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Need opinions on my gaming system, please

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April 27, 2008 7:11:58 AM

Hey everyone. Would you mind checking out my set up and letting me know if all this will run? Maybe offer cheaper routes for me to take, too?

CASE- Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
$107.23

MOBO - EVGA 123-YW-E175-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 750i FTW SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $189.99

CPU - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model BX80562Q6600 - Retail $219.99

Combo ($244.98) + $35.00 Mail-in Rebate
GPU - EVGA 512-P3-N861-AR GeForce 9600GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
PSU - RAIDMAX QUANTUM RX-700 ATX12V / EPS12V 700W SLI Power Supply - Retail
Item #: N82E16817152033

RAM - OCZ OCZ2RPR10664GK 4GB PC2-8500 (DDR2-1066) DDR2 Memory
$127.80 Instant Rebate: $22.19 Mail In Rebate

CPU COOLER - ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler - Retail
$61.99

Total: ~$953

I plan on adding another EVGA 9600GT for SLi eventually. But I'll need a cheap but reliable LCD monitor. I would've liked my build to be on an $800 budget, but it's not possible. I guess my budget is $1000, but I'd like to keep it as cheap as possible.

Thanks!

More about : opinions gaming system

April 27, 2008 8:44:47 AM

I wonder if I should scrap the SLi and just go with one powerful high end card...
April 27, 2008 8:54:36 AM

What resolution do you game at?
Related resources
April 27, 2008 9:18:30 AM

i don't have an LCD monitor atm. but since my budget is kind of tight, i'm probably going to go with a 19". Resolution though...no sure. Maybe the highest res for a 19" w/o hurting performance too much?

Im thinking that maybe I should go some form of C2D instead of the Quad core...
April 27, 2008 9:26:11 AM

Great Case, Great PSU, Ram is Solid.

I'm not a FAN of SLI. Just Economicly speaking SLI is a waste. You spend 2x the money for 1.5x the proformance. (I FELL FOR THE SLI Propaganda when I built my last system, and was disappointed) Buy 1 TOP of the line graphics card.

I'm not big on NVIDIA Chipsets. They work, but not as well as X38/48. You've got to go that way if you want SLI tho, but read above for my oppinion.

Q6600. Right now Quads ARE NOT better for gaming. If you were doing Video encoding on the regular I would say its the right choice, but if your gaming, C2D is better.

1 8800 GTS overclocked will give you the same as your 2 9600's. THERES NOTHING NEW ABOUT THE 9 series cards. They use the same Cores as the 8's.
April 27, 2008 9:39:27 AM

Psy, you seem to know what you're talking about AND you're online! So maybe you can help me out some more.

I'm currently looking at newegg for some hardware to swap.
CPU - C2D Wolfendale

MoBo - MOBO - EVGA 123-YW-E175-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 750i FTW SLI ATX
Can you suggest something else besides this if I'm not going to SLi? Suggest something kind of cheap but of good quality?

CASE- Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX

GPU - EVGA 512-P3-N808-AR GeForce 8800GT AKIMBO SuperClocked 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

RAM - OCZ OCZ2RPR10664GK 4GB PC2-8500 (DDR2-1066) DDR2 Memory
$127.80 Instant Rebate: $22.19 Mail In Rebate

CPU COOLER - ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler - Retail
$61.99


I haven't OC'd before, but it seems to be THE THING to do. How well does the C2D OC, and will I need the Zalman to achieve OC? Does the Antec case help in the OC'ing process?

"I'm not a FAN of SLI. Just Economicly speaking SLI is a waste. You spend 2x the money for 1.5x the proformance. (I FELL FOR THE SLI Propaganda when I built my last system, and was disappointed) Buy 1 TOP of the line graphics card. "
As cool as I think SLi might be, I'd prolly save a lot more money just going with 1 TOP of the line GPU.


Thanks!
April 27, 2008 10:13:20 AM

Here is what I'd recommend:
CPU - q6600 is fine, but if you want to save some $ now and get better stock performance, you could go with a e8400. Not much savings, but it'll perform better than the q6600 at stock speeds (in most situations). Most gaming systems are limited by the GPU, so a decent CPU with a good GPU makes a good budget gaming rig.

Mobo - Go with a p35 based mobo. They are good and solid and OC well, if you decide to do that. I'd go with a Gigabyte DS3L/DS3R, Abit IP35-e/IP35, or Asus p5k se/p5k series of mobo's. They start just under $100 up to about $130, depending on what options that you want.

GPU - I'd go with the 8800 gts (g92) 512mb GPU right now, or if you can wait I'd look at the results of the newer AMD (ATI) GPU's to be released soon (48xx's).

Memory - I'd stick with DDR2 800mHz memory, since DDR2 1066 doesn't really add much performance over the 800mHz memory. Just make sure you get CAS 4 stuff (i.e. 4-4-4-12), so you can take full advantage of the speed.

Case/PSU combo - I'd go with at least the Sonata III Case/PSU combo. You'll get a 500w PSU w/41A on the 12V rails and it's efficient too. There is a 3 yr. warranty with it and it's probably one of the better buys for a budget build, because of the powerful PSU that you get with the package.
Antec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply - Retail

CPU HSF - I'd go with the Xigmatek s1283 HSF. It's going for $37 shipped at newegg and is one of the better CPU HSF's out on the market.
XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail
Frosty's review of the Xigmatek s1283 cooler

This combo will put your total much closer to $700-800, so you'll be able to spend more $ on whatever you need.
April 27, 2008 10:24:32 AM

Hey man. Thanks for all the help. The more money I can save the better!

CPU - q6600 is fine, but if you want to save some $ now and get better stock performance, you could go with a e8400. Not much savings, but it'll perform better than the q6600 at stock speeds (in most situations). Most gaming systems are limited by the GPU, so a decent CPU with a good GPU makes a good budget gaming rig.
I'm conflicted because the C2D wolf is $190, but for $20 more I can get the C2Q. I want to try OC (either of them) but which will give me an easier time in OC, and which will have better results?

Mobo - Go with a p35 based mobo.
I'll look into this, but I'm still interested in the 750i because of its SLi capability (and for future upgrades?). The 750i is appealing if I get another GPU - EVGA 512-P3-N808-AR GeForce 8800GT AKIMBO SuperClocked 512MB.

Case/PSU combo - I'd go with at least the Sonata III Case/PSU combo.
Thanks for the suggestion. I love combos! If I were to go SLi, 500w PSU wouldnt be enough, huh?

CPU HSF - I'd go with the Xigmatek s1283 HSF.
The cheaper the better. (i say that but I feel like I contradict myself because of the whole C2D and C2Q debate :)  )

This combo will put your total much closer to $700-800, so you'll be able to spend more $ on whatever you need.
Your stand point is from using single GPU instead of SLi? The amount I would save with the Case/PSU combo will indeed help me get the ram I want. Argh, so many choices. Have you experienced SLi?
April 27, 2008 10:45:21 AM

With a SLi set up:
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
The perks of this is better air flow?

SILVERSTONE ZEUS SST-ST65ZF ATX 12V 2.0 & EPS 12V 650W Power Supply - Retail - $89.99 (WOW!)

What I was thinking with this Case and PSU was that it would be upgradeable in the future?


All this chit I'm throwing out is from a newbie standpoint. I am definitely open to your suggestions. I just want to see my options, and more opinions :) 
April 27, 2008 10:46:58 AM

BoxcarRichard said:
Hey man. Thanks for all the help. The more money I can save the better!

CPU - q6600 is fine, but if you want to save some $ now and get better stock performance, you could go with a e8400. Not much savings, but it'll perform better than the q6600 at stock speeds (in most situations). Most gaming systems are limited by the GPU, so a decent CPU with a good GPU makes a good budget gaming rig.
I'm conflicted because the C2D wolf is $190, but for $20 more I can get the C2Q. I want to try OC (either of them) but which will give me an easier time in OC, and which will have better results?

Heres the thing about C2D vs C2Q. 1. The 45nm processors are more effecient, and incredible overclockers, but to get a quad 45nm your gonna drop $1000+ for an Extreme. Programs don't actualy take advantage of multiple cores, maybe in a few years quads will actualy scale like they should, but untiill software catches up with the hardware Clock Speeds are King. DON'T get me wrong the Q6600 is a GREAT CPU, Prolly 3rd on my list of CPU's for less then 500 USD.

I would DEFINITLY consider the 8800 GTS 512MB G92 Core. Its great bang for the buck. 8800GT is close behind it too, and I toyed with the idea of oing the GT route also, but With GFX cards I've learned buy as the best GFX card you can afford, unless you want to replace it soon.

April 27, 2008 10:49:32 AM

In general the q6600 will be easier to OC, but will run hotter. The e8400 has the newer instruction set for better encoding, so that might help in certain situations. The q6600 is a nice CPU, but getting pretty dated. If I had the $, I'd probably go with the q6700 for about $250 or so. It has a higher mulitplier, so it'll be a tad easier to get a higher OC and it'll generally run a tad cooler than the q6600 at the same speed.

Mobo - It's all up to you, but personally I'd spend my $ on a better single GPU than trying to add another GPU later. That $ you save now could later be put towards a newer GPU that will more than likely blow the doors off of your projected SLI setup. There has been a lot of issues with nVidia based boards recently, so I wouldn't recommend them. Google your mobo and check out the issues found.

Case - The reason I suggested the Antec Sonata III case/PSU combo is that it'll work with any single GPU solution out on the market right now. SLI/Xfire is over-rated generally and won't really help out too much, unless you have a big screen (resolution is high) that your running on your system.

If you take out the SLI mobo and stick with a single GPU solution, you'll have a cheaper build and later you can spend that savings on a better single GPU that'll more than likely beat your proposed SLI solution.
April 27, 2008 10:50:14 AM

Psy, thanks for clearing things up with the C2D Vs C2Q!

I'd like to thank you too lunyone for helping me!

The both of you have definitely helped me come to a more final decision with what I want in my Gaming rig. You won't believe how much time I've spent trying to learn SOME hardware and what goes with what. A lot of the information is just too much for this noob.

I'll try to post a new build soon.


Also, I'm going to be in need of an LCD screen :( 
April 27, 2008 11:27:12 AM

Need help choosing a MoBo:
GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX All Solid Capacitor Intel Motherboard - Retail
or
GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3R LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Dynamic Energy Saver Ultra Durable II Intel Motherboard - Retail
(says this isn't Vista certified. That doesn't mean that Vista won't run does it?)
or
ABIT IP35 Pro LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail (kind of expensive)

RAM - not quite sure which brands are reliable. OCZ is cheaper than Corsair, but I've never dealth with OCZ, although I hear OCZ is good.
April 27, 2008 12:30:26 PM

Quick hypothetical:
Let's say I go with the 750i MoBo and EVGA 8800GTS. The new GPU's come out and I can't afford the most high end one. Wouldn't it be better to buy an affordable GPU and SLi it with the 8800GTS anyway?
April 27, 2008 5:49:09 PM

UPDATED BUILD:

Case - Antec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MoBo - GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX All Solid Capacitor Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU - Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - EVGA 512-P3-N808-AR GeForce 8800GT AKIMBO SuperClocked 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$239.99

or

GPU - ECS N8800GTS-512MX GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E168...
Original Price: $299.99
You Save: $80.00
$219.99
($169.99 after $50.00 Mail-In Rebate

CPU COOLER - XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - OCZ OCZ2P8004GQ 4GB PC2-6400 (DDR2-800) DDR2 Memory Retail
Do I have the proper Cas Latency to run this system most efficiently?
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...


I can save more money going with the ECS GPU and it has something like a 3 year warranty. EVGA on the other hand has a lifetime warranty, but I pay a bit more. I cant decide which GPU to go with.
How reliable are mail-in rebates, especially for the ECS GPU?
Anything I should add or change?
There aren't going to be any compatibility issues will there?
Will I be able to use Vista OS?
April 27, 2008 6:17:31 PM

dont get the ftw if your not going liquid cooling it is just a waste of money
April 28, 2008 10:00:58 AM

save money on the cooler get an arctic cooling 7 or whatever it is... arctic cooling freezer pro 64's brother for the intel socket... forget what it's called.

new amd BE quad core 235
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

gigabyte socket am2+ board with 790fx chipset 180
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

arctic cooling freezer pro 64 25 bucks
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

whatever ddr2 1066 memory your heart desires (my personal choice would be gskill for 150)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=P...

raidmax smilodon case (w or w/o psu) ~ 70-90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

hd= you didn't list one, assuming your retrofitting.

ati hd 3870 ~ 160-180
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...


so far that's ~830 give or take a a bit depending on what rebates and prices change over night. (eg: that mobo was 30 bucks less about a week ago)


acer has some nice 22inch monitors priced at 220 (freeshipping on this one if you check out "daily deals" as of today) 240 and 250... only difference in any of them is the casing color and the contrast ratio i think.

830+220 for decent monitor and you're stitting at about 1050. Prices fluctuate.... so i'd keep looking, maybe wait a month... or fiddle with some parts. I personally own a 3870, and love it The gigabyte one in the link. i have it oc'd to 870 on the gpu and 1040 on the mem... no problems so far.

anywya, i priced that build up *except the proc it just came out, i used older BE proc instead* about a month ago and it was a lot cheaper because of rebates and what not... so just check daily... and sign up for the newegg.com newsletter if you havn't, sometimes they have just what you want on sale.
April 28, 2008 10:03:03 AM

ps: if you order all your crap from the same place, you'll save a ton of money on shipping.
April 28, 2008 11:20:03 AM

BoxcarRichard said:
UPDATED BUILD:

Case - Antec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MoBo - GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX All Solid Capacitor Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU - Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - EVGA 512-P3-N808-AR GeForce 8800GT AKIMBO SuperClocked 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$239.99

or

GPU - ECS N8800GTS-512MX GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E168...
Original Price: $299.99
You Save: $80.00
$219.99
($169.99 after $50.00 Mail-In Rebate

CPU COOLER - XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - OCZ OCZ2P8004GQ 4GB PC2-6400 (DDR2-800) DDR2 Memory Retail
Do I have the proper Cas Latency to run this system most efficiently?
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...


I can save more money going with the ECS GPU and it has something like a 3 year warranty. EVGA on the other hand has a lifetime warranty, but I pay a bit more. I cant decide which GPU to go with.
How reliable are mail-in rebates, especially for the ECS GPU?
Anything I should add or change?
There aren't going to be any compatibility issues will there?
Will I be able to use Vista OS?


I think your selections are RIGHT on QUE with what I would build with your budget. The MoBo you picked was my first choice befor, but I switched to an Asus for Overclocking purposes. Its a great Mobo for the E8400. Everythng else looks solid too! I would Definitly go with the 8800GTS unless you plan on replacing it, when newer products come out, and its just a Stop Gap. If your gonna keep it for a few years the 8800GTS is rock solid. The 8800GT is close behind. Your not going to make any mistakes no matter what you pick of these options you listed. You've got good quality products here.
!