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Old 11-03-2008, 05:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default PC Build

Hi everyone,

I have been a PC gamer for many years (love the consoles but PCs are so much better). Upgrades don't come often for me, but with Fallout 3 and Red Alert 3 out and Star Craft 2 coming and hints of a new Diablo, its time to put together a new system. I haven't put a new computer together for over 5 years now and I feel a little bit out of the loop so to say.

I have been researching and racking my brain for the last week trying to figure out a good system for a decent price around $1000. Only I seem to keep coming up with more questions than answers.

I plan on using this system as a gaming rig so I am going to go for stable performance. I don't plan on doing any over-clocking now but that may change down the road and I would like to keep my options open. Any answers and feed back on what I have planned would really be appreciated.

I already have a keyboard, mouse, speakers and monitor and will be running XP.

CPU
I have decided to go with a Core 2 duo. From what I have found they are better at gaming and when the quad oriented programs do come the mobo will allow the upgrade. So I have just a few questions about what CPU to get. I have heard the E8400 is a great performing CPU and can be over clocked well if you get the EO stepping.

How can you can you tell if the processor has the EO or the CO stepping?

Would it be better to go with an E8500 instead?

Motherboard
This has been the hardest choice. I have been looking at the DFI Lan Party X48 and the Asus P5Q Deluxe. Both support the 1333 FSB, DDR2 1200, and dual channel 16x. I am not really partial to any make/model so long as it is reliable and will allow some over-clocking.

What are the real differences between the 2?

Is if the DFI is really worth the extra $50?

Video Card
Hands down gonna get one of these Asus EAH4870 1gig. Then when the price drops, I will pick up another one.

RAM
I am going to go with 2 gigs of DDR2 1200. Gonna be running XP. The brand I am not sure of. I know crucial is good.

Is Kingston still making good stuff? I have always used it in the past and had no problems.

I have heard a lot about G. Skill but is it really as good as everyone says?

Case
Not looking to spend a bundle here, just need something that works. I have been looking at these two, Coolermaster Centurion and Cooler master RC-690.

Power Supply
This area I am really lost in. I know the video card requires 2 6 pin connects. So I know I will need at least 4 6 pin connectors if I plan on running 2 of these cards. Other than that I have no clue and need some help picking one that will work well for me.

Suggestions?

Hard Drive
Western Digital

Extras
Also gonna find a decent DVD burner and a floppy drive. Probably pick up a creative laps sound card. That stuff I really don't have any questions about.

Will the stock CPU cooler be ok if I am not going to over-clock or should I spring for a decent cooler?

Thanks everyone, I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Build

DFI boards (in my experience) have excellent bios layouts, and are great overclocking boards. So yes its worth the extra 50 bucks=P (although i would look for a 780i board, i've heard nothing but good things about them)



Kingston HyperX, Crucial, Corsair, OCZ, and G-skill (those are the best brands)
.. and yes Gskill is as good as everyone says, but
keep in mind, ALL of these manufacturers have BUDGET ram, and expensive Gaming ram

=) go with your favorite name, and get the expensive version.

Any of those cases will be fine, try to get one with plenty of air-flow

the Power supply --- Newegg.com - Antec NeoPower 550 550W ATX12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Power Supplies

=) its only 110 bucks, its 550 watts (should be fine for what your doing,)
its SLI (or crossfire) ready, and it has 2 6-pin plugs=)


Hard Drive-- go for Sata2 (whatever capacity you want), (whichever manufacturer u like best),


go for a good cooler, definitely,

Thermaltake Big Typhoon is a popular one, Zalman makes great coolers, Arctic Cooling has good solutions,

Keep in mind this is just my opinion,
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Old 11-04-2008, 09:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Build

For a cpu, I would go with the E8500. It's newer tech and overclocks very well. As for E0 or C0 stepping its really luck of the draw. You aren't really guaranteed a E8500 with E0 stepping. Although newegg does carry ones with E0.

As for motherboard, I would go with the P5Q-Deluxe. I hear good things about it and will complement the E8500 very well. The P45 chipsets leave more overclocking room for Yorkfields compared to a X48 chipset. This is an ideal cpu cooler:
Newegg.com - Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120mm "Core Contact Freezer" CPU Cooler - CPU Fans & Heatsinks
Pretty much best in the market for the price.

For ram, since you are going to run XP then 2Gb of ram is plenty. And I would recommend a set of DDR2 800. Timings are important this is a good set of ram:
Newegg.com - OCZ SLI-Ready 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory
And you can't beat that price!

A case is mainly your preference, and those cases you picked out look fine. Another good case that isn't expensive would be the Antec 300.

If you plan on doing Crossfire in the future then you should invest in a quality psu too. This one is really good, and has four 6+2 PCI-E connectors:Newegg.com - CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Power Supplies
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Old 11-04-2008, 02:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Build

Awesome thanks guys.

I have decided to go with the E8500 and the DFI board with Corsair PSU. Still working on the case.

About the RAM. May I ask why you recommend the DDR2 800 over the DDR2 1200? Won't I see faster speeds with the faster RAM? Also what kind of timing should I be looking for?

I also ran across some information about the 1 gig video cards. Is it true that most applications won't even come close to using the whole gig? If thats the case, would I be better off getting a single 512 card and down the line getting another one? The price difference between the gig and the 512 is only $20 so its not that big of a deal. I am just wondering why it would be better to get less video ram.

Do modern motherboards still support floppy drives?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichM499 View Post
although i would look for a 780i board, i've heard nothing but good things about them
Yes, I have heard good things about the 780i boards too, however I would like to stick with ATI. Always been a big fan of ATI and never really liked the Nvidia stuff I have owned.
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Old 11-04-2008, 03:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Build

=) get the ddr2 1200, (something with as low of timings as possible)

and, ah i forgot about the whole 780i and sli thing, had a lapse of judgement for a moment.

my board supports a floppy, they SHOULD have a port on there somewhere (but it may be hidden in the back, or on the very bottom of the motherboard like mine is)

i dont know exactly why he said ddr2 800, maybe he'll come back and enlighten us.

ram is like this, if its running at 166mhz, and 2-2-2-5 timings, the ram will be COMPARABLE, to 200mhz @ 3-3-3-7 timings,(but still slower in most gaming environments)

so the 800mhz ram would need to be running at very very very tight timings to match your 1200mhz bus, at a stock set of ram timings


so if i were you, i'd look around for the best ddr2 1200 you can find.

(i mean after all, its newer technology, designed to be faster than the previous technology ddr 1066,)

I would get the 1g version, its true that most applications dont use it all for framebuffer, but in the future they will.

GPU memory is best for super-high resolutions,



lets say you have a giant monitor, your gonna HATE a low resolution=)

so its worth it in the long run, especially for HD freaks that are 1080p or higher religiously
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Old 11-04-2008, 04:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Build

Never mind the DDR2 1200, looks like the board supports 1066 and will overclock to 1200. I am just gonna pick up some 1066 instead.
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Build

i have been looking for you, all i seem to be able to find is Corsair XMS2 Dominator PC2-10000 DDr2 1200mhz ram

its 4-4-4-12 timings (GREAT timings at that speed..)

unfortunately i cant find anyone selling it for less than 600 bucks=P
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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sry for double post
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Old 11-04-2008, 07:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Build

Ok, I think I got it figured out. How does this sound.

CPU - Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz - 188.99
Mobo - DFI LP DK X48-T2RSB - 239.99
Video Card - ASUS EAH4870/HTDI/1G Radeon HD 4870 1GB - 289.99 (with $20 Mail in rebate)
Ram - Kingston HyperX 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 -42.99
HD - Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500 gig- 69.99
PSU - CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX - 119.99
Thermal compound - ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - 6.99
Floppy Drive - SONY Black 1.44MB 3.5" Internal Floppy Drive - 7.99
DVD burner - ASUS Black burns everything - 35.99
Case - Either Antec Three Hundred or COOLER MASTER Centurion - Both 49.99

Grand total of $1052.90.

Only $53 over budget. $33 after the mail in rebate.
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Old 11-04-2008, 07:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Build

if you could find a gtx 260 core 216 around that price then that's what i would get.

here
Newegg.com - EVGA 896-P3-1267-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Edition 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards
ooops i put the wrong one. fixed now
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