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New build, Future Proof for 3 years? Bang for Buck?

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December 12, 2007 10:38:41 PM

Looks like a found a great forum for opinions. I bought an eMachines T6212 three years ago for $400 with an AMD Athlon 3200 if I remember correctly and immediately upgraded to 4GB RAM, ATI X800XL, new PSU, SATA drives, and then replaced the chip with a AMD FX-55 when the price fell down sharply (I also sold the 3200 on eBay and got some money back). All in all, I spent right at $1,000 for a decent machine at the time.

I liked that I could upgrade chips easily on the mobo when I originally bought it so I am trying to apply the same logic with this one and the X38 board (i.e. 45nm chipsets when they come down in price). The Cosmos chassis gives me room to mod the PC for future upgrades.

QTY DESCR PRICE
1 ASUS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model DRW-2014L1T - Retail $37.99
1 COOLER MASTER COSMOS 1000 $30.00 Mail-in Rebate $189.99
2 Western Digital Raptor 150GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM ($169.99 each) $339.98
2 SAMSUNG SpinPoint T Series 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM ($104.99 each) $209.98
1 ENERMAX Galaxy EGX1000EWL Power Supply - Retail $50Mail-in Rebate $309.99
2 CORSAIR Dominator 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM 1066 (PC2 8500) $40.00 Mail-in Rebate $308.00
1 ASUS P5E LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $229.99
1 Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 Conroe 3.0GHz LGA 775 Dual-Core Processor $279.99
1 Microsoft Windows Vista 64-Bit Ultimate for System Builders Single Pack DVD - OEM $179.99
2 AeroCool Streamliner-Silver 140mm Blue LED Case Fan - Retail ($12.99 each) $25.98
3 Scythe S-FLEX SFF21F 120mm Case Fan - ($13.99 each) $41.97
1 ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail $21.99

With $14.44 shipping Total: $2,190.28

I'm also adding 2 Diamond 3870 512MB Crossfire's when they ever become available and when the price gouging stops. In the interim, I'll probably just use my X800XL for a short time. It's been a good card to me.

So, there it is, all laid out. What do you think? Yeah, the PSU is probably overkill and I could probably tweak here and there but I'm looking for future proofing and best bang for the buck.

BTW, I do a lot of video editing, games (primarily COH, FEAR, Ghost Recon and other FPS games, and it looks like I'll have to get Crysis), web development, photoshop and image editing, burning DVD's, and a lot of miscellaneous multi-tasking in apps.

Thank you for your input. I appreciate it.

Not sure which RAID level I'll setup.
December 12, 2007 10:49:43 PM

the psu is indeed overkill, if you crossfire though it won't be as BAD as an overkill..

Unfortunately, I don't see this rig lasting very long. You won't be able to upgrade period, penryn is the last stop. At the end of 2008, Nehalem will be released, so all upgradability goes out the door. Nehalem will require a new socket do to its IMC and quickpath interconnect.

But besides that, the rig does look solid. I do many workstation tasks as well, I'm getting a new rig with 2 raptors also. But may I ask why you are nabbing two?...Are you going to dual boost OS?..That's what I'm planning, Xp and Vista, with the paging file on the opposite unbooted raptor.

May I ask why a dual core?..if you edit....You want quad. A quad core will have a longer life span. The future is multithreaded, if you want, just nab the q6600 and overclock it to 3 ghz. It will negate the speed benefits of the dual core. In almost all scenarios, a G0 stepping q6600 can oc to 3ghz without even a voltage chance. All you need to do is go in the bios, and up the fsb to 333, then run some orthos testing to make sure it's stable. Not hard at all...

Personally, I dislike corsair, especially since they've been swapping out a lot of their modules IC's with cheaper chips. But even so, it should do the job just fine. Everything looks good, except for the dual core choice...If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
December 12, 2007 11:32:57 PM

Good comments Kamrooz. I could of probably explained better. To try to minimize costs down the road, I was thinking of swapping out parts as I need them, i.e. mobo and chip. The Cosmos really looks like it will give me the space I need for anything including fitting my first child in there. After working on that mini-me eMachines box, I can probably handle anything with the Cosmos.

I think you are right about the quad. That is where I probably banged my head the most....for only $50 difference. Taking it to 3 like you said, shouldn't be a problem at all.

The two raptors were exactly what you are doing. But, I was also thinking Ubuntu. Didn't think about the page file but that is a great idea.

Got any recommendations on memory at around the same price point of $308 with $40 rebate?

BTW: I hate those damn rebate deals. I send them in and forget about them.
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December 12, 2007 11:43:07 PM

You might want to hold out on the motherboard. Just get a X48 when it comes out next year. Just get a P35-DS3L or smiler for now. esp. with your budget the X38 will be history when the X48 comes out. Crossfire is kind of an overkill.
December 13, 2007 12:17:16 AM

Why not go with an Antec Nine Hundred case? They are solid and will have more than enough room for everything that you need. It is one of the best selling "gaming cases" for lots of reasons, which include its great airflow, plenty of headroom, easily removable drive bays, amount of drive bays, solid design, top fan....etc. Plus, you can get one right now at Newegg for $120 ($80 after rebate). I got mine for $50 shipped after mail in rebate. Going with the Nine Hundred you'd save about $150 because you wouldn't need all of those fans too. The Nine Hundred has all the fans you will ever need, including 2 blue LED fans in front (they do look pretty cool even though I thought they might look stupid).

FWIW, I'd ditch that PSU and get an OCZ GameXStream 700W. It's a tier 2 but you'd be saving lots of money. You can get one at Newegg for $100 after rebate, so you'd be saving an additional $160.

December 13, 2007 12:34:38 AM

skip x48, x38 and x48 aren't worth the money considering they will only last till the end of 2008. If you are going crossfire though, you have no choice, x38 will do fine.

Regarding your case choice chiltonj...It does indeed look pretty, but the case has airflow issues. ESPECIALLY around the hard drives, considering you are planning on two raptors, it might be a VERY big issue for you. I was originally thinking about that case as well for my next rig, but dropped the idea and going for a cooler master stacker 830 evo instead. It's around the same price if not lower on newegg...you also have LOTS of rooms for fans which is great to keep everything cool. The hard drive rack only supports 4 drives, but you can buy an additional rack for 18 bucks on newegg as well. Fans can be mounted to them to pull in air from the front while cooling the drives, 4 fans can be fit on the side panel bracket, with one exhaust fan on the top and on the back. I'm planning to fill up all of them ^_^.

If you want a high quality looking case that will do a good job on airflow, choose something else, the cosmos just can't do it for you if you're planning to oc a bit, or have some heaty raptors in their. You might want to look at the Thermaltake Armor with the 25cm fan on the side, it has a cheap looking interior though, that's one reason I want the stacker, it's still high quality, and can provide great cooling. You should look into it.

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

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

It doesn't have the nifty hard drive mounting system or anything like the cosmos. But it will do a better job on cooling if you fill it up with some fans. I'd recommend going with slipstream or s-flex fans from scythe, nice blend of high cfm/low DbA...or you could nab some yate loons if you want..

http://www.scythe-usa.com/product/acc/026/sy1225sl_deta...

http://www.scythe-usa.com/product/acc/002/sflex_detail....

Newegg should have both of these..I'm nabbing and filling up this case fully, except for one of the side brackets, where the thermalright ultra 120 extreme I'm planning to get will protrude into the bracket area =P.

Regarding memory, let's see, no need to go too crazy overboard, you'll see the most benefit from your cpu/graphics card, considering you are not going to OC much, ddr2-800 should do. Are you planning to go xp64 bit?...if so 4 gb would be a good choice. Just get back to me on that and I'll pick out some choices for you.

Your interests are similar to mine, I do heavy duty video editing, photoshop, 3d modeling, and gaming. ^_^

Ahh wait, your going vista 64...forgot about that..lol....This kit should do nicely..

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

I know, it has a rebate..lol..But these other solutions should work just as well..

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

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

Why pc2-6400? because you won't see much of a difference for the price. It's best to put the most money into other components before splurging on ram, If you are dead set on 1066 modules though...you can go this route.

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

Why a 2x2?...it's easier to overclock while just having 2 sticks. But if you want to go for 4x1, you can go here to save some money as well. You can still overclock fine if you wish, but 2x2 has the ability for upgrade room as well.

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...

Any of these would do, D9GMH modules are yummy ^_^. I'd recommend going for the crucials though, great price for the memory, they have d9gmh modules or d9gkx depending on how lucky you are, both top notch quality. not all of them are 100% chance of D9GMH, but even if you don't get them, they still use other high quality micron IC's. So it's a great choice, any should do, the lower the timings, the better. But personally, I think you should nab a 2x2 set.
December 13, 2007 12:58:29 AM

Kamrooz, you and I are on the same page. Re: x48, from what I have read, it just complicates my logic today and doesn't add much value over the 38.

Give me a few minutes to digest all of your info and I'll get back to you! Thanks!
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