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Old 12-27-2008, 01:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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This is my first build and I've been doing a lot of research and think I've got it pretty much finalized. I'd like to place my order in the next few days.

COOLER MASTER RC-690 Mid Tower Computer Case
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Corsair 650W PS
Corsair 4GB DDR2-800
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Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775
Asus Radeon HD 4870 1GB
Creative X-Fi Xtremegamer
Samsung Burner with Lightscribe
Acer X243Wbd Black 24" 5ms Widescreen 400cd/m2 3000:1

Does the mobo seem like a good choice for this setup? Also, I was really torn between the 4870 1GB and the GTX 260 (maybe 55nm, but those aren't in stock at newegg). Opinions? I'll be using this system for gaming primarily, I do not want to SLI/crossfire now or in the future, so that doesn't matter.

This is my first build and I'm a little nervous, though I've read a few guides and I have changed out individual parts in past PCs so I'm familiar with the inside of a computer. Should I buy extra thermal paste, or is the thermal pad that comes with my CPU sufficient? Putting the CPU in seems like the most nerve-racking part of the whole process (besides pressing that power button for the first time) so I want to go in there prepared.

Thanks for your help and please be honest if something looks bad or sub-par, I can take it! Right now with shipping I'm at around $1520, including the monitor, and I've got $90 in mail-in rebates so it'll be a little under $1430. Seem like a good price for this system?
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Out of the 3, I'd choose the ASUS. The ASUS has GDDR5 memory, which will give 2x the bandwidth of the GDDR3 of the eVGA. The Gigabyte also has GDDR5, but the ASUS has a high clock. The 4870 is about 6% faster than a 260 (According to Tom's Hardware).
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My first build, good mobo/GPU choice?

For the GPU, get this one Newegg.com - SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards.

If you want a cheaper case with a side panel with lots of fans, look at this one Newegg.com - NZXT TEMPEST Crafted Series CS-NT-TEM-B Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Computer Cases.

Change the CPU to E8400. Save some money there is only a .5 multiplier difference.

Change the Memory/RAM. Those have bad timings.
Look at these:
Newegg.com - Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory
Newegg.com - CORSAIR DOMINATOR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory
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Old 12-28-2008, 02:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Graphics card question

Is there a reason I should go with the Saphire 4870 1GB as opposed to the Asus? They're about the same price but from what I understand Asus has better warranties and whatnot.

Also, do you think the Xtremegamer sound card is worth the $90? Someone else told me the onboard sound on the mobo is fine, but I've always been under the impression that both game performance and sound quality are increased with this sound card. Is this not true with the newer mobos?
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Old 12-28-2008, 02:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Graphics card question

as Prototype said grab the Viper memory (its pretty gnarly!!) and, unless you wanna do some mad OCing (which im guessing you dont), the 8400 will be a good choice for saving money...

the sapphire has a wicked cooler (more OCing!!) whereas the Asus card has a reference based cooler...

unless you've got good ears (and listen to your music at really high sample and bit rates) or want a wider variety of inputs (for digital recording, mixing etc), you wont really notice the difference between onboard sound and a separate card... but imo, it really was worth it (cuz i only paid AU$59.95 for it!!), but you'll probably find its uneccesary
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Old 12-28-2008, 02:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Graphics card question

First off ,the Dark Knight card has no free shipping while the Asus does.

Second, both will perform the same so your paying an extra $20 for the same performance.

SideNote- That dark Knight card sure does look sexy :embaressed:
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Old 12-28-2008, 02:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Ok ok I ditched the sound card for now. We'll see how I like it but I can always get that later.

But I was dreaming up ways to spend that $90 I'm saving now and ran across the GTX 280s.

If I were to get one like this EVGA Geforce GTX 280 1GB, what would be a good motherboard that's high quality but doesn't have a bunch of extra stuff (like SLI capability, I don't plan on ever running two cards)? Preferrably around $90-120. Also, do you think the GTX 280 will show me a performance increase over the 4870 1GB to merit the ~$120 more that it costs?

Thanks in advance! And let me know if there are better GTX 280 options, but I do like EVGA quite a bit so give me a good reason!
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Old 12-28-2008, 06:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Graphics card question

yeah go with the viper ram and a e8400, but dont get a gtx 280, a gtx 260 is pretty much as fast when overclocked a bit, so a 4870 1gb is also just about as good with a little overclocking. stick with the ati! theres no way its worth the $120.

but aside from this, for about 1500 you should be able to make a i7 rig as follows

Newegg.com - Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops 299
Newegg.com - BIOSTAR TpowerX58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards 270
Newegg.com - G.SKILL PI Black 3GB (3 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory 144
Newegg.com - SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards 240

that 954 altogether, leaves you with sum room for rest of components.
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've never overclocked before and it's a little scary, lol. Is there a guide for overclocking the 4870 specifically? Like some specific easy-to-follow instructions I can use?
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Graphics card question

For PSU, I would upgrade to Newegg.com - CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V &#47; EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Power Supplies as the price will be the same after the rebate!
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