So here we are, the 3rd article of 'Reader's Rigs.' A new author with a new style writing about new users.
Up today is Stoner-Pimp's system. He was the first guy to get back to me with all the necessary info and images for this article, so he's up first. :-) Stoner-Pimp's a 26 year old full time dad from Manchester, England, and has been a member of the forums since 9/12/04. He first came to Guru3D Forums after his mate recommended them to him whilst he was looking for a site about overclocking. He tells me he is now addicted (well, I think we all are!)
A nice overview of the system. That's a pretty big monitor, so what are you thinking? Gamer? Then you notice the surround sound speakers and you're thinking.. hmm, could he produce music on his PC too? Correct on both counts. He games @ 1600x1200 and can't stand playing with no AA or AF. There is an additional desk at the rear of the room housing other parts of his music centre.
The system in total cost £929.02. I guess to be that precise he must've kept all the receipts. :-P
Let's find out what's inside:-
- Intel P4 2.4 @ 3.230ghz with p1000 cooler and 2 coloured fans.
- XFX 6800 GT flashed with modded BIOS 1.4 volts @ 400/1200 (was flashed within 6 minutes of purchase.)
- 1GB of PNY ram (bought for £71.96 due to a PC World error on pricing.)
- Abit IC7
- 80GB Maxtor (due to the budget at the time)
- Unknown DVD/CDRW drive (free from friend)
- MX500 mouse & internet navigator keyboard (stands out like a sore thumb because the entire system is silver, black, and blue and the keyboard is white!)
- Trust card reader
- Audigy 2 zs with Inspire 5900sand Speedlink 5.1 headphones
- Dell p1130 21inch monitor (got it for £90 due to being surplus stock)
- Qtec 550w PSU (yeah I know what you're thinking, and I'm thinking it too, but its never given him any probs remember this rig was built to be as cheap as possible)
- M-Audio oxygen midi keyboard
As anybody reading this is probably aware, there are certain people who prefer one brand rather than another, are loyal to that brand, and are prepared to even fight for that brand. In the computing industry, there are two 'battles.' One is Nvidia vs. ATi, whilst the other is Intel vs. Amd. I am often curious as to peoples reasoning behind preferring one company over another, and so I put this question to Stoner-Pimp. His reply was simply that he bought his 6800GT because the price to performance ratio was excellent at the time (and still is) and he went Intel because he got the CPU very cheap indeed - £54 in fact. Those, my friends, are sensible, level-headed reasons. Good stuff.
Overall, Stoner-Pimp is very impressed with the performance of his system, and how well the CPU has overclocked especially. Let's see a couple of screenshots of those overclocks shall we?
A nice 800MHz OC on that P4.. not bad, not bad at all. :-)
6800GT @ 400/1200. You want power? There you have it. This card is scoring 12977 in 3DMark03.
The one part of the system that Stoner-Pimp is not too keen on and wish hadn't been bought is that Q-Tec PSU. Q-Tec PSUs do indeed have reputations for going up in smoke (not literally, I hasten to add) and taking out other system components with them, so I can see why he might want to purchase something different next time around given all the cool hardware it's powering!
Here's some info on the transformation of this PC from plain basic stock system to sweet gaming rig, and I quote:
'Well my PC started ages ago, I bought a cheap PC from a second hand shop to begin with, but it was pitiful, so I decided to build my own for as little money as possible. I began buying the parts for it and continued using the cheap one for general internet access. The main rig started with the mobo, as I had found it cheap as B-Grade stock, then I got the RAM from PC World. After going there for a new hard drive, I noticed a pricing error on the 256MB sticks of RAM so I bought them all. Then, I bought the cpu from eBay for a lovely £54 - it didnt have a case but for the price it was worth a risk. I then decided on a case, an X-Clio in silver and blue, this set the theme for the rig. After getting the hard drive I began to piece it all together. This was a learning experience as I had never done this before. Once these were all in I needed a PSU, but that week I had little money so I bought the cheapest PSU I could find. Once this was in, I added the old fans from the old computer and borrowed a DVD/CDRW drive from my mate (which he let me keep), this was the basic system ready to startup, all I needed was a graphics card. So I installed my MX440 (LOL) (this is what was in the cheap rig I got second hand.) So I started it up, to my amazement it worked, I was shocked. I then began to add to it as I got money. The first thing was the graphics card, it took me ages to get the money but I managed it and bought a lovely 6800GT. Within 6 minutes it was bios modded to 1.4volts and 400/1200 and its been like that since. Having this inspired me to overclock the CPU (to see if I could.) First thing I did was replace the cooler with a Swiftech p1000 (I think it's called that) and added a nice coloured fan to make it look nice. I managed a nice stable 3.170GHz, so seeing as I had an extra fan around I added it and managed 3.4GHz, but it was a bit unstable at high temps so I settled for 3.230GHz (which its been at for ages.) I then set out for a new monitor to do it all justice; no point in having a great rig on a 1024x768 crt monitor. This is when I decided to buy a nice 17inch LCD, but while searching around, I came across some Dell surplus stock and got a 21inch p1130 for £90. This was great as I could now run my games at 1600x1200 at 100hz. I then saved for the soundcard and speakers and got those at the same time. I used the Guru3D forums to make sure it was using its own IRQ. During the course of the build I added things to match the case. A black and blue mouse with matching mouse mat, black and blue chair, blue fans, and I have still yet to do the keyboard, but a Saitek PZ08AU will be bought soon as its silver, blue, and black with nice matching blue lights to match the case.'
So what's in store next for the system? Well he's looking to go down the A64/PCI-E route. Possibly a 3500+ coupled with a next-generation video card. He will be upgrading the PSU at the same time.
Next up is.... you know, I haven't decided yet, you'll just have to wait and see. ;-)
Thanks for reading and thanks to Stoner-Pimp for agreeing to do this and getting back to me so quickly.