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new system build summer 2008 - comment pls

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July 23, 2008 4:45:37 PM

hi hardware gurus

priorities: here's what i'm looking for.

1 - stability
2 - ease of installation
3 - performance
4 - ~$1000 price tag

please comment!

will be running vista64 and maybe dualbooting ubuntu

case
cooler-master rc-690-kkn1-gp mid atx

psu
ocz gamextream 700w

mainboard
asus p5q pro lga 775 intel p45

cpu
intel q6600

memory
ocz platinum 2x2gb ddr2 1066

gpu
HIS radeon HD 4870

sound
creative x-fi xtremegamer

storage
2x seagate barracuda es.2 250gb sata

cpu cooling
arctic cooling freezer 7 pro
July 23, 2008 4:59:08 PM

DDR2-800 RAM should be sufficient and save some pocket change.
A sound card is probably not worth the money, but that's coming from a guy who's deaf in one ear.
Nice case, that's what I have, and I like it. I added a top fan to mine just because.
July 23, 2008 5:06:16 PM

+1 to all jtt283 said.

(I do have pretty good hearing, myself, but still I don't see much difference between my X-Fi XTreme Music/Z-5500 and my Dad's onboard Realtek/Z-2300, except when listening to certain music CDs. The sound card is mostly wasted if your music is in mp3 or other lossy formats.)

Get a single WD6400AAKS disk for $90/640GB instead of two Seagates for $160/500GB total. Save some cash from the sound card and RAM too. Use the savings to upgrade to P5E Deluxe x48 and 750TX. This way you'll be ready later if you want a second video card.

Related resources
July 23, 2008 5:21:58 PM

i already have the sound card so it won't cost me any extra $$. the crystallizer does make mp3s sound better, so i will reuse the sound card if at all possible [barring some potential compatibility problems with vista]

i want to keep my operating systems on separate disks, hence the 2x250gb.

Quote:
Use the savings to upgrade to P5E Deluxe x48 and 750TX. This way you'll be ready later if you want a second video card.


the mobo i selected supports crossfire? is it that 8x isn't good enough? i'm really not familiar with multiple gpu setups so please enlighten me.
July 23, 2008 5:26:06 PM

that is correct krappyappy.... 8x means that the second GPU will run only have as fast as your other one. This can cause performance bottlenecks.
July 23, 2008 5:39:23 PM

Yes, the P5Q Pro will run two HD 4870 cards, but sometimes they will not be as fast as they could be. That seems to be especially true with eye candy maxed and at the higher resolutions.

Nice thing about the sound card. Yes, there are some complaints about Creative's drivers for Vista, but I think they've been improved by now.

If you like, also look at GA-X48-DS4, also an excellent MB for Crossfire, about the same price as the P5E Deluxe.

Oh, I see, you want ubuntu too. Oops. OK, you do need two disks. Are you actually paying $80 for each of those 250GB disks, like I see at newegg? I'd pay $10 more for each to upgrade to 640GB disks.

There are better coolers than the Freezer, but since stability is your #1 priority I assume you won't overclock, so the Freezer is fine. It's also easy to install.

July 23, 2008 6:13:34 PM

hey thanks for the help everyone, this forum never fails.

ok, i will take the suggestion to upgrade to 2 x WD6400AAKS 640 gb. it's more storage than i need but i know a good deal when i see one.

as for the mobo, i'm not sure. i definitely won't be getting a second videocard any time soon, if at all. here's my question: two gpus in crossfire at 16x/8x is still better than one at 16x, right? or do they both drop down to 8x and could actually be slower? the hd 4870 is a pretty beastly card and really ought to be sufficient for most purposes, so i'm not sold on crossfire yet.

as for overclocking i may do some mild tweaking but nothing heavy, for the sake of stability exactly as you mentioned.

what coolers would you recommend?
July 23, 2008 6:49:31 PM

P5Q Pro means two GPUs in Crossfire at 8x/8x, not 16x/8x. Yes, it's still better than one at 16x. A lot better, in games like CoD4. Somewhat better, in others like Crysis. Games made by competent developers will scale better, I guess. Crysis looks good but from a programming point of view I'm a lot more impressed with CoD. OK, I write other kinds of programs, not games, so maybe my opinion here is totally useless :) 

Coolers:

Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120mm "Core Contact Freezer", $40+$9
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835207004

Xigmatek HDT-S1283, $27+$14
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233019
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233003&Tpk=HDT-S1283

But, for mild overclocking, I'd stick with the Freezer. It's only $27 at newegg and a lot easier to install than these other two. Those are high-performance coolers perfect for enthusiasts who go for the highest clocks. Not necessarily what you personally need.

Make sure you get the $185 Q6600 OEM, not the $200 Q6600 retail (newegg prices). You lose the stock heatsink (the Freezer is better anyway), save $15, and apparently you get a CPU with a better VID (i.e. easier to overclock).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115018
July 23, 2008 7:12:46 PM

instead of the Q6600, i'd go for the E8400 or E8500, they're better for gaming currently, the Q6600 may be better for gaming in the future, but i feel by the time that's established, nehalem will have arrived...
July 23, 2008 7:25:09 PM

yeah i did consider the dual core option as well.

i think i'm willing to sacrifice a little bit of gaming performance for the 'cool' factor of having quad core. it might be a stupid reason, but i sort of want quad core just for the sake of holding 4 cpus on one die in my hand.

and it should perform well enough in any case.

!