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My first budget build "this gen" Help appreciated!!!

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August 7, 2007 3:20:05 AM

Hey all, I'd like to thank everyone who helped me with my last epidemic regarding my old 478 upgrade suggestions. But I've sold the entire machine as a whole and am now looking to add a new computer to the house :) 

I'm a student, who plays games, much like many of you and my main problem is of course the budget. I've done alot of reading but most websites now a days I've noticed sites review high end components and always emphasize saving up and waiting for them. For me anyways, I need something soon because school is going to start and of course I want to be ready for all those new games.

So anyways, after some reading it seems that Intel has taken this round of CPU performance. Compared back to the older days of which the AMD 64 bit cpu reigned in gaming, I'm looking to make an extreme budget build but with performance through overclocking.

This is pretty much on what I'm deciding on. I will be purchasing the parts tommorow as I need a system asap. All input is appreciated.

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Case: Antec 900 gaming case

I'm in love with this case. Period.

PSU: COOLERMASTER PR-500-PCAR EXTREME POWER 500W PS

Best price/wattage ratio performance psu at the store I'm buying from.

CPU: Intel E2140/2160/4400

OR AMD 4800+

I'm having a huge CPU dilema here. The E2140/2160 are such great o'cers and they're so cheap. The 4400 is a bit more but is the extra buck worth it?

Or heck, is the 4800+ better than those?

MOBO: Asus P5K-SE

OR

Asus AMD equiv of that board.

I don't have plans for SLI, so I think the second edition is more suitable for me. I was a fan of the P4P800SE, and the P5K's look like the equivalent performance boards. If anyone knows any better ones in this price range, let me know.

RAM:
$50- Crucial rendition - Memory - 1 GB - DIMM 240-pin - DDR II - 667 MHz PC2-5300 - CL4 - 1.8 V - unbuffered - non-ECC

OR

$80- OCZ 2G (1G X2) DDR2800 Dual Channel Platinum REV 2 XTC Edition(4-4-4-16) - OCZ2P800R22GK
$81- OCZ 2Gb (2 X 1Gb) DDR2-800 Dual Channel Special Ops Edition XTC (5-5-5-12) - OCZ2SOE8002GK
$87- OCZ 2G (1G X2) DDR2800 Dual Channel GOLD XTC Edition(5-5-5-12) - OCZ2G8002G-K
$81- OCZ 2G (1G X2) DDR2800 Dual Channel Vista Upgrade Edition(5-5-5-15) - OCZ2VU8002GK
$91- OCZ 2Gb (2x1Gb) Platinum Edition DDR2-800 (4-5-4-15) w/XTC Heat Spreaders - OCZ2P8002GK
$96- OCZ 2G (2 X 1GB) 800DDR2 SLI-Ready Edition DC (4-4-4-15) - OCZ2N800SR2GK
$99- OCZ 2G (2X1G) Dual Channel DDR2-800 ATI Edition XTC (4-4-4-12) - OCZ2A8002GK
$104- OCZ 2G (1G X2) DDR2800 Dual Channel Titanium XTC Edition(4-4-4-15) - OCZ2T8002GK
$104- OCZ 2G (2 X 1GB) 800DDR2 Reaper HPC Edition (4-4-4-15) - OCZ2RPR8002GK

These are the prices of the OCZ pair after the rebate, which makes it a better buy than the renditions. As stated I am looking to oc the cpu, so I know good RAM is a necesssity. I am sorry for copying and pasting all this, but I am absolutely clueless when it comes to these. There are so many other OCZ pairs of memory in this price range... I don't know what the difference anymore and I forgot how to read timings. If anyone knows any better ones in these price ranges, please let me know. Platinum, gold, special ops x.x SOO confusing someone please fill me in as to which of these following are the best buys. Or will the 1 stick of Crucial Rendition suffice me?

Graphics card:
BFG 8600GT 256mb DDR3

OR

Asus Radeon X1950pro 256mb DDR3

HD: WD Caviar SE 120gb IDE 8mb cache

This is where I'm being cheap, using the old HD from the old comp x.x... it should be fine for performance still right?
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Thats's pretty much the build I'm getting tommorow. I appreciate all input, please let me know folks if I should get something else within the pricerange for some of these specific parts.

P.S- since I WILL be o'cing this rig, will an after market CPU cooler be needed? I will have to squeeze money out of the ram if I have to buy an expensive cooler.

Thanks everyone in advance, I look forward to reading every single post.
August 7, 2007 3:30:59 AM

Hey there. I suggest getting the 4400 and OCing it. It would be better against the 4800+. Does your store have any Gigabyte P35 boards? they seem a lot better than ASUS this time around.

For Graphics I would get the X1950Pro, its much better at gaming than the 8600GT.

OCZ 2Gb (2x1Gb) Platinum Edition DDR2-800 would probably work better for overclocking.

As for the CPU cooler, if you are going to OC a bit, you'd want to get an aftermarket one. What ones does your store carry?
August 7, 2007 3:45:57 AM

Solariscs said:
Hey there. I suggest getting the 4400 and OCing it. It would be better against the 4800+. Does your store have any Gigabyte P35 boards? they seem a lot better than ASUS this time around.

For Graphics I would get the X1950Pro, its much better at gaming than the 8600GT.

OCZ 2Gb (2x1Gb) Platinum Edition DDR2-800 would probably work better for overclocking.

As for the CPU cooler, if you are going to OC a bit, you'd want to get an aftermarket one. What ones does your store carry?


How does the E2140/2160 stack up to the 4400 for gaming? I save alot of money with those X.x Is the difference only cache between the two? How about the 4300?

For mobo's the store has the GigaByte GA-P35-DS3R Motherboard (Socket 775) in my price range. It's 30 bucks more than the P5K SE however. Just curious as to how she's better. Any other suggestions?

Which platinum ones are you referring to in the post? Sorry so many x.x

As to CPU cooling the store has everything, one I saw that looked nice and cheap was the Zalman CNPS7700-ALCU Copper/Aluminum CPU Heatsink/Fan. Anything around here would certainly be my price range. I think that they also had toe 7000 version of this one.
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August 7, 2007 4:37:52 AM

Actually after checking, the E2160 can be really good at games. I guess if you really stick on a budget, you could get the E2160 and OC to around 3.0Ghz. The only difference is Cache size.

Wow $30 more, they are overcharging a little, but basically the Gigabyte boards for the P35 are more stable and have a higher quality than the Asus boards. They are very easy to overclock and come with many OC features.

$91- OCZ 2Gb (2x1Gb) Platinum Edition DDR2-800 (4-5-4-15) w/XTC Heat Spreaders
That was the RAM I meant. It has better timings and should be better at OCing.

As for the CPU cooling, if your place has Scythe products, I would go with that. Something like the Scythe Ninjia. Zalman has pretty good CPU coolers. Personally I have a Thermaltake BigTyphoon and it's been great. It's pretty silent and keeps my E6600 nice and cool.
August 7, 2007 5:46:32 AM

After alot of thinking I've narrowed my options down to the following:

$80- OCZ 2G (1G X2) DDR2800 Dual Channel Platinum REV 2 XTC Edition(4-4-4-16) - OCZ2P800R22GK
or
$91- OCZ 2Gb (2x1Gb) Platinum Edition DDR2-800 (4-5-4-15) w/XTC Heat Spreaders

Is the small timing difference worth paying $10?
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For motherboards:

$124- Asus P5B ---- Socket 775, Intel 965P, 4XDDR2, PCI-E
$130- Asus P5K-SE ---- Socket 775, Intel P35 Express, 4XDDR2, PCI-E
$150- GigaByte GA-P35-DS3R Motherboard (Socket 775)

How are these boards? I noticed crossfire and sli boards are cheaper...
$100- Asus P5WD2-E Premium ---- Socket 775, Intel 975X, 4XDDR2, 2 X PCI-E 16X, CrossFire Ready

$110- Asus P5N-SLi ATX Motherboard --- NVIDIA nForce?4 570 - 4xDDR2 - 2xPCIE16X - 1xPCIE1X - 3xPCI

This is where most of my conflict is, if anyone has experience or knowledge of the following boards please let me know. Also how is MSI and other brands?
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For CPU's I've narrowed down to the e4300 or e4400.

Looks like things are getting better for my selection. Please leave some input guys, I'd really appreciate it.
August 7, 2007 1:29:00 PM

is there notable improvements from the e2160 core to the e4400 core? i know the difference is cache but I do recall Prescotts not doing THAT much better than Northwoods.
August 7, 2007 1:59:53 PM

Go with the E2160 if your on a stronger budget. The extra Cache is good to have, but performance is very similar once you overclock the processors.

I did some searchs and it seems that the Platinum REV 2 XTC Edition should be fine for your build.

As I said, gigabyte is the best one of all those. The asus boards are having mixed reviews. I would get the P35 ones because they will be easier to upgrade in the future since they support the 45nm CPUs that will be coming out. If you don't plan on upgrading later on, you can get the Asus P5WD2-E, but it wont be as good as the p35 boards.

It's really upto you :) . Those SLI/Crossfire boards are cheaper because they don't offer 2 PCI-E x16 slots. They run at x8 when using both slots.

The Gigabyte board is expensive, it would probably give you the most bang for your buck if you are overclock. Especially if you get the E2160, you can save a little money and upgrade to that board :) .
August 7, 2007 2:32:38 PM

If it were me, I'd choose Gigabyte. I just did on my build two weeks ago, and I've been happy. If you get a P35 mobo, you'll be able to upgrade the processor in six or eight months or when your budget allows (if you even need to).
X1950Pro is a good choice, CoolerMaster is not. Their highest listing at http://www.tomswiki.com/page/Tiered+PSU+Listings?t=anon is in Tier-4, and yours isn't it.
Since you're buying locally, I won't link to any specific models, but see if they have something that is Tier-3 or better.
!