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Build Help please, noobie here!!!

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July 27, 2008 11:07:51 AM

Hey guys, I'm a noob when it comes to computers, however, I want to build a desktop. It will be primarily used for real time strategies and maybe counter strike every now and then. I also plan on going dual screens, as I want to be able to play around on one screen while doing homework. I would really like to be able to run a CAD program(don't know which one yet) as well as be able to play starcraft 2 or something like that, at the same time, hence the dual screens. I don't plan on getting into hardcore gaming, so no worries there. The only programs I plan to have on this desktop is a media player, probably windows, or something simple, CAD, some games, and the ability to use a browser. I will NOT download anything, nor will I install iTunes or anything like that.

That being said, my original plan was to go quad core and go over board with something like 8gb of ram. I keep hearing, "the future of gaming will support quads," but as I said I don't plan on getting really into gaming.

The new plan seems to be dual core with 4 gb of ram, maybe more later if it won't cause any problems. Fan cooled CPU, and at least 500gb if not a terabyte for hard disk. I don't know which way I want to go on the disk drive as far as CD/DVD goes, hope you guys can give me some advice here.

I really like the antec 900, but in the sub-$2000 build, there is the Tempest, that ironically looks like the antec, which I also like.

here is an idea, from reading, of what I should get:

(my budget is as close to $1000 as I can get)

CPU : consensus seems to be the E8500 (or anything 3.0GHz+)
CPU cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro
Mobo : (don't know here)
Ram: A-DATA , 2 x 2048GB
Graphics: 2 x Sapphire 4850s
Hard Drive : 2 x WD 500GB (or one WD 640GB as I hear they perform well)
Sound : Integrated is fine
Case: NZXT Tempest or Antec 900
Power : (no clue)
Disk drives : (help)

Yes this is partially copied and pasted from the Builder Marathon, but I'm a noob and know virtually nothing, any help or corrections will be much appreciated. Sorry for the long read and thanks in advance!!!

More about : build noobie

July 27, 2008 12:05:32 PM

I am no expert, but the psu is the heart of the system. I recently purchased a PC power & cooling Silencer 750. Quiet, single rail, 5 year warranty, and it is on sale a newegg. I have an Antec 900, cool and relatively quiet given the number of fans. There is lots of support for the Xigmatek HDT S1283 CPU cooler, it fits in the Antec 900. I think it is like most anything else, buy the best you can afford, read the forums, almost any question you can think of has been asked and answered.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 27, 2008 12:17:40 PM

You are doing double talk, you are not a gamer, but you want a 8400 and 2 video cards? This rig you setting up will be a screaming gamer, but then you are not a gamer? Or are you?

A single 4850 is PLENTY of GPU power for the casual gamer.

If you want to run multiple applications and 2 screens, a quad core would better suit your needs. The 8400 is a little better for games, if you are not an overclocker. But again, you said you are not a hard core gamer?

So, in short if you ARE a gamer, and building this rig for gaming as it's main role in life, stick with what you have.

For everything else you mentioned, drop a GPU (you simply do not need 2, you are throwing money away on something that will not help you one bit) and pick up a good Quad core. You will be happier with the overall performance.
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July 27, 2008 12:43:48 PM

I would like to parrot nussrods here;
I like the DFI bloodIron for a mother board if you go for a single video card.
The DK P45-T2RS for 2 video cards.
Stick with the Arctic cooler or go with the newer Xigmatek HDT S1284 it cools better, but get the separate retention bracket.
I have both the Antec 900 and the 300, if you want to save some on cash get the 300, the best place to get it is from one of the affiliates on amazon, about $50.
I like G Skill ram but now a days just about anything is ok, if it's one of the bigger brands and comes with a life time warranty.
CPU the E8400 is fine, and the Q6600 is still a good choice.
PSU, always PCPower always. Sites other than Newegg often have better prices.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 27, 2008 1:45:22 PM

Hello guys? He wants to run Starcraft or other very undemanding games and work with CAD, and run multiple apps on 2 monitors.

CAD itself is not multi-threaded and does not benefit from multi-core CPU's.
However, running multiple applications and playing a mild game while working in CAD will benefit greatly from a Quad core. Also, multiple GPU's do nothing for CAD on a single monitor. Multiple GPU's will help in CAD if you are running CAD on multiple monitors, doing multiple renderings. And last but not least, if you are deadly serious about GPU performance in CAD, you need to be looking at the FireGL cards. The 4850 will do fine in CAD for most people though, and still give you excellent gaming performance.
July 27, 2008 6:51:33 PM

thanks for all the quick responses, this is definitely helping me.

no offense jit, but I never said I was NOT a gamer, lol, I just said I don't plan on getting heavily into gaming. I'd just be playing games that don't demand a lot of space and power. So what I'm getting here is that I should stick with the quad core (q6600) and only use one 4850?

Also, since I should be going with the single vid card, should I get the DFI bloodIron as was suggested earlier in the thread?

Bobbknight I will check out the antec 300 and get back to you. why do you recommend it over the 900? is it just money saved?
a b B Homebuilt system
July 27, 2008 7:18:47 PM

OK, if you do play games get the two videocards, why not. It's just $160 more for a second HD 4850 after all.

Between a quad and a higher-clocked dual - right now in AutoCAD the dual-core will win. However, if you run other things in the background at the same time, the quad might win anyway. Also, eventually Autodesk will patch things up to use quads properly at least in areas like rendering where it's really useful. I don't know about other CAD programs and their developers, but I'm guessing they are all hard at work right now trying to improve their multi-threading. With quads under $200, they have to, or their competitors will just kill them.
July 27, 2008 7:21:38 PM

thanks for the post aevm
a b B Homebuilt system
July 27, 2008 7:21:42 PM

MB: P5Q Pro, or even better GA-X48-DS4 if you can afford the difference, or P5E Deluxe X48.
PSU: 750TX or PC Power & Cooling 750W
CPU: Q6600, or even better Q9450
HDD: definitely get the 640GB, not the 500GB. The 500GB is slower.
July 27, 2008 7:47:27 PM

this is prob the fastest response I've seen on a forum. thanks Aevm, really helped me out. I'll check out the alternatives you listed here.

btw, the antec only takes "atx" mb, is that right? if so, would the mbs you posted fit, or even in the tempest? if not, any alternatives for cases?
a b B Homebuilt system
July 27, 2008 8:05:44 PM

I found a newegg reviewer for the NZXT Tempest, using a GA-X48-DS4 in it. That would be my favorite combination of the MBs and cases mentioned in this thread, btw.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N82E16811146047

About the cooler: Paul, thanks for the warning. Very interesting. But, since 78% of the 230 reviewers at newegg gave 5 eggs to the Xigmatek, I'm guessing the defect is not very frequent.
Also, the OP could get the retention bracket to ensure better contact between CPU and cooler.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233019

July 27, 2008 9:11:52 PM

I looked up those MBs, there seems to be a few complaints about the GIGA rebooting constantly, like an endless loop, or it not reading/recognizing the vid cards.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 28, 2008 3:28:59 AM

OK, if you feel safer with an Asus, P5E Deluxe X48 is around $225 and does Crossfire at x16+x16, while P5Q Pro is around $150 and does it at x8+x8. From the benchmarks I've seen, the difference is very visible at 1920x1200 or more, but small at 1680x1050 or less.

There are a couple of good X38 boards too, from aBit or DFI, some under $200. Those can also do Crossfire at full speed.
July 28, 2008 7:15:06 PM

can you explain to me what crossfire is please?

thanks again
!