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advice/recommendations on new gaming pc

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April 20, 2008 11:27:45 PM

Hi guys,

I've been a reader for some time, but just registered to post. I'm looking to build a new PC in anticipation of Age of Conan coming out and future games like Fallout 3. My goal is to be able to run all these games at 1680x1050 on high to max settings.

I've always been an AMD user but have been looking at Intels products lately, so i'm not biased either way and i'm definitely interested in overclocking to be able to get the most out of the system. I'm also leaning toward dual-core for gaming, due to higher clock speed potential. I also prefer a single graphic card solution, and just upgrade as cards make big leaps.

Budget is in the $1200-1700~ range

What i have to recycle:
20 inch LCD widescreen
G5 mouse
Optical Drive
2 300GB Seagate Sata Drives
X-Fi Platinum Series Fatality Edition Sound Card
Windows Vista Enterprise

-------
*Case*
I like the Antec 900 case, going to pick that up from buy.com soon i think, doesn't seem to be getting any cheaper.

As a starting point, i've been looking at this motherboard/cpu as a possibility:
GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache

I'd really appreciate your thoughts and recommendations, particularly on:MB/CPU/Cpu cooler,RAM(would like 4 gigs),Power Supply,Graphics Card(Probably something in the 200-350$ range and just upgrade in a year or so) and anything else i may have overlooked.

Thanks for your time, the feedback is appreciated.

Milligan
April 21, 2008 11:48:47 AM

Even though I bow down to Imperial Intel, I can recommend AMD for the best bang of the buck. The thing is there are more Intel users around here, so all you're gonna get is go Intel.

The E8400 is the king of gaming cpus price & performance-wise. You can use the stock cooler if you're not overclocking. If you like quietness, pick up a Freezer 7 Pro.

The DS3L is a good budget board. You might want to consider a fancier board like DS3R/DS4 if you need RAID or longevity.

Think about getting 2x2GB or 1x4GB DDR2 800MHZ RAM as it's at rock bottom prices.

GPU & PSU are kinda related. Once you decide on a gpu, you can get a psu for this. Go through the benchmarks of a resolution similar to your target. You want 30-60 fps on average for smooth gameplay.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/desktop-vga-charts/b...
April 21, 2008 1:25:36 PM

Thanks for replying akhilles.

The DS3R board sounds good, did notice the ds3l didnt have raid. For GPU i'm liking the 9800 GTX, price is reasonable and has the level of performance i'm looking for. Can you recommend a quality PSU, and RAM for that particular motherboard?

Thanks
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April 21, 2008 5:57:21 PM

Depending on where you live and how you're taxed, you might get the 900 cheaper from Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000I5JHB0?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DE

PSU's... any of the following will work well with the 9800GTX and still leave room for future upgrades:
PC P&C Silencer 610W (ideal if budget allows)
Corsair 550VX (also great if you want to save some money)
Corsair 620HX (if you want modular)

I like G.skill ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
April 21, 2008 7:08:18 PM

Good choices Oushi. For power supplies I have a PC P&C Silencer 610W and 750W and also a Corsair 650TX in my 3 machines and all have worked well. I usually go with crucial ballistix memory, but right now that G.Skill is pretty cheap and seems like a decent option.
April 21, 2008 7:43:31 PM

The 900 is a good choice for a case. I'm partial to the P182, but I like quiet and understated.

Intel will give you the best OC potential, and best performance all around. AMD is better for budget conscious, but your $1200 gives you more than enough room to go big. Because you are recycling your HDDs, your budget flexibility elsewhere increases.

Case: Antec 900 - $100
PSU: PC P&C Silencer 610 - $110
Motherboard: Asus P5E (X38 Chipset) - $225
Processor: E8400 - $210
HSF: Xigmatek HDT-S1283 - $37
RAM: Corsair XMS2 CL 4 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 800 - $145 - $40 MIR
Video Card: MSI 8800GTS 512MB - $225 - $30 MIR
Total: $1052 - $70 MIR

All prices are Newegg, to give a baseline. Shop around and you can find better deals. Also, Newegg (along with other sites) have combo deals. Currently, the Asus P5E has a number of deals with PSUs and other components. Using those can reduce your overall price (but requires that you move more quickly to buy).

Going with a bigger video card just doesn't give you the performance to justify the price increase. The 8800GTS 512 (must be the 512, not the 640) is just about the best deal you can get right now.
April 22, 2008 11:48:00 AM

^^^ Perfect! Not only will it last a while, but also can overclock like a monster.
April 29, 2008 4:25:54 AM

Picked and chose from each of your recommendations, just got done building it and currently installing stuff, ended up with:
Antec 900
PC P&C Silencer 610
Gigabyte DS3R
E8400
Freezer 7 Pro
4 gigs Gskill
MSI 8800 GTS
Xfi sound card

So far so good, powered up on the first try and running very nicely.

Thanks guys;)
April 29, 2008 11:12:57 AM

If it ain't broken, OVERCLOCK it! ;) 

Enjoy.
April 29, 2008 12:28:01 PM

I'm building a Similar machine right now. Ordered all the parts. They're set to deliver MoBo and Processor Today. I went with the Asus Rampage Mobo. Little Pricey, but I've built my last 3 PC's on Asus, and the Rampage is a thing of beauty.

I would suggest upgrading the PSU. I was going to go with the 610w pcp&C, but it doesn't have 6+2 Connector for newer GFX cards. Go with the 750w, to help future proof it.
April 30, 2008 11:30:16 AM

Rampage Formula rivals most of the new X48 boards in terms of overclockability. I'd pick it up if I had the money in a heart beat.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think a new gpu comes with a molex-to-pci-e power adapter.
!