    "Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148288&Tpk=Seagate 500gb SATA
    ($69.99)

    or

    "Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000340AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148274
    ($129.99)
    ~~~~~ ...in addition to... ~~~~~
    "Western Digital Caviar GP WD5000AACS 500GB 5400 to 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136149
    ($64.99)
    ~~~~~ ...in addition to... ~~~~~
    "Western Digital Caviar GP WD5000AACS 500GB 5400 to 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136149
    ($64.99)

    or

    Another arrangement of 2, 3, or more hard drives ranging from 1.5 TB to 2+ TB costing hopefully no more (hopefully less) than $260 (2TB) or $195 (1.5TB).

    [hr]
    Case:

    I have absolutely no idea.
    Looking for: full tower (ATX), something clear and glowy, with good air circulation, is solid/stable, functions well.
    A non-clear option: Someone had mentioned Antec 900 is very quiet, I like that (especially for music), though I'd still love to have a clear.
    ($ price range, not sure atm.)

    [hr]
    PSU:

    "CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006&Tpk=corsair 750
    ($119.99)
    (Price goes up by 10% after 10/22.)

    or

    "PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI NVIDIA SLI Certified (Dual 8800 GTX and below) CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817703009
    ($144.99)

    [hr]
    GPU:

    "EVGA 512-P3-N873-AR GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130376
    ($189.99)
    ($159.99 after $30.00 Mail-In Rebate, available up to 11/5, with special savings on AMD CPU combo, ends 11/5)

    or

    "XFX PVT98FYDBU GeForce 9800 GTX Black Edition 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150297
    ($189.99)
    (Black Edition overclocked at 760MHz)

    or

    "EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX(G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130339
    ($159.99)

    or

    "XFX PVT98GYDLU GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150316
    ($129.99)
    ($109.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate)
    (Free Call of Duty 4 included, while supplies last.)

    or

    "MSI N260GTX-T2D896 OC GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127361
    ($239.99)
    (Free Rainbow 6 Vegas2 game w/ purchase, limited offer.)
    (A GTX260 might be out of my current price range; it depends on what other components I get.)

    [hr]
    Audio:

    Internal:

    "ASUS Xonar D2 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Ultra Fidelity Sound Card with Complete Dolby/DTS Sound Technologies - Retail"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132001&Tpk=Asus Xonar D2
    ($179.99)
    ($149.99 after $30.00 Mail-In Rebate)

    or

    Something totally different, effective for gaming purposes only.
    ($ price range, not sure atm.)

    ~~~~~ ...in addition to internal for gaming, getting external for music production... ~~~~~

    External:

    Something from M-Audio, Emu, RME, or similar (not sure).
    I'd like to get something like that Yamaha mixer that doubles as sound card, though am not sure model #.

    [hr]
    DVD:

    All of the DVD burners seem to be right around $25 or $26, I don't know if it really matters which one to get? I won't be getting bluray just yet.

    [hr]
    LCD Monitor:

    I really don't know about this yet... I'm still working on the "guts" inside the computer case. I am interested in at least 22" and of course as inexpensive (but good quality) as possible. I would also like to have at least 1680x1050 resolution.

    [hr]
    Keyboard:

    "RAZER Lycosa RZ03-00180100 Black 104 Normal Keys 7 Function Keys USB Standard Gaming Keyboard - Retail"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823114004&Tpk=Razer Lycosa Gaming Keyboard
    ($84.99)
    (That's odd, it was only $79.99 the other day.)

    or

    Another keyboard if someone knows of a good one (without the attached gaming pad).

    [hr]
    Music Keyboard:

    Probably something (only 1 or 2 octaves) by M-Audio.

    [hr]
    Gaming Pad:

    "BELKIN F8GFPC200 N52TE Tournament Edition - Retail"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826169019&Tpk=Belkin N52 Tournament Edition.
    ($69.99)

    or

    Another one, similar to it, if a better deal is available.
    (I do like that it is separate from the keyboard.)

    [hr]
    Mouse:

    "RAZER RZ01-00020200 Red 7 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical 1600 dpi Diamondback Precision Gaming Salamander Mouse - Retail"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826153029
    ($39.99)

    or

    Another one if better deal. (There appear to be multiple possibilities by Razer.)

    [hr]
    Speakers:
    "Logitech Z-5500 505 Watts 5.1 Speaker - Retail"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16836121120&Tpk=Logitech Z-5500
    ($252.99)
    ($212.99 after $40.00 Mail-In Rebate)
    (Combo savings with Viewsonic [19"] monitor, ends 10/31.)

    or

    Something more affordable for gaming purposes. I won't be using these with music production. I'll have an entirely dedicated set of speakers and gear for that.

    [hr]
    Mic:

    Labtec Verse 333 PC Microphone.
    $9.99 (tigerdirect.com)
    (I think I'll hold off on something like this until I know if I'm getting a monitor with built-in cam+mic.)

    [hr]
    Headset:

    "TRITTON TRI-AI712 4 x 3.5mm Circumaural AX 51 - Gaming Headset"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826235003&Tpk=TRITTON AX51
    $69.99

    or

    "Creative FATAL1TY 3.5mm gold-plated Circumaural Gaming Headset"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826158051
    ($49.99)
    (Special savings, ends 10/31.)

    or

    "TekNmotion TM-PSX100A 3.5mm/ USB Circumaural Pulsewave / Pulsar SX PC Gaming Headphone"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826289001
    ($54.99)

    [hr]
    UPS:

    I have no idea.

    [hr]
    LAN:

    I'm guessing it's completely okay to use the one integrated into the motherboard. I doubt it's really necessary to get a special "gaming network card".

    [hr]
    WLAN:

    I really don't know about this yet. It does need to be compatible with Unix and Linux.

    [hr]
    Wireless Router:

    I might put this on hold and stick with the old wireless router, for now at least. I'll probably get a really nice Linksys when I get a new one.

    [hr]
    Cable Modem:

    I really don't know about this yet... I'm still working on the "guts" inside the computer case.

    [hr]
    Coolers:

    Ditto, I really don't know about this yet... and I should probably figure this out soon, since coolers are some of the most important parts of the "guts" inside a computer case. RAM coolers, lots of fans, thermal paste, who knows what else. I'll still look into those 2 links provided in an earlier reply (to cooling and silencing computers).


    [hr]
    Computer Desk Chair:

    I think I'll just go ahead and get one at the local furniture store at a decent price (for now).

    [hr]
    Computer Desk:

    Ditto, I'll probably pick up a desk/table locally. I don't know what to get though, yet I'd really like either a very basic computer desk or a pretty fancy computer "table".

    I'll probably get a laptop stand with it, like the "Allsop Metal Art" brand "corner monitor/notebook stand".

    [hr]
    [hr]
    Here are some updates on the comments for some components:

    CPU:
    I'm not sure what the difference is in prices with "OEM" and "Retail". As I said before, I honestly like both Intel and AMD, though I want AMD with my first computer. I'll get something from the i7 series in the future, if they're not phasing it out by that point in time. Though, by that point in time the new AMD will most likely look pretty tasty. ;)

    Case:
    I removed my original option from the list because it had too many negative reviews. I'd love to have an all-clear case with some pretty glowing lights. If there is a similar case that has more clear parts to it than just one side panel, that could be pretty neat too.

    PSU:
    I'm still a little unfamiliar with power supplies, though have gained a slightly better understanding this past week. With the current rig I'm assuming 750W is enough, and that having a little breathing room is good. I know having too little power is very bad, though don't know if it's possible to have too much.

    [hr]
    [hr]
    Here are some questions that hopefully some people can help with:

    Motherboard:
    There are 13 (or more?) motherboards that might work with my CPU. Here's a sample list:
    http://forums.techpowerup.com/showpost.php?p=1004226&postcount=4544
    I'd like to be able to upgrade components later, for example, AMD's Agena after it has been out for a while.
    How do I select the right motherboard?

    RAM:
    Should I get the HyperX or the normal?
    Should I go ECC or non-ECC?

    Hard Drive:
    Is there a difference in compatibility with motherboard between a SATA and SATA-II hard drive?

    Case:
    What could I consider getting?
    (Trying to find something "mostly clear", some "glowy stuff", good air circulation, solid/stable, and functions well.)

    GPU:
    How do I know if the GPU has at least "Shader Model 3.0 capable Video card, Direct X 9c, 256 MB RAM"? (Some of the requirements for the game I'm testing.)
    How many GPUs do I need so I can use 3 LCD monitors at once?
    (Only using 1 monitor this year, will have 3 next year.)

    Audio:
    What could I get away with as an affordable internal sound card for gaming?
    What could I use for an external music production audio device/interface that would perhaps be similar to that Yamaha mixer "plus external soundcard" that was posted earlier in this thread?
    Any ideas what the model is on that Yamaha?

    Speakers:
    I'll have a dedicated set of speakers/gear for music production. What is a good set of 5.1 speakers for gaming that isn't as expensive as the Z-5500 ($250) speakers?

    UPS:
    I don't know... but this is important. Illinois power is so horrible that it has damaged my rather expensive power amp to my stereo system. I won't be using it again until I replace the fuse, which won't be until I get a couple surge protectors and UPS-type items. I'll use a UPS on the computer set-up, though probably only a protector on the entertainment system. What could I get for both?

    "Bonus" questions:
    What are some AMD-based motherboards (supporting Phenom) that has the nvidia chipset?
    For 1 year from now, how could one use 3 monitors with an AMD motherboard and nvidia?
    Top brands for various kinds of coolers?
    Regarding monitors, is 8000:1 and 4000:1 stuff basically the quality of the contrast between brights and darks?
    Silly question... UPS... the U = uninterrupted, right? (I used to think it was "universal.")
    Do 5.1 headphones/headsets literally (physically) exist? (Bizarre!)
    Are 120mm fans less noisy and/or more effective than 80mm fans?
    What's the difference (or is one better) between (ASUS) 790FX and 790GX?

    Thank you everybody very much!


    EDIT:

    When I make another significant update to the list I'll add a fresh reply. One addition to the list will be an external sound device in place of the internal sound card, perhaps a Yamaha mixer/soundboard capable of connecting to the computer. Perhaps an Emu 1616 device as well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  5. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

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    respect the stuff he has suggested, and dont bash him because he went with AMD k, if you dont like what you see as of CPU don't Post. Look at the Other specs of it, aka the board.
     
  6. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

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    now if im mistaken, I would suggest the 9850, depending on how much lower the price is, because i think the Deneb do Support the AMD 790FX/GX with 750 SB, and i believe also Nvidias Chipset.

    But back to the board, if you want to run Crossfire you will need a AMD CHipset motherboard, if you want SLI you need a Nvidia chipset, but you didnt specify those capabilities so either chipset will do.
     
  7. the_professor New Member

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    Oh... there is actually an AMD chipset motherboard. I think that's what I've been looking at, assuming that it is required so I can use AMD CPU.

    So I can use an "nvidia chipset motherboard", for SLI, but it will be a motherboard that also "supports" AMD CPUs?

    I will use nvidia/sli this time around. (lol... hopefully nobody jumps in and starts bible-beating ATI). ;)

    I also found this monitor (24") recently...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009154

    It might not be as good as some others mentioned in the OP of this thread, I don't know.

    How do AMD 9850 and 9950 differ (or how are they similar)?
     
  8. Dia01

    Dia01 New Member

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    "I have absolutely no idea.
    Looking for: full tower (ATX), something clear and glowy, with good air circulation, is solid/stable, functions well.
    A non-clear option: Someone had mentioned Antec 900 is very quiet, I like that (especially for music), though I'd still love to have a clear.
    ($ price range, not sure atm.)"

    Lian Li cases are quality, clear and glowy?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112195
     
  9. the_professor New Member

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    Going through the 4 pages of Lian Li cases at newegg.com, they certainly appear to be very good quality... and expensive. :p

    The case that you linked, and similar ones by them, does have the 1 side panel that is clear and some pretty glowy stuff can be thrown into the mix. However, I'm hoping to find something that has more clear than just the 1 side panel. Any ideas?

    The 100% clear Logisys that I originally found would be sweet but it ended up getting the shatty end of the stick in reviews, lots of complaints about problems with it. <sigh>
     
  10. Dia01

    Dia01 New Member

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    I personally do not have much advice with clear cases, you could always mod a case to your own personal tastes. Take a browse in the case gallery for ideas.
     
  11. A Cheese Danish

    A Cheese Danish

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    From what I hear about "Clear" or acrylic cases is that EVERYTHING shows. And by everything I mean it. Dust, hair, whatever; you name it, you can see it. I agree with Dia01 about Lian-Li. They have some marvelous cases out on the market and are very stable and reliable.

    The monitor situation you have. That Acer looks like a pretty good one you got there. Looking at your first post about the Acer X223WBD, well, I currently use that one and it is absolutely amazing for the price! Although, if you are still having troubles deciding on what brand, IMO, I'd pick between Samsung or Acer, just because I have heard a lot of good things from both of them, and the reviews for both are great! If you knew exactly what screen size you wanted, or resolution, it would be a little bit more easier to figure out what would work best for you.
     
  12. King Wookie

    King Wookie New Member

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  13. Katanai

    Katanai

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    Yamaha MG 102C

    http://en.euroguitar.com/mixer/yamaha/mg/mg102c/117566.html

    This one is even a bit cheaper.

    And yeah you don't need that Asus Xonar if you get this. You only need one sound card in your system. Your motherboard will already have an integrated sound card that will sit around and do nothing. There is absolutely no need to have 3 sound cards in a system... :shadedshu

    Your practically wasting money here on things that won't help you at all yet you are skimping on parts that would raise the performance bar by a lot.

    But I'm already feeling like I'm talking alone here. You said you needed a sound card for sound recording, well that Asus Xonar is a great card but not for recording. It only has one input. So yeah you could only record one instrument at a time. My suggestion has 10 inputs with volume for each channel, plus a 3 band master equalizer,hence why it's called a mixer, so basically you could record a live guitar, drums, keyboard etc. upt to 10 instruments...

    But do whatever you want. It's your money not mine. I was only trying to help. This is my last post though in this thread as I don't feel like spamming your thread.
     
    King Wookie says thanks.
  14. King Wookie

    King Wookie New Member

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    Katanai, thx for finding links for the Yamaha.:rockout:

    As I only source locally, I have no idea where to source overseas. You are helping fill in the gaps.

    Problem is, others are focusing on the gaming aspect, for that's what they know. Pro audio is not the same animal as PC gaming. Different toys and requirements.

    Between us all, we may be able to give the professor the info he needs.
     
  15. the_professor New Member

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    There were some pretty cool ones in the gallery... though I'm starting to have a change of heart on the 100% clear variety. ;)

    ...and that is exactly what my change of heart is all about... earlier this week when I read the reviews on the Logisys clear case, lots of complaints included how easily they look "dirty" (showing everything, dust, etc.) That planted a seed in the back of my mind that has since grown into "don't get all clear".

    So for monitors, I can't go wrong with any of the options I listed? (Either of the 22" monitors I originally listed (by Acer and Samsung) or the recent 24" Acer?)

    Any ideas on how I can narrow it down?

    I'd like...
    Screen size: at least 22" or 24".
    Resolution: at least 1680x1050.

    So... what will work best for me? ;)

    Those look really cool but lately I've started thinking about how "dirty" they'll look after even a tiny bit of dust collects inside. :(

    I said it before... I like the Yamaha you mentioned... I am very likely going to get it. I just haven't added it to my updated list yet. Thank you - seriously - I am very glad to have been made aware of such possibilities.

    My question, though, is should I get a different internal card for gaming, specifically, or will the integrated card and/or the external sound device (aka yamaha mixer) work equally well with gaming?

    I'm gradually improving the list such that I don't waste money and that I get parts that do raise the performance bar. It's a work in progress. Because it is my first computer, I am not going to rush into this, although I do need it soon... hopefully as soon as within the next week or two.

    You're not talking alone. I'm with you on a lot of things. Yes, I'm getting AMD, and I think you said get Intel. That's okay. I will get Intel, another day. I am not sure if you said I should get ATI or NVIDIA, though I'm getting NVIDIA. That's okay, too. I will get ATI, another day.

    Any input you have outside of CPU or GPU, I'd really like to hear.

    I agree, I'm glad to have a reference to that Yamaha board now.

    The trick now is, which one do I get? Is that exact model a good choice or is the one that is about $50 more a better choice? Or is the one that is about $100 more a better choice? What are the differences, pros/cons, to using any of them? I'd love to know these things.

    Plus...
    How do I connect something like that Yamaha mixer into my computer?

    And...
    Is the mixer really an "external sound card"?

    I'm not really sure what functions are included within the internal sound cards, so I don't really know how they differ from "external sound card"-type devices. I hope to be enlightened on this.

    You made a great point - "different toys and requirements" - and so far most of the input I've received has been tremendously helpful toward building a gaming computer. I would like to have a better idea on building a music production computer. Any ideas?

    I know external sound devices are a good idea - people have mentioned that - as well as a nice MIDI music keyboard. I don't know what would be some specific examples of "external sound devices" that I could get, or which MIDI keyboards (the smaller ones) are the best deals available. :(
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2008
  16. the_professor New Member

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    I'm having trouble finding a "mobo" similar to the ASUS 780fx/780gx only that is nvidia/sli instead of ati/crossfire. If I am unable to find a decent sli-equivalent motherboard, then I might actually switch GPU from nvidia to ati... as much as I need to get nvidia (for the game (which works better with it) and for *nix OSs) my motherboard is actually more important to me than my GPU. It is 1/2 music 1/2 gaming, so only a decent GPU will be good enough, I only hope that - if I do go ATI instead of nVidia - that it will not introduce problems to gameplay during the beta-testing.

    The 780fx/gx is in the high-100s $$$... the closest sli version I found, so far, is in the low-100s $$$. So it is also lacking in neat features... but I might be okay with that as long as what it does have is pretty effective for what I need. If there's a nice ASUS am2+/sli board in the mid/upper 100s, I might get it.

    Plus... I'm considering getting 1066 instead of 800 for RAM... and maybe 8GB instead of 4GB, either maxing out an 8GB capable motherboard or getting a 16GB motherboard and going with 8GB. Problem, though, is that if I do 1066 I can only use 1 DIMM per RAM module "group". (If there are 4 slots, I can only use 2.) So I might just stick with 800 so I can utilize all 4. I'm not sure really what kind of difference (if noticeable?) there would be between 800 and 1066 in RAM.
     
  17. lilkiduno New Member

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    here is a ASUS mobo with a nVIDIA chipset that im sure is compatible with your CPU.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131292
     
  18. the_professor New Member

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    Regarding motherboards-

    That Crosshair II is a beauty... and for nearly $300 it should be. ;) I had it on my "shopping cart" over at newegg.com at one time though have since been looking for a nice one a little lower in price, possibly one of the M3N78 boards. (Though I might be willing to go back to that one if it really is the #1 option... the motherboard is a pretty important part for me.)

    There seem to be 3 versions of the M3N78 ("VM", "EMH", and "PRO"), all 3 matching the Phenom; and 2 versions of the Crosshair (the original and the "II"), only the "II" matching the Phenom.

    Here's a comparison of differences between
    "ASUS Crosshair II Formula AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA nForce 780a SLI HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard"
    and
    "ASUS M3N78 PRO AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 8300 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard"

    I'll list the Crosshair II feature 1st and the M3N78 PRO feature 2nd...

    North Bridge NVIDIA nForce 780a SLI
    North Bridge NVIDIA GeForce 8300

    Memory Standard "DDR2 1066"
    Memory Standard "DDR2 1066
    *Due to AMD CPU limitation, DDR2 1066 is supported by AM2+ CPU for one DIMM per channel only."

    PCI Express 2.0 x16 3 x PCIe 2.0 x16 support NVIDIA SLI Tech @ dual x16 or 3-way@x8, x8, x 8
    PCI Express 2.0 x16 1

    PCI Slots 2
    PCI Slots 3

    (Both have "PCI Express x1 2")
    (Both have "NVIDIA GeForce 8 series" for Onboard Video Chipset)

    Audio Chipset ADI AD1988B
    Audio Chipset Realtek ALC1200

    LAN Chipset ?
    LAN Chipset Realtek 8211CL

    Video Ports D-Sub
    Video Ports (doesn't have "D-Sub")

    S/PDIF Out 1x Optical, 1x Coaxial
    S/PDIF Out 1x Coaxial

    Package Contents Game Disk, 2-way & 3-way SLI Bridge, USB & IEEE 1394 Bracket, Audio Card, Accessories
    Package Contents FDD Cable, COM Bracket

    Warranty 3 years limited
    Warranty ?

    The Crosshair II is $260, the M3N78 PRO is $105. I suppose the question could be either "which features do I need" or "how much can I spend"...

    The Crosshair II is an additional $155 for what appears to be mostly a difference in SLI (2-way or 3-way), audio chipset, having D-Sub, and an Optical out.

    I had to google/wiki search North Bridge and South Bridge. A wiki page says nb is for memory and graphics and sb is for PCI, clock, power, USB, and "other".

    If I ask myself "which features do I need" with the Crosshair II add-ons:

    I know that I won't be using 2-way or 3-way SLI right now, though there's a possibility that I will next year when I upgrade the system.

    The audio chipset is important for gaming and general computing but I will need very good audio for music production (with which I will use external components most likely).

    I don't know if I'll need D-Sub or Optical out, not really sure the advantages in those and necessity for my purposes. Maybe yes maybe no?

    If I ask myself "how much can i spend":

    If it turns out I only need one or two of the extra features, perhaps there is another motherboard like the Crosshair II but at a lower price range, or, perhaps I can balance out the prices of my other computer components so that I can put more $ into the motherboard. Ohhh the decisions! :)

    There is a combo available (at newegg.com) with the Crosshair II that includes a 1200W PSU! That's nuts, do I need that much power? I'm thinking 750W, though if it's safer to go higher I will.

    The bit about 1066 MHz RAM confuses me. One says "DDR2 1066" without the "limitation" message. Does that mean that one can have all 4 DIMMs running at 1066 MHz?

    The message says it's a CPU limitation, so I'm guessing there is no way to use all 4 DIMMs at 1066 MHz regardless of motherboard. :confused:

    Though this isn't a concern for the immediate future, since I only need 4GB (2x2GB) RAM at 1066 MHz. People have said that 8GB RAM is a waste, that it's more of a "for servers only" kind of thing. Though I am not sure what the chances are that we could actually benefit from 8GB RAM on a personal computer.

    Regarding heatsinks+fans-

    I'm trying to find a separate heatsink+fan that works well with the AMD Phenom 9950, though the "compatibility" descriptions at newegg.com are pretty vague.

    Here's an example I found:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118020
    (ZALMAN CNPS 9700 NT 110mm 2 Ball Ultra Quiet CPU Cooler)

    That was listed in the search for heatsinks and fans, though the actual heatsink is nothing at all like the boxy looking ones seen in other heatsinks+fans. I'm also not sure if the Zalman, linked above, is compatible with the AMD Phenom 9950 CPU. It mentions "AM2" but doesn't say "AM2+", I'm not sure if that "+" really matters in this case. I do like that the Zalman has the "ultra quiet" tag. Or, is there a better heatsink+fan available?

    Regarding PSUs-

    I've also been comparing PSUs and originally selected a Corsair 750W, though there's a combo deal available with the Thermaltake 750W (with the NVIDIA 9800GTX+). How do those 2 brands of PSUs compare?

    Regarding GPUs-

    At the moment I'm getting the 9800GTX+, though I'm still price hunting to see if I find a better deal on an ATI (equally powerful at the same lower price range). So far, I see that the HD4850 is weaker than the 9800GTX+, yet at a comparable price range, and the HD4870 is more powerful than the 9800GTX+, yet at too high of a price range. Plus, this is only a "1/2 gaming" computer, the other 1/2 is music production (which is more of a priority, it's my career). So, I am going to see if I can put more $ into music gear for the computer, mostly external devices.

    Thanks again for the great input. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2008
  19. thirdshiftdj

    thirdshiftdj New Member

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    check out presonus firebox, edirol ua25 or a focusrite saffire (if you'd like to deal w/ the software which I've heard is alittle confusing to learn and setup)
     
    King Wookie says thanks.
  20. spearman914

    spearman914 New Member

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    Everything is good except the kingston crap. Kingston memory is usually for laptop memory NEVER FOR GAMING SYSTEMS. And don't get DDR3 yet, you won't get as much benefit from DDR2 with the money. For LCD:Samsung 226BW is great. No dead pixels for the one I received and great quality.
     
  21. the_professor New Member

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    Thank you... where can I find those at? The 1st and 3rd ones ring a bell, though I can't pinpoint it.

    Yep, I think I'll be getting G.SKILL... 4GB (2x2GB) 1066 MHz... maybe. :)
     
  22. jbdub1771 New Member

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    Kingston memory is crap?? how i have 8GB of it and its speed is 667mhz and it is overclocked easily to 1200mhz with 5-5-5-15 so how is that crap?
     
  23. the_professor New Member

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    I've had good luck with Kingston... though I'm just going with the flow with things and am adjusting what I ultimately get based mostly on best deal for the money.
     
  24. lilkiduno New Member

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    i understand that...lol... i didn't shop around and scrwed myself out of 80 bucks, hey i know thats not a lot of money but that money i could have saved...lol
     
  25. the_professor New Member

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    True. I hope that I can save 80 bucks, basically, and put that $ into another computer component. ;) Though the down side is that it's taking me longer to finalize my decision on all of the computer "guts". I know some people could just zip through the options and know what they want very quickly, though I'm a newbie to this and want to make sure I'm comfortable with the decisions. Some others have joked about "the time it took to write all that" (my lengthy lists in here, etc.) "I could have selected, bought, and built my computer". All the more power to those people, I guess I'm not a guru like them. lol I do need to speed things up a bit, though it's tricky when I'm also making a computer that will be optimal for music production as well as gaming, and I'm checking with various sources for feedback, not just tpu forums. The best music feedback I can receive is certainly not on this site... it's actually my old professor from way back. ;) ...now it's just a matter of waiting for their reply (it'll be year 2020 by the time I hear back). lol
     

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