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Input on a new Rig would be great

Last response: in Systems
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June 6, 2008 3:00:10 AM

Hey so I'm building my first rig and could really use some input. I'm not a hardcore gamer, but I do play AoC right now and averaging 5fps on my labtop is just not working out for me anymore. So it's about time for an upgrade that is fairly future-proof. Here's what I'm thinking thus far:

all prices are after instant savings and rebates

OS:
Vista 64 bit
CPU
Q6600 $210
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
plan on OC'ing
MOBO
Asus IX38 $190
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU
evga 8800 GTS (G92) 512MB $215
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
plan to OC
PS
Corsair CMPSU-650TX $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM
G.Skill 4GB (2x2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1000 (PC2 8000) $85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I hear the 1000 is better for OC'ing and it's about the same price for the 800 version shown below. Any reason not to get it?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HD
WD raptor 36GB 10000RPM $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 320GB 7200RPM $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I don't need very much space.
Monitor
Acer 22" 5ms widescreen LCD $230
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Heatsink
Zerotherm Nirvana 120mm $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case
Undecided. Looking for a reasonably priced (<$120) large tower thats decent looking with great air flow. I know the Antec 900/1200 are popular choices and I like this case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
on Newegg but other than the reviews, I have no idea how good the quality is.
Optical Drive
Samsung CD/DVD burner $27
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total Cost: ~$1377 before tax/shipping and w/o Vista

So I have a few questions here. First of all, I was originally dead set on running an SLI set-up on the idea of "get one GPU up front and second in the near future" but the general opinion seems to be that this is a tragic mistake especially with the new cards coming out in a few weeks. So i swapped the Asus nforce 750i with the X38 and Im sticking with an EVGA GPU so that I may trade-up over these next few months (if its worth it). Anbody actually think sticking with SLI and grabbing another 8800 GTS down the road is a better option?

Second, I have mixed feeling on the Q6600 CPU considering it's rather old technology (65nm & 1066Mhz FSB) and I'm going to be stuck with it for at least the next 2 years. The Q9300 is the next step up but for $65 more.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
My question is do you think its worth jumping up in class to the Q9300 and how do they compare when OC'ing.

And lastly for the hard drive, I'm currently planning on running my OS on the raptor and everything else on the Barracuda. I have an external HD so I already have enough space to back everything up. I'm still just not convinced how much a 10,000rpm drive will effect gaming, and do those games have to actually be on the raptor drive as well? because if thats the case, I'll need to drop even more money on a 74GB or a 150GB.

Oh and am I stuck dishing out $240 for Vista? Newegg sells a OEM version for around $100 but I think those require an authentication key to be bought separately right?

Sorry for making it so long! Any input or advice would be awesome, nothing is set in stone yet and I am still open to making changes anywhere on the system. Thanks!

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June 6, 2008 3:10:34 AM

ECS has a 8800GTS 512mb on newegg for $159 after mail in rebate if you are comfortable with the brand it has good reviews http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For a case, I heard the thermaltake armor is a good case and it looks nice, it's $120 after mail in rebate. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm pretty sure you can get the OEM version of vista without any special authentication keys because every other system builder on here buys it.

I think your other choices look good but maybe get a bigger main HD because I know AoC takes up a lot of HD space. good luck!
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June 6, 2008 3:45:10 AM

Don't bother w/SLI unless you have a really big (24 inch or more) monitor and game at very high resolution (1920X1200 or more).

The games would need to be on the raptor as well to see benefit, so you can decide if that's worth it to you or not (AoC takes up 30gigs of HD spot by itself!).

Pushpins get a bad rap; imo, they're fine for the xigmatech cooler - it's not that heavy of a cooler that it concerns me.

Get the OEM verson of Vista, not the retail. You get an auth key with either.

The Q6600 vs. the Q9300 is a tough question. A lot depends on how long it will be before you upgrade. If you really won't upgrade for 2-3 years, then go with the Q9300. Both will oc about the same actually, but clock for clock the Q9300 is probably a tiny bit faster and cooler. If you upgrade every 1-2 years, get the cheaper one, b/c Nehalem will be out in 8 months or less sporting 4 cores (eight thread/yes, HT is back), and will be 20-30% or more faster than either one.
June 6, 2008 5:27:19 AM

Thanks for your quick replies guys. The ECS 8800 GTS at $160 is definately tempting, my major drawback there is it doesnt look like ECS offers a trade-up program like EVGA or BFG so the purchase would be permanent with the new cards coming out.

The xigmatek heatsink looks like a pretty good deal and I think I'll stick with the Q6600 for now since you'r saying there's not a huge difference in performance.

I also had a question concerning the MOBO. I was debating going with an intel P35 chipset instead, but the lack of a PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot concerned me. Will it not work with the 8800 GTS (g92)?


June 6, 2008 9:07:53 AM

^...Doesn't matter...there isn't a huge difference with a PCI-E 2.0 mobo ... and PCI 2.0 is backward compatible and your 8800GTS would run fine.

IMHO this mobo is a better performer.

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

Go with X38 and crossfire...its a better investment than SLI... especially since the new Radeon cards are considerably cheaper than the new Nvidias and still would give a huge performance.

Which brings me to the GPU part... if you wait a little while you get the Radeon 4870 which outperforms 8800GTS.
!