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Best price/performance computer / Need input

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July 22, 2008 11:53:07 AM

I am going to be building a computer and I am interested in the best price/performance I can get so any input would help. And yes, I will be overclocking...extensively.

Here is what I have so far:

Processor: Between e2140-e2160-e2180 (Whichever I can get for the cheapest since availability is an issue)
Motherboard: Abit ip35-e (Had it before, very good overclocker)
Memory: Between OCZ (2 X 1 gb) ddr2-800 Platinum and Crucial Ballistix (OCZ is $15 less)
Harddrive: Seagate 250 GB 16 MB Cache SATA Drive
CPU Cooler: I have a Hyper TX2 Cooler I can use
Video Card: HD4850 (Not sure about the brand yet, probably Sapphire)
Power Supply: Antec earthwatts 430 Watt
Case: I'm not sure yet, maybe a Cinturion case-Need input on that

I am looking for the best price/performance products. I'm not interested in spending more than $400 on this computer. This is just something to get me by till the next big release. Since it is going to be used mainly for gaming, a big part of the budget is going towards the video card. And yes, I will be doing some major tweaking/overclocking.

Thanks in advance!
July 22, 2008 12:22:35 PM

can't see anything wrong with that lot, maybe for a case the antec 300?
July 22, 2008 12:29:21 PM

Good choice
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July 22, 2008 12:30:43 PM

Looks like a good setup!
July 22, 2008 1:02:35 PM

for case: coolermaster 690 or 590. both are very good, and should be cooler at same noise than antec equivalents.
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July 22, 2008 1:11:05 PM

Looks good, yes. The PSU Calculator at http://www.extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine gave me 373W when I put in a sample overclock to 2.8GHz.
If you plan to re-use any of these parts (e.g. case and PSU), you might want a beefier PSU, but otherwise this looks solid. The Centurion cases all offer decent cooling. They are my budget-standard, possibly with a front fan added. I think you'll want that to cool your OC.
July 22, 2008 1:26:29 PM

I know the e2xxx series is cheap and will OC a bit, but what about the E7200. It is less than $130 and is a beast when OC'd. See my sig. I must admit, i am a E7200 fanboy. LOL. But it is a nice cpu.

It is a good build you have listed. I dont like Sapphire support. I had a sapphire 3870 last december. It had artifacts on the 35th day. Just past neweggs return date. Sapphire never returned my emails, support tickets inquiries, or phone calls. I will never buy sapphire again.
July 22, 2008 1:57:29 PM

1. Seems like you might need a stronger PSU if you're planning on OCing
2. I would check into getting one stick of 2gb so that it leaves 3 slots open for upgrading ram...*if you're running vista, I definitely recommend getting more than two gigs
3. As for case selection, that is mostly personal opinion...do you want something flashy? or something simple?

...as for everything else though...wow...seems like imma get beaten in "best performing rig for $400"...lol
July 22, 2008 2:58:11 PM

I have an Antec 300 and a Antec 900. Although smaller, the 300 cools just as well.

My CPU, GPU and HDD temps are nearly identical, under all conditions.

I would go with the E7200.

I love OCZ but beware of their required postmark date on rebates (12 day).
July 22, 2008 8:25:04 PM

Well the E7200 is $60 more than the e2180 and the e2180 can reach 3.6 Ghz easily with air cooling, anything above that is a bit unnoticeable in my eyes. Plus we're going for the best budget build so...yeah :p 

I would go with a 2 gb stick but like I said before, I'm going with budget here. I can always add another 2 gig kit. Plus, 1 gb sticks overclock higher than 2 gig sticks.

The antec 300 looks very nice but I'm not sure if $70 is in the budget for a case...Plus the antec 900 sometimes goes on sale at around that price and I know I will probably be very pissed if that happens after I get the 300 one.

I'm not going on a $400 budget because I'm cheap, it's because I really am trying to make the best $400 build (that competes with $1000+ ones) possible.

That power supply has 30 amps on the 12+ rails which can easily power this system, the only bad thing about it is that it's not modular and it'll get messy in there.

Is seagate the fastest 250 gig 7200 rpm harddrive or should I go with WD?

Need input on everything!!!
July 23, 2008 9:51:43 AM

here is what i will have if i look for best price/performance

Intel E7200
HDT S1283
P45 mobo(preferably Gigabyte/Asus)
Crucial Ballistix
Nvidia 9600GT
Seagate 7200.11 320GB(faster then what you quote and not for much more)
Antec 300/NXZT Tempest

this rig will OC to at least 4Ghz and last for sometime.

BUT

if you really just need something to get by then just get the Celeron dual core E1200 along with the Hyper TX2/ACF7P, a Gigabyte P35-DS3L and some decent 2X 1GB DDR2-800 couple with the 9600GT. other component is a what you like option to me if i look from your situation.
July 23, 2008 10:41:12 AM

The rig I suggested will easily beat the one you've suggested (iluvgillgill) because like I said, it will be used mainly for gaming. And since gaming depends mostly on the GPU, the HD4850 will easily outperform a 9600 GT even if you have a better CPU. Plus, it is a waste to buy a P45 motherboard now since Nehalem will be on an entirely new socket. P35 is good enough for me.

Are you sure the harddrive you've suggested is faster? Not much good reviews out there that I can find of it.
July 23, 2008 11:10:57 AM

you seriously gonna shell out close 4digit on just a CPU itself? do you know its really expensive.

i suggested 9600GT is simply not only it give 2nd/3rd place in price/performance HD4850 will not only last you a SHORTWHILE so i will feel its a waste to dump that very card because of nehalem.
July 23, 2008 5:46:50 PM

the Antec 300 is 54.99 at buy.com w/ free shipping.

I agree completely (w/ nightscope) on the 4850 vs 9600GT and the P35 vs P45.
July 23, 2008 6:28:11 PM

just quick newegg'ed the cheapest HD4850 to the 9600GT is $80 different thats 80%+ difference in price. do the HD4850 performan 80%+ faster then the 9600GT?if it does then it match your criteria best price/performance machine.if not.......
July 23, 2008 7:58:44 PM

iluvgillgill said:
just quick newegg'ed the cheapest HD4850 to the 9600GT is $80 different thats 80%+ difference in price. do the HD4850 performan 80%+ faster then the 9600GT?if it does then it match your criteria best price/performance machine.if not.......


Sorry to harp on you man but gaming is the key use as he said.
The 4850 is amazing price performance wise and the 9600 is just too crippled for a gaming machine.

Regarding HDD speed I've had best luck with seagates lately.
I had to return a WD drive for a 7200.11 or 7200.10 series I forget but I wasn't dissappointed I think I have 5 of their drives now and each are silent and error free so far and I generally have 2 games open and torrents running all day. Which I guess the games only eat/sit in ram but there would still be significant page filing along with I/O from the torrents.

On the processor I don't think the cache sizes help much in games or as much so OC'ing a lower proc should be fine, I'll admit since I upgraded 5 months ago I pay less attn.

I was tempted to get an 4850 but don't think it outperforms my 8800GT enough to. Although real reason would be to give my gf my 8800 GT but since she only plays wow the 1950 Pro'll hold her over. I usually get whichever brand is cheapest at the time, have used gigabyte zotac saphire and asus without issue.

I use to participate in the "$400 challenge" every few months. Often without building so be sure to tell me how it goes.
July 23, 2008 8:07:31 PM

It's about 40%-45% at 1600x1200 resolutions and under... and the 9600GT is not even on the charts at over 1600x1200.

If you only count real benchmarks and throw out somewhat meaningless 3dmarks.

Here is a chart showing benchmarks from actual games and removes synthetic benchmarks.

http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fww...

Not sure what exact items you are pricing... but... generally... the 9600GT's are going for $120-$140 and the HD 4850's are going for $170-$190. Many of the brands for both have $20-$35 rebates.

I guess if you compared a reputable brand 4850 at $180 (WITHOUT a rebate) to an "off brand" Chaintech or Zotac at $100 (WITH a rebate)... then you would come up with an $80 price difference.
July 24, 2008 12:17:08 PM

I just saw that there the e5200 is going to be released soon (Q3). It is a real gem in overclocking. 12.5X multiplier, priced at $84 ($14 more than the e2180). Can go up to 4 Ghz easily on air...Now that's a price/performance chip right there! I'm not sure if I can wait for it though...What do you all think? Maybe while waiting some deals on the remaining parts will pop up and I can snatch them! :p 
!