My 2008-2011 Rig - Please comment

Hey everyone!

I've spent a LOT of my time in the past month trying to determine what my next rig will be. My old policy on computers was a new one every 6-8 years but with the way games and programs have been advancing, I've changed the policy to around 2-4 years. My current Dell which limped me through college is literally dying so I'm building a new one. Thanks to the many helpful threads here at Tom's (like the updated new rig spec thread and the OC'ing threads), I've come to my conclusion.

The goal I had in mind was to get maximum overclockability (on air) for my dollar. This does NOT mean I spend max $$$ to get every bit of performance possible. With the OC'ing, I also want best stability (power means nothing if I can't keep it up - hmm, my girlfriend says that about me too...). My daily activities in order of importance include:

1- Gaming (Dawn of War, Half Life 2, C&C 3, StarCraft II - when it comes out and Dawn of War II when it comes out)
2- SolidWorks 3D modelling
3- AutoCAD / AutoCAD 3D
4- Video Editing

So with those two in mind, here I go (all prices Canadian):

$156.99 - Asus P5K-E WiFi-AP Socket 775 Intel P35 ICH9R Chipset

Reason: Best bang for buck - overclocks similar to the P5K Deluxe and is almost $40 Cdn cheaper. Known to be a rock solid platform. I didn't want SLi because quite frankly, the performance gains are only so-so and the 780i and 790i platforms don't have everything spot on as this P35 board. Either something is not cooled well (Asus Striker II Formula northbridge) or built questionably shoddily (EVGA 780i board capacitors). Plus the price for SLi was almost $100 more.

$209.99 - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Processor

Reason: Best bang for buck - overclocks well (I am aiming for 3Ghz). Only con is that it runs hot but I got a free Noctua CPU cooler (see below) to slap on it. While the E8400 has a faster stock speed and is just as good (if not better on games), I will need quads for the 3D compilations I will be making on SolidWorks 3D and I will be dabbling in custom video editings and the like. Quad was the way to go.

$189.99 ($40 rebate) - Corsair XMS2 Dominator 4GB Kit (2x2GB) PC8500 DDR2-1066 w/ Fan

Reason: Mediocre bang for buck but overclocks well and has a good rebate on it.

$579.99 ($30 rebate) - BFG GeForce 9800 GX2

Reason: Worst bang for buck but I am aiming for top of the line without SLi. My motherboard is Crossfire capable so when ATi comes up with something to reclaim the king of the hill, I can slot two of them into the mobo and get even better.

$81.99 - Seagate Barracuda (ST3500320AS) 7200.11 SATA NCQ 3.0Gb/s 500GB 32MB Cache

Reason: Good bang for buck - fast access speed with large cache. Been hearing rumors about this drive crashing though.

$179.99 - Antec 1200 Case

Reason: Mediocre bang for buck - lots of airflow and is fairly large. This direction was taken for keeping the case relevant as I upgrade through PC's. My current Dell is too tiny to house anything. This is a longterm purchase so the price is somewhat justified.

$124.99 - Corsair TX Series TX750W 750W ATX 12V 60A 24PIN ATX Power Supply Active PFC 120MM Fan

Reason: Great bang for buck - supposedly one of the best PSU's out there, relatively cheap and I have about 100-150W extra for OC'ing in the future.

CPU Fan:
$67.79 - Noctua NH-U12P CPU Cooler

Reason: EXTREMELY good bang for ZERO buck. I got this for free. End of story.

$26.21 - LG DVD-R/RAM

Reason: EXTREMELY good bang for ZERO buck. I got this for free. End of story.

The last two items I go for free so I am definitely using them. From what I've read, the Noctua cooler is good performance with great silence (though Tom's official review said it was only so-so on performance).

Anyone got any comments?

Thanks in advance.

10 answers Last reply
More about 2008 2011 comment
  1. :hello:

    No comments? I'll be buying the components at the end of the week, any feedback would be much appreciated.


  2. Wait until GTX260/280

    Antec 900 case... Any reason you want the 1200?
  3. The only thing I see is your vidcard choice, if you can hold off a couple of weeks and see what the GTX280 and HD4870 look like. Even if you dont decide to get one of those, they should push the price of the GX2 down.
  4. Overall, a very solid build. Based on trends in PC game hardware requirements, I think the Q6600 will easily take you into 2011, probably longer if you overclock it.

    The problem here is your timing and your choice of graphics card. This month, both ATi and Nvidia are releasing new cards that will challenge the 9800GX2's performance and pricing. I would not buy a high-end graphic card until the benchmarks for these cards are out.
  5. You said you want bang for your buck. Your PSU is overkill for non-SLI rig. You will need 550W max. Your memory is also overkill. You plan to OC the Q6600 to 3GHz which means a FSB of 333 which means your DDR2 only needs to be certified to 667. I would go ahead and get 800 in case you are able to OC higher but FSB 400 is probably already outside your max if you're shooting for 3GHz range. Because it is deeply discounted, I would also recommend the Antec Nine Hundred over your current case selection.
  6. he can get 1000W and not worry about anything for awhile.
  7. Agree with the above, especially waiting on the new gpu release in a week or two. Then either (preferably) upgrade to the latest and greatest, or at least the price will drop significantly on the GX2 if you still want it (you won't).

    That RAM is too expensive imho. I'd go with this - will give you plenty of headroom for overclocking at a terrific price:

    or if you can't find that, this would be fine:

    read thru here if you haven't already:
  8. Thanks for the quick feedback!

    As for my PSU being overkill, yes, I realize that but I am kinda futureproofing there too for the OC in 2-3 years. My current rule of thumb is to go to the next level up. Based on a PSU calculator, it said I would need 600W, so instead of getting 650W supply, I went with a 750W supply. The savings between the 750W and the 650W is $15 CDn. On the other hand, if you say I need a 550W supply, then the savings bumps up to $33 CDn. Time to go back and crunch my numbers again.

    As for the GX2 choice, I realize the G2xx is on the cusp of being released. I will heed the call to do this build now now now and see what happens in a week or two - even if my current PC blows up (I've backed up everything on my I-Pod anyways). My current Dell is really getting whiney and slow ...

    Thanks again! :bounce:
  9. lol just order everything but the GPU'S :P

    and a pc wont blow if its taken care of. and its not cheaply made.
  10. Well, I've taken care of it over the past 7 years. It's run in 35 deg ambient temperatures with ridiculous humidities (beyond my control) 24/7 during the summers for each year I was in university and has been running well up until 6 months ago when I noticed a severe performance drag. I formatted the entire thing but I still don't get the performance I got when it was new. I suspect my HD might be crapping out plus my RAM is misreading for whatever reason. I had 512MB but it drops to 128MB according to XP and then goes back up. It was stable for the past 2 days but it's happening again.

    I'll rework those numbers on the RAM and PSU and then sit and wait for Nvidia.
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