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E4300 based system, opinions please

Last response: in Systems
February 22, 2007 6:57:59 PM

Been reading the boards on and off for a few years, and figured this would be the perfect place to post - so here we go.

Im building my first new system for a long time, and haven't really payed attention to hardware in a while - So i more or less wanted, some opinions if this looks like a decent system, or if i chose some parts that makes no sense at all - As for prices, well i live in Denmark and stuff is a bit more expensive here, but i found the cheapest place here where i could get all the stuff that i (think) i want - So this is about as far as my budget goes.

The goal is, to get a reasonably modern PC, i would like to overclock it to around 3ghz. I do play games, but im by no means a hardcore gamer, and i don't care about a game running 4-5FPS faster - The system will be used more for Photoshop/work than games. Currently im on a 19" screen (1280x1024) but might upgrade to one with 1680x1050 or 1600x1200 within a year or so - And i would also like to keep the system relatively quiet, since it will be in my rather small livingroom - Stability is ofcourse very important too.

The parts i picked out myself are:

CPU: Core2Duo E4300
Motherboard: Gigabyte 965P-DS3 or Biostar TForce 965pt (depending on availability)
Cooler: Scythe Infinity or Ninja Rev. B (again depending on availability)
Case: Antec P180
PSU: Antec NeoHE 500W
Ram: 2x1gb Kingston pc6400mhz CL4
HD: WD 320gb 16mb Cache
Video: Sapphire X1950pro Ultimate with Zalman cooler


Im aware that nothing with overclocking is certain, but would it be within reason to expect that system to run around 3ghz stable?

Would cheaper RAM (still rated at 800mhz/PC6400) work just aswell for overclocking? since if i understand it right - im not looking at overclocking the ram anyway - I saw some sticks, think it was called A-data or something like that, that was quite a bit cheaper here in Denmark. And will i notice any difference between CL4 and CL5?

I thought about getting a Geforce GTS8800 320mb, but i don't play THAT much, and i figured i'd rather wait for more direct X10 cards/games before i make that move, is the 1950pro an OK choice for my system? Also, does anyone know the card im talking about? Will i notice any difference in the noise, compared to a cheaper X1950pro with a stock cooler.

Finally on a sidenote, will i notice any difference between a Creative X-FI Music, and a onboard soundcard (running on a set of above average speakers with seperate amp.) - its mostly for Music and will never run any kind of surround.

I know it's a lot of questions, but if someone would take the time to answer atleast some of them, it would be greatly appreciated, since this is quite a bit of money for me, and i want the system to be as good as it can for the money - Thanks in advance.
February 22, 2007 7:09:25 PM


I wouldn't absolutely count on it running 3GHz, but it's not unreasonable. Some people run them stable at 3.5GHz.

Cheaper RAM would probably work, but I've always felt safer paying a little more for the well known brands. You can always just google reviews of those RAM sticks though.

The 1950pro is a good card. Unless you play new games on very high settings, it'll do you fine. At 1280x1024, it'll be good enough for now.

I'm using the X-Fi music, and I find there's a noticeable improvement over onboard sound. If you've got good speakers, go for it.
February 22, 2007 7:30:09 PM

I'd definitely say you should get DDR2 667 if you intend to hit 3ghz but no further. You don't need DDR2 800... 333*9=2997... 400*9=3600... if you don't intend to go much further, go with DDR2 667.

I would recommend you go with a GeForce 7900GS for the next 2-3 months; get one from EVGA so you can upgrade to a GeForce 8600 Ultra. Remember Step-Up only applies to registered cards purchased within 90 days. You'll want to select your card and trade it in; your computer will be out-of-commission for a short time, however.[/quote]
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February 22, 2007 7:31:39 PM

There's a huge misconception that the Allendale is as reliable at over-clocking as the Conroe, which is widely false.

Sure, the 4300 has a higher multiplier, meaning theoretically since it runs at E6300 speeds, you should be able to over-clock it as fast as the Conroe, but with cheaper ram.

That's if you get a processor with good stepping. Check the Biostar forums as a lot of people who buy the E4300, update their bios and use quality DDR2-667 ram have trouble posting past 2.7 GHZ.

I don't really like that reviews of the E4300 claim it can easily hit 3 GHZ, because it's not ideal. They had to give over 1.5 voltage to post past 3 GHZ and they used VERY high end quality ram and motherboard.

I wouldn't recommend BETTING on a sure-fire 3 GHZ over-clock with the E4300 and at least expect to run it at 2.4-25 GHZ at the most, so you can be tolerant of failure.

If you want a guaranteed 3 GHZ over-clock with a C2D, you have to start at the base with an E6300, sorry.
February 23, 2007 4:08:00 AM

Thanks everyone, as for trade ins deals on a 7900gs, it's not worth it for me since i live in Denmark, i can imagine all kinds of stuff going wrong, especially some heavy taxing if it gets picked up in customs.

I might get the E6300 instead then, they cost about the same. Will good DDR2 800mhz ram, be sufficient to reach 3ghz with that one, or do i have to get 1066?