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Thoughts on my $2,500 system

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September 24, 2007 3:26:27 PM

Buying all of the components from newegg. Price comes in right at $2,500. This is my first gaming rig that I am trying to build myself – I have built a couple of lower end systems. (FWIW - my current machine is a third generation Dell XPS).

I just want verification that I am not missing anything, buying incompatible components, (or just anything really out of whack) Thanks. I might drop one of the raptors and downgrade to a 8800 GTS to save about $400. Also the power supply is probably overkill – but it comes packaged with the case at an ok price…Also a crazy amount of fans - should I lose a few? This might end up sounding like a blowdryer.

COOLER MASTER Stacker 830 Evolution RC-830-KKR3-GP Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case + Real Power Pro 1000W Power Supply
$379.99

4 x Rosewill RFX-120BL 120mm 2 Ball Bearing Blue LED Case Fan with Fan Controller Set - Retail
$51.96

ZALMAN ZM-MFC1 Fan Controller Panel – Retail
$29.99

GIGABYTE GA-P35-DQ6 LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard – Retail
$228.99

Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 Conroe 3.0GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6850 - Retail
$289.99

VIGOR GAMING Monsoon CLT-M2I 92mm Thermal Electric CPU Cooler
$119.99

EVGA 768-P2-N831-AR GeForce 8800GTX 768MB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card – Retail
$529.99

Thermalright HR-03 Plus VGA Cooler - Retail
$54.99

SILVERSTONE RL-FN91 92mm Case Fan - Retail (For Thermalright HR-03)
$5.99

CORSAIR Dominator 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-8500C5D - Retail
$176.00

2 x Western Digital Raptor X WD1500AHFD 150GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM
$379.89

2 x MASSCOOL SYTRIN Kuformula SHF1 Ultra HDD Cooler – BK
$49.98

LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model LH-20A1L-05 - OEM
$35.99

Creative 70SB046A00000 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Professional Series - Retail
$145.99

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
$5.99

That's it...


More about : thoughts 500 system

September 24, 2007 4:04:14 PM

Wow, this looks like one of those crazy PCs designed for record overclocks. Is that what you're doing, trying to reach a record? If yes, it's beautiful.

If you're not going for the record, you can save serious cash and reduce noise a bit:

- replace the fans with Scythe S-Flex (the 1200 rpm or 1600 rpm versions)
- get rid of the fan controller, HDD cooling, video card cooling
- replace the Raptors with Seagate 7200.10 (use RAID, if you want)
- downgrade the GA-P35-DQ6 to GA-P35-DS3R
- replace the $120 cooler with a Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme
- think very hard whether you want an E6850 or a Q6600. For the short term the E6850 is better; long term it isn't.
- replace the Dominator with $52 Patriot DDR2-800, or OCZ Vista Upgrade, etc.
- replace the Fatality with XtremeMusic

To cut the long story short, the only place where you should NOT downgrade is the 8800 GTX :lol:  :lol: 
Related resources
September 24, 2007 4:36:42 PM

I'd recommend you go with the Q6600 as well. Quad core is the way to go!
September 24, 2007 4:45:03 PM

Thanks for the responses! The machine will be used almost exclusively for gaming.

I probably over did it on the cooling. I have never actually overclocked anything (though this system should handle it – so I will probably experiment), most of the components were actually chosen by reading all the hardware “top 10” lists I could find on the web and aligning them with my budget ($2,500).

For gaming is the Q6600 a better way to go? When I look at the charts the E6850 seems to post better numbers for games (which is what I will be using it for).

Thanks again for the input!
September 24, 2007 5:16:14 PM

Maziar said:
thats a good cooler , why change it ?
http://www.anandtech.com/casecooling/showdoc.aspx?i=296...

also P35 DQ6 is a good board , when he has the money , why downgrade to P35 DS3R ?


It's good, yes, as in "same performance as the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme". Quite a remarkable achievement.
In the review you linked, you see it even beats it: 3960 MHz as opposed to 3940 MHz.
However, the performance difference is negligible, and the cost is twice, and it's noisy, and the OP doesn't even care about overclocking to those levels.

http://www.anandtech.com/casecooling/showdoc.aspx?i=2962&p=7


Agreed about the DQ6, it's good too. But again, 8800 GTX + DS3R beats 8800 GTS + DQ6, for about the same money. It's just a matter of cutting costs where it hurts less :ouch: 
September 24, 2007 5:35:14 PM

patrick008 said:

For gaming is the Q6600 a better way to go? When I look at the charts the E6850 seems to post better numbers for games (which is what I will be using it for).


The E6850 is the best solution for games now. It will still be the best solution until Nov 11 at 3:45 pm. OK, just kidding, I don't know until when. Newer games like Crysis or Hellgate London or the latest patch for Flight Simulator will prefer a Q6600. Future games will also, gradually, start taking advantage of quads. If you intend to keep this CPU for 2 years or more then the quad is better, IMO. If you intend to upgrade to a Penryn CPU soon then get a cheap E6550 (or even less).
September 24, 2007 5:55:43 PM

yeah u r right about the cooler , also E6850 will be good for even next 1-2 years , but QuadCore will be better for then
September 24, 2007 5:58:31 PM

you may also want to look at dropping one of the raptors for a larger seagate hd(could get a pair of 500gigs for the price of one 150 gig raptor)
September 24, 2007 6:05:42 PM

Yeah, and with RAID 0 they'd be quite fast too.

I'm not really sure about the DQ6. I've got a GA-P35C-DS3R, and right now I think a DQ6 could have helped. The thing is, if I want to do crazy things like playing at 1920x1200 and watching a movie at 1680x1050 at the same time, even the 8800 GTX might struggle a bit. With a DQ6 motherboard I could just add a cheap 8500GT in the second PCI-E slot and let it take care of the movie. With the DS3R I don't have that option... Mind you, I don't have the cash for the 1920x1200 monitor yet, so I can't say yet if the 8800 GTX needs a little brother to help with that scenario or not.
September 24, 2007 6:46:38 PM

Hmm. Still on the fence as far as the CPU goes. Is anything from Intel/AMD coming out soon that will impact the prices? Maybe I should get the E6850 (or E6750) now and then replace it with a quad in a year or two?

Is a RAID 0 really worth it in terms of performance? I did a little research and it seems like I might be better off going with just one raptor as a operating disk and then add a 500 gig Barracuda for data like was suggested.

Also – is it worth upgrading to Vista (for a gaming machine) or should I stick with XP for awhile. I know a few games (i.e. Shadowrun) are Vista only.
September 24, 2007 7:03:28 PM

Intel promised to have new CPUs out mid-November. I don't know what AMD has promised most recently but they have a bad habit of not keeping promises anyway.

Don't know about RAID 0, I'm researching that too. I just don't like the Raptors because of the price and the noise. RAID 0 has a different problem - increased risk of losing all your data. There are smarter types of RAID that handle both speed and data safety but they need more than 2 drives and I don't think I'll go that far. RAID 0 will double your read/write speed but it will still have the seek time of a regular disk. That is, it will help with video encoding where you seek once and write a lot, but not so much with read/writing tons of small files.

Vista/XP: if you really want to play Shadowrun you have to go for Vista, of course. Apart from Microsoft, game makers will still support XP for a long time, and performance is still better under XP. Vista (and nVidia/ATI drivers for it) are getting better. TBH I'm not very happy with XP either right now. Titan Quest has just forced me to use the reset button yesterday, and I was within seconds of killing a big bad monster too :(  I suspect it's something related to the nVidia driver, not the game itself.
September 24, 2007 7:14:07 PM

well XP has better gmaming experience at least for now , i have XP64 and VISTA 32 , and i only use VISTA for watching some movies or for some games which are only for VISTA

also dont worry about the CPU , u wont be disappointed with either E6850 or Q6600
September 24, 2007 7:16:38 PM

$1500 ??? :cry:  :cry:  :cry:  Maybe in a couple of years. I think it would sell pretty well at $300.
September 24, 2007 7:21:26 PM

i bought my 7900GTX for $550 here and i sold it for $215 :cry:  :cry: 
September 24, 2007 7:26:54 PM

Sounds horrible. However, assuming you used it for 335 hours or more, that's only $1/hour of fun. Compare that with $10 for 3 incredibly boring hours watching Lord of the Rings, for example...

September 24, 2007 9:08:53 PM

Save your money on the coolers, any coolers, use the fan that comes with your 6850. It will surprise you how Kool the 6850 runs. I built the DQ6 last week. The cpu fan "plug" on the mother board, combined with Gigabytes icool program, will turn off your cpu fan, true story. You have to plug the cpu fan into a "normal" fan pin on the mobo. Be very wary of the sound card, that card turned off all my speakers. On board sound, the monitors speakers, I mean all sound. Sound blaster screwed this gameblaster card. I had to give two cases of Fosters and a gallon of Jack Daniels to fix the problem. You don't need artic silver, the processor fan has it stuck to it's bottom. Hey, go with crucial tracers, even the veterans (pros) freak out when they see the Christmas tree lights. You are going to have a good time, Gigabyte support answers the phone, pray you don't get the Korean guy, hey see you in church!
September 24, 2007 9:17:46 PM

Hey, I'm a journeyman!! Damn, now I have to get a really KOOL picture of me, damn journeyman. All those magazines, late night reading, getting drunk and ignoring my female room mate has paid off!! Finally a little respect. I can still drink and share my advice right?? Damn, I'm going to buy a new suit.
!