Wednesday, March 25

HW: What do you think?

My current system is aging a bit. It predates my first visit to Vanguard by about 6 months and though it's held up nicely so far, with an upgrade from 7900GTX to 8800GTX I've been eyeing the I7 goodness. I've also been itching to set up a RAID configuration so my Disk IO isn't that much of a bottleneck.

Ok, so I'm thinking this:

Prices are from local online store 4Launch which allows warehouse pickups for locals (that's me) which seriously cuts back on delivery costs. There's another similar store in Eindhoven so I'll be comparing prices before ordering. I'm also looking into selling my current machine to a mate of mine who's coming by this Friday in order to further cut back on cost.

I'll be using onBoard audio and network chipsets and I have one mostly unused DVD-writer and three DVD players in my current system that can be transferred from my old rig. 2 of those aren't hooked up and came from older systems and were but in there because I got the case 2nd hand and it was missing frontplates. It's not a burn-farm. Then it'd be 1 player, 3 burners ok? :-)
I'll leave one or two of those for my mate and since the front plates were found and passed to me some time after I'd put the spare players in, all will be good
I'm going with XP Pro 64 Bit because I'd rather avoid Vista alltogether and buy a W7 upgrade pack later.

The case is a bit sick I know, but it's having this system pre-built in a cheaper case comes down to equal cost, so I'm using the difference for a silent luxury chassis that won't cut up my thumbs and other opposable extremities. It is supposed to last me another 3 years with maybe an upgrade to memory and/or videocard. CPU if they ever become dirt-cheap and don't change processor-slot form-factor to appease mobo manufacturers. I'd rather have gone for the Zalman Processor Koeler CNPS9700-NT which is in my current system and quiet as a mouse, but it doesn't fit the new fangled CPU form-factor so I'm a bit crotchety about that right now.

What do you think? Am I overlooking something?


  1. Oh goodie!
    There's a Zalman ZM-CS4 Intel Socket LGA1366 Bracket, which allows me to use a CNPS9700 NT on an LGA1366 motherboard :-)
    And it's only € 7.00

  2. It looks all quite nice. But I am not really the right person to ask advice on hardware.

    The real question is more whether you plan to buy it because you feel like it, or because you think Vanguard or any other of the existing games will run a bit better, or because you really can't do certain things.

    Spending 1400 Euro for 'looks a bit better' doesn't sound too wise. In that case I would postpone it for another (half) year or so till you really need an upgrade.

  3. I'm no use either when it comes to this kind of thing, I built my system some 3-4yrs ago with an AMD 4000, considering how low spec my system now is (my gfx card is a woefully underpowered Gforce 8500GT) it surprises me how well it will run games like AoC. The current prices of the Gforce 2 series are getting reasonable, it wasn't that long ago that anything in that series never hit anything below the 200 mark.

    I cant offer any informed feedback :)

  4. Well you two aren't of much help :-)

    Luckily I have another friend who I mailed my idea to and he came back with such pertinent questions as "why do you want two ATA disks? Your Mobo supports SATA and the newer SAS standard?" which make me go "Doh!".

    This was of course the first "I want it All" setup. Over the night we've brought the specs down a bit to a better, more expensive mobo. .32 euros for better onboard audio and network since I won't be getting separate cards for those.

    Main money-saver is going to be 3Gb of 1333 Memory and 32 bits Windows XP Home edition. I can upgrade that in the future if I want to when Windows 7 comes out.
    Still arguing about that with my friend. It's hard as we're both of the More Memory Is Better persuasion. Hey, 80 times faster than hard-disk is a persuasive argument.

    With the I7 being exponentially faster than Core 2 Duo and still significantly faster than Core 2 Quad, I might not need a big sleuth of memory just yet.

    There's several reasons to go for a new PC at this time. I7 and G250 series are now becoming reasonably priced and I tend to do a lot of multitasking. It's not so much that I would like a little better performance from games like Vanguard, but that I like to run them in windowed mode with 5 additional applications running simultaneously :-)

    I'm also trying to talk myself into waiting 1.5 months until my "vacation money", is paid out. Here your employer withholds 8.5% of your monthly wages to be turned out (sans interest) in May, meaning you get a double wage just before summer.

  5. More deliberation:
    1 Be Quiet Powersupply Straight Power E6 600W € 91.50
    1 Cooler Master Big Tower Cosmos 1000 ATX No PSU (zilver-zwart) € 167.00
    1 Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz 4.8GT/s Box € 254.00
    1 MSI X58 Pro iX58, SATA2 RAID, 8CH € 174.00
    2 Nexus Casefan PWM 120mm € 20.00
    1 OCZ 3x2GB DDR3 SDRAM PC10666 CL9.0 Gold € 78.00
    2 Samsung 500GB SATA300 16MB, HD502HI € 101.00
    1 Zalman ZM-CS4 Intel Socket LGA1366 Bracket € 7.00
    1 Zalman Processor Koeler CNPS9700-NT AMD & Intel € 52.00
    1 XFX Videokaart PCI-e GeForce GTS250 512MB DDR3 2xDVI/HDCP € 132.50
    1 Samsung DVD-/+/RAM SH-S223F 22x/22x/12x Bulk (zwart) € 20.00

    Some stuff swapped out for cheaper but good enough products. Added some stuff too.
    Total price now a mere €1097,00
    Which leaves me to chose between:

    1 Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2c UK 1u 64bit OEM €126.50
    1 Microsoft Windows XP Home SP3 UK 1u 32bit OEM €77.00
    1 Windows 7 Beta €00.00

    The third option is naturally tempting. The first would option of XP Home would be just a license so i can go for the Windows 7 upgrade pack later. The gamble being that this would be more than €77 cheaper than the OEM version of Windows 7.

  6. Some further mails went back and forth. I've learned that SLI increases your performance by 20-30% tops. Getting a bigger, newer card is way more practical (and costs less power). I also cut into my own desires and went for a cheaper, less esthetically pleasing case (which will be placed UNDER my desk) that allows me to make do with a cheaper CPU fan.

    The current stats:

    1 Antec Big Tower Nine Hundred ATX No PSU
    1 Be Quiet Powersupply Straight Power E6 600W
    1 Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz 4.8GT/s Box
    1 Microsoft Windows Vista Home Prem. SP1 UK 1u 64bit OEM
    1 MSI X58 Pro iX58, SATA2 RAID, 8CH
    1 Nexus Processor Koeler FLC-3000 AMD & Intel
    1 OCZ 3x2GB DDR3 SDRAM PC10666 CL9.0 Gold
    2 Samsung 500GB SATA300 16MB, HD502HI
    1 XFX Videokaart PCI-e Radeon HD4850 1GB DDR3 2xDVI/HDCP

    Total cost is now €1104,- with a Vista license included. the Windows 7 Beta scheme fell through as I don't have an installation code for it. Note the sick amount of Memory on the GFX card :-)

  7. Yay! The parts are all there and I can come pick them up between 15:30 and 16:00 today, which sounds draconic but that's the timeslot i picked, getting of work at 15:00 and all :-)

    I'll not be putting the beast together tonight though.
    For one, I need a thunderstorm to bring it Alive and second, this is probably the last evening I have a chance of playing Vanguard with Phè for a while as she's planned the next month and a half full off trips and vacations.
    But since Issue 14 went live two days ago, maybe I should hop into CoX and have more chance of running into her?

  8. Woot! Have fun getting all up and running. Hmmm, new shiny things... I hope all goes smooth and I'll see you online soon.

    And sorry for not being around. Perhaps you have read my excuse already in a different post. I didn't want to play for an hour and run off again, so I didn't log in at all yet. But I am still around for two more weeks (minus 3 days at my parents). I did take a peak at I14 in COH for 10 minutes and got bored. More of that 'makes no sense' stuff.