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Preliminary Build Specifications

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August 13, 2008 1:49:26 AM

Hello everyone, I have been researching parts for a while, and learning something new almost everyday. I still have a lot to learn I hope you all will give me some good advice, as I'm sure you will.
Here goes, here are the parts I have picked out so far.

Here is a link to newegg wishlist, if that is easier for anyone
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

Mobo: EVGA 750i FTW http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 169.99 After Mail-In Rebate
MOBO: ASUS P5Q-E http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel QX6850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Purchased last night - No turning back

RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 109 after mail-in rebate
RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Purchased - No turning Back

GPU: 8800 GT http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Start with 1, get another when I have the $$
GPU: 4870 and will eventually CF with another. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Seagate 250GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Antec 900 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Is the PSU enough? too much?
Is CPU Cooler good enough?

I won't be getting a new monitor/mouse/keyboard for a while.

Thanks again!
August 13, 2008 2:06:49 AM

Ah yes you Best Buy guys get some good deals :) 

EVGA is a good company and all, but the chipset is not so good. It's not BAD, it's just not so good.

The RAM is real pretty, and overkill. The money is best spent elsewhere.

We can do a great deal better, for the same or less money. Have you seen:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,...

Build your system around CF 4850s, and you will be happier.

Cooling:
http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
August 13, 2008 2:18:14 AM

Thank you for the quick reply.
I have given it a lot of thought.
It is very important that I make the right choice when it comes to graphics card. I have a lot of concern with ATI gpu is that i've heard their driver updates are not very good. Hopefully with AMD taking over this will improve. What mobo would you suggest. I have been looking a lot at Intel Boards and am not sure I like any. I know there are concerns with the 750i but I was hoping the EVGA FTW would fix these concerns. Thoughts??
I am very enticed by the 4850 and even 4870. Especially with the X2 versions now coming out.
Related resources
August 13, 2008 3:04:43 AM

8800 GT is a great card, and if I absolutely could not spend more I would get one. Well, I actually am running one now, that I have had since before the current build.

You have two real choices for chipsets with Crossfire: P45 and x48. Mostly I recommend one or the other based on monitor resolution.

The P45 is PCI-E 2.0, but when you run the slots in CF they only run at x8. This is not a big deal at say, 1680x1050. If you are going to run a 30" monitor then you likely need a x48.

x48 will give you better frame rates in crossfire. At lower resolutions the difference is small, higher resolutions it gets bigger.

I own a P45 ASUS P5Q -E. I find it to be a very stable MB with tons of features. I fully believe it's the easiest overclocker out there. Some boards like DFI P45s will have more options possibly, but require far more knowledge.

I have always used nVidia, and my roommate has always used ATI. I always walk away grumbling from his computer because his gaming graphics always look better than mine, despite my clearly superior monitors.

Now, as far as nVidia MB chipsets... go to newegg and bore down to 700 series nvidia chipset MOBOs. Note how there is only a few brands.
August 13, 2008 1:39:19 PM

Thank you proxi. It's somewhat ironic that of the intel chipsets I looked at the X48 was at the top of my list and you mention it now, but I quickly looked past it because of the price. I don' plan to run a 30 inch monitor, at least not anytime soon. I have looked a little at the P45. I like it. I like the price.
When you talk about DFI versions having perhaps more options is this due to the bios, or are you talking about the board features itself?
Another Irony, when I put in all the features I want. RAM Speed. PCIe2.0 Slots, Ethernet Ports. # of Sata Connections, etc. The only options are Maximus II or the Asus board you mentioned.
Again Ironically that same board was one one of my saved wishlists from months ago. I guess I would like your opinion, and anyone else who wishes to chime in, I'm wonering is the 750i FTW really not a good option to go with? If I want to go sLi route should I look into perhaps 780? I really like the 750i FTW. Ive been looking at a thread on overclockers.net about it and it seems to do well. I would obviously go for the 4850/4870 if i were go to with a CF board, as I don't see the point in going any other direction with CF. Anyone else care to chime in?
August 13, 2008 1:57:28 PM

I haven't personally seen the DFI P45 BIOS, but I have heard that it has more overclocking options, but is not as beginner friendly, compared to ASUS P45.

Note though that the ASUS P45 generally has more OC controls in the BIOS than most boards ever made. It's just that it does alot of things automatically, and does them well.

As a for instance, I never had to touch my CPU voltage, overclocking from 3.0 to 3.6. The board took care of it. All I had to do was raise the FSB and lower the DRAM frequency.

Intel chipset boards are heavily favored around here... I doubt you'll get anyone in favor of the 750i.

You may get some x38 or P35 folks.
August 13, 2008 2:07:06 PM

True. It sounds like maybe the P45 will be better for me due to my beginner status. I am however a quick learner, I assume even the DFI can set timings automatically if needed, and then one could go in and manually set them.
If i go with the Extreme processor will I be able to touch the multiplier with the Asus board?
August 13, 2008 2:37:21 PM

"but admittedly the P45-DQ6 does have some very cool features such as the new ICH10R controller, loads of SATA ports and just some really funky new add-ons like the power buttons on board. Of course, we will cover all these in more detail in our full motherboard review at a later date.

Before you rush out and buy that P45 board thinking that x8 / x8 will be just fine, sit back and have a think if you’re really aiming to go down the Crossfire path in the near future. "

I don't really plan on getting the bigger monitor, and If I did I think I could handle the 10% performance drop, and save the $$ now. Any thoughts on those other features that review was talking about? I got that link from a post in a differant thread.
August 13, 2008 11:54:34 PM

For more solid actual tests on the performance difference:
http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/1472/intel_p45_vs_x48...

In most games you are talking about like 4 FPS difference, at normal screen sizes. Also, max frame rates mean very little to me. MINIMUM frames are important. It's those times in a game when your GPU almost comes to a halt that you actually notice.

The power and reset switches on the board are real cute. They are more for very serious "bench" overclockers that typically do not bother with a case at all.

As far as other features, it depends on which board you get.

I want to note that most of the reviews posted on P45 boards were done quite early. There have been BIOS revisions and driver updates since then, but no new reviews with benchmarks.
August 14, 2008 2:28:45 PM

Well. I just ordered the QX6850 so there is no going back on that. I'm definately leaning towards a P45 chipset, but if anyone knows anything about the differences that would be awesome. (I can read and see that some have optical out, more pcie slots etc) I'm talking about any bios information people have, or any other things I should take into consideration.
A board with 8 SATA will be enough for me. Also I'd like 2 LAN ports.
It's funny cause http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... keeps coming up. I should probably just go with that one and quit dillydallying. I like the price, I like the features, it has good reviews and it looks sexy.
How is cooling? How is layout?
PS. Is it just me or did P45 prices drop overnight @ newegg?
August 14, 2008 8:17:20 PM

ASUS prices are the same :) 
August 16, 2008 4:01:29 PM

I updated the list.
The newegg wishlist is right except for new ram, link posted above.
!