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Lite OC'ing & Crysis ready w/ 22" LCD <$1250

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December 6, 2007 12:48:07 AM

I'm looking for the best bang for the buck now, and something highly upgradable later, with a 22" widescreen LCD. I'd like to dabble in overclocking, or at least get some decent aftermarket cooling to help this workhorse run strong for 3-4 years. Here's the list (all from newegg of course):

CPU-- Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 Conroe 2.66GHz LGA 775 Processor
$189.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

MOBO-- MSI P6N SLI-FI LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
$104.99 ($20.00 Mail-in Rebate) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

GPU-- EVGA GeForce 8800GT Superclocked (650MHz) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 HDCP
$289.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

MEM--G.SKILL 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
$109.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

HD-- Seagate Barracuda 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
$69.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

DVD-- LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD w/ 12X DVD-RAM write, LightScribe E-IDE/ATAPI Model LH-20A1H-185
$30.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

PSU-- OCZ StealthXStream OCZ600SXS ATX12V / EPS12V 600W Power Supply
$89.99 ($15.00 Mail-in Rebate) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

CASE-- COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
$79.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

LCD-- SAMSUNG 226BW Black 22" 2 ms (GTG) DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor
$309.99 ($40.00 Mail-in Rebate) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

MISC-- *Rosewill RCR-102 52-in-1 USB 2.0 Black Card Reader
$9.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

*(4) APEVIA CF12S 120mm Case Fan 64 CFM 30 dBA
$17.96 ($4.49 each) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

*ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler
$21.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1683...

TOTAL $1,325.85 (-rebates = $1250.85)

For upgrades I'll be adding a second 8800GT, more RAM, more HDs, and finally a quadcore somewhere down the line, but right now my this is what fits my budget. I'm still kind of on the fence with SLI, especially from the rave reviews the P35 boards have been getting, but since this will be a gaming-heavy rig I thought I'd spring for dual card support. I haven't done in-depth research on LCDs, just going by newegg ratings/reviews for the Samsung 22, any thoughts?

My 4 yr old mid-range iBuyPower has served me well, but I wanna sink my teeth into some real meaty hardware that's put together by my own hands on a budget that I decide on. No more messin' with the middle man, power to the people, you know what I mean. Ideally I'd love to shave off a few hundred dollars, what do you guys think? I'm looking for gaming ability, oc'ing, upgrade potential, bang-4-the-buck, any suggestions?

This is my :bounce:  first :bounce:  self-built and I'm really trying to squeeze every penny here and not make any blatant screw ups, so thanks for your help guys!
December 6, 2007 1:26:28 AM

Unless you are running a 64 bit OS 4GB is overkill, XP will only see a littel over 3GB, and you plan to add more later?
And just my personal prefrence, but I'd recommend something SATA for you DVD burner. Performance is the same, I just like the clean looks of having all SATA.
December 6, 2007 2:39:55 AM

to the OP--
You said that upgradeability is part of your requirements, so I don't know if a 650 mobo is the best selection. If you are not going to sli then a p35 chipset might be best (as I think that they will support the new 45nm chips--someone check me on this one). Or wait for the (fixed) 680's to come out (that will support 45nm)-- or wait for 780, just depending on your timeframe.

The gpu you have is nice, and I have that powersupply (stealth) its good stuff. Its currently running an e6320 @2.9, 2gb ram oc'd @830mhz, a full danger den liquid cooling setup, ram cooling fan, 1hd, 1dvd drive, 4 case fans and an ati hd3870. All stable.

That monitor has a good refresh rate, great for games. Speaking of--pick up Call of duty4 to show off your rig, b/c crysis will just own it and make you cry (and feel inadequte). Also, get bioshock--itll run great.
December 6, 2007 4:48:49 AM

P35 will support the 45nm chips from Intel. I'm not sure if the 680's are getting "fixed" as they are built but I think they are just getting a patch/BIOS update available so they may support them. I think the 680's might have had mixed results in supporting the new 45nm chips though...it may have been another chipset, I'm not entirely certain to be honest.
December 7, 2007 2:33:58 AM

Thanks for all the help so far guys!

Quote:
Unless you are running a 64 bit OS 4GB is overkill, XP will only see a littel over 3GB, and you plan to add more later? And just my personal prefrence, but I'd recommend something SATA for you DVD burner. Performance is the same, I just like the clean looks of having all SATA.


I chose 4 gigs on 2 sticks to enable dual channel, and to minimize wasted money. I'd eventually expand to 8 gigs so (2 gigs per slot) so why not get a good start on it? Getting a single 2 gig stick wouldn't let me use dual channel, and spreading 2 gigs over 2 slots, though cheaper and more appropriate for XP, would force me to replace them later when I want to max out my ram. Plus I'm going to upgrade to Vista in the next 6-12 months, better ready than not, no? I haven't done much research on memory, if this line of thinking is broken, lemme know what you guys think.

Quote:
If you want the most out of your SLI setup you should think about a different board as the one you gave a link to will run one card in x16 mode and the other in x8 mode.


I did a bit of reading and from what I've learned games and hardware rarely even use up all of the x8, let alone the x16, particularly from this Anandtech review:http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2958&p=8

"In our limited SLI testing, we once again find our ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus taking top honors in our test results due to superior memory performance. We still have not seen any noticeable differences in 8800GTX SLI performance between the 680i, 650i hybrid, and 650i chipsets up to 1920x1200 resolutions in games. Any test result differences can be attributed to the performance of the board/BIOS itself and not the PCI Express design. It is only when you crank up the resolution to 2560x1600 or increase AA/AF settings that the dual x16 PCI Express capability on the 680i performs better than the dual x8 PCI Express setup on 650i setups. We will have additional game and resolution results in our roundup article."

This article is dated April 2nd of this year however, and I have no idea how the current games / hardware scene would effect framerates between full 2 x16 or 1 x16 / 1 x8.

Quote:
You said that upgradeability is part of your requirements, so I don't know if a 650 mobo is the best selection. If you are not going to sli then a p35 chipset might be best (as I think that they will support the new 45nm chips--someone check me on this one). Or wait for the (fixed) 680's to come out (that will support 45nm)-- or wait for 780, just depending on your timeframe.


So far the flexibility and upgradeability of an SLI setup, combined with the affordability and strong performance of many 650i boards has swayed me, but I'm really sweating about the potential (or lack thereof) support of the 45nm chips. Since I really want to extend the lifespan of this rig, swapping my planned e6750 for a Qxxx is definitely something I want to be able to do. This is probably the single biggest issue (other than my wallet :lol:  ) currently holding me back.

While the new nForce 780/750 boards are right around the corner, and as far as I know have a better chance of supporting the 45n chips, I doubt that any their offerings will be in the price point I'm looking for (around $100.) But I don't mind waiting since I won't be able to purchase most of the components until early January, so is there anything I should watch for around then? What do you guys think?
December 7, 2007 6:03:48 AM

XP will only use two GB ram, although it may see more. I think that vista has support for 4 max, right now anyways. To me that looks to be a good machine.
December 7, 2007 1:08:50 PM

To the OP: The link you provided about the SLI information and the setups being nearly equivalent in their benchmarks, I can see why. All of those games are older games and aren't that grapics "intensive". If you plan to play games like Crysis I would bet my money that you'd be better off with a "true" x16+ x16 SLI setup. For those games that they tested, a 30" might be where you'd want to have true SLI but with new games, I'd imagine the resolution to play maxed out would be much lower if you want good FPS. You said you want to be able to have upgradeability so why not spend the extra now to be able to play future games without having to upgrade your mobo?

FWIW, I'd go with a GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L/R. These boards both support the 45nm chips coming out soon and will allow you to have 8Gb of RAM. You can stick with the 8800GT for now as it should be pretty close to the 8800GTX performancewise at that resolution. Also, I am not sure if this is true or not but supposedly one of the cards from the 9xxx series that are coming out next year beats the 8800GTX in SLI. So, you can either spend ~$600 with an 8800GT setup that will be beat by a single card (most likely less than $600) or you can spend more and get less. If it were me in your situation with what you want I'd hold on to just after Christmas to buy the stuff. I'd get an evga 8800GT and I'd use the step-up program with them to upgrade to a 9xxx series card within 90 days because the cards SHOULD be out by then from stuff that I have read. I don't think anyone is certain of a release date though.

December 7, 2007 1:29:54 PM

F34R1355 said:
XP will only use two GB ram, although it may see more. I think that vista has support for 4 max, right now anyways. To me that looks to be a good machine.


Vista 64-bit can address up to 128GB RAM for certain editions with Home Basic able to address up to 8GB
December 7, 2007 6:40:26 PM

Yeah, didn't do much specifying there. 32-bit each. 64-bit XP Pro will handle 8GB, which is also Home Basic 64's capacity as well.
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