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Please Check My First Build

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April 26, 2008 3:18:29 AM

CPU: E8400 Core 2 Duo 3.0Ghz £125
Motherboard: Asus P5N-T Deluxe 780i £130
GPU: Gigabyte 512MB 9800 GTX £206
Memory: 2GB 1066Mhz DDR2 £50
Harddrive: Seagate Barracuda 500GB, 7200rpm £56
PSU: Coolermaster M700 700W £85
Case: Lian Li PC-7B Plus (+two 120mm ball bearing fans) £60
Disk Drives: Sony DRU-190S DVD-RW.. £19

Total: £756 (i think)


Just want to get people's advice, as far as I can tell everything should work together but like post says this is my first build.
Main parts i'm not sure about:

1) Here's the main one: If you can suggest any parts that will function as well as the ones chosen but cost less PLEASE speak now.

1) Motherboard: Is this a good board? I know i need 780i so I can get full PCI-E 2.0 x16 SLI at a later data, which i know this board is capable of but found it hard to find any consistent reviews about how good board is.

2) PSU: Have no idea what is good, the GPU chosen reccomends 600W PSU with a minimum of 450W to function. I went with this one cause it's easily meets that so should be ok for SLI at a later date but no idea if it's good or not.

3) Memory: Due to my budget I can either go 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 800Mhz or 2GB (2x1GB) DDR2 1066Mhz, what would you go for - more at slower speed or less at higher speed?

More about : check build

April 26, 2008 1:47:00 PM

Quote:
1: Go for an intel chipset to reduce cost

2: Keep it the way it is

3: Go 4GB of 800Mhz its better value



Am i missing something? The only intel chipsets that support core 2 duo, and SLI with PCI-E Gen 2.0 are the x38 and x48 right? I checked the prices for them and the x48 was way more expensive and the x38 was a similar price but doesn't support 3 way SLI so less bang for buck?
April 26, 2008 1:54:25 PM

but why would i get the x38 when it's the same price as the nforce chipset i've chosen but doesn't have Triple SLI capabilities which although i'm unlikely to use if i can choose between two chipsets at the same price and one has a feature the other doesn't then im going to go for that one? Is there some advantage of going intel i'm not aware of?
By the way thanks for the help.
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April 26, 2008 2:18:40 PM

The real question you should ask yourself is : Am I going to use SLI?

In my experience with SLI it is a worthless feature unless you are going to use it right away. 3way SLI is for people with 30 inch screens and an overflowing wallet. By the time you decide to upgrade to SLI a better single card will be available for about the same money as another (old/used) 9800GTX. Either buy two 9800GTX now or skip SLI support and save money.

Another thing you should know is Intel chipsets do not support SLI at all. They support Crossfire (ATI dual cards). They are also not plagued by data corruption issues when overclocked like current 7x0i NVIDIA chipsets.

I would never recommend a chipset that offers the potential for full data loss.

Asus P5E & Gigabyte GA-X38-DS4 are great value X38 chipset boards (without unnecessary bloat). Any P35 board would also be a great cheaper alternative without SLI/CrossFire in mind.

To sum it all up : Graphics cards become obsolete faster. 18 months is a long run. You get better performance on average with one new 200GBP card every 18 months than two for 400GBP every 36 months.
April 26, 2008 2:53:33 PM

Quote:
^ untrue the skulltrail board supports SLi (but that's kinda pointless now) I'd say get two HD 3870s in crossfire on some kinda intel board that supports it.

True. However I do not consider a buggy $4500 (2x $1500CPU, $600MB, $900RAM) platform a worthy alternative to a $550 ($250CPU, $200MB, $100RAM) platform. :)  You should know that in Europe a QX9775 chip cost around 1400EUR so consider that a $7000 (2 x $2250CPU, $900MB, $1600RAM) platform for us backwards European folk. :heink: 
April 26, 2008 3:26:21 PM

@OP:If you are planing on getting RAM natively higher than DDR2 800 be aware that there will be compatibility issues. Many users reports and my personal testing has shown that there is a very good chance you will run in to issues with RAM higher than DDR2 800, such as DDR2 1066. I recommend you get quality DDR2 800 RAM and run them at 1:1 ratio or overclock the RAM. This issue dose not apply to DDr2 800 RAM that has been overclocked.
April 26, 2008 3:28:41 PM

Andrius said:

To sum it all up : Graphics cards become obsolete faster. 18 months is a long run. You get better performance on average with one new 200GBP card every 18 months than two for 400GBP every 36 months.


But surely the price of the card would drop considerably in that time so say i buy the first at 200GBP then 18 months down the line I might get the second at 100GBP so its going to be 300GBP over 36 months rather than the 400GBP. I don't know how fast prices drop for GPU's so I don't know what would workout more economical.

If i chose an x38 chipset is it even worth getting a nvidia card, would it be better to get an ATI and then at least have the option of crossfire?

If i stay nvidia would it be worth considering shelling out a bit more for a board such as:
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu...
Which is intel chipset but still supports SLI? +DDR3 and PCI-E generation 2.0
April 26, 2008 3:43:57 PM

OP = original poster, hmm hadn't heard about them i'll take a look
April 26, 2008 3:47:24 PM

@ amdfangirl
That would be the Original Poster I think.
Skulltrail I think is a silly sollution for a problem that doesn't really exsist (AMD 4X4 platform).
I don't think I would buy one even if I won the lottery and I'm a very heavy multitasker? Would you buy one?

@ tolk
That might be true. But as said after 18 months you're spending money on old tech or a used card.
It's quite hard to get a card today that was very good 18 months ago (8800GTX is the obvious exception).
I haven't seen any 78xx series cards around for a year or so. Same holds true for Radeon X19xx cards.
The 9800GTX will be even harder to get in 18 months I think, because it will only be produced for 4-5 months.

This is just my observation. I live in a strange country computer items wise. We get SkullTrail but not a Blitz/Maximus Formula SE (with a waterblock on the chipset). We get QX9775 and 9800GX2 but no WaterCooled graphics cards.
Online shops think we're in Africa next to Siera Leone. Go figure.
April 26, 2008 4:00:37 PM

^It might be. But I'd wait for HD 4870 before buying AMD/ATI cards just see where things are going.

@tolk for the Intel branded board :
I don't have good experience with Intel branded boards (BIOS support is strange at best) but stability is not an issue. For gaming/performacne
ASUS P5E/ GIGABYTE GA-X38-DS4 would be my primary selection field for X38 chipset.

As of today no Intel chipset supports SLI (SkullTrail is not really an option IMO).
DDR3 needs to mature and become mainstream. 8GB HighQuality DDR2 is cheaper than 4GB DDR3. Performance difference is between 1-3% in real world applications (really not worth it).
April 26, 2008 4:06:44 PM

Lol im more confused as to what i want than when i started now :) 

I reckon i'll prob forget about SLI then which means i can go for a intel chipset. I still want to get 9800GTX because a) it's a good card and b) I want to build this comp now and not wait around hoping ATI release something good. So effectively that limits me to x38 or P35 chipsets. So my next set of questions:

1) x38 supports PCI-E Gen 2.0, as i understand this is pretty pointless at the moment as most modern cards don't even use the full bandwith of PCI-E Gen 1.0 so there is little to no performance increase. But is it worth trying to get a board with support for this to future proof the system for later upgrades?

2) If i'm not fussed about SLI and i'm not fussed about PCI-E Gen 2.0 is there any other benefits getting x38 over P35?

3) For both x38 and P35 is it worth spending a bit more to get a board that supports DDR3 RAM? For x38 this may be an issue because the DDR3 boards are more expensive than the original board i listed, but the DDR2 ones such as the Asus P5E are cheaper. For P35 even the DDR3 ones are cheaper than my current selection.

4) Any comments on which of the chipsets are easier and safer to overclock?

5) Is a DDR3 board backwards compatible i.e. can i put DDR2 blocks into a DDR3 motherboard?

6) Anything else that might be helpful for me to know?

7) On http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Products.asp?CatID=28&Ca... which board would you buy a) if money no option b) bang for buch c) to save as much as possible
April 26, 2008 4:21:02 PM

1. The short version is YES it's worth it and it's futureproof.

2. Best Intel chipset currently, no data corruption issues, 400MHz FSB support out of the box. No question about 45nm chip compatibility.

3. Go with X38 DDR2 (best value right now and will be for at least 6-12 months).

4. GA-X38-DS4 is the easiest one to overclock (MIT is great).

5. You'll need a good cooler to overclock. Nothing other really except that you didn't state what resolution you will be gaming at and that the 8800GTS might save you a few bucks as it's only 25MHz lower clocked at stock.

6. a.) Maximus Formula SE
b.) P5E( or GA-X38-DS4 if you can get one)
c.) GA-P35-DS3L (or ASUS P5K Pro if you can get one costs about 25EUR more here but has great features for overclockers).
April 26, 2008 4:46:23 PM

Quote:
^ I don't agree, there's not benefit in PCI-E g2
What I meant was X38 is worth it over P35 (P45 is around the corner and will make it obsolete) and PCI-E g2 is worth it because it's futureproof. Bandwidth of PCI-E 1.0 is not a limit yet but it will be (at some point) in the future.
April 26, 2008 5:01:46 PM

^He'll probably upgrade to a newer one before that happens. I know :) 
April 26, 2008 5:25:17 PM

^There was a similar dilema with AGP versions a few years back but PCI-E v2.0 is backwards compatible with v1.0 unlike some AGP versions. In 1-2 years PCI-E v2.0 will be a good thing to have IMO.
April 26, 2008 5:35:28 PM

You see a general incompatibility (physicaly diffrent connectors) between AGP versions. Scaling isn't the issue when you can't install a card in your motherboard.
As for bandwidth he said himself he knows it's not a bottleneck yet.
I'd still think X38 is worth the extra money if it had PCI-E v1.0 so v2.0 is a bonus. :D 
April 26, 2008 7:45:48 PM

Ok new build:

CPU: E4800 C2D 3.3Ghz
GPU: Gigabyte 9800GTX 512MB
Memory: 4GB Corsair TwinX XMS2 800Mhz
Mobo: Asus P5E iX38
PSU: Coolermaster M700 700W
HD: Seagate Barracuda 500GB, 7200rpm
Case: Lian Li PC-7B

Questions:
1) Will it work
2) Asus P5E or Gigabyte GA-X38-DS4
3) PSU any good?
4) Will it all fit in case

Seriously appreciate the help so far guys, big thanks
April 26, 2008 9:49:53 PM

1. I don't see any potential issues (CPU is E8400 C2D 3.0GHz?).

2. From what I've read GA-X38-DS4 is a bit more userfriendly with overclocking, dual gigabit lan, better selection of connectors (COM/LPT,...). ASUS P5E has a bit better layout(edge SATA,...) and better onboard sound.

3. Coolermaster is not exactly famous for quality PSUs. I'd pick up a Corsair TX 650W ( http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu... ) or HX 620W if you want modular ( http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu... ) or TX 750W ( http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu... ). They offer great value in this price range.

4. Should be no issues with mounting. The case has plenty of room for expansion and an excellent layout.

PS:
I didn't find it on www.scan.co.uk but check out the WD6400AAKS drive.
www.newegg.com has it at $110 and at that price it beats a 500GB drive in cost/gigaybte and performance. If you can find it check it against the 500GB drive.

If you want to overclock beyond 400MHz FSB think about an aftermarket CPU heatsink and fan.
A cheap but good one:
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu...
High performance (quad core @ 3.6GHz capable):
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu...
And the classic :
Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme + Schythe S-Flex SFF21F 120mm fan
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu...
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu...

You're good to go. Good luck.
April 26, 2008 9:59:43 PM

Cheers man, seriously helpful and then some. Sorry about CPU, it was the 8400 just typo :) 
April 26, 2008 10:50:48 PM

No problem. I read it in the first post. I know there's a E4700 but I haven't seen an E4800. The 3.3GHz made me think about the overclocking and heatsink recommendations, so that was a good/useful typo.

Have fun building it.
!