I'm looking to put together a good system that will last a good 3 years with just a few upgrades from time to time (ram, gfx card). I'd like any feedback/advice anyone has on how this looks. I'm willing to spend up to 1700 if I'll get the bang for my buck in longevity.
MB: Keep in mind that the X48 chipset does not support SLI. While this may not matter mutch now it might before your 3 year period is up. It does support Crossfire and the new 48xx ATI cards are supposed to be (short for everyones guessing) very impressive. Also, you can save $50-$75 by ordering one of the "open box" boards. It is my understanding that they are all tested and have the same warranties.
CPU: I would recommend switching the CPU to the E8400/8500. Most applications do not take advantage of quad core. If you are doing video editing etc then the quad would be an excellent choice. If that is the case you might want to consider the Q9450, if you can find one.
HD: Your HD is perfectly fine but I prefer the Seagate. It is one of the fastest (only slightly behind the Raptor) HD on the market. This is purely personal preference and I am sure that you can find 50 people on this forum to argue for or against each of the major HD manufacturers. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Audio Card: I have to agree with SuicideSilence, the XFI cards have been problematic with Vista. I only use my onboard audio and it sounds great. If you are going to get a complete speaker set to use and watch movies then go for it but if this is for gaming then just get a headset and enjoy the 5.1 channel onboard audio.
Thanks for the feedback. I've changed the soundcard to a HT Omega Striker.
I was torn on the CPU and decided on the q6600 because people say it's the best bang for the buck and fairly easily overclocked. I know games now are just starting to use 2 cores well and are barely touching 4 cores if at all. The CPU and the MB are really the 2 components I don't want to have to upgrade. I'm open to whatever CPU, quad or dual, will be servicable for the longest for gaming (except $1k extremes ).
I've read X38/48 boards are more stable than the nvidia boards and SLI is not a priority for me. I'd be willing to upgrade to 2 ati cards or a new nvidia depending on the bang for the buck once again.
When games go multithreaded the quad will rear its ugly head and eat any dual core system alive. Also a quad @3.2 or a dual at the same clock is going to perform the same. A few weeks ago there was a good quad vs dual core discussion going in here, i asked if anyone had gone from dual to quad, and what the performance diffrence from a quad @3.2 compared to a e8400 was. Quite a few people who had gone this route said none. Nuff said.
I've made a few changes to the build. I went with a HT OMEGA STRIKER 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card over the Creative. Also added a XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler and Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound. I posted this build on a few other sights and someone questioned whether the 1066 ram would work well on my current MB. So given these two options, which should I go with?
I can't say Im a fan of the Open Box method of getting a discount. It's not so much because I know the MBs have all been tested for functionality.
It's more along the line of the missing accessory pack (SATA cables, chipset cooler, etc) and the rest of the Open Box policy.
I'd actually rather see you get an X38 motherboard for the same price as the X48 open box.
What you say is true enough. As long as you're gaming at lower resolutions, lower graphics options and lower quality (AA/AF) settings.
On the other hand if you're an average gamer you care as much (or more) about graphics quality than flat out FPS performance.
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition is a game that uses multiple threads, as many as eight. In the benchmarkings below you'll notice a capture of
core activity as shown by Windows Task Manager.
The benchmarks were run at 1152x864 resolution with its default quality settings except texture filtering was set to trilinear, edge
antialiasing was disabled, and "Concurrent operations" was set to match the number of CPU cores available. The GPU was an 8800GTX.
In the Snow benchmark you'll see the game is already GPU bound at 1152x864 res and medium graphics settings. Not much evidence of quads
eating duals there.
In the Cave benchmark you'll see the quad core activity is higher and the quads pulling out good peformance gaps over dual cores - as you'd
expect to see in a non-GPU bound game. However once you run up the resolution to about 12x10 & above, add high graphics options and
add in some antialiasing you're back to being GPU bound. And it's not because the quads have lost any appetite.
(in the FiringSquad benchmarks above a HD3870 was the GPU in use)
BLACKSCI's "poll" about going from dual to quad and not finding any difference probably had more to due with GPU bound graphics than differences
in # or cores or levels of OC'ing.
I'm in favor of cinc going with the Q6600 for his goal of having components he doesn't have to upgrade over the next few years.
Just didnt want him to have to wonder why his new OC'd quad wasnt making a meal of the dual core CPUs.
@WR2 I did say most, which means not all. Also some of the folks that responded were running sli systems, and i have to think at least one of them knew what they were doing. A game is only going to move so fast, its then you hit the point of diminishing returns. Also if you game online, its fps you need to worry about, not overall quality, if i can kick a game up to max resolution, and see all the pretty stuff, thats nice and all, but its not gonna do me much good when i see a guy and realize im laggin out, cuz my fps is crap, and i cant even get off a miracle shot.