To all TinkErz - First Buy; Build a Gaming Rig on a Budget

Hiyya folks!!

I've been cobbling together my PCs for years and recently the power supply ate my NVIDIA Geforce5900Ultra Rig. It was marginally capable as a gaming system limited severely by its celeron processor. Now I find myself in the market to buy or build my own PC en-full. As such I hope to tap your extensive knowledge and glean a bit of advise for my next venture.

I have chosen:
a Sapphire ATI Radeon X1950Pro 512MB 2DVI/HDTV PCI-Express Video Card, Lite Retail | Chosen for its exceptional price for the tech and as one of the few versions of the x1950 Pro cards with 512mb while still being PCI-express.

Please help me build a computer around this card. I have a budget of $1100 after buying XP and this card.

Any recommendations for a gaming motherboard? I was hoping for something upwards of 800+ FSB capable of a crossfire setup when I expand down the road. I am hugely ASUS friendly, but am open to suggestions! Intel or AMD choice is still in the air though I have been advised Intel.

My many thanks for your input... I'm so ready to frag some seriously ugly baddies and RPG my brains out. :)

Ross aka TirellCo
Here, there, most everywhere

P.S. PCIe and PCI-Express are the same thing?
6 answers Last reply
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  1. 866 FSB?! That speed is not possible with any board on the market.

    This board should get you up to 500 on the FSB. link
  2. Well, I just put a system together a couple of weeks ago.

    Here are my specs:

    Intel C2D 6400
    Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3
    Sapphire Radeon X1950XT
    OCZ ATI Xfire 2x1GB Memory
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (Perp Drive) 320GB SATA II
    Antec Sonata II with 450W PSU
    Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro

    If there would be one thing I would change is that I would get the ASUS P5N-E mobo. It supports 1333 and 1066 FSB. I'm assuming this mobo will support the new Intel CPU's. I only say this from a "future proofing" point of view. I know you mentioned building a Xfire system but DX10 will be out in mainstream by the time you would want to maybe get another X1950Pro card. It would be better just to buy a new card and sell your old one.

    If not, then get the DFI LanParty XFire but it'll set you back an extra 90 bucks over the ASUS board where as you could save that money and get a better video card in the future.

    Since your budget is $1100 after XP & the video card, you should easily get the E6600. I was thinking about the E6600 but I got the E6400 for $160 so I couldn't pass up the offer. It was OEM but I was going to be buying an aftermarket heatsink anyway.

    There's a lot of memory companies with rebates out there. Look at memory with a CAS latency of 4 and verify it's compatible with the mobo. My OCZ ATI works fine with my Gigabyte board but I've read other OCZ memories give it a fit.

    I went with the Antec Sonata II because it came with a $50 rebate. The PSU isn't the greatest but I don't plan on oc'ing for the time being. I'm debating on whether to get the Seasonic S12 Energy Plus 650W or Antec NeoHE 550W. I'm leaning towards the Seasonic just because it'll be more "future proof" than the Antec.

    Mobo:ASUS P5N-E - $137
    CPU:Intel C2D E6600 - $313
    HDD:Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 - $90
    Memory:OCZ ATI Xfire 2x1GB - $187 after MIR

    NOTE: Call Zipzoomfly to see when the memory will be back in stock. If it won't be in stock soon enough for you then get these Corsair sticks. - $191 after MIR

    If you have another 34 bucks to spare, Corsair Dominator - $225 after MIR

    Case & PSU:Antec Sonata II with 450 PSU - $65

    NOTE: Eventually you can go and buy a better PSU.

    Adding up the most expensive parts (mobo, memory) comes out to be $1107.

    Now, if you are into oc'ing, then go down to an E6400 or the E4300. Buy a good aftermarket heatsink. An Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro can be bought at Ebay currently for 27 bucks which includes shipping.

    This will save you some money over the E6600. Get the cheaper memory and this Thermaltake Toughpower 750W PSU. - $174 after MIR.

    I only suggest this if you end up using a XFire setup and to "future proof" any Xfire system in the future.

    Otherwise, the Antec NeoHE 550W for $128 will suit your needs.
  3. Thank you very much... I really didn't expect such specific guidance. As such I'll continue to pick your brain if you don't mind. ;)

    I am seeing most of the good boards with SLI capacity, but that is NVIDIA based, right... I'll be running a Radeon card and using your suggestion, Crossfire capable RAM. I would like a Crossfire capable board. Would that be an ASUS SLI despite its branding? ASUS P5N32-e amd P5n-E are in the cart at the moment.

    But of course now I have to see whats out there for Motherboard/CPU combos and Barebones systems... so far its cheeper to buy them separately.

  4. The RAM I have is not "Crossfire" capable RAM. It was just "certified" by ATI and given the name OCZ ATI Xfire. Even so, this memory can be overclocked really well. I haven't done so yet, but I've read plenty of reviews on them.

    I'm not a big fan of using 2 video cards as usually you can buy 1 card that is as good as 2 cheaper cards and is either the same cost as the 2 or cheaper.

    Because of this, I honestly do not now if there is an incompatibility with Nvidia chipsets having 2 ATI cards in Xfire. I believe there is but I'm not sure without doing my own research. Shoot Cleeve a PM on this.

    I do have one edit. I just recently found out that the Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 V3.3 supports FSB 1333.
  5. Quote:
    Case & PSU:Antec Sonata II with 450 PSU - $65

    NOTE: Eventually you can go and buy a better PSU..

    you can pretty much guarantee that PSU dying within 6-9 months if not sooner.
    The SP450W & SP500W have a very high RMA rate.
  6. My only advice is stay away from barebones systems. They're cheap because the components are garbage, especially the PSU's. Don't skimp on your PSU!
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