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[New System Build] End of August - $3000

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July 2, 2008 2:50:19 PM

Ok, as a preface this system is not going to be built until end of August. The system budget is relative but trying to keep it around 3000-3500.

Items not in budget but relative to system:
Display - 28 inch 1920x1200 resolution
Audio - Klipsch 2.1 (not upgrading to Surround dont need a pro audio card yet.

System is multi functional. Long term gaming, some 3d rendering / video editing. More towards gaming.

With that in mind, I have used nvidia for over 10 years now. It would appear that being the crowned for so long has gotten to their pride. Their pricing for the gtx280 is just way to high. I have designed this build around the ati platform. This is only because I have high hopes for the new 4870's. However sine this is not due until end of August ATI claims a new video card will be released around that time. This is where I want the opinions. My current motherboard selection is purely up in the air. I want the system to last many years, and have some overclockability. The future proof in 1600fsb is nice. Reading on Asus their stock bios is losing them customers. I dont care for my current reference to much, I wished an ati 3x 16pcie existed versus the current 2x16 1x8 config.

I want people's opinions on future motherboards from top manufacturers only. I dont want to see some ECS junk and "overclock" with a cheap cpu. Im not in the budget for a extreme processor trying to set some world record. 500-600 on the cpu is about the limit. I like the higher multiplier 8.5 on the current choice versus the 8.0 on the step down. The ram I selected was 1600mhz, maybe I only need 1333 with a decent overclock. But I wouldnt mind a 4.0 ghz clock on these quad cores within the end of the year. The cpu cooler I did a brief research. I was familiar with the tuniq tower when it was the King. No liquid cooling please

cpu+motherboard = under 1000
cooler = under 100
ram =under 300
hard drives = 600(staying with velociraptor)
video cards = under 1000 (looking for third party coolers i hear 4870's are hot)
case + psu =400-500
os - vista ultimate or enterprise x64
cdrom = under 100 (if blue ray combo drops) otherwise cheap dvdrw)

ASUS P5E3 PREMIUM/WIFI-AP @n ATX Intel Motherboard
$369.99

XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler
$36.99

Western Digital VelociRaptor 300GB 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
$600 (2x300)

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
$299.99

Antec Twelve Hundred Black Computer Case With Side Panel Window
$214.95

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit English 1pk DSP OEI DVD for System Builders
$179.99

Antec TruePower Quattro TPQ-1000 1000W Power Supply
$249.99


SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model SH-S202J
$22.99

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor
$549.99


July 2, 2008 4:36:47 PM

The Xigmatek is a good idea. Add the retention bracket for it to your list.

Dump the IDE burner, get a SATA SH-S203N instead.

Switch to P5E Deluxe X48 or to GA-X48-DS4, and then get 2x2GB DDR2-800 or even 8 GB. You'll still save a lot of cash.

I'm assuming the Velociraptors will be in RAID0. Add a WD6400AAKS as a backup/storage drive.

The rest is beautiful.

July 2, 2008 4:41:59 PM

Definitely agreed^^ Go for DDR2 800 RAM because the difference between DDR2 and DDR3 isn't noticeable and u can save alot of money by going with a DDR2 RAM + a Motherboard which supports DDR2 rather than the DDR3 combination
Related resources
July 2, 2008 4:56:27 PM

why are you suggesting for him to get rid of ddr3 ram? he has 3k to spend, why not go ddr3? people who go ddr2 are TRYING to save money and need the extra cost vs benefit. this guy has 3k to spend and youre telling him to get rid of ddr3, which will eventually be the future? i dont understand.

i would stick with a mobo that supports ddr3. period.
July 2, 2008 5:00:50 PM

If you are spending $3000 to $3500 on a new rig I would definitely go with ddr3 RAM. It will definitely help you overclock farther.

You can get four gigs of 1600 Mhz Ram from newegg for around $300, maybe a little bit less. You would really only be saving $200 by using ddr2 over ddr3, which in my opinion is not a substantial amount considering this is a $3000 build.
July 2, 2008 5:02:08 PM

Change your mobo to X48 like Asus Rampage Formula
Change memory to DDR2 800 or better DDR2 1066
DDR3 will shine with Nehalem, now it's a waste of money
I think TRUE is still the king as HS
As for TIM get OCZ Freeze Extreme
July 2, 2008 5:03:59 PM

Tbh, Its going to hurt when you see Intel releases it new processor later on this year. I would get a mid range system and wait for nehalem if possible.
July 2, 2008 5:09:45 PM

ASUS P5E3 PREMIUM/WIFI-AP @n ATX Intel Motherboard
$369.99

GIGABYTE GA-X48-DS4 LGA 775 Intel X48 is just as good a board for alot less.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler
$36.99

Good choice. But if you can get the 4 pipe Achilles Xigmatech with the closer spacing you may be better off. Link below is it, but there is no way of telling right now which version your getting.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - retention bracket

Western Digital VelociRaptor 300GB 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
$600 (2x300)

RAID 0 Im assuming? Not worth it IMHO. A pair of 500 gig Seagates for $85 a piece are just a little bit slower for $430 less. Unless you are consistently moving VERY large files, theres no reason for the Raptors. RAID 0 is risky to begin with. If you dead set on the Raptors, just buy a single 300 gig and then buy a large separate file storage drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If you dead set on the Raptors, just buy a single 300 gig and then buy a large separate file storage drive like this or the equivalent.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
$299.99

DDR3 is a waste. Hardly worth the extra money for the minor increase in performance. 4 gigs of DDR2 below.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Twelve Hundred Black Computer Case With Side Panel Window
$214.95

Your choice. I prefer a nice Lian Li or Coolermaster

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit English 1pk DSP OEI DVD for System Builders
$179.99

I dont feel the couple extra features you get from Ultimate is worth it. Get Home Premium for 1/2 the cost.

Antec TruePower Quattro TPQ-1000 1000W Power Supply
$249.99

Overkill. A PC Power and Cooling 750 watt will easily fill the bill in this build.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model SH-S202J
$22.99

Get a SATA burner. No need to run a big old ATA cable anymore.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor
$549.99

This is my biggest dig. A Q6600 is a just a little slower for $350 less. Is the 9550 faster, yup. Its is it $350 faster, nope.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Q6600 processor
4 gigs of Corsair
Gigabyte mobo
2 500 gigs Seagates in RAID 0
1TB Seagate for storage
2 HIS 4870s for Xfire
SATA Burner
PCP&C 750 Watt PSU
Vista Home Premium - OEM
Antec 1200 Case
Xigmatech Heatsink and backplate


This is cost of what Ive picked out: $2,044.33

Quite a bit cheaper than the $3000+ you figured.

What I may have picked out is just a touch slower, but can you honestly see 10% performance without running a benchmark?

July 2, 2008 5:13:33 PM

Guys, just because the OP has $3000 doesn't mean he absolutely has to spend it all, if a $2800 build gives the same results or extremely close. It's not like the $200 he saves with DDR2 would rise up at night and bite him, right? The benchmarks I've seen so far do not justify the extra cost of DDR3. Maybe later, if latencies and prices drop. It will happen, it just hasn't yet.

BTW, what's up with the $300 1100W PSU for that build, njalterio? You could have bought a $100 650TX for it instead.

July 2, 2008 5:32:20 PM

I hope the OP knows that his system will be seriously outdated in about 4-5 months.

No Way I would blow that kind of money on a CPU and Mobo like that with the new Intel Chips coming out in Q4.

Get a Good Graphics Card, Grab an inexpensive CPU, Mobo, and RAM combo. Then in the fall when the new Intel Chips ship, update those CPU, MOBO, and RAM.
July 2, 2008 5:38:50 PM

zenmaster said:
I hope the OP knows that his system will be seriously outdated in about 4-5 months.

No Way I would blow that kind of money on a CPU and Mobo like that with the new Intel Chips coming out in Q4.

Get a Good Graphics Card, Grab an inexpensive CPU, Mobo, and RAM combo. Then in the fall when the new Intel Chips ship, update those CPU, MOBO, and RAM.


It wont be seriously outdated. Everyone is acting like the next gen Intel stuff is going to be like the second coming of Christ. Intels next gen stuff is going to be very over priced for the first 6 months its out Id be willing to bet. Prices and hardware will be mainstream in about a year, not at release.

The build I posted above will run for a good 2 years without a single update. At that point see if an upgrade is in order, or rebuild if you want.
July 2, 2008 7:39:31 PM

Nahelm is looking awsome, but it will requier a new MB and DDR3 Memory (or better).
July 3, 2008 9:51:24 PM

Thanks for a lot of your feedback, I did not consider the newer intel processors comming out soon. This system wont be ready to be built for another month and half. So I may consider the newer intel processor at that time.

With that said, will the new x58 etc chipset support 3 crossfire cards in x16 lanes for all three? currently the x48 only does this for 2 while the third gets an x8 lane.

I'm concerned after reading today that the gpu overclock on the vga is limited, seeing 87C on a single card not in crossfire is disturbing. This has made me retract my origonal thought with air cooling entirely and budget that in.

The hard drives will be running in a raid 0 (striped)

As stated in my origonal post I want 4000mhz on my quad core, and at a safe level(long term dont want to burn it up)

The changes Ive made are as follows: Mainly Swiftech Liquid cooling
MCR320-QP-K Triple 120mm radiator , Black, with mounting screws $56.95
Apogee™ GTX CU $79.95
MCP655™ Pump with speed controller MCP655 $99.95
MCRES-MICRO 19.99
VGA coolers x2 (124-150 each) $300
Liquid cooling setup ~ $550

Note - Case change from Antec 1200 to Cooler Master Cosmos 1100 (supports the 3x120mm Radiator internally mounted along the top.

Possibly the new Lian-Li as they have a new line comming out in august, but they do not support the 3x120mm Radiator to my knowledge(interally)

July 3, 2008 10:03:53 PM

Oh and a quick mention I chose a 1000w Power supply based on reviews saying the 4870 peak is 275W if you multiply that by 2 and figure that 4870x2 which I plan on getting will be easily 300W each. That leaves 400W left and the processor will take 95W Stock, I didnt think it was entirely overkill as an 850W will get 85% efficency at best. Leaving 722W Continuous power. I was considering the FSP Power supply at 1000W also.
July 3, 2008 10:28:05 PM

elerick said:
an 850W will get 85% efficency at best. Leaving 722W Continuous power.
That's actually backwards.
An 850W PSU with 85% efficiency will pull 977W from the wall socket to make that 850W of power. The 850W rating is the total DC output.
Antec TruePower Quattro (TPQ-850) 850W review http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
July 4, 2008 2:08:21 AM

thats mad expensive for a wheel. lol.
July 4, 2008 2:13:34 AM

lol but you get a 6 speed shifter and a clutch.
July 4, 2008 4:01:34 PM

Thanks for the power supply explanation. I really enjoyed reading that guide. Im actually quite impressed witht he overall performance of the quattro series from antec after reading the entire article.

Witht he idea that 850w pulls 1000w from the ac outlet, I certainly dont need a 1000w power supply anymore, changing my selection to 850W

Any opinions on the FSP 850w?
July 4, 2008 4:16:04 PM

elerick said:
Oh and a quick mention I chose a 1000w Power supply based on reviews saying the 4870 peak is 275W if you multiply that by 2 and figure that 4870x2 which I plan on getting will be easily 300W each.


I suspect the 275W you saw there was for an entire system, not just the 4870. There's no way to measure the power taken by the card alone, so they usually just stick a measuring device between the PSU and the wall outlet.

A video card can't draw more than 300W anyway, that's the most you can get today with a PCI-E 2 slot and a 6-pin connector and an 8-pin connector.




July 4, 2008 4:17:53 PM

elerick said:
Thanks for the power supply explanation. I really enjoyed reading that guide. Im actually quite impressed witht he overall performance of the quattro series from antec after reading the entire article.

Witht he idea that 850w pulls 1000w from the ac outlet, I certainly dont need a 1000w power supply anymore, changing my selection to 850W

Any opinions on the FSP 850w?


I'd prefer the Antec 850W. It's on sale at newegg right now. Great PSU.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371009
July 4, 2008 4:33:44 PM

aevm said:
Guys, just because the OP has $3000 doesn't mean he absolutely has to spend it all, if a $2800 build gives the same results or extremely close. It's not like the $200 he saves with DDR2 would rise up at night and bite him, right? The benchmarks I've seen so far do not justify the extra cost of DDR3. Maybe later, if latencies and prices drop. It will happen, it just hasn't yet.

BTW, what's up with the $300 1100W PSU for that build, njalterio? You could have bought a $100 650TX for it instead.



That's right. Plus with Nahlem first comes out it will be in the Extreme segment at $999+/CPU+. It is not worth considering at this time. Release in Q4 means you won't see it in quantities until Q1 09.

I also agree about NOT going DDR3. There is no advantage to doing this.

!