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AMD fanboy needs advice for Intel System

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May 25, 2008 10:49:47 PM

Okay guys, I'm a long time AMD guy who would like to build an Intel system, but I really don't know enough about Intel products. I currently have a AMD XP 3200+ single core processor(can you believe it, I ran Crysis with this old thing), ASUS A7N8X Deluxe board, 2 Gigs of Crucial Ballistix, Creative SB X-Fi Gamer card, ATI AGP X1950 Pro 512 MB video card, a WD 74 GB Raptor, WD 500 GB HD, WD 750 GB HD, 2 DVD Burners, a Antec Case, Antec Neo 430 Watt PS, and a Jet Cooler. I also run a 21" Sony Trinitron CRT monitor that I love and will be keeping, no LCD screen for me. This system can still do most of the things that I need, but can no longer be upgraded any more. I need to get away from the single core processor and I need to get something with PCI instead of my AGP bus. Oh yeah, I am still on Windows XP SP3.

I have been holding out for the last year for AMD to come out with something to make me get excited about them and it just hasn't happened, so now Intel gets my next build. I plan on using the computer for movies, tons of gaming, Civil 3D 2008 (power hungry beast of a program), AutoCAD 2008-2009, maybe some Maya if I get the time. I don't do any overclocking on my parts and don't intend to in the future, so that is not an issue. I also have no interest in SLI or Crossfire as I would rather have one fast card than mess with 2 or more slower cards, plus they sell the dual cards if I needed it. I'm basically after a system that will allow me to run my programs and games and keep me happy until something better comes along, I'm not concerned with building a system to last for 3-4 years like most people. I try to upgrade system components yearly if there is something better that is compatible with my system. The price of the new parts isn't really an issue, but I'm not going to buy the extreme parts because it's not worth it for the little bit of performance gain.

So here goes for my new build, this is what I will be keeping:

Case: Re-using my Antec case, it's big and has plenty of room and air flow, possibly upgrading to either an Antec 900 or 1200 down the road.

Monitor: Re-using my 21" CRT monitor, it has an awesome picture and great color, will eventually buy a new LCD monitor, waiting til I can either get something really big for Bluray movies.

Burners: Re-using my two LG burners for now, plan to upgrade to Bluray when the price is more reasonable, probably be a year from now

Sound Card: Re-using my Creative X-Fi, it's only about a year old and it sounds great with my 7.1 speaker system.

Also re-using my HP printer(like new still), keyboard and mouse(they're 3 weeks old)

New Parts for the build:

CPU: Intel Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz, open to suggestions for other processors if there is a good reason for it.

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper TX2. The price is great and Tom's gave it passing colors on there last cooling tests. I won't be doing any overclocking, so I think this should be sufficient. Any suggestions on something else, let me know.

Motherboard: Socket T something or another. I have no idea on this one, I need some input. I would like something that has the latest features, especially PCI Xpress 2.0 for future upgradeability.

Memory: 4 GB's of DDR2 RAM, still using XP otherwise I would go to 8 GB as Civil 3D is a memory pig. I have always used Crucial but would be open to other manufacturers. Eventualy will switch to Vista 64 bit, so I will probably get a 2x2 memory kit for now. Also what speed should I get as I've seen a lot of discussion this topic.

Power Supply: Probably get a new one as my Antec Neo is only 430 watts, we'll see what you guys come up with for system parts and go from there.

Video Card: Something high end, Nvidia 8800 line looks good, but might wait and see what ATI and Nvidia come out with in June. I'm interested in seeing how the new ATI card does.

Hard Drive: I might get a new 300 GB VelociRaptor when they come out, for use as the OS drive. I took my 74 GB raptor out of my system as my games were using too much space. I have had it out for about 2 months now and I have noticed a drop in access times for programs, so apparently it does make a difference versus a standard hard drive. I will also be getting a new 500 GB to 1 TB drive for storage. My engineering projects take up tons of space. I have 1.25 TB on my current system and I am out of room. Not sure what I want here, I really like WD but open to suggestions. I don't do RAID yet, I probably should but I do back-up the really important stuff to a extra hard drive.

Okay, I just relized how long this post is and it's ridiculous. I hope I explained what I'm after and gave you guys something to go off. All suggestions will be appreciated and considered. I will probably be ordering this tommorrow evening, so you guys have some time to review it. Any more questions, I will check back periodically and answer questions.




May 26, 2008 12:50:41 AM

My recommendations:
CPU: Q6600

Motherboard: P35-DS3x(ie DS3L); X38-DS4; P5K

PSU: PP&C 610/750 or Corsair 450/520/550

RAM: Any good 2*2GB DDR2 800 (DDR2 1066 seems to have compatibility issues)

HSF: Xigmatek HDT-S1283

GPU: 8800GT/(G92)8800GTS/9600GT (all 512MB versions) depending on budget/deals.

May 26, 2008 12:52:24 AM

I would go with the q6600 quad for sure.You will need a quad core for what you are planning on doing with your PC. As for your memory, go with ddr 2 800 at the very least. I would go with 2 gigs for now until you upgrade to a 64 bit OS, because a 32 bit OS will only recognize 2.5 gigs anyways.As for your mobo you will want an LGA 775 intel mobo for the core 2 duo and the quad core's(I use gigabyte or abit mobo's)Here"s a good mobo Ga-P35-DS3l from gigabyte, it gets great reviews and is the board im using now. I think the new revision of this board is pci express 2.0,you may want to check it out on Newegg to be sure.For your power supply i would go for a 600 watt at the very least. As for the video card im runnin a Evga 8800 gts 512(g92) , its an outstanding card, and is dropping in price! Here is what i have -( Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L mobo,2 gigs G Skill ddr 2 memory, evga gforce 8800 gts vid card, samsung dvd rw litescribe, 680 watt psu, 320 gig seagate sata HD, Core 2 duo E8400 cpu, creative x-fi extreme gamer souncard, Artic cooling 7 heatsink with fan, Windows Xp Pro 32 bit, Viewsonic 22 inch widescreen Lcd hi def monitor.I hope this helps you a little anyways. Good Luck! P.S. you might want to consider a new case, because these newer vid cards r HUGE lol.
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May 26, 2008 12:58:02 AM

Get the after market heatsink if you really want it, but seeing as your not doing any overclocking I wouldn't worry about it. Just use the stock one, it will keep your CPU cool enough.

Get any good 2x2GB DDR2-800 sticks. XP might only be able to address 4GBs, but you might as well get all that you can use. After it takes up space for drivers, PCI bus, Video memory, etc, you should still have around 3GBs for programs.

Seeing as the 8800GTS 512MB is now under $200, you might as well get one of those.
May 26, 2008 2:55:00 AM

You seem to upgrade components as you go along or as you need them. Since you're saving so much money by reusing components from your old comp i'd spend more on the ones you really need. CPU, mobo and RAM. You're not overclocking, so the stock cooler should be fine. Unless you're going with a 3870X2 or 9800X2 your old PSU will be fine, upgrade it if you upgrade to a new power hungry GPU.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Q9450
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N... Giga P48
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 26, 2008 4:40:06 AM

Good advice so far, I think I will probably stick with DDR2 800 speed for now. I will get at least 4 GB's even though XP won't recognize it all. I want to run in Dual Channel mode and then when I switch to Vista I can just add another 2x2 kit and it will be full. I will get a new PSU since mine just isn't that big and I would like a new one anyways, I've had mine for about a year now, time to upgrade. I'm getting the Thermaltake Cooler because it is cheap and it will still a better job of cooling then the stock cooler. As far as the case I do really like the Antec 900 Gamer case and I looked up the Antec 1200 Case and I really like that one, but I only found it on one site and they wanted $250 for it whereas the 900 case is $110 on Pricegrabber. Interesting choice of motherboards so far, I will have to do more looking this evening. Keep the advice coming, I'm learning lots of good information.
May 26, 2008 1:48:26 PM

dirtmountain said:
You seem to upgrade components as you go along or as you need them. Since you're saving so much money by reusing components from your old comp i'd spend more on the ones you really need. CPU, mobo and RAM. You're not overclocking, so the stock cooler should be fine. Unless you're going with a 3870X2 or 9800X2 your old PSU will be fine, upgrade it if you upgrade to a new power hungry GPU.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Q9450
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N... Giga P48
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Since his PSU is a few years old upgrading the PSU is a good choice, because of capacitor degradation. (~10-20% a year for a PSU like that)
May 26, 2008 2:16:43 PM

If you're considering a high-end MB, the gigabyte GA-X48-DS4 as someone mentioned is an excellent choice. Also in the same price range you should look at the ASUS RAMPAGE FORMULA LGA 775 Intel X48 - it's one heck of a board as well.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If you upgrade frequently and think you won't be using the same MB in two years and since you don't want to overclock, you might be better off with a more economical but still very high quality board. They don't have PCI-E 2.0, but that technology offers no performance improvement with this generation (or the next generation) of cards.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Wouldn't be a bad idea to upgrade your PSU, can't be too careful in that department.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 26, 2008 4:07:58 PM

^PS: The DS3L although less than $100 is a very good OCing board. ;) 
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