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June 13, 2008 7:37:41 PM

Hello, I know this says its my first post, but I posted a bit a long time ago and I think my account went poof at some point.

Anyways, I'm about to finally build a brand new rig to take with me to MML7 in Louisville, KY and I wanted some advice on a couple things before I finalized my design plans and bought all my stuff. I'm a budget for power kind of guy and most of everything I get I try to get the best of the best at the best cost, ie. the most bang for my buck, yet allowing me to stay on top of the game for along time and allow for upgrading.

Right now this is what I have picked out:

Case: NZXT Tempest
CPU: Q6600 (This is a problem spot)
GPU: 2x 8800 GT 512 MB (Another advice spot)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix DDR2 800 4gb
Motherboard: Can't pick yet - Will need advice
Hard Drive: WD Raptor X WD1500AHFD 150GB
PSU: I usually go with some kind of PC Power and Cooling

Alrighty, so on to my questions. For a while now I decided that the Q6600 was the way to go. I wanted to get a quad core, have really good OC ability, and not be too expensive. I figured the 6600 was the champ here at a $230 retail price, and great reviews on OCing. Then a friend of mine went on and on about a Q9450 and about 45nm vs. 65nm and now I'm confused. So I went online did some review research of the Q6600 vs. the Q9450 and all I've come up with is more questions because I've read a few different things about the same thing saying go with a E8400 instead. So now I'm really getting mixed up on what CPU to buy considering I hear really good things about the E8400 OC ability, its cheaper than the 6600, and apparantly will get just as much use at the 6600 considering the lack of Quad Core Support for things. So... uh help me please.

As far as the GPU is concerned, I'm pretty set on what I want here. I'm gonna go with 2x 8800 GTs, the only reason I want a second opinion here is, the new vid cards are releasing in like a week, and obviously price drops are going to happen. I'm willing to spend $300ish on my video cards, so after the price drops should I just go with the cheaper 8800 GTs? Or is there another single or pair of cards I should be looking at because it'll fit the price range with better performance?

If you can, I'd like some assistance on what mobo to go with after I figure out what proc to go with. I obviously need socket 775, SLI support, and I'm a full feature kind of guy. So I like good amount of expansion slots and all that jazz. I really haven't done any research on this hardware for my system yet, figured I'd wait till I got a CPU set.

What I plan to do with the system - I play a lot of games, right now Age of Conan is kicking the **** out of my system, I'd like to play it will everything maxed, 16x AA and max resolution with at least 30-40 FPS. I do some video\audio encoding occasionally but, by no means do I need that to be blazing fast as I don't do it all the time. I multitask a little bit, ie. run some stuff in the background while I game, but I'm not a multi monitor, video encode while I photoshop, and play Age of Conan at the same time kind of guy.

Thanks for your help ahead of time.

More about : system advice

June 13, 2008 7:47:18 PM

Gaming only system: E8400
System with CPU intensive applications that take advantage of multicore systems: Q6600
If you want to spend $300+ on a CPU and it does not break the budget: Q9450

GPU: Do NOT for ANY reason buy 2 8800GT cards right now. SLI is a bad way to go to start with, but its terrible right now with the 2xx series card coming so soon. ONE 8800GT for under $200 then trade it up to a 2xx series card in 90 days. Make sure you buy an eVGA card so you can take advantage of this program. If you do not game at resolutions higher than 1920x1200 SLI makes almost NO DIFFERENCE! It is just a waste of power and higher temps.

Motherboard: nVidia's SLI motherboards for Intel frankly suck, another reason to get rid of your SLI dreams. Look at Asus or Gigabyte P45 of X38 boards. P45 is a good choice- like the P5Q Pro from Asus.

Hard Drive: No, skip it. Normal 7200RPM hard drives are just as fast as the Raptors now. Velicoraptors are still faster, if you want to sink $300 into a hard drive. Otherwise 500GB 7200.11 Seagate Drive 32MB cache.

Memory: skip what you picked, not what it used to be! Has problems with boards now. Pick up 4GB (8GB would not hurt with PS work) of G.Skill 4GB 4-4-4-12 RAM. It is $94 at Newegg. DDR2-800 is just fine.

PSU: Good choice!
June 13, 2008 9:44:12 PM

Shadowduck, dude I don't know where you come from. It must not be this planet because nVidia's boards are the best on the market.

Shibumi, I would tell you to go for the Q6600 because it's good for just about everything.

For the hard drive, yea go for the Seagate Barracuda 500GB. For the graphics cards, if you want to wait for new cards from nVidia then wait for them. But if not go with something from Evga for the exchange deal.

For the mobo, I would suggest getting the Evga 780i. Very future proof and also very full featured.

Related resources
June 13, 2008 9:44:24 PM

you should buy a quad core. its not going to perform quite as well as the E8400 but will last a lot longer and they are good at overclocking.the q6600 is just fine. if your worried about the 45nm thing yes they are better with power consumtion and i think they are better overclocking but they can be a hassle to get them to work on your mobo. for a gpu. well there is nothing wrong with sli. at the vary lest its not going to hurt perfomance. but i would suggest you get the 8800gts 512mb. its the same as the 9800gtx just a little slower and a lot cheaper. and you can do what shadow duck says get an evga one and in a few months upgrade to the new cards coming out. for the hard drive if you can afford the raptor go for it but its probably better to just get a 7200 rpm. seagate's are good harddrives. for memory get like 4gbs of OCZ. last i checked it was 98 bucks from newegg. for a mobo get a evga 780I. seriously. i have only seen one post on toms hardware forums saying any one had a problem with it. its a good board. for a psu mmmm well pc power and cooling is not bad i hear they run on the expencive side. just make sure to get one that has 80+ efficiency.
June 13, 2008 9:53:40 PM

ibuypower said:
Shadowduck, dude I don't know where you come from. It must not be this planet because nVidia's boards are the best on the market.

HAHAHAH thats rly funny...
Is this another thunderman???

Nvidia boards suck cause 1) unstable 2)unreliable and 3) they are picky and **** for overclocking

OP: Drop SLI and get a nice P45 board....like Shadow said
June 13, 2008 9:57:04 PM

Silverion77 said:
HAHAHAH thats rly funny...
Is this another thunderman???

Nvidia boards suck cause 1) unstable 2)unreliable and 3) they are picky and **** for overclocking

OP: Drop SLI and get a nice P45 board....like Shadow said


Would you expect anything differen't from somene who uses a forums moniker of "Ibuypower".
June 13, 2008 9:59:18 PM

^ i actually came up with that name thank you very much.

now thats were your wrong( in my experince ) i have the bfg 680I and it works like a charm. it overclocks wonderfully and is perfectly stable :non:  . if i were you i would look at your signiture. 99% of all computer problems are user related. im not saying the P45 is a bad board but there is nothing wrong with nvidia boards.
June 13, 2008 10:03:02 PM

The Nvidia chipsets (like the 750s Video corruption) have problems.....some are good like urs. 680i was plagued with memory problems BSODs the works. But compared to the P45 which is running 500 stable with a quad on an immature BIOS....how can u compare?

@Why_Me: R O F L
June 13, 2008 10:06:25 PM

Why_Me said:
Would you expect anything differen't from somene who uses a forums moniker of "Ibuypower". That right there says the guy doesn't have a clue.


Thank you deputy. And my word on that, I have never, nor will I ever buy anything from ibuypower. I liked the name that's all.
June 13, 2008 10:07:12 PM

^ ????? well as i said in my experiance with my mobo i have never had a bsod the bios updated with out a hitch and my memory has never failed me. i have heard that all of the 50 series had problems( ie 650i, 750i). but the 80 series were much better( ie 680i, 780i) so dont talk about the 750 wen i aint.
June 13, 2008 11:16:39 PM

who says i was talking about the 50's?!?! The 680is were RAM killers....maybe u got lucky but its known they had such issues...google it
June 14, 2008 7:19:37 PM

Ahem, well flames aside about boards and such, I'll have to look into some research about the 780i and the P45, thank you for that.

As for the video cards, I guess I worded myself incorrectly, I'm definately going to wait for the card release because it'll drop the prices. What I'm asking is, should I stick with a then cheapened 8800 GT or look at something else that will then be around the price range of what 8800 GTs are at now? (Oh and ATI cards are not an option, I used to be hardcore nvidia cards, then I had 2 ATI cards and I just can't stand a lot of things about it all)

I'll stick with PCP&C, I know they're expensive but they're rock solid.

I guess I'll change my perspective on ram, and as far as the hard drives are concerned, 10,000 RPM drive is only for OS and games, I have a 500GB drive for all my data like movies, music, files, and all that junk. Thanks for the suggestion but I'll stick with the 10k

So I'm still undecided about the Q6600, I guess I've ruled out the 9450, but why exactly should I got 6600 over 8400 if the 8400 will outperform it for less money? Just because its quad core and be a bit more future proof?

Oh and thanks for letting me know about eVGA's upgrade program I'll have to look into that for sure, I never knew about that. Thank you.
June 14, 2008 8:13:37 PM

No, that ram has bad timings. Get this instead, its barely any more money after rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Edit: That ram is actually better because it's timings are lower. SLI ready means NOTHING, i repeat NOTHING. It is simply marketing ****. The RAM i linked is better than that still, and is fine if you plan to do SLI.
June 14, 2008 8:49:39 PM

LMFAO @ ibuypower .... and the deputy should be named ilovebarmy for doling up that moniker :p 

At OP... the new Radeons ain't half briiliant ... theres a huge chance the crown is gonna go back to ATI ... Radeon 4850 might easily beat 8800GT ... wait for the official benchies, just a few days away.

Regarding CPU...the quad vs dual core is a war as old as the mahabharata .... the fact is E8400 does outperform in most games and apps. ... the idea of futureproofing goes out the windows since 2 years later there would be Nehalem which would make the present architecture look very obsolete. Theres a good chance you'd change your rig to Nehalem 2.5 yrs later. So stick with whatever offers a faster performance NOW. These benchies would give you a better idea.


http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core2quad-...
June 14, 2008 9:01:45 PM

mihirkula said:
Regarding CPU...the quad vs dual core is a war as old as the mahabharata .... the fact is E8400 does outperform in most games and apps. ... the idea of futureproofing goes out the windows since 2 years later there would be Nehalem which would make the present architecture look very obsolete. Theres a good chance you'd change your rig to Nehalem 2.5 yrs later. So stick with whatever offers a faster performance NOW. These benchies would give you a better idea.


http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core2quad-...



Agreed! I always hear about "future proofing" in regards to the quads. There is no such thing as future proofing in the PC world. The Wolfdales are cheap (E7200 bargain of the year), they use less juice, produce less heat, and they can't be beat for overclocking and getting the most bang for your buck. Unless a guy uses adobe photoshop and 3dmax studios for a living then I would say spend the extra money on a quad , but when it comes to gaming Wolfdales all the way.
June 14, 2008 9:14:52 PM

Wow that ram is a really good deal actually, the timings rock. I just wish the rebate on it didn't end on the 16th, that blows.

Ok, so I did some ram research, and now I've figured out how to tell the difference between ram of the same class. What I dont' know about now is... Say for instance I go with the 780i motherboard, what class of ram do I want to get? DDR2 800 (PC6400)? or Do I want that 1000 or 1066 stuff?

And what's the hooplah about DDR3?
June 14, 2008 9:22:20 PM

Shibumi said:
Wow that ram is a really good deal actually, the timings rock. I just wish the rebate on it didn't end on the 16th, that blows.

Ok, so I did some ram research, and now I've figured out how to tell the difference between ram of the same class. What I dont' know about now is... Say for instance I go with the 780i motherboard, what class of ram do I want to get? DDR2 800 (PC6400)? or Do I want that 1000 or 1066 stuff?

And what's the hooplah about DDR3?


That Corsair DDr2 800 RAM that "dopekitten" linked you to is good ram and will do fine on any mobo that supports DDR2. It has low latency, good timings, decent heat spreaders, and a good potential for overclocking.

DDR3 is a total waste of money atm, so don't even consider it.
June 14, 2008 9:32:35 PM

You want DDR2 800 (PC6400) at low timings. Ram speed doesn't matter very much, very little difference, but the timings do. If you need to (because of overclocking the FSB) you can always overclock the ram a bit. (The RAM i linked probably will go to 900mhz easily) Then if you need more, you can increase the voltage and lower the timings (That's why it's good to have good timings in the beginning).
June 14, 2008 11:18:51 PM

I didn't know you could OC ram. I've only ever done CPU and GPU OCing, I'll have to come back here for advice after I put the machine together.


Alrighty, so here's the update:

Case: NZXT Tempest
CPU: Q6600 (Finalized Now)
GPU: 2x 8800 GT 512 MB (Still haven't got a solid answer here, I'm pretty sure I still want SLI)
Memory: Crucial 4GB (2x 2gb) DDR2 800 on the range of 4-4-4-12 timings.
Motherboard: If I go SLI that means no P45, what are other options for SLI other than the 780i?
Hard Drive: WD Raptor X WD1500AHFD 150GB (I'm settled on this)
PSU: PC Power and Cooling something - Think one of the 750W with single 12v rail will do?

So, any more advice on a GFX card? I'm going to wait for price drops for sure, but what should I be looking at after price drops? Right now I'm looking at 8800 GTs for $150-$200 a piece, so I'm willing to spend 300-400 on Cards. Even if I buy a single now, I'd like to have the ability to make that single go SLI or something. Oh and I looked at eVGA's little upgrade program, and its not enough to sway me to buy one of their cards. If I get an eVGA cuz its a deal, then I get one, but i'm not basing my purchase off that program, it doesn't really save me any money.

I finalized the q6600 because of future proofing reasons, and I'm not entirely concerned about power consumption. So, that leaves me with a motherboard question. I looked at the 780i and man is it expensive. I ruled out the P45 because I want SLI ability, do I have any other options for mobos that will let me have some expansion room, q6600, up to 8gb of ram, and SLI for cheaper? Or is the 780i my best bet?

Thanks a million for all the help you've given me so far.
June 14, 2008 11:34:34 PM

780i is your best bet, if you want SLI.

Only others that can do that are the 680i (don't get it, has many problems)
or the 790i which is riducously priced and needs DDR3.

Otherwise, assuming you're finalized, you look good to go.

PSU is fine.
June 14, 2008 11:40:57 PM

Shibumi said:
I didn't know you could OC ram. I've only ever done CPU and GPU OCing, I'll have to come back here for advice after I put the machine together.


Alrighty, so here's the update:

Case: NZXT Tempest
CPU: Q6600 (Finalized Now)
GPU: 2x 8800 GT 512 MB (Still haven't got a solid answer here, I'm pretty sure I still want SLI)
Memory: Crucial 4GB (2x 2gb) DDR2 800 on the range of 4-4-4-12 timings.
Motherboard: If I go SLI that means no P45, what are other options for SLI other than the 780i?
Hard Drive: WD Raptor X WD1500AHFD 150GB (I'm settled on this)
PSU: PC Power and Cooling something - Think one of the 750W with single 12v rail will do?

So, any more advice on a GFX card? I'm going to wait for price drops for sure, but what should I be looking at after price drops? Right now I'm looking at 8800 GTs for $150-$200 a piece, so I'm willing to spend 300-400 on Cards. Even if I buy a single now, I'd like to have the ability to make that single go SLI or something. Oh and I looked at eVGA's little upgrade program, and its not enough to sway me to buy one of their cards. If I get an eVGA cuz its a deal, then I get one, but i'm not basing my purchase off that program, it doesn't really save me any money.

I finalized the q6600 because of future proofing reasons, and I'm not entirely concerned about power consumption. So, that leaves me with a motherboard question. I looked at the 780i and man is it expensive. I ruled out the P45 because I want SLI ability, do I have any other options for mobos that will let me have some expansion room, q6600, up to 8gb of ram, and SLI for cheaper? Or is the 780i my best bet?

Thanks a million for all the help you've given me so far.


This was a SLI build I did posted another thread yesterday. Replace the hardware like the case, cpu and HD with what you want...etc...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $84.99
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $129.99 ($119.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate)
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CE, CB, TUV, FCC, CCC - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $259.99 ($239.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate)
XFX MB-N780-ISH9 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI Intel Motherboard - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $189.99
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $24.99 ($14.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate)
XIGMATEK HDT-S963 92mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $6.99
XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $209.99
MSI NX8800GTS 512M OC GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $98.99 ($68.99 after $30.00 Mail-In Rebate)
OCZ SLI-Ready Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $59.99
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $23.99
LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 20X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $6.99
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $94.99
Microsoft Windows Vista 64-Bit Home Premium for System Builders Single Pack DVD - OEM

TOTAL
$1,191.88
$1,121.88 w/mail in rebates

June 15, 2008 12:37:35 AM

@Shibumi

Please read this carefully before buying your system. You are making a mistake on some of your parts!

Your Parts List:
CPU: Q6600 (Finalized Now)
GPU: 2x 8800 GT 512 MB (Still haven't got a solid answer here, I'm pretty sure I still want SLI)
Memory: Crucial 4GB (2x 2gb) DDR2 800 on the range of 4-4-4-12 timings.
Motherboard: If I go SLI that means no P45, what are other options for SLI other than the 780i?
Hard Drive: WD Raptor X WD1500AHFD 150GB (I'm settled on this)
PSU: PC Power and Cooling something - Think one of the 750W with single 12v rail will do?

Ok my answers:

LISTEN DO NOT GO SLI! It is a waste of your money right now. If you are going to game at resolutions over 1920x1200 fine, but wait for 2xx series card. If you are not, SLI provides NO (ZERO) benefit in 99% of games, the only thing it does is use more power and generate more heat. This is not even getting into the bug ridden nVidia chipsets (just search this forum for the long list of issues). Go P45 and be happy, your gaming experience will be no different. You said you want to play Age of Conan maxed out. One 8800GT can handle it at 1920x1200 with EVERYTHING turned on including 16x AF. Obviously frame rates will be higher at lower resolutions.

Hard Drive: You are wasting your money. The Raptor X is no faster anymore than the 7200.11 Seagate drives. If you want a faster drive go with the VelociRaptor.

If you go with the build you have, that's fine, but you are spending money you don't need to.

Source for AoC Stats: http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTUxNiwzLCxoZW50aHVzaWFzdA==
June 15, 2008 12:39:39 AM

Agree COMPLETELY with the above poster...what he says its 100% correct.
June 15, 2008 3:35:13 AM

So what if I just buy the 780i buy one video card and then do SLI later? And I kind of want to play on my LCD 37" HDTV, so wouldn't it be a good idea for sli cuz of that resolution?

I'll look into the velociraptor.
June 15, 2008 3:37:56 AM

No! That is a terrible idea even more than doing SLI now. Seriously dude, do not fall for the hype.

Is your HDTV 1080p or 720p?
June 15, 2008 3:41:52 AM

If you are going to play on a 37'' HDTV...well...i don't know. I guess SLI would give you some potential gain. You could always get a 9800 GX2 in place of SLI although it's not great.

The problems with nvidia chipsets do not only arise from SLI, so keep that in mind. Many have problems with choppy video playback. Then with SLI a whole set of new problems arises with drivers etc..

Also, if you are going to SLI, SLI at the beginning. Otherwise you're wasting money for that 2nd x16 PCI-e slot.

If you MUST do SLI then 780i is the way to go. However i reccomend aganist it in the first place. Wait until the next-gen cards come out, ask around to see if a single card can play well on a 37'' screen then.

P.S. What's the res on that screen anyway? I know almost nothing about TV's.
June 17, 2008 8:02:08 PM

you should wait till ati comes out with there new cards. im not a ati fanboy but they are a hell of a lot cheaper than nvidia's 260 and 280 and they are supposed to have a physics card built in. you could probably crossfire 2 4750 (at $199 a piece) and get the perfomance of the nvidia 280( that costs $650)
June 17, 2008 8:31:53 PM

Buy a x38 mobo and get a 4870.
June 17, 2008 8:38:37 PM

ilovebarny said:
you should wait till ati comes out with there new cards. im not a ati fanboy but they are a hell of a lot cheaper than nvidia's 260 and 280 and they are supposed to have a physics card built in. you could probably crossfire 2 4750 (at $199 a piece) and get the perfomance of the nvidia 280( that costs $650)


I was ATI myself when the ATI 9700 first came out, then the 9800...etc, then I went Nvidea all the way since the 8800 came out...but after Nvidea decided to be jerks and not let Intel have rights to use SLI on their boards, I am going to go back to ATI and try that Crossifire with these new P45 boards. Nvidea can take a hike.
June 17, 2008 9:37:44 PM

People saying that SLi give 0 (zero) performance increase has never used SLi. It DOES give an increase. Not 2x the increase, but it does increase the speed.

I have a Asus 750i mobo, and tested 2 9600GT on the same system compared to an 8800GTX. They were about 10% decrease in performance from a single 8800GTX.

I also recommend if you SLi, SLi now. If you plan on buying one now, and then SLi later, forget it. If that's the case then go for a non SLi board(as many has mention), and spend the money saved on a faster single video card.
June 19, 2008 11:33:39 PM

Alrighty, so I've looked at all your advice and done lots and lots of more research, and I have new questions, yay!

I looked into the velociraptor and I see what you guys meant. Its pretty much go big or go home, ie. a raptor with a 1.5gb Sata is too much money for crap. Might as well go big hard drive at 7200, or buy the velociraptor. I'm gonna opt to save some cash this time, and go with a 500 or 750.

I'm still really torn here in the GPU\Mobo section. I've done tons and tons of research on the different boards, cards, and even now got to look at the brand spanking new reviews of the 260 and 280 gtx. I really have a hard time not wanting to at least have a mobo capable of sli, I realize that it may not be the best bang for the buck, but I want to have that capability. Even if I'm not going to sli from the get go, I'd like to know I have that room to expand. Here's my new question about the motherboards.

Why 780i? What's the difference between 780, 750, and 680?

And now you think its worth getting the 260 gtx now instead? From the looks of the review it performs pretty darn well for a single card and $400 isn't a terrible price either.
June 20, 2008 5:27:22 PM

I think I'm finalized. Last question, is the power supply good as far as will I have enough power for my system with some left over?

Case: NZXT Tempest http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146047

CPU: Q6600 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115017

GPU: 2x Zotac 8800 GT 512 MB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814500006

Memory: Patriot Viper 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 800 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220293

Motherboard: EVGA 780i http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813188024

Hard Drive: WD Caviar 500GB SE16 Sata 3.0 GB/s http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136073

PSU: PC Power and Cooling S75QB 750W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817703009


Now I'm working on a monitor. I'd like to go 22" but I don't really want to spend over $250 (Yeah I know, asking the impossible). Any good suggestions of monitors that have really good quality at that price point? I don't need the frills of speakers, or extra connectors, a DVI and VGA is just fine for me.
June 21, 2008 12:51:55 AM

Why in the world are you SLIing for a 22" monitor? It offers you little/no benefit and you have to deal with crappy nVIdia chipset. RECONSIDER this.

4850 beats 8800GT in almost every test done so far too. $199 for 4850.

Look at P45 chipset boards and ONE 4850. That is all you need.

22" for $249: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009145
June 21, 2008 1:03:49 AM

For the video cards, consider this: its rumored that with the launch of the 4850's the Nvidia will drop the price of the 9800 gtx to $200. (this has been stated on many reputable websites, so its a little more than simply a rumor). If you got 2 9800 gtx's that should last you for a while. If your ready to spend a little more money, you could go for two gtx 260's, but at the resolution your suggesting, that would be overkill. (it would also cost twice as much as 2 9800's). the gtx 260 idea would be good if you like a lot of aa with games. (in reviews, it scores well on aa, but without aa there's not a huge advantage over a lot of current cards.) If your going for sli, you might consider a 780i for a mother board. You could pair that with 4 gigs of ram. (ddr2 is dirt cheap these days). If you go for more than 3 gigs of ram, you'll need a 64bit operating system. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.
Sorry if this post is a bit jumbled.
June 21, 2008 1:25:44 AM

By the way, there are also lots of options for ati system that i didnt mention. (largely, because i have more experience with nvidia cards. Ive had cards from both major comapanies, and they both have worked fine.) Base your choice on the card market at the moment, not brand preference. There will always be fanboys who tell you that their company is better, but really base your choice should be based on performance. Also consider the cost. For example: one gtx 280 costs $650 and performs very well. (aa is where it stands out from the rest). On the other hand for $600 you could get THREE 9800 gtx and tri sli them. That would perform better in most situations that a single gtx 280. (the $200 dollar price for the 9800 is based on newegg.) 3 9800 gtx's would keep you ready for quite a while.
June 21, 2008 9:50:36 AM

I'm sick of ATI cards and annoying issues I've had with both cards I've owned over the past 5 years. I went through 4 nvidia cards before that and I loved them all. Its about time I go back, so I'm going for the best bang for my buck. If I end up hating my nvidia card, then shoot me, but I've made my mind up on that. And I've made my mind up that I want to be sli capable.

You've convinced me no sli for now, but I'm sticking with an sli capable board. I'm buying a single card... dunno which yet I'll keep my eyes on the prices over the next week since the new cards just released.
!