New System build advice!

I’m about to build a new system and have done a lot of research into the latest hardware and what people’s opinions are. I thought before I make my final decision I would see what some other computer enthusiasts have to say and any opinions you might have, so I don’t mind a bit of flaming :) The system will be mostly used as a gaming rig which I plan to do a bit of overclocking to my system and also for a bit of general use and possibly a bit of Photoshop, development and possibly run a virtual machine or two from time to time... But mostly for my gaming as PC gaming owns all other!

I have always been a bit of an AMD / ATI fan boy but after recent changes Nvidia and Intel really are just tough to beat (feels abit guilty) although I still have a lot of faith in them in the future and I’m confident ATI will be back at the top again.

Anyway the setup I have is as follows:

Corsair XMS2 DDR2-800 CAS4 4x1GB
Core 2 Duo E8400 Processor 3.0Ghz (4.0+ overclocked)
Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme CPU Heatsink
XFX Geforce 8800GTS 512MB Alpha Dog Edition (Probably push OCing to near the G92s limit)
Maximums Formula (x48) or Rampage Forumla (x38) Motherboard
Lian-Li PC-A11A case
I already have a Antec Neo HE 550Watt PSU I will use
I will also be running a Raptor 150 10,000RPM for My system drive and a couple of WD750s for my storage.

Mobo / GPU
I have done a lot of research and have leaned towards the Intel X38/X48 setup as they provide some very stable and great performing systems ideal for overclocking. Although I lose the ability to run SLI I feel that at this time running an 8800GTS should be sufficient. SLI and even Crossfire I’m still a bit up and down about it as a lot of games still don’t fully support it and video drivers provided by ATI and Nvidia still have a lot of maturing to do. It also opens the door for possible Crossfire setup down the track. I usually like to stick to a single very high end card for example running a 9800GX2 but for now I think the 8800GTS 512MB is a great buy for its price/performance. The 3870 just doesn’t compete and the price to run 2 in crossfire I might as well run a 3870X2 or in that case a 9800GX2 which undoubtedly will be faster and are both more stable/reliable.

As the chipset goes I’m still on the edge as to whether it’s worth waiting and getting the X48 of this particular Asus series motherboard or if it’s better to stick with the X38 from what I’ve read it appears to be very stable and minimal to no real difference especially with the quickly maturing bioses.

I was leaning towards an Intel Q9450 Quad CPU but after a lot of research I think an E8400 Dual Core is the way to go as it provides better performance for gaming and great overclocking. I plan to push this up to around a comfortable 4GHZ with a Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme Cooler (this cooler seems to be a great choice for running it stable at cool speeds and still quiet. ;))

I have also chosen DDR2-800 as the performance benefits are not really worth going to DDR3 at such high CAS latency’s and steep prices.

Sorry for such a long explanation to my reasons please tell me what you think and make any recommendations or contradictions to what I have said on what you think might be better for me from what you have read or personal experience.
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  1. Seems great :) Have nothing to complain here.

    For the mobo, I myself using X38 (ABiT iX38) with DDR2 Corsair 2x1GB PC6400, E6750, and HD3870 w/ 19" monitor 1440 reso.

    So far so good. I have nothing to complain since I built it around 3 months ago.

    About X48, from Tom's review there's nothing much difference from his former sister X38. I think if the cost not too much difference (10-20$) then you can choose X48.

    GL ^^
  2. you might want to upgrade the PSU
  3. TRUE doesn't come with a fan. Pick out a 60cfm-ish 120mm fan. Scythe, yate loon, etc.

    It's scary that we think very much alike.
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