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Two Options: Looking for validation & Advice

Last response: in Systems
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September 17, 2007 9:08:46 PM

Hello,

It's getting to be that time where I need to upgrade my AMD Athlon motherboard to get ready for the new slew of games that on the horizon (Bioshock/Crysis/DX10/etc...). My mode of operation has always been to shy away from state of the art and buy technology that is mid-priced, proven, and will last from 2-4 years before another technology refresh. That being said, I took Tom's advice for a gaming upgrade for $500 and compared it with a motherboard/CPU combo that I've been spec'ing out and would like some input from the group to get some opinions.

First off, here's Toms' $500 Special:
CPU: Pentium Dual Core E2160 ($92)
MOTHERBOARD: Elitegroup G33T-M2 ($90)
RAM: Patriot PDC21G6400K, 2x 512 MB DDR2-800 ($49)
GRAPHICS: Gigabyte Radeon HD 2600 Pro ($85)
HARD DISK: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10, SATA/300, 320 GB ($65)
POWER SUPPLY: Silverstone ST50EF-Plus ($100)
CASE: Coolermaster Centurion 5 CAC-T05 Black/Silver ($50)
DVD: Use Old DVD ($0)
=================
Total: Approx $532

Secondly, here's the same parts with my thoughts for CPU/Motherboard:
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 ($230)
MOTHERBOARD: ASUS P5W DH DELUXE ($190)
RAM: Patriot PDC21G6400K, 2x 512 MB DDR2-800 ($49)
GRAPHICS: Gigabyte Radeon HD 2600 Pro ($85)
HARD DISK: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10, SATA/300, 320 GB ($65)
POWER SUPPLY: Silverstone ST50EF-Plus ($100)
CASE: Coolermaster Centurion 5 CAC-T05 Black/Silver ($50)
DVD: Use Old DVD ($0)
================
Total: Approx $770

My questions are as follows:

1. What are people's thoughts about the E2160 vs E6600. Is the performance jump big enough that I should go for the E6600? Or, is it not big enough where I could go with the E2160 and upgrade 6months to a year later to the E6600?

2. What are people's thoughts about the Elitegroup Motherboard? I've always been partial to ASUS and am scared of change (hehe).

3. Will the E6600 and the ASUS I picked out work together (I'm 90% sure, but here's to asking).

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Ronman
September 17, 2007 9:44:18 PM

No offense to the author of that article, but it's simply horrible, because it's just not realistic, sure it may be a great HTPC or web-browser PC but it will never run games properly. First of all it's lacking graphical power, SEVERELY (Which is a complete must for gaming), the CPU might be alright, and why even bother going with 1Gb of ram? ram is sooo cheap nowadays that you can get 2 without breaking the bank.

E6750, not E6600. Also no Asus board (Usually extremely overpriced and not as good as GIGABYTE), try to get a GA-P35-DS3R (Best LGA775 single graphics card motherboard and it's only $130). You need at least 2GB of ram for future gaming, my personal recommendation is 2GB of Crucial Ballistix either DDR2 800 or DDR2 1066 depending on how much you want to OC.

Also in order to handle ANY upcoming games properly you must steer clear from the current midrange cards (8600 or HD2600), get either a 8800GTS 320MB or if you can wait a month or so, ATI might be releasing the HD2900 Pro for around $200-230 and that might also be a good buy (I'd get the GTS anyway, since the beefier the GPU the better it is for games). Finally, I don't know much about that PSU and I frankly can't be bothered to check it out, but in case it isn't powerful enough, try checking out the Corsair 520HX.

The parts I suggested might cost you around $100 or 150 more than your build, however it will outperform in everything that proposed setup of yours, especially in games, simply because the difference in performance is abysmal to say the very least.
September 17, 2007 10:25:58 PM

agree with g-paw and Emp...It will cost a little more but well worth it.

1gb ram just isnt enough...

If you are looking at e6600 you are best with e6750 or even save a few and get the e6550.

The P35 chipset is the way to go for intel atm and will support 45nm penryns as well. If you want to stick with Asus go with the P5K range, depending on your needs i recomend the P5K, P5KR or the P5K-E. Check this thread for more detail on differences http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/244909-30-differences-asus-mobos

And go with the 8800 if you want DX10 gaming
!