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Trying to stay under 3k (more likely 4) ... can I?

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June 4, 2008 7:25:42 AM

I have numerous questions and I hope that some of you might help me. My wife and I are about to buy and/or build a new system for me. I am trying to stay under the $3,000 mark, but I might be able to push it to $4,000.

My computer building knowledge and skill are fairly low ... and what little knowledge I do have is years and years out-dated.

What I really want in it:
Fast quad-core (hoping for the QX9650)
Dual graphics cards (hoping for quad SLI 9800X2)
Decent sized main HD (300-600gigs prefer raid 0)
Fairly large secondary HD (1-2TBs again prefer raid 0)
A decent DVD burner (20x)
2-4 gigs of good ram (DDR2 is fine as the DDR3 just isn't worth the extra expense in my opinion)

I would also prefer to have a decent sound card just because I hate the thought of on-board sound.

Now to the first slew of questions:

1. While I am fairly certain that this build is impossible for $3k ... could I swing it with 4?

2. What would any of you recommend I do different either for better performance and/or better pricing?

3. Is NEWEGG a good place to buy my components from (I've made purchases from them in the past and am very satisfied with their prices and speed/cost of shipping ... is there anyone better)?

4. Are the raptors (10k) worth the extra $$ per gig that they ost?

5. While I will be waiting till the very end of the month to make my purchases ... what are the chances that the new graphic cards are really going to be that much greater than the current offering (9800X2s)?

6. While I am very comfortable with my 32-bit XP ... I'm wondering if I should take this time to migrate to Vista (possibly 64 bit)?

7. To do two dual-GPU (quad sli) what would be needed?

8. Also, what would be needed to run a raid 0 configuration for my main HD (using eith XP pro or Vista Ultimate)?

I'm sure that there are thousands of questions I haven't remembered that I wanted to ask, but for now I will leave it at that.

I hope that I'm not shooting too high with my expectations, but I'm really ready to get back to the 'old days' when my computer could run everything I threw at it and not even flinch. :sigh:

Thanks in advance everyone ...

More about : stay

June 4, 2008 8:17:42 AM

(a) What are you going to use the PC for? Mostly gaming...or heavy duty vid editing or animation..or anything else?

(b) Any QX CPU is a horrendous waste of money... you should get the Q9300 or Q9450...you won't notice any difference in performance and you'd save a busload of money.

(c) 9800GX2 is a cr@p card for that price. You ought to get the Radeon 4870 or the GTX280 both of which outperform it. The benchmarks would be out anytime this week.

(d) Seagate 500gb 7200.11 and WD640AAKS are the very best choices of hard drives.

(e) You don't need a sound card...the onboard soundcard of the mobo serves very well.

In answer to your questions:

1) You'd get a spectacular build for under 2.5K

2) Read next post.

3) Newegg is the best. Zipzoomfly is also very well.

4) Not yet...they would be when their prices come down in say 3-4 months.

5) VERY HIGH chances.

6) Not really

7) A good SLI/Crossfire board. (Read next post for more on this)



NEXT POST : (hyperjoe posted in between)

For point #2, this rig ought to give you a splendid performance.

CPU: Intel E9450: $320

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EX38-DS4 : $180

RAM: 4GB DDR2 800 Corsair : $80

GPU: Radeon 4870 512mb: $320/ Nvidia GTX280: $600

Hard Drive: 500GB Seagate 7200.11 : $85/ WD640AAKS: $120

Monitor: SAMSUNG 24": $400

PSU: Corsair 750TX : $130

Total: $1820(if you get 4870) / $2100 (if you get GTX280). Throwing in another 4870 or GTX280 would obviously cost you that much more.

Now...i always recommend X38 rather than Nvidia board/SLI because IMHO X38 is a better performer and i haven't heard a single issue regarding it when compared to the long, sad history of horror stories regarding Nvidia driver with SLI board. Also X38 costs MUCH cheaper than 790 boards for the same if not better performance. Crossfire is a much better option because the new Radeons not only cost less but also would give a superb performance.. the GTX280 cannot possibly be worth the +$600 pricetag when the 4870 is around. Anyhow...for this the benchmarks would be available anytime this week. So check the benchmarks and the prices and THEN decide of you want to go Nvidia and SLI way or Radeon and Crossfire way.
June 4, 2008 8:28:22 AM

Narcissus said:
I have numerous questions and I hope that some of you might help me. My wife and I are about to buy and/or build a new system for me. I am trying to stay under the $3,000 mark, but I might be able to push it to $4,000.


First of all, if you're just looking to brag about how much HD space or having the best video capacity. Then you can easily build a PC with a budget that goes over $3000k.




My computer building knowledge and skill are fairly low ... and what little knowledge I do have is years and years out-dated.

Quote:
What I really want in it:
Fast quad-core (hoping for the QX9650)


The QX9650 is the most economical Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad processor at about $1.0k. It also has double the L2 Cache of the next best model. Are you looking to overclock the CPU? If not... you might look into the following one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It has the same amount of cache as the 9650 and can be OC'ed to match the clock speed. I'm building a PC soon as well and I'm thinking of getting the Q9450, the Q9300 or the E8400/8500 series.

And you save up to $675 on the build.


Quote:
Dual graphics cards (hoping for quad SLI 9800X2)


How much gaming are you going to do? How long until you purchase the new PC components. Can you wait for the new Nvidia video cards to come out and see how they perform?

Quote:
Decent sized main HD (300-600gigs prefer raid 0)
Fairly large secondary HD (1-2TBs again prefer raid 0)


If you're going to Raid0 both an OS drive, and a storage drive... I would go for the Velociraptors. $600 for both of the OS drives. Otherwise, 2x 1TB 7200RPM HD's would do for the secondaries.


Quote:
A decent DVD burner (20x)


You should be able to find DVD burners to satisfy your DVD-R needs for less than $50.
If you are looking for Blue Ray capability you are looking at a lot more cost.

Quote:
2-4 gigs of good ram (DDR2 is fine as the DDR3 just isn't worth the extra expense in my opinion)


RAM shouldn't be an issue

I would also prefer to have a decent sound card just because I hate the thought of on-board sound.

Now to the first slew of questions:

1. While I am fairly certain that this build is impossible for $3k ... could I swing it with 4?
Let's see:
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($1025)
GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($1100)
HD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($600)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($420)
DVD Burner: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($25)
RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($85)

That adds up to $3285, without considering the case, motherboard, OS, monitor, and any aftermarket CPU coolers.
Going with the Q9450 linked above would bring this build down to ~$2610, making your $3k build budget a good reach, even with the remaining hardware staying the same.

Quote:
2. What would any of you recommend I do different either for better performance and/or better pricing?


I've already made some comments to answer this question. But ask yourself this question: At what point do my performance gains get outweighed by the cost increase. I'm a "bang for the buck" kind of guy.

Quote:
3. Is NEWEGG a good place to buy my components from (I've made purchases from them in the past and am very satisfied with their prices and speed/cost of shipping ... is there anyone better)?


I've had good experiences with newegg as a whole. A lot of people link to it from here because of the simplicity of its website. I also use other sites as well, if I can get a good deal on a comparable part or set of parts.

Quote:
4. Are the raptors (10k) worth the extra $$ per gig that they ost?


I'm going to get at LEAST one Velociraptor (linked above ) for my newest build. whether you want to or not is up to your budget.

Quote:
5. While I will be waiting till the very end of the month to make my purchases ... what are the chances that the new graphic cards are really going to be that much greater than the current offering (9800X2s)?


If you can wait, I'd say wait.

Quote:
6. While I am very comfortable with my 32-bit XP ... I'm wondering if I should take this time to migrate to Vista (possibly 64 bit)?


I'm heavily weighing the benefit/cost of going 64 bit and/or Vista. I'm afraid I can't help you much there.

Quote:
7. To do two dual-GPU (quad sli) what would be needed?


I don't think many motherboards can support quad-sli right now. That will make your build cost go up by at least $100.


Hope I helped....

EDIT: sorry for breaking up your posts mihirkula :) 
JR
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June 4, 2008 8:32:51 AM

already pasted in first post
June 4, 2008 8:34:09 AM

That CPU is just sick; over 1G for a CPU is plain stupid IMO.
June 4, 2008 8:40:21 AM

TechReport's Doublestuff Workstation is somewhat along the lines of what you're thinking.

The Xeon is the Q9450 2.66Ghz Quad equivelent.

You didnt mention much about a monitor, speakers, etc - the "other" parts of complete system.
Be sure to check the Peripherals, accessories, and extras section and consider what you need there.
What are you thinking about along those lines?

June 4, 2008 10:02:41 AM

WR2 said:
You didnt mention much about a monitor, speakers, etc - the "other" parts of complete system.
Be sure to check the Peripherals, accessories, and extras section and consider what you need there.
What are you thinking about along those lines?


I have two monitors that I currently am using ... one is a very nice 24" CRT and the other is a 5ms widescreen lcd.

I also have an incredible surround sound system that I bought when I purchased the CRT.

I already have a 'stock' of mice (I use the same one for everything so easiest to buy them bulk), the microsoft optical intellimouse. I also already have a G15 keyboard.

I think as far as peripherals go, I am pretty much covered. I have really nice stuff, I just need a computer to go with it! ;) 

Quote:
First of all, if you're just looking to brag about how much HD space or having the best video capacity. Then you can easily build a PC with a budget that goes over $3000k.


Really, I'm not overly concerned with bragging rights at all. I'm a computer game nerd who spends every waking moment on his computer. I do want the best video capacity/performance as that almost always seems to be the bottleneck with running newer games at higher settings.

Quote:
The QX9650 is the most economical Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad processor at about $1.0k. It also has double the L2 Cache of the next best model. Are you looking to overclock the CPU?


I want to overclock the proc, yes. Maybe not right away because from what I've read ... overclocking a qx9650 is somewhat of a waste unless you are doing video editing work. I don't know if I would even 'see' any gains from it.

Quote:
How much gaming are you going to do? How long until you purchase the new PC components. Can you wait for the new Nvidia video cards to come out and see how they perform?


A LOT of gaming. I do a lot of other things as well, but the majority of my time is spent gaming. I had planned on buying the components towards the end of this month, but that was before I learned that the new graphic cards were coming out early next month. Seems pretty stupid to buy a few weeks before without seeing the difference in performance and what price changes might occur. Yeah, I'll wait until I see what the new cards can actually do.

Quote:
If you're going to Raid0 both an OS drive, and a storage drive... I would go for the Velociraptors. $600 for both of the OS drives. Otherwise, 2x 1TB 7200RPM HD's would do for the secondaries.


I have heard that a single of the new 300gig velociraptors is as good as a pair of the 150s raid 0'd. I don't know if that is true, but I have been considering them.

Quote:
(a) What are you going to use the PC for? Mostly gaming...or heavy duty vid editing or animation..or anything else?


(b) Any QX CPU is a horrendous waste of money... you should get the Q9300 or Q9450...you won't notice any difference in performance and you'd save a busload of money.


You don't think that there would be a noticable difference between the qx9650 and the q9450? I've always heard that the difference between the extreme and non-extreme procs was night and day. Is that just marketing bull and/or BS boasting? I've never really looked at the differences in any sort of benchmark ... I just always assumed a huge one hence the triple (or more) cost.

Quote:
(c) 9800GX2 is a cr@p card for that price. You ought to get the Radeon 4870 or the GTX280 both of which outperform it. The benchmarks would be out anytime this week.


Good info. Truthfully, I don't know the first thing about either of those cards. Are they part of this newest generation of cards or ...

The graphic card(s) are the most important part of the pc to me as it seems I always run into slowdowns because of a lack of GPU muscle.

Quote:
(d) Seagate 500gb 7200.11 and WD640AAKS are the very best choices of hard drives.


Are those for storage or for everything?

Thanks for all the info guys ... I've got a few free hours this afternoon, so I will have plenty to look up and study on.

Any and all recommended builds are welcome. Please feel free to include everything you would want/need with that build such as cooling, case, etc. I'm learning more from this single thread than I have in the couple of hours I spent googling things. Thanks so much!
June 4, 2008 10:25:42 AM

^...there are four new gen cards releasing between June 15th to 18th. Radeon 4850 and 4870. Nvidia GTX260 and 280. they're bound to outperform all of today's cards....as i said earlier, benchmarks would be out this week.

QX is of course marketing bs ... you won't find any difference between the CPUs mentioned there.

You can use any one the HDs mentioned for storage or OS.... i just gave you the best choices.

Are you going to overclock? If not, you don't need an aftermarket cooler. Otherwise the Xigmatek S1283 is the very best cooler out there.
June 4, 2008 10:30:00 AM

Dont waste ur money on a 3K build.....u can get a similar build for 1.8-2K. Maybe 5% less (but rly!!!) save the money to get another computer 2 years down the road where the stuff will beat the crap out of that rig.

Go with what mihirkula posted in the second post...its a fine build, many will be jealous (especially of the GTX 280!!! :o )
The Extreme Procs only have an unlocked multiplier which to me is a waste....only if u want a super bragging non practical rig

Also i personally hate 10k drives....total waste of money. Get a nice big 7200 drive WD 640AAKS or the .11 drives from Seagate....both very good performance

Edit: Listen to mihirkula...he beat me to the post
June 4, 2008 1:34:02 PM

[:wr2:3] 8. Also, what would be needed to run a raid 0 configuration for my main HD (using eith XP pro or Vista Ultimate)?
[:wr2:2] The motherboard would handle the raid configuration. The OS will just "see" it as a single HDD.

Keeping in mind your stated preferences but still working inside your budget goal - ~$2450 with a single 9800GTX till the new cards arrive.
(link to NewEgg listings)

Core 2 Quad Q9450 2.66GHz $350 (initial overclock goal of 3.2Ghz - same as stock QX9770 $1450 CPU)
EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 780i SLI Motherboard $260 (will allow for Quad X2 or Tri-SLI setups)
mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) $135
EVGA GeForce 9800 GTX(G92) 512MB $300 (use the Evga StepUp program within 90 days to get credit when applied to a GT260 or GT280)
WD VelociRaptor 300GB 10K SATA HDD $300 (compare performance benchmarks with other HDD - possible large price/performance mismatch)
WD Caviar GP WD10EACS 1TB SATA HDD $195
LG Blu-ray reader / 16X DVD±R DVD Burner SATA $200
ASUS Xonar D2 7.1 Sound Card $175
XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm CPU Cooler $37
-XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket $7
-ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound $7
CORSAIR CMPSU-1000HX 1000W Power Supply $279 (sized and equipped [PCI-e power connectors] for Tri or Quad SLI)
COOLER MASTER Stacker 830 Evolution Case $220

-> Upgrades - (add each line used to the $2450 base package)
To RAID 0 the VelociRaptor and Caviar GP add $495
For SLI 9800GTX add $300
For Quad 9800X2 setup add an additional $900
**estimated prices on the new Nvidia cards
Dual GT280 cards $1300 - $300 credit for the 9800GTX StepUp
Dual GT260 cards $900 - $300 credit for the 9800GTX StepUp

I actually think that mihirkula's advice is closer to what I'd choose for myself given the same budget. Target budget $2500 and bank the rest for a mid-life refresh with a new GPU(s).
June 4, 2008 7:23:56 PM

I think I love you guys.

Thanks beyond what a mere forum post can express are aimed towards these forums and you guys.

I'll be spending a few hours looking up components and such, but I am super excited again about my new computer! I'll post back (probably late tonight/early tomorrow and throw my thoughts and opinions at you guys again. Thanks, thanks, and thank you!
!