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$2800-$3000 system

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October 26, 2006 5:40:04 AM

It's time to build a new system and I was curious what the experts here at Toms Hardware thought would be the best fit for my needs based upon the criteria / info listed below:

I have never been a huge fan of overclocking as I prefer system longevity and stability followed by expected performance. I'm a gamer but I also dabble in media creation/edit so I am certainly looking for what makes sense to build.

I've been following the technology for the last 2 months or so and I'm torn between building now (x6800 or e6700/e6600) or wait until the Quad Cores are out. The problem I have is would I even utilize the full potential of a quad core based upon my usage? Also, in terms of Crossfire/SLI, it sounds like the SLI technology is more mature but performance and price - wise, it would make sense to go with a Crossfire solution. Would it make sense to wait until DX 10 cards are available?

I've already got a monitor (Dell 2001FP) and I typically run at 1600x1200 resolution, everything maxed if possible when I game. Based upon the fact that I am not really running anything beyond 1600x1200, would it make sense to push my current monitor to the side and start looking at the 30" widescreens for an Xfire or SLI solution? I've followed Nvidia pretty religiously over the years but ATI is certainly not out of the question.

Even though I am not a fan of overclocking, it sounds like the dual and quad cores chips are perfect for it, so light overclocking would probably suffice.
I will need a CPU Fan/Heatsink recommendation.
I will be using on-board sound for now.
I will need a case and I am partial to Thermaltake, Lian-Li, Cooler Master, etc. I need something that will remain extremely cool and is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. (I currently have the Thermaltake Tsunami, and the Lian-Li PC 60)
I will need a PSU to support an Xfire or DX 10 solution provided that's what is suggested. I am thinking somewhere along the lines of at least 700W, possibly 850W+
I will need no less than 2 gigs of memory that will fit in this rig.
I'm sort of partial to the Gigabyte mothers that use the solid state capacitors since it sounds like that's an excellent way to increase the longevity of the system but I'm easily persuaded.
Other peripherals: Keyboard, Mouse, DVD-R/CD-RW, floppy, etc. I will pick out later and am not factoring into the cost at this time.
Storage subsytem: Raid 0 is fine but not necessary and I am partial to Western Digital hard drives. However, lately the last couple of drives I have picked up have started to become extremely noisy.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post and I look forward to the responses. If you need additional information regarding what I am looking for, please don't hesitate to mention it.

More about : 2800 3000 system

October 26, 2006 12:01:33 PM

Sky's the limit with $3,000........
Speed costs money, how fast you wanna go..?
Lay $990 down a P4/EE and build around it.
3x320GB SATA HDD's in Raid(5):$300
2Gig's (2x1GB) of G.SKILL 1066MHz: $500
ASUS P5W DH Deluxe: $250
Ya still got $960 for peripherals like a nice Plextor CD/DVD Burner,
Creative X-fi Platinum sound card/controller...........
You don't need the biggest/fastest/baddest CPU
or the best RAM money can buy
bu you do need that motherboard, it rocks :twisted:
October 26, 2006 1:57:11 PM

I built a high end PC recently.These is some of the specs with minor mods to suit your budget.

Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 2.93Ghz
Asus P5WDH MOBO
Corsair XMS 2 6400C3 2GB (I bought 4GB)
ATI X1950 XTX/Crossfire (I boght a Geforce 7950GX2 for 700$..I am an idiot :? )
Western Digital Raptor X 150GBx2 in Raid 0
Seagate 7200.10 500GB
XiFi Fatal1ty
650W PSU (Get a 850W PSU if you are planning DX10 High end SLI/Crossfire)
Any High end Aluminum/Steel Case(Thermaltake)
After market HSF or LCS
DVD Writer

Good Luck :) 
Related resources
October 26, 2006 2:04:01 PM

Quote:
Sky's the limit with $3,000........
Speed costs money, how fast you wanna go..?
Lay $990 down a P4/EE and build around it.
3x320GB SATA HDD's in Raid(5):$300
2Gig's (2x1GB) of G.SKILL 1066MHz: $500
ASUS P5W DH Deluxe: $250
Ya still got $960 for peripherals like a nice Plextor CD/DVD Burner,
Creative X-fi Platinum sound card/controller...........
You don't need the biggest/fastest/baddest CPU
or the best RAM money can buy
bu you do need that motherboard, it rocks :twisted:


ARE YOU RETARDED, you just recommended a P4 for $1k!!!

Anyway, with that budget limits are certainly non existin(sp). Go for an e6600, should suffice for all you needs and give you that mild overclock you desire. Also, the Seagate 7200.10 are about the best HDDs on the market right now, specifically the 320GB versions. For your resolution an x1900xtx or something similar would be good. A creative xfi fatal1ty card would fit nicely into the budget too. So here is my rundown

CPU- e6600 $313 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
MOBO Gigabyte 965P DQ6 $198
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
RAM- 2GB CL4 DDR2800 $275 (this is one that could be changed if desired)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
GFX- EAX1950Pro $165 (this is a great card and if you want more power you can get another one for xfire, but with DX10 just around the corner... this should suffice)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
PSU- Hiper Pro 580w $100 (I like these PSUs, they should be plenty sufficient)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?Submit=EN...
Sound Card- Xfi Fatal1ty $150
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
HDDs- Seagate 320sx2 $200 (these are awesome)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

That brings you to $1401 for one SWEET system and gives you a few dollars to play around with. I wouldn't invest into a xfire or sli system yet, wait to see what DX10 brings, and then decide.
October 26, 2006 2:26:09 PM

Here's what I just bought that fits in that price range:

---------------------------------------------
Case: Coolermaster Stacker 830 Tower
Mobo: ASUS P5N32-SLI Premium/WIFI-AP nForce 590 SLI (3 x16 PCI-E slots)
CPU: Intel C2D E6600 2.4Ghz (4 MB cache)
(with a Coolermaster Liquid CPU Cooling Kit)
GPU: Nvidia 7950 1MB GX2
HD's: Two 300GB 7200RPM Western Digitals in RAID0, plus
1 more WD 300GB "2ndary" drive.
RAM: 2GB Corsair DDR2 MVS2 Xtreme Memory w/heat spreaders
Sound: Creative Labs X-FI XtremeGamer PCI
Speakers: Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1
---------------------------------------------

I didn't get a monitor (my current system has a brand-new Phillips 109B6 19" CRT) or list the various peripherials like keyboard, mouse, software, etc.

If you're going to a HUGE display, I'd go SLI now by replacing the Nvidia 7950 with two Nvidia 7900's in an SLI configuration. From what I heard you really dont' need SLI unless you're going to large displays @ high resolutions (which it sounds like you're gonna).

Myself, I'm planning to go "quad" SLI by getting a 2nd 7950 in the future, but right now its "not soup yet" as Nvidia hasn't finalized the drivers and the performance gains with the 7950 are minimal.

I like the GigaByte boards myself, also, especially that one with the solid capacitors. In the end I went with the ASUS, though ( I wanted the 3 PCI-E slots).
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
October 26, 2006 2:40:35 PM

Quote:
I'm a gamer but I also dabble in media creation/edit so I am certainly looking for what makes sense to build
If you made a living doing in media creation/edit using 3dMax8 and Adobe Premier Pro (for example) then a Quad core would be a no-brainer decision. If you're an average computer user you're more likely a 50/50 type. 50% basic tasks (email, web surfing, etc) and 50% gaming & media tasks. Intel "Kentsfield" Performance Explored shows that media tasks get a nice "pop" in performance (caveat; with the RIGHT software) while increases in gaming are not so nearly dramatic. A larger Kentsfield review is here: THG Core 2 Quadro Kentsfield

Crossfire/SLI is about the same. Under the "right" circumstances it makes sense. IMO 1600x1200 resolution is where you begin seeing a good benefit for multi-GPU setups. Again - it can depend heavily on your favorite games. My favorite game does not scale at all with CF/SLI getting worse performance. If you're the type of gamer that "must" have all eye candy turned on, think its heresy to NOT use 4AA/8AF at all times and games at 1920x1200 or higher than resolution then CF/SLI is what you need. As an average user that gets no benefits in basic computer tasks and media tasks you just have to weigh the extra cost against your gaming enjoyment.

Since your current LCD monitor is no slouch I'd hold onto it and evaluate your performance and enjoyment satisfaction with the new system and then decide if you need/want an upgrade. If you buy a new system with an eye to possible CF/SLI you could buy the extra video card at the same time you get that 30" 2560 x 1600 resolution monitor. But also checkout the 24" widescreen 1920x1200 monitors. Usually make more sense from matching desktop size/price range consideration.

As for overclocking - its your ticket to a X6800 type performance on an E6600 budget. For all practical purposes you sacrifice no stability and longevity with a mild (25%) overclocking.

The question on what hardware to put inside your new system. Check out this High-End Buyer's Guide - October 2006 which bundles the suggestions up nicely with decent explainations on why the hardware is being recommended. There are performance and higher upgrade options listed as well.
October 26, 2006 4:43:16 PM

Quote:
Sky's the limit with $3,000........
Speed costs money, how fast you wanna go..?
Lay $990 down a P4/EE and build around it.
3x320GB SATA HDD's in Raid(5):$300
2Gig's (2x1GB) of G.SKILL 1066MHz: $500
ASUS P5W DH Deluxe: $250
Ya still got $960 for peripherals like a nice Plextor CD/DVD Burner,
Creative X-fi Platinum sound card/controller...........
You don't need the biggest/fastest/baddest CPU
or the best RAM money can buy
bu you do need that motherboard, it rocks :twisted:


ARE YOU RETARDED, you just recommended a P4 for $1k!!!



I thought the exact same thing.... :lol: 
October 26, 2006 5:13:23 PM

Heres a good one:

Intel Celeron 351
Geforce 6200
256 Megs Kingston Value RAM
2 Gig Toshiba HD
NO MOTHERBOARD! YOU DONT NEED A MOTHERBOARD FOR A COMPUTER!
Ipod headphones for speakers
No CD or DVD drives.
5.4 in Floppy drive for all your high capacity storage needs.

That should get you 10000+ 3dmarks at 3dmark2006, i think
:p  haha
-cm
October 26, 2006 5:34:21 PM

Other then the processor and the Motherboard I just got today this is what I built one year ago this month.
Asus P5N32-SLI Premium/WiFiAP Motherboard $219.00
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Dual Core Processor 315.00
Corsair Value Select 2GB 240-Pin DDR 2 533 141.05
Sky Hawk/Eagle Tech ATX-GM570PC 570W Power Supply 58.99
Maxtor DiamondMax 10 200GB 7200 RPM Drive 84.00
LITE-ON IDE DVD-CD Burner 43.00
TEAC Floppy 14.00
Thermaltake Super Tower Case Armor VA8000BWS 129.00
XFX SP- PCC5 - G PCI SATA 5-Port RAID Storage Processor 229.99
With 4 Hitachi 160GB 8MB Cache 7200 RPM S-ATA Drives 306.00
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Heatsink with Fan 30.99
Two EVGA e - GeForce 7800 GT 256MB DDR-3 Cards 623.00
12 Foot DVI Cable 93.99
Shipping 112.00
Windows Home Edition with SP2 91.95
Gyration Ultra Cordless RF Mouse and Keyboard, I Had
________
$2491.96
Acer 24” AL2416WD TFT LCD 639.46
_________
$3131.42
October 26, 2006 5:44:59 PM

Just as a reference I was able to build this system in September 2005:

AMD Athlon64 3200+
MSI K8N Platinum Motherboard
XFX 7800GT
1 GB Kingston Value RAM
OCZ PowerStream 520W
Logysis Dracula Case (3 fans total - 2 120mm 1 80mm)
Lite On Combo Drive
Lite On DVD RW Drive
WD 160GB HD

Total: $890

I shopped for all the bargains I could find and was able to get a great deal on the mobo and CPU combo.

The thing is you wont have to do that. I just wanted to show you that you can easily get bargains out there and these setups will def. help you out.

One thing to note is that if you are thinking about getting a 7900GTX or 7950GX SLI setup, you might as well wait for the G80's since they will prob. beat these SLI setups.
October 26, 2006 6:29:31 PM

Quote:
Sky's the limit with $3,000........
Speed costs money, how fast you wanna go..?
Lay $990 down a P4/EE and build around it.
3x320GB SATA HDD's in Raid(5):$300
2Gig's (2x1GB) of G.SKILL 1066MHz: $500
ASUS P5W DH Deluxe: $250
Ya still got $960 for peripherals like a nice Plextor CD/DVD Burner,
Creative X-fi Platinum sound card/controller...........
You don't need the biggest/fastest/baddest CPU
or the best RAM money can buy
bu you do need that motherboard, it rocks :twisted:


ARE YOU RETARDED, you just recommended a P4 for $1k!!!




I thought the exact same thing.... :lol: 
OMFG that $1000 is so out dated and such a rip off. i have a friend who had one lying around his house and couldn't sell it.
As for a pc.
CPU:x6800
RAM: Corsair 2gb
MOBO: ASUS P5NSLI
VGA: wait around 3-4weeks and get a GF 8800GTs/8800GTX
PSU a nice 800W power supply.
HDD 350GT SEAGATE.
October 26, 2006 7:41:16 PM

Ok, i think i got the message after the 4th reply.
I'm so sorry i recommended a CPU that nobody likes except for me, everybody is so hung up on the "my dogs bigger than your dog" routine.
I don't care if one processor is faster than another if it does what it's supposed to do.
Were not even utilizing dual-core technology to it's full potential but now we can get a totally overkill quad-core nuclear powered fusion chip capable of computing the next prime number bigger than a million in less than 24 hours.........that's great, that's cool.......can the majority of us take full advantage of that kind of power, NO.
But it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside because it's the next big thing.
But only until next year when the multi-purpose dashboard douche bag with pearl handled pistol grips is released to the public.
Till we meet again,
Cya
October 26, 2006 8:12:18 PM

Its not that we are performance freaks, its that we want to give our money to the person/cpu that provides the BEST PERFORMANCE. There is a difference between performance freak and "a person who dislikes to waste their money".
Buying a processor for 1000$ when a better can be had for less is not a freak thing, it is a sensible thing.

Fanboys dont think like this, they are impractical. Thats why no one likes them. :roll:
-cm
October 26, 2006 8:24:51 PM

Well, I do want to thank everyone for the responses thus far.

Unfortunately I thought they would be more succint with each other but again I am faced with a majority of indecisions. ;) 

I can tell you that I plan to go ahead and drop the cash for the 6800. I have made that decision and hopefully I can work down towards isolating which motherboard I want to use. I keep seeing boards like the Asus P5N32, Asus P5W, the Gigabyte DQ6, DS3, etc...but I can't seem to narrow it down. The THG guide for ultra-high end rig is nice, but I've read entirely too many reviews against the MSI board, as well as, OCZ memory so that made me a bit skeptical.

I guess to make things a bit easier, the next step is to decide if I want to go with SLI, Crossfire, or wait for the GF 8800GTs/8800GTX cards. I've done quite a bit of reading on the difference between Crossfire and SLI and just when I think I have found a clear winner for my needs, I read another review/description/etc that leads me in the other direction.

I love having choices, I just hate having to make them when I plan to drop quite a bit of cash on that decision.
October 26, 2006 8:33:55 PM

Patient, you must be.
-cm
October 26, 2006 8:44:39 PM

you do realize that the e6300 which is $180 could out perform that $1k P4, right?
October 26, 2006 8:49:42 PM

Quote:
. . . .The THG guide for ultra-high end rig is nice, but I've read entirely too many reviews against the MSI board, as well as, OCZ memory so that made me a bit skeptical.

. . . . and just when I think I have found a clear winner for my needs, I read another review/description/etc that leads me in the other direction.

I love having choices, I just hate having to make them when I plan to drop quite a bit of cash on that decision.


Analysis Paralysis, I've been there :lol:  . . . . and came to the exact same decision you made on the MSI board Tom's liked.

Good luck!
October 26, 2006 8:51:01 PM

TSI, your machine has almost the same specs as mine.

LONG LIVE THE X850!!!!! LONG LIVE THE KING!!!! :p 
-cm
October 26, 2006 8:54:39 PM

Quote:
Other then the processor and the Motherboard I just got today this is what I built one year ago this month.
Asus P5N32-SLI Premium/WiFiAP Motherboard
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Dual Core Processor


hehe, what you listed is very close to I just] ordered this year!

What new mobo & processor you get?
October 26, 2006 9:45:05 PM

Quote:
Patient, you must be.
-cm


Patient for the new technology which will be eclipsed by the next technology that will be eclipsed by the technology that follows it? lol

I have no problem waiting, I just want to make sure that waiting is the right thing to do. Looking at it from this perspective:

The worse thing that I can do right now is jump into a build that I will regret down the road. If I wait, prices are pretty much guaranteed to drop. :) 
October 26, 2006 9:46:05 PM

Quote:

Analysis Paralysis, I've been there :lol:  . . . . and came to the exact same decision you made on the MSI board Tom's liked.

Good luck!


I hate Analysis Paralysis, it happens to me when I'm playing WoW and can't figure out which Alt-toon of the week I want to play.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
October 26, 2006 9:51:44 PM

Quote:
but I've read entirely too many reviews against the MSI board, as well as, OCZ memory so that made me a bit skeptical.
Please share those review links with the rest of us.
If you're getting different information than we have... we really would like to know about it.
October 26, 2006 10:11:18 PM

Quote:
but I've read entirely too many reviews against the MSI board, as well as, OCZ memory so that made me a bit skeptical.
Please share those review links with the rest of us.
If you're getting different information than we have... we really would like to know about it.

I didn't bookmark the reviews that I read but I will certainly try and dig up what I can remember.

On a side note, I have been eyeing this board:

http://www.intel.com/products/motherboard/D975XBX2/inde...

VR Zone did a review on the board:
http://www.vr-zone.com/?i=4111
October 26, 2006 10:34:37 PM

Your absolutely right and i definately wasn't thinking clearly at 2:45 in the morning when i replied to this question........
I don't think I'm a fanboy, at least my newest system doesn't portray that image.
I really was thinking "Woodcrest' over n over but P4/EE spilled from my fingers and onto the monitor, anyways you cats are still the best and I'm still learning, Cya

BTW, maybe one day i will indeed get wise and build a Intel rig, but I'm extremely happy with my X2/4200+, M2N32/SLI, 7900GTO........it does anything i ask of it on any game that's loaded with all the bells and whistles turned on.

Same story with the X1950 vs 7950GX2, ATI vs NVIDIA, Green vs Red, NVIDIA's card.................shut-up George
October 27, 2006 6:48:15 AM

Okay, you kids have had your fun, now for the big boy recommendations:

The motherboard that OCs the best: P5B Deluxe.
Most voltages: DQ6
The best on the X975 chipset and recommended for Crossfire: Abit AW9D-MAX

Mobos not worth getting: MSI 975X, P5W DH, any current Intel mobo, any current Nvidia chipset. (If youll argue about this be prepared to be pwnd.)
For SLI, you have no other choice but to wait for the 680i chipsets, RD600 is worth while too.

I would only recommed the X6800 if youre a hardcore OCer and want to reach those 5.5Ghz. Otherwise keep the E6700 because the difference in performance wont be worth it. How far and on wich processor do you want to OC???

Definetly youll wait for the 8800GTX, itld be a shame to spend on a dual card configuration right now. A SLI/Crossfire setup will totally depend on the resolution at wich you wish to play. Wich is???

Depending on how far you want to OC that should be your memory speed. So ill need you to pick a processor and define somewhat your goal for OCing. 2GB now (memory prices are surfing the sky right now) and another 2GB when youll upgrade to Vista so you wont spend on a 64bit OS right now.

Youve got enough to spare on a Raptor X for windows, apps like PS CS and games. Seagate 7200.10 for the rest of your storage.

For a PSU of this magnitude I recommend the Enermax Galaxy series or a PC Power&Cooling of <800W.

If you are going to get into sky high overclocking you will be much better served with a good water cooling kit than with air. But my knowledge i that filed is quiet limited. Depending on your overclock ill advise on excellent air setups tough.

Basically just decide wich CPU and how far you wanna OC so we can give the setup more consistency.
I hate to see this $3k builds going to waste, thats why I am going to take this one quiet personally.
October 27, 2006 12:49:29 PM

Quote:
Okay, you kids have had your fun, now for the big boy recommendations:

The motherboard that OCs the best: P5B Deluxe.
Most voltages: DQ6
The best on the X975 chipset and recommended for Crossfire: Abit AW9D-MAX

Mobos not worth getting: MSI 975X, P5W DH, any current Intel mobo, any current Nvidia chipset. (If youll argue about this be prepared to be pwnd.)
For SLI, you have no other choice but to wait for the 680i chipsets, RD600 is worth while too.

I would only recommed the X6800 if youre a hardcore OCer and want to reach those 5.5Ghz. Otherwise keep the E6700 because the difference in performance wont be worth it. How far and on wich processor do you want to OC???

Definetly youll wait for the 8800GTX, itld be a shame to spend on a dual card configuration right now. A SLI/Crossfire setup will totally depend on the resolution at wich you wish to play. Wich is???

Depending on how far you want to OC that should be your memory speed. So ill need you to pick a processor and define somewhat your goal for OCing. 2GB now (memory prices are surfing the sky right now) and another 2GB when youll upgrade to Vista so you wont spend on a 64bit OS right now.

Youve got enough to spare on a Raptor X for windows, apps like PS CS and games. Seagate 7200.10 for the rest of your storage.

For a PSU of this magnitude I recommend the Enermax Galaxy series or a PC Power&Cooling of <800W.

If you are going to get into sky high overclocking you will be much better served with a good water cooling kit than with air. But my knowledge i that filed is quiet limited. Depending on your overclock ill advise on excellent air setups tough.

Basically just decide wich CPU and how far you wanna OC so we can give the setup more consistency.
I hate to see this $3k builds going to waste, thats why I am going to take this one quiet personally.


The primary reason for going with the x6800 is because it runs faster than any other processor out there at stock settings. At this point in time I'm looking for a high quality, solid, and extremely stable rig with less emphasis on overclocking today. Perhaps in the future as the system starts to fall behind the curve, THEN I will overclock it to bring it in line, but I seriously have no desire to attempt any major tweaking to really push the performance of this. There's no need but when I am ready it will be nice to know that I will have a system that is capable of being oc'd to some fairly hardcore limits. Support for future quad core would be ideal as well.

As I stated in my original post, I'm currently playing at 1600x1200 and plan to stay at that resolution for at least another year until I am ready to upgrade my display. I would like to have options at that point if possible to play at higher resolutions, but the limiting factor right now is my monitor. I understand that 1600x1200 is when SLI/Xfire will start to show performance gains, so having a Crossfire/SLI option within a year or so when I am ready to upgrade my monitor would be ideal.

I agree with 2 gigs of memory for now with an upgrade later to an additional 2 gigs.

I had planned on going with dual Raptor X's in Raid 0 and a 3rd for storage.

Hopefully the above information will help tailor things a bit closer to my needs.
October 27, 2006 3:15:27 PM

The coming Nvidia nForce 680i might indeed be worth the wait. Yet so might DX10, and Quad Core. Right now its vaporware, yet another thing "on the horizon", as is the 8800GTX.

The D975XBX2 does look good, certainly an improvement over its predecessor OC-wise, and is both dual and quad compatable. I'd be concerned about the PCI-E x16 slots; neither board offers two of them. There's a wait on this board, too, and reviews are minimal.

If ohlmsjm wants to wait for any of the above, that's great. If not, I'd suggest a feature-rich, stable mobo built around the E6800.
October 27, 2006 3:22:48 PM

Quote:
The coming Nvidia nForce 680i might indeed be worth the wait. Yet so might DX10, and Quad Core. Right now its vaporware, yet another thing "on the horizon", as is the 8800GTX.

The D975XBX2 does look good, certainly an improvement over its predecessor OC-wise, and is both dual and quad compatable. I'd be concerned about the PCI-E x16 slots; neither board offers two of them. There's a wait on this board, too, and reviews are minimal.

If ohlmsjm wants to wait for any of the above, that's great. If not, I'd suggest a feature-rich, stable mobo built around the E6800.


Psimon, any suggestions for that "feature-rich, stable mobo built around the E6800"?
October 27, 2006 3:49:51 PM

Quote:

Psimon, any suggestions for that "feature-rich, stable mobo built around the E6800"?


All I can suggest is just keep comparing reviews -for current boards - if you don't want to wait. Hopefully some of the real "guru's" on these boards will make suggestions. Of course I'd suggest the board of the system I purchased this week - the ASUS P5N32-SLI Premium - why? Because of the tendency of many peeps (including myself) that want to push their own choices and feel good about what they invested in ;) .

It's always Bleeding Edge versus Quality&Stabiity. To make a good choice, at any time, its always best to pick products that have been out there for at least 3-6 months or even longer. I was debating waiting on the nForce 680i myself ( I'm biased towards SLI over Crossfire, but that's just me), but that involved at least 2, 3, 4 (or more!) months of waiting. I also first chose the MSI 975X board then read a bunch of dissatisfied reviews on Newegg and backed off. The BadAxe2 does look pretty cool, and if you wait for it, who knows, another vendor like Gigabyte might put out a competing board with better dual-GPU features.

Apologies if this isn't helpful as I'd like. I'd look at boards by the major manufacturers - ASUS, GigaByte, Intel, MSI (and perhaps Abit). Read as many reviews for each one that you can. Look at the board's listing on Newegg and other retailers and see the % of folks that loved it.

Finally - just select one. It's always gonna give you that falling sensation as you question your choice.

Sure reminds me of Texas Hold'em. Do you want to go All In right now, or wait for a better hand?
October 27, 2006 3:57:51 PM

Oh, I can make one suggestion, but its not for a mobo.

Get a good, high quality case - don't get cheep on this one - that either is a full tower with lots & lots of room, or at the least, has a removable mobo tray.

That way, if you get a mobo you come to hate, or is just not as upgradeable or feature-rich as you'd like, you can plunk down $200 smackers or so 2-3 years from now, and easily upgrade that way. A good case can last you decades.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
October 27, 2006 5:46:19 PM

Quote:
The primary reason for going with the x6800 is because it runs faster than any other processor out there at stock settings.
If you "need" the extra 10.5% that the X6800 gives you over the E6700 and are willing to pay the extra $440 (15% of a $2800 budget) that doesnt seem like such a bad price vs performance trade off. Pay 15% to get 10.5% more CPU cycles - not too bad at all.

On the other hand what if you could get 100% of the X6800 CPU cycles and save $636 or about 23% of your $2800 budget? Thats what getting an E6600 and lightly overclocking (FSB to 333Mhz from 266Mhz) could give you.

Now I know you don't want to overclock right now and you may think that settling for the E6600's 2.4Ghz speed is a mistake. But its only 18% slower at stock than the X6800. Gaming at 16x12 is almost always GPU limited - not CPU limited. So you loose next to nothing in quality or FPS in the most demanding games.Oblivion 16x12 Call of Duty2 16x12
In media tasks its more usual to see performace scaling along with CPU speed so the E6600 is on average 18% slower than the X6800 Media Task benchmarks X6800 E6700 E6600

rwaritsdario wants you to overclock to 5.5Ghz. You prefer not to overclock at all.
I'm somewhere in the middle. (OK, Im a LOT closer to you than rwaritsdario) I'll take speed for free if I know I'm not sacrificing stability and longevity.
I'm not actually trying to convince you to abandon the X6800 - just pointing out the price.
Need for Speed = $636 without overclocking.
With overclocking = $636 worth of speed for free.

I'd actually support you choosing the BadAxe2 if you want to wait for it.
If you're not inclined to wait the MSI 975X, P5W DH, Intel BadAxe C2D rev or Abit AW9D-MAX are all good choices.
All will take C2Q upgrades in the future. All will overclock to roughly the same vicinity of 350-380 FSB without too much effort with P5W DH & AW9D-MAX having the best chance of going to 400 FSB and a bit higher.
It's no accident that THG gave the MSI 975X an Editors Choice pick or that AnandTech recommends the board in it's High-End Buyer's Guide. That guide also gives the nod to the ASUS P5W DH Deluxe as the Ultra High end choice. Not everyone understands that most people prefer stability and value over "maximum overclockability potential".
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
October 27, 2006 5:51:31 PM

Quote:
Sure reminds me of Texas Hold'em. Do you want to go All In right now, or wait for a better hand?
I'll raise you 270Mhz
(that seems to be worth ~$440 or so it seems)
October 27, 2006 5:59:07 PM

Quote:
Sure reminds me of Texas Hold'em. Do you want to go All In right now, or wait for a better hand?
I'll raise you 270Mhz
(that seems to be worth ~$440 or so it seems)

Hey, I'm not pushin' the 6800, its what the man stated he wants. I'll leave it to the real gurus here to debate that one.

What you're saying makes sense - with a similar budget I settled on the E6600 (and some even argued I should just get the 6300 and massively OC it ). I plan on OCing it (later on) and I wanted the 4M L2 cache

Quote:
Not everyone understands that most people prefer stability and value over "maximum overclockability potential"

yeah, amen.
October 27, 2006 6:41:44 PM

I don't really have any concerns about overclocking other than the compromise that is made to the stabliity of a system in return for a performance gain.

Most of what I have seen though from the C2D reviews is that they overclock VERY well. The problem is, none of these reviews do any sort of longevity testing (3-5 years with the pc running 24/7) of the oc'd hardware. It's typically just long enough to do a burn-in and capture tons of burst benchmark data so it can be thrown up on a web page. I don't blame them for that at all, as the technology hasn't been out long enough to do that sort of testing. This just tells me that those reviews are tailored more towards the enthusiast (what I once was) and less towards the reality that I can't continue to upgrade every 1-2 years.

This doesn't mean that I am against overclocking, but I would much rather do it when the system has had a stable, solid, couple of years of usage behind it. I will overclock in the future once the system has reached it's upgrade potential cap. That is what's going to give me that extra 1-2 years on the system.

Enough of my rambling. The price points made about the E6600 are pretty obvious and make alot of sense, for that I thank you. Once quad cores come out, prices will drop even further. I'll digest that and make a decision when necessary as I'm not forking out the money just yet.

By the way, I believe I forgot to mention that this will be my second system.

My current rig (primarily used as a linux box/media server):
AMD Athlon FX-53
MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum Socket 939 nforce3 Mobo
1gig of OCZ PC3200 (DDR 400) with XMS heat spreaders
Thermaltake Tsunami
GeForce 6800 GT (recently died on me and replaced with a 7600 GS temporarily)
Antec True Blue 480W
2xWestern Digital Raptors 10k RPM 74g (SATA 150) - Raid 0
October 27, 2006 7:08:14 PM

i like my system i bought of e-bay for $830 which is actually around 1400.

everything is still low grade in the computer and it still outperforms almost all the computers in my area by about 20 to 30 fps in bf2 with all details maxed, (nothing is overclocked or boosted)

its a amd athlon 64 4000+ 2.46ghz 2000ht
with a asus A8N-sli (upgradable to the 939s; FX, X2, and other 64 cpu's)
a XFX 7800 GTX 256MB PCI-E(i am thinking about upgrading my card to a 7950 or putting sli on)
2gigs of Kingston hyperx 400's(back to the mobo, i am thinking about changing mobo's also, so i can get my ram to a higher freq.)
400gig hdd by western digi.
soundblaster audigy 5.1
lite-on dvd-rw/cd-rw
and a 17" old school monitor <------ is not worthy of a beast :twisted:

PN: you dont need to spend $3000

if your gonna spend that much on a computer, and you are looking for overlocking...? dude get a quad core, 400gig hd perfurably a 10,000 rpm, liquid cooled system with heat sinks and cooling pipes(with this much power and a 850w supply, your computers gonna create a massive amount of heat!!!!!!!!! and your biggest problem is not the gpu ram or mobo, its the cpu, if not properly cooled and with that 850 blasting.. that cpu is gonna shoot over 78c.. enough said. and the gpu?? go with geforce, you already ahve the performance, go with the quality... my $88 sound card is wprking perfectly, i hear birds in the background aswell as arty in the far distance with my sqaud members saying alright buddy, your good to go!

well, theres my information for you. i hope you use it :) 
October 27, 2006 9:59:49 PM

Talking completly about stock speeds:
X6800 -> 2.93Ghz -> $950
E6700 -> 2.66Ghz -> $509
Is that increment of 270Mhz worth $441?
The reason why the X6800 is so expensive is because of the unlocked multipliers from x6 to x13 (on current mobos). But youve got the money and it wouldnt be a waste since eventually itll be OCed.

Actually SLI doesnt start to show its real power beyond 16x12. With a single 8800GTX youll play very comfortable at 16x12.

Dual raptor Xs sound spacious and freakingly fassstt :D 
October 27, 2006 10:31:27 PM

Blah Blah The key to keeping a system for long and stable are VOLTAGES. At 1.4v vCORE and 2.2v vDIMM you system will last over 8 years...

Wich CPU have you decided on and how much would you liek to OC it? (Important to know the memory youll be buying).
!