Every Saturday, Mathieu from Hardware Revolution goes through his e-mail inbox and previous comments and answers some of the best simple questions sent in by you, the readers, on computer hardware topics and many other things.
I try to share questions and answers that are valuable to everyone. If I didn’t answer your question here, I’ll get back to you directly by e-mail. For complex questions, I will need more time to answer, please be patient.
Got a question? Post it in the comments and make sure to subscribe to the comments to read other people questions and my answers!
Q: Eduardo wrote:
How would you make the perfect gaming pc? it doesn’t matter how much is it.
What would you put in it?
A: My perfect gaming pc, with no cash limit, performance wise, would be the following:
- Cpu: A core i7 965 Extreme cpu
- Motherboard: ASUS Rampage II Extreme
- Video card: Three in Three-Way SLI: MSI GTX 280 OC 1GB
- RAM: OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 Triple Channel Kit
- Hard drives: Two Intel® 32GB X25-E Extreme High Performance Solid State Drive in RAID 0 for the OS/Games and a Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB for storage/backup
- Case: Antec Twelve Hundred
- Optical Drive: LG Black SATA Internal Blu-ray Disc Burner & HD DVD-ROM
- Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling T12W 1200W
I would then add 2 loops of water cooling system, one loop for the CPU/Northbridge/Southbridge and the other for the three video card. That would ensure stability and allow me to overclock the heck out of this system.
Combined with two 24″ HD SAMSUNG ToC T240HD Rose-Black 24″ Monitors
Q: Kurt wrote:
I read your article on the E5200 and wanted to find out your results–what was the max speed you were able to obtain?
Also using stock cooling with Artic Silver what is safe to go up to. My basic motherboard ECS GF7050vm-m only lets me select the FSB speeds 800 1066 1333. The 1333 was able to run but the thing was so fast I thought I might burn it up, so I backed it down to 800 until I can gather more data. My memory is Patriot PC6400 2x 2gb and using cheap PNY GF8600 video card. I did have the memory unlinked so that I would not fry it-seemed to be stable.
Please advise, Thanks Kurt
A: Hey Kurt,
My E5200 topped a bit past 4.1GHz, however that was with dangerously high voltage and water-cooling. Also, I was using an ASUS P5B-E, which is probably limiting me. 24/7, with reasonable voltage, it runs at 3.6 GHz. I could probably acheive another 50-150MHz with some tweaking though, but I lack the time to do it.
It is wise that you leave your memory unlinked, otherwise that will limit you and will probably cause problems. I’m pretty confident that you could set the FSB to 1066 and run the E5200 at 3325MHz 24/7 without any problem. That would be pretty simple and safe.
To ensure that everything runs smoothly and safely however, you will want to run OCCT to test the stability of your overclocked system. When you run it, you will also want to monitor your temperatures. There’s a lot of controversy on which program to use to do so, but the concensus seems to be CoreTemp . You want your core temperatures to be below 55C for a safe 24/7 setup.
If you get no errors after a long period of time (minimum 6 hours, I recommend 12 hours) and that your cores temperatures remain under 55C, you can consider it stable and safe to use.
Q: Matt H wrote:
Hi there Mathieu!
I have been hoping to build a new computer for some time (primarily for
gaming). I stumbled upon your $800 gaming computer to “frag them all” article,
and was really amazed at how cheap I could buy the parts (With 64-bit Vista
Home Premium the total came to around $700!).
I just had a few questions about it because I am paranoid.
1) All these parts should play kindly with eachother and not leave me with a
half-working, or non-working computer, right?
2) I noticed the video card is a HD-video card. Will this work with my current
flatscreen LCD monitor which isn’t HD?
3) If I buy Vista-64 bit Home Premium, will it still play older games like
Starcraft and Diablo II? Also, will it still work with programs like Photoshop
Thank you so much for all your time! I really appreciate it!
1) Yes, of course. I wouldn’t suggest a system if I knew ahead that the parts won’t work together. I want to help you out and I want to keep my credibility.
2) Yes it will. The HD refers to HDCP (High Definition Content Protection) content compliance. It means that protected HD content can go through this video card. Basicaly, with a HDCP compliant video card and monitor, you can watch Blu-ray movies. If one of them or either are not certified, you won’t be able to watch Blu-ray movies. That’s it.
3) Yes, Vista 64 is equipped with an integrated emulator to run 32 bit programs. Where you need to be careful though is with older accesories, such as a printer. That might now work. You have to check if you can find a 64 bit version of your drivers, which are becoming more and more mainstream, but some older hardware simply won’t work. Contact the manufacturer if you’re unsure.
That’s it for today. Have a great weekend!