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Friday, 12 January 2007

The Komplett Caboodle [Am]

So, as members of the crosshatch mostly know, I am now about a week into my new 'puter which I purchased after christmas in a rush of blood to the head from www.komplett.co.uk so I thought I'd blog it up.
Erstwhile clan-leader, bread-product misclassifier and twin-worrier Slim had recommended Komplett as a kit site who have decided as their USP to offer said parts but to also offer their compilation into a working pc for basically nowt extra. How the economics work is up to them but I thought I'd give it a whirl rather than try to once again bribe / con / blackmail previously condusive clannies such as The Lurker and Mugwum into making me up stuff from parts at my gaff.
Given where we are in the big scheme of things, which is to say about 13 billion years into the whole gig or 6,419 years for those of you watching in The Truth Vision (hey! how are you? how are my favourite totally fucking mad people?) or more pertinently just a handful of months since Intel handed AMD their arse in a sling with the launch of the Core 2 Duo, I had one of those - the mid placed E6600. Other kit, to get it out the way, included 2 gigs of Corsair matched DDR2 ram, an Abit AW9-Max mobo, a couple of 320 gig barracudas, dvd drive and an XFX 8800 GTX gpu card. The latter, obviously a bit of a mental purchase but with being on the cusp of DX10 and Vista I decided that it was better to do this than purchase a pretty good card now for say 250 quid (you just *don't* buy a new puter and get a shit card do you? Do you??) and then post dx10 another pretty good card for the same when I could get an 8800 in now and save about a hundred quid. Wrapped it up in a fairly nice Coolermaster Wave case which I can't be arsed to take a pic of since you can look it up on the net and all my clannies will see it at LurkAn fairly soon. Tasteful blue LED stuff which somehow manages to be tasteful without suggesting that you are just one pubescence away from attacking the side of your case with a dremmel and installing neon cabling.
So a week in there's a couple of things worth mentioning. Obviously the Core 2 Duo spanks like nothing else as writ up by The Lurker on this here site. Oh lord is it fast. The 8800 is frankly just fucking mental. Games like Vegas, Oblivion and Company of Heroes have taken on a different quality due to the sheer pig-slaying framerate of the vid card. Vegas in particular is a fantastically atmospheric and enticing game with this sort of horsepower. Also worth a mention is that the normal desktop and photo quality of the imagery on this card is absolutely superb. Feel good about what's to come is my summary.
More than that though there are a couple of really cool things that I'd say about the sys. First off, Komplett themselves did a good job. The online site allows for multiple configurations (about 20 vid card selections for instance and about 6 mobo manufacturers with different mobos). I specced out a machine pretty much EXACTLY how I wanted it and the order tracking and delivery status through DHL Europe (shipped out of Holland) was excellent. Construction is good (especially considering the 8800 is literally the size of a video case and actually overhangs the hard drives) on what is acknowledged to be somewhat of a tight board. The slide out mobo tray on the CoolerMaster helps here. Only minor gripe is that they don't offer different cpu cooler options so it's stock all the way. I imagine this is a liability issue for them - why fit something exotic if, particularly, extra weight and stuff could cause damage in shipping - but big deal really; if you want something different get it in afterwards.
Big-cool thing - the Abit AW9-Max board. Dual gigabit lan, firewire, more usb 2 than you can shake an auditor at and a sexy top-of-the-case door which allows you to plug in headies and mic and some usb stuff too. It's also Quad Core compatible for that CPU upgrade in 18-24 months or so. More than that it has an Windows based utility called uGuru which allows you to overclock and adjust fan settings from within errr Windows without having to fuck with the Bios. 3 default profiles and 3 user profiles allow you to set things up just how you want. After a bit of experimentation and getting slightly annoyed with the cpu fan auto-throttling up and down like someone doing a scale on a demented (but quiet) bumble bee, I discovered that you can reduce the polling-time of the fan checking system to 10 seconds which makes it absolutely tolerable. More than that, for normal desktop work I have set one profile at a slight under-clock allowing for a very quiet working environment with the fan tooling around at about 800rpm (3000 max). For games, I experimented with an air-cooled totally standard fan clock from the standard 2.4ghz up to errr 3.1 ghz without the system appearing to have a care in the world. I haven't pushed it anymore because frankly it seems pointless. But these things just absolutely love it up 'em and don't blink. Fan is still only at about 2200 rpm out of 3.
And so it's a cracking system which I have to say comes in at a considerable saving. Obviously premium fast gaming pc sites are weighing in at high 2 thousands for a system like this. Mesh and Dell specc'd me up something with not such desireable elements in them for about 2,200. Komplett came in at 1,500 (bearing in mind always that the vid card is a big splash in this particular pond at 420 quid). So really it's a very good arrangement. You have to load the OS and all drivers and stuff yourself, so this is not for Retail Johnny but if I can do it, I suspect it holds no terrors for anyone who actually knows the difference between the pieces of kit I've mentioned. I finished off the pile with a G15 keyboard and a G7 mouse both of which have been absolutely great additions.
So end of report; Komplett are on the win for this and for one small temporary blissful period I have bragging rights. It never lasts long of course but I have to say, just for now, it's pretty damn sweet. I hope that Komplett can keep the economics compelling for them as this has been a great find. Now....now that that's done, come here and let me put a trilinear 16xFSAA 120fps bullet in your testicles.....

14 comments:

  1. Oh yeah. Just seeing Spiny reminded me. 10,850 3dMarks06. That is all.

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  2. January 07 and I also treated myself to a new PC from Komplett. I nearly went with dabs which was pretty much identical cost (some CPU and PSU variation) but couldn't be built for me, and that's what tipped it towards the big K in the end.Spec as follows:Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 2.13GHz Socket LGA775, 2MB, BOXED w/fanCorsair TWIN2X 6400C4 DDR2, 2048MB CL4, Kit w/two 1GB Dimm's, E.P.P TechnologyNEC DVD±recorder AD-5170 IDE Black OEM DVD+R/+RW/DVD-R/-RW (Dual layer)Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB SATA2 16MB 7200RPMNorthQ 4775-500BULK, ATX 500W, 120mm Fan, 12-17dBA, 4xSATA, SLI, 20/24pinAPLUS Case 188A, Black Midi tower, 2xUSB Front, 2xaudio Front(Without PSU)Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3, P965, Socket-775, ATX, SATAII, GbLAN, DDR2, 1xPCI-Ex16Sapphire Radeon X1950PRO 256MB GDDR3, PCI-Express, HDCP, 2xDVI-I, Lite-RetailThis came in at 700GBP (I had originally specced circa 800 but was able to make trimmings and I'm glad I did) and was ready and built and delivered to be in my hands two days later. Spent an additional 200GBP on a Samsung 205BW 20" Widescreen 1680x1050 TFT from Amazon, and also after a week found myself throwing 91GBP at Windows XP (with free upgrade to Vista Biz, which sort of justifies it) when I realised that I couldn't reuse an OEM copy of XP on this new box.I've clocked the FSB on the DS3 from 300 to 325 so the E6400 is running comfortably at 2.6GHz. I had to make some changes to the USB settings in the BIOS to stop some irritating beeping on startup. Oh, and a SATA cable had come loose during transit, and other than that, this is a great PC.The X1950Pro was a deliberate choice to keep the box at a 700GBP pricepoint, and so I can either SLI a second up later, or just jump to 8800 from here next year. 3DMark06 score for this rig is 5112.Excellent job by Komplett, although their spec-u-want form could be improvement as its awkward that it doesn't carry their complete list of components and its a bit bonkers on numbers (and hence unclear what the price of the actual component is compared to the one beside it)Oh and the APLUS case, even for a cheapy and compared to Am's choice, is just fine. Not oversized, nice solid and slightly velvety (!) door, stealth black, and well ventilated.

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  3. Well.. through a series of strange events.. I've finaly started along the road to gaining a new PC capable of playing games post-BF1942..
    First stage has been the purchase of a Wavemaster case (on Ams recomendation.. so far I can't fault his choice.. first PC I've ever opened up and not walked away with cut fingers from jagged bits of metal..) and a Enermax Blue 485W PSU.
    They're going to sit on the side for a few weeks while I work on the next stage of my upgrade plan.. but I do have one question about the case that I was hoping Am might be able to shine some light on..
    It comes with a small grey square mesh object that looks like its intended to be placed over a fan or something.. but it's not referenced anywhere in the documentation (not that there is much of it) so I was wondering if you could have a look at your case and see if you can spot it anywhere..
    If needed, I'll be happy to post a picture!

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  4. Very interesting blog, thanks Am & Beej. I went too far with the 30" screen and am paying for it now that the Alienware AMD X2 64 3800 (blah blah blah) system I bought sometime last year seems to be an absolute dog compared to Core2Duo.
    I was thinking of putting some cash aside to gut the alienware and go Core2Duo on its ass (knowing my luck, it'd only take their hardware, like dells, or something). I'll check out Komplett now instead.
    So does anyone know if the 8800 alone kicks more ass than SLI 7800GTX's?

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  5. Stupid question time, but do I need 2x pci-e16 slots on the mobo to put my 2x 7800GTX's in? I want to build a new rig, but transplant the Alienware SLI cards into it (and give the supplied new card to the alienware). The mobo's confuse me currently, not built a system in ages! Can someone recommend a good SLI mobo please?
    Specs wise, I'm looking at the 2.4ghz/4mb C2D, 2gb Corsair Dominator, 320GB barracuda (is this fast?). Some 'SLI' psu and their cheapest graphics card (to swap out with the old pc).

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  6. Well, ten days after ordering from Komplett and I'm still waiting for some sort of delivery notification. This sucks, I'm pissed off.

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  7. It 'turned up' (i.e. I had to collect it by cab from dhl depot) at last, and by god it rocks! Top job, except FEAR crashed the first time I played it and it managed to fubar some windows files, so had to do a repair install, only to find USB2 now no longer works, so getting stuff off my external drive is a lesson in torture. Still, FEAR at 1920x1600 maxed out is great fun. I hadn't even played the single player mode before now!

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  8. You have a very forgiving definition of the word "rocks" mate.

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  9. It's probably new-computer syndrome blanketing the annoyance at having to repair-install it so quickly after installing. The machine flies and I've not even tried to OC the processor yet. Lack of USB2 is a bitch though. I can't find anything that helps via Google. I'll try reverting the nForce drivers tonight to the originals I think.
    Wanna try some CSS later...

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  10. Vista?
    Genuwyne Vista or bloke down the pub Vista?
    /me rests his case

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  11. Turns out the bios sucks, people are complaining about it all over the shop. The onboard sound stopped working the other day, so I threw in the Audigy4 I had laying round and it's fine now, and USB2 works again (go figure). Still BSOD's in games now and then. New BIOS due out next week apparently.
    Windows XP SP2, genuine. Always genuine Am, I'm an MS developer, I get it all free anyhow.

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  12. If you get the OS for free take an image of your vista install for when it's stable and archive it off.
    Then just slap XP on it and stop fucking about :)

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