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Dumping Dinosaur for New Gaming Rig

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July 13, 2008 11:08:31 PM

My old PC is on its way out, first ram died and now internet adapter is dying and I don't want to keep putting money into this Frankenstein-ed Dinosaur (as I call it) .

Current PC:
Intel Celeron 330 2.66ghz
LGA 478 Phoenix Technologies Board
1GB PC3200 AENEON Ram
GeForce FX5500 AGP Graphics Card
10GB Western Digital HDD
120GB Seagate External HDD
450 Watt Power supply (don't know brand)
GQ Case

I don't really have any type of budget but I'd like this PC to be as inexpensive as possible while still being able to play all of the newest games at max settings on my 19" LCD Monitor (and I will be overclocking).

New PC:
Intel E7200 - $129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3L - $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Crucial Ballistix 2GB(2 x 1GB) PC6400 - $54.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

VisionTech HD4850 - $189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate 7200.11 500GB HDD - $84.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler Master RC-690 Case/550 Watt PSU - $149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LITE-ON DVD-RW - $33.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro - $31.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Edimax Wireless PCI Card - $23.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TOTAL + TAX & SHIPPING: $889.46 ($789.91 before tax and shipping)

Note: This will be my first time overclocking but not my first build (built a friend's PC a month ago).

Please let me know if there is anything I should replace or change. Also, I am not opposed to spending $1,000 (after tax + shipping) but only if there will be a good performance increase. I am not planning on upgrading again for a few years (as you can probably tell from my current PC).

Thank you for your time.
July 13, 2008 11:36:43 PM

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

get this memory instead, faster, and cheaper, but you have to do a rebate. If your not a rebate guy, i still think there are cheaper but good quality ddr2-800 available.
I payed 50 bucks (after rebates) for 4x1gb of ddr2-800 crucial ballistix.

maybe take the 15 bucks this ram can save you and get a board with another pci-e 8x/16x slot for crossfire.


as for overclocking, dont push your vcore too much, and make sure you know what temperatures are safe to run your CPU at full load.
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July 14, 2008 12:33:19 AM

Thank you for the replies.

I don't really want to spend $90 on 2gb ram (I don't like to rely myself on rebates so I consider it $90) but if there is better ram for about the same money, I would love to find out which it is.

I do love Corsair PSUs. I was kind of iffy on the PSU that came with the case but I honestly don't know how much of a difference the PSU makes. I also like the Antec 900 but wish it had tooless design (just a perk for me).

If I add the 650TX and Antec 900, after tax and shipping and before rebates, it comes to ~$945

Would it be worth it to upgrade to a Q6600 or would the e7200 be fine for a few years? (I would overclock both of them, but nothing too drastic)
July 14, 2008 12:43:10 AM

i agree with you on the Antec 900. i wish it was tooless myself, so i guess that is a downside to it.

it's a little difficult to work with, mainly clean wirings and cable management, but its nothing too big if you dedicate some time into it, such as rewiring the cables through the back panel.

but the plus thing about the 900 is that it is has superb airflow, that is why it's rated so high everywhere because the airflow in that case is unmatched. that is the reason i got mine.

honestly, in my opinion, i would go with a quad over a dual any day, in the duration from now to a few years later down the line (2-3 years), i personally think that there will be a huge increase in multi-core threaded programs that will use 4-8 cores. just look at the direction of intel's new nehalem to peak into the future.

nehalem is starting out as a 4 core with Hyperthreading technology, so essentially it is a 8 core CPU... (if you alt+control+delete) in windows, 8 bars graphs will show up for your CPU processes. and that is just with the 45nm nehalems...

the 32nm ones, which they plan on releasing later as the 2nd generation nehalem i believe, will be octo-core and with HT tech, you'll have 16 bar graphs.

so imo, if you want to future "proof" your computer for the next 2-3 years, quad is the way to go. and the Q6600 can be found sub 200$ now, given the right deals...i think it's a steal, and it's proven itself to be an OC-monster. 3.0ghz OC at the minimum, and 3.2-3.6 range is not uncommon either.

:) 
July 14, 2008 1:25:54 AM

I have nothing to add to the hardware changes, but you need to understand that this computer as configured won't run "all the latest games on max settings."

It will run many games on max settings, but some games won't even run on max settings on computers costing 4 times as much to build.

This computer will run all games at decent performance and settings for you, as long as you don't have the resolution set too high. It will be such a huge jump from what you have currently that it will seem like you have everything on max.
July 14, 2008 1:39:01 AM

I was leaning towards a quad for a long time but wasn't sure if I'd need (or use) all of it's potential but that "future-proofing" is always attractive. If I switch to an OEM Q6600, it brings the price to $1,015.00 after tax + shipping. This a perfect price for me right now.

Proximon, I do realize that I won't be able to play all games at max (games such as crysis) but I should be able to play games such as COD4 on max (1280x1024 no AA), correct? I just want to be able to play all new games smoothly (I'm happy with 30fps as my current on low settings gets ~15) and have them look really nice. I also want it to be able to handle games such as Far Cry 2 (when it comes out) on at least medium settings. If this PC would do that and keep on going with the "average" game (ex: Half Life right now) for a few years (video card upgrade now and then), I would be very happy.
July 14, 2008 2:11:41 AM

You might want to take a gander at this mobo instead of the one you've got up now... It comes out at the same price after a $10 rebate

Its the newer P45 chipset and supports PCIe 2.0

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

However you know will not be able to do any crossfiring with either of these motherboard as the P35 only has one PCIe x16, and the P45 only one PCIe 2.0 x16.
July 14, 2008 2:46:59 AM

Well, to be honest, I don't know all that much about the P45 chipset. I do know that it is better for the 45nm CPUs. Also, the reviews are kind of scary on that Mobo :p . I know that the DS3L supports 45nm (my friend's PC that I build has that Mobo + E8400)

So then here is the build so far:
Q6600 OEM
GA-EP35-DS3L
Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) PC6400
VisionTek HD4850
LITE-ON DVD-RW
Seagate 7200.11 500GB HDD
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro
Antec 900
Corsair 650TX PSU
EDIMAX Wireless PCI Adapter

TOTAL after tax + shipping (before $100 rebates): $1,015.00

*wow, only $12.32 for shipping, everything must be really close to where I live*
July 14, 2008 2:57:05 AM

Yeah its up to you. Technically you won't notice much of performance hit by not having the PCIe 2.0, just personally I like to have it for maximum performance out of any graphics cards I get.

But I'm sure you'll be a happy customer with the build you have picked out, Especially since your moving from a dino computer :D .
All good quality components
July 14, 2008 3:09:34 AM

I think that's an excellent 1K build, and you will get just the performance you are looking for out of the 4850. Somewhere down the road you'll probably be able to upgrade to the next step from ATI or nVidia.
July 14, 2008 3:10:36 AM

I sure hope so :D 

I think I will place the order within the next two days. Hopefully since the shipping so cheap, it is all close to my house and will arrive quickly and not have enough time for the UPS to crush my components :p .

Oh. Just thought of another question. Is the thermal compound on the Freezer 7 good enough to overclock a little (like 3ghz) or should I buy MX-2? And if so, what do I need to do to take of the thermal paste already on the cooler?
July 14, 2008 3:19:15 AM

that ram is expensive...get 1 2 gig stick for 35 - 40 bucks, some kingston or something, and add another 2 gig later !

Antec 900 is ugly...lol...but that is a personal choice :) 
July 14, 2008 3:22:32 AM

I've heard good things about the paste on the cooler, but I don't know that it's been tested, it was just somebodies subjective impression. You could just try it out and see.

Alcohol I think is the correct way. You don't want to use any oil-based solvents of any sort, as they will fill in pockets and stay there, or evaporate leaving residues.

July 14, 2008 3:35:24 AM

royalcrown, the reason why I'm going with the 2x1gb rather than 1x2gb is because I will be running a 32bit operating system (wouldn't take advantage of the second 2gb chip I'd put in later) and dual channel runs better than single channel.

And it is good to know not to use oil-based solvents although I will try the already applied thermal paste and see how that works, If it's horrid, I'll have to pick up some MX-2.

Thank you guys for all of your help. It is much appreciated.
July 14, 2008 3:46:51 AM

xshuyguys, windows will use most of that extra 2 gig, so it is not a waste, 3.5 available to you beats 2 gigs. The rest gets used by the system.

Contrary to what you read dual channel makes almost no difference during real usage, the only place it does better by ANY noticeable amount is synthetic benchmarks.
July 14, 2008 3:50:25 AM

well since you're running a 32bit OS, it would recognize up to around 3.25 gb of ram. i have 4gb in my current setup, and running windows XP, it only utilizes 3.25 of it.

honestly, the 4850, you can a huge majority of games on it now at max settings. 1280x1024 COD4, is easily easily easily achievable on max settings with that card. you can also turn up the AA if you want and still run it at 60+ fps with ease.

i don't think you would need to upgrade the 4850 for awhile, at least a year or so.

what i use for removing the Thermal paste, is one of artic silver's products.

http://articsilver.com/arcticlean.htm

the artic clean solution kits, doesn't really cost much and its really effective in wiping off thermal compounds, such as needed when you take off your HSF for any reason, because you would need to reapply the paste.

artic silver 5 is a trusted thermal paste as well, so you might want to check that out as an alternative.

July 14, 2008 4:24:15 AM

aznguy0028 said:
i suggest you replace the case and your PSU

get the corsair 650TX

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

and the antec 900

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

antec 900 = 80$
corsair 650TX = 90$

roughly 190ish after tax and all that stuff, but its quality, and i would gladly spend 40$ in the case and PSU, to get better quality and performance compared to the coolermaster case/psu combo



I'm sorry Aznguy, but i have to disagree with you on your assessment of that case. Don't get me wrong the Antec is a nice case, but the CoolerMaster is equally as good. I know, because it sits here on my desk. I would consider the hard drive silencers, power supply silencer, and tool free setup a greater pro than a single 200mm fan that the Antec offers. But thats just my 2 cents :D 

I do strongly agree with you on the PSU though. I have that one coming in the mail :D 
July 14, 2008 4:28:33 AM

I knew I'd end up getting around 3 gigs out of it but I didn't know that the system uses the leftovers. I thought that it was just lost. And that is great info about the dual channel as well. I was kind of worried about being stuck with 2gigs also, since 4 sticks of ram greatly limits overclocking.
Which of these sticks do you think would be better?:
Corsair
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mushkin
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
A-Data
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.Skill
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I knew about Arctic Silver 5 but didn't like it as much as MX-2 because it's conductive. I didn't know about their thermal paste remover though. If I find out after my system is build that the thermal paste included with the HSF is bad, I will definitely use that remover and grab some MX-2.
July 14, 2008 4:32:39 AM

PhrexianGhoul, I really liked the features (tooless and hidden PSU cables for starters) and aesthetics of the RC-690 compared to that of the Antec 900. But just making sure, you say that it gets good airflow? I've heard this before but wasn't certain about the reliability of the source.
July 14, 2008 1:54:43 PM

The 690 does have the potential for really good airflow if you install fans in all the fan slots.
Its airflow is still pretty nice with just the three fans that come with it, you can't really tell from pictures, but the whole middle section of the case is all metal-mesh, making things very breathable.

Personally though I like the antec 900, or NZXT Tempest better. :D 
You might want to take a look at the tempest, its comes with all 6 fans, is tooless and great airflow. I think it looks sweet too. :) 
July 14, 2008 1:58:42 PM

Everything is great but get the antec 900 for 75 bucks on newegg
July 15, 2008 12:53:57 AM

xshyguyx said:
PhrexianGhoul, I really liked the features (tooless and hidden PSU cables for starters) and aesthetics of the RC-690 compared to that of the Antec 900. But just making sure, you say that it gets good airflow? I've heard this before but wasn't certain about the reliability of the source.


I think it has pretty good airflow :)  I'm currently running a 6000+ and 8600GTS sli (OC to 720/1050) :sol:  current temps on the CPU/GPU idle: 45C/55C load: 50-55C/60-65C Personally i really don't know if those are horrible numbers, but they seem acceptable to me. I've never had any overheating issues. I'm currently gearing up to get the 4870 here in a few months and i have no question in my mind that with the current fans i'll still be running cool. If not i'll just throw another fan or two. :D 
July 16, 2008 2:49:02 AM

Phrexianghoul said:
I'm sorry Aznguy, but i have to disagree with you on your assessment of that case. Don't get me wrong the Antec is a nice case, but the CoolerMaster is equally as good. I know, because it sits here on my desk. I would consider the hard drive silencers, power supply silencer, and tool free setup a greater pro than a single 200mm fan that the Antec offers. But thats just my 2 cents :D 

I do strongly agree with you on the PSU though. I have that one coming in the mail :D 


heh, no prob. to each his own! the only reason why i recommended the 900 to him was because i saw that the coolermaster had a PSU built in, and since the 650TX and 900 comes close to the price (a little more expensive) than the case he originally wanted, i thought that would be a good alternative for a well known PSU and an all around well known case as well (also biased cause i have one) :p 

tool-less cases are definitely much easier to work with...it's up to his own personal preference :) 
!