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$1200 Gaming PC almost done. Need one last piece of advise

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May 6, 2008 6:46:55 AM

heres a link to my public wish list w/ everything but the video cards i want

http://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/wishlist/PublicWishDetail.asp?WishListNumber=7542712

The choice i need help with is which of these 2 cards should i SLI


EVGA 512-P3-N801-AR GeForce 8800GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16814130318


EVGA 512-P3-N861-AR GeForce 9600GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130334


those are the 2 options. Keep in my i play on a 22" monitor, at 1440x900 resolutions (never higher) and i am going to play Age of Conan once it releases. My goal is to play it at 1440x900 w/ max graphics and hit the 60 fps cap.

While im sure ill get a bunch of responses and opinions, could someone please post maybe benchmarks or some hard facts as to why one is better than the other? i know im splitting hairs as to the fact that these 2 cards are almost identical, but this is the final choice i need to make lol.

Thanks in advance for any advice you guys leave.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130319

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130347

More about : 1200 gaming piece advise

May 6, 2008 12:50:57 PM

The cheapest 9600GT is $140 after $10 rebate. The cheapest 8800GT is $150 after $30 rebate. However, one rebate per product per household in most cases. That means you should get a card with no or very little rebate. The 9600GT.

That's an odd resolution for a 22". My 19" does the same. I had pretty smooth gameplay with 8800GT. I think 8800GTS512 would be plenty. SLI might be overkill. Unless you play Crysis.

Holy crap, the question of 8800GT SLI VS 9600GT SLI has been asked so many times and only a handful of reviews out there. Keep in mind the benchmarks are for 1600x1200x32 w/o AA. Your resolution will yield a higher FPS.

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/geforce_9600_gt_sli...

The most pressing issue is the PSU which is a Tier 5:

http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:65Oi9JaLirUJ:www.x...

A no buy. At least a tier 3.
May 6, 2008 12:56:20 PM

8800gt significantly outperform 9600gt when single. The similar performance in sli is due to high optimization Nvidia gave 9600gt. If prices are almost the same, get 8800gt sli. It's not optimized but perform the same, thus, there is potiential that future driver will increase performance. The 9600gt sli already has its potiential spent, and can't possibly get faster.
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May 6, 2008 3:23:09 PM

dagger said:
8800gt significantly outperform 9600gt when single. The similar performance in sli is due to high optimization Nvidia gave 9600gt. If prices are almost the same, get 8800gt sli. It's not optimized but perform the same, thus, there is potiential that future driver will increase performance. The 9600gt sli already has its potiential spent, and can't possibly get faster.


this is exactly the kind of post i was looking for lol, thanks it makes perfect sense
May 6, 2008 3:35:07 PM

My only point would be to buy a mobo using a 750i chipset. The 780i is overkill more most users. Save ya 50-100 bucks. Chances are youll never use the full potential of the 780i, so why bother. The EVGA one is smoking from all reviews Ive seen.

Go with the dual 8800 GTs. dagger hit it on the head.

I must not be able to see the rest of the wish list for some reason.... No PSU, HD.
May 6, 2008 5:52:00 PM

Kaldor said:
My only point would be to buy a mobo using a 750i chipset. The 780i is overkill more most users. Save ya 50-100 bucks. Chances are youll never use the full potential of the 780i, so why bother. The EVGA one is smoking from all reviews Ive seen.

Go with the dual 8800 GTs. dagger hit it on the head.

I must not be able to see the rest of the wish list for some reason.... No PSU, HD.


this is the only 750i i can find:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131232

and in all honestly, those reviews scare me
May 6, 2008 6:17:07 PM

ive kinda gone over budget by $75 to get better quality parts... not liking that fact too much

Heres a complete list w/ links:


XFX MB-N780-ISH9 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813141005

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model BX80562Q6600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813141005

-$15.00 Combo

$464.98 - $20.00 Mail-in Rebate = $444.98


ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186134

$36.99

APEVIA CF4SL-URED 80mm Red LED Case Fan x5
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811998107

$29.95

Microsoft Windows Vista 64-Bit Home Premium for System Builders Single Pack DVD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116204

$99.99

OCZ SLI-Ready Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227269

$91.99 - $30.00 Mail-in Rebate = $61.99

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100007

$5.99

OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI ATX12V 700W Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341002

$124.99 - 35.00 Main-in Rebate = $89.99

EVGA 512-P3-N801-AR GeForce 8800GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported
Video Card x2

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130318

$379.98 - $30.00 Mail-in Rebate = $349.98

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148288

$99.99

SAMSUNG Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM
48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151154

$33.99

Grand Total = $1359.84

Shipping = $30.88

Total After Mail-in Rebates = $1275.92


Can anyone think of a place i can cut a corner or 2?
May 6, 2008 6:18:49 PM

EVGA 123-YW-E175-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 750i FTW SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
That may be a better board for you with a 750i. Only concern you may have, and someone pointed this out to me in another thread, is that you may only have a single PCI slot left after SLI. But since the cards you are using are only single thickness, your results may vary. Other thing is that this board also has only 4 SATA ports, which means only 4 devices total.

HD and PSU look good to me.
May 6, 2008 6:23:58 PM

Kaldor said:
EVGA 123-YW-E175-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 750i FTW SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
That may be a better board for you with a 750i. Only concern you may have, and someone pointed this out to me in another thread, is that you may only have a single PCI slot left after SLI. But since the cards you are using are only single thickness, your results may vary. Other thing is that this board also has only 4 SATA ports, which means only 4 devices total.

HD and PSU look good to me.


thanks for the link

the only problem i have w/ it is that it does not have a pci-e 16x 2.0 slot, and i dont plan on upgrading my cpu for the next 4 years...

im lookin for a little bit of future proofing even if it wont be useful for a long time

other than that it looks like a solid board
May 6, 2008 7:40:25 PM

I think Toms did an article awhile back about PCI-E bandwidth.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pci-express-2-0,191...

Kind of a tossup honestly. But hey its your bucks, and it looks like you got a nice combo deal going anyway

Very solid setup either way. Throw a 22" or bigger monitor on it and enjoy. Id run it!
May 6, 2008 8:35:18 PM

@OP: Swap the AF 7 Pro to a Xigmatek HDT-S1283. It's about the same price.
Review for the HSF: http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm#INTELHEATSI...

Also consider these PSUs (imo these ones are a little better quality than the OCZ, esp. in rail stability):

PP&C 750
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$120 after MIR

PP&C 610
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$110

Corsair 650TX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$90 after MIR

May 6, 2008 10:00:26 PM

1. 500GB (7200.11) is fast as a Raptor in many benchmarks, and even the 7200.10 drives are fast enough for most users. RAID (1, 1+0,etc) might give you a performance increase in read times,etc. Imo, it's not worth it to have RAID unless going with RAID 3 or better.

2. No need to get Ultimate. Home Premium x64 would be fine.
May 7, 2008 2:32:47 AM

Shadow703793 said:
1. 500GB (7200.11) is fast as a Raptor in many benchmarks, and even the 7200.10 drives are fast enough for most users. RAID (1, 1+0,etc) might give you a performance increase in read times,etc. Imo, it's not worth it to have RAID unless going with RAID 3 or better.

2. No need to get Ultimate. Home Premium x64 would be fine.


appreciate the info
!