Ordered A Dual Opteron Workstation

Ordered A Dual Opteron Workstation

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You may recall that I've been waiting for one of two "triggers" to order a new computer. Well, even though my first trigger, Doom 3, has already been released, I found that it ran very acceptably on my current P4 1.8GHz Dell Dimension 8100 computer. So, I played through Doom 3 on my current computer and hoped that by delaying my purchase, I might possibly catch another technology wave (for example, PCI Express) before Half-Life 2 hit the shelves. Based on recent article and posting activity, I get the feeling that Half-Life 2 will RTM within a few weeks. And if that's the case, I need to order now because of the delay in obtaining the video card I want (NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra). So, last night, I pulled the trigger and placed my order.

I decided to order the following system from GamePC:

2 AMD Opteron 250 (2.4 GHz) Retail       1 Sony DRU-710A Dual Layer DVD ± RW / CD-RW Retail
2 CPU Retail Coolers   1 Sony DDU-1612 16X IDE Black Tray Loading DVD-ROM OEM
1 Tyan Tiger K8W AMD 8000 Retail   1 BFG Tech GeForce 6800 Ultra OC 256MB Retail
4 Samsung PC-3200 512 MB ECC Reg. DDR SDRAM   1 Creative Sound Blaster Audigy2 OEM
2 Western Digital Raptor 74GB 10,000 RPM OEM   1 Lian Li PC-61 Black Mid-Tower
1 Western Digital Caviar SE 250GB 7,200 RPM OEM   1 Silverstone SST-ST46F PFC 460W PSU
1 Soyo Bay One DV 9-In-1 Internal USB 2.0 Card Reader Retail   1 GamePC Noise Reduction and Cooling Kit (Stage Three)

 

The dual Western Digital Raptors will be configured as a RAID 0 system drive for maximum performance. The BFG Tech GeForce 6800 Ultra OC comes overclocked at 425 MHz for a little extra video acceleration. It's tough to choose a case when you can't see them in person, but I know that I don't want a full tower, since I don't tend to upgrade my machines much anymore, and I don't need the extra internal space. I also don't want a door in front of my drive bays, because I hate having to constantly open and close it (call me lazy). So, based on these choices, I went with the Lian Li PC-61 Mid-Tower, and I'm sure I'll be happy with it.

This is the first time I've ordered anything from GamePC, but if initial impressions are any indication, I'm already impressed with this company. First, they allow you to configure almost anything you'd like using their web-based rig generator. Yes, other companies have this feature on their sites, but GamePC has a much larger selection of top-end components that you can mix and match at will. Second, after I sent them my desired configuration and some questions about it via e-mail, I received a very comprehensive and technically satisfying answer within 30 minutes. When I followed-up with another question, I received another excellent response within a very short timeframe. Each subsequent e-mail exchange was quick, showed a deep understanding of their system components, and never pressured me to do anything. They left everything up to me. As a matter of fact, after slightly modifying my configuration based on their suggestions, I ended up saving $71 off the system I had originally configured myself. Now that's customer service.

As I suspected (and their rig generator confirmed), GamePC is currently waiting for more GeForce 6800 Ultra cards, because they are in short supply. So, I expect to wait a couple of weeks before they can finally complete the system build, burn it in, and ship it my direction. I'll definitely have a follow-up post when the machine arrives and I've had a chance to play with it.

Does anyone else have any experience with GamePC that they'd like to share?

Update: Read my impressions of the new computer.

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  • sweet.... i want!
  • gimme gimme!
  • Do u call that a workstation??? It is a top-notch gaming rig

  • I recently heard some interesting news about running Doom III in Ultra mode: when using a RAID 0 (i.e. striping) array, performance is much improved. I've been looking at my Asus P4C800 Deluxe motherboard manual, which has RAID onboard, so...
  • Don't hold your breath for HL2.

    According to press releases Valve and Sierra (which holds the distribution rights fro HL2) are locked in a legal battle regarding the launch of the game. Valve wants to release the game online on Steam while Sierra wants it only available in boxes.

    Although Valve has released the RC to Sierra per contract, Sierra has the right to sit on the release for 6 months..
  • I've heard the same story, Snorrk. Although I have a hard time believing that anyone (including Sierra) would purposely miss the holiday selling season. Not that it couldn't happen...you never know what's going to happen in a legal battle. In related news/rumors: http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=56770
  • The WDC raptors are hella noisy. Worse even, their noise is a high pitched shrill something that will give you a painful headache.
  • Sahil:

    I had heard that too. Apparently, however, the newer versions (including the 74GB models) don't have the noise problems that the earlier models did. I guess I'll find out.
  • Here's a useful reference: http://tech-report.com/reviews/2004q1/raptor-wd740gd/
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