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Old 04-01-2009, 01:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default E8500 Build

I'm seeking advice and/or criticism of this build before I commit to it.

From reading various articles here and elsewhere I've gotten the feeling that certain things are "faith-based". That is, you can do well picking either approach, but people have very strong feelings about which one is "right". I'm quite n00b to this, so for my own sake I marked things I've already decided about (been indoctrinated?) as being "religious":

- This is a gaming rig that will be used for a few other things
- I've decided that I won't ever run SLI or xfire
- I'll be running on a 1680x1050 monitor, but I can't fit more than a 19" one
- I'm sticking with WinXP. This is a bit of a religious thing, so I won't go into it.
- I'm sticking with 32bit. Another religious topic.
- I'm sticking with 2 cores. Yet another religious topic.
- I want to keep the cost down. Well, everyone can relate to this :P

My first big upgrade will probably be to something like Win7-64bit whenever I want to use all my Ram, but I'm hoping I can delay that for a long time.

Here's my current PSU and Case. I also have a floppy, CDRW, DVDRW that I can salvage from my previous build.

I think these are adequate buy any thoughts about that would be great:
-------------------------------------
PSU (already have)
PC Power & Cooling Silencer PPCS750QBL 750W ATX12V / EPS12V

CASE (already have)
LIAN LI V COOL PC-V1200B plus Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
---------------------------------------

Now for the rest of the build:

ordered CPU (I could save $20 on the processor and get the E8400)
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - $190

ordered MBD
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - $100 (after rebate)

GPU (This did okay on Anandtech's benchmarks @ 1680x1050 for a single GPU non SLI/xFire card)
SAPPHIRE Vapor-X Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - $200 (after rebate)

MON (There's also a Asus that's very similar)
Acer X193W+BD Black 19" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 2000:1 (ACM) - $129

ordered RAM (I realize that I can probably only address a little over 2Gig with the above 1Gig GPU, but the price is OK for future 64 bitness)
G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - $45

ordered HSF (I couldn't go with the Sunbeam because it doesn't fit on this MBD)
XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - $40

That total is around $730 (so far)


Any advice or criticism greatly appreciated!

-Fred
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Old 04-01-2009, 01:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: E8500 Build

You can cut costs on the power supply. Your system won't eat up that much juice.

This will do:
Newegg.com - CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Power Supplies

This is a better cpu cooler:
Newegg.com - Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2 - CPU Fans & Heatsinks
And it comes with TX-2 thermal paste.
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Old 04-01-2009, 01:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: E8500 Build

Thanks Evolv,

Sorry I wasn't clear about the PSU. I actually already have that one from a prior build.

I'll definitely take a look at the Sunbeam cooler, thanks!

-Fred
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Old 04-01-2009, 01:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: E8500 Build

Looks like a pretty solid build, mate. My only nitpicks about the hardware would have been the monitor really, but you can't fit anything bigger than a 19", eh? If you could fit a 22", I would recommend that, since they can be only 40 bucks more.

The E8500 looks like it dropped in price, which is great, but unless you're going to want to vastly overclock, you'll be fine with the E8400. Either one is fine though.

Now for the "religious" topics.

XP is a great OS. I've used it since it first came out, and only a little over a week ago did I install Vista when I upgraded my desktop. But it has its limitations, which tie in with your 32-bit "religious" thing. Mainly, XP doesn't have a viable 64-bit option, which you will need to fully utilize all of your memory since it has a limit, and your overall memory will be 5gb including your GPU. XP64 is a very unstable OS in general, and has loads of issues.

I'm currently using Vista Home Premium SP1 64bit, and I can tell you it works great. I highly suggest getting it.

As for sticking with 2 cores, that's fine. Games don't really utilize 4 cores yet anyway.

EDIT: Kudos to the Core Contact, the only reason I didn't mention it was because it was the same cost, and some people like the way the Dark Knight looks, haha. But it will perform better than the DK.
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Old 04-01-2009, 01:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: E8500 Build

Thanks hikaricloud!

Yes, I agree about the monitor. It's too bad this is a hard limit for me.

I really appreciate your feedback on WinXP-32. I know I will upgrade to Vista-64 or Win7-64 eventually.

You convinced me on the cooler, I took a look at frostytech. I have a completely opaque box so the DK's fine looks are completely wasted. I'll update my original post with the sunbeam CC.
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Old 04-01-2009, 01:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: E8500 Build

Get this ram Newegg.com - CORSAIR DOMINATOR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory much better and faster!!
For graphics... I would go Newegg.com - EVGA 896-P3-1265-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards But thats just me!!
And this board Newegg.com - EVGA 123-YW-E175-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 750i SLI FTW ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards
This board is great...I run it myself...Also leaves the door open for SLI later if you change your mine!!
+1 for vista 64 bit
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Old 04-01-2009, 02:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: E8500 Build

Hi Asylum and thanks for the feedback!

I actually looked at the RAM you listed first, but I was talked out of it. The ram you suggest is actually on the Qualified Vendor List. Let me give you the reasons as I remember them so I can hear your opinion on this:
- The QVL is a list of RAM the vendor happened to try (I guess if you're not OC-ing this makes sense).
- There's no benefit for higher frequency (1066 over 800) RAM on an Intel LGA 775 board (maybe that's different if you are OC-ing)
- Latency matters more and the G.SKILL has a lower latency (4 vs. 5 - okay not a big difference)
I think overclocking may be an exception, but from what I've heard the gains are small and I'm not sure I'm going to do it.

The gtx 260 didn't fair as well at 1680x1050 on the Anandtech's benchmarks. This is only one benchmark and it would be good to know if there are others that paint a different picture.

I'm pretty stubborn about not ever running SLI or xfire. At my lower resolution I can definitely get by with one card. I've heard that if you do go SLI now, it's best to stick with the I7/X58 architecture (I actually own a dead nVidia SLI board so I am biased).

I know that benchmarks can be skewed so I'd welcome other sources of information.

-Fred
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Old 04-01-2009, 02:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: E8500 Build

The OP's build is fine as is. And the 4850x2 is faster than a GTX 260.

The PI Blacks will perform just as well as Dominators

Keep the UD3R, P45 chipsets are generally better for overclocking.
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Old 04-01-2009, 03:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: E8500 Build

First of all yes the 4850x2 does win over the 260 but ive seen alot of people having trouble with the x2's not being compatable with alot of games!!(like only useing 1 gpu while playing) As far as the ram goes lower cas is better if your not overclocking...but you can always set the timings lower on this ram to run the same as the other...That way you can have it either way!! The reason i say EVGA 750 is im a overclocker and this board rocks...One of my friends has that board your looking at and it dont clock near as good!!
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Old 04-01-2009, 03:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: E8500 Build

Uh oh, I think I've spotted a serious flaw....

For the benchmark I keep referencing at Anandtech, they used the 2Gig version of the 4850x2. The price is about the same, but I'm in real trouble if I try using that with 32bit WinXP. The benchmarks are also all performed with Vista Premium 64bit.

Arrgh! Do I have to change my religion? I was hoping to ease into Vista/Win7-64...
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