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looking for advice on this gaming build please

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April 21, 2008 1:09:32 AM

greetings people! in a week's time i will be looking to build a new PC as my current one practically came from the stone age (pentium 4, AGP interface, DDR etc.)

i'm looking to spend around $1100-1200 max on a machine that will be used primarily for high performance gaming (with slight overclocking) and that will last at least 2 years. heres a list of sample parts i've chosen to get things rolling

Case: Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS Black Aluminum http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: ASUS P5K-E/WIFI-AP LGA 775 Intel P35 http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHZ (this is the only item that will be overclocked, will take it to about 2.8-9 GHZ) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: PC Power & Cooling S610EPS EPS12V 610W http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Memory: CORSAIR XMS2 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E168...

GPU: EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX(G92) http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E168...

HDD: Western Digital Caviar SE WD3200AAJS 320GB http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E168...

any input on this is welcome as i have never dealt with more up market PC components. thanks :) 

(Edited to apply suggestions to components)

More about : advice gaming build

April 21, 2008 2:06:26 AM

i would sudgest changing the ram to a single stick. and did you just get the ram because it was on the main memory page on newegg? for less you can get the G.SKILL 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
April 21, 2008 2:16:50 AM

hehe i believe you are right :p . i think i chose it as its the cheapest one on the memory page with a 5 star rating. the components shown are purely a template anyway.

thanks for the advice though. i hadnt actually thought of using a single stick :) 
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April 21, 2008 3:22:59 AM

1. A single stick of RAM is a BAD IDEA. This motherboard runs dual channel memory and you don't want to run memory at half speed do you ?
I recommend getting a good 2x2GB Kit like this :
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. You should really get a new hard drive. That 80GB is probably 3-5 years old. Buy a WD6400AAKS. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. Skip the Ultra card. Get an 8800GTS/9800GTX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
April 21, 2008 3:33:31 AM

awesome, cheers mate. by dropping the Ultra for either of those 2 (the 9800 looks like the one for me), my budget would allow for an HDD upgrade and the RAM you suggested.

is the motherboard i chose a good choice? im not very familiar with MB brands
April 21, 2008 3:51:35 AM

I wouldn't pick ABIT. But there is nothing wrong with the board you picked.
They were great long ago but fell into darkness and despair of engeniring...

P35 is a great chipset.
Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3R or DS4 would be a good choice.
ASUS P5K E or Premium would also be a good choice.

X38 is also an option.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
The $207 model being my favourite choice.

EDIT: For overclocking you should get a better CPU cooler.
Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme & Scythe S-Flex SFF21F are a good choice.

Your budget is king.
April 21, 2008 4:14:26 AM

thanks for all the input guys :) . i have applied the recommendations to my original post, with some slight changes. a 640GB HDD is huge, and i am barely able to fill my 80 as it is :) . so changed that to a 320GB.
April 21, 2008 4:22:07 AM

I would use the newer yorkfield quad and also you could go with a lower power psu to save you I suppose 40-50 bucks. I think only 550 is what nvidia recommends ( I always forget), but either way they usually rate a decent bit higher than what's actually needed since they take into account that some people have more peripherals, less efficient psu, etc.
April 21, 2008 6:16:21 AM

I second the cooler (120 extreme) and the HDD (AAKS) but do not change the PSU as the one you chose is very good quality and will serve you well
April 21, 2008 10:17:32 AM

dakayus said:
I would use the newer yorkfield quad and also you could go with a lower power psu to save you I suppose 40-50 bucks. I think only 550 is what nvidia recommends ( I always forget), but either way they usually rate a decent bit higher than what's actually needed since they take into account that some people have more peripherals, less efficient psu, etc.


I wouldn't go cheap on the PSU. It's the most important component in a high performance PC.
I would however offer this as an alternative http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... choice ($20 less after MIR).

The 45nm quads are newer, consume less power, but they have less performance/dollar.
Q6600 : $240
Q9300 : $295 (25% more for less than 10% performance increase average)
Q9450 : $350 (50% more for maybe a 25% performance increase average) (without a heatsink and fan)

Q6600 with this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... overclocks to 3.33GHz for less.
45nm is not worth it yet IMO.
April 22, 2008 4:41:48 AM

hmm, i was just thinking. if i wanted to avoid having to overclock, as i have never done it properly before and could fry the whole thing, would it be better to invest in a faster CPU as stock? this for example http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

600mhz faster than the C2Q but is only 2 cores. is 4 cores really that much of an improvement, or would it be better to go with the 2 faster cores than 4 slower ones?
April 22, 2008 6:13:38 AM

Depends on what you plan to do with the machine. Quad cores are great for video encoding and general multitasking. It's also great for games like FSX or Supreme Commander which are quad optimized. Otherwise, a higher clocked C2D will work better for you.

If you do go for a duo, however, don't get the E6850. Get the E8400 instead for about the same price which has the same clock speed, more cache, and produces less heat due to the 45nm die.
April 22, 2008 7:40:36 AM

if you get a e8400 which is a 45 nm processor, make sure your mobo supports the new 45 nm technology. i dont think the p5k-e supports 45 nm processors. when building a system, its always good to do more research to ensure everything ebbs and flows.
April 22, 2008 7:57:18 AM

aeiouandxyz said:
i dont think the p5k-e supports 45 nm processors. when building a system, its always good to do more research to ensure everything ebbs and flows.

I agree it's good to check for compatibility issues, but the P5K-E does support it:
http://event.asus.com/mb/45nm/
April 22, 2008 3:52:47 PM

nice one , cheers guys. the PC will be used primarily for gaming, and ive heard that literally no games availible now can take advantage of 4 cores (SupCom and FSX being the exceptions).

saying that though, if i did get a dual core now, i could always upgrade to a quad core if the need arises in the future.
April 23, 2008 4:25:54 PM

For gaming go with a dualcore (E8400 is nice).
Q9450 will be around for quite a while.
April 23, 2008 5:04:48 PM

The suggestions you've gotten so far are good. I agree with going for the E8400. Also, if overclocking, get an aftermarket cooler. The Xigmatek HDT-S1283 is very good, and simple to install.

For the HDD, switch up to the WD6400AAKS. It's more than you need size wise, true, but the performance is far improved over your current selection.

If you're budget needs wiggle room, switch the 9800GTX to the 8800GTS (G92). Performance is very similar, and a reduced price.
April 23, 2008 5:39:37 PM

i decided that a higher clocked dual core at stock would be better for me than a quad core as i have never overclocked anything properly and wouldnt wanna fry everything trying to make the C2Q run at 3GHZ :) .

im definitely gonna look into the E8400, as it seems to be perfect for what i need.

the list you see on the top of the post is out of date now. i have already changed the 9800 to the exact card you mentioned :) 

again, input is much appeciated. thanks guys :) 

!