Q6600/8800 GTS Setup:What components to complement?

Copied from my thread at Newegg:

http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/91441.aspx

Hey all,

Long time Newegg user, first time newbie on these forums. :)

I'm looking to replace my ol' Barton 2500 (God rest its tired soul!), and replace it with one of those brand-spankin' new Intel chips. As a long-time AMD'er, this wasn't an easy move. Those Barton 2500's could be OC'ed to 2.3ghz with air cooling. Great chips, but time to move on. :)

Now, it looks like the current generation of CPU's favors Intel in the mid-range price section. As the company is going to have a nice price-drop on its line coming this July, the quad-core Q6600 looks like a smash deal for future proofing an insainly low price. All of the user-submitted reviews have been stellar.

I'm going to need several components for building this new rig.

Here's the shopping list:

New CPU, unless I missed something, the Q6600 after the Intel pricedrop is the way to go in the price/performance tradeoff
New Mobo to match the new CPU, the specs of what I need are listed below
New RAM, let's make sure that CPU isn't held up! :)
New GPU, something to make the CPU scream! :)

Note: I'm not a brand fanboi, suggest whatever models you think would work.

The key factor to keep in mind when it comes to suggestions is that all of parts are NOT intended to be replaced in the next two years. All of the items being purchased this time around should complement each other. In a nutshell, whatever feedback you can offer should try to ensure that one or more parts are NOT bottlenecking each other. Let's think harmony in the present. This is one of those things that I've yet to perfect. How does one know at what point their CPU is outdoing their GPU or RAM? Harmony, teach me a bit more about it. :)
Assuming that the Q6600 chip is the way to go, what mobo would go nicely with it? I'm a long-time ASUS fan, personally I think they make great boards. However, a discussions I've come across say that Intel has made a solid mobo set or two themselves. Looking at all the options, it seems hard to choose which company to go with.

Here's what the rig needs to be able to do:

* Gaming
* Photoshop
* Video Editing
* Web Browsing

I have some experience with overclocking, but the general consensus is that the Q6600 is so fast out of the box, that it really isn't necessary in the near-term to OC that beast. However, in the long-term, it would great to have a mobo that is stable enough to sustain a reasonable level of OC'ing. I'm not the type to go buy water cooling or the like, just a mild OC'er who likes to get every penny out of each purchase. :)

So, for those of you that have purchased the latest line of Intel CPU's, what do you think works best? How about a few pointers? :)

The Motherboard
The mobo MUST have:

* Something that is rock-stable (I will be using this rig for work as well as games)
* Support RAID capability for two SATA hardrives (or the newer interface of SATA II)

It would be *nice* to have:

* SLI if I upgrade to two videocards in the future, however this is not mandatory
* The ability to do mild, air-powered overclocks at some later date
* Support for at least two IDE devices, one for an existing DVD burner and another for a secondary hardrive

The mobo doesn't need (even though many new ones include):

* On-board video
* On-board sound
* On-board network adapters

The GPU:

The GPU doesn't need to be SLI compatable, but it would be nice if I have a few extra bucks in the future to spend on a second card.

According to Tom's Hardware, the GeForce 8800 GTS 640mb is really the way to go for the price/performance tradeoff of the current generation of cards:

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/06/11/the_best_gaming_video_cards_for_the_money/page3.html

This puppy looks tempting: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130071

Does anyone know of any pending pricedrops for the 8800 GTS 640mb cards by any manufacturer? I'm willing to wait if someone has a reliable source.

The OS:

Windows XP Pro SP2 64bit seems like the logical move at the moment. Quite frankly, from what I've read the Vista 64 series eats up a hansome pile of CPU/RAM resources just at desktop idle. With Crysys coming out with only DX10 support, perhaps that will be the time to upgrade to Vista. Right now, I'm having a hard time unless someone can talk me out of it. Also, what's your thoughts in terms of gaming on Windows XP Pro 64bit? I've never tried it out before.

The RAM:

I don't mind putting 4gigs vs 2gv or less in this machine, as Newegg has some great deals on memory. What (realatively) inexpensive ram do you guys like? I'm going to be doing mild overclocking at most, so don't go overboard with the deluxe-o memory. Also, paired with an 8800 GTS 640mb and a Q6600, how much memory do I really need?

The PSU:

I've tried Antec before in the past and have been fairly happy with the results. I really don't know what the best bang for the buck is nowadays for the hardware I've described above. Remember, only mild overclocks at all this time around. If I need to do an SLI setup, I'll upgrade the PSU at that time. Thoughts?

What I currently have and would like to use in the new machine:

Arctic Silver Ceramique Thermal Compound (exactly three years old, does this make a difference? Even if age isn't an issue, is there a better paste on the market now?)
Two (2) HITACHI Deskstar 80GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive running in RAID 0 config (both drives are equiped with four-pin power and SATA power connectors)
1 DVD Burner, of the IDE flavor, 4-pin power connector
1 IDE Hardrive, 200gb,7200rpm, 4-pin power connector

Final Thoughts:

Are there any great hardware releases I should be waiting for in the near future? The speech at which technology is evolving is great, but a bit confusing to say the least! Please feel free to take issue with any of the pairings I listed above. Regarding the hardrives, will they be fast enough to keep up with the new CPU, GPU and RAM? Also, as a moderately able computer user, I have some of the basics nailed down, but when it comes to looking at the various specs and trying to determine if I'm speeding too much on a CPU for instance and not enough on the GPU, I could use a few pointers. Thank you bigtime in advance for any assistance you can provide. I'll frag you kind folks fairly soon. :D

Kind Regards,
Paul

P.S.

Here's the budget:

It is flexible. Let's assume the following:

CPU in July $266
GPU about $350 (unless the price is going down soon, any word on that?)
Mobo, about $100-$200?
PSU $100-200
RAM $100-200

If you average out $150 on the mobo, psu and ram you're looking at $1,066.

Could we do something for $1200 or less? I think so. If we really wanted to be cheap, we could probably do it for a grand with deals. But let's say between 800-1200. :)

You have some leeway. If one grouping of components is a few bucks more or less, state it without reservation.
5 answers Last reply
More about q6600 8800 setup what components complement
  1. in b4 wait for penryn
  2. for the gts 640, the prices after rebates are starting to settle at around 320, after rebates. look at buy.com, as their gts 640 prices always change.

    for cpu and price range, id say the q6600 is an excellent choice. the xeon 3220 should be priced comparably (same as q6600 but with higher QC)
  3. I need this rig within a month or so, so the penryn
    is out of the question. Thanks for the tip though.

    I don't think the Xeon 3220 are slated for the price drop next month like Q6600's are. Might want to pass on that suggestion.

    Still, if I get the Q6600 and a 8800 GTS, what kind of PSU do you think what be appropriate for that setup? Recommend some solid units you've used. :)

    Purty please! :)
  4. http://digitimes.com/mobos/a20070521PD201.html

    Quote:
    The Kentsfield Xeon X3210 and X3220 will have their prices cut to US$224 and US$266 respectively, while prices for the Clovertown Xeon E5310, E5320, E5335, E5345, and X5355 will go down to US$209, US$256, US$316, US$455, and US$744 respectively, the sources said.


    here's to hoping for the best!

    http://tinyurl.com/36vwao

    ^750W modular psu from thermaltake. for 125 and being modular, i think its a steal (and its in my system)

    with that extra 75 from your 100-200 psu budget, you can always invest in better ram or other extras. that 750w should support a future conversion to sli with 2 8800GTSs.

    i got four 1gb sticks of crucial 8500 for 220 total. just newegg ram and narrow your search down so the results are ddr2 800 or ddr2 1066, 2x1gb kits, which tend to have the best bang for your buck without compromising performance.

    im also guessing you have a monitor, mouse and a keyboard?

    i guess you could get a p35 mobo if you dont want sli, and if you do, go with 680i. you could also wait for an intel chipset that supports sli (the x38), but then youd have to play the waiting game, and if youre playing the waiting game, then youll be waiting for several months.

    i just tossed in a $49 celeron d in my mobo, and then once those xeon kentfields get cut, im gettin in on them :D
  5. budget at around $1200

    Intel Q6600 @ $266

    GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3R LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128050

    Antec NeoPower NeoHE 550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CUL, TUV, CE, FCC, CCC, CB, C-tick - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817103941

    (I use the 500W version, It works awesome... modular btw)

    mushkin 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146118

    Get 2x of those for your 4GB ram needed for work apps.

    EVGA 640-P2-N821-AR GeForce 8800GTS 640MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130071

    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium DVD - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116142
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