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~$1000-1300 rig to be built.... How do my components look?

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May 7, 2008 1:11:41 AM

Hello fellow posters.

I have been spending a good month looking over threads/reviews/articles on this site and I finally have the money to custom build my own computer.

Everything will be puchased from Newegg,mwave, and Amazon and I would like to spend the least amount of money... basically the best bang for the buck.

Games I play: Wow, SC2, half life 2, COD4, other present/future FPS's. This computer would ideally last 3 or more years with the ability to play future games at pretty good resolutions.

Overclocking? I have never done it before, but I will definitely try it out. I heard that I can get the 6600 to 3.00+ so I would probably aim for that.

Components that look good to me so far:

Monitor: Dell 20" Ultrasharp>>>> $300
Case: Antec P182 >>>>>$150 Shipped
CPU: q6600 (quad core @2.4) >>>>$220 shipped {Alternatives: e8400, q9450}
GPU: EVGA 8800gts 512 OC >>>>$270 shipped
Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-EX38-DS4>>>> ~220 shipped {Alternatives: GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L ~$105 shipped}
PSU: CORSAIR 520HX>>>>>>> $112 shipped after rebate
HD: Seagate 320GB 7200rpm>>>>>$100 shipped
Memory: 4GB or 8gb @ 800 (2gb x2/4)>>>>>$70-140 {Comment: What brand? 4gb vs. 8gb?}
CPU cooler: XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 >>>>$40 shipped
DVD-drive: whatever>>>>$40 shipped
OEM: Windows Vista Home premium OEM>>>>$110 shipped

This computer is going to complement my laptop which will take care of all the daily tasks and programs. I am going to try to keep this computer for gaming only but may later use it as my main computer (in 1+ years).

Thanks and feel free to leave any suggestions/thoughts.
May 7, 2008 1:23:37 AM

P35 is fine for q6600 and cost $100 less. For e8400 and q9450, you'll need x38/48 to overclock them to their limits. Doesn't matter if you do not overclock.

Get 4gb of ram in 2x2 sticks. 8gb won't give you performance increase, at least not at the moment. Not sure about brand.

Everything else good as is.

May 7, 2008 3:46:25 AM

Where can you get the q9450? It has gotten good reviews but it isn't available anywhere :cry: 
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May 7, 2008 4:29:16 AM

I'd change the Hard drive to a new western digital 640gb. Its around the same price but gives very good performance. Unless that is the seagate is the 7200.11 series. Those are pretty good hard drives.
May 7, 2008 5:24:02 AM

Thanks for the advice dagger. I am going to go with the 6600 as it has good reviews.

TSI- which mobo in particular would you recommend? Why is the DS3L a bad card for the quad? Also, DDdr2 800 or 1000?

Sciggy - thanks. I will go with the 640 WD as many recommend it. More space too. :) 
May 7, 2008 5:34:04 AM

If you're looking for best bang for the buck i'd buy a stock GTS and overclock it yourself if you so desire. Toms has a brand new guide on how to do it if you need some tips.

Also, are you going to be using the 64 bit or 32 bit version of vista? If it's just 32, then anything above 4Gb is a complete waste, if you're using 64 you might think about going 8Gb and disabling the swap file.

I'd also like to say that the Corsair HX is an amazing PSU. I currently use the 620 in my comp and i have nothing but praise for it. Cool, quiet, stable and modular. Great Choice there.

Good Luck!
May 7, 2008 6:07:24 AM

buildarig said:

TSI- which mobo in particular would you recommend? Why is the DS3L a bad card for the quad? Also, DDdr2 800 or 1000?


Take a look at the link I posted. Quads are power hungry, especially when overclocked! You need a board that can give it the juice it needs. I like the DFI P35 boards. Any of them should work well. (Keep in mind, I own a DS3L for my personal build but the vdroop with a quad is pretty bad, it ROCKS with a dual though)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Also, that link I posted for the G.Skill is the best RAM for anything close to that price but snag it before thursday! I paid $120 for my 4GB of DDR2 800
May 7, 2008 6:23:07 AM

my 2 cents is get a 19 inch for 169 instead of 300...there are plenty of awesom 19's for gaming at almost half the price, spend that extra 150 on yourself, or some games ! the acers at newegg look good, or samsungs at 200 bucks :)  just a thought. If you wanna spend 300, go for a 22 inch acer or samsung !
May 7, 2008 6:24:36 AM

If you're not gonna overclock either, 2 sticks of 2 gig mushkin 4 gigs total is 70 bucks at egg, it runs great stock and 1.8 volts to 2 volts.
May 7, 2008 6:28:21 AM

TSIMonster said:
Take a look at the link I posted. Quads are power hungry, especially when overclocked! You need a board that can give it the juice it needs. I like the DFI P35 boards. Any of them should work well. (Keep in mind, I own a DS3L for my personal build but the vdroop with a quad is pretty bad, it ROCKS with a dual though)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Also, that link I posted for the G.Skill is the best RAM for anything close to that price but snag it before thursday! I paid $120 for my 4GB of DDR2 800


@ joethe one..8800gts has terrible overclocking due to memory chips near their limit 8800gt is the sweet spot for bang for the buck, that said the 8800gts runs cooler with the double height setup ...plus it's just cooler ! Bang for the buckwise goes to 8800gt right now around 175 at Newegg !
May 7, 2008 6:37:27 AM

TSI- thanks so much! Okay so, I read in your previous link that the reviewers liked the Blood Iron version. It looks good and a decent price. Will I miss out on anything by choosing the cheapest (blood iron card)? I don't plan on SLI /crossfire and will probably just upgrade my GPU in a year or so with what ever the next best Nvidia is at the time. Yeah, I think G.skill is about the cheapest.

Joe - Yeah... I guess I should save myself $30-40 and overclock it myself. I have never overclocked before so if all goes wrong I can just fall back on a slightly OC'd card worse case scenario, but its silly to pay so much for something that won't take me too much time. Also, I am going 64bit so I have been toying with the idea of getting 8 gigs of ram, but it seems like I won't use it now... or will I?

As for memory... do I want ddr2 800 still with the DFI bloodiron + q6600?

RoyalCrown - I'll have to look into the monitors more...I am wary of just about every company now. Samsung for example uses different panels on the same monitor and one is significantly better than the other. I think I won't want anything bigger than 19-20" because games seem to run better at these resolutions and it seems like the next logical step is to get a 24", which is out of my price range/ too extravagant at this time.


May 7, 2008 6:55:33 AM

Ah... after reading comparison charts, people seem to say to just get the e8400/x38 combo if your into gaming because quad cores will probably not be utilized for a good while. I just wish there was one answer to the cpu :( 
May 7, 2008 7:24:45 AM

Actually the mainstream right now and best size vs price are the 22 inch monitors 1680 x 1050 something, according to the charts you don't get a big FPS drop going to that step from a 19. :) 
May 7, 2008 7:24:45 AM

The thing about quad vs dual core is that today, not many games show much improvement with a quad core. Since that is the case, the popular thing to do today is buy a high clocked dual a la e8400. However, you said that you want this thing to last for 3 years, and by then who knows if games will use 4 cores or not. It really all comes down to the prices of these 2 chips and whether you think the extra 2 cores will be worth it. You really can't go wrong with either right now as both are great chips.

As for the 8Gb vs. 4Gb debate, I believe toms has another article on that, you may want to check it out:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/vista-workshop,1775...
May 7, 2008 7:30:59 AM

I'll look into the 22" Royal, thanks. I think 24" is too big for me :) .

Joe- Thanks for that. I think I'll put in the extra 4gigs since it costs what? $70? It will be good for the future anyways.

Overclocked with a CPU fan (like the one mentioned), which CPU runs cooler, q6600 or the e8400? If I were to go with the e8400, is the x38 board the best buy? Thanks for the tips!
May 7, 2008 7:49:47 AM

If it's any consolation, buildarig, I am torn between a good 19 at 175 or so and a good 22 for 220, so I am in the same boat :) 
May 7, 2008 11:15:59 AM

@OP:

If you are planing on getting RAM natively higher than DDR2 800 be aware that there might 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.
May 7, 2008 3:41:21 PM

The cheapest DFI should work. Also, I would stick to the Quad. If you do go with the E8400, the Gigabyte DS3L would be fine.

Also, that G.Skill 1000 doesn't have any problems with P35 of X38/48 chipsets from what I have experienced. (I have built about 5 rigs with the stuff)


On the monitor thing, I am a big fan of P-MVA panels. Office Max has a super nice P-MVA Soyo 26" for $400. If you do go with a 19 or 22, I really like Hanns-G monitors. I have ordered hundreds and only had 1 go bad. I called their support number and had an RMA # in less then 5 minutes.

Good luck with the build! I'd go ahead and pull the trigger on the Blood Iron, the G.Skill, and the Quad though. That will be one heck of nice PC.
May 7, 2008 11:45:47 PM

Thanks Tsi, that is surely what I'll go with now. I think I can't go wrong with the quad/blood iron like you suggested.

About P-MVA monitors... Are those better than TN? I heard TN were cheaper and had bad colors but high contrast ratios and were made for gaming.

Shadow - Good advice. I'll go with 800 ram.

Royal - Thanks for the monitor advice, I'll look into that.
May 8, 2008 4:48:45 AM

I highly prefer P-MVA or S-IPS monitors to TN monitors for everything but light office work.

The exceptional viewing angles, deep blacks, and good color reproduction should be enough to sway anyone to P-MVA from TN when the price is right.

S-IPS panels a usually a little slower then P-MVA but have even better color reproduction and viewing angles. Depending on which S-IPS panels, you may notice more ghosting in first person shooters.

TN panels are fine for most, but good viewing angles are extremely important to me, especially on larger LCDs.

Here is a couple of links further comparing the different TFT panels used today: http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1039222 and http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/
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