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Hardware Recomendations

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Hello All


This is my first post here. I have been coming here regularly for about a month now, and i have to say it is really nice to see all the support that DFI / OCZ are giving to their customers.


Now that the semester is over and I'm heading back to the summer job, I will finally have the money to upgrade. I plan on ordering in the next few days or so and i have pretty much dicided on all the stuff in my signature, but I do have a few questions.


1. CPU - It seems to me that vinice is the way to go with it's updated/upgraded memory controller. Is there any reason to consider Winchester over Vinice?


2. Video Card - I think im pretty comfortable with a 6600GT. Most of the the gaming I do will be on Steam (CS: S, HL2 . . . ). And I'll probably actually finish Doom3 now that I have a PC that can run it. I guess im just wondering if an up grade to a 6800/X800 card is worth the extra $100 if you are going to be limited to 1280X1024 by and LCD anyway. And if 6600gt is the way I go what brad. Right now im looking at MSI (cheap) , Leadtek Extreme Ed. (supossedly good overcloker ?) or maybe Gigabyte Turbo Force (silent cooler). If anyone has any other brands/models I should look at let me know.


3. HSF - I figure im gonna need a litter beefier cooler than the stock HSF (plus you want something that looks sexy - haha). I think for now im gonna stay with air cooling and im just looking for some suggestions. From looking and post, signatures, and reviews, it seems as thou the Zalman 7000 series, Thermalright XP90/120 are the most popular and most effective. Should I just order whichever on happens to be on sale? Does either offer a significant advantage? Would the lighter weight of the thermalright be safer for moving the case (LAN parties, school) ?


- thanks


*** edit ***


If anyone has any questions or recomendations about other hardware not discussed (Hard drive, optical drives, soundcards ... ) feel free to post on this thread

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1.) CPU - If you have the cash, get a San Diego. Very good OC'ers, with very little increase in voltages. 3700+ seems to be the preferred one, with the 4000+ falling close behind. If those are past your budget, then get a 3200+ Venice, as those have been the best OC'ers out of the Venice class.


2.) Video Card - For PCIe, I would recommend the X800XL...great budget card, and very good performance. If you're an nVidia guy, then a 6600GT or 6800NU is a good choice...I don't know if you can do it with the PCIe, but I know with the 6800NU AGP's, you could sometimes unlock the pipes + 1 vertex shader for a little higher performance. Someone correct me / fill me in if I'm wrong.


3.) HSF - Definately XP-90. XP-120 is a lot bigger, more expensive, and doesn't seem to be that much more of an improvement over the 90. Get the XP-90, some AS5, and a nice Panaflo fan [3 choices: 48CFM @ 30dBA, 56CFM @ 35dBA, or 68CFM @ 43dBA], it will treat you very nicely. At stock speeds, my 3000+ Winchester runs at 28C idle in a 78F room :D


SVC actually has a sale on the XP-90 right now, you can get it for $24.99 with a $5 off coupon....search the forums, A_G posted it I think this morning.

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Thanks for the quick response,


I think i'll probably go with the XP90. It does seem to be pretty good base on price, size weight ...


I don't really have the cash to go to San Diego, but I could probably upgade to the 3200.


I have heard some abot the mods on the 6800nu's, but I do kinda want to stay socket 939/PCI-e incase i decide to upgrade to dual core later. I did see a review a while back on ExtremeTech (http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,1780531,00.asp) and I did have the 6600gt and the X800xl at almost the same $/FPS rating. These were the two cards i was looking at, they also have a few 6800 PCI-e cards out. But i just didn't think they were worth the extra $, case im not too terible concerned with high resolutions or AA/AF.


If anyone has a good recomendation for a brad/model of 6600gt based on price, OC performance, software buldle ... whatever let me know

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