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mid- to high-end gaming build for 1500-2000$ first time!! :p

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June 27, 2008 12:20:14 PM

Hey, I've been browsing this forums like a month to learn stuf and I am planning to get this desktop within a month maximum 1.5 month.

Use:
I will do mainly gaming (GTA4, WOW, COD4, assassins creed, and stuff like that),
a LOT of downloading movies, music and games),
surfing and that is about it...
I will also try to overclock it.

Budget: 1250-1500euros maximum = 1500-2400$ MAX (maybe less in$)
Period: I'll be using this for around 2-3 years maybe less, maybe more...

Things I learned:

CPU:
E8400, easy to overclock, good for gaming and not to much $. I'll go quad core in 2 years, when they are better and cheaper. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mobo:
Don't know anything about this, I have the choice between p35,p45, x38, x48,... (these are types of mobos right??)
What is the difference? what advantages has each type??
GPU:
I'm taking a 22" monitor so a single GPU will do, I still want to be able to go crossfire later on,
So like one 4870 for now? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Monitor:
A 22", too much choice!!! :p  I want to stay between 200 and 300$ for a 22 inch
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... this one seems very cheap and good, I'm willing to give more $ on the monitor, but if this is the best choice I'll take this!
PSU:
From what I've read around 500-650W psu?(or more for future crossfire 4870s?) from a good brand? still so much choice... :p 
And what about the 2 12V rails or less or more? what is that?
RAM:
I will take vista as OS, so 4GB DDR800 PC6400??
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HDD:
I will take 1 or 2 Seagate 7200.11 32 mb cache 500 GB drives, unless someone can tell me what is bigger and faster for the money.One big or 2 seperate ones? Raid or not?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case:
NO IDEA, again too much choice!!!! :o  Antec 900 everyone says, but it looks so flashy and it makes some more sound than other cases I hear... I don't care about the looks I want the best performing case that is avaible for 0-150$
Cd/dvd driver:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OS:
wich vista should I take, I heard there are games that only play in 32 bit, and I heard there was a vista with both 32 and 64 bit include, wich one is that?

+ a mouse, keyboard, and maybe a surround system suggestions welcome!!


And last but not least!!!
I live in Europe, it would make around 800$ difference if I can buy my parts in America and ship them to here...
Any company, way to do that???
I live in Belgium btw.


Random questions: what does OEM, Retail, Open box and all that stuff means?? (just so I don't buy wrong things pretending to be cheaper)


THANKS!!
a b 4 Gaming
June 27, 2008 12:38:30 PM

What do you mean by "best performing case" ?
Your previous post: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/252565-31-gaming-1500...

Retail - As sold on store shelves. Retail versions may come with additional accessories, retail packaging, bundled software and warranty coverage.
OEM - OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer), White Box and Brown Box versions include the product and sometimes the drivers, but not much else. They are packaged generically and do not include software. OEM products are best-suited for system builders who don't require documentation or bundled accessories.
Open box - Previously purchased and returned by a customer. Open Box items have been opened and touched and/or returned. Because they originate from different situations, they may or may not include accessories, documentation or retail packaging.
Related resources
June 27, 2008 12:56:17 PM

I don't care about how the case looks, I just want the most quiet and cool case I can get for 150$
a b 4 Gaming
June 27, 2008 12:57:46 PM

vsdagama said:

I live in Europe, it would make around 800$ difference if I can buy my parts in America and ship them to here...
Any company, way to do that???
You can check out the services & fees and see if makes sense to use a company like http://www.usglobalmail.com/faq.asp#1
a b 4 Gaming
June 27, 2008 12:59:01 PM

vsdagama said:
I don't care about how the case looks, I just want the most quiet and cool case I can get for 150$
you can have quiet.....or you can have cool..... having both is where it gets difficult. You can also get half quiet and half cool?
a b 4 Gaming
June 27, 2008 1:24:14 PM

Ok, there's your build minus the video card. Tiger Direct doesn't have the 4870's listed on their site yet. But I'm sure you can find one somewhere in Europe.

That case comes stock with 3x120mm case fans, and is set up for 7x120mm case fans. It has two side air ducts, top ventilation, and it has extra room for a Crossfire or SLI set up. That case is a bargain. The psu has plenty of watts to push your Crossfire rig, and the RAM has great timings and latency so it won't hold back your overclock. The heatsink is a good one, although it is large.

btw, you never said where in Europe when I posted where Tiger Direct delivers to, so chances are I posted this for nothing.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... $79.99
CoolerMaster CM690 ATX Mid-Tower Case

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... $159.99 Less Rebate: - 30.00
Final Price: $129.99*
PC Power & Cooling / Silencer / 750-Watt / Quad PCI-Express / SATA-Ready / Red Power Supply

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... $219.99
ABIT IX38 QuadGT Motherboard - 45nm Ready, Intel X38 Express, Socket 775, ATX, Audio, PCI Express 2.0, CrossFire Ready, S/PDIF, USB 2.0, Firewire, eSATA, RAID, Clear CMOS

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... $199.99
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Processor BX80570E8400 - 3.0GHz, 6MB Cache, 1333MHz FSB, Wolfdale, Dual-Core, Retail, Socket 775, Processor with Fan

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... $39.99
OCZ Vendetta CPU Cooler - Socket, 754, 775, 939, AM2

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... $108.99 Less Rebate: - 30.00
Final Price: $78.99
Corsair Dual Channel 4096MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz Memory (2 x 2048MB)

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... $79.99
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB Hard Drive - 7200RPM, 32MB, SATA-300, OEM

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... $29.99
Lite-On LH-20A1L-06 SuperAllwrite OEM Lightscribe DVD Burner - 20x DVD±R Burn, 16x DVD±R Read, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD±R DL, 12x DVD-RAM, 48x24x CD-R/RW, Black, SATA, No Software

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... $5.99
OCZ OCZTFRZTC Freeze Thermal Extreme Conductivity Compound

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... $109.99
Windows Vista Home Prem 64-bit DSP OEM DVD with Service Pack 1

Total
$1,304.90
$974.90 w/rebates
June 27, 2008 1:34:03 PM

I like the Cooler Master 690 case. Room for lots of fans that you can have on low which will keep your box cool and queit.

You also need to get a heatsink for you processor if you plan to overclock. I recommend the Xigmatek heatsink. Or the Kingwin, they're basically the same thing (Direct contact pipes)

Western Digital 640Gb Hard Drive is new and the top performer before you get into RAID.

Monitor: Samsung 22" 2253BW, goes for about $270(CDN). Fast (2ms) response time.

1 4870 now is a good choice, and then adding a second later will help you stay @ max settings on a 22" 1680x monitor for a long time. Keep in mind prices will change once the 4870x2 is out, though we don't know when that is coming.

PSU: For two 4870's, I would get the PC Power and Cooling 750W, or the Corsair 750W. The PC P&P has the strongest single 12v rail out there, so it's my #1 pick. The 12v rail feeds the Graphics cards and Processor, so it's the most important part of a PSU.

Motherboard: If you want to Crossfire, I'd get the cheapest Gigabyte or ASUS X38 board you can find over there. The reason for this is so that both cards will run at full PCI-E 2.0 x16 electrical speeds, as opposed to running at only x8 electrical when in Crossfire on P45 boards. X48 boards are mostly for hardcore overclockers who need the features and better cooling. You'll be more than fine with the X38 and can save some coin as well (vs X48)

I would get 2x2gb of DDR2-800 RAM. That will let you OC the E8400 up to 3.6Ghz if you want to (but don't try that at the very start, work your way up!)

I'd also get Vista 64 so your system can see all of the memory and so you can add more later if you wanted. At this point there really aren't many apps out there that have 64 bit driver issues. If you use any weird or uncommon programs often, just do a google search for them and 64 bit drivers to see what the scoop is. But I'm sure you'll be fine.

Mouse/keyboard and surround sounds are all pretty personal taste type of things.. I know some people who really love the Ideazon Merc Stealth keyboard, it's a gamers keyboard for FPS and MMO's. Expensive though. You probably should just try to get into a local shop and molest the mice and keyboards on the shelves there to see which ones do it for you.

I like Logitech speakers, have always only used them for computer systems.

Hope that helps, good luck!
June 27, 2008 1:42:40 PM

Just to add - get the quad now - in two years time you will not be able to purchase a quad core CPU for this system as Intel will have completely phased out socket 775 - new sockets for Nehalem will have replaced them.

For the PSU - look for the Corsair TX750 - amazing price / performance - and is also single rail = best.

I would wait for 1GB 4870's to appear - future proofing - as games require larger and larger texture memory areas this will keep you going to a good few years...
a b 4 Gaming
June 27, 2008 1:59:18 PM

jamesgoddard said:
in two years time you will not be able to purchase a quad core CPU for this system as Intel will have completely phased out socket 775 - new sockets for Nehalem will have replaced them
I don't think thats true. You can still get socket 478 CPUs if you want.
Maybe the more important fact is that in two years time you'll be able to get the Sandy Bridge CPUs and you'll want a new motherboard then anyway.
June 27, 2008 3:11:27 PM

jevon said:

Motherboard: If you want to Crossfire, I'd get the cheapest Gigabyte or ASUS X38 board you can find over there. The reason for this is so that both cards will run at full PCI-E 2.0 x16 electrical speeds, as opposed to running at only x8 electrical when in Crossfire on P45 boards. X48 boards are mostly for hardcore overclockers who need the features and better cooling. You'll be more than fine with the X38 and can save some coin as well (vs X48)

I would get 2x2gb of DDR2-800 RAM. That will let you OC the E8400 up to 3.6Ghz if you want to (but don't try that at the very start, work your way up!)


thanks!!
But, about the X38-X48 issue, When are you a hardcore overclocker??, I'm planning to check out the overclocking and maybe push it as much as I can... (I don't know anything yet, but I am gonna try to overclock as much as I can)
Can't I go more far with 800? So if I want to go over 3.6 I need DDR2 1066??
July 18, 2008 9:57:15 AM

So actually, the only difference between X38 and X48 is that X48 enables DDR31600??
Wich I don't need so it is ridiculous to spend more money?
I'm taking DDR2 800 or 1066 btw

Is there also such a comparison scheme for X38 vs P45 etc??
July 21, 2008 8:02:40 AM

X38 for crossfire and P45 when I take a single GPU?
July 22, 2008 6:23:38 AM

i am wondering the same question too.
July 22, 2008 6:32:24 AM

I agree with a lot of Jevon's choices.
!