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$1,000 Gaming System. Some Help Needed.

Last response: in Systems
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February 17, 2007 12:15:06 AM

The Parts:
DVD-Drive: Samsung SH-S182D - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

Case: Antec LifeStyle SONATA II Piano Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 450Watt SmartPower 2.0 Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

HD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 SATA 3.0Gb/s 250GB 16MB - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

RAM: CORSAIR ValueSelect 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

MB: MSI 945P Neo3-F LGA 775 Intel 945P ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz 2M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

GPU: XFX PVT80GGHF9 GeForce 8800GTS 320MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

This is pretty much what I've come up with my research for my new gaming system. I do have a few concerns about it, and any input would be greatly appreciated.

First, is there a better motherboard I could have for the parts I have?
1. I don't intend to run SLI
2. I'll probably consider overclocking later down the road, but not right away
3. Would settling for the onboard sound card affect my FPS too much? If not, I'll probably stick with that integrated sounds.

Second, is the Antec Sonata II able to keep the whole setup decently cool and is the power supply that comes with it, a 450W Antec PSU, enough for the components I plan to use with it? I was considering an Antec 900, but that meant I had to get a separate PSU, which could cost up to $100.00 more.

Third, would getting that video card be overkill? Some of the games I will be playing with this setup are Oblivion, Company of Heroes, Supreme Commander, Medieval 2: Total War, and Civilization 4 (Plus some FPS games for my little brother and the Sims for my sister).

That's all I have for now. Again, thanks for your insights.
February 17, 2007 11:47:33 AM

The sonata2 is quiet & cools pretty well. I love the fact that it has no side holes that interfere with the air flow from front to back. It's quite small for my specs. It takes ATX & MATX boards.

I'm not a fan of Antec psus. A bundled psu is usually ok for non-overclocks. However, the SP-450 isn't enough for 8800gts which needs 400w & 26a:

http://www.antec.com/specs/SP450_spe.html

Pick one of these:

http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam...

If you want a psu & case (480w 28a) just enough for the 8800gts for under 100:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?DEPA=0&ty...

The Hiper won't be enough for 8800gtx which needs 475W 32A.

While onboard sound may load the cpu by up to 10%, so do some add-on sound cards' drivers & onboard network. The very good ones using about a few % of cpu are expensive. What I do is overclock the cpu & use the onboard sound.
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February 17, 2007 1:59:52 PM

Thanks for the recommendations. It seems that the PSU that comes along with the Sonata II is unreliable, so I decided to go with Antec True Power Trio TP3-550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply with Three 12V Rails 100 - 240 V UL, CUL, FCC, TÜV, CE, C-tick, CCC, CB - Retail.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

Also, I decided to drop the Sonata II case for a COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel, SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

I read a lot of the reviews on New Egg for the Cooler Master Centurion 5, and it seems to do a good job of cooling. I had really wanted an Antec 900 or Antec p180b, but those, I feel, are too expensive.
February 17, 2007 2:03:54 PM

You need a better PSU.

Also, don't get a 945 chipset motherboard, get a 965 chipset. If you want the MSI, then get the 965-Neo F. Otherwise take a look at the Gigabyte 965-S3....overclocks like a champ, nice and stable, great price too.

[edit: You changed the PSU, good job. Comment on the mobo still stands though]
February 17, 2007 2:10:41 PM

945P not good to OC
February 17, 2007 8:18:35 PM

First off, thanks for the recommendations. Based on the replies I got, I updated the parts I will be ordering.

Optical Drive:
SAMSUNG Black 18X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 18X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner With LightScribe Technology - OEM

Case:
COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel, SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
(I had wanted the Antec 900, but the price was too steep for me. Is the airflow for both cases vastly different?)

HD:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS (Perpendicular Recording Technology) 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

LCD:
SAMSUNG 941BW Black 19" 4 ms (GTG) DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 500:1 - Retail
(Figured I could use a new display. I currently have a ViewSonic 17" CRT...)

GPU:
EVGA 256-P2-N624-AR GeForce 7900GS 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 KO Video Card - Retail
(After hearing about the eVGA "Step-Up" program, I figured I'd just settle for this card now and probably pick up an 8000 card later on. Has anyone had any experience with the eVGA "Step-Up" program?)

PSU:
Antec True Power Trio TP3-550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply with Three 12V Rails 100 - 240 V UL, CUL, FCC, TÜV, CE, C-tick, CCC, CB - Retail

RAM:
CORSAIR ValueSelect 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Desktop Memory - Retail

MB:
GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

CPU:
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz 2M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail

SubTotal: $1,167.92
Tax: $84.67
SH: $29.78
Grand Total: $1,282.37
(A bit higher than my original $1,000 budget. Geez, it's the taxes! Any other online reseller out of California like Newegg? haha)

There you have it. I pretty much dropped the 8800GTS so I could get a new display. Any more thoughts? Thanks again for the suggestions.
February 18, 2007 1:19:26 AM

Good job at revising the list. DS3 is better than S3 in that DS3 has solid capacitors. Looks like a very decent pre-dx10 rig. When it comes time to upgrade to dx10, you should be able to just swap the video cards.
!