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Pretty please critique this spec

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October 20, 2006 5:06:10 PM

I think I’ve been suffering from some “analysis paralysis” but I’ve arrived at the following system for a price I can afford that (I think) should be good for games and general usage and include some room to upgrade in due course:

Case: NZXT Trinity Tower Case w/ Side-panel Window (BLACK Colour)
PSU: NZXT PF500 500WATT PERFORMANCE POWER ATX 2.0 POWER SUPPLY
CPU: (Sckt775)Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6300 CPU @ 1.86GHz 1066FSB 2x1MB L2 Cache
Motherboard: Intel DP965LT P965 Chipset LGA775 Supports Core 2 Duo CPU FSB1066 DDR2/800 Mainboard w/GbLAN, USB2.0, IEEE1394 & 7.1Audio
Memory: 1GB (2x512MB) PC6400 DDR2/800 Dual Channel Memory (Corsair Value Select or Major Brand)
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT 256MB PCI Express x16 Video Card
Hard Drive: Single Hard Drive (300GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD)
Optical Drive: SONY DUAL FORMAT 18X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER (BLACK COLOR)
Sound: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO
OS: MICROSOFT® WINDOWS® XP Home Edition W/ Service Pack 2

Price: £635.68 UK pounds inc. VAT and delivery

I’m not intending to over clock or use 2 graphic cards at once.

My upgrade plan is to add 2 x 512mb at a later date to increase to 2GB total memory and later (presuming faster CPU prices come down before the board becomes obsolete!) upgrade to a faster CPU and when DX10 is worth getting and affordable stick in a new graphics card.

Any comments please?

Would it be worth paying an extra £25 for an E6400?

Thank you.

More about : pretty critique spec

October 20, 2006 9:02:17 PM

Quote:
I think I’ve been suffering from some “analysis paralysis” but I’ve arrived at the following system for a price I can afford that (I think) should be good for games and general usage and include some room to upgrade in due course


I'm in the same boat, at least the paralysis part. I've been trying to spec out a new system for around $1500-2000 (£796.68 - 1062.24) and been researching tech for the last week and a half, and still haven't managed to settle on a motherboard.

What I want is a stable (!) gaming platform with upgradeability the #1 goal. I can only afford a new computer every 4-5 years, so I want a system, in particular the mobo, to be the ultimate not in current performance, but upgradeability. I want SLI or, if I must, Crossfire, but not necessarily both boards right off the start.

Right now I'm trying to spec out a system with the following:
Pentium E6600 ( I want the 4MB cache), 2GB DDR2 RAM (minimum), 2-3 PCI-E x16 slots, and SLI. The current crop of mobo's just don't seem mature enough (and stable) for the new Pentium so I'm playing the waiting game . . . (like maybe waiting for Nvidia 680i )

The NZXT Trinity case looks sweet. One of my case finalists was the NZXT Nemesis Elite but its 2nd place to my current fav, the Aerocool ExtremEngine 3T

Not a very helpful reply nor a critique, but I'd like to know what you eventually get and how you make out . . . . . .myself, I've yet to purchase a single component.
October 20, 2006 9:11:14 PM

Scrap the sound card and upgrade the graphics to a 7900 GTO for $250.
The Motherboard has sufficient audio to satisfy a mid-range gamer like yours....IMHO

AMD would give you more for less but you've got the Intel blues.....
Related resources
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
October 20, 2006 9:19:49 PM

Quote:
current crop of mobo's just don't seem mature enough (and stable) for the new Pentium so I'm playing the waiting game . . . (like maybe waiting for Nvidia 680i)
I was wondering what research you've found that shows the new 680/650 chipsets are mature and stable?

Quote:
Would it be worth paying an extra £25 for an E6400?
Without knowing what games and programs you plan to use its hard to evaluate price vs performance improvements. If you're interested in gaming I'm pretty sure the best upgrade you could do would be a better video card card now. You can wait till you run across a game DX10 that doesnt play well on your DX9 video card. DX10 games should play VERY well on a decent DX 9 video card - minus a little eyecandy, maybe. So don't settle for for mid-range card now on the off chance you might want a DX10 card in the next 6-9 months unless you know for sure there's a "gotta have it" DX10 game you cant live without already in the pipeline. (Remember - you'll need to switch over to Vista also)

How much are you paying for each of those components?
October 20, 2006 9:32:15 PM

Quote:
current crop of mobo's just don't seem mature enough (and stable) for the new Pentium so I'm playing the waiting game . . . (like maybe waiting for Nvidia 680i)
I was wondering what research you've found that shows the new 680/650 chipsets are mature and stable?


Since it hasn't even been offered for sale yet, its maturity is questionable, yes - then again, they might be more stable than the 965/975's. I like the board- what is shown so far - for the three PCI-E x16 slots. By the time it comes out, there will hopefully be a larger variety from ASUS, GigaByte, and MSI too. Besides, when talking about stabilty, its not so much the chipset as the manufacturer you have to worry about (and the cooling solutions employed)

I keep seeing the Gigabyte DS3 mentioned, but it only has ONE PCI-E x16 slot? My initial reaction was "No, thanks" but if I get impatient that could certainly change, and I've liked what I've seen of other GigaByte offerings.
October 21, 2006 12:40:01 AM

Quote:
Scrap the sound card and upgrade the graphics to a 7900 GTO for $250.
The Motherboard has sufficient audio to satisfy a mid-range gamer like yours....IMHO

AMD would give you more for less but you've got the Intel blues.....


I presume that "ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO" means there isn't a sound card :D 

So what AMD set-up would you recommend to give more bang-for-buck?
October 21, 2006 2:00:32 AM

Read post "what i bought for $1500".
October 21, 2006 6:13:29 PM

Quote:
Read post "what i bought for $1500".


So you went for an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ on an ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 motherboard with a 7900 GTO 512MB graphics card.

Out of interest why did you go for the ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe nForce 570 rather than the Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe nForce 590?

It looks as though by changing the motherboard and CPU I could bring the price down to £586, but as far as I can see the Intel system would be faster. To give it a real run for it's money seems to require the AMD X2 5000 which puts the price up to £658 (£694 with the M2N32-SLI Deluxe) which is more than £635 for the Intel.

I'm using AMD at the moment and would be more than happy to stick with them if it's the better price/performance option.
October 23, 2006 2:34:58 PM

Thank you for the suggestions everyone.

Mad-Dog, I read somewhere else that paying for a top end 7900 GTO now is a bad idea with the new cards coming out, so I thought a year with a 7600 would be a good compromise. Is the 7900 really that much better? I think I’ll stick with the Intel CPU as if I start looking at AMD options as well I’ll never decide on a system!

WR2, apart from being “Quad-SLI Ready” (does that mean 4 graphics cards???) what are the advantages of the ASUS P5N32 SE Sli Motherboard? Is it faster than the Intel board? Better chipset? My head is starting to hurt now… :?
October 23, 2006 3:54:20 PM

The EVGA 7900GTO is comparable to te ATI X1950 performance wise, it runs just slightly behind the 7950 GTX and the 7950 GX2 :!:
For $250 it's a SMOKIN deal, now since we are both wanting to upgrade to the G80 DX10 cards when they are ready then all we do is send our GPU cards to EVGA along with a check for roughly $250 and they will send each us of a EVGA 8800 GTX card.............it is EVGA's upgrade program :idea: and it rocks.
Keep in mind you can only use the "upgrade" program once so choose wisely.
:arrow: The G80 cards will be here in the middle of November so we don't have too long to wait, that's why i went ahead and bought a 7900 GTO......half now and half later for the G80 :twisted:

Quad SLI translates to 2 cards with 4 boards and 4 GPU's or basically 2 7950 GX2's combined......these are the fastest GPUs in the "WORLD", for more information on Quad SLI go here http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTExNiwx...

For more information on SLI go here http://www.slizone.com/page/home.html
October 23, 2006 4:20:44 PM

£635.68? I'm looking at around £580 just for the CPU (e6600, to OC), Mobo (Asus P5W DH WI-FI edt.) and a graphics card (x1900xt, 512Mb version), and I'm gonna get a X-fi fatality to compliment my 7.1 creative speakers. I've already got just about everything else which I dare say takes the ultimate cost of the build to around or over the £1000 mark.

Below is what Ive got so far -
A very swish NZXT Lexa case (great looking case, lots of fans :) , 250mm x3, 80mm x1 with a grill on the bottom of the case for another 80mm fan)
A Hyper Type R (580W, in blue) PSU
320Gb SATA II Seagate 7200.10 HDs x2 (with a view to adding another 2, do a lot of video/animation work)
Slot loading DVD burners x2 (ones a modded laptop drive due to the lack of standard drives being available)
2Gb Mushkin DDR2 800 RAM (4-4-3-10 timings, expensive at £227 but bloody good stuff).

oo almost forgot, it'll dual boot in to XP home (because I've a spare copy) and XP Pro 64bit ed. (for the 64bit version of Vue 6 Infinite).

In your position I'd spring the extra for the e6600 £207 (microdirect.com) and go the x1900xt (256Mb version) way at oooo £163ish, expensive? yes, performance boost? oh hell yes.
October 23, 2006 4:52:33 PM

Why would you choose the X1900 with 256MB of Video RAM when the 7900GTX has 512MB and is upgradeable to the G80 if bought thru EXGA :?
October 23, 2006 4:57:56 PM

So what resolution are people running these top end graphics cards at?
October 23, 2006 6:38:57 PM

EXGA?

Unlike the US there's no rebate scheme (that I'm aware of anyway) here in the UK when you upgrade you cough up what something costs and you're left with a spare graphics card on your hands (which, if something goes tits up, isn't a bad thing).

I think it's down to personal preference and budget really anyway, I prefer the better quality (just) of the ATI cards display (though I'd like to combine it with Nvidia's Open GL performance).
October 23, 2006 6:54:25 PM

EVGA
October 23, 2006 7:55:31 PM

Since this is a specs thread I may as well mention the 2 possible specs for my next computer that will be built for around £550 or less and high performance for that money(Not the one I have right now of course) i don't mind overclocking a little but NOT excessively though.
Intel PC:
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Socket 775 2.13GHz £152.64 dabs.com
ASUS P5N32-SLI DELUXE GAMING 64BIT 775 £123.38 www.cocc.co.uk
1Gb (2X512Mb) Corsair TwinX XMS2, DDR2 PC6400 (800), 240 Pin, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 5-5-5-15 £79.48 scan.co.uk
Antec TruePower II 480W PSU £39.65 ebuyer.com
Asus 7600GS SILENT 512MB DDR2 PCI-E £89.43 ebuyer.com
Thermaltake Tsunami Dream VA3000BNA (CHVA3000BNA) ATX Full Tower Case £70.44 thecoolingshop.com

This totals up to £555.02 for the Core 2 duo PC

AMD PC:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600 Socket AM2 2.4GHz 1MB 1000FSB £155.93 dabs.com
Asustek AM2 nForce4 Sli ATX Audio Dual Graphics Lan £64.95 dabs.com
1Gb (2X512Mb) Corsair TwinX XMS2, DDR2 PC6400 (800), 240 Pin, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 5-5-5-15 £79.48 scan.co.uk
DabsValue NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT 256MB DDR3 PCI-E DVI £96.99 dabs.com
Thermaltake Tsunami Dream VA3000BNA (CHVA3000BNA) ATX Full Tower Case £70.44 thecoolingshop.com
Antec TruePower II 480W PSU £39.65 ebuyer.com

This totals up to £531.21 although the prices may have changed for some of the parts mentioned.

Do bear in mind I already have an IDE HDD which will be connected by a IDE to SATA converter adaptor.Any advice on these?

Which of the two possible specs will give more performance for the money.What parts should I focus on more and what can I afford to leave as I'll be using this system for Video editing,music editing,playing games but not at the highest resolutions (something like 1024x768 with all the details maxed out),downloading large files as well as multi tasking heavily.

If anyone here has advice or info then by all means tell me that but plz try not to make fun of these just cus I'm sticking to a budget(sometimes a sensible choice for a person like me)
October 24, 2006 12:06:31 AM

I will only comment on AMD since I'm not a Inhell fan.
You could scale back on the CPU and run with the 4200+ windsor then scale up the graphics to a 7800GT or hopefully a 7900GTO if ya got $250 to spend on graphics.
The mobo is cool, i lean towards the 500 series Northbridge for gaming
and would suggest this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
Other than that and the marginal PSU it looks to be on track mate.
October 24, 2006 9:12:42 AM

That motherboard you suggested for the AMD system is better than the one on my list so I'll consider this as buying from the USA or Canada will be cheaper. I did some example conversions as I was curious of the costs in the 2 different countries.
For example:
US dollar $100 would be £53.47
Canadian dollar $100 would be £47.30

This mobo price will be £50.24 from $93.99 US dollar.
I'm putting this down as info not to offend anyone.

I'll consider that mobo.
!