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Old 08-21-2007, 10:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default First time build- some questions

Hi, I'm mulling over the usual - self build/ off shelf dilemma. Basically I need a new PC, ideally for gaming based along the criteria:

-pretty powerful- runs just about all modern games with everything turned on, albeit perhaps only at 1024/768 resolution

-it should last- I shouldn't need to upgrade it massively for a few years

-budget ~£1000 (~2000 $US).

So here were the proposed components and the price I can find them for in the UK:

-MoBo: eVGA NF680i SLI Motherboard £155 ($310)

-CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 3Ghz £170 ($340)

-RAM: 2Gb (2X1Gb) Corsair TwinX DDR2 Dominator PC8500 £128 ($250)
(or Crucial Ballistix if I can find!)

-Graphics: BFG Nvidia 8800GTX 768MB £345 ($700- ouch!) (min price for 8800 GTX in UK >$630)

-HD: 2x 320 Gb Seagate Barracuda 7200.10, SATA300 £105 ($210)

-Optical: Not bothered, perhaps LiteOn LH-20A1 (~£20, $40)

-Case: Coolermaster Stacker 830 Evo (£170, $340)

-PSU:650W Silverstone ST65Z (overkill I know, but good reviews) £80 ($160)

-A few fans/ heatsinks etc worry about that later

-Pretty sure I have everything else I need!

Total ~£1200/ $2400, so a little overbudget.

so.. questions!

1)Motherboard- 680i a good choice- in the interests of expandability I decided not to go with the LT version (doesn't cost much less anyway). Two other points a) I am a newbie, so overclocking is a no to start off with b) I'm not going to bother with SLI (so is 680i worth it?) for now, but I'd like 2 PCIe slots anyway.

2)8800GTX vs 8800GTS. Can I get away with 640Mb GTS for the graphics quality I mentioned? >$700 is a lot of cash! Worth waiting for the price to come down when the 9000 series comes out?

3)Case! good choice? A little pricey! maybe room for some price cuts

4)There doesn't seem that much difference in cost between these raw components and a similar alienware system. Ok, I pay maybe £200 more for an Alienware system with only PC6400 RAM and smaller hard disks, but with OS (I have a copy of XP, so no price there) and ready out of the box! Not much of a price saving!

5)Any general comments on this choice of components- As I said, I'm inexperienced in the area of self builds, so I don't want to be trying something beyond me!

Thanks for any help!

EDIT: Whoops I Clicked on the wrong forum. Maybe this thread should be moved!
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: First time build- some questions

Welcome to Tech-Forums!

First of all, if you're running an Intel Core 2 Duo, then that board is unnecessary.
If you want to run SLi then go with the ASUS P5K Deluxe because that's also a really good board to overclock on.
That VGA is a good choice, are you also planning to upgrade to the 9 series later on?
RAM, you should get some Crucial Ballistix.
That PSU is fine, it's not overkill.

Any who, if you're planning to get an HSF, you might want to take a look at the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro or the Tuniq Tower 120.

A1: As I have listed up in my post, the ASUS P5K Deluxe is about a third of that EVGA NF680i. The P5K has 2 PCI-e slots as well as the NF680i and it's also cheaper.

A2: 640MB GTS shows no sign in perfomance increase. Many people has gotten the 320MB version because when they overclock it, it'll surpass the speed of the 640MB and show a better performance increase. EVGA 8800GTS 320MB is the way to go if you're planning to play with the GTS series.

A3: That is a fine case! Decent airflow and plenty of fans will make your system run cool.

A4: Alienware's are a rip off. Well maybe it does look nice and have all the parts, but if you spent money on the parts itself and build it up yourself, you'll save plentiful of money. As for the RAM, you might want some Crucial Ballistix DDR2 800. They're a great stick at a great price with a really good performance.

A5: If you have any questions, just come to Tech-Forums!

Well it doesn't really matter since General Build PC and High Performance PC is pretty much the same.
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: First time build- some questions

get the q6600 instead of the e6850
and that case, is a waste of money, see if you can get a NZXT Zero, 8 silent fans are amazing airflow, its $125 here...you definatly do not want to spend $340 on a case
and ouch at the GTX price, its under 500 here
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: First time build- some questions

Thanks for the help, just reading up on the Asus P5K at the moment.

As you said, phucng_10, what would be the performance hit from using 800Mhz RAM as opposed to 1066?

Would a 320Mb 8800 GTS still run, say, oblivion with all the bells and whistles, not at full res? I wouldn't be planning on upgrading soon, especially not the 9 series- the 8800GTX is already pushing the budget!

Invisible, what about that quad vs duo debate- for a single programme, wouldn't Duo, large KHz be preferable to Quad, medium KHz?
How useful is Quad anyhow - would I notice the difference if I was:
a) playing a game- are games starting to use multicore?
b) crunching data in matlab whilst working on other things?

If multicore is becoming more 'used' by applications, then yes, I think I will go with Quad with the future in mind- it does get mighty expensive above Q6600, though!

EDIT: The P5K deluxe seems to support crossfire, but not SLI (or doesn't explictly say so). Admittedly, I'm not planning on using SLI for now, but could that cause problems?
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Old 08-21-2007, 12:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: First time build- some questions

Here is a comparison between Q6600 and E6850




However, many games are going to utilize quad cores in the future

HL2 episode 2, Crysis and Alan wake are going to utilize quad core

And from what I heard BioShock and call of duty 4 are going to utilize quad cores

I would get Q6600 if I were you
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Old 08-21-2007, 12:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: First time build- some questions

which color from the bar graph is the Core 2 Quad? Oh never mind. It's the percent improvement over the E6600. According to that chart, all the games have siginificant improvements when using quad core as compared to dual core. But everything else looks like they have little to gain, if not.
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Old 08-21-2007, 12:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: First time build- some questions

The red color is were Q6600 performed better than E6850

For example, Q6600 performed 44.3% better in Lightwave



The blue color is were E6850 performed better than Q6600

For example, E6850 performed 9.6% better in Prey
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Old 08-21-2007, 01:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: First time build- some questions

Agreed- Interesting, as I thought Supreme Commander was one of the few games that fully makes use of multicore- suggesting Quad should be faster that Duo, but I guess the hit in GHz makes a greater difference.

That said, I think I'm sold- Q6600 still performs really well, and seems the way to go for the future
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Old 08-21-2007, 01:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: First time build- some questions

Yes, that's a good decision because quad cores are the "in" thing right now. They're dirt cheap from when they first came out. Whoa, what a difference in price. Dual core had their glory and now, we're making room for high multi core CPUs. Get ready for 8-Core coming next year with Intel!!!! My next system will no doubt use quad core or 8 core depending on when I build it. There are a lot of great potential and since it's still relatively new, it's what keeps developers from getting laid off from their job because quad core needs just as much support as dual core CPUs.
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: First time build- some questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRDCorolla1 View Post
Yes, that's a good decision because quad cores are the "in" thing right now. They're dirt cheap from when they first came out. Whoa, what a difference in price. Dual core had their glory and now, we're making room for high multi core CPUs. Get ready for 8-Core coming next year with Intel!!!! My next system will no doubt use quad core or 8 core depending on when I build it. There are a lot of great potential and since it's still relatively new, it's what keeps developers from getting laid off from their job because quad core needs just as much support as dual core CPUs.
Yes, the Quad-Cores are much better at the moment and the price is amazing. Do you have a source of Intel making a release on their 8 cores? Or are you just imagining it?
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