So you received an offer, but "they" don't even have the hardware in stock?They might have pre-built PCs ready but not the individual parts...
Exactly. The pre-built PC is in stock but the CPU and mobo are not available individually.
I wouldn't go for SLI, I don't need the juice (a GF8800GT/512meg does just fine) - costs too much, draws too much power, generates too much heat.
The GPUs are sufficient if a bit underpowered. Not really underpowered, but there are several offerings both from nVidia and ATI with similar prices as the two 9800GT (which is nothing more than a revision of f0dder's GPU), but better performance. You also avoid several of the SLI-induced headaches, and with a 19" monitor you won't be using resolutions that need so many power.
Okay, so I'll be honest here and say I don't know much about SLI/Crossfire. All I know is that two GPUs can connect together but I don't really know what the benefits of that happening are. Can someone explain to me what purpose SLI serves and go into some detail as to why or why not it's worth having SLI? Also, Lashiec, what sort of SLI-induced headaches are you talking about?
Would it be better to go for a single GPU that costs about as much as the 2 GPUs I intended to SLI? Is this a case where it's better to go for higher quality/more power at a higher price (individually) but since I'm planning on buying two of the less powerful GPus, buying one more powerful GPU would be about the same price or less?
Finally on the GPU topic, keep in mind that if I get a GPU setup that allows a very large native resolution then I would also be looking into (eventually) getting a larger monitor that could handle a larger resolution, like this
Am I the only person thinking that buying 1TB HDD is not wise?
I see that a little bit risky, not because the brand (or capacity) but from reliability point of view. Personally I'd rather go for two smaller disks for completely new PC. Shit happens and I would never store my data on one HDD only.
fenix: I wouldn't go with a single drive either, no matter what the capacity. For my storage needs, 2x500GB disks in a raid mirror would be quite adequate - and since I use a fileserver for bulk storage, I don't even need that much for my workstation.
As for the single hard drive issue, typically when I get a new computer I will backup my data and format my old computer, remove extra hard drives and put them in the new PC. I tend to leave the smallest hdd in the old PC and reinstall Windows so it's a functional computer but just without a lot of HDD space. So if I were to get this new PC I'd probably also have my 500GB and 300GB in it as well.
I have never set up a RAID and I don't plan on doing that. I know I probably ought to but I just can't stand the idea of having two 1TB drives but only being able to use 1 TB because everything is mirrored onto the second hdd. I know this is wrong, but it just feels like such a waste of space.
3. Sure, as fenixproductions and f0dder said, two hard drives (or three, or even four...) is not a bad idea. You have several options there: a small one for the OS and applications and a big one for the rest of the data
That's how my current PC is set up. 80GB for Windows drive and Program Files. 300GB and 500GB for games and other data. But I still don't back anything up like I should.
Dunno about PSU - I got a 700W, but even when maxxed out, my system draws ~250W or so... and that's with a 2.4GHz Q6600 overclocked to 3GHz. I'd probably have been better off with a decent 400W PSU, from what i understand a PSU runs most effectively near the power consumption it was designed for.
I think with SLI I would need at least a 600W PSU. The original pre-built PC only had a 650W PSU in it but I decided to go for a 750W PSU because I thought the more electricity you've got for your gear, the better. If that's not the case then I could probably save some money by going down to a lower wattage.
A thermal compound is not really necessary, probably all coolers carry one, and IIRC the Core i7 one carries its own thermal compound patch so you don't have to spread it over the CPU.
I figured I might need the thermal compound for the Thermaltake CPU cooler. Speaking of which, are there any opinions on whether or not I'd need the beast of a CPU cooler? I don't ever mess around with overclocking my machine, but I do play games which tend to make things run hot. Is the stock Core i7 cooler sufficient and/or is the Thermaltake upgrade necessary?
12GB is overkill, you'd probably be fine with 6GB. I'd personally go for 12GB though, as I've gotten used to 8GB in my workstation, and 12GB would allow for even larger permanent ramdisks
1. Sure, 12 GB is overkill. Dunno what kind of apps you run, but you have to be a seriously heavy multi-tasker using heavy apps to take advantage of that. 4 GB, or 6 GB if you use a Core i7 (to take advantage of triple channel) is more adequate IMO, you save money and you still get quite some memory to go crazy (based on my experiences with 2 GB of RAM).
I haven't bought desktop RAM for a while, but when I found out I could buy 12GB for $200 (especially when the 12GB kit was ~$265) I just about peed myself with giddiness. The price seems really good to me. My other concern is that if I only buy 6GB now, then later when I consider getting the other 6GB, it would be a different brand/type/speed, and therefore not efficient. But maybe that's changed as well. Since it's triple channel, would all 6 sticks run at the slowest stick's speed? Or would I just need to make sure that each trio was the same, and one trio could run slower while another trio could run faster?
You both said that 12GB is overkill, and yet, f0dder, you said you'd go for it anyway, which surprised me. Last I'd heard, there weren't really any applications out there built to handle more than 2GB of RAM, even on a 64-bit OS. Out of curiosity, are you running a 64-bit OS? (Vista?) How much of your 8GB are you using for ramdisks? And, erm, what is a ramdisk and what are the benefits and drawbacks of a ramdisk?
Do you really need such big gear now?
2. Cost-wise, it would be a good idea to take a look to the Phenom II or the older Core 2 (Duo or Quad), maybe even wait for the i5. The Core i7 may be the fastest processor available, but it has a matching price, including the motherboard, and on most tasks you will be hard-pressed to notice an advantage (again, depending on what you do with the computer).
You both bring up a good point. Is the Core i7 necessary? I can tell you I would notice an advantage from my current single-core machine. But is there a noticeable difference between a Core 2 Quad and the Core i7? I don't know the answer to that.
I don't really need a new PC. My current one is working okay right now. I tried to run Crysis and that didn't go over very well. I also tried Unreal Tournament 3 and I think that was just as bad. When it comes to games, my machine could certainly use an upgrade. But my PC handles just about everything else I do just fine.