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Is this set up good for the money?

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March 22, 2007 4:30:16 PM

RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WBP Black SECC STEEL ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply - Retail
$70

EVGA 512-P2-N635-AR GeForce 7950GT 512MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 KO Video Card - Retail
$215

OCZ ATI CrossFire 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2A8002GK - Retail
$175

MSI P6N SLI Platinum LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
$164

Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6400 - Retail
$222

All this comes to around $850

I am looking for a med-high end machine that will be easily upgradable(as much as it can be in this fast techy world) Any suggestions on the setup? I really don't think I will utilize the SLI so maybe I should get a board that isn't SLI and go for more features or better performance. I will be primarily gaming, doing media encoding, and dvd burning...

More about : set good money

March 22, 2007 4:38:44 PM

The graphics card isn't very good value, you should consider upgrading it to a 8800GTS 320mb. Or, saving money and getting the 7900GS KO instead.

You could also save money on your RAM. If you're not overclocking, you could get DDR2 533. If you are OCing, that's decent RAM, though you could get cheaper and faster stuff by G.Skill. But it's not bad.

You could save money on the CPU by getting an e6300 and overclocking it.

That board is pretty good but if you won't use SLi, you could save money and get the Gigabyte 965P DS3 or S3.

edit: Also you should get a better quality power supply. Ones that come shipped with cases are usually terrible. FSP Group, PC P&C, Corsair, Silverstone, Seasonic, OCZ, Antec make better quality PSUs.
March 22, 2007 5:03:36 PM

Only suggestion is spend a few extra bucks for the 8800GTS. You will be glad you did.
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March 22, 2007 5:05:30 PM

I second most of jeff's advice, different video card (either better or cheaper), slower RAM I'd suggest 667 since it gives you more overclocking / future proofing ability, and 6300 or even 4300.
March 22, 2007 5:13:26 PM

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ - Retail
$139

EVGA 256-P2-N624-AR GeForce 7900GS 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 KO Video Card - Retail
$139.00
(do I want to get a DirectX10 card? Or does it really matter right now as far as gaming? Like I said, I am not a hard core gamer.. Just as long as it looks nice and doesn't play choppy... I am not interested in the highest FPS.. But sincethis setup is only $750 I could spend a little more on a better one...

GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
$120


Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6400 - Retail

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel, SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
$50


All this comes to $670 and I still need the PSU...

What do you think of this setup and what would be a good PSU to get?

http://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/Shopping/ShoppingIt...
March 22, 2007 5:17:19 PM

But without over clocking wouln't the ddr2800 be faster then the others you specified?



COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel, SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

$50

EVGA 320-P2-N815-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - Retail

$300

Thermaltake TR2 W0070RUC ATX 430W Power Supply - Retail

$40

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ - Retail
$140

GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
$119


Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6400 - Retail
$222

This all comes to $875 for this setup..

Thanks for all the input.. I am a lot closer to deciding on a setup...
March 22, 2007 5:59:03 PM

If you don't care about playing the newest games on high visual settings, the 7900GS KO is all you need.

As for your RAM, DDR2 800 won't be any faster than DDR2 533 at stock speeds. It's when you're overclocking that you'd want faster RAM. That RAM is already a good price even though it's 800, but you could save a few dollars and get DDR2 533 if you're absolutely sure you wouldn't overclock.

Oh and on the topic of overclocking, if you're not doing it you could also get an even cheaper board like the MSI 965 Neo-F. Solid board. But if you think you might want to overclock, stick with the DDR2 800 and Gigabyte DS3.
March 22, 2007 6:07:16 PM

I will overclock eventually, but its not that important to me. But I think I want to stick with a higher end video card. My monitor (at least most of the time) is my 42" HD monitor. I would love to see FEAR on that screen at 1920x1080 or at least looking good and running smooth. Since it is such a big screen should I get the higher end card?
March 22, 2007 6:13:35 PM

Oh boy yeah for FEAR at 1920x1080 you'd need the GTS for sure.

And I forgot about the power supplies, that Thermaltake would never power a GTS, Likely couldn't handle the GS KO for that matter, actually. Something like this should do the job:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and is pretty cheap.
March 22, 2007 6:18:52 PM

Agreed. Acoustic, your specs are getting better, but as still a bit off. Will you be doing any overclocking?

You asked if your list was good for the price. The answer is No. The reason for this is that your intended use for the computer doesn't reflect the choice of components. So, let's get that fixed, shall we? ;) 

It sounds like you need to chop the budget a bit, but want good performance so let's do just that:

-Centurion 534 (it's better than the one you show, better venting and rotated hard drive helps with cable management and space requirements)
-C2D 4300 (6400 if you have the budget)
-2 gigs Value DDR2-667 RAM, cheapest stuff you can find
-MSI 965 Neo-F motherboard
-EVGA 8800GTS 320mb
-OCZ GameXstream 600w PSU
-DVD/RW?
-hard drive?

The reason for this list is to get you a good PSU that will handle future upgrades, a CPU that is fast and overclockable, a mobo that is cheap and stable but will overclock some with the 9x multiplier on the 4300 or is just fine if you don't overclock, 2 gigs of cheap RAM that will do just fine, and a graphics card that will kick A$$ for a long time for your needs and won't require an upgrade in the near future.

Total cost? Dunno, I live in Canada, but it'll be close to your budget range. If not, it'll be slightly over. Don't skimp out, spend the extra little bit if you have to in order to get good components.

This is a better match to what you need and offers some flexibility and upgradability.

If you ever want to move up to a quad core CPU, then get the Gigabyte 965P-S2 motherboard instead. A bit more money but ensures better future upgrades. If no quad core, stick with the Neo-F, it's a fine basic board.

Good luck!

[edit: HUH? You're not a hardcore gamer but want a 19xx resolution?!? WOW. Then your budget is waaaaay gone. Get an 8800GTX, a 700w PSU, a better mobo, and add $800 to your budget at least. You can't buy crap components and game at 19xx rez, sorry]
March 22, 2007 6:27:09 PM

HAHAHAH! You know what you should want? You should want to play F.E.A.R. at 2048x1536 with all the options turned on and get 500fps.
March 22, 2007 8:01:12 PM

COOLER MASTER Centurion 534
EVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB
OCZ GameXStream OCZ600GXSSLI ATX12V 600W Power Supply
pqi 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667
GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 LGA 775 Intel P965
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz LGA 775

All of it is priced at $900 though newegg

I shouldn't have said 1920x1080 and fear in the same post :D 
I will play games on my 42" display, but I won't run them at 1080p or nothing... Just as long as it looks good on a screen that big and I am not to picky. I was playing FarCry on my P4 2.2 gig, 128mb GeforceTi4200 with 512k ram and it played OK on my big screen. Of course its set to low/med settings... I would just like a cpu that will last me another 4-6 years (I built my last one in the beginning of 2001) with upgrades here and there. I don't expect to be playing newer games that come out in 4 years on this by any means. How is that setup then? I don't need a new dvd burner I will just use the IDE connector for my 320gig storage drive and dvd burner. I will need a system HD, but I am not counting that as my budget. I can get a 120 gig SATA drive for pretty cheap I imagine.
March 22, 2007 10:51:55 PM

Quote:
COOLER MASTER Centurion 534
EVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB
OCZ GameXStream OCZ600GXSSLI ATX12V 600W Power Supply
pqi 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667
GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 LGA 775 Intel P965
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz LGA 775

All of it is priced at $900 though newegg



Now THAT list is a great performer for the price ;)  Good job!
March 23, 2007 12:05:11 AM

Quote:
COOLER MASTER Centurion 534
EVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB
OCZ GameXStream OCZ600GXSSLI ATX12V 600W Power Supply
pqi 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667
GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 LGA 775 Intel P965
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz LGA 775

All of it is priced at $900 though newegg



Now THAT list is a great performer for the price ;)  Good job!

Centurion 534
$49.99

OCZ GameXStream 600watt
$119.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate

Gigabyte 965P-S3
$104.99

Intel Core2Duo E4300
$169.00

Kingston 2x1024MB DDR2-667
$136.49

eVGA 8800GTS 320MB
$259.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate

60$ cheaper yet :D 
March 23, 2007 12:16:14 AM

F1nal, you da man ;) 


I thought it would come in at a decent price. I sometimes surprise myself LMAO.
March 23, 2007 12:22:36 AM

Quote:
F1nal, you da man ;) 


I thought it would come in at a decent price. I sometimes surprise myself LMAO.


Hehe. I know, I surprise myself once in awhile too.
March 26, 2007 1:17:57 PM

Thanks so much for the help everyone. I just realized something. I need firewire also and the only mobos I can find that have that are SLI. Can anyone recommend a mobo that is very comparable to this mobo, but with firewire built in? I would buy a PSI card for it, but I don't want to lose the space.

Is the Intel Core2Duo E4300 much different then the Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz LGA 775? I know its cheaper, but would the $40 be worth the difference in performance?
March 26, 2007 2:00:55 PM

At stock speeds the E6400 is much better than the E4300.
However, no good enthusiast would not OC a Core2Duo since they OC so easy.

My E4300 ran fine at 3.2Ghz instead of the stock 1.8ghz, but I set it back to 3.0Ghz so my CPU fan would stay silent.

Also consider waiting about 3-4 weeks when Intel will release a whole set of new CPUs which means the current ones drop way down in price.
March 26, 2007 3:49:41 PM

I think I will stick with the Gigabyte 965P-S3. I have a PCI card in my old PC that I could take out and put in this one. It has 3 PCI slots so I think I will be more then fine with only 2 left.

As far as overclocking, I wasn't planning on it and I haven't had much experience with OC. I have read guides, but have never attempted to do so. I will not have any other cooling systems/fans besides what comes with what I have below. I have also read that you can easily OC that E4300 without any additional fans or cooling systems, so I guess I might as well try pushing it to 2.5 ghz at least... Since that processor is easily OCable. Isn't the 6400 the same way? you could OC that one even further then the 4300 right?

Centurion 534
$49.99

OCZ GameXStream 600watt
$119.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate

Gigabyte 965P-S3
$104.99

Intel Core2Duo E4300
$169.00

Kingston 2x1024MB DDR2-667
$136.49

eVGA 8800GTS 320MB
$259.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate
March 26, 2007 7:38:32 PM

Great setup there, well done.

Just make sure you have 2 120mm case fans, 1 for intake at front, 1 for exhaust at rear. Can't remember if they come with the case or not. If not, pick 1 or 2 up. But I think at least the exhaust fan is included.....?
March 26, 2007 8:03:06 PM

120mm Fans 2x 120mm case fan, one on the side panel (intake); another one on rear (exhaust) (this comes with it)

I find it odd it doesn't have a front fan. I don't even see where you would have a front intake fan from the pictures.

How do I know if the video card will even fit inside this mobo/case?
I have read all the reviews on the card and they say "its the size of a newborn baby so make sure you have room."
March 26, 2007 8:18:33 PM

I don't know of any ATX case that can't fit up to an 8800GTS. Only the GTX has problems fitting in cases. I've never heard of size issues. This is because it's not possible with an ATX mobo. Here's why:

An 8800GTS doesn't go past the edge of a standard ATX motherboard. I know, I've done many builds with a GTS and it is physically shorter than the width of an ATX mobo. And since an ATX mobo HAS to fit within a standard ATX case, an 8800GTS therefore fits. And since the GTS is the longest card (except the GTX) on the market, it will therefore fit any ATX case. So any card from the 8800GTS on down will fit into that Coolermaster case......7900GTX, 7600GT, X1900XTX, X1650PRO.....you name it. Anything except an 8800GTX.

Hope that helps clear it up for you :) 
March 26, 2007 8:24:11 PM

I understand. Thanks for all the info. I checked up on that case and it does have a slot for an additional 120mm fan. I think I should get one. Do you have a recommendation on what kind to get?
March 26, 2007 8:27:09 PM

Something quiet, don't break the bank. Scythe S-Flex is good balance between noise and airflow. If you want even quieter, get a Nexus 120mm. If you want adjustable between noise/airflow for hi/med/lo, then Antec Tri-Cool 120mm. Aboslute silence and good airflow, get a Noctua.

If you want sheer performance and airflow and don't care about noise, get a Silverstone FM-121 (120mm), simply awesome airflow, and not tooooo noisy, but depends on your definition of "noisy". You gotta think that 110 cfm won't be quiet though ;) 

Absolute silence: Noctua
Quiet: Scythe, Nexus
Speed Adjustable: Antec Tri-Cool
Performance: Silverstone
March 27, 2007 1:55:27 PM

I think I am ready to buy!!!

Centurion 534
$49.99

OCZ GameXStream 600watt
$119.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate

Gigabyte 965P-S3
$104.99

Intel Core2Duo E4300
$169.00

Kingston 2x1024MB DDR2-667
$136.49

eVGA 8800GTS 320MB
$259.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $75

Scythe S-Flex 120mm fan $9

I am just torn between these two processors still. I know the 4300 can overclock really well, but there is an open box OEM Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 for only $198. Thats only $30 difference. Does the 6400 Overclock well???
March 27, 2007 2:01:35 PM

They both overclock well, except you will need DDR2-800 to ensure success in overclocking the as well as the E4300.

The E6400 may OC a little higher if matched with DDR2-800.

Personally, 3.0Ghz may be enough for you.
I can OC my E4300 to 3.2 Ghz on stock voltage, but my fan can get noisy.
I choose to run at 3.0Ghz with undervoltage.

Your results may vary.
March 27, 2007 2:26:23 PM

I am going to go with the 4300. I can always upgrade to a quad in a year or 2 if I need more power.
So, your suggesting I get DDR2 800 vs. DDR2 667? I was told that t he DDR2 667 would be better then the 800.
March 27, 2007 2:33:27 PM

667 is fine with the E4300.
If you go for a different C2Duo, may need faster ram.
March 27, 2007 2:51:03 PM

You forgot one...
Busted Eardrums: Delta :) 
March 27, 2007 2:55:10 PM

Since this memory (G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 ) is only $10 more I should probably get that instead right? I did notice something between the two g skills. The one I wrote about above is for $130 and it states...
Timing: 5-5-5-15
Voltage: 1.8V - 2.0V

and the other gskill mem is $150 and it has...
Timing: 4-4-4-12
Voltage: 2.0V - 2.1V


in the future I will eventually add another 2 gigs of mem, so which ddr2 type would you suggest I get for the e4300? If DDR2 800 is better then the DDR2 667 I think I will just get that
March 27, 2007 3:07:56 PM

Talking about RAM speeds -

The E4300 - Default FSB of 400 (1.8ghz)
The E6400 - Default FSB of 533 (2.1ghz)

To OC these chips you need to OC the FSB so lets look at some speeds.

The E4300 @ 667 -> 3.0Ghz
The E6400 @ 667 -> 2.6Ghz

The E4300 @ 800 ->3.6Ghz (This CPU will likely not hit this speed.)
The E6400 @ 800 ->3.12 Ghz

I consider myself a moderate OverClocker and these CPUs should hit close to 3.0Ghz or a little more or on some occassions a little less.

Since the RAM should OC some, the E4300 would not be limited by RAM at 667 while the E6400 would be unless the ram OC'd very well. I prefer getting RAM that is rated at what I need instead of hoping for a second OC.

For $10 difference, I would get the DDR2-800 in the event you ever needed or wanted the faster RAM. For my system I went with DDR2-667 for my E4300 because I bought 4gb and at the time the price difference was close to $100 for the 2gb modules I was buying.

I'll let others speak about brands, or particular chips.
Personally, I would get the one with the 5-5-5-15 beause it uses lower default voltages. The smaller timings is not likely to be noticable. Besides you save $20.
March 27, 2007 3:14:27 PM

Apart for tiny differences in performance, I'd pick higher FSB over tight timings any day.
March 27, 2007 3:37:55 PM

Thanks for the input. I will go with the G-Skill then. I will probably upgrade the processor in the future so I think getting the DDR2 800 would be a wise choice then. So....

My system..

Centurion 534
$49.99

OCZ GameXStream 600watt
$119.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate

Gigabyte 965P-S3
$104.99

Intel Core2Duo E4300
$169.00

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
$129

eVGA 8800GTS 320MB
$259.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $75

Scythe S-Flex 120mm fan $9

$948.00 for the total...
March 27, 2007 3:54:31 PM

Nice price! 8)
Damn UK-prices, we pay that in pounds (ie. twice as much!)! :roll:
a b B Homebuilt system
March 27, 2007 4:54:27 PM

Looks like a very nice setup. I just thought I'd chime in on the Centurion 534. I have that exact case. The two CoolerMaster fans that come with it run at 1200rpm and are fairly quiet. Originally I added one additional S-Flex, but then I replaced the CoolerMaster fans with S-Flex's as well. The 1200rpm version of the S-Flex fan is a perfect match for sound and airflow compared to the CoolerMaster fans. (The S-Flex comes in 800, 1200, and 1600rpm varieties).
March 27, 2007 4:55:11 PM

Quote:
Nice price! 8)
Damn UK-prices, we pay that in pounds (ie. twice as much!)! :roll:


Just one q off the topic if i may, how much do you make a month in uk?
March 27, 2007 5:38:14 PM

At my last computer tech. job, I made £15k... not bad for just dealing with RMAs and repairs but not really enough for a serious long-term position.
March 27, 2007 6:26:09 PM

RAM for C2D is all about the speed, not so much the timings. C2D chips got ALOT of OC'ing headroom, so you need RAM that can keep up with it. Faster RAM = higher OC. Period. CL4 or CL5 won't matter nearly as much......the performance increases in speed will outweigh any minor performance hits due to timings.

C2D wants the RAM speed/horsepower. Wants sheer speed. Feed it the faster RAM (and keep the CPU cool), and these babies will go and go. However, a 6xxx will definitely top out higher than a 4xxx chip, no question.

Proportionately though, a 4xxx and cheaper 800 RAM will get you very high OC on the cheap. 6600 for example will get you higher clocks, but at a MUCH higher cost too.
March 27, 2007 6:29:27 PM

Pretty good setup. OCing CPU is not that difficult, especially with conroes and allendales. Just keep a few basic OCing things in mind. 1:1 FSB:RAM synchronous for best result. Start with stock vcore and increase stepwise only when an OC fails. Don't over exceed rated RAM speed and voltage. And don't go over 30% OC with stock HSF, 50% for a good aftermarket HSF like Tuniq Tower or Thermalright Ultra. ALWAYS monitor temperatures!

For the video card.

A month ago I'd recommend a Geforce 8800 card, but after dealing with it for a month on numerous computers, I'd say HELL NO. Good performance in 3dMark and other benchmarks, but will give you random BSODs when you start playing real GAMES (Just look around other forums and you will find this is a common problem, especially in Burning Crusade). Not sure when Nvidia will release better drivers, or if it just faulty hardware design considering it being the world's first DX10 video card. It's...just...crappy.

Oh yeah and you know what happens when you call EVGA tech support, they freakin tell you that you should dial down your graphics quality and and resolution for better "stability." Hell I told 'em to refund $400 before I do that. Didn't freakin buy a $600 card for $200 performance...

And when all else fail, they blame it on the "SLI-certified" Memory...

Anyway, no more BSOD when I tested a 1950XTX video card with the same setup...Ding Ding, the culprit being either the nforce driver or the G80 board itself.

Well you could buy it and deal with it and hope Nvidia comes out with better drivers soon.

Just my two cents.
March 27, 2007 6:36:18 PM

4300, benchmarks showing that its pretty much best bang for the dollar without the 4m cache. or 6300 if u really wanted, but 6400 is a waste in my opinion. you could also wait for the price cuts that come later in april when the new line of processors come out. a whole bunch of mid budget processors that will have the 4mb cache

g.skill 2x1gb for 129.99 right now.

and personally i'd get a ds3 or s3

and the 320mb 8800 with the moeny u saved
March 27, 2007 7:24:11 PM

Man, not that long ago that same G.Skill was selling for $210 instead of $140. And don't get me started on the overpriced Corsair :evil: 

These companies have been making a KILLING off everyone going to C2D and 2 gigs RAM. Shoulda bought stocks in them.......wow. Now we see the real prices, not the inflated ones......... :?
March 27, 2007 7:27:26 PM

LOL yea its sad when while im waiting for the C2d price cuts. im witnessing a 30 price drop in the gskill RAM the last month as well :roll:
March 27, 2007 9:07:06 PM

Quote:
...they freakin tell you that you should dial down your graphics quality and and resolution for better "stability."


That's unbelievable! 8O
Although, the 680i chipset did have major compatibility problems with 8800 cards and SLi memory when they first came out... and I wouldn't exactly call it a mature and stable platform even now :roll:
!