Help With Picking Components

Hey all, new to the forums and here's my first post.

I'm looking to build a new PC sometime soon. I've just got questions on some components.

1) CPU: Q6600 ($210) or Q9300 ($270)?
I've heard that the Q6600 overclocks better, but that the 45nm process and some other stuff about the q9300 makes it faster overall. Any recommendation here? It'd be nice to save the sixty bucks but not if the performance is noticeably slower.

2) GPU: 4870 most likely. Unless getting some 4850's in crossfire would be faster (and would only cost ~$50 more than a 4870). I'm thinking the 4870 X2 is going to be out of my budget. My next monitor will likely be 1650x1080 or preferably 1920x1200.

3) MB: Not sure where to start here. I'd like to be able to upgrade in the future tho. Some recommended RAM to go with this would be nice.

I've also considered buying a barebones from TigerDirect and getting the GPU from wherever is cheapest. If you could point out a 4850-Xfire/4870 compatible system from there, that'd be great, as some of the systems on there seem much cheaper than even building on my own.
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More about help picking components
  1. For the CPU, I have the Q6600, I overclocked it to 3.2GHz, and it runs great I really like it, but, if you have the extra money then get the Q9300, it will perform better because of the 45nm and it has faster stock speed so obviously you can overclock it higher.

    I would get one 4870 and then buy another one later when you get more money to Crossfire them, 2 of them in Crossfire perform better than one GTX 280 and it's a bit cheaper so it's a very good deal.

    For the motherboard, I would get an X38 or X48 because they are both Crossfire compatible so if you buy one 4870 now you can always have the choice to buy another later, like I said. For the RAM, just get 2-4GB of DDR2(DDR3 isn't worth the money atm)800 or 1066.
  2. +1 for efx92
  3. Thanks for the pointers.

    I found these two MB/RAM combos on TigerDirect.

    The first one is $380, the second $430. And other than the x38 vs x48 chipset difference, I can't tell the difference or why I should spend more. And with the chipset difference, the only advantage I see to spending $50 more is that I'd have a FSB of 1600MHz instead of 1333.

    Since I'll probably be going with the Q6600 for my CPU, and it only has a FSB of 1033MHz, would I be fine with the x38 chipset or should I just go for the x48 for future compatibility?

    Wow, sorry if this is getting long... I just came across some other options:

    That's only $300 and comes with 1333MHz memory (it seems pointless to use 1600MHz on the 1333MHz FSB x38 chipset).

    From the looks of it, though, most of the options there ( are priced fairly. So a recommendation from there would probably be the easiest. Sorry for the long post, and thanks!
  4. First, you can save a lot of money if you get DDR2 RAM, not DDR3.

    So go with a bundle that has a X38/X48 mobo with 2GB to 4GB of DDR2 RAM, I would go with an X38 because it's cheaper, but, if you can afford an X48 then go for it.
  5. Do not get DDR3. I can get a decent motherboard for about $200 or less for CF. Then just get 4GB of PC2-6400 RAM. Look for 4-4-4-12 2T 2.2v or lower. PC2-6400 is DDR2-800. 2GB is okay, 4GB recommended, get a 64-bit OS with it too like Vista Home Premium 64.
  6. Thanks for the help so far. I found this motherboard on Newegg:

    $230, x48 chipset, and also built-in WiFi which is a need.

    Newegg also has the board efx92 recommended, the MSI x48c, for only $220, but no built in WiFi.

    Unless the MSI board is notably better, I'll probably be going with the ASRock. Here's what I'm thinking of going with so far:

    MB: ASRock x48 w/ WiFi --$230

    Case: Antec Sonata III (incl. 500W PSU) --$125

    HDD: WD 320 GB --$65

    GPU: HD4850 --$170 after MIR (I might go for the 4870 if I can stretch the budget a little bit.)

    RAM: OCZ Platinum 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 1066 --$85 after MIR (I could get DDR2 800 for about $67, is it worth it to save ~$20 or should I just go with the fastest the MB can take?)

    CPU: Q6600 --$210

    Total (after MIR, before shipping): $885

    (Getting the 4870 instead raises the total to $1025.)

    Any recommendations on this?
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