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New Gaming Computer - Need some help

Last response: in Systems
July 26, 2008 8:28:06 PM

Hey everyone, I'm a newb to building desktops and I need some help, here is my new $1000 budget gaming build so far:

These are the three pieces I've settled on more or less:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 1066

These I'm stuck between some choices, but also open to any other recommendations:

Option 1: 2x GeForce 8800 GT ( ASUS EN8800GT/HTDP/512M GeForce 8800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP)

Option 2: A single graphics card that would run most high-end games graphics-wise and is better than an 8800GT (need recommendations)

MOBO: I've put some thought into this, and I'm really looking for the best value in MOBO here for the above CPU/GPU. I don't want to pay an extra $50 for a minor upgrade, if I'm paying more I want it to be worth the extra cash.

Option 1: $119, Cheapest, ASUS P5N-E SLI LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI ATX

Option 2: $150, ASUS P5N-D LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 750i SLI ATX

Option 3: $219, Priciest, ASUS P5E Deluxe LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX

Or should I go with an Intel chipset instead of Nvidia because of its stability? I'm really lost here.

Option 1: 2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

Option 2: 1x Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (Perpendicular Recording) ST3500630AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

Or think I should go for more memory? 700gb+?

Here's the parts that I really don't have much of a preference for what I get, as long as it works and doesn't have an overheating problem:

Case: Need recommendations, obviously I want good airflow I can get but I really am looking for something dirt-cheap too.

DVD: No idea, cheap as possible, as long as it can read and write really.

Powersource: Need recommendations here.

Heat Sink: Need recommendations.


More about : gaming computer

July 26, 2008 8:56:40 PM

Remember that you need an Nvidia chipset for SLI. That being said, one big graphics card tends to be better than two smaller ones. Remember, SLI/Crossfire always gets you twice the slots hogged, twice the PSU requirements, twice the fan noise, and almost twice the heat. It very rarely will get you twice the power. Not to mention, with the exception of a few games, one card is enough anyhow. If I were you, I'd get a board with an Intel chipset, and a single ATI 4870. It's only a little more than two of those 8800GTs, but will hog less space in your case and should give similar performance, better if the app is not optimized for SLI.

CPU and RAM are good picks. For your PSU, the PC Power and Cooling Silencer 610w should get the job done if you do a single 4870. Great PSU, tough as nails, quiet, and a single large +12v makes connecting everything easy. If you stay with the two 8800GTs though, you'll probably want to step up to the 750w version. (See what I mean about 2 cards and PSUs?)

For the hard drive, do a single 500GB, but get the 7200.11 instead. It's only $5 more, and it's faster. For your heatsink, the box cooler will be fine if you aren't overclocking. Grab a Xigmatek HDT-S1283 if you want more cooling for peace of mind.
July 27, 2008 4:11:34 AM

Hmm yeah I looked at more articles and I think i want to go cheaper on the graphics cards and just one....

How would a Geforce 8800 GTS or 9600/9800 with 1G of video memory look like when compared to the ATI 4870 or the SLI 2x8800GT?

I'm also leaning towards the Asus P5N-D motherboard, I want to keep the option of putting 2 cards in SLI but I might not necessarily start out that way.

I mostly play MMOs like EQ2, LotRO, Age of Conan, etc. and some do support SLI so I may actually benefit from that.

The amount of noise the cards make isn't a problem for me either.
Related resources
July 27, 2008 5:16:24 AM

How would a Geforce 8800 GTS or 9600/9800 with 1G of video memory look like when compared to the ATI 4870 or the SLI 2x8800GT?

The 4870 will be a lot faster than both the 9600 and 8800GTS GeForce GPUs.
Don't even think of purchasing a 9600 unless you are on a really tight budget.

When it comes to the 4870 Vs. the 9800GTX, the 4870 will win.
The 9800GTX+, however, should be cheaper in your country (as it is in mine), delivers greater performance than the standard 9800, runs cooler and has more overhead for OC'ing, so is a big bang-for-buck.

Don't do dual 8800GTs - the performance isn't as great as a single 9800GX2, which is basically 2x 8800GTs on one board and will only use 1 PCI-e slot as opposed to dual 8800GTs.

The 9800GX2 will beat anything in this case.
July 27, 2008 5:55:26 AM

Changing the graphics card isn't a huge issue later on, maybe a year or so down the road when newer models come out and the current ones are cheaper. I looked at the 4870 and I don't think I want to spend that much money on the graphics card, one of the reasons I was thinking of getting 2x 8800GSs is because a store near me is having a sale if you buy two of them, would have cost me only $220.

In the end, I think I might just stay with either an 8800 GS or GTS (also looking at the 4850), something below $170. I'm going to hold back on the SLI. Try to keep this build at around $1200.

Thanks very much for all the help with selecting the graphics card! I think I've settled on a build, I'll post it here shortly just incase I'm making a bad buy or any mistakes with the setup someone can point it out to me (heck, this thread has probably saved me about $300 in unnecessary components, thanks again!)

July 27, 2008 6:24:43 AM

I would go with a intel chip set. P45, P35, X38 or x48. If you are going to use crossfire get a x38 or X48 chipset board.

and GPU i would get a 4850...
July 27, 2008 8:15:36 AM

Good luck with the build :) 

And with the graphics card - get a 4850 if you can find one for the right price (also always remember you can OC it).
July 27, 2008 7:19:58 PM

Final Setup:
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 [...] 6819115036

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 1066 [...] 6820231166

GPU: 4850, the one jaysins linked, thanks for the promo code too!

MOBO: Last one I need help with: Either

ASUS P5E LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard (Open Box), I donlt know if it's worth risking it buying an open box product from newegg


ASUS P5Q LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard, won't have the option of later upgrading to 2 cards but I don't think I'll need to.

HD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11

Case: Rosewill RZLS142A-P BK Dual 120mm Cooling Fans and Mesh Design Front Panel Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

DVD: ASUS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model DRW-2014L1T

Powersource: Antec EA650 650W ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 Power Supply

Heat Sink: XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler

Sound good?
July 28, 2008 12:00:01 AM

Last update: Settled on the ASUS P5Q, going to order all the parts later tonight, thanks for all the help!
a b 4 Gaming
July 28, 2008 1:45:17 AM

Good deal. get the retention bracket for the Xiggy as well and some AC5. Don't use the push pins, they suck.

Oh on the RAM... nothing wrong with 1066, but you won't need it unless overclocking alot. Simple overclocks with that CPU will put you at a 400Mhz FSB, so 800Mhz RAM will give you a 1:1 ratio.
July 28, 2008 1:50:03 AM

Your welcome and glad to help. Good luck and report back when you in gaming nirvana.