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Your DIY 4 GHz Dual Core Gaming Rig For $720

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June 12, 2006 10:50:02 AM

A build-your-own gaming machine with a dual-core CPU can not only beat the pants off other offerings, it can be a lot quieter and cheaper, too. We walk you through the assembly process and show how a lot of power can be had for as little as $720.
June 12, 2006 11:55:28 AM

Calling a rig with an X1300 a gaming machine is like calling a Ferrari with a 1.4 Fiat engine a sports car :D 
If I were to build a similar system, I'd rather go for a single 250GB drive and spend the difference on a 7600GS.
Oh, and of course, what you save with the cheap price of the D805, you lose it with all the heat generated while oc'ing.
June 12, 2006 11:58:32 AM

Sure, the chip may remain stable at 4 GHz, but how long can it stay that way? Extreme overclocking can definitely shorten the life of the part, especially at speeds that high. That little chip just isn't meant to go that fast for very long.
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June 12, 2006 12:43:56 PM

Quote:
A build-your-own gaming machine with a dual-core CPU can not only beat the pants off other offerings, it can be a lot quieter and cheaper, too. We walk you through the assembly process and show how a lot of power can be had for as little as $720.


Oh geez...here we go again...another round of posts with people wanting to jump on the "I want an oc'd 805 rig too!" bandwagon...I just hope this article produces less threads than the first round of 805 articles...

Quote:
Calling a rig with an X1300 a gaming machine is like calling a Ferrari with a 1.4 Fiat engine a sports car

I'll second that...I think I would be dissappointed with just a x1300...alomost a shame to pair it up with an oc'd 805...
June 12, 2006 1:22:52 PM

:p  It'll never be a gaming rig to me unless it has something in the X800, X850, or X1800 series. I haven't seen any benchmarks for the X1300 but generally the high-end of the previous generation is faster than the low-end of the current...
June 12, 2006 1:28:37 PM

I just can't see me explaining why I use twisty-ties in my box at the next LANParty. Especially when I took the time to create my own CPU Bracket.
June 12, 2006 1:46:40 PM

Quote:
I just can't see me explaining why I use twisty-ties in my box at the next LANParty. Especially when I took the time to create my own CPU Bracket.


Bingo - I saw that NB rig and got embarrassed for the Tom's reviewer. If you have to do a temporary fix of this type, use cable ties. From the photo, I'd think one could find some light guage springs to do the job. Insulate with shrink tube if desired.

Looks like they flunked Cable Management 101 also.
June 12, 2006 1:50:39 PM

The x1300 is benchmarked on THG, it's at the bottom of the vga charts but it's there.

In quake 4 1600x1200 AA*4 AF*8, the x1300 scores 6 frames per second compared to 82 frames per second for the 1900 xtx. The x850xt gets 34 fps.

Although the score is quite low, remember that an x1300 is around £40 and is a silent card. It will play yester year's games just fine so it is a perfectly respectable option for all those people who like budget games. Having said that, the x1900 is just less than 10 times the price but offers more than 10 times the performance. The x1300 is not the best bang for buck though.
June 12, 2006 2:12:47 PM

This would have been a great gaming rig a year ago. But come on, X1300? 7600? Not even close. I also have to agree with the lifespan. It may be wise to factor in the cost of buying a replacement D805 during the machine's lifetime. And factor in another $100-200 for a real video card. The 7600 should be part of the lower end system and the higher should have a 7800-7900, or X1800-X19000 instead.
June 12, 2006 2:16:00 PM

Any dual socket motherboards out there that work well with this chip? I'd go for a 8 Ghz system when the processors are so cheap.
June 12, 2006 2:40:57 PM

Quote:
1. Steer well clear of the furnace and spend on the D920 instead.


I do a lot of web development, and I have my own Windows 2000 Server / Solaris / Windows 2003 Server / Redhat / Debian / Windows XP farm in my apartment. My main systems are:

AMD X2 4400+, NVidia 7900GT PCI-E, 2G DDR
AMD A64 3700+, NVidia 7800GTX PCI-E, 1G DDR
Intel P4 3.4, ATI X800XT PCI-E, 2G DDR
AMD A64 3200+, NVidia 6800GT AGP, 1G DDR
Intel P4 3.06, ATI 9800 Pro AGP, 1G DDR (Dude, it's a Dell)

I also do a lot of gaming. And I like computers, and I like using computers as a tax write-off. A friend (brother-in-law) needed a replacement computer, and since he and I play a lot of BF2 and WoW together I loaned him my 3700+. And since I wanted to turn my AMD X2, which was my daily driver, into a RedHat / Windows 2003 pre-production system.... I needed a new computer.

Really - I needed a new computer. :p  I'm always ready to build myself a new system, but I also wanted to wait for Conroe, or maybe even the quad-core stuff coming late this year with the Vista rollout, so when the 805D appeared, I decided to match a new motherboard, CPU and RAM with some parts I already had, and make an 'interim' computer.

It has an 805D, an Asus P5WD2 mainboard, a Zalman 9500 and 2G of cheap G Skill DDR2. It clocked to 3.4 without any changes to voltage. I gave it a .1 volt bump and hit 3.6 - I don't know if I could have hit 3.6 without the bump, but even with the bump my voltage was still only 1.4, which is the manufacturer's spec.

The system was stable, but since I needed to do a long coding session I stepped back to 3.4, and have left it there ever since. I haven't turned it off in 2 weeks; it's never crashed, not once.

The highest temperature reading I can get with my Fluke is 32 degrees, which I think is low. SpeedFan says the temperature is 37 degrees.

In comparison, my old P4 3.4 starts at 63 degrees and sometimes hits 69 degrees under load - even when it has the Zalman cooler. Thats hot, but the 805D is not.

To the people who keep harping that the 805D is hot - bull****. You don't know what you're talking about. After 8 hours at load the processor is 37 degrees when clocked at 3.4, a max increase of 1 degree. With no voltage bump. You're entitled to your opinion, but the people I see posting the 'Oh-my-god-it's-too-hot!!!' comments never have any hardware figures to back up their comments. None of my overclocks have created a significant difference in the temperature.

This is not a political bulletin board. Read the reviews on the hardware sites about overclocking the 805D - this is the same 90nm silicon that other Intel duel cores are based on, it's just clocked down. It can handle 3.0, 3.2 and 3.4Ghz easily.

As for spending the money on an 800Mhz FSB 'D' series processor (whether 820 or 930 or 920), I don't see this as a valid argument, especially if you're planning on overclocking without faking out the clock multiplier. At 3.4Ghz the 805D, with is x20 multiplier, only pushes the FSB to 170, which shouldn't place any stress on the northbridge.

The 930 might be overclockable, but with its x15 multiplier and 200Mhz starting point, how soon are you going to overstress the northbridge? I admit I lose 15% bandwidth at 170Mhz FSB, but that 15% loss isn't apparent on my benchmarks, and my processor has room to go up without stressing the motherboard.

Quote:
Oh, and of course, what you save with the cheap price of the D805, you lose it with all the heat generated while oc'ing.


Compared to ... what?

How long has it been since you replaced your refridgerator? How much power does your TV use? Your XBox? Do you have flourescent lights in all of your light sockets? Do you use a CRT? Is your computer set for sleep mode after 10 mins of inactivity?

Do you use gas heat? Or do you only do your computing on a laptop? Do you drive an SUV? Bike to work? Use a push lawnmower? Recycle your aluminum cans?

This is a hardware forum. My 805D clocked at 3.4 is using less power than my stock P4 3.4 single-core. In fact, if my noodling around with my Fluke is correct, it's only using 3% more power now than it did before I OC'd it, and that power is all being consumed at the mainboard level.

We're hardware freaks. I guarantee you that my X800XT is using more power than my NVidia 7900GT, because it's hot hot hot as hell. Do we see the ATI and NVidia fanboys arguing about power consumption?

Quote:
Sure, the chip may remain stable at 4 GHz, but how long can it stay that way? Extreme overclocking can definitely shorten the life of the part, especially at speeds that high


Again, I keep seeing this statement about shortened CPU lifespan being taken out of context. CPU lifespan has two main factors, the greater of which is based on heat expansion and heat related stress, and the lesser of which is dielectric fatigue. My friend has an 830D that runs stock at 3.0Ghz, and his temps are in the mid-40s. Overclocked at 3.4 my temps are between 35- and 37 degrees. We have the same voltages (and I have much better benchmarks.) Since the are chips are both Smithfields, and possibly even from the same wafer, by the laws of physics my overclocked 805D is going to last longer than his stock 830D.

If you don't believe me, please check with your EE professor. I did. Intel's 3.73 Extreme will most certainly have a shorter lifespan than my oc'd 805D. My AMD X2 should have the longest lifespan of all of them. Who cares? All three will probably last longer than I intend to use them.

I own an overclocked 805D, and right now it's the best chip for the money on the market. I can't promise you that you will also get great results, since my overclock was on a quality motherboard with a $50 CPU fan, but if your system is outdated and you're looking to build on a budget, the 805D is a bargain and there are many good reasons for choosing it.

At the same time, I think it is unreasonable to expect a $120.00 processor to beat a $1,000.00 processor without a lot of expensive cooling equipment and a small amount of risk. If you're looking for an economy car, don't expect your Hyundai to compete at the dragstrip.

Finally, if it upsets you that people want to talk about their positive experience or their wild experiments with the 805D, or if they want to ask advice about building an 805D system, please either have credible information or shut up.
June 12, 2006 2:48:20 PM

Seanreisk, I was going to sum up the reasons against all the detractors, but I think you have said it well, and done so with good information to back it all up. I think one thing people don't realize is....most gamers don't care that it uses more power than some other power systems. Some more power consumption over time VS 1200 for just a cpu? I'll take the former :)  Thanks THG for the great guide, I'll be making one of these soon enough, with a higher end video card :)  Even IF the processor lasts maybe just what..2 years...I'll just get the next cheapo CPU that can OC :) 
June 12, 2006 3:21:13 PM

Quote:

To the people who keep harping that the 805D is hot - bull****. You don't know what you're talking about. After 8 hours at load the processor is 37 degrees when clocked at 3.4, a max increase of 1 degree. With no voltage bump. You're entitled to your opinion, but the people I see posting the 'Oh-my-god-it's-too-hot!!!' comments never have any hardware figures to back up their comments. None of my overclocks have created a significant difference in the temperature.

This is not a political bulletin board. Read the reviews on the hardware sites about overclocking the 805D - this is the same 90nm silicon that other Intel duel cores are based on, it's just clocked down. It can handle 3.0, 3.2 and 3.4Ghz easily.

As for spending the money on an 800Mhz FSB 'D' series processor (whether 820 or 930 or '920'), I don't see this as a valid argument, especially if you're planning on overclocking. At 3,4Ghz the 805D, with is x20 multiplier, only pushes the FSB to 170, which shouldn't place any stress on the northbridge. The 930 might be overclockable, but with its x15 multiplier, how soon are you going to overheat the northbridge? I admit I lose 15% bandwidth at 170Mhz FSB, but that 15% loss isn't apparent on my benchmarks, and my processor has room to go up without stressing the motherboard.

Oh, and of course, what you save with the cheap price of the D805, you lose it with all the heat generated while oc'ing.


Compared to ... what?

How long has it been since you replaced your refridgerator? How much power does your TV use? Your XBox? Do you have flourescent lights in all of your light sockets? Do you use a CRT?

Do you use gas heat? Or do you only do your computing on a laptop?

This is a hardware forum. My 805D clocked at 3.4 is using less power than my stock P4 3.4 single-core. In fact, if my noodling around with my Fluke is correct, it's only using 3% more power now than it did before I OC'd it, and that power is all being consumed at the mainboard level.

Don't forget that you're only running it at 3.4 GHz. After the first article, I can't count how many posts and threads I've seen from first-post-noobs saying they want to reach 4.1GHz, as well. Also, this article is about overclocking it to 4 GHz.
I don't remember exactly where it was, but there was a comparison of consumption - the oc'ed 805 consumed up to 240 (or was it 280?) Ws. Now that is a lot for a modern cpu.

So, to reply:

Compared to the other cpus that have 65 and 62 W TDPs.
Our fridge was replaced about 4-5 years ago; however, it's either A or B energy efficiency category, IIRC.
The programmes are crap, I rarely watch TV.
I don't have an xbox
Most of the lightbulbs are fluorescent compact bulbs.
No, a TFT.
and I even use public transport to go to the university.

Anyway, you are right that it's not much compared to some other electrical appliances. However, pc nowadays more frequently are non-stop on for a period of time; also, there are far more power-efficient cpus out there. IMO, it's a waste to go with an inefficient but cheap one, what you save in price you loose with the excess heat generated and with the more sophisticated cooling solution necessary to keep it from overheating.
June 12, 2006 3:31:55 PM

Not to be picky, but it seems to me that the wood block appears unnecessary. The metal bracket is in two pieces. The middle 'I-shaped' piece appears to be the piece that bears down on the CPU cooling pad. I would have installed the bottom bracket (under the hoses) with screws without the standoffs, then fit the 'I' piece accross the CPU cooling pad and use longer screws to bear down to the already assembled bottom bracket. This seems to be the design intent of the metal brackets.

IMHO the wood block appears unecessary and the design intent of the metal brackets is sort of defeated.
June 12, 2006 3:38:09 PM

Quote:
1. Steer well clear of the furnace and spend on the D920 instead.


I do a lot of web development, and I have my own Windows 2000 Server / Solaris / Windows 2003 Server / Redhat / Debian / Windows XP farm in my apartment. My main systems are:

AMD X2 4400+, NVidia 7900GT PCI-E, 2G DDR
AMD A64 3700+, NVidia 7800GTX PCI-E, 1G DDR
Intel P4 3.4, ATI X800XT PCI-E, 2G DDR
AMD A64 3200+, NVidia 6800GT AGP, 1G DDR
Intel P4 3.06, ATI 9800 Pro AGP, 1G DDR (Dude, it's a Dell)

I also do a lot of gaming. And I like computers, and I like using computers as a tax write-off. A friend (brother-in-law) needed a replacement computer, and since he and I play a lot of BF2 and WoW together I loaned him my 3700+. And since I wanted to turn my AMD X2, which was my daily driver, into a RedHat / Windows 2003 pre-production system.... I needed a new computer.

Really - I needed a new computer. :p  I'm always ready to build myself a new system, but I also wanted to wait for Conroe, or maybe even the quad-core stuff coming late this year with the Vista rollout, so when the 805D appeared, I decided to match a new motherboard, CPU and RAM with some parts I already had, and make an 'interim' computer.

It has an 805D, an Asus P5WD2 mainboard, a Zalman 9500 and 2G of cheap G Skill DDR2. It clocked to 3.4 without any changes to voltage. I gave it a .1 volt bump and hit 3.6 - I don't know if I could have hit 3.6 without the bump, but even with the bump my voltage was still only 1.4, which is the manufacturer's spec.

The system was stable, but since I needed to do a long coding session I stepped back to 3.4, and have left it there ever since. I haven't turned it off in 2 weeks; it's never crashed, not once.

The highest temperature reading I can get with my Fluke is 32 degrees, which I think is low. SpeedFan says the temperature is 37 degrees.

In comparison, my old P4 3.4 starts at 63 degrees and sometimes hits 69 degrees under load - even when it has the Zalman cooler. Thats hot, but the 805D is not.

To the people who keep harping that the 805D is hot - bull****. You don't know what you're talking about. After 8 hours at load the processor is 37 degrees when clocked at 3.4, a max increase of 1 degree. With no voltage bump. You're entitled to your opinion, but the people I see posting the 'Oh-my-god-it's-too-hot!!!' comments never have any hardware figures to back up their comments. None of my overclocks have created a significant difference in the temperature.

This is not a political bulletin board. Read the reviews on the hardware sites about overclocking the 805D - this is the same 90nm silicon that other Intel duel cores are based on, it's just clocked down. It can handle 3.0, 3.2 and 3.4Ghz easily.

As for spending the money on an 800Mhz FSB 'D' series processor (whether 820 or 930 or 920), I don't see this as a valid argument, especially if you're planning on overclocking without faking out the clock multiplier. At 3.4Ghz the 805D, with is x20 multiplier, only pushes the FSB to 170, which shouldn't place any stress on the northbridge.

The 930 might be overclockable, but with its x15 multiplier and 200Mhz starting point, how soon are you going to overstress the northbridge? I admit I lose 15% bandwidth at 170Mhz FSB, but that 15% loss isn't apparent on my benchmarks, and my processor has room to go up without stressing the motherboard.

Quote:
Oh, and of course, what you save with the cheap price of the D805, you lose it with all the heat generated while oc'ing.


Compared to ... what?

How long has it been since you replaced your refridgerator? How much power does your TV use? Your XBox? Do you have flourescent lights in all of your light sockets? Do you use a CRT? Is your computer set for sleep mode after 10 mins of inactivity?

Do you use gas heat? Or do you only do your computing on a laptop? Do you drive an SUV? Bike to work? Use a push lawnmower? Recycle your aluminum cans?

This is a hardware forum. My 805D clocked at 3.4 is using less power than my stock P4 3.4 single-core. In fact, if my noodling around with my Fluke is correct, it's only using 3% more power now than it did before I OC'd it, and that power is all being consumed at the mainboard level.

We're hardware freaks. I guarantee you that my X800XT is using more power than my NVidia 7900GT, because it's hot hot hot as hell. Do we see the ATI and NVidia fanboys arguing about power consumption?

Quote:
Sure, the chip may remain stable at 4 GHz, but how long can it stay that way? Extreme overclocking can definitely shorten the life of the part, especially at speeds that high


Again, I keep seeing this statement about shortened CPU lifespan being taken out of context. CPU lifespan has two main factors, the greater of which is based on heat expansion and heat related stress, and the lesser of which is dielectric fatigue. My friend has an 830D that runs stock at 3.0Ghz, and his temps are in the mid-40s. Overclocked at 3.4 my temps are between 35- and 37 degrees. We have the same voltages (and I have much better benchmarks.) Since the are chips are both Smithfields, and possibly even from the same wafer, by the laws of physics my overclocked 805D is going to last longer than his stock 830D.

If you don't believe me, please check with your EE professor. I did. Intel's 3.73 Extreme will most certainly have a shorter lifespan than my oc'd 805D. My AMD X2 should have the longest lifespan of all of them. Who cares? All three will probably last longer than I intend to use them.

I own an overclocked 805D, and right now it's the best chip for the money on the market. I can't promise you that you will also get great results, since my overclock was on a quality motherboard with a $50 CPU fan, but if your system is outdated and you're looking to build on a budget, the 805D is a bargain and there are many good reasons for choosing it.

At the same time, I think it is unreasonable to expect a $120.00 processor to beat a $1,000.00 processor without a lot of expensive cooling equipment and a small amount of risk. If you're looking for an economy car, don't expect your Hyundai to compete at the dragstrip.

Finally, if it upsets you that people want to talk about their positive experience or their wild experiments with the 805D, or if they want to ask advice about building an 805D system, please either have credible information or shut up.

Oh SNAP!

I have to admit I'm not exempt from being tricked by biased or flawed peoples opinions. When others put things into this clear a perspective it makes me smile.

Seanreisk you did a great justice with that post.

I was looking at these OC805's and thinking they were a great idea, but now think otherwise. Not because it's dangerious or costly but because Core 2 Duo's seem to be a better value. In any case it's nice to see innovative system builds.
June 12, 2006 3:55:14 PM

Quote:
In any case it's nice to see innovative system builds.


Yes, some may have lost sight of the fact that the article was really about human ingenuity and innovation. It's like Honda taking a little 2L engine and making it into a 240hp monster. It still uses a decent amount of gas, but hey, it's innovative! :) 
June 12, 2006 3:55:22 PM

Quote:
Not to be picky, but it seems to me that the wood block appears unnecessary.


Didn't the small print say the wooden block was in place to minimize the magnetic coercitivity of the CPU? Even if he didn't it has the advantage of adding that je ne sais quoi/hillbilly deluxe flair.
June 12, 2006 3:55:24 PM

I'm guessing they put the woodblock in because the wood is softer than the metal and less likely to put concentrated stress on the plastic water block. It might also be so they don't have to release the tubes on the water cooling everytime they want to get at the cpu.

It does seem like a bit of a clumsy method, I mean, the water block is not even center over the cpu and the wood actually looks like it's tipping out of the slot in one picture.

If it works, it works, but I'd still prefere a proper lga775 waterblock.
June 12, 2006 3:55:35 PM

Tom's Hardware is great but there are always hidden cost like shipping, taxes and other parts they used that seems to get left out. Like TH but some people just write good Subject lines and blow smoke up our...you know.

I don't believe the rig is true I just don't believe that is the real cost. Yes I understand no taxes online by the way but there are other cost and Tom's not always but a lot of times forgets to tell you about those.
June 12, 2006 4:07:10 PM

Quote:
1. Steer well clear of the furnace and spend $170 on the D920 instead.

2. Stick with Thermaltake BigwaterSE 12cm $127; performance of Koolance Exos AL is inferior and not worth the extra $ for the intergrated case.
I didn't realize the D920 was that cheap now; that's one hell of a deal compared to the D805.
June 12, 2006 4:09:48 PM

Quote:
Any dual socket motherboards out there...for a 8 Ghz system...


Sorry to pick on this, no insult intended...but, that's funny...and I supposed a quad core would be 16GHz?!
June 12, 2006 4:19:11 PM

The 9xx series is cheap is because they can make em smaller than the 8 series so less silicon required.

Taa daaaa, managed to rescue my accidental double post!
June 12, 2006 4:21:37 PM

So What??? If you don't like that kind of posts, don't read them!?!
I too didn't like all those AMD-Intel stupid post wars, so I skipped them.
If one wants to buy 805 and do some OCing, let him be.

Cheers!
June 12, 2006 4:27:31 PM

The CPU and brackets can be removed without releasing the water tubes. I still don't get why the wood block is necessary. I don't think the Tom's reviewer really understood how to mount the CPU cooling bracket onto the cooling pad. I didn't see any reference to any technical reason, but maybe I missed it. It may work the way they set it up, but it seems to me to be a wasted trip to the hardware store, and it does look kind of clumsy. :) 
June 12, 2006 5:06:46 PM

Aye, the D920/30 are getting VERY cheap these days. Im almost considering upgrading my D805 to one in the little time left to Conroe. One of the reasons is i want to see how far i can push a 65nm chip, as i could fairly easy get a 90nm one up to 3.8......
June 12, 2006 5:17:31 PM

Quote:

2. Stick with Thermaltake BigwaterSE 12cm $127; performance of Koolance Exos AL is inferior and not worth the extra $ for the intergrated case.


I dont know much about the exos but i know the bigwaterSE barely can handle the d805 at 4040mhz I am talking 70° prime load temps. The bigwater 745 would be better for a few extra $.

Quote:
1. Steer well clear of the furnace and spend on the D920 instead.



It has an 805D, an Asus P5WD2 mainboard, a Zalman 9500 and 2G of cheap G Skill DDR2. It clocked to 3.4 without any changes to voltage. I gave it a .1 volt bump and hit 3.6 - I don't know if I could have hit 3.6 without the bump, but even with the bump my voltage was still only 1.4, which is the manufacturer's spec.

The system was stable, but since I needed to do a long coding session I stepped back to 3.4, and have left it there ever since. I haven't turned it off in 2 weeks; it's never crashed, not once.

The highest temperature reading I can get with my Fluke is 32 degrees, which I think is low. SpeedFan says the temperature is 37 degrees.

In comparison, my old P4 3.4 starts at 63 degrees and sometimes hits 69 degrees under load - even when it has the Zalman cooler. Thats hot, but the 805D is not.

To the people who keep harping that the 805D is hot - bull****. You don't know what you're talking about. After 8 hours at load the processor is 37 degrees when clocked at 3.4, a max increase of 1 degree. With no voltage bump. You're entitled to your opinion, but the people I see posting the 'Oh-my-god-it's-too-hot!!!' comments never have any hardware figures to back up their comments. None of my overclocks have created a significant difference in the temperature.

This is not a political bulletin board. Read the reviews on the hardware sites about overclocking the 805D - this is the same 90nm silicon that other Intel duel cores are based on, it's just clocked down. It can handle 3.0, 3.2 and 3.4Ghz easily.

As for spending the money on an 800Mhz FSB 'D' series processor (whether 820 or 930 or 920), I don't see this as a valid argument, especially if you're planning on overclocking without faking out the clock multiplier. At 3.4Ghz the 805D, with is x20 multiplier, only pushes the FSB to 170, which shouldn't place any stress on the northbridge.

805D is a bargain and there are many good reasons for choosing it.

At the same time, I think it is unreasonable to expect a $120.00 processor to beat a $1,000.00 processor without a lot of expensive cooling equipment and a small amount of risk. If you're looking for an economy car, don't expect your Hyundai to compete at the dragstrip.

Finally, if it upsets you that people want to talk about their positive experience or their wild experiments with the 805D, or if they want to ask advice about building an 805D system, please either have credible information or shut up.


Dude 3.4Ghz is a very far cry from 4.0 ghz and its ashame you even tried to compare. running 2 d805's myself 1 at 4.1ghz i can say its hot, and if i do not have my windows open i can heat up my room easy after a couple of hours.

That being said the d805 is a great chip if you know what you are getting, And it boggles my mind that they did not opt for a better video card.

What really sucks is the title $720 Diy when the one they built is $1200
June 12, 2006 5:35:40 PM

I’m calling shenanigans: are we not led to believe that someone at Tom’s actually built this $720 rig? It’s certainly not the one pictured. The point is, I don’t think one could use this component list and actually build a 4 GHz stable gaming system.

My questions for TG (specifically for the “$720” system, I don’t care about anything else):
1. Did you build the $720 rig (would be nice to see exact costs including the hardware store charges and additional fans etc.)
2. Will you show us the benchmarks?
3. Can the system stand up to a torture test used on many other systems tested?
4. Will the power supply from the $67 case p/s combo withstand TG’s power supply tests and pass on all specs (that is the bargain of a lifetime if it can –even better than the CPU)?
5. Will the memory and motherboard also withstand this testing?

For my own edification, I’d like to see these components tested in a round-up, motherboard, power supply, RAM, and cooling system, against their branded counterparts. Would any of these components on your $720 list get close to a nod from TG when tested among peers? I’m looking for a follow-up article that addresses these questions. Perhaps TG could define “Gaming Rig” as well.
June 12, 2006 5:37:53 PM

Quote:
The CPU and brackets can be removed without releasing the water tubes. I still don't get why the wood block is necessary. I don't think the Tom's reviewer really understood how to mount the CPU cooling bracket onto the cooling pad. I didn't see any reference to any technical reason, but maybe I missed it. It may work the way they set it up, but it seems to me to be a wasted trip to the hardware store, and it does look kind of clumsy. :) 


I looked at thoes pics one more time and this is how it looks to me

The wood is needed because the cpu block would other wise just be set on top of the cpu. look at my art work bleow (great artist I am)



there is nothing for the cpu water block to screw down into on the mobo so that it will have a proper fit to the cpu. so the whole wood spacer thing is to press the water block to the cpu for heat transfer.

thats how it looks to me anyway I doubt that the person doing this would have done something like that if it werent needed
June 12, 2006 6:02:11 PM

Quote:
:p  It'll never be a gaming rig to me unless it has something in the X800, X850, or X1800 series. I haven't seen any benchmarks for the X1300 but generally the high-end of the previous generation is faster than the low-end of the current...


The 1300 is a 4 pipe card... miserable performer.
June 12, 2006 6:05:55 PM

Could also be that he had long screws and didn't feel like going to the store and picking up other random computer screws (I have like 18 gabillion of them).

Really, if your going to make your own bracket, can't you do it without such a block? BTW, when I wanted to cool my chipset I took the heatsink and fan off an old Pentium 133mhz machine. Small, quiet, and cool. And if I had bought it, it would have been maybe $2.
June 12, 2006 6:10:38 PM

The idea of the bracket in two pieces is to accommodate the CPU cooling pad and height differences between different mobos/CPU seats/CPU Cooling Pad heights. That 'I' part of the metal bracket is attached by four screws to the base bracket which is screwed separately to the mobo. The purpose of the 'I' bracket is to press the CPU water block evenly to the CPU as you have stated, and then to attach the 'I' bracket to the base bracket. Then the base bracket is attached to the mobo. Screwing it separately to the base bracket provides flexibility in height with different mobo/CPU seat/CPU Cooling Pad combinations. *Edited* - It does appear that one of the legs of the CPU base bracket might have to be cut off to clear the cooling hose attachment piece on the cooling pad.

If I knew how to post a pic I would, but if you take your diagram, remove the wood block, move your Brace down to the CPU Water Block, add a new grey layer for the bottom metal bracket somewhere below the Brace you have shown, and add screws from the Brace to the new bottom bracket you would have it. I believe this would be how the cooler manufacturer intended their metal brackets be used - without the goofy wood block. :) 
June 12, 2006 6:11:02 PM

Quote:
I’m calling shenanigans: are we not led to believe that someone at Tom’s actually built this $720 rig? It’s certainly not the one pictured. The point is, I don’t think one could use this component list and actually build a 4 GHz stable gaming system.

My questions for TG (specifically for the “$720” system, I don’t care about anything else):
1. Did you build the $720 rig (would be nice to see exact costs including the hardware store charges and additional fans etc.)
2. Will you show us the benchmarks?
3. Can the system stand up to a torture test used on many other systems tested?
4. Will the power supply from the $67 case p/s combo withstand TG’s power supply tests and pass on all specs (that is the bargain of a lifetime if it can –even better than the CPU)?
5. Will the memory and motherboard also withstand this testing?

For my own edification, I’d like to see these components tested in a round-up, motherboard, power supply, RAM, and cooling system, against their branded counterparts. Would any of these components on your $720 list get close to a nod from TG when tested among peers? I’m looking for a follow-up article that addresses these questions. Perhaps TG could define “Gaming Rig” as well.


Its read article then comment not the other way around, they did not build the $720 rig
June 12, 2006 6:30:36 PM

Processor Intel Pentium D 805 2.66 GHz (Dual-Core) $122
*Set clock speed to 3.4Ghz*

Motherboard - get a real SLI compatable motherboard. ASUS, Intel, or MSI are far better than what they suggested. $150, tops.

RAM 2 x 512 MB DDR2-667 Adata Vitesta PC2 5300 $139.96- Also runs at 333 MHz (667)
*no problems here*

Hard disk
Maxtor MaxLine III 7V300F0 300GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive $118.99 - Newegg
*Raid is silly considering the video card, and can always be added later. This is a 16MB cache HD and has virtually identical specs as the raid setup in normal use - for a bit less money. Later on, two of these make for a smoking raid setup(my system at home uses them - very slick drives)

DVD burner - NEC 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Beige IDE Model ND-3550A - Retail $39.99 - Newegg.
*It's infinately better than the cheap one they recommended*

Case - ~$80 - MUST HAVE A 120MM FAN AND NO FRONT COVER.
*note - you don't need 600W if you are air-cooling, so go for a better case and power supply. Besides the two features mentioned above, anything else is optional - choose whatever 120mm equiiped case you want as long as it doesn't have a front cover* A ~450W PS will be fine and keep cost down.

Fans -
1x slot fan $10
*this rids the video card of most of its heat(front of the card is usually on the side away from the exhaust fan(s) CRITICAL PART* Mount with one slot inbetween the two components free.
1x 120mm wire fan griller/finger guard.(round metal type found on most power supplies) $5
1x 50mm ball bearing fan - carefully screw into the northbridge heatsink. *note - only two will fit, and be at a slight angle, but that's enough to hold it firmly* $5
**total - $20**

Other:
1 3.5 drive conversion bracket/kit(fits a 3.5 drive in a 5.25 bay) $15

Graphics card Asus EN7600 GT, 256 MB, 350 MHz $229.99 Fast, affordable graphics card
*good price for results - Tom's is right on this one*

***
You will have to make five very simple case mods, though:
1:use a dremel or other tool to remove the rear fan covers. These double fan noise and backpressure. Replace them with the round wire finger-guard. THIS IS A CRITICAL MOD - It doubles airflow!
2:Install the hard drive in the lower 5.25 inch bay with the kit. Remove the front adaptor plate and put a normal 5.25 cover there instead.
3:Use the leftover 3.5 inch opening converter cover in the slot above the hard drive.
3B: if the opening is ugly to you, get some black nylons and use a bit of super-glue to glue in a cover for the opening(optional) Hint - glue first, then cut with an X-Acto knife if using nylons) The removeable cover is the key here - it pops out with very little pressure.
3C:remove the upper 3.5 bay cover as well.(optional, helps a lot, though)
4:remove the entire 3.5 inch drive bay "block"
5:remove the lower intake fan. It no longer serves any purpose and generates tons of noise. Also remove the plastic bracket holding it in place if there is one.(opens more space in the case)

The idea here is to open up wasted space and route the entire intake over the running drives to act as a drive-cooler at the same time. All you need is a 120mm fan at the rear and a case with three 5.25 bays in it. The 3.5 inch opening is smaller than the ones at the rear, so the air is accelerated and cooled as it passes through the opening - and right over the drives, which bring it back up to about room temperature. Then it goes right out the rear, over the other fans. The 5.25 bay is better as putting a hard drive in a 3.5 bay, all cramped, is asking for it to get way too hot.

NOTE - with this type of setup, you can use the stock CPU cooler! There's tons of airflow over the components.


**TOTAL COST FOR BUILD**
$915.33(less if you have a case you can re-use) - this is functionally
as good as the top-end system, other than the tiny 0.6GHZ processor
difference. (3.6Ghz should be possible, too, but the difference in games is negligible once you go past roughly 3.4Ghz, due to Northbridge and I/O losses. I have mine at 3.6Ghz and it runs fine with one extra mod:

**Turn off all power savings and control options on the MB and in the OS. Hard-wire the fans into the PS.** You want the system running at full-speed 24/7(except the video card that is)** With the fans running at full speed all the time, it's quiet and runs well on the stock cooler.

NOTE:
If you took the lower-end system in the review, though, and dropped the
water-cooling, with the $35 in mods/fans instead, you'd end up with
a total bill of $621.43. With a little work, you could probably push the
bill down to $600 even, since you don't need such high spec ram if
you plan to run at 3.4Ghz.

They really need to put out a review of what you can do with a cheap
build with the thing at 3.4Ghz. "$600 3.4Ghz Dual-Core system".

And - no wood blocks - all my my mods are dead-simple to do in half an hour or less.(10 minutes if you have a Dremel)
June 12, 2006 6:56:56 PM

So how much power does this overclocked 805 use north of 4GHZ? I mean how does it compare to the cost of running other common household appliances? Is it significant enough that I should care? Or will it be a marginal increase to my monthly power bill?
June 12, 2006 7:03:50 PM

I'm not sure why the article is even front page worthy.
They spent: $122(cpu) + $130(water cooler) = $252 on the cpu
ONLY $66 on a x1300 gpu card.

This isn't a gaming rig with any pratical use. Since it's the video card that does the most heavy duty job of image rendering, one would want to spend the $252 on the video card and $66 on the cpu. With a low/mid range gpu card, I doubt a relatively slow cpu will cause bottlenecks.

I would really like to see some benchmarks that test gaming rigs using low end to mid range video cards (<$200) with celeron processors/amd equivalent. Most computers sold today are cheap and use low end processors. It annoys me that most sites don't test how low end cpus work with video cards. The benchmarks can really help answer the question, does buying a $300 dell and adding a video card make sense.

p.s. 7600 gt 256mb cards can be bought for $160 on newegg, even cheaper with rebates. I doubt know why you would spend $250 on an asus one.
June 12, 2006 7:16:11 PM

Quote:

Its read article then comment not the other way around, they did not build the $720 rig


No need to make personal attacks; the point I was making was that the article implied that one could build a gaming rig for $720; my question, did they build it, was rhetorical. They didn’t even build the $1200 system (unless the pictures are merely “reference” and not supposed to represent what was being built). I’m calling shenanigans because I don’t believe the component list could perform as “claimed” by the title “Your DIY 4 GHz Dual Core Gaming Rig For $720

Perhaps a Gaming Rig has many definitions. A 4GHz processor would almost always fit gamer’s definition, but I can’t say that for the rest of the “rig.” A list of inexpensive components not tested together does not warrant a gaming rig in my book.
June 12, 2006 9:03:02 PM

Quote:
So What??? If you don't like that kind of posts, don't read them!?!
I too didn't like all those AMD-Intel stupid post wars, so I skipped them.
If one wants to buy 805 and do some OCing, let him be.

Cheers!


Yeah! That's the way...tell me where to go...apprently you decided not to skip this "AMD-Intel stupid post"... Good for you!
June 12, 2006 9:42:35 PM

I have been running my machine with its 805 at 3.8 1.47v for 2 months now.

Personaly I think this is an easy way to cross over to intel.

My system specs is in my sig. Say what you will but its a great setup.
June 12, 2006 10:33:08 PM

In 6 months people will not even remember this chip. That is how fast technology changes. Yea my Barton 2500+ over clocked to a 3200+ but who the hell cares now. To those who use it and it works yea for them. For the rest of you who cares move on to something else. I did not look at just the dang chip I looked at the whole package and it seemed like over kill to me. Where were are the benchmarks to back it up. Did they lug the system around to a couple of lan parties? Play it in someones hot basement>? Lets get real. A budget gamer with a dang water cooler? Hell if my chip gets hot at a lan party i just open the side of the case. 120 bucks on the cooler? I would have put that toward the video card. Also lets do an article on how the rest of us regular people upgrade. New processor new mother board yes but I use the old memory, old case, old hard drive and old video card. I have never done a complete upgrade where I replaced everything.
June 12, 2006 11:29:14 PM

Quote:

Its read article then comment not the other way around, they did not build the $720 rig


No need to make personal attacks; the point I was making was that the article implied that one could build a gaming rig for $720; my question, did they build it, was rhetorical. They didn’t even build the $1200 system (unless the pictures are merely “reference” and not supposed to represent what was being built). I’m calling shenanigans because I don’t believe the component list could perform as “claimed” by the title “Your DIY 4 GHz Dual Core Gaming Rig For $720

Perhaps a Gaming Rig has many definitions. A 4GHz processor would almost always fit gamer’s definition, but I can’t say that for the rest of the “rig.” A list of inexpensive components not tested together does not warrant a gaming rig in my book.


No doubt on this. I should just post my wish lists on New Egg. What passes for a review article has reached a new low. Next time please post some benchmarks and actually build the system that you reference in the title.
June 12, 2006 11:49:21 PM

Maximum PC used to do that. Have different levels of upgrades. Only once in the last 6 years did I upgrade every part of my PC and that was 3 years ago already. Almost time to do that again. Have a mobile xp2500 oc to 2.4ghz and its been running strong the whole time. Signs of age have been starting to show for a while now but definitely with the way Intel appears to be kicking it into gear. Hope to hold out long enough to see what systems are best with Vista and if the move to that is even worth it. Only thing keeping my system able to run the current games at a respectable level is the BFG 6800GT (agp) and even that takes a brutal beating in 3Dmark06. (dont even get me started on the cpu tests)
June 13, 2006 2:20:10 AM

Hello,
I'm currently building a vapor phase change chiller that I'm going to use on the PD805. I'll post results when completed. Roughly a month.

Should Be Interesting.

PD805
2 gig Super Talent DDR2 6400 LL
Win mce
Waiting on Conroe motherboard
Tagan Turbo 900w PSU
2 74gig raptors
x850 (till dx10 is out)
Danfoss NF11FX Compressor
10 Plate HX
Mach 2 style condensor
CPEV adjustable
2x papst 120mm fans
Iwaki RD30-CV-24-05 pump : Got a 3 week wait for this:( 
Other items not yet aquired or decided (case, mb, gpu & cpu block, etc.)

Can't wait to OC a conroe either :) 
June 13, 2006 3:51:24 AM

For $40 extra, you could get the Koolance CPU-305-HO6 that comes with proper LGA775 mounting hardware.

For about another $75 more, you could get a GPU waterblock and video ramsinks and properly cool the video card as well.

As for the video card, $150 will get you a nice 7600GT.

A case with a 200mm fan? Who's idea was that??? For $99 you can get a good old Lian Li PC-60, and buy your own 500W power supply for just $30 more.

Then again you can also get new ATX cases for as low as $17. Just depends on what you want and how much you are willing to spend. (The prices mentioned here are from NewEgg and frozenCPU)

$720 is a great price to get a 4.1GHz rig, but other that the overclocked CPU, you're not getting anything much else, except perhaps overly excited about very little.

The analogy is the same, just because you've shoehorned a 650 horsepower Lamborghini engine into your Honda Civic, doesn't mean you're going to get the same experience - especially when the excess torque warps the chassis every time you put your foot down.

So, to make a long story short, if you want a real 4.1GHz setup, that you can actually DO something with, $720 won't cut the mustard. Don't penny pinch. Make the investment - get a system with the right parts that work well and last, and you will be happy.
June 13, 2006 4:43:45 AM

Quote:
The 3.5 inch opening is smaller than the ones at the rear, so the air is accelerated and cooled as it passes through the opening - and right over the drives, which bring it back up to about room temperature.


Please estimate the claimed cooling, provide full theoretical treatment and then show your measurements for incoming air temp, cooled air temp and HD heated air temp. Personally, I would have to see real data to believe that the air in a case treated as you describe would be cooled by more than a tiny fraction of a degree. I also expect that the Hd would heat the air above room temp.
June 13, 2006 5:29:25 AM

Normally I'm pretty critical of THG articles, however I actually liked this one.

They delivered a 4GHz computer for < $1,000

I completely agree that:

1) The $720 version can't be called a gaming rig. THG, tho, is known for misleading article titles. They would have been better off with a $640 rig with integrated graphics :) 

2) How can you build/recommend a gaming rig without benches? Give us 3d Mark, SuperPi, run pac-man. No one's going to rush out to build this machine just because someone says it's good.


That's just nitpicking, though. I still thought it was a good article. It brings to the mainstream what most just read in the newsgroups.
June 13, 2006 6:28:36 AM

Quote:
a gaming rig without benches


Absolutely agree!

Some homework for THG now:

1. Put it together.
2. Run your benchmarks.
3. Publish the results.

THEN tell us if $720 is money well spent.
June 13, 2006 7:20:00 AM

Okay, enough is enough. THG already published an article on the Pentium D 805, and had some very nice power consumption charts in them.

For everyone that thinks a Pentium D 805 does not get hot, you need to realize what the difference between 3.4ghz and 4.1ghz really brings. Overclocking will almost exponentially increase your power consumption as you push the envelope higher, this is old news. Check out this page that details power consumption as the overclocks went higher. Infact you might as well check out the rest of the article. http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/05/10/dual_41_ghz_core...






Now, I would like to point out a few things to THG/their editors.

Exactly who did the math on those charts?? It's wrong.

Secondly, and more importantly the "2 x 512 MB DDR2-667 Adata Vitesta PC2 5300" RAM in both charts is identical. Yet on the first system it is listed with a price of "$139.96-" and below a price of $78.55. This major discrepancy does not account for the errors in the total system cost I mention above. :wink:

There are two spacing typos in the article as well that any spellchecker would have picked up, but now I'm nitpicking. Back to bigger things... :twisted:

The use of a x1300 card is not good, and there is no way to call that a gaming rig unless you are speaking of yesterdays games... a x1600XT is at the low-end of passable for modern games. A 7800GS would be a little more and a little better, however...

Why would you pay $226 for a silent passively cooled 7600GT, when you can purchase a new eVGA or XFX 7600GT card for just $145 shipped??

I won't get into the RAM, nor the case & PSU as that depends the most of personal tastes per individual for what they are looking for.

Edit: I forgot to add that the Pentium D 930 is going for $180 right now. Prices on all of these processors will fall even further... The 805 is currently at $115 shipped.

By the time Conroe ships (July 23rd), Intel's Conroe and Pentium D pricing will be as follows:

Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 (2.93GHz/4M) $999
Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 965 (3.73GHz/2Mx2) $999
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 (2.67GHz/4M) $530
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (2.40GHz/4M) $316
Intel Pentium D 960 (3.60GHz/2Mx2) $316
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 (2.13GHz/2M) $224
Intel Pentium D 950 (3.40GHz/2Mx2) $224
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 (1.86GHz/2M) $183
Intel Pentium D 940 (3.20GHz/2Mx2) $183
Intel Pentium D 930 (3.00GHz/2Mx2) $178
Intel Pentium D 920 (2.80GHz/2Mx2) $178
Intel Pentium D 820 (2.80GHz/1Mx2) $133
Intel Pentium D 805 (2.66GHz/1Mx2) $93

Since this is about the Socket 775 platform, I'll not repost the expected slashed lows AMD's processors will hit on July 24th, the day after Conroe launches. I am sure that data is elsewhere in these forums... :) 

I will grant that my figures are for US buyers only, since NewEgg/ZZF only retail here, at least for the moment. :) 
June 13, 2006 7:21:31 AM

Quote:
They delivered a 4GHz computer for < $1,000

That's just nitpicking, though. I still thought it was a good article. It brings to the mainstream what most just read in the newsgroups.
I'm going to nitpick also. I'm not advocating buying a DELL, they are cheap, but bloatware and cheap/non-upgradable components are the catch. BUT, to compare THG's price for a system to a DELL, or HP,etc,etc. isn't fully truthful, as there's no monitor, no OS, no keyboard, speakers, mouse, mouse-pad,etc. etc. although DELL'S idea of those(monitor excepted) are crap. But the thought of a
"complete" system is different than what they are portaying. They are flashing "low" prices in front of you.....just like DELL does. Add >$400 to their price for a "complete" system. Devil's Advocate. :wink:
June 13, 2006 7:49:08 AM

First mistake you did, is buy Koolance Exos AL and paid too much for it. Instead, you should have bought Thermaltake Big Water 745 Kit, it’s a $100 cheaper and performs much better. Even Danger Dan is cheaper and will do a better job.

edit #2: Article title is misleading. You have a $720 price, but you show a $1600 system instead.

NB Fan Ghetto Rigged Twist Ties?? Ever heard of Glue Gun??

And what is Kingston HyperX RAM doing in there, specially 4 sticks of them?? What happened to 2 x 512 MB DDR2-667 Adata Vitesta PC2 5300?? And is it $139.96 or $78.55 ??

Whats with the wire managment?? A 5 year old can do a better job at organizing wires.

Is Tom even around ?? Can we have a simple explanation from him why such horrifying article even exist in the first place??

Quote:
You might actually be able to push the clock to 4 GHz with the Zalman CNPS9500 cooler, but the noise levels at the fan speeds required are unacceptable (if not intolerable).


Are you shitting me?? Its only 27DBA, and with the case closed, you wont hear it, plus you have case fans that are louder. The case that you using, that huge ass fan emits 39DBA from 75cm away.

If you wanted a case with a huge side fan, then you should have gotten a iCute - Coolive, and it is sold in US for only $30 MSRP, just add any PSU you like.

D805..Hmm.. what can i say. No one will remember it or think about it when Conroe hits the stores. Lets not beat the dead horse any more. Once was fun, but the second time is just plain sick.

How difficult is it to write a good article just once??

edit:


WTF is ASUS board doing in this article?? Durrrrr....




Quote:
Some old-fashioned craftsmanshipis required for those who build their own CPU brackets, simply because many water cooling vendors don't yet offer their own parts for socket LGA 775.


Not to make you guys look like idiots, you doing a fantastic job better then any one else ever could, but, you can buy a bracket from Koolance for $23.99 USD. They will even mail it to Afghanistan

http://www.koolance.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=25&products_id=162



Or, you can get it for £9.39 inc VAT and they will mail it to you even if you live in Czech Republic.
http://www.thecoolingshop.com/product_info.php/products_id/2067





Quote:
A water-cooled, dual-core 4 GHz DIY PC for $720


NO!! Bad monkey!! That is a $1600 PC with Kingston HyperX RAM and a WI-FI PCI card!!
!