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$1100 e6600 2gb RAM Gaming PC - Suggestions Needed

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May 13, 2007 3:42:14 AM

I have been working together this wishlist for about a month now. Now I need help and suggestions from others that have actually used the parts. I am trying to keep it under $1100, I'm already pushing it at that.

Anyways, I am looking for help, suggestions, or anything that could make this wishlist better. Different brands, etc., will gladly be appreciated.

I will mainly use this computer for gaming, and LOTS of multitasking. I play Halo, Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike:Source, Battlefield 2142, and many other games. I am hoping to overclock the e6600; my goal is to get it to 3ghz, but it's probably not going to happen.

Without any further due, here is the wishlist:
http://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/wishlist/PublicWish...

There are a couple things I'll address.
1) I already have a case, Thermaltake Shark (Black)
2) I already have a graphics card, ATI Radeon x800GT.
3) I already have a CPU cooler, Scythe Infinity.
4) The Masscool thermal grease is for a different computer of mine.

Thanks in advance for the suggestions!
May 13, 2007 4:29:27 AM

The Striker is a nice motherboard, but it's probably not the most economical solution for a budget system.

What is your plan for graphics? (didn't see a video card on the list) If you aren't going to run SLI, go for a good P965 motherboard like the DS3 to save about $200. If you do want SLI, consider a cheaper motherboard like this popular EVGA. If you are keeping your ATI card, you should go for a P965 board or wait for the upcoming P35 boards.

If you "only" want to get an E6600 to 3 GHz, you don't need that expensive RAM. This stuff will work fine for that speed (it will actually work for up to 3.6 GHz) - I have used it and it works great. You could even drop back to DDR2-667, but the DDR2-800 is cheap enought that I would just use that.

I like this hard drive better than the Hitachi (they're what my system runs for storage). I would personally skip the Raptor and HDD cooler for a budget limited system, the amount faster it is doesn't really justify the price on the bang/buck scale (and I do have one, that very model in fact, left over from my previous machine and it's not all that much faster than my Seagates).

Getting an E6600 to 3 GHz is almost trivial with a good mobo (the Striker and the two I listed will all do it with ease). You should probably get an aftermarket heatsink, though. The Tuniq Tower and Thermalright Ultra 120 (I use the Thermalright on my system) are among the best, but you won't need anything that extreme for 3 GHz with the 6600, although cooler is better. I think you can easily get the budget for the heatsink by savings on the mobo and RAM, even if you want to keep the Raptor. If you use the Intel heatsink, you might make it to 3 GHz. You won't need thermal paste if you use the Intel heatsink either.
May 13, 2007 5:16:11 AM

I agree with bobs choices. The DDR2 1000 is overkill drop down to some DDR2 800, and if you want a Raptor, the 36 gig wont hold out for long.
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May 13, 2007 6:57:49 AM

Cheaper MB, cheaper ram, then what video card?
Not sure what last post meant by the Raptor won't last? For the OS drive, it will be fine.
May 13, 2007 7:13:24 AM

wait for the ati hd 2900xt for ur gfx card coming out in about a week

and that sriker extreme is NOT worth getting
May 13, 2007 1:10:16 PM

Thanks for all the comments, guys. But I totally spaced out about the graphics card.

Graphics Card
I am an ATI fan, right now I have an x800GT, mainly a placeholder for the new dx10 ATI cards, so I would have preferred a crossfire mobo, or not. But since I saw the Striker Extreme, being an awesome board and all, I had to make a change. Maybe that will change again in the next few posts. :p 

CPU Cooling
I also forgot to mention that I have a Scythe Infinity, so hopefully that won't pose a problem with heat.

Motherboard
As for motherboard, I would much rather prefer a crossfire motherboard, like the P5B Deluxe or the P5B Deluxe/Wifi. That was actually my first decision for a mobo until I started seeing some bad overclocking results. Maybe I just looked in the wrong place.

Hard Drives
As for the hard drive, I will follow what you said, so I replaced the Hitachi with the Seagate. And for the Raptors, was there even a noticeable difference in speeds?

Memory
Also, for the memory I chose, I chose DDR2 1000 so that when I start overclocking, the memory will *hopefully* underclock itself to DDR2 800, so it'll have less stress on it. If you guys think I could go higher with the e6600 with the DDR2 1000 ram, then I'll keep it. It's nice ram. :D 

Phew, I think that's all the questions answered about my questions, lol. I'll be waiting. :lol: 
May 13, 2007 1:45:20 PM

Quote:
Thanks for all the comments, guys. But I totally spaced out about the graphics card.

Graphics Card
I am an ATI fan, right now I have an x800GT, mainly a placeholder for the new dx10 ATI cards, so I would have preferred a crossfire mobo, or not. But since I saw the Striker Extreme, being an awesome board and all, I had to make a change. Maybe that will change again in the next few posts.

Since you seem interested in Crossfire/SLI, wait until Monday when the reviews of the new HD2900 series come out to make the critical decision about the graphics and motherboard. Again, the Striker is nice, but it's not worth the $ unless you're building a high budget best of everything rig. Notice how few people on here use it, even with water cooled type setups.

Quote:
CPU Cooling
I also forgot to mention that I have a Scythe Infinity, so hopefully that won't pose a problem with heat.

You should easily hit 3 GHz on an e6600 with the Infinity.

Quote:
Motherboard
As for motherboard, I would much rather prefer a crossfire motherboard, like the P5B Deluxe or the P5B Deluxe/Wifi. That was actually my first decision for a mobo until I started seeing some bad overclocking results. Maybe I just looked in the wrong place.

Wait for ATI test results to decide if you want Crossfire or SLI. IMO, you don't need either unless you run 1920x1200 or above, a single 8800GTX (and hopefully a single 2900XT) can serve nicely at 1680x1050 or 1600x1200. The most promising looking Crossfire chipset isn't even out yet, which is the Intel X38 coming Q3. You should post your desired resolution.

Quote:
Hard Drives
As for the hard drive, I will follow what you said, so I replaced the Hitachi with the Seagate. And for the Raptors, was there even a noticeable difference in speeds?

Windows boots maybe 2 seconds faster off the Raptor versus the Seagates(which are not in RAID, they'd probably outperform the Raptor in RAID 0). I can't tell the difference in normal use where there isn't a long sustained HD transfer. The Raptor also seeks faster, but can you honestly tell the 4 ms difference or whatever it is? You can however tell the noise difference, as the Raptor is considerably louder.

Quote:
Memory
Also, for the memory I chose, I chose DDR2 1000 so that when I start overclocking, the memory will *hopefully* underclock itself to DDR2 800, so it'll have less stress on it. If you guys think I could go higher with the e6600 with the DDR2 1000 ram, then I'll keep it. It's nice ram.

The memory doesn't underclock/overclock itself - the motherboard controls that. For a 965P board, it's linked to the front side bus of the processor, which also sets the processor speed. The 680i boards like the Striker let you make the RAM and CPU speeds independent, although some report better performance by keeping them linked. In any case, DDR2-800 will support up to 3.6 GHz on the e6600, so if you aim for 3 GHz you will run the RAM at DDR2-667 speeds. You can buy the expensive stuff if you want to, but I would save the money to put it towards the video card. Besides, Intel is already planning to move on to DDR3 instead of DDR2 with the Bearlake (P35 [supports DDR2 & DDR3]/X38[rumored DDR3 only]) chipset, so do you really want a lot of money invested in high-end DDR2 RAM?
May 13, 2007 5:02:31 PM

As to the PSU... unless you absolutely want to or have to order all of the components from the Egg you may want to consider shopping around a bit. You may have already done so and your wishlist is just for convenience sake but, for instance, the Corsair 520HX can be had for 85 bucks (AR) from ZipZoomFly. The deal is set to expire today but I wouldn't worry too much - if you wait a day or two they often put the same deal back up... sometimes for less than the previous deal. Don't get me wrong. I am a big fan of NewEgg, but they aren't always the most inexpensive option and 30 bucks is 30 bucks.

Just a thought. Good luck with your build.
May 13, 2007 7:30:01 PM

Senor_Bob -

The reason why I want a crossfire or SLI mobo is so that my build will be more futureproof. What I am saying is that later down the road when new things come out and stuff, and my build starts slowing down, I can at least add another ATI/Nvidia card to boost it back up for awhile.

Also, when will the new Crossfire chipset come out? Because I plan on ordering the parts in about 2-3 weeks. But if I must wait, then I guess I will. I can't handle my P4 for much longer though, lol.

As for resolution, I use 1280 x 1024, mainly because that's the max my current card will handle without lagging, and it's my monitor's max res. But now that I'm looking at my wishlist, currently at ~$700, I might be able to squeeze a larger monitor in there, maybe a 22". Right now i have two 17" monitors.

Also, how far away is the DDR3 away from coming out?

Thanks for all the help.
May 13, 2007 8:23:33 PM

DDR3 should be coming out this summer. I don't know the exact date. Some of the P35 based motherboards with DDR3 support are available in other countries, I think they officially come out around the end of May. You can find threads about the Gigabyte GA-P35-DQ6 (with x16+x4 Crossfire) floating around the forums. The X38 with full x16+x16 Crossfire is due Q3, which could be as early as July. I can't imagine Intel would release a chipset with poor market RAM support, but there was the P4/Rambus debacle.

With a 22" monitor (widescreen LCD I assume) you will be looking at probably 1680x1050 resolution, which an 8800GTX will handle fine and the 2900XT may as well. I would personally not count on SLI/Crossfire as a rig life extender myself, as by the time that you need an upgrade you may have trouble finding another of the same card you originally bought (see people trying to find 7800/7900GTX now) and you will probably be able to sell your old card and upgrade to a new single card solution for less (like how 8800GTX alone is better than the 7000 series in SLI).
May 13, 2007 8:33:02 PM

You REALLY need a new video card for your stated purposes.

GPU is far more important than CPU for gaming.

Drop the E6600 to an E4300 and pick this up for the price difference.


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

See...............
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/05/01/the_best_gaming_...


This card comes in about 5 ranks higher than the X800.
3 Ranks is basically considered to be a very signifcant upgrade in performance.

So in essence this is almost twice the amount that would be considered a major upgrade.

The E4300 can also OC to 3.0Ghz quite easily and just about the CPU performance for an E6600 OC'd to 3.0Ghz. Hence you save money, but you don't really lose much in the trade. What you get in return is a big difference.

I'm not firm on that one card or even exact model.
It was mostly selected since it's from a good manufacturer, matches the cost savings almost exactly, and would provide an extreme upgrade.
May 13, 2007 9:14:56 PM

My only suggestion is, if you want to get the pc right now, is to add a 8800GTS for about $280 and that should just put a little above $1000, and that will at least allow you to play some of the newer games you want to play at a decent graphics level. But If your willing to wait a few weeks, with the 2900xt coming out you'll probably see the 8800's prices drop, and you can save money or you might even be able to get a 8800gtx with you budget.
May 13, 2007 9:18:10 PM

Ok, so what I could do is wait until a motherboard that has DDR3 support, get that, then get the DDR2 800 ram that you posted so I'll have more money for a graphics card or the DDR3 ram. As for the crossfire, you do have a point. But from what I've seen, a lot of boards that are actually good are SLI or Crossfire mobos. I might go ahead and buy everything but the mobo, but it'd be safer to just wait.

As for the e4300, it's stock clock is 1.8ghz, right? I'm still unsure, but I might still get the e6600, or an e6420/e6400 so that it'll survive longer down the road, and when things start getting more demanding, I could just overclock it passed 3ghz.
May 14, 2007 1:14:16 AM

Quote:
As for the e4300, it's stock clock is 1.8ghz, right? I'm still unsure, but I might still get the e6600, or an e6420/e6400 so that it'll survive longer down the road, and when things start getting more demanding, I could just overclock it passed 3ghz.


Count me in with those that think you would be better off running an E4300 or E4400 for awhile. One thing I think you might consider is that there is really no "future proofing" when it comes to computers these days. It just doesn't exist really. Things change too fast and wants and needs will change right along with them. I was in sort of the same place you are now... considering a big chip and expensive mobo in the hopes that I wouldn't have to deal with it for a few years. In reality with an E4300 OC'd to 3ghz, a $200 - $250 mobo-DDR2 Ram combo, and a superior video card, you really won't have to deal with it if you don't want to. And by the time you do, things will have changed so much that you will likely be more interested in wholesale changes. This plan has the added benefit of staying somewhat behind the technological curve, which can be considerably easier on the pocketbook.

All of this is to say that if I were you I would go with an E4300 and a solid $100-$130 P965 mobo for now and this time next year or two years from now step up to a Quad with a P35 or X35 and DDR3. You could wait for the "35" boards that support both DDR2 and DDR3 but... well, you will have to wait a bit and you will pay significantly more to be a beta tester I would imagine. Just some thoughts.

I am no expert on this stuff but those are the cost/benefit conclusions I came to when considering my build. Regardless of what you do I would agree that the video card is the key at this point. Almost any decent CPU on the market these days is enough. I think the recent Tom's Hardware build-off solidifies that notion.

Again, just some thoughts.

.
May 14, 2007 1:46:31 AM

adnoto and goldragon, you guys are right.

I'll get the e4400 and overclock it like adnato and zenmaster said. So now that leaves my wishlist at $687 with just the graphics card left.

So I guess the only question is, 8800GTS, 8800GTX, or the 2900XT, which I highly doubt because it'll be very expensive right off the bat.

So I'll probably get the 8800GTS, then try to get a 22" widescreen monitor. I might get the monitor later on. Is this a good monitor?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If not, does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks so much for all the help guys!
May 14, 2007 2:35:24 AM

Quote:
adnoto and goldragon, you guys are right.

I'll get the e4400 and overclock it like adnato and zenmaster said. So now that leaves my wishlist at $687 with just the graphics card left.

So I guess the only question is, 8800GTS, 8800GTX, or the 2900XT, which I highly doubt because it'll be very expensive right off the bat.

So I'll probably get the 8800GTS, then try to get a 22" widescreen monitor. I might get the monitor later on. Is this a good monitor?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If not, does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks so much for all the help guys!

Yes adnoto made an excellent post about future proofing there. e4400 can overclock nicely and has the 10X multiplier to keep the RAM speed requirements down, basically just like my e6700 with half the cache for under half the price. I can't guarantee it will clock as high, but then again, I have never seen my CPU utilization go above 70% except in stress testing.

Regarding graphics, I have an 8800GTS-320 and a 22" widescreen, Oblivion makes it sweat a bit with antialiasing, otherwise it works fine. All other games have played fine as well, although I'm not much for FPS games so your mileage may vary. FWIW I'm probably going to upgrade to a GTX (or maybe a 2900XT). It's looking like the 2900XT will be a worthy competitor to the 8800GTS but doesn't seem to have anything for the GTX, but I'd wait another day or so for more reviews to be sure. Anyway, I don't know anything about that Acer monitor you are loooking at, but I can tell you that I have this Samsung and I would recommend it. That's not to say that your pick is bad, just that I haven't seen it or read anything about it yet.
May 14, 2007 6:03:12 AM

If you are set on a 22 inch I understand but, and again this is just my thinking on the matter, I would go with a 20" model for two reasons. 1st they cost less and 2nd you actually get a better picture. You get a better picture (panels being equal) because the 20" and 22" models both run the same max res. So, what this means is that if you get a 22" you are just getting inches for inches sake because the actual resolution is the same between the two. To get a better picture (better resolution) you would have to jump to a 24" monitor and those are way more expensive. If you really want the size of a 22" then no problem, go for it, but know that the actual resolution quality is no better than a 20" model. This of course does not take into account the quality of the actual panel in any given monitor. The panel is really the single biggest factor with regard to the overall quality of the picture but that is a another thing entirely.

A good place to get info on widescreen monitors is the Widescreen Gaming Forum.

I know next to nothing about specific 22" models but as for 20" models I have researched and am considering this Acer, and this Samsung.

As for the video cards, it seems like the consensus (from what I have read at least) is that an 8800GTS 320 is the best bang for the buck right now in the high end DX10 category. I would agree with those that are saying hold off a few days to see if the release of the AMD card brings the prices down.
May 14, 2007 7:43:23 PM

Ok cool, I'll probably stick with an 8800GTS 320mb, or if the prices for the GTXs go down, i'll get one of those.

to adnoto - i saw the reviews for that Samsung about the buzzing. I understand the quality of the monitor, but I can tell you right off the bat that the buzzing will annoy the heck out of me. At my school in our Bio class the lights make a very high pitched buzzing that nearly makes my ears bleed. :x

Is the 8ms response time still fast though?
May 14, 2007 9:38:33 PM

Quote:
to adnoto - i saw the reviews for that Samsung about the buzzing. I understand the quality of the monitor, but I can tell you right off the bat that the buzzing will annoy the heck out of me. At my school in our Bio class the lights make a very high pitched buzzing that nearly makes my ears bleed. :x

Is the 8ms response time still fast though?


I had not heard of a buzzing issue with the Samsung. I do understand you want to stay away from anything you know will annoy you even if it is a crap shoot as to whether or not the one you will get might buzz or not. My suggestion is that you go to that Widescreen Gaming Forum I linked to earlier and search for what they are saying about specific monitors. Also just spend some time reading up on the different available widescreens in general. I know there was an LG 20" model I was looking at too but I can't find it at the moment.

The problem with recommending monitors is that everyone has different tastes, preferences and needs. This combined with the fact that, if you haven't seen a particular monitor in person, you are basically guessing (albeit educatedly so) based on others statements on their experiences with a given product. This is an inherent flaw with buying monitors over the internet. Another major flaw, at least IMO, are the dead pixel policies and return policies of e-sellers (make sure you read up on this and understand those policies).

Because of this I have been waffling between buying a monitor online or waiting till I find a relatively good deal locally so that if I have a problem I can just take the thing back and get a refund or replacement. For instance, the NewEgg deal on the 20" Samsung comes out to $240 AR. My local Circuit City has the same monitor, last I checked, for $260. So, while I would never buy a hard drive or a mobo from them, it is worth it to me to spend the extra 20 bucks just to avoid potential hassles. Heck, if there was something wrong with the monitor from a place like NewEgg the difference in price would immediately be eaten up by the return shipping costs.

As for the response time issue.. it is my understanding that even that is largely dependent on preference and what one actually sees during games. You will get some folks that will say that a quality P-MVA panel monitor (like the Acer I linked to) with an 8ms response time is plenty fast for games. And you will get others that say no way, it is too slow. To be honest I do not know the definitive answer. I think in general it is one of those things you have to see/experience for yourself. It is frustrating though because how can anyone be sure when you have some folks saying it is fine and others saying no? All in all and to be on the safe side, if you are a heavy gamer, it is probably best to go for the lowest response time you can get I suppose, even if this means you are getting an inferior TN panel.

.
May 14, 2007 10:44:57 PM

Quote:
to adnoto - i saw the reviews for that Samsung about the buzzing. I understand the quality of the monitor, but I can tell you right off the bat that the buzzing will annoy the heck out of me. At my school in our Bio class the lights make a very high pitched buzzing that nearly makes my ears bleed. :x

Is the 8ms response time still fast though?


I've never heard of a buzzing from a LCD before. I have a samsung 19" much like that one, and I hear a light click when I turn it on or off, and no other problems. I don't even get that High pitched Tone that I pick up from other devices.
May 15, 2007 12:24:45 AM

Ok, I'll go looking around on that forum.

Now as far as graphics cards, what should I decide on, 8800GTS 320mb, 8800GTS 640mb, 8800GTX (if prices drop), or the HD2900XT? I've heard that the 2900 was a flop...

Also, since the e4400 has an 800mhz FSB, won't I have to get a mobo that supports that FSB? Like this one?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 15, 2007 1:52:52 AM

Quote:
Ok, I'll go looking around on that forum.

Now as far as graphics cards, what should I decide on, 8800GTS 320mb, 8800GTS 640mb, 8800GTX (if prices drop), or the HD2900XT? I've heard that the 2900 was a flop...

Also, since the e4400 has an 800mhz FSB, won't I have to get a mobo that supports that FSB? Like this one?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I don't know that the 2900 is a flop, but it definitely doesn't compete performance wise with the GTX. That may be unreasonable to expect it to when it costs a lot less, but it doesn't exactly blow away the 8800GTS either (but it does come with three free games, including HL2 ep 2). The 8800GTS-320 remains the bang for the buck winner. I would get one from eVGA so you have 90 days to step it up to a higher model if you want to (like a lower priced GTX or an 8900 if they come out). That's my advice, which is also what I'm doing myself. The GTX is clearly better, you just have to decide if it's worth the $ to you. The 2900XT may fare better against GF8800 in DX10 and with better drivers, we will see in the next weeks. But if you have to decide today, I'd go 8800GTS-320.

Pretty much any P965 or 650/680i motherboard will support FSB 800 - but you don't actually plan to run there do you :D  ? (e4400 = 3Ghz @ FSB 1200) If you go to the manufacturer's webpage of the board you consider, they should have a CPU compatability list. For example, here's the one from Gigabyte for the GA-965P-DS3, which is the motherboard I have which is excellent. I don't know if the P35 boards will support it, but I do know Gigabyte has the product page up for their P35 boards if you want to go read up (they don't seem to have the CPU list up yet and I didn't feel like downloading the manuals in PDF).

Regarding monitor speed, the Samsung I have is 2 ms and its response suits me fine - I can't really tell the difference between it and my CRT. I haven't used any other "gaming" LCDs extensively to know where my threshold of acceptable response lies - it could be 8 ms or 2.5 for all I know. Other than that, I will second everything adnoto said about monitor preference being individual. I got my monitor at Circuit City for $10 more than Newegg had it for at the time because I didn't like Newegg's LCD return policy and I wanted to make sure I got the desired "S" panel. Even if you ultimately want to buy online, go to Circuit City, Best Buy, etc. and look at the monitors in person in conjunction with your online research.
May 15, 2007 2:44:38 AM

Quote:

I don't know that the 2900 is a flop, but it definitely doesn't compete performance wise with the GTX. That may be unreasonable to expect it to when it costs a lot less, but it doesn't exactly blow away the 8800GTS either (but it does come with three free games, including HL2 ep 2). The 8800GTS-320 remains the bang for the buck winner. I would get one from eVGA so you have 90 days to step it up to a higher model if you want to (like a lower priced GTX or an 8900 if they come out). That's my advice, which is also what I'm doing myself. The GTX is clearly better, you just have to decide if it's worth the $ to you. The 2900XT may fare better against GF8800 in DX10 and with better drivers, we will see in the next weeks. But if you have to decide today, I'd go 8800GTS-320.


Agreed. The only thing I would add is that some initial reports on the 2900 say that it runs hotter. than. balls. If that is indeed true, it would be a major turn off as far as I am concerned.

Quote:
Pretty much any P965 or 650/680i motherboard will support FSB 800 - but you don't actually plan to run there do you :D  ? (e4400 = 3Ghz @ FSB 1200) If you go to the manufacturer's webpage of the board you consider, they should have a CPU compatability list. For example, here's the one from Gigabyte for the GA-965P-DS3, which is the motherboard I have which is excellent. I don't know if the P35 boards will support it...


Agree again. Actually there are several good mobos out there that would be less coinage than what he has been looking at and the DS3 Rev. 3.3 seems to be generally regarded as one of the mobos of choice for C2D's at the moment. That was my initial choice but then I decided to take a chance and get this Asus P5B-Plus (I bought it before there were any reviews - supposed to arrive Wed). It looks like a solid board and it has some features the DS3 doesn't such as eSATA. It also cost about $20 more though and now, given some of the user reviews, it appears as though I might have to spring for some NB & SB coolers. Ahh well.. such is life.

I am pretty sure the new Intel "35" boards will support the E4300 and E4400. If they don't there will be many, many PO'd enthusiasts.

Quote:
Regarding monitor speed, the Samsung I have is 2 ms and its response suits me fine - I can't really tell the difference between it and my CRT. I haven't used any other "gaming" LCDs extensively to know where my threshold of acceptable response lies - it could be 8 ms or 2.5 for all I know.


I am not sure either because, as I said, certain folks say that 8ms is sufficient, but I do know that everything I have read on the subject says you shouldn't get a monitor with slower than 8ms if you plan to game. Again many of the makers are using their own proprietary "accelerators" and knowing which one works best or knowing if their 5ms response time is really 5ms is a subject of debate. It is somewhat akin to the 16.7 million colors issue. The truth of the matter is that only 8bit panels have true 16.7 million color reproduction but many of the 6bit panel monitors claim 16.7 with "dithering." Just one of those things you never can quite get a handle on.. at least I can't :?

.
May 15, 2007 5:39:02 AM

Quote:

Agreed. The only thing I would add is that some initial reports on the 2900 say that it runs hotter. than. balls. If that is indeed true, it would be a major turn off as far as I am concerned.

Yeah, the GF8800 already runs plenty hot for me, can't imagine something that much hotter. My 8800GTS heatsink is painful to touch at idle, where my overclocked CPU's heatsink feels pretty cool even under Orthos or dual Prime95 stress testing. At least the GF8800 fan is relatively quiet (unless you use RivaTuner to set it to 100% speed all the time), I have heard that the HD2900's fan may be the biggest annoyance with it.

Quote:

Agree again. Actually there are several good mobos out there that would be less coinage than what he has been looking at and the DS3 Rev. 3.3 seems to be generally regarded as one of the mobos of choice for C2D's at the moment. That was my initial choice but then I decided to take a chance and get this Asus P5B-Plus (I bought it before there were any reviews - supposed to arrive Wed). It looks like a solid board and it has some features the DS3 doesn't such as eSATA. It also cost about $20 more though and now, given some of the user reviews, it appears as though I might have to spring for some NB & SB coolers. Ahh well.. such is life.

Good luck with the Asus. I noticed it looks like it has FireWire, one feature I wish my DS3 had (had to plug my external HDD in through USB, I can't believe I actually moved backwards compared to my old P4 there). The P965 northbridge runs hot, not as hot as the video cards but much hotter than a C2D unless you clock the CPU insanely. It's not too bad on the DS3, but I might add a fan to the NB heatsink to be sure. The NB heatsink looked a little wimpy in the pics of the Asus, but that doesn't mean anything really. I mean from pics you'd think the Tuniq Tower would outperform the Ultra-120 Extreme, but the opposite is true in fact. On my board the SB runs cool enough, and my SB heatsink doesn't seem any bigger than on the P5B.

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I am pretty sure the new Intel "35" boards will support the E4300 and E4400. If they don't there will be many, many PO'd enthusiasts.

:D  That's for sure!

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I am not sure either because, as I said, certain folks say that 8ms is sufficient, but I do know that everything I have read on the subject says you shouldn't get a monitor with slower than 8ms if you plan to game. Again many of the makers are using their own proprietary "accelerators" and knowing which one works best or knowing if their 5ms response time is really 5ms is a subject of debate. It is somewhat akin to the 16.7 million colors issue. The truth of the matter is that only 8bit panels have true 16.7 million color reproduction but many of the 6bit panel monitors claim 16.7 with "dithering." Just one of those things you never can quite get a handle on.. at least I can't :?
.

And to make it worse, one of the few things I'm certain of about LCDs is that there's not even a uniform response time test among different manufacturers. I don't pretend to understand that stuff either, in fact I bet you know more about it than I do.
May 17, 2007 2:06:42 AM

ok, so what do you think i should do,

get the gigabyte DS3, or wait for a P35 board?
May 24, 2007 12:21:36 AM

I have one last question:

Would I be better off getting 2gb of ram or 4gb of ram for WinXP 32bit? Im undecided, because I will be dual booting WinXP x32 and Vista Ultimate x64. I don't know if 2gb of ram will be enough to run Vista as smooth.

"All your RAM are belong to us" :p 

Also, as far as the AS5 goes, would the 3.5 gram tube be enough to put on a CPU and possibly the northbridge/southbridge? Or should i get the larger tube?
May 24, 2007 12:37:45 AM

2 gb is about all that xp 32 can handle as for x64 vista you would want more probably all 4 gb so its a question of priority, price and vista being snappy
May 24, 2007 11:59:04 AM

What if I got 3gb of ram? Would that be as effective?
May 24, 2007 1:27:37 PM

not cost effective, you can buy 4GB but the OS just won't use it. Then when you upgrade the OS, you are good to go.
May 24, 2007 1:51:52 PM

Any 32bit Windows OS can handle upto 4gb of adressed memory. The problem is that that include all memory- so your gpu, onboard devices, page file etc all take a bite out of it (pardon the pun). When I built my rig (below), I did so using Vista32- and it recognised 2.8gb of my 4gb (the 760mb gpu explaining the large drop).

As for getting 3gb- I wouldnt bother (given that you will face a choice of either not running in dual channel mode, or having 2 512mb sticks that become wasted if you want to upgrade to 4gb). 2gb is still ample for XP32- and will do for Vista32/64 (although obviously grab 4gb if you can afford it). There is no issue with just leaving the additional memory in when your running under XP32- it just doesnt recognise it.

The DS3 is a very solid board- I built one two months ago using. Loving the solid state capacitors on it- can't really fault it for the price.

Couple of things is that if you do wish to explore the murky waters of overclocking- get an after-market cpu cooler, and I'd consider getting a new case- air flow is all important, especially with the recent trend for gpu's to be kicking out as much heat as they do. It may suffice- but you may also find those 2 fans just don't shift enough heat for your liking. Having no practical experience of that case though- I could be wrong.

Oh, and youve got 2 lots of thermal paste on your build: save yourself $2 and just get 1 :) 
May 24, 2007 4:00:58 PM

Ok, I'll probably end up getting 4gb of ram then.

As far as the HSF and case goes, I have a Scythe Infinity (in first post) and I plan on putting a total of six 12cm fans in my case, so hopefully that will help out with the ventilation.

Also, as I posted in the first post, the Masscool grease is for a different computer, not mine. I'll be using up all the AS5 for the CPU, Northbridge, and Southbridge probably.
May 24, 2007 4:17:35 PM

8O Woooooooooo there, easy tiger.

You need to use a volume equal to a grain of rice on the cpu, slightly less on the others (although you usually dont need to mount the others fans- certainly not on the DS3). The tube of AS5 should last you about 10 builds minimum. Dont go spreading it on like butter :wink:
May 24, 2007 6:38:03 PM

lol, ok.

Now it looks like I might have a problem. If you look at the placement of the DS3's southbridge, it is nearly in line with the only PCI-E slot, which, from what it looks like, will pose a problem when installing the 8800GTS I'm getting. But first off, is the DS3's northbridge and southbridge heatsinks good enough already? If not, I was going to get a Thermaltake Extreme Spirit II for each bridge. Now it looks like I may have to get one for at least the southbridge, so I could swivel the heatsink away from the 8800.

Do you have any other suggestions on this?

Also, as a last question, should I be investing in a 640mb or 320mb 8800GTS for a 20" monitor / two 17" monitors? I was looking at these two cards:

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

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

Would the 320mb version be able to handle the 20" monitor's resolution?
May 24, 2007 9:53:57 PM

First things first. You will only ever need to change the north / south bridge cooling if you are going for an extreme overclock. You will usually find that the mobo is not your limiting factor- with your build its more likely to be the cpu itself (ie the tJunction temp- the inner core temp). And thats if you plan to overclock to the max.

Secondly- rather than buying everything you'll ever need right up, try it and see. Get the rig working 1st, get the os on it, get happy with your build then overclock it (slowly). If you really need to change the fans, taking it out if the case is easier than getting it in there. I usually run my case for a while with the side off why Im getting the build right.

As for the gpu, I cant definitively answer that. Its not where the southbridge is- its its profile off the board. For example, Ive got the monster 12" 8800GTX which sits right above most of the southbridge on my 680i LT. From memory, the southbridge hs is about the same height as the pci-e slot- so again it should fit nicely over the top.

I'd be surprised if someone on here doesnt come along and tell you that thats exactly what it does- if not google on DS3 and 8800 and Im sure you'll come across something.

Finally, its not your monitor size thats important its the res you use it in. These can vary- although most of the newer 20" carry 1680x1050 (I think). If your planning on dual viewing, I'd go for the best you can afford- and especially if your main games are fps. Dual view was the main reason I shelled out for the 8800GTX (well, that and Crysis ;)  )
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