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Just Another Build Help Question...or IS it???

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July 1, 2008 2:31:05 AM

No, it really is.

My head is literally spinning with all of the available options and a fairly tight budget ($600 would be probably max). So here is the skinny...

I was very excited to hear about power savings from possible "hybrid graphics" but it looks like that concept took a big steamer. I really wanted to stick with that concept even if a mATX board, but it really doesnt look like there will be much power savings (except for nVidia) and it looks like that market has died or something. Do I wait for Intel to come out with a motherboard that will support power-saving hybrid technology for ATI cards and Intel processors, or just scrap it and go with something else?

I currently have an HP m7070n and am looking to upgrade for gaming, movies (viewing and burning), music, and internet usage.

Current system consists of:

Intel P4 3.0ghz 64-bit (does it really matter what type, its slow)
generic 450W power supply (or so it states...)
2GB Kingston Value Ram DDR2-667
ATI X800XL
200GB WD 5400rpm HD
TV tuner card (possibly upgrade to HD tuner)
LG L245WP 24" monitor

Now, I am looking to keep as many components of my previous build as possible (including case and misc hardware), and not really looking to upgrade to Vista at this time (still not very fond of it). If I should dump the mATX board and get a mid/full tower case with an ATX board please let me know. I'm also thinking about adding another 2GB of ram and keeping my HD for the time being. I really was entertaining the idea of a Q9450, but I might go e2160 and OC it until quad prices come down more ($300+ eats half of my budget). I would also like to get the new HD4870. I'm trying to keep power consumption on the lower end, but looking at my components, that may not be a real option.

I'd really appreciate any suggestions/comments you guys and gals may have, I'm really lost with what to do here.

Thanks.

More about : build question

July 1, 2008 2:55:23 AM

You don't need a quad core CPU if your budget is $600.

Ok lets see here!

CPU: Intel Core2Duo E7200
Motherboard: Gigabyte P35 DS3-L
RAM: OCZ Platinum Revision 2 2GB (2 x 1GB) $19 after MIR
Hard Drive: Seagate 250GB
Optical Drive: Use what you got
Case: Sonta III with a GOOD 500W PSU (Save $30 with HD+ Case combo deal)
Video: Powercooler HD 4850

Total: 625.92 shipped before $50 MIRs. Bottom Line: $575.92

You don't need a 4870, 4850 will do just fine for now.
July 1, 2008 3:04:23 AM

Wow thanks for the quick response. Will the OCZ ram work alongside my current ram fine? Also, why do you recommend a new hard drive, or is that in addition to the current one? Also, what about PCIe 2.0? I know that the new cards support it, if I'm going to get a new mobo, should I get one that is 2.0 complaint? I'd also like to be able to play CoD4 maxed out on 1900x1200 if that is in the realm of possibility. Do I really need a $125 case?? Couldn't I get one for cheaper and go with the 4870? I appreciate it.
Related resources
July 1, 2008 3:06:56 AM

Minimalist approach
G31 Gigabyte Matx mobo. Good reviews $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
e7200 wolfdale $130
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
2x1 GB ddr2-800 RAM $19 after rebate.....could you use your old RAM?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Sapphire HD4870 $310
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Antec Earthwatts 500w 80% efficient $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$580 before shipping and after rebates
July 1, 2008 3:07:21 AM

a new HD is recommmended since the old one is only 5400 RPM. With a 7200 RPM drive, a significant increase in speed will be noted.
July 1, 2008 3:08:53 AM

A sonata III is a great choice for budget builds. MicroCenter has them for 89.00 bucks.
July 1, 2008 3:25:14 AM

hispeed120 said:
Wow thanks for the quick response. Will the OCZ ram work alongside my current ram fine? Also, why do you recommend a new hard drive, or is that in addition to the current one? Also, what about PCIe 2.0? I know that the new cards support it, if I'm going to get a new mobo, should I get one that is 2.0 complaint? I'd also like to be able to play CoD4 maxed out on 1900x1200 if that is in the realm of possibility. Do I really need a $125 case?? Couldn't I get one for cheaper and go with the 4870? I appreciate it.


You are buying that case for the high quality PSU that comes with in. Don't trust new system components to a POS PSU that came with your HP. PSUs are VERY important.

2.0 means nothing right now. No card can saturate it, hardly saturate PCI-E 1.1

However, if you want a PCI-E 2.0 slot which the motherboard to MSI P45 Neo-F and add $10 to the cost of your build.

4870 won't even run on your 450W PSU.

4850 will put out 64FPS at 1920x1200 max with no AA and 47 with 4X AA. No problems there.

RAM should be fine, however I would just replace your RAM. Unless you pick up a 64bit OS you cannot use 4GB of RAM anyway.
July 1, 2008 3:32:08 AM

Quite frankly i'd go with the Ducks build.
July 1, 2008 3:38:04 AM

Ah, nice. I did not see that the PS came with the case. It looks much more reasonable now. Looks like I will go with that case; I like the styling, and you guys seem to like it. Now I just need to wait for that paycheck!! Thanks guys, and feel free to add anything else that pops into your heads!
July 1, 2008 4:03:38 AM

Since you are spending over $500 Newegg offers 6 months no payments/no interest. Just an FYI.
July 1, 2008 4:13:16 AM

It keeps getting better!
July 1, 2008 4:31:22 AM

shadowduck's build is very fast.

if you can afford another ~25-30$ you can get an AC Freezer 7 Pro for very low temps, and it'll be a lot quieter than the stock Intel HSF. It is very efficient and will help you move the hot air from the 4850 out the case with help from exhaust fan. You can overclock with it too, it'll hold its own against some of the high end Zalmans.
July 1, 2008 4:51:33 PM

pcgamer12 said:
shadowduck's build is very fast.

if you can afford another ~25-30$ you can get an AC Freezer 7 Pro for very low temps, and it'll be a lot quieter than the stock Intel HSF. It is very efficient and will help you move the hot air from the 4850 out the case with help from exhaust fan. You can overclock with it too, it'll hold its own against some of the high end Zalmans.


I concur.
July 3, 2008 3:28:11 AM

Awesome, thanks everyone. You know, it's really nice to get quality feedback from people without them saying, "Well, just spend more money, it's the only way" and being done with it. It's nice that people respect the budget concept and such. I'll post here once I get everything up and running, which will hopefully be sooner than later.

Edit: Before I get too gungho here, does anyone have any idea if the 'hybrid' chipsets are on the fritz/dead for good, or should I wait and see what comes around in the future? I'd really like to have the video card shut down while not using heavy 3D apps, it seems like a fantastic idea.
July 3, 2008 3:36:55 AM

Its only on the low end.. even the video card + IGP does not come close to a discreet card.

July 3, 2008 5:05:42 PM

Understood. I'm looking at it for power savings, not performance increases. I game a good deal, but not 24/7. I use my computer for a lot more than that, and most of it doesn't put huge loads on my video card (even X800XL).
July 3, 2008 5:11:33 PM

The power savings will make such a small dent in your power bill it is not worth considering.
!