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Gaming Rig - Advice is nice!

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Anonymous
July 8, 2008 5:46:29 PM

I need advice, since this is a large investment (for me) and I don't want to botch it up. I'm considering buying a new gaming rig, keeping it below or around $1,400 including monitor and vista. Here's the list:

Thermaltake Tsunami VA3000BWA Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133132

ASUS P5E Deluxe LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131317

ASUS EAH4850/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121253

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model EU80570PJ0876M - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115048

ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118019

GeIL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model GX24GB6400UDCA - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820144118

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148288

SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model SH-S203N - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151154

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit English for System Builders 1pk DSP OEI DVD - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116488

Acer AL2216Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor with HDCP support - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009094

The plan is to overclock to 3.8 which seems safe since THG did an article about it a little while ago. I have little (or no) overclocking experience so tell me if you see anything wrong.

My primary concerns are that I'm not sure of a good power supply. The hard drive sounds like it has a consistent error for many reviewers (something about making a grinding noise). The temperature created by the 4850 and if the cooler will fit in the mobo/case.

If you see anything else weird or wrong please comment. I appreciate all the advice!

More about : gaming rig advice nice

July 8, 2008 6:01:33 PM

1) Take a look at other cases. I feel like there are better options. Maybe Antec 900 or Coolermaster CM 690.

2) You didn't list a PSU

3) Not so sure about the ram. Just an idea: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146731

4) The cooler is fine for the mobo - and I'm pretty sure it'll be fine for that case.

5) Wow E8500's are so much cheaper in the US than in canada. I'm jealous.
July 8, 2008 6:02:25 PM

The e8400 can overclock to 3.8 just as easily as the e8500 so save yourself some money and maybe even upgrade to a 4870.
Related resources
July 8, 2008 6:08:31 PM

Corsair 750TX is a great choice for that setup, assuming you intend to add a second video card at some point. Same for the MB you picked.

I'd change the cooler to something that doesn't become noisy under load. For example the Xigmatek HDT-S1283. Add this bracket too:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233020
The Freezer is a good cooler for mild overclocks, but you're looking for something more serious. The Xigmatek is a high-performance cooler.

Change the HDD to WD6400AAKS if you're not comfortable with Seagate. Don't buy the WD 500GB (WD5000AAKS).

+1 for that mushkin RAM blyn mentioned.

The rest is beautiful.

This case has a lot more fans, which makes it good for an overclocked CPu and two video cards:

NZXT TEMPEST Crafted Series CS-NT-TEM-B, $123 after shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146047&Tpk=NZXT%2bTempest
Anonymous
July 8, 2008 6:11:57 PM

@blyn, you were right about the case, i wasn't crazy about it in the first place. The 690 suits me much better. Got a PSU:

Rosewill RP600V2-S-SL 600W SLI Ready-ATX12V V2.01 Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182032

I plan on getting crossfire in the future.

@gamecrazy chris: I wasn't sure about getting th 8400. Are you saying it's just as stable as the 8500? If so I guess that's fine, though there's no OEM version so I'll have that extra heat sink. Seems sort of a waste.

I also wasn't sure about the 4870, since it didn't seem to give that much better performance than the 4850. Only a couple of fps higher, though it's probably worth it if I go down to the 8400.
Anonymous
July 8, 2008 6:15:38 PM

Also, with that RAM, it says its CAS 5. Does that really make much of a difference?

Edit:Actually CAS 5 is fine considering its 4GB. I've used 2 GB for so long I forgot the differences.

Also, that P/S is pretty pricey, at least 2x as much as I already have on the list. Is 600 not enough for 2 4870s (I might get a second in the future).
July 8, 2008 6:21:53 PM

Consider a q6600; they are around the same price, and can be clocked up to 3.2-3.4 pretty easily on air cooling. 4 cores for the price of 2.

I guess you might lose 1-2 fps that way. :/ 
Anonymous
July 8, 2008 6:40:33 PM

DXRick said:
No to the Rosewill!! :non: 

Read this: http://www.tomswiki.com/page/Tiered+PSU+Listings?t=anon

Friends don't let friends buy cheap PSUs!! :D 



Yes sir... I'll keep looking =/

I think I'll keep with the 4850, I just don't think the 4870 is worth another $100+. Using the 100 I'll switch to the Corsair P/S mentioned earlier.

I'm still sorta sketchy with the processor. I'm really going to be pressing the CPU on gaming and not much else so I'm not entirely sure the 8400 will make it to 3.8 with stability (it's my goal).

I hear you need large voltage increases to get there. Not being an expert on OCing how does this affect the lifetime/stability of the CPU?
Anonymous
July 8, 2008 6:58:05 PM

Here is the system now:

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137

ASUS P5E Deluxe LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131317

ASUS EAH4850/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121253

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115037

ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186134

mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model 996587 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146731

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136218

SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model SH-S203N - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151154

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit English for System Builders 1pk DSP OEI DVD - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116488

Acer AL2216Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor with HDCP support - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009094

I'm still deciding on a cooler (more suggestions please on which is best!), though the Freezer 7 is just a stand in now.
The price as is now is $1389.89.
July 8, 2008 7:04:47 PM

I'm also suggesting

Case is fine if you prefer the look and size.
E8400 save $40 over E8500
G-Skill 4GB save $10 over Giel
use the $ saved to get that Corsair 750w someone mentioned from above. and if you still have $100 budget go for a ASUS Xonar sound card.

good choices for the most part.

gl


b
July 8, 2008 7:45:46 PM

It's really nice now.

OK, so I haven't convinced you yet with the Xigmatek :)  Define "best" then.

Do you want something that cools a little better and is a little quieter than the Xigmatek, but costs $103+shipping, or $57+$11+2*shipping?

http://www.ncixus.com/products/27130/NH-U12P/Noctua/
or
http://www.ncixus.com/products/23531/ULTRA-120-EXTREME/THERMALRIGHT/ + http://www.ncixus.com/products/17749/SFF21F/Scythe/

The Xigmatek and its bracket together cost $37 cooler +8 shipping+7 bracket+7 shipping = $59
The Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme/SFF21F combo costs $68+(no idea how much to ship a cooler and a fan), maybe $90
The Noctua is $110, probably, after shipping.

The last two combinations are better than the Xigmatek, i.e. lower temps and dBA, but the differences are small and the price difference is not justified IMO. Of course, this depends on how much money you have and how much you care about noise and so on. You decide.

Anonymous
July 8, 2008 8:39:28 PM

Yeah i suppose the xigmatek is really good, I just read a lot of a reviews claiming breakage with the pins and difficult installation, but I suppose that's fine. I guess the retention bracket helps with that?

I have yet to install a LGA socket CPU so I'm not sure about the difficulty (I've had a lot of simple budget builds thusfar so...AMD, but I haven't built something for myself in 5 years). I'll change it for now unless someone else give me a better arguement for something else.

Not sure what a sound card adds, I'd guess it's like blu-ray dvd. You can live without a soundcard fine, but once you get a sound card, you miss it when it's gone. Something like that?
July 8, 2008 8:51:23 PM

Yeah, the bracket helps with the installation and also makes it safer to move the PC around.

I think it's a bit easier to install AMD CPUs these days. Obviously this is not a major issue, otherwise AMD would do much better in the stock market.

I don't think you need a sound card. You are getting a very good motherboard and its onboard audio is not bad at all. Try without a sound card for a while. If you've got very good ears and very good speakers and you listen to music in uncompressed WAV format or from CDs (not MP3) then it may be worth buying a sound card. Just my opinion, of course.


July 8, 2008 9:42:38 PM

For a PSU, look at the PC P&C silencer 610. 49a on a single rail. A bargain at $89.99 after rebate: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The vga card is more important to gaming than the cpu. Cut back to a E8400 if you must and gat a 4870 card.

You will not buy a monitor often, so get a good one. Look for a good 24" monitor. I saw some glowing reviews of the Soyo 26" monitor. $379.99 @ officeMax. http://www.pocketdeal.com/deal-OfficeMax-Soyo-26-inch-W...

July 8, 2008 10:13:57 PM

i prefer quad over duo
Anonymous
July 8, 2008 10:27:39 PM

geofelt said:
For a PSU, look at the PC P&C silencer 610. 49a on a single rail. A bargain at $89.99 after rebate: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The vga card is more important to gaming than the cpu. Cut back to a E8400 if you must and gat a 4870 card.

You will not buy a monitor often, so get a good one. Look for a good 24" monitor. I saw some glowing reviews of the Soyo 26" monitor. $379.99 @ officeMax. http://www.pocketdeal.com/deal-OfficeMax-Soyo-26-inch-W...


Yeah I suppose that's a good point about the VGA card's importance to gaming. I may consider just spending more to get a better card.

The power supply responses have been mixed, would 610 be enough for future crossfire with another 4870/4850? Right now I'm with that 750 which is plenty.

As to the monitor, it's a nice suggestion, but I think that mine is sufficient. After living off a 15.4'' laptop monitor, even a 17'' widescreen seems quite large enough. I suspect going from 15.4'' to 22'' will impress me enough. I'm also in college, I think the 22'' maxing the size for the small space I'll be in.


Also, I'm seeing various GTX260s around selling for 300 bucks. Shady, or really good deal? Would it be better going for the 260 than the 4870 if it were $300? I'm more concerned about temperature and noise than performance since they're pretty close to each other in benchmarks (I think). What I haven't seen is comparisons between the noise and temps of a "fixed" fan controller 4870 against the 260.
July 8, 2008 11:21:54 PM

1- You need at least 750W if you'll Cross Fire
2- with A RAM PC6400 and if you want to reach 3.8GHz better to go back to E8500
You just push FSB to 400 and set Multi 9.5 and here you are 3.8 GHz
And your ratio will be 1:1
E8400 has Max. multiplier of 9, so if you want ratio 1:1 the Max you'll reach is 3.6 GHz
FSB 400 and Multi 9
And I prefer to go back to E8500 it is much easier to push 20% more and get 3.8GHz
And keep the amazing Mushkin Ram
3- The rest are good

Best luck :hello: 
July 8, 2008 11:35:43 PM

kad said:
1- You need at least 750W if you'll Cross Fire
2- with A RAM PC6400 and if you want to reach 3.8GHz better to go back to E8500
You just push FSB to 400 and set Multi 9.5 and here you are 3.8 GHz
And your ratio will be 1:1
E8400 has Max. multiplier of 9, so if you want ratio 1:1 the Max you'll reach is 3.6 GHz
FSB 400 and Multi 9
And I prefer to go back to E8500 it is much easier to push 20% more and get 3.8GHz
And keep the amazing Mushkin Ram
3- The rest are good

Best luck :hello: 


Would you explain the 1:1 ration thingy to me?
July 8, 2008 11:37:25 PM

Quote:


The power supply responses have been mixed, would 610 be enough for future crossfire with another 4870/4850? Right now I'm with that 750 which is plenty.


Also note that the corsair has 4 x 6pin connectors while the 610 only has 2. I think each 4870 requires 2 connectors.
Anonymous
July 8, 2008 11:39:27 PM

Alright, I think that's all the help I need!

Thanks to everyone who gave advice! I'm going to probably buy this computer in 2-4 weeks and I'll see how prices are then.
July 8, 2008 11:39:30 PM

If you are a student, look into an academic version of vista; It should cost less.

Which 750w psu are you looking at? I have some reservations about raidmax. The silencer 750 is a great unit if that is what you are looking at.
The silencer610 could handle two 4850's, or any powerful single card, but you might want more for two 4870's or better.

I view the gtx260 and the 4870 as approximately equivalent. Buy based on price, or other factors.

July 9, 2008 12:50:56 AM

njalioto said:
Would you explain the 1:1 ration thingy to me?

Well before I start again and again I advise you strongly to stick to E8500
The ratio is N
N= DDR rating/2XFSB
If you set your FSB frequency to 400 and DDR rating is 800
Then ratio is 1:1
Using E8400 which has max multiplier of 9 and in order to reach 3.8GHZ
you need to set you FSB to 423(423X9=3807 MHz i.e 3.8
And in ratio 1:1 your RAM will be running at 423X2=846 while it is rated at 800
So you'll be taking the chance to OC you RAM
However your Mushkin RAM has good OC potential(read reviews on Newegg)
and you might be able to run it at this speed with default timing 5-4-4-12 and voltage1.8V
You need to increase voltage or relax timing to 5-5-5-12
And it is a risk I personally do not like to take
and it is up yo you
good luck
:hello: 
Anonymous
July 9, 2008 1:14:47 AM

Yeah I'll probably end up choosing the 8500 in a few weeks as it's not that much more expensive, and I'll probably just like the high stability factor.

@geofelt, I'm using the corsair 750 P/S
July 9, 2008 2:35:45 AM

So....

with DDR 800 Ram and an E8400, one could overclock the CPU to 3.6 and not have to change anything about the default ram timings? To o/c the E8400 any higher than that would, among other things, require overclocking the ram (assuming it is DDR 800), or upgrading to and underclocking 1000 or 1066 ram? (or something like that?)
July 9, 2008 3:51:51 AM

Corsair750 is good.
!