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$2,889.95, Q6600 Build for Gaming/CS3/Maya (updated)

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December 29, 2007 8:48:07 PM

Hello everyone, just found these forums a few days ago. I thought it would be prudent to get re-acquainted with the latest PC hardware and search out educated opinions as I am about to order a brand spanking new build. It has been a few years since I put my last desktop system together, so if I missed something please let me know.

My budget is $3,000 max. I'm building this system for both games and CS3/MAYA (starting www.animationmentor.com soon! woo) So, over-clocking seemed like the best choice to get the most bang for buck.

GUTS

[Case]: COOLER MASTER Stacker 830 Evolution RC-830-SSN3-GP Silver Aluminum ATX Full Tower
Computer Case http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$169.99 This case not only looks great but provides a ton of room. The popular Antec 900 just looks too small and ugly when lined up against the stacker 830. The Stacker 832 seems to have almost the same internal design but with wheels and an uglier faceplate. So, I can't see any reason why this case wouldn't last me for many years to come.

[Case Fan]: Scythe DFS123812-3000 "ULTRA KAZE" 120 x 38 mm Case Fan http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$9.99 From what I read about the stacker 830, it lacked in the additional fan department. I figured I would add one 120mm case fan and if I need more after building the system I could order it then. Think this might be overkill on the 830 stacker? Does it need extra fans at all? I'd rather be safe than sorry really since I do plan on overclocking.

[CPU]: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model BX80562Q6600 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16819115017
$279.99 Definitely planning on getting the Q6600 for graphic design work. My only concern is ordering this from newegg.com. I'm pretty sure they don't guarantee the G0 Stepping which allows for much better overclocking. Is there a better source to order a "guaranteed" G0 stepping? How do I know I'm not going to get the older version? Any tips on vendor opinions might help.

[CPU Cooler]: Tuniq Tower 120 P4 & K8 CPU Cooler http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$44.99 After reading countless reviews pitting the Tuniq 120 against the TRUE 120 Extreme (which newegg doesn't even seem to carry anymore) I eventually decided that the best bang for the dollar would be the Tuniq. Sure, it may be very slightly under in the benchmarks to the TRUE 120 Extreme, but for my purposes of overclocking the q6600 to a steady 3.6GHz should be just fine. Not to mention the benefits of it being cheaper and includes a quality fan to boot. My only question might be, how much of an increase does this cooler get from lapping?

[Paste]:Arctic Silver Ceramique Thermal Compound http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$4.99 Cheap and one of the best from what I've read.

[RAM]: G.SKILL 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$104.99 Heard great things from this forum about G.Skill and read a lot of disturbing issues with Corsair (which I had in my previous build). I saved a few bucks with this kit here but I think it will definitely do the job just fine. As far as I know it should run just fine with an OC'd q6600 at 3.6GHz as well. If I'm mistaken please let me know.

[MOBO]: MASUS P5K-E/WIFI-AP LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$139.99 Appears to be great for overclocking the q6600 and has received numerous recommendations from this forum. Since the WIFI version is also the same price as the non-WIFI version, may as well get it. The chipset bridge heatsinks also look a bit nicer than the other comparable P35 boards. P38x just seems like a waste right now to me.

[PSU]: PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad (Black) EPS12V 750W Power Supply http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$168.99 I went back and forth on this between a lesser model at 610w, but settled on the 750 Quad due to longevity. If I decide to eventually upgrade my motherboard to an SLI ready, perhaps when the 780i comes out later on next year, I'll have the power to run another video card without having to toss my old PSU. Sure, it's another $60, but it feels worth it in the long run.

HARD DRIVES

[OS/APP HD]: Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$169.99 Using this as a scratch diver in PS3 will be so very nice. Not to mention all the other benefits from a 10k RPM. Seems this kind of setup is what a lot of builders are doing as well.

[HD 2]: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drivehttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$154.99 For storage files etc. Insanely cheap for 750GB.

VIDEO/AUDIO

[Monitors]: (2x) Acer AL2216Wbd Black 22" 5ms DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor with HDCP support http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$459.98 ($229.99 each) Did a lot of research on the best 22 inch LCD's and it seems most people agree the picture quality on the Acer beats on the rivals. 2x 22" sure is a lot of desktop real estate, but having used 2x 20" LCDs on a work machine previously, this will be a nice upgrade. Trust me, I'll have every little bit of space used by something. Can't wait to see them side by side. Unless, someone has a good reason to by a different brand, this is a set feature for this build. Running MAYA, PS3, ILLUSTRATOR, FLASH 8, FIREFOX and chat all at once takes up a lot of room!

[GPU]: EVGA 512-P3-N841-A3 GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$359.99 I switched to this version of the GTS 512mb from the more expensive MSI version because a) it comes with Crysis, woo, and b) because they are essentially the same cards. Does anyone here think the slightly faster core clock on the MSI GTS 8800 512mb is going to make a difference? (730MHz vs 670MHz)

[Sound Card]: M-AUDIO Revolution 5.1 5.1 Channels PCI Interface High-Definition Sound Card http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$69.99 Supports 5.1 and will probably last me through my next couple builds.

ACCESSORIES

Everything under here is pretty standard. Went with Vista 64-Bit Ultimate to recognize the 4GB of DDR2-800. Decent keyboard with mouse. Grabbed a quickcam for www.animationmentor.com, which I'll need when the course starts. The Logitech THX z-5300e sound system was also highly praised and supports 5.1 sound, which I what I want and finally a standard DVD/CD burner.

Logitech G11 Silver & Black USB Standard Gaming Keyboard
$58.99
Logitech MX518 2-Tone 8 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB + PS/2 Wired Optical Gaming-Grade Mouse
$39.99
Logitech QuickCam Communicate Deluxe 1.3MP Effective Pixels USB Interface WebCam
$69.99
Microsoft Windows Vista 64-Bit Ultimate for System Builders Single Pack DVD
$179.99
Logitech THX Z-5300e 280 Watts RMS 5.1 Speaker - Retail
$134.99
SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S203B
$33.99

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Well, I think that is everything. It should all be compatible. I put a lot of research into each one of these parts and just managed to make to stay under my $3,000 budget at $2,889.95 after TAX and SHIPPING. Let me know what you guys think. Appreciate any comments!

More about : 889 q6600 build gaming cs3 maya updated

December 29, 2007 10:22:15 PM

hi - i'm looking to buils almost exactly the same spec for exactly the same applications. I've been looking at montiors today, i i reckon that 2 22" monitors is overkill. I was in a shop today looking at them and 22" is massive. I reckon 2 20" monitors will serve you just as well (same resolution) and will save you a few bucks

I will be looking back closely to see what others say!! Thanks for putting together such a good spec!
December 29, 2007 11:10:40 PM

Solid build should work excellent for 3D work. For the mother board I recommend you get a P35-DS3R. If you must have WiFi just get a PCI/USB WiFi adapter, there are many PCI adapters that work better than the on board WiFi. Unless gaming the 8800GTS is not necessary, also the 8800GTS is not better than the 8800GT. The 8800GT is cheaper and perform better. See:
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/12/12/geforce_8800_gts...
For 3D work even a 8400GS will work. 3D Apps such as Photoshop,Maya, SolidWorks, are more CPU bound than GPU bound. For your needs I recommend something like this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Second thought: Last time I tried Maya was about 4 months ago, and It seems to have problems with Vista x64, most likely would have been fixed by now.

PS: I have built more than 5 PCs optimized for running Maya, SolidWorks, Inventor, CS3,etc. These recommendations are based on that experience/ customer satisfaction, etc.
Related resources
December 30, 2007 5:44:38 AM

*updated almost everything* new comments welcome! :bounce: 
December 30, 2007 8:07:12 AM

Interesting idea Noya, with the 3x 500gb drives. Is the speed really coming that close to the 10k RPM raptors? If so, what might be a solid version of the newer 16MB cached drives? Having a dedicated 500MB scratch disk would definitely be awesome.

In regards to the motherboards, whats the benefit of the DS3P over the P5k-e? Both seem to have fairly decent heatsink bridges, just can't seem to put my finger on why one looks better than the other.

Same goes for the Patriot Extreme 4G kit. Aren't they pretty much the same? Both are DDR2-800 (PC 6400).

Thanks.
December 30, 2007 9:34:34 AM

nice build, reminds me of mine a month ago :) 
ditch the raptor, they are overpriced, produce more heat and only offer you slightly less loading in games
I also use a separate drive as you can see in my sig but i divided the page file over all the drives
works perfect and very fast :) 

personally i like Seagate more than WD cause they offer a five-year warranty
but that's just my personal experience with WD and Seagate

build it and have fun!!!
December 30, 2007 9:45:47 AM

I'd try one of the new Samsung Spinpoint F1 (i think that's what they're called) drives. They're meant to be the fastest normal drive you can buy, but i'm not sure on reliability.
December 30, 2007 10:37:38 AM

I would go with 3x 500gb Spinpoint F1's, 2x 8800GT and a sli board that will keep you in your budget.
December 30, 2007 1:16:10 PM

exarrkun said:
nice build, reminds me of mine a month ago :) 
ditch the raptor, they are overpriced, produce more heat and only offer you slightly less loading in games
I also use a separate drive as you can see in my sig but i divided the page file over all the drives
works perfect and very fast :) 

personally i like Seagate more than WD cause they offer a five-year warranty
but that's just my personal experience with WD and Seagate

build it and have fun!!!


No Keep the Raptor because if you are working with large files you will notice a performance difference. This is esp. true with video/photo files tat are a few 100 megs-to a few gigs in size. You can use the Raptor to hold the files being edited and then once finished, transfer them to a big drive. You can also try RAID if you are willing to mess with it.
December 30, 2007 1:18:42 PM

@OP: If you dont have a external (USB/FireWire) back up drive you need one. You don't want all your work to go to waste if Windows crash :fou: , trust me. Pro file recovery starts at $150.
December 30, 2007 2:02:58 PM

you want a dual dvi video card.

drop the on board usb based wifi.

for raid get a good pci-e raid card and 3 or 4 disk for raid 5 or raid 6.

aslo the new mac pros should be out soon.
December 30, 2007 6:58:29 PM

^Agreed on the WiFi. If you want RAID get a motherboard with RAID (unless RAID 5 etc) Most motherboards supports RAID 0;1+0;etc. this is usually cheaper than buying a RAID controller.

Joe:What dose a Mac have to do any thing with this?
December 31, 2007 1:26:11 AM

most on board raid is carp and on board raid 5 is not that good a real raid card is a lot better.

a lot of pro video / photo / animation work is down on a mac and the mac pro is due for a update real soon.
December 31, 2007 4:02:57 AM

Stay with xp at least for one more year. Why upgrade to vista? in 2009 WIndows Vienna will launch. You have another alternative, Dual Boot xp and Vista. With vista you will loose about 10 to 15% game performance. Me and my 15 programming group we dont have to upgrade to vista to play Only Dx 10 games. We found the way to hack DX 10 from vista to integrate to XP and some other modification to play only Vista games into XP. Just like other group of programmers found the way to convert Xp pro to Media center. Soon we will post benchmarks xp Dx 10 vs Vista Dx 10, and a video of Halo 2 running on both OS. xp Dx 10 has a 13% increase than vista. Unfortunately we wont share our final software to the world due to illegal issues. The video will show the world is possible and has been done. It was a six month project. Our Next project is to run pc games in ubuntu without Cedega or other emulator. We will integrate Dx 10 and tons of Windows Xp files Direct X sources to run pc games native on linux. Will take us about 1 year 8 month to accomplish this. Will be open source. Anybody can be part of this creation. Our goal is to switch xp gamers to Linux, if successful done.
December 31, 2007 7:56:24 AM

Just finished the order at newegg.com. Appreciate everyone's input!

Final Roster is the following:

MNTR ACER|LCD 22" 5MS DVI AL2216WBD - Retail (Qty=2, Price=$459.98)
S/W MS WIN VISTA 64BT ULT 1P DVD% - OEM (Qty=1, Price=$179.99)
WEBCAM LOGITECH 961465-0403 QUK DUX - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$69.99)
MEM 2Gx2|GSK F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ R - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$104.99)
CASE FAN SCYTHE USA|DFS123812-3000 - Retail (Qty=2, Price=$19.98)
DVD BURN SAMSUNG|SH-S203B % - OEM (Qty=1, Price=$29.99)
CASE CM | RC-830-SSN3-GP SIL RT - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$169.99)
MB ASUS P5K-E/WIFI-AP P35 775 RT - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$139.99)
VGA EVGA 512-P3-N841-A3 8800GTS 512 - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$359.99)
PSU PCPWRCL|SILENCER 610 EPS12V RT - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$118.99)
CPU INTEL|C2Q Q6600 2.40G 775 8M R - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$279.99)
HD 1T|ST 7K 32M SATA2 ST31000340AS - OEM (Qty=1, Price=$274.99)
KB LOGITECH|920-000379 G15 RT - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$89.99)
MS LOGITECH|931689-0403 MX REVOL RT - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$71.99)
SND CARD M-AUDIO|REVOLUTION 5.1 RTL - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$69.99)
CPU THERM PAS|ARCTIC Ceramique - OEM (Qty=1, Price=$4.99)
CPUCOOLER|TUNIQ K8&P4|Tower 120 RTL - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$44.99)
SURGE PRCT|CYBRPWR 850* - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$12.49)
MOUSE PAD X-TRAC| RIPPER XLSILKY % - OEM (Qty=1, Price=$16.99)
Electronic Waste Recycling Act15-34 (Qty=2, Price=$16.00)

Subtotal: 2610.27
TAX: 188.08
Shipping and Handling Charge**: 37.73
Rush Order Fee:2.99
Total: 2836.08

PLUS:


LOGITECH THX Z-5300e 5.1 SPEAKER - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$134.99)

Extended Warranty Fee: 0
Subtotal: 134.99
TAX: 9.79
Shipping and Handling Charge**: 18.71
Total: 163.49

---------
GRAND TOTAL of $2,999.57 (talk about hitting the budget right on :)  )

December 31, 2007 9:04:51 AM

Honestly should of gone with 2x f1 Spin Points for 200 their faster and 70 cheaper... I would of also gone with as5 instead of Ceramique but i guess its to late for that and a sli board with that money saved... Would of stuck with a 8800gt and then saved up $150 and gone sli.
December 31, 2007 2:32:14 PM

did you need to spend $17 on a mouse pad??

Also putting all your eggs in one terabyte sized basket with the HD aren't you?
December 31, 2007 2:56:43 PM

gahdoh said:

Electronic Waste Recycling Act15-34 (Qty=2, Price=$16.00)


WTF is that?
December 31, 2007 3:29:28 PM

I guess they are doing it now like they do to car tires, charging an enviornmental disposal fee.... Hope mother nature spends the money wisely.
December 31, 2007 3:35:33 PM

lx_flier said:
Honestly should of gone with 2x f1 Spin Points for 200 their faster and 70 cheaper... I would of also gone with as5 instead of Ceramique but i guess its to late for that and a sli board with that money saved... Would of stuck with a 8800gt and then saved up $150 and gone sli.


Actually, I did some homework on the f1 drives and found that they a) are not that much faster than Seagate's in the benchmarks b) Seagate's has a faster reaction time, and c) Seagate has a 5yr warranty while Samsung only has a 3yr warranty. You couple all that with the clicking noise the f1 makes ever few minutes and, to me, it was a clear choice.

There are a few reviews that the Ceramique is actually better than the as5.

SLI, is honestly worthless for dual screens (notice the 2x LCD 22"). And really, is only needed for Crysis at insane resolutions that most monitors cant handle. Finally, 680i boards do not overclock nearly as well as the p35's. SLI is not mature enough to spend money on right now in my opinion. I'll wait until the next-gen video cards come out and there are more programs that actually support it. For now, it seems that the 8800 GTS 512 is the best overall card for the money since it actually performs nearly as well as 8800 GTX for half the price.
December 31, 2007 3:37:20 PM

fluidedge said:
did you need to spend $17 on a mouse pad??

Also putting all your eggs in one terabyte sized basket with the HD aren't you?


I have an external 500GB drive for backup (might get another one eventually), so the 1TB should work just fine. The 1TB drives also have the same 32MB Cache that the smaller models have, so it's just as fast. I didn't feel like dealing with a RAID setup with this build. And the mousepad is oversized for graphic design work, not consumer size.
December 31, 2007 8:12:43 PM

for the cash u spend, i would built a way much faster rig using new INtels penry, or q6400 with Triple SLI. Honestly, i wouldnt spend 89 dollars for dam keyboard or mouse, i think a 5 dollar keyboard and mouse is enough. Instead you should put this money for a 24" monitor. I can your system config with out the expensive peripherals for about $1,800 with a 24" monitor.
December 31, 2007 8:41:38 PM

rickpcnerd said:
for the cash u spend, i would built a way much faster rig using new INtels penry, or q6400 with Triple SLI. Honestly, i wouldnt spend 89 dollars for dam keyboard or mouse, i think a 5 dollar keyboard and mouse is enough. Instead you should put this money for a 24" monitor. I can your system config with out the expensive peripherals for about $1,800 with a 24" monitor.


Spending a grand for a CPU didn't make sense to me. Maybe when the next GEN 45n comes out next year I'll look into those (since my mobo will support the architecture). I plan on overclocking the q6600 to 3.6GHz so spending a tad more than the q6400 wasn't a big deal, especially considering my $3000 budget.

Regarding the keyboard/mouse, some people don't mind cheap accessories, but the macro availability on the G11 and G15 Logitech keyboards is very nice when it comes to 3d applications, not to mention the extra features the LCD screen provides and back-lit keys. To me it doesn't make sense to build a high end system and then cop out on the keyboard/mouse.

SLI is just not mature enough imo. 3xSLI not only doesn't support dual monitors without drastically reducing the performance and using 3rd party peripherals, but there just aren't enough applications out there that supports it to justify the drawbacks.

Here's a quote from Nvidia's FORUM FAQ on SLI cards:
Quote:
Q: Can I use multiple monitors in SLI?
A: At this time, SLI is not compatible with multiple monitor configurations. This is mostly due to the additional amount of visual computing put on the GPUs by adding the second monitor into the equation, seeing as some single-monitor setups can even bring an SLI computer to its knees from time to time (depending on game or program visual settings and resolutions.) You can cheat this system by purchasing a device called a DualHead2Go for two monitors and a TripleHead2Go if you'd like three monitors. Keep in mind, however, that adding either of those will likely cause a huge performance hit, so it depends how badly you want multiple monitor support.


SLI TANGENT! In case anyone wanted to know how to "jerry-rig" SLI to work with dual+ monitors there is a funky way to get it working, but there are some definite disadvantages. The biggest being that OpenGL won't work on the additional monitors. Here's the link: http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=6269

When the 780i+ mobo's come out that support better overclocking maybe then I will consider them, but for now the p35's looked like the best option. For CS3/MAYA having 2 monitors is a huge benefit, buying a 24" for the price of 2x22" monitors is just not worth it from my standpoint.

I'm actually extremely happy with the final price for the components I'm getting.
January 1, 2008 12:26:19 AM

Nice system, the only gripe I have with you system is the 64bit vista you got. As you might be able to tell from my username, I do cad work and so far I have had a few problems with different cad applications with vista. And it was 32 bit! I can only imagine how 64 bit will be for you... :( 
January 1, 2008 12:48:12 AM

cadmanx said:
Nice system, the only gripe I have with you system is the 64bit vista you got. As you might be able to tell from my username, I do cad work and so far I have had a few problems with different cad applications with vista. And it was 32 bit! I can only imagine how 64 bit will be for you... :( 


Ya, I wasn't excited about getting Vista, but I really wanted to get the full use out of the 4GBs of DDR2-800. Also considering I might increase to 8GBs later on, Vista 64bit is the only platform that will recognize it. I may end up using a dual-boot for XP/Vista, but I'm going to give Vista a test drive and cross my fingers that SP1 will fix the big issues.

January 1, 2008 1:08:14 AM

gahdoh,

Nice system mate. Thanks for posting this. I'm hoping to learn more and your research and other people's info is a good help.
I wasn't aware of the SLI - dual monitor thing so cheers for that.
Good luck with the build. Let me know how it goes and what things you do to/with it in the future.
By the way, does that case have dust covers over the fans?
I ask because it looks nice but I must have dust covers as I'm in a Japanese old Tatami mat room and it get's dusty (with roll up futon too) so I must keep the dust out and just vacuum the fan covers every couple of weeks. Cheers..
!