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Potential new Gaming System build.

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October 25, 2007 4:36:34 PM

*edit-1: Changed PSU*

Hi all, I have been planing on upgrading my PC for the last wee while. I had thought of upgrading at the start of the summer just passed as Phenom was originally supposed out be out at around half way through 2007. When it wasn't I decided I'd play the wait and see game but now that I've seen some Barcelona benchmarks i don't think the Phenom will be a big miracle unfortunately and I'm thinking of upgrading now as i cant stay in the "wait and see" game for much longer.

My current spec for reference is:
AMD 3000+ skt754 130nm
1Gb DDR-400 RAM
ATI Radeon X1600 Pro 512MB AGP
Sound Blaster Augigy 2 ZS

I had a look last night and came up with the following spec for the new build.

Intel Q6600 2.4Ghz Energy Efficient version SLACR
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CP...

Asus P5K-E WiFi Intel P35
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB...

Corsair 2GB DDR2 XMS2-6400C4 800Mhz CL-4-4-4-12 (x2 so 4Gb Total) http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY...

Radeon HD2900XT 1024MB or Geforce 8800Ultra (I can't yet decide on which one)

Western Digital RAID Edition 320GB SATA-II 16MB Cache (x2 in a RAID 0, using raid controller on mobo) http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD...

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Professional Series http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=SC...

Antec Quattro 850W PSU
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA...

Antec P182 Super Midi Tower Case - No PSU (Gun Metal Black)
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA...

I've also got the other wee things sorted like Dual layer sata DVD writer, Windows Vista Home Premium or possibly Ultimate.

I would really appreciate any comments anybody has to make on the spec. I built a C2D system for my brother last year so i should be able to build it and i jsut have a few questions.

Would it be ok for the Q6600 or should i wait for Phenom? I doubt i could wait for the Penryn's in January. Also does the SLACR mean that it is the G0 stepping?

Is the 8800Ultra worth the money? I'd rewally like a PC to play crysis well but £500 for a graphics card may be a touch out of my budget.

And finally, would it be ok to go with the P35 Chipset and running the DDR2 at 800mhz? Overclocking the CPU to 3Hgz is a possibility in the future, would the chipset handle it and is there much headroom in the upgrade path?

Thanks very much in advance,
Matt


October 25, 2007 5:42:56 PM

Q6600 is very nice, don't wait for Phenom. Yes, SLACR is G0.

I like almost all your choices. Enermax tends to care less about noise and more about PSU cooling, and TBH I prefer a warmer PSU and less noise myself. The 850W PSU is overkill, and I'm not sure it fits in the P182. Also, you need a PSU with long cables for the P182. I recommend Corsair 620HX.

P35/DDR2-800 is what I got, and it's the most popular choice this year. You can reach 3.2 GHz with that.

Upgrade path: you can replace the Q6600 with a Q9450 for a 15% speed gain, or with a QX9650 (overclocked to the max) for a massive gain, etc. Nehalem CPUs will require a different type of mobo, so that's about it for the upgrade path.

The Ultra is not worth the money. Neither is the HD2900XT IMO. Get a BFG 8800 GTX OC2 or one of the eVGA or XFX overclocked GTX cards.

You need a good CPU cooler for proper overclocking. Get a Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme and a SFF21F fan. For less money you can get a Scythe Ninja, which is also quiet and it's almost as good. Both fit in the P182.
October 25, 2007 5:53:11 PM

Everything that aevm says is true and good advice. Although I would wait for the penryn. Anywho good luck and have fun.

Why not get a crap cpu for now (intel 1.8 or something somilar) and wait for the penryn?
Related resources
October 25, 2007 6:40:07 PM

Why, thanks :) 

@KODRedfox: Yeah, you could get an E2160, use it to practice overclocking a bit, then in January replace it with a Q9450. Compared to just getting a Q6600 and keeping it, it means about $100 more, plus the additional tinkering with thermal paste and so on. In exchange you get a faster CPU that consumes less and overclocks higher, and without waiting 3 more months. I'm too lazy for such a strategy myself, but it's a good idea for some. :D 

What's with the WiFi motherboard? Do you need WiFi?
October 25, 2007 8:26:56 PM

Thanks very much for the help guys, I have taken it on board. As you suggested aevm, I have gone for the 8800GTX OC2 by BFG, I have also selected the Corsair HX 620W although I was reading the requirments for the 8800GTX and it said you need a 500W minimum, 600W reccomended. If i've only got a 620W with quad core, 2 hard drives and 4GB RAM might it be pushing it on a 620W PSU?

I have also decided to go for the OEM version of the Q6600 and go for the Tuniq Tower 120 cooler, a friend of mine has it in the same case and highly reccomends it. I think i would prefer the q6600 than to buy a less expensive one then upgrade later but it was a good suggestion :) 

The Wi-fi is not needed at all, but its the cheapest Asus mobo on Overclockers with good performance, the one below in price has DDR2 and DDR 3 support which i don't like.

Finally, will i need to run the FSB at the same speed as the RAM at 800Mhz or will it not matter?

Thanks again,
Matt

October 25, 2007 8:51:50 PM

The Tuniq Tower is a good choice. Plenty of people use the DDR2 800 to overclock similar setup so there shouldn't be a problem. Good C4 DDR2 800 is so cheap right now I think it's a good choice. Also, I have heard it's possible to use DDR2 1066 and under clock it to achieve DDR2800 with good timing but I am not too familiar with that process and someone more enlightened than me could help you better with that.
October 25, 2007 9:11:36 PM

KODRedfox said:
Thanks very much for the help guys, I have taken it on board. As you suggested aevm, I have gone for the 8800GTX OC2 by BFG, I have also selected the Corsair HX 620W although I was reading the requirments for the 8800GTX and it said you need a 500W minimum, 600W reccomended. If i've only got a 620W with quad core, 2 hard drives and 4GB RAM might it be pushing it on a 620W PSU?

Thanks again,
Matt


The 620HX can handle a quad and a GTX, no worries. OK, if you overclock, maybe it's good to get something even stronger. For $30 more you can have the PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750W Quad which is even higher quality and more powerful.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817703009
However, it won't fit into the P182. Come to think of it, P182 is not an excellent choice for the GTX (it barely fits and you need to give up a drive cage) or for overclocking (less than ideal airflow). Get the Silencer and an Antec 900, that should solve all these problems. Or, if you still have money left after all this, do what I did (see my config), get the Silencer 750 with a TJ-09 case and add 3 optional fans (I got SFF21E, you could get SFF21F for even better cooling, it helps with overclocking).

October 25, 2007 10:11:32 PM

Ok, I hvae changed the case to the Antec 900 as it does fit both the 8800GTX and a bigger power supply better. I had the P182 in mind as my brother used it and i was very happy with it. I have also gone back to the Antec quad 850W PSU it got a good review and should cover me for overclocking and future upgrades.

In summary:

Q6600 2.4Ghz
Asus P5K-E
4Gb DDR2-800
BFG 8800GTX OC2
2x320GB WD RAID HDD
Sound Blaster X-fi Xtreme gamer fatality
Antec Quadro 850W PSU
Antec Nine Hundred
Tuniq Tower

Thanks all for your help it has been greatly appreciated, if you have any final thoughts please post them.
October 26, 2007 1:32:02 AM

Somebody made a poll in another forum, and the Quadro 850 got almost 5% of the votes. Guess who got 55%?

http://www.overclock.net/power-supplies/208735-poll-psu-out-these-5-a.html

The Silencer also has good reviews. More than one, actually. I read a whole bunch before I decided to buy it :D 
Read one or two of these and then decide, OK? I must admit I haven't studied the Quadro yet, for all I know it may be the best PSU ever.
http://anandtech.com/casecoolingpsus/showdoc.aspx?i=3040
http://www.madshrimps.be/?action=getarticle&articID=511
http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=374
http://www.guru3d.com/article/psu/461/
http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTM2OSwxLCxoZW50aHVzaWFzdA==

I totally like your latest list, with or without the Quadro. :love: 
!