Help with a new gaming rig

For some time now i have been looking at building a new rig. Im a little unsure what to go for, so any suggestions with which motherboard/cpu to go for will be much appreciated.

First off i have been looking at the Core2Duo 8400. However im a little concerned whether or not i should go for a Quad core chip although the yorkfield is more expensive and im trying to keep the cost down.

Secondly motherboards, P35 chipset boards keep being mentioned as the ones to go for, i looked at gigabyte and asus and was thinking of going with the gigbyte GA-P35-DS4. But i would like your views and reccomendations.

last but not least what RAM would you suggest i was planning to use OCZ 4GB and slap on a 64bit vista ultimate OS.

Currently got a 8800GTX to go in the build, looking at getting a Antec 900 case.

I do want to do some overclocking and have heard the 8400 clocks to 4ghz easily on air but i am kinda fresh to overclocking.

Thanks in advance for any comments and/or suggestions.
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  1. 1) what is your budget?

    2) what is the main purpose of the machine? (gaming/encoding/surfing/etc.)
  2. GA-P35-DS4 is an excellent motherboard. aBit IP35 Pro is also very good, and the features and price are almost identical. You can't go wrong with either of those. I'm assuming you don't intend to buy another 8800GTX and run SLI. If you do, then I recommend eVGA 780i as the motherboard. If your monitor is 24" or larger you should get the eVGA 780i just in case, because some games will require SLI at those resolutions to work decently.

    Antec 900 will be fine, again if you don't intend to do SLI. For SLI with 8800GTX cards it's a bit cramped, so look at the Silverstone TJ-09 or CoolerMaster Stacker or Thermaltake Armor.

    CPU: the E8400 is the perfect choice for most people, i.e. for games/surfing/Microsoft Office.

    Get a Q6600 if you do these things a lot:

    Flight Simulator X
    video encoding
    work with multithreaded apps (databases, servers, Photoshop, compilers, etc.)

    Have you picked a power supply? For a single 8800GTX you could get a Corsair 550VX or 520HX or PC Power & Cooling Silencer 610W, for example. For two of them, I'd get the PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750W.
  3. The machine will be aimed at gaming mostly. SLI was a thought but with the expense of getting another 8800GTX i think i will skip it. I have read quite a few posts regarding the DS4 and issues with alot of RAM so i could lean quite easily towards the abit board. Power supply is already taken care of.

    I aim to put around 4gb of ram in this setup any suggestions to which brand, there some fairly priced 4gb (2x2gb) OCz ram available im thinking of working with. but again any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Budget for MB,CPU,RAM,Vista/case is roughly £400-£500 closer to £400 the better.
  4. I suggest getting only 2GB for now, and adding more later when you have saved more money and decided you really need more RAM.

    Antec 900, £73 including VAT

    Vista Ultimate 64-bit, £117

    Q6600: £162 or E8400: £206
    aBit IP35 Pro: £129

    2GB Crucial Ballistix Tracer PC2-6400C4 £45

    Total £397 with Q6600 and 2GB, plus another £44 for E8400 and maybe another £45 for 4GB of RAM.

    Also, here's a very tempting bundle for £404:
    ** Overclocked Bundle ** Abit IP35 Pro Motherboard / Intel Q6600 Quad Core @ 3.3Ghz / 2GB (2x1GB) OCZ PC-8500 RAM / Tuniq Tower CPU Cooler
  5. After carefully considering your suggestion im slowly getting settled on a build.

    E8400: managed to get it at £130

    what do you think of this RAM or would you say stick with the RAM you suggested?

    2GB Crucial Ballistix PC2-8500C5 £55.21
  6. Wow, £130... Where?

    The PC2-8500 is worth the extra price IMO since you intend to overclock.

    If you need a little help picking a good CPU cooler, there are a few excellent comparative articles at

    The world champion these days, IMO, is this:

    Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme £38+ Scythe SFF21F 1600 rpm £13

    It's got the best cooling performance of all air coolers, while still being quieter than most. Of course, the price is high, something had to give... Shop around.
  7. try ebuyer... cheaper

    and novatech offers free delivery over 50 pounds
  8. the E8400 was seen at dabs. But my local shop have pretty much matched the price so getting the parts from there.
  9. There is another post somewhere, this guy is stuck with an E8400 @ 4.2GHz and his RAM is limiting him. So if you really want a high OC then Crucial's Ballistix PC2 8500's will do the trick. Vista 64 has little support as far as drivers are concerned, have heard some just end up going back to 32bit Vista. The E8400 is a speed demon and will kill a Q6600 if overclocked high enough. Antec 900 is the way to go, great cooling.

    What size monitor do you play on? Maybe in a few months an 8800GTX will drop in price low ($350) enough to grab. I know that I have thought about it to, because I want a bigger monitor than a 19". You seem to have done your research on this build.
  10. The E8400 is a wicked CPU for the price. If your going to take advantage of 4 cores then the Q6600 is the same price.

    Try an Abit motherboard. I won't list all the reasons but I have claimed they are the best for the past 10 years. I llike the IP-35 pro. It has the uGuru too. If you wanna better board the Abit IX38 Quad GT is the new kid on the block.

    The 4GB RAM 2xd2GB kit is fine. DDR2-800 is cheap and great.

    The Antec 900 case is very nice. I like the layout with PSU on the bottom and rotated hard drive installation. For a power supply I'd get an Antec NEO.

    If yo uneed hard drives I liek Seagate Barracudas. A 500GB SATA is the best deal going now.

    Get a SATA DVD Burner. A pioneer OEM for only $25 is a steal.

    You need to cool if your overclocking. For an air cooler go thermalright and slap on a 120mm fan of choice. Or go water cooling.

    If you really wanna go all out on overclocking then you going to have to take a good look at the RAM and be choosy with the timings and all and that drives the price way up.
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