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New Gaming PC Build - Please advise!

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June 14, 2008 4:27:26 AM

Hey everyone. Long time lurker, first time poster here.

I'm looking at upgrading my 2 year old PC for gaming since Age of Conan has brought it to its knees and its really showing its age. I've built a few PC's in my day but I've been out of the tech loop for 2 years now and would really appreciate a criteque on the new parts I've selected.

I've already bought an EVGA e-GeForce 8800GTS 678MHz 512MB (G92) that I threw in my existing comp to try to retrofit it to get some respectable frames in AoC, and while it did improve the FPS its not enough.

So I'm thinking about getting this stuff now...

- Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Quad Core Processor LGA775 Kentsfield 2.40GHZ 1066FSB 8MB Retail Box
- Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3L ATX LGA775 P35 1333FSB 1PCI-E16 3PCI-E1 3PCI SATA2 Sound GBLAN Motherboard
- G.SKILL F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ PC2-6400 4GB 2X2GB DDR2-800 CL5-5-5-15 240PIN Dual Channel Memory Kit
- Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 3.5IN 500GB SATA2 8.5MS 7200RPM 32MB Cache NCQ Hard Drive
- Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro LGA775 2500RPM 45CFM

How do these look? They all get good reviews and seem to be a good value from what I can tell.

I'm also wondering if my current PSU will suffice. I have an OCZ-520-12U 520W Modstream in a nice big Antec tower case. Do you guys think it'll do? Here's a link to its stats..

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?CurImage=1...

More about : gaming build advise

June 14, 2008 5:00:04 AM

What CPU are you using now?

Your current OCZ PSU looks good to go with the new hardware list. The Evga website recommends 400watts (+12v) and 26Amps and your OCZ is 520watts and 28amps (+12v).

Your list looks very good. What other things do you use your computer for besides Age of Conan? It might be that the E8400 would be a better choice for that game - although the Q6600 might be a better, all around choice.
June 14, 2008 5:04:20 AM

I suppose your PSU would work, but personally i would get a new one, both because your PSU is low tier, and because you never want to skimp on a PSU.

Are you going to overclock? If not, then get a E8400 as the low clock speed (i know it has 4 cores) will bottleneck the CPU. The E8400 will perform just a well as the Q6600 for what you seem to be doing. Not to mention its cheaper.

However, i would suggest simply taking the Q6600 and doing a mild OC to 3.0ghz. (You can do that on stock HSF and stock voltage easily you don't even need the artic freezer 7 pro)

If you want to actually overclock it, i would get a XIGMATEK HDT-S1283. Great cooling and you could potentially get 3.6ghz +

Also, as for your RAM, i would get these instead
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Same price (about) after MIR and better timings (4-4-4-12)

Evreything else looks fine. Also make sure you get Vista 64 bit or you won't be able to use the 4gb
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June 14, 2008 5:21:06 AM

I'd recommend a P45 board as well
June 14, 2008 5:24:21 AM

Some background on the Q6600 vs E8400 and Age of Conan.
YouGamers said this about AoC multi-core support:
"DX10 performance is still a mystery, as the feature got cut before launch - to be patched in later. The box still claims DX10 support, but it also claims optimizations for multi core as well - both pretty much untrue. On a quad core system, the game tends to load one core close to maximum while another hovers around 30-40%, leaving two cores idling. I guess if you consider basic offloading of non-graphics related code to the second core as "multi-core support", Age of Conan delivers that. In any case, the performance is mostly graphics card and memory limited, so when in doubt - first add RAM, then upgrade your video card."
Unless they missed an optional switch for enabling four cores the higher available clock speeds of the E8400 (stock and OC'd) might make the E8400 a better choice if that's your main gaming prospect for the next couple years. You'd maybe sacrifce some of the Q6600's ability to support some current and future quad enabled games.
June 14, 2008 5:28:42 AM

I recommend waiting just a week or so.
New cards coming out
June 14, 2008 8:27:21 AM

Superlitive list well researched, great recomendations by all the contributing members!
June 14, 2008 7:59:45 PM

@WR2

I'm currently using the following..

- AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 3800+
- DFI Lanparty UT NF4 Ultra-D
- OCZ EL Platinum pc3200 2GB 2x1GB DDR400 CL2-3-2-5
- EVGA e-GeForce 8800GTS 678MHz
- OCZ-520-12U 520W Modstream

This PC will exclusively be for gaming. I have a second, older PC that I use for all my other applications (File server, web browsing, music burning, etc.).

Thanks for the link to that AoC review as well. Pretty much summed up how I feel about the game atm too. I honestly dont know if it'll hold my attention much longer since it seems so unpolished, so this PC upgrade will not solely be for that game, but for future ones as well. This ia kinda why I chose the Q6600 over the E8400, since I imagine quad core is more future friendly. Also the Q6600 seems to be only $15 more than the E8400 (from NCIX.com) so I felt the extra cost may be worth the added value.


@Dopekitten

I have not done any overclocking before but I was planning on trying out an overclock on this build since everyone says its pretty easy. I like your suggestion for the Xigmatec and I think I'll swap to that one.

As for the Corsair ram I'll see if NCIX will pricematch Newegg because those sticks are $50 more there. They are usually really good at pricematching and I'd rather buy from them since they are local and usually ship overnight! :sol: 


@HoustonSerenity

What cards are you talking about?


Thanks for the quick replies everyone, thumbs up for you all. ;) 
June 14, 2008 8:05:58 PM

Ok, since your computer is solely for gaming, i believe the E8400 would be a better choice.

Also, don't get a P45 like the poster a few posts above said. A P35 will serve you fine, especially in overclocking. I suggest the GA-P35-DS3L.

Edit: @Rayne, HoustonSenerity is talking about the "next-gen" gfx cards that ATI/Nvidia will be releasing in about a week. The 4850/4870 and the GTX 260/280 respectively. I would also suggest waiting for the 4870, looking to be a good card. But if you can't wait, a 8800GT or 8800 GTS 512mb (G92) will serve you fine.
June 14, 2008 8:41:51 PM

Going from an X2 3800+ and 2GB RAM to Q6600 @ ~3.2Ghz and 4GB RAM should be a nice improvement. Just dont expect a HUGE leap in peformance.

Your reasoning on going with the Q6600 is sound. Although it may still be a few years before we see more quad-enabled than single or dual core games being released. There is a lot of "my game/program/software runs fine on a single core" mentality out there and retraining programmers, hiring new ones, can be expensive for med and small sized companies.
June 14, 2008 8:48:42 PM

Most games are optimized for at least dual cores, that's why i suggested the E8400.
June 14, 2008 10:11:43 PM

Dopekitten said:
Ok, since your computer is solely for gaming, i believe the E8400 would be a better choice.

Also, don't get a P45 like the poster a few posts above said. A P35 will serve you fine, especially in overclocking. I suggest the GA-P35-DS3L.

Edit: @Rayne, HoustonSenerity is talking about the "next-gen" gfx cards that ATI/Nvidia will be releasing in about a week. The 4850/4870 and the GTX 260/280 respectively. I would also suggest waiting for the 4870, looking to be a good card. But if you can't wait, a 8800GT or 8800 GTS 512mb (G92) will serve you fine.


Ok, you guys have convinced me to go with the dual core E8400. Question though, is it as easy to overclock? Will all of the selected parts still be compatable?

Thanks for the clarification on the "next-gen" cards. Since I just bought the 8800GTS though I wont be picking up a new gfx card.
June 14, 2008 10:15:28 PM

Yes the E8400 is easy to overclock. You should be able to get at the very least 3.8ghz + on air. Probably 4.0ghz, and possibly above (if you get a good chip)

Yes, all the parts are compatible.
!