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#1 azrael

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 09:45 AM

Old thread: http://www.macrosswo...showtopic=28124

In order to make things easier when making recommendations for a new system, in the future, please include answers to these questions if you want a recommendation. Feel free to add additional details where applicable.

"Recommend me a system" questionnaire (answer questions in the section that applies)
Laptops
1) What is the intended usage of this system? (ex. Internet/Email/Office/Pictures/Movies/Gaming/Server/CAD/Media Center/etc.)
2) What operating system will you use? (ex. Windows/Mac OS/Linux/etc.)
3) How much are you planning to spend or What is your intended budget for this system?
4) How big of a screen size or How important is the screen size?
5) Do you intend to use an external display/monitor?
6) Do you intend on traveling with the laptop or will the system remain stationary?
7) How important is the battery life or How much usage do you expect on battery only?

Desktops and Servers
1) What is the intended usage of this system? (ex. Internet/Email/Office/Pictures/Movies/Gaming/Server/CAD/Media Center/etc.)
2) What operating system will you use? (ex. Windows/Mac OS/Linux/etc.)
3) How much are you planning to spend or what is your intended budget for this system?
4) Do you intend to buy a pre-built or a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) system?



#2 mikeszekely

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 08:00 PM

Posts have been made in the Xbox thread and PS3 thread for sharing Gamertags/PSN IDs, yet no one's made any for PC gaming yet. Is that because PC gaming is more decentralized? There's still some communities out there, like Steam, and I wouldn't mind adding a few people to my Steam friends (especially since almost all of my other friends are exclusively console gamers).

Anyway, my Steam ID is the same as my MW handle, mikeszekely.

#3 light

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 08:52 PM

It seems as if there is not enough money in the desktop gaming for companies to keep investing, so they spend their days in console game making and console building.
Also it difficult for many people to deal with many technical aspects of computer building and instead of denying that they seemed to just rid themselves of it.

But I am with you I still like the desktop gaming and there is still plenty of gaming to do.

And it will be back desktop gaming has to make a come back because gaming will improve

Just as hard drives took a long time to improve so will desktops

#4 shiroikaze

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 09:02 PM

Pretty much.

Shiroi Kaze
You can catch me mostly playing Team Fortress 2 with my little brother and/or with his clanmates/friends/common server-goers, but I pop up occasionally in Left 4 Dead and Age of Chivalry.

#5 mikeszekely

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 01:08 PM

QUOTE (shiroikaze @ Apr 7 2010, 01:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Pretty much.

Shiroi Kaze
You can catch me mostly playing Team Fortress 2 with my little brother and/or with his clanmates/friends/common server-goers, but I pop up occasionally in Left 4 Dead and Age of Chivalry.

Sent you an invite.

And if anyone sends me an invite, could you please post your Steam name here? I got an invite from one ^1Vlad, and I'd like to know who it is before I go accepting invites willy-nilly.

#6 myk

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 01:22 AM

QUOTE (light @ Apr 6 2010, 07:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It seems as if there is not enough money in the desktop gaming for companies to keep investing, so they spend their days in console game making and console building.
Also it difficult for many people to deal with many technical aspects of computer building and instead of denying that they seemed to just rid themselves of it.


That's just it though. People want things easy and consoles give people games without the muss and fuss of having to tune your rig to play the latest games. I mean, I was seriously tempted to abandon my system upgrade to play the new AvP and other games, just so I could be free of the hassle and just power my console on. I see desktop gaming as becoming even more of a niche/specialty as the years go on. Once again, people don't want to have to work to play and that's just the sad truth of it all. For me though, I'm planning on SLI in the upcoming months-screw consoles...

#7 Knight26

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 04:08 PM

HELP!!!! MY LAPTOP TOOK A CRAP ON ME, AND I HAVEN'T BACKED IT UP FOR A WHILE!!!!

THe situation is as follows. I brought my LT into work today since I have a long mission and we are allowed to for those, and it was a bumpy ride in because I had to stop by a friends who lives on a dirt road. Anyway as soon as I power it up I notice it hot, figure, ugh forgot to turn it off, so I cool it down in the fridge for a while, my old LT had that problem. AFter cool down same problem. I turn the power on, even did a hard reset, and all I get is the main status lights and a blank screen. THe hard drive spins for a second then stops, but a blank screen, no cursor, nothing. My first thought was, screen died, but no sounds, no hard drive nothing, I can't even get it to load the BIOS. So I am hoping that I just shook something loose. Any ideas out there on what I might have done, and whether or not I have completely toasted my unit?

#8 azrael

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 04:33 PM

QUOTE (Knight26 @ Apr 9 2010, 05:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
THe situation is as follows. I brought my LT into work today since I have a long mission and we are allowed to for those, and it was a bumpy ride in because I had to stop by a friends who lives on a dirt road. Anyway as soon as I power it up I notice it hot, figure, ugh forgot to turn it off, so I cool it down in the fridge for a while, my old LT had that problem. AFter cool down same problem. I turn the power on, even did a hard reset, and all I get is the main status lights and a blank screen. THe hard drive spins for a second then stops, but a blank screen, no cursor, nothing. My first thought was, screen died, but no sounds, no hard drive nothing, I can't even get it to load the BIOS. So I am hoping that I just shook something loose. Any ideas out there on what I might have done, and whether or not I have completely toasted my unit?

  • Is your battery still in good shape? Remove the battery and see if you can power up with just the AC adapter.
  • Attach a monitor to it and see if you can get video out.
  • Do you have an external hard drive enclosure? Does it work for your laptop hard drive? Take out your hard drive and see if you can use another computer to read it. If all looks good, your data should be fine.


#9 Ghost Train

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 04:40 PM

Sticking a laptop inside a fridge might not be such a good idea. The inevitable condensation that occurs far outweighs any rapid cooldown effect. A good old electric fan will do.

#10 Knight26

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 04:49 PM

QUOTE (azrael @ Apr 9 2010, 05:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
  • Is your battery still in good shape? Remove the battery and see if you can power up with just the AC adapter.
  • Attach a monitor to it and see if you can get video out.
  • Do you have an external hard drive enclosure? Does it work for your laptop hard drive? Take out your hard drive and see if you can use another computer to read it. If all looks good, your data should be fine.


The battery checked out ok, checked it with and without the battery, with and without AC.
I will try hooking up to another monitor in a little bit, see what comes up.
I need to get an enclosure, but one of my Lieutenants may have one.

AS for the fridge, dude I'm at Edwards in the High Desert, there is like 0 humidity today, but I don't plan to do that again.

#11 Knight26

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 04:55 PM

Ok, tried an external monitor, no joy, wasn't getting any signal at all.

I have an idea though on how to check the hard drive, I have two old laptops at home, one working, the other, well not sure, what if I thow the hard drive in one of those, will I risk scragging something or should that be kosher?

Edited by Knight26, 09 April 2010 - 05:01 PM.


#12 mikeszekely

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 07:37 PM

QUOTE (Knight26 @ Apr 9 2010, 08:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ok, tried an external monitor, no joy, wasn't getting any signal at all.

I have an idea though on how to check the hard drive, I have two old laptops at home, one working, the other, well not sure, what if I thow the hard drive in one of those, will I risk scragging something or should that be kosher?

Windows may freak out if it's missing drivers, and will probably de-activate because of the radically different hardware. But as long as the connection is the same (that is, both IDE or both SATA) it should at least boot.

#13 Knight26

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 09:16 PM

QUOTE (mikeszekely @ Apr 9 2010, 08:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Windows may freak out if it's missing drivers, and will probably de-activate because of the radically different hardware. But as long as the connection is the same (that is, both IDE or both SATA) it should at least boot.


Ok that is what I wanted to make sure of, that way I can check the hard drive out and make sure it is ok before I get an enclosure, then I can start troubleshooting the cause.

Anyone have any suggestions on where to start, obviously the control panle, status display, and hard drive are getting power, as are the stupid external lights, but nothing else appears to be powering on.

#14 azrael

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 09:32 PM

QUOTE (mikeszekely @ Apr 9 2010, 08:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Windows may freak out if it's missing drivers, and will probably de-activate because of the radically different hardware. But as long as the connection is the same (that is, both IDE or both SATA) it should at least boot.

If you want to be safe and just make sure it's working, try booting to safe mode.


QUOTE (Knight26 @ Apr 9 2010, 10:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Anyone have any suggestions on where to start, obviously the control panle, status display, and hard drive are getting power, as are the stupid external lights, but nothing else appears to be powering on.

Is the laptop's CPU fan spinning? Or does it spin up then die down? When you said it was hot, was it hot to the touch (i.e., if it was any hotter, you'd need oven mitts) or just warm?

Right now, I'm thinking either the video card (if it's not integrated video) is gone or something on the motherboard is but I can't be sure.


#15 Knight26

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 09:44 PM

QUOTE (azrael @ Apr 9 2010, 10:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you want to be safe and just make sure it's working, try booting to safe mode.



Is the laptop's CPU fan spinning? Or does it spin up then die down? When you said it was hot, was it hot to the touch (i.e., if it was any hotter, you'd need oven mitts) or just warm?

Right now, I'm thinking either the video card (if it's not integrated video) is gone or something on the motherboard is but I can't be sure.


It was hot to the touch like it had been running really hard for too long, like I was running a really graphics intensive program for a hours on end, so I figured it just got too hot and shut itself off, my old LT did that all the time when its fan died. I could handle it fine but I wouldn't want to be hugging it for long periods, so somewhere between warm and hot.

I never hear the CPU fan spin up, but when I first noticed the problem the main cooling fan was spinning IIRC, so that made me think overheat. I'm pretty sure the video card is seperate, so maybe it just shook loose when I hit a pothole or something, or maybe the power line feeding the motherboard did, I'm not sure how this critter is wired internally, I've never really dug into an LT before. My biggest hope is that HD is intact, if it is then I can deal with other repairs or having to replace the whole thing if necessary after I move this summer, probably with a desktop since I will have a proper office again after the move.

#16 light

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 10:46 PM

If you take the hard drive out and you dont want windows to go funky on you then; keep the hard drive that is running the laptop as the first harddrive then take the hot computers harddrive as the second or external hard drive that way the computer will not boot on with the hot laptops drive and windows will not recognize it as the booting harddrive.

lol in windows 98 i would always do this so that I could get rid of a virus or any other problem that was holding my old hard drives back but I was doing it on a desktop; but i know almost as a fact that i will do the same on a desktop.

#17 Knight26

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 06:58 AM

Ok update:

I swapped the HD between my good LT, and this POS Acer my uncle gave me a couple years ago. The Acer started to boot off of my hard drive then crashed due to a hardware configuration error, I'm guessing the hardware between the two is too different. I then slipped the Acer HD into my LT and powered on, same symptoms, but since the casing was off I was able to hear the HD spinning. ANyway I swapped the two HD back and the Acer starts normally with its HD any LT is displaying the same symptoms, but I can hear the HD spinning.

So give me some good news does that mean the HD is probably OK and if I throw it in an enclosure I can save the data?

And, where the heck do I go from here? Mind you there should be some sound and video at start up and there is nothing, should I look at the motherboard, BIOS chip, RAM, Power supply, or the CPU?

#18 mikeszekely

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 07:13 AM

QUOTE (Knight26 @ Apr 10 2010, 10:58 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ok update:

I swapped the HD between my good LT, and this POS Acer my uncle gave me a couple years ago. The Acer started to boot off of my hard drive then crashed due to a hardware configuration error, I'm guessing the hardware between the two is too different. I then slipped the Acer HD into my LT and powered on, same symptoms, but since the casing was off I was able to hear the HD spinning. ANyway I swapped the two HD back and the Acer starts normally with its HD any LT is displaying the same symptoms, but I can hear the HD spinning.

So give me some good news does that mean the HD is probably OK and if I throw it in an enclosure I can save the data?

And, where the heck do I go from here? Mind you there should be some sound and video at start up and there is nothing, should I look at the motherboard, BIOS chip, RAM, Power supply, or the CPU?

Without running the usual suite of tools, my snap diagnosis would be heat damage to the motherboard or GPU (damage to the CPU should cause a post error). You may try to get it repaired, but due to the difficulty of repairing laptops (and thus the expense), if I was in your shoes I'd look to buy an external enclosure for the hard drive (Best Buy and Staples sell an Antec one for around $40, but you can find them cheaper online), then replace the entire laptop.

#19 Knight26

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 07:32 AM

Success!!! I should always, always, always, trust my first instincts on these things. I went in and reseated everything I could easily, the RAM, the fan, the Video Card, and some unit that I still have no clue other than it was from intel, and now it works. The only thing that looked even marginally unseated was the fan power unit, and maybe that intel thing, now that I think about it more I don't think I heard the fan come on at all when I was troubleshooting earlier. I wonder if that could have been the root cause, maybe there is a safety in the machine that won't let you run it without the fan, good idea really, but annoying.

Thanks for the help all, I am now going to back that witch up.

#20 mikeszekely

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 07:41 AM

QUOTE (Knight26 @ Apr 10 2010, 11:32 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
some unit that I still have no clue other than it was from intel, and now it works. The only thing that looked even marginally unseated was the fan power unit, and maybe that intel thing,

The northbridge? A northbridge chip usually handles communication between the CPU, GPU, and RAM. If it had come unseated, that'd definitely cause problems like you described.

#21 azrael

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 12:15 PM

QUOTE (mikeszekely @ Apr 10 2010, 08:41 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The northbridge? A northbridge chip usually handles communication between the CPU, GPU, and RAM. If it had come unseated, that'd definitely cause problems like you described.

Hmmmm...considering that some of that stuff is usually soldered in...having it loose is probably not a good thing.


#22 Knight26

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 02:06 PM

It was some kind of small daughter board, it was unusual in that it had two leads coming off of it

#23 azrael

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 02:15 PM

QUOTE (Knight26 @ Apr 10 2010, 03:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It was some kind of small daughter board, it was unusual in that it had two leads coming off of it

Could have been a wireless network card. That's the only other thing I can think of.

#24 Knight26

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 02:27 PM

That could be it, I'm still betting that the power cable to the fan coming loose may have been what killed it, some sort of safety protocol

#25 Dangaioh

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 10:50 PM

QUOTE (mikeszekely @ Apr 7 2010, 12:00 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Posts have been made in the Xbox thread and PS3 thread for sharing Gamertags/PSN IDs, yet no one's made any for PC gaming yet. Is that because PC gaming is more decentralized? There's still some communities out there, like Steam, and I wouldn't mind adding a few people to my Steam friends (especially since almost all of my other friends are exclusively console gamers).

Anyway, my Steam ID is the same as my MW handle, mikeszekely.


alright, going to add you in as my "steam" buddy. my steam handle: hentaipockystick. huh.gif

#26 light

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 11:20 PM

QUOTE (myk @ Apr 8 2010, 04:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That's just it though. People want things easy and consoles give people games without the muss and fuss of having to tune your rig to play the latest games. I mean, I was seriously tempted to abandon my system upgrade to play the new AvP and other games, just so I could be free of the hassle and just power my console on. I see desktop gaming as becoming even more of a niche/specialty as the years go on. Once again, people don't want to have to work to play and that's just the sad truth of it all. For me though, I'm planning on SLI in the upcoming months-screw consoles...


Consoles are far to limited, four buttons or so is just not enough for some games yes but for the majority it is extremely limiting. There is no growth there, for example I may not use all of the buttons on a computer this year in a game but next year when I become much better at a game then I would be able to access them.

And yes I know a lot of people say you can add a keyboard to your console but guess what you are basically making a low grade desktop.....

#27 Ghost Train

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 08:04 AM

I am old enough to have witnessed several iterations of the "Console is dead" vs "PC gaming is dead" debate.

It normally goes like this:...
When a new generation of consoles comes out: "OMG PC GAMING IZ D3AD!!!1!!"
After the console has aged for a few years -> "OMG CONS0L3S SUcKKKKK!!!!! INF1N1T3 POWERUPS R f0r TEH N00bS! My 3d MARK SCORE IS OVER 90000!!!"
And repeat.

It has happened before and it will happen again. /queue in All Along the Watchtower.

Personally, I've been in a financial crunch the past few years because of graduate school, so I'm a console man for now. I foresee dumping a small fortune into PC upgrades and games again once I return to full time employment in August. But playing consoles has made me realize that there is a limit to how much spectacular graphics and audio enhance gaming experience. Up to a certain point, it will do nothing further for me. As a case in point, I love anything HL2 related, and the engine is quite ancient by today's standards. Also, some of the more enjoyable console games I've played gives up graphical realism in favor of more creative approaches - the game that comes to mind is the Canvas system of Valkyria Chronicles.

#28 shiroikaze

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 10:15 PM

QUOTE (light @ Apr 13 2010, 12:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
...four buttons...

Don't forget the shoulder buttons and the analog stick button rolleyes.gif

Edited by shiroikaze, 13 April 2010 - 10:16 PM.


#29 light

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 09:45 PM

Well if I had a budget "lol" I would love the market right now, I could build my ultimate machine again. I have one or two stored away but I need to stick parts in them.

The funny part about technology is that sometimes the world gets in a mode were it produces a ton of competitive "Awesome Tech" and then it is forgotten about because the world is moving fast in that time period.

But I haven't forgotten!!!!

A year or so back there was some awesome stuff that came out that would be dirt cheap about now for desktops. I also remember having a mouse type device that was for rpg play; it had about twenty buttons on it that were programmable, man do i wish I still had that one. That is just one example of some of the stuff that is dirt cheap.


There is some great tech for desktops out there that is really cheap right now.... it will be a boon for those that can look back just a little and pick it up.

#30 myk

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 11:26 PM

Yeah, I know all about "if" lol...

#31 VT 1010

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 07:34 AM

Speaking of an ultimate gaming rig, I'm looking to build my next one soon. I would appreciate the thoughts and opinions of this thread's more knowledgeable members.

CPU: Intel Core i7-975
Motherboard: ASUS P6T Deluxe V2
RAM: Corsair Dominator 8GB DDR3 1333
GPU: (2x) ATI Radeon HD 5970
PSU: hec Cougar 1000
Case: ABS Canyon 695
HDD: (2x) WD Caviar 1TB 7200rpm
OS: Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit

I'll be using an X-Fi Ultimate and two BD drives from my old system as well.

If anyone has any other recommendations or anything, my hardware budget is about $3600-$3700 or so (I can get a legal copy of W7 for $20, so that's not a factor here). I also don't intend to do any overclocking either.

BTW...does anyone know where I can even find two 5970's in stock? rolleyes.gif



#32 VF-19

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 07:42 AM

You could always buy one, and get the other one later. I don't think the 5970s will be too picky about who made that particular 5970.

#33 light

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 11:32 AM

VT1010;

That case is awesome looks like wheels will fit easy; also some people are buying a rom or solid state first harddrive for speed and making their second harddrive a uber sized hampster runner or aka rpm 7200. At least that is what i waz thinkin, and Asus gives so much on their board and they are so easy to diagram good choice.

Oh did not see the power supply make sure it is larger than what is asked for by a good amount especially if your running sli or 2x in general.

#34 kensei

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 07:53 AM

QUOTE (VT 1010 @ Apr 16 2010, 11:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Speaking of an ultimate gaming rig, I'm looking to build my next one soon. I would appreciate the thoughts and opinions of this thread's more knowledgeable members.

CPU: Intel Core i7-975
Motherboard: ASUS P6T Deluxe V2
RAM: Corsair Dominator 8GB DDR3 1333
GPU: (2x) ATI Radeon HD 5970
PSU: hec Cougar 1000
Case: ABS Canyon 695
HDD: (2x) WD Caviar 1TB 7200rpm
OS: Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit

I'll be using an X-Fi Ultimate and two BD drives from my old system as well.

If anyone has any other recommendations or anything, my hardware budget is about $3600-$3700 or so (I can get a legal copy of W7 for $20, so that's not a factor here). I also don't intend to do any overclocking either.


Good rig, and choice of motherboard too. Mine is almost the same as yours, except I got dual GTX295s and a ASUS Rampage II Extreme motherboard. The P6T is great cause there is less of a failure rate, my Rampage failed a week into use.

Just to let you know, if you chose to have dual 5970s, you will not have room for a wireless card. I have to use a USB dongle when I am not LANing. With the multiple monitor support for 5970s right now, I would only get one, plenty of power. If you can, just chuck in one 128 GB SSD for the OS and it could possibly beat out my rig.


#35 Roy Focker

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 08:08 AM

Okay trying to make some screen grabs from my blu-rays.

Seems I can't.

Tried to adjust the Hardware Acceleration.

Seems I can't do that with Windows 7.





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