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Building my friend a computer, E2180, 4gb, HD3870 -Suggestions Please!

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December 13, 2007 12:29:24 AM

Okay, I am building my friend a computer. The budget is $1,000
This is what I put together for him so far:

Intel Core 2 Duo E2180 Dual-Core @3.2Ghz (Overclocking)
4GB (4x1GB) DDR2 800mhz OCZ Platinum
Asus P5N-E nVidia nForce 650i SLI Socket LGA 775
PowerColor ATI Radeon HD 3870 512mb
250GB Seagate Barracuda 7.2k rpm S-ATA
Sony NEC DVD/CD Burner/Reader IDE Drive
OCZ StealthXstream 500watt ATX PSU
Zalman CNPS7000B-ALCU 92mm CPU Cooler
Apevia X-Cruiser Black ATX Mid Tower
Microsoft Windows XP SP2 Home Edition 32-bit


I think I covered everything, and I chose the E2180 and an After-market cooler because I figured it would yield quite good performance when I overclock it, thats what i have been hearing about it. Also the 64-bit version of Windows i hear has some compatibility problems so I want to go with 32-bit, but will it use all of the RAM? Cause itll be a total of 4.5GB of RAM in the system

Thanks a lot guys!
December 13, 2007 12:36:43 AM

I would go with Vista myself, alot of guys will scream how vista is bloated and xp is better, yadda yadda. Yeah right, Vista can be slimmed down somewhat. Plus SP1 is coming and should fix some things. Personally I wouldn't drop 100 bucks into a dying OS. That's just me.

I believe the 32 bit OS would only see 3gb of memory, don't quote me though. But I've also heard about the compatibility issues. I'd say go with 2 gigs of memory and 32 bit OS, if he wants to upgrade later it's cheap to pop another stick of ram in there.
December 13, 2007 12:49:21 AM

use 2gb of ram and use a better cpu
the psu sucks too!
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December 13, 2007 1:01:04 AM

I prefer Sapphire vid cards over Power Color. Better quality. I would double check the OCZ or ASUS site to make sure that ram is compatible. There was an issue with OCZ ram on ASUS/Nvidia boards. They may have it resolved by now, I don't know. If not, Corsair XMS, or Crucial Ballistix are good choices.

December 13, 2007 1:04:56 AM

ohiou_grad_06 said:
I would go with Vista myself, alot of guys will scream how vista is bloated and xp is better, yadda yadda. Yeah right, Vista can be slimmed down somewhat. Plus SP1 is coming and should fix some things. Personally I wouldn't drop 100 bucks into a dying OS. That's just me.

Try copying a large group of files from say a DVD or another hard drive, and write back in a week when your done. And this is after they have patched it.

If you run defrag we may never hear from you again. :lol: 

It does seem to run DX9 games OK though, which is all I use it for.
December 13, 2007 1:32:45 AM

Ive talked to him and he definately said he wants Windows XP. And also will XP just not use the extra RAM, or will will it just not recognize it? like even if it says only 3.2GB or w/e will it still be using the 4GB? and also is 64-bit XP having any problems? or is it just safe to get that?
December 13, 2007 1:36:35 AM

I guess here are my questions I have:

1. Is this a generally overall good build?
2. Will an overclocked E2180 bring good performance? and if so bout what would it be compared to?
3. Should I go with 32-bit XP or 64-bit XP
4. Is the CPU cooler good enough?
5. Is the PSU good enough? and if not what can I get for around the same price?
6. Am I missing anything?
7. What performance would this rig yield? (i.e. could it handle Crysis? will it be sufficient for future games?)
December 13, 2007 1:43:11 AM

it will not use it because 32 bit will not give it an address...poor explanation but there are plenty of good explanations on this subject--search the forums

I've heard 64 bit has come a long way and doesn't have much problems. Although I like vista and am waiting on new components for vista 64
December 13, 2007 1:59:43 AM

1. Looks ok, although i dont know why you would get an SLI motherboard with a ATI gpu, should have gone for P35 or x38 chipset
2.e2180 will usually get to ~3ghz no problems, although the lower cache is usually what brings its downfall. should get performance close to that of a e6550 with a decent OC.
3.64bit if you want to use all the RAM. 32bit will not address it all and therefore will not use it, as said above
4. Youll get a good overclock with it. If you want something more serious the Thermalright 120 ultra is the best air cooler out there , get a high quality 120mm fan with it and your set.
5. PSU is plenty good enough
6.unless you want mouse keyboard speakers ... no
7. Crysis on medium-high on medium res (20" LCD) should be great. Crysis is very demanding so youll find future games should run fine for a while.
December 13, 2007 2:03:33 AM

The machine will perform fine, however you will not see a huge benefit of using over 2gb ram, especially in XP. 1gb is the "sweetspot" for XP, 2gb for Vista.

The technology does not exist yet to run Crysis in it's full blown glory. Current estimates are that it is about 2 years away. Right now, the best way to run it is in DX9 mode at settings as high as your build can stand. Once you get it built, tweak around and you will find out what they are.

My lowly machine(see my "informations") can play it at 1024x768 at low settings, and it works for me. I can also drop down to 800x600 at medium, and it is OK also. I could mostly run it at 1280x1024, but it would freeze at certain points so I backed off.
December 13, 2007 2:13:02 AM

1. Change the motherboard, nvidia intel chipsets aren't that good. Does he plan to raid? if not, just nab him a Gigabyte p35-DS3L (keep in mind, open box on new egg), or gigabyte p35-DS3R, or an Asus P5K. No point in nabbing a nvidia chipset if you are going for a single ati card anyways. Plus, the p35 chipsets overclock better/run cooler/overall a better choice.

2. not so sure on the performance, I'd nab a 4300/4400...but it's up to you...1mb cache is a bit scary...heh.

3. 64bit os's address 4gb correctly. drop 32bit xp and get 64bit xp. otherwise you won't be able to use all 4 gb. There will be no compatibility problems with new hardware. 64bit has matured, unless he has some funky, old, and cheap printer, that only has 32 bit drivers, he'll be fine.

4. Personally..I don't think it is, I'd recommend nabbing a thermalright ultra 120 extreme, if it's too big for you, nab a Thermalright Ultima 90 (not to be confused with ultra 90). Unfortunately, they don't carry it on newegg, use pricegrabber to locate it. it's around 40-50, smaller then the thermalright ultra 120 extreme, but nice. slap on a nice high cfm/low DBA fan and you're good to oc to the limits of the cpu.

5. take your pick, all tier 2...any of these would do fine, nice high quality tier 2.

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

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

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

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

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

6. Arctic Silver 5

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

7. Not sure about performance, but a e4300/4400 would be nicer. If he can spare the cash, nab a e6550 and OC it, if not it's ok, but the 1mb cache could be an issue...I doubt it will be able to run crysis smoothly, crysis is a killer.
December 13, 2007 2:22:19 AM

The 2180 will be fine. I have mine at 3.33 with stock cooler. There was a review about cache sizes and the difference is minimal. I love mine. Its twice as fast as my Tablet PC. I play Crysis and cod4 no problem.
December 13, 2007 2:47:17 AM

So will the overclocked E2180 (say to 3.1-3.4Ghz) perform well in games? I heard from some people that yeah it gets a high clock speed but because of the cache and some other things that its not an ideal CPU for gaming. I wasnt sure about it, and then I found this:
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/pentium-e2...
If that is true then wow is that wrong, an overclocked E2180 will kick the ass out of any game!
December 13, 2007 2:50:18 AM

It run games fine and it does kick ass. I got no reason to lie. I,ve built 2 so far and one runs at 3.33 while the other runs at 3.0. The 3.0 one has four gigs of ram and she wont let me increase the ram volts to get it to go higher or I,m sure it would. Mine has 2 gigs of ram and booted at 3.8 but got hot fast on stock cooler.
December 13, 2007 3:01:19 AM

Sure. Hopefully newegg tests returns and dont just resell crap. I've never been brave enough to go for open box. Let me know if it works. I use P5K SE.
December 13, 2007 3:09:45 AM

roadrunner197069 said:
Sure. Hopefully newegg tests returns and dont just resell crap. I've never been brave enough to go for open box. Let me know if it works. I use P5K SE.

Open boxes generally work, but may be missing pieces. A friend go an ASUS P5K and it was just the MB and no accessories, not even an IO shield. Not a huge deal, but just thought I'd throw it out there.
December 13, 2007 3:12:50 AM

No IO shield either? Screw that.
December 13, 2007 12:13:34 PM

ooo... No I/O shield? Where could I get one then?
December 13, 2007 12:21:19 PM

Don't buy an open box. You wont get the driver Cd most likely either. What is it like $30 more for retail and you get all the accessories?
!