Advice one more time please

Im trying to build a cost effecient gaming system for reasonable price (700 now)

First off, I dont know anything about whats good as far as mobo's now, so I would be greatly appreciative if someone could suggest one. I will be upgrading components in the future so keep that in mind (it will be at least a year for the processor though)

Do I need a quad core, or will duo work? How much does this matter when building the gaming system? I know that quad is better, but is it worth the extra money? (lowest I found was 279, whereas duo are cheaper)


I AM getting 2g DDR2 800mhz ram, which should be ok if I keep reading correctly.


256 MB Video cards still suffice?


Hard drives are still hard drives, so I will probably have to get a less than top of the line one here so I can afford the key components I need.
25 answers Last reply
More about advice time please
  1. $700 is not much. You won't be able to get a quad and a great video card and everything else.

    Try this:
    E2180, 8800GT or HD3850, GA-P35-DS3L, Antec Sonata 3 (includes 500W PSU)
  2. Quote:
    First off, I dont know anything about whats good as far as mobo's now, so I would be greatly appreciative if someone could suggest one. I will be upgrading components in the future so keep that in mind (it will be at least a year for the processor though)
    That's going to be tough. Intel seems to be moving through new chipsets / sockets about every 1-2 years. Your best bet would be to wait for some of the new X38 boards to claim support for future products. (Unless you just want to buy Quads that are out now, but get cheaper in the coming year(s)) If that is the case, just go with something from Gigabyte, ASUS, or Abit. *edit* You've probably seen that aevm has already recommended a Gigabyte board (GA-P35-DS3L - which newegg.com may still be "out of stock" if you shop there)

    Quote:
    Do I need a quad core, or will duo work? How much does this matter when building the gaming system? I know that quad is better, but is it worth the extra money? (lowest I found was 279, whereas duo are cheaper)
    If you don't want to break the bank (you can spend over $900 on a quad) then you probably won't notice a difference between an E6750 (duo) and a Q6600 (quad). In fact, the duo core will actually outperform the Q6600 unless you OC the quad.

    Quote:
    I AM getting 2g DDR2 800mhz ram, which should be ok if I keep reading correctly.
    That RAM is still fine.

    Quote:
    256 MB Video cards still suffice?
    Check the GDDR type before just buying based on memory size. For example, GDDR3 will annihilate any GDDR2 or GDDR setup even if the GDDR3 has half the memory. -If you do heavy gaming, I'd say go for the 3870HD or 8800GT. If you're a casual gamer but still want something decent, go with a 3850HD (preferred) or a 7900GS.

    Quote:
    Hard drives are still hard drives, so I will probably have to get a less than top of the line one here so I can afford the key components I need.
    Just make sure you get one with a 16MB cache.
  3. A Gigabyte P35 mobo would be a good choice, perhaps a -DS3L. Since budget is a concern but you will upgrade later, an e6750 is a good processor choice now. The RAM is good; look for 4-4-4-12 timings (or better). Video RAM depends on your preferred resolution, but the price of 512MB video cards is low enough that 512MB ought to fit in your budget. The 8800GT is a good choice. If you can't find one, or need to go a little lower (like I did), the Radeon 3870 is almost as good, may cost less (although prices were jacked right after I bought mine :kaola: ), and it exhausts its heat out of the case.
    Don't cheap-out on the PSU. Choose one from Tier-3 or better from the list at http://www.tomswiki.com/page/Tiered+PSU+Listings?t=anon
  4. aevm said:
    $700 is not much. You won't be able to get a quad and a great video card and everything else.

    Try this:
    E2180, 8800GT or HD3850, GA-P35-DS3L, Antec Sonata 3 (includes 500W PSU)


    Pretty Good Choices.
    He could even save a little and get the E2160 ( Both will breeze past 3.0Ghz)
  5. First off, thanks for the replies. It would be easy to say "spend some money", but with 3 kids, this is my once every 2-4 years of being able to upgrade :(


    Case and power supply:
    Antec Sonata 3 129.99

    Video
    EVGA 512 P3 N802 A1 GeForce 8800 GT Superclocked 512 MB PCI Experss 2 289.99

    Memory
    Crucial Ballistix 2g (2 x 1gb) 240 pin DDR SDRAM DDR2 800
    74.99

    Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3l LGA 94

    Intel Dual core E2180 Allendale 2.0Hz LGA 775 processor 89.99


    Thats 679.91


    Id still need a HD. My old one hooked into a card that was in a PCI slot. Dont think it was a SATA, and if it was, I dont have the cord. Will those type of cards, where the HD is hooked up to this card, work on this mobo?

    If so, I may be able to squeeze by with this one. Assuming my sound card will fit into the mobo too.
  6. Need more details - What type of PCI card was it? Was the cable thin and red or fat and flat?

    Your motherboard should come with all the necessary cable (SATA & IDE) which is what most HDD are.
  7. It looked like IDE wires. When they used to run from IDE slots straight to the HD, except its running to a PCI card. It was not red, nor was it fat.

    I was thinking it was an ATA hard drive controller, but cant be 100 percent sure. I built this think around 4-5 years ago and have not had to touch it but once, to upgrade the RAM.
  8. The old sound card is most likely PCI. If it is PCI it should work fine in the DS3L. You may even want to try onboard audio first, maybe it sounds better. They have made serious progress in onboard audio in recent years.

    I wonder if you've got a SCSI disk and controller card there. If that's it I guess you can move the card to the new PC along with the disk. Do you have any model numbers for the card and the disk?

    If you need to buy a new hard disk get something like this for example:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822144417
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136098
    (Western Digital, SATA, $65 for 250GB or $75 for 320GB). The 500GB models cost less per GB but they're $100 or $105.
  9. I just found out my budget went up a couple hundred dollars (gf's christmas bonus)


    Case and power supply:
    Antec Sonata 3 129.99

    Video
    EVGA 512 P3 N802 A1 GeForce 8800 GT Superclocked 512 MB PCI Experss 2 289.99

    Memory
    Crucial Ballistix 2g (2 x 1gb) 240 pin DDR SDRAM DDR2 800
    74.99

    Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3l LGA 94

    Intel Core 2 duo E6750 Conroe 2.66 ghx LGA 775 processor
    189.00

    (one you suggested)

    HD Western Digital Cavair SE 320gb 7200 RPM Sata 3.0gb/s hard drive
    74.99


    I upgraded the processor to an e6750 (good or bad idea??) if it is a bad idea, where else should I sink this money into? My budget has gone from 700 to 900 now. With shipping, this rig is 944.12. If I used the other processor, I could knock off 100 bucks to spend on something else. Is the above rig a good one, or should it be modified a bit now (better case and PSU or whatever) I believe I also need Thermal Compound, which is 6-20 dollars, not sure why the price difference but this is what I have on my cart right now.

    Suggestions, changes?


    Also, I was planning on using XP, should I consider Vista, or is it still all buggy? (I would have to purchase it, which means I may have to modify my budget a bit, but lets get the rig done first, then OS)

    Thanks again
  10. It looks very good.

    Do some shopping around online. Try www.newegg.com, www.zipzoomfly.com, www.buy.com, www.ncixus.com. With a little luck you may find some sales and save the $44.12 you still need.

    Also, if you can wait for Boxing Week there may be some good prices. There are some bargains usually after the holidays, when people are done with buying gifts.

    Just a little warning about the 8800GT: I read that some of those cards need you to adjust fan speed manually, because it's stuck at 29% and it's not enough. Programs like nTune or RivaTuner can do this. I haven't tried it myself though, I don't have a GT.
  11. Doh, I forget the drive. I can grab a disk drive with no problems, surely I cant mess that up lol.

    I have read about the 8800GT problem and will download rivatuner to fix that. Other than that, will the 120mm fan be enough to keep the system cool?

    It looks like Ill purchase a ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail for a fan

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186134


    Also, Vista over XP yet, or wait?
  12. alzarius said:
    Doh, I forget the drive. I can grab a disk drive with no problems, surely I cant mess that up lol.

    I have read about the 8800GT problem and will download rivatuner to fix that. Other than that, will the 120mm fan be enough to keep the system cool?

    It looks like Ill purchase a ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail for a fan

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186134


    Also, Vista over XP yet, or wait?


    Personally i think Vista is great if you have a mid to high end system (like the one you're getting). You can always dual boot it so that you have both XP and Vista installed.
  13. I'd add a second fan there. Read the reviews at newegg for some thoughts on that. It's doable, but a bit harder than it should. Personally I like SFF21E fans because they are quiet, but you may find other good fans for less money.

    Good choice with that Freezer if you intend to overclock. If not, don't bother.

    Vista/XP - it depends on lots of things. I'll vote for XP because Vista SP1 is not out yet and because you only have 2GB of RAM.
  14. aevm said:
    I'd add a second fan there. Read the reviews at newegg for some thoughts on that. It's doable, but a bit harder than it should. Personally I like SFF21E fans because they are quiet, but you may find other good fans for less money.

    Good choice with that Freezer if you intend to overclock. If not, don't bother.

    Vista/XP - it depends on lots of things. I'll vote for XP because Vista SP1 is not out yet and because you only have 2GB of RAM.



    Looking closer at the case, I dont see where another fan would fit lol.


    I will look at more cases tonight since the budget went up slightly. I wont be ordering it until this weekend to make sure I have exactly what i want.
  15. Well, some people certainly managed to fit it in. But yeah, if you have more money maybe you can get an Antec 900 instead, or a CoolerMaster RC-690. You'll need to buy a PSU separately. Don't forget to shop around for it. Newegg often charges more for PSUs than buy.com or zipzoomfly.
  16. aevm said:
    Well, some people certainly managed to fit it in. But yeah, if you have more money maybe you can get an Antec 900 instead, or a CoolerMaster RC-690. You'll need to buy a PSU separately. Don't forget to shop around for it. Newegg often charges more for PSUs than buy.com or zipzoomfly.



    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119142

    Has a built in power supply too!
  17. OK, this is tricky. The RC-690 case is good, but CoolerMaster PSUs have a bad reputation.

    Here's a PSU list, see how CoolerMaster is placed under the lowest quality:
    http://www.tomswiki.com/page/Tiered+PSU+Listings

    That combination case+PSU costs $181 including shipping. Here's something a little better for the same price:

    RC-690, no PSU, $80+$18
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137

    OCZ StealthXStream OCZ600SXS ATX12V / EPS12V 600W, $75
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341010
  18. aevm said:
    OK, this is tricky. The RC-690 case is good, but CoolerMaster PSUs have a bad reputation.

    Here's a PSU list, see how CoolerMaster is placed under the lowest quality:
    http://www.tomswiki.com/page/Tiered+PSU+Listings

    That combination case+PSU costs $181 including shipping. Here's something a little better for the same price:

    RC-690, no PSU, $80+$18
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137

    OCZ StealthXStream OCZ600SXS ATX12V / EPS12V 600W, $75
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341010



    Done.

    Looks like that is everything, I added a PCI slot fan to help keep the video card cool, but will still use rivatune.


    All I am missing is a cd/dvd player/burner and I am set. That will have to wait and will probably just go to the store for that one, but sitting at 1008.91 with shipping so it looks like I have my new system.

    Thanks a LOT for the help!
  19. You're very welcome.

    A good DVD burner would be Samsung SH-S203B.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151153
  20. aevm said:

    Good choice with that Freezer if you intend to overclock. If not, don't bother.

    .



    It ok to get it, even if I am not overclocking? I wont be overclocking, but this is also one of the cheaper fans :P


    I almost placed the order and forgot to add a fan in :sweat:
  21. Yeah, it will work just as well while OC'ing as it does stock. (Your stock may run a little cooler, of course)

    You maybe not need a fan if you ordered a CPU in a retail box. If it's retail, they include a factory HSF. If it's OEM, then you need to order a fan. Usually the OEM is just a CPU in a small plastic case with some foam covering the pins.
  22. Fan included. Taking the other one off the list.


    That should be it. one last thing, is stock thermal compound good enough or should I order some from the site? (Arctic silver)
  23. It should work just fine if you're not overclocking. I left the stock stuff on my Athalon x2 5000+ HSF. It stays right around 33-40C w/ just a few apps open. Doesn't ever peak 50C under load.
  24. Is it normal to how ship hard drives and dvd roms with no wires? Im assuming the mobo now holds all the wires needed?
  25. Yeah, unfortunately. I even bought a high-end Plextor burner retail and it didn't include the SATA cable - I had to shell out another $9 and waste time on a second trip to the store.

    The GA-P35-DS3L comes with 2 SATA cables.
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