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New Gaming Rig - $1600 - seeking advice!

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September 6, 2006 7:22:03 PM

Well here we go...again! Wow I have been insanely indecisive on this build. It started around $3000 in Server Tower form and almost ended up in a Lian Li mid tower @ $2400. I've finally brought myself and budget back to planet "I can afford" and this is what I've come up with:

NOTE - Still need some advice on Mobo and PSU.

Case: Silverstone SG01-Evolution (New Model) $147.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

Power Supply: Silverstone ST50EF-Plus 500w $104.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

or

Enermax Liberty 620w - $160.00

Hard Drives: 2 Seagate Barracudas 320GB 7200.10 in Raid 0 $189.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

Video Card: ATI Radeon X1900XT 512mb $322.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

Heatsink/Fan: Silverstone SST-NO3 $44.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1683...

Motherboard: Intel Micro ATX $119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo e6600 $360.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

Memory: Corsair XMS 2 DDR 800 (PC2 6400) $267.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

or

Scratch out the PSU, MOBO and Case and replace them with a Shuttle Barebones. I've not too sure about this option, because the PCI is 8 and not 16, I really don’t need SLI and I've heard squeezing the newer cards in this case is really really difficult! $429.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1685...

Exrtas: Silverstone CrossFlow Fan for rear of case - under PSU $20.00
80MM Panaflo for the extra top fan exhaust spot

Total : $1600.00 give or take ;) 

Just using Newegg as an example. I'll most likely shop around for best $/warranties!

Thanks in advance for the advice again. It is truly appreciated. Good gaming/Vista rig? My plan is to keep the core components as long as possible and just upgrade the Vide Card when absolutely necessary.

More about : gaming rig 1600 seeking advice

September 7, 2006 3:38:01 PM

Sorry to bump this, but I'd appreciate a little feedback. Am I really limiting myself here? Anyone else have or plan on a similiar build?

Thanks! :D 
September 7, 2006 4:12:48 PM

That sounds like a kickass rig. Only thing that would concern me is cooling. Also, you want to get DDR2-533 RAM for Core 2 Duos. DDR2-800 can actually degrade performance. 533 is the sweet spot.
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September 7, 2006 4:40:21 PM

I was a bit concerned with cooling as well. The nice thing is that the HDs have a seperate 80mm fan cooling them and the air gets pushed out the side. I'm also banking heavily on the Silverstone CPU cooler. It has a 60mm fan at each end of the heatsink. This chould move air very well. The crossflow fan in the rear should be able to exhaust most of the CPU heat. There will be 2 80mm fans at low rpms exhausting heat from the VGA area. I hope all this works lol!

So really, 533 over 800? Any chance you could explain this?

Thanks! I think it's a pretty nice setup too. I am really going for close to cutting edge, silent, cool and compact. If I could afford a Falcon Frag Box, I'd go that route.
September 7, 2006 5:02:42 PM

Just because I've worked with them and I love them AND they attract quite a bit of attention, I would go with the Shuttle...

You may lose a bit of features on it, but nothing serious, and they ARE a bit difficult to work in but as long as you are patient and diligent you will have no problems. I've owned 2 of them and worked in quite a few, I just love the little buggers :) 

I have never had a heat issue in these either, I had a Barton 2500 @ 3200 in one and it ran like a champ... wish I still had it
September 7, 2006 5:18:11 PM

Sweetpants do you think Shuttle will release a differnent barebones package soon? I like the latest Core 2 Duo, but am concerned about the 400w PSU (can it handle 2 320gb HDs and a ATI Radeon 1900xt or next gen card?) and the 8x PCI-E. Will I see a difference with a 16x PCI-E? DOes the 8x just relate to an SLI setup and a single card will run at 16x? Sorry if these questions seems silly, but I'm just a bit confused. I am seriously considering the Shuttle, but want make absolutly sure it's the right decision.

nd I've heard mention of problems of Video Cards fitting in the Shuttle. I'm almost posotive the stock cooler on a 1900xt will not fit. If I do go with a shuttle, can you reccomend a good second party cooler?

Thanks!
September 7, 2006 5:34:50 PM

I'm not sure if the power supply will be able to handle that... I would assume it could. It's not that I'm doubting it, I just don't know enough about peripheral power consumption to give you a definitive answer. Yes I'm sure Shuttle will release a barebone system that will support Core 2 Duo's... why wouldn't they? I will say this though, they are usually less future proof because of their power supply... you want a bigger better card... you're limited in your choices due to your power supply... however Shuttle does sell power supplies at their site.

As for a good 3rd party cooler... I don't know... I've always used stock and if you chose the Shuttle you'd be in an interesting predicament..

the X16 vs X8 arguement I've noticed has been going on for a while... and from the arguments it seems it doesn't really matter... you're not going to notice a difference, reason being is there isn't enough information to saturate an X8 much less X16... so from what I gather, X16 will allow for more headroom, but as it sits with X8 you're fine...
September 7, 2006 6:32:29 PM

Quote:
So really, 533 over 800? Any chance you could explain this?

Sure. The current Core 2 Duos use a 1066 MHz front side bus. DDR2-533 runs at 266 MHz, and at dual data rate, this is 533Mhz. That means the FSB runs 2x the effective speed of the memory. This is a whole number, so the two speeds are synchronous.

If you use DDR2-800 or DDR2-667, the FSB is not a whole multiple of the effective RAM speeds. As a result, there is extra latency between the memory and processor due to the lack of synchronous timings.
September 7, 2006 6:35:12 PM

Ah ok...thank you very much for explaining this! I'll have to check out some ram, any reccomondations?
September 7, 2006 6:36:37 PM

Quote:
So really, 533 over 800? Any chance you could explain this?

Sure. The current Core 2 Duos use a 1066 MHz front side bus. DDR2-533 runs at 266 MHz, and at dual data rate, this is 533Mhz. That means the FSB runs 2x the effective speed of the memory. This is a whole number, so the two speeds are synchronous.

If you use DDR2-800 or DDR2-667, the FSB is not a whole multiple of the effective RAM speeds. As a result, there is extra latency between the memory and processor due to the lack of synchronous timings.

Thanks for the explanation, I wasn't sure either :D 
September 7, 2006 6:43:34 PM

CPU: E6600 is nice. I'm assuming you plan on OC'ing this since you are getting another heatsink and that the one that comes with the CPU isn't good enough?

Memory: If you plan on OC'ing then the DDR2 800 are the way to go. Otherwise, get the DDR2 533.

PSU: Hiper 580W - $110 You get to pick your color. The molex cables are cool.

Motherboard: The MB you choose already has an Onboard Video Chipset. Toss this one to the side. Get one of the following motherboards. Gigabyte ASUS

Video Card: If Newegg gets more in before the end of the month, get the following MSI X1900XTX - $284 after MIR. MSI X1900XTX
September 7, 2006 6:51:41 PM

Quote:
CPU: E6600 is nice. I'm assuming you plan on OC'ing this since you are getting another heatsink and that the one that comes with the CPU isn't good enough?

Memory: If you plan on OC'ing then the DDR2 800 are the way to go. Otherwise, get the DDR2 533.

PSU: Hiper 580W - $110 You get to pick your color. The molex cables are cool.

Motherboard: The MB you choose already has an Onboard Video Chipset. Toss this one to the side. Get one of the following motherboards. Gigabyte ASUS

Video Card: If Newegg gets more in before the end of the month, get the following MSI X1900XTX - $284 after MIR. MSI X1900XTX


Purdueguy,

Thanks for the advice. Those motherboard won't fit in the Micro Silverstone case though or am I wrong? I choose the 2nd cpu, because of it's cooling options. It has 2 60mm fans that push the air from one side of the case to the next. I assumed this would be a better cooling solution.

qwertycopter,

Thanks for the reccomondations. Beggining my research now lol!
September 7, 2006 7:06:02 PM

I just want to point out that the real-world performance difference is neglible (unless you're stickler :lol:  ). Any Core 2 Duo system you build is going to be screamin, despite the efficiency of the RAM. Mainly, I think you could save some money.
September 8, 2006 7:42:54 PM

So now onto a PSU. I'm very torn between a Silverstone and an Enermax. My concern is the depth of the PSU and optical drives. According to SIlverstone neither can exceed 355mm

Silverstone option 1 500w - non modular 140mm depth
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

or

Silverstone option 2 600w - modular (may be too long) 180mm depth
http://www.silverstonetek.com/products-60f.htm

or

Enermax Liberty 620w - modular
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

I'm also considering any PC & Powercooling PSU, because I've heard they are very silent and reliable.

Any recomondations on a particular PSU guys/gasl? I'd appreciate a bit more feedback. I'm looking at 500w + for future proof purposes.

Thanks!
September 8, 2006 8:30:57 PM

if i were you i might wait a little while on the x1900xt and check out the 7950gt to see if its a good performer. Or you could buy a middle like card like the 7600gt or the x1600xt or even the 7900gs and wait for dx10 cards to come out THEN buy a kick ass graphics card
September 8, 2006 8:51:30 PM

Quote:
if i were you i might wait a little while on the x1900xt and check out the 7950gt to see if its a good performer. Or you could buy a middle like card like the 7600gt or the x1600xt or even the 7900gs and wait for dx10 cards to come out THEN buy a kick ass graphics card


A lot of people can't play the waiting game and win. What I usually end up doing in those situations is purchasing a mid-ranged card that will tie me over for a few months (like right now I'm running an X800GTO, wasn't bad for 100 bucks) but I plan on upgrading to a X1900XTX when money permits (got paid today *does the happy dance*) but it all depends on the purchaser...

In all honesty if you play the waiting game you never win... but you can buy a mid-high ranged card that will play any game out there with decent to high settings, and this will tie you over until DX10...
September 8, 2006 8:54:27 PM

I agree...I'm just too impatient and I like having an up to date card as often as the $$$ permits! Any advice on those PSUs sweetpants?
September 8, 2006 9:01:28 PM

Quote:
I agree...I'm just too impatient and I like having an up to date card as often as the $$$ permits! Any advice on those PSUs sweetpants?


Honestly? They all seem like good name-brand PSU's. However, I would go with the modular design. 2 reasons really...

1) Might be easier to deal with, less clutter = more air flow (and sexier insides) = cooler case )
2) I've never used a Modular PSU, so I'm living my life vicariously through you :D 

Whatever floats your boat of those three really... just make sure they have the correct number of pins for the motherboard power connector... didn't notice that on one of mine and I was down for 2 days because I had to go into a local store and buy another one...
September 11, 2006 4:51:11 PM

Quote:
2) I've never used a Modular PSU, so I'm living my life vicariously through you :D 

Hahahahahahaha! Thank you!

I think modular would be great for a SFF case.
September 11, 2006 5:13:46 PM

Quote:
2) I've never used a Modular PSU, so I'm living my life vicariously through you :D 

Hahahahahahaha! Thank you!

I think modular would be great for a SFF case.

I can see what you mean, modular would be an excellent choice for SFF case such as the Shuttle. However, the Shuttles come with their own powe supply. Even if that didn't matter and you wanted to swap, a normal ATX power supply is far to large to do that. I would say that a normal ATX PSU is about 1/4th of the shuttle box itself :( 
September 11, 2006 5:55:32 PM

I'll let ya know how the Modular goes ;)  lol

I've decided on teh Silverstone SFF case. I have far more options are far as upgrades are concerned with this case. I love the SHuttle, but I can't get past the 400w PSU.

The Silverstone can fit a 140mm depth PSU with ease and Modular will be even easier..I hope lol.

Thanks for all the help. I'm actually going to start ordering parts this week!
September 11, 2006 6:01:53 PM

Quote:
I'll let ya know how the Modular goes ;)  lol

I've decided on teh Silverstone SFF case. I have far more options are far as upgrades are concerned with this case. I love the SHuttle, but I can't get past the 400w PSU.

The Silverstone can fit a 140mm depth PSU with ease and Modular will be even easier..I hope lol.

Thanks for all the help. I'm actually going to start ordering parts this week!


Congrats! Have fun with your new build!
September 11, 2006 6:33:51 PM

Quote:
So really, 533 over 800? Any chance you could explain this?

Sure. The current Core 2 Duos use a 1066 MHz front side bus. DDR2-533 runs at 266 MHz, and at dual data rate, this is 533Mhz. That means the FSB runs 2x the effective speed of the memory. This is a whole number, so the two speeds are synchronous.

If you use DDR2-800 or DDR2-667, the FSB is not a whole multiple of the effective RAM speeds. As a result, there is extra latency between the memory and processor due to the lack of synchronous timings.

core 2's fsb is quad pumped, meaning that it runs at 266 as well but you are correct it all works out, maybe if your overclocking go with the 800 and run it with the ram and jack the fsb back up to 400 and there you go, synchronous as well as the added proc and ram speeds.

edit, this is ofcourse if your into ocing :twisted: have fun with the build!
September 11, 2006 6:55:18 PM

Jie, you are correct that those MB's won't fit that case. I went under the assumption that the case was standard ATX and not micro.

In looking at all of the MB's for microATX, they all have an integrated video chipset. Because of this, I have to ask why are you getting a micro-ATX case? I have never seen the need for such a case but that's just me and would like to understand someone's point-of-view.

Apologies for the innaccurate advice.
September 11, 2006 7:41:03 PM

Purdueguy,

Thanks for the question. I actually debated over and over why to get a micro-atx case. I came to the conclusion that I wanted something small, portable, quite and cool. My main choices were between a Shuttle Barebones and a Silverstone SG01. The SIlverstone is a bit bigger, but is still relatively compact. I've also been shuffling around a lot and a smalelr case would be easier to haul around. I've also built a LOT of full/server tower computers and am really just looking for something new. My recent build I went SLI and I truly regret the decision. Was just a waiste of $$$ in my opinion. A micro case with a single 16x PCI-E would fit my needs perfectly. I'd prefer to upgrade a video card over time rather than go SLI/Crossfire again. So I guess those are main reasons. It's something I've kind of always wanted to try.

I'll let ya know how it goes ;) 
!