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Comments on a new C2D build

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October 11, 2006 3:01:34 PM

So I'm a noobie....let's get that outta the way first....

Now onto more pressing issues, I currently have an old Athlon XP 2500+ and I believe it's about time to upgrade to a new box....seeing as my current setup is struggling to pump out any kind of respectable frame rates....so here's my solution.

Asus P5N32-SLI SE Deluxe (My current board is an Asus, however I'm reading mixed results with Asus' current line, if a better board is out there...please lemme know)

C2D E6400

Cosair CM2X512A-6400 (512MB x 4)....or should i go with 2 x 1GB sticks??

WD 74GB Raptors x 2

Seagate 120GB (my current tiny hard drive)

XFX GeForce 7950GT

Lian-Li V1000BPlusII

Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic

PC Power and Cooling 510 SLI

Plextor PX-755SA SATA DVD Burner


....any comments/flames/high 5's are all welcome....I haven't bought a single piece to this yet so I'm open to whatever comments

More about : comments c2d build

October 11, 2006 3:42:11 PM

For the Ram, i'd suggest 2x1Gb. You might want the room to upgrade to 4 Gb sometime in the future with Vista coming around the corner. Asus P5B DX or the Giga DQ6 seem to be more popular boards.
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October 11, 2006 6:10:12 PM

To sillywabbit:

I would agree, I think I probably should up it to 2 x 1GB sticks, I'll have to see if the bank account agrees with it, cost wise and all that jazz. I'm wondering if I would see any noticable with 2 x 1Gb sticks vs. the 4 x 512Mb sticks, I'm guessing I would...but that might require some more research.

Do those two boards you suggested....which are running SLI or Crossfire??

To lizard:

Two things:

First of all, I highly doubt one of those boards is going to support Crossfire AND SLI...so there's one issue, the second, maybe less important is, I see your two links to newegg show the Nvidia card with a single slot cooler and the ATI card with a dual slot cooler. Now if I wanna run Crossfire, which I'm not totally convinced they have its ironed out quite yet, I wonder if I'll run into clearance issues with the ATI cards.
October 11, 2006 6:44:05 PM

GIGABYTE GA-965P-DQ6 Socket T (LGA 775) Intel P965 Express ATX

ASUS P5W DH DELUXE/WIFI-AP Socket T (LGA 775)

Both have dual pci-e x16 slots. Maybe someone can help us out here, Both SLI or crossfire can be supported on these boards with mods????

As far as SLI and/or crossfire, most here will tell you a single card solution is the way to go unless you run really high resolutions for gaming and even then....
October 11, 2006 6:46:16 PM

2 X 1 Gig shouldn't cost much more than 4 X 512mb while leaving you space for future upgrades.

Only the P5N32-SLI supports SLI right now for Conroe, all other high end mobo's support XFire. The P5B DX, P5W-DH, DQ6, AW9-Max, MSI Platnium Power Up, Intel XBX, and the Foxconn (I don't even want to memorize the name) all support Xfire. The P5W-DH is widely considered the premire board for Conroe as both Tom's review and many other reviews have the highest OC and best performance with it, but it is quite expensive.

XFire or SLI is pretty much up to you, [H]ardOCP did a review on the P5W-DH with Xfire and said it went silky smooth with no problems, you might want to take a look at that. That said, the x1900xt is probably best for price for performance for a high end graphics card. If you want to wait for DX10, more power to you, but thats up to you.

Every board should be able to support 2 dual slot cards, but you will be losing 2 ports. All the Conroe Xfire supported mobos I've seen have a PCI-E port between the 2 PCI-E x16 for graphics card, so it shouldn't be a problem, but you can double check it yourself also.

Hope that answers all your questions.
October 11, 2006 7:11:46 PM

make note, Intel 965 chipsets that have dual PCI Express, the second PCI Express slot runs only at 4x compared to the Intel 975X chipset, which runs both PCI Express at 8x.

The ASUS P5N-SLI SE I think runs SLI the same way, 8x 8x. Don't quote me on that though.

As far as RAM, just go with 1GB x 2 that way you can upgrade later. I currently own the ASUS P5W DH Deluxe motherboard and never in my life have I had an easy time overclocking my E6600 (thanks to Wusy's C2D Overclocking Guide :D  )

As far as running SLI and Crossfire on these boards, I've read that you can use SLI on crossfire motherboards with hack drivers, but not sure about vice versa.

also, get one of Seagates newer hard drives and RAID those. Since they will be running in SATA 2 and not SATA 1 (as the WD Raptor), performance should be somewhat better as well as it'll be cheaper.

Also, checking out Tom's VGA charts, and reviews, the ATI X1900XT 512 GDDR3 (i don't even know if you can find these anymore seeing as the new 256 MB versions came out) outperform the nvidia 7950s.

Good luck...

Also, be sure to check for motherboards that will support C2Q since those are around the corner as well 8O
October 11, 2006 7:54:33 PM

Take a look here for some talk on Xfire.

And as far as I know, Doughboy is right on the P5N32-SLI is the only mobo for Conroe to support SLI.

The way I look at SLI and Xfire is twofold.

1. The only reason to buy 2 cards initially is if you want the very best setup. Otherwise, the cost of 1 card usually out performs the cost of 2 lower cards. Take for instance the 7600GT SLI vs. X1900XT 512MB, here. Two 7600GT costs around $250 while an X1900XT 512MB can be picked up for $290.50. The X1900XT 512MB comes out winning most of the benchmarks other than for a couple of losses at low resolution on Quake 4.

2. You buy the best single-slot solution you can afford at the moment and when the card starts to get "slow", you can probably pick up the same card for a fraction of the cost and put it in SLI or Xfire mode to increase your systems performance.

The problem with this right now is that DX10 is around the bend and putting two cards together down the road is pointless when a DX10 will have new capabilities. But, this is my point of view.

Mobo: I suggest getting the ASUS P5B Deluxe if you want Xfire capabilities or the P5N32-SLI Deluxe for SLI capabilities.

Memory: Definitely go with 2x1GB sticks. Now, if you don't plan on OC'ing then just go with DDR2 667. Currently PQI Turbo has it for $180 after MIR at Newegg.

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB Perpendicular Drive - $95. The Raptors are overpriced.

Video Card: The MSI X1900XT 512MB for $290.50 at Zipzoomfly.

PSU: I don't know why the PC Power & Cooling 510 costs so much (somebody enlighten me), but I think it's a tremendous waste of money. Get the Hiper 580W for $111 or the Enermax Liberty for $109

Case: I think that case is a bit pricey but I've read good things about it. Personally, I'd get the Antec P180B or the Lian Li PC-B20B.
October 11, 2006 10:51:02 PM

Heres a mod to run SLI on any chipset. Now all you need is the Asus P5W DH.

Go with a single 150GB Raptor, its $100 less.

2x1GB is the most recommendable for OCing. Dont but Corsair.

Pick among the E6300 or the E6600. The E6400 isnt worth if youre OCing.
October 11, 2006 11:23:53 PM

Everyone has been saying that asus board for a while now. There are some very decent alternatives out now however and they rated that msi board higher. The asus used to be the best but not anymore. Personally between the two I think that asus is a bit overated in comparison.
October 11, 2006 11:53:24 PM

uh, my Corsair overclocks at least to 900 MHz

I'm using Corsair XMS2 6400C4 (4-4-4-12 @ 2.1V) No problems! 100% stable!

You've must have gotten some bad sticks in your lifetime :p 
October 11, 2006 11:54:02 PM

The Asus P5W DH hold the second place in the top OCing contest. The crown is held by the Abit AW9D-MAX.
Yeah there are some decent motherboards out there, but I wouldnt recommend anything that isnt the top performer for the money.
October 11, 2006 11:55:11 PM

Then go with Abit's newest 775 socket mobo :p 

Only reason everyone is talking about the P5W DH is either because they own one (like me) or they've seen a lot of reviews stating it's the best overclocker (majority).

Someone asked for an opinion, and we gave it!
October 12, 2006 12:00:03 AM

Quote:
uh, my Corsair overclocks at least to 900 MHz

I'm using Corsair XMS2 6400C4 (4-4-4-12 @ 2.1V) No problems! 100% stable!

You've must have gotten some bad sticks in your lifetime :p 


You got me wrong. Ive never (in my lifetime) said that Corsair sucks, its in fact a good brand. The problem is that it is as good as any other brand with the Micron D9GMH chips (Every DDR2 800 with 4-4-4 timings in the market right now) and its $50 more than the cheapest of them. EPP and SLI-ready is pure scam, so not worth getting it for it.
The OCZ Platinum Revision 2 overclocks to 550Mhz CL5, probably as far as where Corsair would go, but its $50 LESS!
Corsair doesnt suck, its just a rip off.
October 12, 2006 12:02:59 AM

Well, specify next time.

In your post, you said"don't buy corsair" but left no exclamation as to why.

But I can see why you say that. Luckily for me, I got it right before RAM prices spiked!
October 12, 2006 12:39:47 AM

Quote:
Well, specify next time.

In your post, you said"don't buy corsair" but left no exclamation as to why.

But I can see why you say that. Luckily for me, I got it right before RAM prices spiked!


Im TIRED of saying its a scam lol, but ill keep on doing until I beat all that marketing hype! muhaha!
October 12, 2006 2:36:34 AM

*takes a deep breathe*....now explains..

Doughbuy: good call on the 1Gb x 2 sticks, on newegg they are only $14 more than the 4 x 512Mb sticks...so I figure $14 for maybe a bit more performance, future ease of upgrading and less chance of getting a "bad" stick out of the 4.

Eurasianman: I'm thinking of staying with my P5N32-SLI maybe...due to the fact that I'm not totally against hacking drivers and such, but trying to run SLI on a board meant for Xfire....I'm not trying to screws up my rig JUST yet haha. As far as the hdd's go, do the Raptors even take full advantage of the 150Mb/sec bandwidth? I thought I heard/read that most desktop apps don't use the full bandwidth of hdds?? I'm probably looking to RAID some sort of hard drives, I'll look into the prices of the 150Gb Raptors vs. 74Gb ones. I wanna use the Raptors for my OS and maybe a 320Gb Seagate for all the programs and whatnot. Lastly, Now that the 256Mb 1900XT are out, and assuming I can't find the 512Mb version, is the 256Mb version comparable to the 7950GT's??

Purdueguy: I think I'm gonna hang with one card for now, then MAYBE...and that's a big maybe, get a second one down the road. Of course I'm gonna see how these DX10 cards look...and because I'm a frugal s.o.b haha, I'll wait for the price of those to come down as well. Plus a few reviews from THG couldn't hurt either.

Rwaritsdario: Why do you say the E6400 is a waste of money?? THG just OC'd it to 3.33Ghz with little to no effort. Plus this quote...

"Buying a $40 cooler to push the Core 2 Duo E6300 far beyond E6400 performance sounds good at first, until one considers that the E6400 can be moderately overclocked for no additional expense using the cooler it came with."

When the E6400 runs at ~ $220 and according to that quote, wouldn't require any additional cooling for a moderate OC....sounds good on this end. Then the E6600 is ~$315...that's almost a $100 jump for what I could accomplish with a high end air cooler...so I may be wrong...but that's how I saw it.

Although I saw these two articles and maybe keep an eye out for this word "E4300"

http://www.overclockers.com/tips00999/

http://www.overclockers.com/tips01016/

Thanks again for everyone's help...begin battling lol
October 12, 2006 3:51:06 AM

Quote:
*takes a deep breathe*....now explains..

Doughbuy: good call on the 1Gb x 2 sticks, on newegg they are only $14 more than the 4 x 512Mb sticks...so I figure $14 for maybe a bit more performance, future ease of upgrading and less chance of getting a "bad" stick out of the 4.

Eurasianman: I'm thinking of staying with my P5N32-SLI maybe...due to the fact that I'm not totally against hacking drivers and such, but trying to run SLI on a board meant for Xfire....I'm not trying to screws up my rig JUST yet haha. As far as the hdd's go, do the Raptors even take full advantage of the 150Mb/sec bandwidth? I thought I heard/read that most desktop apps don't use the full bandwidth of hdds?? I'm probably looking to RAID some sort of hard drives, I'll look into the prices of the 150Gb Raptors vs. 74Gb ones. I wanna use the Raptors for my OS and maybe a 320Gb Seagate for all the programs and whatnot. Lastly, Now that the 256Mb 1900XT are out, and assuming I can't find the 512Mb version, is the 256Mb version comparable to the 7950GT's??

Purdueguy: I think I'm gonna hang with one card for now, then MAYBE...and that's a big maybe, get a second one down the road. Of course I'm gonna see how these DX10 cards look...and because I'm a frugal s.o.b haha, I'll wait for the price of those to come down as well. Plus a few reviews from THG couldn't hurt either.

Rwaritsdario: Why do you say the E6400 is a waste of money?? THG just OC'd it to 3.33Ghz with little to no effort. Plus this quote...

"Buying a $40 cooler to push the Core 2 Duo E6300 far beyond E6400 performance sounds good at first, until one considers that the E6400 can be moderately overclocked for no additional expense using the cooler it came with."

When the E6400 runs at ~ $220 and according to that quote, wouldn't require any additional cooling for a moderate OC....sounds good on this end. Then the E6600 is ~$315...that's almost a $100 jump for what I could accomplish with a high end air cooler...so I may be wrong...but that's how I saw it.

Although I saw these two articles and maybe keep an eye out for this word "E4300"

http://www.overclockers.com/tips00999/

http://www.overclockers.com/tips01016/

Thanks again for everyone's help...begin battling lol


so, why don't you stick with a SATA 2 hard drive rather than Western Digital's hard drives that are limited to SATA 1? And I'm sure you can still find ATI X1900XT 512 MB versions.
October 12, 2006 6:51:38 AM

well what I was saying was, if SATA 1 hard drives are cheaper, and it is shown that a desktop environment won't take advantage of the speed increase of SATA 2 vs. SATA 1, then I'll just stick with the SATA 1 drives. on the Hard Drives charts on THG it shows that the 150Gb WD drives are SATA 1, not SATA 2...so I'm wondering if ponying up the extra $$ for a SATA 2 drive is worth it at this point?? Now maybe Vista will take advantage of the higher bandwidth with better I/O performance, but I'm thinking that Vista might just be as buggy as XP was/is, I might just wait around to pick up a SATA 2 drive. Plus it'll save me a little more money, maybe not much...
October 12, 2006 11:53:18 AM

Unless your running like 4 fast drives in raid0 your not likely to ever saturate the sata 1 bus.
October 12, 2006 12:54:49 PM

The Seagate 7200.10 Out performs, or is on par with the Raptor in most, if not all benchmarks. It offers more storage and is just as fast. Get it instead. Also, go with the x1900xt 256, it is the best for the money. If you are deadset on getting nVidia, check out the 7900GTO. If it were me, I would go with the MSI board, the XT, and the seagate with an e6300 or e6400
October 12, 2006 6:44:40 PM

Because theyre charging you $40 for a 270Mhz overclock. The E6600 is more expesive because besides the higher speeds its got twice the L2 cache.
An E6300 with a Artic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro ($30) will go much father than that E6400 on stock.

Nvidia Intel Edition chips arent the most overclockable (lack of it actually) or the most stable in the market. Since you dont have to go with Nvidia cards and you arent planning on going SLI (awful $/performance ratio) any time soon I see no reason for you to pick a Nvidia chipset.
The mod I linked works for ALL chipsets.

If you set your mind to a few brands it for sure that youll waste alot of money because you wont have the most your money could have given you.
October 13, 2006 5:32:14 AM

I'm in the same boat as the OP. I like what I've read about the MSI 975x. It has a good price tag at 175 shipped. Toms rated it high. I'm gonna go real cheap on the vid card, ie. x850xt then ebay it when DX10 comes out. TSIMonster here seems to have a pretty good idea imo. Course all that will change in a weak when I read something new :/ 


Quote:
The Seagate 7200.10 Out performs, or is on par with the Raptor in most, if not all benchmarks. It offers more storage and is just as fast. Get it instead. Also, go with the x1900xt 256, it is the best for the money. If you are deadset on getting nVidia, check out the 7900GTO. If it were me, I would go with the MSI board, the XT, and the seagate with an e6300 or e6400
!