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$1100 gaming rig. First comp ever. PLEASE HELP, REVIEW!

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Last response: in Systems
May 27, 2008 3:36:32 AM

Hi, thanks for helping me out. I'm planning to build my first computer and the bottom line is that I need help. I'm not completely sure that my components will go together soundly. I'd like to spend ~$1100 and I'm hoping to get suggestions/recommendations. Thoughts and criteria are below each link, let me know what you think:

ASUS P5N-D LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 750i SLI ATX Intel ($150)
I want an Intel motherboard that has the capability to accommodate quad-core and has x2 2.0 PCI-E slots. This is because I plan on getting a Q6600 and another GPU for SLI.

Intel Pentium E2220 Allendale 2.4GHz 1MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor ($90)

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower ($120)
This is the only component I am set on getting.

EVGA 512-P3-N801-AR GeForce 8800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported ($210)
I plan on getting another of whatever video card in the future for SLI.

COOLER MASTER Real Power Pro RS-650-ACAA-A1 650W ATX Form Factor ($110)
I want an 80 PLUS PSU (whatever I can do to save the earth).

Western Digital Caviar GP WD5000AACS 500GB 5400 to 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s ($90)

OCZ SLI-Ready Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel ($95)

Microsoft Windows Vista 64-Bit Home Premium ($95/$100)
What is the difference?

CPU Cooler:
ASUS V-60 92mm Vapo Bearing ($30)
I need the cooler to support quad-core.

I want SATA input.

I'm not including the monitor, that's something I can do separately and on my own. I already own a keyboard and mouse.

What's good, what's not? Does everything go together?
Thanks for your help,

More about : 1100 gaming rig comp review

May 27, 2008 12:23:40 PM

Swap that mobo out with DS3L if you're not going to sli soon. Use the savings to buy a good cooler. Heck, it's just $7 more for Xigmatek hdt-s1283 heatsink which beats the crap out of the one you listed. Coolermaster psu isn't the best. Won't be ever in my pc while I'm around. Even if it's free. Either Corsair/Earthwatts.

The rest are fine.
May 27, 2008 12:44:58 PM

Get this video card instead of the 8800GT, or any other 8800GTS 512 (G92) GPU.
It has more stream processors, better cooling, 5-10% faster than a GT, overclocks like crazy, and costs less.

I am not sure what the difference is with the OS's, but you are aware they are OEM builders versions of Vista. You cannot transfer them to another computer once you install and activate them.
So, if you ever upgrade your Processor, or motherboard, you could have some issues getting them to reactivate without calling Microsoft.
Maybe not a big deal, but just so you know.
Related resources
May 27, 2008 12:47:13 PM
May 27, 2008 1:33:21 PM

The 2nd Vista link includes SP1 and the first one does not. That's the difference.

I'd follow some of the advise listed above and swap the PSU for maybe a Corsair 650W, swap the video card to a 8800GTS (G92) 512MB, and go for the Xigmatek 1283 heatsink.

Maybe go for a seagate 7200.11 HDD too.
May 27, 2008 1:36:43 PM

I would switch that SLI motherboard with a Gigabyte P35 DS3-L

Your building a fairly good gaming PC right? then don't go for that 2200... rather spend some cash on a higher dual core (E8400), or a quad-core (Q6600) if you do photoshop, and graphics illustrations. It will give you a good lifespan and they are fairly cheap for the performance they give.

Also if you plan to overclock I would suggest a Hyper TX2 cooler, they cool well. Else just leave the stock.

For gaming i would use a 8800GTS 512 instead of GT, just for that little notch of a performance.

Don't cheap out on PSU's aswell. The Cooler master 650 will do fine, but I don't trust the lifelength of those things. 195 US

CPU cooler 30 US (if you plan on mild overclock)

GTS 512 oc'd $210 !!!

Switch your Power supply to that one, as you will spend 45 dollars more, and you have a safe power supply. And a one that will last you long.

And If you want more features, you can always buy a better motherboard, but the p35 ds3l is solid and stable.
May 27, 2008 1:48:10 PM

A cheap power supply can go up in smoke and take your entire investment with it. That's why it is a good idea to get a good power supply.
It's the heart of your system, you want a good working one.
May 27, 2008 3:21:12 PM

Hey - I'm building one as well but was able to get more for the money at (I think Tigerdirect bought them as prices are identical). Basically if you don't splurge on the GX2 vid card like I did for 500 bones you could save a couple hundred. I went with a smaller HDD as I don't do any video or music downloading, but they also have larger available.

Ship Date: 05/23/2008


Ship Level: 0101

1 ULT40099 Ultra nForce 680i LT SLI Socket 775 Barebone Kit - Pre-Assembled, Ultra Grid ATX Mid-Tower Case, Clear Side, Ultra XVS-Series 700-Watt Power Supply
MPN: ULT40099 $199.99 $199.99

Net Product: $199.99
Sales Tax: $.00
P & H: $20.23
Invoice Total: $220.22

Invoice No: W32840790102 Ship Date: 05/22/2008


Ship Level: 0102

1 CP1-DUO-E8400 Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Processor BX80570E8400 - 3.0GHz, 6MB Cache, 1333MHz FSB, Wolfdale, Dual-Core, Retail, Socket 775, Processor with Fan
MPN: BX80570E8400 $199.99 $199.99
1 E145-9800 EVGA GeForce 9800 GX2 Video Card - 1GB GDDR3, PCI Express 2.0, SLI Ready, (Dual Link) Dual DVI, HDMI
MPN: 01G-P3-N891-AR $499.99 $499.99
1 L12-1134 OEM Lite-On LH-20A1L-06 SuperAllwrite OEM Lightscribe DVD Burner - 20x DVD±R Burn, 16x DVD±R Read, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD±R DL, 12x DVD-RAM, 48x24x CD-R/RW, Black, SATA, No Software
MPN: LH-20A1L $29.99 $29.99
1 O261-8038 OCZ SLI-Ready Dual Channel 4096MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz Memory (2x2048MB)
MPN: OCZ2N800SR4GK $104.99 $104.99
1 T156-2180 TRENDnet TEW-424UB USB Wireless Network Adapter - 54Mbps, 802.11g, USB 2.0
MPN: TEW-424UB $19.99 $19.99
1 TSD-250AS7 SY Seagate 250GB Serial ATA w/NCQ 7200/16MB/SATA-3G
MPN: ST3250410AS SY $64.99 $64.99
1 ULT31346 Ultra 107 Piece Premium Tool Kit
MPN: ULT31346 $14.99 $14.99
1 ULT31418 Ultra Antistatic Wrist Strap
MPN: ULT31418 $6.99 $6.99

Net Product: $941.92
Sales Tax: $.00
P & H: $.00
Invoice Total: $941.92


Net Product: $1,141.91
Sales Tax: $.00
Shipping & Handling: $20.23
Total Shipment: $1,162.14

May 27, 2008 11:34:26 PM

You guys rock.

GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3L. I like that it has better RAM capabilities, but it doesn't have any PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots. It only has a single a single PCI-E x16. Two things, isn't 2.0 x16 better than just x16. Second, don't I need two PCI-E for SLI? Why is this mobo a better choice than the 750i?

If the Vista I've chosen is the system builder version that only works on initial installation, which version can I repeatedly install?

Due to popular demand, I threw out the Cooler Master PSU and instead went with the Corsair HX 620W. I also replaced the ASUS V-60 with the Xigmatek HDT-S1283.

The MSI 8800GTS looks great. I don't really know anything about the streaming processors and the other specifications, but I trust that it's better.

So my biggest concern is with the motherboard. Is the 750i that bad? Is the DS3L that much better? If so, why?

Thanks guys, let me know.
May 28, 2008 4:18:55 AM

unclet it is not that the 750i is bad its just that it is overpriced. If you dont see yourself ever running SLI then the gigabyte board is a fine buy. It overclocks very well and the difference between PCIE 16 and PCIe2.0 16 is minimal, maybe a frame or two in realtime gaming
May 28, 2008 12:23:06 PM

If you can't not have PCIE 2.0, look at X38 & X48. Perhaps, you're keeping this pc for a few years. Then a premium board makes sense. i.e. ASUS P5E. The 2 latest chipsets are identical to the average user. The MSI X48C Plat costs about $270, MUCH less than the rest of X48 boards. And I've seen the overclockability and I'm liking it. C means both DDR2 & 3.