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New Build, Feedback would be appreciated

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July 29, 2008 5:01:30 PM

I've actually posted two builds in this section about two weeks ago and decided to do some more research. It's nearing time to head back to school, so I'm trying to finalize a build. The majority of my components were already recommended to me through my last two posts, but I'm still debating on a few items.

It's a gaming build. I'd like to be able to play Far Cry 2, Fallout 3, and COD4 reasonably well (just to give you an idea of the games I play).
I play on a 22" monitor, but I have no problem lowing the resolution.

I considered a Amd 6000+ build, but decided it would be best to just fork over an extra $100 to intel for OCing abilities.

Crossfire/SLI is unnecessary at this point.

I was also considering building a cheap e7200/mobo and upgrading them at some point next summer (hopefully the q9450 will have come down at that point).

I'd rather not buy a mobo that would require me to flash the BIOS (updating is one thing, flashing it is another).

----------------------------------------------------
The Current Build

CPU - Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 (is what I'm leaning towards)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU Cooler - XIGMATEK S1283 (with the retention bracket)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mobo - ? Here's where I need help (see bottom of post for what I am looking at)
GPU - ATI 4850 (probably Visiontek for lifetime warranty)
PSU - Corsair 650TX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Memory - mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case - COOLER MASTER RC-690
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Hard drive - Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD/CD Drive - SAMSUNG Black 20X DVD+R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OS - Windows Vista 64-bit Home Premium

(thanks aevm)
--------------------------------------------------------

Motherboards I'm considering:
ASUS P5Q - 129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GIGABYTE GA-EP43-DS3L - 94.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
BIOSTAR TForce TP43D2A7 - 79.99 (after $10 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


That comes out to about $915 (before rebates and mobo, like $830 after rebates). It really needs to stay under $1000 after rebates, but the cheaper the better. My plan is to hold on to this build (assuming I go the e8400 route) for 2-3 years. If I can get a relatively cheap mobo (under $100 or so), I wouldn't mind upgrade to a quad in the near future.
July 29, 2008 5:44:26 PM

If you're coing to keep that system for 2-3 years, I recommend that you get a CF certified mobo. The reason is because in a year from now, the 4850 wont cost more than 120$ and by then, you will want to upgrade your graphics and therefore, you'll be thinking on a 4870x2 or such, taking the 4850 totally apart, so if you do what i did, get this mobo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and that gives u the opportunity to upgrade to another 4850 at any time and get a considerable boost on performance for a little of money rather than wasting on a completely new mobo and video card!

July 29, 2008 6:47:24 PM

From what I've heard the 4870x2 is much better than 4850s in CF. I actually have a younger brother that could use the 4850 at the point where I would upgrade video cards.

I don't think x8/x8 vs x16/x16 will make much of a difference at my resolution, so CF is definitely an option, but like I said in the original post, I wouldn't mind getting a cheap mobo now and upgrading it and the cpu (to a quad) next summer (again, these would probably go to my brother).

Then again, the board you suggested is only $150.
Related resources
July 29, 2008 7:01:35 PM

If you're thinking about upgrading to the Q9450 later, why not get a quad now? You can get a Q6600 for less than $200. You'll end up saving yourself $$$ in the long run if you only buy 1 processor. The Q6600 isn't that far behind the 9450 anyways(specially if you overclock, which I assume you will with the xiggy 1283). As far as the mobo, I would agree with realyeti and go for an x38 or x48 which will give you 2 16x PCI-E ports, so you can upgrade your graphics capability when the time comes to upgrade.

Overall, you would save more money buying only 1 CPU and 1 mobo now, which would be a MAX of $100 more than your current build, though more likely less.
July 29, 2008 7:22:16 PM

A good solid build. I'd agree with the yeti and pop the extra $20 for the other Asus board. Asus seems to have done a great job on their P45 boards from all the reviews i've seen. If price is a huge consideration i've used Biostar boards in the past and have been very happy with them. Some reviews i've seen say the P43 boards aren't great overclockers.
July 29, 2008 7:50:56 PM

+1 for the P5Q Pro. Next year give it to your brother, with the 650TX and the HD 4850, and if you're such a good brother buy him another HD 4850 too.

Or you could try AMD. Drop the E8400 ($175)/P5Q Pro ($150) and Xigmatek ($27+$7 bracket+$7 bracket shipping), and get these instead:

AMD Phenom 9850 BLACK EDITION 2.5GHz, $205
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103249

K9A2 Platinum, $159
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130136&Tpk=K9A2%2bPlatinum

You save $2, get your quad instead of a dual-core, get x16+x16 Crossfire instead of x8+x8, and do a good deed too helping AMD in bad times. :kaola: 

BTW, even if you go with Intel, I don't think you need to overclock. Those games won't benefit, they are GPU-limited. You'd just pay more in electricity bills. Yeah, you get bragging rights, but in recent years every idiot and his dog has overclocked a CPU, so that's kind of meaningless :) 


July 29, 2008 8:08:55 PM

Just when I thought I had ruled out an AMD build...the options seem endless (guess that's the beauty of it)

quad + 16x/16x...basically exactly what I'm shooting for in the long run

Would I need to upgrade to the Corsair 750TX?


July 29, 2008 8:33:40 PM

Not really. The minimum recommendations for HD 4850 CF are 550W, IIRC. Still, if it's just $20 more, I'd do it. It's just insurance in case you want to add 7 hard disks or some monster video card later.
July 30, 2008 1:19:56 PM

I'm actually seriously considering the BIOSTAR TForce TP43D2A7 and the e7200, which would keep me set for a year or two until Nehalem (or an AMD equivalent) becomes more mainstream.

My family actually is currently using four desktops and anyone of them would benefit from an e7200 and P43.

Just to give you an idea of their specs (they are all store bought, although I have upgraded the mobo/cpu in the AMD one about a year ago):

2x - Pentium 4s (3.06 Ghz), 1gig ram (one has an 8600gs, the other has no PCI-E slot, lol)
1x - I think it's the Dell Vostro 200 (slim tower), has a e4500 (maybe?), ati 2400, and 1 gig of ram
1x - AMD 4400+, 2gigs of ram, and an ATI x800 Pro (it has served me well for years)

**On a side note, I run COD4 on that ATI x800 Pro and I have no complaints about its performance

Of course, I probably would have to buy new cases (as most are mATX), but as you can see, they would all benefit from such an upgrade a year down the road.

My youngest brother uses the Dell Vostro and my other younger brother uses the Pentium 4 with the 8600gs (although he's taking the 4400+ to college, so I'll probably switch out the x800 for the 8600gs).
!