My New Dual Core

The highest priced parts of my new compter were the speakers and the graphics cards. Finally, I should be able to play a decent game of Battlefield 2.

I accidentally ordered two motherboards, but fortunately the TigerDirect phone support was able to fix it for me. I could have split up my order, but on the expensive items, like the CPU and graphics cards, Tiger was already a price leader.

Here is my parts list: (prices don’t reflect about $100 worth of refunds, $100 worth of shipping)
* Microsoft Windows XP Pro Edition OEM Version & Service Pack 2 (M17-7502) $139.99
* Ultra 1024MB PC4200 DDR2 533MHz Memory (ULT31690) X 2 $199.98
* Ultra Black Aluminus ATX Mid-Tower Case with Clear Side, Front USB, Firewire and Audio Ports (ULT31824) $89.99
* Ultra / X-Finity / 600-Watt / ATX / Dual 80mm Fan / SATA-Ready / SLI Ready / Black / Power Supply (ULT31848) $79.99
* Aerocool Black UV Frame 120mm Case Fan with 4 LEDs (Q131-1014) 2 $17.99 $35.98
* Intel Pentium D 840 3.2GHz / 2MB Cache / 800 FSB / OEM / Socket 775 / Dual-Core / Processor (CP2-P4-840 C) $199.99
* Gigabyte 3D Galaxy Socket A/754/939/478/775 Liquid Cooling System (G452-4004) $139.99
* Asus P5ND2-SLI NVIDIA Socket 775 ATX Motherboard / Audio / PCI Express / SLI / Gigabit LAN / USB 2.0 / Serial ATA / RAID (A455-1066) $95.99
* Logitech Z-5450 Digital 5.1 Audio System with Wireless Rear Speakers (L23-7076) $239.99
* Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic PCI Sound Card (C44-3232) $109.99
* PNY Verto GeForce 6800 GS / 256MB DDR3 / PCI Express / SLI / DVI / VGA / TV-Out / Video Card (P56-6800) x 2 $399.98
* Lite-on SHM-160P6S / 16x8x16x DVD+RW / 16x6x16x DVD-RW / 8x DVD+R DL / 4x DVD-R DL / 48x24x48x CD-RW / Black/Beige Faceplates / Internal / DVD Writer (L12-1076) $49.99
* Western Digital / Caviar SE 16 / 250GB / 7200 / 16MB / SATA-300 / OEM / Hard Drive (TSD-250KS) x 2 $179.98

WHY
I read an article that showed that two cheap graphics cards out perform one graphics card that costs twice as much as a single graphics card. Thus SLI and 2 budget Nvidia cards. I used Nvidia just because I’ve had three good experience with Nvidia and I don’t like the ATI software (which I have had one bad experience with)
I wanted a dual core becuase I really do multi-task, I run Unitied Devices UD Agent all the time, I want to run a dedicated Halo server, but I want to be able to use my computer even when a bunch of other people are using the computer.

I got Intel because I have no experience with AMD and can’t figure out what their performance numbers mean. The 840 dual core was cheap, not horribly crippled like a Celeron, and already ran at a high clock speed. However, the dual core 840 has a reputation for running hot, so I got a water cooler. I hope the water cooler is easier to install and operate than I fear.

I got RAID drives because I’m crazy and like striped RAID. It’s very fast, but really is less reliable. I know that I need Windows OS disks to repair the RAID after I get bad sectors in the OS files, so I’m glad I have a real Windows Install disk instead of a peice of shit restore disk. Restore disks should be made illegal and the rat bastards that sell them should be forced to eat broken glass.

The X-Fi and speakers are so I can hear footsteps behind me while playing Battlefield 2. You can’t do a realistic combat sim without simulating what is happening behind your avatar. I hope they X-Fi and the speakers play well with eachother, because the speakers are heavy and will be expensive to ship back if they don’t work. I got X-Fi for music because no one knows why the pricer versions would help.

I got a motherboard just because it was SLI and supported my chosen CPU. And it was cheap.

I got the DVD drive because it was cheap.

I got the case because it was aluminum.

I got a 600 watt power supply because SLI requires a lot of electric.

I relied on the user reviews at tiger direct, a copy of Maximum PC, and many interent ‘computer recipes’ for inspiration, although my final PC didn’t look anything like any other PC I’ve seen.

I couldn’t find a comparable on Dell because Dell really wants to bundle in a monitor.

I bought components because every time I priced a dual core, dual card, 2GB, x-fi, RAID, machine from a reputable company like velocitymicro.com I ended up with $2500-$3000. Even Dell, would run me about as much or more. One of the the closer Dell configurations I worked up was $1600, but then I realized I was missing water cooling, a 2nd graphics card and XP Pro. The Dell XPS 410 also was somewhat comparable, but cost $300 more, in part due a bundle monitor worth $200 and still didn’t support a 2nd graphics card, didn’t include XP Pro. It is hard to say if my two hypothetical Dells would have been equally fast.
Not bundling XP Pro really complicates things for me, because as a power user, I really do use features like Remote Desktop, IIS, NTFS encryption and NTFS compression.

Well, I will try to review as many of these components as possible as soon as I build the computer.

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