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First Gaming Build - Compatability? Advice?

Last response: in Systems
August 14, 2008 4:41:41 PM

I am currently working on my first build for a mid-range gaming system. I have already bought the case but was wondering if all other components are compatable with each other and if there is anything that i should change.

Antec 900 case
Already bought
ASUS P5K-E/WIFI-AP LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
EVGA 512-P3-N861-AR GeForce 9600 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
ASUS Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 14X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Rosewill RP550V2-D-SL L 550W SLI Ready-ATX12V V2.01 Dual Fans Power Supply 115/230 V CSA,UL,TUV,FCC
August 14, 2008 4:52:11 PM

It looks good except I wouldn't trust that power supply and would go with DDR2 800 memory.
August 14, 2008 4:59:43 PM

Well if i were you i would get a antec/corsair/ocz psu around 550w, 4gb ddr2 800 and a radeon 4850 GPU. It would be like 100-120$ more but you would get alot of performance.
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August 14, 2008 5:02:16 PM

I would go with a P45 Mobo, P5Q-E or P5Q Premium. Get a better psu. EA 500 from Antec or EA 650 from Antec, Corsair 750W.
August 14, 2008 5:08:29 PM

Check on that PSU; seems to me it was a Rosewill of that wattage that they approved. Otherwise, Rosewill PSUs are on a "Do not buy" tier of a commonly used (though somewhat dated) PSU listing at
There are a lot of newer models that aren't listed, but if you stick to Corsair, OCZ, Antec, PC Power & Cooling, Enermax, or other brand with nothing below tier-3, you should be fine. Newegg has some really good deals right now on some Antec, OZC, and even a PC P&C model.
August 14, 2008 5:25:30 PM

Your PSU is junk. OK, maybe it's the exception and it's great, I don't know but then it's too small to be future-proof and too expensive for its size.

It costs $71.42 after shipping. $80 (after rebate, with free shipping) buys you a top-quality product with more power.
PC Power & Cooling S61EPS 610W
Or, a 750TX for $100, if you want more power.

Your HDD is not that great either. $60 buys you 250GB of rather slow disk (64.40 MB/s average read). $85 could buy you 640GB of really fast disk (90MB/s average read)

RAM: if you're willing to pay $8 more, you can have 4GB instead of 2 GB:
Mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800

Motherboard: save $10, get a P5Q Pro. You lose the Wi-Fi (if you care, add a PCI-card for it). You get a better fsb for overclocking, and the ability to run Crossfire at 8x+8x in PCI-E 2 slots. In comparison, the P5K runs it at 4x on PCI-E 1 for the second card, which means 4 times less bandwidth and really hurts.

Video card: Georgy is right, get a HD 4850. With the PSU and MB I suggested, you can add a second video card later. Trust me, a system with two HD 4850 cards is very impressive. OK, you'd have to pay another $100 or $150 for the second card at some point, but it will help a lot.

Good case/CPU/burner.

August 14, 2008 8:20:27 PM

Thanks everyone for the advice. I understand the points you guys/gals make about the PSU and mobo and video card, but one question i have. Whats the real difference between DDR2 800 an DDR2 1066? It seems everyone swears by the 800 and I'm not exactly sure why???
August 14, 2008 8:25:42 PM

The "800" is usually cheaper, and still fast enough to run in a 1:1 ratio if used with a P45 or X48 motherboard. For example E8400 can run at 3.6GHz on a P45 (fsb 1600) with DDR2-800 and all the numbers match nicely (all multiples of 400 MHz).

Also, some motherboards have trouble recognizing the DDR2-1066.
August 14, 2008 8:33:49 PM
August 14, 2008 8:37:58 PM

+1 to aevms suggestion on hdd (640gb), huge improvment for 25 bucks.
and +1 to 4gb ddr-800 for $8. more RAM much better than 1066 vs 800. But do keep in mind if you aren't running a 64bit OS it won't recognize all of it.

4850 is a solid increase if you do the other recommendations. sets you up nicely for not having to change for a bit and still able to add another if you choose.
August 14, 2008 8:38:46 PM

oops posted before i saw your post. disregard. :)  :) 
August 14, 2008 9:01:08 PM

That's a beautiful build.

Any particular reason why P5Q-E and not P5Q Pro? It's $29 more, and I'm just curious which of the additional features in the P5Q-E you find useful.

August 14, 2008 9:41:17 PM

Actually there is no reason for that choice. The only advantage I could really see would be the P5Q-E has eSATA but that really isn't all the huge of a concern to me and I don't think its worth the extra $29 in my case. Good eye, thanks!
August 14, 2008 9:48:16 PM

what os are you running?
August 15, 2008 1:47:22 AM

XP Pro