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Newbie Build with $3000 Budget. Conflict/Suggestions needed!

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June 29, 2008 3:13:17 PM

Monitor: Dell 3007 WFP 30” Widescreen 2560 X 1600 Native Resolution (Already Purchased)

Case: Antec 190

Power Supply: 1000 Watt Thermaltake Quad

Processor: QX9650

Processor Cooling: Thermalright IXF-14 with Scythe SY1225SL12M fans

Motherboard:EVGA nForce 790i Ultra SLI Motherboard

Memory: DDR3 Corsair 4096MB PC12800 DDR3 1600MHz

Video Card: EVGA GTX208 FTW Edition

Hard Drive: 500 GB Serial ATA-II 7200 RPM 16M Cache, 2xWestern Digital VR150 300GB Velociraptor 10,000 RPM. A RAID 0,configuration?

Optical Drive: LG GGC-H20L Blu-ray & HD DVD ROM Drive, 16X DVD ROM

Sound Card: Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-FI Titanium FATAL1TY

OS: Windows Vista Home Premium 64-Bit, Service Pack 1

Keyboard: Logitech G15 Keyboard(Already Purchased)

Mouse: Logitech G5 Laser Mouse(Already Purchased)

Any advice for this build would be greatly appreciated. I held off purchasing until the GTX 280 came out as I heard the 9800 series wasnt all that hot at ultra high resolutions. And since I bought my monitor for those types of resolution, Im not waiting any longer.

My goal is for an upgradable, low-maintenance gaming rig, probably aiming for 8GIG Mem and SLI gtx 280's in the future(2009), so a good motherboard with the future in mind is key. Any advice would be extremely valuable as this is my first rig and im dropping hard earned cash into it.

P.S. I hate console gaming, but probably because i suck so hard at it. Ever since I played Doom on my 14.4 Modem I have been addicted to PC gaming. Calling my buddy and hoping his parents didnt pick up the phone and ruin the connection, then splattering his pixelated brains all over the wall with the double barrel shotgun, or blowing my own all over the ceiling with the suicidal-at-close-range bazooka!

Anyway, there is my uneccesary rant, hope for some help!
June 29, 2008 3:26:23 PM

Those components will work fine. But with that kind of budget, you might want to consider something like an octo core dual cpu machine instead. "Extreme" cpus are not worth their price.

A Skulltrial chipset motherboard is one of the best overclocking boards in existance, support both sli and crossfire, including quad sli/cf, and run on dual cpus. It'll cost you $600 though.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You can use two 45nm Harpertown Xeon quads. They are high performance server counterpart to 45nm Yorkfield quads, and overclock just as easily.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Octo core Nehalem is arriving at the end of the year, barring any delays. Dual quad is your best bet at matching that kind of raw power. Despite what many old people say, multithreading the the furture of computing, including gaming. Old dual core cpus don't stand a chance against 8 core Nehalem.
June 29, 2008 3:30:46 PM

trust me using a nforce 790 wont be a low maintenance gaming rig. i would recommend doing 2 4870 in cross fire because the intel boards have alot less problems and 4870's are cheaper and way better then one gtx 280. ive built two sli gaming rigs and there is so many stability issues were i never want to use a nforce board again.

am not positive but i think 4870 can handle higher resolutions then the gtx280
Related resources
June 29, 2008 3:31:05 PM

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June 29, 2008 3:36:55 PM

dagger said:
Those components will work fine. But with that kind of budget, you might want to consider something like an octo core dual cpu machine instead. "Extreme" cpus are not worth their price.

A Skulltrial chipset motherboard is one of the best overclocking boards in existance, support both sli and crossfire, including quad sli/cf, and run on dual cpus. It'll cost you $600 though.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You can use two 45nm Harpertown Xeon quads. They are high performance server counterpart to 45nm Yorkfield quads, and overclock just as easily.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Octo core Nehalem is arriving at the end of the year, barring any delays. Dual quad is your best bet at matching that kind of raw power. Despite what many old people say, multithreading the the furture of computing, including gaming. Old dual core cpus don't stand a chance against 8 core Nehalem.


that's an horrible. those processors are not made to run games and the memory on the skull trail board is such a bottle neck. skull trail isn't made for games. i would just get a quad core
June 29, 2008 3:46:36 PM

Cal, can you back that up with some articles/reviews? [sarcasm]Skulltrail being such a bad platform for gaming and all. [/sarcasm]
June 29, 2008 3:50:51 PM

4870 smacks GTX280 around in some benchmarks and stays right with it in others.

If I had $3000 laying around I would building the following.

CPU: Q9450
Motherboard: Asus Rampage Formula X48
RAM: 4GB G.Skill 4-4-4-12 (2x 2GB)
Hard Drive: 1 VelociRaptor for OS and Programs 1 Seagate 500GB 32MB cache for everything else
Video: 2x Powercooler HD4870 in Crossfire
Sound: Onboard
Optical Drive: LG Combo you picked
Monitor: Dell 3007 WFP 30”
Case: Antec P182
Power Supply: Corsair 1kW
OS: Vista Home Prem
Cooling: Xigamtek Rifle 120mm cooler and Bracket

Total $2459.42 without the monitor which you already have.
June 29, 2008 3:56:25 PM

cal8949 said:
that's an horrible. those processors are not made to run games and the memory on the skull trail board is such a bottle neck. skull trail isn't made for games. i would just get a quad core

The Skulltrial is based on Bonetrail (x38/48) and designed specifically for gaming. It's not a server board, and will not run well in server environment. The memory on skulltrail is not bottlenecked, just more expensive. The Harpertown quads use the exact same architecture as Yorkfield, and runs games just fine. I cited them only because it's better bang for the buck. You can always use the QX9775, which was released along with Skulltrail as a complete set for ultra-high end gaming rig. That cpu will wipe the floor with anything else in existance. I just can't recommend it because it cost $1.5k each. The Harpertowns are much better value.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
June 29, 2008 4:00:30 PM

dagger said:
The Skulltrial is based on Bonetrail (x38/48) and designed specifically for gaming. It's not a server board, and will not run well in server environment. The memory on skulltrail is not bottlenecked, just more expensive. The Harpertown quads use the exact same architecture as Yorkfield, and runs games just fine. I cited them only because it's better bang for the buck. You can always use the QX9775, which was released along with Skulltrail as a complete set for ultra-high end gaming rig. That cpu will wipe the floor with anything else in existance. I just can't recommend it because it cost $1.5k each. The Harpertowns are much better value.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


The biggest problem is the same problem the Mac Pro has when gaming. FB-DIMMs bottleneck the system. FB-DIMMs are made for stability not outright throughput. In the article I linked you the Skulltrail is even with 780i system which costs 40% less. It is not a terrible platform, but its overpriced for the performance.
June 29, 2008 4:02:39 PM

i would do the sound card. i hate on board sound and in games if you have a xfi card it seams like you can hear so much more. but i do like shadow ducks build. i would go with the 9450 processor then just oc it and you will save a lot of money

from my point of view raid is not worth it because you'll have a lot of problems for a little more performance


and now for skull trail

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-skulltrail-pa...

and imagine if you put even slower processors on it
June 29, 2008 4:04:52 PM

dagger said:
Who runs games at 640x480 on low quality? You're supposed to run quad sli or quad crossfire on it. Skulltrial supports both.


This is true, but the point they are attempting to make is the RAM is an issue. But hell if you have the cash- go for it. Skulltrail is a great platform for the high end user where money is no object.
June 29, 2008 4:07:41 PM

Also, that benchmark is done on older games that don't use more than 2 or 4 cores. So dual cpu is wasted. With the coming of octo core Nehalem, things will likely change.
June 29, 2008 4:20:31 PM

excuse my ignorance, but does the Asus Rampage Formula X48 offer sli/xfire? i was under the impression it didnt.
June 29, 2008 4:23:08 PM

dagger said:
Also, that benchmark is done on older games that don't use more than 2 or 4 cores. So dual cpu is wasted. With the coming of octo core Nehalem, things will likely change.


Really? How many games can utilize a quad core right now? One or two?

Gaming coding hasn't been able to keep up with multi-core CPU's.
June 29, 2008 4:26:14 PM

BadMannerKorea said:
excuse my ignorance, but does the Asus Rampage Formula X48 offer sli/xfire? i was under the impression it didnt.


no just crossfire
June 29, 2008 4:27:34 PM

BadMannerKorea said:
excuse my ignorance, but does the Asus Rampage Formula X48 offer sli/xfire? i was under the impression it didnt.


It supports Crossfire like all Intel chipset x38/x48 boards do.
June 29, 2008 4:28:12 PM

Noya said:
Really? How many games can utilize a quad core right now? One or two?

Gaming coding hasn't been able to keep up with multi-core CPU's.

Supreme Commander, Lost Planet...etc. Starcraft 2 and Crysis 2 will be quad optimized, not sure about octo.

And even in non-quad optimized games, quad sytem perform better at similar clock rates due to background processes being moved to spare cores.
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core2quad-...

Also, some rendering engines that aren't officially quad optimized do benefit from more cores due to limited multi-threading. Unreal 3 engine is one example. It's also the most widely use of all rendering engines.
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3127&p=4
June 29, 2008 4:30:40 PM

BadMannerKorea said:
excuse my ignorance, but does the Asus Rampage Formula X48 offer sli/xfire? i was under the impression it didnt.

Not quad card in cf, since Rampage Formula doesn't have the 4 pciex16 slots. But few people ever go that far.

And it doesn't support sli. So ATI cards only.
June 29, 2008 6:18:33 PM

Thanks for all your advice guys, Im mulling over the crossfire 4870 rather than SLI 280's, but if Nvidia fixes its drivers and gets SLI to match Crossfire, the SLI 280's will be tough to beat. Since im not buying the second 280 for another year, and a single 280 can certainly handle all games at high resolution if not Ultra, Im leaning to keep the 280. As for the new processors coming up, well thats Moore's Law in effect, and as long as I can get a Motherboard that can handle the next Gen, I will be happy!

Thanks for all the help!
June 29, 2008 8:25:33 PM

i think the next generation of cpu are supposed to be a different socket
June 29, 2008 8:34:05 PM

newbie45 said:
Thanks for all your advice guys, Im mulling over the crossfire 4870 rather than SLI 280's, but if Nvidia fixes its drivers and gets SLI to match Crossfire, the SLI 280's will be tough to beat. Since im not buying the second 280 for another year, and a single 280 can certainly handle all games at high resolution if not Ultra, Im leaning to keep the 280. As for the new processors coming up, well thats Moore's Law in effect, and as long as I can get a Motherboard that can handle the next Gen, I will be happy!

Thanks for all the help!
Next Gen=Nehalem (100% different architecture then the mobo you got now)
June 29, 2008 8:35:53 PM

$3000 and 2560x1600 is just ridiculous. Look at a 1920x1200 monitor and 4870 with X38/X48 motherboard, then look at CF. BTW, 4870 can hold its own at 2560x1600, but at that resolution, you really want to use SLi or CF.
June 29, 2008 9:12:38 PM

OTCO?

I'm on my thrid RMA with a Nividia 780i, I know people who are on their 6th or 7th. When I go to the support forum for my manufacture all I see is loads of 790i problems posts.

I think intel's x38/x48 is probably better can any one comment on this?
June 29, 2008 9:25:12 PM

eofu said:
OTCO?

I'm on my thrid RMA with a Nividia 780i, I know people who are on their 6th or 7th. When I go to the support forum for my manufacture all I see is loads of 790i problems posts.

I think intel's x38/x48 is probably better can any one comment on this?

I use x38. It certainly overclocks better, more stable and has less ram compatibility problems. Most of those people complaining about nvidia chipset problems didn't actually get a defective board, but rather just got components, like ram, that don't play well with the chipset.
June 29, 2008 9:25:55 PM

Honestly, get an X38 or X48 and use CF.
June 29, 2008 10:40:38 PM

crossfire is the way to go
June 30, 2008 3:12:08 AM

liljone said:
Next Gen=Nehalem (100% different architecture then the mobo you got now)


Yep that correct. So OP it does not matter what you buy- it won't work with next Gen.

Crossfire >>>> SLI. Search the boards for the loads of nVidia chipset issues.

Like dagger I am using X38 (Asus P5E)
June 30, 2008 11:49:57 PM

Yeah, the Skulltrail has power.

But it's still garbage.
!