2008, the year that was ….

And so we say goodbye to 2008.
A year marked with "change", but strangely, not much seems to have changed … yet.

Anyway, there’s a party on tonight to see in the new year! Enjoy yourselves, look after yourselves.

2 agents have particular reason to celebrate. After a wait of over a year and spending many many months of late night research  – the thrill is in the chase after all –  they’re finally acquiring  – yes, we’ve actually ordered – some of the latest hardware on the planet, not yet available locally, to build the (current) …
ultimate "bang for buck" gaming rig for under $2000
(Punters should note, this system does not include Monitor, kbd, mouse etc.)

Here’s the pick of the parts, how much (AU) and where from:

MOBO:  – Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5
(Intel X58+ICH10R, QPI 6.4GT/s, DDR3 2000,
PCI-Ex16, SATAII, RAID, IDE, 2xGbE LAN, 8ch audio, 2oc PCB,USB2,
Heatpipe.)    @
$438.90 – Ozdirect

CPU:  – Intel i7 920
(2.66Ghz/8MB/ 4.8GT QPI/ Quad Core)   @   
$385.00 – Yadmun Computers

RAM:  – G.Skill NQ 6G Kit (3x2G) DDR3 1333     @    $301.40 – Blacktea Tech

GRAPHICS:  – 896M Gigabyte GF GTX260+
(216SP) PCI-E 2.0 896MB GDDR3 448-bit 576/1242MHz Dual-Link DVI/ HDCP supported Smart Fan. (btt1-GV-N26OC-896H-B)    @      
$441.19 – Blacktea Tech 

POWER SUPPLY: Thermaltake 750W  Toughpower    @     $219 – Trident Trading, Ebay.

HDD:  – 3.5" WD SATA 720G     @    $105.00 – MSY

Total: $1890.49 + postage (about $90 all up)
(We only have the HDD’s to order, plus there’ll be some case fans and a $31 Pioneer 216 DVD burner etc from MSY.)

Doesnt leave much change from 2K, my most expensive PC ever, apart from the … pre Intel  PowerMac!

and Rich has got this caseCooler Master RC-590-KKN1 CM590 ATX Case, Black, NO
I’m using a good ol’ Antec Lanboy case I have spare.

Mobo choice came down to support for both Nvidia SLi and ATI’s Crossfire. First choice was the Asus P6T Deluxe, but you get no more for the extra $$ – aside from a lovely black PCB. The Gigabyte mobo’s have proven to be reliable at the Edge. The only difference between the UD5 and the more expensive Gigabyte Extreme mobo seemed to be the "silent-pipe" cooling set-up. The cheaper GA-DS4 is Crossfire only, no SLi. We prefer Nvidia cards as there drivers are tidier and usually more advanced than ATI’s and most of the games we play are designed for "Nvidia .. the way it’s meant to be played", if you buy into the advertising blub.

was NEARLY going to go for the 1666 RAM, but for $100 more, minimal
improvement for gaming (so-far) and only a small advantage for other aps, I decided the funds would be better spent elsewhere.

slightly more for the graphics card to make sure we got the GTX260+ OC
version, which is allegedly 15% faster than the earlier standard
version and not much less performance the much more expensive 280.
Aside from that, MSY currently haven’t any in stock.

I was thinking of
going with a cheaper 8800 or 9800 for now as the Gcard is currently the
bottleneck, and upgrading when the next Nvidia GDDR5 cards come out,
but what the hey, this one should do for a year or so.

I’ve been
researching this for MONTHS – hopefully this post may save someone else some time – I don’t believe you could currently build
a better system for the money. Paying a premium for the new X58 and i7 gear
should buy us some extension time at the tail end of it’s life,
hopefully we’ll get at least 5 years out of them, with a Gcard upgrade and
more/faster RAM maybe down the track as the price comes down.

These rigs should be up and humming around mid-January. Change is indeed a commin’!!

So wadda ya think? I’m sure the missus will be impressed – NOT – if she reads this.

Comments welcome.

081212 Mission Debriefing

PRESENT: Parts, Wood, Raw, Darklord, Fred, Tone

Pre-Christmas pre-game barbeque and socializing.
9.30 KO gaming.

Motopark Olshcherlsheebeen – D 1:02.61 T (knocked by D & W) R F P
Norris Ring – D 56.41 F (Knocked W taking "inside line")
Zandvoort – F 1:02.65 P W R D T (T & D missed the short course turnoff … twice!)
Brands Hatch Long –  F 1:23.79 W P D T R
Snetterton –  F D 1:09.22 W T R P
Surfers Paradise – F 1:49.76 D R T W P


V8 SUPERCARS – Collision OFF, Damage ON
Adelaide – D 1:10.64 F P W R T (was in lead, entered pits instead of last corner)
Pukekhoe – D F 1:45.81
Bargagallo – F P 40.72 W D R T
Eastern Creek – P  1:07.37 upset D by .01 R F W T (spin out on last lap)
Hidden Valley – F 51.14 D R P W T
Queenland Raceway – F D 52.31 R P T W
Sandown – D F 54.77 R P W T
Bathurst – D 1.42.84 F P T R
RESULT: D 1500 F 1496 P 1440 R 1386 W 1362 T 1310 (in a commodore)

Norris Ring City D P F W 47.37 T R
Zandvoort: D F 1:26.93 P W R T
Shanghi – D W 1:54.09 T P F (Blinded) R
Sandown – D T 1:02.09 F (Blinden more than once) P R W
D 1:55.85 W R F T P
Spa Francorpchamps – D P 2:11.29 F C W T
Oulton Park – D 1:25.50 F (unstuck last corner) R T W P
RESULT: D 1140 F 890 P 68 W 63  T 57 R

Carentan: T 11 P 12

Depart 1.45am


We are good for GO this Friday, 12/12.
Attention all agents, want a pre-game BBQ?
Then LET ME KNOW  by comment or email etc.
BYO affair if anyone’s interested, from about 6.45-7.00pm.
Anticipating a LATE evening, so tell your partners not to expect you home  🙂

– about bloody time!!

PS: check back for update comments closer to the event.