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Planning a new gaming system, for the first time in years...

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January 10, 2008 9:08:33 PM

Hi, guys,

I am probably going to be posting here a few times before I manage to decide what to spend my money on. To be honest, I have been out of the loop for a few years, and when I returned to paying attention to computer technology, the picture had changed quite a bit from what I was used to. Anyway, I think I have managed to orient myself finally, and I am nearing the point where I make a purchase. However, there are some questions I would like to have answers to, if you please. I appreciate any and all pieces of advice I could get at this time.

First, I have not purchased a computer in nearly five years. The bare essentials of my current, and failing, configuration, are these:

Athlon XP 2400
512 MB 3200 DDR RAM
Geforce 4Ti 4600

As you can see, anything would be an improvement over this. Still, I would like to build a solid gaming system that will at least serve me for three years, at which time I probably will build a whole new system. I might, however, be interested in some overclocking and light upgrading, as I understand overclocking in particular has become increasingly easy with the new generations of processors.

Now, I will not be making this into a "rate-my-system" post. That will probably come later.:)  For now, I had some more specific questions. I can say, however, that I am pretty much decided on the 8800 GTS 512 for the video card, and I am leaning toward a Q6600 processor (more on this in a later post, I guess). For the PSU, I have decided on a Corsair 750W, with 60A on a single 12v rail.

First, the case of the computer. I have narrowed my search down to three alternatives, which are in three different price ranges. These are:

1) Cooler Master Centurion 534

2) Cooler Master Mystique 631

3) Cooler Master Stacker 831

Anyone can probably tell that the Stacker 831 is the best case of the lot. However, it costs a lot, and I am not too enthusiastic at the prospect of paying nearly as much for the case as I would for the processor. The Centurion is, as far as I can tell, priced around $50 , while the Mystique is priced around $100. The Stacker is twice the price of the Mystique, priced at nearly $200. Is this difference in price worth it? And how would you experts rate the cases against each other? I am obviously not interested in having my components melt because I chose a cheap case. Is the Centurion crap? Will the Mystique serve me as well as the Stacker, given the rough idea of components I sketched above?

Another thing is the motherboard. At the moment I have these options:

1) MSI P35 NEO-FI

2) Asus P5E, X38

3) Asus P5K, P35

Some well-founded recommendations?

As well, do Corsair TWIN2X 6400PRO 4096MB RAM chips have good overclocking potential when paired with a Q6600?

Again, any and all answers and suggestions are welcome and appreciated!
January 10, 2008 9:52:49 PM

Which of the above cases really depends on your budget. The Centurion is solid case and I wouldn't trade anything else off for one of the other cases. For gaming you might want to consider the E6750, not sure the performance of the Q6600 for gaming would justify the price. For video or photo editing it would. Right now I think the ASUS P5K -E with or without WIFE is the most featured board for the price and can run Penryn per ASUS. Don't overclock but I do know the Crucial Ballistix has a good rep as performance RAM and is nicely priced. Run this in my higher end machine. But someone can tell your specifically about the Corsair
January 10, 2008 9:56:06 PM

^Agreed. Also look at the P35-DS3L/R if you plan to OC.
January 10, 2008 9:57:10 PM

If you were to buy Asus P5E you could run some DDR2 PC2-8500 Ram which is certain to clock better when you OC.

*** i just picked a motherboard, didnt bother to look at all 3. The point is the Ram, why not get 1066mhz ram and clock down for latency? It is relatively cheap now a days too.
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