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need thoughts on midrange gaming/workstation build

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March 10, 2008 8:41:28 PM

Hi,

Now it's my turn to get myself a new computer.
What I do is gaming, but also some 3d modeling on 3ds max but it's just low poly models that will be used in real time 3d applications. Photoshop but again nothing too heavy I do some freehand drawing that I scan and then color in photoshop/painter. Coding, I use visual studio 2005 to code real time direct X and openGL applications.
Now on to the computer. I don't want to spend a fortune on a system now as 775 will be a dead socket in a year or so. So I want to build a system that is good for about two years.
Here's the setup I've come up with so far:
Note: First things first... I live in Sweden so no links to stores that's not shipping to sweden.

CD/DVD
Samsung SH-S203P
Note: Nothing fancy here, just a regular burner...

Case:
Antec Sonata Plus 550 or Antec P182
Note: Initially I though of Sonata Plus as it comes with a fairly good PSU. But then I have a Corsair 450VX to spare, if the system can run on that I'll get the p182.

HDD:
Samsung SpinPoint F1 HD753LJ 32MB
Note: The seagate variant costs about 35$ more.

Memory:
Crucial BallistiX PC6400 4GB CL4
Note: Finally BallistiX on 2gb sticks! :D 

Motherboard:
Gigabyte EP35-DS4 iP35
Note: I hope that the extra cooling on the DS4 is worth its price over DS3. And do anyone know a mobo that can overclock well even with 4 ram sticks installed?

Gigabyte X38-DS4
Note: I found X38 model at a reasonable price So I'll be using that.

CPU:
Intel Dual Core E2200
Note: Intels new CPUs are still too expensive. On top of that all the penryns are extinct in Sweden.

CPU Cooler:
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro
Note: Hoping that it will be enough to clock to 3+Ghz. or 3.6GHz regarding E8200

GPU:
Gainward BLISS GeForce 8800GT 512MB GDDR3
Note: Hoping the dual slot cooling will keep it away from heat issues.

So this is my initial system. But after some thinking I came up with some variations:

Option 1: Go for DS3, HD3870 (now at 9600GT prices) and aim for a E8200 Sadly this won't be a option anymore as I can't find a E8400 anywhere in Sweden :'( 
Update: Ok there's a glimpse of hope as I've found the E8200 in stock... almost at the same price as E8400 but at least it's available!
Option 2: Go for a X38 mobo and a HD3870. Gives the availability of crossfire in the future.
Option 3: Be a man and just pay up the extra for E8200, X38 and HD3780.
or just stay with my current setup.

I use a 19" (1280x1024) now but I will probably get a 24" towards the end of this year or early next year.

I would like to make a decision and buy the parts towards the end of this week.
March 10, 2008 9:51:21 PM

You would benefit greatly from a Quad core. Aside from that, looks good.
March 10, 2008 10:31:35 PM

beurling said:
You would benefit greatly from a Quad core. Aside from that, looks good.

Do you really think so? The 3d models won't use any heavy rendering at all as everything is supposed run good in a real time application. Painter and photoshop are more of a ram intensive apps I think. It would be visual studio 2005 but even on my old P4 it runs pretty smoothly.
I need more feedback on my initial quesitons :) 
Related resources
March 11, 2008 12:35:39 PM

Quote of the Day:
Quote:
I don't want to spend a fortune on a system now as 775 will be a dead socket in a year or so

I can't stress that enough.

Good job at spelling out the use of the pc.

Unless the software is written to make use of the cores, it won't make a difference on a quad. Some software such as video editing DO make use of the cores. It can cut down the processing time by as much as half.

Aside from using quad cores, another way to increase the speed is to overclock the cpu. It takes my pc about 30 mins to convert a 1.5-2 hour video. With or w/o subtitle. Along with my security software & stuff in the background.

You're correct that photo editing will benefit from more memory. The program holds the image and maybe undo's in memory. The same is true for coding in a compile-time language like Java. .NET not so much since it's pre-compiled.

The Samsung F1 is overall faster than most other similar hard disks.

The case is near silent. My family loves the Antec Solo, which is identical to the 550. The bundled Neo HE 550 can handle the 8800GT + overclocking.

Try this. The Wolfdale is faster than the Conroe/Allendale clock for clock, thanks to the new features (cpu instructions). Since you understand Nehalem will obsolete socket 775.

Option 1: Go for DS3, HD3870 (now at 9600GT prices) and aim for a E8400
March 11, 2008 10:38:05 PM

Looks like the E8400 won't be a valid option for me as I can't find it anywhere! And I really want to build it my the end of this week.
Now with option 1 gone do you think that option 2 will be better than my original build? Or will the Q9450 be worth the expensive price tag?

Found some E8200 yay!

Some other unanswered questions that I need answers to.

1. Most important of all. Will my Corsair 450VX handle that system? I need to know if I have to buy a new psu!

1,5. How good is the E8200 compared to E8400? Does it oc as well as the E8400?

2. Is the DS4 worth the extra $ over DS3?

3. Are DS4 and DS3 good overclockers IF all four ram slots are used? If not then please recommend me one that is.

4. Will Freezer 7 be enough to push the E2200 to 3+Ghz? Or E8200 to 3.6+Ghz (hopefully 4Ghz)

5. How well will 8800Gt or HD3780 handle 24" resolutions in games?

@akhilles: Well 3D Studio Max certainly does take advantage of four cores but the low poly models that I'm working with only take tops 20-30 sec to render with ray tracing on a single core P4.
I'm writing applications using C++ and sometimes C#.
March 12, 2008 1:19:08 AM

depending on how old the PSU is, it should do...

the E8200 should be able to OC as well as the E8400... not 100% sure though.

don't know about the mobos so i won't say anything

the AC freezer 7 Pro is a great cooler. I idle at 27 and max at 56 in orthos... and my pc is running along at your beloved 3 ghz.

not too well... if you can, try to get an 8800GTS or better
March 12, 2008 11:15:01 AM

1. Yes, but why? You're buying a new case with 550W psu. A quality one at that. Use the 550w. Ebay or sell the other.

1.5 Not really. You need to understand that every chip is different. The result will be different. Maybe by a small margin. The e8200 is not known for going past 4ghz on air. e8400 up to 4.2ghz on air. e8500 is about a hundred mhz better than e8400 on air.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/intel-wolf...

I don't buy a cpu just by its price, but after reading rave reviews and user comments on it. I'd known the e8400 to go over 5ghz on phase change/dice long before it was released. I go to overclocking forums every day.

2. Only you can determine that. My income & yours are different. DS3L is the lowest you should get for o/cing wolfies. Gigabyte can be overclocked by monkeys. Anyone can do it. ASUS P5K-E is another one to look at. ASUS can save 2 bios profiles & clearing cmos won't remove them.

3. Should be. DS3L is def. yes. I o/c'ed the ds3l with allendales with 4 ocz sticks. If you're looking for the best overclocking board, which has the fewest limits, look at X38. It's the best overclocker out now. X48 supports only DDR3.

4. Yes, but I'd get something better like Scythe Ninja/Infinity, Typhoon, Tuniq, Noutua (why on earth europeans would pass it up is beyond me), Thermalright E 120 U.

5. Some will swear by it, but I have 8800gt & I'm not going to lie. On 1440x900, there's an occasional stutter in moving games like driving/flight sims. In RTS, boards, etc. it's not noticeable since the background is not moving continuously. You might have to lower the in-game video settings at the native resolution of 24". IMO, 8800GTS 512 minimum for 24".
March 12, 2008 11:48:47 AM

akhilles said:
1. Yes, but why? You're buying a new case with 550W psu. A quality one at that. Use the 550w. Ebay or sell the other.

Because the P182 is a lot cheaper than the Sonata Plus 550. The money I save can be better spent on other parts.

akhilles said:
1.5 Not really. You need to understand that every chip is different. The result will be different. Maybe by a small margin. The e8200 is not known for going past 4ghz on air. e8400 up to 4.2ghz on air. e8500 is about a hundred mhz better than e8400 on air.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/intel-wolf...

I don't buy a cpu just by its price, but after reading rave reviews and user comments on it. I'd known the e8400 to go over 5ghz on phase change/dice long before it was released. I go to overclocking forums every day.

I know I read the reviews but the problem in this case isn't the price between E8200 and E8400. E8400 just doesn't exist in Sweden right now and none of the stores have any confirmed date on those. the E8200 is in stock now.
The question is if E8200 have more value than E2200. Will I get similar performance or will E8200 beat E2200 by quite a margin? The E8200 is about double the price of E2200 in Sweden.

akhilles said:
2. Only you can determine that. My income & yours are different. DS3L is the lowest you should get for o/cing wolfies. Gigabyte can be overclocked by monkeys. Anyone can do it. ASUS P5K-E is another one to look at. ASUS can save 2 bios profiles & clearing cmos won't remove them.

I only wanted to know if it were a waste to throw money on a DS4. It seems not.

akhilles said:
3. Should be. DS3L is def. yes. I o/c'ed the ds3l with allendales with 4 ocz sticks. If you're looking for the best overclocking board, which has the fewest limits, look at X38. It's the best overclocker out now. X48 supports only DDR3.

I have to look hard to find a good priced X38 board as almost all of them are at least double the price of a DS3.

akhilles said:
4. Yes, but I'd get something better like Scythe Ninja/Infinity, Typhoon, Tuniq, Noutua (why on earth europeans would pass it up is beyond me), Thermalright E 120 U.

Freezer 7 is about 25$ in Sweden and Ninja/Infinity is about 2.5 times the money. Typhoon, Tuniq and Ultra extreme cost almost 4 times that money. Noutua well I can't even find a store that sells that.
looking at this review: link!
And I'm on a budget. Freezer pro seems a like a good mid tier cooler. Of cause I also want opinions form people who have or are using it.

akhilles said:
5. Some will swear by it, but I have 8800gt & I'm not going to lie. On 1440x900, there's an occasional stutter in moving games like driving/flight sims. In RTS, boards, etc. it's not noticeable since the background is not moving continuously. You might have to lower the in-game video settings at the native resolution of 24". IMO, 8800GTS 512 minimum for 24".

ah ok... I just have to live with that I guess as I don't really don't want to spend too much on this PC. Maybe I'll get the X38 board so I can X-fire in a year or so.
March 13, 2008 1:03:33 PM

FYI, Xeon E3110 is the same as E8400. Don't ask me. Search for the specs at intel.com. BTW, the e3110 is cheaper.
March 13, 2008 1:09:16 PM

thanks for the advice but unfortunate the E3110 isn't in stock here either. And they cost about the same here as well.
!