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Desktop Components Part 4: Ultimate Game PC

We’re taking a quick trip to that magical world where price is no object and bragging rights are more critical than reason. Yes, that’s you guessed it — the high-end Rig. My Lafayette, Louisiana maritime lawyer thinks we’re talking about a Big Rig – an offshore oil rig because that’s his practice area. He makes his living representing victims of offshore injuries usually the result of some large drilling firm’s negligence. But we’re not talking about something related to a maritime attorney in Lafayette – we’re here to speak about computer rigs – a high end rig is a tricked out computer!! So get ready to depart from reality while we chat about the consequences…

Leaving reality reminds me of my youngest daughter’s last birthday. She wanted princess costumes for her upcoming 7th birthday. I happened to mention my daughter’s wishes to my aunt while I was in Australia for a business trip. I had attended a “First ladies Luncheon,” a networking event for business women, where my aunt, was the quest speaker. I was intrigued about her advice for women trying to make it in fields in which they are the minority. Auntie was great at the luncheon. She was discussing how presentation is everything in the real estate marketplace. The photos and descriptions may be fabulous, but pay attention to the details. Knowing the difference between high quality wood floors and cheaper copies is huge and should be a huge selling point if you know your stuff. A room showcased with designer silk drapes and real flowers can result in an ambience that normal curtains just can’t touch. Do you know the difference in how real silk flows – the reason silk is in such demand is that the fabric exudes luxury and style. The difference is so obvious if you’ve learned to recognize it. And once you do, that knowledge is incredibly useful in convincing potential buyers that you know what you’re talking about regarding every aspect of property. If you think curtains are curtains, you have not learned an important lesson about upscale sensibilities.

Later in the week a package arrived at my hotel from her for my daughter. A note to me said that she had found a lovely princess dress for my daughter’s birthday. Faye is so thoughtful and considerate.

When I arrived home from my trip my wife and I started out looking at the more moderate princess dresses and accessories at an online site, but ultimately we ended up buying the most expensive princess dress: the Princess Felicity Dress. The description was pretty much over the top, as was the dress. It was made from luxurious soft blue silk. There was rich, embroidered pearl-colored silk lining the bodice’s and skirt’s inserts, sheer, silver-embossed chiffon sleeves that poofed majestically, and more chiffon billows around the blue silk skirt, held back, curtain-fashion, by delicate blue bows of silk. Gold trim lined the bodice and skirt, and a majestic row of misty blue bows fell delicately down the front of the dress, adding the final touch. We carefully looked at all the design elements. But, you can’t just buy the dress. There is a matching cape, several different types of glittery tiaras, dress up shoes, and the all important wand. So many different components to consider. We should have waited for a sale, but didn’t.

And so, as I said at the top of the page let’s look at the high-end Rig, that drool-causing selection of the latest components and the effortless benchmark-destroying that comes with it.

If we were sensible, we’d hold out merely a few months longer, as the big providers unquestionably have some serious products up their sleeves for the crucial holiday period. But then again, if we were sensible we’d be giving you one more “recommended PC system for $1000” (or $1500, or $500, or any cost bracket we’ve decided is the agenda for this week).

What we are looking for now is the extreme in performance, cost be damned. So naturally we are going to be starting with ATi’s ludicrously-powerful 5970 — but make that a double. Nope, we’re going all out: the 4GB XFX Black edition, with 2 GPUs onboard. And since we’re reaching for the stars, let’s go Crossfire crazy and putting ANOTHER card right next to it, creating a 4-GPU extreme graphics array?

Sure, we might instead go with nVidia’s high-end alternative, the 1536MB 480GTX. This adds PhysX and 3-Way SLI into the mix, the preferable option for many graphics card enthusiasts and may well provide less driver troubles as compared with the Radeon. Three of the nVidia cards will set you back around $450 – $750 less than two ATi cards (even though expense, like we’ve explained, is not an issue this time around) and provide you with a marginal boost (at best) in a few games. However, if you’re looking for fractional increases (and you’re not bothered by increased heat and power considerations), then feel free to go that route.

And just remember that while these items are currently pricey, sometime in the near future, we’ll be giving them away as corporate gifts of interest, because they’ll be unique, cheap, and so cool they’ll be hot – and what executive isn’t turned on by that? The perfect corporate incentives are gifts that at least seem to be both expensive, exclusive, and noteworthy. Like this baby. Just sayin’. And now back to earth…

Doing a multi-GPU build, we would be foolish if we didn’t opt for a 1366 (X58) chipset, and not only because it’s state-of-the-art and consequently more costly. To meet tomorrow’s features today (or something like that), one can find more and more X58 mobos to choose from with third-generation USB and (even more importantly) SATA III, so our ridiculously-costly rig can be brag-worthy for nearly a year, and then at least useful (for example, we should still enjoy play online slots ( just fine) for one or two years after that.

The most pricey mobo which we’ve seen for our needs is the GA-X58A-UD9 by Gigabyte, and it practically seems worth the money. Especially when the other options are the ASUS “Supercomputer” and EVGA “Classified”, but neither of them deliver 6.0 Gb/s SATA support or third-generation USB…sure, you can plug in support if you have to, but why use up critical board space? Alternatively, the ROG Rampage III Extreme from ASUS and EVGA’s 141-GT-E770-A1 are either rather feature-packed, and fit all of our other criteria, but at about $350 they may be beginning to be a relatively cost-effective solution…violating the rules of our build – after all, we’re imagining that we’re freshly affluent via online casinos accepting Webmoney (…

Keep reading for part 2 of our challenge, during which we will examine RAM possibilities and storage (i.e., solid-state drives vs. spinning disc drives. Hint: not much of a contest). If you’re keeping count, we’re presently upwards of a grand total of about three G’s…and that’s before we add the CPU, optical drives, case, power supply, input devices, and monitor(s)…

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