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My Ex: [strike]$1.3K Q6600 GTX260 Gaming Build[/strike]

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Last response: in Systems
June 11, 2008 1:43:13 PM

This PC will be used mostly for gaming and is based around the upcoming GTX260. I play at 1650x1080 mostly MMO’s and single player RPGs. I expect to use this system for the next 2-3 years.

*New* The reviews are in and the GTX260 is comparable (or in some cases not as powerful) as 8800 SLI... while 8800 SLI is cheaper... So now I have to re-do my build :cry:  Can you guys get me started with a new recommended motherboard and 2 8800's? Also do I need a bigger PSU for an SLI rig now?

I’m currently gaming on a single core Athlon 2.4GHz GeForce 7800GTX 256MB. So no matter what, this will be a huge improvement. Age of Conan woohoo!

Case - Antec Nine Hundred - $90
Popular case; lots of airflow; very attractive rebate

Motherboard - ASUS P5Q Pro - $150
Supports FSB 1600/1333MHz; DDR2; PCIe 2.0

PSU - CORSAIR 550VX 550W - $80
80+ certified; 2 x 6pin PCI (one says 6+2 but I assume the +2 are optional); 40A @ 12V

CPU - Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz - $215
Mature chip; proven OC capabilities; plan to OC 333MHz (3.0GHz)

OS - Vista 64-Bit Home Premium - $95
64 bit; DirectX 10 OS

RAM - G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 - $85
Supports FSB up to 400MHz; will underclock to synch with 333FSB

Optical - SAMSUNG DVD+RW - $27

Storage - Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB - $90

XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler – $37

GeForce GTX260 ~ $400

Grand Total $1269

More about : strike q6600 gtx260 gaming build strike

June 11, 2008 1:57:04 PM

While I am unsure if the case will fit the video card or not. Everything else looks pretty good. Gl with the build.


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a b 4 Gaming
June 11, 2008 1:57:37 PM

Looks fine. Now if you could actually buy the GPU.
When it does get here, be sure to come back and let us know how buggy the beta drivers are, how hot the thing runs from all the power it draws, and how much you REALLY had to pay to get one. :) 
June 11, 2008 1:58:48 PM

what if the GeForce GTX260 aint 400$ thow ?
June 11, 2008 2:01:13 PM

You are putting a GTX260 in a $53 PC case =( baby jesus will cry.

Good stuff though. Did you consider using a Q9450 instead of the Q6600? I hear good things about it compared to the Q6600. People say its worth the $100 upgrade.
a b 4 Gaming
June 11, 2008 2:01:32 PM

hhmmm.... to wait or not to wait....?
June 11, 2008 2:04:50 PM

neodude007 said:
You are putting a GTX260 in a $53 PC case =( baby jesus will cry.

dont disrespect a card and put it in that case!
a b 4 Gaming
June 11, 2008 2:22:06 PM

cheshirekitty said:
I don't think I'll get any better airflow. If the sunbeam case isn't cool enough I can even add a 120mm to the front and/or to the side.
It isnt about the better airflow. It's more about the mid-case core fan bracket obstruction. Bad news IMO.

June 11, 2008 2:25:52 PM

Get a 7200.11 Seagate drive, they're somewhat fater than the 7200.10 drives.
June 11, 2008 2:29:51 PM

guanyu210379 said:
COOOLLL!!! How much does it cost?

to much :cry:  ppl who can afford 2 fans are rich
June 11, 2008 2:31:11 PM

I am a big fan of this case and for $55:

I agree with guany for the 32mb cache seagate. I was just concerned a little with the negative reviews. I went with the 640gb dual platter WD drive. if is extremely fast plus an additional 140gb.

Also go with the Q9450 with the artic cooling freezer pro7. I easily OC'ed it on the last build I did for a customer to 3.2ghz and I know it has more to go. Make sure you get good ram though. We used:

and it was great.

Plus the 64bit version of Vista home premium with the 4gb ram is good.
a c 205 4 Gaming
June 11, 2008 2:31:39 PM

The GTX260 will be a 10.5" card which is quite long, similar to the 8800GTX. The proposed case is not very deep, so I seriously doubt that it will fit. Even removing the internal fan mounts may not help. Check that out carefully before buying.

Unless you will mostly be playing quad optimized games , a dual core CPU will serve you better.
Today, very few games can make use of more than two cores.
Flight simulator X is an exception. It is not a trivial matter to code multi threaded programs,
and game vendors will not sell too many games that require quads to run.
I don't see this changing in the next couple of years, and then nehalem will be upon us.
If you aren't using multiple cores, a duo will outperform a quad at the same clock speed.
E8400@3.0 1m superpi=15 sec.
Q6600@3.0 1m superpi=18.8 sec.
Also, a E8400 costs less and can be overclocked higher.

I would look at a good P35 based motherboard. It will cost you half as much and give virtually the same performance.
Don't worry about pcie-2.0 or 1.0. There is currently almost no difference in performance, and current vga cards work well in either.
By now the P35 boards are mature, and have had the bios bugs resolved.

If 300gb will suit you for a while, consider using the mobo and cpu savings and splurging on the new WD velociraptor($300).
It is 30% faster than the old raptor which was no slouch.

If you are a student, you can get an academic discount on Vista.

---good luck---

June 11, 2008 2:32:45 PM

Figured I would add my $0.02.

Is the X38 really necessary? The new P45 has come out so the support for pci-e 2.0 is available for a lot less. I was just wondering, I know they overclock well but the p-series usually can compare and especially for the price.

The first link is for a MSI P45 w/ 2 pci-e slots.

The second is for a much more moderate price 99$.

Asus also has some offerings in the P45 department. I know this product is new, but I swear I've seen reviews praising this new chipset. Just thought I'd let you know, since the X38 is so much more expensive than the P.

As far as the rest of the system goes, I second the Seagate that guanyu posted and also agree with maybe a change of case. The Antec 900 is a very good performer, the price tag might seem steep, but keep in mind it has over 2000+ 5 egg reviews on Newegg. I understand reviews must be taken with a grain of salt.... but that's a bunch. Everything else checks out, even the ram I've used GSkill sticks before and haven't had a problem with them.
June 11, 2008 4:20:33 PM

get a antec 900 gaming case . duhh :)  erfect for people on a budget and awesome airflow :)  cheap caes are just cheap. crapy plastics and metal . dont go there dude.
June 11, 2008 4:20:40 PM

Avenger_K said:
Not for $140 more :p 

bla get CPU in a box and not in a baggie lol
June 11, 2008 4:48:19 PM

Ok, I went ahead and updated the case to the Antec Nine. I found some reviews of the Sunbeam where folks did indeed have trouble fitting in longer GPUs.

For 10 bucks more I also went with the 7200.11 Seagate. I'm not sure that my hard drive will affect much more than how long it takes to load but for $10 why not.

I'm not sure about getting the OEM processor. I THINK the only difference is a warranty... and if I end up needing to lap my CPU I'll void my warranty anyway... so maybe OEM is a good idea. It would help cover about half the cost of the after market heat sink.
June 11, 2008 4:58:19 PM

You build looks decent. However, Id wait until the end of July before you make a decision on the video card. A 4870X2 could possibly be quite a bit faster than a 260 for the same price. But everyone is guessing at the moment and only time will tell on the real benchmarks.

At launch the new video cards are going to be going for a premium, unless ATI or Nvidia dump a ton of hardware on the market to hold the price down. I can see ATI doing that, but Nvidia is a bunch of greedy bastages and will probably have low inventory to artificially inflate prices.

Your right on the OEM processor. As soon as you hit it with sandpaper, waranty is null and void. Hardware will fail, but Ive found that if a processor is faulty, it will fail right away, not 2 years down the road.
June 11, 2008 5:01:39 PM

cheshirekitty said:
I looked at this Antec case for $90 but I swear I think the extra $$$ is just buying a brand name.

I don't think I'll get any better airflow. If the sunbeam case isn't cool enough I can even add a 120mm to the front and/or to the side.

That is actually the case that I will be getting soon. My P180 is almost 3 years old now. You will get much better airflow in that case, it is larger, and a better quality. Cases are not all generic like most people think. There is an actual quality level to them.


June 11, 2008 10:02:59 PM

Wow Oakley707 just saved me $75 bucks. P45 was completely off my radar. I guess because it was so recently released. I was only going for the X38 board for PCIe 2.0 support. The P5Q Pro has everything I need at almost half the price!

Reviews are scarce right now but here is a decent one. The board isn't geared to be "extreme" but looks like it has a solid BIOS for OC and all the basic features you'd expect.
June 16, 2008 3:24:36 PM

Tom's review of the new cards is good but doesn't include any SLI comparisons. The review at AnandTech puts the GTX 260/280 up against 8800 GT SLI and the new cards don't have the same bang for the buck.

So now I need to re-do my build with an SLI mother board and two 8800's. I suppose the PSU may need to change as well. This is probably a rig similar to what most people are using now, so I'm looking for a starting point. Thanks.
June 16, 2008 3:45:54 PM

I wouldn't go to sli based on a review, but that's me. Nvidia chipsets have lots of problems they need to work out, with data corruption, etc. If you plan to overclock, it would be better to stick with the mobo you had listed above. If not, then go with the sli.
June 16, 2008 3:58:30 PM

Here is a link to a forum where we have most of the major reviews up for discussion. It may help you make a more informed decision at this point. I am now very interested in what ATI has in store for us honestly.


June 16, 2008 5:15:27 PM

shadowthor said:
I wouldn't go to sli based on a review, but that's me. Nvidia chipsets have lots of problems they need to work out, with data corruption, etc. If you plan to overclock, it would be better to stick with the mobo you had listed above. If not, then go with the sli.

I don't know the benchmarks seems pretty decisive. Comparable performance to a GTX280 from 8800GT SLI at half the price...
June 16, 2008 5:48:34 PM

I'd wait for the ATI cards and see how they stack up.