Reader's Rigs - Yodster

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Hi, I'm 47 years old and work for an Alcan aluminum smelter. The town is Kitimat in British Columbia, Canada. I'm about a three and a half hour drive from the Alaska Pan Handle. Pretty wild here, Moose, Eagles, Grilly Bear and Killer Whales.

How long have you been a member of Guru3D forums?

I've been a member here for two years, since June 2003.

What did you first come here for?

I came here for information and personal views on the major video cards and motherboards.

What do you mainly use your system for?

I use my rig mainly for gaming, but my kids use it more for chatting with their friends.

How much did you spend on your rig?

The rig cost me about $2100 canadian, add another $550 for the monitor and speakers.

Copyright 2005

How often do you update/buy a new rig?

I upgrade about every two years. Usually the video card first, then the rest of the system.

I usually buy a top video card when they first come out, that way I get to play on it a lot longer.

What components are used?

Here's what I got for a rig. I went for a Soltek K8T Pro-939 motherboard with the VIA chipset. I've had Soltek in my last 4 rigs and they've all worked flawlessly. This board has never given me any problems and was a breeze to set up. Next I got an Athlon64-3500 Newcastle on the board with stock cooling for now. I then put one gig of OCZ PC3200 rev2 on the board in dual channel mode. Default timings on this ram are 2-2-2-5. Then I put my baby in the AGP slot. A brand new (7 months old now) ATI Sapphire X800XT Platinum Edition video card with VIVO. A Seagate Barracuda 120 gig SATA holds all my games nicely and is plenty fast. I'm using the onboard sound with the VIA HD audio drivers. I know my sig used to say Audigy2 ZS, but that card's still in the box. The onboard sound hasn't given me any performance hit and it sounds just great on my Logitech Z-560's. Optical drives are two LiteOn's, a DVD drive and DVD-writer. All this is housed in a black CoolerMaster ATC-710 with an OCZ Modstream 520 watt power supply. My display is a Viewsonic 19'' UltraBrite A91f+.

Copyright 2005

Why ATI or NVidia, why Intel or AMD?

I went with ATI as they've had good cards since their first Radeon came out. I've had the first Radeon, then the 9700Pro rev1.1 and now my new card. As for AMD, I switched to them after my P333. They were cheaper and faster and I've stuck with them since.

Does your system work as expected?

This rig is working far better than what I expected. All my games are at 1600x1200 with 4xAA and 8xAF and rockin'. I always said that I'll wait till a video card comes out with at least twice the performance of the card that I want to replace. IMO, the X800XT PE gives me twice what my 9700Pro did.

The motherboard with the VIA chipset is giving me excellent memory bandwith and is awsome in gaming. For media decoding is seems about average.

Is there anything you're not happy with?

The only beef is buying my video card 3 months before the rest of the rig. I could have gone PCI-E instead of AGP. Don't get me wrong, this is one hell of a video card.

Whats the best part of your rig?

My video card. Uber performance staight out of the box without going broke on an SLI rig.

Any modifications?

The case has been modded with a side panel window and the interior is all painted gold as is the front fan grill and side panel handle. Five 80mm fans inside the case, two regular fans in the front, and three aluminum frame fans, two rear and one on the side panel blowing over the video card. A blue cold cathode lights the interior.

3DMark scores

This rig is not overclocked, yet. I'll wait 'til I need to. I did use the overdrive in the control panel for 3DMark 2005 only.

3DMark2001 - 25,151

3DMark2003 - 12.593

3DMark2005 - 6,211

SIS Memory Bandwidth - Integer 5945/Floatingpoint 5885

Future upgrades?

I'll definitely be going PCI-E on the next upgrade. For now I'll sit back and see how the new dual core chips pan out and definitely wait to see what ATI and NVidia have in store over the next 6 months or so.

Copyright 2005

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