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Trying to keep new build under 2000, having difficulty

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June 26, 2008 2:33:04 AM

Hi guys,

New to this forum and building PCs. The last PC I bought was a really overpriced Alienware laptop that didn't even last for very long. That being said, I've decided to cut the middleman out this time.

My goal is around $2000, but I do have to buy a monitor so thats going to eat into my funds a bit. I'd like this to be a fairly powerful machine, and was thinking of getting just one hd 4870 for now and then grabbing a second one when it suited me.

I think I'd like to overclock, I just need to learn how.

Anyways, what I have so far:

CPU- E8400 -190 (bummed I saw an out of the box E8500 for 210 on newegg today but theres no way thats going to be there long)
GPU- Radeon HD 4870- 310
Hard Drive- VRaptor 300 GB - 300
RAM- GSkill 4GB DDR2 1066 X2 - 180
Mobo- DFI Lanparty X48- 225
PSU- Corsair 1000W (for the eventual second card)- 270
Case-(I really have no idea just looked around newegg)Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - 145
MONITOR- KDS 24 inch 1920x1200 LCD- 350
Vista 64- 180

TOTAL = $2150

Any glaring errors? Easy ways to drop the price down slightly without hurting performance? A PC building noob would greatly appreciate the help.

More about : build 2000 difficulty

June 26, 2008 2:47:11 AM

Looks fine but one thing that I did is I spent too much money on my rig. For example literally 1.5 years ago I bought 280 dollars of ram, DDR2 800. Now you can find 2 gigs for 20 dollars after rebate. Processors don't decrease in price as much but really you should build what will last you 2 years and then build a new system. Outside of crysis what game will a 9800GTX not run? Do I really need 10,000 RPM? Not trying to second guess you or anything but it might hurt seeing prices later down the line.

Overclocking is very safe and easy as long as you incrementally overclock. Get a Typhoon ( Quiet and amazingly good cooler ) or I hear the zalman 9500 works well too. Sand the bottom of the cooler with 400-600-800-1000 grain ( I know the typhoon already has a decent job done to it so you could probably start at 600, this process is called lapping). If you plan to OC you want an aftermarket cooler and it is well worth the 50 dollars. I've gotten a 2 ghz dual core up to 3ghz easily and if I wanted I could probably push it to 3.2. Search your motherboard name and your processor with overclock guide and you'll probably get results. Your manual for your motherboard may include instructions as well.
June 26, 2008 3:20:20 AM

Thanks for the helpful advice. I'll definitely invest in a Typhoon, OCing seems pretty easy especially with the E8400.

You definitely make some valid points, but I know I won't be upgrading for a while after this guy so I think I'll be sticking with some of the higher end parts. The fact that I can throw in another 4870 when the price drops a bit later should hopefully help the system last.

Aside from upping it to two 4870s in crossfire, do you see any way I would be able to increase performance without increasing cost very much? Or should I assume for now that this would make a pretty decent build? I was wondering if I would need a 1000W power supply with the two 4870s, or if I could squeeze by with less, because I could definitely cut out some cost there.
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June 26, 2008 3:27:53 AM

I would say get a cheaper Seagate drive, the raptors, although fast, doesnt make any difference to gaming (which is what im assuming your doing) unless your overly worried about game load times.. on top of that raptors are quite loud drives.
NOt an expert on this but it seems that 1000W is a bit overkill, even for a second 4870 down the track, that psu is going to make u worry more about ur power bill than the initial cost :p 
Never seen Gskill ram before, but that being said im in australia, so there is evey chance its not exported here.. But just fyi Corsair and Kingston make quality ram in my experience.
And if your really really worried about future proofing your system the Q6600 is a solid midpriced quad core that will (hopefully) in the future be more utilised that the E8400, but i'm told the E8400 is better for gaming ATM..

MiTcH
June 26, 2008 3:44:33 AM

750W is plenty enough to push a Crossfire rig and then some. That build right there will overclock to the moon and back. Take your savings and buy another vid card and start running Crossfire. :) 

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.buy.com/prod/corsair-tx-750w-atx-12v-power-s... $109.99 Price After Rebate(s): $99.99 Shipping: FREE
Corsair TX 750W ATX 12V Power Supply - CMPSU-750TX

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... $36.99
XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm 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... $224.99
GIGABYTE GA-X48-DS4 LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $309.99
SAPPHIRE 100243L Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 ($69.99 after $25.00 Mail-In Rebate)
OCZ Reaper HPC 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... $299.99
Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

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
$1,489.88
$1,454.88 w/mail in rebates






June 26, 2008 3:49:42 AM

I agree, you don't really need the raptor, it is loud and overpriced. With that money, you get could get maybe 3-4 500GB drives! Seagate makes a 7200 RPM 500GB drive with a whopping 32MB cache.
That PSU is definitely overkill. 2 4870s will only need 750-950W--ABS makes some nice modular, powerful supplies.

Your RAM is fine, I love G.Skill

Do you really need the Thermaltake Armor? It is HUGE, and it looks a bit like a server when the drives are loaded in, if you ask me.

E8400 is a good choice, don't waste your money on a E8500.
Now depending on when you want to pull the upgrade trigger, you should choose between the Q6600 and E8400. Both are awesome OCers. Right now, dual core is the way to go for gaming, but it won't be long before games are developed for more cores, especially now that Nehalem is coming out.
June 26, 2008 3:57:34 AM

Wow thanks you guys. Looks like my list is getting a little revision. So I'm going to throw my monitor into Why_ME's list witha few alterations. Im also adding in the second 4870 to see where I stand. If we are around 2000 then I'll be a very happy man.

THE REVISED LIST

CPU- 8400 - 190
GPU- 4870X2 - 620
RAM- 8GB GSkill 1066 - 180
Mobo- DFI X48 - 225
HD- Seagate 500GB Barracuda - 80
PSU- Corsair 750W - 130
Case- CoolerMaster Mid Tower - 85
MONITOR- KDS 24 inch 1920x1200 LCD- 350
Vista 64 home - 95
CD read/write - 24
XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler- 37
XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket- 7
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 - 7

TOTAL - 2030 :D 

Whew. Thats a lot of performance gained and price lost. Any final suggestions? Otherwise I think I'm about ready to order these puppies and learn myself how to OC.

Would anyone call this high end? Or are we still more in the mid range.
June 26, 2008 4:00:02 AM

I personally like that case, but its pretty much a matter of preference imo, so long as it has adequate cooling for what your after then pick one that pertains to your needs (whichever one looks better) :) 
June 26, 2008 4:27:40 AM

looks reasonable to me. Some things I would change:

A good 750w psu would be fine. The PC P&C units are the best quality, and prices are now reasonable.

Keep the velociraptor. You can feel the difference in everything you do.

Consider spending more than you want for a good quality 24" monitor. I have no experience with KDS, but their 160 degree viewing angle is not good. Look for a unit that has 178 degrees both horizontal and vertical. This is important so that the display does not look washed out if you do not hold your head directly in front of the unit. A good monitor is something you can keep forward past the next generation of pc.

Shopping tips for Vista:
1) Do you qualify for an academic license?
If so, you can get Vista at a discounted price.
2) Look for an upgrade version of home premium instead of OEM.
Upgrade is a retail version which gives you support from microsoft, unlike OEM,
and allows a more hassel-free ability to transfer the os to a different pc(motherboard).
For $10, microsoft will send you the 64 bit DVD.
I saw Vista home premium upgrade recently at Costco for $85, amazon for $89.
There is a legitimate two step instalation process to install an upgrade version
You install vista from the cd, but do not initially enter the product code.

just tell the install which version you bought, and do not activate.
After it installs, you have a fully functional vista for 30 days.
Step 2 is to insert the cd again, while running vista and then do an upgrade.
This time, enter your product code, and activate.
After activation. you may delete the initial version which is named windows.old.


If you get a retail or upgrade version, you will still be able to upgrade to ultimate later.
June 26, 2008 4:36:35 AM

blerb said:
I agree, you don't really need the raptor, it is loud and overpriced. With that money, you get could get maybe 3-4 500GB drives! Seagate makes a 7200 RPM 500GB drive with a whopping 32MB cache.
That PSU is definitely overkill. 2 4870s will only need 750-950W--ABS makes some nice modular, powerful supplies.

Your RAM is fine, I love G.Skill

Do you really need the Thermaltake Armor? It is HUGE, and it looks a bit like a server when the drives are loaded in, if you ask me.

E8400 is a good choice, don't waste your money on a E8500.
Now depending on when you want to pull the upgrade trigger, you should choose between the Q6600 and E8400. Both are awesome OCers. Right now, dual core is the way to go for gaming, but it won't be long before games are developed for more cores, especially now that Nehalem is coming out.


Good call on that Seagate...I was thinking the same thing myself, but I didn't know if he was set on the Raptor..which is a waste of money in my opinion. One other thing to think about, if the overclock isn't going to be extreme, then the cheaper Xigmatek will work just fine, and it's easier to fit on alot of mobo's. Take that E8400, move up the FSB to 3.6GHz (9x400), and he has a fine overclock right there without having to up the voltage and worry about short term lifespan for that cpu.

One other thing, the reason I put that case in the build was for the fact it has about the best airflow of any case your going to come across, not to mention it has added room for a Crossfire/SLI set up. The case comes stock with 3x120mm case fans but is set up for a total of 7x120mm case fans not to mention two side air ducts and top ventilation. That case is as good as it gets for that price range. ..infact it's better than most $150-$200 cases, and when your running Crossfire you want a case with good airflow for the fact HEAT plays a major factor.

Now you have your money for that other vid card. :) 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $89.99
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

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

Total
$1,287.88
$1,222.88 w/mail in rebates
June 26, 2008 4:41:05 AM

why_me is right, airflow is very important, but at the end of the day AnalLeakage (lol) is the one who has to see it everyday, and if there is only mild overclocking then most cases in that price range will be adequate.
June 26, 2008 4:45:07 AM

Thanks for the responses guys, everyone on this board is proving really helpful.

Why_Me, with the cheaper cooler on my list, I will be at 2018 before rebates and 2008 after. Pretty much perfect. One question though:

I am tempted to just mildly OC my 8400 as you suggested, would I be better off with lower speed ram in that case? Is the 8GB overkill?
June 26, 2008 4:49:11 AM

AnalLeakage said:
Thanks for the responses guys, everyone on this board is proving really helpful.

Why_Me, with the cheaper cooler on my list, I will be at 2018 before rebates and 2008 after. Pretty much perfect. One question though:

I am tempted to just mildly OC my 8400 as you suggested, would I be better off with lower speed ram in that case? Is the 8GB overkill?


8 gigs is way overkill unless your into alot of video editing. That OCZ RAM I posted will let you overclock that CPU past the 4.0GHz limit and then some. That RAM is made to overclock.

One other thing, 4 gigs is alot easier to overclock than 8 gigs.
June 26, 2008 5:04:25 AM

Alright then, Ill knock it back down to 4 gigs of ram. This should be the final incarnation of THE LIST.

THE LIST:

CPU- 8400 - 190
GPU- 4870X2 - 620
RAM- 4GB OCZ DDR2 - 100 (70)
Mobo- DFI X48 - 225
HD- Seagate 500GB Barracuda - 80
PSU- Corsair 750W - 130
Case- CoolerMaster Mid Tower - 85
MONITOR- KDS 24 inch 1920x1200 LCD- 350
Vista 64 home - 95
CD read/write - 24
XIGMATEK HDT-S963 92mm Rifle CPU Cooler- 25 (15)
XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket- 7
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 - 7

TOTAL: $1938

With rebates: $1898 Woohoo!

Im amazed at what I'm getting for my money. Should I just buy ultimate outright? Is it any better for gaming? Otherwise I'll stick with home, but since I have the savings already I may as well if it will help.
June 26, 2008 5:08:32 AM

AnalLeakage said:
Alright then, Ill knock it back down to 4 gigs of ram. This should be the final incarnation of THE LIST.

THE LIST:

CPU- 8400 - 190
GPU- 4870X2 - 620
RAM- 4GB OCZ DDR2 - 100 (70)
Mobo- DFI X48 - 225
HD- Seagate 500GB Barracuda - 80
PSU- Corsair 750W - 130
Case- CoolerMaster Mid Tower - 85
MONITOR- KDS 24 inch 1920x1200 LCD- 350
Vista 64 home - 95
CD read/write - 24
XIGMATEK HDT-S963 92mm Rifle CPU Cooler- 25 (15)
XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket- 7
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 - 7

TOTAL: $1938

With rebates: $1898 Woohoo!

Im amazed at what I'm getting for my money. Should I just buy ultimate outright? Is it any better for gaming? Otherwise I'll stick with home, but since I have the savings already I may as well if it will help.


One very important thing to consider is the mobo. DFI's are great boards but they are not for begginers....and I beleive everyone on this board will agree with that. The Gigabyte is a much easier board to work with, especially when it comes to overclocking for the first time. You will save yourself hours of researching / trial and errors by going with that Gigabyte board.

btw, I use Vista 64 home premium OEM, and with the SP1 download from MS it works like a charm. :) 
June 26, 2008 5:10:41 AM

Alright ease is definitely something Im looking for when I try to OC this thing so I will go with the Gigabyte. Will Vista ultimate offer any advantages to gaming?
June 26, 2008 5:13:45 AM

AnalLeakage said:
Alright ease is definitely something Im looking for when I try to OC this thing so I will go with the Gigabyte. Will Vista ultimate offer any advantages to gaming?


I'm using Vista 64 Home Premium OEM on my gaming rig, and it works like a charm. :) 
June 26, 2008 5:17:43 AM

Excellent! Well I have to say I'm impressed with your knowledge Why_Me and everyone else that helped me out; within hours of making the topic I feel far more informed on the subject and my problem is solved!

Thanks again for helping me out guys.
June 26, 2008 5:47:01 AM

Vista ultimate really doesn't offer much outside of some downloadable extras and drive encryption; home is fine. If you are going for less noise I would still suggest the typhoon( or another 120MM high quality fan ) as it is extremely quite yet offers great cooling. 16 dba vs up to 35 dba for the HDT-S963. This is an issue if you are concerned about noise, I wasn't at first with my computer but it does get annoying. Something to keep in mind. Also overclocking can extend the life of your computer. My dual core was overclocked from 2.0ghz to 3.0 giving it another year of life at no cost.
June 26, 2008 3:04:51 PM

Vista ultimate does not buy you very much today. Performance is the same as far as I know. Go to the vista web site for a detailed list of the feature differences between ultimate and home premium. See if there is anything you really want from ultimate. If you buy a retail or upgrade version, of home premium, then you will get the option to upgrade later to ultimate. With the OEM version, you will not be able to change.

I upgraded to 8gb, mostly because it was cheap. I don't think I got very much out of it. In addition, I think the 4 sticks of ram has made it difficult to overclock. I was not very successful. I have not seriously pursued overclocking because it does not seem necessary. To see how much a 20% overclock would help, underclock by 20% and see how much difference that makes. If you mostly do one thing at a time, like gaming, then 4gb should be plenty. Most programs are not written to take advantage of more than the 4gb address space that 32 bit allows. If you will be doing heavy multitasking, then look at 8gb.

If you have the funds, reconsider the Velociraptor. It DOES make a difference.
Also, try to see the actual monitor before you buy. Viewing angle also makes a difference.
June 26, 2008 4:51:24 PM

I think I definitely would like to keep the VRaptor and get a 178 degree viewing angle monitor, but unfortunately those two things would put me up in the 23-2400 range pretty quickly. If I can scrounge up some more cash those are two things I will definitely invest in.

So if I'm just doing that mild OC on my CPU, the one where you just change the FSB and get it up to around 3.6, 8GB of ram would do nothing for me?

If it wouldn't make that kind of OC difficult I think I might look into it just because its so cheap.
!