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No OC, which way to go?

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September 27, 2007 4:45:26 AM

New to the forum so Hi All,
I am in the beginning research process for my new system. I do basic computing, a little video editing, Flash animation, and play some FPS games, mainly CoDUO - but am looking at CoD4 coming this fall (specs?). I am on a fairly tight budget at this point in time and would like to be around $800 or so.
My main question, which road should I go. I am fairly tech savy, having built a few low budget pc's, but I have NO overclocking experience at all. Is my money better spent on an AMD or Intel platform? I want a stable, no hassle, upgradeable system to replace my P4 2.8, 6600. I would be willing to try overclocking with the proper tutoral or the like.
Thanks for all help / opinions / advice ahead of time! I can also post some of the stuff I am looking at if needed.
Thanks!

More about : question

September 27, 2007 1:05:08 PM

For a stock pc, amd is the best bang. For an o/c'ed pc, go intel. However, a lot of intel fans will tell you to go intel regardless.

o/c tutorials are in the o/c forum's stickies.

Yep, post what you've picked out.
September 27, 2007 1:45:09 PM

w/o any OCing AMD will likely give you the best results.

However, basic OCing is one of the easier parts of assembling a computer.

In the BIOS, you simply need to find the "Memory Ratio" and "FSB" setting. If you are looking for very high OC's you need to know more, but for the basic budget builder trying to get a little bang for his buck, that is all you need to knkow.

Example - Take an E6550 CPU. This has a Default FSB of 333 and a Default Speed of 2.33 Ghz.

If using DDR2-800 RAM, simply ensure the Memory Ratio is 1:1 and then set the FSB to 400. The CPU will now be running at about 2.8Ghz which places it between the E6750 and E6850 for performance. Also, at this OC level, there is no need to worry about xtra cooling, voltages, etc.. etc.. etc...

The E6550->E6850 are all identical CPUs with the exception of their default speeds. Since with these settings you are still not exceeding stock speeds for the CPUs built on this stepping, there are none of those other concerns that can creep into other builds.

When constructing your $800 System, however, Graphics should be your 1st concern. Start with the 8800GTS and work backwards from there. Only if you can't fit this into your budget somehow, should you then downgrade. For Gaming, the GPU is more important than the CPU. For most home users, any modern CPU is more than up to snuff.

Related resources
September 27, 2007 2:01:41 PM

Here is a sample build......

https://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/Wishlist/PublicWis...

After Rebates it will come to about $800.
However, when you are actually ready to build many of the components may be tweaked slightly.

There are often sales which make one component better than another.
Example - There are promo codes for that PSU and even better RAM that would be cheaper than what is shown. However, since you are not ordering today, I just gave you a general rundown.

September 27, 2007 2:03:43 PM

Okay here is the minimal that I would get. As Zenmaster stated, a mild OC of the FSB and memory ratio is all that you'll need and things will be just fine. Here is what I would get to get the best GPU for gaming.

CPU - $80 shipped e2160
http://www.mwave.com/mwave/skusearch.hmx?&scriteria=BA2...

Mobo - $98 shipped - $20 MIR (if you trust MIR’s) = $78 Hard to beat at this price.
ABIT IP35-E INTEL P35 CHIPSET ATX FORM FACTOR 1xPCI-E(X16)/2xPCI-E(X1)/3xPCI/4xDDR2 W/SATA2,LAN(Gb),USB 2.0 & AUDIO
http://www.mwave.com/mwave/skusearch.hmx?&scriteria=BA2...

PSU - $60 shipped Hard to beat at this price and will handle the 8800gts.
Antec earthwatts EA430 ATX12V v2.0 430W Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CUL, FCC, TUV, CE, CB, C-tick, CCC – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case - $40 shipped - $10 MIR = $30!! Can’t beat the quality and price on this one.
COOLER MASTER Elite 330 RC-330-KKN1-GP Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

Memory - $97 shipped - $40 MIR = $57 Good OC’ing RAM for good money!
OCZ Platinum Revision 2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

Memory - $102 shipped - $40 MIR = $62!! Solid performing CAS 4 DDR2
CORSAIR XMS2 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=N82E168...

Memory - $110 shipped - $47 MIR = $63!! Good OC’ing RAM + CAS 4 too.
Crucial Ballistix 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=N82E168...

Memory - $93 shipped - $30 MIR = $63!! CAS 4 and good RAM
GeIL 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=N82E168...

HDD - $80 shipped Good starting point
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS (Perpendicular Recording Technology) 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive – OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - $296 shipped - $20 MIR = $276 eVga’s 90 day Step-Up program available!!
EVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Any DVD burner - $35

If I did my calculations right, Total - ~$817 shipped - $70 MIR's = $747!

Use any of the memory listed above, they are all good. There are other options available, but this would give you a good upgrade path too. AMD would work also, if you don't want to mess with the "easy" OC of todays Intel chips.

My 2cp's
September 27, 2007 2:20:15 PM

I agree with Zenmaster, start with a good GPU, especially if you're doing gaming. Go for an 8800 GTS 320mb. Its wisper quiet, and performs great, you get excellent frame rates with it. Build up from there, pick a good dual-core processor which would be good for your animations and video editing, for example, an e6550. The e6550 is a decent overclocker as well. If you can't stay in budget, downgrade a little. For gaming and video editing, make sure you get 2gb of RAM as well, I've had a lot of people only want to get 1gb of RAM due to costs, but end up being disappointed after they get the system, and wish they had gotten 2gb. Now-a-days, you need 2gb to get a fast system.
September 27, 2007 10:56:12 PM

Wow, excellent help all, many things to consider and look at.

I read the OCing tutorals and believe that is something I could manage if need be.
It is hard comparing, getting apples to apples. Just going from a price point (All NewEgg for this purpose), would this be correct:
Intel E2160 $84.99 | AMD 4400+ $84.99
Intel E6550 $175.99 | AMD 6000+ $169.99

Does the 2160 need aftermarket cooling if OCed very hard?

Intel E2160 + HSF est. $110.00 | AMD 5000+ $119.00

Can I save money on RAM if not overclocking????
Does the socket type come into consideration?
I am not sure what to go by..????

I also have a few parts already that I think could be used, 2 optical drives, a Barracuda 7200 160. I can always upgrade these later on, no?
So I'm looking at case / PSU / RAM / gpu / cpu / mobo / HSF ? / ...... I would be thrilled to come in way under $800, more like $650-700.

Any ideas on all this mush presented? :pt1cable: 
September 27, 2007 11:17:07 PM

Other part suggestions have been made. I'm not going to reiterate.

The Intel chips when overclocked will wipe the floor with the AMD ones. & I'm not kidding. If you overclock the cpu, def. get a better cpu cooler.

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

You can get any of the ram listed above. Look at my sig. I'm not even overclocking my ram. It's at stock. My CPU is at 8 x 400 = 3.2Ghz. I am leaning toward the Ballistix since it costs about the same as others after rebate & is crazy overclocker.

Socket type? 775 vs AM2? 775 is for Intel & AM2 is for AMD.

You could use older parts, but their performance won't be increased just cuz you got a new cpu. 7200.9 I presume isn't that old. You can upgrade anything anytime anywhere as long as it's available.

Just pick out the parts from the suggested lists above. Then post your final list.
September 27, 2007 11:19:16 PM

Most of the reviews I have read let the E2160 OC from 3.2 to 3.4.
The review below was for 3.4Ghz using an after market CPU Cooler.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/pentium-e2...

It is compared to a 2.93 Ghz X6800

Here is the X2-6000 Compared to the Same Chip.
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/athlon64-x...

Basically the E2160 beats the X6800 slightly at this high OC.
The X2-6000, however, is well off the mark of the X6800.

So, Even if you did not OC the E2160 nearly as high as in their tests, you should still easily match or beat the X2-6000.

September 27, 2007 11:23:07 PM

E2160 vs E6550

The E6550 has 4x the Cache of the E2160 so it will beat it clock for clock. The E6550 will also OC to about 3.6-3.8 Ghz on good air cooling so it can hit about 400Mhz more.

It will take Very good ram to get this chip that high. In fact if you want those type of speeds, you are probably better off getting the more expensive E6750 which will be easier to get to those levels.

If budget is a concern, the E2160 is a great great chip.
The E6x50 series will let you get more performance, but at a larget price. Since GPU is more important than CPU the E2160 is not a bad chip. Upgrading to the E6550/E6750 would add another good boost to the system, but this comes as one of the less important upgrades.
September 27, 2007 11:27:40 PM

If you OC the e2160 (which I would) than you can stick with stock HSF, but it will just mean that you have a warmer CPU. If you can swing the $20-$30 for after market HSF, than I would do it. Arctic Freezer Pro is a decent HSF and isn't too expensive. Also have read about the Rosewill TX2 (I believe is what it's called) is good also. If your going for extreme OC's, than you would need something different, which someone who knows these better than me can pipe in. There is one other thing to consider, since it has just showed up on newegg.com and should be equal to or better than the 8800gts 320mb. It's the AMD x2900 pro 512mb GPU!!
Here's a comparison between the two GPU's:
2900pro 512mb vs. 8800gts 320mb link
http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/1189/1/page_1_introduc...

And the link to buy it online:
HIS Hightech H290PR512DVN-R Radeon HD 2900PRO 512MB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

On a side note: the x2900 pro 1gig model should be out and is supposed to retail close to the $300 price range.
September 27, 2007 11:57:54 PM

@all Thanks for the recommendations and your work in helping me out. I will most likely go with the 2160 unless for some reason unknown to me I can somehow afford a 6750. I think one of the listed GPU's are a must. Gonna look over the other stuff and I will get busy and look at the OCing stuff too.
Although I work on these things all day, I don't stay up on all the parts/mobos/brands etc. I guess I am just overthinking some of this a bit, ...trying to hit all the bases.

I think one of the things for me, as my wife says.. "every dollar counts more when your poor" :sweat:  , I would hate to make a wrong move without some informed advice, so your help is greatly appreciated! :) 

All continuing thoughts are appreciated!

September 28, 2007 12:20:53 AM

Nothing wrong with fretting over the parts. I know I research like hell before buying and even after I have the okay to build, I spend another 3-4 hours trying to find the best prices for the parts that I want. Enjoy the build and come back and let us know what you decide to build with!
September 28, 2007 1:06:44 AM

I would heavily suggest a DUAL pci-e 16x slot (sli or crossfire - aka geforce or ati). I suckered myself into a single pci-e and got a game that can kill my 8800 GTS. If i could SLI it, can handle anything thing thrown at it. Careful how you choose your parts.
September 28, 2007 8:01:32 AM

I said i was replacing my P4 2.8, thats a P4 Northwood from 2003, so I want to get some life out of a new system as well.

Should I be considering SLI / Crossfire at my pricepoint? If so what mobo would be a good fit?
or HIS HD2900Pro vs. 8800GTS 320?

Its 3:00 am :sleep:  and have been doing a little parts shopping with your suggestions in mind and came up with a couple lists (from NewEgg for convenience). Zenmaster and Lunyone are right on the mark, hard to beat those options / prices! Had to include a HD, forgot mine is not sata, but will use my old opti-drives, (Lite-On 20x & trusty old NEC 3550A burner).


The budget system with reality in mind, $797.92, $709.92 after rebates (not incl shipping):
http://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/wishlist/PublicWishDetail.asp?WishListNumber=8372767

System I would like to have...*sigh*.....still not too bad! $910.93, $818.93 after rebates (Not incl ship):
http://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/wishlist/PublicWishDetail.asp?WishListNumber=8372327
I used the 2900Pro on this one but could easily change it.

That was fun, how does it look?

@Zenmaster Can I ask about how this works -
Quote: " Example - There are promo codes for that PSU and even better RAM that would be cheaper than what is shown. However, since you are not ordering today, I just gave you a general rundown."

Now if I could only sell my Vintage 70's Ampeg V4B amp and V2B cab!
Thanks guys!
September 28, 2007 1:53:01 PM

zenmaster, good to see that I'm not the only one who knows how good e2xx0s are. After all those benchies, there are some out there that still doubt e2xx0s.

lunyone, I am beginning to think we go to the same o/c forum. I saw that benchies on HD 2900 PRO VS 8800 GTS yesterday. Yep, 2900pro beats 8800gts in some benchies for less $$$, BUT it's, as expected, louder & more power-hungry.

foomangoo, I don't think you can go wrong with 2900pro as some go so far as to say you'd be an idiot to get 8800gts over 2900pro at the current prices. BTW, your newegg list is private.
September 29, 2007 1:38:43 AM

Okay, got my links working in my previous post, takes a while to move to public forum I guess ;) 

Have a look-see.
September 29, 2007 4:31:29 AM

akhilles said:
zenmaster, good to see that I'm not the only one who knows how good e2xx0s are. After all those benchies, there are some out there that still doubt e2xx0s.

Quote:
lunyone, I am beginning to think we go to the same o/c forum. I saw that benchies on HD 2900 PRO VS 8800 GTS yesterday. Yep, 2900pro beats 8800gts in some benchies for less $$$, BUT it's, as expected, louder & more power-hungry.

Yep, I think we are perusing through the same forums.
Quote:

foomangoo, I don't think you can go wrong with 2900pro as some go so far as to say you'd be an idiot to get 8800gts over 2900pro at the current prices. BTW, your newegg list is private.
Quote:

I would think the 2900pro is the one to get right now at the current prices.
September 29, 2007 12:26:03 PM

Very good choices. Both lists are what an educated buyer would get. Just some nitpicking - I would stick with the e2160 list, but swap the ram out for ballistix, which o/cs very well.

Just give us a shout in the o/c forum when you want to o/c it.
September 29, 2007 1:47:07 PM

Actually the 2900pro and 8800GTS are about the same price and perform the same. I just checked the prices on NewEgg.

Personally, I would go with the 8800GTS due to the lower power/cooling requirements. More power=More Heat=More Noise.

I suspect in 30-60days the 2900 pro will drop to a lowre price than the 8800GTS and then it would be more likely something that I would select.
!