Questions about this build

I'm in the process of building a new rig. My old one is about 5 years old, P4, running XP Pro and just having all sorts of problems...

Anyway, I'm going to build a new pc, my experience level is moderate (I guess). I get into this stuff every few years when I need a new PC. I end up building a higher end PC with the idea that I could upgrade components as they come out, but, by the time I get around to upgrading, the state of the art has moved on and are so beyond me that a new build is really the only option.

So, I'm building a higher end rig, that I would like to be fairly future proof. I'd like to have upgrading as an option, but, in reality, I'm unlikely to do much.

I'd like to have some thoughts or suggestions about the following build:

Here it is:

CPU : Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 2.66GHz Processor
Memory: OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
HDD: Western Digital Raptor WD740ADFD 74GB
GPU: DIAMOND Viper 3870PE4512SB Radeon HD 3870 512MB 256-bit GDDR4 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
PSU: Antec TPQ-850 ATX12V / EPS12V 850W
Case : Lian-Li PC-V2000 Aluminum Black ATX Full Tower Case
Cooler: Zalman CNPS9500A LED CPU Cooler
Optical drive: Pioneer DVR-115DBK

I can have the above for under $2000. I have several large HDDs around to add in for extra storage. This would essentially be an “all around” PC for us. I may use it for some gaming, but I game mostly on my 360. I'll use it for general use, some video processing, torrents, and to stream media to my TiVos.

It's unlikely that I'll be doing any overclocking.

What do you think of the above hardware?

Additionally, should I go with XP Pro or Vista? My gut tells me to stick with XP, but are there aspects of Vista that would allow me to take better advantage of the above hardware?

Many Thanks in advance

4 answers Last reply
More about questions build
  1. Everything looks good. 3870 is a strange choice though. Right now, Nvidia g92 8800gts is best bang for the buck, as well as perform much better. And 4870 is to be released by the end of this month, and if initial benchmarks are... not fake, it's a monster.

    If you already have XP that you don't need to pay extra for, it's fine to stick to it. It's still good. If you have to buy a new copy, go for Vista 64bit, no reason to get another copy of XP.
  2. PSU is overkill. Raptor is a waste of money. If I would be you this is a card I would go with EVGA 512-P3-N845-AR GeForce 8800GTS (G92).
  3. Yeah, ya know I would not buy an ATI card right now. Wait for the new ones to come out and wait for some reviews. For the same money, the 8800GTS just stomps the 3870.
    Since you don't game a lot on the PC, the video card may not be hugely important to you. But if your gonna spend the money for a 3870, I would definetly get the best performing card for the money.
    A 3870 is not that card.
  4. Thanks everyone for the comments.

    I realize that this machine is likely overkill for what I'm going to be doing with it, but, since only build a new pc every 5-7 years, I usually aim toward the higher end.

    Thanks for the advice about the HDD and video card. In the past, I'd always had good luck with ATI cards. I guess that's why I looked there first. I'll check out the Nvidia card that you mentioned, I'll probably go with that based on your advice.

    My thought with going with the Raptor was that I wanted to have a fast primary drive. The size was not as important to me since most of my data will be stored on other large drives that I already have with more to be added later. I guess that I'm a sucker for marketing. I thought "well, those Raptor drives are supposed to be fast..." So it seemed like an easy choice....sucker...I know. Someone on another forum suggested the Spinpoint F1 750GB or the Western Digital 640GB AKKS. Would these drives perform as well, or better, than the Raptor as a primary drive? Do you guys have any other suggestions for a good, reliable, fast primary drive?

    I was going large with the PSU because this machine may end up housing 6-8 HDDs and figured that I could use the overhead, but, quickly browsing newegg, I was able to find a CoolerMaster 650 for half the price.

    I have zero experience with Vista so please forgive me if the following is a stupid question. One of the reasons that I love the windows platform is the wide array of cheap (or free) applications that are available. Do XP programs "play nice" with Vista or do Vista versions have to be available?

    Seriously, thanks again for you guys taking the time to look at my build. You've saved me a ton of time (and some money) with your suggestions.
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