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Input needed on new parts for 4870 gaming-rig

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July 18, 2008 7:23:06 AM

Hi,

I currently own a Dell comp (I should probably stop there :kaola: ), with an 8800GT, 2.13ghz core 2 duo CPU, 3gigs RAM @ 667, some oddly-shaped mobo, 250Gb HD, windows vista 32-bit OS.

NOT happy with this comp as it stands;
Intensive games such as Crysis perform horribly and I blame the CPU more than the GPU.
Photoshop is slow at times and again I am blaming the CPU more than anything else.
And I also blame the CPU for just being a CPU.


Now I REALLY want to play some games at hardcore settings, so I've decided to massively upgrade my hardware and spend a few $, so here's a small list of what I'll be buying:

1. Cooler Master CM 690 Chassis (already have)
2. Q9450 CPU
3. ASUS P5E3 Premium Mobo
4. Corsair TX-750 750W
5. Some DDR3 1333 RAM


I have a few questions:

- I am not buying a new hard drive or OS; do I NEED to? Just wondering because I don't really have the money to buy a new OS or hard drive and I'm unsure whether my new hardware will function with the old hard drive from the moment I turn the new PC on??

- With the P5E3 Premium mobo, the area around the CPU socket looks really tight. Now I was planning on overclocking the Q9450 so I'd need an aftermarket CPU cooler - would an ASUS Arctic Square fit comfortably onto the CPU??

- I wasn't planning on replacing the single 8800GT for a few months, so I'm wondering how much of a difference in performance it would provide, given that the new build would contain better hardware (such as the Q9450 CPU)??

- I am planning, and am pretty decently enthusiastic about buying 2 4870s to run in Crossfire.
Will they be worth it or should I go for a 4870X2 when it comes out instead? Wondering because I need all the PCI slots I can use on the mobo, and 2 dual-slot 4870s don't help too much :lol: 




Any input is greatly appreciated.
July 18, 2008 8:32:58 AM

What cpu do you currently have?

If money is an issue then my advice would be to buy a new case, mobo and a good cooler. Take your current one and OC it, its a c2 duo so it should reach 3.0 ghz with a good cooler. Thats not blistering, but it should be quick enough to get the most out of your 8800gt.

I would also do a fresh install of your OS. As for thee ddr3 ram, well its still a little pricey for the advantage it gives. Again, if money is a concern then it might be better to buy 4 ggigs of ddr2 800mhz with low timings.

With a new mb, overclocked cpu, new ram on fresh install it will feel like a new computer. Obviously it wont be as quick as what you suggested, but would certainly be cheaper.
July 18, 2008 8:45:13 AM

Waiting for the 4870x2 will be worth your wild Thier are some reviews somewhere don't remember where but they fixed teh microshuttering promblem and the card is a winner being 20%+ better than normal CF.
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July 18, 2008 9:30:23 AM

lameness said:
What cpu do you currently have?

If money is an issue then my advice would be to buy a new case, mobo and a good cooler. Take your current one and OC it, its a c2 duo so it should reach 3.0 ghz with a good cooler. Thats not blistering, but it should be quick enough to get the most out of your 8800gt.

I would also do a fresh install of your OS. As for thee ddr3 ram, well its still a little pricey for the advantage it gives. Again, if money is a concern then it might be better to buy 4 ggigs of ddr2 800mhz with low timings.

With a new mb, overclocked cpu, new ram on fresh install it will feel like a new computer. Obviously it wont be as quick as what you suggested, but would certainly be cheaper.


My CPU is an E6400 (not too sure about the 'E'), @ 2.13GHz.
Would this be able to reach 3.0GHz?

And yeah, I had to buy a new case anyway due to the fact that my current system uses some type of Dell mobo that is very oddly-shaped (non-ATX).
So because I had to purchase a new mobo, I decided to plan on getting something pricey, that can work with high-speed DDR3.

I just want to spend some decent $$ on hardware that'll last me a at least 18 months or so before it becomes too out-dated for hardcore gaming more or less.


kelfen said:
Waiting for the 4870x2 will be worth your wild Thier are some reviews somewhere don't remember where but they fixed teh microshuttering promblem and the card is a winner being 20%+ better than normal CF.


That's awesome to hear.
If what you're saying is true, then I won't need to go for an X48 for Crossfire purposes, and I can save some money in that case :D .

----


All of this help is overly appreciated.

a b à CPUs
July 18, 2008 10:23:19 AM

Yeah P5E3 on it's own won't really solve your problems, and it's too expensive.

For hardcore gaming for the next year, I would think dual core might be a better choice. Few games now use quad core, although possibly more will soon.

A P45 chipset with a E8500 would save you some serious cash. Get 4 gigs of excellent DDR2 800 and I bet you can still afford the new OS
a b à CPUs
July 18, 2008 10:26:45 AM

And to be very clear, you cannot just plug in your old hard drive with the old operating system still on it. That will not work.

You need to install fresh onto the new system.
July 18, 2008 1:21:08 PM

Im not an expert, but i would say that the chances of the e6400 reaching 3.0ghz (with a decent cooler) were very good. At that speed it will be quick enough to get the most out of the 8800gt....but if you do intend to spend more money before long...(then 4870x2) then yeah upgrade everything.

If your going cheap...then go as cheap as possible

If your going to invest for the future....then a ddr3 mb would be wise...if you overclock then get a quad.....if you dont then get the e8400. G
July 18, 2008 10:44:27 PM

Proximon said:
Yeah P5E3 on it's own won't really solve your problems, and it's too expensive.

For hardcore gaming for the next year, I would think dual core might be a better choice. Few games now use quad core, although possibly more will soon.

A P45 chipset with a E8500 would save you some serious cash. Get 4 gigs of excellent DDR2 800 and I bet you can still afford the new OS


Yes I agree with you there - the P5E3 is really expensive and I've decided to just get a single 4870X2 so in that case there is no need for an X48 mobo.

As for the CPU - I'm still very keen on getting a quad-core.
Money isn't really an issue for the CPU so I'd rather get something beefy.

I will be going for a P45 chipset mobo.

Proximon said:
And to be very clear, you cannot just plug in your old hard drive with the old operating system still on it. That will not work.

You need to install fresh onto the new system.


So what should I do then? Reinstall a new OS after removing the old one?
If that's the case, will everything else be left on the hard drive (such as general files)?
Is it just best to get a new hard drive?

lameness said:
Im not an expert, but i would say that the chances of the e6400 reaching 3.0ghz (with a decent cooler) were very good. At that speed it will be quick enough to get the most out of the 8800gt....but if you do intend to spend more money before long...(then 4870x2) then yeah upgrade everything.

If your going cheap...then go as cheap as possible

If your going to invest for the future....then a ddr3 mb would be wise...if you overclock then get a quad.....if you dont then get the e8400. G


I'm getting this new system to invest for the future, yes.
So I'm not really trying to go cheap at all :) .



----



So I've revised my list of parts:

1. Cooler Master CM 690 Chassis
2. Q9450 CPU
3. ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe Mobo
4. ASUS Arctic Square CPU Cooler
5. Corsair TX-750 750W PSU
6. Some DDR3 1333 or 1600 RAM
7. Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit OS or 32-bit


-> Will the P5Q3 Deluxe support DDR3 1600MHz non-OC'd?
-> And is it worth getting Ultimate 64-bit (I may purchase more RAM later on)?

Remember that I plan on keeping this new system for a long time.

July 19, 2008 4:58:10 AM

bump
a b à CPUs
July 19, 2008 9:59:04 AM

Vista comes with a computer transfer wizard, located under accessories / system or some such in your start menu.

If you use it you will be able to save important files and all your settings. If you have a bunch of files you might need something larger than a cd to save it all on.

Even if you wanted to get a new HD, which I endorse, you would still want to use that tool first to migrate your settings over - things like bookmarks, saved passwords, etc.

When doing a large upgrade I always get a new HD. Why? Because I will invariably forget to transfer over some key thing, and I want the luxury of accessing the old HD at my leisure to recover stuff. Even older HDs that are still good get put into external USB cases and used as back-up drives.

When vendors sell memory they are just guaranteeing that it will run at that speed.... the line is getting pretty fuzzy as to what is overclocked or not. There is nothing in the RAM itself that is really forcing it to run at 1600. It will have a set of instructions built in, supplying a few parameters to assist the set up of the motherboard to run the RAM at 1600.

You'll need to do research to discover who has successfully run what RAM on that board... including the amount of RAM, not just what sticks.

Vista 64-bit premium supports 16gigs of RAM. That's enough for the next few years. By the time you need 16 gigs you'll need the newer OS as well, whatever it may be called. Unless you are doing serious video editing, or laying out the entire Sunday edition of the local paper on your comp, I doubt you need the 128 gig limit of Vista Ultimate. I don't think it has any other features that make it worthwhile, but I'll leave that to you.

Hope this helps.

July 19, 2008 11:20:55 AM

Thanks for both your help and your time, Proximon.
Much appreciated.

I found the Windows Transfer tool, however I am not sure how to use it, even with the help of your post.
To my knowledge the HD needs to be blank before introducing it to a new system, so does this mean that the transfer tool will erase everything off of the HD?
If so, can the data just as easily be transfered back onto the HD when need be from wherever it was stored on to?

Sorry I am just a little confused at the moment.


Also what are your thoughts on using 2gigs of RAM for at least another year or so for high-end gaming-purposes?
I was thinking about upgrading to a 64-bit OS to go with 4gig RAM, but I'm not sure if 4gigs is necessary for only gaming?

Thanks.
a b à CPUs
July 19, 2008 11:43:28 AM

I haven't used the Vista transfer tool, but if it's anything like XP it will just save a file to wherever you tell it to save it.... A CD, another HD partition, etc.

It's not going to reformat your hard drive or install a new OS for you. You will have to do those things. All the transfer wizard does is copy whatever files or settings you ask it to save, to the location of your choice. Once you have Vista installed on your new system, you will use the same wizard again. This time, it will retrieve the settings you saved (once you point it to the location of the file that you made).

I recommend telling the wizard what you want to keep. Don't transfer your old problems to a new computer along with the good stuff.

2 gigs is enough RAM for almost all games right now. The only game I personally know of that really benefits a great deal from 3+ gigs is Age of Conan. This could change, and I believe it will soon, so I bought 4 gigs and will be dual-booting Vista 64bit soon also. I also made sure that I had the space and ability to upgrade to 8 gigs... just so I don't get obsoleted too soon.

My opinion is get 4 gigs now if you can afford it. RAM prices are quite low and they tend to fluctuate. You can't count on them staying this way.

July 19, 2008 9:20:49 PM

What would you recommend I save/transfer my files to?
An external hard drive (I own an 80gig I-Pod, if that'll do the trick)?

So the transfer tool won't erase/reformat my HD, I'm glad that's clear now.
Reformatting it is another story.

Also I will be planning to go for 4gigs RAM + 64-bit OS now that you have given me some more help there.
Money is not really an issue in this case.


Thanks again :) 
a b à CPUs
July 19, 2008 11:48:52 PM

If I'm transferring stuff, all I need are browser settings, passwords, that sort of thing.

Don't reformat the drive at all then, just start with a new one, let Vista do it's thing, and when you are all done setting up plug the old drive back into the new system.

This way, you will be sure to keep every file that you need.

Just be sure to transfer any settings, including e-mail.

If you happen to use Firefox and Thunderbird, you'll need to do a search and get the transfer tool for those programs.
!