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Critique $1500 gaming build before I buy

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June 12, 2008 1:23:20 AM

Let me start of by saying this is my first attempt at building a computer. After reading the boards over the last two weeks I've put together what I think is a pretty good build. I have around a $1500 budget and will use my old monitor, keyboard, and mouse. With that said here is my build.


http://secure.newegg.com/Shopping/ShoppingCart.aspx

With tax and shipping this works out to right around $1226. As you can see I am around $300 under budget. Are there any changes that can be made that will give a noticable change in proformance?

A couple other questions I have are:
Graphics Board: What is the difference between the 8800GTS and the 9800GTX other than 60$. I also know everyone is saying to wait for the new graphics cards to come out but I heard that eVGA has a 90 day upgrade policy (can anyone verify)?

OS: I'm getting the Vista Home Premium 32 but I eventually want to run the 64 bit version. Will I be able to change between 32 bit and 64 bit with the version of Vista or is there another version I need to buy?

Thanks in advance for all of your help.
June 12, 2008 1:32:54 AM

You cannot link to the shopping cart directly, it loads it from a cookie. So it will appear empty to everyone else.

June 12, 2008 2:45:59 AM

The 9800GTX supports triple SLI. If you only want one or two video cards you might as well get the 8800GTS G92.

Get the Home Premium 64-bit, why bother with the 32-bit version just to have to start over later....

Paste the part names here, then we'll know what you're talking about and can help you.
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June 12, 2008 6:15:38 AM

Oops sorry about that here are the parts.

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor - Retail

Processor Cooling: XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX All Solid Capacitor Intel Motherboard - Retail

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CE, CB, TUV, FCC, CCC - Retail

Video Card: EVGA 640-P2-N829-AR GeForce 8800GTS SSC 640MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

Case: COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1000 (PC2 8000) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

CD / DVD: SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD Burner - OEM

I think thats about it. Thanks a lot.
June 12, 2008 11:09:29 AM

^Looks good. But, swap the 8800GTS 640 to the new (G92) 8800GTS 512. Also swap the RAM to DDR2 800, as the P35-DS3x boards have compatibility issues with RAM natively higher than DDR2 800.

If OCing:
GUIDE: Overclocking On P35-DS3L
June 12, 2008 11:56:41 AM

Any reason why you're going with the quad core for gaming? The e8400 would handle games better.

Quote:
Will I be able to change between 32 bit and 64 bit with the version of Vista or is there another version I need to buy?


I believe so. They used to have a online form where you would type in your 32 bit serial number and they'd mail you the 64 bit version for $10. I'm not sure if they still do that. That's what I had to do because I bought my university's edition for $6, and the 32 bit was the only one available. Check into that before you buy though.
June 12, 2008 12:39:45 PM

Get p45 motherboard instead of p35, it runs at 1600mhz fsb instead of 1333mhz fsb natively, and overclocks far better. At $99.99, it cost less than many p35 boards, and perform almost as well as a $200 x38 board.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Keep the quad for futureproofing. Multithreading is the future. People said the exact same things about dual cores vs single a couple of years back. Now, single core is completely unusable, while early duals are still useful. At the moment, a faster clocked dual delivers no improvement in game whatsoever, because the programs are not cpu bottlenecked. 2 years down the line, a quad will perform far better, when your cpu is past its prime and becoming bottlenecked.
June 12, 2008 1:35:57 PM

I agree with shadow and dagger. With those changes, your list is very good.

Change the DVD to SH-S203B (or SH-S203N, if you want LightScribe). I read that the 22x drive has some overheating issues.

I'd change the PSU too, to this Silencer 750W:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341011&Tpk=Silencer%2b750

The Corsair 750TX you picked is an excellent PSU too, rated tier 2, but with the tier 1 Silencer at exactly the same price I'd prefer the Silencer. For example it has a smarter layout that lets it blow the hot air out the back of the case instead of down into the floor.

June 12, 2008 6:59:28 PM

^avem, the XS PSU listing is old. Imo, the PP&C 750 is a little better, but not 1 entire tier.
June 12, 2008 7:03:09 PM

dagger said:
Get p45 motherboard instead of p35, it runs at 1600mhz fsb instead of 1333mhz fsb natively, and overclocks far better. At $99.99, it cost less than many p35 boards, and perform almost as well as a $200 x38 board.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168....

True, but imo, I would wait a while before building on P45. Let the product mature (also I wouldn't personally buy a MSI motherboard; I stick with ASUS or Gigabyte). Because the G2x0 GPUs are coming out soon OP should wait.
June 12, 2008 11:56:33 PM

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor - Retail

Processor Cooling: XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX All Solid Capacitor Intel Motherboard - Retail

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

Case: COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

Graphics Card: EVGA 512-P3-N841-AR GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

DVD drive: LG Black 16X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 4X DVD+R DL 16X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 5X DVD-RAM DVD-ROM: 16X Blu-ray DVD-ROM: 6X HD DVD-ROM: 3X DVD-ROM 40X CD-R 24X CD-RW 4MB Cache SATA Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner - Retail
Blu-ray/HD-DVD reader & DVD writer

OS: Microsoft Windows Vista 64-Bit Home Premium for System Builders Single Pack DVD - OEM

PS: PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad (Red) 750W EPS12V Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CE, CB, RoHS - Retail

I think this is my final build after everyone's suggestions. I decided to upgrade the dvd drive because I had some more room in the budget and because it seems like a great deal. Does it work with my build? Thanks again for all of your advice I'll probably buy everything tomorrow so if anyone wants to add their $.02 before then feel free.
June 13, 2008 12:31:58 AM

Sounds fabulous. OK, I have my reservations about Blu-ray in general, but whatever floats your boat. :) 

You do know the differences between DS3L and DS3R, right? If you're never going to have 4 hard disks or an eSATA external disk then the DS3L is fine, sure.

@shadow: that 750TX should be tier 1 IMO, based on the reviews I've read, absolutely. I guess I'm just biased because I have a Silencer myself.
June 13, 2008 12:54:42 AM

^lol. PP&C, Corsair, Silverstone are the best.

Quote:
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor - Retail

Processor Cooling: XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX All Solid Capacitor Intel Motherboard - Retail

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

Case: COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

Graphics Card: EVGA 512-P3-N841-AR GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

DVD drive: LG Black 16X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 4X DVD+R DL 16X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 5X DVD-RAM DVD-ROM: 16X Blu-ray DVD-ROM: 6X HD DVD-ROM: 3X DVD-ROM 40X CD-R 24X CD-RW 4MB Cache SATA Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner - Retail
Blu-ray/HD-DVD reader & DVD writer

OS: Microsoft Windows Vista 64-Bit Home Premium for System Builders Single Pack DVD - OEM

PS: PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad (Red) 750W EPS12V Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CE, CB, RoHS - Retail

Looks good!
June 13, 2008 1:24:27 AM

Shadow703793 said:
^lol. PP&C, Corsair, Silverstone are the best.

Haha i like that.....

IMHO the Silverstone's suck and not what they are hyped up to be.....they have pretty bad regulation and the ripple on many is pretty bad....not out of spec but bad compared to others like Corsair, Zalman, Thermaltake, etc. (CWT builds)

Build looks fine but i dont see why such a puny board on that budget....get P45 or a higher end board if OCing....if not then disregard this
June 13, 2008 5:00:59 PM

I had good experience with Silverstone ST400 (got them for $25-30 apiece for a few budget builds) and haven't had any problems. But, I still use Corsair and PP&C for mid/high end builds. I don't use SilverStone for high end builds.
June 13, 2008 6:55:06 PM

Yea theyre fine...just on HEAVY loads they start to loose it :p 
June 13, 2008 8:30:42 PM

^Agreed. Like on a SLI 8800GTX or a 9800GX2
!