Building a Gaming Rig

PC Topics & Troubleshooting
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Tailhook
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Post by Tailhook » Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:05 pm

Setting up a dual-boot system...

#1- Put in an operating system disk. (Would probably do XP first).
#2- Boot from disk and enter Windows Setup. (XP setup is easier to format partitions).
#3- When you get to the partition managment screen, make sure you have a fully blank HD with no partitions. Create 2 partitions of the size you want. Remember to multiply the number of GB you want to use in the partition by 1024 in order to get the correct # of MB to set. ;)
#4- On drive C:, begin install of XP.
#5- When XP install finishes and works correctly, pop in the W7 disk. Restart.
#6- Boot from 7 disk and enter Windows 7 Setup. When it asks you to either Upgrade or do a Custom install, choose Custom. Select your D: and install W7 to that drive.
#7- Windows 7 will most likely reboot during the install so when it does, your BIOS may prompt you which OS to boot from. Select Windows 7.
#8. After all is installed, you can reboot and pick what OS you want to boot.

Hope that was English!
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Lawndart
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Post by Lawndart » Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:50 am

Tailhook wrote:Hope that was English!
Thanks, but to make sure we leave no stone unturned, could you give it to me in Swedish as well? :wink:

Joke aside, is Windows 7 not as friendly creating partitions with as XP? I was thinking I'd install Win 7 first, and add a dual boot for XP later...
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Ray
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Post by Ray » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:32 am

Dual booting is awesome - I learned how to do it by watching a YouTube video. Watched the video on my other PC as I set it up on my gaming rig, worked out nicely.

I remember having to do some entries in the command prompt in Vista once I had XP installed on the other partition to get the Windows Boot Manager screen on startup.
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Tailhook
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Post by Tailhook » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:45 am

Lawndart wrote:...is Windows 7 not as friendly creating partitions with as XP? I was thinking I'd install Win 7 first, and add a dual boot for XP later...
I just didn't like how it partitoned for me. It would end up making a 30MB partition along with the 50GB partition I wanted, giving me 2 logical hard drives... Thanks Microsoft. :roll: So instead I used the XP setup to partition my HD's, restarted, then put W7 back in and went from there.
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Teej
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Post by Teej » Fri May 28, 2010 8:25 pm

Teej's current specs...

Win XP
Asus P5B Deluxe m/b

Core 2 Duo e6600 (2.4ghz stock, running at 2.97ghz).

Zalman CNPS 9900 CPU cooler

Asus ENGTX 275 video

4GB OCZ (Got on a deal to replace the 2G kingston value ram I was using. And yes, XP only gives me 3GB)

Seagate 1G drive...nothing special.

Opticals nothing crazy





I'm only pushing around 1.4v through the CPU right now. 1.5v is still within spec...probably try that on Monday and see if it buys me any more OC ability.
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Redeye
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Post by Redeye » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:10 pm

Building a new rig and I need help picking componets.

Mother board, graphics card... etc.

Buying from: http://www.ncix.com/index.php
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Lawndart
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Post by Lawndart » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:11 pm

If I was building an enthusiast gaming PC today I'd get a Sandy Bridge CPU!

Due to a manufacturing defect on the early LGA1155 mobos supporting Sandy Bridge, there could be a two month gap in availability. The fixed ones have a "B3" label.

That said if I was building a rig today I would get the following:
  • ASUS P8P67 Mobo (the updated boards are called "B3 stepping ready"). If EVGA released a 1155 socket mobo I'd probably go for it instead.
  • Intel i7 2600K CPU ("K" models are an overclocker's dream, and the 2600K has been tested up to 5GHz!).
  • EVGA GTX 560 (the 560 offer a lot of performance, but a 580 or 590 and ATI equivalent cards would obviously be faster, but cost more. A high end 400-series card would also be good, but not necessarily cost less).
These three components will account for ~60-70% of the cost to build a gaming rig, so research carefully.

I'm an NVIDIA guy, but ATI has some screamer cards too. I just couldn't tell you the models off the top of my head.

Choose a case, PSU, memory, optical drive and harddrive based on best bang for the buck. You can find 1TB Caviar Black drives from WD for as low as $70 nowadays, and good DDR3 memory is generally cheap in bundles. Be sure to get at least a 700W PSU (more if you plan to use SLI or Crossfire on your graphics cards). Pick a modular connector PSU. I'd pick a case with USB 3.0 in the front and back, but mainly one that has at minimum 3-4 case fans for heat dispersion. You'll also want a good CPU cooling fan.

I'd personally go for a mobo with UEFI (instead of BIOS). I've seen the interface on the ASUS board, and it's slick!
Last edited by Lawndart on Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ray
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Post by Ray » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:02 pm

I echo what LD said.

I would prefer to get an EVGA mobo just because of their excellent tech support and lifetime warranty. I'll probably wait for EVGA to release a board that supports the i7-2600's.

In the meantime I think I'll get an EVGA GTX 580. I'm not sure why I need it, but I just want one, money is burning a hole in my pocket :LOL:
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Post by Ells » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:25 pm

I'm very happy with an EVGA Nvidia 460GTX OC and get about 60 FPS in DCS: A-10C with MSAAx8 TSAA and HDR on with all settings at high.
Ripper, our narrator, has 2x EVGA 460GTX OC's in SLI and gets 120fps in A-10 with the same settings.
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Lawndart
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Post by Lawndart » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:08 pm

Just read a review on the GTX 560 Ti... being the new sweet spot for GPUs. It's comparable to the GTX 460, but with better performance. This is probably the card I'd go for if I was going to spend the least but compete with the best!

I'll price out a few setups later for builds (as Convertible also asked me the other day)... One for budget, one for upgradability and one for the enthusiast (no need to go extreme as it'll only cost you lots more money for minimal performance gains).

The i7 2600K processor is the one I'd definitely shoot for now if I could afford it. It runs about $100 more than an i5 2500K, and if you're on a really tight budget a i3 2100 could do the trick while still allowing you to buy your future mobo at this time.

Memory is extrememly cheap at the moment. You can find 4GB DDR3 1333 (9-9-9-24 timings) for as low as $42. If you'd like 4GBs DDR3 1600 (8-8-8-24) check Corsair as they've had some deals for ~$70.
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Lawndart
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Post by Lawndart » Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:21 am

FREE copies of Maximum PC in .PDF format:
http://www.maximumpc.com/articles/pdf_archives

It runs a month behind what's on the newsstand.

The March 2011 issue has an article called How To Build A Sub-$1,000 Sandy Bridge (on page 45), under the monthly Build It column with specs listed.

The April 2011 issue of Build It (when it comes out in .PDF) puts together a Sub-$600 Sandy Bridge in an article called The Cheapskate's PC (on page 32).

If I was building today here's my list/thoughts:
  • CPU: Intel i7 2600K ("K" model is "King")
  • Mobo: ASUS P8P67 Pro (B3), although I'd buy EVGA's 1155 socket if/when it's released
  • Memory: 6GB DDR3 1600, although 4GB is a bargain I'd buy more (always go one step above what you think you need)
  • Case: Thermaltake V9 BlacX, although a Cooler Master HAF912 is a steal (tool-free, front & back USB 3.0 ports, CPU cutout for coolers, and lots of fans)
  • PSU: 750W or more, unless you're budget minded and don't intend on OC'ing or using SLI/Crossfire. I'm not brand loyal, but modular connectors is a must once you've had it
  • GPU: GTX 560 Ti, for the reasons mentioned earlier
  • Hard Drive: WD Caviar Black 1TB (Model #WD1002FAEX) 6.0Gb/sec, unless you can also afford a SSD or Velociraptor as your primary drive and use a Caviar Black as storage
  • Optical Drive: BD player/DVD burner
  • OS: Win 7 64-bit Pro (OEM)
All the above will run you around $1,300 depending on how much you budget on the components aside from the Mobo, CPU and GPU. For instance, a Seagate 7200rpm 160GB hard drive is $36. If you have a couple old SATAs laying around, this is a steal for running your OS. If you skip the BD player and go for an LG DVD burner instead, it'll only cost you sixteen smackers! Those are the kind of savings you can make without compromising on the Mobo, CPU and GPU, but even if you did get a cheaper CPU - having a formidable Mobo will allow you to just drop in a new processor later on.

My current specs (for reference):
  • CPU: Intel i7 950 w/ ZALMAN 120mm CPU fan
  • Mobo: EVGA X58 FTW3
  • Memory: 12GB Corsair DDR3 1600
  • Case: Thermaltake V9 BlacX w/ dual SATA docks
  • PSU: Corsair HX 850W
  • GPU: EVGA GTX 460 FTW
  • Hard Drive: 1 x WD Velociraptor 600GB, 2 x WD Caviar Black 1TB (Total 2.6TBs)
  • Optical Drive: LG BD burner
  • OS: Win 7 64-bit Pro (OEM)
How's that reply for typing on the iPhone? :)
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Teej
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Post by Teej » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:56 pm

Lawndart wrote:How's that reply for typing on the iPhone? :)
Disturbing.
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Ells
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Post by Ells » Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:39 pm

Teej wrote:
Lawndart wrote:How's that reply for typing on the iPhone? :)
Disturbing.
Outstanding, and no tab on the iPhone either so well spaced, LOL.
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Lawndart
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Post by Lawndart » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:30 pm

EVGA has released their P67 Mobo lineup!

http://www.evga.com/articles/00604/

EVGA P67 FTW Mobo + i7-2600K = :D

Add a GTX 560, 570 or 580 card and you'll be set for a long time.
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Lawndart
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Post by Lawndart » Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:36 am

Maximum PC ran a very popular article back in late '09 called:
How to Build an Awesome Gaming PC for $647

Good news (especially for anyone in need of a new gaming rig on a tight budget). They'll be running a new "Build It" putting together a screamer on a budget in this year's August issue. It'll likely be a Sandy Bridge.

Note: If you don't want to buy the Magazine off the shelf, the online .PDFs become available on their website a month after the hard copies are released.
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