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New Pc Build..... Need Advice

CP-PC

Established Member
Hi all im new here but ive been reading reviews on this site for a while and alot of you seem to know your stuff.
im planning to build a new pc with this config:

Samsung Series 5 True HD 32" LCD TV £638.01
OCZ 2GB DDR3 1800Mhz Dual Channel Kit £138.64 Each Ill Be Geting 2 of these for 4GB total)
Asus P5E3 Premium Intel X48 Socket 775 Motherboard £258.49
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.00Ghz 1333Mhz FSB £134.61
WD RE2 160GB SATA2 16MB Hard Drive £39.94 Each (ill be getting 4 of these and running them in raid 0)
HIS ATI HD 3870XT 512MB GDDR4 £135.11 Each (ill be getting 2 of these and running them in crossfire)
LG GGC H20L BLu-Ray & HD-DVD SATA Drive £85.76
LG GH20NS10 DVD-RW SATA Drive £16.44
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750W PSU £105.74 Each (ill be getting 2 of these to run a dual PSU system.
Adaptec 3405 4-Port SATA PCI-Express 4X 128MB Raid Card £206.87

ill be running all of this in a Lian Li PC343B Cube Case (£250.22 with all extra's that ill need)

My hard drives will be mounted in Silverstone CFP51 hard drive cages

and for cooling ill be using 8 Scythe S-FLEX 800RPM 120mm fans. all of the fans and power supplies will be mounted using rubber grommets and sound vibration dampening as silence will be of the upmost importance. (hence the 2 PSU's each psu will only be under about 50% load meaning they will run cooler and also quieter.

right now down to my question....... im looking for a good sound card for this system. i will be playing games aswell as using this pc for viewing of dvd's media files and lots of music. just to give you and idea i currently have a Sherwood Newcastle R-525 AVR. and due to space limitations i am only running in 2 channel mode and the speakers i am using are some very old Dynatron's (i love the sound of these speakers) but i am also looking to get a pair of monitor audio BR5's a pair of monitor audio BR1's and a monitor audio BR-LCR. (i will be getting a much bigger room)

im willing to spend up to £200 on a sound card. i currently have my onboard sound and i also have a sound blaster audigy 2 ZS which has served me well. do you know of any good sound cards or shall i just stick with my Audigy 2 ZS?
 

eternaldark

Established Member
Nice spec - win the lottery>>????

Cant help with the audio card - but for the money your paying out you may as well upgrade to a Blu-ray writer for about an extra £100
 

CP-PC

Established Member
Nice spec - win the lottery>>????

haha no not quite lol just sold some shares thats all. yeah i could get a blue-ray writer but to be honest i dont think ill use it more than about 5 times a year and on the odd occation i might need to use it then i can borrow my mates external writer. i wont need it for backup as i built a 160GB external hard drive for back up's.

another quick question for people...... has anyone used the samsung series 5 lcd??? is there much lag when gaming?? im gonna go for the 32inch 1080I, i dont want a tv thats to big (40inch or so) and there arnt that many 32inch tv's that will do 1080I
 

Captain Boom

Established Member
Can I just ask why you feel you need a dual PSU setup? I cant see your kit needing over 1000w let alone 1500w. Also why spend nearly £160 on 4x160gb hard drives? You could get 2x500gb Samsung Spinpoints for less than £100 or even 2x1tb for under £190.

Have you checked out the Quad core cpus? Theres the Q6600 for the same price as the E8400 or the Q9300, Q9450, Q9550 which go up in price from there. Hell, if youre spending that much money why not look into one of the extreme models like the QX9650 for £630?

What will you be using the PC for mainly?

For the TV do you mean 1080p? I thought all 32" HD TVs do 1080i. If you are spending that much on a PC why dont you get a TV capable of displaying at max resolution like a 40" or even a 37" (dont know if there are many 37"s capable of 1080p but Im sure someone who does can point you in the right direction).
 

CP-PC

Established Member
the cpu i plan on getting is the E8400 with is only £120-£140 from different places..... the quad core processors and even the extreme ones cost alot more (the q6600 is about £180) which is only a little more but i dont do a huge ammount of multi tasking and i personaly see a quad core cpu as a waste because i dont feel i need it. i will be gaming quite alot aswell as watching dvd's. there are only a handfull of 32inch tv's that are capable of True HD . i know to some people this pc might seem a little overkill but i do intend it to last about 2 years before i contemplate upgrades. yes my system will only draw about 700watts (according to my calculations) and i could run it on a single 1000watt psu how ever silence is key to me aswell as stability, and ive seen ALOT of reviews about the PC Power & Cooling 750watt psu's being ROCK stable, they will both only be running about 50% load which means they will run cooler..... quieter and also last much longer. the reason i am going for 4 WD RE2's (160GB edition) is for speed (not overall size) and some people will say if your after speed go for the raptors they are faster (also louder) but they are about £75 and up per drive which i consider to much especialy as ill be using 4. the WD RE2's are still very quick and only cost about £35-40 per drive making my raid set up about half the price.
the system is already decided on its just the sound card that i need to decide on, i know it seems like im spending alot of money on this pc (and i am spending a fair bit) but im not going for absolute speed, im going for price, performance, noise and heat. this is why im not going to buy a blu-ray writer (i wont use it that much at all so cant justify the price) and thats why i decided against a quad core cpu (i wont see the performance gains for the extra price) as for the samsung tv i picked i have seen loads of good reviews about it (as a tv) but havent seen anyone use it for gaming) and i could get a tv and seperate monitor for my pc but again thats more money. this pc will be in my bedroom, so dont have space for tv and monitor (hence using the tv as a monitor) at the moment from what i have researched i have decided on my pc spec.... just need to decide about the sound card. as i dont have much experience with them. i have always just stuck with onboard sound, apart from my current pc which has a creative sound blaster augidy 2 ZS, will i notice much of a difference with the nre generation of cards?? or am i best off just sticking with my audigy 2 ZS??
 

CP-PC

Established Member
Dont know where you get a Q6600 at £180 - its £138.59 from Scan (http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=643237) and £136.95 from ebuyer (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/131823)

i was getting my price from OCuk and my mistake i was looking at the "guarantied to overclock" ones. but to get a quad core than runs at 3Ghz (the speed of the 8400) then i would need to spend a lot more money, and i will only be running a mild overclock on the E8400 (3.6Ghz 1600Mhz FSB) due to heat issues with silent cooling. and to get a similarly priced quad core to overclock to 3.6Ghz (from 2.4Ghz stock) i would need better (non silent) cooling. thanks for your advice, and im not to sure about sound cards either :( since ive only have one (audigy 2 ZS) so im not sure how the new ones perform and the quality of them aswell as ive been out of the sound card "loop" for a long time. thanks any guys
 

badbob

Banned
Ditch those small HD for a couple of larger ones, you don't really need RAID 0 as the Samsung F1 are nippy.

I'd get a 3870x2 instead with that motherboard - allow you to go quad crossfire. You don't need dual PSU, unless it's a "mission critical" server. For 3870x2 x 2 though probably will need 700W+ But for a standard rig 650W is fine.
 

CP-PC

Established Member
i prefer the speed of raid 0, yeah a single 500GB hard drive might be slightly faster than a single 160GB hard drive but its not the space i need or want its the speed, yes i could get the 3780 x2 and have qual crossfire how ever i dont see the need as it will cost alot more. yes i could run the entire system on a single 700-800 watt psu how ever that single psu will be near 100% use, which will generate heat and therefore noise, as i said before the spec of the pc is decided (apart from the sound card) silence and rock stable reliability is key for me, the reason i am going for dual psu's is also for future upgrades and future proofing my system but also trying to keep price's down where i can. so thank you for your advice but future posters try to keep in mine that the system has been decided and its just the sound card and possibly the 32inch samsung series 5 lcd tv that i need advice on as these are the subjects i dont have much experience or knowlege of.
 

CP-PC

Established Member
you could try posting in the LCD thread for help with your tv:smashin:
i will see about doing that thanks for the tip, the sound card is my primary concern at the moment..... has anyone had any experience with either of these 2 cards??
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer Fatal1ty Professional Series 7.1 Sound Card for £80
or Razer IAS Barracuda AC-1 Gaming 7.1 Sound Card + Barracuda HP-1 Gaming Headset - Bundle for £150
i have seen a few reviews all saying they are both great cards. have any of you got one? or had any bad experience with them? which would you advise i go for? or any other sujestions?
 

badbob

Banned
Still got a lopsided system:rolleyes:

160GB isn't enough storage. Go for two 500/750 F1 in RAID 0 if you need the speed. 3870 on it's own isn't that great, get the 3870x2. Or a 8800GT/GTS if going single card. You don't need dual PSU, whatever you may think:rolleyes:

Also a 32" 1366x768 is too low resolution for desktop use, ok for games but if you're building a powerful gaming rig I'd get a 1080p screen, or a 24" monitor.

Go for basic Extreme Music soundcard, the fatality/pro are a waste of time.
 

CP-PC

Established Member
Still got a lopsided system:rolleyes:

160GB isn't enough storage. Go for two 500/750 F1 in RAID 0 if you need the speed. 3870 on it's own isn't that great, get the 3870x2. Or a 8800GT/GTS if going single card. You don't need dual PSU, whatever you may think:rolleyes:

Also a 32" 1366x768 is too low resolution for desktop use, ok for games but if you're building a powerful gaming rig I'd get a 1080p screen, or a 24" monitor.

Go for basic Extreme Music soundcard, the fatality/pro are a waste of time.

if you read the first post i am actually getting 4 WD RE2's 160GB each giving me 640GB, plenty of space. and the tv i was refering to the samsung 32inch series 5 is actually true hd meaning it will to 1080p, and i dont have space for a 24inch monitor and a seperate tv aswell which is why i am combining them. and it is true that most 32inch tv's are only capable of 1366*768 how ever there are a handfull that can do the full 1080p res which is what im looking for.
sound card wise thanks for the advice..... so you think something like this? Creative Sound Blaster X-FI Xtreme Music UAA Vista-Certified 7.1 Sound Card - OEM (PCI) for £55ish
would it be much of an improvement over my current audigy 2 ZS?
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Don't forget a good keyboard with n-key rollover and a decent gaming mouse.

PSU's are supposed to be less efficient at lower usage aren't they? If that is the case then having two would generate more heat overall - although it would be spread between the two.

At £360 for your storage solution you're approching SSD territory, but I don't know if the low-end SSDs are better than 4x RAID 0.

For the sound card the X-fis and the Asus Xonar are supposed to be very good for heaphones but I don't know how much of an improvement you'd see for speakers with them. I was under the impression that the barracuda hadn't got partiuclaly good reviews.
 

badbob

Banned
4 WD RE2's 160GB each giving me 640GB,

erm pretty sure it won't, RAID-0 doesn't work that way. I'm sure someone will give a better reply. I believe you'll get more than 160GB, but certainly not as much as 640GB. Plus you've got formatted capacty which for a 160GB will probably be around 130GB.

Just get a single PSU, and put that into a better GPU. You're going to need it gaming at 1920x1080. And if you want to play Crysis at that res, you'll need dual card setup.
 

CP-PC

Established Member
SSD drives still havent got to the point where we can get the space and speed of a good raid setup. i dont generaly use headphones, i generaly run things through my amp and speakers. on the odd occation that i do use headphones i plug them into my amp (not the back of the pc) and i only tend to do that with late night music or film viewings. with the majority of things i use my amp and speakers. i havent seen much about the asus sound cards, i have someone that has a razor sound card and sings its praise.

Auzentech X-Fi Prelude 7.1 Sound Card for about £100, ive seen some good reviews about Auzentech cards but i was on the understanding that they are just basicaly Creative cards made by another manufacture?? i have also seen in some reviews that people are having trouble with sound card drivers when using vista (which i will be using)
 

CP-PC

Established Member
erm pretty sure it won't, RAID-0 doesn't work that way. I'm sure someone will give a better reply. I believe you'll get more than 160GB, but certainly not as much as 640GB. Plus you've got formatted capacty which for a 160GB will probably be around 130GB.

Just get a single PSU, and put that into a better GPU. You're going to need it gaming at 1920x1080. And if you want to play Crysis at that res, you'll need dual card setup.

i have been using raid 0 for years and you get the full space of all the drives....... raid 0 splits the infomation between the hard drives and will give me about 600GB. a 160GB hard drive will be about 152GB formatted meaning i have 152GB times 4 giving me 608GB which is fairly close to the 640GB estimate i gave. in raid 0 you add all the hard drives up to get a total capacity. only durring mirrored raids do you get less space than the total of all the disks added together. as i said before i will be running dual gpu's i will be running dual 3780xt's with quite a good overclock on them. they will be more than enough to game with as 1920x1080
 

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