new build: single, employed 24yo guy building gaming wet dream? help!

hey guys

i havent built a pc in about 3 years as my last one worked great and most new PC games are dogshit. its time to build a new one though and this is my first attempt to wade back into the pc hardware world. my biggest questions are about mobos and ensuring that im crossfire ready, but any and all advice is much appreciated.

heres my working list so far:

vid: Radeon HD 4850 x2 (crossfire setup)

power: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply -

ram: CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6750

case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX

mobo: help! no good at figuring these out..... looking at the following...

DFI LP LT P35 T2R LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard
ASUS M2R32-MVP AM2 AMD 580X CrossFire ATX AMD Motherboard
ASUS P5Q LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard

that more or less does it besides HDD and sound card which im not worried about right now. money is no object for the most part, within reason (games dont effectively use quad core so why pay for it, for instance, DDR3 seems really not worth the price bump, etc)

basically im wondering if thats the best processor i can get, and if my mobo can support an intel processor AND crossfire those two cards at the same time

thanks much for your help. im hoping this machine will handle my gaming in kickass style for at least a couple years.
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  1. The ASUS P5Q will Crossfire the cards, but only at x8/x8 speed. Apparently there's little difference at lower resolutions between x8/x8 and x16/x16 Crossfire, but as you increase the resolution there is a clear difference. There's a review from tweaktown that's going around showing the difference, but I would at least verify their findings somewhere else.

    At the level you are looking at, definitely go with the e8400 (or e8500 for $15 more). There's an extra .5 multiplier on the e8500 if you're planning to overclock, otherwise I don't think it makes much of a difference.

    You probably should be looking at an x38 or x48 board if you want to take full advantage of your video cards.

    Other than that, looks solid.

    Are you planning to overclock?
  2. 1. Proc : Q9450 (Quad) or E8500 (Dual), it is your choice.
    2. ASUS P5EX48 or Gigabyte GAX48DS4
    3. Zalman CNPS9700, Xigmatek HDT-S1283+bracket, or Scythe Orrochi.
    4. The rest is good.
    5. If money is not an issue for you than why don't you pick 2xHD4870 instead of 2xHD4850.
    You are right about those DDR3, right now DDR3 is still way too expensive.
  3. thanks for the replys guys, good to see people faithfully trolling these forums at work.

    guanyu: thats a good question regarding the video cards. basically, the benchmarks ive seen for the 4870's versus the 4850's seem to be extremely close, and the price difference, though not huge, is significant i think. that was just a judgement call i made as "not worth it" but i could certainly be wrong. do you understand the difference in the 4870's to be worth it?

    zvandy: thanks for the info, its exactly that sort of thing im worried about but apparently to dense to figure out on my own. would the ASUS P5EX48 guanyu mentioned get me x16/x16 crossfire?

    also, though ive never OC'ed before, all the reviews on these parts and builds ive read are pushing me to do so. these toys seem to have a reputation of being fantastically stable. thoughts?

    thanks a lot for the feedback fellas
  4. As for chipset than can gives full x16 Xfire, any X38 or X48 mobo should do the work. Those P45 can not give you full 2 x16 Xfire.

    P5EX48 or Gigabyte GAX48 is good for OCing, just don't forget one of those CPU fan that I have mentioned above.
  5. bumraz said:
    zvandy: thanks for the info, its exactly that sort of thing im worried about but apparently to dense to figure out on my own. would the ASUS P5EX48 guanyu mentioned get me x16/x16 crossfire?

    Yea, any of the x38 or x48 motherboards will give you x16/x16 crossfire.

    I believe the 4870 x2 (two gpus in one card basically) is coming out soonish (I'll have to check). You may want to consider throwing an older card in there until it comes out.

    I've never OCed before, but I agree with you that reviews say it is easy (I'll have to try it sometime).

    If you are going to OC, definitely get an aftermarket cooler. Most people will reccommend the Xigatek S1283 (with the retention bracket).
  6. looks like the asus x48 is gonna be my mobo then. thanks for the help!

    google is telling me august/sept on the 4850x2 and 4870x2 cards which sounds perfect (im building for an october release). ill grab that aftermarket cooler regardless of whether or not i OC, but what the hell, i think i should give it a try to get 3GHz out of that processor. seems pretty standard from what im reading.

    i think that oughta do it. thanks again for the help
  7. +1 to everything that guanyu210379 said.

    Except for the Zalman 9700, I'm an advocate for the education of Zalman's dated designs and overpriced coolers. The Xigmatek S1283 is the best choice (add 800 or 1200 RPM Scythe Slipstream for awesome performance - thermally - and near silence).

    And your OS should definitely be Vista 64 (to take advantage of all your memory - system and graphics).
  8. ive been hesitent to take the vista plunge...

    given that this is a high end machine though, will the vista OS give me a significant performance increase over XP? is it simply a question of DX10?
  9. Probably DX10 more than anything else. Windows actually has SP1 for Vista out, not that I'm saying it's better than XP as far as stability goes, but you'd be surprised.

    I would suggest doing some research on it, but I can definitely tell you that Vista does not have near as many problems as it did when it was initially released.
  10. I suggest either the Q6600 or an E7200 for best bang for the buck. For a dual core going over $150 is to high a price when the Q6600 is $185.
    You are paying a high price for your mobo for its OCing and I suggest only the Q9450 for another possible quad core. If you need the extra savings go for the E7200 as some have OC'ed to 4GHz and at $125 is an unbeatable price for OC'ed performance.
  11. i was privvy to vistas horrible launch, yes... ive seen that SP1 is out though and ive heard that has helped a lot. im browsing around trying to get comfortable with the idea. i have a copy of vista 64 handy, so maybe i should go ahead and use it.....

  12. I was sceptical for a while, but when I switched my HTPC to Vista about a month and a half ago, I was sold. Yes there are some new ways of doing things you'll need to get accustomed to, but that goes with any OS switch. I personally really like Vista. Since then I've switched my girlfriend's computer to Vista and will soon make the transition with my desktop.
  13. If you're looking for a wet gaming dream.. I would wait for the 4870x2. If you want an okay gamers dream that might not have reached climax yet, go for the 4850.

    And I can tell you don't know much about motherboards, one of the ones you picked out has an AMD chipset.
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