Advice on a Gaming / Overclocking Build

Case: Antec 1200 - $215
Mobo: eVGA nVidia nForce 750i FTW SLi ATX - $190
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4 Ghz - $200
Heatsink: Tuniq Tower 120 - $50
Ram: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1000 (PC2 8000) - $85
HDDs: WD Velociraptor 300GB - $300, WD Caviar 1TB - $190
PSU: Thermaltake Toughpower 1000W ATX12V - $330
GPU: 2x XFX 9800GTX Black Edition SLi - $249 x2
Any DVD Burner will do so i wont mention it.

Total: $2090

This always seems to be the best place to check for answers so here goes. I've searched around for a while and I'm unsure of a few parts. I've been having a tough time finding a good mobo that i can overclock with, I intend to stay with the Q6600 because of the good overclocking I hear about. Though I am willing to change to a different processor if it will preform superior. So mobo / CPU suggestions are very needed for me. I chose the 9800GTX in SLi becuase i hear it is superior to the 9800 GX2, I was considering the GTX280 but i'm not sure which would be the top preformer. Any improvements that you can see in the build would be an tremendous help. I also plan to overclock the CPU so any advice on that would be great as I am a newbie to Overclocking. I plan to game on an 1440x900 monitor if this helps.


Sorry I forgot to mention that my budget is about $2500. So I still have some room If I need slighly moreexpensive components.
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  1. although the Q6600 has shown some decent overclock abilities for a quad core on a rig like this i would look at its big brother Q9300. should give you more voltage room.

    Nice pick of Memory and PSU, im not entirely convinced about the 9800gtx's is value for money given the now outdated 8800gtx 786mb can take it on. between the 280gtx and the 9800gtx the 280gtx should win hands down but the issue is$$$ and you will probably only beable to buy one. that in itself is not all bad save money on power and i doubt you will be dissappointed with the single and you get a second one later.

    i have had problems with cables on my antec 900 which is smaller. mainly the fact that the psu is mounted at the bottom i have no extension cables and it basically ends up the shortest cables end up travelling the furthest. if your going a case of that size you might consider a thermaltake armor case they have pretty good ventillation as well.
  2. Thanks for the feedback, What about my choice in mobo is there one that would preform the task better? I'm also concerned alot of people say the Q9300 is harder to overclock?I'm looking at the Thermaltake ArmorPlus right now after seeing a few people talk about needing cable extensions i think i'd rather avoid that hassle.

    So for now i'm gonna keep the Q6600 unless theres alot of feedback to the contrary. I'd also like to know if for a 1440x900 monitor which is what I plan to game on is the 280 GTX a bit of overkill? I can still get it and have it fit in my budget but I'd just like to be sure from the gamers here.

    So basically after switching to the Thermaltake Armor+, I need to know about mobo's for the Q6600 (Or perhaps a better processor as well) with the ability to overclock well considering I'm a newbie and whether a 280GTX is necessary to run games maxed out (Crysis included) on a 1440x900 monitor display.
  3. i've heard the q9300/q9450 are harder to overclock because of the lower multiplyer & are reliant on the mobo being able to reach high FSB speeds.
    my q6600 is at 3.2 & i am very confident i'll hit 3.6 when i get my T.R.U.E. (vid=1.2500v)
  4. Ok so i'll stick with my Q6600. Is this mobo fine for overclocking it? Also I'm about to settle on the eVga 280GTX on a 1440x900 monitor, and advice as to any other options would be appreciated. Remember I plan to play games on the highest settings and still have a great fps.
  5. You may want to look at the GTX 260, it is about 20% behind the 280, but you could buy 2 for the price of one 280, plus eVGA has a few that are overclocked if you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself.,review-30971.html
  6. If I were to switch down from the 280GTX to the 260GTX, where do you think i could spend the extra money left to improve what I've listed?
  7. Is water cooling a good way to spend the money saved? Can anyone suggest a really good Water cooling set for $250 max.
  8. Charz said:
    Is water cooling a good way to spend the money saved? Can anyone suggest a really good Water cooling set for $250 max.

    You do not need water cooling for Q6600@ 3.6ghz. Mine run at 58C max load prime95 at 3.6ghz, and 69C at 4ghz.

    Top air coolers:

    Also, consider a x38/48 crossfire with 4850/4870. X38/48 oc performance is far better than 750i/780i for the same cost. 4850 cf significantly outperforms a single 280gtx for $300 less, 4870 cf for $100 less, or 4870x2, price unknown, will far outperforms single 280gtx. Of course, 280gtx sli will smoke all 3 of them, but costs $1.4k.
  9. Ok so now I've changed my setup a bit, I just need a bit more feedback to be sure i'm good.

    Heatsink - Xigmatek HDT-1283 - $37
    GPU - 4870 in Crossfire - $620
    Mobo - Asus Rampage Intel X48 - $290
    Case - Thermaltake ArmorPlus - $205
    PSU - Thermaltake Toughpower 1000W - $330
    CPU - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 - $200
    RAM - G.Skill 4GB DDR2 1000 PC2 8000 - $85
    HDD1 - WD Velociraptor 300GB - $300
    HDD2 - WD Caviar 1TB - $190
    Any Old DVD Burner and floppy drive

    Total Before Shipping: $2,295.38

    Just looking for a final verdict or last minute adjustments. Thanks for all the help, I'm almost there.

    EDIT: I may need to put the PSU down to 850W, to stay under my $2500, let me know if that is enough to still power all this.
  10. Ok I've done alot of changes looking for final Changes or Improvements.

    Heatsink - Xigmatek HDT-1283 - $37 (Also the retention Bracket as well) $7
    GPU - Powercolor 4870 - $310
    Mobo - Asus Rampage Intel X48 - $290
    Case - Lian Li PC-P80 Case - $400
    PSU - Thermaltake Toughpower 850W - $260 (I really want a good PSU with Modular cabling)
    CPU - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 - $200
    RAM - OCZ Reaper HPC Edition 4GB - $115
    HDD1 - Seagate Barracuda 250GB - $60
    HDD2 - WD Caviar 1TB - $190
    DVD Burner - LG 20x DVD Burner - $25

    Total: $1911 Before Tax / Shipping
    Budget: $2500

    Mainly looking for RAM suggestions, since I do plan on overclocking, and also a good PSU with modular cabling, I really want to cut down on the cable clutter. Also since I have a fair amount left in my budget after this I'd really like to know if the Q9450-Q9550 would be a real step up over the Q6600. Keeping in mind there ability to overclock.

    I'm sure I'll get alot of feedback on my case, I dont wish to change this. Its important to like your case and this is the one I've settled on. And this is after ALOT of searching.
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