Over the last 10 months, I have rebuilt my gaming machine. Obviously starting with the core, which was upgraded to a I7 920 @ 2.66, 6GB DDR3 (Corsair XMS3) and a motherboard to match (ASUS P6TD Deluxe). I followed this recently with a Sapphire Radeon 5850, which I had hoped was going to team up with the processor in a suitably impressive fashion when combined with Warhammer Online. Lets banish those minimum FPS blues.
Now I have to be honest, I thought that I would be fine with that and I didn’t have any reason to expect otherwise. However over the last weekend, when we had double rp bonus running, my machine was basically brought to its knees. Was it my machine, the Warhammer client or the Warhammer server? Honestly I thought it was the server, but I couldn’t be sure. So I installed Guru3D driver sweeper and removed any remaining Nvidia drivers, that my uninstall of them may have left behind. Though to be fair it’s very hard to do, when your old GFX card goes fizzle fizzle pop. The motherboards I tend to buy, don’t come with embedded GFX chipsets, so I had to await the arrival of the Radeon 5850 to instigate the removal. I always prefer to do an uninstall with the old card still in the system. Probably me being overly cautious.
I still wasn’t sure, so I thought, bugger it I will perform a complete OS install, which made me realise that if I was going to do that, then I might as well put in the new disk, case and power supply unit (PSU). Now I had always intended to put in a new PSU with the last phase of the rebuild, since it tied in nicely with a new case.
Now in my previous post, a few people had mentioned that the performance degradation could have been down to a lack of power. I had considered that, but my previous experiences with underpowered PSUs had always caused me more fundamental problems than that, like reboots, blue screens, etc. So since that time many many years ago, I had aways invested in very good PSUs. It’s the building block of the stable system, let me tell you! However it was a possible source of an issue, so I was going to deal with it, by adding an extra 100W over the 750W I was going to go for originally.
So with all that in mind I made 3 further purchases today.
1. New case – Silverstone FT02B (Without the window), info here and here. I’d always had my eye on this case, once a friend had pointed it out to me many months ago. However with my workload on the house and a phased approach to my gaming pc rebuild, it was the last part of the puzzle. For the un initiated, the things it has going for it are ….
i. It’s black and unflashy, therefore cool in eyes.
ii. The motherboard rotates through 90 degrees, which means all the cables are at the top of the case and the hot air from the high-end GFX cards vent out directly through the top. This also means no more grasping around the back of the bloody case, trying to find a cable.
iii. The hard drives are fitted side on and go in/out easily. Which means a lot if you are one of those unlucky few, who find that when taking drives out of other cases, they always catch on some poxy cable, riser or some other trivial piece of fluff. God knows how many times I’ve been in the situation where the drive I wanted to take out, just happened to be opposite that really long GFX card …. AAAaarrrrggghhhh.
iv. It has a separate slot for the SSD, so not taking up a drive bay.
v. It has plenty of room, which hopefully means I will no longer cut my hands when trying to insert things into areas with hardly any room.
vi. I can finally have a case which will allow me to put the side panel on, since my CPU coolers so bloody deep. Yep these older cases, weren’t designed with some of these coolers in mind.
2. SSD – OCZ Vertex 2E. It was a close run thing between this drive and the C300 128MB, but I ultimately felt that based on what I had read, that the C300 only made a big difference if I went with the C300 256MB. Which to be honest was scary money, though saying that, the Vertex 2E wasn’t cheap.
3. Power – Corsair AX850, initial review here. This was the only thing I hadn’t researched until today.
On the PSU front, I found this page useful as a starting point when looking for PSUs. Never the less I must have spent a good 2 hours going back and forth in regards to how much power I needed for now and the future, versus costs. Ultimately it came back to the fact that the PSU is the fundamental building block of any system and to scrimp on it now, was merely investing in more misery further down the line. In the end, I decided it never hurt to have too much power on tap. Who knows what those crazy GFX card manufacturers have in mind for the future?
I didn’t realise straight away, that this is the 3rd Corsair power supply I’ve bought. Having previously invested in a 620W for the current machine and a 520W for the HTPC. It seems like Corsair are still doing something right, if they are coming out high in reviews during my last 3 PSU purchases. I know their stuff is built by others, but the specifications will be down to them as the client.
As I said early, this will be a complete reinstall of the OS, so no legacy anything left over. This will sit on a very good hardware platform, with a good 50MB cable connection. If things go wrong after this, then it will be one of 3 things, the Warhammer Client, Warhammer Server or the ATI Drivers. The Warhammer Client & Server I will be able to test by having my friend Teshla run next to me, telling me how his equivalent hardware is running with Nvidia inside. If it’s the GFX card, then Ebay here I come and that will be last ATI purchase for a good couple of generations.
On another note, the 1st drive in my Synology DS411+ failed this week after less than a month which ticked me off quite a bit on Monday. Thankfully it’s RAID 5, but it did spur me on to setting up my network backup to the old Synology DS106 I’d been using until recently. Somethings I don’t mind losing, but family pictures, email and documents I draw the line at. Monday had been the day I was going to push on with the double rp whoring I had been doing at the weekend. Somethings weren’t meant to be, it seems.
PS – Keep your ears open for the scream at the weekend when I find that 1 vitally important cable, isn’t long enough to complete the chuffing build.