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System built around dual 4870x2's, need advice

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August 8, 2008 10:11:29 PM

Hey everyone,
I am going to be getting a new computer when the 4870x2 is released next week, and I wanted some advice. I want to get 2 4870x2's and have 8GB of RAM, the rest of my computer plan is flexible. My budget is about $6,500 but I would like to drop it back to about $5,000. I already have a decent monitor (1920x1200@60hz), keyboard, mouse etc... My main concern is Crossfire X performance, so I plan to use a motherboard with the Intel x48 north bridge. Below is my planned configuration, Please comment and let me know what you think!
(all item #s are for newegg)

Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS Black Computer Case
Item #:N82E16811133154 $144.99

MSI X48 Platinum ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #:N82E16813130140 $259.99

Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 3.2GHz LGA 775 136W Quad-Core Processor
Item #: N82E16819115051 $1,469.99

ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler
Item #:N82E16835118019 $59.99

2X CORSAIR DOMINATOR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
Item #:N82E16820145210 $1,678.00 ($839.00 each)

COOLMAX CUQ-1200B 1200W Power Supply
Item #:N82E16817159067 $229.99

2X ATI 4870X2
(Wish I had an item number :p  ) about $1000 ($500 each)

ASUS Xonar D2X Sound Card
Item #:N82E16829132005 $199.99

2X Western Digital VelociRaptor 300GB 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Item #:N82E16822136260 $579.98 ($289.99 each)

2X Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1TB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Item #:N82E16822148274 $359.98 ($179.99 each)

LG Super Multi Blu-ray Disc Burner & HD DVD-ROM Drive Black SATA Model GGW-H20L
Item #: N82E16827136137 $269.99

LG Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model GGC-H20L
Item #:N82E16827136133 $159.99

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 English NA DVD
Item #:N82E16832116473 $277.49


Grand Total: $6,690.37

This is my first build, so any advice on setup (pitfalls to avoid) would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for the responses!
August 8, 2008 10:38:26 PM

say, is that vista version 32 or 64 bitts? You better make sure it is 64 bitt version otherwise you'll sit dead in the water with those craphics gards. :p 

anyhow, that's one monster build you got there, especially if it's your first.
I'd ditch the ddr3 rams and that extreme CPU. just OC something cheaper. And why two blu-ray burners?
August 8, 2008 10:39:08 PM

This is what I would suggest:

Get the OEM version of Vista 64-bit..................... -$100.
Swap the QX9770 to a QX9650........................... -$450.
Get DDR3 1333 or 1600 instead of DDR3 2000.... -$1000.

That will save you about $1550 bringing your total to just over $5100.
Related resources
August 8, 2008 10:47:04 PM

The vista pack is both 32 and 64 (whichever I choose as far as I know), good point, thank you.

I'll consider moving down to a fsb of 1333, in which case the QX9650 and DDR3 1333 would be good, I guess the 276 difference wont matter too much. (and I should be able to overclock the 0.2 GHz difference in CPU fairly easily).

Thanks for the advice!
August 8, 2008 11:07:03 PM

You got more money then brains. If your gonna spend $6000 buy From Alienware or Blackbird. Atleast you wont have a $6000 paper weight because it dont work. Not to mention you get a badass warranty buying from a botique manufacturer.

If you do spend $6000 on a Pc you will feel like a idiot once you see people with 100s less invested stomping you in benchmarks.

With that budget wait for Nehalem.
August 8, 2008 11:18:11 PM

ha ha, well, that's a way to put it, actually I'm relatively broke, but I just got a new job so screw it, this is what I am buying with the first few paychecks.
I hear bad things about Alienware and the hp blackbird, sure that have decent components, but I hear they do not configure them properly. (identical components by another builder perform better). This could be misinformation.
I had also checked out a few system builders to find that they are charging about 30% in building it (price beyond component parts). That money could go into the computer.
If I were to go with a system builder it would probably be Falcon Northwest.
As for the Nehalem, well, I've had my computer for 4 years now and I just cant stand not being able to play games anymore. The Nehalem may be delayed (AMD doesn't seem to be putting up a fierce competition to force them to release anytime soon), in that case I don't want to wait another year for it. I can upgrade my motherboard and cpu when that time comes.
Thanks for the response.

Anyone have preferences on system builders?
August 8, 2008 11:54:37 PM

Nehalem is comming September 08, AKA next month. I went through and configured a system similar to yours, but with more sensible parts, I come up with $1800 in parts. Generally when I build a PC with that kind of price performance, I charge $300 to assemble/test and support the machine for one year, with an available 3year warrany from square trade.

What I would do if I were you is build a $400 machine and give it to your mom or other relative. After you feel confident then maybe spend alot of cash on a rig of your own. Jumping in with that kind of money is scarey when you are a noob. If somethng dont work you will be very frustrated, and discouraged.

There are alot of respectable builders like myself around on Ebay. I wouldn't buy from HP, Dell or Falcon NW but I would recommend a custom builde 1st, Del ect..... 2nd someone else 3rd, and DIY last.

For $1800 in parts you can get a system that can overclock and run circles around that stock $1500 processor. You should never ever pay for a extreme CPU.
August 8, 2008 11:57:12 PM

If your interested you can check my feedback on Ebay, and we could come up with some parts on newegg and see what we can do. Heck I'd even drop the labor to $150 just to keep you from getting raped or spending wayyyyy to much money.
August 8, 2008 11:59:35 PM

Parts would be more like $1300 with one 4870x2, and later if you really think you need two you could add another one. I would go with one to start and see if you really think you need two.
August 9, 2008 12:10:57 AM

Hmm, I had not heard about a September launch until I looked for it a second ago (I had heard sometime in 2009 or early 2010 earlier). I think I am still going to get a new computer with maybe just one 4870x2, and with cheaper parts.
Agreed, I don't want to mess something that expensive up, and messing up a $400 build may be easier to cope with.
Thank you for the advice.
August 11, 2008 10:58:39 PM

HI,

I made the same error as you in... 1995. it was my first PC and I bought the best for this time and that cost me a lot ($5000) to be at the Top for ... 6 months only.

If I were you, I'll look closely to the best for the price product.

example (Lucomputers price in Canada) :

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 2.50GHz $285.36
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 2.66GHz $416.99 (+160Mhz for 131.63$ = 0.82$/mhz)
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.80GHz $599.99 (+140Mhz for 183$ = 1.30$/mhz)

As you can see, it's a lot of money for nothing, an o/c of 10% = 250Mhz it's easy and don't need more materials. 3 proc with same techno and a max difference of 300Mhz for 314.63$ more.
imagine you can buy two Q9300 for less than the Q9550 ! it's stupid.

So if you do that with the memories, the video card, and the hard drive, you can save a lot without big sacrifice. And remember the last is not the best because drivers are not ready and for mobo the concept is not mature yet.
And for sure you can only see the differences in the benchmark...maybe, but in reality, when you use it, nothing.

This strategy is in my understanding the best way to buy the best but not the top.
And in two years, you can do the same and double the power of your new PC.
It's more efficient to invest in a very good quality of screen to keep it for years.

think about it.
;) 
!