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I'VE HIT A BRICK WALL - NEED HELP !!!

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May 1, 2008 11:37:10 AM

I'm looking to do a new build but I have hit some walls when it comes to certain topics. Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. Maybe inform top two or three choices for some....

The definites are as follows; COOLER MASTER Stacker 830 Evo Case, HT OMEGA CLARO Plus+ and the Q6600 CPU.

Also, I don't do much gaming. Some here and there but only about once a month. This system is going to be used primarily as a music, movie, high fidelity setup with my 42" 1080P LCD HDTV. This is why I chose the HT OMEGA CLARO sound card. I know it's not really for gaming. I just want crystal clear sound and good base out of my Z-5500 speaker system. I also want to make sure that everything is pretty up to date so I won't have to worry about changing out major components at a later date which is why I went with the X48 or the 780i. I chose the Q6600 b/c I do a lot of multi-tasking.

MOTHERBOARD: X48 or 780i SLI???
GIGABYTE GA-X48-DQ6 LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard
ASUS RAMPAGE FORMULA LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard
EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard

CPU HEATSINK:
COOLER MASTER RR-CCH-LB12-GP 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler
ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler
Tuniq Tower 120 P4 & K8 CPU Cooler
Scythe SCINF-1000 120mm CPU Cooler
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler
ZEROtherm Nirvana NV120 120mm 2-ball UFO Bearing / Transparent CPU Cooler

PSU:
CORSAIR CMPSU-620HX ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 620W Power Supply
SeaSonic M12 SS-700HM ATX12V / EPS12V 700W Power Supply
SILVERSTONE DA700 ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V 700W Power Supply

RAM: DDR2 800 or DDR2 1066??? Maybe even DDR3 or OTHER?
Corsair
Mushkin
OCZ
G. Skill

VIDEO CARD: ATI or NVIDIA??? Keep in mind what I will be using this system for.
SAPPHIRE Toxic 100225TXSR Radeon HD 3870 512MB 256-bit GDDR4 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
ASUS EAH3870X2/G/HTDI/1G Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB (512MB x 2) 512-bit (256-bit x 2) GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
EVGA 640-P2-N828-A1 GeForce 8800GTS KO 640MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
EVGA 640-P2-N829-AR GeForce 8800GTS SSC 640MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
EVGA 512-P3-N801-AR GeForce 8800GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
EVGA 512-P3-N802-AR GeForce 8800GT Superclocked 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
EVGA 512-P3-N845-AR GeForce 8800GTS (G92) KO 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX(G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
BFG Tech BFGR88768GTXOCE GeForce 8800GTX 768MB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
BFG Tech BFGE88512GTSE GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
BFG Tech BFGE981024GX2E GeForce 9800 GX2 1GB (512MB per GPU) 512-bit (256-bit per GPU) GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
XFX PVT80FSHE9 GeForce 8800GTX Extreme 768MB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

More about : hit brick wall

May 1, 2008 12:00:09 PM

first off on the mobo go with a p35. You aren't overclocking or sli'ing so go with a gigabyte p35 ds3l. For the power supply go with the 550w corsair, anything over that is overkill. For ram only ddr2 800, higher speeds do little unless oc'ing. Get a nice 2x2 gig kit munshkin, adata, gskill, corsair, patriot, or crucial. For a heatsink look at the xigmatek hdt-s1283, its quiet and great at cooling. everything else looks good.
May 1, 2008 12:03:26 PM

Not sure if you're overclocking. The difference between X38 & X48 is none to the average user. The X48 is what the X38 should have been. Intel rushed X38 out. If they're about the same price, go for X48. There are boards that rival X48 in terms of overclocking. Like ASUS Maximus Formula.

SLI is point blank for a non-gaming pc.

You can use stock cooling if you don't overclock. Or pick up a xigmatek hdt-s1283.

Seasonic would be the best out of your picks.

Go with an X38 board like ASUS P5E with any DDR2-800mhz ram.

Any of the GPUs will be a waste if you don't game much. You can get by with 8600GT. Or even 8800GS or even 9600GT.
Related resources
May 1, 2008 12:08:29 PM

I wanted to get a board with support for PCI Express 2.0 x16. Future compatibility....?
May 1, 2008 12:13:12 PM

I was just going overkill on certain things like the video card to kind of future proof it for me. I know it wouldn't future proof for gamers but maybe it would for me. For at least 2-3 years anyway. And no, I won't be OC'ing. I've gone that route already with a custom liquid cooled rig and I noticed it's not for me. Too much maintenance and too many expenses to keep up with on it.
May 1, 2008 12:27:17 PM

Both X38 & X48 support the same things. Neither will support Nelahem - come end of year.
May 1, 2008 12:34:04 PM

Would you recommend ATI or NVIDIA for what I'm doing?
May 1, 2008 12:56:21 PM

since u wont be gaming, i think ati 3850 or 3870 would be more than good for future proofing (if u r not gaming). u could also look at 9600. but i think ati is more sensible.both 3850 and 3870 have way less power consuming when gpu is not on load.hence it runs cooler. my 9600 off load temp is 44C with 100% fan speed. but my frends 3870 is 45C with only 70% fan speed......on load, 9600 and 3870 have the almost the same consumption.
May 1, 2008 1:08:13 PM

With no OC, the stock cooler should be fine, or pick up the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro. A P35 mobo should be sufficient. Use DDR2-800 RAM; some of the P35's (like the Gigabyte -DS3L) have problems with 1066 RAM.
For non-gaming, movie/video use, the decoder on ATI video cards may be of some value. If you are going to play games at all, even rarely, get something like an HD3850. If you won't be gaming, or not playing any recent titles, an HD2600Pro is all you need. Get one with HDMI support.
The power needs of this system aren't very high. A 450W or 550W Corsair VX-series PSU will be enough, or if you want modular cables, a Corsair 520HX will suffice. I've got a 500W Enermax Liberty that should be good, although I've seen some comments lately suggesting Enermax may be having quality issues with what is normally a tier-2 PSU (listing at http://www.tomswiki.com/page/Tiered+PSU+Listings?t=anon). Mine has been great, but is only a couple months old.
May 1, 2008 1:57:40 PM

With no OC planned stick with the stock Intel HSF. Upgrade the CPU from Q6600 2.4Ghz to QX6700 2.66Ghz ($220 vs $275). Size the PSU correctly and the CPU upgrade will pay for itself. The Corsair 450VX mentioned should do fine. My vote would go to the DS3L MB and HD 3850 video card, DDR2 800 RAM.

May 1, 2008 4:45:10 PM

Agree with what others have said.

Get a Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L. You have no need for a SLI mobo if not doing extreme gaming or even X38/X48 since you're not overclocking.

Use the stock heatsink since you're not overclocking.

Grab any decent brand of DDR2 800 ram. 1066 is only really needed for higher overclocking, and DDR3 is far too overpriced at the moment.

Since the needs of your machine lean more towards an HTPC, grab an ATI video card. Not as fast as their nVidia counterparts, but hey tend to have better image quality. Since you're looking to "future-proof" for a few years and will be doing light gaming, I would grab a HD 3870 for what few games you might want play in the future.

A Corsair 450VX is plenty for this system. Upgrade to a 520HX if you want to go modular.
May 1, 2008 7:55:33 PM

Do the P35 boards support PCI Express 2.0 x16?
May 1, 2008 7:58:09 PM

Because I didn't think they did.
May 1, 2008 8:04:54 PM

Also, If I do end up going with a P35 board, what are the thoughts on the ABIT P35 PRO?
May 1, 2008 8:05:22 PM

P35 only have PCI-e 1.1, but 2.0 video cards are backwards compatible with 1.1 boards. Video cards nowadays aren't even saturating 1.1 lanes, so it won't make any difference to you. Even the mighty 9800GX2 doesn't show any improvement between PCI-e 1.1 and 2.0 boards:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pci-express-2-0,191...

For your needs, P35 looks to be the best value for the money. The IP35 Pro is a great board. :) 
May 1, 2008 8:08:08 PM

PCI Express 2.0 is basicly useless. A PCI 2.0 card will work with PCI x16 and 2.0 only provides a 1-2% increase in performance.

The DS3L is an awsome board. as others have stated go for a 3870, DDR2 800, and a coarsair 450vx. anything above those is just overkill and a waste of money for your needs.
May 1, 2008 8:10:43 PM

I like my Abit IP35 PRO just fine.
May 1, 2008 8:14:13 PM

Thanks for all the input! I just wanted to throw this out as well. The motherboard will also need to be capable of onboard RAID config. I also want a pretty quiet system with very very little HEAT DISSIPATION.
May 1, 2008 8:20:14 PM

Someone mentioned that I might want to go with a QX6700 instead of the Q6600. Is this true? I thought the QX chips were mostly for overclocking due to the unlocked multi???
May 1, 2008 8:21:49 PM

The Q6600 runs hotter than say the E8400.
May 1, 2008 8:28:27 PM

Yes, but I do LOTS of multi-tasking and the Q's are meant more for multi while the E's are for gaming. This is what I was told anyway.
May 1, 2008 8:38:27 PM

I think that guy meant the Q6700..the QX are really a waste of money. The Q6700 just had a price drop to around 270 USD, which was the Q6600's old price. If I were buying a cpu today, I would still go for the Q6600 because I know my board can do 400 FSB (3.6GHz would be plenty). You don't REALLY need the quad (if noise heat dissipation is a concern, go for the new E8xxx series). Good luck.
May 2, 2008 12:47:49 PM

I wouldn't pick up ANY P35 for $200-ish regardless of how good they are. Cuz at this price, you can pick up an X38. i.e. ASUS P5E. Which supports PCI-E 2.0, FSB 1600, among other things.

The problem with SLI/CF is that you're locked into a specific gfx chipset. When it comes time to add a 2nd card, there'll be a more powerful one for about the same price.
May 2, 2008 1:42:18 PM

midleman said:
Yes, but I do LOTS of multi-tasking and the Q's are meant more for multi while the E's are for gaming. This is what I was told anyway.
Yes - the Q6700 not the QX. Since you're not overclocking it may be the better choice for you and the price difference isnt great. monst0r was talking about OC'ing the Q6600.

Dual core CPUs also do multitasking just fine. A faster dual core will often beat a slower quad core in the most common kinds of multi-tasking. The closest thing to a multitasking benchmark I know is the SysMark2007 results. This link shows the dual, triple and quad core results - pay attention to the cores & clock speeds. Overall System Performance - SYSMark 2007 A faster dual core usually beats out a slower quad core. If your multitasking habits have you interacting with your PC (surfing the 'Net, email, typing, reading, etc) you're not going to take full advantage of a dual or quad core system - they're always waiting on your inputs. If you do heavy projects like long multi-threaded video content creation runs with virus checking in the background, etc slower quads start to make more sense. And a 2.66Ghz quad will do the projects faster than a 2.4Ghz quad.

May 2, 2008 2:05:00 PM

The SeaSonic S12 II SS-430GB would be a better choice for you, it's extremly quite and efficient. 430 watts will be plenty for that setup.
May 2, 2008 9:27:25 PM

FIRST, I just want to say thanks for all the input and help thus far.

NEXT....

What is everyone's thoughts on the Q9450 ($360) or the Xeon X3350 ($350)??? I have also been considering one of those chips.

AKHILLES - Point taken on the P35/X38, however the only X38 board that I like happens to be the more expensive ASUS P5E3 WS PRO ($270). I guess I just have expensive taste. The only two X48 boards that I like are the GIGABYTE GA-X48-DQ6 and the ASUS RAMPAGE FORMULA at $300 each. The only P35 boards that I like are the ASUS P5K DELUXE/WIFI-AP ($200) and the ABIT IP35 Pro at $160.

WR2 - Thanks for the link! I do lots of DVD/DIVX video/music editing, encoding, decoding and creation. Blu-Ray, Windows Media, music listening, virus software running in the background and multiple window internet surfing all at the same time.

PEABO - If I were gonna go with a lower end SeaSonic in terms of watts then I would do the M12 SS-500HM b/c I want modular and the 430 isn't modular.
May 3, 2008 1:52:59 AM

Q9450 and Xeon X3350 are the same socket 775 Yorkfield CPU. You can use whichever one you can find for the lowest price.
If you ran an identical Q6700 and Q9450/X3350 system side by side you'd not be able notice any difference in performance. Looking at identical Q6600/Q9300 and Q6700/Q9450/X3350 systems the performance difference is one you'd probably not notice just casually using the computer in your daily tasks.
The Q9450/X3350 uses about 15% less power than the Q6700 which might make the Q9450/X3350 less expensive over 3 years of moderate use.
http://www.hardwarezone.com/articles/view.php?id=2521&c...
May 3, 2008 3:08:36 AM

I also thought the 45nm CPU's ran cooler than the 65's as well. Making for less heat output and using less power at the same time.
May 3, 2008 12:34:41 PM

Go with Abit IP35 Pro for that price. I thought it was $200-ish. It has rave reviews. In fact, IP35 is a nice comeback from Abit. Their previous s775 boards weren't even good.

Go with Q9450 for better compatibility. There's a small bunch of people who had trouble with Xeons. Why I don't know. Could be bios or settings.

Yes, 45nm runs cooler than 65nm.
May 5, 2008 4:27:31 AM

Sounds good. Thanks! Now I just need to find a place that has the Q9450 in stock.
May 5, 2008 8:06:38 AM

Be sure to let us know how you make out.
May 5, 2008 8:13:33 AM

I will do!
May 5, 2008 7:35:18 PM

midleman said:
FIRST, I just want to say thanks for all the input and help thus far.


PEABO - If I were gonna go with a lower end SeaSonic in terms of watts then I would do the M12 SS-500HM b/c I want modular and the 430 isn't modular.


The M12 SS-500HM would work as well, it uses the same fan setup as the 430. I have 3 of the 430's and you have to put you face next to the case to hear it running.
!