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Building Ed Reedy's New Gaming PC

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      I spent all summer researching a new system for Kyle's dad Edward Reedy. This PC was to be built at the end of the summer. Ed had a specific budget in mind, and I had to plan and build the most kickass machine I could possibly make within a budget of about 2 grand (I could go a little above that). I think the system turned out very well, made specifically for Ed's needs. When it came time to build the machine (on August 14 2007), I brought Kirk along to help me build it faster, since we did not have alot of time. When I build PCs, I like to start in the morning or at least around noon, and dedicate the whole day to building and configuring the machine. Here I did not have all day, I had an afternoon and evening. Ed couldn't stay up late and have us be at his house late cuz he had to work in the morning, and his family needs to get to sleep. We started late in the day cuz we had to wait for both Kyle and Ed to get out of work (and Ed was coming from Delaware). Otherwise there would be no one home to let us in the house. Ed ended up getting the same case Kirk and I have because he thought it was classy. Which it is indeed. We had a problem trying to get Windows XP Pro 32-bit installed on his old HDD, so we went ahead and installed his copy of Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit on his new 500GB SATA 3Gb/sec HDD. We were gonna dual-boot XP and Vista but oh well. Oh yeah, and the cat Nova was all up in our business, stepping on all the computer stuff on the table, meowing at us to get her outside, and playing with the shiznit on the blinds that open and close them. What an interesting creature this cat is. Kinda wished it was like the cat on Penny Arcade that is a computer technical genius. More details on the computer below.

The specs for Ed's computer are as follows:

  • CPU - Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 at 2.66 GHz (dual-core processor).

  • Memory - 2 x 1024MB DDR800 RAM (2048 MB / 2GB total) - Corsair XMS2 Dominator DIMMs. 4-4-4-12 timings. I could have gone with faster RAM, but the motherboard didn't seem capable of providing the voltages needed for faster RAM, and on newegg the mobo was listed as only supporting DDR800. Which I find strange, since this is an nFroce 680i chipset. But whatever. DDR800 is cheap.

  • Graphics Card - nVidia GeForce 8800 GTS with 640 MB of video RAM. He REALLY wanted the GTX but it just costs too damn much.

  • Monitor(s) - Dual 19" widescreen Samsung 941BWs. The Samsung 941BW is the closest you can get to the awesome Viewsonic VX922 monitor in a widescreen, according to THG. Ed specifically wanted a widescreen, so I picked the next best gaming monitor I could find (thanks to THG) after the VX922.

  • Motherboard - eVGA motherboard running an nVidia nForce 680i SLI chipset.

  • Sound card - Creative Labs SoundBlaster X-Fi Fatal1ty Professional with 64MB of X-RAM. Too bad Microsoft removed hardware audio in Vista. Stupid Microsoft. At least with an X-Fi, you have a chance to bring back hardware audio with ALchemy, and OpenAL output for all sound cards is still hardware audio.

  • Speakers - Logitech Z-5300e 5.1 THX-certified speakers. Yeah Ed got the same speakers i have, because they are the cheapest THX-certified 5.1 system you can find. And they still sound damn good.

  • Hard Drive(s) - Seagate Barracuda 500GB (SATA-II with NCQ, 7200rpm, 16MB cache), and I don't know what his old hard drive is.

  • DVD Drives - Samsung SATA DVD burner.

  • Power Supply - Corsair HX620 620-watt PSU. If you want to know why this PSU is so badass, all you need to do is look here.

  • Mouse / Pads - Logitech G5 Gaming Mouse (version 2 with 2 side buttons and improved gripping surface). Ed did not opt for a mousing surface though, his loss. Now that mouse goes to waste. I love the look and the removable (and adjustable) weight cartridge for the mouse. And you can't beat lazer technology.

  • Keyboard - Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard. Any gamer who is not using this keyboard by now is either out of their damn mind, or is dirt poor. Thank God my parents hooked me up for my berfday back in 2006.

  • Controllers - None. Ed doesn't have a need for any.

  • Case / Mods - Thermaltake Tsunami Dream. Case mods include acrylic side window and two 12" cold-cathode blue lights. And the motherboard came with rounded IDE cables. Ed didn't need amnything flashier, and those blue lights are damn bright.

  • OS - Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit (which he got from our good friend at Microsoft for dirt cheap). We may still try to get 32-bit WinXP Pro on there as well.

System Built For:
Edward A. Reedy, Ph.D., M.D.
Chief Deputy Medical Examiner (Operations)
Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner

As with the last few picture galleries, the viewing of these pics was meant for the Firefox web browser, so I hope you guys are using it. When you first click on the pics, it shows the larger versions scaled down to fit onscreen (if your monitor resolution is lower than these pictures), and then you can click on this larger version to expand it to full size.

Firefox Logo
You guyz bettah be rockin' Firefox.
(Click the logo to get the newest version)

Click on each thumbnail to see the larger 1600 x 1200 version.

     On the 23rd of August, Kirk and I went back to Ed's house to clean up the wiring on the PC. We didn't the way we left it. Any PC with a side window needs to have a neat appearance with a clean wiring job. I also needed to change the refresh rates on the monitors, and we needed to get the front panel lights working (HDD LED and Power LED). Getting the power LED to work meant that Kirk had to once again take the pins out of the connector and switch them around. Before he had moved positing 3 to position 2. Now he had to move 2 to 3, 1 to 2, and then flip the connector around. While we were there I decided to install the BioShock demo on Ed's PC to see how it ran. It looked freakin' awesome, and this time Kirk and I got to see the game running with DirectX 10 effects. It was a mind blowing experience. Ed should have bought a fUnc mousepad, but he didn't so I had to bring over mine. The audio was also kickass, running with hardware acceleration and EAX effects (with full reverb) through Ed's SoundBlaster X-Fi. This can only mean that BioShock uses OpenAL. That makes sense, since BioShock is running on Epic's Unreal Engine 3.0, and Epic has always been a supporter of OpenAL. As we all know though, OpenAL is currently the only real way to get hardware audio in Windows Vista.

Site Created January 5 2005. Page Last Updated on August 24th 2007.
Copyright © 2005-2007 Clifford Ferguson II.