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Mad Cow's Build a Killer Gaming Rig on a Budget Thread

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Ended up buying a different SSD than the SSDs suggested here. I went with a Corsair P128. It was a little more in price than the Intel, but I have to say I am very impressed. The only thing I had an issue with was a 2.5 to 3.5 adaptor to fit in a HD slot. I bought this Icy Dock. A total POS in terms of the interface, but does the job. Naturally Windows 7 would not recognize it with the interface. Not sure if any of the folks with the Intel SSD and adaptor had any problems, but what I ended up doing was basically ripping the SATA interface out of the box and cutting all the vent holes in the back. Then I hooked up power and SATA through the back of it. I found a $50 coupon for NE I didn't realize I had so I didn't really lose anything buying the Adaptor. Loving the Corsair SSD and recommend it (sold out on NE, but I am sure t is available elsewhere). I realize no TRIM, but I don't think it makes a difference for me.

Edited by Osaurus

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Ended up buying a different SSD than the SSDs suggested here. I went with a Corsair P128. It was a little more in price than the Intel, but I have to say I am very impressed. The only thing I had an issue with was a 2.5 to 3.5 adaptor to fit in a HD slot. I bought this Icy Dock. A total POS in terms of the interface, but does the job. Naturally Windows 7 would not recognize it with the interface. Not sure if any of the folks with the Intel SSD and adaptor had any problems, but what I ended up doing was basically ripping the SATA interface out of the box and cutting all the vent holes in the back. Then I hooked up power and SATA through the back of it. I found a $50 coupon for NE I didn't realize I had so I didn't really lose anything buying the Adaptor. Loving the Corsair SSD and recommend it (sold out on NE, but I am sure t is available elsewhere). I realize no TRIM, but I don't think it makes a difference for me.

No TRIM :D

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Ended up buying a different SSD than the SSDs suggested here. I went with a Corsair P128. It was a little more in price than the Intel, but I have to say I am very impressed. The only thing I had an issue with was a 2.5 to 3.5 adaptor to fit in a HD slot. I bought this Icy Dock. A total POS in terms of the interface, but does the job. Naturally Windows 7 would not recognize it with the interface. Not sure if any of the folks with the Intel SSD and adaptor had any problems, but what I ended up doing was basically ripping the SATA interface out of the box and cutting all the vent holes in the back. Then I hooked up power and SATA through the back of it. I found a $50 coupon for NE I didn't realize I had so I didn't really lose anything buying the Adaptor. Loving the Corsair SSD and recommend it (sold out on NE, but I am sure t is available elsewhere). I realize no TRIM, but I don't think it makes a difference for me.

No TRIM :popcorn:
nope

FYI Saw this article this morning

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Ended up buying a different SSD than the SSDs suggested here. I went with a Corsair P128. It was a little more in price than the Intel, but I have to say I am very impressed. The only thing I had an issue with was a 2.5 to 3.5 adaptor to fit in a HD slot. I bought this Icy Dock. A total POS in terms of the interface, but does the job. Naturally Windows 7 would not recognize it with the interface. Not sure if any of the folks with the Intel SSD and adaptor had any problems, but what I ended up doing was basically ripping the SATA interface out of the box and cutting all the vent holes in the back. Then I hooked up power and SATA through the back of it. I found a $50 coupon for NE I didn't realize I had so I didn't really lose anything buying the Adaptor. Loving the Corsair SSD and recommend it (sold out on NE, but I am sure t is available elsewhere). I realize no TRIM, but I don't think it makes a difference for me.

Combo deal came with the Icy Dock SSD converter as well, for $240. I am in the SSD club now fellas. :goodposting:

Just an FYI homie:

That Icy Dock convertor combo is the same that I got, and the converter is why my SSD didn't show up when I first got it together. I ended up going with this:

Rosewill RX-C201 Dual-bay 2.5" SATA SSD/HDD to 3.5" SATA HDD JBOD Converter

It connects with a floppy power cord, of which my PSU had none, so I had to get this as well:

Cord

But, it works MUCH better than that Icy Dock converter.

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The wait for the 5800 series cards is starting to kill me. What is the next best option? The comparable nvidia cards are not coming down in price like you would expect. I guess the ATI supply problem is keeping them high.

Bump from post 50 wasteland.

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The wait for the 5800 series cards is starting to kill me. What is the next best option? The comparable nvidia cards are not coming down in price like you would expect. I guess the ATI supply problem is keeping them high.

Give it a couple of weeks, GB.

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Ended up buying a different SSD than the SSDs suggested here. I went with a Corsair P128. It was a little more in price than the Intel, but I have to say I am very impressed. The only thing I had an issue with was a 2.5 to 3.5 adaptor to fit in a HD slot. I bought this Icy Dock. A total POS in terms of the interface, but does the job. Naturally Windows 7 would not recognize it with the interface. Not sure if any of the folks with the Intel SSD and adaptor had any problems, but what I ended up doing was basically ripping the SATA interface out of the box and cutting all the vent holes in the back. Then I hooked up power and SATA through the back of it. I found a $50 coupon for NE I didn't realize I had so I didn't really lose anything buying the Adaptor. Loving the Corsair SSD and recommend it (sold out on NE, but I am sure t is available elsewhere). I realize no TRIM, but I don't think it makes a difference for me.

No TRIM :confused:
nope

FYI Saw this article this morning

Glad I haven't done my build yet! Thanks for the post.

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The wait for the 5800 series cards is starting to kill me. What is the next best option? The comparable nvidia cards are not coming down in price like you would expect. I guess the ATI supply problem is keeping them high.

Give it a couple of weeks, GB.
:confused:

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Ended up buying a different SSD than the SSDs suggested here. I went with a Corsair P128. It was a little more in price than the Intel, but I have to say I am very impressed. The only thing I had an issue with was a 2.5 to 3.5 adaptor to fit in a HD slot. I bought this Icy Dock. A total POS in terms of the interface, but does the job. Naturally Windows 7 would not recognize it with the interface. Not sure if any of the folks with the Intel SSD and adaptor had any problems, but what I ended up doing was basically ripping the SATA interface out of the box and cutting all the vent holes in the back. Then I hooked up power and SATA through the back of it. I found a $50 coupon for NE I didn't realize I had so I didn't really lose anything buying the Adaptor. Loving the Corsair SSD and recommend it (sold out on NE, but I am sure t is available elsewhere). I realize no TRIM, but I don't think it makes a difference for me.

I had absolutely no problems with the Icy Dock. Slapped it in, recognized and installed like a dream.

Have the 64-bit OS in hand now so will be installing it today. :lmao:

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Ended up buying a different SSD than the SSDs suggested here. I went with a Corsair P128. It was a little more in price than the Intel, but I have to say I am very impressed. The only thing I had an issue with was a 2.5 to 3.5 adaptor to fit in a HD slot. I bought this Icy Dock. A total POS in terms of the interface, but does the job. Naturally Windows 7 would not recognize it with the interface. Not sure if any of the folks with the Intel SSD and adaptor had any problems, but what I ended up doing was basically ripping the SATA interface out of the box and cutting all the vent holes in the back. Then I hooked up power and SATA through the back of it. I found a $50 coupon for NE I didn't realize I had so I didn't really lose anything buying the Adaptor. Loving the Corsair SSD and recommend it (sold out on NE, but I am sure t is available elsewhere). I realize no TRIM, but I don't think it makes a difference for me.

I had absolutely no problems with the Icy Dock. Slapped it in, recognized and installed like a dream.

Have the 64-bit OS in hand now so will be installing it today. :lmao:

You'll have to pardon my ignorance, but what is it exactly the Icy Dock does? Would the SSD by itself not "fit" in a normal casing? (sorry, i've been out of the computer build game for a bit).

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Ended up buying a different SSD than the SSDs suggested here. I went with a Corsair P128. It was a little more in price than the Intel, but I have to say I am very impressed. The only thing I had an issue with was a 2.5 to 3.5 adaptor to fit in a HD slot. I bought this Icy Dock. A total POS in terms of the interface, but does the job. Naturally Windows 7 would not recognize it with the interface. Not sure if any of the folks with the Intel SSD and adaptor had any problems, but what I ended up doing was basically ripping the SATA interface out of the box and cutting all the vent holes in the back. Then I hooked up power and SATA through the back of it. I found a $50 coupon for NE I didn't realize I had so I didn't really lose anything buying the Adaptor. Loving the Corsair SSD and recommend it (sold out on NE, but I am sure t is available elsewhere). I realize no TRIM, but I don't think it makes a difference for me.

I had absolutely no problems with the Icy Dock. Slapped it in, recognized and installed like a dream.

Have the 64-bit OS in hand now so will be installing it today. :excited:

You'll have to pardon my ignorance, but what is it exactly the Icy Dock does? Would the SSD by itself not "fit" in a normal casing? (sorry, i've been out of the computer build game for a bit).
SSDs are 2.5". Standard HDD cages are 3.5". This, and the one I linked to above converts it to fit.

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Ended up buying a different SSD than the SSDs suggested here. I went with a Corsair P128. It was a little more in price than the Intel, but I have to say I am very impressed. The only thing I had an issue with was a 2.5 to 3.5 adaptor to fit in a HD slot. I bought this Icy Dock. A total POS in terms of the interface, but does the job. Naturally Windows 7 would not recognize it with the interface. Not sure if any of the folks with the Intel SSD and adaptor had any problems, but what I ended up doing was basically ripping the SATA interface out of the box and cutting all the vent holes in the back. Then I hooked up power and SATA through the back of it. I found a $50 coupon for NE I didn't realize I had so I didn't really lose anything buying the Adaptor. Loving the Corsair SSD and recommend it (sold out on NE, but I am sure t is available elsewhere). I realize no TRIM, but I don't think it makes a difference for me.

I had absolutely no problems with the Icy Dock. Slapped it in, recognized and installed like a dream.

Have the 64-bit OS in hand now so will be installing it today. :excited:

You'll have to pardon my ignorance, but what is it exactly the Icy Dock does? Would the SSD by itself not "fit" in a normal casing? (sorry, i've been out of the computer build game for a bit).
It is too small to fit by itself. If you get the retail version of the SSD's, they come with a 3.5 inch adapter, but the Icy Dock just seems better for protection. That has been my experience anyway.

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Ended up buying a different SSD than the SSDs suggested here. I went with a Corsair P128. It was a little more in price than the Intel, but I have to say I am very impressed. The only thing I had an issue with was a 2.5 to 3.5 adaptor to fit in a HD slot. I bought this Icy Dock. A total POS in terms of the interface, but does the job. Naturally Windows 7 would not recognize it with the interface. Not sure if any of the folks with the Intel SSD and adaptor had any problems, but what I ended up doing was basically ripping the SATA interface out of the box and cutting all the vent holes in the back. Then I hooked up power and SATA through the back of it. I found a $50 coupon for NE I didn't realize I had so I didn't really lose anything buying the Adaptor. Loving the Corsair SSD and recommend it (sold out on NE, but I am sure t is available elsewhere). I realize no TRIM, but I don't think it makes a difference for me.

I had absolutely no problems with the Icy Dock. Slapped it in, recognized and installed like a dream.

Have the 64-bit OS in hand now so will be installing it today. :excited:

You'll have to pardon my ignorance, but what is it exactly the Icy Dock does? Would the SSD by itself not "fit" in a normal casing? (sorry, i've been out of the computer build game for a bit).
It's the size of an iPhone or a 1/3 deck of cards. All the dock does (or the Rosewill posted above that is 10000x better) is fit the drive into a normal 3.5" HD slot in a PC.

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Ended up buying a different SSD than the SSDs suggested here. I went with a Corsair P128. It was a little more in price than the Intel, but I have to say I am very impressed. The only thing I had an issue with was a 2.5 to 3.5 adaptor to fit in a HD slot. I bought this Icy Dock. A total POS in terms of the interface, but does the job. Naturally Windows 7 would not recognize it with the interface. Not sure if any of the folks with the Intel SSD and adaptor had any problems, but what I ended up doing was basically ripping the SATA interface out of the box and cutting all the vent holes in the back. Then I hooked up power and SATA through the back of it. I found a $50 coupon for NE I didn't realize I had so I didn't really lose anything buying the Adaptor. Loving the Corsair SSD and recommend it (sold out on NE, but I am sure t is available elsewhere). I realize no TRIM, but I don't think it makes a difference for me.

I had absolutely no problems with the Icy Dock. Slapped it in, recognized and installed like a dream.

Have the 64-bit OS in hand now so will be installing it today. :wolf:

You'll have to pardon my ignorance, but what is it exactly the Icy Dock does? Would the SSD by itself not "fit" in a normal casing? (sorry, i've been out of the computer build game for a bit).
It is too small to fit by itself. If you get the retail version of the SSD's, they come with a 3.5 inch adapter, but the Icy Dock just seems better for protection. That has been my experience anyway.
:excited: Thanks, got it. I really have a TON of reading to do. I remember back when I did my original build I was on top of EVERYTHING; knew the top vid cards, what was coming out - same with CPU's + power supply info & when a 10k RPM drive = leet.

Now I have no clue wth is going on :)

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About done with the 64-bit install. :excited:

Then the re-install of a ton of crap. :confused:

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About done with the 64-bit install. :excited:Then the re-install of a ton of crap. :confused:

Went with a clean install of 64 bit on my PC....decided not to go the upgrade route and go fresh (I also installed on a brand spanking new SSD as well). Although the upgrade on my wife's PC went perfectly smooth with 0 issues. I have about an hour's left of work on this PC and it's on to the next. My media PC will also be getting a fresh install, but I hardly have any apps on it at all. Just media stuff. Edited by Osaurus

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About done with the 64-bit install. :lmao:Then the re-install of a ton of crap. :lmao:

Went with a clean install of 64 bit on my PC....decided not to go the upgrade route and go fresh (I also installed on a brand spanking new SSD as well). Although the upgrade on my wife's PC went perfectly smooth with 0 issues. I have about an hour's left of work on this PC and it's on to the next. My media PC will also be getting a fresh install, but I hardly have any apps on it at all. Just media stuff.
Yeah, I went with the clean 64 instead of upgrading the 32.

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can we get an OP update with complete final rig/cost?

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can we get an OP update with complete final rig/cost?

CPU $200Mobo $114RAM $73Case/SSD $230I already had everything else - GPU (GTX 260), a 1TB HDD for other installs/storage, and a 650W PSU. Already had DVD writer as well.

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Hey MC, you might want to hold off on that firmware upgrade if you haven't already done it.

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=16638

ETA: According to some of the comments I'm reading, the firmware just screws your existing Win7 install. After a Win7 resinstall, things appear to work fine. So you still might be OK to install the new FW as long as you do it before you do your Win7 64 install.

Edited by Zasada

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Hey MC, you might want to hold off on that firmware upgrade if you haven't already done it.

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=16638

ETA: According to some of the comments I'm reading, the firmware just screws your existing Win7 install. After a Win7 resinstall, things appear to work fine. So you still might be OK to install the new FW as long as you do it before you do your Win7 64 install.

I will just hold off and see what happens. I am good for now, and this beast is flying. :goodposting:

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And just like that, OOS. Hope you acted on my PM Pork.

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And just like that, OOS. Hope you acted on my PM Pork.

Missed it by that much! The 5870 is still there, but at $140 more I might wait a few more days. I've got the auto-notify set.

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And just like that, OOS. Hope you acted on my PM Pork.

Missed it by that much! The 5870 is still there, but at $140 more I might wait a few more days. I've got the auto-notify set.
I was tempted to buy it for you when the auto-notify hit my inbox, but I wavered.

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i'm going to re-build my system this winter. not a bigtime gamer, but i do from time to time. what video card(s) should i be looking at?

i'll be running win7. will have a core i5 based system with 4gb RAM. i just need something that's functional. my 4 year old WinXP system has a nvidia 6800Gsomething based video card in it. i think.

maximum PC recommends ATI 4870 for their "budget videocard". i'm ignorant of the differences between the various Nvidia and ATI models

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i'm going to re-build my system this winter. not a bigtime gamer, but i do from time to time. what video card(s) should i be looking at?i'll be running win7. will have a core i5 based system with 4gb RAM. i just need something that's functional. my 4 year old WinXP system has a nvidia 6800Gsomething based video card in it. i think.maximum PC recommends ATI 4870 for their "budget videocard". i'm ignorant of the differences between the various Nvidia and ATI models

The 4870's are a good value,but so is the 4890.Frankly, though, if you are in Win7, then you have DX11 and should just get a DX11 vid card. The current ones to look at would be the 5850 if you want to spend around $250. If you want to keep it a little lower, then the 5770 might be what you are looking for. Around $160 and will run anything out now just fine at good settings.

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XFX 5850 in stock at New Egg!!!

$30 more than the ASUS but XFX is the brand I've had the last two cards. One is on the way to Pork! :thumbdown:

ETA, actually only $10 more than the ASUS.

Edited by Nick Vermeil

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XFX 5850 in stock at New Egg!!!

$30 more than the ASUS but XFX is the brand I've had the last two cards. One is on the way to Pork! :rolleyes:

ETA, actually only $10 more than the ASUS.

Nice!

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XFX 5850 in stock at New Egg!!!

$30 more than the ASUS but XFX is the brand I've had the last two cards. One is on the way to Pork! :homer:

ETA, actually only $10 more than the ASUS.

Sweet. I just got back from lunch and saw the auto-notify in my inbox, but it was already gone.

:hophead:

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It's possible to get a 920 system fairly reasonably - I did go to Microcenter after all and picked up the 920 for $199 and the Asus P6T was $220 at ZipZoomFly.com. That's an extra $100 for the mobo over an i5 system and then you do have to buy 6GB RAM vs. 4GB. My system is mainly for video editing and you're right that for gaming there's little noticeable difference.

Wow, 199 for the 920? Great deal... just checked their website though and didn't see it :rolleyes:. I'd buy that today for $199 if I could find it.
Link

I'm amazed out how easy it was to OC. I got to 4.2 ghz stable at 1.35v, but then backed down to 4.0 (190x21 with Turbo on) at 1.25v because it was running hot (high 70's) under full load. I should reseat the cooler and check to make sure I have the right amount about of AS5 on there, but it's not worth the trouble right now. Very impressed by how much faster it is at encoding than my old Q6600. The only problem I ran into is my placement of hard drives in my case since they barely allowed me to get the GTX260 in there.

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It's possible to get a 920 system fairly reasonably - I did go to Microcenter after all and picked up the 920 for $199 and the Asus P6T was $220 at ZipZoomFly.com. That's an extra $100 for the mobo over an i5 system and then you do have to buy 6GB RAM vs. 4GB. My system is mainly for video editing and you're right that for gaming there's little noticeable difference.

Wow, 199 for the 920? Great deal... just checked their website though and didn't see it :wall:. I'd buy that today for $199 if I could find it.
Link

I'm amazed out how easy it was to OC. I got to 4.2 ghz stable at 1.35v, but then backed down to 4.0 (190x21 with Turbo on) at 1.25v because it was running hot (high 70's) under full load. I should reseat the cooler and check to make sure I have the right amount about of AS5 on there, but it's not worth the trouble right now. Very impressed by how much faster it is at encoding than my old Q6600. The only problem I ran into is my placement of hard drives in my case since they barely allowed me to get the GTX260 in there.

The killer on that is that it is in-store pickup only. :hophead:

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getting ready to build a new rig..it's been since early 2006..ugh

looking to get Dragon Age, Diablo 3, Starcraft 2, l4d 2, and Old Republic mmo.

is 4gb enough for gaming these days? or is 6 the new standard? will probably be running win7

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getting ready to build a new rig..it's been since early 2006..ughlooking to get Dragon Age, Diablo 3, Starcraft 2, l4d 2, and Old Republic mmo.is 4gb enough for gaming these days? or is 6 the new standard? will probably be running win7

4 is plenty for gaming.

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I love computers but I don't really have much knowledge on them so I was wondering how a build like the OPs compares to a PC I just bought.

SX2800-01 computer

HX2000 monitor

For that setup I paid a little under $480 pre-tax. So I think its less expensive, but how about performance? Would a computer like mine be capable of running the same kind of games as the one the OP built?

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The video card arrived today so I'll be building tonight! Hey Cow, did you realize there is a 2.5" HD mount in this case? It's on top of the shelf over the power supply FYI.

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I love computers but I don't really have much knowledge on them so I was wondering how a build like the OPs compares to a PC I just bought.

SX2800-01 computer

HX2000 monitor

For that setup I paid a little under $480 pre-tax. So I think its less expensive, but how about performance? Would a computer like mine be capable of running the same kind of games as the one the OP built?

My system has a better CPU, a SSD and a good video card vs integrated graphics. Big difference but if you don't game, you are fine.

The video card arrived today so I'll be building tonight! Hey Cow, did you realize there is a 2.5" HD mount in this case? It's on top of the shelf over the power supply FYI.

Yeah, saw that, but like the Icy Dock I got for free and it fits well with my 1 TB drive in the HDD cage with the fans.

By FAR my favorite case I have ever had. :kicksrock:

Let me know how that GPU fits in the case.

Edited by Mad Cow

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Let me know how that GPU fits in the case.

Will do. It doesn't look anywhere near as long as the 5870. It should fit fine.

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Let me know how that GPU fits in the case.

Will do. It doesn't look anywhere near as long as the 5870. It should fit fine.
You liking the case? I assume you got the Element as well?

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Let me know how that GPU fits in the case.

Will do. It doesn't look anywhere near as long as the 5870. It should fit fine.
You liking the case? I assume you got the Element as well?
I did, and I like it. It's bigger than I thought it was going to be but it's nice and roomy and makes for easy cable management. Have you overclocked your i5 yet?

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Let me know how that GPU fits in the case.

Will do. It doesn't look anywhere near as long as the 5870. It should fit fine.
You liking the case? I assume you got the Element as well?
I did, and I like it. It's bigger than I thought it was going to be but it's nice and roomy and makes for easy cable management. Have you overclocked your i5 yet?
No, my wife has so many things going that I have not converted that rig to the family system yet, though most installs are done. The cable management was much better than previous cases, and ventilation seems much nicer than my Thermaltake Armor. It makes so much more sense to put that big fan on top than the side.

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you guys that hate reinstalling things after a format and OS install as much as me may want to check out ninite

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Finally have it up and running at home, and it is spectacular! :lmao:

Transferring about 100 gb on the Steam directory, not as much fun.

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Mine is up and running tonight as well. Excellent boot speed off the SSD! Mad Cow, the 5850 fits well but cable management around the back is tight. I don't see how the 5870 would fit without cutting a chunk out of the hard drive cage.

Stupid question of the night: how should I set up the 1TB HDD? Since I'll be using it for storage and for launching applications that don't live on the SSD do I need to do anything in particular? I've never really done this before...

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Mine is up and running tonight as well. Excellent boot speed off the SSD! Mad Cow, the 5850 fits well but cable management around the back is tight. I don't see how the 5870 would fit without cutting a chunk out of the hard drive cage.

Stupid question of the night: how should I set up the 1TB HDD? Since I'll be using it for storage and for launching applications that don't live on the SSD do I need to do anything in particular? I've never really done this before...

Bump. And as a follow up, how do you direct installation of programs to the second hard drive? How do you choose what ends up on the SSD? For instance, a lot of my games are downloaded from Steam and I don't think it asks where to install the game. Edumacate me.

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Mine is up and running tonight as well. Excellent boot speed off the SSD! Mad Cow, the 5850 fits well but cable management around the back is tight. I don't see how the 5870 would fit without cutting a chunk out of the hard drive cage.

Stupid question of the night: how should I set up the 1TB HDD? Since I'll be using it for storage and for launching applications that don't live on the SSD do I need to do anything in particular? I've never really done this before...

Bump. And as a follow up, how do you direct installation of programs to the second hard drive? How do you choose what ends up on the SSD? For instance, a lot of my games are downloaded from Steam and I don't think it asks where to install the game. Edumacate me.
I don't have a clear answer for you, other than you have to be meticulous when it comes to where things install. Apps will want to install to the SSD by default, so I always have to think whether or not I want them there. The first time I ripped a Blu-Ray (30 GB) to my SSD by accident was all I needed to become anal retentive about where things install.

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