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New Intel Build Inquiry

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May 29, 2008 6:51:18 AM

All, I'm within a month of starting the third build in my lifetime. I have previously put together an upgrade to an AMD K6-2 300, a full system build around an AMD Athlon FX-60. It's time I went dual/quad core. I would like your advice on the parts that I have chosen.


Case:
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

Power supply:
Thermaltake W0131RU ATX12V / EPS12V 850W Power Supply - Retail

Motherboard:
GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

or

GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS4 LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Dynamic Energy Saver Ultra Durable II Intel Motherboard - Retail

or

GIGABYTE GA-X48-DS4 LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

Processor (this is where I really need your thoughts... I can get the E8500 for the same price as the Q9300 but I can get the E8400 for much cheaper. Should I go dual core or go for Quad Core?):
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400 - Retail

or

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail

or

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 Yorkfield 2.5GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail


Memory:
CORSAIR XMS2 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C5DHX - Retail

Video Card:
EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX(G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

Audio Card:
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Professional Series - Retail

Hard Drives:
2x Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300GB 10000 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - Retail (in RAID 1)
1x SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD753LJ 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

Optical Drives:

I plan to use the 2 optical drives I have in my current build, one is a lightscribe CDRW the other is a DVD+RW

If you have any feedback on the parts I've chosen, or have any suggestions that I haven't listed. Please let me know. I am planning to use this PC mainly for gaming and viewing movies/videos.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that while I don't have a hard budget set, just using newegg as a basis point (I like to find the best cost deals from various vendors) It looks like the above hardware would cost me in the neighborhood of $2k. I have wiggle room up, but I'm looking for best bang for the buck that will last me at least 3 yrs before needing replacement due to obsolescence(barring failure).



Thanks!

JR

More about : intel build inquiry

May 29, 2008 10:44:50 AM

My thoughts :
CPU:
If you plan to keep this for 3 years go quadcore. Q9300 should reach about 3.5GHz overclock without much tinkering.

For dualcore get E8400. E8500 is 160MHz(5%) faster and costs $75(~40%) more.
Get a good CPU cooler if you plan to overclock.
XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 with the backplate mounting kit:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard:
The X48 gets my vote. It's alot more expensive(I never skimp on the motherboard) and it's a 4series so it should be supported a bit longer. P45 is just around the corner so P35 is not the best investment unless you are on a tight budget.

Graphics :
Since you are a month away wait until end of June (18th or so) for NVIDIA to release GTX 280 & 260 and decide what to buy then. Also the 8800GTS is the same card as the 9800GTX (25MHz clock difference, other specs are the same) so you can save a few $ here. Neither will last 3 years.

Hardrives:
2 Velociraptors in RAID1 ($600) and a 750GB media drive?
My advice is get 1 Velociraptor and two 1TB drives and put them in RAID1 for backups ($700).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The rest looks good but I would get a PC Power & Cooling or Corsair 750W PSU instead of the ThermalTake.

Good luck.
May 29, 2008 11:53:02 AM

^^^ what he said. Gaming belongs to dualies for now. I don't know about the future. The X48 board is a sweet one. I have a feeling it'll be a good overclocker, like its predecessor.

E8400
GA-X48-DS4
Related resources
a b å Intel
May 29, 2008 12:05:37 PM

^+1. For 3 years, I'd say quad too.
May 30, 2008 2:06:22 AM

@ Andrius
Quote:
My thoughts :
CPU:
If you plan to keep this for 3 years go quadcore. Q9300 should reach about 3.5GHz overclock without much tinkering.


I'm beginning to think the same. When I built the FX-60 I chose to go after the fastest clocked single core CPU instead of one of the early generation duallies.. I think I'm going to go with the Q9300 in this case.

Also, thanks for the advice on the cooler... I am not planning on overclocking initially. I just want to get a stable machine running at a "cool" temperature. My current machine runs @ ~60 idle. So I want to do a better job with heat management this time. I've heard that the Antec Nine Hundred should help me do that.

As far as the video card, I'm actually hoping to build the machine NLT 25 June, so hopefully I can get one of the new ones quickly. The one I have in my current machine is an old 7800GTX, so anything is an upgrade from that.

Hard drive-wise, I really like the velociraptors. I'll have to put some thought into what I actually do with them. Though Andrius' suggestion would save me about $100.

EDIT: One additional question. I saw that someone chose this case instead of the Antec:
Case: NZXT Tempest http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Does anyone have any opinion on which case would be better for me?

Thanks for the advice thus far!
May 30, 2008 6:18:33 AM

All,

New question: THG mentions that the X48 chipset was made to take advantage of the DDR3 memory. Does that mean I can't use the DDR2 memory I've listed above?

JR
a b å Intel
May 30, 2008 6:44:46 AM

I've never been a fan of the extra large E-ATX cases like the NZXT Tempest. It makes even a nice motherboard look wimpy in the big (windowed) case.
Tempest case install RC-690 case install 900 case install (but they are handy for honkin' huge video cards or in the case water cooling)
And it's sometimes harder getting them to fit in among all the other office items, under (or on top of) the desk, etc. Be sure to take into account the over all measurements (with cables out the back of the case) and do the measuring now.
And check out the TechPowerUp reviews for another perspective on the Tempest.

Some X48s take only DDR3, some take only DDR2 and some take both. GA-X48-DS4 is one of the DDR2 versions.

I didnt see any mention of the size & resolution of the monitor you plan to use. It's often the deciding factor in the X38/X48 and P35/P45 decision.
24" and 19x12 res you'd want the option to use Crossfire video cards. 22" and 16x10 resolution - you're probably be good to go with a single high end video card. That means lower MB cost, lower PSU cost (and lower monitor cost if you dont already have one). That savings is just about right to upgrade your video card in 18 months or so (with selling your current video card) to keep the GPU up-to-date with new game releases.
May 30, 2008 7:04:04 AM

WR2 said:
I've never been a fan of the extra large E-ATX cases like the NZXT Tempest. It makes even a nice motherboard look wimpy in the big (windowed) case.
Tempest case install RC-690 case install 900 case install (but they are handy for honkin' huge video cards or in the case water cooling)
And it's sometimes harder getting them to fit in among all the other office items, under (or on top of) the desk, etc. Be sure to take into account the over all measurements (with cables out the back of the case) and do the measuring now.
And check out the TechPowerUp reviews for another perspective on the Tempest.

Some X48s take only DDR3, some take only DDR2 and some take both. GA-X48-DS4 is one of the DDR2 versions.

I didnt see any mention of the size & resolution of the monitor you plan to use. It's often the deciding factor in the X38/X48 and P35/P45 decision.
24" and 19x12 res you'd want the option to use Crossfire video cards. 22" and 16x10 resolution - you're probably be good to go with a single high end video card. That means lower MB cost, lower PSU cost (and lower monitor cost if you dont already have one). That savings is just about right to upgrade your video card in 18 months or so (with selling your current video card) to keep the GPU up-to-date with new game releases.


Good point. I have a 22" widescreen monitor I'll be using. I think I'll stick with the GA-X48-DS4 for future proofing. I'll look at the Coolermaster case and compare that to the NZXT. The techpowerup review didn't really sway me enough away from it.

Thanks!
!