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Budget just increased to $2500 on complete rebuild - Sorry for re-post

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November 28, 2007 9:59:49 PM

Hello again :) 

Sorry for the repost of an already very helpful thread, but an unforseen turn of events gives me a budget of $2500 to spend on a new system, but I've been out of the 'loop' for a while, so I was hoping for some suggestions on hardware.

I'm expecting to have to upgrade Motherboard / CPU / GPU / memory / PSU / hard drive, possibly CD drive too.

Here's my current system for reference (don't laugh.. okay laugh) :) 

Windows XP home (happy with this, but vista is a possibility if I can get upgrade prices from xp?)
Asus P4S533 motherboard mini (I fried my better board by ... well nevermind... it's fried ) :ouch: 
P4 2.53 ghz cpu
SB XFI Xtreme audio

VisionTek ATI radeon x1950pro AGP (Just got this upgrade, noticed almost no increase in FPS ) :sarcastic: 
Onboard LAN
1.5gb DDR RAM

Maxtor 200gb hard drive (not sure on the speed, but it's nothing fancy)
Sony DVD rom R/W
350 watt generic PSU
Linksys BEFSR41 router


I'm happy with my current keyboard and monitor (19" visual sensations.. still seems to work great), so no worries there.

The games I'm currently playing are World of Warcraft, and Battlefield 2142, but I'm hoping to be able to run at least some of the yet-to-be-released games in the future.

The problem is, I really don't know much about the multi-core processors, or higher end hardware, especially when it comes to brand name stuff compared to 'generic' brands. If you have brand name suggestions, I'm all ears.

One last thing. I'm using an old microsoft explorer trackball which I absolutely love, but it's getting kind of worn out. Is there a similar center ball trackball with the extra buttons and scroll wheel that you could suggest?

What would you go with if you had my budget?

Thanks a bunch!
November 28, 2007 10:30:52 PM

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail 279.99$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS Striker Extreme LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX The Ultimate Gaming Motherboard 299.99$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA 512-P3-N802-A1 GeForce 8800GT Superclocked 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail x2 579.98$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A-DATA 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory 129.99$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200AAKS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive 79.99$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 119.99$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ GameXStream OCZ850GXSSLI ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 850Watts Power Supply 100 - 240 V CB, CE, CSA, UL 199.99$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Tuniq Tower 120 P4 & K8 CPU Cooler 44.99$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows Vista 64-Bit Home Premium for System Builders Single Pack DVD 104.99$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Total comes to 1844.90$

I included a cooler and the Asus Striker Extreme because you can overclock it to 3.0GHZ easily. I find that the Core 2 Extremes are a waste of money. The only thing I didnt include is a monitor which is all a choice about personal preference. That leaves you with about 700$ left.

Could someone comment on this build? I'm not sure if this could be a good build? =D

Yours truly,

BatCommander64
November 28, 2007 11:20:00 PM

Great build. Maybe a few things I'd do differently:

P5N32-E SLI - almost the same as the Striker, cheaper
WD7500AAKS - faster than the 320GB version
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750W Quad - Tier 1, a bit cheaper

With all these changes it comes to about the same price.

The new G92 8800GTS is supposed to arrive on Dec 11. I'd wait for reviews and benchmarks on those. They will be faster than the 8800 GT (more stream processors), less noisy and cooler (dual-slot coolers instead of single-slot), but more expensive.

zaaephod, what is your screen resolution? If it's 1680x1050 or less get a single video card for now.
Related resources
November 28, 2007 11:33:35 PM

I run at 1600 x 1200 whenever possible... keeping in mind, of course, I can't run that resolution when playing most games with my current rig, just too slow.

Since the funds increased, I'm really thinking of SLI for extending the lifespan of the build. In two years I may not have the funds to upgrade again :) 
November 28, 2007 11:43:35 PM

well sli is not going to help you all that much in my opinion, i would personally buy one card now, and wait to buy a second when they go much lower in price, also the one vid card will run basically all games right now nicely, and when the games get more complex, you can buy a second card for less money, and youll have a great preforming computer again, the build looks good otherweise, but now my question is, are you interested in overclocking, or do you want to stay away from it
November 28, 2007 11:50:44 PM

Short answer: Yes

Long answer:

Well, I suspect that at first, I'll probably be so amazed at the speed increase, I'll be too busy playing games to bother worrying about overclocking. Down the road though, I would probably wind up doing some overclocking.

Eventually, I'll buy some game that just doesn't go as fast as I had hoped, and I'll be looking for ways to increase speed.
November 29, 2007 12:00:07 AM

Yup, that's what I meant, get a card now and add the second one later when it's cheaper.

The 8800GT is a bit better than the 8800GTS 640MB and a bit slower than the 8800GTX, in most benchmarks I've seen. The G92 8800GTS will probably be a bit faster than the stock 8800GTX. Based on this, and the benchmarks here, I'd say you can get around 30 fps in Oblivion at 1600x1200 with a single 8800GT card and 50 fps with two cards.
Maybe a bit less because you'll use Vista. Oblivion is particularly tough on video cards, so most other games will do better.

http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx=33&model1=707&model2=706&chart=297
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_sli2007.html?modelx=33&model1=805&model2=804&chart=357

With that Tuniq Tower, it would be a shame not to overclock. That's the second best cooler out there, only the (more expensive) Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme beats it.
November 29, 2007 12:02:30 AM

If I decide to go with a single GPU, can we beef it up a little? What would your choice be to step up from the card the BatCommander64 recommended? If I take out the SLI setup it frees up around $500 (not that it would need to cost $500 lol)
November 29, 2007 12:08:01 AM

Avoid 680i at all if possible, its had many issues and is about to be replaced with 780i which will support Penryn on all boards. 680i also has sub-stellar quadcore overclocking when compared to P35 or X38.
November 29, 2007 12:56:22 AM

I'm not sure about this one, but is the P5N based on the P35 chipset? I didn't think that Intel was supporting SLI on it's new boards( not yet anyways)
!