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First Time System Build. Need help, suggestions, comments etc!

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July 6, 2008 3:07:04 AM

This is my first time building a system i have had the same one for about 6 or 7 years with light updates done to it(video card, memory). This is just a rough build so far but i plan on ordering asap so suggestions, comments or anything would be appreciated! I don't really want to spend to much my budget is around $1000. I want it to play all current games(Crysis, GRID, Assassins Creed etc) and future games as well(Alan Wake).

My Current System is...

Dell Dimension 8300

Intel Pentium 4 HT 3.0GHz
Intel 865P Motherboard
1.5GB DDR2 400 Ram Dual Channel
ATI Radeon X850XT 256MB
80GB 7200 ATA Hard Drive
20" 1680x1050 Widescreen Monitor

My current system runs current games but is very limited due to the fact that my video card doesnt have shader model 3.0. So time for an upgrade...

What im thinkin...

Case: Ultra Aluminus Full-tower Black
Motherboard: EVGA 750i FTW
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz
Memory: 2GB Geil DDR2 1066 PC2-8500
Video Card: ATI Radeon HD4870 512MB GDDR5
Hard Drive: Western Digital Raptor 150GB 10000RPM
DVD: Sony DRU190A 20X DVD Rewritable Drive
20" 1680x1050 Widescreen Monitor(keeping it)


This is what iv been thinkin about and ive done a lot of research on. The only questions i have...

1. I hear the E8400 CPU is extremely easy to overclock to speeds of 3.6GHz on stock cooling which i like but should i go for a Core 2 Quad 6600 or stick with the E8400?

2. Does anyone have this motherboard and if so how is it?

3. How fast should this computer be for gaming. Im really interested in Crysis and gettin to play on close to max settings(very high). My monitor only supports to 1680x1050 but i know on really high settings ill be playing on 1280x1024 which is fine but what can i expect to see on framerates?

Any suggestions on what i should change or if this is a good build please let me know im new at building and my budget isnt that high.

Thanks!


July 6, 2008 3:14:41 AM

Case: Ok
Motherboard: Terrible choice run like hell for it. It makes zero sense to buy a SLI motherboard with an ATI card. It does not help that nVIdia's Intel chipsets are crap either. Look at the Asus P5Q Pro instead.

1) E8400 unless you use applications that utilize 4 cores
2) See above
3) No current system can run Crysis on VeryHigh. Sorry.


Quote: "Reducing the resolution further to 1280x1024 you will find mostly everything playable on “High” with the VisionTek Radeon HD 4850. We say mostly because even at 1280x1024 we felt it best to leave shadows or objects (either one) on “Medium” for the smoothest gameplay. One thing we did also try is Antialiasing both on the HD 4850 and HD 4870, but unfortunately in Crysis that is just not playable yet for any video card out there unless you want to run at 1280x1024. We’d rather turn the resolution up and the in-game settings to improve the gameplay experience."
July 7, 2008 12:54:41 AM

Alright so i decided on the ASUS P5Q deluxe board. A lot more features and more efficient. So with that added what do you guys think of the system so far? Another questions i forgot to ask was im not really sure on the PSU i should get. Im probly not gonna crossfire for sometime so i was thinkin maybe a 600watt? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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July 7, 2008 6:50:18 AM

undevelopedst0ry said:
Im probly not gonna crossfire for sometime so i was thinkin maybe a 600watt? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


What does it mean? Xfire in the future?
P5Q is a good mobo, but all P45 mobos don't have an optimum ability on Xfiring 2 GPUs. If you wanna Xfire your GPUs, pick a X38 or X48 mobo. Don't forget a 650-750W PSU for that.

I see you choose to buy a dual core proc. hmmm...E8400 is a good choice, but Quad has a better future, but it depends on how you are planning your computer. My Q6600 is running at 3GHz on daily usage, it can go higher but I choose to stick at 3GHz.

July 7, 2008 7:48:42 PM

Im gonna build this computer without Xfire. I keep my computers for a long time without major updates so Xfire wont come for sometime. Im sticking to buying the P45 ASUS P5Q3 deluxe wifi. I read even under Xfire the performance is slightly little on the P45 compared to the X48. Id rather have the P5E3 cause its a X48 but its around 280-300 bucks where i can find a P45 for around 200. Im not buying all my parts at once ill be purchasing 2 or 3 so parts a week cause of my low income(still in school). So my near final specs will be...

Case: Ultra Aluminus Full-tower Black
Motherboard: ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe Wifi
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz
PSU: Ultra X-pro 600watt
Memory: 2048MB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1333MHz
Video Card: ATI Radeon HD4870 512MB GDDR5
Hard Drive: Western Digital Raptor 150GB 10000RPM
DVD: Sony DRU190A 20X DVD Rewritable Drive
20" 1680x1050 Widescreen Monitor(keeping it)

the computer wont be strictly for gaming, most of the time im online, playing music etc. I dont use any high end applications that use multiple cores or anything so for now i dont think a quad core will be necessary. I know games like Crysis and Alan wake use or will be using multiple cores. All settings on high what frames per second do you think i can get in crysis?
July 7, 2008 8:19:23 PM

P5E is $224, not sure where you get $280-300.

P5Q Crossfire with 4870 is a bad idea. It WILL bottleneck.

Crysis will be unplayable with everything at high at anything above 1280x1024.
July 7, 2008 8:38:33 PM

If you can't afford a more expensive mobo, why are you getting DDR3 in first place?
From basiscs:
- get a good x38/48 DDR2 mobo.
- get 2/4gb ddr2 800mhz ram.
- stick to e8400
- if you plan on CF, get a larger PSU (something like 750W)
- forget about Crysis. For one, as shadowduck just said, no one can play it on very high settings. Besides, the game is extremely boring. COD4 or GOW are much less demanding and much more fun.
July 7, 2008 8:59:58 PM

alright so two choices Asus Rampage formula X48 or Asus P5E X38???

and 2GB of Geil 1066 ram
July 7, 2008 9:08:34 PM

The P5E will probably be just fine and save you some money from the Rampage.

One other thing: have you looked into other cases? I'd just be worried about airflow/cooling in the Aluminus. I think there are better options these days.
July 8, 2008 7:17:27 AM

galta said:
If you can't afford a more expensive mobo, why are you getting DDR3 in first place?

A very good question there mate!
Why?
July 8, 2008 6:47:31 PM

I was originally planning DDR3 because its new and at the moment isnt much difference but if i bought a motherboard to support it eventually it will get faster and i found 2gbs of it for $100
July 8, 2008 7:46:53 PM

Don't.

But then again- its your money.
July 9, 2008 6:40:25 PM

Alright so today i ordered a Ulta Grid midtower case which came with a 600watt ulta psu and a sony dru1 dvd rewriter for $100. Im ordering gskill 2gb ddr2 1066 ram for $60. I want to order an aftermarket cpu cooler but im not sure which one is best. any suggestions???

Thanks for all help
July 9, 2008 7:20:55 PM

Hmmm...
Proc : E8400 or Q6600 (I like Q6600 better)
Case : Coolermaster RC690, Antec 900 or 1200
PSU : Corsair 550W (without Xfire) or 750W (with Xfire)
RAM : Corsair/Crucial/Patriot/Mushkin/Kingston 2x2GB DDR2 800 CL4.
No need a 1066 DDR2 RAM.
Mobo : P5E X48 dlx DDR2
CPU Fan : Zalman CNPS9700, Xigmatek HD-S1283, Scythe Orrochi.
July 10, 2008 7:02:11 PM

first off psu. 750watts for alittle growing room.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

definately an X38 or X48 the guy at the top is right you should get a crossfire board not an sli board.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

this gigabyte board is pretty good.

quad vs. dual core thing.... the quad will be better in 2 years when more games and apps really use it so it depends on how long you want to keep this one.

2 last little things maybe 4 gigs of memory if you are going vista up to you.
and also the hdd look and see if you need more space 150gb isn't much if you start doing anything with video, and even games now can take 8 to 10 gigabytes each so maybe a cheaper 500gb 7200rpm drive just for storage.

hope this helps and good luck
July 10, 2008 7:21:38 PM

Oh yeah...I have missed to notice those Raptors!
Dump 'em! They don't worth the money. Reasons :
1. Small capacity.
2. Only a little faster than Seagate 500GB 32MB or WD 640GB.
3. Very expensive.
Do what rammar16 had said! Get bigger HDD.
I recommend Seagate 500GB 32MB 7200.11 or WD 640GB.
July 14, 2008 6:10:04 AM

yeah i dumped the raptor last week when i ordered my other stuff(case, memory). Instead i bought the seagate 500GB 32MB 7200.11 drive which is basically just as fast for only $80. I think the 600watt psu will do fine for now im not gonna xfire. Im buying an ASUS P5E Deluxe X48 board wednesday with a E8400. Reasons for choosing the dual core over the quad is because intels next gen cpu's are coming next year so ill wait for them to get a better motherboard and cpu. Does anyone know when a 1GB 4870 is coming out? Does anyone have a similar configuration like im building and if so what frame rates will i expect at 1680x1050?

Thanks!
July 14, 2008 1:40:55 PM

Overall looks nice get the P5E DLX great board
July 15, 2008 6:22:41 AM

Hmmmm...frame rates? 1680x1050?.... on what games? on what settings? .....crysis? maximum settings?....hmmm only 1 GPU?.....don't expect too high with that!

New procs? next year? hmmmm....you have placed your hope a little high there mate! Maybe you'll be needing a new mobo for that.
For me, new proc only within a year is not worth it, btw...E8400 is enough for 2-3 years, altough a little weaker in multitasking compared to quad, , at least I think so..
July 16, 2008 10:14:01 PM

I ordered all stuff and was wondering XP pro or vista ultimate?
July 17, 2008 6:48:05 AM

XP pro? Are you still planning to buy one of those XP? Don't you already have one at home?
Here is my advice...XP is old, altough it is still good...but if you don't an OS then at least buy a VISTA Business (Ultimate if you have the cash) and get the 64bit so that you can optimize the 4-8GB RAM if you have it.
If I had to buy an OS right now, I wouldn't care even to consider those old OSs.
You'll be using XP if you already have it! Don't buy it new!
Get a new one!
July 17, 2008 8:39:13 AM

Here is my suggested build for under $1000 (with rebates)
Case: Cooler Master 690 $80
PSU: Xigmatek 650W $110, it's a good one, it's just rebranded.
CPU: Q6600 $190
Ram: Corsair 2GB DDR2 800 $60
GPU: Radeon HD 4850 $160 with rebate
Mobo: One of the P5Q's $130-260 depending on how much you want.
DVD: LG drive with Lightscribe $28
HDD: WD Caviar 640GB $90

Total (with P5Q Deluxe): $928. You can go lower on the Mobo if you want, you could go with a Gigabyte or a lower P5Q, depending on features, price, and whether you want crossfire.
July 22, 2008 8:09:00 PM

i just built the computer and i went to power up and everything else seemed to work fine but the video card. the screen doesnt show up at all with either vga or dvi. im thinkin its the power supply. i have a ultra LS 600 watt power supply and i know thats enough wattage for the radeon 4870. any suggestions?
July 22, 2008 8:12:15 PM

Is the video card fan turning? Make sure the video card is securely set in the mobo and the PCI 6/8 pin connector is in the video card. I don't think it's your power supply. It has a single rail with decent amperage.
July 23, 2008 3:14:09 PM

+1 for thepowerofdonuts (strange name though!)
I don't think that your PSU is defect or somethin' like that. Well at least because it is new.
July 24, 2008 12:38:24 AM

I have came to the conclusion that my motherboard is defective. The video card is seated properly and I have made the proper power conections. The PCI e slots are not giving any power. Any ideas?
July 24, 2008 1:03:53 AM

On your MB, there are 2 power connections. Make sure both of them are connected. I made that mistake not so long ago. Everything would power, but there was no image running to the screen.
July 24, 2008 2:22:06 AM

woww thanks a ton. I completely missed that!
July 24, 2008 3:33:15 AM

No worries =)
July 26, 2008 2:43:02 PM

Alright so everything is working perfectly! Im playing Crysis on all settings Very High and at 1280x1024 and it doesnt go lower than 30fps. So all is good except...I can only play for about 5 - 10 minutes and the game crashes. Why??? I turned up the fan on my 4870 so it runs a lot cooler so that shouldnt be the problem and i installed 1.2 patch on crysis. whats going onn???
July 28, 2008 1:31:18 PM

I have never encounter such problem.....
hmmmm....
defect GPU?......bad GPU cooling?....
ny opinion anyone?
August 6, 2008 1:35:59 PM

I havent had much time with my new build but im happy to say that i can play Crysis at all settings Very High at 1280x1024. I have Vista 32bit installed right now and i absolutely hate vista. It such a resource hog. im gonna install xp pro untill i get another 2 gigs of ram. My memory is only running at 800mhz what settings in the bios do i need to change to get that to run at 1066mhz??
August 6, 2008 2:34:19 PM

That 32-bit Vista will only use ~3.5gigs of RAM, so I don't know how much better getting another 2gigs is going to be. I'm sure it'll help some, but don't expect a miracle. If you bought that Vista new, it was a mistake. It doesn't make any sense not to get a 64-bit OS if you're buying new.
August 6, 2008 7:34:16 PM

I have basically any operating system at hand(my teacher has numerous copies). I meant when i get another 2 gigs ill install 64 bit vista. Also another thing when i play crysis it will run perfect for a couple minutes then get really laggy but not because of the video card i think its a memory issue or something im not really sure. It happens mostly when i enter new areas such as going from indoors to outdoors. Any ideas ?
!