This is my first post, but I have been reading this forum, and this section especially, for over 6 months now. I have decided sometime in September to upgrade my computer (4 year old P4 2.4, 1GB ram, 9600XT), but haven't been able to find a system that I could justify paying the price for. But with the recent releases 3800 series from ATI and 8800 refresh from nVidia, along with 45nm processors from Intel, I think that now would be a good time to upgrade. I have seen countless posts regarding people building new systems, but I still have few questions remaining.
This computer will be used primarely for gaming. The most demanding titles I would like to play (hopefully all maxed out at 1600x1050) are CoD4, Bioshock, TF, World in Conflict, The Witcher, maybe some UT3 and SupCom.
Processor: E6750 v. E8400 v. E21x0 v. 5000BE
When E6750 went under $200, I though that it would be my choice, but now the price between it and E8400 is ~$30 and I am starting to wonder if E8400 would be a good buy. But recently I started looking in E21x0 and 5000BE and more I research I did, the more I realized that spending over $100 could be a big waste of money. I have never overclocked anything in my life, but after reading the manual on overclocking forum, it seems that it is super easy and its really hard to blow up the chip/motherboard, so I think I am brave to give it a try.
So my question is, if I were to get E2160/2180 or 5000BE and was able to do a decent job overclocking them (2.8-3GhZ), is there a reason to invest another $80-100 and get the more expensive processor? Does processor really matter that much considering it the computer's primary use would be for gaming? I know SupCom benefits from extra speed and extra cores, but isn't the GPU the bottleneck for majority of games today?
One more thing, when you guys say you can reach 3+Ghz on air, that means with a fan on the CPU, right? What if I were to OC without it. Would a good case do? (Antec Nine Hundred is what I have).
RAM: A-DATA (2GB) A-DATA 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model ADQVE1A16K - Retail
As long as I don't plan to OC to more than 400FSB, any DDR2 800 RAM works right? This one has countless good reviews and is $31 shipped.
This is where my biggest debate it, mainly because I know very little about mobos. I don't want to break the bank here, but would like to get a good mobo that will be friendly to overclocking. I narrowed it to 2 boards, but I am sure you guys can recommend even better choices.
EVGA 122-CK-NF66-T1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 650i Ultra ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
DFI BloodIron P35-T2RL LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
Is there any kind of benefit from spending $45 more on BloodIron? Is there a better choice than EVGA I selected?
GPU: BFG Tech BFGE88512GTSE GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
I was debating on 3750v8800, but I saw that this guy is $286 shipped and it seems like the best deal. Is this best bang for the buck? It has slight OC and it costs less than OCed 8800GT. If I were to get E21x0 or 5000BE, would I see any benefits of this card over 8800GT or 3870? In other words, can CPU limit the card in any way? Would there be a problem of fitting this guy into Nine Hundred case?
PSU: ENERMAX Noisetaker II EG495P-VE ATX12V 485W Power Supply 115/ 230 V (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
One of the biggest things I learned while reading forums here is the need for a good PSU. This guy seems like a monster, but considering the system I am building, is it necessary? $65 shipped is not much to give on a PSU, but is there a better deal out there?
Thank you for reading this. I hope that you guys are able to clear my confusion...
The CPU can bottleneck the video card, so I'd suggest the E8400 over the E21x0 processors. Not only do you get better stock speed (which can be OC'd pretty well from what I've read), but 6MB L2 cache compared to 1MB and 1333FSB compared to 800FSB also makes a difference. And all retail (boxed) processors come with a heatsink and fan, most people who OC switch out the stock with an aftermarket CPU cooler.
I can't help as far as RAM goes, I got Mushkin cas4 ddr2-800 ram. I'd say the A-DATA will be fine, yet most people will suggest Crucial Ballistix.
As for the mobo, do you need firewire and RAID support? If not, look at the Gigabyte DS3L. I've read its a decent overclocker and if you are sticking with one video card is a great deal.
The G92 GTS is a great card, but like I said, it can be bottlenecked by the slower processors. If you go with the E2xxx series processors, get the 8800GT to save a little money. If you get the E8400, splurge for the G92 GTS. Even the 512MB 8800GT would be a good deal with the E8400.
I'm also getting an Enermax PSU, but I got the 460W. Most people will say get more wattage, but these PSUs are fine for your setup because it has the 28A needed on the +12V rails for the GPU.
Hope I helped a little, most of the time I just cause more questions .
Budget is what matters. If the choice is between an E2160 and an HD 3850 or an E8400 and an 8600GT, the the E2160/3850 would perform much better. Save money on the CPU if it allows you to get a better video card. If you have the cash for an E8400 AND a 38xx/88xx, then go that way. A better GPU is worth the lower cache.