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Price/Performance Rig....need a rate before I buy!

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Last response: in Systems
September 4, 2006 9:23:58 PM

I have this rig that I want to build using the new core 2 duos which I'm excited about. I want to spend around 900 dollars. If you have an alternate build around that much, please let me know!

Core 2 duo 6400 - $235
MSI RX1900XTX-VT2D512E - $280 after $150 rebate
GIGABYTE GA-965G-DS3 - $150
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 800 (5 CAS) - $195
Western Digital wd2500ks - $68
Ultra-V 400W PS - Free after $25 rebate (on slickdeals.net last week)
Some Case...$50

Ok, so right now the total is $978, which is more than I was planning to spend, but the X1900XTX for $280 seemed like too good of a deal to pass up. The PS also seemed like to good of a deal to pass up so I already got it (Free after rebate so no big deal)...but the problem with it is that the +12 rail only has 20 Amps. Was thinking to just try it out and see if it works first before getting a different one. As for the Case, I would like a case that has sound dampening stuff in it, though I dont know if I could get one for around $50....any suggestions? (I dont mind rebates...I actually prefer them). As far as getting the price lower, I could wait and get a HD on rebate somewhere...or find one for super cheap and wait for Black Friday. I could also save some money on the RAM...maybe only get a gig for now and then upgrade later....would it be better to buy 1 1-Gig stick or 2 512 sticks and run in dual channel?

Anyway, I know this was a lot to take in and there were a lot of questions...any advice would be welcomed whole heartedly. I'm just a careful buyer and want to make sure I'm getting the most for my money....

More about : price performance rig rate buy

September 4, 2006 9:30:30 PM

Thats fine if I need a different power supply..I just need to cut the money from something else....also, if I do just have this generic (if Ultra is generic) PS, what is going to happen? Will it just cause system instability or would it cause the whole computer to slow down?
September 5, 2006 1:25:05 AM

Does anybody else have a review for this build or can give advice on a case, the PS, etc?
Related resources
September 5, 2006 1:41:26 AM

Quote:
Thats fine if I need a different power supply..I just need to cut the money from something else....also, if I do just have this generic (if Ultra is generic) PS, what is going to happen? Will it just cause system instability or would it cause the whole computer to slow down?


Think of your PSU like the foundation of your house, you never think about it at all unless something goes wrong with it. A crappy power supply usually will falter under heavy loads, generate a lot of extra heat (which reduces the lifespan of itself and other components), and usually not provide adequate under/overvoltage protection. Plan to spend at least $60 (as a bare minimum) for a decent PSU - Antec true power series, Seasonic, FSP, Mushkin, Tagan, enermax, OCZ, PC power & cooling, and silverstone are all reliable, good (some great) PSU's. Just remember you generally get what you pay for with PSU's.

If you are needing to cut some money think about downgrading your CPU to an E6300 or better yet get an X1900xt vs. the X1900xtx (not sure where you are getting it and the rebate, but I wouldn't be surprised if there is a rebate on the x1900xt.

For a case this coolermaster centurion 5 should do nicely. at around ~$40
September 5, 2006 2:56:44 AM

Quote:
I could also save some money on the RAM...maybe only get a gig for now and then upgrade later....would it be better to buy 1 1-Gig stick or 2 512 sticks and run in dual channel?


That's a good idea. Change that RAM for this G.SKILL 1GB DDR2 800 CAS4, which will also perform better than what you had (lower latency, better timings).

Save some money by getting the C2D E6300 and overclocking it. Make sure to get Arctic Silver, as the thermal grease that comes with the CPU is crap.
September 5, 2006 3:17:19 AM

Quote:
Ultra is cheap, and can't trust cheap PSUs.

They won't provide enough power (to video card especially) and the system will constantly crash.

http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/Wattage-Calcula...
Good info, and good links.


wtf are you talking about, they are decent psu for someone on a budget, hell im running a 500 watt right now for my rig and have everything overclocked nicely and my friend has a 550 watt that he is useing for his dual core opty rig with x1900xt and 2gigs of ram and his rig is overclocked too so i dont know what you are talking about.
September 5, 2006 3:51:31 AM

These are all great suggestions. I'm definitely going to take the RAM suggestion of getting the 1 gig G. Skill RAM and also get the Cooler Master Centurion 5.
I have been thinking of getting the Artic Thermal Paste...I'm not very happy that such a small thing has a 5 dollar shipping, but whatever. Also...I probably still wont get a different PSU...the calculator at -> http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculator.jsp gave a wattage recommendation of 386 for the PC, but still recommended 26A on the 12V Rail, where mine only supplies 20A....I guess I'll try it out and see if it works or not, and if it doesn't, purchase a new one.

Right now I'm just trying to find that video card in stock on a website....buy.com has it in stock but for a ton more than newegg...
September 5, 2006 5:10:39 AM

Ok, ordered the video card at mwave.com for cheap (same price as newegg and zipzoomfly).

Also, I noticed that angry_ducky recommended a 1 gig stick of RAM instead of 2 x 512 sticks....is having 1 stick faster than having 2 sticks in dual channel mode?

Actually, I read this in this topic ->

http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/1st-time-builde...

Quote:

Thirdly we move to the segment about memory. With AM2's you need super duper highend PC2 6400 to get the most out of the system. Whereas Core 2's architecture doesn't get a boost from PC2 6400 but does rather well with PC2 5300 or 5400 and looser timings. So this is the part you save a bundle compared to AM2.


Is this true? Should I save money by not buying DDR2 800 RAM and get DDR2 667 RAM instead?
September 5, 2006 6:02:47 AM

For not too much more you can get a 320gb for just an extra few bucks.
September 5, 2006 2:25:30 PM

Yeah, I'll have to relook at harddrives....I want a SATA 3.0gbs thats quiet...any suggestions?

So, now I'm getting a lot of questions about memory and core 2 duos. I heard that I shouldnt waste my money with DDR2 800 and get DDR2 667 since the cpu isnt affected by the higher speed memory. Is that true?
Second, lets say i only get 1 gig of RAM...is it better to get 1 1-gig stick or 2 512 sticks?
Lastly, I've read a lot on the forums about FSB speed and RAM speed needing to match.....how can I tell, or what should I be looking for in a mobo in order for it to optimally run DDR2 667 RAM?
September 5, 2006 2:58:16 PM

Quote:
Yeah, I'll have to relook at harddrives....I want a SATA 3.0gbs thats quiet...any suggestions?


The Seagate 7200.10 series is supposed to be really good. You can get the 320GB Perpindicular Recording model for $95.
September 5, 2006 3:21:07 PM

Ok, for starters. If Dual Channel wasn't good, why didn't they just stick with single channelr RAM. Think of the channels as a road. What handles more traffic effectively 4 lane road or 8 lane roads? Get the idea? You can perhaps, buy a 1 Gig stick now and then a 1 Gig stick later though. If you ever want to overclock, you'll need DDR800 for it overclocks better. Yes, the timings are bad, but you can try Corsair. I have Corsair XMS2 @ 4-4-4-12 DDR2800 and they run nicely. in fact, I can push them to 900 MHz at those timings. For Power Supply, I ordered an ATI X1900XT last week, in the manual, it clearly states that for ATI X1900XT, use a minimum of 450 WATT Power Supply and 5500 WATT Power Supply for Crossfire, if you ever go that route. But with your motherboard, I don't think you'll run into that problem. Try the Antec True Power 480 Watt from newegg for $80. I was impatient and bought it at retail store for $40 more. But it powers my system... even when overclocking. And lastly, I got a Seagate 160 Gig SATA 2 7200 with Perpendicular Recording. The only thing you'll hear it do is spin up on boot... after that...QUIET! And they almost made them a bit thinner which is better for airflow.
September 5, 2006 3:28:57 PM

You definately want 2 sticks of RAM to run in dual-channel mode. Your mobo should have 4 slots so you can get another gig later. Get 2x512MB or 2x1GB, but get 2 sticks.

Only get the DDR2-800 if you are going to overclock. But if you are, you will absolutely need a quality PSU.