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4870 midrange build advice

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Last response: in Systems
June 29, 2008 7:20:35 PM

Well, with the arrival of the 4850/4870, my midrange dream build from a few weeks ago has been thrown completely out the window and has been replaced by this (so far):

new components:
motherboard - DFI X48 T2R - $270
video card - VisionTek Radeon 4870 - $310 (not sold on the brand...will go with whatever is available/best deal)
CPU - Q9450 - $330
memory - Corsair XMS2 4GB (2x2) DDR2 800 - $109
dvd burner - Samsung S203N - $30

parts I already own:
case - Lian Li PC-65B
PSU - PC Power & Cooling 750W
CPU cooler - Zalman CNPS9700
sound card - Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty Pro (grabbed it for $74 when they ran the special last week)
monitor - (not on newegg anymore) Samsung 226BW (22" 1680x1050 max res)
OS - XP 32bit for now (will upgrade to XP 64bit or Vista 64bit in the near future)
HD - I'm not sure...500GB Seagate I think?

One thing I'm not sure about is the's 6-7 years old and I have no idea if everything will fit in it or not. I decided to pay a little more for the X48 mobo to eventually run two 4870's in crossfire at x16. On memory, is an extra $12.50 (when you factor in rebates) worth it to go with 4-4-4-12 over 5-5-5-18?

Any thoughts/suggestions before I finalize the deal? I haven't built a system in 6-7 years, so any advice would be greatly appreciated

More about : 4870 midrange build advice

June 29, 2008 7:29:10 PM

I'd say an extra 12.50 is worth the better timings, you will be able to clock the RAM higher if you loosen the timings. Plus its just a little bit faster.
June 29, 2008 7:30:34 PM

My first thought is to wait for the new Intel chipset and CPU comming this fall/winter. If you can't wait. I would think about a DDR3 X38/X48 board.

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June 29, 2008 8:08:40 PM

Yeah, I'm not sure I can wait that long. I can barely run CoD4 (or any other game) now with this monitor with the graphics looking like they're 10+ yrs old.

Is the price/performance worth it to go with DDR3 over DDR2 now...or will it be in the future?
June 29, 2008 8:22:54 PM

Don't waste your money on the $270 motherboard (that's not midrange).

If you want to run 2 cards, just get a motherboard with 1 16x PCIE slot (saving money) and get the 4870X2 that's coming out in end of July or maybe August.

Edit.. and DDR3 is kinda pointless. Get DDR2, it's a lot cheaper.
June 29, 2008 8:38:09 PM

DDR2-800 PC2-6400 4-4-4-12 2t 2.2v or less
Get an X38 or X48, look at Gigabyte and Asus
June 29, 2008 8:54:49 PM

Hmm, Glacier...yeah, I see what you're saying...1 PCIE x16 slot motherboard + 4870X2 should be a lot cheaper than a 2 PCIE x16 slot motherboard + 2 4870's.

My reasoning is I think CF 4870's at 1680x1050 may be a bit overkill at that resolution right now, but may not be in the future. I could pay more for the mobo and get the 4870 now, and when I do decide to get a second card, it should be a lot cheaper then. Or, I could wait 30-45 days or more (I haven't seen anything on the release date or price point for the 4870X2 yet so I don't know) to possibly save some money in the long run, but is it really worth it?

I'm just guessing here but choice:

A) $270 mobo + $309 4870 card + another 4870 card a few months down the road at maybe $225-250?


B) $150 mobo + $550 (I'm guessing)

so I could maybe save $100 or so if I went with option B but I may be waiting a while...also, there's the option of going with a less expensive X38/X48 motherboard with option A
June 29, 2008 9:01:17 PM $224.99
GIGABYTE GA-X48-DS4 LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $99.99 FREE SHIPPING
Corsair TX 750W ATX 12V Power Supply - CMPSU-750TX $39.99 ($34.99 after $5.00 Mail-In Rebate)
HDT-RS1283 120mm CPU Cooler - Retail $6.99
XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket - Retail $6.99
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail

June 30, 2008 5:50:23 AM

what exactly is this XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket - Retail ? what does it do and is it worth it?
June 30, 2008 6:26:43 AM

moomoopro said:
what exactly is this XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket - Retail ? what does it do and is it worth it?

It's a "bolt-up bracket" that comes with the bolts/screws. It's well worth it for the fact it allows you to install it with the applied pressure that you need for it to get a tight fit, otherwise that heatsink barely stays on there and it's so loose it doesn't do it's job like it should. That bracket should come standard with all Xigmatek's a crap deal that they don't.
June 30, 2008 6:36:36 AM



$550 (I'm guessing)

I'm guessing the same...
June 30, 2008 12:09:55 PM

Why_Me said: $224.99
GIGABYTE GA-X48-DS4 LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

this is the other X48 board I was considering...I had heard the DFI would be better at overclocking the CPU, but if the difference is negligible and everything fits, I may go with this one $45 less, it makes the 2 PCI x16 slot mobo a little more justifiable

as for the rest of the links, I'm pretty much stuck with what I've got unless there's a strong reason to believe I should return what I have or buy new parts

GlacierFreeze said:
I'm guessing the same...

I wonder if the 4870X2 would crossfire well with a 4870...I'm sure it'd be complete overkill initially, but might be interesting down the road