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Advice on Some New Computer Parts

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April 19, 2008 10:07:23 PM

Greetings all,

I've been out of the computer building loop for almost 3 years now. However my once great system appears to need a bit of an upgrade, and thanks to Uncle Sam I have a bit of money to blow. With that in mind, I have been searching newegg and reading reviews on parts to try and make a few upgrade choices. For the most part, I am looking for a complete system revamp for 700 dollars and under. I have a 10k RPM SATA Hard Drive Ill be transferring over, as well as a DVD Burner, LAN Card, Sound Blaster Audigy 4 card. The following is a selection of parts I've found, but a few questions about them.

First and foremost, a friend has given me quite a deal on the following parts

4 X Gigabyte of http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... RAM
1 X http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Video Card

These pieces are free of charge, and thus are not part of my 700 dollar configuration. After some searching, I have found the following parts I am interested in

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Cheap Flashy Case With Good Cooling
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Strong CPU Heatsink/Fan
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Good Thermal Coolant Just in Case

However the rest is where it gets tricky.

Looking at reviews, most people would agree that even though I've been an AMD Processor Fanboy for years, it appears as though as of late Intel has been beating them on performance. However pricing wise, it seems as though AMD has a better deal. Looking, I found a combo deal of

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... The 9850 Phenom 2.5 GHZ combined with a
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 950 W PSU for only 360 bucks. As I search I cannot find a combination of Power Supply Unit and INtel Quad Core chip that would match that, and with the motherboard it begins to get dangerously close to my 700 dollar spending limit. AS such, unless any of you wise gentlemen know of a way to acquire an Intel Quad Core Chip/PSU/Motherboard for cheaper then the following combination, I am forced to stick with that. Which leads me to my difficult decision of motherboards. Apparently I am out of the loop, and have had difficulty finding a good motherboard for this set up. Finding

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Had many people's recommendations, however a possibility of compatibility issues with Windows 64 Bit Vista, which I plan to be using. There is also

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

However both motherboards are apparently made for ATI Video cards ,and although my Geforce 8800 GTX would work, it appears as though SLI would be impossible. Not that I am planning such an investment, but it would be nice to have the option available. These were the only 2 motherboards I could find that were recommended for use with the 9850 Phenom, both of which appear to be ATI based and not as supportive of Nvidia based cards. With all of those (and WIndows 64 Bit Vista in mind) I ask what recommendations you may have to possible motherboard choices, or other combinations of PSU/Processor/Motherboard Combos. Any information would be most appreciated!

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April 20, 2008 1:36:55 AM

Greetings,

Thank you much for the advice! I had two more questions if you have a moment. One would be, will it be able to run with only 750 W of power? Could I do even less, like 650 W? Its difficult to gauge how much power I need, as I am not familiar with the power needs of newer systems. However the processor looks to be exactly what I need.

Also that list of motherboards, though some have 2 PCI Express x 16 slots, I dont see any with true SLI support (or that come with a SLI bridge) . NOt that I plan to, just looking for a motherboard that has the ability to expand. Does it matter if it doesn't come with a bridge/mention SLI support? Or can I just pop 2 cards in, buy my own SLI bridge and go? Thanks much for your input!
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April 20, 2008 1:45:23 AM

Telsiph said:
Greetings,

Thank you much for the advice! I had two more questions if you have a moment. One would be, will it be able to run with only 750 W of power? Could I do even less, like 650 W? Its difficult to gauge how much power I need, as I am not familiar with the power needs of newer systems. However the processor looks to be exactly what I need.

Also that list of motherboards, though some have 2 PCI Express x 16 slots, I dont see any with true SLI support (or that come with a SLI bridge) . NOt that I plan to, just looking for a motherboard that has the ability to expand. Does it matter if it doesn't come with a bridge/mention SLI support? Or can I just pop 2 cards in, buy my own SLI bridge and go? Thanks much for your input!



Only 750watts? A 750w psu with average 12v ratings should be more than enough. 650w should be fine too.

Sli won't work on those boards. You need boards with Nvidia chipsets for that. Unforunately they cost more for inferior performance.
April 20, 2008 2:57:26 PM

Greetings,

Fantastic! I am much more clear on PSU purchasing now and should be able to make a good choice. I do however have one final question, which is more of a personal preference from you professionals. Is SLI/Crossfire even worth it? It seems as though it's an awful lot of money, double the video card, increased motherboard, for only on average, small FPS increase. It seems as though, performance wise, I'd almost be better off going with those motherboards listed, with the video card listed, and in the future just getting a strong video card (solo) rather then buying a second older video card (with the possibility of the original one dieing due to age, and then being out quite a bit of money).

I've always gone with single video cards, and at the moment only have reviews and ratings to go on. Although yes, there does appear to be a performance increase, the amount of money needed for it just doesn't seem justified for someone who isn't looking to trade body parts for computer upgrades! Thanks very much for your input, it's appreciated!
April 20, 2008 3:21:16 PM

Telsiph said:
Greetings,

Fantastic! I am much more clear on PSU purchasing now and should be able to make a good choice. I do however have one final question, which is more of a personal preference from you professionals. Is SLI/Crossfire even worth it? It seems as though it's an awful lot of money, double the video card, increased motherboard, for only on average, small FPS increase. It seems as though, performance wise, I'd almost be better off going with those motherboards listed, with the video card listed, and in the future just getting a strong video card (solo) rather then buying a second older video card (with the possibility of the original one dieing due to age, and then being out quite a bit of money).

I've always gone with single video cards, and at the moment only have reviews and ratings to go on. Although yes, there does appear to be a performance increase, the amount of money needed for it just doesn't seem justified for someone who isn't looking to trade body parts for computer upgrades! Thanks very much for your input, it's appreciated!

If by "worth it" you meant best bang for the buck, then no. Graphics technology moves way too fast for that. Sli/Crossfire are for people who want the absolute best.
April 20, 2008 7:11:12 PM

Telsiph said:
It seems as though, performance wise, I'd almost be better off going with those motherboards listed, with the video card listed, and in the future just getting a strong video card (solo) rather then buying a second older video card.

I think you answered your own question. ;) 
!