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
PSU 
$105.00
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.

I
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.

Paid
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.

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11 responses to “2008, the year that was ….

  1. Hi, I was thinking of having gaming this Friday, but I’m still getting over New Year’s ;)Well, that and way too much late night research on the new build.Hopefully all the bits will get here this comming week and the 16th will be BUILD NIGHT – so no gaming :(The following week, the 23rd is Aust. Day long weekend …. and I’m going camping 🙂 – so no gaming.THE NEXT OPORTUNITY FOR GAMING NIGHT LOOKS SET TO BE …FRIDAY JANUARY 30, 2009.If anyone DESPERATELY wants to game THIS Friday,LET ME KNOW ASAP .. TODAY, and we’ll organise it.

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  2. oh by the way my new case is f**king monsterous its massive but looks awesum and will cool my new i7 very well 🙂

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  3. WHAT??!!! The DL’s building an i7 rig too???I knew it wouldn’t be long, DL’s NEVER outgunned for long, but I weren’t expecting that move!So what mobo/processor etc. did you pick? And have you got them yet?I think the pigeon carrying our Gcards has got lost over Bass Straight!!!Looks like you and me so far Craig.

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  4. I slept well last night. So what the hey … IT’S ON!!!Might as well get the most out of the old rig.Txt msgs & emails about to be sent out.Cheers!

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  5. now i just gotta find abit of foam to stick on the floor of the car :), this pc’s getting the deluxe treatment

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  6. Don’t tell me Raw’s got a new PC too??HELP, HELP … Rich, our thunda’s been stolen! :)Our Graphics cards arrived today … nothing to strap them into though, but they’re on their way … Maybe next week. Maybe.I haven’t heard from ANYONE … so no advance on us 3 … yet.

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  7. 1700 hrs – UPDATED HEADS-UP."Parts & Kizz r good to go."Tone will be there … duh.Raw and DL are penciled in … hope they’re comin?COULD BE 5 AT LEAST.Woodie has to work Sat, so won’t be participating.No further communique received … slack bstrds 😉

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