I finished up the build by installing the USB and Firewire cards in the back of the computer and I had to reseat the sound card because screwing it in actually pulled the aft end of the card out of the motherboard. I put the sides on the case and marveled at my completed project. A more fastidious person would probably bundle the cables together and play origami with all of the loose ends, but I’m not that detail oriented.
After building such a killer system I started to consider that hooking it up to my old 19” CRT would be doing a disservice to the machine’s capabilities, so I skipped off to Best Buy and paced up and down the wall of monitors for a couple hours debating my options. Joe was a big proponent of going with three 19” LCD displays that I could then hook up to a Matrox TripleHead2Go, but I had to weigh my gaming time versus time I spend writing, editing videos, and other non-gaming uses. I was enthralled with the 22” Samsung 2232BW widescreen monitor and decided that I’d buy two of them and perhaps look at buying a third at some point in the future if Matrox comes out with hardware to support 1680 x 1050 resolution. The results are nothing less than spectacular. I’ve never owned an LCD, and have never used dual monitors, and I’m already addicted to the additional desktop space. They are brilliant, fast, and make gaming and productivity work so much more enjoyable.
The gaming performance of this new rig is simply stunning. Crysis, FSX, and Armed Assault look awesome. The details, heat effects, shadows, motion blur and other features that I’ve never seen in my gaming are jaw dropping. The best part though, is that I’ve sort of gotten over the mental hurdle of building my first system. Down the road, when I upgrade my new computer, or if I decide to build an entirely new one, I will know what to expect and the process will go much faster and with far less anxiety. The money saved was worth the time invested. I have to thank guod and Joe for all of the excellent advice and guidance — they are the best!
In Part 2 we’ll take a look at how the new machine fares!
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