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Any technology worth waiting for before upgrading?

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March 11, 2008 9:55:12 PM

My motherboard, cpu, ram and hardrive are all dated (see below for specs) also but I was planning on holding out another year or two. But I now suspect my harddrive is on it's last legs. So I need to replace it asap. Since I'm going to eb buying a hard drive anyway I'm deliberating whether to just bite the bullet and upgrade all my components anyway. I was wondering though is there any new technology that is due to be released within the next year that might make such a difference that I should hold off.


My Current Dated System
Motherboard : Asus P4C800-E deluxe
cpu: Pentium 4
Hard drive 120 Gb Maxtor Diamondmax
March 11, 2008 10:55:09 PM

Well, Intel is coming out with Nehalem late this year or early next. It will be a whole new platform, but will almost certainly be quite expensive on first release. Nothing wrong with investing into the current (LGA775) Intel platform, IMO. The only big thing I'm waiting on right now is the next generation of graphics cards. This will (hopefully) be an interesting summer for the graphics card industry with new releases from NVidia and ATI, as well as the return of Intel to the discrete graphics arena.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
a b à CPUs
March 11, 2008 11:56:46 PM

^ Agreed.
Related resources
March 11, 2008 11:59:08 PM

Yeah, Nehalem will be the next 'huge' thing, although it won't make sense for the majority until sometimes next year due to price/availability. Also, I'd probably wait until the 2nd generation of motherboards are out for it also since it's an entirely new chipset.

I'd go ahead and buy now or in the near future. nVidia is releasing a new powerhouse graphics card by the end of this month, and ATI is rumoured to have an even better one on the way for May-June.

Looks like you build your machines for the long haul so I'd suggest a system built around an X38 motherboard with a Q6600 or Q9300/Q9450 (due out soon) and overclock them to around 3Ghz (pretty easy). Because more programs/games over the next year or two will use all four cores, a quad will last you longer.

I'd then get an ATI graphic's card (like the 3870x2 or 4870x2 or whatever they're going to call it) knowing that a second card can be added down the road for less money to give a solid Crossfire setup.
March 12, 2008 12:03:06 AM

the 'not brand new' anything is always a great deal, and an upgrade from what you have, so a budget style upgrade should do excellent.

The Motherboard market is flooded with feature rich boards, so find what you like.
March 12, 2008 12:28:15 AM

I'd wait for hybrid crossfire or hybrid SLI chipsets. Best of both worlds.
Its practically like free extra graphics power.
March 12, 2008 1:12:04 AM

For amd wait for nvidia nforce 7xx boards or for more ati boards with sb7XX
March 12, 2008 8:42:15 AM

Cheers for the advice. I think I am just going to go ahead and upgrade now. Does it make much of a difference if I get a DDR2 or DDR3 motherboard?
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
a b à CPUs
March 12, 2008 9:35:38 AM

Don't know your budget, but I have detailed a $1k build below. You can change any of the parts, but this is a good solid build for $1k. Some of the prices have changed in the last few days, so be warned, but all in all it's close to those prices.

Okay here it goes. This will give you plenty of power for now and give you good GPU power for the $.

CPU - $250
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Quad-Core Processor 2.4GHz, 1066FSB, LGA775, 8MB cache Retail ***Free Shipping***
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Prod [...] Code=80864

Mobo - $98 - $30 MIR = $68!! One of the best budget p35 mobo's out there.
ABIT IP35-E LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813127031

GPU - $277 - $30 MIR = $307!! You can upgrade within 90 days using the "Step Up" program, if you want to get the latest GPU. Limited Lifetime Warranty!
EVGA 512-P3-N841-AR GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814130325

PSU - $120 - $20 MIR = $100!!! One of the best PSU's you can get in this price range. Has plenty of connections for your upgrade needs! Has 5 yr. warranty too!
CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX ATX12V / EPS12V 650W Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CE, CB, TUV, FCC, CCC - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817139005

Memory - $107 - $15 MIR = $92!! Cheap and fast CAS 4 DDR2. Allows you to upgrade to 8gb's later, if you like.
Patriot Viper 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820220293

HD - $100!! You'll enjoy the extra space. If you need more, just buy more now or just buy another HD later.
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136073

DVD Burner - $29 shipped!! This is the retail version, so you can view/burn DVD's, because the software is included!
PHILIPS 2-Tone 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 20X DVD±R DVD Burner - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827248008

Case - $57 shipped! One of the better budget cases out there. Currently there aren't any really good steals, so this is what I found. I'd go for a Antec 900 or Cooler Master 690 case, if they were on sale. They usually are around $60-70 when they are on sale, so consider those when they hit the sales rack!
COOLER MASTER CAC-T05-UB Centurion 5 Mid Tower Case (Blue) Retail
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Prod [...] ode=141783

Total ~$1,023 - $95 MIR's = $928!!! Not bad for under $1k. You can obviously find better deals if you go hunting for them, but these are from reputable online vendors, so take that into consideration. Newegg seems to have the best customer service, but doesn't always have a good price on things, so shop around before you purchase.
March 12, 2008 11:37:30 AM

lunyone said:
Don't know your budget, but I have detailed a $1k build below.

Wow thanks a lot for doing up this spec. Very much appreciated :D 

Unfortunately since I live over the other side of the pond. I can't avail of the much lower US prices :(  .

Here's a spec I've come up with, it's fairly high end (I think! - I'm out of touch with what's high end ;)  ).

Potential system: (Prices taken from Overclockers.co.uk. The price I pay won't be quite the same, as I live in Central Portugal and normally use a local shop whom I have a good relationship with so I will be paying in euros. Additionally It's likely that some of these components will be unavailable to me.)

Motherboard: Asus Maximus Extreme Intel X38 (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard £199.74 (approx $403, €260)
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Pro Q6600 2.40GHz Guaranteed to run at 3.00GHZ (1333FSB) – Retail £170.36 ($344, €222)
RAM: OCZ 2GB DDR3 PC3-14400C8 1800MHz Platinum (2x1GB) Dual Channel DDR3 (OCZ3P18002GK) £281.99 ($567, €368)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Raptor X 150GB 10000RPM SATA 16MB Cache – OEM £133.94 ($270, €175)
Graphics Card: Asus GeForce 9600 GT 512MB GDDR3 TV-Out/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) – Retail £123.36($249, €161)
PSU: Coolermaster Real Power 1000w Modular Power Supply
£152.74 ($308, €199)

Total cost £1062.63, $2142.70, €1385.73

Comments please?

Additional questions

I can use plenty of parts from my existing PC.
I already have 2 very good monitors and don't need another one, I've got a decent chassis in the Thermal Take Tsunami Dream, Also i have a Cd/DVD combo RW etc etc.
Taking that into account would there by any point in ordering a built PC?

I already have a Zalman CNPS7500-CU LED CPU cooler. Will this be sufficient?

I noted that most of the motherboards I looked at still support Pentium 4. Is there any point in sticking with my current Pentium 4 processor, or would this be ridiculous considering the other upgrades that I’m doing?

Not sure what PSU I should get. I was thinking I should probably get at least an 850 watt supply to be safe?

Is there any way for a recently purchased AGP card (AH2600PRO) can work with one of the latest motherboards?
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
a b à CPUs
March 12, 2008 12:23:26 PM

Well first off I would drop the DDR3 memory and mobo. They are waaaay too expensive for any returns that you'd get on them. I'd stick with a good p35 mobo like I have linked above. Even a Gigabyte DS3L or DS3R would be good. Abit IP35 or even Asus P5k series would be good also. With the savings from the mobo and DDR3 you could upgrade your GPU to at least a 8800gts 512mb (g92), which is around $300 over on this side of the pond. That CM 1000w PSU is waaay overkill too. I'd go with the one I listed or even an Antec 550w NeoHE, PCP&C 610w Silencer, Corsair hx 520w, just to name a few good ones. Not sure what options you have, but those are pretty reputable ones and are solid too. I'd also drop the Raptor and just get a good 500gb or 750gb 7200.10 or 7200.11 Segate HD. Even the WD HD's are good too at that size. You'll have loads of space and you'll probably not notice much difference over the Raptor drive.
March 12, 2008 12:34:18 PM

I think it would help if you let us know what you'll be doing mostly with the computer. Maybe it's just me, but I'm thinking some of those components are a bit over the top for most.

If you're questioning still using a P4 processor, you might not need all the capabilities of an Asus Maximus Extreme motherboard. It utilizes water cooling, which I don't think you'd want to mess with. For $120 less you can get a P5E, and for about $200 less you can get the board I have, the P5K-E/WIFI-AP. They all support the same CPUs, the same GPUs (even if they are 2.0 standard), but the two I listed support DDR2, which is much, much less.

The processor is a great choice if you need a quad, but that's the question.....do you really need a quad core? And if you do, might be worth waiting a few weeks till the new (better) quads come out. If you can live with a dual core I'd recommend one of the new E8xxx series. I'd say roughly 6-10x faster than any P4 ever was.

If you choose one of the boards I listed, you only need to get DDR2. I know you live outside of the states, but I've found 2 GBs of Corsair DDR2 here with 4-4-4-12 timings for $34 with free shipping. That's $530 less than the RAM you listed.

The hard drive is overpriced and seriously lacks storage space. What I did was buy 2 7,200 RMP HDs, and RAID them together. I get about the same speed, much more space, and less out of pocket expense.

Good GPU you listed, but look at XFX or EVGA that might be priced better.

You won't need anywhere near that amount of power either. A decent 500W PSU will be more than enough for about a third of the price you listed.

What I'm saying is that you can easily build a rig that's 90% of the one you listed for roughly a third of the price.
March 12, 2008 1:14:12 PM

Thanks very much again for the very helpful replies. :D 

Very good points made.

I'll try to address them now....

What I will be using my Pc for?

  • [I'm a full-time online poker player. Basically I need reliable equipment. Fast boot-up times, fast processing etc. In general speed is important to me. Time is Money might be an apt phrase if a bit mercenary ;) 
  • I'm not a gamer. High End graphics card is not hugely important to me. Though I don't rule out that I might end up doing some gaming.
  • I'm an ex-programmer. I still dabble with some programming stuff. Basically I am a semi-knowledgeable computer user, compared to the layman I know a lot ;)  , compared to the whizzes on here I know nothing :(  . I like dabbling in stuff. I will have many apps on my pc. I also will be working on developing a couple of websites. Not sure what bearing this has on my pc spec, but mentioning it in case it's relevant.
  • Storage Capacity: On my current Pc I'm just using 60 GB of the hard drive at present. That's why I thought the 150 GB Raptor might be sufficient. Speed wise I thought it sounded good. In regards to future apps and if I ever get more into downloading or working with images I might need a lot more capacity. So the Raptor was something that I was dubious about but the speed factor was swaying me. Maybe the suggestion of going for a Seagate 500/750 GB would make a lot more sense, am I going to lose out much speed wise with these versus a Raptor?
    March 12, 2008 2:58:30 PM

    I've taken your poitns on board and done out a spec for a cheaper but still quality system, over 35% reduction. Not quite the 1/3 the cost though ;)  .

    Anyway here it is

    Medium spec Potential system:

    Motherboard: Abit IP35-E (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard £64.61
    Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Pro Q6600 2.40GHz Guaranteed to run at 3.00GHZ (1333FSB) – Retail £170.36
    RAM: Corsair 4GB DDR2 XMS2 Dominator PC2-8500C5 TwinX (2x2GB) Supplied with Airflow Fan (TWIN2X4096-8500C5DF) £117.49
    Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 750GB SATA-II 32MB Cache - OEM (ST3750330AS) £102.21
    Graphics Card: EVGA GeForce 9600 GT SSC 512MB GDDR3 TV-Out/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail (E867-AR) – £146.86
    PSU: Corsair TX 650W ATX2.2 SLi Compliant PSU £76.36

    Total cost : £677.89 ($1351.44, €871.98)

    Any comments?

    Note: I didn't change the processor to a dual core as the savings gained didn't look significant to me.
    March 12, 2008 4:01:10 PM

    luckylucky said:
    Thanks very much again for the very helpful replies. :D 

    Very good points made.

    I'll try to address them now....

    What I will be using my Pc for?

  • [I'm a full-time online poker player. Basically I need reliable equipment. Fast boot-up times, fast processing etc. In general speed is important to me. Time is Money might be an apt phrase if a bit mercenary ;) 
    [*?

  • You don't need a super high end system for that but you need to look at haveing a good ISP or 2 for that.
    DSL is better then cable also power backup for your network and your system is good to have as well.
    March 12, 2008 4:53:02 PM

    For your use I would say a 780 motherboard (on-board graphics aren't bad at all, and you can upgrade when you want to start any 3D gaming) coupled with an AMD 5000+ BE processor. That's just my opinion. Instead on spending top-dollar right now, you'd be buying a very capable (and cost-effective) computer and be able to upgrade to a new system sooner. (i.e. $1200 on a high-end gaming rig now that will be 'obsolete' in ~4-5 years, or $600-800 on a solid build now and upgrade in 3 years).

    Build a computer for your needs NOW, and upgrade as your needs change. Otherwise, by the time you want to start gaming on your computer that card (that you spent ~$300 on now) may not be powerful enough for the games you wanna play.

    IMOH, a quad-core w/ X38 mb is massive overkill, like driving a stretch limo H1 hummer alone to work everyday, whereas a Prius can do the job for much less [gas and initial cost]. That's a bad example, though, because you can't upgrade a Prius to the capabilities of a Hummer, in a computer you can [upgrade a web/word computer to a high-end gaming rig (almost)].
    March 12, 2008 4:53:12 PM

    I do not agree the DSL is better than cable. I have comcast cable and was paying for 8Megs/Two months ago they boosted my connection up to 16Megs for the same price. I now have 29megs download and 3 megs upload for $50 a month.
    March 12, 2008 4:53:49 PM

    I just upgraded to a Q6600, a quad core for 254.99 was too good to pass up. I usually upgrade about every 12 months but I think I can get 18-24 months pretty easily out of the Quad. Someone who's not as picky could probably get about 3-4 years out of it. This is a great time to upgrade because of the release of DDR3 has made some high quality DDR2 memory available for a very cheap price. I bought 2x1GB Corsair 6400C4 last year for $279.00 now it about $34.00 after rebate.
    The system you put together looks pretty good, I think all the components are solid. If it were me I might throw another 30.00-40.00 into it and get the 8800GT 512mb. If your at your limit the 9600 is a good choice as well. If you don't need tons of storage, the Raptors are great and worth the money.
    March 12, 2008 5:03:50 PM

    Try this:

    MB: Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H AMD 780G Micro-ATX (Socket AM2) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard - 55#
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB...
    CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 5000+ Black Edition 2.60GHz (Socket AM2) - Retail - 56#
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CP...
    MEM: Corsair 4GB DDR2 XMS2 PC2-6400C5 TwinX (2x2GB) - 65#
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY...
    CPU Cooler: OCZ Vendetta CPU Cooler (Socket 754/939/940/AM2/LGA775) - 16#
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HS...
    HDD: Western Digital Caviar SE16 320GB SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM (WD3200AAKS) - 45#
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD...
    PSU: Antec EarthWatts 500W PSU - 47#
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA...

    Total - 284 GBP (no idea in USD, and too lazy to google the conversion)

    I think that's a good starting point. There's no need to overthink/overbuild your new computer based on your usage.
    March 12, 2008 5:15:23 PM

    luckylucky said:
    I already have a Zalman CNPS7500-CU LED CPU cooler. Will this be sufficient?

    For a Q6600 at 3.0ghz, probably not.
    luckylucky said:
    I noted that most of the motherboards I looked at still support Pentium 4. Is there any point in sticking with my current Pentium 4 processor, or would this be ridiculous considering the other upgrades that I’m doing?

    No, the P4 you have is socket 478, not 775. It is not compatible with any of the new motherboards.
    luckylucky said:
    Is there any way for a recently purchased AGP card (AH2600PRO) can work with one of the latest motherboards?

    No, all modern motherboards have PCIe 16x slots, not AGP. It is also incompatible with anything new (aside from sub-par ASRock boards, which you wouldn't want).

    Edit: Sorry for the double post, I overlooked these questions earlier.
    March 12, 2008 5:38:03 PM

    Once again thanks a lot for the help and advice :D  .

    Joe_The_Dragon said:
    you need to look at haveing a good ISP or 2 for that.
    DSL is better then cable also power backup for your network and your system is good to have as well.

    I am satisfied enough with my ISP, Sapo(Main ISP in Portugal), just as well as I think the other providers here don't cover this part of Portugal yet. I have an ADSL connection and I'm getting 6.1 mb/s which is the fastest I've ever had, so happy with that :)  . I thoroughly agree that a 2nd internet connection is important for online poker. I was actually using a friend's 3G connection as back-up, he had pre-paid and wasn't using it, so i was paying him half the costs. I have to get my own one now though. Power backup is also vital, I was using a Belkin F6H500, but it wasn't up to the job tbh. We get frequent brown outs here and it couldn't cope with them. Instead I bought an APC rs-1500Va. That was far more expensive but it has been truly excellent and it has actually saved me a lot of money.

    KyleSTL said:
    Instead on spending top-dollar right now, you'd be buying a very capable (and cost-effective) computer and be able to upgrade to a new system sooner. (i.e. $1200 on a high-end gaming rig now that will be 'obsolete' in ~4-5 years, or $600-800 on a solid build now and upgrade in 3 years).

    Build a computer for your needs NOW, and upgrade as your needs change. Otherwise, by the time you want to start gaming on your computer that card (that you spent ~$300 on now) may not be powerful enough for the games you wanna play.

    IMOH, a quad-core w/ X38 mb is massive overkill, like driving a stretch limo H1 hummer alone to work everyday, whereas a Prius can do the job for much less [gas and initial cost]. That's a bad example, though, because you can't upgrade a Prius to the capabilities of a Hummer, in a computer you can [upgrade a web/word computer to a high-end gaming rig (almost)].


    I hear what you are saying. however while I am not looking to be over extravagant, I'm not on a strict budget either, basically a few hundred dollars here and there isn't really an issue for me. I'm sort of straining at the bit to buy top gear, basically just out of curiousity to see what it can do ;)  , especially as my own system is so dated now

    cisco said:
    The system you put together looks pretty good, I think all the components are solid. If it were me I might throw another 30.00-40.00 into it and get the 8800GT 512mb. If your at your limit the 9600 is a good choice as well. If you don't need tons of storage, the Raptors are great and worth the money.


    I might get the 8800 GT 512 mb then. So you reckon I should go ahead and get the Raptor then, I certainly don't need the storage at the minute. I guess I could always buy a 2nd hard drive at a later date if I did.

    One more thing. I'm wondering about my mindset in regards to upgrading. I suppose in the past I didn't have the cash to upgrade ever year or 2, but now that I have a bit more of the green backs(Is that what you call them stateside ;)  ?) maybe I should be looking to upgrade more often, it seems to be what most people on here do
    March 12, 2008 6:01:15 PM

    KyleSTL said:
    Try this:

    Total - 284 GBP (no idea in USD, and too lazy to google the conversion)

    I think that's a good starting point. There's no need to overthink/overbuild your new computer based on your usage.
    That looks like an excellent bargain system. I worked the price out at £332.82, I was including VAT(Sales Tax) though. As I did for the other 2 specs ;) 
    KyleSTL said:
    For a Q6600 at 3.0ghz, probably not.
    Just checked the box and the highest spec mentioned is Dual Core so I guess this could be another good reason to just settle for a dual core.

    KyleSTL said:
    No, the P4 you have is socket 478, not 775. It is not compatible with any of the new motherboards.
    Ah of course, thanks for pointing this out.

    KyleSTL said:
    No, all modern motherboards have PCIe 16x slots, not AGP. It is also incompatible with anything new (aside from sub-par ASRock boards, which you wouldn't want).
    Thought that was a bit of a longshot alright ;) 

    Oh one other obvious question I forgot to ask, should I stick with XP Pro or move to Vista?
    March 12, 2008 6:07:39 PM

    Once the Q6600 and a couple other core parts drop a little more in price, the $1k mark will be the sweetspot I'll go for every time (I've already got a high-end system).

    Can't wait for Nehalem..
    a b B Homebuilt system
    a c 138 V Motherboard
    a c 124 à CPUs
    March 12, 2008 6:29:23 PM

    I have both cable (Comcast) and DSL (Frontier) connections; the latter is a backup to the former, which has intermittent problems. When it is working, which is most of the time, the cable blows DSL out of the water.
    Belkin is on my personal black list for making crap. I'm not surprised that an APC UPS was superior, nevermind that you got a bigger one. I've always had good results with APC, and have three now.
    March 12, 2008 9:00:15 PM

    Please consider the fact that a computer with a quad core Intel processor and an 8800 GTS 512 will suck down close to 200W idle (reference: http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/1234/16/page_16_power... ). Seeing as you sound like you have no intention of gaming in the near future, this would be an obsolute waste of energy. A AMD based setup using the IGP idles at ~50W (reference: http://www.techreport.com/articles.x/14261/13 ). That's a difference of 3.6kWh every 24 hours the computer is on (regardless of load, which yours will be very light). A 24/7/365 computer would use 1,314kWh/year more. In America, where electricity is ~$0.10/kWh that would be an electric bill $131 higher for going with the quad core/GTS setup over a more reasonable (in this author's humble opinion) setup.

    To me you're adopting the American "more is better" mentality (which I absolutely hate). Please consider what I've stated and take it to heart, not only in cost savings but also doing the right thing as far as energy usage goes.

    I'm sorry if this sounds like a personal attack, it is not. I just needed to step up on my soapbox for a bit.

    *steps down*

    I think an unlocked multiplier (on the $100 AMD 5000+ BE) and an overclockable IGP (the AMD 780 chipset) is just as much fun (to tinker with) as a superpowered gaming rig.
    March 12, 2008 10:56:09 PM

    KyleSTL said:
    Please consider the fact that a computer with a quad core Intel processor and an 8800 GTS 512 will suck down close to 200W idle (reference: http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/1234/16/page_16_power... ).

    To me you're adopting the American "more is better" mentality (which I absolutely hate). Please consider what I've stated and take it to heart, not only in cost savings but also doing the right thing as far as energy usage goes.

    I'm sorry if this sounds like a personal attack, it is not. I just needed to step up on my soapbox for a bit.

    *steps down*


    No problemo, I hear yeah. Fair play for putting an argument for something you feel strongly about in the correct manner, I have no problem with criticism if it's done like this. Also I'm all for not wasting energy too if it's unnecessary so your agrument has hit home.

    ok I have been thinking the logic of this through a bit more. I will go with something more along the lines of your spec then. I can always update with new gear in 18 months time for the same price to something superior to the spec I made out I guess. I'll bring that revised spec down to my computer store then tomorrow.

    Again thanks for your advice and opinions. Very worthwhile. :) 
    March 13, 2008 12:41:14 AM

    Thanks, I'm glad I've helped. I would suggest a E2180 + G33 setup or 5000+ BE + AMD 780 combo for the core components, and a good heatsink (like an OCZ, Scythe, Thermalright or Xigmatek). Let me know if you need any more help, I'd be glad to assist.
    March 13, 2008 7:02:28 AM

    KyleSTL said:
    and a good heatsink (like an OCZ, Scythe, Thermalright or Xigmatek). Let me know if you need any more help, I'd be glad to assist.
    Is my existing Zalman heatsink not good enough? I only bought it about 6 months ago and I thought it was meant to be a decent heatsink.

    Edit: One very important consideration that I almost forgot. I have two monitors. One of them is a 30"Dell 3007, that can support up to 2560x1600 resolution with the correct graphics card/adapter. will the onboard graphics support this in the motherboard you mentioned?

    And stick with Xp Pro or move to Vista?

    btw Any ideas what to do with my old system, would it be worthwhile to buy a new harddrive for that and have it as a backup?
    March 13, 2008 11:53:33 AM

    I've done a bit more checking on the motherboard. It does seem like a great value board. :)  A pretty good article on it here http://www.hothardware.com/printarticle.aspx?articleid=...

    To make the most use of it, it looks like getting Vista would be a good idea. I see there is the ability to have 2 monitors connected which is good. I'm unclear whether it can support 2560x1600 resolution however. I think it can as it's described as DVI-D on the gigabyte site, although it's described as DVI interface with HDCP on two online retailers sites. I guess if it doesn't work I will have to go ahead and buy an additional graphics card.
    March 13, 2008 2:11:48 PM

    luckylucky said:
    Is my existing Zalman heatsink not good enough? I only bought it about 6 months ago and I thought it was meant to be a decent heatsink.

    At FrostyTech.com it appears the HSF you have didn't even out perform the Pentium D stock cooler at either 125W or 85W. (reference: http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=214... )
    luckylucky said:
    I have two monitors. One of them is a 30"Dell 3007, that can support up to 2560x1600 resolution with the correct graphics card/adapter. will the onboard graphics support this in the motherboard you mentioned?

    Not sure, you could try downloading the manual to see if it lists that resolution. I know for a fact that the motherboard currently supports dual monitors in DVI/VGA or HDMI/VGA modes, and does NOT support DVI/HMDI mode.
    luckylucky said:
    And stick with Xp Pro or move to Vista?

    I would say probably stick with XP unless you intend to use the media center included software that comes standard with Premium or Ultimate.
    luckylucky said:
    btw Any ideas what to do with my old system, would it be worthwhile to buy a new harddrive for that and have it as a backup?

    I'm all about backup computers, throw a new 80-250GB IDE drive in the thing and have it as a standby. My P4 is still powerful enough (barely) to do everything I need to do, that's why I haven't upgraded yet (and intend not to until sometime in 2009 to Nehelem, yes, I'm skipping the Socket 775 and DDR2 memory entirely)
    luckylucky said:
    To make the most use of it, it looks like getting Vista would be a good idea.

    That's all up to you. My dad and brother both run Vista, and they haven't had any major problems. They seem happy to have upgraded.
    luckylucky said:
    I see there is the ability to have 2 monitors connected which is good. I'm unclear whether it can support 2560x1600 resolution however. I think it can as it's described as DVI-D on the gigabyte site, although it's described as DVI interface with HDCP on two online retailers sites. I guess if it doesn't work I will have to go ahead and buy an additional graphics card.

    And if it doesn't work out, and you need a discrete graphics card I would go for any of these (no particular order):
    HD 3650
    HD 3850 (close to 8800GS/9600GT as far as gaming goes)

    Additionally with Hybrid CrossFire, you could save power when not it 3D mode by having the discrete card shutdown (although I haven't seen any reviews to that effect, and I'm not sure you'd be able to do it if the card is the only thing that supports the resolution at which you're running).
    March 13, 2008 4:53:24 PM

    Cheers for all the advice once again.
    KyleSTL said:
    At FrostyTech.com it appears the HSF you have didn't even out perform the Pentium D stock cooler at either 125W or 85W. (reference: http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=214... ).
    Bit surprised at that. I noticed a big difference when I installed this. Then again that Perhaps the fresh Artic silver 5 Thermal compound contributed to the big difference. Also maybe it works better on the older socket 478 like on my board.

    Anyway I think I'll just get a new pc and keep this heatsink in my current pc.
    March 13, 2008 5:38:53 PM

    I'm sure it is better than the stock P4 478 HSF (which is horrible, even compared to the sub-par PD cooler).
    March 13, 2008 5:53:29 PM

    jevon said:

    Looks like you build your machines for the long haul so I'd suggest a system built around an X38 motherboard with a Q6600 or Q9300/Q9450 (due out soon) and overclock them to around 3Ghz (pretty easy). Because more programs/games over the next year or two will use all four cores, a quad will last you longer.



    For sure. No one quite knows WFT the X48 is brining to the table yet other than more OC stability. It would be nice to see the X38 prices drop with the X48's coming around in the next couple of weeks. Intel did a nasty thing by holding off the new chipsets in order to sell more x38s. Naughty naughty.
    !