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AC9breaker
Yeah, after years of saying I was gonna do it, I'm finally doing it. Building myself a PC. I've been trying to read up as much as I can on stuff and have been browsing newegg speculating. Anyway, I figured this would be more productive if I got some input for you guys. Primarily this is gonna be a gaming PC, but I at the very least want this PC to be relevant for 5 years, and I'm gonna be using it for more then just gaming. School, musings, w/e. Possible I'll be leaving the PC on for long periods of time so maybe cooling will be a factor?

I like me some nVidia chips and I'm not planning on overclocking (yet) so intel is fine with me. Any ESD precautions I should take and such would also be appreciated. I'm planning on working with a 900 dollar budget for the rig itself. But it's flexable. So... show me ya moves!
Crushinator
This went a little bit over budget, but I think its a good powerhouse for what you're looking for. I suppose if you make the HDD smaller (like 500 gig or whatever) and ratchet down the CPU to like a Q8200 you could still have a reasonably good gaming computer.

NZXT Hush Black Tower


I just like the design of this, I've used it to build machines in the past. Case choice is largely aesthetic of course, but also consider ease of accessibility to the parts inside in case you need to add/move/replace something. Airflow is also important if you start adding a lot of extra hard drives and such.

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 2.66ghz

Best bang for your buck CPU these days.

EVGA nForce 750i SLI Motherboard

I've had great experience with EVGA as far as tech support, warranty, drivers, and hardware quality with their motherboards and video cards.
They also have a trade up program, so if an upgrade to the hardware comes out you can send them yours and just pay the difference to upgrade (within a certain time frame.)

OCZ 4GB (2x 2GB) DDR2 800mhz RAM

Almost any ram will do, but high performance tested stuff with the heat dissipators will serve you better in the long run. Just make sure you get a brand with a lifetime warranty, in case something happens. Corsair, OCZ, Patriot, and others have a lifetime warranty.

BFG nVidia GForce GTX 260 896mb version

Any card from the GTX series is ridiculously powerful, even the "mere" 260's are insane. Since the motherboard is SLI compatible, you could add a second one of these in later if you wanted to juice even more video power.

Corsair 550w Power Supply

Western Digital Caviar Black 750GB HDD

The Black series HDD's are made for high performance and longer uptimes, but they do take a bit more power than the Blue or Green series.

68-in-1 Card Reader

Windows Vista Home Premium 64 bit

Samsung 22x DVD RW

Grand Total: $963.90
Oddies da Nerfed
I'll second Mr.Crushins build, about how I would roll based on your pref. I have an older quad core that I love, though it will bottleneck you on older games that lack multicore support. Ditto on EVGA and the 750i and beefier ver are solid mobos allowing for some decent OC. OCZ ram ftw. A larger PSU would most certainly be required for SLI setup, however that single card should be solid. HDD looks solid, brand choice there is almost personal these days, just be wary of DoA OEM, newegg packing on some of their OEM leaves a little to be desired.
AC9breaker
So I was thinking of stepping up the video card to a 275


EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR Geforce GTX 275
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814130475

My concern is that the it's got a required Minimum Power supply of 550 Watts and I've already got the Corsair 550 that Crush recommended. Would it be a good idea to run the card on the minimum power or should I just opt for a different card?
Crushinator
You should be fine with the minimum power since you're not pushing the PSU in other areas (like lots of HDD's, Optical Drives, fans, etc.)

That's a kickass card too, nice upgrade, mayne.
AC9breaker
GDI, figures I'm finally ready to buy the card and CPU and the card is sold out. So I ended up going for the superclocked version of the card I wanted.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814130478


Also, I was wondering, what Anti virus programs do you guys recommend. I've always used Norton, but I've noticed the latest ones I think Norton 360 to be very resource heavy.
Oddies da Nerfed
QUOTE(AC9breaker @ Sep 14 2009, 07:27 AM) *
GDI, figures I'm finally ready to buy the card and CPU and the card is sold out. So I ended up going for the superclocked version of the card I wanted.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814130478


Also, I was wondering, what Anti virus programs do you guys recommend. I've always used Norton, but I've noticed the latest ones I think Norton 360 to be very resource heavy.






Virus free for years. Anti virus used: none. Scan with housecall one every 6 months for giggles. Firewall just windoze. Firefox with script blocker for life.
Crushinator
Norton 360 is a fucking joke. HUGE waste of resources, and its a complete bitch to get off your computer when it screws something up (and it will).

If you're going to use norton only use the anti-virus part, not the whole 360 or internet security package. There's nothing blatantly WRONG with Norton Anti-Virus, its just as effective as any other big-name antivirus software. As far as overall usability I do like it more than McAfee Antivirus, McAfee's interface just sucks.

If for whatever reason you want an "alternative" antivirus, give NOD32 a try, its actually better at catching some sneakier viruses than NAV or Mcafee, but its not quite as easy on the resources.

As far as Oddies' advice goes, its just not reasonable for anyone who isn't 100% confident they can take care of any virus infection that might happen to hit their computer. Its great when you're able to browse safely, on your own terms, knowing what types of things are threats to your system. Avoiding them and blocking them manually. But the truth is most people can't do that, and most people are much worse off having no protection. I'm glad you are actually making sure you DO have an AV program installed, AC.

I think a lot of computer geek-types (myself included) have this idea in their head of "hah AV is a joke, waste of valuable computer resources and money, if anything pops up I'll fix it myself." And because the "geek friend" is who everyone turns to for advice, they tell their friends they DON'T use any AV software and then their friends end up hosing their computers and having to pay to get it fixed. After having to fix hundreds of computers people screwed up by simply not having adequate protection, I know how easy it is for anyone to screw over their computer with a just a few errant clicks.

Anyways, TL, DR. Just get Norton Anti-Virus, not Norton 360 or Norton Internet Security.
Oddies da Nerfed
The problem is, a lot of people think because they have av and 2 spy-ware programs chewing up resources they are free to do what they want online. You and I both know that is the quickest way for people to end up in your shop. Script blocker in and of itself is far superior to any av/malware progy out there. It also requires the user to have some common sense. Entertainingly av progs do as well. At this point it boils down to does the user have enough of a clue to not require having a resource hog that may well fail at detecting something. Or can they get by with not telling script block to run every script on some random website that is obviously not very safe.

I have had many friends who are very nontechnical get by perfectly fine with no script alone. Common sense goes much farther than some program and I would rather promote people think rather than just say 'oh Ive got norton, I can click what ever!' when you and I both know that is completely false.

For actual AV, I personally say stay the hell away from norton. NOD32, kaspersky, avg all provide solid av that are far less likely to do as much damage to your system as norton does.
AC9breaker
For the most part, I been running Firefox and no script and have been relatively all right. But like Crushinator explained, I'm not as proficient as you guys are in dealing with threats and would like in at the very least some kind of countermeasure in the case of such an event. I'll totally be looking into NOD32, Kapersky, and AVG.

My CPU arrived yesterday, are all the Intel heatsinks suppose to be this small and flimsy looking? I'm thinking maybe I should get something a little more bigger, as I'm uncertain at how it'll do it's job. Last thing I want is another Vic Vapor Rub fiasco. beigelaugh.gif Also holy crap at some of those Newegg specials. They've practically giving out HD Monitors. I might snag one up as well.
Crushinator
The stock intel heatsink is fine as long as you aren't overclocking, just be careful when you put it in that you don't "flatten" out the clips instead of pushing them all the way through the board. I've made that mistake a few times and its a pain in the ass to get them lined up again.
AC9breaker
So for the most part I'm on my new pc and have everything up and running except for my CPU. Seems like the 750i mobo's don't get along too well with quad cores unless you update the BIOS. Fortunately for me the CPU on my old PC is a dual core so I switched it out. With that said however, I still haven't gotten around to updating the BIOS and this PC is running off my old dual core CPU. I've burned the Bios update on a CD that I got from the EVGA forums and set my CD-ROM as the Primary boot device. But it just goes straight to windows. Haven't really tried anything with it though, was waiting for today since it's my day off. Hopefully I'll have this figured out by the end of the day.
Crushinator
did you just burn the ISO file directly to the CD, or did you burn it as an image?
AC9breaker
QUOTE(Crushinator @ Sep 28 2009, 05:25 PM) *
did you just burn the ISO file directly to the CD, or did you burn it as an image?

Just the file directly.
AC9breaker
So finally figured out how to burn the iso image. Was just having a hard time navigating the Nero 8.0 menus. Flashed the Bios, loaded up the bios then powered down and put in my quad core. Still, no display. :( Just sent in a question response to EVGA. Hopefully I'll get lucky and they'll send me a FTW version so I don't have to keep putting up with this bullshit. Still, I like EVGA's service so far.
AC9breaker
So now I can finally say, I'm totally done. My 750i FTW model mobo came in today. Got it set-up. Put in the CPU, did a little prayer and jumped with joy when all signs where go. Hopped on Dawn of War 2 and was totally floored how great the improvement was. Batman Arkham Asylum ran fantastic, and overall it's just been screaming with all applications I've been doing granted I haven't been doing much. I'm sure I still have a copy of Illustrator, Photoshoop, Go Live and a bunch of other adobe programs somewhere, so looking forward to get back into that too.

Now for some Misc. questions. Overclocking, what should I know?

Sli, do I need two videocards of the model?


Thinking of using my old PC as back up, any one have anything more interesting I could try doing with it?.
Crushinator
You need 2 of the same video card, both manufacturer and model, for SLI to work properly.

As far as your 2nd computer, a great use for an older machine is setting it up as a media server. Toss in a big hard drive and load it up with movies, music, porn, whatever. You can access all that from your main computer, xbox, ps3. If you're feeling froggy you can install linux on it to fool around and learn new things, or even run a dedicated game server for like Battlefield or Team Fortress 2 or something.
AC9breaker
So I was trying to install some cracked versions of Adobe CS2 programs on this PC however I've been running into the same problem. I've only tried Adobe Golive and Adobe Illustrator but I'm sure I'll get the same problems with the programs. After you've finished installing the program your suppose to activate it so you can use it. The problem is that I keep getting the same error message saying that I need to be logged in to an account that has Administrator privileges. Of course my account is the only one on this PC and of course it has administrator privileges. So I'm assuming it's a conflicting issue with Vista and the programs. I know that every time I install a program or make a change or run a program that connects to the internet like Warhammer for example, I get a message asking me if I would like to allow the action. I'm assuming that program in particular, is the cause of my trouble. I'm Wondering if it was possible to disable it, or could it possibly be something else?
Crushinator
Did you try running the programs as administrator? (right click on the application and pick "run as administrator").

Adobe CS2 has known compatibility problems with Vista and AFIAK Adobe doesn't officially support it on that OS. If you're using Vista 64 then this might work:

QUOTE
There is a hard to find trick to get install to work correctly.

Creative Suite installer doesn't support Vista file naming convention, however, if you install anywhere but C:\Program Files (x86)\ CS programs WILL CRASH ON LOAD.

You must instead using legacy naming scheme.

Install to C:\progra~2\Adobe\

note, ~1 directs to \Program Files\

you must use ~2 for \Program Files (x86)\


The pop up asking your permission to run thing is called "User Account Control (UAC)", and you can disable it in the security control panel. Doing so does open your computer to vulnerability from malware though, so be careful.
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