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Appreciate advice for Final Gaming Rig (~$900)

Last response: in Systems
May 19, 2008 9:30:50 PM

Hi guys! I'm just looking for some helpful people to take a look at what I'm looking to purchase before I make the plunge. Everything listed will be bought from newegg. I'm looking more for bang for buck and longevity than anything.

I do plan to overclock. I'll buy case fans as I need them. Maybe a CPU cooler but I'm not sure which (help?).

Everything listed is all that will be in my system,

CPU, Motherboard, HDD:
-Q6600 $219
-Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200 $100

-OCZ Reaper HPC Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) (4-4-4-15 timings)
*$84.99 after rebate
*Any thoughts on DDR2 1066 vs 800?

-ECS N8800GTS-512MX GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB
*This looks like an amazing deal ($169.99 after rebate):

DVD Burner
- LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model GH22NP20 - OEM ($30)
*This is fairly new. Good reviews, just not many.

Case & PSU
-Antec Sonata III ($100 after rebate)
*I think the 500W PSU is enough for what I need. Everything listed is all that will be in my system.

Thank you very much in advance.
May 19, 2008 9:51:02 PM

Nice build.

DDR2 800 is fine, especially considering you have a 1066FSB processor. You could get up to 3.6 GHz (9*400mhz) before starting to overclock your memory (which is famous for being excellent overclocking). Your processor should top out before you need to start relaxing the timings on your ram.

The Earthwatts 500 has 34A on the 12V rail, which should be enough for any single-GPU setup (and you can always upgrade the PSU later if you desire a second GPU - which would also require a new MB)

Xigmatek S1283

They'll all perform about the same, the only difference is mounting and price (Xigmatek is much cheaper but has push-pin as opposed to the bolt-through on both Thermalrights).
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May 19, 2008 10:30:22 PM

Thanks guys. Thank you Kyle for the RAM information, that's exactly the kind of thing I wanted to know about.
May 19, 2008 10:52:04 PM

I wouldnt bother with a Quad, still too pricey for what you get performance wise..

A E2180 @ 3.20ghz is all you need and only costs $60...

I would go sli as well if you have a 22" or bigger monitor..

Best bang for buck

May 19, 2008 10:58:28 PM

Hmm. That's an interesting build..

I wanted quad for two reasons. I do light work in Maya, and I always hear that games with better support for quad core lies in the future.

The Hitachi is a great choice I missed.

I don't know anything about that EVGA motherboard. I went with the gigabyte because it's trusted for non-SLI builds.
May 19, 2008 11:08:24 PM


I have to worry about temps because I've got poor A/C here during the summer and it gets hot. My current rig generates significant heat in the room when it's on. =/
May 19, 2008 11:23:34 PM

By the time games start to use Quads properly it will be old tech..

Took years for games to switch over from single core to dual core..

The Antec sonata is a nice case, but its not the coolest, either is the coolermaster I linked..

Antec Nine Hundred is an incredibly cool case, and imo the case and psu are the most importants parts in any pc, you should not skimp..


COOLER MASTER RC-690 is a good deal..


Front: 120 mm Blue LED fan x 1, 1200 rpm, 21 dBA,Rear: 120 mm standard fan, 1200 rpm, 21 dBA,Top: 120 or 140 mm fan x 2 (optional),Bottom: 120 mm fan x 1 (optional),Left: 120mm fan x 2 (one is optional)-up to 140mm fans

Add in a few 140mm Red Scorpion's and you have a windmill
May 19, 2008 11:40:12 PM

Thank you for the advice. I will keep it in mind.

Anyone else with thoughts? :) 
May 19, 2008 11:52:36 PM

I think dos' comments trying to sway you from getting a quad are totally unfounded. Please ignore them. A quad for the applications you're using is totally recommended over ANY dual-core CPU.

+1 on the Nine Hundred recommendation.

A P180/182 would also be good (and quiet). The Antec tri-cool fans are pretty cool and have acceptable acoustics at low and medium settings.

If you get a case that does not include a PSU I would recommend the Corsair 520HX, Enermax Modu82+ 525, Enermax Liberty 500, or Seasonic M12 (or M12II). Modular cabling will help you in keeping a case that's free-flowing.
May 20, 2008 12:06:11 AM

Yes, I agree. I'm sticking with quad regardless.

I like the 900. It's um.. also kind of nice to look at. If I pair it with any one of those PSUs I'm looking at $1050 shipped.

There were a lot of reviews about that Hitachi hard-drive complaining it runs very, very hot. Not a drive for me afterall.

I'm also very uneasy about SLI. I won't do it unless I really hear some solid reasoning for it.
May 20, 2008 12:13:57 AM

Actually, Fry's has the Nine Hundred and the 520HX at very reasonable prices, and there's a nearby location I can get them from. I'm not surprised, Fry's seems good for cases and PSUs.

Newegg has pretty much everything else cheaper.
May 20, 2008 12:15:42 AM

hey lou I am building a similar rig and I have heard somethings about the reaper memory having issues fitting into the DS3L motherboard if you are putting a aftermarket cooler on.

If this is false some one please speak up. Because I was going to get the reaper ram but decided to go with the platinum instead.
May 20, 2008 12:18:19 AM

DDR2 800 is fine, especially considering you have a 1066FSB processor. You could get up to 3.6 GHz (9*400mhz) before starting to overclock your memory (which is famous for being excellent overclocking). Your processor should top out before you need to start relaxing the timings on your ram.

If this is true, I'd assume the reaper memory doesn't really need aftermarket cooling if you don't plan to go past 3.6 overclocked (EDIT: assuming you're going with the Q6600), which is near its limit..

That's just my quick assumption, I don't know for sure.

May 20, 2008 12:29:18 AM

Yea but you can buy reasonably good cpu coolers for cheap so just to have that extra assurance is why I buy them. Even though I head with teh Q6600 some have Oc'ed it to 3.6ghz on the stock cpu fan
May 20, 2008 12:36:53 AM

Sorry. I thought you meant cooling for the RAM.

I have no clue. Let's take a look at this motherboard:

Depending on how big the cpu cooler is, I could see it taking up some space above the dimm slots. I suspect, if this is a problem, it will highly depend on which cooler you go with.
May 20, 2008 12:52:13 AM

"Manufacturer Response:Hello, sorry for the clearance problem. The added height can be an issue, so in cases where you have limited clearance please see our other products.
Thank you"

It looks like it's potentially a problem on the reaper ram. However, I skimmed through the thousand something reviews on this mobo, used the search term 'reaper' and found not a single complaint. *shrug*

Those other sticks also seem to be taller than usual.
May 20, 2008 1:03:47 AM

Yeah, as long as you stay away from the Ninja, Zipang, Geminii and the like, I think you'll be fine. Any of the taller ram (Corsair DHX/Dominator, Reaper/ReaperX, Evo, etc) will interfere with the wider HSFs. Corsair XMS or Crucial Ballistics would probably do the job if you wanna avoid compatability issues altogether.
May 20, 2008 5:45:16 AM

I've got most the stuff I wanted bought now. The only change is I went with the Antec Nine Hundred and Corsair 520HX (added $150 to the pricetag, ouch). I decided the airflow (and modular cabling) was very important.

I also picked up that Xigmatek cooler, and a Logitech G5 mouse (my current mouse has 5 buttons.. I actually use them all and love it.. but one is busted).

Finally, I found Fry's is running a pretty nice deal on a Samsung 2253BW 22" for $250 after rebate ($280 before).

Overall I'm a little shaky on the expenditure, but I'm also quite excited!
May 20, 2008 11:57:41 AM

KyleSTL said:
I think dos' comments trying to sway you from getting a quad are totally unfounded. Please ignore them. A quad for the applications you're using is totally recommended over ANY dual-core CPU.


Honestly that is crap..

A $60 dual core @ 3.0ghz is more than enough for everything, in terms of gaming it all about the cpu when you are playing @ 1680 by 1050 or more, spending $170 extra on a cpu that gives minimal performance increase is crazy, alot of apps dont use the Quad either..

Have a good read of this article, before you go posting about cpu's again

Can you overclock a 8400gs to 8800gt?

Well why spend big on a cpu then?

May 20, 2008 1:04:23 PM

Dude, google 'Maya' and shut up about the duals. For what he's using it for, a quad is perfect. In games, yes it will take another 12-18 months to have full adoption of multi-threaded games, but that's not the reason I'm suggesting it to him.
May 20, 2008 1:41:41 PM


I do light work in Maya

Hardly need a more than triple the price cpu for that...

Games dont use it either ( with the exception of one of two ) and by the time they do, we will be onto a new platform
May 20, 2008 2:31:50 PM,192...

Dos, those scores test at the lowest with an E8400 ($199). Yes you can overclock the $60 CPU, but then you can overclock this one as well. And the difference between 2MB and 6MB L2 Cache makes a difference.

So. Dual core would have been totally fine. Except I would have spent more than $60. Probably at least $120 (E4600) or $160 (E6550) or $200 (E8400).

So, really, the price difference is not nearly as dramatic as you make it sound.

I reasoned I would spend the extra money for Maya work. I also have a boyfriend who does extensive 3d work as part of his major. This machine will be pretty good (way better than his) for rendering.
May 20, 2008 2:35:30 PM

I will admit I almost went with this instead after my purchase.

Why I didn't? *shrug*. Some extra dollars towards being a little more future proof, and hopefully quite a bit cooler. Parts are always transferable when upgrading. One thing I decided about SLI is that it's not stable enough yet for the marginal upgrade. Once SLI is more secure there will be better cards to SLI with as well.